It’s easy to grow weary of the newest and latest studies that contradict what specialists have told us for years, although recently I read a “tasteful” article in Men’s Journal that indicates more protein in our diet is OK. That’s exciting! Now eating more meat may promote our health. Go figure!

The article also said to avoid carbohydrates, but Kolaches will remain on my diet. The good news is I can eat pork and Sauer kraut with a clear conscience!

It makes sense to enjoy our food. Dad always said to eat things we like in moderation. For instance, Dad enjoys bacon and eggs whenever he felt like it. Dad also believed exercise in moderation was healthy, so he stayed active. Dad is 90. Mom and dad danced a lot of polkas together through the years for additional exercise and fun!

Mom and Dad took a common-sense approach in life. They weighed the evidence and then made sensible decisions. The evidence is often around us and we just need to take the time to use it properly.

A good example of a question to ask when deciding if you have quality water is “how clear are your ice cubes”? Are they cloudy? If so, that evidence points to impurities in your water. Other visual evidence is a buildup of chemicals that is typically located on faucet outlets and even the water dispenser on refrigerators.

Those impurities in our water include harmful chemicals, medicines, arsenic, heavy metals, etc. That list is long since there are over 50 million chemicals registered in the American Chemical Society database. Common sense tells us as quantities of chemicals go up, the overall quality of water will go down. Why are cancer and other dreadful diseases on the rise? Could some of it be the additional chemicals in the water?

Reverse Osmosis water helps remove impurities and make clearer ice cubes. Sparkling ice cubes tell a “clear story” about quality water virtually free of major contaminants. Reverse Osmosis equipment easily fits under the kitchen sink and costs approximately $550 including installation.

While we are on the subject of water, have your water bills gone up? If so, odds are that water is leaking through the toilet because toilets are the #1 culprits. No pun intended! The evidence is easily seen when water continues to slowly move in the toilet bowl. Placing food dye in the toilet tank will provide additional evidence if it leaks into the toilet bowl.

The repair could be a simple adjustment or flapper replacement. In some situations, it may be the right time to just replace the toilet with one that is more comfortable. “Right height” elongated toilets are becoming the preferred toilets. They are approximately 3” taller, which makes them easier to get off of for many.

There is more visual evidence around homes that tell other important stories. For instance, does the top of your natural gas or propane water heater have brown or black specks? That typically indicates the water heater is not properly sized and struggles to keep up or worse yet, there is a dangerous back-drafting of carbon monoxide into a home.

Back drafting of carbon monoxide can be ongoing, or even the result of atmospheric pressure changes. In some homes, it may occur only on windy days, which is especially dangerous because it is unpredictable. Often the highest levels of carbon monoxide will be near the water heater or furnace in a basement, but a fireplace or wood stove can draw it into that room if makeup air is needed.

No level of carbon monoxide is completely safe, so if the evidence is there, make sure to test for high levels and get a carbon monoxide detector.

Sometimes there is not a clear story of readily visible evidence. A good example is water pressures in the 70th & A Street to 84th & Van Dorn area are higher than most areas of Lincoln; some as high as 93 PSI. Understanding those water pressures requires using a pressure gauge.

City Code requires water pressures to be under 80 PSI, which can be accomplished by installing a water pressure regulator. Higher pressures could cause devastating water damage and even plumbing components like water heaters to fail more quickly.

As the New Year steadily approaches, it’s a great time to know the “clear stories” and the evidence that surrounds us, so next year can be even better. So often we put things off, but now is the time to improve things.

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