Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Northwestern National Bank - Weatherball

Today a friend on facebook brought up this old Minnesota Jingle...do you remember it?
When the Weatherball is glowing red, warmer weather's just ahead.

When the Weatherball is shining white, colder weather is in sight.
When the Weatherball is wearing green, no weather changes are foreseen.
Colors blinking by night and day say, precipitation's on the way.
So,  intrigued I had to so some checking and I found out some interesting facts. 

During its 33-year existence, the Weatherball did more than flash forecasts. It was perched atop the Northwestern National Bank building in downtown Minneapolis, and became a landmark on the downtown skyline, a common word in the local vocabulary, and the basis for a jingle that all residents could recite.

Hailed as the tallest illuminated sign between Chicago and the West Coast, the 12-story Weatherball was introduced to Minneapolis amid great fanfare on October 7, 1949. Built to withstand winds of up to 140 miles per hour, it survived hurricane-force gales just three days after it began operating.

Unfortunately, the Weatherball succumbed to a fire on Thanksgiving Day in 1982 that destroyed the bank building. It was not rebuilt.

Here are a couple of fun fact links...
Song only :MN Historical Society. Click under image on Real Player.
History of Weatherball in MN.
Info regarding the history of this bank - click here.
A interesting quote I ran across regarding the announcement by Northwestern National Bank (or possibly it was called Norwest Bank by then) regarding why the weatherballs were being discontinued was because they "no longer matched the bank's corporate identity."

"That's correct," said Dave Moore, a local news anchor. "The weatherball was usually right."

Here was another little nugget I thought I would share as well because my husband grew up in Richfield and his parents could have been one of those who received the "Magic Key".  What is the "Magic Key"?

Well, in 1954 the Richfield News ad reports Mr. Weatherball has a new location at 78th and Penn.  He now has a treasure chest that only a "Magic Key" can open.  Apparently all the residents living in Richfield, Bloomington and Edina received a "key" in the mail but only one would open the treasure!  It was the "Magic Key"!  What was in the treasure box you ask?  Well a treasure...it contained more than $10 cash!  WOW!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fruit Flies

Welcome to summer!  So if your house is full of fruit in the summer and you live in Texas or another warm southern state, you have probably been inundated with some uninvited guests, fruit flies. 

As you can see from the photo, they are ugly little guys if you aren't convinced yet that they are ugly and totally annoying.  They come in on fruit from the store and if you leave fruit out (like bananas - which they LOVE) or a watermelon or cantaloupe on the counter, you are doubling your chances to see these little pests.

They lay their eggs anywhere and they hatch out in about 7-10 days.  So first thing to do is to clean everywhere.  Get your counters clean and keep them wiped.  If  you have heavy appliances sitting on the counter, you need to be sure to wipe under everything.  The object is to find the eggs.  If you have a trash compactor, run hot water down the drain and turn it on.  Using some bleach, scrub the drains, strainers and don't forget to change all towels.  Get rid of any grime that is clinging to the drain.  Those little buggers love the stuff.  If you have a compost bucket under the sink, you need to clean it up and make sure there is tight lid on it.  Any food crumbs or particles is a source of life for this guys.  Add this ritual to your kitchen clean-up until they are gone.

A pipe cleaning idea I read about is to combine salt, baking soda and white vinegar and make a homemade drain freshener that will eliminate build up in your drains, and kill the fruit flies.

Do it like this:

  1. pour a half cup of salt down the drain

  2. follow that with a half cup of baking soda

  3. end it off with a full cup of white vinegar.
Let the drain foam overnight and then wash it all down with a pot of boiling water in the morning.  The object is to rid the drain of any food source for them.


  1. Mineral Oil Trap: Take a slice of banana and put it in a shallow dish of mineral oil. The mineral oil is viscous enough that the flies will land in it and be unable to take off again – leave this out someplace where you can monitor it for about 24-48 hours, and then throw it out, along with all the dead flies.

  2. Apple Juice Trap: Another trap can be made out of pop bottle with some apple juice and dish soap (the dish soap breaks the surface tension of the cider, which attracts them – they can’t pull away from the soap).

