With the cold weather now here, Minnesota will soon have a completely changed landscape. The snow and ice certainly can bring big headaches, but they provide a whole new playground for Minnesotans to enjoy. Soon we will have the joy of ice skating, sledding, outdoor hockey, ice fishing, cross country skiing and more!
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Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, giving thanks and helping those in need. With Thanksgiving here, families across the nation will be celebrating their own traditions in their own way. Between the food and the festivities, no one family does it quite the same, but I encourage everyone to add one thing to their day – take time to say thanks.
Fall is here and winter is right around the corner. As we clean out the gutters one last time, rake up our leaves and put our lawn mowers away, we should also be thinking about weatherizing our houses for the winter. There are a number of projects we can do around the house that can save hundreds of dollars.
Thankfully, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has some useful tips to get us started. The following is its “10 Ways to Save Energy, and other stuff too”:
Freedom isn’t free. As former President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed—else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
Sometimes we can forget the daily sacrifices being made by our military personnel and their families. Brave Americans put their lives on the line to keep our country safe and that cannot go unrecognized.
A couple of years ago I read the following quote from Lesley Boone on the Second Harvest Heartland website (www.2harvest.org). It is a powerful quote and a great reminder to help within our community whenever we can.
“We are a country that prides itself on power and wealth, yet there are millions of children who go hungry every day. It is our responsibility, not only as a nation, but also as individuals, to get involved.”
As the leaves turn their final shades of yellow, orange and maroon, we are all reminded of the fight that is right around the corner. Flu season is here, and it is time for a reminder on what to do to prevent it.
Influenza, which is commonly mistaken with the “stomach flu” or the “common cold,” is caused by a virus that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Symptoms come on quickly in the form of fever, cough, sore throat, headache, extreme tiredness, stuffed-up nose, and body aches.
As Chair of the Education Finance Division, I spend much of my time at the Legislature working on early and K-12 education, and I am happy to have this role. It is a truly wonderful position to be in. But education isn’t just for children, and learning doesn’t end when a person graduates high school. For many people it continues into higher education.
It is easy to forget why we celebrate Labor Day. Most people know that it is the last day of the State Fair and generally think of it as the unofficial end of summer. Labor Day is those things, but it is also so much more than that. It is a time to remember our past struggles and appreciate the people who helped make our country what it is today.
Every August, Minnesotans from across the state travel to the Minnesota State Fair. People come from all 87 counties of the state to participate in this wonderful event. It brings Minnesotans together like no other activity.
This annual event has been going on for more than 150 years. It was first held in 1859, and since then there have only been five years without the annual get together. The fair was not held in 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and Dakota Indian Conflict, in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 due to war-time fuel shortages, and in 1946 due to a polio epidemic. The fair has been in the same location since 1885.