Sunday, June 29, 2008
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Update -- Robert Miller passes away
Robert Miller, 88, of Great Falls, Montana, died of complications from a stroke Saturday, June 21, at a local care facility.
Survivors include his children, Judy Riesenberg of Great Falls, Verlyn Miller of Tucson, Arizona, Lyndon Miller of Boca Raton, Florida, Arlys Simingsen of Gillette, Wyoming, and Sherlene Searight of Louisville, Colorado; brothers James Miller of Bradenton, Florida, and Thomas Miller of Madera, California; 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanette Miller, and his son, Darryl Miller.
Update -- Virginia's rehab
Before I left the nursing home in Alexandria on Wednesday, we had a conference with the whole nursing home staff -- head nurse, occupational therapy representative, and representatives from dietary, activities, housekeeping, and social services. Virginia is progressing right on schedule, considering not being able to put any weight on her left leg for at least another three weeks. At that time there will be another conference with the doctor, with X-rays, OT, and nursing to investigate her healing progress, and determine when she can be released.
Her spirits and attitude are great. I've been with her at several therapy sessions, and there is always a lot of joking and laughing. The therapy crew is marvelous; they know all the little tricks of the trade to help the patients accomplish their goals. I admire them greatly. Whatever did people in this situation do 30, 40, or 50 or more years ago? They were probably crippled for life, whereas nowadays they can be brought back, usually, to almost their pre-accident condition.
Our move to Alexandria is in the serious investigative stage. A realtor has been contacted and informed of what we are looking for; talks are scheduled with a builder -- incidentally, my son-in-law -- and we've already discussed to some extent what we would need to take, and what could be sold, given away or junked.
Many, many other things are to be considered, but we have started the ball rolling. How soon anything takes place, of course, will depend on how Virginia adapts, as even when she is released and comes home, movements will be restricted for some time to come. But our heads are made up ... we're just waiting for the physical side to catch up
We do so very much appreciate all the cards, phone calls and visits. When your mobility is curtailed and you can't go out to others, it's so nice they come to you, by phone, mail or in person. Thanks again.
Update -- visits planned with sister and mom
Kathleen and Earl Stahlecker will be coming for a visit in July, and I will ride home with them to have some time with Mother. I had hoped she could come up with them and spend part of the summer with us. But she just doesn't feel up to the trip. So I'll go down there for a bit and then fly home.
We're fine here, just having a busy summer like everyone else!
Day to Day R
Caity's Birthday Surprise
Caity turned 12 this last week. On her actual birthday, I took her out to eat, along with her mom. I treated her to her choice of meal at Applebee's. (Her first choice, Mable Murphy's, had an hour and a half wait!) They topped off the meal with a big ice cream sundae and a clapping birthday song. She said it made it feel like it was her birthday, finally!
Then, for the weekend, her mom took her to the Mall of America for a shopping spree, along with her friend, Alexis, Jayce and little Bailey. They all met Caity's brothers, Ryan and Rob, and sister, Becca, along with all their families. Sounds like they had a most awesome time, especially enjoying all the rides together.
In the meantime, I was back home, switching Caity's bedroom to the bigger one her mom had been using. Becky had told me, being she only sleeps and reads there, she didn't need as much space as Caity does. When Caity had friends spend the night, they had to sleep on the floor of her room or in the living room, as her room is very small and that was not the most convenient thing to do. Some time ago, Becky had suggested that we surprise Caity with the room switch for her 12th birthday.
She truly appreciated her mom's generosity and all our hard work in getting things moved for her, so I'd call it a big success. Happy 12th Birthday, Caity!
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.
The photos this week are Ingrid, Duane [Miller's] wife (but I don't know the bird's name!) and Uncle Robert and Uncle John Miller, Dad's brothers.
Photo Editor's comment: Steve's dad is Jim Miller. The bird's name is Tweety Too ... the cockatoo's picture appeared in The Matriarch's column in Bulletin 290, January 6, 2008.
The girl with the bird looks like Ingrid Miller, Duane’s wife, and the two fellows are my two brothers, Robert and John. Looks like their graduation picture from Dassel High School --1938, I think.
The Guess/Mystery pictures were tricky. I know I have seen the girl before in The Bulletin, but it has left me who she is. The picture of John Miller and is it Dick Miller? Very nice picture of those two Miller boys.
Betty Weiland Droel
The sheep were hot and thirsty. By mid-afternoon we arrived at a round stock tank in the desert, our planned watering hole. It was made for watering cattle -- not sheep -- and the sheep could hardly reach over the high edge of it to get a drink. The tank was much too small in circumference for the large numbers. The ewes behind were climbing with their front feet onto the backs of the ewes in front. When a few did manage a drink, they were so hemmed in by those behind that they couldn't move away to make room for others.
