Monday, November 27, 2006

Tea Time at Chipperfield's ...

Can you imagine a better way to spend a cold winter's evening than
by enjoying one of the fine selections of loose tea from Chipperfield's?

Hidden "Treasures" ??

Renovations are always interesting ... you usually find unexpected things. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain interesting ... This weekend at Chipperfield Coffee Company, a bit of work in the basement revealed some hidden Treasures ...

Stuffed in the rafters of the basement were two partially eaten bags of Hawkins Cheezies (circa - late 1960's) and a couple of empty tins of 7-up from the same era.

The scary thing is that the Cheezies inside the bags really don't look all that different from the one's you can pick up (for more than 10 cents) at the stores down the street ... So far we haven't found anyone brave enough to try them to see if they taste the same ... ANY VOLUNTEERS???

There is much pondering of which Chipperfield child may have stashed these vintage cheezies in the rafters while Dad was working upstairs ... Personally, I put my coin on Ron. When we did renovations to our house (The Chipperfield House) we found some old Coca-cola bottles under the floor of the closet in what was once his room ...

Regardless of how they got there ... the cheezies and the pop can are an interesting conversation piece from a by-gone era ... One customer today claimed they could be her's - she used to hang out in the basement with the youngest Chipperfield child Susan and they often snuck snacks of pop, chips and cheezies ... It's possible ...

It's good to know that the Chipperfield Coffee Company is adding to the stories that go with the old Building on Main St that has been an integral part of Minnedosa's history for SO many years ... I wonder what future renovations will find from our era in the walls and rafters of the buildings we take for granted in our lives??? What secrets will be revealed then ???

Hmm ...

A Night on Broadway at the Rotary Revue ...

Bonnie and Ross were among the many corporate sponsors who helped make tonight's Rotary Revue a smashing success ... What is the Rotary Revue? asks our out of town readers ...

Well, the Rotary Revue is an annual concert that The Minnedosa Rotary Club hosts with delicious fancy coffees (supplied by none other than our own Chipperfield Coffee Company) and delectible desserts prepared and served by our own Rotarians (and their spouses). The musical entertainment is supplied by the Strathclair Theatre Chorus, a group of local singers who perform a series of concerts in the West-Man area.

This year's musical selections come from a variety of Broadway musicals ... It was a wonderful evening of fellowship, food and great music ... a good time was had by all ... And the gals from Chipperfield's that came with Bonnie and Ross seemed to have a good time ... They were dressed up and looking lovely ...

But one highlight came in the dessert line when the following was overheard:

Woman: "Do you have sex in a pan?"

Rotarian: "Is that an offer or a request?"

Woman: "Oh my gawd, I can't believe I said that ... It's a dessert."

Rotarian: "Really? Is that what they're calling it now?"

Woman: "It has chocolate and whipped cream with chocolate cake."

Rotarian: "Sounds good to me ..."

Woman (turning red): "Sex in a pan is a dessert ..."

Rotarian: "Really !! So, what's the main course then?"

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LVII ...

One of the regulars approached the counter, with greetings to J-- and the crew sitting in front of the juke box he smiled at Jaydee as he spoke, "I'll have a large Chipperfield's to go please."

"To go?" said Jaydee, "you usually have it here?" she was puzzled, then she noted his work clothes, "oh, you're on the train today?"

"Yeah," answered the regular, "my partner is off and so they're moving us around a bit to cover. I'm starting my day a couple hours earlier than usual."

"Well," Jaydee smiled as she slid the cup across the counter towards him, "atleast you'll be done a couple hours earlier ..."

"Yeah," came the reply from the regular, but the words rang hollow, his attention was captured by the cup Jaydee had placed in front of him, "What in the hell is THAT?" he asked as he surveyed the cup and the lid plug.

"Ross' new idea," answered Jaydee, her eyes looking down at the till, intentionally avoiding any eye contact, "he came up with it last week ..." her voice trailed off ...

"Pretty sweet isn't it?" J-- said grinning like the cheshire cat and nodding.

"Does The Rev know about it yet?" asked the regular, holding the cup up and carefully turning it in his fingers examining it carefully.

"Nope," answered Kriss, as she came up from the kitchen with a basket full of muffins, "Ross didn't tell anyone until this morning before he left for his day job."

"Bonnie?" asked the regular.

Both women shook their heads solemnly.

"I smell something bad coming," laughed J-- as he picked up his coffee and took a long sip, "This one will be good ..." he grinned as his voice trailed off ...

"How did he?" the regular's voice trailed off as he pulled the lid plug free and examined the tiny round picture stuck on the top of the plug. He shook his head as he examined the smiling face of Ross wearing a Santa hat that was stuck on the round plug top, "a sticker?" he asked.

Kriss nodded, "Ross got them made in Brandon." She lifted a sheaf of papers up from under the cash register as she continued, "he has several different designs that he wants us to use. They include Ross, Bonnie, Dani, Jaydee, Anna, Tracey, Me and a couple of the part timers too. All of us in festive santa and elf hats and 'oh look'," her voice dripped with sarcasm, "here's me with reindeer antlers ..." She pointed at a sheet in the pile spread across the counter before her.

"What was he thinking?" asked the regular looking at the assortment of Holiday type pictures spread before him.

"He wanted to get rid of some of the lid plugs in the basement," answered Jay-dee, "and he got the idea that putting personalized stickers on them and changing which ones are used when might lead to a collector's drive for the stupid plastic plugs."

