10 Items To Keep In a Fire Proof Box

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If a fire strikes your home or apartment will you be able to save or recover your personal information?  A fire proof box could save you time, money, and stress. Trying to recover credit card numbers and other personal information can daunting with everything else that you will have to deal with.  You can purchase a reputable fire proof box from Walmart, Target or Amazon to name a few places for a reasonable price. Make the investment, and ensure that your documents are safe.

Once you purchase your fire proof box, don’t guest about what documents should be placed in it.  We have a list, which is not all inclusive, but a good start:

  1. Passport – If you have a passport, you will want to place it in your fire proof box when you’re not traveling.
  2. Original Birth Certificates – Original birth certificates should be placed in your fire proof box.  If you or your children were born locally, a copy can obtained from your local court house for a nominal amount.  If you were born out of state, obtain copies and place them with the original in the fire proof box.
  3. Deeds  and Wills – Place the deed for your home and any papers pertaining to your timeshare, rental properties etc, in the box. Include your Will and/or Living Will.
  4. Power of Attorney – If you have or have granted POA to a friend or family member, place the documents in the box. This includes Medical Power of Attorney.
  5. Vehicle Titles – Clear titles to vehicles should be placed in the box.
  6. Household Inventory List and Photos – Take inventory of your household, jewelry, furs, antiques, collectibles etc. Take clear pictures of each item on your list.
  7. Photo CDs – Place photos on a CD that you would want to reprint if destroyed. I also have photos on my laptop copied on a flash drive and in my box as well. 
  8. Insurance Policies – Keep your home owners, life insurance and any other policies in the box.
  9. Credit Cards Numbers, backup ATM cards or health insurance cards etc. – Write down your credit car numbers and their expiration dates. Keep an extra copy of your ATM and health insurance cards on hand as well.
  10. Social Security Cards – Place yours and family member’s cards in the box. Numbers can be written down in another location or memorized.

Again, this list is not all inclusive.  If you have adoption papers, a marriage license or other legal documents be sure to include them too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Tips To Help Prepare For a House Fire

 

house fires, smoke damage

 

Have you dealt with smoke or fire in your home?  First, I’ve dealt with smoke damage. Thankfully it didn’t reach the level of a house fire.  It’s been several years, but I remember it like yesterday.  My daughter and her family were visiting for the first time with the new baby. They arrived late, but after a few hours of laughing and talking we headed to bed.

Sometime during the night, I thought I heard the smoke alarm going off. For some season I thought I was dreaming. I remember hearing a knock on my bedroom door.  At that time I heard the smoke alarm and realized it was not a dream.  My daughter yelled, “Mom get out of the house.”  So, I snatched up my grandson and grabbed a blanket off the bed.  I ran out the front door to my car, and placed my grandson in the back seat.  Afterwards, I started the car since it was a pretty cold and moved it to my neighbor’s driveway.  I returned to the house and yelled for my daughter to get the baby out of the house and into the car.

Next, I went back inside to see where my son-in-law was and what had happened since I didn’t see flames anywhere. He explained that he opted not to use the bottle warmer.  But, he decided to use the old school pan and water on the stove method.  He fall asleep waiting for it to warm.  I instructed him to open all of the doors and windows and I headed to the bedroom area to turn on the whole house fan.

Fortunately, it was great in helping to remove the smoke from the house. My glass top cook surface was cracked from the pan.  Unfortunately, it would need to be replaced.  However, everyone was okay and that was truly what was important. My son in law had burned his hand removing the pan, so I got out the first aid kit to tend to it.

Because the entire house smelled like smoke, I turned on the whole house fan.  It sucked the smoke out in no time.  But, it did nothing for the smoke smell.  It lingered and it was embedded in the furniture and window coverings.  I would have to bring in professionals for clean up and contact the insurance company to replace my cook top.  Even so, I knew that it could have turned into a disaster so I was thankful that I was dealing with smoke only.  Also, I was concerned about the baby. She was a preemie and had just gotten out of the hospital a few weeks before the visit.

