How to Make a Flower Garden - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to Make a Flower Garden

If you have been wanting to start a garden, now is the time! The long, sunny days are a great source of energy for plants, making summer the perfect season to start growing flowers. Any home could use a pop of color. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, it can be helpful to cover the basics. From sunlight to soil, there are a lot of choices that must be made in order to create a successful flower garden, but hopefully, this guide will help you through the process with just five easy steps!

  1. Choose a Location
    The first step is deciding where you would like to plant your flower bed. Most people make flower beds along the front or the side of their house, but feel free to get creative with it. You could create a garden around the base of a tree, around your mailbox, or you could use flowers to hide certain objects in your yards such as electrical equipment or pipes. Sunlight is important to consider when choosing a location. Depending on the flowers you choose, they could need up to six hours of sunlight. It is important to read the labels of any seeds or plants that you buy to ensure that the location will be able to provide the necessary amounts of sunlight.
  2. Choose your Flowers
    Different flowers will flourish in different climates and different types of soil. Temperatures and day length plays a key role in the photosynthetic cycle. Depending on what region you live in, some flowers may not be able to grow. The country is divided into climate zones. Research what plants suit your climate zone, or ask for help at a local plant nursery! They will be able to help you choose the right flowers to make your garden successful.
  3. Remove the Grass
    Once you have picked a location, it’s time to prepare the soil. Begin by removing the grassy layer. With a shovel, start digging in the center of the designated area. Continue to lift the sod with your shovel until all grassy parts have been removed. If digging isn’t your style, there is another option! Although it is a longer process, it’s far less labor-intensive. Instead of digging up the grass layer, set newspapers over the entire area. Cover the paper with rich planting soil or compost and, in four or five months, the grass will have died and the area will be rich and ready for soil preparation.
  4. Prepare the Soil
    The next step is to add planting soil on top of the garden bed you have just prepared. When choosing one of the six soil types, consider what types of flowers or plants will be living in the soil. Each plant grows better in a certain type of soil. Be sure to research which type of soil will be best for your flowerbed before you begin planting. Soil does its best when it is loose and breathable. Before you add the soil, break up any clumps of dirt and remove rocks. Lay down six inches of soil. Do not apply too much pressure to the soil; packing it down will increase the density, making it difficult for air and water to reach the roots. Once the soil is down, create an edge with rocks or bricks to separate the garden from the grass.
  5. Plant the Flowers
    Before you begin planting, make sure that the soil is ready. You want the soil to be moist but loose. If you are planting seeds, look at the packet to see how deep they should be planted. Seeds need oxygen to germinate – planting them too deep can inhibit growth. Begin by digging a hole; for most plants, you want the hole to be about ¾ the size of the pot. Once you have taken the plant out of the pot, gently remove and discard the excess dirt from the roots. Set the roots in the hole you prepared, and gently push topsoil back into the hole, but do not press down. The soil needs to remain loose and full of oxygen.

Now that you have your flower garden, remember to take care of it! Some areas may have enough rain to nourish the plants naturally. If you live in a dry area, you will need to water your flowers between rainstorms to make sure that they are healthy.

Happy summer, and happy planting!


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The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

AllRecipies.com | By J. Saunders

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe! You will be asked for it, I promise!

NOTE: I make icing with confectioners’ sugar and milk. I make it fairly thin, as I ‘paint’ the icing on the cookies with a pastry brush. Thin enough to spread easily but not so thin that it just makes your cookies wet and runs off.

By J. Saunders

Servings:60

Yield:5 dozen

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  • Step 2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Step 3 Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 110 calories; protein 1.5g; carbohydrates 14.7g; fat 5g; cholesterol 24.6mg; sodium 92.6mg.© Copyright 2021 allrecipes.com. All rights reserved.

Printed from https://www.allrecipes.com 12/20/2021


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Indoor Activities Guaranteed to Keep the Kids Busy at Home This Winter - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Indoor Activities Guaranteed to Keep the Kids Busy at Home This Winter

The weather outside may be frightful, but the prospect of having the kids home doesn’t have to be. 

