Adventures with Matthew

Matthew McInnes and his grandparents of the Mueller persuasion shared a couple of weeks together in mid-August 2006 in Billings MT. This was after our trip to Ashland OR, when we swung down to Marin County CA to say hello to the McInnes’ and to pick up Matt for a 3 day odyssey through the Nevada desert, the righteous religious of downtown Salt Lake City, and the mountains of eastern Idaho and western Montana.

Here we are at the Fair (upper left), getting ready to hurl our stomach contents on unlucky friends and relatives. Matt is looking for victims in a bumper car (right).

I was grateful that Matt rode most of the rest of the rides by himself. The Fair is a fascinating place as we discovered by just walking around.

We learned something about the joys of canning, the ?thrill of hanging upside down, and how much fun it is to just walk around and look at people and things. This latter is a well-recognized management technique too.

Probably the most unexpected fun we had was when Carol heard a strange noise in the middle of the night and naturally woke me up to investigate this noise: I heard some water running but couldn’t see anything out the window so I carefully went outside with large flashlight at the ready: I found a fountain of water, which looked like a geyser in Yellowstone Park, in the middle of Ramada Drive. See below.

I called the water people, and had a little trouble convincing the night guy that we really had a leak, and then they eventually figured out where to turn the water off, put some warning lights up and waited for daybreak.

Lots of really nice and noisy equipment arrived early the next morning. Hard hats and standing around watching machines do the work were the order of the day.

Of course, Matt watched carefully all the activity all day long.
The high point was being invited into the cab of the Deere backhoe.

We visited ZooMontana and we also checked out the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.


Family matters in Wisconsin

Just returned from week long trip: BIL to DEN to MSN to ORD to SEA to BIL. The only hitch was the surly baggage handlers in Seattle where Peg and I waited late Saturday evening for 75 minutes for my bag. I keep telling myself that I have to carry it on. I think it is time to make good on this promise. As you can see, our old house in Hustisford is much the same, and the trees in the back are now mature, like the girls (now ladies of a certain age) they were planted to honor.

Had a visit with Uncle Omer and Aunt Ardis, who have just moved back closer to Madison.

Gerald has retired from WAMIC, in order to have more time to pursue other interests and his hobby of mowing his extensive lawn. And playing with his grandchildren.

Had a pleasant visit with Bryan, Vicki, Scott, Carly, Mitch, Matthew, Ella and newly arrived Eilyanna. Took some pictures in a nearby park.

We spent a day checking out old haunts in Hustisford and Dodge County. Lots of changes over the years but much has remained the same or improved since the good old days. Many old houses looked familiar as I used to deliver papers to them early mornings.

Gerry mentioned that the old Zuelsdorf house (two doors east of Presbyterian church: see above middle or maybe right, I hope) that he and Judy lived in many years ago was one of those bought by catalog from Sears and Roebuck. The boards in the attic and cellar still had the logos on them.

The Milwaukee Sentinel was the morning paper long ago and the Journal was the afternoon paper, the former more on the right and the latter on the left. They are now combined as the Journal-Sentinel (or maybe vice-versa): apparently a peculiar mixture of loony left (from the Journal) and more sensible writing from the middle and right (from the Sentinel). I couldn’t figure out the Sudoku puzzle for two days in a row.

Hustisford looks fine, almost doubled (although there is some difference of opinion about the actual numbers depending on which end of town you come in on) in population since we hung out there in the 50s. Mueller’s meat market, see below right, which we lived above for nearly 10 years, has been converted into living quarters, and so too has Kienast’s, the other meat market in town.

The recipe for his excellent summer sausage was supposed to have been handed down or maybe sold to Leroy Meats but it didn’t seem the same when we bought some up in Horicon.
My guess is that state regulation forced some changes in the process. High class mushrooms are also now for sale.

The bowling alley was about the same, with pretty good sandwiches and automatic pin-setters rather than the juvenile delinquents making beer money at 10 cents a line, I think. The grocery store is gone.

