Thank You MENARDS for Your USA Sale

THANK YOU Menards for Being PRO American

March 13 through March 20, 2011 were banner days for America workers. On Sunday, March 13, 2011, our Sunday supplement included a 20 PAGE flyer for Made in U.S.A items...every one!

274 items, all sporting a little America flag....MADE IN THE USA! and even indicating WHERE in the USA they were made.

Since we had been planning to put a new floor in our kitchen, this was the time to do it...we bought laminate flooring (Rustic Allure) made by the SHAW Company in Ringgold, Georgia. I will be proud of my American kitchen floor!

The flyer is crammed full of items that are used every day in every household in the USA...the prices are are excellent and quality is as good or better than can be found in comparable imported goods. But, many of us don't bother to look for American made products ...its takes tooooo much effort to turn over a container or bottle to see where it was made!!!!  And, we just assume that foreign-made products will be cheaper...thats not always true.   This week, Menards was doing it for us!

Its time we quit automatically buying imported items and start thinking about things that OUR OWN American workers make. Sure, it takes a little effort to look at each and every item from canned food to cleaning products....but you live in AMERICA, don't you think you owe it to our American factories and American workers to buy their products?

Someday it may be YOUR job on the line.....

NOTE:  Its now Spring of 2012 and Menards has run this particular advertisement nearly every month since March of 2011.  Diane Sawyer's nightly news program has shown how buying American Made Products has revived some of America's dying businesses.  Now we need, for our health's sake, to look at the labels on CANNED PRODUCTS.  China seems to be very lax in what goes into products for foreign consumption......check the internet...look at how FISH are raised in China...what and how they are being fed.  Orange juice is not always from American oranges and pesticides banned here are used widely in other countries.  My morning Tropicana orange juice is blended with OJ from Brazil....I always thought it was pure Florida orange juice.  Now I know better.

Our Dog, Kuper the Keeshond

Kuper was our 10 year old Keeshond.....he was a ball of fur….in fact, so much of it that I’d often offer to sell a few pounds! I’ve knitted scarfs from Kuper’s combings mixed with raw wool and they turn out beautifully…looks and feels like angora. 

The Keeshond breed originated in Holland and was bred originally as a barge watchdog and ratter. It's origins can be dated back to the 1700's. His job was to sit on the barge and bark at anyone or anything that happens by. If a rat tried to board the barge, Kup's ancestor's job would have been to discourage it from doing so....since they aren't really fighters, they probably barked it to death. 

Keeshond's are known as the "smiling Dutchmen" . Look at Kuper's face...he's always smiling (YES, that's a smile!)  Kees also have distinctive facial markings.....their eyes are circled by dark hairs making them look like they're wearing glasses. How many dogs do you know that wear spectacles??

Kuper was an outstanding representative of his breed, he barked at anything that moved. However, just between us, barking is about all that he would do. I’d never heard Kuper growl or snarl at anyone or anything. 

We jokingly say that if a burglar ever got into our house, Kuper would bound up to him, lick his hand and happily point out where the silver and jewels (if we had any) were hidden. Kup was a very gentle dog and our grandkids crawled all over him.Our granddaughter loved to dress him….although it was not easy putting a dress on top of all that fur!

Kuper's baby picture                                               Kuper all grown up

I'm very sad to say that Kuper died in February of 2012.  He had jumped or fallen from our back deck and damaged his spine.  Our vet said it was severe.  Several days later we went into the kitchen where his bed was, and found that he had passed away in his sleep.  We buried him at our lake cabin where he loved to play and swim in the pond.  I vow that I will never have another pet, be it dog, cat or bird.  My heart has been broken too many times at their deaths, and I can't do it any more.

Audie Murphy - An American Hero

Audie Leon Murphy was born in Texas on June 20, 1924 and died on May 28, 1971 in an airplane crash near Roanoke, Virginia. In 27 months of combat action, Audie Murphy became the most decorated United States combat soldier of World War II. He received the Metal of Honor, the U.S. military's highest award for valor, along with 32 additional U.S. medals, 5 from France and one from Belgium.

Murphy had a successful movie career, including the extremely popular
To Hell and Back (1955), based on his memoir of the same name (1949) and starred in 33 Westerns. Murphy was interred, with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Audie Murphy's grave is is the second most-visited grave site, after President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Audie Murphy was a true American hero. He grew up on a poor Texas farm, worked hard as a young boy, and enlisted in the army at age 16.

Visit his memorial website at:

A Beautiful Story

This story was sent to me by a good friend. I have no idea who the author is or if it a real incident.. but it is a beautiful story.........
"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me.  "Can't you do anything right?"
Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward  the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.  "I saw the car, Dad . Please don't yell at me when I'm  driving".   My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt. Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The  rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do  about him?
Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess. The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.
Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky... he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders.  Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.
My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.
But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.  Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.." I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home.
All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.  I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of  disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black  dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair.
As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.  Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray.  His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?"
The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We  brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.  As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You  mean you're going to kill him?"  "Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy.. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."
I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited  my decision. "I'll take him," I said.  I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When  I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of  the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch... "Ta-da! Look what I got  for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.  Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm  scornfully and turned back toward the house.
Anger rose inside me.. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"  Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly.  carefully, he raised his paw.  Dad 's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw.  Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then  Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne.
Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent  long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the  banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend  Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.  Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night. 
Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind. The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to  the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad  and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It  was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.
And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.  For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle  that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article...Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter.. his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father... and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.
Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live while you are alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time. 
God answers our prayers in His time........ not ours