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Wednesday's Woman

  • Habitat home recipient builds on foundation of volunteering

    At 71 years old, Trish Crandall’s volunteer efforts include building houses.

    “I can still swing a hammer,” the Elizabethtown resident said.

    Crandall was the recipient of a house from Hardin County Habitat for Humanity, for which she was required to put in a minimum number of work hours. But after she fulfilled her obligations, she didn’t stop volunteering.

  • Motherhood and More: Whole-family friendship is much more fun

    This past weekend my family had a long-overdue get-together with some friends.

    As many parents know, trying to find the time to leave the house is extremely difficult when you have three other schedules to work around, as is the case in my household of two parents and two small children. We have soccer and birthday parties and work and school and general life duties that take up much of our time.

  • Looking through the window of Marlin Carroll's life

    In a home near downtown Elizabethtown, Marlin Carroll illustrates the passing of seasons with a department-store-window approach to decorating — and passersby have noticed.

    The 81-year-old has lived in her home 52 years and in 1985 decided to do some redecorating. The front of her house used to be a wide open porch, and she extended the living room and added a bay window.

    “I stood back and looked at that window and thought, ‘I’ve got to put something in there because it looks too big and vacant,’” she said.

  • Life or Something Like It: Let youth be lost

    While the rest of the world goes careening after lost youthful looks with plastic surgery and anti-aging cosmetics, I’m not so sure I want to be 25 again.

    OK, I did highlight my hair to help cover the gray last week.

    But I’m perfectly happy at my 50-something age that’s much closer to 60 than the decade in the first part of the phrase.

    There’s a settledness, a quiet joy and a peace that age has brought I wouldn’t trade for the smooth skin I used to have around my eyes.

  • Food feeds social growth

    Farming is a foundation for what Pem Buck teaches in her anthropology class at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

    Though her class is not specifically about farming, Buck said, anthropology is about understanding how social structures work. Producing food is one of the basic foundations for that, so how a society organizes itself to produce food is important to the subject.

    Producing food is among Buck’s personal background as is experiencing other cultures.

  • McQueary leads 'evolving' homemakers

    After teaching at G.C. Burkhead Elementary School for 28 years, Debbie McQueary retired in 2005 and joined a homemakers club. This involvement led her to be inducted as the current Hardin County Homemakers president.

    “Debbie is one of the nicest, most genuine and talented people I have ever met,” Hardin County Extension agent Teran Ransom said. “Her attention to detail and sense of community will enable her to make a great (president).”

  • Riggs reaps rewards from canning, floral arranging

    At 82, Agnes Riggs of Upton has a can-do attitude when it comes to her hobby: canning.

    Her efforts earned numerous accolades at the Kentucky State Fair, including a canning sweepstakes win. Additionally, Riggs placed in 16 categories ranging from plum preserves to red tomatoes.

    “I can anything there is to can,” she said as she worked in her kitchen among dozens of empty jars and many more filled with pickles, tomatoes and soup.

    A pressure canner has stayed on her stove all summer, she said.

  • Speakers with Spark: Words can hurt or heal

    Words spoken with kindness can change a life just as words spoken with harmful intent can affect a person for a lifetime.

    Being a people watcher, it always is interesting to watch and listen at airports, malls or social gatherings. It is quite amazing to hear what people say. Sometimes words are hurtful, disrespectful and downright mean. People insert their thoughts and feelings occasionally without filters.

  • Motherhood and More: Guiding siblings to friendship

    When I was younger and thought about having multiple children, I pictured them as the best of friends. They would play ball or dolls together, or maybe build intricate Lego houses complete with stairs and rooftop gardens. They would always talk kindly to each other and think of ways to make the other one’s day better.

    Reality, of course, rarely follows that sort of idealistic daydream. It’s usually much louder and more disagreeable than I ever could have imagined.

  • Life or Something Like It: Recreating family vacation

    On Thursday, we’re taking a trip back in time.

    We’ll take our middle son with us, pick up our youngest in Lexington and head for Franklin, N.C., where my husband’s family has a small vacation home on a gravel road near the top of Meadow Mountain. Our oldest son and his wife will join us Friday, driving in from Charleston, S.C.