Behold, the hornworm cometh

tamrawilson Uncategorized

The dreaded tomato hornworm. Manduca quinquemaculata—a wickedly long name for a gardener’s Enemy Number One. Beware. He has designs on your tomato patch. One day you have a picture-perfect tomato on the vine. You let it grow one more day, to get a little more juicy and vine-ripened. And the next morning you wake to see the tomato half eaten, …

My eyes on ‘Watchman’

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July 14 marked one of the biggest literary events of the year: release of Harper Lee’s other book, Go Set a Watchman. “Discovery” and publication of this earlier-than-To Kill a Mockingbird novel has spun the reading world into a dither. Publishing is about money. Publishers exist to stay in business. That’s why it’s called the publishing “industry” instead of the publishing …

Battle flag: The right to be wrong

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Last week a Facebook friend posted a photo from the July 4th parade in Charleston, IL. A pickup appeared bearing the Confederate battle flag. Facebookers were indignant. “Stupid! Copperhead traitors! Disgusting! Dumbass cracker! Just leave him to his wife/sister and their uncle/dad to their inbreeding.” I could have kept out of the fray, but I didn’t.  “What part of the …

Confessions of a cable cutter

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Don’t ask Millennials about the latest cable TV program. Chances are these young adults don’t subscribe. If they’ve seen a certain “cable” show, it’s streamed off the internet. Millennials, born from 1977 to 1994, are opting out of cable bundles to tailor their TV viewing provided by social media companies rather than satellite or cable companies. My husband and I became …

My ancestor the orphan train rider

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When friends tell you to do something, listen. Late in 2013, Luana, a member of my book club, was discussing bestselling novel, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. I shared the fact that my great-grandmother was an orphan train rider back before the Civil War. And then Luana said, “I think that story would make a great program.” I went …

Jolene the Dog and Other Naming Riddles

tamrawilson Uncategorized

I don’t know where the Humane Society comes up with names for adoptable pets. In 2012, our corgi mix came home with her medical record, a sweet disposition and an impossible name: “Angelea.” I know Humane Society folks mean well, and giving them human names makes these hopeful family members seem more like family. But my husband and I decided …