Despite all our worries and fears, time marches on. In fact, tomorrow is the first day of Spring and a great way to celebrate would be by planting something. Need an idea of what to plant?
Why not go big and plant a tree! The Sweet Arrow Lake Conservation Association and the Schuylkill Conservation District are teaming up for their Annual Seedling Sale. Although several events at Sweet Arrow Lake are cancelled, this one appear to be happening as scheduled. Orders can be placed until Wednesday, April 1 (or while supplies last so don't delay in placing your order). Seedlings can be picked up at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse parking lot on Saturday, April 25 between 9 am and noon. Seedlings are sold in bundles ranging of either 5 or 10 and cost $10 or $11, depending on the type selected. Gardeners can choose from:
Do trees sound too ambitious? How about some super easy to grow seeds -- fun for adults and home from school kids who are bored. I recommend marigolds which have the double bonus of being small (a rinsed out yogurt container makes a perfect sized flowerpot) and they sprout quickly. A few other quick sprouters are beans, basil, lettuce and radishes. Or have fun by decorating a container with a smiling face and plant grass seed that sprouts into "hair". Of course, these all have to kept inside in a sunny window. It isn't warm enough for an outdoors garden yet.
Not confident in your skill with seeds? I'm sure I'm not the only gardener who is distracting herself by repotting houseplants resulting in quite a few "extra" baby houseplants crowding my windowsills. Know a gardener? Ask them to drop a baby houseplant (or seeds harvested last summer) outside your door for you to enjoy.
I have hundreds of marigold seeds. Are their any Schuylkill County folks (especially those with children at home) stuck inside who would like a package of seeds from me?
With the uncertainty of recent days, I'm reluctant to tell you about upcoming events in the community because of the chance of cancellations. So what can today's post be about? How about some fun you could have without having to worry about crowds...or any people at all?
With the weather improving, perhaps you'd like to venture outdoors and snap some photos of the beauty of our county for this year's Pennsylvania Magazine Photo Contest. Each entrant can submit up to 15 photos taken between January 2017 and now. Photos must be taken in Pennsylvania.
There are three categories:
Why not capture the beginnings of Spring (I saw my first robin on Tuesday!). Whether you like to snap shots with your cellphone or you have an expensive camera and all types of lenses and special equipment, this contest is for you. You don't even have to submit print copies -- digital images are just fine.
You can find the rules here. There is NO ENTRY FEE. There will be three winners of cash prizes (as well as a Pennsylvania Magazine t-shirt and subscription) and the possibility for a Honorable Mention. Winners will be selected in May but you still have time to submit your best work before the deadline of April 15. So start looking over past photos or shoot some new ones.
I'll try to keep you updated on any cancellations of local events I hear about. Keep safe.
Worried that you or someone you love is a little unsteady on their feet? There will be two Fall Prevention Workshops held at St. Peter's United Church of Christ, 427 Dietrich Avenue, Tower City. The free workshops will be held on from 10 am to 12:30 pm on Tuesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 19. The workshops will help you determine your risk of falling and well as teach you some preventative steps to take. Please register by March 13 by calling 570-624-3017.
There will be a discussion of Validation Therapy in dementia care, communicating with those living with Alzheimer's or dementia in a respectful way instead of an angry or frustrated way. The discussion, led by Home Instead Senior Care of Lebanon County, will be held at Providence Place, 2200 First Avenue, Pottsville on Tuesday, March 17 form 1 pm to 2 pm. For more information call 570-628-6950.
At my day job we talk a lot about our families...and food...and lately coronavirus. Another popular topic is Social Security and retirement plans. We have questions. So many questions! If you're like us and are confused about how to plan a successful retirement, you should consider a Social Security Planning Seminar happening this month at AdviseMint Financial Partners, 1253 Centre Turnpike, Orwigsburg. This free seminar is happening on March 24 from 5 pm to 7 pm to help you plan the best retirement for you.
The Pottsville Parade has been cancelled. Stay tuned for updates on additional events.
Whether you're all Irish, have a bit of Irish blood running through your veins or are Irish only on St. Patrick's Day, you're sure to enjoy our two local parades to celebrate all things Irish. First up is the Pottsville Parade on Saturday March 14. The day starts with Mass at St. Patrick's Church at 8 am, followed by breakfast at the Crimson House at 9 am. Then it's time to enjoy the parade at 11 am. The Grand Irish Party at the Humane Fire Company starts at noon. For an entry fee of $10 you can enjoy live Irish music and food. Beverages can be purchased separately.
