You’re Attracting Mice If You Never Do This With Your Car

With the winter swiftly approaching, you’re likely already worried about mice finding their way into your home. However, experts warn that your house isn’t the only place you should be protecting yourself from rodents. Since the underside of the engine compartment of your car is open, any creature can climb right up and make a home under the warmth of your hood. And while this could happen to anyone, there are some things you might be doing—or not doing—that could be attracting mice to your car. Read on to find out what experts say could be the cause of a mouse infestation in your car.

If you’re not driving your car, you could be attracting mice, experts warn.

There are a handful of reasons you may have a car sitting idle—you have a spare vehicle, you’re working on the car, or you just haven’t been driving as much during the pandemic. But the unfortunate truth is that your car quickly becomes the ideal spot for mice to call home if it never leaves the driveway.John Burkhauser, certified master technician and director of education at Bolt on Technology, says to discourage rodents from moving into the hood of your car and chewing on essential wires, which can lead to pricey repairs, you need to drive the vehicle regularly.

To deter mice, park your car in a well-lit area.

If you are going to leave your car sitting in one spot for a bit, experts suggest parking it in a well-lit area. Jordan Foster, pest management expert at Fantastic Pest Control, says rodents don’t like bright lights, so they’re likely to avoid your car if it’s near them.

He also notes that you should try to avoid parking in areas that attract mice themselves, like “unkempt gardens, deep shrubbery, piles of firewood, sewer lids, or trash cans full of garbage.” Parking in a well-sealed garage with the lights on is optimal, Fosters says.

Avoid keeping any food—whether for humans or pets—in or near your car.

You may have a few snacks in your car for the road, or you may park your car in a garage where you store extra pantry items—but whatever the reason, if you do so, you’re attracting mice. “It’s unnecessary to make it easier for mice to find food; they are exceptional at finding it,” warns Foster.

He says even something as minuscule as a forgotten ketchup packet from a fast-food run can lure mice to your car. Mice also love birdseed and dog food, which is often stored in the garage or outside, so try to keep it far away from the car, Foster says.

Place dryer sheets in and around your car if you’re not driving it for a while.

Some smells that we find enjoyable are ones that mice find repulsive (which may not be a huge surprise considering these creatures love garbage). That’s why Burkhauser says you should use scent-based products to repel mice. Pest Kill suggests dryer sheets since they’re cheap and easy to use—plus, while mice will hate the smell, you and your passengers will love it.

A passionate car owner explained to Hagerty Car Insurance that when he stores his car, he lays the sheets all over the interior, under the hood, in the trunk, on top of the tires, and in the exhaust pipe. When he’s ready to drive, he collects the dryer sheets and tosses them. “Not only will there be no mice, but the car will also smell like it just came out of the dryer. Works great for me!” he said.

Article for BestLife© by Allie Hogan. Photo by BestLife©

Source: You’re Attracting Mice If You Never Do This With Your Car, Experts Warn (msn.com)

Here’s the Sleeping Position That’s Right for You Based on Your Aches and Pains

Early morning in bed, portrait of a woman sleeping in cozy bedroom.

If you’re clocking the recommended 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye per night, that adds up to around 50 hours per week of your life spent snoozing—and that’s a pretty significant amount of time for your body to spend in any position. While there’s no one right sleeping position for everyone, if you have chronic pain, it is possible that you’re sleeping in the wrong way, so to speak, and worsening the discomfort you’re feeling during the daytime. To that end, the best sleeping positions for different types of pain typically revolve around aligning your body in a way that removes undue pressure from any associated nerves and joints, says rheumatologist and internist Jonathan M. Greer, MD.

To start, Dr. Greer’s top recommendation across the board for anyone who suffers from any kind of back or neck pain is to remove stomach-sleeping from the equation. “Sleeping on the stomach is a big culprit when it comes to exacerbating neck and back pain,” he says, “as it causes an unnatural extension of the spine.” Not to mention, it can trigger numbness or tingling in the arms due to nerve compression, says physical-medicine and rehabilitation doctor Jaspal R. Singh, MD.

