Sunday, May 27, 2007
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Update -- everyone into the pool!
We've arrived in Acton, California. We're finally settled and moved into our trailer. We have already made good use of the pool that is here at the campgrounds. I can see how this pool visiting could become a daily occurrence! It's just a couple of trailer rows over from where we are parked. We've already used it twice in the one day that we've been here.
It sure does get hot here! The hot desert wind whips up into the mountains and heats this place up, but in the evening it cools off like all deserts do.
Palmdale is the place to be, I guess! Anything from go-carts and putt-putt golf to TJ Maxx. They have it all -- that is, except for grocery stores and car washes. We found that out. We had quite the time finding any grocery store. As for getting the bugs from the trip off your windshield, you can either forget it or spend 40 minutes waiting for them to wipe every drop off the car. :) That might be just a little exaggerated, taking into account that we all wanted to get into the pool REALLY bad! :)
If you can't tell, we're enjoying it. We wish we could show you what it looks like and what it smells like and what it feels like, but pictures will have to do for now. Bye for now!
Update -- Minnesota Monthly features yak entrée
Here I am, "resting on my laurels" as my dear departed Grandmother might have said, holding the May issue of Minnesota Monthly, which features the restaurant that I work at in an article on page 106. The article is about a yak farm in Cold Spring and mentions us because we are the only restaurant in the state that features yak tenderloin and strip loin on its menu. The writer did a great job of summing up the taste of yak: "...like lean beef with just a hint of smoky exoticism."
I have to admit it was pretty exciting to be featured in such a high profile magazine that is so hard to get into... I guess we must be doing something right. You can check it out online at www.minnesotamonthly.com.
The only other news I have to report is the return of Mavis, my 1967 Fairlane, which has been in storage since a deer hit her a couple of summers back. (Stupid, worthless animal, the white-tailed deer, and not even that good for eating!) All she needed was a new fender, flywheel, radiator, fuel pump and rear shocks, and she was good as new. Mavis lives!
Oh yeah... I got a haircut, too. Bald is beautiful!
UPDATE -- Don reaches goal weight, looks great!
This journey began on January 17, 2006. To be honest, it wasn't really a choice. We were tired all the time ... Don would have to stop and nap halfway home from work to avoid falling asleep at the wheel from nights of sleep apnea. We both had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sky high triglycerides. There were the nagging aches and pains of feet and joints, tachycardia and daily heartburn. Oh, and Don was turning 50 ... time to stop kidding ourselves.
On May 15, 2007, Don went up in front of our Weight Watchers group to accept his reward for achieving his goal weight, after a loss of 150.8 pounds. He was wearing size 33 shorts and a polo shirt with horizontal stripes, looking like the cat that ate the cream. (Fat-free, of course!) He actually weighs less today than when he graduated from high school. I was so proud of him! He has been such an inspiration to me and to many who have come and gone through our Weight Watchers group.
We are constantly asked how we do it. As I looked back at the article we wrote in Bulletin 214 (July 23, 2006), I realize that everything we said at that time we have embraced and lived on a daily basis. Will power has never had anything to do with it -- it was a succession of small, permanent changes we could live with for the rest of our lives.
The support, ideas and recipes from both the family Internet support group and Weight Watchers has been an inspiration to us! This is just a milestone for Don in the greater journey -- maintenance.
We are pleased to report we are off of all prescription medications, both now have low blood pressure, low/normal cholesterol and have both dropped our triglycerides by over 100 points, into the normal range. We haven't needed so much as a Tums in over a year and, best of all, Don's sleep apnea is gone -- he doesn't even snore a little anymore!
It is amazing just what significance nutrition has in all our lives (22 years as a nurse and I had to learn that the hard way). I'm attaching some pictures of Don so you can see just what a change has taken place! I'll update you again when I reach my goal, hopefully early this fall. Thanks to all who have sent such kind words of support and congratulations -- we have been so blessed!
UPDATE -- Madilyn is growing up fast
Madilyn is nearly 4 months old now. My, how the time flies! She is so much fun these days, smiling and playing... She is quite a little wiggle worm, always on the move! I am not looking forward to taking her in for her 4-month shots this week. Mommy is still traumatized from the 2-month ones. :( (Madi's fine, however!)
Here are some fairly recent photos of her. I will try to be better about e-mailing more regular updates from now on... I realize it's been quite a while since the last one!
Day to Day R
Ashby Elementary School Spring Concert
Ashby had their Elementary Spring Concert last evening. Beaver, Becky and I took Caity and Jayce in, so they could perform.
It was a concert that had far less singing than normal; the classes did many skits and knock knock jokes, making the crowd laugh.
