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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.

  • This past weekend, I was a little surprised to wake up in the morning, not to the usual noise of kids stomping around upstairs, but to someone hammering in the living room.

  • Spring activities are riding high. I hope the sunshine stays with us for several weeks and the rain comes after 9 p.m. and ends around 7 a.m. the next morning. Is that wishing for too much?

  • This early in the legislative session, the easier bills tend to move forward through the Minnesota legislative process. Among those are a buffer bill that corrects a controversy, a fireworks bill that is surprisingly controversial and a fantasy sports bill that should be more controversial.

  • When you think about the things my family has to do, I bet sharing isn’t on the top of your list. But with 15 of us, sharing gets to be pretty darn important. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we share everything, but we do share many things. 

  • Out of My Mind: Nephew takes over column with short stories about food, animals
     A few years ago, my niece, Allison, was spending some time with me at work. To keep her occupied, I told her she could write my column for me. I’m sure I have a copy of it somewhere in my files, but I don’t remember right now what she actually wrote about. I do remember, however, how proud I was of her for wanting to write and I think she did a pretty good job too.
  • A man, although never identified, made the news earlier this spring when he tried to be a good Samaritan to a 9-year-old boy who lost his dog. The reason he made the news, though, is because the initial fear was that he was up to something no good.

  • I was very excited to realize that this week marks one year since I wrote my first article for this column. It’s a little hard to believe it’s been that long already — I can still remember the day I first approached Dave Phillips about starting this column, and it certainly feels like that was only a few months ago, not 12! I’ve been saving newspaper clippings of all my articles, however, and I’ve checked them to be sure. Too Hick to be Square is having its first anniversary, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • With summer around the corner (at least I figure we’re all pretty much thinking that right here and now – and impatiently drumming our fingers), maybe this is the year you’d like to learn a new skill or try a new activity. One of the easiest ways to do that is with the “I Can!” program offered by the Minnesota DNR (Department of Natural Resources).

  • Last week’s column about the health of residents in Fillmore and Houston counties noted that the results don’t follow trends in other rural counties of Minnesota. One reason could be that we aren’t as rural as we think.

  • Last year I wrote a “signs of fall” article, and now that spring has arrived, I thought it only fair that I do the same for this season. Of course, the things I associate with spring are likely quite different from what you’d think of — but that’s what makes this Too Hick to be Square.
  • It was spring and the sap was stirring. Maybe I wasn’t stirring all that much, but I was picking up sticks from the yard. The whole world was my yard.

  • Fillmore and Houston counties continue to defy the trends when it comes to the health of local residents. A recent survey of national county health rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showed Houston County is ranked fifth in Minnesota and Fillmore County ninth in the state in health outcomes.

  • “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

  • Last week in my diary page, when I was going on about organizing things — one of my favorite pastimes — I wrote about the guru of organization, a Japanese woman named Marie Kondo. I woke up one night later, and lying there in the darkness realized I had not included a very important point. Well, it was an important point to me.

  • This past Saturday morning, as I was shoveling a little more than two inches of fresh, wet snow off my patio in Canton, I couldn’t help but recall the previous Saturday and a completely different scenario. On March 12, I was walking in 65 degree sunshine on the Preston Golf Course, where I played 18 holes of golf. Seven days later, that once nearly green landscape was completely white. No pars, no bogies, no green greens. Just white, wet, snow.

Voting Rights for Felons

Currently, felons in Minnesota must fulfill their probations or parole before having their voting rights restored, but some Minnesota senators believe these voting rights should be restored sooner for felons who are no longer incarcerated. Do you agree?


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