Monthly Archives: June 2022

My daughter, Corrie Petersen is one of the hardest working people I know. Not only does she work full time as a CNA at Wyoming Medical Center, but she is also studying to be a nurse, and still taking care of her husband, Kevin Petersen and spending time with her kids and grandkids. Many people who go through nursing school don’t work, but Corrie has worked throughout her studies. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I’m very proud of her stick-to-it-iveness.

Corrie works very hard to be the very best nursing student/CNA she can. Every opportunity that comes her way to learn new skills that will allow her to better assist the nurses she works with; she is onboard to learn. The nurses she works with, knowing that she is a student, allow her the opportunity to observe procedures whenever possible, giving her the opportunity to learn even more. It is a mutually beneficial situation for both sides, and the patients reap the benefit from this great care. Of course, nurses and doctors are very willing to advance their staff, when the staff is willing to learn…and that is exactly what Corrie is. She is in her element when she is working with her patients. Corrie has had a heart for healing since her grandpa, Al Spencer first got sick. She was one of the family team members for both sets of her grandparents, Al and Collene Spencer and Walt and Joann Schulenberg. We couldn’t have done without Corrie and the other team members we had. After that experience, Corrie knew God’s destiny for her…nursing.

As a CNA, Corrie takes care of patients of all kinds. On the surgical floor, she has adult patients of any age from 19 to 100. These patients come to the hospital for many different reasons. Some need surgery and some don’t need it. In the past 2 months Corrie has learned that I can chart more than I ever knew before. Two of the things she can chart are Q2 turns and how much food the patient eats. I had no idea what that even was, but it is the practice of repositioning a patient to relieve pressure, so the patient doesn’t get bed sores. She is also learning to assist the charge nurse with administrative work. In the next few months, she will be certified in removing Foley catheters, taking U/As from a catheter, performing EKGs, removing IVs, and changing ostomy bags. At that point, she will move from being a CNA to being a PCA (Personal Care Assistant). All of her training will make her a better nurse when she graduates…such an exciting future. I am very proud of her for all her hard work. Today is Corrie’s birthday. Happy birthday Corrie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My husband, Bob Schulenberg’s grandmother, Nettie Knox was a sweet woman. She really didn’t like drama, but rather preferred that life would flow along like a peaceful river. Grandma had a houseful of plants, including a Christmas Cactus that took up about a fourth of her small living room. I guess it was a good thing that it was just Grandma and Grandpa sitting in there most of the time. They lived on the same country property as Bob’s parents, so most of the visiting took place at the bigger family home of my in-laws. The living situation worked out very well. Grandpa had his tons of books, and he read them all at the same time…oddly enough. Grandma had her plants and her cooking.

Grandma and my oldest daughter, Corrie Petersen share a birthday. I know that there are people who wouldn’t like that, because they want their child to have their own day, but for Grandma and Corrie, it was just the opposite. They loved that they shared a birthday. It was their special bond. Their birthday parties were always together, and they always took together birthday pictures. They were birthday twins, and they loved it. Corrie had her birthday twin with her for the first 15 years of her life, and she considered it to be very sad when that first birthday without her birthday twin came along. It felt a little empty, and definitely sad.

Grandma Knox left us on July 29, 1990, almost 32 years ago now. That is such a strange thought, because it seems like just yesterday that she and “little” Corrie were posing for their special picture. Grandma has lived on for five years after Granda went to Heaven, and while she wanted to stay with us, she also wanted to go home to Heaven. She was tired, and she wanted to be with Grandpa, so on July 29, 1990, she went home. I know she and Grandpa are having a great time celebrating her day today. Grandma, your special little birthday twin still misses you every day. Today, Grandma would be 114 years old. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandma Knox. We all love and miss you very much.

Our space program has gone through many changes over the years. There have been accidents, losses, victories, and amazing strides in both exploration and the vehicles we use to take these trips. One of the biggest goals was to have a space station so that men and women could live and work in space indefinitely…or at least for long periods of time. On June 29, 1995, the American space shuttle Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir. This docking formed the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth…at that time, anyway. We all know that records are meant to be broken.

