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A perfect winter day


By Loni Kemp

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

I rose early to make scones and prepare an egg bake. Our company was coming at midmorning and our brunch must be ready to serve. It pleased me to realize that the eggs came from the neighbors, the uncured ham from over near Rushford, the milk from Chatfield, the oyster mushrooms from Harmony, and the exquisite cheese from Wisconsin, via Lanesboro Local. Our own apple cider tasted as fresh as the day it was pressed and tucked into the freezer. How lucky we are to have the tastiest and most natural foods grown right in the neighborhood.

We had planned this gathering many weeks earlier, before multiple snowstorms and cold snaps hit one after the other. I had been warning myself that our plans might not work out after all. Yet the day brought sunshine and 30 degrees, easily the nicest day in over a month.

Our lifelong friends arrived from Rochester, bringing their sister and brother-in-law who were visiting from Baltimore, and bearing a lovely fig and nut bread to add to the spread. After coffee was poured, we sat down to our light brunch and caught up on news of families and jobs.

When the meal had digested a bit, everyone was gung-ho to go snowshoeing. After some wrestling with gaiters and bindings, we were off. While hiking or skiing in untracked woods is certainly possible, modern light-weight snowshoes make winter excursions more enjoyable. The snow was a perfect combination of a bottom layer of hard packed snow hiding the logs and sticks, topped off with a fluffy foot of powder.

We tromped single file through the woods. With no plans to do anything to this land except to continue enjoying it in all seasons, I am reminded that we don’t really own the land, the land owns us. The trees, birds and wildlife could not care less whether we think we own it. Life goes on here, with or without humans, as long as we are good stewards like all the Native American, pioneer and farmer “owners” who have come before us.

Snowshoeing out onto a cornfield, we felt a cold wind, and realized how comfortable it was in the sheltered woodland. Turning back in, we swished our way deeper into the forest, marching up hills and down, as we made our way to the broad wooded floodplain along the creek. Meandering along the serpentine waterway, we saw its frozen and snow-covered surface dotted with tell-tale tracks of deer and squirrels who stay active all winter long.

Suddenly we came upon a s .....
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Musings from the back porch - Cornish Pastie Pie

By Judy Thomas

Fri, Jan 24th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

The frantic and hectic pace of Christmas, 2013 is but a distant memory, and cold, dark dreary January, February and March lie before us. Could I not be more gloomy and cheerless? Yeah, I probably could as I have to admit, these are not my favorite mo ..... 
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The urge to hide under blankets and wait for spring

By Becky Hoff

Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

January- the month of the hermit. Every January I am inclined to batten down the hatches, stock up on library books, and drink endless cups of coffee. This is preferably done while huddled under a blanket and anxiously awaiting spring. Cold weather ..... 
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It’s a love-hate relationship

By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Do you have many Love-Hate relationships in your life? I have a few and seem to find more everyday. I will preface this article by saying that I am truly grateful for everything and everyone in my life but am just acknowledging those “augh!” mom ..... 
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Editor’s Everyday Etiquette

Fri, Jan 3rd, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Greetings readers, welcome to 2014... a new year filled with those difficult resolutions and so many opportunities to better yourself, right? One year to get in that daily work out that always makes it to the bottom of the to-do list, 52 weeks to cu ..... 
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Creamed Chicken

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Jan 3rd, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

The Christmas tree is down, the Viking’s season is over (thank goodness) and New Year’s resolutions have been made and probably broken. Did you know that the month of January usually sees an increase in decaffeinated coffee sales due to New Year ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that

By Kathy Little

Fri, Dec 27th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

“Sticks and stones may break my bones; but words will never hurt me.” That old adage is only partially true. Sticks and stones might very well break your bones, but words really can emotionally wound you! Words are magical! Now I don’t mean ..... 
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Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Dec 20th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

It’s a good day to sit back and have that second cup of coffee with a raspberry sweet roll (recipe in Tasty Temptations) and plan my favorite part of the Christmas menu...dessert. Even though temps have been just a “little” chilly, the scene ..... 
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A tale of two musical evenings

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Dec 13th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

On a sunny and cold Thursday afternoon, I hear my husband’s car crunching up the driveway, home from work at the unusual hour of four in the afternoon. Moments later, our friends appear, and we tumble into their car for our annual trek to Decorah, ..... 
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