Jayce's class did "Star Light," "Sea Shell" and "Bow Wow Wow." Lots of action to keep everyone happy.
The 4th, 5th (Caity's class) and 6th graders had a variety of music, such as, "Lighten Up"; "Funny, Funny Face," to western music; "A Cowboy's Lament" with horses (well, boys crawling around like a horse) and their cowboys with hats. They also did an "American Idol" performance, with judges (not very nice judges, either :-) and the performers.
Caity and her friend Jeanette sang a song together; they did a good job, even though Caity said they'd been very nervous.
They passed out "Words of Wisdom": wash your face, wipe your nose and don't let that stuff grow between your toes! Other wondrous words of wisdom were included in this song, with the audience having to participate at the end.
The whole program was very cute, with lots of laughs. The kids really enjoyed themselves and did a great job.
They ended with "This Show is Over" and kept telling jokes, singing and saying, "They're still here!" Then telling another joke. A very enjoyable evening, other than the hard seats!
The Matriarch Speaks W
Who Is This?
Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.
How many can you identify?
Oh, I really did a double take at the GUESS picture to see my sister, Ruth Weiland Kitto, taken at Minnehaha Falls, I'm sure. I was so envious of her waistline all my growing up years. I would come home and have bread broken up in a bowl of milk with sugar, and she would have a salad. We were total opposites that way.
Betty Weiland Droel
Editor's Note: I joined a telephone conference with Kellie Thayer and my husband, Don Anderson ... they were discussing the Guess column picture from #257. They both concluded it was of me from my "younger" days. I had thought someone would guess that. It seems I had a twin and didn't know it! No one would mistake us for one another now ... the difference in size gives it away! --The Matriarch
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Larry and I recently enjoyed a very memorable trip to see our daughter, Suzanne, in North Carolina. We flew standby and were lucky enough to get the last two seats on the flight to Raleigh/Durham.
The three of us -- Suzanne, Larry and I -- went on a mini-vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks are a long, narrow string of barrier islands out from the coast. There are miles and miles of beach, sand dunes, marshes and woodlands that are separated from the mainland by a body of water known as "the sound."
We had our first bit of excitement before we got to the coast. We were whizzing along the highway when we came upon a number of cars pulled off to the side of the road and a group of people taking pictures of something -- which turned out to be an alligator in the water alongside the road. We were in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, so maybe we shouldn't have been surprised to see one. I have wondered since how wise it was to be out there taking pictures with nothing between us and that alligator...
As we approached Roanoke Island, we could see a heavy bank of fog lingering over the island. Andrea, the first named storm of the season, had passed through the weekend before we arrived, leaving behind a band of fog. We crossed many long, high bridges in the area from the mainland to the island and between islands...
Most storms come from the south, but Andrea came down the coast from the North. When Andrea passed through, the ocean water washed across the island in some areas, bringing LOTS of sand with it. It was quite a sight to see sand piled up like snowbanks where the front end loaders moved it off the roadways.
To be continued...
$ A Long Time Ago !
Leaving Anchorage in the camper, the four of us (Mic, Jerri, Kathy and I) drove the 40 or so miles to Portage. Then they drove the bus onto a flatcar on the Alaska Railroad, for a trip through 4-1/2 miles of tunnels under two mountains (a 12-mile trip altogether), to Whittier. A large number of autos and Winnebagos and even big charter buses were on the train and we all rode in our own vehicles.
At Whittier, all the vehicles were driven off the train and into the hold of a large ferry boat, the M.V. Bartlett, for a 7-hour ferry ride to Valdez.
On the ferry, we rode up in the glass-enclosed deck; it was too cold and misty to ride on a still higher open deck, but the scenery was fantastic through the glass. The girls went out onto the open deck long enough to snap pictures every few minutes.
A few minutes after Kathy and Jerri sat down, they were quite surprised to find Mavis and Betty Bothun from Dalton, Minnesota [about 7 miles from Ashby], sitting right in front of them.
The ferry pulled right up close to the Columbia Glacier and blew the whistle several times. The vibration from the whistle caused the glacier to "calve," as they put it, several icebergs, which then floated around in the water.
The water is full of chunks of ice of varying sizes and hundreds of seals were bobbing around on those chunks of ice while the ferry pushed right through them.
At Valdez, the ferry opened its big mouth at the opposite end and we drove right out onto the dock and onto dry land. We camped outside of town in a Chugach National Forest campground.
To be continued...
Photo Editor's Note: Kathlyn just found her slides of the 1980 trip, so I added the yak and the calf scramble to last week's issue and found more photos for this episode and those to come. (I bet Dad would have made a special trip to St. Cloud immediately to taste yak tenderloin prepared by Doug at the restaurant featured in Minnesota Monthly mentioned in above Update!)
