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Showing posts from January, 2020

Stories From the Past: How a headline from over 50 years ago connected a daughter to her dad

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I subscribe to Ancestry.com, and part of the package includes access to Newspapers.com. I'd had the service for six months before I took the time to try it, and within the first fifteen minutes of searching, I'd found an article that made the extra fee worthwhile.

A few weeks ago, I sat down at my desk and brought up the Newspapers.com website. I had about an hour before dinner, so I settled back in my padded chair, laid my hand on the mouse, and clicked in the search bar.

I typed in Murl J. Hume, my maternal grandfather's name, and hit enter.

On top of the list was an article from the Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune in Muscatine, Iowa. Bingo! I had a hit on my first attempt! The article was titled, Pvt. Murl J. Hume Returns to Camp, and it detailed how Hume, an enlisted Army serviceman, had been home on a 10-day furlough to visit his parents. It also told of his basic training and his Camp address in South Carolina.

I smiled at the way small-town newspapers reported on the…

Unplugging to Connect: What happens when you spend two hours playing with your friends

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When is the last time you spent two hours laughing, concentrating, puzzling, and trying to outscore your friends, all without electronics or screens?

This is what a good board game can do.

Shawn and I have been acquiring and playing board games for over ten years. They have been Christmas gifts, birthday presents, just-because purchases, and impulse buys. Our collection used to fill one six-foot bookcase, and now it fills four. The local game store has gotten to know us by name as we have sought out entertainment, challenge, and variety.

Before I met Shawn, my experience with board games was limited to Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Monopoly or Risk. I had no idea that there were so many more diverse and engaging options out there!

The games we have take anywhere from twenty minutes to four hours to play, though the average time is about the same length as a movie. Some are card-based, some use dice to run the game, and many have the classic fold-out board at the center of the table.

No matt…

How to Set and Meet Your Goals: An obsessive control freak learns to let go

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Hello. My name is Lisa, and I'm an obsessive control freak. My intervention was five and a half years ago, and I've been slowly releasing my grip since then.

New Year's Resolutions have always been troublesome for me. I love a fresh start, and if I'm planning a new project or endeavor, I'll always begin on the first, whether it be the first of the week, the first of the month, or (the best option) the first of the year.

My resolution usually goes well for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month. The trouble sets in when I miss day or two. My inner obsessive control freak tells me that I have failed the goal and that it's all over. That I may as well give up.

It's why I have half a dozen journals that are mostly blank.

It's why I felt an awful pit of guilt and defeat when I skipped a blog post two weeks ago.

It's why I've avoided making resolutions at all.

However, in my efforts to grow, I've been experimenting with letting go, especially when it com…