April Newsletter

Are there blessings in your life that you haven’t received? Maybe blessings that you haven’t even recognized?

            With respect to blessings, many of us consider our loved ones, our jobs, our homes, our friends, and even our church. What we often fail to think about are the opportunities God grants us to serve others. Allow me to elaborate.
            Bruce Wilkinson told the story of a man who died and went to heaven. At the Pearly Gates, he was met by St. Peter. Peter toured the man around showing him all of the wonderful sights. However, there was a large warehouse in the distance of which Peter said nothing. The man inquired about the purpose of the warehouse. Reluctantly, Peter walked with the man over to the massive facility. Inside were boxes stacked upon one another to the ceiling and as far as the eye could see. The man asked Peter what was in the boxes. Peter sadly replied, “Blessings. Inside these boxes are blessings God had given to God’s children yet they failed to open and use them.”
            The intent of this story is to remind each of us that blessings may come disguised in ways we do not recognize. Jesus claimed that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Personally, I have discovered that giving is bi-directional. When I offer a gesture of kindness to someone, I typically come away feeling myself blessed. When I give of my time to another, I frequently depart the conversation a bit more joyful than before I arrived. When I allow another driver to merge in front of me on the freeway, I likely feel a bit less rushed and my heart a bit more serene.
            Since first reading Wilkinson’s story above, I make one critical request of God each day in prayer. “Lord Jesus, please grant me the wisdom to recognize and act upon the blessings you offer me today. I want to leave no gift unopened.” May it be for you, as well.
Due to COVID-19 Pandemic our office is closed until further notice. The safety and well-being of our staff and our community is always our priority during this critical time. The Horseshoe Bay POA staff will be working remotely for now.
All calls and emails are being returned. We strongly encourage you to reach out to
us through one of these sources.
(830) 598-8795
here are a few helpful links:
The Horseshoe Bay Property Owners' Board of Directors would like to announce the newly elected directors to the Board.
Cancellation Notice: Wednesday, April 15th Due to COVID-19 and the current Stay
Safe-Stay Home Order for Llano County, Horseshoe Bay POA Board of Directors Monthly Meeting has been
cancelled for the month of April.
Cancellation Notice: First Annual Spring Fling scheduled for Sunday, April 26th has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Walking is good for the body and the soul. How do we know? Well, there are the piles of research studies that reveal its health benefits: weight management, a tougher skeleton, a stronger heart, a sturdier brain.

You’ve heard that 10,000 steps a day is the magic number, but even logging just 3,500 daily steps can lower your risk of diabetes by 29%.

Meditation doesn’t have to be done in the solitude of your bedroom.
Laurie and her grandkids’ routine of taking in the world around them, a.k.a. being mindful, is a main component of it. Try this 10-minute walking meditation from the experts at mindful.org.

As you begin your walk,
hold your arms in a comfortable position. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your feet; notice how your legs stride. If your attention wanders, shift it back to your bodily sensations—this first step is all about you.

After a few minutes, turn your attention to the sounds around you.
Do you hear birds chirping? A lawnmower whirring? Take in every sound, both pleasant and unpleasant.

Now shift your awareness to smell.
Perhaps you get a whiff of earthy mulch or the gentle scent of fresh-cut grass. Breathe it all in.

Move on to vision.
Take in the colors, objects, and scenery around you. Maybe you notice your neighbor’s new flower bed or you realize the trees are finally in bloom.

In the last few minutes, bring your awareness back
from your surroundings to your body.

Michelle and Betty are on to something with their commitment to walking at every stage of life—here’s the research that proves them right:

One study found that adults who walked for 30 minutes five times a week had more energy to get through the day, felt healthier, and were more confident than people who walked less frequently.

If you have a sweet tooth, lace up your sneakers. Research suggests that walking can curb cravings for sugary snacks, likely due to the endorphins (feel-good chemicals) physical activity releases.

One study found that people who took a.m. walks fell asleep faster and slept more soundly.

Among 1,002 study participants, just 20 minutes (or more) of aerobic exercise at least five days a week resulted in 43% fewer days spent sick than for those who exercised only once a week or less. And the walkers who did get ill were sick for less time and had milder symptoms.

