Author Archive for Hansen

Marriage Equals More Happiness

Marriage Equals More Happiness

More people are choosing to live together rather than marry, but a recent study found that long-term happiness comes from “I do.”

A recent study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies has found that
getting married has a big impact on a couple’s long-term happiness. Economists John Halliwell and Shawn Grover analyzed the findings of two
longitudinal studies to answer the questions of whether the happiness
after marriage is short-lived; whether it’s marriage itself that causes happiness; or whether happy people were the ones more likely to get and
stay married in the first place.

The pair first looked at data from a British Institute survey of 30,000 people over an 18-year period. People of varying ages were asked the same questions from 1991 to 2009 about their lifestyles and moods, allowing researchers to gather information on their levels of happiness before and after marriage.

Halliwell and Grover then looked at data from a much bigger UK survey of
300,000 people between 2011 and 2013 related to anxieties, social lives,
and happiness.

It turns out, the happiness effect of marriage is far from short-lived. Married people are 10 percent more satisfied than single people. Cohabitating couples are only 75 percent as happy as marrieds. They also found that marriage appears to be of the greatest importance in middle age, when many people
experience diminished well-being.

The quality of the marriage has a big part to play. The foundation of a married couple’s happiness appears to be the bond they share and, say the researchers, those who cited their spouse as their best friend experienced twice as much happiness as those who didn’t.

Say yes to marriage, and say yes to happiness.

For Dads, More Family Time Brings Greater Job Satisfaction

For Dads, More Family Time  Brings Greater Job Satisfaction

A February 2015 study shows that fathers feel greater job satisfaction and less work-life conflict when they spend more time caring for their children. They get mental bonus points for helping out with the kids.

The study published in the Academy of Management Perspectives shows that before increasing child care time, men spent only less than an hour per day with their kids. The Bureau of Labor statistics showed women spent 1.86 hours per workday on child care.

Men spending an average of 2.65 hours a day with their children on weekdays were more satisfied. Up to a certain point, the more time they reported spending with their children, the more likely they were to think their work enriched their home life. They agreed with statements like “my involvement in my work helps me be a better family member.”

Those who were more involved with their children were also less likely to quit their jobs. One of the most important things a father can do, is spend time with his kids.

Helping Water Clean Better

Helping Water Clean Better

Water is a great cleaner. But just like you, sometimes it needs a little help…

H2O is an amazing liquid. It is useful for manufacturing, transportation, firefighting, energy production, cooking, agriculture, recreation and of course, drinking. Water also has some unique qualities that make it an excellent cleaner.

Water is a polar molecule, meaning it has both positively and negatively charged sides. Without going into too much chemistry here, this means that water can attract to and  surround a great variety of substances. Think about everything that water can dissolve or dilute and you begin to understand why water is referred to as the “universal solvent.”

But water can’t dissolve everything. Dirt and grime usually adhere to skin, clothing, and other surfaces by combining with body oils, cooking fats, lubricating greases, and similar substances. Because these substances don’t mix with water, washing with water can’t remove them or the bonded soil. Sometimes it needs a little help. Here are some ways that we can help water clean better.

Emulsification – Detergent and soap molecules have a dual nature. One end of the molecule called the head, attracts to water; the other end, the tail, attracts to oily soils. The tails attach to the soil; the heads remain in the water. This action breaks the oil and soils into tiny soap-enclosed droplets called micelles, which disperse throughout the solution.

The micelles repel each other because of their charged surfaces, so the oils can’t join together once separated. This process of separating and suspending oils in a water-based solution is called emulsification. With the oil no longer bonding the dirt to the soiled surface, the soap-enclosed oils and soils can easily be rinsed away.

Water softeners – Hard water contains minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium dissolved from rock and soil as water passes through earth. Hard water is a problem because it reduces the effectiveness of soaps and detergents. Detergents react with calcium and magnesium so it takes more detergent to get the job done. The hard water reaction with soaps is what creates the sticky residue called soap scum. Water softeners remove calcium
and magnesium, increasing the effectiveness of cleaners. Soft water cleans better, rinses better and allows you to use less soap or detergent.

Temperature – Heat reduces the surface tension of water, making it easier to penetrate and dissolve soils. Heat increases the effectiveness of soaps and detergents, so they work more efficiently. Hot water also helps melt and dissolve greases, oils and waxes. All of this means that using hot water makes cleaning easier and allows you to use less detergent.

pH – One way to help water clean better is by adjusting its pH. Pure water has a neutral pH, neither acidic nor alkaline. By adding cleaning agents, we can change the pH of water. Since most common soils are acidic, most detergents are alkaline. hen an alkaline detergent  contacts an acidic soil, the soil is neutralized. In most cases, this results in more efficient cleaning, easier rinsing and less scrubbing.

Saponification – Saponification is a process that changes natural fats and oils into soap. Many years ago, people made their own soap by combining animal or vegetable fats with lye, a strong alkali. Similarly, using an alkaline detergent has a similar effect on fats and food oils, basically turning them into soap, which can then be rinsed away with water.

