What Are Panchaloha Idols and How Are They Manufactured?

As one of the oldest religions in the world, Hinduism carries a broad set of traditions, rituals and worship. Hinduism in the real sense is a way of righteous living and professes the unity of worship and the concept of a formless divine. But these are abstract concepts for many and the best way to help relate is through images. Over time, this was how the concept of various ‘Gods’ and ‘idol worship’ was developed, giving the free choice of worship ultimately to the individual. In this regard, Panchaloha idols play a key role in this regard.

Silpa Shastra is an ancient Hindu text dealing with arts and crafts and contains various design rules and standards. All idols whether stone or of metal have to be sculpted and manufactured according to these rules and prescribed rituals have to be followed both during manufacture and installation in order to obtain the correct benefits. Panchaloha idols are traditional idols of Gods fashioned from an alloy of 5 metals (silver, gold, copper, zinc and iron). The percentages in which these metals are used in the alloy varies between different regions in India.

The idol manufacturing process involves 2 steps. The first is the construction of the mould and the second is the actual creation of the idol. Initially, an image of the deity is created in wax with all the details. This wax is prepared by mixing paraffin wax, resin from the tree Damara Orientalis, and ground nut oil. Since wax produced by this method is quite hard, softer bee’s wax of high purity is mixed to make it easier to bring to life finer details.

To create a mould, the wax model is covered in layers of fresh clay and soil and then allowed to dry. Once the clay dries, it is heated to melt the wax and create a hollow mould. The melted Panchaloha metal alloy is then poured slowly into this mould to allow air bubbles to escape. This is then allowed to cool and solidify into the idol or deity. The cooling period varied between a few hours to a few days depending on the size of the statue and is judged based on experience. Finally, the craftsmen break the clay mold starting from the head of the statue to get the preliminary image. This image is then worked on to produce the final product.

The process has remained the same since the time of ancient dynasties like the Chera and the Chola and it is heartening to note that the art continues to thrive in various corners of India even today.

What Are The Best Shoes Or Sandals For Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is an amazing journey in so many ways, not the least of which is the way our bodies change. Our hormones, while transforming us into givers of life, also bring with them a number of uncomfortable side effects. Morning fatigue and tiredness are common in early pregnancy, however many women do not realize that the hormones of pregnancy may also lead to various aches and pains all over the body, especially the feet.

Relaxin, the hormone responsible for relaxing the ligaments of the pelvis, in order for it to open during childbirth, exerts its effect on all ligaments in the body. Relaxin combined with the additional weight most women carry through a pregnancy quite often leads to very sore, aching feet. Problems in the feet may cause a domino effect through the body: knee problems, hip aches, back ache and headaches. A simple solution is to invest in at least one pair of supportive and contoured shoes or sandals. Birkenstock footwear is one such brand that delivers unsurpassed support and comfort and is definitely the best brand to wear during pregnancy.

Birkenstock has many styles to choose from, and all feature the famous contoured foot-bed, offering strong arch support, a deep heel cup and toe grips. They are crafted out of all natural products including cork and latex, designed to cradle and support the foot. The cork is an excellent shock absorber and will also soften and conform to your own foot shape and walking pattern. Most styles have an adjustable strap, allowing you to achieve a perfect fit through your pregnancy, even if you suffer from fluid retention and swelling. Many of the styles are also 'slip ons', saving you from bending down to do them up, which can be a challenge as your pregnancy progresses!

Birkenstock sandals and shoes are also the perfect shoe to wear while in hospital after the birth. Forget the fluffy slippers, and pack a pair of stylish Birkenstock Gizehs in Silver. They will go everything including your pajamas, they look sensational, they are easy to slip into while carrying your gorgeous new baby (also especially helpful if you've just had a cesarean) and will make you feel great too ~ And by-golly you need all the help you can get directly after childbirth!

The benefits of Birkenstock do not stop after childbirth either, you will probably find yourself out walking with the pram or stroller most days, and you will be so glad to have great feeling feet and to have sandals that you can slip straight into without fussing around with buckles or laces, especially when baby might be unsettled. Once baby is walking, you can then give him or her the best start in life with their own pair of Birkenstocks!

The Importance of Building Insurance

All lenders insist on Buildings Insurance if any property is secured against a loan. If anything adverse happens to the property (like it being burnt down), the same property can be rebuilt from the proceeds of the insurance claim. And if your property is mortgage free and a similar destruction occurs to it, you will still be protected by the insurance policy and will be able to rebuild your property from the proceeds of your claim.

All Buildings Insurances are taken out so as to have a peace of mind against misfortunes that you hope will never occur. This kind of insurance offers protection against structural damages eg roofs, walls, floors, ceilings, windows and doors. The causes of structural damages specified in policies are usually by fire, detonation, burglary or attempted burglary, malicious damage / vandalism, natural calamities like lightning, flooding, storms, earthquakes, disappearance and falling trees etc. Also included in the policies are damages on outdoor properties such as gates, fines and railroads.

But do be aware that not all policies cover all the above mentioned potential damages and each insurer will have its own exclusion due to that particular policy. Should you require any specific cover which has not been detailed in the policy then you can obtain one by paying an additional premium.

In the unfortunate event of you not being able to reside in your property until it has been deemed safe and secure for you to live in, you will need to ensure that your buildings insurance policy covers you for a suitable alternative. out on your property. Also make sure that your policy covers you for any associated architects' or surveyor's fees.

What Is The Difference Between Laminate Flooring and a Floating Floor?

What is a floating floor? I get this question often from customers because someone has told them they should get it. But, they don’t understand what a floating is.

Technically, a floating floor means that it is “floating” on top of the floor below it and is not directly secured to the floor (i.e. no nails and no glue). Instead it is held down or secured around the edges of the room – the base molding/shoe molding and transitions. This is often used if it is going over an existing floor or on top of cement – more about this later. Now, because the floor is floated and not secured to the floor there tends to be a bit more movement in the floor – you especially see and hear this in laminate floors and it’s more noticeable if it was poorly installed.

Given the definition, there are many types of floating floors as you’ll see below, so anytime someone tells me they want or think they need a floating floor, I need to dig a little deeper to make sure I’m understanding their wants and needs because there are many types of floating floors. (Plus sometimes someone tells me they need a floating floor and when I get to their house I discover that they don’t need a floating floor).

