Robin Stroot Making a cable can be an art form

Recent emails and craft magazines are showcasing the art of making a cable on knit and crochet items.

To put it simply, a cable on a knit/crochet project is taking a set of stitches and knitting/crocheting them out of order along the row so that one set of stitches crosses in front or back of another set of stitches. Some more intricate cables can resemble a braid type of stitch pattern across the knit project. There are three basic styles of cables: twists, braids and traveling.
Joyce OreKeep future auto manual fairly simple

Today’s cars are amazing. They open without keys, they sense when to avoid an accident, they heat and cool your posterior, the driver has all-around, thus missing that four-foot concrete slab quietly sitting behind him, they keep you alert, they open and close doors and everyone in the car can hear you talk on the phone without using your hands.

Someday, in the not-so-distant future cars will talk to each other and even drive themselves, allowing the driver to take a nap, not that it doesn’t occasionally happen now.
Jim Headley Hoping new Huskers coach is a better fit

During the reign of Bo Pelini, I became less of a Husker fan. It wasn’t for any one reason. It wasn’t because Pelini had taken over the reins of our beloved Huskers.

At many times, I just didn’t have the time or the ability to sit down and watch the Cornhuskers on the tube. Life somehow became more important than the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Russ Batenhorst This week’s guessing game in sports news

Before I get going this week, let me say just a few things: Shawn Eichorst. Bo Pelini. Jim Tressel, Scott Frost. There, glad I got that taken care of.

I don’t really have anything to say about them, but it looks like if you write a column in this state this week, you’re required to work in those four names.

I didn’t want the standards people to take away my columnist license, so I thought I’d better meet the minimum requirement.
Tamera Schlueter Let’s celebrate a genuine Christmas this year

Hello, Christmas season. What will you bring us this year? I’m hoping for calm that comes from soft falling snow, and a chance to hole up and reconnect with the “why” of it all. I’m wishing for big laughs, warm hugs and familiar faces sharing popcorn in front of the Schlueterville fireplace. Let’s add fuzzy slippers and apple cider, a candlelit church service, and Nat King Cole singing about Jack Frost warring with your nose for a scene that’s borderline perfect.
Robin Stroot Sweater made by hand can last longer

Someone made a comment regarding a knitted sweater I was wearing the other day. That particular sweater was knitted in 1983. With proper care over the years, the sweater still looks relatively new. I’m also happy that the sweater still fits me after 31-plus years, too.

Now, fast-forward to today’s sweaters on the market. I just repaired a child’s sweater that had come apart where two yarns were tied together. The hole wasn’t made by a snag or cut in the yarn but the yarn ends were clipped so close to the knot that one tug and the yarn came apart, which didn’t leave me much to repair the sweater. This bothers me.
Patrick White ‘Mockingjay’ tale of two movies

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” is one of the most baffling cinematic achievements I’ve ever seen. One scene under Francis Lawrence’s direction is perfection while the next is an emotional train wreck.

Take, for example, the pivotal moment when the District 13 citizens must run for their lives to a safety bunker. The camera spirals in and out of close-ups and wider shots following them down the cavernous stairway with ease.
Joyce OreFinishing one project at a time

My other half walked into the bedroom and saw my foot sticking out from under the bed. As an old magazine with Farrah Fawcett on the front cover hit him in the leg, he reminded me that earlier in the day I had told him not to bother me for I needed to write my column.

“I am writing my column,” I said stretching for “Joys of Cooking” that was hiding in the far corner amidst the fuzz balls. I enjoy reading cook books in bed. “I just thought I would stop a minute and clean under the bed. It’s been needing it for some time.”
Laura Beahm Thanksgiving kicks off season of traditions

In my family, traditions are a huge part in our family holiday gatherings. Most of our traditions have been a part of our family for as long as I can remember. Either way, when the holidays come around we make sure to never neglect those traditions.

For almost every major holiday, my mother’s side of the family gets together at my grandparents’ house to enjoy way too much food than necessary and to just sit and catch up with each other in the week’s time that we haven’t seen one another.
Russ Batenhorst Turkey, football, sales and news conferences

Whoops, everything is happening a little early during this week. At least that’s what I just realized when I thought I should be writing this late Tuesday night rather than the usual Wednesday.

Waiting until Wednesday may be putting others under extra Friday duress after taking Thursday off.
Patrick White ‘Big Hero’ a winner

“Big Hero 6” is a winner from beginning to end. The film opens with a humorous, high-stakes robot battle competition. The hero, Hiro Hamada, faces the best bot battler, Yama, with his smiley, little robot. Hiro surprises everyone though when the bot flips its feelings for vengeance. “Big Hero 6” is comparable to the robot. The film is sweet, non-threatening, but will catch everyone off-guard. The latest Disney animated film packs a heroic punch with an emotional pinch and humorous jab.
Robin Stroot Knit fabrics require special handling

One more point regarding last week’s column on woven fabric. Be sure to check woven fabric before you purchase for straight grain lines compared to any geometric pattern (e.g., plaid or wide stripes) of the fabric. An off-grain print makes the fabric appear crooked (even if the grain lines are the true grain lines.) Unroll a few parts of the bolt of fabric in the store to check for correct pattern placement before you purchase the fabric. This type of defect is one that happened in the weaving process of the fabric and can’t be fixed or corrected. It’s best to leave this fabric on the store shelf.
John Huthmacher Fine with decking the halls in mid-November

Tradition has always gone hand in hand with celebrating the holidays in the Huthmacher household. Growing up in Azusa, Calif., Thanksgiving was easily the most memorable meal each year. Whether it wobbled and fell down flat — as it hilariously did one year — or resembled the ones that grace cooking magazine covers, the turkey brought everyone together — brothers, sisters, parents, boyfriends and girlfriends, and in-laws — under one roof for a few hours of catching up and feasting down.
Joyce OreTimes change but not spirit of the holiday

When I was just a kid, Thanksgiving was a time to get together with my cousins and other relatives. It wasn’t so much about eating or football as just getting together with family.

Like many of the things we have today that have taken over our lives, television hadn’t entered the scene, at least not in rural Nebraska.
Russ Batenhorst Mysterious phone call begs to be answered

I hope I didn’t come off as rude, but curiosity finally got the best of me — twice. In our house, we take advantage of one of modern technology’s better developments, Caller ID.

It’s on the handy little screens on the handsets of our home phones — yes, I still have a home phone — that tells the source of an incoming call.
Patrick White ‘Interstellar’ flawed, but still marvelous

“Interstellar” has split critics and audiences with a samurai sword sharpness. Some argue that this is Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, while others say that the “Inception” director is off his rocker. They ask, “Has he traded sensation for schmaltz.” I see me leaning either way, because the film is far from flawless, but it is a marvelous work unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Humanity is on the brink of extinction and our only hope is a former pilot/engineer, played by Matthew McConaughey. Surrounding McConaughey is an immersive environment that suspends disbelief with real-life disaster accounts. In “Interstellar” Nolan demands the audience to chow down on the mysterious mythology.
Robin Stroot Prepare woven fabric before sewing with it

Here are a few ways to get fabric prepared that will help you achieve success for your sewing project.

Simply put, there are two types of fabric: woven and knit. We’re going to focus on woven fabric this week.

Each woven fabric is made so that warp yarns/threads and weft yarn/threads intersect each other in straight lines. This is called the grain of the fabric. Most sewing pattern pieces are cut along the grain of the fabric.
Joyce OreWhen all else fails, I blame the family dog

It never fails to amaze me how I can have something in my hand one minute and even without moving, it is gone. In the time I have spent searching for a pen or coffee cup, I could have written the great American novel.

When I was a young mother with the three little girls who seemed to bump into me at every turn, I had someone to blame if I couldn’t find whatever I had in my hand just moments before. But they grew up and moved away, far away, way too far for me to blame them for messing with my water bottle, my left earring, my wrinkle cream, my sunglasses.
Russ Batenhorst Glorious fall quickly turns to ghastly winter

Just some random thoughts while wondering how long I can continue to blame the time change on my falling asleep in the chair most every night: Sometimes dumb little sayings come true. If you grew up in Nebraska, you have been required since somewhere around age 5 to say: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait an hour, it will change.”

Just an exaggeration, right?
Tamera Schlueter Good Life Halfsy proves glass always half full

My sixth half-marathon is in the books, with the running of the Good Life Halfsy in Lincoln last Sunday. As I gaze upon my frozen tundra yard, it’s hard to believe race day delivered perfect, 60-degree conditions. The Sunday/Monday weather confirms my suspicion that Nebraska either loves you or wants you dead, but I digress.

I started running in 2012, soon after lurching into my fifth decade of life. Running battled a posterior with ambitious expansion plans, and rotten little demons taunting “What now, Sherlock?” from the corners of my too-empty nest. I completed my first half marathon that spring, and followed it up with my first full marathon in the fall.

Patrick White Bill Murray at the top of his game in ‘St. Vincent’

“St. Vincent” is a simple, heartwarming film that will connect with both young and old. No deep meaning or stunning visuals are present, but that modesty is what works.

Bill Murray stars as Vincent, a striking curmudgeon more interested in dollars than sense. Writer and director Theodore Melfi perfectly frames Vincent’s financial problems. The audience will see confrontations at the bank, which result in an education of the term overdrawn for Vince. He is best understood when we see the shmuck betting on the ponies at the racetrack. It’s clear that Vincent is “in too deep with the sharks” and needs a wake-up call.

Robin Stroot Sampler tests stitcher’s ability

A sampler gives a crafter the chance to make small samples of different types of stitching. Some stitched samplers date back to the early 15th and 16th centuries.

Samplers were approximately 6 to 9 inches in size. The sampler often included alphabet letters and/or numbers of a specific font style. The sampler might also include different sets of alphabet letters or numbers, each one exhibiting a different type of font. The sampler became the library of stitch patterns for the crafter. They were often stored in rolls in the trunk or drawers. Today, many people will often frame a stitched sampler and display it on their wall.
Joyce OreSpontaneity a male trait

While adding cream and syrups to my coffee at a local convenience store, I overheard a conversation among several young men. One suggested a three-day weekend trip to his two pals. Judging from all the physical activity that took place in the form of punching, slapping, pushing and high fives, I gathered they thought this was a good idea.

“We can leave right now,” said one. “Just let me pay for this hair gel.”

Jim Headley For Republicans, victory may not last long

On Tuesday, the nation’s Republicans were big winners in the mid-term elections, but it’s not over. Clearly, the citizens of the United States are tired of the leadership of President Barack Obama. Voters casts their ballots against the plans and policies of the president and the Democratic Party.

Having the president endorsing you in 2014 was the kiss of death in this election.
Russ Batenhorst 21st century’s ‘don’t leave home without it’

Before I get started, full disclosure: In my real-world job, I work for a cell phone company. In two separate terms of service for two different employers, I’ve done so for just under 20 years, I guess. This isn’t a commercial or anything, just a statement of fact and an ensuing story.

In the wireless communication world, as cell phones became more and more prevalent, people in the industry began taking pride in the “go back” standard the little devices reached.

Patrick White ‘Hercules’ fun in spite of flaws

Why do studios continue to release movies that feature the best scenes in the first 10 minutes? I wish I knew the answer. All I can tell you is that it’s a serious problem with the Hollywood studio system. Even worse, the same scenes featured in the beginning are in the trailer. That isn’t epic on any scale. It’s lame.

In Dwayne Johnson’s new movie, “Hercules” is a hero for hire after Hera has challenged him with the legendary 12 labors. The famous strong man faces his first adventure when the King of Thrace hires him to battle a vicious warlord. Director Brett Ratner’s latest film focuses on an epic battle. The battle is less known than Hercules’ infamous 12 labors for the god queen Hera. Where is the logic in filming that?
Robin Stroot Try a different tension technique

One thing about tension: It takes practice and patience with oneself to learn new techniques. Try a different technique if you’ve been struggling with your current method of controlling the thread tension.

Do a little research on different methods of holding the yarn or thread, or ask a fellow crafter to assist you on learning a new way to hold the yarn/thread. Be patient. Take the time to work on learning the new technique and go very slowly at first to teach the new technique and motor skill to the muscles of your hands. The more in a hurry you are, the more frustrated you will be, which will cause your yarn/thread tension to tighten up.
Joyce OreSaying goodbye to stuffed friends bear-ly possible

On the table at a recent garage sale was the cutest stuffed back bear. As I reached for it, the woman behind me grabbed it. “That’s mine,“ she said. “I don’t know what I was thinking, I can’t sell it. He is way too precious.”

It was her garage sale and her bear, which she thought she was ready to part with during a cleaning phase.

Russ Batenhorst Voting early should help more do civic duty

Just some random thoughts while realizing that two weeks ago, I didn’t even know who Madison Bumgarner was, and now I don’t like him.

But enough about him.

Being counted early

My son received some political mail at home the other day. It’s not really important who the candidate was that sent him the flier, or even that I worry that I might have committed a federal crime by throwing away someone else’s mail without their knowledge or approval.

