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In My Opinion

Opinions! We all have them PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 4:31 PM

By Joe Shouse

Last week I read that Pauline Phillips died. You might be thinking, who in the world is Pauline Phillips? And no, she isn’t the girlfriend, wife or mother of last year’s American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. This Phillips, you do know, or at least you have heard her name. Pauline made her living giving advice (her opinion) to many different people on every subject under the sun. She actually went by another name, that being Abigail Van Buren. Now, if that doesn’t help, then maybe you will remember her by another name: “Dear Abby.”

She was the original Dear Abby who lived to be 94 and married to her husband for 73 years. She gave her opinion in some 1,200 newspapers that was read by 9 million readers.

Honorary degree PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:55 PM

By Mary Beth Weisenburger

Honorary degree

Anyone who has college-aged children knows that their education does not come cheap. Our well-intentioned idea 21 years ago to have our children close together so they could be good friends resulted in two children in college at the same time today, doubling the attack on our pocketbooks. But take heart, college moms and dads: I’m here to tell you that your investment in your child’s future will pay off not just for them, but for you too, long before graduation day. They will be able to offer you invaluable pearls of wisdom that were gained through the experience of living on their own, being immersed in a culturally diverse environment and having unfettered access to the hallowed halls of academia.

Fighting the Shopposition PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:29 PM

By Mary Beth Weisenberger

I just returned from a shopping trip with my husband. Let me tell you, I’d rather stick a thousand needles in my eye than go shopping, especially with my husband, and he would rather do the same. But the recent Christmas season, and our busy schedules (aka our proclivity to procrastinate) compelled us to grab our coupons and sales flyers, gas up the van, put our names on the church’s prayer list and take off together for the Great American Mall Adventure.

Let it be known that I am not the stereotypical female shopper. I do not shop recreationally. When my girlfriends and I find ourselves at a mall, I usually end up in a nearby bookstore, reading (and possibly napping) in a corner chair with a stack of potential buys in my lap.

While I do love a bargain, and I enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone, I am basically a random, drive-by shopper who puts very little planning into my efforts. Long forays in stores make me go weak in the knees and cause my patience levels to drop to nonexistent. It’s too much stimuli for someone so scatterbrained, I just can’t focus.

Christmas birthday party PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:37 PM

By Joe Shouse

Christmas birthday party

First of all, let me wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. There I said it, Merry Christmas! Not Happy Holidays and not Seasons Greetings. Actually it’s rather simple. The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. So, I guess more importantly than saying Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings would be to say Happy Birthday, I mean, after all, we are talking about the birthday of the Savior of the World.

At our house or at our church, during the celebration of Christmas, it is the tradition to have a birthday party. A birthday party for the King of kings. There is something about having cake and ice cream and singing happy birthday to the one who gives us the reason for celebrating Christmas. To be honest, I like that more than celebrating my birthday that reminds me I am a year older.

Holiday halllucinations PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 5:10 PM

By Mary Beth Weisenberger

Holiday hallucinations

It’s that time of year again. The fall décor gets pushed aside by all things red and green, the holiday music kicks in over PA systems everywhere, and the gift catalogs jam the mailboxes. And I, as I do every season, get overtaken by a rush of sentimentality and initiate grandiose plans to create lovely and personal gifts for everyone on my Christmas list.

Let’s see. Will I make some aromatic homemade candles this year? Yes! I’ll buy some scented oil and wax tomorrow. What about the pretty layered brownie mixes in quart jars, all tied with ribbon and a hand-stenciled recipe card? They’ll be great gifts for the teachers. And as soon as I can, I need to cut and dry the perennials from my flowerbeds, so I can make beautiful wreaths and pressed flower arrangements for my sisters.

Fifty shades of black PDF Print E-mail

By MaryBeth Weisenburger

“Do you really need all these black shoes?” my husband asked innocently as we tackled the semi annual closet cleaning project the other day. Before I retorted something like “Yes! Do you really need all of those golf clubs??” I considered the advantages of crossing over to my husband’s way of thinking.

He owns one pair of black shoes. (Well, two if you count the pair that our 21-year-old absconded with and will probably never be seen again). When he wears dark pants, he reaches for his black shoes. It’s an easy, uncomplicated system that rarely results in mix-ups.

Back to School PDF Print E-mail
In My Opinion


School days are back in session once again for the year. The nostalgia of summer fun being over and fall creeping back in with a new school year brings back so many memories, even though it’s been over a decade since I last graced school hallways.

I remember being a kid and about two weeks before school started, I would start to get the nervous jitters. I worried about liking my teacher, if the classes would be too difficult, if I would have a hard time fitting in with my peers. The whirlwind of thoughts were almost constant in my mind during the last few days of summer vacation.

One of my favorite parts of anticipation for the new year was the school shopping. I used to have all my folders neatly labeled for each class, my pencils perfectly sharpened with matching erasers in my pencil case, and I always had the best crayons, scissors and glue. Little did I know, that after about the first week in school, my orderly supplies would become so disorganized even though I swore every year that I would change and keep everything perfect.

In My Opinion PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 1:27 PM

Bats in my belfry


As a country dweller, I am intimately familiar with the multitude of critters that take up residence on my property. I’m accustomed to (though not on especially friendly terms with) field mice, chipmunks, rabbits, deer, raccoons and even the occasional ‘possum. Thanks to my tom-boyish upbringing, I tolerate spiders (if you don’t count the big hairy kind) and have been known to call a mouse “cute” (as long as it isn’t darting out from under my feet. Then I use other words to describe it.) All in all, I am comfortable, if not resigned to, sharing my space on the planet with all God’s creatures, big and small.

Except for one: Bats.


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