7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Generate Mortgage Leads

Need a few more loans but don’t have the cash to do some serious marketing? Have no fear. In this issue I am going to reveal 7 fantastic ways to generate leads almost for free. These methods are super cheap (most are free) and work like gangbusters.

How do I know? Because I shared them with my coaching clients and they had excellent results.

These 7 methods are just a few of the over 30 cheap marketing methods I share in one lesson of my 24 lesson Jump Start Your Mortgage Career E-Class. This new class is for any loan officer who is new and struggling or any verteran that just needs a little help with their marketing. It took me over 2 years to create the content for this 12 week, 24 lesson class, and I can honestly say there is nothing available out there that compares to this class.

If you could use more loans, then do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself. http://www.mortgagebrokertraining.com/jumpstart.html

Here we go…

Cheap Mortgage Lead Generation Tip # 1. Join an Association

People join associations for one of three reasons:

Social – they want to build or maintain friendships and influences that may have taken years to build;

Promotional – they want to offer their own products or services to others in in a cost effective and positive way;

Educational – they want to see what their competition is up to, and find out about the latest developments within their industry

Grow your network and your database by joining groups of already established people. By socializing with people who have something in common with, it makes it easier to generate business. People like to do business with people they like and trust. Most people like others who have the same interests as they do.

Cheap Mortgage Lead Generation Tip #2: Use Book Stores

One of the questions I keep asking all my coaching clients is “How can you tell if someone is getting ready to need a mortgage? What do they do? How do they act?”

This is the million dollar question. If you can answer this question, you can easily be rich in the mortgage business. By being able to identify that they want a mortgage before they start looking for one, you can get a jump on all the other loan companies. This is one area of our business that still annoys me. Most other businesses, have a way to identify when someone will need their service and can market to them accordingly. Like when someone buys a new home, they most likely will be buying furniture, blinds, home accessories, etc. So if we were selling any of these items, all we need is a list of new homeowners to market to. And that list is easily available. But how the heck do we figure out who is “thinking” of getting a mortgage?

The answer one of my coaching clients came up with was that they might go to the bookstore or library to read books on home buying, or mortgages, or real estate in general. And that’s true. Every bookstore has a real estate section. And most of the books are for consumers who are buying and selling real estate.

So my next question is, “Now that we have identified what they do, how do we get our message in front of them?”

And my client came up with this simple method: Go to the bookstores and libraries and insert a business card into each book.

After doing it for a couple months, he came up with some simple observations:

First, he learned that the best place to put the card was somewhere in the front. Try for the first chapter because not everyone reads the whole book.

Second, pick the books with the best covers and graphics inside- they sell the best.

Third, not all books sell and some are sent back to the publishers.

Fourth, having a USP on the card helps boost response.

Fifth, it takes about 10 minutes per bookstore.

Sixth, he averages 3-4 calls a month, and one loan per month.

Seventh, he now has his assistant do it. And she goes once a week.

Eight, the people who call are in search of more information, so offering them unbiased advice and more resources really turns them on.

If you have the time, and are brave enough to be seen doing it, try it and see what results you get. I wanted to test it in my market. So I went to three bookstores and put in about 120 cards. I got 2 calls, and one of them is a very serious prospect. If I do it more often, I have no doubt that it would work for me as well.

Cheap Mortgage Lead Generation Tp #3: Orphan Files

When a loan officer leaves a company the clients he/she brought to the company are called orphans. These clients now belong to the company. Ask your manager to see if you can contact any orphan files in your office to see if they need any mortgage or real estate help. Be nice enough, and they will allow you to add them to your database.

Cheap Mortgage Lead Generation Tip #4: Tradeshows

Another coaching client of mine goes to tradeshows. But not the ones related to our business. He goes to unrelated trade shows: electronic shows, design shows, car shows, and his favorite: women’s trade shows.

Most of the time, he is the only mortgage company there. And he is averaging 2-3 loan applications per show. The trick is to tie in your business with the show. If it is a car show, you can advertise that you can help anyone buy any car in the place.

If you can pre-approve someone at a car show for a cash out refinance, they can go and buy that hot car they have been salivating on for the last 2 hours. Instant gratification.

Cheap Mortgage Lead Generation Tip #5: Join A Local Real Estate Investment Group.

Every major city has one. And they are full of people buying and selling houses. They need money to buy houses, and they need money to help others buy their houses.

Cheap Mortgage Lead Generation Tip #6: Realtor Open Houses

Stop by at realtor open houses on the weekends. Offer to leave some financing materials.

When you get to know a realtor, you can offer to do open houses for her where you sit in the house instead of her. It is not a fun way to spend an afternoon, but you might get some good leads out of it.

If you decide to go this route, make sure the house is in a well trafficked area and easy to get to. And make sure the agent does some advertising and lends you signs and balloons. You do not want to sit in a house, where no one shows up because it is hard to find or no one knew about the open house.

Another tip is to meet the neighbors of the home you are holding open. See if they know anyone wanting to move or buy. Chances are someone will know of a family wanting to move into the neighborhood.

Cheap Mortgage Lead Generation Tip #7: Realtor MLS

Want a source of thousands of people who will be getting a mortgage within the next couple months?

It’s sellers. And the Multiple Listing Service used by Realtors is full of them. Do a search of homes for sale, get the owners’ name from the tax records and you have yourself a good prospect list.

Mail them something about you or an offer for free information. Call them if you can get their phone number and they are not on the Do Not Call list, or just drop by their house if you have the guts.

This is exactly what one of my coaching clients does. He calls Realtors who have listings and asks them if he can market his services to the home sellers. Many Realtors say yes. When they do, he contacts the sellers, and tells them that their realtor said it was OK to call on them.

He tells me the majority of home sellers he talks to are willing to talk to him and he gets several loans a month using this trick.

If you liked the above lead generation tips and would like more, check out my Jump Start Your Mortgage Career E-Class today. As I said these are just a few of the dozens of cheap lead generation techniques I share in one lesson of the course. The other lessons cover every aspect of mortgage marketing that you need to succeed in this business.

