Driving miss Pam

Driving miss Pam

Driving miss Pam

With another child learning to drive, I once again am being chauffeured around the area.  At some point I’ll be able to bring a book.  I’ve rather enjoyed this time with each new driver.  It’s a good time to just go places together.

Speaking of another child: oldest daughter unit has had another, every bit as sweet as the first.  I can hardly wait to meet child number 2.  This new source of inspiration turns my activities rather quickly from produce to fabric.  You can see why:

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Local News:

The onset of the new school year sometimes brings odd yet interesting unit studies.  A local school kicked off with a “1970’s” unit.  Tie-dying, washing with patchouli soap, brownies.  Because of the nature of that decade, it was decided to limit things to those safe topics.  A brief music lesson on war protest songs was also included.

It has been noticed that during the busy season of late summer, baskets of clean clothes unmold rather like jello when finally turned out to be folded.  This object lesson in inertia and gravity and time, was demonstrated during story time, where they are currently navigating their way through Carry On Mr. Bowditch.

A recent trip to McDonald’s was… a good opening for a lesson on Agoraphobia, when “Coughing Guy” showed up to buy food.  Most folks backed up and sat down with or without their food, while others decided to just take it home (which was, of course, the right answer).

The weather is cooling, which means all recent experiments in plant propagation must move inside.  The Ku…..Geraniums first, since they are so touchy.  But the other Grandma involved in this must be told that things are looking up and a topiary form (think T. Rex) is on the horizon.
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Have a great September, at whichever Latitude you find yourself,

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

 

 

The second Great Disappointment in life

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A croquet ball is merely particle board inside.

Croquet is an old royal lawn game.  It appears in Alice in Wonderland.  I’ll bet they play it at Balmoral Castle.  It certainly should be solid wood.  Another Heavy Sigh, and I move on.

Even Washington D.C. has angles:

Angles

 

Local News short

Summers don’t exactly drag on here in Minnesota, and we are already trying to ignore a few subtle signs of it waning.  Day length becomes a touchy subject among some, as they stumble in the dark, denying it is 9:00 and already completely dark.  Those who quietly notice it, sort of wonder how it can go from 10:00 and you still can play Frisbee, to this in a few short weeks.  “Surely this early onset darkness is also a result of the fall”, you can hear among the trees.

The quiet battle in one local church regarding which direction to put the toilet paper onto the holder is still ongoing.  Some prefer the paper to come over the top towards the room, others prefer it roll back behind against the wall before showing up again at the bottom.  While it may not really matter from an objective standpoint, lines are drawn between preferences.  Depending on who uses the room last, it will be facing one way or the other so one never knows how it will be next.  This constant changing, on the surface, appears to be a very liberal thing since there is frequent, willful, and arbitrary change (the conservatives don’t much like change at all, or slowly at best).  Upon closer look however, it was discovered to be a few passive resisters at work.  Both sides insist on changing the paper to their way, but they do it quietly, peacefully, nonviolently.  Passifism.

Those who have noticed it on “the wrong way”, not exactly agreed with the toilet paper stand, and yet left it the way it is since it isn’t in their own home, could be considered non-resistant.

Both pacifism and non-resistance love peace, both would be even be conscientious objectors (though for very different reasons).  But pacifism seeks to change by resisting, while non-resistance won’t resist authority even when it is unjustly exercised.

Local authorities are glad this is only toilet paper.

In other news – the Norwegian Bus Driver Guild will be kicking off the new school year by turning the bus radios off and setting the mirrors correctly.  Coffee will be served.   Bring your own strainer.

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Quote for the Day

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found.  I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of kindness and love”  ~Gandalf

                          As always,20140707-193719-70639374.jpg

 

 

 

As long as the earth endures

After a questionable, early spring with rare sun and lots of mud, we returned from Jeremiah’s wedding in NY to find the farm fields with that haze of green corn sprouts that feel hopeful and full of promise.  So I stop to ponder other hopeful things: visiting with distant family, knowledge of friends, words to songs, coffee in the wee morning, sunshine streaking across the fields just before setting.  And some days more than others, we must purpose to look for hopeful things.  Now that we are in June and spring is almost at an end, I look towards summer, with its regular paces of the perennials making their way through the weeks of summer.  Summer is what MN is all about (except for winter, and possibly spring), so we are looking forward to campfires, garden work, swimming, extreme warmth, and other routine events and rituals that add to our days.  Day by day we make our way through each season, knowing that the next one is not too far distant, but purposing to enjoy the one we are in to the fullest.

