Kyley Schmidt graduated with a degree in Textile Technology with a design concentration from the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. She entered the Peace Corps and was sent to the island of Madagascar. She resides in a village where these lambas are produced. In the spring of 2003, she emailed three people including me about helping her develop a market for these lambas in order to improve living conditions in this village where $25 will feed a family of four for a month. I was the one who contacted her back and the rest has been a result of her concern for the people and my interest in being involved. Damascus Road Productions handles the sale of these items at this point and could serve as the wholesale distributor for the world.

What is the story behind these lambas?

First, the word lamba in the native language simply means rectangular piece of cloth. Madagascar is a unique island much like the Galapagos Islands because about 80% of the plants and animals on this island are found only here, nowhere else in the world. The lambas are made from a native natural silk the type of which is only grown on the island of Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa.

At this time, Damascus Road Productions has entered a marketing program with the village in Madagascar, Anjoman'Ankona where Kyley works, to sell their lambas world-wide. The village is now a coop and receives payment for the lambas through Damascus Road Productions. The money they receive is being used to improve their lives in many ways.

The villagers, mostly the women, gather the cocoons from the tapia trees and boil them to remove the silk. Then they spin the silk into yarn. The weavers in Kyley's village buy cocoons of the Borocera silkworm from a neighboring town about 30 miles away in Madagascar's Central Highlands. The Borocera silkworm, known locally as Landibe ("Big silk worm") grows only in Madagascar in the island's native forests of tapia trees.

The weavers boil the raw cocoons in soapy water for a morning. Then they put them in an insulated bag and pour small amounts of boiling water intermittently over them for a week which loosens up the fibers and turns it into a fibrous mass.

Then the yarn is dyed using local plants, roots, dirt or whatever is available.Here a weaver is using passion fruit leaves to produce a green color. The leaves are boiled with the yarn.

The weavers use about 15 types of plants and clays to give them their colors. Bark of the nato tree gives the deep red. Black rice paddy clay mixed with soot or mulberry seeds gives black thread. Curry and onion give yellow. Passion fruit leaves and local green leafy vegetable leaves give green color. Cactus roots produce a pink. The weavers use eucalyptus leaves and salt as a fixative. In general they pound the raw material, boil water with the pulp, then add the thread boiling repeatedly according to how dark they would like the color.

All the thread is hand-spun on drop spindles because the thread is too delicate to spin by machine. Spinning thread is the most labor-intensive part of the process, and it takes one woman a week to spin the thread for a big lamba. Those pods in the back are shells of beans, which is one food they farm and eat a lot.

The simple hand loom the weavers use is shown here. Usually there are one or two looms per weaving family. They insert small sticks into the warp to hold up the yarns when weaving patterns into the fabric. The bamboo stick across the width close to the weaver is to maintain an even width throughout the weaving of the scar or lamba. The weaver pushes down the yarn to perform the shedding mechanism. They thread the loom so every other thread lifts forming a simple basket weave.

So what is the situation with the village and the production of these lambas?

Some women in the capital are starting to use the silk in interior decoration and accessories. Pillows, handbags, bedspreads, tapestry, table lays, throws. The cloth often uses the raised mulberry silk (Bombyx mori) along with the wild Malagasy silk (Borocera madagasicarensis) used in the traditional cloth.

Modern Malagasy silk producers often have a hard time finding foreign markets because they don't stress or understand the importance of the fabric- its history, its unique look and texture, and the rarity of this wild silk AND bulk buyers often don't care as much about this but care about general look and price only. Also shipping is expensive and raises the price of the item. The problem is the price the buyers are willing to pay is not high enough to make it worth the producers' work. The fabric is hand made- the thread hand spun, the fabric woven on the most simple hand looms, and it takes a long time. But the final product is unique, natural, culturally interesting, and extremely classy.


