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“You know it used to was even hotter than it is right now, don’t you?” Windy looked up from his lunch. Oh boy, professorial mood. We’re gonna get it. “I used ta pack mules, a-course. Well, I packed ‘em ‘til the accident, anyway.”

“Accident, Windy?” Dang it, Dud, you’ve done it now.

“Nobody can say I don’t love them little mules, but that accident took all the packin’ enthusiasticals right outa me.

Lawn & Garden: Design a bird-friendly landscape

Temperature extremes, drought and storms take a toll on our landscapes. Sometimes a bit of pruning, proper care and patience is all that is needed to help plants recover. Other times, plants need replacing. It is always sad to lose a favorite plant. The memories, time and money invested are lost, but it presents an opportunity to grow something new.

Extension Outreach: The future of agriculture

It seems like I just turned in a column, but it is my turn again. As cliche as it is, time certainly does pass quickly. Since my last article I have had the chance to help at a couple area county fairs. Being new it is a bonus to have such a late fair so that I can dip my feet in the water before it is my turn to have the answers.

One Man’s Perspective: Kickoff is just around the corner

I’m guessing my perspective on this time of year differs a bit from some oft those school age children.

Summer in its purest form — vacations, trips to the Lakes, concerts in the parks, days at the pool, long weekends — is coming to an end. Within the next couple of weeks, kids will return to school and we’ll be looking toward Labor Day and the Clay County Fair.

Guest Commentary: Biden’s tax and spend agenda has us climbing closer to the fiscal cliff

Despite what the White House says, our economy is in a recession, and inflation is the highest it’s been in over 40 years.

Washington Democrats keep telling us not to worry and that the problem is only temporary, yet every month the mountain Americans have to climb to make ends meet keeps getting steeper and steeper.

The reason is simple — President Joe Biden’s tax and spend agenda.

Guest Commentary: Q&A: Rising crime linked to defund the police

Q: What’s contributing to the postpandemic rise in violent crime in America?

Randy’s Review: ‘DC League of Super-Pets’

The unlikely, but popular, pairing of former pro wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and comedian Kevin Hart are at it again, this time as a pair of animated dogs in an enjoyable family trip to the movies. The two star in “DC League of Super-Pets,” a fun and safe for the whole family tale of how a group of enhanced pets come together to take on Lex Luthor (voiced by Marc Maron) and his evil pet experiment, Lulu (voiced by Kate McKinnon) — both bent on world domination.

Book Review: ‘The Land Remains’ a plea for stewardship

What does it mean to be a steward of the land? Beyond that, what public policies would ensure land stewardship for rural America?

Pastor's Column: The easy way is dead faith

Summer is an exciting time for everyone here in northwest Iowa. I see the boats being trailered to the lakes and shoppers on Grand. The art deco lights and classic main street feel paints a beautiful picture of what Spencer is all about. This is a great place to raise your kids (I am raising three of them here myself). Also in case you didn’t know, we have the best county fair in the world!

The CommStock Report: Thanks a lot Nancy

This report begins with the Chinese real estate bubble but let's start that discussion off in Brazil. It was generally the rule in Brazil that apartments were sold prior to construction with buyers making mortgage payments well before they were completed and the buyers had moved into them. My son, Matthew, bought an apartment there that way. Developers had a majority of the apartments sold before they broke ground. Developers used the money to build the apartments. In general, it worked.

One Man’s Perspective: A good week

Rarely would someone call a week including a major surgery a good one, but last week was exactly that.

On The Side: Finger-pointing

Oil company profits are through the roof. Natural gas prices are rapidly rising.

CBS News reported last week that Exxon Mobil had $17.85 billion in profits in the second quarter of this year. Chevron made a record $11.62 billion. Shell also broke its profit record.

Letter to the Editor: Room for improvement

Spencer is a great community. The people are friendly and there are good schools. There are many great parks and walking trails. There is a variety of churches and restaurants. But even with all these amenities, there is room for improvement.

It Takes a Village to Raise a Senior

July has been a month of painting our house, which has given me hours of reflection time but little writing time. Two of my role models’ birthdays are in July: Aunt Janet in Everett, Washington, turned 99 this month, and Verna Peterson would have been 100 this week.

Both seemed to “step with the Spirit,” reminding me of Galations 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Outdoors: Getting fishing equipment to us

As people who like to go fishing, it’s probably not very often that we wonder how all those baits, rods, reels and the other things that we need to go fishing got into the fishing retail shops or the websites or wherever we buy the stuff that we need to go fishing. I’ve been in the fishing business going on 45 years and I thought I knew how those things happen.

Lawn & Garden: Hot weather garden woes

Poor flowering and misshapen or a lack of fruit on tomatoes, peppers and squash may be due to the weather, not your gardening skills. Temperature extremes can interfere with flowering and fruit set on these and other vegetables in your garden.

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