Friday, December 17, 2010

Neighborhood Snow Walk

I woke up to see snow-covered trees outside my window this morning. I couldn't resist going outside to take pictures of our house in the new snow. For some reason or other, I just love the way our house looks covered in snow! It reminds me of an old-timey Christmas card... you know, like something from Currier and Ives. All our house needs is a frozen pond in front with people in colorful winter clothes merrily iceskating round and round and back and forth.

Actually, according to A History of Foster County which was published in 1983, there used to be a body of water called Willow Lake right in front of where my house stands on 1st Street today. There is even a picture of the lake on page 213 of this book - a book which was compiled by Lucile Zink and a dedicated committee of local historians.

Once I took way too many pictures of our house, I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to see how our latest snow had treated the neighbors. It took me quite a while to slip and slide around the block, but I managed to get photos of most of the houses in our area. They all look so beautiful in the new snow!

Here are some of my favorite quotes and sayings about snow:

~ Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here. To watch his woods fill up with snow. ... ~ Robert Frost

~ The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~ J. B. Priestley

~ Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, Filling the sky and earth below, Over the housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet. Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along. ~ J.W.Watson

~ Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

~ A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. ~ Carl Reiner

~ A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.~ Markus Zusak

~ To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow. ~ William Faulkner

~ Then come the wild weather, come sleet or come snow, we will stand by each other, however it blow. ~ Simon Dach

~Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~ Phillis Diller

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lights Out in Carrington!

Thanks to the man at the top of this pole, we finally got our lights back on Monday night! You have to admire someone who has the skill and fortitude to do something like this - especially in sub-zero weather conditions!

Since we moved to Carrington five years ago, I've been bragging to friends around the country about the fact that we've never lost our power for more than a blink or two. Friends and family in California, Missouri and Tennessee have lost power for days at a time. Otter Tail Power Company has done a great job of keeping us warm in winter.

I called Otter Tail to find out the cause of the power outage, but no one was available to give any details. Friends who were watching the Vikings game with us at the time said that it looked like a transformer blew out. Whatever the cause, it made me realize just how important it is to have reliable power in a climate such as ours.

Lucky for us, we just had our gas fireplace overhauled by Rusty Sherman (Sherman Plumbing, Heating and Air), another guy who is great about fixing things in emergency situations like this. So, we still had heat while the power outage was being taken care of.

Thanks again to the hardy souls who took care of us on Monday night!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Around the Town

It was fun walking around town today, visiting shops and talking to people. Most of the downtown shops were prepared for this special "Christmas Around the Town" event. There was plenty of hot coffee, cider and treats for shoppers and visitors. Although the weather was rather brisk, lots of hardy North Dakotans were decked out in warm clothes and wandering in and out of the shops that were open. Everyone paused at 6:00 p.m. to watch the Light Parade go down Main Street. Although the parade was short, each float was dazzling! It was well worth the effort to attend this event and support the participants.

As I wandered through the shops, I met lots of people and took lots of pictures. Everyone was exceptionally friendly, and I sincerely want to thank them for letting me take their pictures for CarringtonNews.Com. I especially want to thank the ladies at Lovingly Used who let me borrow a pair of gloves while I filmed the parade. ( I had left my gloves at home and my fingers were too frozen to push the tiny camera buttons!)

I hope you enjoy the following slideshow. As soon as I figure out how to put my film of the parade on this blog, I'll include it, too!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Carrington, North Dakota Blog

If you haven't done so already, I would like to invite you to take a look throughout my website, CarringtonNews.Com. It's basically a guide to Carrington, North Dakota, and the surrounding areas - obviously not a real newspaper, like the Foster County Independent. It's a site that I do just for fun – not money. People are able to place free ads in the classified and real estate sections, and I don’t charge for links to business websites. Since blogs are so "in" nowadays, I guess you could call CarringtonNews.Com Judy Keller's Carrington, North Dakota Blog.