"Didn't we just go through this?" asked the regular, "didn't you have people coming in last week trying to trade their plugs for free products?"

"Yeah, I got my baggie with 89 of them in it," answered J-- as he approached the counter for a refill, "only 11 more to go and I get a free latte."

"You drink latte?" asked the regular.

"No," answered J--, "but I'll take anything for free!"

"You're NOT getting a free latte," scolded Jaydee, "even IF you hand over 100 of those stupid little plugs."

"That's not fair," moaned J--, "do you know how long I've had to collect those plugs, and how much coffee I had to drink to get 89 of them?"

"You never drink take out coffee?" answered Kriss, "so how did you get so many plugs?"

"I have friends," answered J--, "and if you did it for a teacher, you should do it for a poor retired gentleman ..."

"Sure thing," quipped Kriss, "we'll give up a free coffee when a gentleman comes through the door ..."

"Oh oh, you gonna play like that are you?" laughed J--, "You don't think I'm a gentleman?"

Kriss just smiled at J-- and said nothing. He smiled in return.

"So gettting back to this," said the regular, his hand holding up the coffee cup, "what about the insulating sleeve? Who's idea was it to put the advertising on it?"

"Ross," came the answer from Jaydee.

"I would have thought he would get businesses and organizations to advertise?" the regular mused as he considered the insulating sleeve on his cup.

"So did we," commented Kriss.

"Ah, but this is way more fun," J-- answered, stretching out the 'way' in his sentence, "just think what The Rev is going to say when he sees it."

"You think he's gonna get mad?" asked Jaydee, looking worried.

"Nay," answered Kriss, "he's a big pussy cat. He'll just shake his head and grit his teeth and smile ..."

"I think it's a pretty good rendition of him," said J-- looking more closely at the insulating sleeve, "whoever sketched it, got him pretty good."

"So, what exactly is the Prairie Spring Ministry anyway?" asked the regular, "something that The Rev has cooked up?"

J-- was once again grinning like the Cheshire Cat, "no, not The Rev," he answered with great delight, "He's against the whole thing. It's one of Ross' ideas."

"Ross' idea?" repeated the regular as the two women and J-- nodded earnestly, "how do you start a ministry involving someone, without them wanting to be involved?"

Jaydee and Kriss both shrugged, J-- smiled as he spoke, "You know The Rev has been doing blogs and stuff on the internet, and he posts his sermons there."

The regular nodded.

J-- continued, "well, it turns out that Ross has been collecting The Rev's sermons and taking the good ones and putting them into pamphlets and letters and things like that, and he's been putting ads in weekly newspapers and things like The Producer, with headings like 'words of wit and wisdom from a prairie preacher" and "prayers of healing and encouragement"."

"And people are writing in?" marvelled the regular.

Kriss nodded as she waded in, "and not only are they writing in, but they are sending money for the packets of holy water!"

"There were over 40 letters last week alone," observed Jaydee quietly.

"And all of this is happening without The Rev knowing?" again marvelled the regular.

J-- nodded, his face bearing a broad grin, "But today the cat is out of the bag." His finger pointed to the advertising on the insulating sleeve, "when he sees this, he'll know what's going on ..."

"And he won't like it ..." interupted the regular.

"Nope," said Kriss.

"I still can't figure out how Ross could get all of this rolling without The Rev even knowing?" mused the regular, "the man ain't dumb."

"Got that right," answered J--, "he's pretty smart, and he gives a good sermon. But that's what Ross has used to his advantage. The Rev is a good writer, and a better speaker." With that he spun the cup, "See here, tapes and cds of the Sunday Services are also available ..."

"How'd he do that?" gasped the regular, "how can The Rev NOT know that?"

"Dunno," answered J--, "but I can't wait to find out what's gonna happen ..."

"Me either," said the regular, "this has been quite a morning. Tiny smiling Rosses looking back at me from my coffee cup, a cyber-church, and a whole ministry using the words and works of The Rev, without him even knowing ... Damned ... I wish I could be here when he arrives ..."

As he spoke a train whistle sounded, the regular glanced at his watch, "Oh, I better run ... that's my train ... Let me know how this all turns out will ya?" he headed for the door.

"Absolutely," shouted J--, "I'll call your cell as events develop ..."

"Thanks," said the regular as the door closed behind him.

"I'll take my refill now," said J--, "I'm gonna be here for awhile. I wouldn't want to miss this for the world ..." He smiled as he spoke. Jaydee nodded as she filled his mug.

"Me either," grinned Kriss, "me either ..."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

J--'s Trivia 'n' Tidbits ... Part 10 ...

"Did you see the article in today's paper about the woman who was caught with over 10 kilos of cocaine, and now is claiming that the crimestoppers tip that lead the police to her was a violation of her constitutional rights?" J-- asked as he approached the table against the wall, where a group of regulars was already sitting. In one hand he held the morning paper, while in the other he was holding his coffee.

"That So?" offered one of the regulars sitting there.

“Absolutely,” answered J-- as he sat down, “check it out ..." He opened the paper and pointed to the small article on an inside page, "It says here the officers picked the woman up at the bus depot in Winnipeg when they had recieved a tip from the Crome Stoppers line from another passenger on the bus who overheard the supect saying she was carrying coke to Winnipeg."

"So the police were waiting for her when she got off the bus?" asked one of the regulars.

"Yup," answered J--, "but the suspect's beef isn't being picked up, she's saying that her rights were violated by the tip, and that when the police arrested her saying 'it was a tip from Crime Stoppers' they were lying."

