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Sunday, May 3rd, 2015
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Coffee Talk - 4.5.15


By Jeanette Schmidt

Mon, May 4th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Get Happy!! It’s porch season, which makes it harder to focus on work. “If I never see another snowflake, I’ll consider the rest of my life a success” (at least not until next winter)….something I read and totally agree with now that it’s May.

The sun is shining, the flowers blooming, and it’s time for the hummingbird to return. So much for the to-do list, while I sit back and have this cup of coffee. I surely don’t want to miss the first hummer to fly in from its long flight.

Hummingbirds can fly 500 miles for 18-20 straight hours to cross the Gulf of Mexico powered by their fat stores and help from the wind. It’s no wonder by the time they reach our backyard (right about now) they are desperate for nourishment. A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pencil eraser and beats 1260 beats per minute. These amazing little birds can dive at sixty miles an hour and can fly backwards. But when they do rest after a long flight or on frigid nights or when they are starving, they come close to death. Their hearts are barely beating and if they aren’t soon warmed or don’t find something sweet soon, their hearts grow cold and they cease to be. So, you can see how important your backyard hummingbird feeder is for their buffet right now, especially before your flowers are in full bloom. You can easily make your own nectar…just mix four parts water to one part sugar, boil and cool before filling your feeder…no need to put in red food coloring, which may or may not be good for them. Just change the solution every three days or so and keep any extra in the fridge for up to a week. If possible, hang your feeder in shady areas to keep it from fermenting.

In the summer each hummer will visit a thousand flowers a day. So, there’s no time like the present to set out your welcome mat and start your “hummingbird garden”, even if it’s only a hanging basket of flowers. They are especially attracted to red tube shaped flowers without much fragrance, as they have a poor sense of smell and go by sight…unlike bees, which are attracted to sweet smell. Here are a few planting suggestions to almost guarantee regular hummingbird visits………..

Annual: Salvia, Snapdragon, Fuchsia

Perennial: Columbine, Phlox, Bee Balm, Cardinal Flower, Honeysuckle, Trumpet Vine

So far I haven’t spotted a hummingbird…but soon!! Maybe I’ll go down and pick some of the fresh rhub .....
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A View From The Woods - Fits and Starts

By Loni Kemp

Mon, Apr 27th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

The coming of spring is a process of two steps forward and one step back. The season is all mixed up with long weeks of warmth followed by seemingly endless stretches of cold, wet, windy awfulness. Control freaks are impatient, cranky or depressed ..... 
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Becky's Food Tales - What’s in the garden today?

By Becky Hoff

Mon, Apr 20th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

I took a stroll around my garden yesterday to see what signs of life I could find. Early spring flowers are not plentiful in my yard, but it’s nice to see the tiger lilies shooting up their leaves, and a tiny patch of bloodroot is showing off ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that. - 4.6.15

By Kathy Little

Mon, Apr 6th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

“Birds of a feather really do flock together” in Houston during the International Owl Festival in March! This is the second year my garden club, “The Forget-me nots”, has catered the food for the “Meet and Greet” where members, owl l ..... 
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Country Coffee Talk 3.30.15

By Jeanette Schmidt

Mon, Mar 30th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

It was a rainy spring day and I was enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee, when my spouse announced today was the day the cattle needed to come home for ear tagging. Of course, all other help was busy but that didn’t change my spouse’s mind…the ..... 
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A view From the Woods - Through a Child’s Eyes

By Loni Kemp

Mon, Mar 23rd, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

We left home during a below zero cold snap and returned a couple of weeks later to full-on springtime. While we were lounging around the sandy Mexican beach under coconut trees, soaking up the warmth, Minnesota experienced the big thaw. Driving h ..... 
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becky's Food Tales - Hummus- Really Easy, Very Good

By Becky Hoff

Mon, Mar 16th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Hummus- Really Easy, Very Good Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread made from blending just the right amounts of tahini (also known as sesame seed paste), chickpeas, lemon juice and olive oil. With a pinch of salt and a little garlic, you have a fla ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that. - 3.2.15

By Kathy Little

Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

One of the last remaining phone booths is in Lanesboro, Minn. It was getting quite a lot of attention last summer. Young tourists were snapping “selfies” of themselves standing by it and in it. Laughing loudly and scornfully and exclaiming ..... 
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Country Coffee Talk 2.23.15

By Jeanette Schmidt

Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Get ready! Here comes that fifth season called March…will it come in like a lion or lamb; do we really have to beware of “The Ides of March”; will your favorite movie win the Academy Awards; will you give up something important for Lent? Or wi ..... 
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