Month: February 2019

A Torrent Of Punishment

Mocoa, Colombia – Beyond the number of dead, more than 300, it’s very, very hard to watch the survivors, with their pain and trauma. Many people have lost six, ten, or even more relatives. Not to mention their friends, neighbors, acquaintances, engulfed by the mud.

It happened just before midnight. Many inhabitants slept when the river invaded their house and carried them away. It is all the more difficult because of this city, together with the Putamayo region, is at the heart of an armed conflict that lasts. Many Mocoa residents are displaced or have lost a loved one in clashes between the guerrillas, the paramilitaries, and the army. With this disaster, the tragedy overwhelms them again.

I was at my home in Cali, and on rising on Saturday morning, on April 1, I saw messages on my phone warning that a river had overflowed in Mocoa after torrential rains and There were many victims. But I did not imagine the magnitude of the disaster.

On the first day, the Colombian Red Cross reported 23 dead. As of 6 April, there were 306 deaths, including 92 children, and 314 disappeared.

I first looked for a way to reach the city, in the south of the country. I was able to catch a flight to Puerto Asis, near the border with Ecuador, and go up a road to Mocoa. It only took me two hours because it was spared by the mud, which swept three bridges on the other road leading to the city. Once there I moved with a motorcycle and then walk.

I stayed there for several days, and the smell of the dead bodies was very strong.

There was dirt everywhere, a lot of dust. And the sound of machines used to clear and break the rocks carried by the river.

Sometimes we could also hear tears or the cries of people to whom the body of a relative or an acquaintance was reported.

It is a very heavy atmosphere, very sad.

The scene provides a feeling of complete impotence. It is painful to see the inhabitants try to save the little that remains of their existence, fridges full of water, televisions, some clothes, dolls, shoes. Sincerely, it is very trying. Like the pain, we read on the faces of the survivors. She looks very, very strong. And then there is all the destruction of the environment, houses in crumbs, buried cars.

I was able to take pictures of the site from an army helicopter, and that’s where I really measured the scale of the disaster.

The force of nature surpasses the imagination, with rocks and trees transported by the river, and under which houses were literally buried.

Wherever there was a neighborhood, nothing was left but mud and rocks.

We went up to the source of the river, and to that of landslides, the mud of which inflated the deadly flood.

With the torrential rains, the mountain yielded, notably because of deforestation.

I counted at least ten …

External Paint

We have all seen them dotted around South Africa, especially in small quaint suburbs that have a lot of history or attract people of the creative orientation. Townhouses, duplexes and cottages lined up in a row along the street, each painted in its own particular color scheme, according to the owner's preference.

It's these houses that separate that particular street or suburb from the rest of its neighbors. In general people have a tendency to just stick to neutral, safe colors for their homes such as beige, white and off white color schemes.

Occidentally you might find one house in these plain suburbs with a touch of one other color on the accents of their house, but the basic idea is to keep everything simple. Whether it's because they are scared their property might not be as easy to sell if it only suits a particular group of people, or whether it's because making their house stick out from the rest of the crowd is too daunting to contemplate, is uncertain.

However, colorful houses do exist and the amount of people that are flocking to the suburbs is growing by the day. Some historic neighborhoods in South Africa have colorful homes due to the fact that in the 1900's technology advanced to the point where many colors of paint could have made and people took advantage of it.

In Cape Town, houses in Woodstock, Oranjezicht, Tambourskloof and Observatory all share at least one magical lane of multi-colored homes, and it's these suburbs that have the largest population of alternative families, artistic individuals and out-the box thinkers.
It's the color that draws people to buy the house. Exterior visuals play a large part when the house is on show. It's literally one of those "love at first sight" scenarios. When you paint your house a particular color on the exterior you are revealing yourself to the world and people respond.

Estate Agent Andre Bottger says that color is definitely a contributing factor in the property transaction. External color is the first thing people see and first impressions do count. He says that in his opinion most South Africans are conservative when it comes to exterior house color.

Estate Agent Arnie Berman says the opposite, in that he generally finds that if the exterior of a house is in color it has a positive effect on the sales.

Each color brings its own territory of emotions and atmospheres and while the garden, fencing and structure do add to the ultimate end result, the base color is the true origin of the over-all theme and feel. This is probably why certain colors work better when it comes to the sale of a house.

