On the show Saturday we talked to Dr. Tom Robbins, Long time Director of Counseling and Safe Schools for the Archdiocese of Louisville . Here are some tips for talking to children about these events.
1. Acknowledge loss and provide information as known.
• As most of you are aware an unfortunate incident has happened in Connecticut where it appears several children and some adults were killed.
2. Normalize feelings.
• There are lots of questions and feelings you may be having about this situation. Many of the questions you may have we may not know the answers. It is very possible that you may be feeling confused, angry, sad, frustrated, surprised, disappointed, not know what to believe or not know what to feel or you may feel nothing about the situation. Any of these feelings are O.K.
3. Invite to talk to a counselor.
• If you would like to talk or have questions you can speak to a counselor. Many schools have counselors available to help youth process events like this.
4. Empower and reassure children.
• Encourage children to think of ways to support each other. Allow the children to brainstorm ideas on how to memorialize those lost..
5. Business as usual.
• Work to make this day and forthcoming days as routine as possible. Structure and routine are crucial during times of stress.
Glycerine solutions work very well for preserving foliage plants that are coarse leafed like magnolias, ivy, Mahonia, and evergreens.Glycerin is especially good for preserving berries. To preserve plants with glycerin, collect the materials when they are mature. New shoots or immature foliage will wilt in glycerin solutions because they haven’t yet developed stronger, more rigid tissues.
Clean or dust off the material that you will be preserving. Cut the stems on a diagonal. Peel off the bark from the bottom three or four inches of the stems with a sharp knife and crush it with a hammer or mallet. This will expose more tissue to the preservative to maximize absorption. Put the cut ends of the stems into the glycerin solution, extending it up to five or six inches along the stem.
The glycerin solution consists of one part glycerin to two parts boiling water. Yes, the water should be boiling when you mix it. But let it cool down to just warm before you put the stems in. The stems will remain in the solution for anywhere from a week (for softer stemmed plants) to six weeks or more for thicker stemmed woody plants. Check the level of the solution as the plants sit, and add more solution as necessary to keep the levels up.
For large, thick leaves, you can also wipe the solution on the leaves to facilitate absorption.
Some green leaves may turn bronzy colored with the glycerin solution; berries usually stay true to color. Remove the leaves from the solution when beads of moisture start to form on the upper sides of the leaves, when the undersides feel oily, and when the color change is consistent out to the tips of the leaves. If leaf tips are droopy, you can hang them upside down to get the solution the tips. Wipe the leaves clean with a tissue.
If they are kept clean and dusted regularly, leaves preserved with glycerin will keep for years!
The glycerin solution can be reused, just add a few drops of bleach to prevent mildew. Even if it turns dark, it will still work just as well. Glycerin can be found in small containers at your local pharmacy, or you can order it in bulk.
Fall is absolutely the best time to reseed or renovate your lawn. Mid August through September is the optimum timing for seeding, (Ok, no later than mid October! Or if you didn’t get it done in fall late winter to early spring mid-February to mid April) Here are the basic steps for ensuring success for your project.
Choose improved turf type tall fescues varieties for lawns in our area. They are more heat and drought tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass, and they tolerate poorer soils. Some examples of popular varieties include Jaguar 3, Guardian, Renegade, Rembrandt, Southern Choice, Falcon II, Crossfire II, Apache II, Genesis, Lancer, Marksman, Rebel Jr., Pyramid, Pixie, Eldorado, and on and on.
Measure the area that you are going to reseed in order to calculate the amount of seed that you will need to buy. Multiply the length times the width of the space to get the number of square feet. Police the area before you get started, picking up any limbs, sticks, rocks, or other debris that might interfere with the seed.
You need to eliminate competition. If your lawn has as much as 40% weeds, you will probably want to do a total kill. Use a broad-spectrum herbicide like RoundUp or KleenUp. In order to get good control, the weeds should be actively growing when you apply the herbicide. That means that the soil should have adequate moisture for growth. Apply the herbicide according to label directions. Reapply or spot treat any tenacious weeds that don’t die after the first application. Depending on the formulation of the product you use, you should be able to plant your seed within 1-2 weeks, once again, though, check that label it will give specific information on timing.
After you get all the weeds/competition killed off, set your mower on the lowest cut setting possible and go over your lawn to scalp off as much of the dead debris as you can. Pick it up with a bagger or rake as necessary to get rid of it.
It’s important to get good seed/soil contact. If you are working with hand tools, this means you need to rake up the plant debris to make sure the seeds get down to the soil. Keep in mind though—that as you disturb the soil and turn it over, you are likely to expose weed seed to light, and may see some new weeds emerging. This is one good argument for other options, which are to rent a dethatcher or powerseeder. A dethatcher will cut through thatch and plant debris and into the soil about ¼ inch with sharp knives. Go over the lawn area two or three times with the dethatcher, and then broadcast the seed at a rate of about 6 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn. Then go over the lawn one more time with the dethatcher.
A power seeder or slit seeder is a piece of equipment that slices through the soil and then drops seed into the slits. When using a slit seeder, you should apply one pound of seed per 1000 square feet on the first pass, then broadcast another 3 pounds or so per 1000 square feet, then go over the lawn again with another 1 pound of seed per 1000 square feet with the seeder.
If you are not using power equipment, broadcast the seed by hand as evenly as possible and rake it in with a grade rake, or cover the seed with ¼ inch of topsoil or sand You can also sue straw as a mulch to keep the seed protected and moist. Just cover the area so that you can still see at least half of the soil surface. This translates to about one bale of straw for every 1000 square feet of lawn area.
It is critical to water your newly seeded lawn. The soil surface must be kept moist in order for the seed to germinate. If you can water lightly every morning and afternoon, you should see green in 10 days to two weeks. You can also cover the newly seeded areas with a light layer of straw to help shade the soil and to hold in moisture. A word of caution here too: some straw bales will have weed seed in them, so buy them early and water them down to start the seed germinating. By the time you are ready to spread the straw, hopefully most of the weed seed will have germinated and the seedlings will die from exposure. Even better, if you have access to it and don’t mind a little extra work, cover the entire reseeded area with a one-inch layer of compost. The compost will improve your soil, and you don’t need to worry about raking up the excess like you do with straw.
You can apply nitrogen fertilizers before you sow seed, but you might just be fertilizing your weeds and not your new turf. It’s better to wait and apply nitrogen fertilizer within three weeks or so after germination.
Begin to mow your grass when it gets to be four inches high. Set your mower at its highest setting (usually three inches) and mow right over the straw (if you applied it). Use a bag catcher if possible if you don’t have a catcher, go over the lawn once and then again at right angles to the first cut. The idea here is to make sure that you are not smothering the new grass with excess clippings or straw debris. Don’t worry about hurting the grass, actually the more often you cut at the proper height, the better the grass will grow.