Reality chars foodie's gourmet intentions


A few weeks ago I stood in bed-headed splendor in the wee hours of the morning, wearing a Wonder Woman apron over my pajamas, and flopped a 17-pound brisket on my smoker grill.

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Schlueterville July filled with heroes, villains


It's been a seesaw month in Schlueterville, filled with enough pendulum swings to knock you out cold. It began fresh from celebrating the nuptials of our oldest son, Rocket, and his lovely bride, Trooper. Hunka Burnin' Hubby and I were still boxing up the remnants of a big, lovely party when a phone call delivered shocking news.

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Dance filled with twisted lyrics, loads of fun


“Georgetown booger Bombay!” That’s what I wailed from the top of my lungs during Rocket and Trooper’s wedding dance a couple weeks ago. That we were rocking out to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” didn’t matter. That song first released when the Schlueter sons were little, and I had zip time to learn the lyrics to anything beyond Raffi’s “Baby Beluga.”

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Schlueterville wedding magic celebration


I wish I could bottle Rocket and Trooper's wedding, and serve it up as a cheerful elixir when nights are long and filled with angst. I've told you quite a bit about the process leading up to this momentous event, which took place in Schlueterville on the evening of June 29.

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Schlueterville ready to get wedding party started


This week's column was written from the Schlueterville patio, in full view of a space that will be transformed from humble backyard to wedding venue in 48 hours.

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It's crunch time in Schlueterville kitchen


You are about to read a 30-minute column, written from start to finish in the time it takes to make tacos. Prepare yourself for less than stellar results.

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Priorities shine through torn up kitchen


If you want to see what you're made of, rip up your kitchen. Yank out the cabinets and toss them in the garage. Drag your oven onto the patio and wrap it with a tarp. Slide the refrigerator to the middle of the room, next to a stack of paint cans and a dog dish. Sand drywall until a spotlight is needed to see a hand in front of your face.

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Kitchen demolished as June wedding nears


I love serendipity — that unexpected spark of revelation that arrives via daily routines and extraordinary adventures, delivering messages precisely when we need them most.

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Oklahomans make state easy to love


"Why on earth would you live in Oklahoma?" I've fielded that question a dozen times since our son, Rocket, moved there a couple years ago to take an engineering job at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.

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UNL graduation both maddening, miraculous


Our youngest son, Magnet, is an official alumnus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, having sealed the deal on a bachelor of science in athletic training degree during the infamous "blown" ceremony Saturday.

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Oklahoma City definitely hosts Run to Remember


I had the privilege of running the Oklahoma City Run to Remember half marathon with family and friends last Sunday. The event drew 24,000 runners from across the country and around the world to run full or half marathons, as well as shorter races and relays.

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Ten-buck toaster launches online appliance war


This is the tale of a $10 toaster, which caused a ruckus, a feud and a fuss. It had been well cared for by a woman named Coltrane, but she needed the space when it was a replaced by a bigger, better model. So she shined it up, took its picture, and posted it for sale on an online "Dollar Deals" garage sale site.

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Boston bombings stir feelings of anger


I'm angry in a swing-at-the-stars kind of way. Like you, the Boston tragedy hit me like a sucker punch delivered by a nameless, shadowy figure — smoke that evaporates once the shades are opened to the light of day.

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Dog stomps lettuce from sleepy head


Column-writing night was devoted to thunder-terrified dogs. So here's the column that ran in the April 21, 2011, issue of the Hastings Tribune. Some things never change.

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Migratory dance of cranes delivers serendipity


I love serendipity — that unexpected spark of revelation that arrives via daily routines and extraordinary adventures, delivering messages precisely when we need them most.

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Son's final spring break is one to remember


Hunka Burnin' Hubby and I have been living on Tulsa time for the past few weeks. We've frequented Kokomo, too, though both destinations look more like a local gym than Oklahoma or a white-sand beach.

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Son’s final spring break is one to remember


Schlueterville has been granted a blessing this week. Our son, Magnet, is enjoying the final spring break of his college career. As an athletic training major, he’s assisted various Husker teams, which meant breaks were spent icing knees and taping ankles. This year, however, we have him for an entire, uninterrupted week.

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Tsunami anniversary reminder to live large


Monday I ran five miles as part of my half marathon training plan. It was a nothing special day, and my mind whirled with nothing special thoughts as the miles ticked away.

