Say Goodbye to Stressors Lurking in Your Home

Clutter

Let’s start with the most obvious stressor: Clutter. A 2010 study found that people with cluttered homes had elevated levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. When your house is full of unnecessary objects, your body becomes overwhelmed with visual stimuli, making it harder to focus. To keep your home clutter-free, start by getting rid of things you don’t need. Then, develop a clutter-clearing strategy to help maintain a minimalistic space where everything has a place.

Dying Houseplants

Is there anything more demoralizing than looking at a dying houseplant all day? In fact, neglected plants are considered to be bad feng shui because they are said to drain energy from a space. There are a number of techniques you can employ to revitalize your plants, including repotting, trimming, fertilizing, and adhering to a strict watering schedule. If a plant is too far gone, however, be willing to call it quits and replace it with a new one.

An Unmade Bed

According to a survey performed by Sleepopolis, people who make their beds every day are more likely to wake up earlier, skip the snooze button, and feel more confident. A made bed can make you happier, yet many of us still can’t bring ourselves to undertake this simple task. Try to incorporate bed-making as part of your daily routine to set the tone for a relaxing night’s sleep and see if it affects your mood.

Disorganized Documents

Pay your bills on a regular schedule and deal with administrative tasks as quickly as possible to avoid letting them develop into stressors. Designate a spot in your home to keep paper documents that need to be dealt with so that they are out of sight until you have time to tackle them.

Dirt

A home full of dust bunnies, smudged mirrors, and dirty countertops isn’t a relaxing place to be. Create a daily cleaning schedule for you and your family to ensure that floors are swept, surfaces are dusted, and grime is scrubbed. If the idea of cleaning every day fills you with dread, see if you can find room in your budget to hire an outside professional to do a weekly or monthly deep-clean of your space.

This timely article written by Savannah Sher for Bob Vila©

There are more ideas for you by clicking the link below.

Source: It’s Time to Oust These 17 Stressors Lurking in Your Home (msn.com)

Australia Day Holiday and Quiz

The Jan. 26 public holiday marks the date the British fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1788 to start a penal colony, viewing the land as unoccupied despite encountering settlements.

While the Australian Day remains contentious, this week’s poll by the market research company Roy Morgan showed nearly two-thirds of Australians say that Jan. 26 should be considered “Australia Day”. The rest say it should be “Invasion Day.”

Australia, a commonwealth of the United Kingdom, is the only continent that is also a country and an island. The country is located in the Pacific Ocean, south of Asia. It is situated entirely in the Southern Hemisphere.

Because of Australia’s location in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are the opposite of those in North America. When it’s summer in the U.S., it’s winter in Australia. Lots of Australians enjoying spending Christmas Day at the beach!

Most of the country’s interior is a vast desert region known as the “Outback.” It is home to many of Australia’s indigenous people, the Aborigine. These native Australians make up only 2% of the current population. They live throughout the continent, but the majority live in the Outback where these hardy people have learned to adapt to the harsh desert conditions.

Two of the country’s most famous landmarks include the Sydney Opera House and Ayer’s Rock, also known as Uluru. Uluru is a natural sandstone monolith (a single, massive stone) that is sacred to Aborigines.

Australia is home to many unique animals not found anywhere else in the world, such as the kangaroo and wallaby – both marsupials – the duck-billed platypus and the koala bear.

Wishing everyone a Happy Australia Day!

Australia Vocabulary Quiz

Students can begin learning about the Land Down Under with this vocabulary sheet. They should use an atlas, the Internet, or a resource book to look up each term and determine how it relates to Australia. 

Take the quiz!

Source: Australia Wordsearch, Crossword Puzzle, and More (thoughtco.com)

Amtrak to reduce train service amid omicron surge

The railroad says it faces staffing challenges as conductors, engineers and other workers are sidelined by infections.

A surge in coronavirus infections among Amtrak employees has created a staffing shortage and forced the passenger railroad to reduce service beginning Monday on the busy Washington-to-Boston corridor.

Although about 97 percent of Amtrak employees are fully vaccinated, several hundred workers — including conductors, engineers and mechanics — have been hit by infections or exposures as caseloads of the highly transmissible omicron variant remain elevated nationwide, railroad officials said.

“These Covid-related absences, when combined with the general skilled workforce shortage Amtrak and other transportation companies are facing, have reduced our ability to consistently deliver our current schedules and impacted the pace of hiring and training efforts,” Amtrak said in a statement.

Service cuts next week in the Northeast Corridor will affect 8 percent of weekly departures. The cutbacks will continue through March 27, Amtrak said.

Amtrak on Tuesday suspended 6 percent of state-supported routes and is cutting back some long-distance trains starting Monday. Service will go from daily to five times a week on the Southwest Chief, California Zephyr, Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Texas Eagle, Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited and City of New Orleans routes. The Silver Meteor between New York and Miami will be suspended, and riders can use the Silver Star or Palmetto routes instead, Amtrak said.

The cutbacks on America’s passenger railroad service are the latest in a growing list of transportation disruptions across the nation amid weather- and omicron-related challenges. Airlines in recent weeks have canceled thousands of flights while public transit agencies are reducing bus operations, citing staff shortages because of the fast-spreading variant.

Amtrak said it is working to fill vacant positions and train new employees to avoid staffing issues resulting from unplanned absences.Advertisement

The company said the service reductions should have “minimal impacts” on ridership as the railroad has experienced a 25 percent drop in demand because of omicron amid its typical winter travel slowdown.

Still, the service cuts have frustrated travelers, many of whom received notices of canceled trains in recent days, leaving them to reschedule departures.

Jim Mathews, president and CEO of the Rail Passengers Association, said these service reductions are “all probably inevitable,” considering the turmoil wreaked by omicron.

Passengers whose trains are canceled are being notified and given the choice to rebook same-day travel alternatives. Those without a same-day option, chiefly on long-distance routes, will be offered travel within one day of the original departure date.

Amtrak last month had warned about potential service reductions as a result of a vaccine mandate. The company, however, suspended the vaccine requirement for its roughly 17,000 workers and averted the termination of about 500 people — and planned service cuts — this month. Railroad employees who aren’t vaccinated are allowed to opt for weekly testing.

By Luz Lazo Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Amtrak cuts service amid omicron surge – The Washington Post

10 Things Men Secretly Want in A Wife

what men secretly want in a wife

So, let’s dive into the things men want in a wife.

1. A kind heart

A kindhearted woman is thoughtful, loving, and caring. When she smiles at him, he has no choice but to smile back.

A woman who radiates warmth from her heart does small things for her partner just because she loves him (Of course, a good man will do the same for her).

This is the type of woman a man wants to marry.

2. Understanding and empathy

Being compassionate, supportive, and encouraging towards your partner is a huge part of building a successful relationship.

Nobody wants a Debbie Downer who won’t support her partner in their endeavors or in times of need.

Life is full of challenges that a couple will face together, particularly a married couple.

He wants a wife who can handle these challenges with him as a team.

3. Ambition 

In addition to supporting and encouraging her partner’s own goals and dreams, she also has her own set of goals and dreams.

An ambitious woman has a vision for her future and chases after it with voracity.

An ambitious woman will be someone you can take on the world with a partner in crime and teammate in life.

4. Consistency

Think of consistency as the opposite of volatility. If she is unpredictable and volatile, it’s difficult to know how she will act on a given day.

This gets old no matter how aesthetically pleasing she is.

Another way to be consistent is to be authentic throughout the entire dating process.

Don’t send your “representative” self for the first few months of dating and drastically change once he’s committed to you.

Being consistent is a valuable virtue that every man wants in a wife.

5. Someone who puts in the effort

Sometimes the romance wears off in a longer term relationships, but you shouldn’t let it! It just takes a little bit of consistent effort to keep things going.

It can be something as simple as planning a surprise outing for the two of you.

Furthermore, a woman who continues to do what she knows her partner was attracted in the beginning shows she cares about keeping them around… definite wifey material.

6. Shared values

Many times our value system comes from our upbringing and includes things that are important to us, what we believe strongly in, ways we treat other, and ways we treat ourselves.

It doesn’t matter how attracted you are to someone or how well you get along — if your values don’t align you will clash in the long-term.

So, similar values equals wife potential, but don’t compromise your own values in the process.

7. Physical attraction

Yes, both men and women need to be physically attracted to their partner to start a relationship. However, attractiveness also plays an important role in holding the relationship together.

I am in no way suggesting a woman has to fit a certain image of beauty in order to be considered wife material.

Every man is attracted to a different type of woman and has his own personal tastes.

8. Someone who’s friendly and social

I enjoy being social and love having my girlfriend by my side during those situations.

We naturally find ourselves together at events or when hanging out with friends.

No man wants to be worried about the attitude his girlfriend or wife is going to give off in a social situation or when meeting his friends or coworkers.

9. A sense of humor

We know how important it is to women for the man in their life to have a good sense of humor, but it’s equally important in the other direction.

