Patrick White 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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