• 10Oct

    Choosing vacation destinations, in general, can be quite the hassle. When you have to factor in specific vacation days, flight & hotel information, not to mention reservations of any kind at the vacation site, there is a reason why you hear the adage, “I need a vacation from my vacation.” Nowadays, there is one more particular element to factor in that perhaps is the most sensitive of topics — the blended family.

    It can be traumatic enough for a family to deal with the dissolution of a marriage & an end to the family you’ve come to know, but it can be even tougher to become part of someone else’s family all because your parent met another parent who has kids of their own. Though the idea of the blended family is sitcom gold because of the general mismatches & hijinks, the notion of just becoming someone’s new nuclear family member is not a simple matter.

    How, then, do you pick a place for everyone to go on vacation? There are a lot feelings to take into consideration. ‘Mom and Dad’ might want to do something fun, exciting, and even a little romantic, but that may not be great for the kids. What about vacation traditions from the previous family unit? Those may be some of the things kids will attach themselves to for a sense of normalcy. The new siblings may also find it hard to spend time with each other & may even have resentment toward one another.

    It is for these reasons, and many others, that family counselors agree it is important for any vacation planning to readily involve the kids. See what each one wants out of the vacation. Any activities that seem cool? Is there a type of food they’d like to try? Give the kids some ownership of the trip, and let them know they matter. At the same time, though, it’s important to maintain a sense of accountability with this ownership. You want the kids to feel at ease with all of this change, but you don’t want them to run the show.

    One final key item that is an absolute must is the need to establish new traditions. Everyone in your new blended family still remembers life as it was before. While it is still important to maintain a sense of stability through those old ways, it is important to make new memories & traditions with the new family. Once again, have the kids chime in a little about what they think would be a neat idea. Maybe something like “Silly Selfie Sunday Seafood” would be a great way to break the ice & realize that what’s new isn’t such a bad thing.

    For the blended family, vacation destinations hold a sense of the unknown & perhaps the unwanted. With the right approach, though, your new family may find just the right way to open their hearts to new possibilities.

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  • 10Oct

    You’ve had a great summer. Memories have been made, perhaps you went on a trip or two, perhaps you had family come to visit. Even if you had a lazy summer, people want to celebrate it while they can and that’s when an end of summer party is just what the doctor ordered.

    End of summer parties can be in the backyard, at the beach, at the cottage or just about anywhere you want. There are no set rules except having fun and getting the most out of the season before the winds of fall, the back to school and the back to reality sets in.

    But what will you do? A pool party? A themed party like a casino night or a dress up affair? Laid back or formal, it doesn’t matter what you do just as long as you run with your theme and make it a night/day/weekend to remember.

    With a barbeque it’s pretty easy, you set up the grill, and go from there. Make it a potluck to add interest, or go with the tried and true hotdogs and burgers, chicken, chops and steak. Set up a do it yourself bar, or put big ice filled tubs around the backyard so guests can help themselves to drinks. To add something different you can rent an ice cream machine or an ice cream bike that someone can pedal around doling out treats on. Kids always like cotton candy and nachos go with beer perfectly, and coincidentally you can rent both of these machines too for food on the go.

    No pool? No problem as you can always rent a bouncy pool/slide combination. They set up quickly and provide hours of fun for kids of all ages. If you don’t want to add water to the bouncy fun there are tons of options for bouncy castles, houses and play areas that don’t require anyone get wet to have fun.

    Luckily for us, we can rent just about anything we need for any party from an animal extravaganza (petting zoo and or pony rides), to a casino night for the adults (cards, chips, games) and anything in between. Make it fun, make it memorable and make it something that gets talked about for years to come. After all, summer is fleeting and you want to make the most of it while you can. Enjoy your end of summer blowout!

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  • 10Oct

    “Gold is where you find it.” – Unknown

    OK… that may be true, but that does little to give us clues as to where gold actually is hiding. In Part 1 we talked about water, and how water can concentrate gold into “pockets,” and how we can identify the probable location of some of those pockets by imagining where flood stage water would be fast, and where that water would slow down. These are not the only places gold can hide, though. Here are a few other tidbits of gold lore. Once again, I’m going to concentrate on gold that is in waterways and river beds.

    First, (and this seems obvious to me) look for gold where gold has been found before. There’s no sense in looking for gold in a river or a stream if gold has never been found there. The old-timers were thorough in their searching, and I doubt if a place exists within the northern hemisphere that has gold in it that the old-timers didn’t at least find color. There are many, many books that cover (in detail) where to find gold in your state, or perhaps a nearby state.

