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Vines Intertwined

A number of friends and clients recently shared with me that, after learning that my partner and I go out on regular date nights, they began making date night part of their schedules as well. What a happy occurrence! It makes me smile to know that these couples are out chatting over dinner and enjoying each other instigated by my partner and I enjoying a regular date night.

With that said, I thought it worthy of taking this opportunity to share some food for thought about why fun habits like date night are not an indulgence, but a necessity.

Before we hone in on our personal experience as partners, a broad sociological perspective sheds some light on the state of committed partnerships as a whole. We regularly hear such phrases as the “decline of marriage” or “soaring divorce rates” on the news and in popular culture. As a coach, I am less interested in the institutional or political concerns and more interested in the individual’s experience of happiness and fulfillment in her or his chosen partnership. However, some studies do bear sharing.

According to a study published in 1998, only one-third of marriages were rated “happy” by the partners and intact after 16 years. Other longitudinal studies demonstrate that generally the longer we are married, the less happy we are in our marriage. Research on other types of committed partnerships beyond heterosexual marriage is sparse, but other sociological research, including that of Dr. Helen Fisher, points to a phenomenon of waning attraction between partners as time goes on. With the research about the happiness of individuals in long-term committed partnerships indicating a bleak future for those of us who are partnered or looking to be partnered long-term, what is a happiness-seeking, fun-loving dyad to do!?

At least part of the answer may be as simple as a regular date night. I can’t avoid saying it: “Couples who play together, stay together.” Who hasn’t yet heard this pop culture mantra? After a collective eye roll in response to the painful word crafting of said cliché, let’s take some time and explore why the phenomenon exists, the truth of the concept, and, if it does indeed exist, what keeps us from employing this ultimately fun strategy for keeping our relationship fresh?

For the factual foundation to this phenomenon and proposed solution, I again highlight Dr. Helen Fisher’s research. In her book, Why We Love, Dr. Fisher demonstrates the phenomenon that early in relationships we produce increased neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. This happy biochemical occurrence leads us to feel increased motivation along with a boost to our mood and libido. Over time, the level of production decreases and lends to the phenomenon of “settling down” comfortably into a rut.

Research shows, and continues to show, that couples that engage in active and new experiences together are happier over the long-term. It seems as though combating the urge to settle down and resisting falling into that rut are wise moves on the part of the motivated couple.

Now, let me be clear, that doesn’t mean that date night should be at the same restaurant, at the same time every week, ordering the same things and talking about the same subjects. The research suggests that we schedule time to enjoy activities as a couple that are new, novel, active and fun. This includes activities that you may each deem a bit risky. Risky in the sense that they land you out of your comfort zone into the place of growth. Activities that push your edge. Now I am not suggesting that you run right out and schedule your first skydiving tour, but you should explore some activities that broaden each of your horizons.

I propose the concept of collaborative evolution. Collaborative evolution has many facets and playing together addresses a number of them. As I have shared before, we are all constantly changing and evolving personally. With clients, I enjoy regularly singing the praises of curiosity and the importance of regularly looking within.

Collaborative evolution is the idea that we take each other along on our journeys of personal evolution. This doesn’t mean you have to do all the same things and love all of the same activities, but it does mean you are open to different experiences, especially the ones your partner is passionate about! As we remain curious about one another, we maximize the opportunity to grow together, to evolve collaboratively, like vines each growing separately yet intertwined.

You don’t have to call it anything special. You just have to do it! The reality is most of us don’t do it for the most avoidable reasons: lack of planning, the excuse of being overscheduled, simply not making your relationship a priority. Well, research has shown us a fun solution to increasing our happiness as couples, now it is up to you to make it happen!

Here are some practical tips:

Agree with your partner that regular dates are a priority.

Set at least three dates immediately.

Keep up with scheduling. Always have a date to anticipate!

Vary your activities. Perhaps you alternate between each other’s suggested activities.

Keep in mind there is no need to break the bank! Be creative. There are many activities that don’t cost a cent.

Visit Chicago life coaches and get a session in with one of the best life coaches around and transform your life and your partner’s life.

