The Meltdown

This is one of those vulnerable articles. It’s hoped that as I share about my/our weaknesses you too will be encouraged to own and accept your weaknesses, defeating any perfectionistic stride that tends to disrupt and even destroy relationships.Meltdown: think nuclear plant meltdown where the nuclear core is severely overheated and catastrophic damage results.We have a five-year-old, and very recently something happened that often happens at his age-and-stage. He had a meltdown. The process normally goes like this. Creative idea, build something, doesn’t work, frustration sets in, destroy the creation in anger. Not all the time, just occasionally. Dealing with pre-school children all the time, and having had another three children who are now adults, there’s nothing alarming in it. Besides, our five-year-old has witnessed us having meltdowns – and I can speak only for myself here.


There are all sorts of meltdowns, not just the angry ones, but also the teary ones, the anxious ones, the prideful ones, and the panicky ones.I want to share with you the kind of meltdown I’m capable of; this would happen occasionally in 2016 when I was thrust into an occupational world that I did not want any part of, but had to engage in just to support my family.I was very blessed to be offered work – two separate part-time positions – through friends, one of whom was my ex-wife, when pastoral ministry work went belly-up.Meltdowns occurred because of both jobs, but the case in point here centred around my job working with my ex-wife. These meltdowns never had anything to do with her – we, her and her husband and I, had a very good working relationship, always trying to outdo one another in what we gave.But it was the nature of the work that had me positioned like a fish out of water. I was packing chilled meals for home delivery, and so regularly my mind was doing backflips, that at times, my head was saying, ‘I cannot do this… it’s too hard… my brain is wired to work with people, one person at a time, not five or more tasks held in the mind at any one time, with noise, with pressure, with interruptions. (I need to say that since I burned out in 2005 my brain has some kind of permanent disability in managing many tasks simultaneously.) I was always fine when I got out on the road to do the deliveries, other than the times I had meltdowns. And this happened on a half dozen occasions.Here is the nature of that kind of meltdown. I would call my wife and say, panicked and in tears, ‘Darling, I cannot do this anymore… it’s too hard… my mind can’t keep up… I’m useless.’ After 10-minutes of hearing me out she would usually help me accept that I could get through the delivery run. I was usually fine after this. The inner meltdown in the presence of others manifested in an outward meltdown when it was safe with my wife.


There was nothing wrong with the delivery driving job, and in fact it taught me important skills, helped me master a new degree of patience, gave me empathy for those in that kind of work, and it showed me what I’m not good at. And it showed me how, all through my life, I’ve had the capacity for this kind of depressed meltdown that comes straight out of my wounded child state.We all have meltdowns, even those who seem to have perfect lives, and especially those who look like they’ve got their lives under control.I don’t know a single person who hasn’t had a meltdown. So, what do we do with this?We stop feeling ashamed of them whilst we do all we can to limit the kind of damage meltdown can bring.

Will Smart Home Automation Change the Modern Living Forever?

Smart home automation is earning swift recognition among consumers around the world. In today’s day and age, a lot of emphasis is being given to the technologies that make the daily lives comfortable, fast, and easy. Automation is one of such booming technologies witnessing advancements in terms of innovation and applications at a supersonic pace. Home automation or smart home technology involves mechanization of thermostats, security, temperature controls, and home appliances. Introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized smart home automation for the better. It offers automatic control of electronic and electric devices in homes. Users access these devices through wireless communication. Home appliance manufacturers from around the world are keen on inventing more effective and affordable devices to impel the sales and ensure customer satisfaction. As a result, the global demand for smart home automation is flooded with groundbreaking home systems.

