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New Mexican (Newspaper) - August 1, 1999, Santa Fe, New Mexico Sunday August 1 1999 THE NEW MEXICAN E3 Group celebrates year of bolstering happiness The Dallas Morning News Pam Johnson and her Secret Society of Happy People are trying to bring happiness out of the By DAVID FLICK The Dallas Morning News DALLAS If Pam Johnson has learned one thing over the last year its that some people hate happiness During that founder of the Secret Society of Happy People has been cursed on nation al television received veiled tele phone threats at home and partic ipated in a very public dispute with columnist Ann Landers It isnt always wellreceived You tell people about the organi zation and they roll their eyes she said But I dont mind the hostility That tells me theres a need for the The society which Johnson said has about 800 duespaying members nationwide will cele brate its first anniversary Aug 8 with a proclamation of Admit Youre Happy Day and a small reception at Johnsons apartment complex p the Dallas suburb of Coppell Its purpose is to organize and encourage the openly happy people who often are mocked and taunted by their peers and Johnson believes sometimes harassed in the workplace For a year members receive a Tshirt lapel pin bumper sticker subscription to the society newsletter and a per sonal pen pal Johnson 33 a publishers rep resentative and parttime moti vational speaker said the anti happy climate is partly fostered by the selfhelp industry which she said fosters Nonetheless the societys litera ture borrows some of the language of victimization A society pamphlet for exam ple said the group is dedicated to the right of people to be happy and strives for the day when happiness will be an open way of We try to bring happiness out of the Johnson said She encourages her members to concentrate on the simple plea sures in life and to go out of their way to share them with friends There are 100 12step programs that support your she said But theres nothing to if you went to a Sonic this afternoon and had a great lemonade or you had a great golf shot and you want to talk about And what has Johnson got to be so happy about at this partic ular moment You know what I like about July Cherries You can go to a supermarket and the cherries are just now at their she said John Probst a member in the central Texas town of Early said he feels empowered by the sup port of other happy people Its good to have an affirma tion of what I feel thatIm not the only one to feel that he said Its good to know that its acceptable to Jim Wilson a Texas veterinar ian said he joined because he supports the groups spread thehappiness philosophy He does his part he said by clipping photos of students sin gled out by the local newspaper for academic or athletic success He has the photos laminated and sends them to the students par ents with an anonymous note offering congratulations If you do something nice and the person doesnt know where it comes from it adds a little hint of he said But anonymity also serves as protection Sometimes its best not to wear happiness on ones sleeve he said I try not to be too he said You can be happy and pleasant at the same Which is more than can be said of some of their adversaries Johnson said that when she appeared on the ABC television program Politically Incorrect last spring some of the guests turned angry and hostile toward her You would have thought the topic was she said There was so much cursing one of the producers told them Please remember were owned by Johnson said happiness has become uncool for a variety of reasons besides the previously mentioned selfhelp movement including television promotes conflict and commercialism encourages people to feel unhap py with their lot in life But she hastened to add that even happy people have their off days We dont expect you to be happy all the time There are days when you stay in and eat a gallon of HaagenDazs and watch sad she said I think theres some people who say Youre telling me I have to be and its not like Still Johnson contended that people have been reprimanded for being openly happy in the workplace In January she issued a news release that the society was joining forces with the ACLU to protect employees freedom of speech Lew Maltby director of the ACLU office of employment rights in Princeton said his organization has received no complaints of discrimination against happy people The fact of the matter is that youre more likely to be discrim inated against if youre gay or fat than for something like he said Perhaps as a small measure of success Johnson is beginning to persuade a few people from the other side Earlier in the decade Milford City Secretary Sandra Smith was one of the organizers of the Ellis County Texas towns highly publicized and now defunct Grouch of the Year contest Smith now thinks the Secret Society of Happy People is a good idea Most of us fall into the she said I people how theyre doing and they start telling you all of their problems Everybodys a complainer these Cucumber needs a lot of work that pays off nicely Sweet success in the garden comes in an amazing assortment of fruits and vegetables many of which are grown as vine crops some sprawling and requiring a great deal of space others more compact and fitting easily into the limited space offered by a small garden In my garden Sweet Success comes in the form of a cool hybrid cucumber that clings and climbs and produces fruit from midJuly until frost Cucumbers are botanically a fruit in the same plant family Cucurbitaceae as melons squash pumpkins and gourds When given proper care they reward the gardener with a grat for soups sal ads sandwiches and of course pickles So prolific are cucumber vines that only four or five plants are recommended to supply a family of four throughout the summer That said Ill admit to planting for just the two of us three hills a cluster of three plants of the burpless Sweet Success Burpee Seeds 80088814477 and another three hills of Home made Pickler which Park Seed 8008453369 touted as just the ticket for crisp delicious pickles with that authentic homemade They will indeed be measured against JAN HALE BARBO Garden Palette those my mother has made and shared through the years Cucumbers do best when planted in full sun in a well worked well drained soil containing an abundance of organic materials I grow them in a raised bed filled entirely with finished compost They are especially sensitive to cool tem peratures so the ground must be thoroughly warm before trans plants are set out or seeds are sown For the earliest fruits seeds may be started indoors in peat pots three or four weeks before the last frost date Sow two or three seeds in each container and when each seedling has pro duced its second set of leaves snip out all but the sturdiest plant leaving only one in each container When danger of frost ispast and seedlings are three or four weeks old transplant into the garden container and all with as little disturbance as possible to the tender root system Pro tect the seedlings during our cool spring nights with translu cent caps available at garden inverted boxes or bas kets removing the covers in the morning before the sun gets hot I skip the peatpot hotcap routine and sow cucumber seeds directly to the garden in mid May because many of the hybrid cultivars mature in as little as 50 to 65 days from sowing Soil warmth as well as weed suppression and moisture con servation is aided by the use of plastic mulch in the planting area A black plastic garbage bag spread on the prepared soil and secured with bricks or other weights makes an ideal site for growing cucumbers and has the added advantage of warming the soil for an earlier planting Slice the plastic with a knife at proper intervals then set transplants into place or sow seeds Another advantage to growing plants in plastic mulch is that developing fruit will be protected from con tact with soil bacteria and soil insects Cucumbers are shallow rooted andshould be watered frequent ly to a depth of at least 6 inches In the absence of black plastic mulch with a thick layer of organic matter to retain soil moisture Uniform moisture is essential for good production form and taste Uneven moisture results in bitter misshapen fruit called The wandering vining cucum ber is easily trained onto a trel lis fence or tall tomato cage where space is limited Such a method is especially recommended for the longfruit ed varieties growing to a length of 6 or more inches for it helps to produce straight cucumbers Both male and female flowers are produced on each plant and the first few flowers to appear are often male The blossoms fall off and no fruit is formed Not to worry Female flowers will soon develop and once polli nated by bees are easily distin guished by the tiny fruit buds seen at the base of each flower petal Long and narrow slicingtype cucumbers which can also be pickled are fully mature when they are dark green and reach a length of 6 to 10 inches long They should be harvested before the seeds are fully formed and when the flesh is firm and crisp Left too long on the vine cucum bers become bitter and the bit terness is usually concentrated in the skin or directly beneath it Picklers mature when they are only 1 inches to 3 inches long Cornichons such as Vert de Massy The Cooks Garden 800 are tiny French cucumbers bred for making whole small pickles To keep cucumber vines pro ductive harvest often stripping the vines of mature cucumbers every two or three days QQQ The Santa Fe Master Gardener Associations hotline 4714711 is open 9 to noon each Mon day Call for free advice on any gardening problem Jan Hale Barbo can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Residential Refuse Bags July 12August 6 re there too wm y hear Everyth ith iday August 20 Saturday September 4 th To reserve yoUr space or for more information call 9863O82 THE SANTA FE NEWvMEXICAN Years 18491999 Everybody Reads GETYOUR THE HALLS Pick Up Your Refuse Bags 9 to 6 July 12August 6 Monday through Saturday DeVarsas Center and Villa Linda Mall To set your refuse bags look for the Bag Distribution Center at DeVarsas Center at the entrance to the Galleria or Villa Linda Mall on the Mervyns end next to Para Ninos and Rite Camera and present the coupon from your July residential aty Refuse and Sewer bill SflRTfl f fiEfiUTIFUL A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION Questions Call Solid Waste Management at 4737207 Well see you at the mall THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN
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