Saturday, February 28, 2009


Do we give a thought to the pureness of the foods we buy at the market? Perhaps we do when there are recalls, as there have been recently. Terrible thing to have someone die because of bad food products. Yet, do we think about when all these guidelines were implemented?

There wasn't always a cream grading system and the good dairy men's public enemy was bad cream. A law was finally passed by the state legislature with the backing of the dairymen and Minnesota Farm Bureau. It would be set up in three grades. It was a way to get the dirty and badly flavored off the market.

Grade sweet cream
These were to be fresh, clean, and fine flavored with 2-10% acidity

Grade one sweet cream
No more than 6-10% acidity

Grade two sweet cream
May contain odors and flavors in moderation; greater than 10% acidity

Unlawful cream contained filth, foreign bodies, and dirt. No, I am not kidding that is what is says. Honest!!! It was not fit for humans.

Now, when the cream came in to be graded, if it was unlawful that is, bad cream, the creamery put coloring in it to mark it as unfit. The coloring was not poison, just coloring to make sure no one was unknowingly buying bad cream. This meant, of course, that the containers they were in were also marked with some sort of tag. Remember too, cream was picked up at the depot by the Soo Line and brought in to be graded. Of course, in order to be credited for your cream, your name was included. I wonder how long it took to get the feel for the people trying to sell bad cream? Don't you suppose there was some sort of a 'black list'?

In order to make this new state law effective they needed to license creamery operators and buyers. This annual fee was one dollar and one needed to prove you knew how to grade it and know how to judge the butter fat content. Wait!! There is more! They also had to test each patron's cream each month. If they, as the buyer, failed to do so, they lost their license to practice creamery, (couldn't help it) and were subject to a fine of $25-100.

"It is said that bad cream makes bad butter, and many people in other states prefer oleo. The average per capital consumption of butter of the nation is 18 pounds annually. In Minnesota, it is 28 pounds. If the national average could be increased to the Minnesota figure, dairymen would profit greatly and the drive for a better cream supply will help to change the eating habits of the oleo users", said, JB Jones, secretary and legislative representative of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation.

My question is, would the cream, shipped without refrigeration show more butterfat? It is a churning question, isn't it?

Let's see if I can find something written for layman's brains about how these pioneers actually checked for butterfat without all the high tech there was available later. Today's research shows several different substances in cream. Just what the operator's tested for is not certain back in the early days.

Here is a list to help you understand just what is in what.

Half and half contains 10.5–18% fat
light cream and sour cream contain 18–30% fat
light whipping cream (often called simply "whipping cream") contains 30–36% fat
heavy cream contains a minimum of 36% fat
Butter (including whipped butter) contains at least 80% fat

Oh yum strawberries and cream!


Friday, February 27, 2009


Again I commend the pioneers who went about their business despite the weather. In the dead of winter business meetings and gatherings continued to happen.

There were, in 1931, two churches in the Rosewood area. One was the Mission Church and the other the Rindal Lutheran. The Mission Church was started by Reverend Olaf A Anderson. It was sold and became a carpenter shop. Rindal continues to function as a gathering place in the spring for cleaning and the cemetery is well maintained.

From the Times we learned that a business meeting of the Rindal congregation was held at the Selmer Haugen home last Friday evening to discuss church plans for the coming year. A proposition was aired to bid on the hall building in Rosewood, and which is now for sale, for use as a meeting place, but opposition tabled this proposition. A committee consisting of Charlie Sagmoen, Otto Saugen, and Emil Anderson was appointed to investigate possible costs if the church should be moved to a more favorable location. Opinion varied to the most desirable site was varied as a few wished the church moved to the intersection of Rosewood Road and Highway D, while others favored Rosewood as the most suitable place. A free 50 foot front location has been offered the committee, if the church should be move into Rosewood.

While the Lutherans were considering moving their church to Rosewood, the Swedish Young Peoples Society of the mission church, (in town), met for a program of musical numbers, including the string band. It was announced the sermon for Sunday would be "Is There a Second Chance After Death?"

Gust Opseth went to St. Paul on to visit his sister Mrs. Roy Skinner. It is wondered by the author of this blog if he was in attendance to the mixed carload of stock that was shipped to South St. Paul.

Which church did Even Anderson belong to? Who prayed for him when he was very ill and still bed ridden at the time of this writing?

What is it about our nature that brings us to pages were information includes the simplest of things like what people are eating, how they are feeling, where they are going, and how they are inner acting with others? But we ARE interested and we DO have curious spirits and opinions.

We like to know who died, birthed, moved, visited, churched, got drunk, and what ever else. I can hear and see my mother. Licking finger as she scrambled through the local paper, "Well, I wonder who got picked up." Meaning of course, the police blotter in the paper.

It is the same curiosity and opinion that makes me wonder why the retired mail man across the street decided to chose a cold February day to have his house roofed and sided and watching the laborers tear off the old shingles and siding and toss them on the ground because the dump truck was full and left. Yet, I am grateful the wind has let up and the roof is free from ice and snow as I watch them lay the paper down before applying the new shingles. And I am annoyed because they parked their trailer a good 18" from the curb and partially blocked the east of us lady's driveway. I find a fascination in watching the roofers expedite the tarping process with a nail gun while I remember how Noah, on bended knee, managed to shoot a nail into the side of his leg and come out in the calf and how the guys carried him off the roof and took him to the hospital in the bed of a pick up because his leg was nailed together.

