house

Durastone tile by Congoleum is a luxury vinyl tile product. Luxury vinyl tiles are a superb alternative to natural tiles such as ceramic, slate, stone and marble. There are multiple reasons that luxury vinyl tiles are a great option to consider for kitchens, bathrooms and any other part of the house. Durastone tiles are extremely durable, easy to clean, provide warmth under foot, are extremely stain resistant, and can be replaced relatively easier than other natural tiles. Congoluem’s Durastone tile series should be a flooring option to consider for your next flooring project.

Durastone vinyl tile’s major advantage or natural tile products like ceramic is its’ durability. The tiles are totally different that traditional, sheet vinyl construction. Durastone has a much thicker, denser wear layer, a stronger, commercial rated backing system and a composite vinyl core. These design features make it extremely resistant to cracks, dents and scratches. If you were to drop a heavy pan or object on ceramic tile, it stands a good chance of chipping, breaking or cracking. Durastone holds up great compared to natural tiles when it comes to drops, scratches etc. If you have pets, children or heavy traffic in an area of the home, Durastone luxury tiles will out perform virtually any other flooring choice.

When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, Durastone wins out again. Simple dust mopping with an occasional damp mop is all that is needed. There is never a need to clean or reseal tiles and grout lines. Cleaning and sealing grout lines once a year is a task many of us have learned to despise. Durastone tiles are available with or without integral grouting. The grouting in the Durastone tile is vinyl so it stays clean just as the rest of the tile.

I have heard people complain that they love the look of ceramic or stone floors, but they hate the cold feeling natural floors can give. Durastone tiles and other types of luxury vinyl flooring tend to be warmer under foot than natural floors. This may not seem to be an important feature but to some homeowners it ranks highly. The warmer feeling Durastone gives may also eliminate the need for several rugs throughout the house or room.

Stain resistance is very important in kitchens, bathrooms and even other areas of the home. Ceramic and stone hold up adequately when something is spilled, but if the sealant is older, stains can occur. Durastone vinyl tile has a finish layer that is impervious to almost all stains with the exception of oil and gas based liquids. Hopefully, you will not have too many gas spills in the kitchen! The stain resistance of Durastone does amazing with pet accidents. Not only will Durastone resist stains from pet urine, but it will not absorb the smell either. If you have pets, a luxury vinyl tile or plank is something you need to strongly consider. Durastone carries a lifetime warranty against stains.

If a Durastone tile were to ever become damaged, …

Life is beautiful on its own. I realize this after I translated the short story Good Luck and Best Wishes from Chinese into English.

In the story, people live a primitive life with few modern belongings in a far-off mountainous area; however, they enjoy life enormously. A bowl of fermented spirits, a flowery bun, colorful strings, spices, scented pouches, and longing for love and marriage bring them great joy of living.

Mom teaches her teen daughter how to hold a needle and how to use a thimble to sew flowered cloth into the shape of a heart to make a scented pouch, and how to spread aromatic spices to make the scented pouch bulge. The girl savors the pleasure of using a thimble to push a needle, the pleasure of pulling a needle through a cloth, and the pleasure of joining two pieces of cloth together.

Dad teaches his young boy to pound the spices in a mortar with a stone pestle, but spices jump out mischievously. Through pounding and pounding, the boy finally can make the spices turn compliant and burst into flowers, which satisfies him. As he pounds the pestle up and down, the house becomes filled with the aroma.

The atmosphere is aromatic and mystic and the practice means more than itself. The teenagers feel that it is something beautiful and worth expecting. The implication of sex education is evasive, beautiful and healthy.

On Dragon Boat Festival (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month), the young boys and young girls climb onto mountaintop to collect Chinese spicy mugwort plants, they feel like harvesting good luck and best wishes for the entire year. They enjoy being young, being together, being pure and being in love.

The story doesn’t provide a specific time setting nor a particular place. There is nothing to do with politics. It is simply an ode to life. Living is meaningful and beautiful by itself. It doesn’t take much to be happy.

