Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kitchen Remodeling

Remodeling your kitchen is an excellent way to breathe new life into a tired space. Aside from the benefits that come with new appliances, a remodeled kitchen also adds a huge amount of value to your home. Whether you just improve the basics or do a full gut-and-rebuild, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Kitchen renovations improve a home's salability. 
If you're trying to sell a home with an old, dated kitchen, a remodel could be well worth the investment. Although the average kitchen remodel costs $17,226, homeowners can expect to see around 75% of that investment regained in the increased value of their home. In certain cases, you can actually profit from a remodel.
2. Painting can change the entire look of a kitchen.
Remodeling your kitchen doesn't have to mean tearing out the existing fixtures and installing new ones. Sometimes all you need to is repaint the area to give it a brand new look and feel. If your kitchen hasn't seen a coat of paint since the 70s, it's time to freshen things up. Go with light, neutral colors, and you'll be amazed at the difference it makes.
3. New appliances can make a radical difference.
Switching from outdated appliances to modern steel and chrome hardware can change the entire capacity of the kitchen. Aside from making it look amazing, these appliances make it much easier to use the kitchen and cook dishes that may have been out of your reach before. While new appliances are costly, with cutting-edge refrigerators costing upwards of $1,000 or more, they are worth the investment for the value they grant to the home.
The best way to understand how a remodel can help -- and to determine exactly what aspects of your kitchen need to be remodeled -- is to work with kitchen remodeling contractors. These contractors are experienced in the areas of home design and can tell you exactly what should be done to optimize the look and feel of your home, as well as the value. If you aren't sure what needs to change about your kitchen, they can tell you. Contractors are professionals who can help you make the most of your home.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lasting impressions

© Misty DawnS

You ever had a time when someone did something extremely kind for you, yet you were so caught up in the moment that you didn't even get the person's name, so you could let him know how much you appreciated it?
When Calli and I flew back to Ohio recently, we encountered a bit of a mess. Our first flight was delayed by over an hour, which caused us to miss our connecting flight. Therefore, we ended up hanging out in the Chicago airport for many hours waiting for the next flight. Calli was outstanding. I, on the other hand, was stressed. I'm not a fan of strange, crowded places. When we were finally able to get a flight from Chicago to Ohio, we sat across the aisle from a wonderful, considerate man. He talked to Calli and kept her occupied while we waited... right up until she fell asleep LOL. Then, when we were exiting the plane, he was kind enough to block the aisle, so I could get our bags out of the overhead and get Calli and me off the plane. When we stepped out of the plane, I discovered there was no 'tunnel' like I was used to. Instead, we had to go down several steps to the pavement. I had a heavy bag over each shoulder and was holding Calli's hand. As we started down the first step, I felt my bags being pulled. I discovered our friend from across the aisle was lifting the bags off my shoulders. He told me to focus on getting my more precious cargo down the steps. He then stood with us outside while we waited for them to bring Calli's stroller around. When he saw them wheeling the bags, etc. toward us, he walked away from the group, got Calli's stroller, brought it back to us and told us he hoped we had a wonderful visit at 'home'.
I was so focused and hurried (and stressed) that I never even thought to ask his name! I, of course, told him thank you, but now, that doesn't seem like enough. I wish I had more time, or had bothered to ask his name, so I could extend my sincere gratitude to him and let him know that his kindness left a lasting impression, and that it's comforting to know there are still considerate people, such as him.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Take Your Kitchen From Good to Great

Take Your Kitchen From Good To Great With These Simple Strategies 

One of the most treasured rooms in an individual's residential property is the kitchen. As such, it's critically important that homeowners do all that they can to ensure that their kitchen is optimized for functionality and aesthetic appeal. To ensure that you can do so, try using some or all of the following simple strategies: 

1. Shop Online.

Oftentimes, homeowners fail to get their kitchens in great condition because they say they don't have time to shop for the goods that they want. Yet Internet stores make it easy for residential property owners to get all the supplies they need for their kitchen. Whether you're in need of plastic yogurt spoons or a new coffee maker, online stores can provide you with the cutting edge, durable products you need. As you start searching for the ideal online store, keep the professionals of Gelato Products in mind. This company specializes in offering clients high quality, reasonable priced items that work well and last long. 