For a number of years, Russia and the United States had been rivals when it came to the Space Race…as well as many other things, so this joint venture was a really big deal. It was not only about the two rivals working in cooperation together, but it was also the 100th human space mission in American history. It was such a big deal, in fact, that Daniel Goldin, chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), called it the beginning of “a new era of friendship and cooperation” between the United States and Russia. The docking was also a big deal to people everywhere, with millions of viewers watching on television, Atlantis blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in eastern Florida on June 27, 1995.

Just after 6am on June 29, the very excited seven-member crew prepared Atlantis for docking with Mir, as both crafts orbited the Earth some 245 miles above Central Asia, near the Russian-Mongolian border. The moment they spotted the shuttle, the three cosmonauts on Mir began to broadcast Russian folk songs to Atlantis to welcome them. The party was about to begin. Over the next two hours, the shuttle’s commander, Robert “Hoot” Gibson expertly maneuvered his craft towards the space station. This was no easy task. In order to make the docking, Gibson had to steer the 100-ton shuttle to within three inches of Mir at a closing rate of no more than one foot every 10 seconds. Now, I don’t know how fast that would be in miles per hour measurement, but I think these crafts could certainly be damaged by the impact. Precision was key.

Well, the docking went perfectly that day, and by 8am it was completed, and just two seconds off the targeted arrival time, while using 200 pounds less fuel than had been anticipated. Now, that’s what I call success. When docked, Atlantis and the 123-ton Mir formed the largest spacecraft ever in orbit at that time. It was only the second time ships from two countries had linked up in space; the first was in June 1975, when an American Apollo capsule and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft briefly joined in orbit.

Once the docking was completed, Gibson and Mir’s commander, Vladimir Dezhurov, greeted each other by clasping hands in a victorious celebration of the historic moment. A formal exchange of gifts followed, with the Atlantis crew bringing chocolate, fruit, and flowers and the Mir cosmonauts offering traditional Russian welcoming gifts of bread and salt. After the party, Atlantis remained docked with Mir for five days before returning to Earth. They left two fresh Russian cosmonauts behind on the space station and took the three veteran Mir crew members home in the shuttle. The returning crew members included two Russians and Norman Thagard, a US astronaut who rode a Russian rocket to the space station in mid-March 1995 and spent over 100 days in space. This was a United States endurance record…at that time, anyway. This was a great alliance, especially between two former rivals. NASA’s Shuttle-Mir program continued for 11 missions and was a crucial step towards the construction of the International Space Station, which is now in orbit, and is the current largest space craft.

My grandnephew, Topher, who I understand goes by Chris with most of his friends these days, is getting ready to start his senior year in high school this coming year. His first job, at the Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum is behind him now, and he recently started working at Ace Hardware, where his mom, my niece, Andrea Beach also works. He really likes his new job. The job he had at the museum was a great first job, but it was time for a change.

Topher is saving money for school and a car. He is thinking of studying Phlebotomy at Casper College. He hasn’t decided if he will go further, or if this will be a stand-alone career. I know that with that type of skill under his belt, he could get hired at any hospital. There is always the need for an IV or bloodwork, so Phlebotomists are always in demand. It looks like Phlebotomy is a one to two semester course, so Topher could be working quickly. While I don’t think this is a job I would enjoy doing, it is one that is in demand, so kudos to Topher for making that move.

Topher and his mom and grandma, my sister Caryl Reed are currently in the Black Hills for their third annual three generation summer trip. They had intended to take their trip to Yellowstone National Park this year, because they have gone to the Black Hills for the past two trips, but as we all know, Yellowstone had major flooding a week ago, and the northern part of the park is closed. That was such a bummer for them, as well as for many people all over the nation, and possibly beyond. They had planned to stay in Cooke City, Montana, and that is right up there in the bad flooding area. For them, there is always next year, but many people who had to travel a long distance, just to be evacuated, this was once in a lifetime, and will be difficult to duplicate. Still, there is no sense in going up there, just to find out that you can’t see most of the park. I’m sorry it worked out that way, but I’m glad they weren’t there when it happened…and I know they will have a great time in the Black Hills. Today is Topher’s birthday. Happy birthday Topher!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My husband, Bob Schulenberg’s uncle, Butch Hein served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. In all the years I have known him, and like most other veterans, Butch never talked about his time during that war. I don’t know where he spent his service years, but the main thing is that he made it home. Once home, Butch began to live the rest of his life.

