Friday, October 31, 2008


If Old Trunks would have kept better notes and taken more pictures, perhaps she would know/remember every costume my children donned in their treks on Halloween. But, she doesn't know. She can only hope that her children will.

I DO remember that for the most part, their costumes fit over their clothes and if the costumes weren't home designed, the children always had their say in what they wanted to be. They generally put in their order early.

Rachel was cute as a witch, a zebra, a pumpkin fairy, and a ghost. She was most patient when we did her hair in eight 'legs' with a spider web and foil to help the hair have joints, as if legs.

I do remember her being the Bride of Frank twice. The first year we bought a dress at the thrift store and we tore the bottom to make it look like she had been running through a Brier patch. Her dress and legs were dirty. She carried 'sticks'. By the time she would play the part again, she had discovered oatmeal make up which when plastered on one's face, made it look like dead skin, she carried 13 roses, well past their prime. The year was 1987 and Ryen, as Dracula had an oatmeal face too. Rachel painted windows at Gibson's two years in a row; she didn't win but had fun. The second year, we mixed the paint, it was not so watered down. Our own picture window as also a canvas.

Bud started out as Superman in 1971. The next year, he wanted to be a battery. A few years of "doesn't matter" where followed by several years of Luke Skywalker. One photo shows him standing with Chewy and Rachel as a skeleton. He did paint on our windows as well as downtown with the bats and rats theme. The paint was watered down and he was NOT happy.

Perhaps Bud's best costumes were in high school. Mike and Bud were going to homecoming. They were to dress as cave men. I don't know why. I painted him him up to look like an African caveman. He was called to the office and told to wash the black off. It was not intended as malice; just in costume. Another costume, perhaps again for homecoming was when he went as a California raisin. I found a vinyl bedspread at the thrift store and colored it purple. It was a truly neat costume, it must have been really hot to wear. Another year, he donned a long white wig and played the part of Noah and the boat he pulled behind him was the arc. You would have to get the full details on that one from him.

Both Bud and Rachel worked at the Schwegler Carnival. Rachel dressed as a clown and Bud had his face painted half white and half black. Bud may have worn the clown costume too, it seemed to disappear. Someone else lost it to us, we lost it to someone else.

One of the years , Bud stated he wanted to be a dinosaur. He changed his mind and never wore the outfit. It had been kept, hoping someday, he would wear it. He went as a gas mask repairman that year. What is that you ask? Something made out of duct tape and card board which fit over his head leaving him able to see. He really wanted a $50 monster mask like Matt.

Ryen was an infant at Halloween of 1979. Bud wanted money to go to LaMans to play games. He had spent his allowance already. I offered him $1 if he would run around the block in the dinosaur costume. I am laughing because by now it was thigh high. Yes, he got the dollar.

The dinosaur costume was inherited by Ryen. The first year he wore it, the tail dragged on the ground. He wore a monster mask. Later, the same costume would become a lizard with his own idea of how his face should be painted. He was a bat and Dracula and a really cute pirate complete with a parrot on his shoulder. Ryen practiced his face painting several times before the celebration. As mentioned before, he got into the oatmeal make up early. One year, his teacher rushed to the door and exclaimed, "He wouldn't let me put his make up on for him." Well, of course not, he already had a plan.

I loved helping them get ready for the big day. I wondered if I would ever dress up again. How fun to be part of the activity staff at the nursing home and dress up. I liked the wigs the best whether it be a short pink bob or a long red tossed style. Didn't seem to matter what I wore, the old men thought I looked like a whore all dressed up. So much for planning to look like an angel with purple curly hair!

In a few hours, Halloween will be over. Old Trunks is hopeful you have spent a few moments digging in your own mental trunk looking at Halloween's past.



Thursday, October 30, 2008


Rachel had her first pumpkin the October she was born. She did not trick or treat nor was she dressed up. We saved that for the next year when I made a costume out of orange crepe paper. Although she was young when she started going door to door, she was with a responsible parent until her elementary school years were passed. Time had changed; parents examined treats.

Instead of running through neighborhoods until you felt like your lungs were going to bust, you walked with adults carrying flash lights just to the houses that had lights on and your parents deemed the home safe. Some Halloween's in Kansas where mild evenings others were cold and wet, you went anyway.

The schools had parties. Everyone got to dress up for the party. The costume went to school in a bag and the children changed just before the party. The principal wouldn't let them come to school in costume because 'first graders needed to learn to read'. I adored the principal but did not agree. You can't tell me those kids weren't hyped knowing there was going to be a major sugar rush coming.

Room mothers would plan the food and games. Later, all the children would parade around the black top, (yes, a black top or drive way like surface).

If Halloween fell on the same day as a scout meeting, the kids would wear their costumes to the meeting and have another party--and THEN go trick or treating after supper. Why bother to make supper?

Favorite treats were chocolate; hard candy the least. Although popcorn balls were handed out, parents wouldn't let you eat them unless you knew where you got it. Parents got their payment for walking their children with a treat as they sorted and looked at every piece for tampering. You would ask for the best, that is chocolate, but you many just get the hard candy.

There was a rule at our house. Make up your mind about what you are going to be early enough to be sure it got made/bought. I am honored to see that Rachel and Jaeme are experimenting with their make up early. They will be ready!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Although I never tipped a out house, (out door toilet), my dad said it was great fun. Oliver, my children's uncle, stated he moved the privy, and when someone came to tip it, they fell into the old hole. OH MY!

There were no safety issues with food when I was growing up. No one sorted our candy or had it x-rayed. We just ran from door to door for what seemed like hours gathering candy. Half way, we would go home, get another bag and hit the street again. And yes, mother got the fruit and cupcakes. Those oranges were heavy!!! They must have balanced out the popcorn balls!

About in third grade, Susan Krankala had a neighborhood party. I was invited because I played in that neighborhood where my grandmother lived.

A little history: When ever there was a parade in town, Daddy and his crew would have a float. The guys would dress up like big breasted women wearing wigs and dresses. The float had an out house and they would do skits. That is where the black wig came from.

I suppose I was embarrassed to be wearing the wig, which on a young girl was perfectly innocent but I was remembering the float and the foolishness. It took prodding to get me to the basement where the party was.

Another party, oh, about four grade or so was in another neighborhood. There was a club, called the Good Cheer Club. It was a Christian sort of after school or early evening with Bible reading and games led by a very nice lady. Well, I did not appreciate a boy pushing my whole head under water in the apple bobbing contest although I know that if you want to get the apple you have to push it to the bottom to get a bite on it. I was probably scared and I remember not having a good cheer attitude toward him or the club. I left and I wasn't quoting scripture.

Someone told the police it was me that turned the chickens loose in the auditorium. It was not. We no longer lived in the country and if we did, we didn't have THAT kind of chickens.

But I was in a car that was stealing chicken eggs and throwing them. I don't know who I was with or if I threw eggs. It certainly was a worse caper than someone named Carol soaping my car. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not soap cars.

My grand parents lived on a limited income. There neighborhood was over run with ghosts and goblins. When the candy was gone, they left the house. Now, if you are out of candy one can just turn the porch light off.

Mother always planned for at least 100 kids. She upped it to 125 one year. My grand parents had come over and mother was out of candy. Mother gathered up dimes as treats to finish out. About 9:30, when I went to bed and my grand parents went home, the door bell was still ringing. They were teenagers kneeling on the step to look short. Mother dropped the last dime and turned off the lights; the bell continued to ring but was not answered. She figured she had treated 250 kids. Amazingly there were no eggs on the windows in the morning. It was 1953.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The last year Old Trunks trick or treated was Halloween of 1955. It may have been the same year Betty and I wore the lamp shades. Our family was moving to the country that day, the snow began early in the day....and to fast forward....we had our last snow on Mother's Day.

Betty and I had already decided we were going as a box. FINALLY we had our customes on the outside instead of under our coats.

We took a Youngstown cupboard box from the farm and cut two holes for vision; one for each of us. The box was not level, she was taller than I. Yet, as we walked through the neighborhoods begging for candy, the cardboard got soggy and the top began to fit on the top of our heads.

Yes, it was a little diffucult to get treats and found we had to lift the box up to get the candy in our bags. When we got back to her house, we dumped out the candy out of the wet bags and passed all the cupcakes, fruit, popcorn balls, and candy we didn't like to her mother.

How about you?


Monday, October 27, 2008


Go back, if you the days of dressing up for Halloween and how much fun it was to dress up, even if we had to wear a heavy coat over our costume because it was winter like in northern Minnesota on the last day of October. But wait! Do you remember having parties in school? I don't. Do you remember dressing up and going to school? Not on a regular basis.

Her name was Betty. She and I were best friends. One of the things we liked to do was dress up in her sister's skirts. We would make hoops out of long wood shavings and chalk line. The chalk like was tied to the wooden hoop and strung to another chalk line, which attached around the waist.

Pardon us for thinking wearing lamp shades on our heads and walking around the neighborhood singing "We are the ladies from lampshade land." Hey, at least the lyrics were original.

I think we wore the lampshades and hoops to school for a party. I remember disrupting the class by sitting on the hoop and making it jump. Our male teacher told me to stop.

What kind of lamp shade you ask? Like the one in the movie, A Christmas Story (1883). There's nary a scene to forget in this near-perfect nostalgic look at where Americana and Christmastime meet. The story of a young boy's epic quest to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB gun provides the hilarious backdrop for a timeless tale rife with family hi jinks, frozen tongues and, of course, sex-oozing leg lamps.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Old Trunks did get a couple of old Prowler yearbooks from Lincoln High in Thief River Falls out to look at autographs. Not so much what they said:

Have fun this summer--See you this summer--don't do anything I wouldn't do, which gives you lots of room--Lots of luck--and other long messages written by the true friends of the era.

What old trunks was after was the style of handwriting, we were, after all, trained in the same way. I wanted to see the variation in style or, better said, the individualistic style for each unique person.

There are several entries of bubbly like script; rounded and perfectly shaped, there are no mixed 'long hand' and print mixed, although there are plenty of printed examples. Not all of the printed messages were from males.

