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Church to serve breakfast

A memorable Christmas Eve

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“Mom, may we sleep in the barn on Christmas Eve?”

What temperature is your lighting?

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Have you ever noticed how “white” lights seem to vary in color? Some light bulbs seem yellowish, others almost blue; some seem to have no color at all but give an unpleasant “cold” light that’s very unflattering. This is because every light bulb (or LED) has a built-in “temperature.” Light temperatures are measured in degrees, on the “Kelvin scale.”

Budget for beauty

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Our Christmas shopping trips take us on a whirlwind tour of the Cincinnati metro area, and on our way home we like to detour through the lovely neighborhoods of Indian Hill and Mariemont. Their tree-lined streets and professionally landscaped yards are a refreshing sight at any time of year. During the holiday season, many homes in these towns are showcased with Christmas lights, and many have professionally designed landscape lighting systems to flatter them year-round.

COMMUNITY CALENDAR

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School board to hold special meeting

Improving gardens with cheap homemade compost

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Job one in gardening and landscaping is loosening and enriching compacted soil and clay by mixing in organic materials like compost. For experienced gardeners, good compost is worth its weight in gold. There’s nothing healthier for your plants than rich black compost, but any kind of organic material mixed with soil is beneficial. Most gardeners buy compost in bags or bulk. Bagged compost and soils are in high demand, evidence that many gardeners aren’t making their own.

How did this landscape disaster happen?

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As a landscaper specializing in “makeovers” (rebuilding existing landscapes) I often find myself looking at landscape disasters, trying to pick up the pieces and figure out how to make it right. You might call me a landscape forensic pathologist, examining a crime scene of poorly designed, carelessly installed, mis-managed landscaping with major problems. More often than not the solution is a deep-down, scorched-earth, gut-level restoration, because so little of what’s there is salvageable. Does this seem harsh? How did we get to this point?

‘Why not embrace each stage as it comes?’

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Before I think about packing clothes for a trip, my children are making all sorts of plans. I usually tell them they may pack their purses, then I’ll go through everything with them and discuss with them what may or not may be good items to take along. We learn as we go; who will want to go after all the missing pieces of a travel checkers game or beads that strayed while threading them? As they grow older there will be plenty of time for the likes. For now there are a lot of more travel-friendly options such as looking at books, telling stories, or our old faithful games of ‘ABC’ or ‘I see something’.

Hollies — It takes two to berry

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Think about what a pleasure it would be to walk out into your garden next Christmas and gather an armful of festive holly branches for holiday decorating. We’ve all seen magnificent Holly shrubs and trees, loaded with fat, shiny red berries at Christmastime. It’s possible to grow your own Christmas greens, including holly, right in your home landscape. Hollies make very handsome and versatile landscape plants.

Support of grandparents is a blessing

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“Mom, you need to write a column about this!” Julia quipped as she scattered another handful of straw over her grandparents’ newly seeded lawn.

Weather

Mount Gilead
overcast clouds
51 ° F
54.1 °
46.4 °
69 %
3.2mph
99 %
Thu
49 °
Fri
50 °
Sat
40 °
Sun
45 °
Mon
44 °