The Best Greenery for Your House

You may think that once you purchase your house, all you need to do is water the lawn every now and then to keep it looking nice. The truth is, many beautiful lawns are the result of careful planning and attention to detail. A lawn is the result of carefully orchestrated plans and diligent upkeep.

I was curious about the different elements of a lawn, and how they worked together to create a stunning masterpiece. Here’s some of what struck me as being the most important features of any beautiful lawn.

Grass

The grass is almost always going to be the largest feature of any lawn. Weeds and crabgrass can endanger healthy grass and cause it to look yellowy and dry. Make sure to pull weeds on a regular basis.

Mowing consistently is also important. We all have that one neighbor who never mows their lawn, and their lawn looks more like a jungle than a place for kids to play in. Just as an overgrown lawn can look out of control, a lawn that’s too short can look bare in some places. Play around with your lawnmower’s settings until you find a length that you like.

On top of this, it’s important to have a watering schedule. If your lawn is looking dry and dead, water it more often and consider a fertilizer. Be sure not to water it too much, as this can deplete the soil of its natural resources.

Shrubs

A shrub or bush adds a nice border to any house, and can really help tie everything together. If you’re thinking of adding one to your lawn, consider having it professionally installed by businesses like Hamlin Tree Care. Trees grow upward, bushes grow outward. It’s important to remember the difference so your shrubs don’t end up taking over the entire lawn!

On top of this, make sure to prune your shrubs on a semi-regular basis. Dead branches can stick out like a sore thumb, so it’s best to trim your shrubs to keep them looking fresh and healthy.

Flowers

They’re more than just a spring project! Flowers are the number one way to add a pop of color to your lawn. Pick a vibrant color to help usher in the warm weather.

Before planting any seeds, though, learn which flowers will grow the best in your part of the world. The last thing you want is to put in a ton of effort just to end up with a line of half-dead flowers. A little bit of research can go a long way with this!

When planting flowers, double-check that you’re following each step precisely. Flowers are finicky, and one small mistake can set you back and make it that much harder for them to bloom. Common mistakes include overwatering the flowers, not spreading out the seeds enough, and giving them too much or too little sunlight. Balance is key for a beautiful bouquet.

Domestic and International Adoption, Compared

Anyone who has even looked into the adoption process knows how stressful it can be. People looking to adopt have to go through several interviews, meetings, and rounds of paperwork before adding a new addition to their family.

There are multiple factors that can add even further complications to the adoption process. One of these is whether or not you are adopting a child domestically — assuming you’re American, from the United States — or from an international country.

For those of you deciding between international and domestic adoption, check out this post to learn about the differences and challenges associated with both.

Qualifications for Adoption

Before choosing where to adopt from, it is important that you and your partner (if you are adopting with one) are aware of the adoption qualifications in your state. Qualifications vary from state to state, so it is important that you are familiar with your location’s rules and make sure you qualify.

Private adoption agencies also may have additional qualifications, so it is important that you discuss those guidelines with them as well.

State and adoption agency requirements apply to those adopting domestically — countries outside of the United States have their own requirements.

Comparing Domestic and International Adoption

Cost

Many may expect for international adoption to be much more expensive than domestic adoption by nature of it being an international process, but that actually isn’t completely accurate. According to American Adoptions, the total cost for both options is similar — ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 dollars.

What differs between the two is what the parents are paying for. In the international adoption process, parents may have to budget for a travel visa and pay for travel expenses to stay in the country for an extended period of time during the actual adoption process. Likewise, those opting for domestic adoption may have to pay for expenses for the mother delivering their child.

Requirements

As stated above, domestic adoption requires the couple to meet the requirements outlined by their state and their adoption agency. International adoption requirements are usually more strict. Many countries do not allow LGBTQ+ couples to adopt children from their adoption agencies — so make sure to research that if it affects you.

Wait Time

As you may have guessed, the waiting time may vary between domestic and international adoption procedures. Domestic adoption wait times are usually more stable and predictable because there is not the additional complication of dealing with another country and culture. International adoption wait times can be longer in certain countries due to the political climate and travel times.

Legal Aspects

Both domestic and international adoption process can have potential legal implications that could make the process even more stressful. Many of these concerns arise over the qualifications for adoption, which can vary dramatically depending on where you are. The good news is that you can reach out to an adoption attorney — like those at Maynard Law Firm — who is well-versed in the legal aspects of adoption.

What the Courts Look for When Deciding Custody

In an ideal world, there would be a way for divorcing parents to divide up custody evenly, with time split between both homes. The kids would have stable relationships and wouldn’t have to move. At the same time, all important decisions would be worked out with the parents without old disagreements and emotional injuries getting involved, allowing both parents to be on the same page and the kid to always be put first.