We ran fans throughout the house, so it was bearable until I could get everything cleaned up.   I made mental notes the entire week-end on what I needed to do to ensure that I was covered in case of a fire.  I had house insurance, but I wanted to make sure everything else was in order too.  Here’s the list that came into fruition:

  1. Working Smoke Alarm(s) – First, make sure your alarms are working and batteries are changed regularly.  If you’re sleeping, they could save yours and your family’s life during a house fire.
  2. Replacement Insurance – Second, make sure your policy covers the replacement value of your items.
  3. Working Fire Extinguishers –  Also, make sure your extinguisher fits your home. My home is electric so I have a Class E and a Class C for my Propane Fryer. My profane fryer is used in my driveway to fry my turkey. Both extinguishers are under my kitchen sink.
  4. Fire Proof Box  – Next, place your insurance policies, credit card numbers, deed and any other important papers in a fire proof box. If possible, place copies  in a Safe Deposit Box as well.
  5. Make Copies Of Photos  – Furthermore, make copies of photos that you will not be able to obtain from a family member for replacement purposes and keep them off-site. Backup your laptop and keep a copy of your laptop pictures on a flash drive off site as well.
  6. Develop An Emergency Exit Plan – Most importantly, develop an exit plan and discuss it with everyone in your household.
  7. Duplicate Keys – Also, duplicate car, house keys and any information that you carry in your purse/wallet.  Finally, place them in a safe location outside of your home. You may not be able to grab your purse or wallet as you’re running for safety during a house fire.
  8. Check Doors and Windows – Additionally, make sure windows can be raised in your home and that all doors are operational.  Everyone must be able to exit the home.  Remember, this is crucial during a house fire.
  9. Take Inventory of Your Household Belongings – This includes furniture, clothing (furs, ball gowns etc.), paintings, jewelry, antiques, collectibles etc. Place a copy of your list and pictures in your Safety Deposit and/or Fire Proof Box.
  10. Have a Backup System To Contact 911 Other Than Your Phone –  My Alarm system has a button for the fire department, 1 for the police and 1 for the ambulance.  I can push it as I’m exiting the house. No conversation is required. I also have a button on my security system key.  I keep it close 24 x 7.

Most importantly, don’t wait until it’s too late to put together a preparation plan.  My smoke incident woke me up in more ways than one.   Finally, don’t be caught unprepared.  Start working on an emergency plan now.  You will want to be prepared for a house fire.

Preparing For Smoke and Water Damage In Your Home

 

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Have you encountered smoke and/or water damage in your home?  If you have encountered either, you know the stress and work that it takes to get everything cleaned up, right?  I have experienced both, my basement flooding because the Sump Pump malfunctioned and my entire house receiving smoke damage because my son-in-law left a pan on the stove and fall asleep.

Lets start with the smoke damage. Thank goodness it was just smoke and not a fire.  It took us hours to clear the house of smoke, but the smell lingered.  I eventually called in a professional to rid my house of smoke and to clean the carpet, drapes and furniture.

I wish I had known about Aer Industries and their products. They serve the industry professionals with a wide range of commercial equipment, which includes restoring water damaged indoor environments to safe and dry conditions. They are also master distributors of B-Ari®, BluDri®, Soleaire® and Abatement® products and offer a wide range of air movers, dehumidifiers and scrubbers for smoke removal, drying carpet and more.  In addition, they sell equipment that the average home owner would appreciate having on hand just in case of an emergency.

I certainly could have used an Air Scrubber that night.  Did you that know professionals use air scrubbers when they’re called in? There’s a dry and a wet scrubber, they are used according to the situation. Wet Scrubbers are used for smoke and/or dust and Dry scrubbers are used to remove odors and acidic gases in the air. This would be a great Christmas or birthday gift for the man of the house or a family member.

 

 

air movers for smoke

Lets move on to flooding basements. Having a Dehumidifier is essential if you are a contractor or if your basement is prone to flooding. Basement flooding can be an issue if you live in a flood prone area; however, flooding can happen even if you don’t live in a flood zone.  Many home owners make the mistake of thinking that they won’t experience flooding because they don’t live in a flood zone. There are times when sump pumps malfunction or an area receives excessive rainfall. Expect the unexpected and be prepared. 

