Tips In Using Pre-Blended Mortar Mix

Most individuals plan DIY tasks to make their homes and properties appealing and strong. And, individuals use reliable materials when building such as cement. However, there are cases when cement is not suitable for such areas. Or perhaps, there are better alternatives for cement like pre-blended mortar mix.

Pre-blended mortar mix is designed for both professional and DIY persons since it is easy to use. In addition, this type of mix is suitable for brickwork, blockwork and stone laying needs. Other than that, homeowners can also use mortar mix in creating letterboxes, paving, retaining walls and garden beds. But, in order to create all of these, it is imperative to know how to use pre-blended mortar mix. To help you, below are some tips you need to know.

Mixing Tips

When mixing mortar, make sure your project is properly laid out with all the necessary tools at hand.

  • Next, individuals need to pour the required amount of mortar into a wheel barrow or a clean bucket. It is important to ensure you use contents as soon as possible after opening the product packaging.
  • After which, calculate the amount of water you will need. For each 10kg of Mortar add 1.6 litres of water.
  • Add water gradually and mix thoroughly to a stiff consistency (e.g. until the mix just slips off the trowel when lightly flicked). Note: Excess water can ruin good mortar. Should too much water be added, leave the mixture aside until it thickens to a workable consistency.
  • Finally, the mortar is now ready to trowel onto bricks or blocks.

Storage Tips

In case that you have not used all the pre-blended mix, it is imperative that you store it properly.

Most of the time, can be kept for up to six months if kept in a dry environment, off the ground and providing the bags remain sealed. Individuals must be aware that factors like high temperature and high humidity conditions may reduce the storage life of the product.

Safety Precautions

When using mortar mix, it is also best that you how to safely use it. Below are some safety tips.

During use, avoid inhalation of dust and contact with the skin and eyes. Wear suitable clothing, gloves, eye protection and respiratory protective equipment since it contains cement powders which can be harmful to the skin.

If contact with the skin occurs, individuals need to thoroughly clean the area with plenty of fresh water and soap. Meanwhile, in case of contact with the eyes rinse with plenty of fresh water and seek medical advice. And, if swallowed, seek medical attention immediately. Do not induce vomiting.

These are only some of the essential tips that individuals need to know when using pre-blended mortar mix.

Tips to Avoid Pet Health Hazards in Fall

Fall is one of the favorite seasons for furry pals due to its crisp air, colorful foliage and sweet aroma of the seasonal plants lingering in the environment. Though the season is welcoming, it has potential health hazards for your furry pals, about which you may not be knowing. It is essential to learn about these dangers and protect your pet from the unconditional situations.

Let us look into some of the major things that you need to take care of in Fall.

Less Hours Of Daylight

Shorter days mean fewer hours of daylight and we have to cut-short some of our day activities when visibility is poor. Dog owners have to take their furry pal on walks either during the dusk or dawn. This brings in the added risks of accidents due to low visibility.

During winters, when taking your furry pals on walks in the darkness of early morning or evening, it is crucial to be careful of your pet. Reduced light means it is challenging for drivers to see animals, which may lead to accidents at times. Therefore, it is crucial to keep a close observation on your pooch on a walk and control by having a leash and collar or chest harness. Make him wear reflective collars as well as a tag with a microchip for a safe return in case of missing incident.

Leaves – A Catastrophe to Handle

It’s a pleasure to just move around and listen to that rumbling sound coming out of the dried leaves. Dogs love to run about the foliage and have fun time. But the furry animals are not aware of the danger of this debris. These dried leaves are the source of toxicity if your fur pal lick any substance from the ground or their paws.

There may be fleas, ticks as well as bacteria and mold growth on these leaves. And, if your pet ingests any of these micro-organisms, it would be creating dangerous condition including vomiting, diarrhea, sickness or even tapeworm infection.

It is better to remove the foliage and cut short the dried grass in the lawn to keep away those nasty parasites. Moreover, ensure that your pet remains indoors, separate from the yard work.