  3. An easy & effective fruit fly trap is to set out a bowl of vinegar with a couple drops of citrus smelling liquid dish detergent. This attracts the fruit flies and they drown. Lay a fresh bowl out each day to keep the smell strong enough to attract them.

  4. Cider Vinegar Trap:  Add 1 cup water, 1cup cider vinegar and 2 tsp dish washing liquid.  Directions: Pour into a jar or bottle and set out close to fruit & produce. The smell will attract the fruit flies and they will come investigate, getting themselves covered with soap and then drown.

  5. Fresh Fruit Trap: Place a piece of cut fruit in a jar (use a ripe/overripe banana if you can, this seems to be their favorite). Roll a piece of paper into a funnel (cutting the bottom tip so there’s an entry) and place into the top of the jar to trap fruit flies. Make sure the bottom opening of the funnel doesn’t touch the fruit (you don’t want the fruit flies to have an easy exit) and that the sides of the funnel fill the jar opening completely (no cracks for the flies to get out). Make sure to remove and replace the fruit every two days to avoid breeding new fruit flies. You could also skip the funnel and just cover the jar with plastic wrap, poking a few small holes in the top for them to enter.

  6. Coke Trap: Leave an inch or two of Classic Coke in the bottom of a pop bottle and twist on the cap. Take a hammer and nail or drill to make a small hole in the cap (about 1/4″ diameter). Set the bottle in the room where the fruit flies are heaviest. Fruit flies will crawl in and won’t be able to get back out.

  7. Beer Trap: Fill a mason jar about 2″ to 3″ deep with beer, cover opening with a piece of plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Poke a few holes in the top of the plastic so the fruit flies can get into the jar to get at the beer–they won’t be able to get out.

  8. Yeast Trap: In a mason jar, sprinkle active dry yeast over 1/3 cup warm water. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir. Once the yeast is activated and starts to foam, cover the jar top tightly with plastic wrap (try to keep the surface wrinkle free), secure with a rubber band. Make a small hole in the top for the fruit flies to find their way in, most will be unable to get out.
* If you have an especially heavy infestation, set out a fruit fly trap in a small room with the light left on overnight. Although fruit flies are most active during the day, the flies will be attracted to the light and make their way to the room (and their tempting trap bait).

* Once it seems you’ve gotten rid of the fruit flies, you may notice a fresh batch flying around–these are likely those that have hatched from the eggs of the previous fruit flies (the gestation period is about 7 to 10 days). Repeat the cleaning process and lay out the traps until there’s no recurrence. This is why it’s important to find all their food sources, fruit flies lay eggs on the food that will hatch later.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Puritan's Pride

I wanted to share a great place to buy vitamins in bulk with you today.  If you are not familiar with Puritan's Pride, then you need to get yourself familiar with them.  They have a fabulous selection on almost every time of vitamin and health product that I have ever needed. But the best thing about them is their sales.  They usually have some sort of sale going on from buying 2 bottles and getting 3 free or free shipping or buying one bottle and getting 2 free.  Always some incentive is going on and if you sign up for the snail mail catalog, there will "codes" on the magazine or if you sign up for the email notifications you will get "codes" periodically that get you further freebies.

I have been buying product from them for over 10 years and have never had a problem and I have always been happy with the products they sell.  You buy purchase via the Internet, snail mail or phone.  You can call them directly at 800-645-1030 and you can talk to one of their representatives and they will help you with any questions as well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shakira - Waka Waka

Shakira - Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) is the official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song for the games that are held in South Africa.  So if you haven't had enough World Cup soccer yet, this is the last hurrah!

I just liked the beat of the song and quite frankly it reminded me of my trip to Nigeria, Africa in 2001.  The way the people move and dance was so like those in Nigeria.  My heart is forever changed from Africa so with that, enjoy the World Cup song.

By the way, waka waka means "do it"!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I have told you that I would be posting my favorite things here on this blog and that said, I certainly have to tell you about my Vitamix.  This is the most incredible machine we have ever used.

We use our machine everyday at least once a day and sometimes more.  We add fruit in the morning with a bit a flax seed, protein mix and veggies too for a great breakfast drink.  I use it for lunch with veggies and make tortilla soup or cream of broccoli soup.   The blades rotate so quickly that they actually create heat.  Mixing for about 5 minutes will warm the soup!

