Archive for July, 2014

Biking around town with a 14 year old nephew

I needed the exercise yesterday. I wanted to make sure that my 14 year old nephew from the Cities experienced our small town from the outside and going in. We had our helmets on and I took the bypass highways at a pretty good clip. We were passed by big industrial trucks and semis and I was okay with that. My nephew, however, prefers mountain biking with his dad. Yes, he loves nature and is good help to his mom in their one acre spread with her wooded, shady garden.

However, I asked if he enjoyed Dairy Queens in the wooded areas of his mountain trails. No, probably not. He spotted the DQ and of course we had to cross over the four lane interstate highway to get his favorite blizzard which he couldn’t finish. Guess who had the honors in downing the rest of the $4.50 blizzard? Yes, you are right! I then knew we had to bike extra miles and extra hard because I had already downed a Buster Bar! Oh my!

So, we took in the thrift store after leaving the golf course area and then to the library to retrieve his earbuds that he forgot the day before. We had stocked up on plums that were out for FREE at the food shelf. I may go back for more so I can make plum jelly. We have plums but nothing as big as the ones we put in bags. They are tasty!

After that we went to a war memorial when we had seen the damage done in one of the additions from the tornado that passed through a week before. LOTS of trees down and people had mostly cleaned up and it had been taken away but it was easy to imagine all the chaos that was created with the tornado. Also, we went east of town to see the path of the tornado in the trees near homes that are out in the country. Along the way we met up with some Canadians who were passing through and had 450 miles left to go to get home.

That was our tour of the city which I kept saying it was about 8 miles that we biked. It was probably a lot more. My intention was to tire out my 14 year old nephew so he would sleep well for the night. Here I am up at a very early hour and he is sleeping after watching two DVD movies. Well, I will put him to work at hacking down noxious weeds like thistles and itch weed later this morning when he is up.

I have some writing to do so I should be doing that but I had to recount the day I spent yesterday during a beautiful high 70s day, slight breeze. We have to appreciate our very tolerable summer days while we have them. Soon enough it will be cold winter again. The green everywhere is healthy for us.

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World Cup and Malaysian Airline

I suppose I am your typical American, I did not watch any of the World Cup. I’m not interested in soccer or “football” as it is called elsewhere. I haven’t even watched our own games of baseball so I guess I am not “INTO” sports. I think Germany was a good win for the World Cup, they probably worked hard and a great team effort. Someone wrote that the main objective is to keep kicking the ball towards the net, the more you do that, you wear down the goalie and the ball is apt to get into the net for a score.

Life is like that in a way. If you keep working towards your objective, you will little by little achieve your goal. If you are wandering around the field with no good plan or teamwork, you will have no success. I have been getting stronger and stronger where I weeded a flowerbed that was entangled with quack grass and lilies of the valley plants. The latter had taken over and was very intense as a root system, superficial but irksome nonetheless. My husband helped me free the ground up because it was too big of a task for me. Now I have impatience plants and begonias replacing the tall grass. What a marked improvement in my flower bed that has old bed posts on the top and bottom of it with railroad ties on the sides.

This morning I went after another area by our shop to put in holly hocks that I got from my mom. I found all sorts of metal pieces that had been thrown out perhaps 75 years ago. LONG nails and other ancient items that don’t decay with the soil. So, now I hope to have holly hocks growing, an old kind of flower.

That’s the thing, you have to keep fighting the weeds. If you give the weeds’ roots just an inch, it will go the full mile. Kind of like the northern neighbor to Ukraine. They want more land and are having a full out war over this. The Ukrainians want peace and do not want separatists or others that are known by another term in the eastern part of their country. It is like weeds, they need to be pulled out NOW otherwise, worse things will happen.

The commercial airliner that was just shot down with almost 300 people on board is an example of someone using their missile to take an aircraft out. The bodies are strewn throughout Ukraine over 7 miles, we know the impact happened in the air. Maybe it was a bomb on board coming from the Netherlands and its final destination was Malaysia. Not now, currently they will be pulling all the pieces together to find out what hit this plane that should not have been hit.

This is a world wide problem, this is not just some small incident. The World Cup was big, yes, but it seems that what is happening in Ukraine is much, much bigger and will start to affect us all.

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World Cup news…and the rest is history

Tonight I discussed with other ladies about the World cup of U.S. versus Belgium. I was among some who think that the sport of soccer is boring, especially when the score is so low, like 1-0. I guess I am your typical American who grew up on baseball and got to know and understand football, our American version of it. I have watched my girls from composition class play in their soccer matches. I must admit that if you know some of the players, it does make a difference to at least cheer for your team.

I suppose soccer will never catch on in the U.S. because there is also the sport of basketball which also can be very exciting as well as hockey games. I know that one of the ladies has her heart in Brazil right now because two of her sons are there watching the games. They submitted to a kind of lottery where they won three places of games to go to. I understand they won’t be back to the U.S. for another two weeks. I don’t even know how long this World Cup event is going on, that shows you how much I follow the news. However, this mother is watching the World Cup news closely because she hasn’t heard from her sons since they arrived to Brazil and to tell their mother they were fine. I understand that a mother’s heart and mind needs to know more minute to minute coverage than just the initial “we’re fine, we arrived.” Hopefully, her boys will find an Internet cafĂ© and text home to give a few more details. One of the sons has wanted to go to the World Cup for the last 5-10 years. He is an unusual American kid, his brother went with him to help protect him.

Well, what is the rest of the history that I am looking into? I received from an 81 year old Norwegian bachelor farmer ten pages, single spaced and typed nicely about his life. I had to piece together all the details because it was fairly scattered in its organization. However, there are so many good pieces of info about what life was like for him living as a pioneer farmer in my part of the world. It is as if this man was taken out of a time machine that went back 100 years. He wrote about how a pack of dogs chased their family’s flock of sheep to death. He knows about shocking grain and creating hay bales. He did hunting and sold a mink skin for $33.50 to Sears and Roebuck back in the 1940s. He has so many tidbits that I think people from my community will enjoy reading. I currently have the privilege of editing his ten pages down to something manageable for the newspaper. I think I will have at least four articles out of what he has written.

So, life goes on even though the U.S. is no longer qualified to play any more games in the World Cup. They gave it their best shot, I’m proud of who the players are even though I don’t know who they are. Also, life goes on for this elderly gentleman who is still very sharp and witty. I hope that if more people would get to meet him in my town, they would really enjoy his dry sense of humor. It doesn’t really come through in his writing or reading his quips.

Summer is 1/3 over with, now that we are into July. I have MUCH weeding of my flower gardens to do before my family descends upon us in about three weeks. My mom will turn 80 years old and all of my siblings and her sister will come for the big event that we are planning. It will be fun to see everyone from my family gathered together for this happy occasion. She seems much younger than the 81 year old man I am writing about. He has had a hard life of great physical labor, living as a farmer on not much acreage.

Life is short, handle with prayer…

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