Tamera Schlueter Squishy the duck lands in marshy predicament

This is the saga of Squishy the duck, whose goose is cooked. He’s pushed his luck. For the time being, Squishy lives in the country by Juniata with his humans, Shane and Brenda Hess, and their brood of five kids ranging in age from 5 to 16. Squishy’s ducky girlfriend, Dipstick, as well as two dogs, two cats, two ferrets and 11 chickens, share space in Hessville, too.

Life should be idyllic in such a teeming mass of life, but Squishy’s feathers, it seems, are easily ruffled.
Patrick White Horror movie still a classic

As Halloween approaches, now is the time to revisit a horror classic. The one that will have you jumping at shadows and screaming at an ominous door creak is the seminal classic “Halloween.”

In director John Carpenter’s terrifying 1978 film, a young Michael Myers murders his older sister during a brilliantly paced scene.
Robin Stroot Tension all in the hands

A-tension everyone! Tension is one of the hardest things to teach in hand stitching. It takes practice to make the tension just right for your craft project.

Tweak a knob on a sewing machine and the tension adjustment is made for you to sew on your project. Knit, crochet and embroidery don’t come with a knob for tension adjustment. The tension is in your hands.
Joyce OreMorning walks getting weird

It’s getting downright creepy on my and Annabelle’s early morning walks. They are getting more weird than listening to the morning news on the radio or seeing the negative political ads on television and in the newspaper.

Well, I exaggerate.

My morning walks aren’t nearly that bad. I live in small-town America where the early morning air this time of year may be on the chilly side, but it is fresh and clears my head for a positive start to the day.

Russ Batenhorst Jumping on KC bandwagon OK in my book

Somewhere in my closet that has way more hats than I’ll ever know what to do with, I know I have a Kansas City Royals hat — or two. I don’t think I have the Royals T-shirt still, but it wasn’t long ago it was stashed away somewhere.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t have them as the result of being a big fan of the major league baseball team located closest to central Nebraska. More accurately, they are from the Smith Plumbing Royals. That’s the Little League team my son was on that I helped coached.

Tamera Schlueter Wood-fueled workshop ignites foodie’s passion

The picture attached to this week’s column is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I’ve been a paper-faced fraud for months. Blame it on vanity, procrastination, the desire to remain somewhat incognito, or a gut-wrenching phobia for having my picture taken.

At any rate, this is the real me. Call me Snow White minus the youth, dwarfs, magic mirrors, and definitely the ebony hair. I apologize for the ruse.
Patrick White Movie family’s bad day a good time

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is an entertaining, humorous, family-oriented, very good time at the movie theater.

The Walt Disney Pictures-produced film is perfect for families who need something to do on a chilly, fall afternoon. The smooth hour and 21-minute runtime will delight parents and kids will be entertained by the variety of humor. The film is short, but families shouldn’t scoff at the ticket price, because it’s entirely worth it.

Robin Stroot New trick better for binding off

There is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve been knitting for over 40 years and just learned a new trick in binding off for a smoother finish … especially when it comes to the last stitch of the bind-off row.

Binding off is the technique used to remove the stitches from the knitting needle once you have completed knitting the rows on your project.
Joyce OreWalks home from school memorable

When I was in grade school, I had to walk two miles to school. That’s what I told my kids when they fussed about having to walk eight blocks to school.

My dad had to walk five miles to school in “heat, rain, snows, hail and raging blizzards.”

That’s what he told me every time I had to walk farther than to the chicken coop to gather the eggs.

Shay Burk Remembering Cora, and all my blessings

My daughter is seven months old. I should say my daughters are seven months old today, but it’s hard for me to think of my Sweet Baby Cora as seven months old.

The last time I held her she was a 14-pound, four-month-old with chubby cheeks and pretty little feet.

Her twin sister, Anna, is now more than 16 pounds with her own chubby cheeks and cute feet, but she’s seven months old.

Russ Batenhorst Flip on TV and watch the touchdown show

Uh oh, here it comes again. Another column dominated by sports.
If I’m not careful, I’ll be bumped back about 10 pages.

Touchdowns on demand

I don’t subscribe to the NFL Red Zone service — I’m not that into the NFL and I’m cheap. However, loafing around last Saturday with college football all over the dial and the remote in my hand, it kind of felt like it.

Tamera Schlueter Wood-fueled workshop ignites foodie’s passion

Who drives to scenic Boulder, Colo., for an extended weekend and never leaves the hotel? It’s a pretty passionate person — this person — that’s who, with an uber-tolerant Hunka Burnin’ Hubby in tow. Stop reading me like that, it’s not what you think.

Hunka and I spent our time in that hotel either cooking or learning about the business of cooking with bona fide, singe-your-eyebrows-off, smoke-induced tears, what-happened-to-the-hair-on-my-arms fire. (Insert primal grunts here.)
Andy Raun Of farming, poetry and the spirit of place

Kansas cabin story uplifts a Nebraskan

ATHOL, Kan. — Last Sunday afternoon, down here in the hills of northern Smith County, scores of people mingled on the bank of a dry creek running across a piece of Pleasant Township farm ground.

I saw farmers and ranchers, doctors and lawyers, musicians and political dignitaries. Old and young, rich and poor, they swatted away flies and took their turns inspecting a small, fairly nondescript cabin standing in their midst.
Patrick White ‘Gone Girl’ a movie worth savoring

The trailer for “Gone Girl” presents a story. All the pieces seem present. The tension builds and audiences think they know what happens in the end. They don’t.

A young woman, Amy Dunne, is missing and the obvious suspect in her disappearance is her charming, aloof husband, Nick. Dun, dun, dun. Author Gillian Flynn, acting as the film’s screenwriter, perfectly captures the spirit of her novel while still cutting off the fingers and toes of her literary baby. Characters are missing, elements are hidden, and all for the better. The screenplay moves with the film. The dialogue is a waltz that slowly, yet violently transforms into a dance with the devil.
Robin Stroot Every day is I Love Yarn Day

Yesterday, I went through the day with a big smile on my face. It was the National I Love Yarn Day. My family will attest to the fact that I love yarn. It’s organized now in large, see-through containers on shelves in my craft room. Some people walk into a coffee shop and take a deep breath to embrace the aroma of coffee. I take a look at the containers and think, I need more yarn!
Joyce OreKeeping lots of old stuff just in case

When entertaining as newlyweds, we borrowed everything we needed from our mothers — coffee pot, snack trays, three card tables, chairs and candy dishes (sometimes the candy was included.)

We had nothing except the wedding china, which as every woman of the ’50s generation knows, was every young girl’s dream.

Laura Beahm Regional reporter happy to be in the game

If you’ve been diligently reading your daily newspaper, you’ve probably come across a byline that you don’t recognize. That would be me. I’m the new girl around the newsroom at the Hastings Tribune, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Now that you can put a face to a name, let me tell you a little bit about myself.

Russ Batenhorst Ready to play gas edition of ‘Price is Right’

Just a few random thoughts as I hope that the highlight of my week doesn’t end up being the fact that I just paid less than $3 for a gallon of gas. Oh, sure, that’s nice and all, I just hope it’s not the high point of the week. Surely, something will top it.

Patrick White ‘Boyhood’ a film not to be missed

The year’s best film is coming to Hastings. Director Richard Linklater’s film “Boyhood” premieres at the Hastings Museum this weekend and cannot be missed.

Linklater, best known for “School of Rock” and “Dazed and Confused,” challenges filmmaking standards again with his latest. “Boyhood” is Mason’s story, a young boy who rockets through life, weaving in and out of love, loss, pain, and forgiveness.
Robin Stroot Keep measurements up to date

I like to make garments and accessories for my family members.

I recently came across my index card file with all the measurements of different family members listed in individual cards. However, some of the cards are definitely outdated.
Joyce OreNature’s time of transition is upon us

Summer has all but bid us a goodbye for another year, and I will miss her. She is like no other season: Intense, optimistic, unfading in brilliance. I’ll especially miss the penetrating heat on the back of my neck and the early mornings and late evenings that give us more time to enjoy the many facets of our lives.

John Huthmacher The stories to be told simply never grow old

In conjunction with the Hastings Tribune’s 110th birthday this week and National Newspaper Week next week, it seemed a good time to reflect on my more than 30 years in the newspaper business.

It started with a whisper while attending high school in my hometown of Azusa, Calif. That first sports story, submitted to my high school newspaper after a quick once-over from my favorite math teacher, was all of 3 to 4 inches long.

Russ Batenhorst One word to celebrate baseball: excitement

There’s a person I follow on Twitter (yeah, I know, listen to me talking about social media as if I know what’s going on) who oftentimes, after something amazing happens in his chosen field, will send a one-word tweet.

I guess you’d say it is short and to the point: “Sports.”

Tamera Schlueter So long Schlueterville garden, it’s been fun

At the time of this writing, Hunka Burnin’ Hubby is riffling through Schlueterville’s dark backyard. His uber-sexy headlamp zig zags a thin blue beam through tomato plants drooping with the last of their ripe, red fruit.

Summer is dead and gone.

Jim Headley Picking up traits from the Greatest Generation

Bad news arrived last week.

Via a Facebook message from my cousin, I learned of the death of my Uncle Dean.

Uncle Dean was the youngest of his generation, and I am the youngest of mine.

Patrick White Film makes audiences uneasy

Film makes audiences uneasy The slogan for the film “This Is Where I Leave You” is “Welcome Home. Get Uncomfortable.” This is a cheeky play on an all-too-familiar greeting of “Welcome home,” which doesn’t always seem appropriate walking through a parent’s door. The film is just as saucy as the slogan and maintains the theme. Audiences are guaranteed to be uncomfortable for most of the film.
Robin Stroot Canning: A lost art?

There are many different types of crafting genre. Not every craft involves yarn or thread.

Case in point: I was talking with someone and mentioned how I recently spent several days in my kitchen involved in food preservation — often refereed to as the art of canning. Someone else overheard my conversation and expressed that they couldn’t understand why anyone would go through so much trouble to can food. It just didn’t make any sense to put all that work into something when you could go to a grocery store and get exactly what you need for your own food pantry. Is canning a lost art?
Joyce OreIt’s warm, then cold, then warm, then cold, then …

It is a strange place we live in temperature wise. As I write this, I am wearing a sweater over a sweatshirt. The furnace is set at 72 degrees. Just a few hours ago, the air conditioner was running.

I remember when the month of September was a time to save on utility bills for the temperature was mild, the breezes pleasant, the nights cool and the days warm. September was perfect. Nature at her best.

Laura Beahm Yoga improving balance, inner monologue

Basketball season had just come to an end and I found myself with a little extra free time. The sign said “Beginners yoga today at 4:30.” My desire to try new things combined with boredom was reason enough to give the low-impact workout a try. 

The introductory class was going great. Then, suddenly the teacher said I would be lying my face on the mat I borrowed.

Russ Batenhorst Sitting next to future Husker coach no treat

Since when do seasons change overnight? I wondered that as I walked through a dark house one morning this week at the same time that I swear the sun was up the day before — not to mention how much more difficult it is to make the once-around-the-neighborhood walk after work while there’s still daylight.

Tamera Schlueter Colo. trip big on adventure, stingy on oxygen

There is no oxygen at 12,000 feet elevation. You tend to forget that soon after returning from a Rocky Mountain vacation. You recall idyllic vistas stabbed with shards of sunshine, the applause of plummeting waterfalls, the slap of crisp, dry breeze against your face and … well, you get the point.

It isn’t until the next time you strap on your hiking boots that Mother Nature reminds you she’s a stingy witch when it comes to oxygen and altitude.

Patrick White ‘Fault In Our Stars’ better in book form

Love is born from illness when Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters meet at a support group for cancer victims. The two embrace full, life-living opportunities as their moments click by at a furious rate. This is a story of beauty, romance, fear and acceptance, but most of all it’s about all of us. One day we’ll all face our mortality and “The Fault In Our Stars” encourages audiences to grasp each moment with a steady, certain grip.
Robin Stroot Weaving terms out of this world

Inkle, boat, shuttle, dents and warp. Sounds like terms or words you would hear used in a television show about outer space. However, these are some of the common terms used to refer to the craft of weaving.

An inkle loom is a small loom, most commonly used for making items like belts or straps. It’s also a great beginning weaver’s project. You can get quick results and make a finished project in just a few hours.
Joyce OreParents born to worry about their children

The beginning of the day was beautiful with the warm morning sun playing hide and seek among the heavenly scented pine trees in the park where our daughter with her camper and we with ours were vacationing. I was ready for a morning walk but when I knocked on her door, there was no answer. Obviously she had gotten up before me and had already left.

Annabelle, our four-legged family member, and I took off on a leisurely but lengthy walk thinking we might catch up with her, but this park has many walking paths and we didn’t see her. Time passed, we returned to our camper but she didn’t. I called her on her cell — no answer. She had been gone a long time, I began to worry. I read the papers and listen to the news … waiting, waiting, waiting.

Russ Batenhorst Does perfect football exist? Indeed it does

I saw an interesting tweet the other day while scanning through Twitter, probably trying to avoid work of some sort at the time. I can’t even tell you whom it was from — it was a retweet of a retweet if I remember correctly, and from someone whose name I did not recognize.

