Monday, December 5, 2011

Tree of Lights

Marie Brennan was honored by the CHC Auxiliary as the originator of the "Tree of Lights" ceremony at its 25th anniversary on Tuesday, November 29th. She is pictured in the above slide show with her granddaughter, Erin Schaffer, who will become the new chairperson in charge of this event in the future.

Each light on the "Tree of Lights" represents the memory of a loved one, placed there to honor them during the Christmas season. As you can see, the tree was absolutely filled with lights of all colors.

People looked up in appreciation as the Tree of Lights was lit, and at the same moment a "falling star" shot across the sky. As several of the onlookers exclaimed, it was "Awesome!"

A quilt hanging was presented to Marie Brennan by the CHC Auxiliary for her long years of service and dedication to this popular community event.

Peggy Smith, President of the Carrington Health Center Auxiliary, and Dorothy Fenske (the CHC Auxiliary Volunteer Coordinator) wish to thank everyone for supporting this worthy community tradition. (All contributions to the Tree of Lights go toward hospital and community serviceprojects.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Carrington Health Center's Annual Christmas Dinner

The Carrington Health Center Auxiliary recently honored its volunteers at their annual Christmas dinner on Thursday, December 1st. The Holy Family Villa Activity Room was beautifully decorated, and a delicious dinner was prepared and served by ladies from the CHC Dietary Department.

Laurie Struxness and Joyce Pepple presented special Christmas music along with the historical significance of each song.

Peggy Smith, CHC Auxiliary President, and Dorothy Fenske, Volunteer Coordinator, reported on the many service projects, donations, and additions to the hospital and community that they were responsible for in the year 2011. They also expressed thanks to the community businesses who were outstanding in their support.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the CHC Auxiliary can contact Dorothy at 652-7194.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Carrington Senior Citizens Center

Attention, Seniors (That means members of the older generation, like myself!): If you haven't been to the Senior Citizens Center lately, you're missing out on the great activities that take place there. Just this last month I attended two meetings which were tremendously informative and interesting.

The first meeting took place at their monthly potluck where they had two special guest speakers who served in World War II. Sad to say, we don't often get a chance to be around veterans like these nowadays. It was a great honor to listen to these vets talk about the trip that they took to Washington, DC, and to view their perspective of our capitol.

The second meeting that I attended (Monday, August 29th) was a special presentation by one of our local pharmacists, Matt Paulson. He has been going to the Senior Center once a month, talking to seniors about diabetes. You come away from his "Sweet Spot" talks with lots of valuable information about how to prevent or live with diabetes. At this last meeting, I learned how important it is to count and keep track of carbs (carbohydrates), not only for diabetes control but also for weight control.

There is one more meeting in this series on September 26th at 10:30 a.m. The topic will be "Diabetes and Immunizations." Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Those Red Hat Ladies!

What a delightful group of ladies! I was having lunch at the Prairie Inn today when I noticed all the spunky women with colorful red hats and purple outfits. I thought to myself, "I would love to be a part of that group!" So, I took out my handy camera, went over to introduce myself and was immediately thrilled and impressed with the fact that they didn't run away from my camera, and didn't mind taking a minute to pose for me. They were all very gracious, and I found out lots of fascinating facts about them and the Red Hat Society.

Information That I Found Online...

One of the premier women's social organizations in the world, the Red Hat Society® based in Fullerton, CA, began with the gift of a red hat and has grown into a universal symbol for women around the globe as they victoriously celebrate turning 50 and entering into the next phase of their lives. The social message behind the first red hat has resonated with millions of women around the globe regardless of race, creed, occupation, age or socio-economic status. Today, it is commonplace to see Red Hat Society® members out frolicking and embracing life to the fullest in their now famous symbol, the "red hat."

How It Started

In the fall of 1997, on a trip to Tucson, AZ, Sue Ellen Cooper impulsively paid $7.50 for an old red fedora in a thrift shop. When a good friend was nearing a "fifty-ish" birthday, Sue Ellen cast about for an idea for an original gift. Inspired by a well-known poem, Warning, which begins "When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me. " She wanted to encourage her friend to grow older in a playful manner. She gave her friend a red hat of her own suggesting that she keep it as a reminder to grow older playfully - on her terms.

The symbolism behind the red hat had a profound impact on women Sue Ellen encountered. Those women responded by donning their own red hats and entering a new women's movement embracing a renewed outlook on life filled with fun and friendship, fulfilling lifelong dreams.

