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Cheerful Pussy Willows Chase Away the Mud Season Blues

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In general, I don’t sing. I can’t carry a tune, and words to even the simplest of songs seem to disappear from my brain in about 20 minutes. Always have. So it was a surprise to me when, walking by a clump of pussy willows, I remembered a simple childhood tune about them and was inspired to sing it — and to ponder the joys of pussy willows. They are …

Welcome Spring, Welcome Bulbs

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I’ve been paying attention to snowdrops and crocus since I was 9 years old — I recently found entries in my diary that tell me so. My entry for March 7, 1956, in its entirety was this: “Spring is getting here at last the snow drops are in bud + will bloom in a few days.” Then on April 5 I wrote, “Today …

Early Spring Chores

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring finally seems to be coming to Cornish Flat — about a month late this year. My snowdrops are just starting to bloom and large patches of snow are still on the lawn and garden, though there are bare spots. I really want to get outside and start cleaning up the yard and garden beds, but will try to hold myself back until …

In the Fall Flow

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bill Bates, of Windsor, splits wood in Hartland Four Corners.Valley News — Sarah Priestap …

It’s Drying  Time Again

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This was a fabulous year for most fruits, particularly apples and pears. The abundance made it impossible to eat all the fruit when ripe, so I have been processing fruit for the last few weeks. Although I froze enough apples for several pies, I have primarily been dehydrating …

Simple Steps to a Cozy, Efficient Home

Sunday, November 10, 2013

As temperatures drop and daylight is in shorter supply, we fight back: We crank up the heat in our homes and turn on lights earlier and earlier. And yet we also want to keep our heating and electric bills as low as we can. Can you keep your …

Force Bulbs for Good Cheer

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Winters here can be long and cold. Sometimes they are burdensome for a guy like me who loves playing in the garden — planting and picking flowers, or harvesting lettuce and berries. But like the squirrels, I’m planning …

Game of Thrones: Buying New Toilet

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Not all toilets are created equal. So when you need to upgrade yours, take time to review what’s available. You’ll discover that the market is flush with options. To help you narrow down the choices, follow these tips from our consumer research team, based on interviews with toilet …

Don’t Spare the Stems And Lose a Tree

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Now, as the leaves are disappearing (or accumulating on the lawn, demanding in a whiny voice to be raked up and used for mulch), I am pruning hardwoods such as maples, birches and other deciduous trees and shrubs. …

Bathroom Gets a Budget Makeover

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Akron, Ohio — I am a cheapskate. Frugal is a nicer word, but the truth is I can pinch a penny till Abe gets bruises. So of course I brought my skin-flintiest spirit to my recent renovation of my powder room. The room had long bugged me, with …

Time to Plant Trees and Shrubs

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Irish writer Thomas Moore (1779-1852) once wrote, “A piece of the sky and a chunk of the earth is lodged in the heart of every human being.” I would like to add “And hopes for a seed waiting to be planted.” It’s why we garden, or I do, …

Insulation Helps With Comfort, Cost Savings

Monday, October 14, 2013

If you’re warm to the idea of keeping your house comfy, but cool to the thought of wasting energy dollars, check your insulation. Like just about anything else, insulation can deteriorate over time, becoming less efficient at retaining your home’s cold air in summer and warm air in …

Cleaning Up in Cornish

Saturday, October 12, 2013