"The woman had 10 kilos of coke," said one of the regulars, "and she is saying the police were lying?"

"Yeah," replied J--, "the woman had $800 000 worth of drugs, and she maintains that it was the police who were in the wrong."

"Unbelievable," said another regular, "and this made it to court?"

"Yeah, the judge was asked to rule on the admissibility of the crime stoppers tip," said J--, "the woman maintained that there was no tip, and the police had violated her constitutional rights."

"There's what's wrong with our country," said one of the regulars, "when did they start letting the inmates run the asylum? Why don't they just tell the woman she had broken the law and hand out the punishment she deserves? Why are they wasting the court's time with nonsense like this?"

"Easy there pal," laughed J--, "it's a newspaper story. I didn't write it or cause it, I'm only telling you about."

"It just ticks me off," said the regular apologetically, "I get worked up a bit with stuff like this."

"No kidding," agreed J--, "ticks me off too. But what are ya gonna do?"

"Call Toews," said one of the other regulars, "he's a law and order guy."

"I'm sure he already knows," said one of the other regulars, "he keeps on top of stuff like this."

"Yeah, Toews doesn't like it when criminals have more rights then their victims," said J--, "and this is one of those moments."

"Ah, I bet the woman is just mad because she's out 800 000 bucks," laughed one of the regulars.

"Oh, she's not out the 800 000 dollars," laughed another regular, "the people waiting for the shipment are the ones out the money, and they won't be happy wiht her."

"And that's the real issue in this," said J--, "the woman is only concerned about her hide."

"Who isn't?" agreed the first regular.

Heads nodded around the table as J-- folded up the paper and turned his attention to the coffee as he spoke, "the sad thing is, around the table we understand the way things should be, but where those decisions are actually being made, they just don't seem to get it ..."

"Ain't that the truth?" said one of the regulars.

Heads nodded again in agreement.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like ...

Hot Apple Cider,
A Tree with lights,
Santa standing watch from the top ...
Hmmm ... it IS beginning to look
a lot like Christmas around Chipperfields' !!
(Come in and check out the gift items too !!)

A Great Way to Spend a Winter's Eve:

A brisk walk in the cold winter air ... a stop at Chipperfields Coffee Company for a Hot Apple Cider (in regular, Cran-apple, and Rasp-apple flavours) ... It will warm you up and get ready for the walk home ... Try one and let us know what you think !

Overheard at Chipperfields ... Part LVI ...

"Sweet !!" The high school student exclaimed with a smile as Dani handed him his small English Toffee Latte, "That's the one I needed?"

"Excuse me?" said Dani, glancing to Kiera standing beside her.

"I said, 'sweet' because I needed that lid plug," said the student with a smile, offering a nod at Kiera, "I had the other colours in this shape, and I needed this one to finish the set."

"Finish the set?" asked Dani, clearly confused, "you know that we don't offer prizes for collecting the lid plugs don't you?" offered Dani.

"No, it's nothing like that," said the student, "we're collecting the different shapes and colours of the lid plugs. I have all the round ones, and I just needed the purple drop shaped one to complete my set. But all last week I got a pink round one, and no one wanted to trade."

"No one wanted to trade," repeated Dani, "you are trading the lid plugs?" she said incredulously, "when did you start collecting the lid plugs according to shape and colour?"

"Since they started using them," answered the student, "and now I have the whole set ..." He paused for a moment before lowering his voice, "unless they're about to introduce new shapes and colours or something like that ..." he glanced around the room before asking Dani his final question, "they're NOT planning on introducing new colours or shapes are they?"

Dani shook her head, thinking of the boxes and boxes of lid plugs in the storage room in the basement. The lingering reminder of Ross' keyboard mis-stroke some weeks ago, "No we'll be sticking with current colour and shape selection for the foreseeable future. Sorry."

"Oh, that's okey," answered the student, removing the plug and putting it safely in his pocket, "I've got the whole set ..." he turned to join his friends on the couches in the front window but paused for a moment, "oh by the way - thanks for this ... all of this."

"You're welcome," answered Dani smiling.

The Rev stepped up to the counter, he was dressed in his long black coat and his cleric garb. With his dark shades he looked like a visitor from the Movie Men in Black.

"What can I get you Rev?" asked Dani.

"Large Chipperfield for here," answered The Rev, "So, what was that all about?" he pointed his right thumb at the teens sitting on the couches in front of the windows."

"Oh, he was just really happy with his service," said Dani with a smile.

"They're collecting the lid plugs, and he just got the last one he needed to complete his set," answered Kiera punching in the price for The Rev's coffee, then signing his buyer's card.

"The lid plugs?" The Rev marvelled, "the kids are collecting the lid plugs? Does Ross know yet?"

"First we heard was today," said Dani handing him his coffee, "I doubt he knows yet."

"Oh Gawd help us when he finds out," said The Rev moving to the counter with the cream and sugar, "He'll want to introduce the limited edition plugs and seasonal ones, and ..." The Rev paused before continuing, "... and then he'll want to float more of his cock-eyed ideas ..."

"Oh !!" Dani exclaimed, "I hadn't thought of THAT. I just thought the whole idea of kids collecting the plastic plugs was cute."

"It might be cute, but it has ominous implications," said The Rev, looking around, "He's NOT here is he?"

Kiera shook her head,"He won't be back until he finishes his road trip to somewhere in Saskatchewan."

"Okay tell Bonnie about this," said The Rev, "but don't let Ross know anything about it."

