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March 27, 2014
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State of of State $avings. $avings. Sharon Opdahl, Agent
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Whether you are dog tired (very tired), living a dog’s life (difficult life), or so busy you feel like you are chasing your own tail (working hard but not seeing progress), this Tidbits should give you a reason to go hog wild (become highly enthusiastic)! • An idiom is “a set expression of two or more words that means something other than the literal meanings of its individual words.” The idioms we’ll explore in this Tidbits are those that deal with animals. • Watch these pages like a hawk (carefully) to see if you recognize these sayings. You may find that many are very familiar to you. You may also find some that are complete hogwash (nonsense). In trying not to beat a dead horse (engage in pointless and repetitive discussion), you may want to read these at a snail’s pace (slowly) so that you can catch the meaning of each sentence! • An expression that seems to have disappeared or just never caught on with current generations is “I’ll swan” or “I’ll swanee!” Mostly used in the south, this is an expression of surprise probably as a replacement for “I swear” or a curse word. If you’ve never heard this one you probably think it is for the birds (not for you.)! After all, birds of a feather flock together, (people associate with similar folks)! Turn the page for more!
Issue # 861
“How Cute is This!” “Lynnie”
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CAT AND MOUSE (continued): • Many expressions are ingrained in our vocabulary when we are only knee high to a grasshopper (very small.) Some are kept out of earshot of children because they may not be appropriate for young ears! (Those won’t be in Tidbits!)
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Quiz Bits 1. 2. 3. 4.
5. How many body parts do you have to remove in order to be successful in the game “Operation”? What animal, with webbed feet, 6. What 1980s movie featured the has features that make it look like tagline “Thank God it’s only a a mix of duck, beaver, and otter? motion picture”? Who wrote the poem “The Charge 7. What year did Yuri Gagarin beof the Light Brigade”? come the first human to orbit the What does the acronym CAD Earth—1961, 1963 or 1965? 8. What was the skipper’s real name stand for? on TV’s “Gilligan’s Island”? What is the last name of Dennis, in the comic strip “Dennis the TRIVIA Menace”?
• Sometimes supervision is in the hands of the biggest frog in the pond (most important person in a group), while at other times it may be given to the leader who is as calm as a toad in the sun (calm and content). Either way, if there is conflict, it may be necessary to separate the sheep from the goats (distinguish the good from the bad). • When conflict arises, there are times when people act like animals. A dumb cluck (person acting stupid) may be pigheaded (stupidly stubborn) and try to find a scapegoat (innocent person who is blamed) when things go wrong. • A bullheaded (obstinate) person may try to butt heads (to argue fiercely) with a sheepish (embarrassed) friend only to find that she will pull the wool over his eyes ( fool him). • It is easy to get fleeced (swindled) if you don’t pay attention to what is happening to you and just ignore obvious problems. If you make yourself a sitting duck (easy target) you may end up in a harebrained scheme (foolish plan).
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• While little children may be cute as a bug’s ear (the smaller they come, the cuter they are), some are bullheaded (stubborn) and make a beeline (go toward) to trouble. After all, when the cat’s away, the mice will play (people misbehaving without supervision).
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• It is much better to have all your ducks in a row (be organized), than to go down a rabbit hole (enter a fantasy world) when you need to make decisions.
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SPORTS QUIZ 1. In 1990, two major-league pitchers, one in each league, tossed a no-hitter on the same day (June 29). Name them. 2. How many times has a Kansas City Royals player led the American League in batting average for a season? 3. Name the first college football bowl game in which two Heisman Trophy winners faced each other. (hint: 2000s)
4. In 2013, Paul George became the fourth Indiana Pacer to be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. Name two of the first three. 5. Which golfer had the lowest four-round score in winning the Masters during the 1970s? 6. Through 2013, which school has produced the most Hobey Baker Award winners? 7. What is the most overtimes played in a Men’s Frozen Four Championship game?
