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The Commute


Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Monday, May 21, 2001

Commuting any distance to work in Minnesota is an "iffy" proposition. Add to that being the parent of small children, and you are dancing on the edge of a sharp knife daily.

There are any number of variables each day that could throw you into a tail-spin. It seems to me these potential disasters fall under three general categories: illness, weather, mechanical malfunction.

My car, an eight-year-old front wheel drive, made it through all combinations of weather this past winter, only to be side-lined in March by a leaky oil gasket. That leak caused the engine to "freeze up." A new engine was in my and my Visa card’s future. But that wasn’t my biggest concern.

The "permanent stall" happened on a Saturday, and I spent the next 48 hours worrying about—Monday Morning. It wasn’t that we had no car. My husband’s car was functioning fine. His car, which I secretly refer to as "The Beast", has lots of miles, lots of "character”, but it runs.

Monday Morning. Four people going four different places. One car.

By 4:00 a.m. Monday, I’d hatched a plan that I was pretty sure would work. We would all get into my husband’s car at 7:15 with our respective "gear" for the day: heavy winter-wear for my husband who will most likely be working outside; the signed "Friday Folder", overdue library book and pet ladybug (show and tell) for my daughter; a pack of one hundred forty four diapers for my son; and the folder of freshman composition papers I didn’t finish grading.

Like many famous athletes, most mothers I know use "visualization" in their drive toward greatness. I visualized myself Monday morning making use of my favorite household gadget, my crockpot. I’ve collected recipes, all of them remarkably similar. You throw in some type of protein, a pasta, at least one can of soup (undiluted), hit the switch, and eight hours later—wow! Hot supper! It’s the closest I ever come to "magic" in the kitchen.

So the next morning, things went pretty much as planned. As I bent to hit the switch on the crockpot on my way out the door, I felt a funny pain in my chest. I was pretty sure it was indigestion from all the coffee I’d had, but I stopped by the medicine cabinet and popped a couple of aspirin before leaving, just in case it was my heart. (And my mom thinks I don’t take care of my health!)

My husband was dropped off at work 30 seconds early. Child One was deposited cheerfully at kindergarten, .....
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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

"If you milk ‘em every night and morning, you know them."

Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Edited By Beth WaterhouseJune 11, 2001

• You get to know the animals’ personalities. I had one raised from a calf and she got to be in the milking herd and she was the leader of the herd. You know, when you’d go out to pasture and come back sh ..... 
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Niagara Cave

Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Monday, June 11, 2001


Our guide flips a switch and plunges us into a darkness so black no eyes can see. It is cold down here over 200 feet below the surface. The roar of a 60-foot waterfall drowns all other sounds. Even those of us who ha ..... 
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"Come Hell or High Water"

Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Monday, May 28, 2001

Weaver Dunes Field Report – Mid Spring 2001

Peepers and Chorus Frogs now sing in earnest from wetlands throughout Fillmore, Houston, Winona, and Wabasha Counties. The incredible din of these tiny inch long fr ..... 
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But Gardening is So Good For You

Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, June 11, 2001

I don't know about you, but I am sure tired of this cold wet weather. Everything is so yellow. I haven't planted my sweet corn , peppers, squash or melons yet; my garden is a soggy mess. Let's hope for a lo ..... 
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The Game of Softball

Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Monday, June 4, 2001

When I was growing up, my brothers and I began our softball season as soon as the grass in our front yard was dry enough to walk on without leaving tracks in the mud. We played softball every spare moment we got throughout ..... 
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The Death Penalty, with Chinese Characteristics

Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Monday, May 28, 2001

The European Parliament, considers capital punishment to be both barbaric and inhumane, regardless of the means by which the death penalty is carried out. They routinely mention the United States in the same breath as Chin ..... 
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Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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