Friday, April 30, 2010


Old Trunks will confess. I am a on-line junkie. I have met people who, for virtual purposes are joined with me at the hip. We are connected. Eye brow raising as that might sound, it is really very simple. And, if you are realistic, you already know everyone you meet isn't a friend and they aren't an enemy either.

The best way to explain this is to say, I have a thing about colors of cars. Without knowing what color car one drives, I can almost always know who drives red or green or black. Everyone else falls into a neutral zone.

I have an instant like with red and green and am leery of people who drive black cars. So much so that when my son's friend was going to buy a new car, he picked blue over black.

So with that image in mind, let's explore meeting people on line. I know that S has a green car and H has a red one. I would ask L but knowing her husband R, he picked it out.

I was having a discussion with a friend this morning who wondered why emails in general had dried up. I reminded him that not everyone is a wind bag like he was and those same folks in the real may be great talkers but poor image writers.

As for emails and I/M, I know someone who has the greatest circle of friends. Take into consideration, she has a gift to write and boost ones endorphins just by reading her notes. While in her 70's, and not able to dance with her boyfriend, she does have that magic to waltz on the Milky Way in a long shimmering gown with anyone with a top hat and tails. It the real, she drives a red car.

Perhaps there is no formula for connection. Maybe best of friends just happen.

In honor of Ella,-- a valuable connection-- who died on this day two years ago who probably never had a red or green car but certainly never had a black one.


Thursday, April 29, 2010


There is a cartoon on line. It says "Kindle is an e-reader, like Kleenex means all tissue, and Jell-O means all gelatin.

Isn't it amazing how a few brands make it to that status? Did you ever, as a kid, once you knew this, NOT offer someone a tissue when they asked for a Kleenex and your household used another brand? Okay, you didn't but then, now and again, I was literal.

Help me out here, can you think of others? Here is a few to fuel your thoughts.

“AstroTurf” when we mean artificial turf

“Band-Aid” when we mean adhesive bandage

“Bondo” when we mean auto body filler

“Brillo Pad” when referring to any type of scouring pad made with steel wool embedded with soap

“Bubble Wrap” when we mean inflated cushioning

“ChapStick” when we mean lip balm, Tom says IVIO

“Clorox” when referring to any bleach, Mother said Hilex

“Coke” when referring to any soft drink or soda pop in general

“Crayola” when we mean crayons

“Crazy Glue” when referring to any type of fast-acting or instant glue

“Crock-Pot” when we mean slow cooker

“Cuisinart” when we mean food processor

“Discman” when we mean portable personal CD player

“Elmer’s” when referring to any type of adhesive glue

“Formica” when we mean plastic or wood laminate

“Frigidaire” when we mean refrigerator , Mrs. Johnson said refridge

“Frisbee” when we mean flying disc

“Saran Wrap” when we mean plastic wrap cling film; Liked that word so well we named a sorrel colt Red Saran

“Google” when we mean looking up something in a search engine used to say Ask Jeeves

“Hacky Sack” when we mean footbag

"Hula Hoop” when we mean toy hoop ring

“iPod” when referring to any type of personal portable media player

“Jacuzzi” when referring to any hot tub or whirlpool bath

“Jeep” when referring to any compact sport utility vehicle

“Jet Ski” when referring to any stand-up personal watercraft

“JumboTron” when referring to any large screen television

“Kool-Aid” when we mean cold sweetened flavored drink

“LazyBoy” when we mean recliner

“Levis” when referring to denim jeans

“Matchbox” or “HotWheels” when referring to any die cast toy cars

“Nintendo” when referring to any older video game console or system

“Otter Pops” when we mean ice pop or any plastic tube-filled-frozen-snack with flavored sugary liquid

“Photoshop” when we mean photo manipulation

“Ping Pong” when we mean table tennis

“Play-Doh” when referring to a modeling compound clay for children

“Polaroid” when we mean instant photograph or instant camera . Sort of dated, isn't it?

“Popsicle” when we mean an ice pop or any frozen confectionary treat on a stick. I just asked my son if he was eating popsicles NOT frozen confectionaries!

