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Today's Features

  • Two weeks ago I asked "what more Mother Nature?"

    Well, another gusty windstorm was served up adding to the collection of debris left by the ice storm. Some serious questions are coming in about what to take out and what to try and save.  I am not a certified arborist but I can pass on the guidelines that certified arborists are taught when it comes to tree assessment and risk management.

    These criteria may help you decide what to do now and in the future.

  • After 11 days with no electricity, and a lot of fast food and sandwiches, this is the first thing I cooked for myself.

    I had lost the contents of my refrigerator and freezer, so it had to be something that didn't need any refrigerated ingredients.

    It was delicious, and I ate like a ravenous hyena.

    Try it; you'll like it.

    Rice Pilaf with Cashews and Raisins

    3 T. olive or vegetable oil

    1 large onion, diced or slivered

    1/2 t. garlic powder

    1 c. long grain rice

  • My dad was a great eater. He loved good food and was always sending me recipes to try.

    Most of them were desserts as he had a serious sweet tooth.

    He sent me this recipe for Coconut-Pecan Bars and I just last week discovered it in the drawer and got around to trying it.

    It was good and well received by all the guinea pigs that tried it (my poker group.)

    Personally, I thought it was plenty sweet enough without adding the glaze on top but you can see what you think.

  • As expected I had several people ask me what was the best tree species to plant in place of the ones being cut down and they want ones that will survive the next ice storm.

    Well, the answer is, there isn't one?

    All tree species sustained damage, however some worse than others.  For instance, "Bradford" pear was destroyed and it's a no brainer to not plant them again, because they also fail in high winds pretty regularly.  

    There are some that were damaged pretty badly but they still have their place in the landscape.

  • It seems we are in the middle of yet another "situation," as my husband calls it, served up by Mother Nature.

    At present we are right in the middle of the mess out at the farm. No electricity, no phone line, no heat, and no water.

    We can manage well enough inside with the fireplace, kerosene heater, camp stove, down comforter and strategic water rationing (with supplements brought in from town).  Outside is a different story.

  • Here are a couple of hot and hearty dips, great for a party.

    They can be made up ahead of time and kept warm in a crock-pot or chafing dish.

    The Pizza Dip is an old recipe. I remember my mom serving it with breadsticks back in the early 60s.

    The Reuben Dip is terrific on rye crackers or toasted party rye bread.

    Enjoy!

    Pizza Dip

    1 lb. lean ground beef

    1 medium onion, chopped

    3 c. tomato sauce, pizza sauce or meatless spaghetti sauce

    1T cornstarch

    1 1/2 t. fennel seeds

    1 1/2 t. oregano

  • The ice storm of 2009 will go down as one of the worst if not the worst on record, with that said soon if not already electricity will be restored, water will be restored, clean up will begin, and we will go about our lives as if nothing happened.  However there is still a nagging long-term problem, trees! The scars from this storm are going to be troubling us for years.  We will be cutting down and pruning up trees of all sizes and ages.

    This is only going to cause problems down the road!

  • I suspect most of you have no idea about the person and the saintly episode that is commemorated each Feb. 14 by friends, family and most importantly, lovers.

    In fact, there are several versions of how the most romantic Saint became a commercial success.

  • I haven't had a lot of news articles lately mainly because it's winter and I don't have a lot to say. But recently, I had a question that made me think. Which is the best houseplant?

    Obviously, that is up to debate because most people have their favorites. There are people that love African violets, those that love cactus and those that just love anything tropical looking. But I sat down one day to ponder just which is the one best houseplant.

  • We received a call last week concerning an abandoned dog living on the Calvary side of Lovers Lane. The caller stated that this dog had been left behind by a family that had moved out. We were also informed at this time that the dog was a female, and she had a litter of seven pups. She had also been hit by a car and her left front leg was permanently damaged. So we're talking about a stray dog with pups and on top of all that she was a three legged dog, not exactly the ideal dog to adopt out.