Furry Friend Fanatic

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Written by Amy Brase

furry-friend-fanaticThere's a room in our house I don't want you to know about.

It started out as a smallish dilemma. Then it became a slippery slope sort of problem. By the time the holidays are over, I expect it to be a full-blown issue. We may need an intervention.

There's an enthusiast in the family, and she's in denial. She's five, and she's a hoarder.

"Oh, that's so normal for little ones!" you all say as you settle onto your couch without having to remove seventeen furry friends first.

"It's sweet!" you add as you reminisce about your one, two or three special childhood lovies.



From the Editor: Sept/Oct 2012

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Written by Marlene Petersen

from-editor-septoct2012Throughout her 14-year encounter with cancer, my mother used to say, “I am not dying of cancer; I am living with cancer.”

She was not delusional about her condition; she knew that it could take her life, which in fact it did last September, but she chose to live…through every bought of chemo and every doctor’s appointment filled with bad news. She refused to let life pass her by one moment before her time.


reducing-their-riskHaving a mastectomy is nothing any woman would wish on her worst enemy. It is a complex procedure, often excruciatingly painful, that can involve weeks or months of reconstruction and recovery. It changes a woman physically, emotionally and sometimes spiritually and can have lasting effects on her relationships.

Yet, if we had to, we would likely undergo it to rid ourselves of cancer. But would we do it if it were a high-risk lesion isolated in one breast? What if there was no detectible malignancy but a genetic mutation that significantly increased the risk of developing one?



Pet Q & A - Sept/Oct 2012

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Written by Sara Reusche

pet-questions-septoct2012Q: What’s the best way to socialize my new puppy?

A: Socialization is defined as positive experiences with new things (people, other animals, places, etc.). Puppies have a “socialization window” that closes at 16 weeks. Everything that happens before then—good and bad—shapes who your new puppy will become. It’s important to make sure your new puppy has lots of great experiences during this time so that he grows up to be friendly and well-adjusted.

Puppy class is a good place to start your pup’s socialization experiences. Look for a class that balances playtime with learning and focuses on calm puppy introduction rather than a wild “free-for-all,” which could encourage bullying.



Fall Color Fashion Report

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Written by Alison Rentschler

fall-color-reportFrom sideswiped ponytails to burnt orange scarves, color showers expected from head to toe this autumn.

Gel polish on a natural nail in dark browns, maroon and burnt orange.
—Vikki Ngin of Kari’s Nails.

“It’s a newer polish that lasts two weeks and there’s no chipping. It doesn’t damage the health of nails,” explained Vikki.



How Sweet It Is

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Written by Janette Dragvold

how-sweet-it-isOn a crisp autumn day, as the leaves begin to fall, there are few places more pleasant to meander than picturesque Lanesboro. Among its many gems is the Bittersweet Boutique and Antiques, an imaginative, eclectic store whose treasures fill the nooks and crannies of its warm, inviting walls.

Sassy socks and stylish service
Owners Val and Bruce Gilfillan opened Bittersweet in April 2011 because Val has always loved fashion and design and wanted a place where people could have fun, find their own style and buy quality clothing.



Healing Waters

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Written by Amanda Wingren

healing-watersIn front of Liz Yochum’s house is a fountain humble enough to nearly be overlooked. Water bubbles from the source and flows over the smooth granite surface, producing a gentle, calming sound. A purple light flickers, representative of a burning candle, creating an atmosphere of
stillness, healing and comfort.

After eleven years of ongoing cancer treatment, the comfort of the Healing Waters fountain is just what Liz’s practitioners at Mayo Clinic wanted to give her. Ann Weydert, one of Liz’s nurses at the Rochester Mayo Clinic Cancer Treatment Unit, views Liz as the embodiment of constancy.


coasting-through-colorsThe Root River State Trail is a 60-mile long paved recreational trail in Southeastern Minnesota running from Fountain to Houston. Built on what was formerly the Milwaukee Railroad bed, it wanders through skyrocketing bluffs, quaint towns, serene countryside and along the peaceful Root River. On an autumn Sunday afternoon, it beckons cyclists of all ages and rewards them with incredible vistas of the river and the trail’s gem-like leaves.


home-fit-for-a-builderResidential building contractor Mickey Rowland of Excel Homes has a deep-rooted dedication to excellence and quality. From his home to his neighbor’s and approximately 100 others throughout the area, he builds each custom home as if it was his own.

Customized for comfortable living
“It’s always a learning experience when building a house, and there are many decisions to make. I want to make it perfect,” says Rowland, who applied what he has learned in the trade to the home he recently built for his own family.

The mission-style home comprises 4,500 square feet of traditional and contemporary architecture. Granite and rich woods flow throughout three levels of living space. The open design combines the kitchen, dining area and living room, where the family of four — Mickey, Tonya, Dylan and Jade — spend time together and with friends.


fall-home-tuneup-tipsTending to flowers, cleaning the eaves and storing the patio furniture are all part of the seasonal prelude to the winter months. There are, however, a few household tasks that are easily overlooked. Not because of importance, but because people don’t think of them or realize how vital they are to safety and efficiency.


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