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Commute 003


Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 16, 2001

I read an article last Sunday that said Americans are giving less attention to cleaning their houses. Once again, I’m way ahead of a national trend.

My lack of cleaning skills is somewhat legendary in my family. Though they chide me on it, I know they appreciate that I’ve given them a handy point of reference. My sisters (there are three) will always shine if compared to me when it comes to housekeeping. And woe to the cousin that my mom recently pronounced as having a "house messier than Bonnie’s!"

I’m not proud of being messy. I was properly embarrassed at having my 2-year old daughter run screaming from a vacuum cleaner a few years ago. "You’d think she’d never seen one before," someone muttered.

These days, if my kids notice me with cleaning tools in hand, they’re likely to shout with glee, "Grandma’s coming!"

I’m a good sport about it all, but I do wish there was a kinder, gentler name for my condition. I don’t like being called "messy" or, God forbid, a "slob." I prefer to think of myself as Disinterested In Tidiness.

Probably underneath my Disinterest In Tidiness (DIT, for short) is the fact that I’m not very good at cleaning. For starters, I don’t seem to notice when things are getting a little "cluttered." Surely this is some kind of perception disorder. Then, when I do make up my mind to clean, I’m…well…inefficient.

For example, it crossed my mind recently to scrub and wax my kitchen floor. When I found myself with one hour home alone, no children in sight, I could hear opportunity knocking. A whole hour! I figured with that kind of free time I could deal with the kitchen floor, then play piano, get caught up on my reading, and write a poem or two. Imagine my frustration when it took a full forty minutes to scrub red crayon marks, that I hadn’t even noticed before, from the vinyl floor. I barely had time to slap on the acrylic before I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet.

It’s not that I had no examples to follow. My mother was the Master Cleaner. Her house always was, and still is, amodel of tidiness. But this apple fell far from the tree. Her cleaning lectures never seemed to leave an impression on me. Once I asked, in exasperation, "Why do you care so much about it anyway? Is that really what you want people to say about you—that ‘she keeps a clean house’?"

She stared at me like I’d just asked whether the purpose of shoes was to wear them on your fee .....
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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

"We Could Fix Just about

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Anything with Baling Wire."Edited By Beth WaterhouseMonday, July 16, 2001

The Art of Farming is a project of the Collaborative for Watershed Sustainability to gather stories about farm life in southeastern Minnesota before World War II. Storie ..... 
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A Big Woods Wedding

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 9, 2001

A medieval scene greets guests as they walk down green paths through open woods and across hilly fields to a small white tent with open walls. The groom could be Robin Hood, complete with his Merry Men, anxiously waiting f ..... 
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"The Great Wall of Weaver"

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 2, 2001

As if near record flooding along the Upper Mississippi was not enough already, mid and late Spring 2001 for the most part proves to be gloomy, cool and gray. With the exception of two or three consecutive sunny, unseasonab ..... 
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Reader Mail!

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, July 9, 2001

Question: I need to move my perennials in late summer. Although this is not the right time for all of the plants, can you give suggestions of how to keep them alive? How should I prepare them? Should I trim ..... 
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A Stickler for Reality

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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By Wayne PikeMonday, July 16, 2001

Having been home from our trip to Colorado for a couple weeks, I have had time to reflect on some of the events and observations that we made. Traveling to another state can hardly be considered exotic, but i ..... 
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The Mighty Ducks

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 9, 2001

It has been quite awhile since I was a volunteer coach. My first opportunity came in my early twenties when Bob, a friend of mine, and I were coaxed into coaching soccer to a mixed group of six and seven year olds in a YMC ..... 
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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