A Decorating Poem

Sometimes, you do something, and it makes you want to write about it. Sometimes, the words dance around in your head, forming a poem, or a series of paragraphs. This was one of those times. I re-decorated my living room over the course of a weekend, and the words were just there, waiting to be put on paper. At first, it seemed silly to send this out into the universe, but it made me smile every time I read it, and it, happily, reminded me of that crazy day of decorating. I hope it makes you smile too.

She wants to move the furniture,

On a Sunday afternoon.

It’s always fun to decorate,

But first, she empties the room.

The room looks dull, so she gets some paint,

Decides to tape off a square.

Big and gorgeous, chalkboard black,

Perhaps, she’ll paint a pair?

The paint is drying, furniture is out,

The rug she brings back in.

It’s old, it’s small, but has to do,

Now for the fun to begin.

She pushes the sofa across the room,

Moves the rug at an angle.

Amused, she decides to vacuum the floor,

After finding a fork and a bangle.

Thought she was careful, but not enough,

Looks down at the scratched wooden floor.

No need to fix it, just cover it up,

By moving the rug some more.

The sofa sits on the rug, looking big,

She sits on a chair next to it.

The chair is old, the fabric worn,

And now, she’s gone straight through it!

She picks it up, and throws it out,

With a strength she never knew.

Another chair is quickly found,

Lucky, she has quite a few.

Another chair, another side,

The sofa is moved again.

She stops, and moves it back some more,

some more, then more again!

Decides to have a cup of tea,

To think of lots of things.

Looks at the mess, and dreams of poems,

Of Cabbages and Kings.

Up she gets, and washes her cup,

Determined to finish the room.

She checks the paint, and sees that it’s dry,

Sweeps the floor with a broom.

Brings in a bookshelf, some lamps and a painting.

Pillows, photographs, china and tables.

Arranges flowers and washes the floor,

Straightens the curtains, and opens the door.

The afternoon over, she smiles, at the end.

Her home is now different, but not a penny did she spend…..

Max International Review – An Inside Look From a Third Party

With all of the different network marketing companies, it is hard to tell which one is perfect for you. I am a firm believer it is best to pick a network marketing company whose products you actually enjoy and believe that the products helps people.

Is The Company Legit?

Max International was founded in January of 2006. It is located in Salt Lake Utah. It is a well establish company that is past the pre-launch stage that all home based businesses go through. It is important it is to join a company that is at least two years old and this company meets that requirement.

Are The Products Worth Every Penny?

The thing that makes Max International so unique, besides their hybrid binary compensation plan, is their one of a kind products.

You surely will not find any products like theirs in your nearest grocery store. Their products are back 100% by science.

There first product is MaxGXL, and this product is proven to increase your glutathione levels. This is very important for patients with AIDS and cancer, who typically has low glutathione levels. MaxGXL helps in the fight against stress, aging, or any prolonged illness. MaxGXL stimulates the body’s production of glutathione to compensate your body’s accelerated use of it; strengthens your natural defenses, thus decreasing your risk of illness.

Their second product, Max N-Fuze uses Nanotechnology. There are several key benefits that Max N-Fuze produces for your body:

– Delivers vitamins, minerals and herbal ingredients to support optimal cell function, cellular communication and cellular defense mechanisms

– Provides needed nutrients to further support glutathione (GSH) production

– Delivers targeted nutrients needed to support leptin sensitivity

In a nutshell Max N-Fuze gives you a good serving of all of your vitamins.

Their last product is MaxWLX, which is a weight loss accelerator that uses a messaging hormone called celeptin to communicate to your brain when you have had enough to eat. MaxWLX is science based and it successfully targets body fat.

MaxWLX helps you utilize natural leptin mechanisms for weight loss you can achieve and maintain. It is a stimulant free way to optimize your workout and diet. With MaxWLX you will notice a difference in your appetite, your energy levels, and most importantly, your shape.

Show Me The Money

For those of you are solely motivated by money, I am going to walk you through the compensation plan. Now I may not give you all of the information involving the comp plan, but you will get enough to see if this is something that appeals to you.

Max International compensation plan was put together by individuals who know this industry from the associate side, as well as the corporate side. There are nine ways to get paid in Max International: retail profits, preferred customer commissions, fast track commissions, team commissions, unlimited seven level check matching bonuses, gold advancement pool, platinum and diamond leadership pools, global bonus pools, and luxury car bonus program.

The highest level you can reach in this company is double diamond. Unlimited sponsoring equates to unlimited wealth. As you can see Max International rewards their distributors well for all of their hard work and efforts.

Marketing Strategy

The only thing missing is the plan of action. Now that you have your products, and you know your comp plan inside and out, it is now time for you to draw up your plan of how you are going to get the word out about your business.

That’s right; Max International is a network marketing business. Now it will only pay you like a business, when you start treating it like a business. MLM still has a bad reputation because most people don’t know how to market and they don’t know how to get their products in the right hands.

A lot of people want to call this industry a pyramid; this is so far from the truth. Anybody can advance in your company, no matter when they come in. In fact, just because your company is so new that the floor is still wet, does not mean you will have massive success.

Network marketers failed because they have been inadequately trained. So if you want to get good, get trained and watch your business flutter. No matter if you choose online or offline marketing, or maybe both; you must become a student of your craft first.

The History of the Craftsman Tool Company

Craftsman is a line of tools that includes hand tools, power tools, tool boxes, lawn and garden equipment and many other items that you would find in a garage or work building. These tools have been sold by Sears since 1927.

A man by the name of Arthur Barrows was hired by Sears in 1927 to be the head of their hardware department. Arthur came up with the idea of creating a brand name for Sears that would set it apart from other manufactures. The name “Craftsman” was being used by Marion-Craftsman Tool Company. Arthur liked this name and offered to pay Marion-Craftsman Tool Company for rights to use the name. In order for a tool to be marked with the Craftsman brand, the tool would have to pass a very rigorous set of standards. The Craftsman brand was first used on a line of saws.

