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Accepting Changes

Living in the country in an old two-story house was a dream that came true in 1973 for my husband Larry and me. The historic house located in Salem, Indiana, was an ideal setting for the antiques we were collecting and features a winding staircase, a bay window and a fireplace.

In 1972 we decided to take on the challenge of renovating the old house that had stood empty for nearly a decade. There were few contractors who would tackle any of the jobs we offered, so we did nearly all the work ourselves. It took a year working in our spare time to make enough repairs for the house to be livable. Even with all its flaws, we loved our old house and were pleased to be living in a small community to raise our children.

Our dream home was surrounded by fields and pastures that created a serene country setting. I could sit on my front porch and watch the neighbor’s wheat field as it waved in the wind, see the corn growing tall in the field around us, and hear the cattle bellowing in the distance. But that serenity was broken about twenty years later when Child Craft Industries built a facility for kiln drying lumber for their furniture manufacturing company in Salem.

Larry and I attended meetings prior to the construction of the facility to object to farmland directly across from our residential property being used for industrial purposes. Only one other neighbor attended to object, however, so the project continued based on the economic benefits the company would provide. Larry eventually went to work for Child Craft in 1994 in their maintenance department and at times was called to work at the location across the road from our home. That facility was later sold to Salem Hardwoods, and they have been good “neighbors” although it does create a steady amount of semi-trailer traffic.

Now 44 years later my country lifestyle has been permanently changed with a new Wal-Mart Supercenter and accompanying businesses and restaurants located just a …   More

14 Steps


I remember asking, when I was six or seven years old, why the basement stairs had fourteen steps going up but thirteen steps going down. “You’re skipping the top step on the way down,” was my dad’s answer, in his patient tone. My first-grade self had protested that I wasn’t skipping a step, and I was the best counter in my class, I could count all the way to a hundred.

But to a little boy of six or seven, Dad knew everything, like how the sky was blue because it reflected the ocean, or how wooly worms knew what the coming winter was going to be like, or how giraffes were so tall because God made them that way now I need to get this work done and if you’re not going to help then go and play with your brother.


God, how long has it been since the last time I came home? The old farmhouse hasn’t changed much since then. I was surprised that everyone could still fit inside, despite all coming back with a spouse and children. It feels awkward, having the whole family in one house. Like I’m always in somebody’s personal space, no matter where I go.


Maybe that’s why I’m down here. Creeping down the basement stairs in the dead of night. All the relatives are asleep. Michelle and the kids are up in my old room. Mom and Dad must have spent a small fortune on air mattresses.


Why am I down here, counting stairs, phone flashlight in hand? I guess a part of me wants to see how many steps there really are to this basement. It’s a stupid notion, but then, here I am. I’d never even thought about the basement stairs since the first grade. Funny what you remember at a family reunion.

Smells like rust and old mothballs down here. That hasn’t changed, either.


The sudden buzzing of the phone forces a yelp from my throat, and reflex launches the device forward. The phone clatters to a stop on the third or fourth stair from the bottom, …   More

Coming of Age

Coming of Age

As a teenager, wanting to be a writer is a bit out of the ordinary. I’m surrounded by people who want to be engineers of varying sorts, doctors and nurses, and even the occasional actor or musician but it seems few adolescents aim to be working in the english department. Maybe I’m wrong, but even wanting to be those other things, my peers sometimes lack the drive necessary to accomplish those things. I want to be a writer and I will openly admit there are days that if I see a pencil, I cringe, but I strive to better my capabilities as a writer in as many ways as I can. The internship at Leader Publishing Company was just one step towards that and this blog is just another facet of this internship.

Coming up with the topic for this blog was a battle on its own. I didn’t fight dragons or giants but I fought concepts and catchphrase. My earliest idea was “In a World of Tyranny”, which I created as a play off the name Tierney. I would describe my posts as hectic and sporadic. It works for that, but this; this is something new entirely. So I thought about what I do with my time and with my surroundings and came up with “Guitars, Ghosts, and Grades.” As you can tell by my actual title, “Coming of Age,” that was discarded very rapidly.

My next idea was to play off my {slice of life} column in the paper and make a segment over student life in the shadow of the adult world. I wrote my first post and while writing, it just felt wrong. Talking about my peers felt like hallway gossip and out of my capability. So, I was back to square one with no blog.

While talking to a friend of mine, Shelbi, she mentioned that it was my senior year and I should hang in there. That reminded me that this is my last year as a legal child, as a high school student. This is my last year as the thing I can’t have back, so I decided to write about my coming of age.

I know this world is full of coming of age stories but I thought the life of a Salem …   More

Kid at Heart

Maybe I’m a kid at heart but I absolutely love the newest thing to hit Salem, salemindianarocks. For those of you who don’t know, this is similar to a scavenger hunt in where you find and relocate decorated rocks around town, hopefully posting your finds to the salemindianarocks Facebook page.

If you are so inclined, you are also invited to paint and hide your own rocks. I have seen rocks decorated on all spectrums, from near professional renditions to rocks painted with a more abstract approach. All are beautiful and fun to look for.

I noticed the other day that a new form of decorating is trying to get started. It is a quilt design where the rock is divided into squares and as it is found, one square gets decorated thus making it similar to a quilt when all the squares are filled. I’m anxious to find one of those.

I found a rock outside the Leader office the other day and was so excited that I brought it in and shared it with my co-workers. We, of course, took a selfie with the rock that was gold with a heart on one side and a peace sign on the other and posted it to the website.

My son said we looked ridiculous and maybe we did but it was a fun ending to the workday. It was rehid that very evening.

This activity is the brainchild of Crystal Davis and her fiancé, Rowan Brough. They stumbled across the idea while in Louisville. She said finding the rock and rehiding it put a smile on their faces when they were going through a tough time and with all the negativity in the world she wanted a way to put a smile on others’ faces.

I hope that the activity continues and doesn’t slow down. It is truly a fun way to engage not just children but an entire family. The world needs more of that.

What a great activity for kids of all ages, encouraging creativity and getting them outside and being active. Community pride is also prevalent. Lots of people are getting into the act. I invite you to join the fun, if you haven’t already.


Race Results April 26

Federated Auto Parts ARCA 200
Sunday, April 26, 2015

ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards

Fast Qualifier: None, rained out

Federated Auto Parts 200: 1. Ken Schrader, Kyle Weatherman, 3. Dominic Ursetta, 4. J.J. Haley, 5. Austin Wayne Self, 6. Brandon Jones, 7. Tom Hessert, 8. Clayton Weatherman, 9. David Levine, 10. James Swanson, 11. Michael Lira, 12. Sarah Cornett-Ching, 13. Grant Enfinger, 14. Darrell Basham, 15. Thomas Praytor, 16. Brandon McKenzie, 17. Brad Smith, 18. Bobby Hamilton Jr., 19. Josh Williams, 20. Will Kimmel, 21. Bo LeMastus, 22. Con Nicolopoulos, 23. Josh White, 24. Frank Kimmel II, 25. Mark Meunier, 26. Wayne Peterson.

Lucas Oil Great American Stocks

Fast Qualifier: None, rained out

Federated Car Care 50: 1. Todd Kempf, 2. David Bayens, 3. Ronnie Basham III, 4. Brian Bayer, 5. Tony Conway, 6. Shawn Smith, 7. Dr. Travis Wilson, 8. Justin Pirtle, 9. Roger Williams, 10. Tim Rivers, 11. Troy Ashbaugh, 12. Beau Hendrich, 13. Greg Hubbuch, 14. Mike Sharp, 15. Johathan Ziegler, 16. David Powell, 17. A.J. Kempf, 18. Matt Stice, 19. Kyle Hadley, 20. Heath Helton.


Teach your child to love STEM

Many of today’s most in-demand careers require an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As parents and grandparents, we can assist in developing the knowledge and skills to succeed in these areas by fostering a love of STEM activities.

What STEM activities can I do with my child?

One of the very best ways to give your child a good start in STEM is to take them outside. As early as you like, begin going on nature walks. Allow them to collect things in a bag – leaves, sticks, stones, fossils, flowers, etc. Spread the items out, look at each one and have a conversation about how they are similar or different. Ask questions like - Which ones might go together (sticks, leaves)? How do they feel (smooth, rough)? You can also discuss the color, shape and size of the items.

As your child grows older, they can help you plant garden, water the garden, pull the weeds and you can discuss the different steps of gardening and why each step is important as you are doing this activity together. As you continue to do these outdoor activities, start asking them why? And they start becoming the expert.

A fun indoor activity is cooking together. Young children can learn how to measure and mix. Older children can understand the concept of how certain food reacts to different temperatures. From making toast to soufflés, it involves STEM.

As your child grows older, allow them to plan and cook a meal under your supervisor. Give them a budget amount for the cost of the meal, take them to the grocery to buy what food and ingredients needed and after the meal is cooked and eaten, it is perfectly OK to help them with the cleanup!

A good family activity is to visit a science museum. Modern science museums have interactive stations where your child can not only see, but do. Most schools take students to a museum at least once, but your child will benefit from having your undivided attention in an unrushed environment with repeat trips …   More

Race Results May 9, 2015

Unofficial Results
Saturday, May 9, 2015

Circle Track Great American Racing Series

Fast Qualifer: Chuck Barnes

First Qualifying Race (25-Laps): 1. Barnes, 2. Bayer, 3. Hillard, 4. T. Kempf, 5. Bayens, 6. Rivers, 7. Berg, 8. Stice, 9. A.J. Kempf, 10. Cotton, 11. Short, 12. Brading, 13. Jenkins.

Second Qualifying Race (25-Laps): 1. Kimmel, 2. Smith, 3. Hudson, 4. Williams, 5. Conway, 6. Elliott, 7. Ware, 8. Hendrich, 9. Pirtle, 10. Todd, 11. Lux.

