Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Armpit Abscess Associated with Breast Pain

Breast pain is a common ailment for women and is most often associated with hormonal fluctuations and complications in health. For women who are experiencing pain along one side of the breast, the pain may be associated with a unique health complication commonly referred to as an armpit abscess. If you are suffering from breast pain, and your doctor has not found any complications within the breast tissue, it may be prudent to ask about the examination of the armpit area to determine if an abscess may be the cause.

Armpit abscesses affect both men and women but, in women, the pain can be quite significant and radiate through the breast tissue. Because women are typically used to periodic breast pain, when pain develops, we often do not immediately seek out medical attention. Should that pain be associated with an armpit abscess, however, the delay in medical attention may only allow the abscess to grow and enlarge, further compressing on the nerves in the chest area, causing even greater pain complications.

When suffering from breast pain along one side of the breast area, you will want to seek out medical attention with a doctor and ask about the use of medical diagnostic tools to rule out the presence of an armpit abscess. In many cases abscesses can not be readily felt along the breast tissue or under the arm and must be visually detected by MRI or ultrasound. Once confirmed, your doctor can perform a drainage of the abscess and this should alleviate our breast pain.

Without proper medical treatment, an abscess that has developed in your armpit can lead to other health conditions including sepsis from bacterial infection. When sepsis, or infection, spread from the abscess area into the surrounding area, not only is the tissue adversely affected but the organs in proximity to the breast – including the heart and lungs – can be impacted negatively. Be sure, therefore, that you seek out medical attention immediately and ask your doctor about the best way to drain the armpit abscess and alleviate your pain and other health risks.

Following armpit abscess drainage, you can expect there will be a 10 day period in which you will be required to take oral antibiotics and to rest the arm. Once this 10 day recovery is complete, your doctor will normally release you to begin activities of daily living again but only to the extent that your surgical site is not adversely affected. When living with an armpit abscess, once the drainage is done and your recovery and healing has taken place, you should experience very few symptoms from that day forward and your breast pain should be significantly alleviated.

Sources: Magill’s Medical Guide, vol 1. pp. 15-16.


Advertising Your Halloween Haunted House Event

Advertising Your Halloween Haunted House Event – Advertising your Halloween haunted house in the past was usually done by word of mouth. The more popular Halloween Haunted House events were advertised using the media and newspaper. Today, a lot has changed. It is much easier to advertise your Halloween haunted house and get decent traffic. Though big-budget Halloween haunted houses get a larger share of the views, today even a small-budget haunted house can get a great advertising campaign going. Advertising your Halloween haunted house is sometimes a huge endeavor, but the payoff can be well worth the effort.

Before getting started advertising your haunted house, you must first address what type of event the haunted house will be and the target audience. Advertising a haunted house begins with the purpose for the event. Is your haunted house a charity fund raiser? Are you advertising a haunted house that is for profit? Will the haunted house be free admission and for fun? These factors might slightly vary certain aspects of advertising your haunted house, but the overall result will be somewhat similar. The most important aspect of advertising your haunted house is deciding which audience to direct your house to. Is it going to be a small or large undertaking? What is the budget of the effects? Is the haunted house geared toward children, pre-teens, or families? Knowing the goals of the haunted house is extremely important when deciding which methods to use advertising the haunted house. First in this article are methods of advertising a mid-level to large event followed by simple ways of advertising a smaller haunted house.

The Online Campaign: Advertising your haunted house online begins with the most important aspect – the website. You should start advertising your haunted house by this website as soon as you have narrowed down the details, even as early as August. Choose themes that give a sneak peek of the event without giving away all the good parts. The website should be easy to navigate, describe the event, hours, and locations, and advertise the price. You may want to offer coupons (preferably buy one ticket, get another at a discount) as incentive to visit the site or a contest to win free tickets. For help with buzz, add a forum and use a popular forum posting service like PPT to get the forum going quickly. I recommend you request native English speaking post assistance. Add a blog if you have the time that discusses spooky things. Blogs are search engine darlings. The next step in advertising your haunted house online is to get your site listed on haunted house event sites. Link sharing with other haunted houses will get your site noticed. A page of Halloween links might also be warranted, as it tends to improve the popularity of a site. Visit related forums and local forums often and use the link to the site advertising your haunted house as your signature. Create both a facebook and myspace page linking to your site and build up a good friends list (starting with your actors.) Be sure to utilize free classified ads sites like Craigslist, Backpage, Kijiji, and Walmart Classifieds. Advertise for more actors as well to get the buzz really going. Creative? Consider a You Tube video advertising the event. Be sure to link it back to your site, add it to your Myspace page, and let forum visitors know to spread the word. Seek out online Haunted House advertising sites that mention local events as well. If you have the time, a squidoo page might be the ticket.

The Media Campaign: One of the easiest ways to get free advertising for your haunted house is to offer a radio station free tickets to your haunted house to give as prizes. A radio station advertising campaign is also desirable for the larger and charity events. Choose a local radio station for mid-level or local charity haunted house advertising and a radio station targeted toward your audience for the mid to higher range events. If you have the budget, a blurb on a local television station might be a great way of advertising your haunted house, but if you have a small budget, just going to local news websites and posting about your event in the gossip section will be immensely helpful. Newspaper ads can be tricky, but if you can fit all the important information into the advertisement without looking rushed or cheap, you won’t have to purchase too much of an ad to get your point across. Be sure your ad contains information about your website if you’re pressed for space. Larger budgets may prefer ads with pictures, logos, or coupons.

The Grass-Roots Campaign: With little budget, there is still hope for advertising your haunted house. All you need is your imagination, volunteers, and plenty of paper and ink. Most supermarkets and budget stores have bulletin board areas for customers to utilize. Print simple fliers with spooky graphics from free clip art links from Pumpkinpatchesandmore and awesome logos you can create yourself from Cool Text. Be sure the fliers mention target audience (use skeleton scale 1-5 skulls for how scary for a nice affect), price, schedule, location, and website information. Fliers can be put on doors at apartment complexes (be sure to check regulations of the community prior to handing out leaflets) and given out at local sporting events like football games. One of the best ways of advertising your haunted house is to pay a popular teen to hand fliers or giveaways (explained below) out at school. After a few customers visit your haunted house, just word of mouth can be the best way to advertise your haunted house yet.

The Giveaway Campaign: Who doesn’t love a freebie? Print business cards for your haunted house and use a hole punch in one corner. Tie a plastic spider ring to the card and hand them out to potential customers. Candy giveaways are not suggested, but pencils with the haunted house information might also be a surprisingly affective way of advertising your haunted house. Group discounts is another method of giveaway that can effectively advertise your haunted house. Offering an incentive for groups of five or more will assure plenty of great buzz.

The Pumpkin Patch Campaign: Offer a “You scratch my back, I scratch Yours” incentive to the most popular local pumpkin patch as a great way to advertise your haunted house. Offer to advertise the local pumpkin patch at your haunted house in exchange for them offering giveaways or fliers to their customers. Many orchard-style pumpkin patches will be thrilled with the extra advertising, but to help your cause, be sure to purchase a few pumpkins from them before asking. It’s a minimal expense in most cases that could be a great path to advertising your haunted house.

The Work Together Campaign: See if there is a Haunted House Business alliance in your area or online for your state. Grouping haunted house information together benefits haunted house advertisement campaigns because it offers more options to your potential audience. In the same aspect, you can advertise your haunted house by having a writer review it along with a few others in your area and post an article about it online or in the local paper. Seek out writers and bloggers who review haunted houses to help advertise your haunted house even more.

