Monday, February 27, 2012

There is That Quote Again !!!!

Well........As most of you know I do not promote motivation articles, seminars, movies, books, or whatever....but I recently received this article in my e-mail and promptly avoided it. A day later someone forwarded me a copy of the article and asked me to read it as it had "spoke" to them. I did read it then and have read it several times since then. Did it speak to me? No...I would say it shouted, thundered, clapped...well you get the idea. I spent 20 plus years in retail and I cannot tell you how many times I have had my clerks demeaned, ridiculed, and demoralized for being just that a clerk, trying to help someone else. this article is from a man named Jim Paluch of JP Horizons, Read and enjoy!!

Ralph Edge

There Is That Quote Again!

"Your life is a direct reflection of how you treat people."

If you have been to a JP Horizons event, you may remember that I always have a variety of quotes rotating up on the screen as people come into the room. I have been on the speaking trail quite a bit over the past couple of months and have had the chance to read those quotes many times. Or, maybe I should say, read one of those quotes quite a bit. It just seems like every time I look up at the screen while mingling around the room or preparing to get started, the slide that always catches my attention is the one that I quoted at the opening of this newsletter: "Your life is a direct reflection of how you treat people."

It has grabbed my attention so often lately that it's really caused me to do a little self-assessment and consider the question, "How am I treating people, and how would my life be different if I could make even a small improvement in this area?"

When we take the time to ask ourselves a sincere question, one that we really are open to the answer that may follow, we need to be prepared, because the answers will follow. Go ahead and read that last sentence again if you have the time because there are a couple of key points in it. If we ask a sincere question, the answers will come. The humbling thing about asking this question for me and the whole situation of being drawn to it is that the quote is out of my first book, Five Important Things. I made that quote up, and here I am, 15 years later, wondering how much progress I have made in this area. Well, the answers started to come. A little sketchy at first, but over a couple of days they seemed to come clearer and clearer, whether I wanted them or not . . . Hold on, you are going to get a little bit of self-disclosure from the road, yet I will also give reference to some things that I have gone back to read and consider. Things I have written in the past. I am thinking that if I wrote the quote that has started this whole reflective process, then maybe some of the other things I have written could bring about more insight.

- Jim Paluch

Doing Their Job

One of the interesting things about traveling so much is you get to meet a lot of people who are right in the middle of doing their jobs. Hardworking people such as Continental airline ticket agents and gate agents, rental car agents, cab drivers and shuttle bus drivers, hotel front desk clerks, banquet managers, audio/visual technicians, waitresses, business center workers, and a host of other people that I can come in contact with. I started asking myself the question, "How am I treating these individuals that are just trying to get by in what may not be the most rewarding positions at times?"

Well, I really did not like the answers that followed from that little constant voice running dialogue in my head. "Do you remember that a/v technician that you went nose to nose with just because you didn't like his prices? Or how about the ticket agent who just could not get you on the plane as a standby, no matter how gold or elite you felt your frequent flyer status was? She probably should have sat you in the corner for a timeout." Sometimes that inner dialogue can really let you have it if you are willing to let it speak. It could probably go on with more examples than I want to admit, but I will just let you in on one more just so you get the picture. ". . . how about that waitress, you know the one who started crying, in front of Beth and your sons several years ago, just because you had to give her a two-minute seminar on customer service, and conclude with, 'Now come on, get your head in the game.' And, oh yeah, how did you feel when her manager came out and asked you what you said to his waitress who is in the kitchen crying?" Now before I tarnish an image so badly that there may never be another person showing up for a seminar, let me just say, it does not happen frequently, but the question at this point is, "Is even once acceptable?" I don't think so, and I guess it is what I was thinking about when I wrote this little piece of "fiction" in Five Important Things and then forgot again many years later in the scene described above.