Circle Track Great American Racing Series 100: 1. Will Kimmel, 2. Blake Hillard, 3. Shawn Smith, 4. Todd Kempf, 5. Brian Bayer, 6.Curtis Peeples, 7. Roger Williams, 8. Chuck Barnes, 9. David Bayens, 10. Loren Short, 11. Artie Ware, 12. Brett Hudson, 13. Jeff Berg, 14. Marcus Elliott, 15. Justin Pirtle, 16. Matt Stice, 17. Ronnie Lux, 18. A.J. Kempf, 19. Tony Conway, 20. Ronnie Cotton, 21. Beau Hendrich, 22. Tim Rivers, 23. Mike Todd, 24. Josh Brading, 25. Brandon Tregembo, 26. Kyle Hadley

O’Reilly Auto Parts Pure Stocks

O’Reilly Auto Parts 25: 1. Justin Davis, 2. Todd Whitfield, 3. Jamie Goodman, 4. Mike Kestler, 5. Craig Rogers, 6.

Portland Recycling Front Wheel Drive Stocks

Portland Recycling 20: 1. John King, 2. Jesse Allen, 3. Max Abbott, 4. Travis Vaughn, 5. Kevin Vaughn, 6. Ronnie Gathof.


Race Results May 30

Unofficial Results
Eddie Gilstrap Motors Legends Classic

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lucas Oil Great American Stocks

Fast Qualifier: Shawn Smith, 19.689

Eddie Gilstrap Motors Ford EcoBoost 75: 1. Shawn Smith, 2. David Bayens, 3. Roger Williams, 4. Kyle Hadley, 5. Ronnie Basham III, 6. Tony Conway, 7. Mike Sharp, 8. Justin Pirtle, 9. Tim Rivers, 10. Todd Kempf, 11. Jonathan Ziegler, 12. Heath Helton, 13. A.J. Kempf, 14. Beau Hendrich, 15. Noll Staff, 16. Greg Hubbuch, 17. Troy Ashbaugh, 18. Taylor Webb, 19. David Powell, 20. Josh Brading, 21. Brian Bayer, 22. Artie Ware (DNS).

O’Reilly Auto Parts Pure Stocks

Heat Race (10-Laps): 1. Rogers, 2. Kestler, 3. Davis, 4. Goodman, 5. Whitfield, 6. Ferguson

Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 30: 1. Mike Kestler, 2. Jamie Goodman, 3. Craig Rogers, 4. Justin Davis, 5. Todd Whitfield, 6. Brian Ferguson

Portland Recycling Front Wheel Drive Stocks

Heat Race (10-Laps): 1. Allen, 2. King, 3. Abbott, 4. Growe, 5. T. Vaughn, 6. K. Vaughn

Built Ram Tough 25: 1. John King, 2. Jesse Allen, 3. Max Abbott, 4. Bill Growe, 5. Travis Vaughn, 6. Kevin Vaughn


Tortellii in white wine cream, spinach and bacon sauce

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always loved tortellini more than ravioli. They are, essentially, the same thing — meat and/or cheese in dough, usually boiled to make the dough tender and often served with some kind of sauce. I’ve seen tortellini and ravioli used in pasta salads, but as I’m generally leery of those, I haven’t tried them out.

Because I’m not much of a wine drinker and I don’t really have a great place to store an open bottle of wine in my fridge, once I buy one to use in a recipe I seek out other recipes requiring that type of wine to help finish up the rest of it.

That was what happened here, with this Tortellini in White Wine Cream Sauce from   More

Moving...It's a blast

Moving...It's a Blast

Fixing up a house is one thing, but moving while in the middle of a home improvement journey is a whole separate saga. I don't know many people who actually enjoy the moving process. I'd be lying if I said I did. There are just so many things to do.

Do I keep these items that I haven't used in three years? Do I throw these clothes out? Do I bag these up to donate? This isn't even the hard part! The worst thing about moving is, well, moving.

If you ask my husband, he would say that I do not like change. Of course, the journey of owning a house together has been an exciting one, but getting down to the nitty gritty of boxing up and moving has been laced with curiosity, joy, and disillusion.

For example, I was under the impression that we had everything we needed to move into our own space. This belief was quickly shot down. Oh, you mean we need curtains? Did someone say something about a spice rack? What's an ice cube tray? It's amazing how many simple things we take for granted and believe are always there, yet quickly remember how important or practical they are when we start from scratch without them.

Let's not forget the joys of packing, as well. We are still taking boxes to our house even after almost six weeks of living there. We have the necessities, and unfortunately quite a bit of junk already accumulated. But still we have so much more to either move or toss.

Don't get me wrong - I am absolutely ecstatic to have our own space...we just hope to keep it a bit more organized and neater than before. I'm just not ready yet to give up the dream of having an uncluttered house. I know it's coming, but it seems all I am doing is prolonging the inevitable.

And then there are the cats who try their best to provide their own clutter. We have hardwood floors in our living room. When we first bought the house, we removed the two or three layers of linoleum that had been carelessly added and came across some original hardwood …   More

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