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December 2012

Volume 19

Dylan graduates from Mizzou


Last May Dylan and his girlfriend Lindsey Paydon (“Luna”) graduated from Mizzou. Dylan graduated summa cum laude & with honors; his major was math and his minor was philosophy. We were very proud! He was also was inducted into the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa, and got to sign his name in the same big book that Dale signed 39 years ago when he graduated from Mizzou.

As you may know, the Midwest suffered a terrible drought this summer so our vacation was a chance to escape the heat. So where did we decide to go? New Mexico!! Our first stop was Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo where we added some graffiti. In New Mexico we stopped at Roswell, where we learned about the famous alien landings. We figure we’ll be prepared in Dale met some old case the Mayan predictions friends in Roswell. come true and we are once again visited by aliens.

Dylan was accepted into the PhD program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and Luna moved there in July. Chapel Hill is 2-3 hours west of the Atlantic coast and several hours east of the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, so they have a lot to explore.

Just what we needed—more cats! Last spring Dale started feeding a couple of stray cats. A short time later, he noticed them frolicking in the field in such a way that he deduced that Blackie and Goldie were male and female. Blackie came and went, but Goldie got used to being fed daily. To show her appreciation, one day she left a dead weasel for us. In the cat world, dead weasels represent the highest form of gratitude. Goldie got bigger and bigger, and gave birth to kittens as The rarely seen soon as we left on our New Mexico long-tailed weasel vacation in June. She hid her kittens under our neighbor’s home. Julie, who had been begging for a kitten for the past year, naturally volunteered to climb under the house and rescue them. It was an intense rescue operation on a typical 105 degree Missouri day. We wound up with six kittens and Goldie living in our basement for several months. Good homes were found for all of the cat family: Goldie and her daughter Meiko live with us; Marzipan and Cirrus are Riki’s; and some cat-loving friends adopted the other three.

The highlight of our trip was probably visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We went on a tour that was so dangerous each person had to swear (in front of U.S. Government Park Rangers) that they were entering the cave of their own free will. We had to wear hardhats and Cindy getting down at headlamps, and descend Carlsbad Caverns into the lower portion of the main cave using ropes and ladders! We also got to watch the bat flight one evening, after getting caught in a desert rain and seeing a complete double rainbow. We visited Guadalupe Mountains National Park, where we went hiking and then camped for a night. In Cloudcroft we stayed in a historic lodge that Al Capone once owned and where Clark Gable and Judy Garland enjoyed staying. We were the only famous people there this summer. Finally we travelled Julie “sledding” to White Sands National Park, at White Sands where we spent a day playing in the sand and watching the sunset.

Julie gets her own animals

Dale tends garden and watches tv

Julie completed her freshman year at Mizzou and moved back home for the summer. Then in August, she moved into an apartment with 3 of her friends. Unfettered by dorm or her parents’ rules, she and one of her roommates adopted a puppy named April. Then the two adopted a rabbit whom she named Frankie. What will it be next?? The Julie and Frankie girls also like to have dance parties at their apartment. Julie continues to work at Boone Hospital Center, where she delivers patients’ trays sometimes, but prefers to work in the kitchen or as a cashier in the cafeteria. Julie recently decided to major in Psychology to become a counseling Julie and Dylan at White Sands psychologist. In her

Despite the horrible drought we had—our pond is down 3-4 feet!—, Dale did well with his raised bed garden. He added a bed to grow pumpkins behind the house but, alas, the Great Pumpkin did not visit it. Also, in his never-ending quest to explore weird vegetables, he grew kohlrabi this year. The blackberry plants he put in the ground a few years ago produced about 25 quarts of berries this year. We still have lots of them in the freezer. Dale with artistic

free time, Julie enjoys painting, dancing, attending MU football and basketball games, and training her rabbit to walk on a leash.


Riki We all know the world is full of sh__, but Riki is doing something about it with her work at Environmental Dynamics International, where she helps design waste water systems that are used all over the world. At home she keeps busy taking care of her three cats and her German Shepherd Dax, making crafts and sewing, gardening, and keeping in touch with old friends.

contribution to the Cadillac Ranch

Dale still works in Facility Operations at the University. He works at a very high level job at the University…at least sometimes…because he has to climb up on campus building roofs to explore potential safety problems. In his spare time, Dale likes to exercise in the basement while watching tv shows on Netflix. This year he has been watching Monk, Breaking Bad, and Star Trek-the Next Generation while burning calories, building muscle, and maintaining flexibility.

Cindy is still a speech pathologist at Hallsville Primary School. She gets to do fun things like supervise 5 and 6 year olds at breakfast and lunch & amaze them with her ketchup artistry. Cindy visited her family in Akron four times this year and also saw her OLD friend Neva. In April Cindy (aka Dale and Cindy at White Sands “Thelma”) and her friend “Louise” went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Not a state she had ever expected to visit for anything other than a coon dog, but she had a great time. Cindy also enjoyed having all of the Bells (except her mom) visit this summer. Cindy still likes to go bike riding with Dale on the Katy trail, and go “antiquing” (looking at junk) with Dale or her brother Jeff.

Riki at the Golden Gate Bridge after her escape from Alcatraz She and Darren travelled to San Francisco and got to see the Cardinals-Giants baseball game there. They went to Alcatraz, but were able to escape. While in California, they also visited Yosemite National Park. This fall they travelled to Sanibel Island in Florida where they collected shells, watched dolphins, and saw a sand sculpture contest and other sites. Darren had pretty good luck fishing from the shore.

Cindy and Julie also have jobs now modeling for the Burpee Seed Catalogue

Muckerman Family Times 2012  

Annual Christmas newsletter