Please enable JavaScript to access this page. Homes And Families Counselling: January 2014

Love Them While They're Here

It was June 19, 2011, Father's Day, when my mom passed away. She died from cancer at 86 years of age. Life began to change. My sister and I had to get rid of just about everything from the home because we could not afford the expense of storage. My sister came to live with my boyfriend and I. Life was very difficult for my sister because she had lived with our mom for many years. My mom was not just our mom; she was our best friend.
Love Them While They're Here!
I was sad and stressed and dealing with going back to work. My cat Miracle took the brunt of it. When you are stressed you take it out on whomever is right there at that moment. I was trying to prepare food to take to work and Miracle was right there waiting for food. I lost it and lashed out, yelling at her for no reason. All she wanted was food and attention. How would Miracle know what was going on inside my head.
Love Them While They're Here!
After 9 years of never going any further than our backyard, she went looking for attention elsewhere. There was another cat in the area. Miracle would have to cross the street to get to it. She never made it. Her 9 years of excellent health was taken away in an instant. It was late at night and being black, she was not easily seen. It happened only one week after my mom passed away.
Love Them While They're Here!
I lost my mom and my cat, both very dear to me. Many years back my sister and I lost our dad at a very young age from congestive heart failure.
Did I love my mom enough while she was here? Did I tell her enough? Did I give my cat enough love and attention while she was here? Only I can answer those questions.
I was given another chance one year later. A one year old cat adopted my boyfriend and I. She was watching us every time we were in the yard working. Every day she would come closer and closer until she let us feed her. We had given info to all the local Veterinarians. No one called for her. We named her Dejavue because she looks just like Miracle.
Remember! Always Love them while they're here.
Tell them you love them. Show them you love them. You will be surprised at how good it feels for them and for you.

