Author Archives: joanie's journal

About joanie's journal

As a freelance writer, my specialty is humor, historical and special interest articles. After attending Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop in April, I'm now on track to syndicate my monthly column.

An Irish Mayor in Minnesota

Standard

An Irish Mayor in Minnesota

By Joanie Buettgen

  

     Kenneth James McDonald, ( K.J.), was one of the most vibrant, and robust people I have ever met.   His body was small, with a stout build, stark white hair, and emerald green eyes, like glistening gems. He was only 81 years old. K.J. was a well-liked man, and had few enemies, these people had never known the man personally. They needed to sit down with him, and a cup of coffee. That would have change their minds. Yes, this man could talk your arm off.

     K.J. was his nickname, and one that all of us knew him by in our small town of Watertown. I first met this man at our Watertown summer celebration, “Rails To Trails.” This annual event is held at the local park. K.J. was always visible, making new friends, which included me.

     K.J. spoke with a strong voice. His knowledge was evident in a wide variety of subjects. His mere presence, commanded immediate attention.

     His hands were old and worn, not from physical labor, but from years of hard work. His style of dress might have been dated, and a little rumpled. Sometimes, I noticed a worn black suit that he always wore with pride. This man carried himself like a well-seasoned aristocrat.

     He was a true conservative, with Irish and Catholic attributes. At times he would break into an Irish speaking voice. You always knew K.J.’s Catholic beliefs, he shared them freely. He had a wide spread political agenda which was formed from his earlier days in public-office. From his assertive walk, the projection of his voice, to the twinkle in his eye, you knew right away this is an experienced man.

     You see, this man of 81 years had a wealth of experience that he openly shared with anyone who would listen. At a political convention, K.J. stated, “ I have been in the Republican party over 40 years.” “I’ll gladly sit down and discuss our platform with you.” His deep, thought provoking ideas, were planned by K.J. to get a dialog started, which he loved. He did not do this to make people feel small and insignificant, but to pass along his knowledge and to open your eyes to a few new viewpoints of his.

     He had lived in Watertown all of his life. His experiences include: a proud war veteran, a current member of the American Legion Post, local area Republican Representative, in the House of Representatives, three-time mayor of our fine city.

     I have known K.J. for over 20 years. I would see his friendly face daily at the Watertown City Offices, in our local post office, and driving around town in his little tan, Taurus; yes, there’s no doubt that it’s him. He lived right in back of our small town’s bank. His modest, older style house, painted brown, where he and his wife Barbara, had raised their family of seven children.

     Every local person knew this man. Whether it is in his son’s photography studio, where he worked part-time, to our local schools, churches and political events, he was always present. 

     You would think a man of his age would want to slow down, but not K.J. He has told me often, “As long as the good Lord is willing, he will keep me going and doing what he thinks is best for me.”

     He was wrestling with the idea of running for mayor of Watertown, again. The current mayor was called away to Iraq, and he was asked if he would consider the position. He did accept the position and is now Mayor of Watertown. He has always let his spiritual influence guide him in any tough decision he has to make. I like that.

     I like the fact that we both have raised our families in a small town. It’s a simple and honest way to live. Through the years, I might not always agree with K.J.’s viewpoints, but I respect him. He’s a good and beloved Irishman.

 

Joanie Buettgen is just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: BookTrib.com, AfterFiftyLiving.com, Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

 

 

Advertisements

The Big Bowl

Standard

W+W (Washbasin+Watercloset) by Roca. "21 ...

W+W (Washbasin+Watercloset) by Roca. "21 design stories" – exhibition at Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw. Polski: W+W (Washbasin+Watercloset) firmy Roca – połączenie umywalki i WC z przyjazną środowisku technologią ponownego wykorzystania wody. Rezerwuar napełnia się wodą zużytą w umywalce. Wystawa "21 design stories. Studia przypadków", Instytut Wzornictwa Przemysłowego, Warszawa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Big Bowl

By Joanie Buettgen

Have you ever come across something so bizarre, so large, so funny, that you take a photo of it? It happened last Saturday at Menard’s.

