How to heat without a heater

thA7U0FXRIIn the winter, the one thing that many of us dread is our heating bill. Especially if you live on one of the northern state. Although we hate to see it skyrocket, we also cannot go without; to put it simply it is just too darn cold!

What can you do otherwise then? I mean going without heat is unheard and dangerous.   Nevertheless, how can you heat you home without relying completely on the furnace or boiler? Is there even a way that a person can do that?

There is a way, there is a way! Do not fret there is always a way. This year instead of Turing up the thermostat in your home, try one of these to turn up the heat without turning up that gas bill.

Use your fireplace

I cannot count the number of times I have been in someone home with a fireplace, that works, and they never use it. What up with that? Use that bad boy! One of the best and oldest to heat you home without having to rely on your furnace or a heater to do it. By using this during the colder months of the year you not only effective and efficiently heat your home, you will not have touch the thermostat.

Seal all windows and doors

Go around your home with your hand and check if you have any draft around your windows and doors. Actually what I like to do is light an incense and watch how the smoke blows along different sills. This too will let you know if there are any leaks. Then get to caulking, weather-stripping, and insulating. Keep the cold air outside and the warm air inside.

Area rugs and carpet

Hardwood floors are beautiful and timeless update to any home. Trust me I know. I have hardwood floors throughout my entire home. They are beautiful. However, freezing during the winter months. A few years ago, I was told that having some large area rugs to place on the floor is a great way to insulated and hold heat in a room. Such a simple thing to do but it is very effective.

Old school lightbulbs

I love those energy efficient CFL’s bulbs but those older type of bulbs produce heat. That means by turning on the lights you can raise the temperature of you home. Even if it is by a degree, it will make a different. Maybe consider during the winter changing the bulbs in your home to those regular ones.

Cook and bake more and more

Sometimes I bake something just so I do not have to turn up the thermostat. It seem so obvious but many of us do not consider just cooking and baking more at home add to the overall temperature of the home. I mean your oven and stove generate a lot of heat use this to your advantage. Heat your home and fill your belly all in one swoop.

All these are wonderful tips that worth giving a try. With that being said. When it comes to heating my home, I will try anything. However, I have to say the best thing that efficient heated my home was upgrading to an energy efficient heating system.

It Really is a Winter Wonderland

thCVS1D1R6So often when the snow start to fall and the temperature drops, folks stay indoors. Its seem like staying inside in the warm and cozy home is more inviting than trudging outside in the snow and bitter cold. However novel this may be after some time a person cannot help but go a little crazy. Especially if you are like me and enjoy behind outside. If I am stuck in the house for, too long I feel as if the walls are closing in on me. When this happens, I like to do any number of activities. Something to get me out of my beautiful cage and enjoying something new and exciting. With a little of physical excursion.

One of my favorite activities to do outside or indoors for that matter is to go ice-skating. Nothing a cold winter day then enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and gliding across a sheet of ice. I remember the first time I went ice skating I was petrified that I would fall on my butt in front over everyone.   Making a complete fool of myself. To my surprise, I did not fall and I had the best of time. So much so that I started taking lessons now I am a pro. Ok maybe I am not a pro but I am pretty darn good if I say so myself.

Another activity that can only happen during the winter months is snowshoeing. It is so perfect to go out earlier in the morning when the sun has just showing. When those rays first appear and the snow is just glistening and twinkling.   With a million diamonds. It is so beautiful. The crispness of the air and fresh smell of pine and ice. It is something worth trying. Especially in the woods where you can watch all of the animals strong enough to bear the winter months out taking care of their morning activities. If you have ever witness a fox hopping through the snow searching for a great meal. It is both comical and amazing.

If you have a need for speed, you should definitely try sledding. It is easy to do and does not require any type of skills. Just a sled and a bottom. Oh and a hill with some snow. It is so much fun. Here are a few tips for those that may be new to the activity. If you do not have a sled, a trash can lid works well. I move to the Icey north after living years in the south. When I saw some kids sledding, I wanted to try it out for myself. Not owning a sled or a really knowing what one was I used the lid from one of my trashcans. Such a blast! Another little hint to increase the fun. If you wax the bottom of your sled, you will go faster.

There are so many things to do when the white stuff hit the ground. There no reason to feel like you have to isolated or trap inside of your house afraid to experience the world outside. Add a few extra layers to your outfit, don some warm hat and gloves, then get outside and experience the wonders that winter has to offer. Do not let a drop in temperature slow you down or impede in your merry making.

It only last for a few months, might as well enjoy it.   I know I will!

Tree Removal Considerations and Advice

th (16)It is not hard to understand that tree removal is hard and dangerous works. Many people have been gravely injured and at times, these injuries have caused death. What most people don’t realize that there are so many variables to consider when attempting tree removal? Things that those in the business will have experience, training and knowledge in. Something that must be taken into consideration when it is time to remove that tree, to ensure that no one is hurt and nothing gets damage are things that a license arborist or horticulturist will know.

