Columns/Opinions

Wed
25
Apr
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By Sue Ransom

Zipedeedoodah we only have five weeks left of school. If I can only make the kids understand that means we have five weeks of school that they need to attend, pay attention and complete work. The spirit of “school is over” has permeated the system. No one wants to work, even my super hard-working students. I have thought for some years now that spreading the long summer break over the year would work better for everyone. We still do have some farm kids who have to help harvest, but for the most part we could do yearlong school with adjustments. We could take two weeks for Easter or spring break. We could have the week before Thanksgiving as well as Thanksgiving week.

That would still leave two months for summer. If we wanted to we could take three weeks at Christmas. I am preaching, but no one is listening. It would help with memory and material retention. No one remembers what they studied three months ago. It’s a thought worth pondering.

 

Wed
25
Apr
Edgar's picture

The Idle American

By Dr. Don Newbury

Looketh Unto the Hills…

Waxing biblical comes easily when one visits beautiful Colorado. If we “looketh up”--as the psalmists did--we can do them one better on the topic of elevation. In Psalm 121, they “lifted their eyes unto the hills” from which “cameth” their strength. How about gazing even higher- -yea, toward the mountains, for relaxation and refreshment? (Colorado leads the nation with 53 peaks towering more than 14,000 feet, well ahead of Alaska’s 29.)

On April’s second weekend, my wife and I flew to Denver, then drove upward to picturesque Mt. Crested Butte. It is one of the numerous Colorado meccas that induces skiers to salivate, dreaming of silken slopes by day and cozy fireplaces by night.

 

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Wed
18
Apr
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By Sue Ransom

We had to dig out the generator Friday evening thanks to the tremendous w in ds that blew in from the northwest. My house shook several times after a particularly strong gust. Strangely enough, very few of the big dead braches in our tree out front lost dead limbs. I was hoping we could have a little judicious pruning without having to climb a ladder, but no such luck. As strong as the winds were, they didn’t blow my lawn chairs around or my plastic watering can. It was just strange. However, the winds were strong enough to knock out the power for about seven hours. I tried out my new cob lanterns, and they work just fine. I had three, but one was enough to light the main room. The power came back on around 4:30 a.m.

Most of the folks around had no rain from this storm. The little corridor around me and a little east of here did get some rain and hail, but nothing was very damaging or particularly satisfying. We definitely need some rain around here.

Wed
18
Apr
Edgar's picture

The Idle American

By Dr. Don Newbury

Give Smiles a Try…

Songs are often slathered in over-simplification. We’ve generally gone along with the musical proclamation that our smiles trigger the rest of the world to smile with us.

Wait a minute. The world ignores, remaining ambivalent, whether we’re smiling or not.

This is not to say there is not value in smiles; they are worthwhile if they do nothing more than brighten a few lives in our own little world. Even slight grins help, and they buy a few seconds while we’re trying to think what to say next….

 

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Wed
11
Apr
Edgar's picture

Highlights of Harkeyville

By D. Harkey

The cold spell that came into our County this past weekend might have come close to proving the old adage of "Thunder in February will frost in April." I didn't get to check the low temperature on Saturday, but the highest of the day on my ol' "Snapper" thermometer was 37°. Surely a good day to stay in the house and read a book or two. It turned nice on Sunday afternoon but Monday was a bit cool. The short sprinkles we had in the latter part of last week did little for the rain gauge but did settle the dust on the County roads. Maybe we're in for a better rain soon.

Wed
11
Apr
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By Sue Ransom

This is setting up to be a busy week. The students have STAAR testing, income tax is due, my son’s birthday will take place overseas away from his family and Russ and I will have our 46th anniversary. That means a busy week. I wish this weekend had been better, but somehow the forecasters missed the mark by about 20 degrees. I had to go out and cover my apricot tree for Saturday night. I don’t know if that will save my tender apricots, but it was the best I could do. The pears will be fine, the tomatoes can be replaced, but the peaches are in danger. I am sitting in my sun room with a blanket to cover me so that I won’t freeze. I really don’t want to be breaking any records on the first year that my apricot tree finally put out blossoms. I have about eight tiny apricots that may or may not make it until the sun comes out. My goldfish are probably shivering in the murky water.

 

Wed
04
Apr
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By Sue Ransom

Did any of you see the video of young Piper Shannon singing on Easter Sunday? She did an awesome job on a difficult song. I see a young lady who will be singing in many of our local events. A proud granny posted the video and an equally proud set of parents enjoyed the moment.

If Russ and Karla Steel are an example of this weekend, I would say a large number of people enjoyed the sun a little too much for their own good. They attended the Easter egg extravaganza in San Saba. We had our own little version of that after service on Sunday. We had hundreds of eggs and a small number of children to do the picking. I guarantee they all went home with full baskets. I love Easter Sunday. That is one of the days when many people drop their busy schedules and come to church. It looks so good to see God’s house full. We have several fine local churches. I invite you to try them out and see if you can find a good church home.

 

Wed
04
Apr
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

Hill Country Oaks - More than Just Live Oaks

Several years ago, I wrote a number of columns discussing common native trees, shrubs, vines, forbs and grasses. I doubt even the most avid reader of these columns remembers everything they read 7+ years ago, so I intend to publish a number of updated columns describing the most common Hill Country plants over the coming months.

How many different species of native Hill Country oaks do you think there are? Well, depending on how far you think the Hill Country extends, I think the answer is eight. Here they are:

Wed
28
Mar
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

The Natural Food Web - How All Things are Interconnected

Most of us learned about our nutritional food pyramid in school, where we were advised to eat lots of the bottom layer (grains, cereals), slightly less fruits and vegetables, much less meat and fish, and only a little of the top of the pyramid - sweets. The food pyramid has recently been replaced with something called the "food plate," which shows what we should be eating in a kind of a pie chart (no pun intended!) superimposed on a plate.

In biology, the idea of a food pyramid has long been taught as having at its base - plants - and above that the herbivores which eat the plants, followed by the carnivores, which eat the herbivores. This is now considered much too simplified and it has also been replaced by what is called the food web.

 

Wed
28
Mar
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By Sue Ransom

I guess you can say we have spent another month. I am trying to wrap my head a round the fact next week is April. I think I can speak for most teachers and say that these last two months are the hardest. We have this giant push to complete all the work required in time to review for our wonderful STAAR tests. I waffle between telling my students that they don’t need to worry about the tests; I just ask that they do the best they can, and then flip to enforcing the importance of the tests for the state. When you add the large number of activities that happen during those two months, you have a recipe for turmoil.

Bro. Russ Steel piled about 12 of us into the church van and we went to San Saba to watch The Last Supper. The production was superb and I’m so glad we went. I wish their disciples were louder, but the message was clear. Bro. Sam and the congregation of the First Baptist Church San Saba hit a home run.

 

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