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The Garden Mix




Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.

New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Posts from February 2014


Garden Conservancy Open Days Private Garden Tour
Get your tickets now for a peek into some of the most amazing private gardens in America. This one-of-a-kind private garden tour provides a great opportunity to gather ideas, exchange gardening secrets, and get inspired.

Known as Open Days, this private garden tour was started in 1995 by the Garden Conservancy.
Gardens are located in 21 states including the District of Columbia. There are more than 300 gardens featured and each region offers its own special variety of gardens.
 
All you need is a little time and a ticket to participate in the self-guided garden tours. A listing of the Open Days gardens and dates for each garden will be listed in the Open Days Directory, posted on the Garden Conservancy’s website or you can call 1-888-842-2442.
 
A bit more information: This program was started by the Garden Conservancy to create awareness and help support their mission of preserving America’s gardens. For more information on Open Days and the Garden Conservancy visit https://www.gardenconservancy.org
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Attractive Year Round Screening
How many evergreens do I need to screen the view of my neighbor’s house? This is a common question raised by gardeners across the country.

And even though arborvitae, junipers, and other evergreens provide great year round screening, consider creating something with more variety and seasonal interest. 
 
Start by determining exactly what views need to be screened. Evaluate the views from inside your house looking out. Then move outdoors and try standing and sitting in areas you want to create some privacy. Then consider your neighbors’ view looking into your home and garden. Several smaller strategically placed gardens can provide the needed screening or privacy.
 
Consider using ornamental grasses, perennials, and flowering shrubs along with the upright evergreens. Mixed borders are more interesting and much easier to maintain if a plant or two dies.
 
A bit more information:  Consider annual and perennial vines on decorative trellises and artwork for narrow spaces. These can provide quick screening as a short-term or long-term solution.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Pine Needle Scale
White flecks on your mugo pine does not mean the house painter was careless. It’s more likely that your evergreen is infested with pine needle scale.

The white flecks you see are hard shells produced by the adult pine needle scale.
 
Timing is critical for successful control. Their hard shell protects the adults and overwintering eggs from predators, the environment and pesticides. Apply insecticidal soap, Neem, light weight horticulture oil or another eco-friendly insecticide labeled for controlling this pest when the immature shell-less scales are active. This coincides with the bloom time of vanhouette spirea, often called bridal wreath, or as the flower buds on common lilac begin to swell in the spring. Repeat when the Annabelle hydrangeas bloom in the summer.  As always read and follow label directions.
 
A bit more information: A healthy plant can tolerate small populations, but continued attacks by this insect can weaken and ruin the appearance of your pine. If you decide to treat, make two applications of an eco-friendly insecticide 7 to 10 days apart for both the spring and summer treatment. Or kill the overwintering eggs by applying lime sulphur in late winter when the plants are still dormant. Be careful as the lime sulfur can damage some plants and stain nearby surfaces.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 Perennial Plant of the Year – Northwind Switchgrass
Make room in your landscape for Northwind Switchgrass the 2014 perennial plant of the year.
 
Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm selected this cultivar from seed he collected along railroad tracks in South Elgin, IL. He noticed the unique growth habit of one particular plant and began trialing, propagating and finally introducing Northwind Switchgrass in 1992.
 
It was the upright growth habit and wide steel blue leaves that caught his attention. The 5 feet tall switchgrass is a clump forming grass perfect as a screen, vertical accent or filler in mixed beds.
 
The plant is topped by fine-textured flowers that remind me of fireworks in late summer. The yellow flowers turn into beige seedheads and the plant has an attractive golden yellow fall color. This sturdy plant remains upright throughout the winter, providing great winter interest.
 
A bit more information: Northwind Switchgrass is hardy in zones 4 to 10. This fine textured beauty is a nice addition to natural, informal, and formal landscapes. It is seldom bothered by deer.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Apple Tree Fails to Produce
No fruit and all leaves is a common complaint of gardeners new to growing apples.  Fortunately, with a little time and adjustments in care you will soon be rewarded with fruit.

Patience is the first step. The first few years after planting, your apple tree spends its energy on developing a healthy root system. This is good for the longevity and productivity of the plant.
 
You will need to start pruning young trees to develop a strong and productive structure.  Consider using the central or modified central leader system. You will have a single trunk with several large branches spiraling up the trunk.
 
