How to Come Out to Your Parents

1.Recruit some gay or lesbian friends who are willing to provide ongoing emotional support and feedback as you plan your coming out process. Consider their practical suggestions about the dos and don'ts of coming out.
2.Clarify your thoughts and feelings about what being gay or lesbian means to you. Understand that coming out is a very personal decision. There's no right or wrong way to do it.
3.Anticipate that your parents may believe myths or misconceptions about gays or lesbians. Consider their religious beliefs, whether they may feel guilty about their parenting skills, or their concerns about what the neighbors will think.
4.Practice an opening sentence that's comfortable for you and sets the tone for the discussion. For example, "Mom and Dad, I have a really important topic to discuss with you. I want you to know that I am gay," or "Dad and Mom, I want to be honest with you about my life. I am a lesbian. I have known this for a long time and now I want you to know it as well."
5.Understand that your parents may initially experience a sense of loss that will take them time to work through. Their feelings may focus on their loss of "the perfect child," "the perfect family" or their future role as grandparents.
6.Share relevant personal information about your process of accepting your sexual orientation. For example, "I knew I was different when I was 9; when I was 16 I learned that it was called being gay," or "I believed all of the negative things society says about gay people until I found positive gay role models who are business owners, lawyers and teachers."
7.Focus the conversation on your feelings and your personal experiences. This is not a religious or political discussion. It's about you and your efforts to have an honest relationship with your parents.
8.Stop the discussion if you feel threatened or overly criticized, or if either you or your parents become emotionally overwhelmed. Coming out is a process that happens over time.
9.Review the outcome of the discussion, regardless of how you evaluate it, with your supportive friends. Create an event where you and these friends celebrate this significant, brave accomplishment in your life.
10.Continue the discussion and information sharing about your life with your parents. Talk about people you date, gay and lesbian social events you attend, gay and lesbian couples you meet or social causes you support.
11.Have patience. Any number of situations may cause you to postpone this difficult discussion. If this happens, be gentle with yourself and identify when you'll try again.  
Coming out is difficult, especially when you're coming out to parents. Therefore, it's important that you set the stage so that as many factors as possible are in your favor. In your family it may work best to talk to your parents separately. Or you might get more support and insight by first coming out to a close sibling and then using his or her feedback before talking with your parents.
Provide a list of appropriate resource information to educate your parents about the positive realities of being gay or lesbian. 
This discussion is about your identity as a gay man or lesbian and your desire for an honest relationship with your parents. Redirect your parents if they attempt to place you in a stereotypical box that focuses on negative information. Introduce the concept that your sexual orientation is another one of your personal characteristics, just like eye and hair color, left- or right-handedness, and the areas you excel in, such as accounting or teaching.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a trained therapist before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.   

How to Hire a Septic Contractor

1.Make sure you have a septic design approved by the local board of health. The design will specify the exact location, shape, size and materials of the septic.
2.Make sure the site of the septic is accessible. The contractor will need to get excavation equipment and large trucks into the site.
3.Contact several septic contractors. Ask friends and relatives or check the yellow pages for contractor leads. Note that most excavation contractors install septic systems, but you'll want someone with considerable experience.
4.Have the contractors inspect the site.
5.Give each contractor a complete copy of the design.
6.Have the contractors give you price quotes for the entire project (labor, equipment and material).
7.Ask each contractor for references, including one or more older ones (to check up on any problems with operation). Check these references. Was the job done in a timely and professional manner? Did the contractor cause as little damage to the surrounding site as possible? Has the system operated properly without any problems?
8.Make sure the contractors are properly insured.
9.Select a contractor based on price, references and your impressions.
10.Execute a contract for the work, specifying cost, payment schedule, start date and estimated completion date. Make sure the contract provides a guarantee of the work. 
A septic system includes a number of different materials and components that can be confusing for the home owner to supply. Rely on your contractor to get the supplies you'll need.
Septic tanks require a variety of materials, including the tank and related components, high-quality fill dirt (known as "select fill"), crushed stone and PVC piping.
Lots with difficult geographic or soil conditions may require complex septic systems. Pump systems are used when the area of the septic lies at a higher elevation than the house. Mound systems are used when the soil is wet or poorly drained.
Expect to spend $5,000 to $25,000 for a typical septic system (depending on size and complexity as well as market conditions). Complex systems can cost more - up to $100,000 in extreme cases. 
Septic price quotes can vary enormously - by over 100 percent in some cases - so make sure you get at least three to five bids.
Make sure the contractor provides you with a valid certificate of insurance before work commences or payment is made.
Always try to minimize the deposit paid and keep the payment schedule closely aligned to the progress of work and the delivery of materials to the site. Notwithstanding this, be advised that the contractor must order a large amount of material and will probably insist on some type of deposit.   