This newly constructed establishment was not your usual mamby-pamby discount depot. It was huge. It was jam-packed with everything that a weekend warrior would need to complete his “Honey Do” list. And it was two stories tall. I’m sure that many men would love this as a dream spot destination.

Just to give you an idea of how large it was, picture this. As we entered the store, there were four large, sliding glass doors. It was then we found ourselves staring in disbelief at the airport like tram. It was smack dab in the middle of the store. This thoroughfare was designed to carry customers to their household project supply center. This stainless steel monster took up the whole width of the store. One way-was upstairs. One-way was downstairs.

If you suffer from vertigo-you should never, ever, travel on this expressway.

On this particular Saturday, we were on a quest for household light fixtures. We have just started our Phase I Construction Project which consists of: new ceiling, new paint, new carpet.

When couples walk into a mega monster store, you should always be prepared for any large scale headache as you wind in and out of the layers of laminate, isles of bins, and ghost like sales clerks that are always on break.

To alleviate this stress, I take along a list. And stick to it. I always remember to schedule a little coffee and pie afterwards to relieve the headache which always comes.

While we were checking out paint swatches, we came across a display that shocked us.

This exhibit was in the bathroom section. As we rounded the corner we spotted the largest toilet seat imaginable. This white, waste receptacle was sitting on a throne like a Queen. The accessories included a complete surround sound bath/shower cubicle. To one side, a large print sign sat, noting its special features. Anyone who didn’t have 20/20 vision, that day, could see this display from a mile away.

I thought to myself, Does anybody really… need a toilet seat that wide?

I’m not exaggerating when I say it looked like a giant size flying saucer!

Who knew?

Joanie Buettgen is…

“Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: BookTrib.com, AfterFiftyLiving.com, Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

The Giant Abyss

Standard

A modest junk box

Image via Wikipedia

The giant abyss

By Joanie Buettgen

If you are like most people, you’re in your kitchen junk” drawer ten to twenty times a day.

I try not to open this compartment, it irritates me.

One day I decided to tackle this menacing monster. As I explored the terrain I felt like I was sinking into a dark abyss. I realized it had a mind of its own. I tried pulling out the debris and up came a mess that looked like a Velcro mobile.

In frustration, I slammed the door. It got its revenge by shifting off its track, then sat at an odd angle and glared at me.

I shouted for Mark, my carpenter/husband, to come and fix yet another household project. He always seems to be hard to find when I’m hollering for help. His departure this time signaled a mad dash for ice cream.

While waiting for him, I told myself, “It’s time to clean that, blankety, blank, drawer.”

Ladies, you know the problem we face. This once well-organized receptacle is a catch-all for our husband’s tools.

The question is, “What do I do with all the junk?”

After emptying the rubbish, a large pile sat on the counter. It stared at me like a lost child looking for a new home.

Feeling lost, I thought about going to the dentist for that root canal. But their line was busy.

I needed a break.

I started searching the Web for “storage solutions”.

Did you know that there are categories for: Bins-1,884 items, bulk containers-209 items, and accessories-568 items?

I felt like a contestant on an episode of Hoarders. One woman was on her cell phone, sitting lopsided on her disorganized stacks of stuff. You guessed it-she was ordering more storage containers that she’ll never use.

Then and there I knew I was not alone in my quest. Obviously, “storage solution” manufacturers know us women very well.

What women want and need is to be clutter free.

But we must be careful about what we toss.

That morning, I dug into the first layer of junk. I found nothing that belonged to me. I sorted through Mark’s wrenches, his new Stanley hammer and assorted rusty screws.

The second layer contained scratched safety glasses, bent fish hooks and a new wall plate cover.

I snuck into Mark’s man cave, and quickly threw his belongings on the table. Then, I tip toed out.

Now, when he asks, “Honey, where are my wrenches?”

I can just smirk and smile.

After I finished this project I became obsessed. I wanted and needed to clean out all of our stuffed closets.

Now I just had one problem…an empty kitchen drawer to fill up.

Joanie Buettgen is “Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: AfterFiftyLiving.com, Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

 

Social Pinning

Standard

English: Red Pinterest logo

Image via Wikipedia

Social Pinning

By Joanie Buettgen

As a non-fiction writer, I’m always looking for new material. This time around I thought, I’d found, a large variety of tangible information.

My daughter Rene’, is a “Generation Xer”. According to Wikipedia, this term includes people born from the early 1960s through the early 1980s.

These kids are electronically adaptable. That is to say, they live and breathe on their PCs.

In this day and age of social networking sites like, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the rapid pace is overwhelming.

That is why, when I was introduced Pinterest, I was skeptical.

The first step to insanity goes something like this: You are invited to join via a friend request. Mine was through Facebook. If you accept, you’ll receive a confirmation from a complete stranger.

And then the madness continues.

If you’re not a part of this community, the next part could leave you discouraged.

Step two involves typing a personal and secret Login and Password. If you don’t have one, make one up. If you’d rather not, please don’t read any further.

You’ll be OK. Just move on to something more exciting like a lobotomy

If on the other hand you decide to join, you’ll have a few surprises in-store for you. For instance, you’ll be the proud owner lots of paperwork, which includes all of these necessary logins and passwords.

Note to self. Don’t ever, ever, ever, loose this paperwork. Or you’ll likely go into a state of shock. This actually happened to me. I found it days later under stacks of stuff.

Here’s another note to self, if you have more than one login/password accountsCry now. Then go to step two. Again.

Next is step three. This is where you’ll be directed to the main board with your cute little photo in the top right hand corner. Remember, this starting page, as its gets a little hairy from here on out.

Basically, you add a “Pin It” button under your favorites. If you don’t have favorites, maybe you should consult an IT professional. Now.

This Pin-it button allows you to search the Pinterest site or you can really get overloaded and search the Web. Either way you’ll spend countless hours, followed my monotonous days and sleepless nights, scanning these picture boards.

These eye-catching photo boards include numerous subjects ranging from A-Z. For instance they include, “Architecture to Weddings.” These pictures can be added to your Pinterest site by clicking on either the cute little “Repin” (push pin) button, the “Like” (heart) button or the “Comment” (box) button.

Are you confused yet? I thought so.

Maybe this will help. For instance my “Board” includes the following: My style, I love, Favorite Places & Spaces, For the Home, Dream Home, Beautiful Home. Are you seeing a pattern here? And finally, “Products I love, and my favorite, “My writing habits.”

And at last, the real kicker ones are, “Videos and “Popular gifts”. That is where your checkbook or credit cards start to do either the happy dance or the sad scenario scream.

Here’s a bit of advice to you. Try not to “Browse” on their drop-down menus. You’ll discover the fine art of: nerve racking, finger clicking, and button browsing.

Now, the real insanity begins.

The most annoying part of this whole exercise is the daily updates from our most loving family and kind friends.

Now, that they’ve got you hooked on their pet project, you can decide to “Find it”, “Pin it”, and “Share it”.

The final hitch of all this, is the constant, ridiculous, networking.

Now, that my entire life is on this electronic board, I wonder if any real people or real friends are really that interested in my real life?

Sigh…

Joanie Buettgen is…“Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: AfterFiftyLiving.com, Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

Oscar’s big butts contest

Standard

Image

Lopez and Diaz photo.jpg

Oscar’s  Big Butts Contest

By Joanie Buettgen

Now that the Academy Awards are finally finished, I couldn’t resist the temptation to give my opinion of the couture dresses.

This morning, I noticed on MSNs entertainment website, a photo of Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz. They were presenters at the Awards last night.

Now, both of these ladies are always in the news, always in movies, and always in photos. As you can see in this picture on the website, their butts seem large. I don’t know if it was the angle of the lens, but you can judge for yourself.

I noticed that Diaz looked beautiful with her platinum blond hair, cut short. When this photo was shot, she had her back to the camera. She turned and placed her hands on her hips. And she sported a “pouty” smile with her lips.

Lopez in contrast, had her long brunette hair, up in a stunning hair do. Her hands were left at her sides. She turned to the camera and had a pleasant smile.

