Sunday, October 11, 2020

Time to Heat Up But...

I have always been advocating for a greener earth, for environmentally friendly options and renewable energy. Please do not judge me when I say that our heating system at our current house (we just moved in!) is still using fossil fuel, i.e. heating oil, to heat up our house and our water. You see, the heating system is already there when we bought the house. The heater in itself is well maintained and still has a good efficiency to it so it would be a shame to replace it immediately.  Plus we don't have a budget just yet to change into a more environmentally friendly heating system (although replacing it is very tempting and attractive at the moment because of the partial subsidies by the government). Then you also have the oil tank, which needs to be properly disposed of at a special treatment facility. And the cost of such service? We didn't ask yet but as with other waste treatment costs, we can expect it to be expensive. 

So today we got our oil tank partially filled since it is almost empty and we require more fuel now that it is getting colder since we also need to heat up not just the water, but the entire house as well. Fuel cost us €55/100 liters, which is relatively cheap. Oil prices have really gone down these past few months, which is savings on our part.

We know that we will eventually be replacing our oil-fired heating system and that it is the right thing to do to reduce our carbon footprint among others. Here in Germany, we are given until 2026 to replace oil-fired boilers with the greener and more efficient options like heat pumps, pellets or natural gas. The initial investment would be expensive but hopefully by then, we would have saved enough and subsidies and fundings from the government is still available. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

4 Benefits of a Clean Home

A clean home is something most of us desire to come back to each day. Walking in after a hard day at work only to find a mess left to deal with isn’t good for your mental well-being. There are many benefits to a clean home that make it worthwhile to keep up with the best you can.

Less Stress

A cluttered house can quickly have you feeling stressed. It can be a challenge to find things, hard to move around freely, and make your mind wander from other important tasks. Getting things clean can help you feel far less stressed. That is, of course, unless you’re a busy person with no spare time to clean in your schedule. 

You don’t have to do all the work. For many people, it’s not so much the feeling of clutter that stresses them out but the known fact that they simply have no time to take care of it as they want. A service like Fresh Air Cleaning provides house cleaning services so you can have a professional do the work. You’ll still get all the benefits of a clean and organized home without the stress of finding time to get it accomplished.

Improved Breathing

Dust is a major breathing concern. Pet dander tends to be as well. Continually breathing in either of these things can lead to respiratory problems that may leave you coughing, wheezing, itching your eyes, and having the feeling of a forever stuffy nose. Vacuuming and dusting should be done frequently to avoid these symptoms

Illness Protection

Picking up the clutter isn’t enough. You need to disinfect surfaces regularly and use the right cleaning products to really protect against illness. Too many people use vinegar as a cleaning agent. It may get something looking and smelling clean, but it isn’t proven to reduce your chance of catching a serious virus, such as COVID-19. To fully protect yourself and your family, use bleach wipes, antibacterial cleaner, or disinfectant spray for your best chances of killing germs.

Keeps Pests Away

Insects and other critters love a dirty house. If you have clutter that makes it easy for them to hide and food crumbs left on the floor often, it’s a haven for these creatures. Keeping your home clean will help to keep pests away. They can be both dangerous to your health if they carry disease and a nuisance, chewing through wires and other important things. 

A clean and clutter-free home is important for both mental and physical health. You’ll be breathing freely and have less stress to consider when your house is well-maintained. Clean it yourself or hire a professional service that can take just one more thing off your plate. Either way, you get a clean house that you can look forward to coming back to each da



Thursday, October 1, 2020

3 Great Tips to Add Interest to Your Large Yard

All homeowners know that large yards come with special challenges. In addition to increased maintenance, it can be challenging to improve the landscaping strategy of a large yard. If you’ve been having trouble adding some visual appeal to your yard, here are three tips that will help.

1. Add a Quality Fence
If you want to manage the area of a large yard, the quickest way to do so is by enclosing the space. Every yard needs a quality fence, and a classic wrought iron fence is a design element that will never go out of style. Pair your fence with handcrafted Corten steel gates for a unique look. Not only will you manage the scale of your yard by installing a new fence and gate system, you’ll also enhance the security of your property.

2. Plant Floral Borders
When paired with a fence, floral borders can be quite an attractive element on any property, large or small. Floral borders can hide the area of where your fence meets the ground, which can be unsightly if not attended to. Floral borders look best when they are dense. To create the look of density, plant greenery such as shrubs and tall grasses at the center of the flowerbed and low-growing annuals and perennials along the edges.

3. Create Island Planting Beds
Your lawn likely takes up most of the surface area of your yard. It may be a good idea to plant a few island flowerbeds to break up the expanse of lawn. These flowerbeds serve as colorful focal points in any yard. Plant them up with herbaceous plants or shrubs and bulbs so that the beds look good in all seasons.

Follow these tips and you’ll create a carefully curated yard that makes the most of the space you have on your property.



DIY Home Project: Attic Room Renovation

So I mentioned that we will be moving to a new neighborhood soon in the beautiful city of Ludwigsburg. We are kind of excited, there are so many things happening all at once. Well, not really many but with the birth of our 2nd child and then moving into a new home almost at the same time is a lot, right?

Anyway, the official move will be in less then two weeks. The house is in order and one can already move in, but there are some renovations that need to be done to make it look better. One that needed the immediate attention is the attic room that is to become our first child's room. It is a large room, with two large roof windows but the wallpaper is yellowed and outdated, and the carpet flooring is so worn out we just had to do replace them before the daughter moves in.

BEFORE: This was how it looked before the house was turned over to us.

So we started off with peeling the wallpaper. It was quite easy since the adhesive has already dried out and we did a mechanical pre-treatment: we rolled the entire wallpapered areas with a spiked roller to loosen the contact between the wall and the wallpaper. When it wouldn't peel off after this, we used a steam wallpaper remover. It was quick and easy and chemical free and we were able to peel off the wallpapers in just a few hours. Then we filled out small holes with putty and smoothened the uneven surfaces with sand paper. To make the new wallpaper adhere better to the walls, we primed the walls first. 

Peeling off the wallpaper was "easy peasy".

