Sunday, August 3, 2008
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Update -- a visit to Iron World
Beaver, Caity, Jayce and I got in our long-awaited trip to Northern Minnesota last weekend -- well, more than just a weekend, actually. It was Thursday through the end of Monday. We had a fantastic time!
The mines made for interesting sights and the northern area gave us many beautiful views to enjoy. We managed to see a few museums and other areas of interest.
We all enjoyed Iron World and would have loved to have seen it a few years back when there were even more things offered. However, it still had lots of things to teach us and the kids seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.
We all enjoyed the trolley ride that was part of the visit. Beautiful overlooks of the now water-filled open pit mines.
Update -- horseplay at Morgan Family Lake Retreat
You've heard of a horse-fly? How about a horse-ski?
Hmmmm ... we've heard of a seahorse ... but a ski-horse? That's new to us! --Eds.
Update -- Virginia Adair recovering from surgery re-do
As I had said in the last update, Virginia (Ginny) had to have her surgery re-done, and is back to ground zero for recovery.
Well, not exactly. With the last recovery, she was also fighting the injuries of the fall, especially a badly sprained wrist, that made getting around with a walker difficult, until her therapist -- I can never remember if it’s an O.T. (Occupational) or P.T. (Physical) -- came up with a special support bar that fit on the walker so she could support the weight with her whole arm, not the wrist.
This time it's only the hip repair itself to overcome, and she is doing well with that. It will still be six weeks before she can put any weight on that leg. Then a couple more sessions (weeks?) learning how to walk again. She has to be able to manage the two steps and threshhold into our house before they'll let her come home. But everybody's spirits are up, and Ginny is almost back to where she was before the second surgery, as far as doing things for herself. She has an inner strength that she can call on, and it shows.
Last week I didn't return home at all, staying to be around for the surgery and for the return to the nursing home. This week I came back on Monday, and will be back in Alexandria on Thursday afternoon. (The family is celebrating our youngest granddaughter's birthday that night at the nursing home.) After that, barring unforeseen circumstances, I'll return to my schedule of being home Tuesday night until Friday morning.
Thanks for the cards, letters, phone calls and love. All is needed and appreciated by us both.
Update -- The Matriarch and Don have company
The Richard Johnson family is in residence at their apartment in Moorhead, Minnesota. Rich is between assignments and has a few weeks of vacation. Their next assignment is to be at Bangor, Maine. They have lots to attend to, things like dental appointments, truck sales, and such but made a quick afternoon down to spend the evening with us.
We met here at our home and we got a chance to see the truck that is replacing their red one. (The new one is gorgeous to behold.) Then we all got in our car and headed for Little Falls. There we met Patty and Donnie Anderson. We had dinner together at Perkins and then spent a wonderful evening together.
Update -- Kyra and Ken go hiking; grandkitties stay home
Kyra reported that she and Ken got back from a week of hiking in Banff National Park and all three of the grandkitties were still in the house -- just where they were supposed to be. No field trips this time! She sent a couple of pictures and reported that she and Ken had a severe case of "Peru envy" after reading about the Swensons' trek in last week's Travelogue. Kyra wrote:
"Mitzi was in San Francisco a couple years ago and we got to talking about hiking and what not over lunch. I mentioned that Ken and I were looking to do some hiking in the Rockies but we weren't sure whether we should go to Banff or Colorado. She shot back 'BANFF!' so quickly I almost dropped my sandwich.
"We had the good sense to take her advice and have had two great vacations there, but now that I'm following all their adventures in The Bulletin, it's clear that I asked the wrong question. It should have been: 'Can we borrow Kjirsten?'
"As for the pictures, we have the all-purpose marmot (pretending he's a miniature Grizzly bear) and my idea of how to spend a rainy day in Banff." - kyra
Day to Day R
This kitchen is the one we've all been waiting for -- Mimi's Cyber Kitchen. No dishes to wash, no stove to clean, just answers to cooking questions and information on anything and everything food-related. You'll find Mimi's personal recipes, historical recipes, how to "grow it yourself" and not to be overlooked -- chocolate! The features are listed in alphabetical order with user ratings on each section so you'll have other opinions to compare. You can be the master chef and even post your own recipes; who knows, Four Seasons may feature your creation!
