Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Hope you are all traveling well or are back in New Orleans by now. Just wanted to let you know that Mollie has gotten a scholarship for $8040 to an excellent private school. She will receive this much each year for at least middle school (6th, 7th & 8th grades), so as long as she keeps her grades up the scholarship is actually about $24,000! We don't know yet whether this extends through high school, but we are really happy that she can attend this school for middle school. The annual tuition is $16,000 a year, so we have to come up with the other half, but we are thinking we can probably do that. The school is the Dayton area's only college preparatory school and most of the students get good college scholarships. They have the highest SAT scores in the area, but that aside, the teachers treat the students well, there are a lot of hands-on experiential learning activities, and Mollie will get academic challenge mixed with personal attention. One of the girls here in town who baby sat Mollie and taught a theater class she took - went to this school - and is headed to Yale for her PhD. We are very excited for Mollie!! Let us know how your trip is going and keep us posted as to when you arrive in Tucson. Best to Derek! Take care, Love, Dione

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


We are back in Tucson, living in a very nice rented condominium close to our house and the neighborhood that we enjoy. Our house is leased so we did not have the option of returning there at the moment. Our move went smoothly, and most things are now in place except for the overflow of items that were formerly in our garage; we have only a carport, so will store the extra stuff in the garage at the house.

We had a great visit with Marie's neice, Sheila (see photo with Marie), and her husband Chuck, in Tallahassee, FL, after they drove to meet us from their home in South Carolina. Derek met us in New Orleans and drove us to Tucson--to minimize the risk of another illness episode along the way across the Southwest--with stops in several places such as Mesilla, NM (see photo of Derek with Billie the Kid historic sign)--a very old and interesting town that was the first capitol of New Mexico. We showed Derek a bit of Tucson (photo of the Derek at the pool of the historic Arizona Inn). The last photo is of our new back yard, with gorgeous views of the desert and mountains. It is quiet and relaxing, much to our pleasure!

I saw my Internist yesterday, and basically got a "clean" bill of health, although he wants me to see a neurologist here to pinpoint the problem that put me in the hospital in Ormand Beach and St. Augustine, FL. I have had no problems since St. Augustine, so am optimistic that the two episodes were not indicators of an on-going serious illness.

We were delighted to learn that Mollie won an $8000 scholarship so she can attend an excellent private school near Yellow Springs. She was one of only two students in the entire Middle School to win a scholarship, and had to compete vigorously to be successful. The school will enable her to advance much more quickly than would be possible in a public school.


Bill and Marie

Monday, March 24, 2008

Maureen's Job Change

After almost 8 years with Fannie Mae, I resigned, and Friday the 21st was my last day! Tired of all the time spent outside of Montana and wanted to get back to working in the state. I had a great experience at Fannie Mae--I got to telecommute for the last two years and work on a big national project. But, it was wearing me out and keeping me from seeing family, friends, and doing some of the things I wanted to do. So, I am going to work for a non-profit housing organization here in Montana and getting "back to my roots". I actually was on the committee that put this nonprofit together, was on the first board as Vice President, and then was President. I am looking forward to starting there on the 31st of March. The organization is called the Montana Homeownership Network. For any of you interested, the website is .

The other big change we will have this year is that Mat will be retiring from the State of Montana in October with 30 years of service. I can't believe I am old enough to be married to someone with 30 years of service! :) He is looking forward to doing something completely different, although he is not yet sure what that will be.

Hope everyone is doing well!


Monday, March 03, 2008


Though belated, we want to join in congratulating Bill, Sr. on his 94th Birthday. Keep on walking Bill! The 100 is within reach, and... it shouldn't stop there !

We were also glad to learn that William, Jr. is better and that he's able to travel back home.

Sugar beet growing is dwindling here too. There used to be several sugar factories around here, but one after another is closing and contracts with farmers are on very low level. The reason for that seems to be a world-wide agreement with developing countries to reduce beet sugar in favor of cane sugar which is produced overseas only. Farmers here are encouraged to grow crops which can be used for the production of bio-diesel.
Imagine trucks and cars passing by, all smelling like french fries ???

We here are well and getting ready for Spring, still wondering where Winter has been this year.

Stay well all over there.

All the best from Belgium.

Hedwig and Herna