Sunday, September 14, 2008
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Update -- Alyssa and Angel visit the farm
The Freesemann sisters, Alyssa and Angel, from Burnsville, Minnesota, had their annual summer "farm vacation" recently at Hope, North Dakota, with their grandparents, Tom and Mavis Morgan. They thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and getting acquainted with every living creature they can find. This year, birds were a big interest for them, finding and feeding them and even taking two back to Burnsville.
They were shown the school where their mother attended for 12 years, as well as their aunts, Char and Merna. We spent some time on the playground there.
Near the school is the new Veterans' Memorial, built in 2007, and, enclosed and under glass windows, is a cannon built in 1863 and used at that time; it now has been restored and is on display.
Since it was August, they got to witness the Belgian flag that we put up each August, in honor of some friends from Belgium who came to visit us in August of 1996. We met them in 1987 as they showed much kindness to us when we were tryiing to find the grave of a relative (Elaine Wold's brother-in-law) in the military cemetery near their home.
A number of new friends were made on this trip as well.
Update -- Indermarks vacation in Florida
We just got back from our wonderful, but short, vacation to Florida. Alexander stayed home with Grandma Shari while Jordan and Tyler came with us. We left on a Thursday afternoon and arrived in Tampa, Florida, at midnight. We drove another hour to our friend Rich's condo. We stayed with Rich on what was left of Thursday night and Friday night. Saturday morning we went with Grandpa Miller to the beach and had a wonderful lunch at Sonny's BBQ. Saturday night and Sunday night we stayed with our friend Jeff. All in all, we had a wonderful trip.
Update -- New York, New York, it's a wonderful town...
Monday in New York was game day and we all woke up with a little extra bounce in our step, despite the miles of walking on our poor feet over the past few days. For Wyatt, Weston, and Shawn, the bounce was anticipation of watching the Twins and Yankees baseball game at Yankee Stadium. For Jolene, (of course, in addition to the game anticipation) it was looking forward to seeing the Today Show, live!
We were up fairly early, so we could try to get a decent position to see the show. We'd kind of walked by the general area in a previous day's walk, but still didn't exactly know where to go. We figured we'd walk and look for the crowd. Before long, we saw the familiar flags across the street from the show, and then the crowd. There were quite a few people there already, but we were able to horn in fairly close.
One end of the set was a big, sand volleyball court, the other filled with the usual outdoor activities like cooking. Much to Jolene's chagrin, Matt Lauer wasn't there that day, but we all still had a good time. One of the celebrities we saw was professional golfer Phil Mickelson, and we happened to be standing right next to the wife of a famous (well, purportedly famous -- I'VE never heard of him) chef that was on the show that day.
After that, we headed south to the Empire State Building. We'd been in New York for over three days, and still hadn't been higher than the 17th floor of our hotel room. It just wouldn't have felt quite right if we didn't make it to the 85th story of something. So we got there, and waited in line. Then we paid, and waited in line. Then we gave our tickets, and waited in line. Then we walked a few feet, and waited in line. Then the line moved for a while. Then it didn't.
Then we shoved a couple weak looking ladies and jumped in front of them in the elevator. OK, maybe we didn't, but I was sick of waiting in line and considered it. We finally made it up to the observation deck and, despite some light haze in the air, it was spectacular.
The one last thing we wanted to do before the game was to find the Twins' Statue of Liberty. Since the Major League Baseball All-Star Game had been in New York just a week before, each major league team had a statue painted in their team colors somewhere throughout the city. The Twins' statue was pretty close to us, so we considered it a "must see."
After tracking down the statue in the local Best Buy, we began heading for Yankee Stadium. We'd hoped to get there in time to visit Monument Park, the stadium's shrine to the historic figures in Yankees' history, but by the time we got there, that area was so full, they weren't letting any more people in. Since this is the last year Yankee Stadium will be open, it seems many people are getting one last look before it's demolished. So we settled in and took in the sights of the stadium.
I've got to admit, my first impression of Yankee Stadium was "What a dump!" But as I sat there and thought about the memorable moments in baseball history that had taken place there, I slowly realized what a great place it was.
As the game started, we all eagerly anticipated an exciting climax to our time there in New York. Unfortunately, by the bottom of the second inning, the game was all but over, with the Yankees up by four runs already. As the game became more and more dull, we all realized how tired we were, and sat pretty quietly for the rest of the game. It was a rather anti-climactic moment for such a great time in a crazy city.
As we left the next morning, we all agreed New York is a great place to visit occasionally, but would not be near the top of our lists in places to live. As we got back to Minnesota and its wide open spaces and slower pace of life, we all felt a lot more comfortable. I'm very happy to have been able to visit New York, and may even go back again some day. But if I do, I'll have to try to base it around something more entertaining, like a Vikings game ... wait a minute!
Update -- It's that time again? So soon?
Shawn and I were just comparing how differently birthdays were celebrated when we were younger, compared to now. As a kid, you would make your wish lists, invite your friends and/or cousins over and then ... the big day. You could hardly wait. Well, let's just say that this changes when you get older. It's still nice to get the birthday wishes from friends and loved ones and, of course, it's still fun to get cards and gifts (who doesn't like that?) but I personally could so without the additional year added to my age! :)
I cannot complain too much, though. I've got the best husband in the world, a beautiful daughter and another one on the way. Not to mention the best family and friends that a girl could ask for!
I was lucky enough to have a multi-day celebration this year (which is carrying forward to this week, too!). Let's just say it has involved a lot of eating, but I'm eating for two so I can afford the extra calories, right? Let's go with that theory.
Thanks so much to my hubby and McKenna for the new camera, to my in-laws for the more than generous gift card to National Camera and my parents for the cash to be used for some sort of camera case or product! If you could not tell, I'm taking up a new little hobby. Also, thanks to Chris and Jessy for the awesome Crate and Barrel gift -- they know me well. And to Caity and Jayce for the wonderful smelling bath and relaxation products.
In addition, a big thank you to all the friends and family that sent me notes, wishes and treated me to various free meals to yummy places ... all of which help buffer the blow of aging yet another year.
P.S. If I forgot to thank anyone, please chalk it up to the age. :)
Update -- summer's done in Alaska
The leaves are turning red and gold and Miss Jerrianne and the rest of the gardeners are starting fall cleanup, weather permitting ... which it hasn't been this week. She went to pick chokecherries and they still don't seem to be ripe enough to strip off the trees. Now we are wondering whether they will even get ripe enough to pick this year.
Despite the cool, damp weather (and sometimes because of it) the flowers have been gorgeous this year and everything has stayed green and lush right through until fall. We're hoping for a bit more time before the frost hits, but every day of above freezing temperatures now is a gift.
Mai Tai and I know it's fall, because we both went to the vet for our annual checkups this week. When Miss Jerrianne tried to stuff me in the pouch, I threw a hissy fit and got away with it -- I thought. She picked Mai Tai up and took him to the vet in my place and he got two shots. That made my day! But a couple days later I found myself in a brand new carrier and going for a ride. I got a shot, too ... though I didn't make it easy on her or the vet.
The grandkittens are being homeschooled again this year and at last report they are doing well.
Day to Day R
Caity started playing volleyball this year, for the first time, with her 7th grade class. It's fun to go and watch her games. Her first game, Shawn, Lori, McKenna, Becky, Jayce, Beaver and I were able to attend. We went out to eat afterwards, while she had to watch the 6th grade class play and then ride the bus back to Ashby. Sad to say, they did not win a game, though they came close. We enjoyed watching them, anyway.
