This has been an interesting year for my nephew, Steve Moore. Steve enjoys doing things with his hands, and on March 5, 2021, he managed to get twisted up in the lathe. It happened to be the same day his father-in-law, LJ Cook was having back surgery, and the day his uncle, Ron Schulenberg was visiting, so thankfully there was someone there to help. things could have turned out much worse for Steve, but he got out of it just in time before it did more damage. Steve had to go through occupational therapy to repair the torn muscles. His hand will take a while to get back to where it was, but he has his hand and the use of it, and that is a huge blessing.
Steve was still recovering, when his company held their “late” Christmas party (lots of late Christmas parties this past year). They had decided to go to a place in Cody (Steve lives in Powell, Wyoming) called Cody Firearms Experience. Apparently they couldn’t have picked a better place, because everyone thought this place was very cool. Cody Firearms Experience offers practice ranges for shooting any gun, and they would have had Steve at that point for sure, but you can throw axes/tomahawks!! They give lessons, if you need them. Steve and his wife, my niece, Machelle Moore went back a couple times and that’s all it took. Steve is hooked. Steve and Machelle love to go camping, and so tomahawk throwing has become a part of the camping experience. He has gotten really good by practicing at camp and in their back yard.
In a normal year, Steve can be found helping his father-in-law and anyone else who needs help, cutting firewood, or just about whatever else is needed, but right now, he can’t stand any vibration on his hand. He even has a hard time running the weed eater, but he does get that done in their yard. That said, he had to take the summer off from trying to help his father-in-law get firewood for the winter. LJ found a guy that brought him some wood for the winter. It was already cut and split, so that was nice. Steve plans to work hard this winter to get his had back in shape for next summer. He is hoping he will be confident enough next summer to run the chainsaw. The chainsaw takes strength and hand control, so time will tell.
In the meantime, Steve has picked up the new hobby of throwing knives and tomahawks. His boys, Weston and Easton Moore love it too. It has been something that is a lot of fun for Steve and the boys to “bond” over. Then his work supervisor had a buddy that supplied them with some wood to throw in. They made some really nice targets. Since Weston lives in Butte, Montana now, Easton has had more time throwing, because he still lives at home. Steve even got the neighbor into throwing tomahawks. Then the neighbor brought over old kitchen knives to try. That didn’t work too well. They all ended up breaking. I guess kitchen knives weren’t designed for throwing at a wooden target. Steve ordered the good knives, and now they have knives to throw that don’t break. They are made of muck heavier metal. The tomahawks they used are hand forged, hand made out of Ohio…which prompted me to suggest that Steve needs a forge of his own. Machelle likes the idea, so I expect to see that going on in the future.
Steve and his family have been hiking in the Big Horn Mountains for twenty years, and going part way up one hill most of that time. They just love the area. This summer they hiked up higher up the hill than they had ever gone before and came across a replica (similar anyway) to the famous “Medicine Wheel” that is up there. They really like the are, because of the dark red dirt. They were hiking a different route, and ended up going to the top on the back side. As they were headed back to the truck, they found this wheel. When they got out the compass, they found that, sure enough, the lines are exact north, south, east and west. They felt like they had found a real gem. Steve and Machelle love being out in the mountains, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they find the other wheels they have heard are out there. Today is Steve’s birthday. Happy birthday Steve!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Recently, I ran across an article about drug use in among the Nazi regime. The article really caught my attention, because in many ways drug use among the Nazis made sense. The things they did to people would have been much easier if they were under the influence of drugs…mostly because they would be less likely to remember what they had done, and if they remembered, they would be less likely to care about what they had done. Drugs tend to dull the senses, and in many cases that makes the person relaxed and calm, but there are some drugs that make the person violent too. The article started out saying, “‘You can learn a lot about a culture from its drug use.’ Robert McAlmon, an American author living in Berlin during the tumultuous Weimar years, marveled that ‘dope, mostly cocaine, was to be had in profusion’ at ‘dreary night clubs’ where ‘poverty-stricken boys and girls of good German families sold it, and took it.’”
Over the years, a number of drugs have been banned, due to the danger of their use, the reactions of those taking them, or just that they are now deemed illegal. Cocaine was banned in 1924, but that has not really stopped it’s use. Like most drugs, if there is a “market” for it, someone will find a way to get the drug to the “customer.” Meth has become so easy to make and uses common (but poisonous) ingredients, so it has become the drug of choice for many drug addicts today. Some prescription drugs are addictive, and have become a part of the drug trafficking world too. Drugs like Opioids and Morphine are fairly easy to obtain from a doctor, because they hare used for many injuries and common ailments. Then they become addicted, and when they can no longer get a prescription for those drugs, they move on to illegal drugs.
