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Edison and Ford Estates in Fort Myers, Florida

Edison’s Seminole Lodge (main house)Hurricane Irma hit Florida with a vengeance six weeks ago, the island had to be evacuated, and the ocean receded from its bay. Siesta Key was spared severe devastation but its neighbors to the south, Naples, San Marco, and Fort Myers did not fare as well. Irma hit them as a strong category 3 hurricane. The evidence is painful to see in the mounds of chopped up uprooted trees and torn vegetation yet to be picked up in front of every home.

The Edison/Ford Estate lost 100 old trees, shrubs, and other tropical vegetation that used to shade almost 20 acres of property, now fully exposed to the sun. Vegetation grows fast in Florida but 100-year-old trees are hard to replace. The estate museum opened on October 14, 2017 for the first time since the severe winds devastated the once shady and lush green gardens, still beautiful but showing signs of distress.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Friday, October 27, 2017 - Full Story

Questions We’re Often Asked: Perennial Renewal

True, a few perennials such as peonies may go for decades, even a half-century without requiring lifting, dividing and replanting. Most perennials, however, perform better with more frequent attention—perhaps every three to five years, rarely a decade apart. October is a good month for most of this work. Even when cut back, divided and replanted, the soil will not freeze for several weeks, allowing continued root growth.

Mark before lifting those that are the most prized, best performers. Older advice to lift clumps, is to drive in two garden forks back-to-back, and push them together to pull apart the perennials. Why most gardeners would own two forks makes one wonder. And just try it on a well-established growth of hostas or daylilies. A well-sharpened turf edging tool works as well. Split into pie-shaped pieces, discarding the centre, older played-out portions. Clean out weed roots from those to be saved.

It may seem hard, but avoid replanting everything. Ask friends, relatives and neighbours if they would like to share the wealth. Many community organizations welcome such contributions for their fall fund raising sales.

By Wes Porter - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - Full Story

Living in Trump Country USA

Living in Trump Country USA

For those of you who haven’t heard, Mary and I moved from Florida to a tiny town in West Virginia to be closer to our parents. We are experiencing wonderful culture shock. I am not a fan of the winding mountain roads. Supermarket and hardware stores are over 20 miles away. And yet, we unexpectedly love our new heavenly haven of Americana.

I am one of around 20 blacks in the population of 500. Everyone from the town hall to the bank, post office and country store knew we were the Marcuses who “bought the white house”.

By Lloyd Marcus - Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - Full Story

World Series preview: Dodgers look like a team for the ages

Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, World Series
There appear to be two versions of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The one you see most of the time is the one you’ve seen throughout the postseason. Determined. Resilient. Relentless. Confident. This is the team that will come to bat in the ninth inning down by three runs and appear to be under no stress whatsoever - because someone’s going to hit a grand slam. It happened so often this season, you almost came to expect it, and you were rarely disappointed.

The Dodgers’ pitching is so deep, especially since the trade that added Yu Darvish to the rotation, that a stellar pitcher like Kenta Maeda can’t crack the postseason rotation. No problem. Maeda has become one of the mainstays of the bullpen.

By Dan Calabrese - Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - Full Story

The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout Will Change Your Life

Make an Impact: Rick Rigsby delivers a powerful speech on how his father’s teachings have guided him through the most troubling times of his life. Are you Inspired? Order Dr. Rick Rigsby’s book, “Lessons from a third grade dropout” here


By News on the Net - Sunday, October 22, 2017 - Full Story

An Uncanonically Elected Pope?


With all the controversy that surrounded the election of Pope Francis upon the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013, it seems that Catholics may have lost sight of a key element in this episode, namely, that Benedict XVI never resigned his papal office, but only the active exercise thereof.

On the eve of his resignation, he said: “Anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church… “The ‘always’ is also a “forever”—there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this.” (General Audience, February 27, 2013)

By David Martin - Saturday, October 21, 2017 - Full Story

An Apple a Day

If only it were as simple as “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Nutrition scientists are in fact constantly scrutinizing the health properties of foods, advises National Geographic‘s Catherine Zuckerman.

All well and good but apples are the world’s third favourite, pipped at the post by mangoes and bananas. And while June is Mango Month and March proclaimed Banana Month, October is not only National Apple Month in the U.S.A. but the 16th is International Eat an Apple Day followed by International Apple Day on 21st October.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, October 21, 2017 - Full Story

Their Just Deserts

French physicist Blaise Pascal once wrote, “This letter is long because I hadn’t the time to make it short.”