    Second, gold is heavy. It will be UNDER everything else (overburden). Don’t look for gold on top of the overburden. The water action would ensure the gold is driven to a layer it cannot penetrate… bedrock. Now, it is possible that the riverbed has several layers of clay. This clay can sometimes act like bedrock, and the gold may sit on top of this clay layer until sufficient flooding and fast water breaks it up. But, if you’re not dealing with clay layers, look for the gold ON BEDROCK… not on top… not in the middle. ON BEDROCK!

    Third, gold will “drop” into cracks and crevices in the bedrock, even in areas where the water pressure would be fast. If you have a section of river bed exposed that is “craggy,” crack them open and clean out the contents… ALL the contents. If gold is in that crack, it will be at the bottom of that crack.

    Fourth, check under boulders. Do this especially in the “line of boulders” between inside curves. But, any boulder in the river could be hiding a nugget or two. Make sure when dealing with boulders that you do it the smart way. Always survey the boulder, rocks that it is resting on, the direction (slope) it will slide toward, and gravity. DO NOT compromise yourself by sticking your arm under a boulder to get some of the ‘good stuff.” Don’t compromise yourself by working on the “downhill side.” If possible, use a “rock net” and a winch or ‘come-a-long’ to move it. Whatever you do… BE SMART and BE SAFE!

    Do you have a metal detector? If so, you can do a much faster search of your area by using it. This is not a job for a kid’s toy detector. If possible, use a detector specifically made for gold. They are very sensitive, have good ground balancing, and very little discrimination, so be ready for a lot of “junk” to go with the gold. Using a detector over a piece of river bed that has a lot of cracks and crevices can show whether it’s worth working or not. It’s also a lot safer to use a detector and eliminate some areas in and around big boulders rather than trying to move those boulders just to find out there’s nothing there.

    Make sure you have a couple of gold pans with you. When you clean out cracks or shovel out under a boulder, you want to keep and test what you’ve spent time gathering. We’ll talk about panning in future articles, but here’s one piece of advice: Always pan into a pan (or something that will keep you from losing small gold that will accidentally pour out of the pan). Never pan directly into the river.

    Just remember… gold is good at hiding. But, if you understand how gold moves, and where it can hide, you will almost guarantee yourself some “color” (almost), and maybe even a small nugget or two. Be persistent. Gold prospecting is not for the easily discouraged. Increase your knowledge. Hone your skills. You’ll get gold!

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  • 10Oct

    Antiques represent the true art and history of a place. We have heard of vanished civilizations. However, their identity is preserved by the antiques we find today. That is the reason why antiques are priceless. An antique collector most likely is interested in the history and ancient art of certain places. Antiques can come in different forms like antique sculptures, painting, coins, decorating pieces, furnitures, and many more.

    While talking about the antique statues, they can be classified according to the age and style of the statue. The question may arise, how to identify the antique statues? The following tips can help you to determine the real antique statues.

    An antique statue does not have sharp ends. Due to the friction while handling for so many years, end parts of the statue are scrubbed and the carvings can be seen faded. Some parts of statues are even shiny.

    Another factor is age. The artwork and the designs on the statue are most helpful indicators to know the age and origin of the statue. There seems to be certain style and design representing the certain of era when the statue is made. For example plain body with less carving is more prominent design of 17 th century than the carved complex designs of 19th century. Also studying the materials used to make statue like brass, copper or bronze can help in identifying age.

    Also, learning where the statue was made or originated from helps in identifying age of the statue. Similarly trying to find out the artist or manufacturer who made the statue will greatly enhance our knowledge of the antiquity and era of the statue.

    Taking pictures of the statue in questions can do the trick and help you in analysing it. So, take pictures of the statue from different angles including the carvings, curves, signs or stamps on the statue. Analyzing through pictures will help greatly in the research.

    Certain tools can also be helpful in studying antiques like magnifying glass, Black- light, Digital Cameras, GPS Navigation Device. These tools will simplify the identification of the antique statue.

    A museum can be the very good source to study about antiques. There you can find similar art and designs to compare and know the age of a statue. Like art and design widely used in making statue in 17th century. You can see the reference of the statue in museum to check the age and its corresponding art and designs.

    And finally, indeed taking help of an antique expert can help you greatly in identify age, value and legitimacy of the antique in hand.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6265588

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