Be open-minded and have fun with it!

Clay Baths and Other Clay-Based Spa Therapies

An ingredient in both ancient Egyptian and Mayan healing traditions, clay has been used externally to soothe troubled skin and joint pain and internally to heal stomach ailments. Because of its antiseptic and magnetic properties, clay has also long been used as a detoxifying agent.

Types of Clay

Clay, like mud, consists of fine mineral granules. Clay is created slowly by the chemical weathering of rocks and by natural hydrothermal activity. Clay’s specific mineral content depends on the region clay it’s derived from. However, all clay is primarily composed of silicate particles and water molecules that give it plasticity. Dried or fired at high temperatures, clay loses its plasticity and forms a ceramic material. Clay absorbs water and fats, and it adsorbs onto its surface molecules toxins and gases, while imparting mineral nutrients.

The main types of clay are kaolinite, montmorillonite-smectite, illite, chlorite, bentonite and varve. Up to 30 different subtypes of clay exist. In addition to pure clay, many commercial products have been made that contain clay blended with herbs, essential oils, sea salt and other ingredients that enhance clay’s properties.

Highly prized is clay from France as well as the Umbrian region of Italy and from volcanic ash. The colors of clay vary depending on the mineral content. Green clay contains about 50 percent silica along with smaller amounts of magnesium, aluminum, calcium, titanium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and potassium and is particularly good for oily skin and acne. The mineral content of green clay imparts a strong drawing or magnetic power.

Yellow clay has a weaker drawing power and is more suitable for children, pets, and individuals with sensitive skin. Yellow clay is particularly beneficial for eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and various rashes.

White clay has a very high silica content and is used to nourish, balance, and moisturize combination and dry skin, and it works well as a hair/scalp mask.

Red clay, with its high iron content, is used to regenerate tissue and revitalize skin that is damaged by the sun or that has broken capillaries, varicose veins, stretch marks, bruises and burns. Pink clay is similar to red clay although its actions are milder, making it excellent for firming mature skin and reducing dark under-eye circles. Pink clay also helps with collagen repair and is beneficial for people with connective tissue disorders.

Clay Baths

The clay bath is primarily used for detoxification. When dry clay is absorbed into hot water, its particles create a porous network with a large surface area. The clay molecules act like a magnet because of their strong negative ionic charge. This causes them to draw and react with positively charged ions, including heavy metals, radioactive molecules, and other toxins.

For clay baths, clean, raw, natural swelling smectite clays, including bentonites and French clays, are considered superior. It’s important to avoid any contaminated clays, as well as any clays with additives. Clay should be stored in containers that are completely sealed, and kept away from moisture, metals and petroleum chemicals.

Clay spa baths typically last for one hour. Specific clays and enhancers are used depending on the individual’s specific needs. Clay baths are effective for treating sports injuries and reducing arthritic pain. In addition, clay baths are frequently used for treating heavy metal toxicity, general chemical toxicity, recovery from radiation and chemotherapy procedures, lymphatic stimulation, comprehensive cleansing protocols, and for stress reduction.

Home-use clay bath treatments are widely available. Specific clay bath products have been developed that help remove mercury and other heavy metals. Clay Baths Australia offers a high quality magnetic clay that’s been vigorously tested.

Clay Masks and Wraps

Clay is also used in facials and wraps to remove impurities and toxins and to revitalize the skin. Clay is also used as a hair treatment to remove mineral deposits and toxins.

The Spa at the Four Seasons, Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California offers a Chardonnay Clay Body Wrap. A mixture of chardonnay, grape seed extracts, and clay cocoons the skin for 50 minutes. This therapy is reported to firm and detoxify the skin, leaving it rehydrated and revitalized.

At the Yaxkin Spa at the Hacienda Chichen Resort in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, one of the top eco-spas in North America, clay is used in the 90-minute Deluxe Holistic Mayan Spa Healing Experience. This therapy is used to renew the spirit, cleanse and invigorate the body, and restore the equilibrium and serenity of the mind. According to Mayan healing, clay is used to align the energies of earth, water, fire and air in the individual. A blend of essential oils, honey and clay is used as a body wrap and facial. The ritual includes aromatherapy, reflexology, crystal and gemstone therapy, and herbal wash.

