A Letter from Zach
I apologize for not replying sooner, but things round these parts have been nothing short of hectic. Right now I'm in school waiting for my next class at 11, trying to stay awake by looking for someone to talk to.
You were wondering about assignments this semester? Well, the most recent project I've been working on is designing a webpage outlining the differences in the linguistics between genders in online communication. This particular assignment isn't all that interesting to me, but it does give me something to focus my energies into.
As far as everything else in my life, I'd say things are going well. I know that "well" is so vague but I find it difficult to speak more positively/negatively about my current status. I suppose "well" is just the average mind state... some days are horrid, others are splendid, and such is life.
I go to work everyday at a telemarketing type place that pays better than any other in Duluth, and at night Itry to compose music with my roommates. I'm running out of material, if you'd like me to be more specific just let me know ... like I said, I'm kinda tired and I'm losing my train of thought quite easily.
I really appreciate the Bulletins, and I'll try to be better about contributing.
Just thought I'd send a quick note since I haven't written to you in a while. Things are good here!
I just had my review at work which went very well. It's a very difficult employment marketplace right now, with layoffs and no-hiring (as we also heard from Patty in a previous Bulletin), that I'm just glad to have a decent job at a decent company. I just found out from an ex co-worker of mine that my previous company is not fairing so well and may be doing heavy layoffs or selling out completely. This is the second time that I've lucked out and moved on before things went bad! My company before that one closed their branch office not three months after I left.
I'm also planning on taking another dreaded insurance test... one step closer to my designation that I'm striving for and bonus! I just got the books and have to set the exam date which I think I'll set for some time in May. The testing window is May 15 - June 15.
As for other activities, I've been helping out Aaron recently with his new home. We've now painted almost every room upstairs, refinished the hardwood floors (okay, I didn't have much to do with this project), and he's purchased new furniture for the living room and his room. Not quite the remodeling project that I've heard about Donnie and Patty's place, but still it's coming along nicely. It's exciting to see the transformation ... no matter what the scale.
Well, I hope all is well in Missouri and thank you so much for putting out those wonderful bulletins! I thoroughly enjoy each and every one of them!
*For those who may not have met the following author -- my sister-in-law, Doris Anderson
Shortly before my dad's stroke (end of January), Junior's part-time boss found a full-time employee, so Junior was no longer working part-time after that. He understood and was only filling in for past several months until full-time person was found. As it turned out, Junior was free to help with my dad until his death.
In spare time, for the past couple months we've been looking into chair repair -- caning, rush seats, and woven seats. Junior wanted something he could do at home for the next few years that would not be affected by age discrimination! I had suggested chair caning years ago when we needed it done for our dining room chairs.
Well, the idea sort of evolved again, one thing led to another, and we were buying books, a video, and working sample kits on the subject just before my dad's death. Junior learned by trial and error. We went to a demo held by a company that sells the supplies for caning. The owner helped Junior along by showing him some techniques.
Junior practiced on a couple of our side chairs that needed new cane backs. The rest is history. I "think" we're in business! :-) We've passed out business cards and have had a couple of responses. Junior has been "practicing" on our chairs and we have been buying chairs that need repairs. Once they are re-caned, etc., he will try to sell them through various means.
He just finished a chair for our local upholstery shop -- they called Monday and he picked it up. He re-glued the loose joints, re-caned the seat and stained it. Delivered it in the van this morning. :-) Almost every day a new opportunity presents with chairs needing care. Today, a neighbor was delighted to learn Junior could repair her dining room chairs.
I've suggested that Junior advertise a "chair clinic." You know -- are your legs wobbly, seat sagging, back broken? ... Sounds good to me. :-)
Apparently, caning is a lost art form--not many can do it, so it seems to be in demand. Guess we'll see!
A Weekend Retreat
by Donna Johnson
We left Friday around 4, shortly after Peggy and Ed got here. Met Lori at Rogers to drop off Caity, so she could spend the weekend with her. Stopped and got something to eat, before heading on to Don & Patty's.
What a LOT of work they've done on their home! It's absolutely amazing! The new roof looks so nice. (We didn't get to appreciate that until coming back from a shopping trip on Saturday, as it was dark when we arrived.) The newly painted entryway, stairway and "family" room (or whatever they call them now) look so welcoming. Patty has done an excellent (as usual) job of decorating. I loved it!
Then the upstairs (main level) flooring -- what a JOB, but so well worth their efforts! 100 year old barn wood -- wayyyy much work to get it looking like it does now! Looks like it's been in their home for a long time; one wouldn't guess it had once been in a barn.