Childhood Fears That Drive Parents Crazy

If it exists, somehow, somewhere, there is a child who's afraid of it. There are conditions such as arachnophobia (I find it best never to trust anything with 8 legs); claustrophobia (a fear of small spaces, but only because my brother had me climb into that milk crate and then sat on it for an hour while ignoring my cries of terror and desperation); or cibophobia (fear of food, which I can understand only if your parents fed you brussels sprouts daily). Somewhere there probably exists a term for people who are afraid of being afraid.
Some of these fears are rather common and quite typical of childhood. Many kids are afraid of people in masks (honestly, who can blame them). A fear of mascots also consumes many youngsters. (Seriously, you want me to sit on the lap of an 8 foot tall bunny that smells like Cheetos and beer? And I thought you loved me!) Then there's clowns. What twisted soul came up with the idea of clowns. I'd like to know who it was that was sitting down one day and thought, "I know, I'll paint my face white like a dead person. Then I'll add a huge red nose that shrieks an annoying sound, and use makeup to create a twisted, distorted, unchanging facial expression, as if the old parental warning were true that after one too many goofs my face actually did get stuck that way. I'll put on the most ridiculous clothes that only MC Hammer would love, a wig to match, and a pair of shoes that look like they're hiding a small troll. Then I'll walk up to strange children and eye them suspiciously, perhaps waving and poking at them, as if to see if they're yet ripe enough to eat. They'll love it!" Are you kidding me? Kids remember all those twisted fairy tales we read them. They heard about the witches and goblins looking for kids to cook in a giant pot of toddler stew. They know what's up.
It's not just the usual fears of monsters and spiders and mascots that can trouble kids. Children are sometimes stricken with fears that can leave parents scratching their head. A child might come to fear cute, fluffy bunnies because of something as obscure as the way they twitch their noses. (And have you seen the teeth on those thing? A child may worry their fingers look a little too much like tiny, tasty carrots that can be gnawed off in a single chomp.) Or you might have the oddball in the bunch who fears butterflies.
Since fears arise from a combination of innate tendencies and past experiences, each of us carry our own set of phobias, some more extreme than others. My personal fears happen to be clowns, spiders, clowns, people who wear socks with sandals, clowns and mother at 6:30 a.m. before makeup and coffee. (Seriously, it's like the zombie apocalypse.) Your fears however, are likely different from mine. Children, too, being the wonderful little snowflakes they are, experience a unique neurosis all their own. It's normal for kids to come down with various fears throughout their childhood. Some persist, others vanish as suddenly as they came.
Some of these fears are kind of cute and rather hilarious. Others can be downright disruptive. Dealing with a child's fears can be exhausting, especially when out of nowhere, you kids inexplicably breaks out in tears and starts screaming when you didn't even beat them. Try having a picnic with a child who shrieks in terror anytime a bug comes within 5 feet of them. Then there's that time-honored classic that most all parents can relate to: explaining to your child for the fifth night in a row why monsters are make-believe and don't live under your bed; but if you keep this up for much longer, your groggy and sleep-deprived mothers may just morph into something like the incredible hulk, which is much scarier than any closet troll, so for heaven's sake will you just go to sleep already!
In these situations it might be tempting to send your child back for a replacement model that works better. But alas, it seems our government doesn't do that. (Trust me, the people at the post office will look at you like you're crazier than you actually are.) You could go for the tough-love method some of our parents or grandparents might have employed: Lock the kids in the closet with a dozen snakes or spiders until they learn to all get along. But then again, that might be one of the reasons some of us are a little bit looney today. Aside from that, many parents run out of ideas.
The good news is that there are a variety of things you can do to help your phobic child overcome their fears. There are some universal tips to help your child deal with their fears:
1. Never belittle a child's fears
2. Don't play into a child's anxiety
3. Don't ridicule, coerce, punish or ignore
Fears can sometimes be expressed by behavioral problems or moodiness. Not all kids will tell you "this scares me." Younger kids may be incapable of expressing their thoughts and fears. Keep this in mind as you deal with them.
Older kids may try to disguise their fears because they're ashamed or think that others will ridicule them. They may make excuses to avoid doing something or avoid a situation without telling you the real reason why. Adults need to respond tactfully and without ridicule, and provide a trusted outlet where a child can speak his emotions.
Many parents think forcing a child to confront their fears head-on, a sort of sink or swim technique for phobias, will help. However, this almost always backfires, and is more likely to intensify their fear than cure them of it.
Use matter-of-fact words to offer comfort, but understand that your child may have trouble hearing or believing what you're telling them. Childhood fears generally aren't rational, so they tend to be resistant to even the best reasoning. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try offering reassurances; quite the contrary. It means that you need to patiently administer these reassurances over and over again and not get frustrated when they don't immediately put your child at ease.
Work in humor whenever possible. The more fun you can have with something, the more it will reduce anxiety. Try to find ways to create humor around your child's feared object.
You can teach children to manage their anxieties by modeling healthy ways of dealing with fear, such as taking deep breaths, repeating a phrase in their mind that helps calm them, or to think of something funny
If a child's phobia remains severe, you may want to consider professional help. The most common treatment for fears is exposure therapy, which builds up a child's immunity to the fear-provoking stimulus by gradually exposing them to their fear-inducing object in a safe and manageable situation. However, most children grow out of their fears with time, and therapy is only necessary if a fear is impeding a child's day-to-day functioning.
So hang in there. Maybe your kids will be less afraid of spiders than you are!

Is It Right to Put My Relative Into a Care Home?