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CAT AND MOUSE (continued): • Hold on if you think we are barking up the wrong tree (have the wrong idea), fantasy worlds can be fun and engaging. Just remember that it’s a dogeat-dog world (there is a lot of competition in life) out there and you need to be careful not to be constantly chasing your own tail (working hard but not getting anything done)! • If organizing gives you a burr under your saddle (causes you to be irritated), remember that the early bird gets the worm (start early so that you have the best chance for success). • Seeing an opportunity to improve your life or your situation, sometimes requires walking on eggshells (being careful not to offend others) or a somewhat opposite situation; taking the bull by the horns (tackling the problem). • You sure don’t need to be told that you are not the sharpest quill on the porcupine (not very smart) if you are having a hard time with an assignment. Most people realize when they struggle and have butterflies in their stomachs (feel nervous) when they have bitten off more than they can chew (taken on too hard or big a task). • Speaking of chewing, when you are hungry as a bear (really hungry), it is usually best to take your time eating anyway. Don’t be silly and wolf down your food (eat too fast) or you may find yourself sick as a horse (very sick)! • Hold your horses (be patient) when you need to wait for your food, whether at your home, someone else’s home or a restaurant. Be a good egg (nice person) not a bad egg (bad person) and avoid fighting like cats and dogs (fierce argument). Don’t bite the hand that feeds you (harm someone who is helping you)!
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CAT AND MOUSE (continued): • Take the bull by the horns (face difficulty) when you are strong and can rule the roost (be the boss), but don’t get egg on your face (be humiliated) by taking on more than you can handle. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch (don’t plan on having something until you actually get it)!
• If things are going well in your family or work life, don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs (don’t destroy the source of your good fortune). Be thankful and don’t ruffle any feathers (don’t upset anyone) or you may find yourself eating crow (having to admit that you are wrong). Remember birds of a feather flock together (similar people stick together).
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• Don’t be a fraidy cat (a coward) when it comes to trying new things. Carefully weigh the risks and wing it (improvise) as you are learning. If you get sent on a wild goose chase (to be sent searching for something that can’t be found), then learn from your search. • It is better to let the cat have your tongue (be quiet) than to pretend to be a fat cat (rich and powerful person) when you really have nothing to brag about. After all, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray (even careful plans can go wrong). • Many times in our everyday lives the weather can be an influencing factor in our decision making. If it is raining cats and dogs outside (raining hard) then we are likely to be as happy as a clam (contended) staying at home reading a good book or watching a movie. If the sun is shining and it is nice and warm out, we are likely to go out to have a whale of a time (great enjoyment). • See you later, alligator (good-bye for now)! After while, crocodile (good-bye to you, too)! Tidbits will be back next week.
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Born into a musically gifted family, Celine Dion is the youngest of 14 children. Her parents were both musicians and raised their children to be involved with music as well. • Celine Marie Claudette Dion was born on March 30, 1968, in the rural French Canadian town of Charlemagne, Quebec, about 30 miles (48 km) east of Montreal. Celine’s parents were the operators of a small club where the entire family performed on weekends. • Celine composed a French song, along with her mother and one of her brothers, when she was only twelve. When the demo tape with that song wound up in the hands of René Angélil, a personal manager, the course of Celine’s life was forever changed. • Amazed by Dion’s voice, Angélil was intent on making Celine famous in January, 1981. He mortgaged his own home to finance the recording of Celine Dion’s debut album! (She was only 13!)
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• The real breakthrough album that propelled Dion to international stardom was her second English album, recorded in 1992, The album, Celine Dion, featured the theme song for Disney’s animated hit, Beauty and the Beast. She and Peabo Bryson, chosen to sing the duet, were rewarded with the hit reaching worldwide audiences.
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• By 1982, Dion was receiving international attention. She won the Gold Medal at the Yamaha World Song Festival in Tokyo in 1982. In 1983, she was the first Canadian to ever receive a Gold Record in France. • By the age of 18, Dion had nine French albums recorded and many awards. Her first English language album was recorded in 1990, containing the hit single, Where Does My Heart Beat Now.
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CELINE DION (continued): • Celine Dion, became Dion’s first gold record in the U.S. and more than 12 million copies were sold internationally. She has earned awards from all over the world: Juno and Felix Awards in Canada, Grammys in the U.S., and many more.
