2023 Spring Home and Garden

Page 2 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023

Page 3 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 Table of Contents 04 Welcome to the 2023 Spring Home and Garden Magazine! 06 Enhance your outdoor living spaces with brick paths and patios 10 Turn your front porch into an inviting oasis with simple DIY tricks 13 Creating great DIY outdoor play spaces for the kiddos 18 The Sense of Scent: considering aromatherapy and your garden 23 Setting a mood with an outdoor fireplace 28 Find your personal paradise with an in-ground pool 32 How AAA Windows and Siding made a homeowner’s dream come true

Page 4 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 Welcome to the 2023 Spring Home and Garden Magazine! Welcome to spring! The sun comes up earlier goes down later, the days are warm, and the nights are cool. Soon it will be summer and warm days will evolve into balmy nights when the breeze brushing our skin feels good and in its own special way, relaxing. In the 2023 Spring Home and Garden magazine, Lincoln Daily News’ writers focused on creating outdoor living spaces. Some of the ideas presented are great do-it-yourself projects that will take only a day or a weekend. Others are large investments that will be best suited if left to professionals. Either way, all of the ideas presented are simply that…ideas. What you do with your home and your outdoor space depends on you. We hope that we will spur your imagination and prompt you to take a look at your outdoor space and say, “what can I do to make my home a reflection of me?”

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Page 6 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 By Derek Hurley There are a lot of options for building walkways and patios around the home. Brick can be a good choice for building a walkway or patio. The best part about using brick is that you may be able to find bricks for an inexpensive price, and you can build such a pathway relatively easily with your own hands. Enhance your outdoor living spaces with brick paths and patios One example of using bricks to build around the home is in this video. Brick pathways can be useful for connecting different parts of the yard together. In this case, the video by Laura LeBoutillier of “Garden Answer,” a Youtube channel dedicated to DIY gardening, shows how a short brick path can connect the yard to an existing structure outside, such as a gazebo. It’s not just a matter of finding bricks, as the video shows. Brick pathways call for not just bricks, but also gravel, paver sand, permasand, edging, and anchoring spikes. In terms of tools, you’ll need shovels, rakes, brooms, and tampers. Tampers are long handles with a flat metal square on one end. They are used for exactly what they look like- tamping down dirt or sand until flat and compacted. The first thing to do is to dig out the area where any bricks will eventually be placed. While this video does not show it, it may be helpful to mark the exact path with stakes or string, or even spray paint. You want to be sure to dig just enough that bricks will not be sticking out above the grass, which might Continued --

Page 7 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 create a hazard. You also need to remove any existing materials that may be in place, such as older pathways from previous construction. This video also suggests raking the area after digging up the path, stamping it out, and doing a few tests. This is a very useful step. It’s better to find any issues with leveling or materials now than be finished and realize the path is off kilter. This video shows exactly that; they had to dig a little deeper to get the path exactly right. The video then shows how to tamp the soil down, so it is flat and level. You can rent a compactor for this step, but it may not be necessary if the area is small. In this instance, renting a compactor would be “overkill for a path this size.” Then do the same thing with gravel. The video mentions three bags of gravel for a small path, and they do not mention it specifically, but it doesn’t hurt to buy more gravel than you think you may need, just in case. LeBoutillier mentions that the tamper “didn’t do a whole lot, but it did help settle the gravel down a little.” The next step is to pour sand over the gravel and begin to screed it. Screeding is the process of smoothing out sand, usually with a two-byfour. The video recommends using PVC pipe to assist in flattening out the sand as a sort of frame. Boards, as shown here, may be a little warped. The latter can be used, but there is a risk. The next step is laying the brick for the path. LeBoutillier demonstrates that it’s not so easy to lay brick perfectly straight. In fact, this video shows that they had to pull up bricks and straighten out the path, and dig a little more dirt, to make it work. This is not something to worry about. Again, it’s easy for a path to start curving a little, and easy to fix as well. They suggest having a second set of eyes to act as a guide or using string to help keep everything moving in the right direction. “It was a little frustrating, and it didn’t make sense how we were getting off…I assumed that if the bricks were butted up to the concrete and the concrete was straight, that would make the path straight. Not true,” says LeBoutillier. While laying bricks, make sure you take into account any patterns you want to make. In this video, they leave a little space to create an alternating pattern, or a “running bond” pattern. You may need to cut bricks to finish your pattern layout and have even edges. The video shows you can use an angle grinder, or even a chop saw if you have the right kind of blade. Once the bricks are in place, install the edging material. Plastic edging helps to give a path a clean, finished look. This video also shows that you can cover edging with dirt or mulch to create a more seamless appearance and provide a space for plants to grow. Edging is held in the ground with metal stakes. The next step is to sweep sand into the cracks to fill in gaps and make the path look solid. The sand bonds “like concrete.” Once that is finished, it’s easy to sweep away the excess, or use a blower. The last step is to wash out the path with a hose to clean it a little more. Overall, a project like this one can be done by two people over the course of an afternoon. The people in this video had some experience Continued --

