THE OLD SIGN PHILOSOPHER THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!

Stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS!

Spotlight on Rika Bronsther,
plantswoman extraordinaire. A woman as colorful as her plants!

Though you may not yet know her name, you surely know her plants. Rika Bronsther of Hempstead, Long Island has spent the past eight years selecting unique and marketable perennials including the huge, double Japanese Anenome x hybrida 'Party Dress' PP13844 (marketed under the Blooms of Bressingham North America program). She has also recently introduced the new Autumn Crescendo TM Series of colorful hardy Dendranthemas including 'Bolero', a deep gold form, and 'Harmony', a yellow form which takes on pink tones as it ages.

When you meet Rika, you know immediately that her colorful personality matches her plants. One of the reasons she is so successful at making new selections is her extraordinarily keen eye for color and her ability to pick up on the small but meaningful details which separate one plant from a crowd of hundreds. She began with Dendranthema 'Sheffield Pink', her first favorite mum, letting it cross with others in her garden. Five new colors resulted, and many more have arisen from crosses since that time including 'Bolero' and 'Harmony'. Upcoming selections include two new members of the Autumn Crescendo TM Series: 'Samba', a rose-pink form, and 'Rhumba', a multi-petaled coral form. (Note: Although taxonomists have recently changed the genus name back to Chrysanthemum, many will continue to refer to it as Dendranthema, which have composite flowers characteristic of the daisy or aster family.)

In her work, Rika is most interested in making natural selections, allowing Mother Nature to do her thing naturally, rather than artificially crossing plants in a lab environment. That is one of the reasons she is so fond of dendranthemas--they are rather promiscuous in the garden. As a Vassar College graduate with a degree in psychology, Rika takes a unique approach with her plants, literally talking them through long winters and other hardships. She is trained in fine arts as well as in graphic design, as evidenced by her attractive Autumn Crescendo TM Series logo.

What can we expect next from Rika Bronsther? Keep an eye out for her late summer and fall flowering perennials. We're sure her upcoming selections will be as colorful as she is!

Many of the above mentioned perennials will be available at Greenscape Gardens in the Spring of 2005.

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A REPLY ABOUT THE POEM "A SOLDIER'S CHRISTMAS

Dear Sir,

I am one of America's soldiers who received a copy of "A Soldier's Christmas" over the internet, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for giving some of my friends and family an opportune way to say 'thanks.' It meant a lot to me.
I have not been stationed in the US since 1995, and the nature of my job will keep me overseas throughout my career. Although I am not always viewed as that soldier with "dusty boots," I know all too well what it is like to be away from home for so long -- especially during the holidays.

I would like, however, to take this opportunity to thank you, and America, for being the fine, grand, noble Nation that makes each and every one of us out here serving in the military extremely proud of the country and the people we protect.

You don't necessarily have to pray for us soldiers, as we have chosen this life....and we will sacrifice our life for OUR people and OUR country. No, do not pray for us this holiday season.....Pray for OUR Nation and Her people......for only then will the life we 'chose' be worthwhile.

Yes, I do pray for peace on Earth...always. But, "there will be wars, and rumors of wars," so, in the meantime; maybe, just maybe, this year you can put out a suggestion to OUR American people......

We tend to fly our flag on 4th of July, we tend to fly our flag on Veteran's Day......maybe this year, through your web-site, you could maybe "ask" the American people to put a small American Flag on their Christmas Tree, amongst their ornaments, (or within their own religious ceremony/custom) just to "remember." A small reminder that "we" are free to celebrate whatever holiday, however we please, because of that flag and what She represents.

Sir, I have volunteered to protect ALL Americans....Christian, Jewish, Agnostic, even Atheist......it is my proud honor to do so.... and all I ask is that maybe, during this "holiday" season (whether one believes in it or not) is your help in asking "America" to wave Her flag in Unity and be thankful for our Grand Nation. It would mean a lot to us out here, wherever we are......

"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my God, my country and my corps."
and with all due respects to the Major, I add.....

America, my country-men,
Our flag is our life.....
We've accepted your ancestors
Through struggle, through strife...

We've come a long way,
Yes, a long way to go....
But we're out here defending,
The life that you know.

What you believe,
Is not my concern,
I carry my weapon.....
American learns....

I'm proud to serve you,
Wherever I'm sent,
For you are Americans...
From Allah to Lent....

And so my dear county-men,
I ask of you this...
Display Our flag,
And remember our bliss....

For I am out "here"
On this Christmas Day....
And I want you proud...
.......LONG MAY SHE WAVE.....

thank you,
from,
a service member.....

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YOU'VE GOT MAIL

A man was in his front yard mowing grass when his attractive female neighbor came out of the house and went straight to
the mail box. She opened it then slammed it shut stormed back in the house.

A little later she came out of her house again went to the mail box and again opened it, slammed it shut again. Angrily, back into the house she went.

As the man was getting ready to edge the lawn, here she came out again, marched to the mail box, opened it and then slammed it closed harder than ever.

Puzzled by her actions the man asked her,
Is something wrong?"
To which she replied, "
There certainly is!"

My stupid computer keeps saying,

"YOU'VE GOT MAIL"