I recognized the visual attached to it, though. It was a familiar look.

Patrick White Who ya gonna call after 30 years?

Thirty years has passed since the Ghostbusters burst onto screens with proton packs equipped against a massive marshmallow conflict. Perhaps it’s time to return to New York City before it was destroyed by countless directors and reacquaint yourself with a classic ’80s comedy.

Actors Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd made a name for themselves as television funny men on “Saturday Night Live” and in classic comedy films such as “Caddyshack” and “Blues Brothers.” Superstar status wasn’t achieved though until “Ghostbusters” was released on June 8, 1984.
Robin Stroot Crochet lace can last years

Crocheting lace takes time to make but the end result is a beautiful heirloom project that with proper care can be passed down through family generations.

Two ways to make a crocheted bedspread, table runner or tablecloth is in one piece or by joining motifs together to make the completed project. A motif is a small crochet or knit section used to piece together to make a larger project. You can use yarn or crochet thread to make lace crochet items.
Joyce OreColumn ideas forgotten if not written down

The other day, I was having lunch and pleasant conversation with a couple of friends when one suddenly held her hand over her mouth and said, “I shouldn’t have said that. I’ll end up in your column.”

Really? I do have to admit it is possible. It did make me think that maybe I should have more lunches and conversations because column ideas don’t come my way on a daily basis — or even weekly or monthly — and some may say ever.

Russ Batenhorst Don’t rain on this parade — or farm show

So, they had to call off one of the three days of Husker Harvest Days this week. For those who don’t know, that’s the biggest farm show in the state that goes on each September about 25 miles northwest of Hastings.

It’s dubbed a Grand Island hosted event, even though it’s out in the country.

Tamera Schlueter A 9-mile, white coat, 62-cadaver weekend

Last weekend was a great big surprise in Schlueterville, filled with a gut-wrenching challenge, significant milestones, and a giant slab of shock. It kicked off Friday night with a nine-mile long run in preparation for a November half-marathon Hunka Burnin’ Hubby and I registered for on a half-baked whim.

Long runs are typically Saturday-morning fare, but the weekend had other plans. So we laced up our ASICS, leashed up the setters, and ran until our runners were sore.

Patrick White Rudd, Poehler team up for funny movie

“They Came Together” is one of the funniest films of the year and David Wain’s best since his directorial debut “Wet Hot American Summer.” The film tears apart the romantic comedy genre from the inside out with vicious hilarity.

The idea has been worn before by less capable hands. The infamous “comedy” duo Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer film “Date Movie” lacked the originality Wain presents. The opening scene alone contains more cleverness than anything Friedberg and Seltzer have recently produced. While “Date Movie” reached for the lowest common humor, Wain embraces the awkwardness and nonsensical nature of the rom-com. No cliché is left untouched by this director.
Robin Stroot Internet overflows with crafting ideas

When I started writing my column in 1996, the only thing you could really do on the Internet was pretty much anything written in text. There were dial-up connections that usually locked up the computer from several minutes to an hour or two, especially when receiving a picture attached to an email. Heaven forbid you had to use the telephone (pre-cellphone days) because you had to quit the connection, use the telephone and then wait till later to reconnect and start the dial-up and downloading process all over again.
Joyce OrePerplexingly, decisiveness not in my DNA

room yellow, well … maybe green would be more soothing, but then, yellow
Maybe, I‘ll paint the is bright and happy, I just can’t decide. It seems to me that my parents had no problems making decisions. It was either yes or no, no hesitation, no changing their minds, no waffling around, just a simple word or two.

“No, you can’t have all the girls in your kindergarten class sleep over tonight. No, you can’t have a new prom dress, you got a new one last year. No, you can‘t have an increase in your allowance. No, you can’t have the last chocolate chip cookie, take a carrot stick instead, No, you can’t have the car to drag main.” Simple, no stress, no guilt, no fun.

Russ Batenhorst Fall and all its glories nothing to sneeze at

So, we made it through Labor Day and now just need to use this weekend to get our internal clocks right. After all, admit it, you’ve been one day off all week long.

Heck, I almost forgot that it was the day to get this written and submitted. Wouldn’t it have been awful if the powers-that-be had to fill this space with someone who could actually write? I’d be forgotten forever.

Tamera Schlueter Killing demons with goal of positive self-talk

Occasionally, I’m an ace at beating the tar out of myself. I’m too old, fat, slow, or unworthy to deserve (fill in the blank). I’ll bet you’re great at it once in a while, too. It’s a natural phenomenon built upon unfair comparisons, unmet goals and a choking fear that tries to quench your dreams.

“Chasing dreams is HARD!” “Mediocrity is safe.” “You can’t fail if you don’t try.” “Risk is risky.” Sound familiar?

Patrick White Comic book story doesn’t translate well on screen

Director Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are talented artists and certainly have cinematic eyes. Miller has created some of the best graphic novels that challenged the tights focused comics of the past with “The Dark Knight Returns” and “300.”

Rodriguez, on the other hand, embraces a great many samples of cinema that constantly influence his films similar to Quentin Tarantino.
Robin Stroot Love of crafting began with mom

I’ve had several new crafting friends ask me how I got started in crafts. I can tell you in three words: My late mother.

As far back as I can remember, I admired my mother’s crafting work. Her favorite crafts were embroidery and sewing. I was the youngest of five children and spent a lot of my youth helping my mother with different chores around the house. I wanted to be just like her so, when she washed clothes, I washed my doll clothes. When she ironed her clothes, I did the same with my doll clothes (I even had my own toy iron that really worked). When she mended clothes or sewed on a button, I mended my doll’s clothes and learned to sew a button. Often times, I would just stand beside my mother’s rocking chair and watch her intently as she did her hand sewing and embroidery. I was fascinated and wanted to learn it all! She was so patient in teaching me embroidery and sewing.
Joyce OreFirst job perhaps best one

My first paid job was behind the candy counter at the “dime” store in the huge city of some 13,000 nearly 20 miles from home.

I made 37 cents an hour. I worked four hours on Saturday and anther four on Thursday night when the whole town was open. I’m amazed at what I could do with the $2.96 I made each week.

Russ Batenhorst Don’t be a martyr; use those vacation days

Just a few thoughts rambling around my head this week while I decide if I really have to put my white shoes away after this weekend. Oh wait, I don’t own a pair of white shoes. At least I’m guessing the fashion police weren’t talking about tennis shoes when they said no white after Labor Day.

It’s Labor Day already. This Monday is the day that traditionally signifies the end of summer. Try telling that to all the kids who already have two or three weeks of classroom time under their belts. Their summer ended seemingly ages ago.

Patrick White Being funny isn’t a crime

“Let’s Be Cops” is not a great movie, but it’s entertaining enough to justify a cheap ticket.

The cop comedy directed by Luke Greenfield is a punchy little film with some laugh out loud moments thanks to stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. The actors play two nobody thirty-somethings who yearn for more in their day-to-day lives.

Robin Stroot Classes good intro to new craft

I am inspired by seeing examples of other crafters’ projects to try a new category of crafting. It can be very confusing, not to mention expensive, to go shopping for supplies for a new craft. Do I really need all that stuff just to give a new craft a try?

One way to learn more about any craft is to take a beginning class for that particular craft. I took a class to learn how to spin fiber into a strand of yarn. The class supplies included a drop spindle, some wool fiber and an instruction booklet. I had a hands-on chance to try my hand at spinning the fiber. An instructor was also there to assist my crafting endeavor. I did learn to spin fiber into yarn and since have invested in spinning wheels, carding tools and other notions that enhance my spinning craft.

Joyce OreSome things, though ugly, hard to let go

Humans spend the first 40 years of their lives accumulating and the next 40 years trying to get rid of it. It’s hard to get rid of stuff you’ve accumulated. If you hadn’t liked it, you wouldn’t have it, although I do have some things that I wonder whatever possessed me to think I needed or even wanted. Coming to mind are a couple of avocado and gold sconces that held a place of honor on our gold living room walls some 30 years ago. The walls went with the gold carpet, the avocado chairs and the couch, sofa, davenport, whatever — a mixture of the colors in a pile of freshly fallen autumn leaves.

Russ Batenhorst Could this be the last ‘first day of school’?

Sometimes you have to wonder if an idea has run its course. If that’s the case, then I have to come up with something different to write about this third week of August.

The 10th column I ever posted here talked about the fact that my son was about to start second grade. I reminisced about what I could recall from second grade and how that might translate into what he was about to encounter.

Tamera Schlueter Dribbling much ACHOO! about nothing

If tissue factories sent Christmas greetings, I’d get a fruitcake, a box of chocolates, and a trip to Hawaii. I’m a sneezing, drippy-nosed allergic nightmare. Nearly every photo taken of me includes pockets bulging with wadded up tissues — clean ones in the left pocket, dirty ones in the right. (I’m allergic, not barbarian.) And I usually keep my head down lest I give some poor, unsuspecting soul a glimpse of nasal Niagara Falls. Ick.
Tony Herrman Overcoming fears, one dirty diaper at a time

Tribune sports writer Mike Zimmerman got a pretty good ribbing in the newsroom earlier this week for his fear of fish. Several of us eventually expressed empathy by sharing our own fears. I didn’t say anything then, but up until a couple months ago I probably would’ve said babies.

I arrived at work Monday morning after spending a week home with my almost-twomonth old son, Jonah.

Patrick White Don’t go ‘Ninja’

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is painful for adults, but might entertain kids. The latest film in the “TMNT” franchise is a train wreck that attempts to embrace the Bayhem attitude. Unfortunately it doesn’t execute on nearly the same level.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” tells the story of everyone’s favorite amphibians as they take on the mighty Shredder and his corporate flunky, Eric Sacks, played by a somewhat menacing William Fichtner. The ’80s and ’90s characters most adults know from their films and television shows are “updated” for a new audience and it’s up to you to decide if you prefer these new turtles. I personally miss the days of Jim Henson’s puppetry and the chunky turtle suits.

Robin Stroot Random thoughts on crafting

Rub talcum powder lightly on your hands to keep sweat from making it hard to make fiber crafts. I found that sweat on my hands makes my needles/hook make a squeaking sound as I knit or crochet through the stitches. The yarn also sticks to the needles/hook and makes uneven sized stitches on my project. I know it’s hard to think of sweaters and afghans when it’s so hot outside but pretty soon, you’ll need that sweater or afghan to keep warm when winter arrives. (In Nebraska, that could be as soon as next week, right?) So far, I’ve made the first three sets of knit swatches for my master hand-knitting course. The next step is to seam two swatches together using the appropriate techniques for the specific swatch stitch pattern. The instructions suggest that I send my best samples of my work. I kept putting off the course work because I couldn’t seem to get that best-work sample made well enough to make it my best sample swatch. I felt I had to do it right the very first time. Wait, this is an instruction class to improve my knitting skills. It finally occurred to me that I should make more than one swatch so that I can choose the best looking sample to send in as part of my correspondence course. What a relief! I don’t feel that pressure to be perfect on my first sample. It makes the course seem less intimidating to complete.
Joyce OrePaper-free living hasn’t arrived yet

Matilda, my good friend and former neighbor, stopped by the other morning. She was holding two reams of computer paper and a twin-pack of print ink cartidges.

“That’s a lot of paper,” I told her as if she didn’t know she was holding two reams of computer paper and cartridges. “You finally finished that romance novel you’ve been working on for the past three decades.”

Russ Batenhorst Joining students in famous writing assignment

I’m thinking of giving myself the most clichéd and challenging of writing assignments. One thing that I’m fairly certain of is that I won’t be the only one facing this assignment at this time of year.

At least, if I am to think that misery does indeed love company, I guess I’d better ask: Do teachers still use “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” as a writing assignment to start a new school year?

Tamera Schlueter South central Nebraska offers scenic splendor

Writer’s note: It’s been a busy week in Schlueterville, so here’s the column that ran in the August 12, 2010, issue of the Hastings Tribune. This trip took place four years ago, but I can still see our sleeping sons in the rearview mirror.

God broke the mold when He created south central Nebraska. I think of this each time we take ATVs to Harlan County Lake for a day of grit-filled, tooth-jarring fun. Rising out of the craggy landscape like a desert oasis, the lake is a nine-mile mass of crystalline sparks dancing on a 13,000-acre pool stretching between Republican City and Alma, a toe’s length north of the Kansas border.

Laura Beahm Rookie mistake would embarrass Peter Piper

When it comes to eating I would say I’m mildly adventurous. I know what I like on my pizza, I rarely stray from the Smokehouse Combo at Dally’s Deli and anything named cheesecake is my favorite. But that’s not to say I won’t try new things.

My first bite of sushi was in Idaho. Arizona is where I ate rattlesnake. France is where I tried duck pâté and rabbit. The fishermen of Croatia served up squid while the fishermen of Maine offered mussels. I’ve never shied away from a food truck. And the list goes on.

