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Please think about this: everything you feel, think, and do is totally your own responsibility.

All your reactions to others and to what they say or do to you are also your own responsibility. And all your reactions to neighborhood, community, and global events are also your own responsibility.

That means there is no one whom you can blame for how you feel about negative things…
Are you having a hard time swallowing that?

No Choice?
“No!” you cry. “I have no choice but to be afraid if I have been mugged, or horrified if I see a war unfolding, or hurt, if someone upsets my feelings. What else could I do? How else could I react?”

Indeed. How else? If you have been mugged, you could choose to take self-defense classes, in order to better protect yourself in future and in order to feel less afraid. You could join a neighborhood watch group to better protect the community.

In the case of war, you could work towards change in government in order to ensure that events of this nature have less and less possibility of repeating, and you could work on your own “war-like” reactions to other human beings in your daily life, in the knowledge that change is created one individual at a time.

In the instance of having your feelings hurt, you could decide to ask yourself why you were in that position in the first place; why that person is in your life, and decide that the best reaction is to look at your own role in the situation, rather than at how much you are hurt.

Not in order to blame yourself, but to ensure that situations of this nature have less and less chance of developing in your life, or that if they do, they will no longer have the power to hurt you. And you might choose not to allow such a person into your life in the first place.

Different Possible Realities? A lifetime is composed of choices. Each choice leads to a probable different possibility or reality. Not choosing is also a choice. The choices an individual makes literally set the scene for much of the joy and misery that subsequently take place in that life.

Are Some Choices Mistakes? Does this mean some choices are a mistake and others are right? That some choices lead you to a better place than others?

Who can Judge? Perhaps the way you ultimately feel about yourself is the benchmark. Evidently if you do not feel good about yourself, it is once again your choice to change that.

Choice and Freedom Choice - and the more we are willing to embrace our right to choose and see alternatives at every turn of the road - brings us closer and closer to the richness of ourselves, to the fullness of responsibility we have for ourselves, and hence brings us closer and closer to a manner of inner freedom that those who choose not to choose will never taste.

Dr. Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D.
relationship coach, author, and professional speaker.
www.advancedpersonaltherapy.com

Pet odors, smelly shoes, burned food in the kitchen - no need to run out and buy air freshener. There are plenty of deodorizers you already have around the house that can do the job - naturally!

1. Deodorize a dirty disposal with orange peels. Next time you eat an orange, just drop the peel down the sink and turn on the disposal. Citrus rinds contain fragrant essential oils and potent antiseptic and astringent properties that kill odor-causing germs.

2. Send pet odors packing with baking soda. Technically, it is sodium bicarbonate that absorbs odors from both surfaces and air. Simply sprinkle a little on rugs, couches, pet beds and other spots favored by your pooch or feline. Let sit for several hours or overnight, so it can work magic. Remove the powder with a vacuum and all that remains is fresh scent.

3. Say so long to smoke smells. Cigarette odors are tough but white vinegar is tougher! Pour vinegar in a few soup bowls and set around the smoke-scented room - the next day, the smoky stench should be gone. Also smart: Moisten an old towel with vinegar and wave through the room.

4. Zap microwave odors Did you heat your popcorn a little too long, and now the burning smell will not go away? Here is a sweet-smelling solution: Combine 1 tsp. vanilla extract with two cups water in a microwave-safe bowl, then heat on high for five minutes. Vanilla extract is a natural deodorizer that will take away the scorched stench - and replace it with the delicious aroma of just-baked goods.

Wake up your space in an instant with pops of uplifting blue and zesty orange - these complimentary colors are guaranteed to bring positive vibes your way!

1. Small effort, big impact. Bring a white kitchen to life with a mix-and-match theme of exquisite orange shades and blue leather chairs. Accent with a display of edible oranges for a vibrant feel!

2. A bright idea. Cheer up your bedroom with impact by painting your bed posts a sassy paprika hue. Research shows that orange hues are natural “uppers” that can actually boost your confidence.

3. Room to room color. The easy decorator’s trick to create a sense of more space in your home is to let a simple color scheme travel from room to room with little accessories - like dining room to kitchen.

4. Build on a neutral. The key to decorating with blue and orange is to begin with a neutral base. Colors like white, cream or even pale sand provide the perfect backdrop to let vibrant accessories like throw pillows or vases shine.

Here are a few ideas to help create a clean, healthy and sweet smelling bathroom.

1. Spray the tub with white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle and mist all bathroom surfaces. The acetic acid stops mold from growing and kills lingering odors.

