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Friday, Oct. 9, 2015
My gerbil ranch
Posted Friday, August 21, at 8:33 PM
When my oldest child was about seven, he had the brilliant idea to raise and sell gerbils, those cute little mouse-like rodents with the long legs, big black eyes, and amazing jumping ability. Like a good mama, I found myself unable to tell him that there was probably little demand for these athletic little critters in the Midwest farm country around Advance, Missouri. ...

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The night the egg hit the ceiling
Posted Tuesday, August 4, at 8:40 AM

When I was doing my student teaching back in the early stone age, my husband and I, married less than a year, rented an old barn-shaped house in a part of Cape Girardeau, where I wouldn't go these days.. To show you how quaint our lives were back in the early sixties, before advanced technology swept the nation, we had a black and white TV with rabbit ears, a gas stove, and a black rotary phone. ...

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Growing up with brothers
Posted Wednesday, July 22, at 12:40 PM

My life was peaceful until I was four and a half years old. Life was good. My parents loved me. The days were predictable and relatively calm, except for an occasional (and I'm sure well-justified) temper tantrum on my part. Then, one day, quite unexpectedly, there was a new addition to our household, and life never returned to normal...

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Goats or roses? You can't have both!
Posted Tuesday, July 14, at 7:35 AM

Lately I've seen some things that almost make me wish I still had goats. I see news coverage of herds of goats that are being rented out to clear the brush around highways. That's precisely the reason my son Matthew and I brought goats to my farm--to clear the brush on the pond levee...

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Born on the 4th of July
Posted Friday, July 3, at 9:46 AM

My father, Edwin W. Giles, was born on the fourth of July, 1911 in New Orleans, LA. I look at the photos of him, a dark-eyed little boy wearing a long white christening gown the way all the little boys did back then, posing for the camera in a fancy chair, looking solemn and frightened, sitting up all by himself, holding onto the arms of the chair...

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The turtle who lived under the couch
Posted Tuesday, June 16, at 6:51 AM

Sitting in the back yard with the BFF, listening to a mockingbird in the plum tree, telling stories about our early lives.... Both widowed, we've known each other only five years, so he doesn't know about the turtle who lived under the sofa in my basement in 1965.....

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The prowler who wasn't there
Posted Tuesday, June 2, at 8:40 AM

Though some people have cause not to trust social media such as Facebook, I have to admit that this current over-popular fad has given me some very special friends and reconnected me with some long-lost voices from my past. Just last week, I was contacted by a young lady who was gathering addresses for the 1960-1970 Cape Central High School class reunion...

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Teachers make the difference
Posted Wednesday, May 20, at 8:52 PM

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a genuine, real-life tea party!! I'm talking real porcelain teapots and tea cups, saucers, sundresses, and wide-brimmed sun hats with loads of colorful flowers! What? Here in Southeast Missouri swamp country, circa 2015??...

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Small towns are the best!
Posted Wednesday, May 6, at 10:50 AM

Life in the boondocks I have lived in a small town for 40 of the 73 years that I have been occupying a space on this earth. For the first 33 years of my existence, I dwelled in the obscure darkness of cities larger than 2,000. Little did I know what I was missing...

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The day Advance was almost blown away
Posted Sunday, April 19, at 7:41 AM

This week, I've been reading about tornadoes. I've never experienced the excitement of such a destructive force, and I admit that I would rather live the rest of my life without partaking of that dubious pleasure. Ever since I came to Advance 40 years ago, I've heard stories about the tornado of 1963. ...

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Friends that never fail me
Posted Tuesday, March 17, at 11:43 AM

I've always loved to read. When I was a kid, my family moved around a lot, and sometimes I felt as if books were my best friends. When we changed schools in the middle of a year, I found that my math education was left behind, but once I learned to read, no one could ever take that skill away from me. ...