Robin Stroot Find natural dyes in the garden

Gardens yield a plethora of colors of natural dyes for the fiber enthusiast. Here are a few things to consider when using natural materials for dyeing your fiber. A dye chart, books or Internet are excellent resources regarding fiber dyeing and the particular dyeing process.

It’s vital to keep written notes and other information regarding the dyeing process. One reason is that if you want to duplicate the color as close as possible, you have the information. Notes should include type of dyeing process, time of each process step, amount of materials used, mordant, and color results. Photographs can be included but the color may not be an exact match to the finished product. I usually keep my notes and place a small sample of my dyed fiber into my record book so I can see the true results of the finished dyeing process.

Joyce OreHoroscope sometimes gets it right accidentally

Reading horoscopes is such a waste of time. Matilda, a close friend of mine, won’t even go shopping without first checking her horoscope. Last week her sign told her “don’t take risks.”

“If I risk buying those pink and orange heels with the zipper in the heel today, they will be out by next season,” she said.

Russ Batenhorst Junk mail useful as disposable holiday calendar

Thank goodness I looked at the stack of mail on the counter when I got home from work the other day. It reassured me that I hadn’t overslept — like for about a month or two. And there was good reason to have that concern.

Earlier that same day as I was in a greeting card shop, I was about to head to the checkout counter when, out of the corner of my eye, I spied a preponderance of the color orange in the rack behind me. So I turned.

Tamera Schlueter Making plans for the kick-tail phase of life

Twenty years ago I bought a charming mirror from an art gallery in faraway Iowa. It was a simple folk art mirror with colorful, hand-carved figures adorning the frame — a mouse chased by a cat, which was chased by a dog, which was chased by a net-wielding dogcatcher. Painted below this frantic scene are the words, “It’s just one thing after another.”
Jim Headley Life better after living in disarray for two months

My life has been in turmoil for more than two months, and I hardly even noticed until it was over. In May, I came to Hastings and quickly began working at the Hastings Tribune.

Life in Hastings has already proven to be filled with adventure, kindness, friendship, love and excitement. I really like it here.

Patrick White ‘Trance’ confusing

James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson are the epitome of cool in director Danny Boyle’s latest, “Trance.” Boyle often surprises audiences film after film by embracing American and international actors for his projects that are either relatively unknown or diamonds in the rough. The director of the Oscarwinning “Slumdog Millionaire” has found that in McAvoy, an actor who has been relegated to comic book fare, but is deserving of so much more after first breaking out in “The Last King of Scotland.”

McAvoy steals every scene he’s in with supreme charisma and wit while delivering the sometimes demoralizing dialogue in the film. McAvoy is, however, introduced to his share of crippling confrontational defeat when his “friends” turn against him in a climactic moment.

Robin Stroot Fair’s Open Class competition like a family reunion

Iam working on the purple ribbon winners from the Adams County Fair. Here are a few thoughts while working on said list. Crafters are very talented people. I recall the specific items entered in the Open Class as I type the names and classifications of the different purple ribbon winners. The beautiful pencil art of a face with very expressive eyes; beautiful woodwork that I keep asking myself, "how did they do that?" and the baked goods that looked so delicious I wanted to eat them all. There were lots of beautiful flowers and vegetables ... more than I expected considering the nasty weather this past couple of months in Adams County. I remember going by the different decorated houses in the baking section. The display made me smile because it looked like a housing subdivision sitting on the display counter.
Joyce OreSearching for a remote we can run

There was a time when I needed to know how things work. Admittedly, this was a long time ago, back when teenage boys, hair slicked back in duck tails, spent time with wrench in hand and head under the hood “soupin’ up” their engines and that of their cars, as well.

It was a time when high school girls excelled in Typing 101 on a Smith Corona manual with 100 words a minute promising fame and fortune as an office secretary with eyes on the young executive in the far corner of the office. If a key stuck on one of these black babies, I knew how to fix it because I understood how things worked.

Russ Batenhorst It’s the dog days of summer in 700 words

I wanted to watch “Sharknado 2” on TV, but I’m afraid I’d be lost since I didn’t see the first one, so I guess I’ll just use the time to write this instead. I think I might declare this weekend the dog days of summer weekend.

Actually, I think when people use that phrase it’s for a stretch of the summer a little later than this, but I want to get out ahead of the crowd.

Will Vraspir Awaiting ‘VII’ with patience of Jedi master

The date has been set and I’m among the millions who can’t wait for Dec. 18, 2015 — the day “Star Wars VII” is scheduled to be released. But I’m starting to realize that I might not be a die-hard fan.

Sure, I enjoy watching the movies, even the prequels that some fans mocked. I have my favorite lines memorized. My ears perk up every time “star” and “wars” are used in the same sentence.

Patrick White Documentary tells movie critic’s story

A voice is a terrible thing to lose. Roger Ebert was diagnosed and treated for cancer and lost his physical voice in the process. Never, however, did it negate his ability to speak to a wide audience through technology, a tool Ebert grasped onto much earlier than other movie critics.

Ebert, a fighter until the end of his battle with cancer, blogged consistently about movies seen and observations had during the finality of his life. This, the power of the human spirit and our ability to speak in a variety of ways is the focus of director Steve James’ documentary about the life of the greatest movie critic.

Robin Stroot With county fair over, it’s time to think State Fair

We had a great week for the Adams County Fair, which wrapped up with the 4-H livestock auction on Monday. My main area of work at the fair is being the superintendent of the open class exhibits.

One misconception I heard several times this year regarding the open class — not 4-H entries — is that you have to earn a purple ribbon to take the item to the Nebraska State Fair. Not true. Think of your county fair. Usually, you have to be a resident of that particular county to enter items in open class. In Adams County, you can also be a member of the Adams County Family, Community, Education clubs (formerly known as extension clubs) to enter items in the Adams County Fair open class. Your county’s premium book will give you the specifics for that county’s open class entry requirements.

Joyce OreIf only I’d known that years ago …

Things that my mother and others never told me and if they have, I’ve probably forgotten: When we were first married, someone should have told us to invest in gold instead of baby shoes. The babies are grown and the shoes are in a drawer waiting to be bronzed, while people who invested in gold are buying cabin cruisers and putting their names on a list to travel in space.

My mother did a lot to further my education in a number of areas, but she never told me that those two words “I do,” gave me a life sentence to refilling the empty roll of bathroom tissue and answering the landline telephone.

Russ Batenhorst Two big events that defined a generation

So, is anything really exciting going to happen in, oh, let’s say the next three weeks? By that, I mean anything that we’ll still be talking about in 45 years, or at least those that come after us. And one more caveat — something positive.

There are plenty of negative things that could happen; the current world situation sees to that. Right now, there are hot spots in the Ukraine and the Middle East getting most of our attention and pushing aside the conflicts that were big news two weeks ago. So, yeah, they could supply or touch off monumental events, but I want the positive. Are there occurrences upon us that will still ring noteworthy in 45 years?

Tamera Schlueter Leaky-eyed wedding brings new beginnings

The groom was misty-eyed. That’s the first thing that will come to mind when I think about Magnet and Fireball’s wedding. He got pretty emotional when he saw his bride for the first time on their wedding day.

She was resplendent on the arm of her father, and beaming like the sun as they approached the altar. Every eye was on her and rightly so. Every eye, that is, except mine.

Patrick White ‘Apes’ rules

The opening to the latest film in the “Planet of the Apes” franchise is a beautiful composition of new technology and old storytelling. During the gorgeous, silent 10- minute opening the audience understands what has happened to the titular apes after a deadly outbreak of the simian flu.

The apes retreated to the redwoods in the last film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and for 10 years lived in peaceful coexistence, creating laws reminiscent of the original “Planet of the Apes” films and George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” Education and survival are priorities as Maurice the orangutan teaches the young important lessons and a clan of aggressive apes hunts for meat as opposed to embracing a strictly vegetarian diet.

Robin Stroot On to the increase section of knitting a sock

Last week, I wrote about making a shortrow heel shaping. Remember, this is the type of heel shaping made on most commercially manufactured socks (not including tube socks, which have no heel shaping).

We stopped last week's column at the heel shaping at the center of the short row decrease section of the heel. Referencing last week’s column, that left 14 “live” stitches in the center of the heel. We’ve completed the decrease of the heel, now it’s on to the increase section. Eventually, you will be back to knitting across the full number of stitches.

Joyce OreChildhood spectacles come with warnings

Picking out a pair of new glasses is never easy, but it is a piece of cake compared to having to wear them as an active child. “Be careful of your glasses,” seemed to be the phrase used most by both of my parents whenever they saw me on the verge of having fun.

I’d just walk toward the hay bales in the barn, picturing the joy of jumping from one to another. “Be careful of your glasses,” dad said before I even climbed on the first bale.

Russ Batenhorst Farmer’s life: damaging hail, nourishing rain

In the real world, which is way overrated, my job is in the wireless telecommunications field. Since it’s a fairly large corporation, there’s a pretty good chance it’s still going to be there tomorrow. If something were to come along to wipe the whole thing out, then we’d probably have bigger problems than just one corporation would.

That means if I continue to show up for work and perform to the level of which is expected of me, I can count on a little something showing up in my bank account every two weeks. I can plan on it.

Tamera Schlueter Schlueterville backyard inspires MIL creed

Iwrite in a backyard that has seen a lot of family celebrations. Right now the flowers here are prolific and lush, offering its brown-thumbed owner a much-needed dose of grace.

Strings of lights cast a cheerful glow on an iron fire pit and quirky rust-bucket décor. This week’s column-writing night is ridiculously cool, feeling more like October than July — Julober, if you will — with just enough breeze to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Jim Headley Still not hooked on soccer, so trying tennis

America’s participation in the World Cup is finally behind us and I no longer have to fake my interest in soccer. I keep trying to get into the soccer scene, but, honestly, I can’t.

After watching a game for more than 90 minutes when no one has scored is drama for some but beyond frustrating for me. How a tie game is settled once extra time expires in one-on-one fashion between kickers from each team and the goalkeeper seems to spoil all of the effort spent up to that point.
Patrick White ‘Bad Words’ needs better script

Jason Bateman, best known for his role as Michael Bluth on “Arrested Development,” makes his directorial debut with “Bad Words,” a forgettable, yet fun film. Fortunately for the actor, his skills should not be dismissed behind the camera. Bateman creates a soft, focused and drab environment matching his lead character’s soul. As the audience learns more about the film’s lead, Bateman loosens his direction and presents interesting sequences of hijinks and pranks.
Robin Stroot Heel technique can stop knitters in their tracks

Knitting an argyle sock is an item I have to submit as part of my master hand knitting course. I’ve been working on socks throughout the last eight months so for me, heels are not a problem. It’s one of those techniques that will keep many knitters from making their first pair of socks.

The parts of making a sock are toe shaping, foot length, heel shaping, calf and ribbing. You can find sock patterns made from the cuff to toe and vice versa. I like to make my socks from the toe to the cuff because the toe is seamless. Also, if I’m not sure how much yarn I have on hand, I start each sock on two different sets of knitting needles and adjust the pattern as I go so that each sock will be the same length (and I won’t have to unravel one sock to finish the second sock).

Joyce OreBeing in 4-H defines a person’s life

The county fair is about to open and my memory banks are going into overdrive. It was the county fair and my nine years in 4-H that in many ways defined who I was and what I could become.

As a 4-Her, the county fair represented more than snow cones, star-studded entertainment and stomach-turning rides. It was and still is synonymous with youth, dedication and hard work.

Russ Batenhorst Of World Cup fans and plain old sedans

I hate it when I fall on the wrong side of the generational gap. Even when it appears there is no right or wrong side to be on, it can still feel that way. A generational gap exists when you're told you are either too young or too old to meet a certain criteria. What caught my eye this time was whether a person is truly catching World cup fever and becoming a soccer fan.

Patrick White Summer blockbuster a B-movie at best

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is B-movie filmmaking on a massive budget. The story is complete nonsense, the direction is muddled, and the editing has no consistency.

To be fair, it’s also a film based on a toy line so if you’re expecting anything more than outrageous absurdity with a barrage of explosions then you don’t understand this franchise. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is not high art and it won’t change your life, but it certainly is entertaining.

Robin Stroot Random thoughts on crafting

I don’t understand the popular idea of yarn bombing. I mean I understand the idea of art-in-the-park display but what happens after the yarn bombing event is over?

Yarn bombing is taking a knit or crocheted item and covering something in the public area, e.g. a telephone pole, public bench or covering the bars of a bike rack with said knit/crochet item. You might find a scarf wrapped around a pole or a metal post partially wrapped with a yarn item. Maybe, I’m just too practical. I see the yarn and think of the different things I could make using that yarn. Don’t get me wrong…I love the creativity of yarn bombing. But, it isn’t always a good idea to subject the yarns to the outside elements. I just wonder what happens to the knit/crochet items after the yarn bombing event is over. Any ideas?

Joyce OreEyeglasses look the part

Eyeglasses have been considered a body part since I was 3 years old. I have spent more time with eyeglasses than with tooth fillings, pierced ears or push-up bras.

