How to Prevent Water Damage

th8GB2QNI8The worst thing to ever happen to my house is water damage. That is included the electrical fire I had seven years ago. I did not realized, like many homeowners, how horrible it is and can be until it happen to me. After one of those hard and freezing winters, one of my pipes burst in the basement. It just so happen I was renovating the home at the time and was staying in a hotel until the crew had finished. It was horrible.   When it was discovered that a pipe had burst of course I had it immediately clean up but I did not anticipate was standing water. Not realizing some of the water was left in like this alcove in the basement. When spring/summer time rolls around I start noticing this stuff on my walls. To confirm what I thought I was seen I called a friend of mine over who is a general contractor to get his opinion. He said exactly what I was thinking…mold.

Yes, standing water can lead to so much damage it is incredible. It can cause the floor boards and joist to rot, the floor to warp, the structure to weaken, and of course, as in my situation, a deadly mold infestation. Gross.

Although you can save a few dollars and clean up any standing water from a burst pipe or whatever yourself, like I did. But to be honest with who if this happens again, and I pray it does not, then I warm going to go with a professional. I had no idea what I was doing and now I am paying for it, literally.

I did find out a few steps one can take to help prevent something like this from happening to them.

  1. Clean and clear all gutters. Not to mention make sure that all the downspouts are pointed away from the house. If your downspouts are pointed towards the house you are creating an environment where moisture can penetrate your foundation, depending on its material, it will become weak and porous.
  2. This leads me to the next tip: make sure there are not any cracks in the foundation. The ground will absorb water, which means it will seep this water into your basement via those cracks in the wall. Make sure to seal and water proof all the base walls and floors.
  3. Take time to walk around your home and check for cracks and leaks. Not only does this allows water to come into your beautiful home but it also invites critters and drafts.
  4. Always check and have your HVAC equipment serviced. Leaky equipment can lead to a watery home. I personally go to and schedule an inspection. They are the only HVAC Company that I trust.

Many of the things you can do on your own if you are the do it yourself type. Nevertheless, for those that are not or if you discovered something beyond your expertise then do not hesitate to contact a professional. Do not be like me. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing and now I have to leave my house again as it is being fumigated or whatever they do for mold. I guess it is true what they, hindsight is twenty, twenty.

March on, students, march on

th (12)The cost of tuition on the rise and the amount of student debt in the trillions of dollars. It is understandable that many students of higher education have been on the march. Marching for change, demanding that now is the time that public universities become tuition free, all student debt be forgiven and the minimum wage increased to at least fifteen dollars.

Over the past few months, we have seen protests from fast food workers demanding a livable wage.   Wanting to make enough money to be able to take care of themselves and their family without the need of assistant from the government or anyone else for that matter. Based on economic understanding and overall cost of those things needed to live, a wage of fifteen dollars per an hour is what is needed to survive. This was the inspiration of the Million Student March.

Not too long ago it was possible for a person to work their way through college. By committing himself or herself to do different jobs such as waitressing, serving, retail, or any number of jobs that offer flexibility. With the staggering price of tuition of just a public university, it is no longer possible. Many may be able to accomplish this with community college but to go beyond the two years it will cost, mucho dinero.

Which is horrible for those people wanting to pursue an education that come from more backgrounds that are modest. Those who do not have familial financial support, for whatever reason or extra money set aside for college. Even those federal grants that once was enough to cover an entire four years at a public university have greatly reduced or have been eliminated. Scholarship are not as plentiful as they once were. This leaves those financially strapped students and their family accumulating a staggering amount of debt before money are old enough to lease a car.

What is worse is before a person had the promise of a great economy and plethora of jobs. That daunting number of student tuition debt seem to be a worthy investment. Once upon a time, a graduate could expect the money earn from his or her job would be enough to handle rent, food, basic necessity, and tuition loan repayment. However, with the employment opportunities being as bleak as they are this is no longer a guarantee. In fact, it is more likely that a person will graduate and have to move back in with their parents or take a job making peanuts. Because the world is not handing out jobs like it was fifteen years ago.

