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Features

  • “Faith, hope and love …” said St. Paul. Accordingly, I believe we can. I have great hope for the future and above all else, I am love. (Remember, as we think, so we become.) It’s a bright new day and people are seeing the world with new eyes, choosing to see beauty and harmony.

  • I spent a few very profitable hours searching for a special box of Valentine chocolates. After all, that special person in my life deserves all the time I can spare in choosing the right box of chocolate.

    I’m not sure who came up with the idea of giving your "sweetheart" a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, but I would like to shake his hand sometime. Of all the gizmos, doodads and gimmicks in the wide world, this one tops them all.

  • How wonderful, we had approximately two inches of rain last month, after a long dry spell. Have you serviced your irrigation system? Have you gone out and watched how the water is moving in the landscape? Have you seen the smile on your plants?

    The winter vegetables; kale, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and onions, that are close to harvest, are beautiful. And, our daffodils are in bloom.

  • There are three things you need to keep in mind before you begin walking your dog. First is that all dogs (large or small) need to walk.

    Wild canines are walker/travelers. Running around the yard, house, or even the dog park does not satisfy their instinctive need to walk.

    Second you must recognize that a dog is not human and does not have human feelings. The proper walking techniques that I mention below are not mean; they actually make the dog more secure and stable.

  • “Mister we can use a man like Herbert Hoover again,” shrieks Edith Bunker as she sings about the good old days on the television show All in the Family. Of course, historians will know that Herbert Hoover presided over this country during the early days of the Great Depression. His strong belief that government aid would breed a sense of dependence among the poor made him appear uncaring and ultimately led to his defeat in the 1932 election. Thus, the era of the “New Deal” began with Franklin D.

  • In ancient Rome, Feb. 14 was a pagan holiday in honor of Juno, the goddess of women and marriage, and the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Later it became a holiday named after a priest.

    According to church tradition, St. Valentine was a priest near Rome about the year 270 A.D.

    While historical details of Valentine’s Day are unclear, we do know that across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of Saint Valentine.

  • In his latest novel, John Grisham seems intent upon reincarnating Mitch McDeere from his breakout legal thriller The Firm. In fact, there are so many similarities between the two thrillers we might sniff plagiarism if both works weren’t by the same writer.

    Like Mitch, Kyle McAvoy is idealistic, bright, and a luminary of his law school (Yale here instead of Harvard.) And like Mitch he falls into a trap set by some baddies who this time are tied to defense contractors, not the Mob.

  • When Legacy House volunteer Jennie Halvorsen heard that quilts were needed at the home she knew just where to go. She went back to her church, Joy Lutheran, and asked the women of the Joyful Hands quilting group if they would be interested in donating quilts to people here at home before they make their annual worldwide contribution. Her request was met with an enthusiastic response for the opportunity to share their works of love with a local group in need. As a result, 16 quilts for 16 beds were donated.

  • The On Top of the World Lions are getting ready to have their annual dinner dance, “Dine and Dance with the Lions,” on Saturday Feb. 28, at the Holiday Inn and Suites, behind the Cracker Barrel off I-75 and S.R. 200. Cost is $25 per person.

    Dress to impress, the Sugarbear band will provide  great dance music. For tickets and dinner selections, call 352-489-1051, credit cards will be accepted.

    All proceeds from this benefit will go to the On Top of the World charities. So put on your dancing shoes and have a great evening.

  • In the wake of turbulence in the financial markets, many people are reviewing the legal protections available for assets held by banks, credit unions, and securities dealers. Here are some of the protections available.

    Bank deposit accounts: Generally, deposit accounts at banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) are insured up to $100,000 per depositor per bank. FDIC covers checking, NOW, and savings accounts; money market deposit accounts; and time deposits, such as certificates of deposit (CDs).

  • I was told these stories that I want to share with you all about the remote keyless entry buttons common on most new cars. They broadcast a signal that can be intercepted and captured by today’s geeky criminals.

    As the first story goes, the man says he locked his car with the remote. As he walked away he heard his door unlock. He went back and locked the car three different times; then he looked around and saw two guys sitting in a nearby car. When he looked directly at the men the car did not unlock again.

  • I must veer once more just a moment to Micanopy. For some reason, the name honors Mikanope, the chief of chiefs who led his Seminole warriors in what is called the Dade Massacre of 1835.

  • It was a turbulent year for many of Americans, but we must be resilient and carry on. One of our chores is to gather our tax information to prepare for the 2008 tax filing season.

    As most taxpayers in the Corridor are aware, the Internal Revenue Service revises its tax codes annually and it’s difficult to keep up with the changes. Here are some new and revisited items that will affect your 2008 tax return.

    Additional standard deduction for real estate property tax: (New)

  • Astronaut Alan B. Shepard was a dedicated golfer. As commander of Apollo 14, America’s third lunar landing, he was the fifth person to do a moon walk.

    On this day in 1971, Shepard did some golfing on the moon with a 6-iron head attached to a lunar sample scoop handle. Despite thick gloves and a stiff spacesuit which forced him to swing the club with only one hand, he struck two golf balls, driving the second, as he put it, “miles and miles and miles.”

  • On Feb. 9, Jews all over the world will celebrate Tu Bishvat. This minor holiday, Jewish Arbor Day, celebrates the beginning of spring in Israel with the blossoming of the almond trees. Because of their importance to a dry land such as Israel, trees have played an important part in the ecology of the Jewish State.

  • The only thing you can believe when a politician speaks is that you can’t believe what a politician says. How else can they be elected to office? Every one of them promises the moon, and then once elected they moon the public. I guess we always get what we ask for.

    This latest is simply an addition to those famous last words that have gone on before. Let me list several of them.

    “I’m not a crook.”

    “I did not have sex with that woman.”

    And now the latest: “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

  • How long has it been since you’ve attended a tea? Or have you ever? Well then, here’s your chance.

    On Saturday, Feb. 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. you are invited to the Friends Valentine Tea Membership Drive in the community meeting room. Members, patrons, and the just curious are all welcome.

    Come enjoy some goodies and refreshments, and find out what The Friends are all about. Have some goodies and refreshments, and find out what The Friends are all about. Kermit and Cindy Clark will provide live music on keyboard and guitar.

  • African violet or Saintpaulia is a well-known and popular houseplant. They can be easily grown indoors under artificial light conditions or near a filtered bright window.

    In Florida, I have had success leaving them outdoors under filtered light from trees. I only recommend this practice during the warm months, of course, as this plant will freeze in temperatures under 32 degrees.

  • United Way of Marion County announced that it has reached 88 percent or $2.2 million dollars of the goal set in August 2008. The goal set by the United Way board of directors was $2.5 million, a milestone set in 2006 and raised again in 2007.

  • Today is the day for those still working to have some fun. According to the Internet site, Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays, today is National Fun at Work Day.

    I have fond memories of fun at work as my coworkers fed straight lines to me and I found ways to hurl puns back at them. In retrospect I suspect they weren’t having as much fun as I was aiming – as there was a lot of groaning, head-slapping and maybe those grins were grimaces.