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Columns

  • Another earth, another you, another year

     

    Scientists have finally discovered another earth. Well, sort of.

    Earlier this month NASA's Kepler space telescope team announced the discovery of "Kepler-22b," located in what is called a "habitable zone," meaning an environment that's not too hot or too cold for the possibility of life. And just last week, the team unveiled two other earth-sized planets, Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, although they are not in the habitable zone.

  • The Christmas spirit is alive

     

    Why can’t it be Christmastime year round?

    I’m no fan of the commerciality of Christmas. The midnight madness sales, the “buy-buy-buy and pay for it later” mentality seems to have taken over the holiday.

    I often feel so few people forget what Christmas is all about. It doesn’t have a thing to do with cash. Not to me, anyway.

  • Surviving Christmas in a blended family

     

    Christmas can be tough, especially for blended families. And apparently there are plenty of them. It’s been estimated that more than half of Americans live in some form of a blended family.

    Stepfamily therapist Steven Straub believes that the blended family will become, if it’s not already, the predominate family structure in the United States.

  • The magic of Disney

    I felt like a child again, with the excitement and energy of someone at least two decades my junior.

    There was so much to see and do, from Winnie the Pooh’s house to Aladdin’s magic carpet to Peter Pan’s flying adventure.

    I went to Disney World a couple of weeks ago to celebrate my best friend’s 30th birthday. She picked a trip to Florida to celebrate her birthday and wanted to visit Magic Kingdom, the home to one of my favorite rides of all time, “It’s A Small World.”

  • Finding Common Ground at the Manger this Christmas

     

    "What part of Christmas do you find most stressful," I asked my secretary the other day.

    "The shopping," she said, without hesitating.

    "The shopping," those two words just about cover it all.

    The traffic - trying to find a parking place, struggling to drive from one store to the next, and the crowds, rushing to get in line, scurrying by other shoppers in the mall - all come with the shopping. It's an all-inclusive non-bargain.

  • Moving Mom and Dad

     

    As I walked away from the emergency room, I felt a heaviness for my friends who had just brought in their elderly father. They were rightly concerned about his health issues. But their dad wasn’t. In fact, he was angry that his adult children had insisted on admitting him to the hospital.

    There he rested on the gurney, pouting because he wasn’t home. His lower lip was turned up, childlike, which enhanced the scowl on his face as he weakly waved me away.

    It’s not easy parenting parents.

  • Listen before telling your own beliefs

     

    We had just left the Hindu temple when I noticed the red dot on my mother’s forehead

    It was the “tilaki,” the third eye or mind’s eye, associated with many Hindu gods, also symbolizing the idea of meditation and spiritual enlightenment.

    I, a recent graduate of a high school education, feeding on my scholastic possibilities, feeling strong in my evangelical superiority, upbraided my mother: “You let them mark you! And, that’s a false religion.”

  • If you didn't vote, you can't complain

     

    Taylor County Clerk Mark Carney issued the challenge and Mannsville answered.

    In Monday’s issue of the Central Kentucky News-Journal, Carney challenged Taylor County voters to post a 50-percent turnout, double what was predicted statewide.

    And while the county as a whole posted a very impressive 34.3-percent turnout, Mannsville posted 50 percent on the nose. I tip my hat to the 331 Mannsville voters who turned up at the polls Tuesday and to the 5,856 voters across the county. Now, for the 65.7 percent who didn’t vote.

  • Life's memories in a cardboard box

     

    He snored softly, his chest rising and falling ever so slowly.

    I waited in the room as he slept, secretly hoping to wake him but not wanting to startle him.

    I visited my grandfather last weekend at the veteran's center that is now his home. If you read a previous column of mine about this topic, you know he moved there unwillingly. But now, well, he doesn't really know much of anything.

  • A culture of discontent

     

    The first time I saw one of the many people in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement holding a sign that said, “We are the 99 percent,” I thought, “That has to include me. I’m certainly not in the 1 percent.”

    There is some comfort in being in the 99 percent; at least I know I am not floating all alone on a sea of economic uncertainty.