Then we went down to the main business of putting on the wallpaper. We had to be careful when pre-cutting the wallpaper on the areas with sloping roof as it could be too short and all. The wallpaper we used is Vlies-Raufaser (wood chip fleece) from Erfurt. After the wallpaper was installed, we painted it over with white wall paint. Since the room's deck is made of wood, painting the walls white would make the room brighter and airier. We are planning to paint the wood deck white later on but that will be another project. :)

The first daughter putting on adhesive on the walls. 
It is her room after all so she has to help. ;)

The carpet floor has a gray color. It was a challenge looking for a good and reasonably priced carpet floor in the hardware shops but luckily, someone recommended a shop that has a good and affordable selection of carpet floorings among others. 

It was a lot of hardwork, most especially for our handyman (I am not yet allowed to carry out heavy work due to my C-section) and I can say he did a really good job considering that he has no prior training to do such work. I still have to make the AFTER photo though. Will update this post once I get down to it. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

What Are the Different Types of Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is something of a misnomer. It is more accurate to refer to it as food-borne illness. It usually happens by accident because of pathogens in the food. When you eat the food, the micro-organism gets into your system and causes an infection.

Pathogens get into your food in different ways. Sometimes the food is exposed to contaminated water. Sometimes the person preparing the food doesn't wash their hands before handling it, allowing the food to become contaminated with fecal matter. Sometimes the pathogens are already present in the food and can make you sick if it is undercooked or stored without adequate chiller service Austin TX. In any case, there are three main types of pathogens that can cause food-borne illness.

Viruses
Not all pathogenic viruses can cause disease if they get in your food. However, certain viruses already present in food can cause disease. An example is hepatitis A, which causes disease of the liver. Norovirus is a fairly common, highly contagious, and occasionally fatal food-borne pathogen that sickens approximately 19 million people annually. Other, less common food-borne viruses include astrovirus and rotavirus.

Bacteria
Most food-borne illnesses are caused by bacteria. These microscopic organisms are present throughout the environment. Many are harmless and some are beneficial, but others can cause disease. Some of the most common culprits behind food-borne bacterial infection are salmonella and E. coli. Cooking the food typically kills the bacteria, but cross-contamination of preparing other foods alongside raw meat can spread bacterial infection.

Parasites
A parasite is a creature that lives off a host organism for as long as possible. In the case of food-borne illness, parasites usually take up residence in the digestive tract. Parasitic infection is not as common a cause of food-borne illness as a bacterial infection, and some people are not aware of it because they show no symptoms. However, other people can have serious complications from parasitic infections, especially pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

Food poisoning typically causes gastrointestinal complaints as well as headaches and weakness. You should see a doctor immediately for dehydration and other severe symptoms.


The Bonus Kindergeld

Until today, the human race is still on the race to find an effective and safe vaccine against the novel corona virus which has plagued the entire world since December 2019. It has never been easy for many of us who are greatly affected by the lockdowns. Some have lost their jobs, some families lost a loved one to the virus, some have no choice but to work from home, some have to work less hours resulting to lesser income. 



We did not see this coming and it is a good thing that here in Germany, there are many support packages that the government is offering. One of them is the bonus Kindergeld (child care allowance) amounting to €300.00 per child. This bonus allowance is automatically given to children who are receiving the child care allowance in two installments: €200 in September and €100 in October. For children who are first born this year, they will also receive the bonus allowance but at a late time. The schedule for the release of the funds is dependent on the last digit of your reference number. For our first child, we already received the €200 a few days before the scheduled day. It was really a welcome surprise for us as we really could use the extra cash to purchase new clothes and school supplies as the new school year recently started.
  

How to Give Your Shop a Unique, Eclectic Feel

For a shop that offers more unique items, you need a store-front that offers that same look and feel. If your small business consists of boring walls and uninteresting décor, you may need to give your little shop some personality. Don’t let your store bore your patrons and instead try these tips to introduce some eclectic style.

Go Custom
If you are looking to embrace the extraordinary in your shop’s style, you need anything but ordinary. Choose something that reflects the vibe of your shop with custom furniture finishing San Antonio TX and fun features. Don’t let the traditional and full hold you back and embrace something a bit more fun and visually intriguing.

Don’t Be Afraid of Color
If you want to go eclectic with your look, don’t be afraid of smart but bold use of color. Pick a focal color for your space and stick to that; however, make a big statement with a loud color and use it to tie the whole room together.

Be Intentional
When many people think eclectic, they imagine a hodgepodge of disarray; however, eclectic style is anything but random. Everything from your color choice to the furniture to the wares that you sell needs to be curated with care. While you will mix and match when fully embracing this style, you must be intentional with your choice to have a cohesive and clean end result.

Understanding the Style
Many people find themselves confused or unclear when it comes to eclectic design. Before you venture off on your visionary venture, make sure that you take some time to understand what eclectic style entails. This can help you avoid a décor disaster and instead have a shop that will speak for itself as soon as guests enter.

For an extraordinary shop and shop owner, you need an extraordinary style. If you want your shop to have a true personality that is all its own, go eclectic and embrace this aesthetic from top to bottom.


Monday, September 7, 2020

An Angel Is Born

My dearest Lilly,

You came earlier than expected. And nothing could have prepared us of your coming although we have been excitedly waiting for you since you were  conceived. It took years, you see, before I got pregnant with you. We have prayed for you and He has answered our prayers at a time when we least expected it.


I had my worries during the course of my pregnancy with you, because I was turning forty and there are lots of risks that go with a late pregnancy. But our Lord is gracious and faithful and gave us a healthy baby girl. There were complications during childbirth, but it was all perhaps for a reason. You are now 19 days old and growing bigger and filling our days with surprises and our sleepless nights with wonder. Looking back at what we have been through the past couple of weeks, I could say that you have been through a lot, that I still cry remembering your pain each time they wanted to get your blood samples for tests. The Corona pandemic didn't make it any easier for us, as it did not allow for hospital visits from other family members and friends but the positive thing is, we were able to bond better and have the time just for ourselves. 

There are lots of challenges, surprises that will come our way, in this journey together with you but I am positive and happy because everyone in the family is here to support you and me: your daddy, your big sister and even our dog Suki. For that I am grateful. We are all happy that you, our little angel, is born. And we have lots of plans with you, going on family trips and family adventures, or just spending lazy days at home.

We welcome you into our life, our little angel, our Lilly Anne. We thank God for you. Thank you for being born.


Monday, August 17, 2020

Lilly Anne

Remember my post about which baby name to give our second child?

