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Where to Vacation in Maine

maineWhere to Vacation in Maine


Those looking to vacation in Maine have several options from which to choose–each being just as sure as the next to provide everything on might need for a wonderful vacation. Maine is a popular tourist destination because it offers a wide range of environments from bustling port towns to sandy beaches to mountains. Maine’s regions have something to offer people of all backgrounds which means that a single vacationer, a couple, or an entire family can enjoy a memorable vacation in this New England state. Although one might easily find contentment in any of the regions in Maine, the following sections explain the highlights of some of the most attractive regions for those wanting a proper New England getaway.

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Traffic Safety

A Few Traffic Safety Facts Worth Noting


Reading through a listing of traffic safety facts can be a sobering experience, even if all of the facts being presented aren’t necessarily negative. The main reason most of these facts are published is to call attention to areas in which there is room for improvement as far as safety is concerned, or those areas where some attentiveness on your part is advisable. Organizations like the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – NHTSA not only publish long lists of interesting traffic safety facts, but they offer plenty of good advice as well.

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How to tell if you have Hip Flexor Strains

I’ve been to the GP last month because of pain in my hips. I am worried because I sometimes have difficulty ascending stairs and am afraid that I might have broken something. I can’t recall having any bad fall or injuries to that particular area, which adds to my anxiety on what was probably wrong with me. Another thing is that, I was trying to join our company’s fun run that was scheduled that same month, and have been training hard for it, so much preparation just to get waylaid by this pain.

After several x-rays and a thorough study of the area, and much to my relief, I was diagnosed with Hip Flexor Strain. And that the pain that was causing me problems, is from the nerves in my tendons that are being stretched to their limits. The doctor said, that I may have been performing my exercises incorrectly, and advised me that for the meantime, I have to stop performing any activities that include my hips.

Since then, I’ve done my research with regards to hip flexor pain, its probable causes, and also of how to address it. Although I am still hurting a little bit, I am now comfortable with my disability. Knowing how something works and facing it, definitely removes the fear from the equation. What follows are the things I have learned about it.

Causes of Hip Flexor Strains

  • Repetitive actions, that involve the hips which borders on overuse
  • Trauma, from any form of accident in that particular area
  • Muscle weakness, particularly of the Psoas and Iliacus muscles
  • Poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle, hip muscles may contract and harden from inactivity
  • Exceedingly forceful use of hips, like strongly kicking an object

Several symptoms make themselves felt once you have hip flexor injuries. Pain that is felt in the hip area is the first sign, it may also radiate to the thighs and the upper part of your legs. When you have difficulty raising your knee, or actions that pull the knee towards the body become painful, chances are you have a hip muscle strain or tear. Pain when doing side to side movements also indicates muscle problems in your hip.

What you can do when you have Hip Flexor Strains

  • Check with a doctor first when you are feeling pain and are unsure of what is causing it
  • Using of ice packs over the area in 20 minute durations for 2-3 days will provide pain relief
  • If pain becomes unbearable, the use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines is recommended
  • Resting of affected area from unnecessary movements to give it time to recover
  • Rehabilitation exercises on the hips when they are strong enough
  • Reconstructive surgery if hip muscles are fully torn

Hip flexor muscles, or any kind of muscles in our body are often ignored, that is until something gets terribly wrong with them. Carefully tending to our body, and realizing its different capacities, lengthens its service to us. Like warming up before strenuous activities, of never positioning our extremities in awkward positions, or never exceeding the natural range of our body’s movements, minimizes our risk of injuring it.

I never did get to run in that marathon, and I could not even get up of my bed, for a day, because of the pain. I learned many things from that episode, and I promised myself to take better care of my body.

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My Pet Yorkie Poodle

Thanks to the recent advances with regards to dog breeding, we now have a vast amount of freedom in choosing the dogs we really want. Be it big, small, or very small, fluffy, long haired and even bald, the choices we now have on dogs seem limitless.

Take for example the simple Poodle, a dog which originated in Germany as waterdogs, and originally kept as hunting dogs through all of Europe, today has many variants to choose from. In fact, according to pertinent sources in the web, the Poodle now has seventy-three kinds of Poodle mixes or crossbreeds registered with the American Dog Breeders Association and more on the way.

Such fascination man has with the Poodle breed that it is always paired with other breed of dogs to produce a pet with a myriad of different characteristic that suit almost every taste and need. Maybe it is because of the poodle’s intelligence and the way their hair never sheds or some other factor, but it truly is one of the most sought after dog around.

