Tag Archives: Featured

Declaring a Moratorium

This is probably petty, but I have decided that I will never again eat shrimp.  I made a similar declaration about carrots when I was so short that I could walk under the kitchen table without stooping.  I remember it with absolute clarity.  I was standing  under the kitchen table, facing the east wall of the kitchen which bordered on the back yard, when  I made the decision. I must have been 2 or 3 years old. I remember saying to myself  “I’m not going to eat carrots  anymore.”. There was no precipitating event. I just decided that I and cooked carrots would part ways.  I think I was just exercising autonomy  and independence at the time, and I remember refusing cooked carrots for many years. Then, sometime in Grade 2 I just decided to eat them again. I was fortunate that no one ever insisted that I eat anything I didn’t want to eat,  and I was encouraged to cook for myself at  an early age. I love cooked carrots now.

I dislike the taste, texture, smell, and harvesting practices of shrimp, especially the harvesting practices.   They are so destructive  to the environment.  Most people I know love shrimp, but I do not.  I do not think I will change my mind about this. There many other fish in the sea.

What are some irrevocable decisions you have made? What moratoriums have you declared? What fish do you like or not like. 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Well, today is Valentine’s Day.  Husband is on the Rez and will return tonight. We have never really celebrated this day much, as I will get flowers and chocolates for myself anytime I want them, and I don’t expect my stressed and overworked spouse to get them for me. He says he always feels spoiled and catered to by me, so he has no expectations for me today, either.

When I think of this day, I think of Al Capone, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and a guy named A. Claire Dispenet  (Ace),  the  Francophone owner of the original Magnolia Bar and Steak House in Magnolia, MN.  Magnolia is about 6 miles east of Luverne.  My dad grew up there.  Claire had a rather shady history as a bootlegger in the 1920’s.  My dad worked for Claire as a bartender in the 1950’s before he built his gas station and coffee shop. During Prohibition, Claire drove a beer truck on Minnesota’s North Shore for the Capone organization. His beer truck was stolen, and Claire had to phone Chicago to relate the news. He was told to not worry about it, and that they knew who the guys were who stole the truck, and that “We will take care of them”.  Claire knew what that meant, and decided then and there and seek employment elsewhere. He didn’t want to be involved in a murder.  He ended up serving time in Ft. Leavenworth Prison for bootlegging sometime after that, though.  My dad really liked him. Ace, as he was affectionately called, was a character. His wife was a very devout Catholic and made sure he was buried as close as possible to the grave of the former priest in the Luverne Catholic  Cemetery. Dad said she hoped Ace could grab onto the Priest’s robes and sneak into heaven behind him.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day now. What are your memories of this day from elementary school?

FRFF 2020

I have come to love Winona’s film festival , which happens each winter after the Superbowl, and celebrated 15 years this past weekend. At the same time, I sort of brace myself because I know I’ll probably attend close to a dozen films or film sets over the span of five days, and there’s precious little time for anything else.

The films are documentaries from 4 to 84 minutes in length, concentrated on Saturday-Sunday on the WSU Campus. At the atrium of the Science Lab Center are food vendors, ticket sales and merchandise, display booths, and conversation corners for those who would like to continue discussing what they just viewed. Other local venues include the Winona Cinema 7, Senior High School, and this year there was an early day of films in Lanesboro, MN, the previous weekend. Clusters of shorter ones include the Adventure Set, Moving Mountains Set, Indomitable Spirit Set, a Local Set…

Husband and I volunteer as ushers/ticket-takers for two of the sets, which gets us a weekend pass to all films. (!) My favorite mind-bending films this time around began on Wednesday evening with Hillbilly – how we have stereotyped people of Appalachia, and how that has created the perfect “soil” for Trumpism.

Frozen Friday was wonderful:

– at the Library: I wish everyone could see The Economics of Happiness, an overview of how globalization has changed the world, and how we might survive this.

– at the Sr. Friendship Center:  Love is Listening: Dementia without Loneliness – who knew this is how to get under all the surface stuff and just be with people?

– at St. Mary’s Univ. Student Center:  The Francis Effect – the impact the current Pope has made in the world, on groups and individuals.

Saturday, I started out with The Serengeti Rules – a cadre of nature researchers have discovered that the natural world operates differently than previously though (another “must see” in my opinion), if you look over the long term. While “working” as ushers, we viewed Singing in the Grain, highlighting the music that holds Minnesota’s Czech communities together, in New Prague et al; and Blood Memory, on reparations just now being made to First Nations People who were impacted by adoption/foster care forced on them in the last century.

Sunday featured a rather disjointed but still powerful film (produced and narrated by Jeff Bridges), an overview of our current global situation:  Living in the Future’s Past.

Lest you think it sounds way too “heavy”, I also saw a horse painting pictures (My Paintbrush Bites), a goatherd high in the Tibetan steppes on her cell phone as her son played stick hockey (Jagrlama), and a club that predicts when celebrities are going to kick the bucket (Riplist).

What was the last documentary you saw?  Do you ever attend film festivals?

What’s in a Name

Husband had to get prescription eye drops for after his cataract surgery. One option involved two different drops administered to the affected eye three times a day. Those drops could be obtained at our local pharmacy.  The other, more expensive, option involved getting one eye drop mixture from an East Coast company called Designer Drugs.  I thought that the company name was pretty clever and spoke volumes to its mission and activity. I wonder if it also leads to regular visits from the drug enforcement agency where it is located.

We ate in a Thai restaurant called Eat Thai Cafe after Husband’s surgery. That, too, has a clever name. Where are you going? Oh, we’re going to Eat Thai. (The food, by the way, was fabulous!)

What are some memorable names you have encountered? What are some product names you would like to see? How do you choose names for your pets?

 

 

Mail Delivery Update

I am happy to report that we had mail delivery every day possible for the past week, and on only one occasion did it come after 8:00 pm.  I spoke with the carrier, who told me that there still isn’t anyone permanently assigned to our route, but that a couple of new Postal Service hires are making it possible for the mail for our route to be delivered on a regular basis.

We needed some good mail news. In fact, I think we need a lot more good news all around these days.

What good news have you run across lately?

Small But Mighty

I made a quick trip to Bismarck one morning a week or so ago, and on the way back I noticed that the tire light had gone on, indicating that there were uneven  pressures in the van tires.  I didn’t give it much thought as the tire light always seems to be going on in the winter  when there are lots of temperature variations.  I drove back to town and back to work and parked in my usual spot. At 4:50 pm, two of the secretaries contacted to me tell me that one of my rear van tires was completely flat.

It was one of the days when Husband was out of town on the Rez. There was no way I could change the tire myself, so I phoned Jeff’s Towing, a business about 4 blocks from my work. Jeff zipped right over with his tow truck,  filled the tire, and had me follow him to his gas station. In twenty minutes he had repaired the tire and I drove back to work.  He charged me $35 for the repair. The three square plastic pieces in the header photo are what had punctured the tire. I was amazed such small things could do so much damage. Jeff told me that front tires fling objects backwards toward the rear tires as you speed down the highway, and these three little pieces had probably been flung into my back tire with great power.

What in your life has been small but mighty? Got any flat tire stories?