And the new sink (a double utility, white 300 or more lb., freestanding one) and stove (gas with double ovens, grill and griddle, besides the neat burners with a simmer/warmer option), refrigerator (bottom pull out -- super neat drawer) and dishwasher (runs so quietly you can hardly tell it's on). WOW! You really have to see it, to appreciate the whole thing. And, the openness of the room now, seems so much bigger.
Loved the red cupboards, with punched copper inserts in some of the doors (more of Patty's talented work). Then there's the new fireplace that makes such a change in the room, another project they tackled themselves, including moving an enormously heavy hearth that had originally been sitting in front of old fireplace -- a real backstrainer!
I've got to say they are both very talented and brave to have tackled and succeeded at such a large number of major remodeling projects. They still have more to finish before the wedding in August ... but will keep their momentum up (hopefully!), by having that as a goal.
Hope Peggy and Eddie had a good time, they seemed to. Bad part was, Peggy tripped, falling and banged up her knee good, so it was stiff and sore all week-end. Bummer. Then when we were out shopping at the Edina Galleria, as Eddie got back into the vehicle, his foot slipped on the running board (which was all iced, from the six inches of snow they'd gotten!) and banged his shin hard. He commented, something to the effect, that is dangerous taking trips for them!
The snowfall certainly was pretty (so much more so knowing it would soon be gone), looked like a real winter wonderland, looking out their paned windows and seeing all the pines wearing their "white coats." :-) They have two indoor cats, Frodo (a gigantic, full grown, orange, fluffy, long haired fellow -- he adopted them when they were looking for a kitten instead) and Benny (Patty's Siamese) and another outdoor cat, George. (He thinks he should be a housecat, too, and did get to spend a lot of time in with us, very playful gray and white tabby -- figure next time he, too, will be wearing a collar -- which means he's moved up to the "beloved cat" category!)
They made for great entertainment. Frodo is bigger than Jake! He is the largest cat I've ever met in person, and right now has a "lion" tail, as he had to have his lower back and 2/3 of his tail shaved. Makes for an interesting looking cat! He is so friendly, I think even a cat hater would enjoy him! George is still kitten enough that he was doing something funny much of the time!
Of course the food was superb! Huge breakfasts, chicken wings (scrumptious) for appetizers, steaks with mushrooms, awesome potatoes, etc., etc.
Peggy pointed out that we each ended up eating 1/2 a pie, as I'd brought along three pies. We also had caramel rolls Patty'd made, cookies from me, and banana bread from Peggy. Numerous other munchies, etc. Get the picture, not a slenderizing experience -- DELICIOUS, though! We had a wonderful weekend, full of visiting and laughter, always good medicine. They are always such super hosts, made for a good week-end "retreat." Can't beat that!
We left Sunday afternoon around 4ish to head for Aaron's to meet Lori, see his home improvements and pick up Caity. Aaron's house is looking more homelike all the time. They made the bedroom and office so nice, with the new freshly painted walls (and ceiling in bedroom-same "bold gold" as the walls) and office (a pretty blue with the white trim, looks great) The newly refinished wood floors look super. He had new bedroom and living room furniture delivered on Saturday. Love how both rooms look now.
Lori had made a delicious jambalaya for us-yum! They served us at the old wooden table I'd given them from here. Had all the leaves in, so we all could sit around (it is a small room, but worked fine) Weston had come over to visit too, so got to see him.
Caity wasn't very happy to see me, she wasn't ready to leave. Lori said she was so good all week-end. When they were painting she played with Jakie downstairs. When Aaron's parents came over in the evening she was playing in the office and at one point Aaron's Dad said, "I just heard some noise in the other room and wondered what it was, I'd forgotten she was even here..she's so good!" (Good to hear!!) Lori said they just adore Caity and make over her each time they see her. (She's gone to their house a few times already with Aaron and Lori.)
All the way around (other than Peggy's knee and Eddie's shin) it turned out to be a wonderful week-end!
Eric and Leona asked Caity to be their "flower girl', so she's excited about that. She's been waiting for a while for that honor! Becky and three of her friends, (Heather and her boyfriend and another girl), are heading for the cities today, until tomorrow night. Doing a few fun things for their "spring break."
I think I've figured out why I like machines; they remind us that there is no "formula" for day-to-day living. You can serve a command one day and your machine will behave normally. The next? Completely different reaction! You have to be on your feet and nimble constantly if you want to try and maneuver through the pitfalls of even just daily perfunctory life, much like when using a computer. The formula always changes, dogma is stagnation.
