Monday, February 9, 2009

Pet Memorials

When a beloved pet dies it can be very traumatic, and for many people the loss of a treasured family pet is almost as difficult to deal with as losing a friend or relative. Often when this sad day comes, people will choose to have their pet cremated and memorialized in a one of a kind custom made cremation urn.

Choosing to have your pet cremated and the remains contained inside a hand made funeral urn is a great way to honor the loyalty and friendship that a pet showed to you during its life. Family pets are just that important and make our lives that much richer and more meaningful. They stick with us through thick and thin and show us loyalty and friendship that is unconditional. A beautiful cremation memorial can be created indoors or outdoors depending on what type of urn you should choose to go with.

There are many options for creating a memorial to your pet. Creating a cremation memorial with a one of a kind urn as the centerpiece is a truly wonderful way to keep the memories of that beloved pet alive for all time. Hand made art urns are a great addition to any memorial display and can be kept on a mantle or in a special place to constantly remind you of the special time you shared with you wonderful family pet.

Glass cremation urns, metal funeral urns, ceramic art urns and pet urns are all available to keep the cremated remains of that special animal close to you. Decorative urns made especially for that wonderful family pet will be perfect for showing the world how much your sweet animal meant to you. Dog urns or cat urns can be a custom made cremation urn that reflects the personality of that special dog or cat that brought so much joy and love to your life.

If you want to create a memorial shrine outdoors, it is best to use a durable material for the one of kind hand made funeral urn. Selecting a metal cremation urn or a stone funeral urn is ideal for the outdoors, because it provides a durable material that is strong and will hold up against the elements and the weather. Indoor cremation memorials offer a little more flexibility in what type of material you choose to go with.

Having a custom made funeral urn crafted by a truly expert artisan is the best way to go about this process. This way, you can have the art urn created to your specifications and ensure that the vessel that holds your special family dog or beloved family cat will be a true memorial to that special friend. Finding an artisan who specializes in these types of hand made urns can be a challenge, but these days it is not as hard as it once was.

There are now companies that specialize in creating unique urns for any occasion. Cremation urns are available in many places, but finding some folks who truly care about honoring the memory of your pet as much as you do is rare. Look closely and choose wisely to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable dealer who understands the importance of what they are creating and the honor it is to do this sacred duty.

The Cape Point Route

The Cape Point Route in Southern Africa is an adventure that you should definitely consider if you are taking a vacation in Africa. This magnificent stretch of highway is a breathtaking drive through some of the most beautiful country in the world.

Take the Cape Point Route and explore both coastlines on either side of a national park, visit up to 18 beaches, see a wide variety of wildlife including whale watching, penguins, seals, exotic birds and baboons among others. Situated at the southern end of Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world, you will find rural Noordhoek. Browse shops at Noordhoek Farm Village, stop off for a bike ride or walk along the trails of the Silvermine Reserve, experience the Noordhoek Art Route which boasts working artists and tours one Sunday each month, and visit the Red Herring Trading Post set amongst the ancient and majestic milkwood trees. Art galleries, pottery studios and a plant nursery are just a few of the attractions awaiting you at the Red Herring.

Following the Cape Point Route will take you to many other beautiful and exotic locations such as Kommetjie, known for its incredible surfing, Slangkop Lighthouse, which is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in South Africa, Solole Game Reserve offering close encounters with buffalo and antelope in their native habitat, and the peaceful and quaint settlement of Masiphumelele, home to a mostly Xhosa speaking community offering walking tours and visits to some community projects.

Scarborough and Cape Point is a seaside conservation village known for its natural splendor and creative indigenous gardens and is a great place to see whales and other native marine animals. Scarborough beach is an ideal location for bird watching, walking the beach, sea kayaking and surfing, and is home to Cape Clawless Otters. The Good Hope Nature Reserve is within Table Mountain National Park and is one of the most frequently visited attractions in South Africa. Offering angling, surfing and diving spots and protecting over 1200 species of fynbos, 250 species of birds and a wide variety of other mammals including buck and baboons, The Good Hope Nature Preserve is not to be missed.

