Here is my latest unusual old ceramic. This “tacky” 70’s soap-dish features a cherub riding a porpoise, or is it a dolphin, holding a dish above it’s head. It reminds me of the marine-themed statuettes along the wall along the beach in Timor Leste.


Chartreuse for Charlee



Mid-mod desk…$15

Additional supplies/costs

(4) Coasters to tap on legs
(3) Metal drawer pulls
(1) Plastic crate

White Primer spray paint
Ivy Leaf Green gloss spray paint
Glitter Green paint
Clear finishing paint

(2) Bent-wood stackable chairs to match (not pictured)



Grandma was a Reindeer

My kids’ grandma was a reindeer,
Dressed for Santa Christmas Eve.
Her nose was red ’cause of the blizzard,
As the snowy wind blew in her face.
(And from the brandied eggnog which she’d laced!)

My kid’s grandpa couldn’t find her,
Till the bells rang out on Christmas Day.
For when the mall’s doors were closing,
Santa and his elves began to play.

Mrs. Claus took off with all the presents,
Flying ’round upon the sleigh.
Making sure that all the children,
Got their toys that Christmas Day!

Grandma stumbled in the kitchen, As the taxi drove away.
Her reindeer tail caught in the doorway,
Her reindeer horns were torn and sprained.

My kid’s grandma was a reindeer,
And her life was forever changed.
Yah, our poor ol’ dearest grandma,
Ne’er quite seemed the same again!

By Val J. Kolle 11/1/11


Angels II

Growing up, my mom worked at a VA hospital. She started working in dietary carrying meal trays to the patients during the Vietnam Era. She worked her way into secretarial positions and retired after 34 years. She received an award for saving a person who called into the hospital from central ND. She was able to trace his records after the line went silent and alert emergency personnel. He was diabetic and had gone into shock.
We opened our home during that same era to my cousin, Susan, when she was 18. She was able to study early computer skills and eventually landed a career with 3M.
Once, while my mom brought my cousin and brother to the bus depot, she helped a young wife of a soldier in Vietnam and her baby. They were in transit to Montana from the east coast and she had left her tickets on the last bus. My mom invited them home to wait, bathe, have clean clothes, food, and fresh milk for the baby, and rest. The tickets were located and the young mother and infant were able to complete their journey. One of my mom’s coworkers told a columnist in the local paper and he wrote a word of praise on her behalf.
We were always seeing this type of welcome. The winters in the upper Midwest are challenging, stranded Bethany college students from Canada en-route from The Twin Cities spent several days after their vehicle slid into a snowy ditch. They enjoyed and appreciated the hospitality so much they sent my mom a Bethany Lefsa Grill in gratitude.
My brother as a Highway Patrol during a blizzard donned insulated coveralls hand-shoveled several vehicles buried in snowbanks, hooked up chains to their bumpers, and pulled them out to safety. The occupants would not have survived without his help.
Every action has a “ripple effect!” I love the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life!” It truly demonstrates how one person’s actions touch the lives of many others.





Angels Among Us


I really believe that we are placed into each-other’s lives for a purpose. I’ve had wonderful teachers and doctors in the lives of my children. Once, my oldest son had ear and sinus infections. I had my second son and my daughter along to the doctor. That doctor, without charging extra would always check all three children. One of those times, my second son, who rarely complained when he was hurting, had developed Scarlet Fever. Had that doctor not taken the time to look, my son’s heart could have been damaged. Another time, my youngest son had been bit by a bat at his daycare while they were crossing the street. He told three day care providers and some of the children, yet they dismissed him. Later, on the way to the fair, he showed the bat to my ex and stepdaughter. They poked a stick at the bat, it was alive. The next time, they looked it was gone. The next morning, my son told me about the bite, I called my work, brought him to the doctor, who listened and believed my son. He immediately sent us up to Fargo to start the series of rabies shots. Had that doctor dismissed my son as his day care workers had, he perhaps may not be alive today. That doctor was an “Angel!”
My daughter loves art and is now designing fashions. My youngest son also loves to create, drawing, painting and sculpturing. Much of their talents come from my Aunt Muriel and a wonderful art teacher, Mr. G., throughout high school. Last winter, when my daughter was visiting in town from Seattle. Mr. G., with his three children in tow, opened up the school art studio so my son could show his sister his sculptures. Mr. G. entered one of my son’s sculptures which was accepted in a national high school level art sculpture show in Seattle.
Being a single mom during much of my youngest son’s growing up years, his older brothers and sister, church leaders, and coaches have really made a difference in his life. Looking back, my nineteen year old son will some day have the perspective to see all the many ways these “Angels” have helped to enhance his life! He will carry their influence to others he touches in his lifetime.
People who do more than necessary and go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of another are “Angels Among Us!”
At times, my jobs or studies have brought me into the lives of others where I believe I had an impact in helping guide the person in a positive direction. I have been a “hero” of a sort to some people, and I’m so happy I was able to be a part of it all.
When I can give the gift of time, be the one who was there in their time of need, fulfill their dreams, and make a difference. Wow!!
One person spent a lifetime seeking his family. He was 19, when he last saw any of them. I was able to find his niece and brother’s family and especially his sister when he was 72. His sister called me and their niece her “Angels.” Both of them are looking down from heaven since that time.
I’ve had the privilege to work with people facing mental illness, developmental and physical disabilities. People who have been faced with extreme life challenges, I’ve been able to be there. I’ve been placed in life-saving, life-changing situations and have been able to touch lives and help them visualize their own strengths, talents, and gifts.
Sometimes, there is only a “window of time” where we are placed in someone’s life. I always hope and pray that I will be aware and available in each of those moments to make a positive difference.
I’ve failed many things in my life, yet I’ve survived and hopefully have learned many lessons along the way. I have no regrets, cherish my children, grandchildren, and the people I’ve met along the way. There’s more good than bad in most people. I believe in forgiveness and in the grace of God.
Today, I was “Thrifting” locally, and came across a treasure. As a child, I had a book of Bible lessons called, “More Little Visits from God.” I found a 1966 copyright version of this in mint condition. Many of the lessons can be adapted and updated for use as a school counselor. I had read this book cover-to-cover many times as a child.