Friday, 23 June 2017

Real Estate :: Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeowners Association

Often set up by housing developers, homeowners associations (or HOA) are gradually becoming popular throughout the country. This growth could mean that a there is a growing number of people who are supporting this institution, yet some see this as a nuisance to the community - interfering with the freedoms and ignoring the individuality of each person.

Buying a home run by homeowners association can affect both your lifestyle and your investment. While there are th ose organizations that outstanding when it comes to community management, there just are those that are indescribably horrible. To help you decide on how to make the right choice, we list some advantages and disadvantages of such institution.


Increased value of homes. Because houses belonging to these organizations are subject to a set of rules, the value of your home goes higher. In homeowner associations, members must follow certain rules and standards which include maintenance of their fences and lawns, the types of fixtures that you can add to your home - all to keep your home looking presentable.

Less expensive facilities. Most homeowners associations builds residential and creational facilities like swimming pools, basketball and tennis courts and recreation for members to take advantage. Unlike building your own swimming pool or basketball court in your own Home Improvement in College Station own which ca n be very expensive to start with, HOA makes you enjoy those leisure without much expense.

Less Nuisance . With homeowners associations, disputes between neighbors are determined by an officer instead of exchanging nasty arguments on both sides. In addition, parking disputes and traffic accidents are less likely to happen because residents are prohibited from parking their cars on the side of the street as well as in their front yards.


You lose your individuality. Because homeowners associations have a set of rules to follow in aspects such as home design and landscapes, these organizations are known to be intruders of individual rights to design and renovate their homes based on their own preferences. And the worst things is, even the landscaping plans for each house are required to be submitted in HOA for approval.

Fees. Since homeowners fees are not part of the price of a house, this is an extra burden on the pocket s of residents. These fees are monthly or quarterly depending on their agreement. While home mortgages are eating up a big part the of income of residents, these monthly payments are just making the load worse.

To help you decide if you want to be part of the Owners Association in your community, you must first take into account your income, your preferences with regard to security and lifestyle, as well as the measure of how much he of your freedom to be overshadowed by the rules. Talk to representatives of these organizations and to listen carefully to their conditions. And for professional advice, ask for help from a realtor.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

How to Build a Japanese Garden

One doesn't need an introduction to a garden; nevertheless, I will begin with a quote by William Kent, "A garden is to be a world unto itself, it had better make room for the darker shades of feeling as well as the sunny ones." A garden, thus, understood is a place that distills harmony and comfort while adding to the aesthetic pleasure. Japanese gardens for that matter, are traditional gardens that create miniature landscapes and if you have been to a Japanese garden, then the first thing that you would notice is the simplicity of the layout. The entire area distills in you, a soothing peace, while the rocks and the flowing stream take away all negation and successfully purge your spirit.

Recreating a Japanese garden is an arduous yet satisfactory task. For those of you who have a sprawling backyard, transforming it into a majestic Japanese garden won't pose much of a problem; and for those of you facing a space crunch, you can go in for the indoor Japanese garden.

Building a Japanese Garden

"The life of man in every part has need of harmony and rhythm." - Plato

Japanese are known to appreciate the elements of nature, and their gardens respect the basic rule of nature, that is, of change. Japanese gardens are known to soothe the soul with their timeless beauty. Given below are simple knickknacks that will help you transform your backyard into a tranquil Japanese garden.

Elements and their Symbolism

A Japanese garden reflects the perfect balance found in nature. In order to recreate the natural surroundings, you would need rocks and stones to represent individual islands, hills and mountains. A few trees and shrubs will represent nature in abundance. A water feature will represent purity, serenity and flow that is a part of nature. A wooden or stone bridge will represent immortality, and an escape to paradise is an absol ute must for a Japanese garden. Pathways and stairs represent a journey of the soul, and lanterns or religious artifacts that represent the elements of Buddhist cosmology form the basic elements of a Zen garden.

Prior Planning

Owning a sprawling lawn will definitely benefit you, as it will offer you maximum space to experiment with the layout. However, if you have a relatively smaller backyard, you would have to meticulously plan the arrangement of the garden. Depending on the space available, you would have to decide on how formal you want your garden to be. You wouldn't want your garden to look too dressy, as the resultant garden should reflect the Japanese culture. Purchase the materials and decorations as per the garden size. Remember, minimalistic is the key word in a Japanese garden.

Lay the Stones

The first step to create a Japanese garden is to design the walkway or paths using the stepping stones. Ideally, the stones should be clubbed in groups o f odd digits (i.e., in groups of 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.). A safe bet is to make triangular arrangements of the rocks. Stepping stones add beauty to a walkway; moreover, large stones interspersed in the pathway is indicative of rest and stillness just so that you can take in the beauty of the garden. When creating the pathway, use at least two stones of the same shape and size. You can even create stone sculptures or simple mounds made of three stones with varying sizes.

