How to Use Dried Mushrooms

1.Reconstitute dried mushrooms for most recipes by placing the mushrooms in a cup or bowl.
2.Fill the container about halfway.
3.Cover the mushrooms with boiling water.
4.Cover the container with plastic wrap to prevent steam from escaping.
5.Steep for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
6.Strain the water, but don't discard it; it's very flavorful and can be used in your recipe.
7.Chop the mushrooms into small pieces and use them in the recipe as directed.
8.For a drier dish, such as stuffing or a casserole, simmer the steeping water for a few minutes to concentrate the flavors and reduce the volume a little, then add it to your dish. Add the water directly to any liquid dish, such as soup or sauce. Strain the liquid or pour it off carefully if the mushrooms contained grit.  
Dried mushrooms can also be used to make a seasoning powder. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes to remove the last traces of moisture. Then grind the mushrooms in a food processor or spice mill. Sift out the larger pieces, and use the fine powder as a seasoning for seafood, gravies and soups.
Dried mushrooms are available in most large markets and specialty stores. Dried shiitake, morel, chanterelle and porcini mushrooms are commonly available, as are blends of several varieties. Experiment to find the flavors you like best. Dried mushrooms can be expensive, but shiitake and other Asian dried mushrooms are much cheaper at Asian markets than at supermarkets.
Use reconstituted dried mushrooms or seasoning powder as an enhancement in any recipe that calls for fresh mushrooms. Add the dried mushrooms early in the recipe so that they have time to cook and blend in.   

How to Cross the Flats While Snowboarding

1.Tuck and try to keep a straight line if you find yourself the unsuspecting victim of a slow, flat section. This will help retain your speed and carry you further than anything else you can do.
2."Slingshot" if you are with friends who are skiing (it could happen), which means that they offer you a pole to pull you along. This is not a recommended technique if you have a large ego as you will, no doubt, hear about it later from these skiers. You could also get skewered by the skier’s pole.
3.Take your back foot out of the back binding and push like you are on a skateboard until you get to a slope again.
4.Claw the snow like a dog in very short sections to propel yourself along. It works, but it's the least dignified thing you can do on a board. 
Tips: Try to avoid flat, speed-free sections of the mountain by checking the trail map. Most maps will indicate flats on a legend. 
Warnings: Watch out for skiers and snowboarders who bomb past you at high speed as they attempt to get through the flats. They are moving fast, and you are moving slowly or not at all. This could be an Excedrin moment. 
Overall Warnings: Skateboarding is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Design a Marine Audio System

1.Survey your boat. Locate areas where audio products can be placed away from the water. Amplifiers can be placed in the engine compartment in the rear of the boat or under the dashboard. Subwoofers can go in the compartment under the seats. The radio can replace the original radio. Midrange and midbass speakers and tweeters can fit into the side panels or under the dash.
2.Take photos of the locations you choose and measure the dimensions. This will help you choose products that will fit in the areas you have selected.
3.Lay out the system. Determine where you intend to put all the components and decide how you will route the wires.
4.Contact manufacturers, such as Eclipse, Rockford Fosgate and Alpine, who offer marine audio products and ask them for retailer recommendations.
5.Use the manufacturers' recommendations to select three to five shops in your area to investigate.
6.Ask each shop about its experience with selling and installing marine audio products. Ask to see the shop's photo album. If they have one, it may include photos of installations they did on boats. Ask the salesperson or an installer about those installations and discuss details.
7.Choose speakers that have a polypropylene cone. Polypropylene is a rigid material that resists moisture. You can use at least two 10-inch subwoofers. The speakers should be designed for infinite baffle mounting. You can include four speaker separates - either four 6- by 9-inch two-way speakers or four 6 1/2-inch two-way speakers. A two-way speaker includes a midrange or midbass speaker and a tweeter. The more separates you have, the louder the system will be.
8.Select a four-channel amplifier that has a specially treated circuit board that enables it to last longer in a marine environment. Rockford, Eclipse and Clarion offer such amplifiers. The amplifier will run hot, so choose one that is stable at a 2 ohm load. Also select an amplifier that has a built-in electronic crossover.
9.Select a cassette player with compact-disc (CD) changer controls that can be commanded by an infrared remote control. This allows you to tuck the unit in a dry place, cover it in plastic and still control it. (Keep in mind that an infrared remote control needs a line of sight to the head unit.) A cassette player can take the harsh bumps better than a CD player when you want to run the boat hard.
1..Include a CD changer so that you can listen to CDs when you don't run the boat so hard. A changer offers better suspension than a CD player, so it can take bumps better in any case.
1..Include a second battery to power the audio system and upgrade the boat's alternator.    

