Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday mainly because I have a love-hate relationship with turkey and stuffing. I love to eat it, and I hate to get on the scale the next day! Why I weigh myself the day after is a different story…. After last year’s eating season I decided to stop dieting and make a lifestyle change instead.
The good thing about a lifestyle change vs. a temporary diet is I can keep climbing back on the wagon after I’ve fallen off. I may be battered and bruised, but I’ve stopped beating myself up for being a diet ‘failure.’
It’s an ongoing process, and that’s how I want to view being thankful. A special day set aside to be grateful for our blessings is wondrous and gives us time with family and friends. But saying thanks for the people and things enriching our lives should be something we do on a continuing basis.
So, in the spirit of gratefulness, here’s my list of what I’m thankful for this holiday and year-round:
- The fact I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner. I hate to cook (RIP Peg Bracken). Now I’ve baked many a pie over the years, including our first year of marriage when, in frustration, I lobbed a lumpy batch of homemade crust at the ceiling. I’ll do dishes til the cows come home, but I’m always thankful on the last Thursday of November and year-round for a husband who cooks.
- My children. I like and love them. What more can mother ask for?
- My mother. She’s my best friend and writing partner. She never hovered, allowed all four of her kids enormous independence, yet was always there if any pieces needed to be picked up. She still is.
- My siblings and their families. Admittedly I did try to lose my youngest brother at Disneyland when he was just a preschooler and once my sister and I did tie him to a tree (there’s home movie proof), but we still love him. Happy Birthday, Mark!
- Friends. Through all the years and all the places I’ve lived, I’ve truly been blessed, and continue to be blessed, with the best friends in the world. Seriously.
- All the ‘boys’ I’ve ever crushed on, from teenybopper icons to the real deals. They were all precursors to the man who cooks, and how can I not be grateful this season and year-round to those who made my heart go pitter-patter?
- Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Yes, I’ll eat too much and want to toss the scale just like that long-ago pie dough. Then I’ll climb back onto that ‘wagon’ the following day, grateful for hearth and home…and the people I love.
Now it’s time to think about pies…I’m also thankful this year for Pet-Ritz!
In honor of the day, and just in time for Thanksgiving, I thought I’d include a recipe from Scandinavian-American chef Beatice Ojakangas’s blog, called “The Best Lefse Recipe Ever.” (Beatrice’s recipes were featured in Viking’s June food issue.) That’s no small claim—I happen to think my dad makes the best lefse ever! Note that Beatrice’s recipe is wonderfully large—it makes about 100 pieces! (Hmmm….could that be what makes it best?) The recipe looks very similar to my family’s recipe, affectionately called “Lena’s Lefse,” (named for Lena Trygestad, who lived near Bellingham, Minn.), although I see that Beatrice’s recipe calls for less flour than Lena used.
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful to be carrying on this family culinary tradition of lefse making, while teaching the next generation. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. And may you find a plate of lefse on your holiday table!
Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.Photo courtesy of Flickr user little blue hen.
I may be sitting here at my desk, but my mind is far off in the Norwegian Arctic this week. I’ve been editing the Viking travel issue, including a feature that’s set in Norway’s frozen north.
While Americans are gearing up for Thanksgiving, Norwegians living north of the polar circle are anticipating the onset of mørketiden (literally, "the dark time"), when the sun slips below the horizon on Nov. 25, not to be seen again until Jan. 17. This is the payback for all those glorious weeks of midnight sun that Norwegians bask in during the summer. While the dark winter sounds like a huge challenge to me, the people I know that live in the far north seem to take it in stride, seeking out the company of friends, lighting plenty of candles and enjoying the spectacular displays of northern lights that accompany the darkness.
If you want to experience the Arctic winter for yourself, Visit Tromsø has a website to get you started. Look for more resources and inspiration in Viking’s travel issue, coming your way in January!
Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user RunarE.
EX-NURSE PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO ENCOURAGING SUICIDE
BY: Emily Gurnon
Prosecutors say William Melchert-Dinkel, 48, of Faribault, posed as a young female nurse on the Internet and offered sympathy, emotional support and instructions on suicide methods to urge others to end their lives.
In two cases, they did: Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ontario, and Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England, killed themselves after they corresponded online with Melchert-Dinkel, according to a criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court.
Defense attorney Terry Watkins entered the plea on behalf of his client. He also moved that the case be dismissed on the grounds that the state of Minnesota lacks jurisdiction because the alleged suicide messages were received in England and Canada.
Rice County Attorney G. Paul Beaumaster, who is prosecuting the case, disagreed.
"The gist of the crime is the encouraging, the advice" regarding suicide, he said.
Rice County District Judge Thomas Neuville directed both sides to submit a memorandum on the issue by Dec. 10, and said he would take the matter under advisement Dec. 13. He has 60 days to make a decision after that.
Last week, the judge denied Melchert-Dinkel's motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the Internet communications were protected free speech.
Watkins asked the judge today to send that question to the state Court of Appeals. Neuville will take that under advisement as well.
A trial date has not yet been set. In the meantime, Beaumaster told the court that he and Watkins have been talking about meeting for a settlement conference.
On his way out of the courthouse, Melchert-Dinkel did not respond to reporters as he walked to his car.
Minnesota officials began investigating the case in March 2008. St. Paul police Sgt. William Haider, on assignment with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, got information from a British woman that an "online predator" was encouraging people to hang themselves, according to the criminal complaint filed April 23.
Celia Blay of England told police the "predator" went by the online names "li dao," "falcon girl," and "cami." She said his real name was Bill Melchert-Dinkel.
Online Advice / In his Nov. 9 order denying Melchert-Dinkel's motion to dismiss the case, the judge included chilling excerpts of the online conversations.
An undated message from Mark Drybrough, posted to a suicide chat room, read:
"Does anyone have details of hanging methods where there isn't access to anything high up to tie the rope to...."
"Li dao" wrote back on July 1, 2005:
"Depending on how tall you are, preferably under 6 feet tall, you can easily hang from a door using the knob on one side to tie the rope to, sling it over the top of the door, attach the noose or loop to yourself then step off and hang successfully... It is very effective. I have trialed it 5 times now with very good results so I am using it for certain when I go."
"Li dao" to Drybrough, July 19, 2005: "I was going to ask you if there is a time line involved with your desire to die... I want to very badly and plan to soon but will stay here for you as long as possible. ... I have had several other friends I have communicated with that are suicidal ... (one) asked me if I could be with him when he died ... he had a web cam and asked if he could hang himself to death while I watched him on the web cam ... I realized he lived alone yada yada and did not want to die alone. In the end I watched him go and it was very peaceful and I was pretty pleased I could make this guy's last moments special for him... **hugs** Li."
Drybrough, July 23, 2005: "Hi, Li. I'm still here, I've had a few days where I've been feeling very ill, physically and mentally. ... It was good of you to write back, thank you... I keep holding on to the hope that things might change. Caught between being suicidal and considering it..."
Drybrough killed himself four days later. His sister found him hanging from a rope attached to a ladder.
'I Can Die Then Easily' / According to police, Nadia Kajouji, 18, also corresponded with Melchert-Dinkel, who referred to himself as "Cami."
One of their online chats, from March 6, 2008:
Nadia: How are you?
Cami: Umm, not too good hun, still suicidal, pretty bad... I've seen every method used at work as an emergency ward nurse. I know what does and don't work so that is why I chose hanging ...
Nadia: I am planning to attempt this Sunday.
Cami: Wow OK you want to use hanging too? Or can u?
Nadia: I'm going to jump.
Cami: Well, that is OK but most people puss out before doing that ...
