Broken Window? – What Do You Do?

You may have had someone break in to your home, or maybe the local children who live close by kicked a football straight through your side window. Or maybe even you just shut your window or door too hard and broke it yourself. There are various considerations that you have. You call an emergency glass repair company, but before you do, take a moment and gather as much information as possible to be able to give the glazing company when you ring them.

Determining whether or not you have a single or double-pane window is often a fairly simply endeavor regardless of how little knowledge you have of windows that you have or how badly broken it is. At the edge of the glass pane, wherever it meets up withthe frame, look for a silver aluminum spacer anywhere from a 1/4 inch thick to 3/4 inch thick. The presence of this silver spacer almost certainly indicates a double-pane window.

If it is a double-pane window, are both panes broken or just one?

If both panes of a double-pane window are broken it will have to be boarded. If, however, only one pane is broken it can often be left in place without having to board it. Be sure to let the glass company know in advance if it’s just one pane that’s broken or both.

Is the broken glass in a door?

If so, it will ned to be replaced with either tempered or laminated safety glass, even if there is ordinary plate glass in it now. Tempered safety glass must be ordered and typically takes a week or two to get, but laminated safety glass can always be cut to size the same day.

Is the broken glass tinted or textured in any way?

If you want the glass repair done that same day, consider getting it replaced with clear flat glass. Bear in mind, custom-ordered specialty glass can be expensive.

Learn Any Language For FREE!

It doesn’t matter what your first language is, learning a second or third language seems to be scary for everybody. Truth is, once you finally learn a second language, you will feel more open to learning other languages and improve in the ones you already know. Whether you are a complete beginner or you’ve already got the hang of the basics, these apps, websites and tips will help you learn almost any language.

It’s important that you immerse yourself in the language, the culture, grammar, pronunciation and if possible, even read books, watch movies and TV shows as you learn so your brain can pick up dialects, slang terms, tones of voice, etc.

Duolingo – a free website and mobile app that helps their users learn almost any language. The online website is better because it provides more tools to help you learn, improve and practice what you’ve already learned.

The website and app also has very hip and fun ways to keep you interested, provides users with the opportunity to translate tests and receive feedback so they can test out their skills.

YouTube and App Market Places: these days there’s a YouTube channel for nearly anything just like there are apps for nearly anything. Explore and find out if there’s a YouTube user dedicated to teaching the language you’re interested in or if there are any shows or videos available in this language that you could watch.

Babbel – now, this mobile app and website is not free but they do have free tools you can use and take advantage of in their website, it’s a great starter tool especially for beginners and people who only know a language at a tourist level.

Register in an online forum – online forums are an amazing way to improve and accelerate what you’re learning from a new language. People who’ve joined online forums while learning a new language have noticed improvement after just months of constant participation on those forums. It’s better to join forums about things that interest you so that you feel more inspired and motivated to engage in the forum.

Things to Do In Germany During the Winter

The annual Christkindlmarkt (reg.)/Weihnachtsmarkt (lit. Christ Child’s Market/Christmas Market) all over the country is what many would call the mainstay of German culture in winter.

Aside from the common culinary joys such as having yourself a cup of the classic Glühwein (punch), gingerbread and fruits dipped in chocolate, enjoy the handicrafts of artisans from all over the globe. Jewellery, decoration, figurines, etc. The size of Christmas markets varies from city to city.

Some offer stage performances of children’s choirs, instrumental music, comedy and the citation of pious bible verses. They as well offer a special program for children, different games and carousels, sell a large variety of all sorts of toys. Alone for the delicious baked hot chestnuts and caramelised almonds it’s worth a visit, trust me. Christmas markets usually open during the weekend before the first advent or a few days earlier.

If you’re rather a down-to-earth and active person, you’re going to enjoy yourself especially in South East Germany: Bring your skiing equipment and race down high, snow-coated mountains such as the Zugspitze (located in the South West of Garmisch-Partenkirchen/Bavaria, 2962m) and the Alpes, which hold a lot of ski resorts and hotels you can have your stay in.

If you prefer things a little slower, try out cross-country skiing in the local forests, for the extra fun-factor take part in sleigh races or just do a fun sleigh ride on your own, with a partner or even with a child.

