Snippet stories …

Snippet …  a small piece or brief extract.

From time to time, I will be sharing snippets of my life through this blog. The idea came to me while I was creating a list of items that I want to remember and include in a self-autobiography booklet. At first, I didn’t think there would be much on that list. However, as I thought of events and people, I started remembering more and more. As a result, it will take a long time to create the booklet. In the mean time, however, I will occasionally share a ‘snippet story.’

Snippet #1:  The Circus and Hula Hoops

I recently went to a locally presented circus with my lady friends and great-granddaughter. Most of the acts were trapeze, juggling and the like. The only animal acts were two gorgeous elephants and a few graceful horses. But what caught my attention was the woman who performed with hoops. She started with a few and ended up with many. Spectacular!



As she started to twirl the hoops around her slim body, I immediately went back to my teenage years. My favorite physical activity at that time was my hula hoops. I would twirl them around my arms,  up and down my body –  as many as three at a time. Three not many like the circus performer.  My hula hoops were plastic; the circus performer’s were metal. How I loved my hula hoops!! I would spend hours, outside on the back sidewalk – hopefully where no one was watching – and twirl away. Now I couldn’t keep one of them around my waist for even a few seconds!! Of course, my waist is not the same as it was then.

What was your favorite thing to do when you were a teenager?


Thanks for reading!! I hope you will return. 


The Goose Call Escapade …

Recently we were sitting the deck, talking about my recent blog about my mother-in-laws autobiography booklet – (The Book of Edna … an idea for you). Her stories got us talking about our stories and remembering things we had long forgot. Silly and fun stories. We were also talking about Memorial Day and remembering family and friends who have passed. When you combine the two – silly and fun – and people who have passed – we remembered the goose call escapade.

Several years ago we went to the sprint car races in Knoxville, Iowa, with another couple who are long-time friends, Ron and Mary. Ron – at that time – was a local law enforcement officer; he also was a character. You could immediately tell by his sparkling green eyes.

The trip to Knoxville is a long drive from our homes in Princeton – especially with 4 people in the cab of a 1972 Chevrolet pickup. Even if you are friends. As side note – the pickup was affectionately called “Killer Truck” because it had a 427 chevy, big block engine in it.

For some reason, Ron decided to take out his goose call. (I am not sure why he had it with him.) Then he would randomly blow the call when we saw someone outside in their yard or walking on the street. Some people jumped; some people waved; and some others laughed. And we laughed a little.

Then we went by a woman who was bent over, working in her garden. (You know – bent over at the waist but standing.) Ron quickly blew the goose call. She did not wave. But she did jump. Actually, she tipped over in the garden. And we laughed – a lot harder than before. (She did get right up, but still … ) Now we wonder if she was the impetus for the garden signs that show the woman bent over.

Later, as we were driving in Mason City, Iowa, we had a motorcycle in front of us. Ron decided to blow the goose call again when we came to a stop. The  motorcycle in front of us tipped over !!!! but in slow motion. Then we really laughed. In fact, the motorcyclist laughed, too, once he had his cycle back up.  And we laughed some more. But then we decided we better quit blowing that goose call.

It used to be much easier to entertain ourselves.

Take a minute and think about what you have done in your life. I think you will be surprised how many good stories you have to tell.

Thanks for reading!! I hope you return.

Note: The picture in this blog shows up when you do a google search. I wasn’t able to trace where it came from. 

It depends …


A quick sketch of me shopping by my granddaughter SJH. Perhaps it is me a few years ago.

A quick little story …

Recently I went to Walmart – because I needed some mini-pads. Yes, folks, I said mini-pads. They are a part of  my reality because I cough a lot with my lung disease – and, well – you know what can happen when you cough. Typically I try to get in and out of the sanitary supplies aisle as fast as possible. I’ve even grabbed the wrong product a time or two – because I was in a such a hurry – just so I wasn’t seen in that aisle. Well, after this trip, I don’t think I need to hurry with my purchase.

A couple of years ago I went shopping in search of adult depends (disposable underwear) for my brother-in-law who is now eighty years old. There was very little to choose from – just a few options and not many in stock for any of the options. Last weekend, however, one whole side of the sanitary products aisle was packed full of various sizes, styles and brands of disposable underwear.


This is not the aisle from the store I was at but it looked similar, packed full of sanitary products.

