Brownstown-Sefton News

Callie, the Kitty, is Fastidiously Clean
We don’t know how she does it, but Callie, who is a calico cat, but has a lot of white on her, never has any dust, dirt or mud on her coat. She will come in out of the rain or snow and should have some sort of uncleanliness on her, but even the bottoms of her paws appear spotless.
Of course, when she comes in, she hops up on the back of the couch, under the heat of floor lamp bulb (if it is nighttime and cold) and makes a big deal of grooming, from the bottoms of her feet to the tips of her ears … and she isn’t even dirty.
She is all white from under her neck, down her stomach and all four legs and feet – and she is always spotless. We can’t figure out how she cleans so well under her neck, which she can’t reach with her tongue, and we have never seen her swiping it with a wet paw to clean it.
Our readers may remember Callie was apparently abandoned in our woods, in a deep winter snow, and in the “family way.” We kept seeing her in the woods, but she wouldn’t come near us.
We put food at the edge of the woods, hoping she would get it before the wild critters found it. She apparently did, for after several weeks, she finally came to the house when we were out in the yard and rubbed against Bill’s pant leg.  From then on, she was a “Homestead Critter,” not a “woods cat” as we had been calling to her.   
She was so thin that we didn’t realize she was in the family way at first. As she had been living in the woods, we just fixed her a shelter near the patio door and left her outside.
One morning when I got up, I found her lying in the kitchen rocking chair, pretty as you please. Thinking she had ran in when we had a door open, I thought nothing about it. That night, we made sure she was in her shelter before going to bed, but the next morning, there she was again, lying in the rocking chair. A real mystery!
Bill checked for openings under the house and found only a very narrow opening next to a water pipe, which we thought was too small for her. However, Bill closed it in and she didn’t get in anymore.  
But, one day, as I was petting her and lifted up one paw, I discovered her natural defense, her claws, had been removed, which was a hazardous situation in the woods. Needleless to say, from that moment on, Callie was a house cat.
Then, as we thought feeding her was putting weight on her, we discovered she was going to have a family. She had six cute little kittens and was such a good mother.
Good homes were found for all of them, and Callie then had elective surgery, or, you might say, she was “liberated.”
She is really a good kitty, and she adores Bill. When he comes in, she just sits at his feet and looks at him or plays with his feet.
Her only fault is aggravating Josie. She likes to run ahead and block the doorway when Josie has to make a necessary tip outside. Our method of moving her out of the way is to just shake an aerosol spray can.
We have never sprayed her. But we sprayed it up in the air a time or two and she hates that, so just shaking the can makes her move out of the way.
We have never hit her, nor even threatened her with a flyswatter or newspaper. None of the Homestead Critters have ever been struck, or hardly even yelled at, since living here.
The only reason I would really like to have a lot of money is so we could take care of all the critters (properly) who are unwanted. (I guess if we were that rich, we could just move Dr. B and all his staff over here on the Homestead close to the big, new barn we would have built for the critters.
Come to think of it, we could also take in all the unwanted children to play with and  pet the critters. We would then call this the “Homestead Haven.”
I’ll have to admit though when Sneaky Pete, the wolf, would come around wanting to take the late SnowWhite Goose out for dinner, we would yell at him, but we never threatened him with bodily harm, physically or verbally.
Last week’s report on the Golden Years Club, it was incorrectly stated that Pastor Don Thomas is from Liberty Christian Church; he is pastor of the United Methodist and Emmanuel Church. Jim Dann, also a welcome visitor at Golden Years, is pastor of the Liberty Christian Church.
Card Shower For Earl Hovious
A card shower is planned for Earl Hovious, who will be celebrating his 90th birthday this Saturday. No formal celebration is being planned at this time, as Earl will be in a Springfield hospital, recovering from lung cancer surgery. Cards may be sent to: Earl Hovious,  P.O. Box 57, Brownstown, Ill. 62418.
Alumni Reunion Location Change
The Brownstown Alumni Reunion will be held on July 21. The location for the reunion has changed this year; it will be held at the Vandalia Moose Lodge.
