Sunday, February 14, 2016

Betty MacDonald and a very special birthday

Happy Valentines to all Betty MacDonald fan club fans around the world 
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

Betty MacDonald Fan Club fans,

it's a very special day today - Valentine's Day! 

Happy Birthday dearest Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli! 

Don't miss the delightful Mr. Tigerli story by Betty MacDonald fan club honor member - artist and author Letizia Mancino.

I'll contribute something special to Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard fan club letter collection.

Dr. Clyde Reynolds Jensen was really very kind and patient.

I met some of his relatives and they said that he was very interested in Betty MacDonald's and Mary Bard Jensen's work and life of the Bard family.

Betty MacDonald's  unique son-in-law and Joan MacDonald Keil's husband Jerry Keil acted the same way.

I'm going to share some of Joan MacDonald Keil's and Jerry Keil's letters. 

The letters are very funny and interesting. 

You'll enjoy them very much.

We can be very fortunate indeed to have these excellent Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honour members Monica Sone, Darsie Beck, Gwen Grant, Letizia Mancino, Perry Woodfin, Mary Holmes, Bernd Kunze, Tracy Tyne Hilton, Tatjana Geßler,  Thomas Bödigheimer and last but not least our one and only Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli. 

The Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's new project Vita Magica.

I like cats and hate chickens. One of our relatives had a farm and they had chickens!

If you ask me, chickens are very stupid creatures and Betty MacDonald knew them very well.

Some years ago my husband like Betty MacDonald's first husband Robert Eugene Heskett wanted to own a farm but I refused.

Daniel wasn't interested in chickens. He liked cows. I said: If this happens we'll have a divorce. We are still married. Daniel is teacher.

I'm convinced Betty MacDonald's and Mary Bard's mother Sydney Bard would criticize my behaviour very much but times have changed.

I love Daniel very much but don't follow him everywhere.

I agree with Betty MacDonald's wonderful sister Alison Bard Burnett, who is very openminded about marriages and divorces in Wolfgang Hampel's delightful Betty MacDonald Interviews.

My family and friends adore Wolfgang Hampel's very witty interviews and his outstanding Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography.

More Wolfgang Hampel Interviews should be published.

We are huge fans of Wolfgang Hampel satirical poems and stories. Very funny and sharp, indeed.

I notice every time I listen to the Betty MacDonald CD how very different Betty MacDonald's and Alison Bard Burnett's voices are.

Betty MacDonald has a rather high voice and she speaks very, very quickly.

Nevertheless I love Betty MacDonald's and Alison Bard Burnett's voices and golden laughter. 

Let's enjoy a great breakfast with Brad and Nick, please.

Again - Happy Birthday dearest Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli.

Our beloved guy is often in love with beautiful ladies and Amore is  very important in his life.

Not a bad recipe I guess! 
Wishing you a very nice Sunday.



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 

                                Mr. Tigerli's memories
Copyright 2015 by Letizia Mancino
Translated by Mary Holmes
All rights reseverd 

My birthday! 
I, Mr. Tigerli, can hardly save myself from being submerged in red roses!  Oh dear, a loving cat has his problems.

Surrounded by a sea of flowers!

Mind you I’ve earned it. I have risked so much for love in my life!

I have become famous because of being such a great lover.  I am a Casanova cat.

 Am I exaggerating?  Are there not cats more famous than me, artists who paint or play the piano?

That may be so, but they are “nobodies” in the art of loving!

Look in the internet under “Erotica Felina”! You will see that my name immediately appears on the screen.

People boarding their plane in Singapore have found me at once on Google.

I am a world famous cat.

Oh no, I don’t loose my head over female cats. But women! I love women.  Yes only women. These wonderful creatures give me everything! Not only affection, good conversation and food.

I was four months old when I discovered my partiality for women.

One time I was cavorting on the bed with Roswitha, my first love – although it was strictly forbidden to get onto the bed – when under the woolen blanket I suddenly felt a wonderful soft plump area! Roswitha’s tummy! I was running backwards and forwards across it when suddenly a shot of adrenalin rushed through my cat brain. At an early age I became a slave to love!

But it was Roswitha’s foot that surprised me with my first erotic feelings. She had unknowingly stretched it out of the bed under the pressure of my four paws and for the first time I saw the naked foot of a woman. Five small tempting little sausages attracted my attention. How delicately the points moved. They were more attractive to look at than the mice in the fresh grass. I miaowed to them “I’m going to bite you”!

I understand men who kiss the feet of women so ardently.

I immediately lost my head and my innocence.

Now I began to nibble at these five little porkies.

Roswitha continued to sleep and sighed softly. Encouraged I licked her whole foot. Roswitha laughed sweetly and delightfully in her sleep.

Within eight months I was familiar with her leg.