Although I get poopy about my sweet Thomas playing question and answer in his head, I do the same thing. Just as the multiple ideas regarding the moving of the Rindal Church and the different songs which may have been requested when the string band, led by Lloyd P Anderson, played for the Swedish Young People Society.

Most of us like trivia. Most of us grasp unto information that we may never need. Churches still have meetings and special events. This takes people to make it work. Agreements have to be made, someone has to compromise. Like the mailman's house, it take a crew to get things done.

Appreciate your part, even if you aren't the BMOC, (big man on campus).

Making burgers, want yours rare or well done?


Thursday, February 26, 2009


The annual business meeting of the Mission Church congregation was held at the home of T. Mellem Saturday afternoon. The meeting opened with devotional singing and scripture readings by T. Mellem. Last years business was read and approved.

The officers for the coming year were selected:

Mrs. Carl Mellem, secretary
Mrs. Carl Bloom, treasurer
Carl Bloom, trustee
Carl Mellem, trustee
Mrs. Emil Mellem, monitor
Mr. Emil Mellem, monitor

Would you say that is keeping it in the family?

Other news from the snowbanks of Rosewood in the winter of 1929:

Peter Mellem and Gust Opseth went to Thief River Falls to bring home gears for Gust's Rumeley tractor which he will use for sawing lumber in the spring. Gust and Pete were planning ahead!

A carding party was staged at the Benhard Ranum home on Tuesday, a number of ladies from here and Thief River Falls attended. Did they play cards or did they make wool ready to spin?

AG Roos was out from Thief River Falls between trains on Thursday to attend to matters of business. Couldn't he have waited in the depot or the store instead of being between trains? Vision that.

Otto Lappegaard who is employed with the Soo Line bridging crew in eastern North Dakota spent Sunday with his home folks here. His brother, Clarence Lappegaard is now employed in Minneapolis.

No matter what the weather these folks were out and about. They gathered for business and pleasure and 'motored' to town. They came from far away to visit there families. That is pretty incredible considering their transportation and sources of heat.

I like to think that at each carding party, whether it be cards or wool, grandma put out a lunch as all families did when they had company. It didn't matter if the company was expected or not, it was the kind of wholesome get to gethers this group of Rosewood folks did.

In a conversation with a former class mate last summer, we talked about what we offered people who stopped by our homes. We agreed if special company was coming, we might bake a pie to serve but drop in company generally got coffee or a soda, if that was their choice. It amazes me how many people ask for a glass of water.

Now, whether it was a church meeting in the home, a carding party, visiting family from afar, you can bet your sweet bippy there was always food served. There was always enough, ALWAYS. And, like grandma, there was probably a place away from the house in a shed with frozen cookies, bars, and dough nuts to warm in the oven.

What's in your freezer for company? What would you serve if someone came to visit unexpectedly? Think about it.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


In the early years around Thief River Falls, people went by horse and buggy and got on a boat to go to Red Lake Falls to visit. Or, they went by train or stagecoach. Oh, and don't forget people actually walked!!!

Imagine what a great service it was to have the Triangle Transportation Company. The depot was located at 402 E 2nd Street. It was the late thirties. Although Old Trunks has no prices, let's see where we could go, hopefully, there was a bus at the other end to bring us back!

8:30 AM Warren, Argyle, and Winnipeg.

10:05 AM Red Lake Falls, Gonvick, Clearbrook, Brainerd, Duluth, and International Falls

10:45 AM Erskine, Mahnomen, Wadena, and Minneapolis

11:45 AM Red Lake Falls, Grand Forks, Fargo, Duluth, and International Falls. (Surely this was two different buses--Fargo is on the MN/ND border and Duluth is way across the state).

4:45 PM Red Lake Falls, Crookston, Grand Forks, Fargo, Minneapolis

8:00 PM Middle River, Grand Forks, Roseau, Warroad, International Falls.

F0r anyone living in the Thief River Falls area we know that if, indeed, these are routes, someone is going to be on the bus along time. Perhaps the train was still the best way to get to Minneapolis although it was a very long ride because of all the stops.

There was still a bus service in Thief River Falls in the early sixties. The bus from Grand Forks came to town at 12:05 and was never late. The depot was on the northwest corner of LaBree and Fourth, kitty corner from the telephone company office.

Ever ridden on a commerical bus? I did twice. I stood up all the way to Kansas City because it was so overly full. The driver made up time between KC and my destination. He was running 85 and the bus was in a full lope.

When did Greyhound or the Jefferson lines start?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Have you ever given any thought to your image of what you think of a brick house? Old Trunks always liked brick. It had a look. Sturdy. I always wanted to live in one but it never happened and now, as a elder, it won't, and nursing homes don't count.

Think about this, if you will. It is June before 1900. We are in Red Lake Falls, MN.

On a Monday afternoon a new two story brick building owned by Moise Bray and occupied by him as a saloon below and living quarters above, collapsed with all of its contents.

The building was erected during the winter, and was considered perfectly safe. The accident was due to the fact that in excavating for another building long side; the wall had been undermined. This had been noticed and large timbers had been used to shore up the wall.

The continued rains, however, had softened up the ground in the bottom of the excavation and the underlay of blue clay was forced out under the pressure with the result as stated.

The accident occurred at a time when the family happened to be out of the building and the people in the saloon became aware of trouble in time to make their escape. The stock of goods, fixtures, and household goods are a complete loss.

