Celebrate the New Year’s Debut but Do So Safely

Many of us are anxious to turn over the last calendar page of 2020 in the hope that 2021 will be more peaceful and safe for everyone. Let’s not let our enthusiasm create a hazard. Celebrate at a distance and don’t overindulge.

Love this vintage display of glasses, a reminder of mid-twentieth-century hospitality.

Our Local Taco Bell – Framed by Spring-Flowering Trees – a Symbol of Responsible COVID-19 Practices

Our local Taco Bell, open for takeout during the coronavirus crisis, was one of the first restaurants to implement sound sanitation practices.

Wearing of masks and gloves, passing bags of food to the car on a tray, even holding the credit card processing machine out the window for no-touch pay; all of these thoughtful practices are much appreciated.

I’m very thankful fast food restaurants have sustained us, but I do hope sit down restaurants and small local enterprises can survive the crisis and the new normal that will follow for the foreseeable future.

The virus has not only taken the lives of many of our elders, middle aged, even some younger citizens. It has infected our business community lethally.

We must reopen commerce before all of our enterprises run out of sustaining funds, but that reopening must come with strict precautions. This seems to be something many, sadly, do not understand.

Reopening doesn’t mean business as usual.

Masks must be worn by proprietors and customers; not only as a protection for oneself, but as a courtesy to others.

Social distancing rules and limited number or patrons inside a business at once, must be observed.

We only have one chance to get this right; to avoid another completely catastrophic close-down, or face an even greater tidal wave of suffering and death. 





Poinsettias and Pets – Are These Prettiest of Christmas Plants Safe?

A Personal Tradition

I used to get one for my mother every year. She would baby it along all winter, keeping it from drafts and doing her best not to over water it. One year she even kept it going all summer then put it in darkness according to a schedule, to stimulate bloom the next Christmas.

Are Poinsettias Poisonous to Pets?

For many years I avoided bringing poinsetias into my own home, as I heard a rumor that they are quite poisonous to pets.

It seems I’ve deprived myself of the beauty of these pink, red, and white flowers unnnecessarily. According to the Pet Poison Helpline they are only very mildly toxic, and pets who do have issues with them rarely need medical treatment.

As with any houseplant, care should be taken to place them in a spot where they’re not an obvious attraction to pets, and the reaction of each pet should be observed when the new plant is placed in a room. If an individual shows a desire to ingest the flowers and leaves, the plant should be removed.

Should you think your pet is having a reaction to a poinsettia plant, observe him or her for the symptoms listed in the Pet Poison Helpline article referenced above and phone your veterinarian if the symptoms are severe or persistent.

But it’s great to learn, after all these years that poinsettias apparently aren’t the deadly to pets plant some of us had grown to believe. With proper prudence, we pet lovers can enjoy the velvety blooms and deep green foliage of this lovely tradtional Christmas flower.

How Did Poinsettias Become a Christmas Plant

Legend says that a little Mexican girl named Pepita picked a bouquet of weeds to take to a Christmas Eve service as a gift for Jesus. The weeds turned into beautiful flowers – poinsettias.

Joel Roberts Poinset the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico brought the plants to the United States in the early 1800s. The entrepreneurial Ecke family popularized the plants a century later.

Read more details at Readers Digest.


The lovely parts of the poinsettia we think of as petals are actually leaves.