In my mind I am often on Napatree. You're welcome to come along.

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September 30, 2014

My mother was a good cook, she took cooking seriously. She often made caramel rolls on the weekends, usually in the winter. She made vegetable soup from vegetables she purchased at Kepler’s Garden, homemade French fries, cakes, including angel food cake which took like a ton of egg whites, from scratch. Her Sloppy Joe recipe was legend. She made Swedish meatballs and prepared venison which my father alone enjoyed. On Sunday nights our regular fare was tomato soup and creamed tuna on toast points. I loved the tuna on toast.

My friend said when she returned home from her honeymoon years ago she made an elaborate dinner for her new husband, a dinner which included fresh peas. Peas he ate without relish. The peas he was used to, the peas his mother had served her family, had always come from a can.

Once I asked my grown kids which foods they remembered from my years at the stove. What did they think of, I asked, when they recalled food from their childhoods. Honestly, I wasn’t too fond of their answers. But my memories of mother’s cooking are fine ones. In fact tonight, I’m thinking creamed tuna, a little white wine in the cream sauce, on toast.

7:44 am cdt | link 

September 29, 2014

Wet Paint, the art supply store on Grand Ave in St. Paul, is a regular destination for me. I was there this past weekend. I am a frequenter of stores that sell papers and paints, etc., I have been to many in many different places. Sometimes I stop into such a store just because I like the atmosphere. I was at Wet Paint though with intention, there to buy five colorful sheets of paper: two from Nepal, one from Turkey, one from the US and one from Egypt.

While I was waiting to have my paper selections picked out from the stock room, I noticed a young child, no older than five, and her mother checking out the display of origami papers. The little girl, a handsome child of Indian heritage, wore a lacy, homemade black cape that touched her ankles. Her white mom wore jeans and a t-shirt. Waiting, I could overhear their conversation. The mother spoke to her daughter like she was a contemporary as they discussed the merits of the various papers. “Mother,” the child said after much discussion and deliberation, “I think the shiny papers would be best."

An art supply store is a purveyor not only of fixatives, oil paints and mat board, it also deals in desires and determination. It is foremost, a supplier of dreams.

5:43 am cdt | link 

September 28, 2014

Martha just sent me, via email, ideas for the perfect fall brunch. I hear from her often. Soon I will be receiving pumpkin carving ideas and recipes for hearty soups. I am unsure why I receive these regular updates but I do. And I sometimes read them.

Living in Connecticut where Martha got her start, I feel that I have known her for years. Because I do and have done flowers for many weddings, I still own her old but helpful and comprehensive book on wedding flowers. Her ideas, particularly for bouquets, made big changes in the floral industry. She was a trend setter. Years ago when she too lived in Connecticut, at her estate called Turkey Hill, she set aside a day where you could visit with her at her home. She would give you and a small group a tour of the property, a cooking lesson, a gardening lesson, craft demonstrations, etc. As I recall you went only for a single, but entire, day. I remember reading the fee for this opportunity was huge, something like a thousand dollars.

I plan on opening the email on the perfect fall brunch.

7:35 am cdt | link 

September 27, 2014

The large photo on the front of the "Outdoors" section of the Star Tribune features a white-tailed deer standing in shoulder high grass. The deer faces the camera seemingly oblivious to the red winged blackbird perched on her ear eating ticks, according to the caption beneath the photo, off her head. It is a remarkable picture, a beautiful picture.

Deer. Ticks. Lyme disease. We lived in Connecticut near Old Lyme when Lyme disease was more or less discovered and brought to public attention. Lyme is a hard to diagnose malady and the daughter of my college friend has been sick with it for years. The disease spread west from Lyme, Connecticut, and has, for some time, been found in Minnesota. One must be watchful here when in the woods or garden.

Looking at the photo one does not think about the scourge of deer, way too many deer because of a lack of predators. One doesn’t think about ticks either, though ticks can be both a nuisance and a hazard. It is the serenity in the large eyes of the long-necked creature one is taken with, the red chevron on the shoulder of the industrious bird. The symbiotic relationship between two wild and wildly beautiful creatures.

8:48 am cdt | link 

September 26, 2014

Yesterday my friend, who recently returned from Colorado, mentioned the high school history protest taking place outside of Denver. Students raising their voices about the American history curriculum some on the Board of Education want taught, and the differing curriculum they, the students, want to be exposed to. Three new members have recently joined the school board there, members who want history presented with respect for authority, patriotism and free enterprise. The students, in protest, have been carrying signs saying no to white history, yes to world history.

