Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Good boy, Weasley

When I came back from my walk this morning, as I was turning some lights on in the family room, I noticed that Weasley was purring and trying to get my attention.  He does that sometimes when he thinks I'm going to go sit down so he can rush and sit on my lap.  He's so neglected!  But when I get back from walking, he knows it will be a while before I sit down.  So it wasn't that.

Then I glanced down.  And had to look again.

No, that wasn't a toy mouse. Weasley caught and killed a mouse, and he wanted to be sure I knew about it.

That is the first I knew about any mice in the house.  I'm re-reading the post I shared recently about getting rid of unwanted pests, and we haven't noticed any signs.  So we don't know where the little guy came from, how long he was here, or if there are any more.  But at least now we know Weasley can catch and kill a mouse - or at least play with it to death.

After he'd shown it to me - and I made sure to let him know what a good boy he was - he again started playing with it, tossing it around and chasing it, purring all the while.  So I gave him some cat treats, bagged it up, and took it outside to the trash toter before he could lose it under some furniture somewhere like he does with most of his toys.

Good boy, Weasley.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Get the New Josi Russell Book Guardians for 99¢ on Amazon

I was offered an opportunity to review a new book - that just happens to be available TODAY - called Guardians by Josi Russell.  When I read the description, and that of the prequel Caretaker, I knew I just had to read these books.

Currently I'm 28% into Caretaker, and I'm having a hard time putting it down.  Yes, I'm supposed to be reviewing the new book, but I obviously have to read the first one first.  And the good news is that you can read both of them too.  They're both only 99¢ on Amazon (Kindle version) right now through February 17, 2016.  (If you don't have a Kindle, you can always read on your computer or other device using the free Kindle app.  Or just click the banner at the top of this page and get your own Kindle Fire; the price is really good right now.)

To celebrate the launch of Guardians, Future House Publishing and Josi Russell are giving away both an autographed copy of Guardians and the audio book of Caretaker.  You can enter here.  I've already entered even though I have the Kindle versions of both books - because I love free stuff, and it is an autographed copy!  And an audio book too.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Guardians from Future House Publishing in exchange for an honest review, so be sure to come back for that.  In the meantime, go grab your copies of Guardians and Caretaker.  You only have until the 17th before the price goes up again.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Getting Rid of Unwanted Creatures from Your Home or Business

Even if your home or business is perfectly clean, you may still have pests like spiders, rats, and termites in your building. These creatures have a way of finding a way into a building and making themselves immediately at home. When your best attempts to trap and eliminate them have failed, it is time for you to reach out to professionals who are trained to kill off pests permanently. You can partner with skilled contractors like exterminators in MD and other pest control specialists who are ready to come to your location today.

Pest Control Utah

Identifying the Pests in Your Building

Many home and business owners do not know the range of pests that can come into their buildings. They may not recognize the droppings, chew marks, and other tell-tale signs of a pest invasion. Some creatures, however, are easy to detect, at least for some people. If you have ever heard chewing sounds in the walls, seen chew marks on wires, the doorways, and papers, or seen droppings on the floor and in cupboards, you could be certain that you have rodents in your home or business.

Rodents must be trapped and removed. They are not like bugs that can be killed with spraying. A pest control contractor must lay out traps, put out poisons, or even put down sticky pads that will trap and kill rodents permanently. Some poisons are taken back to the nest to kill the offspring as well.

It is important that you maintain a relationship with your contractor until all of the rodents are killed and removed. If you end the relationship early, you could be left with rotting rat and mice corpses in your building.

Other Pest Removal Services

Along with rats and mice, your building may also be infested with spiders, roaches, and other bugs. These creatures can be removed relatively quickly if you act promptly. Contractors can spray and put out gels that will kill the bugs rapidly. Their offspring will also be killed. Many buildings only require two or three treatments to become totally bug-free.

You can keep bugs out, however, by maintaining a relationship with a licensed pest control contractor. Regular spraying and inspection can ensure that bugs and pests are staying out for good.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

What's So Great About This Thing They Call a Dishwasher?

I never had a dishwasher until we moved to this house a couple years ago.  Unless you want to count the kids who mainly just grumbled about having to do something around the house and seemed to have a hard time actually getting things clean.  Thinking about it now, they probably did that on purpose so they could hopefully get out of washing dishes in the future.  And it worked way more than it should have.

