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Minnesota

The first time I met Paul Bunyan I wet my pants. In my defense, I was only four years old — a skinny, sickly kid who was scared of most everything.  That summer our family had traveled to Brainerd, Minnesota to spend the day at Paul Bunyan Land, a small amusement park that had recently […]

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Sunday Morning, my favorite television news show, featured some great reporting this week.  There was a profile of author and nerd-champion John Green, a segment on the flying-female WASPS of World War II and a lengthy cover story about one-room schoolhouses. The segment on the lessons of one-room schoolhouses really caught my attention. I grew […]

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Post image for In Spite of MNSure Website Massive Fail, I Now Have Obamacare Health Coverage

On Friday, with the help of two highly capable individuals from the Minnesota legislature, I was finally able to obtain my affordable medical coverage.  Their assistance and follow through is most appreciated. After five long months, I was finally able cross MNsure off my to-do list.  Those of you who read Dating Dementia may remember […]

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Post image for Obamacare Made Me Cry. My Five-Month Quest for Health Care Coverage

Post Update: Thanks to some helpful staff of the Minnesota State Legislature, I am happy to report I now have my health care policy in place and retroactive to the beginning of 2014.  I do not like to use my blog and social media platform for this purpose, but I felt I was out of […]

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Post image for Minnesota. Welcome to the Land of Whether

Recently, I was walking around Lake Calhoun under a spring sun.  Huge puddles of melting snow were everywhere and the temperature felt balmy.  Sure, the lake was still frozen, but the possibility of spring was in the air. Last night, it snowed.  Again. Welcome to Minnesota, or what I like to call, the “Land of […]

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Post image for Florida is Just a Balmy Dream, Welcome Back to Minnesota and Reality

I just returned from eight days in Southern Florida, where the palm trees were swaying, the sun was shining and the water was sparkling.  My sister and I strolled on the beaches on Sanibel Island and ate lunch at the very tip of Captiva.  I walked every single day and loved every single minute. When […]

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Post image for To Clean or Not to Clean: The Winter Vehicle

Last week, I did something stupid.  I had my car washed.  Less than a day later my white Camry hybrid was completely filthy again.  The outside looked as though it hadn’t been cleaned off in many a year.  Inside, the pricey, molded floor mats were again a melty sea of gravel, dirty slush and salt […]

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Post image for Thinking of Moving? Don’t Choose Minnesota!

Are you looking to move?  Try your hand in a new city with fresh opportunities and fun adventures?  If so, please consider Florida, North Carolina, Texas, New Mexico or Colorado.  Any state but Minnesota. Never mind the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding metro areas are often included on many of the “Best […]

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I grew up in a small, farming town in central Minnesota.  Our little hamlet had just one stop light and a population of about 3,000 people.  Needless to say, there was not much to do. My sisters and I were mainly left to our own devices.  When the weather was nice, we were expected to […]

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Post image for Oh, Spring!  Wherefore Art Thou?

“This cold and dreary May weather is so awesome and I really hope we get more snow!” said nobody, ever. Yes, it’s May and it snowed on an off yesterday in Minneapolis.  No, it didn’t actually stick (as we say here), but it snowed nonetheless.  My daughter arrives from Boston in a few days.  On […]

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Dear Mother Nature, Today is the day.  I am taking my big winter parka to the cleaners.  Thanks to you, the sun is shining in the Twin Cities and the weather will be a balmy 43 degrees.  By the weekend, we may top 50, which means heavy coats should be history until late next fall. […]

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The White Stuff is Here

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 12, 2012

Here’s the thing about snow: It’s sneaky. Last night when I went to bed it was misting lightly.  Innocently,  I drifted off into slumberland.  When I opened my bedroom blinds this morning, there it was — a heavy dusting of the white stuff covering my lawn, accenting the trees and swirling in the air. I […]

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Fall in Minnesota

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 1, 2012

Fall in Minnesota. Don’t blink or you could miss it.  A few weeks ago I was running the air conditioning but overnight it turned chilly. Then the leaves began to fall and fall and fall.  Floating down in a rainbow of colors, they were everywhere. Raking suddenly became a part-time job.  I can’t keep ahead […]

