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Township Roads - New tarpaper on the shack


Fri, Nov 15th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

We just completed another home improvement project. This is not the story of one of my usual do-it-yourself debacles. This time, we hired a local carpenter, a sheetrock taper, and a seamless gutter installer to do it right with a minimum of story-generating missteps. It seems to be working out. Despite my procrastination on starting the project, it is done before the major cold and snow comes. All the parts fit the way they were supposed to. It cost about what I thought it would. It couldnt be better.

I reserved two parts of the general contracting for myself. Our son, Matt, is a highly experienced landscaper and he needed something to do for his school senior project. I suggested that he could help himself and us by building retaining walls on each end of our house. He enthusiastically did almost all the planning for the project. I got involved when it came time to estimate the number of concrete landscaping blocks required to do the job. My involvement was critical in this as I was the one who had to pay for the blocks and cart them home.

After careful measurement, we decided that two hundred blocks ought to do it. My pickup could just barely haul one hundred of the twenty-four pound blocks at a time. That isnt too bad for a half-ton pickup, but it made for several slow trips home. Our estimate on the number of blocks required came up just a bit short. It took five hundred fifty five blocks to complete the wall. Matt wanted me to return three blocks to the store. He thought we could do without those last three, but I made him use them. It isnt vitally important, but now I can tell people that there are as many blocks in our retaining walls as the Washington Monument is feet tall. So, if our retaining wall blocks were all stacked end-to-end vertically, the stack would be just five inches shorter than the Washington Monument. Of course, stacking blocks end-to-end vertically is quite impossible. That missing five inches bothers me a little, but there is no sense getting compulsive about such minor things.

The other part of our home improvement project that I reserved for our sons and me was taking the old cedar siding off the house. Mike, our carpenter, replaced the cedar with some of the new tarpaper, often referred to as vinyl siding. It is all made of petroleum so there isnt all that much difference, although the old style tarpaper didnt come in colors. We chose the same color vinyl .....
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The Commute - Minnesota Nice

Fri, Nov 15th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

What exactly is Minnesota Nice? Ive heard it referred to quite often lately in the national media. The phrase brings with it a vision of crowds of people with normal bodies but big, yellow, smiley- face heads.

I grew up just ..... 
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Notes from a Country Kitchen

Fri, Nov 15th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Seems like everybody goes for coffee breaks, and I wonder how much coffee some people drink in a day. I remember years ago how we made coffee especially at church doings or Ladies Aid suppers. We used those big coffee pots and we would add 1-2 eggs ( ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Nov 8th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Yes, we have had some cold weather for October and now into November, but I guess all of us older ones will never forget November 11, 1940, our terrible Armistice's Day storm. There is one thing in life that none of us, not one person can change and ..... 
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Journal Writing Project - Eric Leitzen

Fri, Nov 8th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

An excerpt from the diary of Corporal Peter Swenson, of Red Wing, Minnesota.

How much Longer will it last? Three days I have laid here in this dug out hole, this muddy, barbed wire studded bunker that has been my home for the p ..... 
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At Home in the Woods- Abby's World

Fri, Nov 8th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

The Lanesboro library was our first stop. She found the children's section immediately, picked out a book with an elephant on the front cover sitting in a bathtub drinking tea. She sat at one of the small chairs and began to turn the pages. I picked ..... 
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Notes From a Country Kitchen

Fri, Nov 1st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

One of these Days

One of these days, I'll be free  to do everything that pleases ME!  I'll eat popcorn with a spoon  Or, lie down to rest at half-past no ..... 
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Township Roads- The annual 4-H hayride

Fri, Nov 1st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Soon after we got our new fifty-two-year-old tractor, I threatened our sons with a hayride. I suggested that they could invite all their friends over and we would hitch the Farmall to our sheep trailer and go for a hayride over the pasture and throug ..... 
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Journal Writiing Project-Andy Wolter

Fri, Nov 1st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

I was sitting in the computer lab, idly tapping the keys, trying to generate ideas for an article I had to write. I had procrastinated for days thinking up a decent topic to write about. Now I had two days left to write, revise and edit a piece on so ..... 
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