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Good replacement exercise

When the usual opportunities for getting some exercise are eliminated by winter weather, we can usually count on snow shoveling to fill the gap.

The snowblower does the heavy lifting, but some finishing touches provide plenty of excuses to get out there and get the blood pumping.  Just donít overdo it.

Also, your reporter has learned the hard way that the value of stretching before exercise should not be underestimated.  You can avoid a few days of pain and discomfort by taking just a few minutes to relax and stretch the muscles you are about to abuse.

There are few things more shocking and demoralizing than the sudden onset of back spasms, especially when you realize you could have prevented them by stretching.

The preferred exercise of yours truly is disc golf.  This pleasant form of outdoor recreation surprisingly builds stamina, even though its seems you are not working very hard.  It can be played in the wintertime, but when the wind is blowing and the temperatures get down under about 20, enjoying the game is not worth the risk of experiencing frostbite.

Instead, bundling up and shoveling out the mailbox and the fire hydrant has proven to be an adequate (and very satisfying) replacement.  You feel good about removing obstacles for the mail carrier and the firefighters.  There is also some joy in seeing how high you can build up piles of snow next to these objects.  Itís fun to take pictures of them and send the images to relatives in Florida.

Happy winter.


Early ice on Buffalo Lake

According to scant records on the date Buffalo Lake freezes, the ice usually appears around the end of November or in the first week of December.  But this year is different.  Ice suddenly covered Buffalo Lake last Friday, Nov. 14.  We have seen the ice arrive that early before, but not very often.


Thanks for the tip

Thanks, Doug Voerding, for a tip about the Beagle Freedom Project and a local resident who is serving as a foster care provider for the organization.  Read this weekís feature story about a beagle from a lab who is now learning how to be a dog.