"Why?" asked Kiera.

"Because if he thinks even for a moment that one of his hare-brained ideas MIGHT actually work," The Rev's voice stretched 'might' out as he spoke, "He'll want to try some of the other ideas too."

"What's wrong with that?" asked Kiera, "the cup sleeves aren't a bad idea, and the seasonal and limited plugs might be an idea."

"That's not the idea I'm worried about," said The Rev.

"OH !!" Dani exclaimed, "You mean the whole Holy Water idea don't you?"

The Rev just nodded before speaking, "Thanks for catching up here," He looked around again before continuing, "I don't mind some of his ideas, and even I would concede that the advertising on the cup sleeves might actually work, and I would even reluctantly admit the limited edition plugs could work too. But for the Love of all that is Holy, Ross can't know any of this, or he'll want to push the whole Television ministry and Holy Water thing."

"Um Rev, there's something you should know," Dani looked around the store before reaching under the counter and pulling out a small cardboard box that she opened. Inside were several dozen small plastic sleeves filled with fluid. On the outside was printed the image of a stylized dove and the words 'Prairie Springs Ministry', "you haven't seen these have you?"

The Rev's jaw dropped as he reached out and picked out one of the packets, "you've GOT to be kidding?"

Dani and Kiera shook thier heads.

"He's already started on it ..." The Rev's voice trailed off as he turned the packet over in his hands, shaking his head ...

Silence descended on the store.

Finally Kiera broke the silence with a broad smile, "well, if the lid plugs are any indication, maybe this idea might actually work ?" her voice sounded hopeful ... a feeling that was not present in the room at that moment ...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfields ... Part LV ...

"So, did you hear about the kids at the school collecting the lid plugs?" asked Jaydee, turning to Dani who was preparing an order for a customer.

"You serious?" marvelled Dani, as she pulled a double latte, "the kids are collecting them?"

"That's what my son says," laughed Jaydee, "he said the kids have heard that when you collect a certain amount you can trade them for things."

"Things?" asked Dani, slidding the order across the counter to her customer, "what kinds of things?"

"Well Brent said that for 25 you get a free ice cream cone," answered Jaydee, "and for 50 it's a free twister and for 100 you get any hot beverage on the menu board."

"Has Bonnie heard this?" asked Dani as she counted out the change for the customer and thanked her for dropping 75 cents in the tip mug beside the post.

"Has Bonnie heard what?" asked Bonnie as she strolled up from the kitchen.

"Oh!" exclaimed Dani, her voice sounding more like a yelp, "I didn't see you coming." As Dani spoke to Bonnie, Jaydee turned her attention to the customer standing at the counter.

"What did you wonder if I've heard?" asked Bonnie, her face set and serious, "what do you need to tell me?"

"Oh nothing serious," answered Dani, "we were just talking about a story going around the school about being able to turn in the little plastic lid plugs for stuff."

"What kind of stuff?" asked Bonnie, interupting, "and where did this story come from."

"Oh ... my son told me that if you have 25 of the plugs you can get an ice cream cone, or for 50 you can get a twister ..." Jaydee was pumping a large Colombian for her customer as she spoke.

"Oh one guess where this got started," muttered Bonnie, her jaw tensing.

"Who?" asked Dani, her eyes wide with wonder, "The Rev?"

"No!" scoffed Jaydee, "It could only be ..."

"Ross," snapped Bonnie, "he was talking at the table the other night with J-- and a Anna about the possibility of using the lid plugs as some sort of promotion."

"Did he say anything to kids from the school though?" asked Jaydee.

"He didn't have to say it directly," answered Bonnie, "there was three tables full of students from both schools there when he was talking about using the plugs for a trade in kind of promotion."

"Oh oh," said Dani, standing with her mouth hanging open, "and you know how the rumour mill in this town works, even amongst the kids ..."

"It only takes a spark," answered Jaydee, "and pretty soon the story is off like wildfire."

"So, what are the odds that any one will try to redeem any of the plugs for menu items?" asked Bonnie, "do we give away enough of the plugs to worry about it?"

"I don't think so," answered Dani seriously, then she glanced at Jaydee and the two of them smiled, "but are you sure that shipment of 14 million got back to the company and wasn't hijacked by a bunch of 11 year olds looking for free ice cream."

"Oh gawd," moaned Bonnie, "don't bring THAT up again." The three of them laughed.

"I wouldn't worry about it," answered Jaydee, "because if someone actually came in with 100 lid plugs and wanted a Mocha or something, I think we'd owe them just one for the sake of how much coffee they had to drink to get 100 of the silly things ..."

"Well, that's true," answered Bonnie, considering Jaydee's ideas, "just keep an eye on it and let me know if anyone comes in with plugs for redemption."

"Redemption?" asked Jaydee.

"Trade," laughed Bonnie.

"Oh, I was thinking you were talking to The Rev again and getting more of those double barrelled Churchie terms." said Jaydee, "I know what it means ..."

As the two of them spoke the grade five teachers from the elementary school came in the door, in their hands they clutched baggies bulging with lid plugs. Both Bonnie and Jaydee feel silent as the two approached the counter.

"Hi," smiled Carla as she set her baggie full of lid plugs on the counter, "we heard that you are exchanging 100 of these for a free hot drink. Is it true?"

"Um?" Dani turned and looked at Bonnie, "I'm not sure," Dani searched Bonnie for an answer.