Good day from In a Jam(b)
What would you suggest to put on our kitchen floor, when there is a slight hump between where two rooms were joined together. The linoleum that is in the kitchen/dinette now,Has some holes and is looking pretty tired out.
Joe: first of all, we need to find out what is heavy enough to straighten out this "slight hump." maybe you could find a bank safe that you could position over the hump, but then again, if you could break the safe, you could afford a real fix.
Pete: well, I could suggest maybe looking at Donnie and Patty's "new" floor; with this floor you could even hide an elephant underneath! You would never notice any irregularity in the substrate. Did you guys hear what the roofer at Donnie's said when he saw the flooring? He had the guts to ask if they were going to burn that load of beautiful wood!
Sam: Hi this is Sam, "he he," have you guys ever heard about looking underneath the floor?? Maybe there is an import from the Middle East under there, is there 1 hump or 2? Is there a sand problem as well? This is strange, old houses are supposed to get "sags" not "humps"! Maybe a floor sander could take it out!!
Joe: Maybe a post is too long; you could jack it up and cut the post off a little.
Sam: Maybe there isn't a post under the hump. But did you consider the fact that the footings may have settled? Nevertheless, maybe the floor covering is too NEW maybe if you considered some older floor covering you may not even see the rise and fall of the kitchen floor, But you might be trying to keep your balance after tripping on one of the many splits or cracks! Or maybe if the floor is REALLY old you could level it out with a shovel.
Joe: Did you guys ever here about the carpet layer who lost his pack of cigarettes? Well the story goes like this ... when he was done with the job he couldn't find his pack of cigarettes, and then ... he spotted them, there in the middle of the floor, a little hump. To take the carpet up was an unthinkable task, so he went out to the garage and found a 4X4, and then he proceeded to level them out, when he was done, he put the 4X4 back and went to get into his truck ... there, he spied them ... his pack, lying there on the seat. Just then, the owner rushed out, wondering, if he had seen their parakeet
*In the absence of the Ashby and St. Cloud Correspondents I have brought in a replacement:
Thought the chef would like this recipe. --Elaine.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375 DEGREES - REMOVE TOYS FROM COUNTERTOP.
MEASURE 2 CUPS FLOUR - GET BAKING POWDER.
REMOVE KIDS' HANDS FROM FLOUR
GET BAKING POWDER - REMOVE KIDS' HANDS FROM FLOUR.
PUT FLOUR, BAKING POWDER AND SALT INTO SIFTER.
VACUUM THE MIXTURE THE KIDS SPILLED ON KITCHEN FLOOR.
GET AN EGG - ANSWER THE PHONE.
SEPARATE EGG AND WARM BABY'S BOTTLE.
HELP DAUGHTER FIGURE MATH PROBLEM.
GREASE PAN - ANSWER THE DOORBELL.
TAKE 1/2 INCH SALT FROM GREASED PAN.
LOOK FOR KIDS - PUT MESS IN WASTEBASKET -
DISHES INTO DISHWASHER.
CALL THE BAKERY!
TAKE AN ASPIRIN!!!
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
Just read The Bulletin. How interesting.! You are really doing a great job on it, Dorothy...and good for those others too, that contribute to it. It certainly is a good way for the family to keep in touch with one another, as its such a busy world they don't have time to connect all the time, either.
Nice and sunny out, but around zero...will get up to 50s this weekend though.Everyone is ready for spring.. always look forward to the next season!!!!!!!
Not much for news here. I live such a quiet life.... Keep up your good work!
Your Bulletin is great--it gets more interesting every time! I really like the new in-a-jam(b) column. and the rest of them are neat--funny and interesting!
Just a quick note-- not too much to say. Oh! I guess I do have some news, we won the b-ball game today, (Saturday-) by ONE point! It was a very fun game- my hands were raw and my voice hoarse when it was over. Now the boys go on to play on Tuesday, so that should be another fun game. Rich, Mar, and the kids came, the Edwards, Doug and Roxane and kids, so Dan had a huge cheering section! We had a lot of fun!
If you have a complaint, be specific. Nothing kills communication faster than statements that begin with "You always..." or "You never...."
Just had to say, Mr in a Jam(b) is a great addition. What a creative family... love it... makes my day.
Our Present Staff:
EDITORS: Mom, Grandma, Dorothy, etc.
Doug -------St. Cloud Correspondent
Rich---------Mr. In-A-Jam(b) &
Kim------and his assistant