Good Luck and Best Wishes, authored by Wenbin Guo, is included in the short story collection Street Wizards and Other New Folklore, one volume of 21st Century Chinese Literature, which presents a kaleidoscope of Chinese folk customs and provides a view of the multifaceted and living China.

Wenbin Guo, born in 1966 in Xiji County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, now is a chair of the Federation of Literary and Art Circles of Yinchuan City and vice Chair of Ningxia Writer’s Association. Good Luck and Best Wishes has won the People’s Literature Prize and other awards in China.…

Are you a Full time, Seasonal, Weekender?

This is part of a series of articles from my Perfect RV series. Each article describes one aspect of finding the perfect RV for you at this time. Your needs will change as you grow into the RV. Overtime you will need more or less sleeping space, your amenities will change, your transportation will change and your desires will change. This is the first article in the series.

Full time stationary

Full timing by a loose definition is considered living in their RV or recreational vehicle as their home. Many people choose to live in recreational vehicles as a cheaper way of living. Their recreational vehicle is stationary and seldom moves.

There are many benefits to living in a RV. Chores around the house are less time consuming, the costs are less, the upkeep is less and the cost of ownership is less. RV owners have the same tax benefits as homeowners or what we call the Stick and Brick owners.

For 12 years we were full time stationary campers. We lived and worked from our RV or held full time jobs in the local community. Daisy was a legal secretary and I was a database administrator for Nokia with responsibilities for a worldwide SQL Server network. You had sold our house and the recreational vehicle became our home. With an income of over $100,000 a year, I don’t think we qualified as trailer trash. In fact we met many people who were professionals that had decided to live this lifestyle including lawyers and doctors.

Full time Traveler

The common thought when people say they are full timers is someone that travels around the country living full time in a recreational vehicle. These folks have all the benefits of the stationary recreational vehicle owners and the freedom to move when and where they want.

There are some added costs to traveling full time and that is the cost of fuel and maintenance. Many full timers that travel also tend to stay in one spot for several weeks or even months before moving on. You are full time travelers now, starting our new journey in June 2014. We spend about 3 weeks per location and then move on to a new campground when our time is up. This last winter we spent in FL moving every couple of weeks. It was the most enjoyable winter I have ever had.

Snow Birds

A snow bird is someone who travels to warmer weather in the winter and cooler weather in the summer. They may have a house in both locations, may live in an RV in one and a house in the other, or stay in an RV year round. Many retirees are snow birds traveling to FL in the winter months.

Seasonal

Seasonal campers are usually people that are still working but love the camping lifestyle and have a recreational vehicle placed on a campsite full time, but only use it on weekends or holidays. …

Stripping cloth diapers sucks. My partner and I had to learn how to strip cloth diapers the very hard way. I have a very vivid and very smelly memory of my first strip. It was about ten weeks into my cloth diapering experience, and an internet forum advised me to strip our diapers after my partner and I noticed that walking into the boys’ room in the morning was almost like stepping into an alternative reality and ending up in stable with about one hundred horses. Puuuuh! My eyes would practically water from the strong smell of ammonia. I really felt for my poor dears, having to actually sleep in it.

So we had to quickly learn how to strip cloth diapers or throw them away. The throwing away was not an option really, but we made a major mess after mixing dishwashing liquid and bleach (damn you internet!) in the same wash, forcing us to run away from our own home for a weekend, plus we ended up three dozen diapers short. But memories made, lesson learnt and that mistake was never repeated.

Why Strip?

Stripping diapers is essential to remove the buildup of ammonia, bacteria, detergents, minerals from hard water, and oils in diapers. This is because there are parts of the diaper (like inserts and pockets) where sufficient water does not reach during a regular wash. Hot water works to remove this accumulated dirt and bacteria during stripping and will eliminate that funky smell, increase absorbency as well as reduce the risk of rashes and yeast infections for your baby.

Before Stripping

The first rule of stripping diapers is: never to strip dirty diapers because that will leave your diapers looking like junior did an enthusiastic paint job in yellowish-brownish colors. You don’t want that to happen because if it does, you can forget all about your pristine white inserts and liners that were the pride and joy of your diaper drawer.

Clean your diapers before stripping

  1. Remove any solid waste by shaking it off into the toilet;
  2. put your diapers in the washer and run a cold rinse to remove any remaining waste particles;
  3. add a little (quarter to half cup should do) of your regular diaper detergent;
  4. run through one wash cycle with hot water. Run through a warm water rinse followed by a cold water rinse and ‘voila’ your diapers are ready to strip.

Tip: After the wash, you can soak your diapers overnight in a wash pail (or good ol’ bathtub) with a few drops of peppermint oil for an extra touch of freshness after stripping.

Stripping Cloth Diapers in a Washing Machine

What You Need

  1. Washing machine (of course!)
  2. An additive (like dishwashing liquid)
  3. Extra hot water that you can heat on your stove in a stock pot
  4. Flashlight (for front loading machines)

Method

Time: three to four hours

  1. Put your pre-washed diapers in the washing machine with a teaspoon of dishwashing Liquid. Do not add any detergent. You should do

Safe Keeping Receipt’s, or SKR’s, are bank instruments that are on the rise as collateral for alternative financing. A SKR is a financial instrument that is issued by a safe keeping facility, bank or storage house. In storage, assets or other valuables are in a safe, secured and protected area. The issuer of the SKR takes the responsibility of being the legally responsible custodian. Check with your institution or safe keeping storage facility as some require fees for these services.

Examples of asset skr’s that can be monetized:

• Fur SKR

• Collectible Art SKR

• Gold SKR

• Above Ground Assets SKR

• Commercial Property SKR

• Antiques SKR

• Valuable Documents SKR

• Precious Metals or Gems SKR

The issuer of the SKR is not the legal owner and therefore, must return the asset to the owner upon request. Who can obtain an SKR? Individuals, corporations, companies, organizations and trusts to name a few. The owner of an SKR may monetize this instrument much like an SBLC, LC, Bond or BG and use these funds as an alternative funding source for projects. Most issued SKR are capable of SWIFT transfers however, some may require an additional MT 760 simultaneous to the transfer of funds in the transaction.

Monetizing and SKR is the process of converting the financial instrument into a legal tender transaction. Depending upon the monetizing bank, certain additional conditions may apply. For instance, is the asset free and clear, meaning; is the title free and clear listed on the SKR? Aside from the validity of the SKR, free title is the single most important aspect of monetizing. The next important aspect is the capability of a SWIFT MT 760. Once monetized usually for a term of 1 year and 1 day unless otherwise agreed upon, the safe keeping receipt is then completed to the originating issuer.

With these very crucial points in place, monetizing your safe keeping receipt can be a safe transaction because in most circumstances, you don’t move your asset or give up control. Any fees associated with monetizing your SKR should be paid out of proceeds and not upfront. For many reasons, you should never make arrangement to SWIFT or transfer your SKR to any one or company without first having a contract in place or knowing the company you are dealing with. Monetizing your SKR can be a solution to alternative conventional financing.…

There are many reasons why you may consider self storage. First and foremost there is moving which means a lot of thought about what to do with things you cannot take with you and are too precious to be given away. Traditionally people left such things in their own house if they owned it. Or, requested family or friends to store the things for them. This meant obligations and favors and if you ever wanted to retrieve anything you would have to go at a convenient time and so on. The other seasons are an expanding family or business, office needs, collectibles, and so on.

Self storage units are a great idea and extremely convenient. They can be found in residential and office districts as well as along highways.

Storage is an intelligent choice because:

1. You can store the things close to where you plan to live.

2. Rent only as much space as you need, and have free access 24/7.

3. Not worry about safety as most units have great security arrangements and take care of things like weather proofing and security. Many units are climate controlled so that you can store antiques and art without worry about damp or cold. In cold regions the units are heated.

4. The units are cost effective and you can choose size as well as time-frame.

5. If you have a self storage unit you can store valuables there while repairing or painting your home.

6. In case you run a business out of your home or apartment the self storage unit could be a repository for office supplies and goods.

