The Beauty and Benefits of a Stone Patio

A home with a patio is considered complete in that it promotes both indoor and outdoor living. An outdoor space with a garden and entertainment area also adds value to the residential property.

A type of patio that can last for a lifetime is one made of natural stones. It can use a mix of the different stones available or a single type such as the flagstone, limestone or marble. The flagstone is a popular choice today owing to its versatility and durability. It won’t easily warp or crack when exposed to harsh substances and is weather-resistant.

stone patio

A stone patio evokes a unique beauty and charm unlike other materials used in an outdoor space in a residential property. They are pleasing to the eyes and blend well with the natural environment. And since they’re made from nature, you can be sure to enjoy an eco-friendly outdoor space in your home. [Read more...]

How the Comfort Women Can Move On

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There’s tremendous freedom in letting something go. We’ve all been hurt or felt betrayed in our lives, and many times it’s difficult to let it go. It could be anything from something small- a hurtful word or insult, perhaps- to something much “bigger”, as in the case of the Japanese comfort women of World War II, whose plight has recently been in the news again.

While we’re not sure how much of the issue is politicized- the Chinese and South Korean governments definitely have something more on their agenda, what with each country having ongoing islands disputes with Japan. Adding to the confusion is the recent story of The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s oldest news publication, making corrections on their previous coverage on the comfort women, as well as the controversial comfort women statue erected by the Korean Community of Glendale, California.

Consider, too, that nearly 20 years ago, the Japanese government made their own investigation into the comfort women issue, released a public apology (known as the Kono Statement), letters of apology to all survivors, and millions of dollars to the victims as well through the government-run Asian Women’s Fund Foundation.

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Earlier this year, the Pope visited South Korea and blessed a group of Korean comfort women before celebrating a mass for reconciliation. Apt, because reconciliation is what’s needed most in Asia today; and it starts with forgiveness.

See, the truth is that you can’t heal a negative action with another negative action. The surviving comfort women are in their 80s now; many have already passed away. What they need most at this point is peace; the knowledge that their stories have been documented, and that the atrocities won’t be repeated; only then can they- and the countries involved- move on.

Tinywood Homes Puts the “Glam” in Glamping

Tinywood2The tiny home movement has gained popularity in recent years.  Budget-friendly and mobile, micro dwellings range in size, shape, and amenities.  People have been able to build tiny homes for very little money using reclaimed materials.  Solar panels and wood burning stoves are cost-effective and easy to acquire.  Hot tubs, however, are a bit more challenging.

One company, Tinywood Homes, in Warwickshire, UK, saw a need for something a bit more luxurious.  Hot tubs and gazebos are among the many options tiny home dwellers have to choose from.  Three models of homes exist.  There’s the Tinywood One, the Tinywood Two, and the Tinywood Three.  Each offers a specific amount of space and amenities.

The company was founded by Aidan Reeve and his friend who wanted to create a home out of a 20-foot shipping container.  The Tinywood Three is based off the blueprints used in Tinywood Homes’ first project.  It is the largest of the homes offered by the company.

Up to eight people can sleep in the micro house.  It also has a large kitchen and a woodstove-heated living room.  All Tinywood homes are small enough to be hauled by truck.  The Tinywood Three is also offered as an off-grid version.  Homeowners will be pleased to see the composting toilet, water tank, and solar power.  It is, however, on the pricier side.  The off-grid model sells for $57,000 USD.  It’s only available for UK residents to buy at the moment.glamp

For a budget-friendly version of a tiny home, interested parties can check out LaMar Alexander’s website.  He’s written a book on how to build a 14 x 14 cabin for under $2,000.  He even includes information on how to craft a solar composting toilet just in case it’s something a person wants to add to their tiny home.

Photos Courtesy of Tinywood Homes