The Red Hat Society® was born. More....

NOTE: The ladies that I met today at the Prairie Inn were from Harvey, Fessenden, Bowdon and New Rockford, but no one from Carrington. Does this mean that there is not a Red Hat Society in our town? I would be interested to know, so if anyone has that information, please comment below.

By the way, if you haven't read Jenny Joseph's poem , which was the catalyst for creating the Red Hat Society, take a look:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2nd Annual Apple Pie Contest: "My, Oh My! Love That Pie!"

Sponsored by Dick and Gail Paulsen, their 2nd Annual Apple Pie Contest took place on the evening of August 26, 2011.

Contestants and friends arrived and enjoyed the pleasant summer evening while getting ready for the contest.

Everyone talked excitedly about their recipes, while they visited and enjoyed a barbeque/potluck supper which preceded the event.

The Paulsen's daughter, Leslie, had fun setting the stage for the contest, artistically arranging all the entries on a picnic table with voting materials close at hand.

Next, everyone lined up to get their first glimpse of the apple pie entries, and proceded to vote on the presentation aspect of each entry.

As you can see from the photos, the apple pie for this contest did not consist of your traditional, flaky-crusted pie, but instead consisted of a liquid version that supposedly "tasted" like apple pie.

Naturally, in order to judge the flavor of each entry, everyone proceded to enjoy the next step of the contest which was the tasting of each concoction.

Since everyone at the event became a judge, there was quite a bit of circling the table, tasting-tasting-tasting, chatting and voting.

After this quite-festive part of the evening, everyone went back to settle around the fire, talk about the flavors of the entries, and wonder which apple pie would be the grand winner.

The Paulsen's son, Robert, built and carefully tended a wonderful fire which provided warmth and beauty as night descended around the group.

After a short while, Leslie appeared with award certificates and prizes and proceded to announce the winners.

Everyone was presented with a Certificate of Participation with the two main prizes going to Jody for the "best presentation award" and to Tami for the "best taste award." Tami also received the most points overall, so she received a special "Award of Excellence."

Believe it or not, I won a special award and prize, too - the booby prize! I think they felt sorry for because I didn't know about the presentation aspect of the contest, and it was my first time to make apple pie. Anyway, I won a cute little yellow chicken that goes "clickety-click" as it walks across the floor. (I think I'm supposed to bring it back next year for the next booby prize winner!)

Now, if you haven't had liquid apple pie before, I'm going to give you an average recipe which you can play around with until it satisfies your taste and you make it your own. It goes something like this: 1 gallon of apple cider, 1 gallon of apple juice, 4 cups sugar, 8 cinnamon sticks, 1 (750 milliliter) bottle of 190 proof Everclear alcohol. Mix together all ingredients except the alcohol, bring to a boil and simmer for as long as you like. Then when the mixture cools completely, add the alcohol. If you're interested in making apple pie, you can find all kind of variations of this recipe at AllRecipes.Com

All in all, we had such a great time at the 2nd Annual Apple Pie Smack Down that the Paulsen's are thinking of opening up the contest to the whole community next year! So... if you're interested in coming to the festivities, start working on your own apple pie recipe for the 3rd Annual Apple Pie Contest!

2nd Annual Apple Pie Contest Slideshow - August, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raptors Growing Up in Carrington, ND

Our visiting raptor babies went from white fuzzy balls of fluff to streamlined flyers in barely over a month's time. Now they're streaking through our neighborhood, testing out their flying and hunting skills. Mama and Papa are still watching over them.

I wonder if/when they will fly away together.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Falcons/Hawks Are Growing Up

Since I'm still not sure exactly what these youngsters are, I'm just going to call them raptors - since falcons and hawks are both raptors. Anyway, it is absolutely fascinating watching them get ready to fly. So far, they haven't left their nesting tree; however they are moving all around the top limbs, stretching out their wings and moving fairly rapidly from branch to branch. During the last storm with fierce winds, thunder and lightning, their mama and papa tucked them tightly back into their nest and stood guard on either side. Since the four youngsters are getting to be quite large, I'm amazed at how they all managed to fit into such a small space. Today they spent most of their time fluttering around the tree top branches, as well as eating the fresh meat that their parents brought to them continuously.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Raptor Babies Are Getting Ready To Fly

Publish Post

Today when the wind came up, I was afraid that the falcon/hawk babies were going to blow out of their nest. They kept raising their wings and flapping them like they wanted to take off. However, their mother was watching them closely, so I don't think she would let them get very far.

