Stories by Janie Jenkins

First signs of spring are sneaking up

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snowdrops! A dandelion! A red-winged blackbird! A flicker at the suet! A purple crocus! Ten or more whistling swans — there is a new name for them but I like the old one better, crooning their way through leaden skies on leap day. A pair of geese grazing in the pasture in what looks like […]

Jack Frost pays a mid-winter visit

Thursday, February 23, 2012

At last! While we were sleeping and even the stars shivered, he finally came, bringing with him his brushes to paint an icy forest on the window. Who? Jack Frost, of course. The artist has been waiting for the disgusting (to him) warm days and nights to end so he can get to work. Every […]

Be alert and listen to your house

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Have you listened lately to your house, especially if it is an old house? Over the years you’ve learned to identify its creaks and cracks, its rattles and bangs, without becoming alarmed. You also know its smells, not just from the kitchen, and if a skunk is passing through.

Time for reminiscing and relaxing

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Now is the time to pop corn, drink hot cocoa (or beverage of your choice), play favorite music, read a good book — and fall asleep — at least that’s what happens here.

On My Mind: Looking forward to reaching summit

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Awaiting my morning wake-up call — Toby knows exactly when 8 a.m. comes — my mind rambles, and on this morning I reflect on what my imagination can create. (What would we do without a good imagination? It can make or break your day.)

Christmas elicits memories of bygone days, no matter how much time passes

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last December I saved a column from the Boston Globe titled “Merry Retro Christmas” and saved it because I thought it said everything about nostalgia and memories.

On My Mind: This holiday, give thanks for turkey

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This is the first Thanksgiving in many years that I won’t be cooking dinner, with all the trimmings. I’ve said all along I’d do Easter and Thanksgiving as long as I could and I’ve finally had to concede.

On My Mind: Gift-giving advice — avoid catalogs

Thursday, November 10, 2011

With the holidays lurking just around the corner — who needs to be reminded? All the stores, commercials, etc. have been reminding us since the Fourth of July.

Autumn leaves ready to take the stage

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mother Nature has already dismantled her art gallery and set the stage for her annual striptease. The performance is usually accompanied by wind music, sometimes as in the rattle of dry leaves — veils? — flung wantonly into the sky, sometimes without fanfare when raindrops keep the dancers grounded. Some veils lie in mosaic skirts […]

An anniversary I’d rather not celebrate

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This is anniversary month. It will not be celebrated or even observed. Don’t anyone dare to wish me happy anniversary! It was one year ago on Oct. 3 that a tumble — more like falling off a cliff — from my high bed in the middle of the night, changed the course of what is […]

Time to dig out the winter recipes

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How many times have you — the homemaker, not the housewife as today the homemaker can be any gender, married, single, with or without children — sat down to look for a special recipe you know is in this cookbook, or is it this one, maybe in this envelope … The first thing you know […]

On My Mind: You can learn a lot from the classifieds

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In Farm and Dairy’s Classified Advertising section — we used to call them Want Ads — there are always many intriguing headings. I enjoy reading the Dogs and Dog Supplies, Horses and Ponies, Hay and Grain, Miscellaneous and Wanted To Buy.

Fair is here again, thanks to hard work

Thursday, September 1, 2011

At last! All the suspense, all the practice, all the preparation and hard work are gone — well, not really — and the big day has finally arrived: the Mahoning County Fair, proudly known as Canfield Fair, is underway and as of this moment the fairgrounds are ready to be wall to-wall with people through […]

Sweet summer memories trump news

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Twenty-four years ago, when On My Mind was “born,” I promised myself I would try very hard to not dwell on the past in what I wrote because the present and the future are usually much more interesting. But in these troubled times, both the present and the future are almost too scary to be […]

Heat getting to you? We have it good

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Could be you’re tired of reading about the mundane happenings on this quiet island, and so I’m calling on my mother to rescue you.

Enjoy these lazy days of summer

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Now that summer has decided to stay for a while, we can quit worrying about whether it is too wet or too dry or too cold or too warm. Sit back, sip a cold drink, make potato salad and meatloaf or fire up the grill, whatever you prefer. Enjoy the fruits of your labors, literally and figuratively.

Summer, where are you going so fast?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Already morning sunlight is diffused and late afternoon shadows are longer sooner. At dusk, there is a spectacular show as the trees become the stage for fireflies that gather to perform their love dance, and the darker the night the brighter they shine. Just think: fireflies have been texting and sexting and have had GPS […]

On My Mind: Is the world getting more annoying?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It must be because of the “aging process” — med-speak for growing old — but little annoyances are doubly annoying.

Spring blooms overnight in Ohio

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Was it magic? Was it time-lapse photography? Was it a mirage? How is it that the thicket — my jungle to the west — was dark and bleak one day and by morning was swathed in a green veil? What spread the lawn with a duvet of purple violets and pushed smiling dandelions through sodden […]

Two poems for the spring season

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Safely tucked away in my wallet, the clipping is beginning to yellow but it only sees the light of day once in this mesmerizing season. And it has become a tradition for me to present it to you each April. If thou of fortune be bereft And in thy stone there be but left, Two […]


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About Janie

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.