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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 9:20 AM

The emphasis at the Capitol this legislative session is Greater Minnesota. Legislators from both parties and Gov. Mark Dayton have all been voicing their commitment to rural Minnesota this session.

  • Normally, my family isn’t a party-going group. We’ll celebrate the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with family gatherings, but everything else is pretty low-key. Even our birthday parties are just cake and presents while the grandparents sit in the living room and watch. 

  • An emergency vehicle — whether it’s a police car, fire truck or ambulance — always attracts attention. It’s just human nature to be interested in something that is happening, even if it may be tragic.

  • When I was growing up, there were a lot of things I heard over and over again from my mother; because of the repetition, in my mind they achieved the status of “sayings.” Now, I know others heard many of those same things. I am sure, like me, we have found many of them simply weren’t true!

  • Too Hick to be Square: Honey spin: The Clan's honey harvesting process
    This past weekend, the Clan was busy with one of our annual jobs: honey extraction. I understand that this is probably an unfamiliar topic to most people. Most people, however, are not in the Clan. The Clan has been keeping beehives in our backyard since 2000. We know all about honey extraction. 
  • I’ve been participating in fantasy sports games for at least a couple decades. I wrote about a league about 10 years ago, which led to the discovery that many newspaper readers were also participating in fantasy leagues at that time as I got some feedback on the fun they were having with their pretend teams among friends and family.

  • My parents and I were lucky enough to be in the audience for the final performance of Wee Kids Theater’s musical, “Noah’s Incredible Cruise,” near Mankato. My niece, Allison, and nephew, Joshua, were part of the cast that presented an entertaining and moving interpretation of Noah’s journey to build the ark.


  • My family enjoys listening to audiobooks. They're one of the ways we make long, boring jobs (like canning a bushel of green beans) less boring, though they still take just as long. We also listen to them during mealtimes or at other times when we're all gathered together around the dining room table. This happens quite a lot at our house, since the dining room table is usually the center of activity no matter what we're doing. We use that table at more than just mealtimes.

  • Many people today get their weather forecasts on their smartphone. The information is current — usually with forecasts minutes, hours and even a few days ahead — plus the outlook is always accessible when on the go.

  • Because my grandkids like the dill pickles I make so well, my plan was to have them help make pickles at the cabin during Labor Day weekend.

  • The national narrative often overlooks, or bypasses, life in small town America. The presumption is that the small dots on the map don’t have significance since they are just tiny pieces of a uniform national fabric.

  • With school right around the corner, I thought I’d take a look at one of my least favorite subjects in school...English. It’s hard to image that I would spend the majority of my adult working career immersed in a discipline that I so dreaded in school. Truth be told, I enjoy the creativity involved with composing stories and articles. It was the spelling and grammar that always seem to trip me up. Thank God for spell check!

  • My travels last weekend took me on a highway around a good portion of Mille Lacs Lake. I decided to take that route to our destination near Brainerd because I figured the traffic would be lighter, given the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has banned walleye fishing on the lake due to a diminished fish population.

  • On the flight from Minnesota to California this past week, as usual after landing and the seat belt sign being turned off, everyone is standing in the aisle awaiting forward movement. It is easy to know when that starts because the people far ahead start swaying back and forth.

  • When I picked out the name for my column, I knew I’d be writing about all the strange and “hick” things we do. But so far, I haven’t mentioned the hickest thing about us: Our shoes — or lack thereof. The Clan spends a lot of time barefoot, and when we do wear shoes, they are of the minimalist or “barefoot” shoe variety, with as little between our feet and the ground as possible.

Protest at MN Marathon

Do you think Black Lives Matter should protest during this Sunday’s Twin Cities Marathon?


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