Found Some Mold in our Basement

I don’t know if I have ever been so afraid as I was when I discovered mold in our basement.  All at once I felt fear, anger and concern about the place that I have called my home for what seems like years.  I couldn’t help but wonder if it was even safe for me to be in my home anymore and that is truly a scary feeling.

You are supposed to be safe in your home.

But seeing mold there on some of the walls turned everything upside down.  I didn’t dare touch it, but I knew that I had to get someone in to give me an opinion as to what could be done to resolve the issue.  Leaving it alone was about the worst thing I could do, and I would rather deal with it right away.

So, that is exactly what I did.

I contacted a company that specialized in mold abatement and they were out in about half an hour to examine the problem.  They were able to assess the situation and provide a way to solve it.

Which is exactly what I needed to hear.

They will be out again later this week to get the work done and I feel better already knowing that soon my mold problem will be history.

Finding New Windows for the Shop

As a business owner I am always trying to make incremental improvements to our storefront.  This can include everything from a fresh coat of paint to a complete renovation to the customer service desk.  From the rickety old store that we started from until today there have been countless improvements done to our building.

But we are not done yet.

In fact, I have been looking at making some changes that will both help the energy efficiency of the building as well as make a good impression.  You see, we still have the original windows and front door that came with the building when we bought it years ago and they have needed to be replaced for a long time.  While a simple paint job used to cover up their age, it is to the point where we can’t hide it anymore: they are just too old now.

So I have been browsing store front commercial windows and doors in Los Angeles to try and create that perfect first impression when the customers pull-up to our building.  I really wanted a modern and clean look that would allow them to see into the store whether we are open or not.  I have always been a big believer that window shopping can convert a looker into a customer, and that is exactly the goal with this renovation.

I have narrowed my selection down to a couple of styles, but I am going to sleep on it for a few days before making my decision.  Our store is going to look the same for the next decade or so, so I have to make sure to pick out the right ones.

I can’t wait to see what the storefront looks like when we are done.

Perfect Birthday Gift for Grandma

What do you get for a lady that is turning the young age of 92?  My grandmother will be having her birthday in just a few days more than a week and I have been agonizing as to what I should get her for her gift.  She has seen more than I have at my age, and if she needs something she would just buy it on her own.  But being the good grandson that I am, I vowed that I would find her the perfect gift this year.

It was a lot harder than I would have thought.

I searched through store after store trying to find her a gift, but I didn’t have much luck.  When you have no real idea as to what someone her age could use, it makes finding a gift difficult.

Really difficult.

I was just about going to give up when I recalled a conversation that we had just a couple of weeks ago.  We had been talking about baking and how she didn’t have any aprons.

It was like a light bulb went off in my head.

I decided to get her some kitchen aprons at one of my favorite clothing shops.  The beauty of buying her this type of gift was that I could pick it out online and have it delivered right to my door.  After all the Christmas shopping that I did at the mall this year, I was so thankful to be able to sit at home with my tablet to do some shopping.

The apron will arrive just before my grandmother’s birthday and I know she will love it.

Continuing Problems at our Rental Properties

It seems like when it rains, it pours. (notice the water joke there?)

The last few weeks have not been great for me as a rental property owner.  We have had a large number of problems at just about every one of our properties and I am getting tired of putting out fires.  In fact, we had a fire, a break-in, a leaky roof and most recently some flooding at one of our units.

Things have really been a mess.

What makes things worse is that our properties are spread out over a few thousand miles which has meant a lot of traveling.

It has been the pits.

Thankfully our most recent issue (the flooding) was one of the easier problems to deal with.  We phoned up a specialist that worked in water damage restoration valencia and were able to get things cleaned up quickly before there were more problems.  They came on short notice and worked through the night to ensure that the tenant was only out of their home for a short period of time.

I really appreciated the customer service.

I am hoping that these problems that we have been having at our rental properties will stop for awhile now – we originally bought them as passive investments so I was hoping that they wouldn’t be as much work as they have been recently.

Picked up Some Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Christmas shopping has been in full-swing here in my household for the last few weeks, but thankfully it is just about over.  I have bought presents for just about everyone I know – from my sister who always needs some more grooming apparel to my aunt that is happy with the latest Leonard Cohen CD.  In fact, most of the people I shop for are pretty easy to handle, so I don’t worry about things too much when doing my Christmas shopping.

But the one challenge I do have every year would be my grandfather.  He is a bit grumpy (I hope he doesn’t read this) and he has always had the attitude that if he wanted something, he would just buy it.  That means that if you figure out something that would work for him for a gift, you dare not mention it to him or else he might buy it before you have a chance too.  It has been endlessly frustrating shopping for him over the years and this year will be no different.

The trouble is that I really don’t have any idea as to what to get him.

Thankfully there is still time before Christmas Day, so hopefully something will jump out at me while I am out shopping.

I’ll feel a lot better once I have all the gifts wrapped under the tree.

Last Minute Present Shopping for Dad

With my father’s birthday coming up in just a few days, I thought that it was “time” for me to go do some shopping.  I am just about the biggest procrastinator that I know, so it should come as no surprise that I would do everything at the last minute.

Is there any other way to shop?

On a more serious note, it has been something that I have been thinking about for some time now.  In fact, I know exactly what I am going to get him, but I am just heading down to the store right now to get pick it up.

You see, he has been asking for some replacement patio doors for some time now, but it seems that no one has been listening.  So, I am going to take advantage of some good deals that I have seen on patio doors Los Angeles and get a good deal on his present.

I really don’t want to spend too much.

The real reason that I am going with the patio doors is that I know that he will actually use them, and I am tired of buying him gifts that just sit on the shelf.

So, it is a win-win type of situation.

I just hope I pick out a style that he will love.

Proud of my Nephew

It has been hard watching my nephews and nieces grow up.  In my mind they are always the little kids that I held at the hospital more than fifteen years ago, but the truth is they are turning into young adults.  It has been a great journey watching them grow and helping them become the people they are today, but at the same time it is hard to believe that their time as kids is just about over.

Am I really getting that old?

The thought of being older really hit home this week when the oldest nephew, David, started his new job working in water damage restoration Malibu.  One of his best friends, Dan, had taken a job working with the same company just a few months earlier, and he was the one that encouraged David to apply.  They paid well, had benefits and Dan suggested that they could learn from the job over the course of a year or so and then start their own business.  That really lit David’s eyes up and they have been scheming ever since as to how they will create their own company to help people recover from water damage.

I am so proud of him – I know that he can do whatever he puts his mind to.

Bought Some Groomer Pants for my Sister

When it comes to buying my baby sister gifts for her birthday or Christmas, I really struggle to find her anything that she would use.  I don’t know the first thing about her likes and dislikes, but at the same time, I don’t want to waste money on something that she doesn’t use.

It makes shopping for her very hard.

But after having coffee with some of my girlfriends, I realized something – it would make a lot more sense to get her something that she would use for work than trying to find her something fun.

So, that is what I decided to do.

Jennifer works in a pet grooming salon and I knew that she was forever buying new pairs of groomers pants each and every month.  I knew that if I bought her some, she would use them and that would make me happy.  It would be a gift that she would use instead of just putting on a shelf somewhere.

I had to speak with my mother to get the size of her clothes and I have placed an order online for her gift.  They will show up in time for her birthday party in four weeks.

I hope she loves my gift!

Getting Ready for Winter

It is hard to believe that winter is just about here.  The warm days of summer are gone and I am not looking forward to the cooler temperatures.  Call me a baby if you’d like, but there is a reason why I live where I do – I need the heat to survive.

One of the ways that I know is a sure-fire way to keep your home warmer is to ensure that you have properly sealed windows in your home.  This house that I am living in is old and leaks like a sieve, so I knew that I would need to replace the windows to make it through these colder months.

It wasn’t going to be a job that I did on my own – I needed to hire an expert.

So, I found a company that specialized in replacement windows in Los Angeles that had the time to help me out.  In fact, I found them online and they were happy to hear from me.

They made a good first impression.

In order to ensure that they ordered the right windows for my home, they came out and measured every one of them.  They will be coming out to install them sometime early next week and I am looking forward to them all being done.

It will feel great to be warm this winter.

