Words of Wisdom

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Wisdom is a constant process. No matter how sure of your own wisdom you are, there’s something out there left to learn — that’s what the wise would say, anyway.

Most of all, you can always use a reminder or two. Use these words of wisdom to remind yourself of and improve upon a wise mindset in your work, your relationships, and your view on life.
the thinker

“Attract what you expect,

reflect what you desire,

become what you respect,

and mirror what you admire.”

 

Growing Blueberries in a Container

blueberriesBlueberries are ideal plants for containers
because it’s easy to control the soil conditions they like best. Start with a pot that’s at least 20-24 inches wide or larger.

Sun requirements: All fruiting plants, whether in a container or in the ground, produce the most berries in full sun. Provide at least six to eight hours or more of sun per day.

Water needs: Plants in containers need more water than plants in the ground. Because terra-cotta is a breathable material, plants in those containers dry out even faster than those planted in plastic or ceramic pots. In general, check the soil in your containers daily to be sure it stays moist but not wet. In windy or hot conditions, plants might even need watering twice a day. Before watering, insert your finger up to the first joint in the soil to determine whether water is needed.

Choose the right container: Always plant in a container with drainage holes. Roots allowed to stay in standing water will rot. Pour water over the soil until you see water running out of the drainage holes.

Planting tips: Choose a potting mix designed for acid-loving plants like rhododendrons, azaleas, or camellias. Look for a pH balance between 4.5 and 5.5.

Soil and fertilizer: Use a fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants. Apply in early and late spring to promote growth and fruit production, then stop fertilizing for the year. Feel free to occasionally sprinkle used coffee grounds on the top of the soil around blueberry plants.

Pruning and other care: In early spring, prune any dead wood. Otherwise, blueberries need no other pruning unless you want to shape the plant.

Most blueberry plants need one to two other types of blueberry plants nearby for pollination. However, some varieties are self-pollinating, although they might produce better with more plants nearby.

If you live in a year-round warm climate, remember that blueberries need cold temperatures for a certain number of hours to produce fruit. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service to find varieties best suited for your climate.

In general, choose a container variety that is cold-tolerant to one hardiness Zone colder than the one you live in. ‘Sunshine Blue’ is a good variety for warmer climates; ‘Top Hat’ is good for cold regions.

Winter care: In regions with harsh winters, move the blueberry pots to an unheated garage, allowing the plants to go dormant but watering just enough to keep them alive. Return the pot to a sunny location after danger of frost passes. If you choose to leave the pot in place, insulate it with mulch for winter protection. Avoid using ceramic or terra-cotta pots outdoors year-round in cold climates as freeze-thaw cycles can crack those containers.

Family Friendly Mardi Gras

Carnival season in Acadiana always offers seemingly innumerable parades, festivals, balls, and parties. Unfortunately, Mardi Gras celebrations are known to get notoriously rowdy and even risqué—not exactly the ideal environment for children.  Your young ones should have the opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of Mardi Gras without you having to worry about impending obscenity.

mardi gras kids

And they can!  The Knowledge Effect coalition of Lafayette and its partners have once again joined efforts to host the 8th annual Family Friendly Mardi Gras event. The organization’s goal is to provide a safe, fun and healthy environment that will allow families to enjoy the Mardi Gras festivities in an alcohol-and tobacco-free atmosphere.

This year’s Family Friendly Mardi Gras is to be held at Parc Putnam, across from the Federal Courthouse on Lafayette Street on February 9, 2016 from 9AM to 4PM. Its location is ideal for enjoying the parades that pass directly in front of the area. With the assistance of local donors the event is open and free to the public. There will be fun jumps, games, alcohol and drug awareness activities, free food and drinks.

Don’t let your children miss out on Carnival season; instead, bring them to a 100% family friendly event for a whole day full of worry-free fun!

What Factors Determine Home Price?

While curb appeal, structural integrity and a brand new set of appliances can impact a home’s value, there is one factor that seems to reign supreme.

Homeownership is one of the most solid long-term investments one can make, but it’s important to recognize just how much the location of a home can impact the value.

Consider these startling facts from a recent report: the national average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is $302,632, but all of the top 100 affordable markets in the country have an average listing price under $135,000. Meanwhile, all of the top 25 most expensive markets are $1 million or more. The price difference between the most expensive community in California and the most affordable in Ohio is $2.2 million.

So what accounts for this major value discrepancy in similar-sized homes? Here are several ways in which “where” matters most.

Local Industry
Job opportunities available in a given sector can have a huge impact on the market. For example, the continued tech sector growth in Silicon Valley is one of the factors making it one of those most expensive communities in the country.

home priceRevitalization
Over time, revitalization efforts can make certain communities more attractive to buyers. When a city or region sees an economic and cultural renaissance this influences the market. Buyers value related factors like safety, a walkable main street, public transit options and green spaces.

Schools
You may not have children, but it’s still important to investigate the quality of local schools. This factor can have a major impact on every homeowner.

Region
Regional factors can have a huge effect on a given locality’s pricing. These can include year-round weather patterns, proximity to natural beauty like beaches and mountains for outdoor activities like skiing and surfing, and commuting outlook.

Buying or selling a home is a very emotional process. Whether you’re listing your home or thinking of moving, take location into consideration. Doing so can help you determine your lifestyle priorities and place an appropriate value on a particular property.