If the Alumni Reunion Committee can help your class organize by providing class addresses, contact President Nancy Pryor (427-3056) or Secretary/Treasurer Sandra Stine (283-9211). If you have updated addresses for your class, let the Alumni Committee know that, as well.
A Great Surprise from the Cardinals in the Homestead Mailbox
Just a couple of days after the great Cardinals’ Fredbird-Joe Cunningham event (Doin’ It Right), a large, padded, envelope was in our mailbox from Joe Cunningham! A real  Surprise!
In the package were a red Cardinals T-shirt, signed by Joe, a baseball card showing Joe in a Cardinals uniform, signed by him on the back of the card and a hand-written note from him (bearing the Cardinals logo and “From the Desk of Joe Cunningham,” saying, “Hi, Panzi, so nice meeting you & everyone at the school. Hope you enjoyed the program. Best wishes to all, Joe Cunningham.”
We certainly did enjoy the very informative and entertaining program, and we appreciate the Cardinals organization for providing the program, Fredbird for his antics, which kept us all laughing, and Joe Cunningham, who is such a nice guy and really cares about the kids.
Local Celebrations
Anniversaries-Bill and Bette Stolte, and Manny & Pam Orr.
Brownstown Ladies Attend Retreat
Louella Christensen and Marilyn Yakel attended the Illinois Great Rivers United Methodist Women’s Conference Spiritual Retreat on Feb. 24-25 at the Chatham United Methodist Church, with 114 attending.  The program, “The Beauty and the Beast Within,” was led by Barbara Wooldridge. Conference UMW President Sally Smith and Kaye Parsons welcomed the ladies.
Attend Lenten Services
Shirley Klitzing, Flo Allen, Marilyn Yakel and Louella Christensen attended the Wolf Creek Cluster Lenten Sevices at St. Elmo United Methodist Church at St. Elmo.
Fayette County HCE Board Meeting
Ten members of the Fayette County Home and Community Education Board and one member-at-large met Monday, Feb. 27, at the Vandalia Extension Office.
President Flo Allen opened the meeting, leading all in the pledge of allegiance to the American flag. Five of the seven Units were represented as the roll was called by Mary Smith, secretary. Present were: Anna Jean Rhodes-St. Elmo Unit; Dorothy Harpster-St. Peter; Anita Smith-Vandalia Day; Irene Reed-Wrights Corner; Mary Smith-Wright’s Corner; Flo Allen, Shirley Klitzing, Phyllis Pryor and Panzi Blackwell-Sefton Unit; and member-at-large, Evelyn Probst of Bingham-Ramsey.
Mary Smith read the January minutes, which were approved as read. Dorothy Harpster, treasurer, distributed copies of the financial report and went over the items. Harpster also reported that an old check to the state in the amount of $15 had never been cashed. She added $15 to the club’s bank account, and should the check ever be cashed, the amount would be deducted.
• Allen called for reports from the officers. first vice president-Phyllis Pryor, no report at this time; second vice president-Anna Jean Rhodes reported the FCHCE now has 118 members enrolled. Anita Smith-Community Outreach reported the Vandalia Day Unit is making washcloth bunny house shoes to be given to Sweetbrier assisted living facility, among other recipients; Debbie Swain-Cultural Enrichment, no report at this time; Irene Reed- Family Issues discussed children with cancer. Public Relations-Panzi Blackwell displayed PR photo of Reed and her son donating 11 pounds of soda can tabs to McDonald’s for the Ronald McDonald House .
• Allen discussed the Get-Acquainted Day potluck brunch date of April 12, with registration at 9:00 a.m., giving a reminder that members should donate $5 if they do not donate an item for the Make It-Bake It-Sew It-Grow It auction.
• Allen read a letter received by the club from the U.S. Congress and signed by John Shimkus. The letter expressed appreciation to the Fayette County Home and Community Education for contributing to his Valentines for Heroes program.
