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Features

  • Author Stewart O’Nan has sometimes been labeled “the bard of the working class.” And in this 146-page gem of a novel the hero is a 35-year-old manager of a Red Lobster restaurant tucked at the end of a hardscrabble mall. It is five days before Christmas and headquarters has determined that Manny De Leon’s place is not meeting the numbers and must close.

  • Now that Thanksgiving is over I can sigh a deep, well-deserved relief. Being thankful for everything is very hard work. During the Thanksgiving season, I pasted a gratuitous smile on my face claiming to be thankful for everything, but deep down inside somewhere there is a streak of rebellion that struggles with this concept of being thankful.

    I must admit that I am working on it because the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage keeps telling me, “You had better be working on that attitude of yours.”

  • I love fall and Thanksgiving. Here in our part of Florida the air is cooler, the nights have a bit of a nip in them and the trees along the turnpike have a bit of color around the tips. Pumpkin patches seem to pop up everywhere along the rural back roads and festivals and craft shows abound.

  • The Quilt Club raffles at the Cherrywood Craft Show will make the holidays brighter for two local charities. The quilt drawing produced $246 for the food pantry at Interfaith Emergency Services.

    The raffle table of quilted items made it possible to send $113 to Sheltering Arms.

    Democratic Club

  • Spruce Creek North has been without a reporter for a few years, so hopefully I can fill the job. First of all, where is Spruce Creek North?

    With all the “Spruce Creeks” in the area it is difficult to remember where each one is located.

    We, at Spruce Creek North, are bordered by Oak Run, Cherrywood and Marco Polo Village. Sounds to me like we are in very good company. Our main entrance is right off 103rd Street Road.

    Our community is basically small but we have many activities to keep us busy.

  • What a show! The Oasis did indeed become the USO …  and what a night it was. As mortar and gunfire played through the sound system, the Color Guard representing each branch of the service walked to their places on the stage.

    The audience arose as the stars and stripes entered and was carried slowly and alone to the stage, accompanied by Harry Chambers playing America the Beautiful on his keyboard. A rotating light of various colors had a glowing effect on the flag. Reverently everyone cited the Pledge of Allegiance. The stage then lit up with more than 600 lights.

  • On Nov. 9 the Military Club at Spruce Creek Preserve met to honor the veterans of all services, both men and women. We had in attendance 84, including our guest speaker and her spouse.

    We began our program with the following members of our honor guard presenting our country’s flag and the flags of the different branches of the service: John Mariani, Jim Jones, Pete Mavros, Mac Hendrix, Karl McKeivier, Wendy Vanloozenoord, and Bob Liotta. We all then joined in with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Chaplain John Rando offering the opening prayer.

  • Thanksgiving is next Thursday, a day when we all should be thankful for our life, blessings, and liberty in the U.S.A. We already know what the day will be like.

    Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190 degrees. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

  •  

    We can learn a lesson from the presidential election. Most anything is possible. You just have to want it enough to work hard.

    To some extent, I feel the message “yes we can” needs to be modified a bit. It takes an exceptional person to reach the heights that Barack Obama has, given the hurdles he needed to overcome. Saying that, it is possible for the average person to push to his or her limits.

  • Part 1 of “Market and Investment Evaluation Methods” reviewed stock market and business basics. Part 2 discussed fundamental analysis including economic, industry, and company analysis. It ended with a definition of “ratio analysis,” a tool security analysts use to measure the investment worth of a company.

    This article will review ratio analysis in more detail. Ratios provide a quick way to measure a company’s financial condition. The rations are derived from information contained in a firm’s income statement and balance sheet.

  • We achieved our goal of raising enough money to dedicate a patient care room in the name of the residents of Oak Run at the Hospice Legacy House. “Hoofin’ it for Hospice” on Saturday, Nov. 8, raised just short of $5,400.

    These contributions, together with the previous years’ “Hoofin” walks at Oak Run allowed us to reach our goal of $30,000, and the checks are still coming in.

  • For about a week I have had this nagging feeling that I was supposed to be doing something but I could not put my finger on it. It was the kind of feeling I have when I know the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage wants me to do something and I cannot remember what she told me to do.

    All I remember is her saying, “If you don’t do it you’ll be sorry.” Well, I’m sorry, and I still cannot remember it.

    This went on for over a week and then it finally dawned on me. Hemingway was right. No matter how dark it might look the Sun Also Rises.

  • Part 1 of 3 parts

    I am a writer and a Jewish woman. I have a story to tell. Usually this column is about the practices and beliefs of Judaism. It is often filled with history, fascinating facts and interesting people.

  • Water balloons, relays and a huge slip-’n-slide were just a few of the activities for the day. This past week, 47 children participated in the Harmony in the Streets program at the Sheriff’s Marion Oaks District office.

    In a shared effort between the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches and community partners, low-income children get the opportunity to attend the one-week free summer camp. While staff from Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch put the daily camp activities together, the MCSO takes care of food and organizing the camp.

  • June is the traditional month for weddings. By now countless couples have finished their wedding preparations and have walked down the aisle or are close to it. There is no other more romantic month; so it is obvious that our trip through Pun Alley takes us down the path of courtship, weddings, and marriage.

    She’s Game

    A college senior took his new girlfriend to a football game. They found seats in the crowded stadium and were watching the action.

  • Hippocrites (460 B.C. to 370 B.C.) regarded by many as the father of modern medicine, said, “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”

    A modern scientist, Dr. Barry Sears, makes a more powerful statement. He says, “Food may be the most powerful drug you will ever take.”

    Remember: nutritional supplements are food. And Dr. Sears’ statement refers to all components of our food supply. (Dr. Sears should refer to food as medicine, not as a drug. Nevertheless, he makes his point.)

  • Ann Rule is at the top of her form in this latest true crime venture about double murders carried out 14 years apart by a respected dentist, Bart Corbin. I have been a Rule fan for years, but what makes this book different is that she’s avoided using every bit of her laborious research, which often burdens the reader with more detail than needed or wanted.

    No indeed, this time she moves fast to her conclusion with a page-turner you can read in a single afternoon.

  • There are all kinds of studies done by people who have nothing more important in the world to do. It is amazing how they come up with these various topics and studies. There must be somebody, somewhere, being paid to come up with the most ridiculous studies they can think up.

    Normally I do not pay much attention to these studies. I have more important things to do ee like living. However, one caught my attention right away. The title of the study was, “Women Live on Average Four Years Longer than Men.”

  • In Part I we reviewed some exceptions that allow early distributions from a traditional IRA without incurring the 10 percent income tax penalty. This article will cover other important information about traditional IRAs.

    Should you take distributions from your traditional IRA before age 59? You are allowed to take distributions from your traditional IRA whenever you like in any amount you choose.

  • Summer is a fun season, but there are numerous pitfalls and potential hazards for your pet. This article is geared to make you aware of them so you and your pet can avoid summer mishaps.

    Last month we went over the things you need to know about traveling with your pet, so now we’ll cover many of the everyday things you need to consider.

    First, and foremost, is the heat. It’s best to keep your animal indoors in air conditioning, if possible, during the hottest part of the day. If that is not possible, you must provide plenty of shade and water.