Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Culture of Yerba Mate & Sipping Event Athens Public Library

Special Thanks to:
Athens Public Library
Guest Speaker Rebecca Wood
Little Professor Book Center
The Farmacy

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Problem in America is Old People by Clyde Hoch

The Problem in America is Old People
Story by Clyde Hoch


The problem in America is it is full of old people. Old people who worked hard all their lives to have what they have today. Old people who fought in wars for what you have today. Old people who saw their friends and family die for the flag so fools can disrespect it. Old people who are strong from their environment and jobs. Old people who saw the best of the US. Old people who want the American tradition passed on to our youth today. Old people who know what is best for our country and your future. Old people who are strong and strong willed and set in American traditions. Old people who have the biggest hearts and who are willing to help others. Old people who have strong ethics and respect for others. Old people who are so willing to help others in need but would never think of asking for help. Old people who can see through all the misconceptions. Old people who are loyal to each other and our country. Old people are made up of ranchers, farmers, business leaders, truck drivers who would never consider a full retirement and keep giving back. Old people who know what America could be and want the best for friends and family.  


As you get annoyed for that old person shuffling in front of you, think of what that person may have accomplished in their lives to make your life better.  


The director of the George Washington College of Medicine feels the brain of an elderly person does not decrease as is commonly believed. The brain is no longer as fast as it was in youth. However, it wins in flexibility.  

A large study in the United States found that: 

The most productive age of a person is from 60 to 70 years. 

The 2nd most productive human stage is the age from 70 to 80 years old. 

Our 3rd most productive stage is between 50 and 60 years old. 

Therefore, if you are 60, 70 or 80 years old, you are at the best level of your life. 


We Americans are one of the only societies that do not look to the elderly for wisdom.  

Thank God for old people.  

About the Author

From Pennsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, welcome today's guest writer Sergeant Clyde HochClyde is an award-winning author, Vietnam War Veteran, public speaker, and much more. In his books, Clyde shares his experiences of wartime, life, and beyond.  

Connect with Clyde…

Read Clyde's Interview Here

Stories by Clyde Hock:

So, You Want a Service Dog

Spike: A Childhood memory

Friday, July 29, 2022

For Want of a Spoon, a Soup was Almost Lost! by Sandra Russell

For Want of a Spoon, a Soup was Almost Lost!
by Sandra Russell

Oh jeez...I have been trying for the past couple of months to declutter and reorganize. I am limping along with  a dance of two steps forward  and one step back progression. Keeping  domestic scene smooth and simple involved donating an assortment of various household items to friends, family, and charity. Dropped a flatware set for twelve people with the matching serving set with a cousin. The problem was that it looked good in the drawer; but was very unbalanced in the hand. Would fall off the plate and was just difficult to use.

After the last Thanksgiving dinner, the red flags all pointed to 'change it up'. Given that I have some 'good' silverware that I never haul out, I decided the prudent thing to do was, to think 'less is more'. I only had to really have 'everyday' flatware to serve two to four people. The good stuff  then to come out for the couple times of year when trusted friends and family would be assembled for a holiday event. Summer picnics and bar-b-ques could be served with plastic and paper items.

Whew! Okay, now. Started to purchase a place setting at a time, a sort of not 'high end' but not 'low end' (used; 'like new', discounted) service for four. That should do it. My fourth and final, (I think?) place setting arrived today. Oh joy! but then shudder! I realized that one soup spoon was MISSSING!!! from the three previously purchased sets! I tried to think back to when I used it last? Cat food...did I spoon out cat food and leave it on the porch? Could a raccoon have picked it up? I looked up and down the driveway, under the now becoming weed-like hollyhocks out front. I pried apart the wisteria vines choking out the ivy where all are choking the life out of the holly tree  and still no spoon?...Getting tense now.

This is why I can't have good stuff...animals; animals must have taken it. I looked in all the drawers in the kitchen, nah, in the junk drawers, under the armoire/secretary in the dining room. I looked in the vegetable bin, the potlids drawer and the bakeware cupboard. No spoon. Okay, time to get out a yardstick and broom and fish under a few more appliances; stove? Nadda...but wait?! Why is that piece of foil (thought to be a lid from a coffee can} so tough to budge? Reached down and there it was! The backside of the bowl of the spoon shone under the refrigerator...Gag! with biscotti dough still stuck on it. Okay, biscotti was a few days ago. Hmmm?

I should feel ashamed of this neglect. But I was so happy to find it that gladness took over. I washed it and washed it again and wiped dry ‘til it shown like all the others; then counted yet again the orderly and symmetrical state of my flatware drawer. Hooray!

