Home Experiences Archives

Chocolate Muffins and Smoke Detectors

Today for breakfast Melinda decided that she wanted chocolate muffins. So she found a recipe on the internet and we started making them! …Well, actually, she made them, I just read the directions. Anyway, the fun thing about this was that we had to use the oven. What’s so funny about using an oven? Well, I’ll tell you. When I first arrived here one of the things Melinda warned me about was the Smoke Detectors. “They go off at the tiniest hint of smoke,” she noted. “They are very sensitive.”

It’s been about two months now (Holy Jersey Cow! Thats quite a while!) and I haven’t heard them go off once! I admit, I began to wonder if the Claybrooks really had been telling the truth. (Haha, just kidding) They mentioned that if the oven was ever used, or if the toaster was ever used, then the Smoke Detectors would go off. (Let’s just say, my Toast and Jelly days were finally over, just because I’m too afraid to use the toaster)

Then the other thing about the Smoke Detectors: They are all linked. If one of them goes off then they all go off. It’s like when a baby cries during the Sunday meeting. When one starts, they all start. And before you know it the entire congregation is crying. Even the ones that aren’t children. -Or like when you yawn. If a person sees you or hears you or even thinks about yawning, they unavoidably, without fail yawn too. How bizarre is that!?

So, the chocolate muffins were made and divided up into their own little hole, then placed in the oven to cook. After about ten minutes or so Melinda asked me, very serious, I might add, if I was ready. I had to ask why.

“Because,” she said handing me a checkered hand towel with an earnest look, “I’m going to open up the oven and the Smoke Alarm is going to go off.”

I took the hand towel slowly from her grasp and remained in the hallway, just under the small white sensor pressed against the ceiling, while she disappeared into the kitchen.

Okay!” she hollered. “I’m opening the oven!”

Quick as a flash Melinda opened the oven and quick as a flash she yanked the muffins from the depths of the oven. (She did it so fast, in fact, that on the last round, more than half the muffins fell to the ground. It was really rather funny. I laugh just thinking about it! Of course, they’re were only three muffins in the pan to begin with, but hey, it was still more than half)

I remained under the detector watching as Melinda worked. So far the alarm hadn’t gone off and I was beginning to wonder if it ever would. I guess I wasn’t too surprised when it finally did. (Beep! Beep! Beep!) I was a little busy laughing at folly’s to fan the smoke away. Melinda came round bopped me lightly on the head with another towel and started whipping away the smoke from around the abhorrent sphere.

Although I had plenty of good laughs at this small act, I was a little disappointed that I had not been entreated to the full effect. The alarm only went off twice. The other detectors in the house hadn’t had a chance to go off yet. Oh well. I’d like to say simply, “better luck next time” but somehow that doesn’t seem to fit right. Oh well.

When we were each done eating our muffins (which turned out rather well, if I do say so myself) we decided on a couple of things. The house, for one, is a boy. The car, however, is a girl. The car is a girl simply because she has her days of when she feels like starting or not. Plus, it just looks like a girl. Then the house is a boy because, as Melinda put it, “It makes weird noises.” And it does. Really. Whenever I find myself home alone, the house makes the strangest of sounds. There are times I even think that I’m not alone, because it makes so much noise. We also decided that the smoke detectors alone aren’t really a he or a she. They’re just an “it“.

So yeah. That’s how my day went. Interesting hu? ….yeah, you’re right. It was actually very boring….Oh well. That’s life!

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that the unpredictabilities of life are indeed very unpredictable. Strange things can happen and quite often do. …-Oh, and another lesson is that you should always have a towel handy when cooking muffins. You wouldn’t want to disturb the neighbors or give yourself a heart attack.

Julia Willis

Bah Humbug! No More Big Presents!

From my experience, all Christmas presents should be no bigger than a shoe box. Period.