I love beautiful legs. Without hair, without ticks or other insects. They have such a wonderful perfume. I could lick women’s legs without any saliva. Wonderful!   A refined lover begins with delicate movements, not by taking the female creation by storm. Only goats climb on the back of their females without paying a single compliment. You know, Betty, that a Casanova doesn’t come straight to the point!

Roswitha, I love you Oh, my first love! I felt so good in your bed. I lay at your feet in the night. But after two intimate years deeply in love with your feet, your husband came home. His field service away from home was over, and sadly my home service with you too.

“Get out of my bed”, he shouted. It’s not right to treat a loving cat so rudely, even when men have the right to be jealous of us. We are after all superior to them. We are supple and seductively beautiful until old age. We are not rude or, even worse, drunkards! A woman can spend romantic hours stroking us or even sleep with us in her bed and still believe in platonic love, which is hardly possible for them with a man. Women never become pregnant with us and this has advantages. Casanova was the inventor of the condom. We are the condom.

I was thrown out. Are men all so brutal, Betty? The bedroom door was locked. But I was still allowed to live in the house: three sofas in the living room, a bed in the guest bedroom, and an old divan in the cellar were available for me. Roswitha could come to these. But I was appalled!

Mr. Brummi avoided my dirty looks. Since then I have not befriended men, to say nothing of cats!

Without Roswitha’s feet I had to eke out a miserable existence in the house. And she complained that her feet were cold.

The husband however was obdurate. He tried, without success, to take my place: to stroke Roswitha’s feet, to rub them, to tickle them! But Roswitha’s five little white toes remained in the bed as motionless as if rigor mortis had set in.

There were no more giggles. The doctor recommended an evening foot-bath. To think that I should be replaced by a herbal bath! How outrageous!

Should I have scratched at the bedroom door every night? I am a proud cat! I would rather look around! She wouldn’t have heard me anyway. The husband snores as loudly as a vacuum cleaner on the point of collapse. Should I have dropped five dead mice in front of the door? But I don’t bring her these presents any more. If you love me, I thought, get divorced!

“Darling” I hear her say to her husband, “Couldn’t you snore more quietly?”

I comforted myself with her socks. The dirty ones, naturally. There were a few flakes from her skin that I swallowed with joy. Some men even sniff underwear. Idiotic love. That’s going too far for me. I, Mr Tigerli, don’t do that because I am an aesthetic cat. Gradually I’d had enough of the socks. Should I look for a new woman? The thought of being unfaithful came to me quite suddenly.

The nights in my basket passed peacefully  - and also the nights in Roswitha’s bed. Cold feet and migraines are two passion killers. The husband was sullen. She never suffered with me. I laughed - even if cats can’t laugh – behind my beard and knew that she had remained faithful.  I didn’t. I found the young servant in the house very fascinating. Her legs were not so beautiful as Roswitha’s , but the risks were low. The young woman was a Russian, temperamental, pretty and I liked her. Infidelity was for me a triviality.

“Oh, Mr. Tigerli”, cried Putziputzi  (that was her pet name. I’ll say no more, she had two brothers) “why are you licking me so tenderly?”

I could have answered. “You are my second choice. I am missing Roswitha’s feet.” But I wrapped myself round her leg, as all loving cats do.

She gave an even louder cry and ran away! I was perplexed!

I had no idea that genuine love-play begins with “No, no, I’d rather not, please don’t”.

I still had a lot to learn. Then I thought: Quick , Tigerli, follow Putziputzi and sing her a song! After that wonderful days followed: I showered her soft thighs with delicate little love-bites. It was intoxicating!

We constantly changed the spot we chose for our love-making. On Mondays and Fridays we lay on the three sofas, on Tuesday on the bed in the guest room, but most of the time we spent together in the cellar. She was crazy! Is this sex,

I asked myself. What man can make a woman so happy?

Putziputzi was soon dismissed from her job.

I have no great opinion of husbands and I must admit I have good reasons for this. But that their wives should react with such jealousy was for me an insoluble puzzle.

It wasn’t long before I was lying in bed with Roswitha again.

The husband had probably seen that the loss of a servant can have serious consequences. Now it was his job to vacuum the whole house: from the cellar to the attic. Roswitha assured him this would only be for a short transitional period, until she had found a replacement for Putziputzi.

“Yes, yes!  But the replacement must be ugly and unattractive and she should only work in the house and she must not play with Tigerli”, he answered.

“Yes, yes! I agree”, answered Roswitha, “and it would be wise if you would allow Tigerli to sleep in the bed with me again”.

The husband willingly gave his consent.

He nodded his agreement and it was clear that he saw me in a new light.

I was no longer a competitor.

What the heck, he thought! The guy was sleeping in my bed with my wife when I was away anyway!

