• New lifestyle choices a marathon, not a sprint

    Six-week update on the fresh and raw: enjoying the ever-expanding world of choices, still reading, still defining a direction. Bottom line: it’s been a good mental exercise; am feeling better, or at least have convinced myself of such; and for the first time, am not in a hurry — not trying to run a sprint but instead see it as a life change, thus the venture is much like attempting to maintain a decent pace for the mega-marathon that lies ahead.

  • The Clintons' beef with the media persists

    Are the news media being beastly to Hillary Clinton? Are political reporters and commentators — as Bill Clinton suggested but didn’t quite come out and say in a radio interview Tuesday — basically in the tank for Barack Obama?

  • 'Lesser of two evils' excuse is not valid

    To state the obvious, voting is the process by which we choose our leaders. What may not be so obvious is that the only alternative to ballots is to choose leaders with bullets. None of us wants that.

    Therefore, we all have to put aside our particular complaints about the current system of political campaigning and vote anyway. I have friends who say they are no longer going to vote for the lesser of two evils and will stay home. That’s a choice, but in my opinion it isn’t a good one.

  • Donkey basketball is just what it sounds like

    “This may be an odd question, but what is donkey basketball?”

    As soon as I sent the e-mail containing that question, I was afraid of the answer.

    When asked by Nelson County baseball coach Brent Childress to participate in the fundraising activity of Donkey Basketball, a myriad of questions ran through my mind. The first and foremost centered around the actual definition of the sport.

    “It’s basketball played on the backs of donkeys. We will have real live donkeys in the gym,” he wrote back.

  • Blacksmithing is an art form

    In this day and age when we are in need of some cooking utensils, tools, furniture and various other items shaped from metal, we simply take a trip to the department or hardware store. Most everything we need may be found there, and chances are that whatever we are looking for has been mass-produced in some factory. In Early America, this was quite a different story. During that time these items had to be made by a blacksmith, someone who creates items from iron or steel by working the metal — a process called forging.

  • Story makes Valentine's Day less annoying

    During this lovey-dovey time of year, I always remember my favorite Valentine’s Day story. Actually, it’s my only Valentine’s Day story, so fortunately, it’s a good one.

    About seven years ago, long before my Kentucky Standard days, I worked at a newspaper with a confirmed man-hater. I don’t know the details about what her ex-husband did to her, but it must’ve been bad. His name was always spoken in hushed tones and followed by a scowl.

  • Snow in the winter - who would've thought?

    As snow flurries began to get larger and turn into bona fide flakes Monday afternoon my heart leapt. I love the peaceful effect of the snow — the world seems to come to a halt. People nestle into their homes to hunker down and get cozy.

    This was the first time in years that I could remember an accumulation of the fluffy white stuff. As a child, it seemed like every winter brought snow, but the past several years— not so.

  • Storms, damage were impossible to understand




    But, it’s more than that.

    When you go to bed one night knowing severe weather is headed your way, and then you do wake up and, with flashlight in hand, ascend the stairs from the basement, where you spent the night with your husband and 5-month-old daughter, and you see that the house is still intact — no windows are broken, no debris poking in through the walls, only darkness — you think, maybe it wasn’t that bad.

  • The elephant in the legislature room

    We finished the first third of this year’s session with little progress on the major issues that face us. The primary job, of course, is to pass a budget. The underlying issues that will impact the final product include: the possibility of Expanded Gambling; the funding of the state retirement system; and borrowing against the future (bonding) to fund today’s programs.

  • Are legendary monsters really living among us?

    Several months ago, for reasons I have long since forgotten, several hours were spent perusing the old bound editions of The Kentucky Standard. I assume there was a purpose in the search, but darned if I can remember.

    But interestingly enough, I did find and keep a book from 1978 out of the stack. From the Nov. 2 paper of that year a story on page A-19 struck me like lightning. The article, titled “Tall tales or real stories,” was just too good to be true. Bill Medley penned the piece and it was accompanied by an illustration credited to Mary Jean Kirtley Hagan.