Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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DULUTH — They just wanted to win one game, but two Duluthians got more than they bargained for. Early August. Indianapolis. Gen Con, the longest-running gaming convention in North America. Keith Miller and Craig Olsen took first place competing in popular board game Axis & Allies. "Usually, newbies come in and get beaten," Olsen said. These guys weren't new to the game, though. They've been playing for decades, but they were new to competing. They came ready.
DULUTH — The Wixos had a log problem. After two major storms, more than 350 trees had fallen on their 16 acres outside Duluth. That's when Darrin Wixo decided to take a tip from history and bring the muscle. He purchased two Scottish Highland cattle, named Biscuit and Gravy, to help clear the way, and ever since they came home in May, "It's been more than a hobby — about all I do when I'm not working," Darrin said.
CANYON, Minn. — Gary Lindberg is nearing the end of a long-awaited project. His home build was five years in the making, and now, he and his wife are in the final stages: the yard. "The landscape piece is always the last piece of the puzzle," he said. Their focus was a narrow slice of land, where they wanted to add more privacy in an aesthetically pleasing way. "We have neighbors very close on both sides," he added.
DULUTH — Serina Popoe never wears high heels. "They hurt, and I'll trip," said the South Range woman. During a walk around sunny downtown Duluth, Popoe, 42, wore flats, and Dana Bourdage wore 2-inch heels. Bourdage, 47, said she used to wear heels every day for work, but today, she's usually in flats because wearing them hurts her hips. While there are claims that heels can improve posture and balance, local experts say that's not necessarily true.
Death is a difficult subject to discuss, but planning funeral and financial details can make it easier on loved ones left mourning. There are many things to consider. Service, no service. Flowers. Stationery. Then, there's the cost: An immediate cremation with no funeral service is $1,500 to $4,000. An urn can run $300 to $2,400. There are caskets in wood, steel and maple, and they can cost $1,500 to $15,000, said Daniel Dougherty of Dougherty Funeral Home in Duluth.
It has a name. That twinge in your gut when you see people laughing in sweaters on social media, or when you haven't checked your Facebook feed in a while. This anxiety, or FOMO (fear of missing out) is the pervasive apprehension that you're missing a rewarding experience, said Essentia Health psychologist Dr. Nicole Fleming. And even she isn't immune. "My triathlon team, they had a get-together when I was in California last week, and I thought, 'FOMO,'" she said.
Fall's a good time to hunker down. Tea, football, laughing in sweaters. It's also time to get crafty. Here are some easy and affordable autumn-inspired DIY projects. Animal Mason Jars
A hairless bat photo landed in Debra Johnson Robnik's text messages. Her response: "I hope that's not your dinner." Insert barbecue grill emoji. Like this exchange with a friend, the Duluth woman uses emojis to add humor and communicate feelings. "I'm a very creative person, and it's really hard to put down a sentence and not put what emotion is behind that," she said.
DULUTH, Minn. — Scott Burnes of Duluth has spent a lot of time in saunas. He has asthma, and the hot air helps his breathing; it opens and cleanses his pores. "It just made you feel good. It's really relaxing," he said. And there's science behind that. "Sauna has the same effects on the body as physical exercise," said Dr. Anemona Anghel, interventional cardiologist at St. Luke's. High temperatures lead to increased heart rate and dilation of blood vessels, which reduces the effects of cardiovascular risk factors.