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Posts from July 2014

Wine Bottles – Out of the Recycling Bin and Into the Garden

Stop! Don’t recycle those wine bottles, instead give them a second life in your garden.

Use wine bottles to create a colorful edge along a path or around a planting bed. Set the bottle, top-side down in the ground.  Individual bottles make great hose guides.
 
Or create colorful outdoor lighting. Remove the bottom of the bottle with a glasscutter. Place over LED bulbs. Strategically place individual wine bottle lights throughout the garden or use multiple bottles over a string of lights.
 
Put your glasscutter to work creating a planter. Remove a section from one side of the bottle. Lay the bottle on its side, secure in place, fill with soil and plant.
 
Or remove the top of the bottle. Invert and place in the bottom of the bottle. The original opening is now your drain hole and the bottom of the bottle is your saucer.
 
And of course you can always place them on a bottle tree.
 
A bit more information: Convert wine bottles into watering devices. Punch a small hole into the soil of your container garden. Fill the bottle with water, invert and place into the soil. Plant Nannies are hollow terra cotta spikes that can be set into the soil to hold the wine bottle in place.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Cutest Sibling Video EVER!

I can't even handle how cute this video is!!
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Leaf Spot on Rudbeckia

Once thought to be the answer to low maintenance perennial gardens, Goldstrum Rudbeckia’s reputation has been tarnished by several leaf spot diseases.
 
A bacterial and several fungal leaf spot diseases cause purplish-black spots on the leaves of rudbeckia. Severe infestation can totally blacken the leaves and cause the plants to dieback a bit earlier in fall.  Fortunately most of the diseases are cosmetic and the plants will continue to flower and return each year.
 
Reduce the risk of this disease by providing adequate light and air circulation around the plants.  Use a soaker hose or watering wand to apply water directly to the soil when needed. 
 
In fall, remove and destroy all diseased plant parts.
 
If disease is a yearly problem, plant more resistant cultivars like Becky, Cherokee Sunset, Irish eyes, or Prairie Sun.
 
A bit more information:  Or keep the plants and hide the diseased leaves. Plant something slightly shorter in front of the Goldstrum Rudbeckia plants to mask the discolored leaves, but allow the flowers to show through.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Crown Rot Causing Sudden Wilting and Death on Ajuga (Bugleweed)

Sudden wilting, yellowing and death of ajuga, also known as bugleweed, means crown rot may have invaded the planting.

This fungal disease is most common in warm wet or humid weather. It first appears as sudden wilting and dieback in colder climates and yellowing and death of plants in warmer areas. The stems of infected plants turn brown or black and rot. 
 
This disease can be introduced into the garden on infected plants or soil or spread by tools and water. Since the disease is in the soil it is difficult to eradicate.
 
Remove and destroy infected plants and the surrounding soil immediately. Be sure to disinfect your tools with a one-part bleach and nine-part water solution during and after the process.
 
If the disease continues to spread or has destroyed much of the planting, it is time to start over in a new location with disease-free plants.
 
A bit more information:  Reduce the risk of crown rot to healthy plantings by thinning groundcover plantings every few years or before they become overcrowded. And avoid planting crown rot susceptible plants in the bed where the Ajuga died.  Consider amending the soil with compost, peatmoss or coir to improve drainage before planting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Cool Splash Diervilla Shrub for Shady Gardens

Brighten up the shade with a Cool Splash Diervilla.
 
This cultivar of the southern bush honeysuckle was selected for its creamy to yellow leaf margins. The variegated leaves are topped by fragrant yellow flowers in midsummer. They help attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.
 
Cool Splash is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and grows equally well in full sun or partial shade with moist well-drained soil. Once established, it is heat and drought tolerant.
 
This small-scale shrub suckers, forming a dense mass of cascading branches. It eventually reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, making it suitable for small space gardens as well as mixed borders and shrub beds.  Use it to mask leggy stems or visually anchor taller trees and shrubs to the ground.
 
