The Country Mentality

country roads

Different Than the City

This is probably as obvious as anything else: in general, the people’s mentality in the Countryside is different than the people’s mentality in the City. Just to be clear and on the safe side: everything written in this post should not be seen as absolute. Meaning that what I write here is my personal experience from both living in big Cities and now living in the Canadian Countryside. Nothing more, nothing less. In addition, neither is better than the other. It’s just different. That’s all.

So where is the mentality different then? Lets make a list: [Read more...]

Country Food Cooking

What Is Healthy Food?

slow food dishI am not going to write the epic article that will define in absolute terms what healthy food is. But I have personally experienced that living in the Countryside has brought with it for me the sense of heating healthy food.

For one, the closest McDonalds is a thirty-minute drive away. So ever since I moved here I have cut down on my junk food intake already. And, boy, does a Big Mac taste nice every once in a while when I eat one. [Read more...]

Smart Ways of Setting Your Personal Office Up

After my retirement I went to several workshops and senior citizens groups where discussions over leading a productive post-retirement life were held. The benefits of joining these workshops were tremendous, I had a renewed spirit and motivation for starting a freelance service and setting up my personal office space for an effective working environment. Here are a few smart ways of setting your personal office from my experience and learning. 

Choose a Convenient Location
One of the best ways of saving time and cost is to find a location that is in close proximity to your residence. Although my first preference is to set up a home office if there are no employees and the company is simply in its initial stages. However, as time progresses and your business develops more, seek a place that is close to your residence. The time taken to travel, the costs associated with travelling to long distance offices are fairly inconvenient after retirement. 

Compare Through Online Services
These days it has become increasingly simpler to look out for places and compare their costs, location and other benefits. Instead of moving around with a real estate agent, one can easily weigh down options on authentic websites. For example, for finding Chicago commercial space visit 42 Floors and check out the extensive details and comparison based data available. It ensures a cost effective and highly customized selection of an office location possible without getting into the hassle of travelling and looking for alternatives all day long. 

Lease Instead of Purchasing
When setting up a new office, cash seems to slip out faster than calculated earlier. To keep things under control, it is better to start off with smaller injections of liquid capital. By leasing important office related equipments and materials, there is a larger sum of cash available for future investments and business growth. Since fixed assets are meant to deteriorate and the money invested in it does not multiply or become available easily, it is better to lease these items rather than purchasing them. The financial flexibility that comes with leasing makes the success of a new venture more likely. Return on investment can be gained in a relatively shorter time period as well. 

Moving Home – Counting the Cost of Credit

Moving is an expensive do, especially when you leave the bright lights behind and head out into the countryside.  Moving normally entails the use of credit of some kind, at the very least your credit card will taking a bit of a hammering.

Footprints

When you apply for credit lenders generally run a search of your credit score and that leaves a footprint.  I found that when I moved – I needed a loan, I put stuff on credit and eventually my credit report was looking quite bad – even though I have an excellent payment record.

Footprints on your credit report allow you to see who has checked your score. It also allows other lender to see how many times you have applied for credit – if it’s too many times I a short period, its seen as a black mark against you.

One way out of that is to apply for one loan that covers all your requirements. Another way, if you have several credit cards, is to put them all together on one. You can often get good deals if you shop around a bit but only apply for the best deal – too many applications and once again, it’s a black mark.

Keep it Up to Date

It’s very easy when you are in the process of moving to forget to do things like changing your address.  You must do this with all your creditors straight away and don’t apply for credit the minute you move in. Your name must be seen to be on the electoral roll and added on to your credit report.

This is important – some lenders won’t entertain anyone who is not registered on the electoral roll, although some may if you explain you have moved and give them your old address. Don’t forget to keep your payments up either – it’s all too easy to forget when you are in the process of packing up and moving stuff.

One last thing – when you move to the country, don’t expect your credit card to be taken everywhere – some local village shops and bars simply don’t have the facilities to take cards and, as such, you need to keep cash on you. It’s a bit embarrassing when you’ve just done your weekly shop only to find they won’t take your card….