Now, if you ask women, “Does this dress make my butt look big?”

Women will lie to your face and tell you, “No…The dress is gorgeous. I love your hair!”

Men, on the other hand will wait and admit, “Yes, it does! But…I like big butts.”

Angelina Jolie’s black velvet dress was slit up to her hip. When she walked on the stage, she planted herself, stuck out her right leg and waited for everyone to notice. We did.

I’m always amazed by all of the hubba-bubba leading up to the awards program. And I’m equally amazed that I stayed up until 10:30 p.m.

Of course they saved the best for last. I knew it would drag on.

Billy Crystal was great as Master of Ceremonies. This was his ninth appearance.

The actress that I really wanted to win was Rooney Mara for her brilliant performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Mara is a very skinny girl. She wore a simple white dress. Her butt was non-existent.

Joanie Buettgen is “Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: AfterFiftyLiving.com, Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

Toilet Paper Bits

Standard

A toilet paper roll

Image via Wikipedia

Toilet Paper Bits

By Joanie Buettgen

Contrary to public opinion, many people don’t know how to load their toilet paper roll.

My question today is, Do you un-roll from the bottom or from the top?

Obviously, it’s from the bottom.

I have made the following observations on these ever popular white paper products.

Weekly, we place our rolls on the plastic dowel. Now if you’re an on-top person, you have the paper facing you, on the top of the roll. The problem is you have to hold the roll with your left hand, then with your right hand “try” to tear off just a couple of sheets. The operative word is try. Usually, when I’ve tried this technique, I wind up tearing twenty squares off in one fell swoop.

Now, in my hand, I have a large paper ball the size of a watermelon. Then I toss this large orb into the toilet bowl. And I notice that it has completely filled the porcelain princess. Oops.

I really don’t want to grab it. So I flush it.

Then I notice that the water level is rising-fast. And the sewer backs up. I know from experience that this large blob has lodged itself in the sewer pipe and has caused a large dam to back up.

As the water level hits the rim, I quickly grab the black rubber plunger. I try, in vain, to create suction over the hole. I almost break the plunger in this process. Then, I notice that I really don’t have this method down pat. I wait, and wait, and wait. Then suddenly the brew starts its ascend to the top of the bowl. And I have a messy lake at my feet.

This is not at all pleasant at 3 a.m., when I’m hollering at Mark, my husband, to come and help.

It’s a sad day when I’m fearful and fretful after trying to use this top-loaded method. I’m always disappointed.

Here is my argument for the under the roll application. This method teaches the owner of the roll many things. First, you’ll use less paper. And with one quick tear, and with the paper taunt, you’ll get the 4 squares of tissue that you need to get the job done.

Second, there’s no bubbling, churning, or splashing to contend with.

And at last, you’ll have dry feet.

I rest my case.

Joanie Buettgen is “Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: AfterFiftyLiving.com, Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen

Attack of the Blue Fuzzies

Standard

Blue Fuzz

Image via Wikipedia

Attack of the Blue Fuzzies

By Joanie Buettgen

Today, I noticed a large number of little, baby blue colored “pill balls” on all of my floors. The large quantities of these things, come from my king size bedroom blanket.

My husband Mark and I live in a two-story craftsmen style home. I believe it was built in 1915. It has the typical high/low carpet which was popular back then. This terrain is important because it holds these fibers. And they hide in these crevices like mice.

This daily battle has been going on for over 30 years.

As I start my day with a cup of coffee. I tell myself, “Not today…I won’t succumb to the constant picking, gathering and tossing of these little fabric buggers.

I try, like most women, to keep the house clean and tidy. But these creatures have minds of their own.

I also have dog and large quantities of dog hair. Jake, the dog, has hair that is stick straight and blond. On a red carpet the fur sticks out like a sore thumb. These tresses sabotage my cleaning efforts daily.

My little blue fuzzies are comical creatures. They like to attach themselves to every surface in every room. I’ve even noticed them dangling from Jake’s nose, and hiding on my mouse pad.