The Craftsman tools were first designed to accommodate farmers and were made out of cast iron and not hardened. They were ugly and would lose their shape fairly easy, but the design was perfect to fit a farmer’s budget. Arthur Barrows moved to be the West Coast Manger for Sears and hired Tim Dunlap to fulfill his position. At that time, America was starting to move into the automobile age and Dunlap saw the need to create tools designed to accommodate auto mechanics. He upgraded the quality of the Craftsman tools and added chrome plating to help improve the appearance of the tools as well as make it easier for mechanics to clean them.

The first Craftsman power tools were featured in the 1929 Sears catalog. These power tools were recognized in 1938 for helping to build the largest adobe building which was the Rocky Mountain offices of the U.S. Forestry Service. After this, the Chief Forestry Engineer declared Craftsman tools as a permanent part of the Service’s shop equipment.

Craftsman lawnmowers were first introduced in 1934. The Sears fall catalog introduced the Craftsman lawn and garden equipment that includes the new rotary power mower in 1948. In 1953, Sears introduced the first Craftsman riding lawn mower.

A trademark associated with Sears Craftsman hand tools is that they come with a Lifetime Guarantee. The warranty states “If this Craftsman hand tool ever fails to give complete satisfaction, return it to any Sears store or other Craftsman outlet in the United States for free repair or replacement. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may have other rights, which vary, from state to state”. This warranty program does not require a receipt or a dated proof of purchase. In other words, Craftsman tools are guaranteed forever.

Because of the incredibly high reliability of these tools, Craftsman is the official tool used by NASCAR. Also, consumers have ranked the Craftsman brand as second in quality with the first being the Waterford brand of crystal. Since its beginnings in 1927, Craftsman has sold more hammers and other striking tools than any other brand.

Now, Craftsman tools are also sold by K-Mart and Orchard Supply Company who are also owned by Sears Holdings Corporation. Fastenal and US military Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores also sale Craftsman tools.

Develop A Winner’s Mindset – 10 Steps To Re-Engineer Your Mind for Success, Money and Satisfaction

For years I have studied the masters who seemed to have it all – success, good family lives, excellent health, exciting lives, unbridled joy. I have studied their methods, their strategies, and as Tony Robbins recommends, modeled their behaviors.

At times in my life, I experienced extraordinary success; and during those times, it seemed almost effortless. I have also experienced times when nothing seemed to work, when everything was effort, and when I frankly felt like the dreams I had were simply figments of my imagination.

During the “down times,” I went back to the drawing board, reading and studying everything I could find about what must be the missing piece of the puzzle. Clearly, I had experienced success on many occasions, both personally and professionally, so what was wrong now? What was I not doing? What did I need to change? The obvious question was, “If I’d had success a few times, surely I had the success mindset, no?”

Big Secret: A success mindset is an “inside job” that you must work on moment to moment, thought by thought. To have a success mindset for life is a lifetime commitment. Consider your mind your “mental gym,” and just like a physical gym you attend to work out your muscles, it requires your attendance on a regular basis for consistent and increased results. When I’d quit working on my “inner thoughts,” the success vanished and was replaced by a series of struggles and losses.

So how do you develop and sustain the mindset for success? Allow me to share some stories with you and then some information and techniques I have found to help you create the mindset that will create the life you desire.

But first, I have a gift for you. This gift was given to me many years ago by a friend, Marie Barcus. Marie was the widow of a Duke University Paranormal Researcher, and she was a fascinating woman I’d met at a local spa. We were having dinner and I guess my tone was negative about something. Marie interrupted me and told me this story.

Marie herself was in her home and was complaining about something she’d seen on the news to her husband Len. Len stopped her and said: “Marie, if someone came to the front door of our home and walked into the living room and dumped a bucket of dirt on the floor, would that be OK with you?”

Marie replied, “Of course not.”

“Well, then,” Len responded, “Why do you let someone put dirt into hour mind? Marie, I’m going to give you a gift. I’m going to give you a Porter to stand at the door of your mind. I want you to imagine your Porter standing there, and whenever a negative thought tries to enter, just see your Porter putting his hand up and forbidding that thought entrance into your mind. “

Marie smiled as she told me the story. She said that for years afterward, whenever a negative thought would try to enter her conversation with her husband Len, he would simply look at her and softly remind her: “Marie, stand Porter at your door.”

I consider that experience one of the greatest lessons of my life. I had no idea then just how powerful our thoughts were, nor did I even know that I could actively monitor them, but now more than 25 years later, with the advent of quantum physics, and the knowledge we have from science and spirituality, clearly our thoughts and emotions are part of how we create our reality and the big key is: We Are In Control.

So what are the best ways to build and sustain a “success mindset?” Here are some

techniques and behaviors that will help you.

1. First, start by listening to your thoughts and words. To build a success mindset, you need to know what must be upgraded in your mental library. The biggest obstacle to a success mindset has everything to do with consciousness, beliefs, and even subconscious programming that you aren’t aware of.

2. Become aware of the beliefs that may be driving you. Here is one technique. On a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle. On the left side, write out an affirmation such as “I am very rich now.” On the right side of the line, immediately without censoring what you write, write your responses.

They might look something like this:

  • I’ll never be rich, who am I kidding?
  • I can’t be rich and spiritual. I choose spiritual.
  • Some people are destined to be rich; I’m not one of them.
  • Rich people are superficial – I don’t want to be like that.
  • I just don’t have what it takes to be wealthy.
  • I’m not smart, educated, motivated, intelligent enough.

3. After identifying your limiting beliefs, work on them one by one to reprogram more desirable beliefs. Each time you catch yourself thinking one of these limiting thoughts, challenge it head on and replace it.

Example: I’ll never be rich, who am I kidding?

Replacement: There is no reason I cannot be wealthy. People from all walks of life have become very wealthy. There is no Universal Rule that says I cannot be one of them. Of course, I can be wealthy. I just need to start researching the best ways to do that.

