We are the Enemy
I’d like to address a growing concern in the world of plants: human ignorance. Now, I’m not meaning the simple ignorance of not knowing one plant from another; rather, I’m speaking more about a global ignorance of what we are doing to our entire ecosystem. The debate over global warming is beyond ignorance and it’s simply stupid to assume human beings have not screwed up the system. Similarly, albeit less obviously, humans have caused a number of shifts in what’s occurring globally with nature.
Two simple examples will show what I mean. In several columns over the past three years I’ve written about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and I’ve suggested ways to protect—at least in the short term—one or two trees you might have on your property. I’ve been clear: EAB is not an “if” but “when” concern. Well, that time is upon us and we are on the verge of a long battle of decline of Ash trees in the state of Iowa. Few will be left standing over the next decade or two. We brought this upon ourselves through importation of the insect from Asia.
In another case, our state is the world leader—yes world leader—in the production of Eastern Black Walnut. No other state or country can match the board feet of walnut produced in Iowa. Yet, because of the potential for human ignorance, we stand to lose our trees in future generations if we fail to keep the walnut trees growing in a small spot in Arizona out of Iowa. Why? Because a fungus called “thousand cankers disease” attached to those particular trees that, if brought into our state in walnut wood from Arizona, will destroy all our trees. Yet human ignorance will cause people to bring in walnut in trunks or trailers and spread the fungus among our trees. The revenue loss will be in the billions of dollars.
As readers of this column, you have an affinity for plants. I’m asking you to go online and remove a bit of personal ignorance from your life. Start by doing a search of “Native Iowa Plants” and learn about trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs (flowers) native to our state. Make conscious selections of these natives for your gardens next spring. Natives are simply hands-down hardier and better for our gardens. Next, learn about invasive plants and pests in Iowa. From Garlic Mustard to Purple Loosestrife to Reed Canary Grass, there are may invasive plants and other species like Asian Carp all on the verge of wiping out many of our native species.
Though “resolution time” is next month, I want you to resolve to do the following in 2019. First, if you’ve not visited the arboretum for more than a year, or ever—GO! It is one of our true gems and the volunteers who put in hours of their time create one of the most inviting places to walk through anywhere in the Midwest. You can learn about various kinds of gardens while also seeing what many of our native species look like. Second, visit the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning. Again, we have within our city one of the best places to buy fresh produce. Buying locally helps insure we not only support the local economy but it aids in helping us reduce introducing invasive “bugs” into our ecosystem.
Finally, I’d like to suggest you find time, maybe this winter, to look into natural methods for controlling garden pests. From using lady bugs and Praying Mantis to incorporating natural strains of bacillus to kill pesky insects, we can work together to help restore some balance to nature. I fear if we do not take notice soon, we won’t have much of an ecosystem. Perhaps this won’t occur in my lifetime, but I’m hoping generations of my family will know my name in the family genealogy records I leave behind. I want them to smile as warmly at my “ancient” photograph as I still do at my 19th century ancestors who came here as farmers from Germany during the potato famines. They cared for the land they worked; I am obliged to do the same.
Cat Returned Home Riddled With Fleas
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I went on a weeklong Caribbean cruise with friends and left my cat, “Fuzzy,” with a pet sitter who kept her in her home. The sitter had good references, but a few days after I returned and picked up Fuzzy, I noticed her scratching. Checking her fur, she was riddled with fleas! I’m very unhappy about this — it will be very difficult to rid her and my apartment of the infestation. Should I ask for my money back from the sitter? — Caroline in Brooklyn
DEAR CAROLINE: You certainly should contact the sitter and tell her about the flea infestation. Let her know that Fuzzy didn’t have fleas before she stayed over, and that now she does.
The sitter may not have known that fleas were an issue in her home. Perhaps they rode in on another guest cat. So, she’ll certainly need to treat her home before accepting any more pets.
She should know that you’re not happy and that you have to shell out money to treat Fuzzy for fleas. As to whether she should refund your money entirely? It may be up for negotiation. She may offer to refund the difference of the cost of ridding Fuzzy of fleas — so save your receipts from the pet store and veterinarian.
