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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

As the temperature and hours of daylight simultaneously decline, everyday tasks like waking up, staying up, driving, walking, etc. become a bit harder. Among these falls dating. But never fear, the winter months don’t have to hinder our connections or time we spend with the ones we love. Winter is actually the perfect time for […]

“I’m bored…” –  is the phrase every parent dreads when kids are confined indoors during blustery weather. Why not have some fun craft ideas up your sleeve? You may even have the materials in your house – if not, stock up now to be prepared before those kiddos have a chance to make a fuss. […]

There’s something charming about an old radiator, and the history in original wooden floors. Some paint has been added and a few other details have changed, but four cozy apartments nestled above Lincoln Avenue tell a story of generations. Constructed at the turn of the 19th century, Olson Furniture used to be both a women’s […]

Access to the Otter Tail County Historical Society archives can be dangerous. One minute I’m on track, then suddenly an interesting story sends me scampering down a rabbit hole. The headline above from the museum database recently sent me on a mission to know more about the woman who wanted to be the first female […]

We all know that eating well helps us to manage our weight, but that isn’t the only reason why we need to eat well. Sometimes losing weight is very difficult for people and causes them to give up on eating well when they don’t see results. Maybe some of these less visible reasons, but perhaps […]

Netia Bauman has a lot of roles in the community of Fergus Falls. When she isn’t working with the Greater Fergus Falls Corporation or Fergus Falls Downtown Riverfront Council, Bauman is coaching cheerleading at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and USAG XCEL gymnastics for the Fergus Falls Gymnastics Academy. Bauman enjoys her time in Fergus Falls as […]

Fungus, really? I thought this was a food column! You might think of fungus as an unpleasant thing, reminding you of something — ewww — not so pleasant. But in the culinary world, there are fungi that we love! Ponder this: without fungi there would be no yeast (so no fresh bread or rolls, no […]

Expansion, renovation keeps YMCA vibrant Staying relevant in business for 50 years is difficult. A company has to continue to reinvent itself, add additional programs, follow trends and change when their customers interest wanes. Now in its 50th year, the Fergus Falls Area Family YMCA has followed a business model that has allowed them to […]

Heritage Club and Legacy Society members fund change, benefits at YMCA Buzz Lundeen is both a member of the Fergus Falls Area Family YMCA Heritage Club and Legacy Society. Lundeen believes that the Y is a valuable asset to this community and he wanted to give back to an organization that has done so much for […]

The YMCA in Fergus Falls had its start 50 years ago, with over 180 charter members joining up in support of a common cause. Some members are  still attending to this day and are proud to have been involved in its growth. The YMCA has had an influential presence in the Fergus Falls community since […]

Corp celebrates 75th anniversary As Otter Tail County celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, another organization with a history here celebrates its 75th. Locally, the United States Cadet Nurse Corps of World War II was located at the historic Fergus Falls State Hospital (FFSH). In 1942, an article in Pathfinder magazine stated, “America is begging […]

Who knew that something so innocent in the center of our kitchen could cause such heated fellowship between two grown, moderately mature adults who happened to be united in marriage. Words were shared, and then we went to bed angry. The culprit? The correct positioning and location of a bowl within the dishwasher. I wonder […]

What if I told you that all you need to be successful in losing weight is a notebook and pen? No special diet, no FitBit, no detoxing, no supplements. Sound too simple? Sometimes simple is best. Sue Hanneman, 65, from Fergus Falls, is now a food journaling believer having had incredible weight loss success. In […]

Samantha VanWechel-Meyer is the membership and marketing director for the Fergus Falls Area Family YMCA. As a Fergus Falls High School graduate and standout athlete, she remains active in the school district as a cross county, nordic ski and track coach for the Otters. What do you do for a living? Membership and marketing director […]

by Sandra Thimgan Wish you could make classics like Oreos™ and Fig Newtons™ in your own kitchen? Poof! Your wish has been granted! No genie or magic lamp required! You can take the “commercial” out of these iconic cookies! You don’t need extruders, sheeters, or little elves baking. . . you can make these fantastic, memorable […]

FF local wins trip of her dreams and takes family on the adventure Fergus Falls resident Katie Tripp shot for the moon and then went for a cruise. During 2017’s Community Health Challenge sponsored by Lake Region Healthcare, the community logged 258,549 miles, 272 of which were Tripp’s. With her participation in the “Shoot for […]

by Kaley Sievert An easy drive to mountains of fun The crunch of snow gives way under your skis as you position yourself at the top of the hill. You lean forward to cascade downward, slicing and sliding over the white, frozen blanket. The wind nips at your face, but it doesn’t matter as you lean […]

