Wednesday, August 16, 2017


 A Ripple of Kindness... 
reaches the farthest shore

Gender... religion... politics... we ALL belong

Angella Rechtzigel wrote: Today I was on the receiving end of a random act of kindness. A dear friend made me cookies, for no special reason. They are beautiful...and made me cry a bit. 
One thing I have learned this year ~ it doesn't matter what our gender, religious beliefs or political affiliation may the end, we ALL belong to each other. 
Taking care of one another, loving each other and spreading kindness makes this world a better place.
Watch out for flying balls!
Sue Josephson was touched by the concern and kindness she saw while driving past some girls playing volleyball on the court on 4th Street North.
It’s a busy thoroughfare.
All of a sudden a ball flew out into the street.
No worry!
Every car going in both directions stopped!
Until the girls got their ball back.
Everyone safe!
Sing along: “Show me the way to go home!”  
Cannon Falls Police Officer Paul Larson saw a man stumbling along the drive to homes in a residential area.  When questioned, the man explained he was walking home from the bars and admitted to drinking quite a bit.  
He explained he had just moved to town and his roommate was at their residence.  He was very friendly and asked the officers’ name several times and told him it was nice to meet him.  Officer Larson saw that he got home safely.
Give aways...
Folks around here like giving away stuff they no longer need.  But how to let people know?  
The Shepherd’s Center, Life Church and Wangen Prairie Church have started a “Sharing” bulletin board.  Here folks can put a note or picture of whatever they would like to give away along with a contact phone number.  
Items have ranged from a new cat collar to hand lotions to a couch to a Wurlitzer organ, a lot of chocolate-mint plants, etc.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Your "Heart's Message"...


Sharing your “heart’s message”...
singer-songwriter Paisley Bishop
records at Pachyderm Studio

Driving through the large entry gates you navigate through dense woods and listen to the singing waters of little Pine Creek as you come upon the picturesque house built in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright that now creates a refuge for talented and celebrated musicians expressing their “heart’s message”.
This gem of a “working retreat” on the outskirts of Cannon Falls includes the world famous recording center, Pachyderm Studio.   It has been host to many of these musical “hearts”.     Like the band, Live, going platinum eight times with their album: Throwing Copper and Nirvana recording In Utero, their final studio album with Kurt Cobain.

Paisley Bishop of the Cannon Falls area 
is now one of those “hearts”.

Paisley and her family settled in a valley south of Cannon Falls after moving from California.  While out west she had started a band and within two years recorded her first album, “Take One”.  
Now she was ready for her second one, “Seasons”.  This project was funded by a grant awarded by the South Eastern Minnesota Arts Council funded by a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Paisley performs Country, Pop, Classic Rock and Christian (worship) as well as her own songs which she describes as “Folk Rock”.
Trevor Marty of Rochester signed on and they tested their musical combinations at weekly public gatherings for several months.    
At the end of May they stopped these performances and started preparing their final approach to recording at Pachyderm Studio.

Paisley wrote the songs... some from back in 2012 and some about a month before their recording.
“Music is what feelings sound like” is Paisley’s belief.  She continued,  “Music shouldn't be written to fit an A-B-C formula. It should be crafted to express our selves...”
Paisley has the additional responsibility of being her own business manager which means she must copyright and register the album and songs, create a promotional photo shoot, and much more.

Following hours of recording in the separate studio building at Pachyderm, the artists and friends relax and enjoy the evening in the nearby Frank Lloyd Wright styled home. 

Paisley plans to pursue other public performances and also connect with local musicians with the hope that Cannon Falls can become the newest hotspot for live entertainment.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It’s what we do...

Fluffy white clouds were floating across the beautiful blue summer sky as divers searched for dead bodies in the dark murky waters at the bottom of the lake.

Actually... it was more pleasant than it sounds as our boat navigated Lake Byllesby in a diver training exercise to locate simulated dead bodies by the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Dive Team.

