Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Scam alert August 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 3:16 PM
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HE SPEAKS WITH A STRONG, authoritative voice about life-threatening situations in which you may be unable to summon help.

For a moment, albeit brief, I almost believe him, that the American Heart Association in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association is offering free medical emergency alert equipment to me if only I’ll press “1” on my phone for more information.

But I am smart enough to realize a scam when I hear one. Yet, I can understand, as the recorded message continues, how a vulnerable senior citizen could fall victim to this fraud.

“You’ll never have to feel worried or helpless again,” the convincing voice reassures me.

But be assured, this is a scam, an attempt to defraud consumers, according to a representative I spoke with this afternoon at the American Heart Association.

I asked whether the AHA had issued/would be issuing a news release to warn the public as I’d be happy to share that information on this blog. Not at this time, she said, because the same scam circulated several months ago and had been reported to the FBI. The rep suggested I call local law enforcement. I already had.

Last week I reported the potential scam to the Faribault Police Department. But because I had not been defrauded, I was told the matter would not be investigated and that the call could, indeed, be legitimate.

OK then, are you serious? I emphasized that I was convinced the offer was bogus. That mattered not. I thought I was doing the right thing by alerting police before any local residents became crime victims.

Today, after receiving the same phone call trying to convince me I needed this free medical emergency alert device, I did my own investigating by calling the American Heart Association then following up with a call to the Rice County Attorney’s Office. I am awaiting a return call.

In the meantime, if your phone rings and the caller offers you free medical emergency alert equipment and assures you that “You’ll never have to feel worried or helpless again,” don’t believe it.

Your worries will have just begun.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Let’s study action verbs today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:20 AM
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I KNOW. I KNOW. You already are thinking you do not want to read this post. After all, you have no interest in grammar or the eight parts of speech.

Or maybe you love language, like me, and wonder what I could possibly teach you.

Perhaps I can’t teach you anything. But I can show you, via a series of photos, how kids define “fun.”

I’ve also labeled each image with an appropriate action verb followed by a definition pulled not from a dictionary or online source, but from my creative brain. Who says some grammar guru can tell me exactly how to define a word?

Twirl: To spin a boy around and around until an adult suggests you stop or the kid may puke up the potluck lunch he just ate at the family reunion.

Swing: To move your arms in such a way as to imitate hitting one out of the ballpark.

Run: To launch or propel one’s body forward at a rapid pace in an effort to get as much candy as possible because, uh, like you want to be the winner and scoop up the most candy.

Grab: To reach out and grasp handfuls of candy as fast as you can.

Hoard: To scoop a large quantity of candy into your hands, protecting your pile with your body, until an adult notices and advises you that you must share.

Gather:  To pick up and fill your hands to overflowing with candy.

Stash: To pull the cap from your head and use it to corral all of the candy you’ve plucked from the grass.

FYI: These images were taken at the Kletscher family reunion held this past weekend at the park in my hometown of Vesta. To read an additional family reunion post with many fun photos, click here.

Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling