The most critical factors, and this goes for all houseplants, is to water them properly and be sure the excess water can drain out. Some potting mixes are loose and drain quickly while others are more dense and hold water longer. It’s essential to look closely and give your plants as much water as they need, when they need it, rather than setting a schedule of watering everything once a week. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’
The 8th annual “Skate into New Year” skating party on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid will benefit the Lake Placid Food Pantry. The event will be held on December 31st from 10:30 pm until 12:30 am.
“Skate into New Year” began in 2008, the brainchild of Christie Sausa, a local skater who responded to comments that there was “nothing for families to do” in Lake Placid on New Year’s Eve. The substance-free family-friendly event has donated thousands of dollars to charity in the past eight years. » Continue Reading.
Preparing for the annual Christmas Bird Count is, like the entire holiday season, on the hectic side. The binoculars and spotting scopes have been set aside and need to be found. Packing a good lunch a few hours in advance is a good idea, but rarely accomplished.
My highest hurdle is getting up and out early in the morning to meet my team of counters, whose punctuality and other habits, after nearly thirty years of counting in the dead of winter, are rather well known. » Continue Reading.
There are a lot of decisions to make about how to spend New Year’s Eve. There is the traditional party with a countdown to that first kiss or the ever popular First Night celebrations. Some families tend to stay home while others attend fancy parties. The focus is on fun.
Plattsburgh’s Imaginarium Children’s Museum will be taking a different approach to the New Year celebration with a mid-day event that is focused on the family. The event allows parents with young children to celebrate Noon Year’s Eve celebration that allows parents to focus on family with plenty of time to get the kids home to a sitter for later, adults oriented year-end celebrations. » Continue Reading.
Walking through a large chain store this past October – at least a week before Halloween – I stumbled upon a display of decorations. Not witches and pumpkins, but trees and bells. There’s no question that retailers are intent on pushing the start of the Christmas season earlier and earlier, but we Christmas tree growers still have them beat; for us, it’s a nearly year-round endeavor.
Spring is one of the busiest times on a Christmas tree farm, yet it sometimes requires an agonizingly long wait before work can get started. It can take weeks of warmer weather to thaw the soil enough to plant the next rotation of trees. » Continue Reading.
Our Christmas tree tradition always involves sturdy boots, a saw, braving the cold and most likely a snowball fight that ends with someone crying.
There are many places around the Adirondacks to find the perfect Christmas tree. Every year my family has an open invitation to explore our neighbor’s property, but most of the time we enjoy walking the fields of one of the nearby tree farms. » Continue Reading.
Of all the memorable aromas of the holiday season, nothing evokes its spirit quite like the smell of fresh-cut evergreen. Although over 80% of American households where Christmas is observed use artificial trees, about 11 million families still bring home a real tree.
Every species of conifer has its own mixture of sweet-smelling terpenols and esters that account for that “piney woods” perfume. While all natural Christmas trees share many of the same aromatic compounds, some people prefer the smell of a certain type of tree, possibly one they remember from childhood. No chemistry lab can make a polyvinylchloride tree smell like fresh pine, fir or spruce. A natural Christmas tree is, among other things, a giant holiday potpourri. » Continue Reading.
There are many ways to spend the holidays, or those few frantic weeks just before, that truly ring in the year with quaint Adirondack charm. Schroon Lake’s Olde Tyme Christmas, Lake Placid’s Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex are just three celebrations that are prepared to make everyone’s countdown to Christmas just a little more merry.
Though Friday nights do hold a few scheduled happenings, the main events take place over the weekend for most locations. According to Christmas in Essex Co-Organizer Kenneth Hughes, this year’s festival on December 13th is a mixture of traditional activities and new events.
“Christmas in Essex has been happening for at least 20 years so we have the traditional activities people look forward to, like the Reindeer Run and Pancake Breakfast, but we added some things that are brand new. This is the first year that I’ve been an organizer,” says Hughes. “My other Co-Organizer is Susie Smith.” » Continue Reading.
Now that we’ve survived Black Friday and supported local businesses with Small Business Saturday, it is time to look at the really big picture and make sure that giving remains a major part of the holiday season. Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has celebrated the importance of generosity and giving back.
Giving Tuesday was conceived in cooperation with the New York’s 92 Street Young Men and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (92Y), the United Nations Foundation and a team of founding partners that understood the importance of fostering kindness.
The concept is simple. We have numerous days for getting, now we have a international day for giving. If you are sitting at your computer or visiting a favorite Adirondack location, please take a moment and search for a way that is important to you to give back. » Continue Reading.
I love greenery and lights this time of year and it doesn’t take much to make a difference. I’m in awe of the super creative folks but as long as I can see some deep green and lights, I’m content. If you feel daunted at the thought of making your own wreath, consider a simple swag for your door. Gather a handful of nice looking greens, wrap them together with green wire, add a ribbon and you’re done.
I recently discovered one of the easiest ways to decorate. I use the planters on our porch that were full of flowers all summer, and fill them with greenery. You can use a variety of greens to provide different textures and color. Cut the greens in varying lengths but mostly about twice as long as the pot is high and stuff them into the potting mix to hold them in place. » Continue Reading.
Personally I feel that all decorations have their time and place. Just because chain stores decided on Christmas merchandising before my kids had even pulled together Halloween costumes, does not mean I have to succumb. I need some distance between my holiday celebrations. Christmas won’t happen in our house until the turkey is considered a leftover.
Around the Adirondacks local stores and businesses aren’t feeling the pressure to celebrate early. They are saving their energy and pulling out all the stops for a Black Friday weekend that is uniquely Adirondack. » Continue Reading.
