Colorful wildflowers are blooming along the scruffy edges of our country roads. Their profusion and brilliance are perfect examples of Mother Nature's seasonal generosity. We gardeners struggle with hoses and hoes, and the wildflowers bloom and delight without a bit of human exertion.
While you can't cut many wildflowers to enjoy at home, you can cut your own flowers at Linda and Jim Brown's farm in Glenelg. The Browns added cut-your-own flowers to their small fresh produce stand this year. We often drive past the Browns' place, and the flowers are alluring. They have zinnias of all colors, cosmos, lots of globe amaranth and straw flowers.
If you like dried flowers, try cutting some of these and drying them at home. The Browns' corn crop will be ready within the next two weeks -- within the week if we get some rain. Cantaloupes, cucumbers and squash will be ready with the corn.
The farm is at the corner of Triadelphia and Triadelphia Mill Roads, near the Triadelphia Reservoir. Phone 489-4460.
Youngsters who are preparing livestock for the Howard County Fair are having a difficult time trying to get their animals through the heat. Some animals don't want to eat, and that means lean livestock. Fair preparations will begin in earnest soon, since the fair is coming up August 14.
To help ease the frustrations of the first day of school, Marion Payne invites Mount View Middle School students to attend orientation programs at the new school.
The Mount View principal says that students attending the programs will meet their advisers and get their locker assignments. Orientation for incoming sixth-graders is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.; seventh-graders will meet from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.; and eighth grade students will meet from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. The programs are Thursday, August 26.
Call the school office at 313-7149 for additional information.
Pastor John Compton, who is a professor of Pastoral Theology at Loyola College, will be the guest minister at Shepherd of the Glen Lutheran Church in Glenwood this Sunday. Worship begins at 10 a.m. Pastor Paul Lautenschlager is on vacation. Call 442-1204 for more information.
The members of Shepherd of the Glen Lutheran Church will share a church picnic after their worship service July 25. Members are invited to wear informal attire to the worship service. After the service, they'll form a caravan to Patapsco State Park for an afternoon of food and fun, including volleyball, softball, playground activities and other games. Call the church office at 442-1204 for more information.
The annual Junior Senior Catholic Youth Ministry's trip to King's Dominion from St. Louis Church is July 20. The group will leave at 8 a.m. and get back at 10 p.m. This popular trip is always a sellout, so call the church office at 531-6040 for price and details.
St. Louis' Catholic Youth Ministry is having another car wash July 24 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Members will try to make a few dollars to fund some of their activities. They are still looking for volunteers to wash cars and have fun together. Call Chuck Wible at 410-531-6668 to sign up.
* When you send a 12-year-old off to the other side of the world for three weeks, you get three weeks of mystery. Linda and Tim Krause's son Eric joined the People to People Friendship Caravan to Australia and New Zealand, and the Krauses have been counting the days until his return.
Eric planned to send a postcard home when he arrived in Australia. The mail from there is slow, and the Krauses didn't expect to receive that postcard until after Eric's return. Since they sent him off with nine rolls of film, they are hoping to see a record of his trip. Eric will give a brief talk to the Glenwood Lions Club about his trip soon.
While Eric's been globe-trotting, Linda and Tim have kept busy with daughter Melissa's western Howard County 12-and-under girls softball team. This traveling team has played each of the last six weekends, and they will play two more tournaments. The girls have learned a lot and had much fun. They've played against teams from many areas. Melissa will be in sixth grade at Glenwood Middle School in the fall.
Ryan Krause, who will be a third-grader at Bushy Park in the fall, has spent many hours of his summer in the pool. He and his family spent a day at Hershey Park, while Eric was away.
We hope that Eric's trip was a great success, and that he shares some of his adventures with us.
Three-year-old Katherine Long welcomed her new sister home July 7. Kristen Elizabeth Long arrived in the world Tuesday, July 6. She weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces and was 20 inches long. Her proud and happy parents are Chris and Mary Ellen Long of Dayton.
It's time to check your child's records if he is entering kindergarten, first, sixth, or seventh grades this fall.
These students must show proof that they have had two doses of measles vaccine and one dose of mumps vaccine after their first birthday to be admitted to school in the Fall.
A quick phone call to our pediatrician confirmed that my son, who is entering sixth grade, needs another measles shot, and it will be easy to get one.
Should your child need additional immunizations, call your physician or the Howard County Heath Department in Ellicott City at 313-2333 -- in Columbia at 313-7500 -- or the Southeast Health Center at 880-5888.
The Department of Health is planning immunization clinics in the fall, but no confirmed dates are available.
Read on. Summer is a wonderful time to read. The Howard County Public Libraries have clever incentive programs to boost reading interest in the very young through high school students. A relaxing stop at your nearest library and a brief chat with a friendly librarian will help to get your children enrolled in the program.
My son came home from his first summer trip to the library very enthusiastic about his new selections. Instead of asking him to read, I find myself saying, "Put that book down for a minute, please."
This is a dream come true.