Train 5 to 7 main branches for dwarf trees and 7 to 9 for standard size apple trees. Dwarf trees should start blooming and be allowed to develop fruit about 4 or 5 years, while standard trees take a bit longer, 6 or 7 years, after planting.
 
A bit more information:  Avoid excess pruning and over fertilization that promotes leaf and stem growth and discourages flowering and fruiting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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A Perennial Valentine - Valentine Bleeding Heart
Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone? Give a gift that brings joy and beauty year after year.

Bleeding Heart was originally brought to America as a Valentine’s Day gift. The new variety, Valentine, provides a twist on this long time favorite. The bright red flowers have white tips and dangle from deep red arching stems in late spring.
 
Keep the plants blooming into early summer with ample moisture and moderate temperatures. And don’t forget to cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors. These last for several weeks.
 
Give this plant room to grow. It forms a 24 to 36 inch mound. And don’t be surprised when the plant begins to fade in mid-summer. It’s normal and will return next spring. You may need to give your Valentine an IOU and deliver this present once the plants arrive at your favorite garden center.
 
A bit more information: The leaves on Valentine bleeding heart emerge with a tinge of purple and then turn green, providing a nice contrast to the blooms.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Abe Lincoln Heirloom Tomato
Add a little fun and history to this year’s vegetable garden and grow some Abe Lincoln tomatoes.
 
This heirloom tomato was introduced in Illinois back in 1923 by the Buckbee Seed Company. Abe Lincoln is an indeterminate type tomato, meaning it continues to grow throughout the season until frost kills the plant or a gardener prunes off the growing tip.
 
This slicing tomato can be found on plant recommendation lists of Universities across the country. Abe Lincoln tomatoes have good disease resistance and produce medium size bright red tomatoes with a rich slightly acid flavor.
 
You may need to start your own plants from seed or find a local grower or hobbyist that specializes in heirloom vegetables. Start these and other tomato seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the outdoor night temperatures are hovering at 50 to 55 degrees.
 
A bit more information: With proper care you will be harvesting Abe Lincoln tomatoes in less than 80 days. Speed up the process by keeping the plants warm on chilly days and nights. Cover plantings with floating row covers like ReeMay, frost blanket or garden fabric. Try cloches or wall-o-waters to cover individual plants.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Tree and Shrub Growth Rates
Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogues and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.
 
These are average growth rates, but just like a plant’s mature size it can vary with local climate, growing conditions and the care you provide.  A slow growth rate means the plant usually grows 12 inches or less each year.  Medium growers add 13 to 24 inches each year, while fast growing trees grow 25 inches or more in one year. 
 
The American Conifer Society (ACS) has classified cone bearing plants by their size in any direction (height or spread) and growth rate.  They range from Miniature (M) conifers that grow less than 1 inch a year and reach less than 1 foot size at 10 years of age to large (L) conifers that grow more than 12 inches a year and are greater than 15 feet tall at ten years of age.
 
A bit more information: The other ACS growth rates and classifications include dwarf (D) conifers that grow more than 1 inch but less than 6 inches a year and reach sizes of 1 to 6 feet by 10 years of age.  Intermediate (I) conifers grow more than 6 and less than 12 inches a year and are more than 6 feet but less than 15 feet in size.  
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Birth Tree March 1 through 10 - Weeping Willow
The lovely and graceful weeping willow has long been a part of our landscapes. And, although it is the birth tree for those born between March 1st and 10th, think twice before planting this beauty in your backyard.
 
As birth trees go, the weeping willow represents beauty filled with a bit of melancholy. Individuals with this birth tree are also said to be tasteful, dreamers, restless and have good intuition.
 
Today the golden weeping willow is considered the standard and the one most of us know as weeping willow. This fast growing tree is hardy in zones 2 through 9, develops a stout trunk and is covered with long pendulous branches.  It is tolerant of moist to wet soils and is often found growing along ponds and streams.
 
This large tree is perfect for wet areas where other trees fail and where the leaf, stem and fluffy seedpod litter and aggressive roots are not a problem.
 
A bit more information: The golden weeping willow can grow 50 to 80 feet tall with a broad canopy. If your yard is too small or you don’t want the litter issue, visit this graceful beauty in a nearby park or natural setting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 Hosta of the Year - Abiqua Drinking Gourd
Hostas are a favorite of many gardeners. All the new introductions allow you to create a fresh look with an old time favorite.  But with so many choices it is helpful to have a bit of direction.
 