Each culture has its own philosophy about what a color of the rainbow brings to the table of tastes and emotions, but the theme of the house should also be examined when choosing. While your favorite color might be purple and green, that does not need to suit an old …

Fun In The Sunroom – 365 Days A Year

To view the wonders of nature outside, that is what sunroom is typically for, but there is not a reason for your creative design on the interior of the room can not match your personality and tastes. Before you can begin the building of your new addition, you need to check with your local zoning and construction laws, to make sure you are even allowed to start the planning stages of your project.

Everything checked out, you are allowed to build your new sunroom, now the decision is what kind of sunroom addition to purchase, will you be building from the ground up or using your homes existing deck or porch. There is good and bad for both, if you use your homes existing porch or deck, the cost will be less expensive than building one from the ground with a new foundation, which is good, but the design for the room may not be as big as you would like and be constrained, that might not be what you want.

If everything sounds good, you need to get a home inspector to inspect your existing structure to see if it can even bear the additional weight of a sunroom, you do not want to ruin your new room by placing it on a pre-existing foundation that isiable to crack due to the foundation unable to support the weight. Sunrooms are defined by their roof styles; you have the cathedral, which has claimed ceilings that passes an illusion of space and airiness. The Californian a split-level that gives the room an exciting look to it, and the illustrious curves of the solarium gives a better line of sight to enjoy the stars at night.

The conservatory has the same effect. The fast growing popularity of sunrooms people are using them for a variety of things that traditionally they were never used for such as: Bathrooms, Bathroom, Studies, Game rooms, and even a Bedroom. Once everything has been constructed, you will be able to start planning the decoration stage of your project. This allows you to use you own tastes and styles when decorating your individual room according to what use you will be using it for. Advanced planning is critical and investing in the time to pre-plan will be extremely beneficial through the whole construction process all the way into the decorating of your new sunroom or patio room.

Plan ahead rather have a general idea of ​​how you want to decorate your sunroom. The contractor will be able to give you an exact number on how many square feet you will have, this will be a help when you go shopping you know exactly how big of a space you are dealing with. You want your accents and furniture to compliment your new room not make it dull and no fun to be in. Any questions that may arise feel free to ask your contractor several questions; they will be more likely to have the answers since they are …

What You Should Know Before Choosing Double Glazing

If your home has become progressively less efficient energy wise, and you have decided that perhaps replacing your doors and windows could help, then you may be on the right track. Before getting started though, be sure to do your research on double glazing and upvc replacement windows and doors, as these increasingly popular home improvement jobs are extremely efficient as well as attractive. And if in the end you decide on double glazing, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

Double glazing is such an attractive alternative for many who are replacing windows and doors because it is a model of efficiency. It is a system in which two panes of glass are placed several millimeters apart in order to form the window. In this way, air is trapped and an insulating layer is formed. Replacing your standard windows and doors with double glazing upvc windows and doors can possibly cut your heat loss in half. They also help decrease noise from outside and practically eliminate internal condensation.

Before purchasing double glazing, it is crucial to obtain a number of quotes from different providers as competition is fierce in the industry. The more quotes that you obtain the better, but you should try for at least four qualified quotes. For each of the double glazing companies that you are considering, you should be able to review a range of double glazing windows and doors either in their showroom or on their website. Visiting the website of companies is a good way to get a feel for the products you are considering before actually visiting the showroom and it saves you time also.

When you are researching companies that offer double glazing, a few things to keep in mind are: 1) if you are allowed to choose form a full range of products or just a few styles, 2) if the company can provide you with a listing of satisfied customers in the area, 3) if a code of practice covers the installers, 4) if the work is guaranteed, and any other pertinent questions you may have. If the company satisfactorily addresses your concerns, then you can relatively safely request a quote for your replacement windows and doors.

Once you have decided which company you will be choosing for your double glazing, then it imperative that you receive a contract for the work. Be sure that your contract addresses the price for the double glazing as well as any fees for additional work. There should also be a full detailed description of what work is included in the contract, including any extras. It should also detail when the double glazing installation will start and how the work will proceed to completion.