My Reflections in the Countryside

Many people usually go to the big city to achieve their dreams and make it big in life, but it’s not for everyone: the bright lights, the smoke, the constant rush of people, the street noise, the traffic, etc. Like the very few who have grown tired and used to living in the hustle and bustle of the city, I found myself seeking solitude, peace, and fulfillment elsewhere – and I found it in the countryside.

Just the other day I came across men using what they call scissor lifts, similar to these, in our neighborhood. One of the homes was being reconstructed from the outside, and the lifts allowed them to access different parts of the home without having to cause damage to its structure. As I watched from a distance, it was an interesting sight for me as I have only seen these types of aerial work platforms in the retail and wholesale industry in an urban setting, and to watch it being used in the countryside made me think about how, even here, fragments of my memories of the city still gets to me.

As I quietly observed the men working on the house, with a few elevated on the scissor lift while their fellow workers were on the ground, I contemplated on the structure of the mechanism. The linked and criss-cross “x” pattern used to support, ascend, and descend the platform looked pretty sturdy, and its bridge allowed for stability and balance for anyone or anything riding on the platform (except when it’s in operation; it looked like a bumpy ride upward). Yet, in the end, the scissor lift wouldn’t be useful or functional if it weren’t for the people behind it: the operator, the people on the platform, the people on the ground. In fact, it would be a just a harmless piece of equipment without any human intervention.

It was then I realized how much it mirrored life in general. You start from the bottom, and with the support of your friends and family as your pantograph, they begin to maneuver the direction of your life by extending you upward. While you expect to reach to the top sooner or later and you trust that the platform beneath your feet is stable enough to support you, it is quite a bumpy and rough ride – until the momentum slows and you finally reach the top. But what is sad is that a lot of people, after reaching this point, won’t even bother to look down and thank the people who have supported and raised them throughout their journey upwards. The sense of entitlement they get from being perched on top with a spectacular view of everything on the bottom is an illusion of their individual achievement; because, like a scissor lift, they would be just a useless without any support and love from others.

I was distracted from my thoughts when one of the men approached and gave me a piece of paper with a smile. Looking at it, it read “scissor lift rental rates”; with a layout like this. I then scratched my head and mused to myself, “I wonder if human support can be rented as well?”

Setting up a Man Cave in the Countryside


I will admit that I wasn’t fully ready to abandon the comforts and luxuries of city living. When I moved my family to the countryside because we inherited land and property from my wife’s Dad, I thought of ways to make the move less jarring. We couldn’t have a swimming pool in the country, but my wife and I were thinking of constructing a sort of gazebo and having a jacuzzi set up with plenty of hot water. That would be a relief after a day of back breaking work at the farm and when the weather is bitterly cold.

I’ve traded in my sports car for a more practical pick up truck and my wife her SUV for something more practical. She needed to pick up the kids from school as well as some fresh produce from the market for dinner. All in all, everything was sweet.

The home was large and spacious and everyone had their own rooms. My wife even had a crafts or hobby room where she and the girls quilted, cross stitched and scrap booked. I missed the big tv and the booming speakers so we compromised on an entertainment room. Too bad the surround sound spooked the animals, so that had to go.

For my old billiards and darts room, I felt that would be best shared with the farm help (who were mostly relatives anyway). The problem was that my wife didn’t want a lot of people inside the house the whole time. One of the cattle herders offered a solution: used storage containers. I looked it up online and saw that these used to be cargo containers used by shipping lines. Some are huge and very spacious inside. Some can be rented out for different periods of time or you can buy one outright. You can choose to get brand new ones or second hand containers which have been retired.

They’re not in bad shape and we got one which had more than enough room for a billiard table, some darts and a few tables and chairs. This was good for a couple of rounds of beer after work. We boys can have our fun without stressing out my wife over clean up.

One of a Kind Istanbul

Istanbul is a unique city in a very unique country. Turkey is a center of international trade even before there were cities or nations. It is a country which straddles Europe and Asia. It moves on into the modern world, while firmly attached to its historic roots. It is a predominantly Moslem country with more than 96% of its 77 million people practicing it.