Strangely, when the Nazis rose to power, illegal drug consumption actually fell. The Nazis regarded drugs as “toxic” to the German body. Drug users were given prison sentences, and addicts were classed…along with Jews, gypsies and homosexuals…as undesirable social elements. By the end of the 1930s, the Nazi pharmaceutical companies had turned away from opioids and cocaine, and moved towards synthetic stimulants. These could be produced entirely within Germany, per Nazi directive, of course. More money in the pocket of Hitler’s regime. “The transition from cabaret cocaine to over-the-counter meth helped fuel what German journalist Norman Ohler in his new book Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich calls the ‘developing performance society’ of the early Nazi era, and primed Germany for the war to come.”
I’m sure that the Third Reich, while calling it “developing performance society,” knew that the the use of these drugs was going to make the people taking the drugs more compliant to the government. Once a person is addicted to a drug, many will do anything to get a “fix,” including theft, robbery, breaking and entering, selling themselves, and even begging to get more. In 1937, the German pharmaceutical company called Temmler-Werke introduced Pervitin, which was a methamphetamine-based stimulant. The formula was developed by Dr Fritz Hauschild. He went on to pioneer East Germany’s sports doping program. Within a few months, this variant of crystal meth was available without a prescription, and was even sold in boxed chocolates. It was also widely adopted by people from all walks of life to elevate mood, control weight gain, and increase productivity. Pervitin’s success as an over-the-counter “wonder drug” caused a rebound in the country’s economic status after the war. The country came out of an economic depression to nearly full employment. Marketing for Pervitin claimed it would help “integrate shirkers, malingerers, defeatists, and whiners” into the rapidly expanding workforce. Students took it to cram for exams, while housewives took it to stave off depression. Pervitin use was so common that it became a normal part of life in the early Third Reich. For the military personnel of Hitler’s army, the chemical was a great weapon to fight the so-called “war on exhaustion.” The troops started relying on the “tank chocolate” to keep them alert for days on end. Before long, Nazi medical officials became increasingly aware of Pervitin’s risk factor. The tests performed on soldiers found that critical thinking skills declined the longer they stayed awake, even if the short-term gains were appealing enough. Even after drug sales to the general public were restricted in April 1940, the German Army High Command issued the so-called “stimulant decree,” ordering Temmler to produce 35 million tablets for military use. Of course, we know now that methamphetamine use is not only dangerous, but often deadly. The addictive effects alone can ruin lives. I don’t suppose Hitler cared much about that, as long as his troops obeyed his commands. I wonder how many men lost their lives because of the drug.
Life isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always go the way we thought it would go. Even spending many good years together, doesn’t guaranty that we will have many more. For Pearl Hein, who loved her husband Eddie Hein so much, the end came far too soon, but in a loving marriage, the end always comes too soon. No matter how many years you have been together. Then, it is up to the one left behind, to go forward, because their spouse would want them to continue living. Such was the case with Eddie. He wanted Pearl to live on.
Since Eddie’s passing, Pearl has done a little traveling. With her daughter, Kim Arani and her husband, Michael living in Texas, Pearl has become a bit of a traveler…maybe not a world traveler, but a traveler nevertheless. I have been very happy that Pearl is spending time with Kim and Michael in Texas and their place in Florida. She really needed the time away from the cold weather in Forsyth, Montana where she lives, and after losing her son, Kim’s brother, Larry Hein too…just three months after his dad, things have been very sad for Pearl over the past
I know she had a lovely time visiting Kim and Michael, and I am so happy for them all. They needed The time together so they could begin to heal. One of the best ways to heal after a loss is to take the time to share the memories of the past. I’m sure Kim and Pearl did a lot of reminiscing during Pearl’s visit, and I’m sure it was a great healing process. I know that Eddie and Larry would both be very glad Pearl went to Texas. I know it was hard for her to move on alone, but it is what they would want her to do.
I remember watching the newer version of “Titanic” and when Rose survives the sinking, she goes on to live a full life, because Jack told her to live on. Life after loss is never easy, but it can be rewarding. People are meant to survive and to thrive. We are wired to grieve and to move forward with our lives. That doesn’t mean that it is an easy thing to do, but it is a necessary thing to do. I’m glad to see that Pearl is making that transition. Today is Aunt Pearl’s birthday. Happy birthday Pearl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My sister-in-law, Marlyce Schulenberg lives only in our memories since her passing at the young age of 39, on August 13, 1989. Those were sad days leading up to and following her passing. The cancer stole so much from her. She was skin and bone by the time she died. Marlyce was developmentally disabled, and in most was she was an adult-kid. She loved candy. It was a vice she really had to have, and if that was the worst bad habit she had…well, that’s not bad. In the end, I suppose it was the extra weight she carried from the candy, that kept her alive as long as she hung on. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a horrible disease. In Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, white blood cells called lymphocytes grow abnormally and can form growths (tumors) throughout the body.in Marlyce, they tumor was in her esophagus, and she couldn’t swallow much. She ate baby food in the end.
