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Wow the weather!

November 17, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
It has turned cold, seemingly overnight and the weather is driving me crazy!

I hate the cold and can’t seem to get warm from November to April. Last week my husband was doing the weather countdown. Each day he would tell me how many more days of decent weather we could expect. “Tomorrow is the last good day we’ll have,” he said on Thursday. I didn’t believe him until I went out to my car Friday morning and immediately went back inside to get a heavier coat. I’m not ready for this.

As I type this right now, just in the last half-hour, the sky darkened considerably and snow is falling as if it is Christmas Eve. No matter how much warning I had, I still wasn’t ready.

Some of you may already know that I am moving my workspace from an office in Niles to the newsroom at the Tribune offices in Warren. I expect to be all moved by Thanksgiving weekend. I have been going through old photos that accumulated here in the past six years, as well as files and back issues of the paper. I am taking home many of the things I brought here, particularly gardening books and magazines that I use to get ideas for columns as well as research. Most of my gardening research comes from The Ohio State University Extension and their Ohiolines fact sheets and recommended research material, but I try to gather as much information as I can from many different sources. Of course, a good bit of it comes from personal experience with more than 35 years of gardening in my own backyard.

It is amazing how much stuff one person can accumulate over a few years. My new space in the newsroom will be much smaller, which will keep me from hoarding all this stuff. Less room means less stuff.

Saturday I was lazy and had a late breakfast and then my husband and I came to the office in Niles to get a head start on the move. We took home a microwave oven I brought with me six years ago and all the plants I managed to collect. I didn’t have enough room inside my house as it was for the plants I already have at home, but whenever I would see a new or unusual plant at a local garden center and knew it would make a great column, it sometimes ended up at this office. From cactus gardens to an unwieldy Spath to a miniature ficus tree with a braided trunk, it all got hauled home and now my dining room window looks like a jungle.

Sunday was the annual Trumbull County Master Gardener recognition dinner. Congratulations to Carol Caronite, who was recognized as Master Gardener of the Year. Carol worked diligently on several projects throughout the year, including the development of an eldercare program that you will soon be hearing more about in the coming months. She was also instrumental in the organization of the state MG conference held for the first time in Trumbull County in early October.

The banquet consisted of a lovely dinner, a pre-cursor to Thanksgiving you could say, with pans of juicy turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad and an entire table of various desserts. If the Master Gardeners know one thing, it’s how to present a good meal.

This morning though, I woke up to snow on the ground and freezing temperatures. The only gardening that will get done in the next few months is tending to indoor plants and browsing seed catalogs. I began my day with a hot, steaming bowl of oatmeal, mixed with banana, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. It kept me plenty full well into lunch time.

Without a microwave, it takes a little more pre-planning for work meals. My usual routine includes making a cup of tea for my desk while I get started each morning, but this morning after I filled up my mug with water, I realized there was no way to heat it. Fortunately, the flower shop next to my office has hot water on hand, so they obligingly got me started this morning.

I packed a container of tuna salad with sliced green olives and a couple slices of 12-grain bread but thought a bowl of soup would go well on a cold afternoon. Once again, I missed my microwave, but instead I walked the four doors down to Subway and got one of their bowls of chicken noodle soup. Comfort food.

For an afternoon snack, I had a bag of whole grain Sun Chips, also from Subway. Today seemed to be grain-heavy day and that sometimes happens. My husband recently called to tell me it would be spaghetti for dinner. Tomorrow better be a light-grain day to make up for it.


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Breakfast: 2 ounces grains; ½ cup milk; ¾ cup fruit; 1 ounce meat; 2 tsps. healthy oils; 33 discretionary calories.