Shop till we drop

December 2, 2008 I must be nuts. Or a glutton for punishment. I can't decide which, but I was one of the crazy people out on Black Friday. Gary and I decided to go up to my mom's in Springfield, Mo., on Thursday evening, then hit the stores bright and early Friday morning. But my sister and her family and cousin and his family were also there, so we had a full house, and my mom only has so many bedrooms. So I planned to sleep with my sister Sara and niece Abby in the downstairs bedroom, with Gary, our nephew Avery and brother-in-law Chad fending for themselves on the hide-a-bed and blow-up mattress in the downstairs living room. It's hard to describe the yo-yo relationship Sara and I have had over the years, but now we've got a good one, and when we get together we talk non-stop.


December 1, 2008 Support the parade Dear editor: A few thoughts on the upcoming Christmas parade ... A couple of years ago, I remarked to a friend that we here in Independence County have two major annual parades. One is often on the hottest morning of the summer, and our Christmas parade, which frequently occurs during one of the coldest, windiest nights of the year.

Another lesson learned

December 1, 2008 Next time that orange fuel light dings and appears on my car dash, I'll know better than to drive more than those 50 extra miles the gas gods allow. And I'll never secretly wonder what it's like to run out of gas and feel the car come to a halt on the side of the road, either.

Local Internet, a Media Form in Development

December 1, 2008 Recently, I attended a seminar on "How to make your weekly newspaper into a daily." The essence of the course was that through use of the publication's Internet Web site, you could have a presence every day of the week. As the use of the Internet has become more widespread, local news and ad content has become more prevalent through these local Web sites.

Nothing brewing

November 28, 2008 Even with the large amount of boxes that needed to be unpacked and the hodge-podge of items that still needed to be put away, the knowledge that I could wake to fresh ground coffee in the morning made the rest of the moving experience seem minor.

Mysterious manuscript

November 26, 2008 The Voynich manuscript is said to be the most mysterious book in the world. Thought to have been written in the mid-1400s or perhaps as early as the 1200s, the manuscript is written in an as-yet undecipherable text.

A seat at the big table

November 26, 2008 I get to sit at the big table this year. I speak of Thanksgiving, the finest day of the year - my favorite holiday since I was a kid in the 1970s. My parents had a tiny dining room back then - barely big enough to contain our modest oak table and six seats. Nonetheless, my mother loved having lots of people over.

Girl gets ‘legs’ back

November 24, 2008 No one should be subject to such cruelty. Not when a wheelchair is your lifeline. And especially not when you're a child. The pink paint job. The pink streamers. The monogrammed seat. It should have been evident this wasn't a run-of-the-mill wheelchair or that it probably belonged to a child.


November 21, 2008 How to fix it: Part 2 Last time I outlined problems the city encounters because it has no method of monitoring businesses and today, I'll suggest a solution. A couple of years ago the City enacted a business license ordinance only to have it overturned by an election because opponents thought it was only an attempt to raise money.

Quote of the Week

November 21, 2008 At the first of this semester I tacked to my bulletin board a piece of typing paper with a headline reading, "Quote of the Week." Each week I've added a new pithy statement that seemed to capture a bit of wisdom in a perfect way.