2. Lighten Up.

Another strategy you can implement to take your kitchen from good to great is utilizing light-colored decor. By lightening up your kitchen in this way, you create the illusion of spaciousness and can thereby alter the mood of the room. Just as you can buy kitchen products like spoons and coffee makers online, you can find light-colored curtains, refrigerators, and other appliances via Internet. Be sure that you get a second opinion about the things that you purchase to ensure that they really optimize the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen. 

3. Let The Professionals Assist You. 

These days, do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are all the rage as more and more people realize that they can go on the Internet to obtain information about how to optimize their private living space. While you may have some success with a DIY project, it is important to remember that letting the professionals assist you can oftentimes yield greater results. In fact, learned interior decorators have attained the extensive education necessary to make changes in your kitchen which will take its functionality and visual allure to new heights. 


If you're ready to get your kitchen in absolutely amazing condition, know that the tips outlined above will help you. By shopping online for products, lightening up your color scheme, and letting the professionals assist with the optimization process, you'll likely find that your kitchen goes from good to great!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Little cowgirl

© Misty DawnS

Monday, November 9, 2015


5 Tips for Hiring a Deaeration Company

Depending on your industry, deaeration services can be anywhere from convenient to invaluable. But what if you've never hired a deaeration company before? How can you be sure you're getting the best deal? Here are just a few tips when looking for deaeration services.

1. Know Your Needs

Are you looking for someone to repair your company's deaerators? Or do you want to outsource your deaeration to another company entirely? These are two very different approaches to deaeration, so their prices and schedules will be different as well. You'll want to compare and contrast to make sure you're choosing the best for you.

2. Figure Out the Details

Many companies have their own interpretation of the word "evaluation," so if you're looking for something specific, you'll need to be clear on that upfront. For example, if you're only looking for Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) testing and nothing else, make sure they don't perform and charge you for a Heat Exchange Institute (HEI) inspection as well.

3. Talk About Prices

This is one of those conversations best had upfront. How will the company be charging you for their services? Some might do it by hour or by tank; others might have formulas for calculating material and labor costs; others still might be willing to work out a payment plan if you're struggling financially.

4. Know Your Brands

There are a number of companies involved with deaeration services, so you'll need to be careful with your pick. Which brand has branches in your area? Which is the most highly reviewed? Which has been in business for the longest amount of time? These are all factors to consider when making your decision.

5. Get a Guarantee

What kind of promises can the company offer? For example, if they fix your deaerator but it breaks down again in a month, will they charge you again to come back and fix it? Will they ask for labor costs, too? If you're ordering deaerators from their brand, what kind of warranty or insurance comes with the items?

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you search for the right deaeration company. As you can see, it's an involved decision with a lot of moving parts, so don't be afraid to take your time with it. You want to be 100 percent confident with your choice before you commit to anything.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

She's a True Farm Girl

Mom!!! You've GOT to see these cows in the new issue of Grit!!!

© Misty DawnS

Caring for Century-Style Furniture

Five Useful Suggestions for Caring for Wooden Century-style Furniture at Home

Many people who purchase wooden Century furniture wonder how they can care for their purchases. This is not surprising because most Century designs use colors, design elements and hardwoods that can be difficult to maintain.

Here are five useful suggestions for caring for your Century-style furniture that can help you take the guesswork out of caring for your prized furniture items.

Use a Soft Lint Cloth While Cleaning
Using a soft lint cloth while cleaning your furniture is worthwhile because it features a soft surface that won't scratch your furniture's finish. Moreover, using a soft lint cloth to polish your furniture can be useful because it can hold enough furniture polish to safely polish your furniture without having to apply extra polish.