If a guy has a great sense of humor, it will be lost on a woman who is too dry or stiff. Furthermore, it could cause tension if he is often joking around and she becomes annoyed due to her seriousness.

It is important for a couple to be able to be playful and joke around with each other. It helps lighten the mood, makes extended periods of time together more fun, and never gets old.

A woman you can share your humor with is what any man wants in a wife and partner.

10. Love and affection

It may not need to be said, but being loving and affectionate symbolizes connection. It brings a warm and loving feeling.

It would be difficult to build a long-term relationship with a woman who shrugs off your arm and always feels separate.

Every man is going to want something a little different in a woman he wants to marry, but I challenge you to find a guy who disagrees with these 10 points.

Article by James Michael Sama for yourtango.com

Photo credit: Getty

Source: 10 Things Men Secretly Want In A Wife | YourTango

5 Quick Accent Reduction Tips That Make All the Difference

See the source image
Accent Reduction Classes that Work – Accents International (lessaccent.com)

Accent Reduction Tip 1- a trick to help you pronounce the voiced and voiceless ‘th’ sounds more easily

Besides holding your tongue out between your teeth long enough, and not flicking it back too quickly, there’s also another tip you need to know.  

As you hold your tongue out  between your top and bottom teeth, you also need to consciously make it flat or wider. This makes it easier to send the air out over your tongue so it sounds like a proper ‘th’ sound.  You may need to just stick your tongue out between your teeth at first without making a sound, and practise making the front of your tongue flat or wide. You could do this in front of a mirror at first to help you get the positioning and feel of it.

Accent Reduction Tip 2 – Using the ‘dark /l/’  sound makes it easier to speak more quickly

The light /l/ – the one up behind the top front teeth, is mostly used at the beginning of words, or when the /l/ has a vowel before and after it, and in some common endings such as ‘ly’. 

The dark /l/ is mostly used when there is a consonant before or after it, and when the /l/ comes at the end of a word.   When you use the dark /l/ in these instances, it makes it easier to get from one sound to the other in a word and to sound more natural.

Accent Reduction Tip 3 – Create a new audio recording in your head

Alfred Tomatis a famous Ear, Nose and Throat doctor said ” What the ear can hear, the voice can reproduce.”

When you want to sound like a native English speaker, or if you want to speak English  more clearly, you need to build a ‘recording’ or auditory image in your brain to refer to when you want to know how a word or sentence needs to be pronounced. You do this by listening, and listening, and listening to a native English speaker or trainer. You need to expose and immerse the auditory centers of your brain to the sound and nuances of the accent or pronunciation you are aiming for.

Most of us can call up in our minds the sound and accent of our parent’s speech patterns, and how they sound. Just like that, you need to make a strong ‘picture’ or recording of how English sounds. This makes it easier and quicker to sound more like a native English speaker.

Accent Reduction Tip 4 – be patient and persistent

Some say they have used my accent reduction course for a couple of weeks and haven’t gained a complete English accent yet. Your mental attitude is important.

Of course, it takes time to acquire a new accent. You need to be patient with yourself and persistent and notice the gains you are making along the way with your practice.  You didn’t learn to speak your Mother Tongue in a matter of weeks.  Work on one or two speech elements at a time, and when you have consolidated them into your everyday speech, then move on to practice something else. Otherwise, nothing becomes automatic. 

Accent Reduction Tip 5- Ideas To Make Your New English Pronunciation Automatic

  • write out a list of sentences that you have to use often at work or socially, and use those to practise
  • write out  dialogues and conversations that you often use at work, maybe with customers or in meetings or on the phone, and practise those. Practise  every day for 2-3 weeks, or until you are happy with how you sound when you listen to yourself saying them in a recording.
  • don’t forget to practise saying your name if it isn’t a common one for the country you live in (the trick here is to say it slower), and the name of your work place or company.
  • take a book, newspaper or magazine and read aloud to yourself every day and focus on saying what you are working on correctly, whenever it comes up in the text.

Source: 5 Quick Accent Reduction Tips That Make All The Difference – speakmoreclearly.com

Note: Use my web site to help with your accent reduction effort: https://tutoringyou.org/

How to Choose the Best Flowers for Your Garden

The key to choosing the best blooms for your garden is to know your site and know your light before you shop. Light conditions range from full sun to partial shade and full shade. 

Selecting the best flowers for your garden will depend on choosing the right plants for the growing conditions and purpose of your flower bed. 

