Fight Against Cancer and For the Environment

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A Clearer Vision

Posted by Anne Tarantino on April 3, 2010 at 9:47 PM Comments comments (2)

Wow, the amount of progress for this fundraiser and also for the larger vision is amazing. We hear so much about so many terrible things and terrible people in the world. It's nice to write about great people, great things and HOPE!

So, this whole thing started off as a fundraiser to help someone with cancer. Well, when we dug into that, the feds were none to happy about donating money to an individual. How dare we do that!!!! We probably could do something the first year and be ok, but if we continued to help people by donating money to them, well they would get taxed we would get .....whatever punishment the feds would give us for helping people. Apparently that's a bad thing in the eyes of the IRS and the Feds.

There have been so many people stepping up (out of nowhere it seems) to help provide food, equipment, services for the June 12th fundraiser that it is overwhelming. Thank you will never be enough. Both individuals and businesses have been eager to help.

For this fundraiser, the funds will go to headcovering programs for those that want a headcovering and we are creating a program for gas cards. So many times we hear about the patients large medical bills, costs of prescritptions and due to the lack of income the everyday needs like gas to commute to appointments or to the mayo, go overlooked. The American Cancer Society does provide 1 headcovering, but the waiting list is long. This could have a few people a bit more quickly.

We came up with a clearer larger vision. The Funny Farm Fundraiser is a non profit organization, but the board decided that to help people on a larger level, there had to be more than a fundraiser or 2 a year and would people take the name "Funny Farm" in a negative way? So, the decision was to make a larger non profit and fundraising piece be "The Funny Farm".

The larger organization is called the River of Ribbons. Why? Each type of cancer and other illnesses have different color ribbons: Pink, breast cancer. Black, melanomoa and mouring. Brown, colon cancer. Here is a link to view the chart:

The decision was made to not limit help to a specific cancer, or illness, treatment or organization. The large (VERY LARGE) picture is to have a center where people with many severe illnesses can go to get educated on their illness and options for their disease. Their education would consist not only of mainstream treatments, but eastern, holistic, natural treatments as well. Some will call that "new age" or "woo woo" type of treatment, but we want each individual to be educated on all treatment options so they can make the best decision for themselves. We are not here to promote one or the other, but to give options. The other piece of this center would be to give people resources, local and national for things they decide they need. Legal advice, dietary advice etc just to name a few.

We have medical professionals, legal professionals and alternative medical professionals offering to assist in developing this center by donating time and knowledge. There are no words that can express the gratitude.

Join us on June 12, 2010 to meet these wonderful people. Pehaps our vision will become clearer to more people and hope will spread.

Now for the hard piece. MONEY!! UGH!! We hope the center will be up and running in 5 years. Help us to get there. Donations for programs will be taken at the fundraiser, but stay tuned here and on our web page for updates. You can donate the day of the fundraiser, online or you can meet with the board members if that is desired.

Thanks all for letting me drone on and on! Hopefully, with eveyone's help we can succeed at both our short and long term goals.

[email protected]


Posted by FunnyfarmMN at 5:23 AM


Posted by Anne Tarantino on March 9, 2010 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Cathy Wiedmer (TIPPY) found this interesting article on Fruit. I guess we all need to be a little more fruity!


FunnyFarm Cancer Fundraiser Dr Stephen Mak treats his terminal ill cancer patients by "un-orthodox" way and many patients recovered. He explains before he is using solar energy to clear the illnesses of his patients.. He believes on natural healing in the body against illnesses. See his article below:


This is one of the strategies to heal cancer. As of late, my success rate in curing cancer is about 80%. Cancer patients shouldn't die. The cure for cancer is already found. It is whether you believe it or not? I am sorry for the hundreds of cancer patients who die under the conventional treatments.. Very few can live for 5 years under the conventional treatments and most live for only about 2 to 3 years. The conventional treatments do not make any difference because most cancer patients also live for about 2 to 3 years without undergoing any treatment. It is difficult to cure those cancer patients who have undergone chemo and radiotherapy as their cells are toxic and weak. When there is a relapse, the cancer will spread very fast as the resistance is poor.

Thanks and God bless.

Dr Stephen Mak


It's long but very informative .