The German mountainside is an ideal place for skiing-, snowboarding- and hiking-fans. In cozy pubs and sheds in your ski resorts you can listen to winterly music, drink a hot cup of punch and relax, or have a hearty meal.

Towards the end of winter, the fulminant carnival season awakes. It accurately commences on the 11th of November at 11:11 o’clock. It’s when the “5th season” begins. In countless cities and towns, colourful parades are seen on open streets accompanied by band music, decorated wagons pulled by horses are drawing down the road, children as adults in crazy costumes are participating.

The symbolism: “Ushering the winter away.” The huge spectacle attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. In Mainz (capital of Rhineland-Palatinate), you can visit huge carnival fairs which are all about comedy and show off your amazing costumes.

We Have Wasps!

Broken Windows

We all have an occasional wasp flying around the house or even getting inside the house, it’s a normal part of life. However, what do you do if you notice that there are more and more wasps flying about? If you are noticing an increase in wasps try to follow where they are landing. If you are seeing an many wasps landing in the same area, chances are you have an infestation. This can be devastating to someone who an allergy to wasp stings as wasps sting multiple times where bees only sting once.

The best way to see if you have an infestation is to check around the sheltered areas of your structure. Wasps build their nests in lofts, trees, and cracks in a structure’s walls. If the nest is not taken care of it will continue to grow. Often wasps can enter a structure through openings so it is important to seal any of those openings. This is important because those openings can allow any type of insect from spiders to other pests, including wasps.

Normally wasps are not looking for inside shelter, they accidentally find their way in. A big mistake that many homeowners make is sealing up an entry once they notice the wasps without killing all the wasps first. This traps wasps inside the home. This can be dangerous to anyone allergic to stings. Not only can the stings be dangerous, but the nest the wasps build indoors may damage the walls or ceilings.

It is recommended to have professionals to remove any wasp nest due to their methods of controlling wasps. Wasps are very beneficial to the environment and therefore, pest removal specialist find it best to ensure the infestation doesn’t happen again. Whenever you contact a pest control specialist they will go through a series of steps to fix your infestation issue. They will first assess the situation to determine what is needed to create a wasp control plan. The specialist will then use a wasp control method, which can include traps mechanical and insecticidal controls, physical removal, light modification, and lights.

To ensure that the infestation does not occur again the professional will then ensuring that wasp do not begin to nest within the area again. One way of doing this will be modification of the area to ensure that there are other places that wasps find attractive to nest. The professional will also check for any spots where it would be easy for wasps to get inside or nest on the structure. By covering those spaces it will keep out both the wasps and any other critters. It is also important to keep any areas where wasps are not wanted free of food, this will make those sites less attractive.

If you do not want to hire a professional then it will be important to be able to identify a wasp nest. Often many solitary wasps will build a nest under ground while social wasps build their nest about ground. If you are going to remove an above ground nest it is important to have a route planned in case the wasps begin to swarm around you and sting you. It is also important to practice ladder safety so you do not fall and cause injury to yourself.

There are several sprays that you can get to kill wasps. Here are a few that are highly rated by consumers.

Wasp-X Wasp and Hornet Spray

  • This spray can be sprayed on flying wasps and kill very quickly. However, this spray has a foam that can be sprayed up to 20 feet away and expand throughout the nest. Users say that the product works very fast, does not have a strong smell, and felt very safe using this product indoors.

Bee and Wasp Freeze Spray

  • This spray also works very quickly. It’s spray can reach up to 15 feet so you still have plenty of protection when using it on a nest.

Rescue W-h-y Spray for Wasp, Horne, and Yellow Jackets

  • This spray actually has plant oils that confuses insects and kills them on contact. The great thing about this product is it is safe around people and pets. The product states that it works up to two weeks after being sprayed. Hid product can spray up to 14 feet giving ample distance to ensure there is a reduced chance of stings.

Eco Exempt Jet Wasp and Horne Spray

  • This spray is safe for use in any area, it has a botanical scent so there will be unpleasant odors. The product sprays up to 18 feet and does not stain. The product boasts to kill insects instantly. To kill wasps effectively the product states that it is best to treat in the evening or early morning when wasps are in or around the nests.

FMI Brands: 2Pk Wasp deterrent, 0900”

  • This product is a natural wasp deterrent. It works very simply. All you have to do is hang it up and because wasps are territorial it will cause the wasps to build their nests elsewhere. The entire idea is very effective for preventing infestation. This is a very good method to keep your house free of wasp nests and the look of it is not bad at all either.

Raid Wasp and Hornet Killer

  • Raid is a brand that many know and use. The great thing about this product is it reaches up to 22 feet away. The bets part about this product is it is from a brand that we all know and trust.

So any of these sprays, foams, and deterrents are useful when you have a wasp infestation. It seems that foam sprays do work the best because the foam examples on the nest and gives the maximum damage. However, any of these sprays have been found to be completely effective. It is important to know how far the spray will reach and how soon it will work so you know your chances of getting stung. In the end, knowing your options and be educated is the best process for ridding yourself of any infestations.

Party Time – Part 2 – The Big Day

Emergency Glazing

When the big day arrived. I could hardly move. I was so fearful it was all going to go wrong. We had celebrated Aaron’s birthday on the Thursday keeping it really low key. I gave Aaron a card and a small present, knowing all the time I had planned this amazing party for the Saturday and a trip to Hawaii two weeks later. I was sure I had betrayed myself somehow. Did Aaron think there was something suspicious about my movements. Did he think I was being a little preoccupied or acting suspiciously?

Well he didn’t and the big day arrived. And this was the day I wondered if I should have done all this under the guidance of a party planner!!! Anyway Aaron was out of the way. Two friends had taken him off for the day and now I could get things started.

That’s when vendors started to arrive at the door, flowers being delivered, last minute phone call to the cake maker to ensure the cake was ready. Yes it was and would be delivered within the hour. The tent was being erected, Mai’s Aloha café was on the phone, the DJ was in the backyard, Uncle Jose and Auntie Maria were stranded at the airport, my friend’s daughter Chelsea had been sick in the car and ruined her dressed. Where could we take her to get another dress for the evening. Aaron’s sister wanted to buy some shoes and had some presents to drop off at the house. She had also promised to make up some favour bags and had left them behind and had to go back for them. Typical Brianna.

That’s when my head started spinning and I wondered if I should have employed a party planner. Maybe. But here I was. The big day was here and I had to get on with it.

We did have a little issue, someone spotted a lot of ants around the side of the house, so we too no chances and called in a pest control company, who dealt with the problem swiftly. Thanks guys.

There was a hold up with erecting the tent. What was wrong? Just a temporary hold up, I’m told,  but the clock was ticking on and it all had to be done by 2pm when Aaron would arrive home to his surprise party!

The doorbell kept ringing, the phone kept ringing, people were arriving, the tent was up and the tables needing laying. Why didn’t I employ someone to dress the tables. Instead two girlfriends and myself dressed and laid the tables and were ready to place the flowers. Where were the flowers. Quick call to the local flower shop. They were on their way. They were beautiful. Snazzy sunflowers from a local florist in Santa Barbara.

The cake had arrived! I was so excited. A red Ferrari. It looked amazing. I knew Aaron would be thrilled with it. I was still in my working clothes so my two girlfriends and myself decided we would get showered and changed and have a little celebration drink to get the party started. We opened a bottle of champagne and took a deep breath and relaxed.

I had hired three wait staff and a bartender from a Santa Barbara agency and they had just arrived. It was great to have help arrive but I was conscious I would still have to be on call all day and evening to look after things as well as looking after my guests. This was the point I wished I had hired a party planner who would be there all day to pull all this together and keep things moving. Now I just wanted to greet my guests and enjoy a drink with the girls and get ready for Aaron the birthday boy to get back from his morning with the boys.

Taxis and cars were arriving and the house and yard was filling up with people. Presents were stacking up all over the house. The noise of excited laughter and talking was amazing. The guys were all wearing Hawaiian shirts and the girls were wearing leis and flowers in their hair and the DJ put on some Hawaiian music

We placed the cake in the tent and the glasses were laid out for champagne, the DJ was here and now the party could begin. Aaron was home. The look on his face was the best. It was a kind of slow …”wow, what has happened to my home and my yard, and what is my mother doing here!”