It was so sad, but I want to concentrate on the good memories. Marlyce worked at Wood’s School, which was for the handicapped at that time. They ran a laundry service there, and she worked in that laundry. She was so proud of her job. Marlyce was very dedicated to her job, and would go on sick, if need be. She was very proud of making money.
Marlyce was also a great baker of Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I loved them. They were the best I ever had…now or then. When we went out to the house to visit, I always hoped Marlyce had been baking. She made other kinds of cookies too, but when I came in the door, I was always happiest when she said, “Caryn. I made Chocolate Chip Cookies!!”
Marlyce also made knitted stocking caps. She sold them at craft fairs, and they sold very well. These were talents that not every developmentally disabled person could do, but Marlyce excelled in those areas. I love the sweet memories of my sweet, gone-too-soon sister-in-law. Today would have been Marlyce’s 71st birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Marlyce. We love and miss you very much.
My daughter, Corrie Petersen is one of the hardest working people I know. She works full-time, and goes to nursing school full-time too. Anyone who has been in nursing school will tell you that it is not and easy, and it’s even harder if you work. Nevertheless, Corrie is determined, and she is so excited about the future. Every skill she achieves, every class she completes, and every semester that is behind her are cause for celebration. She loves the work she does and she really has a heart for it. I have spoken to friends she has taken care of, and they told me that she was so good to them. In fact they couldn’t wait to tell me that she took care of them, since she could not tell me due to privacy laws.
Corrie is an important member of the CNA staff at Wyoming Medical Center. CNAs are hard to find and harder still to keep, and many times she is the lone CNA on her floor. It’s a tough job, with lots of heavy lifting, and lots of work that many people feel is “beneath them,” but Corrie takes it all in stride. I know this because, while I’m not a nurse or a CNA, I was a caregiver for 14 years, and Corrie was a part of my team. She went on to continue the job of caregiving and then decided to become a nurse, starting by becoming a CNA, so she has been doing this job for more than 16 years. She did the work of a CNA, and even of a nurse, long before she had the title, and her four grandparents were grateful to her and the rest of the team for the care and comfort she and the rest of the team provided. Corrie did not go into the career of nursing blindly, like many people who decide on it right out of high school. Yes, some are sure of what they want to do, and follow through with great success, but others find that the work isn’t for them, and they soon move on to other careers.
Becoming a nurse is no easy task, as any nurse will tell you. You have to stick to the plan, work and study hard, and never give up. If you don’t have “stick-to-it-iveness,” you won’t make it in this line of work…or in the schooling it takes to get into this line of work. I am very proud of all the hard work Corrie has done and continues to do to achieve her dream. Today is Corrie’s birthday. Happy birthday Corrie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece Cassie Iverson is spending her first birthday without her mom. My sister-in-law, Rachel Schulenberg went to Heaven on January 19, 2021, after suffering a stroke. It’s been a hard year for Cassie so far, as anyone who has lost a parent can attest. Really that first whole year is the hardest. All the firsts without your parent. Cassie and her mom were just the two of them from the time her mom was 16 years old. They were so close. I could say that they were best friends, but they weren’t Rachel was the mom and Cassie was the daughter. They were closer than just friends could be. A person has enough friends, and can always make more, but a mother is a treasure, and you truly only get one.
Life changed, as life does. Rachel got married and had two sons, Cassie’s half-brothers, Riley and Tucker. Then they divorced and Rachel was a single mom again. Just her and her kids. Cassie was older then, and she and her mom grew closer. Rachel watched as her beautiful daughter grew and found new interests. Sure, there were difficult times…teenaged years, sibling fights, and such, but Rachel loved her kids and they all knew that they were going to be ok.
When Cassie got married and had babies of her own, Rachel was so proud. She loved her grandchildren beyond measure. Rachel was also very proud of her only daughter. Cassie is a very talented photographer, and Rachel would often tell me about her photography trips. She was just so proud of Cassie. She was also so proud of the mother Cassie was. She watched as Cassie raised Lucas, who was born with Down Syndrome. Cassie became the best advocate for her son. Cassie is a real fighter when it comes to her children, Lucas and his little sister, Zoey, and that made Rachel so proud. She knew that Cassie would give her children the best life she possible could. Cassie learned about being a mom from the best…her own mom, Rachel.