Living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world it does not seem like too much to ask for tuition free education, a livable wage, a removal of all student debt. There are many countries that offer this along with a living stipend. How can we expect to stay in the position that we are in the world dynamic if the youth and citizens of this country cannot afford to be educated? Cannot afford to have the tools that will place them on a level making us worthy to compete in any industry across the world.

I hope that these marches and demonstration do not fall on deaf ears. Those politicians, movers, and shakers will hear the plight of today’s student and have to courage to make a change. IF this is implemented it will absolutely be a game changer. One of the few moves that will completely level the playing field.

One can only hope.

Maple trees sometimes give us the best memories

thK81TUJAYEvery day that I wake up, I do my morning stretches, turn the television to channel four to listen to the news, and then I take my orange juice out on my bedroom balcony on my bistro set. I know a wonderful life. It one of my favorite part of my day. It gives me a chance to relax and center myself for whatever I have to do for the day, I can face by I have these moments. I like to listen to channel four so that when I set out I have an idea what kind of weather to expect. In my profession I spend a lot of time outside so good weather is crucial.

When I sit at my bistro set on the balcony I like to gaze to my left at my favorite oak tree. It is beautiful. Big and brawny. I enjoy watching the birds and squirrels interact with each other. It is amazing that two very separate creatures can live and interact peacefully.

I am particularly fond of this tree because this tree is the tree that my father and I planted when I was three years old. A few years ago, he passed away, that old maple always reminds me of him and brings a sort of comfort to my soul. That is really, why I spend every morning with it as part of my morning routine. Do not tell anyone but sometime I talk to that old maple tree, I like to think that it relays my messages to my dad. I know it is a bit crazy but we all have some quirks right.

Last week I had a business trip in Puerto Rico. It kept me away for about two weeks. It was not as nice as one would think. I spent most of my time in my hotel room on my laptop working and on my phone talking. I would not classified this as vacay or even a working vacation, this was strictly work, no doubt about it.

When I returned I was so tired from all the traveling that I never even bother to look out or say hi to my maple tree. My bedroom is on the back part of my house. When I return home, it was dark and I was exhausted. I slipped my shoes off, stripped down to my under clothes and t-shirt. In less than three minutes, I was out like a light.

When I woke up the next morning, I did exactly as I always do when I am at home. Started with my morning stretches, then turn on the news to hear the weather, as I’m listening to the television as I take my juice out onto my balcony, then set down at my bistro set with my newspaper.

As I look up from my newspaper to say something to the tree, that is when I noticed it, the changed.

While I was away my area, had been hit with a few lightning storms. A bolt or two had hit my maple tree. I noticed that a few of its limbs scattered around my backyard.

I immediately call a tree trimming service to come out and take a look at him, hopefully there will be something they can do save him from death.

The tree service was able to install a lightning rod system that will displace any lightening if it is hit again. They also trim away any damages limbs ensuring me that more will grow in their place. That with some time and routine care my maple will be back to his old self again.   I am so relived.

Just go with the best, you will be happy

I am no different from anyone else out here, I love a good deal. If I can save a few dollars, Ith66HCCMDY will. I am not saying that I am cheap but I hate to waste my money and that is on anything. From food, entertainment, cars, properties, to whatever it does not matter I never pay full price. It is as if I get a some type of jolt when I see the amount saved at the bottom or top, which depends on where I am shopping, of the receipt.

There is only one service that I will never, ever, again go with the unlicensed, cheap, unexperienced, person from around the corner. This is my warning article leave Joe Shoe and the boys along.

I had just won a house in the property auction in the middle of last month. I bought the house as a rental investment. After securing it, obtaining the deed I immediately started on the maintenance, and remolding.