And don’t let the common name honeysuckle fool you. Though a member of the same family, this is not the invasive honeysuckle taking over our woodlands.
 
A bit more information: Combine Cool Splash with shade tolerant perennials. Hosta, astilbe, Brunnera, coral bells and ginger are just a few. For more shade tolerant shrubs watch my Shrubs Made for the Shade video.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Great visit from Mom-Mom!

My Mother-In-Law’s been in town for the last 10 days, visiting from Phoenix.   There are 2 reasons that Mom-Mom came to visit:  to see her Grandchildren  and …to see her grandchildren!  Seriously!  That’s perfectly fine, we KNOW she loves us too!  Wait, make that 3 reasons…our house is spotless now too…THANKS MOM!

I think we’ve shown Mom a great time during her visit.  Sarah and the kids took her to the Milwaukee County Zoo, then a pool day at Cool Waters and the last thing we did was Festa Italiana!  THAT was her favorite!

Festa Italiana was AMAZING!  We went on Friday night and HOLY RICEBALLS!  And lasagna sticks!  And zucchini sticks!  And eggplant sticks!  And calamari!  And CHOCOLATE CANNOLIS!  SOOOO many great foods to eat, music to hear, things and people to see…was a great experience!  Can’t wait for next year!

As always, THANK YOU for reading and for listening to 99.1 The Mix!  Hope you have a GREAT week!
 
-Mark Summers
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Smart Irrigation Month – Planning a Watersense Irrigation System


Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants’ health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first.
 
Look for systems that include EPA approved WaterSense irrigation controllers. These are like thermostats only they’re for your irrigation system, adjusting watering schedules based on weather and soil moisture instead of the calendar.
 
Select a system zoned to water plants at different rates. Established trees require less frequent watering than annuals. Use drip irrigation or low volume sprinklers in gardens to apply water slowly and right where it is needed.
 
And consult a certified Irrigation specialist that understands how irrigation works, the local environment and will help you comply with any building codes.
 
A bit more information: Your time invested in research before investing in an irrigation system can reduce water use, repair costs and plant replacement. Experts estimate we could reduce water use by 50% just by eliminating improper watering. If you already have a system, inspect it regularly. Check for and repair any leaks, clear clogs, adjust direction and repair damaged sprinkler heads. For more information visit these web sites:
http://www.irrigation.org/Certification/Certification_Splash.aspx   http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/products/controltech.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Grow Star and Heart Shaped Veggies

Add a little star power to your meals with the help of cookie cutters and veggie molds.
 
Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch thick round slices. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the center of the rounds. Use these in salads, on sandwiches or relish plates. Save the outer ring. Slide two grape or cherry tomatoes onto a toothpick so they resemble a heart. Place them in the center of the outer ring of the cucumber and secure in place.
 
Or grow heart and star shaped fruit. Cover immature fruit with vegetable molds. Use twisty ties to hold the fruit filled mold onto the vine or support. Check the fruit regularly as some may be ready to harvest in as few as 5 to 7 days. Once the fruit has filled the mold and is fully colored, it is ready to harvest.
 
Creating heart and star shaped vegetables will dress up your meals and may encourage everyone to eat more veggies.
 
A bit more information: For more information on vegetable molds visit http://www.veggiemold.com.  And watch for postings on my Facebook page as I grow a few star powered vegetables of my own.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape

Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future.

Create mowing strips around raised beds and stonewalls to eliminate hand trimming. You can purchase and lay pavers and other edging materials or just remove a narrow strip of grass and cover with mulch. Run one set of your mower wheels on the mowing strip and cut the grass right up to the structure.
 
Connect individual trees and shrubs with mulch beds. The trees will benefit from the mulch and you will spend less time trimming around each plant. Plus the mulch bed protects the plants from weed whips and mowers that injure the plants as we try to cut the grass as close as possible.
 
And if this is too much mulch, try filling the area with perennials and groundcovers for added beauty and seasonal interest.
 
