Our pets, ourselves
THE DORYMAN of Prescott, Wis.: “Subject: Every present has a price.
“Those heart-wrenching Humane Society pictures of orphaned animals are so sad. Even though we have always had rescued pets in our home, I want that one . . . and that one, too.
“Our home would be filled with four-footed furry friends (especially the kittens) if I didn’t have such a good imagination. In their pleading, yearning eyes, I hear the words: ‘Can I please come live with you and throw up on your nice carpet at 5 a.m.?’”
This ’n’ that ’n’ the other ’n’ the ’n’ the other ’n’ …
All from Al B of Hartland: (1) “We weren’t cameras with legs in those days. We took a roll of film to Rexall Drug in New Richland for processing and called every couple of years to see if the photos were ready.
“The pandemic has caused my wife to review our photos and cull the herd. She came across a photo of a bear seen not long after we’d married. We thought all bears were like Yogi Bear. He might steal your picnic basket, but was otherwise no threat. We’d left our lodgings (Lutsen Resort) in a friend’s car. I’ll call him Wally, because that was his name. Wally drove his land yacht to Tofte in Cook County to watch the black bears feeding at the dump. Wally had brought along marshmallows to feed the bears. We treated the bruins as if they were Jet-Puffed marshmallow-loving huge hamsters. Gulls grabbed the marshmallows before the bears could, causing one bear to seek the source of the spongy confections. We dived back into the car.
“Wally had been taking photos of the bears. In his haste to relocate, he’d left his camera on the roof of the car. We sat in that parked vehicle, hoping to retrieve the camera when it was safe. The bear grabbed it. He chewed on it and covered the camera with bear slobber, but he took no photos of other bears.”
(2) “I survived the stretch of -20° weather, and it looks as if you did, too. That’s good news. Those kinds of temperatures are the ones we’ll be telling someone about this summer.
“I hear little about March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb (or vice versa) anymore. Maybe it comes in like a cardinal? There were four cardinals in a hawthorn tree in my yard. I’m still celebrating. I’ve seen more than that in a tree before, but never at my place.
“I saw robins. The vast majority of robins move south in the winter. However, some stick around — and move around. Fruit is the robin’s winter food source. As the ground thaws in the spring, they switch to earthworms and insects. While robins may arrive when the average daily temperature isotherms reach 37°, it’s because their food becomes available, not because the robins need warm temperatures. Because some overwinter here, they might not be a true harbinger of spring, but I do enjoy seeing them bob-bob-bobbing along.
“I hope the sight of this robin brings you good luck.
“I spotted a muskrat doing a walkabout. Perhaps it had run out of food and was forced to venture from its house. Muskrats aren’t rats, and they (2 to 4 pounds) are much smaller than beavers (30-70 pounds).
“I looked at a garden catalog that came in the mail and pictured the birds a garden brings with it. It seems as if every garden has a song sparrow to keep it company. E. B. White wrote: ‘The song sparrow, who knows how brief and lovely life is, says, Sweet, sweet, sweet interlude; sweet, sweet, sweet interlude.’”
(3) “A red-bellied woodpecker with a red belly.”
(4) “A Eurasian tree sparrow seen just outside Eurasia — in Hartland, Minnesota.”
(5) “Sometimes I look at a chickadee and I feel good about everything.”
(6) “I took this photo of a Carolina wren in Missouri, but people are seeing them in their Minnesota and Iowa yards this winter.”
Our pets, ourselves
Or: Life (and death) as we know it
ARKatect of Mendota Heights reports: “I have, these many years, shared stories about the ‘Old Beagle’ with you through the Bulletin Board. His name was Chase.
“This morning I had to make that fateful call to put him to sleep.
“I have never had a pet whose death has touched me so. He gave me his best all the time, and I will miss him completely. My soul aches to rub his big floppy years or wrestle with him in the middle of the night when the rest of the household was asleep. His big beautiful brown eyes were like the finest polished agates one could ever hope to find. His nose, black as the night and cold to the touch. I will miss him licking the tip of my nose. He was a man’s dog, and I find great comfort knowing I was the one he loved.”
THE DIVINE MUM of Crocus Hill: “The family of Colin Mulcahy wrote a heartbreaking obituary. It ended with these beautiful lines: ‘If you’d like to honor Colin and his life: hug your loved ones and tell them how you feel about them. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. Spread laughter, fun, and sometimes good-natured confusion and wackiness. Be brave, dream big, and do scary things — like trying out parasailing the day before your brother’s wedding, or like having the courage and grit to go back to school and start again. Spend time with friends and hobbies that bring you joy. Live big and tend to your mental health. Don’t let the darkness take you. Live your life like a skateboarding raccoon with a jetpack.’”
The Permanent Paternal Record
RED’S OFFSPRING, north of St. Paul: “Subject: Still true today.
“Sometimes things my dad said many years ago just pop into my head. This was the most recent: ‘It’s a great life, if you don’t weaken.’”