The house I bought is a beautiful artisan style house. Complete with a formal dining room, two fireplace, a den, and hardwood floors throughout the entire home.   However, it is a foreclosure, which means that this home needs a little T.L.C.

I called my brother who is a contractor to meet me at the house. I was hoping that he will give me the friends and family discount for the demolition and remolding that I know will have to be done to the house before I can move a tenant into it.

I pulled up to the house before he did. As I walk around the house checking out what kind of landscaping and tree trimming needs to be done, I noticed that there is a tree touching the power line. That something I did not budget, tree trimming. Normally I would just cut something like that down, but it looks so nice and inviting I decided to leave the tree and just pay someone to come and trim it for me.

Here a call pulls up into the driveway and I make my way to the front of the house I see my brother climbing out of his work truck. After we passed pleasantries, do a walk-through of the house, barter over the price, I took him to the backyard to check out the tree.

In my city, it is the property owner responsibility ability to take care of all trees and tree limbs that overhang and/or interferes with the street and passing ability to safely maneuver on it, the sidewalk, powerlines and whatever else the city feels it is causing harm to. I knew that I had to have someone trim that tree before I have the city inspector come out and gives me the seal of approval.

My brother suggested a person he knew of, he said he is really inexpensive but really inexperience as well. That if I want to take a chance and roll the die he can give me his number. I said to my brother how bad could he be.   He just have to do a little tree trimming on one tree, which is it.

I wished I had went with a license company. This guy came over and botched the tree that was in my investment home backyard. Now I have to call a real tree trimming company to come out and fix what he ruined. Which mean is have to do something that I hate…spend more money!

Organize your life and remove stress

Running business, taking care of a family, attending school, and staying current on sthDI9LLRGHocial engagements is enough stress to break anyone. After a wild ride and recovery from a nervous breakdown, something had to be done.

Handling is something we all have to deal with, no matter where the stress comes from if it has not properly managed it will literally kill you.

If you are like me and you live an on the go, nonstop, vibrant life then you know exactly what I am talking about. After discussing ways to manage my stress with my physician and ways to prevent another nervous breakdown I have found a routine and tips to give me a better handle on it all.

First, she suggested that I organize my life. This meant removing all the junk and clutter that has accumulate over the years in my home, car, and mind. I started by creating piles of things that will stay, things to trash, and things to donate. Then I purchase some different storage bins and a sharpie. I used the sharpie to label the bins, found a place for everything, and put everything in its place. I also had some shelves installed and used decorative basket for things I need every day.   The storage bins are used for those items I need but maybe not every day.

After cleaning and organizing my home, it was time to start on my schedule.

My doctor has suggested that I organized my time so I no longer feel overwhelm and pressured to accomplished everything that I need to each day. Today I went out bout a huge calendar on a dry erase board. Now I have each moment of my life scheduled, whatever I am doing I know exactly what I have to do next. The relief I felt from scheduling everything out and displaying it in my home so that I can see everything, day by day, moment by moment, brought a certain ease to my mind and wellbeing. What is crazy is that I was actually reluctant to do this part. I thought maybe it was just a waste of time but it has really help me and my family stay focus, on time, eliminate some much wasted time.

After taking care of my home and schedule, it was now time to work on me.

I started with becoming more active. Each day I try to get outside and walk, bike, something, really anything to get moving. My doctor encourage me to exercise each day. That many people feel immediately relief something about endorphins and some other stuff. I do not know, but what I do know is I feel great. I even look ever better! Slim and sexy!

The last thing that I implemented into my life is taking sometime to myself, I guess a sort of meditation. I sit alone in a quiet room and just focus on clearing my mind of all thoughts. By concentrating on my breathing, I am able to do this.

I have placed these just a few things into my life and my family’s life. Thus far I have been managing my stress and working thought it so I do not feel the same anxious feelings that I normally have. I should that in time of an emergency I enjoy the calming scents of frankincense and lavender.

If you are like me and you live a wild and crazy life like me then try one, two, of all of these things.