Human Anatomy Online affords an opportunity to explore the various systems in the human body. You'll find Animations, Images, Descriptions, and even a Search function for finding that exact body part. The viewer is aided by "hot spots on the anatomy illustrations," allowing one to explore the selected body system. Each anatomy label is linked to a description, some with associated pictorials making the site dynamic and easy to understand. Human Anatomy is "fun, interactive, and an ideal reference site for students or those who just want to know more about the medical descriptions used by doctors and nurses." As you can see, here's a resource that will help you decipher that sometimes complex medical jargon while learning more about your own body!
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.
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
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.
That would be my little sweetheart, Kristi Larson Indermark and her terrific older brother, Kurtis Larson. The next adorable couple would be my sweet sister-in-law, Kathlyn and her hubby, Argyle Anderson!
Awwwwwww, the first duo is my adorable sister-in-law, Kristi (Larson) Indermark and my handsome husband, Kurt Larson. It is striking how much Kristi and her daughter, Jordan, look alike!
OK, first I'll guess the ones on the left. I think that's Kurtis Larson, with either Kristi or Kelly.
The farmers on the right I would know anywhere. They are my sister Kathy Anderson and her husband, Argyle. And I remember when they lived on a farm and dressed like that, pretty much.
The first picture is of Kristi and Kurtis Larson. The next picture looks like my parents, Kathlyn and Argyle Anderson.
I might just as well say right here that the GUESS/MYSTERY picture is Kathy and Arg behind the facades. The other picture is that cute little boy we watched grow up. Kurt Larson and, I suppose, his sister.
I was disgusted as I knew very well that was Rose Noonan on the guess picture last week, but I had put LeRoy Shaw. That was my mistake. I still don't know the one lady, even after seeing her name, and I wouldn't have guessed it was Arlin, Anita and Glenda.
Betty Weiland Droel
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.
LIGHTNING HIT COW
This isn't much of a story but it's a happening. When I was a kid at home I had to milk the cows in the summer time. We usually milked them right out in the corner of the fence. We were milking one cow especially right then and she was a gentle old cow. It looked like we were going to have a thunderstorm, so Ma told me I had better go and get the cows and milk them. It was just a little bit early, but just about milking time.
I went over in the pasture. They weren't very far away and I got them home. The old cow was a little bit uneasy that night. There were a few flies, but not really bad, but I sprayed a little bit with some spray dope. She didn't want to sit still, so I just took a rope "standstill," it was called, that we had there. She was about maybe six feet from the fence. The rope was just a little bit too short so I laid the rope on the fence wire and just laid it over her neck and didn't tie it. That did the trick. She didn't move any more.
I was sitting there on a one-legged milk stool and milking away and she wasn't milking much anyway. They were mostly dry. My dad used to dry them up in the summer time, pretty much there. And don't you know, up almost a quarter of a mile by the fence anyway, the fence wire was nailed to a maple tree. Lightning hit that maple tree.
I was hanging on milking, so I had a hold of her with both hands and boy, I'll tell you, she let a beller out of her, just one long bawl. I think her hind feet sunk right down in the ground about six inches, because she just took off like a rocket. It stunned me and I did a kind of a somersault right in the air there, it seemed to me. For a moment I was stunned. When I kind of come to, I was on my hands and knees, but the milk pail hadn't tipped over. It didn't have much milk in it anyway. But the manure just flew out of that cow for about six feet. Just a regular....
That really gave her a jolt. She just went, "Wraaaaaaa!" It was the funniest thing. We had quite a few young stock. In this corner of the pasture, there wasn't any brush or anything. It was all open, just a few stumps. When she let out that beller, all the other stock came from all around. They just ran right out of the woods. They were in the brush and around out there. Even the horses. We had three or four horses and they all ran right over to that cow. That's what kind of noise she made. I'll tell you, that was really something.