Light

What are the light conditions of the area where you plan to plant your flowers? Plants are labeled with the best light conditions in order to thrive. You will need to purchase plants that match the light conditions of the flower bed. Light conditions are listed on plants as:

  • Full sun: prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
  • Partial shade: can thrive in three to six hours of daily sunshine
  • Shade: does well with less than three hours of sun per day

Soil

You’ll also need to know more about your soil, and may want to test your soil pH levels and amend the soil according to the results.  Learn more in How to Test Soil pH.

Size

You will need to take into consideration the plant’s size when fully mature– both its diameter and height. Many new gardeners get excited and pack in their flower beds with their favorite plants only to see the plants get crowded out when they grow. The label on the plant will list the height and width of the mature plant, along with recommended spacing. 

Best advice is to follow the planting guidelines, even though the bed will look sparse when the bed is first planted. Flowers need space to grow in order to thrive, and good air flow will prevent pest and disease problems.

When to Plant

Garden centers will have plenty of brightly colored flowers well before last frost date in spring. These plants were grown in a temperature-controlled greenhouse environment. Do not plant until the last frost date for your area. Learn more in Frost Date Calendar.

Most summer blooming plants will not survive a late spring frost. If you want early color, select early spring flowers such as pansies and primrose. Spring blooming bulbs typically need to be planted in the fall. However, you can find blooming bulbs to put in your garden in the spring for instant color.

Tip: Choose organic for your garden. Start with good quality soil for a healthy organic garden.

Source: Flower Bed Ideas (homedepot.com)

Volcano Crossword Puzzle

See the source image
indianexpress.com

With the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai volcanic eruption on Jan. 15, volcanoes are in the news. Today’s challenge is a crossword puzzle with a volcano theme.

Continue reviewing volcano vocabulary with word puzzles. Have students fill in the crossword with the volcano-related words using the clues provided.

Let’s get started.

Source: Crossword (tqn.com)

Florida Keys Road Trip Video

The Florida Keys are a string of islands stretching from Key Largo at the tip of the mainland, all the way into the Caribbean at Key West, which is the southernmost point of the 48 contiguous states of USA. The series of islands are connected by the Overseas Highway, which bridges each one to the very tip of Key West. It’s kinda begging for a road trip, isn’t it? Chad Crawford makes the trip on behalf of Visit Florida, taking in some local cuisine and heading out onto, and into, the water that surround the open road on either side.

Source: Visit Florida

By Cedric Pentonville for Travelmag©

Everything Leaving Netflix in February 2022

The days may be short and the nights may be cold — but don’t let yourself get even more down in the dumps by missing something you’ve been planning to watch on Netflix.

As we head into the year’s shortest month, there’s a slew of titles leaving the streaming platform, including several star-studded films. There’s the romantic drama Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Kevin Costner’s Best Picture-winning Dances with Wolves, and one of comedy’s best duos, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, in Step Brothers.

'Edge of Seventeen,' 'Here Comes the Boom,' and 'Step Brothers'
‘Edge of Seventeen,’ ‘Here Comes the Boom,’ and ‘Step Brothers’

Leaving Feb.1

Await Further Instructions

Grown Ups

Leaving Feb. 8

Polaroid

Leaving Feb. 9

Hitler — A Career

Leaving Feb. 19

Good Time

Leaving Feb. 15

Studio 54

Leaving Feb. 16

Drunk Parents

Leaving Feb. 20

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Leaving Feb. 25

No Escape

Leaving Feb. 26

Edge of Seventeen

Leaving Feb. 28

Border Security: America’s Front Line: Season 2

Chocolat

Dances With Wolves

The Darkest Hour

Fool’s Gold

Here Comes the Boom

The Interview

Labyrinth

Law Abiding Citizen

Mars Attacks!

Observe and Report

Rain Man

Sabrina

Sex Drive

Something Borrowed

Soul Surfer

Step Brothers

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Total Recall

We Were Soldiers

Article by Maureen Lee Lenker for Yahoo©

Source: What’s leaving Netflix in February: Edge of Seventeen , Here Comes the Boom , Step Brothers , and more (yahoo.com)

Everything Coming to Netflix in February 2022

Vikings: Valhalla CREDIT: NETFLIX

The first month of 2022 is almost over. That means lots of new movies, TV shows and Netflix Originals are just around the corner. Here’s everything coming to Netflix in February and what to watch.

Some great movies land on Netflix on the 1st of the month, including Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and the Tom Cruise historical drama The Last Samurai. Kids will be excited for the return of Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2.

Two One Piece anime films are also landing on the streaming service next month—One Piece: Episode of Chopper: Bloom in the Water, Miracle Sakura and One Piece: Episode of Alabasta. Really terrific month for One Piece fans!

Coming To Netflix In February:

February TBA

Business Proposal — NETFLIX SERIES

Juvenile Justice — NETFLIX SERIES

Love, Life & Everything in Between — NETFLIX SERIES

One Piece: Episode of Chopper: Bloom in the Water, Miracle Sakura

One Piece: Episode of Alabasta

February 1

My Best Friend Anne Frank — NETFLIX FILM

Gabby’s Dollhouse: Season 4 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Raising Dion: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES

The Addams Family (1991)

Anaconda

Batman Begins

The Book of Eli

The Bourne Ultimatum

Caddyshack

Caddyshack 2

Countdown

The Dark Knight

Despicable Me

Despicable Me 2

The Devil’s Advocate

Donnie Brasco

The Exorcist

The Foreigner

The Hangover

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

The Last Samurai

The Lucky One

The Negotiator

The New Guy

New Year’s Eve

The One

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Guys

Patsy & Loretta

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Warrior

Watchmen

February 2

Dark Desire: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES

MeatEater Season 10 Part 2 — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

The Tinder Swindler — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

February 3

Finding Ola — NETFLIX SERIES

Kid Cosmic: Season 3 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Murderville — NETFLIX SERIES

February 4

Loop Lapeta — NETFLIX FILM

Sweet Magnolias: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES

Through My Window — NETFLIX FILM

February 8

Child of Kamiari Month — NETFLIX ANIME

Love is Blind Japan — NETFLIX SERIES (weekly episodes)

Ms. Pat: Y’all Wanna Hear Something Crazy? — NETFLIX COMEDY

February 9

Catching Killers: Season 2 — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Disenchantment: Part 4 — NETFLIX SERIES

Ideias a Venda — NETFLIX SERIES

Only Jokes Allowed — NETFLIX COMEDY

The Privilege — NETFLIX FILM

February 10

Into the Wind — NETFLIX FILM

St. Vincent

Until Life Do Us Part — NETFLIX SERIES

February 11

Anne+: The Film — NETFLIX FILMsssssssssssssssssssss

Love Tactics — NETFLIX FILM

Bigbug — NETFLIX FILM

Inventing Anna — NETFLIX SERIES

Love and Leashes — NETFLIX FILM

Love Is Blind: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES (weekly episodes)

Tall Girl 2 — NETFLIX FILM

Toy Boy: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES

February 12

Forecasting Love and Weather — NETFLIX SERIES

Twenty Five Twenty One — NETFLIX SERIES

February 14

Devotion, a Story of Love and Desire — NETFLIX SERIES

Fishbowl Wives — NETFLIX SERIES

February 15

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Love is Blind Japan — NETFLIX SERIES (weekly episodes)

Ridley Jones: Season 3 — NETFLIX FAMILY

February 16

Blackhat

jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Triology — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Secrets of Summer — NETFLIX FAMILY

Swap Shop: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES

February 17

Erax — NETFLIX FILM

Fistful of Vengeance — NETFLIX FILM

Forgive Us Our Trespasses — NETFLIX FILM

Heart Shot — NETFLIX FILM

Mo Gilligan: There’s Mo to Life — NETFLIX COMEDY

Young Wallander: Killer’s Shadow — NETFLIX SERIES

February 18

The Cuphead Show! — NETFLIX FAMILY

Downfall: The Case Against Boeing — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Love Is Blind: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES (weekly episodes)

Rabbids Invasion Special: Mission to Mars — NETFLIX FILM

Space Force: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES

Texas Chainsaw Massacre — NETFLIX FILM

February 20

Don’t Kill Me — NETFLIX FILM

February 21

Halloween

February 22

Cat Burglar — NETFLIX SERIES

Love is Blind Japan — NETFLIX SERIES (weekly episodes)

RACE: Bubba Wallace — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

February 23

UFO — NETFLIX FILM

February 24

Karma’s World Music Videos — NETFLIX FAMILY

February 25

Back to 15 — NETFLIX SERIES

Love Is Blind: Season 2 — NETFLIX SERIES (weekly episodes)

Merli. Sapere Aude — NETFLIX SERIES

Restless — NETFLIX FILM

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming — NETFLIX FILM

Vikings: Valhalla — NETFLIX SERIES

February 28

My Wonderful Life — NETFLIX FILM

Two Sentence Horror Stories: Season 3

Written by Erik Kain for Forbes©

Source: Everything Coming To Netflix In February 2022: Movies, TV Shows, Netflix Originals And What To Watch (forbes.com)