Weekly Columns
Babies really need that? PDF Print E-mail
How in the world did us “baby boomers” and beyond ever raise children? Were most of us just plain lucky that they survived?
A recent baby shower really had me gawking, as a number of items were so new to me. Take a trip down the “baby gadget aisle” and you will really be surprised. There are more gadgets then most people have room for.
When you talk to the “older generations” you learn that babies were born in the worst of conditions. During dust storms, blizzards, and illness, with the possibility of a doctor not even being present.
My Mom, who is 92, just regaled us of the winter my brother was born. It was mid-winter, snow had closed the roads, and she was due with a baby.
The time was nearing, and my Dad met the doctor on an open road with horse and buggy, had him come to the farmhouse and deliver the baby, and then stay overnight and take him back to the open road the next day.
Where was the fancy bed, the whirlpool  bath, the shots for comfort? Guess  there weren’t any - just plain grit in the face of normal delivery.
When my daughter-in-law’s children were born, it was fascinating to go into the birthing suite. It was set up with a corner table, a television, comfortable chairs, and a whirlpool nearby. She and my son were  in there together throughout the entire process, and now have wonderful memories of the births of their two kids.
Back “in the day”, dads were allowed to sit or pace in the waiting room, imagining what was happening to their spouse. It seems better that Dads are now involved with the births of their little ones.
We came home with a  couple of open kimonos, some soft blankets, and piles of white cloth diapers. Of course, we Moms also spent a good deal of time with our hands in diaper pails as we rinsed out all those soiled diapers. But there was a certain satisfaction in folding fresh laundered diapers for our little ones.
Everything has certainly changed. Car seats now actually protect the babies when traveling - while our first car seat strapped over the front seat and was very dangerous. Many toys have been taken off the market because of sharp corners, lead paint, or eyes that are removable. They are all designed for the safety of our children in mind.
You can pick up just about any kind of baby paraphernalia you can think of these days. Some items are very usable, and others may  just take up space. But you do have choices.
It’s good that Moms and babies are watched more closely, that there are centers for babies in crisis, and our healthcare systems are  more aware of normal needs.  When my Mom had the Doctor stay overnight, do
Fair is far too crowded PDF Print E-mail


It seemed like a good excuse to say I wanted to cover local kids at the state fair so I took off last Friday afternoon.
I’ve always loved the state fair because of all there is to look at and all the food there is to eat.
But this time, I came away a little depressed.
Oh, it was fun to see local people at the fair and see how well they were doing.
But those large crowds, oh my!
Somehow, fighting swarms of people took the fun of the fair away from me.
In fact, the only thing I had to eat was an ear of corn. Not my usual fare.
One of my favorite places to visit is Heritage Square because of all the unique gifts and items they have, the large turkey drumsticks they offer, music which is always available and of-course the old newspaper museum.
But even that failed to impress me.
Just when I felt like sitting back and listening to the music, there were so many people I couldn’t get a decent place to sit.
Tired and somewhat dismayed at the whole thing, I decided to take the Sky Car across the fair to avoid walking part of the way.
While it was a great decision, I did have to stand in a huge line just to get on.
Once high above everyone else, I began to enjoy the ride.
I walked to my car and discovered I was quite exhausted, so I drove home.
The drive, almost eight hours of it in one day, got to be a bit much, too!
Now that it’s over, I’m glad I went, but next time I’m going to try and pick a time that’s less busy.
Maybe old age is sneaking up on me.

Laugh a little: These two guys loved baseball more than anything. So they agreed, whoever died first would get the word back to the other guy on whether or not there is baseball in Heaven. Joe died first and one day Bill felt a tug on his shoulder. He said, “Joe, is that you? I’ve been waiting to hear if there is baseball in Heaven.” Joe answered, “Yes Bill, it’s me. I have good news and bad news. The good news is there is baseball in Heaven. The bad new is, you’re pitching tomorrow.”

Thought for the Week: As my ole pappy used to say, “Two wrongs never make a right.” Gotta question ole pappy here. One wrong doesn’t make a right, much less two. What was ole pappy getting at, anyway?

If my body were a car PDF Print E-mail

OUT & ABOUT by Gayle VanVooren

There’s so much talk these days of the “cash for clunkers”, and Ufkin’s even got into it with old washers, dryers, and dishwashers, which was very clever.
But this week, a funny e-mail caught my attention - and I think I’m there!

If My Body Were a Car
If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I’ve got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish, and my paint job is getting a little dull.
But that’s not the worst of it. My headlights are out of focus, and it’s especially hard to see things up close.
My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather.
My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins. It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.
But here’s the worst of it...almost every time I sneeze, cough or laugh, either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!
Our schools are getting ready to open for another year of education. Teachers report for inservice days this week, we celebrate our Labor Day holiday, and then it’s back to the books and activities.
We here at The Mascot look forward to a good year with the students. Teachers are in place to lead the students, and extra-curricular activities give students a well-rounded challenge.
Encourage your students to join a club, an interest group, or take advantage of the after school program if they need that extra help with their studies. This is a new program that is in place to make the educational process better for our students.
We must remember that each student learns in their own way, at their own pace. It may come very easy for some students, but reading for comprehension, for retention, and actual test-taking may be difficult for others. It is a real challenge to meet all these needs.
Then there’s the sports scene. It looks to be a very exciting year for the Viking fans and it all begins with our Fall sports.
You are invited to come and watch these student athletes - remembering that they are youthful, that they will make mistakes, but that they will also grow from those mistakes. Be a good support system, and show good sportsmanship in the stands. These same students will thank you for it.
Now, excuse me, I need to refuel.

Widen your smile for a little while PDF Print E-mail

ODDS & ENDS by John Guttormsson


James (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read, "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt."
Concerned, James asked, "What happened to the flea?"

When my husband, Mark, took his beat-up pickup truck to our insurance agent for a pre-insurance inspection, the teen-age receptionist was sent to look over the truck. Armed with a checklist and a few simple questions, she breezed through the chore. She asked, "What are the age and make of the vehicle?"
Mark replied, "It's a '65 Ford." Apologetic about its desperate condition, he added, "It's an old fossil."
Inside, the office assistant entered the data into her computer and frowned. "Is there a problem?" asked Mark.
"Mr. Evans, our computers have a lot of automotive data,"she explained, "but it's never heard of a Ford Fossil."

A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank.
Here is the exchange :
Family Member:   'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'
Citibank:  'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'
Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'
Citibank: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'
Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'
Citibank: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'
Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'
Citibank: 'Excuse me?'
Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you

- the part about her being dead?'

Citibank: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'
Supervisor gets on the phone:
Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a $0
Citibank: 'The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'
Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'
Citibank: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'
Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)
Citibank:  'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'
Family Member: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given)
After they get the fax:
Citibank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'
Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'
Citibank:  'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'
(What is wrong with these people?!?)
Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'
Citibank: 'That might help...'
Family Member:  ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery, Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'
Citibank: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'
Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???'

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