Bonnie drew a deep breath and spoke, "Well, it's actually not true, but we decided tonight that anyone who collected enough of them deserves a free drink." She turned her attention to Dani, "give them a hot beverage from the menu in exchange for the plugs."

Dani looked at the baggie, "Should we count them to make sure there is really 100?"

"If you want," said Bonnie, "but you can do it on your own time ..." Bonnie shook her head and turned back to the kitchen.

Jaydee stood shaking her head as Dani took the baggie and smiled, "So Carla, what would you like?"

"Um," Carla paused and glanced at Debbie, the other teacher before answering, "I'll have the English Toffee Mocha, and she will have ..."

Debbie interupted her, "I'll have the B-52 Mocha please," as she spoke she placed her baggie on the counter.

"For here or for go?" asked Dani as she reached for the glas mugs.

"For here," Carla answered as Debbie nodded her head, "and two chipperdoodle cookies too please."

"Our pleasure," replied Dani as she turned her attention to preparing the order.

"Okay, I've just got to know," said Jaydee, breaking her silence as she stood in beside the post at the till, "how did you two collect two hundred lid plugs?"

"The kids in our classes heard about the exchange thing," began Carla.

"And they collected them for us," answered Debbie, "and gave them to us as a gift."

"Nice," exclaimed Jaydee.

"That deserves a free coffee just for the effort," agreed Dani.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LIV ...

"Hey Ross, what are you doing?" asked Anna cheerfully, as she approached the table by the juke box.

"Um nothing," muttered Ross as he seemed to scramble to put the assorted cards back in the box in front of him.

"Are those the customer card?" asked Anna in a conspiratorial tone, one eye brow raised, "why do you have them out?"

"I was just looking at them," muttered Ross trying to replace them while looking like a little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar, "I wasn't doing anything with them ..."

Anna reached out and picked up the stray card lying on the table, she turned it over and read "The Rev." written on the front. She then held it up for Ross to see.

"Was this the one you were looking for?" asked Anna, holding it just out of Ross' reach.

"Can I have it back?" Ross' voice bordered on a whine, "It's not important ..."

"What were you doing with it?" asked Anna in a firm voice as Jaydee's voice called out from behind the counter.

"Has anyone seen the customer card box?" Jaydee asked as she ducked down behind the counter and looked on the shelves below the cash register.

"It's over here," answered Anna, her icy glare still fixed on Ross. As Anna spoke Jaydee came over to the table and scooped up the box, snatching the card out of Anna's hand.

"Why was it over there?" Jaydee asked as she swung back towards the counter, "it should be behind the counter ..." her voice trailed off as she returned to finish the order for her customer.

Anna stood before Ross, one hand clutching the coffee, the other hand still held aloft where it had been holding the card, "So, do you care to offer an explanation, or shall I call Bonnie and let HER ask you ??"

"Okay," said Ross sounding defeated, "I wanted to look at The Rev's card and see if he's been in here since I floated that idea."

"The Holy Water idea?" asked Anna, a sly smile crossing her face.

Ross nodded, "I haven't seen him and I'm a little worried."

"That he's not coming any more?" asked Anna.

"No, nothing like that," said Ross quietly, "I'm more worried about my personal safety."

"Your personal safety?" stated Anna, sounding incredulous, "why would you be worried about your personal safety?"

"Well, J-- told me that The Rev was pretty ticked off by my idea," said Ross quietly glancing towards the front window, "and ... " he paused "... well ..." he paused again as though he was searching for words, "I dunno."

Anna laughed, a broad smile accompanying her laughter, "You're afraid of The Rev?" she marveled, "why would you be afraid of The Rev?"

"I'm not afraid of him," Ross responded defensively, "I know he wouldn't harm me, it's just ..."

"You want him to go along with the idea don't you?" asked Anna, "you're afraid of him saying no to the whole idea of setting up a tv ministry aren't you?"

"No," offered Ross, his voice lacking conviction, "It's not that at all ..." his voice trailed off as Anna again started to laugh.

"YOU really want to do this ONE don't you?" Anna laughed as she spoke, "and you're afraid you've ticked off The Rev and he won't help you ..."

"No, it's nothing like that ..." pleaded Ross.

"Nothing like what?" asked J--, as he approached the table and sat down.

"Oh nothing at all ..." said Ross as he stood up and headed into the kitchen.

J-- and Anna watched him go before J-- spoke.

"So what was that all about?" J-- asked.

"Ross is afraid of The Rev," Anna stated as she sipped her coffee and smiled.

"The Rev," J-- smiled, "Why's he afraid of The Rev? He think The Rev is going to go all Rambo on him over the holy water thing?"

"No, I think Ross is afraid The Rev is going to say 'No' to the Holy Water thing," said Anna sitting down opposite J--.

"Why would that worry Ross?" mused J--, "after all the fiascoes we've witnessed her recently, why would The Rev not buying into the Holy Water thing be a problem?"

"I don't even begin to pretend I understand Ross," observed Anna laughing.

"Me either," laughed J--.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Staying inside the lines ...

Yes, Anna is colouring ... sitting on the couch in the front window:
Anna is spending a Friday Afternoon colouring in a colouring book !!
And who says life at Chipperfields is predictable or dull ???
Not today !!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

J--'s Trivia 'n' Tidbits ... Part 9 ...

"Did you see the article in today's paper about the two police officers who sued Burger King after they claimed the hamburgers they bought were laced with marijuana," J-- asked as he approached the couches in the front window, a coffee in one hand, and a copy of today's newspaper tucked under his arm.

“That So?” offered one of the regulars sitting there.