That would be ideal, but we don’t live in that world. Divorces are messy, and a large part of why they’re messy is because of custody. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that both parents want primary custody of the kids, and only one of them can actually get it. Someone has to be disappointed and will have to work all that much harder to maintain their strong relationship with their kids.

It’s important to know upfront, as you go into a divorce, what the likelihood is that you will get primary custody. Knowing the difficulties you face to get primary or sole custody can allow you to either develop the best legal strategies to get that custody or else adjust your expectations and focus on how to get the most time with your kids.

So, what are the courts looking at when they determine custody? Alexander & Associates lay out a number of questions the judge will ask that will allow them to make their decision. Those questions include:

  • Which parent will provide the children with the best home life?
  • Which parent has a history of making the big decisions for the children, including health and schooling?
  • Which parent participates more in the children’s lives, including attending extracurricular activities and school events, and getting the kids ready for school?
  • Which parent do the children feel most comfortable living with, if they are old enough to express an opinion?
  • Which parent can keep the children in the same community, in the same school, and near the same friends and relatives?
  • Is one parent trying to make it harder for the other parent to maintain a good relationship with the children?
  • Is one parent unable to provide a safe, stable home for the children?
  • Which custody decision will be best for the children?
  • Which custody decision will be best for everyone, overall?

Look through those questions and consider the potential answers you would provide. If you want to be the primary parent, you’ll obviously need to be able to prove you have a safe and stable home in the same area the kids currently live. You’ll also be able to prove that you have been the primary parent for the children already. You may also want to show that you are willing to work with the other parent to make sure everyone is as happy as possible.

If you can’t provide these sorts of answers, it’s time to adjust to the possibility that you may not be the primary parent for your children after the divorce. That doesn’t mean you won’t get time with your kids. You’ll just need to work with your former spouse and the court to get the most time with them as possible.

Only Texas can stop this drug problem

Let me tell you, Texas needs to be tougher on drugs. As a border state, we have an obligation to do more to stop the flow of drugs into this country. As the border state with the toughest population, and with the most reasonable people, we should be leading the way on this issue, not letting California sanctuary city us into destruction.

Right now, it’s likely someone is trying to smuggle illegal substances across our border. Until we have a well-guarded wall down there, we need to force our state government to hire enough guards to properly police it. Forget the feds, we’re on our own here, like always.

Texans are already being hit hard by the opioid crisis here, we don’t need to exacerbate the problem by letting more drugs in. Already, according to this site, 25% of the drugs coming across the border are meth, 10% is heroin, and an amazing 37% is either cocaine or crack. We have to make sure these drugs never make it into the hands of Americans, especially children who may not know any better.

I say we have to stop it at the border because there are just too many people who want to turn a blind eye or even help these drug smugglers and their dealers. I already mentioned California, who seems to love letting drug dealers stay in this country illegally, but it isn’t just them. There are drug lawyers who specialize in helping get people off on crimes they should be serving heavy sentences for.

For my money, this should all be illegal. Those sanctuary cities shouldn’t get a penny of federal money, and those lawyers should be on trial same as their clients, but again, nothing is getting done. I know, that’s no shock. Leave it up to the government, and they’ll spend all their money on fancy retreats to discuss how to avoid doing anything for as long as possible. As long as they’re getting their paychecks, they don’t care about the rest of us.

What I can tell you, though, is we may have to take care of this ourselves. A lot of Texans are volunteering to go down to the border and do more. We all have to be watchful and keep our eyes peeled for anyone who looks suspicious. I’m especially talking to you folks who live down by the border. Keep watching, because you know no one else is going to bother. We’re all counting on you.

This drug issue is one of the biggest ones the country is facing, even if the media has decided it isn’t worth covering at all. To them, the issue is how to make sure pot is legal everywhere so they don’t have to go to the inconvenience of smuggling it in.

Again, we’re on our own, folks. We’ve got to band together and do something. If anyone can do it, though, it’s Texas. Let’s give these guys another reason to remember you don’t mess with Texas.

What You Need To Know About Subsys Spray Lawsuit

Subsys spray is a powerful and addictive painkiller for cancer. Taken as an oral spray, it is considered as one of the most potent and dangerous opioids at about 80 – 100 times stronger than morphine. Because it is sprayed underneath the tongue, it gets into the bloodstream faster than traditional methods of delivery. It is used for the treatment of chronic pain.

Insys Therapeutics, the manufacturer of Subsys or Fentanyl Spray is currently under investigation for off-label prescription of fentanyl. Subys is approved by the FDA for breakthrough cancer pain. The drug was allegedly prescribed for conditions which Fentanyl was not approved for. According to reports, it was prescribed for joint pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. The manufacturer of the drug allegedly falsified records so the drug can be taken by non-cancer patients.

Introduced in 2012, the Adverse Events Reporting System of the FDA has listed around 203 deaths with Subsys listed as being the probable cause for triggering an adverse reaction. In the second quarter of 2015 alone, the number of fentanyl related deaths was 52. Insys is now under Federal and state investigations in Oregon, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Arizona, and Illinois. To date, the company has already settled a total of $7.2 million in class action suit in Oregon and Arizona.

The website of Williams Kherkher revealed that the sales of Insys increased to more than $90 million in the third quarter of 2015 alone despite the cost of hundreds of overdose deaths, lost loved ones, and ruined lives. The dangers of fentanyl became known to the public after reports of serious side effects and deaths linked to Duragesic pain patch or Fentanyl patches were issued. Overdose of the drug caused respiratory failure, permanent coma, and death. Due to these problems, the patches have been subjected to numerous recalls.

What To Do When Your License Has Been Suspended

Having your license suspended can cause a lot of inconvenience on your part. For one, you are limited to the number of places where you can go. Aside from that, you would want to be very careful not to violate any traffic rules or you could find yourself in a much deeper hole. When your license is suspended, you may be limited with the number of things you can do with your car.

Depending on your violation, it is the Department of Motor Vehicle that determines how your license will be reinstated based on how it was suspended. Each violation will have different reinstate requirements. When your license was suspended, you might be required to obtain an SR-22 form. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles will notify you of the suspension of your license through mail. Likewise, you can check the status of your license on your driving record.

On your driving record, you will find the following information: 1) the reason for the suspension of your license; 2) the duration of suspension, based on the severity of violation, and whether you are a repeat offender; 3) special requirements you need to satisfy

If your license was suspended outside of your home state, it will be sent back to your home state under the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, which honors the license suspension law of another state even though the violation was not committed in your state of residence. Under the agreement, you can appeal for the suspension in accordance with the laws in your state.

If the reason for the suspension was due to a post-conviction or post-arrest DUI, it is still possible to reinstate your driving privileges. You can file a petition through a separate civil proceeding to allow you to get a hardship or occupational driver’s license so you can continue working. With this license, you will still be given your driving privileges while your case is still pending.

Aside from employment, you may request for such license for bringing your kids to school, seeking medical attention, or taking care of a disabled family member. To apply, just file a petition and pay the corresponding fee to the clerk of court. However, the petition will not suffice for the restoration of your driving privileges. You must also request for a hearing and provide the prosecution team with the notice of hearing. During the hearing, you have to prove that you should be granted a hardship or occupational license.

In most states, you will be required to take the necessary steps to have your license reinstated. You need to pay a reinstatement fee or else your license will remain suspended.

Couples Counseling

Every relationship comes with its own set of problems and issues. While many couples are able to work through these problems on their own, individuals can often find themselves unable to properly deal with the issues in their relationship. When this becomes the case, many couples can find help through couples counseling. According to the website of The Solace Center, counseling allows couples to identify problems that are inhibiting their relationship.

One of the most challenging aspects of any relationship is getting to know all the in-and-outs and your partner’s personality. However, when one individual does not understand the needs of their partner, issues can arise and arguing can become frequent. Through couples counseling, not only can couples become more in tune with their partner’s personality but can use this knowledge to better meet their needs and avoid and handle conflict appropriately. This can also help couples modify dysfunctional behavior in their relationship, such as insulting their partner during an argument, and explore the proper conflict resolution behaviors.

However, couples counseling can go beyond simply dealing with arguments. By getting to know your partner on a deeper and emotional level, you may be able to explore issues that are affecting your relationship that you were not even aware of. For example, if one partner was neglected emotionally as a child, they may inadvertently be hiding emotions from the other partner, causing unresolved issues and a weaker relationship. This can also lead to increased and healthier communication in a relationship overall. The benefits and advantages of couples counseling are countless, with many couples seeking therapy before problems arise. Through couples counseling, you and your partner will be able to build a stronger and more caring relationship.

Can You Silence a Gun Completely?

Ammos propel bullets using an enormous amount of force. This force is enough to produce sound so loud that even a short period of exposure may cause hearing damage. As such, gun enthusiasts are always on the lookout for either the best hearing protection, or the most efficient gun suppressor. But is it really possible to completely silence a gun? You’ll find out below.

The sound of a gun comes mainly from three different sources. The first one is when the gun’s hammer strikes the firing pin as you pull the trigger, which creates a sharp, metallic sound. Although this is not as ear-crushing as the gunfire itself, it still contributes to the sound a gun makes during each shot.