Walking this long most days of the week drastically lowers your risk of heart disease.
Brené Brown
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brené is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1  New York Times  bestsellers:  The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly Rising Strong Braving the Wilderness,  and her latest book,  Dare to Lead,  which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.
Brené hosts the  Unlocking Us  podcast, and her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 45 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix . The Call to Courage  special debuted on the streaming service on April 19, 2019.
Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve. They have two children, Ellen and Charlie.
COVID-19: Here's how to boost your internet speed when everyone else is working from home

While service providers may not be able to instantly respond to your frustrations, there are a few tricks you can use

With #StayAtHome and social distancing now becoming a way of life, an increasing number of people are relying on the internet for work, education and entertainment. This has placed greater demand on our network infrastructure, reducing the bandwidth available for each user, and is leaving people frustrated at seemingly slow internet speeds.

While internet service providers may not be able to instantly respond to these changes, there are a few tricks you can use to boost your home internet’s speed.

Why is your internet slow?
There may be many reasons why your internet speed is slow. Internet use requires a reliable connection between your device and the destination, which may be a server that is physically located on the other side of the world.

Your connection to that server could pass through hundreds of devices on its journey. Each one of these is a potential failure, or weak point. If one point along this path isn’t functioning optimally, this can significantly affect your internet experience.

Web servers in particular are often affected by external factors, including Denial of Service (DOS) attacks, wherein an overload of traffic causes congestion in the server, and impedes proper functioning.

While you may not have control over these things from your home network, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options to improve your internet speed.

Wifi signal boost

The access point (wireless router) in your home network is used to connect your devices to your internet service provider. Most access points provide a wireless signal with limited channels, which can suffer interference from nearby signals, like your neighbor’s. A “channel” is a kind of virtual “pipe” through which data is transferred.

Although your devices are designed to avoid interference by switching channels automatically (there are usually 14 available), it may help to check your router settings, as some are set to a single channel by default. When trying different options to reduce interference, it’s advisable to select channels 1, 6 or 11 as they can help to minimize problems (for 2.4GHz wireless).

What else can you do?

There are further things you can try to improve your wifi signal. If your router supports 5GHz wifi signals, switching to this can provide a faster data rate, but over shorter distances. Reposition your router for best coverage (usually a central position).

The difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi signals is they have different data transmission speeds. While 5GHz can transfer data faster (with 23 available channels), 2.4GHz provides a wider range. If you want speed, go for 5GHz. For better coverage, choose 2.4GHz.

Some domestic appliances can cause interference with your router. It’s worth checking if using your microwave oven, cordless phone or baby monitor affects your connection, as they may be using the same frequency as your router.

Using a wifi extender can help with coverage by boosting or extending the signal.

Viruses and malware

To avoid computer viruses, make sure you regularly check for updates on your devices and use antivirus software. It’s also worth rebooting your router to clear specific malware (malicious software designed to damage your device or server), such as VPNFilter – a malware that infects more than half a million routers in more than 50 countries.

You should also check the following:

  • does your router need to be replaced with a newer model? This may be the case if it has been used for many years. Newer models support enhanced functions and faster internet speeds
  • is the firmware of your wireless router updated? You can do this by visiting the device manufacturer’s website. This will help fix problems and allow additional functionality. It’s unlikely this update is done automatically.

Planning your usage

If multiple people are streaming video at your home, which often requires ten times the daytime demand, a limited internet connection will soon be fully used.

Try to plan your and family members’ online activities around peak times. Before the pandemic hit, most internet usage was likely oriented around the early evenings, after close of business. With the shift to remote working and schooling, more internet access is likely during the day,  with a 10% usage increase overall, and a 30% increase at peak times .

Outside your home, connectivity is likely to be on a “best effort” plan, which shares a fixed bandwidth with other users. In other words, your mobile internet bandwidth is shared with others in your area when they access the internet at the same time. A shared bandwidth results in slower individual speeds.

You can’t control how many people access the internet, but you can manage your own internet activity by downloading large files or content overnight, or outside of peak hours (when there is less traffic).

How to improve your ISP’s network issues

While you can try to fix issues and optimize the setup inside your home, unfortunately you can’t really influence network performance outside of it. Thus, contacting your internet service provider’s call centre and seeking support is your best option.

All of the above considered, it’s important to remember that when using the internet, we’re sharing a limited resource. Just like buying pasta or toilet paper, there are many who need it just as much as you, so use it wisely.

By James Jin Kang , Lecturer,  Edith Cowan University  and  Paul Haskell-Dowland , Associate Dean (Computing and Security),  Edith Cowan University

This article is republished from  The Conversation  under a Creative Commons license. Read the  original article.

We are grateful to all that wear a uniform of any kind, that serve daily, bravely, on the frontline,
risking their own lives for an
opportunity to save the life of someone else.
Your effort is recognized, appreciated and does make a difference! Bless you!

Horseshoe Bay POA
(830) 598-8795