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Siblings tell tales of Virgil and beyond

'Fluffy Funny Fabulous: A Tale Five Sisters' by AnitLewis (Goodreads Author) Vicki Foley LindTarmichael Ruth KenyHelen Landrum

"Fluffy, Funny, and Fabulous: A Tale of Five Sisters" by Anita Lewis (Goodreads Author), Vicki Foley, Linda Tarmichael, Ruth Kenyon, Helen Landrum

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To find ‘Fluffy, Funny...’

“Fluffy, Funny, and Fabulous” is published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises.

The book is available through bookstores, from the publisher at, or by visiting or

Updated: February 1, 2013 6:05AM

Once upon a time there was a girl named Ruth Altepeter living in the small town of Virgil in central Kane County.

One day, Ruth set out on a bike ride — never dreaming that her heart would pop out of her chest as a bull with a nose ring jumped a fence and raced toward her ... .

Today, that little girl is Ruth Kenyon, of Missouri. And she, along with her four sisters, has penned a book called “Fluffy, Funny, and Fabulous: A Tale of Five Sisters.”

“Fluffy, Funny, and Fabulous” takes readers on a journey of the sisters’ adventures in Virgil, interesting family members, their faith, and the love they have for each other and their family.

The authors range in age from the youngest, Anita Lewis, 54, of Aurora, to the oldest, Helen Landrum, 72, of East Moline. Other sisters are Vicki Foley, 58, of St. Charles, Linda Tarmichael, 61, of North Aurora, and Kenyon, 68.

The story talks about their mother Fran Colsten, who was the glue that held the family together.

“Mother has always said … that the five of us should always stay close,” Lewis said.

“And she was very, very clear to us that all five of her daughters were very special and we all had something great to contribute … . ”

In the book, the sisters take turns sharing their recollections and perspectives.

There are times that the memories overlap.

“I felt that we really had something that we could share because our story is very similar to so many other people,” Lewis said. “And we just wanted to give people a chance to laugh a little bit and think a little bit about their own life and celebrate the fact that families are really special.”

The sisters write of a time when an ice-cold orange pop could be bought at a general store for a nickel. One even played hooky from high school to spend the day with the man who is now her husband. But a certain great aunt let the sisters’ mom know the gossip.

Between laughs and smiles of the sisters’ life happenings, there also are poignant moments, such as when Foley lost her son to drug abuse and the girls’ parents died.

“Almost the whole book made me cry,” Tarmichael said. “The hardest part was the death of our mother, because we were just so close to her and she was such a good mother.”

Foley thinks the book will inspire people.

“I hope that people see the value in family,” she said. “I hope that the book helps them to reminisce and find their own stories and maybe start penning their own things down.”

Indeed, the book is funny and illustrates fabulous sisters with big hearts.

As for the book cover, which shows the sisters with their mom in the middle flashing some leg — that was Landrum’s idea.

She encouraged the woman at a wedding, saying, “You know, this is so boring. Let’s hike our skirts up!”

Among the places the book can be
found are and

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