What was that screeching sound, every Sunday morning?

The Permanent Family Record

The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “As I have mentioned before, I am a Carpenter’s Daughter — although my siblings and I all felt as though we were carpenter apprentices attending a daily lecture, because our dear Daddy shared every aspect of his trade with us every dinner hour. (Heaven help you if you interrupted him to ask someone to pass you the potatoes!)


“In spite of the 15-year age range among us, all six of us children enjoyed the same pastime of dreaming about living in the houses in Daddy’s house-plan books. I came across some of these books when my sister and I cleaned out his house. It didn’t take any detective work to figure out which sibling had chosen a favorite plan: whichever name was penciled in on the grandest bedroom.

“He built lots of houses, but he also worked on theaters, schools and defense plants — and remember, this was before the advent of power tools. It was all accomplished with human arm power. Every day he lugged his tools to the job site in his big homemade wooden tool box. He had hammers for every conceivable task: sledge hammers, framing hammers, claw hammers, finishing hammers and tack hammers. His collection of saws covered the gamut from the crosscut saw to the coping saw to the keyhole saw.

“He treasured his tools and lovingly sharpened his array of saws each Sunday morning. Did you ever wake up to the screeching sound of a saw being sharpened? If so, then I have just sent you an earworm for the rest of today.”

Fun facts to know and tell

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Well whadaya know about that!

“After watching all the animated sign-language interpreters on the hurricane warning television spots, I finally Googled it up. Very interesting< and now it makes perfect sense: http://mentalfloss.com/article/12964/why-do-sign-language-interpreters-look-so-animated.”

CAUTION! Words at Play?
No Pun Intended Division

Donald: “Subject: I couldn’t have said it . . .

“One of the TV reporters said this while giving an on-site report on Irma: ‘Nothing’s definite at this time. It’s a very fluid situation here.’”

Lost and found

Geez Louise of the West Side writes: “Subject: Shoe.


“Looks like someone lost a shoe.

“Prob’ly Sunday. Was it you?

“If its mate is still around,

“Check the Fairgrounds’ lost & found.”

Our pets, ourselves

Arwen of Inver Grove Heights: “It’s been two years since Annie-cat came into my life and turned it upside down. Since then, she has mellowed a lot. She doesn’t bite or scratch much anymore, and she has found her purr and her meow, which had been missing. (Side note of interest: I read that cats use meows to communicate with humans. They don’t meow to other cats. So, evidently, they pick up on how verbal we are, and they adapt.)

“I used to have standards. I used to forbid cats from getting on my bed, on the counter, on the kitchen table and on my bedroom bookcase in front of the window, where a decorative vase resides. But Annie-cat did not understand these boundaries, and trying to enforce them was counterproductive. Here is how this has gone with her:

“‘No cats on my bookcase! No cats on my bookcase! No cats on my bookcase! . . . OK (sigh), I will move the vase so you can sit in that spot and watch birds. Décor be damned.’

“‘No cats on my bed! Absolutely not! . . . OK, you can lie on the trunk at the foot of my bed, and I’ll put a folded up towel here for you.’ (That didn’t work.) ‘OK, I will put this soft fleece throw that you like, which had been mine and is now yours, at the foot of my bed. Please lie on it and not my bedspread.’ (That worked.)

“‘Absolutely no cats on the table! No! Get off! No! . . . (Sigh.) OK, you can get on the table while I am sitting here, and I will even scratch your back, but you have to sit to my left on this newspaper and you can’t get up here while I am eating. . . . OK (sigh), you may lie here on this newspaper to my left while I am eating, but please do not swish your tail in my food.’

“And so it goes. ;-)”

Could be verse!

Tim Torkildson writes: “Subject: Autumn.

“Fall is getting leafier the older I become.

“It seems that I must rake ’em up until my hands are numb.

“Those breezes crisp that poets like to rhapsodize about

“Blow my neighbor’s leaves into my yard until I shout.

“And I am sick of pumpkins and of mazes in the corn.

“The cliches that are trotted out to me seem too shopworn.

“Football season — phooey! Just concussions and cold bleachers.

“And I am too far gone to care about the new school teachers.

“It may be jacket weather, but to me that ain’t a plus.

“Digging out my woolen socks is bound to make me cuss.

“If I had the money, then the beach at Waikiki

“Is where I’d celebrate the seasons quite contentedly . . .”

Fellow travelers

More photographs from Mounds View Swede‘s recent visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico: “While looking at the art in Santa Fe, I was particularly attracted to the art done by Native Americans in the New Mexico area and want to share just a few.



“They seem to have strong facial features, perhaps reflecting an inner strength so necessary to cling to an older culture in these modern times.

“I loved the girl’s exuberance in this sculpture

“And I thought this was a clever sculpture of rock, paper, scissors.


“I have been gone from Santa Fe for a couple of weeks now and went to Kalamazoo, Michigan, next to visit family in-laws. I will share some garden photos from there next.”

Where’ve you gone, Mrs. Malaprop?

