From these hills by By Peggy Johnson en-us The good samaritans The snow is gone but the recent March snow will be remembered for a long time. Area schools were dismissed for a week and churches also canceled services. Children had fun building snowmen or sledding, having snowball fights, enjoying the deep snow that held some people snowbound for days. I was marooned in my house unable to get out of my driveway due to the foot-high packed snow at the end of my driveway. Tired of being inside for days, and needing to buy a few groceries, I decided to don... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:28:00 -0500 Making snow ice cream I daresay that many of The Town Crier readers have never made snow ice cream. When I was a little girl, after the first big snow my parents would treat us to homemade snow ice cream. I remember my dad going outside with a large bowl or pan and gathering clean snow; a full pan. He'd bring it indoors and either he or my mother proceeded to make snow ice cream. It was so simple. My mom would add (drizzle) one can of condensed milk, a little at a time, to the snow. Then she would add one... Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:53:00 -0500 Thank goodness for commercials Archie Bunker said TV commercials are the way people learn things. How would women know what to do with those feminine products? Or what cereal to buy? Or what shampoo to use for silkier hair? Without commercials we'd miss out on all those two for one bargains, like the magic leg brace that fixes back problems, or those copper studded gloves that are "so cute" you can wear them anywhere. It's true that commercials are informative, educational, and repetitive. Saturday while trying to watch a... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:28:50 -0600 Two great presidents You can know a man by the pets he keeps. That really isn't a famous saying. It's just something I made up. But the kind of pets we keep do tell something about us. This column will deal with the pets of two of our past presidents. Since we have just recognized Presidents Day honoring Abraham Lincoln and also George Washington, I've decided to zero in on their pets. Washington, the first president of the United States, had varied pets, including hound dogs. He had three long-legged... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:39:33 -0600 A Valentine message She was hopping mad. He had forgotten their anniversary; no present, no acknowledgement. They had been married some 35 odd years. So she confronted him. He was contrite. So he went out into his workshop and found an old Valentine's Day card and presented it to her. That didn't cut it. She was still mad that he had forgotten. When they were first married he never bought her any presents, not at Christmastime or any other time. That just wasn't his thing. She would hint and was embarrassed... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:30:03 -0600 Men are different Man is an enigma, too. I was married to one for 35 years. He never totally understood me, nor I him. But, as the story goes, after several years of marriage, we became as one. We could almost read each other's thoughts. He could finish a sentence that I had started. But we weren't always on the same page. I would ask, "What do you want for supper?" He'd answer, "I'm not really hungry right now. So I'd get busy doing something else. Ten minutes later he'd say, "what's for supper?" "I... Tue, 03 Feb 2015 09:41:09 -0600 Never too old to learn One is never too old to learn. I am convinced of that every day. Just today I learned what a smash cake is. I'd never before heard that term. But I'm told that it is a miniature cake that accompanies a larger cake at a birthday party for the very young. In this case, a one year old princess. That one candle smash cake was for her taste only. She was allowed to dip her fingers into the cake icing, then put it into her mouth any way she wanted to. By the time she finished, the small cake had... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:09:03 -0600 More Resolutions How're you doing with your New Year's resolutions? I'm doing good. I vowed to quit smoking. That one is easy since I've never smoked. Then I vowed to lose down to 135 pounds. That's another easy one since I don't weigh that much yet. I believe that it is best to list a couple of resolutions that are attainable, rather than a long list of impossible goals. I have other resolutions too. I am resolved to never again eat soda crackers in bed. Also I resolve to use more paper plates. I pledge... Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:31:05 -0600 The new year, 2015 The old year ends with the Christmas celebration of the newborn Christ Child. The new year is at hand and probably the happiest person about that is Santa. He's just winding down from a hectic Christmas and he's ready for a leisurely winter nap. All those cookies are taking a toll, too. He must have put on 20 pounds or more on Christmas Eve. Mrs. Claus is nestled in her recliner, her tired feet propped, napping now and then. The Christmas season was chaotic for her, too, as she kept Santa on... Tue, 30 Dec 2014 09:38:48 -0600 The Christmas fruitcake Christmas is here, not looming in the distance. Presents are wrapped, plans are made for the holiday meal. Special Christmas parties are ending, including candlelight services and Christmas socials at churches, plus other events. Little children wait anxiously for the arrival of Santa on Christmas Eve. They can almost hear the reindeer on the rooftop as he delivers wonderful gifts and surprises. But let's get down to business. What shall we do with the fruitcakes that will bombard us this... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 09:47:01 -0600 The angel hair tree It was Christmas in rural Indiana. My children were excited as Christmas day drew near. My three-year-old son wanted a red riding tractor. My seven-year-old daughter wanted a ballerina doll. We were a long way from our family and the place we called home in Southeast Missouri. But this holiday there was no money for a trip back home. Nor could my husband get leave from the military base where he was stationed. So we tried to make the best of it. Unaccustomed to the severe Indiana winters, we... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:55:14 -0600 Figuring out a woman It seems to me that men ought to understand women by now. Women have been around since Adam and Eve, maybe before. And they haven't changed that much. When a woman asks a man if she looks fat in a certain outfit, she certainly doesn't expect him to say, "Yes." That would be near fatal. When Eve asked Adam if her fig leaf made her look fat, do you for one minute think he said, "Yes." What a woman expects is that her man will say, "Of course not, honey. You look wonderful." Surely, by now, he... Tue, 09 Dec 2014 09:37:14 -0600 Let us give thanks Thanksgiving is here. That means it's time to forget or put aside hardships, trials, and perhaps disappointments. It's time to give thanks for all the good things in our lives. There are so many that get pushed aside with negative thoughts or happenings. If you have children who respect you and allow you to be part of their lives, that's one thing to be thankful for. And if you have parents who love and care for you, that's a blessing, too. As we crawl into bed each night, we can thank the... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:57:06 -0600 My two legged friend Baxter and I get along just fine. It took some adjusting on both our parts but now we co-exist. Baxter came to live with me a year ago on my birthday. At first he cowered in his cage, backed away if I came too close. But he soon became comfortable in his new surroundings. He's a small member of the parrot family, known as a parakeet. Tonight he's chirping, pecking at his reflection in one of his mirrors. He's flitting from perch to perch, alert and happy. Baxter is especially perky from... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:32:42 -0600 An attitude change My attitude, or way of thinking, changes like the seasons. I think it has something to do with my stage in life and it has a lot to do with age, too. When I was younger, the holidays took on a spirit of wonder, awe, happiness. Especially when the children were small, at the age when everything was a magical time for them. There was fun and excitement as they opened each present under the tree. Christmas was a joyful time. We look at things differently as we get older. I think about that when... Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:31:41 -0600 Halloween, then and now Halloween used to be safer. At least, that's my thinking. When my children were trick or treaters, I had no fear of letting them trick or treat without a guardian. Yes, at first I went with them, but later they were allowed to go without me. They had their instructions, their plastic Halloween pumpkins and masks. They were not to leave the neighborhood, to stay close to home. I didn't worry that their candy treats were unsafe, that some pervert had poisoned the candy, to do harm. No, I had no... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:41:38 -0500 A flea market connoisseur Are you a garage sale connoisseur? At times, I think I am. My eye is always out for that once in a lifetime artistic find, like an oil painting by Picasso or DaVinci. In reality the only painting (a print, actually) that I bought was in a flea market for $1. I displayed it for a short time, then relegated it to my sunroom, a catchall for castaways. But, honestly, some rummagers are lucky enough to find a real treasure among the junk. Remember the London antique scrap metal dealer who found... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:37:29 -0500 Remembering Aunt Stella It has been a long time since my Aunt Stella passed away. It was probably 40 years ago, give or take. But today I was thinking about her. I can see her in my mind's eye. She was petite, probably not more than 5 feet tall. I see her smiling or her head thrown back laughing at something some family member said. But her most striking feature was her flame red hair. It was natural, not from a bottle. Two of her sisters were red heads, too, including my mother. My uncle Louis, known as "Red" in... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:00:02 -0500 Golden Age I was one of those senior adults who attended a Golden Age conference two weeks ago. There were silver haired men and women all over the place. But there was lots of laughter and comraderie, too. That conference got me to thinking about the golden years. With each added year comes a new pill, either blood pressure, cholesterol or sugar. The doctor tells you you need a new hip, knee surgery, heart bypass, or cataract surgery. He suggests diet and exercise, too. In one way, the old get... Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:37:49 -0500 On being a hoarder I've been reading articles about cluttering and ways to remedy the malady. Some of us are hoarders and don't even know it. We've surrounded our homes with stuff we've accumulated over the years. A lot of the stuff was given to us as gifts and they have sentimental value. We don't want, and don't, part with it. So it accumulates on shelves, in corners, in cardboard boxes or overflowing baskets. I keep all sorts of items, like favorite birthday cards or Mother's Day cards given to me by my... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:48:26 -0500