Source: Motykie Medical Spa

Pemmican: A Traditional High-Protein Food

Pemmican is a traditional food that has been used for centuries by indigenous people in North America. This high-protein and nutrient-dense food has been a staple for hunters, travelers, and warriors who needed a reliable source of energy in remote areas where food was scarce. In recent years, pemmican has gained popularity among health-conscious individuals who are looking for a natural and sustainable food that provides long-lasting energy and essential nutrients. In this article, we explore the history, benefits, and nutritional value of pemmican.

Pemmican: A Nutrient-Dense Energy Source

Pemmican is a combination of dried meat, fat, and sometimes berries or other dried fruits. The meat is typically bison, elk, or deer, but any lean meat can be used. The fat is usually rendered from the same animal, and it is mixed with the dried meat to create a dense and compact food that can be stored for long periods without refrigeration. Pemmican is high in protein, fat, and calories, which makes it an excellent source of energy for people who engage in intense physical activity or have high energy needs.

The History and Benefits of Pemmican

Pemmican has been a staple food for indigenous people in North America for centuries. The word “pemmican” comes from the Cree word “pimikan,” which means “manufactured grease.” Pemmican was used by hunters, traders, and warriors who needed a portable and nutrient-dense food that could sustain them during long journeys or battles. Pemmican was also used as a trading commodity and was highly valued by European explorers and traders.

Pemmican has many nutritional benefits. It is high in protein, healthy fats, and essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Pemmican is also low in carbohydrates, which makes it an ideal food for people who follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Pemmican is also easy to digest and provides a slow and steady release of energy, which makes it an excellent food for endurance athletes or anyone who needs sustained energy throughout the day.

Pemmican is a traditional and sustainable food that has many nutritional benefits. It is high in protein, healthy fats, and essential micronutrients, and it provides a slow and steady release of energy that can sustain physical activity and mental focus. Pemmican is also easy to make and store, which makes it an ideal food for outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, and anyone who wants to eat a healthy and natural diet. If you are looking for a nutrient-dense and energy-rich food, try making pemmican and experience the benefits of this traditional food for yourself.

Enjoy a Beach House Landscape No Matter Where You Live

Living near the Atlantic Ocean presents unique landscape design challenges. Plants must tolerate forceful storm winds and hot summer temperatures. Salt from sea spray, that mist you feel when near a crashing wave, can affect plants close to the shoreline. Salty ocean water carried by hurricane winds can travel inland for miles according to the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association. A careful selection of trees, flowers and shrubs will help ensure plant survival in a seashore landscape. Most plant selections suitable for houses at the beach will capture the allure of a seashore landscape at any home within the recommended USDA planting zones. I used to live at the beach. When my Christmas list included an inflatable raft to soothe nervousness about storms that flood (those nor’easters are wicked!), it was time to move inland. Now, I live, away from the salty air and the fear of ocean water reaching my front door. However, a part of the beach came with me since the landscaping plants I enjoyed at the beach are now a part of my cottage landscape away from the beach.

Annual Flowers

Sun loving annuals such as marigold, petunia, geranium, sunflower, vinca, coleus, cornflower and sweet alyssum are suitable for a beach house landscape. As annuals, they should grow in most USDA zones. Grow the plants in pots, if desired, to relocate the flowers to a protected area during a storm.

Perennial flowers

Daylily (USDA zones 3 to 10) has varieties that can reach 4 feet tall. Common yarrow (USDA all zones) reaches about 3 feet tall. Candytuft (USDA 3a to 9b) grows about 6 inches tall can be used for a border or to fill gaps between plants. All these flowers (and more) comprise my cottage garden.

Ornamental grass

Tall grasses are a common sight near the beach. Ornamental grasses can bear the heat and salt, and still keep coming back year after year. Options include salt tolerate grasses like pampas grass (USDA zones 7b to 10) that grows up to 10 feet tall, maiden grass (USDA zones 5 to 9) that grows up to 8 feet tall, and fountain grass (USDA zones 5 to 9) that grows to about 4 feet tall.

