Posts made in June, 2016

Camping

By on Jun 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Hey mom, remember that time you got the blue fish stuck in your hair?” Kaleb, my son, recently asked. He was remembering one of our numerous camping trips I use to take my two boys on. For the record it was a tiny crayfish that got swept up in my long hair when I tried to wash it in a stream during one of our rustic camping adventures. For those of you who don’t know, “rustic” in the camping world pretty much means no facilities and left to the wilds. When I was a single mother raising two young boys it was the easiest and most inexpensive way to keep their endless energy in check and occupied, go on an inexpensive vacation, and in my case because I freelance for a living often work in a few articles along the way to make some money. We’ve probably camped in most of the lower 48 at some time or other doing everything from attending an international peace gathering in New Mexico to visiting one of the first known sites of human existence in America. Bet you didn’t know that’s in Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania. Along the way we’ve listened to hundreds of books on tape, roasted our share of marshmallows, and seen sites we just never would have dreamed of in the city. Like the time butterflies landed in our hands or our camera (the old film kind) captured magic coming out of our fingers when we did a silly dance by the fire at dusk. While we may have traveled all over the country some of the best camping is right here in our own backyard. Steuben County is the perfect place to capture your camping bliss and reconnect with your family in ways you just can’t when everyone is going their own way or buried in their electronic gadgets. I’ve set up the tent here at the lake many times for my foster kids. You’d be surprised what an evening under the stars does to take away the anxiety of a little one away from mom and dad. But if you’re not fortunate enough to have a beautiful lake, you’re welcome to borrow one of ours for a night or...

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Remembering Summer & More

By on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Memorial Day signals the unofficial start to summer: warm weather, barbecues, trips to the lake, family get-togethers, and good times. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that the original holiday, known as Decoration Day wasn’t a particularly happy occasion. It started after the Civil War to decorate the grave of those who’d died. At the time, it was the most deadly conflict the US had ever been involved in. Imagine the September 11 attacks 21 times greater. Kind of hard to wrap your brain around isn’t it? But that was our Civil War. No wonder communities began to get together to remember and celebrate the lives of the heroes they lost. Along the way, the observance came to include all military personnel who lost their lives—and that’s something that touches us all. If we don’t have a grandfather, mother, or cousin who’s served, we likely have a friend or at the very least have met one of these every day heroes. While there are some awesome and awe-inspiring monuments in places like Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York, there are some pretty cool places in Steuben County too. The center of Angola is built around one! Residents and visitors alike often pass by “The Mound” without stopping to realize it’s a Civil War Memorial. Erected in 1917, the Soldier’s Monument lists the 1,278 men who served in the conflict, 280 of whom never returned. The 18 regiments listed on the four sides of the monument not only include infantry, but artillery and cavalry. And while the names are of local residents the regiments were also from Illinois, Michigan, and several other regions. So, you don’t have to be a descendant of locals to find someone you may be related to. Likewise, Memorial Park in Ashley located on S. Union Street (right under the smiley face water tower) also memorializes those lost in battle. If you’re up for a little exploration, you can also find several soldiers’ graves in many of the local cemeteries. One of the most well-known is in Circle Hill Cemetery, (just behind Commons Park) section 6, lot 1. The soldier served in the 44 th regiment during the Civil War. Steuben County has several patriotic events too...

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Be a Kid Again

By on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Little kids love to run. It seems like most of them are so thrilled to be walking that they can’t wait to explore everything at top speed. Have you ever watched them? They throw their arms back and race like the wind—even if that wind is only blowing a mile an hour. The look of pure joy and pride on their faces tells you that they know they’re fast! Somewhere along the way, most of us lose that joy of running fast. We’d rather sit and watch TV or get lost in our iphones. It’s sad when you think about it—not just the disconnecting from the world, but the immobility. Luckily there’s an annual event in Steuben County to help adults recapture the pure adrenaline feeling of going fast in one of three ways. The Pokagon Triathlon recently celebrated its 10 th anniversary. Every May,participants from around the country gather at the state park for the triathlon. Take a dip in refreshing Lake James for the 750-meter swim course (one lap for the sprint, two for the Olympic event). Then hop on your bike for a 20K or 40K ride along Steuben County’s beautiful yet deceptively challenging country roads. Then finish with a trail run through the state park. If you’re not up to run, bike and swim, there’s also a bike and run. If you’re still notsure, there’s also just a run. With a 5K and 10K, in both men’s and women’s divisions, there’s sure to be something to fit everyone’s style, from the Olympic athlete to those reaching for a personal best. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a best. It could just be proving to yourself that you can still run like that kid you once were (fast as a mile an hour wind). Or why not grab a friend and compete team style? Two and three member teams canrace relay style, with each member performing a separate leg of the race. Most folks finish within four hours. And there are some great prizes too. Those who register early get a t-shirt. Men and women’s races are awarded overall and masters winners while division winners are recognized in 5 year age divisions with first, second,...

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The Law of Rhythm

By on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You may be familiar with the Law of Attraction (like attracts like), which made a big splash several years ago with a book by the same name. But what you may not know is that it is actually part of a group of seven universal laws. Another of those laws, the Law of Rhythm is about the ebb and flow of life. It basically says that everything, (trends, relationships, politics) is a pendulum that swings back and forth. That pendulum may swing way out but it must always come back to center. Over the past couple of years we’ve seen that law in action with the resurgence of farmers markets. According to the USDA’s 2014 Farmers Market Manager Survey (the most current survey out there) there are over 8,400 farmers markets nationwide. But these aren’t your grandparents farmers markets. At the Angola Farmers Market you can find things that Nana and Papa would never have dreamed. For example, at the May opening an industrious young man had his 3-D printer set up (powered by car battery). While his booth partner sold his paintings. Of course there plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, locally sourced meat, delicious baked goods, plants and flowers, not to mention local honey. But the selection doesn’t end with food. There are also homemade soaps, lotions, and salves as well as laundry detergent and other cleaning products. Need some jewelry or perhaps an outfit? Angola’s Farmers Market has it. What about some kitchen towels or blankets or even a piece of furniture? Angola’s Farmers Market has those too. And don’t forget all the wonderful art. You can find everything from wind chimes to glass yard art, to melted records recycled into bowls. And that was just on the opening day. They say it gets better as the season progresses! So why is the Farmers Market becoming so popular again? Fresh, local food tops the list, but it goes much deeper than that. Prices are often better and more competitive than local stores. It provides a great source for organic food as well as nutritional assistance and education for the community. Did you know WIC provides farmers market vouchers to its clients? Markets also serve as a...

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