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Interacting with a companion animal is one of the joys of pet ownership. While certain pets seem more naturally inclined toward interaction than others, such as cats and dogs, many pets can be made more social with the right training.

Like many cultural organizations and businesses, the Otter Tail County Historical Society has currently shut its doors to the public to comply with social distancing and keep people healthy. The staff is working at home while also taking care of duties that do not involve personal contact wi…

I have not been to a brewery in months. Grocery and liquor store visits have been limited. My complaining has also been minimal as I am very fortunate to have my health, employment and great outdoor space to roam. The surge in kitchen creativity, as well as a goal of using ingredients on han…

The Humane Society of Otter Tail County (HSOTC) has been in operation for more than 40 years, bringing in about 1,100 animals a year that staff and volunteers either help to make fit for adoption or return to worried owners. The shelter takes care of all kinds of animals, including cats, dog…

While no one is immune from the devastation of a natural disaster, preparing before a storm hits is key to keeping everyone in your family—including your pets—safe. It’s even more important now – in an era of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic – that pet parents have a plan to ke…

Jamie Lill lives an active lifestyle. As a physical education teacher at McKinley Elementary School in Fergus Falls and as a head coach for the Otter girls’ tennis team, it isn’t surprising to see Lill out and about. On top of that, Lill is an owner of two dogs and enjoys taking them on fami…

Many times, I think my friends are somewhat annoyed when I say, “You know, you can actually make that yourself?” Often, we need a reminder that almost everything we eat was at one point, made in a home kitchen! How about granola bars, chocolate syrup and spreadable butter??? My friends say, …



We upper-Midwesterners are an independent breed, aren’t we? Known for our work ethic, many of us are by nature or necessity, do-it-yourselfers, used to getting our hands dirty. My upbringing was no different, having grown up locally with my parents’ building construction business as a daily …

An opportunity is coming April 18 for those who want to make a statement in the world of trash fashion.

When looking for the finishing touch on my bathroom beautification project, I struggled to find the storage containers to put out on display. Nothing would match my color selections and I got frustrated.  Then I got the most delightful and inspiring Christmas gift, my co-worker gave me a hom…

Barnesville-based Junkyard Chicks has turned do-it-yourself into a group activity with their sign painting parties, hosted 3-4 times a month around Clay and Otter Tail counties including Fergus Falls, Perham, Fargo/Moorhead, Downer and Barnesville, in addition to private events.

When architects purchase a modest 1970s rambler and transform it into a hideaway inspired by nature, you can expect to see some dramatic interventions. Such is the case with the home of Darryl Booker and Joan Vorderbruggen in Battle Lake, Minn. Guided by the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv,…

If we could create a recipe for more Elizabeth Hatling’s, this world would be a much better place. A talented chef and musician, she lives a humble, beauty-seeking life in this chaotic world. Elizabeth looks at life as a journey, not with a final destination or goal in mind, but instead enjo…

With the Pisgah Dam just outside the window and the Otter Tail River Reservoir to the east, enjoying a beer at Fergus Brewing proved to be a serene and meditative event. Clean white walls, warm wood beams and sun streaming through multiple windows enhanced that impression.

During March, thousands of local students will celebrate Music in the Schools Month. Add to that the various musical offerings at A Center for the Arts and the Fergus Falls Concert Association. The many orchestra, band and choral concerts proudly proclaim our community’s love of fine music, …

Barb Smith is an artist and teacher that has traveled the world teaching art to willing students. Skilled in a multitude of different mediums, Smith has worked with several different artists that you have seen on TV through her travels.

Krista Hagberg wears many hats. She is an office coordinator for Kindred Family Focus in Fergus Falls, a member of the Fergus Falls City Council, a mother, a partner and volunteer. Hagberg has fond memories of the holiday season, giving and receiving gifts, and some of the holiday food that …

Excitement is in the air! Deer hunting season is upon us, and Governor Walz kicked off the Minnesota season with a bang here in Fergus Falls. The timing of his visit couldn’t be more perfect as the Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club prepares to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Members of the …

Ask someone to share a holiday recipe and 90% of the time they will share a sweet or dessert recipe. Time to saunter over to the savory side of the holidays and “desert the desserts.”  My plan is to accent the “beginning” (appetizers) instead of the “end” (desserts) of the eating spectrum. T…

The holidays are coming, and right behind all the anticipation and thrill that they bring each year, come feelings of fear and guilt over the unforeseeable weight gain. How can we enter this season feeling confident in food choices we make? Is it possible to avoid those extra five pounds? Wo…

Tis the season for holiday parties and overindulging. If you’re having trouble fitting in your regular fitness routine, or just looking for a better way to manage holiday stress and burn a few extra seasonal calories, we’ve got you covered. For the full effect, be sure to sing along to the t…

The holidays are upon us, the bustling time of menu planning, gathering gifts and creating a beautiful environment for traditions abound!   It can be overwhelming.   

