Sunday, March 2, 2008
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Update -- Cloyds celebrate 63rd anniversary
Scott and Rachel and Wayne and Sheena came for meeting and lunch. I had taken a big spiral ham there weeks ago and "helped" Daddy over the phone this morning to get it started in the oven. I took okra and deviled eggs and Rachel brought what I call "Seven Layer Salad." I took peanut butter pie, bread pudding, and cookies and we bought a frozen Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Daddy fixed his special mashed potatoes and I cooked green beans out of his pantry for those who turn up their noses at okra!
Mother wore her pretty pink dress that she wore 13 years ago at their 50th anniversary and I thought she had a pretty good day. It was especially nice to sing the hymn she picked at meeting: "Lord, Refresh Our Hearts Today."
After visiting awhile and having Mother and Dad tell stories about when they met, when he proposed, etc., Mother returned to bed and Daddy and my boys -- Danny, Scott, and Wayne -- played Scrabble. I kept score. Scott brutally beat everyone, but Daddy did come in second. Wayne went home licking his wounds. He doesn't like to lose!
All in all, I thought it was a great day.
Update -- LeRoy Dake is out and about again
Dad (LeRoy Dake) seems to be back to normal. Can anybody define "normal" for me? He has completed his Home Health Care "course" and is a free man again. When you are getting home health care, you have to be homebound ... which makes the whole process seem very long. The first order of business was to go and get a haircut... :}
Mom went with him and they ran some errands the other day, so they seem to be up and doin' again.
Susie and Hunter Holman are in Minnesota this week. Maybe ... just maybe ... I will get a chance to make use of my camera.
Update -- Lou Miller's new hip is doing well
Lou is doing fine! Lots of therapy and sometimes I think there is too much! The muscles get sore and it takes a long time for that to correct itself.
We enjoyed having Arlin and Ruth and Anita Pfingsten for a short visit last week end and they got to meet Rich Johnson and family. I think they already knew each other but it was nice to have some time together.
Update -- grandkittens manage on their own for a week
We got a letter from the grandkittens (with pictures!) telling about how they hung out for a week on their own while Ken and Kyra (Lowther) Carson vacationed in Mexico. Kyra said, "It was nice to take a break from everything. I was going to bring back some little sombreros to put on the cats for a really cute picture, but Ken didn't think they'd appreciate it. Oh well."
Of course, Miss Jerrianne noticed right away how comfortable Cheerio and Tabasco looked as they snuggled up together for their nap. That doesn't happen with Mai Tai and me. We're always squabbling over who gets the favorite nap spot or birdwatching perch. They call it "sibling rivalry" but the grandkittens don't seem inclined that way, even though they are littermates and we aren't even related. Mai Tai and I have been sparring and vying for attention ever since he moved in. It has been a long winter, by my reckoning, and I'm afraid to think what might happen if Miss Jerrianne left the two of us to run the house by ourselves for a week.
This week is Fur Rendezvous (winter carnival) and sled dog races in Anchorage. Miss Jerrianne and Miss Kathlyn went to the "Purr Rendezvous" cat show and saw all sorts of exotic cats on Saturday, but none they liked better than Diego and Mai Tai and me, so we're happy. They did not go back for the Running With Reindeer event on Sunday. They stayed home with us. :-)
Want to see a really cool cat? Look below!
Day to Day R
Escape To Arizona
I had an unbelievably awesome visit with Shari Larson during part of February. It was especially nice to be in Arizona during the frigid temperatures they were having here in Minnesota while I was gone. The temperatures there were ideal for me, even though Shari was still cold much of the time!
One of our fabulous adventures was a trip to Sedona, to a spa resort, Los Abrigados. The trip to Sedona was ruggedly, stunningly beautiful. Our imaginations ran wild with how difficult that area was to settle. Amazes me completely! I took far too many pictures to share, but suffice it to say, I enjoyed myself.
We both enjoyed a Pink Jeep Tour that proved to be fascinating. Shari has wanted to tour ruins ever since she was a young girl, intrigued by reading the National Geographic magazines. It lived up to her expectations and we had a great tour.
Here is the description of the Ancient Ruins Tour:
"This interpretive adventure begins as you travel through spectacular canyon lands with towering red-rock formations. You will be captivated as you arrive and experience the opportunity to stand among the ancient walls of this world class cliff dwelling. Listen as your guide offers insight into the meanings and symbolism of intriguing rock art displayed within the 700-year-old ruins. Become part of a historical culture on this Ancient Expeditions adventure."