The people that I knew to be left handed, like Frank M, write vertically. Others, who may or may not have been lefties, write a bit backwards. Mike, a leftie, must have been forced in Catholic school to write like a right handed person. His note is well spaced, although I did not intend to say anything about what is written, Mike's notes are truly an inspiration, even yet. He was a dear friend in some funky sort of way.

Patsy and Barbara S. have similar penmanship. It is well placed, almost deliberate. Both inspired, as I was/am by that funny looking 't' at the end of our cursive-written words by our mothers. Betty started an 'r' word with an old school 'r'. Perhaps it was another letter we both gleaned from parents.

I was looking at Jack's. The first letter of every work that goes up, like an 'l' or a 't' is a half an inch tall, whereas the letters that go down, like a 'p' or a 'y' are almost cropped. Chuck's strokes are just opposite. Did they attract?

What does it mean when all the letters we were taught to write with loops, are open? What about those people who closed their 'h', 'k', and others? Two members of one family both had open loops, does that mean they followed like careers? I would have to go back to the letters in elementary school to know which are open! I don't remember. Do you?

Any what about the people that made the tittle above the letter 'i' like a degree sign? Do you think they still do that? Many girls did. Why? Did you wonder?

What about those capital 'E' letters which look like Greek symbols mixed into the printing which is both upper case and lower case? What is that all about?

Old Trunks wrote a note with pen and paper to someone I spent hours with recently. When finished, it was a mix of rolls, hills and valleys. It was printing mixed with cursive. I had known for a long time that people that impressed me over the years had part of them in my penmanship. I have carried Daddy's lower case 'a', mother's lower case word ending 't', Betty's 'r' for beginning in 'r' words, and Mrs. Johnson, Rachel's teacher's 'j'. My grand parents are in there, mixed in the muddle of what is called penmanship. It is called beautiful to look at, impossible to read. But then, we can't all be Soozi's with penmanship that took maturity early and stayed that way. Admirable.

Loving thoughts for all who enter in.


Saturday, October 25, 2008


Old Trunks bought a book in Los Gatos last fall. It is to analyze handwriting. The book hasn't been opened, I don't have enough samples in hand, only in my mind.

Today, one of the articles on the AOL news was about handwriting.

Recently, I was asked to write a real letter using a pen.

Over the weekend, I watched someone journal in long hand.

That is four reasons to consider talking about it in a blog.

A letter written by my great grandfather to his friend in Norway was open scripted. Was it because of the dip-to-ink or because of his personality?

Before I started school, I sat on my grand mother's lap and watched as she translated English recipes to Norwegian. Both her and grandpa, her husband, wrote with a rolled scroll. The only sample I have of her now is what she wrote in the Opseth Bible. Grandpa Benhard wrote me one letter, which I have saved all these years.

I tried to write like grandma. By the time I started school and was required to write, I had a pretty good claim on it. It was the day of the ruler; your script was to be according to the chart on the wall. So, I got my hands smacked.

As I watched Mary, at the scrap book retreat, I wondered if she had taken the same penmanship course my own mother had. Mary seemed to move her hand as if she was making OOOOOOOOO. It was beautiful.

Now, mother's handwriting never changed. It didn't matter if it was a grocery list, a cross word puzzle, or a letter, it was always the same. How did she do it? She learned young and did not experiment, that is how she did it!

Daddy had a running cursive/print style with a lean. Greg wrote back/front/up. He had a flat open style of print--he liked to make people out of the letter "O".

Her name was Marilyn. She was one of those left handed people learning in a right hand world. She cramped up to make her writing look 'right handed'.

It seems to me to be a personal preference. Does one's hand writing evolve? If so, why? Do you have letters in your cursive which you have adopted from people you have known? WHO?

Where is that old year book? Do the mini thoughts written by class mates
show the varieties of personalities even as high school students?

Think about it.


Friday, October 24, 2008


Julia Olette Olson about 1908
Julia Clara Opseth and Stanley about 1915

Old Trunks just can't move away from the fact that on this day in two different years, two great grandmothers to my children were born. Maybe it is that fact they both had the first name of Julia. Maybe because their maiden names started with "O" and their married name started with "R". There is just something that holds me to look at this date of October 24 with awe.

Julia Opseth was born on the farm in New Solum Township in 1885. Her parents were Hannah and Andrew Opseth. They came to America from Norway with their two sons, Gust and Olaf and settled in Minnesota.

Julia married Benhard Ranum, who had moved to New Solum as a two year old with his parents. Although some of his brothers where born in Norway, Benhard was born in Fillmore County.

At the time of their marriage on June 21, 1911, Julia was working in Thief River Falls as a maid/servant, she was twenty-six. Benhard was a builder and he was thirty-two.

Julia Olson was born in Beltrami , MN in 1889. She was a nineteen year old bride of Thomas Rye who was born in Fertile, MN. They were married in December of 1908. Thomas was twenty-nine.

Old Trunks wonders just how many characteristics the great grand children inherited from these ladies. If, as one concept thinks, we are half inherited and half learned, surely something is present!

If not in looks or posturing, then, at least, some presence of the spirit of the Norwegian people, as both of them were pure blooded.

