Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What is Your Definition of Church?

Most of my life I've attended churches that met in rented halls. School gyms, community centers, hotel meeting rooms, and even some church buildings belonging to other churches. We'd show up on Sabbath, set up the sound system and the chairs, and hold church services. Pretty simple, really though it often meant a lot of work for the guys who hauled and set up the sound system every week. There were many times we thought it really would be nice to have a permanent place of our own, if only to avoid that extra work.

I'm reading the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna right now. I've had it for years; just finally got around to reading it. I have to be honest - I really don't know much about the trappings such as you can get from boerboomchurchsupplies.com, ceremonies, and meanings behind most things in traditional churches - and I'm not just talking about the pagan origins, which are really eye-opening. Those I'm pretty sure most people don't know about...

The churches we meet with most of the time now do have their own buildings. And most of the time the order of services looks pretty much like it always has - songs, prayers, announcements, a sermon. There are people who don't think it's 'church' unless we have something very close to that. That's pretty basic compared to churches where the minister wears special clothing, candles are lit, and incense is burned. Really, do they actually do that? Too much singing bothers me - yes, I know, some people think that is the best part of the whole service, but I just don't get it - so I can't imagine how all that extra stuff would make me feel. Does it add to the service? Or does it just distract?

Personally, I think the most important part of 'church' is the fellowship, the gathering together, the building of relationships. If your church doesn't eat together, can you really call it a church? Candles, altar tables, and incense notwithstanding.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

'On-Trend' for Fall

I happened to turn Good Morning America yesterday right as they started talking about putting together a capsule wardrobe for fall. I've heard the term - capsule wardrobe - but I wasn't really clear on what it is, so I settled in to watch.

They took six basic pieces, mixed them and matched them, and created an entire wardrobe good for everything from work to a casual night out with friends to date night. Overall it was quite interesting and has me thinking of going through my closet - which has way more than six basic pieces - to see what I can mix, match, and coordinate. It would be extremely handy when it comes to packing for a trip. (We just traveled to Utah at the end of September, and even though I packed quite a bit less than I normally do when we drive, I still took way too many clothes.)

I can't say that I was a huge fan of the outfits they came up with for the GMA story. I really did not like that sweater (especially not belted over the dress) or the robe coat (and I would never pay even close to the price these pieces all sell for), but it did have me thinking of some of the pieces I already have in my closet and how I can combine them. Of course, I have a pair of black pants (or 2 or 3 or 4, who's counting?), a white blouse, and I even have a red blazer - 3 of the pieces used in the story. The one outfit I did like was the first one that combined those 3, except I think those pants are too short. But, I can do that! (with the pants I have that are actually long enough)

Apparently, red blazers are 'on-trend' this fall so I really should pull mine out and see if I can wear it at least once.  (with my leopard print shoes, which are 'on-trend' too - wow, I am going to be so stylin'!) Of course, since I spend most of my time at home and don't go out if I can help it, I'm not sure exactly when I'm going to be rocking my 'on-trend' outfits - but it will still be fun to see what I can come up with.

Not that I usually worry about fashion or what's 'in style'... In fact, there are many times I look at the clothes in magazines or even the weekly store ads and wonder who decided that looked good. Nobody is dumb enough to wear that, are they? But if you ever go out in public you know there are people who will apparently wear absolutely anything.  I find myself wanting to ask them if they have a mirror in their house - because they could not have looked into a mirror and believed for one minute that they looked good enough to go out in public...

Perhaps they just went shopping and picked up some of these new fashions available at your local Target. Oh my, what in the world are they thinking?

Who's ready to be 'on-trend' for fall?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Rely on Experienced Professionals to Keep Your Lake or Pond Healthy

Millenium Pond 5/3If you have a pond or lake on your property, you know it's important to take care of it. In addition to keeping it free of insects and other pests, you want to keep the water fresh and healthy. Stagnant water can end up attracting the very pests you're attempting to keep away. If you're not experienced in dealing with ponds or lakes this can become a frustrating experience.

Fortunately, there are companies who specifically deal with these kinds of environmental concerns. When you enlist their help, they will take over care for your body of water, ensuring it remains in good condition. Since the lake, or pond, is an important part of the area ecosystem, hiring professionals to care for it can help ensure you're doing your part to help the environment.

Fishing at Uncle Rob'sTo keep your pond safe and thriving, the technicians may conduct tests for pond algae identification . This can help them recommend the best methods for algae control and the elimination of aquatic weeds. Once the water has been cleared and refreshed, you may even consider having the water stocked with freshwater fish. This can help control the population of insects and other pests that the fish may eat.

Another service provided by an aquatic solutions company is the installation of a fountain or aeration system. This will likely be recommended because it helps to keep the water circulating. Water that stands still attracts mosquitoes and gnats more readily, so incorporating some method of keeping the water active can help keep those pests away.

Whatever your specific concerns, pond and lake care specialists can treat the water on your property with the services you need. Having the water and shoreline cared for by professionals means it will remain visually appealing, while also helping to nurture the environment. You may be able to bundle your services, or customize treatments, to suit your needs and your budget. Best of all, utilizing a professional service will spare you the aggravation of having to do it yourself.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

But It's Not November...

Last week we had temperatures in the 80s. It was still feeling quite a bit like summer. They told us on the TV weather that it was going to cool down, but I don't think we really paid that much attention. I mean, the weather forecast is pretty much always wrong...

    - Are you wearing a hoodie, pants, socks?
    - Is it November?
    - Do you pay the gas bill?
Or maybe we just expected it to be a bit cooler - not a lot colder.  But we've had quite an extreme temperature change, and it's really starting to feel like fall now. It's been cool enough when we crawl into bed at night that I've wished quite a few times that I had put some warmer sheets on the bed last time I changed them - maybe not the flannels yet, but perhaps the t-shirt material ones instead of the regular cotton sheets. But, it was 80° when I changed those sheets, and I wasn't ready for warmer sheets...

Jeffrey's also mentioned at least once that maybe we should think about turning the furnace on. It's not bad during the day - I've even been able to open up the door to the sunroom the last few days and let the cats out there - but climbing out of bed in the early morning (while it's still dark. WHY is it still dark?) is a bit chilly. A little heat might be nice, but it's not even November yet! Like a date on the calendar really makes a difference.

Honestly, the most important question on the thermostat in the pic is - "Are you wearing a hoodie, pants, and socks?" If you're not dressed properly, you really can't complain about being cold. Or hot, for that matter. There used to be a commercial showing a guy in jeans, socks, and a long sleeve flannel shirt always trying to adjust the thermostat to make the air conditioning colder. Seriously, buddy? Dress for the weather!  Apparently, you can save quite a bit on your energy bill just by adjusting your thermostat a couple degrees up or down (depending on season).

So, now that the weather has cooled down, we're wearing the long pants and putting on socks - and holding out for November. How about you? Have you turned on the heat yet?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Local Moving Company Can Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Moving is always a stressful experience, whether you're moving across the country or just across town. There are dozens of details to be taken care of before you even get to packing up all those boxes and transporting them to your new neighborhood. The process is especially complicated when you have pets and children. Fortunately, you can get help to make the move easier.

Most people don't even consider hiring movers when they're just relocating to a different neighborhood in the same city.  You may borrow a friend's pickup truck and recruit every available friend to help, but it still takes multiple trips back and forth and is a thoroughly exhausting process.

What if you could get the help you need without breaking the budget? Many smaller, local moving companies provide the same services as nationwide movers, but at a lower cost. You can get the help you need, while still staying within your budget, which alleviates much of the stress. This leaves you to take care of other concerns, like filing a change of address with the post office, switching utility services to your new home, and cleaning the property to prepare it for your family.

When you hire local movers in Clearwater, FL, be sure to check references, licenses, and insurance. This can help you ensure you're working with a respected and reputable business. Once you feel confident in the service and accept the estimate they offer, you can leave the rest in their hands. Simply make the arrangements and the movers will make sure your belongings get to their destination safely and on time.

Many local movers will also pack your boxes for you. If you've ever watched professional movers pack boxes, you know they can do it much faster and better than you or I ever could! The movers also label everything clearly so they know where each box goes when they get to your new house.

Even a short move means taking on a dozen tasks, while still dealing with the everyday aggravations of work, taking care of the family, and meeting other obligations. A local move can be even more emotionally draining than a long distance move. Hiring local movers with a good reputation can help alleviate some of those frustrations and make your move a little easier.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Oh, By the Way, They Have Books

I just finished reading The Library Book by Susan Orlean. I loved the book, which reminded me of how much I love the library. Sadly, I haven't been spending nearly as much time there as I used to...

While the book was primarily about the Los Angeles Public Library, it could also serve as a love letter to libraries everywhere. Yes, libraries are places where you can check out books - and who doesn't love taking home a whole stack of books? But libraries are so much more, always adapting and changing to meet the needs of their communities.

This morning on Good Morning America, one of those libraries was featured as a finalist in the Reader's Digest "Nicest Places in America" search.

I would have enjoyed the story anyway, but I just thought the timing was perfect, having just finished reading The Library Book yesterday. (which, by the way, was not a library book but an advance copy I got from NetGalley, which pretty much explains why I'm not in the library as much - ebooks!)

I'd like to believe that all libraries are among the nicest places in America...

and it's really time to get back into the habit of going regularly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Getting An Insurance Quote For Your Horse

Young girl and horses IVThere's a special attraction between little girls and horses. I almost said that all little girls want a horse, but that may not be entirely true. It's pretty close, though. If you have a little girl, you know what I mean. I was certainly one of those girls.

