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Lifestyle Columns

Off the Shelf: Hanging out at home

I know many people are making good use of their increased time at home by decluttering, cooking more and spending time with family and pets. Are you looking for inspiration? I can help with some new nonfiction books. If you are working on sorting through your closet, “Project 333: The ...

Antiques & Collecting: Bargains available in vintage collectibles

Vintage collectibles, especially those related to sports, sell quickly at auction, perhaps because not all are expensive. Sometimes they are not noticed by the dedicated sports collectors and sell at bargain prices. This metal lunchbox was made in 1976. It is decorated with the helmets of ...

Gardening: Bring in the bird with these plant varieties

Fill your gardens with beautiful plants that produce an abundance of seeds the birds will love. You'll enjoy the flowers as well as the birds that visit to dine on the seeds. Best of all, there is no feeder to refill or clean. Sunflowers are likely the first seed-producing plant that comes to ...

Family Living Focus: Nip depression in the bud: Warning signs to watch for

While caregivers are defined as the people taking care of those needing help, they sometimes overlook the fact that caregiving responsibilities can take a toll on their own health. In addition to physical ailments, caregivers are at risk for depression. Depression can strike anyone, at any ...

Park & Rec Report

Park Playgrounds and Restrooms are open! Please use at your own risk. Physical distancing is required and no more than 10 people allowed at a time per playground. Please follow CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html Dog, BMX and Skate Parks are open. Please use ...

College News

Minnesota State University, Mankato awarded 2,367 degrees to 2,294 students at the end of the spring 2020 semester, with this spring’s graduates celebrated through a special website that launched Saturday, May 9, the day on which the University’s three traditional graduation ceremonies were ...

Off the Shelf: Contactless pickup at the library

The Library began contactless pickup of library materials on Monday, May 11. We received almost a hundred calls during the day from patrons setting up appointments to pick up library materials. We also had patrons looking for particular books and others who were looking for reading suggestions. ...

Park & Rec Report

Families with Children- National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) has partnered with National Park Trust to promote Kids to Parks Day each May. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us and has limited our ability to interact with our beloved national, state and local ...

Antiques & Collecting: Humidors kept good cigars in good shape

A reader sent us a picture of an item in an auction catalog that looked like a cookie jar decorated with racing horses, but it had a strange lid. What else could it be? Why horses on a cookie jar? The lid and the size, 7 inches high, are clues. The jar is a humidor, a container for cigars, ...

Gardening: Boost your landscape’s curb appeal in 1 weekend

Create a front garden that is sure to boost your mood and welcome visitors all year round. All you need is one weekend and a bit of paint, flowers, décor and edging material to boost your landscape's curb appeal. Add a splash of color by painting your front door. Look for colors that ...

Family Living Focus: COVID-19: Managing anxiety and stress

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Everyone reacts ...

Public Health Corner: Farm safety, stress & mental health during COVID-19

Without question, COVID-19 impacts every business, individual and family in the community. Stress levels on the farm were high prior to coronavirus emergence. Farmers face uncertainty in many areas of their business, with little or no control over the weather, markets, input costs, tariffs and ...

Antiques & Collecting: Look for surprises in your collections

History repeats itself, and collectors who research their collections are often surprised by the findings. In 1892, a group of businessmen in Greentown, Indiana, invested in a company that was brought in by the newly found fuel — natural gas — that had been discovered there. Two years ...

Gardening: Protect your skin when gardening

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and a busy time for gardening and other outdoor activities. Gardening provides many benefits but like any outdoor activity it's important to protect yourself from the sun's damaging rays. More than 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each ...

Family Living Focus: Make your mark – May is Older Americans Month

Every May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The 2020 theme is “Make Your Mark. This theme was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience, ...

Off the Shelf: Making the best of what we have now

Patience is not a strength of mine. I know most of you who have been in the children’s room might disagree with that statement. I have been blessed with an unbelievable amount of patience for children. That is a blessing for someone in my professional position. So I guess rephrasing the ...

Antiques & Collecting: Putting pen to paper once required inkwells

Many people would never guess what this strange bottle was used for. Although it is called a “teakettle” by bottle collectors because of its shape, it is an antique ink bottle. A quill pen made from a sharpened feather was used to write before a better pen was invented in the early 1800s. ...

Gardening: Get maximum yield from miminal space

Growing on a deck or balcony is a great way to bring the garden to your backdoor. You can attract butterflies and hummingbirds into easy view and grow edibles within close reach when cooking. For some, it may be the only available space to garden. Make the most of every square foot by growing ...

Family Living Focus: Communication…the essentials

From Gail Gilman Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota The role of the caregiver has many facets. An effective caregiver, whether a professional or family member, is interested in providing educated, nurturing and loving care to allow ...