He married the love of his life, Bonnie Wertz, and together they began planning their future lives. Bonnie soon became pregnant with their first child, and on November 5, 1969, their son, Scott was born. Life was perfect…for a time, but unfortunately it would not stay that way for long. While pregnant with their daughter, Crista, Bonnie was diagnosed with cancer. Like most mom’s she tried to wait it out, so she could give their daughter life, but in the end, both were lost. Butch’s heart was broken, and while he tried to move on with his life, and succeeded with his son, he really was never happy in a relationship again. Bonnie was his forever love. Nevertheless, Butch is very happy with his son. They are best friends and business partners in the ranching business they own together.

Scott grew up and married Terri Wiederrick. They now have three grown children, Laura, Carson, and Lindsey. Butch’s life has made a wonderful turnaround. Having these three grandchildren has been the highlight of his life. Scott built his house on the same property as his dad, so for much of the kids’ lives, they were right beside their grandpa. It was one of the greatest gifts Scott and Terri could have given his dad. Butch has been able to be a big part of his grandchildren’s lives, and they all love him very much.

Now that they are grown, the grandchildren are moving on with their lives. Laura is a teacher and lives a few hours away, Carson is working on a ranch in the area, and Lindsey is away at college. I think the empty nest syndrome might apply not only to their parents, but to their grandpa as well. That happens when the grandparents are very close. It happened to me when my own grandchildren became adults, and while we are still close, it is more from a distance these days. I have a feeling Butch is finding himself in the same place. Happy, but a little sad too. Today is Butch’s 77th birthday. Happy birthday Butch. Have a great day!! We love you!!

In a city, there are sometimes people who become the influencers of the community. These people are the ones who shape the city into what it is today. These people are considered the “pillars of the community” and are well liked and respected. Many of the city’s most influential people have streets, parks, and even buildings named after them to honor them.

In Casper, Wyoming, where I live, that “pillar of the community” was a man from Iowa named Samuel W Conwell. Conwell was that “man about town” socialite who was well liked and respected. He really cared about his adopted community, and he helped to shape it into the city it is today. The people of Casper totally agreed that Samuel W Conwell was an amazing influencer in Casper, so they named a 19-block street after him. Conwell Street begins at the East 1st Street intersection where Conwell Park is located. Conwell was born on June 26, 1866, in Iowa, the Hawkeye State, but he moved to Casper around 1895 and immediately began to make his mark on our little town. Over the next four decades, he worked at a number of jobs, including as cashier at the Richards and Cunningham Bank and the Casper National Bank, and later he was the Secretary-Treasurer for the Nicolaysen Lumber Company. Samuel Conwell was a man who wore several hats in his life. He was also an early Casper Fireman.

Some of his other notable milestones achieved while living in and influencing the growth and progress of Casper include serving on high school and district school boards for three decades and helping to build the high school (now known as Natrona County High School, as well as shaping Casper’s educational progress during his time on those boards. Conwell was a county commissioner from 1911-1914. In addition to being a fireman Conwell helped organize the Casper Volunteer Fire Department and then served as its Chief, too. He was the past president of the Casper Chamber of Commerce, and also served as chairman of its traffic committee. In 1921, he was appointed by Governor Carey to the State Highway Commission, where he served the rest of his life. His many contributions to our community, definitely earned him the honors he was later given.

After a long illness, Samuel Conwell died at his home on 241 West 9th Street, on January 31, 1933, at the age of 66. Conwell Street and Conwell Park were not names given randomly by the developer who was just trying to come up with the names, but rather they are names given to represent a pillar of the community, and a man whose spirit lives on in the city.

On June 24, 2022, my nephew Garrett Stevens and his wife, Kayla were blessed with their second beautiful daughter, Maya June Stevens. Maya joins big sister, Elliott Stevens, who is so excited about having a little sister…and now they are four…just like that. Maya arrived by Cesarian Section at 8:00am at the Sheridan Community Hospital. She weighs 7 pounds 11 ounces, and she is 20 inches long. While her big sister has blonde hair, like her daddy did; it looks like Maya might have brown hair like her mommy…and it’s a little thicker on top, which is common with darker hair. Elliott’s hair started to show its curls around the time she was 5 or 6 months old, so we will see if Maya gets those same beautiful curls.