Huayhuash Trek Of Peru
On day six, our destination is a high mountain valley that is off the main circuit. The trail to get there involves continuing down our present valley about six miles and then back up the new valley another six miles or so to get to some high mountain lakes and glaciers at the very foot of the high mountain range we have been circling for the last six days. This is supposed to be some of the best scenery available, short of climbing the mountains themselves. There is a shortcut that simply involves climbing and descending the high mountain ridge separating the two valleys.
We make the initial climb in the early morning shade. There is still frost on the ground as we climb and icicles along the small mountain stream. We reach the top by about 8 a.m. and enjoy early morning sunlight on the heart of the main range stretched before us, with glaciers descending into high mountain lakes.
We see Mount Siula Grande and think of the movie and book Touching the Void, which describes the experience of a climber who fell while attempting to summit this mountain. He suffered a broken leg and other injuries from his initial fall. He was roped to a partner but the partner was unable to help him get back up or to safely let him down. The partner was forced to cut him loose and he fell farther, suffering more injuries. The partner was forced to leave him and to try and get some help. The injured climber crawled for four days before he was found and evacuated.
Our mule man, Nicol, always let his mules graze freely in the afternoons and evenings after reaching camp. I noticed he would check on them right at sunset and was always able to find them in the morning. One night he comes back to camp after walking down the valley and seems quite agitated. Kjirsten translates that he has been way down the valley and no sign of the mules. It is now getting dark. He takes off running up the valley in a different direction and comes back about 20 minutes later, all smiles. He has found the mules.
The next morning it takes him much longer than usual to catch up to us. Apparently they had wandered off again, in a different direction, during the night. At our last camp I see him watching one side of the mountain periodically all afternoon. He indicates to me that the mules are up there, somewhere, about 1-1/2 hours away. I cannot see them anywhere. He must have excellent vision, despite not needing glasses.
When children lived near our camping area sometimes they would come to watch us set up camp. Sheldon could hardly resist when they asked for candy and Kjirsten gave him a stern talk, from an anthropologist's view, about how it affects their culture when they are rewarded for begging. Sometimes Sheldon would give them a piece of hard candy if he took their picture. We should have brought little notebooks and pens to give the children, but we didn't think of it ahead of time.
Nicol was fascinated with our gear and would have liked to keep a backpack, hiking poles, headlamp, tent, etc. He enjoyed looking at our Ziplocs full of dried vegetables and loved the little packages of tuna and chicken we gave him for lunch (packets that we brought from the USA).
To be continued...
$ A Long Time Ago !
Appalachian Trail Trek: September 1973
From Grafton Notch State Park to Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park was 250 miles -- three hitches, two bus rides, a van ride and the final leg with a fellow thru-hiker in his family's car. Our first attempt to climb 5,267-foot Mount Katahdin did not succeed ... driving rain drove us back well before we reached the summit. Much improved weather the next day allowed us passage to the top of the mountain -- and rewarded our efforts with glorious panoramic views.
"We started climbing at eight in the morning. Clouds hid most of the mountain and we walked in rain. Such weather had cleared to sunny afternoons in recent days. We couldn't wait and see; the ten miles up and back would take a full day.
"The AT followed Katahdin Stream for a mile and crossed on a footbridge. We ascended gradually, passing Katahdin Stream Falls, a misty cascade tumbling among granite blocks. We paused at breaks in the trees to see foggy outlines of views. The rain retreated and returned. Tree roots formed stair steps up on the rocky trail and we found the going easy. Then trees dropped away and the climb of Hunt Spur began.
"Wind and rain hit us full force beyond the forest's protection. The path led steeply forward, over and around a tumult of rocks and upward into enveloping clouds. We climbed half a mile, passing over ever-larger boulders and clinging at one point to iron rods cemented into rocks as handholds and steps. Wind and rain lashed the mountain. Cold numbed our hands and faces.
"'I think we should go back,' Jerri said. 'This rain could freeze and turn to ice. Coming down could be treacherous.'
"'Let's wait a while and see,' I said.
"We huddled in a sheltered spot for lunch, then went on.
