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Articles in Iva’s Input

Spoiler Alert

| Published on April 16, 2014

This is about the Portage County Park District, first in what will probably be a series of rants.
Portage County DOES HAVE a park district. CATCH : Over 800 A of the land comprising the district are currently inaccessible because of a lack of funds.  The budget has been severely cut, …

April Showers

| Published on April 9, 2014

April showers bring May flowers, eh?
Somebody alert the providers of floral items.  They’re either going to be left twiddling their thumbs because the general public is inundated by blooms of exotic sizes and descriptions springing up along every highway and by-way or their own backyards…or…there will be wholesalers of flowers …

Out Like A Lamb?

| Published on April 3, 2014

Out like a lamb?  Maybe a drippy-wet lamb.  Maybe a lamb looking up at the occasional flurries and possible thunderstorms lurking in the wings next  week.  Baaaa! Enjoy it while you can.  Quoting The Old Farmer’s Almanac here, “Showers often; the earth softens.  Sunny and sweet.  Watch out for sleet!”
Sounds  …

Misguided Cats

| Published on March 27, 2014

Maplewood, beware!
I’m thinking that the cats—at least some of them—need occupational/vocational counseling.
One of the guys(It’s always the guys)apparently thinks that he is a watchcat, protecting us all from  dangerous gray tiger cats out on the back porch.  He pays no attention at all to the calico incipiently-maternal feline that appears …

Gone…. GONE…. GONE!

| Published on March 27, 2014

The first department store in Portage County (Chic & Shabby/the Root Store)transformed into a  source for home decorating with a distinctive touch…a craftsman fascinated by and devoted to clocks… a fledgling lawyer, an experienced attorney…the Barber of G-Ville…lawn and garden equipment gurus…a quilt shop drawing craft persons  from all over …

Oxford English Dictionary and then some

| Published on March 21, 2014

The Oxford English Dictionary has just come out with its quarterly revisions and additions.  Some nine hundred new words and phrases have now been deemed worthy to grace its pages, some of them pretty far out there.  How often do you wish to know the meaning of Empedoclean? ( Don’t …

The Old Farmer Says….

| Published on March 13, 2014

The Old Farmer says of the month of March (and I quote), “In like a sea lion, cold and wet with fishy breath. Rain to snow and snow to rain—di-si-do and back again!  This month can’t be trusted; the hinge of spring has rusted.”

Whoa! Missed it Again!

| Published on March 9, 2014

Mardi Gras, that is.  Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, beginning of the Lenten season.  Carnavale, Carnival, Carnaval, Karneval, Faschtnact/Fasching…whatever your ethnic background, if there’s a shot of Catholic in there anywhere (or even if there’s no Catholicism but a lot of fun-lovers), you may be acquainted with Mardi …


| Published on March 9, 2014

SANK!  The word is SANK!  The past  tense of “sink”  is “sank”…”sank”, not “sunk”.  “Sunk” is the perfect tense, which is either being shamefully abused or ignored most of the time by people who ought to know better.  If I have to listen to some talking head on a TV …


| Published on February 26, 2014

Well, here we go again.  The Mayan “end of the world” didn’t pan out, so, now we can look forward to the Viking Apocalypse.
It seems that in some enormously long poem in Norse mythology written in the 13th century by( Here’s a name to conjure with) Snorri Sturlson, the gods …

Spice of Life

| Published on February 19, 2014

Sometimes bon appetit, the 0h-so-upscale cooking magazine, is just too much.
They just assume that everyone has access to—and a budget for—artisan cheeses and spirits, baby organic lettuces, at least four different varieties of milk…and we don’t mean simply whole, skim, 2% and buttermilk…oh no.  You’re deprived unless the shelves boast …