Line with Foliage

Once you are done with the pathway, decorate the area around them with flowering plants, shrubs and trees. If you have a huge courtyard, plant trees like maple, coast redwoods, Japanese junipers, etc. The ideal setup would be to plant trees and select plants according to their colors and their seasons; however, plants in all hues are welcome. Flowering plants like that of chrysanthemums, lilies and daisies add to the visual appeal of the garden. You can even plant yew hedges to line your gar den fences. For the ground covering, use Japanese garden plants like baby's tears, spurge, ardisia and sweet flag.

Embed a Water Feature

Japan is an island and creating a water feature is an absolute must for a Japanese garden. If you have a sloping terrain, creating a waterfall with rocks is an easier option. You can even consider installing a Koi pond, if your backyard is really huge. If you do not own a sprawling area, then you can go in for a simple water pond, made with bamboo which can be operated using simple mechanics. For your benefit, given alongside is a diagram of a simple pond. Water features should fac e a seating area, as observing running water instills a sense of peace and tranquility.

Complete with Decorations

Light up the pathway with stone lanterns or throw in some authentic Japanese furniture. Invest in a few Japanese pagodas to breathe life into your gardenand make it look authentic. Remember to keep it minimalistic though, for you wouldn't want your garden to look like a museum of artifacts!

It is absolutely fine if you do not put in any decorations or leave a part of the garden empty, as empty portions in a garden are key elements of a Zen garden.

Interior Garden Layout

If you do not own a backyard and still want to implement the Japanese garden theme, you can create a garden on your terrace or better still, use up the space below your stairs to create a miniature garden. To create the garden, all you have to do is pattern the stones ar ound the stairs, and use a few bonsai and potted plants to create your very own Japanese garden at home. You can even put in a custom-built water fountain to add to the aesthetic beauty of your home.

I hope these ideas will help you redecorate your garden or home interiors. Besides, do not forget to add a garden fence to make your garden a private space, where you can meditate peacefully.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Why I Garden | HuffPost

I garden because it's play disguised as work, because, as an adult, I can think of no other way to justify spending so much time outdoors. Perhaps I could take a job as a fire warden, but I'd have to move out West, and I'm afraid of heights.

I garden because it gives me an excuse to spend a great deal of time alone.

And because gardening allows me to avoid the gym.

It's one of the few things one gets better at as one gets older. There are no child prodigies in gardening.

I garden because there is something so heart breaking, so beautiful and ultimately ineffable about the half-light of evening. And about those final moments when a long day dies and the night is born.

Gardening is about the play of things - of light and form and growth and decline.

Gardening is an art - an art you can walk through. I'm at once a sculptor, a painter, a conductor! My orchestra? Colors, textures, shapes, forms, tastes and scents. Or maybe I'm a choreographer, and my sunflowers, onions, kiwis, cucumbers and raspberries leap, twirl, twist, kick, embrace and swoon in the maddest tango.

Like any performance, one can never be sure of the outcome. Gardening is for gamblers, risk-takers and experimenters, and I am all of those.

I garden because it's the ultimate magic trick. From my box of seeds, I conjure a small universe and my audience comes to know the earth through its flowers and vegetables - pole beans from Taiwan, Italy and France, tomatoes from Russia and Poland, okra from Israel, Africa, India and Kentucky.

I garden because I prefer the conversations of birds to those of humans and the songs of the wind to those of my iPod.

Like friendships, gardens are easy to start, but require effort to maintain. Sowing, watering, weeding, staking, tying, pruning, fertilizing, harvesting - a never-ending series of tasks, a meditation that goes on for months and months - a way to induce city people to connect with the earth, if only for an afternoon.

I garden because you cannot buy (or marry) the title of "Gardener." You either know the Latin names of your flowers or you don't. You've either memorized the "days to maturity" of your vegetables or you haven't. You either have well-manicured nails and hands without calluses, or you don't. Your harvest table either makes the produce section at Dean & Deluca look like the corner deli, or it do esn't. Gardening is not for poseurs.

I garden because I'd rather be at the mercy of nature than at the mercy of nations. If I'm unable to eat what I want to, at least I know why.

Sometimes I think about living on the Upper East Side, having a box at the Met and a car and driver to take me there. Sometimes I dream of having a closet full of Prada dresses or of living on the French Riviera.