Nadia: I want it to look like an accident. There's a bridge over the river where there's a break in the ice. The water is really rough right now and it should carry me back under the ice so I can't come up for air. And if drowning doesn't get me, hopefully hypothermia will.
Cami: OK otherwise I was gonna suggest hanging...
Nadia: I'll have my skates on. Hopefully it'll look like I fell through somewhere upstream.
Cami: OK I hope it works.... If you wanted to do hanging we could have done it together online so it would not have been so scary for you...
Nadia: Well if I puss out, I think we should do that.
Cami: OK that sounds good. I'm off Monday too. I can die then easily or any time for that matter. I want to bad. I got rope and stuff ready. Do you have a web cam?
Cami: OK well if it comes down to hanging I can help you with it ... proper positioning of the rope is very important ...
Nadia: ... it's a big relief to be able to talk to someone about it.
Cami: Kewl thanx.
They chatted again March 9, 2008. Nadia Kajouji told her roommate later that night that she was going skating.
Her body was found April 20, 2008, in the Rideau River in Ottawa near the university that she attended.
Note: Planned to post this Tuesday…but take note of the title.
November is officially halfway over, and I’m just now packing away my summer clothes. “Packing” may be pushing the definition. So far I’ve taken about half a dozen shirts off hangers, folded, and tossed in a clear plastic bin. At the rate I’m going, it’ll be spring by the time I finish the job.
I wrote those words yesterday but am tackling the job anew today. The container is filling up, and soon I’ll be ready for a second one. Putting sweaters into drawers is a job that can wait for another day. Soon I’m heading out to meet my neighborhood walking pal.
Folding haphazardly…I never worked retail and that’s probably a good thing…I’m blinking back tears. Summer, like the rest of this year, was filled with soaring highs and dipping lows.
As the sun begins to set on another year, I’m filled with infinite joys and sorrows for reasons I can’t even articulate.
Never did I think a pink polo shirt would have the power to render me mute. Years ago almost-twenty-year-old Erik and I had a spirited discussion about whether a pair of athletic shorts that he and his dad had just purchased fit properly. I’ve long since forgotten what was really bugging me, but it wasn’t the sizing of a pair of nylon athletic wear.
Since then the phrase “It’s like the shorts” has become a permanent part of the lexicon around here. When someone gets upset about a seemingly silly thing, and it’s really about something much deeper, we dredge out that phrase and somehow we all know to back off and let the subtext subside.
So later when I place the rest of my summer clothes in the sterile containers and the tears start to flow, I’ll remind myself "It’s like the shorts" and snap the lid on the subtext.
Wikisposure has officially bit the dust, according to the head rat of Pee-J himself, Xavier Von Erck.
Without a strong team of volunteer researchers updating the content on the site, the project was unsupportable and therefore I've removed the project from the PJFI.org list of websites.
Thanks to all of those who contributed to the research and convictions over the years. Your work was appreciated and made a real difference.
The staff over at corrupted-justice has called bullshit on Von Erck's proclamation. More than likely someone finally got an attorney and is ready to bury Pee-J in litigation. The heyday of TCAP is long gone and the money and interest has run dry. I have to laugh at AZU since they wasted so much time and felt so proud of themselves for their Wikisposure "outings."
R.I.P. Wikisposure! Here's a little song for your eulogy [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE]
Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.
This is exciting news, to be sure. But even more, it is a testament to the hard work of the all the volunteers, board members and benefiting charities!
Don't forget! There's still time to purchase individual tickets or entire tables! All you have to do is call (800) 945-8851!
Woman Could Be Charged For Monitoring Sex Offenders
I love this art by James Christensen-- it's called "The Responsible Woman." My mom had a print of this piece when I was growing up, and I remember thinking that I wanted to be the woman in the painting. I love the way she is carrying so much, yet she doesn't look tired or frustrated, but just carries on with her head held high. And I love that, even with all of her heavy load, she still thought to wear red shoes.
I'm imagining what The Responsible Woman would look like if she were me-- cut off all of that hair, subtract the dog, add a computer, some balls and Legos, and two more boys (I imagine Gordon would be trying to swan dive off of my backside)-- I don't know if I keep up the steadfast look as well as this woman does, though. My picture would probably have me gritting my teeth, just trying to get through the day.
I've decided that I'm tired of whining about how busy I am-- it's nothing new to most of my readers, who are also extremely busy! If you're like me, there are so many things you want to do in a day, and you tend to get discouraged if you don't get to everything. I'm trying to rid myself of that discouragement, though, and just try to be happy with what I did do-- and look forward to tomorrow.
I'm working on delegating some of those extra things-- I "hired" two fabulous people from my Creative Team, Heidi and Debbie, who will help me with some of the promotional and administrative work in my digital design business. You might have noticed Heidi's Sneak Peek earlier today-- she's doing a great job already!
I'm also delegating some housekeeping duties to Tom and Gordon with a job chart. Their rooms get ridiculously messy in such a short time-- and it's time to crack down on that little problem!
And finally, I'm delegating my guilt, harried-ness, and general whininess to anyone who wants to take them. :) Wish me luck!
It's going to be a great event and if you are in the Twin Cities, I encourage you to call and order your tickets now, before they're gone! The deadline for ticket purchase is November 16th! All you have to do is call (800) 945-8851 and place your order by phone to be part of this fall's signature event!
Last night I attended the 14th annual Minnesota Magazine Publishing Excellence Awards. Apparently, our readers aren’t the only folks who like Viking: the judges did, too! Our May wedding issue won two silver awards: one for Best Single-Topic Issue and one for Best How-To Article (that is, how-to add some Norwegian touches to your big day). Our January “Get on Board” feature won a silver award for best use of visuals/photography. And remember the speed skater on our February issue? It won a bronze award for Best Single Cover.
Now it’s your turn to be the judge. Did you have a favorite issue or feature in Viking this year? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Share your thoughts by emailing me at email@example.com.
Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.
Now, T-Sand constantly challenges Once Fallen to apologize for the things T-Sand accuses him of, namely being unrepentant and a victim-basher. However, Clay Keys, Absolute Zero's resident sexual predator/ cheerleader to the pro-rape group Absolute Zero United, has never once apologized publicly to his victim! Recently Clay Keys was issued a challenge-- to PUBLICLY apologize to the victim. Clay Keys, however, could not give an honest apology. Why would Clay Keys demand something from the one he attacks (who has apologized to his victim) but not apologize himself? And why has the pseudo-victim advocate (yet pro-rape) Absolute Zero United not made such demands?
Once Fallen: When are you going to apologize to your victim? When are you going to apologize for the harm YOU caused? Instead of trying to project all your rage onto me, maybe it is time you do what you keep claiming I should do and take responsibility for your actions. Attacking other RSOs does not count as restitution.
Clay Keys: [Responds with personal attack]
Once Fallen: Again Clay, you are evading my question. WHERE IS YOUR REMORSE FOR YOUR VICTIM? Why is it the entire internet is devoid of Clay taking responsibility for his actions? You're projecting again. Let us focus on Clay. Where is Clay's remorse for his victim?
Clay Keys: My remorse is not blaming the victim unlike you have. The internet is not devoid, in that people are aware I have not committed ANOTHER sex crime, whereas, every day since 2005, you have re victimized your victim Derek again and again on a daily basis, by blaming her instead of yourself! Kind of weird that in your rage, you tell people I am a violent child rapist, when in fact the very sex offender registry you despise, Proves this is not true. The registry vindicates me otherwise but you've no problem spreading your vigilante lies. Why is that? Am I hurt you called me a child rapist, nope. Does it hurt your credibility as a reformed (cough,cough) sex offender? Oh Yes!