It's interesting to me to read this account again and realize how much has changed in 27 years. The auto transport on the Alaska Railroad is long gone, replaced by a toll road through the tunnels. The ferry still runs but it doesn't stop at Columbia Glacier anymore. To see the glacier, you must take a tour boat. The glacier has retreated so far and so fast that boats no longer get close to it, due to the volume of icebergs calved from the face as it retreats. It's still an adventure.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More June Birthdays
June Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Don and Patty, I am so proud of you both!
Don -- Congrats on the big accomplishment! That is awesome!
Congratulations to both of you! You have set a good example for the rest of us. We have to keep encouraged! I am proud of you both!
Congratulations, Don! You and Patty have are great examples for all of us. I've decided that I have to either eat less or run faster. Running faster doesn't seem to be an option, so...
Miss Hetty Says:
Psssst! You'll never guess what I just heard from Miss Kitty ... they're getting grand kittens! Kyra, Miss Jerrianne's daughter, said so. Miss Kitty is so excited! She let me read Kyra's e-mail and see Ken's pictures, too! (Aren't they adorable?)
We're leaving on vacation shortly, but we met our future kittens this week. I'm still trying to decide on names, but Ken took some pictures so you can see what we've gotten ourselves into. You may remember that we were only looking for two, but this was a litter of three and while we were trying to decide between the two brothers, one fell asleep in my lap and the other fell asleep in Ken's. We already knew we wanted the sister, so they had us under their paws. I'm sure this only the first of many times that we will be out-maneuvered by one or more of them. --Kyra
Keep Us Posted!
Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
What a great read The Bulletin is this week ... again! I was happy to see that we will be hearing more about the journey to Alaska ... Donald was a great storyteller ... as are his descendants ... right down to Miss Kitty.
I have been so busy thinking about our little trip to North Carolina that I totally missed the fact that there would be a wedding issue so soon. I really enjoyed Weston's take on the wedding events ... and, of course, the pictures are always fun!
Ginny (Dake) McCorkell
I just had a letter almost ready to send you -- and it DISAPPEARED to some advertisement -- UGH!
Oh well -- guess I can do it over. What I was writing was a thank you for another delightful, wonderful BULLETIN!
I want to put together pictures of Ken's family so you can "get acquainted" with his children, etc. I doubt that any other than my family know much about him -- except Harold and Carol Printz -- so never thought it would of interest to others -- but I find I like to read about other families, etc. -- so I guess I will do some sharing.
I believe I will have to put together pictures and mail them to you. I know I'm far behind in keeping up!
I will write more of my excuses for neglect another day...
Another fine issue of The Bulletin this week. I really enjoyed Weston's account of Chris and Jessy's wedding. As always, he was very entertaining. I was privileged to be at the wedding and I agree with Donna that the bride was beautiful and the groom handsome. I certainly had a wonderful time and was thankful to be included. Thanks to Kim Johnson for providing such lovely photos!
Enjoyed all the other photos and articles too. Hard to believe Tyler Indermark is already two years old. He was just a baby yesterday, wasn't he? Such fun to keep up to date with all The Bulletin subscribers.
Thanks again for all your work. I always look forward to the next issue.
Finally had time to read The Bulletin ... wonderful! I had to laugh out loud at Weston's descriptions of the Family Circus style route ... such an apt description! Great job done with the reporting, Weston! Enjoyed the entire thing, from first to last word!
I truly loved Kim's collage, its simplicity and beauty! She does such a fantastic job. Thanks for doing pictures for us again, Kim; it means so much to ALL of us!
Also, fun to hear from Heidi and see a bit of their home, too, with the car picture.
Looks as though Tyler enjoyed his day! I can't believe he's TWO already!
Thanks to Betty for her lovely thoughts on the previous Bulletin; I enjoy them, makes me see the last one over again ... and what's not to like about that!
Thank you for another great Bulletin!
It was fun to read the wedding news from Weston's perspective. Congratulations, Chris and Jessy -- you look like a very happy couple!
The little ones sure are growing up fast. I can hardly believe Tyler is already two! The time has just flown.
What a surprise for me to read again of my first trip to Alaska! It was really special to make that trip with Dad, and Jerrianne took us on a fantastic tour. I'm enjoying having my memories of that good time jogged.
Finally, it has turned from brown to the early spring green of leaves and grass. What a treat for winter weary eyes! I have been impatiently waiting. We have more than 18 hours of daylight now and when the clouds clear it's almost intoxicating. Even when it is cloudy, it is exciting to have so much daylight.
