Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Tea Train

Last summer Betty and I went to the National Large Scale Train Show in Chicago.

There we saw a fantasy train.

This is a train that you will never see in the real world. It has no prototype.

It is just a fun train from one’s imagination.

Since then we have worked on three fantasy trains.

Pictured here is the engine from our latest effort. Click on the picture to enlarge.

We call it a Tea train. The rest of the train will have cups and saucers.

We ran it on the outside layout and it runs very well.

It is not designed as a work of art but just something to have fun with.

We have a lot of great ideas but not very much talent.

News from Pigeon Falls – The little town in my backyard.– Bree told Eino, today, that she is pretty sure who the pigeon killer is . She will go over it with him tomorrow.
It can’t come to soon as there was another dead pigeon today and it looks like it was run through a threshing machine.
No news on the constitution stealer .
In two weeks the Circus is coming to town and posters went up all over town today. It will set up in the big field just on the edge of town.
Its far enough out some people might need our new taxi service. Robert sure hopes so as he isn’t doing very well. Only a couple of fares a day.
You can tell the fourth is coming because you can hear firecrackers exploding off and on all day. They are illegal of course but that doesn’t bother anybody. Our constable hasn’t arrested anybody for fireworks violations since Billy Orchard sent that rocket through Mrs. Henrie’s window.
Last Lutheran is thinking of building a float for the Pigeon Day parade. Everybody thinks it’s a good idea. The problem is getting people to work on it. Nobody seems to have the time. Its not like the old days.

The Link for today is Happy Memories. Remember to put the words Dr. John in the comment for those usless JC points.
In the morning we put the last vase in the mountain and rocked it in. Then we finished the ticket office. That's two done. In the afternoon we met with the real estate people and listed the house. Then Bree and Betty went sswiming. I began working on the July website for the Church.
Well I need a breathing treatment.

True Family Stories Sometimes

Saying for the Day: You can't believe everything your told.

Every Thursday for the last few weeks I have been sharing family stories and pictures.

These are stories that have been shared with me and I want to pass on to my grandchildren.

In some of the stories I am a participant in others I am not yet born.

Today I want to tell a story , a traditional story, about Grampa John and Grandma Leida Linna and me.

The two of them are pictured here in front of the big hay barn from the farm. I played in that barn as a kid.

According to this story because of the influence of Grandma Leidia some of the first words I spoke were in Finnish.

In fact I developed quite a Finnish vocabulary before I was four.

Then Grama Leidia died and little by little I lost it all.

That’s the way my dad , aunt Ida, and uncle Harold told the story.

I believed it. I told it to my children.

I couldn’t remember anything of that time but I believed it.

Now I discover you can’t believe everything your family tells you.

This story is not true unless I learned to talk in the womb.

Recently I did some family research putting together a family tree.
I researched birth and death dates along with other things.

I discovered my Grandma Leidia died when I was only three months old.

Unless I was a very fast learner she taught me no Finnish at all.

I never knew Finnish.

All family stories contain at least a grain of truth.

If grandma Leidia had lived I probably would have learned Finnish but she didn’t and I didn’t.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my back yard– Eino went over the list he got from Mayor South and zeroed in on Frank Henipen. Frank has a very expensive house and was one of the most outspoken opponents of the new millage. So Eino went out to Frank’s house and told him that they had the Bishop dead to rights. Since they were sending the box from the Bishop’s house out to the state crime lab to see if there are fingerprints on the box or the documents. When the Bishop’s prints are found that will prove he did it. Of course if they find somebody else's prints then we will go after them. Now if it was somebody else and they came in and confessed before the material came back the town could probably work something out with them so there would be no jail time just a fine. Eino figures even if Frank didn’t do it he’ll share the information with his buddies and something could happen. Now we just wait and see. Of course despite Bree’s belief in Lutheran Bishop’s it could still be the Bishop.
Bree spent another day taking pictures.
The Methodists are having one of their big pasty sails Saturday. The ladies will start cooking early in the morning and hope to make 100 pasties. Our bikers who are staying a little longer because of the Celebration for Private Fuller said they would like to try one. These are not your little handful pasties. These are the big full meal kind.
The town is preparing for the big fourth of July celebration. There will be a street dance , fireworks, and of course the parade. The Liar’s Club 160 piece band will take part . All three of its members have been practicing hard. The consolidated high school band will not be coming this year as it is the year for them to be at Dirty Creek.
Bree stopped in to Nancy’s and says that the saffron this year is the best ever. She is too young for coffee but likes a cup of tea. She also picked up a little information on a local farmer.
Hazel Trumworthy, Pigeon Fall’s only Episcopal ( she goes to the Methodist Church) says that her church is going crazy. It has made the head Bishop a woman and one that believes in gays at that. They are almost as bad as those Lutherans. But she will never stop being Episcopal because she was born one and she will die one.

Today's Link- The Madness that is me.- Remember to put the words Dr. John in the comment for Jc Credit. Check on JC points here. Bree and Betty took all those empty pop cans back. Bree made a fortune ( we drink a lot of pop). Then we all went to the church. Betty and Bree took pictures while I got the material I needed for the next update for the church web page. In the afternoon we went ti Iron Mountain. Went to the dollar store so Bree could spend some of that money. Then we went to the lake and Bree and Betty swam. It was a great afternoon. From their to the Great Northern Steak House and super. Then off to the movies we saw Garfield, A Tale of Two Cats. I wanted to see Superman Returns but I lost out. I need a breathing treatment.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

To laptop or not to laptop !

Saying for the Day: Some things are better not known or seen.

The other day I saw on the web pictures of an exploding laptop.
They were taken at some conference where the laptop was on the table in front of the delegate.

They were scary pictures.

I have a laptop and had never thought of the possibility that it would blow up.

But now that I think of it.

I have these terrible images.

I go to Green Bay and stay at an economy motel (cheap) that has no internet connection.

So Betty and I have breakfast at a restaurant with a connection .

I see myself sitting at the table blogging while I wait for my breakfast.

The waitress comes and has to hold up the food while I push the computer back out of the way.

That’s when I see it exploding.

The next thing I know I will have a pancake hanging over one eye and strips of bacon over the other. A beautiful egg is right in the middle of my shirt and everything is covered with syrup.

This image is so horrible that if I don’t blog on my next Green bay visit (July 3,4) you will know why. I was too terrified of the laptop.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my back yard. Eino went to talk to Mayor South this morning to find out who suggested she search the Bishop’s house. She could only remember eight of the group that came that morning but she gave those names to Eino. I think he believes that Bree is right and it wasn’t the Bishop.
Bree spent another day walking up and down main street taking pictures.
No dead pigeons today.
The white rabbit had been popping up all over the place. A number of people coming in on the train have seen it. It always winks, waves, and hops away. You don’t forget a waving rabbit in a pink sweater.
The bikers that are visiting heard about next week’s celebration for private Fuller and have offered to help. They feel we need to treat our soldiers with respect and are upset that there may be a protest.
Mr. & Mrs. David Holnes are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday at Last Lutheran Church. A large turnout is expected because they are always helping people and working in the church.
Tom Henderson who has been married 27 years said that at 50 years you have served your time and they should let you go free. I think he was just kidding. Though I did hear of a couple in the next town who announced at his 50th wedding party that he was getting divorced and he meant it.
Speaking of divorces Nancy says that when Robert Bispolla came home from work last Friday his wife asked what he though she had done that day. He said “ you got me that new grass cutter for my birthday. “No”, she said “ I started divorce proceedings”. Robert then is supposed to have said “ Does that mean I don’t get the grass cutter?” Of course this is just what Nancy says.

I want to treat today's link a little different. It is a link to two people who are in love and he is dieing. For today do not put Dr. John in the comment. Just go, read , and leave the most supportive comment you can. Some times we should do things just because its a good thing to do. The link which comes to us from Chana is Butterflies .
The3 morning startet out weird. Everything was fine when I blogged early in the morning. But when I checked into the blog later all the pictures and the logo were gone. The web site that holds the pictures was down and stayed down for about an hour. Bree and I went back to the garage to work on the ticket booth for the layout. Betty went to Top's. Then the thunder and lightning came which Bree does not like. This was followed by heavy rain and the probable end to the afternoon swiming. I made rerservations for Green Bay on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.I am hoping to blog from there. Betty and Bree went for ice cream. I worked at adding a solar battery to the ticket office. Now Betty has gone to church. I need a breathing treatment.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I learn to speak sort of !

Saying for the Day:If we trust God the words will come.

We reach into the artifact box today and find a gold plated wrist watch .
On the back is inscribed “ Presented by the Detroit Free Press for Excellence in Debate”.

