Uncategorized


What a Purr- fect time to bring a feline into your home.  June is National Adopt a Cat Month. Rescue leagues nationwide in collaboration with the American Humane Society  will be promoting this annual adoption event in hopes to find 1000′s of cats and kittens their forever home.

Each spring during “kitten season,” thousands of newborn kittens join the millions of cats already in shelters across the country. That means your local shelter has tons of cute, cuddly newborns, in addition to all the mellow, older cats and everything in between. And the shelter staff are ready to help you adopt your very first cat — or to bring home a friend for another beloved cat!

Top 5 Reasons to Adopt a Cat:

• COMPANIONSHIP and GOOD FOR YOU
Cats make wonderful companions. They greet you when you get home. They follow you from room to room. And they cuddle on your lap when you are feeling lonely. Cats will lower your blood pressure and help fight depression.

• GREAT TEACHERS
Cats stay playful, no matter what their age. It’s always a joy to watch a cat play with the simplest of toys – even a string will excite them!

• LOW-MAINTENANCE
Cats can take care of themselves while you are at work, or on a weekend getaway. They never have to be walked, and they bathe themselves.

• INTELLIGENT
Cats are smart and can learn tricks, like “sit” and “high-five,” just like a dog. Many cats can even be taught to fetch!

CHECKLIST FOR ADOPTING A CAT

  1. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two.
  2. Find a cat whose personality compliments yours.
  3. Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption.
  4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home.
  5. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat.
  6. Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives.
  7. Cat-proof your home.
  8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family.
  9. Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan.
  10. If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process.

The Seattle Humane Society  is celebrating Adopt-a-Cat Month throughout June! All month long, adoption fees are waived on cats one year and older.

Visit the fabulous felines in person at the Seattle Humane Society at 13212 SE Eastgate Way in Bellevue, or see them online at Seattlehumane.org.

Our thanks to the Seattle Humane Society, the American Humane Association and the Seattle PI for the photo and tips.

 

When you are kicking out clutter, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul can be your best friends. So can homes for pregnant teens and abused families, homeless shelters, missions, and numerous other charities.

Thanks to Ellen Phillips, ‘Kick the Clutter’ for some of the following ideas about specific donations:

Appliances: If you want to donate a (working) appliance that’s no more than 3 years old, contact Habitat for Humanity. Or check out Excess Access to be matched with a local charity that will come pick up your appliances.

Automobiles: Northwest Center in Seattle accepts cars and other vehicles in a variety of conditions. Note: you must have the title or other release of ownership in order to donate the vehicle.

Books: See if your local library will accept donations. Check with senior centers and assisted-living facilities to see if they accept books. Day care centers might appreciate a gift of children’s books. You can also donate children’s books to BookEnds, an organization that provides them to shelters. schools, and family literacy centers, although you will need to mail them there if you live outside of California.

Cell phones: Donate them to a national organization like Cell Phones for Soldiers or Donate a Phone. Also, local shelters for abused women and children often give them to their clients for emergency use.

Hearing Aids: Donate hearing aids to Hear Now, a nonprofit program directed by the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Eyeglasses: Donate these to the Lion’s ClubThere are containers for donated glasses in local libraries, LensCrafters, Goodwill stores, community offices and other places.

Other Organizations: Find them at Earth 911.

Any other suggestions for good places to donate?

People have walked to the altar dressed in it, protected their garden plants with it, even put it on display in art museums.

Mostly, they like the sound it makes when they pop the “bubbles,” which largely explains the appeal of Bubble Wrap, the stress-reducer disguised as package cushioning that maintains an inexplicable hold on pop culture.

Bubble Wrap was invented by two engineers Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes in Hawthorne, N.J. in 1957. The two were not, however, trying to make a product to be used as packaging material; they were trying to create a textured wallpaper. They sealed two shower curtains together in such a way that it would capture air bubbles which would make the textured appearance for their wallpaper. Unfortunately, their wallpaper idea didn’t catch on.

The next thing they tried was to use it as greenhouse insulation. While Bubble Wrap is somewhat insulating, this idea didn’t pan out popularly either.

It was three years after the initial creation of Bubble Wrap that Frederick W. Bowers, a marketer at Sealed Air, which makes Bubble Wrap, finally came up with the perfect use for their product. On October 5, 1959, IBM announced their new 1401 variable word length computer. Bowers got the idea that Bubble Wrap could be used as a good packaging material to protect the computer while it was being shipped. He then pitched the idea to IBM and demonstrated Bubble Wrap’s protective abilities. His demonstration went over well and IBM began purchasing Bubble Wrap to protect their 1401 and other fragile products they sold and shipped.

Fifty-two years later, Sealed Air has global revenues of more than $4 billion and legions of fans who have come up with “off the wall” uses for Bubble Wrap (including wigs, a mobile home, sleeping bag and flotation device).