For an afternoon shake we make cappuccino's with some flax and even some veggies again and it tastes great!

When wondering what fruits to use and what part of the fruits, here is a great rule of thumb.  If it's thick (the peal of a cantaloupe) it will make you sick.  If it's thin (thin peals) throw it in.  You can use the core of a pineapple in the smoothie, the seeds from the cantaloupe, the greens of a strawberry and the peal from the kiwi as all these are loaded with vitamins and fiber!

The clean up consists of pouring water into the canister adding a touch of soup and turning the machine on.  Simply the BEST blender you will ever want or need.

FYI - I am NOT a distributor and I make no profit from your purchase!

Tortilla Soup - Yield: 5 cups (1.2 l)
Speed: Variable to High to Variable     Time: 5-6 minutes

3 cups (720 ml) low sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable stock

1 Roma tomato, halved
1 carrot, halved
1 rib celery, halved
1 thin slice of onion, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 thin slice of yellow squash
1 thin slice of red bell pepper
1 thin slice of cabbage
1 mushroom
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
dash cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS add when ready to serve DON'T MIX: 1/2 cup (70 g) cooked chicken, breast meat; 1/2 fresh jalapeno; 1/4 cup pitted olives; 1/4 cup (50 g) canned corn, unsalted; 2 ounces (60 g) tortilla chips

1. Place all soup base ingredients into the Vitamix container in order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for 5-6 minutes or until steam escapes from the vented lid.
5. If adding optional ingredients, reduce speed to Variable 2. Remove the lid plug.
6. Drop in chicken, jalapenos, olives, corn and chips. Blend for an additional 10 seconds.

Health Classification: Low Fat, Low Sodium, Low Cholesterol, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bread Twist Ties

Today a friend of mine was telling me about the color codes that are breads.  You know, the twist ties.   I had no idea about this so I did some researching and sure enough...there is truth behind it.  I checked it out at Truth and Fiction,  at Snopes and also at thrifty fun.

As many of you may have noticed when you buy a loaf a bread, there is a twist tie on the bag.  Well, what you may not have realized is that the color of the twist tie does have significance.  For each business day of the week, there is a color assigned to the twist tie.  Therefore, you, as the customer, can find purchase bread that is fresher, buy looking at the color of the tag and thinking about what day of the week you are currently on.  From what I can gather, the codes run like this:
  • Monday = Blue
  • Tuesday = Green 
  • Thursday = Red
  • Friday = White
  • Saturday = Yellow
So next time you are shopping for bread, remember the list of colors...they will mean the difference between fresh or no-so-fresh bread!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You/Let There be Love

Here is some classic footage from days gone by Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin singing You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You/Let There be Love. The link is from the Dean Martin Show which aired from 1965 to 1974.  I remember watching it toward the end of it's production run when I was a kid.  It was one of my "mom's" shows.  You know, like the Lawrence Welk Show, the Carol Burnett Show and don't forget the Sound of Music.  All Classics now!

My mother was born in the city of music, Vienna, Austria so she loved all the classic stuff.  Seeing this clip, I can see her singing along. Well ok, maybe not exactly singing ALONG!  She would be a measure or two ahead or possibly behind where they were in the music score.  She didn't care.  She was enjoying the moment.  She would sing "her" version and try to follow along with them.  She knew most if not all of the words and you could almost feel her re-living her younger days.  If  mom wasn't singing "with" them, she most probably would be whistling the rifts.  If it was a truly happy tune she might even get up and dance along too!

Mom loved music and we always had it playing in the house...the oldies.  You know, the late 1930's and into the 1940's stuff.  I don't remember just listening to music we all participated with the music and mom was the first to join in.  Some of my sweetest memories were with mom was when she was whistling and she really was good at it too!  She loved the song White Christmas (by Bing Crosby), Chattanooga Choo Choo and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire by Nate King Cole.  Then again, anything Nate King Cole, Perry Como, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin were things she loved.

