Sunday, June 1, 2008
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Update -- we have rain, at last!
Looking at my yard or hayfield, whichever you choose, you'd think I'd be out there mowing. But it's WET. Another good shower yesterday and bright sun this morning to make it grow more! Every kind of weather here yesterday (Thursday), from 50 in the morning to 86 in late afternoon.
I do have some nice flowers now. And the cottonwood trees across the street in the park were shedding like crazy yesterday; at times it looked like a snowstorm.
Update -- home dialysis going OK
For those who are wondering how I am doing on my home dialysis, I will update with this:
When I first started the dialysis, I thought it was very time consuming, but as I have learned the procedure, it has become much quicker and I feel much more comfortable doing it.
I do it four times a day: mealtimes and bedtime. Things have to be very clean, to avoid infections. There are some side discomforts that go along with it, but nothing I cannot handle.
I chose this type of dialysis, rather the in-center type, mainly because of travel distance. To go to Fargo three times a week is time consuming and wearing, too. That type is much harder on the body than doing it four times daily, as I do.
The other alternative for dialysis is to have a transplant. There are many pros and cons to this, too. Each case is considered separately As for now, I am gaining some strength and try to do some exercise by housework or my flower garden each day so I decided against taking physical therapy.
I am thankful for all in the medical field who can provide this procedure, which was unheard of some years back when people died from End Stage Renal Disease. I am so appreciative of the doctors and special nurses who care for us so gently and faithfully.
Update -- Cheerio's big (mis)adventure
Miss Jerrianne and Mai Tai and I were very concerned to get a phone call from Kyra this week with the news that Cheerio, one of the grandkitties, was missing! Somebody left a window open a little too far and the screen got pushed out and Cheerio was nowhere to be found. Well, you can bet that Kyra and Ken were pretty upset to come home from a vacation and find only two cats in the house. They looked all over. Tabasco and Oreo were there, but no cheerful Cheerio.
Of course, they put up flyers and called animal control and asked the neighbors and all the things one does when a cat goes missing. They knew he had a collar and tags and a microchip but those aren't much help until somebody catches the cat. They worried about cars and dogs and coyotes and all the things there might be on "their" mountainside in northern California. They called and called. They put out tuna and borrowed some live traps from a "cat lady." They caught an orange and white tomcat, but it wasn't Cheerio. Then they caught a raccoon and that wasn't him, either.
Well, the LAST thing I wanted to report in The Bulletin was that a grandkitty was missing ... and, fortunately, I didn't have to...
The Silent Type
Ken is a pretty quiet guy and I don't always get an immediate response when I ask a question. I'm used to this by now and have gotten pretty good at filling in potential answers for him to consider. However, this week we discovered, quite by accident, that we have a cat who makes him look like a "Chatty Kathy."
Cheerio managed to push out the screen from a window that was open more than usual. We were away at the time, so he hopped out and took a stroll. It seems that he wandered into the neighbor's basement. The door was open at the time, so why not? The neighbor came back later, didn't notice him, and locked the door when he was done. This was on Sunday.
When we got home, we looked frantically for him, walking the neighborhood, calling his name, listening for meows. Whenever we thought we heard something, it never turned out to be a cat.
After four days of various efforts to locate him, we had a breakthrough. Ken came home late from work when it was really quiet. As he got out of the car, he thought he heard a meow coming from the neighbor's house. He scrambled up there to check and it was a distinct meow, along with some scratching at the door. There was definitely a cat in there. Eventually, it was loud enough to wake up the neighbor, who came and unlocked the door. Cheerio was rescued and all was well.
The part that amazes me is that there is almost always someone home at the neighbor's house and they didn't hear any unusual meowing in the four days of captivity. Granted, they have three children and a dog, which might obscure a faint cry from the basement, but Cheerio must not have meowed very much until he heard Ken's car in the middle of the night. I'm not sure how I feel about him responding to this sound rather than our calling his name, but I guess we are the Carsons, after all.
We got the good news early Friday morning -- right on deadline for The Bulletin. "He seems hungry, but fine," Kyra said. "Everyone is very happy to see him again!" Later, we got a P.S.: "The part I didn't mention is that he now meows quite loudly when he's left alone. I stayed up with him this morning so Ken could get some sleep before his presentation today." -kyra
Day to Day R
Scholastic.com is "All about Reading," a place "Where Children Love to Learn and Learn to Grow." This site has a wealth of information organized into sections, including one for Families that has "everything you need to know to encourage a love of learning," one for Kids where the younger set can find lots of online fun and experience their favorite characters coming to life, and a section for Teachers chock full of classroom tools and other resources. Continually being updated with weekly articles and new activities, Scholastic.com is a resource to be visited frequently. Check out the Site Map for a comprehensive index of all the features just to make sure that you don't overlook any of the material!
