Computer Assistants, Inc., Thriving in its Fifth Year

Computer repair guys and consultation services have come and gone in Northwood, but Joel's business continues to thrive. Joel spends his nights and weekends working on computers and helping people in the area troubleshoot problems with their existing systems as well as helping them feel comfortable with purchasing new systems. Keeping up to date on current trends and viruses is key to his successful business.

Class of 1986 Online!

If you went to school in Glenville, MN, and graduated in the year 1986, here's a website for you!!!
Check it out at

Using my cousin Brad's ingenious invention,, we easily created a website for Joel's classmates to re-connect with one another. This website will make reunion planning for their 25th in 2011 a breeze as well.

There are so many different components to this website builder--it's the yearbook of the future--reconnecting the past to the present.

Dressed to Thrill

Everywhere they went this year, Ross and Marlee made a grand entrance. From Prom to Homecoming, their fancy attire and stunning looks were envied by all.

Happy Doppa i Gryta

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the 24th! Can't wait to sample Janet's cakes, Cindy's potatoes, and Mom's butterscotch pecan bars (just to name a few of the outstanding goodies!)

Sweet Times at Sugar Lake

A very well choreographed trip to Grandma Arline's took place the weekend of July 26th. After several emails circulated first trying to find a weekend everyone could make it and then coordinating who would bring what for food, all the grandkids and great-grandchildren assembled at her home in Annandale for fun in the sun, water play, and plenty of delicious victuals.

In late September, Joel and Mary and I made another trip north to visit with grandma one beautiful fall weekend.

Out on the dock, Joel gave Mary some pointers on her fishing techniques. Casting, setting the line, hooking the fish when the bobber starts to dance—and Mary’s favorite part—naming the fish before Daddy threw it back in. Bill, Stripes, Stripes Jr., and a host of other names were given as Mary caught one fish after another. She would no sooner get her line in the water and a fish would begin to nibble. When Mary came up from the lake to report her progress, she exclaimed, “I caught some sunnies, a ‘purse’, a crappie, and a bass!”

Exhibits, Dinner Theatre, and Concerts--Oh, my!

The Force was strong with us this summer when we visited the Science Museum of Minnesota. On June 23, we met Joel's brother Bruce and friends, Jon and Kristine, to experience the Star Wars Exhibit on display during a limited time. A special effects film in the Omnitheater and a simulated ride in the Millenium Falcon was a great way to add to the Empirical day. Joel-B-Wan even stopped to pose for a picture with a couple of storm troopers.

The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's production of "Married Alive!" was hilariously funny with parts that were almost too true to be funny but we laughed anyway. It was fun to attend this dinner and show with friends Alden and Sheila on September 20th. We're also looking forward to seeing "Spam-A-Lot" in late December in Des Moines at the Civic Center.

Lorie Line has been bringing her piano concert tour to Mason City every year for 19 years. I've talked about going to see this concert for several years, but never purchased tickets. This year, we finally experienced this holiday concert. With the costume changes, Lorie's talented pop chamber orchestra, and audience participation, it's definitely a seasonal event that we will have to make an annual tradition!

Focusing on the Family

I resigned from my job at the casino in July to concentrate on some family issues. My dad had experienced a lengthy illness followed by an extended hospital and recovery period. Thankfully he is doing fine now. Prior to that, my mom's basement had fallen victim to the many flooded basements this overly wet spring, so there was quite a bit of clean up to do there. Mary was glad to have me all to herself since daycare was no longer needed!

I've been glad to have the opportunity to be able to devote more time to family. Additionally, the extra time has provided me with a chance to spread my creative wings and soar a bit more than the eight-hour-a-day job had allowed.

Consequently, I've been working on a line of jewelry that has been in the back of mind as well as colorizing the "Bedtime For Mary" book for re-publication. My creative writing time is split between a book of short stories I'm putting together and various submissions to magazine publications. I submitted a 9/11 story to CAPPER's that was published in their November issue.

This time next year, I hope to be busy selling my jewelry at craft fairs and appearing on the Oprah show with my new book. (A girl can dream, right??).