Category Archives: My View

People Can Be So Cruel

Tonight my husband treated me to a movie to ward off those Sunday Night Blues. He took me to see the movie The King’s Speech.

I loved the movie but came away feeling unsettled. I wondered after hearing the story of the king if I have inflicted pain on another’s life that has affected them already in their life or will continue to affect them in a harmful way.

It made me search myself for words or actions directed at others than may have caused them the kind of pain the king dealt with his entire life.

As a wife, mother, daughter,sister, teacher and friend the opportunities have been many to say or do the wrong thing or been interpreted in the wrong way. I hope that hasn’t been the case. I’ve tried to be kind and consider the weight of my words and actions.

When my kids were in school and would come home telling stories of cruel acts of others to others I couldn’t help but repeat the same words over and over to them. Be kind! Be kind! Be kind!

As adults my kids still relate stories to me of cruel acts that happened while in school. As a teacher I had parents talk to me about their child being teased or picked on at school or on the playground.

All I could do was to talk to students and their parents in hopes of things becoming better but often all it did was make things worse and they became more creative in their acts.

My husband as chairman of the school board has received phone calls from parents and grandparents over the past couple of years about teasing and bullying of students. Times haven’t changed much but with Facebook, texting and cellphones it seems things travel faster and farther than ever before.

If only all would heed the words…Be kind to all, the world would be a better place.


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My Life was Simple in 1976 and So Were My Taxes

Last evening I spent three hours sorting through boxes, stacks and folders of paper.  My goal is to pare down the amount of paper I have to deal with in my home, which has become overwhelming.  I watched the movie “The Fugitive” with Harrison Ford while I sorted through the paper.  As each commercial started so did my shredder.  The end product was less stacks, boxes, folders of paper and three bags full of shredded paper.

One of the boxes I went through last evening were my tax records since 1976.  I kept the past ten years of income tax records and then began shredding each year prior to the last ten.  One observation I made was the further I went back the less paper I had for each year’s tax records and the tax manuals themselves were less pages. 

It is soon tax time again and which was my inspiration for last evenings project.  I want to be organized for the accountant at an earlier date than last year.  When I got my first job that required filing taxes it was my responsibility to do my taxes.  My dad told me where to get the forms and how to work my way through them to file my taxes. 

I continued to do my taxes until the year that we became part owners in the family business.  At that point in time taxes just became too difficult to do.  I had to call the accountant too many times to make sure I was doing our taxes right.  I caved in after 22 years of doing my own taxes.

In 1976 my tax filing consisted of a one page federal form, one page state form and one W-2.  This past year our taxes included 2 W-2’s, supporting documents for itemized deductions, 1099’s.  The stack of forms and supporting documents measured 3/4 inches in height for last year’s taxes. 

Each year as I look through the tax forms and manuals for our personal and business I have to laugh at the estimated time that the IRS estimates for doing the forms.  One assumption they make is that you will actually understand the forms to complete them in the estimated time.  We moved a long way away from a person’s ability to do his or her own taxes due to the complicated tax code. 

It’s a shame because it was always an area of my life that where I felt pride and a sense of accomplishment as I mailed the tax filing forms each year.


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True Grit..A Review

Last evening my husband and I took in a movie.  It was True Grit.  The latest of the Coen Brother movies.  Their movies are my husband’s favorites.  I have a few favorites among their films.

I never know what to expect when we go to watch a Coen Brothers movie.  They are quirky and have some of the most expected turns in them.  One of my favorite  Coen movie to watch was A Simple Plan.  It made me really “feel” for the characters in the film. 

After viewing True Grit last evening I would put it at the top of my Coen movie list and at the top of all movies that I saw in 2010.  It was a remake of an old John Wayne movie.

The casting of Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn was an excellent choice.  This was the role that was previously played by John Wayne.  He was believable and likable in the role. 

The role of Mattie Ross was by played by 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Hailee Steinfeld in another role but she seemed seasoned beyond her years.  She was confident, forceful and impressive to watch in her role. 

What I enjoyed most about the movie is the language spoken for the time period.  It was clever and interesting.  Earlier in the day my grown children had watched movies at our home most of the afternoon.  The movie was one four letter word from the beginning to the end.  True Grit had none of the foul language that I heard on the movies my grown children were watching.  It was a movie I would feel comfortable taking my parents or my husband’s parents to see and not have to apologize for language or sexual content that seems so prevalent in most movies currently showing.

The Coen Brothers remake of True Grit makes me want to check out the book the movie is based on and read it.  I’ve seen a lot of movies this past year and this one held my attention and kept me involved in the story line.  I don’t know if I will watch the John Wayne True Grit again or not…its been many years since I first watched it.  I love the images I have in my mind from the Coen Brothers remake and I think I prefer to keep those over the John Wayne version. 

True Grit is definitely worth the ticket price and an evening out.


Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Movie Reviews, My View


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My Campaign for the Return of the Outhouse and Saturday Night Baths

It’s Friday night and I’m exhausted.  Not from an exciting date night but from cleaning the three bathrooms in our home.  When we were building our home in 1993  we were remodeling a portion of the old cabin and adding on new space.  When we moved the existing stairway in the cabin we were left with more space upstairs that could be used for a storage closet. 

We started thinking ahead to the future when our four children would all be teenagers.  We opted for a second bathroom upstairs instead of a storage closet and one bathroom on the first floor.  What was I thinking?  I hate cleaning bathrooms.

I’m ready to lock the bathroom doors and declare them closed for business.  I want to build an outhouse in the backyard. 

Just think no more hairspray to clean off of just about every surface in the bathroom. No more toothpaste on the counters,  multiple bottles of care products from one end of the counter to the other and mirrors to clean. 

The best part of all would be no toilets or shower stalls to scrub.  If we returned to the use of outhouses, the time spent in the bathroom would be cut in half especially in the cold Minnesota winters. 

To complement my new outhouse I would install one of those old-fashioned claw foot tubs for Saturday Night baths.  It would cut in half or more the number of towels that would need to be washed and there would be only one of them to clean instead of three shower and tub combinations. 

One of the disadvantages of our bath/shower stalls is that the bathtub is not deep enough.  There is always one part or more of the body that is out of the water .  I’d like to soak up to my neck in the tub.  I think that our electric bill and propane use would go down significantly if we changed to Saturday night only baths and the quality of baths would improve.


Posted by on December 18, 2010 in Home Improvement Projects, My View


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