Life without her mom will never be the same for Cassie…she will always miss her mom. It is impossible not to, but I hope she also knows just how proud her mother was of her. Often when we spoke on the phone, Rachel would tell me, with pride in her voice, about the wonderful accomplishments of her daughter. Photography, kids, camping…another thing they both loved, and so much more. Cassie, your mom is in Heaven, but she is still watching over you, and she is still so proud of everything you have accomplished. I know this year is a tough one, but remember that she lives on in your heart. Today is Cassie’s birthday. Happy birthday Cassie!! Have a great day!! Your mom would want that for you. We love you!!
After ill health in multiple forms caught up with my sister-in-law, Brenda Schulenberg eight years ago, she set out on the journey that would forever change her life…getting healthy again, and staying that way. The journey was long and hard, but Brenda just kept plugging along, until one day, she found herself of the top of that hill, looking over at the lush green grass on the other side of the rainbow…so to speak. While the metaphor paints a beautiful picture, the real beauty of the picturesque journey Brenda took, as been the views seen from the seat of her bicycle. Brenda struggled with her weight all her life, and riding a bicycle wasn’t something she ever did very much, but when she finally got her weight down to a healthy level, she decided that she wanted to rider a bicycle. She bought a purple bicycle…yes it had to be purple, because Brenda is all about purple…and set out to discover the world of bicycle trails. She doesn’t go on the dirt trails that some people ride on, but there are so many nice paved trails her in Casper, Wyoming, as in many other places too, that she in never hard pressed to find a place to ride.
If I said that Brenda isn’t fanatical, I would be lying. She will get up at 3:30 in the morning just to be ready for work with enough time to hit the trail for a sunrise bicycle ride, before heading into her job in Human Resources at Hilltop National Bank. Lunchtime rides are not out of the question either, if the weather permits. That topping of the hill just to see the other side, is really sort of a motto to Brenda. Brenda has many hilltops under her belt…and many in her future. Brenda has no intention of a backward slide in her health, in fact, she holds a yearly party to remind herself of just how far she has come, and to remind herself to keep plugging along, so she never goes back there again.
While there was a time when food was addictive for Brenda, she is always working to keep that kind of addiction at bay. These days, however, there is an addiction that Brenda still struggles with…shopping. Of course, she doesn’t consider that an addiction that bothers her. Brenda was never really able to buy new clothes, because there was only so much that she could wear, and that was downright depressing, so she shopped from a catalog. These days, however, stuff fits…cute stuff!! Brenda doesn’t have to worry about going to her closet, hoping there is something in it that she can wear. She can wear all of it, and buying new stuff is fun!! Who wouldn’t want to go shopping? If Brenda finds herself going on a road trip, you might as well understand that there will be a mall in the mix. If you are going with her, you should be prepared to hit a few stores. I think her trips are as much planned around the stores and malls, as the city or town she is actually going to visit. From one fanaticism to another, but hey, this one’s healthy. Nothing wrong with a good shopping trip. Today is Brenda’s birthday. Happy birthday Brenda!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely is a Labor and Delivery nurse, and has been for about 40 years. I have no idea how many babies she has assisted in delivering, nor how many she has delivered herself, but I can imagine. Taking a wild guess, I would say between 20,000 and 50,000. That’s about the population of a small city. Now I could be off, but I don’t think so. I can’t say how many she has actually delivered, because they came before the doctor could get there, but I imagine there were some of those too. Jennifer has never wanted to be anything but a Labor and Delivery nurse. I have never seen anyone so focused. She knew what she wanted to do in high school and she has never waivered.
Of course, Jennifer, like everyone else, is more than her career. She is mom and grandma, or in her case, Oma. Jennifer had three sons, Barry Schulenberg, JD Parmely, and Eric Parmely, and now, she has four grandchildren, Reagan, Hattie, Bowen, and Maeve Parmely. She cherishes her family, which includes, daughters-in-law, Kelli Schulenberg and Ashley Parmely. Jennifer love getting together with all of her family, but she also loves taking each of her grandchildren for a day that is all their own. They often go shopping, and of course, that includes a toy of their choosing. They love going with her, and it is a treasured special time for her too.
