Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Was it “meant to be”?

Could it be that each winner got the prize that was just right for them?

It seemed to me that happened in the contest we just finished - to connect the Minnesota Vikings team member with his right nickname.

I couldn’t tell which one of the prizes was worth first place so I decided to let each winner pick one. First place got first choice, etc.

The Vikings donated four different prizes. I donated one. So five winners.

When I went to pick up the prizes from the Vikings head office, I noticed one was a team cookbook. They gave an extra one for me to keep.

And I saw...

As I looked over the prizes I realized I would have liked any of them. But I fell in love with the tiny lapel pin memorializing the 50 Years the team had been an NFL franchise.

I was trying to figure out a way to get a similar pin for myself when someone suggested I just take it. No one would know.

That’s probably true. But I remember the words from a favorite movie, City Slickers. The quote goes something like this. The “cowboy”, Billy Crystal, is asked a philosophical question: If you could cheat on your wife and no one would ever know, would you do it? And Crystal answered: No, because I would know.

So besides not taking the lapel pin from the prizes, (because I would know), I decided to add the extra cookbook I had been given so there would be six choices for the five winners.

And they chose...

The first place winner came to the Beacon to pick out his prize and chose the 50 Seasons of Vikings book. Then the second place winner sent his wife who chose the Vikings 2010 team book.

The little lapel pin hadn’t been chosen. But it was way too soon for me to even think that it might be left for me.

The third place winner came and picked out the cookbook. Since I had also put in my copy of the cookbook, it was there when the fourth place winner chose it.

The fifth place winner picked the “Party by Rosie”, which they agreed to let me just get them a gift certificate from Econo Foods since we had run out of games to watch that fit our schedules!


So guess what prize was left since I had put my Vikings cookbook in the pot?

The little Vikings lapel pin!

It must have been meant for me! I was so excited. It was like finding a lost puppy!

I went to the Beacon to recover it and excitedly explained how every one had chosen their prize and this one was left over.

I had more errands to run so I clutched the slip listing the winners and their choices and hurried on. It wasn’t until later that I realized I didn’t have the little lapel pin. Somewhere it must have slipped out of my hand. It was gone.

I retraced my steps and asked the businesses if someone had turned in a little plastic bag with a Vikings lapel pin in it.

It just doesn’t seem possible that the little pin was saved for me through the whole contest... only to disappear when I held it in my hands.

I sure miss that little lost “puppy” - lapel pin.

Could this mean...

But this experience was kind of like the Vikings’ football season this year. The possibility of a championship was there... like the little team lapel pin... but not for long.

Like they say, (way too often if you’re a Vikings fan) - there’s always “next year”!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm making a Christmas tree
out of the
Christmas cards we have been receiving.

It's fun to be reminded of the folks
review these beautiful scenes
at this time of year.

More additions to come
after picking up the mail today.
Got to add to the left side I think.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Close Battle for Winners!

It was a tight battle among Minnesota Vikings Fans as to who knew the most nicknames in our "50 Years of Vikings Nicknames" game!

We had a list of 35 names given to us from folks like Dave Mona (host of the Sports Huddle radio show with Sid Hartman on WCCO), former Minnesota Viking Bob Lurtsema, Judy Hammerstrom (sister of former Viking Dave Osborn), Doug Johnson, and whoever I was talking to about it.

Extra Credit Names!

It was the "extra credit" names that some folks included that made the difference for them. And thanks for the clarification that the Iron Man nickname was not just for Brett Favre but also Jim Marshall. We made allowance for that.

Also, an entry from Steve Anderson and Barney Flom explained that the nickname for Quadry Ismail was actually for his brother. We decided to give everyone credit who marked it down anyway. Plus, we didn't mark it wrong if you spelled a name incorrectly! (Since I made up the rules I could do this. We're having fun, remember?)


The winners were to be announced in the newspaper and could choose from a variety of prizes. One was a "party" for the winner and a friend to watch a game at our house and eat "game food." And if they had a larger TV than we do - we would go to their house!

The Vikings head office provided more prizes: 1) the 50 Seasons of Vikings anniversary book, 2) the Minnesota Vikings 2010 Team Guide book, 3) Purple Pride cookbook - from the families of players, coaches and staff, and 4) a 50 Year memorial lapel pin.

I'll be calling the winners in the order I calculated so they can choose their prize. All except the "Party" can be picked up at the Beacon.

The Winners!

The winners are: first choice of the prizes goes to the entry from Steve Anderson and Barney Flom because they got all 35 nicknames correct. Second choice goes to Bud Gustafson who only had one wrong. Third choice goes to Art Rew with 30 correct but since he had 19 extra nicknames he had a "heads up" over Karyn Edelbach who only had six extra.

A tie between Duane Nordvold and Randy Schneider (both had 30 correct with one extra nickname) was decided by drawing a name out of my crockpot by my husband (they were handy). Duane won.

Honorable Mention: Cheryl Nordvold, Mark Myers and Brandon Walters. Thanks to all who took part - even by just talking about it!

Go Vikings! Go Fans!


Answers to "50 Years of Vikings Nicknames" Game: "Jay or J.A."(Jared Allen), "Boom Boom" (Brown), "Catfish" (Neil Claybo), "Coffin Corner" (Greg Coleman), "Pepper and Pep" (Daunte Culpepper), "Moose" (Carl Eller), "Old Man on the Turf" (Brett Favre), "Gannon the Cannon" (Rich Gannon), "Rip" (Ross Hawkins), "Cheap Shot Wally" (Wally Hilgenberg), "The Rocket" or "The Missile" (Quadry Ismail and his brother), "Two Minute Tommy" (Tommy Kramer), "Avis" -for finishing number two in the Heisman trophy voting (Ed Marinaro), "Iron Man of the NFL" (Brett Favre or Jim Marshall), "Wrong Way" (Jim Marshall), "The Captain" (Jim Marshall), "The King" (Hugh McElhenny), "Freak" (Randy Moss), "Ozzie" (Dave Osborn), "Purple Jesus" (Adrian Peterson), "Motor Mouth" (John Randle), "The Slippery Seed" (Oscar Reed), "The Mossiah" (Randy Moss), "B-Rob" (Brian Robison), "Bozo" (Ed Shrockman), "All Day" (Adrian Peterson), "Special K" (Kory Stringer), "Scramblin' Fran" (Fran Tarkenton), "Dutchman" (Norm Van Brocklin), "Benchwarmer Bob" (Bob Lurtsema), "Chainsaw" (Stu Voight), "Money in the bank" (Stu Voight), "Whiskey" (Wade Wilson), "Stormin Norman" (Norm Van Brocklin), "Mooney" (Roy Winston).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

“50Years of Vikings’ Nicknames” Game

2010 commemorates the Minnesota Vikings 50th season. In honor of this occasion (or just to reminisce about some of our favorite memories), we have put together a game to see if you can remember or figure out some of the nicknames of the players. Some of these may be less well known than others.

The nicknames have been sent to me from Dave Mona (host of the Sports Huddle radio show with Sid Hartmann on WCCO), former Minnesota Viking Bob Lurtsema, Judy Hammerstrom (sister of former Viking Dave Osborn), Doug Johnson, and whoever I was talking to about it!

Mail, e-mail or drop off your entries with as many answers as you can figure out - at the Beacon or: The contest ends at 5 p.m. on December 10.


The winner’s name will be announced in the newspaper and may choose from a variety of prizes. I thought it would be fun if the winner and a friend would be invited to our home to watch a game and eat “game food”. Sorry, no high definition TV. So if you have a better set-up at your house... I’ll bring the food there! (Certain conditions may be added to make it convenient for me! Like distance and date.)

The Vikings head office heard of my “prize” and decided to send some of theirs. So the winners will now have their choice of either “my party” or 1) the 50 Seasons of Vikings anniversary book, 2) the Minnesota Vikings 2010 Team Guide book, 3) Purple Pride cookbook - from the families of players, coaches and staff, or 4) a 50 Year memorial lapel pin.

Game Rules:

Nicknames are listed first.

Fill in the blanks with their real name from the list following them.

Include entrant’s name, address, e-mail address and phone number.

Deadline: 5 p.m. on December 10.

In case of ties, a winner will be drawn.

Have fun!

Here are examples:

“Purple People Eaters” Mid 1970’s Vikings defensive line of Alan Page, Carl Eller, Gary Larsen and Jim Marshall.

“Hyperboreans”(We’d never heard of this one.) The Vikings team nickname. The Hyperboreans were a mythical barbaric people in Greek mythology. Today the term can be used for any people who live in a cold climate, as the Vikings did. (Wikipedia)

“50 Years of Minnesota Vikings Nicknames”


“Jay or J.A.”

“Boom Boom”


“Coffin Corner”

“Pepper and Pep”


“Old Man on the Turf”

“Gannon the Cannon”


“Cheap Shot Wally”

“The Rocket” (His brother was “The Missile”)

"Two Minute Tommy" (for many late game come-from-behind victories.)

“Avis” (for finishing number two in the Heisman trophy voting.)

“Iron Man of the NFL”

“Wrong Way”

“The Captain”

“The King”



“Purple Jesus”

“Motor Mouth”

“The Slippery Seed”

“The Mossiah”



“All Day”

“Special K”

“Scramblin’ Fran”


“Benchwarmer Bob”


“Money in the bank”


“Stormin Norman”



Adrian Peterson

Bret Favre

Wally Hilgenberg

Ross Hawkins

Norm Van Brocklin

Jared Allen

Bill Brown

Tommy Kramer

Hugh McElhenny

Ed Marinaro

Kory Stringer

Bret Favre

Quadry Ismail

Daunte Culpepper

Wade Wilson

Stu Voigt

Carl Eller

Bob Lurtsema

Rich Gannon

Randy Moss

Roy Winston

Jim Marshall

Stu Voigt

Fran Tarkenton

Jim Marshall

Dave Osborn

Neil Clabo

Brian Robison

Ed Shrockman

Adrian Peterson

John Randle

Greg Coleman

Randy Moss

Oscar Reed

Norm Van Brocklin

Extra credit: other nicknames you think of! (If we can validate them!)

Mail, e-mail or drop off your entries with as many answers as you can figure out - at the Beacon or e- mail: The contest ends at 5 p.m. on December 10.

Your name:_________





Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You’ve gotten this far...

Accept and encourage...

The men told of having had a 15 year “meth” habit... or being addicted to alcohol so they weren’t allowed to see their children... or they had been jailed or in prison, etc.

It was difficult to look at over 30 men dressed in nice shirts and ties singing in the choir at a church and imagine what hell they had gone through. And they add, what hell they put their loved ones through.

So how was my memory triggered as to what a cop once taught me about acceptance and encouragement?

These thoughts came when one man stepped forward and explained to the audience that because of his addiction he had been homeless... and slept under bushes near an alley in Cannon Falls, MN.

I remembered his story.

I wrote it for the newspaper back in 2008.

And I remember being concerned about his rehabilitation.

When I researched the story about Thomas McConnell back then I was touched by his striving to become the man he wanted to be. .. a man not controlled by his addiction... reconciled with his family... becoming the person he believed God wanted him to be.

But I also was concerned whether he would make it or not.


So I took my doubts to a cop who had been involved with many of McConnell’s problems over the years, Cannon Falls Assistant Police Chief, Rich Wisniewski.

He recalled that in a program called Teen Challenge (which includes adults) McConnell got a better grip on his problems and graduated from their recovery program. Wisniewski gave a talk at the ceremony.

And Wisniewski also taught me. He dealt with my concerns by suggesting that I just accept Thomas where he was at. Recognize how far he had come. And this is what I wanted to tell the men in the chorus. But I wanted to add what I had learned as I considered Wisniewski’s suggestion.

You see, I have kept his e-mail with these thoughts at the back of my desk for two years. (I know I really should clean my desk more often!)

I appreciated being reminded to accept someone just where they were. Recognize that it is amazing that they had gotten better.

And then I had another amazing thought! Maybe I should even consider doing that for me!


And this is the “revelation” that I wanted to get across to the men working on their own struggles that Sunday morning... accepting and encouraging themselves.

Don’t wait for someone else to recognize how much you have accomplished. You know what it has taken to get you to this point. Give yourself credit.

And push on.

(The Teen Challenge choir shared their thoughts and their music recently at True North Church in Cannon Falls.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A “Time Out”

for Randy Moss,

Brett Favre,

and Brad Childress

from the “Grandma Patrol”!

Sit in a corner fellas.

This is your “Grandma” speaking.

I’m going to talk to you one at a time and I want the other two to be quiet.

Randy - Would you like to be a great football player? That means filling the gap -

in this case it was to get the team to work together.

As a “Grandma” who loved you - I sure expected more from you.

Now, sit there while I talk to Brett.

Brett - What kind of leadership do you think you are portraying to the team? What if they all should act like you? As a “Grandma” I know you’re able to do better.

Now sit there while I talk to Brad.

Brad - Are you able to lead and teach these guys who may only believe their own press releases? And are you being true to yourself? Your “Grandma” is concerned you are losing your own soul in this struggle and losing the team too.

OK guys. You can come out of your corners now and have a cookie.