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Friday, August 11, 2017

Health concerns unique to women

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is a book by John Gray that defines the psychological differences between men and women. The differences are not confined to psychology, they are also physiological. As a result, there are many health issues that are unique to women.

In young women, there are nutritional issues that are unique to women. While it is not unheard of for a man to have a low level of iron, in women, it is much more common with a full 11 percent of menstruating women from the teen years through the mid-fifties having below normal levels of iron in their blood.

Many things make this a serious deficiency beyond just the tired and pale look that is considered to be the primary symptom. Iron helps to transmit oxygen to the vital organs. Starving the organs is never a good idea. Eating foods that are rich in iron is important and if necessary taking an iron supplement.

Pregnancy is the most unique health issue that women face. While men can sympathize they can never fully understand or feel all the physical changes and dangers that come with pregnancy. There are health issues that can occur during pregnancy that can jeopardize the health of both the mother and the fetus.

Gestational diabetes is one of these conditions which is brought on by pregnancy and will not necessarily be a permanent condition. During pregnancy gestational diabetes can cause very serious issues to both the mother and the baby. It is very important that all women receive pre-natal care so that any serious issues can be addressed as quickly as possible.

PMS is a variety of symptoms that are brought on by menstruation. It can be bloating, headaches, cramps, and irritability. This is something that affects some women more than others and can be debilitating. Talk to a doctor about the latest treatments available. While many men find this a joking matter, most women don't.

Another issue that is growing in importance along with the aging population is menopause. At some point in every woman’s life, she is going to stop menstruating. This lowering of hormones brings on a variety of symptoms that vary in strength and length. Some women are incapacitated by the hot flashes and other symptoms while some women are asymptomatic.
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f however, you are one of the suffering women, this is a very serious, life-altering health issue. There are traditional ways to treat the symptoms of menopause as well as alternative therapies. Every woman is different and what works for one woman may not work for another which is one of the things that makes this such a large issue for many women.

These are just a few of the health concerns unique to women. Men and women are very different and while men may suffer from the results of the unique health issues of women, they can never truly experience them.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Things you may not know about Parkinson's Disease

My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012. Since his diagnosis, we have been waging war against the disease. Everyone is familiar with the tremors that are the most well-known symptom of Parkinson's Disease but 25 percent of people do not get the tremors, my husband is one of them. 

Parkinson's can be caused by genetics but it can also be caused by exposure. Just because no one in your family has ever had it doesn't mean that you are safe. My husband was exposed at work to a toxic chemical. It has been shown to cause Parkinson. He is quite obviously one of those people.

While tremors may be one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, there are several other indicators that may manifest themselves. Knowing what to look for can help with an early diagnosis and the onset of treatment.

Things to look for:

If you notice that you or someone that you love walks without swinging their arms, this can be a symptom of Parkinson's.

Another common symptom is shuffling. If someone has always shuffled, don't worry, but if it is new, it might be worth checking out. Our son who is a nurse first noticed this in my husband. I didn’t associate it with a disease, I just thought it was a sign of aging.

Loss of smell. My husband did have this and we in no way ever would have thought of Parkinson's.

A change in response time. For example, if a car is stopped in front of the person and they don’t respond to that by stopping. Sort of a continual oops moment.

A loss of depth perception, again this may be most evident when driving. It can be difficult to park and also to stay within the lines on the road.

Cognitive issues. In my husband’s case, he is a machinist and he had to use math every day. He started having trouble adding numbers.

These are just a few of the changes you might see that may be symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Having one or even all of these doesn’t mean that it is Parkinson’s Disease but what it does mean is that a visit to a neurologist is probably indicated.

We chose to begin treatment with a naturopath because in this case of exposure Parkinson’s we felt that detoxing might be the best way to start and perhaps by getting the toxins out of his system we might be better able to control the progression of the disease. It has proven to be a good decision.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Reflections on changing times and family values

Times have indeed changed but family values have not necessarily changed. They certainly haven't in our family. Part of what I felt was my job as a parent was to pass the torch of family value on to my children. I think we have succeeded quite well.

What exactly are family values? In our family, it means that you respect the other members of the family. Children especially are taught to respect the adult members of the family. While they may refer to their aunts and uncles by the first name it is always preceded by the title aunt or uncle. We are Grandma and Grandpa pure and simple.

Our house is always open to our grandchildren and children but they knock before entering. No one is allowed to help themselves to anything in our home without asking first. Sometimes when I am feeling particularly lazy I wish it wasn't so but my grand kids always ask for what they would like and I go and get it for them. Learning to respect others property is a value that many children today haven't seemed to have learned.

We taught our children that honesty is always the best policy and we expected nothing less than 100 percent from them. Nothing would make us angrier than dishonesty. It is something that my children except as the way things should be and have passed this on to their children.

We also taught them to treat others as they would like to be treated. This means many things. It means you always tell anyone if they undercharge you at the store and also when they over charge you. I am always amazed when the clerks look at me or my daughter or sons like we had two heads when we say you didn't charge me enough. They really don't know how to handle this.

We still hold the door open for older people, we are polite in the store and don't cut people off in the aisles. We recognize the right of others to be in same space as we are.
We also taught our children to give back to the community. To volunteer and to help out. God has been very good to us and we, in turn, should share that with others.

I realize that today's family has changed in many ways. There are blended families and single parent families but values don't need to change, as a matter of fact, it seems to me that they are even more important under trying circumstances.

Our family has maintained a very close relationship. My grandchildren are close to each other and we do many family things together. Family is the link that holds the entire fabric of our society together and I can't emphasize enough how important I think it is to pass values on to the generations to come.

Is our family perfect? Far from it. Like every family, there has been a divorce, teen rebellions, children born out a wedlock and financial woes but through it all, our values have remained steadfast.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Back to school shopping: Teens

It is the time of year when the kids are headed back-to-school. That means lots of expenses for parents around the globe. Many items are things that you cannot avoid purchasing but if you are willing to put in a little extra effort, you can really snag some great bargains. You can use back to school shopping tips to help save you money and stress. Back to school shopping for teens is a challenge no matter what!

Be sure to start looking early in the store flyers and if you do not get the newspaper, you can find them online. Always try to take advantage of any tax-free days your state may offer.
Teens are the most difficult to purchase clothes for and also the most difficult to save money on. They have very specific ideas about what stores sell cool clothes and it is near to impossible to get them into a discount outlet. It may be time to have a serious discussion with your teens about finances and to let them know exactly the amount they have to spend for their new fall wardrobe.

If they have a part-time job, then you may want to have them spend some of their money on the more expensive items. This is a great financial lesson for them. Here are some tips for implementing teen shopping restrictions.  

Get out to the mall with your teen and visit all the stores where they usually like to shop. Take note of all the latest fashion trends. You don't necessarily want to shop at the mall unless there are some sales on specific items going on.

The next stops include discount stores such as K-Mart, Walmart, and Target. You may have to go to one in a different town if your teen is a real stickler for name brands only. With the latest trends in mind, compare the prices with the mall stores. Use your smartphone to take pictures so that you can compare styles and prices.

Try to duplicate the looks from the upscale retailers at the discounts stores. It will be a lot easier than teens may expect. They will also be quite amazed at how much their budget will get them. Making them a part of the whole experience allows them to make budget-conscious choices.

Look for a resale store that stocks only brand-name clothes. They do exist and you may be able to pick up a few pieces that are still stylish and have the desired name on them. Jeans are especially easy and inexpensive to find this way.  With vintage style being trendy, teens won't feel as if they are compromising on style to save money.

Remove the tags from non-branded items. It is a lot easier for teens to get used to the clothes from a discount store if they aren’t looking at the tag all the time.