How to Deal With Morning Sickness

1.Try not to let yourself get hungry; an empty stomach can increase nausea.
2.Keep a supply of Saltine crackers handy. Have some in the morning before you get out of bed to settle your stomach.
3.Avoid high-fat foods - especially fried foods - and stay away from spicy and acidic foods.
4.Eat foods high in B vitamins, which decrease nausea.
5.Add a bit of ginger to your diet in the form of ginger ale, ginger tea or gingersnaps. Or use ginger in your recipes.
6.Experiment with natural remedies such as papaya enzyme, vitamin B-6 or acupressure wristbands.
7.Drink plenty of water between meals. Try sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
8.Take your prenatal vitamins with food. Your nausea will increase if you take them on an empty stomach.
9.Avoid taking iron supplements in the first trimester unless you are anemic. Iron can be hard on your stomach.
10.Utilize the fleeting moments when you feel OK to eat healthful foods and get a little exercise. 
Nausea can be a sign that everything is going well with your pregnancy. It's hormonal adjustment that's making you feel so sick.
For most women, nausea lessens or disappears in the second trimester. 
Call your doctor if the nausea becomes debilitating or if you are unable to hold down any food.
If you are suddenly getting sick in your second or third trimester and you weren’t earlier, call your doctor.
If vomiting is accompanied by pain or fever, call your doctor immediately.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.  Steps:
1.Start slowly. If you had an established exercise routine prior to becoming pregnant, you can continue with your same routine, making minor adjustments as the pregnancy progresses. If you are starting a routine to stay fit during pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to overexert yourself. Start with 20 to 30 minutes of slow walking three or four times a week. As you get stronger, build the intensity of your walk gradually and add pregnancy workout moves.
2.Stretch your body gently before and after exercise to avoid soreness. Do some arm circles by holding your arms straight out and rotating them in circles. Do some standing side lunges to stretch your legs. Slowly bend at your sides to stretch your sides and back.
3.Listen to your body. Never exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you become short of breath, your body is telling you that you lack oxygen. If you feel pain or cramping, your body is telling you to slow down and not push so hard.
4.Take frequent breaks. When you become winded, stop and drink some water. Sit down until you can breathe at a normal rate.
5.Never exercise in extremely hot weather.
6.Avoid lying flat on your back, especially past the first trimester. Lying in the supine position will cause your expanding uterus to press against your spinal cord, limiting blood flow.
7.Weight train only the upper body and arms. Avoid weight training that strains your back or pelvic area.  
Avoid contact sports and activities that quickly change your center of gravity.
Try pregnancy yoga classes.
Wear good exercise shoes to help support your back and ankles.
Buy a pregnancy exercise magazine for some good prenatal workouts.
Eat a healthy diet. Pack on the carbohydrates. Exercise burns carbohydrates faster, so replenish your body frequently. 
Warnings: Consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine during pregnancy.   

How to Make a Dreidel

1.Gather your supplies. You'll find everything you need at a craft-supply store.
2.Press moist clay into a cube-shaped mold, and smooth the clay on the open side with a flat knife or ruler.
3.Remove the clay from the mold while it's still moist.
4.Insert a piece of dowel into the center of one of the sides so that it reaches at least to the center of the cube.
5.Press more clay into a cone or pyramid-shaped mold. (The flat side should be the same size or slightly smaller than the side of the box.) While the clay is still moist, remove it from the mold.
6.Affix the cone to the side of the cube opposite the dowel.
7.Let the clay dry.
8.Paint or stencil onto each blank side of the cube one of the following Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin. (See Related Site "Hebrew Alphabet.")
9.Let the paint dry and start the game. 
Tips: Making dreidels from scratch is fun and exercises your creative flair, but it's easier to make them from a kit. Dreidel kits are sold at Jewish religious-supply stores and at many large synagogues.   