When I arrived, there were a three people shopping in the sanitary products aisle; none of them were in a hurry to make their selection. One couple thoroughly discussed the various attributes of each brand: Is the elastic too tight on the legs? Maybe you should get a bigger size. You don’t want them too tight – what if they rip? Etc.  Interestingly, the folks looking at the products were not old-timers; they were more likely in their fifties (keeping in mind that I am not good at guessing ages or they just didn’t look their age). And, seemingly, as soon as one customer left the aisle, another appeared. That made it hard for me to get my product and get out of there – in a hurry – and hopefully relatively undetected. The aisles are so narrow, I couldn’t just sneak in between the other customers.

Finally I grabbed my product – well, actually I grabbed two – so I don’t have to go back anytime soon. The good thing – I don’t need to feel embarassed when buying sanitary supplies – no one else seems to be.

Thanks for reading! I hope this story made you smile a little.

Disclaimer. This is not an ad or endorsement for Depends. It is just a story I couldn’t resist. 


Silly Milli … part hunter, part naughty

Another episode of the adventures of Silly Milli B … 

Silly Milli seems to get longer every day. She used to fit on my desk, in front of the keyboard. I used to be able to pick her up with one hand; no more. Now I am lucky if I can pick her up with two hands – mostly because she is so crazy – always wanting to be petted, or to be ‘fighting and biting dog.’



Silly Milli is also sneaky. When I am at my computer, I often slip off my Sketcher shoes. The other night, I decided to go outside for a bit so I reached, with my feet, to put my shoes back on – but, they were nowhere to be seen. After a few minutes of wondering ‘what the heck,’ I checked Milli’s bed. Guess what! There I found both shoes. Luckily she didn’t have them for long. She has managed to chew up several shoes or sandals. Fortunately for us, they were ones we no longer wear.

Milli’s new trick is to chase chipmunks. At first she was scared of them; actually, she was scared of most anything that moved. Now – likely because she is bigger – she chases them. As you may know, we have lots of chipmunks. We used to feed them peanuts and sunflower seeds. However, last year they buried them all over our yard so we have a ‘bumpy yard’ – which makes for an interesting time when mowing the grass. This year they are surviving on the seeds from the maple tree.

Milli generally spots the chipmunks at the end of the deck or on the sidewalk. She stands at attention for a bit – and then off she goes. The chipmunks are pretty quick, though, and get away easily. And there are times when the chipmunks are within a few feet of Milli and she simply ignores them.


Our present from Milli last week – a  mouse that she tortured until it was dead.

Milli also does not like it when we put her flea and tick treatment on her back. We both had to hold her last time – but I got the worst of it. (See picture below.) Now we need to take her to have her nails trimmed …


Thanks for reading about Silly Milli. I’m sure she will have more adventures. ! I hope you return.

Meeting Leonard …

Today I went to my second infusion therapy treatment. Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter (intravenous). In my case, I am getting remicade, a drug typically used for rheumatoid arthritis and similar diseases, but in my case as a new way to treat my sarcoidosis, a lung disease.


The treatment is given in a hospital room that is outfitted with two or three recliners. You simply sit in a comfortable recliner for however long it takes; it could be just an injection or it could be administered intravenously which takes 1-3 hours.  You can watch TV, drink coffee, read — or, as I do, knit. This week, however, I didn’t get any knitting or reading done because I met Leonard.

Leonard, accompanied by his wife, was there for a blood transfusion. He receives them weekly, with the amount varying based on this blood counts. I didn’t ask why he needs the transfusion; I just noted that he was pale.

After a few minutes, we started talking. – the three of us. Leonard’s wife (whose name I didn’t get) also takes remicade, which she has taken for years for her rheumatoid arthritis. She looked pretty good to me – which makes me hopeful about my treatment. In any case, I am pretty lucky. It could be much worse.

Leonard and I had a lot in common to talk about. Leonard used to work at Cornelius Company in Anoka. The company is no longer in business, but I worked with them quite a bit during the first part of my time in Anoka. Leonard has several Farmall tractors – a favotite at our house because my husband’s uncle had a Farmall (now at our house). Leonard’s son restores automobiles; we have restored many automobile interiors through out upholstery shop for years. Leonard and his wife traveled after retirement with his fifth-wheel trailer and had lots of travel stories to tell. I love travelling and stories. Leonard (and his wife) are concerned about all the negative, mean-spirited behavior that bombards us every day. So am I.