No matter what method you choose when advertising your haunted house, remember that the most important way to assure a successful event is to give the audience what they are looking for. Be sure not to advertise to the wrong audience and point out the features of your haunted house honestly to assure no disappointments. Advertising your haunted house can be a lot of work, but the outcome can be the difference between a slow season and a successful one.


6 of the Most Useless Video Game Accessories Ever Released

Video game accessories are always popping up with the promise they will heighten your gaming experience. Some of them deliver, turning out to be fun and useful. Other products are ridiculous and a waste of money. Nintendo seems to be the king of useless accessories, but other consoles have had their moments of failure. Here are some of the most useless video game accessories ever made.

When the first Nintendo Entertainment system was released in the US, one of the bundles included R.O.B. the robot. Packaged with the game Gyromite, R.O.B. was suppose to help you lift the columns so the character can make it through the level. Unfortunately, R.O.B.’s movements were slow. While you were waiting for the column to lift, enemies were attacking and your character didn’t have weapons. I remember being mad, not only because it was so slow, but also when my dad showed me how to play without R.O.B. I couldn’t believe this cool robot was useless.

Power Glove
This Nintendo licensed product was released in 1989. Worn like a glove, it tracked hand movement. It also had more buttons then anyone knew what to do with. There was only two games, Super Glove Ball and Bad Street Brawler specifically released for it. More games were announced but never released. The confusing control scheme turned off many gamers as did the $100.00 price tag. What’s the point of wearing a bulky glove when the regular controllers worked better?

Wii Remote Sports add-ons
This one is a no-brainer. These accessories screamed “useless” from store shelves. Sure, Wii Sports is fun and you get to play games like bowling and golf. If that’s not enough you can always waste your money on attaching plastic tennis rackets, golf clubs, and baseball bats to the end of the Wii Remote. They don’t help, improve your score or offer a new way to play. All they did was make the remote heavier and clumsy. If you want to relearn how to use the Wii remote, then you should give them a try. For me, they’re pointless and don’t add anything but frustration.

Sixaxis Controller
Maybe the Sixaxis isn’t totally useless, as I still use mind as a regular PS3 controller. But, the motion controller part is horrible and there was no rumble feature. By tilting the controller you were suppose to be able to quickly complete tasks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. The movement is jerky and never balanced. I can’t remember how many times I died while playing Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. There’s a few parts like when Ratchet is falling where you have to tilt the controller so he avoids objects. It either didn’t react fast enough or overcompensated my movements. At least the Sixaxis isn’t used on PS3 games anymore.

Power Pad
It’s another Nintendo Entertainment System product. Players ran, jumped, and danced on this pad. It worked okay for awhile, but trying to actually beat the Track and Field game by using it as intended was impossible. Kids and adults everywhere had to resort to kneeling next to the pad and pounding it with their fists. There was no other way to get the gold. The Power Pad is another example of early Nintendo experimentation that didn’t work in their favor.

Sega Activator
An early motion control featuring an octagon shaped sensor that was placed on the floor, the Activator seemed like it would make playing fighting games easier. Instead, it didn’t work right and actually trying to pull off a Fatality in Mortal Kombat was easier with a regular controller. Since it used infrared laser beams to send the movement, any disturbance would mess up the signal. Fans, curved ceiling, or mirrors could render the Activator useless.

While some of these accessories might have seemed like good ideas, others were just ridiculous from the start. Accessories for the Nintendo systems seem to be especially overpriced and useless. Before buying any video game accessory, it’s important to do research and not waste your money.


5 Fall Foods for Glowing Skin

While regular facials and a good skincare regimen can keep your skin looking radiant, what you eat is what will give you that youthful glow all season long. A healthy diet really is the secret to beautiful skin. It can be challenging to eat fresh and healthy foods during the colder months, but there are several fall foods that will help your skin stay healthy, resilient, and radiant. A few tweaks to your diet could be all it takes to have beautiful skin.

Here are five fall foods for glowing skin:

#1: Pumpkin

Pumpkin facials are a treat for the skin during the fall months but you can also eat pumpkin to get your dose of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Dermatologist Kenneth Beer tells Health.com that pumpkin also has hydrating properties. Pumpkin is a fairly versatile ingredient and you can use it in dozens of sweet and savory recipes.

2. Berries

Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are high in antioxidants and some berries also contain a compound called ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is known to combat carcinogens, according to Vitality Magazine. Berries could protect your skin from oxidative stress and are a good source of healthy sugar. I like to mix a small handful of blackberries and blueberries into a protein shake for breakfast. It’s a great way to sweeten up the protein shake without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Add this healthy carb to your plate for an energy boost and also enjoy some skin benefits. Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene and are also loaded with vitamin C. Trade bread or pasta for a sweet potato this season for a healthier and satisfying meal. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber so they’ll support a healthy digestion. Your skin will look better when your digestive system is working properly, so make sure you’re eating plenty of fiber-rich foods each day.

4. Carrots

Orange and yellow foods contain phytonutrients and antioxidants that support a healthy lifestyle, and these nutrient-rich foods can also be good for the skin. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that flavonoids and antioxidants in dark orange foods like carrots may even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Make some carrot muffins this season, eat raw carrots with hummus as a snack, or just add some sliced carrots to salads and stews for a boost of nutrition.

5. Cranberries

Eat cranberries this season to get plenty of vitamin C into your system. The Cranberry Institute reports that cranberries contain more antioxidants than other commonly-eaten fruits. Fresh cranberries and homemade cranberry sauce can be a tasty addition to your favorite fall recipes. Dried cranberries are also a good source of fiber and can be incorporated into many of your baked goods.


7 Best Birthday Gift Ideas for Your Wife

Have a wife who’s hard to buy for? Whether you’ve been with your wife for five years or fifty, it’s often hard to think of a unique birthday gift that she will enjoy. If you wife’s birthday is coming up and you’re stumped on what to get her, don’t panic just yet. Keep reading to learn the 7 best birthday gift ideas for your wife.

Travel. If your wife loves to travel, consider booking a trip to one of her favorite destinations. If you’re on a budget, you don’t have to book a week in the Bahamas. A weekend at a local Bed and Breakfast, or an overnight stay at a local casino would be a fun and unique birthday gift.

Perfume. Perfume, scented lotions and candles are a perfect birthday gift for your wife. Check around the house to find out what her favorite scents are. The ladies at the bath shops are usually very friendly and willing to help you pick out a selection of bath items to make into a cute gift basket.

How-to lessons. If your wife has been begging you to take salsa lessons with her, now is the perfect time. Call the dance studio and arrange for a few private lessons. If she’s been wanting to learn how to crochet, hire a local expert to teach her in your home. Show your wife you listen to her and care about her, by giving her a unique birthday.

iPod. If you want to impress your wife, buy her an iPod and load it with all of her favorite songs. Make a playlist with songs that both of you enjoy and name it something special. Try to include songs like your first dance song from your wedding, songs your kids sang and recorded, and songs that remind you of each other. Now every time she listens to her iPod, she’ll think of her birthday, and what a thoughtful husband you are.

Handmade presents. Homemade, one-of-a kind gifts are special and will be cherished by your wife. If you have wood working skills you should consider making her a special trinket or jewelry box. If you’re a painter you could paint her a portrait of your kids, or the dog. If handiwork isn’t within your skill set, have a special handmade piece commissioned by a local artist.

Massage certificate. If your wife does a lot for you and your family, she’s probably under a lot of stress. Get her a massage or spa gift certificate to help her relax. If you’re on a budget you can find good deals on spa services on your local city’s Groupon page.