Everyone has an American history. Mine includes Swedish immigrants, French Canadians and American Indians. I learned history the way it was taught to me in my high school history classes. American is great, America is good. We are the land of the free and home of the brave. America right or wrong but mainly, right.

May we support those students who are speaking out to learn the American history that exposes our country’s historical mistakes in hopes that they might not happen again. An American history that broadens viewpoints, increases understanding and most of all, promotes equality.

9:00 am cdt | link 

September 25, 2014

There seems no name for the color of the maple leaves catching morning sunlight. Not orange not peach not apricot. The color is a color of light and full of life. It is a warm fall day. The maple leaves are spreading their no-name color through my living room window.

Today is the wedding anniversary of my late parents. They were married in front of the fireplace in the home they had built before the wedding. The home they lived in until my mother died. I do not know who the guests were at the ceremony though I suppose my mother’s parents and her sisters were there. Maybe my paternal Aunt Hazel. I think there were no maple leaves showing September color that day, there were never, to my knowledge, maple trees in our yard. But my mother was married in a navy blue dress. I remember her telling me this when I was child.

7:33 am cdt | link 

September 24, 2014

Cosmos are blooming in the center garden, the dog is scratching at the occasional  leftover summer fleas, and noon temperatures hover around 70 degrees. We are having a spell of late September warm weather. Weather some would call Indian summer.

Indian summer, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, is a spell of warm weather after a hard frost. In the field we did have frost but not a hard frost. More specifically, Indian summer is sometimes referred to as the period of warmth between November 11th and November 20th. 

As for why it is called Indian summer, the Farmer's Almanac has this to say. As winter approached the settlers let down their guard around their forts and settlements. When warm days appeared the Indians would take advantage of the weather and attack. Other explanations are that the prairie fires of the Native Americans caused the skies to turn hazy, much like summer skies. That period of warm weather before winter was called Indian summer, a time when Native people did their hunting. The origin of the phrase might not matter. Indian summer is perfect weather.

9:09 am cdt | link 

September 23, 2014

Friends in California write of the drought and the local rules in place to help deal with the water shortage. Thinking about this I turned to some thoughts others have to say about water:

We should no longer think of water as a gift of nature but as an industry that needs investment.  Thawat Vichaidiji

California’s water system might have been invented by a Soviet bureaucrat on an LSD trip. Peter Pascal 

Think of the tremendous amounts of water needed to keep a golf course green in a region where there is no rain during the hottest months. Isn’t there something immoral about maintaining such luxuries? Garrett Hardin

9:49 am cdt | link 

September 22, 2014

Yesterday Minnesota students, including those from Carleton College and St. Olaf College, joined the New York City Climate March. My friend’s children, one from Haverford College in Pennsylvania and one from Bowdoin College in Maine, were also among the 300,000 plus marchers. College students have the highest of stakes in our changing climate.

Friday night I attended the opening of an exhibit, “A Century of Warming and Change in the Arctic” at Carleton’s Weitz Center for Creativity. In the Kaemmer Family Gallery, decades-old photos are paired with contemporary views from the same vantage points. In the Braucher Gallery the works of Christina Seely show how climate change is altering seemingly fixed natural cycles. Climate change has its proof in science. It also has its proof in art. 

6:29 am cdt | link 

September 21, 2014

The students are back. Or they are arriving for the first time. In the local bank a slight young man wearing plaid shorts and a black Carleton t-shirt, a so obvious freshman, opens an account. Seeing him I am reminded of other times, of other college campuses.

I am walking behind a father, a mother and two teenagers who look to be college freshman. One of the boys wears khaki pants, a rugby shirt and docksiders.  His hair is short and well cut. The other boy wears black bike shorts and an orange tank top. I don’t remember what this boy wore on his feet. I recall that one side of his head was shaved and on the unshaved side, his hair was dyed bright green. He wore a leather bracelet on his wrist.

The mother and father, easily identified as the parents of the boy in khakis by their proper drop-a-son-off-at-college dress, bracketed the two boys. At one point I heard the mother say this to the boys in an overly cheerful voice: “I know you two are going to be great roommates.”  I was certain that at that moment in time, neither one of those boys believed her. I also had the feeling that driving back to her home in suburban Boston or Westchester County, she shed a few tears.