[NOTE: The registry does not disprove Clay Keys raped a child. Funny,Both Pee-J and AZU, in particular Rob Taylor, has also claimed Clay Keys was a child rapist, or has he forgotten? Clay should talk to his AZU troll buddies about their opinions on him being on the Florida sex offender registry. By the way, NOT COMMITTING A NEW CRIME is NOT the same as apologizing to a victim. Instead, Clay Keys creates NEW victims by constantly attacking and bullying others online, whether it was AZU members or the mother of a teen who was unfairly dragged through the mire of the registry for consensual relations. Considering Clay has a history of aggression, it is expected from him. He merely projects his self-loathing onto others.]
Once Fallen: Again you are evading the question. Can you answer a direct question? Answer directly and keep ad hominem attacks out of your mouth and apologize for your actions. Again, you're minimizing, denying, AND projecting. Just own up to your deeds and beg for forgiveness.
Clay Keys: Removed other post to correct myself: Are you sorry for what you did? "Of course I am! I have worked for years doing penance for my actions, not to satisfy society, but because of how I feel about what I had done. ROARfortruth is part of my penance. However, my penance is limited to those I personally harmed and my obligations to the State of my conviction. I do not feel obliged to accept the punishment inflicted by internet trolling vigilante groups like SOSEN, RSOL & other evil individuals who lie and distort the truth! My obligations are to the victim, her family, the law, and the state of conviction, and to no one else."
[NOTE: The "apology" was a cut-and-paste from the Once Fallen About Me" page, which he changed names to add his own spin on it. That was a reason why it was in quotation marks. It was not an apology, but yet another ad hominem.]
Once Fallen: Why put it in quotation marks? I get it. You don't have the balls to write your own so you took my statement and distorted the words. Thank you Clay for continuing to prove everyone is right about you. You really don't feel remorse for your crimes do you? You are incapable of apologizing and having empathy, and that is a cause for concern.
Clay Keys: I don't see the need to justify myself to a unrepentant ***** RSOL sex offender, victim bashing screwed up **** like yourself :)
[Note: Again with the personal attacks and no apology]
Once Fallen: You've proven to me that you are the one who is the remorseless pedophile. It really says a lot about your lack of character, not to mention the lack of character among AZU members and Trollanda Spews. Why can't you say you're sorry, Clay?
Clay Keys: [changes the subject]
SO WHEN IS CLAY KEYS GOING TO PRACTICE WHAT HE PREACHES AND APOLOGIZE FOR ATTACKING HIS VICTIM? The answer is probably never.
TSand/ Clay Keys/ Roar for Truth and the stalker known as Logue Hater are so obsessed with me they can't stop talking about me. In addition to impersonating me on AZU's blog and dedicate their blogs to trying to defame me, they recently decided to mock my mother's death on the Times Daily Forum. It is nothing new, given their past comments on AZU. Logue Hater even went so far as mock my mother's name by using the screen name "Burn Ye Bryant." They are quite sickening and disgusting, and they continuously prove their depravity knows no bounds.
Not content with mocking my mother's death, they have decided to make a claim I "harassed a Sheffield resident." Funny, Logue Hater lives in the Cleveland area. Did he move into town? Well if you believe TSand, then Logue Hater ran back to Ohio with his tail tucked between his legs. What they failed to mention is they sent a nasty message in order to get a response:
LOGUE HATER WRITES:
"Your ex-girlfriend is walking funny, with all the coock she is getting these
days. How much seemen do you think she ha swallowed, since she left her
sissy-boy Derek? Did yer mommy tingle the moment before she became worm food?
Block me sissy. I know you will. I know you are not man enough to take it.
Little ***ggot sissy. If I was your step-dad, I would beat you too. I need to
find mommy Logue's grave, so I can go **** on it. Can you help me?
Whatcha gonna do, Derek? Huh, tough guy?"
