Pillar To Post Newsletter March 2012

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People procrastinate for a swarm of reasons. Some say it’s simply habit, a product of how we were brought up, while others think it’s a clear sign of mental health issues.
Here is a short, fun quiz to see what kind of procrastinator you might be.

When confronted with a large, complex task you:
A. Get on it immediately – too much on your plate makes you anxious.
B. Start thinking about ways to tackle the project by making lists.
C. Put it out of your head completely – due date is a month away.

Your in-laws are coming to dinner. You want to impress them so you:
A. Paint the living room two weeks before the big day.
B. The day before, you clean house, buy fresh flowers and a prime roast.
C. Order in.

At work, colleagues describe your work style as:
A. Diligent but uptight.
B. Conscientious and fair.
C. Reasonable but a little flaky and unreliable.

Here’s the interpretation of your answers:
If you pick A’s: You need to procrastinate more or at least relax a bit.
If you pick B’s: You’re well balanced in the procrastination department.
If you pick C’s: It’s time to curb your procrastinating because it’s annoying others.

Here are some helpful suggestions to stop you from your delay tactics.

• Time to jump in – literally.
Your mantra should be stop thinking and start doing. By over thinking and attempting to dream up the perfect plan you put off the inevitable. Get on with it.

• Do something, anything.
If you tend to magnify and blow things out of proportion, you end up imagining that it’s much worse than it is. Take the big first step.

• Make deadlines.
To help yourself set a manageable pace other than breakneck, set deadlines or mini deadlines for the completion of something.

• Large complex tasks.
Need to be broken down into smaller more manageable segments. Attempt each separately. Break four hours of dreaded paperwork into one-hour slots. Start with the easiest. Take a break after each block of time and perhaps even treat yourself to a latte.

• Be accountable.
Use the friends and family approach by making yourself accountable to them for completing a project. Look to a trusted friend for encouragement and support.

• Turn down the volume.
Because we are so hyper-connected these days this can be hard to do, but it’s a must if you’re a diehard procrastinator who gets easily distracted. No TVs, radios, iPods because their job is to divert your attention.

• Finish.
As difficult as it is to start a project, remember also to finish it. There is nothing like completing a task, no matter how small, to earn you a sense of accomplishment.

Whatever your procrastination tendencies may be, here’s to overcoming them and making your life a real success.


When it comes to deciding which wood floor would suit your needs in the best way, consider the room’s use, what subfloor or existing floor that is there now, budget and your preferable design.

Solid hardwood floor. might outlast your house since it can go through several refinishing cycles. Installation needs underlayment, but it could be installed on existing subfloor. Hardwood provides an excellent design solution as it comes in many kinds of wood: oak, maple and ash.

Engineered floor. provides all the benefits of hardwood, it can be refinished as well but is easier to install and does not require underlayment subfloor and can be installed on any surface. Engineered hardwood flooring is made of wood, but it’s not solid. Instead it is a laminated product like plywood, with a thin but tough veneer of real wood on top laminated to three to five layers of less expensive wood (or fiberboard) and bonded under pressure with strong glues.

Laminate. is completely synthetic with a tough melamine wear coat over a paper or fiberboard core. The beauty of laminate flooring is that it can be made to look like any material; stone, ceramic tile, wood, and more – at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. The effect is achieved in the second layer, which contains a photographic representation of the real flooring material. It is easy to install and water resistant.

Bamboo plank floor. is an environmentally friendly material. Not only is bamboo a fast-growing and renewable crop, the companies that make bamboo flooring use binders with low emissions. Bamboo flooring is made by shredding stalks of the raw material, then pressing them together with a resin that holds the shreds in their finished shape.


Feel greater serenity and clarity in your home and be able to welcome guests in your home with the joy-boosting principles of feng shui.

Clear Clutter. Disorder can stop “chi” or positive energy in its tracks, so your entryway should be kept as tidy as possible.

Hang a mirror. Mirrors symbolically enlarge tight spaces – such as entryways – and are an excellent feng shui tool to “expand” positive energy.

Use the right accents. Bright reds, warm pinks and shiny metallic will encourage good fortune, and make guests feel good about entering your home.

Pick the perfect mat. Your interior mat or area rug should be as wide as your door’s width. Anything smaller can make people feel uncomfortable upon entering your home

Hanging a mirror? Make sure it’s high enough to show 8” of space over your head, so as not to “cut off” your potential success



Splatters and baked on foods inside the microwave are a nasty task to clean up. Here are some simple easy ways to get it done.

