Archive for June 2018

A Celebration of independence

A Celebration of independence

As we consider the dramatic words of the Declaration of Independence, we wonder whether the writers knew the long-range impact of their words.

Did they see a great nation emerge from a vision of independence? We think they did. How many times have you personally marveled at the wisdom of these national founders? They had a rare vision of what our country would turn out to be, and that vision rings true to this very day. Their writings were an achievement of significant proportions.

Since the first July 4th, historians give us some interesting notes about that calendar day. First, they say the Declaration of Independence was signed on August 2, 1776, about a month after being adopted.

President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, and three of our nation’s first five presidents died on that day: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1826, and James Monroe, our fifth president in 1831.

Congress didn’t actually declare it as legal federal holiday until 1941.

The 4th of July is also a holiday for American business, says Robbie Briggs, a real estate company CEO. He reminds us that it’s a day that celebrates America’s devotion to entrepreneurship and the opportunity to build businesses of our own.

Briggs says it serves as a tribute to each citizen and all they may elect to pursue in business or any other endeavor.

As we commemorate our independence, we remember that America’s freedom and democracy occurred because of the determination of our forefathers to establish this place as a free country.

Debt and Retirement Equals a Serious Problem

Debt and Retirement Equals a Serious Problem


Debt is more acceptable these days, but it is becoming a drag on retirement, especially when the unexpected happens.

According to new research by Employee Benefit Research, more households headed by someone 75 or older are in debt. The number for whom debt is excessive – more than 40 percent of income – has increased 25 percent in the last 10 years. In fact, 50 percent of 75-plus households have debt in housing or credit cards, up from 31 percent in 2007.

Newly retired people or those nearing retirement are more likely to have
debt than retirees in the 1990s,even though debt payments as a percentage of income have declined.

According to Forbes, it is important to get debt paid off when approaching
retirement. Unexpected problems can cause serious financial woes for new retirees. Health problems after retirement or a job loss before retirement can send people burdened with debt into bankruptcy.

Retirement years will be a much happier time if they’re spent debt free.

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!