I love to take pictures of the area, and CarringtonNews.Com gives me a place to display my photos and make them available to the community. Just recently I took lots of pictures of the 100th Anniversary of the Foster County Courthouse, so whoever took part in that will most likely find a picture of him/herself online at my website. (Just click on the photo that you like, and it will take you to a larger image which you can download and save or print.)

There are also 2010 pictures of the 4th of July parade, the Foster County Fair, the Youth Rodeo, the Carrington Library opening, the Cabin Fever Quilt Show, as well as LOADS of community photos from the past three years.

CarringtonNews.Com also gives people from across the United States and the world a chance to see what Carrington looks like and to see some of the fun activities that go on in our community. You might be surprised at how many people drop in to my website every day from all over the world. Although a website tracker doesn't tell me who is visiting my site, it does tell me their location in the world, and it's rather exciting to see visitors from faraway places, such as Switzerland, India, the Russian Federation, New Zealand, Japan, Romania, China, Israel, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Singapore, Morocco, Ukraine, Bahamas, Chile, and a multitude of other countries. In fact, I have frequent visitors from the Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Norway, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and the Philippines. I sometimes wonder if someone in our community has relatives/friends from those areas in particular - since many of them come back again and again to check out what's happening here.

Many visitors find CarringtonNews.Com by using a search engine, such as Google. They type in words, such as "carrington, nd" - "carrington news" - "carrington events" - "carrington nd obituaries" - "carrington nd class reunion" – “carrington nd movies” ... or, they specifically type in the names of people and/or businesses that are located in Carrington. Since my website links to other informative sites, such as the Carrington Chamber of Commerce, the City of Carrington, the official site for Foster County, the Carrington Health Center, Carrington High School and Elementary School, and many other sites, visitors have a good chance of finding the information they need.

More and more, I receive messages from people (many of them who used to live in this area) who say they really appreciate CarringtonNews.Com. I would like to thank them for their phonecalls and e-mails because it encourages me to continue with something that I love to do.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Day - Carrington, ND

Carrington's Memorial Day Program starts this year at 11:00 a.m. at the cemetery with Todd Ingegretson (VFW Post #3524) presiding. In the event of rain, the program will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church. The Memorial Day address will be given by Chet Pollert, our State representative. KDAK will broadcast the ceremonies live. This is a program well worth attending in honor of our loved ones. After the ceremony, all participants are invited to a noon luncheon at the CrossRoads Golf Course (courtesy of the VFW Auxiliary).

Note: Did you know that the "National Moment of Remembrance" was created in 1997? 'Taps' is at 3 p.m. throughout America to honor the contributions of our dead soldiers. All Americans are encouraged to pay respect to them by keeping silent for one minute in their memory at 3:00 p.m.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me and I'll proudly stand next to him to defend her still today, 'cuz there ain't no doubt I love this land, god bless the USA." -Lee Greenwood
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -Albert Einstein
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. -John F. Kennedy

“Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave” - Muhammad

“That's what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end” - Lise Hand

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today." - The Kohima Epitaph

The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.
- Robert Lynd

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Carrington Calendar Contest

Here's your chance to have one of your Carrington photos in a 2011 Carrington Calendar. Sounds like a great idea from the Chamber of Commerce! Just adhere to the following rules:
1. The photo must be taken in the Carrington (Foster County) area.
2. It must depict something related to Carrington.
3. It must be at least 300 dpi quality and can be submitted electronically.
If you have questions, please contact Laurie Dietz at the Chamber office by phone (652-2524) or e-mail.
Here's an example of a photo that might go on a Carrington calendar: one of my own favorite Carrington pictures. Although, I think a more likely picture to be chosen would be one where you show children with Santa on a hayride at the Putnam House. YOU just might have that perfect December picture in your own collection!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flooding Nashville (My Hometown)

Unlike the Fargo, Valley City and Jamestown floods last year, there was no chance for the people around Nashville to prepare for the torrents of rain that came down in just two days. Imagine being caught sitting in heavy work traffic while flood waters are rushing by and covering your car! We in Carrington may have problems with snow and freezing weather at times, but we are lucky not to be living in a flood zone or in the midst of tornado country or on a shaky earthquake fault.