“Poverty is not an absence of money and things-it is a mindset. Prosperity is not an abundance of money and things-it’s also a mindset.” Randy Gage

4. How do you reprogram effectively? As I studied the ones I deemed successful, I noticed that many of them had re-programmed themselves by using psycho-cybernetics techniques. Dan Kennedy, one of the world’s most powerful marketers and trainers, used to stutter and was held back by it. He took psycho-cybernetics, and as he says “re-engineered my self esteem.” Now he is a multi-millionaire that helps others become multi-millionaires. He also has a rich personal life, a love of race horses, and travels the world to speak in front of hundreds of thousands.

Psycho-cybernetics helps you reprogram your thoughts for success – both from the conscious level of mind and the deeper, subconscious levels of mind. As you will read below, when you program from the deeper levels of mind, your results are faster and far more effective.

5. Learn to meditate. It is estimated that programming from the deep levels of mind that you reach in deep meditation or hypnosis, can be as much as 100 times more powerful than programming from the conscious level of mind. Learn to meditate and then learn to program your new beliefs and desires from those deeper, more serene levels of mind.

6. Program your conscious and subconscious minds with visuals: 3X5 cards, vision boards, positive images. Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame is now a multi-multi-millionaire (that’s right – two multi’s.) He still uses visuals to program his mind on a regular basis. What’s good enough for him is good enough for me!

A personal story. How 3X5 cards took his business from $300,000 to $18 million. My friend Dennis is a Realtor in Denver. I met him 30 years ago when he was a new Realtor and I was new loan officer. Average home prices back then were $18,000 (now that dates me doesn’t it?) At any rate, the first day I met Dennis, I noticed a 3X5 card under the glass top on his desk with this written on it: $300,000. I asked him what that was for, and he said, “That’s how much real estate I want to sell my first year.” (Of course, based on prices then, that would equate to approximately 17 houses or 1 ½ homes a month.)

Now Dennis does not believe in anything mystical, so all he did was place the card there so his subconscious mind could see it and then go to work on making that reality happen.

Last year, almost 30 years later, I went into Dennis’s office and his 3X5 card under the glass top on his desk had this amount on it $18 million. And he exceeded that! The power of programming your subconscious mind daily with visuals is very powerful!

7. BIG ONE. Get into the company of folks that are higher up the food chain than you are. Listen to how they think, get into their energy, watch their responses to circumstances. Now you might not understand the concept of “energy,” but we now know from science that this is a Universe of vibrations.

When you are in the vibrational fields of successful people, you are in sympathetic resonance with them, and your vibrations will escalate. That is why so many successful people have regular master mind groups – so they help each other continue to grow.

In Itzhak Bentov’s book, “Stalking the Wild Pendulum,” he describes an experiment with grandfather clocks. Two clocks are placed in the same room, their pendulums out of sync. Within a couple of days, their pendulums are swinging in perfect harmony! More exciting, as each new grandfather clock is brought into the room, the pendulums all synchronize in hours, not days!

It is said that you will become the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with. Look around. Is that enough? If not, upgrade your acquaintances.

And that includes your work environment. If you are in a toxic work environment, find a new job! Get out of there! The longer you stay in a negative environment, the more your vibrations diminish. More importantly, the LESS able you are to believe you can create something better, or even envision it.

Toxic office environments not only steal your creativity, they steal your spirit.

8. Here is another powerful technique for upgrading your consciousness and your mindset. Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, ask yourself this: “Is this what I want to create?” If it is not, immediately change the thought and replace it with one that will create what you desire!

It is a similar technique to “stand porter at your door,” and very effective because you immediately choose a NEW thought.

9. What if you have issues of believing you are not worthy of your desires? Here is my answer to that. It is your Divine Right to live a Divine Life Experience. More, you were given special gifts and talents that no other human on this planet has, and it is YOUR DUTY to develop those gifts and share them! It is not about worth, it is about your DUTY to do all that you can with what was given you.

So, the next time you have questions of worthiness, ask yourself this question: “Did the Creator of this vast Universe decide I was any less worthy than any other Divine Human? Do the messages from parents, bosses or peers who criticized me reflect the Divine Truth of who I am?”

In a recent meditation, I heard the phrase, “Don’t steal from God.” I realized that my inner self was telling me to get to work, release my gifts, shut off the TV, and honor the wonderful gifts I have been given by giving back. Recognize your spiritual source, and live from that. Be all that you can be, and you will be surprised one day to find out how much that really is!

10. Take care of your physical health, eat healthy foods that are high vibrational foods, avoid toxic foods, drinks, thoughts and behaviors. Send the message to your inner self that you are taking care of you and that you deserve optimum health. Your subconscious mind will get the message and continue to help you upgrade the outer part of your life.

BONUS TIP: Get away from the TV and the news! The majority of programs are negative, decrease your creativity, and ultimately, you have given away all that time that you could have been using to create a better life.

Let me ask you a question: How old are you? Let’s say you’re 40. That means you have been alive 350,400 hours! Now, if you watch even 2 hours of TV daily since you were let’s say 8 years old, that is 23,360 hours! That equals 11 years of a full time 40 hour a week job!

You could have used that time to do some of the following:

  • Get another degree
  • Learn a new language
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Learn to scuba dive or sail
  • Learn to fly
  • Write that book that is inside of you
  • Volunteer to help others less fortunate
  • Climb that mountain that’s calling out to you
  • Create a passive income stream so you can travel to those exotic islands
  • Add so much more to your memory book!

Life is a journey of choices. You are the chooser. Choose to Live the life that is your Divine Birthright!

Characteristics Of The Zodiac Venus In Aquarius

In an astrological chart, the planet Venus is associated with how a person expresses their self in their relationships- especially in love, attraction and marriage. It describes how beauty is appreciated and interpreted by the person and also how they relate to others. The sign of the Venus is often the same as the Sun since they can never be more than forty five degrees from each other. In the cases when the signs are identical, the behavior the person has towards people in general translates into their romantic life. If the signs are different, there is a disparity between how they treat people in general and how they treat people they are romantically involved with.