“Porta-Potty” when referring to a portable self-contained outhouse

“Post-its” when we mean sticky notes

“PowerPoint” when we mean electronic presentation

“Q-tips” when we mean cotton swabs

“Rollerblade” when referring to inline skates

“Scotch Tape” when we mean clear adhesive tape

“Sea-Doo” when we mean sit-down personal watercraft

“Sharpie” when we mean permanent marker

“Ski-Doo” when we mean snowmobile, at least for most, perhaps

“Speedo” when we mean skin-tight swim briefs

“Stanley Knife” when we mean utility knife

“Styrofoam” when we are referring to extruded polystyrene foam

“Super Heroes” when we mean superhero (“Super Heroes” is co-owned and trademarked by Marvel & DC Comics)

“Tampax” when referring to tampons

“Tarmac” when referring to asphalt road surface

“Taser” when we mean electroshock weapon

“Trojans” when referring to condoms

“Tupperware” when referring to any type of modular food storage containers

“Tylenol” when we referring to any over-the-counter pain reliever/fever reducer

“Vaseline” when we mean petroleum jelly

“Velcro” when referring to any hook-and-loop fastener

“Walkie-Talkie” when referring to any portable handheld radio or two-way radio transceiver

“Walkman” when we mean portable personal stereo player

“WaveRunner” when referring to any personal watercraft

“Wet Naps” or “Handi-Wipes” when referring to a moist towelette or wet wipe

“Windex” when referring to any glass and/or hard surface cleaner

“Winnebago” when referring to any Class A Recreational Vehicle or motorhome

“Wite-Out” when we mean correction fluid. We did go to an office supply store recently and I did look for Wite Out and did buy that product. It is made by Bic.

“X-Acto Knife” when referring to a precise cutting utility knife

“Xerox” when we mean photocopier or to make a photocopy

“Zig Zag” when referring to any rolling papers used for marijuana or tobacco

“Ziplock Bags” when referring to any type of reusable, re-sealable zipper type storage bags

“Zippo” when referring to refillable lighters


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

LOOK OUT!!! There is a germ out there!

The question is: When does one get so germ-a-phobic that it causes mental warping?

The old saying used to be, "Her floor is so clean you could eat off it". What exactly that mean gives reason to ponder; I am thinking it means no dog hair, dust, or plain old dirt. It does, however, give one a picture of clean.

As a kid, did you ever drop something on the floor, like part of a candy bar and pick it up and eat it? We did and didn't look around to see who may be watching when we did this deed. There was no five second rule.

Not everyone had a dish machine to sanitize the dishes. Just hot soapy water and to some, no rinse, but dry. (I still think soap gives you diarrhea, but that is another subject not necessarily to be covered later).

We could use Daddy's comb but never Mother's brush--and if we did, she knew it! I do not know the reason.

When mother was in the San, and we went to visit, if one used the phone in the lobby, one used a tissue to hold the phone. This made sense TB was still making people very sick. Greg and I were not allowed to touch for for almost two years we only waved at her from outside her window.

But the latest thing is two fold. Your toothbrush is not to be within six feet of the toilet lest the germs escape and get on your brush AND each person needs to have their own tube of toothpaste so you don't contaminate the tooth paste when you drag the brush across the gel.

When I told my Sweet Thomas what I had read, he asked about kissing.

Now we ask you, is that too germy too?


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Toothpaste is a a substance used with a tooth brush as an accessory to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth. Toothpaste is used to promote oral hygiene: The aids that remove the dental plaque and food from the teeth, aid in the elimination and/or masking of bad breath and deliver active ingredients to prevent tooth and gum disease.

Most of the cleaning is done by the mechanical use of the toothbrush, and not by the toothpaste.

No doubt there are more than 25 different brands of toothpaste and why we select one brand over another, unless it is by prescription, seems to be personal choice.

Oh you wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent. Do you remember that jingle? The tooth paste is still available.

But what happened to Ipana? The one advertising Bucky Beaver singing the jingle,

"Brusha, brusha, brusha! Get the new Ipana!
With the brand new flavor - it's dandy for your teeth!
Brusha, brusha, brusha! New Ipana toothpaste!
Brusha, brusha, brusha - knock out, decay germs fast!
Fast! Fast - you're sure alright!"

Perhaps you remember it from the movie, "Grease".

Gleem toothpaste, introduced in the mid fifties stated it was the kind of toothpaste one should use if you couldn't brush after every meal. That is the same era when children where lined up at the water fountain at Washington Elementary School to swirl and spit back into the fountain bowl. That is rinse your mouth of food particles. The green sparkles in the tooth paste were supposed to protect your teeth between brushing. I think I still have some of those green sparkles stuck in my mouth. (giggling).