Fearing the consequences of a pile up, I had to chase them away from the tank -- with Checker's help. They were at risk of being suffocated by trampling. As it was, one of the lambs did get a broken leg in the shuffle.
It was good Checker was with me that day -- even if he was running on only three feet, and those with holes worn in the soles! I could not have forced the ewes away from the water by myself.
There would be water at Black Bull Springs, so we pushed the sheep on across the vast expanse of ancient lake bed that lay between us and camp.
We could see Cow Camp, silent in the afternoon sun, off to our right. Consisting of a small cabin, flowing well, and a few rough corrals, it was at the base of the canyon where I'd lost Checker in the fall when looking for petroglyphs. Sometimes a cowboy would spend a night or two there. The man who'd lived in the cabin, until not so many years past, had made his living catching and breaking mustangs to sell.
(One day, when driving on the highway east of the ranch, we saw a herd of these beautiful horses -- wild and free as the wind.)
Far out in the flat of the desert, to our left, we could see Mustang Butte shimmering in the heat.
By late afternoon, the sheep were panting and reluctant to continue. None of them were doing much grazing. Amongst the stragglers was the lamb with the broken leg. Every so often, she would cease her three-legged hopping and collapse in the shade of some sagebrush. I'd pick her up and carry her until she was rested enough to continue.
Then Checker would get his turn at being carried. I was concerned about his feet. With him not bearing any weight on his broken leg, his other feet were doing extra duty.
I didn't know exactly where Black Bull Springs was. Jackson had said to continue across the lake bed to an unnamed butte that broke off into a long ridge. I was to follow along the eastern edge of this landmark and around its western tip. Then, if I headed north a mile or so, I would find my sheep camps parked by the springs.
When we reached the butte, like an long island rising from the flat lake bed, the ewes kept insisting on grazing straight up the side of it, rather than following along around the base, as planned. Checker and I tried gallantly to stop them but there was no turning them back. We were grossly outnumbered; I presumed they must like this feed better than that on the lake bed, so I began to make the ascent myself.
When I reached the top of the butte, and could see over the other side, I understood their persistence. About a half-mile away were the white dots of the camp wagons. The sheep were stretching out in a now familiar, undulating line -- the head at a gallop. They, collectively, had seen fit to take a shortcut to the water, right up and over the butte. Did they remember the location of the springs from previous years? Did they smell the water?
The head of the flock reached the springs before Checker and I had cleared the the butte of the stragglers. When the tail finally joined the head, at the spring, I noticed the lamb with the broken leg was missing.
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.
VALLEY RIVER HAYING
When I was about 13 or 14 years old, I went with my dad and Uncle Walt and a neighbor out east on the old road towards the old fire tower and on out. It was about 10 miles out east and a little north of our place. We went clear through, almost to Togo, and then we went north down in the Valley River Country. There was a large natural wild hay meadow. We used to go up there some of those dry years. We'd come home on the weekends or for Sunday. So we went up there, myself and Uncle Walt and Dad and another fellow by the name of Walt Miller.
This hay meadow was on a beaver dam, but we had to walk about a mile and a half, or maybe two miles, to some of the buildings in an old logging camp where we were staying. There was a log building there and even the roof was made of small, green, unpeeled balsam logs. Just a shack was what it was. It was big enough for about four people, maybe. There wasn't a stove or anything in it, so we found one in those old logging camps or homesteads. It wasn't a logging camp because it wasn't that big, so it must have been a homestead.
There was the top off a cookstove, so we took that up there. We got some rocks and propped it up off the floor a ways and got clay to put around the edges so it didn't leak and we had a pretty good size firebox. It must have been a foot or better off the floor of the shack. We stuck a stovepipe on it through the wall where there had been one. That's the way we cooked when we were there.
There were four bunks, one above the other, one on one side, and one on the other side. I remember I slept on the top bunk because my dad slept on the bottom bunk and Uncle Walt slept on the bottom bunk and this other fellow slept up above, I guess.
You'd wake up in the morning and you'd have a whole ear full of sawdust. The woodworms were in the logs, chewing away, especially in the roof. If they'd have peeled them, they wouldn't have done that, but they were only going to be there over winter so they didn't bother to do that when they built it. But that was really something. You lay there and sleep in that sawdust. They'd kind of make a ripping noise, if you've ever heard them, "rip, rip, rip, rip," that's the way they sound, too. It's a funny thing they can cut that wood like that. It's really unreal.
We went up there and we had to cut this hay by hand with a scythe and shock it up and carry it in and stack it. You couldn't possibly get horses in there with a hay mower or hay rake or even a wagon. It was too rough, so we cut it by hand with the scythe and let it dry and shock it up in big shocks as big as two men could carry. We went in the woods and got a tamarack pole. They were nice, long, slim, green tamarack poles, maybe two and a half inches in diameter. We peeled it.
