Warning Signs of High Cholesterol

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about high cholesterol is how hard it is to see it coming. Unlike other health conditions that come with warning signs well ahead of time, by the time warning signs show up with high cholesterol you may already be in mortal danger.

The best and only sure way to catch high cholesterol before it causes major damage is to get checked up by a doctor regularly.

That said, here are a few warning signs that you could have high cholesterol.


Chest Pains

If you’re experiencing chest pains and you believe you might be at risk of being in a high cholesterol category, see a doctor right away.

Having chest pains means that the high cholesterol has already progressed to the point where it could have a serious impact on your cardiovascular health.

Treat chest pains as a medical emergency. Don’t wait to get off work, don’t wait for the kids to get home from school – get to a doctor right away.

This is especially true if you have a history of high blood pressure.


Fatty Deposits in the Skin

One relatively early warning sign is visible fatty deposits in the skin.

These deposits tend to appear in places where the skin creases – in the palm of the hands, in the elbows and around the eyes.

If you notice fatty deposits appearing in your skin, get a check-up as soon as you can.

Unlike chest pains, fatty deposits aren’t necessarily a red flag warning. However, it does mean that your high cholesterol levels are getting dangerously high and should probably be looked at by a doctor.


Other Warning Signs

Unfortunately, there really are no other early warning signs of high cholesterol.

At a certain point, the only warning signs then become having a stroke or having a heart attack, both “warning signs” that could cost you your life.

High cholesterol is a condition that needs to be caught early by an attentive doctor. It’s not a condition that you can be on the lookout for yourself.

Don’t wait for warning signs to appear before trying to take care of your high cholesterol issues.


What to Ask Your Doctor

If you think you’re at right of having abnormally high cholesterol but your doctor hasn’t told you so yet, what should you do?

Start by getting in the habit of tracking your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) level. Ask your doctor for your cholesterol level and keep track of it over time. Is it going up or down?

Ask your doctor where your target range should be. Are you within that range?

If you’re well outside of the range you want to be, start talking to your doctor about how you might get yourself back in range.


Your doctor may not start the conversation until your cholesterol levels are much higher than they should be. If that’s the case, you might want to pre-emptively start talking about high cholesterol options to get a head start on this condition.


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Time to consider Debt relief

When is it time to stop trying to pay off your debts all on your own and instead, seek professional help?

There’s so much stigma around seeking help with your debt that it can be hard to know when that time has come.

Here are three signs that it might be time to look for outside help with your debt situation.


You Can’t Make Even the Minimum Payments

Once you get to the point where your debt has built up so much that you can’t even pay off the minimum amount on each of your debt accounts, then it’s seriously time to look into your debt relief options.

A lot of people will continue to try and pay off their bills on their own, when it’s really just not realistic. This fact is often obscured by the fact that different bills come at different times, so it’s easy for people to convince themselves that they’ll be able to pay that next bill.

But if you add up all the monthly minimum payments all in one place and look at it objectively, you’ll get a much clearer picture. If you can’t realistically afford to pay the monthly payments for the next six months, then you might want to consider professional help.


You’ve Lost Track of How Much You Owe

If you owe mortgage debt, credit card debts, auto debts, tax debts, personal loan debts and so on and so forth to the point where you don’t even know how much money you actually owe, then it’s probably time to look for some help.

Without knowing where you actually stand with your debt, you have just about no chance of getting rid of your debt. The very first step of clearing your debt is knowing how much you owe.

If you can’t quantify your debt, chances are it’s time to seek professional help.


You’re Digging a Deeper Hole

If the amount you owe to your creditors is growing rather than shrinking every month, then you have a serious problem. If you can’t resolve that issue within the next few months, then it’s time to consider other options.

One common reason people get into more and more debt is because their credit bills are so high that in order to meet the minimum payments, they need to take out even more debt for everyday expenses.

This is a sure-fire path to credit and financial ruin. Rather than following that path to completion, seek professional help.


These are Three Signs That It Might Be Time to Consider Debt Relief because your finances are deteriorating and that it might be time to talk to someone who can help. Most debt professionals will be happy to have a conversation with you about your options free of cost.


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If you’re thinking of buying a new stove for your home, one of the big decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to get a wood stove or a pellet stove.