We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It's not as easy as you think. It's important to know how and when to eat.

What is the correct way of eating fruits?


If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD. Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.

In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid.. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil....

So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc . Actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!

Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes all these will NOT happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.

There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

When you need to drink fruit juice - drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits because you don't get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.

But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene — the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer! Can u believe this?? For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

A serious note about heart attacks HEART ATTACK PROCEDURE': (THIS IS NOT A JOKE!) Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. Sixty percent of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life.

Scientific or Holistic Treatment??

Posted by Anne Tarantino on March 6, 2010 at 9:09 AM Comments comments (2)

And what could possibly be the answer?


So, I got up this morning and decided that my coffee time was going to be devoted to doing some research on cancer and the environment so I could spread my plethora of knowledge amongst those who choose to listen. And of course, we involved with the Funny Farm are "Against Cancer and for the Environment" right?


I stumbled upon cancer treatments and the question came to me, "what kind of treatments would I choose if I got the news I had "the c-word"? When I found some information all that came to my mind was OMG WTF? The knowledge I have could fill a thimble. The more I read the less I knew. So after reading, my knowledge can fill about 1/4 of a thimble. Aren't you glad you're reading?


So, scientific or holistic treatment? One? Both? Neither? Obviously an individual decision- like being republican or democrat. Gasp! Can anything be that bad where you compare it to politicians?


I sit and pretend like I just got the news and I need to make a decision, so far here are my choices:


Scientific: typically chemo and radiation you get to get all kinds of poison in your body, feel non stop nausea, diarrhea, lose your hair and your dignity. Long term affects can be "chemo brain" where it feels like an early Alzheimer's and in some cases your never the same, never recover your energy etc.


Holistic: Meditation, Acupuncture,Coffee Enema? Really? These are just a few. I can't find really any side effects. Hmmm, is this real? It makes sense to me to get in touch with your inner self and heal from the inside out, but how do we "prove" that it works?


Scientific or holistic?


In a conversation with some friends last night, this question came up. A woman there made a simple statement. She said "Trust Yourself" Most people are so far from being able to do that, we all want the quick fix. She used a great example last night that made sense about trusting. She said back before all of this modern medical stuff, people used to trust themselves in what plant to eat or use for ailments, or they would watch the animals. If the animals all rushed to shelter the instinct was move to shelter and they trusted that instinct. Perhaps it's getting in tune with ourselves to trust our instincts on our treatment for our bodies individually.


It makes me think of my good friend Cindy. She was diagnosed with stage 4 Ovarian cancer and told to "get her affairs in order" She had to face this very same decision. Her first instinct before the surgery, chemo and radiation was to research holistic medications. At first her decision was to just follow the holistic plan. Her partner of many years and her family wanted no part of that. The doctors at mayo said not to take those meds they were "quacks". Cindy, being the kind, quiet, wise (and a little rebellious) just continued with her holistic meds, AND did chemo and radiation although the "good doctors" at Mayo felt she wouldn't live.


2 years have passed, Cindy is cancer free.


Maybe it's just that simple, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.

Ok as for Cancer!

Posted by Anne Tarantino on March 4, 2010 at 9:22 PM Comments comments (2)

This is my childhood friend Don Knaack writing about his battle with cancer. I'm very blessed to know this man.


Donald Knaack March 4 at 5:34pm

Ok, as for the Cancer.

I had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. For a couple years leading up to the diagnosis, I started getting red lumps on the back of my shoulder. They weren't big at first, and I thought they were just pockets of fat called granuloma's (or something like that anyway) - nothing to worry about. Well, they progressively got larger, and distorted in shape and began to itch, still about the size of a 1/2 dollar.

It was the end of winter in 2002-2003. We just moved into a new old house on 3.5 acres. We had a lot of work to do on the old place. Knowing we would be doing a lot outdoors in the coming months, my wife told me to go to the Dr. to have the lumps removed because spring was coming, and I planned on being in a tank top the entire summer - or shirtless. I love the sun!

I went to the Dr., then did a biopsy. That was a Friday later in the day. The Dr.'s office called me the following Wednesday at home around 5:00pm. The nurse said "You have Cancer." "What? I have Cancer? What kind?" She said Lymphoma, but we don't know what kind, we need to do more tests. I asked a series of questions after that, such as "Am I going to die from this?" She didn't have an answer. I asked how I got it and her response was "Well, if we knew that, we wouldn't be having this conversation." as if to imply the would be able to find a cure.

