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TRAVEL DIARY: The happy wanderer and East Germany realities

Even though the East German police checked us over the night before, we slept well and awoke ready to tour the Goebel porcelain factory – especially the Hummel figurine manufacturing section. Approaching the entrance, we were greeted by an eight foot tall concrete copy of their Happy Wanderer figurine which happens to be my favorite. 

OUT OF THE PAST: New roof for fair grandstand

At a recent Kossuth Fair Board meeting, it was decided to put a new roof on the present grandstand. Hopefully the work will be done this fall. Estimated cost is about $4,000 to $5,000 according to Board Secretary Vern McClure. 
 
What else happened in history this week? See Gene Miller's Out of the Past weekly in the Advance. 

WRITERS & WRITING: Proles is a look at 2084

We’ve all heard about George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. But what could happen in the future? 
That’s the question Joel E. Lorentzen tries to answer in his novel Proles: A novel about 2084. 
 
Read the book review in the Sept. 23 Advance.

ADVANCE EDITORIAL: Learn about the candidates

The deadline to file nomination papers to serve on a city council or as a mayor or on a school board was last Thursday, and this edition of the Kossuth County Advance carries an extensive list of people who have signed on as ready to ask you for your vote. 
Given election calendars that begin weeks before Election Day to accommodate early and absentee balloting, it’s time to start learning who these people are. 
But what do you ask people when they knock on your door?

FARMERS MARKET: Try a new recipe

Comfort food lover or a new food enthusiast - which one are you? Perhaps many of us are a little bit of both. There’s something comforting about those classic favorites - that’s why they call it comfort food. 

ADVANCE EDITORIAL: Congress must save Americans’ bacon from California power grab

Three years ago, voters in California went to the polls and while there, passed one of the propositions that was on the ballot. Now, the bacon in the pan is sizzling because the law’s implementation date is just around the corner, and most pork producers across the country haven’t taken steps to meet the law in California, whose people consume about 15 percent of the pork raised in the country.

ON THE SIDE: Deadly Mixes

When I was a younger man and did such stupid things, I came up with a cocktail my buddies called the Hixer Mixer. The blend should probably be outlawed, and certainly one was sufficient to achieve the desired effect. Two led to a friend spending the night on the host’s couch. I’m not sure anyone ever dared a third. Truly, after these many decades, I cannot even remember what all was in it.

TRAVEL DIARY: Hummel Figurines

... The story of how Hummel figurines came to be is interesting. The child prodigy, academically educated artist who excelled and was highly respected by her educators and the general public, Berta Hummel, eventually joined a convent and became a nun. While fulfilling her other responsibilities in the convent, she pursued her passion for creating art.

FARMERS MARKET: Sights, sounds, smells of fall arrive

Mother Nature seems to be reluctant to leave summer behind this year. We’ll have a cool, fall-like morning followed by a hot day with temperatures perfect for the pool. Will we need a sweatshirt or sunscreen? One never knows in Iowa!
Numbers on the thermometer are only one aspect of a season. We need to use all five of our senses to fully experience and appreciate a favorite season like fall.
 
Read the full column in the Sept. 16 Advance. 

FAMILIES OF FAITH: Keeping your faith plugged in, charged

These days many of us travel quite a bit.  No longer do children and grandchildren live down the road. At one time, in many of our rural churches worship was a family get together. It is not unusual to hear of how after worship the family went over to grandma’s house for dinner. Those special days are long gone. Today our children and grandchildren frequently live several hours, if not several days, of travel from us.

ON THE SIDE: Cultured meat

... Maybe I’m out of touch, but I had to wonder, “What the heck is meat made using cultured cells derived from animals and fish? Well, I found some websites and the folks who wrote about the matter  are excited. 
Read the full colunn in the Sept 9 Advance.
 

OUR KOSSUTH COUNTY: COVID on the rise again

Is anyone else having a feeling of déjà vu? In many ways our situation today looks very similar to the fall of 2020. 

ADVANCE EDITORIAL: Generating power getting proper review

When Algona Municipal Utilities’ finances grew unlike never before in the wake of providing power to help support the grid during last February’s middle-of-the-country freeze-out, and the subsequent rollback of local customers’ electric bills, more than a few eyes were opened to the possibilities of future electric generation. 

INKSPOTS: Of my ongoing battle with wicked cyberspace elves

My first experience with computers was in 1984 when I joined the newspaper staff. I had to learn how to type a story on something other than my portable Smith-Corona typewriter that I got in high school. I wish I could say I was a fast learner. I wasn’t. And lo these nearly four decades later, I’m still not. I have a love-hate relationship with everything having to do with computers and cyberspace. 
 
Read the full column in the Sept. 9 Advance.

Mix and match items at Farmers Market

The first day of fall doesn’t show up on the calendar until Sept. 22, but the transition from summer to autumn has already begun. School is back in session, vacations are wrapping up, and there is a fall feeling in the air. Meanwhile, out in the garden, we are also seeing changes. 
 
See the full column in the Sept. 2 Advance.
 

FAMILIES OF FAITH: Attitudes for blessings

In the fifth chapter of the gospel according to Matthew (and the sixth and seventh chapters too), Jesus preaches a major sermon (aka the Sermon on the Mount) It’s pretty lengthy by Jesus” standards (and you thought your pastor was the only one who preaches long sermons!) Verses 3-12 of chapter five are known as the Beatitudes. There are nine of them in total, each of them beginning with “blessed are.” (some translations word it “happy are”) 

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