CNA Training Programs That Work

Training programs in CNA are very important in ensuring that each and every individual can work in any health facility for a long term and that he or she is well qualified and prepared. There are nursing aide programs that one has to complete before he or she can be termed as ready for the market.

Registered Nurses conduct some of the CNA training programs with some taking 100 hours or more. The trainers re-certify after every 2 years if they are to continue training the nurse aides. When choosing a training program, it is important to go for one that will professionally train you to prepare you enough to face the health care world. For instance, the passing rates should be high enough for the exams and the skills one learners must also give practical experience so that you are able to care for patients.

A good training program should manage to give you all the basic skills. Caring for patients may seem easy but believe me, skills such as that of bathing patients of all ages, feeding them and clothing them can be very tedious and difficult than they may seem. Practically speaking this and putting your skills into practice, certification opportunities are increased because the prospects of getting a good job. Skills can also make you stand out from the lines of applicants for a certain job opening since everybody wants to hire a professional who will not disappoint.

CNA training programs make nurse aides efficient by ensuring they have all the professionalism and also know about medical legal issues in their line of duties. A good program should also manage to teach competent emergency cases handling as well as patient observation in terms of mental and emotional states since making recording and follow ups easy. It should also teach one to properly document patient records to make the treatment and implementations easy for the nurse or doctor on the patient's case.

Getting the right training program in CNA is the ladder to success in the health care and medial world of an assistant nurse. A well trained and qualified aide means a professional nursing assistant which is what every doctor or nurse looks for. Taking time to choose a training program that is effective in all ways is very important and should never be overlooked.

The History of Online Shopping

The internet is a fantastic and useful tool. With a click of our mouse we can read today’s news, play an online game and if we wish shop to our hearts content. But when did it all start? What is the history of Online Shopping and what does it mean to shop online?

Online shopping is the process a customer takes to purchase a service or product over the internet. In other words a consumer may at his or her leisure buy from the comfort of their own home products from an online store. This concept was first demonstrated before the World Wide Web was in use with real time transaction processed from a domestic television! The technology used was called Videotext and was first demonstrated in 1979 by M. Aldrick who designed and installed systems in the UK. By 1990 T. Berners-Lee created the first WWW server and browser, and by 1995 Amazon expanded its online shopping experiences.

The history of Online Shopping is amazing. Gone are the days of waiting in traffic and working our way through overcrowded stores. All we need is a computer, bank account, debit or credit card and voila freedom! From books, to cosmetics, clothing and accessories to name a few, shopping online is the answer to the 21st century. Simply find the website that offers the objects of your desire, price and delivery terms and in a matter of a few days your purchase is at your door. The advantages and convenience are obviously predictable as we are offered a broader selection, competitive pricing and a greater access to information in regards to our purchase. Online stores are usually available on a 24 hour basis, and permit consumers to shop at their leisure without any traveling and outside regular business hours!

Another point to take into consideration is that when the internet was first conceived it was not with the ideal that it would change the way we shop. On the contrary the web was created as a tool for communicating, which in time let to the convenience of shopping virtually. The history of online shopping by itself symbolizes the change in our society and has by now become a service used by business and regular shopper all over the world.

Shopping online is easy, fun and secure and has for many taken the place of the Saturday afternoon window shopping at the mail. Still considered as a fairly recent phenomenon, online shopping has without a doubt made the life of countless consumers easier and more convenient. May it be for a home loan, buying car or ordering your weekly groceries, the web has forever changed our outlook on shopping.

The history of online shopping shows to all that a good idea, great presentation, and a desire to offer the best to your customers can make a dream come true. Now considered tried and true, it will be interesting in the next 20 years or so to see where the History on online shopping will take us!

Online Travel Agencies – Benefits and Disadvantages

When it comes to the choice between using an online travel agency or not for your next trip, there are several factors to consider with several pros and cons.

One of the main concerns that seem to arise with online travel agencies is the trustworthiness and security of paying such large amounts of money online. While online security is a major factor for any online travel agency, this is true of all online businesses. So it is more a matter of choosing a travel agency online with a quality reputation by looking at their customer reviews and see what their actual site itself is like. What’s more, when you are logging on and preparing to pay for any online costs, there should always be that small symbol of a lock at the bottom right hand side of the screen as a sign of the level of security attached.

The benefits of using online travel agencies are that unlike their physical counterparts, they are available at any time, ideal for emergency travel situations, and also for any late after-hours bookings that you need to complete. Additionally you can compare travel deals and special available all over the world in order to find the very best deal for you and your travels. What this means is that while a physical travel agency will have a great range of deals for you, they are limited by who they can work with in terms of other travel professionals. With these online agencies, it up to you to decide who you work with, allowing you to create your ideal travel plans.

What you may also find when working with online travel agencies that you will have a great range of methods to pay for the holiday, offering greater flexibility and financial choice. These choices can range from the standard credit cards and accounts to payment plans and travel accounts.

Overall when talking online travel agencies it is more a matter of preference of the customer and how they prefer to do their business, either online or in person, that should dictate how they book their travel plans.

Where Does Advertising Fit Into the Marketing Mix?

Many people get confused about the role of advertising in the marketing mix so here’s a simple view of where it fits in.

In the traditional marketing model, we talk about the 4 P’s

o Product

o Pricing

o Place

o Promotion

The last section – Promotion is what we mean when we say you are “doing your marketing”. It’s your communications or your actual marketing activities.

But first, let’s get clear about the PURPOSE of marketing and why you want to get good at it.

“The PURPOSE of marketing or it’s biggest task is to

persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you

can present your offer. Done well they come waving their

credit card and ready to buy so there’s no need for hard sell.”

Whenever and wherever you get in front of your potential market is your marketing opportunity – you are communicating or getting your message across.

You could say this started as far back as Babylon when the Town Crier was the only delivery method! They went around town shouting out to people to go to the marketplace and you went to the marketplace with your goods to “present your offer”.

With the invention of print and other technologies you now have a smorgasbord of delivery methods or media to reach people such as

o Print – newspapers, magazines, catalogues, newsletters

o Phone, mail, fax

o Radio & TV,

o Internet – through websites, blogs, social networking sites, email, video & Audio podcasts

o Teleseminars & webinars

o Mobile media – Blackberrys and mobile or cell phones

o And lets not forget in person public speaking and networking

Now that range adds a level of complexity. But choice is good and you don’t have to use all of these but they are available to you.

In any event you’ll either be speaking or writing. Simply narrow down what makes sense for you and your business and use your strengths to work out a plan.

JUST remember the marketing principles remain the same no matter the medium – so the PURPOSE of your marketing is still the same. To persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer.

So where does advertising fit into this?

Advertising is simply a subset of your marketing activities it’s the SALES function when you make the sales pitch or “present your offer”. This could be verbal or written in all the same media you use for your marketing communications. What adds to the confusion is sometimes big companies use image based ads for awareness so the “sales pitch” isn’t obvious.

But the primary purpose of advertising is to SELL.

So you create ads in one form or another and get them in front of your audience.

Small businesses can’t afford to waste money on image advertising that is designed for the masses to promote a well known brand. It simply isn’t designed to sell, NOW.

What I do and recommend is Direct Marketing which is based on one-on-one relationships and uses proven direct response advertising techniques instead of mass advertising.

The purpose of a direct response advertisement is to get a response, NOW! Which means these ads actually ask the prospect to DO something.

Whether you’re building a list, selling a product or service, an appointment or even something you are giving away – you still need to “sell” it to your prospect. And ask them to take the action you want them to take to move them through the sales process.

In a nutshell, advertising is a subset of marketing and direct response marketing and advertising is the champion for small business.

VoIP Security – How Secure Is It?

With the advent of VoIP technology, the question of VoIP security comes to mind for many who are afraid that their conversations are being listened to by people they do not even know. Although this is certainly a possibility, so far there have not been any widespread reports of this occurring. It might surprise you to know that your phone conversations on your landline and your cell phone can also be tapped into, just in a different way.

Since VoIP conversations are converted to digital data and then transmitted in the form of data packets, just like traditional data packets that can be intercepted and listened to. This may be a bit disconcerting to hear, but in many cases the security breaches the user from themselves. If making calls using a computer, there could be malware present that is sending these packets to a server over the internet. Once there, the hackers then listen to the conversation.

