To begin this column ... I know it is past November, because my Christmas cactus has just finished blooming! I may have mentioned this before, but the beautiful blossoms just amaze me, simply because all the ones that I remember from my childhood bloomed in December and were beginning to fade by Christmas. I know, all things change, and I also know that new varieties of many sorts of items have to happen in order to keep the “buying public” interested in all things new. Were it not for these changes, farmers , gardeners of all kinds ... scientific horticulturalists would not be trying out “the newest” each planting season, to keep us excited. I plan to go on loving my confused, early blooming cactus, knowing that it was more than likely “the newest” in one of those years that I didn’t notice it was happening!! It loves where it lives, in that perfect spot just behind my corner sink with light from a north window ... plus, I can be sure that it will, once again, make me smile in May. In these days just before Christmas ... there are many of the newer varieties on sale, in varying colors. I love seeing them “showing their stuff” while it’s still so cold outside. I gave one as a gift just recently. I have also reconfigured some of my outdoor flower beds, and moved some of my favorite shrubs into an area where they “might” be safer from deer. Those beautiful critters can sure wreak havoc!