Ask Away...: August 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

How To Appreciate Senior Citizens [Senior Citizen's Day is August 21st]

Look, I get it.  Sometimes "old people" can be really frustrating.  Sometimes they drive really slow and don't use their turn signals.  Sometimes they take forever at the grocery store check out line because they're writing a check.  Sometimes they take a long time in line at the customer service desk because they're just slower and it's hard for them to keep up with everything around them.  But whether you like it or not, some day you too will become a senior citizen. And August 21st is Senior Citizen's Day so to celebrate I'm discussing how better appreciate Senior Citizens and giving you some ideas of what to do for them, especially next week on August 21st.

Be Patient With Them
They don't intentionally try to frustrate you but remember that to them the world is a very fast paced changing place and they may be confused, hard of hearing, and may struggle to read signs.  Before you start huffing and puffing in line behind them, just remember that they can't help it.  And remember that you too will be old one day and would you like it if people treated you unkind?  Sometimes when I start to feel frustrated I make myself think that exact thought and it makes me calm down and become more patient and understanding immediately. 

Listen To Them
Elderly folks love to talk to whomever will listen. Sometimes they are lonely because there's less people around to chat with so next time a senior citizen tells you a story, LISTEN.  Even if it's boring, nod and act interested because it makes them feel really good.   Plus, they can all teach us something about the times before we even existed.

Help Them
That old lady in front of you in the cereal aisle that's blocking the way with her cart may actually be struggling to reach a top shelf. Instead of getting angry that she's blocking your way, ask her if she needs assistance. Grab the cereal and move her cart.  If you see an elderly person struggling to open a door, read a sign, or understand what someone else is saying to them, for goodness sakes ASSIST them! Even if they aren't inconveniencing you, help them! Ask an elderly person if they want you to put their grocery cart back for them.  Pay for someone's coffee behind you in line.  When raking your own yard, ask your elderly neighbor if they want you to rake theirs. 

Remind Others  
Sometimes others get caught up in the frustration of dealing with senior citizens so remind them all of the things above.  Help them be more gentle and influence them to be more kind.

What are you going to do to celebrate Senior Citizen's Day?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Our Porch Floor Makeover

One of the selling points of our home when we purchased it was the amazing screened in porch which was large and beautiful.  As you may see on social media, we spend a lot of time in the porch in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

The porch was added onto the house back in the 90's and while it's still in EXCELLENT shape, I do have 4 dogs and unfortunately we realized some of them were sneaking and peeing on the area rug we had under the table.  We realized that can be a problem in the long run because the wood boards underneath can start rotting away.  So the project began. 

That's what the new boards look like in the areas that were most damaged.  It was kind of a pain in the butt for poor James but with the help of our amazing neighbor he was able to haul them home from the store, cut them, and hammer them in.

We did our best to find a similar color which I think is more blue than the original grey/blue but I could be color blind.  So then we had to lay it out and cut it to size. James also made a point of working in sections. The small section along the window screens was still intact so it could hold all the furniture but then once the big area was done, everything was moved back and he was able to replace the carpet on the outer area.

Once everything was cut, James and I rolled the carpet back up and made sure the surface was vacuumed well with ShopVac before laying on the adhesive.  It was so satisfying with the sound it made and watching it cover the wood. I even put it on Instagram in my stories because I knew people would find it satisfying.

Then it was time to unroll the carpet and lay it down on the wood and adhesive.

James then used a paint roller to make sure the air bubbles were pressed out. 

Look at how nice that looks!!! He then tucked in the edges, cut any excess areas an he even rewrapped the steps! 

Here's the finished product!!!

I will go out of my way to make sure my dogs don't mess this one up.  I swear, I'll make them wear diapers, lol!

We hope we did this correctly since we didn't really look up a specific process and kinda just used common sense.