Don't you wonder what traits you have from your ancestors? In the wonder of the Internet one can discover if you are an ENFP or a INFP or any other sort of combination. I wonder if these two women took the test what they would be?

Is Ryen an ENFP from his grandmothers? Are Rachel and Jaeme INFP from them? Interesting concept, don't you think?

Loving thoughts of great grandmothers on this, the 24th day of October.

And ode to Joy who is 64 this day.


Thursday, October 23, 2008


Old Trunks asks you to look back or think back to the pictures of the colored leaf photographs and the mention of tamarack trees. Remember while in the Scenic State Park the ranger stated the tamaracks had not turned color yet?

When ever I saw these trees in the fall, I thought they were ever greens which had died. I was always amazed at how many were dead each year. What was killing them off?

Nothing was killing them off, that is just what they look like when they turn color and loose their leaves in the fall.

Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge is near Maplelag. It covers 42,724 acres and lies in the glacial lake country of northwestern Minnesota in Becker County, 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes. It was established in 1938 as a refuge breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Refuge topography consists of rolling forested hills interspersed with lakes, rivers, marshes, bogs and shrub swamps. The token of the refuge is the tamarack tree. This unusual tree is a deciduous conifer, turning a brilliant gold before losing its needles each fall.

As you can see by the map, the tree grows in only part of the United States. When Linda from New York stated they had them in their front yard at one time, we know that because of the location on the map. If Thief River Falls and the area around it has them, I don't remember them. One would think they had them in New Solum township because it is marshy, swampy, and boggy. Anyone out there in Internet land making a trip to Rosewood soon? Look for evergreen looking trees with golden needles. It is a tamarack!
There are two spellings: Tamarac and Tamarack

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Grand parents and parents when young, sat near a battery operated radio and listened to radio programs after supper. In the mid to early fifties, I sat on the floor of the neighbors and listened to the Lone Ranger with David and Julie. How else would a kid know The William Tell Overture?

In the past, we have looked at the television schedules listed in cities with daily schedules. Television started the broadcast around four in the afternoon and signed off after the ten o'clock news. For those of us who had television in the mid fifties, we turned the set on out side of that time frame to see a 'test pattern' with a Sioux chief in a head dress.

Mother bought the magazine TV GUIDE, most likely she had a subscription to it. She, like her daughter to follow later, liked to work the crossword puzzles. And one may not touch her puzzle. Old Trunks is not certain just when the magazine entered our household, she only knows the first issue had a picture of Lucy and Ricky's baby on the front--it was April 3, 1953.

And so it came to pass that spending fifteen cents became part of the grocery bill. If we were stumped on a word, we could hardly wait to get the next issue to finish the puzzle. I am remembering that Rachel was part of this sleuthing.

One day, before the new season began, the children in the neighborhood gathered on Bonham's patio. Some of these households had more than one child. The idea was to negotiate who got to watch what, and when. Contracts were drawn up. Discussions were hot. In the end, schedules were posted.

The idea of early morning cartoons became such an icon at our household that Rachel, who at that age, could not tell time BUT she knew she wanted her Saturday morning birthday party to start when a certain animation began and end with another. The invitations were send with the actual times following the show time.

TV Guide magazine slipped out of our lives for several years. It seemed as if by the end of October, the new shows had been picked and everyone had settled in. There was a time we didn't watch television. why would one need a guide?

A few years ago, now back into the pattern of watching television, I had a desire to renew my relationship with the little fifteen cent rag mag I had known in the past. I subscribed. How disappointing to receive a guide that was for all time zones, all programs, and the size of a piece of typing paper. The year ran out, I did not read it, nor did I use it.

Instead, I relied, once again, on the newspaper to find out what was on in the evening and made a spread sheet of favorites that are generally on. Seems to work for us:

Monday 9P Boston Legal

Tuesday 7P House

You get the picture.

Alas, I have recently read TV GUIDE has been sold for $1. The article states: "The sale demonstrates the difficulty faced by businesses that try to do in print what the electronic world can do better. Want to know what's on tonight? Sites such as AOL Television can provide up to the moment listings, with links and background. With a majority of Americans on cable, program listing are only a button push away. Traditionalists can still find listing in the newspaper.

The type of insider features that were once the meat and potatoes of TV Guide have become core programming for a multitude of magazines such as People and another dying franchise, Reader's Digest. The airwaves are replete with meta-TV programs about TV programs, such as Entertainment Tonight."

Wednesday 7P Bones

Thursday 7P Ugly Betty

Does your child know these terms?

Test patterns

Sign off

Little potato looking people with a sign saying network difficulty

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Old Trunks reviewed V Mail from WWII in mid April of this year. The essays talked about how the mail was censored, photographed unto microfilm, sent from Europe on film, printed and delivered to loved ones. This process was considered speedy. For the time, it was the most efficient way.

In the late fifties, mother wrapped my brother's birthday cake, put it in a tin container, stuffed the box with newspaper and sent it right after labor day for him to receive it by mid-October for his birthday. The cake was crumbles but the paper was enjoyed.

Calls of any length to Germany at night rates were still greater than $100.00.