I wouldn't, however, trade any of those privileges for my garden. If I could, I would sleep in my garden - under a sunflower wrapped in the vines of my sweet potatoes.

I garden because I need to let go and nothing lasts in a garden.

To garden one must embrace the ephemeral. Everything in a garden is forever emerging, maturing, yielding, fading and dying. A garden is nothing if not evanescent.

I garden because I am impatient. Gardening helps me learn to I wait. I wait for the seeds to become seedlings, for the seedlings to grow into plants, for the plants to bear fruit, for the fruit to ripen, for the harvest to become food, for the food to give pleasure and nourishment to the people I love and to those whom I hope to convert to my way of living.

I garden because it gives an order to my life. I surrender to the rhythm of the seasons and during the growing season, to the rhythm of the day. But within that order there are constant surprises - the snake gourd's flower with its amazing tendrils or the tiny fawn asleep in the blueberry hedge.

And no two days are alike. Iris, peonies, chives and lettuce come and go in the blink of an eye. On Sunday, an emboldened doe appears at my doorstep. On Monday, the first melon appears. On Tuesday, the first dahlia blooms. All of a sudden, a battalion of daylilies commands attention in the garden's northeast corner - only to vanish just as quickly. And finally! Yes, fi nally! The tomatoes and peppers ripen into every color of the rainbow and beyond.

Week after week, month after month, season after season, the pageant continues. And in the midst of this endless procession of fleeting displays I carry on weeding, watering and harvesting until at last I have no choice but to sit down and rest!

And it's then and there, from the deep cool shade of my kiwi arbor that I glimpse something else in my garden, something more subtle but everlasting and reassuring. Something you just might call...


And that is really why I garden. .html

Saturday, 17 June 2017

California Residents Face Fines as Bone-Dry State Seeks to Reduce Water Use

Across the West, a historic drought - the worst in over a century - has sparked a water crisis that for the first time has forced California officials Sprinkler System Rockwall to impose mandatory statewide water restrictions.

"We need water," Gov. Gerry Brown said today. "We're gonna have to get water."

Watch: Extremely dry conditions fuel wildfires in at least five states.

There have no been no fewer than a dozen raging wildfires, from Idaho and Oregon to Arizona, Washington and Nevada.

The Bully Fire in Northern California chewed through 10-square miles and destroyed eight homes. The landscape has become a tinderbox and water reservoirs are now bone dry. About 2,200 firefighters have been working hard to keep the flames away.

Nevada's Lake Mead is now at its lowest point since the Hoover Dam was built, officials said.

In today's announcement, officials in California announced that it is illegal to let sprinkler systems flow into the street, hose down sidewalks and driveways or use an open hose to wash your car.

"I think my husband has been guilty of coming out late at night and doing a little secretive watering underneath the trees," resident Pam Ferko said.

Scofflaws faced fines of up to $500 a day.

Previously, residents had ignored the governor's pleas to cutback - statewide, water rs/b-1024014 usage actually went up - so Sprinkler System now Californians are being encouraged to rat out their neighbors.

"Our water complaint calls have gone up exponentially from the last two years," said Terrance Davis of the state's Department of Utilities.

Lawn sprinklers and car washes aren't the only culprits though.

Agriculture uses 80 percent of the state's water. The drought is projected to cost $2 billion in crop losses this year, which will mean higher food prices nationwide.

Home Improvement Archives -

Home Improvement

Should You Repair or Replace Your Driveway?

Mar 09, 2017

by ArticleCity Blog



A well-paved driveway is a safe driveway, but when htt ps:// is it time to replace rather than repair? If you're unsure, you'll find your answers here....

Read More

Friday, 16 June 2017

Electrocution causes star-shaped cataracts on man's eyes

Instead of seeing stars, an electrician who experienced a 14,000-volt electric shock

to the left shoulder came away with star-shaped cataracts stamped on both eyes, doctors

reported Jan. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens, which is a structure that

helps focus light or an image. When the lens is clear, light passes through to

the eye's retina -- a tissue located at the back of the eye -- where the brain

processes the image. If the lens is cloudy due to cataracts, the result is

blurry vision.

Cataracts are commonly caused by aging, so common that more

than half of Americans have a cataract or undergo surgery to fix them by the

time they are 80 years old.

The male patient, 42, underwent cataract extraction surgery

four months after the electric shock, and also had an implant placed in to act

like a lens and focus light, what's called in intraocular lens. It improved his vision a bit, but he was still legally blind and could only count fingers out

of his left eye. He likely won't fully regain his sight because of damage to

the retina and optic nerve, the str ucture that transmits visual signals from

the retina to the brain.