1. Laminate floors -Laminate floors are floating floors. Laminate is fake – it looks like hardwood, but it’s not – it’s a digital picture of hardwood and it clicks together. (There are also versions that look like tile) One of the advantage of laminate is that is less expensive than hardwood – both material-wise and labor-wise and it can often be placed on top of existing flooring without needing to rip it up, so this saves more money in labor.

2. Some engineered hardwoods are floating floors. Hardwoods can be installed 3 ways: 1) nail down (if there is plywood there), 2) glue down (engineered only) and 3) floated (engineered only). Some hardwoods are specially made to click into place just like a laminate does (they are easier for do-it-yourselfers and some can be installed over radiant heat). You click them into place and once they clicked, they are locked into place. The other option for non-clickable engineered hardwood is to glue the joints of the hardwood. Either way, both options require underlayment underneath the hardwood just as you would use for a laminate.

3. Cork is a floating floor. They come in interlocking pieces (usually 1 ft x 3ft) and click together just as a laminate does.

4. Some vinyls are floating floors (but most aren’t). Usually vinyl is glued down, but some of the more recent fiber floors that have some fiberglass and extra cushion for your feet can be glued or floated. If they are floated, they just lie on top of the floor and are secured along the base molding or cove base along the walls and cabinets.

So, after all of that, why would someone want a floating floor? Here are some of the reasons:

1. They want to save money by not ripping up the floor. Instead, they just want to go on top of it.

2. They have asbestos tile on the floor and it would be dangerous/illegal to remove that (or very costly to have an abatement company come in and professionally abate it).

3. They have a floor where glue will not adhere to it well (e.g. epoxy floor or floor w/ lots of ridges and not a flat surface.

4. They are putting hardwood on top of radiant heat (and hence need to avoid adhesives and nails).

Here are some reasons why customers mistakenly THINK they need a floating floor.

1. They don’t have plywood or it’s going over a cement subfloor. This is the most frequent area of confusion. While floating floors definitely will work over cement, you do not need to do a floating floor. You can, but you also have the option of doing an engineered hardwood and gluing it down. So, be sure to understand your objectives and your budget before ruling options out.

2. It’s below grade/in a basement. Floating floors can work in the basement, but other floors can also work so this is where it’s necessary to understand the objective of the room, moisture issues and budget.

3. There is a moisture issue. Well if there is a moisture issue, this should prob. be addressed first. Or, if you are not going to make any changes, then pick the appropriate floor that will work with moisture. Hardwood, laminate and cork are no no’s if you have a moisture issue. Many customers mistakenly believe that laminate is waterproof, and I have news for you…it’s not. It’s made w/ hardwood shavings, so if you are concerned about hardwood and moisture same goes for laminate. If there is a moisture issue, consider vinyl or tile.

4. They have a sloping or uneven floor. Hard surfaces don’t generally work well over uneven floors regardless of whether it’s hardwood, laminate, or tile. it’s best to level these out first, but the floor prep will cost you more money. If budget is a concern w/ the leveling, the consider a more flexible surface such as vinyl, carpet or rubber.

I know there are a lot of issues to consider and I suppose this is why it’s best to consult a professional. Everyone’s situation and budget is different. Frequently, I will narrow down to the 2 or 3 choices that could work for my customers and price them all out and then let them decide what works best with their needs and budget. I’ll always add in my 2 cents (or sometimes even a nickel).

Can a Legistor Cross Carpet and Still Keep His Seat Under Nigerian Law?

Our chief concern here is to discuss the legal consequences of the current spate of party defection by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC). We shall leave the task of recounting Nigeria’s history on carpet crossing to historians and shall not be bordered by it. We shall also not allow ourselves to be drawn into arguments as to the morality/propriety of carpet crossing.

The media is awash with the news of the defection of 37 PDP members of the House of Representatives to the APC. Already, five PDP governors have dumped the party for the APC. The collapse of the PDP as the ruling party in Nigeria and as Africa’s biggest political party seems imminent as unconfirmed reports say that twenty-two senators are planning to also dump the party for the APC.

Nigerian law on carpet crossing begins and ends with the provisions of Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. These sections provide that:

“a member of the Senate or House of Representatives or State House of Assembly shall not vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if being a person whose election into the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which the House was elected.

Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member of a merger of two or more political parties by one of which he was previously sponsored.”

It is interesting to note that unlike the purport of above provisions, Sections 135 and 180 of the said Constitution which provides for circumstances under which the President or his Vice, and a Governor or his Deputy could cease to hold office does not mention party defection as a ground for vacating or ceasing to hold office.

From the above provisions therefore, Nigerian law on carpet crossing could be summarized as follows:

1. A Legislator in Nigeria could lose or vacate his seat in parliament if he defects from the party that sponsored him into the Legislative House to another party.

2. A Nigerian Governor, Deputy Governor, President or Vice President cannot vacate or cease to hold office for defecting from the political party that sponsored him into office to another.

3. Before a Legislator in Nigeria could be made to lose his seat in parliament for defecting to a party other than the one that sponsored him into the House, the principal officer of that Legislative House( the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Speaker of the State House of Assembly as the case may be) or a member of that Legislative House must first present evidence satisfactory to the Legislative House concerned that a member has defected from the political party that sponsored him into the House to another political party and has by operation of law vacated his seat in Parliament.

4. It follows from the above that if there is no satisfactory evidence presented to the Legislative House on a member’s defection, the member who is alleged to have defected can still retain his seat. He will however continue to be known and addressed as a member of the party that sponsored him into the House.

5. A Legislator in Nigerian can cross carpet to a party other than the one that sponsored him into the House and still keep his seat if he can prove that his defection was as a result of a division within his former party.

6. Also, a Legislator in Nigeria will not lose/vacate his seat even though he has defected from the party sponsored him to another party if he can prove that his membership of a new party is as a result of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

The position that while a Legislator in Nigeria is liable to lose his seat in parliament for cross carpeting to another party, the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor is not liable and cannot be forced to vacate or cease to hold office for the same reason was endorsed by the Nigerian Supreme Court in the case of AGF V. Atiku Abubarkar (2007)4 S.C (pt.11)62 where the issue before the court was whether the Vice President’s defection from the PDP( on whose platform he was elected into office) to the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) meant that he had automatically vacated and ceased to hold that office.

The Supreme Court held that it is only Legislators that are liable to vacate their seats in parliament for defection to a different party from the one that sponsored them into office. The supreme held that the constitution does not envisage or provide for the vacation /cessation of the office of the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor for defection from the party that sponsored them into office to another party. The Apex court held therefore that Vice-President Atiku Abubarkar was entitled to keep and/or in office even though he had effected from the PDP to the ACN.

Again, the position that a legislator may lose his seat in parliament for cross carpeting to another political party has been affirmed by the court in some decisions. For instance, the Federal High Court of Nigeria sitting in Akure in the case of Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde v. The Ondo State House of Assembly & Ors. sacked Mr. Abegunde, a House of Representatives member representing Akure North and South, Ondo State for defecting from the Labour Party to the ACN. Mr Abegunde had been elected into the House under the auspices of the Labour Party in the April 2011 General Elections. He however, defected to the ACN during the currency of the tenure of the House. The court held that Mr Abegunde had vacated his seat and ceased to be a member of the House by operation of law. This decision was affirmed and upheld by the Court of Appea in Re Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde v. The Ondo State House of Assembly & Ors. (2014) LPELR-23683(CA),Appeal No.CA/AK/110/2012.

Again, in the case of Hon. Michael Dapialong v. Chief (Dr) Joseph Chibi Dariye, Appeal No. S.C 39/2007 the Supreme Court took judicial notice of the fact that between 25th and 26th July,2006, fourteen members of the twenty-four members of the Plateau State House of Assembly including the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker thereof defected from the PDP platform on whose they were elected to the House in 2009 to the Advanced Congress of d Democrats(ACD) as a result of which the said 14 members were held to have vacated their seats by operation of law.

Relying on the Supreme Court decision in AGF V. Atiku Aburbakar therefore, we can safely conclude that the five PDP Governors that had defected to the APC can validly do so without being liable to vacate or cease to hold their offices. This is because the Constitution simply does not penalize the President, Vice President, a Governor or Deputy Governor who dumps the party that sponsored him into office for another party. Also, unlike Legislators, these members of the executive arm of Government are not required to proffer explanations or reasons to justify defection.

However, some persons have argued that even though the Constitution does not penalize defection by Governors, the Supreme Court decision in Rotimi Amaechi v INEC Appeal No. SC 525/2007 could be relied upon to effect the vacation from office of Governors who defect from the parties that sponsored them into office to another political party before the expiration of their tenure. Acording Mr Dan Nwayanwu, Chairman of the Labour Party of Nigeria, the Supreme Court’s dictum in Amaechi’s Case to the effect that it is the political party and not the candidate for which the electorate cast their votes could be interpreted and applied to mean that Governors who get elected into office only to dump the party that sponsored them into office for another party should vacate or cease to hold office upon defection.

Mr Dan Nwamyawu in an interview granted to Sunday Trust Newspapers in 2007 advocated that Governors who defect to parties other than the ones that sponsored them into office should be kicked out of office on the basis of the decision in Amaechi v. INEC. We humbly disagree with this position. This is because the Constitution does not impose any penalty or legal disability on carpet crossing by Governors. Secondly, the Supreme Court in Amaechi’s Case did not decide the issue of the consequence of a Governor’s defection from his party. Rather, the question in Amaechi’s case was whether a person who did not contest an election could be heard to challenge an election or be declared as Governor. The decision in AGF V. Atiku Abubarka for all intents and purposes remains the authoritative exposition of the law on party defection in Nigeria.

It is by now beyond doubt that the five PDP governors who had defected to the APC are entitled to do so without any attendant penalty or legal disability. But can the same be said of the 37 members of the House of Representatives members who have defected to the APC? Can they validly dump the PDP for the APC without losing their seat in parliament?

By a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, titled ‘Communication of Change of Political Party’ and dated the 18tth December, 2013, the 37 defecting Federal Lawmakers explained that their defection from the PDP to the APC was as a result of the internal crisis within the PDP. The Lawmakers also premised their defection from the PDP to the APC on the fact that the PDP has broken into two factions: the New PDP and the Old PDP. The so-called New PDP consisting of the dissatisfied and disgruntled members of the party, the majority of whom have defected to the APC.

It is to be recalled that in Agundade’s case, he had argued that given the internal crisis, division and factionalization within the Labour Party, he was entitled by virtue of the proviso in Section 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution to defect from the Labour Party to the ACN without losing or having to vacate his seat in the House. The court however ruled that since he could not prove division or factionalization within the Labour Party, he was not entitled to keep or retain his seat after he decamped to the ACN. That he vacated his seat upon defection to the ACN by operation of law.

The proviso to the provisions of Section 68(1) (g) and 109(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution are to the effect that although a Legislator would ordinarily lose his seat if he defects to a party different from the one that sponsored him into the Legislative House, he is entitled to keep his seat if he can prove that:

1. He defected to a new party as a result of division within the party that sponsored him into the house.

2. His membership of the new party is as a result of the merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

Before we proceed to examine whether the internal crisis rocking the PDP falls within the proviso to Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1) (g) of the Constitution, it is pertinent to determine what constitutes division in a political party. The constitution does not define word “division”. The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, 6th Edition, defines division as a disagreement or difference in opinion or way of life etc especially between members of a society or an organization.

According to Professor Okey Okon of the South Central University, California, USA, division could arise from:

1. Ideological differences and

2. Organizational differences.

Organizational differences denote conflict, division, crisis etc arising as a result of the way and manner the party is run, operated or managed. In fact, all conflicts and crises arising from the management and operation of the organic structure of the political party fall under the category of organizational differences. Conflict, division or crises arising from organizational differences bordering on such issues as internal democracy mechanism of the party, conduct of primaries election, funding, election of principal officers of the party, adoption of candidates as party flag bearer for election, handling of party finances, planning and execution of election campaign strategies etc come under organizational differences.

It is a notorious fact that the PDP has from inception been bedeviled by internal crises caused by the occurrence of undemocratic practices within the party. The defecting 37 Federal Legislators have alleged that their defection from the PDP to APC was as a result of division and internal crises within the party and that they are entitled to keep their seats in parliament. We do not know the particulars of the alleged division or crises within the PDP but if their allegations are true then they are entitled to keep their seats in parliament.

We shall now turn our attention to the issue of whether ideological differences constitute division as to entitle a defecting legislator to retain his seat in parliament. Ideological differences relates to conflict, disagreement, crisis or division arising from a conflict between a party member’s ideas, beliefs, conviction, principles, philosophy or policy with those of his political party. When a member disagrees with his party’s ideas, policies, programs, philosophy or principles on socio- political or economic issues does this disenchantment or disagreement with his party entitle him to defect to another party without having to lose/vacate his seat in parliament? Does this conflict or disagreement with his party constitute division as envisaged by the proviso in Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution?

Professor Okey Okon is of the opinion that ideological differences constitute division within the meaning of Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1) (g) of the Constitution and at such empowers a Legislator to defect to another party without losing his seat whenever he disagrees with the policy and philosophy of his party. According to the learned Professor, ideological differences are a form of division which should justify a legislator to defect to another party without having to lose or vacate his seat. He opined that any interpretation of the law to exclude ideological difference as constituting division is erroneous. The learned Professor further posits that failure to treat ideological differences as division will deprive Legislators of the sense of safety and protection they need to stand up for what they believe in. He held that such a narrow reading of the law will provide perverse incentives for Legislators to emphasize compliance at the expense of principles and conviction to expediency.

We however beg to disagree with this position. With due respect to the learned professor, the proviso to Section 68(1) (g) and 109(1) (g) of the Constitution cannot be objectively interpreted to mean that whenever a legislator disagrees with the policy or philosophy of his party on socio-economic political or other issues he can dump his party for another party and still retain his seat in parliament. Such an interpretation of the law cannot be the intendment of the drafters of the Constitution. It is important to note that the relevant provision reads… “As a result of a division in the political party”… This shows clearly that what the law envisages is a situation where there is a conflict or disagreement within the party that leads to internal crisis or instability in the party. In other words, ideological differences alone cannot justify defection.

However, for ideological differences to justify defection, they must be of such magnitude and intensity as to lead to crisis, instability, factionalization and conflict within the party. The Noscitur Associis rule of construction of statutes states that the company a word keeps suggests its meaning. The word “division” as used in Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution are accompanied by the words “merger” and “factions” which words denotes a change or alteration in the organic structure of a political party. We therefore agree with Professor Okey to the extent that ideological differences can constitute division which can justify defection only when such differences are of such magnitude and intensity as to lead to instability or crises within the party. A mere difference in opinion or belief will not suffice to justify defection.

Indeed, legislators do not have to defect to a new party to express or hold opinions or views contrary to those favoured by their party unless of course doing so would result and actually results to instability and crisis/conflict within the party. It is submitted that to allow defection merely on the ground that a legislator disagrees with the policies or ideological position of his party on certain socio-economic cum political or moral issues would defeat the intention of the framers of the constitution. The constitution clearly intends to discourage and penalize legislators for defection except on rare and exceptional circumstances. Making mere differences in opinion and belief a ground for political defection would provide legislators an excuse for political prostitution.

It is interesting to note that the 37 defecting legislators have also sought to justify their defection on the ground that the PDP was divided into two political parties; the old PDP and the new PDP which consist of the defecting and disgruntled member. They alleged that the new PDP has formally merged with the APC. We are of the opinion that if these allegations are true then the 37 defecting legislators are entitled to so defect without having to lose their seats. It is pertinent to note that the PDP has obtained a court order declaring the so-called new PDP illegal and restraining its members from parading themselves as PDP members. The question that arises from this development is, what is the legal effect of this order on the rights of these defecting legislators to keep their seats. It is our humble opinion that the court order has no effect whatsoever on the rights of the defecting legislators to keep their seats. The order merely prohibits the use of the name PDP by the defecting faction. It does not mean that the defecting faction is an illegal group because they are not a group of criminals or bandit.

Indeed, Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression as well as the right to freedom of association. The court order therefore cannot operate to deprive or in any way prejudice the defecting members’ entitlement to keep their seats.

The PDP has reacted to the defection of its member, especially the 37 Federal lawmakers by saying that any member of the party that renounces its membership of PDP shall be made to vacate his seat. There are also reports in the media that the PDP has gone to court to obtain a declaration for the vacation of the seats and offices of the defecting legislators and five governors. Let’s keep our fingers crossed as we watch the drama unfold.

How To Make A Form For Making Concrete Bricks

It's very easy to make your own concrete bricks, pavers or stepping stones. One item you will need is a form in which to cast your project. You may need more than one and you may need them in different sizes.

Let's use a patio paver for an example. Let's say your patio design requires cement stones that are 8 x 8 and 8 x 16. Here's how you would go about making these forms very easily.

Buy some cheap furring strips at your home center. These are eight feet long and 2.5 inches wide. Also buy some 2 x 2. It's also eight feet long. Get some coarse-threaded screws 1.5 inches long.

From this stock you'll cut two pieces eight inches long and two pieces 20 inches long for each form you want to make. You will also cut four pieces of 2 x 2 that are 2 inches long. The only measurement that has to be fairly accurate is when you cut the eight inch pieces. The rest can be approximate.

Put two of the eight inch pieces together back to back. Put two 2 x 2's at each end so it looks like a capital I. Now you know where the 2 x 2's go, take one eight inch piece and put it on its end. Hold the 2×2 in the place you just had it while you pre-drill two holes and attach the screws. You want the edge of the 2 x 2 and the end of the eight inch piece to be flush. Assemble the other three ends the same way.

Put the assembled pieces back to back again in a capital I. Spread them apart until you have a measure of 16 inches between them. Now screw the 20 inch long pieces on with one screw in the middle of the 2 x 2 so you miss the screws you have already put into it.

That's all you need to make your 8 x 16 forms. When you want to use the 8 x 8 forms, just unscrew the 20 inch side pieces and measure your 8 inch pieces to be 8 inches apart. Pre-drill a hole and screw them to the 2 x 2's as before.

If you decide you want an 8 x 4, you just slide the eight inch pieces to that measure. You could use this form for any 8 by "X" size brick from one inch to 16 inches.

What about the thickness? What if you do not want cement bricks that are 2.5 inches thick? There are two ways to handle this.

One way is to only fill the forms to the depth that you want your brick to be thick. You could make a sight line on the wood to know when you've hit the right depth. If your bricks turn out to be of varying thickness, do not worry. You can compensate when you lay them.

The second way is to trim the wood to the proper width on a table saw. If you have a table saw, you can use any wood you can find, even boards from old pallets will be fine, and save the expense of buying the furring strips.

Have fun with your project!

Electric Fireplaces For Apartments

Apartment living is not easy. Often, apartment dwellers are either young people who have recently moved out in the world or older people who have recently sold their homes. That is not true for all parts of the country, and in many large urban areas, apartments are regularly houses for families and busy professionals. Regardless of who lives in an apartment, most people can agree that one of the biggest challenges is keeping the space even though heated without spending too much on gas and electricity every winter. Another big obstacle is decoration and personalization. Home owners have the freedom to changes the colors, add, and subtract from the home, but apartment DWellers have far more limited options.

A fireplace might be the best solution for both problems, but probably not the fireplace you're thinking of. Electric fireplaces for apartments are gorgeous without being permanent, provide extra space for personal items, and are interesting conversation pieces. But even some fireplaces, including the ones that are modeled after smaller wood-burning stoves, are too large for certain apartments, lofts, and condos. If you like the look, feel, and heat of an electric fireplace instead of just a regular old space heater, and you are seeking electric fires for apartments, you might want to consider getting one that hangs on the wall.

There are many benefits for wall-hanging fireplaces, especially when you are talking about electric fireplaces for apartments. First, they offer all the other benefits of an electric fireplace, including the extra mantel space, the style and class of a fireplace, and the additional heat with thermometer. But they are light enough to be mounted to a wall, which means you do not have to sacrifice any of the precious floorspace in some of the smaller living units people are calling home.

Commercial Roof Insulation

Insulation is a way to keep heat inside a room or building, it reduces the loss of heat through certain areas like the walls and the ceiling. There are many different ways to insulate the roof with one of the most popular being Insulation Foam, in fact some insulating foam can be used to not only insulate the roof but repair it at the same time. This gives you a few benefits over re-roofing, for starters it is a much cheaper method, it will save you a substantial amount on your heating bills, has the ability to create a dry, warm, clean loft space and comes with 25 year guarantees.

The foam used is a rigid spray foam that is applied to the underneath of the roof tiles or slats, it fills and seals any gaps that it comes into contact with, creating a very solid foam structured. The council use this method for insulating their properties along with blue chip companies and local authorities. Another benefit to the foam is that after the installation is complete it requires absolutely no maintenance what so ever and can be left alone with peace of mind.

Some insulating methods have a limited lifespan and are not likely to last for the duration that the building will, however the foam insulation has a very long life expectancy and should last for the building life expectancy.

If you are looking in to this for your building make sure you chose a company with a good reputation.

Making Driftwood Picture Frames by Distressing New Picture Framing Timber

A driftwood picture frame is an elegant solution where you desire a unique distracted frame with timeless appeal. One of the techniques you can explore when framing your pictures is to use recycled timber or driftwood that you have collected but often driftwood timber is not available to everyone so you can try to create the look by using new timber you can get from your local hardware shop.

It's not difficult to make a driftwood looking frame but it does take some time and experimentation. All you need to do is visit your hardware shop and get some plain hardwood timber. Sometimes you can get the timber already in a picture frame profile and other times you may need to rebate or rabbet it to accept the glass, backing and picture. Then you can cut it to make it into a picture frame to fit your photo or artwork.

Now the way to get the new picture frame to look like it really is driftwood is to start with the raw wood and then use various materials and tools to distract the surface of the timber.

The first step is to fill any imperfections or nail holes in the frame and sand them back so that you've got a perfectly made frame. The object of trying to get this frame to look recycled or bothered is that the surface mimics a weathered old look. To achieve this you can use an assortment of tools including chisels, rasps, any jagged bits of metal that you've got, bunches of keys and all sorts of things can be used to actually apply different marks into the wood to give it a more natural look.

Start by poking around and making a few holes and rough marks on the wood. You can scrape it using a surform type rasp or a cheese grater type scraper and you can leave it quite rough, do not try to smooth it off. The idea here is that you're going to expose the grain. Take care to avoid the inside edge where the picture fits because that is quite a thin and fragile area. Just concentrate on further back from the sight edge. Try to create a sort of random lot of holes all over the surface of the frame and then you start rasping at it and use various metal objects and tools. Any sort of rough metal tool can be used to apply texture to the frame.

Keep scraping along the molding and remember you're trying to replicate the natural look of recycled timber. Now when you get to the corners you're going to need to use something a little bit pointy so that you can get right into those nooks. A good tool for this is an awl or small gouge. You can use sharpened screw drivers and old tools that have unusual surfaces. You can use bunches of nails they work quite well especially if you tape a whole lot of them together. Use the nails to scrape into the corners and other tight areas.

After you have given the frame a good going over what you want to do is take a look at the whole frame and step back from it. Have a look from a distance and see what the overall effect is. You do not want anything too even. The appearance needs to be random and the texture needs to look natural. Take your time because you can always add more work to it. You can go back and you can chisel bits off, you can add more little holes and tap holes with nails.

After a while you've got a furry, fuzzy kind of wooden frame with all sorts of shavings hanging off it. You then can burn sections with a blowtorch burning off some of the wood shavings. In other areas you can raise the grain by dampening it with water. The water causes the wood fibers to swell creating a different level of texture.

Sandpaper the frame with various degrees of wallpaper and try to maintain the textures you have been building up through the distracting process. The sand papering is to give the frame some areas of smoothness and add another detail to the complexity of the surface.

Once you are happy with the overall texture you have created you can add some layers of diluted gesso or diluted white paint to give a limed finish. Do not worry if the white color picks up some of the charcoal leftover from the burning process because it adds to the grayed driftwood effect you are trying to emulate.

When the paint is dry add various colors of wax crayons or other pigmented oil pastels into sections of the frame molding. Blend some of these color layers with old kitchen scourers, steel wool or different grades of wallpaper.

Look at the frame from a distance and see if the finish is what you desire.

Soften and blend the tones within the frame by further sanding or rubbing with scourers or steel wool.

When you are happy with the look of the frame you can finish the surface with a light coating of a good furniture wax. For an added level of finish you can dust powdered rottenstone or pumice into the wax before it has dried. Apply the wax with a clean cloth and after allowing adequate time for drying you can buff the surface with a polishing cloth.

Your frame should then have a natural warm finish ready to insert your picture.

Building Projects With Treated Wood

Building with treated wood and the idea that this project will last forever because of the wood you used is not necessarily true. Over the years I have seen contractors and homeowners use treated wood for projects like building decks with this idea in mind.