The team...
Investigator Steve Sutton-Brown leads the team.  Members taking part were:  Deputies Tom McGuire, Rod Roberts, Tom Wolner, Sergeant Jason Johnson and Captain Pat Thompson.  Also working in the exercise were Line Tenders, Tris Matthews and Deputy Jordan Winberg along with Deputy Jay Kindseth and Sergeant Scott Powers. 

  They are trained for rescue and recovery - of people or vehicles.  Recently the team recovered a 1975 Chevrolet Malibu from the Mississippi River that belonged to a person who had drowned 41 years ago.
They also dive for evidence recovery.  This is when someone tries to get rid of objects like weapons: knife, gun. rifle, etc.    
When trying to preserve fingerprints on a recovered weapon, it is brought to the surface in a container including the water so fingerprints can be recovered and it won’t rust.

It’s probably going to be very murky and dark at the bottom of the lake or river so divers may use a grid pattern to feel their way along.
In some cases they may have to search the hulls of barges to detect if they are false and are smuggling drugs, etc.

The divers do not get extra pay for their expertise.

As Deputy Wolner explained with a smile, “We’re a bunch of race horses... this is what we want to do.”

For more information on their equipment, etc. check out the YouTube video - TRIAD: Goodhue County Dive Team.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Kindness in a troubled world...

From the "Ripples..." column in the Cannon Falls Beacon 
where you share the nice things you see happening.  
This is your "voice" in a troubled world.  

The “Kindness Club”!
Coming together and learning how to serve others and share some love in this world!”
This summer, probably more than 50 elementary and middle school aged girls participated in a program organized by Jessie Ludden.  One of their helpers is Angella Rechtzigel who explained: their purpose was to “spread kindness and look for ways to serve their community”. 
The girls met at various locations, like the library, on Tuesday mornings to facilitate their kindness plans. 

What they did...
Some of their activities, according to their Facebook page, were bringing treats to the volunteers working at the Habitat for Humanity building site; cookies to a fireman and the police department and making "book marks" to be “hidden” in books for others to use in the library.
Jessie wrote: “Last week the girls had ‘homework’ and made cards for postal workers and garbage disposal folks... to brighten their day!”

What you say can hurt or help!
At their meeting they discussed the power of “WORDS”.  Jessie explained, “Words can have such an impact- they can make people feel good (soft, like cotton) or can make people feel uncomfortable or even hurt them (rough, like sandpaper).”

Your mission... if you wish to accept it...
 At a recent meeting the girls received blank “Post-It” notes.  Their instructions were to “leave kind notes for family and friends - or on a random strangers car window - or on a public bathroom mirror. (Everyone in the family can participate...have fun with it).”

Kindness... as a habit?
A reminder from Angella:  “How do you form a habit? Repetition. The more we practice kindness, the easier it becomes second nature...or a habit.”

The Kindness Club is “an opportunity for young girls to come together and learn how to serve others and share some love in this world!”

There’s no age limit on “kindness”!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A "life lesson: for a second grader... and all of us!

Sensitivity and learning a lesson..
Years later she has never forgotten the sensitivity of her second grade teacher. 
Here’s the story... as a tiny tot in school, Judy Schlekewy had noticed her friend had left her lunch money sitting in their locker area.  And she couldn’t resist the temptation.
She took it.
But then she was consumed with hiding the stolen coins.  
First under some stuff on her desk.
Then inside her desk.
Then under some cloth.
And on and on...
But she hadn’t been caught.
Or had she?
When the other little girl tearfully explained to the teacher that she had lost her lunch money, the teacher might have figured out what had happened.
But she didn’t accuse anyone.
Although she did encourage the money to be returned or “found”.
And little seven year old Judy, who was feeling guilty, made sure it was found.
But she spent an awful night worrying that the teacher would tell her parents and her friend what had happened.
The next day Judy showed up at school, waiting for the worst... but the teacher just announced that the money had been found.
And Judy recalled that she was so grateful for that reprieve that she has never stolen anything again!
A wise decision by a teacher led to a lovely “grown-up” lady.