I was quite young when we had a horse and a pony, so the idea of needing insurance for the horse never crossed my mind. However, it really is a good idea. The question is - where do you find insurance for your horse? Here a couple places to start:

Call Your Insurance Provider - The first thing you can do is call your insurance provider. See if you can get an insurance quote for your horse as soon as possible. If your insurance company doesn't offer horse insurance, you can also contact several different insurance companies and try to request a quote from them. Sometimes, contacting multiple companies is better, enabling you to find the best deal.
little girl with grey mare
Look For Horse Insurance Companies - The next thing you can do is look for horse insurance companies. Sometimes these companies offer traditional insurance to people, but their main focus is to provide insurance for horses and other animals. You can find these types of companies online. Be sure to check the search engine ratings and customer reviews. A company with high ratings and good reviews is the Ark International Group. They promise to deliver a horse insurance quote within minutes, and they do their best to provide the country with the lowest insurance rates for horses.

You may not think having insurance for your horse is a big deal. However, your horse can get sick or even get hurt in a split-second. With no insurance, you may end up spending thousands of dollars, so even though you hope never to need it, you will be very happy to have it if something unforeseen happens.

Maybe even as happy as a little girl with her very own horse...

Monday, September 17, 2018

I Love This Idea!

I shared this video on Facebook 4 years ago. Thanks to Facebook memories, I was reminded again this morning. I loved it 4 years ago, and I love it just as much today! This is such an awesome idea. I really, really hope that this program is still going on and perhaps it has grown a bit.

What do you think? Great idea, isn't it?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Don't Let a Stinky Bathroom Drive Your Business Away

One Wrong Flush

As a business owner, you've likely come up with contingency plan after contingency plan to deal with arising problems. Staffing issues? You've got them handled. Power decides to go out? You have those backup generators. A rowdy customer? Security is just a call away. However, you may not have put thought into something that likely seems as though it could only occur in a comedy.

Imagine you're hosting at a restaurant. Everything, thus far, has been running smoothly and customers are pleased with their food and service. All seems well until you hear a few cries of terror and murmurs of distaste. The bathroom is flooding into the main dining room. It seems that because you chose to wait a little bit longer for someone to come and inspect the public restrooms of your business, one wrong flush ended up clogging the entire system making it back up. As such, you have sewage leaking over the polished hardwood and staining everything it touches.

As you can imagine, your customers will not be pleased. Not only is that money you're going to lose that night, but you're also going to lose even more to repair the damage those toilets have caused. Not just the porcelain thrones either. You'll have to hire cleaning crews to thoroughly wash the contaminated areas and potentially buy new furniture to replace the old. All while your business is closed - no customers, no income. It's a nightmare.

Have A Plan

To avoid this, you should come up with a plan of attack. One of the best ideas you can consider is having commercial plumbing Naperville IL services stop by regularly to perform maintenance on your toilets and sinks. Not only does this ensure the longevity of the toilets, but it could prevent an expensive problem from ruining your business. After all, you can imagine your reputation may suffer a bit from backed up toilets. Avoid the embarrassment and cost and have Courtesy Plumbing help you today.

(I was trying to find the appropriate picture for this post, but I think you probably had an even better one in your mind as you read it.)

3 Facts about Private Education

Every child must be educated. Most children attend a public school because it is free, readily available, and usually the easiest option available. Charter and private schools are also options, but since their costs are paid by the children's parents, fewer students attend. In some areas, the alternative options tend to be more sparse, too. While it is true that many private schools come with a sizable price tag, affordable private schools tampa florida exist, too. Some private schools offer payment plans, scholarships, and grants. In the case of religion-based schools, subsidized tuition fees are available because the affiliated congregation helps pay the costs.

Starting a Private SchoolHere are three facts about private education:
  1. All Grades are Under the Same Roof - Public education tends to separate children based on age due to the number of students who attend the school. For volume reasons, it is easier to divide the students into different schools like junior high and high school. Since the number of students who attend private school is considerably less, in this setting, a student will spend their entire educational career at the same school. The interaction between the younger and older students as well as in-between adds to the experience and develops another set of skills.
  2. Smaller Class Size - It is well-known that private schools have smaller class sizes. Again, this is simply due to the fact that fewer children go through this system. The benefits of smaller class sizes are also well-known. It is important to remember that the reduced class size is a result of parents paying the costs of their children's education. Since they are directly funding the institution, as opposed to taxpayers funding the education of everyone in their area, their expectations are higher.
  3. More Programs - Many parents would like to send their children to a private school because these institutions offer more opportunities and programs. While public schools are cutting extracurriculars like music and physical education, private schools maintain them. This is largely due to tuition fees.
Your local public school may be a good one, but if these sound like some benefits your child could benefit from, at least look into some of your local private schools. See if there are some scholarships, grants, or other ways to make it affordable for your family.