Any son or daughter would worry about their parent if they could not cope with daily independent tasks. This may start off quite small, however, over time this could get much worse leaving you will no option but to get outside help for your loved one. One option you could consider are care homes. In this article we will take a look at the things you should consider when evaluating whether this option is right for you.
Home Care
If your relative only needs a small amount of help with certain tasks then you could consider looking for home care providers to help. This would allow them to stay in their own home and have a carer visit them when required. This does have its advantages, especially if your relative wants to stay independent.
If your relative needs more care though, you should consider a home. Care homes offer round the clock care and employ experienced carers.
Medical Conditions
If your relative is suffering from a medical condition which requires round the clock care, the care homes will provide them with all the care they need. This will also give you the peace of mind that they are being well looked after.
All the residents rooms will have alarms in them so that they can easily call for assistance if they need it.
Breaking the News
You shouldn't feel guilty about putting your relative into a care home, but equally you shouldn't force them into homes. Some people will want to go into a home, but other people will hate the idea of them.
Sit down with your relative and spend some time talking to them. Just explain that you are concerned they aren't able to take good care of themselves and discuss the options. You could propose home care, or alternatively putting them into a health care facility.
If they aren't convinced then you could take them to a home to see exactly what it is like. They might be pleasantly surprised that there are other people like them. They will be able to talk, have fun and enjoy lots of different activities.
Finding the right one
If you are keen on finding care homes for your relative, then you should spend time making sure that you select the right one. You will want to choose one which is located within easy reach of your home without being too difficult for your relatives and friends to visit too.
You must also make sure that the staff employed at the care home are all trained and able to offer the correct level of care required by your relative. Depending on the condition of your relative they might require more or less care which is only available in certain homes.
There's no reason to feel guilty with the thought of putting your relative into care homes. There comes a time in everyone's life that they will need that bit of extra help. As long as you don't force them to move if they don't want to, then they shouldn't hold it against you. Most healthcare facilities are vibrant and enjoyable places to live, so they should also have a fun time.

Soft Linens and Down Bedding Made From Egyptian Cotton

Throughout the past two centuries, Egyptian cotton has prevailed as one of Egypt's biggest competitive advantages. With an established reputation of being the "best" cotton in the world, its softness, strength and superior characteristics, have positioned products made of this cotton as the world's finest.
Sheets made with this strong cotton have not gained such a reputation without reason. This fabric "is" the world's finest cotton and the following characteristics are what set this product apart from other natural fibers. The length of the fiber makes it possible to make the finest of yarns without sacrificing the strength of the yarn. The strength of the fiber makes fabrics more solid and more resistant to stress. Its ability to absorb liquids gives fabrics made of Egyptian cotton deeper, brighter and more resistant colors. Its softness increases with each washing.
Cotton grown in the Egyptian fields will also produce less lint and therefore will not pill after repeated washings as some materials may do. The cotton is hand-picked which guarantees the highest levels of purity. In addition, hand picking puts no stress on the fibers - as opposed to mechanical picking - leaving the fibers straight and intact. All these factors have resulted in the cotton being by far the best cotton in the world. Fabrics made of this sturdy cotton are softer, finer and last longer than any other cotton in the world.
At one time, the only way to obtain egyptian fiber sheets was to shop in high-end expensive stores. This is no longer true and most department stores and online bedding stores carry a selection of Egyptian produced cotton sheets and other bedding items for the buyer seeking this quality product.
Luxury bedding is oftentimes identified to have a superior durability due to its strong fabric that is made from a light weight material. It is a hypoallergenic fabric. It is a must have to the family who seeks for a fine comfortable feel and a cloth that provides unbeatable warmth which no other cotton linens can provide. Having this bedding in your own home is like experiencing an extremely royal feeling fit for a king and queen.
Quality of the fiber used in spinning the yarns can be the most important element in sheet making. Longer fiber such as Egyptian Cotton or "Pima" cotton can produce much better yarns than other cotton which lacks such fiber. Combing is an additional process in which raw cotton is blended and cleaned from short fiber. Fibers of 1.25 to 2 inches in length are of Egyptian cotton while 7/8 of an inch for those of Pima cotton. The longer the fiber, the better, stronger & smoother fabric can be constructed.
Egyptian cotton is preferred around the world because it is long fiber cotton that makes it softer and stronger at the same time. For many years, it was so valuable that most of the crop was exported to European countries, and the Egyptians themselves could hardly buy items made from its cloth. These cottons are used to create bedding of all types from sheets to pillowcases to comforters.
However, manufacturing in Egypt has developed considerably over the last thirty years. Many textile factories have opened all over Egypt and especially in Mahla, a large Delta city south of Cairo.
Today, this type of cotton sheets are all the rage in the western world, specifically because of the quality and softness of this fiber.. However, Egyptian cotton sheets are readily available most anywhere outside of Egypt. Perhaps more interesting is the many other Egyptian cotton products one might buy, such as towels, fine, soft bath robes and table cloths. It's certainly worth a look.
Unlike other fine fabric in the western world, the price of products made of 100% Egyptian cotton are very comparable with other inexpensive quality cotton.