Since pet-sitting fees for a weeklong stay can run to hundreds and even thousands of dollars, you may want to consult a lawyer for advice. Chances are you can directly negotiate a refund with the sitter, but it’s good to know all your options, like small claims court, just in case.
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© 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.
Keep Your Tree Looking Its Best
1. Select a fresh tree. The needles should be moist and not break when bent with fingers.
2. Store your tree out of direct sunlight and away from drafts.
3. Immediately before the tree is brought inside, make a half-inch fresh cut from the trunk and place it in water.
4. Initially, put hot water in the tree holder to remove any sealing pitch.
5. Use a Christmas tree stand that holds a gallon
6. Check the stand every day for water and keep it full. Never allow the reservoir to become dry.
7. Keep your tree away from a direct heat source.
8. Miniature light bulbs are better than large bulbs because they generate less heat.
9. Christmas trees should last inside safely at least a few weeks. When a tree ceases to “drink” water, it should be removed from the house.
From the SUNY College of Environmental Science
© 2018 King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Why Santa’s Suit Is Red,
This 14-inch wide faience bowl
made by the Galle factory sold for $968.
Emile Galle’s cameo glass brings much higher prices.
Talented artists often become well-known for just one type of art when they actually created many different things. Emile Galle (1846-1904), the famous artist known for his cameo glass, designed, made and sold pottery and furniture. The glass and furniture are popular with today’s collectors. The pottery is scarce and not well-known. Galle was a leader in Art Nouveau design and a passionate botanist, yet few of the art books mention anything but his cameo glass.
Galle’s father had a store and sold glass and ceramics. Emile Galle studied glass making, design, botany and mineralogy, and he even served in the Franco-Prussian war. This training helped him in his commercial projects. After schooling, he moved back to Nancy, France, his birthplace, and started his own workshop. In 1874, he directed Saint-Clement pottery and eventually moved it to Nancy. His pottery was exhibited at the 1878 Paris Exhibition, and later, he showcased both pottery and glass at another Paris exhibition. He set up his furniture shop in 1884. The wooden pieces feature marquetry using naturalistic designs similar to those found on his cameo glass.
Galle invented many new techniques for making glass, and he started the Art Nouveau style that used curved lines, shapes and natural designs with plants and animals. His Art Nouveau cameo glass was world-renowned, and he continued to study and write about horticultural subjects. Galle died at age 58 after a long battle with leukemia.
A large faience-handled bowl with flowers, scrolls, dolphin heads and a picture of a sailboat was auctioned at a James Julia sale in 2017. It’s marked with a Cross of Lorraine and the words “Emile Galle Fecit Modele depose.” (Emile Galle registered design). A similar bowl was on “Antiques Roadshow” in 2016 with an estimated value more than twice the price paid of $968.
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While at an estate sale, I bought a Hall six-cup ceramic teapot. The bottom is stamped with pattern No. 0113, and the color is maroon with a gold patterned detail. There also is “M8” stamped on the bottom rim. When was this made?
You have a Hollywood teapot first made by Hall in the 1920s. It was made in 4-cup, 5-cup, 6-cup, and 8-cup sizes. Hollywood teapots were made in solid colors as well as with decal decorations. At one time, Hall was the world’s largest manufacturer of teapots. The value of your teapot is $25 to $35.
• • •
Amethyst glass, sugar, black amethyst, square, scallop rim, pedestal foot, handles, c. 1934, 4 inches, $25.
Grain shovel, farming tool, hand-carved, one piece of wood, paddle-shaped, cylindrical handle, c. 1870, 51 x 10 inches, $230.
Fly catcher, blown glass, etched bamboo design, shouldered, spherical stopper, scroll feet, c. 1890, 13 inches, $735.
Banner, sideshow, Madam Clair, The Psychic Wonder, psychic holding crystal ball, 80 x 120 inches, $4,320.
• • •
TIP: If you have museum-quality wooden furniture, do not use modern furniture-spray polish. Use wax and apply it about once a year. Just dust it regularly.
For more collecting news,
tips and resources, visit
© 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.
Cremer’s E–Z Whole Beef Tenderloin
• 4-4-1/2 lb whole beef tenderloin
• Cremer’s Rub-Me-Tender Seasoning
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season tenderloin with Cremer’s Rub-Me-Tender seasoning.
Place tenderloin in roasting pan or on cookie sheet.
Roast tenderloin for 30 minutes or until 130 degrees internal temperature for medium rare (10 minutes additional for medium well).
Remove tenderloin from oven, cover with foil tent, and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
Internal temperature may increase 5–10 degrees while resting—due to residual heat.
Slice tenderloin into 1/4” to 1/2” slices. End piece will be more done and center of roast more rare.
• • • • • • •
As Christmas fast approaches it represents the busiest time of the year for many of us. For most of us there are holiday gatherings that continue through the month and spill over into the New Year.
The hands down most popular item we carry for the upcoming season is Whole Beef Tenderloin. Its versatility becomes as favorable as its delicate beef flavor. Whether sliced thin for finger sandwiches at a cocktail party or the main course for Christmas dinner. Roasting these at a high heat for a relatively short amount of time is sure to ease the challenges of entertaining and delight your guest.
For other Holiday entertaining or gift giving ideas give us a call.
Pair Holiday Movies With Food, Drink by Amy Anderson
Ah, the holiday season. Like ornaments and fir trees, yule logs and fireplaces, here’s another classic holiday pairing: Christmas movies and food. Everyone has his or her favorite film — some an essential part of the family tradition. So check out this list of classic Christmas movies celebrating the food and drinks they inspire:
National Lampoon’s: Christmas Vacation — Clark Griswold’s classic EGGNOG (“it’s good, it’s good”) is the cure for what ails you — especially if you’re having a “full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency.” So when you’re overloaded by family or got shorted on your Christmas bonus and you can’t take it anymore, pop on this film classic and have a heavily spiked glass of ‘nog. It’ll have you asking: “Can I refill your eggnog for you?” But with a smile on your face.
Love Actually — The way to properly enjoy this English masterpiece is with TEA, of course. Get your prime minister on, and serve it with biscuits (that’s cookies, for non-Anglos), but “not the boring ones, with no chocolate.” To me, that’s perfect!
Elf — It’s true that “elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.” Well, if a plate of maple syrup spaghetti doesn’t get you, here’s a fun CANDY COCKTAIL that might: Mix 1 ounce each of peppermint schnapps and marshmallow vodka with simple syrup and crushed ice in a shaker. Serve in a glass rimmed with corn syrup and crushed candy canes. Not into alcoholic beverages? A 2-liter of Coca-Cola will do just fine.
Warner Home Video
Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf
The Santa Clause and Polar Express (TIE): — Whether it’s a warm chocolate chip cookie and Judy’s perfect hot chocolate — it took 1,200 years to nail that recipe — or bopping along to the “Hot Chocolate Song” aboard a train, there’s no more iconic winter quaff than a steamy mug of HOT CHOCOLATE. And that’s with marshmallows or whipped cream.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas — There’s only one nosh that’ll make your heart grow three sizes, and that’s ROAST BEAST. I like mine with a little crusty bread and au jus, just like all the Whos down in Whoville.
Gremlins — Everyone knows not to feed a gremlin after midnight, but if you get your pals together for a retro movie night, be sure to serve roasted CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS to amp up the shenanigans a bit.
Home Alone — It doesn’t always have to be a spread at the holidays. For nights when you’re by your lonesome and want a quick meal, do like Macaulay Culkin and say your prayers before you sit down for dinner and a movie. In other words, “Bless this highly nutritious, microwaveable MACARONI AND CHEESE dinner.”
A Christmas Story — Serve ROAST TURKEY and MASHED POTATOES if you’re able to keep the dogs out of the kitchen, but don’t despair if you can’t. You can always order in CHINESE FOOD — roast duck with fried rice preferred — for a “fa-ra-ra-ra-ra” feast.
Die Hard — You might remember that Sergeant Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) stops at a convenience store for a heaping helping of junk food, chief among them TWINKIES. The tasty treats make another cameo when Powell describes them to John McClane as being “sugar, enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 60 and Yellow Dye No. 5. Just everything a growing boy needs.”
It’s a Wonderful Life — Snuggle up with someone who you “love until the day you die,” and enjoy a heartwarming film about one man’s mark on the world. Serve up a couple CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM SUNDAES — but no coconut, unless you’re into adventure.
© 2018 King Features Syndicate, Inc.