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Jonathan's spring turkey

Jonathan’s spring turkey

 Jonathan has returned to Haiti.  Sister Kim went with him for 2 weeks and they are enjoying some leisurely summer time there.  He came home and got right to business: he shot a turkey during our brief spring turkey season, and smoked it (it’s not as bad as it sounds).  He and Mark went fishing, and he visited church as often as he could while in town. He was in 2 weddings as well, so time flies.  Jacob is minus the use of his right arm for the summer, so we girls and Stephen will be the ones fighting back the woods and prairie this summer.  And Mark will help us along and fix our mistakes and equipment, when he is home and available.

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Local news miniature

There will be concerts in the white block silo (the acoustics are incredible) weekly.  Be sure to turn the electric fence off before squeezing between the wires to the silo entrance.  Concerts aren’t long since the pigeons still live in the top.

2 Roving ELCA pastors currently in the area, are having great success alienating people from religion as they visit various surgery sites wanting to pray with victims  patients before their surgery.  They are the ones who sit in the waiting room way too close to you, discussing loudly their various ecumenical programs, politically correct schemes, and different formats of worship.  Waiting room visitors who don’t quietly move away, have mentioned they prefer a humble friendly face and a real smile with no strings attached.

The new parakeet “Jeeves” has found his permanent spot right next to his best friend (the mirror).  The Parrot is attempting to bring this narcissus out of his trance by screeching at him.  Efforts are being made to re- program this Quaker parrot back to its pacifist roots as it continues to behave more Baptist than Quaker.

Next edition we will discuss the difference between pacifism and non-resistance.  Until then, take the name of Jesus with you.
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Local News…

(news that may or may not be true slightly irreverent)

 The chapter of Elderly And Resolute (EAR) ladies have met for the first time last week.  It was decided to send aid (in the form of chocolate covered espresso beans and socks) to those suffering from Deep Frost Syndrome in Wisconsin.  The vote was quick and unanimous since there remains only one member.  There is still a motion on the table on whether to go help widen the country driveways but it was decided to forestall the final vote until spring since shovels have become harder to find.  On another note, there *is* finally, music chosen for the theme song for meetings.  There are 4 parts but the EAR ladies are content to drag it out for 4 meetings until the parts are all sung.  Next meeting will open with the Soprano part.  Coffee provided.

In a true spirit of Ecumenicalism, the Lutherans have begun to pronounce the full-stop, in St.Ann’s, the name of the Catholic church.  “Since we are all carbon based life-forms (the requirement for our memberships) we really should find ways to build each other up”, said the new Pastor in town.  They had to delay the combined Polka Mass until it is warm enough to open the church doors to be able to cool off.   The large Charismatic church in the next town over, whose name keeps changing as this article goes to “print”, is planning a large shindig for Pentecost Sunday.  “All are invited, but this is mainly for those who prefer to worship in mind, will and emotions, rather than in spirit and in truth” reads their ad.

The College Sorority “Sigma Omega Sigma (the sorority who tends to need the most academic help), is at it again.  They doubled donations at their semiannual car wash event.  Once they washed the cars, they charged another $5.00 to unfreeze the locks on the doors.  After a weekend worth of complaints, they thought perhaps they should change the event to a yearly one, in the summer.

Mrs. Johnson (one of the 10,000 Johnson) is finally getting her plants under control after they actually did begin a quiet insurrection of listing toward the windows.  She has since resumed her habit of bi-weekly turning but one instigator had to be sent to the Northern MN border.  “First it would be the plants, then the children” she was heard commenting.  “It’s a lot of hard work, but one must keep each their little corner free from rebellion”.

That’s the news.  One way of looking at it anyway.  Until next time.

Local News. One more time.

This Southern MN hack “reporter” is trying to stop looking at the world this way, if only because she may end up in a small amount of trouble if she doesn’t.  But one must scratch an itch, so here is another installment of the “Local News”. 20131115-222206.jpg

This is one of 2 ethanol plants along a certain highway stretch.  Ordinarily I Capitalize People’s names even if they can’t do 5th grade math, but I make exceptions for entire industries.  That beautiful steam cloud coming out is truly steam so I’m not complaining.  It is useful for telling wind direction and political correctness.

The small a capella singing group (very) nearby is suffering from a chronic case of- no tenor or bass.  They are a lively bunch, sometimes alternating hymns, with drinking songs from the Renaissance era.  This insures that no matter where they sing, they meet disapproval.

Winter Squash Harvest is on.  Energetic Squash Farmers are racing the clock to get their squashes baked and put in freezer bags.  This is not an exacting procedure, but it does take time.  Once it is all done we’ll finish the growing season off with a large squash casserole and a stuffed turkey, possibly mashed potatoes (although Mrs. Ingvetch has a conviction against serving partially digested food to her family. “It makes them lazy” she says).

Mrs. Johnson has forgotten a couple of rotations of her bi-monthly plant turning, which has resulted in some very off-centered looking plants.  The foliage has so far not taken a break in their photosynthesis but they are beginning to bicker over ledge space.  A neighbor has called the anonymous hot-line to report poor posture and a general demoralization going on among the greenery.  Mrs. Johnson claimed it must be one of the other 10,000 Mrs. Johnsons in MN.