I had a list of girl names, carefully thought of and debated over. And all members of the family, well the three of us, got to vote and choose what would suit our little girl best.

And so it is finally decided! She shall be called "Lilly Anne".


And by the grace of God, may she grow up to be what her name embodies. My fervent prayer: that we as her parents and sibling, may be able to guide, support and nurture her to become the person that our Almighty has planned her to be.


3 Situations Where a Translator Might Be Helpful

If you’re a business owner and you’ve recently started working with international partners, you may have been thinking about getting a language translator Toronto ON to help you with cross-linguistic communication. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, there are more situations today than ever that rely on translation to help get messages across effectively, especially in business matters. If you’re on the fence about whether your company needs a translator, consider whether you ever find yourself in one of these common situations.

1.Your Software Needs To Be Localized
If you work in the software and technology industry, it’s possible that your software will need to be localized, or adapted to local markets around the world. While translating user interfaces, system messages and more might seem like a simple task, cultural issues could arise from improper computer translations. For quality software localization that communicates your intended experience to an international audience, working with a professional is a good bet.

2. You Regularly Have Business Correspondence With International Partners
If your company frequently produces commercial documents like company reports, memos or other types of business correspondence and relies on these documents for communication with international partners, you may want to consider hiring a translator. One option is to look for a translator with specialized experience in your particular industry, since different sectors often come with their own jargon.

3. You Work in Legal Affairs
If you need legal translations, certified translators may be the best route. These translations can be complicated, ranging from contracts to wills to treaties and more, and sometimes even need to be notarized.

With international collaboration on the rise and the business world growing more interconnected than ever, translation is becoming increasingly important to effective business communications. If your company finds itself in any of these situations on a regular basis, you may want to consider getting a professional translator to ensure top quality.


Baby Shower for Little Lilly

Last Friday, a good girlfriend of mine celebrated her birthday. I asked her beforehand if she would be our little girl's godmother and she eagerly replied with a "Yes!". And so it happened that she also threw a baby shower for our coming child on the occassion of her birthday. We just felt so happy and loved for it was a very intimate gathering of good friends, celebrating my friend's birthday and celebrating the life of a soon to be member of our community. It felt like heaven was also celebrating with us, because we had a mild weather, it rained in the morning and so the afternoon air was cool and pleasant.

Here are some snippets of the baby shower and the birthday celebration. It was a first for me although this is my second pregnancy because baby showers were not yet a trend some 12 years ago.   


The nicely decorated cake table with some diaper cakes.
Baby socks and baby bodys hanged on the line make for perfect "baderitas"!
The birthday / baby shower cake. It was delicious!
Forgot to ask what it was made of though because of too much excitement.

The diaper cakes lovingly hand crafted by my friends.
Cake pops? No! These are oreo cookies coated in milk and white chocolate and
garnished with sugar sprinkles. Lovingly prepared by my friend's daughter.
My daughter and my friend's son, trying out the oreo pops!
Of course, our sumptuous feast composed of grilled meat,
the ever present pancit, and some fresh salads to balance it out!
My heart is overflowing with gratitude for all the love, well wishes for a safe delivery and healthy baby, and gifts for our little girl. We received not one, not two, but three diaper cakes among other gifts... This is very useful because the little one will surely be using them, until such time that she is potty trained.

Our little angel is expected to come out into this world in September. It is not easy to be pregnant with the pandemic still going on, but observing proper hygiene protocols, keeping distance at gatherings, and wearing masks when in enclosed public places, one can still enjoy the little things life has to offer. I pray always for a healthy baby. 

And I also pray that things will turn out for the better in the coming days... 


3 Ways To Treat Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction affects millions of people’s lives. It can cause their relationships to deteriorate, health problems or legal troubles. There are many reasons that a person can become addicted to substances, so different treatment options exist in an attempt to help people as individuals.

1. Therapy
A combination of individual and group therapy can be very effective in the battle against addiction. These therapy programs can be run through different systems. Rehab facilities, prisons and halfway houses Waldorf MD are among the places that have programs in place that help people overcome addiction and return to a normal life. Group therapy sessions provide a powerful support system that can encourage people to stay on track. Individual and group sessions can help a person work through the reasons they turned to drugs or alcohol and figure out how to cope with daily events without relapsing.

2. Medication
There are a variety of drugs available that can help with withdrawal symptoms from different kinds of drugs and alcohol. In some cases, they can reduce cravings and decrease use and dependency.

3. Alternative
Other methods that can help overcome addiction include meditation and exercise therapies. Meditation can help ease depression and anxiety, as well as promote feelings of calmness and clarity. Exercise has many benefits for everyone and is proven to improve the mood and reduce stress. Animals like horses are also being used to assist in recovery programs.

Not all techniques work for everyone. It is important to work with trusted, experienced professionals during the recovery process in order to find a customized treatment plan that will work well. Using a combination of methods can be very effective for many people. The fight against addiction is not won in a day, but through constant effort and with a good support system, it can be overcome.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Mocktail: Alcohol-Free Cocktails

The summer heat is killing me... well, if you are in your last month of pregnancy like me, it would feel like it! It would be very nice if you could spruce yourself a nice "mojito" with lots of ice and mint leaves in it. That would really be refreshing! And of course, you can always whip up a nice "mocktail", a cocktail minus the alcohol of course, and it will be just as refreshing and very safe both for you and your baby. There are lots of interesting recipes on the internet about this. You can always use a fruit tea infusion or fruit juice as the base and just syrups and refreshing fruit slices (citrus!) and ice cubes, and voila: a mocktail! 

Photo grabbed from the drugstore promotional broshure. 
I found this recipe on one of the promotional ads of a drugstore here and thought that it looks easy to prepare and should give it a try.

It is called Lemon-Lime Shot. You will need to cook / boil 240 mL of water with 4 branches of rosemary, 1 tbsp. of peppercorns, 120 g honey and a pinch of coarse salt in a pan, until the mixture becomes thick in consistency. Allow the mixture to cool and strain. Place the rosemary syrup, juice from 1 lime and 1 lemon and 720 mL water in a pitcher and mix well. To serve, place ice cubes in glasses, pour in the drink and garnish with blackberries.

Enjoy your drink!


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Help! You’ve Got a Pest Infestation!