Jewelry. Diamond jewelry is a great birthday gift. But don’t stress, if you can’t afford diamonds. Most women like all types of jewelry. Standard jewelry items that all women should have in her jewelry box include, pearl earrings, a pearl necklace, gold hoops, and a birthstone ring. If you don’t know you wife’s birthstone, your jeweler will be able to help you. Make sure that you buy the type of gold your wife likes. Most women prefer either yellow or white gold.


3 Easy Hand Sanitizers You Can Make at Home

One look at the ingredient list on a commercial bottle of hand sanitizer will likely leave you scratching your head. Isopropyl what? Carbomer fragrance who? Deciphering the names of the ingredients can be a chore in itself, making some people uneasy about putting hand sanitizers on their skin. Add to that the fact that some commercial sanitizers are tested on animals or contain ingredients tested on animals and you may find yourself putting the sanitizer back on the shelf and opting to hope soap and water are enough to keep the germs at bay.

Making your own sanitizer at home is an excellent alternative to purchasing a commercial sanitizer filled with confusing ingredients and potential animal cruelty. When making your own sanitizer, you know exactly what is in it and exactly where it came from, eliminating ingredient and moral confusion. These hand sanitizer recipes are just as effective at killing germs as popular commercial brands, and will leave your hands feeling soft and silky in addition to clean and germ-free.

Peppermint and Tea Tree Sanitizer

This homemade sanitizer is one of my favorites, as it has a lovely peppermint fragrance and leaves my hands feeling super soft after every use.

1/2 cup pure aloe vera gel
3/4 cup 91% or higher rubbing alcohol
5 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops tea tree oil

Simply throw all of the ingredients into a blender and mix together on low speed for one minute. Pour the sanitizer mixture through a funnel into an empty squeeze bottle and use as needed. Make sure to use no less than 91% rubbing alcohol or else the sanitizer will be ineffective at killing germs. The aloe vera and tea tree oil will keep your hands hydrated and prevent the drying effects of the alcohol.

Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel and Lavender Sanitizer

If you have sensitive skin, this alcohol-free sanitizer recipe is definitely a must-try.

1 cup pure aloe vera gel
2 teaspoons of witch hazel
15 drops lavender essential oil

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix together on low speed for one minute. Pour the mix through a funnel into an empty squeeze bottle and use as needed. The witch hazel will kill germs as alcohol does, while the aloe vera gel will keep your hands feeling nice and soft.

Castile Soap, Tea Tree Oil and Vitamin E Sanitizer

This recipe is free of both alcohol and aloe vera, making it safe for people with sensitive skin and an allergy to aloe.

1 teaspoon castile soap
1 vitamin E liquid capsule
5 drop tea tree oil
4 tablespoons distilled water

Mix all of the ingredients other than the vitamin E capsule into a blender. Puncture the capsule with a fork or toothpick and drain the contents into the mixture. Mix on low speed for one minute before pouring the mix through a funnel into an empty squeeze bottle. Apply as needed. The vitamin e and tea tree oil will prevent drying and keep your hands soft.


Are Hershey's Fun Size Bars a Good Treat Choice for This Halloween?

I remember when I was little and trick or treating at Halloween, I thought I had really hit the jackpot if I received a caramel apple or a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar.

Now, over a half-century later, caramel apples are considered passe but Hershey’s chocolate is still going strong. That is why you can’t have an analysis of possible Halloween treats without including one of the best ever – – Hershey’s.

In this case, since the original chocolate bars are too expensive to distribute widely this time of the season, we’ll resort to the Fun Size Bar. It is just the right size for those little ghosts and goblins.

Hershey’s Fun Size Bars come in a pack of 8. One bar constitutes a single serving.

There are 67 calories in each Fun Size Bar. Of that amount, 37 calories come from fat. Over 2.5 grams come from saturated fat.

While Hershey’s Fun Size Bars contain no carbohydrates or salt, they do have nearly 8 grams of sugar and approximately 3.5 grams of cholesterol.

On a further positive note, Hershey’s offers 1 gram of protein and nearly ½ gram of fiber. They also provide almost 3% of the daily-recommended amount of calcium and over .50% of the needed iron.

Ingredients inside these little bars include chocolate, cocoa butter, cocoa, milk, milk fat and vanilla. They also contain alkali, artificial flavors, lactose, PRPG and soy lecithin.

What kids like so much about Hershey’s chocolate is the way it melts smoothly on the tongue. The bar is also easy to share and fun to use with other things like graham crackers and marshmallows to make S’Mores.

One of the top Halloween picks, Hershey’s shows no signs of declining in popularity. In fact, the brand keeps expanding into other areas, including the ever-popular Hershey’s Kiss.

Here is my summary review:

Smart Choice? Yes. If calories are a concern, then Hershey’s certainly fits the bill. It has less overall calories than most other popular candy options like Milky Way, Snickers, or even 3 Musketeers. On the other hand, if fat is an issue, Hershey’s wins again with less than half the fat of many other sweet treats that will be distributed this trick or treat season. While sugar is an issue, the lack of carbohydrates and relatively low cholesterol count still makes this bar a winner. Used in moderation as suggested with a single bar distribution, Hershey’s chocolate offers a great choice.

Tasty? Yes. When it comes to milk chocolate, Hershey’s has been the leader for good reason. It is delicious, creamy, smooth chocolate that has been making people swoon for decades. Need I say more?

Variety? Yes. Almost as popular as their plain chocolate bar is Hershey’s Almond Bar. Their Special Dark Chocolate has also been around for quite a while. Newer additions like Cookies ‘˜N Creme and Extra Creamy Chocolate and Caramel have also proven popular.

Attractive Packaging? Yes. Hershey’s chocolate is brown and so is the wrapper of traditional Hershey’s chocolate. What better way to sublimely send a message that the chocolate is sheer perfection? This is one candy bar that is easy to identify on the store shelf. It can be mistaken for no other.

Easy to Store? Yes, the Fun Size carton measures 10 ½ ” by 2 ¾” by 3/4″. Because it is basically flat, that also means the carton is easy to store almost anywhere. That definitely includes a kitchen cabinet, pantry or drawer. The individual bars measure around 2 ½” by ¾” by ½”. They are small enough to fit anywhere you want to put them, including a pocket, purse, lunch bag, candy jar or bowl.

Are They Fresh? Usually. If Hershey bars are stored properly, in a cool place away from heat sources, they should remain fresh for a long time. However, once exposed to high heat, the quality of the chocolate can degrade. It may turn light brown or even white and lose its creamy texture. That is why proper storage is an issue. It is equally important to pay attention to the candy’s expiration date, which is printed on the Fun Size Package. However, I don’t recommend buying this chocolate beyond that printed date as it could prove to be stale.

Diet Safe? It depends. People who are counting calories or on a low fat diet might consider this treat just what the doctor ordered. On the other hand, those wanting to go sugar free or watching their cholesterol intake could opt out of this one. It’s all in how you measure the terms of the diet.

Easily Available? Yes. Hershey’s chocolate is sold anywhere candy is sold. However, the Fun Size Bars are generally only available during certain times of the year when candy giving is popular, like Halloween, Christmas and Easter. Hershey’s products can be found in grocery stores, discount retail chains, in most convenience stores and even drug stores.

Price Effective? It’s not bad. With 1 bar constituting a single serving, that means there are 8 servings in the Fun Bar Pack. Costing between $1 and $2 per pack, depending upon where the candy is purchased, that means that a serving equates to about $.12 to $.24 per serving. That’s not too bad, although there are certainly cheaper options available.