“Absolutely,” answered J-- as he sat down, “check it out ..." He opened the paper and pointed to the small article, "It says here the officers went through the drive thru and ordered burger meals that the staff laced with marijuana."

"How'd they figure it out?" asked another regular sitting across from J--.

"Better question would be, 'why would they bother?'" asked a second, "if soemone wants to serve me a burger with some pot added, I wouldn't be complaining."

His comment was met with a nodding of heads around the couches.

"Well," J-- refered to the article, "it says here that the two officer 'performed a field test to confirm the substance on their burger was pot,' and they went to the hospital for medical examinations and evaluation."

"You serious?" asked one of the regulars looking dumbstruck.

"Absolutely," said J-- with a grin, "read it for yourself," he offered the paper but was waved off.

"No thanks," said the regular as he shook his head, "I can't believe that."

"I can't believe that someone would be upset getting some marijuana sprinkled on their burger," observed another regular.

"Talk about your Whopper," laughed the first regular.

"That's what one of the lawyers said," commented J-- as he pointed to the article.

"So what exactly did the so-called perpetrators charged with?" asked one of the regulars.

"Oh they were charged with possession and a felony charge of battery on an officer," said J--, looking at the article.

"For putting marijuana on a burger" asked the first regular, again looking awestruck, "How tight assed to YOU have to be to want to charge someone for sprinkling marijuana on your burger?"

"So what's the real story?" asked the second regular, "a couple of cops found some pot on their burger, over reacted, arrested the hoodlums. Why did it make the paper?"

"Says here," J-- was again looking at the paper, "that the two victims are suing the Burger Chain for personal injury, negligence, battery and violation of fair practises ..."

The second regular interupted J--, "what was the violation of fair practises?"

"They weren't asked if they wanted friends with it," offered the second regular, "or if they wanted to super size it?"

J-- laughed, "No, nothing like that," he paused, "they're seeking unspecified damages along with legal costs."

"Ah it's about the money," observed the first regular.

"It's always about the money," agreed the second regular.

"Does it say where the drive thru was located?" asked the first regular.

"Somewhere in New Mexico," observed J--, "why?"

"Oh I'm planning a road trip this winter," said the first regular, "and it sounds like a drive thru worth stopping at."

"Make sure you get fries with it though," laughed the second regular.

"And super size it if you can," laughed J--.

"You bet," smiled the first regular as he sipped his coffee, "I'll try to bring your something back."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfields ... Part LIII ...

"So, it's election day in the US of A," announced J-- as he approached the table where a group of mid-morning regulars were sitting, "think Georgie is in for a bit of a wake up call?"

His question was met with a couple of nodding heads and a shrug or two.

"Think it will really make that much of a difference," asked one of the regulars, "afterall, he's got such a mess in Iraq, it won't matter too much who is sitting where back home will it?"

"I suppose not," observed J-- as he sat down at the table, "the big challenge will be reigning in the Religious Right ..."

"The religious WRONG you said," interupted one of the regulars.

"Got that right," laughed J-- as he picked up his coffee and took a sip.

"Speaking of Religious Right," ventured one of the regulars, "what's the deal with Ross and this televangelist ministry he's trying to talk The Rev into."

A Cheshire Cat like grin crossed J--'s face, "where did you hear about that?" he asked giggling.

"Oh Ross told me the other night," said the regular leaning in over the table and lowering his voice, "he was sitting over there, with a bunch of little plastic packages spread on the table and I asked him what he was up to."

"What did he say?" asked one of the other regulars, clearly intrigued.

"Well, he said something about getting The Rev to do a tv show, and make appeals for donations that would be exchanged for little packaged of holy water that could be used to bless and anoint stuff ..." The regular's voice trailed off, "It was all a little too strange for me."

"And for The Rev too," laughed J--, "I think he figures Ross has finally lost his mind ..."

"Short trip," observed Bonnie as she stepped up to the table.

"Morning Bonnie," laughed J--, "you not in favour of Ross' idea?" a broad smiled crossed J--'s face.

"It's not that I'm not in favour of it," began Bonnie, clearly weighing her words and tempering her feelings, "It's more a case of wondering where this one will go and how much it could cost us if it goes wrong ..."

"What can go wrong?" asked one of the regulars, "you invest in a bunch of little plastic packets of water and get The Rev to do what he does so well ..."

"Only if he wants to," reminded J--, "and right now he's not interested."

"We gotta convince him," said one the other regulars, "He's a good preacher. He's a good story teller, and he could pull this off."

"Not only that," offered one of the other regulars, "but we have the equipment and the people available right now to set up a call centre, or a prayer line, or something to support the whole thing."

J-- was shaking his head, "So, what will we call this venture?" he asked, "The Chipperfield Biblical Ministries?"

"Sure, why not?" answered one of the regulars.

Bonnie, leaning on one of the chairs was shaking her head. "Now you guys are starting to frighten me."

J-- laughed and shook his head, as he spoke, "so, where is Ross today anyway?"

"He's on the road somewhere," said Bonnie glancing at the clock, "he said he's be by sometime this morning on his way to and fro."

"Speak of the devil," observed J--, looking out the front window as Ross walking past the windows, "and there he appears."

"In a puff of sulphur and flame ..." muttered Bonnie, much to the delight of the others at the table.

Ross came in the door, in his hand was a file folder that was bulging with paper work.

"What's that?" asked Bonnie, glancing at the file folder.

"Oh this," Ross glanced down and tried to look nonchalant, "It's just something I've been working on lately ..."