The extent of the crushing to which they were subject, may be imagined by the fact that the piano in the living room was crushed into splinters.

Huff and puff and blow the house down, who was the wolf? Blue Clay?


Monday, February 23, 2009


There has been a lot of hype on the net recently about coffee. The articles state the best AND cheapest coffee is called Eight O'Clock . That seemed innocent enough, although I had not personally tried that brand of coffee, I thought it might be interesting to try a few new-to-me brands.

My daughter had just been to the market. And the volley about coffee on Face Book went like this:

ME: What kind of coffee did you buy? I am experimenting. After years of Folgers, I am presenting trying Dunkin' Doughnuts.

HER: I just read a study that said that the best tasting brand is 8 O Clock Coffee. It's pretty cheap, so I wasn't sure I wanted to try it. I take my coffee pretty seriously. ;) It's actually pretty good, though

ME: I did see that but haven't bought it. It reminds me of the poor days of shopping at A&P and that was the cheapest but I wouldn't buy it. I will try it when I find it

HER: Here is the link to the package. I like my coffee dark and strong, so I got the Columbia blend.

HER: The other brand I like is the organic Archer Farms brand, but that's exclusive to Target. Did you like the Dunkin' Donuts coffee

SOMEONE ELSE: As a bit of a coffee snob, I think that Dunkin' Doughnuts coffee is perhaps the worst coffee I have ever tasted in my life. While in New England, we spent many hours looking for alternatives and often had to go without coffee for days. I saw that taste test on 8 O'Clock as one of the best store bought brands but haven't tried it. Good luck.

ME: It doesn't have the punch that Folgers darkest blend has. Tom says it doesn't have any aroma when he makes the coffee. Maybe I will have him pick up each of what Target sells and have a true 'test'. To Sean: Wish you could have been in the old country church basements with coffee cooking on the old wood stove......NO coffee ever smelled so good.

Although the church ladies of 1939 may have bought Nash Coffee at two pounds for fifty-nine cents, we are looking at coffee's that are more than that per ounce.

Eight O'clock Coffee is the cheapest of the bags of coffee, but it is NOT the cheapest coffee. It does not appear the study included cans of coffee, such as Folgers, (33 cents per ounce); Hills Brothers, (28 cents an ounce); or Maxwell House, (23 cents an ounce). The study from New York Daily News did compare Folgers (in a vacuum can) with bags. Or, at least that is how I read it.

However, look at this price list. All coffees are listed by ounce and the price is from Fargo, ND Hornbacher's grocery.

69 cents --Caribou

64 cents--Dunkin

43 cents--Eight O'clock

71 cents--Milestone (prices vary to as much as 91 cents an ounce).

82 cents--Starbucks

If you would like to read the article, here is the link:

May I have my Eight O'clock at 7AM? Do I need a doughnut with the Dunkin? Do Alaskans drink Caribou? Do Stars really buck and if so, is it a mile stone? Did you know there was a Thomas Coffee?
Have a sip!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Yes, Alien Labor Law, not 2009 style, rather that of 1899.

Considerable comment has been caused by a flagrant violation of the alien law by DW Sprague, the Winnipeg, Manitoba lumber man, who has purchased the drive of four million feet of logs from the Crookston Lumber Company.

The logs were sorted in the booms here and turned out to Mr. Sprague, who, it is said, has brought a force of 15 river drivers from Winnipeg to run the logs to that city.

This amounts to an importation of foreign labor and is clearly a violation of the law which the Canadian government has been very careful to enforce against Americans. The matter has been called to the attention of the customs officers at St. Vincent and Pembina and action is likely to be taken to prevent the proposed infraction of the law.

The contractors in the Crow's Nest Railway in British Columbia took a large number of men from the states into the work last year, and the Canadian government raised such a row about it that the men were sent back at the considerable loss to themselves. The river drivers here in Crookston to be the inter-national boundary, but it is said that on application they were informed that a crew had been brought from Winnipeg who would take the drive the entire distance.

The Alien Law was put into place in 1885 with later revisions. The idea was to keep the work in Canada for the Canadians. It was first used only in the western Providences. Another part of the law was the duty which had to be paid for bringing building products into Canada.

Guess the USA didn't have these kinds of rules in place, did we?


Saturday, February 21, 2009

$64,000 QUESTION

1 double
4 double
8 double
16 double

And so forth until, you won the big prize of $64,000. If losing at the $8,000 question you walked away with a new Cadillac convertible.

Chrysler didn't want to sponsor it, according to research, they didn't want to have their workers wanting more money in wages. Another beauty company didn't understand the power of television advertising. Revlon picked it up for 13 weeks and scrambled to continue advertising for this hot Tuesday night television show.

The show was so well accepted that even the TAB Book Company who supplied books to order to grade school children came out with a question and answer book based on the show. And that is where Mr. Beadle's sixth grade class of 1955-56 caught on.

Groups were formed to do skits. The group I was in did a spoof of $64,000 Question. We had contestants, someone played Hal March, and we had a spokesperson for Revlon. The real person was Barbara Nichols, ours was named * Penny. Now, as I remember, a person named Tom played Miss Penny and had his nails painted with Revlon color Queen of Diamonds. He wore a hat with a veil. That was, of course, the funniest part of all!

Joyce Brothers won the big money on boxing. It was always stated the contestants read and studied for each broadcast. How could anyone know that much about boxing? Ms Brothers, of course spent decades doling out advise to the lorn.