7. The self storage unit could help you de-clutter your home by storing all excess furniture, books, and decorative items.

8. If you are selling your home before relocating the storage unit could be an ideal place to store your things. It will give you time to sell your old home, choose a new one, and to make all the arrangements necessary.

9. If you have a hobby say like collecting art, kites, or carved boxes, then a self storage unit would create a place for you to safely store your treasures. Your hobby will not be an annoyance to other members of your family.

10. If you are an athlete and play different sports during different seasons then you will over time gather a great deal of equipment which will clutter up your home, apartment, or garage. If you use a self storage unit you can store all unused equipment safely.

Surf the World Web and weigh your options. Through the net you can locate units near where you plan to reside and do a comparison of the rental rates as well as facilities provided by different self storage companies. Today almost 6% of Americans opt for self storage.

Self storage grants independence and a peace of mind. You can still have possessions and not trip over them at home or in the office.…

"If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and your business, you will create Loyalty Beyond Reason. And I promise you, you will build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds beyond your wildest expectations"

First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure this kind of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.

If you are planning on leaving your full time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full time job and start out part time.

Research all the aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonding, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally is totally different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a client pays for your services they expect to come home and find their home spotless.

Getting those first clients takes time, persistence and patience. You will not get a hundred clients overnight.

Obtaining Those First Clients The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quit capable of cleaning them Home to their specifications. Be confident. I can not stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.

References: To get a few good references when starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discounted rate. The sound of working for free may not be appealing but it will be worth it to get some good testimonials.

When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you did not miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.

Advertising Your company image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your advertising material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo be sure to use it on all your advertising materials. I think it is best to …

Pre-Listing Considerations
Most of the same considerations you would have when selling under normal circumstances still apply: De-clutter, touch-up the paint, keep the landscaping tidy, etc. Here are some of the extra issues that Short Sellers face and some questions that often ask …

What should you look for in a Listing Agent?
More than anything, you need an agent who has a decent amount of experience with short sales and has shown exceptional market knowledge. Fancy fliers, glamor-shots, and a "neighborhood specialist" will not do you any good in a short sale. And do not hire a "Short Sale Expert" just because they call themselves one.

A great Short Sale Listing Agent will have:

  • Good Short Sale experience. Seeing as how we've been doing them for 4 years, an agent you hire should have done at least 20 or so successful short sales. Be wary of someone who says they've done hundreds … many of them will not have the time or inclining to give you the extra effort when you need it most.
  • Excellent industry and market knowledge. Short sale transactions are so much longer and more complex. It looks like there are a lot more things to go wrong. A good short sale agent needs to understand appraisals, different lending standards and practices, inspection and repair issues, and generally the kind of person who can come up with the solutions needed to keep a deal moving forward.

NOTE: Some agents hire outside short sale negotiators to process the transaction with the Seller's bank. If you are hiring an agent is going to effectively outsource their work, it is really this other company you are hiring. Ask tough questions accordingly. The biggest concerns here are that your listing agent may not be engaged and working as hard to keep your deal together AND some of these outside firms may charge you additional money.

Should you stage or spend any money on repairs?
No and No.

Do you have to be behind on your mortgage payments?
No.

This is one of the most common misconceptions about short sales. I have personally closed short sale transactions where the sellers never missed a payment.

The issue is one of hardship. The bank will want to see that you have a legitimate reason why you can not continue making your payments. If you have a legitimate, provable hardship that justifies why you can not continue to own the house, then you will be a great candidate for a short sale even if you are current on your mortgage. On the same note, exaggerating your pain by not making your payments when you still could probably not going to help you any. The bank will see your pay stubs and your bank statements anyway.

Obviously, credit scores are a big concern for Short Sellers. In theory, a Seller with zero or very few missed payments will have less credit damage than a Seller with many months of missed mortgage payments.

Having said that, …

Traditional draperies have now been successfully replaced by means of contemporary curtains. One of the main reasons is that contemporary draperies are quite light-weighted but the traditional ones are heavier in weight. Heavy curtains cannot be maintained and installed easily rather they are very much hectic to control and this is why maximum house-owners are choosing contemporary options.

