Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Massive (Defective Airbag) Recall - 2015

This will be the largest automotive recall in history, effecting nearly 34 million vehicles. At issue are the defective airbags which are flawed in that they can blast out metal shards when deployed, resulting in injury or death. Analysts say this could take years to correct. What can you do right now? Follow the link below to go to :  and enter your VIN number to see if your vehicle has recalls associated with it. You will likely be hearing from your automaker in the next few weeks regarding what to do next.

Friday, May 22, 2015

(Hurricane Ready) Sales Tax Holiday - May 25-31, 2015

Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment Sales Tax Holiday

When: Legislation enacted by the 2015 General Assembly combines three existing sales tax holidays into one, three-day holiday in August. In 2015 only, Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment Sales Tax holidays will be held May 25-31, 2015 and August 7-9, 2015. In subsequent years, this sales tax holiday will be held only in August.  
What's Exempt: During both periods, purchases of certain supplies and equipment needed for hurricane preparedness will be exempt from sales tax. Retailers may also choose to absorb the tax on other items during the holiday period, but they are responsible for paying the tax on those items to the Department of Taxation.
Other Information:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dividing Plants - Perennials

How to Divide Plants

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon  (
Make the most of your perennials by dividing and transplanting favorites that have outgrown their homes.
Follow these dividing and transplanting tips for lush and healthy gardens and landscaping.
Why Divide and Transplant?

Plants need space to thrive. When they become too big for their garden spots, powdery mildew coats leaves, insects chow down on blooms and stems, and centers become brown.

When you divide and transplant, each perennial -- the new and old -- blooms more. Plus, divided plants are cheap plants — they fill in garden gaps and are a hit at neighborhood plant swaps.

When’s the Best Time to Transplant?
Transplanting rule of thumb: If it flowers in spring, transplant in fall; if it flowers in fall, transplant when the blossoms fade.

But really, anytime is an OK time to move perennials if you can dig the ground and water the transplants. If you transplant in warm weather, avoid hot afternoons.

Early fall is particularly good because rain is more plentiful in most regions, and roots have an entire winter to grow and anchor themselves into the ground. Some happy fall transplants include:
  • Peony
  • Bleeding heart
  • Hosta
  • Spring bulbs such as tulips and iris
Plants that would rather be transplanted in spring are:
  • Coneflowers
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Mums
Dividing Without Tears

You don’t need a surgeon’s touch to divide perennials, which are hardier than they look.

“Just dig or pull it out; you won’t hurt it,” says Sheri Ann Richerson, author of "The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Year-Round Gardening."

5 Essential Steps for Dividing Plants
  • Prune the plant by about a third, which reduces its water requirements after transplanting.
  • Place a shovel or spade where you want to divide the plant, push the tool down through the plant and roots, and pull up the divided plant.
  • When dividing bulbs, dig up the mature plants and gently pull bulbs apart with your fingers.
  • To divide hostas, cut roots with a sharp knife or shears.
  • Trim the roots of divided plants, which makes them stronger and healthier (just like trimming split ends makes hair healthier).
6 Essential Steps for Transplanting
  • Give plants a nice long drink before transplanting. Immerse their roots in a bucket of water with a small amount of fertilizer for at least 30 minutes and no longer than overnight. Place the bucket in a shady place. This will decrease plant stress.
  • Amend soil with compost from your pile or a slow-release fertilizer. Bulbs will appreciate a handful of bone meal.
  • Dig a hole about twice the diameter of the plant.
  • If you’ve got clay garden soil, place crushed gravel or terra-cotta pot shards in the bottom of the hole to increase drainage.
  • Place plant in hole and cover with soil.
  • Water thoroughly and check every day or two to make sure the soil is moist, not sopping.
More Tips
  • Divide and transplant perennials every three to five years.
  • Dividing and transplanting temporarily stresses plants, so pick a day that’s not too hot or cold. A mild, overcast day about a month before the first hard frost is best.
  • Let plants rest for a couple of weeks after blooming, which is stressful. Then transplant.
  • If a heat wave suddenly appears, shade transplants with a beach umbrella and water daily.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lawn Aeration Basics

Lawn Aeration: Give Your Grass a Breath of Fresh Air

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon   ( 
Lawn aeration ensures lush, healthy grass year-round.
Lawn aeration brings oxygen, water, and nutrients directly to grass roots, which helps make your lawn green and lush. It’s a critical part of spring and fall lawn care and gives roots the vital boost they need. Here’s how:
Lawn Aeration Basics
Lawn aeration pulls 2- to 8-inch soil “plugs” out of the ground, leaving holes that allow water, air, and nutrients to reach grass roots, and lets new seed germinate in a cool, moist environment. Hard clay soils need to be aerated more often than sandy soil. A soil test will tell you what type of soil you have.

John Dillon, who directs lawn care at New York City’s Central Park, says aeration helps lawns by:
  • Allowing oxygen to reach the root zone, which invigorates lawns
  • Relieving compaction by allowing established grass and seed to spread into plug holes
  • Controlling thatch buildup
  • Reducing water runoff
Aeration Tools
You can aerate by hand with an aerating tool ($20), which looks like a pitchfork with two hollow tines. Step on the tool’s bridge and drive the hollow tines into the earth. It’s slow-going, but good for spot aerating small patches of lawn.

You also can buy an aeration attachment ($60) for your garden tiller, but the tool slices the lawn and doesn’t actually remove plugs.

Most lawn aeration is done with a self-propelled machine known as a core aerator. About the size of a large lawn mower, a core aerator has hollow tines or spoons that rotate on a drum, removing soil plugs as you guide it from behind. This tool is available at most garden or rental centers for $15 to $25 per hour. Plan two to four hours to aerate an average quarter-acre suburban lot.
Timing is Everything
Aerate after the first frost has killed weeds, but before the ground has become too hard. It’s a good idea to spread grass seed after you aerate, so make sure you’re still able to water your lawn for two weeks after you aerate, which will help the seed to germinate.

Adria Bordas, a Fairfax County Virginia extension agent, says lawns with a lot of foot traffic should be aerated twice a year -- March through April, and mid-August through October.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mother's Day - Defined

Mother's Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

* My note: no matter what circumstances life has brought, please love your mother. She loved you enough to bring you into this world. Take a minute to call her, send some flowers or write her a quick note in the mail. She'll love it! By the way: Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10th this year (2015). Get that card in the mail early! Love you Mom (Martha)!
This article is about a holiday celebrating mothers and motherhood.
Mother's Day

Observed byMany countries
SignificanceHonours mothers and motherhood
DateMany dates;
Related toChildren's DaySiblings Day,Father's DayParents' Day
Mother's Day is a modern celebration honoring one's own mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father's Day and Siblings Day.
The celebration of Mother's Day began in the United States in the early 20th century; it is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration (originally a celebration of the mother church, not motherhood).[1][2][3][4] Despite this, in some countries Mother's Day has become synonymous with these older traditions.[5]