Everything You Should Know About Getting the Correct Roofing Color

Your roof is one of the most prominent features of your house. Although it is often overlooked as an architectural feature, it is something that everyone sees when looking at your house, and something that you see every day. In addition to aesthetics, your roof protects your entire house. It is absolutely essential that a new roof is installed professionally, uses the best possible materials, meets your budget and provides you with a long lasting and maintenance free solution. There are so many things to consider when looking at a new roof but the process doesn't need to be difficult. Follow the steps below and you will be ready to take on any roofing project!
Roofing Color
The color of your new roof should be thought about when you first start planning your new roof project. Always keep in mind that your new roof should last quite awhile so it should be thought about as a permanent addition - the color of the roof will not change! Ask a roofing professional or home improvement store for color samples of the proposed roofing material and compare those samples to the color of your house. If your house is brick, keep in mind that brick color is even more permanent than the roofing color and the color of the brick should be focused on.
Compare the roofing material color to siding, brick and shutters. The color should be complimentary and not blend into the same color of the exterior of the house. If deciding between a few different colors, create a mock up with a painted board that is the same color of the house and an actual shingle (or other roofing material) set against it.
One other tip is to compare the color samples in both full sun and shade. Trees and other vegetation may also have an impact on how the color looks. If you have landscaping on your property, keep in mind any colors that come from the landscaping and compare the proposed new roof color to that. Ultimately, you need to be happy with the new roof color so take your time and choose wisely.
The climate of your physical location plays a factor in what roofing material may be used. When looking at asphalt shingles, there are specialized "Cool Roof" or "Cool Series" shingles that are used in warm climate locations. These shingles reflect heat from the house instead of absorbing it into the structure. In a cold climate location, these shingles will not provide any benefit and in fact will increase heat loss and also increase heating costs. Normal asphalt or composite shingles work great in colder climates because they absorb heat and act as an additional layer of insulation and protection. When looking at your roofing project, keep in mind insulation and ventilation in the attic space as part of the whole project. A well sealed, insulated and vented attic space greatly impacts the overall efficiency of the roof.
It's no secret that dark colors attract and hold heat better than light colors. In a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture, it was determined that an attic space under a dark colored roof (dark gray or black) that was installed over plywood sheathing was 10 degrees warmer on a day with full sun when compared to a lighter colored roof (white or very light gray). Although it was found that there were smaller differences when dark colors were compared to the lighter colors, the study reported that the only significant difference was found with extreme dark colors compared to extreme light colors. Although this may be important to a large warehouse or industrial building, it is suggested that you focus on choosing a roof color that is aesthetically pleasing and not worry too much about how the color may impact efficiency.
Asphalt or composite shingles will be the most economical cost for your new roof. In addition to being the most economical, they also provide the best Return on Investment when looking at their performance in extreme temperatures and where the climate has regular rain, snow, ice and wind. Asphalt shingles are very low maintenance and have a great life expectancy value when compared to other roofing materials. There are also a wide variety of asphalt shingles available in many different styles, designs and colors. Different roofing materials like wood shakes, metal and tile are all great alternatives to asphalt shingles but they are normally quite high in cost and demand very specific installation and maintenance.
Architectural Consideration
There are many different roof design styles and each one provides different unique considerations. When roofing a gable roof, you will be working on what is considered to be the "standard" roof style. If your home has a different style (A-Frame, flat roof, hipped, etc.) you will want to make sure that your measurements are correct and that additional calculations are done for materials. Different rood designs could possible create installation issues so it is suggested that you speak with a roofing professional or home improvement store when working with different roofing designs so that proper installation is achieved.
If you are part of a Homeowners' Association, make sure that your new roof meets all term outlined in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. It is suggested that you received written permission from the Homeowners' Association which can be done by obtaining signatures on a letter that you draft which includes color, materials, installation process and anything else relevant to the project.
Lastly, do not forget to contact your local municipality and ask about any necessary permits.
A new roof is a fun and exciting project that will leave your home looking new along with protecting it for several decades. When taking an educated approach to the project, homeowners usually see that it isn't complicated and can be achieved!