Keep Your Furniture Away from Heat and Sunlight
Most wooden century-style furniture is manufactured using hardwoods that are very sensitive to heat and light. As a result, it's a good idea to keep your wooden furniture away from heat and sunlight that could damage your furniture's surfaces.

Dust Your Furniture with the Grain
Dusting your furniture with the grain is recommended because you are less likely to mar your furniture's surfaces. Doing is this is easy because most wooden Century-style furniture products have grain patterns that are easy to recognize.

Avoid Using Oil-based Furniture Polishes
Using oil-based furniture polishes to polish your Century-style furniture is a bad idea because they contain oils that can clog your furniture with unwanted dust and grime. Furthermore, most oil-based furniture polishes contain chemicals and propellants that are harmful to your furniture's finish.

Clean Your Furniture Thoroughly Every Six Months
Cleaning your furniture thoroughly every six months is worthwhile because it can help you remove dirt and grime that is embedded underneath your furniture's surfaces.

An easy way to thoroughly clean your furniture is to follow this procedure:

Apply a small amount of furniture soap to the surface of a soft lint cloth.
Wipe the soap on to the furniture with the grain.
Rinse off the soap with warm water.
Repeat the previous steps as needed to deeply clean the surfaces of your furniture.

As you can see, caring for wooden Century-style furniture is easy once you understand how to care for your furniture's finishes and surfaces. Feel free to use the suggestions mentioned above to develop a customized approach to caring for wooden Century-style furniture that suits your family's needs.

Friday, October 16, 2015

DIY: Stuffing Your Own Cushions

6 Steps for Stuffing Your Own Cushions

You don't have to visit a department store or upholstery specialist every time you want a new cushion. Use these six tips to stuff your own cushions at home!

1. Ready Your Cover

If you've de-foamed or un-stuffed an existing cushion, you'll want to wash, iron and patch the cover as necessary. If you've stitched a brand new cover from scratch, make sure you double-check the seams to make sure they can withstand the pressure you're about to put on them.

2. Fold Your Cover

To insert your new cushions or foam, fold your cover lengthwise and facing up. Not only will this give you an adequate amount of room to maneuver the stuffing in, but it's also a prime position for detecting any resistance, which can be a sign that you've measured something wrong.

3. Work the Stuffing Inside

As previously mentioned, your stuffing materials shouldn't face any resistance going in. A little tightness is normal, but if you're having to wrestle it or contort your cover in strange ways to make it work, your stuffing isn't properly fitted and you'll need to start the project over.

4. Smooth the Cover

If your cushion has been properly fitted, your cover should be nice and smooth once the stuffing is entirely in place. There shouldn't be any bumps, wrinkles or rough edges. You may have to adjust it a little to make it perfect.

5. Close the Cover

Many covers come with a zipper. Others may require you to stitch the last corner by hand. The "hows" don't really matter as long as you remember to close the cover in the first place. You don't want to leave your stuffing hanging out of one side!

6. Maintain Your Cushion

Your work isn't finished just because the project itself is over. Now that you've made a cushion, it's time to maintain it. Keep it clean; keep it dry; be on the lookout for any signs of damage or deflation. If you can catch a small problem before it turns into a big one, you'll save yourself a lot of headache later.

These are just a few tips for stuffing your own cushions. For even more information, check out a site like The Foam Factory ( They have everything from product ordering to how-to guides to help you with all of your cushioning needs!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

ATSU Water Tower with Glorious Sky

© Misty DawnS

Teenager Boot Camp

Raising a teenager can sometimes be very difficult. While every parent hopes for a child that is well-behaved, gets good grades and stays out of trouble with the law, things do not always go according to plan. Some teenagers, particularly boys, have behavioral issues that are very serious. They need to be dealt with so that the child can go on to become a productive member of society. Depending on what problems the child has, some methods for dealing with these problems are better than others. Do you have a troubled teenage child? Here are some ways that you can help your child to behave better.

