Each of us has a recording playing in our minds.

People have different ways of escaping the stress and difficulties in their lives. Some read; some exercise; others might work in their gardens.

I don’t know if you will agree with me or not but I think that people behave differently when they wear different clothes. Like dress clothes versus casual clothes.

Mugs are given to people, places, things or ideas that I feel could or should be discussed over a cup of coffee.

Those of us hearty souls in the Midwest have just endured bone-chilling cold that few will experience unless you travel to the poles.

The disappearance of our local stores has left a void in our community. Our thoughts go back to a time when our sidewalks were filled with shoppers and you could walk into one store and out and back into another. We feel as if our quality of life has changed with the loss of the stores as well.

Most of us tell our children or grandchildren to use their inside voice when trying to communicate with others. But I have noticed lately that most of us do not set that example when we are communicating with each other in the adult world.

If I didn’t know how wealthy I was before, I absolutely know it now. I am not talking about monetary wealth. I am talking about the wealth that can only be had through the love and support of good friends.

I have a beast living within me. It has been with me from my earliest memory. I tried to suppress it and pretended it wasn’t there but at times when it was least expected, it would rear its ugly head and cause havoc inside of me. I had never named the beast, as I always tried to pretend it d…

A long-time friend, Bob Wis once recalled that his five-year-old son asked, “Dad. Are you old?”

These past two weekends I have spent at a wedding for my cousin or a bridal shower for my cousin. Now when I say cousin I don’t mean first cousins. These are the children of my cousins.

There’s something about home-speak that is comforting like a big bowl of mashed potatoes with a little sweet corn mixed in. Some of us inherit that colloquialism, and we can often find ourselves talking the same.

I had another visitor this week. This time a very dear old friend, Rosie Shafer, came to see me. I can see all of you smiling at the thought Rosie brings to your mind because you rarely see Rosie without a big smile on her face, and that smile is contagious.

Whether it’s a broken relationship with the person you are sure is the love of your life or being fired from a job you believed was your career and calling. Maybe a parent or child said something unimaginable to you and cut you so deep you cannot forget. Or maybe your best friend betrayed yo…

You’ve probably heard it before. There’s a lot of salad dressings out there that can sabotage an attempt to eat healthy. But there’s more to label reading that a quick scan for fat and calories. Ever wonder what kind of additives, food dyes, and added sugars you’re putting on your greens? He…

I know, my heading for this column made you think I was going to write about how much I love spring and how it makes everything seem all new again. You also thought I was going to share with you how much fun the spring season brings into our lives.

My thoughts about the country schools around our county has drawn interest and sharing of stories about many of the country school teachers. Several feature articles have been shared through the pages of the Herald.

We all get into a routine for our life … a rut. Our lives evolve into a place of comfortability. We go to bed and wake up at a certain time. Our morning routine is standardized and repeated every day. We have developed a default way of living and if we are not careful, we descend into a leve…

So many days I look forward to the mail delivery to my mailbox at the Herald. I never know what might be inside those envelopes and packages coming to me in the mail.

Human beings are attracted to tragedy. It’s coded somewhere within our DNA. We say we would rather avoid the exposure, but as terrible events unfold, we lock our eyes and hearts on them and never let them go.

I ran across some old clippings the other day. I had saved them for future reference as I often do. I am amazed at how his words ring true even today.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to be in the beginning of a new year! I have a dream, a plan and anticipation of success. I’m excited about the opportunities and prospects for joy and happiness. I hope you feel the same way. Optimism drives our success. Let’s be positive about our futur…

Nothing inspires hope quite like new year. An optimistic state of mind inspired by an expectation of positive outcomes is encouraging and refreshing. Hope renews the human spirit and keeps us forward looking for something better to come. I love that Aristotle said, “Hope is a waking dream,” …

I love Christmas but I honestly hate Christmas shopping.