The Matriarch Speaks W
Steve Miller sent me a copy of a three-part series about the baseball-playing Miller family of Darwin, Minnesota, and their challenge game with the Litchfield baseball club. The game was played September 18, 1921, at the Litchfield ballpark. The series was written by Dave Kelly and ran in The Independent Review in Litchfield, Minnesota, on September 14, 21 and 28, 2006.
I found the first article very interesting. It told how the Millers came to be so interested in the game of baseball. In their father's era, he had played, but the game had not caught on much in his day. A baseball item reported in the book Meeker County Memories states, "John W. Miller had an excellent pitching arm. He threw a baseball from main street in Litchfield, across the open park (one block square) and in through the door of the G. A. R. Hall. This was told by Herbert Vitzhaum whose father owned and operated the Horseshoe Cafe."
The second of the series includes introductions to the Miller boys who played in the challenge game. It included biographies of each of the boys. Of course, most interesting to me was the one about Billy Miller ... after all, one of his sons is my brother-in-law and the rest were friends of our family in later years. But the challenge was played more than five years before I was born, so we did not know each other then.
[Third] baseman John William, Jr., 30 ... always known as "Billy," lived on a farm south of Dassel with his wife, Olive, and two children [most likely Lenore and John]. He had been on the St. Thomas College team in 1910 and 1911. He also played for the Saint Paul Saints, and also in the Dakota League. Billy was one of the five Miller family pitchers and won a lot of games with Darwin and Dassel teams ... but in 1921 was not playing on a team.
The game was then described. Like most ball games, it had plenty of action but it really does not translate into excitement in the reading. Joe Miller seemed well on his way to a win and then Litchfield rallied. The Millers hung on to their slim lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Then the action intensified as Litchfield loaded the bases with two outs. The Dassel Dispatch described it this way: "In the last half of the ninth, Litchfield needed one to tie and two to win. They filled the bases, Joe fanned two men and the third hit a grounder to Billy at third who got it to brother Fred at first an inch ahead of the runner and game was over."
The last article of the group was mainly about Fred "Lefty" Miller, "the best player ever to hail from Meeker County...who opted for a career in medicine rather than baseball."
It always comes as a surprise to the second generation that those who made up the first had excitement in their lives, too ... it sometimes takes a view of their lives from someone else's perspective.
Dave Kelly, a Bloomington resident, is originally from Darwin and knows the Miller families that lived in the area. He researched Darwin and Miller brothers baseball to provide the story on the 1921 game.
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.
Those folks are Aunt Vonnie, Uncle LeRoy, and Aunt Blanche. What a nice picture with all the pretty flowers! I suppose Uncle Jim is the photgrapher this time.
That is Vonnie and LeRoy (Dake) and Blanche (Dake Miller)!
If my memory serves me right, I got to visit at General Hospital in Minneapolis with Vonnie Thomas when she was in nurse's training. Of course, that was before she married my brother LeRoy (Dake). I remember him well, because he used to build kites for me, and even a scooter. Bet there is still a scar on his arm, because he was trying to cut an innertube, and the knife slipped; he probably was going to make a slingshot. And on the end is my big sister Blanche (Dake) Miller. She was like a "second mother" to me, but then along came Jim Miller...
Gert (Dake) Pettit
The guess game tells us Vonnie and LeRoy Dake and Blanche [Dake] Miller are having a little rest and enjoying the sunshine one afternoon in a park. (That's my guess.)
So nice to see one of Vonnie and LeRoy -- from "way back" -- and also Blanche -- brings many pleasant memories!
Waiting patiently for tomorrow and another Bulletin, even though I haven't contributed for a while. Thank you for it!
It was so nice to see the picture in the Mystery/Guess section this week. There was our Blanche looking just like she did when I remember her best. Also so natural of Vonnie and LeRoy. Time brings changes, so we have to enjoy things as they are at the moment -- they will not always be that way for long.
Betty Weiland Droel
Her natural, ground-eating pace was much too fast for the sheep; my spirited horse did not enjoy plodding along while they grazed. Keeping her in check was a constant battle. Riding horses made me feel like I had to be the vigilant master over an unwilling slave. I liked the horse; I didn't like the arrangement.
In sharp contrast, Checker was eager to help. If there was trouble between us, it was more likely a breakdown in communications than a battle of wills. I preferred walking with a dog to riding a horse.
