Table graces

November 10, 2009 Growing up, we never said “grace” in my house. My mom was raised Catholic and my dad a Baptist. Somewhere along the line, they both left their childhood churches, and by the time we came along, religion was no longer part of their daily lives.

Scrooge and the Christmas Nazi

November 10, 2009 Need to get into the Christmas spirit? Head to Branson on Halloween!Rest and relaxation were the order of the day a couple weekends ago when Gary and I took off with his family for the bright lights of Branson. This was the second year in a row we went on Gary’s birthday, which falls on Halloween.We lucked out picking the only weekend of the season with sunshine immediately before, during and after our trip! I guess sometimes the sky and weather gods were happily looking down on us.

Practice tolerance

November 9, 2009 The Fort Hood massacre is said to have been committed by a Muslim and it would be easy to blame it on the Islamic faith and people who look middle eastern without considering that Timothy McVey, Albert DeSalvo, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy weren’t of that faith. Let’s be calm and practice tolerance.Chief Michael AndersonOhatchee, Ala.

‘Sesame’ turns 40

November 9, 2009 It’s the big 4-0 for Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, the Cookie Monster and the entire “Sesame Street” gang this week.  The children’s show, which premiered Nov. 10, 1969, was just 14 years old when I was born in 1983. I was a regular viewer by the age of 4. “Sesame Street,” even today, is one of those timeless shows and I have such fond memories of the characters who made me laugh and learn.

Letter to the editor

November 6, 2009 Dear editor:The Obama administration continues to pursue a breathtaking destructive array of measures that is giving us a feeble and jobless “recovery,” reckless spending and borrowing, higher taxes, forced unionization, a proposed socialistic health care system, and the list goes on. The major focus of which is a larger centralized government controlling our lives. The only thing the government fears is losing re-election. One can only hope that the Democrat Congress is committing political suicide come the next election cycle.

Religion right before the fight

November 6, 2009 Antonio Peck was in kindergarten in 1999 when his family filed suit against the Baldwinsville, N.Y., school district. Antonio is in 10th grade now — and his family is still waiting for the case to be resolved. At this rate, he’ll be a college graduate when the courts finally render a decision.

State holiday honors veterans

November 4, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — About 260,000 veterans of the Armed Forces live in Arkansas and 50,136 veterans or their spouses receive disability compensation or pension payments.Veterans Day, a state holiday will be commemorated next week in numerous locations across the state as Arkansans gather to honor the men and women who have served their country. According to the American Legion, an organization of veterans created by Congress in 1919, fewer than 10 percent of Americans are veterans.

Woreout or workout

November 4, 2009 My oldest was talking me into a gym membership, and since I didn’t want to disturb the clothes I have hanging from my treadmill, I agreed.But what to wear was a problem. The only pair of workout pants I owned had been given a good shrinking in the dryer and my walking shoes would probably be rejected by a homeless person.“OK. I’ll go,” I said, “but tomorrow I have to buy something to work out in.” Looking like a refugee in my too-short pants and wrinkled T-shirt, I headed out.

Affairs of biology and morality

November 3, 2009 Oh great, more sex scandals. Insert eye roll here.We know how this monkey business works.Powerful, silver-haired man has a relationship with younger, less powerful woman. They break up, she spills the beans to the media, and we all shake our heads wondering why a guy who seems so smart would risk everything for a meaningless fling.The media’s abuzz about the affairs of David Letterman and ESPN’s Steve Phillips.

A piece of the Berlin Wall

November 3, 2009 Next Monday will mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I remember sitting in school, discussing it in class, watching in amazement as pieces came tumbling down and people ran across the border. In the days that followed, we read news stories about families being put back together and the Communist leadership buckling.