My dog Lucy is a perfect example of a poodle cross. Lucy is a Yorkie Poodle, also called as Yorkie-Poo, and is a mix-breed dog that is a product between a Poodle and a York Shire Terrier. Yorkie Poodles are characterized by medium length fluffy hair that does not shed or fall off, stands at about seven inches to one foot tall and generally weighs around five to fourteen pounds. Yorkie Poodles are bred for the Poodle’s intelligence and gentleness, and the Terrier’s size, energy and overall cuteness. The product of which is a trainable dog that is lively, affectionate, gentle and generally awesome to look at.

Yorkie Poodles are nice dogs to be around with owing to their gusto and zeal for life. If you really do not mind their barking, which they seem to do a lot and is its only drawback, this dog is highly recommended, especially as a family dog that the children would love. Yorkie Poodle also is dog of choice primarily of persons suffering from allergies and is also very sensitive to irritants, as the Yorkie Poo’s hair is low on dander and also sheds very rarely. Typical owners of Yorkie Poo’s include the elderly, mentally challenged individuals and also people sick with the various illness derived or originating from stress.

Lucy, my Yorkie Poo is typically very genial and accommodating, that even complete strangers can get to pet and play with her without fear of being bitten or nipped. But she does draw the line on being handled and picked up, as was my neighbor’s consternation and surprise the time he hoisted Lucy to his bag. Lucy generally is contented just to sit on my lap whenever I am working on a plan or drawing an architectural design, and also always follow me around the house very animatedly, like it was mealtime every time. She does keep busy sometimes, mainly with my shoes and other stuff, but rarely does she destroy any of them.

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How to Choose the Right Cage for your Hedgehog

There are many factors that one needs to consider when finding the right home for your hedgehog. To ensure proper care and quality of life for your pet, it is advised to follow certain rules when it comes to their cages and the habitat they will live in. Considerations such as the types of cages available in the market or even self-made ones, the kind of bedding to use, what paraphernalia such as feeding pans and water bottles to include inside the cage and what sort of toys, implements and other gadgets must also be placed in the cage to keep our pet hedgehog busy and stress free.

Type of Cage

There are many types of hedgehog cages already available in the market today, already built up and complete with the basic equipment needed for the hedgehog’s everyday life. If you are unsure on what to get or do not have any ideas about it, then these standard cages are for you. However, if you already have experience with hedgehogs, like me, and is also adventurous in nature, like me again, there are several materials which you can use building your own cage. Materials like plastic containers, wire mesh and even aquariums can be used as hedgehog cages, provided that you follow basic requirements of hedgehog cages. The minimum area of a cage must be two square feet to ensure that the hedgehog has some space to move around in. Hedgehogs that have large spaces to move freely in tend to be more healthy and happy, because it gives them more room to exercise and explore on, so with regards to their cages, bigger is definitely better.


Another item to consider is the kind of bedding to use in the cage. Several kinds of substances can be used as bedding on hedgehog cages. Examples of materials commonly used are shredded or pelleted paper, sand and also wood shavings such as cedar, pine or aspen. It is important that the bedding be about 2-3 inches thick, as the hedgehog likes to burrow, and is composed of materials that does not get easily damp and is soft enough that it conforms to the hedgehog’s body whenever they lie on it. The depth of the bedding also makes it possible to easily scoop your hedgehog whenever it needs handling.

Water & Food Bowls

It is advised to get a heavy, preferably ceramic, food bowl so it can’t be easily toppled and spilled. A water bottle with a stopping mechanism, and only drips when sucked upon, is also recommended. Just keep in mind never to use materials which can leech into their food and be toxic to your hedgehog’s health.

Toys & Other Enhancements

To lessen the stresses of captivity in your pet hedgehog, it is important to give them distractions on which they can spend their time on. A place to hide in, such as plastic caves, which can be bought in pet stores, is very important as the hedgehog is a nocturnal animal and likes to spend his time in dark places. An exercise wheel is a good addition to the cage as it contributes to the hedgehog’s health and it is also fun seeing them run in it.

Giving your hedgehog a good cage to live in, is very easy to accomplish, and is a very sound investment, as it ensures his longevity and also the quality of his life as a pet. A happy hedgehog makes a happy owner.

