Category Archives: how to

The Ultimate Guide to Meditation

In meditation it is often advised to clear your mind. If you ever tried that you will know that thinking of nothing is impossible. Thoughts constantly flash through your mind or your mind wanders.

Rather than pulling your mind back to the here and now, let it wander. In fact, take your mind for a stroll with this exercise and find true serenity.

Imagine yourself in a cottage. See a cheerful fire in the fireplace, a rustic dining table with six chairs, a lounge with overstuffed chair, a chandelier casting a golden glow over the room. On the kitchen table there’s a large bowl of salad, while a delicious aroma is coming from the oven.

You decide to go mushroom picking. You open the door of your cottage, close it behind you and pick up a basket that’s left on the porch. You make your way through the front garden, enjoying the sight and scent of wildflowers. You open the gate and close it behind you.

You walk along a meadow, where thousands of yellow buttercups and bluebells bob their little heads in a gentle breeze. You feel the warmth of the sun on your face and the softness of the grass under your feet.

From the meadow you enter a forest. You’re surrounded by tall trees, the sun filtering through the foliage. You hear birds singing and squirrels playing. Butterflies are resting on the undergrowth.

As you walk along, you see a variety of mushrooms. They stand together like miniature umbrellas. Some are brown, some red with white speckles, some an unusual shade of blue. You know exactly which ones to take and which ones to avoid. You carefully place them in your basket.

At the edge of the forest you come across a rock formation. You enter through a narrow opening and find yourself in a cave. An old man is sitting on a bench by a fire. He has long white hair, a white beard and is dressed in brown linen robe. He looks at you and beckons to join him.

You sit next to him. There is no need to talk. When his watery blue eyes meet yours, he can read what’s on your mind. When his wrinkled hand with paper thin skin and gnarled fingers takes yours, he eases your burden.

You get up, leave the cave, cross the forest and the meadow. Back at your cottage you open the gate to the front yard and close it behind you. You open the front door and close it. You’re home. You place the basket of mushrooms in on the kitchen counter and move to the lounge.

You kick off your shoes and lie down on the couch. You’re tired from your walk, tired but happy. You fall asleep with a contented smile on your face.

Three Hair Remedies Guaranteed to Work

Whether through age, an illness, or a medical treatment, losing hair can be a devastating experience. Fortunately, there is hope. Forget hormones (they have been linked to cancer), forget vitamin supplements, and give those products that promise a lot but deliver little a miss. I’ll tell you about three hair remedies that are guaranteed to work. I know they work because I tried them myself.

The magic trio

In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix two tablespoons of castor oil, one tablespoon of aloe Vera, and one vitamin E capsule. Castor oil is rich in Ricinoleic acids, which not only feeds the hair and scalp but prevents premature greying. Aloe Vera will repair your damaged hair cells due to its proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes give hair a boost for faster growth. Vitamin E contains natural antioxidants which will encourage hair to grow while reducing stress on the hair follicles.

Apply the mixture of these three ingredients directly onto your scalp and the length of your hair. Do not brush or comb your hair as the aloe vera gel will make it sticky. Leave the mixture in for at least an hour and then shampoo and condition as usual.

For optimal results, place the mixture in a bowl of hot water. If the mixture is warm your scalp with absorb the oils easier. However, DO NOT MICROWAVE.
Mustard seed oil

An equally effective, but cheaper hair growth remedy is mustard seed oil. The omega 3 fatty acids, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties in the mustard seed oil are what hair needs to grow and stay healthy. If you want to try this remedy, apply a generous amount of the oil all over your scalp and comb the oil through your hair with a large-toothed comb. For medium or long hair it is recommended to pull your hair in a knot or ponytail to prevent stains on your clothes. For maximum effect, the mustard seed oil should stay in your hair for at least six hours. If so preferred you can leave the oil overnight. To prevent stains on your pillow, cover the pillow with a towel. Wash and condition your hair as usual.

Onion juice
For people with a really tight budget, there is onion juice. Onion juice is known to stimulate blood circulation due to its high keratin content, thus promoting hair growth. Simply place two or three large onions in a juicer and apply the juice to your scalp. Leave the juice in place for one or two hours and then shampoo and condition as usual. The only down point with this remedy is that onion has a rather potent smell.

It is recommended that you use your favorite method twice a week for the first three months. Then once a week to keep your hair in tip-top shape.

To further, promote hair growth and limit damage, do not perm or color your hair. Both treatments contain chemicals that will harm your hair. You might also want to avoid blow drying, brushes, and tight-toothed combs. Far better to air dry your hair and use the widest toothed comb that you can find. When you comb, do it gently. Start a the bottom of the hair shaft and gradually work your way up.

if you find it difficult to comb through your hair, apply a tiny amount of Argan oil. This oil is non-greasy and can be applied on wet or dry hair.