Doing Our Job

How about when you or I are right in the middle of doing our job? Is that an easy time to appreciate people? You know, when our customers are depending on our service or product. Sometimes we can be so focused on doing a good job that we lose focus on the privilege of having a job to do. I realize over the years that there were times that I could have been more responsive and more appreciative of being a resource, yet there have been times that I've fallen short. I could have been a little more responsive to my clients' needs and maybe just genuinely appreciative of them and their role in helping people as well

Choices and Follow Through

One last thought on this topic of how we treat people, and it goes back to the Five Important Things book as well. Important Thing Number 2 is "APPRECIATE PEOPLE" and it's at the core of treating people great. If we treat people great, and if we believe in the quote at the start of this newsletter . . . just think how tremendous our life will be! I was glad to read through them again and remember what inspired me to write these thoughts in the first place.

What a great wake-up call for me when I realized this quote "Your life is a direct reflection of how you treat people" was in my face almost every day over the past two months. Maybe the reason I kept seeing it on the screen was because I needed a good reminder and maybe I was supposed to write this newsletter so I could re-examine how I treat others. What if I was supposed to write it for you too, the reader? What if you are feeling right now like it was just for you? How will you treat people in the next hour or throughout this day? How will you and I treat others for the rest of the week, month or throughout this upcoming year? However we choose, we can count on seeing its reflection in our lives.

If you want to learn more about the power of PEOPLE SOLUTIONS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE, contact:

JP Horizons Inc.

8119 Auburn Road

Painesville, OH 44077

Phone: (440) 352-8211

Fax: (800) 715-8326


web site:

Enjoy the Life and Thanks for Stopping by

Ralph Edge

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Toad Lily

Okay I want to start this off by saying I have yet to plant this little beauty, but it is one of the first plants to go in my somewhat ravaged garden this spring. It will need some shade, moist rich soil and yes, some water, perhaps I will use gray water since that may be all I have...due to the drought....But  we cannot let a little thing like the biblical proportion type drought stop us committed gardeners.

Many feel we should be committed but that is a whole "nouther" story. While sifting through articles about the infamous Toad Lily I found a really good one from a retired extension horticulturist in Arkansas, so I will include it  a little later on. The "Toad" will over winter as far North as Chicago....and yes I have readers that far North, only God knows why.......So, let us learn together....

Now would it not be great to have this cool little plant growing and blooming in our garden, and during one of our "Wine and Cheese Parties",  we casually proclaim to it's admirers "Oh Yes, that is my Toad Lily, very sought after in it's native Asia" . Of course I don't know if wine from a box and string cheese in plastic tubes is "haute cuisine". Oh Well, enjoy the pictures and the article.

Toadlily, Tricyrtis hirta, is one of a dozen species of Asian herbs of the lily family that are found in the Himalayas, China and Japan. This species grows 2-3 feet tall with gracefully arching stems arising from an underground root system. It has 4-inch long clasping leaves that are covered with a coat of fine hairs, hence the species name, which means "hairy."

A variegated form is available with each leaf delicately edged with an eighth-inch halo of yellow.

The genus name Tricyrtis is from Latin and translates as "three convexities." It refers to the three match-head sized swollen nectary glands at the base of each flower. The flowers are borne singly along the stem, where each of the alternate leaves attaches to the stem.

Established toadlilies may have as many as two dozen of these 2-inch wide flowers splayed out along the stem when they come into bloom in early October.

Individual toadlily blooms have six petals that are splattered with brownish purple blobs on a white background, giving an overall lavender effect. It’s from these spots that some English gardener made the connection with toads and burdened the lovely plant with its unfortunate moniker.

Above the petals, the anthers extend outward and surround the three-branched stigma, giving the sexual part of the flower the look of the octopus ride at the county fair, but of course somewhat smaller. If pollination occurs early enough before frost, an erect capsule will form.

Tricyrtis seems to be one of those plants that got misplaced in the plant shuffle of the 20th century but seems to have been recently rediscovered. While Bailey and other garden writers described it almost 100 years ago, nobody seemed to carry it until recent years. About 1990, Wayside gardens began featuring the plant, and today it’s fairly common in garden centers and nurseries. Dan Heims, a West Coast propagator, lists almost 40 cultivars of the various species.

Heims, who spoke at the 2000 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, is one of a select group of serious plantsmen who have been traveling to Japan to acquire new and interesting plants from Japanese specialty nurseries. He tells of the Gotemba Nursery in Japan where hundreds of different toadlilies can be purchased by the rabid collector for prices up to $150 per plant.

