Sunday, January 24, 2016

Betty MacDonald and hard times

Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Betty MacDonald described a very difficult Winter on Vashon Island with lack of energy and food in her delightful book 'Onions in the Stew'.

Reading it at the moment and watching these news on TV I know how difficult the situation be for more than 50 million people. 

Supermarket shelves in many areas were bare. In Baltimore, shopper Sharon Brewington remembered how she and her daughter were left with just noodles and water when the last big snowstorm struck in 2010."I'm not going to make that mistake again," she said.

A massive blizzard bringing more than 2ft (60cm) of snow and punishing winds is advancing up the US East Coast.
More than 50 million people across more than a dozen states have been warned to stay at home as it moves north.
( see updates below ) 

Be careful  folks and stay at home, please!

We already mentioned the new Betty MacDonald fan club item ' Betty MacDonald in Winter '.

A Betty MacDonald fan club member recently shared some very interesting Betty MacDonald photos including pictures of Betty as a child in a real Winter season with lots of snow.

We have a great Betty MacDonald fan club Winter surprise for you.

We are working on a new Betty MacDonald fan club essay entitled ' Betty MacDonald and snow '.

We've already built several snowmen during this Winter season but the Wisconsin dad was the best.

Imagine - a 22 foot high snowman!

I'm really very impressed. 

Thanks a million for your outstanding support.

As already mentioned we celebrated World Day of the Snowman. 

There will be a new DVD entitled ' Betty MacDonald and the World Day of the Snowman ' presenting several International Betty MacDonald fan club activities. 

Fred got the excellent idea to organize a Betty MacDonald fan club Snowman contest.

Send us a photo of your favourite snowman and you can some very new interesting Betty MacDonald fan club items.

Deadline: January 31, 2016 

Betty MacDonald described Winter season in one of her unique books.

Betty MacDonald: 

“ Big snowflakes fluttered slowly through the air like white feathers and made all of the Heavenly Valley smooth and white and quiet and beautiful.

Tall fir trees stood up to their knees in snow and their outstretched hands were heaped with it. Those that were bare of leaves wore soft white fur on their scrawny, reaching arms and all the stumps and low bushes had been turned into fat white cupcakes.”  

Betty MacDonald described Winter season in a magical way but as we know Life can be rather hard on Vashon Island during Winter.

We got these messages from Betty MacDonald fans some years ago.

Guys it's much too cold for me! 

I'm afraid I'm the Southern type although I know how much children and especially our children adore snow and really enjoy all these beloved Winter activities. 

Very cold days in the State of Washington! Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

We recently had a wind storm followed by some very low temperatures and a lot of snow.
Vashon Island had a power outage for a few days. My sister was without power from Monday evening to Thursday before noon.
The next week is supposed to be above freezing, rain and occasional sun-breaks.
Old timers on the Island had kerosene lamps and wood stoves and plenty of wood just for this type of situation.

We had a bit of snow and cold around here and mother had to put up with no electric power or heat for two days but seems cheerful about it all.

We have just gone through an Arctic Express. Extremely cold and snowy on Vashon Island. Broke records for low temps. I was without power for 24 hours, many much longer. Today is much warmer and the snow is almost gone.

We have had bad storms that brought down some of the big trees on houses and power lines. We have had long hours and days without power, and the temperature got down to 15 degrees F. No sun, but today it is raining and the snow and ice are melting.

For one week here it's been verrrrry cold from zero with wind chil to now finally 40 degrees. Seattle was almost shut down due to bad ice. We cancelled plans to go to Sequim, which is not far from where Betty lived the story of the EGG AND I. Too cold, too much snow, windy, and icy. So we stayed home and roasted a duck!! 

We're not seeing the sun yet! At least it isn't raining. It's impossible to walk every day in this weather. I usually go out for 45 minutes a day.  

Our new Betty MacDonald and Alison Bard Burnett CD and DVD are perfect gifts. 