But before we get into the back and side sleeping positions that work best for different pain scenarios, a quick word about what exactly you’re sleeping on, as that plays a big role in sleep comfort, too: You can let go of the common refrain about an ultra-firm mattress being best for those with back pain. “In actuality, I recommend a medium-soft mattress for anyone with back pain, and for those who already have a hard mattress, adding a pillow top or egg-crate mattress topper to remove some of the pressure points that can happen otherwise,” says Dr. Greer. Just be sure you don’t go too soft, as you don’t want to be sinking deep into the mattress either, adds Dr. Singh.

A similar goldilocks situation applies to your pillow (or multiple pillows), which can also affect your overall sleeping position—and whether it works with or against your body. This is particularly important when it comes to upper-back and neck pain, says Dr. Greer: “A neck pillow or contour pillow that conforms to the shape of the neck helps extend the neck and prevent it from slipping into a compressed position while you sleep.”

In both cases, however, it’s important to let comfort be your guide, according to Dr. Greer: “I always say, if you’re doing any kind of exercise or activity that creates or worsens some kind of pain, it’s a signal that you need to adjust,” he says, “and that applies to your mattress, pillow, and sleeping position, as well.”

And while we’re at it, don’t forget about your daytime posture and alignment, too, adds Dr. Singh, which can, of course, trigger or exacerbate spine pain in just the same way that a bad sleeping position can. “It’s essential to maintain a good, ergonomic workstation and a highly mobile lifestyle, frequently changing positions, rather than sitting in one spot all day, in order to bring blood flow and nutrients to the spine,” he says.

Scroll down for the best sleeping positions for different aches and pains

For back pain: Lie on your side with a pillow between your knees

Lying flat on your back with your legs outstretched can cause unnatural extension of the spine leading to pain, says Dr. Greer. Instead, both he and Dr. Singh suggest lying on your side with your legs bent (toward your stomach, in the direction of a fetal position) with a pillow sandwiched between your knees. “Supporting and aligning the hips in this way will take pressure off your spine,” says Dr. Singh.

If, however, you strongly prefer to lie on your back, you can do so in a more spine-supportive way by propping a pillow beneath your lower legs (as noted for anyone with hip pain below). Another option: Consider an adjustable bed that bends upward a bit, so that you’re not lying fully flat, but instead, a bit more upright. “Elevating the head above the feet, similar to how you would in a recliner, can remove some pressure from the lower part of the back, and help with snoring, too,” says Dr. Singh.

As a precautionary note, if your back pain is regularly keeping you awake or persists longer than three weeks, it’s worth getting it evaluated by a medical professional, says Dr. Greer. And the same goes if you’re experiencing recurring numbness or tingling radiating down a leg, which could be a sign of a pinched nerve.

For hip pain: Lie on your back with a pillow beneath your knees or lower legs

Because lying on your side may worsen hip pain, it’s best to try sleeping on your back with your legs slightly propped up by way of a pillow placed under the knees. “The bony prominence that sticks out of the hip called the greater trochanter has a sack of fluid on top called a bursa,” says Dr. Greer, “which can often get aggravated when you lie on one side all night, especially if you’re on a hard mattress—and that can cause inflammation called bursitis.” Choosing a back-sleeping position can help you avoid that.

For neck pain: Lie on your side or back using a contour pillow

You can choose either your back or your side—it’s a matter of personal preference and comfort, in this case—but be sure to select your pillow carefully, as noted above. A pillow made specifically to conform to the neck’s natural shape will be your best bet. “You don’t want to go with multiple pillows under the neck or no pillow at all, as either option can cause unnatural extension,” says Dr. Singh.

Article by Kells McPhillip for Well+Good©

Photo credit: Photo: Stocksy/Helen Rushbrook

Source: How To Improve Gut Health Naturally, According to a Doctor | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

The People With the Best Gut Health Share This One Thing in Common

When your gut isn’t happy about what you ate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it makes its feelings known. There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there about what to do—and what to avoid—to care for your digestive tract. But Tim Spector, MD, professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College London and author of The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat, knows how to improve gut health naturally with a small but mighty tweak to your diet.

On a recent episode of the Deliciously Ella podcast, Dr. Spector points to a study a 2018 study published by the American Society for Microbiology. After looking at 11,000 people’s gut microbes and their corresponding eating questionnaires, the team of researchers learned an invaluable lesson about gut health. “It turned out that people who had the healthiest guts, which is generally the most diverse guts, were the people eating more than 30 different types of plant in a week,” says Dr. Spector.

