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Goldenrod is blooming, and with early autumn colors hinting at the darkness to come, it won’t be long before daylight saving time ends, and we’re left to reminisce on a porch swing or by the garden fire.

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Garden space is precious, as are the time, effort and expenses required to grow stuff there. So, unless you garden for therapy, occasionally think about minimizing inputs and maximizing outputs. And grow what you need.

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I’ll never forget one particular day in the sixth grade. My class was playing kickball for PE, and I was already a little frustrated because I thought that the PE teacher had stacked the teams by putting nearly all of the good players on the other team.

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Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I love going to the grocery store or farmers market and finding the fresh stalks this time of year. I even invested in an upright steamer to make preparing fresh asparagus a breeze. One time I thought about planting some until I found out that you …

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We have a few weeks of school under our belts, and things are going remarkably well. I will be honest and say that I spent a few sleepless nights wondering what a typical day of school would be like with all the changes in our lives. I also don’t really remember what a typical, normal day is like.

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Having watched a lot of television over the past few months, I began to really take notice of some of the commercials. I wondered how much influence advertisements have on our purchasing certain brands.

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Nearly every time I’ve worked with a couple, they’ve listed communication as one of the primary reasons that they decided to seek therapy. This fact was emphasized to me when a man at my church told me that if I didn’t think that every couple needed work on communication, then I wasn’t worth…

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When you live in the country — even though I actually live in town, it is still like being in the country — you learn to keep a ready stocked pantry. Staples are kept up to date, the freezer is full, and favorites are always on hand. I keep a list in my kitchen of things in which we are runn…

Every summer I feel like hanging up my hat on advising about lawn care, because people gonna do what they’re gonna do, regardless of what’s best for the lawn.

My sixth graders have a daily writing assignment for their journals each day. The first day of school I usually have them write something about their summer vacation. This year my first-day topic will be “What have you been doing since March?”

Decisions, decisions. In my garden I’m darned if I do, darned if I don’t. So here’s a plea for thoughtful empathy, that borders on a rant.

A common theme I hear from clients who are parents is the guilt they experience from their own shortcomings in their parenting.

Tuesday is National Hamburger Day. Everybody loves a great hamburger fresh off the grill. They smell almost as good as they taste. There are countless chains to choose from to order your favorite “fast food” burger.

“I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” was the title of a top 10 song from the late 1920s. It was written by the team of Billy Moll, Howard Johnson and Robert King and performed by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians. For ice cream lovers, this still holds true today.

One thing that I frequently hear, especially at times after a long session with a new client, is how hard it must be to have to listen to someone talk about their struggles. It’s often said in a jokingly way: “I bet you don’t want to see me again,” or “This is going to be the craziest hour o…

It’s true, the old adage that gardening is good for us, and one of the upsides of COVID-19-related restrictions is that I’ve had ample opportunity to give it more practice.

My son turned 35 years old this week. It seems like yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital. When we arrived home, our friends and family had decorated our yard with signs welcoming “Baby Steven” to the world.

I frequently get asked questions about why I live in Greenwood. One particular interaction stands out.

I write a lot about the four-generation family women who influenced my gardening approach, but haven’t given enough props to my dad’s mom, a prim garden club flower judge who instilled an appreciation for striving for ideals. Her books of blue ribbons were proof that attention to detail and …

Imagine you live in New York or Chicago, and every morning you take the train or subway on your commute to work. How would you want to spend that time?

Dang it. I just discovered a young tree seedling in my garden that will sooner or later have to be cut down, but it seems wrong, maybe unpatriotic, to do it.

Everyone has felt the pain of being left out. Maybe it was a birthday party or a sleepover that you didn’t get invited to in grade school. Perhaps you didn’t get asked to sit at a particular table at lunch, or no one asked you to a high school dance.

As I write this week’s column, I am looking at a precious sight. My granddaughter and several of her friends are swimming in our pool. They are laughing and giggling, stopping for snacks, and enjoying each other’s company. It is Leila Rose’s 10th birthday.

This week’s emails included some real doozies, from an unusual problem with poison ivy to what kind of plant do I want to reincarnate as to whatever it is that Imogene Fitch wants me to do.

Are the concrete chicken, big urn and homemade toadstools in my garden antiques, heirlooms or just old? Not too many folks get bogged down in semantics, but there are subtle differences in those terms.

One thing that I frequently hear in conversations with clients is a fear that they might be acting outside of God’s will.

I did not grow up a cat lover, but I married one. Since I was allergic to cats as a child, I was never around them. That is one allergy I’ve grown out of, and I couldn’t be happier about it. We have never gone out looking for a cat as a pet; they seem to find us.

Ever notice how a cat can’t help raising its rear when you stroke its back? Vines do the same thing. Sorta.

Since being at home for almost two months, I seem to have been cooking more than ever. My freezer is full of casseroles, soups and sauces. I’ve stocked up on kitchen and pantry essentials. Trying new recipes and preparing some of our old favorites has been a daily ritual.

A landscape is largely defined by its lines. You can change or soften them, but the edges between things, whether straight, curvy or a mishmash, are characterful.

During the seven years I taught fourth grade at Cruger-Tchula Academy, one of the favorite units of study we had was a study of birds in our science class. We drew all of the different birds we studied and made a scrapbook. Of all the birds we studied, the hummingbird always seemed to be the…

You don’t have to play an instrument or be a singer for music to be a big part of your life.

To say that our lives are in a tailspin would be putting it mildly. The thought of not being in church on Easter Sunday just adds to the sadness. I know we can worship in other places than in church, but on this special Sunday, there doesn’t seem to be any better place to be.