Ancient beverage has modern appeal Seeking to relax after coping with pre-holiday crowds in Fargo, we happened upon Prairie Rose Meadery. Located just north of the Pilot Flying J Travel Center off 32nd Avenue in south Fargo, Prairie Rose Meadery produces wine made from fermented honey, water and yeast. Although the notion of mead is […]

By Katrina Mouser The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans tell us to eat three servings of whole grains daily, yet studies show that most of us are eating less than one serving per day, and a shocking 40% of Americans never eat any whole grains. Looks like we have some work to do! Why whole […]

As the snow falls and the temperatures linger in the low teens, Fergus Falls businesses and community members may be starting to think about community events, tournaments and recreational activities. Frostbite Festival is coming up fast and many events, big and small, will be happening in Fergus Falls. Lisa Workman is the president of the […]

Staying close to home offers snowy attractions On the coldest days, some places in the area can look more like ghost towns than cities. Then the temperature creeps up above zero and it seems the population has tripled in a matter of minutes. Hills are flooded with kids and their sleds, rinks are alive with […]

What do you do for a living? I am a library assistant/administrative assistant at the Fergus Falls Public Library. I report directly to our director Erin Smith. I start my day off at the circulation desk preparing overdue notices and checking in items from the first trip to the book return. Checking in books continues […]

By Amanda Davison We watch as marriages are being attacked from all sides, yet we fail to act with any urgent response in our own. Why is it that when it comes to marriage, we bluff our way through – ignoring warning signs of less intimacy, little connection time, increased conflict, disrespectful communication (or no […]

By Missy Hermes I truly admire the local ladies from the past that I write about here. Their accomplishments, tenacity and bravery are inspiring and I enjoy receiving feedback from the readers who find their lives as interesting as I do. Until now though, I never had a personal connection to these remarkable women. Lorraine […]

Students at Cleveland Elementary decorated gingerbread houses with parents and family members Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. In the Cleveland Elementary cafeteria, students were supplied with two empty milk cartons, graham crackers, icing and all the fixings needed to make unique candy houses. Some students went crazy with the M&Ms and gumdrops, dotting the gingerbread house […]

On Dec. 22, children and adults made their way to Johnson’s Christmas Village for one last chance to talk with Santa Claus before he made his worldwide sleigh ride. Not only did children get to visit Santa, but also got to peak inside his workshop, view light displays, snakes and hot cider were served to […]

On Dec. 14, the Fergus Falls Police Department, Fergus Falls Fire Department, Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department and Ringdahl EMS staff shopped with local children at Target in Fergus Falls as a part of Heroes and Helpers event. Children purchased Christmas presents for their family members while local law enforcement and emergency service staff accompanied […]

The first Community Christmas in Underwood was held on Dec. 9 at Underwood City Park. Several events including sleigh rides, a Nativity petting zoo, bonfire, snowman making and snow painting were available for community members to enjoy. At the end of the evening, the town held a Christmas tree lighting ceremony to cap off the […]

MARCH The Good Lovelies When: Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. Where: A Center For the Arts Cost: $24, $8 students More Info: Audiences have been falling in love with the Good Lovelies for the past 10 years. Winners of the 2010 Juno Award for Roots Album of the Year, and nominees for the same award […]

By Kathleen Wagnild For the Journal If you grew up in Fergus Falls, chances are you have heard one of Steve Johnson’s bands play. Johnson had his hands — literally, he’s a drummer — in six local bands from 1966 through 1989. If you don’t remember his bands, you have certainly been in contact with […]

Often it’s said that ‘home is where the heart is’. For one area artist, nothing could be truer. Springboard for the Arts Artist Development Coordinator Naomi Schliesman feels very fortunate to be back in Fergus Falls. After finishing college, traveling and participating in numerous residency programs, Schliesman felt the tug of home on her heart. […]

Children are so worth it, people say. By “it” they mean all the work they require, from diapers to driving lessons and everything in between. One moment, you have all the time in the world, and the next you are working during most of your free time. But there are moments of play. They are […]

Open Mic Night at The Spot Panini and Wine The Spot Panini & Wine has been hosting Open Mic Night for about eight years now, since the establishment opened. Owner Michael Loreno opened The Spot because he felt there needed to be more of a night life to the downtown area. The Spot also hosts […]