At first blush, a triple-digit quantity of plants sounds like a lot, but Dr. Spector explains that it’s easier than you think. “People forget what a plant is. A plant can be a nut, a seed, a grain. It can be an herb, a spice. So it’s actually not that hard as long as you don’t have the same thing every day. That diversity was much more important than if you were vegan or vegetarian or meat-eater,” he says. So if you eat nut butter and whole grain toast for breakfast, followed by a salad at lunch, and some cauliflower pizza for dinner, you’ve checked off nearly a dozen of your vegetables in less than 24 hours.

The lesson here? If you’re new to the world of digestive health, focus on the diversity of the foods you eat. Your gut microbes will flourish and you’ll get to try every plant the supermarket has to offer.

Article by Kells McPhillips for Well+Good©

Photo credit: Photo: Stocksy/Helen Rushbrook

Source: How To Improve Gut Health Naturally, According to a Doctor | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

10 Plants You Should Never Prune in Fall

We’re nearing the holidays and that means your doofus husband will be looking to work off excess turkey-and-stuffing pounds by hacking back some innocent tree or shrub. Which ones are OK to hack? More importantly, for which ones should you threaten his most valued appendage if he so much as touches them? Grumpy has the answers.

Bloom Time Is the Key Many of the commonly butchered shrubs and trees bloom in spring. This means that they’ve already formed their flower buds. So if Doofus goes nuts with the loppers and wails away on a spring-bloomer this weekend, he’ll cut off the flower buds and you won’t get any spring blooms. Therefore, DO NOT LET HIM CHOP ON THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Azalea
  2. Flowering cherrypeachplumpearcrabapple
  3. Forsythia
  4. Lilac
  5. Loropetalum
  6. Oakleaf hydrangea
  7. Rhododendron
  8. Saucer or star magnolia
  9. Spirea
  10. Viburnum

Plants that are OK to prune now are those that make their flower buds on new growth next year. They include:

  1. Angel’s trumpet
  2. ‘Annabelle’, ‘Limelight’, and PG hydrangea
  3. Butterfly bush
  4. Cape plumbago
  5. Chaste tree
  6. Crepe myrtle*
  7. Gardenia
  8. Goldenrain tree
  9. Hibiscus
  10. ‘Knockout’ and most shrub roses
  11. Pomegranate

* Extreme pruning of crepe myrtle called “crepe murder” will not and cannot be tolerated by Grumpy. 

Article By Steve Bender for Southern Living©

Source: WATCH: 10 Plants You Should Never Prune in Fall | Southern Living

5 Tips For Fishing In The Rain

by Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation

Rain, rain go away? Not so fast! But before you cast your line, you’ll want to read these tips for fishing in the rain to ensure you have a successful day!

Fishing in the rain can provide excellent opportunities to catch more fish. Of course, this will require a little planning in advance to have a productive day out on the water. There are a couple of factors that you should consider before you cast your line, such as getting to know the area, tides, Moon phases, water temperature, and of course, the weather. Light rain tends to discourage some anglers from hitting the water but it actually provides a great opportunity for catching fish. Check out these tips for fishing in the rain to ensure you have a successful day:

1.Wear Appropriate Clothing

When fishing in wet weather, wearing the right clothes is important. Quality waterproof gear makes the difference in being comfortable or miserable. If you stay warm and dry, you will be able to fish all day! Of all the tips for fishing in the rain, this one is key for maintaining a positive mindset.

2. Check The Tides

During storms, the tides are higher, and rainwater builds up onshore. Fish where there is water movement—near drains, inlets or spillways. The outflow will churn up bait and fish will be waiting to feed.

3. Fish Before The Storm

The most productive fishing will occur before a storm when the low barometric pressure sends fish into a feeding frenzy. That may slow down during the storm and pick up after it passes when the pressure begins rising again.

4. Use Colorful Fishing Lures

When selecting artificial baits, consider bright colors and tackle that makes noise, such as crankbaits or popping corks, to help fish find the bait. Rain muddies up the water, decreasing visibility and making it harder for fish to see baits.

5. Safety First

Practice safety first and check your local forecast before heading out to fish. While fishing in light rain is fine, it’s never smart to fish when lightning is present or dangerous surf conditions exist. Don’t head out into open water if lightning is in the forecast, and be sure you have a sturdy, safe shelter to go to if a storm strikes. Follow these simple fishing safety tips during your fishing trip.