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Mike and The Rambler

by Nancy Wurtzel on October 8, 2012

Mike is now my main man. Let me explain. Early last summer, when it was warm and lovely and the warm weather seemed as though it would never end, I decided to buy a home.  I found a rambler (what is commonly called a ranch home in many areas of the country) in the twin […]

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California Dreamin’

by Nancy Wurtzel on July 16, 2012

I am in California, land of the ubiquitous toilet seat protectors.  I’ve been away for almost nine months and it’s good to be back, even though I won’t be staying.  California certainly isn’t perfect but there is much that I miss about my adopted home of 30 plus years. Topping the list, of course, has to […]

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Adjusting to life in a very small, rural town is an ongoing process.  Sure, I was born and raised in this little Minnesota hamlet, but I moved away just after high school graduation and only came back for short visits thereafter. During my time away, I moved to Los Angeles where I lived in a […]

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Summer is here in central Minnesota.  My sister and her husband have returned from their winter home in Florida and we are all living (albeit a bit snugly) in The Little House on the Prairie. My sister loves yard work, so I have been helping her weed, lay down mulch, clean out dead branches and […]

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News from Little House on the Prairie: Nature is noisy. Yesterday was my day to sleep in.  But just as the sun was coming up over the Minnesota horizon, I  was awakened by a cacophony of noise. I’d left the window open the night before, since it was extremely hot and muggy after a big […]

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The Birds Return

by Nancy Wurtzel on April 12, 2012

They are back.  Returning one-by-one, in small groups and in huge formations that cover the sky.  They fly, squawk, chirp, sing, soar, float on lakes, make family nests, occasionally fight and poop everywhere. They are the Minnesota birds.  And, the ducks.  And, the geese.  And, the loons.  They are everywhere. Yesterday, I came upon two […]

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Life in my small Minnesota town is markedly different than living in sprawling Los Angeles.  I’ve taken to keeping a journal handy so I can write down some of my experiences that I find amusing, irritating or sometimes just plain startling. Sadly, I’m probably the only one here who thinks these happenings are unusual — […]

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Last Friday’s Vocabulario Viernes — about words that I really dislike — garnered quite a bit of attention.  My blog visitors numbers went up significantly and there were many comments on my blog, some direct emails, more than a dozen mentions on LinkedIn and even a little Twitter buzz. The feedback got me thinking: What […]

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Warmly, Nancy

by Nancy Wurtzel on January 31, 2012

Dear Reader, I’ve taken to signing my emails and other correspondence “Warmly, Nancy.” Sadly, it’s all too true.  Even though it is chilly outside, I am warm much of the time.  Hot actually. Mostly, it is my own internal midlife climate control that is hopelessly out of whack.  I’m in what my Mother’s generation called […]

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I remember it was a very, very cold Minnesota morning.  The kind of deep, bitter cold that makes it hard to breath.  Eerily quiet and dark at 4:30 a.m. Peeking out the front door, I could just make out her silhouette as she waited patiently in her car — its engine chugging and exhaust blowing […]

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This is a re-post from last November when I had just started blogging.  So much has happened since then. I’ve relocated to my small hometown in Minnesota after living in sunny, warm California for 33 years.  I think I’m still in shock! Today we are getting our first big snow storm and I am so […]

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I am here, no longer there.  The long drive from California to Minnesota seems like it happened months ago.  For the past five days, I’ve been unpacking the boxes which were shipped ahead and everything I had squeezed into my Camry Hybrid — and I do mean squeezed. When my college friend, Camille, met me […]

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I’m leaving on a jet plane.  Well, not exactly. I’m actually leaving next week in my white Camry hybrid and heading back to Minnesota, to the little town where I was born and raised. To give you some perspective, I’m leaving Los Angeles — a city of, well, everything — and returning to my hometown […]

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The Long Trip Home

by Nancy Wurtzel on March 10, 2011

We’re at 10,000 feet and everyone is reaching under the seat in front of them for their electronic devices. Ear buds and iPods abound while dozens of laptops are fired up with the familiar logging on tones echoing together. Window shades are lowered, the movie starts and seats recline. Logging on to wifi, I discover […]

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