2. Natural mildew eliminator. Combine 2 tsp. tea tree oil and 2 cups water in spray bottle. Shake and spray on mold and mildew. This solution should destroy on contact with no need to rinse away.

3. Ditch hidden sources. Toss out rarely used bottles of shampoo - breeding grounds for mold.

4. De-gunk the grout. Dip an old toothbrush in dish soap and use to scrub away mold between tile.

5. Clean shower curtains. Rub curtain with juice from one lemon. Lemon’s natural disinfectant stops mildew growth and eliminates odors.

6. Keep mold away. Apply small amount of car wax to clean shower walls and tiles to prevent mold from growing.

With so much in the news about the dangers of mold in your home, and the associated health risks, it is easy to get carried away with fear.

Mold has been with us since the beginning of time. Believe it or not, you already have mold in your house. Leave a loaf of bread on your counter for a couple of weeks and you will see it grow. All mold needs to thrive and multiply is a food source, a little water, and oxygen. Building materials are a good food source for mold spores. Add water (you do not need to add oxygen since it’s everywhere) and you have a mold problem. Water is the key to understanding and controlling mold since it is the only mold-growth factor you can control.

What To Do About Mold
You can clean mold yourself if it appears in small amounts. Mold in absorbent materials such as carpets, is difficult to clean. Better to just throw the carpet out. If you have a flood in your home, it is critical to dry things up quickly. Call in an expert who specializes in flood clean-up. Government web sites offer free and detailed guides on how to clean mold:
Centers For Disease Control And Prevention:
www.cdc.gov
Environmental Protection Agency:
www.epa.gov
Canada Mortgage and Housing:
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Preventative measures
Deal promptly with water leakage in areas such as the roof, plumbing, and basement.
Keep indoor humidity levels at 50% or lower. In cold climates during winter, 50% is still too high.
Make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outside rather than into the house. Check the discharge pipe too, as these pipes often become disconnected.
Use your bathroom ventilation fan when showering or bathing, and leave the fan running for about twenty minutes afterwards. Similarly, use your kitchen range hood to discharge steam outside when cooking.
A central air-conditioning system effectively reduces humidity levels in warm weather. If areas of your home seem humid during air-conditioning season, you may develop a condensation problem. Sometimes adding a return air vent in the damp area, or adding a damper to the ducting that supplies the area, can improve humidity levels dramatically. Dehumidifiers also help.
Mold may be here to stay but it can be controlled. Look for dampness in your home and deal with it promptly.

Whether it is neat and orderly with books and papers, your desk sends clear signals about everything from your creativity to your ambition. Here’s what it means if your desk is:

Neat & organized: You are a success magnet. Detail-oriented and ambitious, your desk is just a stepping stone to the corner office.

Full of family photos: You are a charmer. You are a social star that others find likable and approachable.

Messy: You are a creative genius. A mountain of desk clutter is evidence that you are open-minded, curious and ready for more efficient problem solving.

Full of inspirational quotes: You are a leader. Wise and in-charge, you can be counted on for a smile or stress-busting joke.

1. Choose the weapon. Choose the weapon. Microfiber cloths and Wool dusters attract and hold dust, no dusting spray or furniture polish needed.

2. Clean the screen. Wipe TV and computer screens with fabric softener sheets to reduce dust-attracting static cling.

3. Two-in-one. Apply furniture polish with one side of an old oven mitt and use the other side to buff.

4. Squirt dirt. Squeeze an empty squirt bottle to blow dust out of picture frames corners and other tight spots.

5. Clean cracks. Dip a clean cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and run it through tight crevices, like between the buttons on your phone or remote control.

6. Stop drips. Hang an umbrella upside-down from your ceiling fan or chandelier before you clean it. You will catch dust before it hits the floor.

Molds are organisms which are neither plant nor animal. They are part of the fungi kingdom.

Unlike plants, molds do not get their energy from the sun through photosynthesis. In fact, the sun’s ultraviolet light inhibits mold growth.

Molds also digest or “eat” the material they are growing on. The role of mold is to break down decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves or dead animals.

Types of Health Symptoms from Mold
There are three main types of symptoms mold can cause:
Allergic and irritant symptoms, toxic symptoms or even infections.

Mold Removal Products
There are several products you can use to kill and remove mold. Some of the most effective mold removal products include: Bleach, Borax, Vinegar, Ammonia, Hydrogen peroxide, Detergent, Baking soda, Tea tree oil, or Grapefruit seed extract.

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