I hate to admit that over the last decade, the Christmas season has lost some of its sparkle.
Don't get me wrong, I still love and celebrate the reason for the season, but the trappings of shopping, the hectic fury of schedules and the feelings of not doing enough for everyone on my list has left me feeling more like the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge than someone celebrating the most magical time of the year.
In the south, we love tradition. Maybe it's because in our ever- changing world we find comfort in knowing that some things can stay the same.
Christmas is a special time of year, and I try to share with my children simple traditions I remember as a child.
I can't speak for all men, but when it comes to the men in my life, their idea of quality bonding time has involved some form of sports.
My grandfather and uncle would spend Saturdays at Georgia games; evenings were spent watching the Braves or some God-awful wrestling. This was their father-son time even though they worked more than 50 hours a week together.
Flowering and foliage plants make welcome gifts. How long they remain attractive may be directly related to the care they are given. Careful handling is also an important factor that may affect these plants.
Proper watering is critical. Large plants in small containers dry out quickly. Also, the relative humidity indoors tends to be quite low during the heating and air-conditioning seasons. Under these conditions, check plants daily.
"You're going to have to just get a thick skin," is something I have been told more times than I care to count.
"This is a rough job," one of the attorneys I worked with told me. "You will be called names, cussed at, spit on, probably even hit. You're gonna have to have a thick skin, kid."
It's hard to believe Christmas is almost here. At my house we take holidays one at a time. I try not to think about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it's time to select a Christmas tree.
I remember as a child going with my father to find a Christmas tree on my family's farm. The selection was not great, but with luck we would find an Eastern Red Cedar tree that would pass my mother's inspection.
Two things were almost always around when I was a child: Dogs and shotguns.
Even though I am fairly certain the guns actually belonged to Pop, Granny threatened to use them more than he did, if that was possible.
As you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, please be thankful for the American farmer.
Give thanks to the American farmer for growing most of the food we eat and material for many of the clothes we wear.
Granny has always been known for doing two things really well: Cooking and quilting.
Before arthritis completely crippled her hands, she could make the most beautiful handmade quilts ever seen. Her skills in the kitchen were even more impressive.
There have been countless books, movies and late-night infomercials geared to the topic of how to become a millionaire using other people's money. It seems like regardless of how good your business idea or invention is, bottom line, it's better to take a risk using someone else's money instead of your own.
If using other people's money is all it takes to become a millionaire, I am expecting my son Cole to be topping the Forbes 500 by the time he's 10.
November can be a lull or lively time in the garden. If the weather allows, many jobs can be done now to improve next year's garden. Some jobs can even be done indoors so weather does not have to keep you from gardening pursuits.
It bears repeating - soil test.
All of us have read the claims of amazing fruits and vegetables. Robert Westerfield, Georgia Extension Horticulturist, offers several rules to follow before purchasing unknown fruits to avoid disappointment and wasted money.
The first rule is, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A good example of this is the advertisement to grow tomatoes and potatoes in one single planting.
Planting perennials properly and at the right time can determine whether and how prolifically they bloom the first year.
For shrubs, fall is considered the best time to plant perennials in the South.
Three years ago, I received my first phone call about a mass of small insects (not lady bugs) on the side of a building.
As I expected, the insect in question was megacopta cribraria, also known as the kudzu bug.
It has been said money cannot buy happiness. The end to our dry weather would make gardeners and farmers happy.
However, all of the money in the world could not buy rain. I believe it is good that man does not control the weather.
Spring is a beautiful time of year.
Granny cursed me once.
Dawson County 4-H Club, All Animals Veterinary Hospital and Dawsonville Veterinary Hospital will be hosting the annual rabies clinic on April 25.
IKEA, I will never darken your doors. Never, not ever.
A friend and I were chatting one night, catching up on things and the conversation turned to our usual wistful, wishful discussion of how life was really going.
Early March can be one of the blandest times in the landscape.
"Mama, is it bad that I am happy?"
I just finished sending out congratulatory messages across the globe to various women I have worked with through the decades.
Now is the time to start preparing your garden for potato plantings.
"So, how are Mama and Uncle Bobby doing without Granny?" my friend Renee asked as she took a seat across the table from me.
It must be open season on people who are overweight.
With all of the recent winter weather, a summer lawn may be the last thing on your mind. However, now is the time to start thinking about controlling summer annual weeds, such as crabgrass.
I sometimes think people have lost all sense of boundaries and personal decorum.
The winter storm of the past week has led to many shrubs and trees damaged in home landscapes.
I have often marveled how teachers could do it. Not just the keeping a classroom of children occupied or trying to keep track of how many kids have gone to the restroom, either. I have always been in awe of those good teachers who really inspire their students to learn.
Page 1 of 1