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Chicago natives know that the winter months can sometimes feel like a brutal expedition to the Antarctic. It’s no wonder psychiatrists report that more people fall into depression during the months of January through March than any other time of the year. Just a few months ago we were all enjoying the splendors of our beautiful gardens, taking in the wildlife that’s so easily attracted to a properly designed backyard eco-system. Now we’re faced with a frozen tundra, a sea of white. However, as they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
A guest to my home may look out my back window and see nothing but a pile of snow and a man-made ice rink. I, on the other hand, see something completely different. When I look out to my winter wonderland, I see an invigorating variety of native grasses poking through the snow. I see the incredible branching structures of the oaks and maples that are so easily disguised during the summer months with their abundance of leaves. And my favorite part…I see an amazingly beautiful frozen waterfall cascading into my “man-made ice rink”!
The water feature is by far my favorite element of my backyard ecosystem. It brings me true enjoyment every month of the year. When designed properly a water feature, just like other landscape features, can be an ever-changing piece of art.
As I sit next to the fireplace gazing out to my backyard, I can close my eyes and easily paint the picture of how my yard will look in just a couple short months…In the spring, as the ice begins to melt, I’m greeted with the mass variety of spring bulbs planted along the shore. The year-round residents of my pond, my beautiful Japanese Koi, begin to awaken from their winter slumber and once again are greeting me at the shoreline awaiting their feeding. The summer months bring a totally different aspect to my water feature. A mass variety of colorful water lilies bloom abundantly. Shore-line plantings define the edges of this canvas adding a sea of textured green and at the same time acting as a phenomenal filter helping keep my water crystal-clear and my fish extremely happy. As autumn falls upon my water feature, the sea of green is magically transformed to a vast hue of oranges and reds. Even though the water lilies blooms begin to fade, they are replaced by strategically chosen plantings that truly consider this season their time to shine.
I open my eyes and am once again greeted by this white wonderland. While some may not see it, I can truly take in the beauty that surrounds me this time of year. This is the perfect opportunity to grab the camera and start snapping shots of that frozen waterfall as it creates an amazing array of ice formations. I’m sure to get a few great photos of the many species of birds that still visit during these months to drink from the open areas of ice. I can also anticipate nightfall as my underwater lights turn on illuminating this piece of art and, once again, revealing yet another beautiful aspect of my water feature.
Beauty definitely is in the eye of the beholder. Once one truly opens their eyes, the possibilities are endless.
Matt Septeowski is the owner of Along The Waters’ Edge, a water feature design firm located in the Chicagoland suburbs. For the past 18 years, he has designed, installed and consulted on well over a thousand water features around the country. For more information, please visit www.ProWaterfalls.com or you can contact Matt directly at Matt@ProWaterfalls.com.
The winter months bring the cold, flu & pneumonia making it a dangerous time for those already affected by, or prone to respiratory conditions. Contracting the flu or pneumonia can require hospitalization for elderly individuals and individuals with conditions such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. The flu and pneumonia can cause an exacerbation or worsening of the severity of the above-mentioned conditions. In addition, the flu can rapidly progress into pneumonia in individuals with chronic diseases and conditions.
Those at risk for developing the flu and pneumonia include:
· Suffering from chronic illnesses such as COPD, lung disease, asthma, heart disease, kidney disorders and diabetes
· Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
· Recovering from another illness
· Recently had the cold or flu
· Living in extended care facilities
· Age 65 or older
· Weakened immune system
Tips to stay healthy include:
· Practicing regular hand washing, especially before a meal or after going outside or being around others who may be sick
· Eating a healthy diet full of antioxidants
· Improving lung capacity by not smoking and exercising regularly
· Getting a flu shot every year, the flu is a common cause of pneumonia
Lexington Health Network offers a full continuum of post hospital care for those recovering from pneumonia or other pulmonary-related conditions from post hospital inpatient rehabilitation to home care services.
The Lexington Pulmonary Program is designed for those individuals suffering from COPD, Asthma, Pneumonia, Emphysema and other pulmonary-related diagnoses and offers:
· A Board Certified Pulmonologist
· Is available for patients on oxygen up to 15L
· Offers rehabilitation with Physical, Occupational & Respiratory Therapy
· A dedicated Sub-Acute Nurse Practitioner
For more information on Lexington Health Network and all the programs offered, please visit www.lexingtonhealth.com
There are a number of myths surrounding debt relief under Chapters 7 & 13 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
Voluntary Bankruptcy has existed in the United States since 1841 when Congress passed Act of Aug. 19, 1841, section 1, 5 Stat. 440. The idea that someone could voluntary declare themselves unable to pay their debts was fairly unique at the time. The concept of voluntary bankruptcy represented a major departure from the European solution of jailing someone unable to keep current on their bills.
Bankruptcy was created by Congress to afford debt relief to those individuals that were unable to pay their creditors through no fault of their own. In an economy that relies so heavily on credit, the Bankruptcy Code provides relief to those who find themselves in financial trouble due to the loss of a job, major illness, or unsuccessful business dealings. Bankruptcy acts as a relief valve on the credit system that allows those who have met with adversity to begin rebuilding their lives and their credit.
Congress has also recognized that in order to begin rebuilding, individuals who have gone through bankruptcy will need a foundation to start from. In many cases, our bankruptcy clients are able to retain their home, cars, personal possessions, and retirement savings. Most of our clients that file for relief are employed and in many cases ownership in small businesses in unaffected by an individual’s bankruptcy proceeding.
It is important to have all the facts about Bankruptcy before making a decision. The Beis Law Offices is a firm based in the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
Call our offices for a free consultation with an attorney about your rights and options under the Federal Bankruptcy Code at 630-791-9091.
We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for bankruptcy relief.