While Kayla and Maya needed to stay in the hospital for a day or so, and Garrett stayed with them, Elliott is back at home, for a while anyway, with her grandparents. That means that Garrett and Kayla have some alone time with Maya. I think that might be a good thing, because Elliott is sure that Maya is her baby!! She wants to hold her all the time when she is with her. I think that Garrett and Kayla may have a fight on their hands for a while…not a real fight, of course, but at least until the newness wears off, Elliott may want to hold “her baby” all the time.

Maya is such a sweet little baby. She doesn’t fuss very much, and she is fine with being passed from person to person, including her big sister. She rather enjoys all the attention, which is very nice for all concerned. She loves her big sister, and especially likes it when Elliott sings to her. Elliott has been singing her the ABCs song and Baa Baa Blac Sheep. I know that Elliott is going to be a great “Mommy’s Helper” because she is already so comforting to Maya, and Maya has been born with a best friend right there. These girls are going to be so close, and I can’t wait to watch their friendship grow. Maya will be one very blessed with such a great big sister, as well as her wonderful parents. We are so happy you have arrived sweet Maya June. You are an absolutely beautiful baby girl, and we are all very blessed that you have joined our family. We love you so much already.

My grandson, Caalab Royce has been making a few changes in himself lately. Most people have a tendency to let life get in the way of taking care of ourselves sometimes. It’s easy to do. Caalab has decided to get back in shape, so he’s been working out and getting buff. His sister, Shai Royce says he looks like he’s 19 again. I’m not sure if he would call that a compliment or not. Guys his age don’t want to look younger, hahaha!! Being an exercise enthusiast myself, I think he looks great. Caalab has always been a bit like me when it comes to our love of the outdoors and long walks. When he moved to Washington state with his family, though, he got to where he could outwalk me by quite a way. I was amazed at how far he walked. We both love being able to get out in nature and walk, while enjoying the beautiful scenes around us. Of course, these days, I think I have more time for it than Caalab does. Retirement does that.

Caalab and his dad, Travis Royce have long been playing guitar together. They don’t play professionally, and you can call me biased, but I think they are really very good. These days, Caalab and Travis and a couple of friends get together every Wednesday for band practice. It is really fun to sit in the “audience” during practice sessions. It’s always nice to have that talent in your own family.

With Caalab turning 25 years old, Amy and Travis are taking him to Vegas with their friends Burt and Amy and their kids. It’s going to be a great time. Caalab went to Vegas when he was 21, and they all enjoy going, so it will be fun to go again. They have been planning this for a while now, but Covid stopped it until now. They tend to do well on the slots, so I hope they will win and have a great time. Of course, there is lots to do in Vegas, besides gambling, so I know they will have plenty to do.

Caalab has always been such a happy kid. Always full of smiles, and mischief. He loves a good joke and never forgets the punchline. He is a teaser from way back, something his sister had to learn to accept, and finally agree was funny. Caalab loved being the “funny man” and never missed a chance to make people laugh. He has grown to be a wonderful man, but sometimes I miss the little boy he was, and since he lives far away from me, I miss having him around too. Today is Caalab’s 25th birthday. Happy birthday Caalab!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Seventy-five years ago, people began seeing and having an interest in seeing Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). A place called Roswell, New Mexico became famous for UFO sightings, and the Air Force found itself denying any sightings. People who saw the UFOs maintained that they “know what they saw!” Roswell, New Mexico is located near the Pecos River in the southeastern part of the state. Roswell became a magnet for UFO believers due to the strange events of early July 1947, when ranch foreman W.W. Brazel found a strange, shiny material scattered over some of his land. It was like nothing he or anyone else had ever seen before.

I’m not one to believe in UFOs, but I must admit that these were unusual sightings. Public interest in Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, began to flourish in the 1940s, when developments in space travel and the dawn of the atomic age caused many Americans to turn their attention to the skies. Brazel turned the material over to the sheriff, who passed it on to authorities at the nearby Air Force base. Not unexpectedly, the Air Force officials announced they had recovered the wreckage of a “flying disk.” A local newspaper put the story on its front page, launching Roswell into the spotlight of the public’s UFO fascination. I’m sure the newspaper was beyond excited to get the story, because a good story is great for selling newspapers…especially when it is unbelievable.