At this point (freshman in high school) on my journey to become a Pastor I have rediscovered the joy of walking with Jesus and I am learning to walk.

I feel a call to the ministry but am sure it is impossible.

My freshman English teacher suggests , after listening to me in class, that I not take up anything that requires public speaking.

I know that preaching is an important part of ministry and so this reinforces the idea that I can’t really have a call.

Enter Howard Brown, French teacher and debate coach.
For some reason Howard sent me an invitation to go out for debate.

Why, I do not know. Why of all those he could have asked did he choose to ask me ?

I took him up on his invitation.

He turned out to be a great coach.
He taught me not just how to speak but how to think while I was speaking.
How to become free of my notes.
How to look like what I was saying was not being read.

After three years with Howard I had become a fair to good public speaker.

Howard left at the end of my Junior year to become a Priest.

In my senior year the debate team was coached by the teacher who told me I would never be a speaker.

That was the year I won my Detroit Free Press watch.

God had removed the road block.

Next week getting by my father who wanted me to be an engineer.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard-Bree sat down with Eino today and he told her that he needed her to solve the pigeon mystery but that he had solved the mystery of the stolen constitutions, first volume of 1958 Birdseed, and the Town Charter. It was the Bishop. That’s when Bree told him there were three things saying he was wrong.
1. He was a ELCA Bishop. He might be arrogant, self righteous, inflexible but he wouldn’t steal.
2. If he had taken the documents he would have put them in a suitcase and taken them when he left. He could have gotten rid of them later. He was not dumb.
3. If he had left them it would have been a box that didn’t call attention to itself on the bottom of the pile where it couldn’t be knocked over.
If Eino wants the real thief he will find him, according to Bree, among the people that told Mayor South to search the house.
Then Bree told Eino to call off his night watcher , he wasn’t doing well anyway and give her a couple of days to solve the mystery.
There was another dead pigeon today dumped in the usual place despite Eino’s watcher. This one was electrocuted .
Pigeon Falls has two soldiers in Iraq. One of them, Private Patrick Fuller, is due home next week and a big celebration is being planned by the VFW. His mother can hardly wait to see him. An anti war group has announced they will picket the celebration as it glorifies war. Non of the members are even from Pigeon falls.
Mrs. Wilson Mcmorison III is all upset , again. She got a letter from the Bubbster person yesterday. He said he is sorry he couldn’t come last year but he had some problems but this year he will visit her. This has her really scared.
Nancy says that not much is being talked about that’s new. The Bishop, the rabbit, and the pigeons are still the top topics. The opinion on the Bishop is fifty fifty. Half think he is guilty as sin (strange term for a Bishop) and half think he is innocent. Nobody thinks that it’s the white rabbit killing the pigeons except, perhaps, Mrs. Trumble who thinks it has fangs and is the essence of pure evil.

Today's link is Are We There Yet . Remember to put Dr. John in the comment for JC points credit. The winners of yesterday's drawing are ( drum roll please) - Lori's minute (84 JC points), Janvangogh (98 JC credits), and Cissa Fireheart (2 JC points) each of them will receive a genuine fun Doctor's Degree. I know that yesterday's link was very special because I read your comments . Again we want to thank Catch for sharing that link with us. Others who have special links should feel free to share them as well. This morning I worked on a new Fantasy train, Betty made a new ticket booth for the layout, and Bree painted the base for the Ferris Wheel. In the afternoon Betty and Bree went to the Museum in Iron River. I worked on the Fantasy engine. Now Betty and Bree are building a doll house. I need a breathing treatment.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Another Monday

Saying for the Day: If it works don't fix it.

Wow. Its Monday already.
We now have two weeks in of the great JC points experiment.

We have visited fourteen blogs and Betty has liked every one of them.

Today’s link comes to us from Catch.
I would be happy to hear from others as to what links you would like us to use as JC points links.

I am also planning a special event which I will tell you more about on Wednesday.

Today we hold the second big drawing for useless stuff.
Two people will end up with “Fun Doctor’s Degrees”.
You can see information on this on Saturday’s blog.

The results of the drawing will be announced tomorrow.

Good luck to all of you. I think we might blindfold Betty this time.

Of course this is not fully fair.

Fair would be to choose only from the ones with the most points.

But fair is not fun.

It is the possibility of being chosen that keeps the system working.

One day though I will hold a drawing limited to the top people on the list.
Diligence must be rewarded.
This drawing will be separate from the regular drawing.

Again, the best of luck to each of you.
I have to go and cut name slips to put in the basket.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard. Eino got Mayor South and Bud East and went out to the Bishop’s house, the old Tieminen place. He told Bud that they were interested in buying it. As the real estate agent in charge Bud had the legal right to show them through the place. Once there they noticed a large white box marked important papers –don’t open. Now the right to look at the house does not bring with it the right to go through the Bishop’s boxes. That’s when the accident happened. Eino tripped and fell knocking the cover off the box and spilling its contents. There were piles of constitutions, the duplicate city charter in its frame, and the first quarter 1958 volume of “The Birdseed” with the museum's stamp. Since these were all town property they put them back in the box and took it. At least that’s Eino’s story and he’s sticking to it.
It sure looks like the Bishop is guilty. But what is he guilty of ? The value of everything there doesn’t come to much. As far as taking it to court I’m not sure a judge would accept Eino’s story of how they found it. If the Bishop is guilty he’s getting off.
No dead pigeons today.
Johon Maki, one of the last of the Pigeon Falls World War II veterans was buried today. Lots of people turned out including Willie in his military uniform.. There was a three volley salute and taps. It was very official and very moving. Pastor Marvel preached a great eulogy and everything would have been perfect except that just as the salute began the ground on the edge of the grave left go and Johon Maki III , his grandson, disappeared under the coffin. Somebody shouted “He’s been shot” and for a short time there was chaos. Then the calmer minds took over and they got him out of the grave, unhurt. They finished the ceremony and went back to the church for the regular funeral lunch where the grandson was the center of attention. You never know what’s going to happen in Pigeon Falls.
Bree was there like any tourist taking pictures on the main street (the only street)

Todays link is Letters to Jack. Remember to put Dr. John in the comment. Our thanks to catch for suggesting this link. For your JC points or an explanation of JC points click here. Well I didn't have to cut the slips for the drawing as my granddaughter did it for me. What a great kid. The drawing was held and we will announce the winners tomorrow. Then Betty, Bree, and I went to work on the Crippled Creek river and Mountain. It is really shaping up. Bree does a nice job , just like Alex. Betty and Bree went to Sub Way for lunch. When they came back the real estate called. It seems they had read my blog and wondered if I wanted to sell the house. Since we had planned on going to the office today we said yes and they came and visited . They took pictures and will get back to us tomorrow with what they think we might get for it. Then we gave them a tour of the layout and Esther asked if she could bring her grand kid by to see the train running.
Betty and Bree are building a doll house together as the project of the week. I need a breathing treatment.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The head in the freezer!!

Saying for the Day: Someday your car and your refigerator will talk to you.

I need a new refrigerator–freezer.
There is nothing really wrong with mine .
It keeps food cool and frozen foods frozen ( except when I forget to close the freezer drawer all the way).

The problem is it has no talking head.
That’s the latest thing. I saw it on television.
You open the freezer drawer and there is a head there that asks what kind of ice cream you want. It even knows your name.

What a wonderful idea.
If I had one of those when Betty goes off to one of her many meetings and I am all alone I could open my freezer and talk to the head ( the head is kind of pretty).
It even worries about your food.
When the door is open too long a hand comes out and closes it.
No more thawed ice cream running over everything.

I really want one of those refrigerator-freezers.
I went to my appliance shop.
You know the one that wouldn’t sell me one of those new microwaves that transport people with violins to play at your dinner( I saw it on television.)
I told them what I wanted. They laughed at me and escorted me, kindly, out of the store.( Don’t they ever watch television?)

So I went to American of Marquette.
They have all kinds of wonderful gadgets.
I started on one end of the refrigerator-freezer section and looked in freezers.
I was half way through when the clerk came.
He asked what I wanted in the device and I told him. He said he had to check with his associate.

I saw him over there but one of them must have told a joke they were laughing so hard.
He came back and explained to me that the head comes with the ice cream and not the freezer.

I am so glad he told me that . I could have made such a fool of myself.

