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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Work From Home Successfully

There's nothing like working from home. I do it and I can tell you that the commute is a dream, weather never makes travel a hassle, and I can dress any way I like. There are some things that make working from home more successful than others. Learning successful home based business tips is a never-ending endeavor. Most people who work from home are aware of the entrepreneurial atmosphere that is a little unstable. You are your own boss, that is a definite plus, but the flow of income and work can be unstable, and that is a minus. The people who work from home and are the most successful learn how to balance out the positives and negatives, and keep things moving steady.

Pretty Little Papillon

Watched the National Dog Show today on TV. The little papillon was adorable, but really made me wish Batty was more accommodating with other people, enjoyed being groomed (or even allowed it without a fight) because she'd make a very good show dog. I really think she is much prettier than the one at the show today. Maybe I'm prejudice, but she is very nicely put together. Alas, it makes no difference because she's a PIA when it comes to grooming.

Dealing With Eczema

Eczema, and any condition that deals with the skin is disfiguring and causes embarrassment and low self-esteem. Modern advances in skin care for problems like acne are helpful in dealing with problems most people deal with, but there are also products such as cream for eczema that help those with more serious, long-lasting problems. The trouble with eczema is that there are many causes and types of eczema. Some allergies cause an breakout reaction, babies frequently get flaking skin, itching areas, and other types of eczema conditions, and then there are diseases such as psoriasis that cause eczema. Whatever the reason for it, getting relief from the symptoms is first and foremost on the sufferer's mind. When dealing with eczema avoid foods that trigger common allergies, dust, and even stress. These are just a few of the things that can make eczema worse and treating it harder.

Tips for Landscaping in Small Spaces

You can make the most out of even limited garden spaces by incorporating some simple tricks to enhance the areas. Small gardens are cozy little getaways that give you, your family and friends a place to relax and enjoy nature. You can create an inviting outdoor space even if you only have a terrace or a small yard.

Avoid Straight Lines

Use curves to create islands and winding paths through your small garden landscape. Curved paths create depth in a small area where a straight path enhances the limited space.


Small garden plots do not have to limit your planting abilities. Bring more planting surfaces into your landscape by adding containers and planting boxes on sills, railings or shelves.

Focal Point

Choose a single focal point for your small patio or garden to draw attention to the area. Simple designs are best in small spaces, and too many focal items will make your garden look cluttered, but one carefully selected item such as a fountain or spectacular plant is a good way to draw attention away from spots you don’t want visitors to dwell on such as an alley or garage.


Keep it simple, and limit the amount of furniture you place in a small garden space. However, using some very judicious placements of comfortable chairs, a hammock, or a small eating nook provides visitors to your small garden a place to enjoy the surroundings.

Color and Space

Mirrors create the illusion of a larger space. Cover a wall that has a protective overhang with mirrors and place colorful plants around it to give a feeling of greater depth. Light colors painted on surrounding walls that aren’t protected will give a feeling of larger space.

Shade and Light

Small spaces are often light challenged. Surrounding buildings block sunlight and make lighting for plants difficult. You can attack the light issue in a couple ways. The first way is to embrace the shade and create more by planting a few large trees. Use rock, wood chips or patio slabs to cover the ground and create a place to relax in the cool shade. Incorporate a few shade loving plants to breathe life into the area. The second way of dealing with shaded areas is to eliminate further shade elements such as trees and add artificial lighting where necessary. Build up stepped sections that draw the eyes up to the sky and allow spaces for sun-loving plants to grow.

Acne is Acne

When I think of acne, I usually think about facial blemishes, but there are other forms of acne. Or rather, acne shows up in other places besides the face. Commonly called body acne, it is caused by the same situations that cause facial acne, and treated the same. People tend to overlook instances of body acne because it is usually in areas covered by clothing: the shoulders, back and upper chest. Covering it up may work okay in the winter, although it's not the best way to deal with acne, it makes warm weather months a hassle. The best way to deal with body acne is the same way you deal with facial acne, quickly and with the products that will cure the cause not just cover up the result.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Add Ambiance To Your Boat With Lights

There are many ways you can add accent lights to your boat, both inside and outside. LED strip lighting is easy to install and adds to the ambiance of your boat as well as adding practical qualities. Lights in an anchor locker make it easier to set anchor for an evening on the water, accent lights along stairs leading onto the boat from a swim platform, or down into the cabin provide more visibility and safety. Sometimes they’re just fun to look at in places like the bow rail, or add a pleasant atmosphere making the deck a more hospitable place to sit at night and enjoy your boat. LED strip lighting is available in many colors to give your boat the look you prefer or to match existing color schemes. They are easy to install and one person can run lights anywhere in their boat.


