It feels weird to have the Olympics going on right now. It would have felt even weirder to have the Olympics that were regularly scheduled last year in Tokyo. The Olympics have no fans in the stands, a COVID-19 pandemic that the world can’t seem to get rid of, and for many, a loss of an appe…

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

editor's pick

Last week, I wrote about basil, the herb that we have dubbed the king of the herbs. Well, it turns out that the French also use that moniker.

editor's pick

Have you ever been asked to pray aloud in a large group? Or do you pray only in private? Prayers can be said anywhere at any time, but orally, in front of others, out loud, petrified me. The first time I was invited to pray in public was intimidating because the prayers familiar to me were e…

Sidney, Montana was a unique place. A small-town of a little over 6,000 people. It’s a town where everyone knows everybody, and the closest city the size of Athens is an hour away. I didn’t exactly meet a ton of people there in Richland County, but I met a handful of people who I can now cal…

editor's pick

Basil, also known as the “king of herbs” or “royal herb,” gets its name from the Greek basilikón phutón, meaning “kingly plant.” Folklore varies greatly, with tales of it being able to produce scorpions, warding off the strike of a basilisk serpent and growing at the foot of Christ’s cross, …

editor's pick

Ah, the memories of lazy, hazy days of summer linger — the most carefree days of my life with no bills to pay, figuring out what to make for dinner or other adult concerns.

editor's pick

The term “potluck” was coined more than 500 years ago, putting a label on the concept of a communal meal where each guest brings a dish to share. The idea was that if everyone brought a little something, there’d be a little something for everyone. The practice caught on and has been flourish…

Editor's note: This column discusses topics that might be sensitive for some readers. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or thoughts of suicide, text HOME to 741741 to reach a trained counselor at the Crisis Text Line or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline …

AP editor's pick

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s plan to reorganize into a new entity that helps combat the U.S. opioid epidemic got a big boost as 15 states that had previously opposed the new business model now support it.

One of the first questions I got in the interview process when I applied for the sports reporter position at the News Courier was who I’d rather root for, the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Auburn Tigers? One of the first questions I received when I first got here when I was on the radio was wh…

editor's pick

Herbs have been heralded since ancient times for their culinary, medical and aromatherapy aspects. Simon & Garfunkel immortalized parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme with the release of their album of the same name in 1966. Some herbs, such as rosemary, are more popular than others and are…

editor's pick

The term "muddin'" or "mudding" conjures up images of enormous tires on big, dirty trucks or Jeeps — off-road vehicles — with mud slung and dried even on the rooftops. Our family has a couple of memorable muddy incidents.

editor's pick

Previously, I’ve postulated an idea related to the vastness of life’s purpose — an idea so wide-reaching it can be summed up in seven words. Can a mere seven words help us establish a focus on the meaning of life? Perhaps.

One of my biggest regrets from my time out in Montana is that I didn’t explore the state. I didn’t really see outside of the city of Sidney and Richland County as much as I would have liked other than my few trips to Billings for state tournaments. It’s a beautiful state with several nationa…

editor's pick

It’s mid-June, and gardens are thriving with fresh vegetables that are — or are very near — ready to be picked. It is also the time to get a second round of these vegetables in the ground. One of my favorite things to grow in summer are peppers, and because I want to prolong the harvest for …

editor's pick

Parenting is a tough job. My mistakes are many. There are no do-overs. My children know their mom did the very best she could with the limited knowledge she possessed. Most parents agree, yet none have all the right answers.

editor's pick

For most of the past two weeks, my sick bed was my comfortable place. Well, actually, there could have been more comfort there. At any rate, illness changes perspectives. We ponder more. We see things as they really are, and priorities shift to those things most important.

I intended to write round-by-round predictions for the NHL playoffs, but higher priorities changed my plan. With the semifinals now underway and the Montreal Canadiens finally being able to cross the U.S.-Canadian border for the first time in a year, things are finally beginning to look a lo…

editor's pick

Having a wanderer’s soul and being a military spouse, I have lived in 20 homes in six states and two countries before settling here in Athens and was shocked at the cost of water and sewer. For the first few years that we lived here, I was sure we had an underground leak. Heck, I had a home …

editor's pick

A toothless smile and twinkling eyes were a stark contrast to her wrinkled and worn face, but the diminutive sprite we called Grammaw. She was always busy yet managed to take time for anyone and everyone she encountered.

editor's pick

When I was pregnant, I anticipated the birth of my precious babies, but I dreaded the pain of the actual experience. Hey, I’m human.

