Category: Columns

An Homage to Hometown Happenings

by Kate B. Jerome No matter where my travels take me, I always seek out the local newspaper. I know. My smartphone easily provides more detail about a town than I will ever need. But the local paper does so much more. That’s because it fits the many pieces of the community puzzle together. Where else can you get a glimpse of what a citizenry most values and fears—all within a few recyclable pages? In the tiny town where I grew up, the local paper was a powerful tool—no doubt for many reasons beyond my young comprehension. However, I looked forward to the daily delivery for two simple reasons. First, I loved to read the personal stories—from tragedy to triumph—about the people in my own community. It was the first inkling I had that I might be part of something larger than the family who lived at 12 Parkview. Second, I couldn’t wait to hear the interesting dinner conversations that some tidbit in the paper was bound to spark. Of course, my favorites were the most heated discussions. And when my parents resorted to spelling out words? Well, let’s just say the training led to considerable success in my grade school spelling bees! Decades of educational publishing experience later, I know my hometown paper was just one arrow in the successful child-raising quiver my parents used. But it was...

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Protecting Your Pet from the Summer Heat

by College of Veterinary Medicine & Sciences, Texas A&M University Summer in Texas means more time to play outside, go swimming, and soak up the sun. However, warmer temperatures also mean that pets may be more susceptible to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. To help pet owners avoid these risks, Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, offered some insight. “Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are major problems for pets in the summer, especially in short-nosed breeds, such a pug or a bulldog,” Eckman said. “These conditions can occur during hot and humid days and even cooler days, if your pets aren’t accustomed to the heat.” Heat exhaustion is the early stages of a heat stroke and causes lethargy, vomiting, and weakness. Following continued exercise or exposure to heat, Eckman said a heat stroke can occur with more severe signs, including extreme lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and pale mucous membranes. This can lead to significant problems up to and including death if not recognized and treated immediately. Other dangers pets may face in the summer heat include paw pad burns from walking on hot concrete. If your dog is going to be active outside when it is hot, be sure to keep them off concrete or asphalt for extended periods of time. You can also provide your pet with other...

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It Seems to Me: Avoiding Calamities

by Pastor Steve Ellison   In Proverbs 24:21-22, God presents a question that is hard on most of us and particularly hard on me.  “Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious, for those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?” (NIV) I comprehend the first part easily.  I fear the Lord with a healthy respect, awe, and fear.  I am not so sure of my respect for the “king”.  I am unhappy with all of the governments over me.  My unhappiness generally gets more pronounced moving from the local all the way up to the federal government.  I am really afraid of what my government is becoming, but this fear has nothing to do with respect.  I am very depressed about the condition of my country, particularly when I remember that I am at least partly responsible for its condition, and that I will soon be passing it on to my children’s generation.  I am deeply saddened and discouraged.  Proverbs 24, Ecclesiastes 8 & 10, Romans 13, and 1 Peter 2 present me with a very clear message about my duty to obey, the righteousness in obeying, and the danger in not obeying the governments over me.  I can honestly say that I do my best to obey, but I must add that...

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Home Country

by Slim Randles   Well, the bears are out now and will be until late fall, so maybe a bear tip might be in order. As a guide and outfitter emeritus – and emeritus is Latin for “I’m too danged old to pack moose meat out on my back” I’ll talk a bit about ol’ ursus. If you’re in dangerous bear country, some people tell you to wear a little bell that tinkles, and the bear hears this and says, “Oh, that must be a person, and I’ll bet it’s a nice person, too, so I’ll just amble off this way.” Well, when I’m in thick cover that bears might inhabit, and I’m not looking for one, I make a lot more noise than that! One time Jim Kershner and I were going through some willow thickets along a creek at the base of Mt. McKinley … which is a large frozen rock that is now called Denali, and the salmon were running. I was in the lead, and Jim was behind me, beating on a gold pan with a rock. I looked down and saw a four-pound salmon flopping in the trail in front of me. It had toothmarks about four inches apart. And, it was on top of a bear track that measured 10 inches across. I measured it later. Much later. A little guide translation here:...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch – June 21

by Jan Fielden Over the last part of the week we had a bunch of guests at the ranch for a “Ranch Day”. The guests came from South Carolina, Texas, Ohio, New York and Italy via Maryland/Washington DC.  We had a Texas BBQ with all the trimmings and a hayride with a tour of the ranch.  It seems that people in Italy believe that all Texans have BIG ranches and are “punching cows” all day, every day! Needless to say, these folks enjoyed themselves tremendously even though we didn’t punch one cow; just a little calf!  It was a wonderful time with The Colonel telling some of his famous “tales” and some of the guests, who know him very well, adding tales of their own about him! After the hayride tour and the BBQ, the three young ladies who were in the group wanted to feed Sundance some carrots so off we went.  We traveled down in the back of the pick-up truck; a real treat for the four adults and three young ladies, to the Yearling Pasture where the herd was running The man from Italy rode “shot-gun” inside the truck and at the very first gate, The Colonel explained the duties of that position; opening and closing all gates!  The carrots were handed out much to the delight of Sundance and the girls.  Even the adult guests...

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