Select the location for your accent lighting. Look for ledges, lips, panel edges or recessed openings to hide the strips behind. It isn’t necessary to place the light strips out of sight, but doing so adds to the overall ambiance of the lights.

Clean the surface of the area you wish to mount the lights with alcohol pads. Let dry completely.

Remove the backing from one side of the 3M double-sided tape and place where you will run the lights. Hold firmly until the tape adheres to the boat.

Connect the LED light strip tubing together to create the desired length of lights for the area you are mounting them to. Strip the wire from the end of each tube to be connected. Wrap together, and crimp with a wire crimper. Wrap each connection in heat shrinkable insulation and heat with a heat gun or hair dryer to protect them from water or the elements.

Cut the end of an LED light strip with a utility knife and wire cutters if necessary to conform to a specific area. Place a section of heat shrinkable tubing on each wire from the cut end. Heat with heat gun or blow dryer to seal them.

Remove the exposed backing on the top of the 3M tape. Press LED light strip tubing against the 3M double-sided tape. Hold for about 10 seconds until set. Continue along the path of the location for your lights until it is all taped in location.

Secure the wiring from the lights to the inside wall at the end of your lighting installation. Connect the LED light wiring to the 2 conductor 22-guage wire and run the 22-guage wire to where you wish to have the toggle switch to turn the lights on or off. Several choices are the instrument panel on the cockpit, the circuit breaker panel in the cabin of a cruiser, or near the battery box.

Disconnect all power sources to the boat including all batteries and shore power if applicable. Connect red wire to positive ‘on’ position on the switch. Connect the black wire to the negative ‘off’ position of the switch. A section of 22-guage wire to the boat’s power source (circuit breaker, or battery) and connect positive to the positive port and negative to the negative port.

Reconnect the boat batteries and test the on/off switch. Tie all lose wires in place with plastic ties. Let the lights bond to the 3M double-sided tape for at least 72 hours before exposing to the weather or water.


Wear protective safety glasses when soldering wires or doing electrical connection work.

Installing LED lights with 3M Tape requires the outside temperatures be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure proper curing.

Traditional Black

There are few days in the year that start shoppaholic's mouths to watering. Black Friday is all about the kick-off of a grand shopping season counting down to Christmas, and starts the day after Thanksgiving. Traditionally it is a day when stores host huge sales and the post-stuffed-turkey crowd heads out and cleans out all the local stores. The Internet creates an even larger allure, and the Black Friday concept hasn't escaped the online stores. As good as the sales can be online, there's something about the physical event of going to a traditional brick and mortar store and pushing and shoving through the milieu. It's an annual event, it's fun and for most people it's tradition. I remember my first "Black Friday" shopping excursion. I was all of five years old and went downtown to Chicago with my Grandmother. It was an event to remember, and set the tone for a lifetime of day after Thanksgiving Day sales to come.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Not A Good Day

I have bad days like anyone else. Today, though, has to be marked as one of the very worst days of my life. I woke up hurting. My arthritis is really making itself heard even though the last few weeks have been very pain free. I don't know if it's a weather change, or just that I'm due for a flair up. Either way, it wasn't a good way to start the day. Then my puppy is going through one of her monthly I forgot everything you taught me and doing her business without warning wherever she wants. This, among other things has lead to one of our biggest confrontations since the day I got her. We had a big ole row and now she isn't liking me and she's lucky I don't feel good enough to take her to the pound. I'm sure it will pass, but it's just a day I wish I could wipe off the calendar. I feel bad, too because I've been a little short with my son, and it's his birthday. Luckily he's 25 and old enough to create his own birthday fun.

