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The first day in NW Arkansas was perfect – sunny and 60 degrees, so my 8 year old nephew John Michael and I planted bags of bulbs and a flat of violas in Mom’s garden. It was fun looking at the bulbs and analyzing where the leaves and roots will come out and looking at how the blooms change colors with age on the little blue and white violas. John Michael is a born scientist with a queasy stomach – I don’t think he could be a botanist if he has to go through Biology labs and dissections. Great potential in engineering…

Then Dad took me to his greenhouse filled with blooming orchids and we found a spot for the snapdragons I was afraid would not survive the coming temps in the teens. John Michael promised to plant them later. Dad showed me the new deer fence around 8 raised veggie beds behind the greenhouse. “I’ll probably plant berries in two of the beds because I don’t need more than 6 for vegetables.” Dad devours gardening magazines and seed catalogs coming in the mail. He also turns 93 in March. Oh Lord, give me some of those genes!

The violas have been under a layer of snow and the tulips, hyacinths and crocus are under snow, mulch and soil, but all have promising, colorful futures.

Do these Felcos make my hips look big?

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