Our days seem to be busier than ever – filled with activities from morning until night. Often only after the dinner is done and the dishes put away do we find that we have any time to sit and enjoy our gardens, yards or patios. But by then it is too dark to see all the beautiful plants that are better seen during the day. Consider creating an Evening Garden, some call it a Moonlight Garden, by installing flowers and shrubs with silver and white foliage or flowers. Many of these plants also emit their best fragrance at night. Is there anything that speaks of warm southern nights better than honeysuckle with its soft smell that fills the air in May? I don’t recommend that you plant wild honeysuckle in your garden or you will be cutting it back for the rest of your life. But there are some wonderful plants that you can add that will practically light up the garden and send heavenly scents your way.
Consider a border of white calla lilies and nicotianas (tobacco plant), a trellis of moonflowers (Ipomoea alba) and edged with white petunias. Add Peruvian daffodils (Hymenocallis narcissiflora) – (available from americanmeadow.com) for an exotic look and a fabulously fragrant scent. You can wow your friends with this unusual flower and your ability to pronounce its botanical name. Other fragrant vines that would work on a trellis are Akebia quinata (chocolate vine) and, of course, our confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). Many of you know about Daphne odora and its incredible, long-lasting fragrance. Don’t be put off by the stories you have heard that it is hard to grow. Give it a slightly raise bed so that there is good drainage and it will reward you handsomely.
It has been a full half year since the first Nunnsense found its way into the pages of the Morgan County Citizen.
The first, which was entitled “N-Diculous” for some reason, was written around noon on a Tuesday morning, after I had finished all of my normal stories and found myself staring down a few hours with relatively little to do.
About that time, Ryan Roberts, ad representative, found an article about an Oregonian pig farmer that was eaten by his own on CNN’s website, and, looking for a way to kill some time, I decided to write about the poor man in a less-than-serious manner.
I finished the piece a few minutes later and passed it around the office to get a few laughs.
Being the eternally supportive person that he is, Ryan recommended that we try to convince Kathryn Schiliro – managing editor, evil queen, and glue that holds this place together – to run the piece in the opinion/editorial pages.
We didn’t think there was any way she’d go for it, but it took relatively little coaxing for an approval.
(That hasn’t always been so easy. Kathryn and I have fought over several key words and phrases since then, and I’ve even gotten two “banned” Nunnsenses in the vault.)
So the piece ran that week, and the column has been running ever since.
But here’s the thing, my goal from the very beginning was to write up topics in such a way that I’d get complaints from the gentile Madison audience, and, as of yet, I haven’t seen a single one.
Monsanto Protection Act a product of crony capitalism
Whether you are anti-GMO, pro-GMO, or couldn’t-care-less-about-GMO you should be angered and frightened not only by the content of what lawmakers slipped into the unremarkably named “H.R. 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013” last week, but the manner in which they did so.
Why should you care? The inserted language sets a dangerous precedent. It does so by carving out an exception in which a regulatory agency (the USDA in this case) may become answerable to no one. Traditionally such agencies fall under the purview of judicial review, meaning their practices, policies, or actions may be halted either temporarily or permanently upon a judge or judges finding issue with their actions. The judiciary in this case acts as the only mechanism the people have to prevent such agencies simply doing whatsoever their heart desires. This bill inserts language that allows the USDA to simply ignore judicial opinion and proceed under their own unbound and unchecked authority. Even laws passed by Congress may be nullified by judicial review, but no such limitation would exist for certain decisions of the USDA.
A word to both conservatives and liberals. We are not fooled by the careful packaging of your agendas. Cow manure packed in a decorative performed box is still cow manure! Immigration reform, abortion, same sex marriage, gun control or lack thereof, foreign policies that constantly lead to war and all other low brow issues taken up by both are not the will of the American people.
They are the will of special interests on both sides. We are tired of you claiming that your issues are the will of “The People.” And we’re especialy tired f you claiming to take the moral and ethical high road on these issues. Either of you care or even know who the American people are. We aren’t just conservatives and liberals, gay and straight rich and poor. We’re regular people forced to vote during election time between the lesser of two evils. What the last election said to both sides is that we’re tired of you not listening to us. We’re tired of the dirty way you use state and federal politics and our judicial system to go behind our backs to reverse what the people have decided. We keep voting for moderation and common sense and all we get is zealots on both sides wasting political time and effort to cripple Obama’s presidency and push gay marriages. You are a stomach churning embarrassment to moderates in both parties, who by the way are still the majority! Maybe you’ve forgotten that but we haven’t!
Printed in the April 11, 2013 edition.
Columnist answers the question: “What is depression?” • Jennifer Smith, Marriage and Family TherapistSubmitted by editor on Thu, 04/11/2013 - 19:47.
Criteria with which depression is diagnosed by mental health professionals include:
Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and at least five of the following symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.
1. Depressed mood most of the day.
2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities
3. Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
4. Insomnia or sleeping too much.
5. Agitation or psychomotor retardation noticed by others.
6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.
9. Recurrent thoughts of death.
There are many and varied reasons that people become depressed, some organic and some situational. Some depression is treated chemically and some not. If you believe you or someone you love is depressed, it is important to have a thorough evaluation by a therapist or psychiatrist in order to know how to proceed.
While I along with many health professionals use the above criteria to diagnose depression, I would also like to add some thoughts from Parker Palmer in his book Let Your Life Speak. He is a writer, teacher and activist who has periodically suffered with depression. Over the years, I have found his insights incredibly helpful in understanding depression. He says:
“Depression is the ultimate state of disconnection– it deprives one of the relatedness that is the lifeline of every living being...it is the ultimate state of disconnection not just between people, but between one’s mind and one’s feelings...it is also the disconnection between one’s self-image and one’s public mask.”
Most people that I have been meeting are moaning and groaning about those cold days and all the rain, but that weather combination made for happy pansies and violas. Well, maybe a little less rain would have been OK. But now the city containers are at their peak and the weather forecast in the next coming week calls for sunny, warm days– perfect for walking around town, doing a little local shopping and checking out the pots of pretties.