Deciduous trees

Deciduous trees add spectacular fall color before the tree’s leaves drop. During the heat of summer, trees offer shade to the house or patio. Trees hardy in USDA zones 4a to 9b include: red maple that grows 60 to 75 feet tall, sycamore that grows up to 100 feet tall, and river birch that grows 50 to 70 feet tall.

Evergreen trees

Leafy evergreen trees include American holly (USDA zones 5a to 9b) that grows up to 40 feet tall and southern magnolia (USDA zones 6a to 10b) that grows up to 80 feet tall. The leaves of magnolia can become a nuisance on the ground because their size and rubbery nature makes them difficult to rake. And American holly easily self-seeds, creating a forest of sprouts requiring removal. Still, I have grown both trees and enjoy their evergreen qualities for the landscape plus clippings for Christmas holiday decorations. For needle evergreens, try Japanese red pine (USDA zones 3 to 7) that grows up to 60 feet tall or eastern red cedar (USDA zone 2 to 9) that grows up to 40 feet tall.

Evergreen shrubs

Creeping juniper (USDA zones 6 to 8) reaches about 6 inches tall as it spreads to cover the ground. Southern waxmyrtle (USDA zones 7b to 11) is a fast growing evergreen shrub that grows to 15 feet tall.

Flowering deciduous shrubs

Bigleaf hydrangea (USDA zones 6 to 9) grows to about 4 feet tall and rose of Sharon (USDA zones 5 to 8), can reach about 10 feet tall depending on variety. The shrubs provide weeks of continuous blooms. The hydrangea is my favorite shrub, with large blooms suitable for cutting to enjoy indoors or dried to use in crafts.

Acupuncture and Cupping for a Water Birth

There is the hospital way of having a baby where they lay you side ways on the table with numerous hours of excruciating labor or there is the Chinese way.

Before the mother can have a baby, she has to decide how to have the baby. American medicine lays out the rules for having a baby in the traditional hospital with hours of excruciating pain with an epidural or a C-section. Chinese medicine gives several techniques that can help ease of the pain birth of a child.


Having a baby is so easy in Chinese culture that perhaps population control is a necessity. Consider acupuncture and cupping as an additional source of support for having a baby.

Acupuncture during childbirth involves inserting needles into pressure points near the spine. Women that receive acupuncture during child birth have less pain and need less medication. The cups are placed around the stomach to help with muscle cramping.


A hot water bath or a hot tub is also a great way to relax the muscles. Sitting in a hot tub or hot water bath helps to alleviate the majority of the pressure off the back. The warm water helps to induce a quick and natural labor.

Considering the baby comes out from water inside and goes to water outside makes the delivery much more natural and easy.


Many mothers to be fail to explore alternative medicine perhaps out of fear or just as plain ignorance. It is important to understand that a proper childbirth involves having a qualified medical staff present whether it is at your local hospital or at your house.

There are several factors that can influence a proper child birth. There is a possibility that the baby might need a C-section or may be a stillborn. A mother should definitely consider all your options before making a decision like so .

Chinese medicine holds the key to longevity and good health in many ways. It is essential to explore alternative medicines as a treatment option for any procedure. It is also best to consult with the proper medical professionals and seek their input as well.

The key to having a baby as naturally and as quickly as possible will lead to a very speedy recovery for the mother. In general, the mother is the one that has the final say as to whether an Oriental style delivery is the best option for her. As with any medical procedure, there are always some risks and having a qualified medical staff is truly the key to success.

Saving Money on a Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling a bathroom can seem overwhelming and expensive to many homeowners and the widespread advertising of luxury materials convinces many that a remodeled bathroom is financially out of reach. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average cost of a bathroom remodel is $15,889, but by employing a little smart planning and savvy shopping it is possible for your remodel to come in well under average. Understanding a few basic money saving strategies can help you achieve the bathroom remodel of your dreams, whether you are a dedicated bargain hunter or simply a penny-wise homeowner.

