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Thursday, July 13, 2017 2:17 PM
I’ve found something that motivates me more than a Fitbit to get my recommended steps in each day. It’s all natural, provides forceful reminders to get moving and even adds emotional benefits to daily walks.

  • Two years ago, I ended my column about the transition of this newspaper to new ownership with this thought: “I may have plans now, but I’ve learned over the years that nothing in life is predictable.”

    That is one of the few times I really knew what I was writing about. Today, I’m announcing that I’m back as sole owner of the Bluff Country Newspaper Group. Due to various reasons, things just didn’t work out and the transition to gradually transfer ownership reversed course a while ago. 

  • Anyone old enough to remember what a blessing a Home Comfort range came to be, and on the other hand how much work the range involved??  Oh, my, it was at one time the "center" of the kitchen with its accompanying wood box.  
  • This past week, the Clan went camping — and left me and one sister to run the house alone. We stayed behind because we both had work (and in her case, rehearsal for a fall play) we had committed to ahead of time. But despite that, five days of being adults at home while the rest of the family is away feels a lot like a vacation.

    Or it would be, except I don’t do so well when I’m all by myself.

  • Who needs Fitbit when natural  step motivator is by your side?
    I’ve found something that motivates me more than a Fitbit to get my recommended steps in each day. It’s all natural, provides forceful reminders to get moving and even adds emotional benefits to daily walks.

  • Many changes for SV schools over 163 years
    Think on 163 — that’s how many years Spring Valley has been blessed by a school, from a one-room log cabin to the present system.
  • Newlywed memorialized with petrified wood stump
    Waaaay back, a gent named Francis Rafferty, born 1833 in New York, was a blacksmith and Indian fighter. In 1858 he had grown to manhood, came “west” via the Chicago, Milwaukee and La Crosse railroad, and to Winona by boat. He walked to Frankfort, Minnesota, built his blacksmith shop, and married Helen Weed in 1860. He responded to “the call” in 1862, enlisting in the Co. C of the 9th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry. Francis survived a stretch of six months in the notorious Andersonville Prison; was discharged in 1865, and returned to Frankfort. After several moves, he and his wife bought a place at 221 North Section Ave. (shown in photo) and he lived out his life as a stock buyer, dying in 1902. They had four children and son Mark lived his entire life in the family home.

  • Is the mom of the Clan really a saint?
    At this point, I’ve told so many people that I have 12 siblings that I can almost predict the response I’ll get. If it’s not complete shock that there are so many of us, I can guarantee they’ll say something like, “Your mom is a saint!” or “She must be so patient.”

  • We have some pretty great neighbors.

    Of course, since we live in the country, I use the term “neighbor” loosely to include those in our immediate vicinity and a mile down our gravel road as well as people who live over three miles away.

  • Our towns may be ‘cool’ even if their community newspapers aren’t
    A list of “the 15 coolest towns in Minnesota you’ve probably never heard of” created quite a bit of excitement among area residents recently because three local communities were named. Spring Valley came in at No. 7, Chatfield was 12th and Rushford was 13th.

  • Local news reaches far in modern media environment
    It’s better than being featured in a tweet of President Trump, Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald told me last week about one of our news stories featured in a tweet of Vince Bertram.

  • Hardscrabble building has interesting history
    Old-timers may have heard people tell of Dad Merrick’s Palace in Spring Valley where horse shoeing was a fine business. At one time the American Legion building stood on this corner — now it is Hardscrabble Hides & Furs.

  • Summer jobs include internship with Spring Valley Tribune
    In the process of writing this column about my family and the finer, funnier details of our larger-than-normal-life life, it occasionally becomes necessary to write exclusively about myself.

  • Walking into darkness sheds  light on value of dedication
    I am often the first one in the office on weekdays except Monday and Tuesday when I come in early, just not early enough to be first. However, several weeks ago I walked into a dark building Monday morning during my usual arrival time. Even more unusual — there was no explanation for the lack of activity.

  • Many businesses from 1963 still going strong
    From the Spring Valley Historical Society files we have on hand a farm directory for Fillmore County dated 1963.  It was fascinating to see the businesses that placed advertisements in the directory, but especially noting the ones that are still in business.
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