Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

Taking Care Of Your Elderly Relatives

Something that is likely to be a concern for all of us at some point in our lives is when it comes time to take care of an elderly relative. This can happen at any point, and in some circumstances it could be quite sudden. But however it happens, when you feel the need to step up you can be sure that it can be quite a nerve-wracking experience. Nonetheless, it is necessary to do whatever needs to be done, and that means having a clear idea of what that actually is. For most people, this means something of a learning curve needs to take place, but you can make it at least a little easier on yourself too by taking a look at the following. Here are some of the major things to prepare yourself or if you are suddenly about to take care of your elderly relatives.

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The Common Problems

Whatever the underlying cause, there are a number of extremely common problems which come hand-in-hand with old age, and the more aware of them you are, the better prepared you will be to deal with the as they arise. One is hearing loss, which can be frustrating for everyone involved and surprisingly upsetting for the individual in question. You should get their hearing tested and make sure to get them a hearing aid if necessary. This will make things easier for everyone. You might also have to deal with the gradual onset of dementia, which can be particularly upsetting, especially if you are close to them. However, again, with the right care you can make it a little easier on everyone involved.

The Nursing Home

At some point there is bound to come the inevitable question of whether it is time to try and find them a good home to live in. This can be one of the most upsetting situations of all, and it is something which you need to deal with sensitively and in the right manner. That being said, once it is clearly time for that to happen you should make sure that you are not delaying by too long, as that could lead to further problems than if you go too quickly. Choosing the home itself can be difficult. If you take a look at https://www.riddlevillage.com you will see that there are many good qualities which you should expect from a home, and it’s important to make sure that you check all of the home’s in your area thoroughly.

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Medical Help

At times you will need to get help from the medical experts, and when that happens don’t try to do those things yourself. It is always best to allow the professionals to carry out medical procedures of any kind, no matter how simple they might appear to be. Unless you are directed by someone to do something, be sure to leave it alone. And make sure you are getting all the help you need – there is no need for you to struggle when the help is readily available.

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Decrypting The Emotional Arguments In Each Transaction

It doesn’t matter how often you’ve heard that business and emotions don’t mix. In truth, they do. Emotions are a crucial part of each business transaction for the excellent reason that you can’t buy without creating a trust bond. In the Chinese culture, for instance, there can be no business discussion with new partners or clients without first establishing a personal relationship between parties. For many who are not used to working with China-based companies, the approach appears like a waste of time, but ultimately there is a real need for buyers and sellers to understand how emotions affect a transaction. Indeed, the correlation between emotional engagement and finances is often used as a joke – don’t we all know the story of a shopaholic who responds to crisis with a trip down the shopping mall – but the better you understand the principles of emotional purchase, the better you can control financially unhealthy urges – or encourage them if you’re a seller.

Shopping frenzy  

The ‘OMG I need this so much right now’ shopping: All emotions, no financial sense

According to Ryan Howell, PhD at Psychology Today, emotional and compulsive shoppers shop in response to negative emotions, whether it’s stress, anger, low self-esteem or even anxiety. Ina society where the consumerist message conveys that shopping equals happiness, it’s easy for individuals to internalize the message in their everyday lives. As a result, feelings such as instant gratification, escapism and social competition dictate a lot of purchases. But more importantly, they can also create significant debts and financial stress, which can lead to further emotional shopping. The good news is that you can get a handle on emotional spending through budget strategy and digital detox.

Surprisingly, cars are the least emotionally involved purchase

We love cars. In fact, for a lot of people, the car is an extension of your personality. As a result, it’s natural to think that buying a car is an emotional decision. In reality, most buyers narrow down their research through finance-based criteria from price with Bob Ford inventory priced to sell to age – we all know that old vehicles have high maintenance needs. From the selection that matches their requirements, the last choice is often an emotional one, namely defining which car they prefer out of a carefully selected list of vehicles.

You buy a house with all your heart and all your brain

Buying a house is both a financial and emotional investment. It’s not only, for most homeowners, the place that ties them up to a mortgage, but it’s also the place where they can watch their family grow. In other words, if you’re selling your house, you need to understand how to address financial and emotional arguments best. For instance, a lot of buyers can pass on an otherwise fantastic property because they dislike the seller’s attitude. Similarly, bringing too many personal decor touches in display can discourage buyers to imagine what the house would be like if it were theirs. The secret is to manage the balance between a well-maintained property and a cozy but not overwhelming home feeling.

Home sweet home

In short, shopping is a rollercoaster of emotions. From stress relief to feeling at home, your emotions guide your decisions. But don’t let them get hold of your credit card!

