Pillar To Post Newsletter January 2014 https://www.pillartopost.com/img/p2pLogo.png
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Every year, January brings renewed optimism for change, for a better life, for a better you. It’s wonderful, because this fresh start gives us a chance to reinvent our lives and ourselves. Not just by creating and sticking to resolutions, but reinventing the way we live. Here’s how:

1. Let go.
Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures, commitments, emotions, barriers. This is all old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let everything from the past go (easier said than done, I know). You can have a fresh start. Let go of last year, and start anew.

2. Decide what matters most today.
What matters most to you, to your life? What are you most passionate about, right now? What excites and invigorates you? What would give you the most fulfillment?

Often the answer is in creating something, making something new, helping other people, becoming a better person, working on a project that will become an accomplishment to be proud of. But whatever your answer, have it clear in your mind at the beginning of the day.

3. Clear away distractions and focus.
Clear away email and Facebook and Twitter. Clear away the iPhone, Blackberry, Android or cell phone. Clear away all the little nagging chores that pull at your attention. Clear away the clutter that surrounds you (sweep it off to the side to deal with later).

Now, find focus for 15 or 20 minutes at first, but preferably eventually for 30-60 minutes. Only take a break and check your email or whatever after you are focused. Focus on the one thing that matters most. Do it for as long as you can, until you’re done if possible. When you’re done, focus on the next thing that matters most, and so on.

4. Find happiness now.
Happiness is possible right now. Always remember that. When you push it back until later, it’ll never come. When you learn to be happy now, it’ll always be here.

5. Reinvent yourself, every day.
Every day, you are reborn. Reinvent yourself and your life, every day. Do what matters most to you, that day. It might be the same thing that mattered most yesterday, or it might not be. That isn’t important. What’s important is today - right now. Be passionate, be happy, right now.

You’ll have a fresh start every single day - not just on January 1. And that, my friends, is the best thing ever.

A lot goes into turning a house into a home and one of the most important parts is making sure it’s safe. Thankfully, there are many easy things you can do to help prevent accidents in your home, beginning with this checklist of safety tips.

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in a centrally located spot in your home.

If you have children, or children that visit often, place plastic covers over electrical outlets.

Store cleaning products and all other chemicals out of reach or within locked cabinets and drawers.

Keep the phone number of your local Poison Control Centre in an easily accessible spot that is obvious.

Install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electrical outlets in the kitchen, bathroom and around any water source. They can and will help prevent electrocutions, electric shocks and some electric fires.

Keep electronics away from all sinks, bathtubs and showers.

Investigate stains or cracks that appear in ceilings. They could be signs of a water leak, and if not taken care of, the ceiling could weaken. If the problem is serious, call a professional.

Take a tour around your home looking for potential hazards, like old appliances, fraying wires or overloaded electrical outlets.

Fix or add padding to pieces of furniture that have sharp edges. Protect visitors and children from a serious bump.

Decorating any compact interior definitely has its challenges. If you are unsure how to create drama in small quarters here are a few big ideas that pack some punch.

• AREA RUGS - A simple small rug is tempting, but anchor the space with something more visually interesting. Go for a coloured pattern you love and make sure the rug is a proper fit to ground all the furniture.

• SOFA - Finding the right scale furniture can be tricky, but consider one large sofa that accommodates all seating in one swoop - less is more. A slim, neutral coloured sectional or customizable configuration will make your small room feel more airy.

• FIREPLACE - Create a dramatic, but functional focal point. Electric fireplaces are plug-and-play and provide the flexibility of heating a room or simply adding ambiance with flame-only options. Opt for a space-saving wall mount, or a statement mantel.

Today’s décor is full of unique textures and styles. Plush pillows or sofas look their best when the pile is plush. Here are some suggestions to keep them plush.

1. Blot spots. Use a terry towel to soak up liquid before moisture penetrates to the backing.

2. Stay cool. To remove dust, spin pile fabrics in your dryer without heat and with a clean tennis ball to fluff fibers.

3. Sponge it. Keep non-removable cushion covers and upholstery sleek by wiping with a damp cloth.

4. Shampoo it. Whisk mild detergent in warm water to make thick suds. Sponge the pile with suds - not the liquid - to remove soil.

5. Stroke it. Always rub fabric with the pile, not against it, as if you were petting a cat, head to tail.

Your garage vehicle door may be the largest moving object in your home and could weigh up to 400 pounds. For your safety make sure it’s in good condition.

Overhead garage doors have gravity to deal with. In the absence of some type of balancing mechanism, the door would slam shut as soon as you let go of it. Older garage doors may employ a weight and pulley system to balance the weight of the door however virtually all modern systems use springs. Regardless of the method used, the door should balance. If you open the garage door about half way and let go, it should balance there.

Spring failure
The springs used to balance the weight of the door are under enormous stress. If a spring were to break, flying pieces of metal could cause serious injury. Modern spring systems incorporate safety features to prevent flying metal in the event of a spring failure. For example, extension springs should have a cable running down the middle of the spring to contain the spring upon failure.

Automatic opener
Automatic door openers are not a replacement for a properly balanced door. The opener is normally not powerful enough to lift the entire weight of the door. The opener works with the help of the springs or counter balance system. An automatic garage door opener should stop and reverse on meeting an obstruction. Many systems manufactured prior to 1982 may stop but not reverse. These older systems should be upgraded. This is not only about protecting your car, it’s about protecting people.

Today, some form of external entrapment protection is required. An electric eye is the most common system used. The electric eye is mounted 5 to 6 inches off the floor and senses objects in its path. If your garage door opener does not have an electric eye system, you may be able to upgrade it without replacing the entire system.

Emergency release
During a power failure the garage door may be impossible to open. Since 1982, automatic garage door openers have an emergency release to disengage the garage door from the opener. Once disengaged, you can open the door by hand. Make sure you know where this is and how to operate it. It is usually a short rope hanging from the unit. Pulling the rope disengages the door from the automatic door opening mechanism.

From serene felines to rambunctious pups to chirping birds, our pets that we love most shed light on a few of your best characteristics. If you have . . .

1. Cats: You’re an open-minded thinker.

2. Dogs: You’re a friendly self-starter.

3. Reptiles or amphibians: You’re a rebel with a good cause.

4. Cats and dogs: You’re a versatile mediator.

5. Bunny rabbits: You radiate warmth with tenderness and sensitivity.

6. Birds: You’re a nurturing dreamer.

7. Gerbil, hamster or guinea pig: You’re a kid-at-heart.

8. Fish: You’re a visual Zen master.

Here are a few tips to create a pleasing and affordable display to delight everyone.

Look for less obvious places to display your treasures. The tops of cupboards or sideboards are perfect. It will add height and the feeling of air to your room.

Consider your background. A grouping in front of a mirror, for example, should be kept simple because its appearance will be doubled.

Cluster objects of different heights to create a far more interesting arrangement. A too-perfect uniform look can be boring.

• Keep it in good shape: Your garage door may require periodic lubrication and adjustment.

• Pinch hazard: Sectional overhead garage doors pose a pinch hazard to fingers. Never put your fingers in the space between door sections to close the door, use the provided handles.

• Security: The remote control for your automatic opener is like a key to your garage. When you move into a home, you should change the remote control settings just as you would change the locks on your doors.

• Educate children: Kids need to know that garage doors are dangerous.

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