Dehumidifiers can come in handy in helping to dry carpet or a flooded area in your home.  Flooding is not limited to basements, pipes can burst in kitchens and baths too. I was checking out the Super Monsoon, it states when maximum air ventilation is needed look no further. The prices are reasonable and be sure to check out the colors being offered for the equipment.  Who said industrial work can’t be pretty.  Watching a colorful machine working to restore your home to its original beauty is a great way to bring a little happiness into your life. They also have a professional series if you or your husband make a living doing cleanup as well as financial assistance.  To put the icing on the cake, shipment is free in the Continental USA.

Moisture in your home can be harmful, so we need to take flooding issues seriously. High moisture content causes the musty odor in basements or other parts of buildings. Excess moisture encourages the growth of mold and mildew, which in turn causes a musty smell too. Mold is not healthy and can be costly to get rid of. 

Take my word for it, dehumidifiers, air movers and scrubbers can come in handy during an emergency.  Purchasing the necessary equipment should be seen as an investment in your home rather than an expense. Being unprepared for a disaster can be stressful, frightening, and depressing.  Head over to Aer Industries and check out how they can assist you with your smoke and water damage tools.

Note:  I have received compensation for this post; however, all opinions are my own.

Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Xtreme Circus Review

ringling brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus

 

Elephants, Tigers, Acrobats, and Bikers performed at the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Xtreme Circus at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  It was an evening spent eating junk food, watching clowns, jugglers and other entertainers perform before the big show.  Than we would sit in awe of the Ring Master and all the other performers for the Greatest Show On Earth.

First, we ate dinner at the Green Turtle prior to the show.  Nothing fancy, the adults had wings and the kids pizza and fries. From there we entered the venue for the preshow activities. They had jugglers, clowns, and an area set up where the children could try on various costumes. After 15 – 20 minutes we moved to our seats. We had great seats about 10 rows from the floor. We were high enough where those standing didn’t really affect our view of the show, but low enough where we had an incredible view of the ring.

 

Barnum & Bailey, circus tigers

 

Take plenty of money because outside snacks and drinks are not allowed.  Security will search you and your bags at all entrances.  I slipped money into my pockets and carried my camera.  I just left my purse in the trunk. However, it’s nothing unusual.  I actually don’t know many places that allow outside food in their venues.

Inside the Big Top, they are sold before the show and during intermission.  Outside the Big Top they are sold until everyone vacates the premises.  The kids wanted cotton candy before the show started. Count it, $14.00 per bag. It does come with an adorable circus hat that can be kept as a souvenir.  I also saw bags being sold without the hat at the concession stands outside the arena. Lemonade is $12.00 per drink. They also offered Italian Ice in adorable elephants cups for $14.00 – $15.00 depending on the size.

 

family activities, circus, Ringling Brothers,

 

Our show started at 7:30 p.m. It lasted approximately 3 hours. It was about 2 1/2 hours for the actual show and about 30 minutes for an intermission. We enjoyed all aspects of the show. Personally, I could have done without the clowns, but what’s a circus without clowns.  I was a little afraid that the 4 year old would become bored, but that didn’t happen.

The performers were able to engage the audience through music and/or their acts. There were plenty of Oohs and Awes. The audience clapped along with the Ringmaster and the band was quite good.  I even participated in the clapping and the Awes. The lions were beautiful, but there were no flaming hoops to jump through.  I did enjoy the Mermaids. I’m fascinated by Mermaids and my granddaughter’s favorite princess is Ariel.

 

 

circus elephants,

 

The elephants have been a part of the show for 145 years.  Sadly, they will no longer be a part of the show after May 2016.  Fortunately, the elephants will retire to a conservation center in Florida.  The company hasn’t said how it will rebrand their shows once the stars, the elephants, retire.