People that are born with their Venus in Aquarius have a calm, detached and somewhat cool attitude towards romantic relationships. They trust their own thoughts more than those of their friends, family or society. Accordingly, they can be somewhat eccentric in their social methods and behavior. But they are charming and can easily draw in friends that will genuinely like them and make them somewhat popular. Though they are friendly, they aren’t prone to showing any true emotions. Friends are likely to have romantic feelings for them but they usually won’t notice. They are somewhat detached and impersonal. Romantic gestures something they neither understand nor desire. If they do manage to express an emotion, it will be straightforward and like Haley’s comet in its rarity.

If a romantic relationship does take hold in this person’s life, it will often sneak up on them in an odd fashion then sneak off again in a similar way. For a long term partnership to take hold, their partner will have to be a friend before they become anything else. Friendship is the easiest way to gain access to those with their Venus in Aquarius since they are naturally a bit skeptical about the romance game but welcoming to friends. A partner needs to close in slowly since this person loves their freedom and will run for the door at the first sign they are about to be trapped. A partner’s possessiveness will send them running like the building is on fire. And the Aquarian does not make it a habit to run back in the direction they just came from.

If they do marry, it will be later in life. They are so independent that it is hard for them to allow their partner to tell them what they can or cannot do. Fairly, they also have no real desire to tell their partner what they can or cannot do. The emotional games and manipulations often involved with dating and relationships won’t have a home in this person’s life. It is likely they will simply walk away when those aspects begin to rear their ugly heads. If their partner is able to behave in an honest, straightforward way and give the person with their Venus in Aquarius room to breathe, a long term relationship can be managed.

The 5 Benefits of Flannel Bedding

Flannel bed sheets are your best protection against the cold weather because they are made of pure cotton fabric. They are also soft and fuzzy since they are napped on one side. Their basic structure traps body heat beneath it and prevents the cold from seeping in. Below are five reasons on why you should choose to buy flannel bed sheets.

They are soft and warm. Typically, beddings that are designed for cold environments are coarse and heavy. An example is one that is made up of wool and you have known that it is the primary choice for winter insulation. Even though bed sheets made from this material can protect you from the severe cold, they trap too much heat and these can make you sweaty. Wool is also heavier compared to other fabrics, making you uncomfortable during your sleeping time. On the other hand, flannel bed sheets are made up of cotton, which is soft and retains just the right temperature to keep you warm. As a result, you can have a relaxing sleep.

They are warm and cozy. Flannel beddings provide you the most comfort because they maintain the right balance between cold and hot temperatures. On the level of softness, silken bed sheets are the best. However, they are a disadvantage when it comes to protection against the cold. As far as heat insulation is concerned, woolen sheets rate the highest. Their setbacks are their dense fabric that is relatively heavier than other materials. Cotton flannel beddings offer a good combination between warmth and coziness. Their soft texture is desired by many.

They are easy to care and are durable. Compared to other beddings, the ones that are made of cotton flannel are easy to care. Silken bed sheets as well as those that are woolen need special dry-cleaning techniques to make them last a long time. On the other hand, cotton flannel beddings can be easily cleaned by regular washing and drying methods. In addition, cotton fibers even gets softer after many washes while those that are made of other materials tend to harden after a long time.

They are available in various designs. Cotton is a versatile fabric because its structure allows it to be weaved in different patterns and other designs unlike other materials. As a result, beddings that are made of cotton flannel are among the most attractive, appealing to everyone from children to adults. Those that are plain-colored can be matched to the interior design of the bedroom. Children can also choose bright and colorful designs ranging from floral motifs to cartoon character prints.

They can help save electricity. The least known fact is that cotton flannel bed sheets can actually help you save money on heating bills. The reason is that the fabric retains heat for long time periods without causing discomfort to the user. You may need to turn off your house heater now and then to save electricity and your cotton flannel beddings will do the job instead.

Healthy Eating – Three Healthy Cooking Methods to Use

As you go about planning and preparing for your healthy eating program, one aspect you are going to want to start paying attention to is how you are cooking your food. The fact is, you can select the healthiest foods but if you are not cooking them in a manner to help keep the total calorie count down while also ensuring they maintain their nutritional density, those healthy foods are not going to do you much good.

Fortunately, there are several excellent methods of cooking you can utilize. Here are a few of the top choices…

1. Stir-Frying. Stir-frying tends to be one of the top methods you can use because firstly, it keeps food in the lower calorie range. Sure, you may use a little oil to stir-fry, but you won’t need near the same amount as you would if you were deep-frying. Stir-frying keeps the total fat content down.

Even better, you can stir-fry using non-stick cooking spray and a little low sodium chicken broth as well if you prefer.

Second, stir-frying only cooks the foods for a few minutes, so you are not at risk of losing a lot of the nutritional density either. Cooking this way makes it a win-win for anyone hoping to stay healthy.

2. Steaming. Steaming is another healthy cooking method that can be used. Here again, no added oils, butter, or other condiments are needed – it is just the food and hot water.

What is also ideal about steaming compared to boiling, is the food won’t touch the water. Therefore, there is a lower risk of the nutrients leeching into the water. This means you should see improved overall nutritional benefits from meals cooked through the steamer.

3. Grilling. Finally, grilling is the last healthy technique you will want to consider using when cooking your meal. Grilling is particularly useful for cooking fattier versions of meat because as you grill, the fat will just drop off the meat rather than being reabsorbed into it if you were, say, stir-frying or baking.

Grilling requires minimal condiments as well. However you can brush on a little low-carbohydrate BBQ sauce, an olive oil marinade, or any other light seasoning your prefer. Since you are only using a little to prevent the sticking of food and to help boost the flavor, you really will not be increasing the total calorie or fat content to a significant degree.

As you plan your meals, consider these cooking techniques. They are the best ways to go about preparing your food to help you stay or become healthy

Building Blocks of Wellness Programs

In recent years, corporations have come to the realization that workplace wellness programs are beneficial to both employees and management, and more importantly, to their bottom line when it comes to profits. The building blocks of wellness programs may vary from program to program and from company to company, but overall, many wellness programs share many of the same characteristics and certainly the same goal – to improve the health of your employees.