Both can provide dry and consistent heat for your home and family. But their costs, their maintenance and their operation can vary widely.

Which is better for you and your family? Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors in Wood vs Pellet Stoves. 

Ease of Maintenance

A pellet stove is much easier to maintain than a wood stove. Pellets burn very cleanly when compared to wood. They produce less smoke, less ash and less debris.

Wood stoves will not only have a lot of ash, but also a lot of wood chips and splintered bark.

Ease and Cost of Installation

Both types of stoves need a chimney or some sort of ventilation to operate. However, wood stoves generally require a full chimney, whereas a pellet stove can get by with a smaller chimney or with direct venting.

In some cases, this could mean that a wood stove would cost a lot more to install.

Cost of the Unit Itself

The cost of the actual unit is generally very similar between both types of stoves.

Cost of Wood or Pellets

The cost of fueling your stove is one of the most important factors. Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule as to which is more affordable.

If you live in an area where you can simply walk out and collect unlimited firewood, you’re almost always better off with a wood stove.

On the other hand, pellet stoves can often be more cost-efficient than buying firewood. Because pellet prices and firewood prices can vary so much throughout the country, you really have to do the math yourself.

Just multiply the amount of fuel you think you’ll need over winter by the cost of the wood or the pellets, then compare the price.

On Blackout Protection

Pellet stoves need electricity to work, which wood stoves can work without power. In a blackout, a wood stove could be a lifesaver. If your area is prone to blackouts in winter, this could be a big plus for wood stoves.

Ease of Operation

One big downside to pellet stoves is that pellets almost always come in 40-pound bags. That makes it a lot harder for smaller individuals, for the elderly or for kids to operate.

As you can tell, there are serious pros and cons on both sides. Look over what the costs would be for your installation, as well as for your fuel costs. Look at the operational pros and cons, including having to carry fuel, as well as blackout protection. Compare the pros and cons as a family and make a decision together.

The Skinny on Credit Cards: How to Master the Credit Card Game

We have all succumbed to the lure of owning a credit card or two. The importance of having good credit is everywhere in today’s media. I’m even considering getting a new credit card, though I do not need one and it might lead me into temptation! So, today, we tackle the question; Should You Keep Unused Credit Cards Active?

While it is an excellent idea to establish good credit early on in life, as well as a necessary evil, it is equally important to know when too much is enough.


The Cons of Keeping Credit Cards Active

If, like most of us, you have a wallet full of credit cards it might be a good idea to take a long hard look to see what you use and what you do not use. Having a credit card just because you received 10 percent off your purchase originally may not be a good idea if you never used it again after that.

Having too many credit cards open will show up on your credit report and may put a black mark on that credit that you worked so hard to obtain. The rule of thumb is that if you have not used that credit card in six months, then you do not need it and should close it. That one card may be the one that shows you under the category of too much revolving credit open.

Another con of keeping credit cards active is that the more you carry, the more you may use, and the greater chance there is of not being able to pay up. Having too many credit cards with small balances on each one makes keeping and sticking to a budget very difficult. The mindset becomes one of “Well, I only put a few dollars on this one and that one.” By the time you are done nickel and diming yourself, you will have forgotten just how much you really have on those cards until the bills comes – and then you are unpleasantly surprised.

Some cards may also have a fee involved that you are not even aware of until you see a bill for $50.00 arrive in the mail for automatic renewal.


The Pros of Keeping Credit Cards Active

One of the biggest pros of keeping credit cards active is that this shows that you are capable of keeping multiple lines of credit alive and open and maintaining them successfully.

Once a creditor sees that you have multiple lines of revolving credit and are responsible in paying them off on a monthly basis, then you are more apt to gain even more credit and higher lines of credit at that. This comes in handy if an emergency arises and you need to have instant credit approval.

Having multiple lines of credit open also shows up well on your credit report. As long as there are no late fees or missed payments on all those cards, then you are in a good place as far as your credit rating.


The best thing to do when keeping credit cards, however, is to be reasonable. If you can successfully maintain one or two major credit cards and one or two department store credit cards, then it is in your best interest to do so rather than having too many credit cards open all at once.