As the firing pin strikes the back of a bullet, it hits a primer that triggers the powder propellant inside the bullet’s casing to quickly generate an enormous amount of hot gas. The hot gas creates immense pressure at the back of the bullet, usually at 3,000 pounds per square inch, which pushes the bullet down the barrel. As the gas expands, it creates a sound which can be as loud as 165 decibels, which may cause permanent ear damage.

The third sound is created when the bullet finally comes out of the barrel and whizzes past a target. It is called a bullet crack. A ballistic crack is so unique that it makes it possible for you to distinguish gunfire from booms created by fireworks, for instance.

Now, for the question, is it really possible to silence a gun altogether? Gun suppressors are only able to silence the second sound (the sound created by hot gasses). By making the barrel longer and wider, the hot gas has more room to dissipate, which decreases the sound the pressure creates. According to the website by Suppressed Weapon Systems, suppressors are available either as a separate piece of equipment which is threaded onto a firearm, or as a combination of a suppressor and a barrel.

The Basics of Child Custody and Child Support

A divorce is already a difficult situation. However, divorce proceedings can become even more challenging when there are children involved in the process. Divorcing parents will need to make several different decisions in regards to the well-being of their children. While some couples are able to come to an amicable agreement on their own, most will need the intervention of a mediator or a family court in order to come to a concession. Among the many decisions divorcing parents need to make is with regards to child custody and child support.

A child custody arrangement determines how each parent will be able to participate and figure in the life and caretaking of children after a marriage ends and a divorce is concluded. In most U.S. states, child custody arrangements can be classified into the following:

  • joint physical custody, where both parents are deemed custodial parents and are given equal amounts of time living with their children;
  • joint legal custody , where only one parent is granted physical custody but both are able to make parental decisions about their children’s education, health care, and other important needs;
  • and finally, sole custody, where only one of the parents is granted physical and legal custody of the children.

Determining a child support agreement is necessary for the last two scenarios where only one parent is considered the custodial parent. In these cases, the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to offer monthly financial assistance to the parent with physical custody of their children. The amount of the payment will depend on important factors that revolve around the best interest of the children involved. In particular, the court will look into the age and needs of the children involved in the custody battle, as well as the age, health, and income of each parent. A child support agreement settled by the court ensures that the custodial parent will not be able to deprive the non-custodial parent his or her right to visit and spend time with the children. On the other hand, the non-custodial parent will also be unable to escape or avoid his or her financial responsibility to their children. This is true even when the non-custodial parent is denied their rightful visitation time.

Considering this information, it’s easy to surmise that child support payments can quickly become a complicated issue. As such, it would be best to contact experienced family lawyers for more specific details that could help your own situation. As the Arenson Law Group, PC divorce lawyers put it on their website, having qualified legal counsel on your side can be a very valuable resource during a difficult child custody proceeding and it could make the difference on the outcome.

Highway Defects – Another Common Cause of Serious Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has never ceased in creating and implementing programs and designing educational campaigns that will continuously remind drivers of the necessity of observing road safety rules to keep accidents minor and at a minimum. This is because about three-fourths of the more than five million motor vehicle accidents in the US (every year) are due to driver’s faults, like speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, which is the number one cause of car accidents, and distracted driving, which greatly involves teenage and young adult drivers. This, somehow, points to the alarming odds that, no matter how careful one may drive, if another driver acts negligently or carelessly, then an accident may just occur.

Drivers, however, are not the only ones guilty of acts of negligence, for there are also factors or other causes of accidents that are outside of drivers’ control. These include cars with manufacturing defects or low-quality car parts and defective roads and highways. Often, these other factors present greater dangers for these may not be immediately obvious, being discovered only after having caused tragic road mishaps.

Dangerous Road Conditions

The dangerous effects of a defectively-designed highway or a poorly-maintained street is definitely more extensive than car manufacturing defects as the former directly affects more (if not all) motorists. Highway defects include not enough or weakly constructed guardrails, traffic signs blocked by trees or other fixtures, poorly lighted streets, lack of railroad crossing lights and traffic lights, wrong road signs, uneven pavement, roadway debris, potholes, and so forth.

States, municipalities and cities are the ones responsible in the construction and maintenance of roads. States, however, has immunity from any form of liability (despite injuries during an accident), which is based on the rule that, so long as they follow approved construction plans, then they are exempt from paying any claims by an accident victim.

According to the website of Abel Law, the chance of a victim in winning the court’s approval to claim for damages, therefore, depends on the ability and competence of the personal injury lawyer, on whom rests the burden to prove that the risk of accident should have been foreseen or discovered by the state.

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