Why would someone thousands of miles away want to you hear your conversation? Well, people that write intrusive software or malware are generally only trying to gain one thing, your private information. Although we benefit from new technologies such as VoIP, unfortunately so do would be thieves. It's not out of the reality of possibilities for malware to be written to "listen in" to your conversations and retrieve the data based on recognized key terms such as "pin number". If you called your bank and spoke with a bank employee, your private information could get into the wrong hands.

This sounds like a frightening prospect, but there are ways to combat the theft of your voice conversations. Encryption is key to prevent anyone from having unauthorized access. This way the conversation is encrypted when it's converted to digital data which renders it useless to anyone who might try to gain your information. They can still get the data, but since it's encrypted they would have no way to listen to it. For older style phone systems that use digital phones, for someone to listen to your conversation they would have physically be at the location to "tap into" the line. VoIP conversations can be intercepted from anywhere in the world which is why encryption becomes so important.

It goes without saying that the data network itself should have the protection of firewalls. Firewalls are the gatekeepers of a network and will allow or deny traffic depending on the configuration. The firewall serves to act as the main entry point for data. By relying on a firewall, the need for each individual device to have its own security is delegated and administrating security on the network becomes more simplified. Unfortunately, the firewall becomes yet another point through which data packets must pass. Since all of the packets enter and leave the network through the firewall, congestion can become heavy and a bottleneck created. Some networks are configured to have two firewalls one for standard data and one for VoIP data. This way the firewall specific to voice traffic can be configured with the appropriate security settings that would apply only to VoIP packets. It is also recommended that a firewall maintain the QoS or routing priority information on the packet header. VoIP traffic must have priority through the network to maintain higher voice quality during phone calls.

There are several places within the network where it is appropriate to implement firewall protection for added VoIP security. The first is in front of the IP phone system itself. This protects the phone system from any attacks that may originate from with the local area network and provides additional protection. VoIP traffic from remote workers should also be closely monitored to ensure that viruses, worms or other digital nuisances do not travel to the IP PBX via the VPN connection. Lastly, monitoring should occur on the carrier side to monitor for attacks from the carrier network itself. This is true even if the trunk is not connected to the internet.

There are several ways to configure multiple firewalls so that one is specific to VoIP traffic while the other handles other data. They can be set up in line with the data firewall being the first line of protection and the VoIP firewall immediately behind it or the data firewall can handle data traffic on its own while still processing VoIP traffic after it has been filtered by the VoIP firewall. The last configuration is one of both the data and VoIP firewalls sitting behind a router where the data firewall and the VoIP firewall filter data exclusive to their individual purpose. Regardless of the configuration, having a separate VoIP firewall is another layer of security protecting both your voice conversations an IP phone system.

VoIP is innovative technology which time has come. With the proper configuration and security settings, VoIP telephony can be just as secure as telephony using circuit switched routing. VoIP security is easily achieved with planning and appropriate security measures.

Strategies for Surviving Holiday Dinners, Family Events and Other War Zones

No matter how well we may have weathered our basic training, nothing can fully prepare us for the front lines of family gatherings. We're in the thick of it, dodging live ammunition, and fighting the urge to return to our old, reliable patterns that helped us to survive while we were growing up. We may have mastered our relationship skills in one-on-one relationships. We may have improved our romantic relationships, our professional relationships and our friendships. And we may have even improved our family relations – one family member at a time. But when we're sitting around the holiday dinner table or socializing at a wedding reception with our entire family, it's an entirely different experience.

For one thing, when we're with our entire family, we have to juggle a number of different relationships at the same time. Our attention is divided at best, and for many of us, our awareness deserts us completely after the first major skirmish. We feel like we're surrounded and have to defend ourselves from sneak attacks. We often feel that retreat is not an option. When we are cornered, we often believe that the only way that we can survive is to fight our way out, new relationship skills be damned.

While most people assume that General Sherman was referring to the Civil War when he stated, "War is hell," in fact, he was referring to a particularly memorable Thanksgiving dinner with his family. This also explains why he could send his troops into battle without a second thought, but that the very mention of cranberry sauce would reduce him to tears.

