ReFirement at Any Age: Turning the calendar to a new decade

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times I can’t believe I’ve been knocking around on this earth for seventy years. Where has the time gone? I know that’s what everybody says! Being a Septuagenarian is still sinking in, quite slowly…. I am sharing my personal perspective, with the notion that many people turning a new decade, or maybe even a new year, might feel the same way. The only...

Inner Nature: Natives vs. Non-Natives

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times Now that gardening season is underway, gardeners are drawn to plant sales and nurseries like a bee to honey. The general advice is to shun “invasives” and “exotic” plants, selecting instead “native”” plants to support local fauna. But what makes a plant, animal, fungus, a native? What is the generational number for drawing the demarcation line...

Inner Nature: The medicine/poison cabinet

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times We seldom think of the home or medicine cabinet as a storehouse of poisons, but that is what they are. From the very food we eat, the sprays we clean with, to the drugs we take, the chemical activity of – um, chemicals – can have diabolical effects upon biological systems. In this article, I will explore a few of the drugs we use to keep ourselves healthy,...

ReFire at any age: Independence Day. What does it mean to you?

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times Have you ever really thought about the significance of what this day means? We so often look at holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day as days off from work, to play and have fun, which is okay but we all need to take a moment to celebrate in a deeper way. The word independence, by definition, means freedom from the control or influence of others....

Inner Nature: The Otherworldly Octopus

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times I was watching a male ruby-throated hummingbird at my feeder the other day. Hummingbirds fascinate me. Besides being charismatic and heart-stoppingly beautiful, they are feisty. I watched him drink his fill and then sit on a nearby branch to play dog-in-the-manger, chasing away other hummingbirds who dared to try to take what he didn’t want. Their speed, their...

ReFirement at any age: Vital core values to know, practice and stay true to

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times In a world of chaos, where one’s core values are tested every day by the influences of our society, stay true to yourself and your values, at all times, even when no one is looking. It is important to stay grounded in the values and beliefs you have come to know. The battles we wage on ourselves and the world can be a never ending-struggle if we don’t...

Inner Nature: Beekeeping in Ukraine

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times “History is all explained by geography.” Robert Penn Warren, novelist and poet (24 Apr 1905-1989) In this article, I want to pay homage to Ukraine’s beekeepers and beekeeping in light of the many wars that have washed over this beleaguered land. With a land area only slightly smaller than the state of Texas, it lies at many junctions: between Europe...

Inner Nature: Fibers for Fabric

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times In my Inner Nature article on the dye called Tyrian purple, I alluded to its stratospheric value in ancient times because it adhered to fabric and also darkened over time. Consequently, I thought to look at the origins of the fabrics that we wear and use, focusing on fabrics of natural origin. But before discussing specific fabrics, I need to touch on some other...

ReFirement at any age: Strive for better, every day

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times If there is one thing we all should have learned in the last two years is that life is short, life is precious and life is unpredictable, where you never know what each day will bring. The lessons I present every month are as much for me as they are for you, my readers. However, some topics hit me harder, like this one. It has more impact and relevance,...

Inner Nature: Poisonous and venomous animals

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times I am in India. It’s a vibrant and bustling place. This month, a couple of friends and I are planning a trip to a wildlife sanctuary in Southern India*. We hope to see tigers and a plethora of other animals and plants. What I am hoping we do not encounter closely are mosquitoes and snakes. I do not like mosquitoes, but I do like snakes, in principle. But many...