What home makeovers have you don't completely yourself?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

5 Handy and Healthy Hacks for Happy Home Vibes

When you walk into the house after a tiring and stressful day at work you long to just relax in the comfort of your home. Your life is pretty sweet; with a happy marriage, health children and good health you can’t really complain. Being the perfectionist that you are, you can’t help but strive for more. You want a simple and carefree life without any ongoing tension or stress in the air. It is time to switch up the way your home operations and make it a more positive environment for everybody. From better quality food to more family time together, you will soon be able to see a huge difference in the way you and your loved ones work together and communicate in the household.

1.Cook From The Heart

There is nothing more heartwarming than a healthy and delicious home cooked meal. Dinner time can truly bring a family together so why not try and spruce up your recipes a little bit? Invest in a cool new copper crisper which will work in your oven without any added oils or fat. Deliciously browned food, cooked to perfection without the added calories, what could be more enticing?

2. Quality Time is Everything

Everybody in your home has an extremely hectic schedule, but it is important to take a step back sometimes and spend time together. Organise a fun activity at least once a month, so that you can all come together, laugh and reconnect after super busy times apart.

3. Put Down the Phones

Mobile phones and social media can become a huge divider between families, so don’t let it happen to yours. Make sure that phones are put away during meal times and family discussions. Limit your time texting, taking calls and scrolling through social media platforms too, so that you can always stay present and enjoy the moment.

4. Share The Chores

If you are left to tackle all of the chores by yourself every single day, this is going to take a huge toll on you. Make a chore chart for the whole family so that you are not the only person responsible for cleaning the house, doing the dishes and taking out the trash. The more people that can pitch in, the easier the jobs will be.

5. Talk It Out

Never go to bed in a fight; if you and your partner have a disagreement simply talk about it. There is no point having silly arguments hanging over your head.

You notice all the time that some of your friends are not happy within their household. They argue in front of the kids and spend far too much time dwelling over social media. You never want these habits to creep into your family home, so it is time to set the ground rules sooner rather than later. Your family will be living in a much calmer, friendlier and healthy environment if you take on board all five of these handy hacks. Get everybody on board together and you will never see a sad face ever again!
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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Garden Update [August]

Summer was crazy this year. It started out cooler then went right to rain rain rain. We had a few good weeks at the end of June and beginning of July before more rain rain rain.  The rain was great for the garden but a pain in the butt for me when it came to tending to my garden.

Life got so crazy busy I barely even picked my lettuce and most of it went to seed right away.

Now I've got my peppers beginning to turn red and my butternut squash is getting flowers on the vines.

I left my Kale in the garden but all of the Romaine lettuce is gone.

My Zucchini are obviously done for the season and I am pretty happy with how many I got.  I feel like next year I need to find a better container for them to grow in. 

I can't wait to show you how my butternut squash do! I'm also going to plant some radishes and beets next month!

How did your garden do this Summer? Any tips for me with the zucchini?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

3 Things to Know about Owning St Bernards

Image via Pixabay

If you’ve rescued a St Bernard puppy from a shelter, and think that you can treat it just like any other breed of dog, you might be in for a bit of a nasty shock.

If you haven’t already picked this up from watching the Beethoven films, St Bernards are a very particular breed of dog, with unique attributes, and require a good degree of understanding and care on the part of any owner who wants to do right by these dogs.

So, whether an experienced dog owner who has just never owned a St Bernard, or are a
newbie to the world of canine-ownership altogether, here are some things you need to know about owning St Bernards.

Train them well when they’re young to avoid later grief

St Bernards are massive dogs, when fully grown, but you probably already knew that, right? Just in case you haven’t really grasped the scale in question, however, keep in mind that adult St Bernards can weigh up to 120kg in average (around 264 lb).

What’s more, St Bernards tend to be very enthusiastic dogs. Especially when relatively young, they are exuberant, energetic, and love to play. They also become accustomed to throwing their weight around quite easily, and although not very aggressive by nature, are more than capable of harassing other dogs when out for a walk.

What all of this means, in effect, is that you need to train your St Bernard well, at the earliest age possible. Ideally, you’ll furnish them with things such as the
best chew toys for puppies, to prevent them tearing the house apart, and then set about ensuring that they know how to behave in different social contexts.