Now if I could only remember the kind of Ice Cream.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard-Mayor South stopped Eino after church this morning. She told him that people wanted the Bishop’s house searched but there was no way to get a warrant. Once the men load everything up it will be too late. We still don’t know where all the missing copies of the constitution went, or the duplicate charter that hung on the town hall wall, or the first volume of the 1958 “Birdseed” that was stolen from the museum . Eino said we’ll search the house tomorrow , without a warrant but legally. How in the world is he going to pull that off?
Another dead pigeon today. It looks like this one had his head cut off with a chain saw. It was dumped at the usual place, apparently while people were in church. The guy that watches for Eino is a good Methodist.
Pastor Marvel was a bit hard on the congregation today. He told them they could have tried harder to make the Bishop feel welcome. The mark of the Christian Congregation is how they love one another not how they talk about one another. Over coffee between the services Amelia ( the church treasurer) let slip that the Bishop while he was here had given over $400 to Last Lutheran. That made him one of the best givers in the congregation. Now people really feel bad.
Poor Robert sat all day today in his taxi and not one single person needed a ride. Tourist season can’t come too soon for Robert.
Our bikers are back (just when Eino was going to send out a search party. They had a great time and said the scenery was magnificent. All three of them had coffee at Nancy’s before stopping over to the Fly Inn. Usually you go to the Fly Inn first and then when you really need it to Nancy’s for coffee.
Bree Linna came today but she was busy with Gram and Gramp so her detective work will have to wait until tomorrow.
Tommy and his red wagon with the big box seem to be everywhere these days. Eino thinks Tommy is up to something but then he usually is.
Wille (our town drunk) is getting ready for the numerous parades that take place in Pigeon Falls every summer. Willie likes to march in the parades. Willies is a Viet Name veteran and always wears his uniform. Every year the head of the local VFW pays to have it cleaned and pressed.

Today's link. Newfie Girl-Please remember to type Dr. John in your comments to get JC points. It was one of those good days of which there are far two few. We started by talking to my daughter and deciding to put our house up for sale. We are now looking at duplexes. Pennie would have one side and we would have the other. then my son Pete, his wife Lori , my grandaughter Bree, and my grandson Luke arrived. We spent a gtreat day with them including dinner at Fob's. Peter got my timer working to control the running of the train in the living room. They looked at the progress on the outside layout and were quiet happy with it. They left Bree with us for the week. She did her blog from here. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Coming another JC drawing.

Saying for the Day: We don't care if we win as long as we have points.

Well Monday I draw for the next JC points winner.

This time I will be giving away, through the cooperation of The Theological University Online, two Doctor’s Degrees.
These are genuine (sort of) degrees printed on real parchment.
The University is willing to give them to people who have done kind things for others.
What could be kinder than leaving comments on lonely little blogs.

There will be some choice as to which degree you will receive.
Some samples can be seen by clicking here. But the degree will be tailored to your background and activity.

Now you might ask what the degree is good for. Not much I’m sad to say. But it does come with the following benefits.
1. It and $5.00 will get you coffee at Starbucks
2. It makes you feel good to be called Doctor.
3. People will give you respect ( sometimes).
4. Certificate covers spot on wall.
5. Even cats will respect you.
6. Your neighbor won’t have one.

Please note if you win and have a dog we can get you a degree for the dog.

One might ask ( who are all these asking ones?) is this genuine. It is on real parchment from an online university. How much more real can it get?

If you have other questions click here.

So on Monday after all the JC points have been counted and entered we will print out name strips. One strip for each JC point you have. These will all be placed in a basket and Betty will draw out two.

Now it is obvious the more points the better chance but it is possible for somebody with only two points to win.

I look forward to the drawing.

News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my back yard.-A group of people came to see Mayor South this morning. She was at the Town Hall trying to catch up after the crisis. They demanded that the Bishop’s house be searched before the men come and take everything away. They want to know if the missing copy of the Charter, the constitutions, and the old volume of the local paper are there. The Mayor explained that we have only a part time constable, no local judge to issue a warrant, and no probable cause to get a warrant. Any entry into the house on their part would be illegal. This did not make them very happy but they must watch enough “Law and Order” to know this is true.
Nancy says that as many people are talking about the Bishop’s leaving as are talking about the white rabbit. Now if we could get the white rabbit to slug Big Rudy that could change.
No dead pigeons today.
The ACLU lawyer was in town today to see if one of the ten sixth grade graduates had said God in her little speech. They reminded the principal that you have to teach respect for the law when the children are young. If this attitude were to continue on the child’s part by the time she graduated high school she might be leading public prayer. Oh how horrible. The principal told the ACLU lady to relax as the only time the word God was said at graduation was when somebody sneezed and the whole class said God bless you. Happens every year.
The health department representative came to check out Jack’s Sauna because of the person who passed out the other day. He gave the place a clean bill of health. Jack runs a clean sauna.

Today's link is "All the World's a Stage". Please remember to put the words Dr. John in the comment on that link for JC poiunts. For your totals or information on JC points click here.
This was pretty much a nothing day. That's what I did , nothing. Betty cleaned house. I fooled around on the computer. In the evening we went to church. Then we went shopping. The groceries came to $200 . One can hardly afford to eat. There was no big item on the list except the garbage tags. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Furniture that keeps on giving!!!

Saying for the Day: Some furniture is worth dieing for or in.

The beautiful end table on the left is from the casket furniture company.
I am thinking of getting one to put in front of my living room couch. Completely finished with handles it costs just a little less than a $1000 . A bit pricey for an end table but not a bad price for a coffin.
This way you get to use it while you are alive and then again when your dead. Your money goes twice as far. What a deal.

In case you want to be cremated the coffin above is fully crematable.

They also make entertainment centers, pool tables, and , believe it or not, couches that turn into coffins when the need arises. Of course the fancier items have a fancier price but quality costs in any business.

What a wonderful world we live in.

Or is it what a wonderful world we die in.

News from Pigeon Falls-the little town in my backyard.
Well the whole town is talking now. The Bishop is leaving on the six o’clock train. He has put the house into the hands of Bud East to sell and is having some men ship all his stuff next week. He and his wife, who came for this purpose worked all yesterday and most of today packing everything up. The reason he gave Pastor Marvel for his leaving was that his wife’s mother is sicker than he knew before so they are going to rent a place near the mother. He doesn’t want to leave the house vacant when he doesn’t know when he will be back. The general feeling in town is that he didn’t like Pigeon Falls and with good reason.
Another day with no dead pigeons. One can hope it is finally over.
The white rabbit was busy today though. He was seen by the railroad station, out by the coaling station, and back of Nancy’s. That should keep people talking for a day or two.
Poor Bud is stuck with the Tieminen place again. Real estate doesn’t move well in Pigeon Falls. This is not one of those places where you buy a house to watch the value go up. Our good Bishop may find himself stuck with that house after all.
Tommy, the undertaker’s kid, got caught skinning dipping in the Crippled Creek Lake. He said it was really hot and he forgot his swim suit. The constable gave him a warning and left him go. If you arrested every kid that skinny dipped we would need a jail.
Toivo is waiting for Bree Linna to come. He says she is a regular Nancy Drew and she will solve their pigeon mystery. In the mean time he is still paying to have the space where the pigeons are dropped watched at night.
So far Robert has had two passengers for his taxi service. Tonight he will have his third when he picks up the Bishop and his wife. Taxi service in Pigeon Falls doesn’t do well. Maybe later when the tourist season with all the celebrations gets going.

Today's link-Simply Sassy-Remember to put Dr. John in the comment for JC points. For information on what the silly JC points are all about or what your total is click here or on the JC points update on the left. If you have trouble leaving a comment on a linked blog let me know and I will still credit you.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A pie for Tom

Saying for the day: You can't tell a pie by its cover.

On the left end of this picture is my grandfather, James Lanyon and standing next to him is Tom the boarder with the wooden leg.
This family story is about Tom, blueberries, and pie.

I was about four or five years old and staying at my grandparent’s house for the weekend.

Gram asked Tom if he would take me berry picking.

My grandfather was very ill ( dying of cancer) and I think now she just wanted some time with him.

She gave us two pails and told us don’t come home until you have them filled. So off we went along the railroad tracks until we got to this big blueberry patch.
We picked for about an hour and had one pail full and one about a quarter full ( there were lots of blueberries in those days).
Then Tom took off his hat and poured the quarter pail into his hat. He then filled the pail three quarters full of grass and poured the blueberries back in. Now we had two full pails.

We took these back to grandma. I think she had hoped it would take longer but she seemed happy.

The next day Gram had three pies. Two big pies and one little one. One of the big ones she cut for the meal but when Tom went to take a piece she announced that the little pie was just for him.

I thought that I had done as much work as Tom and I didn’t get a special pie.

Tom cut into it expecting the usual treat that was my grandmother’s cooking. He and I were surprised to find that the contents of the pie were a few blueberries and a lot of grass.