There were two people and each one had a pole. You'd go to the opposite sides of the hay shock and lay your pole on the ground and each one would slide his pole under the hay shock so the hay shock was divided evenly and ends were sticking out the same distance. It would stick out there a couple feet on each end of the hay shock. You'd pick up your shock of hay and carry it away that way. You'd bring it up to the haystack and set it down and each one take their pole and go with it for another one.
Then, when you got two or three there, you'd throw it up on the haystack. Those were long days. It was hard work. We did that a couple of years there during those really dry years when there wasn't any hay anyplace.
Greetings from the Netherlands
This time I want to tell you something about the different styles we use how to arrange and decorate our indoor plants in pots in the garden center. We have three different styles:
Modern -- here we use pots without decoration on it and often in black and white.
Colorful, as the word already says, a choice of colors of the pots and they may also have decoration.
The third style is country style; here we often use baskets and pottery in brown colors and most of the time with decoration on the pots.
We try to arrange each display in one of the three styles -- all plants in the same style of pots or baskets.
Last week we had a workshop where we could see how the three styles could be used for the coming fall and winter. By using just a little extra, such as a dead part of a tree, some dried leaves, rocks in different colors, you can make a special arrangement and that will be an eye catcher in your house.
Also I have enclosed a picture of a special mushroom; it looks and feels dead, very thick hard leaves, but it's really alive. You only have to spray water on it a few times a week and, if you're lucky, new leaves will grow on it.
When we started to make arrangements like this, at first people had to get used to it, but at this moment we make more of these combinations every week. Seems people want to have something special in their home and want to pay some extra money for that.
Perhaps this will inspire you to make your own unique plant arrangement for your living room.
$ A Long Time Ago !
Appalachian Trail Trek: June 1973
On June 28, we reached Duncannon, Pennsylvania -- the halfway point on a 2,000-mile journey. All of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia lay behind us -- and West Virginia and Maryland, too. Instead of shivering in down jackets, we now sweltered in shorts (the pantlegs zipped off easily) -- and we wore plenty of "bug juice." We encountered our first Copperhead snake on the trail -- and our first bakery, too.
"Then we crossed the Susquehanna, walking the symbolic half-mile on the Clarks Ferry Bridge. Noise and fumes from a steady flow of traffic accompanied my scattered thoughts.
"Sir Vivian Fuchs had crossed Antarctica in ninety-nine days. Thor Heyerdahl sailed Kon-Tiki over the Pacific in a hundred and one. We'd walked a hundred days from Springer Mountain and finished half our two thousand miles.
"Was that significant?
"To us, perhaps; another thousand miles of adventures would begin next day. Had we seen and learned of the woods? Yes, we walked with confidence now. And we'd surely reached a new definition of what lay 'within walking distance.'
"We'd stuck together those hundred days. We were still going forward. Some days we walked fast, some days slow. Some days it mattered, some it didn't. We only disagreed, at times, about which was which.
"I looked over the bridge railing at water moving lazily below.
"Maine ... halfway there. We'd do the other half now for sure. Yes, Katahdin Fever still burned ... quietly perhaps, but ready to erupt whenever forward progress was threatened. Something else was burning, too. I felt it on those mountaintops, and other times, too. Some feeling of peace, contentment ... something just out of reach. Where did that fit? Perhaps I'd learn more in the days ahead...." --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More July Birthdays
More July Anniversaries
July Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
Thanks for the nice birthday greeting from you. Yes, 53 years now, a year is over before you know it. Last Saturday, on my birthday, I didn't work; some friends and relatives came in the evening. Also, that evening the Dutch soccer team had to play the quarterfinal against Russia for the European championship. Russia won with 3-1 so the Dutch team is out of the race. It was nice to watch the game together.
My dad's twin sister passed away last Saturday on my birthday. She would become 90 on July 5th. Tomorrow is her funeral and I took a day off to go there.
Today the east part of the Netherlands had thunderstorms with hail as big as golfballs. Many cars were damaged. On the coast where I live we only had a stormy wind but we had sunshine.
Tomorrow I will treat my colleagues at work, bought cake and other not so good (if you want to keep your weight down) things to have with their coffee or tea.
Ary Ommert, Jr.
Thank you ... a nice way to start the day!
No, I have not forgotten either (that I promised to write for The Bulletin). I have four jobs right now, which has made it difficult ... but when I finally get to it -- think of all that I'll have to say!
Thanks again (for the card).
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?
Just a note to let you hear and know how much I appreciate The Bulletin. I would like a picture of Kim and Shari, please.
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
I wish you could sit in my computer chair on a Saturday morning sometime and feel the exhilaration as the clock ticks the time away until, all of a sudden, up pops The Bulletin on the screen. From then on, we go into another world. It's called The Bulletin world, and we are captivated by the pictures and stories and all the newest and latest news that our Bulletin family has submitted. All together, it makes another week's issue.