I’ve had the privilege of travelling to Istanbul when I was still in the corporate world. A visit to Istanbul is not complete without taking a Turkish bath. This is an integral part of the experience of travelling to Turkey. This is both a steam bath, hot water bath, a sponge bath and a massage all rolled into one. It is a real treat.

As the principal city of Turkey, Istanbul is a city full of history. Even in ancient times, Istanbul was a crossing point from Asia to Europe. It is a city which lies in two continents. Founded in 660 BC, it was first known as Byzantium. It was later renamed as Constantinople after the Emperor Constantine.

Istanbul was an integral part of the Silk Road, bringing silk, spices and other products from the Orient to Europe. The Grand Bazaar is testament to the trade which once passed through here going to the different kingdoms of Europe. The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest markets in the world. It is also one of the largest covered markets, with 61 covered streets and thousands of shops. This is the place where you would want to buy authentic Turkish rugs. The market itself has its own idiosyncrasies, like the odd weighing scale which dot the streets. It is almost a tradition to weigh yourself on one of these old weighing scales and paying the man beside for the privilege to know your weight. If you’re lucky he might tell you your weight before you step on the scales.

For the weary traveler, churches and museum visits can get to be old hat. The Blue Mosque should change that opinion. Made of innumerable pieces of lapis lazuli in the walls and ceiling, the Blue Mosque is a one of a kind structure. You have to be inside the Mosque and try not to drop your mouth as you wonder at the ceilings blue inlaid design.

Reminiscing the past has rekindled my passion for travel. I’m checking out Turkey Tours right this very moment and imagining another luxurious and soothing Turkish bath. I can’t wait!

What You Need to Consider Before Moving to the Countryside

Living in the city can be very stressful. You may not have noticed it but you are slowly being drowned into an unhealthy routine. It is very easy to lose yourself in the demands of such a very fast-paced lifestyle. I have spent the majority of my life living and working in the cities so I know how intoxicating the quality of life in it.

I believe this is the reason why people are now shifting directions. In the past, people are moving towards the cities for opportunities. However, today a lot of people are now looking to move into the countryside because of the benefits it brings them. I for one sought for such benefits which prompted me to make the bold move.

The change of environment has proven to be a great thing for me. I was able to experience tranquillity which is very essential for my line of work. Moreover, I feel that I was getting close to nature, something that a lot of people my age should experience. Above all else, clean air and refreshing feel each morning truly revitalizes me every single day.

Drawbacks of living in the countryside

However, living in the countryside also has its drawbacks. Unlike the cities, facilities for emergency situations is not that readily available in the countryside. Moreover, roads are not in as good condition as compared to those in the cities. These can prove to be very difficult during winter or rainy seasons.

Finding a way around these downsides

If you are someone who has some major medical conditions, you need to seriously consider accessibility of medical facilities like hospitals and clinics when looking for countryside to relocate to. Although roads are also crucial factors, you can easily address this by getting a vehicle suitable for the road conditions you are moving into.

Another good way to address this issue is to open communication with experts in your condition at all times. For example, if you have relocated to the countryside and you need to have varicose treatments in Brisbane, you can visit this site for resource. Doing this will enable you to be on top of your condition even before any emergency occurs.

You can also opt of preventive measures as an approach to avoid any inconvenience when you move to the countryside. What I mean by this is that you can have your medical conditions taken cared of before you make the move. Let’s go back to our previous example. If you have varicose veins problems, you can opt for varicose vein treatments in Pittsburgh here before moving to the countryside. That way, you would not have to deal with it and enjoy the benefits of the countryside with no worries at all.

Covering all bases

Moving into the countryside is a major adjustment for anybody. That is why it is of great importance to look into every issue that you may experience when you have made the move. This will significantly lower the chances of any inconvenience while you are still transitioning from living in the cities to the life in the countryside.

Three Interesting Items at a Recent Local Fair

Major fairs aren’t that common in the area where I currently reside that’s why I really tried to make time when I heard that a two-day fair was to be staged within the week. Of course, I was very curious to find out and to observe how country fairs proceed. I thought I couldn’t have a full life as a middle aged man in the countryside if I couldn’t attend even just one local fair.

