Three Days Until I Do: July fifth was an unbelievable day. Finally, everyone realized..O.M.G. itwas three days until the wedding.
So, July sixth, T.M.O.B. was off from school for the next week, the lights were there, and more of the decorations we had needed ( Mostly Tulle) were at my house, filling the back porch end to end. Only, we couldn't do a whole lot of the final touches yet . We due a good storm that Thursday night. (Maybe, Severe storms) So, even though the mulch was done, and the greenhouse was up...we couldn't set the wedding arch,or hang the lights yet. Nor was it feasible to build the dance floor. Now, Tuesday night , I had finished out the bridal table backdrop and covered the whole wall with plastic sheeting to keep it clean. Even at this point it was not complete as I needed 50 yards of Tulle to finish the look. The Grandfather of the bride, Charles Smith arrived early on Wednesday to determine where the dance floor would go; and each morning after to assemble the wood for the dance floor and T.M.O.T.B. was there too. Unfortunately, the weather was going to be uncooperative and we were limited as far as how much we would get to set up early. The night was a late one, making sure the wood for the dance floor was covered, and the plants were secure as well as the green house and things were ready to go. I finished hanging lights in the greenhouse, I brought all our Rubber Maid bins (the kind with drawers) that had all our finds for decorations for the wedding and reception, plus three other big bins full of decorations. My back porch was filled with lights, candles, rock, Chinese lanterns and materials in all kinds of colors. Our Neighbors Kathy and Bob had supplied me with lighted Hearts, Lips, Torches, Fluid, Buffet set ups, Tables,and the nicest thing was that they saved cat food cans and borrowed a bucket of sand to me to create ash trays for the tables. Honestly, it felt like things were going smoothly when we fell into bed that night.
Two days until I do! Guess what, there was not any Tornado. There was rain however, a lot of wind but nothing got hurt. I had that next day off from work and I was up early to get back to the preparations. Jon had to work, my Uncle Charles was measuring out the side of the house now seven a.m. to set the dance floor because the clearing that was done in the middle of our yard (where it was most desirable to have the dance floor with the lights hung over all of it...) still was not near level enough. We couldn't get Dave and his Bob Cat to do more leveling at such short notice. (Plus, it was so uneven that we would have had to buy a lot of fill to make it happen, and we were out of time.) So, it went on the side of the back porch. About dusk Christina had successfully hung four sets of Icicle lights between the roof and the the trees over the dance floor. ( It was around 10 p.m. when I was able to see if it was enough light for the event.) After everyone else went home, I finished the dinner buffet preparations in the Green House. Lights were perfect, artificial blooms were set in plants that weren't ready to bloom. I bought new planters that were dripping with blooms for the Arch area for added color: as most the roses were in between blooms. My meat sauce had been cooking slow for two days. My wedding sauce is very special . It was requested that I make my Mostaccioli because, make it with fresh vine ripened tomatoes only, fresh herbs from my garden only, I cook it down on low in a huge Crock Pot then, I add the beef and sweet Italian sausage and simmer it more. The flavor is unbelievable and I love to do it. I precooked my Penne and panned it for the next day. The tables and chairs had arrived and I was happy to have help getting those from the front to the back as Jon and I actually had an increase in business and were working even more. Plus,I had hurt my back. Not only that but, the storm we did have, knocked down yet another big limb and Jon, my husband discovered five baby birds. We rescue birds. We have cages and a real Aviary, so, we rescued these guys too. They were probably were about two days old. Now they get up at dawn very hungry. They have to eat every fifteen minutes at that age: until dusk, when finally they go to sleep.( Guess who took them to work?) So, the cage, the baby birds, and the food was like my purse for about a week. (My clients actually helped me care for these birds while I cleaned for them.) The bows were on the chairs by dark, after I showed three of the girls how to tie them onto the chairs. The chairs needed to be squared to the wedding isle however. The Bridal Table backdrop was finished but, we did run out of Tulle.( I only had 25 yards and I needed 50 ) so, I ran up to Micheal's and paid too much for 25 yards more. Now, we were finding out that we needed so much more to accomplish what we wanted for Kimberly's wedding. As darkness ascended upon us everyone wanted to go home to rest and eat. There was much to do yet and I worked late into the night-after the birds went to bed. Christiana had set lights on many of the surrounding trees and the effect was awesome. From the beginning we new our breakers could not take a whole lot or they would blow; and the extra effort was paying off. The buffet was powered by candles or Sterno. The whole yard was outlined with solar lights. The planters had huge candles that I had been buying from the Goodwill for a dollar each. Ebay supplied me with 24 water proof L.E.D. lights that were on batteries. We also brought in out door toilet facilities. (We are on a septic and have only one bathroom. It can not handle 100 guests without problems.) I had planned and cleared areas in the wooded treeline for set up, privacy and ease to get to the facilities. I created a seating area with table for socializing and waiting. Our indoor bath was available for the wedding party, parents, grandparents, any small child and the handicapped. All of which our one bathroom could handle. The photographer Jackalynne (Kim) Stone , Brittany McConnell,( Jr, Photographer) and Sarah Cooper Ira (Jr. Photographer) offered to be on hand to help with many last minute details. I felt like I had done everything I could when I went to bed but, there was so much more left to do.