I can relax about that particular obsession for a minute. It is tough to be orderly, to limit the numbers of items that clutter and burden us. But in my case, I can get pretty burdened by one soup spoon. During the hunt, I imagined the soup I would be making soon, and then often in the fall, and how rude it would be for me to invite a couple of friends to have some, then to offer them a plastic spoon...just wouldn't be the same soup.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

I AM A Miracle by Clyde Hoch

"Determination and trusting God is the key to any success."

Available in eBook and Paperback HERE!

I AM A Miracle details the life of Clyde Hoch. From his upbringing in a poverty-stricken family to his achievements in adulthood. Clyde’s brother-in-law abused him. His father swore at him. His mother quit cleaning. He entered the Marine corps and was injured in a large anti-tank mine from which he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. He tried his best to hide his injuries until late in life he was diagnosed with PTSD and TBI. He started to speak about it to help others understand they too can live with it. He went through a very long stage of alcoholism. Clyde started the Veterans Brotherhood, an organization that takes homeless veterans off the streets as soon as they hear about them, when they are at their lowest with nowhere to turn, hoping to prevent veteran suicides. Some details are very embarrassing to the writer. The main purpose of his writing is to let people know that even though they had a very bad upbringing they can still achieve. Determination and trusting God is the key to any success.

About the Author

From Pennsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, welcome today's guest writer Sergeant Clyde HochClyde is an award-winning author, Vietnam War Veteran, public speaker, and much more. In his books, Clyde shares his experiences of wartime, life, and beyond.  

Connect with Clyde…

Read Clyde's Interview Here

Stories by Clyde Hock:

So, You Want a Service Dog

Spike: A Childhood memory

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Rock: An original story by Ohio writer Gary Flory

The Rock
An original story by Ohio writer Gary Flory

Peter owned a few acres on County Road 7, which ran through the countryside. Two acres were woods, with an active stream running through it, and the other four were mostly yard, with a small garden close to the road. His wife had passed away a couple of years ago of cancer, leaving him to take care of everything. Their only son was in the service, stationed in Germany. Peter wasn’t one to ask for help, but the storm that came through last week, took its toll. There were trees down, some roof damage, and a washed out culvert. 

Peter had just finished lunch and was out in the garden doing some weeding when he noticed a man walking down the road. Peter was looking for an excuse to take a break, so he spoke to the man, as he came by. “Looks like you could use a good cold drink of water.” The man stopped, and looked over at Peter and said, “I think I’ll take you up on that.” 

So Peter waved him over to the hand pump, and handed him a small tin cup, while pumping the handle. As the water started to come up, the man started to put the cup under the spigot, when Peter said, “Hold on. Let me pump the water out of the pipe first, so you can have a good cold cup of water.”

After a few more pumps, he said, “There, that should do it, get yourself a cup full.” When the cup was full, Peter pointed to a big shade tree, with a couple of chairs under it. Got time to chat a little bit? He looked at his wrist, like he was checking the time, then nodded that he could. They both went over and sat down.

For the first minute they just stared across the road looking at the garden and enjoying the summer breeze. As Peter looked over at the man, he said, “You look familiar, do I know you?” 

“Yes you do, your mom introduced me to you when you were a boy.” Peter thought, well, this guy must have been a boy too, because we appear to be about the same age. “I’m sorry, I forgot your name.”

“Well, some call me the Rock.” The man was in pretty good shape, must be a nickname, Peter thought. “So, where are you headed?”

“Just going to meet some people,” was the reply. 

“We had a storm go through a while back, and it really put me behind. Sure could use some extra help to get caught up. I couldn’t afford to pay much, but I could give you room and board.”

The man smiled, and with his piercing brown eyes, he looked at Peter and said, “I would be glad to help you.”

The next morning, Peter started to fix breakfast, but heard a chopping noise outside. The man was already splitting the wood that Peter had sawed the day before. When the hot cakes, bacon, and coffee were ready, Peter stepped out. “Hey Rock, breakfast is ready.” 

When they sat down, Peter was ready to take a big bite of pancakes, when the man said, “Aren’t you going to pray first?” 

“Oh yea, I kinda got out of the habit since my wife passed away.” 
Later that week, between the two of them working long days, the extra work was just about caught up. That evening the man said, “Will, I guess tomorrow I’ll be on my way.” Peter was being extra quiet, then he asked the man a question. “Rock, I can’t remember, did we play together?” 

“Oh, not really, we never met in person.”

“But you said mom introduced you to me.” 

“She did, from a picture on the wall.” 

“I kinda remember that, she said you were her best friend.”

“That’s right.”

“But you look like you did in the picture 40 years ago.”

“That’s also true.” 

“But I remember mom calling you Jesus.” 

“Yes, she did. Remember Peter, when you used to sit on your mom’s lap, and she would read you Bible stories?” 

“I do, those were wonderful times.” 

