Best Things To Do With Your Family During The Coronavirus

Image source

The family is like a ship in which we sail on the ocean of life. And during a pandemic, it became like an ark in which we save the most important thing — life, health, children. How to swim out of this period without losses? We will give you some ideas on what to do with your family and how to organise family life during corona.

Make an action plan

A) Plan for the entire period of self-isolation

Having a route makes travel predictable. Having plans reduces anxiety, gives a sense of control over what is happening.

The minimum plan during this period: just quietly go through it, remain safe and sound.

Maximum plan: take everything from life!

Use all the possibilities of this period: study online, make money online; develop online (visit virtual exhibitions, performances, etc.), use the emerging time for creativity, etc.

B) Action plan for every day

A certain regime, daily routine set the desired rhythm, relieve idleness, boredom and anxiety.

An example of a routine: getting up, exercising, having breakfast, distance learning for school children, remote work for parents. Dinner. Daytime sleep of babies (the rest — optional). Housework. Time for a walk, games, creativity. Dinner. Joint viewing of films and cartoons of your choice (online walks to museums, online travel). Reading together. Preparation for sleep. Sleep.

You don’t need to have a rigid attachment to time. But there is a certain sequence of things. It gives a sense of predictability and security.

Image source

Cleanliness and order: ways to clean up with your kids in a fun way

Let your home — your main living environment in this time of crisis — give you a feeling of comfort, cosiness and reliability.

It’s great if all of your family crew members are involved in cleaning. It is important to talk about the need to clean up more during the period of self-isolation. And that mom really needs everyone’s help.

Each family member should have his own work scope.

Children are children, they love to do everything playfully. Make a cleaning quest for them. You can catch an enemy agent with them — dust with the help of a secret weapon — rags and a vacuum cleaner. Children put scouts — things from other rooms — in their places or help refugee things to return home.

You can be the employees of the cleaning company, who are tasked with laundering a room. The reward is gratitude, generous praise, as well as “goodies” in the form of a joint viewing of a funny comedy, ice cream, etc. The game turns cleaning from a boring obligation into a fun, interesting activity.

Chat! How to interview each family member

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many household members become familiar strangers to each other. We manage to take an interest in the thoughts of loved ones only at a superficial level. “Did you eat? Did you do your homework?” – these are the questions that parents most often ask children.

The best thing about quarantine is that we are placed in conditions that facilitate closer communication with loved ones. Common meals, communication, hugs bring you very close.

And there are also games that help you become closer and dearer. Try those that consist of a joint discussion of questions about the inner world of each other. For example, about dreams, about a funny incident from childhood, about favourite games or favourite activities, about best friends, etc.

You can ask questions in different formats:

interviews ( use a cucumber or banana as a microphone. Pass it around. Everyone who takes a bite answers the question); fishing (put pieces of paper with questions in a hat. Each one pulls out a “fish” for himself – a question. Or you can attach paper clips to pieces of paper – and pull questions with a magnet on a rope); hot chair (one person sits – and everyone else asks him. It turns out in the form of a mini-press conference).

Get moving: 

In order to get out of the period of isolation with the least damage to your health, it is very important to include physical activity in your daily routine.

How do you get inspired to exercise at home?

Children are charged with the desire to practice for a long time after watching films (for example, “Faster, Higher, Bolder”) and cartoons (“KungFu Panda”) on sports topics;

It is interesting to work with coaches and fitness instructors (fortunately, now there is access to training videos);

You can arrange a competition in the number of steps, giving each household a pedometer for the day in turn;

The simplest thing: turn on incendiary music and dance together!

Day of records: everyone demonstrates their favourite physical exercises, achievements in strength and dexterity, flexibility and speed. Applause to all champions!

Fun competitions will not leave anyone motionless. For example arm wrestling with dad, jumping rope, standing on one leg, tennis with a balloon, etc.

Don’t forget about the importance of fresh air. Go for a walk, play volleyball outside or go biking. There is no child that doesn’t love bikes. And if you don’t have enough bikes for the whole family, it’s great that you don’t have to go to the store, but order from Bicycles Online.