That night, I drank a ton of Brandy. I waited until my family all went to bed, and I wrote two letters to my kids in the event I would die from it. I mean, they were young, and I had some fathering left to do. I had to tell them some of the basics. You get the picture.

Trying to get an idea of exactly what I had, they did a Bone Marrow test (from the hip), and they did a Spinal Tap. The Spinal Tap was a real bummer. I started out on my stomach. They inserted a HUGE needle into my spine. The Dr. said, I can't seem to get enough fluid, I need to elevate the table a bit. This happened like 3 times, and by the time he was able to get fluid, the table was almost in the upright position - I was hanging from the top of the table, feet off the ground- with a HUGE NEEDLE IN MY SPINE! That sucked.

It took about a month before they could tell me exactly what I had, and how they planned to treat it. That gave me plenty of time to prepare myself for whatever they were going to tell me. I was ready if they were going to give me the worst news possible. The day we went in for the "great reveal", I had what is known as White Coats Disease - My bloodpressure was "off the charts". They attribute that to nerves, etc., although I felt just fine. They told me I had Large B Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The Dr. told me because I presented (the way the cancer showed itself), above and below the diaphram, that I was a stage 3-4. That's always good to hear! Ok I said, how are we going to treat it. The Dr said we are going to do Chemo AND Radiation.

Non-Hodgkin's starts in the Lymph Nodes and works its way to the vital organs, rather than the other way around like most other Cancers.

I went through 6 months of Chemo. Once every other week. I would go in to the Oncology Department at 8:00am, and leave at 5:00pm. I.V.'s all day. My wife came with me everytime. She made friends with all of the nurses, and many of the patients. She would go down to the gift shop each time and buy one or two die case miniture cars for me - they were neat. Back to the Chemo, I never vomited from the Chemo drugs, which I attribute to being stubborn, and staying active - as well as drinking a ton of water and eating Klondike bars... My wife found a fake I.V. Bottle with a sticker with the word Vodka on it at a rummage sale, complete with the line and all. We brought that once and hung that with my other I.V. bags. The nursing staff got quite the kick out of it.

After the Chemo was done, I went into radiation. I had that for another three months or so. Good times.

I often talk to other people who have just heard they have Cancer, and answer some of their questions; What was it like? Did it hurt? etc. How could I not. Its scary. But at the same time, I was able to cope with all of the possible outcomes. That really helped me.

They have come along way with the different types of Cancer treatments now days. Non-Hodgkin's is treatable. Others not so, but keeping your mind in the right place really helps. Having a supportive wife really helped me too. She got my butt out of my chair, and we moved wood chips into the gardens and stayed active. I was told NOT to do that stuff by my Dr., but who listens to them anyway! ;-) Two years later, I have a clean bill of health!

The Cancer Epidemic

Posted by Jenny Marcell on March 2, 2010 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (2)

Hi -



My name is Jenny, and I am one of the 'Kindergarten Girls', as Kay and Anne have so kindly labeled us! Anne and myself and two other very dear friends (Jill and Cathy) grew up together, and while I wasn't a TRUE kindergarten friend, since I didn't know those three crazies until middle school....we spent 6 years together in school, and have all remained close (Jill and I had some college years together, too), and in the past year have really reconnected and found out why we always had so much fun as kids! We are all alike - sarcastic, fun-loving, caring, and kind... and STILL have a ton of laughs together!



So Anne told us about this fundraiser that she and Kay had been dreaming of, and wanting to plan, and I said - absolutely, I will help! Now, I'm coordinating the silent auction for the big gig, along with the other Kindergarten Girls.... which is totally fun for us, and the results of what they are trying to achieve will be so incredibly helpful to people who are impacted greatly by this horrible disease!


In my official capacity as auction coordinator, extraordinaire – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - DONATE PEOPLE!!!


This will be an absolutely awesome and fun-filled, love-oozing, great day, that will do some good for those that absolutely need help during the hard times of a potentially life-threatening illness!