“When’s the last time you sat down and read the Bible? Or, when was the last time you were in My house? You know Peter, when I look back, I see the boy Peter, who was excited to go to Sunday School, but I haven’t seen you for a while.” 

Peter felt tears running down his face, he knew the Rock was right.

“Peter, do you remember the story about the good Shepherd? When he left the 99 that were safe, and went looking for the one sheep that was lost?”

“Yes I do.” 

“Well, Peter, you’re the one. I know the world has knocked you around, but I found you, and I’m carrying you back. I gave you all of this Peter, your wife, your son, your farm.”
Peter got down on his knees before the Lord and cried. The tears flowed out like a running river until there was a puddle of water at Jesus’ feet. Peter remembered his mom telling him, make Jesus your best friend too, and he promised her he would. He grew up knowing the way of the world, more than he knew the way to heaven. Jesus put His hand on Peter’s shoulder, and said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” 

As Peter looked up, through his tear-filled eyes, he said, “From now on, my heart is yours, shape me and mold me to your will.” He saw both forgiveness and love in the eyes of Jesus. The body of Jesus started to shine so brightly that Peter had to look away. When he looked back, Jesus was gone.

Peter meant what he said. That next Sunday morning he sat in the second row from the front. He even became an usher and helped count the money after the service. If it didn’t meet the $200 mark that they needed, he would make up the difference. 

That Sunday night, he sat down to read from his mom’s Bible, like he did every night now, and found a slip of paper between the last page and the cover. It was his mom’s handwriting. It read, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so

The next day Peter went into town, and bought a small picture frame, went home and put the letter inside, hung it up on the kitchen wall so he could read it every day. He also had the stone company deliver a huge boulder in his front yard. On it, he wrote in big white letters, THE ROCK.

Only a few people know the story behind the rock. Now, you’re one of them.

About the Author
Gary Flory resides in southeastern Ohio with his wife Cathye. He is a Sunday School Teacher and friend to all.

Do you know Jesus? Find resources at your local church or go to for more information.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

An Interview with Ohio Author Jennifer Geiger

An Interview with Ohio Author Jennifer Geiger

Meet Ohio Author Jennifer Geiger! Jennifer is the author of several titles, including her new book The Blah Mobile! We connected with Jennifer last year at the Monday Creek Book Festival. Recently, we re-connected and asked Jennifer about life in general, writing, and more…

Welcome, Jennifer!

GM: What is the premise for your new book?
JG: My new book is called, The Blah Mobile. It was just released at the end of June. It involves an eight-year-old girl who learns about being nice when others are not.

GM: How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
JG: I’m a storyteller, so when a thought, any thought, comes to me, I jot it down in a word document on my computer. I go back and forth, adding, subtracting thoughts, until I get my thoughts turned into a readable story. 

GM: Where do you like to write? 
JG: I go to my den, it’s a little room located in the back of my home. It’s quiet and away from other distractions. It’s where I go to read, pray, and to write. My own little space where I can relax or work without interruptions. 

GM: Do you have a muse or other inspiration that sparks creative ideas?
JG: Not really. I have a vivid imagination, so, when I get a thought, I wonder how will it play out in a story, and then I run with it.

GM: What are you currently reading?
JG: I like mysteries, Christian Mysteries. Current I’m reading The O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson
GM: What are you currently writing?
JG:  My latest book just came out, so I’ll be busy with that for a while, but I have started putting together words for a new book written from the perspective of the people who were the recipients who interacted with Jesus. 

GM: Do you have advice for novice writers?
JG: Just like life is lived one day at a time, writing occurs one word at a time. Don’t give up, keep writing. I didn’t start out to be an author, I wrote for my personal entertainment, but four books later, (Witness, a workbook for Witness, Patmos, and The Blah Mobile) here I am.
GM: Please share your book marketing secrets...
JG: I’d have to admit, this is the hardest part of writing. There are a lot of good writers out there, and getting your book noticed will not be easy. It takes work, a little luck and a lot of follow through, along with help from other authors and a strong determination to not give up. 

GM: List 10 things your fans may not know about you...
JG:  I love God and country 
        Very family oriented
        Been married over 32 years
        Have three grown daughters
        Have eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren
        Active member of my church
        Love to bake and entertain
        Enjoy putting together puzzles
        Retired federal employee
        Love to write
About Jennifer
Jennifer Geiger, the daughter of an oil company dispatcher, was born in Kansas, and because of her father’s employment, in her elementary years, the family transferred to Ohio. She has three grown daughters, eight grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Jennifer has been married over thirty years to her husband, Jim. As a child, she was an avid storyteller and often entertained family and friends with various adventures created by the characters they supplied. As she approached adulthood, her passion for storytelling waned, it wasn’t until after she married and had her own family that her desire to create stories returned. 

