Change One Thing

  • Post published:01/10/2008
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Over the years we have become more conscious of the waste in our American life, and have gradually made changes in the way we run our household. In the past year we replaced at least half the light bulbs in our house with CFL (compact fluorescent lights) which use a fraction of the electricity as incandescent bulbs, we used LED lights on our Christmas tree, and put our computer and TV on a power strip so that they…

Hail to the Pollinators

  • Post published:01/07/2008
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The United States Postal Service honored pollinators this year with a beautiful set of stamps showing bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds going about their vital duty, turning lovely flowers into seeds, fruits, berries and vegetables. Of course, those are just a few of the pollinators that play such an essential part in providing food for us humans and other animals. Did you know that bats alone pollinate more than 300 kinds of plants that humans use?I was browsing…

Jade Surprise!

  • Post published:01/07/2008
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My ancient, I don't even remember how old, jade plant has burst into bloom. This isn't the first time I have seen such a phenomenon, but it surprised us! Why? Who knows. I can't think that we have done anything different. It sits in a west window in a bright room with big south windows, and I water it when I think of it. I do check th firmness of the leaves so they don't get too withered.…

Kathy’s Cure

  • Post published:01/06/2008
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Once the perennial gardens filled with dozens of irises, hemerocallis and every other flower are put to bed, Kathy Puckett find she starts sliding into a funk. It isn't only the short days and long dark nights. She misses Flowers! Three years ago she decided the only cure was winter blossoms. Thus she began collecting orchids, tiny orchids, orchids that need a morning shower every day, some with an intense fragrance that is released only at the time…

My Friend, the Chicken Whisperer

  • Post published:01/03/2008
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My friend, B J Roche says she is too busy to blog, but she maintains a website for her journalism students at the University of Massachusetts, and all the rest of us who want to read what she has to say in a whole variety of publications including the Boston Globe and Commonwealth Magazine. However, she is not strictly speaking the truth. Her website includes a link to her chicken blog, The Chicken Whisperer, "because let's face it,…

Tillers of the Soil

  • Post published:01/02/2008
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I rarely make New Year's Resolutions. I'm much more inclined to Visualize Change, than to will change, but I feel so much new energy in the air as we launch ourselves into 2008 that this year I did make at least one resolution. Inspired by Amy Stewart's book, The Earth Moved, all about worms, I have resolved to begin worm composting. This will be an excellent way of eliminating a trudge through the snow to the compost pile,…

Happy New Year!

  • Post published:01/01/2008
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This year we put LED lights (light emitting diode) on our Christmas tree. The bulbs are not as large as the bulbs I remember from my youth, nor as tiny as the fairy lights that have been so popular in recent years. What makes them unique and desirable is the fact that they use only a quarter of the electricity of incandescent bulbs. We noticed that the quality of light is different. LEDs are not as bright as…

Snow Upon Snow

  • Post published:12/31/2007
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Snow on snow. And still snowing. Last week we had lots of snow, then heavy rain, then warm days, but there was still a lot of snow on the ground. We had our white Christmas but the roads were clear for travelling to grandchildren. Snow began falling late last night and we woke to a silent white world. The snow continues to fall, as does the silence. The plow hasn't made it to the End of the Road…

Belinda’s Dream

  • Post published:12/28/2007
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Such fame as my Massachusetts garden has is our collection of 60+ hardy roses, rugosas, gallicas and albas. My daughter Kate, who was married amidst our roses 13 years ago, and her family now live in Missouri City, just outside Houston, where hardiness of a different kind is required. Roses there need to be able to survive hot hot summers and heavy gumbo soil. When we visited in mid-April we went nursery shoppping and bought lots of star…

Make a Joyful Noise!

  • Post published:12/27/2007
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My friend Helen Opie, who now lives in Nova Scotia, sent this handrawn computer drawing (using the Paint program) as my Christmas greeting. It is only appropriate that she chose the life giving sun to celebrate the season.Helen has a sunny nature, and was one of the bright spots in my difficult year of teaching sixth grade. Her very smart, imaginative and creative daughter Jenny was in my class, and the link that brought us together. From there…