Healing Mother Nature
Climate change—a hot topic (pun intended) all over the media—and how we humans have effectively set back the rhythms of nature for the next several generations seems not to have made much of a dent in our collective heads. Yes, even if all of us world-wide suddenly, right now, today, did all we could to take care of our planet, it will take generations beyond my great-great grandchildren to clean up the mess we’ve created. So, let’s begin then because I don’t envision living on the Moon or Mars as a picnic—at least not a picnic like I’ve enjoyed on planet Earth.
Sadly, there has been so much media coverage about climate change—or not if you’re among those who refuse to accept the evidence—that we’ve grown numb to it all. As gardeners, let’s agree to each do our part, beginning now, to help erase some of our carbon footprint while also picking up after the fools who believe nature is their personal garbage can. No, it won’t be fun, though I did enjoy the walk; no, we should not have to pick up after others; no, we won’t be paid. Still, at night you can fall asleep with a smile that at least you put a few band-aids on some of Nature’s wounds.
Let’s begin with the obvious: garbage. This was made abundantly clear when a group from our church did their annual highway cleanup along the arterial and amassed over nine several huge bags of trash and obvious items purposely tossed among the weeds along a one mile stretch of the Arterial. We collected nine orange bags of garbage! Next time you take a walk for the health of it, carry a plastic bag and pick up any trash along the way. Can’t bend easily? Purchase a grabber—an extension tool with a grabbing claw on the end—at the Dollar Tree and use it to retrieve the stray trash. Imagine if 500 people took a walk today somewhere in Dubuque and each one picked up a bag of trash weighing four pounds, that would be a ton—2,000 pounds—of trash off the streets and out of the parks, and absent from
Closer to home, let’s discuss organic recycling. If you’ve yet to build a compost pile, don’t put it off any longer. You can buy compost bins of all shapes and ways of operation or you can simply build a pile near your garden. Put your produce refuse, organic food scraps, grass clippings and such—just no animal fats or bones—and layer (like lasagna) the grass, organics, and spent soil. Though it’s late in the season to get a pile “cooking,” you should still keep all the material piled up for next year.
Finally, we can further help nature recover by limiting pesticides, herbicides and other human-created garden “helpers” in favor of natural items such as lady bugs, and insecticidal soaps. Really, does it matter if the tomatoes are not perfect? It’s not how they look, but how they taste that makes the difference. If we can eliminate some of the sprays and dangerous chemicals in our garden arsenal, we’ll be healthier and Nature—particularly the bees and butterflies—will smile on
Slow Cooker Ribs
Season ribs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and brown sugar on both sides. Add to large slow cooker. Add apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
Heat grill to 400 degrees F. Place ribs on grill and brush with Cremer’s BBQ Sauce. Grill for 5-8 minutes, being careful as to not let the BBQ sauce burn. Turn and brush the other side with more BBQ sauce and grill an additional 5 minutes. Remove to serving tray. Serve.
Q: I purchased a bowl that has been identified as Napoli glass. What exactly is Napoli glass? — Sherrie, Westport, Connecticut
A: According to “Glass A to Z” by David Shotwell, Napoli glass was patented in 1894 by Albert Steffen, then supervisor of the Mount Washington Glass Company. This type of glass is made by forming an outline of a figure or design on one side of the ware and forming the actual figure or design on the opposite. When viewed from the side with the outline, the outline will appear to combine with the main body. Colored glass and metallic bits are sometimes used in the decorating process. Early pieces of Napoli glass are considered scarce and quite collectible.
Q: I have inherited about four dozen pieces of Fiesta. The collection was started by my mom in about 1940. I have decided to keep them, but have no idea of current values. Can you recommend a good price guide that you feel is reliable? — Sharon, Albuquerque, New Mexico
A: There are several guides available, but one that I have found especially useful is “Warman’s Fiesta: Identification and Price Guide” by Glen Victorey, and published by Krause Books. Values can differ from region to region, so keep this in mind when using any reference source. Victorey, who has collected Fiesta for more than three decades, features a production timeline for establishing date of manufacture, a color chart (which is very important since color impacts scarcity) and what I feel is up-to-date pricing. It is illustrated with more than 700 photographs in full color.
Q: In 1965, my mom bought me a Mickey Mouse alarm clock for my birthday. I still have it, and I am curious about how much it might be worth 50 years later. — Tom, Littleton, Colorado
A: Your alarm clock is a re-issue of an earlier clock manufactured by Bayard in France. The dial face has separate diecut pointer hands and a separate diecut in its head that nods as seconds tick. Your clock in its original box is worth in the $300-$1,300 range, $250-$800 without box, according to the “Official Price Guide to Disney Collectibles” by Ted Hake and published by House of Collectibles.
Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox cannot personally answer all reader questions, nor does he do appraisals. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.
© 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.
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