Book Review of Lawns Into Meadows by Owen Wormser

Mowing season may be nearing an end but soon it will be spring and time to drag out the expensive, high maintenance lawn equipment – to begin that hot, sweaty weekly chore once more.

If you’re one of those who’ve dreamed of trading stark, crew-cut style grass for a lovely meadow of native wildflowers or another option besides being a slave to the land that surrounds your home, check out the book Lawns Into Meadows – Growing a regenerative landscape by Owen Wormser, illustrated by Kristen Thompson.

From getting rid of grass in preparation for new plantings, designing the site, selecting appropriate species for the soil at the location that are hardy in your climatic zone, to cultivation and maintenance, this narrative is a one stop source of information for making your landscape more in tune with nature.

Reducing your carbon footprint is one reason to create a low-maintenance lawn. The addition of free time to your schedule, and the eventual cost savings are two others. But if you’re a nature lover, you won’t require practical reasons for making the change.

Born and raised in rural Maine, author Owen Wormser knows nature. His experience as a landscape architect in Western Massachusetts where he installed hundreds of regenerative lawns makes him the perfect person to write this book. Though written by a professional, the book will be enjoyed by laypeople, just learning about regenerative lawns.

Artist Kristen Thompson has experience in both art and specialize plant culture.

The book even tells us how to educate and make peace with neighbors and “city fathers” who may consider a natural lawn a weed patch rather than the work of natural artistry it really is.

Read this book and change the world. Or at least your neighborhood   

If you’re one of those who’ve dreamed of trading stark, crew-cut style grass for a lovely meadow of native wildflowers or another option besides being a slave to the land that surrounds your home, check out the book Lawns Into Meadows – Growing a regenerative landscape by Owen Wormser, illustrated by Kristen Thompson.

From getting rid of grass in preparation for new plantings, designing the site, selecting appropriate species for the soil at the location that are hardy in your climatic zone, to cultivation and maintenance, this narrative is a one stop source of information for making your landscape more in tune with nature.

Reducing your carbon footprint is one reason to create a low-maintenance lawn. The addition of free time to your schedule, and the eventual cost savings are two others. But if you’re a nature lover, you won’t require practical reasons for making the change.

Born and raised in rural Maine, author Owen Wormser knows nature. His experience as a landscape architect in Western Massachusetts where he installed hundreds of regenerative lawns makes him the perfect person to write this book. Though written by a professional, the book will be enjoyed by laypeople, just learning about regenerative lawns.

Artist Kristen Thompson has experience in both art and specialize plant culture.

The book even tells us how to educate and make peace with neighbors and “city fathers” who may consider a natural lawn a weed patch rather than the work of natural artistry it really is.

Read this book and change the world. Or at least your neighborhood   

Book Review of Crash – The Great Depression and the Rise and Fall of America by Marc Favreau: This book carries messages we need now.

A story of pain and suffering, but also a tale of hope and inspiration.

The Crash by Marc Favreau, tells many little known details of the times leading up to The Great Depression in America, the human impact of the devastated economy, the rise to prosperity fueled, whether fortunately or not so positively, by World War II:

Herbert Hoover suffered the bad luck of being president at the time of the crash but his seeming lack of sympathy for those who suffered most spelled his death as president.

His lack of ideas for bringing the country back to prosperity caused his presidency to go up in smoke with the “Bonus Army’s” shacks – the ones that Hoover ordered burned to the ground to quell the fervor of the World War I Veterans who protested the postponement of their promised benefits until 1945, during a time when they greatly needed the supplemental income.

The story tells of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, two people of wealth and privilege who formed plans to help all Americans.

Their marriage wasn’t always completely rewarding, but they each remained focused, without arrogance, upon improving conditions for the country’s citizens.

This excerpt from an early speech by FDR captures the spirit of his presidency and of Eleanor’s attitude:

“Help for people stricken by the Crash must be extended by Government not as a matter of social duty; the State accepts the task cheerfully because it believes that it will help restore that close relationship with its people which is necessary to preserve our democratic form of government.”

Whether the offering of government sponsored jobs and aid was done in the interest of keeping the public peace, or due to actual empathy on the part of leaders, it was certainly a necessary and humanitarian action.

Readers learn of fights for citizen benefits. Of civil rights and worker’s rights.Of the CCC and the WPA, and various programs that pulled people up from despair and failure, lifting their prospects spiritually and financially, and improving conditions across the country.

Of people like John L. Lewis, a man touched by the witnessing of a horrific mining explosion, who founded the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Of the little-known lady named Frances Perkins who inspired and drafted the founding documents of the Social Security System. The same lady hoped for a system to provide health care for all, but achievement of that goal still lies in the future.

The Crash and resulting Depression of the 1930’s taught us many lessons. Alas, history tends to repeat itself due to lack of respect from citizens.

The causes of our country’s troubles today differ a bit from those of the Depression. But the resulting affect on society seems similar. May the lessons we learn from the current situation in our country, and the COVID-19 pandemic, lead America to develop new programs to provide hope and prosperity for all of its citizens.

A study of The Crash, can inspire hope and innovation action to benefit our future.

 

 

Book Review of Haunted House Murder – By Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross

Three Maine mystery mavens have put togeather a haunting Halloween anthology.

Love New England, historic homes, tales of crimes and spirits from beyond?

Pick up this book, curl up with coffee, cider, or your beverage of choice, and settle in for a rainy evening; or sprawl upon a leaf strewn lawn and enjoy an Indian summer day of sunshine.

Here is a listing of the well-written and spellbinding stories of hauntings:

Haunted House Murder by Leslie Meier

Death by Haunted House by Lee Hollis

Hallowed Out by Barbara Ross

Book Review of How to Knit a Murder A Seaside Knitters’ Society Mystery By Sally Goldenbaum

I did have a difficult time keeping up with character identities in this fast flowing story, but a helpful guide was provided inside the front cover.

I picked up How to Knit a Murder  by Sally Goldenbaum on a day when I was mentally “down” and it delivered what M.C. Beaton mentioned as her reason for writing fiction – “to give someone a good time on a bad day”.

I do my best to make that my motto as I compose my own stories also.

The Cape Ann area is an inspirational place for me, so I immediately loved the setting of this book’s charming fictional village, which holds secrets and conflicts just as do all places of human habitation.

In this entertaining cozy, a group of close friends who share a passion for felines and knitting solve a murder, exonerate and welcome a former resident and schoolmate.

It was a bit unsettling to realize the identity of the murderer, but isn’t it always for those of us who empathize with everyone?

A lovely story which conveys the reminder that the imprint of childhood experiences, especially those involving strong emotions, can stay with us always.

How we deal with these powerful, sometimes terribly upsetting memories is up to us.

 

 

 

Book Review of Silver Anniversary Murder by Leslie Meier

Always excited to discover a new Leslie Meyer mystery.

Lucy Stone, the main character of this series, travels a bit on her own, now that her children are grown.

Silver Anniversary Murder finds her adventuring and investigating in New York City. Hoping to contact an old best friend to invite her to the Silver Anniversary celebration planned for Tinker’s Cove, she finds that Beth has very recently committed suicide, apparently.

Thinking that action out of character for the friend she’s seen off and on over the years, Lucy arranges a trip to find out whether foul play was involved in Beth’s death, telling her family she simply needs a bit of time on her own in the city where she grew up.

I’ve always wanted to visit New York City, so I greatly enjoyed living vicariously through Lucy’s cultural adventures there, shopping at a bodega (for other rural citizens like me, it’s a sort of urban general store), checking out high end shops, and concerts.

The frightening experiences she endures at the end of her stay, give pause to those considering a solitary urban journey, but of course they are the result of the risks Lucy finds herself willing to take in the cause of justice for a friend’s death.

Totally top shelf!

Book Review of The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle By Susan Wittig Albert

What choices will Elizbeth Lacy make regarding her intriguing career and romantic opportunities? That is the big question for me in this latest installment of my favorite series by Susan Wittig Albert.

I won’t give away the answer, but let me say I was quite frustrated when I finished the book today. Though that’s not a criticism. Just one of those books I didn’t want to end.

The last chapter scene is set on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait until Christmas in Darling. I have a feeling there will be some dramatic happenings. I’ll be on sharp lookout for the sequel.

The Poinsettia Puzzle featured several other dramas, prison corruption, the opening of a bakery by Earlynne Biddle and Mildred Kilgore, neither of whom can bake bread!

A puzzle contest takes place, like the ones popular in the 1930’s. Made me want to dig in the closet and try one myself. Something I haven’t done in years.

And then there’s the threat to little Cupcake, a Shirley Temple look alike.

A truly action packed, enjoyable story that teaches us the traditions of the Depression Era America, as it entertains.

A festive read with which to celebrate the season!