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MOMENTS IN TIME • On March 31, 1776, future first lady Abigail Adams writes to her husband urging him to "remember the ladies" when drafting a new code of laws for the fledgling nation. Abigail pondered if and how the rights of women would be addressed in an American constitution. • On April 4, 1841, only 31 days after assuming office, William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, dies at the White House. At his inauguration, Harrison declined to wear a jacket or hat and made a two-hour speech. Soon afterward, he developed pneumonia. • On April 5, 1859, naturalist Charles Darwin sends his publishers the first three chapters of "Origin of Species," which will become one of the most influential books ever published. Knowing the fates of scientists who had published radical theories and been ostracized or worse, Darwin had held off publishing his theory of natural selection for years. • On April 1, 1924, Adolf Hitler is sentenced for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch of Nov. 8, 1923. He had © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
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been charged with high treason. Despite his conviction, he was out of jail before the end of the year, with his political position stronger than ever. • On April 3, 1936, Richard Bruno Hauptmann, convicted in the kidnapping and murder of the 20-month-old son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, is executed by electrocution. In 1932, Charles Jr. was kidnapped from the nursery of the Lindbergh home. • On April 2, 1979, the world's first anthrax epidemic begins in Ekaterinburg, Russia (now Sverdlosk). Thirteen years later the epidemic was finally explained: Workers at a weapons plant had failed to replace a filter, causing a release of anthrax spores into the outside air. • On April 6, 1950, a train plunges off a bridge into a rain-swollen river in Tangua, Brazil, killing 110 people. Days of torrential rains had undermined the bridge's foundation, but there was no warning system to stop the train. The locomotive and five cars fell into the river. The remaining 17 cars somehow stayed on the tracks.
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• Dion announced at a New Years’ Eve 1999 concert that she would be taking some time off to start a family. She and husband, René, welcomed a baby boy, René-Charles Angélil, into their lives on January 25, 2001. After a twoyear absence, Celine released a new album, A New Day Has Come in March, 2002. • Dion began a three-year contract to appear at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in March, 2003. Her commitment was to appear five nights a week in The Colosseum, built especially for her and her show, “A New Day.” The 90-minute show was a “fusion of song, performance art, theatrical innovation and state-of-the-art technology.” The theater cost approximately $95 million! • On October 23, 2010, Dion gave birth to twin boys, Nelson and Eddy. The mother of 3 boys returned to the stage in Las Vegas on March 15, 2011. • Her new show features her biggest hits as well as classics from other artists. There is a full orchestra and band and 31 other musicians are featured in the 4,300 seat venue. Within a month of her return to Caesars Palace, the new show climbed to the #1 spot on Billboard’s Boxscore chart, which lists the top grossing concerts in North America. • Dion released her first English album in six years, Loved Me Back to Life, on November 5, 2013. Celine is the bestselling Canadian artist of all time and the second bestselling female artist in the United States.
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UP FROM THE GROUND
Springtime is a welcome time of year when the grass turns green and bulbs spring to life with colorful flowers. There are also other plants that spring up as the air and ground warms for the pleasure of people and animals! • Crocus are among the first flowers to burst from their bulbs in spring when the ground gets warm. From “snow” crocuses, which are the first to bloom, to giant Dutch crocuses, the flowers brighten gardens in a variety of colors: red, pink, purple, blue, yellow, orange and more. Even though the latter are called “giant,” all crocuses are small, between 2-4 inches tall. Some have strong scents that lure bees out of their hives as early as February to start their honey-making process.
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• Some other small flowers that may sprout from bulbs even before crocus are: glory-of-the-snow, winter aconite, common snowdrop, spring slowflake and netted iris. (Notice: 3 of the 4 early bloomers have names associated with winter!) • Along with the bulbs planted in yards, ephemeral wildflowers are beginning to pop up in forests all around North America at this time of year. Ephemeral means “short-lived.” For the spring flowering ephemerals, they make an appearance as soon as the weather is warm, leaf out, bloom, spread a little and go dormant when hot weather intrudes. Spring ephemerals prefer damp areas like stream banks.
• With the summer holidays approaching, you might want to keep in mind this tidbit: Every year, 75,000 stuffed animals are left behind in hotels. Be sure to check under the bed before you leave! • It was long believed that a single piece of paper couldn't be folded more than seven times, but in 2002, highschooler Britney Gallivan disproved that notion. She ordered a 4,000-foot-long roll of toilet paper and, along with her family, headed to a shopping mall to try to break the seven-fold limit. After seven hours, she and her family had succeeded in folding the paper 12 times, putting an end to the myth.