7:57 am cdt | link 

September 20, 2014

Northfield, like many cities and towns, has enhanced areas of sidewalk with poetry. I like to walk so I have read and am familiar with many beneath-the-feet snippets of verse. In front of my neighbor’s house are these words pressed into the concrete. “Why are your eyes cast down? Look up and listen: the world offers its own poetry."

Wise words I would say. But looking down can provide poetry, too. This morning maple leaves were spread like coins on the sidewalk and seeing an epidemic of beautiful acorns, which had fallen during the windy night, I imagined them a fantasy come true for the squirrels. I also saw the feather of a crow and the silvery trail left by a garden snail. With your eyes cast down you can see your feet and their constant connection to the earth. Looking down is steadying. It can ground you.

7:17 am cdt | link 

September 19, 2014

Sometimes I get the Sunday New York Times and when I do, I spend a fair amount of time perusing the style magazine. Last Sunday’s magazine was devoted to men’s fashion. Lots of white shirts and dark suits on the models, the shirts worn with ties. Pretty ties. Neither wide nor thin, the ties shown were bright and attractive and made from beautiful fabric. Many of the photographed wrist watches featured mesh bands. Scarves pictured in this issue were worn the way women wear their scarves: folded in half, circled around the neck with the ends pushed through the loop. But shoes seemed to claim the most attention. Chunky shoes with extra thick soles. One pair with shiny blue laces. It was the new look for men’s socks, though, that gave me pause. Short black socks, ankle length socks, worn with a dark suit, bare leg showing. One pair of these skimpy socks retailed for $92.00.

7:57 am cdt | link 

September 18, 2014

Yesterday I had a hankering for jello. I haven’t had jello for years. My friend in Connecticut, who harkened from Toronto, often made her mother’s recipe for tomato aspic. This spicy vinegary aspic, which I happened to love, had the refreshing feeling of jello.

I remember eating jello in college, cherry or strawberry jello topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream.  I often partook of this treat served in a sundae glass, thinking it had fewer calories than cake.

Jello, in any form I think, has fallen out of favor. Too much sugar, too may chemicals, too many dyes. Way too unnatural and way to easy to make. When I told a friend I was moving to Minnesota, a friend who had listened to several Prairie Home Companion programs, she made reference to my possibly succumbing to frostbite or jello poisoning. Or both.

Recently I was at an event where talk turned to growing lettuce. And then to salads. One of the women said that when a salad was requested for an event at her church, it had to be specified that jello did not qualify.

5:09 am cdt | link 

September 17, 2014

That soap box, that wooden box from Argentina that once contained pears, that box that I found in the garage, I’m still on it.

I have no wise, or wiser, words to add about football and its bad raps, its violence, its exaggerated sense of importance. The sportswriters and news pundits have said, and are saying, what pretty much needs to be said. But I have these words, my words.

Someone I love has a permanent limp, college football. The salary of a professional football player compared, say, to an oncology nurse or a fifth grade teacher, ridiculous. The art and beauty and grace of the game of football compared to the game of futbol, no comparison. I know well a boy, a good athlete, who has suffered two serious concussions and a broken arm playing football. He is in the tenth grade.

All sports have their injuries, life is a dangerous game. But as fans of whatever sports we are interested in, we have obligations. Obligations to remember that what we are watching is only a game. That women and children are more important than a winning season or a championship trophy. That violence on a field can be carried off the field. Yesterday I saw an elementary school boy wearing a Viking’s jersey with Adrian Peterson’s number on the back. What were his parents thinking? 

6:37 am cdt | link 

September 16, 2014

Years ago The Travelers Insurance Company in Connecticut decided to expand their downtown Hartford corporate offices. The city of Hartford also wanted to widen a street, Grove Street, in the same area. Nearby neighborhoods had been gentrified and new developments were taking place. It was a time when the face of Hartford was changing.

On the corner of a block that The Travelers Insurance Company wanted to purchase for their expansion, and where the city had plans to widen the street, was the market of a man who sold live chickens. He was the son of an Italian immigrant and his name was Dominic LaTorre. Mr. LatTorre, even though he had been offered an amount of money that would insure him comfort for his lifetime, did not want to sell his market. He was stubborn, he held out. He became known in Hartford, and elsewhere when the press picked up the story, as ‘The Chicken Man.' 

