Columns/Opinions

Thu
19
Mar

"Giving the Lord thanks and praise through the day" by: Betsy Monico

   This column has never taken a political path or ventured down the road of current events, outside of this local community. 
   My areas of expertise in life are quite limited. I am good at things involving kids, dogs, purple martins and choosing meaningful books to read out loud. 
   Even though our television has been locked on the news and I am somewhat informed about what is going on with the Coronavirus virus, I will not delve into it. 
   It has quickly become a complicated web of questions revolving around health issues, political views, and even religious opinions. 
   Here in Fairfield we are about to begin week two of an extended spring break. 
   My kids are excited, but also disappointed. 
   They like school, the social time it provides, and spring sports. I love the mandatory schedule and visiting with my little friends. Some of our students truly want to be at school more than home. 

Thu
19
Mar

"Reel Reviews: ‘The Hunt’ has plenty of gore, lame storyline" by: Jessica Shepard

   Usually, boredom and a lack of a lot of new releases makes it hard to decide what to watch and review for our readers.
   This week, there’s the added bonus of COVID-19 infection fears and using “social distancing” to protect myself and other moviegoers from catching the virus.
   Timing led me to catch an early morning showing of “The Hunt” – a movie I had barely heard of, let alone was terribly motivated to see.
   The Hunt had had a slow opening weekend at just over $6.4 million worldwide with a run time of about an hour and a half while being rated  R for strong bloody violence, and language throughout.
   The movie features some pretty creative death scenes and racks up a body count faster than expected.
   The Hunt is a thriller film directed by Craig Zobel and co-written by Damon Lindelof.
   The film stars Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts and Hilary Swank.

Thu
19
Mar

"When and how to wash your hands – Recommendations from CDC" By Gabrielle Washington County Extension Agent - Family and Community Health Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. 
   Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy. 
   You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
   Before, during, and after preparing food
   Before eating food
   Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
   Before and after treating a cut or wound
   After using the toilet
   After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
   After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
   After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
   After handling pet food or pet treats
   After touching garbage
   Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Thu
12
Mar

"Learn more about the disease disrupting our lives" by: Mike Reddell

   We’re all in various forms of disbelief at how rapidly things are happening with coronavirus – the stock market plunge, big events like the 10-day South by Southwest cancelling this year, colleges cancelling classes, 
   Fort Worth and Austin disaster declarations and the disease itself.
   I have friends who still (this week) dismiss the disease as something that will pass – no worse than the flu – and point to what they say are the few cases in Texas.
   Here’s what we do know Tuesday afternoon, March 10, as I write this. 
   I realize this information will be soon dated – a big problem for reporters writing about coronavirus.
   In Texas, there have been 27 known confirmed cases – 11 who traveled abroad in quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and 16 elsewhere.
   Other newer Texas cases are in Collin and Gregg counties in north and east Texas, respectively.

Thu
12
Mar

"Finding excitement, satisfaction in the little adult things" by: Jessica Shepard

   My friends and I are always talking about things that make us feel old.
   And I know that anyone over 50 is just going to roll their eyes at this since I’m barely in my 30s, but, still!
   A lot of my friends count adult moments by huge milestones like weddings or having children or buying a home.
   But, some, like me, count it with minor things like getting a good vacuum or new tires for a vehicle instead of something fun like a new TV.
   I know it sounds like something that’s normal or a fact of life, but, for me, it feels like a big deal sometimes.
   It’s an adult decision to make an investment in something rather than just making it rain dollar bills for nonsense like cat toys, acrylic nails or an unnecessary amount of post-Valentine’s Day sale candy.
   It gets harder to choose between some nicer necessities and the boring ones as I get older, too.

Thu
12
Mar

"Market could go up or down, but I think worst is over" by: John Sample

   If you pay attention to your monthly statement on the value of your retirement account, I promise you it will be significantly less this month. 
   The combination of concerns over the coronavirus and the drop in crude prices have the various equity averages and indexes down almost 20% from the record highs of just three weeks ago.
   To say that February and March have been a fork in the road is an understatement.
   Remember that we have been on an upswing for over 12 years since the 2008 financial disaster sent us into a recession.
   We’ve had pullbacks that could hardly be even considered a correction. We have not come close to 20%.
   To say it is overdue is an understatement.
   The concern was evident this week with the Dow dropping over 2,000 points - the worst since the financial crisis.
   The weekend news that Saudi Arabia decided to increase production is a problem close to home.

Thu
12
Mar

Will your money last as long as you do?

   Many people are afraid of running out of money during retirement.
   How can you help ensure your money will last as long as you do?
   For starters, estimate your longevity based on your health and family history.
   Even a ballpark figure will help you calculate how much money you’ll need to put away.
   And during your working years, contribute as much as you can afford to your IRA and your 401(k) or similar retirement plan.
   Every time you get a raise, try to increase the amount you put into your employer’s plan.
   Here’s another tip: Consider long-term care insurance or a similar policy to protect yourself from the huge costs of a long stay in a nursing home.
   One last word: Once you’re retired, be careful about how much you withdraw each year from your retirement accounts.
   You need to pick a withdrawal rate that’s appropriate for your needs.

Thu
12
Mar

"Our child-like faith in Jesus Christ will last forever" by: Betsy Monico

   Each week I send my column to a few papers. For my readers outside of Fairfield, stick with me. 
   We just got home from San Antonio. Our Lady Eagles Basketball Team won state last night.
   I played basketball, but was never good. I could post-up, but never dribble. If the ball got passed to me in a situation where I needed to move down court, I froze! 
   I nearly “froze” a few times this weekend too. I escorted a carload of teenage Eagle fans to the Alamodome, around San Antonio, and back home safely. 
   We prayed before each adventure. I am still waiting on my oldest to get back home. When she arrives, I will know God granted traveling mercies. 
   The game last night was something! The Dallas Morning News wrote “Fairfield overcame a 15-point deficit in the first half to stun the five-time defending state champion, Argyle.” 

Thu
12
Mar

"It’s important to establish healthy boundaries to focus on what we need to do" by: Caleb Gibson

   A burglar once broke into a house one night.  
   He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, ‘Jesus knows you’re here.’  
   He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze. He hears the voice again, ‘Jesus is watching you.’  
   Startled, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.  
   Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot. 
   ‘Did you say that?’ he hissed at the parrot.’Yes’, the parrot confessed, then squawked, ‘I’m just trying to warn you that he’s watching you.’  
   The burglar relaxed. ‘Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?’ ‘Moses,’ replied the bird.  
   ‘Moses?’ the burglar laughed. ‘What kind of people would name a bird Moses?’ ‘The kind of people who would name a Rottweiler Jesus.’ 

Thu
12
Mar

"Reel Reviews: ‘Onward’ highlights sibling relationship with an epic quest" by: Jessica Shepard

   It’s been a while since I’ve seen a kid-friendly movie, so I decided to check out “Onward” during its opening weekend. 
   I have to admit that I didn’t know what to expect when I started this film, but, it’s definitely heartwarming, cute and emotional in all the right ways. 
   The movie clocks in at one hour and 42 minutes of run time at a PG rating for action/peril and some mild thematic elements and has generated over $68 million worldwide. 
   Onward is a computer-animated urban fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. 
   The film is directed by Dan Scanlon, produced by Kori Rae from a screenplay written by Scanlon, Jason Headley, and Keith Bunin. 
   It stars the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kyle Bornheimer, Mel Rodriguez, and Octavia Spencer. 
   In a world inhabited by mythical creatures, magic is commonplace and its wielders are greatly respected. 

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