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JUNE 2017

JULY 2017








MARCH 2018

APRIL 2018

MAY 2018

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there"
- Robert Browning (1812—1889)

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Fair, warming trend (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) with storms (9, 10, 11); showers, mainly in the northern part of the region (12, 13, 14) turning fair and warm (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22). Storms, mainly in the south (23, 24) returning to fair and warm weather (25, 26, 27, 28); showers in the north, storms in the south (29, 30, 31)

Full Moon: May’s Full Moon occurs on Tuesday, May 29th and has traditionally been called Flower Moon (or as the Huron Indians called it, Budding Moon) because of the many flowers that start to emerge and blossom during this month. Farmers came to refer to it as Mike Moon because of the noticeable increase in milk produced by their cows as the weather starts to warm.

Special Notes: National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 3rd was established in 1952 at the direct suggestion of Reverend Billy Graham (1918–2018) and signed into law under Ronald Reagan in 1988. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on Saturday, May 5th. Rogation Sunday falls on May 6th, Ascension Day follows on Thursday, May 10th. The first day of Ramadan is Tuesday, May 15th, and World No Tobacco Day is on Tuesday, May 31st.

Holidays: Mothers are honored on her day, Sunday May 13th. A telephone call, a sentimental card, a nice flower arrangement, or just spending some quality time with her will make her feel special. Armed Forces Day is observed on Saturday, May 19th and Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 28th. Plan to do something special to mark the official start of the summer season with family and friends but don’t forget that this day was set aside for honoring those who have served in our military and those who are currently serving. Their service and sacrifice has protected our precious freedoms and ensures our way of life.

The Garden: Once your last frost data has passed, warm season crops can be planted. When the ground temperatures reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to begin planting Okra, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Eggplant, Peppers, Peanuts, Watermelon, Cow Peas, Black-eyed Peas, Crowder Peas, Butter Peas and Butter Beans. Keep a vigilante eye on the roses. Keep them sprayed for aphids and other pests and diseases such as black spot. It's still not too late to fertilize your trees and shrubs. Use a Rhododendron or Evergreen type of plant food to feed evergreens and other acid loving plants like Azaleas and Rhododendrons, Camellias and Junipers, etc. Use an all-purpose garden fertilizer (10-10-10) to feed roses, deciduous shrubs and trees. Be sure to water the fertilizer in thoroughly after it is applied.

Remove the wilting seed heads from Rhododendrons and Azaleas so that the plants energy can go to foliage growth and next year’s flowers, rather than seeds. Work lime in the soil around your Hydrangeas to produce pink flowers or Aluminum Sulphate for blue blooms. Remove any sucker growths from fruit trees as soon as they appear!

Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living

"While the truth may be painful to hear today, the wise man will benefit from it tomorrow"


"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant
I could not stand to have the old man around.
But when I got to be twenty-one,
I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years"
Mark Twain (1836-1875)

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Storms, some severe (1, 2) with fair and warm weather (3, 4, 5); storms, severe in the southern part of the region (6, 7, 8) returning to fair and warm temperatures (9, 10, 11, 12). More storms (13, 14, 15) turning fair and warm again (16, 17, 18, 19); showers, some storms again in the south (20, 21) returning to fair and very warm (22, 23, 24, 25, 26). Showers (27, 28) with fair and warm (29, 30).

Tornado Watch: The Town and Country Almanack sees possible tornado activity in the Mid-Atlantic Region the 1st and 2nd of June.

Full Moon: June’s Full Moon will occur on Wednesday, June 27th. It has commonly been referred to as Strawberry Moon because the first strawberries of the season become ripe for the picking (and eating!) in June. And because roses start to show their gorgeous blooms at the beginning of the month, it has been also called Rose Moon.

Special Notes: Summer officially starts with the Summer Solstice that occurs on Thursday, June 21st. June is a typical month for graduations so honor your favorite student this month when he or she graduates from high school or college. This is a major milestone so mark the achievement with a special event or memorable gift.

Holidays: Honor ‘Old Glory and display it proudly on Flag Day, Thursday, June 14th, make sure you are displaying it properly. Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17th. Do something really nice for the "old man" like breakfast in bed, an outing to his favorite sports event, or a special dinner out.

The Garden: Additional pruning may be required in June of fast-growing plants, such as juniper, privet and yew. This will help promote new growth and also maintain a desirable shape during the growing season. Cut back perennials like Shasta daisy, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, and lavender after first bloom to encourage a second round of flowers in the Fall.

Cut back fuchsia, geranium, and margarite to encourage branching. Plant or sow summer annuals such as nasturtiums, vinca, verbena, geraniums, phlox, marigolds, lobelia, impatiens, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, and alyssum. Feed annuals and remove spent flowers to promote another round of flowers.

