Spring Into a New Clean – DS Duct Cleaning – Business Spotlight

When seasonal allergies are driving most of us inside for a safe haven, we might instead be retreating into a wide variety of contaminants that are causing many of our health problems. A new service available from DS Duct Cleaning, owned by business partners David Kinley and Sam Hall, can clean the duct work in your home and reduce current allergens or airborne pollutants.

Duct-cleaningMuch like a dusty closet, over time the duct work in our homes builds up mold, allergens, and dust. Each time we run our heating or air conditioning, those particles are released into our home environment and later show up in our lungs and respiratory system. Since 1990, the EPA has consistently ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Clean duct work not only provides cleaner and safer air for you and your family to breathe, it also improves the efficiency of your outdoor unit and air handler.

DS Duct cleaning will leave your duct work looking as good as new, with before and after footage of the inside of your duct work to prove. This footage will show you the importance of duct cleaning and why improving air quality is a necessity for you and your family.

Another service included with duct cleaning is the removal of lent from dryer vents. This cleaning will remove trapped lent that lies between the dryer and the outdoor exhaust vent. FEMA estimates that 2,900 fires start each year due to dryer vents not being properly cleaned. Dust, lent, and fiber buildup can cause ignition of clothes which in 2010 alone caused up to an estimated 35 million dollars in damages.

“As a volunteer fireman for over 15 years, I’ve seen more house fires due to dryer lent than I care to remember. With a simple removal and cleaning of that dryer vent those fires could have been prevented,” says owner David Kinley.

Duct-clean-adAir quality management is their specialty at DS Duct Cleaning. As a locally owned and operated business affiliated with David Kinley Services, their promise to you and your family is that you will breathe easy and breathe better than ever before. How do we know this? Because their certified air duct cleaning specialists go above and beyond for you and your family to provide the best available quality of work.

DS Duct Cleaning and David Kinley Services are dedicated to family. Born and raised in Davidson County, the Kinleys know the importance of family and keeping our loved ones safe.  They offer these services because home should be our safe haven, and keeping your home as safe as possible is their mission.

For more information on getting the duct work cleaned in your home contact DS Duct Cleaning at 336-225-8836 for Sam and for Colton 336-225-6082 or online www.dsductcleaning.com


Sniff Sniff: Inhaling Essential Oils for Their Benefits

Using Essential Oils Through Smelling Them – Is this the best method to use?

By Susan Hilton, RN MSN, Certified Aromatherapist

I’ve just completed the requirements to become certified as an aromatherapist. This was a very involved and challenging course and I am so excited to be finished and certified. I’m also a registered nurse, so I really have two ways to look at using essential oils. First is the traditional way to look at health and wellness through the eyes of a RN, and second is to look through the eyes of a certified aromatherapist. I wrote my research paper on using the inhalation (smelling) method as the best way to get the oil into the body. Using the inhalation method allows 96% of the oil to enter the body through the limbic system.

Olfaction is the medical term for smelling. It is, of course, one of our five senses. All the senses are important, but the sense of smell is something special. When an aroma is “smelled” it is really small molecules naked to the eye that we are sensing. These invisible molecules are sniffed into the nose and come in contact with the olfaction membrane. This sticky member is covered with millions of nerve receptors. When the aroma molecule is captured by the olfaction membrane and a receptor site for the scent molecule is found, an instantaneous message is sent into the limbic system within the brain. This system is comprised of many parts of the brain. The limbic system deals with our emotions and long term memory. It is under unconscious control. The messages that the thalamus, one of the areas in the limbic system, sends to the cerebral cortex is what causes the brain to take action — to create a memory — of the aroma.

There are many ways to inhale these tiny, invisible molecules in essential oils. The simplest way is to open the bottle, bring it up to your nose and sniff the aroma. Some people may want to put a drop in their hand, or on a cotton ball or tissue, and sniff the oil that way. Still others may boil water to infuse the essential oils in steam. Nasal inhalers are another method of inhalation. Single essential oils or a blend of oils can be placed on a cotton wick and inserted in a plastic or aluminum nasal inhaler for you to smell.

A diffuser is a cool mist machine used to diffuse the oils into the air. Most are electric, but a few can run on batteries. There is a wide variety of diffusers available. Diffusers range in price from $25 to $500, so customers have a many options to choose from. Most diffusers use water in a reservoir where the user drops the essential oils. Put the cover back on, turn on the machine, and the mist starts diffusing into the air. Room size will need to be considered when determining the amount of essential oils to use, especially if the aroma is important to you. However, even if you don’t smell the aroma, the therapeutic properties of the oil(s) will still be getting into the air and into your nose. Remember when using this method that other people and animals in your home need to be considered.