1. Military school

Many parents consider sending their child to military school to be a last resort. However, some children have behavioral issues that can only be handled by the stern discipline that military school can provide. There have been many trouble teenagers who have been sent to military school. After they graduate, they are completely changed people, able to assimilate effortlessly into society.

2. Boarding school

Another good option that is available to the parents of troubled teens is to send their children to a boarding school. While not as strict and severe an environment as a military school, the general idea is still the same. At a boarding school, the child will lean manners, discipline and to respect parental authority. Wood Creek Academy operates a boot camp for teenagers that has been very effective when it comes to putting troubled teens on the straight and narrow path. You can find out more about what they do and what your child will experience by visiting There is usually some sort of 12-step program that the children need to complete at boarding schools. These schools are often located in remote areas so the children are not distracted, allowing them to focus on the task at hand.

3. Therapy

Despite the problems that their child is having, some parents may be reluctant to send their child to school at a location that is far away. Therefore, they may opt for a treatment method that the child can undergo while still living at home. In many cases, this involves the child receiving therapy from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. For some teens, therapy has been quite useful. However, teens who have histories of acting out violently should probably be placed in a controlled environment where they can be monitored.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Walking Stick Love

© Misty DawnS

Friday, September 25, 2015

Keeping Your Home Clutter Free For the Holidays

Keeping Your Home Clutter Free for the Holidays

With the holidays fast approaching, a clean and organized home is definitely necessary. Whether you plan on having people over for dinner parties or anticipate a lot of white elephant gifts, you want to be prepared for the accompanying messes and clutter that the holiday season brings.

Fall cleaning is a necessary part of this process and includes clearing out any clutter your home may have and keeping it that way throughout the next couple of months. The hardest part is figuring out what to keep and discard. A good rule to follow by is, if you haven’t touched it in the last year, it’s probably unnecessary.

Next, you’ll want to organize any items you’ve chosen to keep but don’t necessarily need this season. This includes summerclothes, beach accessories and more.

Finally, you’ll want to donate or sell any items in the discard pile. There are plenty of donation centers that will take a wide array of used items including outdated electronics, clothing, furniture, etc.

For more instructions on clearing the clutter in your home, read the infographic by SevilleClassics below.

Cutting Down The Clutter
via Seville Classics

Friday, September 18, 2015

Mr. or Mrs. Mantis

© Misty DawnS

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday Water

© Misty DawnS

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Charlotte's Barn

Put Your Home in the Best of Hands

Put Your Home in the Best of Hands
When you need to have work done on your home, you want to turn to someone you can trust. This is your haven, your getaway from the rest of the world. You want to make improvements so that you can enjoy it to the fullest. You don't have the ability to take on a home improvement project on your own. You need a dedicated contractor with the time and resources to get the job done. The Renovation Experts is a network of contractors that can make your home repairs and renovations become a reality. Click for more details to find out how the Renovation Experts can help you.

Free Bids for Window Installation, Repairs and More
Energy efficient windows can transform the appearance of your home. Not only do they make an attractive addition, they are a sensible choice as well. They will save you money on your utility bills in the long run and they increase the value of your home. The Renovation Experts can assist you in finding a contractor who can take on window installation or repair any issues with your existing windows. If you want more than work on your windows, you've come to the right place.

Take Advantage of a Comprehensive List of Services
The Renovation Experts offer you skilled contractors who can help you with a wide range of services. Whether you are looking for landscaping, a sun room, a bathroom remodel, or a kitchen overhaul, you will be in good hands. You have a long line of professionals who are waiting to assist you in putting your plans into action. Bring a plumber, electrician, and contractor together to make your vision finally happen.