Writes B. Dazzled of South St. Paul: “I briefly landed on a religious station while listening to the truck radio today. The sermon focused on life’s essential unpredictability, and unfolded along these lines:

“‘You might think you’re gonna live to the age of 74, or whatever the life-expectancy might be, but that’s just a statistic.’ (Very true, I thought.)

“‘You’ve seen those mortuary tables?’ (Geez, that’s pretty graphic!)

“‘Insurance companies use them.'(Huh!? Wha…?)

“‘But they’re just averages.’ (Ahhh! I think you might be referring to ‘actuarial tables,’ which, while having several of the same letters, are, in fact, very different things!)”

Vanity, thy name is . . . 

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “The Audi in a parking lot in White Bear carried this personalized plate: ‘GOYANKS.’ It was on a Minnesota plate, no less.

“My response? ‘GOTWINS.’ On a New York plate, of course.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: If our local boys meet the evil Yanks this fall, in the wild-card playoff, we won’t need GOTWINS.

GOT WIN will be sufficient.

And unexpected.

And rare evidence that there is, after all, some justice in this world!

Dumb Fellow-Customers Jokes?
Or: Know thyself!

The Grand Duchess of Grand Avenue: “Subject: Sometimes I crack myself up

“Yesterday I was shopping at an estate sale, and the lady behind me exclaimed: ‘What was that? What did I drop?’ I turned around and saw a few pennies on the floor. She moved her purse, and more coins fell out. I hesitated, but finally told her that it probably wasn’t news I should be telling her, but my opinion was that she’s going through ‘the change’!

“Sometimes I crack myself up!

“And, yes, there were others around . . . and I was the only one laughing!”

Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday-evening email from Dolly Dimples: “Subject: She wasn’t born yesterday.

“With a thankful heart for blessings beyond measure, Dolly Dimples will have lived a century tomorrow, September 11. One hundreds years of living, loving, joys, sorrows — and still looking forward to each new day. She is surrounded by a loving, supportive family who rejoice in her continued presence in their lives. By God’s grace, she hopes to be here a year from now to cash in a gift card that Olive Garden gave her for a free meal when she turns 101.”

Everyone’s a copy editor

Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff: “There was a syndicated editorial cartoon in the Saturday, September 9 Pioneer Press showing a kid in bed asking his (or possibly her) father to read him/her a bedtime story.


“Unless I am missing something obvious, the kid should be saying ‘Dad, read me a neverending story,’ not ‘Dad, ready me a neverending story.’ I’m guessing many papers around the country ran this cartoon and no one caught the mistake. [Bulletin Board adds: Since when, too, has never-ending been “neverending”?]

“Does anyone else miss the days when Jerry Fearing drew the editorial cartoons for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch?”

And from Friendly Bob of Fridley: “From a story about the upcoming release of the iPhone 8: ‘The iPhone 8 is set to hit the streets this fall — a little more than 10 years after the iPhone’s debut in summer 2017 — and all indications are it’ll be the smash hit we’ve been expecting.’

“Well, we all know there is no need to take math in school; we’ll never need it in the real world. Or maybe it is later than I think. Guess I should enjoy myself. (Song reference for those who do not get it.) Time really does fly.”

Keeping your eyes open

Tom Leary of Mendota Heights reports: “Most of us are used to seeing a notice on the back of a dump truck that reads ‘Stay Back 50 Feet’ or something similar.

“Today I saw a dump truck with the sign reading ‘Do Not Follow Into Job Site.’ You might not get a ticket if you do, but . . .”

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Dr. Chrysanthemum reports: “The other day, our son, The Supervisory Engineer formerly known as the Prince of Como Park, mentioned that he had swarms of strange butterflies around his flowers, up in Central Minnesota. They appeared smaller than Monarchs and did not seem to be either Monarchs or Viceroys. The wing patterns were different.

“Yesterday, he sent a photo of the butterflies on his sedum:


“After a few minutes of searching, we discovered that these butterflies were Painted Ladies and that we may be experiencing a PL invasion.

“Then this morning, I saw the entries from The Mendota Heights Missus and Doris G., and I had a B-M!

“It’s possible that I have heard of PL butterflies before, but I cannot recall doing so. Of course, advancing age increases the likelihood that you may experience Baader-Meinhof Phenomena (the Painted Ladies Corollary?).

“So, my fellow Old People, don’t be alarmed if you start having more B-Ms than you used to!”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: If you start having fewer, that could be another story.

Our butterflies, ourselves (responsorial)

Little Sister writes: “It looks like it isn’t just me with an unusually large population of Painted Lady butterflies hanging around. I’ve never seen so many at one time. They seem to favor the sedum in my flower garden, and I’ll often find the blossoms nearly covered.


“I wonder why this has been a particularly good year for them. Even the Monarchs have been doing well, at least in these parts.”

The sign on the road to the cemetery said “Dead End”
Electronic Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Division

Our Official Electronic Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Monitor — Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul — reports: “Subject: Trading places.

“The most recent message on the electronic board of the church on Lexington in Shoreview:

“‘Do unto others as though

“‘You were the others!'”

Band Name of the Day: The Change

Website of the Day, recommended by Semi-Legend: “How Bullwinkle Taught Kids Sophisticated Political Satire”

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