I was really looking forward to the items to be exhibited in the fair, although I dialed down my expectations. Note to self: ” What’s there to find in a small rural area’s fair that cannot be found in the bigger fairs at the cities where I used to stay?” However, there’s still that bit of excitement and thrill to go around to see what the fair has to offer.

The following are the top three most interesting things I found at the fair:

Horse Sculpture Made with Scraps of Wood

This sculpture was not really one of the exhibits but just an adornment in one booth. I found it to be very interesting, though. It was created using twigs and scrap pieces of wood. It definitely looked impressive to me. The sculpture was not a full horse’s body but just the head part. At some angles, it looked like a dragon although the equine features are undeniable when looking at the sculpture head-on.

Unusual Plants

The fair was mostly about agricultural and local heritage products so there were many plants and crops featured. There were around five plant species that piqued my curiosity. They had unusual leaves with interesting colors. I just can’t remember the names but I had taken photos of these plants. It was the first time I encountered these plants. I’m thinking of writing another post about them after I do some research on these unusually attractive plants.

Electric Power Washer

This one’s a rather odd item in the fair. I was wondering for whom it was being showcased. I can’t think of any practical use for this electric power washer in our neighborhood. I don’t think the local government would be interested in having it since we don’t really have any problem with graffiti that may require the cleaning power of pressure washers.

I can’t remember the specific model name or number of the power washer I checked out. However, it looks like a typical pressure washer. Its design is comparable to many of the electric pressure washers listed on power washer reviews like this one. It’s a relatively common model of pressure washer. it may not be the best electric pressure washer but it usually ranks well in pressure washer reviews and rankings. I saw something similar to this model back in the city and I can say it’s a good-performing one. The only thing I’m wondering, however, is the target buyer of this equipment in our locality.

Well, that’s it for my first local fair experience in the countryside. It was fun. There were quite a number of interesting items I found. I didn’t get to buy anything other than the two inexpensive potted plants I found appealingly unusual. I hope another similar event will happen soon.

Unaltered Does Not Always Mean Better

Since I started living in the countryside, I have been fascinated by everything natural. The greenery around were impressive. I love the unobstructed starry night skies. I have appreciated nature more and more. I’ve witnessed warm real smiles from real people on a regular basis. I experienced all the bliss of being surrounded by everything natural and pleasant. However, this does not mean I have something against people who prefer to employ modern technology to make things better according to what they think is better.

Anyway, this post has been inspired by a recent rumor in the neighborhood where I’m staying. The daughter of one of my neighbors came home for a visit and rumors started hounding her. I didn’t mean to hear it but I just heard it when my neighbors were talking about the plastic surgery she purportedly have had. The neighbors couldn’t help but talk about her now curvaceous body and ridiculously fine visage. Yes, I saw her and she certainly looks fine — the exact opposite of what the neighbors claimed was her appearance some years back.

Okay, I still couldn’t get over all this gossipping in my neighborhood. If there is one thing about the city life I would like to bring over to this rural area, it’s the “live and let live” attitude. Why can’t neighbors refrain from talking about other people’s choices? They are not harmed by this neighbor’s daughter’s decision to go under the knife, if she ever did. I think nobody has the right to mock her for however she looks right now.

What if she had breast augmentation? Many clinics offer breast augmentation in Calgary and in other nearby areas now. This is something people should already be accustomed to seeing these days. I’ve been to many places and I have not encountered this kind of reaction to someone who may have had plastic surgery. There are many girls I know who have undergone surgery for breast enhancement or breast augmentation in Denver and I can’t recall them being mocked or gossipped about because of their new look.

Not everything unaltered is good. Sometimes changes are to be made for the better. Plastic surgery isn’t really something that should elicit a demeaning gaze. So what? She may have had some work done but the results are great. The possible surgery made her look better. Most probably, it made her feel better and more confident. I’m somehow disappointed by my neighbors’ reactions. I didn’t really expect this. I love them for being so cheerful and warm but it appears they’re not that open about such “city” concepts like cosmetic surgery.

