Community, News
Indoor projects

By Brian Schommer

It was suggested by a reader who enjoys staying in the house during this time of year that the focus should be changed for this feature to review things to do while staying indoors. Considering the title of the feature is “Out and About,” changing gears and sharing with others about things to do indoors would be counterproductive at minimum and truly unorthodox. That stated, at The Journal, and specifically when it comes to “Out and About,” which is a reader driven feature article, we at least want to show that we listen. A bit of humoring, or at least humor is appropriate. Here is our take on things to do while staying indoors. Watch what you wish on the television. The Vikings and Packers seasons are done, so those options are no longer available. Clean the house while listening to music, unless you are one of those weirdos that enjoy cleaning the house. The music part is completely optional then. Cook a nice dinner or bake something but be careful to make sure you have all the ingredients; you would hate to have to go out and about to pick up any necessities. Okay, there are plenty of things to do while inside, but the fact is, necessities are necessary, and you will eventually need to leave to confines of your house. So, while you are braving the frozen tundra that is our area of Minnesconsin, you may as well check other things out and make the best of your time.

For example, it was recently discovered that major home improvement projects require several trips to a store like Menards. If you are in Hastings, you have four directions that you can easily find said big box “everything you need and a few things you don’t” store. Hudson, Rosemount, Red Wing, and the obvious choice as it is the closest, Cottage Grove are all homes to Menards locations. Their slogan… “Save Big Money at Menards,” is kind of a misnomer, at least during major home improvement projects. Their recent Bag Sale, along with the standard 11% savings truly helped. The thing is, when going to any “big box” store, there is a couple more within close proximity. If you are a homebody during the winter, this is when you plan to make a few more stops to get all those necessities that you just might not want to pick up at Menards. They probably have it, but it might not be the brand you are looking for. If not, Target and Walmart are a stone’s throw away to help you get what you need. No worries if their grocery aisle doesn’t fit your wants, desires, and needs. There is a Cub Foods and an Aldi right there too. This is great for the readers who live in Cottage Grove AND want to leave the house as little as possible. For the Hastings homebodies, the addition of Fleet Farm certainly can assist you with your planning as well. Now that you are out and about though, why not live a little. We get it, it is colder, and the roads often present some challenges at this time of the year, but you are already out. Why not? You may find out that you like it.

If you are in the Cottage Grove area and hunger hits, why not make a stop at the VFW Post 8752, aka The Red Barn. The kitchen is open Monday through Friday from 2pm until 7:30pm and they have some awesome burgers, wraps, and incredible salads for the healthier choice folks. “Taco Tuesdays” are favorite for many, and they have a great fish fry during the Lenten season. The organization does a lot for current and retired service members, but as well, is a huge supporter of the local community. If you have never been there before, you really should check it out. They have music on Tuesday nights as well, offer other fun things to do like karaoke and such. The Red Barn is certainly worth the stop, even if you don’t like to be away from home.

Are you on the “there is no where to buy clothes in Hastings?” Shifting away from the big box stores a bit, which certainly carry plenty of options to cover your body with, there is a place that sees a lot of traffic from the women in this writer’s house called Maurices and has made gift giving for several years much easier (thank goodness for gift cards). If you find yourself in downtown Hastings, there are a couple more options. Beloved Bridal and Boutique adds new items daily and not only carries several lines of clothing, but the accessories as well. Lah-Tee-Dah is another boutique clothing store that specializes in Women’s clothing, gifts, and décor. If you are someone who believes strongly in “shopping local,” then a trip to downtown Hastings should be on your list, even if you don’t like leaving the house that often. Like stated earlier, necessities are necessary, and clothing is necessary. For the guys, MOST are easily satisfied with clothes from the big box stores… you know, like Menards and Fleet Farm.

You have an activity or an event coming up (please give a couple weeks per deadline needs) that would fit well here in “Out and About?” Maybe you are opening a new business or starting a new organization that could use some free press? Let us know by emailing [email protected] Now Get Out and About, even if for just a little bit.

January 18, 2023