Hours Until...... I Do!. So, this is two hours before the wedding. That is me - frantically trying to make sure everything is perfect. Very bossy, on the border of I will make this happen or else. But, I digress.... Everyone was there at ten in the morning. I had slept poorly that night besides the shear exhaustion I had been feeling. Tables weren't placed, there hadn't been a rehearsal, so much was left to do. The little birds were up at six that morning and so hungry. I was ready. I never changed out of the dress from the day before, I fell asleep in it . I showered that morning and put on the same dress again because I was bound to get dirty. I added a bathrobe over it, for the morning chill. It was the perfect day we had all hoped for and anticipated! I grabbed a 32 oz cup of strong coffee, grabbed the bird cage with my little rescued birds and went to work as my house still lay in quiet slumber. Iused two long ropes. one tied to a tree and stretched horizontally. The other rope from a tree vertically, re-aligning the chairs square to the bridal path. After a few rows I did not have to use trees for a reference. Line by line I squared the chairs and straightened the chair sashes. That took two hours. By then, Jon had been up and brought me fresh coffee and we looked at my chair job and he said that there was nothing square about it but, it looked O.K. So I felt insecure but it was to late to do anything about it. Kim and Brittany were the string that held the wedding together. I had been up since six with the birds still at my side now eating every hour or two. The arch wasn't set and that was a huge problem because that should have been placed first. We hadn't put down the isle runner either! So,there I am starting to roast in my fuzzy, soft bathrobe and yesterday's dress when everyone begins to arrive. To finish the preparations, to get dressed, to drop off things. Because things were so far behind : weeks before the actual wedding, my sister- in- law and photographer, Jackelynne (Kim) Stone, and my niece, Brittany McConnell (Jr. Photographer) who have done more than a few events graciously offered to do hair and makeup for any who needed it. Little did they know: They would. T.M.O.T.B. is an Avon lady and came with out Make Up, or Jewelry,or even a curling iron. She did remember her dress, and shoes and the job ahead, so that is all that really that counts at this point and she was so nervous. She immediately gets started placing the tables where they should go while, Kimberly's sister Kelsey was putting table clothes on them and center pieces where they should go. I had already moved two tables together for the bridal party and set the supplies for decorating them in piles on top of them. I put together my pans of Penne, mymade from scratchmeat sauce and mounds of cheese. These I would later heat at 250 in the oven. Right about at this time Jon, Kimberly and Brian were going through the wedding vowels . Parking signs were not made and there were no balloons yet. Brittany ran to the Dollar Store twice to get what I needed. Bless her heart. We ran out of markers for the parking signs and thank goodness Kim was in transit because we needed bobby pins and tape and some other things I probably don't know about. I had three girls making signs out of the poster boards I had bought. About this time, noon - one o'clockish, my mother , Penny Smith, the decorating Diva, the one who cultivated me into the floral lover and party planner I am , arrived. We, at this hour are realizing that we are wildly running out of time. Everyone was getting hot, tired and short on patience. There was no stopping until four o'clock. At four o'clock the whole bridal party was supposed to be in the area tented off. My mother and I sprinkled diamond gem stone confetti on the tables. I had bought three different colors from Ebay very inexpensively. We set the water proof L.E.D. lights next to the glass fish bowls of colored rock, water and floating candles. We placed these on top of mirrors. Later they would reflect the light back up through the bowl for an awesome, glowing effect. I brought out my rose oils that I had found for a dollar a piece and we scented all the bowls and artificial flowers with it. The organza bags in gold and silver were filled with hard candies my mother selected for heat resistance and deliciousness, were added to the tables. We had one heck of a time getting the isle runner put in place. One of the funnest moments I ever had with my mother. It took four people to move the wedding arch out of our living room and across our backyard. It was a little bent and a real miracle it stood as straight as it did! It was a little flimbsy so we had to really poke it into the ground too. Seeing things were going well, I was the first in hair and make up. The girls worked on me, one on hair and one on makeup, so I could get the parking posters and balloons out to direct our guests to the parking area I had set up for the evening. The wedding Invitations I created with the map said that the parking would be easy to find because of the signs and balloons, so it had to be done. It is around two o'clock. McCarther's Bakery delivered the cake. It was in butter creme. It had an elaborate fountain, with a pump and tiers. It could not be moved once delivered and set up. It was a $600.00 cake and It could not go on the cake table outside. Should not have been a big deal but, my house was trashed and I did melt down for a few moments. Thanks to Kim and Brittany who were so good at diffusing and understanding the situation (and the moment) my freak out was short lived. By that time Sarah Ira ( Jr photographer) showed up, who incidentally is also, my sister in law. They reassured me everything would work out fine and I needed to relax. With hair and make up done I went out to hang signs and balloons. I was greeted by our first guests who had arrived to get dressed at my house. I made the men leave though because the women and children had taken up every area of my house. There were a lot of us. The groom isn't supposed to see the bride in her dress until she comes down the isle anyway. It is bad luck. It is a very old and long lived wives tale that: it is bad luck to see the bride her wedding gown before the actual ceremony. So, they left to go dress somewhere and came back.The alcohol and soda arrived and we barely had time to set all that up. Some of the food arrived cold and had to be heated.
So, by about five o'clock these two were joined each taking the others last name. It was a big joke all night. That and I kept calling the isle The Green Mile. The meal was served at six thirty, after cocktails, allowing for pictures to be taken and everyone to mingle. The reception winded down by ten o,clock and there was considerable clean up started and collapsing into chairs. Finally the last guests left reluctantly, not wanting the night to end. My husband had gone to bed. My neighbor Kathy and I sat together talking until half past two, laughing and sharing life experiences with the lights still twinkling on the trees, the moon light and the glow of a few floating candles that were almost spent. It was magical. Would I do it again? You Betcha!
Advice from: The Missouri Botanical Garden
Butterfly Gardening Strive to create a garden that is as appealing to you as it is to the butterflies you want to attract. Begin with an inventory of all of the plants that you recorded in your list of local observations. It is most likely that you will need to supplement your original list with additional food plants for adults and larvae. Some important things to consider when choosing plants for any garden, such as hardiness zone, height, color, bloom time and availability, apply to planning the butterfly garden as well. Researching gardening books, butterfly books, visiting nurseries, botanical gardens and nature centers should supply you with the information you need to round out your design.When choosing food plants for butterflies be certain to choose species and cultivars that provide for successive seasons of bloom. Early and late season food sources are particularly valuable, as these are often in short supply. A mix of annuals and perennials works best. Annuals prolong the season of bloom, while perennials faithfully reappear year after year. Don’t forget to plant successive plantings of larval host plants as well. This is especially important for those butterfly species, such as monarchs, who produce more than one or two broods each year. Planting clusters of the same species of colorful nectar-producing plants will be the most attractive to butterflies and gardeners alike. In general, the best nectar plants for butterflies provide a constant source of nectar and have flowering heads with small, multiple florets (such as lantana and butterfly weed). When choosing nectar plants, it is best to stick with native species whenever possible. Many hybridized varieties have been bred to be showy, often at the expense of nectar production.The top ten butterfly attracting nectar plants include perennials such as black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckiaspp.), Liatris (Liatrisspp.), coreopsis (Coreopsisspp.), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Joe-pye weed (Eupatoriumspp.), aster (Asterspp.), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) and butterfly bush (Buddlejaspp.). Annuals such as Egyptian star-cluster (Pentas lanceolata), lantana (Lantana camara) and annual black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckiaspp.) round out the list. Other good choices are members of the milkweed family (Asclepiasspp.), ironweed (Vernoniaspp.), pincushion flower (Scabiosaspp.) and rose verbena (Verbena canadensis). Butterfly Conservation Butterflies are insects, so pesticides that kill insect pests will also kill butterflies. Butterfly larvae are particularly susceptible to BT, Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterial insecticide that is commonly used in the vegetable garden. Fortunately, many of plants that are attractive food sources for butterflies are native to Missouri. Planting your butterfly garden with a rich diversity of these native species will greatly help reduce insect and disease problems. If insects do become a problem, try using more environmentally friendly methods of pest control such as hand picking or hosing off insect pests. Better still; learn to develop tolerance for a chewed leaf or two.Until recently, a common pastime for many butterfly enthusiasts has been collecting butterflies, killing and mounting them in boxes. While collections are important and valuable to scientific studies, for the most of us, it is far better to enjoy butterflies in their living state. This is particularly true as butterfly life cycles and behaviors such as basking, puddling and courting are so fascinating to observe. You may wish to purchase binoculars for close upviewing or for viewing the behaviors of shier butterflies from a distance.Butterfly gardening can be a lifelong fascination that becomes more exciting as your knowledge grows. To learn more about butterflies, butterfly habitat and conservation, consider joining a local garden club and/or nature study organization, especially those organizations whose focus is on the study of insects (entomology) or native plants. You might also consider assisting in the annual Fourth of July Butterfly Count sponsored by the Xerces Society. Butterfly counts help to determine which butterfly populations are scarce or declining in your area. By determining which species are in decline, gardeners can educate, preserve or help to create the precious habitat that these delicate creatures need for survival.