I certainly don’t need to point out that football is a big deal down here. I knew that from afar, but now that I live here in the great state of Alabama, I have the opportunity to witness it firsthand, and man, is it sweet. The season is still months away and I'm already starting to feel lik…

editor's pick

There are a lot of plants that can be propagated by placing a cutting into water so that roots will form. There are also a few plants that can live in water indefinitely as long as they are provided with nutrients. I have five or six water-filled vases that are spilling pothos, the oldest of…

editor's pick

They were my great-grandparents, but everyone in the holler called them Grampaw and Grammaw Osborne, pronounced "Orsbun."

editor's pick

Life can seem complicated sometimes. Because it is. There are responsibilities and deadlines. Work is demanding. Home life is demanding. There are never enough hours in the day — or the night, for that matter. Sleep deprivation is real. The threat of COVID-19 is real.

I have been a resident Alabamian since late February. As I have mentioned before, I have moved around a lot having lived in eight states so far in my 27 years on this earth. While I had my dream job as a sports reporter in Big Sky country out in Montana, I was not enjoying my life outside of…

editor's pick

Have you ever had a really smart pet? We’ve had several, mostly canine, but such intelligent critters. So far, they have all lived up to the old wives' tale that the darker the roof of their mouths, the more intelligent they are. A few not-too-smart ones I’ve known followed suit.

editor's pick

In some ways, we are all hurting. We are all grieving. Regular readers of this column know I’m experiencing grief as a result of the sudden and unexpected passing of my husband, but grief doesn’t have to involve someone dying and leaving this earth.

editor's pick

A few weeks ago, I was down in South Alabama at a friend’s farm. He was planting watermelon in a plot about the size of a football field. Of course, being that he planted such a large number of watermelons, they will be sold to local groceries and at farmer’s markets — and at least one will …

editor's pick

Visits to or from doctors was a rarity in my youth and long before, and, yes, doctors really did make house calls in those days.

editor's pick

My husband left this world in November. I miss him every day, in every way. Of course I do. I had someone tell me it would be weird if I wasn’t sad right now. She was right.

editor's pick

Last week, I was having a conversation with some friends about the foods that each of us didn’t particularly like. Of the foods I have tried, there are very few that make my list; I’m not a fan of liver, black licorice, runny eggs and peas. Most of the foods I deemed undesirable were apparen…

editor's pick

Several years ago, while sitting in church in another state, my oldest grandchild, Jack, sent me a lengthy and sentimental text. Being unsure of the sermon topic, something stirred within him, and he elaborated his appreciation and love for me.

editor's pick

I often receive feedback and notes from readers via email or Facebook. I love messages from people who read this column. Each one is appreciated.

editor's pick

If you’re reading a gardening article, chances are you are a plant enthusiast, as I am. There is something very satisfying about creating a garden full of healthy, thriving plants, shrubs and trees. But, what do we do when one of our babies shows signs of disease?

editor's pick

A year and a half ago, I found myself in a new role — family matriarch. Somehow, it had never occurred to me that it was in my future. Despite planning ahead, the present is where I dwell.

editor's pick

It’s been five months. Five long months, but there are still so many things to do. So many goodbyes left to say. Most of them are symbolic and silent, but they are goodbyes, nonetheless. Between just him and me.

editor's pick

Voltaire, the 18th century French writer-philosopher, preferred an enlightened aristocracy to democracy yet he eloquently embraced one of the latter’s most sacred tenets, the right to free speech.

editor's pick

You’ve probably heard the word "superfood" and believe it to be a half-priced, 16-ounce porterhouse steak that has been cooked to perfection — not kale. While I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, not all of the superfoods are tough on the palate. Salmon, blueberries, almonds, sweet po…

editor's pick

I love just about everything that has to do with summer — early morning sunrises, butterflies flitting, birds chirping, the smell of fresh-cut grass and suntan lotion, and flowers in every size, shape and color imaginable, all working together to provide a little Zen to my soul.

editor's pick

More than 30 years ago, a genuine treasure fell into my lap — but what to do with it? We took a trip to visit my birthplace in southeastern Kentucky.

editor's pick

Yesterday, I changed a light bulb. It was the overhead one at the entrance to our basement stairs. I had to use a stepping stool in order to reach it.

editor's pick

Ah, I love spring! The birds are chirping, lawns are greening up, trees are budding and sleeping perennials are starting to poke their heads from their underground beds. Three years ago, I planted tulip and daffodil bulbs around the base of a dogwood tree. The idea was that these spring bloo…

editor's pick

True friends' hearts are always open for each other, regardless of time apart. True friends experience sunshine in one another’s company even when it’s stormy and they share an umbrella. True friends share ups and downs, and they cherish the memories they have made together.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries