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Friday, August 28th, 2015
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A View from the Woods - Peace of Mind


By Loni Kemp

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

I garden for many reasons, such as fresh food, colorful flowers, butterflies and a lovely landscape. Yet increasingly, I find that I am seeking peace of mind. When it happens, the experience is sublime, hard to describe and fleeting.

It can come when I am alone and strolling around, checking things out. I can’t hear the phone. I haven’t left anything baking in the oven, and I don’t have a plan of what must be accomplished. I see a clump of weeds, a flopping gladiola that needs support, a suddenly-ripe tomato. I find myself pulling this, clipping that, harvesting one thing, tying up another.

•Time disappears. Worries and plans are far from my mind. I’m immersed in the right now.

•A little smile forms and I think, “This is nice, taking care of plants. I love doing this.” I am grateful to be alive, and my heart bursts with the beauty of the earth. I wish I could do this forever, I think.

•But of course, the moment will end and regular life will resume.

•This feeling of peacefulness is unpredictable. Sometimes I’m just out there trying to “get ‘er done,” and get those tomatoes picked before the frost, or replant some spinach seeds where the leaf lettuce has played out. When too many tasks are screaming to be done, I’m not in the groove.

•For me, it can also happen at the cabin. Maybe I’m kayaking in heavy waves, focused like a laser on keeping the bow straight on into the waves. I stroke the paddle hard, facing the hard wind and whitecaps. And suddenly I realize—this is thrilling. Here and now, I love this!

•For others, a feeling of being at peace may come as they are out on the tractor, or maybe rocking a baby to sleep. Maybe it comes when they are engrossed in their woodworking shop, or biking the trail.

•Life’s best moments are when we purely experience the here and now, and are taken by surprise by the contentment of it all.

•Meditation is a method some use to find serenity, not by doing but by sitting still and quieting the mind. Believe it or not, there is a Zen monastery tucked into the hills of northeast Iowa, which I had the chance to visit the other day. •Ryumonji Zen Monastery, a sleek and modern structure based on the layout of an ancient Zen Buddhist temple, is home to a vibrant community of members who practice the ancient traditions of meditation. While sitting wakeful .....
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The Working Mom - Good Mom Gone Bad

By Tammy Danielson

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Just like a good investigative TV show or gossip column would start their juicy story, I have to ask: “When did it all start going wrong?” Where did this mom go bad? Well, it all started as I took a reflection on my history of mothering and de ..... 
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A little of this, a little of that

By Kathy Little

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

“Girls just want to have fun,” I explained to my husband when he asked about our latest girls’ weekend. For the last six years my three sisters and two nieces and myself have gone on a vacation together. Our male counterparts who used to pou ..... 
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Blueberry Crumb Cake

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Aug 15th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

We wave hello, we wave goodbye. Hand waving is one of the ways to avoid communication or to explain away a hard problem. We hope by hand waving a problem will magically go away….like a magician wave. But here in Minnesota there’s more to wa ..... 
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Prairie Strips Offer Glimmer of Hope

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Aug 8th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Water pollution from agriculture is all over the news these days. A half million people had their water turned off in Toledo, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie due to toxic water from algae blooms, largely caused by nutrients from fertilizers and man ..... 
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Real Bites: The Sweaty Gypsy of Peterson

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Have you ever heard of a sweaty gypsy? Me neither. Not until I visited Burdeys Cafe in Peterson, Minn. As I scanned the menu, I arrived at a section titled “Fancy Pants Gourmet Burgers,” and the first one on the list was The Sweaty Gypsy. ..... 
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Mint Julep

By Kathy Little

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

“Build it and they will come” is an old saying. I say build a fence and people will wonder what is behind it just like in the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy wondered what was behind the curtain during an audience with the great wizard. My hu ..... 
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Honey Raspberry Iced Tea

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

How’s your garden doing? ... A common greeting this time of the year. Up until a few weeks ago, our answer was “good”. Then one morning we came out to some beet foliage mowed to the ground and parts of the beautiful row of peas torn down…(p ..... 
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Grand View Grows From Land

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

John Weiss, Senior Staff Writer for the Rochester Post Bulletin, had been nudging me for several months to talk about my consulting work. We finally caught up with each other in my garden during asparagus season, and he wrote this article for his we ..... 
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