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It is preseason. The Red Sox just loaded up and headed to spring training, seed catalogs have been coming fast and furious in the pre-planting season, and pre-season woods work is being done across the region in anticipation of making maple syrup.

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I like to fly fish and this is the time of year I rekindle my fly tying endeavors to restock my supply of flies with which to entice the trout with. It has been said that every time you tie a fly you imagine yourself catching a fish while you are in the act of tying a fly. This vicarious act…

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Last month my sister-in-law, much to her credit, started paying much closer attention to her cost of living. That’s when she discovered the mortgage payment she and her husband fork over each month is not reducing their debt one iota. Lots of people are in the same boat.

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Art can inspire. Cinema can inspire, but few things in life are more inspirational than people. There are many types of true stories that get turned into films or even books and there is one kind that stands above the rest. The inspirational true story is one of the best.

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Back in the early 1960s I decided that I wanted to learn to ski. My father, being a frugal man, told me that I was welcome to use his use his skis. No, the skis were not barrel staves and canning jar rubbers, but close to it. I was grateful and proud to be able to use my dad’s equipment, tho…

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I thought we might have a porcupine around the house. I saw some tracks in the snow between our house and the next up the hill that looked like a porcupine … or some critter that dragged its tail once in a while between steps. Then, my sister, who lives next door, said she saw “Prickly” head…

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Ten people, one room. All 10 people scrambling to find the clues hidden in the locked room and working together to use those clues to accomplish our mission and free ourselves. This was my escape room experience at the Escape Factory owned by Nicholas Koloski in Claremont.

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As I split and lugged wood yesterday, I listened to a radio broadcast on my ear-muffle/radio set. The guest on the show has written a book about how to succeed at changing your life patterns, and the daily topic was keeping New Year resolutions. As I have written before, I am not much for ma…

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As we go through the holidays, we tend to relax our vigilance about eating. Or at least I do. Like a woodchuck bulking up for hibernation, I find myself enjoying comfort foods during the long winter nights — and days. It is easy to gain a few pounds, even with the best of intentions, so I wa…

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With the countdown to the new year comes the college football bowl games that often become barn-blazing spectacles with the razzle-dazzle fakery while each team’s band performs their respective fight songs whenever the teams execute a superb play. These games can be high scoring events becau…

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Visiting a garden in winter allows me to see the bones of a garden, the internal structure which supports and enhances the flowers and leaves of the other three seasons. I like to go slowly through a winter garden to allow the spirit and essence of the garden to sink in. I recently visited t…

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The fields around our home are something of a bear buffet from mid-summer through fall: wild blueberries in July followed by blackberries, then apples come September, with beechnuts falling from the trees skirting the mown area. In our 13 years here, we’ve seen a mother bear noshing on falle…

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Swinging into theaters last weekend was “Spider-man Into the Spider Verse.” When Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales is suddenly bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, he develops mysterious powers that transform him into a version Spider-Man. 

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Once upon a time we experienced media on the schedule devised by the provider of the content. Radio and television had schedules, and films had screen times. You could play audio and video recordings anytime you wanted, but they were released at intervals so as not to “saturate the market.”

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Once a week I look at the bills that have piled up and, more often than not, pay them. Sometimes I delay because they’re not due for a while yet, and sometimes I delay because they’re incomplete or more information is forthcoming (such as medical bills where I’m still awaiting verification f…

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Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.” This was the comment made when I asked my husband if he thought we should have another load of Christmas trees cut. This old-timey saying can be interpreted several different ways, but was the perfect analogy when trying to figure out the buying public an…

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My answering machine recorded a message in October that claimed to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Trouble was, it sounded like a robot-call.

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This year, given the plethora of squirrels in the universe, I feel that I should just buy a dump truck-load of black oil sunflower seeds and drop it on the lawn in front of the deck. Then maybe the squirrels would let my timid titmice get to the feeder. Maybe not. But there are other ways to…

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Back in the mid ‘60s I worked part time for a farmer in our neighborhood. His grandsons, Dwight and Stephen, along with myself mostly did chores in the cow barn in the morning before school and then again in the evening. One Saturday morning on a winter’s day when we were done with the chore…

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With the passing of President George H. W. Bush, there has been a lot of talk of decency, honor and integrity. It is a good reminder to all of us to clean up our acts, be thankful for what we have and who we are and treat others with respect, civility and dignity.

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Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was fairly routine to bring your money to the bank and get a certificate of deposit that would pay you more than 10 percent in interest per year. The high rates of return peaked in 1981 when, for instance, a six-month CD could fetch you a 15-percent…

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We needed a piece of steel to repair a trailer a while back. We went to a local welding and repair shop to buy eight feet or so to make our repairs and modifications and were very surprised at a sign in the shop that read “due to the rising cost of steel, we are no longer selling it.” Ouch. …

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People have been standing in line champing at the bit to get to the planet Mars. I have read where a reported 200,000 souls signed up for the one-way trip. I know of a few people I would like to send to Mars, but that would probably entail another whole column so it will have wait. 

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Bill-paying is a chore we all face, and for some of us it’s quite a burden. But bill-paying time is also an opportunity for the consumer to focus on what he’s purchasing and try to think of ways to reduce its cost.

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For breakfast I often drink a green smoothie that includes a banana, kale, some OJ, half a lime, fresh ginger, fresh mint, if I have it, and water. It’s healthy, tasty, and uses kale I grew. I usually pick fresh ‘Winterbor’ kale from my garden until mid-December as even temperatures in the 2…

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The trappings of the Thanksgiving feast are packed away for another year. The knickknacks of Pilgrims and natives, and all the corn and pumpkins, squash and turkeys, cranberries and pumpkin pie are already fading memories. Many of us shared the joys of family and together-time, and have now …

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Whether it’s cold or whether it’s hot we’re going to have weather whether or not. This poem is an Americanized shortened version of an anonymous British poem of which will be included later.

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