There are many benefits to inhaling essential oils. First, these very small molecules are absorbed into our lungs quickly. That allows them to work on respiratory issues such as colds, flu, congestion, and environmental concerns. Second, the nose, eyes, ears, and skin are considered the “first line of defense” of the body. They are openings into the body where bacteria, viruses, and fungi can get inside us. Inhaling essential oils can help to prevent infections coming into the body through the nose. Third, when inhaled, essential oil molecules can cross into the blood stream from the lungs. This is how essential oils can be delivered to the whole body — through the blood. Last, because the oils can get into our body through the lungs, they work on the central nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord where sensory impulses are transmitted and where motor impulses go out to coordinates the activity of the entire nervous system.

There are some general guidelines you should follow when considering which essential oils to inhale. First, check each essential oil to make sure it is suitable to inhale. You should also check the safety information about inhaling certain oils, especially when considering their use by children or the elderly. Some essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary and clove have specific safety issues. Wherever you purchase your essential oils they should come with this safety information.

The amount of essential oil diffused should also be considered. Remember, less is more when it comes to essential oils. They are very powerful because they are so concentrated. Anyone in the room will be affected by the essential oil and its therapeutic properties. Remember carefully to consider the safety of children, the elderly, those with compromised systems due to disease, and women who may be pregnant. You also need to consider your four legged friends. Know that pets will also be affected and never leave a diffuser on when you leave the house if your pets cannot leave the room where the diffuser is located.

If for no other reason than knowing that 96% of essential oils enter your body when inhaled, I am confident that this method is the best to way for you to enjoy their benefits to the fullest. Come by The Nature Cottage to learn more.



Feeling Like a Kid Again: Why Adult Coloring Books Are the New Craze

It’s a busy day at work. People have been coming at you from every direction with ideas, suggestions, problems, and needs. The phone is ringing off the hook and finally it’s time to wrap up the hectic day and head home, only to be greeted by chaos. Dinner, laundry, homework, and baths are just the start of the chores list to be completed before bedtime.

If this sounds like a day out of your playbook, you know all too well the stresses and strains that many of us face each day. It’s no surprise that we’re looking for some solace and peace to calm our anxious lives. Hence the arrival of adult coloring books to the market.

The popularity of adult coloring books is playing a huge role in marketing decisions and product development for major companies, but why are adults getting on the bandwagon? As children we all remember drawing time or art time in school. Dating back to preschool or early childhood development, we loved picking up the multitude of Crayola colors that lined the art bucket and coloring in the array of lines to suit our own imaginations. The liberty to choose our own color combinations and make a project come to life made coloring such a fun experience.

Art therapy is what this is commonly referred to in the medical world. Art therapy can go into a deeper meaning, but for those who are new to the coloring book craze, it’s a way to relieve stress, be calm, and become “mindless” for a period of time.

According to Johanna Basford, Amazon’s top adult coloring book author, “it’s less daunting and intimidating” than a blank sheet of paper. “Chances are the last time you spent some time colouring you didn’t have a mortgage, a horrible boss, or worries about climate change,” Basford says on Gizmodo.com.

According to a December Forbes magazine article, adult coloring books are one of the biggest contributors to this year’s boost in print-book sales. With over 11,000 search results total, five of Amazon’s current top 15 best-selling books are coloring books.

In an Adobe 2012 State of Create Study, it was determined that unlocking creative potential is seen as key to economic and societal growth, but only one in four adults is living up to their creative potential. That leads us to conclude that there is a big gap between those who feel they have time to be creative and those that who are currently being creative. “It is when there are problems in life that are blocking me from doing certain things, and I have to find a creative way to overcome these obstacles,” says a participant in the Adobe study about why coloring books are appealing.

Creativity has been linked to how we handle ourselves in stressful or “stuck” situations. With practice in building our creativity, we are helping to expand our ability to think on our feet, have an open mind, and build upon real life experiences for a solution. If we are living in a society where everyone is giving us the answer, then we become dead. We lose the choice to make our own choices.