Switching from Prepackaged Commercial Software to Bespoke Software

Our business has been going along for years using prepackaged software to run it. We are a niche operation with very specific computing needs, but we have been able to adapt software for our needs up until we were planning an expansion to our production operation. That is when we needed to look for bespoke software development in Preston. There was no commercial or industrial application that could suit our needs to make our production flow work how we needed it to work.It is not too hard to understand once you see how the system works. You might even be doing some of these things in your own business. What we did was do an audit of the man hours involved in production from sourcing raw materials to getting the products to the end user consumers. What we found was that our adaptation of standard prepackaged software was costing us a whole lot of time. We had to do a lot of manual entry or transfer of information from one platform to the next, or we needed to constantly audit automated transfers of information to ensure accuracy. This cost a lot in paid worker hours. We needed to automate using a custom software made just for us that would help cut out all those extra hours of work in order to maintain our viability as a business.You might be surprised to find how saving a few minutes here or there where people are not involved in handling production can save you millions in expenses over time. It is tough enough to maintain profitability in the markets nowadays, so getting an edge wherever you can is a must. We were happy to save the wasted man hours and redirect employee efforts to other areas of our business. The company that completed our bespoke software development in Preston helped save us a fortune.

I Am Living South of Melbourne

I got here about fifteen days ago and moved in with this guy I have known for several years. He and I were both hired straight out of college for very similar jobs at an insurance company in New South Wales. About three weeks ago he called me up and told me his boss was desperate for someone with my skill set, in computers as they relate to the insurance company's business. At any rate I love it here so far, aside from the fact that I had to shop for the best tyre price in Dandenong this morning. Of course there is not any such thing as a tyre price that is not going to be a huge bite out of your paycheck. The best that I could find still added up to a bit more than three hundred and forty dollars plus change. I could have delayed on a couple of the tyres perhaps, but two of them were really bad and really not safe. I am driving a lot in this job really, because I am working in multiple locations through the width and length of Victoria.The best thing about this is the surfing. I have been away from the ocean for a couple of years, my last job was in Canberra working as a contractor for the government. Of course the contract was about to run out and it was not going to be renewed, so this came along at a really great time for me. I got my surf board out of my Mom's basement and took it along with me. My friend is letting me take the extra room at his apartment. In fact I am pretty sure that he wanted to get a job for me because he needed a roommate who would not do him like the last one did.

We Had a Pretty Great Vacation

At first we all thought the idea was pretty lame, but it did not turn out to be that bad of a thing in all honesty. It is a thing that I would have tried to ditch except for the fact that it was a personal development retreats in Bali and I really love going to Bali. I took along my surf board, which is completely useless here in Singapore and which I have not used since I left Australia about seven months ago. I got really lucky and the place was about five minutes away from a really great break. I had not ever heard of the place, but before I left I went on the web and found out what the local surfers were saying. In fact there was a bunch of Australians living on the beach there. They were living like vagabonds and some of them were from Woolongong just like I am. At any rate I did all of the surfing that I could and that was more than enough.Obviously when you have surfed for any length of time you realize that there is a good deal of danger in it. There is a small chance of meeting up with a bull shark or some other nasty sort of fish, but the big thing is that a big wave weighs as much as a freight train. When it comes down on top of you, there is going to be a price to pay. That really happened to me. I was paying attention, but this huge wave came out of nowhere and it clobbered me. Then it held me under the water long enough to frighten me. After that I was ready to go back to the personal development thing, plus the fin on my board did not come out of it in one piece.

Gorgeous Filter to Fit Our Theme Wedding

The Snapchat wedding geofilter turned out to be one of the best things about our wedding. I am a doctoral candidate in American literature, so it goes without saying that I wanted to create a theme for our reception that mirrored my interests. In my case, this meant F. Scott Fitzgerald. I'm writing my dissertation on his works, specifically The Great Gatsby, and thought I could somehow incorporate that them into our wedding. My husband was definitely up for the challenge, and it was definitely a challenge considering we need to get everyone attending the function to go along with it.

Getting a group of people to dress as flappers and debonair dudes in tuxedos proved daunting and very costly. We had to let some of the older guests take a pass because they didn't want to wear clothing they didn't feel was appropriate for their age. Fair enough, but our younger friends eagerly rose to the challenge and they all looked great. I talked with the wedding photographer about how we should capture the moment and he talked about using some sort of photography filter that you can use online when sending images. That sounded great to me.

