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Don’t chase a dog into a dead-end alley

April 29, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Community editor, Herald-Star ( , The Herald-Star

I cracked open the fortune cookie, extracting the piece of paper inside that I told myself would be the theme of this week's column, no matter what.

"Never chase a dog into a dead-end alley" was the message in tiny blue print.

Imagine a scowl on my face now.

Well, that's not gonna' work, I muttered to myself as I sat Wednesday evening on my living room couch, the time and place, respectively, where I traditionally write this column just because it's when I get around to it.

Sometimes I'll do that - make a pact with myself to write about the first thing that pops into my head or say I'll use a fortune cookie message to get inspired, but forget that.

On to more timely topics, I agreed in letting myself off the challenge-to-be-creative hook.

I'll write about something a lot simpler, like birthdays, for instance.

I turned 54 last week or as my cousin Ronnie observed, I'm now an official "Car 54" like the 1960s TV show.

It was a birthday full of surprises, beginning with the members of the Woman's Club of Wintersville presenting me with an unexpected gift at their April meeting held at St. Florian Hall.

The business meeting was about to get under way when Judy Anastasia, club president, summoned me to the front, a pretty gift bag in her hand - the tag void of a name. (I love being able to re-gift a gift bag. Ahh, the simple pleasures of life.)

Its contents gave me a good laugh - a first aid kit with a picture of a horse on the front and my column picture. It was the club's way of keeping me safe from any future injuries involving my horse Coffee.

The last time I wrote about her, in case you missed it, she had bitten me on my left side and not a little love bite either. It was an ouch-that-hurts bite.

But as I tell people, even though the honeymoon of horse ownership is over, we're not getting a divorce.

We are, however, in counseling ... and making progress.

The mail brought some beautiful cards from readers that really caught me off guard, mainly because I didn't think anyone even knew it was my birthday, so thank you for that to those of you who know who you are and may not necessarily want to be singled out by name.

And there was this bouquet of gorgeous flowers and a box of candy that made me "wow" and get a little sniffly when I first saw them.


To top off the day, Better Half said those beautiful three little words that every wife loves to hear.

"You were right," he admitted a little reluctantly after we'd had a "discussion" about how much our total was for breakfast at the drive-through.

Talk about goosebumps.

Well, hope you all have a happy week to round out April and usher in May.

And whatever you do, remember - don't chase any dogs into a dead-end alley.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at

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