Plants and Mushrooms

Mushrooms and other toxic plants are seasonal plants of the Fall and they are wildly found during this time. Your furry pal may succumb to toxicity if any of the part – leaves, stem or flower, any of these is ingested by them. Mushrooms are wildly found in yards. Though most of the wild mushrooms are non-toxic, there are a few which are highly toxic, and when ingested cause challenging situations.

Therefore, try to remove any unwanted plants and mushrooms from your yard and avoid your pet from moving around in the yard until you remove it.

Fatality due to Rodenticides

Falling temperatures drive rodents out of their shell in search of shelter for cold into your homes. People mostly use rodenticides to kill these creatures and keep them away from their homes. However, at times your dog or cat are likely to feast on these chemicals, and may encounter grave danger. Rodenticides cause critical conditions like hemorrhages, uncontrolled bleeding, and blood in vomit.

If you suspect that your cat or a dog has ingested rodenticides and find any toxicities, immediately contact your vet or poison emergency center for immediate help.

Before your dog or a cat fall to any of the dangers of the season fall, ensure all the care and take precautions to avoid any unfaithful circumstances.

Quick Facts on HIPPA Violations

HIPPA is an abbreviation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and was introduced by the congress in 1996. This rule assures that a person is given good and quality health coverage even amid jobs. As soon as a person quits a job, he looses the insurance cover completely and the new assurance company considers illness if any as pre-existing and gives a very low coverage or nothing, prior this law. For instance, consider a person who suffers from diabetes and is under medication, the new company will consider this as pre-existing and will not pay for medicines.

The main goal of HIPPA law is to make health care simpler and maintain the security of patient’s medical information. If you feel that your health care provider has breached privacy, you can certainly take it legal provided all are in records and it can be reported to the state insurance commissioner.

There are different circumstances under which the law is infringed. The health care provider or the insurance company might violate HIPPA without even knowing what it is. At times there could be a valid reason for going against the same and not due to negligence. HIPPA violation due to unruly slackness, but corrected within a period of time receives a high penalty and willful negligence not at all corrected and repeated often is given the maximum sentence. Whatever it is when there is a breach of any kind that comes under this act; record all conversation.

A case can also be filed under criminal penalty if the health care provider or the insurance company discloses your personal health information knowingly for money. Selling it to a third party for any reason or for personal gains which can cause harm is offensive. They face a fine of up to $50,000 and detention for a year, but however no private cause of action is taken against the person who disobeyed.

Why the Earth Your Home is Built on May Be Sick

Many of us spend our hard earned money and our valuable time with alternative health care in hopes of improving our health, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. However, in our pursuit of good health, we often overlook the important role our home plays in supporting that health.

If we are living in an unhealthy home, then all of our good work is negated and the improvement in our health remains elusive.

The earth your home is built upon may have energetic influences that are sick. That sick energy emitting from the ground may affect your own body’s energetic system by lowering your immune system.

We know through science, that everything is energy and we know that emotions have an energetic charge or signal. If there has been war, death, illness, sadness, divorce, or any other emotional or physical trauma occurring on your home’s property, then the energetic of those experiences may have left an energetic imprint that could be affecting your own body’s ability to heal.

The earth’s energy system of ley lines, geopathic stress – which is the electrical charge created as water moves along earth lines, and electro magnetic pollution emitting from all the electricity we are exposed to, may also contribute in creating an unhealthy home.

Think of it this way: Your body has a meridian system an acupuncturist might balance to help you regain or maintain health.

The earth has a similar system of meridian lines (ley lines, geopathic stress,) running in all directions and your home can act as an acupuncture point on the earth’s energy system.

Sometimes geopathic stress, (the earth’s meridian system) will run through a cemetery, landfill, toxic waste site, or underground water. When this happens the ley line or geopathic stress becomes toxic. Because ley lines and geopathic areas of stress are energy, they can affect everything they come in contact with. These toxic lines can radiate up from the earth and into your home.