There is no solution to my dilemma. The blanket manufactures no longer sell these types of coverings. They used to be made with long lasting, 2-sided satin binding. It’s been 15 years since I bought that last one.

These fuzzies should not be confused with the daily dirt that collects in and around our home. That’s other issue that won’t be discussed here.

In my quest for a clean house I regularly go from room to room. I’m not at all into vacuuming, so I try to spot clean each room by picking up these small pieces of debris. Somehow it makes me feel better.

A shrink could probably put a long syndrome name to my obsessive behavior with fuzz. But, I think there are many women who behave like me and never say a word.

Lately, I’ve noticed I’ve turned into a fuzz hoarder. I put them my pockets when I’m busy, and try to dispose of them later. The problem is now I have stashes in every piece of clothing I own.

It’s embarrassing to say the least, when I’m out in public, and pull out a piece of Kleenex. Then, I notice that they have popped out of my pocket. And stare up at me. I try to kick them aside, but they reluctantly stick to my shoes.  

I think I know the reason for my new obsession of the fuzz. I work a night shift. My job is a commercial cleaner. My responsibilities are to make sure the rooms are spotless. No white pieces of paper, no pink dots, and no gold glitter should be found.

I think my obsessive cleaning also comes from my upbringing. My dear mother constantly picked up bits of debris from her six children. She just couldn’t seem to find the time to vacuum daily with all of us running around.

I remember as a child telling myself, “I’m never, ever, going to pick up lint when I’m older!”

I have become my mother.

Joanie Buettgen is “Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”Published: AfterFiftyLiving.com, Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter. Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

Where’s my Valentine’s Day card?

Standard

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960

Image via Wikipedia

Where’s my Valentine’s Day card?

By Joanie Buettgen

Many American know that millions of Valentine Day cards are exchanged every year. But did you know that some of us decide not to buy our love?

My husband Mark and I decided years ago not to purchase these expensive gimmicks. We believe love shouldn’t be measured by how much money we spend on each other. And there should be no strings attached to our emotions.

Like many couples, we try to spend our currency wisely. Last Sunday we decided to enjoy a nice romantic dinner away from the stove.

And another excuse for a romantic outing was we had a gift card that was burning a hole our pockets. We headed out to enjoy an afternoon at a vacation and RV show. Afterwards we looked forward to a fantastic seafood dinner.

While at the restaurant, I noticed a clear water tank filled with fresh lobsters. My mouth watered. I felt like I had just devoured a succulent piece of fruit. My taste buds went in hyper-drive.

It was only mid-afternoon but, we wanted larger portions. So we ordered off the spendy dinner menu. We longed for an abundance of fresh fish to keep us happy and content.

After some warm cheesy biscuits and freshly brewed coffee our order arrived.

I scanned my oval platter. My meal consisted of: small butterfly shrimp, limp, yellow broccoli, and thin mushy lobster tail.

Mark always orders the walleye dinner. He took the first bite and commented, “My fish tastes fishy.”

Mark has sensitive taste buds. Mine are not. But I can distinguish between great and bad.

We’ve always enjoyed a wonderful experience at these well know restaurants. This time we sat in silence. We knew we’d made a mistake by coming here.

This awkward moment was broken by Mark’s comment, “Did you buy me a Valentine’s Day card?”

I smiled and nodded my head. “I couldn’t resist. I thought about not buying you one but, couldn’t resist the temptation.”

Mark only shook his head, “Well I didn’t buy you one. Are you going to be Ok with that?”

I smiled and took his hand in mine, “I’ll be fine.”

I thought to myself, “I don’t need a mushy card from my husband of 33 years…I’ll be Ok.”

Later that night, Mark spent the entire night in the bathroom.

I felt full of food all night. It was unpleasant to say the least.

It’s a good thing we didn’t spend $50 of our own money on this disastrous meal. Otherwise I’d be telling you a completely different story.

Joanie Buettgen

“Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

What happened to my eyes?

Standard

English: 1950s Women's "Cats Eye" Gl...

Image via Wikipedia

What happened to my eyes?

By Joanie Buettgen

On our coffee table sits three sets of eye glasses. They’re all mine. They’re there because I can’t see.

