If your alphabet soup spells out “YUCK,” don’t eat it

Published 6:38 am Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

What’s that?

It’s a list of things I have to do today.

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The paper is blank.

I know. It’s my day off.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: I was walking with a friend at Caswell Park in Mankato. We were talking about important stuff that might have brought peace to the world when a woman’s voice yelled, “Amber!”

We both stopped and looked toward the voice. We were two men, neither of whom was named Amber. Why did we stop? Because men are listeners, but we don’t always believe what we hear.

We were watching a softball game, sitting in the ubiquitous camping chairs. The gnats were horrendous. A friend, Kris Heinrichs of Sleepy Eye, covered with the tiny flying insects, said, “I feel like a rotting carcass.”

Vanilla extract or vanilla essential oil seems to repel the little buggers.

Brain cramps

There are few country songs about kale.

If birds had hands, a car parked under a tree would be covered with bird poop and toilet paper.

My rental car had a flat tire in Alaska. A friend visiting from Georgia helped me change it. He could do that because he had the spare time.

If your alphabet soup spells out “YUCK,” don’t eat it.

Each mile of spring potholes is an antique roadshow.

Epicurean delights

I spoke at M State College in Detroit Lakes. I ate longer than I spoke. The meal was meatloaf covered with a plum sauce, new potatoes (at least they were new to me), asparagus and a lime-flavored dessert.

I spoke at Good Earth Village in Spring Valley. They fed me well, too. Part of the meal was a delicious onion salad. I didn’t take a photo of that salad and post it anywhere. Some cultures and families used to show their appreciation to the cook by belching. Now those same people take photos instead.

Those two meals were why the word “yummy” was created.

Warren Buffet uses a flip phone, eschews coffee and has a Coke for breakfast. He has the pop with Utz Potato Stix or chocolate chip ice cream. Or maybe with a McDonald’s breakfast. Buffet’s reasoning? He explained, “I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So, I decided to eat like a six-year-old.”

Nature notes

A gray catbird was sitting pretty. It was in the catbird’s seat next to our bedroom’s screened window. Its plumage is muted, but it has an abundance of personality. Its mimicking song is a series of short musical and harsh notes collected into phrases. A song can last 10 minutes, but it seems longer outside my predawn window. A catbird puts in a long day, as it continues to sing after the sun goes down.

I visited several grocery stores as I did my errands. The cheapest grape jelly was absent from their shelves. It had gone to feed orioles. Chipmunks like jelly, too. I watched one putting sunflower seeds into its mouth, using its cheeks as lunch boxes.

I spotted a tiny bird standing out from the green vegetation. It was more yellow than bird. It was a yellow warbler losing yet another game of hide-and-seek. A friend, Dave Lewis of Stow, Ohio, said that it sings, “Feet, feet, feet; smell my feet.”

Another bird, petite and blue, perched nearby. The indigo bunting breeds from southeastern Saskatchewan east to New Brunswick, and south to central Arizona, central Texas, Gulf Coast and northern Florida. It must be very tired.

Samaras, the winged seeds of maple trees, covered the drive. They had been carried by the wind. As a child, I called samaras whirlybirds, helicopters or whirligigs.

Dandelions serve as important sources of nectar for bees in the early spring, when most other flowers aren’t yet in bloom. Creeping Charlie, also called ground ivy, is an herbaceous plant native to Europe, brought to North American by the European settlers as medicine and a ground cover. Who was Charlie and why was he creeping? I strolled by the rhubarb. One of my parents preferred cutting rhubarb while the other felt pulling was the best way to go. My mother reminded me that no more than a third of the plant should be harvested at one time.

A turkey vulture took advantage of the 86,400-second rule to enjoy a road-killed raccoon. I found a pileated woodpecker on the road. Pileated can be correctly pronounced PIE-lee-ay-tid or PILL-ee-ay-tid. Sadly, I pronounced this handsome woodpecker dead.

Meeting adjourned

Stay friendly to yourself, be gentle in your disappointment, forgive others and yourself easily, and be kind.