Such as which trees ought to be removed and which ones it would be best just to leave them as they are. Many times during a site preparation, too many trees are removed. If a tree will not be in the way of some structure, or if it is not diseased or causing any harm to existing buildings. If there really is not anything wrong with the tree and its position then just leave it alone. Only have those trees removed that are causing a problem or will pose to be a problem.

Another thing that the nonprofessional may consider or know what to inspect are the roots. The roots of large, dominate trees may span many meters wide and many meters deep. The deep and wide spread roots system will decay over time if the tree that bores such great’s roots is cut down. On the surface, this may not seem like such a big deal. Nevertheless, consider this; those roots are now a part of the structure and strength of the ground below.   The decaying of these roots, over time, may result in the ground caving in because its structural support have been killed off.

Some people may not know this but a tree removal company will consider the specie of the tree. Just like us, people are all different each species of trees are different as well. Vulnerable to a variety of changes and structural issues. A professional tree removal services will always consider this, at least they should.

If a tree is interconnected and dependents on a group of trees surrounding it then it may be difficult to extract the tree without compromise their delicate balancing act. Many times, as trees grow and mature within a cluster of other trees their crowns, or the top, of the trees become intertwined. Creating a canopy.   This means that each tree has develop a sort of family or group that are working together. Many of us will read this and wonder how could a bunch of trees work together, it does not seem to makes since, right.

Well, let us there is a drainage slope, or maybe the roots or soil are a bit shallow, they work together giving and taking from one another. Making sure everyone is striving. This type of cohesiveness usually means that they also depend on each other for structural reasons, meaning that they lean on one another. Making the removal of one quite dangerous. As it will greatly affect the others and may cause another younger and less stable tree to fall with it. We do not want this.

The next time someone is considering tree removal, consider using a professional. There so many elements to consider, in order to guarantee a safe and ethical removal.

Childhood Fancies

thW70QJ44T

 

 

I remember as a child participating in different activities like science fairs, ethics bowls, mock trails, all these activities that adults graded and judge us on. There were so many times that I wished that the roles could be reversed. Instead of them judging us, we will judge them and their projects. How wonderful what that be?

Apparently, I am not only in thinking this. Just look at television like Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader. A show where adults attempt to answer questions that fifth grade students must know for their curriculum. A hilarious show proves just how little adults know. It always give me a tickle whenever I watched it.

Another opportunity for young people to judge and questions adults is the annual science completion called Flame Challenge. It is comprised of thousands of fifth and sixth grade students, from around the world, are ask to submits questions for the adults to answer. The adults are comprised of scientists in all levels of their fields. The answers are reviewed and judged by a panel of fifth and sixth grade students.

There are a variety of questions ask such as what is a color, define and explain sleep, what is time and how is it measured. Difficult questions that would be difficult for anyone to answer.

What is neat about this competition is the young people do not necessary judge the accuracy of the answer but who explains and engages the students the best. If the adults want to receive a high score their delivery must be entertaining, interesting, and easy to comprehend, a little humor does not hurt.

The students and the scientist all are happy to participate in the competition. In fact, each years those wanting to participate on both sides grows more and more.

To me this this is amazing. I would have loved to participate in any of these activities. A way to switch the rolls around. Enjoy being on the other side of that table. I cannot remember the number of times by friends and me wishing we could judge our teachers. That they can experience the hardship, blood, sweat and tears.

However, alas we never had such a thing as children. As a mild over achiever I participated in at least three to five academic competitions every school year. Each year I would stress over topics, research, and complied information. After all that work I present my project or argument just to have a group of adults tear it apart then analyze and critique each aspect of it. It is a wonder why I never develop a complex.

I cannot even imagine how I would have fare if I had the opportunity to question and judge adults. To have them in the proverbial hot seat as it may. How much I could have learned.

Oh well, now that I am an adult I am unable to participate at least as part of a panel. I do plan on encouraging and supporting my nieces and nephews in becoming a part of the Flame Challenge. They are all really smart I think each one will would flourish in such an environment. They are always asking me these impossible questions maybe now they can ask someone else and give me a break.

Life without grandpa

thG3VNYFXS

A few months ago my grandfather past away. He had been fighting a long time. Yes, my grandpa sure did put up a good fight for many years. Like many stories around the world cancer ultimately won. Now my grandma is for the first time in sixty plus years living alone. In the middle of the woods. Alone.

