Statewide Adverstising

Elizabeth Reishus

Skoal Vikings

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The Vikings Prayer has been appearing in tweets, blogs and emails across the Internet. For those of you who have not seen it yet, here it is.

“Our Favre-ther who art in Minnesota, hallowed be thy name. Thy bowl will come, it will be won, in Miami as it is in the Dome. Give us this Sunday, our weekly win. Give us touchdown passes, but do not let others pass against us. Lead us not into frustration, but deliver us to the Super Bowl. For thine is the MVP, the best of the NFC, and the glory of the Purple People Eaters now and forever.”

I don’t follow the Vikings, but based on the conversations around the Hub office, I take it they are having a good season. Good for them! Maybe someday they will be able to afford that fancy new stadium they want—without having to beg the taxpayers for money.

State Rep. Terry Morrow stopped by the Hub office one day, and I told him I didn’t want any more public money paying for stadiums until every crumbling public school building was up to date. (Right now, there is no proposal on the table to build a stadium, but the subject comes up now and then.)

He explained to me that the state can capture tax dollars to pay the for the state’s portion of stadium funding. We can tax ticket sales and jerseys and hotel rooms and the like.

It’s an interesting point.

Nevertheless, I don’t think it is the government’s job to build buildings for multi-million-dollar businesses.

Come Sunday, I am sure many of you will be glued to the TV as you watch the some sort of football game. As for me, I will likely be napping and dreaming of the days when we get new school buildings as often as we get new stadiums.

Food keeps our links to the past

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Finding a connection to our past, seems to be important to us as a human race. We tell  and write stories of our history. We keep photo albums and scrapbooks. We research our family tree. And my favorite of all, we pass down traditional family recipes.

Recently, I found a recipe that means the world to me.

At Christmas, my parents brought me a box of recipe books from my grandmother, Josephine Elizabeth Reishus. (After she died, we learned Grandma Jo’s legal name was Josie—the Slovenian form of Josephine.)

While digging through the books from Grandma’s kitchen, I found a treasure trove of recipes, but the jackpot was a book entitled simply “Women’s Glory – The Kitchen.” I opened the cover and on the first page was a picture of potica (pronounced paw-teet-zah), a traditional Slovenian bread.

It turns out the contributors to the book were the members and friends of the Slovenian Women’s Union of America and is filled with recipes of my heritage. It’s hard to explain how exciting this discovery was.

When I was growing up, Slovenia was not even on the map, and no one outside my family and Iron Rangers knew what potica was. Now, I have to key to make this delicious bread that links me to my grandmother. It’s the best gift since the U.N recognized Slovenia on my 22nd birthday, Jan 15, 1992.

There are pages and pages of recipes for potica. I grew up with a ground walnut and honey filling, but other filling include raisin-nut, chocolate, currants, or even savory fillings such as cheese and ham.

Potica is not easy to make. Dad remembers grandma making sure the humidity level of the house was right for the dough. Mom said grandma told her sometimes the dough doesn’t come out right and you have to throw it all away. For years, I let these stories frighten me into not attempting it.

Last year, my brother brought three varieties of potica to Easter dinner. He ordered them from the Sunrise Bakery in Hibbing.

My goal this year is to serve homemade potica.

I’d better start practicing!

Confession of a technophobe

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

I am hopelessly out of touch with the times.

When I was a teen, I loved to listen to the year-end review of #1 hits on the music charts. It was an afternoon of music  that was familiar to me. It was an afternoon of music that had been played in the car, at school dances and on MTV for the past 12 months. (For those of you who didn’t know that I am a member of Generation X, you do now.)

Now, I can’t name a single song that was on the charts last year.

Remember in 2001 when Steely Dan shocked the entertainment world by beating out some rapper for several awards? I do, because it was the last year I could name a Grammy winner.

When it comes to technology, I am also behind. I had used digital cameras at newspapers for years, but put off buying my own until last year.

I didn’t get a cell phone until I found my life in such a state of transition that a land line didn’t seem practical. The phone is now so old that I can’t keep the battery charged. (I am actually on my third battery.) I don’t want to buy a new phone because I am afraid I won’t understand how to make it work. I am not good at reading, so instruction manuals scare me.

Now, here’s the kicker, my parents have started skyping. After they bought the skyping stuff, they decided they needed a laptop so they could keep it near them and hear the incoming calls.

My parents are more technologically advanced than I. When I think of it, I guess they always have been. It should not be surprising that they are more advanced than I. They were teachers; they love to learn!

It just hit kind of hard this time.

My New Year’s resolution is to become less technophobic. I am going to start by buying a new phone and asking my parents to teach me how to use it.

Then I’m going to ask my kids to suggest some groovy new music. Then, we can party like it’s 1999…oh, never mind.

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

Monday, December 28th, 2009

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, my even my mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Gameboys danced in their heads;
With the kids all in bed and not a gift left to wrap,
I just settled down for a little nightcap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
The snow and high winds that had been raging since dawn;
Had blown the neighbor’s decorations all over my lawn.
More rapid than eagles the decor it came,
The wind whistled, and shouted, seemed to call them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
Crash  into that bush! Smash into the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
Turing away from the storm, without a second look,
I snuggled back on the sofa and started my book.
With the doors locked tight and no chimney to descend,
I am not sure Santa Claus entered my house, in the end.
He emptied his sack full of toys, books and candy;
Christmas, this year, would be such a dandy.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
He disappeared just like that! How he did it—who knows?;
But I heard him exclaim, as he sped far away,
“Happy Christmas to all, it’s a fun holiday!”

Instant Christmas letter

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I haven’t written my Christmas letter to friends and family yet. So for those of you who have not finished your letters either, I would like to help. Here it is: a fill-in-the-blank letter. Just cut it out, fill it out and send it out!

Dear Friends and Family,

My how time flies! Why it seems like only yesterday it was ________ . All is well here in ____________ .
In ______________ we took a family trip to _____________. We took lots of pictures and got _________ as you can see from the enclosed photo greeting card.
The children are growing like weeds. They are all at the top of their classes and are the star of the stage/court/mat/ field/track. Feel free to stop in a view our video library of their events and admire the trophies in our case.
We are blessed to still have jobs when so many are struggling. _________ has  been at his/her job for ________ years now.
Of course, we suffered some loss this year and said goodbye to _______________. But we know he/she is in a better place.
You will be delighted to learn that _________will be _________ in ___________. How exciting that will be!

Wishing you all the peace, happiness and joy of the season and blessing for 2010!

Love, ____________________________

Make the season bright for others

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Charities and do-gooders are gearing up to help the less fortunate have happier holidays this year.

Santa’s Helpers provides gifts to families that might not otherwise have presents to open at Christmas. Lisa Uecker talked to organizers about it. Make sure you read her story and get the scoop on what you can do to “help to make the season bright” for “tiny tots with their eyes all a glow.”

Laurie Tapia and friends at the American Legion are also hoping to start a holiday tradition of sharing. They plan to host a free holiday meal for less fortunate residents in Sibley County. Orangizers hope to serve 500 people this year.

Tapia, who is heading up the project is currently looking for donations of food or money for the holiday meal. She plans to serve turkey or ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, coleslaw, bread, pumpkin dessert, ice cream, coffee and milk.

If you would like to donate, call Laurie Tapia at the American Legion Club in Gaylord at 507-237-9976.

Also: Remember to read Lisa’s story about Santa’s Helpers to find out how you can make someone else’s holidays happy.

‘Tis the season

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

It was so beautiful this past weekend, I almost forgot it is November…until I looked at my mail. I received a multi-paged ad featuring the Christmas toy selection at a national chain store.

Of course, we have come to expect this. On November first, the Halloween items are priced for the  clearance racks and the Christmas stuff starts appearing in the stores. Christmas season has begun. With the exception of a big meal, some football and a parade, Thanks-giving is sort of skipped.
It just feels so wrong. October had strange weather that I guess my whole body calendar is just thrown off kilter. I’m just not ready to face the Christmas holiday season.

Luckily, most Christian churches have a solution. It’s called Advent. It’s the season before Christmas. Advent is a time for Christians to prepare their hearts and minds for celebrating the arrival of their God-made-human, Jesus.

Not everyone who celebrates Christmas is Christian. In the United States, Christmas is a government holiday and a commercial holiday as well as a religious observance.

While the commercial build up to Christmas is bright flashy and loud, the Advent season is peaceful, reflective and prayerful.

Religious or not, I think we can all learn something from the observance of Advent. We can all learn to take a few minutes each night to light a candle, quiet ourselves and think.

When I say think, I don’t mean you need to start worrying about how many people you need to buy gifts for, or what picture you will put in the annual card.

Quietly reflect on how blessed you are to have pie and cranberries and the people who send you cards. Remember that you live in a land in which you may choose to celebrate or not celebrate as you please. Meditate on the beauty you saw today.