Keep Your Existing Floor Plan

If the current location of plumbed fixtures (bathtubs, showers, sinks and toilets) is functional you can save literally thousands of dollars over a reconfiguration. Moving plumbing involves tearing open walls and floors in the bathroom and surrounding rooms, adding the cost of new plumbing, sheetrock, and potentially sub-flooring as well. If a non-functioning layout forces you to move fixtures be sure to consult a licensed plumber who can suggest the most cost effective method to satisfy your needs. Never remove a shower or tub to gain more floor space, as this reduces the number of full bathrooms in your home and has a dramatic negative impact on your resale value and rate of return.

Salvage Fixtures

If your bathtub is in good condition but looking a little worn in the finish consider refacing as a cost effective alternative to purchasing a new tub. Do-it-yourself refacing kits are available for the handier homeowner, and many companies specialize in affordable refacing options. Porcelain tile can also be refaced, but may not save you much over the cost of replacement. Vanity cabinets in good condition can be painted or stripped and stained, and laminate countertops can be re-laminated for significantly less than the cost of completely replacing them. There is also nothing to say that everything must be overhauled when remodeling a bathroom. Toilets and pedestal sinks often outlast the designs around them, and salvaging these expensive fixtures will help keep your bathroom remodeling budget in check.

Be a Smart Shopper

Knowing how to locate deals on pricey remodeling materials will help you remodel your bathroom on a budget. The relatively small space of a bathroom allows you to take advantage of bargains on discontinued or small quantity materials. Tile is often steeply discounted when a line has been discontinued; you need to only ask your local tile warehouse. Granite remnants can be purchased for well below the average cost per square foot, and the small run of a bathroom countertop makes it an ideal spot for a remnant. If you fall in love with a particular material be sure to research inexpensive alternatives. Ceramic and porcelain tile can both mimic the look of natural stone for a fraction of the price.

The key to an affordable bathroom remodel is to create a budget and stick with it. With a little research, some patience and the money saving tips outlined above you can make your budget renovation a reality.

Next Post: Check out the best handyman services in Chicago

Tips and Tricks to Remodeling Your Home

I just got married about a year ago and my husband and I are in the process of getting movers and moving into our new home. As a wedding present, my parents gave us the old motel that they own and that hasn’t been running in almost a decade. The motel sits on a gorgeous piece of property in the heart of the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, it’s also a motel and not a house. Renovating it into one has had its ups and downs but I’m confident that we will have a wonderful place to live sometime in the near future. There are have been three things that I keep in mind throughout this entire renovation project.

The first is that you should never put too many windows into one wall. We found this out the hard way because my husband had put two large windows into the back wall for sunlight along with a sliding glass door. Thankfully, the building didn’t fall down but it would have if a helpful neighbor didn’t come lecturing us one day as we were both out there working. His kind words really hit home and we removed the windows and reinforced the walls again. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if we had kept the windows there and the wall collapsed one day while sitting in our living room.

The second thing to remember when renovating a house is to keep it energy efficient. The first few months that we were living here, we had to stay in one of the motel rooms and use the old electric heater that was in there. The heating worked fine, despite the fact that we had a lot of drafts in the room. We were happy as pie until the electric bill came in. I never knew that it was possible to use that much electricity with just one heater. I also can’t believe how much money we lost those first few months on electricity alone. We are now in the process of insulating each room and using draft-resistant windows. We have even insulated the ceiling and basement of the motel. The building had absolutely no draft protection because it was mainly used as a summer business when I was a little girl.

Lastly, it’s important to make use of raw and used materials when you can. I know of several couples who are in the same boat as I am and who paid a fortune for brand new kitchen cabinets, sink pedestals, and bathtubs. My husband and I have been scouring online ads and newspaper articles to find used materials to put into our future home. You wouldn’t believe that we recently bought gorgeous cherry wood cabinets from a large chain construction company who was selling them. What’s more, we paid practically nothing for a large kitchen set of cabinets.

There are many different things to keep in mind when renovating. One of the best things you can do is to just have fun with it and try to create a home that you will absolutely love living in. It also might help to keep yourself on a budget so that you do not go into debt over a renovated home.

