The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

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    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
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    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
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    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
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    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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2006.10.11 Eating logs, but no ants

Written by David Green.


Departure time was rapidly approaching. School would soon begin for the day. I offered to give Maddie a hand with her lunch-packing chore.

“Peanut butter on celery?” I asked.

That sounded good to her, so as she disappeared into the bathroom, I searched for celery in the refrigerator. I broke off a stalk, trimmed off the top and bottom and washed it. The opening into the interior trough was so tight that I couldn’t even insert a finger to rub it down. I knew a tough job was ahead.

I crammed in some peanut butter to the best of my ability, tore off a piece of wax paper for wrapping, and showed her the result before packaging.

“It’s going to be a mess,” I said. “I couldn’t get the peanut butter inside very well.”

That didn’t bother her. There was a much more obvious problem.

“There are no raisins,” she said.

I didn’t exactly forget. I knew we were out of raisins because I put the last of them on my oatmeal earlier.

So it was “ants on a log” without the ants. I wanted her to eat a log. How cruel of me.

I started to talk her into eating just a log, but I knew it would become my lunch instead.

I made a search in the refrigerator for a renegade bag of raisins and found one. The ants were soon tightly packed along the length of the log and now she was out the door.

I don’t have many memories of school-year breakfasts from when the kids were growing up. I think most mornings involved cold cereal, but if we were out of that or milk, I would resort to making oatmeal or poached eggs on toast.

I actually have fond memories of making poached eggs, only in the challenge of creating the perfectly cooked egg that would provide the proper amount of yolk spread across the bread without having the albumin too runny.

I think Ben would attest to some excellent poaching over the years.

My worst breakfast memory still hangs there in my head like a sliver stuck in the brain. It was an oatmeal morning and Ben dumped brown sugar into his bowl right out of the bag without using a spoon.

I suppose he was just copying me. That’s how I often did it, but with a good degree of control. A small avalanche occurred for him and he ended up with a sizable pile of sugar on his oatmeal. My verbal response was a little harsh and I’ve felt badly about it ever since.

My oddest breakfast memory is from the first morning of the short visit from a Japanese visitor. I think Colleen made oatmeal, which, for him, must have been like eating a bowl of dog food. The ultra polite boy couldn’t quite control what his face was saying.

I think he ended up with tea and miso soup. Ben says that when he visited Japan through the exchange program, he was served salad for breakfast every day.

When Colleen heard the ants on a log story, she pointed out that my breakfast and lunch packing days with children will be coming to an end. Next May, 19 years of breakfasts will be finished when Maddie graduates.

Colleen, the Midnight Muser, missed out on most of those mornings, but certainly not all of them.

“I made a crapload of breakfasts,” she said in a not-too-appetizing fashion. “Pancakes, French toast, oatmeal.”

It’s true, there were mornings when she arose early just for the purpose of creating a real breakfast for the kids before they ran off for class. I wouldn’t be able to count those mornings on the fingers of two hands, but maybe if I took off my shoes and socks and used my toes.

If I remember correctly, her pancakes were the source of Ben’s famous remark, “Do you always have to burn them?”

It just doesn’t sound right for me to tell that story. She’s recounted it herself in the past across the way on page two of the Observer, and it was funny. For me to say it only sounds cruel.

That brings to mind what Keith Whitehouse said in the library recently. Something like, “Reading your columns, I’m surprised you two have had such a long marriage together.”

We joke a lot. Maybe that’s part of the long marriage. I love her cooking. Besides, I know it’s my job to eat the burned stuff.

   - Oct. 11, 2006


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