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Breastfeeding Problems

Breastfeeding is sometimes a problem, particularly to the new mom’s out there that is just beginning to experience it. Although relatively simple, breastfeeding could sometimes be such daunting tasks to mothers. Sometimes due to their limited knowledge of it, and sometimes also to the fear that they might do it incorrectly; they sometimes just do not do it entirely.

That was a problem of my best friend’s wife Susan that has just recently given birth to their firstborn son, which incidentally is also my godson. She first tried to breastfeed her son, but stopped when her child developed something that looks like a sort of skin allergy, and would sometimes bawl out uncontrollably with seemingly no reason at all.

Her problems, she said, might be attributed to the early occurrence of her period while breastfeeding. Mainly because it is of her belief, and also according to several literatures that she had read, a woman’s period doesn’t occur when you breastfeed your child, and only does so, once you wean your child from your breast.

Eager to breastfeed her child again, they consulted with their doctor. She narrated her qualms about her problems and about what she thought caused it, she also had several laboratory tests performed on her while she was at the hospital, “so that everything would be taken into consideration and nothing would be left out to chance”, said the doctor.

Upon getting the lab results, the doctor interpreted the findings and told her what he thinks was wrong. Although all the tests performed on her were relatively normal, minute traces of caffeine were found in her system. The doctor said that, based on the lab tests, it is in the food that she eats, where the problems originated, and is also the reason why her baby was reacting like that. Susan then said that she always take in coffee, throughout the day and especially late at night, to help her be awake to tend to her newborn.

The doctor explained to Susan that caffeine must be taken with moderation, and not to be consumed close to a session of breastfeeding, as it may very well be passed on to the baby with breast milk. He said that caffeine in the baby’s system is hard to immediately excrete out, as the baby’s normal bodily functions are not yet fully developed, and may contribute to the baby’s general irritation, crankiness, and of the baby’s staying in the seemingly always awake mode all the time.

The doctor then proceeded to enumerate several foods to avoid while breastfeeding, in the hopes that it will guide her into being more careful with the food items that she eats. Susan was also pointed out to a site in the internet, where all the facts about certain kinds of foods and its relationship to a breastfeeding mother, were located, and advised her to learn all she can about it. The doctor finished off by saying that the early arrival of her period has nothing to do with the problems that she and her baby was currently experiencing, and although she feels weird about it, is also just normal and may be attributed to the fluctuation of hormones inside a woman’s body.

Susan and my godson are both fine now. She is already on her third month of breastfeeding, and very happy about it.

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Tattooed For Life

Sweat beads starting to form on your forehead expecting the worst is yet to come. You notice the piped in music is starting its beat and the noise of distant traffic slowly fading away. You sat unflinching in a reclined chair, all alone in the center of this tiny cubicle, half thinking of running away and half thinking if this was really a good idea. The door slowly opened with its peculiar creak. A hulking man covered in a sterile apron, holding what seems to be a gadget with several needles on its tip, trudged towards you humming, buzzing and grinning from ear to ear and then panic sets in.

No, it’s not some kind of horror movie I’m talking about, it’s about getting tattoos. Sorry if the previous dramatization was a bit overly done, but it’s definitely not like that. Having a tattoo is an experience you will truly remember as the tattoo you will be having will be with you the rest of your life.

Yes it will hurt, but not a lot, and believe me you can bear it. Some say it feels like a cat is scratching you over and over on the same spot, others say it’s like a bee sting, while most will say that it is never anything near as they imagined it to be. That is because each person has a different level of tolerance to pain. But tattoo pain is a discomfort that is worth having, as the end result is a work of art that you can be proud of. That is, if you really liked the outcome and it was done the way you said it to be. You’re not just getting some chest tattoos for men or some side tattoos for girls, you’re getting a tattoo that is a mark of your conviction, a symbol of your love for something that you get to wear every day for all to see. So before getting one, make sure that you really thought about it.

After you got your tattoo, caring for it till it heals is important. Regularly clean it by using only mild soap and water, then pat it dry, don’t rub, with a soft cloth or paper towel. Application of lotion sparingly over the area to keep it supple is advised. Also avoid overly soaking it for long durations of time like taking long baths or hot tubs as the new tattoo’s wound is still fresh and is prone to infection. After a few days, as the tattoo is healing, you will experience some form of peeling or scabbing in the area. You will also feel sunburn like sensation on the tattoo and its surrounding area which is also normal. Just take care not to peel or scratch at the area as it will feel very itchy. Tattoos usually heal after a period of three to four weeks.