By the way, Leonard is 84 years old. I hope we are scheduled for treatment at the same time again; it was truly an enjoyable morning.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.

Another it could only happen to me story …

Yesterday morning it was cold (around 0 degrees) but very windy. While I needed gas the night before, I didn’t stop because I thought my husband was going to fill the tank for me. He wasn’t feeling well, however, so no gas.

As I climbed into the car, I remembered that I needed to get gas. Already in the car, I chose not to go back to get my ear muffs. Not a good choice.

The gas station is just a couple miles from our house – but it’s down in a hollow area so the wind really whips through there. As I opened the car door, my scarf was flying, my hair was standing out in every direction, and soon after my ears were stinging. But I managed to get the gas in the tank.


Back in the car, a few minutes later, my cell phone rang. I have hearing aids which automatically work with my phone. I soon realized that the right ear hearing aid was not working. I reached up – and you may have guessed – it was not there. My hearing aid was gone. It is the kind that hooks around and sits behind your ear with the piece that plugs into the ear channel. Now I was not happy. I called home and my husband called the station to ask them to look for it – thinking that it was likely run over or blown away.

When I arrived at work in Anoka, I opened my door and stepped out. As I did so, I looked down. And then I looked again. There, on my running board, near the middle, sat my HEARING AID, secure in a small clump of snow/ice. It rode 35 miles on that running board! I wiped it off, put it in my ear, and it is working just fine.

Now I need to take a treat to the gas station employee who put on her parka and went out in that horrible wind, looking for my hearing aid.

It could only happen to me!

Thanks for reading!

A morning with veterans …

Last week I spent the morning taking my brother to his check-up at the Veterans Affairs facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota. First, he was scheduled to have blood work done at 7:30 am – so we left for his appointment before 6:30 am that morning. We arrived a little early so he decided to go to the appointment a little early; I decided to stay outside, sitting in my vehicle, with windows down and a warm summer breeze flowing through the car — and, of course, a cup of coffee in my hand.


Veterans facility in St. Cloud


Walking path …

There has been a lot of conversation about the poor treatment of veterans at such facilities. What I experienced, however, was much different. Of course, I wasn’t experiencing the inner workings of the facility – just observing the people at the facility. I saw employees walking to the facility, smiling, talking and greeting one another or those walking on the path, engaged in lively conversations. I didn’t see anyone who looked even remotely crabby. And, of course, there were many veterans arriving for services. They all greeted one another – occasionally stopping for a short conversation.


Love the prices!

About 8:15 am, my brother returned to the car. HIs next appointment wasn’t until 9:00 am so we left for a quick breakfast at a local restaurant that serves everyday food.   After a good breakfast with fast and friendly service, we headed back to the VA facility.

I again chose to sit in the car and work on identifying ideas for blog posts. It didn’t take long and the idea for this blog presented itself. I started watching workers who were cutting down a tree and grinding up the branches (I’m always fascinated by machinery.)

007 Within minutes, a red pickup backed up, next to my car, and a slim gentleman, with white hair held  in a ponytail, jumped out. He approached the workers and minutes later they happily loaded two large pieces of the tree trunk into his truck and then went back to their business.


Obviously an older tree – lots of growth rings.

The man from the truck saw me watching and came over to my car. He explained that he carves bowls and other such items from wood and the wood that they loaded was black walnut – a premium wood for carving. He was very happy and excited to get the wood. We talked more and he told me he was a Viet Nam veteran who had been coming to this facility since 1990. Having observed the friendly environment, I asked him what he thought of the facility. He stated that the services at the facility, which in his early years there were quite unsatisfactory, have steadily improved. He explained that the workers now are enthusiastic and care about the veterans, something not always experienced in the past. He also commented that they are doing a much better job in caring for the physical environment – so it looks like they care about the place.

I was hoping I could buy some of the bowls he makes but I will have to wait. He said his health prevents him from working a lot of the time so I should check next summer. Then he realized he was a bit late for his appointment but he was sure they would understand when he explained he just had been talking to the Planning Director from the City of Anoka. Haha – I doubt they would be impressed with that, but, given the friendly atmosphere, I’m quite sure they forgave him for being late.

And, by the way, my brother is fine.