She baked him a grass pie.

My grandmother had a great sense of humor. For years she would ask him if he wanted another special pie.

News from Pigeon Falls-the little town in my backyard-Pigeon Falls now has a taxi service. Toivo bought a used Taxi for his son Robert, the one who is a student at Northern Michigan University to drive during
the tourist season. It will help pay for his college.
The first passenger to use the new service was the wife of the Bishop who arrived on the only passenger car on the 10:00 freight. She wanted to go right out to the Bishop’s house. She had only a small suitcase with her so it doesn’t seem that she is planning on staying very long.
The Bishop himself hasn’t come back to town since he decked Big Rudy. Pastor Marvel and some men from the church went out and installed a new window for the Bishop. Pastor Marvel said he wanted the Bishop to know there were good people in Pigeon Falls as well as the idiot that broke the window.
Nancy said that one of the men that brought the big crates into the Pigeon Falls Hermit’s house stopped in for coffee. He said the house was pretty sparse. There was a couch, a recliner , and some odd equipment in the living room. It looked like something out of a science fiction movie. Something like the Bride of Frankenstein . That’s going to get the rumors moving.
Now that the crisis is over the council is rapidly putting things in order. They have officially approved the Pigeon Days committee that was established when there was no council and provided some funding. Mayor South is going over her Pigeon days proclamation. They are also looking at the Fourth of July celebration and have ordered the fireworks. They have to find a new place to set them off as last year’s fireworks set the tool shed at the public park on fire.
The White Rabbit hasn’t been seen for several days.
No dead pigeons to report.
Life is settling back to its ordinary rhythm.
Jack had a tourist pass out at the Sauna. apparently he couldn’t handle a real sauna. They dragged him out into the air and after a bit he came to. I doubt he’ll try a sauna again. I hope Jack has good insurance.

Link for today-Let's Move to the Moon-Remember to put Dr. John in the comment to get JC points (and everybody wants JC points).Click here for your personal accumulated points. We finished the kiddy park today. Then put it out on the layout. Its final place in the bigger amusement park we will decide later. Then we built our first ticket booth for the whole park. You can see some pictures of the kiddy park on Betty's blog. Betty and I went to Iron River to get some medicine. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Little children will lead them

Saying for the Day: One would be suprised at what we can learn from children.

While my grandsons were here we went to see the movie “Cars”.

Now I have to tell you this was not on my must see this summer movie list.

It was not on my get the DVD when it comes out movie list.

It was not on my wait for Netflix movie list.

This was not even on my I’ll watch it if it comes to Home Box office movie list.

This was not a movie I ever wanted to see.

In the first place its an animated feature. For the most part I don’t like animated features. They just aren’t real.

Next it was about cars. I don’t car about race cars.

Third it was aimed at children. I am an adult.

I saw the television adds that said it was the movie of the summer. They also said it was a must see.
I figured if this is the movie of the summer I won’t set foot in a theater this summer.

But my grandsons came. They wanted to see it. So I went.

I went with great fear and trembling as these are the kids that on our last trip to the movies hit me with a car door and sent me to the emergency room.

I went fully expecting to be miserable through the entire picture.

What a surprise. I enjoyed it. I got pulled into it. It was a great morality play all about how to treat other people.
I wanted to stand up and cheer when the hero sacrificed ,what he had always wanted, to help somebody else. I might even buy this DVD when it comes out.

Now if I had gone on my own feelings I would have missed this picture. I would be the poorer for it.

Sometimes our preconceptions cheat us out of some joy or wonder. One needs grandchildren to break through such nonsense.

The pop corn wasn't bad either.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard– Well the whole town is talking about how the Bishop floored Big Rudy with one punch. Big Rudy is saying that he didn’t see it coming. He thought the Bishop was Christian and thus would never do something like that. I am not sure if the Bishop improved or made worse his reputation with that punch. But I am sure that the story will be told for years to come. Thirty years from now some Grandfather will tell his grandson or granddaughter that he stood just five feet away when the Bishop threw the punch that floored Big Rudy.
No dead pigeons today. Probably because Toivo decided to have the space watched again. It could be he has just run out of ways to kill pigeons. Of course it doesn’t have to be a he . It could be a she.
Somebody shot a rock through the Bishop’s window. The constable hauled in Tommy , the undertaker’s kid and found he was carrying a sling shot. Tommy denies he did it. He said he’s a Lutheran and he would never shoot a window of a Lutheran Bishop. The general feeling in town is that it was either Big Rudy or one of his drinking buddies.
Some more huge crates, marked mechanical equipment, came for the Pigeon Falls hermit. Again he let the men bring them in , paid them and sent them on their way. The general feeling is that he tips good.
The Liars Club is getting ready for its annual Liars contest. I understand that last year’s winner Jon Bergall has a great story for this year.
Today's Link-Gingerbread Latte-Please remember to put Dr. John in the comment. Well Betty went to Top's. When she came back we tried the new creek bed and it worked perfectly but the final installation depends on the more agile granddaughter who comes next week. Then we worked on the kiddy part of our amusement park. I built fences and Betty painted. Everything is done except for the two benches in front. I think we will take a picture and post it on either mine or Betty's blog when its finished. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Disgustingly Religious

Saying for the Day: Loving Jesus without loving others misses the gospel.

As we go to the artifact box we find a worn, paperback, copy of Luther’s Small Catechism.
It reminds of my first years of knowing that God loves me.

I came home from Bible Camp no longer an atheist.
Jesus was now my friend and my companion.
There was a new joy in my life.
This was the good part.

The bad part I suffered from New Christian Syndrome .
Or to put it another way I was disgustingly religious.

I was judgmental and sure that I was a real Christian and most of the other church members weren’t.

I joined a group of young people from the Church that had the same experience as me and the same attitude.
We saw our task as saving the church.
We strove to be Holy and we defined Holy.
We didn’t dance, smoke, drink or do “bad things” and we looked down on anybody who did.
We forgot that God saved us by his grace and not our goodness.
We were the chosen few.

My poor Mother didn’t know what to do with me during this time.
When I was really judgmental she would wait for me to do something stupid and then say” Is this the way a Christian acts”.
I would feel so guilty.
She kept hoping this “religious thing” would pass.

That’s where the small Catechism comes in. I paid no attention to it in confirmation but now it became an anchor that helped to hold me closer to the real Gospel .Here I was reminded that it was not by my reason or strength that I came to Jesus but the Holy Spirit called me through the Gospel. Here I was directed to St. Paul and his letters.
Little by little I learned how to walk with Jesus.
From the time of my Bible Camp experience I felt a call to the ministry. But my answer to God was that was not a possibility. I was shy beyond belief. I had no speaking ability. How I get beyond those I will look at next week.

The town’s hired street cleaner was back on the job today. The streets are not nearly as well kept as when the youth group did them. Those pigeons can really make a mess.
Speaking of pigeons another one was found dead in the same place as the others. This one seems to have frozen to death. It was 85 in Pigeon Falls but the pigeon was frozen solid.
Mayor South called the Bishop in to her office to meet with the town attorney. The attorney showed the Bishop where the constitution allowed the town council to assess up to one mill for special needs. The main street certainly comes under that category. So it now looks like the entire crisis is over.
When the Bishop came out of the Town Hall he was stopped by Big Rudy who just came from the Fly Inn Tavern. Rudy asked if he was satisfied with all the trouble he had caused the town. The Bishop tried to ignore him but he held on to the Bishop’s arm. Then Big Rudy asked the Bishop where his wife was. At this point the good Bishop did a very unbishop like thing. He hauled back and socked Rudy. Big Rudy went down like a rock. That Bishop has quite a punch. They will be talking about this for years to come.
Nancy says that talk in her restaurant has switched from who did what to who planted what and how well is it growing. Everybody has an idea how to keep the deer out of the flowers (lion poop is highly recommended) and what flowers deer won’t eat.

Today's link-The Real writer-Remember to put Dr. John in the comment. Winners of our first JC Points drawing are (big drum role) Cindy (The Contrary Christian)-32 blog explosion credits- Jafabrit (Jafabrit's Art)-60 blog explosion credits- Peter ( Linna's Minute) - Somerthing of equal value to a blog explosion credit. Peter's name was drawn second but because he is a relative and we didn't even want the appearance of cheating we drew a third name as well. The blog explosion credits have already been awarded. Next week's prize is a genuine(sort of) Doctor's Degree from Theological University Online.
You can see your JC points by clicking on the JC Points update link on the left.
Today we began to really work on the amusement park. Betty put one of the Ferris wheels out on the layout. We then worked on the little kids part of the park. It is now designed and three of the fences to go around it are done. We also finished the creek bed which we hope to put in tomorrow. Betty has gone to Bible study and I need a breathing treatment.

