Sunday, November 9, 2008
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Update -- McCorkells visit Suzanne in North Carolina
Larry and I left home on Hallowe'en and returned in time to vote yesterday.
Our first take off wasn't quite successful as my skirt caught in the door and slid down to my ankles sending me into a nosedive ending on the concrete floor of the garage. It was soon evident that I would be going to North Carolina with one very big lip. We quickly put some ice in a ziplock bag and headed out the door ... arriving at the airport well ahead of time.
The lady who checked us onto our flight was dressed as Lady Liberty ... tablet and torch included. It was great entertainment watching the crowds as they came down the concourse. As they spotted her they would do a double take and quickly break out in smiles and grins. One man was so awestruck that he got to the end of the moving walkway and came all the way back to take a picture of her.
Suzanne and Lois met our flight into Greensboro, North Carolina, and we headed to a beautiful lake home that some folks so graciously offered to us for all four nights. We enjoyed a most pleasant time there. Suzanne demonstrated some of the cooking skills that she has acquired since she left home. We also enjoyed eating at authentic Mexican and Chinese restaurants and we had an authentic Italian Pizza.
We went to see the Guilford Courthouse Museum ... the location of a Revolutionary War battle. I politely sat through the movie of the battle and then promptly left in search of something peaceful to take pictures of. Autumn was showing her finest colors while we were there but the day we were out and about the sun decided to hide behind the clouds.
We had an uneventful flight home and arrived in time to cast our vote at the new Blaine Fire Hall before we landed for a long afternoon nap.
UPDATE -- juggling a jack-o'-lantern
We hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween! This was the first Halloween in a couple years that Keith didn't have to work, so we thought it would be fun to head outdoors to see what we could find.
The city of Irvine has been promoting the development of its new Great Park with a giant orange passenger balloon. We heard the city decorated it as a jack-o'-lantern for the holiday. We thought it would be fun check it out and it did not disappoint. While neither of us were brave enough to take a ride, we had a great time photographing it.
Then we took turns "posing" with it. It seems that we started a trend. After one flight, several passengers saw what we were doing and decided to do the same.
UPDATE -- McKenna goes trick or treating
McKenna celebrated her first Hallowe'en with much success. Our "Little Bunny Foo-Foo" made quite the impression on our neighbors. And of course Grandma and Grandpa Ostendorf didn't want to miss out, so they both came over to see how McKenna looked.
We took McKenna trick or treating to four of our neighbors' houses and she seemed to enjoy every minute! We also had a bonfire since it was such a nice, mild evening. This is somewhat of a tradition I started when I first bought our house. The weather was perfect so we enjoyed this opportunity to stay out for a good portion of the night with a couple different sets of neighbors.
A good time was had by all!
Day to Day R
Online Shopping, Red Chair Antiques
I'm sending out a thank you to the folks with the Red Chair Antiques and to The Bulletin for running their pictures, making it possible for me to "shop on-line."
After checking over the pictures carefully, I called and happened to catch my brother, Don. After informing him of the items I was interested in and his quoting me (I'm thinking discounted prices?) the cost involved. I gave my agreement to the ones I liked from the pictures: the Hoosier cabinet, the four press-backed chairs, the yellow chair and the "Beaver" paddle (had to have that for my collection!)
The next day I'd gotten a call from Don, asking if I was sure I wanted the cabinet; I answered that I did and asked why. They had a woman standing in the shop, measuring the piece. When he informed her it was already sold, she left in her fancy car in a big huff! Oops, sorry about that!
Most years we have our woodcutting on Hallowe'en weekend. Don and Patty had made advance plans for that weekend. As they'd had other plans for the previous weekend, it made them unable to join the rest for woodcutting.
They figured as long as they'd planned on coming up anyway, they would come for a visit. Which proved to work out great for me, as they offered to deliver my purchases. They even carried them into the house for me! Believe me, I'll be willing to shop with them again!
