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Tuesday
Jan162018

Forcing amaryllis bulbs in water for repeat bloom: A Leafy update 

My 'Double King' amaryllis bulb in a Nov. 2017 photo and a Nov. 2016 photo (right). The shorter 2017 leaves, I believe, resulted from days outside.

I have been growing the same 'Double King' amaryllis bulb in plain water since December 2014. It has become a pet houseplant, named Leafy, and it has flowered each spring (three seasons) since then with diligent weekly water changes.

This winter, I didn't have time to experiment with forcing hyacinths in water or forcing tulips in water, so I'm really counting on Leafy to bloom again this year.  

As promised in a post months ago, I called up Hans Langeveld from Longfield Gardens in Lakewood for tips on improving Leafy's health, as the lone survivor of three amaryllis bulbs I got from his nursery in 2014.

The conversation took place way back in June, and I took notes on this expert grower's advice. 

But I didn't do most of what he advised for various reasons. 'Splash' and 'Magnum' gone, but not forgotten.

 

For one thing, he suggested that in the fall I chop off the very leaves that give the bulb its name to put Leafy into dormancy. (Pipe up shock-horror music recalling how I previously killed the other two amaryllis bulbs trying to do just that.)

 

But the first thing he wanted me to do was to plant Leafy outside.

 

“You don't want to go back to soil?” he asked almost incredulously with his gentle lingering accent.

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Sunday
Jan072018

Ask Dr. Barb: Talking to kids about sex

Dr. Barbara RosenbergDear Dr. Barb:

 I am concerned about how easy it is for children to access sexually explicit material online and that it will lead to irresponsible actions kids aren’t mature enough to handle. A friend recently caught her 12-year-old daughter viewing sexually explicit material on a mobile phone. What would you suggest for a parent dealing with the many sexual cues to which children are exposed?


Dear Reader:

In many communities, it is commonplace for pre-teens or “tweens” to have mobile phones. And as they are spending more and more time connecting with each other online, parents may be unsure where to draw the line between safe technology use and healthy social connection. Kids feel pressure to not be left out, and parents really do not want this to happen to their kids either.

However, among such challenges, the internet has made pornography more accessible and prevalent than any time in history. In her 2016 book, “Girls and Sex,” journalist Peggy Orenstein writes that 40 percent of all kids between 10 and 17 have been exposed to online pornography, many times accidentally.

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Tuesday
May092017

Interior design withdrawal: How to pick the perfect chandelier

Photo by Wheeler Kearns Architects - More contemporary dining room photos

It's time to buy a new chandelier, and the choices are overwhelming.

So many shapes and styles and light sources. It helps to narrow things down. Are you attracted to ornate lighting dripping with rows of sparkling crystals? Or do your tastes run more toward angular forms – lights anchored within square lantern shapes or arranged upon linear frames? Advances in LED lighting have brought us so many options that resemble abstract art.

 

What follows is visual exploration of why certain styles work in their room.

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Thursday
Mar022017

Spiralizer leftovers recipe: tri-color sweet potato hash browns 

The slender leftover finger of Japanese purple sweet potato (shown) and similar fingers of white-flesh Japanese sweet potato and plain orange sweet potato are what we want for tri-color hash browns.Hand spiralizers, at least every one that I've seen, always leave a long, thin pieces that peeve some people. Not me. I think having a rounded uniform length of vegetables can lead to all sorts of creative fun. 

Think of pretty, colorful coins in soups and salads. Today I made sweet potato hash out of three colors of sweet potato. I had previously used a length of parsnip in the recipe. The slightly-sweet root veggie is a good complement for sweet potatoes.

This time I used a run-of-the-mill regular sweet potato and two types of Japanese sweet potato: one with reddish-purple skin and pale flesh and one with dusty reddish-purple skin and deep purple flesh. It's shown in the photo. 

When I first began testing hand spiralizers, I hand-processed (cut?) spirals from a purple flesh sweet potato. It was easy work because I had picked out the longest thinnest one I could find. I forgot that I had done that.

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Saturday
Feb112012

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