How to Hold Relay Races

1.Plan a relay race: Two or more teams race against each other, and different runners cover different sections of the course.
2.Decide how many people you would like to have per team. Four is a good number.
3.Divide your group into teams with the same number of runners on each team.
4.Designate how long the race will be.
5.Mark a starting line and finish line for your race.
6.Mark the spots along the race area where different runners are to take over (transfer locations).
7.Mark all of these areas with orange cones, chalk or even piles of stones.
8.Position one runner from each team at the starting line and at each transfer location.
9.Give each of the runners at the starting line a baton or stick to pass from runner to runner at each transfer location.
1..Explain to everyone that the runners at the transfer locations must not go behind the transfer line.
1..Tell all runners that they must wait for the runner behind them to cross the line and pass the baton before taking off to the next transfer location and passing the baton to the next runner.
1..Call, "On your mark, get set, go!"
1..Watch the first set of runners dash to the first transfer location.
1..Observe the transfer of the batons at the transfer stations.
1..Make sure the transfer runners stay in place until the batons are passed.
1..See which runner crosses the finish line first. That runner's team is the winner. 
You can play this game at family reunions or church picnics.
Have different races for different age groups - or, if your teams are of mixed ages, have people of the same age group run the same section of the race against each other.
In an area with limited space, have the first set of runners race to a specific point, turn around, and race back to the starting line, where they pass the batons to the next set of runners.   

How to Teach Your Toddler the Days of the Week

1.Read. Find books that address the days of the week at your child's level of understanding. Read and talk about the days of the week. Compare some of your days with the days in the book.
2.Make or buy a large chart calendar. Have the calendar laminated so you can reuse it every month. Write special days or holidays on your calendar with colorful wipe-away markers or easy to remove stickers.
3.Make and laminate attachments to put on your calendar to mark special days that occur frequently, like playgroup days or the days Mommy or Daddy stay home from work.
4.Mark special days once a week. Count the number of days to an event everyday. Recount and remind your toddler anytime your child attends to the calendar. When the event day arrives, talk about what you will do on that day. Talk about the holiday or birthdays on that date too.
5.Make attachments for your calendar to go with books you read. Play with the calendar while you are reading the books. Let your child place the attachments on the calendar and have the attachments available for your child's independent play. 
Be consistent and repetitious. Toddlers learn best when playing and by doing the same thing over and over.
Make weather attachments like clouds or sun shine circles. Talk about the weather for the day and label it with your attachments.
Buy magnetic strips and attach the calendar and pieces to the refrigerator. 
Engage your toddler in learning while you are playing. Trying to get your child to sit down and listen to a lesson on numbers will prove frustrating to you and the child.
Consult a professional family doctor if you experience extreme frustration or anger when interacting with your child.   Steps:
1.Assess your toddler’s readiness for toilet training. Ask yourself these questions: Does your toddler follow simple instructions? Dislike having a soiled diaper? Know words for stool and urine? Sit for 5 minutes or more attending to a project? Understand the physical signals indicating the presence of urine or stool? Have dry periods for 2 hours or longer? Wake up dry from naps? These are all good indications that you can start introducing your toddler to the potty.
2.Buy a potty or toilet seat. Choose one that will suit the needs and preferences of both you and your toddler. Do you want one you can take with you anywhere? Do you want one that will rest safely on public toilets? Do you want one that makes music? Don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t agree with the one you think is right.
3.If you feel comfortable, have your child sit on his potty with clothes on while you, your spouse, or another person of the same sex as your child goes to the bathroom. Don’t try to restrain your child or force him or her to sit down. If your toddler shows extreme fear or disdain for the potty, put it away and try again, or let your child explore the toilet seat independently.
4.Sit your child on the toilet seat without a diaper when he or she shows no signs of fear. Explain to your child what is supposed to happen on the potty. Don’t be surprised if nothing happens for a long time. After two-plus years of passing urine and stool in a diaper, change will come slowly.
5.Create a toilet routine. Following a routine will set up your child for success. Place your toddler on the toilet at specific times of day - first thing in the morning, right before or after a nap, and right before bed.
6.Be patient. Some children become urine-trained before becoming stool-trained. Other children wet the bed up to age 7 or 8. All children develop and accept change differently. 
Reward your child for making it to the potty.
If your child has an accident on the floor or in training pants, use gentle, encouraging words. Let your child know that he or she is learning something new and that accidents are OK.
Read toilet-training books for kids together to show your toddler that other children learn this skill, too.   