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is our hero and a very much  beloved guy. 

Don't miss Brad Craft's very interesting thoughts, please.

Something very special!

This is an interview with Elizabeth an owner of a traditional Mongolian Ger (yurt). 

Elizabeth has been living in her yurt since early last fall through the rainy NW winter on Vashon Island.

Take care,

Greta & Nina 

Don't miss this very special book, please.


Vita Magica
Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund 


US snowstorm: Massive US blizzard paralyses East Coast

Media caption"A combination of epic snowfall, driven by hurricane force winds" - Jon Sopel reports from Washington DC

A massive blizzard bringing more than 2ft (60cm) of snow and punishing winds is advancing up the US East Coast.
More than 50 million people across more than a dozen states have been warned to stay at home as it moves north. The nation's capital, Washington, could lie under a record 30in (76cm) of snow by the time the storm passes on Sunday. At least nine people have been killed and a state of emergency declared in 10 states. Transport services have been cancelled, and homes are without power. The weather system affects a huge swathe of the country, from Arkansas in the south to Massachusetts in the north-east. Supermarkets ran out of food amid a rush for supplies before the first snowflakes fell on Friday.

In summary:

  • By early Saturday, more than 18 inches (45cm) of snow had fallen in parts of Kentucky and seven inches had fallen in Washington, the National Weather Service reported
  • More than 7,000 flights have been cancelled for Friday and Saturday
  • More than 100,000 homes lost power in North Carolina
  • Nine people have been killed in car crashes in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee
  • In Virginia alone, state police had reported 989 car crashes by Friday evening
  • States of emergency have been declared in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia
  • Washington's transport system - the second busiest in the US - will close all weekend
  • Many events, including two sold-out concerts by singer Garth Brooks in Baltimore, have been postponed
The US federal government closed down at noon on Friday as Washington's mayor, Muriel Bowser, warned this was a major storm with "life and death implications". President Obama is remaining at the White House.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that the worst of the snow would fall in the Washington area from the early hours of Saturday to the early afternoon, with winds of more than 50mph (80kph).In a warning at 02:17 (07:17 GMT), the NWS tweeted that an "intense snow band" was moving through the area, "expect rapid accumulations and near-whiteout conditions".
Residents in the capital and surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland have been warned the snowfall could eclipse the district's record of 28in that fell during a two-day period in 1922.
The BBC's Laura Bicker, in Washington DC, says it feels as though the city is in hiding - the streets are empty and restaurants, bars and supermarkets remain closed.
Residents have been told to find a safe place and stay there until the storm has passed.

Some tips on surviving a snowstorm:
1.Make sure you have at least three gallons of drinking water per person, per day
2.Tape the windows with bubble wrap to keep the heat in
3.Use your dog to measure the snowfall
How to prepare for a snowstorm
Why do so many people die shovelling snow?

Throughout the night, people were taking to Twitter to post updates on snow levels and pictures under the hashtag #Snowmaggedon2016. In Kentucky, the Red Cross erected shelters along Interstate 75 for the more than 3,000 people who became stranded after multiple crashes forced the closure of the highway. Kentucky State Police tweeted that officers were taking water, fuel and snacks to the motorists, some of whom had been stuck for more than 12 hours. Local TV reporter Caitlin Centner was one of those stranded. She told her station WKYT-TV: "Every time it looks like there's light at the end of the tunnel, more accidents and slide-offs are occurring." In Baltimore, teams of mental health specialists were working to bring some of the estimated 3,000 homeless people to shelter, the New York Times reported.
  Media caption Advice for citizens of Washington DC from around the world on how to survive the cold Supermarket shelves in many areas were bare. In Baltimore, shopper Sharon Brewington remembered how she and her daughter were left with just noodles and water when the last big snowstorm struck in 2010."I'm not going to make that mistake again," she said.

Do you live on the US east coast? Are you affected by the blizzard? Email with your stories, and if safe to do so, send us your pictures and video.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: