Is My Roof Type a Candidate for Roof Coating?

A roof coating is the best way to add life, stop leaks, reinforce weak areas and add energy efficiency to a commercial roof. How do you tell if your building is a good candidate for coating? The best way is to get an inspection and evaluation from a reliable, experienced commercial roofer.

There are several types of coatings available including EPDM, which is a liquid rubber or elastomeric coating; and aluminum asphalt emulsion, which is a mixture of asphalt and tiny aluminum flakes that reflect sunlight and reduce heating heat. Both of these products can qualify as tax deductible "cool roofs" that have the following benefits.

– Lower air conditioning costs. Refined sunlight keeps the surface cool and lowers the temperature within the building.
– Low installation costs with no disposal or "dump" charges.
– Low maintenance. Maintenance costs are tax deductible including the initial application of the cool products.
– Extended life expectancy of the existing underlayment. Cool installations do no suffer the breakdown of tar based gravel covered examples caused by excessive heat.
– Seamless installation makes the surface impervious to wind and driving rain, ice melt and standing water, as well as resistant to hail damage.

The principal behind a cool roof coating is the same as selecting a car in a hot climate. If you choose a black car, it is going to be much hotter on a sunny summer day that a white car. Your air conditioner is going to take a lot longer to cool down the interior of your black car. The same holds true with a building. A light-colored reflective surface will keep the interior of the building much cooler than a black tar surface.

Due to the savings on your cooling bill your project will make sense economically. Add to that the tax benefits and rebates in some states, and a cool coating is the only way to seal off your commercial building.

The CRRC rates cool roofs based on solar reflectivity and thermal emittance. The particular color does not have to be white for a high reflectivity rating. There are many very attractive colors to choose from that the CRRC rates high on the cool scale.

So what types of existing examples are good candidates for roof coating? The products can be applied to the following types of existing installations: Built up asphalt, metal, including steel, galvanized steel and aluminum; and single ply. Most commercial buildings fall into one of these three categories.

When selecting a roof coating contractor be sure to choose one that has a long history of cool roof installation and can provide references of other installation and long maintenance relationships with customers. That way you will be assured of a contractor that will not coat and run back to another state. It is common for out of state roofing contractors to solicit in a state where there have been heavy rains, hail or wind damage and disappear after doing the work. Choose a local contractor with a great reputation and you will rest easy knowing your building is protected for years to come.

Avoid Frustration And Disappointment – Learn To Paint With Good Basic Watercolors!

Recently, I had to admit that a critic could have been right to say that my simple 2 stage learn how to paint watercolors course was too simple…

It was aimed at artist beginners who wanted to learn to paint without having to learn to draw first. This meant that although they may not be too good at drawing, they could still get started painting. Painting landscapes, still-life painting, portraits and mechanical objects can come later.

However, there are 2 reasons to go back to the basics of painting watercolors…

  1. It is a good idea to learn how to paint before painting a Mona Lisa
  2. It is a good idea to go back to first principles when your paintings are going wrong

Occasionally, there are lucky people who don’t seem to have any problems learning to paint. They pick up a box of paints and a brush and easily paint their first watercolor painting. This minority of people who don’t struggle with painting are fortunate indeed.

On the other hand, most of us aren’t blessed with such talents…

  • Truth is that it isn’t so easy to learn how to paint watercolor well
  • At times it can seem almost impossible to paint a good watercolor picture

Very soon you can find every brush mark on your painting turning into an awful mess. As you find your watercolor washes flooding uncontrollably, it is easy to create a nightmare of badly blended colors.

All too soon you can turn your great art ideas into a muddy shambles. When you do you are lost. Unless you understand what is happening when watercolor paint flows uncontrollably across the paper, your painting will never get better…

  • You need to see how color moves where the water carries it

  • You need to understand that you will wreck a color wash if you haven’t left it to dry before adding the next wash

  • It is a great idea to learn how to get a range of different color intensities and tone from a single color before adding other colors to the mix

There is great sense in the old saying… “Don’t try to run before you can walk”

Watercolor painting can rapidly convince you that you have no artistic talent. It can make you look like you have no painting skills. It is a shame to become disheartened when your watercolors go wrong.

So, given the choice, which alternative would you choose?

“Frustration and disappointment… or do you prefer to have a deep understanding of how simple and easy watercolors work in your painting?”

Hang Ten at Herbie K’s

I needed a cup of coffee or a nap on this particular Thursday afternoon when I spotted the “diner” sign. Herbie K’s Diner in Cocoa Beach, Florida to be more specific. But a diner is a diner, right? And diner coffee should be just the ticket to give me a jolt and get me through to nap time.

It was clear on the short walk from my car to the front door of Herbie K’s that Herbie wasn’t interested in being the owner of just another diner. He wanted to own a piece of history. And, even though he was more than happy to have me stop for a cup of coffee, he was in the memories with a malt business. I went from the current stresses of the late 1990’s into the mid 1950’s just by opening a door and walking through it.

There is a spotless black and white checker board tile floor and lots of chrome waiting to greet you. If you have brought your sweetie and the kids, there are plenty of booths on the left.

I headed for a red padded counter stool mounted on one of those chrome bases which allow you to spin in and spin out. The perfect mood music blared from a juke box in the back. “Yakety Yak, don’t talk back…”

There was a time when music was part of the menu. It still is at Herbie K’s. Mounted to the back of the counter was an old friend, a chrome monument to the teenage years of rock and roll. Everyone of my vintage knows you can reach under the front of this space helmet with a mind for great music and flip through the music menu pages behind the glass cover. I fumbled for a quarter to go along with my growing smile but somebody beat me. There is only one drum opening like that. Wipe Out. Push buttons S5. The buttons are right below the glass cover and connect to the big juke box in back. This was America’s first remote control. Too bad we didn’t retain the idea of two choices for a quarter.

“Need a menu?” she asked as she stopped at my place on the other side of the counter. She was dressed in white and her long hair was tied with a a piece of red chiffon She had a white waitress hat pinned to the top of her hair. He name tag announced that “Bettybop” had walked out of the fifties to take my order. In a second or two, she was back with a pot of coffee and a white mug. “Cream?”

Hamilton Beach machines owned the back counter. Two machines could do three malts each. A friendly notice is painted above the back counter, “free java for cops in uniform.” That’s probably illegal today, isn’t it?

In the corner stood a machine with a glass top full of little stuffed animals and a mechanical crane dangling over the furry trophies. Young males can still test their skills and prove their love for fifty cents. Behind me was a very familiar two ton Polaroid with the curtain door. My father never understood why anyone would pay anything for those grotesque little picture strips that drop in the outside slot after you and a few friends struck the perfect pose.

I should have been on my way but Herbie succeeded with his concept. Herbie K’s had my attention. It was fun to sit, look, listen and flip through the music selection in crome monument in front of me. I started to dig for that quarter. Darn. Beat again. Hang on Sloopy. Push buttons K2. I liked that one a lot because it reminded me of Pat Powers and The Barn Party at the fraternity house. Thirty years flashed by in an instant.

A couple of counter cards pushed the blue plate specials. Yes they did have meatloaf. I wondered what else they had. Bettybop was speeding by writing on her order pad as she went by.

“Could I see a menu?”

“Sure hon.”

She handed me a four page menu protected from grease or ketsup covered fingers compliments of a clear vinyl protective covers sewn into a black plastic borders. I’m glad I didn’t order French fries. They’re Murphy baskets. Order a “Murphy Basket” and you will get plain French fries. “Jack it” and they become cheese fries. “Make It Whistle” and your fries come with chili. Ask for a “Crying Murphy Basket” and you’ll get a half order of fries and a half order of onion rings. Not into fries? Try “Jacked Up Elbows In The Alley”. Macaroni and cheese, of course.

If you’re into something healthy and light, try “Drag One Through The Farm.” It’s a nice big garden salad with plenty of turkey, ham and sliced boiled eggs on top of your garden salad. “Cackle In The Garden” changes the top to blackened chicken.

The menu is adorned with line drawing of old favorites. James Dean. Marilyn. Elvis. Herbie’s story is on the front cover. He owned a diner up North and went fishing on a cold February day. The only thing he caught was a cold. He loves to fish so he moved to Florida and opened Herbie K’s. Now he catches the “catch of the day” instead of a cold. Snowbird makes good.

Yes they do have burgers to go along with Simon and Garfunkels’s Cecilia. Push M8. Just ask for “One Blown Up”, “One Blown Up And Jack It” gets you a cheese burger, “One Blown Up, With Jack Benny” get you a bacon cheese burger, and if you want some variety of these with chili, you guessed it, “Make It Whistle.”

“Burn A Pup” is a hot-dog. “Sour It” gets a hot dog smothered in kraut. You can also order from a wide variety of other popular sandwich combinations. “Jack Benny With A Dame”-grilled cheese sandwich with tomato. “Bossy On A Raft” is a steak sandwich. “Butter, Liver and Tongue” is, you guessed it, a BLT.

For those with bigger appetites, try “Throw A Bone On” which is the pork chop dinner or “Endless Italian” in case you are a spaghetti and meatballs lover. “Whiskers” is the catfish dinner which the menu promises is a real treat.

I looked up from the dessert menu and treats like “fish eggs” which is tapioca pudding and “fruit with a lid” which is pie and a song jumped right out of the portable juke box at me. We used high tech reel-to-reel tape recorders to record that song at every speed we could think of because we wanted to make out the dirty words we knew it had in it. Finally I found the quarter in my pocket and plugged the machine and punched in Q7, Louie, Louie. Nothing happened.

“Sorry hon,” Bettybop said as she arrived at my station with the coffee pot. “It doesn’t work.”

Damn. A high tech failure at Herbie’s just when my mind was ready to settle down for the day. I didn’t have the heart to ask if all of these memories were just props.

“More coffee?” she asked.

“No thanks. I have to go be a businessman,” I told her and I paid my check and headed for the door. I turned and asked her a question before I left the past and opened to the door back to the pressured future.

“Is there a place that sells fifties music around here?”

Defeating Siege Warfare – Satanic Battle Tactics Exposed & Destroyed

The SIEGE is one of the most commonly used battle tactics employed by the devil to render Christians useless or partially ineffective in their spiritual service. I intend to use some of the principles of ordinary siege warfare to shed light on spiritual siege warfare. Before we look at this satanic strategy, however, I’d like to proclaim a few powerful truths. God wants us to be vibrant and victorious! He wants us to be wonderfully alive with His Spirit! He’s given us access to His character through Jesus Christ. He’s endowed us with POWER.

Through His Word and His Spirit, we have access to His love, joy, and peace in consistent and abundant quantities. With all His goodness so readily available to us, it’s a wonder we submit ourselves to anything less. So why is it that we often succumb to base desires and instincts? Why is it that lust, greed, pride, and fear exercise a powerful hold on us at various times and in varying degrees? Why do we so often lose our sense of victory and purpose, which has already been overwhelmingly won for us by Jesus Christ?

Satan’s Desire

The answers to these questions lie in understanding our old nature, and in recognizing the mission of our adversary – Satan himself. A proper understanding of his intentions and methods will go a long way in helping us to thwart his attacks.

Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. -1 Peter 5:8

Satan is evil incarnate. His ONLY objectives are to steal, kill, and destroy. He desires to devastate our walk with the Lord. He hates Jesus Christ and all those who claim salvation in His name. It gives the devil great pleasure to shipwreck a Christian, in regard to his faith. He will ruthlessly employ any scheme or method to help him reach his goal. Satan is not playing games. He is dead serious about his calling, unlike many of us. What Jesus said about Satan’s desire to sift Peter like wheat can also, in a measure, be said of Satan’s desire for the entire Body of Christ – and that means you and me! We need to recognize that we are at WAR with his satanic majesty! We need to respond to his threats in the POWER of the Spirit of God! He has robbed us far too long! We have submitted to him needlessly. We must remember that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. We need to be aware of Satan’s wiles, and frustrate his every move with a Holy Ghost-inspired move of our own!

City Under Siege!

When Satan comes against a believer, he usually brings with him a long-term strategy for defeating him. He realizes that true disciples of Jesus are formidable opponents. He knows that if he comes against them in obviously brutish fashion, his chances for success are reduced. For this reason, he often comes as an angel of light, using some form of alliance. When he does choose to reveal his true intentions, he often uses the siege form of attack in order to wear down the spiritual strength of the believer.

An attacking army may use siege warfare when the enemy resists outright confrontation. In siege warfare, one army surrounds a fortified area with the intent to capture it. I’ll use an example of siege warfare as it was employed in biblical times to illustrate Satan’s siege tactic.

How to besiege a city or a fortified stronghold:

1: Surround it and cut off supplies.

2: Approach the enemy walls by digging zigzag trenches

to get within striking distance.

3: Use stone-throwers, catapults, and flaming arrows

to hurl objects over the walls of the enemy fortress.

4: When the defense of the enemy is weakened, send soldiers swarming up ladders, and/or enter through a tunnel bored through the wall. If available, use a battering ram to acquire forceful entrance.

5: Once sufficient numbers are inside, terrorize all inhabitants, kill or capture any opposition that remains, and completely dominate the affairs of the conquered.

Each of the aforementioned points correspond with a part of Satan’s besieging strategy. Take his intentions personal…

1: Satan’s first tactic is to surround us and cut off our supplies. It is his desire to get us out of the Word, out of fellowship, and out of prayer. Just as the ancient army sought to cut off their enemy from food, water, and contact with allies who could aid them, likewise Satan seeks to cut off the believer from the life-giving Word of God- the Bible, from fellowship with other believers, and from prayer. If you find yourself drifting away from consistent contact with other Christians – watch out! If your devotion to prayer is waning, and your consistent study of the Word is lacking – be careful! You are in the first stages of being besieged. I have found, upon reflection, that all of my serious brushes with backsliding began in this way. I would be bopping along, walking with the Lord, and growing in His Word. Then, for one of many seemingly plausible reasons, I’d find myself ceasing from consistent prayer and Bible study.

The reasons for these lapses ranged from an “innocent” interest in sports, T.V., or other amusements, to a more blatant and unconfessed sin. If I didn’t rouse myself from this state, the strange, downward spiral of complacency would pull on me, drawing my affections away from the things of God and the people of God. We must stay in prayer before the Lord. We must stay in the Word. We must remain in fellowship with believers. Following these principles in truth will keep us in tune with the Spirit of God, Who will guide us through the battle, unharmed.

2,3: Once the enemy effectively cuts us off from the Word, fellowship, and prayer, he begins to hurl thoughts and desires at us which are contrary to the Word of God. He hopes that our faith, which we can use as a shield to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one, is sufficiently weakened and of no effect. If we continue to offer feeble resistance, but still do not rectify the downward spiral of Tactic 1, he simply continues approaching and continues to hurl evil thoughts and desires at us until we give in. If we don’t cry out to God at that point, if we toy with the ideas presented to us, if we don’t fight back using the powerful spiritual weapons at our disposal, then temporary setback is very much a possibility.

… for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses -2 Cor. 10:4

We do not have to submit ourselves to the mental onslaught of demonic attack. We can destroy every wicked thing in the name of Jesus – by living according to the power in His name. The war between good and evil, as it relates to us, is waged in our minds. God intends to build a holy castle in the mind of every believer. Satan seeks to tear down this Christian edifice in the soul, and build fortresses of pride, fear, lust, anger, and other evils. Since this is his intention, we must take every imagination, speculation, reasoning, argument, and proud obstacle – EVERY THOUGHT – captive to obey Christ. We do this by renewing our minds, by obeying the Word of God. We do this by resisting evil things. If it doesn’t line up with righteous thinking, REJECT IT! Don’t meditate on unprofitable things any longer than it takes to determine their origin and to decide their destiny. If you don’t deal with temptation in the first precious moments of its birth, you will find it increasingly more difficult to lay hold of the victory. God’s Word promises the way of escape in every temptation, that we might be able to stand up under each and every one-but to fool around with thoughts catapulted into your mind by devils is worse than playing with fire!

4,5: If the evil thoughts which have been hurled over into the mind have begun to produce repeated acts of sin, the enemies then seek to swarm in and take over the daily life of the believer. If the firebrands, which were thrown over the wall, found dry wood, with no water made ready to quench them, they would surely burn and cause great destruction. If the wicked thoughts and desires Satan sows find a place in the life of the believer, that believer will surely suffer loss. The amount of loss depends on the extent to which the believer allows the evil to flourish. Satan well knows this principle of sowing: Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a life-style. He desires to cause a serious and lengthy malaise to engulf you. He doesn’t just want to cause you to sin a little bit here and there; he wants you to be bound in a LIFE-style of sin. He wants your faith derailed, your mind deranged, and your testimony destroyed. If an act of sin is not repented of, it could become a wicked habit. The habit could become a filthy life-style, and wreak continuous havoc in the life of the besieged. There are many “Christians” today who are hiding wicked habits or filthy life-styles. They attend church regularly, they sing, they tithe. They say all the right things and wear the right clothes; but inside, they are dead, or dying. Their fellowship with the Lord has been cut off. In the lives of many of these lukewarm churchgoers, the enemy is near to completely dominating their fortress. The overtaking of their spiritual citadel is close at hand.

Prevent The Siege

The key element in defeating siege warfare lies in diffusing the possibility of it happening before it actually occurs. A powerful city with vast supply stocks, diverse routes of escape, superior weaponry, and numerous allies at least as powerful as itself, is not likely to be besieged in the first place. If some enemy is senseless enough to try, it will be soundly defeated. This is the true lesson of this true lesson of this article!

Stay alert! Stay devoted to the Word, to prayer, and to fellowship with God’s people. Realize that Satan is a defeated foe. No weapon formed against us can harm us! We are more than conquerors, because of the great things God has done for us in Christ! Satan knows that the only power he can have over us now is power that we appropriate to him. He is the prince of darkness. Only when we willingly choose to dwell in an area of darkness can he exercise a measure of authority over us. For this reason, and of course, because it greatly offends our heavenly Father, we should seek to be free of sinful habits. As A.W. Tozer once said, “Deal THOROUGHLY with sin.” This doesn’t mean you won’t ever sin again if you somehow make up your mind not to. It means that incidences of sin must remain isolated, be repented of, and be cast out- DAILY! Don’t allow sin habits to form! Repent of anger, if it erupts, as soon as possible. Don’t allow the “sinking seedlings” of lust and pride to find good ground in your heart, and grow into ornery oaks of lust and pride. Don’t let the power of unforgiveness keep you under enemy attack! You know the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Jesus has our preventative spiritual medicine ready, to keep us from defeat and despair. He also is the Cure in case we do ever fall to the besieging hordes of darkness. Through His great wisdom and power, the fortress of the fallen believer can again be won for righteousness, the looters expelled, the devil dethroned.

Conclusion

If you find yourself in need of cleansing today, if you really want to be set free from the dominance of some evil thing, pay close attention! Humble yourself. Be honest about your struggles before God and man. Ask the Lord to forgive you, again. Ask Him to help you forgive yourself. If you are like me, you are sometimes harder on yourself than is necessary. Forgive yourself! Yield yourself to Him, for His purposes. Cry out to God, “Lord, tear down the towers of sin in my life and strengthen me to do what is pleasing in Your sight! Ask Him to quench the burning lust Satan has planted in your mind. Ask Him to repair the devastation, which the “battering rams” of evil have caused in your life, and to repair “tunnel” damage, through which Satan has undermined your very foundation.

Confess your sin to a strong, trustworthy brother or sister – one who will be willing and able to stand with you through your recovery. Get yourself back into a regular prayer life. Meet constantly with your Lord in prayer -that is a key! Get into the Word, and return to it daily. Keep your sword sharpened! Fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters constantly! These are the elements with which to make and keep your fortress a safe haven, free from the threat of the besieger. Above all, lean not on your own strength. Learn to lean fully on the Lord. “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” He is the Mighty and Awesome Warrior! A strong and mighty tower is our God! Keep Him on the throne of your heart. His real presence there will preclude satanic siege, or will ensure certain defeat upon the enemy foolish enough to think his weapons will be any more effective than a water gun would be against a NUCLEAR BOMB!!

Broken Bread Christian Publications is the literary branch of Broken Bread Christian Alliance. We have other teaching and tract material available to aid you in your spiritual growth. Please email us or write us for a list of other titles and/or to be added to our mailing list.

Too Fat To Dive? Scuba Diving Safety and Scuba Equipment Concerns for Overweight or Obese Divers

Is it Safe for Overweight or Obese People to go Scuba Diving?

Are you a bit chunky? Maybe you’ve gotten a little bit husky since your last dive. Possibly you’re just outright overweight or even borderline categorically obese. No matter the extent of your present girth you’re asking yourself “Am I Too FAT To Dive?”

So, how fat is too fat when it comes to scuba diving? Should you be concerned about your safety?

Scuba diving is an activity which can be enjoyed by nearly everyone. With proper supervision young children can learn to dive and most people who are in reasonably good health will be able to continue diving well into their senior years, there is no age requirement for scuba diving.

There is also no weight requirement for scuba diving. That being said, just because there is no weight requirement or specific overweight limit doesn’t mean that weight isn’t a factor. There are a few things which will need consideration if you are to dive safely as an overweight diver.

Fitness

Some people are “fat but fit”, meaning that their weight places them in an overweight category but their relative fitness is comparable to the average fitness of more ideal weight individuals. If you feel that you are fit, even though you are considered to be overweight, then it is most likely that you will have little difficulty scuba diving, with the exception of possible equipment issues related to your size.

If you’re overweight and also out of shape, then you have a bigger problem, a bigger problem than your weight that is. It’s most likely that you aren’t “too fat to scuba dive”, but rather “too out of shape to scuba dive”.

Safety Concerns

Being out of shape can be a create serious safety concerns for divers. First of all, lack of endurance will eventually lead to fatigue. Diving in a state of fatigue could cause you to make poor decisions and will almost certainly result in a state of panic. When you’re breathing hard on the regulator, struggling to meet your oxygen demands, the thought of suffocating brings about a natural state of panic. Breathing easily and naturally is critical to remaining calm while underwater, so anything which results in labored breathing should be viewed as a safety problem.

Air consumption is another concern. Everyone utilizes oxygen at relatively different rates. However, compared to a smaller more fit version of yourself, you will without exception use your air at a faster rate the larger you are and the more out of shape you are. While increased air consumption by itself isn’t necessarily a safety concern, depending on the depths of your dives (With shallower dives being more of a concern) it does increase the chance that you could end up in an out of air situation.

So what should you do if you’re too fat, or too out of shape? In this case it would be best not to fret too much about your weight initially, instead concentrate on improving your overall fitness as it will have a much larger impact on your ability to scuba dive. Cardiovascular fitness should be the area to focus your efforts as this will have the greatest effect on air consumption and general comfort while scuba diving. Look for a simple scuba workout combined with nearly any form of cardio to help you move into the “fat but fit” category.

Maneuverability

Maneuverability can be an issue if you’re an overweight scuba diver due to excess fat or even if you happen to have the musculature of an NFL player.

Are you able to put scuba fins on yourself? If your regulator pops out of your mouth will you be able to reach behind, find the correct hose, and then retrieve the regulator without assistance? If you had to ditch your gear would you be able to remove your BCD on your own? These are questions which you need to answer honestly for yourself, then address any deficiencies.

It’s critical to be sure that you can perform all of the necessary scuba skills. This may mean that additional practice is required on your part, or it may mean modifications to your equipment. Remember, it most likely won’t be just your own life at risk if you’re unable to perform, your dive partner needs to be able to rely on your skills as well.

Equipment

OK, so you’ve decided that you’re not too fat to scuba dive, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to go. Most scuba equipment is designed for average size divers. This means that the decision between renting your scuba gear and purchasing your scuba gear is even more critical if you’re above average in size. Also there are concerns when it comes to weight and buoyancy challenges you will likely face.

Top Ten Ways To Get Out Of Your Timeshare Contract

1 – Sell it to someone else! – This is usually the first method that timeshare owners will look into. It is unfortunate that this rarely works, however, when people first purchase their timeshare they are assured that if they ever want to get rid of it that they can easily sell or rent it out. This misconception has caused a lot of timeshare owners to spend a lot of time and money trying to sell their timeshare with little to no success. The fact is that the timeshare resorts still have hundreds of thousands of timeshare intervals to sell, so you basically have to compete with them to resell yours and it just doesn’t work for most timeshare owners.

2 – Rent it out to cover the cost of ownership! – This is another common response that people choose for getting out of their timeshare obligations. However, the problem with this option is that, again, the timeshare resorts are already renting out empty timeshare units for cheaper than the cost of ownership. This makes it really hard to rent your timeshare out for any amount that would cover the cost of owning the timeshare.

3 – Donate it to a charity! – When timeshare owners realize that they will most likely not be able to make a profit from selling or renting out their timeshare they look for ways to just get rid of it. The only problem is that charities and organizations that accept timeshares are wise to what it means to take over ownership. Most charities will simply not accept a timeshare unless they are positive they will be able to make money from it or at least put it to good use. Usually only the most luxurious top notch timeshares are eligible to be donated.

4 – Just stop paying for it and don’t use it! – A lot of timeshare owners are under the impression that they can get out of their timeshare whenever they feel like it. These owners think that if they stop using their timeshare then they can just stop paying for it. They assume that the resort will take over ownership for it, sadly this is incorrect and the timeshare resort you purchased from has a lot of legally binding obligations with serious consequences if not abided by. This is one option that no timeshare owner should try out, you will only end up with a lot of timeshare debt that you may not be able to get out of.

5 – Pay someone to take it off your hands! – Recently a lot of timeshare owners have opted to actually pay someone else to take their timeshare obligations from them. These have been called “timeshare relief” companies and they offer an exit solution that gets you out of your timeshare once and for all. The only problem with these is that you have to pay for the services of timeshare removal, the good thing is that after you use them you will not receive any more maintenance fees or other timeshare related charges.

6 – Give it back to the resort! – This option is technically a very viable option in some situations. However in most timeshare contracts it will state that the resort is in no way obligated to take your timeshare back. In these contracts it often states that there must be a name on the timeshare contract at all times, which pretty much guarantees the resort will be receiving their regular maintenance fee dues no matter what. If your timeshare contract is not full proof you may be able to use this to get out of your timeshare contract.

7 – List it and hope it sells! – This is probably one of the first stops a lot of timeshare owners will check. They are happy to see that you can list your timeshare for sale for only $20 or $30 a month and people will contact you to buy or rent it. The problem is that there are so many timeshare listing sites and none of them really work. They make a lot of money by charging each user a listing fee or advertising fee, which is small but adds up. What is the real problem with listing your timeshare is that no one will ever find it, people do not go to these listing sites to search for a nice timeshare to buy or rent, they are already sitting at a timeshare presentation like you did and are going to buy a new one to make sure they get the most up to date rewards and bonuses upon purchasing their timeshare.

8 – Try to get a timeshare salesman to sell for you – This is a fairly unique idea that not many timeshare owners are sure to have tried. This method for timeshare removal would require you to essentially entice a timeshare salesman to sell your specific unit and interval in return for a commission on the sale. This is not a legitimate method as I have not heard of anyone ever actually getting a timeshare seller to help them sell their week, and they would probably say no as they have their own brand new timeshare units to try and sell 52 intervals on.

9 – Find a loop hole! – If you are savvy enough you may be able to find a technicality or legal method to get out of your timeshare. Some timeshare contracts are not as iron-clad as they are made out to be. It is true that most timeshare contracts are extremely full proof and there is little to nothing you can do to get out aside from putting someone else on the timeshare contract so that you can take your name off. If you do happen to find a way to dispose of your timeshare contract legally please share it with the online community so that others may try to legally get rid of their timeshare obligations at little to no cost to them.

10 – Pass away – This is by far the worst, most unfortunate way to be free from your timeshare. And in many cases, even dying does not solve the problem of timeshare ownership. If you have anyone to inherit your assets they will be assigned as the new owners of your timeshare. This is a terrible thing to pass on to your loved ones and is why it is important to take care of your timeshare before it is too late. You would never want to leave something as financially burdensome as a timeshare to your family.

Want to Keep Your Kids Healthy? Discover the Trick of a Squash Float

Once upon a time, I, together with some of my siblings and cousins, was so difficult to persuade to eat vegetables. This is the exact reason why my grandmother gathered her cooking prowess and finally came up with a solution to help us, the nutrient-phobic kids.

Brace yourselves as I finally unfold the magic of Squash Float.

Let’s get started

Listed below are the ingredients that will later on enchant you and your resistant children.

1. 1 whole squash

2. 2 cans condensed milk (If you’re saccharine fan, you better prepare 3 just in case.)

3. 2 packs all-purpose cream

4. ΒΌ box cheese (grated)

5. 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup

Procedure

These are the easy to follow steps in making your very own Squash Float.

1. Slice the squash following its lines. Remove the center part. Peeling is not necessary.

2. In an aluminum pot, add water just enough to almost fully cover the sliced squash in it.

3. Bring to boil until squash is sufficiently macerated. Prick it with a fork to check its softness.

4. Scrape the macerated squash. Make sure you do not include the skin.

5. Place the squash in a large container. Add the condensed milk, all-purpose cream, grated cheese and vanilla syrup. Keep in mind that the condensed milk must be poured gradually to provide room for some tasting. Sweetness is relative; hence, you must first determine the level that suits your taste.

6. Mix them well.

7. Little by little, blend the mixture and place them into a shallow container.

8. Freeze.

9. When the squash float is already frozen enough, according to your taste and preference, you may now slice it. The most common and easiest is slicing it in squares or rectangles.

10. Serve it to your kids and yourself. Enjoy.

Bonus: For the kids, be creative!

To keep your kids craving for more, do not settle for the conventional and monotonous. Defy your creativity and conquer your limits. Make this recipe not only delightful to the taste, but also to the eyes.

Here are some helpful tricks you can alternately (or maybe spontaneously) carry out on your Squash Float.

• Top it with crushed Graham.

• If you’re a cheese addict, you may top it with grated cheese instead.

• Incorporate this recipe with a mango float recipe. Include a layer of sliced mango and top it with crushed Graham.

• Place it in a non-conventional shape container.

Ceiling Fan Pros and Cons

Guess what? The title of this article is just out-and-out misleading. The only real “con” when it comes to a ceiling fan is what it takes to get one properly installed. Ceiling fans can be difficult to install for the inexperienced do-it-yourselfer. In some cases, you will need to run an electrical line to the area where the ceiling fan is to be installed. Unless you are adept at doing this sort of thing, hiring a licensed, bonded and qualified electrician will more than likely save you much grief in the long run.

There is also the minor “con” that involves the issue of periodic maintenance. Properly installed, a ceiling fan will provide years and years of pleasant cooling and cost-savings on your heating bill (assuming you have a fan that allows you to reverse the blade direction). Granted, you need to wipe down the blades once in a while but then, everyone has household cleaning chores to take care of from time to time.

On occasion, ceiling fans get out of balance and need minor adjustments. The most common culprits are loose screws that attach the blades to the motor housing, blades that are not at the same angle (pitch) as the rest of the blades and a blade or blades that weigh slightly more than the others.

Without going into great detail, make sure that all the screws are tight. If they aren’t tighten the ones that have come loose and run the fan. If the wobbling has stopped, your problem has been solved.

If not, use a yardstick or other straight piece of wood and place it (with the fan stopped) vertically at the outer edge of one of the blades. Rotate the blades by hand to make sure that each blade touches the stick. If one or more don’t, simply (and gently) bend the blade(s) so that their pitch matches the others and repeat the process until you are satisfied that each blade has the same pitch. Turn the fan on again and see if you’ve solved the problem.

If not, you’ve got a weight problem (I don’t necessarily mean you, personally). The weight problem is with one or more of the blades weighing slightly more than the others. This sometimes happens when the blades are made of natural, organic material such as wood. Manufacturers often include what are called “balancing weights” in the box with the ceiling fan. These can be used to compensate for any differentials in weight that may have resulted over time. These “balancing weights”, or clips as they are sometime called, can be attached to the top of the blade so that they are virtually out of sight. Start with one blade by attaching the clip close to where the blade is attached to the motor. Run the fan. If the problem persists, move the weight out towards the end of the blade. Try running the fan again. If the problem persists, keep moving the weight. If you are near the end of the blade and still have a problem move to the next blade. Continue this process until you find the one that has the weight problem.

While this is a somewhat time-consuming process, it will solve the problem when all else fails. By the way, if the manufacturer didn’t supply any clips you can usually purchase these clips at a home center or large hardware store. If you prefer, you can improvise by placing a coin or other small weight on the top of the blade and anchoring it with a small piece of electrical tape.

Just about everyone has air conditioning. Central air conditioning is a real expense but is just about necessary in areas that have to endure hot and steamy weather during the summer months. A wise move is to consider the ceiling fan as an alternative to air-conditioning, particularly during the evening hours. As evening approaches, either turn off the air conditioning completely or at least turn up the thermostat a few notches. Assuming your home is relatively airtight, the temperature should remain constant for at least an hour or so. Turn on the ceiling fans or if they’re already on, increase the speed of the rotation. The cooling effect produced will make it feel several degrees cooler and will provide a breezy alternative to the somewhat static air-conditioned air.

The cooling effect will more than compensate for the decrease in the air conditioning and should maintain adequate cooling throughout the evening hours. In the morning, when you feel the temperature rising to a mildly uncomfortable level, adjust the thermostat down a few notches to increase the use of the air conditioning unit while leaving the ceiling fans on.

The little bit of extra effort to make these adjustments in your cooling program will soon become a habit and will payoff in terms of savings in utility costs. Estimates of these savings vary and depend on a number of factors including the efficiency (and maintenance) of your air conditioning unit and both the quality and maintenance of your ceiling fans.

Buying high quality ceiling fans always pays off in the long run because of their operational efficiency and durability. On average, you can expect a reduction of at least $30 a year in your utility costs by using a good plan that incorporates the tandem use of air conditioning, the furnace and ceiling fans.

If you don’t already have your home outfitted with ceiling fans and have decided that it’s worth considering, it’s a good idea to do some due diligence research. There are a multitude of brands out there and a multitude of types, sizes and styles available for each brand. A few years ago the government established what is called the “Energy Star” program. This program has the backing of the EPA and designates specific lighting fixtures and ceiling fans as “Energy Star” qualified. You can count on getting a more energy efficient unit when you shop for one that has met the “Energy Star” requirements. Unfortunately, a large number of manufacturers offer only a few “Energy Star” rated models. The good news is that the list is growing. For more information about “Energy Star”, I suggest visiting energystar.gov

Besides shopping for quality, you also need to consider the size of the fan (usually called the blade width) in relation to the room that you plan to add a ceiling fan. There are at least seven fan widths currently available and fan size to room square footage charts are available on-line on many websites as well as at brick and mortar stores that sell ceiling fans.

Always look for a reversible ceiling fan. Nearly all the higher quality fans include this feature. The bargain priced, lower quality ceiling fans may not. The reversible feature is critical if you want to enjoy the benefits of your fan during both the summer and winter months. Here’s how it works. In the warmer months you will want to pull the warmer air upward towards the ceiling. Although warm air naturally rises, a ceiling fan, set for counter clockwise rotation, will provide an added boost. As the warmer air moves upward, the temperature in the room drops or is replaced by cooler air and the thermostat reflects the change, reducing the frequency with which your air conditioner cycles on.

When it starts to get colder outside, switch your ceiling fan so that it rotates clockwise. This pushes the warm air from the ceiling area downward and increases the temperature of the room. The thermostat registers the increase in temperature and consequently cycles your furnace less often.

A major benefit of using ceiling fans is the breeze they generate. Everyone loves a cool breeze on a warm summer evening and, likewise, a warm breeze on a cool day. You simply don’t enjoy these benefits from air conditioning or furnace-heated air.

In conclusion, there are very few cons with respect to installing ceiling fans in your home and a whole multitude of pros. Oh – did I remember to mention the fact that most realtors will tell you that ceiling fans increase the value of your home far more than your outlay of cash to purchase and install them?

Pros and Cons of Air-Conditioners and Coolers

Both air-conditioners and coolers can help in keeping your home cool in summers. Coolers usually work on the principle of adding moisture to incoming hot air and releasing cool air inside the rooms. The heat in the air forces the water to evaporate which helps in generating cool air. The cool air generated by the machine, is pushed in the room with the help of a fan. The air that is pulled from the atmosphere passes through a filter before it is pushed into the room.

Air-conditioners give the desired cooling effect by using compressors to convert incoming hot air into cool air. These machines are based on the principles of thermodynamics that run by removing the heat and moisture from the air. They are ideal in areas where the moisture content in air is high.

Most people who live in hot and dry areas prefer coolers over air-conditioners because they are cheaper. However, people who don’t mind spending a little extra prefer air-conditioners because they are more effective and efficient when compared to coolers. Recent advancement in technology has made it easier for air-conditioners to produce cool air that does not contain bacteria. However, cool air from the coolers can contain bacteria which can cause breathing and other health problems. Most people who suffer from allergies and asthma avoid getting a cooler because it can aggravate their problem. Since air-conditioners generate germ-free air, they can be used in hospitals and laboratories. These machines are advanced when compared to coolers and come with features like humidity, speed and temperature control.

Another advantage of buying air-conditioners is that they can easily cool large area in a few minutes. It also has the ability to maintain a constant flow of cool air which helps in providing uniform cooling throughout the room. Since these machines are highly effective, it is preferred by both domestic and industrial users. Advancements in technology have made it easy for people to adjust the temperature when needed. Most machines have a screen that displays the desired temperature that you have set for your room. This temperature can be adjusted according to your requirement.

Coolers are popular with people who live in hot and dry areas as these machines can cool their homes without drastically increasing their electric bills. Coolers are known to consume less energy when compared to air-conditioners. Also, people who have limited budget prefer buying portable coolers that can help in cooling several rooms. These machines can be used to cool an open room which is not possible when you install an air-conditioner.

Monuments of India

MONUMENTS

Monuments are the structures which are either created explicitly to commemorate a person or an event or which are made in previous time and has become important to remember the late people or past events. But some monuments are so whimsical and precious that they become the brightly shining star from the vast universe of beautiful structures. They are showcased as the world heritage site.

It is a saga but a very practical truth of today. These valuable gems of our country are getting endangered and if serious and bold steps are not taken for their revival, the country will be like a bride without jewelry. Though India is the treasure of temples, monuments and ancient amazing pieces of art and beauty, I’ll limelight some famous monuments marked as world heritage site.

– QUTUB MINAR- in Delhi built by Qutbuddin Aybak in 1193;

– RED FORT- in Delhi built by Shah Jahan in 1639;

– HUMAYUN’S TOMB – in Delhi built in 1570; these three are among the world heritage sites.

The other famous monuments in Delhi are:

– 22ft TALL IRON PILLAR-in the year AD 375-415;

– JAMA MASJID-India’s largest mosque built in 1655;

– PURANA QILA, JANTAR MANTAR and INDIA GATE.

Some other world heritage sites in India are:

– TAJ MAHAL-a tomb in Agra built by Shah Jahan in 1631 for his wife Mumtaz Mahal;

– FATEHPUR SIKRI-a magnificent red sandstone city in Sikri near Agra built by Mughal emperor Akbar.

– AJANTA & ELLORA CAVES-present in Maharashtra these caves were built near about 6th century. The caves depict the Buddhist and the Jataka tales.

– ELEPHANTA CAVES-present in Maharashtra these caves were also built near 6th and the 7th century has a 6-m high bust of lord Shiva.

– SONAR QILA-a fort in Rajasthan was built by Rawal Jaiswal in 1156.

– CHARMINAR-it is a square shaped monument built in Andhra Pradesh in 1591.

– SANCHI STUPAS-they are one of the oldest Stupas in Bhopal.

– BHIMBETKA-in Madhya Pradesh they are the rock shelters discovered in 1957. They have many different paintings.

– BASILICA OF BOM JESUS-present in old Goa it holds the tomb of St. Francis Xavier.

– HAMPI-present in Karnataka has many beautiful temples.

– MAMALLAPURAM-it is a group of rock-cut monuments built near 7th and 8th century in Tamil Nadu.

Monuments are getting spoiled: there is not one but many ways in which the valuable and literally non-renewable structures created originally by ancient artists of different dynasties are getting ruined.

The chemicals are released and merged in the air through motor vehicles, coal-fired power plants, nuclear waste disposal, plastic factories and other heavy industries. Even spraying of pesticides and chemicals in agricultural fields are harming the quality of air. The harmful gases released in the environment are basically oxides of Carbon, Sulphur and Nitrogen and the chloro-fluoro carbon gases. These gases are making the air polluted, increasing the global warming and even depleting the ozone layer allowing the UV-rays to enter in the earth’s atmosphere. These bad elements share hands with the other acts causing harm to our heritage. Making the matter worst the deforestation has crossed the limit of pollution. All these negative human behavior together are ruining the environment, basic life and also our very prestigious & precious world heritage sites.

The basic structure of these sites is getting weaker with the pace of time. Deep into their foundation the acids and the chemicals are penetrated which are shattering the skeleton of these whimsical creations leading to the breakdown of their both anatomy and morphology. Either the paints or the detailed intricate work are dropping down; or the luster and the lacquer on the stone are diminished or getting dull.

The chemicals merged with the air and falls on these monuments as the acid rain washing away the beauty of these great sites.

The natural glow or colors of the stones are getting black. The clear example is the Taj Mahal-it is made up of white stone called ‘Sangemarmar’. Due to the presence of dense smog in the atmosphere the ‘Taj Mahal’ is literally turning in the black beauty.

People scrub on the wall of these beautiful structures. Couples write their names and love messages on the walls, throwing garbage and spitting the chewed beetle and through many other obscene attitudes ruin the crystal clear beauty of these monuments.

The scorching heat stops the tourists to visit these places. The intense global warming, deforestation and over pollution has increases the temperature to such an extent that people doesn’t like to view these beauties with itching and sweating all through body.

The foreign tourists who enhance the value of these sites and propagate about their art and beauty are being exploited and used falsely by some bad Indian hosts. This cools down the enthusiasm of the foreigners to visit India and ultimately the economical degradation is the result. Fewer tourists, less economy and reduced revival of the monuments. If these heritages are not revived from time to time, then after few years they will permanently become the history.

The metro advancement acts as a dike. Dike prevents flood but here the metro stations construction and metro route construction are obstructing the stagnancy of these monuments. For instance the tall Qutab Minar getting distract due to the passing route of metro.

But it’s never too late. Let’s join our hands together and put our step forward for the revival mission of the Indian Gems- OUR MONUMENTS:

“The conservation and preservation of these monuments cannot be neglected further”…. Well written and shared by C.B.S.E ‘Siksha Sadan’ to all heads of C.B.S.E affiliated schools on 7th Jan’10.

The cultural ministry showed their courtesy by supporting the subject and lectures in the schools for students to understand and respect their world heritage site.

The books are not the only solution. As always said “action speaks louder than words”, the students should be frequently taken on a trip to these very special monuments. With the proper guidance their knowledge about the ancient monuments should be enhanced. Quiz must be arranged on the basis of world heritage sites and other monuments. Prizes awarded to the winners will encourage the pupils to avail the thorough information of their heritage. The students should be explained the reasons for the protection and the revival of these sites.

The generation availing the fields like civil construction, paints, interior & exterior decoration and designing should be guided to promote their wide creative knowledge in the revival of monuments.

The former and the common style of reviving these world heritage sites and monuments is converting them totally or their particular part(s) in museum, library, tourist place or hotel. One famous example is ‘Chauki Dhani’ in Jaipur. By setting up museums or libraries in these prehistoric beauties, the visitors will get the interesting and the elaborate knowledge of these sites. By converting them in hotels or tourist places, the government will get the foreign revenue and the motive to rehabilitate these ancient creativities.

VOTE FOR TAJ MAHAL – a very fruitful steps to position this whimsical monument on top. Similarly, voting can be supportive to save and revive other monuments. The step can be laid down through:

Internet- software can be designed to inform the viewers and net savvies about these heritage sites and asking for their votes in favor. This method will cover the people review globally.

Besides internet, the NGOs can work on this procedure by setting up seminars, meetings and small get together. The government on this prospect should support these organizations through financial and legal formalities.

Cinema has always inspired public. People literally follow the trend which celebrities start. If cinema and the celebrities perform in those films and shows that convey the message for the protection and the rehabilitation of the monuments, the effect will be strong and productive. The speeches and the messages delivered by the celebrities on the radio, T.V, theatre and on road shows boost up the patriotic feeling hidden deep in the heart of Indians.

Proper security of these eminent works of great artists is required to avoid destruction either by theft or any other way. In addition, if someone is found guilty he/she should be punished either by imprisonment or a fine according to the extent of harm being done to the heritage.

The mentioned above are the few steps that can be put forward for the appreciating work of monument revival. Besides this, national culture should be strengthened not only in dance, music and other performing arts, but also in the rehabilitation and defending of the world heritage sites and monuments.

The procession has started, don’t wait and just share hand on hand being part of this divine act.

Hanging Stretching Exercise – One of the Best Grow Taller Exercises to Increase Height Naturally

One of the best grow taller exercises that you can do to increase your height naturally and fast is the hanging stretching exercise. It is one of the most recommended exercise of any height increasing programs like Grow Taller 4 Idiots and one of my favorite exercise that i do during morning and just before going to bed.

During the day, gravity really compresses your spinal column and also increases the curvature of your spine which causes you to lose few inches of your height. The hanging exercise will help you to counteract this effect and will stretch and thicken your inter-vertebral discs and at the same time helps to reduce the curvature of your spinal column cause by improper posture.

The hanging exercise is very simple and can be done right at home. All you need to do is to hang your body from a height. You can use a horizontal bar or you can utilize a tree branch. You may also use the door ledge to hang. I recommend to use the horizontal bar so that it will be easier for your grip and also you can do the exercise anytime you like without going outside of your house at night just hang on a tree branch.

You can hang for about 5 minutes, or 10 minutes for best result. It doesn’t have to be straight 5 or 10 minutes. You can take a break in between repetitions making the repetitions a total of 5 to 10 minutes.

Here’s the important thing to remember, when doing the hanging stretching exercise, it is important to relax the muscles in your upper body as much as you can so that it doesn’t fight the pull of gravity. Most people have tense muscles when doing the hanging exercise. Relaxing your muscles when hanging help gravity to pull your inter-vertebral discs even further.

The hanging exercise is better to be performed in the morning just after awakening and at night just before going to bed. This is the time when your inter-vertebral discs is not so compress and so it will be easier to stretch and lengthen those fibrous tissue. Do this grow taller exercise daily and you can gain noticeable height increase in a short period of time.

Wizards and Witches – Are They Good or Bad?

If there was ever a topic open to intense dispute, it would be the subject of witches and wizards. So many people hold such strong convictions about this subject that you would think it was a situation concerning life or death. However, it is a fun topic of discussion when you approach it from many different points of view.

Are witches and wizards bad? The answer must be yes and no. You must look through history to determine what the final answer may be. In medieval times, the kings and queens sought out relief for sickness from the local practitioner, who was often considered a witch. These people, generally women, had a robust knowledge of natural medicine and could heal people with their brews. It was not until a later time when the church set forth condemning these women that the term witch became synonymous with evil.

Merlin, perhaps the most famous of all wizards, was a good and bad man. Said to talk to the dead, Merlin helped guide King Arthur to become one of the most beloved king’s in all of British history. It is also said though, that Merlin was not afraid to use his magical powers to conquers his, and the king’s, enemies.

If you come to modern day, take a look at the Wizard of Oz. There was a good and bad witch, a wizard and a cast of characters innocently interacting with them all. Harry Potter and his friends were all attending school for witchcraft and wizardry, and regardless of the fundamental outrage, the Potter series is one of the best selling children’s books of all times.

These creatures, often human beings with additional knowledge, must be placed into the same category as regular mortals. Some are bad and some are good and some struggle in between. Like their mortal counter parts, these creatures have the free will to use their knowledge for good or bad, leaving the decision of their goodness only to them, not to others.

Fairy tales are filled with witches that perform good and bad deeds. We teach our children right from wrong using these tales, so they cannot possibly be all that bad.

Magic is something that everyone needs in their life in some way. Whether it be a wonderful tale to share with their children or a natural cure for their ailments, magic must become a part of everyone’s life to make life worth the effort.

Design Psychology: Fabrics

From a riot of color in bold chintzes to the gentle rustle of taffeta, fabrics influence our mental attitude in many subtle and not so subtle ways. Playful patterns make us smile, while mixing prints and solids can present a paradox of dynamic energy. No matter which effect you’re looking for, you’ll want to choose the right fabric colors, patterns, and textures to reflect your interior design plan.

Emotional Factors

Fabrics make impressions on all of our senses. For instance, tactile pleasure is strongly reinforced by the softness of fabrics. The touch of a fabric suggests wealth (silk), formality (damask), or informality (burlap). Our hearing is enhanced in rooms with an abundance of noise-absorbing fabrics. The colors and textures of fabric affect our sight, and some fabrics also influence our sense of smell, offering scents that may be pleasurable, cooling, or annoying. Fabric colors even modify our perceived sense of taste.

Fiber and Texture

Fiber is what gives substance and texture to fabric, and may include such things as reeds, grasses, animal hair, or even plant seeds. When shopping for any type of woven fabric, look for a high thread count for softness and durability.

Wool is the environmentally-favored choice for carpeting. It’s natural, renewable, fire and soil resistant, and long-wearing. For furniture upholstery and window coverings, cotton is the natural fabric of choice.

Fabrics also reinforce the degree of formality in a room. Rough-textured fabrics say “picnics,” while soft textures whisper “formal dinners.” Cotton damask, toile (sheer linen and silk cloth), chintz (which is never out of style, just out of popularity from time to time), and soft chenille speak of formal, traditional spaces.

Regardless of the look and feel you’re seeking for your home, the careful use of fabric textures, colors, and patterns should be a large part of your overall design plan.

Copyright c. 2014 Jeanette J. Fisher. All Rights Reserved.

How to Get Rid of Vomit Smells

Vomiting is one of the ways your gastrointestinal system gets rid of the “bad stuff.” Normally, it is a short-lived symptom; but the consequences of vomit should be quite apparent to even the most feeble minded.

When you have children, pets, and/or a significant other that suffers from bouts of vertigo/morning sickness, vomit is an unpleasant reality that you may have to clean up now and then. It’s important that you clean up immediately to avoid staining and to quickly disperse the unpleasant odor. For more information regarding this topic, just read and follow the simple tips below.

Vomit Smell Removal

* Remove the vomit from the carpet or other surface; this should always be the first step. Try to do this without spreading the mess around and be sure to wipe up any solids so that only the wet spot remains. Also, if nauseous, be sure to open up the windows for fresh air to let the fumes out, lest you donate your own two cents into the pile of semi-digested goop.

* Sponge the spot stained by the vomit with cool water. Then add half a cup of salt to two quarts of water and use this to further sponge the area and rinse with plain water.

If this does not work, soak the stain for 30 minutes with cool water. Blot the area again with a sponge and some diluted dish detergent until the stain is gone.

* Heavily sprinkle pet carpet deodorizer on the area and let sit for a short time. The just vacuum it up! You may have to do this a couple of times; if so, let the second “dose” sit for a while longer or even rub the deodorizer in with a damp rag. Let it dry and vacuum again. That should do it.

* There’s just something about vinegar when it comes to stains and odors, isn’t there? Vinegar (a weak acid) is a great way to clean, disinfect and deodorize surfaces, including those victimized by vomit.

Of course, vinegar doesn’t smell much better than vomit (one would say they smell almost the same), but the smell of vinegar eventually diminishes, while vomit smells doesn’t. It’s the lesser of two evils, if you will.

* If vomit has penetrated the actual cushion of your coach or carpet, you may have a harder time getting rid of the smell, but keep trying. You may have to saturate a cushion in vinegar water to get to the center to neutralize this smell.

Afterwards, let the cushion air dry outside in the warm sun for a few days. Then, just to be sure it’s dry all the way through, put the cover back on and tumble dry it at the laundromat with fabric softener sheets. The combined heat of the sun and the laundromat should help kill the vomit odors that the vinegar water didn’t neutralize.

* Another thought; after you’ve thoroughly gotten rid of the vomit smell, try child-proofing your couches. If the cushions have zippered covers, take all of the cushions out, and wrap the cushions in large plastic bags, tape tight as possible. Then put the cushions back in their cases.

Not only will you have waterproofed your cushions, but it the plastic-wrapped cushions are easily cleaned and maintained. Conversely, once you buy new cushions, never take them out of their vacuum-tight plastic packaging.

* Steam cleaning will help remove vomit smells. If soap and water doesn’t work, try renting a powerful steam cleaner with a hand-held attachment. Whatever you do, don’t use harsh chemicals and make sure you do your best to dry the area you’ve cleaned.

* Here’s an ensemble method using a whole bunch of cleaning agents: try spraying the affected area with a mixture of vinegar, Pine-Sol and a scented liquid soap. Let it dry thoroughly, and then use some Febreze spray to finish the job. It’s undoubtedly hard to work through all that, but it beats trying to run out to buy new furniture.

* Pour a generous amount of baking soda over the area and let it soak in. This will help get rid of the vomit odor; sodium bicarbonate is a great absorbent powder. Then vacuum up the baking soda residue completely.

Once that’s done, set a towel over the damp area, press down on the towel and leave it until the area dries completely. If the stench persists, either consult a cleaning professional or repeat this method until the stench is gone.

* Speaking of cleaning professionals, they’re also an open option for vomit smell removal. Whatever the situation of the hirer, a professional cleaning service can cost a lot less money than most people would expect. Indeed, if all else fails, commercial carpet and rug cleaning equipment do exist to help you out.

The cleaners provide all the equipment and detergents and above all, they have the experience of having cleaned rooms which would probably make your vomit-stinking room smell like the Rose Parade in comparison.

Vomit Smell Removing Products

* Nature’s Miracle truly is a miracle when it comes to bad odor removal, even vomit smell removal. Cat urine is the worst and hardest smell to get rid of, but it easily folded against the power and ability of Nature’s Miracle. You just need to saturate the affected area with the product and the natural enzymes will immediately get to work to rid you of the offensive smell.

Furthermore, it’s not just for cat urine; it also removes all organic stains and odors, including foods, blood, vomit, feces, grease, dirt, grass, smoke and perspiration. Add that to that fact that it’s usable on carpets, floors, furniture, clothing, and so on and so forth, and you have a winning brand right there! Goodbye, vomit smell!

* There’s this product called Dryell and you find it in Wal-Mart; it comes in a kit with bags and a bottle of special cleaning fluid. If you take the fluid and squirt it on the vomit stain repeatedly while blotting it with a white rag, the stain will eventually come out.

* Pine-Sol is a household cleaning agent used in bathrooms, kitchens, and other cleaning applications. The primary ingredients in Pine-Sol are pine oil, surfactants and isopropanol. Labeling also warns of alkyl alcohol ethoxylates content in the product, but all in all it’s a good cleaning product when it comes to vomit odors as well.

* Fresh Wave has an array of all natural, non-toxic and earth-friendly products for the laundry, upholstery, floors and the air that are designed to attract, capture and neutralize sour house odors.

* Buy a large pump of Febreze; it works on everything. Smelly hampers, sticky rental cars, sleeping bags that stink of camp fire, and of course the topic of discussion, odoriferous regurgitated food; you name the smell, Febreze can quickly quell.

Buying Persian and Oriental Rugs Abroad – A Guide

Every year thousands of tourists and soldiers bring back Persian or Oriental carpets from their holidays and tours, every year many of them end up red in the face – and not from the sun.

It can be an adventure bringing back souvenirs from far flung countries, an authentic experience and if you know what you are doing an opportunity to pick up a bargain while on your travels. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing however and local shop-keepers can spot tourists a mile-off. There are many risks involved in buying Persian and Oriental carpets abroad, in order to get the deal you really want there are several things to consider.

There are inherent risks involved in buying abroad, foremost amongst these risks is that the seller knows you have no recourse, you will not be able to return the goods you purchase if there is something wrong with them, if they are fake or even if you simply decide against it. Because of this they are more likely to take advantage, sound advice would be to make it known that you will be around for a while and wont be leaving town the next day, even if you are.

Another important thing to remember is that when you go to buy the shop-keeper of seller knows that you are not an expert and not a dealer. You are unlikely to receive the trade prices that someone in the business would get and they will attempt to charge retail prices. If these people are used to dealing with businesses from abroad then there is likely to be considerable room for negotiation. They might not sell you their wares at the same price someone would gain with a bulk order but if they start high there is likely to be a large reduction available if pushed, they will still make more than they would selling to a professional.

The next consideration is custom charges. Sneaking a rug in with your luggage may work but if caught you will be forced to pay import duty and VAT at your home airport – these charges amount to a further 8% duty in the UK then an additional 17.5% VAT on top of this plus any handling fees and penalties so factor these in when purchasing abroad. Larger rugs may need you to send the rug abroad which again can be pricey.

Each country is different and each have their own risks. Popular destinations for buying abroad include Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and the U.A.E (including Dubai).

Turkey is a popular tourist destination, whether you are in the bustling streets of Istanbul or at a beach resort in the south you are likely to run into hand-knotted rugs at some point. Many tours and excursions have a rug section on them where you are shown the traditional weaving process before being hard-sold to with professional sales people. Turkish sellers can be very charming but remember these places are tourist traps and you are likely to be paying top-dollar, or pound, for what can sometimes be fairly low quality carpets. The streets of Istanbul has many shops and boutiques on offer selling a wonderment of woven colours. Again these places are used to tourists and are likely to start with tourist prices. One thing to watch out for, particularly in Turkey, is art-silk rugs. Many of the silk rugs sold in Turkey turn out to be in fact Viscose Rayon greatly reducing their value, robustness and longevity. Good advice would be to avoid buying silk rugs abroad unless you are confident of being able to tell the difference between real silk and art-silk.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are other places where many rugs are purchased by tourists, quite simply this is ill-advised. The U.A.E does not have a rug weaving industry, the rugs sold here are imported from from Iran, Turkey, India and Afghanistan and sold in retail stores. There is nothing inherently wrong with this but you are likely to get the same deal in these places as you would in a Persian or Oriental rug store back home. Depending on where you are and where you shop back home it may actually be quite a bit more expensive. Peoples’ guard is down when they are on holiday, many look to purchase objects in the hope that it will prolong their feeling of being on holiday, but a rug is a purchase you should make with both your heart and your head.

In Iran and India deals can be had, particularly on used (but good condition) pieces but it helps to speak the language or have someone there with you. The biggest threat here is that you may be sold something when in fact it is a lower grade item. A Westerner is easy prey when it comes to selling an Ardekan as a Kashan or a Tabbas as a Nain. Knowing a little about rugs will help as will going for something that you like rather than something that is sold to you. India makes a lot of copies of Persian designs, there is nothing wrong with this but keep in mind it is an Oriental rug, not a Persian and the investment value is not the same.

One key point for American buyers – if you buy an Iranian (Persian) carpet you are running the risk of it being confiscated at customs, there is an embargo on Iranian goods to the US including Persian rugs so be warned.

The next two stops are possibly more relevant to soldiers than tourists but the warnings are the same. Iraq does not produce any rugs of note, the pieces sold here are brought in specifically for the purpose of selling to the armed forces, these could be from any of the surrounding countries and all of the above advice applies. It should be possible to get a good deal if you know what you are doing but it is not uncommon for soldiers to be sold fake-silk rugs or even machine-made pieces thinking they were the genuine article. Afghanistan is perhaps one of the better countries to get a good deal on a hand-knotted carpet. Although they also sell Iranian rugs here the Afghan rugs themselves are normally of a very high standard and also fairly well suited to the Western home. This does not mean you should not be careful but buying a commercial grade carpet here can be good business but it is always useful to compare prices with those at home.

Buying abroad is a balance of risk and reward, the more you know the better deal you are likely to strike. If something seems to good to be true it probably is and you will likely have no way of getting your money back. If you do purchase abroad here are some key points to consider:

  • Do some research before buying – read up on knot counts and telling the difference between machine-made and hand-made rugs
  • Avoid silk rugs – if you must buy silk make sure you know what you are doing
  • Stay clear of Persian rugs if you do not want to run the risk of confiscation at US customs.
  • Haggle, haggle, haggle – unless you know you are getting a brilliant deal then force down the price considerably. Do not be afraid to walk away, remember, sellers would much prefer to sell to a tourist with a big discount that a dealer with a wholesale price
  • Consider local rugs – rugs made in and around the area of purchase are likely to be best value
  • Factor in the cost of transportation, duty and tax. This could add anywhere between 20-40% to the initial cost, more depending on the transport fee.
  • Check out your local rug specialist before going – you will find they may be able to offer you a great deal and a safer shopping environment.