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.

Not many wars can be called…peaceful, but the Dutch-Scilly War is one that definitely can. Some wars start over borders, some over principles, and some over…well, who remembers. The Dutch-Scilly War lasted 335 years. That’s an amazingly long time in any war, and even more so when you consider that it had no battles or deaths. Oliver Cromwell had fought the Royalists to the edges of the Kingdom of England. Cromwell was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies of the Parliament of England against King Charles I during the English Civil War, subsequently ruling the British Isles as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.

In the West of Britain, Cornwall was the last Royalist stronghold. In 1648, Cromwell pushed on until mainland Cornwall was in the hands of the Parliamentarians. The Royalist Navy was forced to retreat to the Isles of Scilly, which lay off the Cornish coast and were under the ownership of Royalist John Granville. Before fleeing Cornwall, the Royalists raided a few Dutch shipping vessels as an act of revenge, then escaped to the Isles of Scilly. With that, the war was on. The Dutch turned up in Scilly demanding reparations from the Royalists. The Royalists refused and the Dutch declared war. The whole point of the war was to get restitution for the damage done by the Royalists, but the Dutch quickly realized that the Royalists were “dead broke!!” They didn’t have a penny to their name. Well, as we all know, you can’t get blood from a turnip, so going to war to receive money that could never be paid would do no good. In the end, they decided to call it a day and go home. A smart move if you ask me. The problem with the whole thing is that they never declared peace with the Isles. They just completely forgot they were at war.

In 1986, Roy Duncan, historian and Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Council, decided to investigate. He wrote to the Dutch Embassy in London. Research proved that that no peace treaty had ever been signed, so Duncan invited the Dutch ambassador Jonkheer Rein Huydecoper to visit the islands and officially end the “conflict” at last. Peace was declared on April 17, 1986, exactly 335 years after the supposed declaration of war. The Dutch ambassador joked that it must have been horrifying to the Scillonians “to know we could have attacked at any moment.”

As my grand-niece Audrianna “Anna” Masterson’s birthday approached, I talked to her sister, Raelynn, who tells me that Anna is “quirky.” That is a fact that anyone who knows Anna knows quite well. Anna has a very unique personality and Raelynn loves to see how she reacts to certain things. Anna is very strong willed and stubborn, and as kids will, they disagree about some of the strangest things. Nevertheless, sometimes they get into “joking” screaming matches about book or movie characters we may see differently. They live to banter back and forth, and it usually ends up in a giggling match.

As she has grown, Anna has changed a lot, and these days, style matters…but it has to be her own style. So, Anna has been experimenting with different styles. Recently, she wanted a “Wilbur Soot” style outfit. For those, like me, who don’t know who “Wilbur Soot” is, he is a YouTuber they both watch, so when she asked Raelynn at the events center yesterday, if she had achieved the look and Raelynn said, “yes,” Anna was ecstatic.

Anna often asks Raelynn, and her brother, Matt about what would look good with what and what kinda clothes to wear to what events. Raelynn often lends her clothes so she can achieve just the right look. Matt will always be brutally honest, which some may think is a bad thing, but you never want to go out looking bad, simply because your siblings didn’t want to hurt your feelings about how you really look. People have to be able to trust their siblings about these things.

It is so hard to believe that fashion matters to Anna, because it wasn’t that long ago that Anna didn’t care about things like that. She used to put on sweat pants and a t-shirt, and she was good to go. It didn’t matter if she was going to school or somewhere else, she was comfortable in sweats and a t-shirt, and that was it. She rarely even combed her hair in those days. Not so now. Now the whole look matters. Anna is growing up. Today is Anna’s 14th birthday. Happy birthday Anna!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

