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Old dogs and old men can surprise you. Don’t mistake snow on the roof, Grey Hair, because if there is a fire burning in the fireplace or in the heart, that old man and old dog could leave you speechless. That’s what happened on our last trip to North Dakota.  Nala is the old dog in this scen…

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Just the other day, I saw something that I never thought I would be excited to see. I was driving past Horse Lake and saw a complete, thin sheet of ice covered in a dusting of snow and my face turned into an eager smile. Ice fishing is nearly upon us.

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For those whose remember spending hours in classrooms working on the flourish of your letter “l” and getting the curve of the lower case “g” just right, a trend in recent legislation may make your efforts relevant once again.

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My main household duties for the last three decades were chief grocery shopper, chef, and “magician of all things food.”  Well, that ended abruptly.  Our kids have flown the nest and it’s just my husband and me. Apparently, we don’t eat very much.

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Birds are all around us. We watch them migrate; we sit for hours at windows and observe them at bird feeders. We look up when spring and fall flights pass overhead and sound off in large flocks. We observe them through an early evening sky, feasting on insects while diving and soaring throug…

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There were two food drives in early October that brought in over 1,800 lbs. of food.  Trollhaugen had their food drive during their ski swap. If people brought in a number of food items, they received a free lift pass. They collected over 1,000 lbs.  of food. Trollhaugen has organized this f…

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One of my first issues that needed addressing in my writing when I started as an editor was opinionated voice. I didn’t dip my toes into the waters of journalism; I dove in headfirst. So, in my first few stories I had no idea that opinion in the media is a no-no and wrote mine in a sentence …

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Well, Halloween and fall are over, Christmas and winter are coming up soon. Oh, and there’s that slight detour for Thanksgiving to deal with. 

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I just saw my first snow of the year in ditches from the storms that pounded Western and Central North Dakota mid-October. We had heard reports of water, water everywhere and found it to be true. Besides being the gateway to the west and home to prairie winds, North Dakota is also in the hea…

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 To clarify a few things for the ignorant political masses of America and especially those many fake journalists in the media: The words lynch, or lynching is not a race specific term and black people don’t own it!  Since 1882, at least 1297 white people have been lynched in the United States. 

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In a letter to The Sun, Mr. Bob Wright points out that a thoughtful member of the Plan Commission as well as a long-term election official recently resigned. He attributes it to bullying and rude behavior by a clique trying to take over the town of Osceola government. He also states that the…

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On Nov. 2, the St. Croix River Communities Against Frac Sand Mining will hold a benefit concert and community gathering at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center at 519 280th St. Osceola. This event welcomes all who support keeping the St. Croix River clean and beautiful. Many of us here enjoy th…

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I was recalling some of the Halloweens of my youth and remembered an incident that occurred in the fall and scared the Dickens out of me. I’m not sure what category this falls into: horror, comedy or adolescent stupidity, but here is my tale of the night my friends and I knocked on the door …

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This will be my first Halloween without any kids at home. Whose candy stash will I raid? 

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Around this time last year, my wife and I decided to go see one of our favorite bands, Blue October. They were set to play at First Avenue in Minneapolis and we were more than excited to go. “Alternative rock” is really the only genre you can try to squeeze them into, but they range from lou…

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We just had six puppies on the porch. It was Briar’s first litter, albeit unplanned. In 1976 I had my first litter, also unplanned.  That’s two mistakes in nearly 50 years of owning, raising and breeding dogs. Science claims dogs were not originally a mistake. There is archaeological evidenc…

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In the Town of Osceola, our Clerk/Treasurer, a very thoughtful Plan Commission member, and our elections judge recently resigned, all within days of each other. If you are a resident of the Town, you should be concerned. What’s going on that these long-time, hard-working public servants are …

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Going through my many, many emails one day, I noticed I had a press release from NASA Night Sky Network. The title of that article reads, “The Messenger crosses the Sun: Mercury transit 2019.” 

