April 24, 2014

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Local Columnists

When an annual acts like a perennial
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 2:20 AM

The title is a little misleading, in that a perennial is defined as a plant that dies above the ground during cold weather and grows back from the roots in spring. An annual doesn’t survive winter at all. But what about all those annuals that seem to survive year after year?

You know the ones; poppies, snapdragons, cosmos and even lettuce manages to make an appearance. Even though you didn’t plant them this spring, there they are, sometimes in greater numbers than you planted the year before.

There’s a long list of annuals that are notorious for self-seeding. After they’ve bloomed, if they’ve been pollinated by insects or the wind, and you don’t cut the spent blooms off, they’ll form seed pods and once those have matured, they’ll pop open and disperse their seed to the ground below.

Counting blessings
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 2:19 AM

Counting blessings

There is an old hymn called, “Count Your Blessings and Name Them One By One.” There are so many things in life we take for granted. Stop and think about some of them. There is the water we drink, the food we eat, our homes, schools, hospitals, jobs, churches, cars, and so much more. To me these things are blessings. But, on the other hand, there are so many small blessings we see every day that may not be noticed.

“Just look at that beautiful moon,” I have said many, many times. I have also made the comment, “Just think for billions of years, we have all watched the same moon.” I still am in awe of that moon God created.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 2:18 PM


Do you remember telling ghost stories when you were young? We used to gather around a fire at night, watching the fire and seeing who could either make up or tell the scariest story.

One of the favorite frightening tales we all loved to tell was that of “Little Johnny.” Of course, even though we knew the ending of the story, the element of surprise at the end never failed to make us scream.

I don’t know if kids even tell this “Little Johnny” story anymore, but it is really a classic. Of course, the story is always told better in the dark shadows with a full moon shining above.

Choosing plants for your garden
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 2:18 PM

By Kylee Baumle

My mom and I had a day of what we call nursery hopping last week. It was really my first time out shopping for plants, although that wasn’t the impetus for the trip to Toledo and back.

I wanted a bent willow chair and one of my Facebook readers told me a certain garden center there had a lot of them. They did and I purchased one.

Well, you can’t go to a garden center and not look at the plants. And few die-hard gardeners have enough will power to walk out of such a place without at least one or ten of them. I may or may not have been on the high end of the plant count.

18 hours symbolizes cancer journey
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 2:17 PM

It was an 18-hour allegory of all that mixes into a cancer journey at this year’s Relay for Life event held at the Paulding County Fairgrounds this past weekend.

Sunshine, rain, storms, light, darkness, fluctuating emotions, a walking journey and personal support from those surrounding us all combined to represent an allegory of life for a cancer victim.

Jillene McMichael, member of the Relay Advisory Committee, gave a heartfelt comparison of the ingredients that make up a Relay event with the journey of cancer survivorship, noting that the 18 hours of a Relay event is symbolic of life of a cancer victim.

Meyer's escape from prison camp
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:41 PM

By Jim Langham

The old adage that once you’ve been through a crisis, you can understand it better in the lives of others, would be a very difficult one for Bill Meyer, a holocaust survivor who lives in Geneva, Ind. to live out.

Most likely, there isn’t an individual around that went through what Meyer suffered while he was punished in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

Last Thursday, Meyer kept a packed house spellbound at the OSU Extension building, as he told those attending how he had been taken to a Westerbork, where he suffered from disease and, at the age of 13, saw his weight drop to 45 pounds during his two year stay.

Peonies are putting on a show
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:38 PM


By Kylee Baumle

As nearby Van Wert prepares to celebrate their annual Peony Festival next weekend (June 7-9), it’s shaping up to be a good year for their bloom display. A cooler than usual spring has delayed some flowering of earlier varieties and prolonged the bloom of mid-season flowers. Based on the celebrations of the recent past, this is a good thing for those hoping to see a variety of blooms while attending the festival.

Any festivals that are centered around flowers, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., and the Tulip Festival in Holland, Mich., are taking a chance that timing will be right for visitors to see the very thing that’s the cause for the celebration.

Swinging on a star
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:38 PM


Believe it or not, I have never seen a 3-D movie before at a theater, so we decided to go to see “Star Trek,” a 3-D movie, last Tuesday night. Let me say it was really amazing.

After we paid for our tickets and got our popcorn, we were given plastic 3-D glasses that would be picked up after the movie.

When the show began, we put our glasses on and the first thing a starship looked like it was coming straight at me. Of course I hollered and it took some getting used to, but I will say, the special effects in this movie were wonderful.

Tips for beginning gardeners
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:34 PM

By Kylee Baumle

This past week, I was interviewed by a major herb and vegetable plant company for a series of videos they’re doing and one of the questions they asked me was, “What is the one piece of advice you would give to a beginning gardener?”

In many ways, I’m still a beginning gardener myself, but because they asked me this question at this particular time of year, it was easy for me to give an answer: Don’t get in a hurry.

When I started taking an active interest in planting the vegetable garden, after years of my husband being in charge of it, I’d get in a hurry. The long winter had me chomping at the bit to get those seeds in the ground and growing. But to everything there is a season, you know.

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:33 PM

By Nancy Whitaker


When I was little I was scared to death of the “big bad wolf.” That imaginary wolf frightened me because I knew he had consumed Little Red Riding Hood as well as the Three Little Pigs. In fact, I used to have nightmares about the wolf knocking at our door and coming after me.

I was so frightened of him that I would hide every little book with his picture in it.