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It’s Lent. Forty days of dedication to prayer, penance, almsgiving and fasting in the name of the Lord. Not fasting like medical fasting before a scan or surgery. Not trendy intermittent fasting for weight loss, either. This is fasting invented by those mean old religious people. They want you to eat less meat and just eat less in general, and they expect that to have some kind of an effect on your relationship with God. Ridiculous. more
For many years I have been recommending wines to readers for their enjoyment or for possible purchase as gifts. I have recommended wines for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New Year's, and a myriad of other celebratory situations. more
Spring temperatures one day and icy rain the next are just typical for our part of the country. I don’t think we ever get used to the unpredictability of the weather here but we do learn to garden with caution. Our last frost date for the year is May 15 to be on the safe side as we have had 4-6 inch snows more than once on May 6. more
Well, Chiefs Kingdom, here we are again: somehow, heading to the Super Bowl has become familiar territory for our beloved football team. more
Just in case you hadn't noticed, the price of wine, like the price of everything else, is rising. Part of the reason is the costs added by taxation from federal, state and local governments, where alcoholic beverages have been a “cash cow” for a very long time more
The benefits of trees. I’ve talked about a few of the trees’ benefits in previous columns, such as how they can shade your house to save energy both in heating and cooling seasons and how they can provide habitat for numerous insects and bird species. However, in the last couple of months, I’ve learned new information about their value and the rules and regulations governing their planting and maintenance in Warrensburg. more
If you’ve studied Scripture, you’ve heard of King David. And, if you are like me, you probably think David is an anomaly: singer/songwriter, giant slayer, prophet, priest, king. David was a superhero. I can hear the echoes of the chants from the crowd shouting, “Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands (1 Sam 21:11).” more
Are you a wine snob? Do you extend a pinky while holding a wine glass or wiggle your nose when you sample the aroma? Do you twirl the glass before drinking, then purse your lips after sampling and make comments about the wine such as “It’s a fine wine but I believe they picked the grapes too early.” more
This is an open letter to Margie Vandeven, Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: more
Jan. 23-27 was designated as “National News Literacy Week.” It could not be more important or timely as we continue to be bombarded with misinformation, disinformation and downright lies in all corners of the public square. more
Looking out your front window at the snow, be assured, spring is coming. Looking at your heating bill you may not believe it but I can assure you, with absolute certainty and without any doubt, spring is coming and one of the first of the springtime celebrations is Saint Valentine's Day where we honor the ones we love. more
Good morning. more
When traveling by air anywhere in the world, most airlines charge an additional fee to carry extra baggage. more
In the ancient rendering of time known as the Christian Church Year, the span of weeks between Jan. 6 (which signals the end of the 12 Days of Christmas) and Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, known by many as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras—Feb. 21 this year) is called Epiphany, a word meaning “to make known or show forth.” more
In my first column of the new year, I wrote that I had a lot of learning experiences in 2022, ranging from how to style my naturally curly hair to embracing new perspectives. It seems that theme is already carrying over into 2023. more
It’s been a hectic two weeks, so that means it’s time for my next edition of “Quick hits and short takes.” more
What does 2,992 miles have to do with wine? The answer is one you may not believe. It is the distance between California's fine wine-producing region, the Napa Valley, to the North Fork of Long Island, New York, where there are 48 commercial wineries currently in operation and producing some outstanding classical grape wines. more
Even though temperatures do not seem very winter–like some days, the bareness of the winter landscape reveals much about our gardens. more
Ah, yes. I mentioned those elusive New Year’s resolutions at the end of last month’s article with hopes that you would strongly consider making some “environmental” resolutions for 2023. I would also encourage you to plan long-range goals for energy reduction for your home and transportation because the monies available in the Inflation Reduction Act will be ongoing for the next 10 years; plus, there are limits on how much a household can receive in a given year. more
I do not wish to imply that I am a penny pincher, but I have been accused of squeezing a dollar bill so hard that I broke George Washington's nose. Even though I am a wine journalist, I too buy wines and I too look for the best buys. With the disappearance of “Two Buck Chuck'' (Charles Shaw Wines), the last of the quickly made, low-priced wines of dubious quality and the rise in consumer prices that we are currently experiencing, wine, which is often considered a luxury, will be among the very first to suffer. more
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