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“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

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Recently, I enjoyed meeting the president of Spy House Coffee in Minneapolis. We hit it off immediately and started talking about all things food. We kept circling back to seasonal foods and eating them at their peak, especially maple syrup, blueberries, and pumpkin. 

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Put your Smartphone away, don’t believe the weatherman and do not check anything online if you’re wondering what kind of winter we’re going to have. You’d get more precise information after walking through some oaks, husking corn and looking at a few bugs. That’s what the Farmer’s Almanac do…

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My wife always finds it funny when I react with some disdain to the weather in this area. “Yep, that’s what happens up here. You’re just going to have to get used to it,” she likes to say. Last year was especially comical to her when this area had one of the snowiest, and one of the coldest …

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In 1992, Bruce Springsteen came out with a song called 57 Channels (Nothin’ On). The protagonist in the song keeps trying to find viewing enjoyment, but ends up shooting his television and going to jail.

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Located along Lake Michigan on the east side of Wisconsin, Door County is home to more than 12 orchards. For many years, Door County produced 10 percent of all cherries grown in the United States. In addition to cherries, they’re well known for apples, too. It’s a beautiful place. 

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Everyone ages 7 to 70 was sitting around a roaring campfire, telling stories, reliving memories of the past and creating new ones the night before the Wisconsin Waterfowl opener.  All were a part of what Paul Smith, outdoor editor of The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, called the oldest duck cam…

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I have sympathy for Arnold Potek.  I‘ve lived through Carter, Clinton and Obama and disagreed with all of them.

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Our publisher once told me, “Matt, life is a series of plane crashes. You can either sit in the dirt and cry, or you can dust yourself off and get on the next flight.” Gee, thanks, Tom!

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There’s been an ongoing war at my house between the native population and my family.

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Being the cook in the family has the advantage of getting to choose what I feel like cooking or baking. I cook, I choose. Simple. Family members can always make requests, but I get to decide, ultimately. 

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My wife Nancee’ and I were asleep when I heard Kova, a dog I was boarding, bark an angry bark from his travel crate on the porch. A second later we heard scratching just below our bedroom window that scared Nancee.  BEAR!!! Simultaneously, I realized I forgot to let our 2 house dogs back int…

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There is a story by Hans Christian Anderson called The Emperor’s New Clothes.  It tells of a conceited arrogant king who wants the best most elegant clothing.  Many designers try to please him but he always seems dissatisfied.  Finally, a smart con-man comes to praise the king and tells him …

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Growing up near Rockford, Illinois, I always had dreams of moving south when I grew up. Palm Trees, oceans, and hot weather – not a snowflake in sight all year. Needless to say, sitting here in Osceola writing my first column for The Sun and Country Messenger means those plans must have changed.

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The pace of change in our society never ceases to amaze me. Driven by technologies that seem to accelerate at an exponential rate, items that seem to be universally understood by a person like me, born in the second half of the last century, now require lengthy explanations.

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Okay, Summer, it’s time to pack your bags and move on. We in the Midwest have four seasons: baking (winter), eating green (spring), grilling (summer), cooking (fall).

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How can you help monarch butterflies get from Wisconsin to Mexico to winter so monarchs return in the spring? I asked Jill Stephens, an ordinary person who takes extraordinary measures to help monarchs succeed. This is her story.

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Thank you to everyone who helped make it another successful year for the Zion Pie & Ice Cream booth at the Osceola fair. Thank  you to everyone who donated their time by scrubbing, baking and donating items or whatever you may have helped with, it is all very much appreciated!

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I’m ready for the National Football League’s season to be over. Three weeks in and I’m done. 

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Since I started this job, the weeks have made a habit of flying by. Deadlines will do that to a person’s sense of perception. And with each passing year the time between deadlines seems to have gotten shorter. 

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As the days grown shorter and the nights grow cooler it is time to say goodbye to our summer gardens.  They have given us nourishment and hours of beauty. This column deals with those garden/lawn chores that should be done before we get a blast of pre-winter. The more you do now the less wor…