Valley Gardening: Eggnog and Xmas trees

What a gorgeous week! These afternoons are absolutely wonderful—we are blessed, very blessed. Let it snow in the mountains, and let it be nice and sunny and warm on the Valley floor.

If you have been needing help on figuring out how much eggnog to get for your Thanksgiving holiday, let me give you an idea on portion sizes. You all know my helper, Willie Wade--if you don’t, you should.  Almost every day we talk about diet, look at receipts, meal plan, etc. Every day. On one of his receipts this week, I noticed that he had purchased a couple of pint sized cartons of eggnog. I asked him if he had some left, and he said no. It had been two days. I asked him what a portion size was and he said “the carton.” He didn’t even need to dirty a glass. That’s Willie!

And so…I went to the store and bought another carton, so we could check out serving sizes. Can you believe a serving size is 1/2 cup, and there are eight servings in a pint? Willie and I are calling BS. It’s kind of like the Girl Scout Thin Mints—in our way of reckoning there are two servings of Mints in each box—2 sleeves/2 servings…right? The Girl Scouts think there are eight servings per box which equals about four cookies---NOT!

The Alamosa County Courthouse sold this week—for over $500,000—yikes! That is way more than the $289,000 appraisal. Congratulations to the Durans. I hope you do wonderful things with that building. I just tried calling one of my “sources” to find out your plans, and he just laughed at me (I’m used to it).

With the extra money the county (all of us) made on the building wouldn’t it be great if every low-end county employee got a 30 percent bonus? If an employee was only getting $10 to $15 an hour they get a 30 percent Xmas bonus. If you are making between $15 and $20 you get a 20 percent bonus and so forth. The stipulation would be that you spend your bonus with small locally owned businesses in Alamosa. I wonder how much that would actually cost.

As long as we are talking shopping….Shop Small Saturday is coming up next Saturday. While I like the ‘idea’ of this day, I totally believe that we all need to shop locally EVERY DAY, not just the Thursday after Black Friday, and before Cyber Monday. Whether it’s the arts and crafts bazaars or bake sales, or the Hobby Shop, or the Book Cooperative, or the breweries, or the Garden Centers or restaurants, PLEASE try and do your shopping locally. It really will make a difference in your local community.  Your shopping locally just might keep a small store in business. You can feel good about that!

Xmas trees are appearing everywhere, and it’s the 16th of November! I haven’t talked to my guy yet—the one who brings me trees AFTER Thanksgiving, so not sure if I will have some. I hope so. From the trees I sell, all profits go to the SLV Cancer Relief Fund and they are fresh-cut mountain trees. I am hoping to get the recipe from the Forest Service for preserving Xmas trees for next week. It’s a difficult list to buy ingredients individually—especially as some things you only need a tablespoon. I’m thinking I may open a bottle of chelated Iron and divide it up for folks. Do you have a recipe that works for you?  Please let me know.

Is it bad that I am still putting out pumpkins for my fall decorations, and Christmas decorations are also going up? I love Thanksgiving! Our family tries to keep the stress out of the holiday and just be thankful for what we have. Watch videos, play cards and games. Sometimes we cook the turkey on Wednesday so we can just have sandwiches on Thursday—with lots of fixings. I hope your Thanksgiving is a wonderful one!

A little bit about plants…..if you are purchasing a poinsettia, make the store bag it entirely to protect from the cold. And then rush to your car! If the poinsettia has the plastic sleeve pulled up, do not buy it, as the leaves will most likely start dropping as soon as you get it home. 

In closing…don’t you just love the lights in those aspen trees in front of the San Luis Valley Federal Bank? I love that they keep them up ALL year! Thanks, Duane!

P.S.  If you have a little bit of extra money at the end of the year that you need to get rid of—taxes and all…I’d love to tell you about the charities I support. Just let me know.