“Where is Grandma? She’s not here? But she must have been. I can smell her perfume!”

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The Permanent Grandsonly Record
Or: Ah, the smell of it!

Jomajesty reports: “As told to me by Princess #1:

“On his arrival home from school recently, oldest grandson Jack entered the house and asked where Grandma was. His mom replied that I wasn’t there, and if I was, he would have seen my car in the driveway.

 

“She asked what made him think I was there. He responded that the house smelled like my perfume. Maybe I had been there earlier that day?

“Now, let it be known that I have worn the same scent for many years — and spend a pretty penny for it, too. Although admittedly (and unfortunately for others) I do sometimes get carried away with my scent, the explanation for Jack’s smelling my fragrance eludes me, since I believe it doesn’t even come close to what he was experiencing. It is obvious our senses of smell differ greatly.

“What exactly was Jack smelling, you ask? Well, right before he arrived home, his mom had used a newly purchased air freshener — a picture of which I have attached .and which was subsequently gifted to me by Jack at Christmas.

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“I think it’s time for a new brand of perfume.”

Our pets, ourselves
Or: The Permanent Brotherly Record

River Falls Foof: “Sometime in the early 1940s, our family acquired two of the cutest puppies they had ever seen. The pups were litter mates, and they were sweet, cuddly and very fluffy.

“My brother must have been about 10 years old at the time. He loved playing with his pup, Bing. The other puppy belonged to my cousins, who lived next door. Mom had told my brother NEVER, EVER to take the puppy with him to the outhouse. He was warned that the furry little critter could easily fall down one of the holes.

“Telling a little kid never to do something usually has the opposite effect.

“My brother had to use the facilities, and he was sure he could guard the pup from making the dreadful plunge into the muck and mire. Whoops! Bing fell in and was floundering in the stinky offal. My brother couldn’t reach the poor little guy, and he had to get help immediately. That help, of course, was Mom.

“She somehow managed to pull the poor creature out of the reeking mess and, in the process, got herself covered with s—! To say the very least, she was not happy.

“My brother, learning his lesson the hard way and feeling very remorseful and contrite, had the job of cleaning up the unfortunate dog.

“I don’t remember if other punishment was meted out, but it was a shame that this lesson came at the expense of Bing and my mother.”

Our birds, ourselves

KQ (“now the Muskegonite”): “I live in a basement apartment, so the windows are close to the ground. I have an evergreen shrub outside — a nicely shaped one with a rounded top. When it snows, it is capped prettily with white. It is the perfect place to scatter toast crumbs for the birds.

“I have a pretty large group of sparrows — at least 20 who land on it as soon as I open the blinds in the morning and wait for me to feed them. I don’t use seed but rather toast crumbs, so there won’t be leftover seed on the ground. You see, in my complex we are not allowed to feed the birds because the leftover seed attracts rodents — squirrels and chipmunks. ( I figure toast crumbs are harmless, and the birds just scarf them down till they’re gone.) [Bulletin Board says: Any insights on that, Official Ornithologist Al B of Hartland?]

“Yesterday the sparrows suddenly fled in a panic, so fast that I heard their wing beats through the window. Having been an avid birder before I moved here, I suspected a hawk. A few of them came back, only to flee in terror again. so I went to the window … and imagine my surprise when I saw a hawk on the ground between the shrub and the wall! I didn’t move, so as not to startle it. It was beautiful, but in a position where I couldn’t tell how long it was. Went to my bird books to try to identify it, but couldn’t.

“This morning I was surprised to see that it had come back to the same place — beautiful, and much larger than I originally thought. Unfortunately, it startled and flew off before I could check out its markings, so I couldn’t identify it again. I wonder if it was a juvenile, because I don’t think a full-grown hawk would land itself in such a confining space.

“I felt privileged to see such a beautiful bird up close, and I’ll treasure the memory forever.

“By the way, the sparrows haven’t been back all day!”

Built to last (responsorial)

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In reply to Little Sister‘s note and picture (above) about her mother’s Club Aluminum, from Wednesday’s Bulletin Board, here is The Home Economist: “We have the same set, from our parents’ wedding in 1948.

“The set moved ‘to the lake’ in the 1970s, when new cookware was purchased. At that time, Mom learned that she could write the manufacturer and receive new handles because of a lifetime guarantee.