How to Buy Accessories for a Madeline Doll

1.Take stock of your child's Madeline doll collection and determine which Madeline accessories are most needed.
2.Give a Madeline Poseable Doll Case or even a Madeline backpack if your child has many Madeline doll outfits and accessories but nowhere to put them. Keep everything in one place!
3.Find out which Madeline book or video is your child's favorite. Try to find outfits and accessories that are similar to those worn by Madeline in your child's favorite scenes. Was Madeline skating? Then choose a skating outfit for your child's doll.
4.Visit local and online toy stores to determine the range and availability of Madeline dolls and accessories. Each will carry a different array of merchandise.
5.Ask your child which accessories he or she wants the most. Does your child's Madeline doll need more outfits? A wide variety of clothing sets is available for every occasion: holiday dresses, pajamas, skiing and skating outfits - even tiger, matador and princess costumes.
6.Remember the accessory sets that go along with most Madeline outfits. There are slumber accessory sets to go with Madeline's pajama outfits, soccer accessory sets for the next time Madeline wears her soccer outfit, playtime accessory sets for Madeline dressed in her play clothes.
7.Try not to worry if you find that you've duplicated accessories or clothing that your child's Madeline already has. Dress Madeline's friends in the extras. In the books, the girls are dressed alike anyway.
8.Expect to pay $10 and up for clothes and accessories that fit the 8-inch Madeline and $15 and up for clothes and accessories that fit the 15-inch doll. Doll cases for the 8-inch Madeline start at $20, while the case for the 15-inch doll starts at $30.
9.Order your Madeline merchandise through the Shopping List below, online toy retailers or local stores. Your choices may be greater if you shop online; check on estimated delivery date and figure in shipping costs. 
Keep a pair of scissors on hand. Madeline dolls come with their outfits sewn onto them for shipping purposes. To change her clothes, carefully snip away the threads.
Know that Madeline dolls have a tiny red mark across the stomach area. This is supposed to be there - it's Madeline's appendix-removal scar.
Check the age guides listed on all Madeline products to determine the appropriate age level for the doll, toy or game of your choice.   

How to Get Over a Breakup

1.Allow yourself to grieve over the loss. Grieving includes going through feelings such as sadness, anger, shock and acceptance.
2.Take any pressure or expectations off yourself to get over it quickly. Depending on the length of the relationship or how important it was to you, you may need weeks, months or longer to get over it.
3.Take care of yourself. Get adequate rest, eat right and get some exercise.
4.Nurture yourself. Give yourself permission to relax, take it easy, and do whatever makes you feel better - such as taking walks, baths or naps; listening to music; reading; or watching movies.
5.Plan pleasurable activities with friends or family ahead of time (especially on weekends) to keep you busy and get your mind off the loss.
6.Consider joining a support group to be with others dealing with similar feelings. Ask your doctor for a referral.
7.Talk to your doctor about possibly taking medication if you're having trouble sleeping, or if you're experiencing anxiety or depression. Or discuss the options of herbal supplements such as St. John's wort (for depression) or kava kava (for anxiety).
8.Get a journal and write down what you have learned from the relationship about yourself, relationships and life. 
Tips: If the relationship was very significant for you, you may never get over it in the sense of having no residual feelings about it. Over time, the feelings will become less intense and you will be able to think about the relationship without it being so painful.   