"What is it Ross?" asked Bonnie, her voice tightening.

"Just some stuff," Ross' voice lowered, "nothing really."

Bonnie held out a hand, into which Ross dutifully deposited the file folder. Bonnie opened it and gasped. Her face was a mix of mirth and horror ... "You guys have to see this ..." She opened the folder and set it on the table.

"Well, I'll be ..." said J-- as he looked over the pile ... "Does The Rev know about this?"

"Ummm," Ross stammered, "not yet, I was going to tell him today ..."

"I think you better," observed one of the regulars, picking up one of the posters for the Broadcast Premiere of a new Rural Interfaith Outreach Ministry ... "he may not be happy about it ..."

"Gee you think?" observed Bonnie, her face expressionless ...

"And the Religious Right thought the Us Election was their biggest worry ..." smirked J--, "they ain't see nothing yet ..."

"I'd be more worried about Ross when The Rev finds out about this ..." said one of the regulars. Around the table several heads nodded in agreement. Ross gulped.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Nite at Chipperfields ...

Anna and Ross working hard on a Monday night ...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfields ... Part LII ...

Ross was sitting by the juke box, a pile of mail spread across the table in front of him. J-- and The Rev came in the front door together and approached the table.

"May we join you?" asked J--, motioning to the empty chairs.

"Sure," said Ross, sorting through the pile of envelopes and flyers.

"Do we want to know what you're doing?" asked The Rev, as he turned and moved back towards the counter to order coffee for himself and J--.

"Oh, I got a plan," answered Ross, pulling one envelope free of the pile and uttering "A-ha," as he did so.

"A plan?" echoed J--, as he sat down.

"What kind of plan?" asked The Rev. as he returned to the table, two coffees in hand, "and should we be worried?"

"Nay," said Ross, stretching out the syllable and gazing at the envelope in his hand as though it were some long lost treasure, "I've just come up with an idea that will be good for the community, the church and business here at Chipperfield's."

J-- lifted his nose in the air and said with a sniff, "I smell something bad coming ..."

"Me too," scoffed The Rev. as he picked up his coffee and took a sip.

"Oh you guys are way too cynical," said Ross with a slight whine, "I'm telling you, when I'm ready this Stay-cation idea will fly, and the advertising on the cup sleeves IS going to catch on."

"What about the cup plugs, or whatever they were called?" asked J--, with a smirk, "how did you explain the order for 14 000 boxes of them to Bonnie?"

Ross looked down at the table, his shoulders sagged, "Okay, THAT was a bad idea," he said meekly, "but Bonnie got the company to take back almost all of them."

The Rev laughed as he spoke, "How DID you mistakenly order 14 000 boxes of the little plugs anyway? I've never heard what really happened."

"No, you were just here the morning the deliver truck pulled up with 1200 cases of the stupid things on board and Bonnie hit the roof," observed J-- laughing.

"Okay, it was an honest mistake." pleaded Ross, "I filled out the form on the online site wrong, and put in the wrong number."

"How do you put in and order for fourteen MILLION coffee cup plugs incorrectly?" asked J-- with a snort, "do tell?"

"Okay," Ross began, then glanced over his shoulder, "I was filling out the form and I wanted to a single case, and it said that a single case had twelve boxes of assorted plugs, with 1000 plugs in each box. So, I went to the quantity line and I misread it and put in 100 in the line I thought was for boxes, but it was for 'gross number' of cases, not individual boxes."

"Um, Ross?" The Rev had a furrowed brow as he spoke, "100 boxes of the plugs makes for 100 000 coffee cup plugs." The Rev paused as though he was carefully measuring his words, "What in the name of all that is Holy, were you planning to do with 100 000 coffee cup plugs?"

"I never said I was good in math," said Ross quietly. He then paused before continuing, "I miscalculated a bit ..."

"You think?" roared J--, as he slapped his knee and grinned, "what does Bonnie think about this?"

"Shhhhhhhh" offered Ross as he looked over his shoulder to see if Bonnie was anywhere near by, "the less said the better."

Both The Rev and J-- nodded thier heads.

"So, with some fear and trepidation, I have to ask," said The Rev, still smiling, "what is this new scheme you've come up with?"

"It's not a scheme," said Ross tersely, "it's a plan."

"And the difference is?" asked J--.

"The difference is," answered Ross, "schemes are just that. Plans are ambitious and adventurous."

"Okay," said J-- with a smirk, "tell us about your plan ..."

"Well," offered Ross, as he again picked up the envelope he had retrieved from the pile earlier, "in here ..." he paused to open the envelope and dump out its contents, "is the heart of my idea ..." He dumped on the table three small plastic packages that looked like those you get at restaurants with vinegar in them.

"Vinegar?" asked J-- suspiciously.

"Water," answered Ross triumphantly.

"Water?" asked The Rev.

"Water!" answered Ross.

"You're gonna sell drops of water?" asked J--, clearly confused.

"Not sell them," said Ross, "we're gonna give them away."

"Okay, I'm confused here," said The Rev. "what kind of water do you give away in a little plastic packet?" He held one of the packets in his fingers and looked at it carefully, though with some visible skepticism.

"Holy Water!" announced Ross triumphantly. The Rev dropped the packet as though it had suddenly been enveloped in flames.

"Holy water?" The Rev's voice neared a shout, "Have you lost your mind completely?"

J--'s jaw dropped.