The Science Behind It

Our brain’s prefrontal cortex is responsible for coordinating thousands of decisions that we make each day. These decisions can be as superficial as the type of clothes we wear to complex life altering decisions. It believed that giving our prefrontal cortex a break from decision fatigue by taking time to make simple, inconsequential decisions — like picking a color — can offer a fresh dose of self-control after a long day of important decision-making.

Leave the Masterpiece in the Box

Sure, there are plenty of beautiful artistic designs that are appearing on social media from your friends, but there’s not a color code for any drawing. It’s liberating to build your own design and imagination on a blank drawing. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t live up to others you’ve seen; the practice of simply choosing colors and filling in the blanks is good enough to get the job done.

If you do want some suggestions and guidance, a color wheel is a good place to start. Some elaborate drawings can take hours, days, or even weeks to complete. If you’re more advanced and want to build on color blending combinations or smudge techniques, a color wheel is a good place to start.

A color wheel allows you to see which colors blend into the next. Starting on one side of the color wheel, simply choose the starting color and move in either direction from your primary color to the next. Start simply, and if coloring is for you, you can always develop your artistic style. As momma always said, “Keep it simple.”

Good for the Kids, Too

Sometimes the kids need a break, too. To make coloring a family affair, simple allocate a few minutes after dinner or for a homework break when everyone in the house grabs a crayon or coloring pencil and a coloring book. Set a timer and stick to it. Everyone can enjoy a quick retreat for a color break and then back into your tasks you go!

Most Importantly…

Have fun! This exercise for stress relief isn’t about perfection. If you can’t make time each day, that’s fine. It’s like grabbing your favorite book. Take a few minutes, de-stress, and then go on to things you need to do. Enjoy yourself and make coloring a fun and relaxing experience!


Are You Weary? Come Home – Devotional

By Donna Tobin Smith

“How often do you come back home?” I asked. I had been talking to one of my oldest son’s high school friends. It had been a while since I had seen him. He had graduated from college and taken a job out of state. He and my son still kept in touch and had planned a ski trip during the holidays.

“To tell you the truth,” he had answered, “I really don’t get back very often. In fact, I actually come home as little as possible. After all, it is Lexington. When I come here, I feel like I’m regressing. No offense.”

Regressing? Ouch. I was glad my grown son was out of earshot. Like a mama bird, I felt the need to protect my chick. Yes, even the chick that had long flown my coop. I had lived with this son being out of the nest for many years. I had endured his absence on birthdays and holidays. I understood his restlessness and his sense of adventure, knowing that there was a big world out there, ready to be explored. But I wanted home to always be special to him. I wanted home to be that safe place where he could return when the stresses of life began to overwhelm. And if I was perfectly honest, I wanted him to settle near home some day, close enough to be part of those family times that we hold so dear.

Yet, here was one of his buddies saying that for himself, at least for a while, that wasn’t going to happen. As silly as it was, I didn’t want him to say that in front of my son.

I’d always been a homebody myself. My husband and I lived away from home for the first six years of our marriage. But when we had our first child, this oldest son, the thought of that child calling another place home was something that neither of us wanted. So we rearranged our lives and within two years, we brought that little son home to Davidson County.  We have made this our home ever since.

But the friend’s comment all those years ago has certainly made me think. Spiritually speaking, I would venture to say that many people experience similar thoughts and feelings.

I didn’t ask questions, so I don’t know why my son’s friend felt the way he did. But I can count numerous times when I had been a spectator to a battle to bring a wandering one home, only to see him plant his feet and refuse to budge. How many sons and daughters are clamping their ears, refusing to hear when the Lord calls, softly and tenderly, as the old song says, “Ye who are weary, come home?”

My son once joked with me about a scene from a movie that he had watched. In the movie, the weepy mother cried to her nearly grown son, “Why are you doing this to me?” she had asked. “Because,” her son answered, “that is what people do when they graduate from high school, Mother. They go to college.”

I admit that mothers can be super sensitive. But I also know that to be raised in a Christian home is a blessing. To have neighbors and friends who have the same godly values is a blessing, too.

I know that it’s not the Lord’s plan for everyone to settle in his or her childhood home. My son has done mission work in Mexico and Ecuador, and will soon spend a whole year in Australia. I don’t know where the Lord will call him to make his home. But I do want him to know one thing. I will try really hard to make the home of his childhood a perfect stop, a peaceful resting place on his journey in life. And most of all, I will remind him that to go home is not regressing at all. In fact, it is a step in exactly the right direction and the only place to revive a weary soul.