One Reporter's Ramblings: Good reads available at library book sale

Stop me if you heard this one before.

A guy and his wife are on the outs, arguing often and loudly. 
The neighbors feel really bad for the wife especially who, as rumor has it, vanishes shortly before the husband and the rest of the family leave town for good.
As time passes on, a vine grows up and covers part of the house, but this is no ordinary plant. It rustles violently when there is no wind around, seeming to call attention to it and the house.
This concerned the neighborhood, who dug up the vine and found that the large root system appeared to be the figure of a human woman.

If this story seemed familiar, you might have read “A Vine on a House” by classic American author Ambrose Bierce when you were in school.

I’ve often discussed all the bestsellers and hot new novels at the Dublin Public Library, but there is something to be said for the classics.


Mrs. Dykowski.... meets her second baby

Audrey is here! 

She was born on March 8, weighing seven pounds, nine ounces and 201/2 inches long. 

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. 

I’m so hopeful for her future.  

I can’t wait to see the joy she brings to our family. 

I will cherish watching her bond with Scott.

I will fight for her and Darci to have a close relationship. 

I want her to reach every ounce of her potential.

I want her to be a person she is proud of.

I hope she laughs early and often. 

I hope she loves to cuddle for a long time. 

Whatever life throws at us, I want her to feel secure in the love of our family. 

Whatever mistakes I make as her mom, I hope she can overcome and understand that I will always do my best. 

I plan to do my utmost to give her the tools she needs to be happy in life. 

I plan to teach her everything good I can think to teach her. 


The Publisher's Desk: Picnic as a family of three

On a day when I had to work late recently, Sarah took Darci home, whipped up some sandwiches and met me at the City Park 30 minutes later for a picnic. 

We ate, sang “Winnie the Pooh” songs and pretended like we were in the Hundred Acre Woods. 

Darci picked out two nearby trees and pretended Pooh and Piglet lived there. It would have felt totally natural to see one of them walking around. 
Then we went for a walk.

Darci brought her Elsa microphone and played “Let It Go” for all the high school kids playing basketball to hear. 

There’s a button that triggers Demi Lovato’s version of the song, but instead of holding it over her mouth, she holds it in the air like a “Frozen” torch or beacon. 

Given our life, it would have felt natural to see Elsa or Anna walk up and join in the singing.

She really wanted to go to the playground, and when we got there she really wanted to climb to the tallest possible part.   


One Reporter's Ramblings: Player has left the game

“Call me when you get a second.”

There are few phrases that can inspire such paranoia as getting a text message saying this.

The text was from a friend I met playing Xbox more than a decade ago. I know his name but for the sake of this story, I’ll call him by his online nickname, Space Insomniac.

I’ve never met Space face-to-face as he lives many states away, but we’ve talked often in the past decade, initially sharing stories and life events while shooting at or with each other in “Halo” or “Call of Duty.”

As we moved on to different game consoles, we shared phone numbers to keep in touch when we want to chat about movies or music or when we need a sympathetic ear.

I had the ability to talk so I immediately called upon getting the message. 

“SeeMonster is dead.” 

I’m actually paraphrasing to give a good man some privacy.


Mrs. Dykowski... remembers the best spring break

It’s spring break in Dublin and that always reminds me of my very favorite spring break memories. 

When Scott and I attended Angelo State University, we decided to spend our spring break together going on a road trip to see our families. 

We ended up carving a huge rectangle out of the center of the state. San Angelo to Loraine to Trenton to Waco to Belton and back to Angelo again. 

We put our beta fish, Jorge, in a Tupperware (with a hole in the lid) buckled into the back seat of my sporty, red Chevy Cobalt. We didn’t think he could make it nine days on his own, so we brought him along, not sure if he would make it nine days on the road either.

Jorge was our communal property, purchased less than a month into our relationship. 

The specifics are fuzzy to me now, but I think I bought the bowl and Scott bought the fish. 

He lived at my apartment most of the time, but he would stay in Scott’s dorm on weekends if I had to go out of town. 