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Pondering eventual Schlueterville rebellion


“What are you writing about, Tam?” asked Hunka Burnin’ Hubby. “What secrets will you tell this week?” I’ve told you quite a bit about the souls of Schlueterville — the good-hearted family and friends who appear regularly on this page.

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Backyard wedding has Schlueterville buzzing


Avoid Schlueterville in the event of a tornado warning. I imagine myself crouched in the basement, watching the house lift and skyrocket like a scene from the “Wizard of Oz.” But the scary part comes when 225 china plates stacked on my pool table start flying like Chinese throwing stars.

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Predicting Storm Q’s human behavior fallout


Tuesday is my column-writing night. This week finds me surrounded by warnings of imminent danger. Winter storm Q is on the prowl and people are nervous. Predicted snowfall totals vary by the hour, ranging from 6 inches to notify-the-National-Guard-we’re-all-gonna-die.

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Last tuition payment milestone to celebrate


Schlueterville will be full of milestones this year. It kicks off next week with celebrating the last tuition payment we will ever make to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (Insert a heartfelt, “Thank you, Jesus!” here.)

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Snowstorms call for something cold, sweet


This week’s column-writing night is bone-chilling cold, with chunks of snow falling from a winter-dark sky — a typical end-of-January Nebraska affair. My attention strays from the computer screen to the kitchen window, which stares at me like a big black eye. One thought clouds my mind.

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Inedible doughnuts are cure for winter blues


Writer’s note: I was staring into the abyss when I should have been writing, so here’s the column that ran in the Hastings Tribune Feb. 16, 2012.

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Grizzly attack disturbs ice climbing dreams


Ice climbing had a lingering effect. Last week I told you about my first attempt at scaling a frozen Colorado waterfall; of the strenuous hike to the climbing site, sucking air at 11,000 feet, and inching up a wall of ice using axes and sharp-toothed crampons on mountaineering boots. While the adventure was a solid success, the residual effect appears late at night in disheveled, slack-jawed slumber.

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Colorado ice climbing straight up fantastic


We ice climbed last weekend. That’s not a statement you make every day. It was by Alma, Colo., and I still haven’t fully processed the experience. We. ice. climbed. last. weekend. It was grotesquely cold, and one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.

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Learning to be an M.I.L. tops resolutions


Hello, 2013! You and I are about to become creative co-conspirators. As 2012 may have told you, I always draft a significant list of resolutions I intend to accomplish throughout the year. I take them pretty seriously, and do a decent job of checking them off before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31. When it comes to personal improvement, this woman needs a plan.

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Wishing you a delicious, Dutch oven 2013


I write this on the evening of Christmas. The company’s gone, the gifts are unwrapped, Hunka Burnin’ Hubby is chatting on the phone, and the dishwasher is churning off the remnants of some pretty enchanting food. We just came back from snowshoeing with the Schlueterville setters, complete with a glimpse of sundogs dancing in the December sky. It’s a quiet, spectacularly ordinary, wind-up-the-holiday night.

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Smooching tree remedy for troubled world


I was revved up to write a holly-jolly-ho-ho Christmas column, but like you, my heart is leaden from recent senseless evil, and the horror it left in its wake. The pain is deep, like a sharp plow slicing through soft earth, leaving a gaping scar that we fear might never heal. An act of such inhumanity is beyond comprehension for the rational mind, and we struggle to right a ship that we fear is sinking fast. What is happening to our society that finds us falling so far into the primordial pit? How much lower can we go?

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Christmas hearts change worldly faces


I had the privilege of lending a tiny hand in my church’s Christmas musical last weekend. It was an elaborate affair held at the City Auditorium, with splendid decorations, assigned seating, delectable food, and a performance that’s as close to professional grade as you can possibly get. The whole shebang is put on by parishioners, and its message cuts you to the quick — beyond the commercial glitz and media hype, Christmas is about something both tiny and unfathomably large.

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Tamera Schlueter

Tam Schlueter adopts a "strike-fast-and-keep-them-laughing" approach to writing. Her column appears every Thursday in the Hastings Tribune, and showcases the wonder of family, dogs, muscle cars, and folks with blue collars and no-nonsense attitudes.

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