Now, again I say huzzah for the Internet. How else would one communicate with service people one knows fighting or a nurse in Africa working with Doctors Without Borders. It isn't that these are two special people are related, although we have become friends after the ___by marriage clause is long past.

When the nurse talked about a varmint crawling under her skin and laying eggs, how can a person in North Dakota understand that? With pictures of course. And how can I say to her how beautiful the fall leaves are in this part of the country? Pictures, of course.

And when the man in the service wants to share the critter that was in his tent, he sends a picture of a nasty looking bite you bug that we certainly do not have in this part of the country!

Maybe you are on Facebook and these special folks are on your friend's list. Or you have others who are abroad. Maybe you have children on it and in their busy lives, they talk to you on Facebook because it is quick and they are there.

Someone asked me recently if Facebook was for old people. Well, it is an everyone site. It is a speedy way to say hello to your favorite librarian who moved away, a nurse in Africa, and lots of other special people.

The person who asked me has two children in the 'club'. They may have told her it was NOT FOR OLD PEOPLE. Her daughter was over 500 friends listed, brother trails with a mere 380. Isn't that something?

For now, I just got an invite to be some one's friend. I am off to visit with her. By the way, she is near fifty.

Speeding to loved ones.


Monday, October 20, 2008

A tribute to Elory's Max A Million

All of us have had a pet in our lives which we have lived with for many years. We know what sort of interaction we had with each of them.

In my childhood house hold there was........

Lassie the collie. She was sold to a man who flew to Alaska; she became his companion.

There was Jigs, who chased cars, the second time he was run over, the neighborhood kids and adults had a funeral for him in the back yard. He was buried in a peach crate. He was a Boston Terrier, Daddy presented him to the family by taking him out of his suit pocket.

There was Diamond, the weimaraner that Daddy bought at a kennel in Minneapolis. When he bolted in the door for the first time, he snatched a loaf of bread out of Grandma's hands as she was moving it from the oven to the counter. Diamond was given away thirteen years later to a good home when couldn't walk the stairs due to his arthritis. He continued to train other dogs to hunt. He was given away for a short time after he bit the mail man. The pound couldn't put him down, he was too fine a dog and decided the mail man may have had something to do to pester him.

There was Spook, a black cocker, who contracted distemper at the lake the summer of 1952 and died.

There was Jewel, a black lab, who after being spade, ripped out her stitches, got infection and couldn't be healed. In those days, dogs were shot by their masters.

There was Troubles, the collie cross who came to live with us at the farm at eight weeks old. He would meet you at the back door and carry your hand in his mouth. When we left the farm, he stayed behind.

There was Alex McGregor, the Scottie, that mother ordered from somewhere in Southern Minnesota. We picked him up in a crate at the train station early one morning.

Daddy trained all those dogs to come when they were called and to do tricks. Diamond was sent to college twice to get him to mind. We had Diamond the longest. It is said that in his drinking days, when Diamond was in the bar with Daddy, that Diamond carried the money up to the bar to order another drink for him. He also picked up dimes from the floor. There are numerous Cesar's Blue Diamond stories. He was Daddy's dog.

.......And then there were cats. Lot's of cats. Sure to please Siamese, all named Amos; males and females a like. There were barn cats, the greatest of which I remember was Sapphire, a black long hair that would stand on the dog house and meow to come in when Mother and I were doing dishes. All you could see where her frosty whiskers, her pink tongue, and her green eyes as we did supper dishes. Mother would let her in, she would eat, and want back outside. Mother washed dishes three times a day and that is how often Sapphire stood on the dog house. Sapphire stayed with the farm when we left.

Today's blog is dedicated to Elory's Max A Million. He was a smoke Persian who came into our lives in June of 1990. Max was a kitten out of Snickers. The owner of the litter was an oxygen patient I had been visiting monthly or greater after the kittens were born. She told me to get all the supplies needed for a kitten and she would charge me the difference for the cat.

Now, Max had brothers and sisters and half sisters and brothers. One kitten, whom we named Whisper, was purchased by my boss, she died of kidney failure at three or so.

Max, on the other hand, seemed healthier than the lot. When I moved to Fargo in 1998, Max came along. He was a quiet cat; he took a shine to Tom and would jump into his lap when ever Tom was sitting on the sofa. He liked to bat wrapped peppermints around the floor and when they disappeared under the furniture, he would look at you like, "Get that out for me, please."

He spent his days wandering around the house and sleeping in the little crannies. We went to the lake with us and lay on the back of the sofa and watched the birds at the feeders or sat by the door and watched the squirrels run about. He liked to sleep in his kennel, although the door was never closed.

Last year on a Friday when I left for the scrap book retreat, I told Max were I was going. I was restless about leaving. When I returned on Sunday near noon, Tom met me in the driveway. Max had died on Saturday, in his kennel. We stood in the driveway and held each other and cried. Max liked Tom best, perhaps that is why I had asked him years before if he would consider adopting him, which he took as an honor. Later, we would drink a toast to 'good ol Max'. It was a lonesome time for Tom. He would pick up the dishes, the litter box, and the kennel. He would put him in a box and bury him after I got home. And he vacuumed and he vacuumed and he vacuumed. And he said it was really lonesome without him when I was gone.