The Chicken Man became famous, a cult hero, the little guy taking on the big guy. David vs. Goliath. The street was not widened and The Travelers Insurance Company had to change their plans. The Chicken Man had won his case.  The demand for live chickens in the heart of the city, however, was never that big. When The Chicken Man died,  his relatives made the market into a delicatessen which I read has been closed. Is Goliath always the bad guy? Do we think anything can be had for the right price? I do not know the moral of The Chicken Man story or even, if this story has one.

I have recently seen the architect’s plans for the Northfield Public Library. 

8:09 am cdt | link 

September 15, 2014

Friday night we had frost. Fall is here. Yesterday I spent three hours pulling weeds in our small orchard, harvesting gomphrena, moving shasta daisies to a different location. It was necessary work, hard work. But there is truth in the words on a card recently given me by a friend: You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.

5:41 am cdt | link 

September 14, 2014

Cleaning out the garage I came upon a beautiful wooden box. A box from Argentina that at one time, according to the artful lettering on it, contained pears. It is not a soap box but I am going to stand on it anyway.

It is election season and even though it is only mid-September, political signs adorn many lawns in our community. I drove by a home this morning that contained six signs supporting six different candidates. Supporting candidates, being politically involved, is important to sustaining our democracy. In the United States ours is the freedom to proclaim in whatever fashion, including lawn signs, those we support for President, County Commissioner, Sheriff. But fifty states with who knows how many counties, how many candidates, how many offices, how many signs? Money. Environmental impact. And where do those signs go after an election? Are they all recycled? Do they find their way into the trash? Are they relegated to years in the back of a garage?  Will I vote for a candidate because someone down the street has a sign in their lawn telling me they are supporting that candidate? Do I really think that someone will be influenced by a political sign that I might post in my yard?

The Connecticut community I lived in before I moved to Minnesota had an ordinance prohibiting political yard signs. No less political fervor and political enthusiasm existed there. Most importantly, there were no fewer people finding their way to the polls. So at the moment I am standing on this almost soap box. I am feeling slightly comfortable up here. 

8:28 am cdt | link 

September 13, 2014

Yesterday, I received calls from a mortgage company, an aluminum siding company and a charity pick-up even though I am on a list of people who do not want to receive unsolicited calls. Though no one likes to be bothered at dinner with a sales pitch, I always try and be polite.

The summer I was sixteen two of my friends and I took a job calling people in hopes of getting them to sign up with a dry cleaning service. It was, we felt, the perfect job because the hours were between 5:00 and 7:00 in the evening enabling us to go to the beach in the afternoon, work the two hours and then spend the rest of the evening with our friends. We sat in an office, along with several other women, at individual card tables with a phone, a phonebook and order sheets. A supervisor hovered behind us ready to pick up the orders we made and also to make sure we weren’t calling each other. I found it difficult to make cold calls. I found people to be rude. Sometimes very rude. I was shocked. One afternoon, after we had worked for two or three weeks, we went to the office and the door was locked. Through the window we could see that our card tables and phones were gone. I can’t remember if we had been paid for our hours of calling, I think we had not.

Solicitors annoyingly slide through ’do no call lists’ and caller ID. I am, though, always a little sympathetic.

8:57 am cdt | link 

September 12, 2014

Today’s assignment for my weekly writing group is to write about rules. I am not sure what I will write. Maybe I will write about Robert’s Rules of Order, a rule of thumb, as a rule, the Golden Rule, ruling class, a ruler as in the measuring kind, a ruler as in the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul, Rule, Britannia, rule book, rule of law, rule the world or, rules of the game. The possibilities seem so many.

In a college class, I think it was an art class, maybe a typography class, the instructor told the students they must learn the rules of their area of work, and master them, if they plan on breaking them with success. Experience has taught me he was right.

5:58 am cdt | link 

September 11, 2014

On an achingly beautiful September morning of clear skies and cosmos moving in the breeze, I stood in Brooks Pharmacy in Portland, Connecticut, dropping off film, taken at a wedding, when I overheard the woman standing in front of me tell the clerk that a plane had crashed into a tower of the World Trade Center. About that day I remember shock, panic, horror, fear. About that day I also remember incredible kindness, bravery, generosity and the empathy of an entire nation for a daughter who had gone missing and a fireman father who did not make it home.