Monday, June 19, 2006

JC points -A week

Saying for the Day: It is a great thing to make somebody happy.

It has been a week since I introduced JC points.

Since their introduction they have taken off and flown like a lead airplane without a motor.

Thousand and thousands of bloggers have never heard of them. Yet alone used them.

But for the rest of us it was a fun week.

We got to visit new blogs. We made some bloggers feel good ( you always feel good when you get comments)

I enjoyed the week and got to read all the comments on all the blogs we visited. I should have started JC points earlier.

Now its time for our first drawing.

I am going to put all the names of all the people with JC points in a box. One name for each JC point as of midnight last night.
Betty will draw out two names. She is not eligible for obvious reasons.

The names drawn will get blog explosion credits. One credit for each JC point plus 25 more.

If the winners are not blog explosion members they will receive a prize of equal or lesser value ( although, off hand, I can’t think of anything worth less than blog explosion credits)

Winners will be announced tomorrow. Good luck. ( Betty doesn’t take bribes)

I am also open to suggestions for blogs to visit. The criteria I have been using is that it should be an interesting blog that seems to get few comments.( a position we were all in once)

News from Pigeon Falls– the little town in my backyard-This was a red letter day in Pigeon Falls. Former Mayor South called a town meeting for 4:00 in the afternoon. When everybody arrived (about half the town) Eino and Nancy made an announcement. They had found in the Vanhala house a copy of the town constitution, a 1958 “Birdseed” with the constitution in it, and the original town Charter. Apparently the charter that hung in the town hall was a copy and long ago the original was stored at the Vanhala place. Nancy’s grand father had been a member of the council at that time.
Mayor South had gotten a ruling from the State Attorney’s office that said her resignation and that of the council members was invalid under the circumstances. So the town exists and has a town council. Wow!
I think the happiest people are the youth group from Last Lutheran Church. They don’t have to clean up the town any longer. Pastor Marvel is scheduling a thank you party for them at the end of the week. Since they did a better job than the old paid cleaner they will be missed.
No pigeons killed today , so that may be over.
Mayor South said she is having copies made of the constitution and having the town’s lawyer study it to answer the millage question.
We still don’t know what happened to the duplicate charter, or the missing “Birdseed” volume, or the copies of the constitution which should have been in the files. We may never know.

Todays JC point link -Neutrality- Please remeber to put the words Dr. John in your comment. Information on JC points and totals to date can be had by clicking here or on the JC point link on the side.Betty took Nila to Marquette again today to visit her daughter. The news has goten worse as the infection seems to be in her artifical knee. I cut out the names for the JC points drawing. I worked on ideas for the amusment park on the layout. When Betty came home we held the drawing but I won't announce the results until tomorrow. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Saying for the day: It is the task of each man to be a better parent than the one that raised him.

When I was little and had those inevitable conflicts with my father I would promise myself that when I became a parent I would be a better father.

I would not get angry.

I would listen.

I would try to understand why my child did what he or she did.

I would spend more time with them.

I promised all this to myself.

I failed.

I didn’t keep the promise.

I didn’t listen well,

I got angry,

I made no effort to understand.

I spent too much time working.

Does that mean I was a bad parent?

I don’t think so.

It means my father was a better parent than I thought at the time.
In fact he was probably a better parent than I was.

But in real life, which is different from dreams, fathers have to deal with many more things than their children.

They have problems at work.

They have people they are in conflict with.

They don’t feel well.

All these things influence a parent child conflict .

The parent does the best he can and needs to be forgiven and loved when he fails.

My children have done that for me so this is another Happy Father’s Day.

News from Pigeon Falls– the little town in my backyard. The name the turtle contest is over and it was won by Chana’s kids. They named the turtle Carlos, after their grandfather .The mill crew that ran the contest is thinking of putting up a little sign by Carlos’s favorite rock that says “This is Carlos the turtle”.
Robert Kellomaki came in second in the big Father’s Day race, just behind Big Moose Sorenson and his son, The committee however though this was such a special act of love on the part of Robert that they awarded him a special shirt that said “ I carried my Father all the way in Pigeon Falls”. Moose , of course, got the traditional “I carried my son to victory in Pigeon Falls” sweatshirt.
No dead pigeons to ruin Father’s Day.
Tommy, the undertaker’s kid, who is always getting into trouble made his father breakfast in bed. Sometimes he can be so nice.
The annual Father’s Day Brunch was held at the Masonic Hall. There aren’t a lot of Mason’s in Pigeon Falls but the one’s there are put out a good spread and just $5.00 which included the coffee.
Eino and Nancy spent the day at the Vanhala house but we don’t know if they found anything or not. I’m sure if they did we will learn about it tomorrow.
Pastor Marvel preached a great Father’s day sermon calling on us to love the father we have and not one we would like to have had. Father’s like children need to be loved and forgiven.

Today's link is Emerging Phoneix. Please remember to put the Dr. John in your comments to get useless JC points. Betty went to Marquette to bring an old friend to see her daughter in the hospital and was gone all day. The woman in the hospital appears to have a truly horrible case of a disease that I had a long time ago. It is called Cellulitis and causes the leg to swell and the skin to break open an d weep and it really hurts. I spent the day getting all of last year's Pigeon Falls material together and it can now be accessed from the left hand margin. I also did some work on the amusement park. Well I need a breathing g treatment.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

What you see is what YOU see.

Saying for the Day: One man’s heirloom is another man’s junk.

Thursday we were at the beach in Iron Mountain. I was watching my grand kids swim.
A young lady and her two children entered into that part of the lake where my grandkids were. They were having a wonderful time.

The boy must have been about four and the little girl was about two and a half. They splashed the mother and she splashed them. They laughed and life seemed good.

I thought what a wonderful mother and I remembered when my mother used to take us to camp for a week in the summer. We stayed at my Aunt Jennie’s camp near Iron Mountain. Those were good times.

My memories were interrupted by a man who suddenly confronted my wife and I . It seems he thought the bathing attire of our young mother was a disgrace.

Up to that point I hadn’t noticed. It was a little skimpy.

What you see is part perception. I saw a family having fun. He saw a bad woman who was a disgrace.

Each of us was set up to perceive the same situation in totally different manners.

What we see is not always what is there. Our sight is colored by our prejudices, our memories, our feelings at the moment of seeing.

News from Pigeon Falls-the little town in my backyard. Not much happened in Pigeon Falls today. There were no dead pigeons, maybe that’s over. Nobody saw a white rabbit in a pink sweater. Our bikers are out exploring the countryside. Just a quiet day.
Eino has somebody watching the Vanhala place all the time. Nancy still won’t let them go in and look for a Constitution. She says she will close up the shop tomorrow and she will spend the day looking and Eino can come with her if he wants. Tomorrow the crisis could be over.
Nancy says the Pigeon Falls hermit got this huge heavy package today. It came in by train . He had the delivery men bring it inside and put it down in the living room. Those are the first people to be inside since he moved in.
A Pigeon Days committee has been formed even without the council. Pigeon Days are far too important to the community to let a little thing like a constitutional crisis stop them. The committee will have a hard time beating last years celebration.
The youth group from last Lutheran have done a great job at keeping the town clean. The pigeon statue almost seems to shine. There a few youth grumbling that this is not what church youth groups should be doing.

Todays link is Bobology- remember to put Dr. John in the comment for JC points-You can check your JC points or find out of how little value they are by clicking on the JC point update on the side.
Well My grandkids went home today. First Alex and his dad put the roller coaster out on the layout. It was sad to see them go. I spent the day pulling together all of the Pigeon Falls material from last year so that I could refer to it in this years material. I finished July. Betty and I went to church and then grocery shopping. Discovered an old friend is in the hospital in Marquette with a problem they are having a hard time diagnosing. well I need a breathing treatment.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Because of Laurie

Saying for the day: A man without a motorcycle is like a woman without shoes.

The other day we were in the dollar store and saw these three motorcycles.

We thought of Laurie , one of our blog friends. She has taught us that everyone who rides a motorcycle is not a hell’s angel. Even those with tattoos.

So in her honor we decided to add them to the layout.

One is pictured in front of Nancy’s coffee shop, one in front of the Methodist church, and one in front of the Masonic Hall.

We think they add a nice touch to the main street.

Thank you Laurie.