A couple of days ago, my husband, Bob Schulenberg and I went for a hike through a South Dakota ghost town called Spokane. It was founded in 1890 to extract precious gold, the mine proved richer in silver, copper, zinc, mica and graphite. The town hit its stride in 1927 with its biggest year ever totaling $144,742 in profits which helped fund the school building whose bones can still be seen, at least for now. The tow is rapidly deteriorating, so they won’t be around much longer. By 1940, the mine and town were all but abandoned. The town limped along, with the manager’s house being the last one to be abandoned in the 1970s. The Spokane Mine was discovered in 1889 by Sylvester Judd more or less by accident. As the story goes, “he had placed a rock (likely galena or cerussite) from the outcrop on his wooden stove. He was amazed when he found molten lead coming from the mineral.” The town was formed the same year the mine began operations, in 1890, but it was not the town or it’s dilapidated buildings, but rather the tragic history of the place that caught my attention.

A man named James Shepard, or Jim as he was know to family and friends in Spokane, heard about the gold rush in the Black Hills and decided to take his family from North Carolina, to the town of Spokane to stake his claim. A local man named Frank Cox had not kept up assessment work on the Spokane Mine, which he himself had “jumped” when it had been neglected by someone else. It isn’t the best way to stake a claim, but it is legal apparently. Jim had enough to stake his claim to the mine, so he claimed it and on June 21, 1908, when he drove his stake at the site. Jim was well liked and since he did things right, people respected him and his family.

Frank Cox’s wife, the Sunday school teacher, observed the staking of the claim by Shepard while riding to the schoolhouse and informed her husband. Then the real trouble began. That evening, Jim rode his horse to bring his free-roaming milk cow back to the house. According to his account, when he had his guard down, Frank and his son Henry stepped out from behind some trees. Frank yelled, “You son-of-a-bitch, you have driven your last stake!” and shot Jim with a shotgun. He was able to ride home, where his wife, Jessie, frantically helped him into bed and rode for help.

Jessie went to the Hoffman home and told them that Jim had been shot. Edgar H. Hoffman, who was 12 years old, never forgot that night. “Mrs. Shepard was a tall, dark mountain woman. Her clothes and the saddle were soaked and spotted with blood,” he said. A neighbor rode to the nearest doctor, but that was 17 miles away in Custer. It was an awful stormy night with heavy rain and lightning flashes. Not an easy way to make such an important trip. The next morning, the doctor and sheriff arrived to just in time to hear hear Jim’s dying words…words that incriminated Frank and Henry. The town was horribly shaken by the murder. The crowd could only be described as “angry and hostile” at Jim’s funeral.

“In order to prevent violence, the minister had the congregation point the finger of guilt at whoever they felt had committed the murder. Everyone pointed the finger at the Cox house. From then on, the Coxes were ostracized by the Spokane community and they sent their son away to relatives,” wrote Inez Shepard Shafer, Jim Shepard’s only surviving child.

In the July 10, 1909 edition of the Keystone Record, it was stated that the trial was “one of the longest and hardest fought preliminary hearings ever held in Custer County. It was thought at first by friends of Cox that he would have no trouble in proving an alibi, as he was at the Ideal [mine] all day Sunday and slept there that night. This is true, but there was about an hour and a half in the evening he was unable to account for, and about the time the shooting was supposed to have taken place. It is unfortunate for all concerned, and if Cox proves his innocence, and many believe he will, the chances are we will never know who killed James Shepard.”

Historians, who have studied the lives of Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, agree that while the two men were friends, they also had a long history as “frenemies.” It is fairly common with politicians, because each one has definite ideas about how things should be run. So, the two rivals always had a volatile relationship.

Their friendship began in the early days of the nation, despite their vastly different political views. Adams was a strong believer in a strong central government, and Jefferson championed states’ rights. I would imagine that there was a measure of frustration for Adams, as he watched his administration being dismantled in the early years of the Jefferson administration. Nevertheless, as a Conservative, I have to agree with the Thomas Jefferson way of government.