For the first 18 years of my life, picking out the frames was no big deal. The eyeglass specialist held up a pair, mother checked the price tag and if she liked what she saw, I had a new pair of glasses — in five minutes or less.

Tamera Schlueter Giving family a break by unveiling ‘The Gang’

You may have noticed that I often write about my family. My family notices, too. Hunka Burnin’ Hubby will pause while doing something interesting and say, “I won’t read about this in your column, right?” Sometimes Hunka is a party pooper.
Jim Headley Admire nephew for finishing 100-mile run

One of my rules is to never write about my family in my column, but today I am going to break that rule. I am so impressed by my nephew, Shad Mika of Boulder, Colo., that I just have to share his story with you.

On June 21-22, Shad completed his quest of running the Big Horn 100 in northern Wyoming.

The Big Horn 100 isn’t your average run; it’s a 100-mile course laid out across mountainous terrain.

Patrick White Director Anderson gets better with age

Some directors peak at a young age and never return to the critical success they found with their first films. Names that come to mind include Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and the Wachowskis. Wes Anderson, the director of “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” defies expectations of aging directors and continues to create some of the finest films American cinema has to offer.
Robin Stroot Basic tips for your memory pages

Scrapbooks commemorate a special event or family and friend get-together party. Here are some beginner basic tips to start putting together your memory pages.

I remember making scrapbook-style collages as a kid. We would paste different pictures onto a piece of poster board or special scrapbook pages. The design was flat. Today’s scrapbook pages are more three-dimensional and there are a lot of supplies that contribute to making your scrapbook page a one-of-a-kind keepsake.

Joyce OreLife changes; so does kitchen

It is the kitchen that is the true indicator of the passage of time.

Wedding gifts were still in their boxes when I cooked that fabulous first meal some 50 years ago that would set the tone of our marriage: mashed potatoes and gravy, and … well, I can’t remember the rest. Fine dining came to an abrupt halt when I realized I didn’t have a potato masher or a bowl for the potatoes or knew exactly how gravy came to be.

Russ Batenhorst A champion crowned; half a summer down

I just finished watching the end of the College World Series before starting this writing session. Each year I wonder as I watch games from the CWS just how much I would watch if it were played in Peoria or Skippers Corner, N.C.

But since it’s just down the road in Omaha, that’s a big part of why I tune in. It could be, too, that it’s a time of year without a lot of great programming on at the end of the day. So, a little college baseball, with the added emotion the Major Leagues lacks this time of year, is a nice diversion.

Tamera Schlueter The world looks different in a flying LeMans

Hastings lost a great man with the recent passing of Willard “Chip” Essex. I didn’t know him well, but several years ago he took the time to respond to my column that ran in the Feb. 3, 2011, issue of the Hastings Tribune. It turns out he had a story about a ’67 LeMans, too:

“Vonda and I own a mostly restored ’67 LeMans that we purchased in the Army at Ft. Jackson, SC in July ’67,” he wrote. “We had been married just over a year and really could not afford the $88.76 monthly payment. The sticker price on that LeMans reached a grand total of $3508.30. We still have the original window sticker.”

Patrick White ‘22 Jump Street’ as original as ‘21

Phil Lord and Chris Miller must have made a deal with the devil. The comedy director duo have created yet another film that transcends the limits of mainstream comedy and is every bit as self-referential and hilarious as their previous directorial masterpiece, “The Lego Movie.”

“22 Jump Street” marks the return of Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill), two undercover cops who have been tasked with infiltrating an illegal drug operation. Sound familiar? It should because it’s the exact same plot from the original, movie remake of the 1980s television show that made Johnny Depp a star.

Robin Stroot Summer’s goal set:  Finish craft projects

Happy first official day of summer! My summer goal is to get craft projects completely done and put into use or given as gifts.

My problem is, I like to do several different types of crafts. I was thinking about this because I am now behind on making several toddler-sized afghans for my grandchildren. I make the afghans in birth order of the grandchildren.

Joyce OreChecking my calendar: Feast, famine and May 2015

A friend I haven’t seen for years is passing through town and has time for a brief visit. “Of course,” I answered excited by the possibility of catching up even for a few brief moments.

“When?” I asked

My enthusiasm went out like a flickering candle in a Nebraska breeze blowing 75 mph. I had a commitment made several months ago that couldn’t be postponed.

Russ Batenhorst Nebraska’s most exciting places in one list

Have you seen the latest ratings? No, not the Nebraska football ratings. It’s still just a little bit too early for that, although I’m sure there are some out there already.

In fact, a person does need to be a little more specific when asking about ratings. It seems like there’s a top 10 or a best of or worst of list for just about anything.

Tamera Schlueter A toss in the pool leads to walk down aisle

I, Tam, promise to the best of my ability, to be a great mom-in-law. The end.

If only life — and columns — could be that easy. But life is a big bag of surprises. Columnists struggle mightily to make sense of the experience.

Patrick White Cruise picks a winner in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

Tom Cruise is the last Hollywood movie star. Stars had power over the box office, but their costumed counterparts are what force individuals to flock to the cinema, not the human actor behind the mask. Tom Cruise never needed a mask to intrigue audiences with a film, but those days are coming to an end. His star went out of control years ago during his infamous, poorly remembered couch leaping on “Oprah.”
Robin Stroot Happy ending to serger sewing machine’s fall

About two years ago, I was sewing late one night on my serger sewing machine. In my hurry to get done, I stood up from my craft chair, turned and caught the serger machine cord with my left foot, literally yanking my sewing machine off the sewing table. That mishap sent the serger crashing to the concrete floor.
Joyce OreMy relationship with dad is a different story

It is easy to talk about my mother. She had such an influence on my life, from the way I should walk and dress to what I ate and how I should respond to the world around me. She is still with me, looking over my shoulder, diligently following my action in every phase of my life. I can still feel her nudge when I’m not in compliance.

My dad — well, that is a different story.

Russ Batenhorst Thinking about food? Get ready to exercise

TMI … Wait a minute, first of all, am I allowed to say that? It’s not just for the younger crowd, or valley girls, or people who talk as if they’re writing a text message or tweet and trying to get as much information as possible into 140 characters, is it?

TMI is most commonly recognized as “too much information.” You know, like when a friend tells about an irritating rash or your parents tell you about their high school dating days. TMI. Too much information.

Tamera Schlueter In praise of involved and committed dads

Father’s Day always reminds me of Grandpa Roland, so here’s the column that ran in the June 16, 2011, issue of the Hastings Tribune. Committed dads make the world go round.

Grandpa Roland was fond of a barroom jingle that went like this: “There once was a dog named Jack. He pooped on the railroad track. The train came by. The poop flew high, and hit the conductor right in the eye!”

Laura Beahm Sunny memories make up lifeguarding past

Every time I squirt a glob of sunscreen into my hands memories of a time not so long ago come rushing back to me. Six years worth of memories to be exact.

Sunscreen and chlorine used to be my summer scent. I worked for six summers as a lifeguard at the Hastings Aquacourt. The job wasn’t really what I expected it to be. In fact, it was so much more.

Patrick White Disney’s latest falls flat

Audiences do not need to know a villain’s origin story to be engaged by one. The Joker prefers his past to be multiple choice and Darth Vader is darkly ominous when we don’t know that he was a scruffy little slave on Tatooine.

So why did Disney decide that one of its least known and respected villains needed a 2014 storytelling facelift? I think it may have something to do with a wickedly popular reinvention of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Robin Stroot 2 socks harder to knit than one

Here are the results of my knitting two socks using one set of double-point knitting needles. My attempt was based on an article I found last week in a 35-plus year magazine. If I could put it into one word, it would be “dang it.” Okay, two words.

I was pretty excited to attempt this version of my newly found sock pattern. I had started several pairs of socks using my pattern that makes a seamless toe and is worked from the toe to the cuff. I made all the toe sections of the socks and put them onto stitch holders. My plan is to pick up the stitches later and used the required sized knitting needles to complete each pair of socks.

Joyce OreAn exercise in honesty

And do you exercise? It seems to be the question always asked during an annual physical. I always answer “yes.” It is the truth. I walk nearly every day. One doesn’t have a dog she cares about and not walk on a daily basis. The real question is do I walk as quickly or as far as I did several years ago? Unfortunately, that answer is no!

Not only are the walks shorter and slower, the limbs and the lungs protest more quickly, and the body seems fluffier every time I stand in front of a full-length mirror. Maybe it is time to admit the truth: I walk nearly every day, but I need to add a little more physical activity to my life.

Russ Batenhorst Hot dust, cold ice converge in same week

Just some random thoughts as I contemplate just how far my trash containers would have gotten in this week’s little “wind burst” if my neighbor’s house hadn’t stopped them.

A dirty tale

It’s hard to imagine just how bad the “Dirty ’30s” were after getting just a micro-glimpse of it this week. The expression refers to the 1930s in much of the middle of the country. It was a dry, windy time and with irrigation not yet a big thing and land management a little different, dust storms were the rule. Winds would blow dirt around like snow in a January blizzard. You’ve probably seen pictures or been told of the blinding windstorms.

Tamera Schlueter Storms don’t surprise Sig the Weather Dog

Column-writing night found me with one eye on the sky and the other on Sig the Weather Dog. He’s the super skittish half of Schlueterville’s pair of high-energy Llewellin setters.

Sig loathes storms the way I dislike dress shopping. When Mama Nature gets crabby, weather experts and complicated technology can’t match the prediction capabilities of my 45-pound dog.
Laura Bernero Dreaming big in Hastings just takes right tools

It would begin with a plot of land. A blank canvas, of sorts. That blank canvas of land would first have to be zoned as residential property, with the correct stamp of approval from the city planner or county assessor.

And then I’d have to make sure I have utility hook-ups — sewer, water and electricity — and surrounding curbs and gutters that won’t cause drainage issues.

Patrick White ‘X-Men’ return to past

‘X-Men’ return to past The X-Men franchise consistently has put story over substance. The first film tackles the reveal of mutants to mankind, the second features the hunt for them, and the third is a war between mutant and mutant with mankind in the middle. Martin Campbell, director and screenwriter of “X-Men: First Class,” took a step back and examined the mutant conspiracy established by Bryan Singer in the first two films from a historical context by pairing the arrival of mutants with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Campbell’s film reinvented the franchise for a new generation and engaged the old with his integration of humor, joy and a plot that forced superhero audiences to think.

Robin Stroot No correct method of knitting

I am finally going through my craft magazines that I had boxed up just before starting my sewing room renovation. My collection has several magazines including many of my late mother-in-law’s magazines. We’re talking about decades of crafting.

When I first packed things up for my craft room renovation, I thinned some of my magazine and pattern collection. I did great on individual craft patterns because they all fit very nicely into my two-drawer file cabinet from the original large four-drawer file cabinet. I’m just now unpacking the magazine collection.

Joyce OreSummertime, and the driving is aggravating

Classes are over, the grass is green, the breeze balmy, temperatures are rising, summer is on its way and the living is easy. Classes are over, but for the rest … the grass is green but needs mowing; breezes tend to be nearer hurricane conditions rather than balmy; and if temperatures, or is that tempers, are rising, it usually has to do with waiting in a hot car in a long line at a road construction site.

It is summer, and many of the sidewalks along my morning walking path are under construction. With the dew point coinciding with my body temperature, I need galoshes to trudge through the wet grass and squishy mud in an attempt to avoid the nasty pitfalls.

Russ Batenhorst Parting is such sweet, smoky, saucy sorrow

So maybe I didn’t really need to be there. It could have simply been time to let go of the past and move on. It was mostly just a college-era fling anyway, with a just a few chance encounters since. She even moved on me once. And when I tried to stop by the night before, I was turned away at the door. But I couldn’t resist. I had heard she wasn’t going to be around much longer. I happened to be in Omaha, anyway. I had to stop by for one more visit.
Tamera Schlueter Living with Houdini poses some challenges

My daughters have earned many nicknames in their few months of life: Chunky Monkey, Squirmy Worm, Anna Banana.

Within the last month, Cora has added a name to that list: Harriet “Harry” Houdini.

The nickname goes back to something we discovered when I was only 19 weeks pregnant. The discovery was that Cora had club feet.

Patrick White Monster movie misses its mark

“Godzilla” suffers from a tonal shift in filmmaking as a result of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The tone Nolan established with Batman worked, but that doesn’t mean that every property a studio owns has to follow the same formula. The “Godzilla” reboot directed by Gareth Edwards is joyless, takes itself far too seriously and focuses on uninteresting characters rather than giant fighting monsters.

Robin Stroot Cutting words

It’s important to choose the right cutting tools to cut fabric. If I reached for my late mother’s sewing scissors, she would often tell me, “You better not be cutting paper with those scissors.” The pinking shears that cut zig-zag lines on fabric were also off limits for paper cutting.

That was one of my earliest lessons in the craft of sewing. My mother also had an old pair of scissors located in the kitchen drawer. Short of using school scissors, the kitchen drawer scissors were the paper scissors.