WE had three motorcyclists visit Pigeon Falls today. They came in on the milk train with their bikes. Dr. Fortress made special arrangements for them. He said they were vouched for by his old friend Laurie. Two of them went right to Nancy’s for a cup of coffee and couldn’t believe it was still $.50. One of them told Nancy that Mimi , a blogging friend of his, said he had to try the saffron bun and so he did. He thought it was terrific. Nancy said they were so polite that she wishes she could get a few more bikers to stop in for coffee.
No dead pigeons today.
One of the bikers said he saw a big white rabbit in pink sweater as they rode in on the train. It winked and waved at them. There seemed to be a red something just a little behind the rabbit. He thought he was seeing things because of what he had to drink the night before.
Eino is now hoping there is a constitution in the Vanhala house and that was what the intruder was after. He is trying to convince Nancy that the house would be safer if she let him search it but so far Nancy hasn’t swayed.
Farmer John Bergall has offered to take the Kellors dogs while they are on vacation . He said he wouldn’t charge and there was plenty of room for them on the farm. He just felt it would be the Christian thing to do. I think he’s been listening to Pastor marvels sermons.
Dr. Fortress says that the confusion over the legal existence of Pigeon Falls is causing him some problems. There is no one to deal with in terms of right of way, track location, crossing problems. And other things. It is just chaotic.
And the Bishop’s wife still hasn’t shown up and he hasn’t gone to visit her. I’m telling you the local gossips are having an absolute field day.

Todays JC point link is A Season for Everything . Remember to put the words Dr. John in your comment. Check your JC points or information on the concept by clicking on JC points update on the side.
Another great day. Alex finished the roller coaster and it is ready to put out on the layout. Our amusement park will have two Ferris wheels, three merry go rounds, a child's section, and the roller coaster. In the afternoon Betty took them out to Fortune Lake swimming. I took a nap as I didn't sleep well last night. When they came back we went out for ice cream. Now we are waiting for my son Pat to come. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Reason for being Weird

Saying for the Day: Good or bad we can’t change our grand parents.

This is a picture of my grandfather, grand mother and their children and one grandchild they raised. They are my mother’s parents James and Mabel Lanyon. (My mother is the fourth person over in the back right behind my grandmother). They were, I think, the most wonderful people in the world. They are also responsible for all the weirdness in our family.
James came from England (where he was born) and stayed with his aunt Elizabeth Yelland in Negaunee( my great grandmother of the many kids). There he met and , against the wishes of the family, married Mabel , his cousin.
So you see I am a descendant of a the marriage of a couple of cousins. I blame all my weird DNA on them. But since they were extra nice people I suppose I owe much of that which is good in me to them as well.

News from Pigeon Falls-the little town in my backyard-Somebody tried to break into the Vanhala house last night. Tommy, the undertaker’s kid, was going buy pulling his wagon with the big box he always seems to be pulling when he saw the intruder trying to get in through a side window. Tommy has his own cell phone so he called Eino. The person saw Tommy and took off down the alley just as Eino showed up. Eino is not as fast as he used to be and so he couldn’t catch up with him. Now Eino has somebody watching the house as well as the pigeon drop parking place.
No new dead pigeons which is good news.
The white rabbit was seen several times today in different places.
The Kellors are still looking for somebody to take care of their dogs. They called into the local talk radio show. The show that people can put personal adds on for stuff they are trying to sell. They asked for somebody to take care of the dogs. They even offered to pay.
There are now 41 father’s registered and one son for the father’s day race. That’s just two short of the record and we still have two days to register. Nancy said she heard CBS was sending a camera crew to capture the race for their morning show. A son carrying a father has them really interested. I wonder who tips them to these things. Wouldn’t it be great if they caught the white rabbit on tape. Stranger things have happened.

Todays link is Delineation Me. Remember to put the words Dr. John in the comment to get JC points ( not that they have any value). Information on JC points can be had by clicking the JC points link update on the side.
This was one of those special days that you wish you could live over and over. Elijah and I laid the last track for the layout. The tracking is now complete. I need to add some wiring and a few screws but the track itself is laid and it works. Alex has made tremendous progress on the roller coaster and might finish it tomorrow. So at 11:30 we left for Iron Mountain. We stopped at a fireworks place in Florence that was like a candy store for a kid. It had everything you could ever want. I had to buy very carefully to stay as close to Michigan law as possible. Those who know me know how much fun that kind of place is for me. ( I'm the guy that shot off his eyebrow.) Then we ate at Macdonald's so the boys could get happy meals and the car that goes with the movie "Cars". On to lake Antoine and swimming. I watched and remembered back to when I was a kid. There was even an old fashioned ice-cream truck, music and all. What a wonderful afternoon. Tonight we shoot off some of the fireworks. well I need a breathing treatment,

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Turtle for Chana

Saying for the Day: Happy is the tutrtle that finds a good rock to bask on!

Betty and I were looking for figures to add to our outside layout when we came across this turtle. When we saw it we thought of Chana and the turtle at the top of her blog. So we decided to find a place for it. The first item we put on the layout because of our internet experience.
The turtle now suns itself (on those few days we see the sun) on a rock next to the lumber mill lake. This is pictured below. He adds a certain charm to the entire scene.

So we are glad that our blogging led us to add him. The turtle is not the only thing we have added because of blogging and we will picture some other things in a future post.

News from Pigeon Falls- The little town in my backyard.- Eino thought they should search the Vanhala building which is a historic building in Pigeon Falls. The man who invented the sekf adjusting suspenders was born there. Nancy now owns the building as Emil Towner Vanhala was her great grandfather. So they went to Nancy for permission to go through the house. Nancy denied the permssion for a general search because she was afraid they might disturb or ruin some of the exhibts from her grandfather's life. She did promise, however, that she would personally go through the house and see if she could find the constitution. She is so busy running the coffee shop that I don't know when she will find the time.
A couple of tourists decided to try Jack's public Sauna. Now this is a real Sauna not one of those Holiday Inn make believes. It is fired up with wood, has rocks on top of the stove, and you throw on water to make steam. It's just like the community sauna's that every little town in the UP used to have. The tourists said it was fantastic and they might come back next year just for the Sauna.
The Kellors still haven't found anyone to take their dogs for a week. One of the farmers noted that those dogs are so big you couldn't get the three of them in his car. The Kellors have an extended van.
The white rabbit was seen again today and at two different places. He was seen at the station by a tourist getting off the milk train . But he was seen in the afternoon by Grandma Moris who said it looked really cute.
The Bishop's wife still hasn't shown up and the rumors abound. Nancy said that, next to Pigeon Falls possibly not existing as a chartered town, the Bishop is the largest single converstation starter.
The Chicago Hermit ( as he is now called) continues to not come out of his house. All his groceries are delivered and he waits for the boy to leave before bringing them in.
The commitee has decided to let Robert Kellomaki in the big father's day race. He will race in the over 80 pound class. The classes ( according to the wait of the carried) are 0 to 10 pounds, 10 to 29 pounds, 20 to 40 pounds, 40 to 80 pounds, and 80 and above.

Todays JC points link is MustBeTuesday. Remember to put the words Dr. John in your comment. Check out your JC points on the JC update link on the side. Nice day today. Continued work on the new river for the layout (our third try). My grandson Alex has begun building the roller coaster for the layout. My grandson Elijah and Betty laid track under my supervision. The loop around the entire layout including all the trestles is now complete. we ran a train all the way around . What a blast. My grandson ran alongside it all the way. Ah the power of youth. I mustn't forget Caleb who helped Alex with the roller coaster. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

From atheist to disgustingly religious

Saying for the Day: Its's not what you know but who that really counts.

Its back to the artifact box and here we find one of those little books people sign at the end of camp. It is there to remind me of the end of my time as an atheist and the beginning of the journey that would bring me into the ministry.

The summer after I got confirmed one of my friends from confirmation talked me into going to Bible Camp.
His name was Karl Rundman .
He was not religious and the reason he felt we should go to Bible camp was because there were five girls there for every boy.
Those are great odds. I figured I could put up with the religious nonsense for a chance for romance. The way Karl described it we would swim with the girls, sit with them at evening campfires, and take evening walks to the baseball field.

So I went. The program was about as dull as I expected it to be.

But there was a Pastor.
An old Pastor who was different.

He didn’t talk about God as an idea.

He didn’t try to prove God.

He shared with us a God that was and had been for years a personal friend. This God was as real to him as the campers. I marveled at that.

There was a joy and a peace the guy had I had never seen in anybody.

I wanted what he had.

I told myself over and over that it was silly.
There is no God and so God can’t be his friend.
He can’t know what isn’t there.

But he did. He honestly loved God.

Then something happened which I can not explain. At some point during that week I stepped over the line and went from being an atheist to being disgustingly religious.

I didn’t want it to happen.
I did everything I could to keep it from happening .