“In 2015, we emptied our parents’ home and discussed moving the ‘new’ cookware to the lake. Nope — we are keeping the Club Aluminum for more generations to use for rice, popcorn, and eggs.”

Joy of Juxtaposition

Cee Cee of Mahtomedi: “I don’t know if I would want to call this a ‘joy’ of juxtaposition, but here goes.

“This morning I just completed John Grisham’s ‘The Chamber.’ The final scene placed Adam and Lee in the cemetery: ‘Herman was operating the backhoe, blue smoke boiling from the exhaust…. The backhoe lunged in low gear, then started along the drive, very slowly past the rows of graves. It stopped and turned. It was coming their way.’

“This afternoon, Tee Cee and I visited the cemetery in Pennsylvania where his mom was recently interred. As we were driving along by the rows of graves, what did we see? A backhoe, of course. We hope it wasn’t coming to get us!”

Then & Now

Tim Torkildson: “A book never goes offline.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Yes, but it does fall apart. And it goes out of print, 99.44 percent of the time.

CAUTION! Words at Play!

Christy of Menomonie, Wisconsin: “This is a conversation between hubby and me about New Year’s Eve planning. If it sounds like we were tippling before the eve, I can assure you we were sane and sober. (Actually, I’m not so sure anymore about our sanity.)

“For many years now, hubby and I have always agreed that a night on the town on New Year’s Eve is more penance than pleasure. But we always have a celebratory dinner at home with champagne.

“I mentioned that this year I would like to sip my champagne while wearing a white feathered boa, if I had one. ‘What do you think?’ I asked.

“He said: ‘I would never say no. That would make me a boa-restrictor.’

“Then he asked: ‘Wouldn’t you need a tiara to go with that outfit?’

“I said I don’t know how you keep one of those things on your head, so I could skip the tiara and I wouldn’t miss it.

“‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but would the tiara-miss-you?’

“With snakes and ladyfinger desserts aside, Happy New Year!”

Just a coincidence? (responsorial)

IGHGrampa: “The ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ show, cited recently as one having adult jokes, also had a lot of great puns. One I remember was a show in which they were having adventures in the ancient and mysterious city of Waddis Damada.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: We don’t doubt you, IGHGrampa … but Google cannot provide any evidence that that is how they spelled it.

Not exactly what she had in mind

Friendly Bob of Fridley: “My younger sister knows that I often enjoy Christmas music programs. For example, I try each year to listen to the St. Olaf College Choir Christmas Festival when it is simulcast on KSJN. It has been many years since I have been able to attend in person.

“This year, she wanted to alert me to broadcast performances of Christmas music from the Concordia (Moorhead) College Choir, and from the Mormon Tackle Choir.

“I promise you, she is not a football fan!”

‘Tis the season!
Commercial Division

Snackmeisterin of Altoona, Wisconsin: “Subject: Season’s Greetings.

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“Nothing says Christmas like an orange plastic outhouse wrapped with a bow!”

A North Shore original
Or: Where Ruth and Dempsey slept (or at least planned to)

Hugo Woman: “Months ago (maybe even a year, or earlier?), one of BB’s contributors wrote in about the splendid Naniboujou Lodge, on the shores of Lake Superior, in northeastern Minnesota.

“Well, for anyone who may have always ‘dreamed of owning a resort in northern Minnesota,’ Naniboujou is for sale, and the price tag is ONLY $3.295 million. Besides the lodge being an interesting architectural structure, the Lake Superior beach it is situated on is very nice: flat and easily walkable (no cliffs, or ledge-rock, here, to navigate), with a shoreline of beach gravel (smooth, round stones) and sparkling, colored charcoal (black sand).

“The original lodge builders had plans to build cabanas on the lake shore, for those hardy enough to swim in the lake’s waters.

“And no, I am not the real estate agent representing the lodge, but I know a few things about the lodge’s history/workers.

“2016 appears to be a ‘banner year’ for the sale of northeastern Minnesota lodges; I believe three or four (but don’t quote me on that!) were sold in the Cook County/Gunflint Trail area, some lodges having been in the same families for many years.”

Our community of strangers (mostly)
Or: Be careful what you wish for

Dragonslayer of Oakdale: “Use caution when thinking of meeting the contributors to Bulletin Board. While it is a pleasure to absorb their thoughts and expressed feelings, I submit this is the best part of the experience. To defend my theory, I offer these thoughts.

“Think of Christmas presents all wrapped and waiting to be opened — the excitement and anticipation. Then often disappointment when opened.

“When we read or listen to stories on radio or recordings, the theater of the mind creates an image of the background and scenery — the look of the subjects and their deportment. Then watch a video of the same story — often a letdown, because our mind is not creating; it is being led.

“Travel  with friends, and I guarantee you will learn something about your companions you wish you didn’t know.

“This sounds negative and dismissive and is not always true. Hope keeps us trying to experience wonderful connections.

“Merry Christmas.

“Keep the dream alive.”

Hmmmmmmmm

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Got wood? Or ‘It takes energy to make energy.’

“I just came across an ad for kiln-dried firewood. I know that some lumber is kiln-dried, but firewood? I Googled it up, and sure enough. High-moisture-content wood is put in a 1-million-BTU gas-fired oven for 24 hours. It kills the bugs and mold, too, so there’s that added benefit.

“Now I’m thinking that running each piece through a shaper would square the pieces up for more efficient storage and improved esthetic value. Once refined to that point, it could be easily be packaged, sold and shipped by internet suppliers.

“Imagine: no more messing up your vehicle with that crudely bundled, mismatched, air-dried, moldering buggy stuff from the gas station.

“I guess it does make some sort of sense. Non?”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Oui!

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? (responsorial)
Or: Blinded by the lyrics? (Figgy Pudding Division)

Farmer Jeff, again: “So says Snackmeisterin of Altoona, Wisconsin: ‘Just wondering what Farmer Jeff and thetravlor thought the words are in the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”: “Oh, bring us some (fill in the blank), / Oh, bring us some (fill in the blank), / Oh, bring us some (fill in the blank), / And bring it right here!”’

“Well, to be completely honest, I have NEVER in all my years (age withheld deliberately) even heard the quoted verse of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ that evidently references figgy pudding. Although grateful for the aforesaid enlightenment and in spite of all due respect to those who apparently know or feel otherwise, figgy pudding sounds absolutely horrible. Not meaning to sound ‘Bah Humbuggy’ about all of this, but it sounds like a further contorted version of fruitcake, which I always saw as a Christmas curse even worse than bad Christmas sweaters. Next thing, they’ll be finding a way to make Christmas Zucchini Pudding (say it isn’t so!). And I always saw Christmas fruitcake as something you regifted or took in to the office as quickly as possible before it molded. So I guess that pretty much damns figgy pudding in our house. Or … perhaps I don’t know what I’ve been missing. But then some unknowns are best unexplored. I think I’ll add figgy pudding to the long list of mysteries in my life that I will happily leave untouched (along with zucchini).”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Just before Christmas, because we had some zucchini in the house and no other plans for it, we made Grandma’s Zucchini Cake.

Outstanding! No kidding.

We did include the optional raisins (albeit not golden ones) — which makes this, of course, Grandma’s Figgy Zucchini Cake! Could become a Christmas tradition at our house.

‘Tis the season!

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Prayer Mom of Woodbury reports: “This is our little grandson, Finley, on his first Christmas, having been born on New Year’s Eve, 2015. This stocking proved more than he could handle . . . and down he went! Too cute not to share.

“Merry Christmas to everyone, and to all a good night!”

Out of the mouths of babes
‘Tis the Season Division

Rusty of St. Paul: “I attended the 97th annual Christmas Pageant at my church on Christmas Eve. The church schoolchildren dress in costume and pantomime the story of Jesus’s birth while the ministers read out of Luke and the choir sings. I think it was the 55th that I’ve either attended or been in.

“The couple in the pew behind me were chuckling over the story of their then-4-year-old, now-30-year-daughter at her first pageant. When the minister reads about Mary bringing fourth her newborn son and wrapping him in swaddling clothes, Mary opens the lid of the manger and bright light from within illumines Mary and Joseph.

“The little girl asked her parents, in a stage whisper heard by many: ‘Is there a real baby in there?’

“Her parents told her: ‘No.’

“‘Is there a doll in there?’

“The parents told her not.

“Then a little louder: ‘Well then, what IS in there?!’

“Pause.

“‘A light bulb.’

“Then, in a loud voice heard by the entire congregation: ‘A LIGHT BULB?!'”

Band Name of the Day: The Mormon Tackle Choir

Law Firm of the Day: Muck & Mire

Website of the Day: The Naniboujou Lodge