Win! What heroes to take an example in self-isolation

Despondency, fear, anxiety are the enemies of this period. But there are remedies that are important to apply. In crowded places, we wear a mask to protect ourselves. It is also important to filter information, protecting yourself and loved ones from panic viruses.

Help the children see the good times every day. Create little joys and a festive mood. Share with each other what you liked about that day in the evening, replenish the family piggy bank of joys.

During this challenging time, it is very important to discuss with children the experience of coping with the difficulties of parents and grandparents. Tell them how you and your family won, coped, how you fell, but got up. Research confirms that the experience of ancestor victories becomes a pillar in the hour of trials for their descendants.

You can study with children how literary characters (for example, Robinson Crusoe) and living people (for example, astronauts) overcome the difficulties of isolation. Let their experiences inspire you to hold on and not give up.

You can discuss the goals, destinations of your family boat. What are you aiming for? What will you do after self-isolation? Will you appreciate things as simple as living with friends and family, walking and travelling more?

You can make a dream collage with the whole family – outline your goals with the help of pictures in terms of health, communication, finance, education, travel, etc. Such a conversation can help teenagers with a great desire to start studying (for example, to learn a new language, which is definitely needed when travelling abroad).

Conclusion

During this tough period, it is important to channel anxiety into action. During the war, people helped each other a lot, sharing even the little that they had. And now we can share words of support, sympathy, optimism with our friends and family. Stay in touch with them. Call your parents more often. Don’t isolate yourself mentally.

We wish your crews solidarity! We wish you to emerge from this period safely and sound, loving and happy!

How Far the Vote Has Come in America Since the Victorian Age

Voting. It is both a sacred right and profound responsibility. It is the symbol of a free and democratic society. It is the ultimate exercise of liberty.

And yet the history of voting in America is a long and complex one. There have been enormous changes in the American electoral process since the Victorian era, but one thing has remained the same: the ballot as the cornerstone of the American ideal.

For My Eyes Only?

One of the biggest changes in the American voting system since the Victorian age is the emergence of the idea of the private ballot. For most of early American history, voting was a much-publicized process. It evolved from vocal votes in the Revolutionary era to public, signature-based ballots.

By the late Victorian era, though, an aura of sacred privacy had come to surround the vote. A man’s ballot — and in this era, it was still only a man’s ballot — was his business alone. His right to his ballot was as inviolate as his right to the other core Constitutional freedoms: life, liberty, property.

Indeed, his vote was his way of guaranteeing these fundamental freedoms. It was his ticket to the pursuit of happiness. And it was shrouded in the same reverential secrecy of the personal home or the marital bed.

Super Suffragettes

This idea of the ballot as both the guarantee and the exercise of a man’s Constitutionally-protected rights, of course, didn’t exactly sit well with all those who were denied the same privilege. For modern women, the idea of a woman having the right to vote is a no-brainer. It’s so obvious it seems unnecessary to even have to state it outright.

But for the Victorians, things weren’t nearly so easy or so obvious. The Victorian girl’s ultimate goal in life, the one toward which she would be working from the moment she drew her first breath, was to marry well and start a home and family of her own.

Once that was done, well, she was pretty much set — at least as far as any kind of public or civic life was concerned. For the typical Victorian household, shaped by traditional ideals, the man’s political voice was the voice of his household, of which he was the head. And that meant that when a man voted, he voted for his wife and his children.

To enfranchise his wife, daughter, sister, mother, or aunt was to invite potential discord within the Victorian home. It was to sow division in what should be a cohesive, harmonious unit, the men operating in their given sphere (public life) and women operating in theirs (private life).

But while the separate spheres doctrine might sound all idyllic in theory, the reality was far darker. Women’s political disenfranchisement had often devastating consequences, essentially making them “non-persons” in the eyes of the law. That meant that they faced severe restrictions in everything from accessing education to owning property and even to retaining custody of their children in the event of a divorce.    

This was the political environment in which American women of the Victorian era began to fight for their right to vote. The struggle for women’s suffrage was a long and hard one, beginning in 1848 with the Seneca Fall Convention and ending in 1920, with the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Not So Fast

As revolutionary as the granting of women’s suffrage might have been in American political history, we still had a long way to go in 1920. Racial minorities and the poor were routinely denied their right to vote, and states came up with myriad dirty tricks to make that happen.