I didn't care for all that sitting in the saddle either. Walking put me on the same level as the sheep. If a ewe or a lamb had a need, I was there on the ground where I could minister to it. I found it quite interesting that the natural pace and endurance of the sheep matched my own. Walking also allowed me to explore intimately the curiosities of the natural world.
I began to leave the horse at camp when I could.
In the relative flat, south of the Skylight, the bedrock broke the surface of the soil in places. In one place there was a large crack in the rock from which a slight breeze escaped. When I dropped pebbles into the darkness, I could hear them bouncing off the walls as they fell into the crevasse; not wide enough for a man to descend, I wondered what undiscovered paths lay hidden below.
Not far away, a natural fortress jutted up from the plain; the floor of the fortress was six or eight feet high. The area within the fortress walls was ten feet across, or so, and the natural rock walls rose four to five feet above the floor. This appeared to be an ancient structure of volcanic origin. I wondered if, over the centuries, any battles had ever been fought here. It looked like the ideal place for a Hollywood standoff -- cowboys and Indians anyone?
On my first Sunday on the range, Sherry and the kids went without me to meeting, leaving me feeling blue. Sherry stayed overnight with our friends, and on Monday she bought ankle-high walking shoes for all of us. I had quickly worn out my shoes on the rocky terrain.
On that lonely Monday morning, I chose to ride the horse. While we were far out in the desert, a snow shower overtook us. The snow began to come down in big, wet, fluffy balls.
I dismounted. With reins in hand, I crawled under a low, umbrella-like, cedar tree. The horse joined Checker and me under the tree by sticking her head and shoulders beneath the low branches. We stayed warm and dry there, except for the aft part of the horse. The sheep, grazing all around us, were soon frosted with snow -- a serene, pastoral scene. And I was in the best of company: a boy, a horse, and a dog.
My thoughts went to my childhood, 1,600 miles away and 20 years past. My dog, Bouncer, and I had been herding imaginary sheep. I'd been riding an imaginary horse and we'd taken shelter under an imaginary tree from an imaginary snowstorm. It was a hot, humid, summer afternoon, somewhere out in the middle of the alfalfa field, west of the big red barn, the pig pens, the mosquito-infested pond, and a Minnesota windbreak I called "The Woods."
By some unforseen turn of events, I was "here" again: herding sheep and taking shelter from a storm under a cedar tree.
It was surreal! An unforgettable experience, somewhere out in the middle of the desert, west of sheep-camp wagons, the night corral, the bubbling spring, and a place in Oregon called The Skylight.
Larry McCorkell sent us a manuscript he transcribed from his father's tape recorded memories and made it available to The Bulletin for a series of excerpts. These stories were originally tape recorded by Bruce McCorkell of his growing up days on the homestead near Effie in northern Minnesota. They were recorded from a period of the mid 1980's until the early 2000's. These are Bruce's words of happy, sad, funny, good, and hard times.
My dad homesteaded north and east of Effie, three miles north and seven miles east of Effie. He took over a homestead that somebody else had started. I guess that's the way it was. It was a log building with a rough board floor with cracks that were fairly large. I can remember my mother scrubbing that floor with a scrub brush on her hands and knees.
In the early days there was a log cabin, or a log house. They built a barn and in a year or two my Uncle Robert McCorkell and his mother, my grandma, homesteaded. Uncle Robert homesteaded just south across the road up on the hill there [in 1920.] They built a log home and a barn and some other buildings.
They had a couple of cows and some young stock, eventually. In the spring, after the pigs were maybe six weeks old and were weaned, they'd buy a couple and feed them out so they'd have meat for winter. After they got some young stock, they would butcher a yearling and a deer and partridge and chickens. My ma would set several old setting hens so we'd have roosters to eat all summer after they'd get big enough. That was really really good, I can tell you. I'll never forget that home grown chicken. It really tasted better in those days than it does today.
We grew up at home during the dust bowl days during the depression. Things were really tough all over the country, of course. It isn't like going to the grocery store and buying something. You didn't have any money to do that kind of thing. You were lucky to have money enough just to buy staple foods, flour and sugar and whatever else you needed, a can of kerosene for the lights at night. That was what they called the good old days. If it wasn't for the gardens that people had, they'd really been hard up for nourishment.
We had to work. My dad was off trying to work in the woods. He was a carpenter wherever he could make a nickel. Weeding the garden and doing the chores was pretty much up to us when we got big enough to do it.
We had our fun times, too. My dad liked to go fishing and he liked to swim. He always took us swimming whenever we could. We would try to get the chores done early enough so we could go swimming after a day of haying or something like that when you were all dirty and dusty. We used to go to Deer Crick over there. Those were times we really looked forward to. We had a lot of fun.
