April 16, 2014

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Should the county emergency management agency office duties be a separate office?
Local Columnists

A little story about clematis
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 9:39 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As a freelance writer, I often have assignments and take on writing jobs that require me to do a fair amount of research. Not only do I want to present accurate information, I also know that I’m going to be learning something new and I love that. But sometimes the research has unintended consequences.

I’m currently working on editing and writing some plant descriptions for an independent garden center in Michigan. It’s a pretty straightforward task, with each description needing to contain the same basic information: height, flower size, season of bloom, hardiness, growth habit, etc.

As I write these, I try to think like a gardener and ask myself what I would want and need to know if I were searching for a plant to grow in my own garden. The current plant du jour is Clematis. I’ve got 70 varieties to research and describe.

Don't mess with Texas (Chili)
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 9:38 AM



By Nancy Whitaker

Exactly what is “chili?” The answer to that question is, “It depends on where you live.” I have made and eaten what I call “chili” all my life and recently found out that “Texas Chili” is very different from what they call “Yankee Chili.”

A former Paulding County resident, Mona Larson Gloor Jimerson, who has resided in Texas for the past 30 years, is home visiting her parents, John and Ola Larson of Antwerp.

Mona is a wonderful cook who has taken her passion for food and runs her own catering business called Simply Southern.

When Mona is home here in Ohio, she loves to cook for her parents. On Thursday night, Mona, from her parents’ house, posted the following on her Facebook page, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I just put ‘beans’ in chili! Please forgive me.”


When I read that, I wondered, “So what. I always put beans in chili.” However, Mona has many friends in Texas who read her posts as well as us Midwesterners who also read them.

Of course, I am a “Yankee” so I immediately commented, “I always put beans in chili. What else would you put in it?”

This got a discussion going that by the time the Ohioans and the Texans got through debating how to make chili, there were 129 posts from various chili makers.

Of course, all of us “Yankees” put beans in our chili, plus we use hamburger and tomatoes. Some of us even put macaroni in it.

To the Texans, this was just sacrilegious. Comments from fellow Texans were flowing back and forth.

Retired Judge Alvin Khoury spoke of Mona’s repentance saying, “Nope Mona. That is one sin (putting beans in chili) that cannot be forgiven.”

Attorney and radio announcer Bob Cole got in on the conversation with this comment, “Oh no! Yankee chili. You don’t put beans in Texas chili. Meat, meat, meat. Venison is the best! Beans in chili would be like putting lemons in spaghetti sauce. It just isn’t done.”

My questions included, “If chili has no beans, do you eat it on a bun? Isn’t it like sloppy Joe? How can anyone just cook meat and spices and call it chili?”

Ryan Stanford, a big city official from Texas, added this to the mix, telling poor Mona, “You may be deported to Oklahoma for putting beans in chili.”

Stanford then asked, “Did you explain to everyone that when you put in beans, it no longer is chili? We have an obligation to bring civilization to the heathens! (Bless their hearts.)”

Kelly Pope Woods shared her knowledge of chili by adding, “Texas chili is eaten like soup, in a bowl, but it’s thick and rich and topped with Fritos, cheese, onion, and if you’re from the city, mustard.”

It seems as if Texans don’t eat Wendy’s chili, either. Ryan Stanford replied, “No, Nancy, because they put beans in it and erroneously call it chili.”

Bill O’Mara, then said, “I was on a chili cookoff team in college. The rules are to just take meat, onions and garlic and slow cook for a long time. Jalapeno or garlic can be added later.”

Bob Cole said that he sometimes uses shredded meat instead of ground meat and that venison or elk venison is the absolute best to use.

How do you make chili? Have you ever eaten the Texas style chili? Let me know and I’ll give you a Penny For Your Thoughts.


A lemon by any other name might be sweeter
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:58 AM


When I was a little girl, my grandparents left the cold winters of Ohio and made like snowbirds for Florida. They would go down to Bradenton sometime in the fall, come home for Christmas, and then go back down until spring.

Blue Jays: Follow the sound
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:55 AM


By Mark Holtsberry • Education specialist, Paulding SWCD

Blue Jays are nature forest dwellers, but they are also highly adaptable and intelligent birds. They are a familiar and noisy presence around many North American bird feeders. I know personally of the mess they make. They will kick out the feed and chase off any bird who tries to pick up after them.

"Duck Dynasty" demise
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:53 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

Since when does someone lose their job and livelihood for sharing their religious beliefs? It seems as if today, that has been happening quite a bit. Disagreeing with people and voicing your opinions can no longer be done for fear of offending someone. However, where do we draw the line on what is kosher?

Fifty years later, nothing changed
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:51 AM

By Jim Langham

When I started to school at Geneva, Ind. in the fall of 1954, I quickly entered a new world of friends and influences. I was picked up at our corner in Ceylon by bus driver Ray Black, who drove bus No. 8. I was taken to the door of the old Geneva School and escorted to my classroom in the southeast corner of the building where Catherine Fravel, who also taught my mother, was the first grade teacher.

The long call
Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:26 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

I have always loved people and consider myself a people person. I love talking to different folks and finding out their interests. I don’t care if I talk to someone on the telephone, the Internet or in person. The other night I placed a telephone call to my satellite provider to make some changes to my programming. This turned out to be a very long, interesting conversation.

After dialing the number and punching in my information, I was connected to a lady who spoke with a heavy accent. She told me her name and said that she would be helping me with any problems I had.

The gifts of gardening
Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:24 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Every year at this time, I experience a wee bit of stress and I have a feeling I’m not alone. The holiday season tends to do that. In spite of it coming at exactly the same time every year, Christmas sneaks up on me and all of a sudden, here it is and I’m not ready.

I don’t have to fix a meal, nor do we host any major festivities in our home. Our family is blessed in that we don’t really need a thing in the way of physical gifts, yet it’s just that aspect of Christmas that incites panic in the week before. It’s not supposed to be that way.

So I started to think about nontraditional gifts that can be found right in my own backyard. Yes, it’s too late for this year, but it’s never too early to start planning for the next, especially when the gifts are homegrown.

Wild about roses
Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:23 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

A rose is not always a rose. Beautiful hybrids that make up the rose industry for cut roses, landscape roses, rose gardens and more, have little in common with the native and wild roses of their ancestors.

But as the interest in natural continues to increase, so it will be with roses where native landscaping and less formal gardens rediscover the merits of native and wild roses.

How cold is too cold?
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:42 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Goodness, last week was a cold one. Temperatures in the teens (and lower!) made me want to go into hibernation until I at least can’t see my breath when I’m out there. And what's with that wind, anyway? We can do without that making things feel even colder.

But, we’ve got a lot of winter yet to go and no one wants to hear more whining about the weather, although farmers and gardeners are wont to do that from time to time. I do have to wonder though, how some of my plants out there are faring in this.

Around here, we're in USDA Hardiness Zones 5b/6a, which means that theoretically, plants that are rated for these zones should reasonably be expected to survive temperature extremes as cold as -15° to -10° F. But the rules for this are not hard and fast.