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.
I don't think I know the people in this picture, but I think I know the place -- the banyan tree at Edison's winter home in Fort Myers, Florida. We met so many wonderful people who came to vacation in Fort Myers over the years!
That is a picture of Jim Miller with two of his grandchildren -- Krissie Larson and Kurtis Larson. Taken in Corkscrew Swamp, Florida. That is a part of the wooden walkway through the swamp and you can see ALL kinds of nature's animals and birds. Wonderful memories of taking this walk with Blanche and Jim.
This time the GUESS/MYSTERY picture leaves me stumped except for Jim Miller. I am sure it was taken in Florida, but the other two do not look familiar no matter how I turn the picture or enlarge it. I wonder if it was some of Tom and Mavis's company.
Betty Weiland Droel
A late guess...
Well, it happened again. While we were gone to the Smoky Mountains for a week, sure enough, there was a mystery photo with my family in it. And nobody got it correct, either! Correct answer: my dad, (Jim Miller), my daughter, Sandy (Miller) and my nephew, Kurtis (Larson).
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.
We had what they call a root house, or a root cellar, some people called them. They were dug into the ground. We had a hillside down across the road from the house. It was not a very big hillside. It was kind of sandy, so it wasn't too hard digging right there. My dad and my Uncle Robert dug into the hillside so they didn't have so much to dig and they made a building of cedar posts. I can't remember the size of it, but it was pretty good size. They piled about maybe three feet of dirt or more all over it on top. It must have been more than that. That was where we kept the potatoes and carrots and cabbage and rutabagas and all the garden root crops.
Ma also had a lot of our canned goods down there. She had them all there except a few she kept in the house. Dad made a vent of boards with a four-inch inside diameter opening. In the wintertime, we had to be sure and keep that open. We when we got a real lot of snow, it covered up that door. Instead of making a straight door like you open a door and walk into a house, it was on a forty-five degrees slant. It was a big, heavy door about four inches thick and was tapered so that it wedged shut. It took four men and a small elephant to open it.
We would have to get down there, like I said, every couple of weeks, at least. Afterwards, Ma would take up a little more, so we didn't have to go in every week. We had to shovel out the root house and get that door open and then go in there with a ladder and close up the door so it didn't freeze everything and take a stick and be sure to poke out the frost from that vent. If the vent got plugged up, it would freeze in there. It had to breathe.
That was quite a chore. That was another event we didn't look forward to because we had to shovel the snow back on there and we were just kids. We had to get that stuff on the hand sled and haul it up to the house before it froze. Ma was usually there to supervise it. Sometimes my dad would help, if he was around and had time. That was another one of our pioneer chores that we, as kids, never looked forward to.
I don't know what we'd have done if we didn't have that. Man, you had to have that; it was a necessity. There wasn't any place else to keep root crops. They kept good in there. They stayed until the next year, good and fresh.
SAUERKRAUT AND PICKLES
When we got a little bit older, not too old either, we were going to school already, she'd make sauerkraut. In those days if there was any vegetable at all that grew, people raised it. We made pickles and sauerkraut and canned blueberries and everything else that was around, plus all the garden stuff. We had a very good garden.
Oh, we had a truckload of cabbage. Man, we had cabbage! I can see that bin full of cabbage yet. We had a sauerkraut cutter and Ma made sauerkraut and put it in a thirty gallon wooden barrel. I don't know how they made sauerkraut exactly. That thing would sit right over the top of that barrel and you'd take that cabbage head and go back and forth and slice it into thin stuff and put in salt and whatever else they did to make sauerkraut. Then you put a board on it and put a rock on top of the board to keep it where it belonged.