Before your windows and doors are replaced, be sure that you are aware of the payment options and terms for double glazing. Some typical options include financing and payment in stages. You should also understand what types of fees are levied for late payments. When …

To See or Not to See-Bathroom Mirrors

Even in bathrooms, mirrors are an important piece of the dZcor. The choice of your bathroom mirror can create completely different looks in the same room. Mirrors can reflect light to make the room look larger or to reflect a particular decorative piece to create emphasis on it. The frame, size, and shape will have an affect on your most private room.


Since bathrooms are usually smaller, you will need to choose mirrors that are light framed or frameless for a more elaborate style. Wrought iron can be delicately woven to provide a light touch. Other light frames could have made thin bronze or polished nickel frame. Frameless mirrors will often have beveled or etched edges for light decoration. Just remember the goal is to create a lighter room to add a sense of depth and dimension to the small space. Avoid heavy frames that will only crowd the small bathroom space even more.


The size of your bathroom mirror will depend upon the size of the room and the size of the vanity or tub you will put it over. Never allow the mirror to extend over the edge of the vanity or tub because it will create an unbalanced look in the room. For a double-sink vanity, you can use one large rectangular mirror from edge-to-edge. This will perfectly reflect enough light to increase the impression of more open space. You may choose to have two separate mirrors for each sink, but you will probably need to add more lighting around each. For an inset tub, placing a wall-to-wall mirror above it will also add airiness to a space that would otherwise feel too enclosed.


The shape of your bathroom mirror will be affected by the style you are trying to achieve and the purpose the mirror will serve. Large rectangles over a double-sink vanity create a great deal of light for shaving or applying make-up. For a stand-alone make-up vanity, you may want a Victorian style oval mirror to frame the lady's face perfectly as she applies her make-up or arranges her hair. A full-length dressing mirror may be appropriate on the back of the door or as a part of the shower door.

The style of your bathroom mirror will help you to achieve your own personal touch in your bathroom. Traditional styles will best be complemented by light framed oval mirrors. Contemporary styles will favor the frameless beveled mirrors. If you choose a framed style, you can blend it with the cabinets in the room. Bathroom mirrors are as varied as people, so only your imagination will limit you. …

Bunny Love: Benefits of Rabbits as Pets

Are you thinking of adopting a rabbit for a pet? We don’t blame you–rabbits are very cute animals, who can give you many years of affection and amusement.

However, be sure you are ready for the responsibilities of taking care of this animal. While they are certainly easier to manage than dogs, they still require some attention.

For example, rabbits molt four times a year, so be prepared for a little fur on your sofa every few months. They’ll need hay, a litter box, and a cage (clean frequently with white vinegar to remove odors). If you use hay or woodstove pellets for their litter boxes, you can use these to fertilize your garden when it’s time for a litter change.

When you own a rabbit, you need to accept that a little nibbling is part of the territory. Protect electric cords with casings (available at hardware stores) since the poor pets may get quite a shock if they try to test their teeth on them!

You should also be willing to pamper your rabbit with petting and play (rabbits get depressed if they don’t get enough exercise). Rabbit gyms are available in pet stores. They have tube tunnels that will encourage your pet to run and race, even if you can’t let him out in the garden. Those tube tunnels will also make an interesting conversation piece for your guests–talk about the “new” form of “installation art”!

Not all veterinarians are trained to take care of rabbits, who are considered “exotic pets”/ You may need to shop around and call various clinics, which are usually listed in the phone directory. The pet store may also refer you to veterinarians. .

And finally, if you have children, do talk to your pediatrician first before buying a rabbit. The doctor is in the best position to tell you whether your child has any allergies, asthma problems or other health concerns that may be aggravated by rabbit fur. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

But these sacrifices are nothing compared to the benefits of having a pet rabbit. For one thing, your pet will inspire you to change your diet–since you have to keep a supply of fresh vegetables for him, you might as well make yourself a salad! Recent studies also reveal that owning a pet significantly reduces blood pressure and can even help with depression.

You don’t need to take rabbits for a walk, or worry about the inconvenience of walking around with a “pooper scooper”. Just let him out in the early morning or dusk, and watch him play while you enjoy a cup of coffee.

Nor do you have to worry about your rabbits disrupting the neighbors. They don’t bark or meow, and the “loudest” they ever get is the patter of their feet on the floor. That makes them ideal pets for apartment dwellers.

Rabbits are also ideal pets for the elderly, who may not have the energy to take care of a very large animal. …

Custom Stone Countertop Fabrication – Open Design

The kitchen has really come to the forefront of uniquely designed spaces in many people’s homes, with open design being one of the factors that most people are concerned with. While this can be achieved with a variety of different methods, one of the best ways to gain a unique perspective in the home is with a custom fabricated stone countertop. Other methods that are added to this include an adequate amount of light in the kitchen, placing appliances within cabinets, and playing around with different materials such as glass and different stones.

Some of the most popular types of custom stone countertop fabrication types include granite and marble, which give a polished sheen to open counter spaces. This helps lend itself to open design by providing a somewhat reflective surface for light to bounce off of, opening up the kitchen’s layout. These can be cut to order, or even placed in the middle of the kitchen in the form of an island. That can end up being the focal point of the entire kitchen, and could be a good place to think about entertaining guests when you have a dinner party.

To start the process of designing a new kitchen with these tenets of open design in mind, it can be a good idea to start from scratch. The custom stone countertop fabrication will only be one aspect of this design, but it could be the piece that ties the rest of the kitchen together. As with any other type of interior decoration, it’s necessary to have some sort of theme that rooms can be decorated in. The stone could be the very aspect of this design that brings in the other elements, to give a cheerful, open, and peaceful kitchen environment.

It’s best to stick to light or neutral earth tones if you want a more airy and open design to the kitchen. Ask to see samples of the different types of stones that could be used in custom stone countertop fabrication, to be able to effectively find a piece that will suit the mood. It can be a good idea to place these samples on top of your existing countertops, to think about the other aspects of design that would be best incorporated along with them. Sometimes, literally, it takes a rock to serve as the foundation for a larger structure, in this case, the most open design that will tie the room together.…

Garden Photography

As the seasons change the color of your garden will change with it. Most gardens are a rich source of great colors, patterns and vivid textures and can make for a perfect setting to practice all different types of photography – especially close-up nature photography.

Your garden can be one of the most wonderful places to take images of flowers, insects and a variety of small birds – and if you are lucky, sometimes other types of wildlife might wander into your garden.

You do not need great sunshine to go out into the garden – overcast days are always great days to get into the garden and capture the majestic colors of flowers.

Flower photography can be challenging, but when done right is most rewarding. The key to getting good flower pictures is pretty straightforward – get in close. You do not need to buy a macro lens to achieve this, a good telephoto lens on a tripod should do.

Use a large aperture (low f / number) to isolate your flower. This will get rid of any unwanted background, which sometimes focus attention away from your flower portrait.

Do not be afraid to use your flash – even on a bright day. This will get rid of any unwanted blur and help make your flower picture sharp.

These are simple tips to follow and should help to make your garden images better.

Photographing insects in many ways is similar to taking pictures of flowers. You need to get in close; your focusing has to be perfect and you also must minimize motion. If you are having trouble photographing insects try the following.

Pick a single flower on which you focus. Place a light fabric around any other flowers to isolate your shot. Now its time to place the bait – perfume is ideal to attract bees, butterflies and other insects into your outdoor studio. Use your strobe unit to freeze any motion with fast moving insects. This should be used in the bright conditions and will stop any movement in your nature portrait. Now it is time to sit and wait until your bait joins your prey.

Your garden is also full of all kinds of other creatures. Garden birds will make an attractive image; they will be up and out at an early hour so it's best to join them. Try building a hide in the garden and get up before sunrise – you will be surprised what creatures will wander in front of you at an early hour. Lay some bait around the garden to attract them in.

Use the elements of the weather to create more impact in your garden images. Early morning mist will leave droplets of water on leaves and flower petals. Use garden statues and other garden objects to create attractive silhouette images at dusk.

One of the largest attributes of nature, wildlife and garden photography is patience. Even though you are at home great patience is required to get the best …

How in the World Do You Decorate Your Bathroom?

If you're bored with the cold winter months and want to do something to put a little spice in your life, you might consider doing some remodeling in your home or apartment. Nothing will perk you up like having bright, fresh rooms to come home to. As the two most important and used rooms in any home, the needs of your bathroom and kitchen are the first ones you should look into.

