Thursday, August 31, 2006


Marie saw her Internist today, and got very good news. He said a CT Scan indicated she no longer has inflamation or fluid in her heart and lung cavities, and is therefore over the pericarditis that caused all the recent "challenges." She will remain on three medications until she sees a cardiologist and gets a further recommendation about the continuing need for them. The doctor says she can resume normal activity and should not suffer any effects.

This is all cause for celebration! We are heading to Scottsdale on Labor Day for a proper 72nd birthday celebration on September 5, a shopping excursion to Nordstrom, and some time to enjoy the ambiance of one of our favorite places.

It is a great relief, to say the least, to have Marie back in good health!

Have a good Labor Day!

Bill and Marie

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Susan says she was up at 4:00 AM this morning (August 30) editing her dissertation--because the "reviewer" had it sitting on her desk for two weeks instead of sending it to Susan. Fortunately, given the "quality" of the document she did not have much to do. She is seeing patients on the White Earth Indian Reservation, and enjoying the experience. She went to a "pow wow" a few weeks ago and is meeting with the tribal spiritual advisor sometime soon. He has made referrals to her for individuals who need special evaluation for "halucinations." She finds the diagnostic experience very interesting because of the mix and blending of traditional and acculturated worlds.

Most interesting!



Sounds like Mom and Tim are heading to the farm this weekend to see Grandpa. Boy, I'm so pleased that Mom can travel again. Just got off the phone with her and she sounds terrific! She says she is feeling so much better; her kidneys are even functioning now. She asked the doctor if she could ever get off the dialysis and he told her that even though her kidney is functioning again, if she stopped the dialysis, it would cause problems with her heart. I guess she's lost a lot of weight as well, which we all know is a good thing! I'm just so glad that God hears our prayers and continues to help mom recover!

Terry and I are very busy these days. It is the end of the fiscal year for the BLM. So, as Contracting Officer, I'm busy spending the government's money. Silly - I figured if they haven't spent it by now, they must not really need it, but that is not the way it works in the federal government. It's buy, buy, buy, spend it before they take it back! Drives me nuts! I have three years left before I am eligible for retirement, and I am considering continuing to work for another 5 plus years, but I have my mements when three years seems pretty tempting to retire. On the other hand, I think I would go stir crazy without my job. Terry would love to retire, and may end up having to go out on a disability due to problems with cirulcation in his legs from blood clots, plus arthritis. He has been applying for new positions around Billings, trying to find something that doesn't reuire him to be on his feet all day. It's so hard on his body, and he is not a young man anymore. If he can't find anything. then he'll check into SS disability retirement.

Daughter Michelle is a busy mom and managing the Maurice's store in Miles City. Our oldest grandson, Tristan, just started kindergarten on Monday. And little KayLee, now 2 1/2, started a new day care. They are gorwing like weeds, which means grandma and grandpa are getting older. Yiks! Our son, Ryan, continues to work for Mid Rivers telecommunication in Miles City, where he installs cable, internet, telephone, networks, etc. He has a cute little house, a wide circle of friends, loves to go fishing and still dabbles in the computers. He does have a side business in computer repairs, troubleshooting, building computers, etc., and is very good at it. However, he's decided he likes working outdoors more than sitting behind a computer, so will stay with Mid Rivers. He loves his job and loves being back in his hometown of Miles City. Our Son-In-Law, Gary, also works along side Ryan at Mid Rivers. Nothing like "keeping it in the family."

Happy Labor Day to all!

Charlie Gunther

Monday, August 28, 2006


Health news from Belgium.

It's so good to get all this news from our American relatives directly from the Internet. Over here in the "old country," as Constant and Emily Lassey used to call it, things are going their usual way, except Hedwig is having a painful health problem.

You may know or not that lately I'm having to deal with a "king size" kidney stone. Two attempts to have it pulverized on August 14 and 18 have failed. On August 22, I entered the hospital where they tried to remove it by lithotripsy, which failed as well. I was in the hospital until Friday the 25th while two more pulverizing attempts were made--all in vain. Tomorrow, August 28, I have to return to the hospital for another attempt to pulverize the "b*****rd." Hopefully, this one will be successful and I can consider all this as belonging to my personal history.

The pain has become bearable due to some most effective pain killing meds.

I'll try to keep you informed about my progress!

All the best from Flanders.