Now before you think I some kind of Christmas scrooge, let me say that I really love Christmas, but every year it goes like this: We bundle up our little tots and stuff them into our oh-so-cool minivan to cart them to Grandma’s house. There, they load up on sugar and beverages (not the best combination) and open so many huge presents that their heads are about to explode. Somehow, even though we have instituted the gift exchange rule, it never seems to work. There are weird exclusions for the youngest members of the family and they get way more than their share of the loot.

Then it’s time to go and we have to try and figure out how to fit ten pounds of potatoes in a five pound sack in order to make it back home. The kids are so overwhelmed with stuff and they really would be just as happy with one or two special gifts.

Now I know that there is no way I am going to convince all the doting grandmas and aunts of the world not to buy gifts for their special little ones, so I beg you, stick with the shoe box rule. I have no more room for giant castles, enormous plastic furniture, or life-size anything. Please.

Lucky Bamboo: Houseplants You Can’t Kill

From my experience, I can tell you that one of the hardiest plants I have every tried to kill is the Lucky Bamboo plant. I am also happy to say that it has thwarted all my inept attempts to end its life. In other words, this plant want to live. Live, I say! Live!

Braided Lucky BambooI’ve killed cacti, bonsai trees and even ferns have withered under my watchful eye. But the lucky bamboo has actually thrived with little more than adding water which I do too infrequently. Yet it continues to grow and sprout new leaves.

Not only has it lived through my neglect it has managed to become of visual interest. The twists and turn of the stalk and the green foliage have caught me attention more than once while sitting in my office.

If your thumb is not green, but black like the death you inflict on your houseplants, then I can tell you from experience to try your luck with a lucky bamboo, you will finally be able to say you have stopped the killing spree!

Seriously, these plants are beautiful and easy to care for. Here are some lucky bamboo care instructions, just in case. I have one at home and one at work. They also make great office gifts that require the smallest of commitments.

A Paradigm Home Theater Experience

From my experience Paradigm speakers are the best bang for the buck you can get for your home theater! Over the years I’ve owned many different brands of speakers including Cerwin Vega, JBL, Infinity and Bose. Yet none of these can compare to the price and sound quality of my current Paradigm home theater setup. And to top it off, the Paradigm’s cost less than my previous Bose speakers. I currently have the Mini Monitor system, except that I opted for a larger center & surrounds.

The first time I heard Paradigm speakers in the showroom, I fell in love with their rich, vibrant & authentic sounds. But it wasn’t until my Mom was visiting and said, “Wow, I can’t believe how good this sounds, it’s better than the theater,” that I truely marveled in how good a value they are. It takes a lot to make people, like my mother, who normally say they can’t tell a difference in sound quality take notice of how good something sounds.

Frying Bacon

From my experience you should never fry bacon without wearing a shirt. Hot grease hurts. Ouch.

Geothermal Heat Pump Systems—The Most Power Effective Heating & Cooling Solution

If there’s 1 unit that is right up there with the main breakthroughs in research all around vitality efficient programs, it is the geothermal heat pump method. The warmth pump methods operate a lot like the refrigerator only they dissipate and take in warmth from an underground environment via a nexus of pipe buried deep into the earth. Significantly like traditional refrigerators these pipes carry fluid and can provide down vitality consumption by as considerably as 70 %. Nevertheless, though these systems are designed in the manner of refrigerators they have a single considerable distinction, which helps make them far better than their predecessors.

It is typical expertise that deep down inside of the earth the temperature stays continually higher, irrespective of climate modifications. The unit employs a layer of earth, in which the temperature stays continually at fifty degrees centigrade. It as a result supplies a extremely dependable resolution, due to the fact in contrast to refrigerators, which transfer heat to the encompassing air, they are not impacted by adjustments in atmosphere. Which is why, this gadget can operate with as minor vitality as 1-kilowatt per hour delivering as much as twelve,000 Btu of heating or cooling. Even though, conventional a/c programs need vitality in the sum of 2.two Kilowatt/hour to produce the same quantity of Btus. Geothermal systems can carry out at a stage, which is 400x more efficient more than the greatest air conditioners and 200x much better than the greatest gasoline furnaces accessible in the marketplace.