"Landmarks indicated another two miles to the summit and we appeared to be coming out of the boulders. Perhaps the steep ridge would level off just ahead.... The gentle slope of The Tableland, a broad plateau below the summit, would lead us easily to the top from there. Rain increased and the storm grew worse.
"'We've got to get off this mountain,' Jerri insisted.
"Kyra couldn't seem to make up her mind. Perhaps she didn't want to climb that much of the mountain a second time. Perhaps she feared we might turn back and not return....
"I climbed on alone to see what lay beyond the next rise. Maybe we were close enough to make it.
"I stopped at the last of the boulders. The trail continued upward along the steep ridge and vanished in fog thirty feet away. It gave no hint of what I wanted to see. Wind and blown rain stung my face and beat a splattering tattoo on my rain gear. The cloud held fast to the ground, blowing in snaking, undulating swirls around me. It reminded me of scenes from a movie I'd seen: Nanook of the North. We wouldn't make it ... not together, anyway. I turned around.
"'What did you see?' Kyra asked.
"'Rain,' I said. 'And cloud streaming over the ground like blowing snow.'
"'Let's get out of here,' said Jerri.
"'We'll try again tomorrow, I guess,' I said.
"'No, we'll try again when the weather is nice. I'll sit in camp a week if I have to -- I want good weather next time.'
"We climbed back down. Rain increased to a downpour that lasted all afternoon." --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More September Birthdays
More September Anniversaries
September Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
We had company for dinner Yesterday -- Yvonne and Melvin Boettcher, also Bernice Jacobson and Helen and Lee Parson. All went well. I tried Leg O' Lamb and it was very good. I got instructions on the Internet on how to fix it on Cooks Illustrated site. I get their magazine.
You put it in a salt and sugar and garlic brine the day before for a couple hours. That tenderizes it, and also flavored it. Delicious.
We had birthday cake and fresh peaches sliced for dessert. Bernice is 90.
I didn't take any pictures ... just forgot. I am sorry about that.
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?
On the guess last week -- I was embarrassed by not remembering Rose Noonan but I had little Ellen Johnson's name in my thoughts and couldn't come up with Rose! I called Jim and he was lost, too! He said we needed Phoebe or Lenore to ask! That shows how much we depended on those two for our "stored" knowledge.
Glad you had such a nice trip to see all the old places and "young" people and found accommodations for your "wheels." Some of the places have memories for me, too.
I went up to Portland and Seattle for nine days - driving -- and was tired when I got home! Cheryl came home with me to help clear out some things but had to return to Portland for a company meeting on September 3rd so we didn't get too much accomplished. Will try again later.
Thanks again for all your wonderful work on The Bulletin ... glad it has continued to keep all updated. I send a copy to Dave and Kathy Pfingsten so they keep up on the Johnson family.
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
Grandparents' Day. I stop short, realizing that THAT is what I am, also. Thanks to Roy for sharing his family with me. He has two married sons, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren. I love getting in on that, too, though we really don't see them very often. I probably look more like a grandmother than I feel.
Oh, that beautiful Butterfly on the Black Eyed Susan was outstanding. On the screen it is so sharp and clear and beautiful. It's so interesting to study all the small and large markings, with colors that blend perfectly. What a magnificent creator we have!
Paul Bunyan. I felt a wave of nostalgia as I saw that picture of this lumberjack that has been a Minnesota idol as long as I can remember. I was glad Don and Dorothy took time to tell us each detail of their trip. What a nice opportunity to just get away! The destination of seeing her brother LeRoy and Vonnie made it worth all the effort. It would have taken careful planning to arrange for handicap facilities. It sounds like all worked like clockwork, so it would have been comfortable and enjoyable for both.
To have seen the Bergeson Gardens would also be a highlight, as well as Fargo and Wahpeton family. Now winter can set in and they can sit and look out the window without wishing they had done this or that before being snowbound. I smiled to read "There is no place like home." There just isn't!