As we said, these rooms see more use than most of the other rooms do; however, they are often the most neglected and rundown, too. Think about how long its been since you made any attempt to make over one of these rooms. When you think about it, you're probably going to realize that its been a long time since you even considered it.

Even if you have noticed things around the bath that you thought looked kind of bad, you probably shrugged and went about your business saying you did not have time to undertake a room overhaul. And back whenever you thought this, the room probably did not look nearly as bad as it does now. Things like this tend to creep up on you. Even if you've been keeping your rooms white-glove clean, there are still things that get worn and outdated.

I dare you to go into your bathroom and take a really close look. So what do you see? Maybe the curtains look limp and worn, and the bathroom rugs are getting a bit threadbare. Are those soap dishes you're still using those two-piece plastic models that were popular back in the '70s? As I'm sure you've heard before, they do not make things the way they used to, and if you look at your outdated items, you'll probably see why.

Start by getting rid of all the unnecessary junk, and buy yourself some new, updated accessories. There is an amazing selection to choose from these days. You may even have seen a gorgeous bathroom set in a store. By getting rid of the old junk, you'll have a reason to go out and treat yourself to it.

Make sure that whatever you buy is sturdy and water resistant. After all, these items are going to get a lot of use, and they're going to be exposed to water, soap, and other spills. You'll want your rugs to be machine washable so that when they get dirty you can just pop them into the wash and have them come out looking like new.

If you'd like to find some new, innovative ways to decorate your bathroom, there are numerous places you can draw inspiration from. For instance, there are mail-order catalogs with everything you could possibly want. It's possible that the catalogs will give you ideas you can use in order to substitute a less-expensive item for the one they have pictured.

All it will take to get you going is some catalogs or websites where you can start getting ideas. Then your …

Ways to Clean the Bathroom Step-by-Step

Even though we all wish our bathrooms to be the cleanest room in the household, we must as well accept it is about the most unpleasant room to do the cleaning. Well, it's a mean and tough chore, but it has to be gotten done. The task might be a bit lighter if you understand how to go about cleaning the bathroom. Collect all the bathroom cleaning tools and start cleaning.

One basic tip for cleaning is to hold all of your housecleaning supplies in a portable bin so that you've everything you require as you move from one cleaning job to the next. Even so, the lavatory alone appears to demand as many cleaning items as does the whole home combined. Maintain a different bucket for the toilet cleaning supplies. This should include toilet bowl cleaner, rags, towels, windowpane polishing fluid, bathroom sink cleaner, sponges, brush, floor cleaner, and mildew and soap scum remover.

When you begin cleaning the bath, first remove any dirty clothes or towels, and set everything else back in its proper place. Also, you should remove the floor mats or rugs that needs to be cleaned. I think that the most arduous part of cleaning the bathroom is getting the shower clean. If it's not cleaned often you will in all probability get a layer of soap scum and mold.

So, because I recognize that washing the shower is going to tire me out, I opt to start there. If the shower's soap scum is very thick, you aught to allow the cleaner soak in for a bit before you stay to scrub it. Be sure you rinse the shower curtain or the door to the shower, as well as the track. You will find there is a lot of cleaning wares intended to clean a shower. It's your pick, you get to pick whichever cleaning solutions you want. After you've cleaned the shower you need to rinse it thoroughly. It will help to wash off any cleaning solutions and free dirt.

Once you have a clean shower, the succeeding step for the bathroom is cleanup is mirror cleaning. In my house, we love writing messages to each other on the foggy mirror following a shower. Naturally, the bad thing is that it can mark the mirror. Another thing you might wish to accomplish is to clean the moldings, baseboards, door frames and shelves utilizing a rag.

The next step to take on for a completed bath is spigot cleanup. Whichever product you have that is right to wash bathroom and kitchen counters is also proper for sink cleanup. The sink area will probably likewise include the bottom of a pedestal sink as well as counters. The toilet is the following area needing to be cleaned once you've completed the sink; it is the hardest task in the bathroom.

Consider that there are a few different areas of the toilet, and they must all be cleaned. Utilize a disposable toilet bowl cleaner or a stock …