In truth, there are several benefits of using a geothermal warmth pump method. These methods require very minor servicing, arrive with ten-12 months ensures, and operate without any complaints for decades with each other. Some of the early adopters of these methods report that they have utilised these geothermal techniques for more than 25 many years and have manufactured only a few replacements throughout the total period. These systems also create really tiny noise and can be safely set up inside the home devoid of any safety problem. Nevertheless, there is a single disadvantage to this unit turning into the most well-known heating and cooling system. A geothermal program needs nearly 1500 to 1800 feet of pipes that have to be buried below the floor for a standard 2000 Sq Ft house.

Installing these pipes on flat grounds is usually least difficult, however, when they have to be fitted on rocky ground or such other challenging terrain the procedure typically will get tedious. These kinds of hard set up processes can usually charge a great deal of cash. Nevertheless, in spite of the enormous investment up front, a geothermal warmth pump system generally ends up having to pay by itself off in 5-10 many years. What’s important to take away is the amount of power that is saved by way of a geothermal program. Your investment is quickly recognized in your heating/cooling payments. A geothermal warmth pump program is also very environment friendly and minimizes the greenhouse fuel emission by an equivalent of planting as a lot of as 750 trees or minimizing two vehicles from the streets.

The federal agencies now offer a one-time tax credit score of $300 in the US and $3500 in Canada on the installation of an HVAC geothermal warmth pump system. In truth, there are a number of organizations that have now arrive up with loans that assist men and women make the initial investment of putting in one particular of these techniques. Even neighborhood energy firms are supplying incentives for residents and company who employ geothermal technological innovation to reduce vitality consumption.

TERRASource geothermal heat pump technique provides yr-round successful heating and cooling for house/workplace by utilizing the earth as a warmth source for the duration of the winter, and conversely as a cooling resource for the duration of the summer time months. Geothermal heaters preserve up-to 70% on Vitality Payments.

Phoenix Heating and Heating is certain to give you with the most effective and inexpensive heating resolutions for just about any situation. Available around-the-clock, we do our very best to quickly arrive at your property or office.

Decorating Wedding Cakes With Pearls

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Wedding cake with pearls

Wedding Cakes with Pearls

What normal bride don’t love pearls? Classic, feminine, and luminous, a pearl necklace and earrings on the bride simply radiates good taste. This very concept can be used to design the wedding cake. For an elegant white wedding cake, a beautiful decorative element are edible pearls. Read below to learn about many ways to use pearls to decorate that perfect wedding cake.

Using Pearls to Decorate Your Wedding Cake

If you like your pearl necklace to have a modern twist, you will love the style of a pearl encrusted wedding cake with a random pattern. A three tier cake is covered in smooth fondant, and somewhat large white “pearls” are scattered from the top down. Have the pearls be denser on the top tier, and get more scattered as they fall down towards the bottom layer of the cake. An opalescent powder on the pearls will give them a beautiful radiance, just like real pearls. A pretty variation on this is to mix white sugar pearls with silver ones; especially nice for a winter wedding.

Placing edible pearls along the base of each tier of the wedding cake to create rows is a very feminine way to decorate a wedding cake. It will appear as though the baker of the wedding cake has layed across each layer of the cake a pearl necklace. You can frost the wedding cake in a different color than the pearls to make them stand out. Colors that work very well include mint green, bably blue, lilac, and pink. You can top the wedding cake with a large frosted bow with streamers falling down the tiers. It is a fairly simple design, yet one with a lot of style. This type of wedding cake would be ideal for a spring or summer wedding during the afternoon time.

Wedding cakes inspired by the bride’s gown and pearl necklace are always special. Incredibly beautiful and subtle all at once, a lace patterned cake designed in ivory on white is wonderful. Make it even more special by using edible pearls like beading on the frosting lace design, just like a real bridal gown might have. Another idea is to use the pearls to create a row of “pearl buttons” down the front of the cake. It is lovely couture detail, one that you might find on a designer bridal gown. For the cake topper, consider a standing custom monogram made from faux pearls.

