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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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.
FARGO — It's probably kind of a hassle to be a vegetarian at a barbecue. While there are lots of great recipes out there for those who choose to go meatless, how many revolve around the trusty backyard grill? I know when we've had vegetarian guests over for a night of grilling, we'll buy a pack of veggie burgers because we're not sure what else to do. While I'm not vegan, I like the nutty flavor of a veggie burger and sometimes even prefer it to a regular one. But having veggie burgers every time you grill can get a little dull.
FARGO — Over the past 10 years, I've been asked a lot of questions about the WDAY Honor Flight — the project that sends World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C., free of charge to see their war memorials. I love talking about it, so I have no problem waxing eloquent. But one question always trips me up a little bit. "What is your favorite memory from the flights?" I usually reply with something like, "Ah, well, ah, hmmm, there were so many ..."
FARGO — On this beautiful summer afternoon as the scent of a Japanese lilac tree wafts through the air, thoughts about her backyard are ever present for Pauline Economon — even as her photo is taken for this story. "Do the plants look good?" she asks of the flowers behind her and husband George as they sit at the patio table. When she sees the reflection in the camera lens she answers her own question. "Oh, the petunias are looking sharp," she says.
Don't you hate it when you spend hours in the kitchen making a super time-intensive dessert only to say to yourself, "Meh ... that was just OK, and I just consumed a ton of calories. So not worth it"? This Patriotic Rollup cake does not fall into that category. A Facebook friend of mine shared it a while back, and I chose to make it for a Memorial Day gathering at the lake. I didn't have a ton of time to fuss with a complicated recipe, so I just threw this together. It was a huge hit!