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What goes up does not always come down

I have no idea how the cost of living index is figured each year. I only know that at the beginning of this year those of use who receive Social Security checks were informed there would be no raise on them, as the cost of living showed no increase for this year.

Now, I’m not certain what planet those who determine such things live on, but here on planet Earth, or third rock from the sun where I cling to the outcropping called Missouri, nothing could be further from the truth.

Through the past few years I’ve seen the size of canned goods shrink by infinitesimal amounts every few months, a so-called pound of flour or coffee is now only about 14 oz. (and I really feel that also includes the packaging), while even rolls of paper towels and toilet tissue have shrunk both in thickness and height! About the only thing that remains the same is a dozen eggs still contains a count of 12 pieces of hen fruit, as my grandfather called them.

And have you noticed that where they take something out of the product, such as calories, caffeine or gluten, the prices are higher? Somehow, to my very taxed mind, that doesn’t seem right. I don’t think it’s justifiable to be charged more for something just because you’re not getting it.

Yet, even as sizes shrink the prices rise! Of course, according to the experts, that doesn’t affect the cost of living. I think they’re using the “new math” where the totals don’t have to be accurate, just close. Go figure.

Shoppers, though, continue to push their over-laden carts through the aisles, shaking their heads over the prices even as they pitch another extreme-gigantic size, sugar-free, gluten-free, low-calorie, organic grain cereal in the cart.

But I can’t point fingers, as I am among the guilty. I still shop every week, muttering to myself about the cost now of a can of soup, a loaf of bread or a box of oats, even as I place them in my cart.

In some ways, I think it’s more shocking for those of us who have reached a certain age (beginning when clerks just automatically give you a senior discount) as we can still remember when a loaf of bread cost a dime and a large box of oats was no more than fifty cents and even came with a green, milk glass cup tucked inside.

The full impact of rising prices was made abruptly clear this past weekend when I went to the pet food aisle to buy a box of dog biscuits for my dog. I felt like Mother Hubbard who had gone to the cupboard to get her poor dog and bone. Except this time when she got there the cupboard was not bare…it was stacked with a product she had previously been paying $1.75 to $2.25 a box for, that was now a staggering $3.25 to $3.75 a box!

Guess what. The poor doggie will now get no bedtime dog biscuit treats. Try explaining that to a spoiled, full-grown Labrador.

A Family Farmington Link…Be sure to check your TV listings for the new show “The McCullough” that will start airing in April starring Pierce Brosnan and Sydney Lucas. Sydney, who is the granddaughter of Sandra Skaggs Mackley and former Farmingtonian Eddie Mackley, has already won acclaim for her roles in several Broadway plays. The first episode of the McCullough family saga, “The Son” will be shown on April 8 at 8 p.m.

Farmington’s Iconic Couple… Some people just make you feel good all over. Pete and Marilyn Wiley are among this select number. It was so good to see them out and among the many guests who enjoyed the United Methodist Women’s Salad Luncheon last Friday. The couple have now both reached the age of 94, but are proof through their continuing pleasure with life that age is just a number!

Clean Up and Scavenger Week….Now’s the time to clean that basement, shed or garage you’ve been intending to get to, as the city of Farmington has again set the second week of April as Clean Up Week. City crews will be out each morning beginning at 7:30 from Monday through Thursday that week to pick up items that are in containers and placed at the curb or alley. Among other items, they will take old furniture and appliances (these must have their compressors removed) as long as they are no larger than what two men can handle. If you’re a “picker” you’ll need to get out early to tour the town to find the best items to recycle. It’s true that “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” or can be with a little imagination and some refinishing skill.

The schedule for pick up is: Ward One on Monday, April 10; Ward Two on Tuesday, April 11; Ward Three on Wednesday, April 12 and Ward Four on Thursday, April 13. The crews will not pick up anything that trash service takes, nor yard or construction waste. For information regarding this spring clean-up service, call the Department of Public Works at 756-0608. Happy scavenging!

Coming Up:

Extreme Hike for Cystic Fibrosis is this Saturday at Hawn Park. Not for beginners, this 15.7 mile rugged hike is for those experienced walkers who are in good shape. Contributions are still being taken by the hikers and can be made to Cindy Sebastian or Mark Toti. It’s supposed to be a warm, clear spring day, perfect for visiting Hawn Park to talk with the volunteers there or to drop off a donation.

Chamber of Commerce Banquet…the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce holds their annual recognition banquet this Friday evening at the Centene Center. It’s always a fun evening with a good meal and plenty of socializing. Call Laura at the chamber office at 756-3615 for ticket information.

Fish Fry at St. Joe….The weekly Friday Fish Fry continues through Lent at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Farmington. Serving starts at 4 p.m. in the church hall and the menu includes a choice of three types of well-prepared fried fish along with a large selection of delicious sides, desserts and a drink!

The Farmington Class of 2017 is selling brick pavers to fund prom and Project Graduation. These pavers will go outside the new field house. They will be on sale until April 3. For more information email

Easter is Sunday, April 13 and Easter Egg Hunts will abound at many churches and other locations around Farmington prior to that day. Check church bulletin boards and the newspapers for locations and times. The Easter Bunny will be a busy one so you might put out a carrot or two for him.

A notice and apology: Unfortunately, I am still unable to access my former email account that was recently hacked, so if you have been sending notices of meetings, events or comments there for use in this column, I have not been able to receive them. Any items for me can now be sent to my new email address of or dropped off at the new Press office at 227 E. Columbia Street.

Janet Douglas

Janet Douglas

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