For instance, I have two pair in my chick cave/office. One set is gold rimmed, the other black. The ebony pair are close at hand, on a coffee stand, just in case I need to read. The next hot spot for my spectacles is the bedroom. I have a sexy set on my nightstand. Don’t ask me why I chose the zebra style, I just felt frisky that day.

I remember in my 30s looking at old people and thinking, “I’m never, ever, going to wear glasses that sit on the end of my nose.” I was wrong.

As I approached my 40s, I strained to read the alarm clock. I had hoped to lay blame on the early morning hours. Denial is another part of my sight problem.

A few years later, I made an appointment for the Optometrist. After the initial exam, eye dilation drops, and the final assessment, they sent me home. My pupils looked like saucers. The problem was the receptionist didn’t tell me that I needed someone to drive me home. It rained that day. It was impossible to drive my truck. There were no accidents to report.

The good news, after that appointment, was I just needed a pair of specs. I thought to myself, “This isn’t a big deal. I’ll be easy. I’ll go to Snyder’s.” Standing in the store, I found myself confused. I noticed the octagon stand with various varieties of readers to choose from. To make it more difficult there were different strengths too. Some allowed you to actually put them on your face. Others were cemented in hard plastic cases. Which were impossible to break in to. I opted for the easy way out. Off to the side, there stood a stand which allowed you to try them on. The different strengths included: 1.50, 2.25 and 300. I chose the 2.25 level. The price was 10 bucks a pop.

I left the store feeling hopeful. At home I put on the metal frames. Then they started to slide down my nose like a sled. Mark, refers to my appendage as a ski slope. Now, I knew he was right after all these years. Throughout the night I constantly batted myself in the eye. I tried to reposition them and bend the frame.

Later, I noticed that they were lopsided. I wondered if he noticed.

Of all the things I miss, as I get older, I miss my eyesight the most!

Published: More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter. Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee. Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, http://www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

Aside

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Image via Wikipedia

Santa hats

By Joanie Buettgen

This Christmas I’ve decided that our two grandchildren have too many toys. When I visit my daughter Melissa, her son’s room looks like it was hit by a tornado. She constantly pleads with Malik, “Please pick up your room.”

I know as a grandmother, her plea falls on deaf ears.

Christmas is two-weeks away and I feel a great need to enjoy the spirit of this beautiful season. So this year, Mark and I wear Santa hats. Mark’s has a cute hand knitted one that was a gift from a friend. And it comes complete with a sparkly pom-pom. Mine on the other hand, has the word Naughty on one side and on the other side it spells out Nice.

As we enter the stores we love to wear children yell, “There’s Santa”!

Mark’s reply is always, “Have you been good”?

Even their parents get into the act, “Well…have you been good”?

As we walk away, we hear in the distance, these families discussing the children and their behavior. Usually it’s positive.

But lately we’ve noticed an increase of crabby people at the malls. I’ve often wondered if these strangers know that they wear a frown. Sadly, even seeing Santa and his helper, doesn’t crack their face into a smile.

Mark and I try to make the most of this wonderful time of the year. And just have fun. Many Baby Boomers are well tuned in to us and always break in to a grin and greet us warmly.

Last week I mailed out our annual Christmas cards. They too were complete with the happy Santa theme. On the outside of the card was a 6-week old lab puppy sporting his own Santa hat.

Now, that our Christmas tree is up, I write my lists of presents that I think our kids and grandchildren will enjoy. The necessities this year are: warm clothes, reading books and a 1st Christmas ornament for our new grandchild.

Recently, we shared a lunch with family and the conversation turned to Christmas.

“Wow,” Jim stated, when I pulled out my Christmas lists. Jim looked shocked and said, “You actually make a list?”

“Yep, I make many lists and they keep my sanity”. And, I constantly update them too.”

As I write this Christmas column I feel the holiday spirit is well within me this year.

All of my family is employed, their health is good, and we are blessed with many joys that we received this year.

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!”

Joanie Buettgen is “Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: Café’ of Dreams, More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

Santa hats