Other big expenses are associated with school beyond just the clothes. A backpack is important. This is one area that you want to be sure is both stylish and ergonomic. Teens especially are notorious for overloading their backpack and if it is not one that is easy on their back, they can end up with serious back and shoulder issues. Head to the outlets to look for your teen's backpack and while you are there, you might want to check out the outlets for such additions as socks and underwear.

Going back-to-school when you have a teen or teens, can be very expensive. It is up to you as their parent to make them aware of the expense and show them how to get the most for their money. Using these simple back to school shopping tips can help you survive this time of year and also keep your teen happy. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

What children need from their parents

What children need from their parents is parenting, not friendship. Raising your children is the most important job you will ever have. Yes, it is a job and a very difficult one. As parents, you will give and give and then give some more. You will get exhausted and often be unappreciated.

There are rewards for parenting but they are few and sometimes far between. Your job as a parent is to meet the needs of your children and these come in many forms. Most of all, however, you will love them, no matter what.

Infants

When you first bring home your child, they will be dependent on your for everything. You will provide them with food, water, warmth and security. These basic things sustain life. You will also give them the feeling of human touch, which is one of the most important things that you can give to your child. Studies have shown that children who are not held and touched do not develop as well as children who are nurtured and cuddled. To help your child to thrive, you need to give them more than just the basics.

Toddlers

As your child grows, you will be giving them structure and empathy. They will learn from your example how to interact with other humans, animals, and with nature. What children need at this next stage is a good example to follow. Honesty, courtesy, a work ethic and respect are all things that your child will need to learn from you.

Children want and need to know their limits, toddlers will test their parents to learn how far they can go. Parents need to set the limits and teach their child that there are consequences, this is a very important part of parenting.

School Aged

When your child goes off to school, having your example will be even more important. They need you to be the rock that is always there. Many other people will influence them at this point and you need to be there to teach them what is really important.

They need to get their self-worth from you. It is you, who can tell them and show them that they are valuable, individual and outstanding creations and that they are not in competition with anyone else. That they don't always have to be number one because they are always number one with you.

Teens

As your children grow into teens if you have given them what they need up to this point, they will be better equipped to handle all the pressures that will be put on them. Don't worry too much at this point if they don't seem to need you and don't be tricked into thinking what they need is a friend. They have friends; you need to be their parent.

You need to have your experience handy to help them and you need to let them know that you will always be there for them even if they do something of which you do not approve. Unless it is illegal, don't sweat the small stuff.

Adults

Even when they have grown up and moved away your children will need to know that they have someone who loves them unconditionally and who they can turn to when the going gets tough. These days that happens more and more.

What your children need from you ultimately is to be the best parent that you can be and to love them unconditionally even when there are times you may not like them.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cost saving tips for vacation home buyers

Owning a vacation home can be a dream come true or it can be a nightmare. If you are considering purchasing a vacation home there are several things you need to consider and your budget is foremost among them. Here are some cost-saving tips for vacation home buyers.

No one wants to find themselves overpaying for anything and a vacation home is no exception. Before you become too emotionally attached to any particular home, you need to check all the comps in the area and be sure that you are not overpaying. Finding a home that seems absolutely perfect can make you forget that there is a budget to consider.

Using a real estate agent gives you the added advantage of understanding what houses in the neighborhood have been selling for. This allows you to make a good offer that can help you get the home you love while saving as much money as possible.

One way to save money on a rental home is to purchase it with another couple or family. This can create problems but if this is someone you know well or have vacationed with before it can be a way to afford a vacation home that might be beyond your means otherwise. Wepurchased our lake cottage with our daughter and her husband and it has worked out beautifully.

Once you have found a house that you think is perfect for your family, you need to spend the money to have a home inspection. While this may seem like an extra expense it is one of the most cost effective things that you can do. Without this inspection, you may find out after you own your dream vacation home that you need a new roof, have faulty electric or need a new septic system. The inspection should bring to light most problems that exist and these can then be negotiated with the seller.

