Halloween - the night that begat all fun-sized candies is upon us and with it, the magic and lore of that night.
"Mama, did they do trick or treating when you were a kid?" Cole asked.
When most folks think of gardens in the fall, leaf color change is usually the first thing that comes to mind.
Another aspect of fall and winter gardens that is often overlooked is ornamental berry production. As the leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs drop, certain plants will reveal their showy clusters of brightly-colored berries.
In my office, high up on a shelf, sits a pretty dainty little plaque that has survived numerous moves without being lost or broken.
I am not sure who gave it to me -- I have had it so long, that I forgot. But whoever it was, they evidently know me very well because the pretty, girlie plaque declares: "Never underestimate the power of a good hissie fit."
"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: Religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin."
That's what Linus said in the Charlie Brown Halloween special more than 40 years ago.
One of nature's greatest spectacles is the array of colors presented during autumn in the mountains.
Most of us are lucky enough to live within driving distance of a deciduous forest, allowing us to take in the beauty of the color change.
There's a window of opportunity as a parent, probably from a child's age of 2 to about 11 where any and every thing we say is gold.
Once they hit the 12-year-old mark, any words that come out of our mouths sound very similar to the teachers on the Charlie Brown cartoons.
Being the parent of an only child I willingly admit he is a little bit spoiled. Not necessarily with material things, although his room would beg otherwise. He on the other hand, would tell you a tale of how deprived he is because at 8 years of age, he doesn't have his own iPhone or tablet. But when it comes to attention, Cole is pretty rotten.
"Mama, tell me about when I was born again," he asked as his 8th birthday neared earlier this week.
We are now officially into fall, which means it is time to start thinking about how to protect our ornamental plants from cold damage.
Daylight hours are getting shorter and nighttime temperatures are dropping. Plants are starting to move in to a state of dormancy, or rest, as their growth hormones slow down.
Most of us are fortunate to live fairly comfortably in our everyday lives. We are lucky to live in a stable society that allows most of us to never worry about our food supply. We all have access to electricity, and all of the comforts and entertainment that comes with it.
Have you ever thought about what you would do if a natural disaster stuck? What if you no longer had electricity, water and access to the grocery store for extended periods of time?
One morning on Facebook my friend Lori and I got in a conversation about why we were up so early.
For me, 5:30 a.m. is normal. I declared myself a morning person.
Last Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of one of our nation's saddest days: 9/11/01. I don't think anyone will ever forget that day nor should they. People all around the nation, not just in New York, were paying tribute and memorializing for those who perished.
For some, it was a ceremony. For others, it was a moment of silence.
Summer and fall are the most common times to find fruit flies in your home. Although they may occur year-round, the usual abundance of ripening fruit in many people's homes in the summer and fall tend to attract more flies.
Fresh fruit is an important part of a healthy diet, so don't let fruit flies deter you from eating right.
Like a lot of women, I worry about my weight constantly. I was a chubby kid and no matter how many pounds I lose, I always have that chubby ghost lurking in the back of my head.
Mama never had to worry about her weight when she was younger. She was a skinny kid, all elbows and knees. As an adult, she was thin, probably because nicotine and coffee were her two major food groups.
Boxwoods (Buxus sp.) are a well-known garden shrub frequently planted in Georgia.
They have been used for many years in English formal gardens where they gained the reputation as a must-have for upscale, magisterial landscapes.
Parenthood comes with a unique set of challenges. Are you teaching your children the right things? Are they getting the right foods, the right education? Are they involved in the right extracurricular activities? Are you scarring them for life?
But children are resilient people. They seem to go with the ebb and flow of life much easier than adults. Some of the things we worry about, they don't even notice.
One of my favorite characters ever and one that readers have unfailingly enjoyed is my friend, Poet, the scion of a cotton family who speaks ...
Many people are uncomfortable with stretches of silence in a conversation.
"Mama, can I?..."
One Saturday morning, I ran by the bank to pick up a checkbook that had arrived and found the place to be unusually busy. I ...
It's hard to find a good mudhole these days. Have you noticed that? Too much concrete and asphalt.
It started with a conversation about "Die Hard."
A while back, the chief tax assessors from counties throughout Georgia asked me to speak to their gathering at Jekyll Island. We frequent the Golden ...
When Cole woke up feeling a bit puny, I begged him not to tell Mama.
It is a sure bet, I am certain, that I am not the only wife with a husband who cares little about clothes. Like many ...
A part of my childhood died recently.
One of the dearest and oldest friends I have, had a close brush with death recently. He didn't just stand on the banks of ...
Years and years ago, my child had decided he was going to be a vegetarian.
I started dreading it last Monday.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says "When an old man dies, a library burns down." With no man was this truer than it ...
Mama used to say, every time she was sick, "I've never been so sick in all of my life." EVERY time.