Fifteen Notebooks and Not the Right One 12|5|22

Hey, it’s still winter. Like many of you, I live in an older dwelling. My landlord has done a great […]

Jane McClure headshot

Hey, it’s still winter.

Like many of you, I live in an older dwelling. My landlord has done a great job keeping up with window replacement so the drafts don’t come in like they did at previous residences.

But if you deal with the cold, try some simple steps.

Removable caulk can be great around leaky windows. Window insultation kits can also be a great help.

I had a large window that made a long-ago living room feel like the great outdoors, so at night I’d hang an old heavy bedspread over it every night. Be sure to keep that kind of “window treatment” away from heat sources.

A towel rolled up and placed on a windowsill can keep out drafts. So can a rug rolled up and placed by the bottom of a door.

Close off rooms in your home or apartment that aren’t used as much.

Never, even use a stove to heat your home.

Be careful with space heaters if you have to use them. Never plug one into a power strip as that can cause a fire.

An electric blanket can be a game changer, especially if you are trying to keep home heating costs down.

Arts deadline draws near

Are you a disabled person with an interest in art? The Metro Regional Arts Council (MRAC) has some key deadlines coming up for one of its programs that supports artists.

The Arts Impact for Individuals grant provides support for artistic projects in Minnesota led by individuals who identify as Black, indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC); and/or a disabled person/person with disabilities; and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual/agender or two-spirit (LGBTQIA2+), with grants up to $5,000.

Individuals must have primary addresses in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington counties, and be a United States citizen or an individual who has attained permanent resident status in the United States.

Deadline for the grants is Individuals do not need prior artistic experience to apply. This opportunity is open to artists/creatives and people who do not identify as artists/creatives

The deadline for Arts Impact for Individuals applications is 11:59 p.m. Monday, December 12. There’s lots of great information online to check out.

Learn more at

Not a typical firehouse dog

Full disclosure: I’m a cat person. My two furry overlords are sleeping on the coach as I write this.

But there was a great story in the Star Tribune about Helping Paws and one of their dogs that interacts with St. Paul firefighters.

Tanya is a black lab service dog based at the city’s Fire Station 1. Tanya helps first responders work through the stress of a job that requires constant exposure to trauma.

“She started making an impact from Day 1,” Mike Hogan, a retired assistant St. Paul fire chief, told the newspaper. Hogan and his wife, Debbie, train dogs for Helping Paws, including Tanya.

Don’t subscribe? In many communities, having a free library card means you can read newspaper articles on your local library website, under a digital library tab.

  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."

Mental Wellness