When planning your fishing trip, consider the above tips as well as environmental factors, such as water temperature, tides, structure, location of bait, water movement, and times to fish. Be sure to check out the Farmers’ Almanac’s Best Days to fish!

Visit Takemefishing.org to learn the best times to fish, selecting the proper fishing gear, and the best places to go fishing and boating.

Here’s wishing you tight lines!

Contributed by freelance writer Alycia Downs

Source: 5 Tips for Fishing in the Rain – Farmers’ Almanac (farmersalmanac.com)

USPS Is Making This Permanent Change Starting Friday

Even in the age of email and using the internet for practically everything, there’s a good chance you still rely on traditional mail to get a few things done. But whether it’s your annual holiday cards going out on time or a care package you’re hoping makes it to your loved one swiftly, it can still be a helpless feeling whenever you drop something off in a mailbox or at the post office. Now, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced it’s making a major permanent change that’s going into effect in a matter of days. Read on to see how your daily deliveries are about to get different.

 © Provided by Best Life

The USPS will permanently change the delivery time for some mail, slowing it down by 30 percent.

It sounds like the term “snail mail” is about to take on a whole new meaning. Beginning Oct. 1, the Postal Service will “implement new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals” announced in March that will increase the amount of time it takes for them to be delivered, USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum told USA Today in an email.

The changes will primarily affect any mail that’s traveling a long distance, such as one coast to the other, adding that “most first class mail (61 percent) and periodicals (93 percent) will be unaffected” by the changes, Frum wrote. Single-piece first-class mail, which typically includes smaller and lightweight envelopes and parcels, can still expect to be delivered within two days if it’s being sent within the same region.

USPS is also temporarily increasing the price of sending packages for the holidays.

But it’s not just the delivery time of your letters and packages that will be affected by the changes from the USPS. The price of sending a domestic commercial or retail package will also temporarily be going up from Oct. 3 through Dec. 26, covering the peaking shipping times seen over the holiday season.

According to the Postal Service, the temporary changes are similar to the ones put in place over the 2020 holiday season, with price increases ranging from 75 cents for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes all the way up to $5 for larger packages shipping to certain zones. However, the price increases will not affect international shipping rates, 

Longer delivery times could greatly affect important mail such as paychecks, tax notices, and more.

The difference of a few days for delivery might not feel like much at a time when it already feels like mail moves at a glacial pace. But according to CNET, the slowdown will affect everything from birthday cards and wedding invitations to paychecks and tax credits or notices. By the Postal Service’s estimates, mail that used to take two to three days to get delivered may take as many as five, which can create a crunch when receiving or sending time-sensitive items or documents.

The changes could also create massive headaches for businesses that rely on USPS to ship products, especially when e-commerce is replacing traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. In addition, residents in the Western states and parts of Texas and Florida will also be disproportionately affected, according to a report from The Washington Post. And for those who live in rural areas, states such as Alaska and Hawaii, or territories such as Puerto Rico, service will also become dramatically slower.

USPS says the changes will help to increase “consistency, reliability, and efficiency.”

According to the USPS, the forthcoming changes are part of the Postal Service’s 10-year “Delivering for America” plan to help the agency tackle its financial woes and iron out its operations. They explain that part of the reason for the planned delivery delays is a shift from using costly airplanes to more budget-friendly trucks—which the agency also argues makes items less prone to weather-related delays.

“The Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to great consistency, reliability, and efficiency that benefits its customers … Whether it’s 300 miles or 3,000 miles, the current standard for [first-class packages] requires 3-day service for any destination within the contiguous U.S. with a drive time greater than six hours,” Frum said to USA Today. “This is unattainable and forces us to rely on air transportation, yielding unreliable service. With this change, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers while also driving efficiencies across the Postal Service network.”

Article by Zachary Mack for BestLife©

Source: USPS Is Making This Permanent Change Starting Friday (msn.com)

4 Fall Cleanup Tips To Help Your Garden Reach Its Full Potential Come Spring

As peak gardening season comes to a close, now is the time to commence fall cleanup in your garden. While your tomato plants and wildflower beds might be on their way out, that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Preparation for the changing seasons is an essential part of gardening.