Every once in a while, we kids would want to have it covered up with a cloth. Sometimes she had a board bigger than the top of the barrel sitting on it. We'd go by and dip in there and grab a handful of sauerkraut and she'd say, "You stay out of that barrel now."
The same thing with dill pickles. A lot of times she'd have a whole barrel of dill pickles that she made. She put them in a barrel and put salt and whatever you do to make dill pickles and she had a board on those for some reason and a rock on that to hold them down. I don't know if the pickles floated or what. They were really good. David and I, Raymond probably, was the worst culprit of the whole works. He never went by that pickle barrel when he didn't dip in there and get a pickle.
The pickles were in the entry. I don't remember where the sauerkraut was, I think in the corner of the house. So, poor Ma. Somebody asked her something about, "How did you raise such nice boys?"
"Oh, I didn't raise them; they just grew up."
Huayhuash Trek Of Peru
On day two in Huaraz, Kjirsten insisted we go on a warm-up hike. This involved a three-hour cab ride to a nearby national park. We then hiked about five miles, climbing to a beautiful, high mountain lake at around 15,000 feet of elevation.
I knew acclimatization would be the limiting factor in making the upcoming trek so I was curious to see what our oxygen saturation readings would be before, during and after at various elevations. We had ordered a small portable oximeter to monitor these readings.
On arrival at Huaraz, we all were reading about 90%. Normal readings for us at home would be 98 to 100%. At the 15,000-foot lake, our SATS all dropped to around 80%. In the ED, our nurses get very anxious if they have a patient that drops their SATS below 90% and those people always get supplemental oxygen.
There was no supplemental oxygen available here and that may be why Mitzi and Kjirsten collapsed on the rocks and tried to sleep while I took way too many pictures and enjoyed the view.
On Wednesday, we day-hiked about 10 miles, up to Laguna 69, one of the most spectacular lakes we've ever seen, at about 15,000 feet elevation. We all felt fine, even after the nearly three-hour taxi ride each way over some pretty rough roads.
Kjirsten and Sheldon had fun checking our pulse and oxygen saturation, which should improve over the next few days. It appears to me this is some kind of a breathing contest and I'm not winning, and Sheldon is cheating by taking a low dose of Diamox.
The bus to Pocpa left at 5 a.m. Friday. We had reserved seats near the front. After all the seats were occupied, the aisle was packed with people who would stand until a seat was available.
I dozed intermittently, waking up as people got on and off the bus. Once I looked down and the lady standing next to me had a puppy on a string leash. I hoped he was potty trained, but there was nothing I could do if he wasn't, so I went back to sleep.
After two hours we arrived in Chiquián where Rodrigo got a boy with a bike and cart to transport our eight bags and backpacks two blocks to a different bus station. We got the last seats on that bus. All our baggage was piled on the roof for a dusty 1-1/2 hour ride to Pocpa.
The last lady to get on the bus stood in the doorway with a propane tank, a bucket full of milk and a gunny sack that was WIGGLING! I resisted the urge to put my feet up on my seat, wondering what was in the sack. Someone asked her -- the answer was un perro, a dog. I was relieved when she got off the bus after a few minutes.
The road was rough and winding, first down a mountain, then across a stream and up the other side. It's better not to look down the several hundred feet to where we would end up if something went wrong.
To be continued...
$ A Long Time Ago !
Appalachian Trail Trek: July 1973
When everything went according to plan, we thought it was great. And sometimes when things didn't go exactly as planned, it turned out even better. We met so many wonderful people along the trail -- total strangers who went out of their way for us -- and left indelible impressions.
"Everything went fine for six miles. We walked routine roads, climbed routine ridges, and had everything planned for dusk arrival at Webatuck Shelter in another three miles. Then the trail took an unexpected turn. Fresh blazes led ahead and bushes sported small streamers. Relocation: the trail had been moved off the road. It would still go to the shelter, most likely, but by what devious route was anybody's guess. We followed the winding, backtracking trail for miles with no idea of where we might be.
