August 28, 2014

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Local Columnists

Money talks?
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:35 PM


By Nancy Whitaker

Do you know the driving force behind our country and communities? Is it health, freedom of speech or the pursuit of happiness? Maybe. Yes, this country was founded on freedom of religion and righteous beliefs, but ever since the Native Americans traded wampum for tobacco, the naked truth is that “money talks.” My old grandpa used to say, “The love of money is the root of all evil, but I’d sure like to have a root.”

Protect yourself head to toe
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:35 PM

By Kylee Baumle

With days last week that were near or above record high temperatures, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve finally put winter behind us. These are a gardener’s salad days, when we love nothing better than to be out on a beautiful warm, sunny afternoon, digging in the dirt.

Many of us are diligent about wearing gloves while we’re in the garden. Get just one nasty blister or a cut from a sharp blade of ornamental grass and you don’t soon forget to put them on. If you have cats (yours or someone else’s) that think your garden is just one big litter box, that’s reason enough right there to wear your gloves.

Garlic - mustard is not a deli condiment
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:34 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

May is here ... bringing the colors and fragrance of spring flowers, but also the unwelcome annual bloom of garlic mustard. While its name may sound like a spicy condiment, garlic mustard is actually one of Ohio’s worst invasive weeds.

Native to Europe and Asia, garlic mustard (alliaria petiolata) was introduced into New York in the 1860s and spread rapidly. It is now abundant in the northeastern and central U.S., including Ohio. It tends to move in initially along rivers, roads and trails and then spread out from there. The seeds may be carried in bits of mud on people’s shoes, as well as by floodwaters and roadway mowing equipment.

Providing a 'hand up' in addition to a 'handout'
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:33 PM

Providing a ‘hand up’ in addition to ‘handout’

By Bill Sherry

Have you ever heard about something and wondered about what it is or does? I have and in my opinion we need to help people have a better understanding of things like The Grover Hill Area Ministerial Association which is moving in a direction that will, in my opinion be a ‘hand up’ in addition to a ‘handout’(more about this in future stories).

We are in the process of changing our services in order to make a bigger impact on individuals and communities. This change is represented in our new logo, “Come and see how the Grover Hill Area Ministerial Association is moving toward being a ‘hand up’ in addition to being a ‘hand-out.’”

You say potato...I say just plant 'em
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:09 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Most of us are fans of phenology, even if we don’t know it or have never heard of the word. When we talk about how late the crocus bloomed this year as compared to last, that’s phenology at work.

“Knee-high by the Fourth of July” when talking about corn is another example of phenology, and saying that spring is imminent when the red-winged blackbirds return is too. Observing environmental signs that are affected by the climate can make for some very interesting table talk.

Bringing back the old?
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:09 PM


Do you remember what you had to eat for lunch when you were in school? I remember the likes of goulash, Johnny Marzetti, hot dogs, ham and beans, beef stew, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac and cheese and even fish sticks.

We know how difficult it can be cooking for our own family, so can you imagine cooking for many many students? Because, let’s face it, “We don’t all like the same food. We all have likes and dislikes and distinct tastes.”

Help stop spread of gypsy moths
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:08 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

The gypsy moth has infested many states in the northeast United States, resulting in massive defoliation of the region’s precious trees. If you live where the gypsy moth is prevalent, you know the damage this insect can cause.

The beginning of a lifetime journey of steps
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:07 PM

By Jim Langham

A close friend this week had the special experience of seeing a child take the first steps right in front of her as she was visiting with the parents in their home.

At the time, she felt like the most blessed person in the world to be present for such a special moment.

I remember when our granddaughter, Kirsten, started walking, and also the initial steps of our children. It is such a historical moment, both in our lives and especially in the life of the child. To think that they have just taken the first steps of hundreds of thousands over a lifetime; the future of those steps and where they are going to go is unimaginable.

'Serendipity' must be one of God's favorite words
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:00 PM

By Jim Langham

It has been a week of “serendipities.” One evening as I walking along a trail in the Black Swamp Reserve south of Paulding, all nature seemed to still around me. Suddenly, there was sense a circling motion in the sky above me. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

There, circling over a large pond in the reserve was a beautiful bald eagle, the “prize catch” of my nature walks these days, one of the eight sights of Planet Earth that God enjoys the most. Couple that with my mystical love for cardinals that God sends to speak to me through their various songs and the combination is almost like the merging of heaven and earth to me.

'Project' isn't a four-letter word
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:59 PM


By Kylee Baumle

It’s that time of year when I utter the word that my husband most hates hearing. He knows it’s coming because it all starts with, “Honey...” (pregnant pause) “...I’ve got an idea.” This brings on eye-rolling because “idea” is on his list of four-letter words, which also includes the words “mall” and “shop.”

He knows when I get an idea that the idea itself is very likely going to be my biggest contribution to the project and that his part will mean the most work. He admits that it isn’t the work part that he dislikes the most; it’s the figuring out just what he’ll need to make what I’ve shown him I want.

He also knows that the reason it’s never easy, this part, is because I never want anything that goes in a straight line. I’m a fan of curves and angles. He’s most definitely not. He likes things very uniform and straight and orderly. I like it better when it’s asymmetrical and wonky.


After nearly 39 years of marriage, he has learned to never assume anything. I have learned that when he says, “No, I can’t do that,” that if I just leave him alone, he’ll eventually figure out a way.

He knows if he gives me enough time and he doesn’t complain too much about doing it the way I want it done, that I’ll compromise and change it up a little bit, just to make it easier for him. We have learned how to work together well so that neither of us kills the other one.

The neighbors will tell you that during the act of compromise and working out the details of The Projects, things can get a little testy and rather loud. But they know that it’s all part of the process of each of us getting our own way just a little bit, making it a true joint venture.

That’s kind of what life in general and marriage in particular is like, isn’t it? Give and take? In every partnership I think there is one who is a little more giving than the other and one who likes being on the receiving end a little too much maybe. I tell him I don’t deserve him. He tells me he doesn’t know how I put up with him. Now it’s my turn to roll my eyes.

So anyway, this year’s project is an enclosure for the blackberries and the blueberries, the latter which the rabbits decimated, meaning I may be purchasing new ones. Last year, we netted the blackberries, which worked, but became a pain when it came time to harvest and then later remove the nets from the primacanes and when I pruned the second-year floricanes.

The enclosure is basic – just a wooden framework covered with chicken wire, tall enough for us to walk into, with a pathway down the middle. Blackberries to the north, blueberries to the south. The point of contention in this project is the top. I don’t want a simple A-shaped roof; I want a scalene triangle for a roof, because the blueberries are quite short and don’t need for the roof to be as tall on their side. And it will look cool. Asymmetrical – just the way I like it.

He should be thankful for small favors. At least it has no curves. He should also still be celebrating the fact that I agreed several years ago that we will never hang wallpaper together ever again as long as we both shall live. Maybe I should remind him of that.

Read Kylee’s blog, Our Little Acre, at and on Facebook at Contact her at