Encouraged on by her younger brother, Jennifer picked up her pen and completed her first novel; Witness; a story about the Apostle John as he viewed life with Jesus. Witness was followed with an eight-session video and workbook series created to place the reader into the shoes of the Apostle John, allowing them to experience life with Jesus through the eyes of the disciple He loved. Following Witness, Jennifer produced Patmos, a story that picks up where Witness ends and allows the reader to see the adventures of John, as he is exiled and receives a special revelation from God. Her latest endeavor, The Blah Mobile came out in June 2022. It's a story about being nice when others are not. 

Connect with Jennifer

Monday, July 25, 2022

Milliron Monday: Swimming with Dolphins

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography, including his wife Jody (1938-2021)

“The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. 
For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.”
– Jacques Yves Cousteau

"You will feel a saltwater splash, a wet kiss on the check...," the marine biologist smiles. There is excitement in the Florida cove for a group of tourists waiting to swim with the dolphins. 

It is 1988 and Jody fulfilled one of her lifelong dreams - to swim with dolphins. The water is warm from the Caribbean. The sun is out and the dolphins are ready to entertain. Following the trainer's cues, Jody joins two swimmers in the water while onlookers are mesmerized by the sleek, gray-blue mammals. The dolphins begin to click with anticipation as each swimmer takes their turn.

Jody (center) waiting for a ride

Jody (center) 

Jody (center) 

"At any rate, it was a wonderful experience," Jody told me. "It was something that I always wanted to do."

See more dolphin photos on facebook: Swimming with Dolphins

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.


Friday, July 22, 2022

Bigfoot Festival: Meet Author Joy S. MillerUpton


My Devil Employer and Other Stories by Erin Miller


My Devil Employer and Other Stories 
by Erin Miller  

How was I supposed to know the devil was a woman? Aw well, time to do her bidding!

Available in eBook and Paperback HERE!

Meet the Author

Erin is the oldest in a family of six and the only woman. She was born prematurely and almost died due to respiratory distress syndrome and a heart murmur. Her father had a Catholic Priest baptize her and read her the last rites after doctors said she wouldn't make it through the night. She lived against all odds.

Erin has loved to create art since an early age. However, there was one point in time that she gave up her art. As a result, she suffered a depressive episode and will never give up her passion again.

In addition to being an artist, she is also a poet and a teacher. Erin has many passions and loves to share them with others.

Erin graduated with a BA in both art and graphic design from Dowling College and with an MFA in creative writing from Arcadia University.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Stripping and refinishing an old dry sink with progress illustrations by Sandra Russell

I bought an old dry sink in an antique store about 18 years go. It was cute, painted black with sort of clear glass oversized knobs on it, which gave it an Art Deco 30's feel. Underneath however the wood seemed to be spoon carved with sort of primitive leaves, and I discovered that the knobs except for one on the door was not the original design, which had 21/2 " drop handle pulls. The holes for the pulls had been filled with wood putty and a new hole drilled in center for a knob.

Well, I thought, this poor thing should be restored to its original form, until I stripped it. I used a citrus stripping material which by the way works best if kept wet, so tip on that to you strippers, lay some plastic wrap over it and leave it a few hours. Don't be tempted to scrape too soon.

The first layer of paint (black) bubbled up like lava, and nearly removed itself. Voila! Got excited for a minute. The next layer, now in spots, still hard enamel, in others like a really thick bubble gum but also oily, really tough stuff. Hmm? Okay, put on more stripper, some plastic bread wrapper and walk away. Lucky move because that softened the layer of green under the white and helped to lift that off.

As I continued to scrape the globs of multicolor sludge and toss into the trash, I also found a friend in tsp (tri sodium phosphate) powder. This is a washing aid that eliminates much need for mineral spirit cleanup. I was dismayed to find that fine wood, such as oak or walnut was not the wood beneath all this, but instead a scorched and stained utility wood with little grain, likely poplar. I decided that the paint and knob repair was not as historically inaccurate as I previously thought, and decided to repaint it.

I found some opaque wood stain for below half price (a mis-tint at the paint store) it was a sort of green cast charcoal and went on like paint (water-based cleanup). I did the carvings later with an aqua green 'chalk paint' and decided to forgo the bail pull handles for some glass again knobs. This time the knobs are green and slightly smaller.

All this will go into the bathroom to store 'bathroom stuff'. I'll put a basket of nice towels on the top and a tray for bottles of witch-hazel, and that sort of daily used liquids to protect the top. 

Not sure if you will be stripping furniture in the near future, but if so, maybe this information will be helpful to some of you? 


National Poetry Month: "Floorboards" A Poem by Mark M. Dean

Floorboards 4/14/2024 by © Mark M. Dean I’ve always prided myself on my exit plan My daily routine Sliding out of bed with the utmos...