No one even realizes how needed their part is for making this work as smoothly as it does. Thanks to our Editor and the Photo Editor who are tirelessly working and planning and tweaking so that it remains professional and yet so personal.
Like the first picture of Lori and McKenna behind a screen of bubbles. Who would have ever thought to take that picture, let alone send it, and then find it has taken the very first place of all 30 pages. Her first birthday would be memorable to the family and what excitement to think of your baby becoming one year old!
I almost shuddered, looking at the sky in the photo by Amy Johnson. That was supposed to be a relaxing fun time, but weather is unpredictable and frightening which they soon learned, but in the end it turned out OK except for a few things that had to be dried out. Sounds like Lobster Lake is in the plans for next year already.
I wish Bitzi could think of a caption for the picture of McKenna with her parents. The way she has hold of Lori's chin, and the other hand outstretched, it looks like she's trying to get everyone to notice who "The Mother" is. Or maybe she's drawing some attention to the beautiful teeth and the fact she has teeth, too. She is really growing.
Isn't that typical of nature? That beautiful, pure Bloodroot flower blooming in the midst of the debris or bicycle tire, whatever, is a reminder to "bloom where we are planted."
Roy had such a nice birthday. He was well remembered, and this is a special thank you for the e-mail card he got from The Bulletin staff. We wound up the celebration with warm rhubarb pie that Verlaine and Rich Weiland had just taken out of the oven.
I was so thrilled to see the pictures of Shari Stamps and Kimberly Johnson. I was happy for them to be going to Seneca, Illinois. It will be hot and buggy, I remember. Just the beginning of great days beyond description.
Rich was telling about the robin nest, and how he had just carefully slid open the patio door to see the robin family with his mirror, when the whole family that were all in the nest flew off, squawking, except for the little one that couldn't decide how to fly yet. Seemed so sad to see the photo of the empty nest in the mirror.
Can you imagine how much fun those kids had at the End of Grade School Party out there on the farm with all the freedom and privacy of a farm and woods and lake and gravel pit? They won't forget that experience, and I don't forget, either, when I had the chance to drive through that farm and property. Kathlyn and we stopped just to view that lake while we sang a song before either she or we left, I can't quite remember. But I do remember the peaceful times at the Johnsons'.
I plan to spend some time at the "Aunt Lynnie's Kitchen" site. Thank you. Looks like it's an Edwin involved, too. We do have a variety of interests in The Bulletin.
I was so glad to see the picture of Elaine, DeLoris, Don and Dorothy in Wahpeton. Elaine's perennial garden would be such therapy for her and a beauty for others. She has such stamina to accept her condition with such a good attitude.
Also, the picture taken at Culvers. You four look pretty happy!
I always sort of hold my breath hoping LTD Storybrooke has given us the next chapter of his ranch story. Can you picture the sweet potato in the pocket becoming the lunch? I can't. That was interesting how they used the sheep bells to keep track of them. Just the black ones were all that needed bells to know where they all were. Sheep have a nature that is predictable.
I sat here smiling to myself as I tried to visualize Larry putting the booties on Checker one minute and Checker ripping them off immediately. Were they pink, or what? Again, I got this all-gone feeling looking at the black and white photo of the hundreds of sheep he was responsible for. So lonely, so dreary.
There would be no need for the fitness clubs in the Homesteading Days. We are glad someone has recorded the intense labor that was necessary to prepare the land that is clear fields today and that we just take for granted. I wish we could thank Bruce personally for having this information preserved, but we can thank Larry for sharing it..
What colorful and thought provoking pictures Tim Holman took in Liberty Lake Park, in Washington! I wonder if the one with deer was a telephoto lens?
I missed pictures to go with the Appalachian Trek chapter this time. We have some links to click on, which will have to suffice. In the book, Walking North, the red efts are mentioned many times. Wow, we get ALL the details, like even to the mouse tail! Very interesting, and who could help but want to read the book? I am still totally amazed at such an accomplishment. Months of walking.
One after the other is wanting to subscribe to The Bulletin. Jay Miller will be so glad to read all the articles that include a lot of his family members each week.
I don't know why I was so glad to see a "McDouglas Foto Funnie" again. Just that Doug and Bitzi's Chuckles are few and far between, and they are always so worth the Chuckle.
I tried to think of any time I had lain on the grass watching the clouds, and I think I have missed something pretty wonderful. The Quotation for the day brought me up short.
A special thank you to you who have made this #314 available to us -- you put so much work into it, and we want you to know it is acknowledged and appreciated, even if we fail to mention it often enough. We hope you will have sufficient Updates and pictures to fill next week's pages.
Roy and Betty Droel
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: Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have. --Harry Emerson Fosdick
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