If you're lucky enough to have a lawn with a good topsoil base, much of the hard work of keeping a lawn beautiful is already done for you. But many of us do not have this luxury, and besides, even with a good topsoil base, you still have to work hard to keep a beautiful lawn and garden.
1. The best time to mow a lawn is when it is cool and dry. Wait for the morning dew to dry off, and before the afternoon, heat takes hold. Alternatively, late afternoon or early evening following a watering in the morning is also a good time.
2. A hedge is a much better boundary divider than a fence. It will provide better privacy and keep pets and children in or out. It will attract birds to its shelter and provide a great backdrop for plants and flowers.
3. Bring the beauty of your garden to you; plant hyacinths near walkways and doors. Their magnificent perfume will swamp the spring air and make your garden really come alive.
4. Add your garden to non-garden items, such as lampposts and mailboxes. Surround these items with flowers planted to take advantage of the earliest to the latest flowerings. You could have white snowdrops, purple and gold crocus, blue hyacinths, and various colored tulips. You could also surround the posts with rocks to provide added interest.
5. Simple but effective weed control can be achieved on your lawn by often mowing during spring. This will prevent dandelions from spreading by eliminating the yellow blossoms and preventing seed formation. Mow high during late spring and early summer. This will allow grass blades to shade the ground and will help prevent crabgrass from sprouting.
Your lawn and garden should be a source of pride and beauty.
You don't need to spend lots of money on expensive fertilizers and herbicides or fancy lawn furniture and ornaments. A little commonsense and thought can go a long way to making your lawn and garden a much better place.
As always, all of us at Colorado Insurance Agency ~ Doug Berg Agency appreciate your business, and If you would like us to do a 'spring cleaning' of your accounts please don't hesitate to email or call us.
There are three key elements that are important to make any exercise program successful. These elements are safety, effectiveness, and enjoyment.
Safety: The “No pain, no gain” theory is a myth. Avoid any exercise that causes pain or undue discomfort. If pain occurs in the neck or chest area, stop exercising and, if necessary, seek medical attention. General muscle soreness is another matter, especially for the beginner. You can expect some soreness, but it need not be excessive.
A personal trainer will design an exercise program for you and your current fitness level. As your fitness level increases, your program will be adjusted to keep up with you. Too much too soon will only undermine your efforts.
Using proper form, technique and avoiding high-impact will keep your exercise program safe. A strain in your lower back, shins, calves, ankles, and knees are predictable results of improper form. Repetitive, jarring movements should be avoided for general fitness. If you feel a strain, please let your trainer know. We don’t always know if you don’t tell us.
Don’t bounce or force stretching movements. Quick, pulsing movements while stretching can result in muscle strain and tears. Static movements that gradually extend muscles through the full range of motion until you feel resistance is the stretching to use for general fitness. Stretching will also decrease the likelihood of injury and soreness.
Effectiveness: Effective exercise does require effort, but those who say it must hurt are wrong. The level of exercise is determined by your fitness level and goals. The fuel source for the body during low to moderate aerobic exercise is fat. If burning excess body fat is your current fitness goal, stick to the recommended exercises and intensity levels to receive maximum results. As your fitness level increases, so will the formula for your program. Intensity, weight, repetitions, and rest periods will all be adjusted as you progress.
Proper warm-up before exercising and cool down afterward is essential to avoid injury and achieve peak performance.
Enjoyment: It has been said that nobody will exercise just because it is good for them. We need additional motives or goals that mean something to us, and that will come as a result of regular exercise.
It is important to identify your goal, so your exercising effort focuses on your goal(s) to keep you motivated. The more motivating your exercise becomes, the more enjoyable it will be. More enjoyment produces more consistent and more incredible results!
So how do you make exercise fun? First of all, stop thinking of it as exercise and start thinking of it as play. You remember play: those activities you enjoyed as a child. Turn exercise into play! Usually, play involves interaction with friends and variety.
All of us at Colorado Insurance Agency ~ Doug Berg Agency appreciate your continued business, and wish you a healthy and happy March!
In the fast-paced world that we live in it can be easy to neglect our health and wellness. We're so busy racing through our day to day lives family, friends, work, social engagements that we don't take the time to look after ourselves. It is no wonder that so many of us are tired and run down. What are some simple things that we can do to improve our quality of life?
Drink, Drink, Drink
You've heard it a million times, and you'll probably hear it a million more drink more water!
Think about it: The human body is 72% water. A 5% drop in fluids creates a 25-30% loss in energy. A 15% drop in fluids causes death! At this point, 66% of us aren't drinking enough water, so over half the population is not running on all six cylinders, to begin with before things like bad air, bad food and stress take their toll.
It's not really a difficult thing to remedy. Just drink one glass of water every half hour or so or 10-12 glasses of water per day, and you'll notice a huge jump in your energy levels.
Living Food Loving Life!
A little-known fact is that heating food above 116F destroys much of the nutrient content. Considering that we already aren't eating enough veggies, that's a fairly substantial problem. Nutritionists recommend five serves of fresh vegetables per day. How many of us are taking that advice?
A great way to get the nutrients found in fresh veggies without spending all day at the stove or eating raw celery sticks is to juice your veggies. Make sure that you own a good juicer (some juicers expose vegetables to heat created by friction during juicing, which breaks down important enzymes), grab some fresh vegetables and drink your way to good health. It takes a fraction of the time (there's no cooking involved, for one thing) and it's convenient. You can take your juice to work and even give some to the littlies for school lunches!
Wheatgrass, in particular, is an excellent source of nutrition. Its high in chlorophyll (sometimes described as plant blood because it closely resembles human red blood cell molecules) and has over 100 elements that the body needs. Fresh grains are another excellent source for vitamins and minerals
Energy In Energy Out
Exercise is another dirty word for most of us. The thing is, exercise doesn't have to be time-consuming or mind-numbingly dull. There are plenty of options.
If you don't have the time or money for the gym, or prefer to spend your mornings/nights at home, then try an exercise bike or walker. I'd be lost without my exercise bike I set it up in front of the television and peddle away merrily during my favorite shows.
An excellent way to get back into a physical routine is to start slowly. Ridiculously slowly. For the first couple of weeks, walk/ride for 5 minutes per day precisely 5 minutes, no more, even if you think you could continue. When the two weeks are up, increase to 7 minutes, then 10 minutes, 12 minutes continue to gradually increase your activity until you're at a level that you're comfortable with.
It may sound a little silly, but it works. In effect, you trick your body into producing more energy. Your building your exercise time up so slowly that your body doesn't realize what's happening. Follow this method and, before you know it, you'll be comfortably exercising within your limits every day.
So, folks, that's the basics. If you can rearrange your life a little to allow for better eating habits and a little exercise, and if you remember to drink a glass of water every half hour or so, you'll be well on the way to living a healthy life. On a final note, don't forget to take some quiet time for yourself. Meditating is an excellent way to minimize stress. You don't have to sit around for hours, give yourself 5 minutes of quiet time every day even in the shower if that's the only place where you can get the time out and have a little catch up with yourself.
And, last but by no means least, laugh! Laugh like a loon, the louder wi the better! You’ll be amazed at how much such a simple thing can lift your spirits!
All of us at Colorado Insurance Agency ~ Doug Berg Agency appreciate your business, and wish you good health and happiness throughout the year!
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical malfunctions are the second leading cause of residential fires in the U.S. Your electrical outlets can be a source of these fires, if they’re not being used properly.
Now that we’re spending more time at home, most of us are also spending more time in the kitchen. You may be making coffee, while someone else is microwaving a meal, and yet another person is using the toaster oven.
And then, we’re all charging our laptops, tablets and phones, watching TV, and playing video games.
“As many of us continue to work from home, having a reliable productive set up is important,” says Eamon Lynch, director of warranty service at Power Home Remodeling, a full-service exterior home remodeler. “I recommend testing your home’s outlets and electrical current to make sure everything is in working condition.”