It left us feeling awed with how challenging the lives lived that many years ago must have been and how they'd left their marks for us to ponder over.
Back at the resort, we thoroughly enjoyed many of the choices that are offered at a spa resort. Shari treated me to massages, facials and delicious meals. She made me feel like a princess! I came back relaxed and pampered to such a degree that it was tough to leave. (Smile)
As long as I kept my eyes on the scenery, and not on Shari's white knuckles as we traveled through the mountains, I really enjoyed myself! When we woke to snow on the day we were leaving, it made me a little nervous, being she'd had the white knuckles driving on a dry day. However, we were fortunate; it had not stuck to the roads! Within a short distance of Sedona, we were out of the snow again.
We did many other fun things while I was in Arizona; needless to say, it was a great escape! I had access to Kristi's chiropractor, so with three visits to him, along with the massages, I fared better than I had expected I might.
A totally enjoyable time, thanks to Shari!
Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch...
Hmm, the perils of taking on bachelorhood while my wife is away... I thought I would lose weight eating my own cooking while she was gone. Silly me!
D left wonderful meals of frozen leftovers in the freezer. I was reminded of a construction worker who was eating his noon meal out of a lunchbox. He said his wife always packed his lunch, and he had learned to never bring any food home with him. He said if he did, his wife would think she was sending too much and reduce the portions, and then on a day when he had to work hard and was hungry, he would starve all afternoon. He said he would feed the extra to the customer's dog, or throw it out the window on the way home, anything other than leave it in the lunch box.
So I set out to eat all the precooked meals in the freezer. By the end of the first week, I knew it was hopeless. And I was not about to give such good food to the dogs. So ... next time she leaves for an extended time, I expect that I will be hungrier. But I did try.
Luckily, Becky cooked a few meals in the kitchen, so I was able to sneak my dirty dishes in with hers and she had to clean them up.
By being very careful about getting dirty, I was able to get by with washing clothes only one time.
The house was too quiet at first, but by the second week, the little dogs had decided that I was a stranger who should be barked at, so it wasn't all that quiet any more.
To top it all off, D called and said she had found me a pickup, and I should mail a check. So I did, and she arrived home driving my new(er) pickup.
All in all, I survived quite well, but I'm glad to have her back. And I really like the pickup...
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?
Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.
My guess would be that it may be my cute cousin Larry Dake, with his little suspender falling down.
I do believe that is Grandpa Dake in the background, leaning forward. I know it's his old rocking chair (which I think Ardis has now). The columns in the background bring back memories of a time I could sit in between the column and the wall -- imagine that!
The chairs are the ones that were circling the huge table, where we had many fun meals, washed eggs, had malted milks (made in the same little pan each time), licked Lawry's salt from our hands, dipped our veggies in Grandpa's salt cellar and listened to Honest to Goodness, under the bright bulb of the lamp Grandpa had standing on the table. So that proved to be a very fun picture for me!
Donna Anderson Johnson
Editor's Note: It is lovely to have you back from your trip. What a nice, nostalgic guess!
I wonder if that isn't Ernie (Dake) ... the furniture makes it look like his Grandpa Dake's house. I recognize that rocking chair; it's the one that Bill sat in lots of the time.
I feel disappointed that I can't even make a guess on who that cute little boy is with the new pants he has to grow into. Seeing the era of the furniture, it could be LeRoy Dake, but that is probably waaaay off. By the way, I heard today that LeRoy has gotten much better since his recent hospital stay for an infection. He isn't even using the walker anymore, so he must be back to normal.
Betty Weiland Droel
Jerrianne sent an e-mail last week about a moose that fell through the ice in Alaska and was rescued by six Alaska "cowboys." I replied that deer that fell through the ice seem to die even if gotten out, but pigs seem to survive. I sent a very abbreviated version of this story, then thought, why not write the whole thing and send it along? Maybe she can still tie it into the moose story.
When I was a small kid, a deer fell through the ice on Lake Christina. With great effort, some guys managed to get her out, and they brought her to our barn. She was clearly in shock and had no fear of people. We bedded her as best we could with lots of straw, covered her with a blanket, gave her a shot of penicillin, and hoped for the best. She was dead the next morning. I have heard that often happens when deer are rescued, but can't say that they never survive such an ordeal.
Here's a story from a time when I was much younger and, I suspect, much stronger than I am today...