There are other things that you need to consider when you are looking for your vacation home. Are you looking for a place that is year round? Will you need to pay for heating during the winter months? What are the water and sewer charges in the town where your home is located?  Also, a wise man once told me, waterfront property will never go down in value, there is only so much of it in the world. 

Are there services in the home that can be disconnected during the offseason? You may want to have cable and the Internet while you are using your new vacation home but if it is a summer home, you do not want the expense during the months that you will not be visiting.
Is the vacation home rentable and will you want to be renting it when you are not using it? 

This is a very good way to help afford your dream vacation home. If you decide that you want to rent the vacation home, you need to talk to your home insurance company. The liability insurance required for a rental property is different than insurance needed if only you will be using the vacation home.

There are many benefits to renting out the home including tax benefits. Repairs and depreciation can play into the figures as well. If you rent out your vacation home when you are not using it, it may be enough to pay the mortgage, taxes, insurance and other expenses involved in owning a home.

On the downside, it means not leaving your personal things out and available. And, of course, there is always the potential for damage to the home.

Owning a vacation home is a very good investment if you buy in an area where home prices remain stable and other people want to visit. But maybe you just want a place to get away and relax and have no intention of ever renting.

You must be sure that you can handle the costs without rental income. Then your vacation home will prove to be the home of your dreams and not a nightmare that leaves you financially drained and emotionally exhausted

Friday, June 30, 2017

Negotiating the purchase price of a home

Buying a new home is a huge investment. For many people, it is the biggest investment they will ever make. Negotiating the purchase price of a home is not something that many people have experience with. It can be very stressful to try to make sure that the best price for a home is reached.

Before beginning the negotiating process it is important that the buyer has all the facts. Several pieces of information are not only important but necessary before you begin negotiating. Most important of all is the average price of homes selling in this neighborhood.
Prices in one part of town may be very different from prices in another part of town. Some neighborhoods are very popular and others, not so much. The market conditions will also determine where to start the negotiating process. In each market, it is important to know who has the advantage, the buyer of the seller. 

Conditions are different from one community to another and while prices may be falling in some markets, they are holding steady and even rising in others. How long is it taking the average home to sell in the neighborhood where you are looking to purchase a home? Are homes selling quickly, above asking price or are there a lot of homes for sale?

If a Realtor is handling the sale, they will be able to provide comparable sales prices for houses in the area. If there is no Realtor, then it falls to you to do the research yourself. The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) can be very helpful as can realtor.com
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Keep in mind that things have changed drastically in the real estate market and having a realtor will be a big advantage in negotiating the price of the house.

Many variables need to be considered when comparing prices; it isn’t just about square footage. Be sure to consider the age of the homes, the lot size and if there have been updates done. Things such as updated kitchens and bathroom can significantly affect the sales price of a house.

Is one house on a busy street, near the airport, abutting open land that may be developed? Be sure that the homes you are comparing are in the same neighborhood, it is often about location, location, location.

Once the comparable sales prices have been looked at, it is time to settle on a price that the house you want to purchase is worth in today's market. Having determined the home's real worth it is now time to determine a starting point for the negotiation. Keep in mind how much you want to spend as well.

Start lower than where you think you should end. Unless there are other buyers making offers at the same time as you, don't start at the asking price. If you want any concessions, keep that in mind when considering where to start the negotiations. Insulting the seller with an offer that is too low will not result in a positive experience.

Knowing what is non-negotiable is important. If you have no money for the closing costs, then you can ask that the seller contributes either the full or partial costs. A successful negotiation will go back and forth a few times until a figure is reached that both the seller and the buyer are happy with. Not all negotiations go well. Some sellers have not accepted the fact that their home is not worth what it was 4 years ago.

Sometimes it just isn’t going to be possible to reach an agreement. One great tip is to never become emotionally invested in a home until the negotiations are complete. It gives you a stronger position to have the attitude there will always be another house out there.

Negotiating the purchase of a house can be a nerve-wracking proposition. If you do your homework and know your real estate market, you stand a better chance to have a success result.