How to Connect a DVD Player to a Computer

1.If you don't already have one, buy a video capture card with a built-in MPEG-2 DVD decoder and motion compensation. Look for a card with S-video or better video inputs. Match the best outputs on your DVD player.
2.Find a video card with audio inputs if possible. Otherwise, buy a sound card with stereo input jacks (not standard).
3.Consider external video-capture devices such as the Iomega Buz, which includes a SCSI card, composite and S-video in and out jacks, stereo audio in and out jacks, and full-screen playback.
4.Install the necessary hardware and software for the video capture device you chose.
5.Plug the DVD player into an outlet near your computer, but keep it as far away as possible to eliminate any chance of feedback on your monitor.
6.Connect cables to the left and right (color-coded red) audio RCA jacks on the back of the DVD player. Connect the other ends of the cables to line-in jacks on your sound card or external video-capture device.
7.Connect the DVD player to your video capture card or external device using the best technology common to both: progressive-scan component video, interlaced component video, S-video or composite video.  
Buy a DVD-ROM drive that comes with a decoder card to save money and have a high likelihood of being able to watch movies, unless your computer already has all the necessary hardware and software to connect and run a DVD player. Consumer video-capture cards cost between $200 and $1,000.
Hardware MPEG decoders are far superior to software MPEG decoders. You may also need to be able to decode Dolby Digital audio.
For software MPEG decoding, you'll need at least a 350-MHz Pentium II or a G4 Macintosh. For hardware MPEG decoding, you'll need at least a 133-MHz Pentium or a G3 Macintosh.
Your computer must support Macrovision to play copy-protected DVDs.  
Make sure your computer meets the system requirements of any card or other hardware you buy.
CD and DVD content is copyrighted material and illegal to share with others without permission of the copyright holder.    

How to Use a Plumber's Helper or "Snake"

1.Put on gloves with a nonslip grip. The snake - essentially a long cable - can get slippery and dirty.
2.Start with the smallest snake you can, graduating to a larger size if the first one doesn’t work.
3.Insert the business end of the plumber’s snake - the end opposite the handle - into the drain or toilet. Use care to avoid damaging sinks, toilets and pipes.
4.Turn the handle slowly in a clockwise direction, gently pushing the snake. Let it find its own way through - it may take quite a few revolutions of the handle.
5.Fill the sink or toilet bowl about halfway with water to help lubricate and provide some pressure to wash the clog out once it begins to break up.
6.Pull out the snake when the snake crank becomes hard to turn, clean its end, and reinsert it into the drain.
7.Repeat this process until the drain is clear. 
Warnings: Some snakes are motorized. If you’re using a motor-driven snake, don’t spin it too quickly, and be careful when retrieving it from the drain - it may whip around and strike you as it comes out of the pipe.   

How to Choose Eye Protection for Riding Your Motorcycle

1.Understand that helmets with plastic face shields are best, because they protect your entire face. But if your motorcycle has a windshield, you may have other options, such as goggles.
2.Make sure your eye protection allows a clear view to either side, and that it's shatter-proof and free of scratches.
3.Be sure the product allows enough room for eyeglasses or sunglasses to be worn underneath it. 
Fasten your eye protection tightly so it cannot be blown off.
Make sure your face protection allows air to pass through so it won't fog. 
Tinted eye protection should not be worn at night.
Eyeglasses and sunglasses are not made to protect riders, and they can blow off when your head is turned. If you wear glasses, also use a face shield.   Overall Warnings: Motorcycling 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 Teach a Teen to Drive