I just met with a homeowner that was asking me about vinyl fencing. The homeowner approached me with some facts about vinyl fencing. She started to explain to me how long a vinyl fence would last cases a wood fence. I reminded her that the vinyl posts typically slip over metal or wood building materials.

She proceeded to inform me that treated wood will last a lot longer than wood used when building a wooden fence. It took me a while to change her mind and reprogram her with a few picture this from my website. I know this is hard to imagine but wood rots and steel rust.

All you end up with is a vinyl fence that is in pretty good shape if taken care of properly laying down in your yard with broken or rusted fence posts.

Do you know that some people use treated wood for countertops and food preparation areas when building certain projects like an outdoor barbecue? Do you know people build outdoor furniture with treated wood and then sit in it with a chance of toxic chemicals entering into your body? This is where Redwood comes in as a natural building product or other nice looking woods. Redwood is classified as a softwood and if used for a countertop and a barbecue kitchen area you will have to protect it from heavy pans and people using the countertop for a cutting board.

Do not use treated wood for a projects that will be used for food preparation later.

It's a good idea to wash your hands after handling treated lumber. It's a really good idea to wash your hands after using treated lumber if you are going to eat something or make something for another person or yourself.

For all the homeowners and building contractors that use treated wood and bury it in dirt. Or build a low lying deck right above the ground I would like to share something with you. I have been repairing and replacing your work for over 30 years now. You guys keep me busy and I want to thank you for all the years you guys have been in business.

I still can not believe the amount of work I see being done using treated wood with the illusion that it will last longer than regular construction standard wood. I do not know how else to put it except to say treated wood will rot fast in the right conditions.

Treated wood does need to be protected from rain, snow, heat and other elements of the weather. It can not sit in the dirt or lay in water for long periods of time without slowly disintegrating. Oh yeah one more thing termites will eat sections of the wood that is not completely treated.

Use treated wood properly when building and inform other people about some of the stuff you learned in this article. Reread this article later and save it for the future.

How to Build an Electric Generator to Power the House?

Would you like to learn how to build an electric generator to power the house? Using a renewable household electricity generating system has many benefits, both environmentally and economically. By producing electric at home with renewable sources, there will not be emissions of harmful gases. Also, such a generator has been able to help me save a lot of money that I would have had to pay for the electricity.

1. How Much Will It Cost To Build The Whole Electric Generator System And How To Built It?

The 2 most feasible solutions are wind turbines or solar power generators, and you can choose to build either one or even both if conditions allow you to use them. The guide that I use contains a whole list of all the parts required to build both the solar and wind powered system.

The wind turbines will require you to get PVC pipe for building the blades. If you are thinking of building bigger turbines, you will probably have to build wooden blades instead to reduce the possibility of them breaking. For the body of the turbine, you will need to have a 40 foot TV tower. All the parts can be easily acquired for a small cost or even free if you look for them at the right places.

2. Why Build Your Own Homemade Electric Generator Instead of Buying A Ready Made One?

Making the whole homemade electric generator system by myself has costed only about $ 180 for both the wind and solar powered ones. This system will have to be bought for at least $ 4,000 if they are in ready-made condition. Of course, building your own system will some time and you may also take some time to understand the guide first, so it is up to you to weigh the costs and benefits.

Thousands of people have already eliminated their own home electricity bills with the free energy system. They learned how to build it by downloading a step-by-step guide online. You can find out more about how to build this home power system at the website link below.

Network Design Process – Effective Network Planning and Design

Overview

The network planning and design methodology describes a process with 9 specific steps and a sequence for those activities. As mentioned it is an engineering life cycle that supports technical initiatives such as Windows migration, IP telephony and wireless design to name a few examples. The methodology begins with examining company business requirements. It is absolutely essential that you understand the company business model, business drivers and how they are growing from a business perspective. That will build the foundation for a design proposal that serves the business, technical and operational requirements of the company.

STEP 1: BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS

Any design project starts with an understanding of what the company does and what they need to accomplish from a business perspective. This begins with an understanding of their business model, which really describes how their company works from an operational and business perspective to generate revenues and reduce costs. Many vendors today have contacted their own return on investment (ROI) studies for new implementations such as Unified Communications and Telephony. It is an effective sales tool that illustrates the cost benefits compared with investment over a specified period of time.

This is a list of some typical business drivers:

• Reduce Operating Costs

• Generate Revenue

• Client Satisfaction

• Employee Productivity

This is a list of some typical project business requirements:

• Budget Constraints

• Office Consolidations

• Company Mergers and Acquisitions

• Business Partner Connectivity

• Telecommuter Remote Access

• Implement New Offices and Employees

• New Data Center Applications

• Reduce Network Outage Costs

• Cost Effective Network Management

• Vendor Contracts

STEP 2: DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

Now that you understand the basic business requirements of the company, you can determine the standard and specific design requirements. The design requirements process is focused on clearing requirements from a technical perspective. Those requirements along with the business requirements will build the framework that is used to define infrastructure, security and management. Design requirements are defined as standard and miscellaneous. The standard design requirements are generic and represent those considered with many design projects. Miscellaneous requirements are those that are not defined with any of the standard requirements.

• Standard Design Requirements

• Performance

• Availability

• Scalability

• Standards Compatibility

• Rapid Deployment

STEP 3: NETWORK ASSESSMENT

A network assessment is conducted after we have finished the business and design requirements of the company. A network assessment provides a quick snapshot of the current network with an examination of the infrastructure, performance, availability, management and security. That information is utilized for making effective strategy recommendations and design proposals to the client relating specific information systems configurations. The network assessment model has 3 sequential activities, which are assessment, analysis and recommendations. The current network is examined using five primary surveys: infrastructure, performance, availability, management and security. When the surveys are completed, the information collected is then reviewed for trends, problems and issues that are negatively affecting the network.

STEP 4: INFRASTRUCTURE SELECTION

After doing an network assessment we are ready to start selecting specific infrastructure components for the network design. This phase starts building the infrastructure with a specific sequence that promotes effective equipment selection and design. It is important that you consider business requirements, design requirements and the network assessment when building your infrastructure.

The following numbered list describes the specific infrastructure components and their particular sequence.

1. Enterprise WAN Topology

2. Campus Topology

3. Traffic Model

4. Equipment Selection

5. Circuits

6. Routing Protocol Design

7. Addressing

8. Naming Conventions

9. iOS Services

10. Domain Name Services

11. DHCP Services

STEP 5: SECURITY STRATEGY

We must now define a security strategy for securing the infrastructure. The need for enterprise network security should not be ignored with the proliferation of the Internet. Companies are continuing to leverage the public infrastructure for connecting national and international offices, business partners and new company acquisitions. The security requirements and network assessment recommendations should drive the selection of security equipment, protocols and processes. It identifies what assets must be protected, what users are allowed access and how those assets will be secured.

STEP 6: NETWORK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

This section will define a network management strategy for managing all equipment defined from infrastructure and security. It is necessary to define how the equipment is going to be monitored and determine if the current management strategy is adequate or if new applications, equipment, protocols and processes must be identified. Management components are then integrated with infrastructure and security to finish building the proposed design. These primary elements comprise any well-defined management strategy and should be considered when developing your strategy.

• 7 Management Groups

• SNMP Applications

• Monitored Devices and Events

STEP 7: PROOF OF CONCEPT

All infrastructure, security and management components must now be tested with a proof of concept plan. It is important to test the current design, configuration and iOS versions in a non-production environment or on the production network with limited disruption. Implementation of newer network modules at a router, for instance, could require that you change the current iOS version that is implemented. Making those changes could affect WAN or campus modules already installed at production routers. That is the real value of doing a proof of concept and certifying that the new equipment and iOS versions integrate with each device as well as the network. The following list describes the advantages of doing a proof of concept with your network design. The proof of concept test results should be examined and used to modify current infrastructure, security and management specifications before generating a design proposal. The proof of concept model suggested here involves prototype design, equipment provisioning, cleaning tests, building equipment scripts and examining test results.

1. Prototype Design

2. Provision Equipment

3. Define Tests

4. Build Equipment Scripts

5. Review Test Results

STEP 8: DESIGN PROPOSAL / REVIEW

With the proof of concept finished, you are now ready to build a design proposal for the design review meeting. Your intended audience could be the Director, CIO, CTO, Senior Network Engineer, Consultant or anyone that is approving a budget for the project. It is important to present your ideas with clarity and professionalism. If a presentation is required, power point slides work well and could be used to support concepts from the design proposal document. The focus is on what enterprises a standard design proposal and the sequence for presenting that information.

The working design proposal is presented to the client after addressing any concerns from proof of concept assurance testing. The design review is an opportunity for you to present your design proposal to the client and discuss any issues. It is an opportunity for the client to identify concerns that they have and for the design engineer to clarify issues. The focus is to agree on any modifications, if required, and make changes to the infrastructure, security and management before implementation starts. Business and design requirements can change from when the project started which sometimes will necessitate changes to infrastructure, security and management specifications. Any changes should then go through proof of concept testing again before final changes to the design proposal.

STEP 9: IMPLEMENTATION

The final step will have us defining an implementation process for the specified design. This describes a suggested implementation methodology of the proposed design, which should have minimal disruption to the production network. As well it should be efficient and as cost effective as possible. As with previous methodologies there is a sequence that should be utilized as well. Once the implementation is finished, there is monitoring of the network for any problems. Design and configuration configurations are then made to address any problems or concerns.

Copyright 2006 Shaun Hummel All Rights Reserved

Why Choose Mahogany?

Mahogany has been one of the wood types used in the production process of some of the finest and most expensive furniture items ever. If you are not sure that my statement is correct, all you have to do is a quick search on the Internet regarding some mahogany antique furniture, and you will be amazed at the beauty of this furniture type. This is the article where we talk about the advantages of mahogany as a material to have incorporated in your house hold, and why you should go for it.

The first advantage of mahogany as a wood is durability. There are dining table made from mahogany that are 400 years old and can be found in museums around the world. The wood is naturally resistant, and can withstand the harness of time for many, many years. There are sure chances, that if you buy a true mahogany table, it may last longer than you are your kids also. Red mahogany has even one greater advantage in comparison to normal mahogany, and that is the fact that it is resistant to termites. How is it possible for wood to be resistant to a natural wood eater? I have no clue, I just know it is possible, and due to the amazing properties this type of mahogany has to offer, red mahogany wood flooring is becoming a preferred choice among house owners.

Mahogany has a natural tendency to blend into any type of home. Normally, mahogany is used as a traditional material, and is mainly focused on in the manufacturing process of antique dining tables, and other furniture pieces, which were mainly used in the Victorian era. However it also has the ability to blend in with other furniture types and acts like a wooden chameleon inside your house. The wood type however does have a natural beauty and elegance to it, and this is the main reason why it has been used for so many years inside the houses of some of the most famous figures of the world.

In recent uses, mahogany serves as an optional material inside some luxury cars, being mounted on the doors, the dashboard, and sometimes even the steering wheel of the car. If you think this option will cost you a lot, you are correct, as these extra option will cost you around three to four thousand dollars more added to the price of the car.

So why choose mahogany? Because it is strong, beautiful, elegant, classy and long lasting.

4 Steps to Replacing Garage Door Springs

Picture this if you will – it's early in the AM hours you're out cold. Suddenly, a loud crash wakes you from your deep sleep. You spring up and out of bed to find the source of the noise? Has the zombie apocalypse begin? Are Charlie Sheen and Emilo Estevez really delinquent garbage men? Or is Michael Bay and his' splosions in town filming Transformers 3?

None of the above. Perhaps you were just in a deep sleep. After looking through the house with a quick crusted eye once over, you decide to head back to the warm and cozy bed.

It is not until you've exhausted your snooze button that morning, now in mad rush to get yourself and children ready for work and school. Racing against the clock, you manage to get yourself and rat pack together as you scurry in a frenzy through the garage and into your car. But now your garage door does not open. You feverishly push the remote button with your first reaction being that the batteries must be dead. That's when all the pieces finally come together. The noise the woke you earlier that morning before the nagging electric buzzer on the clock radio. The noise you thought was part of your comatose state was actually a reality when you notice that the noise you heard was the snapping of your garage door spring.

Of all the days (chances are this was a Monday because everything that sucks usually happens on a Monday … not to mention that Mondays just suck in general), your garage door spring breaks and you find yourself and your kids trapped in the garage . Now the panic starts to set in as you wonder how you'll ever be able to get them to school and yourself to work. Not mention that this dilemma has pretty much immobilized you, your means of transportation to get ANYWHERE is now trapped in. In that instant, you may feel like the world is crashing down on you, and just you alone. Before you beat yourself up and start to repeatedly question, "Why me?", You should first know that garage door springs are one of the most called on repairs in the industry.