This means, if your home is built on unhealthy toxic areas of geopathic stress, it can become an unhealthy environment for you to live in. Just like your body’s meridian system, the earth’s meridian system can be cleared and balanced bringing your home back to a state of health which can then support your pursuit of health and well being.

The Benefits of Reading on a Daily Basis

Do you read on a regular basis? If so, what is it that you read? Is it newspapers, magazines, Facebook updates or Tweets? It’s a good idea to read on a regular basis. For those who don’t need miss out on a lot of benefits that reading may offer. Given below is a description of some benefits that you may enjoy.

1. Mental Stimulation

According to research studies, people who are mentally stimulated are less prone to Dementia and Alzheimer’s as the brain stays active and doesn’t lose power. It works just like other muscles in your body. Actually, you need to exercise your brain should you want to keep it in good shape. Aside from reading, playing games like chess may also help you improve cognitive stimulation.

2. Stress

If you have a day job, you may suffer from stress. And due to stress, you may have a lot of other issues in your life. But a good novel may take you into a new world. In the same way, a well-written and engaging article is means of distraction from the things that can give you stress. So, if you read, you can relax.

3. Knowledge

Good books and articles can provide loads of information. You never know when you may need this information. So, having a lot of knowledge can help you deal with the challenges you may have in your life.

Apart from this, if you find yourself in extremely unfavorable circumstances, nobody can take away your knowledge from you. You may lose your job, money and all of your possessions, but you can’t lose your knowledge.

4. Vocabulary

Vocabulary is a warehouse of words that help you get your message across in the best way possible. In any profession, being articulate can be of great help. Moreover, your self-esteem will get a boost if you can talk to your seniors with great confidence. It can even help you with your career as people with better communication skills get more promotion opportunities.

5. Memory

By reading books, you can train your mind to memorize loads of characters and the history, ambitions, background and nuances behind those characters. Although it’s too much to remember, human brains are beyond all the machines that have been invented so far. It’s an extremely complicated organ in the human body. You may find it interesting that each new thing that you memorize makes fresh brain pathways while strengthening the existing ones.

This also makes your short-term memory more powerful in addition to stabilizing your mood.

6. Analytical Skills

If you can solve a mystery in a mystery novel without killing too much time, know that you have strong analytical skills. After all, it takes a lot of mental energy to process all the tiny details in a novel.

This analytical skill can help you when you need to critique a pot to find out if it is well written and if each character is fully developed. If you ever get an opportunity to talk about the plot with your friends, you can present your take on the plot in clear words.

Low Cost Dental Health Insurance

Dental plans are not included in basic health insurance plans as most of the dental treatments are elective and to a degree, cosmetic. Some medical plans take account of dental coverage as an added feature. Dental disease is often preventable; with the exclusion of injury or damage due to an accident. Only the initial diagnostic procedures such as exams and x-rays in dental treatment are relatively low-cost. Otherwise the treatments are considered to be expensive.

Low cost dental insurance is necessary for anyone who cares about their teeth and also doesn’t like paying the full price for dental work. You will have peace of mind with a low cost dental health insurance as you can be safe in the knowledge that you and your family are covered for any eventuality and will obtain the best dental care, whenever you need it for a relatively small monthly or annual payment. Low cost dental health insurance is available from top rated companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, PacifiCare, MetLife Dental, HealthNet and Kaiser. You should identify how your plan is designed, since this can considerably affect the plan’s coverage and your out-of-pocket expenses.

A low cost dental health insurance has many different levels of cover. You can opt for basic dental health maintenance which will cover a portion or in certain cases the whole cost incurred of dental procedures such as fillings, root canal work and general maintenance. Other affordable extensive policies that cover periodontics, orthodontics, all sorts of filling, tooth and bridge work, as well as check-ups and cleaning are also available. Each low cost dental plan is different. Accordingly it is advisable to check the terms, conditions and coverage of each prospective insurer before taking a decision. With several options available, you can choose a low cost dental health insurance that is right for you and your family.

Is It Possible to Build a Log Cabin In Winter?

The snow is beginning to fall. The chill is in the air. Right around the corner the holidays await us. This is the time to sit inside with a cup of hot cocoa and a twinkling Christmas tree, listening to carols. But wouldn’t that be so much more satisfying if it were in a log cabin, the perfect setting for those winter activities? Too bad you have to wait until it is warm again before you can start building your dream cabin.

Or do you? It is actually possible to build a log cabin in winter. Sure, it takes a big of preparation and know how, but that doesn’t mean it is out of your reach.

Preparing The Site of Your Log Cabin

Winter isn’t actually a bad time to get to work on the site of your log cabin. Groundwater is a lot lower than during the warmer months, which makes it an easier job and requires less work to get rid of it. Frost can be an issue if you are deep into the season, so you want to get started as soon as possible. You can prepare the site with up to two inches of frost. Snow is a bigger issue and unless it is temporary powder, once real snowfall hits it will be too late.

Preparing Yourself For Work

Are you ready to be working in the cold? There is a distinct advantage that you have in winter over summer and that is the lack of heat. Anyone who has done manual labor or labor intensive projects in the summer knows that it is a miserable and even dangerous task. It can be a real relief to be working on things in the colder months, but you need to be properly attired. Have a thick coat and layers. Have good gloves with texture to keep some friction for holding things. Put on thick socks (or multiple pairs) under solid boots that are both warm and anti-slip. A scarf or balaclava and a hat to protect the face, neck and ears are also important. For some additional comfort you can get pocket warmers that can help you on those chillier days. Make sure you are aware of weather conditions and plan your build accordingly.

Hiring a Company for Construction

Putting up a log cabin is difficult in the best of conditions. In winter it can be really hard for people who don’t know what they are doing, or who just don’t have help. You should consider hiring builders to do it for you. Many will work in the winter for an additional fee, which also ensures it will be done faster and right the first time. Be prepared to pay a premium but you will be glad for the work when a crew of five or more people get your log cabin up within a few weeks instead of a few months. Keep in mind that they may only get the exterior done at first as quickly as possible and worry about finishing and interior after, when they don’t have to worry about being stuck outside.

Prefabricated or Custom Built?

Another factor in how quickly you can get your log cabin built is whether or not it is going to be done from scratch. This can take a year or more to complete so you would only be pushing through the winter to get it done a little sooner. That is usually way too long for most people, especially when there is a faster alternative. A prefabricated log cabin is one that has been ordered and manufactured in a factory in large pieces then shipped to your erection site. A crew (or you and a few others) can then put them up in sections, making it a much faster process that can be done within weeks instead of months or years. You may also be more likely to find a building crew to handle the construction if they know it is just a prefab and so they can knock it out fast, before the snow starts. Want another reason to go prefab? They are much cheaper (sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars) and can be customized if you go through a company that specializes in their own designs.

Potential Risks In Winter

Now that you know that a log cabin can be built in winter you should know the risks. It can be difficult sometimes to find a construction company that is willing to handle a built that late in the year. That might leave you holding the reigns and if you don’t know how to construct a log cabin that could be a really challenging DIY that might not be within your capabilities. Then there is the weather itself. When it is cold you are risking hypothermia and frostbite, both of which can come on much faster and at higher temperatures than you might expect. Slipping is another very real issue, as ice can be on the ground and totally unseen if it froze in a thin, hard layer. The more you move around the site, especially where there was groundwater, the more you risk slipping and injuring yourself. Finally, there is just the construction itself. Let’s say you get started and you miscalculated the snowfall. It begins sooner than you thought and before you are done. You can’t just leave the site, you have to cover it and hope that there is no damage to what you have already done before spring comes.

As you can see, winter construction is possible when you want a log cabin. But your best bet is going to be hiring a construction company that handles prefabricated dwellings in order to get it up and operational before the snow comes. Once the exterior is done they can take more time on the interior and final touches.

So if you are worried that you have to wait until spring to get your dream log cabin, don’t worry. It is within reach, you just have to take the proper precautions.

