Today's Features

  • By Linda Arnold


    Here we are — with a clean slate on which to create!

    New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday, holding the promise of 365 delicious days, 52 wonderful weeks and 12 marvelous months. 


    How could this year be different?

    Like me, you probably have some ambitious goals for 2016. My usual tendency is to blast out of the gate with a long list. This year I’m putting into practice something different: a discipline I call the One-Thirty Plan.


    Are you planning to go out on New Year’s or stay home with many of your friends and relatives? We used to go out a lot, but lately we’re just comfortable staying put and maybe having a few friends stop by during the day to enjoy the new year.

    If you’re going to be staying at home and are expecting guests to pop in, why not have some scrumptious holiday appetizers for everyone to munch on while downing a favorite beverage of choice? These are not only good on holidays, but just about any other time of the year.


  • By John Nelson

    Sometimes you go into a garden looking for things to harvest, cook and enjoy at the table … and then you find something like this. Too pretty to eat!


    My favorite holiday may be New Year’s Day. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and an opportunity to chart a path for the next. On New Year’s Day, you have the next 365 days to improve your health, relationships and career — a gift to truly treasure.

    While you’re planning your personal improvements, don’t forget your dogs and cats. Here are seven resolutions I wish every pet parent would make this year.

  •  Everyone knows I love to read. That’s a universal statement. I love to read fiction as well as non-fiction. I love to read about church issues and human-interest stories found in newspapers and magazines. When nothing else is available, I will scan cereal boxes. Everything piques my curiosity, deepens my interest and expands my thirst for understanding. So, when Hubby Dear peers across the room to find my nose buried in a book, he sighs with the knowledge I’ve left this world to find treasures to be claimed and reclaimed in daily life.



    Sam Marshall

    Horticulture Agent


    When I worked for the state Forest Service, I remember one day while doing plant inventories stumbling upon a most unusual forest specimen. The large, fragrant white flowers were surrounded by a whorl of leaves nearly the length of my forearm and twice the width of my hand.

  •  Eggnog is one of the many special flavors of the holidays. While many people purchase commercially prepared eggnog, making homemade eggnog is a tradition for others. Hopefully, you’ve heard over the past few years the importance of updating your eggnog recipe to avoid potential foodborne illness. But there are still lots of recipes out there that may be putting your family at risk.

  •  This was going to be the best Christmas ever, Sally thought to herself as she admired her impressive tree. She surveyed her house, noting the care and precise placement of every ornament, stocking, napkin and candle. It was truly a holiday masterpiece. No one would ever accuse her of failing a family festivity. This Christmas celebration would be talked about for ages.

    She quickly changed, freshened her makeup and put on Uncle Matt’s “Favorite ‘50s Christmas Hits” playlist. She took a deep breath as she answered the door for her first guest.


    By Linda Arnold

    Just on the off chance your holidays are not totally Norman Rockwell-esque, take a look at the following checklist.

    Right now I’m feeling:

    ____ Jolly

    ____ Frenzied

    ____ Sad

    ____ Lonely

    ____ Overwhelmed

    ____ All of the above

    As a result, I’ve been

    ____ Kicking my system into overdrive

    ____ Giving up sleep for the month of December

    ____ Beating myself up for not getting everything done

  •  We all look forward to that customary Christmas dinner of roast turkey (or ham) garnished with chestnuts, vegetables and cranberry sauce. Afterwards, all those homemade cookies and other delectable sweets await.

    Most every country has its own Christmas dinner traditions, but the food served differs from country to country.