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By: Renee Richardson on July 20, 2011 - 6:47pm - Add new comment

Weather is always a great topic. Like porridge — whether it's too hot, too cold or just right — it's on everyone's lips. 

The recent heat wave across the nation and in the lakes area is unusual for its unrelenting duration. And this week will make anyone a believer that it's not the heat, it's the humidity. Holy cats, even the shade provided little, albeit slightly welcome, relief. And without a decent breeze, it was SSS time — sweating standing still. 

Difficult days especially for those who make their livelihoods working outside. 

By: Renee Richardson on January 16, 2012 - 6:14pm - Add new comment

Movies are just better on the big screen. That’s if the person next to you isn’t checking their smartphone every 5 minutes (they better be a brain
surgeon waiting for a call to the ER). For some reason they don’t think lighting up a dark room disturbs anyone around them. Seriously? How did
people make it through a 90-minute movie before mobile phones? Must have been a tougher breed of cat in the old days. They were willing to be
off-line to actually munch some overly priced popcorn and focus on a film. That’s why the theater can beat the comfort of the living room. It has your

By: Renee Richardson on December 20, 2010 - 5:24pm - Add new comment

If there is a break in the clouds tonight the show in the night sky will be worth a trip outside and a good reason to stay up. The longest night of the winter is matching up with a lunar eclipse as the Earth blocks the sun's rays. As the Earth's shadow is cast on the moon, the lunar body is expected to change from gray to orange or deep red as indirect sunlight passes through the Earth's atmosphere. NASA said the eclipse will last 72 minutes beginning about 12:32 a.m. With the winter solstice marking the shortest day and longest night, the moon will be high in the night sky.

By: Renee Richardson on November 23, 2011 - 10:53pm - Add new comment

The holiday season, as it's evolved, is often a stressful time of year. That's not a news flash to anyone. Expectations for perfect family gatherings, getting the perfect gift, making the perfect memory, even being on the perfect behavior — are all hard to reach.
But Thanksgiving is different.
No presents to buy. No lofty expectations. No real pressure.
Well no pressure except for the cook (thanks Mom and my sister) or the dude grilling the turkey (my brother-in-law).
At it's best, it's family around the table to share a meal.

By: Renee Richardson on May 14, 2012 - 2:38pm - Add new comment

I guess plans for a massive shopping spree before the world ended Dec. 21, 2012 — according to the Mayan calendar predictors — are off. It sounded like a good idea especially since no one would be around to send the bills. But it turns out the world isn't destined to end that day after all.
In the Guatemalan rain forest, at a noted Mayan site, scientists found the calendar continues well beyond December 2012.

Researchers at Xultun in Guatamala found wall paintings projecting 7,000 years into the future.

By: Renee Richardson on December 22, 2010 - 7:04pm - Add new comment

Thanks to Gene, the neighborhood snow angel, the sidewalks on my block are clear and I'm able to get in and out of my driveway even after the plow goes by and dumps what I'm sure is the accumulated snow from several blocks.

Sometimes I'm convinced the snowplow driver waits until I've already cleared a path just to make sure I'm out there again with shovel in hand. But that driver doesn't know I've got a secret weapon. It's Gene.

By: Renee Richardson on April 16, 2012 - 10:02pm - Add new comment

Minnesota's mercurial spring just took another turn, adding white stuff to the mix after pretty much shunning snow when it was welcome in late December, January, February and even March.
It's good for the fire prevention. After this last downpour of rain, the green-up could be in full flight if the sun came back with just a little punch. While the sun was out this afternoon, it wasn't enough to entirely melt the snow in Brainerd yards.

By: Renee Richardson on December 12, 2012 - 4:57pm - Add new comment

12-12-12

Today's date presents a dozen opportunities.
Especially for those who like lists or who see the benefit in taking stock of where things are and where we might like to see them in the future.
Getting through the daily grind tends to absorb all the spare energy, add to that the bustle of the holiday season and December becomes a sleepless blur.
But today is worth taking a few minutes for reflection.
Make a list — it could be 12 things you'd like to achieve in the next 12 months, or 12 things to do in the next 12 years, or maybe it's 12 goals for a lifetime.

By: Renee Richardson on February 14, 2013 - 1:42am - Add new comment

Ever wanted to be able to ask your own question of the president? Thursday, Feb. 14, at 3:50 p.m., President Obama is sitting down in the Roosevelt Room in the White House for a fireside hangout.
That's an updated version of the fireside chats President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made so famous. This time the chat's are of a virtual nature and in deference to the digital world we live in — the chat is online.