The letter stated, “For the fifth straight year, I have been humbled by the response from the generous and patriotic people of our region. We estimate that more than 6,000 were collected by my offices from school children, church groups, families and individuals.
“The valentines have been distributed to active duty personnel at Scott Air Force Base, as well as those recovering from injuries and illnesses at the new Walter Reed national Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Veterans facilities receiving valentines included the Mariion VA Medical Center in Danville, St. Louis VA Medical Center John Cochran Division, and Jefferson Barracks Divison, Mt. Vernon VA Clinic, Springfield VA Clinic, Effingham VA Clinic, Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy and Illinois Veterans Home in  Anna.
“If there is ever anything my office can do for you, please do not hesitate to let us know. Sincerely, John Shimkus, Member of Congress.”
• Two colorful and quilts were displayed, to be donated to veterans. Janet Stout of the Bingham-Ramsey HCE Unit made and donated the quilts. A photograph was taken of Allen and Evelyn Probst with the quilts.
The following schedule of upcoming events was confirmed:
• April 12-Get Acquainted Day potluck brunch at Golden Years Club; register 9 a.m.
• April 23-Past and present officers lunch and TF Board meeting-Los Amigos Restaurant.
• June 19-Annual meeting at Holy Cross Lutheran; register at 11 a.m.
Following adjournment at 11 a.m., the following enjoyed lunch at Los Amigos: Flo Allen, Shirley Klitzing, Anna Jean Rhodes, Dorothy Harpster, Anita Smith, Debbie Swain, Evelyn Probst and Phyllis Pryor.
Checking Out the Brownstown Branch Library
The 10 members in the recently formed adult club are starting on their third book, “Prince of Tides.” The club’s first selection was “The Help,” and was a huge success.
The second book read was “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which was banned in some libraries and schools when it was first published. The club meets on Tuesday afternoons. If you are interested in joining, call the library.
Library Opportunities
• The first Facebook classs was held last Monday evening. The classes are being held at the library. Anyone interested can sign up for these free classes.
• Basic computer classes-A list of people interested in this class is being started. Anyone interested can call the library. When four or more people respond, a date will be set for that class. Let the library know as soon as possible.
First Library Meeting of the Year
The Friends of the Library held their first meeting of the year to discuss upcoming events and fundraisers for the year.
• March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the library-Class on Jewelry-making, held by Leah Washburn. A small fee will be charged to cover materials.
• April 5 at 6 p.m.-Lasagna gardening, hosted by Flo McConkey.
• May-A trip to the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis is planned.
If you are interested in any of these classes, call the library at 427-3853.
• Note: The annual purse sale date has been changed from November to Oct. 13, with location to be announced at a later date.
• Summer reading program is in the planning stages. This program has been a huge success the past four summers, with 50-plus children attending. The registration date for the program will be announced at a later date.
A busy spring and summer has been planned for the library. More activities will be announced later.
Brownstown Methodist Church
Pianist Bette Stolte played the prelude as the congregation of the Brownstown Methodist Church gathered for Sunday morning worship. Bradley Schwarm lighted the altar candles.
Pastor Don Thomas greeted the congregation, shared the announcements, prayer list and requests, and led in prayer. The blessings song was sung for Bill Stolte. Hubert Williams and Schwarm presented the tithes and offerings.
First Christian Church
The congregation of First Christian Church was greeted by Bill and Cathy Smith and led in songs of praise by Jack Shelton, accompanied by pianist Susan Smith, guitarist Walt Kinney and drummer Mitchell Smith. Susan Smith contributed special music.
John Robinson delivered the morning message. Jack Shelton led the Communion meditation.
Also serving: Sunday school nursery-Laura Willms; toddler worship-Billie Enlow and Abby Enlow; Quest-4-Christ-Vicky and GNO girls; and shut-ins-Toby Tackett, Bill Smith and Don Lovett.
There were three baptisms – Robbie Edwards, and Justin and Nikki Ellis.
• Open Mic Night is Saturday at 6:30p.m.

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