Think about how you can extend “giving thanks” to more than just one day a year.

Community newspapers keep us in touch

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

As I typed another obituary this week, I was struck by the familiar names. Although I had never met the recently departed person, I knew the names of his family members. They are on the subscription list I print and review every week. It is a reminder of how community newspapers are still a vital part of small town life. We keep you up to date on what is happening in your hometown.

I, for one, feel honored to be a part of people’s lives at their highs and their lows. Part of my job is to typeset birth announcements, weddings, and obituaries.

As simple as these things may seem to a journalist, they are big moments in a person’s life. Sure, it’s not like uncovering Watergate. I’ll never win an award for what I do. But, I remind myself, what we at The Hub type is often cut out of the paper and glued in a scrapbook or placed between the pages of the family Bible.
Births, deaths, weddings anniversaries are all part of the cycle of life.
There is a cycle to life at  newspapers—actually, cycles both short and long.

The short cycle we follow each week as we speed toward print deadline on Tuesdays, then breath a sigh of relief when we send the pages to the printing plant early Wednesday morning. There is a larger cycle each year, too. Back-to-school stories, spring and fall tabs, graduation and holiday greetings all are part of the year-long schedule.

Each week, The Hub brings you the news you want to know: What is the council up to? Who is going to state? Who is getting married? Who has lost a loved one? How high will my taxes go?

This week, The Hub prints its first edition of Volume 124. The cycle starts again.

Memories of Grandpa

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

This week is the week when grandparents are invited to have lunch with their grandchild at the Sibley East Elementary. My children will have to settle for lunch with me because their grandparents live so far away.

Ironically, as I play substitute grandparent, my grandfather is very ill. So, pardon me while I wax nostalgic.

His name is Anthony John Michalski, but we call him Grandpa Michalski. He is half Polish and half Irish, but not Catholic—go figure! He and Grandma Michalski live in St. Cloud, though he grew up in St. Paul.

Grandpa, like so many of his generation, was drafted into WWII. He served at the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. He didn’t like to talk about the war.

After the war, he worked as an art teacher for the public schools in St. Cloud. He eventually became the art curriculum director for the entire district. When my uncle’s kindergarten teacher insisted that children arriving early to school bring a coloring book to keep them occupied, my grandpa insisted my uncle bring a tablet. He wanted children to draw their own pictures, not just color between the lines.

Grandpa is an intelligent man. He is a reader, a thinker, a philosopher, an artist—at least he was. A few years ago, he was diagnosed with dementia. This man who read the newspaper daily and completed the crossword puzzle can no longer remember his own children.

Photography was a hobby of his for many years. He had a pottery wheel in his house and kiln in his backyard. Each of my siblings and I has at least one cup he made.

He didn’t waste. He recycled before it was trendy. He tread softly. He was tall, but gentle with his grandchildren—maybe not so much with his six children.
He was fun. He told jokes and had interesting things, like those puzzles made from bent nails, and a venus fly trap. (It was a little freaky to watch him feed it raw meat.) He drank Postum or tea, not coffee. He played chess through the mail.

I cherish these memories of Grandpa, especially since he can’t. This man who was so creative and smart, who loved to learn and share, has a body that outlived his brain.

Writer’s note: Grandpa Michalski died a few hours before we went to press.

Fall hunting has begun

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I posted on Facebook Tuesday morning that I didn’t have a column ready for this week’s paper and deadline was closing in on me. My fellow Warroad High School alum, Shawn Lockrem suggested the “pheasant opener” would be a great topic. It is a great topic, but I know nothing about pheasant hunting.

For those who love to hunt, Minnesota seems to be the place to be. According to the Minnesota tourism Web site,, “Minnesota boasts almost 10 million acres of public hunting land, which is open to small game hunting, waterfowl hunting, pheasant and grouse hunting and Minnesota deer hunting during our hunting seasons.”

My brother and dad used to hunt, but I never joined them.

I am a wimp. I don’t deal with meat until someone else has killed and cleaned it. If the world as I know it came to an end and I suddenly had to grow and shoot my own food, I would be in BIG TROUBLE. I would starve. (Luckily, I have saved some extra fat to keep me going for a while.)

Since, I am not a hunter, I can only guess at what the appeal is. It is refreshing and fun to be outdoors in the clean, open air. I am sure that is part of the appeal. Hunters also seem to enjoy the chance to commune with nature and their fellow hunters and faithful canine companions.

More than anything, is probably a sense of pride in knowing that you are able to obtain food without being asked, “You want fries with that?”