Archive for January 2018

Dealing with the Flu

Dealing with the Flu


It’s that time of year again–flu season is here. Each year as many as 30 million people contract the flu in the United States, leading to 20,000 deaths a year. At most risk are the  elderly, those with chronic disease like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, and infants.

The flu is like a cold in many ways. Both are respiratory infections, but the symptoms can vary. A fever, general aches and pains, and fatigue usually accompany the flu. You may also experience a sore throat,
coughing or sneezing. If a cold is misdiagnosed as the flu, there is usually no problem.But the flu misdiagnosed as a cold can possibly lead to serious complications like pneumonia being overlooked. If you have any symptoms of the flu, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

There is no cure for the flu, but there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable during the duration. The best course of action in dealing with the flu is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Fever can be treated with acetaminophen. Be sure to talk to your doctor to get advice about using a decongestant/antihistamine to treat nasal congestion. Antibiotics have no effect on the flu because it is caused by a virus.

And what about chicken soup? Well, it can’t hurt! Although it doesn’t cure anything, it can soothe a sore throat, clear clogged passageways, and hydrate you. It is good TLC at a difficult time.

If you do find that you are suffering from the flu, consider getting the flu shot next year. These are generally given in the fall and must be received each year, as the strains of flu vary from year to year. In the meantime, remember that time and rest are the best cures of all for flu sufferers.

Three Questions to Identify Fake Debt Collectors

Three Questions to Identify Fake
Debt Collectors

Debt collection scammers abound and can cause massive problems once they get you to pay them or reveal personal information.

But you can identify an actual debt collector with three simple questions, according to thesimpledollar.com:


1. What is the name, address, and phone number of the company you are calling from?

-They ought to be able to tell you that, after all. Once answered, tell them to send you a validation notice. Don’t discuss the bill.

2. What is the name and address of the debtor you are trying to reach?

-Legitimate debt collectors will know if the information they give is wrong. Do not correct them. Tell them
to send a validation notice to the address on file. Then hang up.

3. What are the last four digits of the debtor’s social security number?

-Trick question. Legitimate debt collectors won’t ask this because it violates the law.





Guard Your Health in Cold Weather

Guard Your Health in Cold Weather

Did you know that in cold weather, 60 percent of your body fuel is used to maintain body temperature?

That means you must count on tiring more easily, and you will be more likely to suffer hypothermia or even frostbite outdoors.

A windy day is even worse. At 20 degrees, for example, a 15 mph wind creates an effective temperature of -6 degrees. A 30 mph wind means -11 and a 40 mph wind dumps the the effective outdoor temperature to -22.

Cold weather puts extra strain on your heart, so it’s important to avoid exertion. Shoveling snow, pushing a car, or even a fast walk might be a problem if it is very cold.

Decrease your chance of getting frostbite or hypothermia by dressing in layers for outdoor activities. Ideally coats should be water repellent. Wear a heavy knit or microfiber hat and face protection. Cover your mouth to keep cold air out of your lungs. Wear mittens instead of gloves for more warmth.

Stay dry. Change socks and other wet clothing to prevent loss of body heat. Wet clothes lose all insulating value and lose heat rapidly.

Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities like fingers, toes, nose and ears. Although frostbite is unusual with today’s excellent winter fabrics, if it does occur, warm the victim with blankets. Place the frostbitten area in warm (not hot) water. Do not rub the area. Give warm, not hot, nonalcoholic drinks.

If the feet are involved, the Red Cross cautions the victim should not walk until he or she receives medical attention.

Making Your Resolutions Successful

Making Your Resolutions Successful

Two words sum up New Year’s Resolutions: Faith and Gym.

According to LifeWay Research, a 2015 study shows that 57 percent of Americans made a health resolution while 52 percent made a faith resolution.

Those top two topics lead five categories of New Year’s resolutions.

About 43 percent of respondents in the telephone survey, cited use of time as an important resolution. That was followed closely by improving relationships with family (42 percent) and working on finances (37 percent). One third of respondents wanted to improve a relationship with a friend.

If you are one of the 75 percent of people who have failed to follow a resolution, you might want to reframe and re-adjust your new year vow.

According to Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest, authors of Edit Your Life podcast, try using a different word for resolution. Try thinking of your resolutions as intentions or directions about where you will take the year. If you think of them that way, then you may find yourself broadening your aims. Instead of vowing ‘run one mile a day,’ maybe what you really want to do is spend 30 minutes in dedicated exercise.

No matter what your goals, sometimes the hardest become much easier when you whittle down a resolution to the barest bones.

If you want to exercise, but you never have actually done it, maybe your resolution should be to just put on your exercise clothes at a specific time every day. Or just exercise for five minutes. That easy vow will get you started.

Dornfest recommends you get a confidant to talk with about pursuing your resolutions. The same person might not be perfect for all your resolutions, though.

Koh advises building failure into resolutions. Hey, you are never going to be perfect. If or when you slip up, how will you address the problem? Build in a ‘start again’ plan.

Understanding Your Carpet and How to Solve Problems

Understanding Your Carpet and How to Solve Problems

When selecting carpet, choosing the right color is often the most difficult part of the process. Most people make relatively neutral choices, picking colors such as beige, taupe, gray and even off white because they blend well with just about any decor. Yet, carpets in bold colors like burgundy, deep, rich browns, regal blues and purples, soothing greens and even multi-colored patterns are not uncommon either. The interesting thing is that the color itself is not what protects a carpet from stains. Rather, it’s how the color is dyed that matters. When you know how your carpet was colored you can make  more informed cleaning and spot treatment choices.

Extrusion and Coloration

Many carpets, such as polyester and Olefin, are created through extrusion. This is the process of melting plastic balls of  certain colors, then extruding the liquid through small holes to create strands. In this way the color goes all through the thread; it’s called “solution dyeing.” This creates the most colorfast carpets, fibers which are highly resistant to fading and bleaching because the color goes all the way through. These carpets are most often found in commercial applications, but they can be in private homes as well. One such extruded fiber, Olefin, is common in Berber style carpets. Olefin fibers are not very absorbent, so they are highly stain resistant.

Fiber & Yarn Dyeing

Sometimes, the material is extruded or otherwise turned into rough fibers before color is applied. Then, various methods are used to apply dye to these fibers before they are spun into yarn. This type of dyeing provides great color penetration,  but it is expensive and rarely used on carpets; it’s more common on wool and other high end fabrics. If the fiber is spun into yarn, then dyed, this is yarn dyeing, a common way that multiple colors of fibers are then woven into the carpet to make a variety of patterns, as is common in hotels and office buildings.

Print Dyeing

In print dyeing the carpet is made without color variety. Then, dyes are sprayed or painted on the carpet using stencils. This is common on novelty carpets such as playrooms, daycare centers and movie theaters.

Continuous Dye

The most common dyeing technique is the continuous dye method. After the yarns have been stitched into the backing material, the carpet passes through jets that spray hot dye into the face yarns. This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to dye carpet. Chances are, if you have a light to medium solid-color carpet, it was dyed in this way.

Keeping Carpet Looking Good

The dyeing process of a carpet determines how it resists color loss, fading and bleaching. An experienced cleaning company will know what chemicals and processes to use in order to get the best cleaning and maintenance results from a particular carpet. Using the wrong cleaning agents or processes could result in fading, loss of luster and other issues, so be sure to have your carpets cleaned at least semi-annually by Hansen Steam Way.