What happened to the big money game shows of the fifties? They were killed off after a contestant on another show owned up to getting the answers up front. The entire game show concept would change. And change. And change. And, in some cases, go back to what they were because it is new to someone.

And what is your question is? What category would you have picked?


Friday, February 20, 2009


You Bet Your Life was one of daddy's favorites. It had an eleven year run of greater than 400 episodes.
Most likely we all remember the duck dropping out of the stage curtains above when someone said the secret word and received $100 for saying it.
The idea of the show was to pick a category and spin the wheel for the amount of money the person, generally a man and a women pitted against each other, wanted to bet.
The days of You Bet Your Life at our household were all hosted by Groucho Marx. Old Trunks wasn't much of a fan of any of the Marx Brothers but then, what child got to pick the television show they wanted to watch in prime time anyway?
We were lucky to watch American Bandstand and Mickey Mouse Club after school and before supper! As I think about it, Daddy didn't pick very often either. Mother liked drama and Bishop Sheen, daddy liked westerns and comedies. The problem was daddy slept on the sofa--we called it a davenport--and since he was sleeping, mother changed to what she liked!
Either way, the television was turned off promptly at 10 PM, the lights were turned off and everyone went to bed. Amazingly, as a child, before television, we went to bed early and when we could stay up and watch Gunsmoke or The Hit Parade, it was hard to stay awake.
My question is: If there was no child like television programing after 8 PM, would children go to sleep earlier? Or do children stay up later because parents both work and the family eats late and if the children went to bed at eight, parents would: A: Not see them B: Would be chewing their food and brushing their teeth at the same time? You bet your life!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Grandma and grandpa had supper early. The kitchen was cleaned up and the light was put out in the kitchen. It was time for them to watch Name that Tune. The contestants stood across the stage from two large ship's bells and the band started playing tunes. When a contestant knows the tune s/he runs across the stage to "ring the bell and name that tune!" Four tunes were played every game.

Each tune was worth increasing dollar amounts:
Tune #1 - $5
Tune #2 - $10
Tune #3 - $20
Tune #4 - $40

Both of them knew the tunes, the argument was which of the two of them thought they could out run each other to ring the bell first.

It was a simple reality show with not much cash lay out. Although it returned to television with a variety of different hosts over the years and the rules changed a little, it was not the same as the old black and white version with women in running shoes ringing a bell and naming the tune and my grandparents hollering out the name before the bell rang.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Karrey Britt wrote an article for the Lawrence Journal World about refrigerators and what they say about us. When I first clicked on the article, I thought she meant the inside. Old Trunks as watched too many crime dramas where the fridge is check!

Karrey's article is about what decorates the outside of the refrigerator.

Just when did refrigerator magnets hit the scene, anyway? I remember when grandma got her old Kelvinator with the potato drawer and the itty bitty freezer and never remember anything attached to the outside of it.

It has been learned that The first refrigerator magnet patent was obtained by William Zimmerman of St. Louis, Missouri, in the early 1970s. Zimmerman patented the idea of small, colored, cartoon magnets to be used for decorative display and convenience.

Our big brown double door fridge in Lawrence had a few magnets on the front but what I remember most is a tag board sized home made calendar on the side with the children's activities on it. The first one's at our house were magnet letters for children to make words.

I would have to get together with Ryen on the next thought. He bought a cupcake magnet for his grandmother for Christmas and for some reason put it in the microwave first. LATER: I did ask Ryen and he doesn't remember stating that he thought everything went in the microwave. We asked his sister and she doesn't remember either although thought it was something Ryen might do.

Now the grandmother with the cooked ice cream cone was truly a magnet collector. As I remember she had lots of little pieces of fruit.

My mother? Nothing on the top, nothing on the sides, nothing on the front.

Here in Fargo? A grocery list with two magnet strips on the back and a magnetic clip from Digital Key which grasps the pencil.

On the side? A sheet of numbers put out by the Innovis Health Care, hung on the fridge after the first heart attack, although when the second one happened, I did not run down stairs to find the number, rather I called 911.

There is a carrot from Eileen, a lady bug, a mini ice cream like scoop, and a crappie which hold the typed list of names, physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of our children and siblings. Randomly placed there is a hummingbird and a bumble bee . The bee was made from a blown egg as a sample for a project done at the nursing home.

Some folks have photo frames of their children and grand children on their fridge. Others simple put the pictures. I saw a picture on Face Book recently and the fridge side and top half of the front was covered with pictures and cards which had buckled because of the humidity in the kitchen. It looked like a scrap book project gone bad.

But then I remembered that I do believe to each his own. I will never be the magnet lady, like the one in Nevada, who, at last count had 40,000 non duplicates. Her name is Louise J. Greenfarb and she must have a big fridge!

Now there is one thing to say about magnets. If you traveled and liked to collect something, they would be inexpensive to buy and not take up as much room as, let's say, bells or salt and pepper shakers.

So, what's on your fridge?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Old Trunks is back to her original theory:


I am willing to say the subject is too complex for someone who drinks cranberry juice with her supper while her husband drinks milk.

And if we are to have a glass with company, it will be like grandma and grandpa, chokecherry is the only flavor~~although it won't be chokecherry because we don't make wine, (yet) either. Nor will it be wine cut with 7 up to make it go farther.

Instead, a short glass of warmed sherry, unless I have put it in the brownies or used it to marinate beef will serve us fabulously.