A bit more information: Mulching around trees also eliminates the frustration of surface roots. For more ideas watch Melinda’s Garden Moment video Dealing with Surface Roots http://www.melindamyers.com/Pasquesi-Landscape-Care/landscape-care/dealing-with-surface-roots.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Ellen vs. Matt Escalates
We're at war, people. Well, it's an early morning versus daytime war, between Matt Lauer and Ellen DeGeneres. The most recent salvo is Matt's. This comes after Ellen started jazzing up Matt's mornings with some racy Photoshopped clips. Matt retaliated by filling Ellen's car with 20,000 ping pong balls. Ellen sent her viewers to Rockefeller Plaza to test for Matt's tickle points. And now, Matt paid to have billboards erected around Los Angeles, showing Ellen as a plumber, butt-crack and all. Funny stuff. Even Ellen thinks so. No telling what will be next though... Look what I saw on my way to work today. Good one, @MLauer. #MattsRevenge pic.twitter.com/8QCUw5wqJM — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 16, 2015
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Referee Trip & Fall Makes Highlight Reel
It's always funny to see someone take a fall - as long as the only thing hurt is a guy's ego, right? The other night, NBA referee Joey Crawford took a center-court face-plant during the Toronto Raptors home game against the Charlotte Hornets. It's tough to tell what he did - probably tripped over his own feet - but he did make a nice headfirst slide. What better way to watch than with a continuous Vine, right?  
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Scary Road to the CMAs
Lady Antebellum's singer Hillary Scott was on her tour bus, heading to Dallas for a week of shows culminating in the Country Music Awards this Sunday night. On Interstate 30 in Garland, a tire blew out and caused a fire. Everyone got out safely, but Hillary lost many of her personal belongings. Scary moments indeed. Glad to hear everyone's okay though.  
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50 Shades of... Wait! What Did You Do to Your Hair?
Dakota Johnson is between films right now. She completed 50 Shades of Grey and was just about everywhere on the promotional tour. And the word in the industry is that the sequel will start shooting fairly soon. So what's up with the new haircut? What has become her trademark Anastasia Steele long brown hair is now a bob. Boom. Let's hope she had permission. Check out the report from MM1 News. The read by the robotic and accented voice makes it almost hilarious.  
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The Force Continues to Awake...
Another official trailer is out for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, coming to theaters in December. In this one, Luke narrates over a variety of images - "The force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too." No one's saying who that you is - but I guess that's why they call this a teaser. It's great to see Han and Chewbacca ever so briefly at the end. I'm ready. How about you?  
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What's Going On at ESPN?
Seems like the folks who work at ESPN need to learn to keep their thoughts to themselves. You'll remember Keith Olberman got in some trouble not too long ago for tweets he made about Penn State and a fundraising effort there. Now ESPN reporter Britt McHenry got herself suspended for launching a tirade against a tow company's employee. It's pretty nasty - if you want to watch it, you'll have to go to this link - but don't do it at work. Britt apologized, but too little too late. She'll be off the air for a week. Others are calling for her to be let go entirely. What do you think?   In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and (cont) http://t.co/Wx37XF2QtM — Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) April 16, 2015
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The Newest Avenger
Ellen DeGeneres breaks another Hollywood secret. This time, it's all about the newest Avenger - the Honker. Okay, it's Ellen, inserting herself into the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron as a joke-telling horn-honking superhero standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk and the rest of the gang. This could make the movie even more interesting, don't you think?  
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Hard Enough to Play Real Drums...
It takes years to learn to play the drums. Even longer if you want to play them well. Imagine how much more difficult it must be to play the drums well if you're a marionette. Well, if you're the puppeteer manipulating the marionette, and the marionette is playing a drum set made of tin cans. And the marionette has to keep up with Rush's classic "Tom Sawyer." Impossible, you say? Think again and witness... It's pretty cool what's happening in this video.  
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Ah, Yes, the Buckingham Banana Peel!