Contemporary window treatments have been designed on the basis of advanced technologies and thus they can be managed easily and conveniently. Window treatments should be chosen carefully otherwise your objectives will not get fulfilled. Lighter fabrics have been used for creating contemporary draperies and the designs are simply outstanding. These treatments add special effects to the decor of your room.

Both formal and fashionable styles are available in contemporary draperies. International standards of draperies are being efficiently abided for enforcing guaranteed quality and satisfied designs. A careful and perfect procedure is being followed in these kinds of window treatments. Both comfort and privacy are being managed with efficiency with the maintenance of these treatments. Material strength and colour patterns are versatile in nature.

There are many people who become quite sceptic for choosing contemporary window treatments mainly due to higher expenses. But if you want great quality and texture with higher longevity, then you should not think of the cost. If ideal conditions are not being created then it will be quite difficult to deal with these kinds of window treatments. Less fabrics are required by these draperies and the do not have any lining. These draperies are mainly well-known for their simplicity and outstanding appeal.

What to consider in contemporary draperies?

• Heading styles: Heading styles differ from formal curtains to informal ones. These styles mainly hold-back the attractive features of these draperies. If the display is improper then the beauty of the draperies cannot be thoroughly enjoyed by the viewers. Pleats will decide the heading styles and some of the most prominent options are Goblet, Euro, French and Pinch. You have to choose the most relaxing style that not only cater you the maximum relaxation but also suits the decor of your house.

• Desirable length: Improper lengths of contemporary draperies might hamper the grace and beauty of the walls and windows and thus the accurate lengths need to be chosen. Approximate length should be maintained for getting an absolutely sober and simple look. You can take the assistance of the manufacturer so that correct length can be maintained without any inconveniences. Excessive length can also spoil the overall look and thus be careful about the same.

• Mounting hardware: Mounting accessories are to be looked upon so that hanging curtains can be easily installed without any troubles. Simple mounting rules are to be followed so that perfect installation can be made. Desirable puddling is to be chosen for supporting the mounting procedure. If the windows are larger in size, then you might face a bit of difficulty in making the installation but right mounting materials can make your task …

If you read this article after going through the earlier 3 articles it will make more sense.
A two liner on the previous articles, to be truly financially free one has to first learn to live in the present that is concentrate on what one is doing with out distraction. Understanding the link between the past and the future between the present, from the past we learn from our mistakes or our failures, some body once said fail as fast as you can if you wish to succeed fast. By planning for the future one can make sure that one achieves ones dreams with out any blocks. Next is ones attitude towards work and surroundings, it is not always possible to change ones job or life partner but there is something in our control that we can change and that is our attitude towards them.

When we have all these in control we should be comfortable in our life. The next lines are more for the youth as they have more opportunity to implement it than a person who has passed his middle age. Let us speak of the next step by taking examples of two people one follows the traditional path and the other implements the essence of steps to financial freedom.

Mr. Job is a youth twenty five years old with a good job he had all the old values ‚Äč‚Äčimbibed in him. The moment he gets a good job his family and he himself starts searching for a suitable mate. This accomplished his next thought is about a house to live in. With the little money saved and the generous help of banks in the form of housing loans he manages to complete his dream house. The cost he pays is a recurring installation for the next 20 years. At this joke in life the third member in the form of a bundle of joy enters into there life that is there first child.

Expenses mount and Job looks for a part time job or in the words of a famous author one more bucket to lug in water or in this case money. He leads his life in this manner making both ends meet with great difficulty and before he knows youth and middle age has passed him unseen. A weary and discontent man is all that is left of the former brilliant personality.

Let us now see what the second youth who has some modern ideas does in the same situation. Our friend here is Mr. John; John also gets a good job and gets married. Here ends the similarity in Jobs and Johns life's, John instead of buying a house for him to stay approaches the same banker and takes a loan to build a shop or office that he can let out with the rent he gets and maybe a few more rupees He starts paying his installments without feeling the pinch. Here as time passes the rent of the building increments while …