My ma had a lot of flowers. She had a big flower garden. I suppose about the first thing I can remember is my dad making a large flower garden on one side of the log house. He made a rail fence out of poles around it, something like Abraham Lincoln, only he didn't split them, they were just round. That flower garden was bigger than my vegetable garden today. My ma liked the flowers.
Curt and I were invited to join Curt's brother Owen, and his wife, Susan, on their trip to Europe -- and who in their right mind could refuse that kind of an offer? Twelve days is not enough time to see a massive amount of Europe, but the parts we saw, we loved! We flew into Paris on May 9th and returned May 20th.
Paris was our jumping off point. From there, we took the Eurail across France into Germany and down the western coast of Germany (just so we could see it), with our destination being Bern, Switzerland. We celebrated Curt's 49th birthday in Bern at a local restaurant. We had to sample the local fare: rösti and fondue. Rösti is a dish that sticks to your ribs! Fried potatoes, ham, swimming in a puddle of the most wonderful cheeses! Yes, Switzerland knows how to "do cheese."
We also happened upon a 17K race with about 20,000 runners. We had to stop and yell "hup, hup" a time or two. (I thought you said that to cows, not runners!) We also had the privilege of Sunday morning meeting in Bern. We met one of the sister workers at the train stop and she walked with us the rest of the way to meeting.
We then headed to Luzern, Switzerland. Awesome views! Like Curt said, "everywhere we look is a picture good enough for a puzzle!" That must be why he took 600 pictures in two weeks! It was awesome. We made our way through each town on foot and discovered some mighty fine places. We tooled around Lake Luzern by boat. We spent the night in a delightful hotel on the river.
From Luzern, we took a panoramic train to Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is a little valley village in the Alps. Our chalet's window opened to a breathtaking view of the mountains and a 1,200-foot cascading waterfall. The people in the village brag of more than 72 waterfalls in the valley -- and it seems to be true!
$ A Long Time Ago !
Appalachian Trail Trek: Week Ten, May 1973
May brought many changes ... more daylight, more flowers, more warmth, more "tourists," more bugs, more worry about finding water to drink as the rains slacked off and springs dried up. We were often glad to have the tent with its bug-proof screens and more camping options when the shelters were filled with weekend hikers, boy scouts, girl scouts and, occasionally, wildlife. By the middle of May, we were quite at home on the trail and pretty good at improvising.
Our campsite among the mayapples in Symm's Gap was as pretty a place as we could find. The only water source, though, was an untested spring down a logging road. It proved to be hardly more than a damp depression in the grass, but we were able to scoop out water in a Sierra cup and strain out grass and leaves with a bandana. Kyra and I were able to fill all six of our quart canteens by dark while Mic readied the tent for a night of peace and quiet, far from the crowds.
"We marked the five hundred mile point at Crandon, Virginia, where the trail wound down off Walker Mountain to cross Virginia Highway 42. We'd walked farther than that, but it made little difference. Significant mileposts were celebrated near something to eat. We marched directly to the Crandon Grocery, bought lunch, and settled down on the back steps to whole cherry pie à la mode." --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More June Birthdays
More June Anniversaries
June Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Hi, Miss Hetty and The Bulletin Staff,
Thank you very much for sending the birthday greeting. I watched it a couple of times because it was so cute! Got a chuckle out of it!
Thanks for the anniversary card! We spent the day setting up for the garage sale, but we DID get away for a quick supper at Good Luck Chinese restaurant.
Dwight and Janie Anderson
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?
I loved Larry's story! Then again, I am a sucker for stories about dogs ... and what a unique animal his dog was ... very beautiful. I hope he has a few more on deck for us.
Hey! We wanted to share our exciting news with everyone. We recently found out I am pregnant! My tentative due date is January 15. We are very excited and are hoping for a healthy pregnancy! Just wanted to share the news with you all! :)
Adriana, Michael, Sully, and Everett
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
To see our United States of America flag flying freely and proudly gave me such a feeling of appreciation for what has kept our country what it is (at present). It is a silent, visible reminder of all that a Memorial Day really does stand for. Thank you, Bitzi, for that meaningful first picture of the Memorial Day issue.
I loved the High Falls picture being from our North Shore, and we do have all the kinds of scenery right here in Minnesota that one would need for variety in travels. Too bad it had to rain for the hikers, but it would have been a great outing, regardless, for those two busy men, just getting away.
I just knew we would be seeing the beautiful unusual photos from Bitzi's walk that day for several issues of The Bulletin. This time Linden leaves as well as Lilacs and [spruce] needles.