How to Fill In a Shape With a Pattern in Paint Shop Pro

1.Start Paint Shop Pro. Create a new document or open the document the shape will be placed in.
2.Locate the color palette. Click on the top square and select a color for the pattern.
3.Locate the Selection tool from the toolbar on the left (it looks like a box with dashed borders).
4.Select the shape (circle, square, rectangle or ellipse) you want to draw from the Control palette.
5.Draw the shape in the document by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse pointer. Release the left mouse button.
6.Click the Fill icon in the toolbar (it resembles paint dripping from a tilted can).
7.Select a fill pattern from the Controls menu.
8.Place the cursor over the shape and click. The shape fills with your selected color and pattern.
9.If the results aren't what you wanted, select Undo from the Edit menu, then try again.
1..Save the new image. 
The Solid Color style fills the shape with a solid color.
The Pattern style repeats a selected pattern.
The Linear Gradient style fills the shape horizontally with a gradient color.
The Rectangular Gradient style creates a rectangle and fills it in a gradient pattern from the center outward.
The Sunburst Gradient style creates a circular gradient fill from the center outward.
The Radial Gradient style creates a square with the gradient color radiated from a centered point.
The Options button reveals different options, from hue to location, for each style.   Steps:
1.Start Photoshop. Create a new document or open the document the shape will be placed in.
2.Click on the Selection tool from the toolbar (it resembles a shape with a dashed border).
3.Select the shape you want to draw from the Marquee Options toolbar.
4.Draw the shape by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse pointer. Release the mouse button when the shape is complete.
5.Click on the Fill tool from the toolbar (it resembles a tilted paint bucket with paint pouring from it).
6.Click on the top (Foreground) color box and select the color the shape will be filled with. Click OK.
7.Select the fill style from the Paint Bucket Options.
8.Place the cursor on the shape and click. The shape is filled with the color and style you chose.
9.If the results aren't what you wanted, select Undo from the Edit menu, then try again.
1..Save the document. 
Try each of the Paint Bucket options until you find the best one for your purposes. (Use Undo to get rid of the changes.)
When creating new shapes that overlap others, click the Fill tool in the overlap area to cover it as well.   

How to Add a Picture to a Web Page Using Netscape Composer

1.Start Composer and choose Open from the File menu. Locate the page you want and double-click to open it.
2.Position the cursor where the image will appear.
3.Open the Insert menu and choose Image. Click on the Choose File button, locate the image you want and click OK.
4.Choose the alignment and text wrapping by clicking the appropriate buttons.
5.Change the height and width of the image by reducing or increasing the numbers. Make sure the Constrain Image box is checked to keep the image from becoming distorted.
6.Add space around the image by increasing the numbers in the Space Around Images box.
7.Add a border around the image by changing the number in the Solid Border box.
8.Link the image to another Web address by clicking on the Link tab and typing the URL into the box.
9.Click OK to place the image.
1..Save the file and click on the Preview button to view it in the Netscape Navigator browser. 
Another way to reduce or increase the size of an image is to place the cursor over a corner of the image until it turns into a double-arrow cursor, then drag the image corner until the image is the right size.
"Text wrapping" refers to the way text flows around an image.    

How to Build a Snowman

1.Test to see if you have “packing snow,” which clumps together easily and isn’t too wet. The snow must pack to make a snowman.
2.Shape a handful of snow into a ball. Continue adding more snow and packing the ball until it’s too large to hold.
3.Place the ball on the snow in front of you and slowly roll it away from you. As more snow accumulates on the outside of your ball, pack the snow by pressing on it with your gloved hands.
4.Roll and pack the ball over and over until it is the size you want for the bottom of the snowman’s body.
5.Repeat for the midsection and head. The bottom should be the biggest ball, and the top should be the smallest.
6.Pack some extra snow between the layers to make them stick together. Place sticks down the center where the sections meet if your snowman is having trouble standing erect.
7.Give the snowman a face. Use coal, rocks, buttons or anything dark and round for the eyes. A horizontal stick or twig will make a good mouth, and a carrot is fine for the pointy nose. If you don’t have a carrot, a banana or a candy cane will do the job.
8.Cover the top of his head with an old plant for hair, or give him a knit hat to wear. Top hats will blow away unless secured.
9.Add arms, legs and other accessories. Push sticks into the sides of the middle section and hang old mittens on the ends, then place boots at the bottom for legs. Also consider adding items such as a shirt, a scarf or sunglasses. 
If you’re having a hard time rolling and packing the snow into sections, try using buckets. Find three that are of descending size and pack them with snow, then upend them, dumping the snow from one bucket on top of the other.
You can spray your snowman with colored water to add rosy cheeks.
Your snowman’s days are numbered, so take plenty of pictures.