• Guest column: 'American Tunis: the sheep of the south'

    Ronald and Joy Jones of Fries maintain a small flock of Tunis sheep, and this spring, the ladies of Blue Ridge Fiberworks used wool from Ronald’s sheep to produce a line of fine yarn for a couple area yarn shops. While this enterprise is only in the beginning stages, the ladies are enthusiastic about the potential for spinning and selling yarns from the heritage sheep of the south: the American Tunis.                         

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Making good marks (and removing bad ones)’

    Now that school is back in session, I’m sure everyone has been on that familiar trip to Walmart or Target or wherever your preferred choice is for the annual school supply run.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Timeline for tidying’

    Happy fall, y’all!
    Yes, I know it’s not technically fall yet, but I’m not ashamed to say that I was ringing in autumn with bells on when the clock struck midnight Sept. 1. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve had about as much summer as a person can take; especially the super-hot mess we got this year.

  • Chez J. Zane: ‘Sizzling squash recipes‘

    This week, I want to give Declaration readers information on the yellow summer crook-neck or straight-neck squash. The yellow squash has a medium size and smooth, yellow skin. Its flesh is dense, pale yellow and layered with soft, edible seeds. As its name suggests, its shape is curved and its slim neck widens at the base. A straight-neck variety is also common.

  • Chez J. Zane: ‘Sweet zucchini recipes’

    Continuing knowledge of the courgette (zucchini):
    To prepare and cook the zucchini, the peel may be left on or one may choose to thinly peel it, leaving a bright green layer covering the creamy, ivory flesh. The squash may be sliced (thin or thick) or cut into wedges, sticks, or finely julienned. Zucchini can be steamed, braised, pan- or deep-fried, or incorporated into batters and baked. You can also stuff, coat in sauces (tomato) or cook au gratin. Zucchini lends itself to all methods of cooking.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Gnat my problem’

    There comes a time in everyone’s lives when they start to feel burned out on something. No matter how much gratification or pride comes out of it, and no matter how much enjoyment it gives them, too much of anything is a bad thing. Lately, this has been the story of my life.

  • We count on the mail


    I got the mail today.
    A couple of bills. A greeting card. Some catalogs. A newspaper. One package that my wife grabbed right away. (Wonder what that was?)
    Lately, it occurs to me how completely I take for granted that I will get the mail tomorrow.
    I’ve had my share of gripes about the mail. As president of the National Newspaper Association, I have fielded our community newspaper members’ postal concerns all year.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘The Daily Grime’

    Whether someone is a neat freak or not, few can argue how calming it is to relax in a clean house at the end of a difficult day. And for people like me, clean houses are almost a necessity in order to get our brains working most of the time.
    Unfortunately, when it comes to my family, I’m definitely the odd woman out.

  • Chez J. Zane: ‘Zucchini clearance and savory dishes’

    This week, I offer some savory dishes utilizing all those zucchini that are growing to maturity (overnight, it seems). My friend Evonne Woodie and I planted six zucchini plants in our garden plot… about five too many. It’s funny that every year I always purchase too many plants, and feel all must be planted. If all garden plants grew and produced as much as the zucchini, we could surely end world hunger. When I think of a prolific plant, zucchini is number one.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Clicking with caution’

    The internet is a big, wondrous place, chock full of anything we’ve ever wanted to know about: world history, works of art, psychological studies, religious insights, and a connected web to reach out to anyone else in the world… and we mainly use it to Instagram our dinners and binge on cat videos.