Product Purchase Recommendation? Yes. The low calorie and fat content, combined with the lack of carbs and reasonably low cholesterol helps to offset the sugar content of this candy. All in all, it isn’t a bad option for occasions like Halloween, which happen only once a year.


An Explication of "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke did an excellent job of conveying the theme of abuse versus forgiveness when he authored “My Papa’s Waltz.” Although the beginning of the poem may strike the reader as heartfelt and content, the obviousness of abuse by an alcoholic father unfurls as the child of that abuse steadily suggests his love and admiration for the father. Click here to read “My Papa’s Waltz.”

The first line of the poem already begins to diffuse thoughts of uncertainty by involving alcohol, “The whisky on your breath,” which most can assume as either the ‘highlight’ of the story or the reason for dehumanization in the narrative to come. However, whiskey is generally a means for negative impression in this day and age due to its history of causing fights and even bankruptcy starting in the 1700s. The second line begins to acknowledge that the father is the person addressed and goes on to literalize how intoxicated the father is.

As one sees in the third line, symbols of love the child had for the father are vividly created. Often we love something so powerfully, i.e. “But I hung on,” (3) no matter how much it ruins us, i.e. “like death” (3) that we never give up trying to win over their love for us. Death is hardly a description that would make a child, no matter the age, feel happy or welcome. Death can also be an unfortunate outcome to abuse, which has already been mildly suggested.

In the fourth line we read, “Such waltzing,” where Roethke utilized waltzing as a way to illustrate the painful act that unfortunately took place between the child and father. Though thought of as a type of dance, the author meant it not literally, but metaphorically. One way Webster’s Pocket Dictionary defines “waltz” is ‘to advance successfully and easily’; which makes perfect sense for why Roethke finished that line with, “was not easy.” (4)

The entire second stanza of this poem portrays the full act of abuse. “We romped until the pans slid from the kitchen shelf,” (5-6) exploits the hostility and, of course, the drunkenness involved. It is here, however, that Roethke uses one of his content words, which is likely to mislead the reader. “Romped” generally indicates a fun and enjoyable time. However, romping around hard enough so that your dishes slide from the shelf is hardly being carefree.

The mother’s stance greatly contributes to this reading. Roethke clearly establishes that she is guilty for not preventing the father from beating her child; she sees what is happening, but does nothing to stop it. She apparently does not disregard it either since she has a “countenance” (7) that “could not unfrown itself.” (8) This ambivalence is very typical in an abusive relationship. The mother’s extreme displeasure is just another cue that the father is acting inappropriately with the child. Yes, her facial expression could have been that of a perturbed mother while her husband and child were making a mess; however, that kind of mood can be unfrowned.

“The hand that held my wrist,” is the ninth line, which starts off the third stanza. You hold a hand when dancing, not a wrist. You hold a wrist when being forceful. Roethke also paints a grim picture of the hand that held his wrist as shown by the tenth line, “Was battered on one knuckle,” which reinforces the thought of physical abuse being involved. This clumsiness note leads us to, “every step you missed,” (11) and the last line in that stanza, “My right ear scraped a buckle.” (12) This is what happens to the boy as the ungainly father stumbles around while beating him with his belt. This line could also be a metaphor of mental abuse symbolizing the pain involved. The strength of a belt for abuse is very powerful; this is a very intimidating tool for a parent to utilize when attempting to discipline their children.

In the last stanza, Roethke combines bad and good connotations leaving the reader with a very hazy picture of the reality. To use the word “beat” as the author did in line thirteen, is harsh and in no way represents something positive. Webster’s Pocket Dictionary defines “beat” as: to strike repeatedly; to defeat. Apparently the boy had some problems with authority throughout the course of his life, which led his father to punish him ‘repeatedly’. Although this is a course of action that parents often take, it is far from one that is appropriate.

In the fifteenth line, the father “waltzed” him “off to bed” as if nothing ever happened; as happens in most cases of abuse, especially when alcohol is involved. The parent may feel ashamed [or in some cases, no remorse] when they realize what they have done. The child may fear the consequences of talking about the abuse. These are just a couple of reasons that the parents and children feel it is better to pretend that the abuse never occurred.

The final line of this poem again represents the love the child has for his father and the desire for the child to be loved by the father. “Still clinging to your shirt,” (16) denotes a fear of letting go (the father obviously has influence over him) and the adamancy of wanting to receive that love despite the consequences.

Throughout this poem, Theodore Roethke embarks across a journey of broad abuse, describing the abuse itself. Roethke still allows the reader to sense some sort of forgiveness or idolization for the father. It is evident that the child puts the father on a pedestal, despite the fact that the father is less apt to notice and take into consideration the child’s gestures. It is because of the child’s reverence that the poem is titled so lightly as if in adoring recognition. This was a very touching poem about abuse that was written from an admiring child’s standpoint.


Accept Credit Cards Using a Mobile Credit Card Terminal

As a business owner on the move, you need to have a way to accept credit cards even when you’re not in your office or retail location. Mobile credit card terminals, equipped for cell phones, are the ideal solution.

For example, if you’re a self-published author how many times have you missed out on an impromptu book sale because your potential customer didn’t have cash? You don’t ever have to miss an opportunity for a sale at a book fair if your cell phone is linked to a cell phone credit card processing account. You have a few choices when it comes to setting your cell phone up to accept credit cards: use a cell phone merchant account, general cell phone credit card swiper, or use your iPhone as a mobile credit card terminal.

Cell Phone Merchant Account

A cell phone merchant account is a basic system that allows you to call into your merchant account provider’s processing system for verification of a credit card. It is sometimes called “touchtone” processing. You type in your account number, the credit card number, and the amount of the transaction-if approved you’ll hear a message saying so, along with an approval number. You have to use a manual swiper, take an imprint of the credit card (which many customers don’t feel comfortable with anymore, so that is one downside of this method), and ask for a signature.

Wireless Credit Card Processing-Credit Card Swiper

Some merchant account services also allow you to connect a credit card swiping unit to any mobile phone and use the wireless network to accept credit cards. When you swipe the customer’s credit card through this instant mobile credit card terminal, it gets its authorization over the wireless network and displays an approval or denial on your screen. Most of these wireless credit card processing systems also come with a wireless printer that will print a receipt after the transaction has been approved.

For iPhones and iPods

A company called Square Inc. has created a software application that is compatible with iPhones and iPod Touch devices. It allows you to use your cell phone as a mobile credit card terminal. All you have to do is download the app (Square) to your iPhone or iPod , connect a small swiper device to the headphone slot, and swipe customer credit cards. It’s very cool, because the customer can sign his name right on your iPhone or iPod Touch using his finger. You can even take a picture of the person holding the item he’s purchased and link it to the transaction to prove that it was valid. On top of that, your customer will receive a confirmation email that shows him the amount of the transaction, his signature, and a Google map that shows where he made the purchase. Basically, no more “I don’t remember this charge” nonsense from a customer who might try to file a chargeback when you accept credit cards.


5 Sleeping Positions that will Help Improve Your Spinal Health

If you were asked which piece of furniture in your house does more to influence your spinal health than any other, which piece of furniture would you choose? Would it be a chair? How about the sofa? How about the bed? If your choice is the bed you are correct. No other piece of furniture in your house exerts as much positive and/or negative influence on your spine’s health as your bed. Every night you conk out and select contorted positions that you spend eight hours or more in that can and often does sabotage your back.

The shape of our spine is what makes us human; no other member of the mammal family (except the great ape) has the same type of elongated S shaped spinal column. This elongated S shape is the super structure of the body which enables us to move around flawlessly. If misaligned in anyway, this flawless movement is hampered. Contorted sleeping positions can misalign your spine.

One way to help maintain your spine’s alignment is by sleeping on your side. Lying on your back or your stomach can alter the normal natural curve of your spine. Another way to improve your spinal health is to select a sleeping position in which you bend your knees and hips slightly; sort of a semi fetal position. This position will aid in reducing the pressure on the disks in your spine while you sleep.

Keeping your body and spine in plumb is important. The position of your head, shoulder, hips, knees, and ankles were all designed to interact and operate on the same plane. Your muscles and bones are constantly fighting gravity and gravity appears to be winning. The S curve of your spine is being pushed, pulled, compressed, and it is slowly beginning to loose its shape. This is causing musculoskeletal dysfunction all around us. You must do what you can to prevent this from happening to you. Your sleeping position can play a prime role as a preventative.

By placing a pillow between your knees while you are sleeping, you can reduce the stress on your legs’ upper sciatic nerve. Tilting your head is an unnatural position for your neck and can force your cervical spine out of alignment. Find a comfortable natural position to place your head in while sleeping. Your arms should be in front of your body when you are asleep. Hugging a pillow will add support to your upper arms and shoulder while keeping you spine in proper alignment and shape.

When it is time to sleep the only thing important to us is our individual comfortable sleeping position that enables us to fall off to sleep. In a lot of cases, although comfortable to you physically, this individual comfort position may be wreaking havoc on your physiology. Don’t turn into that little old bent over person you always swore you would never become. Converting your sleeping position is difficult and will demand a lot of work from you, but your spinal health is at stake. Do what you have to do to make it work. In the long run, you will benefit handsomely for having done so.

Resource: Health Bulletin – Men’s Health Magazine, October, 2008


30 Free Crochet Patterns for Barbie Doll Clothes

We all remember as young girls how much we loved playing with our Barbie dolls and how much fun we had dressing them up. Barbie is still one of the most loved fashion dolls and her popularity has not changed with time. Here you will find 30 free crochet patterns for Barbie doll clothes such as dresses, sweaters, coats, hats for you to make for your favorite little girl to dress up her Barbie in.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #1

This free Barbie doll clothes crochet pattern is for a beautiful ballet dress with ruffles for the tutu.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #2

Another free crochet pattern for any Barbie doll is a beautiful elegant black velvet dress.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #3

This website has a free Barbie doll clothes pattern for a beautiful red Christmas cape which would go beautiful with any Christmas dress.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #4

I love this free Barbie doll clothes crochet pattern for a 1970’s winter coat and hat ensemble. Would make a really nice Christmas gift to make for your favorite little girl.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #5

This website has a free crochet pattern for Barbie of a strapless summer dress and shawl in pink.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #6

Every Barbie doll has to have your very own wedding dress and veil. This free crochet pattern is beautiful.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #7

This website has a beautiful sun dress and headband crochet pattern for Barbie.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #8

On this website you will find a crochet pattern for a bedspread and pillows for Barbie’s bedroom.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #9

This free crochet pattern is for a purse for Barbie. You can make up in different colors to coordinate with all of Barbie’s outfits.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #10

This website has a free crochet pattern for Barbie of the cutest bikini top and bottom to hit the beach in.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #11

This website has a free crochet pattern for a summer tie halter top that ties around Barbie’s neck.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #12

This websites has a beautiful pattern for a Barbie jean jacket that is crocheted made out of blue denim colored yarn.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #13

On this website you will find a free crochet pattern for a mini skirt for Barbie.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #14

This free crochet pattern is for a Easter dress and hat for Barbie. This would make a nice Easter present for a little girl’s Easter basket.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #15

On this website you will find a beautiful winter pearls dress for Barbie. It is a floor length gown, strapless that attaches around her neck that looks like a choker. This dress is absolutely gorgeous.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #16

This website has a free crochet pattern for a beautiful picnic dress for Barbie. It has ruffles on the bottom of the dress and on the sleeves.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #17

This website has a beautiful emerald dress for Barbie. It shows different photos of different ideas for using ribbon throughout the dress, I think it would pretty to add ribbon roses to this dress also.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #18

On this website you will find a beautiful rose top, long skirt, jacket and scarf for Barbie. The top is backless.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Pattern #19

This website has a great crochet pattern for a sleeping bag that any Barbie doll will fit in. You can make these in any color for a great gift for any little girl.

Barbie Clothes Crochet Patterns #20-#30

You will have to sign up with this website and verify your email address before you can view and save their free crochet doll clothes pattern for Barbie. You will find the patterns in pdf format which you can save onto your computer.
The following Barbie crochet outfits can be found her such as a patchwork cardigan sweater, doll vest and hanger, Independence dress with hat, July 4th barbecque set with apron and chef’s hat, bride and groom clothes, latana fashion dress, black and gold elegant off the shoulder dress and waitress and chef outfits for Barbie and Ken.

Hope you enjoyed this list of free crochet doll clothes patterns for Barbie


7 Life Changing Steps for Achieving Anything You Want in Life by Turning Your Positive Desires into Realities

As an advocate of success I have decided to spend the rest of life researching on those mysterious factors that determines our destiny. While researching, I deeply studied more than one hundred books on wisdom and success written by best seller authors. I have gone through thousands of pages of Wikipedia analyzing the biographies of legends. I have also watched from YouTube, hundreds of videos of great leaders, scientists, motivational speakers, business tycoons, spiritual gurus and etc. I did everything that ought to be done, for figuring out the procedures for converting positive desires into realities.

So, when I organized my notes that I have taken while learning the wisdom of life, I found that almost all the most successful persons of the world shares a common characteristic or quality. Almost all the great achievers of this world have one thing in common, and it is their ability to turn their desires into realities.

As a matter of fact, I concluded that anyone who can convert his desire into reality can definitely achieve whatever he want in life. He can achieve heath, wealth, fame and prosperity in life, which will ultimately make him happy and successful, by getting mastery over manifesting his strong positive desires into realities. The webpages of Wikipedia is filled with live examples of all successful persons of the past and present world, who have achieved phenomenal success, far beyond the general expectations.

So, when I concluded my experiment with success, I realize that there is only one way to achieve success, and the way needs no scarifies, no hard work or labor. It just need nothing but only a state of mind, that will ultimately convert potential dreams, wishes and hopes into strong desires and then the same state of mind, will again change the desire into a realities. My conclusion is 100 % accurate and is approved by all the books ever written on success, because my conclusion is optimistically the reflection of the conclusions drawn by great billionaires, authors, motivators and achievers of the world.

Before we proceed, let’s ponder upon the below given questions:

1. Why some people earn multi-millions and in fact billions of dollars while other spend their entire life in poverty?

2. Why some people like Muhammad Ali, Diego Maradona, Sachin Tendulkar are legends in their respective fields?

3. Why the below given persons are so famous all over the world inspite that they have failed many times in life?
1. George Washington
2. Abraham Lincoln
3. Theodore Roosevelt

4. Why in your school some students constantly achieve high scores in all examinations from nursery to class X while others struggles merely to pass their exams?

5. Why some people become successful in every aspect of life while others spend their life in misery, frustration and poverty?

Well, the universal answer to all the above questions is that: “Some people have done this or that and achieved success while the majority of the population have also done this and that but haven’t achieved anything merely because the former folks are the masters of their own life who knew the secret of manifesting desires into realities while the latter population only wished and hoped for things to happen but never really desired.”