"Hear me out," said Ross, retrieving the packet from in front of The Rev, "if we play this right we could raise money for the Church rebuilding, for other community projects, and we could set up a nice little business enterprise right here in Minnedosa to employ people in the production and mailing departments."

"He's lost it ..." said The Rev dryly, looking at J--.

J-- nodded in agreement.

"No, no," said Ross, "Hear me out."

"I don't know if I want to," answered The Rev cautiously, "this idea actually kind of scares me."

"Okay, here's what we'd do," began Ross, looking earnestly at The Rev and J--, "I got these by calling one of those televangelists on cable. He sends the package of Holy water and instructions on how to make more and on how to use them in your life to bless what you're doing."

The Rev stared at Ross stone faced, J-- was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

"So, my thought is," Ross paused and held up one of the packet infront of J-- and The Rev, "that we get you," his finger motioned to The Rev. "to do a televangelist show of some kind. You can keep it left and liberal, but we tape it and distribute it on tv stations across North America."

"Where does the water fit in Ross?" asked The Rev, his voice sounding like the computer from 2001 A Space Odyssey.

"That's the hook," said Ross enthusiastically, "you end each broadcast telling people that for a small donation you will gladly send them a package of special Holy Water drawn from a pristine source in Manitoba, prayed over by you in your ministry, and send out especially for them ... and they can use it to bless or anoint or whatever they want to do ..."

The Rev sat across the table impassively, saying nothing, his head shaking side to side almost imperceptibly.

"So, where's the money go?" asked J-- still grinning.

"That's the beauty of it," observed Ross, "we pay each of us a stipend, we make donations to the Rebuilding efforts of the Church, The Day Care and even the Heritage Committees, and with what ever is left over we work on expanding."

"Build a religious theme park out by the lake?" asked J-- with a smirk.

"Nothing like that," said Ross quietly, "we use it to invest in staff, equipment and products, and we market The Rev."

For a long moment no one said anything. The Rev then shook his head and stood up.

"I'm out ..." he said as he pulled on his coat, "I could see the Stay-cation idea. I even thought the advertisements on the coffee sleeves might fly, and I could see the cup plug working. But this one ..." he paused as he pulled on his gloves, "this one is just too out there, even for me ..." he turned and headed for the door, "Good night gentlemen," he muttered as he left shaking his head.

"So, do you think he'll go for it?" asked Ross, looking at J--.

J-- just stared back at Ross, and said nothing ... Then after a long moment he spoke, his eyes twinkling, "Yeah," a smiled crossed J--'s face, "Let him sleep on it and he'll be on side." J--'s head shook side to side as he spoke.

Ross contented himself by examining the packets of water once again ...

Overheard at Chipperfields ... Part LI ...

A new vistor stood at the counter looking up at the blackboards, trying to decide what she wanted to order.

"What kind of cookies do you have?" the woman asked, her eyes still firmly on the boards.

Dani turned and looked up at the Boards, checking to see where it said 'cookies' amongst the mocha and lattee listings. She answered cheerfully, "We have a wide variety of cookies, that change each day. Today we have Chipperdoodles, Peanut Butter Oatmeal with chocolate chips, Oatmeal raisin and our special Triple Chocolate Chip with walnuts."

"Hmm," said the regular without a trace of enthusiasm, "what else do you have?" She didn't look down to the jars and containers to see for herself the selection of delicious baked goods available.
Kriss, her back to the customer rolled her eyes as she prepared the order of two White Cows mochas for her customers, "can't she look at the containers for herself?" she thought to herself.

"Well," Dani remained cheerful, "we have a very wide selection of cheesecake silces, carrot cake, a number of muffins and Kriss just brought out a fresh batch of cinnamon silces," Dani paused and smiled before continuing, "and we have a selection of ice cream."

"It's snowy and cold outside," snapped the visitor, "why on earth would I want to have ice cream when it is snowy and cold outside?"

"Oh," answered Dani in a chipper voice, "I wasn't aware that there are rules about when you could and couldn't have ice cream," she paused as her voice moved to a conspiratorial whisper, "I must have missed that in the manual."

Dani smiled inspite of the icy glare from the customer, "I guess you're NOT interested in hearing about our coolers or iced drinks then?" Dani's eyes were sparkling, and the corner of her mouth was twitching with a smile. Behind her Kriss snorted as she finished up her order and turned to hand it to the customer ahead of the visitor.

"I will have a medium coffee, and one of those triple chocolate cookies," snapped the visitor, her index finger pointing at the jar by her right elbow.

"For here or to go?" asked Dani with a smile.

"For here," the visitor offered in a monotone.

Dani prepared her order and slit it across the counter, "There you are. Enjoy." She said.

The visitor said nothing as she slid her payment across the counter, and scooping up the change without leaving a tip.

"Oh You're most welcome," Dani said cheerfully, stretching out the last syllable, "It was such a pleasure to serve you today ..."

Kriss snorted yet again as she busily wiped the counter down behind Dani.

The visitor raised an eyebrow, and said nothing as she took her coffee and cookie and turned with a "humpf". As she headed to the couches, Dani smiled.

Dani stepped out from behind the counter to where J-- and a group of regulars were seated. "Refills anyone?" she asked with a smile.

"Sure," answered J--. The other regulars shook their heads.

"Nicely played by the way," observed J--.

"What do you mean?" asked Dani innocently, "I was simply serving a customer."

"Oh sure," laughed J--, as she took his mug and headed back to the counter to refill it. The crew around the table laughed, drawing a scornful glare from the visitor at the front.