Last minute this and that

December 22, 2009 I’m hoping by the time this column hits the press, I have all my Christmas shopping done. I’m almost there — just got one more gift to finish.

Flirtation helps Halter

December 21, 2009 LITTLE ROCK  (AP) — Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is known for two things in Arkansas: fathering the state’s lottery and being a phantom candidate for the Senate.Two years ago, Halter was being touted in some circles as someone who could challenge Sen. Mark Pryor in the Democratic primary. Now, Halter’s being floated as someone who could take on Sen. Blanche Lincoln from the left in the primary.

Future Builder

December 21, 2009 In all my 26 years I’ve never built a gingerbread house at Christmas; now I’m beginning to wonder if I’m missing out.I suppose for some families building a gingerbread house at Christmas is as much a tradition as watching “A Christmas Story” is for mine. However, I always find myself looking at the kits at Walmart or Dollar General this time of year and thinking, “I should just buy one. So what if I’m not a kid? They’re fun for all ages, right?”

Mountains and molehills

December 18, 2009 Threats to religious liberty in 2009, mountains and molehillsA very bad year for religious liberty got worse earlier this month when the Russian Supreme Court upheld a regional court ruling prohibiting Jehovah’s Witnesses from gathering to worship and banning their publications as “extremist” literature.

Busy time of year

December 18, 2009 It was a busy weekend for our family, to say the least, with a wedding (and rehearsal dinner), family coming in from out of state, and the annual Compassionate Friends’ candlelighting service. But still, my stepmom caved in (as I like to think of it) and got a gingerbread house for my 7-year-old niece to do this past weekend. The gingerbread house has become an annual tradition, and while it sounds like fun in theory, in reality it is WORK.

Letters to the editor

December 17, 2009 City looks great Dear editor:I wish to take this opportunity to say a big Thank You to the city of Batesville and to Johnny Abbott for the Christmas light displays at Riverside Park and downtown Batesville. Obviously there have been many hours spent on the planning as well as the installation of the lights.I have the privilege of driving through the park each evening as I go home from work, and it is such a pleasurable experience.Gerrie WebbBatesville

‘Broadway of America’

December 17, 2009 They say you learn something new every day (whoever “they” are), and maybe that’s right. I sure learned something new from a book loaned to me by Phyllis Holmes of Newport.Sure, I admit to writing a lot, but that’s because I read so much — newspapers, wire stories and other stuff on the computer, books, even advertisements. But this book is different — you don’t have to be much of a reader to enjoy it because it is chock full of pictures.