And if in a travel, I should buy a bottle of wine at some winery in the middle of the USA, we may share that.

And if we do feel a need to buy something highly complimentary to the dish we are serving, I will rely on the clerk at the bottle store to know. If, when served, it is NOT what we would consider compatible, then, I guess we better find a different clerk or keep our mouth shut.

To all of you who know wine, I congratulate you. BOWING.


Monday, February 16, 2009


To celebrate Valentine's Day, we had supper at home which included candle light and wine. Because it was beef, we chose red. We don't drink a bottle a year although I use some for cooking.

In the kitchen, hanging from the ceiling near the north wall , is a wine rack, purchased mostly because that space needed something, and wine, as we know as mellow colors and fit the decor.

Over the years, Old Trunks has replaced a bottle or two because the rack hangs crooked if not full.

And it came to pass that we looked up to the rack for a red wine for supper. We picked a bottle and without reading the label, opened it and Tom poured two glasses to breath while the rib eye cooked.

At first sip, it was obvious it was not a good selection for our supper. Several sips later, it appeared better. :). Tom read the label, it was plum and blackberries with an oak taste. Imagine me thinking red wine cleaned the palate of a well marbled steak. It did not happen.

Now it is said that when you serve wine with beef, it depends on the sauce on the food. We aren't big on sauces here, except gravy with roast;--Yes, Juanita, we know you want the gravy salted--. This piece of beef was way to pretty to sauce up.

We have since learned:

We were to consider the strength of the flavors and aromas in the dish. Pair powerful flavors and aromas with a powerful wine. If the flavors are more delicate, choose a wine with more finesse.

Pair full-flavored dishes such as steak au poivre with a wine that has lots of black pepper aromas and flavors. The best are made with grenache, especially those from the Gigondas region of France's Rhone Valley, Chateauneuf du Pape and Spain's Rioja.

For a delicate beef carpaccio or steak tartare, choose wines with subtle red-meat aromas, such as cabernet sauvignons and merlots. Wines from the Napa Valley floor and Bordeaux exemplify this style. There was a bottle of merlot we could have chosen.

For "beefy" dishes such as grilled steak, choose intense, smoky wines, such as Barolo or Barbaresco. Big, tarry cabernet sauvignons from the Napa Valley and mountains can also stand up to a juicy steak. I will take this list to the bottle store for the next wine and candle meal.

Choose a less complex wine to go with complex sauce. You don't want your wine to compete with your sauce, and vice versa.

For hearty beef stews with heavy spices and herbs, pick spicy syrah-based wines from the Rhone regions of Hermitage and Cote Rotie or California's central coast. Obviously I would need to take the list with me and show it to the clerk at the bottle store rather than to try to pronounce the names.

Old Trunks should read the labels and hope the clerk at the bottle store knows what to buy to go with what. If all else fails, bring a list.

Whining...which wine. What about chicken?


Sunday, February 15, 2009


Old Trunks knows that voice quality makes a difference. I didn't spend time as a receptionist learning to talk into the phone like I was in love with the person on the other end by accident. I was told my the man who owned the company that I sounded scared on the phone and needed to slow down and let them hear my voice so they felt comfortable. In order to do this, I hung the name of the company on the desk with music notes and hearts around it. He would call in often, imagine how happy was when I passed the test.

What I remember most about phones is when mother would have a tyrant. If the phone rang, she answered it like she had just had a spa treatment and all the world was roses. As soon as she was finished with her phone conversation, she was back to bloody, yet holy, hell.

We all know that different parts of the country talk differently. We know we can generally tell where people are from by the sound of their speaking voice. A loving man named Arden made a business out of listening to voices while he was in the service in WWII. He asked me if I was from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, or Kansas. He knew my partner at the time was definitely from Minnesota. He could hear a few patterns from the north in my voice, but did not think I was born there.

I suppose when we moved to Kansas and people just liked to listen to the northern brogue, I made a note of learned the language of the area. I worked with people from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and it became my voice, as well. That meant, among other things, to slow down. We know that people in Minnesota talk in gusts up to 350 words a minute so the words don't freeze while in their mouth.

Let's talk about the styles of speech:

High pitched

Considered in secure
Not confident
Hire a speech coach

Slow talker
Very levels to keep from being boring

Open your mouth more, get the sound to come out of your mouth, not your nose

Illusion of experience
Aphrodisiac to the ears, according to singers

Fast Talker
Gives others the idea you are sloppy
Appear nervous
Take a deep breath before you speak

Low Talker
Sign of high testosterone
Commands attention if used properly
Regardless of how you sound, if people can't hear you all is lost.

Old Trunks went to the market when she moved here in '98. I asked the stock boy where the molasses was. He only heard part of it and took me to the glasses. I figured I better shorten the words and try to get an ear for the speech here. It wasn't until I met Janis who has a thick brogue, that I picked up on the clip of the speech. Yes, now I am stuck somewhere in the middle.

My sign off story about speech is between Rachel and her cousin, Lisa. Both the girls were old enough to have good command of the language. Lisa from Minnesota and Rachel from Kansas, obviously had a different delivery. Rachel cried because she couldn't understand a thing Lisa said. Lisa said she liked Rachel's voice but didn't know what she was saying.

Wishing you good voice and much cheer.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Her name was Miss Norell, she taught second grade at old Washington School in Thief River Falls. She constructed a Valentine box that looked like a coach. It sat outside the class room. We put our cards in the box which would be opened and passed out later.