The American Hosta Growers wanted to help take the guess work out of hosta shopping. Each year, starting in 1996, they select an outstanding hosta variety that makes a good garden plant throughout the country, is readily available, and retails for about $15 a plant.  This year’s winner is Abiqua Drinking Gourd.
 
The large blue-green leaves are cupped and have an interesting seer sucker texture. These attractive thick leaves have good slug resistance.
 
White flowers top the plants in early summer, brightening the shade and providing nectar for the hummingbirds. Plants are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
 
A bit more information: Consider adding a few or all of the past winners to the shady parts of your landscape. Use them as a groundcover or in combination with ferns, bugbane and other shade tolerant perennials. Visit the American Hosta Growers Association website for a list of and information about past winners.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Poplar - Birth Tree Feb 4 to 8
Those with birthdays between February 4th and 8th have poplar as their birth tree. They’re said to be artistic, reliable partners, organized and know how to make life comfortable.

As a tree most poplars are fast growing and moisture loving. This group includes the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) best known for its leaves that flutter in the wind and turn a beautiful yellow in fall.
 
The cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is also a member of this family. It produces cottony seeds that cover the ground like snow in the summer. As a result many municipalities have banned this tree.
 
The Lombardy poplar was brought to North America with the colonists. This fast growing upright poplar was used for hedging and screening. Unfortunately, a deadly canker disease has limited its use.
 
So choose your poplar tree wisely or purchase your early February birthday friend an item made from poplar wood.
 
A bit more information: The quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree in North America. The National Champion is located in Coronado National Forest in AZ. It was 130 feet tall and 36 feet wide when last measured.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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February Birth Flowers – Violet and Iris
If you were born in February you have two birth flowers, the violet and the iris.
 
Both are perfect flowers for this month filled with messages of love for Valentine’s Day. The violet is a symbol of love and fertility while the iris shares its name with the messenger of the Gods and Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris.  And an appropriate name as the iris comes in a wide array of colors.
 
Most violets thrive in shade and moist soil. There are many varieties with purple, blue, white, cream, yellow or a combination of colored flowers. Select carefully as some are vigorous, escape the garden where planted and become a weed. 
 
Most iris prefer full sun and moist well-drained soils. Sizes vary from the short 4 inch crested iris to the 4 foot tall bearded iris. The Japanese iris requires abundant moisture during the growing season while the bearded iris must have adequate drainage.
 
A bit more information: Try growing crested iris (Iris cristata) as a seasonal groundcover. It is hardy in zones 3 to 9, grows 4 to 6 inches tall, and performs well in partial shade with well-drained soil.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Legit, or Stunt?
Here's a chance for you to be the judge. The scenario: The Oxygen Network was in Houston recently auditioning for its show, Bad Girls Club. While women waited in line to be seen, another woman was in a conversation with a police officer who had just put a traffic boot on the driver-side rear tire of her new BMW X5. It's not really clear why the boot was put in place, or if the woman was there auditioning. What is clear is that she didn't want to be booted. So she drove off with the boot in place. Clearly, it's not the proper size boot for that car, as the wheel is able to rotate almost freely. And as she drove off to the cheers of the folks in line, the boot actually fell off. Watch the video - the wind sounds on it can't be avoided. Then weigh in. What do you think? Legitimate circumstances, or a stunt staged by the producers of the show so they've got something to show for their time in Houston?  
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And the Newest Kardashian is...
Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to her third child, again sired by her boyfriend Scott Disick. That happened last week, on December 14, on her firstborn son's 5th birthday. Over the weekend, the happy couple announced the baby boy's name. Joining brother Mason and sister Penelope is... Well, read the Instagram post. I mean, that's how we ALL keep up with the Kardashians, isn't it?     Madly in love with my little Reign Aston Disick. A photo posted by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on Dec 12, 2014 at 8:36am PST
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Happy Holidays: All I Want for Christmas Done Right
After all the buzz about Mariah Carey's troubles with singing "All I Want for Christmas" at the Rockerfeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony, here's a chance to see and hear it done right. The group is Out of the Blue - the a cappella singers from Oxford University in England. And, not only is it a good arrangement, the group is selling the single to raise money for the Helen & Douglas House, which provides hospice care for children in the United Kingdom.  
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Good to Have Support on the Home Front
Gisele Bunchen - aka Mrs. Tom Brady - posted another cute picture to Instagram yesterday, moments after her husband's team clinched a day off in the first-round of the NFL playoffs by beating the New York Jets. It wasn't a pretty victory, or an easy one either, with the Patriots limping out of the Meadowlands with a 17-16 win. Still, it was a win, and good enough for Gisele to hoist her daughter to her shoulder and post a picture of it to Instagram. File this one under #godaddy! And be sure to check out the look on the face of the dog - almost like he's saying, "Again?"     Yeeeeaaaaahh! #godaddy #gopats ❤️❤️❤️❤️ A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on Dec 12, 2014 at 1:07pm PST
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Cold Open, Cold Shoulder
If this weekend's cold open of Saturday Night Live is any indication, there could be some life left in the old dog afterwards. It started with a spoof of Sam Smith, the automaton with the fantastic voice, promoting his new special, A Very Somber Christmas. Suddenly, the "broadcast" was hijacked by none other than Doctor Evil - that would be one of Mike Myers' characters from the Austin Powers films. Doctor Evil took issue with North Korea and Sony Pictures for giving "evil organizations a bad name." Funny stuff - and biting satire as well.  
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Fare Thee Well, Colbert! See You in May!
On Friday night, Stephen Colbert was one of two late night comics to say farewell to the shows and audiences who'd grown to love them. (The other was Craig Ferguson on CBS's Late Late Show. More on him tomorrow.) But first, Colbert wrapped up The Colbert Report on Comedy Central in an interesting way. By turning it into a musical, sort of, with an amazing hodgepodge of singers. Starting with Jon Stewart from CC's The Daily Show, the seemingly endless list of guests included Big Bird and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former president Bill Clinton, an astronaut from the International Space Station, Barry Manilow (who was misidentified initially by another reporter as Rod Stewart) and more. Dozens, maybe even hundreds of folks, all singing "We'll Meet Again." Check it out - and be sure to keep watching when it appears to be over. Stephen will be back in May, when he jumps into David Letterman's seat on CBS's Late Show.  
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Most Ridiculous Man of the Year
Here's a late-comer for the Most Ridiculous Man of the Year award. A professional makeup artist in Manchester, England has reportedly spent about $150,000 for plastic surgery and more to look like his favorite reality TV star. The star? Kim Kardashian. He's had lip fillers, laser hair removal and eyebrows tatooed on. Take a look at the picture to see the results. And no, it is NOT Halloween. Sooo, someone actually dropped $150,000 on plastic surgery to look like Kim Kardashian! See for yourself: http://t.co/6eSkniAajM — Us Weekly (@usweekly) December 18, 2014 And he doesn't care what he looks like, according to The Sun, London's daily newspaper. "My look is all about the shock factor. I love all the attention and stares I get in the street. I welcome the hate — it just means more attention. And if anything, it just spurs me on to get more work done." Good money chasing bad, folks. Especially since the guy looks more like the Octomom than the NorthWestmom.
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Please Define "Top"
