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Columns

  • These empty nests are for the birds

    I've been kidding myself and anyone else who has asked me in the last month about my son going off to school.

    "Ah, it'll be party time at the Barnes's," I feigned. "He's ready. This is what I've raised him for over the last 18 years. He'll be fine. I'll be fine."

    Moms, have you made similar statements of denial?

    I know there have been many mothers who have forged this trail long before me, and there'll be many more after me. However, this is it for me. My last.

    My husband and I are officially "empty nesters."

  • Cicadas' sounds were music to my ears

    On a recent Friday afternoon I was leaving the Licking Valley Campus where I work, when I saw our Bradford Pear tree working alive with activity.

    A closer inspection revealed hundreds of singing cicadas. I grabbed my camera out of the car and climbed under the lower limbs of the tree to get a better look.

    Amazing.

    I started shooting pictures while my colleague Debbie Gill gasped, "What are you doing?" She doesn't like cicadas.

  • Washed by the water: Festival combines rain, rock and religion

    There was heat, there was rain, there was a ton of cicadas.

    Most of all, there was good fellowship, music and fun.

    It was the 39th annual Ichthus Music Festival in Wilmore, Ky., held last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It was also my first time going.

    For those who don't know, Ichthus is a three-day Christian music festival which has been held near the Asbury College campus since 1970.

  • Around the town in 180 days: A family of five proves it can survive without using a supercenter for its needs

    January 4, I remember it so well. It is clear in my mind.

    That is the last day I stepped foot into our Wal-Mart Supercenter and walked out empty handed, slightly disappointed, and with a gnawing feeling in my stomach.

    I had noticed that in recent months I have had a growing resentment to the large corporate American shopping experience and while my desire to purchase an electronic device didnt spurn this, it surely enhanced it.

  • Take care when criticizing those who need public help

    For the past several years I have been employed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department of Community Based Services, in Harrison County, as a Family Support Specialist.

    As a caseworker, I have witnessed heartbreak, hardship, tragedy and triumph to a degree I had not previously known.

    Women, suddenly widowed, consumed by grief, paralyzed by the fear, that tomorrow will come having no idea what theyll do when it does, because their husbands had always taken care of everything.

  • It's love that keeps Raggedy festival going

    Six years ago, the tourism division of the Cynthiana Renaissance committee needed a project while waiting to promote the ventures of the sub-committees.

    After a lengthy brain storming session, I mentioned that the granddaughter of Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy, had recently visited Cynthiana. You know the rest.

    After five successful Raggedy Ann Festivals, the sixth one is nearly complete. I have been asked why I have done this for so long, especially since this is an exceptionally busy time during the year for me. The answer, in short, is the people.

  • Want change? Put your name on a list

    More and more, Im approached on the street by people who want to enact changes in the community but feel powerless to do it.

    Maybe powerless is too harsh. Maybe the task just seems too daunting.

    I get that. When Im asked what needs to be done, dozens of things flood my brain.

    That causes me to feel overwhelmed, like moving forward at this point is impossible.

    I dont believe that, but sometimes it feels that way.

    And thats where we are as a community as the end of winter approaches.

    We have an almost perpetual case of seasonal affective disorder.

  • Changing site now has space for your input

    Late in November The Cynthiana Democrat website made a dramatic change. In fact, it's still changing.

    The change I've heard most about was the message board. It's gone. Hallelujah it's gone.

    Actually, I thought the concept was good. It was a place for our community to speak out. However, it soon turned nasty. There was name calling, back biting and hateful attacks. All of this was done under anonymity.

    I take my job at the newspaper seriously and am very proud of the product that I and my colleagues put out each week.

  • Middle ground is useless unless maintained

    On Saturday, Iee^drove to Mason County for a photo shoot.

    Unfortunately, Iee^missed the shoot, but since my wife and oldest daughter were with me, Iee^decided to stay up there for a bit.

    We drove all through downtown Maysville and crossed the old bridge into Ohio.

    Then we followed Hwy. 52 to the new bridge and crossed back into Kentucky. The road the new bridge is on goes to the Double-A highway, so thats where we wound up.

    Coming back toward this way, we went through Old Washington (the original Mason County settlement), making a few stops along the way.

  • Ownership may change, commitment will remain

    While on the phone at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 3, I surfed the Todays Headlines daily e-mail offering from nytimes.com. Information comes 360 degrees in todays world. Voicemail, e-mail, snail mail, Internet, cell phones and text messaging have changed the way we communicate and, as a result, media is changing.