Mrs. Dykowski... watches internet videos

Being super pregnant leaves me with little energy so I find myself spending quite a bit of time online, looking at random videos. 

I have an online friend who loves everything about makeup. 

She does makeup tutorial videos and posts them online. 

There are a lot of women who do this, post videos of themselves putting on makeup for other women to learn from.

They carefully show the product labels so you can recreate the exact look — if you can afford to. 

They use intricate techniques and the videos, though never more than about 5 minutes long, always lose me within about 50 seconds. 

There’s so many steps, so much blending, so many colors — not to mention that almost none of them have my bleached peaches and cream complexion. 

It’s something I want to be interested in. 

It seems interesting and maybe even relaxing to watch someone put on their makeup, but in reality, it’s not something that captures my imagination at all. 


The Publisher's Desk: So you want to elect an official? (part 3)

If you’re like me, you’re pretty sick of politics by now. 

To take your mind off of all the candidates, I invite you to instead consider how to research candidates. 

In all seriousness, as I’ve written about for the past three weeks, it can be hard to know who to vote for in statewide and national elections. 

For the local elections, we try to give you as much information as is out there. But when it comes to statewide elections, we admit we can’t do them justice, so to compensate, here are my suggestions on how to research them online to make the most informed decision. 

This week’s suggestion is the Texas Tribune database. 

Keying in will take you to an online news source that focuses exclusively on Texas. They have many databases that are interesting, such as education, water, etc., but this time of year their political databases are useful. 


Mrs. Dykowski... presents Spring Sports

It’s spring sports time again! 

The weather is — sort of — changing and it feels like to time to pull the tennis rackets out of the garage. 

I’m not actually going to do that of course because I’m basically nine months pregnant, but that’s the feeling in the air. 

I’m a little envious of the kids who I’ve seen on the court these last few weeks practicing their serve. Mine could really use some work. 

Last week, one of my Facebook memories was a photo of Scott and I after we spent most of an afternoon playing tennis, trying to help him prepare to play in an open tournament with his sister. 

We’ve played a few times since then. 

Darci likes to play on the court with us, but I find that my game is a little timid with her running around. 

Luckily, I’ve only pegged her once and it was a very gentle hit. 

She barely noticed — I felt like the world’s worst mom. 

How does Serena Williams keep her game so strong? 


The Publisher's Desk: So you want to elect an official? (continued)

Voting informed can be hard. 
Who do you vote for? How do you find trustworthy information? Who can you count on?
Well, the Dublin Citizen, of course. 
In all seriousness, though, we do our best to cover local campaigns fully, but we don’t have the space or resources to do statewide or national campaigns justice. 
So, starting last week, I’m detailing my advice about how to research these elections so you feel fully informed on election day. 
The key is to get your information from several sources. No source is complete in and of itself. 
Last week we discussed getting the ballot from the state secretary’s website.  
This week, let’s consider the Dallas Morning News. 

DMN has an elections center complete with question-and-answer profiles and, sometimes, endorsements. 

I’m not saying you should take their endorsements as gospel. I sometimes disagree with you they’ve chosen. 


Mrs. Dykowski... versus her plan

I am a planner. 

Scratch that — I married a planner. 

He likes to plan things down to the minute. 

Literally, his planner is broken into 30-minute increments every day. 

Some of that has inevitably rubbed off on me because I also keep a planner. (Mine is just broken up by day, because I like to see the whole month at once.) 

The only daily thing I have listed in my planner is our meal plan, which I prep and shop for twice a month. 

I was advised by my doctor that I needed to change my diet a bit in the home stretch of pregnancy, early in our last meal plan period. 

Let’s just say I had to get a little creative to finish those last few days. 

I’ve never been so excited to grocery shop as I was last Thursday when my old meal plan finally ran out, and my grocery budget started over. 

It’s not easy to plan for Scott’s need for more veggies and whole grains, and my need for more iron-rich proteins and fewer carbs. 


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