Bearing this in mind, here are some essential tips for surviving your next family gathering.

TIP # 1: Go Easy On Yourself!

The first, and most important survival tip is to remember that navigating and surviving family gatherings takes exceptional skill and often quite a bit of practice. We will not be able to transform our entire family dynamic between the course course and the pumpkin pie. In fact, we may not be able to change our family dynamic at all – and it's important that we accept that we do not need to. It's not our responsibility to help our family members resolve their issues. We're only responsible for resolving our responses to their issues. Our objective is to maintain our own safety and validation accounts, focus our awareness, and survive the family event reasonably unscathed.

However, maintaining our awareness while we're relating to our families takes practice! We must go easy on ourselves. We may react when we would rather respond. We may be drawn into old arguments. Whatever happens, we need to accept that it is perfect. We are doing our best, and that's all we can ever ask of ourselves. And remember that our awareness that we're acting out an old pattern is, in itself, a change in that pattern! As we develop our awareness, we will spend less time in our old patterns. Over time, our awareness will help us to make lasting and permanent changes in those patterns.

Tip # 2: Go Easy On Your Family

This piece of advice is equally as important as going easy on ourselves, but it's often a bit more challenging to follow. Essentially, we must be willing to forgive our relatives for everything. We must be able to accept that they only ever did the best they could at any given time. We need to begin to recognize and relate to our families as people instead of as family members. We need to begin to know them for who they are, and not simply for who they are to us.

When we embrace the truth that even our family members are individualized aspects of All That Is, our relationships with our families will shift dramatically. Our family members are some of the most powerful teachers we will ever encounter in our lives. They also tend to be the most accurate and powerful mirrors for us, which, of course, is why we often find it so difficult to love and accept our family members unconditionally. In order to love our family members, we would also need to be able to love and accept ourselves.

Even so, we can love our family members unconditionally and still only choose to sit down to eat with them once a year.

Tip # 3: Use The Bathroom As A Sanctuary When Needed

In our other relationships, we can usually recognize when we feel unsafe and move to a safe space so we can disengage our egos. Once we restore the balance in our safety account, we can return to the discussion and explore it without feeling threatened – and without exceeding our partner in return. When we feel unsafe in our family relations, however, many of us feel that we're obliged to stay and fight. This is simply not the case.

When we are aware that we feel triggered by a family member, we can simply choose to excise ourselves and visit the bathroom. The bathroom is the one place that we can be assured of our privacy, and we can stay there as long as we need to. We can use the bathroom as a sanctuary where we can regain our composition and gather our strength so that we feel safe enough to return to the battle. If any of our family members are indelicate enough to comment on how much time we seem to be spending in the bathroom, we can always plead an upset stomach or a weak bladder.

Tip # 4: Lose The Battle To Win The War

We have to be very clear about our objectives in terms of our family relations. If our ultimate goal is to improve our family relationships, we have to be willing to stay focused on the big picture. The most difficult lesson for most of us to accept is that in order to win the war, we have to be willing to lose the battle. Our long-term objective is to feel more safe and more validated in our family relationships. To reach this goal, we must help our family members feel safe and validated. In order to do this, we must be absolutely clear that we are capable of meeting our own safety and validation needs.

We often experience our families as competitive environments. Our old blueprints tell us that there's a limited amount of safety and validation available, and that we must compete with the other members of our family to meet our needs. We include and snipe at each other because we can only feel safe and validated if the balance in our accounts is greater than the balance in everyone else's accounts. The more we care about approaching other people's approval and validation, the more vulnerable we are. When one of our family members makes a comment designed to make us feel less valid, we do not need to defend ourselves. We can recognize that this person is asking to be validated, and we can validate them. Sometimes, this means letting them think that we are less successful, accomplished, and generally wonderful than we really are.

We must be willing to lose every single family argument we encounter. Letting our family members win the argument allows them to feel safe and validated. As long as we remember that we create our own safety and validation, and we do not need to compete with our family members, we can lose the argument because it will help us to win the war. We must let our family members believe that they are right about whatever the issue is, no matter how blatantly wrong they actually are.

