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Friday

No sugarcoating it: Shocking sugar totals in top sweets and drinks




Sugar is sweet indeed, but what if we consume mountains of it? Guess what? Many of us do, perhaps without realizing it.

Look at these totals (from Live Science), showing sugar equivalents of several popular sweets and drinks.

Chart shows teaspoons of added sugar per 100 gram serving of various foods and drinks. Source:LiveScience

Wow.

So a 100-gram Butterfinger candy bar contains the equivalent of seven teaspoonfuls of sugar? And a 20-ounce Gatorade, often passed out to refresh endurance athletes, has more than five tablespoons of sugar? And a 16-ounce Starbucks vanilla latte totals the same as six sugary spoonfuls?


Oh, honey.

There’s no way to sweeten this pill. Maybe a spoonful of sugar won’t help that medicine go down, after all.


 NOTE:  This blogger has no affiliation with any product/s or companies mentioned in this post and received no remuneration from the manufacturer/s or product promoter/s for this post.


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National Donut Day? No way!




Today is National Doughnut Day.

The average doughnut is about 200 calories. The average runner burns about 100 calories per mile. Do I wanna run two extra miles for a doughnut? Nah.


 Give me a holler when National Ice Cream Day rolls around. That’s a different story.


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Thursday

A-Z Garden Tips: Zigzagging



How does your garden grow? Well, maybe Mary-Mary of the old nursery rhyme planted her flowers all in a neat little row, but I surely don’t. Personally, I find it a lot more interesting and visually appealing to mix things up a bit.

When I pick out my annuals in the spring, I like to grab a variety of bright colors. I might buy cosmos, dahlias, dianthus, geraniums, gerbera daisies, marigolds, violas, and zinnias. And I may even plant them in the same bed.

Usually, I cluster similar flowers in odd little bunches. Long ago, a veteran gardener and floral arranger told me the best flower groupings are done in odd numbers. I’m not even sure why, but the habit was formed.

Instead of lining my plantings all up in rows, I zigzag them. I guess I must have something against too much order in my garden. I guess I prefer splashes of color to stripes – at least for planting. And I think the flowers fill in nicely and look fuller and prettier this way.

Maybe it’s just me and my quirky garden. But I like it.

Marigolds
Public domain photo



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Wednesday

A-Z Garden Tips: Yearly Yarrow




Yikes. My yearly yarrow seems to have vanished. This dainty perennial flower, which propagates easily in the garden, has gone missing. I have no idea why.

Maybe my pretty purple yarrow simply gave up after a couple of harsh Wisconsin winters.


So I am off to the nursery to hunt for this perennial pick to fill in an empty spot in my backyard garden. Hey, my feathery yarrow flowers beckoned butterflies. Who can argue with that?

Yarrow - Achillea Millefolium
by Ivar Leidus
 Creative Commons Licensing


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Tuesday

A-Z Garden Tips: eXcavating for eXtra Planting Space




Mother’s Day is just around the bend, which means flower planting time is coming to the region. Like most gardeners in these parts, I can hardly wait. So I am preparing the terrain, so to speak.

Now that winter appears to have whirled away for good (although one never knows in the Upper Midwest), I am excavating areas of my garden that seem to have weathered the colder months less successfully. I’m digging out perennials and groundcover plants that aren’t coming back.

At the same time, I am pulling out emerging garden weeds – before they have a chance to become established this season.

My tool pick for this job is actually a lightweight, but sturdy, long-handled garden spade that is marketed for kids. (I like the Ames True Temper Real Tools For Kids Round Point Shovel With 36-Inch Handle, as seen here.) I love how easy this shovel is to wield, and the blade is just the right size for digging out and around single plantings and nasty weeds without damaging desirable neighboring plants.


I’m also cleaning out my patio pots and flower boxes.

This year, I am tossing all of the rooted dirt inside these planters, as I should have done more thoroughly last year. I’m scrubbing and rinsing the insides. (I prefer the OXO Good Grips Safe for Ceramic Palm Brush for this purpose, as it does not damage my terra cotta or ceramic garden pots. I keep one, as shown in the photo, with my gardening tools and supplies, so I don't mix it up with the one in the kitchen.)

When Mother’s Day arrives, and the hordes of horticultural hobbyists march into the local garden center, I will be ready to plant.

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