The royal guards stationed outside Buckingham Palace in London are famous for their crisp movements and fierce focus. Tourists try all the time to get them to laugh - even just to crack a smile - to no avail. Which makes what happened on Tuesday even funnier. During a routine changing of the guard, one soldier somehow managed to slip and fall while shifting to one side. He got up quickly, but he was smiling a bit. He stopped very quickly, but it was caught on someone's cell phone - of course - and now it's gone viral. Have a look...  
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Carpool Karaoke, the Latest Craze
James Corden is starting off strong in his new gig on CBS's Late Late Show. Strong guests, strong performances, and strong skits. Like this one, where he's carpooling with Jennifer Hudson. When songs come on the radio, they have no choice but to sing along, now do they? And when they pull in to a drive-through, why not let Jennifer Hudson sing the order for you? All that and more. Funny stuff.  
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Josh & Kelly Team Up for Phantom Duet
If you're a fan of musical theater, you're of course familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera and one of its more beautiful tunes, "All I Ask of You." It's a haunting tune, really, and somewhat operatic. Enter Josh Groban and his new album, "Stages" - his salute to musical theater. He tackles the role of Raoul, opposite Kelly Clarkson's Christine. This is not your typical Phantom, and there's not a thing wrong with that. Give a listen.
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The Epitome of TMI
Okay, maybe E! is starting to reach on its reality shows. Their show, Botched, features plastic surgery nightmares. And last night's season premiere focused on Tiffany Pollard, the self-professed queen of reality TV. The star of VH1's Flavor of Love decided to get breast augmentation surgery when she hit the big time - no pun intended - inspired by Dolly Parton. She's none too happy about the outcome, and of course, being the queen of reality TV, she doesn't mind sharing her story. I'm sort of wishing she hadn't...  
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Hail to You, Robin Williams
Jamie Costa is a comic/ actor from South Carolina. He's making a name for himself with celebrity impressions. And this week, he released a reel of impressions of Robin Williams in a variety of roles. Twenty of them, to be precise - from Mork to Teddy Roosevelt and many others in between. He calls it his "tribute to the man whose spark ignited my passion." Pretty good work, if I do get to pass judgment...  
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Oh No Pokemon Didn't...
File this one under Seriously? A number of websites are reporting that the Creflo Dollar Ministries - that's a guy's name, by the way - has conducted a study that determined that Pokemon, the cartoon of the 80s and 90s, pointed children who were teenagers in that era toward homosexuality. The quote most often seen: teens ”had their sexuality warped by Ash and his fruity friends.” How about that? And here I thought it was Tinky Winky the Purple Teletubby who was responsible for turning kids gay...
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Milk Milk Lemonade
Amy Schumer's the hottest thing in comedy these days. Her concerts sell-out. She was a hit hosting the MTV Movie Awards over the weekend. She wrote and starred in Trainwreck. And her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, starts a new season. They're calling her the new Queen of Shocking TV Comedy. And here's the promo for her show - "Milk Milk Lemonade" - sort of a very grown-up version of "All About That Bass." Think twice before opening this one up at work...   Inside Amy Schumer Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows
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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Jake Caputo's a man with an idea. He tweeted out a message to the world asking people what they'd pay for a standalone HBO streaming service. He even set up a website in 2012 called takemymoneyhbo.com. And it looks like HBO was listening. And now they're ready to talk seriously with Jake - and take his money. Who better to collect, than Paulie Walnuts and Big Pussy from The Sopranos, am I right? Check out this promo!  
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Game of the Holy Grail
Game of Thrones is back, and all is well with the world. Well, unless you live in Westeros. Or on The Wall. But it's Game of Thrones. In honor of that, here's a little Throwback Thursday fun. What if Monty Python & The Holy Grail were a real fantasy film, instead of a comedy fantasy film produced by the coolest comedy troupe of all time? Would it look something like this? Why yes, I think it would...  
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Cookie Meets Cookie