By Brigitt Earley | December 11, 2020 | MarthaStewart.com

Snow days have always been tricky. A single phone call—”School’s cancelled!”—changes the whole day, sending parents everywhere scrambling to keep their kids occupied from sun up to sun down. But this winter, moms and dads face a new and unique challenge: keeping their kids busy at home for days on end. Though many schools are still in session (at least in some capacity), there’s no telling what the coming months will bring. If we learned anything in 2020, it’s to expect the unexpected. Whether in-person school gets cancelled or not, chances are kids will be spending a lot more time at home this winter. And with social distancing restrictions still in place, there will be fewer opportunities to occupy this extra time with trips to play places or play dates with other kids. 

What’s the best way to limit cabin fever and keep everyone—kids and adults alike—sane without resorting to hours upon hours of screen time? There are plenty of indoor activities that spark creativity, promote learning, encourage imaginative play, and—most importantly—are fun enough to keep whining and groans of “I’m bored” at bay (at least for a few precious hours). Here, some clever ideas to inspire you.

Indoor Activities

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12 DIY Board Games So You're Never Bored - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

12 DIY Board Games So You’re Never Bored

By LAUREN THOMANN | Updated on 05/05/20 | TheSpruceCrafts.com

Board games are a great way to keep busy and connect with friends and family members. Don’t have any on hand? You may not have known that you can make your own! These 12 DIY board games below could help save you from boredom if you happen to be stuck in the house. Plus, it’s a reason to break out the crafting supplies!

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Shield Insurance Agency Home Office in Hudsonville, Michigan

Happy Halloween to All!

Shield Insurance Agency wishes everyone a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Stop by the office, any time of the year, and we will have some treats for everyone!

We are located at 3214 Chicago Drive in Hudsonville, MI

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10 Most Popular DIY Home Decor Trends for Fall 2021 - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

10 Most Popular DIY Home Decor Trends for Fall 2021

10 Most Popular DIY Home Decor Trends for Fall 2021 – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

By Ashley Tyler  | August 13, 2021 | eHow.com

Fall will be here before you know it, and with the incoming chilly air and changing, leaves can come the urge to change up your home decor. With a few simple swaps, your home can feel festive and ready to take on any get-togethers or impromptu parties the next few months have in store.

Whether you’re planning on hosting for the holidays or just want to cozy up your space, it doesn’t have to break the bank or feel like another chore on your to-do list. Start by picking a few of your favorite fall trends and use them in small doses around your house. Need some inspiration to get you going? We’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling for 10 simple ways to add the year’s most popular trends to your fall decor.

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8 Fall Chores You Can't Afford to Ignore - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

8 Fall Chores You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Do these maintenance tasks now and reap the rewards later

By Paul Hope | Published October 15, 2016, | Updated September 22, 2021 | Consumer Reports

Early fall is the right time to get your yard and house in order because come winter, small problems can turn into expensive nightmares.

Consumer Reports’ money-saving checklist covers everything from fallen leaves to your furnace. And many of these fall chores cost little more than time and effort. “A little bit of preventive maintenance now will help you avoid big hassles in the future,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees CR’s testing of outdoor power equipment and other home gear.

Outdoor Fall Chores With Immediate Payoff

Close Your Hoses

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Shield Insurance Agency - Types of insurance and the insurance companies Shield is proud to represent

Shield Insurance Agency Product List

Types of Insurance Shield Agency Provides

Shield Insurance Agency has been in business for so many years, we can shop a lot of different companies for a lot of different types of insurance to be sure you get what you need for the price you can afford. Check out the list!

Personal

  • Auto Insurance
  • Boat Insurance
  • Condo Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Event Insurance
  • Farm Insurance
  • Flood Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Mobile Homeowners Insurance
  • Motorcycle Insurance
  • Motorhome Insurance
  • Recreational Vehicle Insurance
  • Renter Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance

Business

  • Auto Facilities
  • Bond Insurance
  • Business Interruption
  • Cannabusiness
  • Church Insurance
  • Commercial Auto
  • Commercial Property Insurance
  • Contractor Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Group Health Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Security Bond Insurance
  • Workers Compensation

Insurance Companies Shield Agency is Proud to Represent

AAA
Accident Fund
Aegis
Ambetter
American Modern
ASI
Assurity
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate
Blue Cross Blue Shield/BCN
Bristol West
Companion Life
Conifer
Delta Dental

Foremost
Freemont
Genworth
Golden Rule
Grange
Hanover
HAP
Hiscox
Humana
ING
Liberty Mutual
Liberty Union
Medishare
Molina Healthcare
National General
Nationwide