Sound Off: Pyromaniacs and Lightening
I think we have all had enough of these devastating forest fires. Many of them caused by lightening and out of our control. I am however constantly dismayed by the "on purpose fires" that have been set and the resent deaths of many of our heroes, our fire fighters. It would be nice to see all the pyromaniacs to have to fight these fires. Maybe as the rehabilitation for the crime. Crime against humanity. Send some of our firer fighters home to their families with pay and let the fire starters clean up the mess. I am just saying!
" When I was six, we lived in a little area called Hawaiian Gardens, California. Not a bad neighborhood. Maybe, not the best though. One night as I slept a younger man climbed through our bedroom window. He had to step on my bed and of course he was greeted with piercing little girl's screams that sent him right back out the window. He ended up toppling something over, hurting himself I think, because of the cursing and as my dad came rushing in startled out of his sleep, you could hear the guy and a few others running and laughing. We were the only family out of six that did not get robbed."
I am in my forties and remember it like it was yesterday. I live in a more rural part of Missouri. Most folks here still feel safe enough to leave the back door unlocked for neighbors and friends and for the most part there really hasn't been much in the way of crime. We all look out for each other. Recently though, my neighbor's daughter daughter dated a guy and it turns out he was and is some pretty serious trouble. Kicked out and homeless he stayed in my other neighbor's garage. He may still be staying in there. For a few months now, I have seen him staring at me through the tree line-that was not hiding him. Creepy. On top of that, he and his friends have a reputation ( I heard through the grape vine) of thieving and other things. None of which I want around me. From time to time people who are in sales or down on their luck stop by here for some help or to try to buy a vehicle in our yard. Many times I am a lone and there are a few people wondering around, looking at stuff in our driveway. Scarey. We have never really had money for a good security system. But, this was an Emergency situation to me and an absolute priority to protect our stuff that we have worked so hard for.
" I answered a call that change my life"
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Home Security Statistics Facts about Burglary, Property Crimes, and Home Security Alarms
2007 FBI Crime Statistics:
Each year in the United States, a burglary occurs every 14 seconds.
Most burglaries occur during the day between 6am and 6pm.
The average residential burglary victim lost $1,991.
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In more than a third of all burglaries, the burglar enters the front door (and most of the time does so forcefully).
Homes without a monitored security alarm system are 3 times more likely to be burglarized or robbed than those with a monitored home security system.
There is sufficient evidence to show that in the past, when the economy has suffered, burglary and property crime has increased in parallel.
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Kimberly Joyce Simpson Married Brian Keith Simpson!
The Wedding was June 8th 2013...at 5p.m. I had three months to transform my overgrown backyard into a wedding garden fit for a princess. We were on a limited budget. We were blessed by the most perfect weather that day. The only weekend the weather cooperated! I Thank God!
The Yard Before....
98 Days till...I do.
March and April were odd months. One or two warm days, one or two rainy days, a day of snow and every week it seemed to alternate between extremes. Armed with a few ideas from the ladies and my own vision of the perfect yard,I heartily went to work, clearing and picking up trash. It was precisely three days before the ladies had asked me to help with the wedding that I had almost fell head first into the chicken coop. I broke one rib, fractured two and bruised the the fourth. The our tree line was unkempt and in great need of clearing. Because of the odd sea saw weather, I was able to clear a lot of the overgrowth by hand. After a few days though.I found it much easier to burn the tree line and then replant.So, little by little I set fire all the way to the fence line, and cleaned it up. My front yard is a flower garden already, and I have many plants that can be divided, that actually bloom in June. These plants are free and plentiful. So after burning the tree line, I divided plants from the front yard and replanted them in the tree line. I needed pink flowers in the yard, one of the primary colors for the wedding. So, I shopped Burgess Seed Company for wild flower mix, Carnations, Larkspur and Sweet Pea seeds. I also chose buy one get one for a cent deals on live plants that are shipped at planting time. Butterfly Bush, Lilac, Raniculous, Hydrangia, Chocolate Mint, Lemon Thyme and more for just $20.00. I also went to Lowe's. Lowe's has great deals on Clearance plants- almost dead plants for $1 to $5. A fraction of the actual cost.These plants spring right back to life with a little care. K-Mart was going out of business in our town, so I bought Rose bushes there for $4 a each. I have six, plus two Peach trees,a Blue Berry and a Raspberry bush too! ( Fresh Berries for years to come!) My friend Thressa Martin donated Holly Hocks, Gladiolios, and Star Lilly in beautiful shades of pink and purple. I have Lambs Ear, Catnip, Valerian, Lemon Balm, Carolina Jasmine, and Orange Tiger Lillies. I went to Thrift stores and picked up silk flowers and marked planting areas with them. They also add back ground pops of color and always look healthy. We decided to meet every every Tuesday to plan,work, collaborate and do the whole thing together. We actually went on two field trips, descending upon the stores with our ideas and a mission. Every score was placed in a bin and ready to be used at the appropriate time. Tulle is very expensive. The plan was to have a lighted back ground behind the bride and grooms table. Gauzy, light color, fairy twinkle lights and a banner. I bought gauzy curtains for a dollar a piece. A few curtains I dyed the appropriate color. The Staple gun was my best friend. Tulle in bold colors with Sparkle was used to shape and add color to the bridal table back ground. I finished the whole wall off, later with 100 yards of pristine white Tulle for a fresh , clean and gauzy look. There was so much work with the yard and clearing it. So much space to plant with colorful flowers that would be in bloom in June and we had to build the green house kit we had bought in February. I planned to serve the wedding buffet out of the green house. I already had tables for the dinner buffet but we had nothing for the dinner service. Now, to me an evening dinner service, served out of a glass house , lit properly would be beautiful and elegant if done in silver. At the time I did not have any of the things we needed for an elegant dinner service. I did have a vision though. The wedding was to have four brides maids and grooms men, the maid of honor and the best man. The second Tuesday meeting, the mother of the bride, Tina brought me roses bunches in the wedding colors bought from Hobby Lobby, floral tape, pearls that needed stringing and an idea. Sunday mornings I got up early and pulled out all the silk flowers, my lace, the pearls, glue, wire , my silk flowers , and my ribbons. Before long I had created the bouquets, the boutonniers, corsages and the flower girl basket. The extra details to all the flowers were from my crafting kit. It was three dollars for this wedding deco kit that I bought three years ago, and I still have most of it. I can not tell you how many times I almost threw it away. At a resale shop, in a grab kind of bag, I found the butterfly garland ( Slightly damaged) napkins, a just married sign, bubbles, sparkle beads, candles, candle plates and more in the double heart, in silver design that she chose as the overall motif for her special day. It was only two dollars. Now, I have a website. I know the prices of things.(The bride and groom are still very poor.) The two kids have been going out since 8th grade - on and off. One year while "off" they both met someone else, had a child, then have to come to the awful resolution that they have to leave that person each one their child, and never look back. So, they have been raising the children together, getting through school, and working really hard; and they really wanted to get married. Christina the M.O.T.B. wanted a park like,clean setting, a starlit ceiling, dance floor, D.J. with Karoke, lights all over trees and more. The Green House was something we had already bought.( In February.) Our yard is so uneven that we could not just put it up We had to build a foundation. Plus, in Missouri we have bad storms. It made sense to tie it down properly. It seemed like things would go smoothly.