I was outside doing chores, enjoying a temperature-in-the-teens respite from several days of below zero weather, when a pickup pulled into the yard. It was a couple of guys who had been driving by on the county road. They stopped in to tell me that I had some pigs in the lake near the south end of the farm, about a half mile from home. I thanked them for stopping, and they left before it really sunk in that having pigs in the lake in the middle of winter was going to be a bad thing.
We live by Christina Lake, a large, shallow, mud bottomed lake with lots of springs on the bottom. In many places, the springs keep small holes ice free, and in other places they are frozen over, but the ice is very thin. Pigs are naturally curious creatures, and they must have gathered near an open hole to get a drink of water while exploring out on the lake. Their weight was too much for the thin ice, and they had fallen through the ice into a spring. How would I get them out? The only pigs that had access to the lake were the big 300 - 400 pound gilts. I thought it would be one or two...
I threw a chain saw, a garden rake, and a few other tools in the pickup and drove down the county road to the lake. About 75 feet from shore, where the water was probably three feet deep, I could see a pool of open water about 15 feet in diameter. There were pigs treading water. A lot of them. Probably 12 to 15.
The ice near the open pool was thin, wet, and slippery. There was no way to get the gilts out directly onto the ice. I had expected that.
I quickly started the chain saw and cut a slot in the ice from the open water toward shore. The ice was about six inches thick, so it went quite fast. When I got near shore and the chain saw showered me with black mud, I went back to the open water and made a second, parallel cut about two feet from the first one, going all the way to shore again. Then I made cross cuts every couple of feet, so that I had blocks of ice about two feet square. The garden rake worked fairly well to hook the blocks of ice and slide them up onto the lake ice.
It was hard work, and I was drenched with sweat, but there was no time to rest. I could see that some of the gilts were weakening from swimming in the cold water. As I got the channel opened up, gilts filled it with no urging from me, lining up snout to tail as fast as I could get the ice blocks out. I thought I had it made, but it wasn't going to be that easy.
When the first gilt got to the end of the channel, she still needed to make a big step up from the muddy lake bottom to get on top of the ice. She was exhausted, and no longer in danger of drowning, so she simply sat down in the mud at the end of the channel. All the way up the channel, all of the gilts that were in shallow enough water sat down to rest. Time was running out for the ones still swimming in deeper water. Now what?
I tried to urge the first gilt onto the ice, first gently, then more roughly, finally even swatting her with the rake handle. She didn't move. With strength born of desperation, I grabbed the first gilt by the only handles available, her ears, and pulled as hard as I could. That irritated her a lot, and with me pulling and her helping a little and squealing a lot, she floundered out of the channel onto the ice. With a little urging, the next gilt moved to the end of the channel, and I repeated the process. Not one of them climbed out on her own.
When no more gilts showed up in the channel, I sat down long enough to catch my breath. After a few minutes, having recovered enough to walk, I went out to the spring, where I could see that at least two gilts had drowned. I learned there were actually four lost when I counted heads the next day.
I was exhausted, shaking, and soaked with sweat in the chilly air. But I wasn't done yet. All the gilts that had gotten out had walked along the lake bank until they were out of the wind and laid down in the snow. Night was coming, and it would soon be dark, and much colder. So I poked and prodded them until they got up and got moving, and followed them on foot across the field and up to the hog house. I hauled them extra straw bedding, so they could burrow in and get warm.
The next morning, the surviving gilts looked none the worse for their ordeal. It took the Beaver a couple of days to feel normal again.
The next day, I spent a dozen hours on a bus and then a train to reach Fes by evening. A city with hundreds of years of imperial history, Fes is an enchanting place to explore. While its medina is as mesmerizing as the markets of Marrakech, the true attraction here is the stunning Arabic architecture.
The city is packed with exquisite mosaics, carved doorways, elaborately decorated ceilings, and beautiful gardens, too.
I passed the day wandering, losing myself in the old city's passages, which is quite easy to do! Click here for Kjirsten's web gallery.
Fes is located in the foothills of the Middle Atlas, and it felt like winter there. At sundown, I retreated to a restaurant with a cozy fire, where I bravely sampled the house specialty: pigeon stuffed with couscous!
To be continued ...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More March Birthdays
More March Anniversaries
March Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
Did I say THANKS for the lovely E-card? They are very special and add a bright cheer to our day.
Thanks for the anniversary greetings! Tim and I went to Mexico with another couple to celebrate. We are leaving tomorrow for Florida with the family. I'll send a letter when we get back!
Char Morgan Myron
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?
The amazing Bulletin brought smiles again this week. Nice to see Betty and Roy's anniversary picture with the molten cakes. It looks like a lovely celebration.
