Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What To Get Your Cat For Christmas

Many of us will be thinking about presents to give to our companion cats for the holidays. What makes a good gift for a cat? Certainly anything that improves the quality of your cat’s life would be wonderful gift for her and for you. Consider taking her to your veterinarian for that annual health exam that you have been putting off. She might not think it is very much fun, but the reward for her and you is a longer and healthier life.
Most cats seem to like the stimulation provided by outside views. You can build your cat an outside cage where she can be outside on nice days but secure from getting lost or injured in the neighborhood. An alternative is to build or buy an elevated perch where your cat can sit or lie and look out a window and/or watch the activities of the household. Cats seem to like to rest on elevated places. Placing a bird feeder outside a window can be attractive to your cat. There are also videos of birds and small animals especially made to entertain cats.
Puzzle toys are often attractive to cats. Boxes or tracks with balls that can be moved around are fun for lots of cats. Puzzle balls with food treats inside can also be attractive. Feathers on strings or even strings on the end of sticks can be very entertaining for cats. Toys or scratching posts with catnip are fun for most cats. You can grow catnip for your cat or even grow “kitty greens” for your cat to eat. Think about adding an additional scratching post for your cat to give her another place to scratch.
Toys for cats don’t have to be expensive. Many cats enjoy playing in empty boxes or paper bags. Whatever you buy or make for your cat, think about her safety. No sharp edges, nothing that can be swallowed (unless it is food) and nothing that can fall over. Be especially careful of strings, Christmas tree tinsel and ribbons that cats may try to swallow. They can cause serious problems.
Probably the best gift that we can give our cats is the gift of ourselves. Spending quality time with our cats, playing with them, petting them or just sitting with them will be rewarding for them and for us. Especially during the busy holiday season, spending a little extra time with our cats can enrich all our lives.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Don't settle for Good Enough - by John Boe

excellence_achievementFrom luxury automobiles to high-tech electronics, the phrase “made in Japan” is synonymous with quality and reliability. The Japanese have a well-deserved reputation for their relentless pursuit of excellence, but it wasn’t always that way.
At the end of WWII, many Japanese cities lay in ruin, its manufacturing base destroyed and its economy devastated. General Douglas McArthur assembled a team of American business consultants to spearhead the rebuilding of the Japanese economic recovery. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a statistician who worked at the US census bureau, was selected as a member of that distinguished team.
It was Dr. Deming who introduced the Japanese business leaders to the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM). Japan used the philosophy of TQM and the concept of continuous improvement to set and achieve ambitious national goals. Quality management best practices developed quickly in Japanese plants and became a major driving factor behind the Japanese management philosophy. By 1960, the culture of quality control management had become a national preoccupation.
In the early ‘70s, Ford Motor Company bought an interest in the Japanese automobile company, Mazda. Shortly after the partnership started, Ford discovered that the Japanese manufactured transmissions were seven times more reliable and smoother running than the American-made version. The management team at Ford disassembled the Japanese transmission and to their surprise, discovered that the parts were meticulously machined to a tolerance way beyond industry specifications. The blueprints allowed a tolerance of plus or minus a few millimeters, and while the American-made gears varied within the allowable tolerance, all of the Japanese-made gears were right on the desired value with a negligible amount of variation. The American transmission was built with a standard of “good enough” because it met the acceptable levels for tolerance.
Guided by the principles of TQM, in 1950 the Japanese government set a ten-year goal of becoming the number one country in the world in the production of textiles. Upon achieving this goal, in 1960, they set a new challenge of becoming the number one country in the world in the production of steel. This is a noteworthy goal considering the fact that Japan doesn’t have coal or iron ore deposits of any significance. In 1970, the Japanese turned their attention to dominating the automobile industry. In the 80′s, Japan was determined to set the quality standard in the field of computers and electronics.
Do you have written business and personal goals? Are you practicing continuous improvement in your business, or is the status quo good enough? Could your sales and marketing materials use an update? Are you actively involved in personal and professional self-development to improve your skills? Don’t settle for good enough.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.”
- William A. Foster

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's time to vote...are you ready? will show you the candidates in your area and the ballot questions.  Voting day is Tuesday NOV 6th.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Salem Ma is the busiest this time of year, go to: for happenings in spooky Salem.                        

