American Elder Ė A Cheerful Landscape Addition Every single part of the American Elder shrub is useful: flowers, berries, leaves, bark, and roots. American Elder, also known as common elder, is a large, deciduous shrub that grows to 12 feet at maturity. Presenting deep green foliage complimented by clusters of creamy ivory white, umbel-like flowers in June and July, American Elder is a welcome addition to the home landscape. The flower clusters are up to ten inches across and emit a sweet, delightful fragrance. When the deep purple berries appear, birds gravitate to the garden. Most effective planted in groupings, American Elder can be used to disguise an unsightly landscape element such as a shed or utility post. Fast growing elder is useful for screening off a pet area or dog run or striking when planted alongside a fence, foundation or wall. American Elder is especially hardy, not dependent on soil conditions. The sturdy shrub does, however, do best in nutrient rich, well-drained soil in a sunny location. While elder does not like to have standing water around itís roots, it flourishes with plenty of water, requiring about one inch a week during the warm summer months. American Elder can be propagated from cuttings of bare shoots pruned in late autumn. To encourage dense, deep green leaves and to achieve a desired shape, elder should be pruned in early spring before new growth begins and again late in the fall. A Very Useful Plant For centuries, American Indians have used elder in a diverse array of ways. The sweet and succulent berries are prized for their tart and tangy flavor for jellies, jams, pies, and wine. Elderflower fritters, made from either fresh or dried elder flowers, are a delightful treat. Extracts, teas and tinctures crafted from elder have a wide range of medicinal purpose including treating chronic coughs, lung congestion, asthma, and bronchitis. A brew of elder leaves seeped in boiling water and then strained is useful in treating a host of skin diseases and is useful in relieving the itch of insect bites and other skin irritations. The same brew, placed in a spray bottle, is an effective bug repellent and will keep caterpillars from munching on plants on which it is sprayed. In traditional American Indian medicinal practices, elder bark was simmered water and then applied as a poultice to relieve inflammation and the pain of muscle and bone injuries. A tea made from either fresh or dried flowers is a mild stimulant. Known as ďthe tree of musicĒ, Native Americans crafted flutes from the woody stems of the elder tree. Branches cut for musical instruments were dried with the leaves attached. Strong and straight shoots of the elder tree were fashioned into arrows and lances. Young branches, flexible and durable were woven into baskets and fish traps. Crush or bruise the leaves and rub on skin to keep pesky mosquitos and flies away. Guardian Of The Orchard If you have fruit trees in your home landscape, plant a few elderberry trees around the perimeter of the orchard to lure the birds away from other fruit with their berries.
Buying a home is one of the more complicated purchases that youíll make in your lifetime. Itís not something that you can just open your wallet, pull out a wad of cash and buy. Thereís a warm-up period for a house hunt. You need to prepare before you even start the process of the purchase. Thereís a lot of different things that you should do to ready yourself to buy a home. Youíll need to organize your finances, find a real estate agent and ready yourself. If youíre looking to buy a home in the near future, itís time to get busy!
Your credit score is so important for so many reasons. The highest your credit score can be is 850 and the lowest it can be is 300. Youíll get a really good interest rate on a home if your credit score is 740 or above. A lower interest rate can save you a lot of money over a yearís time.
The good news is that you can spend time repairing your score. This will include paying down debt, asking for credit limits to be raised and correcting errors that may be on your credit report. You want to be sure that youíre using 30% or less of your total available credit. As always, if your bills are paid on time, it will help you to keep that score up. Also, stay away from opening new credit cards, as this can bring your score down due to frequent credit checks.
Whenever you get a financial gift, whether it be for a wedding, a Christmas bonus, or a birthday gift, make sure that you save it for your home purchase. Youíll need quite a bit of capital between closing costs, fees and down payments. Youíll be glad you saved the money once you start the home buying process. Youíll also want to make sure that you have and emergency fund built up. You donít want to buy a home without some sort of a financial cushion behind you.
Your real estate agent will be your right hand person when it is time to buying a home. Youíll want to know that your agent is knowledgable and can help you in this big decision. Your real estate agent is the person who will help you reach your goals, and you want to feel comfortable with them. Ask for recommendations and do your research.
Sellers love buyers who have been preapproved. This shows that theyíre reliable and financially able to buy a home. A preapproval can be done a few months in advance of buying a home. It will take an in-depth look at your finances including:
Buying a home is a big deal but with the right preparation, youíll be on the road to success and ready to secure a home purchase.