Garage door springs support the entire weight of the door. The springs are wound or stretched under pressure, tightening and loosing as you open and close the door. It's the door springs and not just the door opener that supports and lifts 300 plus pounds of weight of the door .. Like anything else under pressure, ever your springs WILL break. So in the event that you find yourself int his little predicament, what do you do?

Here's my recommended "4- Step Process for Repairing Your Garage Door Springs:

Step 1 – Get Your Car Out of The Garage

You must be saying to yourself, "If I could get my car out of the garage, I would not have a problem." If you're saying this, you're naturally speaking from frustration. The best way to get through a situation like this is to keep yourself level-headed and look for quick solutions that will allow you to continue your normal way of living without being interrupted by this common event. Just because your garage door springs have busted, does not mean that you do not have use of the garage door. It is still on track with its rollers and can be manually operated.

Pull the red emergency release cord located above the door to enable you to manually lift the door. Remember that the garage door is a heavy object, and even heavier without the support of the spring which would normally neutralize the weight. If it's too heavy to lift yourself, have someone else help you. If you accidently drop the door while you are manually lifting, DO NOT try and stop it with your foot. Dropping a 300 pound door on your foot or any other body part is bound to ruin your day.

Step 2 – Identify Your Spring

Identify which type of spring you have: Extension or Torsion. Torsion and Extension springs exert a force equal to the weight of your garage door. This counter balances the 200 to 300 pound door, rendering it weight neutral so it can easily be opened.

A Torsion spring runs across a bar at the top of the inside of the door. The spring is injured and under immunity tension. It's the tension of torsion spring that lifts the weight of the garage door.

Extension springs are found on either side of the door. These springs act like big steel rubber bands, stretching as the door is lowered.

Step 3 – Buy New Springs

Now that you know what type of spring you have, you need to purchase new ones. You'll want to replace all of your garage door springs at the same time. Having undergone similar aging and weathering, one broken garage door spring is a sign that the second one is about to break soon. There's no logical reason to fix one spring at a time and just wait for the other one to break, unless you enjoy the headaches and hassles.

Also, having one old spring and one new spring will throw off the balance of your garage door. You'll also burn out the motor on your garage door opener and have even more problems. You can find and purchase new garage door springs at your local hardware store, such as Home Depot or Lowes. Prices will vary depending on the type of spring size, quality, coating and cycles.

Size – You'll need to measure your existing spring to know exactly what size replacement you'll need. (4) The Overall Length of the Spring.

Coating – Is it galvanized, powder coated or oil tempered? Which is going to resist rust the longest?

Step 4 – Installation

Installing your new garage door springs is not only a lengthy and complicated process, but potentially dangerous. You have got to remember that the garage door springs are wound up with more tension than Steve Carell as the 40-Year Old Virgin. The slightest mistake or mis-calibration could be a deadly one.

9 times out of 10, homeowners will find the task of repairing or replacing garage door springs too complicated, if not too dangerous. Most people do not have the time or inclining to replace or repair the broken spring themselves. If that sounds like you, your best option would be to contact a professional technician. It will also save you the time in measuring and shopping for the right springs.

Hopefully, this information will not only help you and your family have a safe and happy summer, but will also keep you prepared and well-educated in the instance that this occurs any time of the year!

Retirement: How Positive Affirmations Can Change a Senior's Life

As a senior you have the opportunity to see the world with new eyes. Look at the great themes of life and you can have them or renew them. Love, creativity, immersion in nature, deep friendships, spirituality, sharing your knowledge and wisdom with others, continuing to offer your children and grandchildren guidance and understanding.

What are the ways to accomplish what you seek? Even if one idea resonates with you take it, absorb it and use it. Change is fragile but if believed it can be lasting and bring you a renewal of life itself.

There are many things you can do. Education, self-direction, exploring new avenues and joining groups that will help you find what you are looking for. If you have to choose one way to approach changing your life then use positive affirmations, a very simple but powerful method to enhance your ability to make your retirement vital and fulfilling. It is simply a way to change negative thoughts into positive ones, to experience a different life and give yourself new beliefs.

Affirmations have been used for centuries of years as a valuable form of positive thinking to foster optimism, constructive living and a more creative lifestyle. Norman Vincent Peale is perhaps the best known advocate for using affirmations as part of your daily living. More recently Deepak Chopra has spoken and written of their value to gain well-being.

Belief in your ability to succeed and eliminating negative thoughts and feelings are vital in your continuing path to successful aging. The ability to repeat various affirmations daily whenever the thought occurs to you helps maintain your positive framework. Many authors have left very meaningful sayings to inspire and spur people to lead positive lives. We are usually stimulated by such thoughts, whether from Shakespeare, Einstein, Yogi Berra, Warren Buffet or many others. Reading such affirmations can prove fruitful and meaningful. There are many books with thousands of popular and famous sayings. The Oxford Book of Quotations, The Macmillan Book of Proverbs, Distilled Wisdom and many others. And Google can be a mine of information for affirmations.

However, creating your own affirmations is not only fun but mentally stimulating and because they are your own creations they will have special meaning and greater impact on your life. It does not mean that you can not use others but your own will be especially gratifying and helpful.

The subjects are legion. Health, well-being, romance, sex, peace, love, creativity, overcoming illness, self-esteem, dieting, bonding, not judging, giving up envy and jealousy, trust, wisdom, understanding. etc.

And there are many ways of expressing an affirmation. A simple illustration is all that's needed to get started.

Let's take the subject of health. Health can mean many things. It means being free of illness, an ability to run a marathon, losing weight, eating healthfully and exercising faithfully.

An affirmation can be one or more of the following:

• I will always do everything possible to remain healthy.
• I will not overeat or eat unhealthy foods. I will stop eating junk food.
• I will always eat breakfast.
• I will walk for 30 minutes or 1 hour five times a week.

As you can see these affirmations merely point out in a few words things you want to do to remain healthy. Repeating them daily reinforces your resolve to remain healthy. Belief in your ability to change, reiterating the affirmation frequently during the day and implementing the changes expected will lead to a more positive, healthy and happier life.