Local Commentaries

A moral felony

On June 3, 2014, I was crying on the floor of my dining room. I’d been a stay-at-home mom for two years, and my brain was slowly liquefying. My daughters had been up at 3 a.m. for at least three days. It was around 10 a.m., and as I sobbed into the carpet the girls took turns trying to ride ...

Four lures for a river boat

Few things on Earth are more pleasant than float fishing the Allegheny River in Warren County. This particular stretch of the river has a perfect mix of riffles and pools. Steep, forested hills rise from the valley floor. Wildflowers decorate the river banks. And, oh my, is the fishing ever ...

Preventing medicine error

The proper use of medications can help patients manage disease states, live longer, healthier lives and remain independent in their homes. The following tips can aid a patient in preventing medication errors. 1) Ask Questions and Disclose Information: Ask your doctor or pharmacist ...

Hay time

It is the season to make hay. I cannot help but notice how much the haying process has changed through the years. When my husband was farming he mowed his own hay. Since the farm was close to a valley the hay was not dry enough to cut until late morning. First, he'd milk the cows, come in ...

H.P. Lovecraft on Quaaludes

I love my kids’ drawings. They’re six, so everything they draw is at least vaguely terrifying. It’s so great. June is obsessed with writing and drawing. She has a lot of journals. Just like her mother. She is also a heinous pen snob. Just like her mother. Poor kid. Anyhow, she’s ...

You were the best boy

He was a good boy. He was the best boy, actually. Canine Officer Choper, of the Conewango Township Police Department, was laid to rest Tuesday afternoon while I successfully (but barely) managed to keep from ugly crying at my desk. Over the course of the past week, the Times Observer has ...

Easy to get that trophy scored now

For many decades Warren County may have been the poorest trophy big game county in Pennsylvania. No bucks, no bears near the top of the Pennsylvania Big Game Records. It got worse, of course, when comparing local big game animals to the Boone & Crockett or Pope & Young big game records. ...

Creature adventures

This is the time of year for everything – farming, gardening, mowing, planting, harvesting, equipment repairs, house projects, building projects, the list goes on and on. There is so much happening that it is hard to remember to simply take a break and enjoy the world. However, taking that ...

Shed: The focal point of any garden

The garden shed is one of the most charming focal points in any garden. It is in this little building the gardener accomplishes his many garden tasks. A rainy afternoon is perfect for potting up a small plant or cleaning and storing garden tools or flowerpots. The potting shed is also the place ...

Thanks Danny

Danny freakin’ Tanner. God, if I could somehow calculate the number of hours of my life I have wasted watching “Full House” from childhood to right this very moment, I would probably have enough time gathered up to do something really astounding and worthwhile. That being said, I’m ...

No trespassing,’ no more

Esther Newbold, whose spirit might well haunt her pioneer family’s former estate just south of the hamlet of Irvine where Brokenstraw Creek meets the Allegheny River, might be offended that her land is now visited regularly by hikers and hunters since it is now part of northwestern ...

An end or a beginning?

Graduation is upon us. College graduations have already taken place. High school graduations are coming up. Even preschoolers these days graduate so it is a process that all students relate to. I always think - is it a beginning or is it an end? I think that depends on the level of the ...

New parents

Richard and I are expecting. I know that will surprise some people but not our closest friends – they now how much we want this addition to our family. We’ve been waiting patiently for 15 months Finian, our baby boy, is due here next week. And no, I haven’t gained any weight with this ...

What a character!

Ever referred to someone with that term? Ever BEEN referred to like that? I have been, face-to-face, on a number of occasions, and who knows how many other times. I take it as a compliment. People see something unique, quirky, and usually fun in a “character.” And what about character in ...

The Terrific Twos

As I stood there, covered in regurgitated milk, that I can only describe as coming at me from a two-year old’s face at an unrelenting high velocity, I realized, as disgusting as that moment was, how incredible the Terrible Twos actually are. It has long been said that the Terrible Twos, ...

Busy summer? Try these short vacations

Vacations are all about getting away, seeing new things, doing fun things, recharging the body’s batteries. Vacations should be considered essential to a healthy life. Walking a harmonious path through life may depend on it. Vacations can be spiritual awakenings, or re-awakenings. A really ...

Willows

When I was little, I discovered the Flower Fairies. This seemed to be the perfect combination of fantasy and nature, and I was hooked. Still am, actually. I had a figurine of the Beech Fairy that hung from window. Still do. And a calendar of the fairies. And postcards. And a book. All of which ...

An army of ants

Help! I just found an army of ants. At first there were just a few walking across the counter on my Hoosier cupboard. At that point I took care to secure my sugar in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. I had battled ants before and lost. I investigated where I keep my chocolate ...

Motorcycle memories

Passing some motorcycles in a construction zone this week jogged my memory. I got my motorcycle license around 10 years ago. My dad had always had motorcycles when I was a kid and I’d enjoyed going for rides with him. But I wanted my own bike. I wanted to be the one driving it. Now, ...

Fun and games

William likes to play games. He also likes to win at games. He has never lost at 'Uncle Wiggily'. You know why? Because it is a game of chance. No skill (other than reading the cards, which he's very good at). I let him win that game, over and over, as often as we play it. Know why? Because ...