Although the mirror in your living room is unlikely to tell you who is the fairest of them all, the type of mirror you choose may still say something about you. From a demure antique bench in a mudroom to a brilliant, modern vase in a foyer, room décor not only enhances the home, it is an opportunity for self-expression.


0013Keeping up with the motto “We Have a Class for That!” demands adaptability and versatility. The Center for Business and Workforce Education (BWE) at Rochester Community and Technical College has both.

    BWE designs and delivers employee training programs for area businesses. What kinds of training? A full sweep. “You bring us the topic; we’ll find the class,” says Abbey Hellickson, M.Ed., workforce development specialist. “BWE will adapt to businesses’ specific needs.”


0018If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to try new experiences in your community, you’re in luck. Even in winter months, the Mississippi River region offers festivals and activities to entertain the entire family. So don’t hibernate—get out and explore!



The Avalon Hotel - Paving the way for racial equality in Rochester

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Written by Matthew Bluhm & Maria Bartholdi

0027It’s hard to believe, but there was a time not so long ago in Rochester when the color of your skin determined if you could be served at a restaurant or stay at a hotel.

    In the early 1940s, Rochester was basically a white man’s club.Eventually, amid the racially charged climate, something had to change—and it did—at the Avalon Hotel.


0005"Enter to Grow in Wisdom” is carved into the front of Rochester Public Library. “Whether you enter through the library building or through the library website, I encourage you to use your library to become informed, engaged, enlightened and entertained,” says director Audrey Betcher on Here are three ways to do so.



Fantasies of Self-Reform

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Written by Amy Brase

0003Never again will I approach a grocery store without a meal plan. No more aimless filling of the cart! In fact, there’s a smartphone app that’s going to compose my grocery list and transform our family dinners. At least, that’s what my friend Heather says. She’s using it so I’m going to try it, too.



Freddie the basset hound and the Mysterious Itch

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Written by Marlene Petersen

0003My basset hound, Freddie, is one of the gentlest, best-tempered dogs you’ll ever meet. He has only two annoying traits: his love of rolling in anything smelly and his uncanny ability to turn something harmless, like the aforementioned roll, into a vet bill that would make Donald Trump choke.

    This spring, one such odiferous tumble in the woods produced one of his highest vet bills yet, entangling us in something far more unpleasant and expensive than just rancid odors.


0008It is easy to put off spending quality time with your family, spouse or close friends. Before the summer slips away, plan a leisurely day trip that includes the festivities and events in the quaint communities along the Lake Pepin shorelines and Mississippi River bluffs.

Winona: Shakespeare and Beethoven

Winona is simply a summer hot spot of events. It is one of 12 towns celebrating Legacy Destination Weekend, July 15–17. The Winona History Center ( has family-friendly activities, including building paper boats or a Winona postcard.



Paddle, Peddle, Run! Rochester Eco-Tri coming August 14

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Written by Emily Watkins

0004Imagine kayaking across beautiful Lake Zumbro, mountain biking and then running through the trails of Camp Victory—all in a morning. That’s the plan on August 14, the date of the Rochester Eco-Tri.

    In a standard triathlon, participants swim, bike and run their way to the finish line. The Eco-Tri is 4.5 miles of kayaking, 7 miles of mountain biking and 3.1 miles of trail running.


Three-and-a-half years ago, Ann Peterson got walloped with a knell of a diagnosis: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease as crippling and incurable now as it was 70 years ago when it killed Lou Gehrig. The life expectancy for an ALS patient averages two to five years from the time of diagnosis.

    Ann, her husband Eric, and their children, Erin, 9, and triplets Elizabeth, Devin, and Joshua, 5, live in Millville. Before ALS forced her very early retirement, Ann worked at Mayo Clinic as an online operations specialist. Before ALS usurped her hobbies, she enjoyed photography, card-making, gardening, cooking and baking.

    But ALS can’t subdue Ann’s valor. “She has an amazing and courageous determination to participate in life to the fullest,” says her friend Melinda Otto. “The most important thing to know about Ann is that although ALS has made her a prisoner of her body, she remains the same caring, thoughtful, intelligent, creative Ann that she has always been.”

    Ann belongs to Southern Minnesota Mothers of Multiples (MOMs) whose website she edits. A year ago when fire destroyed the house of MOMs member Jodi VanPelt, Ann, via computer, organized help and ordered supplies. “She shows Christ’s love and compassion in everything she does,” Jodi says.

    “ALS is a terrible disease, and Ann has gracefully challenged it,” says Kristi Ruen of MOMs. She, Jodi, Melinda, and Ann share a bond: all are triplets’ MOMs.

    The day Ann learned she has ALS, she started a journal. Her entry November 18, 2009, describes the ordeal of ALS and proves the indestructibility of her spirit.


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