Plus, it was fun having them, along with Donna Richards, as our visitors over last weekend. Good eats and good company again -- loved it! We even got in some Scrabble games; it has been ages since I'd played any Scrabble, so I really enjoyed myself.
When Beaver got a look at my purchases, his comment about the cabinet was, "My grandmother would have thrown this out!" Well, that may be so, but I have plans for it!
I figured I'd show you the items sitting in a mess in my office/ living room area now; then when they get their "new home," I'll show you the end results.
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.
It looks like Wyatt's girls -- Rylie, Brooklyn and Camryn Johnson's smiling faces. And if I haven't said so lately, thanks again for all the fun, interesting stories and pictures you get together and produce for each Saturday's Bulletin!
I feel like I should know the subjects of the Guess Who pictures this week, since I was there when the pictures were taken. I believe the scarecrow is my youngest niece (for now), Camryn Johnson.
As for the other picture, at first I thought that was Jackie Onassis peering out through the Frankenstein face. Then I realized I had been thrown off by the sunglasses, and it's actually Brooklynn Johnson. Once I had that piece of the puzzle figured out, it was easy to deduce that the others in the picture were Rylie "Count Chocula" Johnson and, once again, Camryn Johnson. (The fingers are a dead give-away, Camryn!)
Those little darlings are our granddaughters; Camryn by herself and the three are Brooklynn and Rylie in the back and Camryn in the front. (I like her little fingers on each picture.)
Here is my guess for The Bulletin:
Anybody could see that those three cuties are Rylie, Brooklynn (Brook) and Camryn.
I do believe I recognize this group of strange creatures. They are our great grandchildren... The scarecrow busy chasing the bats away is the baby I haven't seen much but hope to become more acquainted with soon -- Camryn Johnson.
In the second group I see Camryn again, down in front ... not sure what she is there but certainly scary looking! The two creatures in back, first the green man with the sunglasses on one pair of eyes, is really Camryn's sister Brook and the Dracula is Rylie, the oldest of the girls (who are Wyatt and Jolene Johnson's daughters) ... and aren't they cute!
I pass on the GUESS pictures this time.
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.
Everywhere we went in those days, we always took the rifle. I’ve often thought about that since. Why? I suppose it was a hold over. We might have to shoot the big, bad animals out there. Of course, if a deer happened to accidentally walk into sight, why, we’d bang him down for sure, so we had meat.
Probably one of the things, among the things that I enjoyed the most when I was young before I could go deer hunting myself and even afterwards when I could tag along, was listening to the deer hunters and their stories in the evenings after the deer hunt. That was really funny. We had a lot of deer hunters. We'd always had six to 15 hunters. We always had a dozen it seemed like and they stayed the whole season. It wasn't just a day or two and they were off. The season was 14 days and they stayed 14 days. We hunted deer and tried to fill out everybody.
In those years there weren’t so many deer either. And there wasn't a season every year, sometimes every other year. Minnesota had a buck law back then too for a while. Those stories were really something, just to listen to their experiences during the day. And of course, there were always those that were playing tricks on one another. It was just fascinating to listen to those yarns.
Then they planned where they were going the next day. Of course, Uncle Walt and my dad helped figure out where they were going. They seemed to always be where the deer were the day before. But it was fun.
The trail continues to wind up through the rain forest on Day Two. The trees are very tall with a lot of moss and other plants growing from them. We hear monkey chatter but do not see any on this day. We arrive at Camp Two around noon...
Later in the afternoon, we hike up adjacent Little Meru and enjoy some very good views of Mount Kilimanjaro about 30 miles away. The mountain is huge with a very broad base. The top sticks out way above the clouds. In about a week we hope to be up there looking back at Meru and the rest of Africa. Our guide points out some golden fields of wheat on one flank of the mountain. Off to another side of Mount Meru he points to a village known for raising crops of the Wildwood Weed variety [marijuana].
We pack up for tomorrow and crawl in early, having been warned that our guide wants us ready to hit the trail for the summit at 2 a.m. The idea is to be up top around sunrise, or shortly after sunrise.