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Home For Sale

Love this Historic Chelsea Waterfront home~Exclusively offered $295,000~

Karen Ferro ~781-479-4000~

Monday, August 20, 2012

Soy vs Almond Milk- which is better for you

Great Article on Soy Milk vs Almond Milk which is better for you?

I've been drinking soy milk for many years. It comes in all flavors; Vanilla and Chocolate are my staples. Almond milk is new on the scene and tastes great too but my favorite is Soy. Soy milk has more protein and since I don't have many sources of foods high in protein in my diet I choose to drink a lot of soy. I've heard it's getting a bad rap and thought I'd look into it, here is an article I read that talks all about the benefits and what you should watch out for.  Remember when cow's milk was all the rage, every ad and commercial told you to drink milk - it's good for you. Then all of a sudden, it wasn't so good for you anymore.  Well, I say, think for your self and determine what's right for you. Maybe moderation is the key...What do you think? Soy, Almond, Cow, Goat?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Many Devices, Many Files And Four Ways to Share Them


                   - My Drop Box (I use drop box - karen) -
 Now that many millions of people have multiple computing devices—laptops, tablets, smartphones—it can be a real pain to make sure you have the document or file you need on the device you're using at any one time. And if you're trying to share those documents to collaborate on a project, emailing can quickly become confusing, especially if they are frequently edited or annotated. A number of services are battling it out to act as trusted online repositories for important documents that can be accessed on all your computers and devices, and shared with others. Some even go beyond file storage to include built-in editing and collaboration tools that live on remote servers instead of on devices. In Silicon Valley, this is considered one form of the big trend called cloud computing. This week, I took a look at some of the leading online file storage and sharing services. I didn't try to pick a winner, since they all worked fine for me. And I didn't do an in-depth review of them. Instead, my aim here is just to explain the category and highlight some of the key competitors. I compared their main features and costs. Overall, this type of service is useful for anyone with many computers and devices, either for personal or group use. I chose to look at four of the best-known services aimed primarily at consumers: Dropbox, SugarSync, SkyDrive and Google Drive. : Click For Review:

Monday, March 12, 2012

How To: from Stevie Donald - "How to Install Drywall over a Popcorn Ceiling" -

Tip: Using flat ceiling paint will greatly minimize the appearance of surface imperfections.

Old Popcorn Textured Ceilings make a room look dated. Not only that, if they were applied prior to 1978, they may contain asbestos and be tricky to remove safely. 


1.Use a stud finder to find the ceiling joists and make pencil marks on the wall. This will guide you in lining up the sheetrock and attaching it to the ceiling.

2.Buy 3/8" or 1/2" sheetrock, enough for the job. Sheetrock comes in several thicknesses. The thinner pieces are most suitable for going over existing drywall and won't add too much weight to the ceiling. 

3.You will need help installing the sheetrock on the ceiling. If you can't find anyone to help you, rent a drywall jack at any rental yard or home store. This is a simple hydraulic lift that maneuvers and holds the sheetrock into place while you install it. When hanging the sheets, stagger the seams and avoid having four corners butting together, as this creates a weak joint that will crack later. 

4.Use drywall screws instead of nails....Read the rest of instructionsHow to Install Drywall over a Popcorn Textured Ceiling | 

Note: I have popcorn ceilings throughout my town home, never liked them but now I am use to them...I don't look up much :). A few years ago I had a leak from my washing machine causing damage to the unit below me. I hired a handy man to fix it and  while repairing the damage he painted over the existing popcorn making their whole bathroom ceiling smooth.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tax Credits

How To Claim Energy Tax Credits
Energy-efficient improvements to your home, such as adding insulation, can make you eligible for a $1,500 tax credit. Image: Gary Ombler/Getty Images

Read Whole Article

6 Home Deduction traps to Avoid

If you bought or sold a home in the middle of 2011, figuring out what to put on line 6 of your Schedule A Form is tricky.

Don’t simply enter the number from your property tax bill on line 6 as you would if you owned the house the whole year. If you bought or sold a house in midyear, you should instead use the property tax amount listed on your HUD-1 closing statement, says Phil Marti, a retired IRS official.

Here’s why: Generally, depending on the local tax cycle, either the seller gives the buyer money to pay the taxes when they come due or, if the seller has already paid taxes, the buyer reimburses the seller at closing. Those taxes are deductible that year, but won’t be reflected on your property tax bill.

Read more tips:

Monday, February 13, 2012