Well it was very emotional. He was very touched to see all his family and friends gathered. It took a little while to sink in but he got into his stride and we all started to have a real good time. It was a great day and the champagne and margaritas flowed. The popcorn cart, the taco bar and the margarita tap were a great success.

The tent looked fabulous lit up at night and we sang and danced for hours with the DJ.

Aaron loved the cake. In fact he loved it all. So did I. Would I chose a party planner with hindsight? Yes, I probably would. Believe you me I needed that vacation in Hawaii!!! There are great people out there that can provide great services. The florist, the cake maker, the tent company, the wait staff, they were all superb. I had no difficulty hiring each of them individually, but come the day of the party, that’s when I needed a party planner to accept deliveries, ensure everything ran to schedule, manage the various vendors and set up the tables and centre pieces.

Would I do it all again….but this time with a party planner…..yes I would!!

Party Time – Part 1

Glazier Near You

On Friday April 17th 2015 I woke up with an idea. Why not hold a surprise party for my husband’s 50th birthday? What a fantastic idea! Why hadn’t I thought of it before? Good question. The fact of the matter is, surprise birthday parties aren’t exactly my husband’s thing. To be honest  Aaron doesn’t do surprise anything. Now I’m not saying my beloved is boring or he’s not spontaneous, but he doesn’t like to leave anything to chance. He likes things to be done properly with no loose ends.  But this birthday is different. This is his 50th birthday and quite a milestone as far as Aaron is concerned. In my eyes he is still the athletic, good looking guy I married over 20 years ago, but lately Aaron has been looking in the mirror at his grey hairs and his slightly increased waistline, secretly wishing he could turn back the clock.

Wouldn’t we all like to turn back the clock! Most of his friends are fifty or well into their fifties and seem to be doing ok. So when I woke up on that Friday morning with thoughts of a surprise 50th birthday party for Aaron, I knew he would love the idea of celebrating his birthday rather than shoving it under the carpet. He is not a shove under the carpet guy.

So where do you start to plan a surprise party? Now the word surprise implies a few things. A. Aaron mustn’t know about it. B. Some other people will need to know about it….and C. I can’t keep a secret. Oh dear. I would always have to tell my Mom or my sister what I had bought them for Christmas, I would blurt out the news to my friends if any one of us was pregnant etc.  I know it’s a terrible failing on my part but it’s just the way it is. So how was I going to keep this one a secret eh?

Aaron leaves for work and I have managed not to tell him of my idea to organise a secret party for him. You have to remember this is already a challenge for me. Then I start phoning the wives of his friends and my girlfriends telling them of my great idea and swearing them to secrecy. Bearing in mind I am the person most likely to spill the beans. The next thing I decide on is to make a list. A “to do” list. Isn’t that the way all good projects start?  Oh yes, I had already decided this is a project. Aaron’s surprise 50th birthday party project. Bit of a mouthful. There must be an acronym to make things easier. ASBPP. AFBPP, ASP??? So I settled on ASP Aaron’s surprise party. So, project ASP it was.

The next thing I did was give myself a shock. I checked the calendar and I had only 6 weeks to organise it. Aaron’s birthday falls on Thursday May 28th so I would organise ASAP for Saturday May 30th. From then on in my days were spent plotting and planning project ASAP. So let’s get started.

Right, who do I invite? Family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues? Wow this is a pretty long list already. So, I worked on the list and it totalled around 70 people. How would I let everyone know? Bearing in mind I had to keep the invitations and the replies or responses secret. I decided on email. I created a really cute invitation online. This meant everyone could email me their response and Aaron wouldn’t see cards flipping into the mailbox or I wouldn’t have to answer phone calls from long lost friends or relatives and arouse his suspicions. Ok, so I could tick invitations off the list. But then I started to remember other people and the list got longer. But eventually I called a halt and all the invitations were sent by email. I was very clear on the invitation that it had to be kept secret from my husband. The replies soon started coming back. Some people were flying in, some were driving, some were coming from overseas. All wanted and needed accommodation for one, two or three nights. Some asked if I would organise the accommodation for them. Well of course I would. Well I would if I could. How much would they want to pay? How would they get from the hotel to the party venue? WHAT PARTY VENUE??? I hadn’t even thought about the venue.

