Senior Connections Senior Connections Jan 2019 - Page 4

So how long will this year be? Dale Kovar HJ GENERAL MANAGER As another year begins, it’s a time to think about . . . time. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. So many people say that “time fl ies,” everything rushes by, and “life is so short.” In the last few years, I’ve found that many days and weeks seem sooooooo much longer than they did before. A day seems like a week. A week seems like a month. It’s always been a case of enjoyable activities seem to whoosh by quickly, while situations I don’t want to be in seem unbearably long. But sometimes what happened in the morning is a dis- tant memory by the evening. I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or maybe I can blame technology. The Internet, followed by social media, has made every- thing so immediate that nothing lasts. Years ago when the Vikings lost, I would be mad for a couple days. Now, 20 minutes after a sporting event, it seems like ancient history because so much more is coming at us con- stantly, competing for our attention. Years ago, we would take pictures. On fi lm. And when we fi nally took enough of them that an entire fi lm was used, we would take it to a local store and it would be sent off to the lab for processing. In a few more days, we could return the store to pick up our photos and see how they turned out. Today, if we aren’t watching something live on some device, we are recording video or a picture that we can view as quickly as we are able to touch the right places on a screen to switch apps. The expectations have changed. We have become so conditioned to look for what’s next that what just happened gets pushed aside. I don’t know if that explains why time goes so slow for me. In the last few years, I have become much more patient than I used to be though. Mostly through running, I learned that if you are two miles from home, you really can’t just speed up and get it over quickly. Other than walking, which would make it take even longer, the only choice is to forge ahead and bear through it. A speaker I heard once also provided some great insight on rest and patience. If you’re stuck waiting in line for something, instead of stressing out, it’s an opportunity to take a deep breath, re- lax, and literally rest for moment. Even waiting at a traffi c light: use it to rest and relax. The other thing I can mention about time is “being on time.” I grew up in a family that was always on time. I don’t recall it being stated; it was just done that way. You should be where you’re going early enough so you are in place and ready when something starts. Late is not an option. That said, the stress of being on time confl icts with re- laxing at the traffi c light when you’re on the way some- where. Anyway, this column is sort of short, but I don’t want to use up any more of your time. Time for Home Brighteners CHRISTIE SCHLUETER African violets are one of the most popular houseplants and most of our grandmothers have grown them. They can bloom continuously indoors, and available in a wide range of colors, leaf types and growth styles, such as trailing, miniature and standard. Having them bloom during the winter monthsis very rewarding and brightens your spirit. No matter what color, leaf type or habit you select the care is all the same. Even though they are fairly easy to grow the plants do require some consistent care. Proper light is very important for blooming. They require more light than most would think. Thin, blue green leaves with long stems indicate the light levels are too low. While moderate light is needed, direct light for long periods can be damaging as well. Too much light produces leaves that are small, crinkled, leathery and yellow with short stems on stunted plants. Gener- ally, north and eastern exposures are best for African violets. If these exposures are not possible, then they will grow under artifi cial lights as well. Fluorescent lights suspended approxi- mately eight inches above the plants for about 12 to 16 hours a day will produce suffi cient light to get the blooms going. The temperature they require should average 65 to 80 de- grees. Anything below 50 will cause the leaves to darken, be- come water-soaked and wither. Temperatures above 80 degrees will slow the growth and fl owering of African violets and may injure the leaves as well. Water temperature becomes impor- tant during the winter months, as cold water directly on the leaves will damage them very quickly. Watering them is probably the most diffi cult part of their care. They require a moist, well-drained soil. If the soil is too wet, the plants may rot. If they are too dry, they will not grow or fl ower well. Many choose to sub-irrigate African violets. This means that you place the plant in a saucer of water and allowing the plant to soak up the water from the bottom of the pot. This prevents injury from cold water on the leaves and in- sures the entire soil is moist. However, care must be taken not 4 Senior to allow the plants to sit for long periods in water they may rot quickly. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry before you do the same process again. African violets can also be watered from the top occasionally to prevent salt accumulation. Regular fertilization is needed to encourage plants to bloom throughout the year. A complete fertilizer at a low rate is rec- ommended. There is also special fertilizer that is strictly for violets. Just every two weeks is about right. But if you use pre- mixed violet fertilizer then follow the directions on the bottle. The soil to use should be loose, porous, and fertile or a soil less mixes that is slightly acidic (6.0 or 6.5). Peat bases soils that have been pasteurized are the best. Garden or fi eld soil in unsatisfactory because it is often poorly drained and compacts easily. Many commercial soils for violets are available. There are usually few diseases associated with violets. Some of the more common pest problems include mites and mealy bugs. Mites are small spiders that attack the undersides of the leaves, new growth and fl owers. Small webs are normally found around the part where the leaf and the main stem join. Mites are so small they are not visible to the naked eye and the damage to the plant is often noticed fi rst. Control of mites may require isolating the infected plant and spraying with soapy water or a miticide. Mealy bugs are easier to identify, as they are lager than spi- der mites. Mealy bugs are whitish and often give out a cottony mass of sticky material for protection. Control requires soapy water baths or removal of the bugs with alcohol dipped cotton swabs. Whenever the foliage of African violets is wetted, warm wa- ter must be used and suffi cient time allowed for the leaves to dry out before dark. Foliage that stays moist is prone to fungal diseases. One common fungal foliar disease is powdery mildew. Infected leaves will have small circles of gray or whitish pow- der on the topside of the leaves. Control for powdery mildew requires the removal of infected leaves and spacing plants out more for better air circulation between plants. Powdery mildew tends to more of a problem on plants that are overcrowded. Crown rot is another common fungal problem of African vi- Connections January 2019 olets that are over watered. Crown rot causes the main stem and lower leaves to appear water-soaked, shrivel and die. Crown rot usually leads to death of the plant. Allowing the top of the soil to dry out between watering will prevent crown rot. Repotting is something else that you should do once a year. Keep to just about the same pot size. The container should only be 1/3 diameter of the plant. Chase away the winter blues with some of these fun reci- pes! Carrot Fries Try a new healthier baked fry. Once you dip in the aioli sauce you will make them often. Ingredients Aioli: 1 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1/2 clove garlic, fi nely grated Kosher salt Carrot Fries: Nonstick cooking spray, for the wire rack and carrots 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs 1 cup grated Parmesan 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1/8 teaspoon cayenne Kosher salt 1 tablespoon milk 3 large eggs 4 medium carrots, cut into thin 3-inch strips 2 tablespoons all-purpose fl our Directions For the aioli: Combine the mayonnaise, basil, lemon zest and juice and garlic in a blender and blend until almost smooth. Season with salt. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. More HOME on Pg 14 Senior Connections HJ.COM