"Ultrabrite gives your mouth...[bling] appeal!" At that is where we, the Johnson's are at today. We have no sex appeal because we are out of toothpaste. We just opened the last tube; 12 of 12.

Now, that is odd, isn't it? Too go to stores which sell Aim, Crest, and Colgate, all which taste like soap but no Ultra Bright. Sure didn't seem like a big deal when we left to do errands last night.

The toothpaste market must be fickle. Why do people change brands, anyway? The last household was Aquafresh, also a 1970's product but sometimes one conforms.

Make that agreement, after all most of time it doesn't really matter. Give up Del Monte Ketchup for Heinz wasn't a big deal because I don't use much ketchup. Enforce the law of Viva paper towels and Charmin bathroom tissue as well as Kleenex facial tissues. There is no space to negotiate here.

My question to you is, are you loyal to brands and why. The question to myself is, with these companies being so big and making so many products under the same umbrella, am I loyal to P&G?, for example? Sounds like a good research project to me!


Monday, April 26, 2010


Old Trunks wonders just where that vinyl sticky back stuff is which was used to 'dress up' the Bass Buggie. After all, most females pride themselves on knowing where everything is at all times. Well, almost always.

Take the case of the missing vinyl. The joke really started when, instead of me saying I want the rod with the fast action tip OR the 1 oz lure weight rod, I marked them with ribbons. I would simply say, I want the red and orange ones. Now, as much teehee as there was, my fishing bud wanted to know if I had any ideas about how to mark HIS rods, he didn't want ribbon. That is when I had the plan to find the vinyl. Which is at this time, still missing.

But what I did find was the bag of knee hi socks I 'lost'. Was I looking for the vinyl? No, I was looking for a printer we took home which wasn't compatible with one of the laptops that he took to work to use.

Wait, that doesn't make sense. If we had that printer out and brought it home, how could it be lost?

Sweet Thomas took the printer out of the north bedroom closet last week. No, it isn't heavy nor bulky, it is just in one of those places you have to do twisties to get to.

When we brought a different printer to the shop to hook up to the laptop, we took the other printer home. And Sweet Thomas said, "Where do you want this"? Thinking he would put it back in the north closet, I simply said, "In the closet."

One doesn't say in the closet to a husband, one says in the closet in the ___ room.

Remembering there were USB cords in the bag, as well as software disks, I wanted to place those items like with like. I went to the north closet to get the printer. It wasn't there.

But I found my knee highs!!!

Now, we have, in this house, a closet from hell. It is deep. It is full. It is clothes, costumes, Kleenex, and other. It is Cricket, suitcases. Christmas wrap, and other.

Although I do not practice calling Tom at work, I was baffled. Where was that printer? He knows we have an agreement not to put anything under beds, (its a feng shui thing). He said he had put it in the closet from hell near the iron. That means he had to snake through the hung clothes, past the tissue to nearly the back.

My mission today is to get the printer bag out and get the USB cords out. This IS a reason to have a cell phone. You have never been in this closet. The question is: Will I get reception?

The other question is: Where is the vinyl?

And my third question is, do you have a closet from hell?


Sunday, April 25, 2010


It was the early 50's and we were living on Kneale Avenue in Thief River Falls, MN in a new house with all the latest colors of the era. The walls in the living room and dining room with lime green, my bedroom was purple. The floor in the living room was salmon tile. As was common in that era, each room had different flooring. Greg's room was mustard. He had an oak bedroom suite.

Mother and Daddy had given up their bedroom set , (to Greg) several years before for a set of twin beds. As what happens in most families, that master bedroom set gets handed down. As children, I think we are okay with that.

There was a double bed, a dresser with a bench, and a chest of drawers. That is a lot of furniture for a child but he got all of it. Most beloved was the bench. I mean, how many of us have a vanity with a huge round mirror, let alone a bench!?

Families also did a lot of wheeling and dealing. A little history is necessary to get you to that point: When Mother was in the San in the late forties, my grandparents lived with us. The suite of furniture had already been moved to Greg's bedroom, and twin beds where placed in the master bed room and Greg slept in one; Daddy in the other when mother was gone.

So, you see, Grandma already had her eye on that bench because she had used it often in the 22 months they lived with us.

What sparked the idea that Grandma could have the bench is unknown. I am certain she asked and was given permission BUT the bench really was Greg's, (well, as much as children can claim furniture I think it mostly belongs to the house).

What I do remember is Grandma standing in the living room holding the bench when Greg came home and took it out of her hands and brought it back to his room. Some discussion followed, the bench stayed.