Sealed Air makes enough Bubble Wrap each year to wrap the Earth (at the equator) about ten times, and there are more than 250 Facebook pages devoted to Bubble Wrap. There’s even a popular (free!) Bubble Wrap popping app for iPhone users!

You can read more at Today I Found Out and MSN NEWS.

While we’ve never measured the amount, Seamless Moves uses A LOT of Bubble Wrap each year to protect our clients’ items while moving. What do you do with your Bubble Wrap?

MOVING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SCARY!

Whether you haven’t moved in a very long time or you seem to move almost yearly, having a professional on your team makes all the difference. Please let us know how we can help. At Seamless Moves, our answer is always: “Yes!”

Does the thought of scaring up a Halloween costume fill you with FEAR? Here are some fun ideas we found at RealSimple.com for a last-minute costume:

Bottleneck

Grab an empty bottle from the recycling bin. Tie a string around its neck, then loop it around yours. Complain all night about traffic on I-5.


Pumpkin PI

Dress in orange. Cut out a pi symbol from black paper or print one out and tape it to your shirt. Look infinitely more festive!


Iron Chef

Wear a chef’s hat and apron and hold an iron. Bonus points if a friend dresses as your orange-clogged competition:
Mario Batali.


Fork in the Road


Wear black. Using white duct or bandage tape, make a line of dashes (your lane lines) that begins at one ankle and ends at your collar. Fasten a fork along the route.


And here’s one we saw on eBay: Tie a rubber chicken around your neck and wear a blue shirt. Result– wait for it– Chicken Cordon Bleu!

Share with us in the comments: What’s the most creative Halloween costume you’ve seen?

Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the  :-) face in 1963. The State Mutual Life Assurance Company hired Harvey as a freelance artist to create a :-) face for use in improving company morale. From there, the bright and cheerful :-) grew in popularity. Its popularity grew slowly at first. Then, it exploded in the 1970′s. Ultimately, the :-) became wildly popular.

As the years passed, Harvey became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol and the way its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace.  Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we should all devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.  The :-) face knows no politics, no geography and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we.  In 1999, he declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®.

According to the World Smile Day website, a proclamation of this day was made by the U.S. Congress. Now that should put a :-) on your face.

While World Smile Day celebrates the ever popular yellow :-), the intent of  World Smile Day is to do an act of kindness, or help one person to smile.

This Friday, October 5th, why not do both!?

We learned in an earlier post Feb 28, 2012: Junk Mail is Bad…Right? that direct mail does have some value to the community.

It is a green way to shop and is made from a renewable resource; it is critical to the economic well-being of communities, business and charities; and local businesses use direct mail to let their neighbors know they have opened a new store and frequently include coupons as incentives to new customers. We also learned that we can cut back on certain types that don’t interest us by going to DMAchoice.org to limit what we receive.

Now, for you creative sorts who want to support the “Junk Mail” industry here are five fun things you can do with your junk mail, courtesy of Change of Address.org:

  • Paper Mâché – craft projects made from advertising circulars can be fun for the whole family. In addition to providing the paper for your project, you can use them to protect your work surface from glue and paint.
  • Play Store With Sample Credit Cards – kids can use the generic “credit cards” you receive in the mail to play “store.”
  • Make Origami – search online for tutorials for creating everything from cranes to elaborate flowers.
  • Teach Kids to Play Paper Football – fold your junk mail into a paper football (instructions: here) (rules: here) and have tournaments on your kitchen table.
  • Start a Garden – Relatively inexpensive, paper pot makers are easy to find from online retailers and in gardening stores. Starting your plants from seed in recycled paper is a great way to boost your eco-friendly impact while reducing clutter.

What is your best creative tip for re-using junk mail?

photo from www.walkinginhighcotton.net

Just for fun, we looked up some Chicken Trivia in honor of National Chicken Month.

There are more chickens on earth than people, with China leading with 3 BILLION birds! Also, chickens are closely related to the T-Rex dinosaur, though we doubt they will be extinct any time soon.

Amazingly, chickens enjoy watching television and listening to music. Some prefer classic rock, and others like classical music. Who knew?

Did you have any idea that a mother hen will turn her eggs as many as five times an hour and cluck to her unhatched chicks, who will chirp back to her and to one another from within their shells?

You can hardly talk about chickens without mentioning Colonel Harland Sanders. September 9th is his birthday.  After a few failed business ventures, he started his Kentucky Fried Chicken business when he was 65  with just $105!  Laid end-to-end, chickens consumed from KFC worldwide would circle the earth 11 times! Talk about a success story!

Given that National Egg Month is in May, we now have definite proof which came first!

Getting ready to downsize? We know it’s hard to throw away things that mean a lot to you. How about recycling them into new, usable items? Here are a few really cool ideas to save something you care about:


Wondering what you will do with Aunt Mary’s broken down Grand Piano? How about having Beethoven Cabinetry turn it into a beautiful book case?