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Keep Your Car Looking as Good as New

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Cars are expensive, and many of them are pretty attractive looking things, so it makes sense that, when you buy one, you should do everything you can to keep it looking its best. Yes, as soon as you drive that car off the forecourt for the first time it will drop in value, losing as much as 40 percent in the first year alone, but if you look after it well, it won’t fall much further and more importantly, you’ll be driving something that looks good.

Okay, so what do you need to do to keep your car looking as good as new? The following will really help:

Prevention is Better Than Cure

The easiest way to keep your car looking as good as new is to not let it experience any issues in the first place. You can do this by cleaning your car up immediately after driving it, having it serviced every 3-6 months and getting it checked out by a professional mechanic as soon as you see, hear, smell or feel something unusual which could indicate a potential problem.

Wash Your car  By Hand

Those automatic car washes might be a whole lot more convenient, but those swirling brushes they use can play havoc on your car’s bodywork causing all manner of scratches and swirl marks to appear. They are just too harsh for many cars, and that combined with the fact they get pretty dirty pretty fast means they can do more damage than good, When you wash your own car, you can control precisely, so your vehicle is never in danger of getting damaged.

Use a Chamois to Dry the Car

Once the car has been washed, an important aspect of car care that will keep your vehicle looking better for longer is to dry it off with a chamois. Why? Because chamois leather is very gentle on the paintwork. It won’t cause any scratches that could lead to peeling, but it will get the job done quickly to avoid any streaking.

Deal with Droppings ASAP

One of the biggest threats to your vehicle is actually bird droppings This might sound surprising until you realize that bird droppings are extremely acidic. If they are left on your car, they will very soon start to eat away at your paintwork, etching their form into the body of your car and causing you some great expense to put right.

Use an Interior Spray Detailers

Interior spray detailers are great for cleaning the inside of your vehicle, ensuring that the upholstery retains it’s youthful experience no matter what you throw at it., Use them whenever you clean the rest of the car and it will make a difference.

Keep it Covered

Whether you park up in the garage every night or you cover your vehicle with a sheet when it’s not in use, anything you can do to protect your vehicle for the elements will help to keep it looking as good as new by preventing rust and other kinds of weather-inflicted corrosion.

How do you keep your car in top condition?

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Warning! 3 Signs Your Car Needs To Be Serviced

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No matter how well you look after your vehicle, it’s inevitable that problems will arise. With car ownership, it’s sometimes not so much about preventing problems, but picking up on them while they’re only small. To do this, you need to pay attention to your vehicle as it often tries to tell you when things are wrong.

Keeping that in mind, here are three signs your car needs to be serviced:

Check Engine Light Is On

Nobody wants to see the check engine light shining brightly on their dashboard display. Naturally, this is a sign that something is wrong with your engine. But, there are so many things that can trigger the light to turn on. As a result, you need to get your car seen to by a professional mechanic as soon as possible. They can run engine diagnostic checks using fancy software and will tell you the exact problem. Once they know the cause, they can work on fixing it and ensuring that check engine light doesn’t return. Most cars make a sound when this light turns on, and it should greet you every time you turn on your car. So, you have no excuse for not noticing it!

Oil Light Is On

Unless you’re driving a very, very, old car, then you should have an oil light on your dashboard. This could be a warning light, or it could actually tell you if your oil levels are normal/low. When the oil warning light is on – or it says the oil is low – then you have a problem. You need to take your car in for service to get the oil situation checked right away. Companies like Kwik Kar Oil Change & Auto Repair can replace and refill the oil for you, which is essential to keep a healthy engine. When there’s not enough oil, and you keep driving your car, then all the important gears and parts are moving without proper lubrication. This is when overheating happens, or when something gets damaged. In short; if your car is warning you of a low oil level, then book a servicing right away.

Bumpy Ride

Some cars come with terrible suspension and ride comfort, which means every journey is very rough and uncomfortable. However, most cars have pretty decent driving stability, so you shouldn’t have problems driving – particularly on reasonably smooth roads. So, when you notice a sudden shift in the ride comfort, and it feels really bad all of a sudden, then this is a warning sign. It could indicate issues with the suspension, or maybe something less serious like reduced tire pressure. Regardless, if your car is usually quite smooth on the roads, but suddenly feels bumpy, then this is a sign it needs servicing.

The earlier you spot these warning signs, the quicker you can deal with them. As a result, you should catch problems in their early stages before they develop into costly issues that plague your car for years to come. Get in there early, and save your bank balance from being depleted!

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Cutting The Costs When You Get Your Next Car

You’re not the first person to feel exhausted by the numerous costs of owning a car. It’s an expensive asset. And it can be frustrating to see that expensive asset slowly deteriorate in quality and value as the years go by. However, owning a car doesn’t have to be quite as costly as you might think. You could be saving a lot of money if you just change your approach to running and maintaining your vehicle, as we’ll discuss now. When it’s time for you to upgrade to your next car, the guidance in this article should help you to cut your costs.

