Nature Will Always Win, But. . .
Hurricanes in Iowa? Until mid-August, I would have laughed at the idea but then a “derecho” packing 100 mph winds ripped through our state. The destruction it left behind, particularly in Cedar Rapids, was mind boggling and many of us in the Dubuque area wondered how we were spared. Such are the quirks and idiosyncrasies of Mother Nature and through all the millennia of humanity she has never been tamed. So, what do we do? What we don’t do is shudder in fear, worry needlessly, or no longer care about our outside world and give up.
Though Mother Nature will not be tamed, it does not mean we cannot coexist. Obviously, we must have been coexisting or we wouldn’t still be here! What is needed from us is acceptance. What is needed from us is to understand. What is needed is a concerted effort to work within nature, to help Mother Nature remain aligned with the flora and fauna she oversees. As the specie highest on the fauna ladder, it falls to us to bring about the realignment.
Let’s begin with Nature’s standard bearers: trees. Hundreds upon hundreds of trees were lost in the hurricane-like event that swept through our state alone. I challenge each of you reading this to make it a priority to plant a tree, send the gift of a tree to a storm-struck area, or contribute to an organization that will offer trees to ravaged areas. I will never live long enough to see the trees I plant as replacements for some that were destroyed, but others will reap the rewards of mature trees in the next century. Remember: it has been said, we plant trees not for ourselves, but for our descendants. We must not only plant trees for a future we will not see, but we must also clean up the toxic abominations we have cast as plagues across the face
Such a cleansing of Mother Nature begins with all individuals who cares for the soil under their feet. This fall, plant bulbs to be the harbingers of another spring. Allow the riot of colors and scents reaffirm that Mother Nature’s wounds do heal, and that spring will and does arrive. Allow that affirmation to also heal your stresses of a time unlike any of us have faced. When I see tulips in bloom, when I sense the heady scent of hyacinths, when I later see flowering trees burst forth in colors from across the palette, I am at peace and know goodness does find its way into the harshness of our lives.
Yes, come next spring (or yet this fall), I want all of you to do something more to help Mother Nature. No, we will not stop storms or end nature’s damage from wind or fire—in many ways nature’s own way of resetting the earth—but we will do more help than harm. My plan includes planting some button bushes in my “garden of Eden area of the flood plain behind my house. Also, if I don’t get it done by October, next spring I’m putting on hip waders and pulling out the junk others have indiscriminately tossed into Cloie Creek running behind my house. You know, there’s even a bicycle in the creek! My point is not to elevate myself here; rather, I’m pointing out that each one of us can and must have influence now and for the generations yet born. Don’t be ugly in your thinking and say: “What’s the point? Nature always wins.” It’s not about winning; rather, it’s about not losing.
Dog Is Freaking Out Over Face Masks
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Every time I put on a medical face mask, my dog “Artie” starts barking like mad. When I speak to him, he will stop barking, but he looks restless and whines. He doesn’t bark at strangers that we pass on our walks — just me and my husband. What is going on? — Sarah S., Burlington, Vermont
DEAR SARAH: Artie is freaking out because he is familiar with you and your husband’s faces, and suddenly, without warning, those faces are gone! He may rely on your faces for visual cues, like a smile or frown. The sudden change is unnerving him.
Taking off the mask isn’t an option right now, especially in areas that mandate face mask use whenever you’re outside due to the pandemic.
Instead, the American Kennel Club recommends both desensitizing dogs to the face mask and helping them associate positive things with it. Before putting on the mask, show it to Artie and let him sniff it. Carry a mask around the house, but don’t wear it; let it hang off of one ear, or wear it under your chin, so that Artie sees you with it regularly. The AKC even suggests taping a mask on the wall next to Artie’s food bowl, although if he shows signs of stress having it there, take it down and try something else.
Try using hand signals that correspond to the command or praise you want to give. This can help redirect his attention from your face and help him make the connection that you are still there and
Make sure that Artie is in a comfortable state before training sessions. Ease off if he begins to act concerned
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© 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.
The smell of the popcorn draws customers to a traveling popcorn machine. This modernized wagon, which looks on the outside like it did in 1910, sold at an antiques auction for $34,000. Did you know it needs a special type of popping corn to get the best results?
Popcorn wasn’t a popular snack food until the 1890s, when Charles Cretors created a steam-powered machine to roast peanuts, coffee and popcorn to sell from a wagon on the street near his Chicago candy store. He kept improving the machinery and the product, and in 1885, he started C. Cretors and Co. In 1893, he took his popcorn wagon to the Chicago Columbian Exposition to sell his new product — popped corn. He made individual horse-drawn popcorn wagons for customers, and by 1900, he made the first electric popcorn wagon. He made more changes as the popcorn-eating public went to the movies. Cretors changed his business to make things for the war effort in the 1940s. His machines were modernized by the 1950s, but the company still made old-fashioned popcorn wagons for use and display.
Today, you may find a popcorn wagon, horse-drawn or motorized, at an antiques auction. A 15-foot-long horse-drawn Cretors 1910 wagon recently sold at a Kamelot auction in Philadelphia for $34,000. It even has a custom-made travel trailer for long trips. Back in style again are modern food trucks that can go where the crowd is, and the popcorn wagon is still one of the most popular.
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One of the drawer pulls to my wife’s Clark’s O.N.T. spool cabinet is missing. I’m trying to locate one like it. The backplates are embossed “O.N.T.” Can
Some online sites offer similar replacement drawer pulls. Although they aren’t marked “O.N.T.,” the style is very similar, and they might be an acceptable substitute. Some sites that sell similar drawer pulls are hardwareofthepast.com and robinsonsantiques.com, and there are other sites that sell all sorts of used hardware for antiques.
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I have a set of 10 pull-down maps that were in school classrooms in the 1960s and ‘70s and was wondering what they would be worth today.
Colorful maps sell quickly as decorative items. Some people look for maps of the city or area where they live or for places they’ve traveled to, while others choose maps just for their decorative appeal. Schoolroom maps might sell to someone decorating a child’s room. They sell online for $300.
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Commode, 2 doors, 2 shelves, mirrored, brass trim, shaped top, conforming body, Art Deco, 39 x 60 inches, $130.
Globe, terrestrial, figural stand, robed woman, holding stand and globe on her head, ball, Girard Barrere et Thomas, 38 inches, $160.
Sevres vase, swan handles, gilt, diamond pattern, flowers, pink, purple, white, 34 inches, $250.
Document box, oak, carved, band of stylized flowers, keyhole, English, 1700s, 9 x 27 inches, $280.
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TIP: Don’t scour a seasoned iron pan to clean it. Scrape off any particles with a spoon.
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© 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 slices hearty rye bread
4 cooked Cremer’s Brat Patties
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 thin slices deli Swiss cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread 1 teaspoon butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, buttered side down, on baking sheet; set aside.
2. Melt remaining 1 teaspoon butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bratwurst in single layer, weigh down with Dutch oven, and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side.
3. Whisk mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, relish, and salt together in bowl and spread evenly on facing sides of each bread slice. Place 1 slice cheese on each of 4 bread slices, then layer each with one-quarter of sauerkraut and browned bratwurst, finishing with 1 slice cheese. Top with remaining 4 bread slices, buttered side up; press down to flatten. Bake until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted, about 12 minutes, flipping sandwiched halfway through baking. Serve.