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.


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. 


PRUNE: Roses, summer-blooming shrubs.

FERTILIZE: Blooming bulbs, trees.

BLOOMING: Pansies, annuals.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


FERTILIZE: Amaryllis.

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

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


FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Lawns and roses.


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. 


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


A few years back at Christmastime in Chicago, I wandered cold and sleepy into a store across from Wrigley Field. I’d been away from home too long, I needed comfort and I hadn’t found a Dr Pepper in days.

Inadvertently, a linguistic theory was born.

Yankees are known (yes, you are) for mistakenly using “y’all” to address an individual person. It’s like they don’t know what “all” means. There seem to be enough Southerners in the film/TV industry that you don’t see it make its way onto screens too often, but in person, yeah, you hear it. There’s nothing quite as jarring as being addressed in the plural, as though you have suddenly sprouted a second head. “Y’all” is a second-person plural pronoun, like “vous” in French, which makes Southern English more specific and more flexible than whatever they speak up there. And on this cold December day, I figured out why they do that: They are making the mistake of believing their own ears.

I walk into the store, a sea of Cubs apparel that also appears to have a convenience-store type array of food and drink. Tired and grumpy (I get grumpy when it’s under 20 degrees outside), I decide not to go hunting around the store looking for my fix, but go straight up to the counter and ask the clerk (the only person in sight): “Do y’all have Dr Pepper?”

What I was doing, of course, was politely and pre-emptively absolving the poor clerk of personal responsibility, as a good Southerner would automatically do. Thus, the plural. The full version of my question probably would have been, “Do your employers stock Dr Pepper, you poor thing? I know they don’t.”

But of course what he witnessed was a tiny, grumpy person walking up to him and addressing him, personally, as a “y’all.” Light dawns! No wonder that, if he ever chooses to attempt to use the term in speech (I’m sure only to describe how charming Texans are), he will undoubtedly and based on incontrovertible personal experience use it right out of the box incorrectly and make some poor person think they have two heads. Like the Titanic’s poor Capt. Smith, “Everything he knows is wrong.”

So, my dear Northern brethren, we politely and pre-emptively absolve you for saying it wrong. Y’all are all forgiven. (We’ll save the discussion of the emphatic “all” and collective “all y’all” for another day.)


Here in the land of Aggie news, we are aware of what we call “the maroon bubble.” That is, some news is really familiar to those of us living/working around campus, but we realize not all Aggies may actually hear about it if they live outside the bubble.

So here are three Aggies whom, if you haven’t heard their stories already, I think you would enjoy being on a first-name basis with.

Col. Tom C. ‘Ike’ Morris ’33

ike salute

Jane Weeden photo via Texas A&M Association of Former Students

Ike is the oldest living Aggie we know of. He is also completely awesome. He served on the student committee that set the standards for Aggie Rings (i.e. why they have been identical since 1933 and you must prove senior classification in good standing, etc., to order one). He’s a recipient of the French Legion of Honor for his WWII service, which included D-Day plus 1 on Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge. You know what he did last year? He set up an Aggie Ring Scholarship. So now every year, there’s a student who has their Aggie Ring paid for by him. He lives in San Antonio, he turned 107 in August 2017, and you can find him on Facebook. He remembers Reveille I; he waited tables in Duncan with Gen. Earl Rudder; and he once hitched a ride with E. King Gill (story). Here he is at the 2013 San Antonio A&M Club Muster being presented with the new Aggie Ring he’d ordered (his second replacement):

Von Miller ’11

von dance

Troy Taormina photo/USA Today. Von visits a 2016 A&M basketball game.

Von plays for the Denver Broncos now, and was the MVP of the 2016 Super Bowl. More importantly to most of us, he’s a terrific Aggie and a super neat person. He tends to end interviews with “Thanks and gig ’em,” he uses his fame and success to support causes like Von’s Vision (free eye exams and glasses for Denver kids) and Hurricane Harvey relief, and he’s charming and hilarious. Do yourself a true favor and read his funny story from the Players’ Tribune, “Nerd.” Please also enjoy his Madden NFL 17 commercial. At A&M, he majored in poultry science and became so interested in the topic he continues to raise chickens (video). He was on “Dancing With The Stars,” but I honestly prefer the fantastic photo of him, above, at an A&M basketball game; he is not mocking the dance team, but dancing *with* them, perfectly. Here he is being inducted last Friday into A&M’s Sports Hall of fame:

Roy May ’15

roy may

Roy (right) from his days in the Old Guard; image is from his yell leader campaign video: https://vimeo.com/59971923

Roy is a former yell leader, but not a typical one: As a junior and senior yell leader, he was also a veteran in his 30s. He chose to come to A&M and be a part of the Corps of Cadets after 12 years of service in the Army that included being among the elite who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Roy was sent to the Pentagon on 9/11 for rescue and recovery efforts. He’s still serving in the Army today; he and his family have stayed in College Station, where his most recent venture has been developing his business, Good Bull BBQ, from a food-truck operation to a new bricks-and-mortar location on Southgate that just celebrated its first full week of feeding Aggies. Here he is last year helping illustrate how yell leaders’ styles have changed over the decades (I’m always asked why he’s barefoot in part of the video. The answer is related to how physical the motions of today’s yell leaders are; he was wearing slip-on shoes that were “not ideal on that surface,” so he kicked them off!)

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

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.”

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!


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: