Leisure & Lifestyle


Two Lillie staffers win statewide awards

The design for this piece, which focuses on Alaska’s diversity of nature as seen via various transportation methods, displays a delicate touch that showcased lush foliage and natural vistas and had readers’ hands itching for suitcase handles.

Graphic designers wince when they hear these directions: “We don’t have any art for this story. Oh, and it’s about city finances.” However, Nik VanDenMeerendonk rose to -- and beyond -- the occasion, making plain all the programs that were being crunched in the “Budget Squeeze,” also his headline. The layout won second place in the “Use of Information Graphics” category, and judges noted it was “Very original.”

In “Ghosts among the Stacks,” VanDenMeerendonk took a reporter’s snapshot of the South St. Paul Library -- one taken on a sunny summer day -- and transformed it to match its reputation as a spooky spot that’s been said to be haunted for decades.

As Ken Burns did with his iconic “The Civil War” series, VanDenMeerendonk used the kinds of materials and media that veterans themselves would have used during World War II to set the scene for their story.

It was all about vision for two Lillie Suburban Newspapers staffers in the 2013 Minnesota Newspaper Association’s “Better Newspapers” awards.
Photographer Linda Baumeister, who’s worked at the paper since 1991, and Nik VanDenMeerendonk, a graphic artist for six years.


For Bruentrups, historic farm still feels like home during holidays

In her Mrs. Claus attire and he in Santa hat for the Breakfast with Santa and later open house Dec. 7, Raydelle and Bill Bruentrup still spend time at the old homestead, volunteering countless hours on behalf of the Maplewood Area Historical Society. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Some of the decorations around the house.

Bill Bruentrup still works the farm, driving the tractor for hay wagon rides, as well as building and upkeep of the Bruentrup Heritage Farm in Maplewood. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

The early years: Bill Bruentrup, left, now 72, friend Paul Johnson and Bill’s late sister Joan Bruentrup sit in front of the Christmas tree at the Bruentrup home in the early 1950s. Paul is holding what appears to be a gift: “Pagan: a Border Patrol Horse,” a 1951 book for youth about the exploits of a border patrol inspector and his heroic horse, as Bill tries to get a look at one of the more exciting passages.

Bill Bruentrup and his siblings used to skate on a pond in front of the home on Christmas Day, between dinner and supper. This picturesque scene is roughly where the Michael’s craft store is located now; there’s still a holding pond between the store and White Bear Avenue.

Santa, a reindeer and a snowman greeted visitors at a breakfast with Santa event on Dec. 7 at Bruentrup Heritage Farm in Maplewood. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review staff)

Growing up on his family’s farm, Bill Bruentrup milked cows twice a day. Even on Christmas.
“On Christmas Eve, we’d milk a little bit earlier than we normally did so we could come in, clean up, eat dinner, and then we would open our presents,” the 72-year-old said. “I remember getting ready for Christmas, because we tried to get as many things done as we could.


The Christmas gift I always longed for ...

Was there a present you wrote on your wish list every year when you were a child -- a present you never received? Maybe it was a much-desired pet or a toy that “Santa” disapproved of. Or perhaps there’s a gift on your adult wish list that you’re still holding out hope for.
Or maybe you unexpectedly did get that longed-for item and were overjoyed.
Here, newspaper staff members reflect on holidays past and what they did, and didn’t, find under the tree.


Making art from ashes—yes, those ashes

The first official piece of Eternal Ware was made with the ashes of Carole’s mother, Helen Gurnon, who passed away last year. Her name is inscribed on the bottom of the memorial. (Linda Baumiester/Review)

Carole and Ron Javner work with nationally-known artists through Eternal Ware, creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind memorials using loved ones’ cremains. (Linda Baumiester/Review)

When people make preparations for what happens after they die, the big questions are burial or cremation. From there, they’ll have to debate: monument or marker? Urn or scattered ashes?
Becoming a piece of art may not be the first thought to come to mind.
However, cremains art is a growing trend among those looking for a non-traditional burial method.



Embrace the warmth of a good book

Looking for a holiday gift with a Minnesota connection?

Jill Yanish • Pamela O’meara
Review staff


DNR reminds parents of ice danger to children

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is warning parents to keep an eye on their children when they near a pond or other body of water where only a thin coating of ice may have formed.
Last winter season, six people died after falling through the ice.


Help to stay at home

Dakota County provides links to find services for people who need assistance to live in their home safely, as listed on www.co.dakota.mn.us; search on “seniors.” These are a few of the suggestions. More can be found through the LinkAge Line, at 1-800-333-2433. Consider:


Keep pets safe from holiday trimmings

The holidays can be a hectic time for everyone. While you’re busily gearing up for guests and parties, it’s important to remember your pet’s safety to ensure a festive and fun season is enjoyed by all.
From bright decorations to holiday house guests, it can be easy to overlook a few household dangers that may cause harm to your favorite companions. Here are a few tips from PetSmart to keep in mind to keep your fuzzy friend safe and jolly this holiday:


Feeling especially sandwiched during holiday season?

Caregiving services who can step in for a few hours or a longer stay can ease your mind and help older loved ones feel secure over the holidays. (submitted photo)

The holidays may be filled with joy, but for the ever-growing number of aging Americans and those who care for them this otherwise celebratory season can become mired in challenges.
The stress of visitors, eventful meals, gift giving and social obligations can be overwhelming for anyone, but especially for those juggling busy schedules with caring for an elderly family member.


Keep warm and carry on

Millions of people are turning up their heat to keep warm in the winter months. The cost of doing so will prove expensive.
At www.SpendLessOnHeat.com research has been done for some very inexpensive ways to reduce heating costs.