Health Screenings

On-site health screenings are either the most basic of the wellness program building blocks, laying the foundation or starting point when it comes to improving your employees' well-being. It is worth the time and effort to find a company that offers quick screening in 30 minutes or less, with a turnaround time of about four days to deliver results and ultrasound images. Many companies take up to 21 days to inform the employees of their findings, but most doctors agree this is not optimum. When it comes to health, time is very often of the essence.

Most importantly, health screening companies can identify many health-related issues before they become debilitating, or even deadly. With simple, painless tests administered by trained professionals, your employees can find out if they are at risk for heart attack, stroke, abdominal aneurysms, or osteoporosis. Their own doctors can utilize the findings to develop a strategy of medication, or surgery, or sometimes both, to correct or improve any potential problems.

Motivating Your Employees

Of course, your company's wellness program has little chance of succeeding without the enthusiastic involvement of your employees. Motivating them to find ways to better their health is a key issue. Health screenings can often assist in encouraging employees to do just this, especially if they get a wake-up call from their findings. If they find that they have atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, they may be more likely to quit smoking, lower their cholesterol intake, or find ways to lower their blood pressure. If they find that they are at risk for osteoporosis, they may be more inclined to increase their weight-bearing exercise and add calcium to their diet each day. Motivation can also come from healthy competition, such as seeing who can improve their numbers by the next screening.

Making the Workplace Healthier

Another way to motivate workers is to make the workplace itself healthy. Add a small gym or walking track for employees to utilize during breaks, and change out the junk food in the vending machines to healthier options. Implement "fun fruit Fridays" where a variety of fresh fruit is handed to employees as they come for work in the morning. When given more healthy options, many employees will take advantage of them.

Your company may also consider offering stress counseling, nap suites, or in-house mini-massages on a regular basis to combat burn-out and short tempers, making for a mentally healthy workplace environment.

Corporate wellness programs offer a wealth of advantages, including lowering a company's health-care and overall costs, cutting down on the amount of needed sick days, increasing profits, and making for happier, healthier employees.

Yellow Lawn & Pet Spots – Patches in My Lawn

Problem: lawn has yellow spots. 

Typically yellow spots are caused by pets urinating on the grass or from insects. Urine is a great fertilizer, but when it is not diluted, it can kill the grass. Another cause of yellow spots are, leaves not properly raked up in the fall & winter. When the grass does not get enough sunlight, it yellows. Also, yellow spots can be early indicators of lawn pests and other diseases.

Solution: Not all pets ruin lawns. The biggest culprits are dogs, but only some. Most problems will come from big dogs, who urinate large amounts or female dogs, whose urine is extremely acidic during ovulation, and lots of dogs. There are two solutions: 1) train your pets to urinate is a ‘potty’ area, 2) maintain the PH balance in your lawn. When pets urinate on your lawn, the acidity of their urine affects the PH balance of your soil; the easiest way to keep your lawn from getting burned is to apply lime to your lawn and water regular. Try to repair the spots with a patch mix as soon as they occur. This will help prevent erosion.

To find out if your yellow lawn spots are from lawn pests or other diseases, gently dig in the yellow areas of your lawn.  If you find you have grubs or if the spot gets bigger over time you may have a serious pest problem.  Pet spot occur near patioswhereas grub problem or most visible in the weakest parts of the lawn. 

If the whole lawn is yellow, the lawn may me defecient in iron or need to be fertilized.Adding Iron can give your lawn a deep dark green color. Ironite and Moss Out can give your lawn the iron it needs. In addition lawns iron is also lethal to moss.

If your lawn has yellow streaks in it. Most likely this is caused by missing some areas when it was fertilized. If you use a drop spreader to fertilize it is hard to tell where you fertilized.

Solution: Don’t use a drop spreader, switch to a rotary spreader instead. This makes it easier to do an even application. You can also prevent yellow lawn streaks from happening by putting half as much fertilizer down twice as often. It only takes a few minutes to fertilizer your lawn and you can usually put down a ½ dose a fertilizer once a month after you mow. This will also ensure a more regular and even feeding for your lawn.

My lawn is yellow on the edges near sidewalks or near the top of hills. This can happen if the soil erodes away (which is common). In a lack of good soil the grass roots will not develop very deep. With a shallow root system, it does not take much for the grass to yellow quickly, and die.

Solution: Build up the turf in these areas. Do this using fertilizer with soil or peat moss. Add about a quarter inch at a time. As the turf gets stronger, these areas will become more healthier. It may also be a good idea to reseed these area if they are sparse.

How to Make a Backup Mother Mould

A mother mould is a special casing which supports a flexible latex, silicone or polyurethane rubber mould. It helps to prevent them distorting or collapsing when the casting material is poured in. These rigid supports can be made of any rigid material such as plaster, fibreglass or polyurethane plastics.

The current material of choice for making mother moulds for larger subjects is fibreglass. The low cost and light weight of this material makes it ideal. Mother moulds for smaller objects tend to be made of plaster. If a latex mould is less than 200mm in height then you probably wouldn’t need one at all. Moulds of this size can quite successfully be poured by suspending it in a hole cut in cardboard. On the other hand some 3D tile moulds of around 100mm in size with a wide flat horizontal surface may distort and would definitely require a mother mould to support it.

The rigidity of mother moulds is important so that it offers sufficient support to the flexible rubber mould. It is therefore important that the rubber mould has no undercuts as it can be difficult to remove from the rigid support when cast with material. The rubber mould can however have undercuts on the inside. The undercut on the external part of the mould can be filled with flexible sponge dipped in latex. Additional coats can then be added to make the outside of the mould smooth.

It is also important to make the mother mould immediately after the rubber mould is made. The original object inside the rubber mould will hold the rubber mould to its true shape and the mother mould will support the mould accurately.

Making a Plaster Mother Mould for a Latex Mould.

As soon as the latex mould is complete and dry apply a fine coat of petroleum jelly on all exterior surfaces of the mould. This will aid in the removal of the mother mould when complete.