1. Freshen with lemon.
Poke a few holes in a lemon with a fork and microwave for 30 seconds. That will release the citrus oil and make it easy to wipe away dirt while freshly scenting the microwave.2. Remove Odors.
Fill a bowl with water and add 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Microwave at 30 second intervals until the smells are gone.

3. Steam away stains.
Microwave a glass bowl filled with water for 2 minutes. Add a wooden toothpick to prevent overheating. The steam will loosen debris, making it a cinch to wipe clean.

4. Clean the window glass.
To de-grease the glass in an instant, wipe it down with equal parts water and vinegar.

5. Tame it with tea.
Get rid of smells in your microwave by boiling tea! Place two tea bags in a mug with water. Microwave for 30 seconds to remove odors.


Radon is a radioactive gas that exists naturally in the environment in very low concentrations.Radon comes from uranium in the soil. While uranium is not present in significant quantities in most geographical areas, traces of uranium in the soil exist everywhere. As uranium breaks down, it produces radon gas.

Radon is classified as a human carcinogen. Breathing radon gas is associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The risk increases with increased concentration of radon in the air and exposure time. The concern is around radon levels that can build up inside a house. Even if you live in an area with fairly low environmental radon, you could still have significant levels in your home.

Radon Testing
You can get a relatively inexpensive test to determine the radon levels in your home. Testing strategies fall into two general categories: short term testing, which may take only a few days; or long term testing, which could take several months. While long term testing gives you a better indication of the radon exposure, people often choose short term testing for faster results.

Understanding Radon Levels
Radon levels are reported in one of three different units of measure:

• The most common unit of measure in the United States is pico Curies per Liter (pCi/L)
• The most common unit of measure in Canada is Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3)
• You may also see the term working levels (WL), common in scientific literature

Fixing a Radon Problem
If you have radon levels at or above the action level, you should take action. The most common remedial technique involves depressurizing the soil under your home. If your home has a basement or slab-ongrade, a suction pipe is inserted through the slab into the gravel below. Then suction is applied to the pipe to draw radon in the soil towards the pipe, effectively sucking the radon out of the home. Cost for a sub-slab suction system ranges from about $1,000 to $3,000.

In the past, remediation involved a trial-and-error approach. A technician might try sealing all of the cracks in the basement, such as a gap between the floor slab and the foundation, and then conduct a re-test. If the re-test shows acceptable levels, you may get away with paying only a few hundred dollars for the fix. But if sealing the cracks does not solve the problem you will have to go to the next level of remediation. Most people feel that it is better to do a proper, comprehensive fix the first time.You can also dilute radon by increasing the ventilation rate in your home. Adding a heat-recovery ventilator brings fresh air into the home, discharges stale air outside, and swaps heat in the process to prevent heat-energy loss. But this approach does not sit well with everyone since it effectively lets in radon in order to deal with it.


Everyone knows that snacks and movies make a blockbuster combination.

But did you know the food you buy at the concession stand also says a lot about what kind of friend you are? Research by physicians shows that there is a real connection between how we treat ourselves and how we treat others.

So pick your favorite movie munchie and unwrap the secrets to your popularity.

NACHOS: You are the life of the party.

POPCORN: You are loyal.

TWIZZLERS: You are a kid at heart.

JUNIOR MINTS: You are super generous.

MILKY WAY: You are full of surprises.


Here are a few environmentally-friendly solutions to remove soap scum in the shower or tub.

1. Bye-bye, buildup. Put vinegar in the microwave for 30 seconds. Pour into a spray bottle and mist the shower. Let sit a few minutes, then rub away.

2. Re-use dryer sheets. Rubbing shower doors and tiles with fabric softener sheets after bathing will prevent soap scum.

3. Lemony fresh. Apply lemon oil with a cloth to tiles to remove film and protect against future stains.

4. Squeaky clean. Combine a cup of baking soda and water to make a paste. Coat your tiles, leave 15 minutes, rinse. Want to get rid of soap scum from now on? Just switch from bar soap, which contains soap-scum-forming talc, to liquid shower gel.


The following numbers will give you an idea what to expect to see:

Average outdoor level is 0.3 pCi/L or 10 Bq/m3
Average indoor level is 1.2 pCi/L or 45 Bq/m3
Indoor action level in the United States is 4 pCi/L or 150 Bq/m3
Indoor action level in Canada is 22 pCi/L or 800 Bq/m3
(the level at the time of writing of this article, expected to change soon to 200 Bq/m3 )

Action level is the level at which you should take steps to reduce the radon gas entering your home.


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