I have no idea why it happened. (Boy I wish I did)
Lots of kids left that camp just the way they came but I didn’t.

Karl Rundman did . He ran into God later in his journey.

Suddenly there was a joy and a peace in my life beyond anything I had ever known. God was real and He loved me.

I still had no answer to Robert’s death.
But I did know that God had entered into our suffering and shared it with us.

Everything changed. I came home a different person.

My mother was horrified.
She hoped it would wear off.

But God was no longer an idea to be accepted or rejected.
God was a being that loved me and the journey to the pulpit had begun.

News from Pigeon Falls– the little town in my backyard– So far not a single person has found a copy of the constitution but a lot of people are looking. Eino decided that they should look through the old copies of “The Birdseed” from 1950 to 1962 since the constitution was published in the paper at that time. “The Birdseed” went out of business in 1985 and so the only bound and available copies are at the Museum. Eino got three council members to go with him and they started going through the volumes. That’s when they discovered that the volume for the first half of 1958 was missing. The museum people thought the collection was complete but that volume is missing, very strange. In any case they failed to find the constitution.
Plans are continuing for the great Father’s day race. Father’s come from all around to participate. So far there are 30 father’s registered. The committee is not sure how to rope off main street with no council to give them permission . Bill thinks they should just do and put a man with a baseball bat on each end to make sure that nobody drives through. I think he was kidding about the baseball bat. They do have one other problem. Robert Kellomaki wants to carry his father in the race. Robert is 57 and his dad is 89. He said years ago his dad carried him in a number of these races. They even won once. He still has the shirt that says “ My dad carried me to victory in Pigeon Falls.” The committee is considering his request.
No dead pigeons today and no white rabbit.
Nancy says the Kellors are planing to take advantage of Dr. Fortress’s trip to Disney World special. You know where they take the train to Iron Mountain and then fly to Orlando by way of Chicago. The only problem is their three Neapolitan mastiffs. These are huge dogs that look like they want to tear you limb from limb. The Romans used them to fight lions. Nobody wants to baby sit those dogs and there is no local kennel. Nancy is asking everybody that comes in if they would help out but so far no takers.

We pulled out the waterfalls again and started over again. I hope we get it right this time. We set off some fireworks this evening which my grandkids loved. (nothing illegal) Well I need a breathing treatment.

Todays JC point link is Starbender. For JC totals and usless information click on JC Point Update on side panel. Remember to put the words Dr.John in the comment.

Monday, June 12, 2006

JC Points-your big chance

Saying for the day: The fun is not in the winning but in the trying to win.

I am going to add to the ever increasing meaningless point systems that exist on the net.

You know you can collect MYpoints and HIpoints and Epoints. All of these points are given to you for doing something and the points when collected don’t do much.
The fun is in the collecting.

Well I am adding a new point system.

It is JC points, This stands for John’s Comment points and the JCs will be given to anyone who leaves a comment on my blog. One point or more for every comment.
Just think of the points you can rack up.

I will also have a featured link and if you leave a comment on that blog that includes the words Dr. John I will give you another five JC points.

Now these points will be worth absolutely nothing.

But just think of the fun of collecting them.

Every once in a while I will give away things like a saffron bun, blog explosion credits, a funny doctor’s degree on real parchment. We will put your name into a bucket as many times as you have JC credits and draw a name. The more credits the better chance you have of winning.

Of course since these prizes aren’t worth much the JCs still aren’t worth much and since most people won’t win they are really worth very little or nothing. The fun is in the collecting.

The only prize of value is the saffron bun since I need an armored car to bring the saffron home in. Saffron is worth more per ounce than gold.

In any case leave a comment and start collecting JC points.

Oh and since today is leave a comment Monday we will make every comment worth two points. (Only one comment per person per day please.)

I reserve the right to give more than one point for really great comments.

The JC link for today is Jafabrit Remember that if you leave a comment on that blog containing the words Dr. John you get 5 JC points.

News from Pigeon Falls– the little town in my backyard– Eino took a trip over to Dirty River and the Happy Days Nursing Home to visit Gus Makela. Gus was the Mayor of Pigeon Falls from 1950 to 1962. He’s 93 years old. Eino wanted to ask what he could remember about the Charter and the Constitution. Gus said that when he was Mayor every council member had a copy of the Constitution and there was a pile on the table as you came into city hall. In the middle of his term the Constitution was revised and a copy was sent to Lansing. The entire Constitution was printed in the weekly paper at that time (The Birdseed) . Well at least we know there was a constitution.
Eino got all the council members together and told them if there were that many copies around in 1960 there must be one left that somebody didn’t throw away. So he has everybody going through attics and old chests looking for a copy. So far they have had no luck.
Another dead pigeon showed up this morning. It looks like it was drowned. Pigeon was put in the same place but I guess Eino’s watcher must have fallen asleep because he didn’t see who dumped it.
Despite the crisis plans are going ahead for the big Pigeon Days celebration in August. The committee is looking for a celebrity to head up the parade. It will be hard to top Rodney McDonald who came last year.
One last bit of news there seems to have been a break in at the museum yesterday but they can't seem to figure out what if anything was taken.

Well Alex and I got the river on the layout working and we let it run all day without any trouble. A couple of kids stopped to look at the layout. They were from Iron Mountain. they really liked it. Betty took the grandkids swimming in the afternoon and they seemed to have really enjoyed it. I painted a couple of roads for the layout and then ran some trains. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Salute to Pastor Ken

Saying for the Day: 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

I don’t know many people who could with Saint Paul say these words but I do know one.

His name is Pastor Ken Merckx (to learn more about him click here) and he is an old friend.

Pastor Ken is dying of cancer and he is getting ready to go home.

He has indeed kept the faith.
He has spent a lifetime sharing Jesus with others in a wonderful loving manner.

I am glad that in my journey through life that God allowed me to meet and rejoice with Ken.

I kook forward to the day I will rejoice with him in heaven.

Thank you Lord for his ministry.

News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my backyard– Somehow NBC got wind of the problems of Pigeon Falls and did a little segment on the town that might not be. It was a good job that the Lutheran youth had cleaned up the town before the cameras arrived. You don’t want to scare the tourists away.
Mayor South or to be more exact former Mayor South went to the county seat during the week to see if there was some record there of the charter and constitution . There wasn’t. She then called Lansing and pointed out that the state doesn’t look to good in all of this since it was supposed to have a copy of both. She was assured that they are really trying to find the box that might have it in. Then she met with the former council members, since they all resigned the open meetings act didn’t apply and we don’t know what went on at that meeting.
The big father’s day race is still scheduled for next Saturday. This is the race where the father has to run carrying his child. The distance is only the length of the main street. The kids really love this race except for Billy Ketola who says his father is so clumsy he will probably fall down and break something on both of them.
Nancy says there is a feeling that the pigeon killer was someone whose car was getting pelted by the pigeons. People really love their cars even though we have the worst roads in the country.
Just when you thought things can’t get worse they do. The state is now saying that if Pigeon Falls doesn’t have a charter then we have to return the grant money we got to help pay for the street repair since the money can only go to chartered towns. That money was long ago spent.

Well this was one of those days. We tried to fix the waterfalls on the layout and failed. Then the television which is very old died. Well it didn't die in full . It just won't recognize the remote or any remote any more. It just says trying to locate remote. So we took the grandkids and went to Iron Mountain. They were very well behaved. We went to the dolalr store and they bought junk and we bought stuff for the layout. Then we went to Wal Mart. Betty wanted one of those new flat screen (thin) things. We had to choose between a number of them and we picked not on price but on the one with handles on the box so Betty and Alex could carry it in. (weird way to pick a tv set). Well I really need a breathing treatment.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Great Grandmother

Saying for the Day: Everybody should have a great grandmother.

This is a picture of my great grandmother. The one whose husband died in the mine. She is shown here a couple of years before she died.
The family had a big reunion and she is shown in the first picture with her great grandchildren. I am in the picture.
The second picture shows her with her six surviving sons.
You can click on the picture to see a larger version.
All I remember of that day as that it was a lot of fun to be with all of my cousins.

News from Pigeon Falls- The little town in my backyard-Pastor Marvel called a special meeting of the Last Lutheran Youth Group last night. He asked them to volunteer to clean up the town until the crisis ends. They were more than willing and this morning they went to work scrubbing things down including the pigeon statue. During the week they will work in teams of four with a different team each day. So the town is now spic and span and tourist ready.
Another day without a dead pigeon. Although some of the youth group , after cleaning up all that pigeon poop, suggested that things would be a lot cleaner if somebody took a machine gun to the whole lot.
The white rabbit was seen this morning by a tourist coming in on the milk train. It did its usual wink and wave routine. It is of course just a coincidence but the sales of little ceramic white rabbits increase at Wink’s Woods with each sighting. Wink’s says they have nothing to do with the rabbit itself but they don’t mind it generating a little income. To be fair to Wink’s sales of “ I saw the White Rabbit” sweaters are also up over at Kivi & Maki’s all purpose store.
The Kumkowski’s have decided not to break up after all. He has promised to be good and Ellen says she is too old to chase after another guy. Nancy said the ladies are sure it will just be a little while and he will be at it again.