Page 8 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 with this sort of project, but it remains an easy thing to do for any beginner. Overall, LeBoutillier says that this project cost (in 2019) a little over $150, and there were leftover supplies. If you follow the steps to put down a brick walkway, you can go a little further and build a patio with the same materials. You’ll only need to add a few more steps to the process. This video from Dori Turner, another Youtuber working in DIY home renovation, features a project completed “in a weekend, for about $350.” For a patio, you’ll want to make sure you have a shape in mind. Paths are usually rectangular, but patios can be squares, or even circular. Turner works with a rectangular patio, since they were new to this sort of project, and it is a “nice, easy shape to work with.” Turner also demonstrates that the project involves a weed barrier. Weed barriers are a type of cloth that prevents vegetation from growing up through the patio. Even with all the sand and gravel you may use to build a patio, a weed may still grow, so a barrier is useful for blocking plants. You may want to include a barrier for a pathway as well. Turner installs the edging before laying down any other materials. Truthfully, the order does not matter as much in this regard. It really depends on your needs. Turner mentions that edging “can be shaped and molded to do straight or curved lines.” This project also demonstrates the use of a paver base rather than gravel. Paver bases do the same thing as paver sand; provide another way to level out the ground. Paver bases can be cheaper, depending on how many are needed, and they can be modified to fit different sizes. They also interlock “for a smooth surface.” According to Turner, “a leveling agent of some kind is necessary to help the brick patio stay level even as the ground may shift beneath over the years.” Regardless of what you are building, laying brick to help improve your home is relatively easy, and can be done with a little planning and the right tools.

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Page 10 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 By Angela Reiners The front porch is often the first thing people see, so it should be both an inviting place and add curb appeal to your home. With the right touches, it can also become an oasis for relaxing and entertaining guests. In her vlog, Starla from Life Full and Frugal talks about how to make a midwestern porch into a tropical oasis. One thing she does is buy tropical plants each year at area stores or get a cutting from friends. Overgrown tropical plants can be separated into several smaller plants. In the autumn, she puts the plants down in the basement or the bedroom. These plants are hardy, do great in the humidity and can even handle overwatering. A beautiful front porch provides a great place to entertain, have a devotional time or sit and listen to the birds. It can be a place of refuge and make you feel like you are on vacation. Turn your front porch into an inviting oasis with simple DIY tricks Continued --

Page 11 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 In May, Starla prepares the tropical plants to take to the porch after they have been inside all winter. Everything looks a little shabby, so she cleans up the porch and places the plants on it. To make the plants look better, she trims dead leaves and branches. By June, the plants are steadily growing and by September, these plants have really bloomed. One reminder Starla gives is to water the plants often and feed them weekly. As her video shows all the different plants, Starla hopes to inspire others. She says you should check out local greenhouses and big box stores to see what is on sale. That way, you can make your porch a place of refuge of beauty and nature that reflects the creator. Plants are just one way to turn your porch into an outdoor oasis. Another way is to add décor. Jessica of Old Barn Design shows step by step instructions for creating an outdoor oasis. When designing and building a home, Jessica imagined an outdoor space, picturing space she could sip coffee nicely and slowly each morning. She hoped it would be a place where her electronic junkie kids would want to unplug and unwind. Additionally, she pictured it as a space where her friends and family who were visiting would feel relaxed like they were on vacation. Jessica wanted the space to be comfortable enough that people would stay for hours, deep in conversation or playing games or taking a nap. She thought about places where she felt relaxed and noticed things in those spaces that helped her feel that way. In creating this relaxing space, the first step is to start with a neutral base including a neutral rug, sofa and chair. Tan or beige can keep things very calm. Furniture can create a cozy conversation area where everyone in the space can see and talk to one another. When adding pops of color, Jessica went with navy and white because she felt these colors gave the porch a calm lake vibe. More vibrant colors can provide a more energetic feel. Choose colors that go with the personality, look and style you are going for. Be sure to add plants to give the space life and movement. Using wildflowers and ferns gives Jessica’s porch a southern relaxed look. If you are spending time in an area, providing an activity is a good plan. Some activities Jessica says she uses include games, books or cards. You might even want to set up pecans to be shelled. Making smores is another fun outdoor activity. Next, you should incorporate outdoor elements. Though the space is outdoors, Jessica says it should feel comfortable no matter the weather. Adding blankets, a ceiling fan or portable air conditioner can make the space feel comfortable in various weather. Continued --