The best way to turn your positive desires into realities is to implement what the great author Napoleon Hill have suggested, all of us, to do in his book “Think and Grow Rich”. On page number 17 of the said book, he had unveiled the greatest secret of all times. The secret for achieving whatever you want in life has been decrypted by him in six simple paragraphs. But as I told you before, I am an optimist, and thus I have added one more paragraph to it for making the secret phenomenally powerful.

So, get ready for learning the greatest wisdom of life that is going to change your destiny from negative to positive, from poverty to riches, from ill-heath to good health, from adversity to prosperity and from failures to success. I don’t know whether every change is good, but definitely I know one thing that whenever and wherever there is something good, it is the consequence of a change. So, change and only change in life can change the way you live and the way you will be remembered after death.

How to achieve anything in life?

I can achieve anything I want in this life, and so can you. We can achieve absolutely anything in life by just conceiving and believing that we can achieve. Below let me conclude, seven practical steps discovered by my mentor to whom I regard as a blessing to this world and he is none other than the legendary wisdom giver: The Napoleon Hill.

Steps for turning desires into realities

Step 1

What you really want? First decide what you desire to achieve in life? Make is absolutely clear in your mind to the extreme possibilities. Be very particular and definite regarding what you want.

Step 2

There is no such thing in this world as something for nothing. Thus for turning your desires into realities you have to give something in return for your desire. So in this step, determine exactly what you intent to give in return for turning your desires into realities.

Step 3

Now decide the deadline. Establish a definite date when you want to achieve what you want. Make this date practical and achievable.

Step 4

Relax! Prepare a definite plan for converting your positive desires to absolute realities. And once your plan is ready, put it to action immediately.

Step 5

Now write your life changing statement on a piece of paper and mention therein what you intent to achieve in life, put the time limit to achieve it, state what you intent to give in return for converting your desires into realities and describe clearly the plan through which you are going to accumulate your success.

Step 6

Make your own vision board and fix your prepared statement on it. Make several copies of your statement and fix them everywhere in your house and office so that you can constantly see it round the clock. Keep a copy of it in your pocket, most probably in your wallet, and read the written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before going to bed at night, and once after arising in the morning. While reading your statement see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of whatever you desire for.

Step 7

Implement it! Just implement it as said with absolute clarity of mind. More than ninety nine percentages of people just read motivational and life changing articles like this and forget about it by the end of their day. But only the minority of the population likes you who will implement the said steps will achieve abundant success in life.


A Look at the 7 Most Popular and Different Types of Eyeliner

Eyeliner is one of the hottest beauty essentials in the world today. More than likely a vast majority of women that make up status quo society will have this necessity in their beauty bag. With everything from pencil, retractable, liquid, kajal, powder, kohl, cream, and gel, eyeliner remains to be the ultimate makeup necessity. Eyeliner is used to simply make your eyes stand out or “pop”. Applying eyeliner is simple, so today I am demonstrate 7 different types of eyeliner.

7. Powder. Out of all of the eyeliners, the powder application is the least complex. The best individual makeup looks created using the powder eyeliner are the smoky eye inspired makeup looks, as well as, the exotic makeup looks that are inspired by Africa, Asia, South America, and Eurasia.

6. Liquid. Some of the best makeup is inspired by the 20s, 30s, and 40s era. Although application varies, liquid liner is relatively simple. Most of the time the liquid liner is used to create timeless inspired makeup looks influenced by some of the beautiful female classic celebrities of the past 30s-40s era such as Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner.

5. Pencil/Retractable. These are the most common eyeliners, which make them incredibly flexible. Whether you want to line the outer or inner part of your eye, you can do so with both the pencil and retractable eyeliners. You can create just about any inspired makeup look with the pencil/retractable eyeliners.

4. Kohl. Even though the kohl liner is similar to the pencil and retractable eyeliners, it tends to be a little thicker and more cream based than both. The best eye makeup looks created with kohl liners are definitely the smoky eye looks or any makeup inspired look using a lot of smudging towards the outer corners of the eye. The kohl is also great for lining both the waterlines.

3. Cream. When it comes to cream eyeliner, there is simply no limit. After you apply it, it dries immediately after. It comes in a variety of colors and formulas. The cream liner is used to create an array of eye looks that range from a simple smoky eye to a classic inspired makeup look.

2. Kajal. Some of the best kept secrets are influenced by foreign cultures and the kajal eyeliner is no exception. The kajal liner is a kohl liner comes together in a huge point. It’s primary function is to line not just around the eyes, but the waterlines too. The kajal liner is used to create exotic eyes which are heavily influenced by the Middle East and Eurasian cultures.

1. Gel. If you are looking to achieve just about any type of eyeliner style, you cannot go wrong with the gel liner. It goes incredibly smooth, yet light. It is not visible like the cream, but tends to dry instantaneously. You can easily fix mistakes. The gel eyeliner is used to create everything from a cat eye inspired makeup look to even an Arabic eye inspired makeup look.


Adult Children and Stress

Relationships are tricky under the best of circumstances. When you add problems from outside sources, things can get nasty in a hurry. If these problems are bringing added stress into your home, it can be a recipe for intense stress that leads to severe depression. This is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with as it arises.

When two people decide to share their lives and a home, some basic ground rules need to be in place from the beginning. Things such as one person allowing their adult child to move in should need to be mutually agreed upon before it takes place. This is especially true if the adult child is unemployed or comes with children and pets.

It’s unreasonable to expect your partner to either financially support or deal with the intrusion of your adult child living in their home. Yes, that is your child and you love them. But your partner may not feel the same way and may not be as willing as you are to cater to that person.

This is also where different parenting styles often cause problems. Some parents are goal oriented and insist that their children have a plan for success. Some parents seem to be content to let their child find their own way. That is certainly fine as long as that child is paying their own way on the search. If the partner is willing to help financially, that is certainly ok but it’s unfair to expect them to work and pay for your child if that child is doing nothing more than sitting and watching the television or playing computer games.

For the more relaxed parent, you need to look at it from your partners’ position. Is it fair and reasonable to expect this person to support an unrelated adult who isn’t willing to do for themselves? For the more goal oriented parent, have you considered how your partner feels when faced with the conflict that arises when you have expectations that the child is unwilling to meet?

As a general rule, adults should be supporting themselves and contributing to their own care. While the current economy can make this difficult, it can be done. Adult children returning to live with a parent need to behave as adults. That means contributing to the household instead of being a leech.

These issues can be resolved but those resolutions require discussion between the partners with the decision, not suggestion, being given to the adult non-contributing child. Their opinion doesn’t matter. If they want their opinion to matter then they need to get a job, get their own place and actually be a responsible adult.

This will require getting off the couch but in the end it’s worth it. It also requires that when adult children live at home, they actually act like adults. Their parent or parents need to enforce this. A few basic rules would help.

1-You will contribute to the house. This means doing your own dishes, cleaning the house when necessary and not just your room and contributing a portion of your income to the bills.

2-You will look for a job. No excuses. Not doing a job because it’s not something you want to do isn’t an option. Do it anyway. There is no excuse for a healthy adult to turn down gainful employment unless that job is illegal or immoral.

3-This is not your house. You live here because you are incapable of having your own home and supporting yourself. Showing a little appreciation is not out of line.

If you are in a relationship with someone who has an adult child that has moved in, these rules need to be enforced by your partner. If it is your child, you need to enforce them. It’s unfair to make your partner be the bad guy or feel guilty because of the actions and behavior of your child.