It was a case of give away and take back!

What prompted that? Well, this morning, I asked Tom to take a wicker basket down from a shelf to see if there were any 10" paper plates. When you order groceries and don't watch the numbers closely, you have a lot of little plates and few big ones. All that what in there was 1 ply napkins, (another mistake) and a set of Winnie the Pooh plates and napkins. When I was talking about the napkins, I was not talking about Winnie the Pooh stuff. But.....Tom thought I meant everything in the basket and since he is in that cleaning spirit, he took all and gave it to the neighbor.

Unlike Greg, I could not go to their house and say, "Give me those back"...Well, I didn't. The Pooh stuff was left over from out-of-pocket supplies I had purchased for a gig at the nursing home. I just thought they were cute and I suppose I kept them for no reason except they were not taking up a space for something else.

That is give away.

I hope you are smiling.


Saturday, April 24, 2010


It is said that child deserves a name that's whole in itself, and that was chosen with her parents' total enthusiasm. A little Tulip with big sisters Lily, Rose, Violet and Daisy has been shortchanged. Tulip comes across as just one more blossom in the bouquet, not an individual. The sibling set mattered more than her name. Worst of all, she'll always know that her parents considered her name fifth-best out of a very small pool.

A British comedy has Hyacinth, Rose, Violet, and Daisy.

Two daughters are Faith and Charity. What happened to Hope?

Why do people name an October baby April?

Are anagrams a way to go? Do you have an Alice and a Celia?

That almost makes Ryen a yern, (yearn) is you include A for his last name.

How can one mess up Rachel, except to add an a in there somewhere?

If we took Elodee, we would still have more e's than we would ever want on a Scrabble board. Or do we have an Odelee, (yodeling).

And if Bud went by Paul would he be Pal, which is another word for friend?

Someone asked recently if Elodee was Jewish. She is second cousin and has gone back in history saying some GGG or so was a Jewish woman and all the girls down the line had Jewish names. Like any name, there are bound to be numerous of sources.

I had Brownie Scouts with flower names. One was Hyacinth and for the life of me, I can't remember what the other one was, except it wasn't Crocus or Tulip. It wasn't Pansy, or Rose. It will come to me in the night.

If I could have a flower name........Well, it would not be daffodil or Holly Hock. That's what it was, her name was Holly!!!

Let's throw it into your court. Do you know why you were named what you where and why did you name your kids what you did?

Happy earth week.


Blue belle

Friday, April 23, 2010


The question is, what do you look for in a doctor?

Men would say, "Small Fingers". :)

Many say someone who listens. Well, fifteen seconds after they walk in the door, and scan you, they have a pretty good idea of what is happening. The other 14 minutes and 45 seconds are for YOUR questions. I really don't think many of them listen, although they LOOK like they listen.

But, the question is, "What do you look for in a doctor"? Which makes me grin because I, personally, have never looking in a doctor. Have you?

Now that we have lightened up, let's think about how, when you get to be Medicare age, you have this new thing to think about. The first question out of your mouth should be, "DO YOU ACCEPT ASSIGNMENT".

That may seem odd but there are a lot of hidden and over fees which, if a doctor is not a provider is your responsibility.

Let's not get confused here. Let's remember that Medicare pays 80% of the charge and a secondary insurance pays 20% . Be aware there are out of pocket fees for office calls, called co-pay and someone has to pay the Medicare deductible.

All of this may seem very simple to the younger generations. But let me tell you after working in DME for years in Kansas, I met a lot of confused people who looked at these stacks of notices through their wallets and could not get a clear vision on just how things worked. It isn't so friendly if you don't understand it.

If you or your family are trying to decipher just how this works, go nose to nose with the billing department. Doctor's don't know the answers.

So what are you looking for in (side) a doctor? Let's hope for a heart and letting us not feel so imperfect when we leave with a ream of scripts.


Thursday, April 22, 2010


Todays mission, should I accept it, is to get the green ink off my hand. It exploded when I was making changes to a spread sheet. Why green? Because the teacher I had in trade school in the late 80's said green was for making changes. Connie taught me well.

It reminds me of when I was in sixth grade. It was still somewhat of a thing to use pens that you filled with ink. I happened to like to mix the ink and get a red/blue= purple color.

So I sat at my desk, which were new enough the ink well were there but not punched out. That part of the desk was flat, about 8" wide, as I remember.