Of course, there is more to cleaning than what we have discussed here. For best results, you need the right tools, techniques, training and experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a chemist or engineer to keep your house clean and healthy. Following manufacturer instructions on appliances and cleaning products generally yields good results.

When it comes to professional carpet and textile cleaning, you can be confident that your educated and experienced Hansen Steam Way technicians will use the right cleaning  agents, equipment and techniques to produce fantastic results with “plain old” water!

Did You Know Nearly All Countries Have Some Sort of Mother’s Day

Did You Know Nearly All Countries Have Some Sort of Mother’s Day

It has been said in song that the word ‘mother’ is so precious that it sounds the same in every language.

If that is true, it shouldn’t be a surprise that mothers throughout the world have a special day.

In the United States and Canada, Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May. In the U.S. Mother’s Day was officially established in 1914. Around the world, the dates may be different but the celebration is roughly the same: Cards, flowers or maybe chocolates for mom.

France established their holiday for mothers in 1950 and is generally on the fourth Sunday in May.

In the UK, mothers were honored as early as the 16th century on the fourth Sunday of Lent, called Mothering Sunday.

The mariachi sounds of Las Mananitas are heard in Mexico every May 10 to celebrate mom.

In Indian and Japan, Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May.

In Egypt and some other Arab countries, mothers are honored on the first day of spring, according to Time.

Clean up Your Room

Clean up Your Room
Your room is you. Clean it up. That observation from University of Toronto Clinical Psychology Professor Jordan B. Peterson is part of the advice he gives to patients in his clinical practice.

The concept is practical assignment for dealing with a chaotic world or a chaotic mind.

Peterson says the idea is the first place to start if you want to change your life or change the world. First get your own world in order.

Then once your room is in order, make it beautiful. Peterson says beauty in one place lifts the spirits and makes it possible to make other rooms beautiful and, by extension, bring order and more beauty to your whole life.

This isn’t Peterson’s only message. In his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, he advises people who feel anxious and chaotic to remember that suffering is normal, a part of life. But everyone can mediate some parts of it well:
• Take advantage of opportunities available to you.
• Don’t let bitterness drag you down.
• Make peace with your brother.
• Treat the people in your life with respect.
• Stop doing things that destroy your health and wellbeing.
• Assume responsibility.
• In short, he advises: Stop doing what you know to be wrong. Start stopping today.

Proper Way to Use an Inhaler

Proper Way to Use an Inhaler

Fewer than half of people who use a metered dose inhaler for asthma do so correctly, according to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Here is how to use an inhaler:

Shake inhaler and attach a spacer. A spacer is a separate chamber that you can attach to the end of the
inhaler. Spacers have to be purchased separately from an inhaler. They enhance the effectiveness of inhalers by maximizing the dose of medicine into the lungs, decreasing the amount deposited into the throat. Spacers also cut down on the number of minor throat and mouth infections and irritations.

Sit or stand upright and breathe in and out. Breathe deeply two or three times. Then before you inhale the last time, place the spacer between your teeth and close your mouth tightly around the end.

Inhale slowly. Squeeze the inhaler once and slowly begin inhaling for five to seven seconds. After inhaling hold your breath for a few seconds more.

Rinse your mouth. This is especially important if you use a medicine such as Advair or other
cortico-steroids. Rinsing your mouth and throat can prevent thrush or other side effects such as hoarseness.


Total Carpet Care

Total Carpet Care-What you need to know to get the most out of your investment

There is nothing like new carpet. It smells new, feels soft and fluffy, looks beautiful and makes a perfect statement about your style and taste. Compared to other floor coverings, carpet is relatively inexpensive to buy and install. Still, your carpet represents a sizeable investment in your home or business.

In order to get the most out of your carpet, you need a total carpet care program. A total carpet care program is a “retailer-to-recycling” approach to carpet care. To be effective, the program should include
proper selection, professional installation, daily soil control, interim maintenance, scheduled restorative cleaning and the application of an appropriate carpet protector. The following tips can help you
develop a simple carpet care program.

Carpet selection and professional installation–It may be “too late” for the carpet you already have, but carpet selection is an important part of making sure your carpets perform as expected. Some fibers are more resilient than others. Certain colors look cleaner longer because they hide soils better. Pile height, face weight or density and carpet construction all play a factor in how well your carpet will hold up. In a future issue, we will do an entire article on carpet selection and proper installation. For now, let’s focus on the carpet you already have.

Soil control: Prevent soils from getting on the carpet by using walk-off mats and keeping walkways and hard floors clean. If you remove your shoes when entering and wear clean house shoes, you will stop much of the soil from ever entering the home.

The most damaging soils are dry, gritty particulate soils that abrade and dull the surfaces of carpet fibers. This leads to an overall loss of luster in the high traffic areas. Regular use of a well-maintained vacuum
cleaner is the single most important part of a total carpet care program. Remember to change vacuum cleaner bags when they are about half full.