The Girardville festivities on March 28 begin with Mass at 10 am at St. Vincent de Paul followed by the parade at noon. This year's parade's theme is "Honoring Girardville's Veterans Past and Present"
Does your little one want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day too? The Pottsville Library is having a party for children ages 3 to 12 on Thursday, March 12 from 6 pm to 7 pm. Kids and caregivers can play games, make crafts, compete for prizes and enjoy refreshments. To register, call 570-622-8880.
Finally, there are two musical performances celebrating Celtic music. On Saturday, March 15 at 3 pm the Schuylkill Choral Society will be performing "Return to Ireland" at the Minersville Area High School. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. On Friday, March 20 from 6:30 pm to 10 pm the Irish ballad band Dreams of Freedom will be performing at the Delano Fire Company. For tickets call 570-573-3987.
Performance artists amaze me. As a child I loved ballet lessons, everything except the recital at the end of the year which I HATED. The idea of performing in front of an audience terrified me. If you are not as audience-averse as I am, you may want to throw your hat in the ring for this year's Schuylkill Free Shakespeare play, "Midsummer Night's Dream". Auditions will be held at the Schuylkill Council for the Arts, 1440 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville on March 14 and 21 from 10 am to noon. For more information about the auditions call 570-516-8537.
There are several other upcoming opportunities for art lovers. There will be an art auction (all media and prices) at St. Nicholas Hall, Route 901 on Saturday, March 14 from 7 pm to 10 pm. Admission is $20 and includes door prizes, light refreshments and coffee. A cash bar will be available. Major credit card accepted. For information call 570-617-8869.
Quite a different type of art will be on display at the Pottsville Library as they team up with Schuylkill Women in Crisis (SWIC) to present "Art as Healing", art created by women and children served by SWIC. The exhibit will be available several days:
Movie lovers can head to the Walk-In Art Center, Parkway, Schuylkill Haven for "All Things OZ", a display arranged with the help of a New York museum dedicated to The Wizard of Oz. Opening is this Saturday, March 7 from 1 pm to 5 pm. The display will be available for viewing through April and includes pieces related to the books of L. Frank Baum, the Judy Garland movie, The Wiz, Broadway's Wicked and more.
It's never too early to think about heading outdoors -- especially now that we have more sun to enjoy! Especially after daylight savings goes into effect on March 8! I'll update this throughout March and let you know if anything new comes up.
Wee Ones Walk
Wednesday, March 4 from 10 am to 11:30 am
Come to the Hawk Mountain Visitors Center for an outdoor hike, craft, story and nature activity for ages 3 to 5. $5 for member and $10 for nonmembers. To register contact them at 610-756-6961 or hawkmountain.org/events
Frackville Grade Grinder
Saturday, March 7 from 10 am to 2 pm
Meet at Walmart for this 6 mile hike rated moderate. Led by HIker Jim E., this hike will explore the old Reading and Pennsylvania rail beds
Bear Valley Hike
Sunday, March 22 from 9 am to 2 pm
Meet at Route 125 west of Good Springs (intersection of Gap Street and Bear Valley Road) for this 9.5 mile hike rated moderate. This dog friendly hike with Sojourner Steve on the Bear Valley Loop includes : old mines, Adams Rock and Bear Valley Swamp. 717-451-7042
Governor Dick State Park in Mt. Gretna
Saturday, March 28 beginning at 8:30 am
Meet at carpool lot on Route 901 and I-81 for this 6 mile hike rated easy. 570-527-7748
What's Invading My Backyard?
Wednesday, March 18 at 6 pm
Meet at the Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse to learn about the Spotted Lanternfly from Kyle Schutt of the Schuylkill Conservation District. Bring your question! FREE
Navigating the Outdoors
Sunday, March 22 from 2 pm to 4 pm
Meet at the large pavilion near the Sweet Arrow Lake County park clubhouse to learn about survival skills every walker or hiker should know. Retired forester Frank Snyder will explain the workings of a compass, how to read a map and planning a route. Dress for the weather. All ages welcome. FREE
Tree Planting Workshop
Sunday, March 29 from 2 pm to 4 pm
Meet at Waterfall Pavilion of Sweet Arrow Lake County park
Learn how to choose and plant your ideal tree during this free workshop.
My teenage son loves to cook (Italian Wedding Soup last night for supper) and, as a parent who loves to encourage -- and loves coming home to supper on the table -- I'm happy to buy whatever ingredients he needs to make his creations. But I can still remember a time years ago when I painstakingly planned out my menus for the week and my grocery list to match my tiny budget.
If you are a parent or grandparent who wants to feed the children in your life healthy foods but feel restricted by a small budget, help has arrived! A free program is starting March 5 at the Minersville Library to give you tips about Healthy Cooking on a Budget. The class will include recipes, meal planning, getting the best groceries for your money, food labels and more. The classes will be held from 1 pm to 3 pm on March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2 and 9.