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Buying the car itself.

First of all, you should aim to keep the costs low when buying the car itself. As mentioned in the introduction, the initial price tag shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision-making process because there are so many other costs attached to car ownership, but it’s probably the biggest expense you’ll face over the duration of your car’s lifetime. One way to reduce the cost of a car purchase is to search for used and newly refurbished vehicles. You’d be amazed how many top-quality vehicles there are out there at half the price of brand new models on the market.

Of course, you can cut the costs on your next car even if you buy a newer model – you just need to do some shopping around. There are always dealerships offering limited discounts on certain cars from certain manufacturers. You just need to compare all the available options on the market with a quick Google search. Make sure you do your research. You could even get yourself the new 2018 Chevy for a discounted price. There are plenty of new cars out there for discounted prices if you know where to look. That’s why it’s important not to lunge at the first shiny car you see at your local dealership. Shop around and get a feel for prices on the market. You could even choose to lease instead of outright buying a new car if you really want to save some money, but that’s only a viable option if you plan on changing cars in a few years.

Getting a good deal on your insurance.

Insurance policies give everyone a headache. There are so many options from so many providers, and it’s difficult to figure out what kind of coverage you actually need or how much the whole thing should cost. For starters, don’t go for the renewal quote from your existing insurer. You might think it’ll be cheaper if they want you to stick with them, but the best discounts can be found by going to a new company. Insurers like to entice new customers by offering a big discount for the exact same coverage that long-term customers would get if they paid the full price.

It’s also worth considering raising your deductibles when arranging an insurance policy with a provider. Essentially, this means that you’d be paying less money on your insurance payments, but you’d have to cover more of the costs yourself in the event that you had to make a claim. However, you’ll save yourself more money in the long-run from all the monthly insurance payments you’ll have reduced. It’s about weighing up costs against benefits.

Driving sensibly.

Another smart way to cut the costs on your next car would be to drive more sensibly. You’d be surprised by the amount of money that can be wasted through bad driving habits. Accelerating and braking too hard wastes gas, and that could be making a bigger dent in your bank account than necessary. If you care about fuel economy then start driving carefully so as to avoid frequent pit stops at gas stations. You’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long-run, and it’s always a smart idea to drive cautiously for the sake of people’s safety too.

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Leaving the car at home.

It might seem like a simple suggestion, but one of the best ways to cut the costs when you get your next car might be to simply leave it at home. Obviously, you’ll need it for work and long trips, but you don’t necessarily need it to drive 5 or 10 minutes into town. You could walk with your friends or family to the places you need to visit. Leaving the car at home will save you money on petrol and reduce the wear and tear your vehicle endures. Plus, it always healthy to exercise more often; many of us lead sedentary lifestyles in the modern age. It’s a win-win situation. In fact, it might be a win-win-win situation. The point is that it’s a financially smart move to leave your car at home from time to time.

Of course, if you own a classic car or a used car that’s already a few years old then it’s a good idea not to abandon your vehicle for too long. Make sure that you still take your car out from time to time just to keep the mechanics ticking over nicely. It’s just about getting the balance right. You don’t want to underuse your car and letting it become a neglected and temperamental machine, but you also don’t want to overuse your car and wear it out whilst also wasting a lot of money on petrol for unnecessary trips. This takes us to the next point in the article.

Looking after your car.

We’ve already talked about cutting the costs by leaving your car at home and how it’s important not to overuse (or underuse) your vehicle, but there are many other ways in which you can look after your car to save money. Obviously, you also need to look after your car so as to ensure it remains roadworthy and safe for you and the people around you. But taking care of your car is smart from a financial perspective too. You have to take your car in for regular servicing anyway, but things can go wrong with your vehicle in between those frequent check-ups; cars can occasionally be unpredictable. The best way to avoid a costly repair job when something goes majorly wrong is to become a master of self-maintenance. You need to check over your vehicle frequently to keep it in good shape.

For starters, you should check the tyre pressure frequently. A flat tyre could lead to a dangerous accident on the road; that’s a threat to your safety and to your finances. Additionally, deflated tyres aren’t very economical for your car. You’re wasting money on petrol if you don’t keep your tyres well-inflated. As discussed earlier, there’s a lot you can do to ensure that your car is as economical as possible in terms of fuel; your driving ability is only one aspect of this. Additionally, you should maintain your car by cleaning it thoroughly. Dirt on the bodywork of your car can lead to rust, and rust can lead to mechanical aspects of your vehicle being damaged. If you really want to cut the costs when you get your next car then you need to strive to keep it in better shape than your last one. And if you do notice a minor issue then you’ll be able to repair it yourself (or take it for repairs) at a fraction of the cost you’d face if you let the issue develop into something more serious. Keep your car tuned if you want it to use less gas and avoid breakdowns.

