Pillar To Post Newsletter May 2017 https://www.pillartopost.com/img/p2pLogo.png
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It’s a great time to take stock of goals and plans. If you’re looking for some advice to reinvigorate you and put that spring back into your step, here are insanely motivating quotes to help get you going:

1. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit.” - Aristotle
Now is a really good time to take stock of the month behind you. Did you stick to your daily habits and goals or are you slipping?

2. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Entrepreneurship is an adventure, and like any great story, it has peaks and valleys. Wherever the journey leads you, it will be for your greatest good.

3. “Many great ideas go unexecuted, and many great executioners are without ideas. One without the other is worthless.” - Tim Blixseth
So you want to be an entrepreneur? That’s great. You’ll need the big idea and vision. You have to execute on your great idea or it really isn’t that great.

4. “Being defeated is only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” - Marilyn vos Savant
No business loss is ever the end unless you make it so. You can choose to reinvent yourself, your business, your product.

5. “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill
Get the support and resources you need to keep your enthusiasm high and your spirit going strong through the lean times.

6. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but don’t quit.” - Conrad Hilton
Stay motivated and keep moving forward regardless of obstacles. Believe you will figure out life and your vision and ultimately succeed.

7. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” - Unknown
It’s all about accountability. You can mold and create the life you want to live and the lifestyle of your choosing. It’s all up to you to take those first steps.

8. “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” - Dr. Denis Waitley
Will this be your best year yet, both professionally and personally? That’s all up to you. It starts with your mindset and attitude, and then carries through in your work ethic and actions.

Adam Toren, Entrepreneur

It’s important to do everything we can to reduce our energy use.

A few small changes can make a huge difference to your monthly energy bill. For instance, adjusting your “smart” thermostat by just a few degrees can produce major savings!

Also, don’t forget to lower the thermostat on your water heater or better yet, get an “on demand” system that only heats up water as it’s needed. Here are a few other ideas to consider:

Switch over to LED bulbs install energy efficient shower heads.
Clean out your dryer’s lint tray after each use.
Seal up air leaks around windows and doors.
Use ceiling fans to save money on both heating and cooling.
Service your air conditioner and furnace each year to maintain efficiency.

Landscaping is a naturally beautiful way to keep your home comfortable. A few strategically placed trees or shrubs can save a fortune on heating and cooling as they shelter against the cold winds and provide shade during the summer months.

Higher energy bills are a harsh reality for the rising number of people who work from home. To help minimize this expense, power down your computer when it’s not in use and shut it off completely at the end of the day. You can also cut costs by positioning your desk to take advantage of natural light.

It doesn’t take much to implement a few energy saving solutions around the home.

You may already know that decks are hot. Homeowners are building them and renovating them more than ever. But do you also know these five amazing facts about decks?

Smart investment: Your home is your biggest investment. It’s an even better investment if you add a deck. Experts say you can realize a 100 percent return on your investment. And if you build it yourself, you can expect an even better return.

Party central: Think of the possibilities for year-round fun on your deck with family and friends. On New Year’s Eve, you and your guests can gather on your deck and celebrate the stroke of midnight. On Halloween, you can organize a pumpkin-carving contest, with Jack-o’-lanterns lined up around your deck. A built-in hot tub adds opportunities for fun and relaxation.

Decking materials galore: Consumers have more choices than ever these days when it comes to choosing material to build their decks. Some decking materials are better suited to warm climates, and others are perfect for withstanding snow and ice. You can even build your deck with composite material which is not only environmentally friendly - but also as beautiful as wood.

Whether you’re building or renovating a deck, you can be sure to participate in an amazing trend.

Your garden will spring to life with the addition of birds and butterflies!

Create a haven in your garden for birds and butterflies and breathe new life into your garden. You will also create an oasis that the whole family will enjoy with these tips.

