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Sunday
Apr072019

Two gorgeous 'Double King' amaryllis flowers of reblooming water-grown bulb

Both flowers of the 'Double King' amaryllis in full bloom yesterday. The second flower to open (at right) has stamens and anthers while the first does not. This is the first time the bulb has produced a flower with obvious reproductive parts. It's interesting that they are only on one flower. I think this might mean that a male and a female flower are on the same stem? I did not have time to research this or why one flower would produce stamens after all these years.

Friday
Apr052019

Five-year-old, water-grown amaryllis in bloom and in distress 

Updated on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 08:23PM by Registered CommenterKimberly L. Jackson

Leafy, with its flower in a bottle vase, after the unfortunate falling accident

Yesterday morning I entered the kitchen before breakfast to find Leafy lying on the floor with a broken neck.

 

The entire bulb, with its long stem and single open flower, had fallen off its vase. The stem apparently snapped on  impact.

 

With sadness, I surveyed the plant, seeing that only a slender thread held flower to stem. I had to separate it, and the untimely cut flower on a too short stem is now in water within a fancy olive oil bottle.

 

The tall, vacant stem, still rising majestically from the bulb, will need to be cut away to facilitate leaf growth.

 

Thankfully, the break happened on the stem itself, instead of with one of the flowers. I'm very happy that the flowers were not damaged and  can still be enjoyed.

 

I do usually cut off the flower right at the base near the bulb's top, but only after both flowers are fully open.

 

The injury came just three days after the first flower started to open. With that flower fully open, the second bud has grown to almost equal size and, it has started to open and likely will be in full bloom before the week ends.

 

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Wednesday
Mar062019

Ask Dr. Barb: How to have the marijuana talk with teens 

Dr. Barbara RosenbergDear Dr. Barb: I am concerned about the prospect of legalized marijuana. Throughout my young life, I avoided it because it was considered a “gateway drug” that could lead to stronger drugs. I’m told that marijuana is not addictive, but I know people who seem to need to smoke it every day. I have never tried it, but I have actually had people tell me that marijuana can have health benefits. My concern is that legal weed will encourage younger people to try it and use it as a form of escape instead of dealing with their problems. I know some people use it for physical pain, but my concern is those who will use it to dull the emotional pain that signals a need to get psychological help or make life changes. Am I just a square who is out of touch with recent science? I would appreciate your insights on ways to talk with my children about a substance that was previously illegal now entering the mainstream.


Dear Reader: I definitely understand your concerns about legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults. Marijuana is now more potent than it was decades ago, and there are high-risk derivatives being made for use with the popular vaping devices.

The chemical changes in today’s marijuana pose serious risks to adolescent development. There is evidence that regular marijuana use during teen years can potentially damage cognitive processing and memory functions, resulting in a lower IQ.

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Saturday
Feb092019

So much is free at your New Jersey library

At least two area libraries (Fanwood and Springfield) host Scrabble groups, which are among the free clubs, programs and activites that offer fun, learning and self-development opportunities to local residents. Book lending is, of course, an awesome and valuable library service, but if you think of the library as only a place to borrow books that you have to remember to get back on time, it’s time to take a good look at your local library’s website.

Libraries in New Jersey and elsewhere continue to evolve to serve modern users in numerous other ways. Increasingly, libraries have become places that encourage lifelong learning -- and fun -- for adults as well as children.

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Monday
Dec312018

Vision boards as art: A decoupage craft project for a happy new year  

Words to live by: Back in the day when kids declared themselves “BFF” or best friends forever, the craft brand Plaid came up with this project idea for a canvas celebrating friendship.

Years later and at the dawn of a new year, we like the finished piece because it emphasizes, in a format meant to be displayed, some of the most important qualities of a strong friendship (you can lean on me, laugh, share good times).

This wordy decoupage project is great way to relax on the eve of a new year with an activity that can set the tone for 2019.

Plaid still makes word stickers for scrapbooking and decoupage projects such as this one, but it's also easy to clip out magazine words and images that speak to our goals or to print them out from the Internet. Such a project is appropriate for today and for the first part of the year because, with the right words and images, it can be a reminder to stay on track with our resolutions and the ways we want to grow better and stronger in the new year.

The beauty of decoupage is that it can be done on a variety of surfaces. Plaid makes its Mod Podge glue and sealer in several formulations:  for paper, fabrics, furniture and even outdoor surfaces. There are matte, gloss, glittered and other finishes. So grab a magazine and clip out inspiring words and images to make yourself a crafty vision board — a beautiful, visual reminder of your dreams and what it takes to be the very best you.

There's still time to get to the crafts store! For a bit more guidance, see our previous instructions to make an inspirational decoupage table.