New babies are always fun, and sledding brings back such fond memories of our youth. That little McKenna certainly looks like she is taking it all in. I wonder what she is thinking? Perhaps one day she will be a writer and then we will know.
Quilts are one of my favorite things. How many of The Bulletin readers are quilters? I'd sure like to see the photos and read the stories of your quilts!
Bridget and Doug, we are glad you shared the story and photo of your vacation to Mackinac Island. It looks like fun and it's one of the places we have always wanted to visit.
And Morocco is to be continued ... what a wonderful reprieve from the snow and ice here! We are looking forward to the next Bulletin. Thank you all for making it happen!
Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
The pheasant bits in The Bulletin were very cute. I also liked the part about Kjirsten going to Morocco. The "guess who?" picture [of Kjirsten in Marrakech] was perfect.
Kyra (Lowther) Carson
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
Oh, that cozy, pretty quilt. It meant so much more when you knew the "T's" were for Twila, and it was made by her husband's grandmother. There is just something about a homemade quilt that creates an aura of nostalgia around it and stirs a feeling of "must crawl under that."
Speaking of quilts -- I have two quilts that are years and years old. They were made by Esther Coleman (who is very low, health-wise, right now in North Carolina). One is a summer weight and one a winter weight. I have one or the other on the bed all the time. I must say it would be very hard to part with them, and they get more valuable with time, as quilts do. I spent time with the Colemans when they lived at Evansville, near Ashby, years ago.
I didn't realize that Kenny Kitto had 15 great granddaughters and one great grandson. That was brand new news to me. I think there was a picture of him walking that great grandson in a park in The Bulletin, but I couldn't find it in the archives. What a glowing, happy sister -- also a very happy mommy and dad. Welcome to Kenzie May Knaub. Is she related to Diane Knaub in Texas?
Time does bring changes, as in "up the creek." About like our yard. Roy and Edith planted every tree on a vacant acre when they built the house, close to 50 years ago. Now there are too many very huge trees to count. If it weren't for limited space, I would include a picture of our beautiful backyard forest.
I wonder how many would gasp over the snow the three Hill children are playing in? Very normal and ordinary for us tough northerners, and that picture is very typical of our winter this year. Today the snow is melting off the roof at 40 degrees, but we woke up to 17 below last week.
Thanks for the sweet picture of McKenna again. Also the description of her personality as it is now. You can see serious question in her eyes even on this picture. It would be hard not to be over to the Ostendorfs as often as possible.
All the links this time throughout The Bulletin made for many interesting details. Especially the story about the quilts by Jerrianne Lowther, Anchorage, AK. That is short for Photo Editor. Thank you for that story and for letting us know that there will be more on this quilt subject later. Seeing all the fabrics used makes it precious, since most would have been items worn by the quilter.
The Travelogue makes you wonder how Kjirsten could ever be that brave, traveling in a strange country with the strange customs and the strange citizens. Imagine all the miles she would have walked, and to even observe that ram's head roasting, let alone stop long enough to take a picture of it. Every week it has been more and more informative of life in Morocco, and still to be continued. I wonder if Kjirsten realizes how much we are enjoying the pictures she took and the account she has written. Thank you, Kjirsten!
I've heard of Mackinac Island, but never had opportunity to visit with anyone who had been there. The links in that article led us to a wealth of information about the area. It says the whole Island is a National Historical Landmark, and up to 15,000 visitors daily. I hope a next trip would include pictures to share with us, Bridget.
Hunter in his big shoes was certainly CHUCKLES worthy, and the way boys grow, it won't be long until he's wearing those shoes for real. Maybe Dad and Mom better save them and see how soon he can barely fit into them.
"Hem your blessings with thankfulness..." That was quite an expression for the Quotation for the day this time. Thankfulness is always appreciated, and never goes out of style, but it's too easy to take things for granted.
I was imagining you editors scrambling around the last minute finishing up The Bulletin with what you had to work with. I am sure most subscribers are very busy with the duties of the days, but hopefully some will tell us about it.
Where in the world is Weston? Out driving that new car, I suppose.
Larry, we keep thinking your story will be ready one of these times, but likely you are out plowing snow and shoveling instead of sitting at a desk in the warm house, being you live way up there almost to the Canadian border.
Doug, we need an update on you and your cat and most recent recipe.
Once again, we readers send thanks to the writers, and to the Editor and Matriarch, and to our Photo Editor, who works so tirelessly in the background.
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Quotation for the day: It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out -- it's the grain of sand in your shoe. --Robert Service
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