The holiday season is one that usually sparks emotions of all people in the community. Memories of family dinners, spending time with friends, receiving gifts, enjoying the winter weather and, of course, the baked goods. With this in mind, Fergus Falls resident Mavis Schleske looks to bright…

White Christmases might be a phenomenon unique to the Northern hemisphere, evoking images of warm clothes and nights by the fire, but Christmas is a holiday just as beloved and comforting in the tropics. I grew up spending Christmas with my family in Caracas, Venezuela, just 10 degrees north…

My house feels so… LARGE! Have you ever uttered those words upon returning home after camping in a small RV or tent, or staying in a tiny cabin? You realize that during the past week or so of vacation, you were living with much less “domestic” space and significantly fewer possessions, yet during that time, […]

Grilling season is here! Forget the humdrum brats and burgers. You can grill pizza –  that’s right grill pizza – featuring that “stone oven” look and taste right on your deck with your gas grill. With grilled pizza, the crust is the star, so give the homemade dough a spin. Choose a few simple toppings […]

“Let’s see if we can squeeze one more adventure into this chock-full weekend,” my husband proposed. We had already spent all day Saturday at the Back to the ‘50s car show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, enjoyed a Carribean-themed dinner in Hudson, Wisconsin, toured Prince’s Paisley Park on Sunday morning and shopped at Albertville Premium […]

Mary Williams will tell you she has “a three-dimensional brain.” While that may sound quite unusual to some it is a great advantage to the sculptor from Stuart Lake. Williams was teaching a clay sculpting class at the Landmark Center in Henning recently and got her usual kick out of doing it. The real fun […]

One summer activity you can’t afford to miss is tubing down the river. Why pay a water park entrance fee when you can enjoy an all-natural lazy river ride down the Otter Tail River? Bring your own beverages and check out the amazing wildlife that gathers along the river banks as you float along in […]

When you think of summer in Minnesota it typically involves a nice warm evening near a body of water. During the day, you expect to be out on the water with a boat or swimming, enjoying the cool water on a hot day. In the evening, sitting near a bonfire with a drink in a […]

Heather Westby goes looking for fun each Wednesday night in the summer at the Town and Saddle Club arena on Highway 210. Located across from Wall Lake a couple of miles east of Fergus Falls, the club arena is the main hitching post for horse lovers in the area. “Every Wednesday night in the summer […]

Heart of the Lakes Community Band was the leading musical performance at this year’s Fourth of July celebration in Fergus Falls’ Roosevelt Park. Based out of Battle Lake, the band is made up entirely of area community members who have a passion for music and sharing their talents. JoAnn Orpen has been the director of […]

This year Fergus Falls commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 1919 cyclone. The Otter Tail County Historical Society’s cyclone exhibit examines the timeline of the storm and maps out the path of destruction. If the Fujita scale existed back then, it likely would have registered as an EF5 twister. It is the second deadliest tornado […]

Teaching table manners seems to be an ongoing challenge for parents. Sit down. Sit up. Chew with your mouth closed. Use your fork. Eat your veggies. Stop slurping. No burping! Don’t reach across the table! Where’s your napkin? DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD! Ahhhhhh…..kids will be kids. Kids are so creative and carefree, where some […]

Summertime is always busy. So many activities – from baseball games, camping, family barbecues and visits to the swimming pool – especially when you have little ones still in the house. Keeping children entertained will maintain your sanity, rather than “I feel like everything is out of control.” Here are a few tips to preserve […]

Lake Region Healthcare wellness coach Karoline Gustafson knows a thing or two about play. As a standout athlete at Fergus Falls High School, Gustafson turned her love for athletics into a career that has seen her coach at the high school level and train those in the community. When she isn’t in the gym or […]