New York City-based optometrist Dr. Justin Rapp, who had no

involvement in the man's case, explained to CBS News the electrical current may

have disrupted the chemical balance in the man's blood, which in turn decreased blood

flow to the optic nerves and parts of the retina, as evidenced by the whitish

cloud structures seen in the bottom half of the above photos.

This chemical disruption may also have impacted the fluid

around the lens, which contributed to the clouding effect, or cataract.

Often, cataracts have been known to form snowflake or

star-shaped patterns, Rapp pointed out, but he's never quite seen a case like this.

"This is a shockingly 'perfect' example of an stellate

(star-shaped) cataract," he said. "The fact that it goes NwtVKA completely 360 degrees

around the outer edge of the lens is definitely remarkable."

2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

7th house (house of marriage) in Woman's Horoscope

The 7th house in a Woman's Chart

The 7th house in any horoscope generally indicates wife or husband, their love life, extra-marital relations, servant and their loyalty or otherwise and other worldly pleasures in general.

Planets in the 7th house in Woman's Chart mentioned below:

1) Sun in the 7th house:The Sun in the 7th in a female horoscope is generally not desirably, as such a person will suffer from bodily ailment, is irreligious, and the marriage in such a case is always late. Now, late marriage in these days does not mean anything. Gir ls await marriage even when they are over 30. If the Sun is debilitated in the 7th house, libido will be absent and sterility also may result. Early death of partner or separation may also result.

2) Moon in the 7th house:Love looms large in such a horoscope. In many cases unconventional marriages occur. The person with the Moon in the 7th house is always moody but loves her husband and is prepared to sacrifice anything for love. They are tender - hearted but jealous. They suffer often from abdominal pains. The Moon in Taurus, Cancer or Pisces gives generally a good married life.

3) Mars in the 7th house:Though this is considered as Mangal - Dosha, it gives pep married life and with benefic aspect of Jupiter or Venus such marriages do succeed very well. Unless they are properly matched, they may stray and have extra - marital relations. Such persons sho uld have very understanding and loving husbands. They often suffer from leg and lumber pains.

4) Mercury Best Attorney in the 7th house:Marriage in such cases is always lucky. But the husband is lacking in libido. The husband will be rich and have all comforts and be considerate too in all other matters. Mercury in the 7th may cause frequent attacks of migraines.

5) Jupiter in the 7th house:Marriages generally occur between 22nd year and 25th year. The husband is noble but often fails to understand his wife. Life is generally smooth but if Jupiter happens to be in Saturn's house, there will be constant strife and even divorce may occur. The best position for Jupiter is Cancer or Taurus or Libra.

6) Venus in the 7th house:Such persons are romantic and always yearn for love. They want to marry for love but often fail. They end up in marriage on the spur or due to infatuation. Husband will be handsome but pr ofligate. They are also seen neglecting children. If Mars aspects such a Venus, they become immoral. Jupiter's aspect gives a healthy life. Mercury's aspect has a sobering effect. Women with such a combination are likely to suffer from pelvic pains and urinary diseases.

7) Saturn in the 7th house:Marriage is always late and often the partner is much older. This may deny marriage altogether in some cases. Women with Saturn in the 7th have set ideas and cannot adjust to any changes in their life. They are pessimistic. If Mars is aspecting such a Saturn, then bad results in all sub - areas of Married life. They may marry a person who is much below their rank.

8) Rahu in the 7th house:Rahu has much the same effect as Saturn but in addition early widowhood is always expected. They may marry out of caste and some may get into a scandalous position. If su ch a Rahu is aspected by Saturn or Mars, they marry a Lower and poor class person. People with Rahu in the 7th are extremely moody and difficult for friendship as they will be too selfish and greedy. There will be some psychological defect also. If Moon combines with such a Rahu, they become hysterical.

9) Ketu in the 7th house: This combination makes one peevish and sneaky. Connection with low - class people is noticed with such a combination. In general married life will be unhappy. It is said that this combinative gives marriage between the ages of 20 and 24 years and it is often unconventional. Some develop shocking Best Attorney in College Station habits and may resort to nudism. They may allow their partners to go with others with their consent and often for selfish gains. This is generally the case when Saturn aspects such a Ketu.

It is fascinating to note that in a female horoscope the first seven houses operate in their parent's houses and the rest in their partners places. From the 8th house onwards all other houses give results after marriage. Their mangalya, fortune or dharma, karma and labha and vyaya (expenditure) or moksha all depend upon the married life. In other words the female horoscope is completely dominated by the horoscope of the partner (husband). Except for longevity all other matters are certainly influenced by the horoscope of the husband. Of course this is a very general statement.