Most mother moulds need to be a two piece casing which needs to be fastened together around the latex mould. You will need to find the easiest parting line for the two pieces to separate from the mould. This is usually on the less detailed areas of the mould. Once you have decided where your parting line should be mark it out with a pen on the latex mould.

Now you can make your first half of the mother mould. Using non-hardening oil based clay build up a wall up to the parting line. Make this wall about 50mm in thickness and add some grooves into the wall to act as a registration point so that the two mould pieces will slot together in the correct place.

Plaster can now be applied to the first half of the latex mould right up to the clay walls. Make sure the clay walls with the registration grooves are covered with plaster. Small squares of hessian can be soaked in the plaster and added to the plaster already on the mould to add strength to the mother mould. Make sure you overlap these hessian squares. Build up the plaster mother mould until it is about 15 to 30mm in thickness and allow drying.

Once the plaster has set you can remove the non-hardening clay. You will now need to apply a release agent to the plaster which was left with registration grooves when the clay was removed as we will now add the second half of the mould. If no release agent is applied to this part of the first mother mould piece the plaster will stick to the second half. We can use petroleum jelly for this.

Now apply plaster to the second half of the mould in the same method as the first piece with hessian for strength. Once this second piece has set both halves of the mother mould can be removed. These pieces should come away easily. The mould support is now complete. The original model can be removed from the latex mould and casting material can be poured in. Thick rubber bands can be used to hold the plaster mother mould pieces together while casting.

Note: When making the plaster mother mould it might be a good idea to ensure the top is level as when you turn it upside down to cast it will need to be freestanding unless you plan to support it with braces.

Making a fibreglass Mother Mould

The method of creating a fibreglass backup is basically the same as the one we described above.

Apply the non-hardening clay in the same way at the part line and apply petroleum jelly or wax as a release agent to the latex mould. Coat the latex mould with the polyester resin before applying any fibreglass matting or strands. This will ensure there are no air bubbles and the resin will get into every shape and corner. When this first coat cures to a tacky state apply the fibreglass mat which has been saturated in the resin. Continue to apply the mat to the entire surface of the latex mould ensuring that you overlap your matting. Once completed allow to cure and repeat with the other piece of the backup.

Different Materials Used to Build Gates and Fences

When you are thinking about building a gate or fence, there are many different materials to consider. Whether you choose iron, wood, bamboo, or some other material, each has its own unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.

When it comes to a need for a sturdy and strong gate, iron is a common choice. There are a number of reasons why wrought iron is one of the most popular materials for gates and fences. First and most important, you will not find any material stronger for the purpose at hand.

Another benefit is that your new iron fence will provide substantial strength (and, therefore, security) than other gate materials. Another important benefit to choosing iron for your new fence is that it is a very long-lasting material. There is virtually nothing that can damage it, and it will stay in top-notch condition for many years or even decades.

The fact that your wrought iron fence will look beautiful is also significant. Instead of a fence made from an unsightly, lesser-quality material, it will be a stylish addition to your home and property.

Wooden gates and fences are also popular. The reasons for their appeal include wood being a much lighter weight material, and also that it can be painted to coordinate with your home or outdoor surroundings.

Many people also prefer wood gates and fences because they are much easier to remove if they wish to do so. They are easy to keep clean and, if they are painted on a regular basis, they always have a nice, fresh appearance. When you choose a fine quality wood for your gates and fence, your little structure will be long-lasting as well as looking good.

For those who prefer a very natural look to their landscape, a bamboo fence is a unique touch. It will be a delightful surprise to all who enter your home. In addition to serving its purpose as a lightweight fence around your property, it is a very attractive addition to your natural surroundings.

As bamboo is amazingly strong despite its weight, it does not require much care in order to remain in perfect condition. It is a different approach which you are sure to love.

When you are considering the different materials used to build gates and fences, keeping your own personal tastes in mind will help you to make the best choice. As each type of material has its own individual characteristics, it should be easy for you to select the material you will like and appreciate the most.

How To Build A Duck Pen – Pointers For Duck Owners

A good duck pen should be shaded, dry and secure enclosure for all your flock. The main consideration should be to prevent foxes, raccoons, raptors and coyotes from accessing the birds. The pen should also be uncrowded, easy to clean and protected from weather elements. This article provides a step by step guideline on how to build a duck pen that is simple and safe for your ducks.

In order to learn how to build a duck pen, you will require four 4 x 4 wood posts of about 6.5-7.5 feet tall, 2×4 wood boards, 5/8 or ¾ inch plywood, heavy duty staples and staple gun, hardware cloth, wire mesh, vertical hinges, tamper-proof latch, cement block or large stones and straw bedding, cement, gravel, wheelbarrow and tarps.

The first step on how to build a duck pen is to select a spacious site close to the house with a good drainage and shade. Make sure you allow a space of about 11/4 square yards for every 3 ducks you intend to house. Build a gravel floor by placing a hardware cloth layer on the floor and cover with straw bedding making sure you always change it regularly.

The next step on how to build a duck pen is to erect the 4×4 posts by sinking them about 1.5 feet in the ground allowing around 5-6 feet of the posts to be above the ground. Ensure the posts are placed slightly more than a yard apart. Then staple a strong wire mesh fencing to the posts, and sink the fencing inside the ground together with the buried support posts section. Burying the fence into the grounds prevents predators from digging below the fencing to gain access to the ducks. You can leave a section between two posts to provide an allowance for a door if desired.

Then line three feet of the bottom end of the fencing in the enclosure together with hardware cloth to make good bedding for the ducks. Line the exterior perimeter using heavy stones or concrete blocks to prevent predators from digging to access the birds.

Construct a wooden 2×4 frame door and fit 90 degree angle flat braces on the back corner of the frame to provide extra stability making sure the height of the door equals that of the support posts. Staple wire mesh fencing on to the frame, and then hinge the door to allow it to swing outwards between the two support posts. Put a secure raccoon -proof latch on the pen door and place flat cement or pavers at the door side to act as a small step and also prevent predators from digging.