Page 12 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 The other way to make things comfortable is to make the space casual enough a person can relax in it. Jessica says to keep it nice and low key, not formal and stuffy. Lighting can help create an inviting sense of warmth. Lanterns, party lights or twinkle lights are all great ways to do that. Finally, Jessica says you should make the space personal by adding items that make you smile. To create a space that is inviting during the warm months, Wendy Conklin shares ideas for creating an appealing summer porch. One of the main things Conklin says you can do to spruce up your front porch is bringing indoor furniture outside. A couple years ago, Conklin found an inexpensive green coffee table and says the color was perfect because it ties into nature. Adding a knob to the front drawer helped add personality to the table. Similar tables can be found on Craigslist, marketplace or garage sales and can be painted green. To decorate the table, Conklin bought a wooden box. After cleaning the box, Conklin layered it with flowers, dishes and cups to make the area inviting. Adding potted flowers or ferns to the front porch brings in a little bit of greenery. Something else Conklin added to her front porch is an oversized flag, which she had seen on many houses in Maine. Besides being great for decoration, Conklin said the flag provides needed shade. Another accessory Conklin says you should consider adding to your porch is pillows, which are always inviting. With pillows, you can change the look every year or even every season. Conklin says adding these details can help create a fantastic summer porch. These videos provide a sample of ways to create a front porch that is comfortable and relaxing. Adding your own personal touches will help make your porch an outdoor oasis where you will want to unwind and spend time with friends and family.

Page 13 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 Creating great DIY outdoor play spaces for the kiddos

Page 14 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 By Lisa Ramlow When looking to improve the quality of life in outdoor spaces, it is important to remember the kiddos. To a child play is an important part of growing up. Play helps a child learn to get along with others, improve perceptive and emotional well-being, build physical strength, learn about the world around them, and makes them more aware as they resolve problems, overcome difficulties, and participate in tasks that are fun. When children are allowed the time and space to play their imaginations take over and they explore their ideas. Play spaces do not have to be large; they just have to inspire play. Children are natural explorers and different types of play facilitate different types of learning, all necessary for growth. Children need play opportunities as they develop language, motor skills, social skills, and emotional and cognitive abilities. There is no one way to play. Instead, each type of play builds off what the child has already learned and as they learn they should be allowed the time to make memories, laugh, and have fun! So, how do we make a fun play environment for our children? Start from a child’s point of view. Make it simple. If you have to, sit on the floor or crawl around the area to see what the children might see. Children’s furniture, small benches, or even pillows or small sofas or recliners amongst the adult furniture inside the house will give them a space of their own but still feel like part of the family. Discard or put away anything that might be dangerous to the children. Think carefully about how you set up the environment for play so that you are not regularly disturbed while allowing them to play freely in a child-safe space. Arrange the play space wisely. When there is room, set up shelves or furniture to divide the room into different play areas: reading, art center, baby Continued --

Page 15 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 dolls, blocks, etc. If space does not allow for stations of play, at least separate the toys with baskets that the kids can handle on their own to find what they want to play with. Make sure there is a variety of toys, and each toy has its place. For little ones be sure to have toys that push, pull, grab, fill, and dump. If your children are lucky enough to have a playroom where they can just be kids use bright colors on the walls and curtains. Add child size furniture, cubbies for toys, and decal decorations or chalkboard paint so they can be creative. Put up a cloth teepee or an indoor tent for privacy; we all need a moment alone now and then. For a little money, make a climbing wall on one of the walls in the room. Be sure the floor is durable and easy to clean. Don’t forget about rugs with streets for little cars, games to play, or maps for learning about the solar system or geography. How about a ball pit with a large box and bunch of bouncy balls? Think outside the toy box using materials to sort, trade, and share; dress-up clothes and props; puzzles and games; and of course, a great selection of books that meet the child’s age. Let your imagination go as you prepare the perfect playroom for your little one. An indoor slide or teeter totter might be just the thing to complete the playroom. With warmer temperatures around the corner parents and grandparents alike are thinking about what to do with their children all summer when school is no longer in session. Think about outdoor play spaces. There are benefits to playing outdoors: • Physical activity like running, jumping, climbing develops muscles and aids in stability and bone density. • Time spent outside provides children with an opportunity to give their brains a break from the demands of everyday life. • Physical activity lowers anxiety and reduces stress. • Vitamin D, acquired from the sun, helps bodies regulate calcium and phosphate, keeping bones, muscles, and teeth healthy and stabilizes mood linked to happiness. Just like inside, use the space you have to create a wonderful play space for the children. It does not have to cost a lot of money to have a safe environment for play. Sidewalks and driveways are a great space for artwork with chalk. If you don’t have a space for a garden, use a garden pot and allow them the time to dig and play in the dirt. A water space where they can measure, scoop, pour, carry, transfer Continued --

