Home and Garden

Each and every year, I pass by a yard on the way home from the grocery store and pause my car to have a long look at their redbud tree with its gorgeous, flaming pink color. And each and every year, I think I’m going to plant one of those in my own little slice of the universe. Well, 2017 is the year!

Like fruit trees, it is best to plant redbuds in the late winter. Redbuds are very hardy, but our super hot summers are hard on any baby trees. Go ahead and get your blooming beauty into in ground in late February or March.

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Yes, my front porch is dressed with a few poinsettias, and I have holly in respectable places around the house, but my true passion is Christmas cactus. Let me clarify, the enjoyment comes in getting this seasonal cactus to survive 11 months of the year and then bloom right about now. A beautiful Cuban friend of mine has a pink Christmas cactus that has been blooming annually for 15 or more years. It was her mom’s, so she is proud to see it flower every Christmas season.

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Rarely do I see a plant that blooms so long and is so totally easy to care for. My new best friend is officially called “leonotis leonurus.” Even for those who don’t know Latin, like me, you can see some version of the word “lion” in that name. “Lion’s paw” is the most common name for this herbaceous perennial.

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The Foundation for the Betterment of Seniors is partnering with Meals on Wheels providers, local retailers and other agencies to make this Christmas special for 3,000 local seniors through the 2016 “Be a Santa to a Senior” Campaign.

Home Instead Senior Care kicked off the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program in 2003. Since then, with the help of 60,000 volunteers, more than 1.2 million gifts have been distributed through the program to 700,000 seniors across the United States.

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It’s fascinating to me that we are eating a plant cultivar that was popular even before the Middle Ages! Kale is the new buzzwords at trendy restaurants.

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A bouquet made of 100 roses, with one for each year of Connie Dickinson’s life

Connie Dickinson, volunteer extraordinaire, had a big day Tuesday, Oct. 18. She reached her 100th birthday and celebrated for several days with friends and coworkers.

Monday, the day before her special day, Vickie Holcombe, director of Volunteer Services at Baptist Beaumont Hospitals, staff, volunteers, patients and guests joined together to honor Connie on one of her regular volunteer days at the hospital.

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Onna

What’s up, world! My name is Onna, and I really love people. Every time I see them my little nub tail starts wiggling really fast! I love it when they give me a good head scratch, or even better, a belly rub! I get along well with other dogs and I love to cuddle with my kennel mates. I walk well on a leash, but I like to be the leader. I would love a spacious backyard to expel my energy.

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Members Mary Nell Jackson, Beth DiGiola and Mary Doebbeling
Members John and Gloria Hunter with HSA President Rae McKimm (center)

The Southeast Texas Unit of the Herb Society of America recently hosted members from the South Central District for a weekend of garden tours, education and comradery. Tours included Beaumont Botanical Gardens, Cattail Marsh, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Outpost Tour and visits to local gardens.

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Gumby

Hi! Isn’t this the sweetest face you’ve seen all day? My name is Gumby, and I’m just about a year old. The staff at Beaumont Animal Services thinks I might be a plot hound/cur mix. I can’t wait to find a family of my own to hang out with. Hopefully there will be plenty of toys, and LOTS of snuggles waiting on me there. I’m full grown and weigh 45 pounds. I get compliments on my fur all the time; people just love it. I know you will, too. Please come and meet me.

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Audrey Fulton of Port Acres is overall Best of Show winner with her OPO squash.

Top gardeners from the Golden Triangle had a chance to show off their produce recently at Central Mall, and the overall winner was a young girl, Audrey Fulton of Port Acres. I checked with master gardeners and the Texas Agri-Life staff, and they don’t remember a youth ever winning Best of Show. Congratulations, Audrey!

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