One doesn't have a pet for that long without being affected in some way. I am not comparing Max death to that of a human. But he was always there. He was always looking at you with his copper eyes. On Friday morning when I was sorting paper for scrap booking, he just had to sit right in the middle of the pile, because that is what cat's do.

He liked Tom best. Max was a SMART cat to adore Tom.

It's been a year since he died. Ode to Max.


Sunday, October 19, 2008


I chose to take the BIG FIVE test, mentioned on 17 September 2008. If was free although you had to wade through dozens of pages of advertising!

About The Report
The 'BIG FIVE' personality traits are the ones which underlie most others. These traits are about 50% inherited and 50% learned, and stay fairly stable from age 30 on. Higher scores on CONSCIENTIOUSNESS are associated with better school grades. Low scores on AGREEABLENESS may be associated with delinquency in teens and similar problems in adults. Higher scores on all scales are often associated with enjoying employment responsibilities and duties. Norms used for scoring include over 70,000 Americans ages 15-65 (S.D. Gosling & J. Potter, U.Tex., Austin) and several hundred teenagers, ages 12-17. Each person's scores are based on an appropriate gender and age group. Scores can be less than zero, e.g., -16, because they are standard (T) scores (mean of 50, standard deviation of 28). Percentiles are approximate.

very organized
goal directed



Much interest in new ideas and experiences
likes travel

tends to be stable
level headed

Tomorrow, Ryen's results on the Myer Briggs Test.

He is a ENFP Do you remember what that stands for?


Saturday, October 18, 2008


This test was developed in the early thirties. The five sections examined are:

1. Openness involves active imagination, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity. A great deal of research has demonstrated that these qualities are statistically correlated. Thus, openness can be viewed as a global personality trait consisting of a set of specific traits, habits, and tendencies that cluster together.

Openness tends to be normally distributed with a small number of individuals scoring extremely high or low on the trait, and most people scoring near the average. People who score low on openness are considered to be closed to experience. They tend to be conventional and traditional in their outlook and behavior. They prefer familiar routines to new experiences, and generally have a narrower range of interests. They could be considered practical and down to earth.

2. Conscientiousness is thetrait of being painstaking and careful, or the quality of acting according to the dictates of one's conscience It includes such elements as, carefulness, thoughness,organization, delibertation (the tendency to think carefully before acting), and need for achievement. It is an aspect of what was traditionally called character. Conscientious individuals are generally hard working and reliable.

When taken to an extreme, they may also be workaholics,perfectionists, and compulsive in their behavior. People who are low on conscientiousness are not necessarily lazy or immoral, but they tend to be more laid back, less goal oriented, and less driven by success.

3. The trait of Extraversion-Introversion is a central dimension of human personality Extraverts (also spelled extroverts[)are gregarious, assertive, and generally seek out excitement. Introverts, in contrast, are more reserved, less outgoing, and less sociable. They are not necessarily asocial but they tend to have smaller circles of friends, and are less likely to thrive on making new social contacts.

4. Agreeableness is a tendency to be pleasant and accommodating in social situations. Agreeableness is one of the five major dimensions of personality structure, reflecting individual differences in concern for cooperation and social harmony. People who score high on this dimension are empathetic, considerate, friendly, generous, and helpful. They also have an optimistic view of human nature. They tend to believe that most people are honest, decent, and trustworthy.

People scoring low on agreeableness place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally less concerned with others' well-being, report less empathy, and are therefore less likely to go out of their way to help others. Their skepticism about other people's motives may cause them to be suspicious and unfriendly. People very low on agreeableness have a tendency to be manipulative in their social relationships. They are more likely to compete than to cooperate.

5. Neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait in the study of psychology. It can be defined as an enduring tendency to experience negative emotional states. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depression They respond more poorly to environmental stress, and are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. They are often shy, and they may have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification.

Critics argue that there are limitations to the scope of Big Five as an explanatory or predictive theory. It is argued that the Big Five does not explain all of human personality. The methodology used to identify the dimensional structure of personality traits, factor analysis, is often challenged for not having a universally-recognized basis for choosing among solutions with different numbers of factors. Another frequent criticism is that the Big Five is not theory-driven; it is merely a data-driven investigation of certain descriptors that tend to cluster together under factor analysis. The Big 5 was opposed by some researchers in psychology, such as situationists who emphasize the importance of context on personality rather than fixed personality traits. Others emphasize the interaction of the traits and context specific factors in determining personality.

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, right?


Friday, October 17, 2008


Let's refresh. Here are the eight traits, grouped by twos. We are one or the other in each catagory. You may have taken the test and already know what you are.

I took some college classes a few years back, this test was included. I have forgotten what the outcome was. I do know that I trained my brain to think differently because of the pending responsibilites. This test is supposed to be based on raw data of what you really are! Am I back to right winged? Or has some of the left brain taken over. When I took the test, I was 51% right and 49% left.

