Columns

Wed
14
Feb

Grow closer to God during Lent

Ash Wednesday is next week, Feb. 14, and with it the beginning of Lent.  Many Christians don't consider this a part of their worship year. While the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopal denominations are more intentional about Lenten worship, a broader segment of the Church is discovering the value of setting aside time for repentance and Easter preparation.  Baptist tradition celebrated Lent at its Swiss roots as did many other evangelical denominations.  Many congregations and individuals use this structured time to deepen their devotion of Jesus Christ. 

Wed
14
Feb

Finding something to love

 

 

 

A cold, rainy morning, and another Valentine's Day is coming up.  This is just the kind of weather I like, it makes me reminiscent.  Thank you to boyfriends past who taught me to believe in love stories and love songs. 

Years ago, my sister and I had Valentine dates with our boyfriends; hers arrived with a big heart-shaped box filled with candy.  A few minutes later mine arrived with a big heart-shaped box filled with candy.  We attached a great deal of importance to whose heart-shaped box was bigger.  She married her boyfriend.  I tossed my boyfriend a short time later.  The boxes were the same, the boyfriends quite different.   

Tue
06
Feb

Fearless predictions for Super Bowl Sunday

 

One of my favorite days on the sports calendar will take place today (Feb. 4) as Super Bowl Sunday has arrived for the 52nd time.

I am old enough to remember back when the first Super Bowl game was played. The first Super Bowl game was not even a sell-out at the stadium but oh my, how times have changed.

Now, the Super Bowl is the most watched television program each year and advertisers have recognized this. Last year’s game was watched by over 111 million viewers just in the United States alone. NBC is charging $6 million for one 30-second commercial spot during this year’s game.

What other event do we have that attracts over 100 million television viewers in our nation, in addition to millions of others around the world and brings them together, regardless of political or religious preference, like the Super Bowl?

Mon
04
Dec

Recalling Clara’s tea parties

Does your family have traditions that you follow? Passing on family traditions helps to bond the generations together, creating an intense closeness and a depth of understanding unlike any other.

                Recently, my sister Beckie and I sat around reminiscing about our childhood during the early 1960s. Some of our fondest recollections focused on events involving our great-aunt Clara.

                Of all of these events, one still holds a special place in our hearts and our minds: her tea parties. On myriad occasions, she prepared little impromptu tea parties for us.

During these times, she always gave us a choice of her homemade hot Russian tea or hot chocolate topped with miniature marshmallows to drink. She served our hot beverages—they were merely lukewarm so as not to burn our mouths—in a vintage china demitasse tea set accompanied by cake, cookies, or some other sweet treat.

Mon
04
Dec

A rekindling of our spirits

Lately I've been suffering from a lack of spirit.  Call it emotionally bereft or a general "grrr" feeling.  Anyway, I've been easily ticked off the last few weeks.  Seems like every move I make someone's there to get in my way.  First Husband and I had a big fight over nothing at all, and people at the grocery store are intentionally blocking my path, I'm certain of it.  People with poor driving skills are 'driving' 52 in a 70-mph zone and I'm directly behind them.  I want to honk my horn and demonstrate with hand gestures just how thoughtless they're being, but that would probably lead to a road-rage incident and I'd be writing this from a hospital room suffering from a gunshot wound.  But it's not good to suppress anxiety, that just leads to heartburn.  So here I sit, heartburney and ticked and needing to smack somebody.

Mon
06
Nov

Pumpkin spice—oh, that’s nice

                With Thanksgiving only weeks away, I’ve been busy formulating recipes to make for our big family feast. Whenever I can find an occasion to contribute one of my original dishes, I jump at the chance. By doing so, I get unbiased opinions as to whether or not the taste-testers liked my food creations.

                One of my favorite events to try out new recipes happens to be at the quarterly meetings of the Edom Historical Society. While I’m currently holding the offices of both secretary and treasurer, I recently volunteered to provide all of the refreshments for our March, June, and September meetings.

I also contribute to the smorgasbord of delightful appetizers and snacks at our Christmas party each year. For this occasion, all of our members bring one or more dishes. After a brief meeting of business, we talk, laugh, eat, and thoroughly enjoy our time together.

Mon
06
Nov

We couldn’t have done it without you

Included within this week’s paper is a special Veterans Day section that the Van Zandt Newspapers staff has worked tirelessly on for a number of months.

Yes, it really does take months to put together a piece like this. In fact, it took about two months for the entire piece to make it into the hands of our proofreaders, publisher and me, the editor, to be marked all over and crossed out, respelled, reorganized and basically done all over again.

It’s a time-consuming process, with everyone pulling their weight to put out not only five newspapers a week, but also a 20-page special section. Here is the part where I thank the volunteers that have helped us bring this piece together.

Sandra Jones- You were a lifesaver, and I am so thankful for the friendship that has blossomed. You are always welcome in our newsroom. It’s people like you that still give newspapers hope.

Mon
30
Oct

The Inspired Cook

Halloween creeps closer and closer with each passing day.

                Are you throwing a themed party this year? Do you have children and/or grandchildren for whom you want to make special treats and eats?

                Unfortunately for me, all of my better half Charles’s and my children are grown, and our grandchildren don’t live close to us. Therefore, I just really don’t participate in this holiday anymore.

                I can hear an audible gasp from many of you reading this. No, I’m not one of those people who don’t turn on their porch lights to deter trick-or-treaters. Actually, we live in the country and don’t get any.

                When my daughters, Ashley and Tracie, were young, I never hosted a Halloween party or made special foods for them. Two primary events persuaded my reasoning for this decision.

Mon
23
Oct

VZC wraps fiscal year

Well, we’ve made it through the fiscal year but not in really good shape. Road and Bridge (R&B) is in good shape but the general fund is suffering a little.

The county tax revenue for fiscal year 2017-‘18 with the 2017 rate of .585847 is projected to increase by $999,952.

This increase is just under the 8 percent that would trigger the rollback process. Of the $999,952, $145,076 will go to debt service and $159,820 will go to the special R&B tax.

This leaves $695,056 going to maintenance and operation. Of that, approximately 20 percent goes to R&B. This puts approximately $556,044 going to the general fund.

The only problem is the general fund expenses for fiscal year 2017-‘18 are projected to increase by $630,044. That puts the general fund $74,000 short.

Mon
23
Oct

Dumb Tips for Hunters

Some folks think that going hunting means setting up camp on a Friday night, popping a few cans of beer, telling tall tales late into the night, and getting up at daybreak to go hunting.

In that spirit, I’ve assembled some dumb tips for hunters that will make your hunting experience more, let’s say, interesting.

Use the largest buckshot you can get when hunting doves. Unlike birdshot, you won’t hit many doves. But the ones you hit, you’ll hit, and you’ll know because you’ll see the explosion of feathers.

Some folks in Texas use dogs to hunt hogs. Borrow their dogs to go flush doves. All dogs like to chase animals, so what’s the difference?

Don’t worry about losing dogs when you go hunting. Dogs are smart. They all know the way to go home.

If you carry a pistol to shoot snakes, carry it in your pants pocket. Don’t worry about snagging the hammer on your pants when you pull it out. When it fires, that will scare the snake.

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