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Bathroom Remodeling- How to Install a Toilet, Do it Yourself

Since the housing boom has slowed down and home appraisals have declined, many homeowners are investing in home improvements instead of buying a new house. A large portion of the baby boomer generation have accumulated a good amount of equity in their home and can afford to pay for home improvements either with cash, an equity loan or simply spend their income tax refund on items they want for their home. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling is the most popular type of home improvement and there are ways to stretch your dollar without completely renovating these areas. Some handy homeowners simply paint or wallpaper a bathroom to freshen the look of the room. Experienced do it yourselfers may tackle larger projects like replacing the vanity base, sink, faucet and toilet to give the room a new look without having to disturb the existing walls or tile finishes.

If the rest of the room is in good shape there may be no need to replace the shower area, bathtub and flooring. If you do want to replace the bathtub or shower, you will most likely have to replace the wall tile around the tub or wall surround, floor tile, shower diverter and tub faucet and this may be more work than a do it yourselfer can do. Doing a complete bathroom remodeling project will cost more, require more planning and will take longer than just replacing the vanity and toilet.

Replacing a toilet or sink is a job many do it yourselfers can do and is relatively easy to do if you have some mechanical ability and know a little bit about plumbing. Depending on the age and condition of the existing bathroom will determine how much work will be involved in replacing your toilet. In newer homes installing a new toilet is relatively easy and will require very little prep work.

In older homes you may have a leaking toilet or discover floor damage to the floor tile or ceramic tile and beneath the flooring you may find the sub floor is water damaged or deteriorating. It may be hard to determine the extent of the damage beyond this and only when you remove the old toilet will you be able to tell. There may also be signs of leaks in the rooms below the toilet or shower area. If you suspect beforehand that there is subfloor damage you may want to include in your budget the replacement cost of the subflooring before starting this project.

If your bathroom will be out of service for duration of the remodeling, plan how your family will share another bathroom while the work is being done. If there is only one bathroom in your house, leave the old toilet in place as long as possible and do the surrounding work first. When it is time to do the flooring of repair the plumbing then take out the toilet but keep in mind that you may have to repeatedly temporarily connect and disconnect the toilet during the phases of the remodeling. I would suggest using the old toilet while under construction and wait until the new flooring is completed to install the new toilet only once permanently.

Before purchasing a new toilet check all measurements of the existing space and the center of toilet drain from the back wall which should be 12″. Most toilets have a 12″ rough-in center. To find the center of the drain while the old toilet is in place, remove the bolt down covers at the base of the toilet and measure from the back wall to the center of bolt, this can vary up to ½” more or less than 12″.

Tools Needed– 2 pair of disposable latex gloves, old rags, channel lock pliers, adjustable wrench, utility knife, wide putty knife or scraper, screwdriver, small pry bar, caulking gun, and hacksaw.

Materials– toilet mounting bolts (brass), 2 toilet wax rings with extender- 1 regular and 1 extra thick in case needed, new flexible water supply line, 1 tube of caulking to match toilet color, toilet and toilet seat.

Preparation – the first thing to do is unpack and check the new toilet for chips, cracks or damage. Check inside the tank for any missing parts. Clean the bottom of the new toilet. Clear the bathroom area of any floor mats or items in the room and lay down a drop cloth to protect the existing flooring. Have some rags handy to cleanup any dripping water.

Turn Off Water-supply valve to the toilet and exercise the valve a couple of times to remove any deposit build up inside of the valve seat. Next remove the tank lid then flush the toilet until the tank reservoir is empty.

Disconnect Toilet– Now disconnect the water supply tubing between the wall valve and the toilet tank.

Remove the Tank– if it is a 2 piece toilet look in the bottom of the tank and find 2 or 4 bolts at the bottom that go thru the tank and connect to the toilet base. Remove these bolts and lift the water tank off and discard.

Remove Toilet Hold Down Bolts– Cut out the old caulking around the base of the toilet where it meets the floor, using a utility or putty knife. The bolts are on the bottom exterior sides of the toilet on the left and right side. Remove the bolt covers and unscrew the nuts. If they are corroded, cut the bolt off below the nut with a hacksaw.

