Check Commenter’s Website

One thing I’ve tried to make a habit of doing is to check the website of each person that comments  or likes to my various blogs, when they leave a link to their own website.

For me, if their site isn’t a place I would recommend to anyone else, then I surely don’t want to have others find that link by way of my site. So far, I have had only two that I would not consider following their blogs, both commented on my Christian posts.

One was providing a ping back, while the other which I received today provided a comment.

If the blogger takes the time to do this each day, or whenever they notice they have a new comment, like or ping (track)back, then they can keep on top of it. If every link to another person is accepted, then all other comments from that person will be accepted and if the blogger is too busy or begins to get many followers and comments, they may find one day that there are those that are only trying to get folks from your blog to their own, which may be okay for most people. But if the website is questionable according to what you believe, do you want that to happen?

I think so many of us that are starting out just want more comments that we’re happy with whatever we get.

An example would be, if I were teaching how to make money building websites and getting returning customers willing to purchase off my site, would I want someone to comment saying my product is unreliable, or that the concept would never work?

Now maybe, if they commented as such, we could have a simple discussion about it, but if their website taught just the opposite then I’m not sure whether that comment would help or detract from mine. There may be a way to place a message there, or it may end up being fine to have it there as there will always be dissenters to what we have to say, but in my opinion, keep that dissenting to your own blog, don’t invade mine also.

I may also allow comments and links contrary to my own in the majority of my blogs, I don’t know, where I find the issues I don’t like is on my Christian blogs. If they are slamming me that’s one thing, but once they begin to slam God that’s quite another.

What do you think? Do you check the websites of those that comment on your blogs? Feedback would be good, positive or negative.

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How to Keep Valuables Safe

Safe deposit boxes inside the vaults of a Swis...

Safe deposit boxes inside the vaults of a Swiss bank. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best place to keep valuables safe would be a safe deposit box at your local bank. It would probably be a good thing to investigate before-hand whether that bank has ever been broken into for the items stored in the boxes. My guess is that the majority of banks do not have crooks breaking into them, but it would still be a good thing to check out.

A lot of people do not utilize the banks for their valuables. For many of them they keep their jewelry in their jewelry boxes. Although that is the logical place to keep it, I am questioning the validity of that decision that many home-owners make.

The reason I have come to this conclusion is that two people who I know personally were robbed this year. I know that for one family it was only their jewelry boxes that was lifted from their home. I do not know what was taken from the other home at this point in time.

Most people keep their jewelry boxes in the most logical place, right on top of their dressers in their bedrooms; it is located in plain sight for any visitors to see. I am not suggesting that visitors come back to steal the jewelry, but that the crooks don’t have to look far to find what they are looking for.

Somehow, they find out when homeowners will be away from the property, and then break into the homes. For the one family that I know, the jewelry boxes were the only thing that was taken. The crooks hope to find gold within which can be sold easily these days.

I would like to suggest to those that aren’t going to utilize their banks safety deposit boxes to find other places around their homes to hide their valuables. I could suggest various places in your home to hide your own belongings that you don’t want stolen, but I don’t want to give the crooks any ideas. If you’d like some of my suggestions, send me a comment and we’ll go from there.

Don’t assume that it won’t happen to you. It’s best to take the offensive in the situation and be prepared. If you wait to take the defensive, it may be too late. If you collect or have some unique jewelry boxes and want to keep them on your dresser, store something in them that wouldn’t be missed like jewelry would.

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Run in With Poison Ivy

Poison ivy produces urushiol to protect the pl...

Poison ivy produces urushiol to protect the plant from herbivores. In humans this chemical produces an allergic skin rash, known as urushiol-induced contact dermatitis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I think I did it now, I believe I touched a bunch of poison ivy. I was in the process of mowing my back lawn, which hasn’t been done in a while. The majority of the lawn is weeds, more than have been there in the past, possibly because of the unseasonably hot weather we had this year.

There is some grass in the yard, but mostly violets. There is a new week which I hope to kill soon using white vinegar, if I ever remember to buy some at the store. I’ve used white vinegar on weeds before, and it works great.

In one section of the lawn I noticed an odd looking plant I’d not seen before. It was like a vine growing there. I try not to mow down anything I don’t want to get stronger, as many things will do, so I bypassed it as I made my sweeps around the yard. Finally, it got to the point where I needed to dig out the thick grass that eventually sticks to the bottom of the mower-from not mowing often enough. After I took care of that job, I checked out the vines. While pulling on them, I noticed that they pulled easily, traipsing their way through my lawn. I pulled out about five to ten vines before I got to wondering whether they might actually be poison ivy.

