Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas in Raleigh, North Carolina

Christmas in Raleigh during December 7-11 was so many good things. Starting from the bottom of the page it was 1. smiles, 2. hugs, 3. secrets, 4. cooking and baking, 5. food with friends and family, 6. fun with family, 7. dressing up, 8. creating pictures, and cards and paper chains, 9. Christmas music, and 10. opening gifts. We wish you all a Merry Christmas as you celebrate the birth of the babe in Bethlehem in your own way.

Terry and Darlene Miller

Friday, November 18, 2011

Phi Masters Living Windows

I took my great granddaughter Mercedes and grandson Nathan to the Living windows celebration in Knoxville last night. First we saw the live animals. Then they appeared in my sorority's window. Here is the "story" that I wrote for the Torch magazine of Beta Sigma Phi.

Storybook characters came to life on November 17 when Phi Masters chapter of Beta Sigma Phi participated in Living Windows in Knoxville, Iowa as each storefront had a different Christmas book setting. The book, “Counting to Christmas” by Nancy Tefuri, was spot lighted on an easel. Members of the sorority decorated a Christmas tree with stuffed animals and numbers in the background scene. An advent calendar and posters of the book surrounded the other window as Maxine Pritchard’s grandson, Kaden Smith, and Darlene Miller’s grandchildren Nathan Klein and Mercedes Druliner demonstrated the activities of the book by making paper chains to decorate the Christmas tree, wrote letters to Santa and mailed them in the delightful mailbox. The children did more drawing, cutting and pasting as they made Christmas cards. Each child was surprised to learn that a gift box they wrapped was for them. Then they each wrapped a stuffed bear to give to a friend to demonstrate the sharing aspect of the book.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Early Thanksgiving

Because we are getting ready to leave Iowa and head south, we had an early Thanksgiving with our family on Sunday. All the women helped prepare the food. The guys ate and watched movies, not football, on the wall in the living room. They darkened the room but not enough for the flash to come on. (That’s why the photos are dark.)

Dad was the oldest person there. Grandson Nathan was the youngest of the eighteen people who ate dinner. The food was great. The conversation was fine and it was so nice to relax afterwards with all the cleaning-up finished.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


After nine weeks on bedrest at the hospital, my niece, Mindy, gave birth to triplet girls on July 12. They were extremely fragile since they were only 27 weeks into gestation and weighed 1 pound 8 oz. To 2 pounds.

Teagan, Rianne, and Brielle came home one by one a few weeks ago. Saturday night Brielle had another episode of projectile vomiting which occluded her airway and put her into resp. arrest. Tony, the father gave CPR. An ambulance was called and they rushed her to Blank Children's Hospital. They diagnosed pyloric stenosis.

I spent the last couple of days with Joy, Mindy and the triplets.

Quote from the family "Tues 11/1/11 7 AM - Brielle went in and had a successful one-hour surgery at Blank Children's Hospital to lance a rather large bulge in her pyloric valve. Because her lung function is compromised (why she's on oxygen at home) it took her a little while to come to. She is still intubated at 11 AM as a precaution, she needs to wake up a bit more before they will extubate her. Thanks for your prayers, we are so thankful she's out and hopefully this will make her much better and she can come home in a few days."

They wanted her awake before they removed her from the vent. At 11: 45 AM.the doctor, nurse and resp. came into the room to extubate Brielle. I took the photos of her before and after she was taken off the vent. She did just fine.

I just called Joy who is my sister and the grandmother. She stayed all night Tuesday with Brielle at the hospital. Brielle ate well and didn’t vomit but was restless so Joy held her all night. The family still needs your prayers for these precious miracles.

Top photo is of Grandma Joy and Mother Mindy comforting Brielle after the vent was removed.