Hedwig and Herna


Issy and Marilyn have been busy, running around as usual (retirement is nice!).

We have had a number of outings with our camper. A week ago, we spent the weekend with Julie, Dennis, and Dan (as well as with Dennis' brother Ken and family) at Lewis and
Clark State Park east of Williston. We really enjoyed the Lewis and Clark encampment that was going on while we were there. It gives you a much better idea of what really took place on the original expedition in the area. The encampment even had a dance on Saturday night!

This weekend we are headed for a polkafest in Billings, followed by Sunday in Miles City visiting Issy's daughter Karen, grandaughterKamie, a new great grandson, and other family.

We are looking forward to Susan's commencement when she receives her doctoral degree on October 14. And, we'll go to the confirmation of Ashley (Goebel) and Jennifer (Sandvik) on November 5.

Marilyn and Issy

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Lots of news from Cartwright: Mavis and Ron have been motorcycling, to Deadwood for the end of the motorcycle rally, and yesterday to a smaller rally near home. Luke, Tara, Will and Trista were there as well.

Luke and Tara's little Abbie was baptized at the Zion Lutheran Church in Fairview last Sunday amidst a crowd of grandparents, uncles, aunts, and friends.

The oil well drilling story continues to evolve. Mavis said that 19 wells had been staked in the immediate Cartwright area, with several completions, including Jerry Lassey's place and Vernon Kose's place to the east; several north of Cartwright along the Yellowstone River; several across the river to the west of the ranch; and others in the general vicinity in every direction. They are gradually getting closer to home. It is probably just a matter of time until one or more wells is drilled on the ranch. If not for the shortage of drilling rigs and manpower, there probably would already be at least one well drilled.

Corn harvest is likely to start around September 5, followed by beet harvest on September 27. Both crops are excellent so the harvest should be bountiful! Because of all the equipment, and 12 hour shifts, they need 8 drivers--very hard to come by because of full-employment in the oil fields. Anyone who can drive and wants extra work for three weeks or so can earn at least $14 per hour or $168 per day! That competes with $28 an hour for oil field work, plus bonuses. Too bad I am retired. Sounds like pretty good pay to me. Dad says he will miss the tall corn out in front of his house!

Luke asked Dad if he wanted to mow the grass last week, and got told "The lawn can grow another day," much to Luke's amusement. He did the mowing yesterday instead!

Mavis takes Dad with her to Sidney every Thursday where he is entertained playing cards with Marilyn and Issy while she goes to a "meeting." He said Marilyn fed him a good dinner last Thursday!

Mavis won several ribbons at the Richland County Fair, including a blue ribbon for the heaviest beets! She also got a ribbon for one of her quilts. The Sidney Herald put a picture of the beets on the front page--suggesting they were a sign of an upcoming good harvest!

Good news all around!


Saturday, August 19, 2006


Dione says she thinks the blog is a "nice idea." She is interested in the family dalogue and hopes we keep it going. They "hit the ground running" when they returned to Yellow Springs, after their ND and MT trip. Dione is taking three independent study graduate courses and is trying to complete them before starting other graduate school classes in early September. Saul is back teaching at Antioch/McGregor College, and stays very busy with his administrative duties as well. And, they are both trying to help Mollie end the summer nicely before going back to school.

They went to a place called Ha Ha Pizza with one of Maureen's Fannie Mae vice presidents who was in Yellow Springs working on his Ph.D. in leadership at Antioch/McGregor. He grew up in a foster care home in Dayton, went to a prep school in Connecticut, got a degree from Harvard University, did graduate work at Columbia University, worked on Wall Street, and then got his Fannie Mae job. They thought he was a really nice (and obviously very bright!) guy, who had great things to say about Maureen's work.

What a great story!

Graduation Invitation

Please join us
as we celebrate Susan Welnel’s graduation
and attainment of her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Commencement exercises will be held
Saturday, October fourteenth, two thousand and six
at 12:00 in the afternoon
at the beautiful O’Shaughnessy Auditorium
2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, MN
on the College of St. Catherine’s campus.
Seating is limited. Please RSVP to
if you wish to attend ceremonies.

If you do not wish to attend graduation ceremonies,
a celebration of this accomplishment will be held
at the Holiday Inn Lakeside
1155 Highway 10 East
Detroit Lakes, MN
at7:00 P.M. after formal ceremonies.

A block of rooms have been reserved for this occasion.
If you plan to stay, please reserve your rooms at 218-847-2121.
We look forward to seeing everyone!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Uncle Bill,

I think it is great! Wish I wasn't so busy with work and could participate more! I am hoping to get Jodi and Jenny to send along a few pictures. However, they are both busy also. Don't lose hope . . .maybe life will slow down a bit!

Thanks for all your time in setting this all up.



Hi Bill,

I would appreciate if the blog stays open, and I'm intending to send something for it. But at this very moment I'm having some health problems. Nature treated me with a big kidney stone, and I'm in the hospital every now and then to have it crushed. The first attempt failed, and I'm going to undergo a second one tomorrow or the day after; if still unsuccessful I might have surgery.

The blog is good as it is now, and I like to read news from relatives via that way.

All the best to you and Marie.



Hi all,

Our family reunion is still fresh in my mind, even though it has been almost a month. My kids are still talking about all their cousins and how much fun they had fishing, boating and sitting by the campfire. We all had a wonderful time. It was so nice to see grandpa enjoying himself. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family. Life is all about memory builders. At church on Sunday the sermon was about food having meaning and the first thing I thought about was picking peas from my garden, and the taste brought back memories of Grandma Lassey and picking peas in her garden, and she would let us eat them. Of course we all have special memories of grandpa and grandma and the farm.

I do feel bad that I didn't get to visit with everyone as much as I would have liked to, but I guess that is how it all worked out. I know it is too soon to talk about doing this again next year, or some kind of reunion, but it did sound like everyone would like to make this an annual event.

Good news about Mom--she is off the oxygen as of yesterday. She said she feels free! She looks better than she has looked in a long time. I am amazed at how mnuch fluid she did have, now seeing her without the fluid. She has lost 25 pounds which really seems to have improved her morale. She is now able to wear all the clothes she bought down in Arizona last year. I told her now that she is off the oxygen we can go rummage saling, which she has not been able to do all summer.

The kids go back to school on August 24th, not any too soon for me. They are getting very bored at home, which means they call me at work way too much just to say Mom I'm bored, or can I eat this, or can I have a friend over, or so and so is being mean to me, or so and so won't play with me. Ha, ha, I am sure a few of you can relate or remember those days. Christiopher will start 7th grade, Whitney will be in 4th grade, Sarah in 3rd grade, and Amanda will be in pre-school.

I will write more when I can.



"I hope my achievements in life shall be these--that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, that I will have given help to those who were in need . . .that I will have left the earth a better place for what I've done and who I've been." C. Hoppe

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Dad told me today that lots of oil wells are being drilled around the area, including east of Cartwright and in the cattle reserve, but he has heard nothing about any plans to drill on the ranch. Seems like that should happen pretty soon, given the increasing price of gasoline!

The new John Deere lawn mower is working pretty well, Dad says, and does a good job of keeping the grass in shape around his house. He says it gets him out of the house, and helps him get a little exercise.

Marilyn and Issy were coming by to take him out to Sunday night dinner.


The news from Lila is terrific! She is doing much better, and has been getting outside walking around the complex where she lives. She has a lot more energy than she did before starting dialysis three times a week--now much easier for her than when she started. She filled us in on the activities of all of her five children, and found it much easier to talk than two weeks ago.

A few tidbits about her family: Linda continues to work for the City of Miles City, and could retire but wants to keep working. Dallas has a beauty shop and tanning salon. Charlie has a federal job in Billings, and is getting closer to the time that she can retire if she wants to. Terry continues in the grocery business. Cindy and Don recently went to Minneapolis to visit Don's sister, see some games, go to the Mall of America, and generally had a good time. Tim continues his work with Inland Truck Company, and has an expanded territory to cover, including part of Minnesota. He is going to a BMW motorcyle rally in Red Lodge, MT, and will stop off in Miles City and Billings to see his sisters. Karen continues her work with Aetna Insurance Company, and Tracy continues with his consulting work helping develop businesses.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lazy Weekend

Just another lazy weekend at the Whitney house. Stayed home for 2 weekends in a row! First for the summer. Now we get to start the week off with a clean house and all rested up.We had a BBQ Saturday night for our VB team. We all played frisbee and a good time was had by all.Sunday we started by picking our garden. We have a ton of cucumbers this year. I think we picked the last of our peas but I left the plants in the ground. Hopefully a few more will produce. Dustin and Jamie went shopping for school supplies. Yep, it is right around the corner, and I think mom and son are ready for it to start. We ended our evening watching the hall of fame football game. (Football season is here!)

