Monday, April 27, 2015



Lifestyle - Off The Beat

  • Off The Beat | February 08, 2015

    Experiences spawn a love-hate relationship with snow

    Kristina.phatch

    It’s been an unusually warm winter, but the last week has been a chilly, wet reminder of what winter in the Midwest is really like. After having both fun and frustrating memories involving snow, I have mixed feelings about seeing the town covered in

  • Off The Beat | February 01, 2015

    Getting a head start on being old

    Bethany047cut.phatch

    Recently my aunt wrote Facebook post about being “officially an old lady.” Her qualifications included wearing a hat when it is cold, no matter what it does to her hair; wearing glasses because she can see better than with contacts; wearing sensible flat shoes because

  • Off The Beat | January 24, 2015

    A look behind the scenes at the paper

    Brian mug.phatch

    I bet sometimes you wonder what we talk about behind the scenes at The Mercury. The number-one thing we do typically is find different ways to be as biased as possible against whatever you support. I’d say around 85.3 percent of our time is devoted

  • Off The Beat | January 18, 2015

    Aging cat a reminder of childhood

    Aging cat a reminder of childhood Every little girl needs a cat. But I don’t think my parents ever expected my cat to live as long as she has. My mom spotted her under a pile of leaves on a cold, damp October day

  • Off The Beat | January 11, 2015

    Post-holiday season dulls January days

    Kristina.phatch

    I can’t help but feel like I’m dragging my feet a little this week. It might be the snow. It might also be because it’s the first normal week I’ve worked in a few weeks. I’m definitely falling into the

  • Off The Beat | January 04, 2015

    Taking a look at the ‘r-word’: retirement

    Dendurent1

    Taking a look at the ‘r-word’: retirement A college buddy’s 2014 Christmas newsletter said he and his wife were starting to consider the ‘R’ word — retirement. A few days after receiving Doug’s holiday greeting, the post office delivered my annual Social Security statement, bringing

  • Off The Beat | December 28, 2014

    Some lessons from grandpa

    Bethany047cut.phatch

    When I think of my grandfather and how to describe him, one of the best adjectives I can come up with is ‘tough.’ My grandfather, Charles ‘Bud’ Hanzlick, died Dec. 18, the morning of the first significant snowfall this year. He was born on the first

  • Off The Beat | December 14, 2014

    Does anyone really like getting old?

    Megan.moser1

    My grandmother turned 99 last month. I’m not sure she was happy about it. We celebrated with a small party at the nursing home where she lives, and I brought chocolate cupcakes and hot coffee, two things I knew she would like. My parents went,

  • Off The Beat | December 07, 2014

    Kicking tires on a f irst car brings back me mor ie s

    My niece nearly spoiled months of planning with a simple goodbye at Thanksgiving. “See you next week,” she said, to a room of open-mouthed adults panicked by the salutation. The message was accurate, it just wasn’t meant to be shared with my daughter, who

  • Off The Beat | November 30, 2014

    Unfortunately, sometimes being good isn’t good enough

    Brian mug.phatch

    Unfortunately, sometimes being good isn’t good enough It’s almost December, which means it’s almost 2015. I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I maintain the same goals every year: don’t get arrested, don’t get shot or stabbed, and


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