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Good morning, Orion Samuelson
Posted Friday, March 13, at 4:30 PM

This Saturday morning, I find myself sitting in the living room, half-watching the farm report on the local TV station. And, there he is--after all these years--Orion Samuelson, sitting at the announcer's desk. I google his name and find out that he's 80 years old and has been doing this report for 53 years...

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Cruisin' the back roads
Posted Wednesday, February 25, at 6:23 AM

From the Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 issue of the North Stoddard Countian 4:15 a.m., Feb. 24, 2015, Hattiesburg, Mississippi: In a couple of hours, we'll hit the road to continue our journey back to the frigid shores of Missouri. It was 84 degrees yesterday morning, when we left Ocala, Florida, and it was 42 degrees last night, when we reached Hattiesburg. No ice, but a stiff wind nearly knocked us over...

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After all these years, measles is still here?
Posted Tuesday, February 3, at 5:37 AM

As the daily news unravels in the morning, I find it hard to believe that the nation is experiencing a measles epidemic. Like many Americans, I thought that measles had been completely eradicated. I remember reading in the history books about how the European explorers brought the disease over to the new world. Native Americans had never been exposed to measles, so they died by the thousands. How horrible it must have been...

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Meeting strangers
Posted Monday, February 2, at 1:29 PM

I have to confess that I love to meet new people. It's especially fun, when I'm traveling. I have the perfect excuse to be nosy. I usually preface my questions with, "Excuse me, I write for a small newspaper in Missouri, and I'd like to do a story about you."...

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Please don't hate me because I'm warm!
Posted Saturday, January 10, at 8:27 AM

I understand that's it's cold in Missouri right now. And, no, I'm not there. And, yes, I feel guilty about leaving you all to cope with the endless rain (which seeps into our basements and destroys our gravel roads). Along with the other hundreds of weak, aging Americans populating the highways that travel south, I have temporarily abandoned my home state to seek a warm spot for my aching joints...

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New cat sparks territorial conflict in DeJournett household
Posted Tuesday, December 2, at 8:19 AM

Life in the peaceful DeJournett household, nestled in the secluded hills near Tilman, Mo. took a violent turn this year with the sudden introduction of a rival cat known to his owner as "Ripley." The muscular young feline first took possession of the upstairs region of the dwelling, confining his operations to three bedrooms and half of the adjoining stairs, where he sat and silently glared at the long-time resident of the dwelling, a midnight black cat named "Tybalt." (appropriately named after the dark villain of "Romeo and Juliet."). ...

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Paul Corbin celebrates his 100th birthday!
Posted Thursday, November 27, at 6:04 AM

Advance businessman/historian/archeologist Paul Corbin never expected to reach the ripe old age of 100, but friends and family are not surprised. "My daughter Shirley once told me that I would live to be 108," Corbin told this reporter on the occasion of his 99th birthday...

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Old Man Winter strikes again!
Posted Wednesday, November 19, at 7:29 AM

Winter storm #1 struck southeast Missouri this week, at least a month early, and I do not appreciate it one little bit! I've been trucking in firewood, reorganizing my old, crumbling stacks of wood, and buying up the proper light bulbs to keep my dogs and my pump house warm...

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What time is it, anyway??
Posted Wednesday, November 5, at 9:01 PM

Sunday, Nov. 2 was the time switch, for those of you who might not be aware of this confusing bit of legislation. Out of curiosity, I checked the history of Daylight Savings Time (DST) and discovered some interesting bits of trivia on the subject. It would seem that the custom began in Germany and Austria in 1917, during World War I and was picked up in the U.S. in 1918. However, President Woodrow Wilson discontinued DST, after the war was over, because it was so unpopular...

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Off the wall
Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
Hot topics
My gerbil ranch
(0 ~ 8:32 PM, Aug 21)

The night the egg hit the ceiling
(0 ~ 8:41 AM, Aug 4)

Growing up with brothers
(0 ~ 12:41 PM, Jul 22)

Goats or roses? You can't have both!
(0 ~ 7:35 AM, Jul 14)

Born on the 4th of July
(1 ~ 5:56 AM, Jul 9)

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