There was no rule about giving a card to everyone in the class. It wasn't like the cards were counted. Twenty-five kids didn't mean it had to equal twenty-five cards. Old Trunks wonders how many cards were in a pack. Was their less cards than class mates? Who got left out if parents only bought one pack. When my children were in school you brought for all.

Miss Norell made the cards she gave to each student. She was the kind of teacher that always found good things to say. Although I don't have the card anymore, I can see her beautiful teacher hand writing on the card, there were always candy hearts involved.

The packages of cards one bought at the dime store were little girls and little boys with lots of hearts. One read each one before deciding who got the cards with the most hearts. In shifting though cards now, one sees the influence of comic characters.

Which brings me to wonder if children are printing their cards from free printable sites on line and making their own envelopes out of paper stock. Do children of parents who have scrap booking supplies and rubber stamps make their own? Do they do it as if it is an assembly line?

And what about those candy hearts with words printed on them? What did we know about them as children? What do we know about them now!? Did you sift through them finding just the right words for the person?

Let's take a look at who, what, when and the candy hearts. For more than a century, the makers of NECCO Sweethearts Conversation Hearts have come up with some of the sweetest ways of saying "I love you." The candy hearts were first available during the Civil War. They were first machine manufactured in 1902. This means several of our ancestors ate them too. In the beginning a paper note was tucked inside. An example of a phrase was, "may I have a lock of your hair"?

Old Trunks has learned NECCO offers new saying each year. "Chill out" saying of 2008 is a long way from "kiss me" of the early years. Some favorites among the more than one hundred years of sweetheart sayings have been in circulation since the hearts were first factory-made in 1902.

These classics include "Kiss Me," "Sweet Talk," and "Be Mine." Sometimes a motto is discontinued for a time and then makes a reappearance; others are gone for good. Sayings considered outdated by NECCO include the funky "Dig Me" and the cheerful "You Are Gay."

It is said that you can have hearts custom made. The only problem is one has to buy the full run, which is 1.7 million hearts. And for those of us who stood by the candy counter at Woolworth's, we knew we couldn't buy them by color, rather by scoop.

Tell me if you can imagine eight billon candy hearts sold within six weeks?

Tom might suggest:

I may suggest:
I (/) M ME

Would my grand daughter would suggest:

What would you suggest as a slogan?


Friday, February 13, 2009


Old Trunks is convinced we learn our first body English from watching our parents. Mother's have a look that tells us we are in trouble. I remember so well Ryen saying, "His voice is saying one thing but his Body English is saying another."

Shifty Eyes
To build bonds and trustworthiness, actively concentrate on looking people in the eye not only when you are speaking but when they start talking as well.

Crossed Arms
Crossed arms make you appear guarded, unapproachable, and on the defense, as though you have something to hide from the people in the room with you. However!!! I did go to a seminar once and the lady had her hands in her arm pits because she had cold hands!

Broad Grin Showing your teeth
eager, confident, and pleasant

There was a man who conducted auctions at the Rindal Church. He had that huge grin, as did Orvis at a shoe store.

Makes other's uncomfortable
Means you don't tolerate sit down meetings well
Try health care to be on the move

Strong Stance
Great posture
Born leader

Legs open, Arms stretched out, taking up space
Clearly comfortable with self
Taking up too much space in a small room is perceived as arrogant.

Leaning Toward the Person Who is Talking
Gracious listener

Poorly groomed
People will not take you seriously

We all know these. We have seen them throughout our lives starting as youngsters. Aren't we amazing creatures on how we can determine without words where people are coming from? Can we change it? Do we change it? When we see a loved one, who always walked tall become bent, do we stand them up in our minds?

Smile, show me your pearly whites!


Thursday, February 12, 2009


When Rachel was in school, she stated, "Messy desk, clear mind--Clear desk, messy mind". Well, let's run with that. Let's say you have a working area at home or at work. Let's look at what is on it at present. If it is a shared area, such as a spouse, then it should represent both parties. Obviously if you are working on a huge project, the pieces in use need to be available to accomplish your mission. We are talking.....let's say, over a period of a week or ten days.

Here are some desks to be considered:

Filled with photographs
Family oriented
Appear more dedicated to family than job

Bare bones
Interested in order
Perceived as not staying around very long
Consider: Profession where task is finished before moving on to the next one.

Candy land
Appreciates friendships

Consider: Communications
Author's note: I knew someone like candy land and the purpose was everyone stopped at the desk and told her what was happening about the building at each piece of candy.

Potpourri Paradise
Believe that create this THINK they are thoughtful
All that aroma is inconsiderate of others, (Includes perfume)

Gadgets Galore
Up for the challenge
Consider: Technology

Covered in Post It© notes
Hard worker
Needs time management
Consider stream line job

Desk full of flowers or plants
Attentive to detail

Full of Organizational Files and Folders
Loves order
Consider bookkeeping or auditing

Inspiriational and Motivational
Consider: Teaching and upper management

Decorated with Accolades and Awards
Proud of achievements
May appear aloof
Prove self worthy
Consider: Sales, legal, and entertainment

Sorry, there is not cataglory for unsorted piles one digs through to find some thing each time.

Tom and I share a dining room table. Although it's primary use is for meals, I do include at each change, something that represents both of us. We have just finished the TOM TABLE which, of course happens because January is his birthday month.