Thanks, Steve, for the announcement of Nathan Alexander making you and Marian grandparents again. You get to enjoy them leisurely, rather than if they were your own babies. We expect pictures after your trip there.
What a fabulous home of the Indermarks! It looked like a sand castle on the picture, but it's a real home which is the dream come true for Kristi. We are watching that little family grow with the new fellow added.
It was so amusing and entertaining to read the Update by Wyatt of "Three's Company." We grabbed a snack and a seat, but it was so interesting we forgot all about the snack (wishfully). We followed all the events of the household, especially Rylie's grown up ideas. Will keep you all busy corralling all three into a controllable atmosphere. No doubt Weston will be writing about your trip to New York to his coveted Twins game.
Lilacs. Is there anything more welcome than the scent of Lilacs in the air as spring develops? We have some so enjoy a huge bouquet in the house, as long as they last, which is usually just a matter of a couple days before they need to be replaced with a fresh branch. Thanks again, Bitzi, for our Lilac photos in different stages of blossom.
Miss Kitty, you are to be congratulated for finally getting your turn at the computer keyboard again. We loved hearing about spring in Anchorage, because we think Alaska is mostly cold, snow and icebergs. I'm wondering what Martha is telling her friends about this lady that was so happy with the mailbox replacement that she brought the beautiful Stargazer lilies, besides the cookies she already gave her. The bears and the bees story was hilarious for us, but not for Martha. We will look for updates on the flower work that Miss Jerrianne is working at. Of course we have never seen a Pasqueflower, but it looks so beautiful.
Pasqueflowers are common Minnesota wildflowers, so perhaps you HAVE seen them. They grew in profusion on the "mayflower" hills above Dad's gravel pit and turned them lavender in early spring, despite grazing sheep and flower-picking children ... before we learned to let them be. We called them crocuses or mayflowers and looked for them as the snow melted. --Photo Ed.
This time it was another wedding reception in Donna Mae's Day to Day. Kurt holding Madi shows how much she has grown just since the last pictures. Thank you for printing pictures that help us keep track of the newborns as they grow (all too fast).
It looks like raking leaves would be an endless job at the Johnsons'. Good you had some help, Donna Mae.
Cal's step-daughter, Melinda, keeping his site going would be a big undertaking, and clicking on the web site proved it to be quite a long, very detailed site that took more time than I had at the moment, but nice to see the picture of Melinda.
Interesting letter from Paraquay about Judy Riesenberg. Judy was sitting at our table with her husband just the day before. Judy will surely contact Kathy, as she loves details and remembers everything.
We've never had a "needles in the shade" picture before, but leave it to Bitzi to design some beauty of nature for a most unusual photo for The Bulletin. Our monitor has a screen that enhances color beyond description, and even when I print it, the colors are so vivid.
LTD Storybrooke in green colored printing. Matches the title of "The White Dog." Our Editor and Photo Editor keep things interesting and sometimes shocking. I think White Dog socialized with Larry because he probably smelled like a sheep after carrying that ewe on his shoulders, etc. I laughed that she ate Larry's lunch when she was supposed to be guarding it. Larry, you are a great storyteller. I was admiring the photo of that dog being so sharp and clear.
I kept hoping for another chapter of the Appalachian Trail trek, and there it was. I remember reading in Walking North about the Lady Slippers and all the rare blossoms that had been spotted along that trail, so was nice seeing the picture of the Lady Slipper. Not everyone has seen one, but I did several years ago. I love reading what Kyra says and does along the way, thinking of her being so young and walking so steady and so far, right along with the adults. I think her dad really loved and appreciated her being along by the way he wrote of her.
Thanks for the milestone picture of Jazmine Hill turning 5 years old. Memories of Kindergarten will be history making moments in her life.
It was so nice to read the Letters to the Editors others had written. You can see the appreciation for The Bulletin in every one of the letters, and for those that haven't written, I am very sure they feel the same way. It takes time and inspiration to sit down and write, but any time they do we all enjoy it.
It was simply great seeing Doug again in The Bulletin. What a long time since he has appeared, and Otto is one smart dog wanting to butter up to his master by planting pickles.
The Quotation for the day was so very true. It could have been right on the front page under that impressive flag, as love does leave a memory no one can steal.
Thanks again to The Bulletin staff, one and all. We are just selfish enough to already look forward to next week's issue, but we have to realize the staff has more to do than just put The Bulletin together, now that it's spring. Whatever you can produce, we will enjoy.
To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.
Quotation for the day: My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds. My harvest will be either flowers or weeds. --Mel Weldon
EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.