What about that old-fashioned suitcase that reminds you of traveling to exotic locales? Maybe a new bed for Kitty…from Camille Styles


Speaking of new uses for old suitcases, check out this unique seating idea from REcreate

How about those favorite heels that have seen better days? Before you toss them, try gluing some BLING on the worn heels with instructions from Something TurquoiseVOILA! a new pair of shoes.

Have you ever enjoyed a bottle of wine with loved ones, and then kept the cork as a memento? Are the memories too hard to part with? Try this Bulletin Board idea from High Low/Food & Drink.

Have you ever recycled a well-loved item? Please share in the comments.

It may come as a surprise to you, but Saturday, July 14th was Tape Measure Day. More specifically it was the birthday of the Spring Action Tape Measure.

The picture to the left is the original drawing of the “Spring Action” tape measure submitted by Alvin J. Fellows to the US Patent Office in 1868.

As you know, tape measures have come a long way; there are even talking tape measures. Just turn it on and pull it out to the length of the object or distance being measured, and the distance will be announced within .06 of an inch.

There are a number of electronic tape measures for the Android and iPhone, so you’ll never be caught without one. While there are a number of “APPS” for a tape measure, most likely the familiar spring tape measure will remain a fixture in the tool box.

There’s a lot to be said for accurate measuring and thinking ahead. The old adage “Measure twice and cut once” brings to mind a story a friend shared. While she was helping her Mother move from her home to lovely Retirement Community, her couch was too large so they decided to have a smaller one recovered. They took the measurements of the couch, the room size and even the door to the apartment. When it came time to deliver the beautiful new couch, they found one BIG mistake, they forgot to measure the elevator doors. It would not fit!! Ouch!

Here’s a “Magic Trick for the kids  Pull out the tape measure and fold it in half so that the metal end of the tape measure is lined up to the current year.  Your tape measure should be doubled back on itself.  Since it is 2012, you need to line up the end of the tape with 112. Next, find the year you were born.  The corresponding number on the opposite side of the tape measure is how old you will be on your birthday this year. For example if you were born in 1992 you will be 20 this year.

How about you? Any stories or tape measure tricks to share?

Are we crazy? How are you going to have a party the weekend after you move? Simple! First, have Seamless Moves unpack, organize and put away your belongings and remove all the boxes and packing paper. Then, have Pam McHardy at Square One Events provide food, beverages and fun activities. From light finger food & appetizers to a full buffet or sit-down dinner–they can do it all!

How about some music? Square One offers everything from a pianist to classical guitar, to a DJ and everything in between. Entertainment? They have mimes, magicians and caricaturists. You could even host a murder mystery. I can see it now: “Murder in the [your name here]‘s New Home.”

Yes, you can have a smashing housewarming party just days after you move into your dream home because, as Pam says, “When you want to have fun, start at Square One!” Call Pam at 425-898-9821 to book your special event.


“Move? Are you kidding? I’m planning on staying right here in my home for the rest of my life!”

Sound familiar?

This week we called upon Senior Housing Coordinator Stan McKenzie of A Change is Afoot Senior Housing Consultants, to share some sage advice and tips to help out when our parents or grandparents need to move. Stan says:

“As a senior, it is strange to think of moving from the home you have lived in for eons. Unfortunately, the time comes when a good many of us have outlived the old homestead.  An interesting reality check is how many rooms you really use in the house. Most of us end up using our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and the room where the TV is.

Safety is the primary reason for moving. As we age, the risk of falling or injuring ourselves around the house is real. Push button pendant alarms are great if we are conscious. A lot of home injuries happen when we pitch forward onto our noggin.

Reality checks that get us to think of moving come in different ways:

  • For some, the branch on the backyard lawn that has been there for two years is an indication that although the mind is willing, the body just isn’t;
  • For others it is the day when the housecleaner, yard maintenance, window washers and gutter cleaners all come on the same day;
  • For most, it is a catastrophic event that forces our families to make the decisions for us.

When reason finally out-maneuvers emotion, the first decision is: where to move? I know, you were thinking “get rid of the stuff first”…..not true.  Unless you know where you are going and the size of the place you are moving to, you may be getting rid of too little or too much stuff.

The wisest way to do this move is to start with a Senior Housing Consultant (shameless plug). Yes, they exist, and those who have been in the business for a few years know the senior housing market. Put your wallet away–they won’t charge you. They contract with dozens of communities and are paid by these communities.

Just a few years ago, there were very few choices in senior housing. Now there is a cornucopia of choices. It is much easier to narrow the options if a professional is involved. Also, they know the history of the communities and the potential issues. Experience will give you answers to these kind of questions:  Are the residents truly happy and offered a variety of activities? Is there a high staff turnover? Is the food consistently good? Do they have financial problems? If I don’t like it there, am I locked into a long-term contract? How much upfront money does the community require?”

If you have questions about helping mom and dad move, contact Stan McKenzie -Orthopedic PA-ret, Senior Housing Counselor at A Change is Afoot ~ 425-577-2929.

« Previous PageNext Page »