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No Elephants Were Harmed in the Making of this Column

There's a box in my guest room containing one redneck coloring book (never used), four pink flamingos (brand-new), one wrench beer opener (still in the package) and an assortment of other equally...

 

American Life In Poetry

Sometimes a poem can seem to be like a jeweler's setting, in which a gemlike image is presented. This one, by Chase Twichell, who lives in upstate New York, has one of those perfect gems of...

 

Crosswords and Sudokus

Our online Crosswords and Sudokus. Have fun!...

 

Cooks in Crisis

Every year, while I prepare our Thanksgiving meal, such as it is, I tune into The Splendid Table's annual live call-in show, Turkey Confidential, on National Public Radio. Food experts talk turkey abo...

 

Flaky Fables

Do you often see people from your past, but you can’t remember their names? The old guy ahead of me in the grocery check-out looked about two coughing spells away from the Promised Land. I didn’t notice him until he tried to pay with a credit car...

 

American Life In Poetry

Minnesota has many fine writers, gathered together by a deep and trusting affection for one another. Freya Manfred has been an important part of that community for her entire life, having been...

 

How to Choose Smart Video Games for Your Kids This Holiday Season

(StatePoint) When it comes to putting a smile on kids’ faces during the holiday season, video games are a pretty safe bet. So, how do you make buying decisions that make both kids and parents happy? And how do you choose video games that are fun...

 

American Life In Poetry

I highly recommend a new anthology called Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, edited by James Crews and published by Green Writers Press in Brattleboro, Vermont. Here's just one of...

 

Ameican Life In Poetry

We've published several poems by Washington, D.C., poet Judith Harris, who writes beautifully about her Jewish heritage. Bruno Bettelheim, writing about fairy tales, remarked on the closeness of the...

 

American Life In Poetry

How about a light-footed Irish reel before winter sets in, before the rest of our lives sets in? Here's a poem by Barbara Crooker, who lives in Pennsylvania. Her most recent collection of poems is...

 

Cheese Puffs and Politics

I was very inspired by an interview I heard on a news program today, if by inspired you mean completely disgusted and more cynical then I've ever been. It lasted at least two minutes and there was a...

 

American Life In Poetry

Here's a poem by Holly J. Hughes, who lives and writes in Washington state, about finding joy in what's before us. I found it in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by...

 

American Life In Poetry

One of poetry's most important tools is sensory imagery, and the following poem, by Christie Towers of Massachusetts, brings in pleasurable smells, tastes, and sounds to evoke a rich experience...

 

Straight Talk About Geezeritus

I'll be 40 next year. Did I say 40? I meant 60. Same difference. They both fall under the benign-sounding umbrella of "middle age," though it seems to me calling 60 "middle" might be a tad...

 

American Life In Poetry

Wallace Stevens, the great modernist poet, wrote about setting a jar down in a wild place, and how by doing so he organized that space around the jar. Here's Marilyn Dorf, a Nebraska poet, using a...

 

American Life In Poetry

I'd guess that at least every other person reading this column did at one time, as a child, carry home some animal that he or she wouldn't be able to keep. Here's Connie Wanek, who lives in New...

 

Dancing a Metaphor for Life

As I spun around the room at a recent wedding dance, I had a profound thought: Dancing is a perfect metaphor for life, and not just the part about going around and around and getting nowhere. I've...

 

4 Tips for Higher-Quality Sleep

(StatePoint) Sleep is essential to good health. Unfortunately, over a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over time, sleep...

 

American Life In Poetry

All of us know people who wouldn't wear an article of clothing that had ever before been touched, let alone worn, by somebody else, and others who could care less. As I write this column I'm wearing... Full story

 

Past News From The Files Of The O'Brien County Bell

20 years ago - 1999 Ask a neighbor to be an EMT - Ambulance Team seeks volunteers - The Primghar Ambulance Team was the only Northwest Iowa team to have so many join the ambulance crew as Emergency...

 

Past News From The Files Of The Paullina Times

20 years ago - 1999 Still time to get your name on the ballot for city council or mayor - Four out of five Paullina City Council seats, as well as the position of mayor, are up for election on...

 

Past News From The Files Of The Sutherland Courier

20 years ago -1999 Sunday morning fire damages The Den - Owner Cheryl Rickett and several others were readying for their Sunday business when a fire occurred in the kitchen of The Den Sunday morning....

 

Rules for Working from Home (and Maybe Anywhere)

When I sat down at my desk this morning, I noticed a pencil needed sharpening. I don't actually use pencils to write; I use a computer. Nevertheless it did need sharpening, and I've never been one to...

 

American Life In Poetry

If at times your world seems flat and uninteresting, I recommend making a cardboard viewfinder with a postage-stamp sized window. Then look at what's around you through that. I think you'll be...

 

Bring Your A-Game With this Tailgating Recipe for the Grill

(StatePoint) Want to bring your A-game to tailgating season? For a winning strategy, you’re going to need the right grill and great recipes. Choosing the Grill Ninety-five percent of all tailgaters prepare their food at the stadium, according to a...

 

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