When I heard that decluttering and organization were to be the theme for this issue, I tried to imagine what a food article featuring “decluttering” would look and taste like. Then I looked in my fridge and, voila, I had a brainstorm. Here was my inspiration for this article  . . . In an effort […]

Among the most hopeful symbols of Spring is the bird nest, interpretations of which suggest the promise of new life, prosperity, comfort and protection. The nest can represent a place of incubation for new ideas or opportunities. The English language is filled with phrases affiliating the nest with the deep affection we hold for heart […]

I have been a fan of Ashby Brewing Company’s Harvest AAA Amber ever since it appeared in the tap lineup at The Otter Supper Club in Ottertail. Curious about other beers ABC was turning out, my husband and I endured icy stretches of Highway 78 to Ashby where rumor had it that a great selection could […]

As the snow melts and the sun stays up longer, some of us may start to see more of the dust in our homes. Spring cleaning is a great time to freshen up a home. Jamie Wallace with Calla Lily Designs in Fergus Falls offered some advice for those looking to bring some light into […]

One thing that must be done before you can actually start your spring cleaning is decluttering and organizing your home after a long winter. That counter by the back door has become your catch-all spot, the mismatched sock pile has now filled a basket, the clothes to donate are in a pile on the floor […]

From October to March, landscaping in Minnesota is mostly defined by white: mounds of snow, piles of ice, and perhaps the occasional snowman or two. One of the nicest parts about spring is the pride of your outdoor space. When the temperature starts to grow, the earth underneath is eager to follow suit. Just as […]

When thinking of spring, the first thing to pop into many people’s head is flowers. As the saying goes, those dreary showers in April should bring colorful flowers in May. Deb Mathues, owner of Petals & Posies in Battle Lake is focused on bringing high-quality florals to her customers as springtime begins. Mathues and her […]

Participants in a Spring Design Class proudly toted vibrant green succulent arrangements home recently. The class was held at The Williams Company Store in Ottertail and presented by Marnie Whitehead. Whitehead, proprietor of The Williams Company Store, learned floral design from an aunt while in high school and continued at Flower City in Bloomington when […]

Laura Johnson and John Rutten both share a love for home remodeling. Each has a background in construction and years of experience creating beautiful spaces. Together, the couple has taken on the task of remodeling a large home in Fergus Falls, known to many locals as the “Cow House.” Built in 1901, the house has […]

Create drama with bold paint colors Spring has finally arrived after a long winter in the midwest. Now is the time to start thinking about ways to freshen up your home to match the freshness of spring. Designer Jeanene Hoppe from Fergus Home & Hardware and Culllen’s Home Center offered some direction on how to do […]

The idea that tidiness sparks joy can apply to a community as well as a closet. Back in 1905, a Victorian-era version of Marie Kondo lived here in Fergus Falls. Her name was Phoebe Welch and she shared her ideas for the village in a speech entitled, “Fergus Falls. As It Might Be.” Wheelock’s Weekly […]

My kitchen is my happy place, and being a dietitian on top of it, you would think that would be a recipe for a stellar meal planner. But the truth is – I am a terrible meal planner! (I know, I just blew all of your minds!) All of us have a different approach to […]

Alyssa Johnson enjoys being active. As a personal trainer, Johnson works with her clients to get them in the best physical condition with her training knowledge and exuberant attitude. Just like how spring provides a refreshing relief from winter, Johnson keeps her clients’ workouts fresh as they pursue their fitness goals. What do you do […]

About this time of year, when the flurry of activity and emotions surrounding the holidays has subsided, we in the northern climates find ourselves staring into the depth of winter’s dark eyes, feeling its coldness penetrating to our very bones. We also recognize the expanse of winter’s breadth; the months left before the real spring […]

This is the third in a series of soup articles because there are always new soups to add to your playbook. Soup is probably the most versatile concoction in the culinary realm. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to the liquid base, the ingredients, and the seasonings. Take a “time out” from the […]

Here in Minnesota, when winter chills to the bone, my beverage choices lean toward warm and steamy. Usually, hot buttered rum, hot apple cider, hot cocoa and spicy teas come to mind. Searching for something warm and festive so serve when hosting a casual dinner party, I came across mulled wine. Knowing our guests’ penchant […]