7:59 am cdt | link 

September 10, 2014

In yesterday's mail a package of post-it notes, in the shape of high heeled shoes, arrived from a Connecticut friend. Ours is the habit of sending each other things having to do with clothes. We see something the other might like and send it along. Over the years earrings and gloves and pins and paper dolls and magnets and scarves and socks and books and representations of clothes in whatever form. There is no keeping track, no reciprocation, we just send some little clothing ‘thing’ along when we feel like it, when we see something we think the other might enjoy. It is our way of communicating.

The note accompanying the lavender shoe post-its mentions a problem my friend is dealing with, going through. Reading it I wish myself in her kitchen having coffee. I wish myself on Napatree.

7:07 am cdt | link 

September 9, 2014

The recent Defeat of Jesse James Day Parade was a reminder to me that in Minnesota, it is possible to become Queen, or failing queen, a princess, of just about anything. You can be crowned Queen of the Lakes, the Milky Way, the Aquatennial, the Oktoberfest. Yours the opportunity to be a Honey Queen, an Apple Harvest Queen, a Raspberry Queen or a Butter Queen. The Queen of Seasons, the Queen of Snows. And because Minnesota has farming roots, there is always the honor of being chosen Bacon Queen, Corn Queen or Soybean Queen.

My very pretty college roommate was a past queen of I don’t remember what, who taught me things. She taught me how to walk well in the highest of heels, how to apply lipstick with a brush, how to wave from an open convertible at the same time I was learning to parse a sentence, decline Spanish verbs and dissect a fetal pig. Years have passed. The most important things I learned in college I’m unable to remember.

8:46 am cdt | link 

September 8, 2014

"Simple Gifts," the Shaker song made popular by Aaron Copland in his work "Appalachian Spring," includes the lyric, "being in the place just right."

Yesterday I sat on a bench overlooking the Mississippi, boats moving along the river in front of me. The September sun scattered leafy shadows everywhere and Scarlet sat contentedly at my feet. A small voice of about ten years startled my reverie by asking if he could pet my dog. I said yes. I asked the boy if he was a Red Sox fan because his cap sported a Red Sox looking "B.” He said the cap was from his school in Bloomington. He also said he was watching birds and that he would be fishing later on. He said his father bought food for their lunch from a store because restaurants can get expensive.

Continually petting Scarlet, sometimes burying his face in her fur, he told me, without my asking, that his Aunt Suzi had a dog, that his baseball position was catcher, that he had once seen a rare Golden Eagle, that he had visited The Raptor Center. He talked about his teacher, about school. He talked and I listened because he needed to talk and I needed to hear his child voice. And Scarlet took pleasure in being stroked and patted by small hands. All of us finding ourselves for those moments in that place just right.

6:31 am cdt | link 

September 7, 2014

Yesterday’s paper reported that over 200 people attended a recent Health Department meeting about marijuana manufacturing in Minnesota. There is growing interest in our state, according to the paper, in obtaining licenses to grow marijuana on a large scale basis for medical purposes. Seeing this article I was reminded of a story.

Years ago I was a new, and young, member of a garden club I’d been invited to join by the wife of my husband’s boss. It was a group of older women I would describe then, and now, as elitist. There were rules associated with the club one of which was that you were never to wear high heels to a member’s home in deference to their hardwood floors. Anyway, I remember a meeting early in my garden club days when the guest speaker was a county agent from the University of Connecticut. It was a memorable meeting held in the beautiful home of a charter member of the garden club, memorable because the horticulturist pointed out to the hostess the cannabis leaves in the flower arrangement she had made. The flower arrangement sitting between the silver services on her dining room table.

The grandson of the hostess, who had taken a sabbatical from college, had been staying with his grandparents and had taken up, like his grandmother, ‘gardening.’ I don’t remember anything else about the incident except the embarrassment of the hostess and my, and I’m sure that of others, delight.

6:59 am cdt | link 

September 6, 2014

Laughter is good for us. Readers Digest Magazine has been saying for years that “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” Every so often another study appears informing us about more benefits of laughter. Laughter lowers blood pressure, it reduces stress hormones. It is an ab workout and it improves our cardiac health. Laughter boosts the production of T cells, it releases endorphins and it gives us a general sense of well-being. It is wonderful, and wonderful for us, to laugh with family and friends.

With the recent deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers we have lost people who made us laugh. In yesterday’s newspaper there was a tribute to Joan Rivers and it mentioned a funny quip she had made years ago about Nancy Reagan’s bouffant and heavily sprayed hairdo. “Bullet proof. If they combed it out they’d probably find Jimmy Hoffa.” You might have heard me laughing. 

8:45 am cdt | link 

September 5, 2014

I have friends who follow the news. Constantly. They are intelligent, informed, addicted. I think I am up on things but I’m really not. There is so much news, too much for me, about our warring, our continually acting out in strange, hurtful and foolish ways. Our greed. 

Sometimes I read the advice columns. Daily news condensed down into brothers who can’t get along, a daughter-in-law who has no time for her husband’s mother, neighbors who don’t rake their yard or put their kid’s toys away. And worse. Such columns are popular because we can, at times, see ourselves on one side of the problem or the other. They can make us feel virtuous. We are entertained in print, and in other media, by the bizarre behaviors of others. I read advice columns to find out answers from Amy, Caroline, Miss Manners and the "New York Times Ethicist," those who are wiser than me. Who can, in two paragraphs or a column, straighten out what appear to be impossible situations. 

7:04 am cdt | link 

September 4, 2014

One day this summer I saw two teenage girls riding a tandem bike. The girl in front was holding out her phone, wide-armed, to take a photo of both herself and the girl in the seat behind her.

On the first day of school a teacher gives out the class rules. Rules remain the same. Rules change. Here are the rules of today’s biology classroom:

This is a mutualistic environment. No parasites allowed. You are required to participate.

You are responsible for YOUR learning.

You must respect the rights and property of all others.

You are not allowed to make a recording (audio, video or photograph) of anyone in this classroom without their consent. If someone does give their consent to record them, it is NOT the same as consent to share on the Internet, social media or any other form of distribution.

Obey safety rules and considerations at all times.

8:45 am cdt | link 

September 3, 2014

I was pretty certain the Ottawa Indians lived further East but when we saw the sign, a green county sign, reading "Historical Ottawa Village," we followed it. Since living in Minnesota we had passed this particular sign on a few occasions. The sign indicated a road off to the left traveling parallel to the Minnesota River. We were always rushing on our way to somewhere and the road remained not traveled. Until yesterday.

We drove and drove, seeing the occasional house on a vista of wild wetland. I was picturing an unoccupied village of log cabins, stones, I was picturing Native American. When we reached the Historical Ottawa Village it appeared to be an old town hall, a smattering of houses old and new and a Civil War era church behind a chain link fence. Historic but not what I had been expecting. The ride, though, had been a lovely one and it was good to see that a parcel of wild bluff had been purchased by the Nature Conservancy. Roads always take you somewhere.

6:56 am cdt | link 

September 2, 2014

The first day of junior high found me in the old, brick turreted school across the Barstow Street Bridge. The school that almost looked like a castle. I had graduated from the comfortable neighborhood elementary school, the safe school close to the family of my cousins, the school whose principal was my dad’s friend, and was moving on. I had always walked to school and now I was required to take a city bus downtown and transfer to another bus or walk across the Barstow Street Bridge into an unfamiliar area,

The junior high school was cavernous with ‘up’ staircases and ‘down’ staircases. And for the first time I would not be walking home for lunch but instead eating hot lunch in an auditorium which doubled as a cafeteria. First days are usually difficult. But after first days come other days which in my case were filled with learning to sew in home ec, running on a raised track which circled above a gym and meeting friends from other areas of town. First days are always beginnings.

6:11 am cdt | link 

September 1, 2014

Labor Day, a recognition of the workers who made our country prosperous. It’s back to our regular labors tomorrow but no matter what we work at, we don’t have it as bad as Hercules.

Not much of a high school student I surprised myself by enjoying two years of Latin taught by Miss Irene Berg, a no nonsense woman who, it was rumored, had been in the military. Because of Miss Berg, crossword puzzles are a little easier. And I remember enough of the labors Hercules preformed to garner some points should I ever appear on "Jeopardy." The rest, I had to look up: The Nemean Lion, The Serpent with Nine Heads, The Hind of Ceryneia, The Erymanthian Boar, The Augean Stables, The Stymphalean Birds, The Cretan Bull, The Horses of Diomedes, The Belt of Hipppolyte, The Cattle of Geryon, The Apples of Hesperides and The Capture of Cerberus from Hades.

A great deal of killing, capturing and driving out. Very difficult work.

9:32 am cdt | link 

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