When Taraji P. Henson hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, some writer had a stroke of genius. Insert her character from Empire - Cookie Lyon - into a show that already had a character named Cookie - Sesame Street. The result is pretty brilliant, with a new Cookie Monster shaking thinkgs up on the street we all know and love.  
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Them's Fightin' Words
It didn't take long for Hillary Clinton's potential Republican opponents to come out swinging after her Sunday announcement that she'll be running for President on the Democratic side. Rand Paul published a slickly-done apocalyptic message, warning about what would happen if Hillary weren't defeated. Very Orwellian, or Hunger Games, or something like that. Check out the picture they use of Hillary at about the 10-second mark. Does she remind you a bit of Auntie Em from The Wizard of Oz?  
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How Yucky Was It?
Coachella's known for having some weird things happen. Could be the weirdest thing happened this weekend, when Madonna shared the stage - and more - with Drake. In the middle of a song, Madonna grabbed the seated Drake's head, tilted it back and locked lips big time. We're not talking a peck here, or a friendly little kiss. No, it was more like mouth-to-mouth. And when it was done, Drake doesn't look any too happy. Check out the video... and be sure to listen for Drake's heavily-bleeped response...
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The Kardashian Invasion Continues
Kim and Khloe Kardashian continued their whirlwind tour of Mother Armenia - that's what they're calling it. They met with the Prime Minister of Armenia, because, as you know, they are quite important Armenian American dignitaries. At some point, Kim spotted an elderly woman in the crowd. According to the story, the woman had been waiting for 12 hours to meet the Kardashians, leaning on her cane the whole while. No word from the woman if she thought Kim's hug was worth the wait.     It was an honor to meet the Prime Minister of Armenia, Hovik Abrahamyan who expressed how proud they are that we are proud Armenians and we have not forgotten our roots! #NeverForget A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Apr 9, 2015 at 9:33pm PDT
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Something Bugging You?
Seems like Hollywood is cranking out every Marvel comic character in the library. Next up: Ant Man, starring Paul Rudd. Paul plays a thief turned hero who's able to shrink in size and increase in strength and speed. And of course, he has to save the world. Otherwise, what's the point? And having Michael Douglas on board as the scientist who makes Ant Man possible - that's just a bonus.  
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Pink Puts the Haters in Their Place
People think it's okay to take shots at anyone for anything. On Saturday night, Pink went to a benefit to celebrate a friend's recognition "for her tireless efforts and stellar contributions to the eradication of cancer." But all people could tweet about was Pink and her black dress and how she looked fat. Pink took it in stride and issued the most polite "shut up" in history. "While I admit that that dress didn't photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful. So, my good and concerned peoples, please don't worry about me. I'm not worried about me. And I'm not worried about you either:)… I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern. Love, cheesecake."    And then a little frosting on the cake...   and my hubby says "it's just more to love baby" (and then I smack his hand off my booty cause we're in a supermarket) pic.twitter.com/Mnd6PIoKhK — P!nk (@Pink) April 13, 2015
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"I've Been Trying to Teach Him to Blend In"
I've got to admit it. When I heard they were making a new Terminator movie that included Arnold Schwarzenegger, I wasn't expecting much. I mean, the guy's 67, and the original Terminator came out over 30 years ago. But watching this trailer for Terminator: Genisys, I might have to change my mind. Some mind-boggling time-travel sci fi here, but the moment when now-Schwarzenegger goes toe-to-toe with then-Schwarzenegger could be worth the price of admission. Who's with me?  
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Watching It Live Takes the Glamor Away
Every time you see a glamorous photo, don't you think how cool it must be to be a celebrity on the red carpet of some posh event? Look at the photo of Jennifer Lopez that's part of this blog. It was taken on the runway of last night's MTV Movie Awards. Breezy, serious, all-business but stylish too. Now watch the footage of her as that shot and a whole bunch of others are snapped. Poor woman must need a break by the end of it all. And she still has a whole awards show to sit through...   Jennifer Lopez 2015 MTV Movie Awards by maximotv
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