This is Getting OLD

| Published on February 12, 2014

Don’t you just every so often look out the window or open the door or read the weather forecast and feel like the little boy  on the  internet the other day?  The little guy must have been about four years old, bundled up to a fare-thee-well in mittens, hat , …


| Published on February 6, 2014

Curse that groundhog!
Well, it does depend on which groundhog you are going to believe.  The storied Punxsutawney Phil, of Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, according to his “handler” (like a sports agent, I guess) interrupted his long winter’s nap, peered out of his burrow and predicted six more weeks of winter.  This …

File Under…

| Published on January 22, 2014

File under “Sorry we missed this one.”
New Years celebrators in London this New Year’s Eve were treated to  an interesting array of flavored fun-type  festivity-promoters.  Indeed! There was banana-flavored confetti, there were orange-scented bubbles, peach-flavored snow, for starters.  Mercy! 

Here’s Your Chance!

| Published on January 8, 2014

Here’s your chance to investigate the Mpemba Effect.  There’s a video of some Canadian dude on the internet performing this interesting experiment.  He takes a hard plastic water gun (A Nerf weapon would probably not work; you’ll see why)sucks up boiling water into it (That’s why you use hard plastic) …

Isn’t technology wonderful?

| Published on January 8, 2014

Sports Illustrated reports that there is now a “Smart Sensor” basketball(94Fifty) full of God-only-knows what kind of sensors, nine of  ‘em, complete with circuit board, battery pack and Bluetooth relay—don’t ask—which will  do amazing things for your mastery of the game.  These sensors are processing whatever it is that’s happening …

Makin’ A List…

| Published on December 4, 2013

Now that the clock tower lights are lit, Santa has made the first of his (many) local appearances…for lunch, for breakfast, for pizza, etc….it’s time to get down to some serious shopping—preferably local, but wandering off into the exotic every so often.
So, in pursuit of exotica (Try looking that up …

Old Farmers Almanac

| Published on November 27, 2013

I love the Old Farmer’s Almanac…I don’t necessarily take it as gospel but I do love the miscellany of STUFF that is in it.  It is a veritable FOUNT of KNOWLEDGE of various off-beat and semi-useful pieces of information.  I say semi-useful because some of the wisdom that this publication …

Comet ISON

| Published on November 27, 2013

AND…just in case you’ve been obsessing about the Comet ISON(International Scientific Optical Network—used by some Russian astronomers to first locate this fast-moving wonder) the one thing that most astronomers actually agree on is that it is highly unlikely to slam into the Earth, smashing us all to smithereens…that and the …

Drawbacks To Unseasonable Weather

| Published on November 21, 2013

There ARE drawbacks to having a warm spell this late in the year.  Yes, indeed.
So…I’m sitting in the living room reading the paper; it’s a breezy, balmy (for November, anyway)fifty-something, sixty-something outside.  The room is pleasantly warm enough.  It’s evening, getting dark, I’m thinking about getting to bed early after …

A Fungus Among Us

| Published on October 9, 2013

The computer strikes again!  Here I am typing away  at my keyboard-in-the-corner, writing  what I’m hoping will be more-or-less reproduced below and—WHAM!  It all disappeared.  Gone! Gone!  Nowhere to be found(Not that I could find it anyway, technological klutz that I am).  Nearly a page of deathless prose lost into …

Rants in My Plants

| Published on September 23, 2013

Weeding and quite a number of other garden/lawn tasks are so essentially mindless that they offer “quality time” for pondering totally unrelated topics that  may have “gotten under my skin”, “stuck in my craw(What IS a craw, anyway?)”, “graveled my gizzard”, “frayed my last nerve”…whatever idiomatic expression you might prefer.  …

Rambutan? Huh?

| Published on September 11, 2013

Please pass the rambutan.
Right.  I didn’t know what it was either but it was mentioned in a recent filler article in the R-C.  I’m not sure what’s behind it but there seems to be a rash of “record-setting” events and/or activities of all kinds that seem to be, basically, pointless.  …


| Published on August 21, 2013

Have another piece of cake, Chubby?
OMG!  New scientific research indicates that obesity is likely about three times as great a factor in mortality rates as had been previously believed, up from 5% to 18%.  Some 78 million people in the U.S. are struggling with the condition…or not.  Some twenty per …

Ya Shoulda Been There!

| Published on August 14, 2013

Ya shoulda been there!
“There”, in this instance was actually two places where it was all happenin’ last week.  Not genuinely related places, really, but there were similarities, fo’ sure.

Treatise on Spell Check

| Published on August 7, 2013

Spell Check can’t do everything.
I was at the Farmers’ Market at Robinson the other day.  Small but interesting; an assortment of vendors with  good stuff.  Dave Stotler had Lodi apples, good for the first apple pies of the season.   A lady from Randolph was there with a food truck that …

‘Tis the Season?!

| Published on August 5, 2013

“Tis the season!
For just about everything, I guess.  The other day, a container of blueberries and two squash magically appeared on my front porch sitting on some literature from the Jehovah’s Witnesses or some other well-meaning group and next to the comic strip umbrella from the AB-J.  Tasty stuff!  Then …

Time Flies

| Published on July 29, 2013

My, how Time flies!
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
So, if the line above is an example of  a “garden path sentence” or syntactic ambiguity or  a pun, a double entendre or an antanaclasis—well, it would be, wouldn’t it—possibly by that great linguist, Groucho Marx, these recent …


| Published on July 12, 2013

You know, the saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for.”  Ain’t it the truth!
The Villager took a brief hiatus on the Fourth, giving staff and media stars (That’s you, Benjamin.) a little time to set off and/or observe firecrackers and recoup after all of the frenetic activity of the …

No Computer! Received via email — Thank Goodness!

| Published on July 1, 2013

So…the lightning storm took out the computers—desk top, laptop, probably the remote control for the alarm clock, for all I know—and the Villager deadline is looming on Monday.  What  to do?  What to do?
The schedule is filling up : The computer guru who is working on the problem will be …

Good Grief

| Published on June 24, 2013

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another…how’s that for original thought?
I went to my computer, the desktop, which is one of the newer dinosaurs, as compared to the iPads and tablets and such, intending to turn it on and get started on my weekly offering of deathless prose and witty …

Costume Crises

| Published on June 17, 2013

Well, it’s all the talk.  Superman, in the new movie coming out soon, “Man of Steel”, has a new look–no tights!  


| Published on June 9, 2013

Just in time for the summer cooking-out season, the Hormel company has now fessed up to producing ten–that’s 10 different kinds of SPAM.  Well, who’d a thunk it? 

A Bad Spell

| Published on May 29, 2013

It wasn’t pretty.
The brain trust here at the Weekly Villager sallied forth to adventures in orthography by participating in the22nd Annual Community Spelling Bee for Literacy, co-sponsored by the Portage County Literacy Coalition Community Partners at the NEOMED Conference Center on Friday, May 24, 20013.  And fourth…maybe fifth… was about …

That was a fine old time!

| Published on May 29, 2013

That was a fine old time!
Well, if you weren’t trying to get anyplace in a hurry, that is.  The annual Garrettsville community garage/yard/porch sale seems to have attracted quite a crowd for most of the weekend.  Some of the narrower thoroughfares were a challenge for those just trying to get …

Ha Ha!

| Published on May 15, 2013

`You thought that spring had come, just because you looked at a calendar and got out your flip-flops and sunscreen (I wear sunglasses all year, so that’s really no indication), not to mention making pool plans.  Think again, Hummingbird-watcher.
I DID hang out four loads of wash on the line to …

Getting Old is NOT for Sissies!

| Published on May 7, 2013

Just dealing with the medical and insurance issues is enough to send a rational individual(That would be me…no snickering out there) around the bend.
I will be the first to admit that my medical and insurance issues are–knock on wood–WAY less fraught with difficulty than many other folk out there who …

