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.

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