Spruce Up Your House by Gardening!

It’s a good time to start thinking and planning ahead for your garden. A neat and tidy front yard can enhance a property, but a beautifully planned one can really make an ordinary house look special.

Some accessories that will make your yard look really good can be very inexpensive. Most of us are on a budget, especially these days when we never know how much it will cost to fill up our gas tank. Sometimes at this time of the year, you can find last year’s garden accessories discounted. Benches or garden lights may be listed for sale before the new stock comes in.

There are some basic rules which apply to every garden. Before you start you should try and afford a soil test. This is quite inexpensive and either your local nursery or the Internet will tell you how to go about it. You can also buy do-it-yourself kits. The second thing is to dig compost into your garden, and now (winter) is a good time.

If you are having a soil test carried out, you will know from the results if you should add any other nutrition to your soil. A soil test will mean you will not be buying the ‘wrong’ shrubs, plants etc for your soil type.

There is one last thing that you should monitor: how long and where the sun shines on different parts of your garden. Plants can thrive without direct sunlight, but only if you plant a type that likes the shade. This can still include many bright, colorful plants (i.e. impatiens), so you can still brighten up dull areas.

Once you decide to buy, you do not want to waste your money by having the plants or shrubs die on you. The soil test will curb some of these mistakes. The other thing to do is to look up, on the Internet or from a book, your particular growing zone. If you live in an area where, for instance, you come into the ‘Hardiness Zone’, it will enable you to pick the type of plant that has the best chance of surviving in your type of climate.

Always put short and stocky plants in front of taller ones. Remember to check the expected height to know this information – do not decide by the height at purchase time. Remember that short and stocky plants are generally tougher and more resilient, so choose more of these.

Try to resist buying plants in bloom at the time of purchase. The ones that still have to bloom will probably be stronger for the transplant process. If you have more shady areas than you wish, think about drastically trimming a tree to get more sunlight onto certain patches. Remember that some plants like a lot of water, so group these together to make the watering less laborious for you.

There are many small accessories that will really make your yard stand out. Obviously a strategically placed bench -or chairs and small table- under a tree will look welcoming and relaxing. A small bridge can really enhance a yard, and you can use it as a focal point for a few reeds or grasses to give the impression of water. Or if you feel daring you can try digging your own long shaped pond. Instructions on this are easy to find in books or on the ‘net.

For cheap plants (in fact free ones!) buy a can of ‘rooting powder’ and offer to swap cuttings with your neighbors. It is not recommended to sneak out at midnight with your scissors in hand!!

What Type of Fire Alarm Do I Need and Where Should I Put It?

It is probably quite evident that there are a number of fire alarms available, and at vastly varying prices, so it may be very difficult to understand the differences between Optical, Ionisation and Heat alarms. This guide is aimed at taking some of that confusion away.

So what is the difference between the models?

As stated above there are three types of alarm, each with its own uses.

Optical Alarm: This type of smoke alarm typically uses an infrared beam between two points, the alarm being triggered should the beam be disturbed. In much the same way as a criminal might trip an alarm when breaking into a bank vault or museum in the movies, if the beam is broken, the alarm will go off. It detects larger smoke particles best.

Ionisation Alarm: These alarms use 2 small plates (one charged positively, one negatively) and an alpha particle source to create a constant current running across the gap between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber it interferees with this process, interrupting the charge. When the charge drops, the alarm goes off. These alerts are best at detecting smaller smoke particles.

Heat Alarms: A heat alarm will trigger if the room temperature reaches a certain level. They do not detect smoke, and are not to be used as a substitute for a smoke alarm, but should be used in assisting these alerts for greater fire detection.

Why do we need different types of fire alarm?

Different types of alarm exist due to the different types of fire. Believe it or not, fires act in different ways depending on what is burning, and is important to identify the fire as quickly as possible. Different alerts are better at discovering different fires, and choosing the right alarm for the right room could save your life one day.

Fires can be particularly smokey, often caused by the burning of papers or clothing etc, and burn rapidly, producing smaller smoke particles. The Ionisation alerts are better at detecting these fires.

Other fires can be a lot less smokey, often being harder to detect, and are caused by the burning of carpets, sofas or electrical devices. These fires tend to burn less quickly, producing larger smoke particles. Optical alerts will be better at detecting these fires.

