Dear Ann [Bartlett] (MASTER! GARDENER!)


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Dear Ann [Bartlett] (the MASTER! GARDENER!)


It is a family tradition for the men of the family to visit our old kinfolk on the holidays so the gals can stay home fixin’ the food. We draw names of who's goin’ where. Not to mince words, I got the short straw, Aunt Etta.

Aunt Etta is older than dirt. She cain't hardly hear, got one all-seein’ eye, and her swaller pipe done gone south. Her tongue is as sharp as ever so I think her mind is still all there.

Usually, Ida Mae bakes a batch of her Christmas cookies for me to take to Aunt Etta in the care home. That ain't gonna fly this time, what with the swaller pipe and all. I thought about taking her a Baby Blizzard, but DQ is closed on Christmas. Ida Mae says she'll whirl up a green smoothie and put it in a red cup. I don't know that Aunt Etta was ever that keen on kale. I would hate to bear the brunt of her reaction to it.

You've been givin' out plenty of gift ideas lately. Any inspiration for my situation?

Short Straw

Dear Shorty,


I'm certain that your presence will be a gift in itself.

Before springing the smoothie on Auntie, I'd share a batch of those cookies with her caregivers and find out if the ingredients work with her diet. Dark greens are a big no-no with some medications.

One can never go far wrong with a little eye candy. If I were in your shoes, I'd sashay into the grocery floral department and pick up a nice bouquet with plenty of roses. Having lost so many abilities, she'll appreciate a bit of luxury.


Merry Christmas!

Ann [Bartlett] (MASTER! GARDENER!)

Native Californian Ann Bartlett never lets lack of experience with a plant stop her from trying it in the ornamental gardens around her home.


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