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From the editor’s desk

Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 3:55 p.m. CDT

It looks like most of the corn that was downed during the storm a few weeks ago has recovered well. I guess Mother Natures takes and gives ... Glad to see those fields look great again.

I have four grape tomatoes that have turned red, and more that aren’t too far behind. Actually, every year I get a little crazy with the tomato plants, and this year was no exception. Let’s just say I’ll have plenty to share. Lots of blooms also on the peppers and eggplants, and even though the cucumbers got a late start (replanted twice thanks to our friendly rabbits), they have a bazillion blooms.

If the fresh produce in your gardens become too plentiful, I know there are many senior citizens in your neighborhood who enjoy a taste of your fresh bounty. Also, I believe many food pantries in the area will accept your fresh produce as well.

There aren’t many things better at this time of the year than a BLT or a burger made with your homegrown tomatoes. Summer eating doesn’t get any better than that!

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Speaking of all that fresh and delicious produce, have you had the opportunity to stop by your local farmers market? There are quite a few markets in Bureau County, and I urge you to take advantage of their green thumb expertise.

Also, if you are 60 years old or older and meet certain income guidelines, the Bureau County Senior Center has farmers market vouchers available, which allows you to shop for fresh produce at the Princeton Farmers Market. This is a really great deal. For more information, contact Director Denise Ihrig at 815-879-3981.

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Congratulations are in order to the Wyanet Festival Queen Payton Glafka. Also a big round of applause to all the young ladies who participated in the pageant — both the little girls and the older girls. From the looks of things, you did your community proud!

Also, congratulations to our own BCR Publisher Sam Fisher, who was named 2014 Princeton Rotarian of the Year. Way to go, Sam! We are proud of you!

Another huge round of applause to Princeton High School senior Sophia Suarez, who was chosen to participate in the annual John Deere Classic in Silvis. Suarez played on Wednesday in the pro-am and did very well — five birdies! Wow! I think we can all expect to see great things from this young lady. Awesome! Suarez’s caddie was her PHS coach, Will Gross.

A tip of the hat also to Anna Murray who won the inaugural Chips Giovanine Hot Shot Memorial Award at the PHS Basketball Camp. The award was established in memory of the late Chips Giovanine.

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Our Summer 2014 edition of Illinois Valley Living is on the streets. I’ve heard some nice compliments. I hope you enjoy it. Of course, we are already working on our fall edition, so if you have any story ideas, feel free to send me an email at tsimon@bcrnews.com.

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It’s that time of year when we are accepting nominations for our annual Women of Distinction Award. Last year, 10 area ladies were honored. To fill out an nomination form, you can find one in our current Illinois Valley Living magazine or you can fine one on our website at www.bcrnews.com. Don’t delay! The deadline is Aug. 1.

The Illinois Valley is filled with great woman doing great things. If you know someone who goes the extra mile to make life better for those around her, nominate her today! Give me a call if you have any questions at 815-875-4461, ext. 6330.

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It’s difficult to believe it’s already the middle of July. Before long, summer will have slipped away. I hope you take the opportunity to enjoy every day with family, friends ... and of course yourself. We all need a little alone time. Breathe ... exhale slowly. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Have a great week. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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