Pets – Safety Tips at Holiday Time

The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving has just passed and before you know it … or usually we are ready for it … you'll be waking up to Christmas morning. Boy, does not the year fly by? Along with all the joy the holidays bring, they can also present some particular hazards to the health of your pet – and consequently, to your peace of mind. Here are some ideas that can help prevent problems so that your holiday is a happy one for all.

First, it's a good idea of ​​know your vet's holiday hours. Keep emergency phone numbers and any special holiday requirements where they will be easily accessible.

Give some thought about how you'll use plants to decorate. Birds, cats and dogs will all nibble on household plants – and many of them are toxic or poisonous, including mistletoe and poinsettias. They can make your pet very ill so be sure to keep them out of your pet's reach.

If your celebration includes having a Christmas tree you should use some caution in placing the decorations on it. Only use unbreakable decorations at the bottom of your tree so there is not any danger of your cat batting a glass ball and breaking it, or the pup chewing your grandmother's antique bubble lights. As for birds – they should not have any access to the tree, decorations, plants and such. For those of us who live with pet birds, we know what mischief they can get into very quickly … not to mention how destructive they can be. So keep your birds confined, or watch them like a hawk (so to speak) when they are out of their cage. Better to be safe than sorry.

As far as the less exotic pets go … that is, cats and dogs … how about putting some kitty baubles or doggie toys on the lower branches of the tree instead of your fragile and valuable decorations. That way, if those pets are attracted to the tree they'll find something appropriate for them. Or, here is another suggestion that has proved successful for protecting both pets and little ones. Put the Christmas tree and gifts into a playpen. That may not stop kitty, but at least the tree can not fall down as easily as she decides to climb it. Granted, it might be a little strange to see the holiday tree and gifts in a playpen, but it might just be the ticket for your situation.

Since we are on the subject of the Christmas tree, here is another safety hint. If you have a live tree placed in water wrap the base so your pets can not drink the water. Many modern live trees have been sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic to your little friends.

Be very, very careful with candles. Your bird or cat may be enticed by the flicker of the flame. Singed whiskers or feathers would certainly put a damper on holiday cheer, not to mention the horror your pet would suffer from a serious burn. Place glass "hurricane lanterns" or other attractive covers over candles to protect your home and your pets.

Give some thought to New Years Eve. Pets are typically fried by the traditional firecrackers and other noisy merriment and it's best to have a plan to keep them from becoming afraid by the noise. Some dogs may be severely traumatized by fireworks so be sure to leave them inside if you go out to celebrate.

Pets, especially birds and cats, may be stressed by the changes in household routine during the holidays, especially if you are stressed yourself. Some cats and dogs respond to stress by becoming hyper or hysterical, and some simply retreat. Plan to spend some special time with your pets to calm yourself and reassure them during this period. If your pet is especially upset with strangers visiting, prepare a refugee where he can go to escape the "maddening crowd."

And last of all, we wish you and your family a wonderful and safe holiday.

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Car Charity Donations: How To Go About Them Seamlessly

Every once in a while, the need for a new car arises, and when it does, many people are often at a loss on what to do with their current or old car. The options most of them have in mind include delivering the old car to a junk yard, selling it, or possibly relinquishing ownership to a friend or relative. Yet, car charity donates provide a fourth and better option, which is totally hassle-free.

First things first, car charity donation reiterates the transfer of ownership of an automobile one no longer needs to a charitable organization. People do this for various reasons including tax relief, but before one jumps onto the bandwagon of car donation, they need to know the basics of how car charity contributions work.

People have been told that the process of donating a car to a charitable organization is as easy as calling them to come and drive or haul it away. Well, this is true, but like everything else in life, one has to prepare their car for donation to avoid unnecessary complications that may come afterward.

Since the donation process involves a complete transfer of ownership, it is advisable to capture clear images of the inside and outside of the car, if possible, with dates. This is necessitated by the fact that once the car leaves the custody of the donor, so does its official documentation including proof of ownership documents. Some unscrupulous individuals or organizations are likely to take advantage of this loophole to defraud otherwise good-intentioned citizens of their cars for selfish gain. Having clear images of the car just before the donation can help with the recovery process should the need arise.

Another element of preparation worthy considering prior to donating a car to charity involves keeping track of repair and maintenance records. This applies to cases where the car needs to be fixed before before donation. The service and spare part receipts increase the value of the car when dealing with the taxman.

Once these preliminary preparations have been completed successfully, it is time to call the charity organization to come for the car or drive it there. Most people tend to focus only on this step to show how easy it is to donate a car to charity. It is, but for the individual who seeks to draw the full benefits of donating a car to charity, the outstanding preparations are inevitable. When a representative from the organization finally comes for the car (they normally do), it is critical to ensure that they leave behind a document showing the full details of the organization in question, the car, as well as the time and reason for pickup . This should be some sort of receipt acknowledging the donation.