 

Xtreme circus,

 

The tightrope walkers and bikers were amazing.   I loved the camels.  It was an amazing 3 hours.  Most importantly, it was nice to converse with my 8 year old grandson about the acts.  We ended the evening with the kids having their faces painted. Count it, $14.00 each.  Additionally, another $30.00 to park in the Verizon Center garage.  But the evening was so worth it.  Finally, I’m happy that I would create an evening that the children will always remember.

 

face painting

Inspirational Quote – Dolly Parton

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Easy Kitchen and Bath Upgrades

home improvements, kitchen updates, bathroom updates,

 

Have you been dreaming of updating your kitchen and or bathroom?  You can find everything you need at Plumb Tile.  It’s an online store that sells various Brands and has a large selection of everything imaginable for bathroom and kitchen upgrades. This site sells products from Moen to Watermark in the latest styles and finishes.  You will certainly find products to fit every need and budget. 

I upgraded two bathrooms and my kitchen.  I spent months running here, there and everywhere checking out items and prices.  Save yourself a few trips and head to this site.

Small touches can made a big impact. Here’s a few ideas to consider for your upgrades:

  • Faucets, towel racks, and your toilet paper holder
  • Lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Shower head 
  • Flooring
  • Counter and shower tile
  • Sinks
  • Shelving

A fresh coat of paint, changing the faucets and sink, towel racks, lighting, mirror and the shower head can change the look of your bath. If the budget allows add tile and a new tub. Plumb Tile has awesome bathroom selections from faucets and accessories to bidets and other luxury items.  The large Sunflower Rainfall Showerhead with 108 Spray Nozzles below should be at the top of your list to check out.  It’s the perfect eye opener.  My upgraded master bath became one of my favorite rooms in the house.  At the top of my upgrade favorites is the rainfall shower head. What a way to refresh each morning. 

 

home improvement, bathroom upgrade ideas, home improvements, bathroom shower heads

I also upgraded my kitchen.  Again, small touches can make a big impact. Along with a fresh coat of paint I upgraded:

  • Lighting
  • Sink
  • Faucet
  • Switch covers
  • Appliances
  • Tile for my floor and counter

Plumb Tile has a nice selection of kitchen sinks.  I found my dream sink while browsing the site. This farm house sink is on my wish list. 

 

 

farmhouse sink, home improvement, kitchen upgrades

 

I love this sink.  It’s unique, most farmhouse sinks don’t have two compartments.  It reminds me of my grandparents farmette when I was growing up.  I’m also loving the faucet and sprayer. 

Last but not least, Plumb Tile offers free shipping and a Price Matching policy. If you see a competitor with a lower price, they will try to meet or beat the price. This site is worthy of a visit, head over and check it out.

 

 

 

Tips On Buying the Best Coffee Maker

tips on buying a coffee maker

 

 

If you are a big fan of coffee, it is certain that your morning starts with a cup of coffee. Many of us understand the meaning of quality coffee. Even if we grab a cup of coffee from the nearest café. But, what if you want to buy a coffee maker for your home.  There are some facts that you should consider before buying a coffee maker. Keep one thing in mind, though, everyone looks for different traits in a coffee machine.  Different features attract people differently. That’s why I am going to explain some “must know” facts so that you can buy a desired as well as a great coffee maker.

The Cost of the Machine

If you are a coffee fanatic and you have money to spend, then there is no doubt that you can have any kind of coffee maker. In some cases, the expensive coffee machine is a good choice.  If you do not have much money to spend on a coffee maker, then go for a reasonably priced machine. Some brands are very popular and have different models. You can research information about those brands on the internet.  Select the model that fulfils your budget. If you want to learn more about the cost factor, then check out www.CoffeeMakersList.com It is a great resource for finding great models.

The Popularity of the Machine

Before buying a coffee maker, check out the different types of makers that are available. Go for the best coffee maker brand for that particular type of coffee maker. Also, explore the different models for that brand.  Be sure to thoroughly research the model you have selected. Selecting a coffee maker should include cost, design, and the material.  Furthermore, do not forget to read reviews on different websites and forums about the model you are interested in. Asking reviewers/users questions about a particular coffee maker can help a lot.