Are We Losing The Art Of Conversation?

It struck me today when I was at lunch just how quiet the kitchen was. There were 5 of us all huddled together, a variety of different sandwiches and salads adorning the table, and guess what, we were all looking at our phone screens, flicking and tapping randomly, furiously and laughing all in our own little bubbles.

Tonight I changed a habit. While having my dinner instead of reading the journal. ie or checking out what was happening on Facebook, I turned the phone off, left the tablet in the bag and watched and listened as my two kids laughed and sang along to the film Frozen. My little girl in particular loves this movie and wants to be Elsa, so as soon as the song “Let it go” came on she started to sing without been prompted. She saw me looking at her in pure daddy awe and smiling that proud, that’s my little girl smile, and she gave me a little wave as if to say “thanks for listening to me daddy”

It touched me deeply because had I been engrossed on my phone I would have missed that moment of innate connection between us, where no words were spoken, but my face and body language expressed 100’s of words, emotions, love and pride.

Don’t get me wrong I think the strides we have made in technology are incredible.

I love social media marketing so much that I went back to college by night to get my diploma in Digital Marketing and Facebook and Twitter have both allowed me to stay in contact with great friends who are now in the four corners of the globe.

But I think we need to just now and then take a check that we are controlling our technology not the other way around.

I first started in Marketing when I was 16 in 1987 (oh god I feel old) working in Arnotts department store as a sales assistant.

Social Media was not part of our lives and a phone was something you dialed on the desk by the cash register. At 16 I was thrust into the world of face to face conversation and having to talk to people I did not know.

I had strangers come up and look me in the eye and ask me to help them find the right shirt, jeans or suit. After all I had the white shirt and tie on, so I was the expert in their eyes, although the mother who asked me to measure her little boy for trousers, who I then proceeded to advise that he had a fifty inch waste, would probably beg to differ. I never did get the hang of the measuring tape!!

However, the point I want to make is that when each of these customers came into the shop in person looking for my help I could not text, email, tweet or Facebook them the answer. I had to stand there in person and communicate to them both verbally and with my body language to find out what they needed, solve their problem and ultimately create rapport.

As business has evolved and the technology has increased we seem to be spending less time talking to each other in person and instead we use technology to do the engagement for us.

Just think about how many face to face meetings you now have for reviews or general catch up with a client in person. It probably is very different to what is was 3 to 5 years ago as we now communicate via non face to face methods. I myself have clients who I have spoken to numerous times on the phone or via email but who I have never met in person even though I have tried to get that face to face meeting. Everyone is just too busy it would seem.

This train of thought was further highlighted when I was recently at a networking event and I found it strange just how many people there were conducting online conversations and staring at their phones rather than talking face to face with the other people in the room.

I recently came across a great article entitled, Saving The Lost Art Of Conversation by Megan of the Atlantic, and in this piece she starts to review these very points that I am touching on.

In her article she recounts her interview with Sherry, a hugely respected psychologist and a professor at MIT. Sherry was working on a new book called “Reclaiming Conversation” and from her research she came to the conclusion that we’re talking all the time, in person as well as in texts, in e-mails, over the phone, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Obviously I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite or that the art of conversation is doomed. I know I am using the power of technology to share this post with you, and don’t get me wrong, I do love all the advances and the ideas of what is coming down the line in the future, such as wearable technology, apple I watch, near field communication etc, but let’s not forget that we are social and tactile creatures, and I hope that human interaction and face to face conversation will not die.

I think back to when I was a teenager and all the excitement followed by utter or was it mortification, and then the elation, when after an hours of eye contact and finally plucking up the courage to go over to that girl I fancied in the disco and asking her to dance and she says yes. Oh the joy and then the fear as I realized I can’t dance!!!

That whole scenario obviously would have been completely different and nowhere as emotionally charged or exciting if done by text or tweet.

So I challenge you, as I will be challenging myself each day, to put the phone and tablet down a little more than you do right now and let your other senses do the conversing.