Edible Pearls for Wedding Cake Decorations

You can also use edible pearls to design a geometric pattern on a wedding cake. A classic Swiss dot design would be marvelous when made with tiny faux pearls instead of flat dots. It is a special detail which will add dimension and interest to the cake. You can top the wedding cake with sugar blossoms to mimic lilacs or peonies because swiss dot is lovely for spring. You can add a ribbon to each tier of the wedding cake in the same color as the flowers on top to add more color to the wedding cake. What a stunning cake this would be for a bride wearing a dotted organza bridal gown with pearl earrings! Edible pearls can serve the purpose of adding punctuation for a particular patterned wedding cake. At the junction

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of each quilted diamond, you can create a Chanel-inspired guilted cake in ballet pink fondant with tiny white pearls. Top it off with pale pink and black anemone blossoms, or a single oversized black camellia blossom made from gum paste (the camellia was Coco Chanel’s signature flower, of course).

You can never go wrong when you choose edible pearls as a beautiful decorative element on your wedding cake. They are elegant, classic, pretty, and very bridal. Style and grace will easily be added to a wedding cake by covering it with pearls.

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Deer Antler Extract – Benefits And Deficiencies Of Nutritional Vitamins

Vitamins are compounds discovered in meals, which assist us to be fit and healthy. These organic compounds assist in the functioning of the various metabolic systems of our body. Nutritional vitamins are discovered naturally within the numerous foods, which we consume and we can also obtain nutritional vitamins in the form of supplement dietary supplements. Vitamins also help to protect our body from diseases and infections. Nutritional vitamins are also essential for the formation of numerous enzymes and hormones from the physique which control the metabolic actions for example digestion, circulation excretion and so on.

There are about eleven kinds of vitamins, which are important for that human body. Vitamin A is important for the correct working of our eye and it also acts as an anti oxidant preventing certain oxidizing chemical reactions, which cause harm to our body. Vitamin A could be attained from green leafy greens, broccoli, carrot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, papaya etc.

The B group nutritional vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, cyanocobalamin and biotin. These are important for the proper working of our nervous system and for the conversion of meals in to energy by the body. It is also important for the correct working of various metabolic activities of our physique. Vitamin B is obtainable from entire grains, beans, fish, lean meat, fruits and vegetables, dry fruits, nuts, milk, egg, soy beans, and so on. Vitamin B-12 can be obtained only from animal sources such as liver, egg, meat, cheeses etc. B group vitamins are important for the amino acid metabolism, nitrogen metabolism, and for that healthy skin. Vitamin C could be attained from citrus fruits for example lemon, sweet lime, oranges, grapes, grapefruit and so on. Vitamin C is important for that prevention of illnesses and infection. It also helps in the absorption of iron. Vitamin D could be obtained from sunlight. It’s essential for that bones and teeth. It is also needed for that growth of our physique. Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant. It could be obtained from whole grains, asparagus, wheat germ, corn, green leafy greens and seeds.

If you don’t take a correct nutritious diet then you may suffer from supplement deficiency well being problems. Lack of Vitamin A can trigger issues related to eyesight for example night blindness. Insufficient Vitamin B can cause illnesses like Beriberi, Anemia, poor resistance to illnesses, etc. Lack of Vitamin C causes gum bleeding, weakness, loss of appetite, tiredness etc. Insufficient supplement D causes deformation of bones and teeth. Deficiency of nutritional vitamins in food leads to poor health. An effective way of filling the nutritional gaps because of poor eating habits is the use of supplement dietary supplements. These supplement dietary supplements can help us to boost our immune program and to build up stamina.

It is usually much better to take vitamins as a whole from food sources rather than artificial vitamins. Taking synthetic nutritional vitamins is more like taking half supplement and our physique treats normal and synthetic vitamin differently. It’s extremely important to supply our body with natural nutrients for protecting numerous organs and body functions. Our body requirements entire vitamins, that are discovered naturally in the foods such as grains, greens and fruits rather than vitamin supplements. Our body utilizes the natural supplement much more efficiently than the artificial supplement.

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