Besides being a good friend of Anne’s – I also have a cancer story to share… not my own, but of several loved ones in my life!


I am the second of four children, two younger brothers, and an older sister. At the age of 26, my older sister Becky (my only sister) was diagnosed on her birthday – April 10th – with Malignant Melanoma… This devastated my family, as you can imagine, and 6 ½ months later, my sister died. We encouraged her to follow the traditional treatment methods (chemo, radiation) even though the prognosis was not good at all. Survival rates for that type of cancer were less than 10% back in the early 90’s. She merely wanted to live out the time she had with friends and family, and enjoy everything she could knowing she had little time left. But, we pushed – and so she did all the treatments, only to make her extremely sick and bloated, and unhappy. She had absolutely beautiful long, curly bright red hair – her trademark I believe she felt… and it all fell out. She died sick, bald, and nauseated and in pain! I will regret forever wanting her to live through that, just because we, her family, didn’t want to lose her!!! I vowed that somehow I’d do what I could to help find other treatment options, or alternative drugs, or something that could prolong life, without causing such agony to those who are fighting so hard to continue living!


Ironically, my son Zach, who is almost 11, was born on her birthday – April 10th… He never met his auntie, but he knows all about her, and what a beautiful person he shares his birthday with! We recently re-modeled his bedroom, and one of the first pictures he wanted to hang was of Aunt Becky!


I have also had two dear friends that had cancer – both Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and thankfully both are survivors – one for 9 years now, the other for 3 years… My one friend would throw her wig off in the car on the way to lunch, just because it was itchy and she just didn’t care anymore what others thought.  Spunk and positivity matter!!! She’s now happily married, with two beautiful children, and still cancer-free!


So, my reasons for committing my time and efforts and of course at some point my cash, are to help in any way I can to rid us of this disease…. To educate others on harmful things in our lives that might ultimately make us sick… And to find better and less invasive ways of treating those so unfortunate to have to suffer thru the ugliness of cancer!!


With love and caring for all who took the time to read this!!!


Jennifer Marcell

(Kindergarten Girl)

Molly the Horse

Posted by Anne Tarantino on February 25, 2010 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (1)

Maybe this doesn't exactly fit what we we are trying to do for our event, but on the other hand it it a story of hope, which is what we are trying to create. Everyone, meet Molly!  Her  picture did not come out on this blog, but check out our Facebook Page.


Ya gotta meet Molly....


Meet Molly. She's a grey speckled pony who

Was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane

Katrina hit southern Louisiana . She spent weeks

On her own before finally being rescued and taken

To a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled..

While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier

And almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became

Infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but

LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare

Case. You know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he

Changed his mind. He saw how the pony was

Careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't

Seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to

Handle her. She protected her injured leg. She

Constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload

Her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious

Survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee,

And a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly

Walked out of the clinic and her story really

Begins there.

'This was the right horse and the right owner,'

Moore insists. Molly happened to be a

One-in-a-million patient.

She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain.

She made it obvious she understood that she was

In trouble. The other important factor, according

To Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant

Owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care

Required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in

Post-Katrina Louisiana ....

The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb.

A human prosthesis designer built her a leg.

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life,

Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports.

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out,

And come to you and let you know that she wants

You to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take

It off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from

Barca. 'It can be pretty bad when you can't catch

A three-legged horse,' she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay,

The rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to

Shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation

Centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed

Hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people

Her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a

Good time doing it.

'It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to

Play in life, Moore said. She survived the hurricane,

She survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving

Hope to others.'

Barca concluded, 'She's not back to normal, but

she's going to be better...To me, she could be a

Symbol for New Orleans itself.'


This is Molly's most recent prosthesis. The bottom

Photo shows the ground surface that she stands on,

Which has a smiley face embossed in it.. Wherever

Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind.


Forward this and share it with all of the

Animal lovers that you know.

God's creatures often reflect the

Character we aspire to.

The Funny Farm Rocks

Posted by Kay Curtin on February 24, 2010 at 5:04 PM Comments comments (3)

Kay asked me to blog a bit about my exciting but not-so-fun Cancer Experience that I've been going through, and I'll happily do that.  Some of the best (and goofiest) times of my life have been spent with Kay and friends, but we don't get up to the Funny Farm often enough these days.  The June fundraiser is a wonderful thing to do and will be so appreciated by all recipients.  A group of my friends, co-workers, and former employers had a couple of great benefits for us last summer, and every time that I'm feeling crummy I get out the cards and signed posters from the events and look at them.  My spirit and attitude lift immediately.


One thing that I want to make sure everyone knows is this:  I had mammograms faithfully every year.  When my cancer was discovered because of pain in my chest, the cancer had spread to a stage 3C.  They gave me a mammogram the day of the biopsy, and nothing showed.  Only an MRI picked up all the tumors; at least one was large.  During my treatment in Stillwater and Rochester, I've met literally dozens of women that have had their cancers completely missed by mammograms.  It's become my little mission to get the word out.  Don't stop having mammograms, but ask your radiologist if you have dense tissue, and ask that they recommend ultrasound or an MRI if you do.  No one had ever told me that I should be having something beside a mammogram until it was too late.  If there's one thing that I've learned, it's that you have to be aggressive and downright assertive sometimes about your own health and treatment. 


Anyway, a bilateral mastectomy, one and a third rounds of chemo (I almost died from the second one), 26 radiation treatments, and now reconstruction have made me a strong old lady.  I feel like I can whip anything.  Luckily, I have a great husband and children that have been my rocks to lean on.  We've met so many great people in the medical field during treatment, and a couple of a--holes.  I chose to ignore the a--holes and anyone else that tells me that I have a lousy prognosis. 


Some things that I've learned from cancer:


1.   Being positive is sometimes tough, but essential.  Everybody responds differently.  I choose to not think about it unless I see something in the news about a new treatment, a success story etc.  It takes months just to get over the shock of being told that you have cancer.  At first I researched everything that I could on my type of breast cancer just to be able to visualize it being destroyed in my body.  Now, I visualize it gone.  Let's hope I'm right.


2.  Stay away from negative people.  Some are well-meaning, but their effect on you is the same.  Hang around with the cheerleaders.  My husband tells me almost daily that I'm going to be all right.  That's what I need to hear.  He's also funnier than hell.  Laughing is a proven healer.


3.  Only you know how you feel.  I was deathly ill with the second chemo, but my doctors wouldn't believe me.  It took weeks to convince them that something was wrong.  They found that my lungs were full of crystals from the paclitaxol chemo drug, a rare but not unheard of response to taxol drugs, and stopped the chemo before I went belly up.  This has changed my personality profoundly.  I now speak up.  Sometimes I yell and swear.


4.  All the stupid little things that I worried about don't matter.  Family, friends, and their love are all that matter.


5.  You can drive yourself silly wondering what caused your cancer.  I'm pretty convinced that mine was a combination of environmental causes and not taking care of myself.  The head of toxicology at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene said that they know of four things that definitely cause breast cancer:  1) smoking, 2) genetics, 3) pesticides, and 4) plastics and other substances that mimic estrogen, such as BPA.  In this case, I'm a top candidate.  I grew up in a cloud of cigarret smoke, and was a pesticide applicator and a laboratory technician for many years.  Some of the places I worked had appalingly poor ventilation and no personal safety equipment (i.e. no latex gloves, masks, etc.).  I also was on the road for many years eating cheap take-out food and drinking water out of plastic bottles, and sleeping in lonely hotels night after night.  And, there is lots of cancer in my family.  The area where I grew up in northwestern Illinois has one of the highest cancer rates in that state, and there is a high arsenic and radium level in the groundwater.  All together, I was probably a time bomb.


We've done a major lifestyle change.  Organic food, or at least all that we can afford or raise.  Luckily, we have a farm to raise great things.  And lots of exercise, something that I avoided every chance that I could.  I also do my best not to let things bother me, which is easier said than done. 


The only good thing about cancer is that it makes you appreciate every second of your life, your family, and your friends.  That includes you, Kay and Ann.  We'll see you soon.  Can't wait to start planting things in your yard!



Kay Curtin








Let the fun begin

Posted by Anne Tarantino on February 21, 2010 at 8:12 PM Comments comments (0)

What is the funny farm and why are we doing this?


Good questions and there is a good long story to this. Sit back, get something to drink and enjoy the story.


