I am Deb Houdek Rule, your new neighbor as of July 2021, along with my husband, Geo Rule, and our three cats, Arwen the Elf Princess, Leia, Princess Organa, and Chrissy Miss, the Christmas Kitten.
I was born just across the river in Shakopee. My family, on my father’s side, are among the earliest settlers in this area, arriving in the mid-1850s.
My first years were spent in the Savage area, with the Flood of 1965 very vivid in my memories. I have home movies of my father helping with the sandbagging of Savage. The first time I flew in an airplane was from Flying Cloud Airport, with my father at the controls as he got his pilot’s license. As we took off, the water in the Minnesota River Valley stretched to the horizon. I also remember what the Bluffs and Settlers Ridge looked like at that time.
When I was six years old, our family moved to a farm overlooking the St. Croix River Valley in Rock Creek, Minnesota. Our farm introduced my to a lot of hard work, and to stewardship of the land. Our farm adjoined state conservation land, just as our new home in Settler’s Ridge does. My father was very keen on understanding every bit of nature and how it interacts, and took proper care of the land very seriously. He taught me a tremendous amount about nature, plant life, historical land characteristics of Minnesota and how to maintain them.
After graduating high school, I first studied engineering at Lakewood (now Century) Community College. I got my Bachelor’s in Cinema-Television Production from the University of Southern California.
After a couple years in a smaller television market out west, I came home to Minnesota and got a job at KARE TV in Golden Valley. I had a thirty-year career in television, mainly as a Broadcast Television Engineer, before leaving TV for a new career.
Most recently, I was Director of Marketing for Artograph, a Minnesota-born manufacturer of art materials with sales around the world. Artograph was sold to a California company in 2019.
As well as television and marketing, I have been a webmaster and web designer since the world wide web began, building numerous high-profile websites for both clients and for non-profit charities I volunteer for.
Beyond that, I am a published writer of both fiction and non-fiction. In non-fiction, I research and write about the US Civil War in the west – west of the Mississippi River. My publications in those areas got my two television appearances as an expert in the area of sabotage and spying in the western theater of the war (The History Channel and PBS). The website my husband and I ran was so highly regarded even the CIA linked to us as a reference!