Having tattoos is a way of life. Getting ostracized or being shunned by society isn’t valid anymore. Today, tattoos are already mainstream, with people from all walks of life getting them. So if you think you really want to have one, then by all means go ahead and fulfill your passion. Just remember, do not cry while being tattooed, it’s funny.

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Health in the Family

We always put a premium in our family’s overall health. It is our belief that we are working everyday with the aim of a better life for everyone in the family, and any kind of sickness would throw a monkey wrench to whatever plans that we already have. So it is very important for us to plan for such occasions, and do whatever we can to prevent any kind of sickness from happening in the first place. We believe in the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and do everything necessary to bring it to fruition.

Every kind of medical situation that arises, we take seriously. Even a minor bruise or a bout of common cold deserves equal attention, so as to prevent it from aggravating into something more sinister and life threatening. No, I believe we are not being overly obsessive about it, we are just being very careful about these things, as it can very well affect every aspect in the life of a family if one member does eventually get sick.

Take for example the case of my sister, who had diarrhea during pregnancy. Although diarrhea is only a common affliction and is not in any way a medical emergency, we did not treat it as such and proceeded to factually know what caused it, and assess it in relation with pregnancy, and also if it could be harmful to the still unborn child in her womb.

The doctor eventually cleared my sister of anything wrong physiologically, instead saying it was only the effect of something that she ate. Now we are extra careful on the food that is being served to her and anything that she could consume outside, and also making for her a list of foods not to eat during pregnancy, so that we can reduce her risk of having any complications with regards to her current condition.

Another issue is with toddler constipation that happened to our little brother Tommy. Being the youngest in the brood, he certainly got all our attention when he grimaced with pain, after a not successful trip to the bathroom. Everyone contributed a known treatment; mainly all due to their personal experience with constipation, like eating bananas to drinking several glasses of water were lovingly suggested. A quarter-full pitcher of apple iced tea did eventually relieve his knotty stomach. And it was also agreed upon to put more fiber in our meals to lessen the occurrence of constipation in all of us.

Yes we are that close as a family that if something happens to either one of us, everyone is definitely going to be affected. We do plan to be together for the long haul and are doing things relative to that effect. Living healthy is not just a fad or a trendy little thing; to us it is a way of life that is practiced thoughtfully in everything that we do. It is only normal, that we want to spend as much time with our loved ones and that is just how life is.

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A Few Facts About the Different Types of Bruises

As an architect, I love creating a structure and looking at the building process. Many in my profession like to just sit back in a desk and draw out their design. For me, I am more of a hands on person, I like to go to the construction site and observe and take part in some of the physical building process. This puts me at risk of getting bumps and unexplained bruising during site building participation. I do not mind because it is part of the fun. Here is what I found out about the bruises that I have gotten.

It may be tempting to say a bruise is a bruise is a bruise, but in truth there are several different types of bruises. There are colorful bruises and bruises you can’t even see. There are bruises that hurt and those that don’t. There are bruises that are harmless (most of them) and a few that are not. While they may be painful at times most bruises go away after a time. There are also a few of these different types of bruises which sometimes require emergency medical attention and treatment.

What All Bruises Have in Common

No matter the type of bruise, all bruises have one thing in common, and that is broken blood vessels. A bruise is the result of injury to a tissue. If blood vessels in the tissue break, even very tiny blood vessels, blood will leak out. If the blood has nowhere to go it will pool in the vicinity of the blood vessel’s rupture. If the injury occurs just under the skin you can see where the blood has pooled, and that is what is referred to as a bruise. If the bruise occurs in deep tissue you won’t be able to see it of course, but it is still very much there, and you may feel it.

If you are told you have a contusion or a hematoma it is usually nothing to be concerned about. Those are simply medical terms for a bruise. The medical terms most often tend to be used in the event of a deep bruised, but apply equally to any type of a bruise.

The Three Categories

The medical profession usually places a bruise in one of three different categories. The most frequently experienced category is the subcutaneous bruise, which is the bruise that occurs just beneath the skin. Bruises that occur in deeper soft tissue are called intermuscular bruises. The third, and somewhat less encountered category is the periosteal bruise, a bruise that occurs on the surface of a bone. Periosteal bruises tend to be the most painful and normally take the most time to heal.