Keep in mind that with neither of these remedies you will experience a difference overnight. You need to be patient, but after two or three months you will definitely see and feel a difference.


Tough Interview Questions and How To Answer Them

As if interviews aren’t stressful enough, interviewers like to throw in some tough questions to get a glimpse into the candidate’s character.  Sometimes these questions seem quite innocent, but your answer could make or break your chance of getting the job.  Let’s have a look at though interview questions and how to answer them.

Tell me a little about yourself

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?  But this question is a minefield.  Depending on your answers the interviewer will pick up if you are merely confident or totally blasé.  If you have a career plan or prefer to fly by the seat of your pants.  While it’s acceptable if not preferable to be confident, try not to stick too many feathers in your own hat.  And while you don’t have to have your future mapped out, it is recommended to have some idea of where you’re going and how to get there.

Why do you think you are right for this job?

Whatever you do, don’t say that you are a hard worker, that you like the responsibility that comes with the job or anything that refers to your character.  Instead, focus on the company.  The interviewer has heard these kinds of clichés a hundred times.  Instead of focussing on yourself, focus on the company.  Show a belief in their products or services.  Be enthusiastic about that.

Why did you leave your previous job?

Another minefield.  If you quit because you were bored with your job or didn’t like your boss, you can’t say that.  You can never speak ill of a past employer.  Neither can you say that you were bored, because the new company might wonder if you will get bored with them.  If you were fired it’s best to be honest without going into detail.  The company you’re applying with is going to find out anyway when you need to supply references.  You could word it differently though and say that you were let go because you and your boss didn’t see eye to eye. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question is will reveal more than you think.  If you answer right away: you have given your future a lot of thought and know exactly what you want.  You are ambitious and will use any means to get to an end.  If you answer after a long pause: you haven’t given your future any thought at all.  You are happy with your life as it is, and will take your future one step at a time. 

What are your weaknesses?

Does anyone really want to reveal their weaknesses?  Of course not.  Whichever weakness you admit to, don’t say that you are a perfectionist, too organized, can’t work with people who don’t live up to their full potential, or anything else that will make you look perfect.  You are not perfect, nobody is, so stop trying to look like you are.  A good answer might be, that you are more of a leader than a follower and that your ideas are not always welcomed by management.  Companies like leaders and like new ideas.  They might not always like your ideas, but they like someone with initiative.

What are your salary expectations?

This may seem like a thought question.  After all, set your salary too low and you might be underselling yourself.  Set your salary too high and it may cost you the job.  The answer to this particular problem is simple, name a salary range.  If for instance, you want to earn $50,000, you could say that you would like to earn between $48,000 and $58,000.  Chances are, in such a range they will offer you $54,000. 

The best advice anyone can give you before going to an interview, is to be yourself.  While it’s a good idea to be prepared and research the matter of tough interview questions and how to answer them, don’t memorize the answers.  Interviewers go online too and know what’s out there.  They can spot a copycat a mile away.  Read the questions and answers and then make them your own. 

It’s alright to stumble over an answer or having to take a minute before replying.  Being a smooth talker doesn’t always work in your favor.  An interviewer has seen and heard it all and will enjoy your honesty.

Are you afraid of a spider?

I nearly suffered a heart attack this morning

There I was, checking updates on a popular social media site on my phone. Alex shared a little something from her garden, Grace posted a political comment, Noreen showed a beautiful cat moment. I casually scrolled down when suddenly … EEEIH !!! (loud scream) there was a picture, posted by Lisa B, of an ugly spider (is there such a thing as a beautiful spider?).

My phone went flying, literally. I got such a fright of seeing this ugly monster and was so disgusted by it, that I threw the phone away from me as far as I could. Fortunately, it went sailing in the direction of the sofa where it landed with a soft thud. And I wondered … why do people do this? The majority of folks are afraid of spiders, so why post pictures of them?

Anyway, along with the picture, Lisa B. posted the question if anybody knew what kind of spider this was. And I thought … WHO CARES? Whether it’s a little spider or a big spider, I hate them, I hate them all. Whether I see a real one or just a picture, my heart skips one or several beats.

I do realize that spiders play an important role in nature, and if I see one outside I wouldn’t harm it in any way, but if a spider dares to set one or all of its eight legs in my house … it’s toast.

As such, in my opinion, there are only two ways to deal with a spider … squash it, or suck it up with a vacuum cleaner. Not that I perform either of these options myself. When I see a spider, I scream, run away, and let someone else take care of the monster.