We know the truth. That will have to be enough for us.

Tip # 5: Always, Ever, Never

If we want to refer to our family members as they are now and not as we remember them being in the past, we must eliminate three words from our vocabulary: always, ever and never. In the lexicon of family "discussions," always, ever and never are relationship air-raid sirens. They signal that an attack has been launched and it's time to duck and cover. Specifically, we must avoid some of our favorite statements in our family relationships such as, "You always have this way," "When have you ever supported me?" And "You never give me any credit." If we find ourselves using any of these words in a similar context, it's a red flag that we're focused on the past and not on the present. Likewise, when our family members use these words about us, they're related to us as we were, not as we are.

As soon as we become aware that we are using these words, we must stop. It's likely that our use of these words has made our family member feel unsafe and invalid. We can apologize for having used one of these words, and acknowledge that we have been unfair. Something about the current discussion has triggered an unpleasant association for us. If appropriate, we can rephrase the statement, keeping it specific to the present.

If we're on the receiving end of always, ever, never statements, we can choose to respond, rather than to react. In the middle of a family get-together, the wisest choice is often to deflect the statement, sometimes even acknowledgment that the statement may have some validity when applied to the past, and then change the subject. If the discussion has unrecognized an old wound, the wound will still be there for us to heal at a more appropriate time and in a more appropriate environment.

Food Safety FAQ Tips and Tricks for a Safe, Clean Kitchen

Food Safety – FAQ Tips and Tricks

Food Safety is very important and knowing about it can help keep you and your family healthy. Here are some answers, tips, and tricks, to frequently asked questions that you may have about food safety.

“What is the safe holding temperature for foods that are already cooked?”

If you have any potentially hazardous foods which are not served immediately after you are done cooking them, then they must be either cooled down to a temperature of less than 40 degrees, or held at 140 degrees or higher.

Food safety is all about keeping the foods you cook at the right temperatures, and not in the danger zone.

“What Happens if I do not hold the food at temperatures under 40 degrees or above 140 degrees?”

Foods that are held at a temperature that’s either under 40 or over 140, it is in what is called the Danger Zone.

This is not a good thing because if the food doesn’t get take care of in less than 2 hours, you run the risk of causing a food borne illness outbreak.

The amount of time spent in the danger zone does not reset if you decide to take it out again and return it to the danger zone.

This is because when it is in the danger zone it is growing bacteria and refrigerating your food doesn’t kill them, it just slows them down.

“What are foods that are considered to be potentially hazardous?”

This would include high protein food items such as poultry, milk, milk products, gravy, fish, shellfish, etc. These will all gladly support the growth of harmful bacteria causing a food borne illness.

“What is the difference between a food borne intoxication and a food borne infection?”

Certain bacteria under certain conditions produce chemicals and toxins in food which when ingested by a person, will cause a food intoxication.

A food borne infection is caused by the ingestion of food containing a bacteria, virus, or parasite that must multiply within the gastrointestinal tract before causing symptoms and problems.

This is why food safety is so important!

“What causes a food borne illness?”

Most of the time, the majority of food borne illnesses can be traced back to one or more of the following:

Food that has been cooked too far in advance to serving.

Food had poor refrigeration.

Food was not held at the correct temperature.

There was a lack of adherence to personal hygiene standards.

The person responsible was careless in the preparation of the product and the application of what was recommended to them.

“What is the best way to thaw frozen foods?”

If you have frozen food you are trying to thaw don’t use methods such as exposure to excessive heat, hot air, or hot water. Instead, thaw the frozen foods in the refrigerator.

This will take a little more time, but you will have a much better final product. For perfect thawing, 36-38 degrees is perfect.

You can even use their original wrappers and packaging to enhance uniform thawing and also reduce moisture loss.

“Is there a problem with pastries?”

Yes, cream puffs, custard filled pies and cakes, eclairs, and all products similar to those must be prepared and cooked under sanitary conditions, covered, cooled quickly, and refrigerated until they are served. They also must remain under refrigeration when serving.

“How should ice be handled when used as part of the meal being served?”

Ice that is intended to be served for human consumption in food or drinks must be made from potable drinking water only.