We really put some time into the layout this morning. We have laid track all the way across the trestles to the far end and run a train on it. My grandsons were a great help. The new creek bed did not work as it doesn't fit quite right on the end so it leaks. We will have to work on a fix for that. We are going to see the movie Cars this afternoon. The movie was great and the grandkids really enjoyed it. I visited all the links and left comments on all the new entries. I learn so much from other people's blogs. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Today as Yesterday's Tomorrow

SAying for the Day: Do not worry about tomorrow it never comes.

It occurs to me that today is the tomorrow I was worried about yesterday.

You see I worried then (yesterday) that I would have nothing to blog about tomorrow( today).

If you follow that then let me tell you I was right.

If this is that tomorrow , which is the day after yesterday and not the day after today then I was right.

I have nothing to blog about today (yesterday’s tomorrow).

So some times it is okay to worry about tomorrow ( now today) because what we worry about happens. This then justifies yesterday’s worry by today’s experience.

Of course one could argue that since I blogged about the whole experience that I did have something to write about and therefore I should be worrying about tomorrow ( the day after today and not the tomorrow I worried about yesterday) when I won’t have anything to blog about.

But at least for today this part is done.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my back yard garden-Pigeon Falls is even dirtier today than it was yesterday. There is pigeon poop everywhere, gobs and gobs of it. Charlie, the guy that usually cleans the street and the statue says he ‘s not working until he finds out who is paying him. With the legal existence of the town in question there isn’t anybody to do that. The merchants who depend on the tourists may have to get together and either pay Charlie or hire somebody else. This is the sort of the thing we used to holler at the council for when it didn’t get done. But now there is no council.
Dr. Fortress is going to run a special marriage train for those people who want to go to the county seat for their marriage license . He will just charge half the usual fair and run his best coach. The only downside is that he will only do it once a month so everyone has to go on the same Saturday.
According to Nancy the ladies are convinced that the young blonde that visited the Bishop was his girl friend. Why don’t they just ask the guy? I guess its much more fun to speculate.
Another day without a dead pigeon. Perhaps, whoever it is has run out of ways to kill them or he may know that Eino has somebody watching for somebody to dump another one.
Despite all the problems life in the place that used to be Pigeon Falls goes on pretty much as normal. The farmers have begun planting, some tourists are still showing up, the lumber mill is running, and the trains come and go.

Wild day. We got the new river bed made for the layout and painted. Betty cleaned house. Then the grandkids arrived four hours before we expected them. We took them out to eat and went grocery shopping. It is good to have them here. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Last Shift

Saying for the Day: Miner is not the safest occupation in the world.

This is another of the family stories that need to be passed from one generation to the next.
On May 5, 1911 Richard Web Yelled and his son William ( My great grandfather and great uncle ) were ready to start their own bakery. They had saved up money from working in the mine and had arranged a bank loan. The family was about to begin living its dream. Now they would not be miners but business people. Now they could put to work all that talent.
So On May 5, 1911 they left to work one last shift in the Iron Mine. One last trip underground. Great Grandmother was really happy because mines were not the safest place in the world to work.
However the dreams of running a bakery were never to come to pass. Instead what great grandmother feared worst would happen.
That day there was a fire in the mine. The men started up the shaft ladders to escape and probably would have made it but the supervisor decided to save the mine and not the men. He turned a high pressure hose into the shaft which knocked the men off the ladders. (The supervisor eventually committed suicide as he heard the screams of the men over and over again). Not a single man was saved.
Great grandmother lost husband and son all at the same time. Shortly thereafter the baby ,Grace, got the flue and died. Those were rough times. Four of her children died before the age of two.
Despite all of this great grandmother raised 11 kids to adulthood.

News from Pigeon Falls-(The little town in my back garden) -Pigeon Falls is a mess. There is pigeon poop everywhere and nobody to clean it up. With the town government paralyzed by the constitutional crisis there is nobody to hire a part time street cleaner. A few of the merchants have cleaned in front of their place of business but that’s it.
Tom Grasp and Elizabeth Scivvo who intend to get married in a couple of weeks now need to find some way to get to the county seat to get a wedding licensee. Not being a legal town is continuing to cause problems.
Nancy, who wants you to notice that her sidewalk is poop free, says the Bishop stories are the talk of the day. It seems he was seen eating at the
Railside Restaurant with that cute young blond that showed up yesterday. They were having “an intimate” conversation. From time to time he touched her hand.
They think she stayed all night at his place and then left this morning on the milk train. According to Nancy they were seen hugging on the station platform.
No dead pigeons today. That’s something to be thankful for. The present Great and Exalted, High and Wonderful, Grand Pigeon head of Pigeonelle Lodge number 1, says they are thinking of offering a reward to anyone catching the person killing the pigeons.
Dr. Fortress has announced that trains will be a bit behind schedule since work on the Crippled Creek trestles has forced him to use an alternate route.
There is a rumor going around town that the company that runs Six Flags Great America is thinking of building an amusement park in the county. Perhaps they could call it “ A Flag or Two Over Da UP “.

Beautiful day. We tore the waterfall out on the layout and have begun rebuilding it. It was leaking too badly for little repairs. Betty is cleaning getting ready for the grandsons who are coming this week end. Well I need a breathing treatment.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Another Darn Tag

Saying for the Day: Tag your it.

Cissa Firehart tagged me on Monday. I hate being tagged.

Four Jobs I’ve had in my life.
1. Santa Claus for Montgomery Ward
2. Deckhand on Ore Boat
3. Counselor Bay Cliff Health Camp
4. College Teacher ( mathematics)

Four Movies I would watch over and over
1. Wizard of Oz
2. Dumbo
3. Any Gene Autry or Roy Rogers movie
4. The Greatest Fourth of July Ever

Four Places I have Lived
1. Ishpeming, Michigan
2. Chicago, Illinois
3. Ewen, Michigan
4. Trout Creek, Michigan

Four TV shows I love to watch (love may be too strong a term)
1. Deal or No Deal
2. All My Children
3. Monk
4. Train Talk

Four Places I have been
1. Cedar Point Amusement Park
2. Fort Francis , Ontario
3. Six Flags over Texas Amusement Park
4. London England

Four Web Sites I visit daily
2. Google
3. Art 166
4. Lori’s Minute

Four of my Favorite Foods
1. Saffron buns
2. Steak
3. Mashed potatoes
4. Dr. Pepper Bread

Four Places I would rather be right now
1. Green Bay
2. Madison
3. Cornwall, England
4. Any place you can’t be tagged

Because I don’t like being tagged I never tag anybody but feel free to jump in.

News from Pigeon Falls– Well yesterday’s announcement has the town in shock. There is nothing quite like being told you may not exist.
It seems the town has no Charter and no constitution . All the town acts for who knows how long may be null and void.
There is now no town clerk. That means nobody to hire the part time people who clean the streets, maintain the fire station, keep the peace, process wedding licenses, or issue checks to pay bills.
There is some resentment building toward the Bishop who started all this with his request for tax information. According to Nancy there is even a rumor that the Bishop stole the Charter and the Constitution.
Over at the Fly Inn and Tavern one of the drunks was heard to mutter that they should go after the Bishop with a shovel instead of the poor pigeons. At least they had enough sense to ignore him.
Speaking of pigeons another one was killed yesterday. This one was shot with an arrow. Its poor little body was found in the same parking place as all the others ( two spaces up from the bar). Eino thinks they are being killed somewhere else and dumped there. One wonders if the killer is working on a book like "100 ways to kill a pigeon".
On a somewhat lighter note the white rabbit was seen by another tourist. He swears it winked and waved. He had never seen a three foot rabbit in a pink sweater before..
One last tidbit from Nancy. It seems a cute young blond showed up on the milk train this morning and asked directions to the Bishop’s house. I can hardly wait to hear the gossip this will generate.

Well I finished another trestle for the outside layout. I think this will be the last one. Betty went to Tops. Then she visited a couple celebrating fifty years of marriage. She painted the trestles. She is working on her flowers. I think tomorrow we will tackle the leaking waterfall. Well I need a breathing treatment.