It’s not too late to start warm-season crops such as corn, beans, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and eggplant. Watch for insects everywhere! When you see them (and you will!), immediately wash them or pick them off plants before they can lay eggs and multiply. Use fungicide where diseases usually are a problem, especially on roses. If you cut flowers for fresh in-door arrangements early in the morning, they will stay fresher and more vibrant much longer.

Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living

"Every person has two educations – one which he receives from others, and one more important which he gives himself"


JUNE 2018

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves"
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Storms (1, 2); warm and humid (3, 4, 5) with off-shore hurricane, heavy rain in the eastern part of the region (6, 7). Fair and warm (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) with more storms, heavy rain in the south (13, 14, 15); fair again and very warm (16, 17, 18) with Atlantic hurricane, severe storms in the east (19, 20, 21). Fair and hot (22, 23, 24, 25) with more storms (26, 27, 28) turning hot and humid (29, 30, 31).

Tornado Watch: Watch out for possible tornado activity in the Mid-Atlantic Region from the 18th to the 21st of July.

Full Moon: July’s Full Moon, which occurs on July 27th. Many Native Americans refer to it as Thunder Moon because of the increased number of thunderstorms, some quite severe, that occur during this month. Other tribes have called it Buck Moon due the rapid growth of antlers on young bucks in July, Hay Moon since hay tended to ripen at this time of year, and Ripe Corn Moon because of the appearance of young corn on the stalks.

Special Notes: Get ready for the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ that begin on Tuesday, July 3rd and continue into mid-August.

Holidays: Celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday, July 4th! This most famous day in U.S. history, in 1776, witnessed The Continental Congress passing a resolution saying, "these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, free and independent states". When enjoying the holiday, be sure to remember sunscreen. Apply frequently, especially if swimming or engaged in strenuous activities.

The Garden: During the dry summer months, remember to mow the lawn when it is high and mow less often. Taller grass withstands drought better because its blades shade the soil. Invest in a rain gauge and keep track of your rain. This is not only helpful, but fun as well. Allow roses to rest in late-July. Do not fertilize, but continue spraying, and give them a light pruning to encourage new Fall growth. Repot houseplants that have been kept outdoors if roots start to crowd their containers. If you have to divide plants, give them a chance to recover from the disruption to their root system by keeping them in the shade for at least a week. Deadhead some perennials, either for continued bloom, or for improved foliage. Leggy annuals may need to be pruned back to encourage new growth and more flowering. Some annuals don’t take hot weather and may need to be replaced. This is the last month to plant these veggies for a fall crop: snap beans, peas, cucumbers, carrots, kohlrabi, summer squash, early sweet corn, and green onions, among others.

J. Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living:

"Do not regard liberty and freedom so lightly that you forget its value and take it for granted."


JULY 2018

"I bet deep down you still wish your mom would take you
clothes shopping every August for the new school year."
Bridget Willard (1953- )

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Hazy, hot, and humid (1, 2, 3); offshore hurricane, storms mainly in the eastern part of the region (4, 5, 6) turn hot and humid again (7, 8, 9). Showers and storms (10, 11, 12) turning fair and not so hot (13, 14, 15, 16). More fair weather, very warm (19, 20, 21, 22, 23) with more showers (24, 25, 26) and even more showers, mainly in the south (27, 28, 29). Fair and very warm (30, 31).

Full Moon: August’s full moon occurs on August 26th. Many Native American tribes have referred to it as Fruit Moon or Ripe Moon because of the many fruits and vegetables that become ripe during the month. And since August 11th marks the end of the ‘Dog Days of Summer’, it has also been called Dog Moon.

Holidays: Labor Day will be here before you know it, signaling the end of summer so enjoy it while you can!

The Garden: August is not too late to sow Portulaca (moss rose). They will bloom in about three weeks from seed. Stop feeding trees and shrubs after mid-August. You don’t want to promote new growth that will not have time to fully mature before winter sets in. Summer blooming shrubs should be pruned for shape after they have finished flowering. Remove any dead or diseased branches. To encourage more flowers, azaleas should be trimmed after they bloom in the spring and before the end of August.

Think about potting herbs you plan to move indoors for the winter. Don’t move them in just yet but get them accustomed to their containers early. Rosemary, thyme, and tarragon are the best candidates for this. Keep the weeds pulled, before they have a chance to flower and go to seed again. Otherwise, you will be fighting newly germinated weed seed for the next several years. Weeds in the garden are harmful because they rob your plants of water and nutrients, harbor insects and diseases, and, on occasion grow tall enough to shade your flowers and plants. Change the water in your bird bath regularly, and keep it filled. Standing water is less healthy for the birds, and may become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.

J. Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living:

"The time to make friends is before you need them."


"Although September 11th was horrible, it didn't threaten
the survival of the human race, like nuclear weapons do".
Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Fair, rather warm (1, 2, 3) and showers (4, 5). Fair and warm (6, 7, 8, 9) with heavy rain in the southern part of the region (10, 11, 12). Fair and warm again (13, 14, 15) with more showers and storms (16, 17) fair and warm (18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23) with still more showers (24, 25) with the month ending with fair and cooler weather (26, 27, 28, 29, 30).

Full Moon: September’s Full Moon is most famously known as the Harvest Moon. It is the Full Moon that falls closest to the Autumnal Equinox. During this time, the moon would rise very soon after the sun would set on several successive days, giving the farmer a few extra hours of ‘light’ and a little more time to finish up their daily chores. This year, the Autumnal Equinox will occur on Saturday, September 22nd and will signal the beginning of Autumn. The Full Moon closest to that date will occur on Thursday, October 5th and is therefore, the Harvest Moon of 2018.

Special Notes: The Autumnal Equinox occurs on Saturday, September 22nd. The 2019 Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack will be on newsstands and at popular retailers throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region the week of September 7th. Save some time and go to www.almanack.com, order a copy today, and have it delivered right to your front door! Also, consider taking advantage of our very popular 3-year subscription. It guarantees no price increase and will deliver The Almanack with no charge for shipping for the next 3 years. Or become a Friend of The Almanack (FOTA) and get access to our new on-line digital version of not just one but TWO editions of your favorite almanac, receive great pricing on hardcopies, and so much more. Great deals for a great almanac!

Holidays: Labor Day falls on the first Monday of the month which is September 3rd in 2018. Citizenship Day is observed on Monday September 17th, Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday, September 9th, and Yom Kippur begins on Tuesday, September 18th.

The Garden: Make a long-range plan to gradually convert your current landscape to the one you desire. Don’t forget to consider what your flower garden might need. Plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost. Don't pull out any ornamental plantings until you have the time and resources to replace them. Start taking cuttings of your annual plants to bring indoors and carry through the winter. Geranium, coleus, fuschia, and other plants do best when stem cuttings are rooted and kept in pots indoors through the winter. Be sure to place pots where they receive plenty of light. Bring summer vacationing houseplants back indoors while the windows are still open. Inspect every plant very closely for any hitchhiking pests!

J. Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living:

"Be an important part of the community in which you live by helping to make it a better place each day."


"The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky."
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch:  Fair and mild (1, 2) with heavy rain, storms in the southern part of the region (3, 4, 5); fair and cool (6, 7, 8) with more showers mainly in the south (9, 10). Fair and cool again (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) with yet more showers in the south (17, 18, 19). Cloudy, cool (20, 21, 22, 23) with rain and possibly snow in the north (24, 25, 26); fair and colder (27, 28, 29) with more rain and some snow in the north (30, 31).

Full Moon: October’s Full Moon with occur on Wednesday, October 24th. The name traditionally given to October’s Full Moon is Hunter’s Moon because of the extra light it provided many Native Americans who were able to extend their hunt for food into the early evening. It was also referred to as Moon of Falling Leaves and Yellow Leaf Moon and by the Cree Tribe because many of the trees lose the last of their leaves during the month and because of the many leaves turning that color during October. It also been known the Big Feast Moon because of the bountiful harvests and Fall celebrations going on at this time.

Special Notes: Take advantage of the many autumn celebrations across the Mid-Atlantic Region. Check local newspaper for ones to be held nearest you and make plans to attend with the whole family. Many have contests for the best scarecrow or Jack O’ Lantern carving. This is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your children and help develop their imaginations and express their creativity (and your own, too!). National Fire Prevention Week in 2019 is October 7-13. Make sure all basic items such as flashlights, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and escape ladders are functional and ready to go if needed. Remember to get your flu shots early this year!

Holidays: Columbus Day falls on Monday, October 8th and United Nations Day is celebrated on Wednesday, the 24th. Halloween falls on Wednesday, October 31st.

The Garden: One last effort at weeding will help to improve the appearance of your garden throughout the winter. Any weed that you can eliminate from the garden this Fall will possibly prevent thousands of weed seeds from sprouting in the garden next Spring! Mulching Fall planted perennials will keep the soil warmer longer, allowing root growth to continue. The longer your house plants were allowed to remain outside in the Fall, the more shock they will go through when they are finally moved indoors. If you haven't brought them in yet, do it now!

J. Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living:

"Keeping one’s eyes, ears, and mind open but mouth closed often leads to a more thorough understanding of life’s problem."