"We reached a dirt road near dark. A concrete outbuilding offered space to sleep four, but needing water, we kept on. We crossed a brook. I suggested we fill up and return to the building. Jerri wanted to check on ahead.
"She returned in twenty minutes. She'd found another road, followed it to a house, and negotiated tent space in the owner's yard. It had all the fresh well water we could drink. We hit the trail, arriving at the home of Ben and Phyllis Fischer at nine o'clock. We put up tents in the dark on a manicured lawn, ate a quick dinner, and hung our packs in an apple tree. There would be rain before morning; we battened everything down.
"In the morning, in the driving rain, Mrs. Fischer invited us in for breakfast. While we ate and answered questions about our walk, she pointed out items around the house she and her husband had made over the years.
"The kitchen floor and walls were of hand-made and hand-set tiles of their own design. They had hand-woven the living-room rug. To the drapes they'd added a row of heavy-stitched birds that appeared to stand and strut all through the house. She showed us wall hangings, ceramics, enamels, and pottery. We saw something different everywhere we turned.
"Jerri could have stayed for a week. Kyra found enough ideas to add several rooms to her house. They admired and discussed each item in such enthusiastic detail that Mrs. Fischer went on to show them more. Cooking and natural foods became the topic. I left them poking through a whole shelf of cookbooks when, noticing the rain had ended, I went outside to pack things to go.
"We crossed into New England at noon. A flat, table-sized rock near the summit of Schaghticoke Mountain showed N.Y. painted on one side of a white line, CONN. on the other.
"'That's nine states,' I said to Rainer, 'and two-thirds of the Appalachian Trail!'" --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More August Birthdays
More August Anniversaries
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Hello Miss Hetty!
Wanted to tell you thanks much for the birthday card! Melody and the kids took me to town for lunch and the kids were sure to tell each passing stranger that it was my birthday, so I had many good wishes from many folks I don't know. Anyhow, I came through the day unscathed and am ready to tackle another year. Thanks again for your card.
IT HAPPENED. The dreaded computer experience happened. On July 19, Saturday evening. I had gotten The Bulletin in the morning just fine, which was very fortunate.
Our computer was working perfectly until, suddenly, it crashed. Everything was gone. Not even one single device would work. All that was saved was what was on our AOL program, which included letters, addresses, and saved work. Surely a plus for AOL to survive the crash. Our DSL crashed along with it so we couldn't use AOL.
Then off and on we had tried to do everything that was suggested, but even after it started working it crashed again. It seems it was a virus.
So, we decided to buy a new computer and start all over again.
We found a computer we wanted but we have to get familiar with the Vista system. Last night at 9, my brother who is a computer guru, walked out after getting our new computer into perfect working condition. Can you imagine how much we appreciated his expertise?
This is Friday, and just under the wire for The Bulletin, which we are already looking forward to with great anticipation.
It feels good to be able to tell someone about our troubles, but also our benefits in having a new computer up and working.
Now, to head into learning so many new things at our age.
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 have not in fact been receiving The Bulletin. So, yes, sign me up!
I have not forgotten you would like an essay from me ... but to be frank I am working four jobs right now -- one of which is organizing a museum exhibition which requires a lot of writing and research (brain power) which leaves me with very little energy for creative writing ... but I hope one day I will succeed in getting you something. In September, I plan to have a couple of days on the coast of Oregon with nothing to do but stare at the horizon ... maybe then.
I am Julianna's sister Brenda; Julie must have given you my e-mail address for they don't have a computer. I printed a copy of the e-mail to give her and I'll make sure to save this on my computer also -- that's if the dumb thing will work! I wish I could ask more and give you more info, but our computer is acting up really bad with a virus, so I'm having to make this fast.
Please say "Hi" to our [Mellon] cousins: Tommy, Danny, and Colleen if you can.
Yes, we are having a very hard time with missing our mother.
The selling of the estate has been really AWFUL and it isn't sold yet. I know Julie will be thrilled to hear from you. Thank you.
Love all the news and loved the photos of Mavis and Tom's beautiful family last week. Jim and Helen are enjoying your granddaughter in their parts.
