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2012 looks like a promising new year

January 3, 2012
By H. JEAN SHIELDS , Cape Coral Daily Breeze


Special to The Breeze

Looks like we are in for a cool New Year's Eve. With night temps in the 50s it will send a few shivers around the party world tonight.

The only person I know first hand that will be glad for the low temperature is a daughter who has a pair of high top suede boots she will feel comfortable in. Christmas weekend was great weather, but not the kind one would wear a pair of chic suede boots around a lot.

Well. we all know the drill for New Year's. Throw out last year's good intentions and make a new list for 2012.

It seems best to not make a whole page of New Year's resolutions but to pick a few good, doable ones and stick with them. I know my doable ones may not be acceptable to others but they will be a list of doable things I can manage.

I am also, as you know, a procrastinator so it will take me a whole year to make sure everything is completed. I have given up on some noble things like peace on earth, and love thy neighbor. Some things sound great but are just not going to be doable!

It seems that human beings just love to have a war going on somewhere in the world. Neighbors are shooting each other so often that it is hard to love them. We lose many good people in wars and neighborhood shootings. Prayers seem more appropriate than a nice doable list.

My list does include being a more giving person, doing more service work, driving over the Midpoint Bridge at the correct speed limit and, yes, being a better gardener.

We all can do little things that we know are good. We need to just DO them.

Holding the door open for us poor seniors, a big smile to anyone your eyes connect with. It takes practice to remember to do these little things.

We can't all adopt another family, but we can make sure we buy a couple extra cans of food to donate to organizations that make a business out of knowing who needs help and making sure they get it.

It's a private joke in my family, that I don't go anywhere without an extra can of food during the holidays. This year peas. Last year corn. Those cans are important when the cupboard is bare. So just do it.

This year the holiday plant, poinsettia, was very plentiful in the stores and there were a lot of $3 beautiful ones, hopefully by taking a few around I not only made someone happy, but lost a couple of pounds buying those poinsettias instead of coffee and a bagel.

You can always share something from the garden mart. A six-pack of petunias or Marigolds can be shared easily. When you are really sharing you can even plant a couple for another person, in the soil or a pot. I find lots of inexpensive pots at yard sales and second hand stores. Sometimes I even want to keep them for myself, they are so nice.

I had a pack of the new tiny LED tealight candles that flicker in several colors. I found a stemmed piece of glass ware at second hand with a raspberry trim around the top. Lacking sand and not wanting to use stones, I placed some while sparkle tissue paper in the stemware and made a nice fluffily bed for the little candles and gave it as a Christmas Eve gift for the host to use on the lania table. Everyone said it was cute.

When my grandson came along and turned it all upside down with the lights on the bottom and the tissue paper on top in a mound, it was deemed beautiful when the lights were low and the flickering lights looked like they were under ice.

That is what I am talking about. Be creative, for yourself and for others, look around and see what you have that will be of use in another way or just the way it is, for someone else.

The more you do things like that the more you enjoy it and the more you will do. Remember that old saying, it's better to give than receive? That works in certain age groups better than others, of course, but it is a great example to set.

Make that resolution list, but remember a resolution is not a wish. Do not get too serious every line. We do not need to write "lose 30 pounds;" try 10 pounds.

You don't need to worry about doing a good deed "every day," just write I am going to do a good deed or kind thing or smile more, whenever I can. It will work. If you get too magnificent and lofty, it won't work.

I know one resolution on my list will be "do gardening." No promises of what kind, when or how. Just "do gardening"

Which reminds me another new year of gardening coming right up. New plants, new areas, new bugs. It looks like a promising new year to me. How about you?

Happy gardening until we meet again.

H. Jean Shields is a past president of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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