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Thursday, July 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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THURSDAY, DEC. 29, 2016

FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2016

I Got Lit! 

I participated in my first GetLit! festival this year and had a blast, even though I didn't get my toilet bowl cleaner stained copy of "The Art of Racing in the Rain," signed. More below. Two questions: Have you ever attended Get Lit? And what are you reading?

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Cindy Hval

Surrounded by stories 

Writers see stories everywhere. In a little boy in full pirate regalia standing under an oscillating front yard sprinkle. In an overheard conversation at the grocery store. “It’s not his baby. I don’t care what she says!” In a tattered “Missing Cat” flier fastened to...

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Visitors Already Miss Coldwater Creek

The sun took the edge off the early spring chill as I enjoyed the view. Towering evergreens provided a picture-perfect frame for snow-capped Schweitzer Mountain. Sighing, I sat in a deck chair, cradling a cup of steaming coffee while gazing at the pristine beauty of...

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Cindy: 'Cos' Still Has It 

My ribs hurt. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I gasped for breath. I was 5 years old and my brother David had just introduced me to Bill Cosby. He’d brought home the “Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow Right!” album, and we listened to...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 22, 2013

Great Gazebo

My happy place 

The morning sun warms my legs as I write. A pair of white butterflies flit above the petunias, daisies and geraniums that overflow the planters. A slight breeze ruffles the pages of my book. I’m in my happy place, otherwise known as the Great Gazebo....

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THURSDAY, AUG. 8, 2013

Cindy: Little Ricky & Kids In The Hood 

The June sun warmed my shoulders as I powered through the last leg of my 3-mile walk. Kenny Loggins’ “I’m Alright” filled my headphones as I mentally reworked an article due by the end of the day. A school bus stopped across the street. It...

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Derek Hval and sons at Old Mission State Park

Front Porch: Blue again

My hubby and sons at Old Mission State Park. Zach obviously thinks he sees an eagle. Or something. We got the blues again. All four of us. Last year’s pilgrimage to Wallace for the Historic Wallace Blues Festival was such a hit, our sons clamored...

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Front Porch: Little Things Shine Bright 

Discouraged. Disheartened. Disappointed. Those three D’s dogged me like an annoying kid brother tagging along, uninvited. It was one of those days. The kind that starts with an empty coffee pot because you overslept and everyone else didn’t. The kind that continues with the first...

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THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013

Front Porch: Tombstone Epitaphs 

The sun warmed my shoulders and a breeze ruffled the flags that stretched out along the horizon. I laid the red, white and blue bouquet next to a pot of yellow roses, and Sam stuck a pinwheel into the ground that soon spun in a...

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Front Porch: 75 years of inspiration 

They don’t make anniversary cards for 75th anniversaries. At least they didn’t have any at the stores I checked. After all, 72-day marriages like Kim Kardashian’s are probably more common now than unions spanning seven decades. On Saturday, my husband and I attended the 75th...

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Front Porch: When The Nest Empties 

One by one they arrived at two-year intervals. First Ethan, then Alex, then Zack. Each baby welcomed with joy until our home overflowed with boys. Three is plenty we said. Three is more than enough. Yet something seemed missing. We had room at the table...

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THURSDAY, SEPT. 13, 2012

Front Porch: Embracing Pig Out

I’m not a crowd person. I’ve never done Bloomsday. I avoid the interstate fair, and I’ve attended Hoopfest only once – and that was just to support my son. But there is one highly peopled annual event I never miss. That’s right. I’m a Pig...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 30, 2012


No floatie, no lake-y 

Like many Spokane County residents, my summertime conversations are peppered with references to “the lake.” I’m usually referring to Diamond Lake, where my brother-in-law owns a home. I love being on the lake. I adore looking at the lake. I just don’t like being in...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 23, 2012

High Noon: A Pet's Birthday 

February is a busy month at our house. In addition to Valentine’s Day, we celebrate three family birthdays: Milo’s, Thor’s and mine. The less said about my 40-something-and-counting birthday, the better. But Milo’s third birthday and Thor’s first are truly reasons to celebrate. Pre-Milo, our...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 9, 2012

Tweeter Atwitter Over Notoriety 

When Spokesman-Review columnist/blogger Dave Oliveria started bugging me about Twitter, I scoffed at the notion that I needed any more social media in my life. Facebook already ate up too much of my time. Oliveria insisted that Twitter is far more valuable than Facebook when...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 26, 2012

Noon: Toast To All Things Scottish 

Second grade at Jefferson Elementary, Mrs. Pendergast attempted to teach us about cultural heritage. She explained, “For example, my mother’s family is from Germany and my father’s family came from Ireland, so I’m half German and half Irish.”Excitedly, kids raised their hands to share their...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 12, 2012

Cindy: Riding In The Car With Boys 

I could tell something was wrong the minute he got into the car. His face was flushed and his eyes bright with unshed tears.As I slowly navigated the school parking lot, an avalanche of words tumbled out. “Alex went to California for Christmas break,” said...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 29, 2011

Cindy: Hanging Onto Holiday Tradition

When Tevye and the cast belt out “Tradition” in “Fiddler on the Roof,’ they’re singing my song.I, especially, love the ritual, familiarity and comfort of holiday traditions. For me, it begins on the day after Thanksgiving. While many folks shop til they drop on Black...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 17, 2011

Cindy: Seasons, Lives Change Quickly 

A northerly blast rattles the windows and threatens the few leaves still stubbornly clinging to our apple tree. The russet and amber brilliance of autumn is fading fast. Seasons change.I can’t stop the days from growing darker any more than I can stop my children...

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THURSDAY, OCT. 20, 2011

Cindy: I ♥ My Bluetooth 

I used to make fun of them. The people who walk through grocery stores, animatedly chatting with invisible friends. The folks at movie theaters with winking blue lights behind their ears. The self-important ones who cannot disconnect from their Bluetooth devices while dining out, visiting...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 11, 2011

Knee knocking fun 

I’ve always been a hands-on journalist, because I believe the best reporting comes from actively experiencing community life. I’ve sat on a $600 toilet, flown in a biplane and fired fancy handguns, all to accurately report a story. But Saturday, I took hands-on to a...

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FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011

Cindy: Driver's Lesson For Mom, Son 

He tossed his head and his shaggy blond bangs shrouded his blue eyes. “How’s this?” he asked as he flashed an oversized grin. “The girls call this my Joker smile.” I sighed and squirmed, trying to get comfortable on the beige plastic chair at the...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 23, 2010

Cindy Hval (The Spokesman-Review)

Angels I didn't hear 

They arrived at 10:30 p.m., which is a bit late for guests. I opened the door and a gust of chill winter wind swept through the entryway. Somewhat self-consciously, I read a prepared speech: “Hello and welcome archangels to our home.” My husband shook his...

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.