Thursday, October 30, 2008



We took a Sunday jaunt for a picnic at Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains to the south of Tucson (see photos). Wild turkeys were our guests at lunch! They were a little too friendly to suit our tastes, even trying to eat from our plates! Nonetheless, it was good entertainment. We found out later that a mountain lion was within about one-half mile of us, and was actually killed by forest rangers--because it was following some hikers--while we were in the vicinity! Fortunately, it did not try to join us for lunch!!


Mavis called to say that their visit to Bismarck, with Dad, Marilyn, and Issy, went well. Lila is doing remarkably well, and is fully mobile around the Baptist Home. Good news! Dad's pacemaker battery is good for another five years, until he celebrates his 100th Birthday, Mavis said! That will be a time of major celebration!


The beets were finished about noon on Saturday, and, fortunately, yielded better than expected! Also good news! The harvest dinner with all the workers was on Sunday evening.

It was a bit wet in the fields because of fall rains, which bodes well for completing the fall field work, such as fertilizing.


Ron celebrates is 62nd birthday on Friday while also celebrating Halloween with his grandkids!

Brett had a band concert this week and did several drum solos! He is quite the whiz kid on those drums, we are told! Both Cole and Brett also sang in the choir.


Dara won an award as outstanding staff member at Olympic High School in Bremerton! She was hosted by the school principal at a Rotary Club meeting where her accomplishments were discribed and applauded. Very nice, indeed! CONGRATULATIONS!!


Mat is settling in nicely to retirement, with a trip to Cleveland, OH, accompanied by his good friend, Ron, who had lived in the city for a number of years. They toured ethnic restaurants, and had a grand time. The retirement party on October 10 came off well, but was struck by a serious storm--so some folks could not come. He and Maureen are going to Scottsdale for a meeting in January, associated with Mat's new responsibility as President of the Hospital Foundation Board in Helena, and we hope to have a good visit with them!!

Maureen attended a Leadership Institute in San Jose, CA, and was able to see her good friend (from college), Cam and her 5-year-old very cute daughter. She also met a woman from Fairview whose maiden name was Norby, and who knew all about the Berry's and Lassey's. Maureen is going to another meeting in Washington, DC, in December, and will stop off for a weekend visit with Dione, Saul, and Mollie Grace in Yellow Springs.

Our latest treat was gallery touring yesterday in our neighborhood, thorouthly enjoying lots of magnificent art peices and delightful visit with some of our former neighbors who own one of the galleries!


Bill and Marie

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The photo of Dad and Keith Winter, in which Dad was getting a plaque that recognized him as an original member of the McKenzie County Grazing Association, beginning in 1936. He was on the Grazing Association Board much of that time, and was Director for his part of the pasture most of those years. Keith Winter was the president of the Association when the photo was taken.


I talked to Lila a few days ago just after she had moved to a room (#3422) in St. Alexis Hospital. She was feeling better, but has no idea when she can go back to the Baptist Home. Linda and Charlene came for a visit on Sunday-Tuesday, which she really enjoyed, of course. Cindy, Karen, and Tim have been visiting regularly, as well. The doctors did a procedure to check for infection in her heart valves, with no infection found. Her port for dialysis was infected and had to be removed, but was replaced for the dialysis. She is now on a heavy dose of antibiotics that should knock the infections.


Are leaving for their home in Yuma on election day, after voting, of course. They will be in Bismarck October 26 for some medical tests and to see Lila.


The beets should be out about the time this goes out, assuming no more rain or snow.
They had to stop because of rain during the week. Yields are varying a lot, depending on which field. The Shaide place on top of the hill did pretty well, with good quality beets. They are trying to save all the tops for cattle feed.

All is swell in Tucson!


Bill and Marie

Saturday, October 18, 2008


More photos from Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park above, including the tall Bojum tree (unique and very unusual) and an Australian Eucalyptus (very big tree, 8 feet in diameter and 100 feet tall). This Park is among the most beautiful and unique places in Arizona!


I talked to the nurse taking care of Lila in the Intensive Care Unit where she continued to be as of yesterday. She is retaining a lot of fluid, and her blood pressure is unstable. She continues to fight several kinds of infection, and will probably be in the ICU for another day or more. Then she will be in isolation because of the staph infection. There is great concern that the infection will get in the port used for dialysis--which means the port would have to be removed, and changed, causing problems with dialysis. The hospital phone number is 701-530-7000, but she cannot take calls while she is in the ICU. She has been getting hungary--a good sign!


There was 7 inches of snow last week at Cartwright(!!), causing a four day delay when the harvest was only half over. They were starting again at 8:00 am on Friday, with another 8 days of work to get all the beets out. Will had an emergency appendectomy a few days earlier, so is unable to work. Mavis has been substituting. They have been working 16 hour days, from 4:00 am to 8 pm. Whew! That is some kind of schedule for a month!


Marilyn and Issy went to Minot last week on business, and stopped by the Pizza store (with Julie) where Ashley works, in Williston. She is assistant manager, and is doing very well. The Goebels have some Black Lab puppies that they are really enjoying! Brady has also been working as a restaurant manager in Minneapolis, and is doing well at it. Marilyn and Issy go to Dad's regularly to play cards with hime, something he continues to really enjoy!


Dione says they really enjoy the blog and like keeping up with the family! This is a particularly busy time for them because they take Mollie to her school every day (an hour round-trip), and Dione has taken on some extra tasks where she teaches. She is also continuing to take courses to improve her teaching license status. They are also raising an organic garden that keeps them productively busy on weekends. Mollie is really enjoying her school and has made some great friends that she likes a lot.


Maureen is traveling to San Jose, CA, this week for a Community Leadership Institute, and will visit a long-time friend at Ripon--something she really looks forward to! Mat is enjoying retirement, as of October 10. We have not yet heard what he will do in his spare time!!

We had a nice outing in Scottsdale this last week, with some productive shopping to show for it. As much as we enjoy Tucson, it is always nice to visit a neat place like Scottsdale!


Bill and Marie

Thursday, October 16, 2008


We picnicked today at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, illustrated in the photos above. It is a truly magnificent spot with lots of unique flowering plants, desert cacti, and enormous beautiful trees!


Cindy sent an e-mail today indicating that Lila was back in the hospital as of Tuesday, with several major problems, one requiring surgery to remove infection from her bladder and lungs. She also has the hospital staph infection that she had earlier while in the hospital. Because she is unable to have any anesthetic due to her other conditions, she went through the procedures having to endure the pain. Fortunately, Cindy said she was feeling better today and getting fiesty!


We have been in the Scottsdale area for the last couple of days for shopping and relaxing after having finished the proof reading for FABULOUS JOURNEY--which should be out in book form withing the month! I tried to insert a copy of the cover in the blog but could not get it to work. So, you will have to wait for that until it shows up in published form!


Bill and Marie

Sunday, October 05, 2008


The photos are in Grand Teton National Park--a favorite view from Antelope Flats where we often have gone for picnics with the bison.

Mavis says beet harvest is well underway and will probably last until about October 20. Yields are considerably below average, ranging from 15 to 18.5 tons per acre for the fields finished so far. That is hardly enough to pay for fertilizer ($250 per acre, up from $60 a couple of years ago) and fuel! They have a good crew at work and are moving right along.


Mavis recalled a story today that I had entirely forgotten, but would have included in the memoirs had I remembered. She and the folks rode the train to see us when I was in the U.S. Army in Georgia, when Dione was only six weeks old. The train got mixed up in Chicago, and the rail car they were in got left behind! They had to run down the tracks to catch up with the train and avoid missing their connection to Georgia!


Dad is doing just fine, but is constantly in need of hand written notes to remind him of what he needs to do in his house. Mavis has been going down there in the mornings to take care of Abby when Luke has to leave early. She does dad's laundry and shapes up the house. He continues to be able to do most of his own selfcare chores, as long as it is a regular routine. He goes with Mavis to the fields occasionally, and goes to Sidney on Thursdays for visits with Marilyn and Issy, while Mavis goes to her meeting. Mavis, Marilyn and Issy were at Dad's this afternoon to play cards with him--something he continues to really enjoy.

His long-time friend, Bill Dobias, had an aneurism, and is now in the Lodge home in Sidney, fortunately doing quite well. Mavis and Dad went to see him recently, and also saw several other residents from Cartwright, such as Francis Johnson.


Mat is being celebrated at a retirement party on October 10, when he completes 30 years as a State of Montana employee. He has held a variety of jobs over the years in various parts of State goverment. OUR CONGRATULATIONS TO HIM!!! He is taking a retirement trip to Cleveland with a good friend to celebrate a bit and "unwind!"

Maureen is thankful that she left Fannie Mae before all of the recent troubles with the company--including the government take-over. It is not a happy place anymore.

They have installed solar panels on the roof of their house to heat water that
then heats their house. It seems to be working really well, heating the water to 140 degrees very quickly.

Maureen is going to meetings in early December and will visit Dione, Saul, and Mollie at their new house in Yellow Spring, OH.


We have the page proofs (all 392 pages!) for our memoirs: FABULOUS JOURNEY, and are reading madly to get the corrections done in the next week. We hope to have books by Thanksgiving!