I couldn't believe I actually found a Snapchat filter that worked for our theme. It's pretty neat in that any picture sent with the filter shows up with a 1920s style gold frame and you can even have your names on the picture as well in gilt lettering. They look fantastic, so much so that I have to believe that even F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda would appreciate the effort and enjoy the look of the photo filter if they were alive today and somehow miraculously attended our wedding. It's amazing what they can do with photography filters these days!

She Needed Basic Hygiene Help

When my friend's mother was sent home from the hospital, we knew that there was not much that could be done for her other than to make her feel comfortable. She was not ready for hospice or anything like that, but we knew that her recovery period was going to be an extended one because of all her injuries from a car accident. She had gone to a rehab center first, then back to the hospital for a minor surgery, then she was sent home. My friend had already done a search for Florida home care services because he knew that taking care of his mom was going to involve a lot more than what he could provide himself.I knew he would do nearly anything for her, but helping her bathe and brush her teeth were not on the list that he could handle. It was more of a matter of respect toward his mother, and she consented to have a home care worker come in several times a week to help her with her hygiene needs. She told him that she could take care of her teeth if he gave her the supplies, but bathing was going to be a nightmare for a while.Thankfully, there is a company right here in town that does basic things like bathing, but they do more complex things like physical therapy as well. Since that is definitely in her future, he decided to give them a try. The ultimate decision would be his mom's, depending on whether she felt comfortable or not with the person that was sent to help her. She told him that she could not be more pleased after the first visit, and she has been getting that help for several weeks now. It is good seeing the light come back in her eyes since she is healing up. There is still a long road to go down, but it is looking a lot brighter now.

We Will Always Use Their Services

I was not sure what I was going to do when my boss asked me to help him with a PowerPoint slideshow. I am really good with a lot of things, but I had never put together a slideshow like that before. I knew that it would be okay to mess around with it if it was just for an in house presentation, but this was to try and win a contract from a competitor. Because it was so important, I went online to see if there were any local companies that offer presentation services.I explained to my boss that I could probably whip something together, but that it would also look very amateurish. I also explained that it was worth it to have a professional company that does this every day handle it for us, and he agreed. This was just too important to leave any of it to chance. I had found a local company that has a long list of clients that nearly everyone would recognize, and that is the reason my boss decided to go with them. It was a huge relief for me because I knew that we actually stood a chance of getting the contract with someone else handling it. I was the one who contacted them, and they were very prompt in getting back to me. I was able to give them all the information they needed, and I also answered several questions that they had for me as well. It did not take them long to send us the presentation that they had come up with, and I was very happy with how it looked. My boss approved it right away, and that presentation is a large reason on why we were awarded a contract rather than our competitor. We will always use PowerPoint Design 24/7 for all of our presentation needs from this point forward.

Things You Should Watch out for when Feeding Your Dog

Doggy parents are much more interested in making their canines members of the family, and this includes sharing your food with them. You have probably heard about not giving your dog table scraps, and that is good advice. Why give your dog the leftovers you do not consider good enough to eat? Wolves have the digestive tracts to eat bones, your domesticated dog does not. Even though he may eat them every day, it is a risk. I learned a lot about dog nutrition and food safety, but I wondered, can dogs eat pickles safely? I was not sure, so I researched it.The problem is not in the cucumbers as they seem to be okay for dogs to consume in small quantities. I say small because vegetables are not a primary food source for dogs. They need meat protein. Oh, and if you look at a lot of dog food ingredients, you will sea that plant proteins make up a big portion of many so-called premium dog food brands. That takes us down another rabbit hole of pet nutrition that canned and dry dog foods, really any commercially prepared dog food, is a compromise. It is like you eating canned, bagged and boxed food that is heavily processed for every meal because it is convenient to do so. Technically you or your dog may get the needed nutrients, but it comes at a cost. For example, kibble is heavily preserved so it will not rot in the bag. It may be preserved with tocopherols or synthetic preservatives. You have to look on the label.The ideal food plan for your pet would be to prepare fresh and easy to digest meals every day. The compromise is to feed commercially prepared dog foods. We do that and then add the snacks on top of the food we feed them. Pickles are okay in small quantities. They should be sweet and not ones that are spiced with onions or garlic. Plus, and this is super important, keep on the lookout for xylitol in any human food or other product you share with your dog. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. A tiny bit, such as found in one stick of some sugarless gums or some peanut butters, causes a large insulin release that lowers your dog's blood glucose to the point of unconsciousness and even death. I'm guessing that the dog's body thinks it is a massive amount of regular sugars and then releases large amounts of insulin. This causes severe hypoglycemia which causes death.

