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Old Cowbelle: 'Brain Busy-Ness'

I've read that keeping the brain "busy" could forestall Alzheimer's disease.

So, I am frantically doing "brain" things for just that reason. I try to find challenging things on the computer, but it's mostly crossword puzzles.

When I get to the end of a puzzle book, I resort to doing the Sudokos. They are kind of fun too, but frustrating. I have to check the correct solutions in the back for each square because, if I don't, it screws up all the ensuing squares. So I have to change any wrong ones, and it feels like cheating!

I would like to know how to pronounce that word: Sudoku. Is it like, "Suuudowkuuu? Or Suudocku? I tried to find it on the internet, but still don't know.

BUT...I did look up the meaning of "Bella Cera" (the name chosen for the new patio bar). The internet told me that they are Italian words meaning "Beautiful Evening." That's a pretty name.

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My cousin came to visit one day last week: DeeDee Fletcher from Pennsylvania. It is fun to catch up on her life. She brought pictures of her grandchildren and her daughter, Erika's farm there in Pennsylvania.

Wow, Erika must be a worker! She and her husband, Boris, have quite a menagerie: chickens, ducks, turkeys, cows, one goat, pigs and one alpaca, and, of course, a dog.

Erika markets her livestock, and even dresses out the fowls herself. She does have a "feather picker," so that after they are dunked in the scalding water, the picker gets most of the feathers off. Then she will finish and dress them.

I used to dress "capons" back when we would raise a thousand each year. I had the tubs of scalding water in the basement in the old farmhouse, and I seem to still be able to smell those wet, hot feathers. Over and over and over again. (I guess I don't mind being so old after all.)

It is fun to hear about Erika and her farming operation. I think of her as a little "city girl," but she sure is ambitious!

DeeDee has traveled in Norway numerous times, and she has given me family tree records, and a photo of the little village where our ancestors came from. It is so good that some of the family keeps records of these family things.

DeeDee's brother Don teaches the Norwegian language, and I would like to learn it, but I wouldn't be able to retain any of it 10 minutes after I heard it. (Sigh.)

I realized that I am the last of the "only Norwegians" in my family. All the rest are part Norwegian and part German or something else.

Not that it makes me any better. At one time in the past, we had a purebred (kind of ornery) Norwegian Elkhound, "Thor." Husband used to say "Mom and Thor are the most stubborn members in the family because they are the only purebred Norwegians."

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Our daily prayers include Our Savior's 14 missionaries, who are now busily "fixing" things in Waterloo, Ia., for people who need help there. Their week will be a service to others, hard work and spiritual growth. I know they will also have fun doing it. God bless each and every one of them.