The Publisher's Desk: Dublin on the map at Abilene Museum

We’re on the map. 

That’s what I said to Sarah almost as soon as we arrived at Frontier Texas! in Abilene last month. 

If you haven’t been, it’s a great museum. There are plenty of interesting artifacts, and the media is surprisingly updated — in particular, the videos. 

When we paid, we were told the museum starts with a video before you can enter the exhibits. 

I felt a little frustrated. While I enjoy learning about history, I find that videos at museums are often pretty dry. I don’t enjoy them much. 

Skipping this video would have been a mistake. 

It was short (double points for that) and it immersed you into the mood of the museum. 

It also introduced you to characters you would meet in the museum — and for the size of the museum, the acting was fairly impressive. 


Mrs. Dykowski... wants you to enjoy the Library's magic today

When I was a kid, my mom was on the library board. 

The Mitchell County Public Library was a special place for my brother and I. We read every book in the children’s section, some more than once. 

I didn’t know about the budget struggles and difficult decisions that were a part of running a library. 

I just knew that the ladies at the library were always really nice (as long as I was quiet), and that every so often mom would go sit in a room with other adults and talk about the library. 

For me, the books kind of magically appeared on the shelves, and the librarian’s knowledge of where everything’s location was mystical and amazing. 

The library was magic. 

I watched the movie Matilda (probably borrowed from the library’s VHS collection), and I knew just how Matilda felt when she discovered the library. It’s a wonderful place. 


The Publisher's Desk: Some truly clever ways to cook a turkey

It’s my favorite time of the year. 

Not only will there be turkey ... there will be Dublin Elementary kids teaching us how to make a turkey — in all of their bright, clever and hilarious ways. 

This year’s third graders are particularly inventive and expressive. I know Julie Ivie is a writing teacher for third grade, and she (along with the other third grade teachers) are clearly doing an excellent job. 

In fact, the whole elementary has been increasing its test scores and impressing me and my family. 

These funny responses from the kids are just proof that some creative thinking is happening at Dublin Elementary. 


Mrs. Dykowski... writes a thankful list

I’m writing on a difficult day, so in honor of Thanksgiving, I’m going to list, in no particular order, a few of the many things for which I am thankful.  

1.    Viral videos of babies riding on Rumba sweepers. 
Is it safe? Is it a good idea? I’ll let the parents of that baby and others who can afford to have their houses cleaned by a robot decide that. The baby looks happy as can be and the floors look sparkly clean. 
Kindness is free. It doesn’t take anything from me to treat others with kindness and respect. It’s such a blessing to be able to will myself to dwell on the positive and not let others’ negativity bring me down. 


One Reporter's Ramblings: A Park Avenue passes...

An update on my column a few weeks ago: Ethyl is no longer with us.

We had a scare with Katie’s car and decided, since we had an option, that it was best to retire the aging Buick while we could still get a few bucks for it.

As I drove to pick up Katie from her work, I realized that the car she was saying goodbye to was the car she had received from her grandmother a year to the day from when her grandma had died. This had not gone unnoticed by Katie, making the experience a bit more sad than it would have been otherwise.

The coincidence came in that a friend of Dad’s was working on the car I had given them when I bought Mika, the Nissan Maxima who looks a little worse for wear after that hail storm a couple of years ago.

Dad had remarked that Ethyl looked like she wasn’t long for this world so he was getting my old Buick LeSabre (dubbed “The Sword” by my friend, Paden, years and years ago) ready in case we should need it. 


Mrs. Dykowski... vs. the sickly house

I knew home ownership would be full of ups and downs when I signed the papers on our first home. 

I knew things would need to be repaired and replaced. 

It’s like when you chose health insurance. 

You expect to maybe need a checkup, maybe an antibiotic or possibly even sprain your ankle.

I didn’t know the house would need major surgery every eight to 12 months. 

With rental property in Dublin being difficult to find and afford, I’m not sure I would have made a different choice, but does anyone else feel like their “starter home” is really a game of operation where every time you turn around something has to be carefully removed and replaced?

I think they make movies about this sort of thing.

We keep a running list of repairs to save for, but it always seems like a different part of the house always pops up and calls dibs on our budget. 


The Publisher's Desk: Proud parent of two baby avocados

I think about babies a lot, ya’ll. A lot. 
As you know, we’re having another baby girl in March — every Wednesday Sarah updates me about how big she is according to a pregnancy app on her phone. 

I tried to explain it to Darci once. 

Baby Sister is the size of this avocado, I said. Do you understand?

Yes, she replied. 

The next day I pulled an avocado out of the fridge. 

Baby sister! she cried with glee — and then proceeded to eat it. 

I’m not sure she gets it. 

And, of course, there’s always prepping and planning and doctor’s appointments. I enjoy thinking about these things. 

Darci isn’t really a baby anymore, but I still think about her babyhood pretty often. 

Especially with each phase of this pregnancy I remember things from when Darci was a baby. 


One Reporter's Ramblings: new releases and classics at your local library

Apparently, there’s a holiday (maybe even two or three) between Halloween and Christmas.

This holiday has something to do with turkeys and excessive caloric intake, according to my Facebook friends.

Oh, and also togetherness and thankfulness.

I joke, but Thanksgiving does seem to just act as a buffer between spooks and Santa for many.

So much so that, although there are seasonal movies for October and December, there are few tied with the November holiday.

That said, I heartily recommend “Dutch,” “Home for the Holidays” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” as three well-done exceptions.

Even though there are few Thanksgiving movies, it’s a very sentimental time of the year as the best part of the holiday is getting together with loved ones. (I know, turkey and stuffing are great, but quality time with friends and family is better.) 


The Publisher's Desk: Better to not vote at all than uninformed

Please, do me a favor. 

Do all of us a favor. 

When you are voting, if there is a Constitutional amendment (or anything else) that is unfamiliar to you, don’t just vote no. 

People have been asking a fair question: if I want to vote on a particular issue, do I have to vote on every item on the ballot? In other words, can I skip ballot items to get to the one I care about or will the machine make me pick an answer for every ballot? 

You can skip questions. And I encourage you to. 

Not because the issues you choose to skip aren’t important. They are. 

Not because voting doesn’t matter. It does. 

No, skip those because an uninformed no (or yes) is worse than skipping. 

I bring this up because I’ve heard people encouraging other to “just vote no” if they don’t know about one or all of the amendments. 

I’ve heard others say it’s a good rule of thumb. But it’s not. 


Mrs. Dykowski... meets an imaginary lion

There’s a lion living in my house this week. 

He likes to hang out in the front yard then he comes in to sleep in Darci’s bed. 

When I’m at work he’s in my office, or just outside it. 

He likes warm hugs, holding hands and giving Darci goodnight kisses. I don’t know his name. 

Darci keeps saying she’ll ask him for me, but they don’t really talk much, they just play, sing and hold hands. 

What else would a toddler want an imaginary lion to do?

Darci’s imagination amazes me, so I decided to do some reading to see what this could show me about how she thinks.

Typically kids are around 2-and-a-half when they develop an imaginary friend. In fact, pretend play, something Darci has been doing for a couple of months, is more typical of kids 8 months to more than a year older, according to several researchers. 


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