High Points of Smart Home Automation Technology

Smartphones can be connected to practically anything and everything that is technology-enabled. Be it banking, entertainment, or home settings. The home technology is evolving at a rapid pace. The technology is promising, convenient, and rapidly evolving. The modern world is reaching the tipping point as far as utilization of technology in homes, workplaces, and other spheres of daily human lives are concerned. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another such technology finding its way in daily human lives. Availability of a myriad of automated devices and high-tech concepts at the consumer technology and trade shows like the Consumer Electric Show (CES) only point out the advancement in automation technology. Along with enhancements, smart technology and smart home technology in particular is anticipated to become easily accessible. This could be one of the biggest high points for the consumers across the globe. Along with mechanized home features and security devices, consumers will witness the advent of technologies like lookout cameras for pets and automated shopping. Take a look at some of the imminent trends in home automation:

Cameras for Pets
Closed-circuit television or CCTV has been the original security essential as far as home automation is concerned. With the combination of security cameras and smart home automation, they have become all the more indispensable and sophisticated. Along with the standard usage for security purposes, the cameras installed in households can help pet owners monitor the activities of their pets. These cameras have motion sensors with the ability to self-activate when the pets move. These devices can also soothe pets that are nervous and are prone to damaging furniture and other home articles. For instance, the recently launched Petcube Play Interactive camera, a Wi-Fi enabled indoor pet camera that allows pet owners to check in on their pets through smartphones and other smart devices. It also allows interaction with the help of two-way audio and high definition video camera. The sound alerts added to the cameras notify users in case of major events.

Wireless Kitchen
Futuristic, is the buzzword for smart home automation. Manufacturers of modern home appliances and technologies are keen on adopting technologies that can provide customer satisfaction and convenience. For example, URBANEER recently developed the first commercially available wireless kitchen in partnership with the Wireless Power Consortium or WPC. It has automatic kitchen products designed using advanced technology for the utmost customer comfort and optimal use of home space. These customizable products are considered to be ideal for modern homes. After the launch of the game changing furniture line with built-in chargers by Ikea, many other companies have ventured into wireless charging furniture. This type of furniture transmits electricity with the help of electromagnetic fields through a base and a receiver. From lamps to side tables to stand-alone charging pads, companies like Ikea are revolutionizing the industry for home automation. Another company, Curvilux recently launched its nightstand product with attached wireless charging pad.

Breathing Sleep Robot
Enhancing sleep technology is a part of the smart home automation revolution taking place across the world. Companies are launching advanced devices that use technology and data to manage health, sleep, exercise, and other activities of the users. Apart from the fitness trackers, smart beds, and pillows, manufacturers are introducing other ground-breaking products. For example, the Sensorwake 2 Olfactory Alarm Clock. This clock wakes up the users with a pleasant smell of their choice. It uses soft melodies, dynamic light, and a scent that instantly puts the user in good mood. Another pioneering discovery made in the field of home automation is the sleep robot. To put this into perspective, Somnox recently introduced the world’s first ever sleep robot that improves sleep by stimulating breathing. It can also help reduce stress and unwanted thoughts. The sounds like heartbeat and guided meditation can help the users fall asleep faster.

Multi-room Music
Although multi-room music has been around for a few years, the technology is witnessing rapid advancements in terms of innovative applications and devices. The manufacturers in the smart home automation industry are keen on launching high-tech products that can play different kinds of music in different rooms of the house based on the mood of the users. All the multi-room products of today including smart speakers, AV receivers, network streamers, wireless speakers, and stereo amplifiers run using either wireless technology or by creating their own mesh network. Most of these music systems work on the Wi-Fi network of the users’ homes. DTS Play-Fi, AirPlay 2, Sonos One, Amazon Echo, Amazon Alexa, and Google Chromecast Audio, and Bose Soundtouch 10 are some of the examples of multi-room music systems available with customizable user experience. Almost all of these systems have their dedicated smartphone app that allows easy access and trouble-free control of the multiroom.

Overview of the Smart Home Automation Market
The global market for smart home automation is anticipated to witness impressive growth in the forthcoming years. Remote control living and high demand for automation will remain the major baits for the users opting for the advanced products available in the market. Rising disposable income and awareness regarding the innovations taking place in the world of technology can create major business opportunities for the top market players like Honeywell International Inc.; Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.; Legrand SA; Schneider Electric; and others. High demand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, smart kitchen, smart security, and energy management can propel the demand for the global market in near future.

Rising penetration of internet of things is one of the major factors responsible for the innovations taking place in smart home automation technology. Arrival of smart thermostat technologies such as Z-Wave, C-Bus, ZigBee, KNX, EnOcean, and others has simplified the adoption and implementation of wireless technology. This technology plays a crucial role in the insanely increasing popularity of home automation. Major companies in the market are keen in investing heavily in research and development along with business collaborations. Growing demand for home entertainment, security, and energy management can be considered as a vital sign of growth for this industry.

In conclusion, a myriad of brand new products are expected to be launched in the market for smart home automation in the next few years. Most of these products will heavily rely on Internet of things, artificial intelligence, and smart sensor technology. The best thing about automated smart home products is the way they allow the users to have total control of the way they prefer for the product to function. Easy accessibility of cutting-edge technology and pioneering products is also anticipated to set the precedence for the companies operating in this market.

Buying a Home in Jupiter, FL – Is It the Right Time?

Purchasing a home, especially if it’s the first time, can be an intimidating process, so it’s not surprising that you’re trying to do it right. Of course, timing is an important part of the home buying process, but in the Jupiter real estate market, when is the right time, exactly? Unfortunately, there is no perfect time to buy a home in South Florida, but there are some clues that can help you to make the wisest decision.

How Does the Florida Real Estate Market Differ?

Jupiter, FL and the surrounding areas like Hobe Sound, Tequesta, Palm Beach Gardens and the Treasure Coast are known as an ideal place to buy a home, not only because of the beautiful weather and proximity of some of the best beaches in the country, but also because home buyers enjoy great features and an impressive return on investment. There are, however some considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a home in Florida.

You’ve probably already noticed a difference in the typical home buying “season.” Though the winter months may be a bit of a down time in most real estate markets, it’s a more vibrant time in Jupiter. In fact some make their home in Florida only during the cooler months. It’s also important to recognize that there are some subtle differences in the home buying process because of the coastal location. For example, insurance is a must, but it’s generally lower if you purchase a home built after 2002, so getting the mix of location, home features and timing right is important when you buy a home in Jupiter.

Is the Timing Right?

The traditional home buying seasons are spring and summer, but these aren’t the only options. In fact, you might have better luck buying your Jupiter home during the off-seasons. Sometimes peak season means that you’ll run into more completion and higher prices. In fact, there’s some wisdom in the suggestion that the best days to purchase a home are during the Christmas holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you’ll encounter many homeowners that are in a festive mood and it’s thought that only serious sellers place their homes on the market at this time.

Take a look at the local real estate listings for Jupiter, if houses have been sitting on the market for a while, it might be the time to make your move. If properties are selling quickly though, you might be in a seller’s market, which can raise prices and leave you frustrated. It’s completely acceptable to rent a Palm Beach County home while you are waiting for the right time to arise.

Whenever you begin your Jupiter home search, it’s a good idea to work with a real estate pro that is familiar with the local market. The best time to buy may vary from year to year, and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. What’s vital to consider though, is whether the timing is really right for you.

Where are Your Finances?

You may have great credit and a great job, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right time to buy a home. Most lenders will want you to make a large down payment, 20% of the home’s price, in many cases. This isn’t always the case however, and some homeowners are surprised when they learn that they qualify for special programs and down payment assistance. As a first time homebuyer, special assistance may be available to you through state programs, so reaching out to a Jupiter real estate expert for advice on timing isn’t a bad idea.

Once you have your down payment situated, you’ll still need to decide if you can afford the monthly mortgage. Before you even begin home shopping, you should have a solid understanding of how much home you can really afford. Monthly mortgage payments should be a large part of your calculations, but you should also keep in mind that you’ll have maintenance costs, homeowners association fees, insurance and other costs associated with the home.

If your credit is shaky, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t qualify for a home loan. It can make the process more difficult, however. If you can devote some time to repairing your credit score, it will make buying a home easier, so waiting can work to your benefit.

