Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.
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WORTHINGTON -- The tantalizing smell of sloppy joes -- along with some enthusiastic young people -- greeted the first diners to take advantage of the new Bread of Life feeding ministry Saturday afternoon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Worthington. By the end of this inaugural event, which ran from 1 to 2:30 p.m., 44 diners had turned in meal tickets.
WORTHINGTON -- For more than 50 years, the character Linus in the Peanuts comic strip has been stubbornly toting around his blanket.
ROCHESTER -- Doug Lais is a diehard Vikings fan. However, it's not the Minnesota sports team that has engaged his fascination, but the Scandinavian warriors, merchants and pirates who plundered Europe and farther afield from the eighth through the 11th centuries. "Ever since I was a kid, my brother and I both loved the Vikings, their beautiful dragon ships, the helmets with the face guards.
WORTHINGTON -- Abstract and brightly colored sculptural pieces hang on the walls at the opposite ends of the gallery space at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
WORTHINGTON -- Derek Ahlberg knew he'd be inspired to take lots of photographs during a trip to New Orleans. But he didn't realize the extent of the lingering devastation from Hurricane Katrina that plagues the city, or how what he witnessed there would impact his work. The images that he captured last spring are the centerpieces of an exhibit of Ahlberg's work currently on display at the Nobles County Art Center. "In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit along the north-central coast of the Gulf of Mexico," Ahlberg explains in the artist's statement that accompanies the exhibit.
WORTHINGTON -- Sometimes a book can have an astounding impact upon its reader. Such was the case for Christian singer Toby Waldowski. When he finished reading Janette Oke's best-selling novel, "Love Comes Softly," he was compelled to compose a musical based on it. "The book was written in 1979. It was her first book," detailed Waldowski during a recent phone interview. "It's based on a true story. Her grandmother told her this story when she was 7 years old, and she held it in her heart. "It's a homesteading story, about homesteading in the Midwest.
WORTHINGTON -- In the course of the last several months, the stack of books on the corner of my desk has grown so tall that it had to be made into two piles so as not to approach teetering height. Although I am not prone to making New Year's resolutions, it seemed prudent to tackle that accumulation of books in order to begin 2009 with a clean (or what passes for clean as far as my desk is concerned) slate. The bulk of the stack is cookbooks, with a couple of gardening tomes, a poetry anthology and suspense novel thrown in for good measure.
WORTHINGTON -- Repetitive motion can take a toll on the joints. Just ask Leon Betz, who has spent the last 25 years working with his hands to create unique presentations of artwork and memorabilia in his store, Lee's Frame Shoppe in downtown Worthington. Betz's thumbs are shot, soon to require joint replacement surgery. Yep, thumb replacement. "From cutting frames and putting them together, the joints are all gone," he explained.
WORTHINGTON -- Contrary to popular belief, Santa Claus does not live at the North Pole. The Jolly Old Elf has taken up year-round residence -- in a variety of guises -- at the South Shore Drive home of Shannon and Clea Rickert. Their home is filled with carved images of Santa -- all created by Shannon. He crafted his first Santa in 1996. "I took a bad fall in 1995 and broke my pelvis. That was the first deer hunt I missed in 30 years," he recalled with regret. "While I was convalescing, I needed something to do.