I have been biting my tongue, really, really hard over the past few months as it related to our government, the two parties, Obamacare and all that goes with it, including the shutdown that we just endured.
I love talking politics and I really believe, even though it is hard at times, VERY hard, that most of our elected representatives are not as evil as we perceive them to be. It is not as easy to convince myself of that these days, but I do have hope that one day that feeling will return…someday.
While I tend to lean one way in my beliefs that does not mean that I always agree with “my side”. And I am most certainly not someone who only finds fault with one side or the other. I hate to say this, but if you are one of those people, you are part of the problem. Big time.
I did not want the government to “shutdown” and I was pretty disturbed by the actions of ALL lawmakers and the President during the last few weeks.
Here are a few of my observations and feelings that resulted from this latest mess.
A law is a law, but bad laws can and SHOULD be fixed.
I felt bad for the thousands of federal workers who were without a paycheck for the past 16 days, and I was glad to see they were going to be paid one way or another once the two sides reached an agreement. However, I wondered where all the outrage was/is in the media regarding the millions, including myself, who were or are still unemployed due to a lousy economy.
I am not a fan of some areas of Obamacare and I wish, instead of voting to defund it or repeal it over and over, that the Republicans would have grabbed on to a few of the most “hated” sections of the law and worked to fix them instead of trying to do the impossible. Look how much of it has been delayed already and what is going forward now is sort of a messy nightmare.
On the flip side, I find it rather arrogant of the President to refuse to negotiate and only want a vote on HIS (and his parties) terms. That is why we have the two party system, right? Even if you disagree with the other side, you work together and sort it out? I am as fed up with Congress as everyone else, but I also lay blame with the “non-negotiator in chief. Ronald Reagan worked with Tip O’Neill; Bill Clinton worked with Newt Gingrich and President Bush worked with Ted Kennedy. It can and SHOULD be done more often. Those men, all of them, were leaders, whether you liked them or not.
On a much lighter note, my faith in humanity was restored a bit this past weekend. My wife offered to help a friend at church set up a “mom to mom” sale. As they worked to set up tables and whatever else one does when setting up for such an event, my wife noticed a rocking chair that one lady brought in to sell. A real rocking chair! My wife has always talked about how she would love to have one.
Casually mentioning to the woman who was trying to sell the chair that she liked it and always wished she had one when rocking her newborns, Heather went on about her work before heading home.
The next day we had a voicemail from the church. The chair didn’t sell and the lady left it for Heather to have. Not to buy, but to have. I do not even think my wife knew her name. Instead of keeping it or trying to make money off it at another sale she just gave it to Heather, no strings attached. The kindness of strangers is so inspiring. It is too bad that we live in such a self-centered world today that these kinds of actions are few and far between!
I fell asleep in the recliner the other night. That rarely happens, but I was so tired that I ended up dozing off while watching TV. Everyone else was in bed; the living room was lit only by the TV, which by this time was showing something that comes on well after the local news. To be honest, I can’t remember what channel I was even watching when I dozed off.
The sound of a “thud” behind me ,followed by some stifled meows and other rustling sounds awoke me from my slumber.
It took me a few seconds to fully wake up and when I did, I was in for quite a shocking sight.
In the twilight of the TV, my eyes focused in on our cat that was walking in front of the recliner, with something in his mouth.
At first I thought he was playing with a toy of his or one of my children. Both of them seem to leave their toys all over the house anyway, so why not. Plus, he has been known to become rather playful at night and cause a ruckus that can wake the dead.
As he walked into the kitchen, I suspected that it was no toy at all, but in fact….A MOUSE. A toy does move like a real mouse can and by the looks and sounds of the action in the kitchen, this was a live one.
I am not a fan of rodents, reptiles or anything creepy-crawly. I cringe when I see things that slither, slide, hiss or otherwise.
And while I really hate possums, snakes and spiders, a mouse, especially when it is dark and you wake up to the drama unfolding before your eyes, it is a little unnerving. Oh, did I mention I hate possums?
The little critter escaped the clutches of our vicious “watch-cat” who was more interested in playing with the mouse than killing it. And as luck would have it, he took refuge behind the refrigerator.
Not wanting the mouse to escape, I woke my wife up to assist in the fun of catching this little pest. As you know, trying to catch a greased pig is probably easier than catching a quick little mouse that can squeeze into places you never knew existed.
A half-hour later, the little mouse was shown the door, literally. After scurrying behind an end table, my wife opened the front door and out he hopped.
Breathing a sigh of relief, we went to bed knowing we were mouse free.