In the Jim Crow south, for example, tactics such as literacy tests, “poll taxes” and property tests, and grandfather clauses were used to restrict the vote largely to middle and upper-class whites. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act was ratified in 1965 that these exclusionary practices were formally outlawed.

But agitation for the extension of voting rights to all adult American citizens did not end there. Until 1971 and the enactment of the 26th Amendment, the national voting age had been 21. That was problematic, given that for decades, men as young as 18 were being sent to fight and die in America’s wars, with tens of thousands still being drafted to serve in Vietnam at that time.

The national enfranchisement of 18-year-olds allowed America’s young soldiers and veterans to have a voice in the government they were putting their lives on the line for. And this helped them shape the policies that would shape their lives both during and after service, such as policies related to GI housing, education, employment, and healthcare

The Takeaway

The vote is perhaps the most iconic symbol of a free society. But even in a nation founded on liberty, this fundamental human right has not been easily or quickly won. Women, minorities, the poor, and the young have had to fight for their place in our political system, for the right to have a voice and to exercise the liberty that, today, too many of us take for granted.

 

How Much Is That Water Leak Costing You?

For many Americans, a constantly leaking tap is not much of a deal. A source of little annoyance maybe, but that’s all. Or is it? What if you come to know that this constant dribbling of tiny water droplets is also draining your wallet? And that it’s also one of the major reasons for the ongoing water shortage in many big cities. 

Yes, you read that right!

To take an example, the drought-hit state of California has been dealing with a similar sort of water dilemma for decades now. On top of it, its complex infrastructure is old, and mostly damaged by frequent earthquakes, making it extremely challenging for authorities to figure out the faults, let alone fixing them. 

But that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to understand its impact on you. To know how much is that water leak costing you? And also, to help you save it. 

Well, let’s get started, shall we?

How much water does a tap leak?

Although there is no specific device to measure it, there’s certainly a way to come to an estimate. For instance, the United States Geological Survey suggests that,

15140 drips = 1 Gallon

4000 drips = 1 Liter

There’s also a drip calculator by USGS that you can use to calculate nearly how much water does a leaking tap waste. Just count the drips of a leaking faucet and you can calculate approximately how much water gets wasted from it every day and every year. Rest assured, the results will surprise you. 

To give you an idea, here are a few water stats and facts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Stats and Facts on Water Leak

An average American family wastes about 1800 gallons per week or 9400 gallons of water annually.  

It spends more than $1000 per year as water costs but can save around $380 by using WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR certified appliances.

The total volume of household leaks can reach and cross a staggering 900 billion gallons of water annually, which can be used otherwise for nearly 11 million homes. 

But a water leak can cause more damage than you can imagine. Apart from water wastage and extra charges, it can also harm your property and result in unnecessary repair costs. We’ll do the math in a while, but first, let’s take a closer look at all the possible sources of a water leak.

Sources of a Water Leak

The sources of water leakage are not just limited to leaking taps, showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, pipes, hoses, or fittings. Instead, there are other places as well that you might want to watch out for, such as:Electrical appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and water heaters/geysers.

Lawn sprinklers.

Plumbing that’s not visible, for instance, under the kitchen, sink, or wall, etc.

Roof, ceiling, walls, windows, doors, and floor, etc.

The point is that if you’re considering conserving water plus save money, you must take all these factors into account. An undetected leak can turn into a major problem in no time and can cost you fortunes. So, make sure that no leaks are left undetected or ignored for too long. 

Moreover, water prices are already on a rise in the state of California.  Therefore, it’s important to detect and fix any leaks and use water carefully to avoid paying extra. Let’s know more about it. 

Drip by drip, the water decreases, and the bills increase! 

A normal tap leak can increase our utility bills by more than $30 annually.

A small hole or crack in a pipe can cost you about $70 every month.

Leaking/running a toilet can cause you anywhere between a $80-600 rise in your monthly water charges. 

A leaking garden hose can cost you more than $300 per month.

Hiring a plumber can cost you somewhere between $250-325 per visit.

