Remember the young lady who said all she wanted for Christmas was her “two front teeth”?Well, for the moment I have all my teeth, and I don’t need ties, shirts, socks and other useful but predictable gifts. But there are some things for the garden I’d like.Books Top the ListOn my Christmas list are books. Every time I go to the book store, I’m drawn to the gardening-book section. I won’t put any of the northern writers on my list, but not out of any residual feeling from the Civil War.I’ve just had my fill of comments about cool springs, illustrations of lovely, friable soil, and pictures of lilacs and head lettuce. I want books written by Southern garden writers. The ones written by the people on latitude south of Rabun County just may have a better grasp on our climate, pest problems, soil type and growing conditions.Tools That Will LastI want tools that will last. Don’t give me those wimpy little hand tools with painted flowers on them. I want heavy duty ones that endure. Cheap tools are just that, and likely to bend just as I’m opening ground, as daylight wanes, for a bag of caladiums. I want rakes and shovels whose heads will stay on the handles.I don’t want the accessories – Japanese gardening pants, hose carriers in the shape of frogs, or clever garden signs that proclaim my garden the stopping place for the world-weary traveler. Give those to my wife. I want stuff I can use.Gardening Promissory NotesWhen my children were younger, they gave me gardening promissory notes as gifts. Under a gardening chore was the childish scribble, “Daddy, just let me know when you want me to do this.”This is such an unusual gift, so personal, and it always meant so much to me. I probably didn’t collect on some of them (Hmm, I wonder if it is too late?) but they were all the more delightful because they gave me an opportunity to spend more time with my growing gardeners.Put Some Thought Into ItWhatever you want as a gift or want to give as a gift to someone, put some thought into it. Is it useable? Or will it just sit there? A load of compost for a gardener is really not a bad idea.Now that I really think about it, all I want for Christmas is a normal gardening year. I’ve been gardening in Georgia for almost 20 years and am still looking for that “normal season.”But then I might miss the challenge. And that reminds me – given our rain deficit, a drip irrigation system would be nice.
Cash may no longer be able to boast the same clout it once had for small purchases. Consumers paying for a single pack of gum, a gallon of milk or similarly minor transactions are increasingly turning to plastic.Although cash still remains king for the smallest purchases, a recent survey by CreditCards.com showed debit is gaining traction as well. Twenty-seven percent of cardholders use their debit cards for purchases under $5.00, an increase of five percentage points from 2014. Comparatively, 11 percent of cardholders use credit for these purchases.Some experts attribute this increased interest in debit to consumers’ need to get something in return for their purchases. The discounts, loyalty points and personalized offers that often come from purchasing with plastic have powerful appeal. Whether or not these perks hold enough sway over the 58 percent of cardholders still preferring cash for micro transactions remains to be seen. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Well-travelled Belgian Tom Saintfiet was yesterday appointed head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago national side but could face the sack after just two games in charge, if he does not keep the twin-island republic in contention for the World Cup finals.The 43-year-old was announced by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association(TTFA) as the replacement for Stephen Hart who was fired last month after the country’s poor start to the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying final round.Saintfiet, who has already coached in multiple countries, will be in charge of the national side for their two upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Mexico next March, and TTFA president David John Williams said he would be held to a very high standard for those two encounters.“He came highly recommended as well, he worked in difficult situations in Africa and we feel he can do the job for us,” John Williams told a media conference here.“I will also tell you this, if he doesn’t get the job done on March 24 and 28 (2017), he will be looking for a job and I make no apologies for saying that.“We are very serious because if we don’t get the result on March 24 and 28, we may as well kiss our campaign goodbye.”Trinidad lie one from bottom in the six-team final round without a point, after losing both their opening games last month.They went down 2-0 at home to Costa Rica on November 11 and four days later, suffered a 3-1 defeat to Honduras away in San Pedro Sula at the Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano.Hart, who led the squad for 3-½ years, paid the price with his job and John Williams argued that results was the nature of professional football.“Football and professional sport is a brutal game,” he pointed out. “World Cup qualifying, it’s about results and getting to the World Cup. If the results don’t go your way you have to do something different.”Saintfiet has coached extensively in Africa, leading Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Togo and Malawi, as well as a stint with Asian nation Bangladesh.Facing the media for the first time, he praised Trinidad and Tobago as a country with a “huge history” but with a “more huge future” and said he believed he could play a role in advancing the national programme.He said he also believed T&T could still rescue their World Cup dream of reaching Russia 2018.“I believe it’s possible. Two games have been played. We are in fifth position and we have to be in the top three or if needed, to be in the fourth position for the playoffs but they are still eight games to go,” Saintfiet said.New Trinidad and Tobago head coach, Tom Saintfiet said with positive results against Panama and against Mexico, we are back in the running and everything is possible to go to Russia.“If these results are negative, then it doesn’t matter how long your contract is, every coach knows that he is in the end responsible for that, and I take it like that.”Meanwhile, former Italy striker Carolina Morace has been appointed to lead the women’s national side on a 2-½ year contract.The 53-year-old, who made over 150 appearances for Italy and scored over 100 goals, has also in the past managed Italy and Canada’s women side.