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Columns

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Next week, on March 1, we’ll celebrate National Pig Day, also known as Pig Appreciation Day. According to researchers at Holiday Insights, an organization that’s compiled and posted a list of odd events, this observance was created in 1972 by an art teacher named Ellen Stanley. Her intent was to “recognize and be thankful for pigs as intelligent domestic animals.”

  • That’s Just Too Bad... | Peggy Boeye

    I was asked by a shirt-tail relative at a recent family event what my sport was in high school. Asking that question made it very obvious how little he knew me. I was not graced by the gods of athleticism as a child. I have been known to fall off my shoes while standing still and trip over the lines in the linoleum. However, that has never stopped me from being competitive.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Wife wanted some worm castings for her potted plants, so I called Rick Fenneman. He has about 60,000 crawlers in his basement.

  • Mud Fence Creations | Conni Delinger

    I was always going to my mom’s in Arizona to check on her and do any maintenance needed. She lived 65 miles from the nearest town, so I had to haul everything over there like ladders, tools, anticipated supplies, etc. One hot summer day, I decided to clean her gutters in preparation for the monsoon season.

  • On the Side | Brad Hicks

    Over the years, I’ve published a few “anonymous” items in a newspaper, but the source was never anonymous to me. I’ve been sticking my neck out for far too long to think that others cannot do the same. But once in a special case comes along. To wit, I offer the following, submitted by a Montgomery County woman.

    ————

    Everyone always hears about the jobs that aren’t well done, but the jobs that are well done fade with the morning fog. That’s why I am writing this letter.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    A year ago I got to the S’s on my bucket list and tried sap, tapping a dozen black walnut trees. It was fun and the syrup’s great, but would a tough way to make a living.

  • Montgomery County History Center | David McFarland

    Most of us weathered new year 2017-18 with a chill or two and lots of frozen water pipes. I even heard of a water tower freezing solid in Eastern Iowa. Remember though, we live in the Midwest, and never take Iowa for granted, she is unpredictable and she is always full of surprises.

  • On the Side | Brad Hicks

    So far this month, we have heard a lot of elected officials, some of the state’s anti-tax organizations, and some of the anti-modern ag groups give their opinions on what needs to happen to either retain, save or grow rural Iowa. The reality is that a lot of those people have never lived in rural Iowa, so they know little about which they speak. It’s time for an honest assessment of rural Iowa, its trend lines, and its potential.

    Assumptions

    First, let’s agree on some assumptions that are undeniable in terms of long-term trends:

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Cousin Dan and a friend have made a New Year’s resolution – to grow a pumpkin that weighs more than 1,000 pounds.

    I wouldn’t bet against them. Dan is semi-retired and can give a little pumpkin the daily care it needs to become a monster. Nick, a young farmer into the science of plant growth and nutrition, is motivated by two toddlers who want a “really, really giant punkin.”

  • mudFence Creations | Conni Delinger

    Someday. It is a date, in the faraway future, by which all of our goals, dreams, and aspirations will have been achieved. Someday, I will travel. Someday, I will change jobs. Someday, I will go back to school. Someday, I will win the lottery…..

    I started adulthood in all the wrong order; I dropped out of high school, a pregnant teen, married too young, just two days after my eighteenth birthday. Three years later, I was still a high school dropout, and now a single mother, just like my own mother, but with far fewer mouths to feed.