Looking to recycle your Christmas tree when the holidays are over? If you want to let the birds benefit from your tree for a bit – you might think about staking it in the ground and leaving it out in your backyard for a while – after you have replaced the ornaments with some yummy bird feeders of course (think pinecones covered in peanut butter and bird seed or suet cakes).
You can then set it aside once all the needles have dropped and it no longer provides good cover for the birds to chip and use as mulch in the spring. » Continue Reading.
I grew up getting a tree from a parking lot and yearned for a storybook experience of searching the woods for the ideal tree. Though getting any Christmas tree was exciting, I wanted to give my children a different family ritual. I also wanted to stick to the legal version of obtaining a Christmas tree. A few of my friends may disagree (and shall remain nameless), but I believe that searching for a tree should not involve stealth, cloak of darkness and a get-away car.
How we obtain our Christmas tree varies year to year, but so far we have either been gifted a tree from a neighbor’s property or we’ve visited one a local Adirondack Christmas tree farm. » Continue Reading.
We try to find the time to make sure some of the items being sent to family and friends are “made in the Adirondacks.” That special moniker indicates a range of products from maple treats or rhubarb concentrate to elaborate bark-trimmed furniture. Since we live in the Adirondacks we are fortunate to be able to share some of the bounty with other family members not so fortunate.
The advertisements for Black Friday specials come at such a steady stream of daily flyers and commercials that my head starts to ache. Black Friday may be the day to brave the mall, but Small Business Saturday is the day that I support the backbone of the Adirondacks: the downtown shops, business owners and restaurants. » Continue Reading.
When I was a teenager I had a small streak of juvenile delinquency. This is not uncommon in young men of course and it comes in different flavors. Some do a little drinking or drugs. Some do a little stealing. Some might commit minor vandalism. I didn’t do any of that stuff. I liked to set things on fire.
One March in Cleveland when I was fifteen or so, after a particularly long and snowy winter the weekend broke into the sixties, setting me and two of my like-minded friends, who were possessed with acute cabin fever, into a manic tizzy to play basketball. Sadly the driveway was covered in slush from the thaw, splattering us with every aborted dribble. We tried shoveling, sweeping, even hosing it down, but to no avail. Then we came to another solution. » Continue Reading.
Among the finest Christmas seasons in America’s long history is the year 1945. We’re constantly bombarded with how special the holidays are, so it’s tough for any one year to stand out as extra special, but 1945 makes the list. Events across the Adirondacks that year epitomized the nation’s attitude. Surprisingly, it wasn’t all about celebrating, even though the most destructive war in history had just ended a few months earlier. We often mumble mindlessly that we’re proud to be Americans. But the first post-World War II Christmas was the real deal, worthy of the word “pride.”
To set the scene, consider the events that had transpired at that time. After being mired for a decade in the worst financial collapse in our history (the Great Depression), Americans had begun preparing for what seemed inevitable: joining the war in Europe. And then, between the Pearl Harbor attack and the war’s end four years later, hundreds of North Country boys and men were killed in action. Thousands more were injured or missing. » Continue Reading.
“What a horrifyingly garish sight,” I said to my friend as we surveyed my Christmas tree last year. We had just finished decorating it and my eyes were sending messages to my brain, like, “Hey, this is really tacky.”
Truth is, the décor I had accumulated after years of city dwelling in my sassy twenties looked awfully out of place in my humble Vermont cabin. What I once thought dazzling – glitter-coated icicles, a miniature disco ball, a purple-feathered bird with jeweled eyes, flocks of shiny gold and green balls – now looked as out of place as a pink flamingo at my bird feeder. Even the duck decoy my great uncle carved seemed to give the gaudy fiasco an alarmed stare. Such a tree no longer belonged in my world. » Continue Reading.
One holiday tradition for our family is to see a production of the Nutcracker ballet. Throughout the Adirondacks and beyond, this is a tradition that many hold dear to their hearts as a family-friendly way to kick off the holiday season. With productions in Old Forge, Plattsburgh, Lake Placid and Glens Falls, this ballet gathers professional and community dancers on stage for a limited performance.
“Seeing a performance of the Nutcracker is part of the theatre tradition that is wholesome and something the whole family can see,” says Old Forge Ballet Company Director Sue Ann Lorenz-Wallace.” If children are performing in the production, it is something that will stay with them the rest of their lives. If they watch it, it will always bring back fond memories of the holidays.” » Continue Reading.
It’s Thanksgiving week, and there’s no snow on the ground. There’ve been some heavy frosts, and I’ve had to scrape my windshield most days in the last week. Right now there’s a heavy frost covering the apple trees and the sun is coming up over Whiteface. I really wish my camera battery was charged.
When I was growing up, I had a running bet with my grandfather that there would be snow on the ground Thanksgiving morning. We always hosted dinner, sometimes with more than twenty people, but Grandpa would always walk in and give me five bucks and not say anything to me. I would grin and pocket the money, happy in my ability to predict the weather. Of course, most years, there was already snow on the ground before Thanksgiving, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that I had a pretty good streak of winning that bet.
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After years of kitchen drudgery and dishpan hands, all of a sudden everyone wants us to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. Provided, of course, WE BRING THE DRINKS! Pammy’s no Julia Child but she can do a throwdown cocktail that’ll make Bobby Flay take notice! Creativity is all you need to shake up the traditional feast. Just keep the menu in mind. Compatibility with the flavors of the meal is important. Compatibility with family members or other guests is something we’re not qualified to help you with, but a few tasty beverages might not hurt.
We’re not sure how it goes at your house, but we always have a plethora of snacks and appetizers, serving no other purpose than to keep the hungry guests from whining and the kids out of the kitchen. The unfortunate result, once dinner is ready, is a roomful of gluttonous guests too stuffed to engage in the carnage that is Thanksgiving Dinner!
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