Stop Waiting and Act Now
It is time to take that first step forward. Simply go to the listing of states at Renovation Experts and select yours. You will be directed to an online form that is easy to fill out. Within minutes, you will be able to specify details about your project and your available budget. Leave contact information and sit back. Contractors who are in your area will get in touch with you to offer free bids for their services. Compare your offers and do a little research on your top picks before you finally settle on the contractor who is right for you.

It's Fair Time Again

It's time for the fair again.  This year I only had two entries.  I'll let you know how they do.

Buying Boat Lifts

I'm excited, because we purchased a small boat earlier this year.  We knew we wouldn't get to take advantage of it right away, but it was at a price we couldn't pass up, and we look forward to enjoying it with Calli when she is older.  Below are some tips for buying boat lifts.

6 Tips for Buying Boat Lifts

Boat lifts are an essential part of protecting your watercraft. But what if you've never purchased one before? What should you keep in mind while browsing products and comparing deals? Here are just six tips for finding a good boat lift.

1. Decide How You're Going to Dock

Do you want to rest your boat on top of a steel cradle? Or would you prefer to look at boat slings that use different materials at different heights? There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to docking; just make sure the lift you buy is suitable for your type of boat.

2. Know Your Weight Capacity

If you have a large boat, you'll need a lift that can support its bulk. You might also want to upgrade if you regularly weigh down your watercraft with anchors or industrial fishing equipment. You don't want your boat lift to break or malfunction because it's exceeded its weight capacity!

3. Decide Between Manual and Electric

Many modern boat lifts are equipped with an electric system, but you can also find old-fashioned spinner types if you prefer to do the work manually. The traditional kind is also useful if you're on a budget and can't afford the price or upkeep of something technical.

4. Know Your Specs

When shopping for boat lifts, you should know your boat's height, weight and length like the back of your hand. Exact numbers are ideal, but if you can only remember its general specs, keep in mind that it's always better to buy too large than too small. Playing it safe means a lower chance of having to return it later.

5. Give Yourself a Price Range

How much can you afford to spend on a boat lift? Understand that the final price will be greater than the listed price. You'll also have to factor in expenses like delivery, installation and insurance, and it's also a good idea to set aside some money for maintenance down the road.

6. Get a Guarantee

Good manufacturers will warranty their products for at least a year. There are sometimes different guarantees made about the motor versus the lift assembly, but even if that's the case where you buy, one year should cover absolutely everything. Don't settle for less.

These are just a few things to consider when shopping for boat lifts. Good luck!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Rock Climbing - Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze

Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze

For rock climbers, finding unique, challenging climbs can sometimes be difficult. One of the best, according to advanced climbers is Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze, located on the grounds of Mohonk Mountain House. The entire trip from parking to finishing the climb takes about four hours with a total ascent of 973 feet and a maximum elevation of 1,617 feet above sea level.

Difficulty of Climb

Climbers have ranked the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze climbs at nine out of ten. Climbers must squeeze between rocks, climb ladders and scramble on rocks. There is also a four-mile round trip walk between the parking lot and the Labyrinth. Weather in the early spring or late fall may cause the area to be closed, so it is important to check before visiting. Climbing through the Labyrinth is slow, so it is often recommended that climbers visit during the week when visitors are minimal to avoid being pressured into going too fast.

Benefits of Climb

Although the climb is difficult, the views are incredible. After wedging between rock formations and feeling like a human lemon as they squeeze through, climbers exit onto a ledge with views of the Mohonk Preserve and beyond. Behind them is the Sky Tip Tower which can be climbed as well, providing even more stunning views.

Tips for Climbers

There are some helpful tips for those who intend to climb Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze. In the parking lot, climbers will find the trail behind the bathrooms, heading toward the right. There may not be trail signs, but a map is provided at the entrance that explains more about the trail, which is known as the Huguenot Trail. This trail dead-ends at Whitney Road and it is recommended that hikers and climbers remain on the walk path as the paved road may be too dangerous for walkers. There is a picnic area along the trail and a gazebo where climbers can relax for a moment before continuing the hike. Talman Seat is the first location to offer amazing views of the countryside, but there are far more farther up the trail and after the climb. The trail also offers excellent views of the Mohonk Mountain House and grounds.


There is a plaque that explains that the Labyrinth is a deep, narrow crack or fissure in the face of a rock cliff. Climbers ascend through a series of narrow ladders and it should only be attempted by those in excellent physical condition. It takes about 40 minutes to navigate the Labyrinth. The views at the top are stunning, but there is more to see further up the trail for those who are experienced climbers as the Lemon Squeeze is just past the top of the Labyrinth.

Experienced climbers will enjoy the challenge of the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze, Many of them consider the formations to be some of the best Mohonk Mountain House gifts as the photos and memories of the spectacular views are better than any souvenir purchased while visiting the area.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Another Beautiful Sunrise

© Misty DawnS

Choosing a Bicycle

Buy a Bike to Fit Your Personality

Every bicyclist has a different personality and the bike he or she selects should fit with it. It’s not just size and price tag that a bike rider should consider, although those factors matter, too. When buying a bike, think about where, why, how, and when you plan to ride your two-wheeler. If you’re planning to commute in the city to work, buy a bike that’s highly visible to motorists, has a comfortable seat and handlebars, and can handle dirt and pavement. You can also accessorize it with a fender, lighting, and a gear rack. Maybe you want a bike designed to handle the toughest terrain: gravel, rocky hills, and dirt trails. If so, test-ride a few mountain bikes, because the full-suspension, wide tires, disc brakes, and lower gears give you power and stability you need off-road.

Biking is not only great exercise; it’s good for the planet because no gasoline is required to power your vehicle. For athletes who want cardio workouts without wrecking their knees jogging, road bikes are perfect for racing around burning up the miles. The skinny tires on road bikes are designed to go fast. If you can’t quite decide whether you should get a folding bike, a beach cruiser, or a hybrid, take a look at this infographic full of details. Once you have it narrowed down to a few options, go take some test-rides to find the bike that suits you.

Bicycle Types: Finding the Right Bike | Bicycle Adventures Infographic
Presented By Bicycle Adventures Bike Tours & Vacations

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

This Morning's Sky

Fixing Cosmetic Damage to Wood

Fixing Cosmetic Damage To Wood

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pink Reflections

© Misty DawnS

Become a Certified Crane Operator

Make Your Crane School Absolutely Amazing With These Tips And Tricks

Nowadays, more and more people are interested in becoming certified crane operators. As such, it's not surprising to note that crane schools are popping up all over the place. If you run a crane school and are interested in becoming the prospective student's first choice when it's time to get educated and certified, there are numerous tips and tricks you can implement to realize your company vision. Here are three: 

1. Provide Hands On Experience. 

If you're serious about being an industry leader in the crane school industry, make sure that your educational program provides students with hands on experience. Doing so will ensure that they are confident and prepared to start working in their field of choice. In realizing that allowing students to work with crane parts is a good idea, remember that your school needs to have access to and utilize high quality parts. You can make it happen by utilizing the products of high quality, dynamic companies like ProservCrane Group. This company has a stellar reputation and is known for helping clients find the perfect products to advance their business interests. 

2. Maintain A Cutting Edge Outlook. 

As with any other industry, the crane sector is subject to continual changes and constant updates. To remain competitive in the industry, your crane school needs to offer the most cutting edge, contemporary courses and methodologies available. By maintaining this cutting edge outlook, you'll be able to maintain an edge over other schools and develop the strong, positive reputation that entails greater enrollment rates. 

Wrapping It All Up

If you run a crane school and want to take it from good to great, know that there are several simple tips and tricks you can use to realize your educational vision. By investing in excellent crane products and maintaining a cutting edge outlook, you will likely begin to cultivate a positive, powerful reputation in your local area. You will also likely gain the ability to recruit students from other regions. In so doing, your crane school will start going and growing like never before.

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