August 20, 2014

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Local Columnists

Strange and weird facts
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:29 AM



By Nancy Whitaker

Are you constantly searching for weird, random facts to make you chuckle? I admit that I do love to hear and read about strange and unusual people, places and things. So, certain topics intrigue and fascinate me.

For some reason the other day, a friend asked me if I knew that a turtle could breathe out of both ends? I thought to myself, “Ha! Ha! There is no way I am falling for that.” However, inquiring minds want to know, so, I took it upon myself to “Google” the topic; sure enough, turtles have that unique ability.

True Thanksgiving comes without cost or wealth
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:54 AM

By Jim Langham

One of the great sights of 2013 occurred recently when we visited our granddaughter, Kirsten, right after our son purchased a different house. When we arrived, she came running to the door and insisted on giving us a tour.

I’m sure that it’s no surprise to anyone that Grandpa Langham carries his trusted camera with him when he visits with Kirsten. In fact, her understanding of that was clearly demonstrated that night when she took us to her new room. She jumped on the bed, kicking her feet as they dangled, flashed a giant smile and said, “Grandpa, cheese!”

EPA proposes reducing biofuels mandate
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:53 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

The Obama Administration Friday proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nations fuel supply for the first time, acknowledging that the biofuel law championed by both parties in 2007 is not working as well as expected.

Cornucopia: Giving thanks for the harvest
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:52 AM


By Kylee Baumle

Turkey, cranberry salad, pumpkins (and pies made from them!) – these make us think of Thanksgiving, and so does a cornucopia. I’m not sure my kids would know just what a cornucopia is, although I know they’ve seen it. They’d probably just call it a basket of fruits and vegetables.

What exactly is a cornucopia anyway? Why the unusual name for an unusually shaped container of edibles? And what does it have to do with Thanksgiving? I decided to do a little sleuthing to find out.

The woes of a turkey
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:52 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

I love Thanksgiving and everything about it. Being thankful to God for our blessings, a big turkey dinner and seeing family members is all a part of this special day.

We all know the stories about the first Thanksgiving and how the Pilgrims celebrated. In November, 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford wanted to have a feast, so he invited the colonists and their Native American allies, which included the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit.

Let's get the party started
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:33 AM



By Nancy Whitaker

If you are like me, you will find any excuse to “have a party.” I remember when I was little, I would sit my doll (I only had one) on a chair up to a little table, set out my little tea set and serve myself and my doll water. To me that was having a party.

When I started school, there were all kinds of little parties to celebrate the different holidays. I remember being in grade school and having Halloween parties. What fun it was to get dressed up in a costume and parade around to the other classrooms.

'Tis The Season
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:33 AM

By Kylee Baumle

For over a week now, I’ve seen Christmas decorations and heard Christmas music in a handful of stores. I’m not irritated by it like some people are, maybe because I’m a procrastinator extraordinaire and anything that attempts to jump-start me at such a major event on the calendar is probably a good thing.

The garden year goes by a slightly different calendar, dictated by the weather and daylight hours. For those of us who live up here where the four seasons are distinctly different from each other, the growing period pretty much comes to a halt after a hard freeze.

The Eastern Kingbird
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:32 AM


By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

This time of year, nature creates some of the most beautiful array of colors and blending variations of the color chart. The Nature Center is alive with bird activity this fall, as I am noticing a dozen or so Eastern Kingbirds.

Well named, kingbirds are highly territorial and aggressive, and are often seen badgering crows, raptors, and any other large bird that overflies their domain. I witnessed this because they chased off some sparrows, as it looks like the sparrows were too close.

Christmas shopping in September works best for me
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:31 AM

Christmas shopping in September works best for me

By Joe Shouse

I admit that I do not enjoy Christmas shopping. Hearing all the commercials about the upcoming Black Friday sales that have turned into Thanksgiving Thursday sales – and I’m still not excited. I do not plan to cut short the family feast or set the alarm for the middle of the night in order to save a few dollars. I did that several years ago when I was younger and more energetic and I am not so sure I saved all that much. So today, a little wiser and still broke, I feel my rest is more important than a bargain.

Snakes are gone for now
Thursday, November 14, 2013 9:58 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist, Paulding SWCD

Working on the wetland area this fall has gotten me to wonder, where have the snakes gone? Now, I am not wanting to see any, because those creatures just give me the creeps!