Prompt attention to spots and spills is also highly important. Spots can eventually become permanent stains if allowed to age and oxidize on the carpet. It is best to attend to food and drink spills immediately. We will cover simple spot and spill removal techniques in a future article.

Interim maintenance: Some areas simply require more attention than others. The main entry of the home
and the high traffic areas in the family room or just outside the kitchen tend to collect the greatest amount of soils. In most cases, it makes sense to clean these traffic areas between regularly
scheduled cleanings. Maintenance cleaning usually goes quickly, dries fast and involves little or no furniture moving, so it is far less disruptive to your daily routine.

Scheduled professional cleaning: There comes a time when your carpet requires deep, restorative cleaning. This should be done before soil becomes visibly noticeable. By the time you see soil buildup, damage is already being done to the fibers. How often you need professional deep cleaning depends on several contributing factors including the number of occupants, presence of pets, vacuuming frequency, lifestyle and other considerations.

Protector application: Virtually every carpet manufactured in America comes with a factory–applied
protector. Over time, this protector wears off and your carpet loses its ability to resist common household
spots, spills and stains. It is important that this protective finish be reapplied after every professional cleaning. Your carpets will stay beautiful and last years longer.

Call Hansen Steam Way for more information on making your carpet last longer or to schedule your next
carpet cleaning. We are happy to help.

Don’t Retire…Refire!

Don’t Retire… Refire!


When Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, happened to meet up with his old friend psychologist Morton Shaevitz, they talked about how people approach getting older.

Blanchard, 75, said he used the term “refire” to describe the attitude of approaching life with gusto. He and Shaevitz, 79, agreed that refire is a way of seeing each day as an opportunity.

Together they wrote Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. It tells about a
fictional couple who worked with others to evaluate different aspects of their lives, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Shaevitz says people who are going toward something have the opportunity to live fuller lives. In the book, Blanchard used a fictional couple because, “When you tell a story, people can suspend their inner critic and watch what happens to the characters in a detached way.”

Quoted in USA Today, Blanchard’s best advice is, “Get out of your comfort zone. Take a class at a local college, which will put you into a new setting with different people.”

The two of them have formed The Last Minute Gang, an informal group of a dozen friends or couples, people who have agreed that, at the last minute, if someone calls and invites you to do something, unless you’re previously committed, you’ll say yes.

Let your retirement be a new beginning to the best of your life.

Doctors Debate Value of Chemotherapy

Doctors Debate Value of Chemotherapy


The breast cancer trifecta was once indisputable: Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. This combination
has led to great numbers of cancer survivors, but is it all necessary?

According to a 2015 paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a study of more than 10,000 women found very low rates of cancer recurrence in women who had early stage breast cancer with no lymph node involvement and who were treated with hormonal therapy alone.

This study and others are leading oncologists to ask if, in early stage treatment, chemotherapy is
over prescribed.

Cancer mortality rates have been much improved since the 1980s, with a nearly 40 percent decrease
in deaths, and credit for that win goes generally to chemotherapy. But chemo is a dramatic chemical attack that comes with its own problems. With new advances in genomic testing and tumor biology, some oncologists are asking if it is always necessary.

In fact, use of chemotherapy to treat early breast cancer has been declining. In a study of about 3,000
early-stage tumor patients, use of chemotherapy declined to 21 percent from 34 percent.

But cancer experts warn that withholding chemo is justified in only a fraction of cases. Focusing on the
bad side effects of chemotherapy misses the point, some doctors say, stating it has saved the lives of
hundreds of thousands of people.


It Pays to Clean Gutters in the Spring

It Pays to Clean Gutters in the Spring


Usually you think about your gutters in fall. But plenty of debris can accumulate there in the six months
since you last cleaned them.

It’s easy to miss leaves from trees that don’t go bare until late fall. They’re probably still up there. Storm-blown sticks aren’t going anywhere by themselves. Many trees drop spring buds and flowers, and then there are the clouds of white cottony stuff blowing from the cottonwoods. By the middle of April, it’s time to clean the gutters again. Here are a few safety tips.

1. You’ll be climbing a ladder, so don’t wear loose clothes that could trip you up or catch on the ladder or the gutter. Wear shoes that easily grip each rung of the ladder.

2. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes and wear work gloves so you won’t be cut by something sharp,
which could also startle you and make you fall.

3. Always work with a partner who can hold the ladder and help move it to the next work spot, and who can call for help if you fall or are injured.

4. Use a trowel instead of your hands, even if you are wearing gloves.

5. Dump debris into a garbage can below. If you miss it, you can sweep up when you’re finished. Never carry a trash bucket up the ladder.

You may not look forward to the project, but gutters are needed to carry water away from the foundation
and basement. And they can prevent wall damage on the inside of a home.

Put safety at the top of your list.

ERROR: 5 - Didn't receive 200 OK from remote server. (HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request)