Tracy Briggs is a former TV anchor/radio host currently working as a features writer and video host for Forum Communications.
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MOORHEAD, Minn. — When Christian, Jack and Blake Elmer of Moorhead return to school on Tuesday, Sept. 5, they'll have quite the answer to "What did you do on your summer vacation?" The boys — ages 16, 13, and 9 respectively — along with their parents, Corey and Brenda, went on a nearly four-week driving trip through Europe. They visited 10 countries and traveled 3,300 road miles and 145 by foot. "We were a pretty much the embodiment of the Griswald Family from "European Vacation," Corey says.
FARGO — Next Monday, Americans will see something they haven't seen since Jimmy Carter was president, the mini-series "Roots" aired on television and The Village People's "YMCA" topped the charts ... a total eclipse of the sun.
It's pretty obvious Americans love their s'mores. Since the Girl Scouts first published a recipe for "Some Mores" in 1927 in their book entitled "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts," we've scarfed down millions of the graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow treats. Gone are the days when s'mores were eaten around a summer campfire. Now we eat s'more-themed food year-round in all kinds of ways from breakfast cereal to night time nachos.
One thing that's great about summer is all of the fresh, citrusy desserts. One thing that's not so great about summer — how some fresh, citrusy desserts seem fresh and light, but actually pack in a ton of calories. That's why I was glad to run across this dessert for Healthy Key Lime Pie Bars on Pinterest. (How did I ever survive without Pinterest?)
FARGO — When European immigrants settled the Great Plains in the mid-19th century, most probably wouldn't have speculated that 150 years later, the barns they built would inspire one of the hottest trends in 21st century interior design. For the past couple of years, barns — specifically their doors — have been front and center in even the most urban of homes. "I don't think we could have imagined how popular they'd become," says Grant Koenig, one of the owners of Grain Designs, a home decor company featuring reclaimed wood products.
Ask the average American over the age of 40 what they first think of when someone mentions "Toledo, Ohio." There's a good chance he or she will say, "Toledo, isn't that where Corporal Klinger was from?" For those of us who grew up watching the television show "M*A*S*H," the northwestern Ohio city will forever be linked to the soldier in dresses gunning for a Section Eight. Not only was Klinger from Toledo, the actor who played him, Jamie Farr, was too.
FARGO — Like millions of other American families with daughters, we live in a household full of Disney princesses. Even though my daughters are both teenagers now, that doesn't mean we chucked our DP goods in the garbage. Call it sentimentality (or laziness), but our house still has its share of Disney princess Barbie dolls, coloring books, pillows, blankets and Halloween costumes.
HAMLIN, Iowa — While many people awaken every morning to the sounds of birds chirping, Christine Jensen wakes up to a very different bird sound. "Thud! ....Thud! .....Thud!" Every morning the same cardinal tries to fly into her den window — not once, or even twice but over and over again. Each time, the bird sits on the branch of a nearby tree, cocks its little head and stares into the home.
FARGO — This is the week fair foodies in Fargo-Moorhead look forward to each year. The Red River Valley Fair and the Downtown Street Fair are both in full gear serving us decadent, fried, sweet and sugary, put-it-on-a-stick kind of food we know we probably shouldn't eat but simply can't resist. Something about walking between the booths at the street fair or down the midway at the fairgrounds makes us crave outrageous food. We've heard of deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies or even deep-fried butter.
GLYNDON, Minn. — "He can get a little sassy. He thinks he's a big dog sometimes," says Val Anderson as she snuggles with Ash, her Jack Russell terrier and dachshund mix. Despite being born without a radius bone in his left arm, Ash holds his own with the other five dogs in the Anderson home in Glyndon, Minn. In fact, Anderson says the handicap might be the reason his back legs are so highly muscled, which today is proving beneficial as he stands upright begging for treats and posing for pictures.