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Heavenly hydrangeas for the hot sun

Steve Smith, the Whistling Gardener, talks about sun loving hydrangeas that are easy to grow and in stock now.

Okay, maybe “hot” sun is a bit of a stretch for the northwest but it is very much true that there are forms of hydrangeas that grow just fine in our full sun gardens and when they come into bloom they remind me of puffy clouds hence the “heavenly” part. They fall into three categories.

By far the largest group is the PeeGee hydrangea which sports a cone shaped flower (or panicle as we call it in our trade) for several months in the summer starting as early as June. They usually start out white and mature to various shades of pink. There seems to be no end to the new introductions that can vary in their height and to a lesser extent degree of “pinkness”.

A cool drink on a warm day with choice of local microbrews and wine at the 2013 Mill Creek Festival

Our good friends at Washington Wine & Beverage Company are once again supplying the Mill Creek Festival Beer and Wine Garden with some handcrafted local brews served frosty cold, along with some great choices for those who prefer to sip a glass a wine.

Our good friends at Washington Wine & Beverage Company are once again supplying the Mill Creek Festival Beer and Wine Garden with some handcrafted local brews served frosty cold, along with some great choices for those who prefer to sip a glass a wine.

Welcome to the 2013 Mill Creek Festival

The 2013 Mill Creek Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 13th and 14th.

The Mill Creek Business Association has proudly produced the Mill Creek Festival for the past 12 years. The festival committee, formed entirely of volunteers from local businesses, devotes countless hours and resources to create an enjoyable event for our patrons and an opportunity for local companies to showcase their services.

The Festival would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Once again, Dan and Sue McNeely of North Creek Roofing are the title sponsors of the event. Please stop by their booth in the middle of Mill Creek Blvd and 161st, as well the booths of all our sponsors for that matter, and thank them for their support. In years that we are able to cover all the festival’s expenses, proceeds are invested back into the community. For example, just this year the Mill Creek Business Association has supported the Mill Creek Santa Parade, the Mill Creek Police Guild, the South Snohomish Honor Guard, the YMCA’s Invest in Youth Campaign, the Mill Creek Food Bank, Jackson High Football and the Mill Creek Forum Summer Concert Series.

World musician Scott Cossu to perform at 2013 Mill Creek Festival

Pianist Scott Cossu will play with drummer Steve Banks and multi instrumentalist (flute, bass flute, saxophone and harmonica) John Croarkin on the Main Stage at this year’s Mill Creek Festival.

Pianist Scott Cossu will play with drummer Steve Banks and multi instrumentalist (flute, bass flute, saxophone and harmonica) John Croarkin on the Main Stage at this year’s Mill Creek Festival.

The trio will play original compositions from Cossu’s latest album “Jazz & Blues,” which was recorded about a year ago. The music is energetic, according to Cossu, and if you haven’t ever heard the bass flute, he promises some nice selections that feature it. “I was pigeon-holed as a New Age musician, but this really kicks,” Cossu said. Given the scope of his nearly 40-year career as a composer, teacher and performer, it would be unfortunate for those who appreciate an array of musical styles to pigeon-hole Cossu.

Improve your health for free at the Mill Creek Festival

Attendees of the Mill Creek Festival have the opportunity to do something good for themselves at the Walgreens Way to Well Health tour bus, which will be open during the festival on Saturday, July 13, 2013.

Do you ever have a sneaky feeling that you should get your cholesterol checked, or maybe have your glucose level measured, but you just don’t want to take the time to do it?

A visitor to Walgreens Way to Well Health tour bus in Yuba City, California, was too busy to worry about preventative health. He didn’t have insurance to cover it, either. But he took the time to come to the bus to get free health screening tests, and he’s really glad he did.

He didn’t know what his levels were and didn’t have insurance to go to the doctor, so he was surprised to find that his cholesterol was over 300,” said Karen Mulch, a technician with the health bus. “We like those numbers to be under 200, so we gave him tips on how to decrease it, and literature on how important diet and exercise is. We didn’t expect him to come back, but three days later we had another event and he came back and asked to get checked again. He had changed his diet, so we checked his cholesterol and it was 50 points lower than just three days before! It just shows how changing your diet and doing a bit of exercise can change your levels rather quickly.”

Best New Band nominees "Michelle Taylor and the Blues Junkies" to play at 2013 Mill Creek Festival

Best New Band nominees "Michelle Taylor and the Blues Junkies" to play at the 2013 Mill Creek Festival.

July 13, 2013 Update

Michelle Talor and the Blues Junkies will perform on the Main Stage of the Mill Creek Festival on Sunday, July 14th at 1:30 pm.

Michelle Taylor is known by many in the Pacific Northwest because of her six-year gig with the Top-40 cover band, Expertease. As lead singer for the band, she quickly gathered a loyal fan base due to her outgoing personality, energetic stage presence, and loyalty to fans.

In six years, she rarely missed a performance, even singing through the final months of her pregnancy. Soon after giving birth to her son, Taylor began to look for new ground with her music. “I wanted to do something different vocally, to express myself more than I could when singing traditional top 40 tunes,” she said. “My voice has more of a blues sound, so I wanted to explore that.”

Juicing vs. Blending

Kate Towell discusses the benefits of both juicing and blending the light, fresh foods of the season.

Hey look what I found, my old Juice Man Jr. I bought this guy a few years back when I was doing a juice cleanse. You probably have noticed information and recipes for green juices and smoothies are popping up all over the place and they are becoming a more mainstream approach to healthy eating. I have to be honest, I never took to juicing the way I have to green smoothies.

I drink a smoothie every day. It has become part of my daily routine. I know there are people who love juicing but I found it messy and not as satisfying as having a smoothie. But hey, since I found my juicer when I was cleaning out the cupboards I took it as a sign to give juicing another try.

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