A few people have set out their hanging baskets and pots of flowers. This weekend in Anchorage there will probably be a whole lot of planting going on. Yeah! But in a weak moment I signed up for a Saturday quilting class, so I'm hoping for rain. :)
Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
I had to look to make sure I was right when I wrote Bulletin #257. The weeks go by so fast. We were just thinking we had reached #250 ... could that have been seven weeks ago? Each issue is special in itself. Always something of interest to each family, and if not in one Bulletin, it likely will be in the next. Isn't that amazing?
Somehow the collage of Chris and Jessy looked so complete, and a story in itself. The happy couple, the ceremony, and then the cake. Mr. and Mrs. Chap! Sounds like there was a very lovely day planned.
Thanks, Editor, for asking Weston to write about it. He has a gift, and it is exceptional. We could follow along as though we were right there seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling the happiness. No plain ole plain Weston. He spices it up with "The fun began on Friday for the wedding party." Well, who could help but get totally absorbed in reading about it all when it was so well written?
Looking at that cute (is that an expression for a car?) new car, we could just imagine how happy Heidi and Ryan are to have it. All the additions, it looks like, to make it uniquely their own. I had to laugh at Heidi's expression, "Hello from the sandbox we call home." Also, their "lawn" being gravel.
Actually, we are becoming a sandbox here in Minneapolis, too, as we have had absolutely no rain for too long. Roy mowed the lawn in a cloud of dust.
And, Heidi, if you do get to Elizabeth, Colorado, Roy has a brother, Bob (and Lucille) Droel there. Also your time at Edgewood, New Mexico, will have a nostalgic feeling, knowing it must be moved now.
We keep up on families as birthdays come around. This time for Tyler. We hadn't heard from Portage, Wisconsin, for a while, and it doesn't take long for the children to change from picture to picture in The Bulletin.
What a cute picture of the swimmers! That is a keeper. Looks like Bitzi could have made a caption for that of "Happiness is swimming," but they were on a trip to see Suzanne. Looks like Lori and Jolene will be having some news for us soon in a future Bulletin.
Thank you for including the story by Donald B. Johnson. He was definitely a scribe, like Weston, and I remember him telling about the trips to Alaska. It was one of his treasured memories, and he could relate minute details of it all, if he had a listener, which we gladly were. I eagerly follow the additions to his book Jerrianne is putting together. I remember him discussing that book he was writing, and it's taken several years in process for putting it in order.
Finally, we hear from the Netherlands again. With Mother's Day, their business would be thriving, not leaving much time for The Bulletin greetings. Thanks for all you shared, Ary, and we here in the USA find it fascinating to hear anything you can tell us about your home and family and flowers.
Only one Miss Hetty letter this time. I wonder if folks know we read that just as much as the rest of The Bulletin. Fun to have a "gossip column," as it's sometimes called. Actually, it's a place to tell about special things that happen. I think I'll write Miss Hetty and tell her about our lawn. It was about thigh high, but had been so dry that Roy decided not to mow in the dust that would cloud up. Also, he was hoping the grass would re-seed itself for a thicker lawn.
Finally, a neighbor came, wondering if we were sick or something. Roy usually had such a manicured yard, and here it hadn't been mowed yet this year. They offered to mow. So, Roy just decided he had to mow, regardless of how dry it was. Well, he did and he's still sneezing and blowing from all the dust, but the acre of lawn looks more "like Roy." Here is the before and after...
Miss Hetty had one in herself this time. With the well earned, hearty congratulations to Donnie and Patty for their tremendous success in Donnie reaching the weight loss goal of 150.8 lbs and Patty losing 113.8 lbs. It is almost unbelievable, but their pictures prove it. What a great inspiration! Their lives would be totally different in almost every respect. We admire them sincerely.
I was so thrilled at the Letters To The Editor this time. Kathlyn, it was wonderful reading one from you. Also, from Richard himself, about his bike trip and how the family is doing these days. Also, Donna Mae, thank you for everything you share with us. It would be so different not having the day care to write about. Elaine, you, like us, were thinking of the graduations and the wedding, and new babies. Just everything we get in on through The Bulletin pages.
It seems so strange not to be printing and mailing a copy of The Bulletin to Diana anymore. I had offered to do that for Dorothy and really did enjoy the contact with Diana; I miss her now since she is "gone." I wonder if we'll ever find out if her cabin was finally sold, and how Maralee is getting along with the adjustment to being alone now (except for her animal friends).
This was another very interesting Bulletin. I do wonder how you keep doing them week after week, and then it dawns on me that it's only because people are willing to send in the updates and pictures and stories.
Thank you from Roy and Betty Droel
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Chris Horne
Carrie Horne anticipates problems; Ethan tries to solve them.
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