" I had agreed to planning the wedding and I looked at my yard. I knew I had to go to work right away."
" I love this website ! You can buy and sell here. Great way to promote a product. A great way to buy a product. Membership is free, and has so many benefits. I am a member!"
Help with the wedding...
A word about ground covers from the University of Missouri...
Ground covers can be found to fit many conditions, but they are used most frequently for the following locations: Steep banks or Slopes Shady areas under trees and next to buildings Under plantings in shrub borders and beds. Where tree roots grow close to the surface and prevent grass from growing. Very wet or dry locations. When planted under trees, ground covers reduce the possibility of mower damage to the base of trees ae nd are used to protect the roots of shallow rooted trees. They shade the soil reducing rapid dry out and usually require less moisture and nutrients than grass making ground covers in less competition with existing trees and shrubs.Suitable selection of ground cover is determined by the area where it will be grown. Some ground cover plants prefer partial shade: others in deep shade or full sun. The ones listed grow well in a wide variety of soil types.
68 Days till...I do.
After about the fourth meeting, it seemed impossible for us to have meetings. T.M.O.T.B. works full time, is in school and a mother of four. The Bride didn't have a car. All three sisters were not getting along and the sisters weren't about helping. By this time the guest list had shrunk some,and we made plans for the meal. Tables and chairs were ordered. Brides Dress and Tuxedos were ordered and paid for. The cake was ordered and we had the Alcohol list ready. I was feeling good. Plus, as far as I knew, there would be people helping me transform my overgrown yard into a garden fit for a wedding. Our D.J. died in a car accident after leaving work on a rainy Saturday night. He hit a stop light when his car hydroplaned at Hwy B. He left behind a wife and three children. It turned out to be an expensive year to buy concrete. Our yard was so - not level , that it was necessary to make a foundation for the Green House.We did it pay check by pay check and when the weather cooperated. A quarter at a time. Because weather was still a factor. I lost some plants due to early planting. I was growing plants from seed and buying live plants from Lowe's. Clearance at Lowe's is a gardeners dream. The weather was very uncooperative in April. It was much of a repeat of March. Progress was as sparse as our days off. I remained motivated and my vision of what the backyard should look like for a wedding growing bigger. Now, it funny how things work. we never did have another meeting, nor did anyone come and help me with the yard!. My ribs? Still hurt so. I went to a store here in Fenton, Missouri . The Natural Way. I was looking for Comfrey leaves because, I had over worked in the yard the night before and after my first job the next day I hurt so bad, I didn't think I could make it through the next job, let alone the rest of the week. Susan recommended some products and thirty minutes later I was on my second job and I was not needing any pain medications. I continued to plant, weed and clear the grounds of all the weeds and different poisonous plants, preparing for the wedding.My chickens ate a bunch of my flowers so I bought different kinds to replace them I was worried however, that the Green House would not get built on time. My husband still wasn't sure that there was there would be a wedding. I assured him that there would be a wedding in our backyard followed by a dinner reception to be served out of our greenhouse and the wedding will be June 8th at 4:30 p.m. and we needed to be ready. The weather was never right when we had time. The wedding project had become a second job.
April 's pictures...
I can't do concrete. This was a major Problem!"
"I didn't need a sign up bonus to join this one. I make money reading emails?" "Yeah, I am making money reading emails and taking short surveys."
38 Days till... I do.
So, May was a productive month. There was still so much to do and with the Bridal Party too busy and the Mother of the Bride also to busy, it was apparent if I didn't decorate too, the reception would not be a nice one. I had very few supplies but am good with the thrift stores and had collected an array of flowers, ribbons, I had some lights and some misc. things to brighten things up. The vegetable garden was planted... a lot from seed and my flowers in the tree line were coming along. I cleared and created the path where the Bride would emerge...straight across from the wedding arch that I had designed just for Kimberly. The foundation was finally finished and I had finally managed to get my garden area cleaned up too.Our next door neighbor buried our burn pile that was filled with dangerous trash. The dance floor was to go there if possible. The covered porch was to be the children's area, with a couch and chairs for parents to hang out. We have an icebox out there so soda's and baby bottles were easily accessible. The area just out side the porch was the D.J. area. About the wedding service I wanted in all silver.Wouldn't you know I was able to collect many pieces. One per week since April. Only $6 - $15 dollars per piece. I wanted a wonderful, elegant dinner service. The very last pieces were bought the last Thursday of May. Four silver wine glasses.Dinner was to be ready by six p.m. when the sun would put a glow on everything in the green house that we had yet to build. Parking was arranged across the street and the wedding party was able to park next door thanks to our awesome neighbors. I also alerted everyone around my house that there would be a wedding and reception and the music would be done at ten p.m. and shortly after we would have the neighborhood back to quiet. The response was quite positive and of course everyone was invited. At this point I was getting very stressed out and suffered from exhaustion with all the chores, my businesses and all the work to transform three quarters of an acre. I did resort to begging anyone in the family who was involved to please, please help me with some of this. It had turned into my wedding when it should have been theirs. We were running out of time.
Gardening tips from the University of Missouri
Looking for good ground covers that thrive in the Missouri area? Here is a list: Bugle Weed or Carpet Bugle. Creeping Juniper Creeping Phlox, Moss Pink Crown Vetch English Ivy Hall's Honeysuckle Hosta, Funkia, Plantain Lilly Japanese Spurge, Pachysandra Periwinkle, Myrtle or Vinca Purple Leaf Wintercreeper Colorful, weed inhibiting Perennials that will bring color and beauty year after year.