Ugh. Ants crawling through your outdoor picnic and mosquitoes dive-bombing your head while you work outside are one thing, but what do you do when those pests move inside your home? Or what about when those outside pests go from being a general nuisance to being a hazard to you, your family and your pets?

Commercial Products
You can always grab a can of bug spray at the store. However, read the label first! Some of these products should not be sprayed indoors, some not near pets and some actually cause health problems for people. Others only kill certain types of insects. Some kill everything including beneficial insects like ladybugs, praying mantises, bees and lacewing flies.

Glue traps can be helpful for crawling pests, if you can pinpoint where those pests will be crawling and set your trap accordingly. Keep in mind that for mammalian or reptile pests, glue traps need to be emptied frequently or the smell will overwhelm you.

Natural Solutions
Home remedies are a way to go. Check out a variety of blogs with ideas for pest control services Cape Coral FL that have natural remedies. Several of these are white vinegar based. Some blogs list signs and conditions to look for to help you identify which pest is invading your home.

One plus for home remedies is they usually don’t adversely affect the health of any person or pet living in the home. A downside is that they’re frequently specific to the type of insect pestering you, which means you’ll need to know what type of infestation you have.

Professional Control
An alternative is to seek the help of a professional. Pest service companies provide a variety of ways to combat infestations in your home and yard. They can help you with everything from bats in your attic to snakes in your basement, termites in your foundation or ants on your counters. Most pest companies have ideas on pest prevention they’re willing to share, too. Reputable ones will have recommendations from previous clients available.

With a little digging and perhaps some ingenuity, you can find a pest solution that both works for you and gets rid of your problem.


Protect Yourself and Your Skin from the Sun

Summer is officially here! And to protect our skin from damage, we should use sun protection products that are dermatologically tested to be safe for use even on children's sensitive skin. Depending on your activity and how long you will be exposed to the sun, it might also be necessary to apply sun protection more than once.

When buying sun protection products, you will always see on the packaging the label "SPF 15" for example. What does this mean? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and indicates how much protection a product offers against the sun's ultraviolet (UV) B rays. The UVB rays is what causes your skin to redden, darken or get a sunburn. The SPF ratings are determined in a laboratory. The higher the number of the SPF, the better protection you have. For example, SPF 50 products are estimated to allow 1/50 of the sun’s burning rays to get through to the skin (protects against approximately 98% of the sun’s burning rays). SPF-100 products are estimated to allow 1/100 of the sun’s burning rays to get through to the skin (protects against approximately 99% of the sun’s burning rays). Actual protection may vary and will depend on the user applying adequate amounts.

Depending on your skin tone and how long you will have sun exposure, this chart will help guide you on your choice of SPF number. 

Source: bananaboat.com/sun-safety/spf-chart
Although I have a light to medium skin tone, I always use SPF 30 - 50 in the summer where the sun shines longer here in Europe. Whenever we go out to take hikes or go swimming in the lake in open pools, I make sure that we reapply after a few hours so we prevent the risk of getting a sunburn. But it is not only in summer where you should use sun protection products because at any given season and any given time, your skin will always be exposed to the sun's harmful rays. So if you know that you will be exposed to the sun for an outdoor activity, be sure to apply your favorite sunscreen product before you hit the road. 


Friday, July 31, 2020

Maintenance Tips To Get the Most From Your Equipment

Owning powerful tools will not do you any good if you don’t take care of your equipment. From proper storage to regular cleanings, there are a number of critical steps to take when it comes to preserving your resources for the long haul. From air compressors to power tools, you can accomplish a lot with your equipment by dedicating yourself to maintenance. Consider these tips to get the most from your investments.

Inspection Is Key
You can’t take any important steps toward fixing a problem if you don’t know what the issue is in the first place. If you’re going to show proper care for your equipment, start by developing the habit of conducting routine inspections. Before using any tool, take time to look at it and note any signs of wear and tear. Spotting a problem in advance in this way is the best way to avoid an issue while using the equipment and fix it before it gets worse.

Pay Attention To Filtration
Many complicated pieces of equipment rely on filters in order to operate. If you’re dealing with such a piece of machinery, you definitely want to get into the habit of changing the filters on a regular basis. A clogged filter can cause equipment to work harder than needed to achieve simple tasks, causing additional wear and increasing the odds of a breakdown. Look for compressed air filters Sunrise FL and get a replacement whenever you require one.

Know When To Fold
No matter how excellent a piece of equipment was when you first purchased it, there will come a day when it has served its purpose. When you can no longer use a tool to the fullest, it is time to find a replacement. Understand when to throw in the towel and it can help you immensely.

There are a number of ways to go about taking care of the equipment you invest in. Learn more about proper maintenance techniques for each tool you own and it will help you figure out the right course of action for your needs.


Protect Your Devices from Lightning Damages

With summer comes extreme temperatures, and with it, the approach of the storm season. Sometimes, it comes so suddenly that we are caught off guard and forget to protect our network devices at home. 
Learn how to protect your router and other devices from surge damage so that lightning and thunder don't catch you unprepared.

Even if the lightning doesn't strike directly, but rather in the immediate vicinity, overvoltage can cause disruptions in the power and telephone network. The connected devices such as routers or telephone systems can also be damaged.

Here are a few tips for you so that the next thunderstorm passes you by without leaving a trace.

Tips on how to protect your equipment from lightning damage
  • During thunderstorms, disconnect all devices from the power and telephone network. Just unplug all the appliances.
  • A multiple socket allows you to disconnect all appliances from the mains supply at the same time with just one plug. Important: Only switching off the toggle switch does not protect against damage caused by lightning and overvoltage.
  • Sockets with integrated surge protection offer additional protection. For further information, please contact your local electrical store, DIY store or electrician.
  • After a thunderstorm, switch the equipment back on and check all functions.


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Common Signs You Need a New AC System

Is it time to install a new air conditioning system? This is a good question and one you need to consider carefully. After all, there is no reason to invest in this new unit if it isn’t really needed.

The good news is, there are usually tell-tale signs that you need to replace your system and contact a professional AC contractor Gainesville.  