The Hotel looks pretty much the same. Bethany Lutheran Church looks better, with a nice new school behind it. The old parochial school is gone, and of course the ballfield we used to play on. The old public high school is gone, completely and utterly gone.

The Hustisford Hilltoppers won’t be able to come back anymore. That last was a shock as that was where we came of age in the 50s.

The old school has been replaced by a nice new high school and grade school on the edge of town, partly underground, so it must have won an environmental prize. The baseball park that my father imagined into being back in the 50s is still there with a fairly shallow left field fence, so they raised the fence to make it more difficult to hit a homerun. Of course, somebody without an ounce of aesthetic feeling has shortened up the infield grass so they can play softball!!! on the same field. The terraced grandstand is still there though better looking than the original.

Radloff Cheese Factory has gone out of business. Grandpa Mueller’s farm looked a little shabby, especially the house. The old silo on the north side of the barn is gone and the new blue metal ones have been moved back. There is a fancy house on the hillside leading up to the small woodlot.

Seems unlikely they let the cows out in that pasture now. Roads are being repaired in town. Farms look prosperous over most of the county, though many of the fields are being replaced by housing developments around Hustisford and Madison as well. Cemetery looks well cared for.

Gerald’s retirement party brought out some old friends from high school days and even a stray brother. That is Gene and Janice Mintzlaff on the left, another couple from the same high school year that Carol and I came from.

Later pictures of DSG

When Nicole made a comment on the almost newborn pictures of Diego, I went to look at the site and realized that time passes quickly and growth occurs explosively in the really small.

I couldn’t resist publishing a few later pictures. Diego now is between 3 and 4 months, happy as a clam most of the time. Mom & Dad are doing well too. Sharon is thinking about the upcoming summer school where she will teach part-time, and probably go back to full-time teaching in the Fall.

Arrival of Diego Salvador

We flew from Billings to Albuquerque in late January to check on the recent arrival (21Jan) of our youngest grandson. He and Mom were doing fine. He is gaining weight and many admiring stares from parents and grandparents. He is pretending to be asleeep in one of these pictures, hoping we will stop taking pictures.

Out & About in Kenya

15 August 05

Kijabe is a small village on the eastern edge of the Rift Valley about 40km north and west of Nairobi. It is famous for a 500 bed boarding school where almost all the missionary kids in Africa come for school (Rift Valley Academy it is called); and a 200 bed hospital sponsored by the Inland Africa Church with some of the personnel supported by Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse; and a bible college to boot.

That is the “Path” House, left, and a part of the hospital above right.It is one of the rare places in the world that pathologists can serve as pathologists in a missionary 3rd world setting.

We received about 5000 specimens/year as many other small hospitals send their specimens there too. The only other histopathology labs are in Nairobi, associated with the medical schools in Nairobi. Specialties at Kijabe include general surgery, orthopedic surgery, especially for kids, and occasional gynecology, neurosurgery, urology and plastic surgery. There are several internal medicine folks but not much more specialized than that, and some family practitioners and anesthetists, and some dentists too. There are a fair number of junior house officers and some students on rotation as well as a fairly large school of nursing too. Good music at the weekly chapel meetings came from the nursing students.

15 Sep 05

I worked fairly hard during the week, then took off on safari on the weekend. Carol worked even harder than I did taking care of me, and also volunteered in the children’s wards.

We visited the Masai Mara, Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru and Samburu, the first three by van and the last by small airplane as it was a long way up in the northeast part of the country. Nakuru is a basic lake so it attracts the pink flamingoes while Naivasha is a fresh water lake so it attracts the hippos.

The trip home was the worst one we have ever had. We again had to go through London, waiting there about 8 hours, then to Phoenix, to SLC and finally to Billings. Dreadful. Do not let other people make reservations for you.

There is more text and pictures of this adventure at
Click on Muellertime Blog, then on Archives, and finally you will see lots of pictures of Kenya and its wildlife.