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From the patio that overlooks the old city of Valencia, I can hear the 2 o’clock bells ring around me from at least three churches. But today they are muffled by the sound of explosions. Soon, I see a thick cloud of smoke rise from the large plaza west of us.

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It’s July 1—today we enter the month of July, and 2020 is already halfway over. It has been quite a year to remember. I do not think many of us want to repeat such a year. When I see people in town shopping with masks on, what I miss the most is not being able to see a smile on a stranger’s …

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In a past column I featured the spectacular Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis, one of the most impressive in the world. There is another Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indiana. While not as grand as the other one, it is nevertheless very impressive. It is in of all places Winch…

Few summertime holidays elicit as much excitement as the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day in the United States. Each year, family, friends and revelers anticipate the arrival of the holiday so they can host barbecues, enjoy the sun, listen to their favorite summertime tunes, an…

The year 2020 is one few people will soon forget. Life changed dramatically and perhaps forever in 2020, when the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 forced billions of people across the globe to make sacrifices in an effort to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

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If you even mention the name peccary to most people they usually have a rather puzzled look on their face like what in the world are you talking about? Well a peccary is a pig-like mammal that most usually one would find in Central or South America. We do have one species of the peccary fami…

With so many services available online through my Social Security, signing up for a secure account will help you conduct Social Security business from home. With your personal my Social Security account, you can:

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Recently, we received over an inch of much-needed rain. The grass was turning brown, so the rain will help the grass and the crops in the fields. The irrigation system has been running in the big farmers’ fields. In some places, the water from the irrigation flies over the road. When we use …

I was born with traveling in my bones. I mostly blame it on my father’s side of the family. My great-great-grandfather, Jacob, moved from Virginia to Missouri.

Learn or practice wildflower identification skills during a Flora Field Day at Pine Grove State Recreation Area on Tuesday, July 7, with Monroe Lake interpretive naturalist Jill Vance.

Staycations can be perfect ways to rest and recharge without having to travel far from home. Staycations tend to be affordable ways to spend time together for those who perhaps do not have the budget to travel domestically or internationally, or those who simply prefer the convenience of rem…

Our backyards are some of the best places to spend the summer months, especially if you’re practicing social distancing and are tired of being cooped up indoors. Fortunately, it’s possible to transform your outdoor living space into a secluded, open-air retreat.

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The church bells ring gently as I open the shutters of our sixth floor apartment to a Mediterranean deep blue sky. Out on our tip-top patio, the doves coo gently. The bright sun shines down on the red rooftops and, from this vantage point, people in Valencia, Spain, are easing into the day.

Like a handful of holidays that came before it, Father’s Day in 2020 will be different than in years past. Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, much of the world continues to live under some degree of stay-at-home restrictions. Those guidelines will influence how people can…

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Son Joseph’s ride is late, so I decided to write this column while we wait. Some of the neighbors are without electricity from some storms that blew down trees. We didn’t get much of anything here. We had a little rain which we needed badly.

Food allergies affect millions of people around the world. The group FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) says researchers estimate 32 million Americans have food allergies. Among those allergies, milk is a leading source of food-related irritation.

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I stand on my deck overlooking my small kingdom. Tomato and pepper plants push up and out, sometimes growing leaves overnight. The yard is lush and luxuriant. Flowers bud and bloom. Nature is going through its June growth spurt and I can barely keep up.

Warm weather means more opportunities to spend time outdoors while at home. Whether your favorite form of outdoor recreation includes sitting on the patio reading or digging in the garden, there's a good chance that you will be sharing the space with local wildlife. Optimizing opportunities …

Many people are familiar with the conventional grilling wisdom that, when cooking meats, it’s best to “only flip once.” This has led backyard grillers to resist the urge to flip their foods in the name of flavor. But that conventional wisdom may not actually be that wise.

Hot, humid, oppressive, sticky. The weather seems to be following the news, bringing heat and heaviness to the table. Sometimes it feels like swimming through murky water with unknown beasts trying to pull us down and when we surface, a merciless gray sky looks no different than what lies below. I’m searching for a breath of fresh air, a change, or even just a way through the weight that pushes down on us.

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STAY CONNECTED WITH ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana will be hosting FREE online support group sessions the first and third Thursdays of each month; there will be a session held at 10 a.m. and a session held at 2 p.m. on these days. You may…

INDIANAPOLIS — Beginning today, SNAP recipients in Indiana may use their Hoosier Works EBT cards to purchase groceries online for pickup or delivery at two approved retailers — Amazon and Walmart. SNAP participants are automatically eligible to participate in this program and do not need to apply.