8 Days till...I do.
It was the first week of June and we had this bad storm that knocked down half of our almost dead tree in the yard and it was really luck we had not built the green house because a limb would have fallen on it. So after months of frustration over the completion I felt like God was looking out for me even if I couldn't see it. Jon and I worked three days building it and we were done three days before the wedding. Enough time to decorate even with the rain that Thursday night. Three loads of mulch was delivered and spread, so the Bridal Path really looked nice I had purchased many water proof L.E.D.s and had many baskets of candles for extra light along with 75 solar lights outlining the tree line. The wood for the dance floor arrived, along with lights and from Thursday until Saturday morning was nonstop work and people ascending on the property. It was chaotic. Everything important at this point was so last minute. We ran out of white Tulle. The Dance floor got moved because the first choice would have been very expensive to level out. Even hanging the lights would have been super difficult. I did mention that. The tables and chairs arrived. I had bought the sashes for the chairs in April for $.45 a piece, and taught the girls how to tie them into bows the night before the wedding. The chairs I leveled and lined up the rows of chairs with two large pieces of rope as a guide. I attached each rope to a tree for the first few rows and it really worked out well. Now, after the wood had been bought, (four days before the wedding) It took a few days to build the dance floor and D. J. area. My Uncle Charles Smith had been wanting to help the whole time. Now that we had lights and wood for a dance floor he went to work. Christina wired the trees and used just 2 icicle lights to light the dance floor after many fruitless tries. It was good lighting for the space. The day of the wedding was hair, make up and decorating the tables. Last minute rehearsals, because they didn't have anything or anyone together.Even the Bride's father wasn't going to come. I fixed that with two calls. Mean while T.M.O.T.B. was threatening trouble. I fixed that in three sentences. T.M.O.T.B. Melted down at 3 p.m. because there was so much to do and her hair and make up wasn't done. I went and hung the parking signs and balloons. The cake had arrived and had to be kept inside. Not planned so the cake table wasn't really needed. I made the card box five days before the wedding from my scrap supplies, they forgot to get one. By 4:10 everyone was almost ready to go. We had a hard time keeping everyone together so instead of 4:30 my husband married them at five. It was a beautiful service that was slightly traditional and included the unity candle. It was hard and stressful but so worth the work and planning. The weather was amazingly perfect that day. Even with all my hard work with planting and fertilizing most of the flowers were not ready to bloom yet. Since I planted Perennials I will enjoy the fruit of my labor for years and years to come.
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Next Issue: The Wedding and Reception. How did it turn out?
"We can't move forward if we are living in the past..."
: There is no other time of year I love better than the start of the growing season. Eachyear I lovingly bring in my plants and watch them struggle to live; defending them from fungus, affids, knats,and mites. We finally sprang for a greenhouse in February however the weather is so roller coaster we have not been able to assemble it yet! I haven't blogged in a while and here is why:
It was early March when I almost fell head first into our aviary and fractured a few ribs getting the chickens ready for another storm. It was that next day that Christina Smith and Courtney Simpson asked me to be the wedding planner and if we would like to host the whole affair in our back yard. She described her frustration as they tried to fit everything Kimberly wanted in her wedding, the expense, the lack of time, and the approaching Date, June 8th, 2013!
Well, needless to say, I could not turn my cousins down. In fact, I was eager to get started. I had always wanted a Southern style garden wedding and have a lot of ideas about how it should look, smell and feel. I have been married before and planned a few weddings so, I am familiar with what to do and when. I am great with a budget and know how to do things less expensively. The first thing we did was set a day to meet each week until the wedding. Then, we went over the budget, (shoestring budget) and the lists of supplies, costs and wants and needs. Magazine pictures, sketches, and a checklist all looked at. Who will marry us? Anymore, you need to belong to a church or such to get someone to marry you. This makes it hard for individuals that aren't affiliated. My husband and myself are ordained so, this is not a problem, and I shaved that fee off of the budget. Where? By having the reception at my home we saved money because we don't need to rent a hall.s How many? The guest list is important. As a married couple basically you will buy everyone dinner and beverages in one night! The menu should be tailored to wants of the Bride and Groom's tastes, as long it is practical. The meal should be able to stay on the serving tables at appropriate temperatures to ensure no one is poisoned. Sterno and ice were added to the budget. We discussed the menu and food costs, along with beverage options and cost. We are using Dirt Cheap for our alcohol. Invitations? I am handy with a computer and printer. So I Created the Invitations on Stationary they provided me. Including postage, it was about $125.00. Flowers? These can be quite pricey. My mother and I know floral arranging and I actually made all the Bouquets (7), Boutonnieres, corsages and flower girl basket in two Sundays. Average price of bouquets was about $25.00! Clothes? This can run into the thousands. As a brides maid I am going to buy my own dress and shoes. I found a gorgeous formal, only worn once at Feed My People Thrift Store for $4.50. We will attend the bridal show at the end of the month. Also, we will shop J.C. Penny - after prom for clearance deals. Music? A family friend will D.J. for $300. I am going to borrow a stage from a friend for dancing. The D.J. will set up on the screened porch where there will be Kareoke. Seating? Rental for chairs is about a dollar and four dollars per table. We have tables for buffet, cake and gifts. Dinner will be served buffet style in the green house where hot plates, crock pots, and Sterno can safely be set up.
Table Decor can be done inexpensively and still look elegant. Mirrors reflect candle light up for a romantic glow!
"So, they leave with home work and goals and I realize I have a lot of work to do!"
My backyard was in no way ready to have a wedding! It in no way resembled a a garden. For the last seven years I have been cutting back the oldest vines in Fenton. Poison Ivy, Poison, Oak, Poison Sumac, Wild Rose, Wild Grape and Honeysuckle. Last year was so hot I didn't accomplish a lot . This year March and April have had plenty of cold days and I heartily went to work, clearing, picking up trash, controlled burning and hand weeding. I picked up bunches of silk flowers from thrift stores to mark areas and add pops of color. Now, my front plants is a flower garden and I have many plants that can be divided, and actually bloom in June. These plants are free and plentiful. Nothing in pink however, one of the primary wedding colors. So, I went shopping. First, I shopped Burgess Seed Company for wild flower mix, Carnations, Larkspur and Sweet Pea seeds. I also chose buy one get one for a cent deals on live plants that are shipped at planting time. Butterfly Bush, Lilac, Raniculous, Hydrangia, Chocolate Mint, lemon Thyme and more for just $20.00. I also went to Lowes. They Clearance almost dead plants for $1 to $5 that spring right back to life with a little care. K-Mart is going out of business in our town, so I bought Rose bushes there for $4 a each. I have six, plus two Peach trees,a Blue Berry and a Raspberry bush too! ( Fresh Berries for years to come!) My friend Thressa Martin donated Holly Hocks, Gladiolis, and Star Lilys in beautiful shades of pink and purple. I have Lambs Ear, Catnip, Valerian, Lemon Balm, Carolina Jasmine, and Orange Day Lilly from the front yard. The air will be fragrant throughout the whole yard. It had been amazing transforming the tree line into a flower garden and I am not nearly done! Next we will work on lighting and details. So check back and see our Progress!
"The Bride, Bless her heart would be happy with a Hill Billy Wedding. We are going for a more Elegant style!"
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Saturday's 3.6 magnitude earthquake near Trumann, Arkansas was a reminder that the New Madrid Seismic Zone is still active.
The 3.6 mag. earthquake was centered just southwest of Trumann in Poinsett County and was felt across a dozen or so counties in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi. It was one of hundreds of earthquakes that shake the region each year.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) runs 150 miles from Cairo, IL to Marked Tree, AR and is described as a series of faults called the Reelfoot Rift. The rift formed about 500 million years ago when scientists believe the continent tried to split apart. It didn't happen, but what was left was a weakened spot in the bedrock below. Thanks to the Mississippi River, the faults were covered up by sand and other sediment. The NMSZ also differs from what many consider as traditional fault zones because it is not along a plate boundary where to pieces of earth's crust are rubbing against each other.
Some of the largest earthquakes to ever shake the United States happened in the winter of 1811-12. The earthquakes shook bells in the northeastern U.S., created Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee, and caused the Mississippi River to temporarily run backwards near New Madrid, MO.