Page 16 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 and lift water will keep young ones entertained for hours. Use a child’s hard plastic swimming pool for a ball pit. Plastic tubs of different sizes filled with beans or hard pasta like macaroni, or rice create a sensory area for little hands. Movement with a pogo stick, jump rope, hula hoops, wagons, slides, swings, scooters, frisbees, or balls can provide a range of motion for any age. Don’t forget about tire swings, climbing trees, or chasing bubbles. A variety of nature art can be found in a back yard: leaf or bug collections, crayon, or chalk rubbings of leaves, or stick sculptures, all of which just take a little imagination and creativity. Helping children to enjoy physical activity is a great start to encouraging physical fitness as they grow. While an adult may not find an obstacle course all that much fun, kids love the challenge of them, and it keeps them moving in the fresh air and sunshine. In this video, see how to put together an obstacle course in just a few easy steps with inexpensive materials. The added benefit to this course is that it can be taken down and stowed away as quickly and easily as it was put together. There are other fun ways you can create a great space for kids. Start by making a plan of what you want to provide for your child and the budget you have to accomplish it. Pick a flat part of the yard and lay down an area of turf. Surround the area with railroad ties or a similar product to contain the play area. Place different play toys in the area for hours of fun: a pool with sand and rocks with dump trucks, a table with a hammock underneath for reading a special book, or a tire obstacle course for crawling and climbing. A sandbox made from wood pallets with benches for the kids or adults to sit on can be fun for the entire family. Practically anything you or your child can dream up can be found on the internet. Search websites to find swing sets, tree houses, and plastic play toys that would delight any child. Or try a DIY weekend project and as an added bonus, let the kids help with the construction, like the family in this video. Play is more important than you may think. It is a way for children to learn about themselves, their limitations, their creativity, and their own imagination. Allowing your child to choose how to play in nature gives them the power to control their own actions while learning to get along with others and explore in a safe environment. Outdoor play areas are limited only by your imagination. Let your vision be your guide and enjoy your time outside with your children.

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Page 18 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 By Jeff Wyles All of us have been there. The world rests squarely on your back. In some cruel irony the days feel too long while time passes too quickly. Tension has taken hold and caused an uncomfortable tightness in your neck and shoulders. You can’t sleep. You can’t eat. You can’t do anything. Stop...and smell the roses. Literally! The dictionary definition for aromatherapy is “the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils in massage or baths”. The National Cancer Institute’s medical definition of aromatherapy is “A type of complementary and alternative medicine that uses plant oils that give off strong pleasant aromas (smells) to promote relaxation, a sense of well-being, and healing.” The history of aromatic oil and plant use extends thousands of years before Christ and across many cultures, religions, and traditions. Egyptians incorporated plants into multiple Considering aromatherapy and your garden The Sense of Scent aspects of every day life including embalming the dead. Hippocrates burned plants for medicinal purposes. The Romans used, and grew, their knowledge of plants across a massive empire. Jesus was gifted frankincense and myrrh at his birth. Both are derived from plants. Even Simon and Garfunkel sang about “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”. Aromatherapy, and the use of aromatic plants, has played a major role in holistic medicine since the dawn of man. Many of the plants our ancient ancestors believed treated the mind, body, and spirit are still in use today. Based on thousands of years of belief, and a few decades of real science, you can turn your garden or home into a place of refuge. A place of healing. A place of peace. The following is a list of plants, their believed benefits, and a few tips to help grow them in central Illinois. Roses The scent of roses is thought to be relaxing and to help reduce stress. Scientists conducted a study from October 2015 through December 2016. They published their findings in an article titled “Effects of Continued --

Page 19 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 rose and lavender scents on nurses’ job stress: a randomized controlled trial.” The scientists found that over the course of four weeks there were “statistically significant differences” in a group of nurses exposed to the scent of roses or lavender versus a group that had been exposed to a placebo. The report concluded that exposure to the scent of roses and lavender was safe and “can reduce nurses’ over reliance on medications for relieving the symptoms of job stress.” First things first, get that nurse friend some roses! Second, if roses work for nurses why wouldn’t they work for you? Adding these to your garden could be the first step in finding that safe harbor from your daily worries. Roses are typically planted in the spring. They need lots of sun and good soil to grow successfully. Rose specific fertilizers are available. Lavender In the study referenced above you’ll notice there were two plants used. Lavender is somewhat of a superstar when it comes to aromatherapy. The scent or oil is believed to lower stress, help with sleeplessness, soothe wounds and more. The science on lavender as an essential oil is split, however. In a National Center for Biotechnology Information published study it was concluded that “lavender EO (essential oil) inhalation was shown to produce a decrease of arousal level and an improvement of sustained component of attention.” The University of Illinois Extension suggests that lavender be exposed to sunlight at least eight hours a day and grows best in welldrained soil. It can be grown in pots or raised beds with potting soil. Continued --

