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Friday, February 26, 2021
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  • Such a good book and such a good recommendation
    Monday, February 22, 2021 4:00 AM
    I’ve always loved librarians. 
    I remember my first school librarian. Her name was Mrs. Scheau, and she rode a bicycle to school, back when this was still a novelty. She wore a plaid skirt every day, and she was enormously kind. 
    I had no idea how to find a book I would like to read (and isn’t this still a challenge?) But Mrs. Scheau would always have a suggestion when I walked in. 
    “What should I read next, Mrs. Scheau?” And she would hand me the next book. 
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  • Playing it safe with belt and suspenders planning
    Monday, February 15, 2021 4:00 AM
    My husband, Peter, is taking no chances. 
    I knew this about him before I married him. Peter has a plan for everything and a plan in case the first plan doesn’t pan out. My father would call this “belt and suspenders” planning. Peter’s been walking around in a belt and suspenders ever since I’ve known him. 
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  • The Flatworm Principle and my morning meal
    Monday, February 8, 2021 4:00 AM
    A friend of mine told me something so amazing, I had to look it up to see if it was true.
    In 1960, a series of experiments was done with flatworms in which a bunch of flatworms were taught where to find food. This was news all on its own, as the flatworm is not a species known for its scholastic aptitude. But that wasn’t the interesting part. 
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  • Gradually living in your sweatpants full time
    Monday, February 1, 2021 4:00 AM
    I don’t remember exactly when I took to living in stretch pants full time. 
    The process was gradual, I’m sure of that. I started out wearing a pair of bell-bottom stretch pants when I was writing. I didn’t actually live in them; they were part of my writing costume and they were comfy. 
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  • No treats for now, but extra treats next time
    Monday, January 25, 2021 4:00 AM
    Dax stared at me in disbelief. I am the Treat Lady, and I had no treats. It was inexplicable. 
    Dax is one of my regular customers. He is a young black dog with a lot of energy. His sister, Zia, is a little older and has the uncanny ability to find me with or without her owner anywhere in the vicinity. On this particular day, Dax was with his owner on a run and he was beside himself to suddenly encounter the Treat Lady, without even the help of his resourceful sister. Dax was over the moon. That’s when I discovered I had no treats. 
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  • This year is a big Swedish surprise, waiting to happen
    Monday, January 18, 2021 4:00 AM
    My 2021 calendar is hanging from the closet door. 
    Every year I’ve lived in this house, I’ve gotten a cloth calendar, hung from a dowel. My mother’s mother always had a cloth calendar hanging in the farmhouse kitchen. As soon as the year was over, the calendar would be conscripted into use, usually to cover cinnamon rolls as they rose, to keep them moist until they were large enough to put into the oven. 
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  • Throwing out the empties and get rid of reminders
    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 4:00 AM
    A fellow I know was grousing about the past year. 
    His birthday was coming up and he felt, once again, that this year failed to meet his expectations. He was unhappy with the year, unhappy with himself, unhappy with the fact that he’d even allowed himself to hope that 2020, of all years, was going to be better than the previous ones. 
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  • Large goals for NaNoWriMo and a reason to celebrate
    Monday, January 4, 2021 4:00 AM
    My friend, Anita, is felting up a storm. 
    Philip is cooking something new and posting a photo of it every day. Megan is reading Shakespeare on video, Jason is doing woodwork projects, Tom and Mary and Katie are sewing thousands of masks, and Peggy is studying Spanish, German, and Latin—all at once. Then there are the folks who are just trying to make it through the week, working jobs that demand more and more of them every day. 
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  • A year of lowered holiday expectations
    Monday, December 28, 2020 4:00 AM
    It is a year of lower expectations.
    Every year, there is a chorus of folks urging us to lower our expectations for the holidays — buy less, consume less, worry less about having a picture-perfect holiday, and spend more time reflecting on what the holiday means to us. This year, it seems, we will finally get a chance to do that.  
    I was recently asked what my childhood memories of the holidays were, and I had a couple of vivid ones. 
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  • Celebrating as much of the Christmas season as possible
    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 4:00 AM
    Whatever you think about Christmas, I think you would have to agree we need one this year. 
    Everyone I know seems determined to do as much Christmas as it is possible to do. My pastor announced at the beginning of Advent that we were going to have 26 consecutive Zoom Advent services. 
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  • Having a midcentury modern Christmas and naming trees
    Monday, December 21, 2020 4:00 AM
    “I’ve forgotten the funny name of the tree you helped us pick out,” my mother said. “Our tree this year is named Melinda.”
    The greenhouse where my parents get their Christmas tree every year has festive tags hanging from the trees with their names and prices. These are not inexpensive trees, so it’s fitting they are all individually christened. My mother likes to support this local business -- and they do have nice trees. 
    “Caleb. The tree I picked out with you was named Caleb.”
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  • There’s nothing like your first freshly baked bread
    Monday, December 14, 2020 4:00 AM
    “I’m going to bake bread!” my husband, Peter, announced.
    Inwardly, I said, “Oh, no.” 
    Baking bread is not easy—until it is. Every person I know who bakes bread will agree. If there’s someone out there who tried baking bread for the first time and it was a great success, I would like to hear about it because, in my experience, you have to bake a lot of bad bread before you bake anything close to edible. I was afraid Peter was about to find this out. 
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  • A celebrity among neighborhood dogs
    Monday, December 7, 2020 4:00 AM
    I am a celebrity among the neighborhood dogs. 
    By now, I have been giving out dog treats on my daily walk for several months. If you think this has gone unnoticed among my town’s dog population, you would be very much mistaken. If Gwyneth Paltrow or Brad Pitt were to walk down the street, I am quite certain the dogs in my town would be completely unimpressed. Their owners might behave foolishly and start jumping up and down and salivating but, for the dogs, it would be a non-event. 
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  • A nice long chat with an old friend . . . on Zoom
    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 4:00 AM
    Yesterday, I had a nice long Zoom chat with an old friend. 
    I know this is nothing remarkable these days, but it was the first time my friend Andrew had used Zoom and I was frankly a little surprised. 
    Andrew isn’t on Facebook. “It’s none of anyone’s business what I’m up to!” he tells me. 
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  • World-altering, industry-changing and maybe right
    Monday, November 23, 2020 4:00 AM
    “I’m hunkering down,” Rebecca told me.
    I know what she means. My friend, Rebecca, just returned from a road trip she made after a lot of careful consideration. First her mother was sick. Then she fell and broke her hip. Rebecca’s mother is 90 and she did not seem to be getting better. Rebecca decided she needed to go visit her. 
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

 

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