I just assumed it would be our backyard with a small tent or something like that. Now my mind started thinking about something a bit more special or something with a theme. Aaron adores F1, so maybe we could have a motor racing theme. He adores carnival so maybe we could have a carnival theme. STOP STOP STOP!! Take a deep breath and go back to the beginning. So I sat down with the guest list and started planning accommodation and transport from hotels, motels and from guest’s houses to our house. Then I had guests who asked me to book flights for them. Plus there was a big game the same weekend so accommodation came at a premium. Anyhow eventually I started to make my way through the list of guests and I moved onto my next big item for project ASP.

The venue. We have a pretty big backyard. All the neighbours were invited so I had no worries we would disturb anyone. We needed a tent. Or a canopy. But what size? Who supplies tents? So I scoured the internet for a tent supplier who would erect and dismantle a tent. So I phoned a wedding canopy and tent supplier in Santa Barbara and entered the world of tents and tent accessories. There are pop ups, market tents, panorama tents, tents with windows, side walls and solid walls. You can have draping and leg drapes; for lighting you can have a globe chandelier, a brass bulb chandelier, perimeter lighting, string lighting…the list goes on. I decided on a 30’ x 40’ tent with draping and leg drapes with string lighting. Plus tables and chairs for 75 people with drapes and table furnishings. When could they deliver and erect it?

How can you keep a darn great tent in your backyard a secret? Big flaw in my master plan. Aaron would have to go out for the day. I would ask one of his friends to come up with something and take him as far from home as possible for several hours while the party was taking shape. Right then, guests arriving and a tent in the back yard. So far so good.

Next big item for project ASP. The small question of budget. So I did some sums and justified everything I spent by comparing how much I would have spent if I had chose an outside venue. If I had an hotel venue with guests staying at the hotel and booking a party room,  with catering and drinks it would have far exceeded my spend. I looked at various venues in Santa Barbara. Some of my guests were booked in at the Simpson House Inn and Hotel Indigo.  Both of them had fabulous banqueting and party facilities but were fully booked. I also considered the Cabrillo Pavilion and the fab Eos lounge.

Both terrific venues but for this occasion both fully booked and over my budget. Maybe I would consider the Eos lounge for my next venture. Perhaps a weekend away for Aaron and me. So in fact I was actually saving money by having the party in our backyard. This was a big day for Aaron so I wasn’t too worried about cost, I mean I didn’t want to cut corners. I just didn’t want to spend way too much on the venue when I already had a readymade one in my backyard. I mean It was fairly straightforward wasn’t it? Just a small get together in a tent in the back yard.

Food. How do you feed 70 plus people. Probably two or even three times in the course of a day. On paper I tried to upscale a buffet that I had done for a dozen people and the quantities become frightening. This is when I decided to call in the experts.

Again I trawled the internet and finally decided on two. The first was Mai’s Aloha Café. Now Mai’s Aloha’s specialise in Hawaiian and Vietnamese cuisine. This was when I had my second brainwave. Why not make this a Hawaiian themed party!! Everyone could come in Hawaiian shirts and enjoy Mai’s kahlua pork. Plus I decided to take Aaron on a surprise trip to Hawaii after the party was all over. Mai’s Aloha would be the afternoon meal and then for the evening I hired in a taco bar with a margarita machine. A chef cooked the tacos at the taco bar and it was so much fun. Plus there was margarita on tap!!! All the food tasted and smelt fantastic. That kahlua pork was divine.

The tent looked really pretty lit up at night. I bought in flowers for the tables and I hired china and cutlery and glasses. I also hired a popcorn cart. A good friend of Aaron bought all the beers and liquor at Costco and I had plenty of willing hands to help.

The list of things to do was getting longer and longer. Music. Do I hire a DJ? Of course I do. I hired two guys named Steve and Mike. And they really rocked! They played a huge selection of music for all ages. We had such great fun.

I wanted a really special cake. Something about Aaron. So it had to be an F1 car!! I contacted Foxy Cakes and they were fabulous. A met up with a guy from the bakery and he drew out the design for the car shape and told me all about the ingredients. Only the best. Organic flour, free range eggs and the freshest lemons etc etc. The cake was one of the highlights of the day it was truly spectacular.