Insomnia Keeping You Awake At Night? Try These Tips And Get Some Rest


If you’ve gotten into the habit of napping and you find that you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you should consider doing away with your daytime naps. There are many strategies you can use to energize yourself during a midday lull besides choosing to take a nap. Consider choosing some of the suggestions below to do away with your midday nap and improve your ability to sleep at night.

Stay away from tobacco, alcohol, and even caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, so you’re doing the exact opposite as calming your nerves when you use it. Alcohol and tobacco have been proven to actually worsen your sleeping, so neither is good to use when you’re suffering from bad insomnia.

Limit the amount of time you spend in bed. Your bed is for sleeping and not to pay your bills or make phone calls. It is also important that you refrain from listening to your radio or watching your television while in bed. These types of activities make you alert and make it extra difficult to fall asleep.

Particularly if you work in an office and do not engage in much physical activity during the day, establish a workout schedule for yourself. Just 15 minutes a day of activity can help, as long as you do so a good 30 minutes or more before bed. Exercise enables you to get the oxygen you need to rest and sleep well.

Make sure you are going to bed at about the same time each night. Whether you realize it or not, you are a creature of routine. Your body works best when it has a schedule. So set times to go to bed and get up daily, and your body will respond by feeling drowsy just at the right time.

Consider cognitive therapy if you have severe insomnia. This type of therapy helps you pinpoint inappropriate beliefs and thoughts that are causing your lack of sleep and correct them. Other benefits from cognitive therapy include learning about sleep changes over the human life cycle, in particular age-related ones, and also being able to set realistic sleep goals.

Exercising earlier in the day can help you sleep. Morning exercise is also a great idea. Exercising before bed can actually make you stay up longer. This can cause you to lay awake at night.

If you find you wake up shaking in the night, but a thick blanket doesn’t help, have a glass of warm milk before you hit the hay. Milk contains nutrients which keep your blood sugar level overnight, and this can save you from that horrible shaking you are experiencing.

If you are getting up to use the bathroom all night long, talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested. Those with diabetes often drink a lot during the day, and this can affect your sleep as you have to void all of that liquid during the night.

If you suffer from bouts of insomnia, take a look at your mattress to see if it may be contributing to the problem. If your mattress is to soft, too hard, or just old and uncomfortable, it could be the cause of insomnia, or frequent night waking. A new mattress might be just what you need.

Check your mattress often for signs of wear and tear. If you’re not comfortable, it may need to be replaced. Buy new pillows and bed linen whenever necessary. Avoid allergens when choosing bedding. Although feather pillows might be more comfortable, they are a waste of money if you’re allergic to them.

Your bed can become your friend when it comes to sleep if you make it exclusive to your sleeping time. Watching television throughout the day, getting on the laptop, napping and other activities should be kept out of your bed. Your bed needs to only be used for sleeping only!

Walking in the evening is relaxing and helps you wind down and let go of your cares. The more pumped up the body is, the less likely it is to sleep. Exercise will energize you and make it tough to get to sleep.

Using a air purifier can often help those with breathing issues. It will clear the air of most allergens and dust mites that can bother you. As an added bonus, it also gives the rooms a clean, fresh smell. Most of them are very quiet or make a low soothing noise that is like white noise.

Exercise can help you sleep better at night but only if you exercise during the day or early evening. If you exercise right before bed, then you will only get your adrenaline going and you find it hard to sleep. So try exercising during the day to get a better sleep at night.

Get all electronics you can out of your bedroom. You may find it tougher to fall asleep if a computer or television is present in your room. Also be sure you’re leaving your cellular telephone in a different room every night. Only use this room for sex and sleep. Your house can contain your electronics in other rooms.

If you want to lose weight, then how much sleep you are getting each night is quite important. People who are tired tend to eat more. You are also going to make less healthy choices in terms of what you do eat.

If you were told to drink a warm glass of milk before bed to help you sleep, that advice was sound. This can help you feel drowsy and full, allowing you to pass right out. If you want an extra boost of sedation, add 1 tablespoon of honey to the mix.

While there is some research and lots of encouragement by some professionals about the benefits of napping, if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you should probably skip your afternoon nap. You’ll want to choose effective strategies for weaning yourself off your afternoon nap. Use the suggestions above to help you cure your nighttime insomnia by doing away with your afternoon nap.