Author: marionowen

Is it bear or bears? And how to grow a Christmas cactus

I live on Kodiak, the second-largest island in the U.S. Did you know that it’s mostly a wildlife refuge for coastal brown bears? What does that have to do with Christmas cactus? First of all, Merriam-Webster set me straight. Again. Because the plural of cactus

Read More

The gravy blew up! Tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving

It became my job to make the gravy the year my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Easy-peasy. I’d made enough gravy to fill a hundred gravy boats. Little did I know, my gravy adventure would—oops,

Read More

Dinosaurs and tomatoes: How climate change growls at Alaska gardeners

The first hard frost of the winter sparked a beehive of activity in my hometown of Kodiak, Alaska. Time to change tires, harvest carrots, can salmon, and well, booking vacations to

Read More

How are rose hips related to broccoli? Red peppers, too.

What do red bell peppers, broccoli, and papayas have in common? They’re uber sources of vitamin C. But there’s another source of vitamin C. One that few people

Read More

Equinox explained. And you need this cool, “daylight-darkness” chart for your fridge

To my chop-wood, carry-water friend Mary, the equinox means one thing: Time to dig the ashes out of the woodstove. For the rest of us, let’s dive into a little

Read More

If attitude is everything, what’s yours — right now?

Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

What is your attitude—right now, at this moment—toward your spouse? Your kids? Your

Read More

How simple photos can soothe a tangled world. Really.

On a drizzly Monday morning, eight people gathered in our living room. They came to absorb a few photography tips and nibble on warm, oatmeal cookies.

Little did they know that this was more than a

Read More

Whale Ahoy! Plus the #1 Essential Tip for Your Summer Garden

What do whales and your summer garden have in common? I’ll share a tip that has solved many a garden problem. But let’s begin with a story: One morning, we departed the Kodiak boat harbor on our boat. As luck would have it,

Read More

3 Personal Stories to Prove that Miracles Do Happen

What are miracles? Coincidences? Lucky accidents reserved for saints? If you’ve ever wondered if magic is real, these stories will confirm that modern-day miracles do happen. And that you

Read More