Ice should definitely be handled carefully like anything else and should be protected from contamination.

“Why are pastries so important to keep refrigerated?”

Pastries filled with dairy products and/or eggs, are highly perishable and provide ideal culture platform for pathogenic organisms to grow on. Only the quantity of food that will be consumed for the day should be prepared.

“What is the best method of freezing cooked foods for serving at a later date?”

Before you start freezing food that you’ve cooked, it’s important to cool it down quickly and as fast as you can so bacteria don’t grow.

Food Safety

A great way to do this is to place the containers of warm food into an ice bath, or another container filled with ice cubes and water. Wedge the containers into the ice and keep stirring the food occasionally.

Stirring ensures that the center of the food cools as well. As the mixture cools, a great way to find out the temperature is to use a thermometer.

This is the best way you know exactly when it gets to the right temperature to be wrapped labeled and placed in a freezer.

Day to Evening – Tips For Transforming Your Look With Ease

Have you noticed how some people at work seem to look great during the day and when you have an evening work function look even better? They seem to be able to transform themselves with ease. On arrival at the conference they seem to have a small case and yet look as though they have a whole wardrobe with them. On the other hand you have taken a much larger case, many more clothes and yet still feel as if you have not quite got the right clothes and accessories with you. By reading these tips you too can move from day to evening with ease too.

1. Attitude – Rather than feeling that you never look your best, start believing in yourself. Believe that you are the best dressed in the room, this will help your confidence no-end.

2. Plan – If you have a work to evening function, plan in advance (up to a week) what you could wear. Try on the day outfit and transform it into the evening outfit, including the shoes and the accessories. You might find that just one item needs changing, for example a necklace. By planning in advance you'll have time to look in the shops for that piece.

3. Detail – There is much truth in the saying 'The devil is in the detail'. When you are trying on your evening outfit, look in a full length mirror or get a partner or friend to take a digital photo for you. Concentrate on the details of the photo. Is there anything that you could do to change an acceptable image of you into one that wows?

4. Dress – One of the easiest transformations from work wear to evening wear is a dress & jacket combination. A simple day dress in a color that suits you, with a matching or co-ordinating jacket can look very smart. By keeping the dress for the evening you could change the jacket to something dressier or swap it for a wrap & you can change the shoes for something more strappy or glitzy. Add an eye catching necklace & / or ear rings to pull the whole evening look together. The effect can be so different that colleges will hardly notice the dress that you wore in the day.

5. Make-up: Your make-up during the day may be understated. By making more of your eye make-up and adding a flash of bright lipstick you will complete your overall transformation.

6. Bag: If you have a briefcase or a large bag in the day, then pack a small clutch bag for the evening. There are some great shapes and styles for eye catching pieces around at the moment.

7. Walk into the evening event feeling a million dollars. If you really love your look yourself you will convey that image when you walk into the room.

If you need feel you need help with finding styles and colors that really work for you then treat yourself to an image consultation. An image consultant can help you to portray the successful person that you are through your appearance and after your visit you are likely to wonder why you did not do this years ago!

Pets – Safety Tips at Holiday Time

The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving has just passed and before you know it … or usually we are ready for it … you'll be waking up to Christmas morning. Boy, does not the year fly by? Along with all the joy the holidays bring, they can also present some particular hazards to the health of your pet – and consequently, to your peace of mind. Here are some ideas that can help prevent problems so that your holiday is a happy one for all.

First, it's a good idea of ​​know your vet's holiday hours. Keep emergency phone numbers and any special holiday requirements where they will be easily accessible.

Give some thought about how you'll use plants to decorate. Birds, cats and dogs will all nibble on household plants – and many of them are toxic or poisonous, including mistletoe and poinsettias. They can make your pet very ill so be sure to keep them out of your pet's reach.

If your celebration includes having a Christmas tree you should use some caution in placing the decorations on it. Only use unbreakable decorations at the bottom of your tree so there is not any danger of your cat batting a glass ball and breaking it, or the pup chewing your grandmother's antique bubble lights. As for birds – they should not have any access to the tree, decorations, plants and such. For those of us who live with pet birds, we know what mischief they can get into very quickly … not to mention how destructive they can be. So keep your birds confined, or watch them like a hawk (so to speak) when they are out of their cage. Better to be safe than sorry.

