"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Monday, May 4th, 2015
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A VIEW from the Woods - If a Tree Falls in the Forest…


By Loni Kemp

Mon, Oct 13th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

lunch in the garden. Our god-daughter and her husband were visiting Minnesota from their home in Colorado. She was excited to show him the beloved hardwood forest landscape of her childhood. They brought her parents along, and we all soon switched our sandals for boots for a hike.

This little reunion brought back memories of our two families tromping through the woods and creeks together over the past thirty some years. In every season, we’d be out there with our five girls, first in backpacks or sleds, and later as youth and young adults.

This time we enjoyed the yellows and golds of the changing foliage. The itch weed was still standing tall in the valleys, so I decided to lead us through the uplands.

The forest floor was at a strange moment in time, when the green of wildflowers was long gone, last year’s blanket of leaves had rotted away with our very moist summer, yet this year’s leaves had barely begun to fall. Seeing the bare ground was disconcerting, but in a few more weeks a new blanket of leaves will protect the earth, as mother nature continues it endless cycle of sustainable forestry.

I was weaving our way to a special place discovered with my daughter and her son a week earlier. On that walk we had spied a round white object shining like a beacon in the shadowy woods. We wondered, what’s a soccer ball doing here? As we drew near we saw a larger one, and then three more—five puffballs, all in a line. The largest mushroom was nearly two feet across. My toddler grandson was delighted to pat the cool surface, and poke his fingers down into the soft spongy mass. We found that the skin peeled off easily, into white buckskin-like scraps. The center of the mushroom was rusty colored, indicating its time had passed for eating.

Now, a week later, there were no soccer balls to be seen, but we did find the decayed orbs, a little collapsed, soft gray and beginning to release their spores in a puff when touched. My friend and I fondly recalled the giant pot of creamy puffball soup we cooked together years ago.

Moving on, our group stopped to chat a while, and I put my arm out to push over a small dead sapling, something I always do out of habit, like a gardener unconsciously pulls a weed.

What happened next was a two second cascade of events that put us all in shock. One person jumped back with a shout, and the next screamed as a tree came crashing d .....
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A little of this, A little of that.

By Kathy Little

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

“An apple a day may keep the doctor away”, but sour green apples sprinkled liberally with salt (stolen from a neighbor’s tree) definitely do cause a belly ache. I know this from personal experience. Perhaps it was the excitement of stealing ..... 
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Country Coffee Talk - 9.29.14

By Jeanette Schmidt

Mon, Sep 29th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Where did the summer go?!! Even as I write…in the first sentence we are enjoying the summer side of the road…heat and humidity; the next sentence we’re already on the autumn side of the road…cool and crisp. It’s time to move that favorite ..... 
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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 w ..... 
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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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