The above step concludes the donation process. What follows is beyond the donor's influence. All they can do from this point onwards is to wait until the car has been sold. Typically, the charity organization notifies the car donor of a sale within a span of one month after the sale is made. If they fail to do so, the donor has the right to make an inquiry about the same. When the organization sells the car, they are obliged to supply the donor with a written acknowledgment of the sale.

The donor can then proceed to claim a tax relief from the IRS using the donation documents and any other relevant documents. Also, of critical importance is that the donor may be required to inform the relevant authority about the change of ownership depending on the state in which they benefit. This serves to protect the donor from bearing the burden of tickets and other car-related costs, which should be paid for by the next owner of the car.

How to Fix Windows Not Genuine Error in Windows 7

"This copy of Windows is not genuine, go online and resolve now". This error message occurs when Microsoft finds that your Windows copy is counterfeit and not genuine. You may also encounter this error message after downloading certain Microsoft update. If you are sure that your Windows' copy is genuine, check the below mentioned detailed, Windows 7 support guide and follow the instructions to fix Windows is not genuine problem.


First make sure that you have a genuine copy of Windows 7 on your computer. If you purchased a valid license key and still not able to activate it, use the below mentioned workarounds.

Restore your computer to an earlier time and you are done. Doing so will roll back the changes that caused your Windows 7 computer to encounter this error message. Click the Start button and type 'restore' in the Start Search field. Hit the Enter key to continue. If prompted, enter your admin password and click Continue . Click the Choose a different restore point button and select a time to which you want your computer to be restored.

If prompted, confirm the action. When done and prompted, restart your computer to let the changes take place. When the computer loads back up, you will not see the Windows genuine alert anymore. If you recently installed new driver software (for your printer or router) that was uninstalled during the restore, reinstall them back. If the issue persists, skip to the next step.

Click the Start button and navigate to Control Panel. When in Control Panel, click Programs and Features and then click the Installed Updates link. Look for the Update for Microsoft Windows KB971033, click to select it, and then click the Uninstall button. If prompted, enter your admin password and confirm the action. When done, exit the Control Panel window and restart your computer. You can also remove the WGA tool if you desire to.

Click the Start button and type 'rsop.msc' (without quotes) in the Start Search field. Hit the Enter key to open Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP). If prompted, enter your admin password and click Continue. When in the Resultant Set of Policy window, click Computer Configuration and navigate to Windows Settings> Security Settings> and System Services. Look for Plug and Play in the right hand panel.

Make sure that its status under Startup is set to Not Defined. If it's not set to Not Defined, double-click it and change the Startup type to Automatic. Exit the Resultant Set of Policy window. Now press the Windows and R keys together on the keyboard to bring the Run window. When in the Run window, type 'gpupdate / force' and hit the Enter key. Exit the Run window and restart your computer. Check back if the alert has gone.

If the problem persists, open Run window again and type 'cmd' in the blank field. Hit the Enter key to continue. When in the Command Prompt window, type 'cd' (without quotes) and hit Enter . Type 'dir * wga *. * / S' and hit the Enter key. It will display a string of results; Make a note of their paths, especially of the folders that has WGA files. When done, exit the Command Prompt window.

Look for the WGA files in the places you made a note of and rename or delete them. If you see the 'Access Denied' error message, you may have to take ownership of the files to make such changes. When done, release the ownership. Restart your computer and you are done. The error message should not appear anymore.

Additional Info:

If you are not able to get rid of the genuine alert message by yourself, contact Windows 7 technical support.

Real Estate Deposit vs Down Payment

When you’re selling your home, you have to be familiar with related real-estate lingo. You have to know the difference between a canopy and an awning; a mortgage and a loan; and most importantly, the difference between a deposit and a down payment.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of home sellers who think that deposits and down payments are one and the same, when in reality they are not.

A deposit is the money given or handed over to the owner when a buyer indicates a sincere desire to purchase the property being sold. It is a token amount that could be as small as a few hundred dollars, or as big as 5% of the total purchase price. The deposit can be returned when the transaction does not fall through for reasons beyond the control of the buyer, and can also be forfeited in favour of the seller. When the purchase pushes through, the deposit is credited to the buyer and forms part of his down payment.

A down payment or equity, on the other hand, can be considered as an initial payment on the property itself. It is given when the buyer has decided to actually purchase the house (unlike in deposit, where it is given when the buyer indicates a desire to buy the unit). The down payment is the total amount of money a buyer can give as a partial payment and is generally of a bigger value (10% of the total property cost, or more) than regular deposits.

It’s fairly easy to differentiate. Just remember that a deposit is smaller and, once the transaction pushes through, becomes part of the down payment. The total of these two, plus any outstanding balance, should be the agreed upon purchase price of the property.