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If you need to heat your home, there are a myriad of options you can choose from. All of them pose different trade-offs in installation costs, in heating costs, in heat generated, in ease of use and even in safety. Here are five of the most common options you can choose from.


Stove #1: Corn Burning Stoves

Burning corn is a very environmentally friendly fuel source. There are no imported petroleum products needed to create the fuel source. You simply burn shelled corn to generate heat.

Depending on the cost of shelled corn in your area, it can also be a lot more affordable than other options. For example, based on $175 a ton for pellet stoves and $1.75 per bushel of shelled corn, the cost to produce 1,000,000 BTU is only $3.90 with shelled corn, while pellet stoves would cost $10.50 to produce the same amount of heat.


Stove #2: Waste Oil Stoves

Waste oil heaters are a great way to actually help the environment while affordably heating your home. Most commercial buildings that use oil can’t just dump out their oil. Instead, they have to pay a recycler to take the oil.

That recycler can then turn around and sell the oil to someone like you. You help cleanly burn off this waste oil, while producing between 160,000 and 190,000 BTUs per gallon. That’s about double what you’d produce from the same volume of propane.


Stove #3: Kerosene Heaters

Kerosene has been a traditional source of heat since before the invention of the light bulb. Even today it’s still a popular method of heating a home.

Kerosene heaters function very well in extreme cold. You might have a very hard time starting a corn stove or a wood stove in winter, but your kerosene heater will always light.

That said, kerosene poses its own dangers. It’s highly flammable and can’t be compressed, so you have to store a large volume of it to get you through winter. That can be dangerous, especially around kids.


Stove #4: Propane Stoves

Propane is one of the best options for areas prone to blackouts. Most heaters require electricity either to operate the stove itself or to operate the ventilation system.

Because propane burns so cleanly, it can still be operated even when the electricity is down. It doesn’t require power to operate the unit itself.

The downside is that propane itself poses physical safety issues. Tanks can leak over time. They have to be stored outside for safety reasons. They’re also quite heavy.


Stove #5: Wood and Pellet Stoves

Finally, you have traditional wood stoves and pellet stoves. Both can provide you and your family with plenty of heat in the winter. Pellets burn more cleanly but don’t work in blackouts. Wood stoves require more clean-up but are slightly easier to operate, as you don’t have to lug in 40-pound bags of pellets.

These are five of the most common types of heat producing stoves.


When it comes to superheroes, one of the most popular movie characters is Batman, and LEGO has created a wonderful set to showcase the battle between Batman and Man Bat!

The LEGO set comes with both Batman and Man Bat, along with Nightwing. There is an assortment of weapons, including a Batarang and a couple of sticks of dynamite for them to use in the battle between good and evil.

Nightwing has the glider to use, with grapples. The Batcopter is fully equipped with rotors that spin, a couple of flick missiles and a winch and hook for hoisting things.

The cockpit actually opens up in the Batcopter, too. The copter measures at three inches high, 11 inches long and three inches wide. The Nightwing’s glider is two inches long and three inches wide.

Your child will enjoy watching Nightwing keep watch over the city of Gotham. When he sees Man Bat setting up some dynamite for an attack, he can call on Batman to help him as the two use their glider and Batcopter to thwart Man Bat’s plans.

LEGO fans consider the LEGO Superheroes Batman Man Bat Attack to be one of the best Superheros sets in the line. The set is small in terms of pieces. It only has 184 LEGOs to use to create the set.

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It shouldn’t take more than half an hour to put them together, but they’re so much fun once it’s all complete! Whether it’s for your kids, or you (as a collector, of course), this set will bring the battle of good versus evil to life.

Make sure if you’re building this for your child that he or she understands that this isn’t a sturdy kid’s toy. The Batcopter will break apart if your child decides to make it have a hard crash landing.

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Nightwing is sure to be a favorite in this LEGO set. He used to be Batman’s sidekick, but he grew up and went out on his own to be another superhero. Many LEGO collectors look for the specific figures they’ll get whenever they pick up a set, and this one is unusual and coveted.

You can pick up more of the LEGO Superheroes line, and invest in more Batman sets in particular. But this one is one that every kid who loves a good air fight will love to have in his or her LEGO toy box!