With more than 80 years of service, the Social Security Administration has helped secure today and tomorrow with financial benefits, information, and tools that support you throughout life’s journey. In May, we recognize Older Americans month and we encourage you to participate by learning a…

Has your family enjoyed more time together, including family meals, during the pandemic? Before the worldwide health crisis, many families had seen the demands of everyday life cause a decline in traditional sit-down family dinners. Many families run from activity to activity, and it seems a…

INDIANAPOLIS — While businesses across Indiana continue to open in stages, frontline workers in long-term care communities are still grappling with the impact of COVID-19, and dementia caregivers whose loved ones live in these facilities are still unable to visit them in person. The Alzheime…

Barbecue season has arrived, so soon people will be bonding in the backyard over hamburgers and hot dogs. Backyard barbecue season begins in spring and continues through summer and, where the weather allows, into fall. Barbecues are a perfect summertime soiree, as they're usually laid back a…

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PRECAUTIONS: Many of us have found ourselves doing a lot more cleaning and disinfecting of our homes these past several months. While this is a good way to minimize our risk of becoming ill, many of the cleaning supplies that we use can be toxic if used incorrectly.…

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A toad patiently awaits its next meal on a a piece of barn wood. Toads, which are in abundance in many yards right now, are good for pest control. According to gardenknowinghow.com, toads are very beneficial as they naturally prey on insects, slugs and snails and consume up to 10,000 in a si…

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Today daughters Verena, 22, Loretta, 19, Lovina, 16, son Kevin, 14, and I went to assist niece Emma in preparing for hosting the next church services. Sister Emma and son Steven, niece Elizabeth, and sisters Verena and Susan were also there helping, along with my daughters Elizabeth and Susa…

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Today’s dish is quite easy if done correctly, and absolutely delicious. And it is also the event that has forced me to contemplate a big (for me) decision regarding what I will be cooking on as we enter the official outdoor grilling season. Let’s start with the dish.

As May winds down, nature is winding up. As I run through the woods, the natural world makes itself known by loud bird chatter and an ever-creeping mantle of green. This year, the tree blossoms and flowers seem especially colorful and resilient. It might just be that the gray skies help to show them off or that my mind is more focused on what’s around me these days.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO HELP OTHERS! BUILD-A-BAG 2020: Generations is partnering with Purdue Extension, Red Cross and Daviess, Greene, Knox and Martin RSVPs in an effort to help the individuals that we serve. Please consider helping us by donating items to fill bags for these individuals who ar…

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All of our lives have changed with the pandemic, guidelines for social distancing and stay-at-home orders. We have been challenged to find new routines and a new normal during these unprecedented times.

It may often go unnoticed, but the thoughtful men, women and children who give up their free time to support worthy causes do a lot to bolster their communities.

Anyone who is a regular reader of this column or who knows me personally is aware of the fact that I love smoked Boston butt pulled pork sandwiches. But, at the urging of our most senior child, Emily, who lives in San Diego, I gave a recipe she sent me a shot this past weekend, along with he…

When days turn into weeks that turn into months, and a small dread follows me around whenever I step out my front door, I remember that I need to give myself some space, aside from the worries and stress. To truly escape the highwire balance I tread between the hard news, the careful living and the fearful world, I need a place where I can go and momentarily lay aside the weight of it all.

These are complex and chaotic times forcing us to make decisions in less than optimal circumstances. Every investor has these challenges, but there is usually more clarity over economic stability. Today is a more significant leap of faith as we decide to either stay the course or alter our investment options.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO HELP OTHERS! BUILD-A-BAG 2020: Generations is partnering with Purdue Extension, Red Cross and Daviess, Greene, Knox and Martin RSVPs in an effort to help the individuals that we serve. Please consider helping us by donating items to fill bags for these individuals who ar…

High school graduation is a significant milestone in the lives of teenagers. The moment a teenager receives a high school diploma marks the culmination of years of hard work, and many parents and extended family members reward that hard work with gifts.

The following are some items that can help grads as they take their first steps into the professional world.

Trends involving eyebrow shaping and shading are ever-changing. Sometimes it’s de rigueur to have thin eyebrows, while other times trends call for much thicker eyebrows.

This year would have been the 11th Annual Tri Kappa Top 10 Academic Dinner. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be canceled. Members of the local Tri Kappa chapter sponsor this event every year. In preparation for the dinner, each Top 10 student is asked to name their mentor and prepare …

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It is 4:30 a.m. and son Joseph just left for work. They have a one-and-a-half-hour drive to the job site today, so they had to leave earlier than usual. Joseph enjoys construction work.

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As many of you know, Liz (my wife) is a parochial school teacher for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. With the kids learning from home, the teachers have had to become creative in terms of teaching and interacting with students online. A couple of evenings ago Liz hosted a Facebook live and led a l…

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