Joyce OreCan’t help feeling of guilt over leftovers

What to do, what to do with all the food that is left on your plate when eating out? As I get older, servings at restaurants seem to be getting bigger while my ability to clean my plate is getting smaller.

Having been raised by parents who lived through the Depression and knew what it was like to seeing empty space on the pantry shelf, I can’t leave the table, any table be it at home or a friends or in a restaurant, with food on my plate.

Russ Batenhorst Spoiler alert: Thumbs up to Life Wide Open

In honor of the new slogan/motto/ image/theme for the city of Hastings and its many parts, this will be a column wide open.

A positive image

So, have you seen the slogan (we’ll stick with that although any of the above words would work also) for Hastings? It’s Life Wide Open in case you missed it, and it’s an attitude and an image carried through a number of community entities. It was unveiled earlier this week. The visuals help carry the story, so if you haven’t seen much of the campaign yet, check out the website ( for more.

Tamera Schlueter Wishes bestowed via ATV race, exploding cake

I love the unexpected, those sparks of surprise that leave you wondering if what you just witnessed was real or a mirage. Blessings live in unusual places.

Last weekend was a big chunk of wondrous surprise. It kicked off Saturday at a wedding shower to honor my son, Magnet, and his fiancée, Fireball. The setting was a beautiful farm place tucked in the rolling hills of Lawrence, Neb. It was hosted by Fireball’s maternal family, which is as kindhearted — and hilariously competitive — as it gets.

John Huthmacher Oh, what a tangled web a tornado weaves

Hailing from sunny southern California, I had absolutely no idea what to expect when that first tornado siren sang its cautionary tune to me here in Hastings some 12 years ago. No stranger to nature’s wrath, I’ve braved my fair share of earthquakes. You get used to them after a while. Except perhaps the one that rolled through my second-story apartment in Alhambra one morning. The sound of glass breaking in neighboring apartments and my bed shaking me awake with its violent swaying and bucking is a memory I’d just as soon forget.
Patrick White ‘Neighbors’ anything but good

“Neighbors” is one of the biggest comedy disappointments since Sasha Baron Cohen’s disaster “Bruno.” All the pieces for a great comedy film are there, but plotting, character development and logic are dismissed. There are some great comedy films that break proper storytelling conventions, but “Neighbors” is not one of them.

In “Neighbors,” Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are an unlikely couple who are about to get some new neighbors. Unfortunately for these wannabe cool parents, their adjacent acquaintances are a group of fraternity brothers who apparently never go to class and practice nightly debauchery. The couple meets the wrath of two bros (Zac Efron and Dave Franco) when they call the cops on the excessive partying and are ratted out by the cops. Ratted out by the cops? I don’t think that is a thing. The movie persists with a back and forth objective by each duo to make the opposition’s life a living hell.

Robin Stroot Crafting a lifelong interest

Crafting has been a part of my life since I was a very young child. Many people choose a particular genre of crafting but I enjoy many types of crafting. I can’t explain why I enjoy working in different crafts, I just do.

When I was a young child, I was prone to really bad nosebleeds. That meant that any physical activity like riding my bike, flying back and forth on a swing or (the worst one) hanging upside down on a set of monkey bars would instigate a nosebleed. I’d go play, then get a nosebleed and have to sit quietly for a while until the nosebleed would stop.

Joyce OreDoorknob should be elevated to star status

Contractors don’t realize the importance of the lowly doorknob. They tend to see the function simply as a way to open or close a door. Boy, are they wrong. A doorknob is one of the most useful items in a household, at least my household.

Doorknobs placed in strategic places could eliminate the need for a closet. Who is every happy with her closet?

Russ Batenhorst Looking for a sign — and not a political one

Things are getting back to normal. Dandelions are once again the dominate feature of lawns and vacant lots everywhere, taking their throne back from the plethora of signs with people’s names on them. The primary election is over, and the general election is right around six months away. That means we should have a reprieve of about a week or so from campaigning.

Roadside signs are such a big part of each election, if for nothing else than their sheer numbers. They do, indeed, appear to be everywhere. I wonder if anyone has ever cast a vote for someone based solely on their campaign sign.

Tamera Schlueter MOG shopping prompts big OMG response

Success came to Schlueterville this week; a big, hairy victory of enormous proportions. As with any achievement, a balance was struck and a price was paid. In this case the cost was my dignity.

I found a mother-of-the-groom dress.

Tamera Schlueter Seven years of struggle, two bundles of joy

Since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of the day when I could celebrate Mother’s Day as a mother myself. I never could have imagined that my husband and I would face years of struggles before welcoming our beautiful daughters into the world this spring.

When my husband and I were married in February 2006, there was no doubt that we would soon start a family.

Patrick White Comic book nerd: ‘Spider-Man 2’ is amazing

Ignore the critics, except for this one. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is one of the best comic book blockbusters ever produced and feeds the franchise flame in all the right ways.

The problem with national critics is that a lot of them have not read mainstream, somewhat juvenile comic books. They might admit they perused “Watchmen” or brushed through “The Dark Knight Returns,” but I doubt many of them have picked up an issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ “Ultimate Spider-Man” or Dan Slott’s “Amazing” and “Superior Spider-Man” series. For that reason they fail as critics of this film.

Robin Stroot Knitting project isn’t finished until you bind off

Knitting bind off is the technique of removing stitches from the knitting needles and securing them so that they don’t unravel. It is the finished edge of your knitting project. One note: The terms bind off and cast off are used interchangeably in knitting techniques.

Determine the type of edge needed for your project. Do you need a firm edge or a more elastic style of bind that will complement your knitting project?

Joyce OreTime to give moms extra attention

Most ads are even more fictional than the productions they sponsor. Are cars that economical, do diet aids streamline hips, can Mother’s Day be that perfect?

Ah, Mother’s Day, the perfect time to give mom what she wants. Ads claim the best way to give mom what she wants is to buy the perfect present from their company. A young friend, mother of three, says the best thing she can get for Mother’s Day isn’t roses, jewelry or breakfast in bed but an empty house.

Russ Batenhorst Coming soon: Respite from campaign ads

I was having a conversation this week and someone pointed out that the election is next Tuesday. What, seriously? Somebody should have said something, run some ads, anything. How could it sneak up this way?

OK, just kidding.

But Tuesday is indeed Election Day, and unless you’re one of the ever-growing group who votes early, just a gentle reminder to find your way to the ballot box on Tuesday.

Tamera Schlueter Lincoln Marathon challenging and hilarious

The 2014 Lincoln Marathon/Half Marathon saw more than 12,000 runners cross the finish at the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium last Sunday. The entire Schlueterville clan was there, wearing compression gear, sweat-salty faces, and bright green shirts emblazoned with “O’Schlueter’s Olde Irish Pub.” (We joke that a bar like that could celebrate both St. Patrick’s Day and Oktoberfest.)
Tony Herrman When life sneaks up, enjoy the surprise

Two weeks ago I was working with the folks at Hogan’s Sporting Goods on a plaque that would list the recipients of an award connected with the Hastings Berean Bible Church AWANA program, for which I am commander.

What the church purchased from Hogan’s is a board that will accompany a primary plaque with the photo of the former AWANA leader for whom the award is named, as well as names of winners from the first 12 years.

Patrick White Film turns colorful world of Disney dark

This film shouldn’t exist. No, really, “Escape from Tomorrow” is an anomaly in filmmaking. The film directed by first-time filmmaker Randy Moore is shot in black and white, was filmed guerilla style, and it all takes place at Disneyland and Disney World.

Moore, his crew, and his unknown actors went out and did something unprecedented by shooting in the happiest place on Earth without the company knowing. That feat is impressive enough already, but what’s more impressive is that this film actually had a limited release in theaters and now is a home video release as well. Either Moore did his homework on copyright infringement or he’s an incredibly lucky, creative mind; regardless, “Escape from Tomorrow” exists for viewers to own and watch, but unfortunately that’s where most of my praise ends.

Robin Stroot Some knitted edges start with a long tail

There are some cast-on techniques called long-tail cast on that require a starting point several inches from the starting end of the yarn. This type of cast on makes a nice, attractive and elastic cast-on edge.

Different methods are used to estimate where to place the first slip knot stitch but I’ve been known to underestimate the amount of the “tail” needed for the cast-on row and will have to rip out the stitches, move the placement of the slip knot and cast the stitches on again for my project. You really can’t add extra stitches if you run out of the long tail of casting on because the first row of the long-tail cast on is made much like the first row of knitting. Using the simpler knitted cast-on or simple cast-on method won’t work because they don’t have the thickness of the long-tail cast on and the stitches will be uneven along the cast-on edge of your project.

Joyce OreJiggling’s not always best solution

Just kick it! That’s what Pa Kettle did when the old radio stopped working. When that old wringer washing machine stopped working, instead of getting stressed out, Pa simply wound up his leg and kicked.

He used the same method for the rattle trap he drove and any other high quality item he and Ma owned.

Russ Batenhorst Small towns take cake for helping strangers

Storytelling time today.

I heard one of those “only in a small town” type stories the other day that seemed worth retelling here. Hopefully, it wasn’t just the time and place that made me laugh, so it doesn’t fall on its face here. 

It happened in a small Nebraska town, the type with a couple thousand for the population that dot the state. Two couples from another state were traveling to yet another very small town near this one. They spent the night at the first town and were at a local eatery for breakfast.

Tamera Schlueter Lincoln half marathon prompts pre-race jitters

The Lincoln half marathon is Sunday, and I’m a twisted clot of angst. December foot surgery and a cryonics cold winter have left me less than fully prepared. This will be my third time toeing the line in Lincoln, and I fear it may be an underwhelming performance. Oh well.

The final days before a race are always torturous. I mourn the training runs that never happened, the ones that did but weren’t so great, and others that left me flat-out bawling with frustration. Funny ones surface, too, like the day a snarling punk dog rocketed from a yard and made a beeline for my ankles.

Patrick White ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ doesn’t glorify greed

I did my homework before seeing this movie by reading Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, but I really wish I hadn’t because this story has to be seen then read. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that it’s Martin Scorsese’s latest motion picture. That’s right, Marty’s back and in a graphic, profane way. His time exploring his childlike sense of wonder in “Hugo” is over and Scorsese has returned to the roots of his best characters, the scumbag, sleazy, money-grubbing misogynist jerks.

Robin Stroot Knitting starts with casting on

Well-made knit garments begin and end with the proper cast-on and bind-off techniques.

You’ve made the gauge needed for your project pattern and are ready to jump right into the project. Take a few more minutes and first consider the type of cast on that will perfectly suit your knitting project. There is more than one way to get those beginning stitches onto your knitting needle.
Joyce OreDad’s old horse didn’t need a jump start

Most of us can remember our parents telling us about the tough times they had to endure when they were young.

The bad weather they experienced when walking to school; the chores they were required to do before they could listen to the radio; the long brown cotton stockings they had to wear in the winter; washing clothes on a washboard after heating up the water on a coal-burning stove.

Being a kid, their experiences landed on deaf ears. I was not impressed.

Russ Batenhorst A soaking rain and a football time change

I’m a little scatterbrained as we ponder that yet another month is about over. Are we really a third of the way through the year already? The calendar indicates yes.

Thanks, we needed that

I’m writing this on Wednesday night of this week with an interesting medley playing in the background. I’m hearing raindrops falling on the window and the occasional roar of thunder, preceded by a strobe of light. Sure, we’ve heard it all before, but it has been a long while.

Tamera Schlueter Wedding dress shopping may kill M.O.G.

Schlueterville’s youngest son, Magnet, is marrying his spunky fiancée, Fireball, in July. It will be a grand affair filled with laughter and bawling, dancing and carrying on. I’m looking forward to every blooming minute of the whole shebang, except for one unavoidable detail.

I have to buy a dress.
Laura Bernero Treasures unearthed in ordinary places

A few weekends ago, my friend and I went to a massive garage sale in Lincoln. The fair-like atmosphere of the hosting warehouse was penetrated by the sounds of bargaining vendors and customers, the shuffling of books and boxes, and the smell of kettle corn enticing browsers from an indoor cart.

Robin Stroot A notion for sewing notions

Whenever you get a notion to do a little sewing, be sure you look for the notions needed for your sewing project.

Sewing a garment means taking some type of pattern pieces (whether your own creation or commercially created pattern), other items and sections of fabric and items and making it a wearable garment.
Joyce OreBewildering queries that may never be answered

Life is full of hundreds of nagging little questions. The most classic, of course, is “Why me?” But there are countless others. Granted many are rather inconsequential in the overall scheme of things, but still annoying.

These questions spring up frequently. I’ll share a few of mine with you, and I’m sure you have many of your own.

Russ Batenhorst Lawns, social media: 2 things that can wait

It must be spring.

A time when people’s minds start to wander.

And my mind doesn’t stick to one theme for an entire column.

Tamera Schlueter Marathon training is challenging, terrifying

I’ve mentioned a time or a hundred that I’m back to running. Sharing the experience eases the pain and holds me accountable, so here we go again. Forgive me or sue me. It’s up to you.

The Lincoln half marathon is May 4, and I’m a ball of angst, worried that my training will come up short.

