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Commute 003


Fri, Aug 3rd, 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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Foods Weekly Ads

"Buttered Bread with Brown Sugar"

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Monday, August, 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. Stories have been gathered from individuals near Harmony, L ..... 
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Butterflies through Binoculars

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Monday, August 6, 2001

What creature flies; makes no sounds; does not bite, sting or carry disease; is bright orange with dark bands on its upperparts and silver spots below; and is common in meadows, fields and along roadsides in Fillmore Cou ..... 
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The Run Has Begun

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Weaver Dunes Field Report Early Summer 2001By John LevellMonday, July 23, 2001

As Spring 2001 draws to a close, the season's exceedingly wet and cool weather is still cause for concern to those of us working on the Blandi ..... 
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Highlights From the Fair

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, August 6, 2001

This years Fillmore County Fair was a complete success. Local master gardeners staffed our booth and answered many questions regarding landscaping, flower and vegetable gardening. The next two columns will ..... 
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Antiques and Classics

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Monday, July 30, 2001

There was an antique and classic tractor pull in town last Sunday. As I drove into the field where it was being held, I thought there must be some mistake. These tractors are like the ones my father made his living with a ..... 
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Jerry Laumb

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Mr. Laumb, 51, of Rushford, died Saturday (July 21, 2001) at his home of cancer.

He was born Jan. 27, 1950, in LaCrosse, Wis. He married Barbara Carrier on March 16, 1968. He worked at Farmer's Elevator in Rushford for nine years and at Cene ..... 
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Louis Peterson

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Louis Peterson, age 91, of Preston, MN, died August 1, 2001, at the Preston Good Samaritan Center.

Louie was born June 20, 1910, in Zumbrota, MN, the son of Paul and Olive Peterson. He was raised in Zumbrota, MN, and did carpentry and insula ..... 
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Joseph Clarence Gildner

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Joseph Clarence Gildner, 81, of Preston, a retired farmer, died Aug. 1, 2001 at the Harmony Nursing Home, where he had lived since June 1999.

Born March 29, 1920, in Hubbard, IA, the son of Robert and Margaret (Butler) Gildner, he grew up in ..... 
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