Scratching my head just a little. US Magazine put out a list yesterday of the Top 14 Celebrity Instagram Photos of 2014.   Six of the 14 involve the Kardashians in some way - by that calculation, they're taking up 43% of the internet, which sounds right and wrong all at the same time. The rest of the list: Jessica Simpson in a bathing suit holding a golf club Macauley Culkin wearing a T-shirt with Ryan Gosling on it Jessa Duggar's wedding kiss Taylor Swift's 4th of July party Nick & Vanessa Lachey's pregnancy announcement Lauren Conrad's haircut Bethenny Frankel wearing her 4-year-old's Hello Kitty PJs The only one that really belongs - or at least makes some sense in being relevant - is the post Diem Brown's boyfriend put up after her passing, expressing his grief.     You have always been My Angel. And now you have your wings. We've been thru so much over the years. Thru the ups and downs we somehow managed to keep our promise. We never gave up on each other. Our plan to be together forever hasn't changed... it's just going to take a little longer now. And I'm going to hold onto this ring for you till we are together again. So don't worry mama, I'm not afraid. I know you will always be with me to give me your strength. You are The Love of My Life. My reason to be a better man. I Love You Always and Forever A photo posted by CT (@theofficial_ct) on Nov 11, 2014 at 8:50am PST  
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It's the Most Wonderful Prank of the Year
Jimmy Kimmel and his wife have a holiday tradition - well, sort of a tradition - with acting couple John Krasinski (from The Office) and Emily Blunt (most recently from Into The Woods). They live across the street from one another, and for Christmas, they play pranks on each other. This has been going on for a couple of years, and each year, the pranks get bigger and more out of control. Watch the clip to see what Jimmy did to them last year - the thing he thought would bring the prank-feud to a conclusion. And then watch to see watch Emily and John did to raise the bar considerably higher this year. Nice to have that kind of money to throw away, but it is sort of fun to watch.  
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"Governor, This Is Barack Obama..."
What a fun moment. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick made his final appearance on Boston Public Radio yesterday, and got a very interesting phone call as part of his farewell. President Barack Obama called in, identifying himself as a former resident of Somerville, a suburb of Boston. The president spent some time in the state while a student at Harvard, and he's got a good relationship with the outgoing governor. So why not call in? Watch the video of the call. Seems legit to me.  
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I Really Really Really Really Really Really Want This!
Dear Santa: I know this is probably an impractical present, and that it will probably only survive one light dusting. But Santa, I really really really really really really really want one of these. A remote-control pickup with a snow plow attachment. I've been really really really really good this year too.                                                                                                          Signed,                                                                                                          Your Pal Mikey!     (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by Boji.
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Cancel The Interview, Please
Sony Pictures announced formally today that it will not now and maybe ever release the movie they'd scheduled for a Christmas debut, The Interview. The film, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as some newsmen recruited by the CIA to assassinate the leader of North Korea, drew the ire of North Korea's current ruler, who said its release would be considered an act of war. More recently, someone hacked into Sony's servers, releasing sensitive information and threatening some drastic action if the film were released as planned. Some interesting folks are not happy at all. Like Donald Trump... #TrumpVlog #TheInterviewMovie A sad day for freedom of speech- http://t.co/eQDh4BkDHp — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2014 And Salman Rushdie... “@FinalFenwayFict: Anyone remember @SalmanRushdie? Art is supposed 2 provoke. #TheInterviewMovie” Yeah, I remember him. And: agreed. — Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) December 17, 2014 But, here's the question that everyone wants answered... Whens Dennis Rodman going to intercede and squash this whole thing? #TheInterviewMovie — Jacob Saylor (@jacobsaylor) December 18, 2014
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A Box of Poo for You
You know Cards Against Humanity, right? The makers refer to it as "a party game for horrible people" that's "as despicable and awkward as you and your friends." On Black Friday, they made an interesting offer to folks on their website: a box of male bovine excrement for a mere $6. They used a more guttural expression that we really shouldn't be using here... Now, the folks at CAH report that they sold 30,000 units. 30,000 units of genuine bull crap, amounting to $180,000. I can only imagine how popular these will be at the office Yankee Swap this year. Now if you'll excuse me. My dog just went outside, and I'm pretty sure there's a gold mine waiting to be picked up on my lawn.
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Wrapping Up a Holiday Tradition
Darlene Love came to fame with the 1960s classic, "He's a Rebel." But for close the three decades now, she's earned even more fame from her annual appearance on David Letterman's last show before Christmas to sing "Christmas" - aka "Baby Please Come Home." She'll sing it one last time tonight, on Letterman's final show-before-Christmas. This time next year, Stephen Colbert will be sitting in Letterman's seat. To get everyone in the mood, the folks at CBS put together a compilation of Darlene's appearances, blending them all together in one pretty spectacular rendition. Enjoy - and be sure to set your DVR for tonight's performance...  
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Shaking Off Hanukkah
Someone pointed out recently that there aren't any good Hanukkah songs out there. It seems that the only choice is Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song," and that's not really about the holiday, just about folks who might celebrate it. So along comes Six13, a Jewish a cappella group, and their parody of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." You'll have fun, learn a little bit about the holiday, and even how to play with a dreidel. And you might start bopping along with the tune. Win win!  
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Happy Holidays: Sheriff Santa
There's a guy in Missouri who gives away about $100,000 a year in $100 bills to random strangers. This holiday season, he got a little bit of help - from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department in Kansas City. The officers were handed a small pile of Benjamin Franklins and sent out on the street to help those who needed help. What a terrific, feel-good story...  
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Happy Holidays: The Christmas Spirit
Not everyone's ready for the holiday, right? Seems like it rushes up on you sometimes. Or maybe you're just not ready for it. Sometimes, you need a little push. Like Chris, who gets a visit and a sizeable nudge from a Jolly Old Elf. A fun short film to get you in the spirit...  
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Happy Birthday, Frankie
Pope Francis celebrated his birthday yesterday. Some folks took to Twitter to pass glad tidings, using #happybirthdayholyfather. It looks like being the pope doesn't put you above the typical birthday pranks the rest of us have to endure, like sharing photos from your early years. This one looks to be from 8th grade. What do you think?   Happy birthday Pope Francis! @Pontifex #happybirthdayholyfather pic.twitter.com/67KWJIFDJT — The Catholic Hipster (@churchhipster) December 17, 2013 Meanwhile, the pope celebrated his birthday the way you'd expect this down-to-earth guy to do it. He invited some homeless men and his household staff to sit and have breakfast with him after morning mass.   Pope Francis shared his birthday breakfast with homeless men and a dog. http://t.co/h93FMUumkG #HappyBirthdayHolyFather — Whats Up Mimi (@WhatsupMimi) December 18, 2013
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Ellen Skunks Conan
Looks like the daytime talk shows have better budgets than their nighttime counterparts. Case in point: an audience member pointed out that Ellen Degeneres gives away phenomenal gifts to everyone in her audience. It's the way she rolls. Amazing things like personal cappucino machines, one's very own MRI unit (complete with Fabio, your MRI tech), and the not-even-out-yet iPhone 9. Conan had nothing but half-a-sleeve of gluten-free Fig Newtons in his car. Not to fear. Ellen to the rescue. Check out what she gives to every member of Conan's audience. I wonder if Conan gets to keep one...?  
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New Rule: Don't Let Mom Call Into Your Talk Show Appearance
How's this for a fun time? Brad and Dallas Woodhouse are what you'd call political pundits. They're also what you'd call brothers. Brad's a Democrat, and Dallas is a Republican. This week, they appeared on Washington Journal on C-Span to discuss their new book, "Woodhouse Divided," about bipartisanship and the political divide in the United States. I'm sure it was a fun conversation, but not one that would catch my attention. Until... ... the Woodhouse brothers' mother called in, unexpectedly and unplanned, and pretty much told the both of them to settle their differences so that Christmas at the family home would be peaceful. The clip is below, and it is priceless!  
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Seal It With a Slap!
Whoever thought Jimmy Fallon and Oprah Winfrey could play a married couple? Well they did - back in the 80s - on a soap opera called Midnight Meadows. It's becoming a running bit on The Tonight Show, and it involves Jimmy and his guest running back and forth into and out of the scenes. You almost wish they'd show those transitions. From the sound of the audience reaction, that's one of the best parts.  
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Can I Get a Translator, Please?
Christian Bale's newest film, Exodus: Gods & Kings, hasn't even been out for two weeks, and already, folks are talking about his next film. The trailer for Knight of Cups was released this week, and while the film's language is English - I understand all the words - I think I'm going to have to have an interpreter with me if I plan to sit and watch it. It's not that anyone's unintelligible - there's no Stallone/Schwarzenegger component to the movie - it's just that I have no idea what's going on. Sure, trailers are supposed to tease you and even titillate you, so you'll be interested in seeing the movie. This one looks like a bad acid trip caught on film. What do you think?  
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The Holidays Are Coming!
What's Up Moms is a great group of fun moms who poke fun at themselves and their lives. Earlier this week, we featured their parody of Taylor Swift's "Blank Spaces." Today, I stumbled on this "trailer" for The Holidays Are Coming, and while it's from last month, it's especially fitting now, with Christmas Eve just a week away. Enjoy - and know you are NOT alone!  
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Emojinized Science
Bill Nye the Science Guy always does what he can to make science understandable to the Average Joe. In this day and age, what better way to illustrate one's point - or, in this case, lesson - that with emoji. Everyone knows what emoji are - so why not put them to good use. So watch Professor Nye do Professor Darwin one better by using emoji to explain evolution. I'll bet you have a Smiley Face when it's done...  
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Blistering Hot Britney
According to Women's Health magazine, Britney Spears is in "the hottest shape of her life." That's why they put her on the cover of the magazine. And according to them, she did it all without a trainer. They point to her "insane abs" and suggest that you too can achieve them with "one simple move." I hate to be a cynic, but I'll bet it's the purchase of pretty good photo-editing software. Does that make me a bad person...?   Thank you so much @womenshealthmag for featuring me in your new issue! 😘 It's on stands this week! A photo posted by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:10pm PST
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