Around The County With Carol

By Carol Hoheisel

You are probably tired of hearing about my vacation to Italy, but I wanted to give you just a few more observations. I don’t think there is any bad food in Italy, and we sampled a lot of different dishes. When you walk into an Italian restaurant here, the garlic smell can be a bit overpowering, whereas, in Italy, you can taste the garlic, but it is not as strong. During our travels through Tuscany we drove by a Daimler Chrysler plant. We saw quite a few “Smart Cars” which are two seat cars about the size of a golf cart. I suspect the motor is in the front, because the back looked like it was flush with the back of the two seats. It’s just about square, and I saw a guy back up against the curb, into a half-size parking space between two cars. Then when he was ready to leave, he could just drive straight out. I’ll bet those things get great gas mileage.

My friend found all our accommodations in a travel guide to Italy by Rick Steves. We had clean hotels in safe neighborhoods, all were within three or four blocks of the “town center”, at decent prices. They weren’t Taj Mahal’s, but they were very nice.

On the flight home from my vacation, I was seated next to a fellow from South Dakota. He is a professor at the University of South Dakota, and he was en route home from a vacation in Iran. Young people seem to have no fear of vacationing anywhere, but this fellow was older than I am, so I asked if he wasn’t a bit nervous running around Iran for two months. He said the Persians (that’s evidently the people who live in Iran) laugh at the “frightened Americans.” He said he felt safe everywhere that he went, and he evidently traveled all over Iran. He said the people speak Farsi, and they have good prices on products, so he purchased many things for shipment back to the States, including several very nice rugs. He also said that gas was 45 cents a gallon. He should have shipped some of that back. He didn’t understand why his wife chose not to accompany him on this vacation. Then he told me that the women had to wear Hejabs on their heads, and not a hair was to show. I certainly understand why his wife didn’t go with him. It doesn’t sound like women have many rights.

Cal Bengtson wrote his “Pots & Plants” column for us for 25 years. Cal passed away last year, and his son Dennis was kind enough to write the Pots & Plants column for us for awhile until we could find someone to fill that spot. Thank you, Dennis, we really appreciate your help. Now it’s time to look for a replacement, so we called the Extension Office and asked them if they would contact local Master Gardeners, just to see if any of them were interested. We received an article about growing Wave Petunias from Betty Winscher, which will be printed in next week’s Record. Betty is a Master Gardener who lives near Royalton, and she has agreed to write a gardening column for us for awhile.

Last week I told you a little about a scam that is working its way around central Minnesota. If you receive a check for $3520.35 from the City National Bank of Florida, don’t deposit it, and for heaven’s sake, don’t wire $2500 in “insurance fees” to insure your big $486,000 Grand Prize win. The Florida check is stolen. You can deposit it, but it will come back out of your account when the bank finds out the check is no good. In the meantime, the $2500 you wire as “insurance” will be gone forever. This scam was taking place in South Dakota recently, and has now shown its ugly head in Minnesota. So far these thieves have collected $20 million dollars in $2500 insurance checks, and NO ONE has won the $486,000 Grand Prize. This is just one of thousands of scams. Don’t send cash, wire cash, or give out your bank account number so they can “deposit your winnings directly into your account”. Your account will be emptied!

Next Saturday and Sunday is the Region Five Minnesota High School Rodeo at the Morrison County Fairgrounds. Carol Medek is a member of the Region Five High School Rodeo Association, and really wanted to bring it to this area. Region Five goes from Brainerd to Forest Lake, and Alexandria to the Wisconsin border. It’s a non-profit organization, so Carol went fund raising, and raised enough to bring the rodeo here. She said they received beautiful community support. That’s nice to hear.

This week’s Sermon in a Sentence says: “Life’s a journey, enjoy the ride!”

See you next week,

Carol

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