The highfalutin pleasures
GRANNY of White Bear Lake: “Since last April, in order to keep in visual contact with one another, my family has ‘Zoomed’ Bingo every week. My daughter in Duluth is the Bingo manager. She controls the speed and volume of the numbers to be called, and keeps an Excel financial spreadsheet on the winners and losers. We play for $5 a game. Not sure if anyone will collect any dollars, but it adds to the fun. So far, I am about minus $50; my oldest daughter is minus $173 +/- 9 (sucks to be her). The daughter in Duluth is up about $193. It is also important to note that we make our own Bingo cards or print them off from one of the programs online.
“We made up the rules for the game as we went along. One has a suggestive tone from when we played the first time and O-69 was called. The youngest daughter laughingly shouted out ‘Woo Ho’ and raised her beverage glass as a toast in which we all joined. It became the standard for every game. Another rule was added that anyone who had Bingo on O-69 could, at the end of our four games, steal another player’s winnings of a single game. It then went on to our last game, which is a progressive ‘cover-all’ game starting at 55 numbers and, if one yells Bingo within the slated number on O-69, that player takes everyone’s winnings for the evening.
“The last time we played Bingo was this past Tuesday evening. Not all family members were playing — just my daughter in Duluth, my ex-husband, my youngest daughter (joined for only one game), and me. I was lucky enough to Bingo for the first two games; my daughter in Duluth, the third. On the progressive ‘cover-all’ game, we were up and past the 59 slated numbers with no winner. The numbers continued to be called, and when we were at 70 numbers, the three of us who were playing were telling how close we were to completing our card. When the caller called the 75th number, she commented: ‘Somebody better have a Bingo, because there are no more balls to call.’
“What are the odds that the number each of us needed and the last number to be called would be O-69?!!”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: If 74 of the 75 numbers have been called, and no one yet has Bingo, the likelihood that you are all waiting for the same number is 100 percent!
The odds that that you would all be waiting for O-69, in any game where 74 numbers had been called, would be 1-in-75.
Know thy neighbors!
From Semi-Legend: (1) “Subject: Can’t wait to learn more.
“I recently signed up to get emails from Nextdoor, to see what my neighbors have to say about things.
“The posts tend to seek or pass on information:
“‘Pet dermatologist rec for dog allergies?’
“‘Catalytic converter stolen’
“‘What should I pay to unclog drain?’
“One today caused a head-scratch: ‘Does anyone have a 12 ft tall home depot skeleton? Hi neighbors! I’m looking to purchase one of those home depot skeletons, but didn’t want to pay $300 retail. Does anyone have one they’d be willing to resell at a cheaper price?’
“Someone responded: ‘Ok, I’ll bite; what’s a Home Depot skeleton?’
“While awaiting an answer, I learned it’s a thing.
“‘The skeletons sold out before October even began, driving record sales for the company.’”
The highfalutin amusements
FWD’d by RAMBLIN’ ROSE: “Subject: Just for Fun.
“I cannot take credit for this, but try it before you’ve had your first cup of coffee.
“1. You can’t see your ears without a mirror.
“2. You can’t count your hair.
“3. You can’t breathe through your nose while sticking out your tongue.
“4. You just tried number 3.
“6. When you did number 3, you realized that it is possible, but you look like a dog.
“7. You are smiling right now because you were fooled.
“8. You skipped number 5.
“9. You just checked to see if there is a number 5.
“10. Share this with your friends — everyone can use a little fun.
“I hope it made you smile!”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Yes, it did. Especially No. 5.
Older Than Dirt
Including: The great comebacks
RUSTY of St. Paul: “My friend’s dad turned 100 last November. Only recently has his memory turned on him a bit. Every time my friend visits, his dad tells his son: ‘I’m 99, but I’m turning 100 soon.’ ‘Um, no, Dad, you’re 100 now.’
“Today I was out in the woods burning a brush pile with my brother-in-law. His dad is to turn 99 this month. I told him the above story, and Tim replied: ‘Well, at least he is with it enough to lie about his age!’”
To each, her own
KATHY S. of St. Paul: “During the pandemic, some guys have grown nice beards. But other guys have grown really scruffy long beards that no mask can cover — or dress up.
“Lately I’ve been cracking folks up by asking them what will happen when these guys remove their masks. I have a feeling that, if women are voting on this, the wild beards will go — or the guys will.
“Nothing can make an unbridled thicket of facial shredded wheat look appetizing to me.
“Ban the Feral Beards!”
Out of the mouths of babes
THE GRAM WITH A THOUSAND RULES: “My Aussie grandson was born with a full head of curly red hair, and from the recent photos I have seen of him playing in the surf with his 4-year-old son, it appears that it is still red and curly — although I did get a clue that maybe time is making some changes in its fullness when my granddaughter-in-law shared this bit of dinnertime conversation.
“Their son Henry said: ‘I like your hair, Dad! It’s wavy, like the ocean! Except that bit at the back — that looks like land.’”
Band Name of the Day: The Feral Beards
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