Shawn and Jamie Whitney
(Dustin and Brett)

Monday, August 07, 2006


Grandpa and Luke are the happy owners of a new 42-inch John Deere lawn mover! Luke installed a new sprinkler system, and replanted the whole yard--so there is lots of healthy grass to keep mowed. Sounds like Dad is having fun with the new toy. He is also enjoying the fresh sweet corn from the adjacent garden.

Unfortunately, water for irrigation is not as abundant as would be preferable this time of year. The Yellowstone is so low that the pumps don't reach the water in some places. Consequently, they are having to transfer water from Dad's end of the farm all the way to the Elletson farm in order to keep the corn and beets growing. In fact, Mavis says the river is so low that they have very little water to float the pontoon boat, and couldn't get to the sandbars where they usually romp and play on Sundays!

The good news: that abundant barley crop is all harvested and deposited in the elevator. And, everybody (including Dad, Mavis, Ron, Marilyn, and Issy) had a great time on Friday at the Richland County Fair and Rodeo!


Friday, August 04, 2006


For those of us who have been following Susan's progress through many years of successful academic endeavor, it is wonderful to learn that she is approaching the end of her journey--with a dissertation almost complete. She is enjoying a rural post-doctoral experience in western Minnesota--working at a diverse array of mental health facilities, including one on the White Earth Indian Reservation. What an experience that must be! She says she "cannot believe how good this feels" to be close to the end of her doctoral studies--something I can identify with even though it was nearly 45 years ago that I went through that! We look forward to helping celebrate when she has the degree in hand!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Dione, Saul and Mollie Greenberg were in Helena for four days hosted by sister Maureen and her husband Mat Rude, at their beautiful mountainside country home. They had a great time, according to all reports. Maureen says "That Mollie, I tell you, is very special!" We think so too!

Dione attended her 30th high school reunion in Belgrade, and thought it was "really nice," although it was a little strange to see people she had not seen in 20 years.

They visited Lana and Kendall Sundheim in Bozeman, and had a chance to admire Lana's beautiful quilts--that Dione thought were "quite wonderful." She thinks Lana has "real talent"--something she may possibly have learned in part from her equally talented mother, Mavis!

They flew back to Yellow Springs on August 2, after enjoying the extensive family visits and tour of North Dakota and Montana.


The William (Age 92!) and Grace (would have been 96) Lassey Clan:

The first daughter: Lila Stewart (73)

Linda (53) and Dallas (52) Wildman

Jodi (30) and Ted (34) Herzog, Ben (11), Gavin (8) and Hope (4)

Jenny (26) Wildman

Charlene (52) and Terry (52) Gunther

Michelle (25) and Gary (26) Hirsch, Tristan (5) and Kaylee (2)

Ryan Gunther (20)

Tim Stewart (40)

Cindy (44) and Don (44) Klym

Christopher (12), Whitney (10), Sarah (8), and Amanda (4)

Karen (49) and Tracy (49) Whitney

Shawn (27) and Jamie (29) Whitney, Dustin (6) and Brett (2)

Nick (25), Aiden (3.5 months)

Melissa (23) and Mark (27) Woyan, Alex (1)

Julie (32) Leatherman, Christopher (9), Carlee (7), Cody (3)

The First Son: Bill (71) and Marie (71) Lassey

Dione (47) and Saul (62) Greenberg

Mollie (9) Greenberg

Maureen (44) and Mat (46) Rude

The Second Daughter: Marilyn (70) and Issy Sackman

Rodney Propp (deceased)

Susan Marie (50) and Harvey (57) Welnel

Becky Kvande (26), Gabriel (Gabe) Kvande (4)

Carol Rae (49) and Scott (45) Sandvik

Brady Berndt (25) and Jennifer (15) Sandvik

Julie Mae (40) and Dennis (41) Goebel

Daniel (23) and Ashley (15)

The Third Daughter: Mavis (57) and Ron (59) Berry

Lana (38) and Kendall (40) Sundheim

Shawn (37) and Tracy (35) Berry

Brett (10), Cole (8), Amber (6), and Dani (2)

Luke (30) Berry (and Tara)

Abbie (One month)

Will (29) Berry (and Trista)