Finding the Right Collection Agency

I have had my own business for about five years now. One of the major obstacles I have is extending credit to my customers. I guess you could say that I'm too kind hearted. Unfortunately, some of these customers have neglected to pay my company what they owe which has put a financial hardship on me. I have tried my best to collect this outstanding debt to no avail. This is an urgent problem that needs to be resolved relatively soon. It seems that the only choice I have is to recruit the help of a collection agency.

I feel kind of guilty for deciding to go this route as I know that a lot of my customers are also having financial difficulties. But I have to look out for the future of my business. Since I don't know anything about securing this type of service I started to do some research on the internet. I found one particular company that seemed to have a proven track record of collecting bad debt. The one aspect that appealed to me was that there was no fee unless they collected past due money on an account. I think this is only fair for everybody concerned. After thinking this over for a little while I decided to hire this company and see what they could do to help me.

Within weeks of working with this collection agency, I noticed a considerable difference in the amount of bad debt from customers that was being collected. Needless to say, I was more than pleased. They were working diligently and became very successful in collecting the debt. They were doing a better job in a short time than I've done in the past year. I think this is a relationship that I am going to continue with this company for years to come.

The Tree Was Too Dangerous to Remain

My husband and I loved all the trees when we moved to our home about six years ago. It was actually one of the reasons we bought it, because it felt like the best of both worlds. We were right in the city, but all the trees on our property definitely gave it a country feel. One of the hardest decisions we had to make was contacting a company that does tree removal in Long Island just a few months after we moved in. My favorite tree was a large Maple right in the front yard. When we bought the house, we were more concerned about the house than the property, so we paid more attention to the house. If we would have paid more attention to the trees on the property, we would have seen that the large Maple was diseased. It was hard to tell just from looking at it from a distance, but getting up close to it made it very obvious. I had started to plant some flowers in the yard, close to the tree, when I noticed that the bark looked different than the other Maples we have.When I showed my husband, he knew instantly that upon closer inspection the tree was definitely dying. We called a tree removal company to come out and take a look. I was hopeful that we would be able to save it, but my husband grew up on a farm and recognized that the tree was a lost cause. The tree service that came out agreed with him, and we were given a quote on them taking it down. It was reasonable, so we went ahead and scheduled it. It was very hard watching my favorite tree come down, but having a diseased tree is just too dangerous, especially with how close it was to the house.

Tell Me This is Not Weird

I was really surprised the other day, me and some other guys were hanging out in the library between classes. I was studying because that is what I do in the library, but this guy I know was just cruising the web looking for different stuff. At any rate he laughed out loud and showed me this stuff that was used as bleaching cream for underarms. Why you would do this eludes me completely, but there was more to it than that. In fact they called this entire concept intimate bleaching and it was used in all of the places where you might not be able to look if you saw a guy walking down the street. Actually guy would not have some of the places that this stuff is used on. It is used for the vagina and the anus as well, which really creeps me out to be totally honest. I do not know why you would need to bleach your butthole at all. That just seems really bizarre to me.I was not really interested in this stuff beyond that, but that other guy began to obsess on the subject. It is like Donald Trump and his weird fixation with telling lies that serve no purpose, although it is a lot scarier when you think the guy with the nuclear codes might not really have a firm grip on reality. This is just strange in a way that makes you do a double take. For one thing I do not think I ever saw a girl pay much attention to that part of my anatomy. If you looked too closely you definitely might see something that you do not want to see. Of course I am interested in vaginas, but I never looked at one and thought that it needed to be bleached.

Perfect for Taking Baby About

When my wife suggested we look for the best umbrella stroller we could find for our young child, I thought she was talking about something to do with actual umbrellas. Why would you need a stroller for umbrellas? What can I say? I am a guy. After she stopped laughing she said they are a stroller that you can fold up when you are done using it. They are lightweight and perfect for traveling, which is important if you are going to go to the park with your kid and walk around on the trails. It's easy to get into the car as well.

The problem was sorting through the mountains of strollers available on the market. When I say there are many strollers to choose from, I am not joking. There must be thousands. We were not as concerned about things such as the color as we were about safety and durability. This is our first child and we are planning on having at least two more. In my money conscious mind, that meant picking out a stroller that could survive all three children. I was not optimistic about finding such a durable product as most stuff breaks easily.

We looked online and did a fair amount of research. We found a site that provided plenty of helpful information about a number of strollers as well as helpful links to online reviews from people who actually purchased and used them. Using the site helped us narrow down our options very quickly. You have to be careful about online reviews, of course, but the ones we found seemed helpful and true and in no time at all we had a stroller. I was impressed at how durable it seemed and it was easy to fold and unfold it quite quickly. We're happy with our purchase.

Music is Very Important to Me

I did a search for Telecharger mp3 because I wanted to get a better music collection. I have been listening to music since my mom found out she was pregnant with me, which goes to show how important it was in our family. My dad was in a local band for years, and my mom is still on the worship team at church, so I had a lot of musical influence throughout my life. One thing I have learned is to not pigeonhole myself into just one musical genre. The band that my dad sang with would do cover songs from artists who sang country, jazz, rock, blues, and everything else, and I learned to appreciate all of them.One thing that I listen to that my parents did not is Indian music. I love the tempo and beat, and I speak just enough to understand most of the lyrics too. Listening to Indian music is actually quite helpful for me in learning even more about the Indian language. That is why I wanted to find a site where I could download not only the US music that I love so much but the Indian music that I share an equal passion for.When I found oMP3x, I knew that it was the site for me. I can get great songs from the likes of Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry, but I can also download songs from amazing artists like Vishal Bhardwaj, Pritam, and Santhosh Narayanan. Their music is just so mesmerizing, and even my mom will start humming when she hears me playing one of them. That is what good music does, even when someone like my mom cannot understand the language of the lyrics, because the language for music itself is universal. I am so glad that my parents raised me to appreciate music this way.

Something Needed to Change for the Better

When I dated my husband after we first met, we both liked to party. But he sort of hid from me just how much he liked to party. It was not until after we were married that I realized the extent of it, but it took about 5 years for it to really sink in. Finally, I realized that I needed to look into one of the rehabilitation centers in South Florida to see what they could offer my husband in the way of some serious help. I figured that I could check it all out, and then sit down and have a talk with him one night about it.

I really love the man that I am married to. But I really do not appreciate what he puts me and our children through with his drinking. Like I said, it took about 5 years to really figure out how bad the situation was. By then, we already had two children. He was not as out of control then when our children were babies as he is now. Now that the kids are both in elementary school, it seems like he thinks that he doesn't have to be as good as he was once before. So, he has been drinking more and more. My biggest problems with this are that he is not sober at times when he needs to be during emergencies. One of our sons fell out of a tree and broke his arm, but my husband was useless because he was drunk. Separately, he is very moody and sometimes angry around the kids now.

I did a lot of reading to learn how to approach him about the situation. I laid out everything that I was doing to say to him ahead of time so that I could make sure not to miss anything during the talk. I told him that I was leaving with the kids if he did not get help. I pointed out that there is a rehab center nearby and he has agreed to go.

Concrete Slab Force Estimation Software Can Keep Your New Buildings Standing on Unstable Ground

I am a planner for a construction company that builds big projects such as local shopping centers. In our region a builder began construction on newly excavated land that was once just a large hillside covered with trees. The hill was flattened on top and temporary roads were built to give access to construction equipment and materials. Shortly after, an anchor store opened. Then it closed when the slab began to crack and there was fear of building collapse. We use CSI Safe 2016 to prevent such things from happening.The hills around here are filled with natural springs that can be a real problem when you are planning on building. We build buildings on top of concrete slabs that are huge. One building may be the size of several football fields. That is a lot of concrete, and it is a lot of potential for cracking and subsidence problems if you do not do it right. Speaking of subsidence, the entire area is undermined, and you need to take that into account as well. Using the CSI Safe 2016 software on all of our large slab building projects has been beneficial to us. We have not had any structural problems like the one builder had where the retail anchor store at the new location had to return to the mall that was rundown and going out of business.I cannot even imagine the litigation the builder had to endure because of incorrectly calculating the forces that the concrete slab of the shopping center was going to be subjected to. Some people said they built on the land too fast after it was excavated. That was not the problem. I think it was the springs and instability of the area that caused it. Using the CSI Safe 2016 probably would have revealed the stresses to allow the builder to compensate.

A Party Bus for the Prom

Prom is a wonderful time of year. Everyone is excited about the dress/tux they will wear, who their date will be and even where they are going to dinner. Often times Prom goers think about renting a limo but what if you rented prom party bus Toronto Limo then you can start the party early and invite all of your friends along for the ride. Not only is it the easy and convenient way to show up to prom in style it's also the safest option. While prom time of year is often exciting it's also a time of the year when many accidents happen.The prom Party Bus is well equipped to handle all of your party needs from state of the art sound systems to the best light show you can imagine with comfortable lounge seating for your entire party. Your Prom Party Bus can pick you up right at your front door and then pick up all your friends from their homes as well. Then you can be off to dinner, a nice drive around town and then to the prom itself. You'll be arriving in style and living it up in the lap of luxury.Instead of renting a limo for a few hours you can have multiple couples pitch in and rent a Prom Party Bus for the evening which will cut down on costs for all of you and you will have a blast partying the entire night away. You'll also have access to refreshments and snacks on board for the trip. Prom Party Busses come in various sizes to fit your party needs and each Party Bus is driven by a professional chauffeur using the latest in GPS technology to make sure you get where you are going on time and in a safe manner.

How Safe Are the Supplements You See on the Internet?

I got to thinking about this the other day after I heard the news about that basketball player who is laying unconscious in a Las Vegas hospital. Of course he was supposedly taking some herbal viagra, but he was also allegedly using cocaine. It is possible that the one thing had nothing to do with the event. How safe are the supplements you see on the Internet? In fact there are a wide array of things you can buy on the web for this one purpose, there is Prosolution for example. I have not personally used that, but I knew a guy who did and he claimed that it worked. They have vimax in Australia, and a lot of other things which are supposed to work pretty much the same as Viagra or Cialis does. They have all sorts of herbal viagra, all of it has a different composition and there is not much way to figure out what is in any of it. Then they have this stuff called Jamaican black stone. It is made out of tree resin and some other stuff, but it looks like it came out of the back end of a large rodent or some other small animal. You rub this stuff on the penis and it is supposed to prevent it from going off prematurely. A friend of mine went to Jamaica on vacation and he sent me and some other guys a sample as a joke. I never actually experimented to see if it worked. Another guy I know did use it just to see, but of course the woman he was with would not let him near her until he had washed the stuff off of him. It was not like he had a good argument to use for not washing it off.

Working out of a Virtual Office

It is a really nice building, but of course we do not have any of it for real. It does look sort of impressive when we have appointments with clients, they show up and they see a receptionist, a beautiful young lady we hired from a place that can help you out if you need a temporary corporate secretary in Singapore. Obviously if the client is smart they can see that the place is what you call a virtual office. We only pay for what we need and what we need will change from day to day and from week to week. The ones that are smart will see that this is really clever, since you are not paying for a lot of overhead on people and things that are superfluous. In fact there are only five of us in the entire region, all working out of Singapore. The main office does not really seem to understand how we are doing things here, but the cost of office space here really prohibits us from renting a full time place.So far we have done a pretty good job of cleaning up the mess that we found when we got here. The guy who was here before us was given a free rein to do as he pleased. So long as he made the sales no one cared very much about how he did it, but it turned out that he was cutting all sorts of corners and probably breaking a few laws. The big thing for us is that he was not keeping proper records and we had to piece things together like a jigsaw puzzle. For the most part we think that we have figured it all out and established good relations with the people who we need to make sales to.