The funny farm is the unofficial name of a farm in Harris, Minnesota owned by Kay Winchell. She and the funny farm are the 2 things that make this event so special. She would be less then pleased to be put in the spotlight of why this came about, but none of this would come to be if it weren’t for the farm or for Kay. She is not a spotlight kind of girl and would rather pick a whole field of corn by hand than have any recognition.


The “Winchell” farm was founded around 1870 by Swedish immigrants, Magnus and Christine Lundeen. I think they still come to visit every now and again. It gets very unexplainably busy out here. All the buildings on this property are original which is probably why “Mags” and “Christy” still hang around here. They know their way around.



After I got to know Kay a bit I asked her “how are things on the farm?” Her response:


“The horse is lame, the goats are dying, the chickens aren’t laying eggs, the dogs

and cats are useless. Other than that, everything is great” Well, let me tell you,

things haven’t changed since.



Most out here on the farm are misfits. Tucker the horse is here because he was being trained for pleasure riding too young and his knee never recovered from an injury. One goat, “Emmy Lou Harris” named by the University of Minnesota where she was born via C Section in the middle of the night that is the lone survivor of Jhonnie’s disease. Chickens for eggs are here, unbeknownst to Kay, the hatchery fills the box with baby roosters to keep the baby hens warm as they are arrive via US Postal service. It puts a new perspective on what could show up in the your mailbox and why only half of the chickens lay eggs and the other half are playing leapfrog. There is also Sam, the neurotic boarder collie that someone dumped that herds only cats. Millie the Golden lab with an eating disorder that the neighbors want to shoot as they wake up to their garbage strewn all over their beautiful green lawns. Then there is Charlie a white Pomeranian that’s cross-eyed and was handed out the car window being an unwanted pick of the litter. He doesn’t know he is a small dog. Sam taught him how to herd, however barn cats were too big for him so his job is to herd the chickens- appointed by Sam. Tons of wild animals, that no one can explain what they are. On any given day, 5 Barbados sheep could happen to show up and hang around only to disappear as quickly as they came. That was the Sam, the border collie’s chance to shine as the herder he was meant to be. Well, the cats ended up in the barn anyway.



You get the “what” now lets talk about the “why”.


Kay lost half of her family to cancer in the 80s. Her brother, Todd at the age of 26 to acute leukemia and her mother Carol 3 years later to stomach cancer at the age of 49 and within the next 10 years 3 out of her 4 grandparents were lost to different types of cancer.

She has 2 aunts that are cancer survivors.

In all cases doctors felt that the cancers were the result of environmental causes.

She was then led to the “funny farm” to heal and to learn the lessons in farming which renewed her sense of humor.


There is the why.


Our goal is to find a recipient or if it gets REALLY big recipients of this cause. The wish is for the funds to be given to a cancer patient to use not just for medical purposes, but to use for the other expenses that still occur, i.e., every day living expenses that still go on while undergoing treatment. If there is a candidate that you know of, please email us at [email protected]


So, that is leading to our fundraiser at the funny farm. June 12, 2010 is the date. The details so far:


CARS!! Beautiful Classic Cars hosted by the FABULOUS Lambda Car Club!


Live music! 3 sets of the greatest musicians on earth! Bev Oakland and the Basement Band! Stevie West and the Northern Stars and Frank Tarantino, Jr.


Silent Auction hosted by “The Kindergarten Girls” the greatest people on the face of this earth. Jen Marcell, Jill Marinello and Cathy Weidmer! We grew up together in Port Washington, Wisconsin and they are traveling all the way from the Milwaukee area to shed their shining personalities for us. No pressure girls, but make it fun.


Food - What can you say about food that’s fun? We all love food. Millie isn’t the only one with an eating disorder!


Luminary Light Show- Lets light up the farm (well, not near the buildings) Donate a luminary in honor of someone that you love or have lost.


And who is writing this you might ask? I’m Anne Tarantino. I get to live here in the “Land of Misfit Toys” and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Just a side note for those of you that are wondering……I’m not sure if I’m related somewhere down the line to Quentin, but I am related to THE BEST Jazz musician Frank Tarantino that you will hear WHEN you come out to the fundraiser!


Stay tuned, more to come!