They think it is cute to mock a person's death, to harass a man in mourning, and to try to provoke someone into anger. There is not a person that will not retaliate under such conditions. I do not apologize for threatening an anonymous fuck that has harassed me for well over two years, because the moment he/she/it files a complaint, then that person's identity WILL be revealed, and there is an arrest warrant waiting in the wings. So go ahead, punk. Make my day, Logue Hater. And learn to spell while you're at it.
And now you know the REST of the story!
We had a wonderful Halloween week filled with costumes, parties, and way too much candy! I'm still recovering!
There is no restriction on family members of registrants decorating their apartments. Secondly, she had no business getting in the man's face like that. Third, Florida has been long overdue to pass an anti-vigilante bill. In fact, it seems the state of Florida encourages such sick behavior! If she came to my door I would have either called the cops or I would have defended myself appropriately.
If you haven't already done so, support my anti-vigilante bill, and put a stop to monsters like Barbara Farris:
See the video below, with commentary:
A very good article on the dangerous sexual predator and bully Clay Keys. Hey Clay, has it ever occurred to you that you can't bully me? Good luck with that civil commitment thing, by the way. Florida is a civil commitment state, by the way. You might be paying a visit to the ol' rubber room instead, you sick, unremorseful predator. Why is it Clay Keys NEVER apologizes for his sex offense? 
I recently asked him to "set an example," since he claims I'm unremorseful, by apologizing to his victim and admit he did wrong.
Me: You really don't feel remorse for your crimes do you? You are incapable of apologizing and having empathy, and that is a cause for concern.
Clay: I don't see the need to justify myself...
He does not feel the need to apologize for causing harm to his victim, while AZU welcomes him with open arms. Funny, the only AZU troll in the past year who even called T-Sand on any past behavior was Static, who also felt it was okay for T-Sand to keep past attacks up. AZU is enabling his bullying tactics to continue.
Some of Clay Key's recent rants:
#1: I'm pissed off! Reading my blog, one might think I'm pissed off "all the time". I rarely get pissed off but now, I'm extremely pissed off! Recently a so called friend "played" me, fed me a bunch of lies etc. I believed him. I believe most people until I find out otherwise. This X friend fed me a story written here: http://roarfortruth.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-sosen-ceo-thinks-about-rsol.html Come to find out, this guy has a website promoting the RSOL! Boy, he played me good. I'm gonna play back tsand style [That means whoever he's discussing will be bombarded with anonymous threats, lies, and obsessed Clay stalking him for years to come]
#2: Too bad Derek didn't commit suicide recently like he said he was thinking of doing so, Society lost out big because a Dead Derek is the best kind of Derek! Why, I was so concerned Derek was going to off himself, I contacted the AL Authorities & informed them of his repeated suicide threats! Derek is to much of a coward to follow through :) [Keep the implied threat coming, you coward. I wish you would come up to Alabama but you're too chicken to face me. Funny, the more they talk, the more I find the will to live if nothing more than to piss them off]
#3: Mary just needs to die already! [Note: This one is especially disturbing as Mary was recently hospitalized for a serious illness]
#4: Oh, I had a conversation with a EX sosenite recently, who had some interesting things to say about Mary Duval & the pro pedophile RSOL. I'll be posting it here soon. Has she died yet? [TSand is obsessed with a sick person's suffering. I find that appalling]
#5: I wish I could bitch slap some sense into her! And I thought Derek was a psycho, Lenore is beyond psycho [TSand loves abusing women so much he was convicted of it]
#6: Go ahead dude but your really to much of a coward to do it! You want me to mail you some good strong rope? [TSand trying to convince me to kill myself. I think Clay's giving HIMSELF enough of the proverbial rope to hang himself]
#7: http://roarfortruth.blogspot.com/2010/11/wife-of-rsol-founder-dies-hell-gains.html : TSand mocks yet another death. I think any person that cheers the death of any individual is very sick.
It is time Clay Keys is civilly committed.
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