Oh No!  You lost your “Hello Kitty” lunch box?   
A report came in to the Cannon Falls Police Department that a pink “Hello Kitty” lunch box was sitting on a street corner.  (In some places of this country you might be concerned and call the Bomb Squad!)
Officer Joshua Colvard located the lunchbox which appeared to have been dropped by a young student after getting off the school bus.  Officer Colvard traced the name on the lunch box to an address in the area and the lunchbox was returned.


Friday, June 2, 2017

 Can you choose who you are?

(Thoughts while watching the 
Little Cannon River rise in all the rain!
Now it's back in its banks again.).   

What do people tell you - about you?

I was the youngest in my family.
Everyone else was bigger and smarter.   
And I rebelled when I was consistently told that I was the “strong” one.
I didn’t feel strong.
I was really scared, lots of times.
(Like when my older sister - we shared a bedroom - told me there was a bear under my bed!)   

Who was “strong”?

And I had really “strong” family members to look up to.
My parents were immigrants.
My mother was an orphan in Europe after WWI.
My father left there too.
He came here and later built up his own business.
They met while taking English classes in the U.S.
My only sibling had serious health issues that she dealt with in a brave and powerful manner.
So as a wimpy little kid I KNEW I was not the strong one.

Why do people tell you these things?

As I grew up I finally realized they were not telling me that I was strong because I really was strong.
I decided they just needed someone to be strong in their lives.
And they chose me.
And so I stopped arguing with them.
Even if they weren’t right.

So what about you?

Now I wonder what you have been told that you are?
Maybe someone said you were “lazy”... or “boring”... or “dumb”.
But it’s your choice if you believe them or not.

Here’s another choice…

It’s my choice to tell you that you are “creative”... “smart”... and “kind”.
One reason is that’s what my spiritual belief system says we are designed to be.
And if you think you’re not any of these... keep in mind why my family told me I was strong.  
Because they needed that type of person around them.

And today we all need…

And I need all these types of folks around me!
So keep in mind that I see you this way.
And just be “creative... smart... and kind” - whether you believe it or not.
And we’ll all be better off!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Much better than 
     the “Toilet Bowl” award!

I consider “Awards” with mixed emotions.
So many people are doing good things and don’t get recognized for it.
So when I found a message on my answering machine that I was to be given a Congressional Commendation for the activities of a group I was with, I debated receiving it.

Actually, the last award I got was from our local 2016 Fantasy Football League.  When the season started I did great and won the first four games.    But perhaps because I’m a Vikings fan... I soon tanked.
So I was awarded a framed plaque stating I had won the “Toilet Bowl Champions” award.

Maybe this would be better

In spite of that I returned the call to the office of Second District Congressman, Jason Lewis, and heard them explain the award.
And I decided I would do it for TRIAD - Cannon Falls Area Citizens and Law Enforcement Partnership.
The award was really a nice thing and TRIAD promotes a safer community by sharing police information, techniques (like CSI stuff!) and concerns with adults and kids.

Then I realized that other folks should be included.  

Goodhue County Deputy Tom Wolner... he has been the on-site law enforcement rep for the group - he even comes to meetings on his day off!

Cannon Falls Police Chief Jeff McCormick.  Besides organizing public safety projects, Jeff fills in on emergencies... like the time our speaker was T-boned by a semi on his way to our meeting!  Jeff filled in as speaker.

Then there’s a ‘civilian’ who has been an integral part of TRIAD since its beginning, its treasurer Ray Kimmes.
There are other folks who could have been included but there was concern we wouldn’t all fit in the photo shoot!

Everyone is important in this group!

 But everyone in our TRIAD is important - from those who share their experiences to those of us who learn from them... adults and teens... really cool!
And kidding around with the congressman at the photo shoot was fun.  

 The “real” world

But coming back to the “real world”, after the ceremony... Ray Kimmes came to my farm and helped get my old 8N Ford tractor going and I mowed two pastures before sundown! 

Just like Cinderella... “after the Ball”!