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Baby crape myrtle “Zuni,” planted late May 2019, bloomed mid-July. ❤️

This is a HIGHLY EDITED version of the A&M Gardening Club’s “Monthly tasks for the Brazos Valley.”

Basically, I edited out everything that doesn’t relate to the plants I have. So if you grow ANYTHING other than roses and daffodils, you’re gonna want to view their whole calendar here.

January

FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Iris, crepe myrtle, trees, strawberries, day lilies

BLOOMING: Narcissus, pansy, jasmine, roses.

WEATHER PROTECTION: If a freeze is predicted, cover tender plants and shrubs with boxes or plastic trash cans [not metal]. Heavy paper also works well. 

February

PRUNE: Roses, summer-blooming shrubs.

FERTILIZE: Blooming bulbs, trees.

BLOOMING: Pansies, annuals.

March

FERTILIZE: Feed all roses, shrubs and plants with quick-acting fertilizer to stimulate rapid spring growth. Trees may be fertilized this month. DO NOT fertilize grass this month as it is still partially dormant and cannot use the food, but the weeds can!

BLOOMING: All hardy annuals, many shrubs, trees and roses, many bulbs.

April

PRUNE: Early flowering trees and shrubs after they bloom.

FERTILIZE: Lawns, with extra fertilizer for areas under trees.

BLOOMING: Spring flowering annuals and perennials, geranium, iris, calla and Easter lilies, oxalis, early day lilies and gladiolus. Many flowering shrubs and vines.

May

FERTILIZE: Roses and plants that continue blooming and those producing buds for next year’s bloom.

BLOOMING: Annuals, perennials. Begonias, cactus, canna, day lilies, many shrubs.

June

PRUNE: Cut older canes of oleander, climbing roses and others which bloom on new growth. 

July

PRUNE: Cut out dead wood. Trim plants that need to be properly shaped. Crape myrtle spent blooms may be pruned to encourage repeat blooming.

August

FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Roses the last of this month for fall.

WEATHER PROTECTION: Soak beds where spider lilies are planted and they will bloom in September.

September

FERTILIZE: Amaryllis.

WEATHER PROTECTION: Keep well-watered to combat hot, dry weather.

BLOOMING: Cannas, day lilies, bedding begonia, hibiscus, roses, zinnia and many others.

October

FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Lawns and roses.

November

PRUNE: Flowering perennial stalks that have finished blooming. Trim dead part of leaves from bearded iris. Stop cutting spent rose blossoms off so the bushes will go dormant for cold weather.

FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Give extra feeding to bulbs as soon as tops come into view. 

December

PLANT: Jonquils, narcissus, daffodils, hyacinths and Dutch iris. Dormant trees, shrubs, and roses. Amaryllis, tulips, pansy, petunia, snapdragon, verbena and many others.

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Maroon Velvet cocktail

img_3584A sparkly cocktail suitable for all formal Aggie occasions. Seniors may garnish with a dainty curl of lemon peel. 🙂

Proportions are

  • One part Chambord liqueur (black raspberry liqueur)
  • Four parts pomegranate juice
  • Six parts champagne

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Lucky’s in the news because he got hit by a car yesterday — a university staffer took him to a vet but he didn’t survive, the UNT Staff Senate said on Twitter.

But there is hope!

Central Track delved further to find that UNT has *plural* albino squirrels, since at least 2000. The first was named Thelonious, which is perfect for a school with strong jazz heritage.

The university’s official account, @UNTsocial, confirms there’s more than one:

UNT is my “other” university. Having grown up a Fry rat in Denton, I have long been unimpressed with other Texas cities’ claims to weirdness and unique music scenes. I’m also a UNT alum, having taken photojournalism and other classes there between semesters at A&M, and justifiably proud of their music, journalism and history programs.

As @UNTsocial says, “Lucky is remembered in our hearts. Hope mourning will lessen in spring when we see Lucky Jr. We’ll be on the lookout.”

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The terrific “Corps of Cadets Moms Updates” blog does a great job of mixing events, news and useful info. Here, republished with the blogger’s permission, is a list she compiled of  “stuff you can do on a non-football weekend.”

(I’m quoting the list directly, so modify “your cadet” to “your student” or “your friends” as needed!)

George H.W. Bush Presidential Museum: I’ve been twice and could easily go again. I’m a museum person, so I’d say allow 3+ hours. Students get in free with a TAMU ID.

 

Bonfire Memorial: It’s very cool. Free. Allow 1 hour.

 

MSC: Check the calendar to see if there are any performances the weekend you plan to be in CStat. There is nothing posted yet for next year, but you can see what’s happened in the past to give you an idea of what the future may hold.

 

Messina Hof: This is an adult thing, but fun! Bryan’s own winery — and while I’m no connoisseur (I typically select wines by the graphic quality of the label), I do like their wines.

 

Aggie Stores: There are a lot to select from that specialize in cute stuff for Aggies. The biggie — Aggieland Outfitters — is a palace dedicated to Maroon. College Depot and CC Creations also have tons of stuff. For CC Creations, on non-football weekends, you need to go to the warehouse on Holleman Drive, south of campus. For girly stuff, go to Heartworks. And for old-time Aggie prints, stop by The Benjamin Knox Gallery. (This is a great place for a glass of wine and a snack, as well.)

 

Other Sports: Yes, TAMU has teams other than football, basketball and baseball. If you’d like to see one of the other sports teams compete, check out the composite 12th Man calendar. Again, most schedules aren’t posted yet. It’ll happen.

 

The Dixie Chicken: Even if your cadet is not of age, go to The Chicken for a hamburger and Dr Pepper. It’s part of Texas A&M. You just gotta do it. Ditto for Layne’s Chicken.

 

Bonfire Cut: Last but certainly not least, if your cadet is doing cut, and if it’s the right weekend, parents are invited to cut on Sunday morning. (Yes, it’s during church time.) Not all cadets do cut, but those who do, love it. And parents who go have very special memories of time in the woods with their cadet and buddies.

Great list, Jeanne! Thanks again!

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earlyvote

Don’t wait – your vote in the Texas primary can count much more than in November. Texas can affect presidential races, most Texas statewide races are settled in primaries and a lot fewer people vote.

The Brazos County polls close at 8 p.m. Friday for early voting in this presidential primary. Let’s do this!

  • Any day this week between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Grab your driver’s license (or other government ID from this list)
  • Bring a sample ballot “cheatsheet” if you want — printable here
  • And head to any one of these five locations: http://brazosvotes.org/when

If you wait till election day, March 1, you’ll actually have 26 locations to choose from in Brazos County — you can vote at any of them, but you have to do it that day, and the polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

(Click here to check whether you’re registered to vote: http://brazosvotes.org/register/ami)

You’ll be voting on an electronic machine that will automatically know what precincts you’re in and will let you skip a race if you’re not sure who you want to vote for in it.

Everybody gets to vote on the presidential candidates and the statewide races such as Railroad Commissioner, Texas Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals and State Board of Education (some nonpartisan info on these candidates is here).

Each party will also ask for your opinion on several issues (referendum/proposition) that may help decide the state parties’ platforms. These items have no weight in law.

Contested local races (see below for how to find your district/precinct):

  • On the Republican ballot, there are contested races in U.S. Congressional District 17, State House Districts 12 and 14, county commissioners in Precincts 1 and 3, and for Brazos County sheriff. Go here and scroll down to read recent Eagle news stories on some of these races: http://www.theeagle.com/news/elections/
  • On the Democratic ballot, there is only one contested local race, and it’s to determine who will be the party’s chairperson for Precinct 17. I couldn’t find any more information about this race other than the names.

(Voting in the Democratic or Republican primary doesn’t mean you have to vote for that party in November, but it does mean you’ll have to stick with that party if there is a runoff election in this current primary.)

Finding your district and precinct:

 

 

 

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imageThis isn’t a Dr Pepper smoothie, of course, because the ingredients in Dr Pepper are secret, right? (See below.) But it is a quite good smoothie that soothes my Dr Pepper cravings.

  • 1 cup pomegranate-cherry juice, chilled
  • 2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen fruit — H-E-B cherry/blueberry/currant mix
  • 1 cup frozen fruit — H-E-B blackberry/blueberry/raspberry mix

(Makes about 1 pitcherful, say two 16-oz smoothies)

Internet speculation on the secret 23 flavors in Dr Pepper follows. Bear in mind it was invented in 1885:

  • Cherry, vanilla, almond, plum, blackberry, raspberry, apricot, coriander, clove, amaretto, anise, caramel, molasses, birch beer, allspice, ginger, sarsparilla, sassafras, juniper, spikenard, wintergreen, burdock, dandelion.

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Glitter is sharp and bright and contains movement — like the quick trip of its two syllables set apart by sharp little t’s. One-syllable blink and wink are slow, but have movement, whether it’s your eyes or a light doing the winking and blinking (though its pace picks up when it becomes a repeated/ongoing action, doesn’t it? Winking, blinking). Gleam seems slow, soft, steady, and according to its definition applies most to reflected light, which seems right to me; my mind’s eye pictures gleaming as the yellow glow that comes off a large, smooth, golden object in a darkened room. But glow is more properly what a light source itself does; not reflecting light, like gleaming, but creating it: shine, beam, radiate.

Glimmer has movement too, but more the failure of your eyes to see something disappearing and reappearing; while its cousin shimmer has movement of a different sort, feeling more side-to-side. Or perhaps that’s shimmy I’m thinking of 🙂 (and glimpse).

Twinkle, sparkle again are repeated, sharp, two-syllable, hard consonant, flashes that repeat. Is sparkle reflected light while twinkle should be the light source itself? Nursery rhymes of stars would have it so. Flash itself is short, sharp, but without the hard consonants. Glint is quick but smaller, perhaps. Because of reflection, again? Every light loses brightness when reflected, shedding some of its brilliance as it bounces off the intervening surface. Or the moon would blind us, instead of just showing us how it sees our shared sun. Pretty flicker goes back and forth, friendly like a candle.

Scholarly side-note:

Why so many gl- beginnings in our words for light? Root words are one answer: Higueras and Clavera (2002) name two, Middle English glymsen, “to shine faintly or intermittently,” and Middle Low German glaren, “to gleam.” Sadowski (2001) compared modern English gl- root words and concluded more than half connoted light/dark or looking/seeing (with more related to smoothness, like glossy, plus glamour originally related to how something is perceived and glory also connected to light). Some scholars have even “argued the existence of sound and color patterns, whereby back vowels tend to denote dark colours (as in gloom or glum) and front vowels tend to be ‘bright’ (gleam, glitter, glimmer, etc.)” (Sadowski citing Jespersen 1922 and Jakobson 1979; front vowels being those pronounced with the tongue forward in the mouth and vice versa).

Image via Fotolia

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