April 18, 2014
Local Columnists
Lunch time becomes a real treat

A few days ago it was our doctor day. I had an appointment with a retina specialist who comes from Peoria one day each week. I have a liquid bubble behind the eye ball and they are trying to evaporate it. Our son Don is retired and took me, and stayed with me while I was at the doctor’s office. We were out of the doctor’s office in time to pick up Christine who had a routine check-up with her doctor.

 
End of winter . . . time to party!

Greetings from the Ridge.
I’m ready for a party. Oh, I know that living in this most blessed of nations it’s hard to say that we deserve anything, but dog-gone it, after living through a winter like we’ve just endured I think we’ve earned the right to treat ourselves to a shindig. Print up the t-shirts proclaiming, “I survived the winter of 2014!” Break out the champagne or if you’re Methodist, crack open a bottle of grape juice.
Maybe we could hold a Holi, a celebration in Northern India where the villagers douse each other with gaily colored powder and in some cases throw buckets of dyed water on each other. Before you pooh-pooh these weird native traditions, think back to the last Super Bowl celebration. I’d suggest that we commemorate the end of this God-awful winter by Holi-ing our own neighborhoods. Walk into your local coffee shop or church service and toss of bag of bright yellow cornmeal into the air and shout, “Winter’s over! We beat the bugger!” In some villages the Holi is ended by the women beating their tie-dyed husbands with bamboo sticks. I’ll have a small quantity on my front porch if the urge hits you.

 
Don’t put winter clothes away yet

Perhaps we are finally out of the spring weather today, winter weather tomorrow cycle. No one can say that the weather in Illinois is boring, it changes every day. Don't pack away those winter clothes just yet.
Virginia schools Parent-Teacher conferences are this week, and on Thursday evening, March 20, the VHS FFA will be serving a pork chop dinner for parents, students and anyone else who would like to attend from 4 to 7 p.m.

 
Thoughts of spring come to mind

By Kay Brown
For the Star-Gazette
I went to the basement the other day to do laundry. While I was down there I checked on my supplies I keep in a big tote. I was really looking for crackers since I had pulled some soup out of the freezer. No crackers- pasta, flour, cereal, cake mixes, and soy milk, nothing I needed this trip.
I like to keep staples on hand because I go to the store only twice a month if I can manage to. I found by checking my checkbook that I was spending too much and so that was a good place to cut back expenses. So now it’s go at sale time only.
While I was in the room with the goods and my home canned items I checked all the lids. Sometimes a lid will pop up or spoilage will cause one to pop. Everything was fine, so I checked how much jelly I had left. I had a thought while looking at the jelly. Someday I won’t be able to can anymore and that will be a sad day for me. I love to do that with our own fruits and veggies. It gives you a sense of pride to see all those shining jars lined up, full of beautiful colors waiting for somebody to enjoy the contents. I know that day will come, I just hope not too soon.

 
Social media expands exposure

By Susan Carson
For the Star-Gazette
What did we do before social media?  A video found on YouTube and posted on Facebook showed the road crew for the band Ricochet were videoing from their bus as they rolled in to the square and were setting up for their performance at the Virginia BBQ.  The east and south sides of the square were very visible as were people around town and on the courthouse lawn during the performance.  Once again, our community never knows who may be watching and where Virginia will ultimately be seen and by whom!  Do we make a great first impression?

 
Fundraiser to benefit area hospice

Dear Editor,
On Saturday, March 22, the Cass-Schuyler Area Hospice will hold their annual fundraiser at the Beardstown Elks Club. For over 19 years, the Cass-Schuyler Area Hospice has provided, at no cost, for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people suffering from terminal illnesses, and the people who love them, in Cass, Morgan, Scott, Brown and Schuyler counties. This fundraiser will help raise funds to provide significant support to our hospice services and enable us to continue enhancing the quality of life for each patient and supporting the family throughout their bereavement period.

 
Consolidation offers expanded curriculum

Dear Editor:
In my 24 years of teaching in the A-C Central school district, I have been involved in four consolidation campaigns. One was successful, two failed and one is to be determined on March 18th. In all four campaigns, the main reasons the consolidation discussions began were curriculum, extra curricular offerings and finances.

 
Consolidation not in best interest of kids

Dear Editor:
It is clear the consolidation issue between A-C Central and Porta school districts has created passionate debate on both sides. Even as Board President, I am only one of seven voices on the school board. Voices which have been duly elected by a majority of voters of the district. In April 2013, four board members were elected to the school board, all whom ran on an anti-consolidation platform. The results of this election were enough to convince the majority of board members (five of seveen), that a direct mandate from the electorate, regarding the issue of consolidation, was not only self-evident but needed to be followed.

 
The names we’re given

We are going to have another great-granddaughter. Granddaughter Heidi and her husband Matt have finally been successful in getting a baby. The surrogate mother is due to be in the hospital on June 11. They know it is a little girl, and her name will be Avery Eleanor. Just curious, I looked up the list of the 100 most popular kids’ names in 2013. Avery ranks about 20th and Eleanor wasn’t listed but that name was selected as Matt has a mother and grandmother with the name Eleanor.

 
D-U-H! What Were You Thinking?

Greetings from the Ridge.
Lillian Ferguson was a flibberjibbet. No other word for it. When I was a young girl growing up on the Ridge, Lillian provided hours of pleasure and amusement for the neighborhood by simply being herself.  She was the most innocently audacious woman I’d ever met and she reached the zenith of her idiocy when she’d hang her underwear on the clothesline.

 
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