The Different Colors

One thing that happens when a bruise occurs is that it takes on a color, and that color usually changes over time. These changes in color can often be alarming, but they are natural and generally harmless. A bruise is initially reddish in color, the color of fresh blood that has not been exposed to the air. The bruise will then turn darker, becoming purplish in color. Next the bruise turns green, and finally, yellow-brown. It is these latter two colors that can be upsetting, but they represent nothing more than while blood cells removing decayed blood products from the bruise site. While your body is going about the process of healing itself, it is doing so in technicolor.

When Swelling Can Cause a Problem

Bruises could also be categorized a being harmless or dangerous. It is the deeper bruises that can become dangerous although most are not. Swelling that accompanies a bruise can sometimes lead to a dangerous situation. This is unlikely when the bruise is on the surface, but when the bruise is an intermuscular bruise and swelling takes place there may be no place for the swelling to go. The swelling could therefore create immense pressure against a part of the anatomy or against a critical organ. If that occurs it can easily become an emergency situation, blockage of the intestinal or urinary tract being just a couple of examples. Deep swelling in a peripheral limb may not be quite so serious unless pressure is being placed against a major nerve or the blood supply to a part of the body is being cut off or disrupted.

While you can’t see a deep bruise to tell if it represents any danger you will no doubt feel it if significant swelling has occurred, or at the very least will be able to tell that something is wrong, and it would be wise to seek medical advice immediately. A bruise may also require medical attention if you experience one but do not recall being hit or injured or if there seems to be excessive pain given the size of the bruise.

Injury is Not the Only Cause

Some people bruise more than others, often as a result of a medical condition. You may also bruise more easily than usual if you are taking certain types of medication, especially blood-thinning medications. Some diseases can also cause bruising. One example is petechiae, which consists of multiple dot-sized bruises that appear just under the skin. Petechiae is often a symptom of a heart or circulatory condition. These numerous, small bruises generally appear on the legs. Certain immune system diseases in which the body attacks its own blood vessels can also cause bruises to form under the skin, bruises which tend to be long-lasting.

In summary, the vast majority of the different types of bruises are harmless, but a few are not. If you have a bruise and don’t know what might have caused it, it is generally a good idea to have it looked into.

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Wishing for a Nice Smile

It is very comforting that even we adults have several available options regarding our oral health. It is the belief that oral care is best started young, but circumstances sometimes hinder or block such necessities, like if you really do not have access to it, or probably because of financial constraints and other unavoidable facts. Several dental breakthroughs and milestones now make it possible, what once was regarded as impossibilities, for all ages to avail the necessary oral care that they need.

Like my friend Michael, who has suffered from crooked teeth all his life, now has the chance to fix it. His family was not well to do when he was growing up, and being the third child of a brood of seven, many things that were normal to children growing up, were either not available to him, or as is the usual case for them, not afforded. Although Michael does not appear anything out of the ordinary with his teeth, he says that it is still his wish, that he could get it done somehow.

If you ask me, I think his teeth are just okay, and he even looks adorable with them, but I think what he is after, is the fulfillment of having something done now, which in the past was only an impossibility for them. In fact, he says, that after he is done fixing his teeth, he will then start with the teeth of his other siblings. Noble intentions coming from him indeed and I am not anymore going to spoil it.

I accompanied him with his visits to the dentist, and there were several of them. On the first few times we went there, the dentist explained to him about the procedures that he will undergo to fix his teeth. Although nothing much is really different from installing normal braces, the dentist said that it will eventually take a longer time for him and his teeth to get fixed, mainly because of his current age and the way his teeth are already set.

In the beginning, pain was a problem for him as getting braces involves the moving of his teeth to their desired places. Tooth pain relief was given extra importance as the work on his mouth truly was extensive. Elastic bands were first installed on his teeth to kind of make it stand, because his teeth are particularly leaning to the left, especially the front ones. Spacers for braces were then flossed in between his teeth to anchor his teeth’s new position from the stretching it underwent. Michael said that it felt as if food was always stuck in between his teeth during that time, but also said that he was already beginning to see changes in the way he smiles, and was very happy about it.

He did eventually get his perfect smile in about three years, and without him knowing, also changed his outlook on life. Today, Michael is already a very confident person that you wouldn’t have imagined, that he was a very shy one just a couple of years back. He is also currently in the process of getting his sibling’s teeth fixed, as was his promise when he first had his done.

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