How do you eat tasty treats quietly and still enjoy them?

If you go back a couple weeks, you will find that Sally devoted almost an entire column to “misophonia” that, according to her, is a “condition” that makes a person sensitive to crunching noises, smacking sounds and clicking repetitions. She claims that these emanations cause her ears to “explode” causing general hysteria and convulsions. Of course, the main villain in […]

Carefree Living acquires new Hoyt Lakes location

Facility to offer assisted and independent living for seniors

HOYT LAKES – Minnesota-based Carefree Living, a division of Spectrum Health Companies, announced the acquisition of the Hoyt Lakes Northland Village senior living community on Dec. 1. The facility, located at 421 Kennedy Memorial Dr., will offer both assisted and newly remodeled independent living units. This is an addition to the Carefree Living’s existing senior care communities located in Aurora, […]


Good grief! It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas in Cotton

Just what is Christmas all about, Charlie Brown? On December 8, over 500 people attended the annual Old School Lives 7th Annual Christmas Dinner Theater. Every person there would tell you Christmas is about family, sharing a delicious meal, enjoying “A Charlie Brown Christmas Celebration” and commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. The gymnasium of the old Cotton School was […]

To be a kid again:

Finnish kicksledding!

On a winter trip to the Lapland area of Finland in 2017, Ryan Wahls and his wife Sarah Malick-Wahls of Ely discovered kicksledding. As they traveled through the area they saw the unusual looking sleds everywhere. The little kids were flying by on them, the grandmothers were pushing them through town, and the resorts had them lined up out front […]


LEO (July 23 to August 22) Congratulations. Your Leonine pride is polished to a dazzling new brilliance thanks to your success in winning support for your new project from even the most doubtful of detractors. VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) An unsettling rumor about a colleague’s apparently regrettable behavior is soon proved groundless, allowing you to enjoy the upcoming […]

Out of the Blue

B-R-I-A-N D-A-N… I was filling out the box on the marriage license application labeled “Name after marriage.” I paused momentarily and glanced sideways to see if she could see the light bulb now apparently hovering over my head. At least I’m pretty sure it was there; I could feel its warm glow. She was, of course, oblivious. Could I get […]

The Lost Puppy Case Files

Hijacked by Annie

EDITOR’S NOTE: Case was feeling a wee bit under the weather this week—his buddy Petey the Stool Pigeon may have given him something…like food poisoning— so Annie took it as the opportunity to take over his column to set him straight on a few things and say hi to his readers. Enjoy. Annie here!! (Hi guys! I love you all!) […]

Become someone’s miracle through acts of kindness

While attending a family party last week, a friend was telling me about an elderly lady she met years ago. This lady had no family or close friends and lived alone in Duluth. My friend said for years now she has visited her, taken her to lunch and even brought her dinner on Thanksgiving. As she was telling the story, […]

This week’s featured plant: The poinsettia

COMMON NAME: Poinsettia SCIENTIFIC NAME: Euphorbia pulcherrima PLANT FAMILY: Euphorbiaceae (spurge family) NATIVE TO: Mexico DESCRIPTION: Shrub or small tree up to 13 feet tall. Dark green toothed leaves. Red bracts (modified leaves). Small clusters of flowers in the center of the bracts, each consisting of one reduced female flower surrounded by several tiny male flowers. USES: The most-sold flowering […]

The Nature Nerd

Focus on: Northern shrike

Birds are supposed to be sitting on the branches of trees and singing, not dead and wedged into forked branches and mantled with snow. It was a somewhat disturbing thing to see, resembling a crime scene. The victim was a nuthatch, a cute comical little bird many of us enjoy at our feeders. Just minutes after encountering this unsettling scene, […]

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