Mark Ballard

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    Cruelty in any form should not be tolerated

    I was raised in a family where the mistreatment of people or animals wasn’t tolerated under any circumstance. I suppose that is why I’m super sensitive when I see any kind of abuse. I have a very tender heart and witnessing mistreatment in any form really gets to me.


    BALLARD: Getting started can be the hardest step

    Have you ever noticed that when we are excited about or interested in something, we always find the time to do it and, in most cases, do it well? When we’re not interested, whatever it is remains undone and is quickly placed on the back burner.


    BALLARD: But her memory thrives

    I first met her years ago when I was running through her neighborhood. It was the magnificent hydrangeas adorning her yard that caught my eye. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I tried to get a better view. For fear the neighbors were thinking I was trespassing or staking out the house, I decided to...


    BALLARD: Sometimes it’s how you say it

    Is it possible to detect someone’s tone in an email? What about a text? Does a handwritten letter shed more light on someone’s real intention? Maybe you have to be face-to-face with someone to truly understand his or her meaning. In our world of instant messaging and the constant twittering...


    Ballard: Warmed up memories still taste sweet

    “Granny, what are you going to do with that little bit of dough that is leftover? Throw it away?” I asked one day long ago when I needed to stand on a stool to be as tall as the kitchen countertop. “No, I’m going to make a couple of little baby biscuits for you,”...


    Faking fresh for fall

    You don't have to be locked in to orange, yellow and brown for autumn decor. Mark Ballard thinks outside the color palette in designing this faux fresh wreath for fall. Video by Liz Fabian


    Ballard: Mishaps with phone parallel life

    It’s been said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger -- but I’m not sure that applies to smartphones. This summer, I have certainly put my phone to the test. You would think Apple hired me to take one of their phones to the brink of death to see just how much abuse it ...


    BALLARD: Meeting a challenging request leads to emotional rewards

    ‘Excuse me for intruding. You don’t know me but a group of us are in Macon celebrating my dear friend’s birthday and she’s one of your biggest fans in Montezuma. Her husband had a massive heart attack and died a few months ago. She’s very down and I think you could...


    Life lessons from our furry friends

    I was beginning to fear for my life. Georgie, our most-of-the-time sweet, yet sometimes not, always entertaining Chihuahua has had a personality change. If he were green instead of white with a brown spot here and there, I’d be sure his little seven-pound body had been secretively invaded...


    Creative Thinking: Actor’s suicide brings up painful memories

    Last week in my column, I wrote about how memories can be triggered by certain scents. All of the examples I gave were happy memories. Most of my memories are happy ones but, as we all know, life is not always pretty and perfect. I try to keep my unpleasant memories buried below the happy ones so...

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