The youngsters still look like big fluff-balls, with dark spots and streaks beginning to appear on their front feathers. They are starting to look more like adults, but their tails are little short stubby things.

Sometimes when the youngsters start moving around I can't tell their heads from their tails. Also, it's hard to see exactly how many babies there are. There are at least two, maybe three. Soon, there will not be room for mother and offspring to occupy the nest together.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bowdon, ND - Farmers' Market: Should It Continue?

Hi Everyone! I received an email from Linda Widicker, one of the organizers and managers of the Bowdon Farmers' Market. It was addressed to the friends, neighbors and supporters of their farmer's market, so I hope you will read the letter and respond to her questions.

Personally, I've tremendously enjoyed their market for the past two years. In fact, I've taken lots of pictures of their activities, featured them on CarringtonNews.Com. and received lots of positive feedback about their organization.

It was always a pleasure to take the scenic drive from Carrington, observing how the landscape changed as the summer progressed. Then at the end of the drive, I always found a variety of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables which were in season. Also, I can't even begin to describe the pleasure that my family and friends got from the scrumptious pies, pastries and baked goods that I found there! Mmmmm..... the home-made breads! Made from locally grown wheat, flax and other nutritious grains... Hot homemade bread, covered in real butter... How can you beat that?!!!

Also, if you didn't have a chance to visit the Bowdon market in the past, you missed out on many talented musicians who entertained during the event. As well, there were interesting demonstrations, one of my favorites being the process of turning wool into all colors of beautiful yarn. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the Bowdon cafe that is attached to the market where you can get a wonderful homemade meal for a very reasonable price! Can you tell that I'm definitely hoping that the Bowdon Farmers' Market continues to be a part of my life!!

Anyway, back to my first request... Please take a look at the following letter and give the Bowdon community some feedback:

  • "Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Supporters of the Bowdon Farmers' Market:

    Members of the Bowdon Farmers' Market met on Thursday, March 17, to make plans for the upcoming farmer's market season. The Farmers' Market has proved to be a good thing for the Bowdon community and folks have enjoyed the festive atmosphere at the Wednesday night markets in the gym.

    The markets provided fresh garden produce, baked goods, hand-crafted items, home-cooked meals, great musical entertainment, fun contests and door prizes, and informative craft demonstrations. They also gave Bowdon residents a chance to visit with each other and meet some new faces as folks from surrounding communities who came to join the fun.

    Our questions are:



    MORE WILLING HEARTS and HANDS are needed to make the 2011 season a sucess! Our hard-working vendors have the biggest task - it takes a lot of work to bring their fresh garden produce and hand-crafted items to the customers.

    Along with the vendors, we are needing community supporters and planners for the upcoming season.


    We are planning a short, informational meeting to discuss the Bowdon Farmers' Market on:
    SUNDAY, MARCH 27, at 4:30 p.m. at the Bowdon Community Center

    The meeting will immediately follow the Community Food Forum and viewing of the movie, "FRESH."

    The Food Forum, which begins at 2 p.m., is open to ALL.

    We would like to invite everyone interested in the Food Forum and the Bowdon Farmers' Market to attend either (or both) meetings on Sunday.


By the way, you can click here to see some photos of the market in session!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Visiting the Presidents in Rapid City, South Dakota

If you like statues of the U.S. presidents, Rapid City, South Dakota is an exciting place to visit. There are presidents hanging out on every corner of the downtown streets!! Life-size, life-like figures of the presidents in bronze watch the tourists and citizens of Rapid City as they go about their daily business. If you're not sure about the identity of a particular president, just take a look at the plaque embedded in the sidewalk nearby.

The project of placing presidents on the street corners of Rapid City began in 2000, with four sculptures being placed there each year. Each bronze statue was created by one of the following South Dakota artists: Edward E. Hlavka; Lee Leuning; John Lopez; James Michael Maher; James Van Nuys. For more information about this noteworthy project, and for details about each statue and its sculptor, take a look at VisitRapidCity.Com.

If you would like to see enlarged images of the pictures that I took (in the slideshow above), just click on a picture, and it will take you to my Picasa web album site where you can see larger images and download them if you're interested. I took these pictures on a cold, windy day in November, so they are in no particular order and haven't been enhanced in any way. Somewhere among the photos, you will even see a dinosaur that overlooks Rapid City, seemingly guarding the presidents. I hope you enjoy the pictures and have a chance to see the presidents in person someday.