So thanks to the vacuum-cleaner I was able to continue my love-affair with my first love Roswitha.


  Feb 14, 2016 6:05am EST

Syrian army gains ground around Aleppo, looks to Raqqa

Russia said on Saturday a Syria ceasefire plan was more likely to fail than succeed, as Syrian government forces backed by Russian air strikes took rebel ground near Aleppo and set their sights on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa province.International divisions over Syria surfaced anew at a Munich conference where Russia rejected French charges that it was bombing civilians, just a day after world powers agreed on the "cessation of hostilities" due to begin in a week's time.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated accusations that Russia was hitting "legitimate opposition groups" and civilians with its bombing campaign in Syria and said Moscow must change its targets to respect the ceasefire deal.

The conflict, reshaped by Russia's intervention last September, has gone into an even higher gear since the United Nations sought to revive peace talks. These were suspended earlier this month in Geneva before they got off the ground.
Turkish forces shelled Kurdish YPG militia targets near the northern Syrian town of Azaz on Saturday, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, demanding that the group withdraw from land it recently captured.
The United States urged both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds to step back and focus instead on tackling the "common threat" of Islamic State militants who control large parts of Syria.
The Syrian army looked poised to advance into the Islamic State-held province of Raqqa for the first time since 2014, apparently to pre-empt any move by Saudi Arabia to send ground forces into Syria to fight the jihadist insurgents.
A Syrian military source said the army captured positions at the provincial border between Hama and Raqqa in the last two days and intends to advance further.
"It is an indication of the direction of coming operations towards Raqqa. In general, the Raqqa front is open ... starting in the direction of the Tabqa area," the source said.
Tabqa is the location of an air base captured by Islamic State two years ago, and the source said the army had moved to within 35 km (20 miles) of the base.
The cessation of hostilities deal agreed by major powers falls short of a formal ceasefire, since it was not signed by the warring parties - the government and rebels seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad in a five-year war that has killed at least 250,000 people.
If its forces retake Aleppo and seal the Turkish border north of the city, Damascus would deal a crushing blow to the insurgents who were on the march until Russia intervened, shoring up Assad's rule and paving the way to the current reversal of rebel fortunes.
Russia has said it will keep bombing Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which in many areas of western Syria fights government forces in close proximity to insurgents deemed moderates by Western states.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, asked at a security conference in Munich on Saturday to assess the chances of the cessation of hostilities deal succeeding, replied: "49 percent."
Asked the same question, his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier put the odds at 51 percent.
The complex, multi-sided civil war in Syria, raging since 2011, has drawn in most regional and global powers, caused the world's worst humanitarian emergency and attracted recruits to Islamist militancy from around the world.
Assad, backed on the ground by Iranian combatants and Lebanon's Hezbollah in addition to big power ally Russia, is showing no appetite for a negotiated ceasefire. He said this week that the government's goal was to recapture all of Syria, though he said this could take time.
The U.S. government said Assad was "deluded" if he thought there was a military solution to the conflict.
Syrian state television announced the army and allied militia had on Saturday captured the village of al-Tamura overlooking rebel terrain northwest of Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported advances in the same area, adding that Russian jets had hit three rebel-held towns near the Turkish border.
Government offensives around Aleppo have sent tens of thousands of people fleeing towards the Turkish border.
Islamic State, driven by the goal of expanding its "caliphate" rather than reforming Syria - the original goal of the opposition when the conflict began as an unarmed street uprising in 2011 - is being targeted in separate campaigns by a U.S.-led alliance and Assad's government with Russian air support. Regional Kurdish forces supported by Washington are also fighting Islamic State in Raqqa province.
Gulf states that want Assad gone from power have said they would be willing to send in troops as part of any U.S.-led ground attack against Islamic State. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he expected Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to send commandos to help recapture Raqqa.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was reported as saying Saudi Arabia will send aircraft to Turkey's Incirlik air base to support the air campaign against Islamic State in Syria.
"Saudi Arabia is now sending planes to Turkey, to Incirlik. They came and carried out inspections at the base," Cavusoglu told the Yeni Safak newspaper, adding it was unclear how many planes would come and that the Saudis might also send soldiers.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday in Munich there was no need to scare anyone with a ground operation in Syria.
Two Syrian rebel commanders told Reuters on Friday insurgents had been sent "excellent quantities" of Grad rockets with a range of 20 km (12 miles) by foreign backers in recent days to help confront the Russian-backed offensive in Aleppo.
Foreign opponents of Assad including Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been supplying vetted rebel groups with weapons via a Turkey-based operations centre.
Some of these groups have received military training overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The vetted groups have been a regular target of the Russian air strikes.
(Additional reporting by Denis Dyomkin in Moscow; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Dominic Evans)