As the holiday seasons are upon us and you’re probably going to be doing a lot of running around shopping. It’s a good idea (if you don’t already have one) to put together a little contingency bag for the vehicle. Shopping crowds are ridiculous in some places. Those crowds can cause just as much chaos as a severe weather event. Add to that, that at this time of year there are many areas of this country that are regularly under threat of heavy duty storms or floodings that come after, and you could find yourself in some hairy situations. A bag is a nice little edition to the car.
So you want a vegetable garden, but don’t have a large area to till up for the project? Your “soil” is hard as rock? A good way to compensate for such lack of space and rocky soil is by gardening in raised beds. Doing so helps you overcome problems with our less-than-perfect soil.
A raised bed for vegetables can be as simple as raking the soil into flat-topped mounds (berms) several inches higher than paths. Or, for deeper beds, you can box soil with landscape timbers (raised bed).
Raised beds, especially in Miami-Dade County, offer a number of distinct advantages, particularly for growing vegetables:
¾ Digging is not needed.
¾ Helps plants grow better. For root crops such as sweet potato, carrots or malanga, it is much easier to provide needed space for the edible plant parts to grow.
¾ Replenishing soil is easy to do.
This helps to overcome the build up of disease or nematodes. Depleted soil can be quickly removed from a raised bed and replaced.
¾ Ease of cultivation, especially for those with limited mobility.
¾ Lessens the risk of plants becoming water logged, particularly in areas
with poor drainage. This limits the chance of root rot diseases.
¾ Reduces soil compaction and prevents damage to soil and plants from foot traffic.
¾ Saves resources; fertilizer is applied only in the beds, not broadcast
over the entire garden area.
¾ By using peat-based and organically enriched soils, the pH is in the “ideal” range for most plants.
There may be a few disadvantages to using raised beds, the major one being cost if the bed walls are to be durable.
One other consideration is that additional irrigation may be needed. For this reason it is advisable to install some type of drip irrigation system to efficiently water your plants.
Replace old and worn weatherstrip in doors to reduce heat loss and drafts
2. Seal baseboards and caulk windows. This is especially an issue with older homes with wood floors. Cold air can come right up through the baseboards or the windows. Caulk is fairly cheap and this fix will save you BIG.
3. Wrap the water heater and ducts, insulate the pipes and change the filters.
Wrapping the water heater keeps it from having to work so hard in that cold area that it is in when it comes time to heat up water. Sealing ductwork is a MAJOR savings. Air can leak out through seams and joints in duct work and its like pouring money down the drain
4. Add a door sweep to rooms that you use less frequently. A favorite tool of my grandmother on the farm. If you don’t or can’t install a sweep, you might want to use my grandmother’s favorite ‘tool’ for the winter…a door snake.’. These are great for stopping drafts in door and very simple to make. http://www.17apart.com/2013/11/how-to-diy-door-snake-draft-stopper.html
5. Replace an old thermostat with a high-tech, smart thermostat like Nest.
Nest, which automatically learns a family’s habits and runs when it needs to, helped the Andersons get $337 back this year. You don’t have to use Nest, but you probably do want to update that thermostat to a digital model. Old thermostats are inefficient and just get worse with age.
Generally, equipment managers “winterize” equipment to increase or maintain performance in winter or prevent problems after long periods of winter storage. However, this is not only necessary in the winter. Many engines that operate in areas that see no winter at all still need this type of service. Therefore, I like to refer to this as seasonal service, not “winterizing.”
Some people perform seasonal maintenance simply because the owner’s manual tells them to, without understanding that good practical reasons exists to perform this maintenance. It helps the engine perform better and last longer. Seasonal
maintenance also reduces down time and repair bills. Whenever an engine does not run for an extended time (6 to 8 weeks or more), regardless of climate,you should perform this service.
According to Fox News, a ruling today by the Ninth Court of Appeals has the possibility of ending Cali’s most restrictive concealed carry laws which determine when permits can be/are issued.
Kudos to developer Larry Hall for finding an inventive way to sell $3M luxury condos he built in a stretch of desert near Concordia, Kansas. His trick? Siting them in decommissioned missile silos strong enough to survive a nuclear attack.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Hall has not only done enough prep work for doomsday-minded Americans with money to burn—outfitting the facility with a hydroponic vegetable garden, “sophisticated water and air-treatment facilities, state-of-the-art computer network technology and several alternate power generation capabilities”—but he knows his clients will want to keep up a certain standard of living should the world become a blasted radioactive hellscape. Which is why the underground luxury condo has a 17-seat movie theater, a swimming pool, a dog park, and a gym. It even has its own little jail!
Cabin fever getting to you? Each of the units comes with “windows,” i.e., video screens that can show a few outdoor scenes reminiscent of a Windows background image, so occupants can lose themselves in pastoral scenes while the world outside burns.
Do you ever wonder if a major emergency situation occurred what would disappear first? Due to the overwhelming nature of prepping for a emergency situation, many do not know where to even begin, let alone think of emergency situations they would need to prepare for. Having a ready supply of food, water and batteries are a good start, but not enough. There are many more items to have on hand besides beans, band aids and bullets.
When planning for an emergency, especially a sudden and long-term emergency, think about the worst situation imaginable. For those that need some help – think of mass chaos of people running into grocery stores to get as much food and supplies as possible, gas lines that run out into the street, highways at a virtual stand still, banks not giving out money, looting, fires, the health of the elderly deteriorating due to not being able to get needed medicines, babies crying because that have no formula to drink. It’s not a pretty picture when you allow yourself to imagine it. Having supplies on hand can put a person way ahead of the game. While many who are unprepared for such a grim reality will be battling the lines at the grocery stores, those that have prepared accordingly could be packing their items up and headed for hills before many have even attempted to.
This author came across some advice from someone who has experienced a long term emergency first hand. This advice could help a person prepare not only for their well being, but also mentally prepare them for getting through the nightmare of a long term emergency
Meals canned for storage, ready to fix!
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. A small number of cases in Lagos and Port Harcourt, Nigeria, have been associated with a man from Liberia who traveled to Lagos and died from Ebola, but the virus does not appear to have been widely spread in Nigeria. The case in Senegal is related to a man who traveled there from Guinea.
On 9/30/2014, CDC confirmed, the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States. CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent the spread of Ebola within the United States. CDC is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other domestic and international partners and has activated its Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. CDC has also deployed teams of public health experts to West Africa and will continue to send experts to the affected countries.