1. Go Natural - Avoid using pesticides as they’re harmful to both birds and butterflies.

2. Water Works - Install a bird bath or fountain for your feathered friends to bathe and drink from.

3. Food & Shelter - Trees and shrubs that bear fruit, nuts and berries not only provide food but also offer shelter.

4. Bloom Boom - Butterflies are attracted to pink, orange, yellow, red, purple and blue shades while butterfly larvae feed on dill, fennel and milkweed.

5. Sun Seekers - Butterflies like sunny locations that are sheltered from the wind. A few flat stones will give them a place to rest while warming in the sun.

For many, a deck is an extension of the home. It brings indoor life to the great outdoors. With a little care, a deck can last for many years. Neglected, it can become an eyesore or worse, unsafe! This spotlight on decks provides a few tips to help keep your deck safe and in good condition.

Deck Materials
Pressure Treated Wood:
The most common deck building material is pressure treated wood. Properly maintained, a pressure treated wood deck can last 20 years.

Cedar: Cedar is a premium deck building material with a rich look and feel. It is more expensive than pressure treated wood but it has many desirable properties. It is naturally more dimensionally stable than pressure treated wood so it does not shrink and split. A well maintained cedar deck can last 20 years.

Synthetic: Synthetic decking is the most expensive decking material but it requires little to no maintenance beyond cleaning and should last many years.

Wood Sealer
The secret to a deck that looks good over the years is wood sealer. Unsealed wood absorbs water. Over time the wood splits and deteriorates.

Here’s a test to see if your deck needs sealer. Pour a cup of water onto the wood, if the water beads up and runs off, the deck is in good shape. Otherwise it needs sealer.

Deck Collapse
Many decks fail because they are old, worn and rotted. Others fail because they were not built properly in the first place. The most critical connection is the deck to house connection. Look out for:
A ledger that is attached securely to the house structure.
Flashing to keep water from leaking behind the ledger. Water is directed over the ledger.
Joist hangers attach joists to the ledger.

Check Your Deck
Look for these signs of trouble:
• Wood rot: Rotted connections such as the ledger board to house connection could lead to deck collapse.
• Good connections: Check points of connection of major components such as the deck to house, guard rail to deck, beam to post, post to pier, etc. You should see plenty of metal brackets and bolts not nails.

The color of your car is reflective of both your personality and aspirations. Just pick the color of your car to see what it reveals about your psyche. If your car is . . .

Blue: You’re genuine and serene.
A true source of calm, it takes a lot to ruffle your feathers - both on the road and off.

White: You’re a neat optimist.
Symbolic of optimistic new beginnings, white shows you wipe the slate clean and start anew.

Silver: You’re a whip-smart wonder.
The sleek, high-tech look of metallic silver is also perceived as more technology driven. You’re the first on board to try the newest gadgets.

Black: You’re an elegant power-person.
There is an undeniable air of power and poise about you. You know exactly who you are

Go ahead and cut those gorgeous garden flowers. Snipping a few blooms here and there is actually good for flowering plants and will allow you to savor the fruits of your labor both indoors and out.

1. Cut them in the morning. That’s when stems are most firm and full of water, so blooms won’t wilt right away.
2. Snip them right. Use clean, sharp garden scissors or clippers when cutting flowers. Ordinary household scissors will crush stems and prevent proper water intake.
3. Fill a vase with lukewarm water. Aside from bulb flowers like tulips, which like cold water, blossoms are best hydrated with warm water, which moves up the stems more quickly.

Guard rails keep you safe on your deck. The point is to keep people including young children from falling from the deck. Guards are required for decks higher than 30 inches from the ground. In some municipalities, a guard is required for a deck that is 24 inches from the ground. The specifics of a quality guard rail are spelled out in local building codes but this list will get you started:

The guard rail should be 36 inches high (a deck over 6 feet high requires a 42 inch guard).
There should be no openings larger than 4 inches so nobody can fall through.
It should be strong enough to hold a person that falls heavily into the rail or balusters.
It should not be easily climbable - no footholds.

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