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Good stress? Never heard of it

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reading the daily horoscope is always good for a laugh, especially when it predicts wonderful romantic encounters plus great wealth and adventurous travel. Mine for Oct. 15 expounds on stress, noting, “You’ve probably heard that there is good stress and bad stress. However, just now, you’d be wise to avoid both kinds. Take the measures […]

Life doesn’t always go how we plan

Thursday, October 9, 2008

To paraphrase the famous lines from Robert Burns’ To a Mouse poem: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. (If you want the Scottish brogue version: The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang a’ft agley.) Today’s plans were to play outside after first writing the column, maybe getting some […]

Weather woes: The other shoe dropped

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In the column for the Sept. 11 edition, I wrote about all the scary storms everywhere else and hoped the other shoe would not drop. Well, didn’t it drop! When our area received microbursts and wind gusts upward of 60 miles per hour (or more some say), it is really frightening. And the odd part […]

Walking, resting and visiting at the Canfield Fair

Thursday, September 11, 2008

With the scary hurricanes and scary tornadoes and scary severe thunderstorms swirling all around us, we keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak, and hopefully by the time you read this, we’ll still be waiting. Amidst all of this, I found a lovely quotation that should give us pause, and to […]

A pet owner’s nightmare

Thursday, August 28, 2008

They were such an unlikely pair, but pair they were. Playing together. Sleeping together. Eating together. They were Hamilton, 70 lovable pounds of boxer mix, and Winston, maybe 8 pounds of Jack Russell terrier, a bundle of lovable, feisty, endless energy. Winston was boss. No one ate until Winston finished his meal, not even Jesse, […]

New technology not always easy

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Long before November, the television’s remote or its mute button or both will self-destruct. With my help. Witness the gag reflex for the explicit commercials for what should be very personal problems for men and women, invariably aired at supper time. Hit the button. And now pre-election political come-ons for both parties are repeated over […]

Enjoying two- and four-legged friends

Thursday, July 17, 2008

“A funny thing happened on the way to …” and it should continue “the Forum”, but in this case, it was the recycling center. Happily, the center is only about a block from me, and I recycle everything possible, so I make the trip about once a week. (And I am always appalled at the […]

House guests provide inspiration

Thursday, July 3, 2008

If there is one thing that will get you off your duff, whether or not you feel like it, it is the impending arrival of out-of-town guests. Suddenly, your reasonably clean house and reasonably tidy barn look filthy, your just-mowed lawn seems to have turned into a hay field, your adequate supply of food and […]

Finding sanctuary in these 8 acres

Thursday, June 19, 2008

These 8-1/2 acres I have managed to save from almost wall-to-wall development represent such a small refuge, but refuge it is, and I constantly marvel at the variety of wildlife that has found it. Here I can blink back at the fireflies over the pasture at dusk so it resembles a trackless city. Here I […]

Childhood memories swirl in spring

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Like a breaking floral wave, the locust blossoms frothed and foamed in the breeze, their inimitable fragrance beckoning bees whose humming was an audible drone. In our back yard at home, when the grass stretched down the little grade to Yellow Creek, there were maybe six towering locust trees and when they were in flower, […]

Good grammar is never out of style

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The extremely heavy book in my lap as I write this column is titled National Encyclopedia of Business and Social Forms and Embracing the Laws of Etiquette and Good Society. Written by James D. McCabe and printed by the Home Publishing Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1882, it contains 838 pages. This particular copy, according […]

Flowers and birds are a bit mixed up

Thursday, May 8, 2008

No matter your opinion of the late but unmourned winter — since this is a family publication we’ll not offer our thoughts — it would seem that every flowering shrub, tree, bush and even traditional spring flowers believed it was the best ever. Maybe we’re mistaken, since the winter seemed so endless, but didn’t everything […]

It’s about time: Spring finally here

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Every spring, this column is committed to bring you in poetry the scent of hyacinths as you read once again the advice of an old saying: If thou of fortune be bereft And in thy store there be but left Two loaves: sell one, And with the dole, Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul … […]

Waste not want not in ‘hard times’

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Whatever happened to the March lamb? Did the ferocious March lion have lamb for lunch before slinking back to his lair, growling and lashing his tail as he went? Do you remember my warning after January’s benign presence that somewhere down the road Mother Nature’s payback would take place, and I was right on the […]

Searching for sights and sounds of spring

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Before launching a paean to spring — surely it is here by now — I must express fervent thanks to readers and friends who took the time and trouble to send me condolences about the Feb. 26 death of my sister, Barbara.

On My Mind: The animals know spring is near

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If ice storms weren’t so frightening and dangerous (please, God, don’t let the electricity go off, don’t let the trees and wires fall down, etc.!) they’d be beautiful. I’m sure the folks in northern Trumbull County saw nothing beautiful in their damaging storm this week, but our area was spared the problems and had no […]

On My Mind: Paying respects to the good times

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It usually began this time of year. On my every-Saturday-night telephone calls to my sister in New England, I would ask, “When are you coming?” and she’d laugh and we knew her annual summer visit was still a long way away, but we’d still look forward to it. But as Barbara and I both aged, […]

Longing for spring in a crazy world

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just think: Spring, by the calendar, is only three months hence. And isn’t it sweet to have those few extra minutes of daylight each day, even though the vernal equinox still slumbers? Meanwhile, we must all endure Old Man Winter’s wrath along with trying to keep warm, keep the pipes from freezing and despite having had the fireplace chimney relined several years ago, I still can’t summon the courage to light a fire.

Closing the door on the holidays

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Make no mistake: down the road, we will pay for the prolonged January thaw which blessed us for so many days.

New Year’s Eve not what it once was

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Time has a way of running out this time of year, and with horror I realized this morning – the day after Christmas – that a column had to be in by 10 a.


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