In spite of what we see in the movies and on television, the outdoor wedding isn’t always the lovely, fair-weather affair we imagine it to be. First, there are the usual outdoor hazards we deal with every time we spend time in the great outdoors. Things like allergies, annoying insects, sunb…

Have you ever noticed how some people in government make spending decisions as if it were their own money, studying issues thoroughly and weighing the options carefully? Have you also noticed other people take a totally different approach when it’s “just” other peoples’ money?

We have all gone through the pandemic that has been very tough on most people. This Republican government has done many things to make this event more miserable than it has to be. Very rarely have they done anything to make this horrendous event bearable. On the contrary, they have made it m…

I haven’t been very deeply involved with many weddings in my lifetime, this is probably because I was born in 1934 and grew up with parents who weathered the Great Depression. Because of the hardships they endured, they were naturally frugal and conservative. Big Hollywood-style weddings hap…

Thank you, Solon Economist, for the articles about the June 8 special election to fill the board of supervisors vacancy created when Janelle Rettig resigned.

In a fundraiser letter second-district Republican Marianette Miller-Meeks repeatedly referred to Democrats as “Socialists.” Miller-Meeks is either very confused or giving her constituents a bum steer.

When I found out Doug and Lori Lindner were going leave Solon, I was flooded with newspaper memories. Wherever my family lived, my parents subscribed to the Des Moines Register and I always said I learned to read at an early age because of the DMR comics section!

It was with skepticism, and a little bit of suspicion, I listened to my dad telling me how the peanuts we were burying in a sandy patch in the garden would grow into plants and make more peanuts than we could harvest and roast in the oven for eating. I couldn’t imagine those delightfully sal…

It has been almost a month since my big sister died, and I’m still reaching for memories of all the years when we were close. As too often happens, people tend to move around (especially in my family, though I’m the exception). During the ‘70s and ‘80s, two of my sisters and their families m…

The 2021 session is now in its second week of overtime. Republicans– who control the House, Senate and Governor’s office– are still not in agreement with each other about the state budget, tax issues and various policy items. The longer the session drags on, the more uncertainty it creates a…

The 2021 legislative session is now in overtime. Although the scheduled end date was April 30, most of the state budget still must be finalized and discussions about taxes are ongoing. There are also many outstanding policy issues.

May seems to be over-supplied with special things all requiring gifts, sentimental cards and, if not parades, at least acknowledgement. There are weddings and anniversaries, class reunions and family reunions, graduations, Memorial Day and Mother’s Day and, in my family, several birthdays. T…

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For a week or so every four years, the center of the political universe sits squarely on the east side of Des Moines. That is where a steady stream of presidential candidates trek past the various food-on-a-stick booths, livestock barns, 4-H displays and displays that are the Iowa State Fair.

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So, I wasn't really kicked out; just told I would have to leave? and escorted to the door. No chance to talk to with Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock in Des Moines that day.

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As the marathon continues for visibility in the February Iowa caucus, a couple runners have dropped off the pace. Another has joined the race. This week, though, closes my look at the 2020 Presidential candidates.

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A big Internet plus is that you can look up almost anybody; especially 2020 presidential candidates. All, obviously, have websites. Google a name, and 100 sites or articles appear in a millisecond. It takes some sifting to learn more about any of the couple dozen Democrats running.

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For months, a couple dozen presidential candidates have been through Iowa's Main Streets, corn boils, summer festivals, parades, house parties and other events. They're asking for our votes. Maybe you have noticed.

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A recent luncheon with some of my old school friends, several of whom I first met in kindergarten, brought to mind the toys and activities we enjoyed during the late 1930s and early '40s. Looking back, I suppose I had more toys than the average child from a family of comparable means, becaus…

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I've been feeling a little blue this week.