Extraversion (E) or
Introversion (I)

Perceiving Functions
Sensing (S) or
Intuition (N)

Judging Functions
Thinking (T) or
Feeling (F)

Judgment (J) or
Perception (P)

I am going to take the Big Five test. How will this work with me being retired? I am thinking it is based on someone in the job market. We will see!

Report back tomorrow.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

These tests were developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers. They began creating the indicator during WWII, believing that a knowledge of personality preferences would help women who were entering into the industrial workforce in wartime jobs.

In 1962, the questionnaire had grown into the Briggs-Myers Type Indicator. All of this started with Jung's book, written in the twenties called, Psychological Types. The original German language edition, "Psychologische Typen" was published in 1921. In the book Jung categorized people into primary types of psychological function.

The eight psychological types are categorized as follows

Extroverted Sensation
Introverted Sensation
Extroverted Intuition
Introverted Intuition
Extroverted Thinking
Introverted Thinking
Extroverted Feeling
Introverted Feeling

perceiving functions are:
Sensation and Intuition

judging functions are:
Thinking and feeling

attitude functions are:

Jung theorized that whichever function dominates consciousness its opposite function is repressed and will characterize unconscious behavior

Are you still with me?

Come back tomorrow!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


There are sixteen types of personality traits according to the Myers Briggs Personality test.

As we talk about all of these tests now available on line, let's think about what these sixteen types are and the USA population break down. Obviously these are inferential stats. It is a random sampling of 3000+ culled from a total pool of 16,000 using the Myer Briggs Test in 1998.

Let's look at what the letters mean before we do the stats, okay?


Extraversion (E) or
Introversion (I)

Perceiving Functions
Sensing (S) or
Intuition (N)

Judging Functions
Thinking (T) or
Feeling (F)

Judgment (J) or
Perception (P)

ISTJ 11.6%
ISTP 4.5
ESTP 4.3
ESTJ 8.7

ISFJ 13.8%
ISFP 8.8
ISFP 8.5
ESFJ 12.3

INFJ 1.5%
INFP 4.3
ENFP 8.1
ENFJ 2.4

INTJ 2.1%
INTP 3.3
ENTP 3.2
ENTJ 1.8

This means ENTJ, is an extravert, intuitive, thinking, and judging is the smallest part of the study.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


About 20 miles out of the park, we saw a sign for Johnson Lake. We laughed because if where ours we would have it closer to Fargo.

That is when Tom saw the sign for LAURENTIAN DIVIDE. Although it isn't an x marks the spot, the whole spot, and nothing but the spot, all you need to remember is water north of it flows north, water south flows south and it is about 1,500 feet above sea level. It all took place before my time, 10-12 thousand years ago so don't blame me if you have a problem with the Red River of the North running UP!

Give a gander to the map to understand what is were.

While we were there, we read about The Hill of Three Rivers. Well, we were really excited to see this. (Tom had suggested I bring a lap top with us the next time we adventure so we could pull into a wifi place and do research). It is a great idea and I would cull pictures on the way home.

Nevertheless, as I told Linda, we did find it by Google this morning and it is in the middle of the iron range. It is not accessible. We thought it would be fabulous to look at a place where the Native Americans came together from 100 miles away. Wouldn't you think so? Maybe they will let you in, it is north of Hibbing.

The leaf run must be a big thing to many. A limo pulled up and several older women got out. Lots of cameras. A group of orientals got out of a car and took pictures by each sign. Another couple got out of there care and she ran half way to the out house, then asked me if there was any toilet paper in it. Do I look like the toilet paper lady?

Monday, October 13, 2008


On Saturday, October 4, the weather was to be windy. With Tom the weatherman, that meant, not fish, but rather take that fun run to look at the leaves. As I had said in the post of 8 October, we had been watching the Minnesota DNR site for the percentage of color in all the state parks in Minnesota. Maplewood State Park had been one of them.

We knew, according to the site, the area around Itasca State Park would show just like Maplewood. Our decision to drive 500 miles round trip was an agreement between the two of us, although it would require a lot of windshield time.

We weren't 60 miles from town when we spotted an outhouse and a red tree, followed by an old barn and trees, and a plowed field and trees. We knew if we were going to get beyond Grand Rapids, were according to the graph, we were going to have to kick up the truck and barrel.

Our stops along the road were quick. Some of the most amazing photos were taken through the wind shield using a polarized filter. I was drunk with colored leaf fever and knowing it was one day less of winter.

One of the places we had chosen was Hill Mine Annex. It is said you can stand at the top and look down into the former pit mine, now covered with trees. Alas, it was closed for the season. Closed for the season? Yes. Fenced off, locked up, closed for the season.

We angled back through Calumet and Tactonite where we took highway 7, north to Scenic State Park where there are seveal stands of old white and red pine. There had been logging in the area and one of the CCC cabins still stands, cared for by the DNR. The restored cabin may be rented throughout the summer months. It is said the Ojibway used the area for hunting. The park was commissioned in 1921.

The ranger shared a picture of a group of men who lived and worked making Scenic State Park a reality. A family had come to see where their family member had worked and sent the photograph to him later. Much of the park is walking and hiking trails, of which we did neither.

We did, however venture to the CCC cabin and down to the lake.

