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Columns

  • The great American Dream

    I interviewed Annie one summer ago.
    She was getting her hair and make-up done, along with her grandma Fran, in preparation for a long-awaited trip to New York City.
    Annie had been cancer-free for several years. The Make-a-Wish foundation was finally making good on its promise of a trip and makeover for the 17-year-old.
    She was a quiet girl.Wouldn’t talk about her mom much; her grandma was her legal guardian now.
    Annie told me she wanted to be an advocate someday and help other children who had cancer, children who came from broken homes.

  • Independence Day celebrates struggle for ‘perfect union’

    This 4th of July marks the 235 anniversary of America’s independence from British colonial rule.
    The Continental Congress declared the 13 colonies free and independent states and absolved any allegiance from Great Britain.
    However, just six months prior, this thought was inconceivable. Congress had previously met only to regress their grievances with the British government. What changed this and what did the Declaration bring forth?

  • Pickin’ time is just fine when there’s veggies on the vine

    Where did this month go? It’s the end of June, already. Well, don’t worry. We still have plenty of growing time. Things really are growing. Rains have been so frequent it’s been tough to get in the garden to weed. Consequently, I have a huge companion crop of weeds.
    Those of us who work and garden are always battling the weeds. Seems like when I do have time the weather isn’t cooperative. I keep trying to get my newspaper and straw down but when I have the time off, it storms. Tough to lay newspaper in the wind.

  • Words from the wise

    Yesterday, I turned 22.
    That’s a few years shy of a quarter of a century, definitely enough life experience to justify doling out my infinite wisdom.
    Especially to my 10-year-old self.
    I don’t think I’m the only one who wishes she could go back in time, look her younger twin in the eye, and explain those mysteries of life that, of course, have been opened to us as all-knowing adults.
    But in honor of my newly acquired sageness, here are some tips I wish I could tell a younger me:

  • Sign up now for your county business license

    As we approach July, I thought it was appropriate to the county business license.
    In 1987 the fiscal court adopted an ordinance that imposed business license fees for the privilege of engaging in a business or profession in Anderson County. The ordinance was last revised in February.

  • Veggies in growth mode, so add fertilizer

    It’s official; summer is here. I’d like to repeat my request that we all ask for an inch of water a week.
    Gardens put a lot of food on the table and blessed rain makes it possible. Weather geek that I am, I just looked up the statistics for last summer in hopes of seeing a pattern to predict July’s weather.
    In May 2010, we had 9.22 inches (8.98 this year) and an average high temperature of 77 degrees (73 this year). By this time in June of last year we had 2.25 inches and ended up at month’s end with 5.29 inches.

  • When the heat’s on, look for water

    Living in Arizona for 23 years gave me a lot of insight into heat. As a park ranger I saw a lot of its effects. Visitors would always, always say, “but it’s a dry heat.” My reply, “so is an oven.”
    High heat takes a toll on all living things.
    If you work outside in this heat, my advice is to drink lots of water and eat ketchup and/or bananas. The potassium helps. If you have plants in the ground, then mulch and water is the best reviver.

  • Capitalize on tourism to invest in future

    We need to capitalize on tourism
    “The tourists are coming, the tourists are coming!”
    With all due apologies to Paul Revere, William Dawes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, let the rallying cry ring out; for indeed the tourist are coming.

  • Absorbing accents

    Accents cling to me.
    I don’t invite them in. It just happens, every time I move and anytime I constantly hear a specific regional dialect.
    Chameleons change color. Tigers stalk prey in striped fur to match their dark jungle habitat.
    Speech becomes my camouflage.
    As I adjust to living here, I’ve caught myself falling into a Southern dialect when I’m talking. Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t mind having a Kentucky accent.
    I’m just never consistent.

  • Know how and when to water your plants

    Since I am in full mowing mode and have finally begun to work in the garden, I get to appreciate all the sites, sounds and smells of the farm.
    Everything is green, wildflowers dot the landscape and it’s all totally beautiful.