Suzanne Mazer Stewart is a Hur Herald columnist who generally writes about the simplest of things around her "Frog Pond."

You can read her comments under COLUMNS.

The Famous Flying French Fries And Other Dining Disasters (10/14/2004)

The family dinner hour. The phrase conjures up images of freshly scrubbed children sitting up straight and tall, anxiously awaiting Mother's finest culinary creations, while Father initiates the most scintillating conversation ever known in the annals of dining. Yeah, right! Dream on, oh great one!

At our house, family dinner hour is always an adventure. And no, I' don't mean my cooking. I'm referring to my family's knack for turning any meal into something between a natural disaster and a three-ring circus. Put 5 kids, ages 3 to 14, around a table and things are bound to go awry at times. Add in a father with the mind of a criminal genius, or at least a juvenile delinquent, and you know you're looking at trouble. It's a wonder I haven't gotten an ulcer, eating with my crew.... (MORE under COLUMNS)

Decisions, Decisions (10/08/2004)

(Warning: The following article contains content of a political nature. The writer is about to step up onto her hallowed soapbox and shout out her opinion. Iffen you don't want to hear it, step away from this column now. If you've got an open mind, or if you're of a mind to send a nasty "have you lost your mind?" message to a newspaper columnist, read on ...)

Unless you've just crawled out from under some rock, or have taken yourself a Rip-Van-Winkle, you know it's presidential election time. The campaign signs littering the highways and front yards, the bumper stickers and television commercials would all help give you a hint even IF you had slept for 50 years or so.

Now my readers will know I try to stay away from political commentary as much as possible. However, not only is it my right to cast my vote for whomever I please, it is also my responsibility as a citizen of our country, as well as my right to spout off about WHY I've decided on WHOM I'm going to vote for. And let's not forget, all the hoopla and hullabaloo over who is going to be our next president has gone and done it... MORE under COLUMNS

Belonging (10/06/2004)

I would like to first apologize to my readers, if there are any left, for my lack of reading material lately. LIFE, you know, the big letter version, has gotten in the way a great deal. We've added a new family member to the lily pad here in Frogpond, and any of you with more than one person in the house know what kind of work an adjustment like that can take.

Now, before y'all start knitting booties and stuff, let me explain that we've opened up the pond to a foster son, aged 14, who wears a men's size 11 shoe. (Better make those booties big, gals!) He's fitting in quite nicely, and from all accounts from the people who know about these things, doing quite well. I wouldn't know any different, anyway. He's just one of the family to me.

Now I know some of you out there have just about fallen off your seat with disbelief. Like the last thing I need is another person in the house to take care of, right? I've got to admit that I had similar thoughts, but the thought that we might be able to help a child in need of a family was more powerful than the fear of more laundry and dirty dishes.

I mean, that was something we didn't have to work at - being a family. We had that one down pretty good, whether the kids want to admit it or not. Sure the girls did concoct that idea to sell their brother at online auction, but all in all, we're a pretty happy bunch... MORE under COLUMNS