Out and About – Week of April 8th

In April, 2006, this column appeared for the first time in this newspaper. This means that I’ve written this column for seven years. That amounts to around 364 columns.

I’ve done my best to keep the column simple. I don’t write about politics or express my religious beliefs. I’ll leave that to those who spend eight hours a day on Facebook. Oh, now and then I do get on my little soapbox. My blood pressure goes up when I hear about the mistreatment of animals, when I see ignorant people littering, or when I notice that the price of gasoline just shot up twenty cents. I’m pretty sure I have a right to my opinion, but I’d rather not shove it down anyone’s throat. Enough said about that.

This column has changed a bit. I’m no longer a source of FREE publicity for someone’s event. I will gladly mention something now and then, especially if I’m planning to be there. I’m very fortunate to be able to get Out and About quite often, so that’s what I enjoy writing about in this column.

I love humor, and if I can make you laugh or smile, then I’ve done my job. The newspapers are filled with quite a bit of gloom and doom. This newspaper goes the extra mile to include “good news” as much as possible, so I’m honored to be able to contribute my share of smile-makers.

At the bottom of this column is some information about me. My mailing address is the same as it has always been, but right now, we have only one cat. I must try to remember to let the newspaper know this, but my memory fails me sometimes. Anyway, our cat’s name is Dixie, and we adopted her from Animal Control in Centreville. We’re sure she was abused, but after several years of living with us and receiving unconditional love, she’s finally coming around. Animal control is definitely the place to go when you are seeking an animal addition to your family.

The Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) deserves a standing ovation for all that they do with Animal Control. Speaking of which, ARF will host their Annual Dinner/Auction this Saturday, April 13, at Belle Epoque (formerly A Place in Time), in Three Rivers. Doors open at 5PM, with dinner beginning at 5:30. The auction of donated items will start at 6:30. Tickets are now available at Beam Sound and Video, on West Michigan Avenue, Three Rivers. Adult tickets are $10, and children 12 and under may purchase their tickets for $6. This is a fun event and it’s all for a great cause, because it helps provide food and care for the unwanted dogs and cats in St. Joseph County. My wife and I have helped out with this event in the past, and we’re looking forward to being there again this year. The Dinner/Auction has always been held in the Three Rivers High School cafeteria, so make note of the change in venue.

We’re coming up on that time of the year when the aroma of steaks on the grill fills the air. It’s one of my favorite smells, and it’s quite contagious. It doesn’t take long before the “guys” are putting on their chef’s apron and manning their own kitchen on the back deck. The burgers always seem to taste just a little better when cooked over charcoal. A helpful hint when buying beef: You can save plenty by buying beef wholesale in quantity, but be aware of what you’re getting. Advertised weights of beef carcasses or sides include bone and untrimmed fat. Look for the USDA “yield grade” stamped on the meat to learn what percentage is edible cuts.

This column would not be possible without the editing expertise of my wife. She makes this column readable. Kudos to the staff of the Commercial-News. I appreciate the space on page four that they have allowed me every Tuesday. Most of all, I want to thank you readers. Your contributions add to the content of the column, and your kind words are priceless.

Because the tax-man cometh next week, I’m reminded of this fact. “A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.”

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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