Of course, in typical government style, the Air Force took back their story, saying the debris had been merely a downed weather balloon. After that, the general public lost interest in the UFO, except for the die-hard UFO believers, nicknamed “ufologists.” With that, the “Roswell Incident” faded into oblivion…until the late 1970s. Then, claims surfaced that the military had invented the weather balloon story as a cover-up. Of course, these would be considered the conspiracy theorists of their day. Believers in this theory insisted that officials had retrieved several alien bodies from the crashed spacecraft, which were now stored in the mysterious Area 51 installation in Nevada. Now, the Air Force had clean-up to do. Seeking to dispel these suspicions, the Air Force issued a 1,000-page report in 1994 stating that “the crashed object was actually a high-altitude weather balloon launched from a nearby missile test-site as part of a classified experiment aimed at monitoring the atmosphere in order to detect Soviet nuclear tests.” Then on June 24, 1997, US Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.

Many people have heard this story, of course, and Area 51 remains a mystery to many people to this day. Most think that the whole thing was a hoax or a weather balloon, but now…suddenly, NASA has decided to take up the study of UFOs…seriously!! See, that, to me, seems more like a conspiracy theory or at the very least a way to take our minds off of other events going on in our world today, than it is a legitimate search for UFOs or anything else. According to a story by The Sun, on May 27, 2022, “NASA has reportedly confirmed it will officially join the hunt for UFOs after a groundbreaking UAP Congress hearing earlier this month. Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) and official sightings were recently discussed at a public US Congress hearing on May 17. Nasa had previously said it “does not actively search for” or research UAPs.” What a way to spend our money…and why now, after all these years.

In the final years of World War II, both the Allied and Axis Powers knew that there was no chance of defeating Hitler without cracking his grasp on Western Europe, and both sides knew that Northern France was the obvious target for an amphibious assault. Hitler’s army seemed to be everywhere. That said, the Allied forces knew they had to come up with a way to “fool” the leader of the Third Reich. Hitler arrogantly thought that he knew what the Allied forces were planning, and that was the best way to create his downfall. The German high command assumed the Allies would cross from England to France at the narrowest part of the channel and land at Pas-de-Calais. The Allies used that to their advantage and decided on the beaches of Normandy…some 200 miles to the west. The beaches of Normandy could be taken as they were, but if the Germans added to their defense by moving their reserve infantry and panzers to Normandy from their garrison in the Pas-de-Calais region, the invasion would be a disaster.

In what would become an ingenious plan, the Allied intelligence services created two fake armies to keep the Germans on their toes. One would wonder how they proposed to pull that off. The Allies created two “Ghost Armies.” One would be based in Scotland to create a supposed invasion of Norway and the other headquartered in southeast England to threaten the Pas-de-Calais. While the operation in Scotland relied mainly on fake radio traffic and the feeding of false information to double agents to create the impression of a substantial army, the southern “Ghost Army” had to seem much more real. The fortitude South was well within the range of prying German ears and eyes, so fake chatter alone would be uncovered too quickly. It had to look and sound like a substantial army was building up in southeast England. They needed boots on the ground there, without actually using too much of their precious manpower. That seems like a monumental task.

Enter George and his imaginary men. Patton was put in charge of leading a fake army, commonly known as the “Ghost Army” as part of a massive counterintelligence operation preceding D-Day. The “Ghost Army” was an army of inflatable tanks, rubber airplanes, and fake radio signals designed to trick the German army. The mission was insanely successful. The “Ghost Army” was a United States Army tactical deception unit used during World War II officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. The 1100-man unit was given a unique mission within the Allied Army. Their orders…impersonate other Allied Army units to deceive the enemy. It was simple, but it wouldn’t be easy.

By the evening of June 6, 1944, in what would become known as D-Day, the First Army landed at Normandy. The battle was on, and without the extra troops Hitler might have sent if he wasn’t misled so completely. By June 23, 1945, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops was on its way home after having served with four US armies through England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. During their tenure, they put on what many would call a “traveling road show” utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts, and pretense. They staged more than 20 battlefield deceptions, often operating very close to the front lines. While their missions and their work were amazing, their story was kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, until it was declassified in 1996.

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