Local Columns

Books and Beyond

“The Country of the Pointed Firs” by Sarah Orne Jewett was first published in 1896. It is referenced as fiction and is available in the Plum Creek Library System. I looked up the author to know more about her; she was born in 1849 and died in 1909, her father was a doctor, and she went with ...

3 back-to-school breakfasts

When health is on your mind but time is not on your side, reach for these easy meal options to shake up the ole cereal routine — and in a way that’s equal parts nutritious and quick. Frozen Yogurt Bark Like little ice cream bars, only much healthier, this creamy, bar-like breakfast ...

Heresy

Over the years, I’ve used the word “heresy” many times, but there’s a catch! Except for the occasions when I was teaching theology to folks, I’ve always used heresy in a jocular manner. The Lord knows too many evils and mishaps have been done by all kinds of institutions in the name ...

A search for family

A few years ago, out of idle curiosity, I took a 23andMe DNA test. I was certain that I’m approximately 100 percent Norwegian, so it wasn’t surprising when 23andMe confirmed that I’m probably the whitest person on the planet. There’s a box on the 23andMe website that you can tick that ...

Finish strong

Late summer brings with it fast fishing, but it can provide challenging conditions as well. Gearing up for the home stretch of the season and the start of fall, which produces some of the biggest and fastest bites of the year, requires anglers to rethink some strategies, remain persistent on ...

The benefits of disability insurance

If you have an accident or injury, your health insurance typically helps cover the medical bills. But what if your injury results in a total disability that prevents you from working and you need help paying the mortgage, childcare costs and other daily living expenses? That’s where ...

Julie J. Johnson shared the pioneer days of her parents

Part II My father made his own candles. I can remember so well those big black kettles with three legs on. One kettle had hot tallow in it the other cold water. The wick was just a heavy cord which was tied to a stick. Then the wick was dipped in hot tallow, then dipped in the cold water and ...

Check out a celestial shower and a celestial teapot this weekend

This weekend and early Monday morning is the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower in the Marshall sky as the Earth cruises around the sun at 67,000 mph and runs into a dust debris trail left behind by comet Swift Tuttle that last visited our part of the solar system in 1992. Comets are ...

Yant speeding toward retirement

Lucky for Marshall, a helpful father reminded a young Rob Yant that math wasn't his strong suit in school. His father's guidance led Yant down a path that eventually led to a law enforcement career instead of pursuing his desire to go fast and become a pilot. “As a little kid I wanted to ...

Where did summer go?

I recently shared a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of “June and July lasted 4 seconds.” Heavens I couldn’t agree more. I consider the Fourth of the July to be the “middle” of summer (which it probably isn’t) so when the month slid by, I admit I was kind of ...

Where you live as retiree can affect financial strategies

Upon retiring, many people relocate to enjoy a more favorable climate, or to be closer to grown children, or to live in an area they’ve visited and enjoyed. If you, too, are thinking of moving someday, you’ll want to study possible locations, but you also need to be aware that where you ...

Minnesota Machinery Museum

There are few things that soothe my soul more than a gentle breeze on a warm summer afternoon, the smell of fresh doughnuts wafting in the air and the sound of two-cylinder John Deere tractors popping in the distance. Toss in a dash of oat dust and you have recreated an August afternoon of my ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Do I need an oversize or wideload permit to haul a boat lift that is over 9 feet wide to my cabin? Answer: You would need to obtain a permit because the width is over 8 feet 6 inches. Hauling oversized items without a permit or escorts (if required) can be dangerous and is illegal. ...

The ultimate ‘foodie’ experience

Last weekend found me making the trek out to the Pacific Northwest to visit my son in Seattle. He knows that one of my favorite spots in that city is Pike’s Market, so that was our first stop as we made our way from the airport to his apartment. Pike’s Market is the ultimate farmers market ...

Teamwork

It started with a rosé and ended with a chianti, but in between, there was a whole lot of teamwork. I’m sure the word, teamwork, has gone through our ears and across our lips many times and all of us know the importance of it. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, teamwork is critical ...

Back to school

While strolling the aisles of the nearby megamart it hit me like a ton of bricks, or a pile of spiral-bound notebooks, as it were. The creeping metal twist through covers of blue and yellow binding college-ruled papers brought a slight feeling of melancholy. It was as if I had been transported ...

Julia J. Johnson shares the pioneer days of her parents

Part I Sometimes people sit down and write stories about their lives. Most of the time it is done because family members encourage them to do so; sometimes it is done because a person likes to keep a diary. Whatever the reason for doing so, we are fortunate when this does happen because it ...

Working while disabled — Social Security can help

District manager While it may be best known for retirement, Social Security is also here to help you get back to work if you are disabled. For millions of people, work isn’t just a source of income, it’s a vital part of who they are — it gives them purpose and pride — it’s a ...

A great summer shower

The annual Perseid meteor shower is a late summer stargazing classic in our Marshall skies. The Perseids this week, and the Geminids in December, are the two best annual meteor showers that we have. There are many other moderate to minor meteor showers that I believe get a little too hyped up ...

The debt that’s killing America

What if I told you there was an aspect of society that’s largely embraced, while at the same time, wreaking havoc and chaos. This recent societal development has put a stranglehold on our economy while at the same time, threatening our very basic family institutions including marriage and ...