Local Columns

Signs of spring

Six weeks have long passed since Punxsutawney Phil, the world-famous groundhog, emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow - but where is spring? Robins have been observed to be back for a while now, a sure sign of spring's arrival. And the Forsythia bush buds are just waiting to burst ...

The plight of the lowly penny

When I went to pay for my gas at the convenience store last week, the little tray at the cashier stations with the sign “Leave a penny, take a penny” was so full it almost overflowed. When I mentioned it to the clerk, he said he wasn’t surprised. “It’s always like that,” was all ...

Naughty photos from the Doll House

In July 1975 I was 27-years-old and had just gone to work selling advertising for the Sioux City Journal. The first week on the job I was accompanied on sales calls by Mike, the assistant advertising director. Mike a great young guy a couple of years my senior. On this particular afternoon ...

Pondering potato planting

With Good Friday almost upon us, some folks will be gearing up to plant their potatoes. It is a common misconception that potatoes should always be planted on Good Friday. Using Good Friday as a planting date may be problematic, as this date can occur early in March or late April, and soil ...

Spring is here

With the arrival of spring – are you ready to garden? Although you may be ready to start work in the garden, the soil is not. Soil temps need to rise and the excess soil moisture needs time to dry. So before jumping into your garden boots and grabbing the hoe, take advantage of the ...

Get bit by panfish now

The big lake near where I live still had a lot of ice on it when I drove by a few days ago, but it was opening up near the shoreline. But the smaller ponds in the area have a lot of open water. In fact, of friend of mine told me that a friend of his had just caught a nice bunch of crappies ...

The comfort of a hearty soup

What with the warmer weather, green grass peeking through, and robin sightings, it looks like spring is getting closer, so it just might be time to put away the soup mugs and the kettle for another season. I’ve made a lot of soup this winter. I know the calendar says I shouldn’t be doing ...

A vacation trip to the Great Southwest

Normal people take summer vacations or, perhaps, Spring Break vacations. We aren’t normal so we took a vacation trip a couple of weeks before Spring Break. Julie’s daughter in Phoenix gave birth to a baby girl in January and we just couldn’t wait until Spring Break or summer to meet ...

The freedom of a simple car ride

I can sympathize with those who are house bound because of health or mobility issues. I've watched my husband over the past 7 weeks as he has been recovering from a broken leg. He had surgery the last week of January and spent several days at a Des Moines hospital. Then it was on to Van ...

My next adventure

As many of you know, I will be leaving the Daily Freeman-Journal for a new job opportunity this week. With this being my final column, I thought I would take the time to reflect on some of the stories that impacted me during my time here in Webster City. Some good. Some bad. • The ...

March Madness

We are doing some awesome things at the library. We are having more fun programs in March that you won’t want to miss out on. On March 20, we will be having a Movie for Adults at 6:00 p.m. We will be watching Darkest Hour. This movie is about Winston Churchill facing one of his most ...

Looking forward (and back)

On a drive around a nearby lake recently it became apparent that another ice-fishing season is concluding. There were still lots of anglers on the ice where the ice was safe, but wind was making open water areas larger by the minute. I caught myself looking forward to warmer temperatures and ...

Egyptian onions

What in the world are Egyptian onions you may be asking yourself? Also known as multiplier onions, walking onions, potato onions, winter onions or tree onions, this heirloom plant may have been found growing in your great-grandmother’s garden. These onions produce numerous irregular ...

The wonder of being a mother

So, as of the middle of last month, I have been a mother for more than three decades. Thirty-five years, to be exact. Some days that’s still rather amazing to me, because I got married a little later than most of my peers. In fact, at my most recent high school class reunion, I still ...

Young people deserve credit

When I began my career 50+ years ago, I was always “the kid.” If not the youngest, I was one of the youngest guys around. One of the benefits of working in the radio industry is that many listeners had no idea how young I was. Acne was not visible through a microphone. A couple of ...

Catch ‘em on late ice

Depending on where you live in the Midwest, the ice-fishing season is winding down. Once March arrives, you know you’re on the downhill side of another season of ice-action. And, if you’ve done much ice-fishing, you know that March can provide some outstanding ice-fishing. Following are ...

Houseplants: Facts on fertilizing

During the short days of winter, houseplants are not actively growing and experience a rest period. Thus, as plants are not actively growing during the winter, they typically need very little or no additional fertilizer. But now that spring is just around the corner and days are getting ...

Play More Cards Day

Today is Play More Cards Day, a fitting time of year for it since some of us are staying inside a lot as we wait for spring and more a more pleasant season to be outside. Cards get a bad rap some times, and it’s true that some card games can be dangerously addictive. But a card game can ...

A clearer picture

You may be hearing the phrase “cutting the cord” more frequently these days. As the cost of cable television and the satellite options continues to rise, many Americans are cutting the cord and relying on free over-the-air television. The advent of digital television and its ...

Penguins and patience

It has been another cold, eventful week here in Webster City. With snow, rain, ice and low temperatures, I am in need of spring. With the freezing rain we had earlier this week, I am happy to report I only fell three times. For those of you who see me walking around town, you may have ...