Page 20 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 Mints Mints truly are “whole body” kinds of plants. Their scents are known to assist in stress relief. They can be used to flavor foods and make teas. They can be used to help ease nausea, stimulate appetite, or support digestion. Mints have even been used as a pain reliever. Growing mints in Illinois is fairly easy. The two most common are peppermint and spearmint. U of I Extension suggests mints grow best in full sun but do tolerate partial shade. Mints are invasive and will take over a garden, so it is recommended they be grown in containers above ground. Lemon Balm Lemon balm has a strong scent of, as the name would imply, lemons with a dash of mint. Lemon balm has been linked to stress relief, easing sleeplessness and indigestion, and pain relief. It can be used in teas, tinctures, and ointments. According to the Mount Sinai website there is evidence lemon balm benefits also include treatment of cold sores, anxiety relief, and “may help improve cognitive function and decrease agitation in people with Alzheimer’s disease.” Lemon balm grows in full sun to partial shade and likes moist, well-drained soil. Like mint, lemon balm can overrun your garden if not tended to. In Illinois it is safe to plant two weeks or so after the last frost. Sage Sage, technically a mint, has long been used to calm anxiety, relieve stress, and is even thought to improve memory. In a scientific article published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website, scientists used sage in a number of ways to test its medicinal uses. In their conclusion the scientists noted that “Salvia (sage) species may represent a natural, safe and effective treatment for many diseases and their symptoms.” They continue “these herbal medicines have been found to be very effective in the development of novel natural drugs to prevent, control and treat many minor health problems as well as more serious and complicated diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.” U of I Extension suggests Sage be grown in full sun with soils prepared with compost. Sage must be grown in very well-drained soil. Seeds may take several years to be harvestable, so cuttings are suggested. Lilac Lilac is known for its beauty as well as its scent. The fragrance is thought to provide a calming effect and ease anxiety. There is Continued --

Page 21 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 a belief that white lilacs can also enhance sensuality. Medicinal uses of the plant have ranged from ridding the body of worms to treating rashes and sunburn. Lilacs are best planted in sunny, open areas that drain well. You’ll want to watch for mildew on the leaves and if planting multiple be sure to give them lots of space. Dill The scent of dill, strongest in the seeds, has been thought to help ease stress and anxiety. Dill is used in aromatherapy as a way to relax nerves, muscles, and help relieve spasms. Dill has also been thought to aid digestion, flatulence, and stomach pain. According to U of I Extension dill is best grown in full sun with moist, well-drained soil. It should be planted directly in the garden at least one to two weeks after the last spring frost. This list just begins to scratch the surface if you are looking to add some healthy aromatics to your home or garden this spring. Other plants to consider are lilies, garden phlox, hosta, peony and all kinds of herbs. The options are enormous, and you can tailor your garden to fit your preferences or a specific scent profile. Not only do these plants provide Continued --

Page 22 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 the aromatics, they also add flavor to food, make teas, are used for their essential oils in modern aromatherapy, create ointments, and just brighten up your yard! All of us have been there. The world rests squarely on your back. You can’t sleep. You can’t eat. What are you going to do? Start by stepping outside. Now STOP. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and REALLY smell the roses. It might just make you feel better. Sher, S. (2022, April 27). 11 Fragrant Plants for Creating the Ultimate Aromatherapy Garden. Bob Vila: Lawn & Garden. https://www. bobvila.com/articles/aromatherapy-garden/ History of Aromatherapy. (n.d.). International Federation of Aromatherapists. https://ifaroma.org/ko_KR/home/explore_ aromatherapy/what-is-aromatherapy/historyaromatherapy How to Grow Roses. (n.d.). Chicago Botanical Garden. https://www. chicagobotanic.org/plantinfo/how_grow_roses Emadikhalad, M. et al (2023, January 07) Effects of rose and lavender scents on nurses’ job stress: A randomized controlled trial. Science Direct. https://www. sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/ S1550830723000022 Mount Sinai. (n.d.). Lemon balm. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/ herb/lemon-balm University of Illinois Extension (2019, May 30). Lavender: A must-have plant for all gardens. https://extension.illinois.edu/node/21429 University of Illinois Extension (n.d). Lemon Balm https://extension.illinois.edu/herbs/lemonbalm Hamidpour, M. et al. (2014, Apr-Jun). Chemistry, Pharmacology, and the Medicinal Property of Sage (Salvia) to Prevent and Cure Illnesses Such as Obesity, Depression, Dementia, Lupus, Autism, Heart Disease, and Cancer. National Library of Medicine: National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC4003706/ Malloggi, E. et all. (2022, May 14). Lavender aromatherapy: A systematic review from essential oil quality and administration methods to cognitive enhancing effects. National Library of Medicine: National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC9291879/ Brent, M. (2022, August 24). What Are the Health Benefits of Lilac? Leaf.tv. https://www.leaf.tv/articles/whatare-the-health-benefits-of-lilac/

Page 23 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 By Nila Smith Since Covid-19 and that time when everyone was ordered to stay home as much as possible, the desire for relaxing, mood enhancing settings outside has increased. The push toward outdoor fireplaces and firepits has increased and has been shown to not only improve the mood of guests at the fire, but also relieve stress and provoke an inner calm. Top it off with both pits and fireplaces can add to the resale of the home, and ultimately pay for themselves if your house goes on the market, and it could be a win-win situation. Setting a mood with an outdoor fireplace Continued --