Which fire alarm do I need?

This article is meant as a general guide, and for more detailed safety advice it is highly recommended that you contact your local Fire Service. This being said, the information below should help you decide.

  • Optical alarm: Living room, dining room, hallway
  • Ionisation alarm: Bedrooms, walk in wardrobes
  • Heat alarms: Dusty areas such as garages, unconverted lofts etc where the dust could interfere with the other alarm types.

Alarms are available as either battery operated, or mains operated with battery backup. The mains alarms will continue to work for a time after power is lost to the unit, but only as a backup. If this is the case, mains should be restored to the unit right away, or the battery changed.

Some alerts even come with the option of interconnectivity, meaning if one alarm sounds, then all the alarms sound. This is highly useful in larger properties where one alarm may not be heard by everyone. The idea is to raise the alarm to everyone right away – as soon as a fire starts – and having the alarms linked together will achieve this.

Fires are responsible for a large number of deaths each year, as we all know from the adverts broadcast on television or radio. This is a fact, and can be greatly reduced by just checking your alarm to be sure that it works, and that it is the correct alarm for the location it is placed. Be aware that alerts need replacing after a certain amount of time, and it is worth checking on the unit and to note the replace by date. If you are unsure, check with your local Fire Service.

Clothes for the 18 Inch Doll

If you want to make sure that you keep the clothes for the 18 inch doll that you own in good condition then they will need to be cared for properly.

This includes you regularly washing the items to ensure that the material is kept in the best condition possible. Plus avoid keeping the dolls in direct sunlight and also in a room where the temperature fluctuates too much.

So how do you wash such items of clothing? Below we take you through the steps you need to take to clean the clothes for the 18 inch doll that creators of them have developed.

Step 1 – You need to get together the materials that are required to wash the clothes in. The items you need are some vinegar, soap snowflakes, cold water, cotton buds, a sleeveless board and some white clean towels. Plus you also need some jars into which the mixture of water soap and vinegar can be placed.

Step 2 – Before you fully immerse any items of clothes for your 18 inch doll into the cleaning solution it is important that you carry out a color test first. To do this you simply dip one of the cotton buds into the cleaning solution and then apply the mixture on to the inner seam of the dolls clothes. If you find that the material reacts adversely to the cleaning solution, then do not wash the item in it. Instead it may be much more advisable to use a foam spray cleaner instead.

Step 3 – The next thing to do when it comes to cleaning clothes for the 18 inch doll that you own is to remove any beads, snaps or hooks from the material. This will ensure that they will not be harmed by the mixture used to clean the clothes in and which they need to be soaked in for about an hour. After the items have been soaked then of course rinse the items thoroughly with distilled cold water to remove all cleaning residue from them.

Motorcycle Footwear

When a motorcycle is purchased there are many other purchases to consider. Every biker describes to have riding gear that will keep them safe while riding. Out on the open road there are road hazards and weather conditions to deal with.

Leather motorcycle jackets come in different types of cowhide and buffalo, along with chaps. These protect a rider from the elements, rocks, debris, and road rash. Leather gloves keep the hands warm in cold weather and dry in wet weather. Gloves also protect the hands from road rash. In the case of an accident and being thrown from a motorcycle the natural instinct is to put the hands out to break the fall. With gloves the skin on the hands can stay intact. A helmet is always important. Use your brain to protect your brain.

A long with leather jackets, chaps, gloves, and a helmet the footwear is also an important part of riding gear. Even picking the correct footwear takes careful consideration. A pair of tall leather boots works well when riding a motorcycle. This will protect the riders ankles from being burned on the exhaust pipes and from debris and stones. On a bike it is important to have the soles of the shoes be grippy; these will make the soles of the shoes like an extra set of tires. The feet are what hold up the motorcycle when you are at rest.

Some bikers may where fashion boots or cowboy boots, but these have slippery soles. Fashion boots are available in a work style with grippy rubber soles. Other bikers prefer a boot with Velcro or latches rather than a lace up boot. First they take less time to put on, and second the laces may come loose and get caught in moving parts, like the drive train.

Along with choosing the perfect bike that is comfortable and fits your cycling style, remember to purchase the riding gear including footwear that looks cool and keeps you protected while riding.