Garden show, a good day

March 1, 2011 Last Friday I got a much-needed “girls’ day out” at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in Little Rock. I went with my gardening enthusiast pal, Mary Jo Shivey, who along with my mom is trying to turn my brown thumb green.After seeing all the wonderful offerings by the nurseries, yard art makers and landscaping businesses, I am more than ready for warm weather to get here so I can plant all the goodies I brought home. Each year, I seem to be adding more flower beds, while adding shrubs and flowers to the existing ones, but my yard is still very much a work in progress.

Suit you

March 1, 2011 Doesn’t matter which side of the budget battleground you stick your rhetorical bayonet in, one thing we can all agree on is our government is broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. Stone broke.

Congress’ ill-timed recess

March 1, 2011  I sure hope the members of Congress who are returning to work this week enjoyed themselves while they were out of town. Because out in the rest of the country, their weeklong Presidents’ Day recess certainly left a lot of people feeling jittery.

Ledge update

February 28, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — In regular sessions of the Legislature the most important and the most difficult issues usually are considered in the second half. The 2011 session is no exception.Major issues left to be addressed include sentencing reform, highway financing and congressional redistricting. Also, final approval of the overall budget for state government is always one of the last things completed in a regular session.

2 thumbs up for Oscar 2011

February 28, 2011 The dresses, the jewels, this year’s hosts, 94-year-old Kirk Douglas — I give Oscar 2011, aka, my Super Bowl Sunday, two thumbs up and four stars compared to previous years.I get so excited the weeks leading up to “Hollywood’s biggest night.” It doesn’t matter that I don’t know who half the nominees are, I just enjoy all the pomp and circumstance of the evening — the red carpet, who’s wearing what, who will win best actor, actress and film  — all while wishing I was there.

Standing on 1 foot

February 28, 2011 There are a few things on my bucket list that are very long term in nature. One of them was to successfully raise a child, which means he’s upright and out on his own. Check, that’s done. Louie is now 23 and out there conquering the world.Parenthood was one of those life events that took me apart till I was a million little pieces and put me back together again in a completely reconfigured way.

Fired up about lost arts

February 25, 2011 Erin Bried’s nonfiction book “How To Build A Fire And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew” is not intended to be controversial, but controversial it can be.This sequel to “How To Sew A Button And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew” teaches 100 valuable life skills (how to tie a necktie, how to break in a baseball mitt, how to read animal tracks, etc.) through interviews with 10 grandfathers, all of whom were born before 1927.

For pro-democracy revolutions, democracy is not enough

February 25, 2011 The revolutions sweeping across Northern Africa and the Middle East could mark the beginning of a historic advance for democratic freedom — ranking in significance with such milestones of liberty as the American Revolution of 1776 and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.Or these upheavals could end with one tyranny replacing another, as happened after the French Revolution of 1789 and may yet occur in post-Soviet Russia.

Remember PATCO!

February 25, 2011 The turmoil and shocking thuggery we are now witnessing in Madison, Wis. is at a level seldom seen in America in this era. School teachers, of all people, are setting bad examples for their students. Some engage in outright fraud, aided by medical doctors giving them phony diagnoses of nonexistent illnesses to give them an excuse for near rioting instead of doing their job of teaching.

It’s in the mail

February 24, 2011 Shortly after 2 p.m. on Presidents Day, when government offices were closed, I dropped a Netflix envelope in the box outside our local post office. Fifteen hours later I was notified via e-mail that a Netflix branch, about 85 miles away, had received the DVD.