Train your dog out of charging for strange dogs on walks, when it’s still young, or you’ll have a lot of trouble later.

St Bernards are ideally going to be outdoor dogs

St Bernards were originally bred in the Swiss Alps, as rescue and working dogs, sent out to identify people who had become trapped under the snow under avalanches, or who were otherwise wounded in the mountains. St Bernards were typically trained to travel in groups, identify and warm the stranded people, and fetch help.

What this means is that
St Bernards are hardy dogs who cope well with being outside in low temperatures. They are also quite social, and very energetic.

Ideally, your St Bernard will be an outside dog, at least once it reaches maturity. Keeping it in an apartment may be an issue.

They’re very physical dogs, you need to be able to match them

If you’re not a very big, or physically strong person, you might need to think twice about becoming a St Bernard owner.

As mentioned before, these dogs are very large and very powerful, used to using their physicality to get their own way. Even if you’ve trained your St Bernard to avoid acts of outright aggression against other dogs, you can still find yourself being tackled when you return home from work, or being dragged around when out on a walk if your dog sees something interesting.

Having the
strength to withstand these dogs straining at the leash or bounding up to greet you can be very useful.

Monday, August 6, 2018

5 Summer Picnic Foods

The thing about summer picnics and the type of food you should bring is that you want to make it something simple, easy, and something that you will want to eat despite the heat and humidity.

Today I put together a few of my favorite go to items to bring when I go out for a picnic or when I need to bring something along to a cookout.

Cheese and Crackers
I mean, who doesn't love cheese? You can make it even easier on yourself by getting pre-sliced cheese that you can eat right out of the packaging.  I like to make pretty arrangements on a cutting board so I always pack one of those along.  This is a great food option when you're going to a winery!

Mini Waters or Wines
Obviously if you enjoy wine, you should bring along mini wine bottles because it's much less mess than pouring glass after glass out of a large wine bottle.  And always always ALWAYS bring mini water bottles to keep you hydrated if you're going to be outdoors!
Subs or Sandwiches
Subs and sandwiches are a GREAT hot weather food because they're easy to consume, a breeze to clean up, and they don't have to be heated at all.

Fruit Salad
Bringing a fruit salad along can be as simple as dumping your favorite fruits into one big container.  It's a refreshing, colorful, yummy treat!

Veggies and Dip
Veggies and dip are cool, refreshing, and healthy.  They make virtually no mess and the colors always look pretty on display.  I like to get things like carrots, celeries, little tomatoes, and then cucumbers because they are full of water and help cool me down in the heat.

What's your go to food to bring along to an outdoor picnic?

Mental Healing: Steps You Can Take To Heal More Quickly

After suffering from a physical trauma, often it’s your physical health that medical staff, your friends and family focus on. Few people actually think about the mental side of healing, however it’s just as important as the physical side of things, it’s just less spoken about, that’s all. That’s why it’s so important that when it comes to your mental health after an accident and resulting injury, that you take it seriously and make healing, mentally as well as physically, your priority.

The question is, of course, how can you about doing that? What steps do you need to take to heal more quickly? To help you take care of your mental healing, as well as your physical healing, below is a guide to the steps that you should take.

Rest and recuperate

If there’s one thing that has a huge impact on your mental health it’s being stressed out and over tired. After being in a serious accident and suffering innjuries as a result, the chances are that you are going to feel rather tired, which is why taking some time out to rest and recuperate is so essential. Give yourself time to heal and you should start to feel better more quickly, push yourself and your recovery could take twice as long.

Don’t use this time to do what you normally would do, such as cleaning the house or catching up on work, use this time to properly rest and recuperate. Try and remain screen-free. Instead, entertain yourself with magazines, books, and perhaps a relaxing hand craft like adult coloring, crochet or sewing.

Plan for the future

After being involved in a serious accident, you may find that your circumstances have changes. Maybe you are no longer able to do the job that you used to do, for instance. If this is the case - or your life has changed in any other way - then you may need to re-draw up your life plan and workout what your future will be now that things have changed.

If you are not going to be able to work as a result of what has happened to you, then you might want to get a lawyer. You see in these instances, where an accident that wasn’t your fault has led to a change in your personal circumstances and future, you would normally have a case for compensation as your life has changed as a result of someone else’s actions.

Take some time out for mental health

There’s no shame in taking a ‘mental health day’ or two if you feel like you need to take some time out of everyday life to get your head around what has happened to you. Mental health is a funny old thing, one minute you feel perfectly fine and then the next you can feel yourself becoming anxious, upset and stressed out.

That is why if you feel the need to take some time out for your mental health, you should do it. Whether that time is to practice yoga and drink lots of tea, go for a wander in the wilderness or simply catch up with your friends, that’s okay. How you care for your mental health and wellbeing is down to you - everyone has their own approach to mental healing and that is what it’s important to remember.

Healing is often a long process, there’s no getting away from that fact. However, by taking note of the steps above, you should be able to make the mental healing process easier.

Friday, August 3, 2018

How to Deal with Insurance Companies After an Accident

Getting into an accident on the road isn't ever something you want to deal with. And when it happens, there are several things that can make it worse. As if being injured or dealing with damage to your vehicle aren't enough, you might also have to deal with insurance companies. You could be communicating not just with your own insurance provider, but another person's too, which makes everything more complicated. Dealing with insurance companies is a pain, but you can make it easier if you know which steps to take. Try these tips to get the result that you want.

Know Your Insurance Policy

When you're in an accident and it's someone else's fault, it could be up to the other person's insurance company to cover your costs. However, often your insurance company could be responsible for paying your costs. There are also other things to remember, such as that your insurer might require you to report the accident to them, even if it wasn't your fault. You should be familiar with your insurance policy so that you know what's what. If you don't know it well, check it over after an accident to make sure you're following its requirements.

Get Legal Help

Having a lawyer on your side is best if you need to deal with insurance companies. The advice from Alpert Schreyer Injury Attorneys is to hire a lawyer before dealing with the at-fault driver's insurance company. They'll be hoping to catch you out so that they can avoid paying, so you should have advice from an attorney to avoid saying anything that will trip you up. A lawyer can tell you what you should and shouldn't say and do, and can help with communicating with insurance companies. You might need their help to fight for what you deserve.

Gather Evidence

You'll need to have evidence from the car accident that you can present to insurers. Writing down how the accident happened and any details from the scene will help you. When you report it to your insurance provider, they will ask you to describe what happened. This is also useful if you need to build a legal case later or if you have to deal with another driver's insurance provider. Make sure you don't admit any fault when describing the accident. Stick to the facts of what happened to make everything clear.

Be Careful About What You Say

Insurance companies will look for any way to get out of paying if they can. That's why it's so important to be careful about what you say to them. If they think that you have admitted to causing the accident, they're not likely to want to cover your costs. Having a lawyer on your side can help with this because they can give you advice, as well as help with communication. It's always important to be cautious so that you don't accidentally say something to imply that the accident was your fault.

Dealing with insurance companies can be tough. Make sure you prepare yourself before contacting anyone.
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Why You Don't Have Any Money Left At The End Of The Month (And What to Do About It)

Living hand to mouth is something that most people associate with the very poor. What it means is that you are spending as much as comes in and only just covering your costs. Sadly, it's not just those folks that are on the breadline that live in this way. In fact, many who we would consider average Americans also live on a month to month basics having little left over at the month end to save or invest. Luckily, by reading the post below you can find out why this is happening to you, and what tactics you can put in place to prevent it.

You have unnecessary subscriptions.

Beauty boxes, TV shows, and even cook-them-yourself meals are all things that you can receive via subscriptions, and there are a lot of other items besides. However, if you are paying out a regular sum each month, and not using your subscription you are throwing money down the drain.

Therefore, if you have no money left at the end of the month, its first necessary to review any subscriptions that you are paying for to see whether they are still worth the investment. What this means is that maybe you decide to go for one TV subscription service rather than three, that you buy a cheaper beauty box and save the extra money, or that you even terminate your subscription at the gym, if you haven't been in the last six months.

Your grocery bill is eating your budget.

One area that US families regularly overspend on is their grocery bill. In fact, many people end up buying so much that they cannot eat it before it goes off and then throw it way. Something that is not only a waste of your money but also of the resources that go into rearing or growing that food too.

Luckily, reducing
your grocery bill isn't as hard as you may think, and there are lots of strategies you can put to good use here.

The first is to plan meals night by night and only purchase the ingredients that you need directly. You can even make this more cost efficient by prepping all the meals as soon as you have bought your shopping and then freezing them. An action that will ensure that any food waste is kept down to a bare minimum?

Also, it is possible
to use coupons to save on your shop. In fact, we are lucky in America because we have a unique coupons system and its one that can result in significant savings if you do things right.

To that end, if you are considering using coupons, be savvy and double or triple up where you can and start to create a stock of very cheap or even free food. Then you will not have to buy these items in each weekly shop as regularly, and this can help to keep your bill down.

You are covering costs that are not your responsibility.

Another reason that you may not have anything left in your bank account at the end of the month is that you are paying for things that are not your responsibility, and you may not even be aware that you are doing so.

For example, you may be struggling to meet medical bills if you were involved in a car accident that was caused by someone else.

To rectify this situation its vital that you consult with a
car accident lawyer that can analyze your case, and make a claim for any compensation that is owed to you. Then this can be put towards paying off your medical bills, something that can leave with a much more considerable amount in your account at the end of the month.

You get sucked in by impulse buys.

What many US citizens don't realize is that there is a considerable amount of psychology that goes into the advertising and placement of certain products. For example, lower-priced treat items are often places near to the cash register in a store to tempt you to buy on impulse.

Sadly, impulse buying may be the reason why your bank balance isn't looking as healthy as it could at the end of the month. The reason being that such purchases are often not planned or accounted for and can act as a drain on any funds you do have.

To that end, it best to avoid impulse buys, and even 2 for 1 offers if you didn't plan to purchase the product in the first place. Otherwise, it may be difficult to get to a point where you have a substantial amount to save or invest at the end of each month.

Burger Yum in Harrisburg [REVIEW]

Right on the corner of 2nd and South Street sits BurgerYum, a delicious little joint where you can get always fresh never frozen beef burgers that are antibiotic and hormone free!

Right when I walked in I was in love with the inside and the menu. There are plenty of options whether you want a veggie burger, beef burger, or gluten free (a green style burger using lettuce as a bun).  Actually, BurgerYum in Harrisburg is a great place for gluten-free dining because their fries are gluten free and their shakes (except cookies and cream) are also safe to eat!

Once you walk in, they take your order and you can wait for them to call your name while you find a seat outside OR inside.  There's a generous condiment station as well!

I love everything about the quaint burger joint décor inside, from the floor and walls to the tables and chairs.

We received our order in a little under 10 minutes and it was super fresh and warm!  James got the gluten free cheese burger with fries and I got a cheeseburger with parmesan and herb fries and a cookies and cream milkshake. 

It was delicious! Seriously I've never had a better burger and I've been to lots of burger joints. I also loved the friendly staff and the seating options.

It's so nice to have a place that is fairly priced for the quality and portions, has lots of seating space, and is gluten-free friendly.  If you haven't been to BurgerYum yet check it out!

Is It Time To Invest In A Self-Driving Vehicle?

Recently, we talked a little about the key features you should check out when buying a safe car. One of the features we highlighted was autonomous technology. If you haven’t already heard of this, what rock have you been living under? Self-driving vehicles are one of the most talked about new pieces of tech right now, at least in the automotive world. You might be wondering whether it’s time to invest in one for yourself. Here’s what you need to think about before jumping on this purchase.

Are You Behind The Times?

You might be wondering whether you have already fallen behind the trends by not purchasing a vehicle like this. Well, fear not, these vehicles are nowhere near as popular as they seem. It’s highly unlikely that you will have ever seen anyone drive one unless of course, you live next to silicon valley. Despite there allegedly being hundreds of these cars already on the road, you’ll find it very difficult to actually spot one, and we’ll get to why this is a little further down.

How Much?

Yep, that’s the question you always need to ask when you purchase a new car. How much will it cost you? Well, the good news is that these cars often come with the latest state of the art tech. Many of them are also fully electric vehicles so on the plus side you’ll save a fortune on fuel. Now for the bad news. For an automated vehicle, you’re looking at paying about ten grand more than you normally would for the same type of car. That new tech certainly isn’t cheap, and this alone might be enough to make you consider whether the purchase is really worth it.

Are They Actually Self-Driving?

Well, yes and no. Technically, yes, these cars will drive themselves. However, even the latest versions of these vehicles require you to have your hands on the wheel at all times. So, you’re a long way from lying back and letting your car take you to a destination several hours away while you have a snooze.

Are They Safe?

Safer, for sure, but if you read at, you’ll find that not every car accident is caused by human error. It’s estimated around twenty percent of accidents have other causes and let’s not forget the tech isn’t always reliable. A Tesla self-driving vehicle crashed at full speed because it didn’t pick up on a potential hazard, killing the man who was ‘driving.’

Final Verdict?

Right now, buying a car with this tech is like buying one of those big and bulky laptops from the nineties. For their time, they are impressive, but they are also fairly pointless, are riddled with issues and just don’t have the level of fine-tuning you want, particularly when thinking about safety. Ultimately then, you might be better off holding back on this particular purchase until the tech improved and you get more bang for your buck. You can learn more at

We hope this helps you decide whether an automated car is the right purchase for you.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Get The Safest Car By Focusing On These Factors

You’re probably aware of just how dangerous the roads can be. Every day there are well over 16,000 car accidents on the road in the US alone. Each year, nearly a million people die due to a car crash or collision. If you’re worried about these statistics, you’re not alone. Even car producers are starting to pay attention. Take Volvo for instance. They have set a target to create a death proof car by 2021. While this might sound unrealistic, it is worth looking at the factors that could make a car safer for you and your family on the road. Particularly, if you’re on the market for a new vehicle.

Stopping Distance

Stopping distance is crucial when you’re thinking in terms of safety and purchasing a new vehicle. Any
accident attorney will tell you that a massive portion of car accidents are caused because a driver simply wasn’t able to stop in time. Interestingly, it’s sports cars that tend to have the best stopping distance. The Bugatti Veyron, for instance, had a stopping distance of 103ft which doesn’t sound that impressive. But, when you consider that the car will be pushing 200MPH at the time, it is quite a feat. Typical average stopping distances are around 80ft at just 40 miles per hour. So, any car that can beat this is probably well worth looking into.

Air Bags

You also want to think about airbags. In Hollywood, airbags are dramatized in Hollywood as incredible lifesavers. For instance, two Mission Impossible movies thus far have seen a hero drive a car vertically into the ground and apparently be saved by the magic power of an airbag. While airbags aren’t this useful, they can certainly cushion a blow. That’s why you might wonder why some cars only have two, one for each of the front seats. One of the reasons is that for young children airbags can be more dangerous than helpful. However, some cars do have smaller airbags around the back seats to help cushion a blow, and these vehicles are worth looking into.

Smart Tech

You have probably heard of autonomous vehicles. Unfortunately, this type of car might be outside your price range. But there are more basic forms of this tech that allow a car to respond once a hazard has been recognized and essentially course correct. That could be useful, particularly if you are worried about other drivers putting you in danger on the road.

The Body

Finally, look at the body of the car you are buying. The front of the car should be designed in a way to take the full brunt of a crash, thus protecting you and anyone else inside the vehicle. Some cars are better at this than others and size does matter here. A car with a big front may certainly be safer than one with a small, slick, slanted bonnet that will do nothing for you if you are involved in a head-on collision.

Lookout for these factors and you will be able to make sure that car you’re purchasing is a great choice for safety.

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