Repair of appliances damaged by water leaks is always an expensive task. For e.g. repairing a water heater or pipelines can easily cost you more than $500 in a blink. 

Replacing old plumbing lines with new ones can be quite pricey too and may charge you hundreds and thousands of dollars. 

The bottom-line is ignoring even the smallest leak can turn into a major defect and seriously disturb your budget.

Now obviously, you might not be able to detect and fix all the leaks on your own and may require assistance from expert plumbers for the same. 

At the same time, there are certain steps and measures that you can take to detect hidden leaks or to be certain that there are hidden leaks somewhere on your property. Here’s what you can do.

Last but not the least…

How to detect a water leak?

1. The first thing you should do is to turn off all the faucets, appliances, and water valves. Then check your water meter when you aren’t using water. If the reading changes, then there is a leak.

2. A routine check-up into plumbing pipes and water lines can also bring out many hidden leaks that need a fix. 

3. Be mindful of any odd sounds from water tanks or pipelines.

4. Check for any water spots, stains, or green patches in your property to see if it’s due to a leak.

5. Don’t ignore the dribbling; turn off the leaking taps.

The TakeAway

Whether it’s about saving yourself from paying high bills or protecting our natural resources, stopping water leaks quickly is worthwhile. So, the next time you suspect leakage in your faucets or any pipes, rush to a professional for a quick fix. 

Author Bio

For the past 30 years, twin brothers Dave and Jim Schuelke have run their company Twin Home Experts. Twin Home Experts can be found throughout California, Arizona and Utah for home services including plumbing, mold repair, bathroom remodeling, and rodent control. Twin Home Experts is also one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels online for valuable content to both homeowners and plumbers showcasing DIY and frequently asked questions. 

6 Important Things To Consider When Building Your Dream Home

Building your dream home is one of the most important moments in your life. Besides being a significant moment, it is also one of the biggest investments in your life, and you want everything to be perfect. Building a dream home takes a lot of planning and smart decisions, and it is important to get on the right track early on. That’s why we made a list of 6 important things to consider when building your dream home. Read on to find what they are.

Future Plans

Many factors go into consideration when building your dream home. The most important factor is you of course, and your lifestyle. Do you have any plans for the future? Where will you be in five years? Are you planning any significant changes in your family life? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before deciding what kind of house you want to build. It may not be a good time to build a house if your career is subject to change – like relocation. If you are planning a family, you have to take into consideration that you will need more rooms for a family home. This means building a larger house or building with plans to make additions easily to it. Future plans are a big part of house building, so take them into consideration.

Financial Situation

Finances are often dictating our lives and decisions, including building your future home. There are several routes you can take. You can make your home from your savings; get a loan from a bank or a mortgage. Remember that many banks give out loans easier if you are married, as they see a safer situation with two incomes and two credit scores. Calculate all possibilities and see what you can afford. If possible, try not to come to close to your budget, as it often happens that building a home can create unexpected costs. For unplanned expenses, make sure you set aside money to act as insurance.

Hiring the Right People

Building a home is a long process, sometimes even a year or more long. To make sure everything is going as smoothly as possible, pay attention to who you are hiring. Architects, builders, designer – everyone is an important piece of the puzzle, and they have to click perfectly for everything to work. Interview as many of them as you need until you find the perfect fit. You will be working closely every single day for the foreseeable future, and you need to be on the same page and communicate easily. Ask for referrals and to see their previous work – even try to get in contact with their previous clients to get their opinion. Take your time with this decision.

Plan Before You Start

Every decision in the building process should be planned before the start. Plan out as much as you can and decide on as many parts as you can before all the work starts. Once the foundation and frame of your house are in place, it all goes faster from that point. If you are prepared and already made the necessary decisions in advance, you won’t have any problems. Some things to consider before starting the build are deciding on the colour/pattern of all the tiles, the colour of walls, moulding, floors, colour schemes, decorating theme etc.

Land and House Type

There are many options to choose from when deciding to build your home, from where you would like to build to how it’s going to be built. Some options include building on an empty plot, tearing down and rebuilding a new home, etc. House can range from custom homes to prefabricated homes and semi-designed homes. Do your research to find the best fit for you. If you need any help, professionals like new home builders or building company can help you in making the right decision.

Furniture Placement

Before the building process starts, you will make a plan of your house with the architect. Even at this stage, you should do a consultation with a designer to choose the most important furniture and elements. Furniture layout is important if you are building from scratch. Can the furniture you want to fit in the living room? Do you have enough space for all the cabinets? Maybe you can change the plan of your house to fit everything, but there is a bigger possibility that you will need to pick out new furniture. If you plan everything simultaneously, you won’t encounter big hiccups.

Conclusion

When building a home from scratch, something unexpected always can happen. Plan as much as possible before you start, and make sure you have a good team on your side. The right architect and builder will make everything work as smoothly and professionally as possible. Listen to your gut, and make the decisions that are right for you.

Gardening Mistakes to Avoid

Gardening is an amazing and fun way to provide produce for your family. But when you don’t know what to look out for it can be quite frustrating. For those who don’t want to be frustrated and grow their gardens with nothing but love, here are some mistakes you must avoid.

Don’t Plant too Early

Different types of seeds will have their own optimum temperature at which they will sprout. For example, if you plant a seed that sprouts at warm temperatures in earth spring, it will either not sprout or freeze over and die. Another possibility is that your seeds go dormant, which means that you can store them and replant them later because they can be in that state for a very long time. The most important thing is to determine when your seeds need to be planted. Once you have done that, get a soil thermometer so you know what temperature the soil is at that period. Never plant them if it is too cold nor too warm.

Don’t Plant too Late

Just like you shouldn’t plant your seeds too early you shouldn’t plant them too late either. Every plant that you are growing in your garden will have its maturation point which is the number between its planting and first harvest. If you do things too late in the season they will freeze over before the plants mature. But if you have a garden that has a steady temperature or you can cover them by floating covers, your plants can either freeze or get burned.

Not Correcting Your Soil

Not a lot of people have been blessed with having loam soil in their yard. Loam soil is a well-balanced mix of silt, sand, clay and other organic matter. That is why you will need to know what your soil type is. The next thing you will need to do is ask yourself how to improve it. If you have soil that is heavy in clay you will need to balance it out and add sand and organic matter.

Don’t Plant Your Plants Too Close To Each Other

As you can probably see for yourself seeds are much smaller than transplants. So that makes it really easy to plant them too close to each other. When you plant your seeds too close to each other they will have poor air circulation, suffer from nutrient deficiency as well as have to compete for sunlight and moisture. The best option if you don’t want to risk anything is to have vertical gardens. They are much easier to maintain and if you combine it with a hydroponic farming kit you will create the best version of a garden.

Never Let the Weeds Get Out of Control

One of the worst beginner mistakes you can make is letting your weeds go out of control. It doesn’t have to be intentional, all you need to do is not have a plan of attack up and ready. Let’s face it no one wants their garden full of weeds.

Don’t Choose the Wrong Plants

The faster you accept that some plants will simply not grow in your area the easier it will be. Different types of plants will thrive in different zones. If you live in a drought-prone area, plants that require a lot of moisture won’t be able to survive. Another thing to think about is how long the seasons are where you live. Luckily, we live in such an advanced world that nearly every type of vegetables and fruits are developed so they thrive under almost every condition.

Improper Watering

Another very common mistake that we often see, is overwatering or underwatering their plants. Even though most people tend to over water their plants because they are scared that they will dry out, some will have the opposite fear. Plants need to have a lot of oxygen so if you have soil that is not draining well because you are overwatering it will suffocate the plants. But if you are underwater in them, they will dry out. The best way to check if they are watered property is to dig down a bit to check if it is wet enough or if you are flooding them. 

Don’t Add Too Many Chemicals

Especially if you are growing your own produce you want your soil to be healthy and fertile. But in the process of making them healthy people can add to much pesticides, fungicides as well as other chemicals. If you are looking for protecting them maybe try using natural ways. They are just as good and they won’t kill your plants.

Gardening is something that will take time and experience in order to become something extravagant. It is not hard, but as a garden owner, you need to be aware that plants can be quite unpredictable and uncooperative.