As far as the less exotic pets go … that is, cats and dogs … how about putting some kitty baubles or doggie toys on the lower branches of the tree instead of your fragile and valuable decorations. That way, if those pets are attracted to the tree they'll find something appropriate for them. Or, here is another suggestion that has proved successful for protecting both pets and little ones. Put the Christmas tree and gifts into a playpen. That may not stop kitty, but at least the tree can not fall down as easily as she decides to climb it. Granted, it might be a little strange to see the holiday tree and gifts in a playpen, but it might just be the ticket for your situation.

Since we are on the subject of the Christmas tree, here is another safety hint. If you have a live tree placed in water wrap the base so your pets can not drink the water. Many modern live trees have been sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic to your little friends.

Be very, very careful with candles. Your bird or cat may be enticed by the flicker of the flame. Singed whiskers or feathers would certainly put a damper on holiday cheer, not to mention the horror your pet would suffer from a serious burn. Place glass "hurricane lanterns" or other attractive covers over candles to protect your home and your pets.

Give some thought to New Years Eve. Pets are typically fried by the traditional firecrackers and other noisy merriment and it's best to have a plan to keep them from becoming afraid by the noise. Some dogs may be severely traumatized by fireworks so be sure to leave them inside if you go out to celebrate.

Pets, especially birds and cats, may be stressed by the changes in household routine during the holidays, especially if you are stressed yourself. Some cats and dogs respond to stress by becoming hyper or hysterical, and some simply retreat. Plan to spend some special time with your pets to calm yourself and reassure them during this period. If your pet is especially upset with strangers visiting, prepare a refugee where he can go to escape the "maddening crowd."

And last of all, we wish you and your family a wonderful and safe holiday.

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Teen Relationships

Before I start to talk about teen relationships I feel I have to make a clarification. Many people when they think of the word relationship, automatically equate it to love or sexual relationship. According to the general definition of relationship this is any connection between two or more elements and these elements can be anything from chemical substances to human beings. So from this definition it is simple to deduct the meaning of this word applied to human beings. A teen relationship can be any kind of relationship

  1. between teens of the same gender
  2. between teens of the opposite gender, like boyfriend girlfriend relationships
  3. between teens and other persons of the same or different gender and different age.

The quality of these relationships can also vary, but there are two kinds of teenager relationships I’m going to talk about here;

  • teen friendships and
  • teen love relationships

Teen Friendships

This kind of teenager relationship will fit into all three categories above. It can exist between a teenager and other persons of same or different gender and age. A good friend – no matter age or gender – is one of the best things you can have on this earth. A really good friend that is special to you and means much to you. A person that is always there for you.

Many successful love relationships has started with friendship and this is probably the reason for it’s success. The better you know the other person, the better you’ll go along with him or her and in a long lasting love relationship – as man and woman – your appreciation of your partner as a friend will mean much more than anything else. If we look at it from the other end, it seems much more difficult to build a friendship from a love or sexual relationship. In fact, I have not heard about it, maybe you have but the point is that a good friendship is always good to have both as a basis of a future love relationship and as a friendship by itself.

A teenage friendship can exist between anyone no matter what gender, age, race, background or whatever. A 13 year old girl and a 50 year old man can have a great and even lifelong friendship together as well as two teenagers of the same gender.

Teen love relationships

While you can talk quite frankly and straight forward in a friendship most of us are more aware of not hurting the partner in a love relationship. This can evolve to a degree of lies and even no communication at all just to protect your partner.

There are also more mutual expectations in a love relationship and more intimate emotions are involved than in a good friendship. A teen love relationship can be great and long lasting but if there is no basis of friendship in it the probability of sustaining it is significantly lower. There are some legally defined limitations with regards to who can go into a teen love or sexual relationship. It is illegal for people of 18 years and above to have a sexual relation to a minor but It is definitely not illegal to have older friends.

A good friendship is one of the best gifts God has provided our lives with and even if you marry the sweetest boy or girl in the world, neither of you will be happy if you aren’t good friends.