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With a stack of magazines and great things to read, I don't always have the time or inclination to get them read. It sort of makes me mad that publications will stoop so low that they don't wait for you to subscribe to their bargain rates (I admit, many of them are good), but take it upon themselves to just continue to send a subscription unless you say, "enough yet." I do have some favorites that I have subscribed to for years, but much as I might enjoy others, or like the magazine, enough is enough.

The price of the magazine may be right, and actually often a year’s subscription can be almost as low as one issue on the newsstand, but there are also other uses for one’s money. I will admit, giving a magazine subscription is a good idea for birthdays, Christmas, or whatever because you are giving them something to look forward to every month, plus you don't have to pay the postage to send it.

There are quality magazines that stand behind the products they advertise. And of course, there are some magazines that just seem to advertise. I laugh when I think that the "Woman’s Day" magazine was first published as a "freebie," then went to 2 cents a copy, then 5 cents, and now is sells for whatever. It has a circulation of about 3,800,000 and publishes 17 issues a year.

"Woman’s World" started out as a cheapy too. I do still buy this weekly magazine because, though it doesn't look like a great deal, it really does have a lot of things I enjoy reading. I just growl at the price.

"National Geographic" has been published continuously since its first issue in 1888. When I was in high school we used to wonder why some of the natives in strange countries would do things to their hair and bodies that didn't make sense. Now it seems to be the trend in a supposedly civilized country like America.

Of course who could forget “Sports Illustrated,” if for nothing else their annual "Swimsuit Edition", which this year will mark their 50th anniversary.

Remember the "Grit" magazine, which never carried any negative news? I also remember how much we enjoyed "Ranger Rick" type magazines and the kids still do.

If you go for science, "Discover" magazine advertises it has science for the curious. In particular, the February issue this year has a story about 170,000 mirrors near the California and Nevada border. The mirrors are spread over 3,500 acres of federal land, which generated electricity enough to power 140,000 homes.

I have found some of the free magazines put out by the grocery stores interesting and useful. There are some ideas that I try, but it frustrates me when there are so many things one has to purchase to do the projects but may never use again. For me, simple is best.

It comes to mind that many of the little entertaining tips they suggest for holiday enjoyment could be used for the "cold lunch" prepared for the child who doesn't always want the nutritious "hot lunch" prepared at their school. Making a cold lunch a surprise and exciting with new things that may entice the fussiest becomes hard at times. One caution — often fancy food needs a toothpick to hold it in place, and they can be a hazard.

So what am I talking about that can show the young one that Mom and Dad care and want their children to eat healthy? Sometimes crackers are more fun than bread, but bread can be "cookie cluttered" and made into interesting shapes to meet the occasion. — as can cheese or filling. A nice green lettuce or spinach leaf can be more tasty and adequate to wrap ingredients than bread. Little bites, cut quarter size on a cucumber slice, such as sliced turkey and/or cheese, with a pickle or olive, provides a fancy touch. Skewers on a pick or chop stick can contain all kinds of things including veggies and fruits like grape tomatoes, chucks of pineapple, grapes, strawberries or blueberries. (Once again, one needs to be careful if using a skewer with little ones.)

We also need to be careful with using meats that contain nitrates, but try slices of turkey wrapped around asparagus or super thin carrot, celery or cheese sticks.

Most kids like apples, but a whole one may be a big bite for a little mouth. We are able to find apple slices, that are treated so they don't turn brown, in our grocery stores. A few slices of oranges or kiwi, or the fun of "I can do it myself" peeling of those little "cuties" of oranges that peel so easily, are also good items for the children.

There are washable or throw away containers that can contain that quarter cup of "eatables" like apple sauce, pears, peaches or other fun, healthy things. There are smoothies or yogurt and deviled eggs, too.

Letting the child pack his/her own lunch, with supervision of course, means they get what and how much they think they will eat, which incidentally I found true back when my dad carried a lunch pail and often complained he thought there was too much.

In our desire to not let the kids be hungry, we sometimes forget the actual amount that is truly needed and we should remember what an actual serving size is. That is something we all need to remember; say it often, even if it is just in your mind, portion sizes can and do grow. Eat less, move more.

Birthdays and anniversaries:

• Thursday, March 6th: Valerie Schember, Aaron Reese, Larry Reese, Dawn Dulas, Lynda Maddox Norland, Wade Wacholz, Ryan Schimek, Marlene Peterson, Lillian Weaver, Jami Ann & Travis Marzolf

• Friday, March 7th: Jace John Goslee, his 8th; Marlee Diane Dutton, her 10th; Jake Ortiz, Emily Horan, David Otterson, Chuck Hagen, Lorna Reistad, Kenneth Peterson, Lance Cummins, Peggy Evenson and Rose Myhre

• Saturday, March 8th:  Derek Alan Lee, Janice Olson Paulson, Greg Nelson, Carla Paulsen Haugen, Melissa Trindad, Kathy & Mike Plunkett, Stephanie & Tom Pulley

• Sunday, March 9th: Reese Sharon Glynn, her 7th; Taylor Jensen, Chris Clausen, Peter Dammel, Curtis Langlie, Mark Sawyer, Joel Wacholz, Dean Waltz, Jaclyn Cromwell Olson, Chris Farr, Joleen Thompson

• Monday, March 10th: Julie Stieglbauer Dahl, Sue Misgen, Aaron Callahan, Travis Johnson, Michelle Olson Bedney, Tom Vavra, Heidi Mattson LaFave, Chuck Hanson, Gayle Dummer, Douglas Schmidt, Linda Anderson, DeLynn Johnson Rohrbacher, Hannah Emily Brunsen

• Tuesday, March 11th: Elsie Jacobson, her 2nd; Marian Mast, Carolyn Flesche, Leroy Folie, Kari Thostenson, Jon Carlson, Michelle Meyer, Larry Richards, Tim Simon, Joan Ahlstrom Diderrich, Tanya Swearingen, Tom Arbogast, David Callahan, Dean Lembke, Spener Sebastian Sommers, his 10th; Doug Blouin, Wendell Kuehni, Paul & Shirley Nelson

• Wednesday, March 12th:  David Paulson, Jason Bowman, Terri Engel, Robert Hall, Harla Stanley Malz, Spiering Brody Sundbland, Gary & Barb Paulson, Jack & Virginia Jensen

Wishing you sunny smiles to warm your heart on your special day!

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