1.Make sure your teen has a learner’s permit, license or any other requirement necessary before beginning driver training.
2.Review the rules of the road the teenager learned during the required classroom hours.
3.Drive to an empty parking lot or driving course.
4.Explain the basic workings of the entire car, inside and out, before letting your teen start the engine. Go over each part and process in detail, including everything under the hood, the dashboard controls, the gas tank, the tires and the emergency equipment. Repeat until you’re sure your teenager understands.
5.Demonstrate how everything works: the lights, seat belts, windshield wipers, blinkers, horn, emergency lights, transmission, seat adjustment, steering wheel, mirrors and defroster.
6.Sit in the passenger seat and have your teen start the engine.
7.Point out how acceleration, braking and smooth transmission shifts feel.
8.Give corrections, warnings and tips as you make your way around the course, and discuss overall points when you’ve finished.
9.Sprinkle your lesson with what-if scenarios. Cover such possibilities as a child running across the road, traffic signals going out, emergency vehicles pulling up behind, a tire going flat, and so forth.
1..Remind your teen that it’s important to always have the car’s registration and insurance information accessible in the car and to carry a driver’s license or permit.
1..Note skill improvements and make the course progressively more difficult, finally going out into traffic when you think your teen is ready.
1..Practice again and again. 
Tips: For your teen’s safety as well as your peace of mind, teach him or her how to change a flat tire before driving alone (see "How to Change a Flat Tire”). 
Warnings: Discuss the dangers of and laws against drinking and driving or using drugs and driving. Also discuss the hazards of driving when tired or when distracted by rowdy passengers, blaring music or difficult weather conditions.   

How to Obtain a Car Loan

1.Choose your new set of wheels and negotiate a price with the seller (see “How to Buy a New Car”).
2.Research interest rates. Several Web sites, such as, publish surveys of loan rates across the United States. Compare the rates with those offered by your local bank, credit union or car dealer.
3.Find out what your current car is worth as a trade-in. Research values in the Kelley Blue Book Used Car Guide, available at the library, your bank or on the Internet.
4.Determine how much of a down payment you can make. Use your trade-in value and cash - or just cash - to come up with the standard 20 percent usually required. Talk with the car dealer that has the new car you want.
5.Apply where you find the best rates, and the length of the loan and monthly payment fit your budget.
6.Consider saving more for a down payment or choosing a less expensive car if you don’t qualify.
7.Build a better credit rating if that’s what causes you to be turned down. Try again after six months of paying your bills on time. 
If you lack adequate income or a good credit history, lenders won’t approve your loan until you prove you can repay it while meeting your other obligations.
If a bad credit history prevents you from getting a loan, contact Consumer Credit Counseling Service or a similar group. 
Warnings: Beware of for-profit imitators that promise to cleanse your credit history for a fee. 

How to Treat Tonsillitis

1.Gargle every two to three hours with mint mouthwash. Be sure to get the mouthwash onto the back of your throat. See "How to Gargle."
2.Take aspirin if you are an adult, acetaminophen if you are a child. Suck on throat lozenges, especially those containing phenol, which help to numb the throat.
3.Stay hydrated. Drink iced beverages or suck on popsicles. Frozen liquids help numb the throat. Try hot teas with honey, and clear soups. For some people, warm beverages help relieve the pain of tonsillitis better than cold ones do.
4.Get plenty of rest.
5.Avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants.
6.Check your temperature at least twice a day. If you have a continuous fever, even a low-grade one of 99 degrees F, lasting more than two days, see your doctor. Tonsillitis or acute sore throat pain that lasts more than 48 hours, especially if accompanied by a fever, may be symptomatic of a strep infection, which requires treatment.
7.Let your doctor take a throat culture to identify the germs in your throat.
8.Ask about antibiotics, if your tonsillitis is caused by bacteria. Penicillin G is frequently prescribed.
9.Consider a tonsillectomy for persistent tonsillitis and sore throats. 
Tips: Tonsillectomies are considered for children who have had six infections in one year or two to three infections per year for two to three years. 
If you have difficulty swallowing, breathing or talking, see a doctor immediately, or go to your local emergency room.
Children under 18 years of age should never be given aspirin, unless specifically ordered by a physician.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.