Relax, You’re On Sauna Time

Who doesn’t love a nice relaxing sauna session? After an aggressive workout it’s a great way to let your muscles relax and loosen up. It’s also a great way to decompress after a stressful day at work. Heck, in some countries people will even get together with their friends, hop in the sauna, then enjoy a few beers as a way to socialize.

Saunas have been ingrained in human culture seemingly forever. In fact, the word “sauna” is Finnish, one of the countries who has used them for the longest as far as our history tells us. From what we know the first incarnation of saunas was mostly using steam. Essentially, people would gather in close and throw water on hot stones, which release hot water vapors in the air and gave the sensation of rather high temperatures. If you’ve ever had an experience with steam sauna then you know what this is like. By increasing the humidity, the heat in a steam sauna can become very hot and even unbearable.

Different countries and cultures adapted sauna technology as time went on, but the basic concept has always been rather simple. They consist of an enclosed room – not too dissimilar and often accompanying a bath – and a heater capable of high temperature output. These days the heater can even be an infrared element, and they still work to warm up your body just the same.

As human society moved forward we gained the ability to mass produce these components without an unreasonable amounts of effort. People started bringing them into their homes to incorporate them into their daily lives. If you’ve ever been to Finland in recent times, you’ve probably noticed that it’s difficult to even find a house that doesn’t have a sauna built in.

All of this begs the question, why aren’t saunas used more here in the United States? It’s hard to say for sure, but as a culture it very much seems like we have preferences for pools and hot tubs. Saunas show up from time to time, but they’re rarely the main attraction.

Think about it though, these days saunas don’t necessarily rely on steam. They have the option to utilize it, but some people really prefer dry heat and can even find steam heat bothersome. Regardless of your preferences, you should be able to find a way to relax. I am obviously the farthest thing from an expert, but my guess is that the lack of adoption has something to do with lack of exposure. I’d be willing to wager that if you went ahead and gave a sauna a try for a few weeks you’d be a full blown convert like myself. Now they’re my preferred way to relax. The funny thing is though, I still use the others as well. A great day at the spa could look like this:

  1. Gym (heavy weights)
  2. Shower*
  3. Pool
  4. Shower*
  5. Hot Tub
  6. Shower*
  7. Sauna

*Only a quick rinse to maintain hygiene during the transition.

Anyway, this is just my opinion and you should take it or leave it with grain of salt. I believe that at the very least saunas are a great activity to add into you self-pampering routine. If you don’t believe me, ask the centuries of Europeans who swear by them.

Troubleshooting A Wireless Dog Fence

Recently I’ve been having an issue where my dog Stella keeps running through her invisible dog fence. It’s problematic and troublesome for a number of reasons, and knowing that it can happen makes me always on edge. If Stella gets out of the fence then she’s out on the loose without a leash. She could be an annoyance to neighbors in any number of ways. She could even hurt people if the circumstances were right – she never has, she’s a sweetheart, but as a dog owner you know it’s your responsibility to make sure your pet doesn’t scratch, bite, or jump on anyone ever. She could also run into a busy street and be put in harm’s way in any number of situations. It’s just something I had to get to the bottom of, and fast.

We purchased a wireless dog fence system for her last summer, and everything was working great for the whole season. It wasn’t until this year that we started experiencing problems, but as soon as we put her out for the spring she started getting through. We did tons of research, from calling the manufacturer to reading forums and even helpful websites online, like this page that actually gave us a few ideas and ultimately fixed the problem: More on that in a second.

At the outset it seemed like we tried everything. We replaced the batteries in her collar, we went over to the base station to make sure that the power supply was working correctly. We made sure that the programming was correct and that the barrier was properly set. Nothing had changed at all from last year, and it was beginning to become quite frustrating. The manufacturer tried to help but ultimately our conversations with them didn’t get us anywhere. They recommended all of the above, and also noted that we may need to use a higher level of static correction for our dog. Stella had responded very well to the lightest correction setting, and I wasn’t too keen on cranking up the power as if that were the only solution. My gut just told me that there was something else going on.

Then I came across the article referenced above by The Pampered Pup. They mentioned that you can have interferences from large objects or components that can obstruct radio frequencies – then it dawned on me. This spring we had installed a brand new water fountain that can be controlled from your smartphone. It just so happened that we had placed the fountain pretty close to the barrier. Sure enough, when I took the dog collar in my hand and walked around the statue towards the barrier it lost a signal. This means that there was a hole in the barrier where Stella was able to get out – probably without her even knowing. She’s a fairly obedient dog and I wouldn’t suspect her to be mischievous.

Then came the question of how to resolve the issue. We had just had the fountain plumbed and it was quite heavy. Moving it would certainly be undesirable, though of course we could do it if we had to. My husband had an idea to try though – why not just bring the barrier in a few feet? We did that and it has seemed to work. Unfortunately Stella has a bit less room to run around, and she’s going to have to get accustomed to the slightly reduced yard, but it seems to have fixed the problem. I just wanted to share because this problem had baffled me, and I was about ready to give up. Hopefully this helps someone else out there who is going through the same thing as me. We have to keep our dogs safe!

Why I Love Beach Vacations

Vacations are awesome. They’re an opportunity to take a step back from the daily hustle. You can completely unplug from your responsibilities and just enjoy life and the world around you for what it is, rather than being caught up in a never ending to-do list. You can take a break from social media and the constant bombardment with information that the modern day world has made such common place.

There are so many places you can go when you decide to take a vacation. Heck, you don’t even have to leave your house to get the job done, but often a vacation is a lot more effective if you can go to an entirely different physical location. It gets you out of your element and into the vacation zone much more easily and quickly than staying at home may.

Some people like to travel to cities nearby or countries across the world. This is absolutely great, and I’ve done a ton of this kind of traveling myself. There’s something to be said for seeing the world through different eyes and walking in a different cities shoes for a period of time. Especially when you’re going to a different country, you get the opportunity to enjoy a different cuisine, to be surrounded by a foreign language, and immersed in an unfamiliar culture. You can argue that this is truly good for the soul as it rounds out your perception of life and what it is.

There is another kind of vacation though that just really sits at the center of my heart, and that is traveling to a beach town for a relaxing and revitalizing break from life. You can go to anywhere that has a beach, it doesn’t even have to be that warm. I will say however that my personal favorite is going to beaches where the water is warm, the climate is comfortable, and you are quite removed from the city. Basically, the fewer the people on the beach the better for your mindset.

There’s nothing that compares to rolling out of bed at a leisurely hour with not a worry in the world. The only thing on your schedule is to make coffee and have a stroll down to the water’s edge. You don’t have to worry about how you’re dressed because you’re unlikely to bump into many people. The people that you do happen to bump into are operating on a similar mindset as you, and they won’t care or judge you for anything in the world.

The salty water on your skin is almost therapeutic, as is the sun and the warmth that penetrates your skin as it diffuses up from the sand and into your blood. This kind of vacation is what life is all about. Everyone is different, and you very well may not agree with me. For me though, you simply can’t beat this kind of vacation. While I’ll take other vacations as well because I have to stay well rounded, this is a vacation that I’m sure I’ll always come back to.