• Mistletoe

    By Susan Howell

  • Twelfth Night may be the best I can do

    Are you ready for Christmas? I am not even sure why people ask that. What does it mean exactly?
    Is the house decorated? The presents bought and wrapped? The cookies baked? The cards mailed?
    If that’s what folks want to know, then my resounding answer is no. I am not ready for Christmas.
    It’s been an unusual six weeks at Ten Broeck Manor. In addition to the daily grind, there’s also been scattered doctors’ appointments, family obligations and several monkey wrenches thrown into the mix.

  • Jamaican me aggressive

    I may have missed my calling, according to my family. According to them, I either need to be on the pro wrestling circuit or wearing a football uniform.
    They came to this conclusion after a video of me surfaced either clothes-lining or left-arm blocking a 200-pound man in order to claim my rightful place on the throne as Music Trivia Queen.
    It started innocently enough. We had just got into the rather large amphitheater  at the resort we were staying at in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, when the emcee announced a music trivia contest.

  • The newspaper myth

    National newspaper week, Oct. 2-8, is a time to celebrate the unique role newspapers play in our society and dispel the myth that they are going away.
    It may be difficult for some to see through the fog of recession and digital disruption, but if you look closely you’ll see that newspapers remain quite healthy.
    Despite the doomsayers, newspapers are actually growing readership as we find new ways to reach consumers.
    While overall revenues are down, so are expenses and most newspapers remain profitable.  

  • My childhood friends are going away

    Two of my earliest childhood friends were Vanessa Sterling and Joanne Tate.
    I saw them just about five days a week. Most of the time my  mother was present. She and I didn’t say much–Van and Jo dominated all the conversation.
    My mother would sip her coffee and make brief asides. I usually didn’t say anything.
    But then around the time I was eight, we decided to abandon Van and Jo. We were ready for new faces, new friends.

  • The safety net

    By Kay Louder
    Guest Columnist

    There’s a safety net out there for those who might otherwise slip through the cracks. It’s called Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  Administered by Social Security, SSI makes payments to people with limited income and few resources who are age 65 or older, blind, or have a disability.
    Funding for the SSI program comes from the general revenues of the U.S. Treasury, not from Social Security payroll taxes.

  • Operation Baby Boy

    By Susan Howell

  • It's disposal time

    By the time you read this, I’ll be on a plane bound for Ohio to visit family I haven’t seen in more than a decade. It’s a trip long overdue, but in preparation for it this past weekend, I finally came to the realization there’s something else long overdue in my life–cleaning house....really cleaning house.
    I was looking for some old family photographs to take with me, and in addition to more than 10,000 prints (thank God for digital photography), I found a sundry of papers, receipts and things that once upon a time I thought I might need in the distant future.

  • My once in a lifetime trip

    A couple weeks ago, I went on the Levy County Safety Patrol Annual Trip to Washington D.C. All the Safety Patrols had lots of fun.
    I was with the Williston Safety Patrols. My mom was really proud of me and my brother, Glynn, who was part of the first Williston Elementary Safety Patrols.
    We went from June 20-24. We had four buses from Levy County, and out of that Williston had two buses alone, Bus “One” and Bus “Two.”

  • Who knew? I am the average American family

    The next time your favorite TV program is cancelled, you might want to go next door and blame your neighbor.
    As long as I can remember, the majority of the programming that I have enjoyed has been cancelled, sometimes before a full season has been aired. The list is endless, but I’ve always said, if I like it, it won’t last.
    And who’s to blame? Those darn Nielsen ratings.