July 30, 2014

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Local Columnists

Here we go again!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 2:59 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Just like summers past, this one is flying by. The tulips and daffodils are long gone and we’ve been enjoying the fruits of our labors in the veggie and fruit gardens for some time now.

Those with smaller gardens are likely just doing maintenance tasks like weeding and deadheading, while we who have more flower beds than sane people should, are still moving plants and laying down mulch.

And now it’s time to start planting again! Actually, sowing seeds for a fall harvest began a few weeks ago, but there are still many things that can be planted now if you are speedy about it. That means you have to do it NOW.

The 'tales and tails' of Tia
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 2:47 PM

By Jim Langham

It has been 12 years since our home experienced the loss of our last dog. Our Benji, which really did look like a Benji, had gone to his reward, the end of a lifetime chain of “departing dog broken hearts.”

Two of the children were out of the home and Jason was just a couple of years from graduating. A general consensus had been given that there would be no more training sessions with a new doggy and no more sorrow from departing dogs.

So I was quite surprised one Saturday late when I arrived home, opened the door and was met by two little creatures that both ran across my shoes and excused themselves.

It was a rather solemn greeting to the news that Jason and Joyce had made an executive family decision to adopt not only one, but two new pets into our home.

Hello? Hello?
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 2:45 PM


By Nancy Whitaker

Have you ever taken two empty tin cans, put a hole in the bottoms of them and tied a piece of string between them? This is what we used to call “walkie talkies.”

I bet kids today might make fun of our old fashioned way of trying to communicate with each other. However, let me say this, “Kids are sure more technically minded now than I am, or ever was.”

In this world of video games, iPods, Internet, and iPhones I think I may be getting left behind. I see my little grandsons playing with a hand held game or some type of iPad and they sure appear to know what they are doing.

Passing the test
Wednesday, August 07, 2013 1:52 PM


By Nancy Whitaker

I don’t claim to be overly smart, however, I do consider myself average. However, there are a lot of things I don’t know and a lot of things I don’t even care to know.

I did get fairly decent grades in school and in college. I was not an all-A student, but I usually came in with at least a B.

Have I become smarter through the years? Maybe not smarter, but probably gained a lot of experience. I have raised four kids and worked most of my life, so I like to think I know a few things.

That is until, I took The World’s Easiest Test. You only have to get four answers right to pass and I am sorry to report, I got a big fat 0.

True confessions
Wednesday, August 07, 2013 1:52 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Let’s get personal, shall we? When I worked in private practice as a dental hygienist in New Haven, Ind., I did my grocery shopping there before heading home. It never failed that I would encounter a patient or two and they’d not so subtly inspect what I had in my grocery cart.

Let there be candy or a box of Lucky Charms in there (and there nearly always was) and they couldn’t help themselves. I’d be queried, “You eat THAT?” And then there would be clucking and shaming because surely all dental personnel only eat healthy foods, right? I know this comes as a shock to most, but we’re normal people with bad habits.

I still have some work in me yet
Wednesday, August 07, 2013 1:51 PM

By Jim Langham

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a 99-year-old man across the line in Indiana who just retired from his management of a small rural store, just retired, as a matter of fact, two months ago, at the request of his family.

Howard Pharr claims to have retired after a 95-year career of working, beginning with field work on the family farm on the side of a farm in northern Georgia. That worked increased by the time he was 7 years old and his father was disabled with health problems.

When he launched out, he was still a teenager and he and his brother would haul produce from Georgia to Michigan, then load Michigan potatoes and return to Georgia. Along that route, there was a small “truck drivers’” restaurant with a young waitress named Ruffine serving coffee.

The dreaded doctor visit
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:34 PM

The dreaded doctor visit

By Joe Shouse

I hate going to the doctor. I know, hate is a strong word. My folks taught me at a very young age how wrong it is to hate people. So, let me again clarify what I am saying. I’m not saying I hate doctors, I am simply saying, I hate going to the doctor. Most men my age probably hate going to the doctor.

So, about three weeks ago I had to put my hate to the side and make the dreaded visit to my new friend. This trip was going to be a little different. Moving to a new area, I had to find a new physician willing to take new patients. I looked online and quickly found a handful of doctors in my area taking new patients. By the time I eliminated those whose name I could not pronounce and those who just didn’t look like a doctor I would trust, I finally settled on one.

Breaking news
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:34 PM


By Nancy Whitaker

Whatever happened to newscasters like Walter Cronkite or Paul Harvey? We have so many different ways of hearing and viewing the news. We have television, access to Internet news and yes, we still have radios and newspapers. We hear good news, bad news, old news and new news.

Every news station shouts out, “Breaking news. Breaking news.” I think, “Oh my, what just happened? Is there a major earthquake, tsunami or plane crash?”

Nine chances out of ten, the breaking news will be something that was reported two weeks ago. Chef Paula Deen, teen Trayvon Martin, Jody Arias and disgraced politician Anthony Weiner are some of the people recently paraded through the media.

My favorite flower
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:31 PM


By Kylee Baumle

In one of my garden writer online groups, someone recently posed the question, “What’s your favorite flower?” Most of us have one, but few of us want to be limited to a single choice, making this a difficult question to answer.

To everything there is a season, and so it is with flowers and favorites. Depending on the time of year and sometimes even the day that you ask me, I’m as fickle as a 13-year-old girl when it comes to declaring which flower I love best.

In earliest spring, it’s the snowdrop, for perhaps obvious reasons. It isn’t one with raucous colors, which you might think would appeal to me after a relatively colorless winter. But this flower that defies the elements and pops out of the ground and shyly shows its white petticoats decorated with little green hearts lets me know that life goes on and announces that spring will come.

Hazy, crazy daze of summer
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:56 PM

Hazy, crazy daze of summer

By Bill Sherry

Summertime has arrived in all its splendor and warmth, well, more like heat, more heat and humidity. Are you complaining yet? If you are complaining or even thinking about complaining about the heat, hear this:

1. July is almost over

2. It is less than a month until school starts

3. The last day of summer is less than two months away and you know what happens when the hazy, crazy summer ends, brrrrrr!