To be continued...
$ A Long Time Ago !
Appalachian Trail Trek: Aftermath 1973
After our visit to Mission Control, we headed straight to Minnesota to visit my parents, Donald and Twila Johnson, who were busy tending the Ashby Laundry and the Treasure Cove antique shop in town. While Kyra visited with her grandparents, Dad had an assignment for me.
Go check out the cranberry marsh, he urged, and see if there are any cranberries this year. It took me a few minutes to process this request ... as in all my growing up years we had all been warned many times that under no circumstances were we ever to set foot in the cranberry marsh. Too dangerous, our parents and grandparents said.
I'd heard stories about this "bottomless" bog that sucked in the unwary and never let go. I vaguely recalled stories of a horse getting mired in quicksand and of a team disappearing forever beneath matted vegetation floating on the dark waters of the bog. The marsh was a scary place and those stern warnings I had never once disobeyed.
The cranberry marsh had produced cranberries abundantly in 1918, just as my father turned 5 years old, while they still lived in town. In the 1930s, the droughts of the "dust bowl" years lowered the water level and trees had grown up to stabilize the vegetation mat and shade the bog. Cranberry vines require sunshine and do not tolerate shade. The vines stopped producing cranberries.
In October 1918, we were out at the farm one nice Sunday afternoon and Ma kept needling Pa to go out on the marsh and see if there were any cranberries. She had heard that people used to pick cranberries there. She finally wore him down and he walked out into the bog on a fallen tree. (There was a big ring of water around it then.) He just kept on walking around on the floating bog and didn't say a word. She kept hollering, "Are there any?" and he never answered.
When he came back to shore, he said, "I guess I'll go to town and hire some cranberry pickers."
The whole bog was solid red with cranberries and it was soon the busiest place in the country. Pa let people (mostly women) pick on shares for half of what they picked and he sold cranberries for 10 cents a quart, 7-1/2 cents a quart if they picked their own. He measured them in one-gallon syrup pails, figuring three quarts to the pail. Pa estimated that they picked 40 bushels and there were still some scattered ones left.
We kids were too young to get out there much. We mostly got tended in town while the women picked. Luckily, it was a late fall and they didn't freeze.
All the rubber hunting boots in town got put into service. The bog was quite wet and every so often a lady would step off the access log and go into water over her knees. Nobody thought of bringing out a couple of planks.
We ate cranberries in every form thought of by man up to that time. That was the bumper year. The next year there were some -- Pa figured about seven bushels -- and once or twice in the 20s there was a pailful or so and then no more until Jerri found a few in October of 1973 when they stopped off on their way home from hiking the Appalachian Trail. --from Donald B. Johnson: An Ample Life.
Every year, my father, who had just turned 60, had checked the marsh for cranberries and found none. He had asked the Cooperative Extension Service for advice and they had suggested burning the marsh. Too risky, he thought. Accidentally setting the surrounding woods on fire could have ended in disaster.
Instead, he had taken his chainsaw out in the winter and cut down many of the trees while the bog was frozen. In addition, he'd gotten a few bags of spoiling cranberries from the grocery store at the end of the season and broadcast them on the part of the marsh where he cut the trees.
Mic and I drove out to the farm and gingerly stepped out onto the more solid parts of the marsh. And there were the cranberries! Not bushels and bushels like the marsh produced in 1918, but we found enough to fill an ice cream pail or two. Some were frozen but others, insulated by thick mats of sphagnum moss, were not. We called my father; he drove his three-wheeler down to the marsh and we all picked cranberries until dark.
The cranberry plants had always been there, all through the previous 50 years, or so, he said ... but the plants he pointed to were sphagnum moss. I showed him the cranberry vines, slender threads with tiny oval leaves that grew on and through the feathery sphagnum moss that supported them. He couldn't say whether the vines had been there all along or not.
