Opinion

Seed starting containers

Local Columns

Many types of containers are available for starting seed indoors. Starting seeds with a fresh, new container is best; but to save money and reduce landfill waste, many folks will recycle used seed trays. If you are planning to reuse a container for starting your seeds, it must be cleaned ...

Open water 2017

Local Columns

What a mild winter in the Midwest so far! Rain is falling, so today I’m thinking more about open water then I am ice-fishing. I’m sure there are a couple more ice-fishing trips in my near future, but as I go through some new open water stuff that I received recently, I’m looking ...

The joys of learning to bake

Local Columns

So I went to a class late last week to learn how to make kringla and crescent rolls. I know how to eat both of them, but that’s as far as my skill goes with either delicacy. Since I’m not Norwegian, right there I’m at a deficit when it comes to kringla. My grandma the German wasn’t ...

A visit to the family doctor

Local Columns

A few weeks ago I underwent my annual physical exam. When I was younger I stayed away from doctors as much as possible. By the time I was 40 I had figured out I wasn’t going to live forever and determined that an annual physical examination would be a good investment. So it was that I ...

Liked the film? You’ll love these titles

Local Columns

On Saturday, Nov. 22, 1997, sitting in a darkened theater in Chicago with my cousins, a whole new world opened up to me. The film: Anastasia, an animated feature by 20th Century Fox. It’s a wonderful picture, with a voice cast that includes Meg Ryan and John Cusack, and boasts humor and ...

Finding balance

Local Columns

According to Psychology Today, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as “an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Often the person carries ...

Saying goodbye to a friend

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: When Teri and I moved to Webster City we attended (at that time) the weekly Chamber coffees. These were great opportunities for us to mingle and get acquainted. It was at one of these coffees that we were befriended by Verner and Mabelle Raska. Shortly after that, I was ...

A great Valentine’s Day memory

Local Columns

I see that our sports editor made a comment on his Facebook page recently, lamenting the fact that the traditional Valentine Mailbox that students take to school to collect the cards and treats from classmates, have become so elaborate. No longer are they simply a shoe box taped together. No ...

Disappointed in Iowa’s senators

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: Saddened but not surprised over both of Iowa’s Senators voting to confirm Betsy DeVos, as Secretary of Education. Certainly not surprised over Senator Grassley’s vote (he had received $21,600 from Betsy DeVos in the last election) but saddened over Senator Joni Ernst’s ...

All-American selections

Local Columns

Looking forward to starting your spring garden? Consider choosing an All-American Selection (AAS) winner when selecting seeds to start for your garden. With a mission to “promote new garden seed varieties with superior garden performance judged in impartial trials in North America”, the ...

The perils of parking ramps

Local Columns

My first encounter with a multi-level parking garage was in 1969 in downtown Chicago. I wasn’t overly excited about giving my keys to some rough looking character who was about to drive my prized year-old Ford onto an elevator and park it somewhere above. Less than five years later we ...

Time to move forward with solar energy

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: I attended a Solar Energy presentation by Logan Welch at the Kendall Young Library recently, because I am convinced that clean energy, solar and wind, are the best alternatives to polluting fossil fuels. Logan presented Solar 101 – the basics, from cell construction to ...

Caring for cut flowers

Local Columns

February is the time for cut flowers and roses. In order to enjoy them as long as possible, extend the vase life of your cut flower bouquets with a few simple hints. When purchasing, first of all make sure the flowers are fresh. For example, roses should be in bud form or only partially ...

Various fish through the ice

Local Columns

Boy, oh boy, what an ice-fishing season it’s been across the Midwest, and it’s not done yet: There is still lots of time to go fishing and lots of fish are still out there waiting to be caught. This is the time of year though, when it pays to be flexible in your fishing. In some areas ...

Phil’s shadow and other weather proverbs

Local Columns

So now we have had another Ground Hog’s Day, which has always seemed to me a lot of hype about something pretty silly. Not silly enough that I don’t take note of whether or not old Phil the groundhog sees his shadow, though. If it’s sunny and Phil sees his shadow, the fable is that he ...

That’s what Mom and Dad taught us

Local Columns

If you had visited my parents’ home in the 1960s you would never have believed that their six children would get along 50 years later. We were a scrappy bunch who fought much of the time. And when I say “fought” I mean scrapped, brawled, punched, pinched, hit, argued, quarreled and (when ...

Why reading is delicious

Local Columns

Tuesday morning I glanced up to find a woman marching over to my station at the library’s reference desk. “Young lady,” she said to me, “I’m just miserable. My doctor thinks I’m gluten intolerant, and wants me to avoid wheat; basically she’s cutting me off of my homemade breads, ...

A shadow of a doubt

Local Columns

A couple weeks ago I wrote about my hope for an early spring. I wished for warmer weather and sunny skies. My main hope was to have little to no snow in the forecast. Unfortunately for me, according to a feisty groundhog, that isn’t looking likely. Sources say that Punxsutawney Phil saw ...

Don’t base foreign policy on fear

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: I have been ambushed by Muslim’s on Airport Road in Baghdad, I have survived so many rocket and mortar attacks launched by Muslims that I lost count. South of Baghdad three of the men regularly charged with our security on Intelligence collecting missions were killed by an ...

Remember the four chaplains

Letters to Editor

To the Editor On Feb. 3, 1943, the Army transport ship Dorchester was torpedoed by a German U-boat while crossing the icy North Atlantic in a convoy. Of the 902 soldiers, merchant seamen and civilian workers aboard, only 230 were rescued. The fact that even that many survived is, in part, ...