My grandpa was a man’s man, you know. One of those breed of fellas where he would opened the door for a woman, he could fix anything, and he loved cars, fishing a golf. He thoroughly believed in a man taking care and providing for his family. For most of his life, he did just that. He worked hard and he was able to give my grandma a comfortable lifestyle. He took care of all the hard work that was done around the house, the mowing of the two acre of land their house is on, all repairs to the house, garages, sheds, and cars were done by him. He even installed the electricity in their house.

Now that he is gone, my grandma now has to employ people to do the things my grandpa had always taken care of.

Once a week I try to make it to her house and see if she needs help with anything around the house. Of course, I am not as handy as my grandfather is but I am no stranger to a pair of plyers and some hard work. As I’m walking around the house while my grandma explains that she needs someone to clean out her gutters, she also mention she needs someone to trim her hedges and the trees.

Now, I sometimes trim the trees’ around my own house but my grandma must have a hundred trees she is talking about needing a trim. I am not about to spend the next two months (I know it is an exaggeration) trimming trees. I love my grandma dearly but there is no way that will be happening anytime soon.

I made a deal with her that I will bring my pressure washer over tomorrow and take care of those gutters for her and help her find a great tree trimming service to come out her and take care of everything else. She agreed and we went into to the house and had some delicious hot chocolate and homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream with a caramel sauce drizzle over it. Yes, my grandma can cook and bake her buns off.

The next day I loaded my pressure washer into my truck and arm with a list of tree trimming services I made my way to my grandma’s house. After a few phones calls we were able to secure a tree serviced that would come out that same day, give her a quote and if she agrees with it, they can start right away.

I stayed until the tree-trimming folks came; they gave my grandma a great quote, and started the very same day.

I miss my grandpa everyday but I know my grandma misses him even more. As long as I am able will be stopping by and making sure she is all right, physically and emotionally.

It’s about time we do it–Increase Minimum Wage!

My first job that I ever had where there was actual taxes taken out was working as a corn detassler. What many in the Midwest know as corn detassling. Something that many thirteen year olds and older know very well. For many of us it was our first stop into the world real employment. For just a summer, we were paying taxes and collecting wages like the rest of America’s workforce. What is that you may ask? Well as the name implies the person walks down rows of cornstalkthB9LQ1HNZs and remove the tassel from the top of the center rows of the male corn. This is done so that the corn do not continue to pollinate. I think it is something to do with controlling the corn outcome and production type. I am sure this method is not done for all corn.

At that, time minimum wage was set at $4.25 per hour. My employer, who later became my psychology teacher, paid a whopping seven dollars per hour. That means every week before taxes I was paid two hundred and eighty dollars. In a month, that is one thousand and one hundred dollars. For a thirteen year old without any responsibilities, I felt rich. Like the world was my oyster. It was great. My parents let me keep the entire check, each week. Everyday ice cream cones were on me. When you are living under your parents care, without any bills, or real responsibilities, seven dollars per hour is more than enough to live. Simply because someone else is footing the bill.

Now flash forward today, minimum wage is eight dollars and fifteen cents in most states. That is not that much money. Honestly you are better off getting a Bluehost coupon and starting a blog to support your family. I mean some bloggers make over 7 figures did you know that? and its only like 4 bucks a month to keep it running…

Many people are expected to live and provide for themselves and in many cases, their families on the same money I spend in a week on ice cream and movies. Even with a lot of creative spending and skimping, even the most crafty and frugal person will need some type of assistance.   Be it from the government, a relative, friend, or one of those small loan institutions that is available in every city. Can you blame them?

Recently many fast food workers have been actively picketing and going on strike in a united front demanding a livable wage. Demanding that the government and big business raise the starting rate from a mere eight dollars and some change to at least fifteen dollars. According to research if a person works a regular forty-hour workweek at fifteen dollars an hour, they will be able to live above the poverty level. This means their paycheck that will allow them to take care of themselves and their family without assistance of any kind. In the long, one will save everyone a few dollars.

As a small business owner, I am in full support of this. I do realize how much more it will cost me to operate my business but I also know how it feels to work forty plus hours each week and are still unable to take care of your basic necessities. Such as food, utilities, insurance, or even toiletries. It is depressing and counterintuitive to the “American Dream”. In reality, it does a great job reiterating to our less wealthy citizens that the American dream is there just not for you. How can we promise our children something better in a system that design to make their path so difficult that many of us give up? Deciding, consciously or subconsciously, that this is all there is in life. Stay in your place.  Its time we give people hope in their themselves and their future.  If you teach a man to fish…

Today was a good day

thFFTFUU12

 

In the words of the former NWA rapper, Ice Cube: today was a good day. One of those where everyone goes right everyone on time and it is as if you were to fart a gold nugget would fall out your butt underneath a glorious rainbow. Days like these are meant to cherished and shared so that others can hope that they too can be best with a best day ever! What is even better is that it is so unexpected. Like Gods personally that is just for you. Please do not be jealous because as I relate my day I am hoping everyone who reads this will have an even better day.