Some might say that there is another option … treating the spider to an anti-bug spray. All I can say about that is … it doesn’t work. Bug spray might work on ants and other little critters, but spiders … they just pretend to be dead.

Many years ago I came across a spider on the kitchen floor. Since I was home alone I realized I had to do something before the spider took off to a place where we’d never find it. So after I had recovered from the initial shock, I grabbed a can of bug repellent and sprayed so much on the spider I nearly gassed myself.

The spider lay there, curled up in a ball. Now all I had to do was get the dustpan and a brush, sweep up the body and get rid of it. Could I do that? No, I couldn’t. I tried, I honestly tried but I couldn’t bring myself to brushing op the black ball.

And then I got an idea … I would vacuum it up. With a vacuum I wouldn’t have to go near the spider, I could use the long metal hose and do the deed from a safe distance.

Off I went to get the vacuum cleaner, plugged in it, and dragged the machine into the kitchen. Much to my surprise to spider was gone. The bloody thing had bided its time for me to leave the room, unfolded its legs, and ran off.

For days I looked for the spider, but it seemed to have disappeared. As such, I can only assume that it went outside for some fresh air. Which was fine by me. Outside is where spiders belong.

Which also leaves me wondering about their Creator. If He can create animals so cute and adorable like kittens, puppies, and bunnies, why make spiders so frightening? A sense of humor perhaps?



How to get blood out of a carpet

These tips might come in handy one day

Moving into a new home always holds a bit of a risk. You might like the house or condo and neighborhood, but what about the neighbors. Most buyers don’t meet their prospective neighbors and even if they do, they don’t know anything about them.

When I moved into my condo, we had very nice neighbors, but soon after we moved in, they moved out. Our new neighbors were a young couple with a new baby and a large dog. If the baby wasn’t crying, the dog was barking.

We heaved a sigh of relief when the young couple moved out, but the new neighbors who moved in were even worse. Not only did they have two kids of their own, but the women also looked after several other kids, one of them a baby.

All day long I heard yelling, slamming doors as the kids ran in and out of the unit, and the baby crying. Come nightfall the kids left and adults arrived. Night after night there was a party with the men and women making as much noise as possible.

Judging by his letters, my brother is in an even worse position. He lives in the house we grew up in and after our parents passed away he furnished it to his own taste. He didn’t have problems with his neighbors as he’d known them all his life. But one by one, those neighbors moved on, either to a smaller house, an apartment, a retirement home, or their forever home in the sky.

My brother got new neighbors, first to the left, then to the right of his house. Immediately after purchasing, the new neighbors started renovating, which meant hours of drilling, hacking, and hammering. It was enough to drive anyone crazy. When the house on the left was finally finished, the owners of the house to the right started renovating. More drilling, hacking, and hammering.

When that house was finished, my brother thought his frayed nerves would finally get a rest, but he was wrong. Now the neighbors invited their friends, held barbeque parties, played loud music, and the more alcohol they consumed the louder they became.

My brother had enough. He was marching over there to give them a piece of his mind. Knowing that the man of the house on the right had about 100 lbs on him and with tattoos on his muscular arms, brother dear wasn’t going over there unarmed. He grabbed a pitchfork and went on his merry way.

In his letter, he asked me how to get blood out of a carpet. Good Lord, what had he done now? He wouldn’t have … he couldn’t have … no, certainly not.

As it turned out, the problems with the noisy neighbors was settled amicably. The blood on the carpet was my brother’s. He had injured himself and who knows what happened but blood had squirted onto the carpet. Now if my brother had a computer he could have looked up how to get that blood out of the carpet, but he is old school and wants nothing to do with computers.

So I did a little research and found that there are several ways to remove blood stains.

If the blood is fresh, take a clean damp cloth and remove most of the blood by dabbing the stain. Never rub. Next, spray the stain with cold water and dab with a dry cloth. Repeat as many times as necessary.

If the blood has dried, mix cold water with a little dishwashing detergent and apply the mixture to the stain. Let it soak for a few minutes and then gently rub the stain with an old toothbrush.

Another method to tackle the stain is to add kitchen salt to cold water until it forms a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it rest. Next, take a clean towel and blot the stain dry.

You can also treat the stain with water mixed with two tablespoons of ammonia or hydrogen peroxide, but before you treat the stain test these chemicals in a non-conspicuous area. With chemicals this toxic you never know what damage they might do. Also, make sure that small children and pets are kept away from the room.

The last thing you want is a clean carpet, but a trip to the emergency room or the vet.