The boulders, beaches and museums of Simon’s Town and Glencairn are just a few of the attractions to see on this stop along the Cape Point Route. Historical sites such as The Church of St. Francis, the oldest existing Anglican Church in South Africa and The Roman Rock Lighthouse are in Simon’s Town and boat trips for harbor tours, whale watching and Seal Island and Cape Point depart from here.

Fish Hoek and Clovelly lies on the Cape Point Route and boasts one of the safest swimming beaches in South Africa, surrounded by beautiful rugged mountains and white sands. A Stone Age cave site known as Peers Cave was where a 12000 year old man was discovered as well as a collection of Stone Age tools. The Fish Hoek Valley Museum houses interpretive displays of the Peers Cave excavations and many collections of interest. A walk along Jager Walk will take you along the rugged and rocky coastline to Sunny Cove where you can learn about the life of the playful local dolphins and humpback whales native to this area. Finish off your stay in Fish Hoek with 18 holes of golf at the Clovelly Country Club, a gorgeous course offering native sand dunes, flora and fauna and lovely water features.

Intermingling arts, crafts and natural splendor is Kalk Bay, St. James, Muizenberg and Lakeside. Kalk Bay is one of the hippest seaside villages found on the cape offering a cosmopolitan experience of fine art, delicious gourmet cuisine and beautiful architecture. Enjoy the community based project known as Adventure Kalk Bay and take a fishing trip out with some of the local fisherman, or visit the harbour at noon when the fishing boats are returning with their catches. The 125 year old Holy Trinity Church is one of the many historic sites to be found in Kalk Bay. 36 kilometers of white sand and safe beaches are to be found in Muizenberg, as well as swimming pools, waterslide and putt-putt courses intermingled with lovely cafes and shops. The well known Historical Mile is home to the South Afrcian Police Museum, Het Posthuys which is a historical diorama of the 1795 Battle of Muizenberg and the Rhodes Cottage, where Cecil John Rhodes spent his final days. The Lindbergh Arts Foundation is a block of four houses designed by Sir Herbert Baker and is home to an incredible collection of Africana and is frequently used for musical performances and art shows. At the foot of the Muizenberg Mountains you will find beautiful Lakeside, with views of Zandvlei Lake and False Bay, and the incredible Rondevlei Nature Reserve which is a wetland reserve and home to 230 bird species, small mammals and hippopotamuses. The Imvubu Nature Tours offers activities within the Rondevlei Reserve.

The Cape Winelands Region is a must see area on any trip to southern Africa. Steeped in a diverse history and culture, this area offers many wonderful opportunities to experience the fascinating and beautiful culture of the Rainbow Nation. Preserved architecture, museums, art galleries and craft markets will allow the past and present to blend seamlessly in a truly amazing experience. A region known for its innovation and creativity, Cape Winelands is home to some of the world’s greatest master potters, beadworkers and weavers. Spring in this region offers a variety of seasonally specific events and attractions including The Bonnievale Enduro Bike Race, Ceres Squash Festival, Pick ‘n Play Robertson Half Marathon, Woord Literature Festival, National Cheese Festival, Nederburg Auction, JC le Roux Devon Valley Run, Dirtopia Mountain Bike Festival, Michelle’s Pass Half Marathon, Shark Rally, Safari Half Marathon and many others. Regular attractions and things to do in the Cape Winelands region includes miles of 4x4 trails and hiking trails, animal watching caravan and camping experiences, environmental adventures for backpackers and day trippers, and a host of adventures geared toward family and children.

This wonderful route offers many exciting adventures from sea kayaking to African safari, and is sure to make any African holiday an adventure to remember. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the Cape Point Route when you take your next vacation in Africa. Enjoying this drive is luxury African travel at its finest.

Buying Aerobic Shoes

Many people, both men and women are getting into one of the most fun and healthiest forms of exercise. Aerobics has gained in popularity over the past few decades, and still continues to dominate the workout and fitness club calendars, and choosing the right aerobic shoes is important. Alongside newer trends such as yoga and kickboxing, aerobics still remains the top way to get a full body workout and have fun all at the same time.

Combining elements of dance, calisthenics and other sports, aerobics is both fun and challenging. Naturally exciting and done to upbeat music, aerobics is a great way to put a smile on your face as you burn calories, strengthen muscles, gain flexibility and sweat dangerous toxins out of the body while increasing your cardiovascular health. However, like any sport or athletic activity, it is imperative that you carefully select the appropriate type of athletic footwear to make sure you are having a safe and injury free experience while getting the most out of your workout.

Choosing an aerobic shoe is relatively easy once you know what to look for. Aerobic shoes will combine elements of several other shoes such as basketball shoes, tennis shoes, running shoes and others. The lateral support of a tennis shoe, the ankle support of basketball shoe, the cushioning of a running shoe will all be familiar elements to aerobic shoes. Aerobics involves a lot of repeated up and down motion, so the lighter the over all weight of the shoe the better.

Most shoes specifically designed for aerobics will be women’s aerobic shoes, so if you are looking for a men’s shoe to engage in aerobic dance or other form of aerobics, the style you will be going for is a men's cross training shoe. Cross trainers and aerobic shoes will have a lot in common. I would recommend a mid-top men’s cross trainer to give more ankle support.

The basic elements of the shoe you are looking for will be common to both cross trainers and aerobic shoes. You will want good ankle support, and a mid top is appropriate for this. Because of the wide variety of motions involved in aerobics, ankle support is crucial to avoid rolling or twisting ankles. Lateral support is a key as well for many of the same reasons. Like tennis or basketball, you may find yourself jumping from side to side doing aerobics and twisting ankles is a danger here as well. Unlike a running who’s main cushioning is in the heel of the shoes, an aerobic shoe should have its primary cushioning under the balls of the feet, because a lot of aerobics will involve jumping and landing on this part of the foot. Heel cushioning is helpful but not nearly as important as the ball of the foot.

Fitting a cross trainer for aerobics or an aerobic shoe is much like fitting any other men's athletic shoe or women's athletic shoe. Make sure the shoe fits snug, but not tight across the toes and arch. Be sure that your heel does not slide, but also that your toes are not crushed into the toe box. Lace up both shoes wearing the type of socks you would normally wear and walk and jump a bit to ensure a comfortable fit. Different brands will run slightly different from each other, so pay less attention to the number of the size of the box, and focus more on the fit and feel. A 9 in one brand may be a 9 ½ in another.

Solar Energy

Every day the life-giving force of the sun bombards our little blue and green planet with untold amounts of solar energy. Everything thrives on our world because of the sun, and it never stops sending off infinite amounts of powerful solar radiation and is a source of monumentally renewable energy. These days, the idea of wasting this precious resource as it falls upon our planet is unthinkable, and it is only a matter of time before using solar energy for everything from powering our homes, heating our living spaces and warming our bath water is something that everyone is doing.

Using solar power to heat and power a home or business is just good sense. After the initial investment is made, solar energy becomes one of the most sustainable and renewable forms of energy available to us anywhere. Alternative energy and green power are fast becoming more than desirable, they are becoming necessary. As we move into the mew millennium, it has become obvious that our archaic and outmoded methods of powering modern life can not continue, and solar energy is at the forefront of the revolution and evolution of modern power systems.

Solar hot water, solar electricity and solar heat are all technologies that bring the incredible power of our life-giving star into the homes and offices of many, many people all over the world today. Solar power has many advantages over conventional methods of powering our lives such as coal, petroleum and nuclear. For one thing it is incredibly clean technology, with no harmful chemicals or toxic byproducts to worry about. For another thing, it is very inexpensive after the system is in place, and many people who are grid tied can attest to the fact that solar power reduces energy bills dramatically when properly installed, maintained and used.