No Cool Air or Limited Airflow
This is one of the most obvious indications that your AC is having issues. If you turn the unit on and the air isn’t cold within a few minutes, it likely means it is not operating efficiently. The issue may also be clogs in your ducts or piping. These issues can also restrict airflow and they won’t resolve alone. No matter the cause of the problem, if there is a lack of air flow, it is a tell-tale sign you have a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Moisture Buildup
Every AC unit will create some level of moisture. However, if you unit is functioning properly, this should not cause any serious problems. If there is moisture present or if there is a leak near your AC, it may be due to a refrigerant leak. This means the system will underperform, but it will also create a serious risk for you and everyone in your home. Even if it is only water that is building up, if the issue continues, it may begin to grow mold.

Don’t ignore signs of a problem. They will only get worse and cost more to have repaired. If you do need to replace your unit, the best thing you can do is contact the professionals. They will ensure you get the quality results you need and that the system will continue operating properly through they years.


What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

Pregnant and now on your third trimester? Now is the time to slowly prepare for the big day. It is important to prepare your hospital bag before your contractions start so that you have everything that you would need already packed and ready in the car. It would be very inconvenient if you forgot important documents at home. 

istock.com / grinvalds
So what do you need to pack? Here are some things that you will definitely need in your hospital bag:

For childbirth, you should pack the following:
- Mother's passbook and health insurance card: this is important as it contains all the important data about your pregnancy, the tests and screenings done on you and the baby, as well as the results, and of course it records your routine checks with your gynecologist / midwife.
- your birth plan if there is any
- Marriage certificate or your and the father's birth certificate if you are unmarried
- 2 long comfortable night shirts / summer dress with buttons up front
- comfortable pants
- slip on shoes and warm socks
- lip balm
- massage oil
- things that will help you relax like books, music, etc.
- personal care and hygiene products
- camera / music player, headphone and charger

For your hospital stay after childbirth:
- documents for the registration of baby's birth
- night shirts / dresses with front opening for breastfeeding
- bathrobe
- comfortable clothing
- nursing pads
- underwear
- absorbent sanitary pads (no tampons!)
- nursing bra
- personal care items, towels
- smartphone with charger
- some money for the vending machine
- necessary medication if you are taking them

For your partner: Your partner or husband also needs to pack for his provisions especially if it is going to be a long night. He should also pack a set of clothes to change into, comfortable ones since it is going to be warm in the delivery room. Food and refreshments should come in handy. You can also inquire at the hospital or clinic where you can buy provisions.

For your baby: You should also pack separately for your baby. Hospitals will not allow you to leave with the baby if you don't have baby seat in the car so be sure to have one when the baby is ready to home. You will also need:
- diapers
- baby clothes, a strampler is perfect
- baby socks or shoes, baby cap and mittens
- a light or a warm jacket depending on the weather / season
- cotton cloths / blanket

These should be ready at least 4 weeks before your due date because you never know when your baby will come. Surprises will always come along the way even if both you and the baby are all healthy and your pregnancy is also going in the right track. This way, you will not forget anything and will not panic when the time comes.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Welcoming a New Child

Children are a joy. They bring light, energy, and laughter to any household. But new babies, especially for first-time parents, can bring many unexpected hurdles and obstacles as mothers and fathers begin the magical journey of parenting. All adults should plan ahead in these three key areas before bringing a new baby home.

Safe Space
Babies need to arrive home to a safe environment free of hazards. This includes not only childproofing a home, with necessities such as outlet plugs, safety gates, and more but also ensuring the baby feels safe and secure in his or her designated sleeping space. Before bringing a newborn home from the hospital, parents should carve out a designated nursery space, preferably a room that can adapt and grow with the child over time as he or she transitions from an infant to a toddler. Guardians should make sure a crib, changing table, rocking chair, and comfortable carpets are placed on the floor for the baby to play. Of course, parents should ensure the nursery is well-stocked with diapers, clothes, bibs, and other baby necessities.

Health and Heart
Once a baby arrives home, it will soon be time for initial checkups at the doctor to assess growth and development while administering shots and vaccines for a healthy life. Parents should research pediatricians in their area and meet with physicians ahead of time to determine a mutual fit.

Loving Care
Before parents know it, it will be time to venture out on their first solo outing after bringing a new baby home. Whether it be an appointment, work, or a date night, parents should plan ahead and secure reputable, trustworthy childcare long before the bundle of joy arrives home. New families can screen in-home babysitters, interview nannies, or consider infant care Tampa to provide care for new babies. Regardless of the choice, childcare workers must be loving, experienced, and dependable to watch over newborns.

New babies bring life and excitement to the world. By planning ahead with care all parents will be ready to welcome their baby home.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Why You Should Dine Al Fresco All Summer Long

When is the last time you took the opportunity to eat outside on a balmy summer evening? Dining in the great outdoors, or al fresco, is one of the greatest pleasures of this short-lived season. If you're still eating dinner in front of the TV every night, you're truly missing out. Here are four fun reasons that take-out food should mean from your kitchen to the backyard.

It Makes You Feel Amazing
Nothing feels quite as relaxing as kicking back and eating outside on a beautiful night. When the sun starts to set and you feel that warm, soft breeze, it's the perfect setting for a light meal and cool beverages, especially after a long day. Adding a few candles and some good friends makes it the perfect opportunity to catch up over a leisurely meal. When the crisp temperatures return in the fall, these are the evenings you'll remember.

You Can Use Cool Utensils
Dining outdoors gives you a great excuse to use all those fun and colorful utensils you never get to use inside. Setting your tables with sparking pitchers, drinks in nostalgic canning jars and summer salads served with Custom Tongs By LoTech makes every night seem like a party. Using these attention-grabbing pieces are just right for an evening of entertaining.

Smells Stay Outside
Dining outside usually means grilling, so it's the perfect time to cook all those smelly foods you'd rather avoid in your kitchen. Think grilled salmon, blackened catfish and smoked meats. Even grilling hamburgers outside can save you a ton of greasy clean-up inside your house. When you're whipping up meals outdoors, no food is off limits so cook to your heart's content!

More Space to Entertain
In this time of social distancing, eating outside is the perfect solution to hold a small, safe get-together. There's so much more room outside and lots of fresh air to boot. Dining al fresco on your patio gives you ample space to maneuver around without feeling crammed into a small space. It also provides plenty of room to set up tables of food and beverage without having to rearrange your house.

It Feels Like Vacation
Summer goes by way too fast. The wonderful thing about the season is that you don't have to go any further than your own backyard to feel like you're on vacation. Dining outside this summer will give you a chance to cook up a storm, entertain guests and use your favorite cooking gadgets, so plan on it tonight!