We’re gearing up for snow down here in the Southern part of one of the northernmost states in the country.  Buck hill ski area opened four days ago and those folks already need their skis sharpened again as the base is still only 6-12 inches.  But the advert is great, being on the major North/South Highway as it is.  Little Lowell Krebsbach, the local “season” prodigy, saw a flake and declared it will be a long winter.  Experts weren’t sure whether he meant an actual snowflake or otherwise, but we’re all pretty certain about his forecast.

And that’s the news. Good night.

…for now...

 

More Local News

The information in this article may or may not be entirely true. It depends upon how you take it.

The nursing school in Mankato is auctioning off their gently used supplies because as nurse Helga explained in her advertisement, “We didn’t use these things on real people, but the wrappers are off so now we can’t.  But you could”.   So until they’re gone, a good deal can be had on catheters, sample collectors, and gauze.

Algot Tollefson, the local weatherman, has stepped out on his porch again today and declared it “A Sunny day with not too many clouds.  All in all, not too bad a day”.  He further mentioned that since we go off of daylight savings time this weekend, it will be darker, earlier now.   Good thing we have Algot to help us through these dark days.

Because it is considered proper, in some more conservative church circles, to stay about 20 years behind the world, the local Internet café – Dial-Up-Heaven (DUH for short) which was located in the Lutheran church basement, has now been recently evicted.  Church elders claimed that “the internets are in the air now so there is no need for actual space to be taken up.”  Also, they wanted to paint the basement a different shade of green, and with all those wires snaking around it made stripes, so they want it cleared out.  Social networks have created small pockets of agoraphobists who hesitate to leave, but who tend to reach out to virtual strangers.  Other disappointed locals, who now have no café to congregate in, have moved to one of the 4 local bars in this small town of 15.

The Catholic diocese has agreed to add a new Patron Saint to their repertory.  Saint Verbatim – Patron Saint of gossip.  There was some reluctance to admit this one but it was generally agreed that it was inevitable.  Saint Verbatum medals will now be sold at the corner drug store along with instructions for those who are of other faiths since, as the local Parish priest says, “this will be a popular one for all the masses, and may finally unite us all”.

School is going fairly well in this small, sparsely populated region.  Students continued to look blankly at the physics instructor as she lectured on Newton’s laws of motion today, until she explained why “May the Force Be With You” was said to fellow Republic members. This was actually the second law of motion, since an increase in force would result in an increase in acceleration, while to say, “May the Mass be with you” would be said to the Dark Side, since the inverse relationship of Force and Mass would cause a decrease in acceleration.  She is hoping they will get this enough for the final test so she won’t have to dress up and act it out.

And while that can’t be all the news, it’s probably enough at any one time.

Local News

This is a long awaited (for the author) update on Southern MN news.  Events may or may not be…totally true  slightly irreverent.

There are 2 colleges in Mankato/North Mankato.  The sorority group:
Sigma
Omega
Sigma, (the sorority that tends to need the most academic help) has members from both the colleges, with the North Mankato girls mysteriously just disappearing after 2 years.   Locals are not sure if it is because the North Mankato chapter is just a 2 year college, or if the Ukulele playing group got run out by those who prefer concert instruments.  Their theme song “Tell me Why” was a local hit, but by that I mean *very local*.  Mostly those who meet each Tuesday at the “Coffee Hag” for coffee and pastries.

Perhaps you remember when a few years ago, a note was found nailed to the door of the Local Conservative Lutheran church, claiming that church supper hotdishes work quite well using 5 ingredients, as opposed to the previous requisite 4.  This caused quite a stir at the time (Mrs. Dagmar claimed she only did it to set hotdish making housewives free), but since then, many Lutheran hot dishes with 5 ingredients have been consumed in southern MN, without any spiritual backlash.  This resulted in 2 things: 1)they changed the standard on hotdishes, and 2)Conservative Lutherans from other States now look just slightly down on southern MN Lutherans who have moved to this practice.

The Local Chapter of the Norwegian Bus Drivers Guild meetings have experienced less interest than previously.  One of the drivers retired, the bus company got bought out, a few of the other drivers have landed in ditches (nobody was hurt), and there are generally fewer coffee meetings, even though eggshells are still provided free of charge.  Tours are still available, but most people are afraid of being bullied by students.  I’ll keep my eyes open for future developments.

The Spam Museum in Austin is still the most happening place in Southern MN, with tours daily, including free spam squares (1 per person) and activities that you are not allowed to discuss outside the building.  The gift shop is enormous and accounts for most of the net worth of Hormel, with items such as golf balls with the word “spamalot” printed on the side being best sellers.

Next update will include “Whatever happened to that local internet facility in the green church basement”