North American Company
Philadelphia
Principal Financial Group
Priority Health
Progressive
Reinsurepro
RLI
Safeco
State Auto
Superior Flood
The Hartford
Transamerica
Travelers
United Healthcare
Unum
Wolverine


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When Disaster Strikes What to Put in Your Medication Go Bag - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

When Disaster Strikes: What to Put in Your Medication Go Bag

Atlantic hurricane season is a good reminder that everyone should prepare this potentially lifesaving kit

By Consumer Reports Last updated: July 05, 2021

A well-stocked Medication Go Bag can be used to soothe a cut or burn—or to save your life during a hurricane, flood, fire, or other emergencies.  

But it’s important not to wait until you’re faced with the need to leave your home in a hurry to assemble your medication go bag, says Geoffrey C. Wall, Pharm.D., a professor of pharmacy practice at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Whether you buy a kit from a drugstore or build it yourself, Wall recommends that all households keep a medication go bag on hand. It should contain the essentials, including: 

  • At least seven days’ worth of over-the-counter and prescription medications you take on a regular basis. Label the containers clearly, and include a printed-out list of everything you take and the regimen for each medication, plus a copy of your health insurance card (in case you need medical care while you’re away from your home).
  • An antihistamine for allergic reactions, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy and generic) or loratadine (Claritin and generic).
  • Pain relievers, including acetaminophen (Tylenol and generic), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and generic), or naproxen (Aleve and generic).
  • Stomach and antidiarrheal remedies, including loperamide (Imodium and generic) and bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol, and generic).
  • An antacid for heartburn, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums, or generic.
  • Antiseptic wipes; an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, Bacitracin Plus, Curad, or generic (use only for infected wounds); and bandages, gauze, and tape, for treating burns, cuts, and wounds.
  • Mosquito repellent to prevent bites, and aloe gel, hydrocortisone cream, or calamine lotion to soothe bites and skin irritation.
  • An eyewash solution for flushing out eye irritants.
  • Water-purification tablets.
  • Scissors.
  • Thermometer.
  • Tweezers.

If you and your family have special medical needs, you can build a more sophisticated medication go bag—for example, one that contains hearing aids with extra batteries, an epinephrine auto-injector, glasses, contact lenses, or syringes.

Fill Prescriptions in Advance

For prescriptions, you and your family members take, consider asking your doctor for 60- or 90-day refills rather than a month’s worth. That way, you’re more likely to have extras on hand for your medication go bag. (This can also save you money.)

Always fill prescriptions on the first day you become eligible for a refill, rather than waiting until the day you run out. If you are able to obtain an emergency supply, establish a plan for rotating your go-bag supply so that it remains up to date. And remember to check medications periodically to ensure that they have not expired.

“During an emergency, some states allow pharmacists to dispense an emergency supply of medications without doctor authorization,” Wall says. But, he adds, “certainly if a known potential disaster, such as a hurricane, is predicted, make sure you have prescription meds and supplies before it hits.”

You might also ask your health insurance company to assist you in obtaining enough medication and supplies to have on hand.

Storing and Maintaining Your Kit

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Sparta Hay Bale Decorating Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Decorating a Hay Bale in Sparta Michigan

Sparta Hay Bale Decorating Contest!

TO DECORATE:

Email chamber@spartami.org to register to decorate a bale! A location will be randomly selected for you, the hay bale decorating must be completed by Sept. 12

DISPLAY:

The decorated bales will be on display from Sept. 13-Sept. 26

TO VOTE:

Voting will be done TWO ways: 1, we will have a “like” contest on a Facebook post (that will be posted with a photo of each bale, this will be posted September 14!) AND voting will take place IN PERSON during Michigan Apple Fest in the Sparta Chamber Offices! The combination of both votes will be the placing of 1st, 2nd, 3rd places!

PRIZES:

The top 3 places will be awarded $100 in SPARTA BUCKS!

RULES: The hay bale must stay upright as you find it. Add decor, paint, pics, etc. into the hay bale, the items must be removed by Sept. 26 or the items will be thrown away. Photos of your bale will be taken on Monday, September 13 for voting.

We are getting so excited, we wanted to pull up some photos from last year for some inspiration!!

Click here for the details!

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