Blueberries are fabulous plants and provide year-round interest in the garden. They have glossy green leaves that are covered with white blossoms in the spring. They grow into an easy care shrub in most areas of Oregon. Our naturally acidic soil makes for happy blueberries. Flavorful blueberries are very nutritious and look great on the plant. Blueberries have great fall foliage colors and red twigs in the dead of winter.
The first blueberry plants I planted are right out my kitchen window, and they are an important part of my landscape design. I like the look of flowering shrubs surrounded by mulch. The mulch breaks down improving the soil, keeping down weeds and holding in moisture in the summer. I have a drip tube hidden under the mulch, with a timer on it in the summertime to water automatically. It looks nice year round, needs little maintenance, and provides fat beautiful berries. Continue reading
From its earliest days, America has been a nation of immigrants, starting with its original inhabitants, who crossed the land bridge connecting Asia and North America thousands of years ago. By the 1500s, the first Europeans, led by the Spanish and French, had begun establishing settlements in what would become the United States.
The Pilgrims in the early 1600s, arrived in search of religious freedom. They were soon followed by a larger group seeking religious freedom, the Puritans, who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By some estimates, 20,000 Puritans migrated to the region between 1630 and 1640.
From the 17th to 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of African slaves came to America against their will. By 1680, there were some 7,000 African slaves in the American colonies, a number that ballooned to 700,000 by 1790, according to some estimates. Congress outlawed the importation of slaves to the United States as of 1808, but the practice continued. The U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in the emancipation of approximately 4 million slaves. Continue reading
My siblings and I are 50% hardcore, no-kidding Irish. The Maguire name is revered all the way from my Boston-born and raised Da to my precious grandchildren. My oldest held the surname until she married, then changed it legally to be a part of her middle name. Her children have grown up as proud Maguires. I named my youngest in honor of the family, and she kept Maguire when she married. Her three-year-old baby girl was given the middle name Lucia-Maguire. Her Papa is a beautiful Italian man, cool accent and all, so even though this incredible child is less Irish than she is Italian and Hispanic (my other 50% is from strong Spanish and Mexican stock) she will continue to embrace the Maguire name.
As you can imagine, Saint Patrick’s Day is kinda important to our clan. One March many years ago, we decided to celebrate at an Irish pub owned by a man Dad knows. Queue laughter. When we could not fit into the mob scene there, we needed a plan B. Someone suggested an interesting idea that the Maguire family move our festivities to a near-by Mexican restaurant, Ajo Al’s. Yes, we wore our green plastic derbies and shamrock shaped beads! Our patriarch Continue reading
There was a large expanse of green, well maintained lawn, recently mowed. In the background was a building three stories high that almost covered the width of the property. It had all the architectural features of a building that was constructed in the 30’s. As it turned out it was built in 1938 as a home for the elderly. Attractive and inviting even for a large building.
I grabbed the front door knob but it was locked. To the left was a door bell. I looked through a metal grill protecting a glass enclosure and rang the bell. They spotted me and let me in. Security is important.
After brief introductions I was escorted to a conference room upstairs. As I passed several rooms I noticed an odd device on the floor—beige in color, about the size of a small round soup pan with a wire coming out the back and going under the door. Some doors had two or more on the floor. Curiosity sparked my interest. What are these things? Turns out they are noise devices so you can’t listen into conversations on the other side of the door. Confidentiality is very important. Continue reading
It can turn your life upside down. We sleep in a California King-sized bed. As I write that it seems weird. Why is it called that? California is not a bed – nor does it have a king! For some reason it must have something to do with its size. At any rate, that is a description of our bed. Husband weighs two of me – so he is always too warm. I am always barely above frozen! The solution was a heated mattress pad with dual controls. This worked great for a long, long time. I loved getting into a nice warm bed and “sleeping like a teenager” according to husband.
