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Archive for June 2011

“Just Bea” Meets Alice From “Cul De Sac”

This posting is a tribute to Richard Thompson, creator of “Cul de Sac”

Never as I was growing up playing on the playground did it cross my mind that as I got older, so would my parents. Swinging from the monkey bars I thought we’d go on forever.

But, as time passed my mom and dad started slowing down a bit and noticed things weren’t quite right. As it turns out, my mom suffers from Parkinson’s and my dad Alzheimer’s.

You know, ya just gotta love ’em.e

So, my sister and I take them to doctor appointments, hair cuts, grocery – or out for a bite to eat for a change of scenery. We do what we can to keep them keepin’ on in their own home.

Sometimes it isn’t easy, but it works out nicely that I get to live behind the house I grew up in where my parents still live. The biggest benefit is the comfort of just being there for them and being able to help out with day to day activities and chores. And, it also gives my mom having a sense of peace having me near by “just in case.” Besides, borrowing a cup of sugar is always convenient.

It isn’t much, I’m just doing what I can with what I’ve got.

Join Team Cul de Sac/Team Fox (yes, Michael J. Fox), and do what you can with what you’ve got. Every little bit helps.


Earth Movers

You know it’s just rained when you walk outside and get hit with…..the smell of earthworms. I’ve helped a worm or two in my day by picking them off the sidewalk and planting them back in the grass, but my friend Thom takes it even a couple of steps further. Not wanting to squish the little guys, he clears them out of the way before pulling the car out of the drive. What he may not know is that he’s helping in other ways as well.

I feel the earth move under my feet

I knew little about earthworms but learned quite a bit through the University Of Illinois’ “The Adventures of Herman.”* I was flabbergasted to find out that there are around 500,000 worms in an acre of soil, (and some accounts say up to a million in really good soil). With all that burrowing going on, they’re the ultimate aerator. The work they do down there is equal to a drainage system of a 6-inch pipe 2,000 feet long. Crazy.

While moving through the earth, these little guys are also eating and casting (if you catch my drift) at the same time. These 500,000 earthworms can fill up 100,000 one-pound coffee cans with “castings”. I’m not even going to ask how the people who farm worms collect that fertilizer to sell to gardeners.

So, the worms increase the amount of air and water that gets into the soil, breaks down organic matter, mixes it, aerates it and then fertilizes it. Next time I see a stranded earthworm on the sidewalk you bet I’ll help him back to Mother Earth. It’s the least I can do.