Test your electrical current
Lynch recommends using a hair dryer to help you check your outlets. “Grab your hair dryer, plug it into an outlet you know is functioning properly, and turn it on,” he explains. “Once you’ve determined that your hair dryer works properly, you can then plug it into different outlets in your home to test which ones are working.”
He admits that you could use other small appliances to test your outlets. “However, I like to use a hair dryer because you can quickly hear it and identify any outlets that need to be replaced.”
You can also use a multimeter, but if you have any reservations about how to use it, contact a qualified electrician, since they have the experience and tools to make the right diagnosis.
Use a power strip
“Having too many things plugged into your outlets can cause the possibility of overheating or over exposure,” Lynch says. He recommends using a power strip with a built-in interrupter to prevent fires. “Essentially, the strip would automatically shut down if there was an issue with your home’s electric breaker and reduce the likelihood of a spark.”
However, the NFPA warns against using power strips and extension cords with major appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners, and microwaves. You should plug these items directly into the outlet.
Limit the number of items plugged into an outlet
When you’re using appliances that produce heat, such as a space heater, coffee maker, toaster, toaster oven, or air fryer, you should only plug one item into the wall outlet (even though there’s space for two).
Also, never alter or try to force cords into an outlet. If you have a three-prong cord, don’t try to make it fit into a two-slot outlet.
Keep furniture away from your outlets
“It’s important to protect your cords and wires from bending too much,” Lynch advises. “This is especially true if you have furniture that pushes up against the plug and the wall, creating a hard bend in the cord.” When wires are pulled tight, he warns that this could lead to exposure and become a fire hazard.
Also, make sure that you’re not running cords under carpets or across doorways. Cords under carpets can get too hot. On the other hand, when you run cords across doorways, they can be stepped on and damaged.
Signs of electrical problems
According to the NFPA, there are several warning signs that you may have an electrical problem. For example, if you keep blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, you should contact an electrician to investigate.
Just looking at your wall outlets can also alert you to problems. If the outlet or the area of the wall surrounding it is discolored, it could mean there’s an overheating problem. If you touch the wall outlet and it feels warm, that’s another sign to get the outlet checked out. Needless to say, sparks would indicate a problem that requires immediate attention.
However, there are other problems that you may be able to detect aside from observing the outlet. For example, if you touch an appliance and you get a tingling sensation, that’s cause for concern. Another warning sign is either a burning smell or a rubbery smell emitting from the appliance.
Also, if the lights flicker or dim, you should contact an electrician. Another tip with light bulbs: always ensure that you’re using the correct wattage. Some table lamps require a 40-watt bulb. That’s not a suggestion. You shouldn’t use anything with more wattage (like a 60- or 70-watt bulb) because the fixture could overheat.
Terri Williams is a freelance journalist with bylines at The Economist, USA Today, Yahoo, the Houston Chronicle, and U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
The Holidays are upon us, and if you have been to any department store, the sounds of Christmas are ringing out. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 400 homes are destroyed annually by causes related to Christmas tree fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission hospital, emergency rooms treat over 12,900 people each year for injuries such as falls, cuts, and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations, and Christmas trees. Before you put up the lights or cut down the tree, we wanted to provide you with a few safety reminders to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.
Between 2016 and 2019, there was an annual average of four deaths and $18 million in property damage related to Christmas tree fires. During this same time period, Consumer Products Safety Council (CPSC) received reports of about 130 deaths and 260 million in property losses related to candle fires.
Keep Christmas Trees Fresh; water regularly.
Keep trees away from heat sources.
Take Christmas trees down before January.
Do not burn the trees in your fireplace.
Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments, or ones with small detachable parts, on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant”.
Only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.
Never string together more lights than are recommended by the manufacturer.
Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use.
Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
If you use a timer for your outdoor lights, make sure it is rated for outside use.
Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks, or other furniture.
A straight or extension ladder should be placed one foot away from the surface it rests against for every four feet of ladder height.
Use ladders with slip-resistant feet.
Never stand on top two steps.
Enjoy the season with family and friends, and never drink and drive.
Thank you for your business throughout the year, and we wish you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season from all of us at Colorado Insurance Agency ~ Doug Berg Agency