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Mandy Flynn

Stories by Mandy

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MANDY FLYNN: Sealed with a kiss

FEATURES COLUMN: The institution of marriage has been an interesting ride through the centuries

Kissing at the end of a marriage ceremony wasn’t inspired by romance, but by Roman contract law.

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MANDY FLYNN: Sockless in Athens

FEATURES COLUMN: That a wrap on that package

A care package to college includes boxed sets of footwear essentials.

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MANDY FLYNN: 2015 once seemed so far away

FEATURES COLUMN: Here we are at the start of her senior year, and I am sad

When your daughter reaches her senior year of high school, you don’t want to miss one minute of it.

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MANDY FLYNN: Stories are waiting to be told

FEATURES COLUMN: Great stories are out there if you take time to listen

Taking time to listen is the key to learning new things and hearing wonderful stories that you otherwise would miss.

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MANDY FLYNN: Great ideas take flight

FEATURES COLUMN: Some ideas are pure gold

Want the remote? Take the test first.

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MANDY FLYNN: Memories etched with a scar

FEATURES COLUMN: With old fashioned inner tubes, father knows best

Scars can be reminders of adventures of our youth.

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MANDY FLYNN: Tuning out others runs in the family

Researchers say that middle-aged couples are very good at tuning out their spouses in order to hear a stranger talk.

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MANDY FLYNN: Some lessons in life always stick to you

FEATURES COLUMN: Failing to heed warnings can place you in a sticky situation

Rule No. 1 for kids: If someone says not to touch something, you just have to touch it.

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MANDY FLYNN: Vacations are not what they used to be

FEATURES COLUMN: Childhood vacations always smelled like pecan logs

When I think of summertime and going on vacation, I think of my little avocado green hard shell suitcase with the two button locks on the outside that would pinch if you weren’t being careful

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MANDY FLYNN: A letter to a thief

FEATURES COLUMN: An auto break-in is a lesson for a teenage driver

One area thief who breaks into cars now has a healthy supply of sunscreen.

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MANDY FLYNN: Happy birthday, baby girl

FEATURES COLUMN: Seventeen years sure can fly by

I remember thinking about so many things I would try my best to teach you.

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MANDY FLYNN: Always up for a convo with myself

FEATURES COLUMN: Talking to yourself is OK, as long as you dont answer

One advantage of talking to yourself is the assurance that at least one person is listening to what you have to say.

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MANDY FLYNN: Sniffing out a good one

FEATURES COLUMN: A quick whiff and a solid thump can determine a good, ripe cantaloupe

For some quality produce-picking tips, catch a rerun of “The Golden Girls.”

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MANDY FLYNN: What happened to hospitality?

FEATURES COLUMN: People just aren't as friendly as they used to be

Is it my imagination, or are people just not as friendly as they used to be?

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MANDY FLYNN: A mother’s greatest prayer is to give good roots to children

If our children have something strong to hold on to – decency and honor, goodness of spirit - no matter what direction nature directs, they will always come back to their beginning.

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MANDY FLYNN: Doggedly predicting the weather

FEATURES COLUMN: Stormy weather can be one big pain in the wrist

Weather predictions are great, but a pooch that can forecast the lottery is worth its weight in steak.

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MANDY FLYNN: Maybe these boots weren't made for walking after all

FEATURES COLUMN: The three little words that are hardest to say to a spouse are, 'I was wrong'

Sometimes when it comes to stubbornness, you just have to grit your teeth and toe the line.

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MANDY FLYNN: Internet shopping lays a goose egg

FEATURE COLUMN: The internet is convenient for shopping, but short on creating memories

Saturday-before-Easter trips to the shoe store a prized memory.

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MANDY FLYNN: You have arrived eventually

FEATURES COLUMN: even GPS devices can be directionally challenged

GPS devices lacking in essentials such as best pot for a potty break and where to pull over when you see blue lights flashing.

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MANDY FLYNN: Purses! Foiled again!

FEATURES COLUMN: Got my purse, now where are those darn reading glasses?

A woman’s purse is a general store in a bag when a family is on a long road trip.

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MANDY FLYNN: Dog rules the roost with Jedi mind tricks

FEATURES COLUMN: The force can be used for good, at least by wives

Even force-empowered Jedi mind tricks are no match for the NCAA basketball tournament. Now, where’d that pork chop go?

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MANDY FLYNN: Lord, I'm afraid to look

FEATURES COLUMN: Kids grow up and starting make their own decisions so fast

At some point, our children start making their own rules for living, including some we may not agree with.

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MANDY FLYNN: I break for funny

FEATURES COLUMN: There is some good reading out there on the road

Many words of wisdom can be found in 10 words or less on the bumper if the vehicle in front of you.

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MANDY FLYNN: A life well lived

FEATURES COLUMN: Though her time was too short, Meredith Stapleton lived it to the fullest

Meredith Stapleton proved a person can do some amazing things, even in a short period of time.

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MANDY FLYNN: Squirrel drops in for an unwelcome visit

FEATURES COLUMN: Faced with an intrusive rodent and its icy stare, the only choice is to run

Nothing is more startling than to be awakened from a nap by a squirrel that’s staring you down.

