Commentary

Thu
11
Feb

Sharing food, one recipe at a time

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I love food. When I say that I don’t mean just eating it, though that is a great part of it. I love the preparation of food, the creativity, the way it brings people together and the way it is shared.
Full disclaimer, just because I happen to love food does not mean I am an expert by any means, because I am not. The experts are the people who I look up to like Ree Drummond (better known as the Pioneer Woman), Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray and the list could go on.
I’m just a 25-year-old, who lives in small town Nebraska and who occasionally likes to spend her time in the kitchen making recipes I have grown up with or ones I have found on Pinterest or my favorite blogs.

Wed
10
Feb

Snow Day!

So that’s what an old-fashioned “Snow Day” feels like.
Hamilton County had little choice but to shut down, stay home and weather the storm last Tuesday, enduring the brunt of a storm that the weather man nailed on the button.
School was cancelled for three days in Aurora and a day or more at Hampton, Giltner and High Plains. That’s always cause for celebration with the kids, though parents were no doubt saying a silent prayer that the buses would roll again by Friday.

Wed
10
Feb

Trading Nebraska snow for Arizona sunshine

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As I was watching the snow pile up on the driveway and drifts drooping off the house overhang, I received a dreaded phone call. In all fairness, it shouldn’t be termed “dreaded,” but let’s just say it was “sarcastic.”
Old cousin Bob from Phoenix called and wanted to know if I wanted to come down and help him pick some oranges. “It’s a little warm today at 74 degrees, but the tree is loaded and I need help,” he cheerfully said.
Now cousin Bob is a Nebraska-born guy who moved from our presently snowbound state a couple of decades ago to Arizona. He doesn’t like scooping snow and took the opportunity to head to the southwest after he sold his Nebraska business. Within a couple of weeks after selling out, he and his wife were on their way, taking only a limited amount of possessions.

Wed
03
Feb

The magic of mentoring

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As someone who appreciates the wonder and beauty of everyday life, flowers are easily something that catch my attention whenever I see them in somebody’s house or planted in a landscaped front lawn. What type of flowers are they? Where do they line up with the sun? Do the leaves look healthy? Does this person even know what a watering can is?
I write articles week after week about the great things that internships and mentors in our community bring to the table, while my own experiences in the subject naturally relive themselves in memories during those interviews.
Upon recollection, I remember my first few times working out at the greenhouse during my pre-teen years -- those same years where no one was right but me and I couldn’t produce a serious thought in my head without an immature joke mustering its way forward.

Wed
03
Feb

What and how many bugs are you living with in your home?

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I always felt scientists were a strange bunch. They seem to get into too many details when studying their subject matter and then come up with an answer to questions I never even thought about. Making matters worse, some of their conclusions can scare a guy to death.
Scientists also are courageous. They expose themselves to life-threatening bacteria searching for the causes of diseases; tromp through dangerous environments collecting samples; and even confront humans on subjects few want to acknowledge or can’t understand.
Can you imagine scientists or a bunch more formally called entomologists who decided to find out just how many spiders, crustaceans and other creepy crawlers (aka arthropods) live in the average American home. Well, a scientific study was made in 50 North Carolina homes.

Wed
03
Feb

Hampton community, school face big decision

Hampton Public Schools and the community as a whole face a monumental decision regarding the future of an aging elementary school building.
Should the district move forward with preliminary plans to build a new elementary school and connect it to the high school, or would it make more sense to renovate the old one? And what if the answer from district patrons to both of those options is no?
That is a multi-million dollar question, which according to the Nebraska State Fire Marshal can no longer be postponed or ignored.
While they are addressing the district’s future needs, should school board members and administrators also include plans for a new competition or practice style gymnasium? Is that truly a need, or more of a want? The lives of students and families are certainly impacted by early morning and late evening practices, but how has that changed over the years and how much are patrons willing to spend to have better gym access?

Wed
27
Jan

Sherman Ranch purchase takes PPRI to new level of maturity

More than 35 years after Bill and Jan Whitney first created the Prairie Plains Resource Institute, their vision is coming into focus now, perhaps even clearer than they might have imagined in their wildest dreams.
A nonprofit entity that long ago earned credibility for its ability to preserve, explore and share the diversity of nature here in the Heartland, PPRI has now reached a whole new level of maturity. The pending purchase of the Tom Sherman Ranch west of Marquette opens so many new doors, expanding the organization’s view as well as that of any and all who venture outdoors to what they hope and believe will resemble a national park experience.

Wed
27
Jan

Getting demoted to the bedroom television

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A couple of weeks ago a friend in Minnesota told us she was wishing for colder weather because the lake ice was still pretty thin for this time of year. Of course she was conscious of ice thickness because ice fishing season is normally in full swing weeks before Christmas. The betterhalf warned her to be careful for what she wishes for.
Just like the betterhalf had told me to be careful about my wishing for something, our Minnesotan found her wishes to come true. Over a 72-hour period this past week she experienced temperatures of 26, 32 and 27 below zero. We have no report the weather was cold enough for her to be happy with her fulfilled wish.
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I wonder what percentage of married couples enjoy watching the same TV programs together. I realize I am one of the few fortunate husbands whose wife watches sports and likes football best.

Wed
20
Jan

A likable guy

He was, in a word, presidential.
Barack Obama rocked the house last week in Omaha, delivering a message that ignited a clearly pro-Democratic crowd while also reminding anyone and everyone how and why he got elected.
He was genuine. He was funny. He was full of energy and optimism. And, even after acknowledging that he got “whupped” by voters in the Cornhusker state during the 2012 election, he said he loved Nebraska anyway, and it was hard not to believe that he meant it.
Say what you will about Obama’s politics, and there is a lot to say on so many fronts, his visit to the UNO campus was a feel-good event. Not only does he command a presence, he comes off as a likable guy. That leaves a lasting impression, especially here in the Heartland.

Wed
20
Jan

Patriotism, comic relief with the prez

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I didn’t vote him, but I came home from Omaha last week with a new perspective on our nation’s 44th president.
Barack Obama can’t leave office soon enough as far as I’m concerned, but what I witnessed last week made me understand how he got elected. He’s a sincere, likable guy, up close and personal, a persona he converted into votes not once but twice on election day.
I’m glad I took the time to go see and hear a man I’d probably enjoy playing a round of golf with, though I’d prefer he not report for work in our nation’s most powerful office. I think it’s safe to say there are a lot of folks of all political persuasion who feel the same way.
I’ve had the honor and privilege of seeing three U.S. presidents, each of whom made an indelible impression. I sat in on a Ronald Reagan news conference back in 1985 in Washington and covered Bill Clinton on his one and only visit to Nebraska in 2008. Each was an experience I’ll never forget.

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