Years ago, in about the early eighties I had a run in with poison sumac, although I didn’t know it until the symptoms began to show up on my legs. It gave me two huge water blisters on the front of my thighs. I think they were about the size of a baseball. The hardest part about it was as I walked the liquid in the blister bounced along, nothing comfortable in that. When the poison sumac ‘bit’ me, I never saw before-hand what the leaves looked like.

Tonight, I set the vines on an old swing we have in the back yard that  no one uses, and immediately came into the house, after putting the mower into the garage. I took off my watch and glasses and thoroughly washed my arms and right eye, which I had rubbed before realizing what it was I was touching.

I’m hoping I was able to wash off all the plant oils before they embed themselves into my skin.

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Ahh, something stole my plant

I purchased a new plant this spring, as my manner is. I have a hard time not getting new plants every year as I work in a store that has a garden center just slightly smaller than Lowe’s. This was a plant I’d never seen before, called a Catchfly. The company it came from was/ is http://www.bloomiq.com, and it is the variegated version of the plant.

It’s normal for me to purchase plants but not be able to get them in the ground right away since I’m so busy working two jobs. This year, though, we’ve barely had any rain-like most places in the states- and I had a hard time keeping up with the watering. This particular plant looked like it was ready to die. I already lost one plant last year for the same reason and didn’t want to lose another, so I dug a hole and planted it.

I began doing better watering, not necessarily daily, but at least weekly and sometimes more often. It took a long time, but finally it was beginning to show signs of new growth and new leaves instead of the dead ones that I was looking at for some time.

Last week I noticed a bunny in our yard and my daughter said she had seen it earlier in the month. I know that a few years ago, bunnies were having babies under our ramp in the front yard, but I never had any problems with them. Two days after seeing that bunny, my plant wasn’t just chewed up, it looked like it was pulled out by the roots.

To give any animals the benefit of the doubt, it could be it dried out too much again, but it was looking so good that I highly doubt that. Oddly enough I’ve never had that problem before, with any of the small critters eating any of my plants.

So readers, do you think the culprit was that bunny, or is that highly unlikely? I’m not in an area that has problems with deer, so I know they didn’t eat it.

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For Your Perusal

For Your Perusal.

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On Vacation, Sort Of

This week I have off from my somewhat main job, which is working in a retail store similar to Wal-mart. Generally when I take a vacation from there, it is because we go on a trip, either part of a week, or just the weekend. This year though, we had planned on visiting my husband’s dad in PA, and then head to Ohio for a church get together that we attend every year.

Our mechanic showed me something that needed immediate attention, which I’ll probably post about in the near future. He showed me that one of our strut towers was falling apart. It had separated from the lower section and was encircled in rust.

I was glad to find out about this before heading out of town on a trip. I wouldn’t want to be stuck somewhere without a vehicle. Years ago we had to have our vehicle towed thirty miles to be fixed when we were heading to PA, and it’s not a fun way to spend one’s vacation, not to mention the money spent that wasn’t budgeted.

So, even though we’d prefer not to have to invest money into fixing it, it’s better than having the whole van fall apart if we go over a big bump in the road.

I took the vacation for the trip, but since we’re not going, I decided it would be nice to be able to make more money doing windows since I’d be stuck at home anyway. I had most of the week planned out with larger jobs, two to three per day.

Generally, I’m only able to plan larger jobs on Mondays and Wednesdays the two days I have off from the retail job. The other days, I have to plan smaller jobs depending on who is able to work, because I go to work at the store in mid-afternoon.

I expected this week to be a great week getting caught up on all my bills, and what happens? My one employee that can move and work with the ladder calls in sick. He already informed me that he still doesn’t feel all that great and probably won’t be working tomorrow either.

We did work today, but I had to switch the jobs around, and will have to hope that my customers don’t get upset when they find out that we may not get to them tomorrow either.

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Fortuitous Forty!!!

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. ~ Lou Holtz

A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart. ~ Hal Borland

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? ~ Rose Kennedy 

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Another Tidbit About Propagating

pet plant

pet plant (Photo credit: Michael Sarver)

In one of my original posts I discussed propagating mums in a manner that my mother taught me, which is different than anything I’ve ever heard about or read elsewhere.

I was sharing this information with a customer at the retail store where I’m a cashier and she said she used to own a gardening store and had been thinking of starting a blog or website about gardening. I encouraged her to do just that. She knew about propagating the way I was familiar with, but said that it is illegal to propagate plants you purchase from a store and then turn around and sell the newer plants.