We opted not to tell our girls about it for fear they may freak out. However, two mornings later we were left with no choice as our cat pranced through the living room with the same little mouse in his mouth. Awkward!
I knew we were too kind just sending him on his merry way the night before. It is almost like we sent him off to school with his backpack and said “see you later”.
That little creature escaped my clutches that morning as we had to leave for work, but precautions have been placed around the house should he be brave enough to wander out again.
I am not a fan of rodents, not at all. I am just glad that my daughters were too distracted to realize how freaked out their dad was over that tiny little thing!
I just hope for my sake and that of the mouse, that he has moved on and moved out. There is a no vacancy sign hanging on my door for his kind.
Hello out there. I am a male, tan and white lab mix with a cute, freckled nose. My eyes match my tan fur and I am very cute. I’m less than a year old and I know how to sit on command. I’m fun to take on walks because I’m good on a leash. The ladies say I am a very sweet guy and I am very gentle. I do love to play with toys and like people a lot. Please let me to come home with you. My docket # is 11718, at the St. Joseph County Animal Control Shelter located at 652 E. Main St., Centreville, MI. Animal Control is open Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The first Saturday of each month AC is open for adoptions from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Their phone number is 269-467-6475. Please visit the Animal Rescue Fund website at www.arfund.org to see more adoptable pets. ARF will pay for the spay/neuter of an adopted Pet of the Week, at the Humane Society in Kalamazoo. If the owner wants to go to a local vet, the same amount will be given to that vet. Up-Cycled Pets needs reliable foster homes so some pets can learn more about living in a safe home before adoption. Go to www.upcycledpets.com for more information about how to help this group.
We missed the Annual Color Tour again this year. We spent the weekend of October 13 up north near West Branch and Gaylord. We would have enjoyed the Color Tour, but the colors up north were quite spectacular, plus, we were expected to attend an Appreciation Dinner for one of the governors on my council. We had fun visiting, and it was good to get away for a day or two.
While in the West Branch area, we decided to take a side trip to Fairview, which is located near Mio and Lewiston. I hadn’t been in Fairview for over sixty years, and I’ve wanted to go back for a visit for quite some time. I had several aunts, uncles, grandmother, and cousins living there back in the day, so I had many fond memories of the area.
Upon arriving in Fairview, it took me a few minutes to get my bearings. There is a Marathon gas station located where a Shell station used to be. The creamery was gone, as was the cafe, where my Uncle Omer would take me and buy me a hamburger. More on the hamburger adventure next week. The small general store has been replaced by a full-size supermarket. We looked around for my uncle’s house, plus other homes that, at one time, were filled with the laughter of aunts, uncles, and cousins. The houses are probably still there, but the homes are gone, due to the passing of those relatives. This was quite a traumatic experience for me, to say the least. I longed for those days of innocence, when I had no real worries. I wanted the opportunity to visit once again with my Aunt Arla and enjoy the aroma of bacon and eggs cooking in her kitchen, or being with family, as we enjoyed a fish dinner with my Uncle Harry and Aunt Pearl. My Uncle Milt owned a saw mill and was also a trapper. He took pride in showing me his collection of beaver pelts drying in the basement of their home. I miss those days of family gatherings. My aunts and uncles are all gone, but I still have a few cousins living, although it’s been years since we’ve gotten together. My two sisters, brother, and I see each other more often, and correspond on a regular basis. I never really appreciated the 1950s and the memories that we made then. I appreciate the relatives I have now, because I’m the youngest of my cousins and siblings, and they are really getting old. I still have time to make new memories, and I’ll never stop reliving the older ones. Time spent with family is priceless, and should be treated as such.
In traveling around Michigan, we’ve discovered how much there is to see and do for very little money. There are still places we’d like to visit. I don’t know how many states publicize the attractions located within their state. I know that the Michigan Bureau of Tourism does a great job of advertising, and it makes me proud to live in “Pure Michigan”. We have all four seasons to get Out and About. The rumor that we only have winter and road construction is only partially true. I’ll probably never travel to Europe. I’ve traveled internationally, and it’s always great to get back home.
Meanwhile, back in Three Rivers, and reality, we have plenty of memory-making activities of our own. This Saturday, October 26, from 7 to 10 PM, the Three Rivers Woman’s Club will host “Dollars for Scholars”, which will include a silent auction with entertainment. The venue is the Carnegie Center for the Arts, 107 North Main Street, in historic downtown Three Rivers. Tickets are now on sale for $10, and may be purchased at the Carnegie Center, or from any member of the Woman’s Club.