Good Morning

After I woke up, brushed my teeth, comb my hair, I was looking for my socks and found three hundred dollar I did not know I had even lost! When I am at the office, I found a message that all seven of our commercial estimates were accepted.   That each property was ready to start as soon as possible. Each needing a lot of tree trimming, pruning, and ongoing maintenance of the property. Each one will deal exclusively with Oakland tree service, for their entire tree and lawn care needs. Which is amazing that we secured each one. If by chance you would like to be number eight then just go here. You can check out our services and contact information.

Afternoon

Since we were able to score so much more business, I have my entire crew out working or on their way to a job site. Looks like we can hire a few more employees to help with everything. I love hiring new people, when you do not have to fire anyone. That means that your business is doing well, that it is both growing and striving. Which is amazing in the economy. To top it off my favorite restaurant made a mistake on my order, they charged me at seventy-five percent less than what my lunch should cost. When I called them back to tell them about their mistake, they were so surprise by my honesty that they told me to not worry about it and that my next lunch is on them. I love their food so much I just cannot always afford to eat there. This is probably the best lunch ever!

Night-time

I made it home for the night, as in telling my wife my good news for the day she tells me that she has some good news herself. She’s pregnant. We will be having our very first child in about six and a half to seven months. Not just that she won two tickets to the Red Wings Hockey game, right near the ice from some morning radio station she likes. I almost have a heart attack. A pregnant and two front and center tickets to an all-expense paid trip to Detroit’s Hockey Town! This day just kept getting better and better. It has been a long time since I felt this blessed.

This day was so fantastic that one in using words like fantastic in a sentence and truly meaning it. Two I’m going to be a father and three my business is about to take off. I have worked hard, sacrificed, and planned now it seems that all those seeds that I sewed are starting to bloom and grow.   I can hardly wait until next year. I just have this gut feeling that this is going to be my year. The year where everything takes off and soars beyond heights that even could not have anticipated. I am ready. I have worked my entire life for this moment. For these moments and I am ready to cherished each one.

Limits must be set

th (6)It is amazing what a press of a button can achieve. Buy a pizza, order groceries with delivery, and even buy a house. All with the nimble touch of a few fingers, really just a good index finger will do. There is no need to interact with anyone or even leave the comfort of home. Fifteen years ago, this was all unheard of, something that only can be viewed as futuristic. Now it is so normal that to talk to an actual person is the greatest feat.

Has all those lack of communication affected humanity in a positive or negative way? In many ways, it has become easier. Even a child can operate an iPad, smartphone, or Android. Someone who cannot even read. It is amazing to watch a toddler to maneuver a tablet faster and more efficient than his or her parent is. But this child that has always been expose to technology throughout her whole life, never really socializing and interacting with adults or ever children her own age is at more of a disadvantage.

It is no secret that the people responsible for creating the smartphones and tablets restrict their own children from its use. Choosing to send them to Waldorf schools and great private schools that limit the use of these items. In fact, a Waldorf does not permit any type of technology or screens that so prevalent now in the public schools. It used to be that a public would give its students a handbook and day planner to aid in the organization of its students’ lives. Now these same school have omitted the old pen and paper scheduler, a day planner, and have replace it with a tablet of some sort. In reality, the student of today can complete their entire kindergarten to twelve grade without stepping into a school. By the use of a virtual schools. Its homeschooling but instead of the parents or tutor teaching in place of a teacher the computer is now her teacher. Sure, her parent will have to aid in some way but once she has fell into the groove the child will be self-sufficient enough to independently study on her own.

This is wonderful. But how is that child going to fare when she is in some type of conflict or dispute. Will she be able to emphasize with another person’s plight? Many studies have been done in hopes of being able to quantify just have technology have affected the young. The generation of twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The generation that publicize and share every mundane personal anecdote of their young lives.

Many of these studies have found the youth of today are negatively impacted by the continual use of technology. Many have reported that these young people are less empathetic, more susceptible to the mob mentality and unable to converse simple ideas and interact with others.   Those children that has been kept from it are kinder, socially inclined, and are better at articulating their thoughts, ideas, and opinions then their counterparts. Really, the difference between the two is great and substantial enough to reconsider technology dependencies so prevalent now.

Yes, technology is great and has greatly impacted many different if not all industries all for the better. It is easier to communicate with others all over the world via live video feed, chat, or digital phone service. Many people are alive right now sans technology. Getting rid of it completely is just crazy and unnecessary. For some it can be detrimental. This is all true. However if by limiting the amount of time spent on it for social reasons will create better members of society then why not do so. Start by putting the smartphone or tablet away during dinner for thirty to sixty minutes. However long it takes to complete a meal. The rewards and positive impact determine by many studies across the board makes it worth that small window of technology separation.