Another thing that Jennifer has never waivered in, is her health. Years ago, after having three children, Jennifer, like many mothers, had some extra weight to lose. She made the decision to get that weight off and get healthy, and she never waivered. Diet was a major part of her transformation, of course, but just as important was the strict exercise “routine” Jennifer had. I emphasize “routine” because, she never thought of it that way, exactly. Jennifer began to be an energetic, fast-paced, “everything” exercise enthusiast…she hiked, did yoga, skied, every exercise machine she could at the gum, you name it, Jennifer probably tried it. Like most of us, there were forms of exercise she likes better than others, but she has never gone back to a sedentary lifestyle, and she has never stopped eating healthy…that has kept her healthy for many years now. Today is Jennifer’s 60th birthday, and well…she certainly doesn’t look 60. Years of healthy living have certainly paid off. Happy birthday Jennifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
I can’t think of anything that is harder for a mom than watching your child go through some of the worst events of their lives. Many people who go through that kind of thing, would sit down and stew in their depression, but not my niece, Chantel Balcerzak. The past year has been harder on her and her daughter, Siara Olsen than it was for a lot of us. On January 25, 2020, Siara’s three month old son, Alec passed away after a short illness. On top of that her marriage fell apart, and she got divorced. It was the worst time of her life, and she needed the love and support of her family. Chantel stepped in and Siara moved home for a time of comforting and support from her parents. Both of these girls are strong women, and they were not going to sink further into depression. Instead, they supported each other, encouraged each other, and made a plan to have a year of self improvement. Chantel’s husband and Siara’s dad, Dave Balcerzak was right there too. Giving the girls the extra support they all needed. They were all hurting, but they had to move forward.
The girls took a look at themselves, and saw that as many people had done, during the Covid-19 shutdown, they and added a few pounds and lost some muscle, and they decided it was time to get back on the right track. So they began working out over Siara’s lunches, and even set a goal for them selves. They had seen a commercial in which some chipmunks who were out of shape decided to go for “All Buff ~ No Fluff” and they made that their goal. Siara has spent a number of years in high school and college as a cheerleader, and of course, she is 23 years younger than her mom, but she tells me that sometimes Chantel beats her when they are doing pushups, so that is really cool too. Chantel doesn’t do girly pushups anymore either. They do the hard kind where you are on your hands and toes. I believe the girls will reach their final goal of looking amazing. They have already come a long way.
Siara tells me that her mom was always there for here throughout this hard, hard year. She was there to comfort her and take her mind off of her troubles, and give her advise when she needed it. When Siara moved out again and got a place of her own, Chantel was there to help her decorate it and make it her own. Chantel is an artist, so of course, Siara’s place is incredibly beautiful, and that is a gift in itself. When the chips are down, Chantel is really the person you want to have in your corner. I’m very proud of her and Siara too. Today is Chantel’s 50th birthday. It’s a milestone, and she looks incredible for it. Happy birthday Chantel!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
The people of my generation will remember the Hula Hoop. They are still around, of course, so the people of the current time might know about them too, but actually may never have tried one. As a kid, I suppose I was able to do the Hula Hoop to a degree, but I was never at the expert level by any means, even though I tried. When I say expert level, I an not talking about being able to keep the Hula Hoop going, because I could do that, but there were people who could keep it going on their arm or leg, and even their neck. I was always amazed at their agility and their skills…especially since I couldn’t master those tricks.
The Hula Hoop was invented in 1958, and quickly became a huge fad when it was marketed by Wham-O. It was patented on March 5, 1963 by the company’s co-founder, Arthur “Spud” Melin. The company sold an estimated 25 million of the hip-swiveling toys in its first four months of production alone. Melina and Knerr were inspired to develop the Hula Hoop after they saw a wooden hoop that Australian children twirled around their waists during gym class. Wham-O began producing a plastic version of the hoop, dubbed “Hula” after the hip-gyrating Hawaiian dance of the same name, and demonstrating it on Southern California playgrounds. Hula Hoop mania took off from there.
The Hula Hoop has even set some records in it’s day. “According to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, in April 2004, a performer at the Big Apple Circus in Boston simultaneously spun 100 hoops around her body. Earlier that same year, in January, according to the Guinness World Records, two people in Tokyo, Japan, managed to spin the world’s largest hoop–at 13 feet, 4 inches–around their waists at least three times each.” The enormous popularity of the Hula Hoop was short-lived and within a matter of months, the masses were on to the next big thing. However, the Hula Hoop never faded away completely and still has its fans today. In fact, the “Smart Hula Hoop” is taking on a whole new look and a new use…exercise. Not that it wasn’t exercise before, but no one really thought of it that way, maybe because you couldn’t really keep it around your waist long enough to get a really good workout. So, someone came up with a version that doesn’t exactly look like the original Hula Hoop, but it works essentially the same as it’s older version.