All proceeds will go to benefit the Woman’s Club’s Scholarship Fund, which will support five local high school graduates through college.
Everyone is invited to visit the club’s website at www.threeriverswomansclub.wordpress.com. Look under “Dollars for Scholars” for the continually updating list of auction items.
A few things to keep in mind:
When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
Never lie to your doctor.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
Hi, I am a brindle and white male boxer and a real sweet guy. I am about 2-3 years old and am already neutered. I like to be around people and would probably do best in a home where I am the only pet. I’m not a super active dog but am good on a leash. I like it when people give me treats and I take them very gently. I love attention. My ears need a little medical attention. Please come and see me. I’ve had a home before and would like to have a new, forever one. My docket # is 11700, at the St. Joseph County Animal Control Shelter located at 652 E. Main St., Centreville, MI. Animal Control is open Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The first Saturday of each month AC is open for adoptions from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Their phone number is 269-467-6475. Please visit the Animal Rescue Fund website at www.arfund.org to see more adoptable pets. ARF will pay for the spay/neuter of an adopted Pet of the Week, at the Humane Society in Kalamazoo. If the owner wants to go to a local vet, the same amount will be given to that vet. Up-Cycled Pets needs reliable foster homes so some pets can learn more about living in a safe home before adoption. Go to www.upcycledpets.com for more information about how to help this group.
My father used to ask for my help from time to time. I really became needed during my high school years, when I was usually busy working a part-time job or hanging out with my buddies. I generally made it to the end of the driveway, before I’d hear, “Norman, come here. I need your help.” He really didn’t need my help, but he wanted me to help him a little, so that I’d learn something that would benefit me later on in my life. I learned to change my own oil in the car, change spark plugs, how to use and care for a paint brush, and how to sharpen the blade on a lawn mower. I remember hearing him say more than once, “The more you can do on your own, the less money you’ll have to pay someone else to do the job for you.” I didn’t think so at the time, but my dad was pretty smart. I wonder how many moms and dads take the time to show their children how to handle the simpler tasks. Nowadays, if there is a problem with the computer, it’s the parents who seek help from their children.
One thing my dad never taught me was how to use a power sprayer. I don’t know if they even had them back in the fifties. I’ve used one briefly to clean the siding of a building, but recently I’ve used one to handle a major task.
We have a back and front deck on our house. The decks were there before I came on the scene, so I never paid that much attention to them. They are nice to have, especially during that time of the year when you can sit outside. Anyway, I noticed that the decks were starting to show a lot of weathering, and upon consulting with one of our neighbors, I was made aware that if I didn’t take some action, the decks would crumble and have to be replaced. That would involve spending a lot of money. For a few dollars less, I could power spray the decks and put some new sealer on them. This would be a nice project that could be accomplished in no more than two or three afternoons. As of this writing, I am now into my fourth afternoon and I’m still power spraying. I borrowed a power sprayer from my buddy Jim, and he assured me that there was no rush in getting the sprayer back to him. I enjoy using the power sprayer, and I’m pretty sure I’ll see the purchase of one on a credit card statement someday.
Autumn is probably the most colorful and festive season. The change of colors and the noticeable change of temperatures make fall a season to appreciate. We don’t need to shovel show yet, and the lawn has seen its last mowing. The raking of leaves can be fun for the kids, because after the leaves are raked, they make great piles to jump into. I miss those days when we could burn the leaves. The aroma was pure Autumn. This past weekend we were able to enjoy the Annual Fall Color Tour. It’s another reason to get Out and About and enjoy the colors and smells of fall.
Another fall tradition has been the Annual Harvest Dinner put on by the First United Methodist Church of Three Rivers. Located at 215 North Main Street, in Three Rivers, the dinner is scheduled for this Thursday, October 17, beginning at 5:30 PM. The menu consists of Swiss steak, baked potatoes, squash, and of course, their famous desserts. Delicious homemade pies will be available for purchase, while they last. We’ve attended this dinner in the past, so I strongly advise everyone to arrive early, because seating is limited, and the food will make you think that your mother is working in the kitchen. The cost for the dinner is $9 for adults, $5 for those twelve and under, and if you have children under the age of three, they may eat for FREE.
The travel season is coming to a close, but the eastern states have the real fall colors. If you are thinking of traveling out east for the colors, and are flying out, then renting a car, you might seriously consider reserving a cheaper compact car with better fuel efficiency. Compacts aren’t popular, and rental companies fill their lots with bigger cars: If they run out of compacts, you might get a free upgrade.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman