Local Columns

Hard work, but a good idea

A new knee is a wonderful thing. But that’s not exactly the word I’d use to describe mine right now. Since there’s a new artificial knee joint now resting in my left leg, it looks like there’s no turning back. I have to believe that it was a Good Idea to have the old, worn-out ...

The good noose of ties that bind

Since I retired nearly four years ago I have worn a tie twice: first for Julie’s and my wedding more than three years ago and again for a fund-raising banquet for which I served as master of ceremonies a year ago. Once a part of my daily wardrobe, my ties now hang deserted and lonesome in my ...

Thankful for reading!

Have you ever read a book or book series that you absolutely cannot get enough of? I sure have! I have read books like the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, once a year since I read them for the first time when I was younger. I read Charles ...

Much to be thankful for

Once again the busyness of life has taken me away from my column, my apologies readers! With Thanksgiving coming up in less than a week, I feel it is only appropriate to dedicate this column to an assortment of reasons I am thankful this holiday season. My family. The past year has been ...

Open water observations

I’m pretty sure the 2017 open water fishing season is over for me. While it’s still fresh in my mind this is the time of year that I like to look back at the just-completed season. I enjoy taking note of the things I learn from every fishing season. Following are some of those ...

Amazing amaryllis

For the upcoming holiday season, nothing beats a spike of impressive amaryllis blooms. Now is the time to start bulbs for a colorful December display in the home, as amaryllis will need 6 to 8 weeks after potting before blooming. When planting amaryllis, select containers that are just an ...

Celebrating Maxine and other senior pets

November is National Senior Pet Month, promoted by the ASPCA as a way to encourage the adoption of pets of a senior age. Sure, we all know that puppies and kittens are almost too cute to resist, and that always makes them much easier to place in an adoption at a shelter. The adorability of ...

Fears of a dimwitted childhood

I fear I may have been a dimwitted child. Let me explain: Julie and I are looking forward to another granddaughter. Her daughter and son-in-law in Arizona are expecting their second child in February. Their son is two; he’ll be three in March. He’s a charming and precocious little ...

Spice it up for the holidays

With the holidays now approaching, is your spice cupboard ready for the family feast? Although purchased spices used for holiday baking may keep many years, check expiration dates for freshness as listed on the container for best results. As many spices for holiday recipes may be used ...

Jensen shares ice fishing ideas

There was a skim of ice on the pond this morning which served as a good reminder that ice-fishing is getting closer all the time. While we’re probably still a couple of weeks away from getting on the ice, now is a good time to think about some of the things we can do this year to have a ...

A chance encounter

So there I was, just chatting away with a teenage girl, something I get little enough opportunity to do at my age and stage of life. Not to mention that it was 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday evening, not exactly when lots of teenage girls are likely to be hanging around with someone the age of ...

The highest form of humor?

A first-person article in a recent issue of Reader’s Digest caught my attention. It was about the 39th annual O. Henry Pun-Off World Championship held in Austin, Texas, last May. Though I’m not ready for a world championship I do love those little plays on words that motivate folks to ...

The importance of trees

One of the most recognized benefit of trees that of providing shade to the home landscape. But actually, trees do a great deal more for our environment than just that of temperature control. Trees not only provide aesthetic beauty, but increase property values, define boundaries, perform ...

It’s time to think about ice fishing

There were snow-flurries in the air this past week, and air temperatures have been in the lower to mid 30’s. There’s been too much wind for ice to form, but there’s no doubt that another ice-fishing season is getting closer. And with another La Nina weather pattern in the works, we ...

Just once, I would like to…

Wouldn’t you like to tell some people off? Just once? Our Midwestern parents and grandparents taught us to be polite and friendly and that has generally served us well. Sometimes, however, that mild Midwestern demeanor leaves us defenseless against the seemingly growing number of people ...

Will we see the snow soon?

I hate to say it, but I’ve heard rumblings in the weather forecast about a small amount of distasteful precipitation headed our way. That’s right, people. Snow. It’s that four-letter word that sparks a mixture of emotions in our lovely state. I feel like people only express one of ...

The blustery night and a very good book

The blustery conditions Monday night lead to a rather sleepless night for me. There is a large branch that hangs over the roof of our house, just above the bedroom. As the wind blew, the branch and the remaining attached crunchy leaves scraped across the shingles from bottom to top, it was ...

Fall leaf color

Bright, sunny fall days and cooler night temperatures help trees to develop their glorious autumn leaf colors. But, if future days of fall arrive with many gray, overcast days, the leaf color in trees will not develop as well. Cooler weather of fall brings out carotenoid pigments, the ...

Autumn river walleyes

When some anglers are putting their fishing equipment away for the season, a few in-the-know folks are getting ready for what can be some of the fastest walleye fishing of the year. The rivers that criss-cross the Midwest can provide some outstanding walleye fishing right through the fall and ...

A spring vacation in October

Early this spring my wife and I planned a vacation trip to the South. A few weeks before we were scheduled to leave, however, Julie became ill with kidney stones which took most of the summer to resolve. Finally, earlier this month, we were able to leave on our spring vacation. Our ...