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How You Should Communicate In A B2B Relationship

The main concern for any business is to keep a lock-on on the consumers. Public opinion, feeling and directional attitudes are something that continually change. It’s almost too much to keep up with at first because you’re trying to constantly read what the industry and customer moods are. But just as important as communicating with consumers is, so to must you be adept at conveying your message to other businesses. Companies that are especially in your industry will have a culture that is not beholden to any other. Certain semantics and industry jargon will need to be used in your email and phone calls as to get straight to a point. However, there are certain issues that small businesses run up against. Entrepreneurs that want to give off an image of them running a smooth ship should follow some standards of communication when it comes to B2B. These techniques will help you to look and sound more professional which in turn elevates your image and trustworthiness.

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The chain of importance

There’s a mixture of things that require communication with other businesses. Some of these issues will be important for the upper management, other things will be delegated to the lesser staff. For the sake of the things that are important such as contracts, deals, shipping orders and meetings you should have a chain of important. For example, if you’re communicating with a business about a potential partnership deal, any emails and phone calls will of course first be sent to your reception desk. The relevant senior staff that are involved in the final say about the deal, must be CC’d in the emails before you send them out so when the receptionist gets a reply, you’re already in the message. All that’s needed is it to be brought to your attention. The same thing with phone calls. If the receptionist gets a phone call from a business partner, it should be patched straight through to the department that it concerns. The manager should be sort after so that he or she can deal with it. If they cannot then it goes further up the chain of importance to you as the owner.

Photo credit home thods

Maintaining a consistent image

As an entrepreneur, it’s a daily battle to stand out from the crowd. You have happily taken on much larger businesses than yourself but that’s the thrill of it. But things change, business logos and addresses change. If you don’t update all of your staff on these changes they will inevitably confuse the businesses they communicate with on a daily business. Say you are talking with a distributor such as a supermarket in order to sell a cheese product. If you send two different emails with two different logos at the top, they may not reply or get lost in the confusion. That’s why maintaining a consistent image is crucial to maintaining good B2B relationships. Using something like https://www.templafy.com/brand-management-software/ allows you to update all your offices with the latest logos, company addresses and overall public image. Since everything you update is stored on their cloud system, the updated templates used for emails and formal letters are just a few clicks away.

A close working relationship with companies that are vital to your growth is just as important as the public persona with your customers. Without each other, you will be trying to do everything yourself. Make a good chain of importance communication line and keep your professional look consistent in all online contact.

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Fight Or Flight: A Manager’s Guide To Coping With Stress

Stress in the workplace is common. The vast majority of us work too much and relax too little. And, it’s not unusual for that to take its toll at some stage. Hence why endless articles inform managers how to reduce stress for their colleagues.

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But, what happens when managers are stressed? After all, they have more pressure on their shoulders than anyone. As such, they’re often fuelled by nervous energy and a lack of sleep. What’s more, there’s no one up high to ease the burden. The stresses are continual and without relief. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you think you fall into the stressed manager category, it’s time you took these steps to help yourself.

Lighten the load

There’s no doubt the workload is the most stressful thing for managers. If your employees are stressed from the pressure, how do they think you feel? You’re the first in the office and the last to leave. And, your to-do list is always a few pages long. But, you can take steps to lighten your load. Of course, you may think you already do that when you delegate tasks at the start of the workday, but that doesn’t work. After all, you then add the responsibility of overseeing to your list. Instead, we’re talking about outsourcing. If you aren’t already doing this, you should. Do you spend large portions of your day dealing with computer issues? Hand the job to an IT company like Houk Consulting who can take care of it for you. Do you waste hours on accounts? Hire an outside accountant to take over. These may seem like small things, but knowing you don’t have to think about them anymore could be just the relief you need.

Know when to draw a line under your workday

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Many managers also struggle to draw a line under their workdays. From the moment you started your own business, there’s a chance you’ve been working well over 9-5. And, in the beginning, that was probably essential. But, keeping that up is a sure way to burn yourself out. And, that’s not going to help anyone. So, set an endpoint for your days and stick to it. For the next weeks, aim to be out of the office by seven. You won’t believe how much better you’ll feel for it.

Praise yourself for work well done

Being a manager is also a pretty thankless task. There’s no one higher to tell you you’ve done a good job. And, that can boost stress levels no end. After all, work teams report loss of morale and work effort when they don’t receive praise. And, why would you be any different? So, next time you finish a big project, take the time to praise yourself. It may be that you just give yourself a metaphorical pat on the shoulder. Or, perhaps you go all out and buy yourself something nice. This small recognition is sure to ease you more than you’d think.

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