Sometimes, people need change to feel better about themselves. People just need to accept this. As long as the changes made don’t harm anyone, there should be no issue at all. I would understand the mockery if the purported cosmetic surgery done was excessive. However, it wasn’t. I should say the results were very impressive. She looks totally great! People should be adoring her instead of sarcastically talking about how she looks better now.

I would really want this stigma on cosmetic surgery to disappear. It’s totally uncalled for. As long as the surgical improvements don’t go overboard, people should learn to accept plastic surgery as something normal. I love my countryside neighbors but I seriously hope they can be more open-minded.

Buying Food Dehydrator: Facts, Uses and Tips

If this is your first time to buy a food dehydrator or you plan on buying your second one because you want to have something better than your previous one; you probably have a questions at the back of mind. Written below are some of the facts and tips you need to know to help you pick the best food dehydrator for your needs.

When Buying Your Dehydrator

If you are choosing among many models of food dehydrator, select one that is not too big or too expensive especially if you are not going to use it often. However, do not buy one that is too cheap either. Consider the space and the times you would perform food dehydrating as it can be both dangerous and a waste of money. Sometimes the most expensive ones cannot suit your needs while the cheapest ones may sound economical yet they do not perform well. Make sure to read reviews to help you have an idea about different dehydrator models.    

Why Should You Own a Food Dehydrator?

There are plenty of reasons to own a food dehydrator. If you are the type of person who likes to buy and eat dried fruits or meats, you know they can be pretty expensive. When you dry your own fruits and meats, you can save a lot of money, say around $60 – $100 in just one spending on a pack of fruit or meat. Also, when you have a food dehydrator, you can easily prepare curing and drying meals for you family. You can easily make jerky made from beef or turkey that your family can enjoy. Again, you can save a fortune by producing your own jerky at home. A store-bought jerky of one pound can cost around five to ten dollars. When you make the jerky yourself, you can make twice the quantity with the same budget.

When preparing fruits and meats to dry, you can control the amount of sugar or salt you put in them which means you can provide your family the healthiest version of dried foods. That is something you cannot be assured of when you buy your dried foods from the store.   

Tips When Using Your Dehydrator

One of the most common mistakes people do is mixing too many different kinds of items inside the food dehydrator. Remember that fruits and meats dehydrate at different temperature and duration and so mixing them in just one batch can cause others to be over dehydrated while others may be under dehydrated. Just as important as finding the right food dehydrator, you also need to take good care of it just as much.

Reading reviews can help you find the best food dehydrator that will suit your needs. For food dehydrator reviews, you should visit http://www.dehydratorreviewsguide.com/. You may also want to read about Excalibur dehydrate review, click here

5 Reasons The Countryside Is Good For Your Skin

All my life in the big city I kept on agonizing about the fact that every day my skin sagged more. I got wrinkles of all sorts on my face and neck. I read up articles online and they say drink this or eat that or do that, but it just wouldn’t fit in my busy lifestyle. For example, how could I prepare a fruity breakfast if I wake up ten minutes before my call time? It got so bad that I considered injecting hyaluronic acid gel filler called Juvederm in Portland Maine (for more details, click here).

Everything changed when I moved into the countryside. Just after three week of stay here, I noticed how I stopped thinking about how my skin looks ugly. I wondered why so I looked at myself and noticed my skin looks happier than ever. So what happened? What’s in the countryside that improved my skin?

Healthier Foods

For a newbie like me, small markets were extremely attractive. They had all sorts of fruits and veggies that looked so appealing. Starting on my first week I incorporated orange, berries, melons, papaya, and green leafy vegetables into my meals. For example, I ate two slices of papaya every morning. My meals mostly consisted of meat with veggies. I did this because it’s delicious, organic and, accessible. Little did I know that these foods are very rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals that harm the skin. They’re also rich in vitamins C, E, and B, vitamins that promote healthier skin.

Lessened Free Radicals

When we talk of quick aging, it’s almost always the free radicals to blame. Simply put, free radicals are atoms and molecules that damage the cell by causing mutation and malfunctioning. When this happens, the natural regeneration of cells is disrupted; collagens are therefore destroyed.