"Falling leaves on the grass in the November sun
bring more happiness than the daffodils"
- Cyril Connolly (1903-1973

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Snow in the northern part in the region, rain in the south (1) with fair and cold weather to follow (2, 3, 4, 5). Heavy snow in the north, showers in the south (6, 7, 8); fair and cold again (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17) with more snow, mainly in the south; fair and much colder (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29) with light snow (30).

Full Moon: November’s Full Moon will occur on Friday, November 23rd. Many Native American tribes have called it both Dying Grass Moon and Falling Leaf Moon because of the colder days and heavy frosts killing off most of the grasses and almost all of the leaves have fallen during this month. And because of the high winds that would sweep through many regions this time of year, many other tribes have called it Big Wind Moon.

Special Notes: Remember to ‘fall back’ on Sunday, November 4th at 2 a.m. when Daylight Savings ends for 2018.

Holidays: Elections are traditionally held on the first Tuesday of November. This year, they will be held on Tuesday, November 6th. Please remember that every vote counts! It is most important, now more than ever, to remember that this is the time for your voice to be heard. Sunday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day when we honor all of our military service branches. We must never, ever forget the sacrifice that millions of servicemen and women have made in the past and especially those who continue to serve, many who are in harm’s way. Without their service and dedication, we would not have the freedom to create our own destiny, speak our minds, or practice the religion of our choice. Celebrate Thanksgiving this year on Thursday, November 22nd with family and friends. We all have so much to be thankful for and we should carry that thankfulness beyond the holiday season.

The Garden: Even though lawns rest in winter, they still need all the winter sunlight they can get so don’t put away the rake until all of the leaves and pine needles have fallen and you can remove them. Keep watering until the ground temperature reaches 40 degrees F.

Now is the time to start those forced bulbs that were placed in a cool area in August or September. If you've decided to store your bulbs indoors for the winter, try storing them in a pail filled with sawdust after they have dried off from being in the ground. Pot up some spring flowering bulbs for indoor color during the winter. Store the pots in a cool, dark place, until new growth emerges from the soil, and then move them to a bright window.

Winter heating dries the air out in your home considerably. Help your house plants survive by misting them or placing the pots on a pebble filled tray of water to ensure adequate humidity and moisture. Take the time to organize, clean, and sharpen your garden tools. Keep them from underfoot, cleaned, and sharpened and they will be ready to go come Spring.

John Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living

"Do not regard liberty and freedom so lightly that you forget its value and take it for granted



"I heard the bells of Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good will to men!" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1802-1882)

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Snow, mainly in the northern part of the region (1); fair and cold (2, 3, 4) with Nor’easter, heavy snow (5,6,7). Fair and very cold (8, 9, 10, 11)with another Nor’easter, heavy snow (12, 13, 14, 15). Arctic cold wave (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24) with snow, stormy, mainly in the south (25, 26); fair and cold (27, 28, 29) with more snow in the south (30, 31).

Full Moon: The Full Moon for December occurs on Saturday, December 22nd. Many Native Americans referred to December’s Full Moon as Cold Moon (for obvious reasons!). It also has been known as the BEAVER MOON and sometimes Ice-Forming Moon because beavers are quite busy trying to complete their dams and lodges before winter sets in and because ice starts to appear on lakes and ponds at this time of year.

Holidays: In 2018, Hanukah begins at sunset on Tuesday, December 2nd, the Winter Solstice occurs on Friday, December 21st, Christmas falls on Tuesday, December 25th, and Kwanzaa begins on Wednesday, December 26th. However you celebrate, enjoy time with family and friends and resolve to keep that joyful and giving spirit alive throughout the entire coming year! New Year’s Eve falls on Monday, December 31st. Consider attending a First Night Celebration this year. If your town or municipality doesn’t hold one, go to www.firstnight.com/cities to find a celebration nearest you. It is a safe way to enjoy a family-oriented evening of fun, food, and entertainment on the very last/first night of the year.

The Garden: With most of the clean up behind you, now enjoy a rest! The days are becoming too short and getting colder to push to do any more things outdoors. Live Christmas trees are still a tradition in some homes. Check it’s freshness by tapping the branches. Very few needles should fall. Stroke the branches to make sure the needles are resilient and not brittle, have an aromatic fragrance, and good green color for the species. Before bringing the tree indoors, cut 1-inch off the bottom before placing in the water receptacle, and fill it with ½ cup regular 7-up plus 1-quart water or tree preserver. It is never too soon to start planning for next year. Go to www.smartgardener.com/ for a free online vegetable garden layout tool that will help you to successfully grow healthy and tasty food.

John Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living

"It’s not the size nor cost of the gift that makes it meaningful, but the thought that goes into its selection."