August 22, 2014

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Finding just the right words when confronted with new baby

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
The Midwest has been known for its fertility since the beginning of time, but in the last few months we seem to be getting carried away. It seems like everywhere I turn I’m confronted with someone’s new baby. Maybe it can be blamed on the terribly cold nights we had last winter.
I’m always in a quandary on what to say when a newly-mothered lady holds her baby out to me. It helps if I know it’s coming and I can rehearse a few lines in the car before I get there. I’ve tried several with varying success:
“Oh how cute.” Yes, that’s about as trite as you can get and the mothers hear it so often that it probably rolls right off their ears. Besides, aren’t all babies cute? I mean, even if the child has three heads chances are that at least two of them are cute.

 
Rain makes life easier on the ranch

By Kay Brown
Behind the Garden Gate
We had a fairly good week with enough rain. I didn’t have to water anything except put the drip system on the Blackberries. There is a fair amount of berries but they’re not ripening. That's just like the tomatoes, lots of them, just not turning very fast.
I heard from some report on T.V. that the ground down a few inches is not as warm as it should be. It must have to do with the weather change we’re having. I’ve chosen a ground cover to put on the garden before too long.

 
Developing children’s character

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
While in the grocery store the other day, an attractive young mother was telling her two-year-old son to not touch, and when he wouldn’t obey, she reached down and gave the little tike a gentle swat on his small behind. The kid behaved and she looked at me smiling and said, “I don’t think it will hurt his character, I am going to raise him the old fashioned way.” I smiled and said, “I think it is a good idea.”
According to John Rosemund, who has a column occasionally in the Springfield Journal, he said that a generation or so ago the Mental Health professionals did an admirable sales job on the American Public and America’s child rearing practices underwent an extensive overhaul as a result.

 
Cooler temps hinder rippening of vegetables

By Kay Brown
Kate’s Garden Gate
It sure was nice to have 70 degree weather for a while. Those temps don’t let the veggies ripen very well, and customers at market are really wanting those home grown tomatoes.
One vendor this past week had some tomatoes, but they were shipped in and the vendor has to declare anything that is not home grown as being such. Customers were still buying them.
There were potatoes, melons, and more green beans, along with too much corn. I quit growing corn for market two years ago because the bigger growers were taking over the market. I just grow the corn for family and the freezer now.
My cabbages are almost done and I might have small sweet melons this coming Friday. The blackberries are coming along really well but there won’t be a big crop this year. We have been picking lots of cherry tomatoes, but just for the family. There are a few bigger ones turning red, but it sure is slow. Maybe the heat that's suppose to be coming will be a good thing to ripen them, but not to have to be out in.

 
Alert conductor foils payroll car robber

By Leigh Morris
Our Place in History
As Southern Illinois’ coal fields were developed in the 19th and early 20th century, numerous short line railroads were built to haul the black diamonds from mines to major rail lines.
One such short line was the Eldorado, Marion & Southwestern. Completed in 1908 by the Ernest Coal Co., the 12.5-mile railroad ran from Marion to Scranton Junction, Pittsburg, Keystone Junction and terminated at Paulton. The line was reincorporated as the Marion & Eastern on Dec. 31, 1913, and sold in 1917 for the tidy sum of $60,000.
Few gave this little journeyman railroad a second thought until the spring of 1924. That’s when Jesse James wannabes robbed the M&E’s payroll car.

 
Let’s hear it for the dreamer!

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
Let’s hear it for the boy who’s so busy looking for four-leaf clovers that he misses the ball that’s hit to him in right field. Let’s hear it for the girl who completely misses what her math teacher was saying about Euclidean geometry because she was too fascinated with the patterns her teacher’s prism earrings were making on the far wall. Three cheers for the little fella who can’t mow the yard straight because he’s so in awe of the cloud patterns forming over his head, and the little girl who can never remember to make her bed but she’s intrigued by the contours of the rumpled sheets and blankets, imagining them to be some green, futuristic cities.

 
A new great-granddaughter and a successful Farmer’s Market ... can’t be beat!

By Kay Brown
Kate’s Garden Gate
The house is so very quiet now that my kids are gone. My daughter and her husband left Friday for Abingdon to await the birth of their first grandchild. She arrived Sunday morning at 12:45 a.m.
Most of us thought it was going to be a boy, and we even made the baby quilt in blues, browns with a little white and green. It had dogs on it and we trupointed (stuffed) a dog shape from the front onto the back so it would be reversible.
Well Kenleigh Jane will just have to live with it! I’m sure they’re all just so happy the baby is here, doesn’t matter which sex it turned out to be. They didn’t want to know ahead of time so that's why we were all guessing.

 
Loss of limbs presents no handicap

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
We made friends with Jane, a lady who moved into this retirement home because Bloomington was her home town and also to be close enough to one of her sons. Having had lunch with her several times and having conversations with her at other times, I found she had a most unusual and interesting story. Actually it was a inspirational story about her son, Randy.

 
Crash of cell phone network ignites panic, desperation

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
We were thrown into crisis mode. I had never seen my friends in such a panic. No fire, earthquake or flood could have affected our region so drastically, and the effects of the catastrophe still linger today in frayed nerves and irregular heartbeats. Last week the AT&T cell phone network went down and the world of some folks came to a crashing halt.
Social media lit up immediately with cries of pain and anguish. With cell phones out of commission some folks had apparently lost the will to live. I had just read an article on the Chilean miners trapped underground in 2010 and the moans of hopelessness seemed eerily reminiscent.

 
When a lynching isn’t a lynching

By Leigh Morris
Our Place in History
After years of gathering dust in my “story ideas” file, I finally decided to check out the veracity of two published reports about Beardstown’s one and only lynching.
According to those reports, Adam Baker was a proprietor of a Beardstown saloon. Apparently, Baker was a pretty popular with everyone. Well, everyone except the fellow who murdered him. Or perhaps it was two fellows who murdered him. A gent named Wilcox and another named Charlie Blohm were together one evening in 1873 or 1874 when Baker lost his life. No one seemed to know exactly how Baker met his demise or at least it wasn’t mentioned.
When Baker was murdered, Blohm decided the time had come to make a hasty retreat from town. He fled by wading and swimming the Illinois River. Once across, he hoofed it all the way to Galesburg. Supposedly, Blohm later became a railroad conductor.

 
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