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Leave It to Lawn Care; Tips on How to Remove Dandelions from your Lawn

April 2013, Author: John Mitrano

Every July I stand guiltily looking at my neighbor's lush, green lawn and then down at my own yellowish brown straw and ask "What happened?". The question should be, "What didn't happen?". Neglect is what some would call it.

Now, while it is Spring, if you are reading this, you may have a fighting chance to prevent it. START NOW. The key to a thick, healthy, beautiful lawn is to pay attention to it and use the resources of the spring rains to help you with your care plan.

Assess your lawn for bare spots and seed them quickly before opportunistic weeds and dandelions start germinating. If you already see those pesky yellow flowers, water your lawn first, and pry the weeds down to the tap root before pulling it out. Several commercial products are available like Round Up or Weed B Gone. Be sure to read the directions as overspraying can frequently kill surrounding healthy grass along with the unwanted weeds.

Read more: Leave It to Lawn Care; Tips on How to Remove Dandelions from your Lawn

Is Your Home Ready for a Storm or Hurricane Emergency?

May 2013, Author: Patricia Mitrano

Preparing Your Home for Weather Related Emergencies Makes Sense for Family Safety and Asset Protection.

The strange weather we’ve been experiencing in New Jersey, the country, and the world requires constant vigilance and preparation as this year’s hurricane season is predicted to be very active, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), government agencies, and President Obama are advising homeowners and their families to prepare now.  As quoted in a recent tweet on Twitter, a visit to “Ready.gov” can lead to important information about emergency preparedness. "With an active #hurricaneseason predicted, now is the best time to start making a plan http://go.usa.gov/brpJ".

If you questioned what is required to “Shelter-in-Place” as the population was asked to do during the recent Boston Marathon tragedy, the Ready.gov website can provide the answers. To "Shelter-in-Place" among other activities, you must act quickly and take immediate shelter wherever you are-home, work, or school-and stay put until further notice. Identify a safe area of your home to take shelter, referred to as a "safe room" or for those of a certain age, a “fallout shelter.” It is recommended to have ten square feet of floor space per person for sufficient air circulation for 5 hours to prevent carbon dioxide buildup. Choose a room with as few windows and doors as possible, and also consider if it has a water supply and toilet access.

Read more: Is Your Home Ready for a Storm or Hurricane Emergency?

Barbeque Pit in Your Backyard!

Barbeque Pit in Your Backyard! Summer is a great time for outdoor kitchen on deck or patio.

This summer, gather up your primal instincts and head outdoors for your meals. Grilling food has evolved from the prehistoric method of throwing meat over an open fire. It is one of the oldest forms of cooking. In our modern, hectic days of texts, RSS feeds, and constant emails, many of us take great joy in this simple task, especially when the right tools and right atmosphere awaits. I’m not talking competition-level barbequing, although this is a popular hobby for many die hard food aficionados in our country. “The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest” and “The World Series of Barbecue” are a few examples. In your backyard kitchen you will be able to eat and relax “on demand” at YOUR appointed mealtime or whenever you feel the need to.

To achieve this tranquility, first access what you need to turn your backyard into an outdoor experience. BBQ books from as early as 1945 offer suggestions on constructing an immovable solid brick-type barbeque pit. Today’s homeowners have a plethora of additional options.

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Make Your Home a Teen-Friendly Hang Out Zone

Many people believe teenagers are the hardest human beings to understand that exist on planet earth. Parents may not understand their need for privacy, a most difficult concept. Teenagers need privacy and space so they can make their own decisions and choices. They learn life lessons from this independence. Sometimes grumpy, rude, or having an attitude, can be a cry for independence and may just mean it is time for a break, for both parents and teens. That said, there is a trend in renovations to create “private” areas for teens or “kid zones” for children in the home. Engage your teen in the creative process to design a welcoming place where they can have privacy for fostering independence or for entertaining in a safe environment. Designate the spot that will be theirs, most fitted to a basement, downstairs den or other area of the household. Arnold and Graesch’s “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” is an anthropological study of 32 American homes that has found that for many of us, leisure is spent indoors. 

Read more: Make Your Home a Teen-Friendly Hang Out Zone