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
I had gotten so spoiled after seeing the fantastic water spray on last week's first picture, that I thought every picture after that would have to be ho hum. BUT, having never seen a Yellow Lady Slipper Orchid, I was impressed to see the beautiful photography catching both blooms in that artistic pose.
So, as with The Bulletin, each and every issue is individual in itself, and all the photos and stories are to be appreciated for just what they are, not to be compared with some other story or week or issue. I just learned that! I decided that is true for people, too.
Jett Freesemann will treasure the Update about himself and the horses on Grandma and Grandpa's farm during his annual summer vacation there. I hope they print that and tuck it into his keepsakes. All too soon he will have grown past the rocking horse and the attention he's getting from the ladies with the little animals -- and even the story book. Incidently, the bedspread his book is on looks exactly like ours.
How thrilling for Hunter Holman to have such an avid sportsman as that grandpa of his. I am dating myself to say I first met that grandpa when he was a little over Hunter's age. That looks like a calendar picture, and not a bad sized fish, either.
What a very nice picture of LeRoy and Vonnie! They are so fortunate to have such a caring, loving family.
For some reason or other I have been eagerly anticipating an Update on the grandkitties. Thanks, Miss Kitty, for bringing us up to date news on those three cool cats. Interesting how each one has such a distinctive personality, and yet they interact without too many hissing fits (I think). If Oreo could talk on that photo by Ken Carson, I think it would be a scolding.
The Forget-Me-Nots picture was very impressive. The coloring against the dark background was so beautiful and though they look frail, they aren't.
The Legacy by Jerrianne Lowther brought back many memories of dear ones that were a part of The Bulletin family, but have now passed on. Memories hold them close, though I had never met Coni; I still miss the contact I had with Diana Martin.
Lots of familiar subjects were covered in Bruce's Homesteading Days story this time. Oh, to enjoy tomatoes like that, and the corn. It takes the old time fertilizer and the sweat of the brow in the hot sun to mature such delicacy.
The Travelogue is going to be interesting, following the trek of Peru by Mitzi and Sheldon and Kjirsten. I had to laugh at their other children's comments turning down the offer of going along. It would be a long, difficult, grueling hike. Similar to the Appalachian Trail hike, yet extremely different. We do appreciate all the details of everything. It is so easy to feel like we're right there traveling, too, as they expertly record each little thing, even to the number of food items. Very interesting pictures we are so glad to see.
I was especially glad for the pictures included in A Long Time Ago, also. I had read about the "lemon squeezer" rocks, but didn't imagine it would be like that. To have to hoist the backpacks up, and then somehow climb up yourself. NO THANKS. For the Lowthers to have continued to the end is a major accomplishment, and we thank them for sharing it with us now. Please be assured we are not getting one bit tired of this account. You keep it about like LTD Storybrooke does -- holding our breath for the next sentence and event. The bugs would have turned me off first thing, Kyra.
What a darling picture of Levi and Kira! I feel the urge to make a scrapbook of the pictures of those two, but then there are so many other cute kids' pictures in The Bulletin that where do you ever start or end? So, we will just enjoy them as they are from week to week, observing their growing up.
I see Steve Miller wrote that his computer hard drive died, too. What an all-gone feeling! I am glad ours is running fine again, but we are needing to reinstall every single thing again on the new operating system. I keenly miss all the cards and pictures I had saved on my card program.
Hunter Holman has a reputation ... already it looks like "Trouble."
Thank you again for The Bulletin that we know will always be there at a certain time on Saturday morning. I'm sure for you it's skidding to a stop just before the deadline many times, but we would never know that by the smoothness and perfection that appears as it arrives for our reading. I know Roy and I read every single word of every single page. I always print it, as it is so much easier to read that way for us -- 24 pages this time, and "Good to the Last Dot."
Betty and Roy Droel
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Quotation for the day: A man's worst enemies can't wish on him what he can think up himself. --Yiddish Proverb
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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.