Next is Brielle on vent. Teagan is at home but continues to be on O2. Look at the way Rianne is holding her head up for Grandma Joy. The bottom photo is of me holding Rianne.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Miller's Windmills

Terry is always asking me to photograph windmills that we see in our travels. When we went to Indiana, we saw windmills for about 40 miles from Illinois to Reynolds, Indiana along Highway 24. They were placed in fields where the farmer planted around them.

He bought a little windmill that he placed in our front yard but really wanted one that would generate electricity. The first step was to get a permit from Marion County. Their main requirement was that it must be positioned at least as far away from all buildings as it is tall.

The next step was to get a trencher to dig a hole to fit the wires to the batteries in the basement. There were many trips to Des Moines to find all the poles, batteries and parts that he needed. Then he had to weld the pipes together and paint them. He built forms for the guide wires and center pole to cement into the ground. (I thought that it looked like a sailboat structure on the ground.) Then I drove the car, which was connected to the cables and poles, to bring the structure up in the air.

The nine bladed windmill works!!! It even looks pretty silhouetted in the night sky with stars shinning around it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Covered Bridges & Reenactments in IN Folks in MI

The weather was perfect for the Mississinewa Reenactment with temps in the 50’s in the morning warming to the early 80’s in the afternoon. Terry wore his tricorn hat and American frontiersman outfit while I wore a chemise, westcot and petticoats. I also had a cape and shawl but in this photo I wore Terry’s hunter’s coat since it was lighter than my cape.

We visited with many of the people that we had seen in other reenactments. In fact, it seemed like we were in the same time warp as five or six years ago when we last visited the Mississinewa River Reenactment. Terry’s childhood friend, Wayne and his friend Liz, came to the reenactment to spend several hours with us.

If you want more details on the reenactment, go to my book “More RV Chuckles and Chuckholes- More Confessions of Happy Campers” and read about reenactments. You will be able to read about this trip in the December issue of Smoke and Fire News too.

We left the RV in a campground and traveled to Michigan by car. Aunt Margie welcomed us to her house where we stayed for two nights in Zeeland. We visited with Uncle Bern and Aunt Jean in Wayland and Aunt Etta in a nursing home in Cutlerville. My cousin Roger, who lost his mother two weeks before we visited, was glad to see us. On the return trip, we stopped to see a flock of sandhill cranes who had flown into a field.

We picked up our RV and traveled to Parke County for the Covered Bridge Festival. The Bridgeton bridge has been rebuilt after an arsonist burned it several years ago. We saw about 30 covered bridges and went to flea markets in Bridgeton, Rockville and Mansfield. I ate such things as pumpkin ice cream, buried beef,( which was slow cooked in a pit for 16 hours), and crullers. I got some pretty fall photos but most of the leaves had muted colors.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Albia Follies

The Albia Follies, held in the King Opera House on Benton St. were in the tradition of vaudeville last weekend. The theme of the show was a 1911 reunion of Civil War veterans at the farm of a moon shiner who were surprised by a WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) group of ladies.

The cast of twenty members (not counting the pit orchestra.) performed in a chorus as well as dancing and the use of pantomimes, which were called “Sketches.” One of the numbers in the show was performed by the Albia Boy Scouts with it’s leader- Dave. The show was hilarious.

Prior to the show, Dave popped the popcorn for the performance. Then he sang in the chorus, played the guitar and banjo and co-directed the show with Dan. Dave’s wife, Jan, was one of the WCTU ladies and a member of the chorus. Their son, Ben, operated the lights and sound system. Their granddaughter, Maia, was a “lovely card girl” who walked across the stage with a sign, which announced the next number.

Earlier in the day, Dave was the Grand Marshall in the parade who didn’t ride in an open convertible but in an open truck bed. Then he took photos of the high school band, which will probably be in the Albia Newspaper.

Since there were two performances of the Follies, the family had to be tired but they also hosted the speaker for the Methodist morning church service.

I’m not sure if this is a blog about the Follies or about the Dave’s family but the Follies wouldn’t be the Follies without them. Albia would also be a different place without this family.