Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Christiansen Comments, Hinds County Gazette Febuary 10 2011

The XL11 Super Bowl contest have been played and a winner declared

So the holidays are officially over. The Super Bowl was the last big binge eating holiday until Thanksgiving. Do you feel like you have been in an eating marathon ?

Oh, yes, of course, I know, we do have lots of days of celebration left in 2011, Valentines, St. Patrick Day, Easter, Mother Day etc. ...but they are typically a one day eating event or at the most a weekend …from now on our celebration eating will be more a sprint then a marathon.

I know you all have seen the commercials that are aimed at trying to make us feel guilty about using paper…everybody is wanting us to go paperless….”save a tree”. You all, I say out loud to the TV, “Some people making a living growing and harvesting trees!!!” Any way that what I thought….Driving past great fields of pine trees and following loaded down log trucks. Going…? I don’t guess I know where they are going…

But still and all, that activity lead me to believe, growing trees and growing corn, cotton soy beans etc. were the same. They were all crops loaded on trucks going to market.

Don’t misunderstand, I was born a “tree Hugger” and I am still a “Tree Hugger“. That is…when I am in my home state of Nebraska, trees are precious there. Never saw a log truck in Nebraska. In states the likes of Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas there are far fewer trees then here in Mississippi.

Now then, I was watching Farm Week on PBS last week…My suspicions that trees are a cash crop was confirmed….did you know there are two factories in Mississippi that manufacture wood pellets. Do you know what the pellets are used for? Heating!…Seems oil and gas are becoming more expensive. ..so people up north are using the pellets to heat their homes. According to the report on Farm Week, the folks in the American Northwest prefer pine pellets and the folks in the North East prefer hardwood pellets.


Why pellets and not logs? They didn’t go in to all of that…maybe pellets are easier to transport. The pellets are bagged like dog food…in fact the pellets did not look unlike dog food. Oh! Oh! I remember why pellets and not logs! There is something in the manufacturing of the pellets that makes them burn in a more environmentally friendly manner.

And the fuel pellets that are manufactured here in Mississippi are used to make electricity Too!!!! That’s right! In an effort to make the manufacture of electricity, safer and less dependent on oil, some electric power plants are using a sustainable product…. wood pellets! Wood Pellets manufactured in Mississippi!


Did I mention, most of power plants generating electricity from Mississippi wood pellets are in Europe? We have been looking for ways to make us less dependant on foreign oil…we found one and we are shipping it abroad.

No matter where the pellets go….Fuel pellets have to be good for Mississippi’s economy. And I am proud we maybe helping to light the Eifel tower.

Love to all

Call if you need me


Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Christiansen Comments" Hinds County Gazette Febuary 3 2011

I am so much better now the sun has shined!

I puttered in the yard Friday and Saturday, actually I did more then putter, I got a pretty good bit of work done. Friday I sheared the crepe myrtles…but only lightly. Because, my friend Peggy Ann, a master gardener, called what I have done to them in the past “Crepe murder”. Following Peggy’s logic that made me a “crepe murderer“….I didn’t much like the sounds of that…. So I did not cut them back to waist high as was my usual habit ….just the very tips.

But in my defense, I was told to get crepe myrtles to bloom, I had to cut back them quite severely. And I must say this, in all of the years I have cut them back so brutally…none ever died….but come to think about it,,, they didn’t bloom profusely ether…. So to my crepe myrtles, I opted to be horticulturally kind this year.

At the bottom of the hill I have a contorted mulberry and a cedar tree…. they were becoming entangled…I thought giving a rather messy, unkempt appearance to that part of my yard…The contorted mulberry, obviously needed more room. Saturday morning, I walked to the bottom of the hill , bow saw in hand.

I stood and contemplated on the two trees… cedar was a volunteer it came up on it’s own…it grew up, to it’s present 15 foot height…with no help, and very little encouragement from me. The contorted mulberry on the other hand, has been pampered and praised, from the day it was planted…That contorted mulberry is the most exotic plant on the place….one year ago December, when one of it’s very large branches broke and fell to the ground, I shed tears..

I was ready to cut the “dime a dozen” cedar to the ground. Even though, standing between the two trees, I came to recognize, it was the mulberry encroaching on the territory of the cedar…robbing it of sun light. But, I knew, if I didn’t do something, eventually the cedar would become weak.

Because, I know how I feel….after days and days with out the sun‘s reassuring warmth and bright light….I didn’t want to….but I had to do, what I had to do. I took a deep breath and walked up to the enormous offending branch on the mulberry, and cut it off.

Love to all, call if you need me

For those of you who read me both in the Gazette and on line, I hope you see, I do know how spell crepe myrtle..(It's not crape myrtle)..I am one of the world's worst spellers, so normally would not know if a word was spelled correctly or not...but  as I was writing that morning I looked it up...because I thought maybe crepe myrtle was one word....I blame the spelling error on an auto spell check program...they are built in to most word processing programs........it must have been turned on that day at the newspaper.

 to my PS Crape Myrtle can be spelled ether crepe myrtle or carpe myrtle.