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MANDY FLYNN: The trick to moving ahead

FEATURES COLUMN: Birthdays are a time when we assess our lives

There’s a lot to consider when you’re facing a birthday, including what you have accomplished and what you want to accomplish.

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MANDY FLYNN: I’ll have grits and a tiara

FEATURES COLUMN: I’d like to live in Downton Abbey for a day

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood has nothing on the World War I era aristocracy of Greta Britain.

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MANDY FLYNN: Baby, it’s cold inside

FEATURES COLUMN: Guerrilla tactics heat up battle of the thermostat

Never draw an open battle line in the battle of the thermostat until you know which side the polar bears will take.

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MANDY FLYNN: Keep your mental batteries charged

FEATURES COLUMN: Stupid questions sometimes sneak up on you

Sometimes you have to think before you open your mouth.

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MANDY FLYNN: On Target for glamour

FEATURES COLUMN: Red carpet style worth missing a little sleep to see

Nothing goes better with a Golden Globe and a red carpet that your basic orange.

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MANDY FLYNN: I'll take personal quirks for $200, Alex

FEATURES COLUMN: What is, 'Personal information that makes you cringe?'

For smart people, contestants on “Jeopardy!” say some awkward things about themselves.

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MANDY FLYNN: Bad days all in the mind

According to Peter J. Bentley, a PhD who is a so-called expert on the science of bad days, a bad day only exists if we allow it to. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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MANDY FLYNN: Thinking out of the box about cornbread

FEATURES COLUMN: A Christmas sign leads to a New Years resolution

A dog and cold pucks of frozen dough lead to a new resolve to master the art of lace bread.

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MANDY FLYNN: The comfort of Christmas glows warmly

FEATURES COLUMN: The lights on tree are reminders of Christmases past

The coming of Christmas brings with it a special peace.

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MANDY FLYNN: Puppet, you just keep your distance

FEATURES COLUMN: Devil dummy goes for a ride out of town

Choosing to not associate with puppets does not necessarily mean you are afraid of them. Not really.

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MANDY FLYNN: Listen up, honey ... oh, never mind

FEATURES COLUMN: When it comes to hearing, things can get real selective

They could save money on studies by running theories by married couples.

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MANDY FLYNN: Mirror, mirror on the counter ...

FEATURES COLUMN: No sense in magnifying the truth

A magnifying mirror can be surprising … at least on one side.

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MANDY FLYNN: Being grateful has its rewards

FEATURES COLUMN: Reaction and growth from adversity is also something to be grateful for

Gratitude makes all the difference in your attitude.

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MANDY FLYNN: Not cooking up any excuses

FEATURES COLUMN: One apron short of a decent meal

When you are a bad cook, the best thing to do is own up to it … and maybe order takeout.

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MANDY FLYNN: Just let me sleep on it

FEATURES COLUMN: A nice nap is nothing to squeal about

I wish someone would tell me I have to take a nap.

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FLYNN: The witches made me do it

It was brought to my attention this week from an article I read that there are some people who believe Halloween candy is possessed by the devil. Or is it that Halloween candy is the devil?

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FLYNN: Chili nothing to stew about

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Feuds have erupted over far worse things, I have no doubt, but one that raises its head around our abode this time of year is quite spicy.

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FLYNN: Medaling in Spanx

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Hopefully, I am not the only person who didn’t realize the Olympics would be returning in February 2014, this time to Russia where they will play winter games of all shapes and sizes. I still would be clueless were it not for the tiny Olympic logo I noticed in the corner of the television screen the other night

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FLYNN: Simple things are what matter

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Everything in life is better with bacon.

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FLYNN: I'll take mine lightly toasted

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My friend Ann found a note on the pew at church one Communion Sunday. Scribbled in a child's hand, it read: Daddy wen do we do the drinking?

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FLYNN: Take your time chasing pleasure

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It was Kierkegaard, I think, who said that many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it. When I was young, I may not have understood what he meant. I get it now.

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FLYNN: Pj's are for sleeping, not shopping

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It was little over a week ago that my good friend showed up at work with a bee in her bonnet. Apparently, she had encountered just that morning an individual wearing pajamas out in public. Overly baggy sleep pants. A thin, stained shirt that left little to the imagination. Mismatched socks on feet crammed into shuffling flip-flops. Hair a muss. And a continually yawning, rolled-out-of-bed look on her face as she escorted her child into school.

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FLYNN: Thingamajig just gets a brush off

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A thingamajig by any other name is still a doohickey.

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FLYNN: That's one brave woman

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“She said she doesn’t care.” Those were the last words I heard before a silence so thick it was suffocating filled the room, only to be broken a good fifteen seconds later by a low, throaty, almost fearful whisper.

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FLYNN: Something to think about

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She smelled of tea rose and Oil of Olay and the buckle on her brown leather purse was shaped like a flower. It may be strange to notice a buckle, I suppose, but this one stood out because it reflected the light just so and almost demanded me to notice it. It was just a little thing, but it led me to what I consider a treasure.