3 Tips for Early Spring Landscaping

Spring is next week; that means it is time to begin landscaping your yard. If you have plans to make your yard spring ready, here are three, true and tested, tips you can use.

Be Irrigation Savvy: One of the main components in making your landscape a pleasant sight is through having an efficient irrigation system. Two recommended irrigation systems are drip irrigation and a sprinkler system. A drip irrigation and sprinkler system can help your greenery stay healthy and vibrant, longer, during those dry spring and summer months.

Test the Ground’s Soil: A landscape thrives when the soil is nutrient rich. To see if your yard has nutrient-rich soil, you should test your landscape’s soil. Signs of healthy soil include the presence of earthworms and other ground organisms, root development, plant residue, and the workability of the dirt.

If you find that your ground is not up to par, you can take steps to rejuvenate your landscape’s soil by using fertilizers from organic sources, adding essential trace elements and by crafting your compost.

Rid Your Yard of Weeds: Weeds can wreak havoc on a landscape both externally and internally: They not only look unpleasant, but they also steal nutrients from the ground.

Ridding your yard of pesky weeds can make any landscape more appealing in minutes. There are a couple of ways to remove them, with the most straightforward way is by picking them via hand. Another way to remove them is by mowing your landscape regularly.

How to Go About Earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)

A career in nursing is one of limitless opportunities and options. And, because nurses are always needed anywhere there are people, there is the promise of job security. Before a person decides to become a nurse, it is often suggested that prospective candidates volunteer at a local hospital or sign up for a nursing camp where they are given training in clinical skills. They also attend anatomy and pathology workshops, simulated clinical situations and other workshops dealing with patient care. With such practical experiences, individuals can better decide if they wish to become nurses, as well as be better prepared for a nursing program.

Earning a BSN Degree

If a nurse has earned a Bachelor’s degree, there are more career opportunities and the promise of better pay than without such a degree. So, how does a person go about earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing?

  • The prospective nursing student should be sure to have either a high school diploma or a GED diploma. This education is a mandatory requirement since basic knowledge of English, Math, Science, and Social Science is a prerequisite.
  • The student should apply to an Accredited BSN Program and go through the application process. He or she should always make sure the college he or she plans to attend has all the required accreditation. Otherwise, the student will run the risk of the degree being contested at job interviews.
  • The student should look into the cost of earning the degree and the financial options such as scholarships and financial aid.
  • The student should complete all required courses for the degree.
  • The graduate should then apply for an RN license and take the NCLEX-RN® exam.

Schools whose Nursing Programs are well-respected are good choices for prospective students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science and becoming a RN since prospective employers and graduate schools take into consideration the reputations and programs of the schools issuing the BSN degrees.

Having a BSN provides opportunities for advancement

RNs who do not have a bachelor’s degree but have experience and have completed a two-year Associate’s degree program can enroll in a comprehensive year-and-a-half RN-to-BSN program. Some of these programs are conveniently available online. Fortunately, many hospitals have tuition reimbursement programs for nurses who wish to further their formal education. By upgrading their degrees, nurses are afforded more opportunities for employment and for advancement.

Will I Still Receive Benefits During a Government Shutdown?

Depending on the program, recipients may be granted benefits for the timeframe that they have already been approved for. In other words, each state has announced a January deadline for benefits applications in order to continue helping existing cases. While several benefits are unaffected, there are limited funds for those barely staying afloat. Money is rumored to be completely exhausted for food assistance by late February or early March.

Why is This Affecting My Benefits?

Programs like SNAP, Social Security, and TANF (to name a few) are federally funded. During times of government shutdown, government employees are unable to work which means there is little-to-no assistance in local offices. Even if the funds are available, the services will slow down, causing cases to fall behind.
A shutdown also means that the federal funding to these programs is cut off. To avoid finding out what will happen when the funds run out, local government offices are attempting to supplement the funds once they’ve been depleted.

SNAP/EBT

With funding in decline, the USDA cannot take on more cases until an agreement is reached. Therefore, a deadline for SNAP/EBT and Families First applications was issued for January and has been reached. Those approved before the deadline can still receive benefits that backtrack to the date of application. However, because the local human services departments are closed or short-staffed, benefits for the month of February will be granted early (by January 20, 2019). February’s benefits will be given early to ensure that recipients still get the help they need.
Unfortunately, until the shutdown is lifted, benefits for March or any month thereafter are not guaranteed. This means recipients will have to stretch those benefits and pinch pennies to afford necessities until further notice.

Do I Need to Spend Benefit Money Now?

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is expecting a high amount of SNAP/EBT transactions throughout the remainder of the month. At the moment stores are still accepting these funds, but the concern is of how long this will last and what happens when the funds run out but there is still money on the card. For now, there is no definite answer since funds are there and state governments are making efforts to maintain the balance.

HUD

The Department of Housing and Urban Development relies on reserved funding for times like this. It should have enough to stay afloat for a month-long shutdown. There are areas in which offices are partially closed. While some landlords await payment, tenants await assistance, and other applicants are left in limbo, these are the offices that remain open during a government shutdown:

  • Public Housing Authorities (PIH/PHA) and their websites
  • The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO)
  • The Federal Housing Administration within the Office of Housing (FHA)
  • Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

For details on each office’s role in HUD and how they operate during a shutdown, click here.

Which Benefits are Not Affected?

The following will not be affected by the shutdown:

How Can I Stay Informed if Offices are Closed?

The USDA typically oversees FNS activity and gave useful information for as long as possible. Unfortunately, a lack of funding has caused the website to pause its regular flow of updated information. The USDA’s site contains general information about the efforts to aid in SNAP/EBT funding.
Other .com sites have taken over the regular updates to provide program information as the shutdown continues. Click here to see recent news about SNAP/EBT and how it may affect existing cases.
For more local information about an individual state’s status, visit the state or county’s Department of Human/Social/Health Services website.