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Confessions of a previously type-A Halloween personality

As a kid, I took Halloween seriously. I mean, heck, there was only one day out of the whole year where candy was free and Halloween was it.  Making the most of the night was paramount to sugar success. We had a limited amount of time before our neighbors shut off their porch lights and went to bed, so we had to work to be both prudent and pragmatic with our time. I prepared for the holiday with a Type-A approach. The following information is true. I sort of wish it weren’t. Back in the day, I started planning our candy acquiring route mid-October. I studied the layout of our neighborhood, counted blocks and houses in order to map out the most expedient trick-or-treating cou...


Ben there, done that

OK! Ever questioned why we use it without a second thought? As a native English speaker, certain words are spoken habitually; such is the case with the word OK. Where did it come from? Why do we use OK so much? OK’s story begins in the late 1830s in Boston when the fad of using misspelled abbreviati...


Slices of Life

I buy him treats because I can (my teenager who now looks down on me by about eight inches). My teenager thinks he doesn’t need his mom anymore, and he’s probably mostly correct, sigh. So, I surprise him with treats. Small things I know he likes. I leave them in places where he will find them:...


valley views valley views

Once upon a time, having a job at a newspaper meant working in one of the most imposing buildings in town, inhaling the acrid aroma of fresh ink and the dusty breath of cheap newsprint and feeling mini-earthquakes under our feet every time the presses started to roll. For those of us old enough to remember t...


News is about exercising our freedoms News is about exercising our freedoms

For centuries, citizens have turned to their local news publication for local breaking and investigative news, as well as to learn about hot-button issues in their communities. In the last 15 years, with the rise of digital communications, many readers have changed their preferences to digital formats and so...


Slices of Life

Life has not always worked out like I planned. And here’s the thing – the more unplanned it becomes the more I learn, the more I grow – and trust. The better everything becomes. I haven’t always embraced this concept. What can I say? I have control issues. But the more you try to harn...


View from the Library

Fall is upon us and with falling leaves come rising program opportunities. There is so much going on at the library in October, we hope you will be able to attend at least one of our exciting events. On Thursday, Oct. 3, at 5:30 p.m., the library is hosting an author reading and signing for the book, &ldq...


Hard or easy - thoughts on birth order

Birth order intrigues me. According to the theory, certain characteristics are associated with your place within a family – whether you are the oldest, middle or youngest child. We can’t choose this particular lot in life. We are simply dealt our hand and we live it out. There are positives an...


Lack of Internet access holds rural communities, students back

Across Montana, thousands of students are headed back to school to begin a new year of learning and growth. Unfortunately, many students in rural Montana remain at risk of falling behind due to the lack of broadband access in their communities. Broadband Internet has become indispensable both in the class...


Swan Valley grizzly killed: a reminder to keep wildlife natural

She was born on a cold winter day high above the headwaters in the same landscape where she later gave birth to celebrated triplets. She was loved by her neighbors, and many people experienced firsthand the wonder of those young siblings following mama through the forests they called home. Last week this shi...


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