Russ Batenhorst In appreciation: Robert L. Foote, 1931-2014

In June 1993, I was the Tribune’s new 22-year-old city government reporter and was covering plans for the Burlington Avenue widening and underpass improvement project in downtown Hastings — a huge and complicated initiative that would require the removal of a commercial building alongside the underpass then known as Burlington Court.

After writing a story that addressed the building’s expected demise, I received a telephone call in the newsroom from the owner, Robert L. Foote.

Robin Stroot Time flies when you’re crafting

I love working in my renovated craft room. The only thing to finish is to get an area rug for the floor, put up the curtains and figure the final locations for my permanent lighting.

Gone are the days of trying to figure out what the orange stuff was on the floor of my old craft room (it was the carpet but I didn’t see it very often). Things are now so neatly organized that it’s a pleasure to be able to walk over to my library shelves, a cabinet or storage tote and find exactly what I need in a few minutes. I took me a long time to get to this point but the struggle and hard work were well worth the time.
Joyce OrePotato peeling meant scary trip to cellar

As a child, peeling potatoes was a task I disliked.

Peeling potatoes kept me from doing the things I enjoyed — playing outdoors, searching for newborn kittens, riding my bike, tormenting my brother.

No matter how hard I tried, when I was done my scruffy potatoes never looked like something I wanted to eat. By the time I cut the peeling off and the eyes out, more potato was on the newspaper than in the pan.

Patrick White ‘Noah’ whoa!

Darren Aronofsky is quickly becoming one of the most prodigious American directors of our time on par with Stanley Kubrick, Sidney Lumet, and David Fincher. Aronofsky constructs incredibly detailed worlds around his characters and manages to communicate to an audience a new perspective with each new thrilling motion picture. Now the director takes on a biblical epic with his own interpretation, which is not only surprising, but controversial. Aronofsky thrives in these ethereal environments he builds, but what makes him a director who deserves audiences’ respect is his constant need to challenge the norms of modern cinema.

Russ Batenhorst Nostalgic for ticket prices of days gone by

It looked like the type of Sports Illustrated article that I would enjoy reading, but that’s not what caught my eye. The headline read “The Game That Saved March Madness,” but that’s not what caught my eye.

What followed was a story about an NCAA basketball tournament game with lightly regarded Princeton taking on the Goliath of the day, Georgetown. Princeton just missed the huge upset and the “anything can happen” setup of the early rounds of the tournament was saved.

Tamera Schlueter Facing a future without a man named Gus

Death has a funny way of snapping you back to life. It plays a shell game as it sneaks ever closer until it hits you — WHAM-O — right between the eyes. Or it shows up unexpectedly like a demented visitor bent on destroying your joy. WHAM-O.

Death visited Schlueterville this week, leaving us tossed and shaken like ducks in a jet stream. We lost the family patriarch — Hunka Burnin’ Hubby’s dad, my father-in-law, and our sons’ grandfather. His name was Gus. He was 89 and in failing health. His mobility was gone. He had worked hard all his life, and was ready to meet the Lord. The entire family knew death was looming, but it still hit us like a ton of bricks when we answered the late-night call.
Robin Stroot Getting closure

Snaps, hook and eye/bar fasteners are options for closing garments and home décor items. You can also use buttons and zippers but there are times where those fastening options will not work for that particular garment or home décor item.

Snaps come in different sizes, in plastic, or silver or black metal, and are sewn into place where light closure is needed — for example, to close the front flap of a jacket over a zipper. A snap has one section that is flat and one that has a small stem protruding from the center of the snap section.

Joyce OreSaving money by spending it no new concept

One of my favorite occupations is saving money. Give me a free day with a handful of coupons, and I can save more in an afternoon than I ever made during a 40-hour week.

My other half doesn’t get it.

I explained it to him. Remember back when cars were easily understood and he and his friends stood around ooing and awing over the shiny stuff under the hood of a new vehicle?

Patrick White Muppets make cameo in their own movie

Before “The Muppets” premiered in 2011 Frank Oz, famous puppeteer of Fozzy Bear and Miss Piggy, said in an interview, “I wasn’t happy with the script. I don’t think they respected the characters.” Where was Frank Oz for the most disrespectful use of The Muppets in recent years when they cameo in “Muppets Most Wanted?”

John Huthmacher Change good, and bad, but mostly good

It’s funny how one’s perception changes 180 degrees from childhood to adult. One example that readily comes to mind is how as a child, eating out was always preferred to eating a home-cooked meal.
Russ Batenhorst Luckily, season is more than just a bracket

Well, that was fun. Sure, the end wasn’t very pretty, but I’m talking about the big picture here. I’m talking about the full four-month run, not just the last two hours.  

Regular readers here know that I’m a big fan of my alma mater’s basketball team, the Creighton Bluejays.

Robin Stroot Kumihimo, part two

The Kumihimo weaving disk has four areas that have a large dot. Beginning strands of the cord material are placed on each side of the dots at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions on the wheel. So, my starting point was two cords of black at one dot, green at another, then white and gold placed at the other two. I realized that I could also change the color formation of the cord by placing one cord of each color at different starting positions of my Kumihimo loom.

Joyce OreNothing to fear if you never …

Fear is something I handle well, but I do have my times. There was that one night when I was alone and saw a mouse in a place where he should not have been. I screamed in fear and ran from the room.

When I saw a second mouse where he should not have been, I picked up a metal coffee pot and helped this 2-inch monster meet its maker.

I admire bravery but did confronting that mouse make me brave?

Patrick White Studios are taking family films seriously these days

The first few months have been seized by family films and thank goodness for that. Otherwise this would have been a terrible start to 2014 in filmmaking.

“Frozen” iced the competition in theaters with a rerelease that added to its overall take of $1 billion worldwide, “The Lego Movie” creatively controlled the box office, and now “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” has outwitted the tough guy films “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Need for Speed.” Puns are also huge this year because of kids films, because kids love nothing more than not understanding a joke.

Russ Batenhorst Can’t lose with this many brackets, right?

Please don’t feel neglected. I knew all along that I was going to get to you. I wasn’t going to space off filling this space up with some general ramblings such as is done every week about this time. It’s just that I had a few other things to take care of first. Real high priority stuff.

Tamera Schlueter A diet by any other name is still a diet

I’m on a diet, which makes me a little dangerous. I’m following a program called The 21 Day Fix by Beach Body, a company that produces famously torturous fitness packages like Insanity, P90X, Turbo Fire, and the mysterious Brazil Butt Lift. If you’ve never heard of Beach Body and its many offerings, anyone with a pair of gym shorts who uses the term “Dig Deeper!” can fill you in.

Robin Stroot Japanese craft makes wide variety of items

Kumihimo — literally meaning braided cord — is a Japanese technique that has been around for centuries, possibly dating back as far as 6,500 B.C. The popularity soared during the Middle Ages.

Joyce OreOld-fashioned ‘average’ family difficult to find

When  the next dictionary is printed, the word “average”  may not be included. Ordinary, common, typical and usual also may be deleted.

There was a time when we knew what these words meant. That’s no longer true. For example, what is an average family? A Normal Rockwell picture-perfect average family contained a mother, father, one boy and one girl. The world was made for them. A table came with four chairs, a car with four windows, bananas in a clump divisible by four
Patrick White ‘Rise of an Empire’ epic fail next to ‘300’

Computer-generated images or CGI is used to tell stories without physically present actors such as Disney’s “Frozen” or it can be used to bring us into detailed environments that are difficult to recreate with practical effects. Other options with CGI include distracting action spectacles that become dull after a few minutes. Examples included are the “Star Wars” prequels. In 2006, newcomer Zach Snyder brought to life a new use of CGI to create a gorgeous art form that was adapted from Frank Miller’s graphic novel “300.”
Russ Batenhorst Justin time to admit Juan little mistake

It’s really been a rough week. It’s not as if I’m looking around trying to assess blame on someone for it. This is self-inflicted. It’s my own fault. Looking people in the eye is getting harder as the week progresses. If I give them too much of a chance to glimpse into me, maybe they’ll notice. For now, it’s just my own dark, dirty secret.

Robin Stroot A few more tips for creating a self-ruffling scarf

Here are a few more tips while creating your self-ruffling scarf.
First, I found it easier in my experience to use larger sized needles to knit the rows. Because there is no gauge, you are free to use whatever sized knitting needles you choose that will still fit through the openings of the self-ruffling yarn edge. I found it easier to hold on to a set of Size 8 (USA) knitting needles as opposed to a Size 5 or 4 (USA size) to make the scarf because the yarn is very slick and needles tend to slide out from your hand.
Patrick White ‘American Hustle’ cinematic piece of art

David O. Russell has quickly become one of my favorite American directors in this modern age of cinema. His star continues to rise with each picture he makes. Russell’s original motion pictures carried a dark sense of humor and taboo subjects, but he’s refocused his sights on a near critique and exploration of American living and corruption in the form of drugs, mental illness, and swindling.

Russ Batenhorst Exhausting pillow shopping calls for a nap

The March edition of Popular Science magazine landed in my mailbox a few weeks ago and boasted a pretty pretentious headline for its main story: Sleep. You’re doing it wrong. Science can help.

Obviously as a subscriber I’m a big proponent of scientific advances. But, for me, sleep comes down to one thing: comfort.
Russ Batenhorst The good, bad, ugly of Lenten sacrifices

There’s a question that is asked quite a bit this time of year. For Christians worldwide the season of Lent began this week with the observation of Ash Wednesday.
Tamera Schlueter Banana Man verses Derelict the Despicable

Writer’s note: I ran past three broken bottles on my writing-night run. It reminded me of a ridiculous column I wrote a few years back about the subject of derelicts and their love of flinging glass. So here’s the column that ran in the March 10, 2011, issue of the Hastings Tribune. It still applies.Read More>>>
Robin StrootRuffled scarves good for beginners

Ruffled scarves are a popular fashion accessory that I’ve seen lots of women wearing. I decided it was time to venture into making my own ruffled scarf.

First thing to do is select the proper yarn; well, not really a yarn but a skein of continuous fiber that is made to look like a net or piece of filmstrip. For the sake of this column, I’m going to refer to it as yarn although the self-ruffling yarn is not really yarn as we think of it in the conventional sense. It is a skein that looks like a net (with a thicker woven section along one of the long edges) or a wide piece of material that has open sections along one entire long edge of the yarn.
Joyce OreFashion vanilla my flavor

Spring is in the air and I’m inclined to browse, but the things I like or understand no longer are available. The world has moved ahead and left me feeling like the little kid holding a plain vanilla cone while his friends are at the yogurt bars choosing from a variety of creamy confections and topping them with dozens of toppings, many unfamiliar.Read More>>>
Russ BatenhorstThere is no movie like ‘Nebraska’

One last day of February is upon us. March is tomorrow and none too soon. It seems every year I’m more weary of winter and ready for spring. Even though it is supposed to be lousy this weekend, it will warm me up to flip the calendar.Read More>>>
Tamera SchlueterReturn to running is ugly, awful sight

Be careful what you wish for. I was thinking of that shortly before sitting down to write this column. I’d just finished running three pathetic miles in 16-degree temps. My eyelids were frozen open and my nostrils sealed shut. Being a bad arse is not always pretty.Read More>>>
John Huthmacher Winning baseball but a fantasy for some

As spring approaches, this young man’s thoughts turn to fantasy baseball. For those unfamiliar with the game, it basically involves attempting to select a roster of players whose statistics turn out to be better than every other team’s statistics over the course of the season. Points are awarded in each category, such as innings pitched, strikeouts, earned run average, home runs, RBI, and so on.

Robin StrootLinings have many different purposes

Linings are pieces of smooth fabric that are attached to the inside of a garment or home décor item. Some of the purposes of lining fabric are to hide the raw edges of the outer fabric, provide warmth, ease in putting the garment on or taking the garment off and/or a comfortable finish to the garment.Read More>>>
Joyce OreMysteries of memory

Sandra White’s birthday is in a few weeks. That I remember the day is interesting because I haven’t seen or heard from Sandra since we graduated in the middle part of the last century.Read More>>>
Russ BatenhorstChanging write night would just be wrong

I almost wrote this a day early this week. I wonder if you would have been able to tell. Wednesday is my normal day for writing this little entry each week and getting it sent off to the Tribune office. It probably is better that way. If they had it for more than one day before it had to be set up on the Friday editorial page, that would give them more time to realize maybe they should find something else to take up the space.Read More>>>
Tamera SchlueterMoviegoers wring fun out of rare matinee

It was the first time we’d been to a movie since we watched Sandra Bullock defy gravity last October. I won’t tell you where we went, or what we saw, but it was in another community during a Saturday matinee. The movie was a big-deal new release billed as “the best of the year.” Aren’t they all?Read More>>>
Denise AndersonSpace for reflection

Up the road from me is a barn I want. It’s one of those big, red barns with a gambrel roof and a hay mow and all the barn things that one thinks of when thinking about a barn.