Last Day High

Today is my last day at work before I go on my maternity protection leave with subsequent parental leave. The day started as always, I came in later than my supposed official time, but my colleagues understand my situation and I am very thankful for their flexibility. This momma is getting slower and slower, as the day of her due date nears. Anyway, I checked on my emails first to see if there were some urgent matters that need attending to. There was none. Then I went on as usual with my work: inputting orders into our system, making sure orders are made, and confirmed orders to customers. There really wasn't that much work, except to have my email account set-up so new messages will officially be forwarded to my colleague so that she will not always have to look into my incoming mails. Then I made some calls in the office in relation to my leaving, so that all will go well. I also got some calls from colleagues who were on home office, wishing me a good and safe delivery and a healthy baby. I also started doing my "farewell" rounds, so that I wouldn't have do a big round at the end of the day and exhaust myself doing it.

Then it was time for lunch. I always look forward to lunches at our canteen. The food is always served fresh, cooked and served on the same day. And for a very good price at that. Some colleagues also came by my table to wish me well. Atfer lunch, I went do some quick farewell to our boss and to the management. 

Such a sweet and wonderful surprise from my colleagues at work.
I went back to my work desk, and then my colleagues from our department came with a surprise gift in hand. It was really a wonderful, beautiful surprise, I was so moved I had to stop myself from crying. I will truly miss my colleagues in my department, they have always been so supportive of me and they taught me a lot. Although I have a different background, I was really able to fit in with the group and formed a harmonious relationship with all of them. To think I am the only one with an Asian background and all of them are Germans. 

This was the content of the gift package: a stuffed toy, a card with my colleague's signatures,
a set of overall and bib, and two gift cards loaded with money.
I was so happy, I can use it to buy my baby's diapers and Co. 
Soon it was time to say goodbye. It felt exhilerating and at the same time sad to be taking my leave. Don't get me wrong. I am very happy and excited to face this new phase in our life but it just felt weird somehow to leave as if I will not be coming back. But I will be back, when all goes well after a year. It is weirder because of the pandemic. You cannot just give your colleague a hug or shake their hands as a gesture of thanks and saying farewell. But I will be back. It is just a brief farewell after all and not a goodbye. 


Different Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome

Owning a home can be a lot of work, especially when you have a lot of property. However, there are still some basic things you can do to keep your yard looking awesome all the time.

Hire a Landscaper
Whether you need someone to trim the lawn once a week or are looking for a complete overhaul on your landscape design, hiring a landscaper could be a good thing for your yard. Search in your area for a local contractor who can accomplish the tasks you want to be done. For instance, some companies only mow lawns while others, such as SecureTurf NC will take care of all your landscaping needs.

Plant Stuff
 A good looking yard is full of life. Plant some shrubs or tall bushes around your front door. Put some flowers in sunny spots around the yard. If you want to go for a more native look, research what to plant in your area. Remember to always put your plants in good soil and water them frequently, especially when it is hot out.

Trim Trees
It's great to have trees and tall bushes in your yard, but these plants can quickly get out of control if you don't keep an eye on them. Trim any tree branches that are close to your house or sit over your neighbor's yard. Keep your hedges at a consistent height. Remove any vines you find creeping around your yard. You will be able to handle most of this work with a good pair of long clippers and a hand saw. However, you may also want to invest in some power tools for your trimming jobs.

Pull Weeds
If you have plants in your yard, you will also have weeds. Weeds are your enemy if you want your yard to look nice. Luckily, they are easy to spot and can easily be pulled out of your garden beds. You may want to invest in stubborn weeds that grow in your walkways and driveway.

Rake Leaves
Get any dead leaves up. While you may think they look pretty sitting on your lawn, they are blocking the sun from reaching your grass. A good raking session or using a leaf blower will get these leaves off your grass and keep it looking good all year.

If you want to keep your yard looking great, but don't want to do a lot of hard work, these chores are good for you. Doing things as simple as hiring a landscaper, planting flowers, trimming trees, pulling weeds, and raking leaves will make your yard look awesome.


Why You Should Attend a Birth Preparation Course

It has been years since I had my first child and I belong to that group of pregnant women who are categorized as a "risk pregnancy" patient because of age. :)

I am generally a very calm, cool and composed person, but with my advanced age, I also cannot help but worry about giving childbirth at this age. True, many women get pregnant at a later stage in life and medical technology has advanced further making childbirth at this stage safer for both child and mother. But still...

That is why I find it important to be more prepared than ever of what is to come. With the complications that go with a late pregnancy, a childbirth preparation course is what expectant moms like me need. For first-time moms, taking a childbirth preparation course also makes sense.

What To Expect at a Childbirth Preparation Course
This course helps women, and also also men, to prepare for childbirth, emotionally and physically. It helps women emotionally, when they better understand what happens to their body during childbirth. Questions like how does childbirth take place, how do you know when you will have the baby, or what does the baby do during childbirth in your tummy, and what do mommies feel physically. All these questions will be answered by an experience midwife during the course.

It also oftentimes helps expectant fathers, when they know the possible ways to help their spouses: small handles, for example, that relieve the pain of labor a little, breathing techniques that can be done together with their wife, etc.

A visit to the delivery room is also an important part of many childbirth preparation courses. To be able to see what the deelivery room looks like, how it feels to be there, takes away much of the anxiety of many pregnant women.

Another ground for worry for most pregnant women is the physical stress brought about by childbirth. But in a childbirth preparation course, one learns how to breathe in a contraction or with the help of which movements you can relieve the floor of your pelvis and push the birth a little forward. The midwife will also show you the different birthing positions and explain the possibilities for pain relief such as peridural anaesthesia or acupunture.

Furthermore, a birthing class not only teaches about birth preparation, but also teaches about what to do with the first moments with your baby: how to change diapers and clothes, how to properly hold the baby, etc.

These are just some of the reasons why a birthing class makes sense. With these,  I hope you will also consider taking one for your own peace of mind.


Thursday, July 16, 2020

4 Simple Ways to Keep Your House Germ Free During the Pandemic

COVID-19 has caused nearly everyone to spend much more time at home than usual, and this means that your home is likely dirtier and more full of germs than ever before. If you are worried about the germs in your home multiplying, here are 4 simple things that you can do right now to keep your house virus free.
 
