When I was working as a restaurant consultant, part of my job was to help the restaurant design their menus. It is like judging your date the first time you take her out. By looking at her appearance, you can draw an assumption about her personality, and determine what kind of fun evening yo…

I heard a familiar sound the other night: The unmistakable rumble of a vintage, plastic Big Wheel - part empty trash can on pavement, part dragging furniture across the basement, and maybe a little twin-cylinder Honda rumble. (That’s what my Kid Ego is trying to tell me).

Jordan Buck Day was a pleasant surprise for a first-time event. It was well organized and despite a dreary day was well attended. Congratulations to all the organizers and volunteers who put a lot of time and effort into making it a success. We look forward to the 2nd annual Jordan Buck Day. 

Years ago, I was absolutely amazed at the character Dawes (played by Dick van Dyke) in Mary Poppins. Not only he could sing and dance, but he could sing, dance and play five or six instruments at the same time. Yes, at the same time. Let me recall, he was playing an accordion with his two ha…

Last week was about Ruby and Tony. They attended the Siren Nationals and met a lot of people. I think Tony stole the show and we are hoping to have a home for him soon. Ruby did very well but the noise of the cars kind of freaked her out, so we sent her back to the shelter early. We will hav…

There is an amazing short story behind the Hitchcock film “The Birds,” written by the late Daphne DuMaurier. The movie is similar, where suddenly all flavors of birds attack humanity across the United Kingdom, enough to basically shut down society. Even those who take it seriously eventually…

There are so many songs about love that mesmerize me – songs about falling in love, falling out of love, lost in love, finding love…..etc., etc. It puzzles me till no end, so what is love? And why for centuries, so many singers and writers have been glorifying love; or worse, to curse love l…

While I have no immediate overseas plans, I secured my US passport recently – in case I get a surprise margin call on my millions or get caught with Classified docs in my gym locker. You know, everyday stuff. 

When is the last time you actually put your feet up while sipping your favorite beverage, without a single worry troubling you? If you answer “Gee, I don’t really remember,” then join the club. Big companies are spending millions and millions of dollars convincing the public that in order to…

Last week I asked your help to blast pass $6,000 from our weekly meat raffles. Mission accomplished, THANK YOU! We went well past our goal with a very enthusiastic crowd.

I had a college roommate who was part “Beavis and Butthead” and part wannabe rebel; His claims to fame were a poorly behaved husky, a cackling laugh that even made the deaf cringe,  and the habit of swearing at administrators in the “memo” column on his tuition checks.  

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This week it’s all about Ruby and Tony. Ruby has been with us 331 days, Tony 217 days! That is way too long for a dog to be in a kennel environment. I am determined to get both of these great dogs a loving home of their own. Please help me by sharing their stories.

My wife loves coffee, and not just any regular coffee, but from freshly grounded coffee beans. To earn extra brownie points, I would wake up every morning before she does to make her coffee, so she would be awakened by the aroma. Happy wife, happy life; do you believe it? Well, why take the …

It was a good week at the shelter with several cats and kittens finding homes. Including our longest feline resident, Lettie. We are still overloaded so we have decided to extend our half price cat and 2 for 1 kitten specials from the end of August until September 10. The time to act is now …

I bought it for a dollar just before the pandemic at a rural Minnesota thrift sale: A scarred and well used vintage recipe box, filled with note cards and stapled magazine cut-outs. It appeared to be a late woman’s preferred recipes, with select comments and a few borrowed from her favorite …

I received an email from an “old” friend not too long ago. It is kind of ironical to use the word “old,” as it not only indicates our age (well, we’re both over 70, that’s pretty old, but we are not ancient ... yet). Also, we have known each other since fifth grade, and that’s 60 years ago! …

Bad news at the shelter this week, we are so overloaded with cats and kittens that we can not take in anymore. All our available spots are full, and a waiting list has been created for any surrenders or strays. Currently we have a half price promotion going on until the end of August. All ad…

“Ladies don’t sweat, darling,” the old Southern phrase goes – it helps to say it with the sultry lilt of a headstrong Georgia heiress, sipping a cool lemonade on the front porch in the fragmented shadows of a swaggering willow tree. “Real ladies bear the heat.”

To earn a living working in the hospitality industry is brutal. But then, there are no easy streets for any business – low pay, long hours, stressful work, unbearable colleagues etc., etc., I guess it is just a universal situation. But then, if we love what we are doing, it is not work anymo…

Last Sunday I made three ladies very happy. I didn’t do anything special. I didn’t give them anything but understanding. They thanked me and were smiling as I left. I usually do my weekly shopping on Sunday morning. Several stops at several stores are the norm. This Sunday it was at two stor…

As we work our way though some of the warmest days of the year, if you find yourself hot and bothered, the winter forecast from Farmer’s Almanac will chill you off faster than frozen underwear.

How many of you have tried Spam (the other meat) in your younger days? The adolescent generation probably have never even heard of it, not to mention actually having a taste of it. I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family, and my mother would serve Spam often as it was quite inexpensive. Actuall…

The weekly meat raffles at The Yellow River Saloon have had some unique consequences. The idea was to raise some revenue for the shelter, we continue to do this. A secondary outcome was to raise awareness of the work done at the shelter. After Heather (the owner) suggested we bring in a cat …

A few years ago in a neighboring county’s city government, a mayor was elected for several subsequent terms, but then he sold his home in the city, meaning he was technically no longer qualified to stay mayor. But he stayed on anyway, and it became a well-known secret that he was living far …

Growing up in Iowa, “hot enough for ya?” was a common greeting and expression of shared misery I heard during the hot and humid days of July and August. When I worked summers as a stock boy in the local grocery store, I heard that phrase lot. 

“Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Is it true? Well, if you own pets, they will give you their honest opinions. The dogs would be whining the minute you open the door; And their sad eyes would make you change your mind and stay home with them; well, at least for a little while longer. Don’t let…

The Designer Purse Raffle was a success with over $4,000 raised for HSBC. We had a lot of ladies show up and they all seemed to have a good time, especially all the winners. I would like to thank Robin Haaf for bringing this idea to me and all the assistance. Fiona and Hailey for helping sel…

I hate to even bring it up, but how clean are the items we use? Is there a watchdog agency that actually goes to the (insert generic overseas company names here) that make oh, say, straws, napkins, paper towels, toothpicks, etc. and looks for germs, or reviews their sanitary practices? At le…

While most states are paying $7.25 minimum wage, but those working in restaurants as servers got the shorter end of it. Just because they are ‘tipped employee’, most restaurant owners only pay those workers $2.13 an hour, claiming the tips that they received are more than the minimum wage. S…

After 249 days at HSBC, Button went to his new family. He will be traveling the highways and byways of America as a truckin’ cat! Happy trails Button, we’ll miss you.