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Can't think of anything to fix for supper? Tired of the same-old, same-old in the lunch bag? What to take for that family reunion potluck? Having trouble even making out a grocery list? Join the club. After 65 years of keeping house and putting meals on the table, there seems to be nothing n…

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Mom and Dad recently celebrated their 71st anniversary without any fanfare. Actually, they were going to do nothing at all, but a late morning doctor appointment found them driving home, Mom sitting on her pillows so she could see over the steering wheel, past Pepe's Mexican Restaurant on a …

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I could hardly believe my ears. Right there on national television, on the 5:30 p.m. news, someone was ranting about a strange new sandwich that had become popular. A woman, who apparently just sampled it expressed disgust, saying it definitely was not for her. This purportedly latest additi…

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The seed catalogs have been thumbed through, pages have corners turned down, order blanks have a few tentative lines filled in, but the past six weeks or so have not been encouraging. We have put off starting those first seedlings in the greenhouse, sun porch, or under plant lights in the ba…

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We're visiting Mom and Dad in Chicago this weekend.

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While cleaning out a drawer the other day, I came across an old typewriter ribbon. (I never actually "clean out" a drawer in the sense of emptying it and putting its contents somewhere else; mostly I just look through stuff and put most of it back.) I don't know how long the typewriter ribbo…

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Whether you believe in ghosts or not, our move in 2005 to our current home in Iowa City was supernatural in another way: Sabra was phenomenal in getting every last detail accomplished.

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Indulge me for a few minutes; yesterday was my birthday and, after this many years, everybody is entitled to a little wallow in the past once in a while. I spent a good deal of the day writing birthday cards for a number of my friends who are also April babies. At our age, receiving cards on…

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It may be coincidence but about this time every year, I find myself going through my purse and weeding out all the old expired appointment cards, credit cards, receipts, shopping lists and other leftovers of my life. I'm always surprised at how much of that stuff loiters around clear at the …

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Sometimes cloudy, often rowdy, wet and warm, calm then storm, hot then cool, April fool!

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One of the plusses of this past year is I made a new fishing buddy.

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Every so often, things from my past come creeping out of the dark and bite me in the conscience. I try to dismiss them as soon as possible, but sometimes they persist and I can't seem to forget about them. I do know confession is good for the soul, or wherever our conscience resides, and the…

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Pearl was miserable while we were gone to Mexico.

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Being one of those people they refer to when they say someone can't walk and chew gum at the same time, I used to think that implied a lack of physical coordination, but I'm more inclined to believe it's a matter of having a one-track mind. There may be people who can drive a car and talk on…

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I imagine when you were in kindergarten or first grade, you sang, over and over, that little ditty known as The Alphabet Song. I've long been impressed by the fact such young children manage to memorize, in order, the 26 letters of the alphabet. That's a pretty long string of facts to rememb…

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March is supposedly a good time to fly kites. Tradition tells us, since March days are often too windy, too cold, too wet and too short for most of the other outdoor recreational options of spring, it is the perfect time for kite-flying. In a way, that's probably so- at least it used to be- …

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In my last column, I regaled with true, well mostly true, stories of trips to Mexico involving gluttony, gastronomical feats, miscommunications and strange encounters with half-naked women.

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Since my husband and I were married on a March Saturday all those many years ago, I tend to think of weddings every year when the month rolls around again. It 's one of the few things that make the month of March bearable, as about the only other things going for it are wind, slush and runny…

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By the time you read this we'll be in the land of the endless buffet, also called The Reef, an all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We've been to our southern neighbor, one of the few places in the world where the citizens don't hate Americans, many times and have had many adven…

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When, as a young teenager, I noticed my birthday was on the same DATE every year, but not on the same DAY of the week, I began to wonder about the date of Easter. Easter was always on a Sunday, I knew, but sometimes it occurred before my birthday, and sometimes after. Sometimes Easter was in…

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I was pleased to learn on a recent visit to Mom and Dad, they are planning on staying in their home of 60 years at least until next winter.

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The term "Mardi Gras" is French for "Fat Tuesday" and refers to the day before the beginning of Lent when Christians used up any rich foods before giving them up during the Lenten period, along with parties and other self-indulgences. The day was the last opportunity for merrymaking, revelry…

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Cupid, as we visualize him, is a combination of gods from Roman and Greek mythologies. Before the Romans came in contact with the Greek culture, the Roman gods were thought of as powers and forces of nature rather than as having human form. It wasn't until after the Romans conquered Greece i…

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So, I take my second and last cup of coffee of the day and head out to face the world about 7:30 a.m. Where do I go? Work? Office? School? No, I go to the garage.