Since the 1812 earthquakes, the largest earthquake to strike the region was a 6.3 mag. near Marked Tree in 1843. While there are many small earthquakes that still shake the region, there is discontent among the scientific community whether the next big one is going to strike.
Seismologists have warned for years the area is not prepared for a moderate to strong earthquake. Many of the buildings, especially those older than 40 years, are not built to seismic standards. In Memphis for example, the I-40 bridge (Hernando De Soto Bridge) was built in 1973. That "new" bridge is much newer than the I-55 bridge (Memphis and Arkansas Bridge) built in 1949. It is unknown if either bridge would survive an earthquake like those that shook 200 years ago. Many of the buildings in downtown Memphis, Jonesboro, and Blytheville are much older and even on historic significance lists. Many of the newer buildings are constructed to seismic code, meaning they are reinforced to withstand a moderate to strong earthquake.
Those familiar with the earthquakes in the region warn residents not to worry about "the next big one", but a moderate 5.5 - 6.6 magnitude earthquake, which is much more likely to happen and will do significant damage to the infrastructure. Buildings, bridges, and other standing structures near the epicenter will likely see significant damage. The best advice is to be prepared with a plan and survival kit, just in case.
Raising Chickens Is fun and the eggs are mighty tasty too!
Rhode Island Red Chicken Other name(s): RIR
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: United States
History: The Rhode Island Red Chicken is one of the most popular backyard chicken breeds because of its friendly nature, hardiness and egg laying ability.
According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, "Originally developed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the 1880's and 1890's, its ancestors include Malay (hence the deep color), Shanghai, Java, and Brown Leghorn chickens. The originators of the Rhode Island Red wanted to create a bird that could lay a good number of eggs yet dress out nicely as a table bird. These birds are very good layers of brown eggs, perhaps the best layers of all of the dual-purpose breeds. They can lay 200 – 300 eggs a year starting as early as six months of age. Since the 1940's, the Rhode Island Red has been selectively bred for more efficient egg production, becoming smaller, lighter colored, and less broody as a result." Current Uses: Meat and eggs. They will lay about 5 large brown eggs a week.
Appearance: The Rhode Island Red is a muscular animal with a deep chest, long straight back, long neck, and short tail. They can come in single or rosecombs. Their beaks are reddish horn, and eyes are a reddish bay. Legs and feet should be yellow. The plumage should be a rich deep red with a mostly black tail.
Largefowl Weight: Cock 8.5 lb, Hens 6.5 lb. Bantam Weight: Cock 34 oz, Hen 30 oz. Average weight: N/A
Lifespan: 8 - 15 years
Diet: Rhode Island Reds are productive animals, and their diet should be high in protein and calcium. Commercial feed makes a fine main diet, but should be supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, and bugs. Additionally, grit (small pebbles used to aid digestion), and oyster shells to boost calcium levels) can be added. Fresh water must be available at all times.
Housing: Your chicken will need a coop that has good air flow and good protection from predators, sun, wind, and rain. They can also be allowed access to roam the yard. Whether housed in a coop or allowed free roam during the day one of the most important aspects is keeping their living environment clean. This will help prevent diseases and other health conditions that are cause my unsanitary conditions. It will also lessen the attraction for flies and rodents. This means that you will need to remove all feces and food from their coop daily or every other day. Water and food bowls should be cleaned every day. To make it easy design a coop that can be easily hosed or raked. Also stagger perches so the chicken’s poops falls to the ground and not onto another perch. Bedding of straw must be kept dry. If it is allowed to get wet it will grow disease causing fungi and bacteria. Straw should be changed anytime it is wet or once a week. About every six months a thorough disinfection will be needed. This is done by first scrubbing everything with a soap (Simple Green is an excellent choice for this), rinsing well, and then applying a disinfectant solution (mixed as per label instructions) such as bleach. Please note that simple scrubbing with bleach will not effectively kill bacteria or fungi, a good scrubbing with soap is needed first. A general rule of thumb; if your coop or chickens smell then you are not cleaning enough.
Health issues: The Rhode Island Red is prone to comb chapping, or frostbite during extreme cold. They are also very productive layers, which can make egg binding a problem. To prevent egg binding, make sure your hens get appropriate levels of exercise, protein, and calcium. The Production Reds (Hatchery Rhode Island Reds) life expectancy can often be shortened, due to it’s extreme productivity.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: These are docile birds with easy going dispositions
This is a tribute to all the heroes in our lives to whom many of us are so grateful. Everyone wants to be a hero. Heroes are special, smart, and work hard in their lifetimes to become unique. They are the ones quietly working in the back ground, who later you find out , do work for The Red Cross. Or the guys who show up t o lend a hand cleaning up or rebuilding after the storm. The first responders who leave on short notice with only a bag in hand, a kiss on the cheek of their loved ones and a prayer they will make it back. The families of such Angels, who let them go without saying "Please come back!" The doctors and nurses who work short handed and running out of supplies. Patients spilling out into the halls. Or the doctors and nurses in the field with no supplies only hope and determination. Heroes are the bus driver, the teacher, the mail man who all gladly jump in harms way. The neighbor who knew CPR and saved your child, the kid who drug you out of your burning home, the dog who got help. Heroes are Farmers and Truckers and anyone, who goes through thick or thin to help us. Our mothers and Fathers who smile whenever they feel like crying and are able to summon unimaginable strength from their own weaknesses. Yeah, they are Heroes too. Heroes are anyone who changes the life of someone else in a positive way!
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, The beginning and The ending," saith the Lord " Which Is, and which Was,o Come, the Almighty." " I am He that Liveth, and was Dead;and, behold I am Alive for evermore. I have the keys of Heaven and of Death." The Lord
Thank god for Heroes and Angels!
We found a place to buy baby pigs!!
Now we had been thinking about buying pigs. Now it looks like it may become a Reality!
So... We are exploring this and here is a little information in case you are thinking..Are pigs right for us?
Pigs as House pets
Cute, Loveable: Tea Cup Pigs make great pets! Teacup pigs, or teacup potbelly pigs, are gaining popularity as domestic pets. Is a teacup pig a pet that might be a good fit for your family? Even though they're called teacup pigs, they're really only teacup-sized when they're first born. They do grow substantially larger, but are much smaller than regular farm animal style pigs and they achieved popularity as pets some years back. Even though they grow to be much smaller it can be difficult to predict what size a pig will grow. Most sites claimed an average size of 30-55 pounds: the size of small or medium dog. Pigs are omnivores; meaning they will eat pretty much anything-and they will keep eating as long as food is readily available to them, and are prone overeating. The require plenty of playtime and exercise too maintain good health. Unless they are bought when very small pigs can cost a lot. Micro Pigs can cost well over $1000 each. You may need to get a livestock license or special zoning ordinance and you need to be familar with your county and the rules reguarding livestock. Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find an area veterinarian who is trained or skilled in how to treat pet pigs. Pigs can get sick and a Veternarian is your best friend at times like these. But, if you are a pet lover who happens to be allergic to dogs and/or cats, you probably won't have a problem with a small pig as a pet. Teacup pigs are clean and odor-free. They are not prone to shedding or fleas, and they can be litter box trained. They can be trained to do tricks. Although pet owners will need to be prepared to invest some time and attention towards their pet pig to train them. Pet pigs live about 12-20 years. They can be rewarding companions and are ble and sweet. They are real conversation peices too!