Heims’ nursery specializes in tissue culture propagation and has introduced some of the best new types and is making them available to American nurserymen.

Toadlilies must be grown in the shade. They are excellent companion plants to hostas and other inhabitants of deep shade. Fertile, well drained, uniformly moist organic soils are most to their liking, but they will tolerate lesser soils so long as they don’t contain too much clay. Extended droughts will cause tip and marginal leaf burning. While the foliage will die with the first hard freeze, they are perfectly winter hardy as far north as Chicago. New plants can be had by springtime division or by terminal cuttings taken in the spring from new growth. Slugs occasionally mar the beauty of the foliage but are not usually serious.

By: Gerald Klingaman, retired

Extension Horticulturist -

Thanks  for Stopping By and Enjoy the Life

Ralph Edge

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Burning Bush? Well Maybe Not

Rusty Blackhaw Replacing The Burning Bush

Ralph Edge Shares The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush Replaced by the Rusty Blackhaw by Ralph Edge

Every year I have requests for the “burning bush” Euonymus alatus. Perhaps it is because everyone wants a red fall color and fall has just left us and they are trying to prepare for next fall, or maybe they are trying to get some biblical perspective into their landscape. Either way, I do my best to direct them away from that particular plant. Yes, it does have a brilliant red fall color and yes it does have a cool name and unusual growth along its branches, but it is capable of being invasive, grows taller than you will ever want, and above all it is a euonymus. Need I say more? It is a deciduous shrub native to eastern Asia, with an unusual cork growth along the branches similar to a wing, hence the name alatus, Latin for winged.

But I do have a recommendation for great red fall color and it is native to around here serving Dallas landscapes very well. I have borrowed a great synopsis from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin for basic information. So allow me to introduce you to the Rusty Blackhaw viburnum, my vote for the plant of the week……

Rusty Blackhaw

Dallas Landscaping from CGreen Landscape Irrigation

Viburnum rufidulum Raf.
Rusty blackhaw viburnum, Rusty blackhaw, Southern blackhaw, Downy viburnum

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

This viburnum is a shrub or tree, usually growing to 18 ft. but sometimes taller with bark separating into dark, rectangular plates. Twigs reddish brown with a thin light gray coating. Leaves in pairs, often on short spurs, the petioles covered with rust colored, branched hairs visible under a l0x hand lens; blades up to 3 1/2 inches long, elliptic to oval or ovate, tip rounded or with a broad point, base rounded or broadly wedge shaped, margins finely serrate, firm textured with a shiny upper surface. Glossy, dark-green, deciduous leaves turn a variety of warm hues in autumn. Flowers white, from 1/4 to 3/8 inch wide, in rounded or flattened clusters up to 4 inches wide, appearing in March and April and noticeable from a distance in early spring. Fruit fleshy, bluish black lightened by a waxy coating, up to 1/2 inch long, slightly longer than wide.

Rusty Blackhaw is distinguished from the more northerly Blackhaw, Viburnum prunifolium, primarily by the reddish-brown hairs on foliage and other parts, as well as by the slightly larger leaves and paler blue fruit. The Latin species name, meaning reddish, also refers to the hairs. The two species intergrade where their ranges meet.

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Size Notes: 15-25
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry

Cold Tolerant: yes

Soil Description: Dry soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay

Conditions Comments: Slow-growing. Hard to propagate. With its waxy leaves, rusty blackhaw presents excellent fall hues of red, lavender, pink, and orange. Tiny clusters of flowers bloom in spring. In Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Correll and Johnston noted that the fruit tastes similar to raisins. Rusty blackhaw is good for understory plantings. Birds appreciate the fruit.


Use Ornamental: Showy, Understory tree, Fall conspicuous, Attractive
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Rusty Blackhaw Winter Color by CGreen Landscape Irrigation

Figure 1 Rusty Blackhaw winter color

Rusty Blackhaw Fruit by CGreenFigure 2. Rusty Blackhaw fruit

This spring, think red fall color and when you do think outside the box and think of Rusty Blackhaw viburnum. (Many thanks to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for the excellent information)

Enjoy the Life!!