I was wearing a watch plaid skirt with a can-can and a white blouse with a tie bow.

I pulled the lever back on the pen to load it and my desk got bumped. The ink jar slid down the desk and landed in my lap. The wool skirt soaked it up. The can-can was stained for the rest of its life. I don't know how the janitor got it out of the flooring.

Ball points had just hit the scene and Daddy had a gross of them with his construction company name on them. Although they dragged when you wrote and one needed a tissue to wipe away the goop that built up, at least it did not slide and spill.

So, I am an experience kink in the ink sort of person and plan the mastery of removal in a few moments.

Trust your day is NOT a pink stained can-can


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


My sweet Thomas owns a shop where one buys glasses and presciption lenses are ordered according to the doctor's orders. I think you would like him as a business person serving clients. He is very good at what he does and has been in the business forty some years. He keeps up with trends and different types of lenses available. Generations of people have come to him because he knows what he is doing. Actually, he went to school to get a certificate.

But this isn't about glasses, inasmuch as it is about a ninety year old lady doubling back after being fitted with glasses to bring him a gift of buns she had made. Both the husband and wife are highly educated people who have gotten their glasses from Tom as long as they can remember.

To get a home made gift is a rariety in this culture of ours. To get something from the oven of a 90 year old is rare. It is humbling.

Tom called me after she dropped off the package to ask what was for dinner. He wanted the buns to fit in some how.

We had a great discussion about what was better on buns; peanut butter or jelly. What it reminded me of was my grandparents, who, perhaps like many, got up at 2A on bread baking day.

One cold winter day as a teenager, I was staying over night at their house and just happened to be there on bread morning. Grandpa poked a hole in the still warm bun, filled it with butter and chokecherry jelly and put it in my sleeping mouth. It was divine!



Tuesday, April 20, 2010


And the question was, what is your number one priority for spring cleaning?

Mothers said clean out the toys and the clothes my child has out grown. Others stated to fertilize the yard and get the lawn mower ready for use. Cleaning the garage was mentioned numbers of times.

Another guy said he was going to clean the toilet bowl ring.

Another said, I have tin foil covering all my windows, shiny side out, just like Elvis. He drugged all night and slept all day. The first thing I do is put all my furniture on the lawn so I can find all the pills I lost over the winter. I leave it out there all summer. The neighbors dig it.

I turn over my computer and try to shake the Internet out. Just like dust, it keeps coming back.

I usually take my computer apart and run it through the dishwasher. I've heard it extends the life of the computer.

So, what is your priority?


Monday, April 19, 2010


Old Trunks is thinking about the affects of spring on people and what people do to announce within themselves.

Friends in Maine had declared it when she could go to the summer porch and take photos of the wild turkeys becking at the fresh green grass only to see a day or so later, same turkeys in the snowstorm.

Son writes to say he misses the lightening storms of Kansas.

Texas folks send pictures of acres and acres of wild blue flowers; others hope for rain.

Farmers need the earth to warm and rain to soften the land to plow.

In Fargo, from the perch high above, the peregrine falcons are starting to lay eggs.

From my own perch, I see green grass, trees budding, and hear birds singing before dawn.

How interesting to think that spring means an outing without a coat but it does NOT mean an outing without a sweater.

Daughter writes that spring in Utah means walking in the park in shorts. Will the shorts purchased at the store in Lawrence get any wear this year? Hey, they are hardly worn.

Let's hope it is a lovely spring day where you live!


Friday, April 16, 2010


Old Trunks was reading about keeping ones car cleaned out this morning. The motto was if you can carry it in, you can carry it out.

My grand parents had a 1949 Plymouth, which they bought new. To save on the flooring, they put pieces of linoleum on the floor. There were no floor mats in those days, only a piece of rubber flooring which went door to door. I never saw anything left in that car OR in the old car they had with one wiper on the drivers side. EVER.

Mother was a stickler about keeping vehicles clean on the inside and out. Really!!! I should have capped that! Half stick gum wrappers and lipstick stained tissues went back into her handbag.

The only time I remember a real mess in the car was after the dog vomited up chocolate eclairs and lobster after he ate that sort dinner out on the coast of Maine. There was never a bag nor a bucket in the car, when we ate at the Dine-O-Mite, all the wrappers went back on the tray, or we took Daddy's station wagon, which, of course, was always a mess. And that should be capitalized also.

Children don't seem to understand carry in/carry out. They only understand transportation. Eat in the car, leave the stuff.