Wash Sheets at Least Once a WeekYou spend a great majority of your time at home in your bedroom, so it is essential that you keep items like sheets as clean as possible. Wash your sheets and bedding at least once a week to keep germs at bay. Once you have run your sheets through a wash cycle, dry them on high heat to kill any viruses that are lingering.
 
Deep Clean Your Carpets
Simply vacuuming your carpets occasionally is not enough. Hire a service to perform deep Carpet Cleaning Denver to steam out germs and grime that is lurking below the carpet's surface. This is especially important to do if people wear shoes in your home, since shoes are carriers of all different types of dirt that could make you ill.
 
Disinfect Phones and Other AppliancesYour cell phone is 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat, according to Time Magazine. Consider how often you touch your phone and other appliances in your home, such as computers, cooking appliances, and even light switches. Though cleaning supplies are in short supply and are tough to find right now, do what you can to sanitize things that you touch frequently so that germs are not inadvertently spread to others. Also be sure to disinfect any high-traffic areas in your home daily, such as kitchen counters and desks. 

Store Your Toothbrush SafelyIt is easy to get into the routine of simply leaving your toothbrush on the bathroom vanity when you are finished brushing your teeth, but this is a breeding ground for germs. Instead, place your toothbrush upright in a toothbrush holder so that the bristles are not making contact with any surface that could be dirty. If you do not have a toothbrush holder, at least put it in a drawer so it is not sitting on a counter and susceptible to infection.

Keeping your home germ free while quarantined may seem daunting, but it is possible. Ensure that you are cleaning as often as you can and you won't have to worry about viruses invading your space. 


How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

Do you give your dog a bath regularly? How often is often? This question has been nagging me for some time now. Reading through recommendations of veterinarians as well as asking friends who also have dogs, I learned that there really is no rule as to how frequent you should give your dog a bath. It all depends on your dog's activity and whether it sleeps with you in bed. 

But when and why should you bathe your dog? Most dog owners think that it is high time to bathe them when they get stinky. But this should not only be the time to bathe them. Dogs should get a bath because most of them love to get dirty. When they are outside, they love to run around, get covered in mud, roll around on the ground and in something stinky, or worse, dead (!). Giving your dog a bath on a regular basis actually helps promote healthy skin and coat. By removing excess dander, dirt and oils, the hair follicles are stimulated, resulting to a healthy dog hair and skin. Dogs that have chronic skin problems would require more frequent baths than usual using medicated shampoo.

For indoor dogs, a good bath once a month is the rule of thumb. For stinky dogs, at least once in two weeks is a good frequency or as needed. Caution should be taken though. Because over-bathing your dog is also not good because it could result to dry skin, flaking and can negatively impact the natural oils on their coat. When bathing your dogs, use a dog shampoo that is perfume-free, hypoallergenic and has aloe and oatmeal in it. These ingredients have a soothing effect and help condition your dog's skin.

So there you have it! For a good-smelling pooch, a healthy skin and shiny coat, give your dog that much deserved bath it needs. Your dog will thank you for it!


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Gifts for People Who Say They Want Nothing

It is always frustrating to ask someone what they want for a specific holiday, and they answer the dreaded "nothing." Although a few might genuinely want nothing, most do want a gift. They either don't know what they want or can't think of a gift that they need. Instead of making the mistake of not giving anything, try one of these simple gifts.
 
BouquetsWhen in doubt, many gift-givers stick with their go-to option and order bouquets online Boston MA. Bouquets are one of the more perfect gifts; there is a wide variety of different types, sizes, colors and styles of flowers grown in hothouses year-round. You don't have to know the person's favorite to pick one.

Flowers can represent friendship, love or just a thank you. Some bouquets can last for weeks if they are cut with proper care. Many florists will be happy to help you pick the right flowers for the right occasion.
 
PlantsFor those who don't like flowers that don't last, you can always send a plant or foliage collection that does not require a lot of care. Plants are symbols of friendship and life. Even if the person you are giving to doesn't have a green thumb, there are beautiful plants that come with care guides and don't require much attention.

You can find a plant for their office, home or patio. There are plants for every occasion and type of person. With a little research, you can find a plant that suits any personality. One of the best parts about giving plants is that some of them last for years, offering your friend or relative a reminder that you care.
 
Edible BouquetsEdible bouquets are an excellent gift for those who can't have traditional live plants because of pets or allergies. These are usually filled with a variety of sweet treats and fruits. A florist or specialist individually crafts each one to suit the person receiving the gift.

They often have something for every season, holiday and taste. You can order a pumpkin spice basket or a spring fruit Easter arraignment. You could also choose a balloon-filled candy basket for a birthday, or a healthy fruit and nut combination as a get well thought.

You can individually tailor these plants or bouquets for the person you have in mind. Even without knowing a lot about the person, you can pick the perfect gift for the person that says that they want nothing.


Monday, July 13, 2020

Of Pregnancy and Swollen Feet

It is very common for pregnant women to have edema, water storage in the body which is characterized by swollen feet, swollen hands and even face. This  especially in the third semester of pregnancy. It is unpleasant most of the time, because it is difficult to put on your favorite shoes let alone fit into them and walking can also be difficult. The swelling is worst at the end of the day, after long periods of standing or stitting, especially on warm days. Sometimes you also feel a tightening and prickling of the underarms and hands, even the rings on your fingers become very tight. The swelling could also bring about pain and cramps in the night, which happens to me every now and then.

So what can you do to ease the swelling and discomfort?

1. Wear medical compression stockings / socks. This is very effective in reducing the swelling and should be worn at the beginning of the day, right after you take a shower. Through the compression stocking, the blood circulation is controlled and helps to avoid heavy legs. Most compression stockings are made to order so that you get the correct measurements. And because the swelling on both legs are not the same, having them made to order ensures that each leg is getting the right compression.

2. Raise your legs every now and then. If you sit or stand for the most part of the day, raising your legs every now and then will allow for a better circulation and allows your feet to relax. Be sure to find a comfortable position though especially if you are in the later stage of your pregnancy.

3. Soak your feet in lukewarm water. A good foot soak in lukewarm water with Dead Sea salt in it also helps ease swelling. Be sure that the waster reaches up to your calves. The lukewarm water helps in circulation.