However, came the morning when instead of a “number” to turn off I saw “KB,” as in kicked bucket, on the dial! I was cold. There was no long illness with this mattress pad. It was over and done with and cold. Now you would think, replace it, right? Well, BB and B (local mattress pad store) was all out. In fact, so was Continue reading
Effective Monday, March 4 until Aug. 31, 2019, the following fishing regulation changes are in effect on the Willamette and Clackamas Rivers:
• Anglers with the two-rod validation may use two rods while fishing for all species (except sturgeon) in all areas of the Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls. This change also applies in the small area of the Clackamas River from its confluence with the Willamette upstream to the Hwy 99E bridge.
• Youth anglers under 12 may use two rods in this area without purchasing the validation.
• Anglers remain restricted to one rod at all times when fishing for sturgeon.
• A decision on whether to allow two rods upstream of Willamette Falls will be made at a later date.
As a reminder, anglers remain limited to one rod at all times when fishing in the Columbia River.
The following regulation changes effective March 4 are due to poor projected returns of broodstock to Clackamas Hatchery. Continue reading
Spring is coming! Early spring is a good time to catch up around the yard. I try to get the following tasks done in February. I also like to get my snow peas planted by Valentine ’s Day. Here are some of my routine spring chores.
A sunny morning is a good time to repaint your tree trunks. I use mis-mixed interior semi-gloss of any light color, and paint from the lowest branches down to ground level. Don’t forget to check that your trees have their weed- whacker protection devices still in place. Look for signs of bug infestations. Weed around your trees and fertilize with a complete mix or some well aged manure. Spread mulch under your trees to retain moisture. Mulch will keep weeds down and it breaks down into the soil to improve soil fertility and tree growth. Continue reading
Here in the Northwest we’ve had a relatively mild winter. While the eastern two-thirds of our country has been brutally blasted with cold air and snow blizzards from the north, we’ve been spared. We had a short stint of snow, nothing like those other cities, but still enough to wreak havoc for motorists. Typically, the towns further east into the Gorge have it worse, with I-84 often shutting down for days on end, but on the west end, we’re back to rain. Up higher in the mountains, the ski resorts are excited for the February snows that are falling. They promise to bring more skiers, snowboarders, and tubers to the mountains and to their businesses.
One thing you’ve often heard from friends visiting our area from another part of the country is their amazement that we have so many trees and everything seems so green. Continue reading
Born as a slave on February 29, 1840, at Norfolk, Virginia, William Harvey Carney was an African American soldier during the American Civil War. Born as a slave, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1900 for his gallantry in saving the regimental colors (American Flag) during the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. He is considered to be the first African American to be granted the Medal of Honor.
His father, also named William, escaped slavery, reaching freedom through the Underground Railroad. William Sr. then worked to buy the freedom of the rest of his family. Free and reunited, the family settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts in the second half of the 1850s. Young William learned to read and write, and by age 15 he was interested in becoming a minister.
He gave up his pursuit of the ministry, however, to join the Army. In an 1863 edition of the Abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, Carney explained: “Previous to the formation of colored troops, I had a strong inclination to prepare myself for the ministry; but when the country called for all persons, I could best serve my God serving my country and my oppressed brothers. The sequel in short—I enlisted for the war.” Continue reading
As parents, and specifically as moms, our relationships change when children become a permanent part of our lives. Some things suddenly do not seem nearly as important as they used to be and others seem critical to the development of our children and our lives as growing families. We may find ourselves disconnected from friends who don’t have kids, friends who keep late nights and late mornings, friends or family who are completely spontaneous and cannot empathize with the nature of feeding, nursing, or naps schedules. We likely find ourselves drawn to other parents at play groups or preschool, Little League and dance class, school fundraisers or college financial aid seminars. Yet it is important to keep our lives rich with a variety of relationships.
It may take work and a lot of advance planning to set up a dinner out with a friend, but it’s important to maintain relationships that do not always involve our children. As long as we are devoting love and time to our kids, let us work at keeping ourselves complete as human beings, a part of which (and a very large part at that) consists of being parents. Continue reading