Autumn and winter are prime time to get a leg-up on “spring cleaning,” says Angelo Randaci, master gardener at Earth’s Ally. Between picking out stray weeds, spreading fresh mulch, and planting perennials before the first frost, doing the work in the fall sets the foundation for flourishing flowers come spring.

© Photo: Getty Images/CasarsaGuru fall garden cleanup tips

“The main advantage to fall cleanup is it prevents the spread of disease and insect pests from the current season into the next,” Randaci writes on the Earth’s Ally website. “Removing diseased plants, or plants that don’t have any aesthetic interest, is important for the health of next year’s garden.”

Give your flowers, trees, and vegetables everything they need to thrive come spring and summer. Below, tips from a master gardener for how to prep your with fall cleanup.

4 fall cleanup tips for your garden and yard

1. Dig out those weeds

Those weeds you’ve been pretending you haven’t seen all summer? Yeah, it’s time to dig those out. Same goes for any debris, deadfall, or other stuff you don’t want sticking around come spring time.

While aesthetics are incentive for cleaning up, Randaci says insects and invasive weeds are an even bigger concern. “Pests and disease may [survive in] plant debris and make a comeback next year,” he says. “Perennial weeds. like dandelion, ground ivy, and white clover, will remain throughout the winter, so best to remove them now.”

We know weeding isn’t very fun, but it’s better to do it now than later. A pro tip: weed after it rains, when the ground is still moist. The roots will come out easier.

2. Clean off accessories and store them properly

Houseplants and herbs that can migrate indoors should be brought inside. As for any other gardening accessories, like tomato cages, lattices, and plant stakes, they should be stored away, too—just be sure to give them a good cleaning first. This will stop diseases or pests from lingering next season.

“Before storing them, clean off the soil and wash with soapy water,” Randaci says. “Spray plant supports that supported diseased plants with isopropyl alcohol that is 70-100 percent alcohol to kill off any diseases.”

3. Plant your perennials early

Depending on where you live, winter might be a long ways away. In other places, the first frost might have already fallen. Wherever you are, plant perennial bulbs early, preferably before the first frost—Randaci says that this will help them take root before it gets too cold come winter.

Keep in mind that many perennials, like coneflowers and rudbeckias, will stick around when the temperatures drop. “Ornamental grasses will persist all winter long and won’t need cutting back until early spring,” Randaci says. “While most perennials do not need cutting back until spring, remove plant debris from peonies, roses, fruit trees, or any plants showing signs of disease.”

4. Create a compost pile

Didn’t have a compost pile this summer? That’s okay—fall is the perfect time to make one. Especially if you want to give your soil some love and don’t want to spend a ton of money on new mulch, which prevents weeds and cuts down your water bill, homemade compost can be a great way to give your garden a boost.

Need some ideas? Dead leaves, grass clippings, organic food scraps, and most yard waste is all fair game. Randaci says to steer clear of invasive weeds or diseased plants you pull out from your garden—these can end up harming your plants down the pike. Otherwise, safe, organic materials can go right into your composting bin for some rich, homemade mulch come spring that your blooms are guaranteed to love.

Article by Francesca Krempa for Well+Good

Source: 4 Fall Cleanup Tips To Help Your Garden Reach Its Full Potential Come Spring (msn.com)

Gold Star Mother’s Day in the United States

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed in the United States on the last Sunday of September each year. It is a day for people to recognize and honor those who have lost a son or daughter while serving the United States Armed Forces.

©iStockphoto.com/TexPhoto

Symbols

A gold star symbolizes a family member who died in the line of duty while serving the United States Armed Forces.  It may be seen on a service flag or in the form of a pin, which is worn by Gold Star mothers. The pin is not limited to mothers and it is awarded by the US Department of Defense.

Background

The name the Gold Star Mothers was derived from the custom of military families who put a service flag near their front window. The flag featured a star for each family member serving in their country – living members were denoted in blue but gold stars honored family members who were killed while in duty. In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson approved the wearing of black arm bands bearing a gilt star by those who had a family member who died in the military service to the United States. This distinguished them from the blue stars, representing a family member presently serving in the armed forces.

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was incorporated in 1929, obtaining a federal charter from the US Congress. It began with 25 mothers living in the Washington DC area and soon expanded to include affiliated groups throughout the nation. On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother’s Day, a holiday that has been observed each year by a presidential proclamation.

Source: Gold Star Mother’s Day in the United States (timeanddate.com)