Every few spring seasons I offer some web sites for free catalogs of interesting nursery items. It’s not too late to send for these 2017 offerings and even if you don’t order, it’s nice to see pictures of new plants which you might run into during your flower shopping later this spring. If you do not have home access to the internet, take a trip to the public library or to a friend’s home where you can access the internet and order the catalogs you like.
Into composting but don’t want a messy pile? Look into ComposTumblers at www.composttumbler.com where you’ll learn just how easy making compost can be.
Burpee’s is one of the standard bearers of great catalogs and their 2017 catalog is available at www.burpee.com.
Excellent women’s gardening gloves can be found at Womanswork. Order their 24-page catalog at https://womanswork.com.
Gardener’s Supply Company offers earth-friendly solutions to a lot of gardening needs. You’ll find furniture, pest control items, tools and much more. www.gardeners.com.
Mushroom lover? My dad used to grow these little white cap fungi in a dark part of our basement when I was a kid. It looked easy at the time and if you’re so inclined to try, then contact Gourmet Mushrooms at www.gmushrooms.com.
Caladiums are wonderful for brightening shady corners of the garden. If you’d like to try something a bit fancier than what you may find locally, contact Fancy Leaf Caladiums at www.happinessfarms.com.
More and more gardeners are finding is both fun and practical to grow their own herbs. If you’re on Facebook, try this link for The Herb Companion Facebook page that’s filled with any and everything you’d need to grow herbs. https://www.facebook.com/theherbcompanion.
If you’re a gourmet cook who likes to try unusual veggies in recipes and you also like to grow your own, then The Cook’s Garden is a great catalog of seeds and plants for the gourmet gardener. www.cooksgarden.com.
Some readers may have a bit of land they’d like to convert to wildlife habitat or a small forest. Then one of the oldest companies in business for that purpose is Musser Forests, Inc. and you can download their catalog at https://www.musserforests.com/Downloads/Downloads.htm.
Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is one of the oldest specialized growers in America. Think you’ve seen a good assortment of Irises? Think again! Order their 2012 catalog and feast your eyes on many gorgeous pictures and bargain-priced collections at https://www.schreinersgardens.com.
Lehman’s has the most unusual garden and kitchen supplies imaginable. Zinc washboards? Galic presses? Oil lamps? These are but a few items from the past that they carry. If you go to the following link you can instantly download their catalog: https://www.lehmans.com/catalog_request.
My final suggestion is especially aimed at those of you who may live in apartments, condos or who have very small growing areas. Perhaps you just can’t get out into the yard like you once did, but you still want to grow plants. Then find some space on your patio or porch and order one or more Grow Boxes. Go to their web site and see just what these well-constructed boxes can do for your flowers and vegetables. You’ll find your plants bursting with vigor all through the season.
If you want even more catalog possibilities, then get
on the Internet and type “downloadable seed catalogs” into the search bar of Google or any other search engine. You’ll get so many choices it will seem like you’ve arrived in gardener’s heaven. Remember that those companies listed first are those that receive the most hits.
Cremer’s Baked Cod
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 sleeve Townhouse crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound thick-cut cod loin
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave on high, about 30 seconds. Stir buttery round crackers into melted butter.
Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 7x11 inch baking dish. Melt in the preheated oven, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove dish from oven.
Coat both sides of cod in melted butter in the
Bake cod in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; top with lemon juice, wine, and cracker mixture. Place back in oven and bake until
fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 more minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges.
My mom was raised on a farm in Nebraska during the 1930s and ‘40s. When she moved to Canton, Ohio, after World War II, she brought with her several items, including a washboard. It was manufactured by the National Washboard Company of Chicago and is model 862. Do you have any idea of its value? --
Betty, Canton, Ohio
Most of the older washboards sell in the $25 to $45 range. Also associated with washday were the boilers, which often sell for $150 and more because of their copper content.
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While visiting a thrift store in Wichita, I found a small box of paperback books, all by Raymond Chandler and all from the 1950s and ‘60s. They include “The Big Sleep” (original cover price of 25 cents), “Five Sinister Characters,” “Pick-up on Noon Street,” “The Finger Man” and “Lady in the Lake,” the last the Armed Services edition from 1944. I bought nine paperbacks for a total of $3. I have two questions: Are paperbacks from the 1940s collectible and, if so, how much are the ones I bought worth? — Mark, Wichita, Kansas
Depending on the exact edition and condition, most of the titles you listed sell in the $5 to $35 range. I have seen guides that list much higher prices, but something is only worth what someone is willing to plunk down in cold cash to buy it. Most price guides for collectibles should be read with a grain of salt.
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In about 1960, a friend gave me the Pez full-body Santa. It has been packed away ever since. A neighbor heard about it and has offered $50 for it. Before I sell it, I thought I would check with you. --
Brett, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
The Pez candy dispensers have been around for over half a century. During the 1950s, Pez began producing a series of Santa dispensers, and they became the most popular ones ever produced by the company. The full-body Santa was issued during the 1950s, and according to “Warman’s Pez Guide” by Shawn Peterson and published by Krause Books, it is valued in the $150 to $200 range.
Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or send e-mail to email@example.com. 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.
© 2017 King Features Synd., Inc.
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My friend’s parents got him a new puppy just last week. “Star” came from the shelter and is really tiny — he still has to be fed milk! When Star is in his puppy bed by himself he starts crying. He stops when we go in and spend time with him. How can my friend and his family get Star to feel less lonely? — Craig, via email
DEAR CRAIG: Star sounds like a really young puppy who has been separated from his mother a little bit early for some reason. I’m sure that the shelter had a reason for doing so, and that your friend’s family is responsible for keeping him healthy and growing.
Really young puppies can suffer a lot of anxiety when they’re separated too soon from their mother and litter mates. That’s one reason why puppies generally aren’t adopted out until they are more than six weeks old and fully weaned, meaning they can eat solid foods. Star probably will need more attention than older puppies, including a stuffed toy in his bed to snuggle up to when humans aren’t around.
As Star gets older, his new family will have to help him get past his separation anxiety, which can be pretty intense in shelter pets. Crate training, basic obedience training and a structured home routine all will help Star grow into a happy, more confident dog. But for now, he’s so young that he just needs a lot of TLC, particularly since he’s still being hand-fed.
Chances are, your friend’s parents have a lot more information on taking care of Star. You could learn quite a bit about caring for very young puppies and their special needs.
Send your questions, or tips to
© 2017 King Features Synd., Inc.