Thanks, Rachel, for sharing your news from Ecuador. Looks like you have a very cozy, accommodating, place there, and a computer can keep you in close touch with home.
I won't go into blueberry picking days in the Silver Bay/Finland area of northern Minnesota, but seeing the vivid blueberries brought back those memories, including flies and mosquitoes and the fear of bears -- also delicious, fresh blueberry pie. We were at the Kuehl's and Carol Sorenson was there. Wish I could find that picture of us.
The Update of Virginia Adair heading home was one we have also looked forward to for weeks and weeks now. What a grand homecoming that will be! The best part is the wheelchair ramp that will be installed. That is a must! Can you just imagine Virginia standing in the middle of the room just looking and looking at HER home?
So, we now have the next chapter of the New York account by Wyatt. It made great reading, and I'm still laughing over the prospect of spending a day looking at various types of sandpaper if it were air conditioned. That was a grueling trip of walking, if you ask me, and not one you would repeat very soon, I'm sure. I hope the grand finale will end on a pleasant note, and not more exhausting, hot days.
Thanks, McKenna, for your Update on the state fair visit. I won't let on to Miss Kitty that you are getting to be such a gifted storyteller. Made me wish we had gone to enjoy the fun fair food, but Roy is not able anymore for that kind of day. We went when we could. I wonder if chocolate covered bacon will ever be repeated?
OH, what a thrill! There were those two people sitting alongside the huge 907 lb. pumpkin, and immediately I recognized them. My very dear and special friend, Kathlyn and Arg. I fully enjoyed time with Kathy and Arg almost too long ago to remember.
That was quite a story about the Alaska State Fair, and the fact that the bees could not make honey enough to even open the booth at the fair, due to the weather. So Alaska is 50 years old this year! That was a clever painted salmon Dot Bardarson did.
We like keeping up with the children as they grow. First their baby picture, and all too soon the first birthday, like Camryn. It goes fast from then on, and even Becky is having a birthday dinner. Looks like Jayce loves his mommy. Donna Mae, is that your plate there with just salad on it? That's no fun at the OCB, where you should load up. Or was that just the first course?
I was quite surprised to learn that it has been six years since The Bulletin started. Can you believe how fast it has grown? It takes constant dedication to keep it as a family paper, without bringing in a lot of things that would change the tempo. I value it for the family news, which is always so clean and wholesome and safe. It would take some editing to keep it at that level. I certainly appreciate being included.
Bruce McCorkell's story on Roosters said it like it was. Pretty interesting how they have this instinct to protect the flock, even in the presence of a hawk.
The Peru Trek was relating the day-five experiences. DAY FIVE -- and they were still walking into nowhere. I am sure that warm water was welcome to those hikers. The more I read, the less I would have chosen such an excursion. Below freezing, rehydrated vegetables, dirty hiking clothes. Now those people are macho!
The Appalachian Trek, which followed, with those pictures of the rocks to have to mount and descend, was almost more than I could take. I had to just skim over it quickly as I was so fearful for them. How did they ever find their way? How did they ever keep the smile that Kyra had? I just can't believe it. It is easier to read the book as there are no pictures to tell it like it really was.
Even so, I can hardly wait for the next chapter of either trek!
Ethan Horne has gotten to be a real boy, or should I say tough soldier! I could hardly recognize him, looking that big. Same with Hunter Holman. It seems like each week he's changing.
I am sure the reason it is so much fun to be grandmother, as the quotation for the day said, is that you can enjoy them, and when they cry, hand them to the mommy.
This is lacking it seems. Lacking some kind of sparkle, but it's my contribution for this week to keep my subscription valid. Thank you once more for The Bulletin that has taken so much time and effort and work and doing and redoing. When we get the finished product it looks like it all went slick and smooth.
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Quotation for the day: The journey not the arrival matters. --T. S. Eliot
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