If you have time, take a look at the pictures of my hometown in the video below... It's hard to look at these pictures because I've been to all these places and can't imagine the extent of the damage, even though I'm looking at it with my own eyes! For some reason, the news on TV didn't hit me as hard as this little video did. My brother Bill who still lives in the country outside Nashville said they had over 17 inches of rain in 48 hours. The bank behind his house turned into mud and slid down into his back yard. His wife was afraid that their house was going to slide off the hill where my father built it over 50 years ago. Thank goodness the house itself was built on solid ground! Even so, many of their newly planted flowers and young trees were washed away, and for the last week they have been working to clean up the damage.

While I'm feeling disgruntled with the hills of snow outside my door next winter, I want to pause for a moment, count my blessings, and thank God for allowing me to shovel snow off my sidewalk instead of having to shovel mud out of my house!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Arizona's Saguaro Cacti (Phoenix Trip - March/2010)

No matter how many times my husband and I drive back from Phoenix, I never tire of the scenic beauty. Nature is ever-changing, and there are always new and beautiful images along the way. During our last trip (March, 2010), I was fascinated with Arizona's cactus plants. So... I took out my handy camera and while Ted was driving 70-80 miles per hour, I snapped shots all along the way until they disappeared.

When I got home, I decided to find out more about the Saguaro cactus, so I went to one of my favorite sites (Wikipedia) where I found lots of informative details - along with great photos. Did you know that the Saguaro cactus blossom is the state flower of Arizona? The title of this article links to their website. Just click on the title to enjoy the photos and information.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Carrington, ND Home For Sale By Owner - Real Estate

This house has quite a history. It was built in the early 1900's and was built to last! The foundation, wood and overall structure are amazing. To begin with, it was used as a carriage house and servants' quarters for the mansion that was removed (due to a fire and lack of care). The owner (before us) was Aldo Lee, who completely remodeled the main floor and turned it into two complete, very nice 3bedroom/2bath units with over 1200 square feet each. Yes, the house is BIG!!

Interestingly enough, the second story used to have four fully functioning apartments. Somewhere along the line, perhaps when Aldo Lee remodeled the main floor, the plumbing was dismantled, and they became used as storage. The apartment structure is still totally there with each apartment having a bedroom, bath, kitchen and living room - all ready for some handy person to fix up and rent out!

At the moment my husband and I are in the mood to sell, but that may change, as we may sell our main house and move into one of the units ourselves, so don't be surprised if this house doesn't stay on the market much longer. We are in one of those big decision making periods of life when one makes rather big changes. You know what that's like! We are older and traveling a lot due to my husband's business, so we are consolidating our responsibilites so we don't have as much to worry about when we're away. We want to sell either this duplex or the beautiful Victorian that we now live in. Which one... the duplex... or the Victorian... Mmmm...... Have you ever been in a situation like this when it's hard to make up your mind? I'm sure you have! At the moment, if someone buys the duplex, we will stay in the Victorian. Otherwise, as I said, we will sell the Victorian and move into one of the duplex units. We've decided that we just don't need two big houses to maintain!

If we move into the duplex, that will make one less rental unit for Carrington. As you must know, it's very difficult to get a rental here nowadays. We have been able to rent our units consistently since we bought the house. In fact, we usually have a waiting list, with people calling quite often to ask about their availability. We rent the units out for $450, but we could get $500/550 if we needed to (information for someone who wants to make more money on them!).

This house has actually been a good investment for us... and could be even better if we had the time and energy to fix up the second floor of apartments. We could pull in around $2,000 a month if we wanted to work on it. But, that may be a project for some other person who has more energy/skills and wants to take it off our hands. We are in the mood to wait a little longer and see if that special person shows up.

So far, we haven't advertised our house in the newspaper or given it to a realtor. I thought I would give Foster County locals a chance to think about it first. Then later, if we still really want to sell it, we will seriously advertise it. At that point, I don't think it will last very long on the market, since it is truly a great investment for the right person.