• Ancient Mayan warriors were known to throw hornets' nests at each other in battle. • At some point you've almost certainly heard a coward described as "lily-livered," but did you ever wonder where that expression came from? It was once believed that the seat of courage in the human body was the liver; therefore, someone who was timid presumably lacked blood in the liver, causing that organ to become white. • If you're like the average American, you spend 38 hours in traffic every year. If you live in Chicago, you're stuck for 46 hours. If you're unlucky enough to be driving in Los Angeles, you'll be at the mercy of traffic for a whopping 72 hours every year. * * * Thought for the Day: "If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe." -- Carl Sagan
• It was nonviolent Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi who made the following sage observation: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." • Beloved children's author Dr. Seuss had a hobby that few people were aware of: He collected hats.
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• Crocus means cheerfulness. Appropriately named, the little blooms are rarely bothered by deer, rabbits and squirrels. Snow and freezing temperatures can sometimes stop the blooms, leaving the greenery to peek out alone. Also, fall-blooming crocuses reappear in the spring but without their flowers.
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UP FROM THE GROUND (continued): • Ephemeral wildflowers, as a group, make up DEERE. one of the JOHN largestDEERE. types of(continued): wildflowers. Unbywhile many, theyin appear disappear • seen It was living Illinois and that John noticed the problems that farmers when quickly. The small, colorful plantsfaced take advanattempting to tillthat soil.comes Because area had tage of sunlight intotheforested arformerly been woodland, the soil was rich eas before leaves grow on the trees over their with hummus, clung to heads. Once the which leaves clumped block theand sunshine, the the blades of the plows farmers were accusglorious display of little flowers goes away! tomed to using. While repairing a broken cir• With common names such as Skunk cularstrange saw, Deere stumbled upon an idea. He Cabbage, Bloodroot, Cutleaved Toothwort, employed his smith skills to fashion the steel Dutchman’s Breeches blade into the shape and of aTrout plow.Lily, He many affixedof these plants emerge April and are two wooden spokes,inthen hitched the gone deviceby to a horse. It plowed the heavy Illinois May or early June. They emerge again soil each like a charm. a farmer spring and if In thefact, ground haswho not happened been disto be observing test run immediately put turbed, usually inthelarger, more colorful numin an order for his own John Deere plow. bers.
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• Skunk In short order, Deere gave up hiswith blacksmith • cabbage is an ephemeral an odor shop and focused on making plows. Theto of rotten meat. It has the strange ability company grew steadily and added many emraise the temperature inside its flowers to ployees. In the late 1840s, John relocated the cause to melt around it. entiresnow operation to Moline, Illinois. Ashamed
• Aofmore pleasant that John is nice to have his own lackephemeral of education, sent his the state’s finest schools.Breeches. One of inchildren a hometo garden is Dutchman’s his proudest occurred when son Charles The cute littledays white flowers resemble pantaearned the equivalent of an MBA from Bell’s loons blowing in the wind. Commercial College in Chicago.
• Trout Lily is so-named for its timing to bloom • when With his sonare Charles managing the company, trout running or spawning. Trout John found time to pursue philanthropic infishermen love to discover these little blooms! terests. He co-founded both the First Nation-
• Trilliums always haveCongregational 3 leaves, 3 petals and 3 al Bank and the First Church. sepals. of these are native to the United He wasMost elected the mayor of Moline in 1873, States. favorite snack forreplacedeer so where They one ofare hisa first actions – the mentlittle of the city’ssometimes open drains with a sewer their blooms disappear quickpipe system – saved countless lives by reducly. Trilliums, as well as many other flowers, ing the spread of disease. grow from rhizomes, not bulbs. A rhizome is a underground can send • “horizontal The original John Deerestem logo,which registered in out bothdepicted shoots aand roots.” 1876, deer that was native to Afri-
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ca. Thirty-six years later, on in 1912, • Spring officially started Marchit was 20th,re-so placed with the image of a North American now is the time to head to the woods to see white-tailed deer. In the decades that folwhat has come up from the ground! lowed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took over as the symbol of the John Deere brand.
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Sports Answers 1. Dave Stewart (A’s) and Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers) 2. 4 times: George Brett (3x) and Willie Wilson 3. 2005 Orange Bowl. SCal’s Matt Leinart & OK’s Jason White
4. Jalen Rose (2000), Jermaine O’Neal (2002), Danny Granger (2009) 5. Ray Floyd had 271 in 1976 6. MN-Duluth: 5 7. 4 OTs in 1984. Bowling Green 5-4 over MNDuluth
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