Sunflower lover - I was raised in Kansas, and I love sunflowers. I have plastic ones inside, and this one growing outside.
I planted three seeds and got this. I can grow sunflowers even if I am 87. I am saving the seeds and hope to have a row of them.
Serial stories - Here's a tip to readers regarding the fiction stories that run in more than one issue. I keep all the installments together until the story is ended. Then, I read the entire story. It makes for better reading. I don't forget the story content.
Leading or driving? - An article about the resurgence of farming with horses ('Horse-and-plow farming spreading,' October 2005) included a photograph of a man and woman behind three horses. According to the text beneath the photo, the man was leading the mules. In Missouri, he would be driving them.
If you lead an animal, you have to be in front of it, whether it be mule, dog, cow or whatever. I don't know if that's true in Kansas, but it is in Missouri. I'm 77, and this is the way we were taught.
Container gardening - The 'On the Garden Path' article about container gardening ('Containers add creativity to yard or garden') in the October 2005 issue made me smile. Last spring, I planted purple petunias in pots at my front entrance. Sadly, rabbits or squirrels ate them.
I decided to place artificial red zinnias in the pot. They were bright red and looked real. The bunch had a common long stem to go down into the pot.
Later on, after a rain, I noticed greenery coming out of the pot. It proved to be some type of grass that grew like crazy in potted soil, but it was beautiful. Also, one purple petunia came to life, and I was so pleased. I already have plans to grow more plants - kinds that animals don't eat - in pots next year.
Mount Rainier - According to the article 'Climber is oldest to top Mount Rainier' (September 2005), William Painter set the record, twice, as the oldest man to top Mount Rainier in Washington state - most recently at 82.
In fact, my husband, John B. Irwin, had his 85th birthday just after sunrise on Mount Rainier in 1995.
Mystery quilt - Sharon Brown sent in a letter and photograph asking the name of a quilt pattern (Open Session, November 2005). The name of the quilt her grandmother made is 'Royal Aster.'
The quilt is featured in the May-June 1980 issue of Quilt World, with a photograph of one in shades of pink. The issue contains all the pattern pieces for the Royal Aster itself, but the pattern pieces for the corner piece and border are in the July-August 1980 issue. It is a striking quilt!
Barnyard friends - I wanted to write in regard to the photograph of the goat and cat nuzzling each other on the cover of the November 2005 issue of CAPPER'S.
My folks have a flock of chickens, a rooster and a turkey on their half-acre ranch. They also have a number of abandoned cats that seem to think they belong in the chicken pen, eating and drinking water with the flock.
Recently, one of the cats turned up lame in the back foot and could hardly walk. We watched as four of the hens took over and brought the cat up to get water and ate with it, then took it back with them to the chicken pen. The cat seemed to get better and stopped limping so badly.
Yesterday, the cat came alone, got its food and water, and went by itself to the pen.
Editor's Note: In 'How many can you answer' in our November 2005 issue, one of the answers said that former President Andrew Jackson was laid to rest in Greenville, Tenn. A reader brought to our attention that he was actually buried in Hermitage, Tenn. We apologize for the error.
We welcome letters from readers. If you have an opinion or comment on an article you saw in CAPPER'S that you'd like to share, send it to Open Session, CAPPER'S, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.
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