Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
He sent a link to a You tube video and said that it is accurate and exactly like the traffic he has seen. There are many accidents and deaths. All the auto traffic is new to this country that is full steam ahead into the 21st century. No one enforces what traffic laws are on the books. I got the picture off the intranet. Watch the video.
When we moved here from Minneapolis 24 years ago, we were amazed at the small town services. When it snowed the trucks were out plowing residential streets during the storm. They returned after the snowfall to plow again. We had lived in Minneapolis 17 years and your street got plowed within 3 to 4 days after it stopped if it was an 8 inch snowfall. I guess it wasn't necessary to plow less than 8 inches. They never plowed the alleys. We had a guy with a blade on his truck that lived on our block and plowed the alley. You needed the alley open to park your car. Couldn't get many cars on those snow clogged streets and you couldn't leave it there if they actually plowed. I was impressed with Stillwater Public Works. Today I am more impressed. When we were biking on neighborhood streets yesterday am, Jon noticed a lot of small pieces of broken glass on the street. A pattern emerged of a spot of it in front of almost every house by the driveway. He remarked, it looked like the recycling truck had been spilling broken glass. They had been through the day before. When I walked a few different streets in the afternoon I saw the same thing. I called Public Works and left a message asking someone to check it and perhaps sweep the streets. This morning at breakfast we heard the street sweeper doing his job. Can't beat that for service. I love this town.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
READ THIS VERY SLOWLY... IT'S PRETTY PROFOUND. Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine. I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible. How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you? How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television? I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, "How about going to lunch in a half hour?" She would gas up and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal favorite: "It's Monday." She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together. Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect! We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get the kid toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college. Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get short er, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit." When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord. My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy. Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?
And why are you waiting? Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you. Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask, "How are you?" Do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say "Hi"? When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift... Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Jon has a thing for cows. He cannot resist stopping when he sees a herd close to the fence on a country road. When he talked to them, they all gathered in a semi-circle like relatives or school kids posing for a group picture. They really did. Some nudged their way in line so their faces showed. They posed. I had Jon pose too with his buddies. He can talk to the animals like Dr. Doolittle. They moo back. Our home movies and photo albums have many pictures of cows. Even foreign cows respond to his charm.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Pictures courtesy of Jon's Picasa site. A lady circulated passing out samples of broiled Spam on a pretzel stick. I had forgotten I actually like the stuff. Last weekend Mary and Mike had a cook-out for friends and family. One of their friends is researching a new Spam recipe for a state fair contest. After seeing the exhibit, I wish her good luck. There is a great diversity of recipes already tried by people all over the world. They have a big Hormel Spam factory in Beijing, China. Wonder if Andy toured that. I would hope not! Spam is marketed in dozens of countries around the world. I looked at the map and it doesn't look like it is sold in Germany. Perhaps they are more hooked on Schnitzel or just have better taste. Many of the asian countries are big buyers. Some of that taste probably was cultivated by Uncle Sam sending Spam with the WW2 GI's. Hawaiians love the stuff. I suppose it is a tougher sell in Asian countries with a large muslim population because it is pork. Anyway, you have now been "spammed".
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
I was born in Sandstone, MN. My parents lived on a nearby Pine Lake. A search for photos revealed the typical old general store and high school. Then I found a picture of the world’s largest pile of logs from the days when they were clear cutting those white pine forests. It shows men standing on top of a pile 100 feet high. This area was big in the logging industry.
When I was a toddler we moved to a farm south of Little Falls, MN. Guess what I found in that photo search; more logging pictures. Pictures of sawmills and the Mississippi clogged with log jams and men with pike poles managing the flow of floating pine trees come to life. The Mussers and the Weyerhausers were lumber barons in the young town.
Well, I now live in Stillwater. As you can guess there are many pictures of the river pigs and lumber industry in bygone Stillwater. The town is famous for Lumberjack Days for a reason. I guess my life all ties together around the lumber towns.
I grew up in an old log cabin. I love piney forests and sure would take a step back in time and see those virgin old growth woods. I think I will have to settle for the old pictures for now.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Because the flag represents our country, we are proud to see it waving. It brings something up in our hearts to remember our history. Many served and many died to defend our freedom. Many worked for good laws and good government. I read John Adams biography a couple years ago and was struck by the sacrifices of those early founders and patriots.
When we were in Germany, we stayed in Bertchesgaden. That is where Hitler had his "Eagles Nest" hideaway in the mountains. When I watched the series "Band of Brothers" there is a scene of the conquering Americans marching into this area. The swaztika was still proudly displayed. The people in this area were Nazis and many supported the Third Reich. All this came back to me when we were there. Modern Germans we know are quick to acknowledge their history and condemn it. They are also quite restrained in their national pride and displaying their flags. Kai explained to me that is because of their Nazi history. They are surprised to see the way Americans hang buntings and display the red, white and blue.
I am thankful we have been abundantly blessed in our country. I believe rewards follow virtue. We have been generous to help others in need in the world. We have defended England and helped liberate Europe when Hitler was overrunning the continent. We have sent food and aid to people suffering from famine and helped in disasters. In turn, we have been blessed. What you sow, you reap. But, I do not believe God loves us more than anyone else. For it says, "God so loved the WORLD, that he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes shall have everlasting life." That is still our greatest blessing and the one we still should share with the whole world.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007