Page 24 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 Before investing in either, you will want to think about what it is that you really want. Outdoor fireplaces are more intimate than a fire pit. They can create a feeling of comfort and intimacy among your guests and set the mood for a relaxing time. Fire pits are more like campfires. Guests can gather around the pit on all sides, and it promotes a more jovial ‘community’ atmosphere as opposed to the intimate feeling of a fireplace. Another point to ponder is when guests are circling the pit, there is bound to be some smoke and ash moving toward at least a few people at any given time. The goal of the fireplace is to effectively draw the smoke up through the chimney and release it into the air above the heads of those enjoying its warmth. Outdoor fireplaces can extend the outdoor season depending on the surroundings and setting. Indeed the fireplace is going to give off warmth, and those facing that warmth are going to enjoy the coziness of it. Depending on if the fireplace is built under a structure it can create an outdoor living space that will warm up nicely even when the evening temperatures drop dramatically in the late fall. One big advantage to the firepit is the cost to build. Building a firepit from scratch can cost as little as $500 to $750 depending on the materials. There are also pits for sale that are made of metals and are very portable as well as inexpensive. For building an outdoor fireplace, it is going to depend on what you do and how you get it done. From a DIY from scratch to a custom Continued --

Page 25 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 designed and contractor built the cost range will go from $1,500 to $10,000 or more. Fireplace costs will also vary according to the type of fuel you will use. Gas fireplaces built with high chimneys will cost more than a brick fireplace for burning wood. Wood burning fireplaces have their pros and cons. First, wood is somehow more romantic, more intimate than a gas fireplace. It is almost like wood is the real thing, and a gas fireplace is a lessor imitation. But there are also some big disadvantages to wood fireplaces. First, they require wood, a natural resource, but not always easy to find. Some may find that they limit themselves to the number of times in a year they use their outdoor fireplace because they must purchase the wood, stack the wood, keep it dry, and clean up the area after they bring it all in. Wood also creates ash that needs to be cleaned out of the fire box of the fireplace on a regular basis. Once that ash is removed, then there is a need to find a good location to dispose of it. A gas fireplace utilizing natural gas that is already running into your home anyway assures a constant supply of fuel. Though when gas prices are high, you may again want to be conservative on the number of fires you light each season. The biggest advantage to a gas fireplace is the convenience. There is very little cleaning involved, you don’t have to have storage space for your fuel supply, and you don’t have to dispose of ash. And, if looking at the resale value of your home, gas fireplaces have a higher return on investment. Bear in mind that building a fireplace, or a fire pit of any kind is going to be subject to local ordinances and zoning laws. In almost all cases, your fire pit or fireplace will be considered an open fire. There are rules as to where you can have an open fire in relation to structures as well as property lines. Knowing this ahead of time will help you figure out whether a fireplace or pit is even an option on your property. Talking to a city zoning officer or the county zoning officer ahead of your investment will help you to determine what you can do safely and without consequence. Keeping to the topic of safety, the final advantage to a fireplace over a pit is the safety. The fireplace, though still an open fire, is more contained than a pit because it has three walls that will help to contain the flames as well as the sparks from burning logs. Once you have done your due diligence in investigating your safety zones, thinking out which is best for you, a fire pit or fireplace, then you may want to spend some time searching online for experience videos. Choose a few to watch through and see what is being built, who is building it and how complicated it is going to be. Continued --

Page 26 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 To give you a taste of what you might find, here are three videos quickly found via YouTube. The takeaway from this video is that you can go as big and intricate as you can afford, but, if you are going to go all out, use a professional. Also, if you are using heavy building materials like brick, blocks, and stone, you must have a solid footing for your fireplace. Using concrete to start your footing is a must to create a stable construction. There are a few of these tasks that you can do yourself, such as digging the footer trench and mixing and pouring your own concrete into the trench. Then when your contractor arrives, he is ready to do what he does best, lay the fireplace and create your outdoor cozy place. You can build your own outdoor fireplace from a kit. The video above features a specific name brand, not endorsed by LDN. Go online and do a search of YouTube videos and you will find there are a number of DIY kit videos by different name brands. You can view and decide which one is the best for you. The first take away from the video is to make sure the kit you order has everything you will need, including detailed instructions. The second takeaway is to read those directions front to back before you ever start building the fireplace. With this kit you do get to use tools and shape your stones to a certain degree. Doing so, you have a greater experience and in the end can feel even more accomplished than if you hired it done. This fireplace does not use mortar, but rather glue. You will glue the layers as you build your fireplace upward. The kit shown in the video may not be quite as intricate as the fireplace by the contractor video, but it is still a very attractive fireplace. This video is a complete do it yourself project that you can watch and learn from, then create a fireplace to your liking. The takeaway from this is the fact that there is no glue and no mortar needed, though you can use an adhesive if you want a more permanent structure. Why build a fireplace that isn’t permanent? Because Continued --