Free radicals come from lots of sources like radiation-emitting gadgets like laptops and cellular phones; cigarette smoking; polluted air; chemicals on foods; sunlight, and others. Smoking is particularly notorious for skin damaging; if you smoke, expect saggy and dry skin. I had one friend whose case got so bad that he had to undergo Ultherapy in Texas at the Body Focus Laser and Longevity Center.

The countryside has cleaner air and organic foods with minimal if not zero chemicals. Eating nutritious foods with lots of antioxidants as mentioned before also helped in lessening free radicals in my system.

Conducive for Exercising

The amazing scent of fresh air and long stretches of green fields give me a strong urge to stay outside to walk, jog, or bike. It’s impossible to resist. Nature will trigger that human instinct to explore and love the outdoors. As I became healthier and fit, I also had better skin. Exercising aids in circulation, and better circulation means healthier skin. I also adopted a regular routine of weight training and it really helped a lot. My skin on arms and legs are now firmer.

What’s more is that if you exercise, you’ll drink lots of water. Drinking plenty of water aids in restoring natural body processes such as blood circulation, hydration, and cell regeneration.

Things to Consider When Buying a Door When You Live in the Countryside

If you have lived in a big city all your life, moving to the countryside might feel a little different and weird. However, it is also very exciting. There are a lot of things to look forward to. You also get to appreciate things you have not paid attention to before.

When designing your home at the country, the first thing that you need to take into consideration is your door. This will not only be the first thing that your guest will see, but it will also serve as your security blanket. Thus, here are some tips that you might want to consider if you wish to have the best door for your home:

• Make sure that the door will protect you against potential burglars. When you live in the country, you don’t have a lot of neighbors whom you can call for help whenever necessary. Your house might be standing alone in the middle of nowhere. Thus, if you have sturdy doors that can’t be easily broken in, you are safe against theft threats.

• A lot of country areas are prone to natural disasters. Therefore, the door must be sturdy to ensure that the entire family is safe should anything wrong happen. If strong winds blow or earthquake suddenly hits, the people inside the home stays protected.

• Make sure that the door cannot be easily scratched, broken, or damaged. When you live in the country, you will most likely have to deal with a lot of animals, or people coming in and out of your house. You might also deal with certain crops that have to be moved in and out of your house. Thus, the door must not be easily scratched or broken when encountering these situations. Otherwise, you would have to spend a lot of money for maintenance.

Once you have finally chosen the right door, you can have it safely installed. Just make sure that you know more about the warranty period so you know what to do should anything wrong happen with your door. You can check out more information at doorswideopen.ca here.

Choosing a Physical Therapist

When my father got hospitalized due to a stroke, half of his body was paralyzed. Apart from taking the prescribed medications, he was also advised to seek the services of a physical therapist, which may help his body to recover faster. It was his first time to need physical therapy and that is why we didn’t have any idea with the things that should be considered when hiring a professional. This resulted to three changes of therapists Irvine in a matter of 4 months.

Choosing the right physical therapist may be a bit hard especially, when money and availability are concerned. But to avoid having the same pitfalls as my father’s treatment, here are some guidelines that can be followed, should you need physical therapy in the future:

• Don’t go to large physical therapy centers. The larger the clinic, the more likely you are to switch therapists all throughout the treatment. Physical therapy would be more effective if the case will be assigned to only one therapist.

• Having home visits is much better than going to a clinic. This setup is more comfortable on the patient’s part because they are not required to force themselves to prepare and travel just to be treated. Since going for physical therapy is a bit costly, saving some money from transportation can be a big help in reducing the expenses.

• Insurance policies may also be used for physical therapy. Before hiring a therapist, make sure that he or she is affiliated with your health insurance company.

• A doctor’s recommendation may help but not all the time. Some medical institutions use their connections for the sake of generating income. Asking your friends if they know a trusted physical therapist is much better.

• Every therapist has a different rehabilitation philosophy. Before hiring a therapist, make sure that he or she understands your case very well. This is really important to assure that the treatment will be effective.

I wish my father could have availed here the physical therapy he’d have in Irvine, like they have in In Motion. A good therapist would make his recovery the most important task of his or her profession. Look for one who cares about your body, not only with the payment that you provide.