All About the Herb Mugwort (Artemesia Vulgaris)

Latin Name: Artemisia Vulgaris
Family: Asteraceae (This is the sunflower family, also known as the aster family)
Genus: Artemisia vulgaris
Also Known As: Felon Herb, St. John’s Herb, Armoise, Chrysanthemum Weed, Sailor’s Tobacco, and Moxa

Artemisia vulgaris, commonly known at Mugwort, is a perennial herb native to Africa, temperate Asia, and Europe, but can also be found growing in most other parts of the world, including the San Francisco Bay Area. It has long been used for its culinary, medicinal, and metaphysical qualities.

Mugwort is fairly easy to cultivate, and prefers slightly alkaline, well-drained soil, in a sunny spot (Mugwort, 2007, ¶ 6). It will grow almost anywhere, including waste areas, and along roadways and streams. It is a rather tall plant, sometimes reaching up to 6 feet in height, and it has an angular, purplish stem. The herb has spear-shaped leaves that are dark green on the top, with a dense, cottony underside. In late summer mugwort produces reddish or pale yellow flowers in small oval-shaped heads. Mugwort root is about 8 inches long, with many rootlets of about 2 – 4 inches in length. The exterior is light brown, with the interior being whitish. It has a thick bark, and a sweet acrid taste (Mugwort, 2008, ¶ 12). Mugwort is quite similar to Common Wormwood (artemisia absinthium), but can be differentiated by the fact that its leaves are white only on the underside, and are pointed rather than blunt. Also, mugwort does not contain essential oil of wormwood.

The leaves of this plant are collected in August to be dried, and the root is harvested and dried in the autumn. Roots are cleaned in cold water and dried in the open air for about 10 days, at which point they may by dried by heat. (Mugwort, 2008, ¶ 11).

Mugwort’s generic name, Artemisia, came from the Greek moon goddess Artemis, as mugwort has long been considered an ally of women, regulating the menstrual cycle, and easing the transition of menopause (Hanrahan, 2008, p. 1).

There are several ideas of where the name Mugwort might have originated. One idea is that mugwort was at one time used to as an ingredient in some drinks – before the introduction of hops, it was commonly used to flavor beer. The herb was gathered during flowering season, dried, boiled, and then added to the beer. Another idea is that the word mugwort was derived from the old English term moughte (a moth or maggot), as the plant was at one point used to fend off moth attacks (Mugwort, 2007, ¶6).

Medicinal & Metaphysical Used of Mugwort

Mugwort has an extensive history of spiritual and medicinal uses ranging from the relief of fatigue to the warding-off of evil spirits. Anglo Saxon tribes believed it to be one of nine sacred herbs given to humanity by the god Woden (a very powerful god of the Heathens) (Woden, n.d., ¶2), and in the Middle Ages it was generally believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of mugwort when he ventured into the wilderness (Mugwort, 2008, p. 1). The Romans planted this herb along the roadside to keep travelers from exhaustion, and on St. John’s Eve people would make crowns out of it to prevent possession by evil spirits (Hanrahan, 2008, p. 1). In Holland and Germany the herb is known as St. John’s Plant, due to the belief that it will protect again misfortunes if gathered on St. John’s Eve.

Going along with its tradition, mugwort is still used by many today in the form of a smudge, a tea, an infusion, a smoke, or a wreath to repel negative energies. It can also be planted in a sacred garden to bless and protect a property.

Mugwort is also well renowned for its use as a dream and shamanic-journeying herb, and can be used for this purpose by making one of the preparations just mentioned, or by putting it into dream pillow or sachet. Mugwort can help to produce brighter, more vivid dreams, improve dream recall, assist in lucid dreaming, and help with the process of what some call precognitive dreaming (dreaming of future events) (Mugwort, 2007, ¶ 24).

One popular medicinal use of mugwort is the Chinese technique of moxibustion. In this preparation, the soft leaves are heated, and then rubbed in one’s hands until all that remains are the downy fibers. The fibers are then made them into small cone or cylinder-shaped pieces and are burned close to the skin to heat specific acupuncture points (Hanrahan, 2008, p.1). A study in 1998 at the Women’s Hospital of Jiangxi and the Jiujiang Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the People’s Republic of China demonstrated that moxibustion could reverse the position of breech babies. Out of 130 breech fetuses, 75.4% reversed their position after the mother was treated with moxibustion. (Cardini & Weixin, 1998, ¶8). In this procedure, the moxa stimulates acupuncture point Bl67 (located on the fifth toe), and improves circulation and energy flow, so that the fetus is able to change position.

This herb can also stimulate appetite, calm an anxious mood, and relieve vomiting (Hanrahan, 2008, p.1). It can also cure the system of a pinworm infection if taken as an infusion.

Mugwort’s other main medicinal use is as an emmenagogue (something that stimulates menstruation), often used in combination with pennyroyal and southernwood. It can also be used as a nervine, and was at one time considered helpful for the prevention of epileptic fits, and hysteria. One particular species of mugwort (artemisia douglasiana) has been known by Native Americans to ease the sting of nettles and/or prevent a flair-up of poison oak.

Mugwort Essential Oil

Mugwort essential oil (generally known as armoise), is a base scent, is clear to pale yellow in color, and contains chemical compositions thujone, cineol, and pinene. Its characteristic fragrance is a bit licorice-like, and blends well with oils such as rosemary, lavender, clary sage, oak moss, and patchouli (Grieve, 2008).
To use this oil, one could put a few drops of mugwort essential oil in a bath to ease menstrual cramps, or place a few drops under a pillow when sleeping to induce more vivid dreams.

Mugwort essential oil should not be taken internally, due the presence of the ketone thujone, which is thought to possibly be carcinogenic and neurotoxic. It can also be harmful to pregnant women and those with epilepsy.


As Mugwort is a uterine stimulant, it should be avoided during pregnancy. It should also be avoided during lactation to prevent its chemical constituent thujone (a ketone and a monoterpene that is present in absinthe) from being passed on to the nursing child (Hanrahan, 2008, p.2). Also, large doses and regular use over a prolonged period of time should be avoided, as it could cause liver damage.

My Personal Relationship with Mugwort

I have always found mugwort to be a very amusing name. The mug portion makes me think of a drinking mug, and the wort part makes me think of a wart. Putting the two parts together, I imagine a large ceramic mug covered with warts, which I would use to drink my mugwort tea.

I personally became interested in this legendary herb mainly through my interest in dreamwork. Although I have used this herb in many different forms (in a tea, a smoke, and a smudge), and I have found that a tea seems to be best for increasing my dream recall, my favorite way to connect with it at the moment is in a dream pillow. A blend of rose petals, chamomile, mugwort, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil inside a soft cover makes for a delightful, restful, dreamy sleep.


Cardini, Francesco M.D. & Weixin, Huang, M.D. (1998). Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 280(18), 1580-1584. Retrieved April 25th 2008 from http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/280/18/1580

Grieve, M. (2008). Mugwort. Retrieved May2nd 2008 from Botanical.com: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mugwor61.html

Hanrahan, Clare. (2008). Mugwort. Retrieved April 24th, 2008 from The Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2603/is_0005/ai_2603000533

Mugwort: (2008). Retrieved April 25th 2008 from Botanical.com: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mugwor61.html

Mugwort: Artemisia vulgaris: (2007). Retrieved 25 May 2008 from AltNature.com: http://www.altnature.com/gallery/mugwort.htm

Woden. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25th, 2008 from Anglo-Saxon Heathenism: http://englishheathenism.homestead.com/woden.html


30 Top Categories for Halloween Costume Contests

Halloween costume contests seem to bring out the creative, wacky, whimsical or daring side in many folks each October. Even the least crafty among us may experiment with glue guns, scissors, face paints and other media for masquerade parties.