Page 27 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 you can disassemble it and move it to a new location much easier than a fireplace that is put together using glue or mortar. So why would you want to move the fireplace? If you are living in a rental property, you may ask your landlord for permission to build a fireplace and the answer could be “can you take it down before you move out?” If so, then you have an easy answer, yes, no problem, you can take it apart and take it with you when you go. This fireplace is made with cinder blocks and paver blocks, with no cutting or reshaping required. The big keys to success on this build is to build on level ground and use concrete blocks to establish your foundation, keep the blocks snugged up together tightly, and use caution when placing the offset bricks as you build the chimney. Also, the taller you build the chimney the better it will be at drawing smoke upward. Another interesting take away from both DIY projects is that building the front top wall of the fireplace is easy using angle iron. This is iron that is shaped in an “L.” Place the iron so that the back of the L provides a short “wall” to hold the bricks from sliding out and at the same time will keep them suspended at the top of the firebox opening. Whether you choose a fireplace or a firepit, you will provide yourself and your friends and family with an opportunity to enjoy the outdoor living spaces at your home from the cool of early spring to the chill of late fall.

Page 28 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 Nila Smith Many times when people are asked what the singular most luxury item is they would like to have in their home, the answer will be a swimming pool! Having a nice in-ground pool in your backyard is an open invitation for fun and a constantly swinging back gate as friends and neighbors dub your home as the best place to go on a warm summer day. Find your personal paradise with an in-ground pool In ground pools are also a large expense, but on the bright side, a pool can also add a great deal of resale value to your property, making it justifiable as an investment over a splurge. But, putting in a pool is a large undertaking and one that most homeowners know they are not equipped to do as a DIY project. There are many steps involved in getting a pool installed, and in this case the best plan Continued --

Page 29 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 of action would be to talk to people who have made their living for more than forty years installing in ground pools. Rick and Sue Whiteman are the owners of P & W Pools and Spas in Lincoln, and their son Nathan is a franchised Premier Pools representative in Lincoln and Aurora. In 1981, Rick Whiteman was working for a pool company in Lincoln and was in a relationship with his future wife Sue. When the company he was working for closed its doors, Rick found himself unemployed. His future father-in-law, Andy Petermeyer made him and interesting offer. If Rick would roof Petermeyer’s house, then Petermeyer would help Rick and Sue open their own pool business in Lincoln. Thus, in October 1981, P & W Pools and Spas opened its doors and in April of the following year, the Whiteman’s were married. Through the years the couple have run the successful business and raised a family. With their sons growing up in the business, it is not a surprise that their son Bradley works for the company as an installer, truck driver and excavator. Their middle son Nathan works closely with his parents as the representative and salesperson for Premier Pools and Spas. Combined the two businesses offer an allinclusive pool sales and service program that includes design of the pool, advising on what is going to work in your yard, getting all the permits needed to install the pool, conducting land surveys on the install site to determine needs for retaining walls, and other topographic adjustments that will be needed to assure your pool has a long and happy life. After the pool is installed, the services continue, from doing water testing to determine the health of the water in your pool to recommending and selling necessary chemicals. Whiteman says that as time goes by, P & W has evolved into more of an installation and service business while Premier Pools does more of the sales and engineering/design for in ground pools. When asked about the investment involved in an in ground pool, Whiteman said that determining even a ballpark figure for a pool would be nearly impossible. He explained that every home owner is going to want different designs and features, and the cost of the pool will go along with what the homeowner wants and can afford. Generally speaking, Whiteman said there are three types of in ground pools. Base prices will be influenced by the constitution of the pool. Vinyl/steel wall pools can have the least costly base price. Pools with fiberglass shells are higher end than vinyl and more or less a ‘middle of the road’ construction and priced accordingly. The gunite/concrete pools are the top of the line and will be more costly from the start. Continued --

Page 30 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 Asked why a homeowner would choose an in ground pool over an above ground pool, Whiteman said that in ground pools, especially those that have an auto-cover system where the owner simply pushes a button and the protective pool cover slides across the top, are easier to maintain. The in ground pools also add more re-sale value to the home. Whiteman said it wasn’t all that long ago that one of their customers reached out to share that they had sold their home and got a very good price, thanks in no small part to the pool P & W had installed. In ground pools, when properly cared for have a longer life span than any kind of above ground pool. And an in ground pool can be the starting point for creating backyard paradise that will be a point of relaxation, a great draw for bringing family together of all ages, and a wonderful entertaining spot for parties or intimate gatherings with close friends. But, before that pool goes in, there is a great deal that needs to be done. First, buyers should be aware of what local codes pertain to swimming pools. For example, in Lincoln a pool must be fenced in. This is also a common rule for insurance carriers. While Premier and P & W can help advise you on local codes, you should check with your insurance company and see if they have any rules that might be more stringent than what local municipalities or the county have. Also, did you know that there are codes for those in the country as well. The Whiteman’s can advise owners on permits needed and codes that must be adhered to, and will apply for all necessary permits on behalf of the owner and at the owner’s expense. The location of the pool like any other in ground or under ground construction should be checked for underground wiring, water lines, sewer or any other obstructions in the lawn. Before the excavation starts there also needs to be surveying of the land to determine elevation. High spots and low spots in the lawn will have a definite impact on the pool if not addressed properly. The Whiteman’s will assist with this process and will then make recommendations in the design of the pool for additional structures such as retaining walls. Whiteman said that pools can be simple or complex, depending on the needs and desires of the customer. A pool can be anything from a small and simple dip pool to a full-sized deep-water diving pool. There are also options for in pool hot tubs and other luxurious details. Continued --