When we built our house in Wisconsin, I had the choice of putting in a dishwasher or just having a cabinet in the spot next to the sink.  I chose a cabinet, because you can never have enough storage in the kitchen.  And I didn't want to pay extra to have the dishwasher. When we moved here, there was already a dishwasher.  We did end up buying a new one when we bought our new refrigerator so that it went with the other appliances better, and we gave the one that was here to Beth, along with the washer and dryer.

You'd think, because we actually spent money on it, that I would actually use the dishwasher, and I have - a handful of times.  I just haven't figured out what's so great about it yet.  It seems it takes longer to figure out how things are supposed to go into the dishwasher than it actually does to just wash the dishes.  Seriously, I really have no idea how things are even supposed to go in there, and I just end up getting frustrated.

And then there are the things that can't go into the dishwasher - wooden handled knives and wooden spoons that will dry out, silicone scrapers and plastic things that will pick up the smell of the dishwasher soap and hold onto it for ages, anything that will rust if it's not dried right away, etc.  The only things left that can actually go into the dishwasher are usually glasses, plates, bowls, and other easy-to-wash things.  I mean, I suppose at least I wouldn't have to wash those, but if I have to fill the sink with soapy water to wash all the other things, it seems silly not to just go ahead and wash everything while I'm at it.  Considering it takes 2 to 3 hours for the thing to run, it's definitely quicker to just wash the dishes and get it over with. 

Also, there are only two of us.  There are definitely dishes every day, but it would take several days to fill the dishwasher up with the things that can actually go in there.  My thought is that it takes the same amount of water, power, detergent, and time to run the dishwasher no matter how full it is, so there's no reason to run it unless it is completely full.  It would just seem wrong.  The problem with that is there are things I use on a regular basis, and I need to have them clean before I'd ever think of running the dishwasher.  So, even if I loaded things in there, I'd be pulling them out again so I could wash them and use them.

I usually wash dishes after dinner, stack them in the drainer to dry overnight, and put them away in the morning while the coffee brews.  It works perfectly because I hate drying dishes.  If the dishwasher runs and I don't remember to crack the door open so air can get in overnight, unloading and putting the dishes away also includes drying.  Did I mention that I hate drying dishes?  Honestly, I have a hard enough time getting my hands dry sometimes, let alone trying to get dishes dry.

So, those of you who think you just can't live without your dishwasher - what is so great about this thing?  Oh, I'm sure I'm doing it wrong, but I honestly don't mind washing dishes.  It's one of my two favorite things to do when I want to warm up.  Or maybe that's three favorite things...

Homebuilding Requires More Than a Good Idea or a Blueprint

contractorIf you ask the average person what kind of house they would prefer, they likely could tell you the style of the house, describing it in detail, and give you every one of the house's features. Some who have some drawing skill could even sketch the house for you. It takes a lot more than a sense of style to build a house, though. In fact you have to be licensed in every state just to take on this task. Here are some things that contractors have to learn before they are allowed to build homes or master the contractor license renewal process.
  • Reading Blueprints and Understanding Building Codes
    Imagine how dangerous some houses would be for living if there were no agency to inspect the work. People would have to deal with fire hazards, substandard materials, fall and accident hazards, and other potential dangers. Fortunately, cities have processes in place to ensure that all contractors understand how to read the blueprints for buildings and understand how legal codes might impact the building plans. No matter how beautiful the idea is for a new house, it has to stand up to current code regulations.
  • Energy Conservation
    Every gorgeous idea is not necessarily the most energy efficient use of materials and space. When contractors participate in continuing education courses, or take the required courses for initial licensure, they learn how to best use materials in order to protect the environment, preserve the longevity of materials, and conserve energy. Although some cities offer incentives to encourage contractors to engage in these best practices, the most trusted contractors are already using energy efficient plans as a part of their routine contract work. 
  • OSHA and Other Safety Regulations
    Almost everybody knows someone who is a jack-of-all-trades and could build a house from the ground up with little to no help. However, this natural ability does not mean that the jack-of-all-trades is prepared to build safely. Licensing courses teach contractors the best ways to approach safety and keep construction sites compliant with local and national regulations. The risk of not having this training is personal and crew safety, as well as a potential construction shut-down if officials are not pleased with safety precautions.
No matter how good your idea may be for a new house, it is not sound unless it can withstand the inspections required by most cities. The rules are there to protect both contractors and those who dwell in the house. Licensing courses help ensure contractors really know what they are doing.