The ranger stated the maples had been brilliant before the recent hard frost. He was certain the projected rain and the wind would put the park past prime. He suggested we drive highway 38 south.
Although we left Scenic State Park, we still were in Superior National Forest and touching the edge of Chippewa National Forest in our drive south.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We had taken a drive through Maplewood State Park earlier in the year. We had decided then to fish there when the leaves turned. Tom insisted on using a leader; the lake had muskie. We were told there were a lot of bass.

We drove around the park first, stopping often to take pictures of the trees.

Tom's macro of sumac and its flowers are beautiful. Old Trunks considers using it with its red and green for Christmas cards. Yet, somehow her more church oriented friends may be offended by red and green, jingle, jingle. Well, may not be any worse than a yellow feather and hope Christmas tickles you or rubber stamp of a loon with a wreath around its neck. Thinking....thinking....

The fisherman we talked to weren't getting much catching done. We didn't either but it was really pretty there and we did a lot of ooooaaaaa when we looked at the uploaded pictures. It was October 3, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008


On the birthday of my son Ryen, Tom, Beth, and I went to Lake Munson. It was on the 27th of September. Although it was windy, it was really nice being on the water. As you can see, the trees were beautiful.

Tom was 'helping' Beth fish. When she tired out, he picked up the rod and it just a few casts, captured a three and a half pound bass followed by a four pound bass, (shown). The last picture is of me, totally surprised by the four pound two ounce walleye I had captured. Especially since it was on a pink and purple lure.

Recently we were trying in reenact what fish were caught were. It is sort of a bust listening to the two of us recite cabins.

Was it where that man was swearing because he couldn't get his lift on land? No.

Well, I caught my walleye where the little boy was fishing in the paddle boat and yelled at his Grandpa we had a walleye in the boat.

Was it where the house was resided with plastic logs? No.

Was it where the railroad ties ran vertically and they had all the flowers? No.

Was it the house we thought we would just gravel in the yard. No

Was it were the little white boat house with the green sign was? No

Was it were the concrete embankment was caving in? No.

Was it where that big grey house was for sale? No.

Was it where the man was in the water in waders? Yea, I think so, did he have a white boat house too? Don't remember.

Was it on the sunken islands? No.

Do you think we should go back and take panoramic shots of the shore line? Yes, then we will know where the house with the flag pole is.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Sara's house is the middle picture~~well, of course, she doesn't live in a tree or on the water!
Let me ask you this? Have you ever had a co worker that became a friend? You know the kind you ride elephants with, go out to dinner with, and chum with in spirit? Well, that is Sara.
Sara and I were Certified Nurses Aides together along with Neil and Rachel. We ran north hall. At that time, it was thee best run and hardest hall to work in the building. The four of us seemed to flow in and out of one another. We talked to our residents about their lives, not our own. It was a great set up. Then management decided that sort of strength needed to be broken up and passed around. Ours was strength in numbers.
Sara went on to become an RN and is a traveling nurse. For those of us who have laptops, you know we are never farther away then the send button.
On the twenty-sixth of September we went to her lake, although she had previously said that if she told us where they caught those two-eight pound walleye, she would have to kill us.
The leaves were beautiful. We watched a man fish rough species with a tethered bow and arrow. We watched the Coots, again gathering in large flocks as if they were contemplating their fly south. In the last picture, a small portion of the flock was doing the Coot Scoot.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Little Sugar Bush is in Becker County, MN. It was the twentieth of September. The day was calm and sunny. The trees had begun to turn.

The second picture includes Maplelag. Maplelag is a wonderful resort which I learned off within the last couple of years. The scrap book retreat is held there twice a year in March and October.

By the time the Creative Memories had the retreat last October, the leaves were gone. I wanted to fish the lake to see what it looked like from the water side. As you can see, it is beautiful. For additional pictures from the Maplelag staff, please Google: MAPLELAG. Yes, LAG. The photo above is taken from our boat.

The Canada's took off just as we turned the corner trolling and casting for bass. It was a great fishing lake as well as a splendor to behold.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


As you can see by the graph, revised on October 3, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers an updated color run of leaves each business day. According the ranger at Scenic State Park, the numbers are up to the discretion of the ranger.

Old Trunks wonders why the sites don't say things like, "Red Maples brilliant". Or "Tamaracks to turn soon". That would help a daughter who drove from Minneapolis after she learned the leaves at Maplewood State Park were supposed to be PRIME. Imagine the daughter and her father looking for leaves of color when she had driven through much prettier leaves on the way to his town!

We knew when we went to Maplewood we were chancing 50-75% and even though it was on the low side, the run was worth it, although the fishing was on the low, low, low side! The weather was great and we were just one less day of winter in the mid west.

Yesterday we wanted to get into those areas on the map that were 75-100%. It would mean about 500 miles round trip. The kind you face the sun in the morning as it rises and in the evening as it sets. Home is when the moon is up. That didn't seem to matter, we would go to Grand Rapids and beyond.

Over the next few days, I will keyboard less and offer you pictures of what we have seen on our journey's of the last few weeks. For those of you who lived in Minnesota, you will, no doubt, remember the breath taking beauty.