Even though Pascal’s comment seems contradictory, it isn’t, as demonstrated in great short stories that have withstood the test of time by delivering essential elements — time, place, setting, plot, and characters — in a minimum of words.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

The making of medieval bling

Gold has long been valued for its luxurious glitter and hue, and threads of the gleaming metal have graced clothing and tapestries for centuries. Determining how artisans accomplished these adornments in the distant past can help scientists restore, preserve and date artifacts, but solutions to these puzzles have been elusive. Now scientists, reporting in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, have revealed that medieval artisans used a gilding technology that has endured for centuries.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

Key odorants in world’s most expensive beef could help explain its allure

Renowned for its soft texture and characteristic flavor, Wagyu beef — often referred to as Kobe beef in the U.S. — has become one of the world’s most sought-after meats. Now in a study appearing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that they have detected several key odorants that contribute to the delicacy’s alluring aroma.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

Ancient Roman theater uncovered next to Western Wall

Jewish historian Josephus Flavius told of a small Roman-era theater built in the vicinity of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But no one had seen it for nearly two millennia. Archaeologists beginning with Charles William Wilson have been searching for that theater for 150 years to no avail.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

Amoris Laetitia: Conscience Recognizes that we can Break the Commandments

Yes, yes, I know what the Bible says about adultery. But what does Francis say?

There has been much controversy in recent months over Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, and its hot-button topic that adulterers can be admitted to Communion without a prior commitment to amend their life.

By use of ambiguous wording, Amoris Laetitia insidiously argues that because of “concrete circumstances” and “concrete realities” (being hardened in sin) which supposedly limit freedom of the will, people living in adultery through cohabitation or illicit marriage could be guiltless and even “be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.” (Paragraph 305)

Dramatic moment dog being swept out to sea is rescued

This is the dramatic moment a dog being swept out to sea is rescued after it was spotted by a coastguard helicopter on a training flight.

Footage shows a cockapoo swimming desperately in the Moray Firth, north-east Scotland at 10.45am on Sunday.—More…

By News on the Net -- Daily Mail- Monday, October 16, 2017 - Full Story

Dog stays behind with family’s goats as California wildfire destroys property

A guard dog is on the mend Sunday after heroically protecting eight rescue goats and several small deer from the wildfires raging through California’s Sonoma County.

By Fox News - Sunday, October 15, 2017 - Full Story

Seasonal Plant Superstitions

From ghoullies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go ‘thump’ in the night Good Lord, deliver us! Thus runs an old Scottish prayer. Yes, ‘tis the time of the year when creepies things emerge from the boscage as dusk descends. Jack, forever cast out of hell, seeks to light his woeful way with a flickering pumpkin. The night air is rent with wails and gnashing of teeth—oops, sorry, that must be politicians. Extending a trowel-filled hand to assist the fearful (and useful to belt any spurious spirit) here are some helpful hints on what to embrace and avoid around the garden

By Wes Porter - Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Full Story

Kentia—A Palm for All Seasons

It seems that every box store, supermarket along with other retail outlets are featuring palms. Or at least, one kind: The areca, golden cane or butterfly palm, Dypsis lutescens. Under northern home conditions, few survive for long, often succumbing to spider mite attack to which this species seems particularly prone. Of course, it is cheap enough . . .

Not so cheap, harder to find but much hardier is the classic Kentia Palm Howeia fosteriana, also attractively known as Paradise Palm. It originates from a tiny speck of land, Lord Howe Island in the Tasmania Sea east of northern Australia. There it is less attractively designated the Thatch Palm because, well, that is exactly what it traditionally could be used for.

By Wes Porter - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Full Story

Betting on HIGH, or LOW?

Just in case you are wondering what this about, it’s about the small town of Show Low in Arizona with a population of around 10,000. If you want to read up on more details, see Show Low, Arizona .

Some years ago, we were visiting the place and had a pleasant experience. What intrigued me though was the name of the town. Our waitress explained that it stemmed from a long-ago poker game, where the LOW card(s) were going to win, NOT the HIGH card(s).

As in any game of luck that has a 50/50 chance of being right or wrong, the former owner of that tract of land (some 65 square miles of it, I believe) lost out and the new owner renamed it in memory of his call and win.

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Full Story

Mohican Molly

When Molly asked what she must do to become a Mohican, chief Deadly Dagger laughed in her face.

“Females cannot join the Mohican club,” he said. “We are male warriors! You are nothing but a girl. Even our own sisters are forbidden membership in this band of men who are fearless in battle and give no quarter to enemies.”

Pointing upward, he said, “That tree house is our sacred meeting place. No female foot has ever sullied its hallowed floor. Girls are beneath our manly stature. Depart from my presence!”

By Jimmy Reed - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Full Story

Thank You Tom Petty 1950-2017

Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong

Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong

Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay

Well it’s all right, every day is Judgment Day

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze

Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please

Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine

Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

—Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne “End of the Line”

The world lost one of its premier rock singer/songwriters with the recent death of Tom Petty.  His music and lyrics have played on the background soundtrack of my life for decades – beginning with the song “Breakdown” in 1978

By Jim ONeill - Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - Full Story


“We Canadians have our Thanksgiving in October—like logical people, when the harvest is still in effect and therefore the whole “harvest festival” idea makes sense,” explained Martin Short, disagreeing with the United States celebrating the same this year on 23 November.

North or south of the border though it’s time for seasonal decorations. Cut the top off a pumpkin, hollow out, carve a face if you will, then drop in a six- or eight-inch pot of yellow or orange chrysanthemums for something different in doorstep décor to add to the wreath, dried corn and stalks, dolls and scarecrows.

By Wes Porter - Sunday, October 1, 2017 - Full Story