Get Your Flaxseed

Flaxseed is a big part of the health food industry, and is growing in popularity as people discover the benefits of flax seed in their diet. Flaxseed is easy to incorporate into a daily menu. It can be sprinkled on any food, added to juices, even stirred into oatmeal or other cereals. Flaxseed has been around since 3000 BC, even back then considered a powerful medicine. King Charlemagne even made his people use flaxseed in their diet. Now, of course, medical science is more accurate and we know why such a tiny seed is so powerful. It helps your body reduce the risk of many of the most severe diseases: cancer, stroke, heart disease and even diabetes.

Sugarcane varieties

Sugarcane is a large scale commercial crop for tropical countries. It is used in products from sweetened drinks to cardboard. There are more than 30 varieties, and thousands of hybrids of sugarcane generally categorized by a letter/number system rather than actual names, although some have common names as well as scientific labels.


Commercial sugar canes can be divided into three main varieties: crystal, syrup and chewing cane. Crystal sugarcane is the basic variety used to make granulated sugars. Syrup sugarcane boils into a liquid easily. The reduced sucrose in the syrup sugarcane keeps it from crystallizing during processing or storage. Syrup sugarcane is found primarily in juices, soft drinks and molasses. The syrup sugarcane performs double duty by providing a good source of material to form cardboard products from the used husks. Chewing sugarcane isn’t as popular in the USA as it is in other parts of the world. In India it is a common product in markets. The chewing cane can be chewed for its savory sugary flavor and then spit out. Chewing cane is also suitable for boiling into syrup.


There are a few ornamental varieties of sugarcane that make attractive plants if you live in the right climate for their survival. All sugarcane is cold sensitive and does better in zones 8, 9 and 10. Purple sugarcane (Saccharum Officinarum) is a beautiful bamboo grass variety that has large leaves and dark black/purple canes with white horizontal stripes. It grows very fast in full sun to a height of six to eight feet in zones 8 or warmer. In zones 9 or 10 it can get as much as 20 feet tall. In either zone it can be grown in up to 40% shade, but it will reduce the speed of growth, although it still grows fast. The canes produce a delicious chewing cane that is harvested in the fall.

New Varieties

Diversity is important to commercial sugarcane growers to keep the crops resistant to common sugarcane pests and diseases. LSU Ag Center reports that farmers in Louisiana are hoping to improve their crops with two newly developed sugarcane varieties L 97-128 developed by LSU at the St. Gabriel research facility, and Ho 95-988 created and chosen by the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture at their Houma facility. L 97-128 improves growth to maturity rates and has a percent increase in available sugar content. Ho 95-988 is a cross between several wild plants and a Hawaiian sugarcane variety. It is not related to the new L 97-128 plant making it a good possibility for cross pollination and further strengthening of the sugarcane genes. On the downside, both of the new varieties remain susceptible to sugarcane borer, a common sugarcane pest.

Extending the Season

I have been trying to think of ways to make my backyard patio more usable. One thing that will help a lot is adding outdoor lighting so that it is a place to relax in the evenings as well as during the day. It can extend the outdoor season into the fall, especially since those of us in daylight savings time areas lose a lot of daylight when the clocks get moved back. It is already dark at 4:30 pm here now. Having lights on the patio will help by letting us still enjoy entertaining, or just cooking outdoors, with the weather remaining mild, or adding a fire pit can even make it last into cooler weather.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Papillon Playing Fetch

This is a video of me playing with Batty in the living room. I just adore how she gets so worked up and excited about fetch.

Clearing Up Skin Problems

Well, I thought I was through dealing with teenage acne, but it seems life has come full circle. Now it is my grandchildren who are starting to deal with the angst of young adulthood. It is important not to mess around with skin problems unless you know how to treat acne. There are so many products available now, however, that it is much easier than it was when I was young, or even when my own children were young. So far, none of the young people in our family have had problems with adult acne, but you never know when the new generation will be the first, and there are additional concerns when dealing with acne as an adult, or if the acne goes beyond the facial area. Thankfully, along with extended product lines, there is a lot of information on line to help individuals like me learn what to do about acne and how to help those they love handle the problems of skin blemishes.