Wednesday's Woman

  • Motherhood and More: Parenting by the book

    In a fit of desperation and exhaustion that only comes with attempting to force my stubborn daughter to do something she didn’t want to do, I bought a parenting book.

    Now, I’m not normally one for self-help-type things. In the past, I looked down on that sort of thing, preferring to believe I could fix anything that was wrong with determination and my own brand of stubbornness.

    And then I became a parent. And lo, it was hard. And then I became a parent again and lo, it was even harder.

  • Life or Something Like It: Finding serenity at the beach

    I love to go to the beach. There’s something about the ocean that draws me: the sun, the cotton candy clouds draped across the blue sky, the white-capped waves that lap against expanses of sugary sand.
    I suppose that’s because I grew up in south Florida, living by turns in North Miami Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jensen Beach, Rio and Stuart. Lazy summer beach days meant we made a picnic lunch, grabbed bathing suits and beach towels and headed out.

  • Valerie Hicks gardens at the family homestead and in community

    Getting to know Valerie Hicks:
    Hobbies: Gardening, travel, hanging out with friends
    Movie: “The Wizard of Oz”
    TV: “The Big Bang Theory”
    Favorite flowers: peonies and zinnias  



    Master Gardener Valerie Hicks pours most of her free time into gardening. She admits her garden isn’t always perfect but she likes it that way.

  • Got to be Real: The Bloom


    As I peer out my kitchen window, I see a small rosebud peeking back at me from my rose garden. I started thinking one morning, soon this bud with the help of the sun, rich dirt, my husband’s watering and nurturing, will become a beautiful bloom. As Mother’s Day approached, I felt that my two children are my two blooms.

    As a parent, I think it is my duty to attend to the nurturing of these two young minds.

  • Pageant contestant, teacher promotes GEMS program


    The News-Enterprise

    Vine Grove resident Jessica Russo is a pageant contestant and self-described “dork” who uses her powers for good.

    A fan of science-fiction TV shows and movies and 1980s horror movies, Russo hangs out with others of her ilk.

    “We classify ourselves as dorks, which we don’t think of as an insult in any way,” she said.

  • A family that serves together and sings together

    Getting to know Tanya, Holly and Xela:
    What they do together: Music, serving and family time.
    Ages: 55, 37 and 14
    Movie they watch together: “The Color Purple”
    Pets: Xela has a dog and two cats
    Mealtime: The family loves to get together for big meals on special occasions

    For one local family, mother and daughter togetherness is a part of work and play.

    Tanya Thomas works with her daughter, Holly Brim, and Brim sings with her daughter, Xela Klockow.

  • Speakers with Spark: Unsung Heroes

    By Susan Rider

    With another school year approaching an end, it’s appropriate to sing the praises of teachers, principals, coaches and others who give their time and talent to the youth of today.

    Thank you. It’s not easy being a teacher who cares, when you have a child in your class you know has potential but comes from a family that either doesn’t care or doesn’t want the child to succeed.

    It gets frustrating. Teachers sometimes do not realize the impact they have on a child for the rest of their lives. 

  • Loss of a life provides a mirror for your own

    Death has a way of making you think — a lot.

    And so does 15 hours of driving interstates and highways, backroads and into rest stops between one home and another.

    The recent death of my brother-in-law, Rick Tyo, has not only unleashed plenty of emotions for those who knew and loved him, but brought up plenty of reasons to think about one’s own life.

    I suppose it’s that way for anyone who loses someone dear to them at a young age, maybe at any age.

  • Stacy Lloyd embraces role as coordinator, supporter


    Family: Husband, Lt. Col. John Lloyd, and two children.

    City of birth: Lawton, Okla.

    Favorite music: Country.

    Favorite author: Nicholas Sparks.

    Favorite TV show: “Hawaii 5-0.”

    Hobbies: Running, hiking and scuba diving.


    At any given moment, Stacy Lloyd might be coordinating events for the Family Readiness Group, PTO or Fort Knox Spouse and Community Club.

  • Motherhood & More: Kids aren’t alone in gaining skills through soccer

    It turns out I’m a soccer mom.

    I mean I don’t have the minivan. Most of the time we’re late to practice and I forget water for my kids. But three or four days a week I’m on the sidelines cheering on little players.

    My oldest has been playing since he was 4. He had a rough start because he got hit on the head with a ball and refused to go back on the field. At two separate practices.