My father was thrilled to see cranberries growing in the marsh after such a long absence. He watched our Appalachian Trail slide show and listened to our tales of mountains climbed, streams crossed and a hundred miles of such bogs negotiated in Maine. He seemed duly impressed ... yet I think it was a bigger deal to him that we found cranberries in his bog. It thrilled me, too. In all my 32 years, I had never seen a single cranberry growing in the cranberry marsh until then.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
More November Birthdays
November Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
I have a "thing" about coupons. So, when we were close to the Old Country Buffet Friday, we decided to use their coupon we had gotten in the mail. What a disappointment! It didn't work for the time of day we had gotten there, so we just paid the regular price, seeing we were already there.
As we were glumly eating our dinner, here comes a real day brightener! Cap'n Jack and Virginia with her walker. They had decided to come to the Old Country Buffet, too, and we were so close to being finished that they chose another place to sit rather than with us. At least I think that's why they didn't sit by us. They stood and chatted awhile, though, and we heard more about the ramp, which is such a lifesaver for Virginia.
So as we left, I called to Virginia who was across a short wall telling her, "Miss Hetty is going to hear about this!" I think she said, "Good."
So, if you run short of gossip this week, you can use this.
Betty and Roy Droel
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 was so disappointed in the last issue of the The Bulletin ... disappointed that the Lowther journey is at an end! :-) I have so enjoyed reading of their Appalachian Trail trek. I can't imagine making that kind of journey over so many months. Thanks for sharing your adventures.
I will also mention that one of my favorite things is a baby smile. There is nothing like that toothless grin a baby provides. Alexa Gauderman shows us an excellent example of the smile; it makes me smile back every time I look at it.
I was invited to visit Donna and Beaver last weekend, so I got to see the partially completed room where the whole family gathered on woodcutting weekend. I'm looking forward to spending more time in that splendid room. So great to have a room big enough to hold the whole family and then some. Don and Patty Anderson were there last weekend, too, and were providing excellent decorating ideas for the room. I can hardly wait to see it finished!
I am sorry to repeat myself, but I again congratulate you on the excellent job everyone does on The Bulletin. It is definitely one of the highlights of my week. I'm getting to know your families better than I know my own. Keep up the good work.
We finally have a mailing address and phone number, an internet connection and an e-mail address to use for The Bulletin and general correspondence. We are enjoying being so close to Colette and Tim and Ashley and Erik. Our days have been full and running over with things that have to be done. It is rainy now, and we are grateful the moisture is still in liquid form.
We are really looking forward to receiving The Bulletin again. Hope all is well with you hard-working editors.
Argyle and Kathlyn Anderson
Just wanted to comment on how much I enjoyed Merna's sharing with us; in fact it made me want to go and watch Brandon play! Please let us know how the California game went. Wow, that must have been fun for him!
And, baby Alexa, what a doll! Such a cute smile, adorable!
I remember having a "granny square" poncho; that brought back memories! It was fun seeing another picture of a young Jerrianne, too.
Cute cake for Lori Anderson; in spite of the candles, I could still figure out what it looked like. Grin. Thanks for sharing. Wish I could have joined you for the tacos and Spanish rice, yum!
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
First of all, you have made a very serious, big mistake. You usually don't ever make one, but this time it was so noticeable that even I found it. In the A Long Time Ago, there is a picture of this lady cutting Mic's black hair after the months long trek on the Appalachian Trail. It says it was "ME," meaning Jerrianne, but actually it has got to be KYRA. If that doesn't look exactly like Kyra. I was so shocked and astounded.
Kyra is in the next picture, and you just look for yourself to see if you don't think Kyra is cutting Mic's hair. Look at that skinny waist. Of course, whose wouldn't be after that grueling hike and wild berries to eat? No matter that the "ME" is an older person than Kyra. Who wouldn't age on that kind of trek? So, there! You have my great find of a mistake in The Bulletin. I couldn't wait until I got to that story in my review -- I had to put it first here and get it off my mind.
The first picture looks like a blue eye. What a phenomenon! There would be a lot of interesting surprises if we could see into more of creation. What a great Creator, and look in the mirror to see another miracle.