In her later years, due to health problems that caused a facial nerve issue, she was unable to ever whistle again.  I missed hearing her tunes.  I remember getting on an elevator at the hospital after seeing her and the MUSAC was playing a tune (you know...the elevator music songs).  Those were her favorites and she loved to whistle along.  I remember I started to cry hearing the tune Sentimental Journey playing.  I could clearly hear her whistling her parts in my mind.

Grocery shopping for me just isn't the same since then because I grew up hearing her "whistle" along to the tunes playing as we shopped.  Oh the memories.  This one is for you mom!

Good memories from the past.  ENJOY!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

the C-Prime Bracelet

So I have seen the infomercials regarding this "new" wonder bracelet called the C-Prime Bracelet that is making claims to add strength and energy to our lives and I then had a cousin who said she bought one.  She posted that it was helping her feel stronger and then again she wasn't sure if it was just a placebo effect.

I did some checking and I liked the video link above called 'Not really testing the "magic bracelet" on Today Tonight'. (hover over the names and scroll until you find it at this site.)  A reporter from Australia did a "blind" test and found some interesting results. Basically, the conclusion I got from the video testimonials is that the mind is highly responsive to suggestions and that is why this bracelet works.  All-in-all the people who were "tested" who were also the doctors and scientists in the group, did not believe the claims.  The "people" who use them though say they work.  Interesting.

In the testimonial that I mentioned above, they took the "hologram" which apparently has the magnetic field in it from the bracelet and placed it in a credit card...one credit card and they had 5 other credit cards that were just credit cards. From behind, they placed the credit cards in six subjects back pockets and then did the "test" for strength.  They asked the manufacturer  to "pick" the person who he felt had the "hologram" in their pocket based on the strength increase he had seen.  They did the test two times and each time the man did NOT guess the right person.  This indicates that it is about positive thoughts and you THINK you are stronger because the magnetic field is on you.

A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez) from the New York Yankees also has his personal testimonial and I found it on-line.  He thinks it helps hum but then I'm not sure if I can totally believe everything he is saying.  He has been known to stretch the truth in the past, if you remember.

Newsfit.com called it a "scam" and the FCC is involved with busting up the pyramid operation.  Not surprising, either way.  Don't know who I trust less, pyramid schemes or the FCC.  I'm just sayin....

Some in the testimonials were quite harsh in their opinions (usually they were educated) calling it a modern day "snake oil".  I tthought the whole discussion was interesting though.  We all are looking for the "fountain of youth" was my conclusion!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Natural Remedies to Fight Chronic Pain

I have not tried these remedies as I don't suffer from chronic pain but I can tell you my husband did deal with a pulled tendon in his arm that he noticed after a canoe trip with our sons.  The pain was so severe that when he would shake hands with another man, he would wince in pain.  He went to the doctor for treatment after dealing with this condition for over a year.

The doctor told him to take ibuprofen, gave him some oral steroids and recommended him to wear a brace on his arm covering the pulled area.  The black band helped but didn't cure the issue.  The doctor talked about giving him a steroid injection into the site but was not confident that it would help and he said it alone was quite painful.  He also talked of surgery.  Well, there really wasn't a great choice of options.  So he resolved to wear the band.  The pain was really difficult to deal with as he could not swing a hammer, use a paint brush or really do much with putting weight or stress to the arm.

A friend of his saw him wearing the band and said to him two words.  Take glucosamine.  My husband went to Wal-mart on the way home from that encounter, bought the glucosamine and within a few days felt relief.  In two weeks he was no longer wearing the band.  He has not had an issue with that injury for almost two years now and even went canoeing again with his sons this past spring!

So if you are dealing with chronic pain I suggest you give a few of these items a try.  What do you have to loose except the pain!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dad's Life

A bit late for Father's day but this is so GREAT!  The Dad Life...get your groove on for this one.  LOVE IT!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Calculate the Date

I have told you that this blog is just full of things that I find interesting, funny, random and just simply things I love and today, is one of the classics.

A friend posted on facebook how long she was married to her new husband (she was at about 304 days) and I thought I wonder how long I have been married in days (we will celebrate 25 years in August).  So I did some searches and found a really fun site.  It is random, I know, but really fun anyway called Time and Date.

There are MANY tools available on this site from a world clock to a new years countdown.  So, have fun with some numbers and some dates.