Become a Master Gardener

| Published on April 26, 2013

The Ohio State University extends itself into every county in the state–all 88 of them.  These are called–what else–extension offices and they offer information, advice and services to local residents.  This can cover agriculture & natural resources, community development, nutrition, family & consumer science, 4-H programs–a whole bunch of things.  …

Caution ~ Auction!

| Published on April 26, 2013

The Kiko folks have taken to putting up signs of this nature along roads where one of their commercial activities is going on, and with good reason.  These secondary highways are plenty full of just plain drivers, let alone the avid auction-goers looking for a place to park–without sliding into …

How’s your Easter Bonnet look with snow on it?

| Published on April 1, 2013

Good Grief!  Polar Fleece and long johns, peeps and bunnies with frost on their little noses…er…beaks…er …whatever.  Deep frozen chocolate eggs and jelly beans, rock-hard marshmallow anything.  How crazy has this season been so far?  This is Spring from the old days, the ones where hardy ancestors walked two miles …

Spring Things

| Published on March 23, 2013

How’re you liking Spring so far?
Yes, indeedy, the official astronomical beginning of Spring was on Wednesday, March 20 at 7:02, EDT ( Or 11:02, UTC).  Actually, I lied; according to the Farmer’s Almanac there is no “official” start to any of the seasons.  That all depends upon the climate of …

Going, Going, Gone!

| Published on March 8, 2013

Well, going to an auction is often an adventure.  This last one, though, was more than I had bargained for.
First of all, it was being held at what must, surely, have been the last–or nearly the last–farm in Aurora.  I saw a sign –kind of faded–that seemed to indicate that …

Super Bowl XLVII

| Published on February 6, 2013

So…O.K., …I took notes….not during the Super Bowl game, which didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped, but of the commercials that paid for all of the hoopla.   Mercy, what an assortment!

How do I get on these lists?

| Published on January 16, 2013

How do I get on these lists?
Bad enough that I get pleas from every animal rescue organization on the planet–puppies, kittens, polar bears, horses, donkeys, whales, big cats, farm animals, exotic animals (I tend to hope that abusers, traffickers and slaughterers will all fry in hell), you name ‘em.  I …

The Muse Is Angered

| Published on January 10, 2013

Well, I just hate it when electrical things get weird and I have to do something about the situation without having a CLUE as to how to approach the problem.
So, I go to start writing another of my pieces of deathless prose for inclusion in The Weekly Villager ( This …

What We Got For Christmas

| Published on January 3, 2013

Y’ know that old pop/novelty song, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”?  He sort of lisps and whistles through the tune.  Real cute.  Ever wonder what the kid actually GOT for Christmas?

Party On!

| Published on December 13, 2012

Well, yes, it IS that season of the year when all sorts of disparate groups have their annual Christmas parties.  The barrage has begun already.
Hiram College hosted a seasonal soiree last week for Friends (That’s Friends, with a capital F), faculty types and festive individuals of all stripes, featuring a …


| Published on November 29, 2012

That, declares the Oxford English Dictionary–OED, to friends and family–is the word of the year, 2012, presumably, though it seems to have got its start in 2009 on a British political satire TV show.  I’m sure you’ve used it countless times since then, right?  It did manage to gain some …

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock!

| Published on October 22, 2012

Here comes the Crocodile!
In my role as drama critic for the Weekly Villager (No rest for the wicked, as my father used to say), I recently took in the Baldwin Wallace University Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of J. M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan”.  Quite an evening!
One of the motivating …

The Big Fandango

| Published on September 1, 2012

So here I am at the BIG FANDANGO at the Longaberger Basket Outlet Store at Aurora Premium Outlets and I’m making a basket…me, Little Miss Craftperson, whose biggest venture into crafts was probably when I used to make  molds out of modeling clay and pour plaster-of-paris horse heads, later hand-painted, …