Fat Freezing to Eliminate Trouble Spots in Singapore

While on vacation with my best friend, we were definitely overindulging for the duration of our trip. We ate at the finest restaurants and drank until the wee hours as we enjoyed our time on our around the world adventure. Our last stop had us both seriously checking into fat freezing in Singapore when our vacation clothes seemed to be shrinking and feeling tighter and tighter.

Fat freezing may sound pretty drastic, but it actually isn't as we learned. We had visited a spa for a manicure, pedicure and massage and were discussing how we would spend the last two weeks of our trip, both of us talking about how we needed to diet as soon as we got home. A lovely manicurist, who spoke impeccable English asked if we had ever heard about fat freezing and when we said no, she quickly explained how the process worked.

Fat freezing, more commonly referred to as a process called "coolsculpting," required little more than a visit to a medical professional who would use a tool externally to freeze fat cells that would then be eliminated through normal perspiration and urination. The process wasn't immediate, but it also was completely non-invasive and wouldn't require any time off of work, or in our case, vacation fun. We could have the procedure done right in Singapore and would be well on the way to more toned bodies by the time we arrived home, with full results seen in a few months.

I knew I had gained at least ten pounds over the duration of our trip, but also knew a little diet and exercise was all that was needed to shed those extra pounds. What was foremost in my mind as we talked with the doctor were the areas I had battled throughout my life including stubborn belly fat that no amount of exercise or diet was doing anything to eliminate. My best friend was convinced and scheduled an appointment for the next day. I needed a little time to think about it and thought I would pursue it when we returned from our trip. I am sorry I waited as I see my best friend with her bikini body back already while I am just starting with my treatment.

Learning About Local Customs Was Important for My Job

There was little chance for me to travel when young because it was not something that my family could afford. That is out of reach for most families with several children. So, after graduating, I wanted to get a job overseas. It seemed there was quite a bit I needed to learn when it comes to etiquette that isn't what I grew up with. For example, I needed to buy some Singapore corporate gifts and what someone would appreciate in my home country is not always what someone in Singapore would appreciate. I ended up buying a book to help me out. I really wanted to show respect to all of my coworkers and clients to make sure that things go as well as can be expected.

I remember my mom teaching me and my two brothers etiquette when we were in elementary school. She started out with eating. We were all sitting at the table one night, and dad had a rough day at work earlier in the day. He said that each of us needed to learn how to eat with our mouths closed. Mom had been trying to teach each of us that, but I guess we were each being a bit lazy. Dad said that needed to stop because learning manners shows respect to others. It shows them that you care about how they feel. After that, mom got us a book to read that would help us to learn more about how to be polite when in the company of other people.

The book that I got as an adult really helped out. For instance, I learned that I was handing my business card to clients incorrectly. When in Singapore, you should hand it to others with both hands at once, rather than just one hand. After I became more familiar with what the people in my new area expected, I found that my sales began to rise as a result.

Ants Swarming on Sidewalk End Up in Kitchen

Ants drive me nuts. They crawl all over the place looking for food. I can understand that. I do that myself just before sitting down to watch some TV in the evening. Ants are social creatures. They go out making a trail of pheromones. If they find food, they double up the scent trail on the way back. That way more ants can follow the trail to the food source. When I saw about a hundred of them on our countertop in the kitchen, I knew I had to call an exterminator in NYC to get rid of them.There is likely not any way a homeowner could find the path they are taking to get inside. Unless there is a huge line coming and going, you just won't see where they are coming in at. Plus, they can be coming up through the foundation through little tunnels under ground. Not all of them crawl up the outside of the foundation leaving a visible trail. It is suspected that the ones at our house where getting in through an old section of stone foundation that was about three layers thick. There was no sealing it tight. The only thing we could do was have it sprayed.Earlier that spring I had seen ants swarming on the sidewalk out front. I did not think anything about it until they got inside. Their colony must have grown to huge proportions and they expanded their territory in search of food. With two teenagers and a preteen, there are always crumbs on the counter that attract lots of little critters. Oh, the kids did clean up. They just did not do a thorough job like their mom does. I did not want to have to kill the ants, but I also could not have them taking over my kitchen. The good thing that came out of it is the meticulous attention the kids are now giving to wiping the countertop clean. They don't want the ants back either.