As a person who drives, I found the answer. Something big enough in the back seat area on the floor behind the passenger seat. Amazing how little aim one needs. Stopping for gas? Dump the container. The only problem is when I ride shot gun and have to throw junk over the seat!

Nothing raises a stench like six months worth of burger wrappers in a closed up car in the summer. Well, perhaps there are others. :). Except, of course, Daddy's car.

One spring, when the Chevy was at the shop and it didn't look like I was going to get it back for some function, I asked Daddy if I could use his pick up. He, being an agreeable fellow by nature said it was okay.

After I got all the papers and plans and horse poop and cattle pie pieces and who else knows what out of it, I opened the two doors and took the hose to it. Then I scrubbed. I scrubbed on that car all day. It looked so very nice.

I dressed for the function and was about to leave when the phone rang. The Chevy, which had been at a place with a grimy mechanic on a dusty road was ready. Because I had my car back, I would not be taking the truck.

Clean the car.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It is not a big thing that we were without power last night. The wind blew down a wire(s). What is interesting is the sound of silence, which is, not silent, at all.

We could hear a flutter, almost as if the wind was under the siding. We could hear the wind howl, and the clock chime.

Which led us to a conversation about Grandpa Johnson and his wife. They had a chime clock in their house. Tom could never understand how they could stand to have that racket every 15 minutes. And I agreed that, as a child, my grandparents, too, had a clock that chimed, well, really in bonged.

When mother died, I took the Seth Thomas pull to wind clock back to Fargo. It had a double dinger in it, (almost like an echo). Tom disengaged one of the hammers for a single bong. Upstairs, in the craft room, we have one of those 4-times-an-hour clocks.

Do we hear them? No. We can sit in the living room with the Seth Thomas bonging, and not hear it.

But when everything is silent and all the modern conveniences are still, it really isn't silent at all.

Are you listening?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


What Robin Told
by George Cooper

How do robins build their nests?
Robin Redbreast told me
First a wisp of yellow hay
In a pretty round they lay;
Then some shreds of downy floss,
Feather, too, and bits of moss,
Woven with a sweet, sweet song,
This way, that way, and across;
That's what Robin told me.

Where do robins hide their nests?
Robin Redbreast told me
Up among the leaves so deep,
Where the sunbeams rarely creep,
Long before the winds are cold
Long before the leaves are gold
Bright-eyed stars will peep and see
Baby robins--one, two, three;
That's what Robin told me.

We always wait for the robins in the spring, often hearing them before dawn. The yards in the neighborhood are hopping with red breasts this afternoon. We must have a lot of worms--yummy worms with a smile.

Oh. Rockin' robins!


Monday, April 12, 2010


Yesterday, in Fargo, a boy started a BBQ grill using gasoline. A 21 year old came to help, was over come by the fumes, and died.

How tragic.

The local paper reports:

"Tragedy struck in Moorhead on Sunday evening when a backyard grill exploded, burning a boy, and a 21-year-old man who apparently ran to the scene to help collapsed and later died, police and fire officials said.

The accident happened at 7:48 p.m. when an explosion in north Moorhead prompted “multiple calls” to 911, Sgt. Mike Detloff of the Moorhead Police Department said.

First responders arrived at the backyard of 909 9th St. N., where a 21-year-old man was found lying near the charcoal grill.

Emergency medical technicians tried to resuscitate the man, who did not appear to have any burns, Detloff said.

“Our preliminary information is he heard the explosion and came running to assist,” he said.

Inside the house, a 12-year-old boy was taking a shower, apparently trying to cleanse and cool serious burns to his upper body, officials said.

Both victims were transported by ambulance to MeritCare Hospital, where the man later died, Detloff said.

The condition of the boy was unknown by police and fire officials.
“I know he did have burns,” Detloff said.

Authorities were not releasing the name of either victim Sunday night. The two, both from Moorhead, apparently were not related, Detloff said.

An autopsy will be performed by the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office on the 21-year-old, Detloff said.

Details of the accident still were sketchy Sunday night as police and fire officials continued their investigation".

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Grandma Julia made the best meatloaf. She never said how she made it. Perhaps we wouldn't want to know. I am thinking it was bits and pieces of leftover pork, beef, and maybe chicken. It looked like potatoes but no bread.

We always had it for Christmas Eve supper. It was sliced very thin and served with scalloped potatoes. Odd, isn't it, when we think of holiday meals we don't think about meatloaf but to me, it was a treat because it was the only time of the year we had it.