We have moved on to February and it contains live plants, a clay friendship circle, candles, and a gadget. Before the month is over, it will have greeting cards. Also in the dining room is a table filled with photos of the family.

Tom's desk has a filing system which is un named. Mine has gadgets and electronics, and a free space in the middle. I find things best if they are organized and named. But I also know that since the filing system is shared, it needs to be a simple find. That is harmony, without the e in front of it.

I personally do not like to spend an hour getting things together to work on them for 15 minutes. A good sense of organization lets me play more and hunt for items less.

What sort of work area do you support?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


My grandmothers and my mother did not shake hands if they could avoid it. We know that the woman is supposed to extend her hand first, they just didn't unless forced to do so for some reason. They never were taught how to shake. Even the dog had a better shake than mother. But then, Diamond shook hands with everyone.

Here are some brands of hand shakes to consider

Fail Safe
Connect the web between your index finger and thumb and firmly grasp and pump 2 or 3 times. Some hold the hand a moment longer, which is considered sincere.

The Rubber Glove
Politicians and clergy use this
While shaking hands the other hand is put over the hand shake.

Authors note: I hated this type of hand shake, it is like they are over powering you in a subtle way.

Queen's handshake
Offering just your fingertips indicates a sense of superiority.

Dead Fish Hand shake
Conveys weakness and lack of confidence

Also called the wet dish rag

The Terminator
Hard grip is sign of aggression

How did you learn to shake hands? Where you taught or did you take on the kind of some person that had a good one? Where has a good hand shake gotten you?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Old Trunks has talked about handwriting before. I am still fascinated by it and the hand written letters I have are true examples of people which fit the categories below. I would have been interested in hand writing analysis as a profession. Let's look at these and see if it triggers any memories for you.

Itty Bitty
Detail oriented
Can squeeze a lot of information into one space
Consider occupations like pharmacy and newspaper

Large style
Large personality
Social Nature
Consider: Public relations and hospitality industry

Downward slanting letters
How are you being received by co workers

Upward slanting letters
Things are looking up
Others appreciate your energy
Consider: field of training and not for profit

Dark, bold strokes
Too much pressure? Aggression?
Consider: Banking or consulting

Faint, light strokes
Easy going
Sensitivity towards others
Too light? lack confidence or pep

Squished words and cramped sentences
No needed space when it comes to relationships
Consider: Education or recreation

Words and sentences extremely spaced out
Need space
Make effort to reach out
Consider: computer software and hardware

We are not talking about how the teacher showed us how to write letters when we were learned long hand, now called cursive. It isn't that alphabet just above the black board letters that were what we were supposed to be copying and seemed to be impossible to do so at eight. We are talking about the everyday sort of writing--that is, if you ever truly scribe anything anymore except perhaps a grocery list!

Get the lead out and write a paragraph!


Monday, February 9, 2009


As far back as Old Trunks can remember, Body English has been a study for me. Perhaps it was the people watching from the car on LaBree Avenue with my dad that started it all. Although not an expert, I still do like to watch people when they are not aware of the study. Let's look at some of the different walks and think about someone we know that fits the description!

Speedy Gonzales
Gets things done
May over look details
Take time to speaker to others

Strutting your stuff
Big ego?
Strut with a humble smile
Make pleasant conversations as you walk

Heavy walking let's others know you are coming
Not suitable for some occupations
Wear rubber soled shoes NOT cowboy boots

Always behind the group in a walk
Signals you don't have interest
Wear more comfortable shoes
Pick a occupation where you don't have to keep up

Silent Sneaker
No one knows your coming
May not get noticed when you do arrive

Slumped shoulders
Lack of confidence
Work on it

Eyes straight ahead
Eyes on the future
Consider: Sales

Slow walker
Detail oriented
Pick a career where careful counts, i.e. health care

The Zig Zagger
May appear not to be efficient
Consider Retail

Eyes down
Not confident
May appear focused
Not interested in those around them
Pick profession where the work is right under your nose.
Learn eye contact.

Me? At the nursing home, families would comment on my posture and my eye contact with residents. Let's consider that I had two parents who walked tall. Who do we learn such traits from? Do we mirror the image of those we are walking beside?

Although I walk tall, I do not walk fast. What is the hurry, anyway? Where's the fire? Perhaps I stroll. How funny it must look when Tom walks several paces ahead of me as we head to the boat to fish. I just tell people he is looking for land mines and wants to keep me safe.

What's your voice on this?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


A lady from California posted an email to a group of friends. It is about aprons.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes. .....

People would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron ..... but Love !!

Michigan adds: I used to have about 10 aprons, but one by one, they have all disappeared except for one. The aprons were all my mom's and grandma's and several of them were made out of feed bags. When they were little tykes, my grand kids used to love to put on one of my aprons when they were helping me in the kitchen or helping to clean the house or creating a masterpiece out of paper, paste, crayons. And invariably, they would say....."grandma, can I wear this home? I'll bring it back." Well, I think one or two may have come back at some point, but then the next time one of them was over, it went back home with them.

From California: Feed bags; boy does that bring back memories. When I was small my mom used to make clothes for me from feed bags and flour sacks. She also made dish towels and pillow cases. Remember when nothing was wasted.

From Old Trunks: my favorite story about apron making happened to be in eighth grade. We were to make aprons in Home EC class. We were to pick out a gingham check and bias tape to match/compliment. I bought black and white check with red tape. The apron was gathered at the waist and had three pockets, which were trimmed in red. While other girls were sewing their fingers, I was plotting to get that apron home and have mother's machine to use.