Video Tutorial #1--How to Use the Grocery Deals by State section: To get the most out of the Grocery Deals Lists at CouponMom.com, watch this video tutorial. In less than 5 minutes you'll learn the keys to Strategic Shopping, and how easy CouponMom.com can make it for you.
Times are really tough for many of my readers...I want to share a few shopping tips that will help you keep more of your money.
Couponmom.com Was sweet enough to provide these vidoes. The site has printable coupons by state and store, through videos you learn step by step how to save 50%-90% on your grocery costs: and it is free to Join! I belong and I do save. I take that savings and buy garden or chicken supplies. Check out the free samples and restaurant deals too!
Video Tutorial #2: How to Use the Drugstore Deals lists on CouponMom.com: Every week CouponMom.com lists the best deals for 5 major drugstore chains: CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target and Wal-Mart. You can find the Drugstore Deals lists in the Grocery Deals by State section. Prices change on Sunday mornings, however, Preview lists are available beginning Friday to give you a head start on planning next week's deals. Learn more details in the downloadable Drugstore Deals printed ebook.
"Strategic Shopping is not about changing the way you eat, it is changing the way you buy the food that you like."
1. Know how your store's savings programs work, such as sales and promotions, and combine them to save the most. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find coupon policies for stores.
2. Know where to find the best coupons. We'll show you where to find the most savings with our coupon database and printable coupon pages.
3. Know when to use your coupons, combining them with the lowest sale prices on your favorite items. In many cases you will be able to get your favorite items free! Our Grocery and Drugstore Deals lists will guide you.
A few notes about gardening in the Future: The grain-filling period (the time when the seed grows and matures) of wheat and other small grains shortens dramatically with rising temperatures. Analysis of crop responses suggests that even moderate increases in temperature will decrease yields of corn, wheat, sorghum, bean, rice, cotton, and peanut crops. Some crops are particularly sensitive to high nighttime temperatures, which have been rising even faster than daytime temperatures. Nighttime temperatures are expected to continue to rise in the future. These changes in temperature are especially critical to the reproductive phase of growth because warm nights increase the respiration rate and reduce the amount of carbon that is captured during the day by photosynthesis to be retained in the fruit or grain. Further, as temperatures continue to rise and drought periods increase, crops will be more frequently exposed to temperature thresholds at which pollination and grain-set processes begin to fail and quality of vegetable crops decreases. Grain, soybean, and canola crops have relatively low optimal temperatures, and thus will have reduced yields and will increasingly begin to experience failure as warming proceeds. Common snap beans show substantial yield reduction when nighttime temperatures exceed 80°F. Higher temperatures will mean a longer growing season for crops that do well in the heat, such as melon, okra, and sweet potato, but a shorter growing season for crops more suited to cooler conditions, such as potato, lettuce, broccoli, and spinach. Higher temperatures also cause plants to use more water to keep cool. This is one example of how the interplay between rising temperatures and water availability is critical to how plants respond to climate change. But fruits, vegetables, and grains can suffer even under well-watered conditions if temperatures exceed the maximum level for pollen viability in a particular plant; if temperatures exceed the threshold for that plant, it won’t produce seed and so it won’t reproduce.
Well-amended soil is the foundation of a vegetable garden that will tolerate drought. Prepare your garden's soil by adding lots of rich, organic compost that will help trap moisture and encourage deep root formation in plants. Biochar aids soil fertility, but this highly porous charcoal also helps the soil retain water. All of this soil amending is for naught if you aren't mulching to reduce evaporation and water runoff. A thick carpet of mulch will also keep down the weeds that compete with your vegetables for water and nutrients. Layout your vegetable garden so that plants with similar water requirements are grouped together. For example, cucumbers, zucchini, and squash all have similar water needs. Focus on vegetables that produce abundant crops like tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplants.If your vegetables are planted before the hot and dry days of summer arrive, they'll have time to establish a root system that will allow them to survive the hotter days. Deep watering will train roots to grow deep into the ground. A drip irrigation system will deploy water where it is needed and potentially reduce your water consumption by as much as 50%. Soil amended as described above should be able to go between two and seven days between irrigation. Vining crops like cucumbers, assorted melons, summer and winter squash are frequently over-watered by gardeners.They require less water than many other vegetables, and watering is only critical during flowering and fruiting. The same goes for eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. In fact, this year has been great for tomato lovers because the heat and drought has lead to some of the most flavorful tomatoes in recent years.
So it has been awhile since I updated about Emergency (type) Preparations which is an ongoing thing. Now that we aren't wondering about the whole "Mayan End" thing anymore, we can get back to the real stuff. The Chicken Coop has been through many changes from summer to fall. We had a few storms and winter to get ready for and as each storm tore something apart we either rebuilt it or moved the chickens. Where they sleep, in the aviary there is a small heater for warmth and a heat lamp for the day, also a red heat lamp for the night time. The end result is some happy egg laying chickens. Each hen is laying one egg a day. Sometimes two. The Rooster Al and the white Banti Hen are having babies. Betty the Banti has been sitting on two eggs for about three weeks now. The old Chicken Coop has become a small green house and in the chicken house I have a Landscape pond where I am creating organic rich growing medium for the starter plants. I start the seeds mid February. I have brought many plants indoors as well. Basil, Aloe, peppers, green beans, sage, potatoes and many other plants do well inside with a grow light for long periods when the sun doesn't shine. Also Lemon, Lime, Banana, & Avocado trees are part of my indoor garden. Many other trees do well inside during the winter and are ornamental as well.
So now it is winter and I have two fish ponds I am using for container gardening. One big which we have filled with soil (and) It held water remarkably well during our drought because it is so deep. Never watered the pumpkin, watermelon or tomatoes that grew in it. Yield would have been fantastic however the squirrels took the young newly budded pumpkins before they could grow. (I canned sauce with all the tomatoes and herbs I had grown.) So this spring I will work on pest control in that area. Meanwhile, we are throwing anything that can be composted in there to prepare it for spring. Likewise, a smaller container in the chicken house is composting scraps into rich soil. Plants requiring a lot of water will fill these containers. Seeds from last years plants are dried and ready to plant. I am hoping they will be more drought and pest resistant. I am fertilizing with fish emulsion and chicken poop.
"Growing my own herbs,vegetables and having chickens saves us money and I know the food is safe and the quality is good! I enjoy knowing I determine my own food cost!"
I still empty out containers and fill them with water. Liquid Detergent bottles..in particular the ones with spigots are great for washing hands, dishes and sanitary purposes. Mouthwash containers are filled and the water is a little minty..good for brushing teeth with. A little leftover body wash no matter how watered down is a wonderful sponge bath if you have been without water for weeks. Bleach bottles with just a little bleach..still sanitizes. Milk, Water and Juice bottles are filled with purified water. This can be done all year. Winter time is a great time to organize, add to your bug out kits, go through the kits and check the quality of your preps. Look into your own particular area in relation to the climate and storm changes. Update your plan. Update your garden plan. Plan for hot!!! I am planning to make more money. I have to pay more for everything. I do not know how much money I will have to make now before I too can retire one day. Funny word RETIRE. I am tired now. Still Retirement and how healthy will I actually be at say 70, three years from retiring? I would say that this is an Emergency too. One that must be prepared for. Unemployment...I work for myself..there is no unemployment for folks like me.
So like last year, I am putting in an extra 15-30 hours a week into remarkable work from home companies. Things I believe in. Like saving money on Energy. Locking in food prices and preparing for an even more unstable future. Trying to bring relief to the millions who are economically hurting and need a hand. I like companies that pay a residual income that I can build on and pass on to loved ones in the event of untimely death or dismemberment. I don't have enough money to die yet. Have you seen the price on Funerals Lately? I offer a plan for that too....:) (A tragic emergency.)
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Start a business and transfer it to your loved ones! Why Estate Planning? A couple has a house with a mortgage, a life insurance policy, and two minor children. Do they need to do estate planning? Yes, they certainly do. Too often, parents of young children neglect or postpone estate planning, saying they are too young, quite healthy, or cannot afford the expense. Another reason may be that estate planning deals with feelings and attitudes that people often prefer to ignore. Estate planning can provoke a mix of feelings about death, property, marriage and family relationships. These feelings must be explored so the estate plan reflects the parents' desires and needs.
Some info on Estate Planning: Who will receive the property if one parent dies? Who will receive the property if both parents die at the same time, or if a single parent dies? Some property is transferred automatically at death to the person with survivorship rights. This property, called non-probate property, includes most life insurance policies and assets transferred by beneficiary designation (such as retirement plans) and property held in joint tenancy with right of survivor-ship. Even if all property is non-probate property, a couple still needs wills to transfer the property in case the person with survivor-ship rights does not survive and to provide for the care of children. Who Will Receive the Property? For married couples with minor children, most spouses want the surviving spouse to receive their property at death. They usually want the children to receive their property only if both spouses die. Single parents of young children usually want their property to be available for their children. A number of tax provisions expire at the end of this year. These expiring tax provisions are largely the culmination of temporary tax and budget bills that have deferred rather than dealt with policy differences. The tax bill on January 1, 2013 will be $514 billion higher because of these expiring provisions. Taken together, the sequester and the expiring tax provisions, result in a fiscal cliff of more than $600 billion. The Congressional Budget office predicts that our nation’s economy could not withstand such a fall. Going over the cliff would leave our economy in recession. There are likely to be lasting consequences, especially for our nation’s farm families. One of the tax provisions to be implemented in 2013 is a stiffer estate tax, or “death tax,” as it has come to be known. Few taxes are more unpopular. A 2009 Tax Foundation poll found that most taxpayers consider the estate tax the most unfair of all federal taxes.
If Congress does not steer our economy away from the fiscal cliff, estate tax rates would increase to 55 percent from the current 35 percent, and the exclusion would decrease from $5 million down to $1 million. This jeopardizes many family farms. Family farms and ranches are not the only small businesses that will suffer. Lifetime gifting of appreciated property can create unintended and disastrous consequences. In a loving and generous act, parents (or grandparents) often gift appreciated stocks or real estate to adult children (or grandchildren). The older generation usually adds the names of adult children to brokerage accounts as joint account holders in order to plan for incapacity and disability. Or, the older generation adds the names of adult children to title of homes as co-owners in order to avoid a probate court proceeding upon their death. Here’s why the adult children (or grandchildren) should respectfully tell the older generation, “If you love me, then don’t gift it to me.” Gift and Estate Tax Consequences: A donor (i.e., the person giving the gift) must file a form 709 (gift tax return) for any gifts over $13,000 per year per recipient. Because the current lifetime gifting exemption amount is high ($5 million), usually, there is no actual gift tax due when parents (or grandparents) gift appreciated stocks or appreciated real estate to adult children (or grandchildren). However, there are two common pitfalls in these situations. First, the older generation simply fails to file the required gift tax return, exposing the estate to non-filing penalties. Two, by haphazardly using up their lifetime gifting exemption amount, the older generation is unknowingly reducing their estate tax exemption amount as well. What does that mean? In effect, the older generation will be able to transfer less ‘estate-tax free’ wealth at their deaths. Income Tax Consequences: A gift recipient, who receives appreciated stocks or real estate, inherits the older generation’s original cost or basis in the property. This usually leads to a devastating income tax position for the adult children (or grandchildren). Example: (i) grandma purchased home for $10,000 a long time; (ii)grandma gifts home with a current fair market value of $1,010,000 to granddaughter; (iii) grandma dies; (iv) granddaughter sells home for $1,010,000. Granddaughter has to pay income tax (fed + CA) of about $200,000. If grandma had left the home to granddaughter in her will or in her trust (at her death instead of during life), then the granddaughter’s income tax would have been zero. Liability Consequences: Oftentimes, the older generation wants to allow the adult child (or grandchild) to claim the mortgage interest deduction for paying the monthly mortgage. So, they add the adult child to the title of a home without thinking twice. In fact, adding an adult child to the title of a home (or an investment property) can have disastrous liability consequences. If the adult child gets into an accident or if the adult child goes through a divorce or if the adult child goes through a bankruptcy, then the older generation’s home and sole sanctuary can be exposed to unknown creditors and drawn out court proceedings. Parents and grandparents should consult a tax attorney or CPA if they want to allow their child or grandchild to claim the mortgage interest deduction on their home.
Bottom line: Given the potentially detrimental gift, estate, and income tax consequences and disastrous liability consequences of lifetime gifting of appreciated property, parents and grandparents should consult with their professional advisor before giving away too much! Or you can start a home business and pass it on to your loved ones. Check out these great work from home opportunities: http://bistateenergysolutions.myambit.com http://themrestore.mygofoods.com http://caprxprogram.info/lauraira
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" I did not know History was being made... I Just got tired of not TRYING" Rosa Parks
"My Father taught me to work, but he never taught me to love it!"
Ever wonder what it would be like if everyone knew and acted like they only had six months to not only live but make a difference? Imagine the doctor said to you.. "You have an incurable disease and you will be dead within six months." What would you do with that? Would you do anything different? How would you prepare your family? Would you finally be able to for- give others? Would you spend time with people you've been putting off? Would you stop putting yourself last? Would you hug your kids more and really listen to them as they talk? Would you forgive your God, or maybe find your God and get with him? Would you try the things that scared you before? Emergencies have all kinds of faces and we never know when our number is up! We should create a movement of awareness. I think we could all be our best us if we all live as if this was our last six months on this Earth. What do you think? Let me know.... Send me a video, pics or comments to : Facebook.com/Laurasmithira Or: Utube.com/bistateenergysolutions Or: firstname.lastname@example.org
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