She said that is something the authorities, I don’t know which authorities that would be, visit greenhouses to make sure nothing is being done that is against the rules. She said when ‘proven winners’ are purchased, they are expected to be purchased from the plant distributors and retailers, not propagated and resold to make a bigger profit.

So, gardeners, if you want to propagate your plants in this easier fashion, it is fine if it’s for your own use, but stay away from selling the newer plants. Possibly it would be different if grown from seeds, but research this out before assuming anything.

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Paying With Cash and Receiving Change Back, or Losing What You Keep in Your Pockets

I work in a grocery store as a cashier and I’ve noticed through the years that most people who pay with cash and get money back don’t pay attention to whether the change they receive is correct or not. This is especially true for those that go to self-serve checkouts.

When the dollar bill machine spits the money out, most people grab it and stuff it into a pocket, wallet or purse. There have been times after people have left that another part of the money that should have been dispensed at the same time got stuck in the machine and came out a bit after the person left the store.

Another thing that happens is that a person might ask for extra change back and then forget to wait for it, leaving before the machine dispenses the money.

Something else that I’ve seen time and again is money that is lost unbeknownst to the owner when it is kept in their pockets. I used to do the same thing, keep bills in my pockets, but now, I always take a few minutes to put my money away into my wallet.

I’ve seen kids come up to their parents or grandparents asking for quarters. Many of those adults reach into their pockets for change and while doing so, bills will accidentally fall out of their pockets. Oftentimes they don’t even know this has happened so when they later realize they are missing money, they don’t know who to call looking for it.

The store I currently work for will put found money away in a safe for a month to see if it’s owner will claim it. The best way to claim it is to not lose it in the first place and the best way to do that is to make sure bills are contained some way, if not in a wallet or purse at least in a bill holder.

Along these lines, when paying with cash, count out your bills-more than once if needed especially when working with newer bills. It’s not uncommon for folks to give me more than what they need for their purchase. I always count the money before telling the computer what I have, that helps ensure that I don’t take in too much money.

If you see anyone accidentally drop any money, or find some on the floor, you have no business claiming it for yourself. Why, you might ask? Because it’s the right thing to do. Another reason is if the same thing ever happened to you-that you misplaced money, hopefully it would be returned to you also.

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Some Things to Know When Picking Out Blinds for Your Windows

I thought I’d write this post for home-owners that are looking for new window treatments for their windows. The majority of this post will be about blinds.

My husband and I own a window cleaning business and one thing that we have found is that many home-owners purchase the wrong kind of blinds for their windows, or the blinds may be okay, but the way they are installed aren’t the best.

If you have windows that are considered double-hung windows, this is generally not a problem. For those of you that are not sure the difference, double-hung windows have two panes of glass that usually have a lock in the middle. The lower window can be raised to get a breeze into the home. Sometimes both the upper window can be lowered and the lower window raised. Either way, that is a double-hung window.

The others are casement or what I call sliders. Casement windows roll open, whereas sliders open by sliding one side to the other. I believe casement windows are the most problematic in this area of fitting blinds. The windows that slide generally have two or more windows within a window frame, but casement can have their own frame for each window unless several are installed side by side.

What seems to happen is that when blinds are installed, the hardware for the blinds are put inside the window frame, which means that it is flush against the tops of the screens. The only time this isn’t a problem is when the screen is removed from the bottom of the window, and even then it can be a tight squeeze.

When screens are removed they need to have an extra section to move the screen up into approximately the same width as the screen itself. If the hardware for the blind is put right next to the screen then there is not that needed space in which to move the screen into to pop it out of the window frame. This is even more of a problem if the screens are removed by pulling down on release pins located at the top of the screen.

This may seem like a lot of information, but you wouldn’t believe how many homes we clean in which we aren’t able to remove the screens to clean them properly and it also makes it harder to clean the windows since the windows then need to be cleaned from the outside. If the work is being done on ladders, then it’s harder yet.

We cleaned windows on a house today that had the heavy duty wide wooden blinds. For the windows that had several together, we were able to get the screens removed, but for the most part, they will not be removed until the home-owner replaces the blinds.

The only way to eliminate this problem in the first place is to put the hardware for the blinds on the outside of the window frame. Another option is to utilize a type of bracket in which the hardware can be attached to the wall. It may not seem like it would look as streamlined, and it probably won’t, but it would be better to be able to thoroughly clean the windows and screens.

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