Buying a Home is Highly Personal

There’s a reason why buying a home is such a momentous experience. It’s a major step! As ready as you might feel to take that step financially, you might not be ready in other ways. Where are you at in your career? Would you consider a relocation, if a better opportunity was offered? Are you considering a marriage or divorce? Are you planning to have children, or do you have children who will soon be leaving the nest? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line. There are quite a few costs associated with the purchase of a home, so the longer you can stay put in your Jupiter home, the easier the purchase will be on your pocketbook.

Getting Started with the Jupiter Home Search

If the timing is right, we’ll help you get started. It never hurts to take a look at what’s out there when you are still deciding if Jupiter home ownership is right for you.

Top 8 First Time Home Buyer Grants, Programs and Freebies

A survey by Harvard Business School found 78% of baby boomers and millennials want to buy a home. The catch? Most ‘think’ they can’t afford one.

In many cases, this may be true. But the research also discovered many can. It found many had an income, credit rating, and time on the job good enough to qualify for the many first time home buyer programs and grants I’ll mention in this article.

Note: For more details, Google all phrases in bold.

1. Federal Housing Administration Loan (F.H.A).

If you have a credit score of at least 580 you could qualify for a mortgage for as low as 3.5 percent of the price of the home.

F.H.A loans have helped more first time homeowners than any other type of loan.

2. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D).

H.U.D offers many first time owner grants and low interest loans, depending on the state, city or area you live in.

Note: For those who now live in public or government housing you may qualify to purchase the home, condo or apartment you now live in through the HUD Public Housing Homeownership Program

3. V. A (Veterans Administration) Loans.

If you’re an active duty service person or veteran you may quality for a no down payment low interest rate loan. The VA loan is the lowest cost mortgage on the market because you’re not required to pay for mortgage insurance.

4. The Good Neighbor Next Door Program.

This program for first time home buyers offers home for up to 50% off the retail price. To qualify you must be a teacher, police officer, fire fighter, or EMT. A $100 down payment is all that’s required.

You must commit to live in the home for at least 36 months.

5. Energy Efficient (or Green) Mortgage.

The energy efficient mortgage was created to help first time homeowners add energy efficient improvements to their home. These loans are insured through VA and FHA programs.

This mortgage let you build an energy efficient home without requiring you to make a larger down payment.

6. HomeReady HomePath Mortgage.

  1. Another popular program for first time home buyers. To quality you must take a short buyer education course. After you complete the course you’ll receive 3% toward closing cost for a mortgage loan. The down payment, 3%, is lower than the lowest FHA loan.

7. HUD Dollar Home Program.

After 180 days on the market, certain unsold HUD Properties are offered exclusively to local governmental entities for $1 for 10 Days. Local city of counties then offer these properties to residents to revitalize communities or neighborhoods.

8. USDA Home Loan Program.

This program focuses on homes in mostly rural areas, if you like or can tolerate country living this loan may be for you. This program guarantees 90% of the loan, which means there may be no down payment required and the loan is fixed. Sweet!

These are the top 7 programs available for first time home buyers. As always, like ocean waves government programs come and go. But as of this writing these programs is helping thousands of first time home buyers who thought they couldn’t afford a home realize their dream. Check them out… you could be next!

First Time Home Buyer Love and Other Freebies

1. No Penalties.

A first-time homebuyer can take out up to $10,000 in contributions from the Roth IRA to pay for the home without penalties. Check with your tax advisor for the latest rules.

2. Real Estate agent. This person can be your greatest fountain of information when looking for your first home. They know your local housing market, the advantages and disadvantages of specific homes. They can help you pick the right home to fit your personal and financial needs and much more. The best part? They’re free if you’re a buyer.

3. Pre-Approvals. Another amazing freebie is pre-approvals. They help save you time and energy. How? They let you know what price range you can afford, helping you and your agent know which houses you should be looking at.

4. First-time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC): The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit for first-time home buyers and is worth $750. The first-time home buyers’ tax credit must be claimed on an income tax form no later than one year after the home is purchased.

5. The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

This program was designed to let you withdraw funds from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) before retirement for the purpose of a first home purchase. The advantage of the HBP is that the withdrawal is completely TAX FREE.

The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan allows you to withdraw up to a maximum of $25,000. Be sure to consult your tax consultant for more details.