With this growing field and greatly increasing demand, there are many people who have become experts in this cutting edge energy technology. Finding a reputable and knowledgeable company to consult and install a solar power system is not as difficult as it once was. Years of research and development in this field are at the disposal of these pioneers in the new field of green energy, and they are not only able to help, they are genuinely exciting and thrilled with the notion of helping you become more energy independent and lessen your impact on the environment.
Harnessing this incredibly valuable resource has become one of the hottest (pun intended) and most exciting categories of modern technology, and there are many companies making use of this growing market to bring solar power to consumers everywhere. Years of practice have shown us that once a technology becomes available to the general public, finding companies that specialize in that technology becomes easier and easier.

Photovoltaic cells, solar heated hot water systems, radiant floor heat and other aspects of solar technology are very exciting and promise to usher in a brand new age in our modern world. With so many devices reliant on electricity, is stands to reason that we cannot keep burning fossil fuels such as coal and petrochemicals anymore, and the ongoing dilemma of what to do with toxic nuclear waste is making solar power and other alternative energy systems more and more attractive. One day, these so called energy “alternatives” will cease to be the alternative and will be the standard and the norm.

Asheville Winter Vacation

Imagine being nestled beside a warm fire, with a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate clutched in your hand watching a light snowfall out the window. The mountains in the background create an idyllic backdrop for the amazing view out of your big window. This is the perfect way to unwind after a day of shopping at quaint boutiques in the beautiful downtown area, or walking wooded paths in serene and tranquil Appalachian mountain trails. This is your private retreat, a cottage rental in the ancient and magical mountains of Western North Carolina.

A mountain cottage rental in the Asheville, North Carolina area is the ideal way to spend a winter time retreat. Whether you are on a special personal retreat to get away from the workaday world, enjoying a business trip or spending quality time with your family, renting a personal cabin in the mountains or indulging in a country cottage rental is unbeatable.

The peace and serenity of the mountains is yours, with wildlife scurrying through thickets and birds chirping in the tranquil forest. Enjoy the authentic experience of living in your own rustic sanctuary while having the convenience of being just minutes away from the bustling yet friendly downtown environment of lovely Asheville, North Carolina.

There is always a multitude of things to do in this beautiful mountain oasis, but one of the things that make wintertime vacations in this celebrated part of the country is the ability to find peace and quiet outside of the typical tourist season. Milder weather than other winter vacation destinations make this a great place to get away while ensuring that you will be able to complete everything on your personal or business agenda.

Thousands of acres of national forest land cris-crossed by thousands of miles of hiking trails offer the outdoor enthusiast every opportunity to explore the natural surroundings, while a steadily growing population of wonderful restaurants, shops and nightspots offer the ideal metropolitan experience.

Asheville has become famous for its widely acclaimed arts and crafts community, and there is no shortage of galleries, shops and boutiques specializing in local hand crafts and arts. Gourmet restaurants that feature the very best of local culinary talent and an amazing variety of locally obtained ingredients make this an even more special place to experience true local flavor.

Taking a vacation in Asheville, North Carolina during the wintertime is an experience you will not soon forget, and many options for places to stay make it a different experience every time you visit. Select a wonderful private mountain cottage rental or rustic cabin in the woods, or stay at one of the areas many bed and breakfast retreats. The Asheville options for bed and breakfasts is nothing short of amazing, and there is no better way to experience the true meaning of southern hospitality and mountain lifestyle than to stay at one of these magical spots.

Try a vacation in Asheville to really get a battery recharge and find a little tranquility in a busy world. Whether you are here for a weekend get-away, on a week long trip or on an extended stay, spending time in this beautiful mountain wonderland will help you understand why so many people from all over the world are making Asheville, North Carolina their favorite vacation and travel destination.