The last step on how to build a duck pen is to construct a roof using the 2×4 boards then use a hardware cloth or wire mesh to cover it. Connect the roof to the posts in a slanting position from the front side to the back side of the pen. This slight slope helps to prevent rain water from collecting on the roof. Fasten the tarps onto the roof in order to shield the ducks from bad weather or you can construct a wooden roof using ¾ or 5/8 inch plywood sheets ensuring that the roof is slanting and it meets with the mesh or sides of the walls.

How to Get Rid of Head Lice – Immediate Olive Oil Treatment, It Works!

Your head is itching, you feel as if something is moving in your hair or scuttling about on your scalp, are you delusional? That’s doubtful, this is more likely the symptoms of tiny annoying little pests commonly known as head lice, they are especially annoying to children. I will show you how to get rid of head lice by using a safe and inexpensive ingredient found in most kitchens. The best remedy is simple, everyday olive oil treatments.

These parasitic pests are not choosy and they are all for equal opportunity infestation, being rich or having a clean and lovely home will not make you safe from these critters. They love hair and when it comes to finding a host that will provide them with a meal, lodging and a good life, they don’t really care whose hair or what color of hair they use.

There are many home remedies and there are commercial preparations that can kill off these creatures. In my research for this article I came across many claims of products geared towards preventing, detecting, treating and removing head lice or louse as it is sometimes called.

Some products are effective and as usual, most are not. Some are new and some have been around for a while. Some are free and already in the home, and some you will need to purchase. Some will take days, some will take weeks and some will take a month or can span several months.

To get rid of head lice can be a daunting task, but popular home products have proven to be effective. They include chlorine treatment cycle, lysol, dye, Vinegar, alcohol, Vaseline, special combs and over the counter medication. If you need to treat the problem naturally you can do so with alternative cures including tea tree cure, olive oil, natural aloe soaps and shampoos.

Finally there are professional services where a specialist will apply specialize synthetic products to remove the eggs. However, this service usually cost money and sometimes multiple visits are required.

In all of the above an olive oil treatment at home is one of the best ways to take care of your problem. This is a safe and natural way of killing these creatures and make them a thing of the past. How to get rid of head lice is a really simple procedure when you use a healthy home remedy with a long history of success and safety.

All that is required for safe olive oil treatments is a ½ cup or less of cold press olive oil. Apply it until you have thickly coated all of the hair and scalp. It is very important that after the treatment the head is well covered. Use a shower cap or other head wrap that is non-absorbent to keep the olive oil on your head. This shower cap will also keep the oil and your buggy friends from getting on furniture or bedding.

The best length of time to leave it in place is 10-12 hours, so apply it in the early evening or late afternoon and leave it on overnight. You can then wash your hair in the morning when you wake up. It is also said that mayonnaise does the same trick, but mayonaise has a very bad smell if kept overnight.

A good shampoo will help you get the oil from your hair. Some people like to use a rinse made from 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar after the shampoo is completed. The vinegar rinse is also something that can destroy these crawly critters. While others are still trying to find out how to get rid of head lice you will have already solved the problem without any harmful chemicals.

Knowing how to get rid of head lice is not enough to cure the problem, prevention is the key and you also must get rid of the eggs or nits (nix) because the oil does not kill them. Getting rid of the eggs and nits is the only true way to prevent these creatures from re-infesting the hair. These eggs look like tiny white grains of rice and are attached to the hair shaft with a very sticky substance.

Removal is done by using your fingernails to pull them down and off of each strand of hair or by using a very fine toothed comb to dislodge and remove them. If you follow these steps, you will successfully control and eliminate any head lice episodes with a completely natural remedy or a combination of remedies.

Recidivism – Its Causes and Cure

For many decades, the U.S. recidivism rate – the rate at which released prisoners return to prison or get convicted again – has hovered around two-thirds or 70%. In other words, our correctional methods don’t rehabilitate very well. A wise prison warden in 1912 set forth the requirements of a good prison system, but our society has not listened to his advice. Instead, prisoners get worse over time by learning sick prison values, the process of “prisonization.” The gang culture thrives in prison, sometimes recruiting new members there or simply continuing previous gang membership. Our prisoners do not always receive drug rehabilitation or psychiatric counseling and only a minority learns valuable trades or skills or obtains a GED in prison. The mentally ill should be in mental institutions, not prisons; 16% of prisoners have significant mental problems. Inactivity and boredom take a toll, punctuated by violence and sometimes rape. Responsible conduct is not encouraged; we do not trust our prisoners to act responsibly. Their conduct in prison is judged by whether they have obeyed prison rules, not whether they are capable of navigating in the outside world. Because U.S. laws inhibit and discourage prison industries, relatively few convicts work productively while behind bars. In the federal and many state systems, determinate sentences release prisoners on a set date whether they are ready for the free world outside or not. After release, ex-cons are denied food stamps, welfare benefits, public housing, student loans and most jobs, and they are perceived as poor marriage, employment, housing and business prospects. Prisoners lose contact with family and friends, especially during longer sentences, and invariably find that things have changed while they were gone.

Recidivism will never disappear. There is no certain cure. Felons tend to be losers, and only some of them straighten out. So, recidivism is not going to hit zero, not in our lifetimes. But it can drop significantly with fundamental changes:

First, prisoners should support themselves in prison through industry in anticipation of supporting themselves outside prison, without interference from outside businesses and labor unions. By manufacturing goods now made exclusively in foreign countries, the age-old objection to prison industries will be eliminated.

Second, indeterminate sentences are required, making prisoners earn their release with constructive behavior, not just the passage of time. If released prisoners would clearly poison the outside world, they should not be released.

Third, education should be provided. Education in this context should include schooling in trades, job skills, GEDs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation or counseling, and even college degrees for those capable of performing college-level work.

Fourth, religious culture should be imparted. The government cannot get involved in propagating religion, so private religious organizations must play a significant role. The foundation of secure workhouses or work communities will facilitate religious activity, because those enterprises can be sponsored, owned or managed by religious organizations.

These changes are not my idea, but the culmination of 50 years of prison service by Zebulon Brockway, the father of rehabilitative penology. He figured it all out a long time ago. In the last 100 years, we lost our way.