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Lifestyle Columns

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 ...

Park & Rec Report

The Recreation, Civic and Community Centers are closed through at least May 3. All programs and facility rentals through May 3 are canceled and refunds issued. Members who wish to receive fitness updates may request information emailed to them or follow us on our Facebook Page. We provide ...

Off the Shelf: The Needle of Truth in a haystack of information

When the world wide web of the internet was beginning to expand in the mid-1990s, many people grasped onto the idea of how it could be used to spread information and misinformation as the case could be. Remember email chain letters? Just forward it to 10 people to get your wish! Or perhaps ...

Antiques & Collecting: Elephant head mystery rings a bell

Although we have gone to hundreds of antiques shows, shops and auctions, we are sometimes baffled by what we see. So the 6-inch brass elephant head was a mystery. It wasn’t an inkwell, although we have seen inkwells that size and shape. It had a tusk that could be pushed down, so it wasn’t ...

Gardening: Mother’s Day gifts sure to please

Each year we set aside one day to honor mothers. And each year we struggle to find the perfect gift to show them we care. Cut flowers are one of the most popular gifts. No dusting and maintenance required, and they are sure to generate a smile. Behavioral research at Rutgers University found ...

Family Living Focus: Medication management for pandemic planning

A family disaster plan such as the current pandemic can be of valuable assistance to every member of the family. In order for it to be effective, however, it needs to encompass all aspects of your current living situation. When considering a home or family disaster plan, it is easy to overlook ...

Park & Rec Report

The Recreation, Civic and Community Centers are closed through at least May 3. All programs and facility rentals through May 3 are canceled and refunds issued. Members who wish to receive fitness updates may request information emailed to them or follow us on our Facebook Page. We provide ...

Off the Shelf: Help stop the spread

It is up to all of us to do our part to keep ourselves and our community safe and healthy in this time of coronavirus (COVID-19). As of this writing, we have 7 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brown County and 1650 confirmed cases with 70 deaths in Minnesota. According to the mn.gov/covid19 ...

Antiques & Collecting: Don’t throw out those old toys!

If you have several generations of “things” that you have inherited and now have to move to a smaller place, be careful what you give or throw away. Of course you check on oil paintings or prints to see if they can be sold. The local historical society might want some of your family ...

Gardening: Peonies add beauty and fragrance to garden

Set aside a sunny spot in your garden or landscape for a few easy-care, herbaceous peonies. These traditional favorites are treasured for their bountiful early summer flowers, vigorous, shrub-like habit and amazing longevity. Peonies blend nicely with other perennials and are a good addition to ...

Family Living Focus: Vision loss affects our ability to communicate

Did you know that by age 70, fewer than 30 percent of elderly people have 20/20 vision? Normal age-related visual impairments such as macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma can impact day-to-day functioning. They can affect our ability to drive, read prescription bottles, safely ...

Off the Shelf: Beyond a physical building

When I embarked on the road to public librarianship a lot of moons ago, I didn’t think that the future held closing a public library to its people, the public. Our patrons. Our community gathering space. For the safety and well-being of library workers and the community we serve we closed to ...

Public Health Corner: New school immunization requirement for 12th graders

Meningitis is a serious illness that causes infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and can also lead to blood infections (septicemia). Meningitis can be caused by many different bacteria and viruses. Bacterial meningitis is commonly caused by the bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis, ...

In Appreciation

Brown County Farm Bureau donates to county food shelves For the sixth consecutive year, the Brown County Farm Bureau Federation gave monetary donations to the food shelf locations in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield. “It’s been our tradition to visit each food shelf during March – ...

Antiques & Collecting: ‘Tramp art’ served to pass the time

What is “tramp art”? There is folk art, regional art, naive art, fine art and other very special names for groups of collectibles and antiques, but tramp art is probably the latest one to become popular. Tramp art has been made for many years, but the name was invented by a folk art ...