Adams preceded Jefferson as president friend 1797 to 1800. During the Adams presidency, it became very apparent that the two men were very different, and their political views were just as different. The hot-tempered Adams was a firm believer in a strong centralized government, while the genteel Jefferson believed federal government should take a more hands-off approach and defer to individual states’ rights. They clashed loudly and often. As Adams’ vice president, Jefferson was horrified by what he considered to be Adams’ abuse of the presidential power…particularly his passage of the restrictive Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Jefferson abandoned Adams and Washington for his estate at Monticello. There, he plotted how to bring his Republican faction back into power in the presidential election of 1800. After an exceptionally bitter campaign, in which both parties engaged in slanderous attacks on each other in print, Jefferson emerged victorious. It appeared the former friends would be eternal enemies. The former revolutionaries went on to resume their friendship over 14 years of correspondence during their golden years.

On July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of The Declaration of Independence, these “frenemies” died on the same day and within five hours of each other. Jefferson and Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. When Adams died at the age of 90, his last words, as the country celebrated Independence Day were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Adams was wrong. Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 83.

This year, mostly because of the year of the Covid-19 lockdowns, Americans are so ready to get out there. Whether we choose to wear a mask or not, we are done with staying home, small groups, missed holidays, and mostly…Covid-19!! Bob and I were blessed in that we were able to travel to the Black Hills for the Independence Day holiday last year, but many states didn’t allow it. Now…suddenly, many states are open. Of course, there are those who want us to keep things to small groups, or better yet, just stay home and don’t celebrate at all. Our answer to that, “No!! We are done with giving up our freedom!!” This nation, “One Nation Under God,” was founded on the principles of “liberty and justice for all” and “let freedom ring.” Our soldiers died to make sure that we continued to have that freedom. And we are not giving it up now!!

The Covid-19 lockdowns were never designed to make us healthier, but rather to take our freedoms, and we aren’t going to take it anymore. They still want us to stay home, but everyone I know of has opted to go out and celebrate or have people in to celebrate. We all agree that our forefathers never intended for the people of this nation to give up their rights to “kowtow” to the government!! Especially when the disease has a 97% survival rate!! And believe me when I say that no one is saying that it didn’t kill people, but that many of the people in lockdown would not have become sick, much less died. The Lockdown did nothing but hurt our economy, and rob us if our freedom.

This year is a “new year” for this nation. We are ready to take back our country and our freedom. We know who stole it, and we know who didn’t. We are excited about getting back out there and celebrating our nation’s birthday again!! This is a great nation, and we will not allow it to be stolen from us. We are ready to fight for our freedom again, and we refuse to be pushed back.

From the brave men and women who fought for the freedom of this nation in the Revolutionary War, to the brave men and women who will fight for it again, I honor you!! You are the epitome of greatness!! You don’t give up. This is our nation and this is our Independence Day!! I pray that each of you has a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Let’s get out there and be independent again!! God bless you all and God bless America!!

My great-nephew, Lucas Iverson is such a sweet boy, and it’s hard for me to believe that he is ten years old today. Lucas was born with Down Syndrome, and so has had a number of struggles in his life, but he faces everything with a smile. He has a great family, all of whom are dedicated to working hard with Lucas to make sure that he becomes the best Lucas he can be. His parents, Cassie and Chris Iverson are great advocates for both of their children. They are unapologetic when it comes to fighting for his needs and rights, and the needs and rights of his little sister, Zoey. For her part, Zoey is Lucas’ biggest cheerleader. She cheers him on and works hard to help him achieve any goal he is trying to achieve. She entertains him and never leaves him out of the activities.

Lucas and his family love summertime, because it means they can go camping. Their favorite place to go is the Big Horn Mountains, which is near their home in Powell, Wyoming. They often go camping with with cousins, Machelle and Steve Moore, as well as cousins, Susan and Josh Griffith, and sometimes step-dad, Ron Schulenberg and brother Tucker Schulenberg. A good time is always had by all. They all love camping and they love spending time together. It doesn’t get better than that.

Lucas has had some difficulties to overcome, and he has worked very hard to do so. His legs were weak, and that made walking harder to do, but with the help of his sister, Zoey, who would never leave her brother behind, Lucas has made great strides. There have been a number of health issues, some of which required surgery, but Lucas is a real trooper, and he just goes with the flow, working hard to reach his goals. No matter what he has to face, this kid just keeps on going. Today is Lucas’ 10th birthday. Happy birthday Lucas!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Chelsea Hadlock is a sweet girl with a sparkling personality. I suppose that could sound funny, but she does sparkly and she is bubbly. That make her a lot of fun to be around. In fact, I can totally see how my nephew, Ryan fell head-over-heels in love with her about 15 years ago. Chelsea is also a great mom to Ethan and Aurora. Her family is her top priority. She really never wanted anything more than to be a wife and mother, and she is really living her dream life.

Chelsea is very talented. She makes jewelry, and sells it at the Comic Con fairs. She loves the showplace vibe of Comic Con, and the acting part of it too. She really goes all out of her costumes, and enjoys seeing the costumes of all the others there. Her kids are even getting interested in all that goes on at Comic Con. These days Chelsea’s family, husband, Ryan; children, Ethan and Aurora; and even her mom, Debbie Miss have been participating in the fun.

Mostly, Chelsea loves being a stay-at-home mom, while selling her jewelry. The jewelry she makes is often superheroes and Disney characters, which sell very well at Comic Con. When she first started out, she make exclusively jewelry, but she has branched out this year, and now makes bags and t-shirts with Christian sayings and Bible verses on them, as well as Back the Blue on them, which is not surprising since the Hadlock family has a retired police officer, Chris Hadlock, and Wyoming Highway Patrolman, Jason Sawdon. She sells her products online, as well as the Comic Cons. You can check out all her creations at The Subtly Nerd Shop.

Chelsea is one of the most giving people we know. She gives her time and anything else she can, and does it joyfully!! So many people have benefitted from her giving nature, especially her family and friends. Chelsea is also a wonderful cook and baker. She makes excellent muffins, which she used to sell, and many people wish she still did. Many of us have been able to enjoy the foods she has created, and we loved every bite. Chelsea takes good care of her family and the Hadlock family is so very blessed to have her as part of their family for sure these past 13+ years. Today is Chelsea’s birthday. Happy birthday Chelsea!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

How could a food become a problem in a war? I mean its something you eat, not fight with. Nevertheless, during World War I, the Germans were so hated and the Third Reich was so evil, that no one among the Allies wanted anything to do with them. They didn’t even want to be associated with anything that even remotely sounded like it was German. With that in mind, the word “hamburger” came to mind. It was decided that the “hamburger” was just a little too German to be allowed to continue being served with that name. You might think that people would get mad about that, but the people were very loyal to our nation and to the cause. They couldn’t tolerate the horrific crimes against humanity they saw in front of themselves. The Germans made it very clear to the world that they were, at least will Hitler was in charge, the most horrific nation on Earth.

Because of the conflict between Germany and the rest of the world, menus were changed to purge the names of German foods from restaurant menus. The name sauerkraut became “liberty cabbage,” and hamburgers became “liberty steaks.” Frankfurters, a very German name, was also deemed unacceptable during World War I, and in some places the name was switched to “liberty sausages,” but that was one new name that didn’t quite stick…especially when someone tried the term “hot dog.” It seems almost laughable now, because why should food play such a big part in the feelings of people, but then again, in this day and age, we are facing a situation that is much the same…the current “war” against China, Italy, and Germany (once again). This war may not be one of dropping bombs and killing people, but it is a war nevertheless…and it is just as dangerous, if not more so.

After World War II, and after the disdain against the Germans faded, the hamburger reemerged. During that time, the invention claims also emerged. It is thought that the hamburger was invented between 1885 and 1904, but it is clearly the product of the early 20th century. The origin is under dispute. Some say it was invented in the United States and some say that it was invented in Germany. During the following 100 years, the hamburger spread throughout the world, and continued on until World War I when it became just a little too German.

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!!

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