Remove Toilet- tip the toilet from side to side slightly to break seal or loosen with a pry bar for ease of lifting. Straddle the toilet and lift directly upwards above the bolts and move to the side, get a firm grip on the toilet and carry upright to discard. Avoid tipping as there is still water in the trap and it will spill out if tilted.

Stuff a rag in the drain pipe flange to keep debris from falling in the pipe and to stop sewer gases from entering the room.

Remove old wax seal around the drain flange and clean surface of flange with a putty knife or scraper and completely remove old caulking on the flooring. *If you are going to paint the bathroom now is a good time to paint behind the toilet before the new one is installed.

If the old water supply valve is leaking around the stem, tighten the valve retainer nut. If this doesn’t work then replace it now with either a solder on or compression fitting shut off valve. Check the toilet mounting flange for damage and if needed change it now also.

Install the hold down bolts in the slots of the flange and set to 12″ center from back wall. To help hold the bolts in place, put some wax from the old ring between the bolts and flange so the bolts stand up straight while you lower the toilet in place. Install the new wax ring centered on the pipe flange. Carry the new toilet near where it will be installed, clean the bottom of the fixture to remove any dirt and clean the floor area that will be under the toilet.

Install the New Toilet Base– Pick up the bowl of the toilet and straddle the drain pipe and line up the hold down bolts with the hole in the toilet base. Slowly lower the toilet keeping bolts centered as you lay it down on the wax ring and check that it is parallel to the back wall. Put some down pressure on the bowl until the base is flat on the finished floor. Install the washer and retaining ring for bolt covers and hand tighten the nuts snug to the toilet base. Now, with a wrench slowly tighten the nuts alternating from one side to the other, to keep the equal amount of pressure on each side until the toilet is secured. Check that the toilet is solid and doesn’t rock from side to side, if it is secure don’t tighten any further as the toilet base can easily crack from too much tightening.

Installing Tank– For two piece toilets prepare to install the tank now. Install the large rubber ring gasket in the toilet fill hole, install the tank bolt down rubber gasket and install the two brass bolts through the holes as the manufacturer’s instructions from inside the toilet tank thru toilet base toilet tank to toilet base. Tighten slowly until tank is fully seated. The toilet is now installed.

Hook Up Water the supply to the inlet at the bottom of the toilet tank and install the other end to the water supply valve. Inside the water tank check the rubber flapper for proper seal and connect flush arm with chain.

Turn on Water– as the tank is filling check for any leaks around bolts and around the valve. Let tank fill up to required level which is a little below the overflow tube. If there are any leaks, slowly tighten connections until there are no drips. Check the toilet hold down bolts and tighten ¼ turn if possible.

Install trim caps and caulk the toilet bowl base to the finished floor, test toilet by flushing a few times checking for leaks. Lastly install the toilet seat, this usually has nylon bolts and nuts and fastens to the toilet base. Lay a newspaper on the floor under the water supply valve and leave it there overnight to see if there are any leaks.

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Flat Bed Towing Los Angeles – Los Angeles Towing

Flatbed towing

Everyone knows the scene in Forrest Gump where he’s running and steps on a pile of dog poop and tells his fan It happens. It’s the truth, especially when it comes to driving around the city of Los Angeles, and while you’re driving around Los Angeles you’re probably going to need some kind of road side assistance at some point in your years of travelling around this city, so that’s when it’s important to know that a towing company is here for you and can offer a reliable service that will make you and the rest of the road you are sharing much safer. When it comes down to it flatbed towing is a business, but it’s also a business that is oriented around safety, to a certain extent.

What sometimes happens around Los Angeles is that people park their vehicles in places where they aren’t supposed to be parked, and sometimes this results in their car being towed away by a flatbed towing company. The flatbed tow trucks are the ones that are really large trucks with a large flat bed that can carry one or several different cars, it really can vary dramatically on the amount of cars these towing companies can carry simultaneously. But if you find yourself in a situation in which you really need some sort of flatbed towing, then don’t start freaking out and worrying about everything and just call the Los Angeles Towing Company and have them come rescue your day back into your control.

