Thursday, November 27, 2014

Your Ideal Hawaii 2015 Day Planner

Every year we use to hunt for a day planner to keep track of our goals, events, daily to-do lists, and record the food we ate.  Although some day planners were close to what we were looking for, none provided everything we wanted and we were frustrated by their high cost.  Two years ago, we started to published our own day planner with all the tools we needed to set goals and keep track of our progress every day and month during the year.  If you are looking for a day planner for 2015, consider Your Ideal Hawaii Day Planner 2015, available now on Amazon for $5.99.

We tend to get more of the things we appreciate, so the front of the Hawaii-themed Day Planner has a page to list the things you appreciate to refer to every day.  Each day in the Planner has space to track food eaten, calories, and your daily weight, which we have found keeps us achieving our weight and health goals. Each week has a space write down your insights, which we find helpful to refer to later, sometimes years later.  We also record the events of the world and important happenings in our life in our Day Planner.

Your Ideal Hawaii Day Planner 2015  is a 9”x 6” paperback book that is sturdy and easy to carry. The front cover has a picture of a beautiful red Lehua flower from Hawaii’s native Ohia trees. The 150 pages in the interior are black and white.   The 2015 Day Planner has all the Federal holidays as well as unique holidays and special days celebrated in Hawaii.

At the front of the Planner are pages for writing your Goals for the year, what you are Thankful for, your Choices for the upcoming year, and your Plans for where you want to spend your time in 2015.  Each month has an overview calendar with a section on the side for writing monthly Goals, Health Choices, Appreciations, Projects, Adventures, and Events.  Each monthly calendar is followed by two pages for each week to plan and record each day. 

Overview calendars for December 2014 and January 2016 are also included.  At the back of the Planner are pages to record your 2015 Accomplishments and make Plans for 2016.  You can look inside the day planner on Amazon here.

If you are looking for a great Day Planner for 2015 for yourself or someone else, give this one a try and let us know how it works for you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Year of the Wood Sheep 2015

2015 Wood Sheep
It is time for our annual predictions based on the Chinese lunar calendar for 2015 Year of the Wood Sheep.  As we predicted, the current 2014 Wood Horse year has been fast paced, with explosive energy, expansionism, military power, economic change and chaos.  There are a couple more months of the Horse year ahead before the Sheep brings some calm to the global chaos and slows down the pace on February 19, 2015.  The Sheep is more stable than the Horse and prefers diplomacy and harmony to the Horse’s confrontation and demands for justice.

We find it useful to review what happened 60 years ago, during the last Wood Sheep year, to see how events may relate to today’s world.   The last Wood Sheep year, in 1955, was a year of many firsts in US consumerism. Disneyland opened, McDonalds opened, the Scrabble game and Lego came to market. New popular TV shows were introduced including the Johnny Carson Show, Gunsmoke, Lawrence Welk Show, Honeymooners, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Millionaire, and the Mickey Mouse Club.

Sheep years are known for diplomacy and during 1955 numerous treaties were signed including the Warsaw pact, USSR peace treaty with France and Great Britain, Turkey and Iraq defense alliance, British military treaty with Iraq, Belgrade declaration, South East Asia Collective Defense Treaty, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia defense treaty.  The Israel government was formed by David Ben-Gurion, the West European Union was established, and the Vienna Treaty restored Austria's independence.

The US and USSR performed nuclear tests and President Eisenhower’s “Operation Alert” exercise assessed the US readiness for a nuclear attack.  The first atomic generated power was used by towns in the US, the Atomic clock was developed, and the first nuclear powered submarine was tested. The military demonstrated self-guided missiles and the first seagoing oil drill rig went into service.

Politics in the US changed dramatically with the start of the civil rights movement after the arrest of Rosa Parks and other African Americans for resisting bus segregation in the Southern US.

On the economic front, the minimum wage was raised from 75 cents to $1 and GM became the first US corporation to make over $1Billion in a year in 1955.

The last Sheep Year in 2003, a water Sheep, was focused on the Iraq war and overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  It was also the year the Department of Homeland Security was formed.

Although Sheep avoid conflict and are quiet and calm, some of the previous Horse year storms will still be raging during the Sheep year.  Unfortunately, Chinese astrologers warn of the flying star of hostility and violence being prominent in 2015.  Conflicts around the world may increase and escalate.  Hostilities may overtake the benefits of the sheep year for some people. 

Sheep like to spend money and love being part of the crowd.  So expect some financial improvement in the economy and more focus on consumerism.  Some people will find it a great year to generate wealth.  Although most of the news is good for relationships, commerce, and wealth during the Sheep year, be careful of misunderstandings and hostility in your environment and the world in 2015.

If you are looking for a 2015 day planner – check out Your Ideal Hawaii Day Planner for 2015.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Baking Soda as a Bug Killer

Before we moved to Hawaii, baking soda was just one of those ingredients to make fake “lava” for paper mache volcanoes in grade school. When we lived in Hilo we found baking soda very useful for improving the air quality on very voggy (bad volcano emission) days.  We had heard that soaking a towel in water and baking soda and putting it in front of a fan helped. Since vog is mostly sulfuric acid, the mildly basic baking soda helped make the environment less acidic.

Recently we started using baking soda to clean things.  We have a wooden table that had built up layers of dirt, oil and volcanic ash.  No wood cleaner or furniture polish we tried would take it off.  When we sprinkled baking soda on it, we were able to scrub the layers off and the table suddenly looked great again. We also started using baking soda on the rug to help reduce the musty smell.  We sprinkled some on the rug and let it set for 15 minutes  before vacuuming it up.  The rug seemed cleaner and felt better on our bare feet.  

We normally use ant baits to keep the ants under control, but with all the rain we have been getting the last couple of months there have been many more ants and bugs of all kinds.  We have had to replace our ant baits more frequently, about every two weeks instead of every two months. Our guess is everyone else is having the same problem because the local stores have run out of ant baits.  We noticed the ants, cockroaches, millipedes and other bugs seemed to slow down after a baking soda treatment on the rug.  So we tried sprinkling baking soda along the window sill and under the door to see if that would slow them down.  
Baking Soda on the window sill

Much to our delight, a few days later there was a pile of dead ants in the baking soda on the window sill.
Dead Ant in the Baking Soda
Is it possible that something as common and inexpensive as baking soda could really kill ants and other bugs?  If so, this would save us lots of money and keep us from having to deal with insecticides.   

We started researching how baking soda kills ants and it appears that ants and other bugs like the taste of baking soda. When they eat it is causes the production of C02 which causes their stomach to rupture and kills them.  It is apparently a very good pesticide. 

Now we buy 13.5 pound bags of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda on Amazon or at Costco. We even wash our clothes and sheets with soap that contains baking soda and seems to discourage bugs from crawling into the bed.  We sprinkle it on the furniture and put it in all the entry ways. The baking soda has greatly cut back on the bugs in the house. 

We wonder why we have never heard of this simple solution before.  But we are glad the local stores ran out of ant baits so we could find a new use for baking soda