It hardly seems a whole year ago that we had that story of the gang for woodcutting at the Ashby farm. This one, by Wyatt, sounded like it was a great occasion, as well as some fun, as well as a great meal thrown in, and a lot of fresh air and exercise. I see the new sunroom is already being used. That will be a welcome room all year long, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. The picture of Brooklynn collapsing in exhaustion is probably what all the rest wish they were doing.
That was fun to see Ryan, Jessica and Mikaela and Brandon with the new baby, Alexa. I suppose, being from Nebraska, Mikaela is related to Dorothy Kleeb here in Minneapolis. A very happy looking foursome ... with that special Miss Alexa. She couldn't be happier, either, by the looks of that cute, laughing expression. I see Gramma Morgan has her camera ready at all times, too.
By the way, we haven't seen a picture of Hunter Holman for a while.
With all the children in The Bulletin families, there is always a birthday celebration, and the shooting the balloons was a new game to me. That must have really been fun, and a safe shoot-out for any age.
Looks like Callie lost some front teeth there. Fun football cake, too.
What little girl (or anyone at any age) wouldn't just love to have that kitchen, just their size. McKenna and Tate make a good pair.
The links kept us busy this time. The Bulletin had lots of them, but that is fine as we learn so much by clicking on them, and it adds a 3-D effect to the Updates. The composting in Anchorage looks like a LOT of work, but knowing Jerrianne is "Johnson" blood you can just know she will be busier than most and not afraid of hard work.
Roy and Edith in their prime had a compost pile in the huge back yard. Like snow fence about 10' x 20' that they put all the leaves in. They watered it down and turned it, and then Edith had that beautiful rich result to make her garden one in a thousand. But now there is no longer that kind of garden, and years have taken their toll.
I talked to a lady from Anchorage at a funeral recently, and she was very familiar with the beautification of the city Jerrianne helps with.
What I saw first on the picture of the woodcutting crew eating in the new, unfinished sunroom, was the windows to be washed. Oh, I couldn't imagine washing every single one of those panes. You might just have to get some curtains eventually, ha.
A lot of homes have burned down by chimney fires, so that was quite a story about them in Homesteading Days this time.
The Travelogue about climbing a mountain to get in shape for climbing another one left me bewildered that anyone could and would do that, just for the fun and excitement of hiking up a mountain. Sheldon must have lots of time coming from his work, unless he's retired!! Kjirsten would consider that time with her dad very special. Good they both enjoy something like that the same so they can have a buddy to hike with. Sounds like we will have many more updates on this hiking duo.
The Appalachian Trail Trek has finally come to the final chapters. I have certainly enjoyed them and followed along in minute detail. Mic is quite handsome with his black hair, and rather difficult to imagine him feeling most at home in the solitary life of wilderness hiking. I wonder if even now he isn't seeking out that atmosphere to feed inner desires to once again experience what he felt and described. The foreign dirt path became more home than the real world.
I see Rich and Verlaine are having a 46th anniversary today, and the sister hasn't even gotten a card sent to them.
Lori is 30. I can't even remember back that far. Happy Birthday!
That was quite a surprise to see my sister, Ruth, and Kenny Kitto in The Bulletin. Also their dear and best friends there in Phoenix, Norma and Bob DenHerder. Also, my niece and nephew that I so seldom ever see that I can hardly remember what they look like. My nephew, Clayton, having a 56th birthday. I don't want to hear it. They have a sister, Cathy, that was just diagnosed with some cancer spots and will have a second chemo therapy on Friday.
Bitzi is just too busy to help Doug design the CHUCKLES, so good thing we have some photos to take the place, and this was worth a chuckle -- the blue eyes and front tooth gone was so cute.
I have had much incentive but no energy to write my review. For some reason I had sort of a flu deal, but it didn't last very long. Just left me very tired, so this is all I can do for this time. Thank you so much again for The Bulletin which we ALL look forward to.
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