4. Massage your feet with the help of lavender cypress oil. This has a cooling effect and should be done right after your foot soak. Massage your feet first and work your way up to the ankles, calves, knees and thighs. The cooling effect helps to reduce the flow of blood down to your feet.

5. Eat a good balanced diet. A good balanced diet that is by no means low in salt has a positive influence on the course of the pregnancy and can, in many cases, prevent or alleviate edema.

6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day. Proper hydration is important. It is also not advisable to restrict your salt intake unless your doctor advised it. The common notion that you should drink less and avoid salt in your diet when you have edema is medically outdated, because this does not help and can even worsen the problem.

7. Pay attention to regular exercise. Recommended for pregnant women are walks and swimming. Staying in the water is helpful because the hydrostatic pressure of the water can push back the edema.

8. Taking alternating showers or baths. Alternating showers or baths, combined with a subsequent brush massage using a soft massage brush or a massage glove, stimulate the blood circulation and thus the transport of fluids in the body.

9. Cucumber face mask for your swelling face. If your face is swollen during pregnancy, this can be taken cared of with a cooling cucumber mask. On cleansed face, simply lay thinly sliced cucumbers or you can puree the cucumber and mix it with low-fat curd cheese and apply.

These are just some of the tips that can help ease or reduce edema during pregnancy. Do you have other tips? Then do share in the comments below and I will update the list.

Have a healthy and safe pregnancy!


Sunday, July 12, 2020

How to Choose a Bible Study

Bible studies encourage you to explore God’s Word and apply it to your life. Before you choose your Bible study resource, choose a lesson that is from a reputable author, meets your level of spiritual maturity and available time and applies to your life.

Author
You may search through studies offered by authors you admire or that are recommended. However, check any Bible study author’s credentials and doctrine or beliefs. Spend more time in God’s word than the study author’s words.

You may also choose to study a specific book of the Bible based on its author.

Available Study Time
Determine how much time you can set aside each week to study your Bible, and choose a study that meets these time requirements. For example, you may choose a study that requires 10 minutes per day or 1 or more hours 1 day per week depending on your weekly schedule.

Spiritual Maturity
If you are a new Christian, you may choose lessons on how to study the Bible. However, if you have some biblical knowledge and understand the stories of the Bible, you may choose to dig deeper into specific topics, such as effective prayer, prophesy or expanding your faith.

If you have a general question about Christianity, God or something you heard preached, this question may also be a good place to start.

Application to Your Life
Do you have a current need in your life that you want to address or future expectations that you want to prepare for? For example, are you planning to get married and want more information about effective Christian marriages, or are you preparing for children and want to learn godly parenting skills?

Every Bible study should be immediately applicable to your life and cause your faith to grow. However, a topic you are passionate about will encourage you to complete the study.

You may choose a Bible study because you admire a specific author. Your available time and spiritual maturity may also dictate the study you choose. Finally, you may choose a study that applies to a chosen part of your life.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New Attractions in Tripsdrill


Amusement or theme parks have started reopening their doors to the public with the relaxation of restrictions because of the Corona virus pandemic. Hygiene regulations, social distancing rules, and sneezing and cough etiquette are of course in place and must be observed to protect both visitors and staff of these amusement parks. With the number of guests allowed to enter the amusement parks limited to a certain figure, the traffic inside the parks, especially the lines to main attractions, is also lessened.

Tripsdrill in Cleebronn reopened this season last 29th May until the 1st of November and is open from 9.00 am until 6.00 pm. But what's new with Tripsdrill amusement park when it opened its doors again to the public?

There are actually 3 Attractions which opened this season: 2 roller coaster rides, the "Hals-über-Kopf" & "Volldampf" opened in June 2020, and the relatviely new adventure playground Spielewelt "Sägewerk" opened in June 2019.


The "Hals-über-Kopf" roller coaster ride will get you screaming your heart out as it takes you to 4 rollovers!
"Hals-über-Kopf": The Head Over Heels Roller Coaster Ride
This is a newly developed type of hanging roller coaster with four rollovers. Its course crosses several times with the course of the new family roller coaster "Volldampf". Both rides deliver a breathtaking competition.

The theme of this ride goes back to the "Seven Swabians" - a story that has been rooted in Swabia for centuries. The Seven Swabians once set the goal of tracking down a terrifying monster on Lake Constance. Armed with a huge lance, they embarked on a daring adventure. The monster turned out to be a hare, however, who jumped away in alarm when the Seven Swabians rushed toward him. The new roller coaster therefore bears the name "Hals-über-Kopf", refering not only to the rash heroic stories of the Seven Swabians, but also to the four so-called rollovers, which are the unique selling point of this new ride.

To ride, you need to be at least 6 years old (accompanied by an adult) and at least 120 cm. From 8 years old and above, are allowed to ride alone. 

The "Volldampf" family roller coaster ride with its steam locomotive design.

"Volldampf": The Full Steam Family Roller Coaster Ride
This new family roller coaster ride not only goes forward, but also downhill in a backwards shot.

The design of this family roller coaster was inspired by one of the best-known Swabian folk songs: the Swabian Railway. Created at the end of the 19th century, the song is about a turbulent journey on the Swabian Railway from Stuttgart via Ulm and Biberach to Durlesbach. The railway line is now fictitiously continued in Tripsdrill, with a steam locomotive design from the 19th century and several compartments. Full steam ahead!

To ride, you need to be at least 4 years old (accompanied by an adult) and at least 95 cm. Children from 8 years old and above are allowed to ride alone.

The play world "Sägewerk" with over 250 game elements on 1400 square-meter area.

Spielewelt "Sägewerk": "Sawmill" Play World
This huge adventure playground on 1400 square meter area has around 250 game elements and is considered as one of the largest adventure playgrounds in Southern Germany. It is strategically situated right next to the wooden roller coaster "Mammut", inviting both children and adults alike to climb, slide, sand and splash around with water. It has nine partially covered play areas, a climbing tower that reaches up to a height of almost 15 meters, an over ten meter long network bridge and an almost eight meter high spiral slide - everything just spectacular! The little ones in particular will never be bored as there are numerous possibilities to play with sand and water. Even the young at heart will also be refreshed here.

So the next time you visit Tripsdrill, be sure to try these new attractions. I wish you an enjoyable visit!

Photos taken from the Tripsdrill official website.


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