I’ve been told that “niche marketing” is the latest, greatest way to sell goods and services by targeting a particular sector of the population.

Every day, as I commuted to and from town, it struck me that one guest ranch in particular, the DNR Ranch on the North Fork, might be using that concept to its advantage.

At first I thought the ranch name utilized somebody’s initials. Then I began to consider what my daughter, a registered nurse, told me about those initials.

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Because I was a shy child, I would hide behind my mother’s skirts whenever anyone I did not know tried to speak to me.

That strategy did land me an early boyfriend in Austin, Texas, one Skippy Earlinson, but it otherwise failed to win me many friends.

Skippy came up to me when we had just moved into the modest little house my grandfather had built for us.

“Hi, I’m Skippy,” he said to me, smiling broadly. “What’s your name?”

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If you’re planning to make pancakes for breakfast and it’s been a while since you did that, here’s a hint: plan plenty of time.

Like, say, half a day.

Yeah, I know. Pancakes? How hard is it to make pancakes? Especially if, like me, you have at the ready a brand new box of “Krusteaz” pancake mix. Just add water. Honest.

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Some animals are so regular in their habits you could set your clock to their activities, including birds migrating or groundhogs checking their shadows.

Of course Punxsutawney Phil is not given a vote: he is physically lifted out and set down in public to check his shadow, like it or not. And his cousin groundhog at the Bronx Zoo so resented being disturbed one year that he actually bit the New York City mayor through his fancy leather glove in protest when hizzhonor removed him from his cute little den for predicting purposes one Groundhog Day. Groundhogs, apparently, value their privacy and do not do well on ceremonial occasions.

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