Easy to Use

Some people believe that the more buttons and controls a machine has, the more superb the machine is.  But that is not the true. Unfortunately, controls can be confusing. If you are good mechanically, then you will be happy to have a coffee maker with great control options. Otherwise, do not purchase a coffee machine which is full of different buttons. The best coffee maker is one that makes you happy and is easy to use. 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote – Matthew McConaughey

inspirational quotes, fatherhood quotes, Matthew McConaughey

Black History – African American Red Sox Baseball Team

Black History Month, Black History, black baseball teams

 

We’re celebrating Black History at Mother 2 Mother this month.  I decided to celebrate my home town’s Black History this year.  I selected the African American Red Sox baseball team that played in my neighborhood when I was growing up.  My father, 6th from the left on the top row, along with many of our neighbors were a part of the Red Sox baseball team. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t see my father play.  I was a baby, but I remember his stories.  The Red Sox was a black baseball team that operated from the 1930’s until the late 1960’s.  My father played second base during the forties and fifties for the team.  This picture was taken in 1946, a year before Jackie Robinson integrated American baseball.  I remember my dad talking about members of the team who were now our neighbors or who visited him during summer visits to our small town, Shepherdstown, WV.  I didn’t encounter a lot of discrimination when I was growing up, but it was prevalent during my father’s generation.  I was oblivious to the hard times he faced. He only spoke of the good ole days. 

Hall of Famer Maury Wills, who played for the Dodgers, played against my dad and his teammates before heading to the pros.  Maury Wills was from the Washington, DC area.  He would visit my dad and other Red Sox players when he was in the area. 

I remember going to see the Red Sox play in my neighborhood on Sunday afternoons in the 1960’s, yes they were still going strong.  Members from the 1946’s team were the coaches. One of my brothers was the bat boy and our cousin kept score.  One of the coaches lived several houses up from us and drove the local garbage truck.  He was a happy man, he always whistled when he walked through the neighborhood. You didn’t have to peep out a window or door to see who was whistling that happy tune, everyone would say there’s “Charlie Butts.”

Everyone looked forward to the game on Sundays.  The neighborhood had a ritual, Sunday School and/or church, a change of clothes, something to eat, and off to the game.  This went on for years during my childhood.  After the game, you headed home to a dinner of fried chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, greens of some sort, homemade rolls or biscuits, Kool-Aid for the kids and iced tea for the grown ups.  You could count on it.  If the ladies/moms finished dinner early they would join the crowd on the ball field.

During this time, I still wasn’t aware of segregation.  The neighborhood butcher, who was Caucasian was a member of the team as well as 2 other players from a neighboring town.  As children we weren’t limited on who we could play with or where we could go in the neighborhood, and my parents never discussed their struggles.  On Sundays we cheered on the team win or loose. The Red Sox were heroes in the neighborhood.  I remember when they stopped playing in the early 70’s.   I never knew why, I just knew they stopped playing ball on Sundays.  Now when I look back on it, they formed teams that were integrated.  I believe that ended the Negro Baseball League in our area. 

This picture of dad and his team members and friends was given to us after my father’s death in 1998.  My heart broke into a hundred pieces that day.  The Bishop who did his eulogy told my family not to be discouraged. My dad was a great man and a leader in the community. He told me that one day my heart would heal.  He also told me that my dad had helped groom him as a man and a baseball player. He gave the family a copy of this photo.  My father was a humble man, we had no idea this picture existed.  Many years later the same Bishop and my cousin named after my father gave an interview about the Red Sox baseball team to a history class at our local University.  They donated their uniforms and gloves to a museum that is now telling the story of this African American team. 

 

black history, black baseball teams, negro league

 

For years I couldn’t think about my father without my heart aching.  It was just too much for me to bear. I am so thankful that my heart has mended and I can share a bit of my father with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote – Inspire Others

inspirational quotes, quotes, motivational quotes