Sometime this week, as I clean out the freezer of the bits and pieces of meat, I am going to make that meat loaf. If it is bad, we can always eat PB&J.

My question to you is, what did your grandma make that you never had anywhere else?


Saturday, April 10, 2010


I think about my grandmother more than I realized. She is entwined in much of what I am and how I do things.

I recently had a mini conversation with someone named Lisa. I was trying to get a feel for what her 1927 house looked like. I spotted what I was sure was her on a website called: VPIKE.COM. Type in the address and it will show you the house you are looking for.

While looking for her house, I found one that had a flower garden in the front. Since she is very creative, I was certain it was hers. Like me, she isn't into flowers and lawn.

Her grandmother, Ella, was a great flower lady, as was my grandmother, Julia. Both of them would take you outside to look at the flower garden, it was part of the visitation. Ella had petunias growing along the sidewalk from the curb to the front step. I mostly remember deep pink single petunias which were almost bush like.

Grandma Julia had holly hocks along the garden fence. She showed me how to pick a bud and a blossom and with a tooth pick, make a doll. She also had morning glories and 4 o'clocks, (and I still don't know the difference), on the fence surrounding her garden.

My step grandmother had a garden devoted just to gladioli. In the front of her house, she had tiger lilies, on the side, snap dragons. We made puppets out of the snap dragons. Most of the flowers were seeds; the bulbs were dug up in the fall and replanted so they didn't freeze.

I wonder if Lisa and I, both creative in our own way, are so into projects with quicker results that gardening and watching hasn't become a natural for us. Are we missing something?

Friday, April 9, 2010


A cowboy walks into a bar and orders a whisky.

When the bartender delivers the drink, the cowboy asks,"Where is everybody?

"The bartender replies, "They've gone to the hanging."

"Hanging? Who are they hanging?"

"Brown Paper Pete," the bartender replied

."What kind of a name is that?" the cowboy asked.

"Well," says the bartender, "he wears a brown paper hat, brown paper shirt, brown paper trousers and brown paper shoes."

"How bizarre," said the cowboy. "What are they hanging him for?"

"Rustling," answered the bartender.

Thanks, cousin Pat in OR.


Thursday, April 8, 2010


..and she said, "If I see a new sex toy, I will try it out".........

Well, it seems like in all walks of life, people are people.

My grand mother was a domestic before she was married. She lived and worked in town. Her family, of course, lived in Rosewood. Now, I know my grandmother was a good worker, a great cook, and did her job. But considering her love to listen in on the party line, I wonder if she looked, touched, tried on, items of apparel that where not hers. I don't know if she used sex toys. When where they invented, anyway?

In my own family, we did have a housekeeper/live in for some months after mother came home from the San. Her name was Florence and she was AND IS a wonderful lady. We do exchange Christmas cards each year. It is hard to believe she actually is now feeling a need to move in with her daughter. How did this 'just out of high school' miss get to this age? Time, of course.

I have no idea how long she lived with us. I remember her ironing in the kitchen and listening to country western music. I remember Bud, her boyfriend and later her husband, coming to pick her up for a date, and I remember her crying with me when the dog got run over and we buried Jigs in the back yard.

You would have trusted her in your house. You would like her as a person.

Hire a Florence.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Although we all wish to be that effortlessly calm and still, reflective bear in A A Milne's Winnie the Pooh, we just are not. We are, in our own right, special, just as we are.

While Eeyore frets and Piglet hesitates, and rabbit calculates, and the owl pontificates, Pooh just is.

Perhaps within us, we are all of A A Milne's characters wrapped into one. Perhaps we need to look to see each of the characters and how they help us function with the idea of living, just living.

The Tao of Pooh had a remarkable influence on my life a few decades ago. I suppose that, because of the symbolism, I bought a big dumpy Pooh who says, amongst other things, "Honey" and an oversized Tigger because at that time I was bouncy trouncy. What do you that time? :)


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Piglet instead knows his limitations and that's what makes him sometimes more brave than you would expect from such a small animal.

So, the first thing we need to do is recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it. Inside the Bouncy Tigger is the Rescuer who knows the Way, and in each of us is something Special, and that we need to keep:

"Tigger is all right really," said Piglet lazily.
"Of course he is," said Christopher Robin
."Everybody is really," said Pooh. "That's what I think," said Pooh."But I don't suppose I'm right," he said.

"Of course you are," said Christopher Robin.


