Local Commentaries

Pickin’ ‘n’ grinnin’

“I’m a pickin’ ‘n’ I’m a grinnin’!” Remember that wonderful corny bit that Roy Clark and Buck Owens did on “Hee-Haw”? (R.I.P., Roy….) That was the backwoods version of Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh-In”, 1960’s precursors to Saturday Night Live) I’ve done a little ...

I Remember… (Part Four)

This last portion of my memories is about our Christmases after the children moved back home. It was great to have them at home for the holidays. It was also a blessing that they got to spend that time with their father since he passed young. Here I include a poem that helped me put things ...

Raise the roof

In the December 13 edition of the Times Observer, Josh Cotton covered the County Commissioners’ decision to commit to a $3,755,177 in repairs to the courthouse in ‘Addressing the court.’ I chose that headline, and like George Costanza’s “Jerk Store,” I thought of a better one ...

Last-minute Christmas gift ideas

To the rescue once again with last minute gift ideas for outdoors folks. No, not me. The wife, Jeri. Here is the reality of shopping for Christmas gifts during the last few days before Christmas. Yes, this is when do most of our shopping. Still, women do a huge majority of the hunting. Women ...

3 flowering plants for the winter

With the garden put to bed for the winter and our houseplants taking a well-deserved winter nap, we gardeners long to see a flowering plant. Fortunately, we have available in our garden centers three beautiful plants that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and available at a reasonable ...

What if…

What if it isn't about your skin color? What if it isn't about your ethnic background? What if it isn't about your religious beliefs, even deeply, deeply held ones? What if it isn't about your socio-economic status, or nationality, or gender? What if it's all about your attitude? You see, ...

I Remember… (Part Three)

This period involves the early years of my marriage. We lived in a trailer for the first five years. People used to tell me it was cozy, but I thought it was crowded. Before we moved out we had two children. I bought some old day beds that my husband made new side rails for and we put the ...

Afterthoughts

An occasional collection of vignettes from events and public meetings in Warren County that never make it into news stories because...well, you’ll see. Not half-full During a discussion of population in Warren County School District, experts were talking about the bell curve. While ...

Teachable moments

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Remember that? Did we really believe that words do not hurt? Words are pretty powerful, they can heal and they can hurt. What do you use your words for, healing or hurting? In today’s world, words are ...

A smaller, imperfect Christmas

Christmas decorating and baking, house prep and meal planning should be simple by now. I’ve been doing this countdown to Christmas for so many decades that I should have the process perfected. Forgeddabouddit. I’m lost as usual. I have no one but myself to blame. Isn’t our ...

Winter tips in caring for a person’s memory impairment

Winter is a hard time of the year for many of us. Slippery roads, lack of sunlight, less available fresh food, and the inability to sit outside are all limiting factors. For a person with memory impairment, these things can be exasperating. Caregivers may find the following tips useful in ...

If it aint fixed, break it

After moving away from Warren, whenever I found myself trying to explain to someone where I grew up, I sometimes feel as though I’m describing a Frank Capra film. It’s not uncommon for people to idealize their hometown, but since I’ve been back it’s really no exaggeration. But I ...

Visiting the UFO

My friend and I were out running errands when I said I had to stop at the United Fund office. “We’re going to visit the UFO?” he asked. Now I’ve been involved one way or another with the United Fund of Warren County for decades and have taken advantage of many opportunities to serve and ...

I Remember… (Part Two)

Once my great-grandparents died our Christmas customs changed. We still decorated the tree at great-grandpa's because my great aunt lived there. It was during this period that I was allowed to bring home the tramp art pieces I found in the attic. My grandfather refinished the two pieces. ...

Love/hate relationship with wildlife

I have to confess that I absolutely love the wetlands at the Audubon Community Nature Center. The swamps, ponds, and marshes provide everyday opportunities to see wildlife and plants that are hard to find in other places. There are muskrats swimming in the ponds, mink loping across the ...

Give yourself a gift

Forgiveness is one of those things that has always been “easier said than done.” Until I realized that forgiveness really has nothing to do about the other person and everything to do with myself. When we are angry with others for hurting us, we tend to harbor resentment and that ...

Assemblyman!

With the holiday season upon us, you may find yourself in need of a new piece of furniture or you may even find an unassembled gift under your Christmas tree. If that’s the case, take it from this recent three-time purchaser and assembler, you are in for hours of exhilaration. Actually, ...

Getting comfortable with uncomfortable

This past Thanksgiving is the first Thanksgiving I have been home with family in over 14 years. I tried a number of times in the past, but it never worked out. I have been looking forward to it ever since starting work here in June and I had a really nice time. A lot has changed over the ...

I remember…

Let me begin this series of articles with a prayer I found in a book I just read titled "Fame" by Karen Kingsbury. "God, please now my future see, make it clear where I should be. Open windows, close doors, not my will, my God, but yours." Amen. I pray that my memories of Christmas will ...