Mother didn't want me touching her machine. Instead, while I was in the barn feeding stock, she did the apron. She was SO MAD when she got a C+ on the garment!

Memories spark on one word, isn't it fabulous!!! I bet everyone of us can go to an old picture book and find a photo of someone in an apron!


Saturday, February 7, 2009


It is said there is a life extending pill which will be on the market in five years. In the mean while, if you believe all you read, these are the steps one should follow to get old enough to take the pill and of course, decrease the look of being aged. Too late! Prunie tunes in Fargo!!!

Drink wine made from dark grapes. The property is also found in peanuts. RESVERATROL Two glasses a day....ummmm....recommending increased consumption of red wine to boost resveratrol intake could certainly do more harm than good. In spite of any beneficial aspects, red wine and other alcoholic beverages pose health risks that include liver damage and physical addiction.

Eat less, they proved that in worms, flies, and rats.

Eat less sugar, Sugarh.

Worry less about cholesterol and more about the ratio between the good and bad and triglyceritites.

Quiet your mind, shhhhh.

Eat fish and this is why I am wrinkled.

Make connections, with what? INTERNET BUDS!!!

Check your HOMOCYSTERINE level An Internet source says this is what makes the plaque build up.

Lower inflammation. Does this mean turn down the flame? What flame?

Enjoy the sun light in moderation of course, unless you have wrinkles. And of course:

Quit smoking
Loose weight
Go fishing and catch and release :)

And now where is that bridge? e

Friday, February 6, 2009


There was a great article in the Grand Forks Herald newspaper recently. It was about an escalator, considered to be the first in North Dakota. The Otis moving stairway was installed in the First National Bank building in the downtown area. It carried you from the first floor to the second floor--and back down again. The incline stairs was installed used, fifty years ago and it is estimated it is seventy years old.

The flood of 1997 was the silencing of the escalator; a third of it was under water. The cost to repair it is $50,000. It will not be repaired nor replaced.

It is said that escalators were never meant to be transportation, rather amusement. And so it goes. Our favorite thing to do in Winnipeg, Manitoba was to ride the stairway at the big department stores. One, now called The Bay, claims to be the oldest department store chain in Canada. We knew it as the Hudson Bay Company. Another store we visited, not as grand, but considered older, was Eaton's. Eaton's was bought out by Sears/Canada. The last time we were in Winnipeg, the old Eaton's was being torn down.

Why are family went to Canada to shop is unknown. It was about 150 miles and generally considered an over night trip. Mother liked to shop for clothes for Greg there; he was the first one in Thief River Falls to wear 'strides' which were pants that had wider knees and were tight at the ankle, great for biking. He also had a variety of brightly colored cords and shirts to match from the Hudson Bay Store. While they were trying on clothes, I was traveling the escalators up and down and being always aware of mother's warning, "Make sure your shoe laces don't get tangled".

Rachel spent the summer saving her money so she could ride the escalator to second floor and buy a wool suit. I am remembering she got a great suit and because of the money exchange rate at the time, did not have to spend all of it on one garment.

I do remember riding escalator's not only in Winnipeg, where I like to go to the fur coat department and stroke the mink. In Minneapolis, two stores rivaled across the street from one another; Dayton's and Donaldson's. It is certainly possible they had escalators, as well.

Even in Fargo, where the buildings are not multiple story, there are escalators. The airport was remodeled and the escalator was kept or replaced. Ah, a place to go for an amusement ride!

An “inclined elevator,” as an early model was called, was a big hit at Coney Island in 1895, according to the Web site The name “escalator” comes from an early patent holder, who combined “scala” — Latin for stairs — with the already existing word “elevator.”

Have some non-profit fun and slide down the banister!


Thursday, February 5, 2009


According to the Career site, one can find the occupation/profession best suited for you by ones color preference.

The test is a series of colors. One picks they most favorite and the least favorite in the following categories. Remember, this gut feeling, not a test to think about. To simplify the answers, Old Trunks has typed her answer in caps and the other colors available per unit are in lower case.

YELLOW blue red

BLUE red

PURPLE green orange
RED, green, orange blue
ORANGE green
GREEN, red

BROWN black white
WHITE, black

LIME, magenta, teal, gold, red-orange, indigo

After that part of the selection is finished, a screen offers every color mentioned. Starting with the favorite, select each color until ALL colors are gone.

My choices:


Then, of course, they ask for lots of information which one can fast forward through to cut to the chase. What are my strong points according to my color pick. Obviously color preferences change, as in the 1970's we had an orange house--well, more of a cantaloupe.

Now, I asked my sweet Thomas if he thought the strong points were truly me.


Self control

followed by:


Tom thinks I am more of a natural persuader than a organizer. So there has to be some influence on what you have done in your life. In the categories listed under organizer, there are seven I have done. Under persuader it lists working with people in positions of leadership and power, of which I can name several situations in which I have been in leadership, except, of course when the principal of the elementary school considered me too radical to be president of the PTA! (Grinning).

A little blurb at the top of the page says, " If you like to type you may be a data entry operator but you WANT to be a fiction writer."

As a O, I best get my orderly self on the move; As a P, I best persuade and lead on. Or is that get the lead out?

Now what if I had taken this in 1970 while sitting in the kitchen with huge orange flowers in the wallpaper?