Monday, April 5, 2010


"A fish can't whistle and neither can I." There's nothing wrong with not being able to whistle, especially if you're a fish.

But there can be lots of things wrong with blindly trying to do what you aren't designed for. Unfortunately, some people aren't so wise, and end up causing big trouble for themselves and others. The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not.

To demonstrate what we mean, we can think of no one better than Tigger, who doesn't know his limitations ('Tiggers' can do everything'), which brings him in lots of trouble.

Perhaps it isn't all about being just an uncarved block of wood, perhaps it is having a little wisdom and being not so wise as to try things we can not do, or aren't designed to do, like whistle like a fish. Perhaps.


Sunday, April 4, 2010


Eeyore is that of knowledge for the sake of complaining about something. As anyone who doesn't have it can see, the Eeyore attitude gets in the way of things like wisdom and happiness, and pretty much prevents any sort of real accomplishment in life.

Rabbit is that of knowledge of being clever. . The thing that makes someone truly different- -unique, in fact-- is something that cleverness cannot really understand. Cleverness, after all, has its limitations. Its mechanical judgements and clever remarks tend to prove inaccurate with passing time, because it doesn't look very deeply into things.

Who is left from the World According to Pooh?


Saturday, April 3, 2010


Owl, instead, is the opposite of Pooh, the Knowledge for the sake of Appearing Wise, the one who studies Knowledge for the sake of Knowledge, and who keeps what he learns to himself or to his own small group, rather than working for the enlightenment of others. That way, the scholars can appear Superior, and will not likely be suspected of Not Knowing Something.

After all, from the scholarly point of view, it's practically a crime not to know everything. But sometimes the knowledge of the scholar is a bit hard to understand because it doesn't seem to match up with our own experience of things. Isn't the knowledge that comes from experience more valuable than the knowledge that doesn't?

Owl's little routine is that of Knowledge for the sake of Appearing Wise,
and we remember that Pooh is like an uncut block of wood.

Where are you? Owl or Pooh or other?


Friday, April 2, 2010


Old Trunks is listening to the news. The report regards religion. It is said a church is starting on Facebook. The idea is you won't feel like a sinner signing on like you would if you were walking into a church building.

My question this morning is: Isn't the idea of feeling like a sinner or at least humble part of the go to church experience? Ministers and priests often told my Dad, a builder, the reason for the high ceilings it to make us feel small.

Are we not, as I asked Shirley, just filthy rags without spirituality according to religion? The older we get the more we realize there are different concepts to religion. It has been decades since I found a book called, The Tao of Pooh, where the author uses the characters in the big woods of the Winnie the Pooh stories to explain Tao. I am not saying I practice Tao, I am just saying it really allowed something wonderfully simple.

One of the basic principles of Taoism is P'U, the Uncarved Block. The essence of the Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is changed. This principle applies not only to things, but to people as well. Or Bears. Which brings us to Pooh, the very Epitome of the Uncarved Block. When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few, other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times.

Think about it.


Thursday, April 1, 2010


Unlike most of the other non foolish holidays, the history of April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear. There really wasn't a "first April Fool's Day" that can be pinpointed on the calendar. Some believe it sort of evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring.

The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25. The celebration culminated on April 1. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved to January 1.

However, communications being what they were in the days when news traveled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1. These backward folk were labeled as "fools" by the general populace. They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on "fools errands" or were made the butt of other practical jokes.

This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of April. The tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and French. April Fool's Day thus developed into an international fun fest, so to speak, with different nationalities specializing in their own brand of humor at the expense of their friends and families.

In Scotland, for example, April Fool's Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. The origin of the "kick me" sign can be traced to this observance.

Mexico's counterpart of April Fool's Day is actually observed on December 28. Originally, the day was a sad remembrance of the slaughter of the innocent children by King Herod. It eventually evolved into a lighter commemoration involving pranks and trickery.

Pranks performed on April Fool's Day range from the simple, (such as saying, "Your shoe's untied!), to the elaborate. Setting a roommate's alarm clock back an hour is a common gag. Whatever the prank, the trickster usually ends it by yelling to his victim, "April Fool!"

Practical jokes are a common practice on April Fool's Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool's Day was a fairly detailed documentary about "spaghetti farmers" and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.

Tom's plan a few years ago was to tell me it was snowing. When that didn't work, he told me he was having a heart attack. It was snowing and he WAS having a heart attack. No April fool about that.

Are you a jester? Do you play tricks on your friends?