Regardless of the judging panel choices, the secret to a successful Halloween costume contest (particularly for children) is to create enough prize categories for every participant to be a winner. Costume contest categories need not be serious. In fact, the wackier the prize titles are, the better.

Choose your categories for a costume party.

Here are 30 suggested Halloween costume contest categories. Surely you can come up with several more, as your masquerade party guest list warrants.

Best animal costume

Best baby costume

Best cartoon costume

Best celebrity costume

Best face painting

Best homemade costume

Best princess costume

Best rock star costume

Best sports costume

Best superhero costume

Best vintage costume

Cutest costume

Funniest costume

Goriest costume

Most colorful costume

Most eco-friendly costume

Most girly costume

Most Halloweeny costume

Most manly costume

Most newsworthy costume

Most original costume

Most politically correct

Most technologically advanced costume

Most traditional costume

Prettiest costume

Scariest costume

Sexiest costume

Silliest costume

Ugliest costume

Top prize best of show

Often, the array of get-ups that appear at a Halloween party may spark additional costume party contest category ideas. For example, additional prizes might be awarded for the most blue, furry, glittery, last-minute, realistic, striped, noisy or other costumes.

Plus, as party host or hostess, you might offer similar awards for couple and group costumes.

Pick prizes for your Halloween costume contest.

Prizes or awards can be quite simple for a masquerade party competition. Here are three easy ideas for costume party prizes. Just be sure to have enough prizes for everyone.

Candy treat bags make super prizes, particularly for children. Fill cellophane, plastic or paper sacks with special goodies.

Prize ribbons are perennial favorites for costume contest awards, using either shiny blue ribbon or printed Halloween ribbon. Buy a spool or two of inexpensive craft ribbon in a craft of discount store, and cut the ribbon into short strips. Use a hot-melt glue gun to affix a gold candy coin to one end of each ribbon.

Create and print costume contest award certificates, leaving blanks for categories and winners’ names until after the judging is complete. Use clip-art or gold star stickers to make the award certificates more authentic.


5 Things to Look for when Hiring a Plumber

Hiring a plumber is often a quick decision for many homeowners. When a plumbing problem occurs, most homeowners will grab a local phonebook or search an online directory for the list of available options. Sometimes the decision is an adaquate choice, sometimes it is not. If you have ever paid high plumbing prices for work that later proved to be unsatisfactory and required yet another plumbing call, you know the value in making the best choice the first time.

Knowing some simple things to ask before hiring a plumber can save you money and a big headache later.

1. Pay attention to the way your call or inquiry is responded to. Is your call answered by someone who seems interested in your problem? Are policies, service fees, or other information explained to you at the time of your call? Does the person taking your inquiry ask you questions about the problem or the severity of the issue? Finally, does the person on the call or responding to your online Request For Service seem to want to help you? If you can’t say “yes” to these questions, then you should keep looking.

2. Did your plumber or service technician arrive on time? To some people, this may seem silly. However, if you arrange a window of time for the appointment and your plumber doesn’t arrive, it is within your right as a consumer to keep looking or call another plumber. Now, I don’t mean that if your technician arrives 2 minutes late, you should refuse to let him or her do the work for you. What I do mean, however, if your plumber is supposed to be at your business or residence and they can’t pick up the phone to tell you they are running 30 minutes or more late from another service call, they probably aren’t able to understand complicated plumbing issues well enough to fix your problem anyway. A reputable and customer service oriented plumbing company will contact you or have someone representing the company such as a dispatcher contact to notify you of a problem and allow you to decide how you want to proceed.

3. Does your technician greet you at the door and take precautions to ensure the safety and security of your home and family by wearing proper uniform, company identification such as a company marked vehicle and photo identification? Know who you are letting into your home. Many reputable companies will let you know in their advertising that their employees are background checked, drug tested, licensed, and insured so you know that the plumber entering your home is qualified and safe to have in your home and around your loved ones.

4. Does the plumber seem comfortable answering your questions? Does he or she seem interested in what measures you may have already taken to correct the problem, if any? Does he pay attention to what you are saying? Unless water is pouring from your walls or ceiling, you don’t want a plumber who is going to charge in like a bull without asking you any questions or providing you with any information first. What about written estimates or up front pricing information. If the plumber charges by the hour, what is the hourly rate? How are partial hours determined? Does the rate include parts? If not, what will those costs be? If the plumbing technician quotes you a rate, such as in the case of contractors who charge by the job, not by the hour, ask if that price includes parts and equipment. What happens to flat rate pricing if they run into problems during the job? Knowing this information up front is a sign of a reputable plumber. You may not like the amount, (who likes to spend good money for less than fun things?) but you should know the amount up front with no hidden charges.

5. Lastly, does the plumber make recommendations to you on other possible issues? Does he or she offer you ways to cut costs such as Service Club Memberships, online discounts, or tell you where to look for valuable coupons in order to save you money on your next call? Does he or she let you know how to reach him when he leaves in case of a problem? Many reputable companies will want to put stickers on your water heaters, tag your water supply lines, and/or provide you with magnets or business cards so you can get ahold of them when you need a plumber again. Having this information can be very helpful and can provide you with great peace of mind the next time you need to consider a plumbing professional.

Following these guidelines will ensure that you hire the right plumber for your job. Feel free to shop around if possible. You will quickly see the difference between a bad plumbing company and a bad one.


3 Online Retailers With Payment Plans That Won't Break the Bank

I remember when I was younger, and stores everywhere offered a layaway plan. It made a lot of sense. You pick out what you want, they hold on to it for you (for a minimal fee) and you collect the item when you have paid it off. Honestly, for someone as frugal as I am, that makes a lot of sense. In my opinion, the credit system is flawed in the sense that it appeals so enthusiastically to the need for instant gratification, not to mention adding high monthly interest rates to the mix. Ultimately, every time we swipe that MasterCard, Visa or American Express we end up spending twice what the item is worth by the time we are done paying it off. With layaway, it’s like a $10 charge. Comparing apples to apples, layaway wins.

I understand that not everyone is a saver. Some folks like to budget out for larger expenses over time and make payments. Thankfully, you can now do this with three online merchants that won’t break your bank in high interest charges by offering you flexible payment plans and online layaway.

This website is probably, by far, my favorite. This website has partnered with a large selection of retailers (including Best Buy, the Apple Store, and many more) in which you select your item and distribute your payments over 2 to 10 months. The fee is minimal, shipping, and handling already calculated into your monthly payment. The website synchronizes with your checking account, automatically debiting the payment each month until your item or items are paid in full. When it’s paid, your item ships and you aren’t out 20 percent APR.

Before you scoff at this reference, take a moment to look at the website. Yes, they offer the silly “As Seen on TV” products, but they also offer many more items that aren’t so stupid. If you see something that catches your eye, they give you the flexibility to pay off the item over 2 or 3 months. Put in your debit card information at checkout and your account is set up to be debited until the item is paid in full.

Again, don’t take the same hard nosed mentality as you would with QVC. HSN has some excellent products offering a flexible payment without exorbitant fees and they are worth a look.

In addition to online retailers that provide these services, there are plenty of merchants in your local area that sell furniture, flooring and even appliances on layaway plans or on no interest payment plans (some with no credit check). The key to being a intelligent and thrifty patron is not just avoiding making costly credit purchases, but finding the best item at the lowest price. In many cases, this means saving, but not in all. Do some looking around in your local area and find the solution that is right for you.

More from this Contributor:
My Biggest Money Saving Secrets
How I Live Frugally and Happily
Bad at Budgeting? Learn Where Cut Backs Need to Occur


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