Not Only Climate Change
The fires that decimated parts of the island of Maui were unprecedented in their destruction of life and property. The off-the-charts heat waves all summer have left the people and the land weary. The torrential rains that followed helped, but also destroyed. Such are the quirks and idiosyncrasies of Mother Nature and through all the millennia of humanity she has never been tamed. So, what do we do? What we don’t do is fear, worry, and give up; no longer caring about our planet.
Though Mother Nature will not be tamed, it does not mean we cannot coexist. The worldwide destruction we’ve seen and often experienced is difficult to comprehend; yet, in time we will fix what we can, change what we must, and move past what is lost. What is needed from us is acceptance. What is needed from us is understanding. What is needed from us is a concerted effort to help Mother Nature remain aligned with the flora and fauna she oversees. As the specie highest on the fauna ladder, it falls to us to bring about the realignment.
I do not make light of the losses caused by Nature—or human error in dealing with Nature—or the grief, anger, and devastation left behind, but we can prevail. I’ve chosen to protect a tiny bit of Nature in Missouri by purchasing the woodland lots on either side of ours. I will never live long enough to see trees I plant for some that died or were harvested ever reach maturity, but others will reap the rewards in the next century. We must not only plant trees for the future, but we must also clean up.
Such a cleansing of Mother Nature begins with all individuals who cares for the soil under their feet. Reduce the use of harsh chemicals and opt for natural methods of insect and weed control. Plant native plants that hold the soil with their deep roots and often require less water to thrive. This fall, plant bulbs to be the harbingers of another spring. Allow the riot of colors and scents reaffirm that Mother Nature’s wounds do heal, and that spring will and does arrive. Allow that affirmation to also heal your stresses of a time unlike any of us have faced. When I see tulips in bloom, when I sense the heady scent of hyacinths, when I later see flowering trees burst forth in colors from across the palette, I am at peace and know goodness does find its way into the harshness of our lives.
We can’t control the heat or the storms, but we can help ourselves feel less stress from the extremes we now too often face. Tell your city, state, and federal governments to use permeable pavement materials that will absorb more water and send less of it cascading in torrents down the streets. On a personal level, create rain gardens to absorb excess run-off from storms. Participate in tree programs and plant as many as you can. Trees will cleanse our environment of the toxic abominations we have cast as plagues across the face of nature and, where grown in abundance they’ll provide a shade canopy.
This fall, do something more to help Mother Nature. No, we will not stop storms or end nature’s damage from wind or fire, but we are able to do more help than harm. My plan includes planting some Serviceberry shrubs to attract birds while I also clean up debris in my woods left by unthinking humans. My point is not to elevate myself here; rather, I’m pointing out that each one of us can and must influence present society and future generations. Don’t be ugly in your thinking and say: “What’s the point? Nature always wins.” It’s not about winning; rather, it’s about not losing.
Who’s Liable When a Dog Bites a Dog Sitter?
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I have a sweet little mixed Terrier named Cookie who’s devoted to me. He’s not so devoted to other people, and he barks at strangers and other dogs. Recently, I had to take a business trip and could not bring Cookie with me. So I paid a local dog sitter to come and visit each day.
The sitter messaged me on the first day and said that he would not be continuing to take care of Cookie because my dog bit him when he tried to put on his halter. I had to scramble and call in favors for a family member to go and get Cookie for the week.
On top of this, the sitter wants me to pay his medical bill because he says it’s my fault the dog bit him. I say the sitter inconvenienced me, and it’s not my liability. What do you think? — Carl in San Diego
DEAR CARL: Ouch! I’m sorry this happened to you, and to the sitter who was bitten. Situations like this can get complicated, especially when you weren’t there to witness what happened.
Remain calm and try to get as much information from the sitter and from your relative as possible about what happened, and about Cookie’s behavior while you were gone.
In California, courts have usually taken the view that, like dog groomers, pet sitters and walkers accept that there is a risk of being bitten by a dog in their line of work (www.sallymorinlaw.com/dog-bites/whos-liable-if-a-dog-bites-me-when-its-with-a-dog-sitter/). It seems like this is the case here, but I am not an attorney. If you feel that this situation is going to escalate into a lawsuit, consult an attorney before deciding what to do next.
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© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.
Antique tools can be interesting collectibles. This gadget, a mechanical rope twister, has a patent date of 1901.
Early 20th-century farms and households had many unusual appliances with identities and purposes that have been lost to time. Look at this device with toothed wheels and a hand crank that sold for $266 at Conestoga Auction Company in Pennsylvania. Is it a kitchen gadget — perhaps a fruit or vegetable peeler? Some kind of grinder or chopper? In fact, it’s a mechanical rope twister.
In the early 1900s, farmers made their own rope. Most people buy it ready-made today. The buyer probably intended to keep this rope twister as an antique instead of using it as a tool. But someone crafty, curious or very dedicated to “do-it-yourself” can buy modern, usable rope twisters or kits online.
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I bought a vase shaped like a goose at a garage sale 20 years ago for 25 cents. It’s about 12 inches tall and the back is open like a vase. It’s marked “HB Quimper.” It looks hand painted. What can you tell me about it and what, if anything, is it worth?
It’s worth more than 25 cents. Pottery was made by three different factories in Quimper, France, beginning in the late 17th century. Pierre Bousquet founded the first factory in 1708. It became the HB Factory (Hubaudiere-Bousquet) in 1782, after Antoine de la Hubaudiere became the factory manager. HB merged with two other factories in 1968. After more changes in ownership, the factory became Henriot-Quimper in 2011. Variations of the HB Quimper mark were used from 1895 to 1984. Your goose vase with an open back is a planter. One sold recently for $40, although some sellers are asking higher prices.
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TIP: Don’t use rubber gloves when washing figurines with protruding arms and legs. The gloves may snag and
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Steuben, centerpiece bowl, Pomona green, blown glass, flared lip, applied black rim, round foot, ground pontil base, early 20th century, 5 1/2 x 12 inches, $60.
Animation art, cel, Iron Man, flying, with background, signed, Tom Tataranowicz, Marvel, 1990s, 10 1/4 x 14 inches, $125.
Toy, car, Flivver Model T, coupe, Model 210-B, pressed steel, black, red spoke wheels, white rims, decal on bottom, repainted exterior, Buddy-L, 1920s, 11 1/2 inches, $575.
Paper, ticket, Woodstock Music and Art Fair, black print, red numbers, unused, $7.00, Sat. Aug. 16 & Sun. Aug. 17, 1969, 2 x 5 inches, pair, $775.
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© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 slices hearty rye bread
4 cooked Cremer’s Brat Patties
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 thin slices deli Swiss cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread 1 teaspoon butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, buttered side down, on baking sheet; set aside.
2. Melt remaining 1 teaspoon butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bratwurst in single layer, weigh down with Dutch oven, and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side.
3. Whisk mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, relish, and salt together in bowl and spread evenly on facing sides of each bread slice. Place 1 slice cheese on each of 4 bread slices, then layer each with one-quarter of sauerkraut and browned bratwurst, finishing with 1 slice cheese. Top with remaining 4 bread slices, buttered side up; press down to flatten. Bake until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted, about 12 minutes, flipping sandwiched halfway through baking. Serve.