Category : Blog

9 Incredible Images – US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard is a vital branch of the US military armed forces. They are fiercely trained to protect the safety of our water ways. They maintain the security of the marine transportation and protect our natural and economic resources around the globe.

Official USCG photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson

Official USCG photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson

photo by PA2 James Judge

photo by PA2 James Judge

Photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson

Photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson

Photo originally published by the U.S. Coast Guard

Photo originally published by the U.S. Coast Guard

Photo by Tom Sperdut0

Photo by Tom Sperdut0

Photo by PA2 Nathan Henise.

Photo by PA2 Nathan Henise.

Photo by US Coast Guard

Photo by US Coast Guard

Photo by Richard Drewiap

Photo by Richard Drewiap

Photo by US Coast Guard

Photo by US Coast Guard

 

Tips for Choosing The Right Neighborhood

Tips for Choosing The Right Neighborhood

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your neighborhood. Finding your dream house before researching the neighborhood is like putting the cart before the horse. By doing a little detective work, you can fit your neighborhood to your lifestyle and you don’t even need to wear a disguise. Some things may be obvious to consider — commute, school district and grocery stores — others may not. Here are 3 things that might not be apparent at first glance.

Is it a Good Deal Really?

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In a buyers market, good deals can be had, but beware of the old adage: “If it looks to good to be true, it probably is.” In certain instances, buying a foreclosure when the market is down is a sound investment. You will inevitably make money when the market begins to bounce back.

However, a neighborhood littered with foreclosure and rent signs is a strong indicator that property values have declined. That means lowered property taxes will trickle down to less money for the city’s public services. Keep an eye out for these warning signs to be sure your new home is in a financially stable neighborhood.

 Looking Forward

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You may want to live near work or near family, but the neighborhoods in those locations may not be perfect right now. Checking with city planners can help you determine if the neighborhood you’re considering is slated as up and coming. They will have information on building projects projected for the community in the near future.

On the flip side, a neighborhood that seems ideal with plenty of open, quiet spaces may not necessarily remain so quaint in the future. Again, checking with city planners can save you the disappointment of discovering that open space near your perfect house is in fact reserved for a new subdivision.

 A Second or Third Look

Noise pollution and even offensive smells may not be evident at first look. Taking the time to visit your dream home at different times of the day may reveal a different realization. You may discover that your perfect place is actually along the flight pattern of a nearby airfield.

Perhaps there is a busy firehouse nearby that will often be driving with sirens blaring down the main street located just a block away. You may find that close neighbors have noisy dogs, which never stop barking.

Even more disturbing than noise pollution is the occurrence of offensive smells. A stagnant pond or nearby restaurant may give off an unbearable smell at certain times of the day. So break up the times in which you visit the neighborhood in order to become familiar to these types of issues.

8 Spring Gardening Tips

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Early Spring

Fruitful Fruit Trees

To encourage new growth and keep your fruit trees healthy, prune before new growth develops. Fruit trees, including peaches, pears, apples and cherries will appreciate being thinned each year. It will also make harvesting easier.

Move the Mulch

The winter mulch you placed around the roots of your plants to keep them from heaving (rising roots) needs to be removed when the frosty winter leaves.

Keep some mulch nearby in case Jack Frost unseasonable shows up so you can toss a blanket back on your plants.

Roses

Robust Roses

Pruning roses before the first growth appears on the branches, in just about all regions, will promote robust, hearty sprouts that will bloom after bloom throughout the season. Slimming back the plant will also generate a healthy environment for the plant and fight aliments that attack like black spots.

 Ornamental Grasses – The Tall and Short of It!

A trim to about 4 inches will help ornamental grass varieties flourish. Prune the old growth or just as new growth begins to emerge. It is okay to take bigger plants and split them to add more coverage in your garden.

Leave the trimmings on top of your compost pile, the birds will find them to make nests for their spring arrivals.

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Early or Mid-Spring

Some Like it Hot – Some Like it Cold

There are flowers that don’t mind the cool spring air, such as pansies, violas, snapdragon, poppy, and sweet alyssum aren’t adverse to a little chill. Go ahead and plant these in containers, along borders and in beds in your gardens to add some early color. When the summer heat arrives, these flowers tend to fade. Trade them out for some that like the hotter summer waves. Try petunias, lantana, pentas, and nasturtium.

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A Variety of Vegetables

Some vegetables are okay to plant while there may still be a chill in the air. Some cool-season varieties include spinach, carrots and radishes. Planting these in early to mid-spring will yield a healthy treat in your fresh salads. If old Jack Frost shows up and temps drop down into the low 20’s, cover the plants up for protection.

Squash, peppers and tomatoes are sunbathers who love the summer heat. So it is safe to plant them towards the end of spring after the last chance of frost.

 Mid-Spring

Bring Back the Mulch

As spring moves into the warmer days and the soil begins to get dried out, spread a layer of mulch (pine needles, bark, or compost), about 2 inches will suffice. This will help hold moisture in and deter weeds from contaminating your beautiful beds.

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Mid to Late Spring

Trim Spring Blooming Shrubs

As summer begins, your seasonal flowering shrubs like lilacs, camellias and forsythias should be trimmed if need be. Their life-cycle doesn’t stop after the blooms are gone, they will be generating next years blooms shortly after this years have gone. By giving them a trim, you will foster beautiful foliage for next year.