Hectic mornings can make for messy, disorganized bathrooms. Between the mad dash of getting the kids ready for school and ensuring you look presentable for the office who has time to put the toothpaste or hairspray back nevermind neatly so? If youíre dreaming of a clean, organized space to get ready for the day keep reading for some easy to implement tips.
Begin your project with a clean slate by tossing out any outdated products or items you simply donít use. Check how long to keep an item for by the image of an open container with a number followed by a capital m inside of it. This indicates how many months to keep a product for after opening. If you canít even remember when you bought a product it's safe to assume its time for a replacement.
Take a tip from the minimalists and keep only what you truly use. After all, the less you have the less you will have to dig through to find what you are looking for. Common culprits are hair products, spa-like bath products and piles of towels. If an item is really something you canít let go of but donít use often consider moving it to a nearby linen or storage closet.
Once youíve decided what stays itís time to put your items away. But before you start shoving everything back into drawers and cabinets take a few minutes to draw up a plan that gives each and every item a ďhomeĒ. When everything has a dedicated space it belongs in it makes cleanup a breeze, especially on those hectic mornings.
Keep items off the countertops for an uncluttered magazine worthy countertop. Instead, place your familiesí go-to items inside the medicine cabinet or top drawers. Try to keep everything in neat organized lines where you won't have to reach behind products to get the one you are looking for. An orderly lineup prevents chaos and products spilling down each time you reach to the back.
Installing clever organizers for small spaces helps to make the most of tiny bathroom spaces. Think more shelves, lazy susans, drawer organizers and roll out trays to get more out of cabinet spaces. A heat tool corral keeps pesky hairdryers and irons neatly organized and at arms-length.
Maximize empty and therefore unused space throughout the room such as over the toilet by installing shelving. You may also consider adding more hooks if you need them to hang up towels and keep them off of the floor.
It may seem like there isnít any time for keeping an orderly bathroom when youíre just trying to get out the door in the morning. However, with a thorough cleanout and thoughtful organization your bathroom could be even more tidy than you first imagined. It just takes a little time and creativity to make the most of your unique bathroom space. Happy organizing!
The gym. Itís a place few people enjoy despite the flocks of people lining up to sign up each passing New Year. Exercise is seen as an embarrassing activity to many as most of us arenít taught how to properly use gym equipment. Equipment that looks more like torture devices than a machine that will help you become stronger and healthier. Enter the home gym. Not only is no one around to watch you attempt your first shaky round of pushups †but also itís a place we already feel naturally at ease. Keep reading to find out how you can skip gym fees and create a gym in the comfort of your own home. Make space. A space that allows you enough privacy from the rest of your family to focus on yourself for a while. When choosing your space, consider a room that has a door you can close, contains lots of light, room to hang a full-length mirror to watch your form from, and room to roll out a mat to work on. If you have a room you can dedicate solely to your home gym paint it a color that inspires you. This could be anything from a calming blue to an energizing orange. A good music speaker to blast some tunes is another great feature to add to your home gym to help to inspire. Know your budget and goals. Donít be afraid to start with small investments if you are just jumping back into an exercise routine. If your goal is to create a more healthy, active lifestyle you wonít need fancy, expensive equipment to get there. A set of dumbbells and some resistance bands paired with exercises that rely on body weight are enough to get you started and at a low cost to boot. Extras for experts. As your strength builds and your routine evolves you may start to look to add more variety to your weekly workouts. Some further investments to consider for your home gym could be a stability ball, kettle bell, suspension system, jump rope and /or foam roller. All of these items can add more interest to your routine without costing you an arm and a leg. Make a plan. This tip doesnít quite relate to setting up a home gym but,†bear with me. Creating a plan for which days you will exercise and what exercises you will be doing will set you and your home gym up for success. Donít go through all the effort of setting up space for your home gym to have it go unused. Instead, schedule times into your week that you will use your home gym. Think of these time slots as mandatory appointments just like a doctorís visit or business meeting. Donít let the intimidation of the gym prevent you from developing a regular workout routine. By setting up a home gym you can get fit and healthy in the privacy of your own home and at a cheaper cost than the average gym membership. Just donít forget to schedule time slots throughout your week where you make the most of your new home gym!