maureen pratt

LIVING WELL | Problems with packaging

Do you struggle with packaging?

In opening a fresh box containing an over-the-counter pain reliever, I now need a double dose because of the discomfort caused by opening the bottle.

My neighbors probably think I ordered all of my Christmas gifts in one purchase because of the huge cardboard shipping "crate" blocking my front door — but all I did was order a few, small items from an online retailer.

And oh, the puzzle of plastic wrapping tightly around my latest compact disc purchase. I really didn't need my fingernails, did I?

LIVING WELL | Can't travel to explore your faith? Try a virtual pilgrimage

Last year, a group of parishioners and our pastor embarked on an enviously intriguing pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, and along the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, in Spain, and then went on to Fatima, Portugal. The itinerary seemed ideal for religious education and spiritual renewal. But it also sounded exhausting for someone like me, who has multiple serious health problems.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Spring grows life lessons

In December 2013, at the end of a very difficult year, I hybridized my first African violets. The seeds were harvested in May 2014 and planted in October 2014.

Now, the first plant is setting buds, but I will have to wait a bit longer before seeing the full fruit of my labors. It has been almost a year and a half from hybridizing to bloom -- a quick-passing period when I consider it. But it's a very long time, if viewed from the beginning, before the seeds were formed.

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