Page 31 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 And after the pool is installed, there are innumerable opportunities to enhance the space with patio areas that can include casual seating and lounging spaces or eating spaces complete with outdoor kitchens. And, if those outdoor kitchens are part of the must have list, be sure to let the Whiteman’s take a stab at getting you what you want. There is one outdoor kitchen set up in their showroom today that will be impressive to anyone who loves to do it all outside with the convenience of an indoor kitchen. Pools can be a lot of fun, and they can be a lot of money. Just to whet your appetite, here are some videos of just how far one can go with an in-ground pool. Best Backyard Swimming Pool Design Ideas, Small Pool Landscape Ideas - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=_2APgjGQfUY Beautiful SwimmingPool Landscaping Design Ideas - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=e0qTGHmNaqc The MOST EPIC Pools In Family Homes! | Ultimate Pools | HGTV - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=B7ykAKuviTA

Page 32 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 By Karen Hargis Castelein What happens when a lover of Halloween who is a fan of all things ghoulish, gory and ghostly buys an 1894 built home that is reported to be haunted? We won’t leave you in the “dark” for very long, she makes it a reflection of all she loves by going black. Karen Priddy purchased the home in Petersburg in 2013. She and her son Chaske Rencountre moved in right away, looking forward to soaking in the history of the home and becoming a part of the old house’s legacy. The home was built in 1894 and owned by a local veterinarian known to the community as “Doc Burt.” It is reported that Doc Burt’s son killed himself in the home, and since that time, some very strange things have been known to happen there. Priddy said after Doc Burt, there was a renter who lived in the home for a short time but soon moved out, in the middle of the night no less. Priddy is the manager of the Boo Crew in Rochester and runs a full-time cleaning service. She is a Nordic Pagan ordained minister for the past 20 years and she buys and sells oddities. In accordance with her love of dark mystery and spooky happenings, she How AAA Windows Siding Roofing made a homeowner’s dream come true owns a black bus and two black hearses that are so long she had to bump out the garage of her home so they would fit inside. Priddy is clearly in love with Halloween and all that goes with it. So it should not come as a surprise that her dream was to make her home a reflection of herself. She said that she has always wanted to see the home painted or sided in black but was not confident that she could get it done the way she wanted it. A couple of years ago, Priddy contacted AAA Windows Siding Roofing in Lincoln for some window work. The company installed new windows in the house including a garden greenhouse window that she dearly loves. Priddy was particularly happy with the work the company did. She said she had wanted to Continued --

Page 33 2023 Spring Home and Garden LINCOLN DAILY NEWS April/May 2023 work with a smaller, family-owned business. She said AAA was so easy to work with, the crew was very courteous and respectful of her property and did a wonderful job cleaning up. When she decided to go for the black, she went back to AAA to see if they could make her dream come true. At first she said they came back with an alternative to black because it would be less expensive and easier to get. But after seeing that Priddy was a little disappointed that she might not get the black, AAA went back and sharpened their pencils and came back a second time with a real black quote but said she may have to wait five or six months for a special order. She was so excited AAA made it affordable for her dream to come true. AAA ordered the black siding and within a week or so the siding was delivered. Karen said she was so happy she could hardly contain herself. Work began on Monday, March 27, 2023, and the week after Easter, AAA was finished with the project. Priddy is happy that AAA was able to do for her what she asked them to do. She is looking forward to enjoying the stage the new dark home sets for her lifestyle but does have one concern. Priddy believes there are spirits living in the home with her and her son. She noted a time when she left the house knowing full well that all the lights had been turned off. When she returned home all the lights had been turned back on. She said that her son Chaske has seen a little girl in the house and Priddy herself has seen an older man that she thinks could be Doc Burt. Both have heard people talking in the house and have seen objects in the home move without visible help. Priddy does not want the spirits to be upset about the drastic change in the home and is hopeful that they too will enjoy the novelty of living in a black house. The finished product looks amazing. The black house is accented with white window casings which keeps it from being an all-black canvas with no details that stand out. The house has a new personality and a new future with Priddy and her son. LDN is planning on making another visit down Petersburg way, maybe in the fall, around Halloween, so readers can know how Priddy and her ghostly apparitions are enjoying their spooky lifestyle in their new black house. So, at the end of the day, what it comes down to is that Karen Priddy wanted to have a home that was a reflection of who she is and what she enjoys. She had a dream…and AAA Windows Siding Roofing in Lincoln helped that dream come true.