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Counseling a Minority Family in Grief

With many American families continuing to experience growth, through birth and immigration, mental health professionals must recognize that, even within a family unit, the cultural difference may be significant. For this reason, when counseling immigrant families, or families of minority status, the mental health professional must be well versed in the dynamics of the minority culture.

To ensure the family unit remains intact, in terms of social assimilation, the therapist’s goal is to not only unify and break the differences internally within the family but allow them to see the complexity of their misunderstandings and how it will impact the family unit from a societal standpoint. In many cases, a grieving minority family may be found to place every aspect of life on hold, including work, social networking and even interpersonal relationships, as they each grieve individually, often waiting for a spiritual intervention to set them free to move forward with their lives.

One way in which a therapist assists a grieving minority family through these interpersonal conflicts and suspensions of activity, is by combining two or three family members together as a sort of support network. Realizing no one in the family unit will move forward until permission and consent is given to everyone, creating these small networks within the family will allow the units to become more permissible in the resumption of activity after a death has occurred.

In exchange for the therapy provided to the family members, the therapist must also reach out to the grieving minority family and ask for guidance in how the therapist can serve them best. In doing so, the therapist can allow for the cultural views of the minority group to gauge the progress by which the counseling and grieving will occur and, ultimately, may work to reduce any potential conflicts in therapy recommendations. In other words, through the therapist’s ability to work as a team with the grieving family members, the family members will begin to view the therapist as part of their network and, ultimately, the therapy recommendations may be more receptive. It is important, therefore, to develop a we mentality rather than an I mentality in the therapy of minority groups.

As with any psychotherapy process, the key to successful outcomes lies in the ability of the therapist to remove personal emotions and bias from the needs of the person seeking mental health services. Because of the vast differences in and among immigrant families, providing therapy to these minority groups can be challenging.

The Basics of Acupuncture

A Brief History

Acupuncture has been practiced for over 2000 years. It is one of the oldest medical treatments still being
practiced in the developed world. Despite being associated mainly with China, people all over the world have been using acupuncture for centuries to treat a variety of ailments.


Acupuncture involves placing very thin needles, much smaller than those used for injections, into the skin at specific points on the body. This is thought to correct imbalances in a person’s chi; energy flowing through the body. It is this imbalance that is believed to cause disease. Acupuncture is performed by a trained Acupuncturist who knows what type of treatment will be most beneficial to their patient. The Acupuncturist will decide how many treatments will be needed and where on the body they will take place. Most people do not experience any discomfort during acupuncture treatments because the needles used are so thin. Acupuncture brings immediate pain relief to many people.

Ailments Treated

Acupuncture has been used to treat numerous diseases and conditions. In fact, there is an acupuncture point for almost anything you can think of. There are even acupuncture points to treat addiction, infertility, and obesity. One of the most common uses of acupuncture is to relieve pain caused by anything from headaches, to arthritis, to cancer. It’s pain relieving properties are so powerful that in his book, Acupuncture: It’s Place in Western Medical Science, Dr. George T Lewith says that acupuncture has even been used as anesthesia during cesarean sections in China.

Possible Side Effects

According to the American Journal of Acupuncture, acupuncture is considered to be extremely safe. Most serious side effects occur as a result of an unqualified practitioner.These rare side effects include infection caused by improperly sterilized needles, Puncture of a vital organ, burns from heated needles, accidental abortion, and needles broken off in the skin. Again, these are very rare and not something that would occur with a properly trained acupuncturist. Slightly more common are minor, temporary side effect such as muscle spasms, minor pain at the acupuncture point, and nausea.

Finding an Acupuncturist

It should be relatively easy to find an acupuncturist in any city. In very small towns it may be a bit more difficult. Start by talking to friends or family who have had a positive experience with acupuncture. Your primary care physician may also be able to identify a qualified acupuncturist. Another option is to contact the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Once you find an acupuncturist make sure it is someone you are comfortable talking to about your health and lifestyle. Ask them about their training and experience. Above all, make sure this is someone knowledgeable that you trust. This will put your mind at ease, keep you safe, and most importantly, get you on the road to recovery.

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