I am so excited. The Mahaska County Pictorial Books are right on schedule and will be available at the Book Vault beginning Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, John Jacobs will be at the Book Vault to discuss the photos and share his knowledge about the p…

The following is extracted from a copy of the Oskaloosa Weekly Herald in 1887:

I have always enjoyed history and learning about history. I think I get that from my mother, who fell in love with history long before my existence. It was her who helped me write my first biography research paper on Henry the Eighth. Ever since then, I can’t get enough —television shows and…

It's been, well, an educational experience on the education beat this past year or so. I've handed off those particular duties to our new staff writer, Megan Showers. I also handed her a large manilla file just bursting with information I've collected. Past school board agendas, acronym mean…

OSKALOOSA — What do a Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue from the 1920s, the number of "foot candles" produced by a projector, and dolman sleeves have in common?

I know it is not officially summer for a few more weeks yet but when school is no longer in session it seems as if that is the start of summer.

When people walk into the lobby of the George Daily Auditorium, there is a large glass “Donor Wall” on the right-hand side. Now, as we wrap up our 20th season, I notice that the wall draws little attention—it has become just a part of the lobby.

I have a friend who likes to send me “motivational” things each day. And I use the term “motivational” loosely here. Because most of the time what I receive is a cartoon poking fun of how old the two of us are getting.

OSKALOOSA — May is National Foster Care Month. Foster care has an important place in my heart, as I was raised in foster care from the age of 14 until 18. Without the Iowa Foster Care system, I would not be where I am today.

Our garden is humongous this year. I stepped it off, and it measures 60’ x 36’ — pretty near the size of our pole barn. We planted “cukes,” pole beans, peas, early and late corn, giant “punkins” to run in the corn, radishes, Caesar and butter-bowl lettuce, beets, carrots, turnips (poor-man’s…

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa City Council Member Steve Burnett posed a question to those attending a youth mentorship forum held on Thursday, May 18 at the Iowa State University Extension Office.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to accept the Chamber of Commerce Service Business of the year award last week. This award was not for me, it was for my staff and I accepted it on their behalf. They are the ones that provide service day in and day out to members of the community.

If the word “audition” brings to mind the ten-minute opening sequence of A Chorus Line, then...congratulations, you’re exactly the kind of person we want to come audition for George! All kidding aside, the word “audition” can be an exciting one, but it is usually also fraught with worry and …

I recently met with someone that I feel has been a dear friend of mine for many years. He and I didn’t exactly see eye to eye that day but we were respectful to one another and listened to each other’s opinions.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and this year’s theme, “Engaging New Voices,” recognizes that ending abuse is everyone’s business; men and women, old and young. We know that one in five women and one in 33 men experience sexual abuse in their lifetime.

OSKALOOSA — Spring is in the air! Some of the best parts of spring time are time with family and friends grilling out or planting your garden. I have an event for you, that is FREE and does both of these fun filled activities!

We had a server crash last week and we have spent days and days and days restoring data. During that process I became very aware of the things I do every day that are just automatically attached to an electronic device.

I was talking with a co-worker one day last week and I expressed that I was totally discumbuberated. I don’t for one minute think that discumbuberated it is a real word but it was a word we used as I grew up and came to mean unsettled or untidy. I don’t even know if I spelled it correctly. O…

I was having difficulty coming up with a topic for my column today. I even asked my hairdresser to think of a topic as she cut my hair last night. Of course what she came up with was talking to you about my haircut experience. Well, Brenda, my hair looks amazing today but I don’t think I cou…

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This Week's Circulars


Jeanetta VanDerHart, 92, passed away late Monday evening at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House. Jeanetta was one of 11 siblings and is survived by four brothers: Godert Vander Hart of Waterloo, IA, James Vander Hart of New Sharon, IA, Raymond Vander Hart of Pella, Clarence Vander Hart of Ari…

OSKALOOSA [mdash] Funeral services will be Friday, June 28, 10:30 a.m. at Bates Funeral Chapel. Visitation will be Thursday, June 27, at Bates Funeral Chapel starting at 12:00 p.m. with family present 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.