“And what would you do with this barn?” my neighbor Alvin asked me when I mentioned it at the coffee shop the other day.
Patrick White‘The Lego Movie’ builds excitement

After a few weeks of reviewing movies, I read one chapter from “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser about his approach to artistic criticism and column writing. In Zinsser’s book, he explains that critics should “like — or, better still, love — the medium they are reviewing.” I love film and I love writing reviews of the latest cinematic adventure, but I was starting to worry that my writing was growing stale over the years. I decided in order to reinvigorate my writing style I would see a movie along with the intended audience.Read More>>>
Robin Stroot3 crafts start small, end big

One thing in common with knit, crochet and quilt crafters is the ability to take small pieces of fiber and/or cloth and make something such as a garment or home décor item. No fiber or fabric is wasted. I would get flour in cloth sacks and after the flour was gone, I used the fabric bags as kitchen towels. I know many people whose mothers or grandmothers used the flour sacks as fabric for clothing and quilts.Read More>>>
Joyce OreEggs, liver, baby powder and doubt

OK, daughters. If you have lung problems, go ahead, blame me, your mother. I was just trying to keep the diaper rash at bay and be sure you smelled wonderful when family, friends, acquaintances and strangers on the street stopped to tell me what cute babies you were. Read More>>>
Russ BatenhorstIf you can’t say anything nice, chill out

I’ve been trying to think of what’s the worst thing I’ve ever called another person to their face. Or even from a few rows up in a crowded place. You’ve more than likely read about the Oklahoma State basketball player that shoved a Texas Tech fan near the end of a game between the two schools last Saturday. The player had dived off the court and into the seats attempting to get to a loose ball. The fan, known it seems for being a bit of a loud mouth, said something that the player didn’t take kindly to, and the quick shove ensued. Amid early speculation that it could have been racial in nature, the common consensus now is that the fan called the player “a piece of crap.”Read More>>>
Tamera SchlueterLove and marriage take time and humor

Column-writing night found me in the Valentine card aisle, sifting through sad puppy/fuzzy kitten options until I found one featuring a polar bear splayed out on a glacier with his tongue hanging out. Who knew it could be so hard to find just the right card? So here’s the column that ran in the Feb. 14, 2013, issue of the Hastings Tribune. Behave yourselves and have a great week. Read More>>>
Patrick White ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ deftly shows nature of humanity

“Dallas Buyers Club” had a 25-day shoot with a minimal lighting setup and managed to prove that minimalistic filmmaking, technically speaking, could be just as gorgeous and engaging as a technically complicated piece.

In “Dallas Buyers Club,” Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Ron Woodroof, a chain-smoking, racist, homophobic electrician who gets cheap thrills riding bulls. After having unprotected sex, Woodroof discovers that he is HIV positive. Woodroof eventually reveals his disease to friends; they respond with hateful homophobic slurs and disown him. Woodroof is no pushover and refuses to go down without a fight; he embraces drugs that are not approved by the FDA. This leads to a profitable business model in which Woodroof smuggles in the unapproved drugs and sells them to HIVpositive individuals.
Robin Stroot Crafting terms differ around world

Patterns for knit and crochet items are easily accessible on the Internet. However, if you live in the North American part of the world, some international terms may have you confused about what technique to do on your knit or crochet craft project. There are some terms that we use in American crafting that may be totally different in other parts of the world.

Let’s start with crochet: A yarn over is taking the yarn and wrapping once around the hook. This is the basis for all stitches. In European circles, the term is listed as YRH — meaning yarn round hook. To “skip” a stitch in North America means you need to “miss” the stitch.
Joyce OreMy heaven has room for dogs

Every once in a while when life seems a little off kilter, I think about what I want my heaven to be like. I’m not talking about THE HEAVEN, for I have no control over that, but my own individually designed heaven. What’s in that heaven depends greatly on what mood I’m in.

Today my heaven would be filled with friendly dogs who like to be scratched behind their ears, patted on their heads and let it be known in a hundred different ways that they like me.
Will Vraspir Home found seven years later worth wait

It may have taken us seven years, but our family has finally moved into our home. Better late than never, I always say. For some people, it may seem odd to wait so long after looking at a house to make a bid. That’s just the way it turned out for us.

Just more than seven years ago, my wife and I started to look for a house to buy. The already kids shared a room in our apartment and our youngest was about to be born. We needed someplace to put him. I offered to move my socks out of the dresser drawer, but my wife insisted we needed more bedrooms.
Russ Batenhorst Saying goodbye to Jay and hello to games

It has been a while since I used random, quick hitting thoughts to fill a column. At least I was thinking that in the morning hours, knowing I’d likely be up late night to finish this task. So, here are a few random, quick-hitting thoughts that I jotted down on a sticky note through the course of one day:Read More>>>
Tamera Schlueter Queen Dufus’ Guide to Love Letters 101

I frequently write about my husband. The poor guy fields a lot of Hunka Burnin’ Hubby jokes, along with the occasional “you’re not what I expected” proclamation. He gets a big charge out of those, especially the woman who stared at him squinty-eyed and deadpanned, “I thought you’d be taller.”

I often think of switching to topics that have nothing to do with my family, like politics, food, running, cats, or fungus. I’m kidding of course. I could never write a weekly column about cats. But then I remember the guy who said, “I wish my wife would say nice things about me once in a while.”
Patrick White ‘Abolitionists’ fascinating look at civil rights battle

I had the pleasure of seeing “The Abolitionists Part III,” a 60-minute documentary screened by the Hastings Public Library. This documentary feature is part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle film program beginning this week and continuing into the spring.

“The Abolitionists Part III” first screened on Monday and will screen again today in the Hasting Public Library auditorium at 2 p.m. On Sunday, Bob Amyot, Hastings College associate professor of political science and chair of the department, will lead a film discussion at 2 p.m. in the library auditorium.
Robin Stroot Bracelets a snap to make

Over the past few months, I’ve seen kids and adults wearing colorful key chains, necklaces, lanyards and bracelets made from small rubber bands. If you know how to fold, you can make a simple version of a bracelet or wristband with the colorful rubber bands.

The rubber bands are about the size of a nickel and come in several different colors. Included in the rubber band packages are several small S-shaped plastic pieces and a small, crochet-hook style tool called a pick tool.
Joyce OreNewfangled stuff has lost its appeal

There was a time when I was ready for anything new. I looked forward to the latest in spring fashion, home appliances, decorating ideas, television shows, lipstick and mascara that promised fuller lashes.

Not anymore. If it works and I understand it, I’m happy with what is. I’m no longer interested in “new and improved” or “the latest” innovation.
Tamera Schlueter Never tempt a werewolf on a mission

If you doubt the existence of werewolves, wave a warm chocolate chip cookie under the nose of a woman who recently started a diet, specifically the one writing this column. Go ahead. I dare you.

If you’re feeling especially brave, wave that cookie on zero-based budget writing night. That’s worth a double-dog dare. Be prepared to pull back a bloody stub.
Denise Anderson Chores in PJs a first for Alvin

“Alvin, are you getting up today?” Mabel asked her husband for the third time.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m getting up,” he replied, but he didn’t move.
Patrick White Modern classic turns 25 in '14

January is a notoriously bad month for movies. This is the month that studios will often throw their garbage in and hope that a hit like “Paul Blart” comes out on the other end. The holiday movie season is over, Disney has released its 53rd animated motion picture and studios have presented their big Oscar contenders. In January I usually do my best to watch all the Academy Award nominees rather than going to see the “mainstream” movies available locally and this year is not an exception. I’m not all that interested in “Jack Ryan” or “Ride Along” and “The Nut Job” looks like a piece of wannabe Disney/Pixar nonsense that shouldn’t have been released.Read More>>>
Robin Stroot Different needs for each crafts

Embroidery needles come in several different sizes. Tapestry needles are used for most needlepoint and counted cross stitch projects. The needle’s eye is large enough to accommodate yarn and/or several strands of embroidery floss. The needle also has a dull point to allow the needle to go through embroidery fabric smoothly without splitting the threads of the embroidery fabric. They range in sizes from 13 to 26. The higher the number, the smaller the needle.Read More>>>
Joyce OreBuyer's remorse – upside down

If it isn’t used for two years, get rid of it. Good advice for those who want to keep their homes uncluttered? Eons ago, when I was young, spry, full of energy and full of glorious expectations, my mother gave me a small roasting pan made of black enamel and sprinkled with white dots.Read More>>>
Joyce OreAnnual family photos an exercise in folly

The month of December is one full of generally happy mail. Between Christmas gifts arriving on a daily basis and cards and photos from friends near and far, it’s almost possible to forget about the bills buried at the bottom of the pile. Thankfully this happiness extends into January with “Happy New Year” cards sent by those who got caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle or were waiting for the whole family to pose for a photo at Christmas.
Russ BatenhorstReset button for workplace a novel idea

It’s warm, it’s cold. It’s calm, it’s windy. There’s rain and snow, sunshine and clouds. All in one day. How do you expect me to come up with just one topic? So, I didn’t. Read More>>>
Tamera SchlueterHard work brings full January moon to life

This week welcomes the first full moon of 2014. Native Americans call it a “Wolf Moon,” so named from hungry wolves howling in the biting cold by Indian villages. It’s a fitting name, as there is indeed something carnal about a cold, dark January, when spring is but a faraway dream.
Denise Anderson What’s different about Germany? Everything

BANN, Germany — If you look up “different” in the dictionary, you will find the definition to be something along the lines of “not the same as.” Different is hardly adequate to describe the comparison between Germany and the United States. Everything is “different.” The food. The language. The towns and roads. Everything. Different is not always better or worse; it is just not the same.

Patrick WhiteGolden Globes: Lots of excellent films released in 2013

The Golden Globes will be broadcast this Sunday, which means it’s time to take a look back at 2013 and all of the excellent films released. This was undoubtedly one of the best years in filmmaking so creating this list was nearly impossible. I give you the best films of 2013:Read More>>>
Robin StrootSorting through old files

It’s great to be sewing and knitting in my new craft room. More than anything, it’s great to be able to move about the room and find things.

There’s still some finer points to iron out but all in all it’s a fine working room that’s just right for me.
Denise AndersonLayering for a trip to town

It was cold outside and I mean, really cold. It was the result of a Polar vortex, something I had never heard of in my life. It apparently existed but I never knew what it was, except that it meant bone-snapping cold.
Joyce OreLift from getting organized may be short-lived

Now that we have gotten somewhat used to this new year, it is time to reorganize. The magazines and airwaves are full of tips of ways to make life easier, to ease stress, to look into a cupboard and immediately find the toothpicks; to check under the bed and find nothing, not even tiny fluffs of dog hair; to hear the doorbell and not hide behind the door because the house still resembles Christmas morning; to look into a child’s bedroom and actually see the floor because everything has its place.
Tony Herrman For Red Cloud, saying bye to ‘Mom’ tough

Like just about everyone in Red Cloud, I was blown away when I heard the news Barb Sprague died Thursday. Anytime I was in Red Cloud to cover something, Barb was there. Read More>>>
Russ BatenhorstIt’s a long, long way to Memorial Day

Whew, is it really Friday? I think I’ve said this before, but I think we’re at the end of the longest workweek of the year. And I don’t mean “so far.” I know we’re only 10 days into the New Year, so of course this would be the longest. I’m thinking long term.Read More>>>
Tamera SchlueterNew Year already seems oddly familiar

The Schlueterville New Year began with a case of déjà vu, that crazy feeling of having experienced something before. Great things happened in 2013 — monumental, messy stuff that makes you land on your butt and ask, “Did that really happen?” Hunka Burnin’ Hubby and I were a little sad to see it end.
Patrick White‘Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ approachable for all audiences

Ben Stiller brings to the screen his fifth directorial feature “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” an adaptation that explores the awkwardness of life, how a person’s individuality can change with one simple leap, and the nature of our own human imagination. Stiller’s film is not a comedy, but rather a story told within our own reality. If humor accompanies this reality then so be it.Read More>>>
Robin StrootStretch your stitch repertoire

Abasic sewing machine offers many different stitching techniques to suit most any general sewing project. I can remember when sewing machines first came onto the market that had pre-set stitch patterns, including an option called the stretch stitch.Read More>>>
Denise AndersonFarming resolution nebulous

Occasionally, I do the resolution thing for the New Year. I used to resolve to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise more. One year I resolved not to deal with people who were not nice.
Joyce OreResolutions short-lived since age 12

As I was reaching for my third helping of shrimp at a New Year’s Day bash, who should I run into but my old friend N.Y Resolution. He looked like he had a stomach ache.
John Huthmacher Holy grail of Christmas gifts still a homerun

At the risk of sounding behind the season, I’ve submitted this column to coincide with “Little Christmas,” or Epiphany, which celebrates the arrival of the three wise men bearing gifts for the Baby Jesus.
Russ BatenhorstA self-review to knock the boss' socks off

You might have to keep a watchful eye on me this week. It can be a problem at times when different writing assignments converge at one point in time. And, while it might not always be obvious, when it is this column, I’ll try to be creative at times — and maybe even factual. Read More>>>
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