May 11, 2003
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Excellent bulletin, Mom! I loved the stories from all of you. Thanks! So very interesting, super reading. Come on lots of you others, share with us! It's been quiet on the Dake side ... are you letting the Andersons outshine you?? :-) (And they are doing a MARVELOUS job too, I might add!)
I will write about how this last week-end went, although it will be week old news by the Mother's Day bulletin, but figure that shouldn't matter :-)
We had excellent help this week-end. (May 2nd-4th) Weston, Lori and Chris arrived Friday night, all willing to help us out, even though Lori had stayed home sick from work on Friday with a nasty cold. She sounded so miserable! Bless her heart, for coming to stick to what she'd said she'd do, in spite of that. (I do think that was way above and beyond though, Lori!)
I made choc/choc chip cookies and four home made pizzas for them to eat on their arrival. Then, Saturday we woke to a lot of wind, but at least it was decent temps. Lori pressure washed all the lawn chairs, kids toys, playhouse rug. I think Chris carried them out. (I was still in the house, and they were all out being cleaned when I got outside, so not sure.) Chris put all of the chairs, tables, and hammock on deck, first having carried off all the daycare toys that were up there for the earlier spring days. He also cut the extra "trees" and junk out of my flowerbeds for me. Then he and Lori moved the swingset and he shoveled out the outer corners for when Beaver gets a chance to finish with the bucket; it was just too hard to do by hand.
Weston went into town and got paint and primer. He got our refinished storage shed's trim and some on the house all primed. Took him a while, as he had to tape off all the panes in a big window at the end of the shed.
I got the playhouse and utility shed cleared out and scrubbed down. Lori put all the stuff back in it. She and I made a trip to Fergus for daycare kids snacks, some other goodies we needed and plants for my two planters. Got them dug out and replanted with some pretty annuals, to give the steps and deck a nice splash of color.
I'd made meatloaf and mashed potatoes beforehand, so heated that up for our lunch, so not much time spent on that meal. In the evening, I took the extra taco meat (from two taco pizzas) and made a huge taco salad, so another easy meal.
Beaver got his corn planted on Saturday, had spent the couple days previous to that preparing the land. So, Jayce and I had done a couple trips with food. Jayce thinks that is great fun. Keeps telling me every farm he sees is Grandpa's farm. :-)
Last night Lori, Jayce and I went out to feed the orphan calf. She is so tame and friendly, Jayce really thought that was neat, but he wouldn't stick his fingers in and let her suck on them, like Grandpa tried to get him to do.
We'd gone out Friday night, as it was getting dark and visited her in the back of the barn; it was so hard to see that we couldn't even tell if she was in the barn for sure, and being black she's hard to spot. She came walking out from between the bales, after hearing us calling her. She comes right up to us (hoping for a bottle I would guess). Once up and about though, she was ready to play, walking around us and kicking up her back feet, giving us all a chuckle at her antics. Beaver told us how Ben had let her out one day last week and she was walking around him, bunting into him, he continuing to ignore her, until finally she got miffed at him and ran by him and kicked him in the leg on her way by!
Lucky thing we didn't get today's weather yesterday, gloomy and sprinkling and lots of wind (even more than we had yesterday!). Like Weston commented, "A good day for naps and watching the Twin's games." (well, I agree with the first part :-)
For brunch today, slow fried some sidepork, scrambled eggs and made some large fresh blueberry muffins (trying a new recipe -- a keeper). In the afternoon I tried a new recipe for rhubarb cake (very good too, I might add), so we had that for a snack with Cool Whip topping. Also made another batch of cookies. Finally, for our evening meal made steaks, baked potatoes, mushrooms and onions and green beans. Fresh cookies for dessert. So, think I held my end up and fed them decently. :-) Sent a few goodies along home with them. (Weston had a big bag from his Mom too ... veggies from her freezer and fresh bread, he said ... he should eat well!)
So, an official THANK YOU to Weston, Lori and Chris. Also, to Becky for the many things she helped with before she left for the weekend. She and Caity went down to help celebrate Linda and Joe's Zitzman's 30th anniversary. (Her Dad's sister and husband.)
Please write and tell us how it's going for you or any memories you might have. We love them! Share those recipes too, there are lots of us that enjoy trying them out!
Hi Grandma, thought it would be fun to share a Rylie update. Today, as I was drinking a can of pop, I took a sip, and after swallowing, went "Ahhhh." Shortly after that, Rylie took a hit from her sippy cup of juice, swallowed, and went "Ahhhh." As Jolene and I squealed with laughter, a huge grin spread across her face, revealing those still lonely 2 top front teeth.
It is absolutely amazing how much she learns every day. She doesn't let us forget that we need to read to her, as she brings "The Counting Book" over to one of us every evening. We hit a couple of great garage sales this week where we got another car seat for the other car, a little sandbox, a little picnic table, a slide, a pool, and a few more outdoor toys, all kinds of fun things to play with --- all for a grand total under $20!!!
She's also chattering a lot now. She likes to say "Daddy" and "kitty-kitty." As you can see from above, she's also quite the copycat. She says all kinds of other stuff that seems pretty important to her, but nobody else understands.
Better sign off now, its about bedtime!
Of Antifreeze and Absent Mind
This is sort of a current events letter, written to prove I am really losing it. I think, for reasons I shall not mention here, that Weston will enjoy it a great deal. He and I share the “absent minded perfessor” trait, which usually only happens to smart people, but occasionally can afflict people like me.
A few of days ago, I decided I should check the chemical balance of the anti-freeze in the radiators of our diesel tractors. This is done yearly to make sure the anti-freeze has not become corrosive, which can cause expensive engine damage by making pinholes in the cylinder sleeves.
The test is quite simple: a test strip about 3/8 inch wide and about 2 inches long is dipped into the antifreeze. Each strip has 3 test pads, which turn various colors (something like litmus paper, remember your high school science classes?). After dipping the strip in the antifreeze, one waits 45 seconds, and then compares the pads to colors on a chart. The chart tells whether the anti-freeze is good, needs additives, or should be changed. Should be pretty simple, right?
The John Deere 4020 was right by the shop, so I started there. I clambered up on the front axle, opened the radiator cap, dipped the strip, and crawled back down. When my watch said 45 seconds had passed, I checked the test strip. The colors were really strange. One pad that should have been some shade of brown was actually more of a violet color. The pad that shows the freeze protection was off the chart, looking like it should be good for at least 100 degrees below zero. None of the pads looked right when compared to the chart.
Checking the container, I found that the strip I had used was several months outdated. I also had some new strips, so I tried one of those. Same results. Now what?
I checked the tractor’s records, discovering that the last anti-freeze change had been four years ago. OK, I decided to just change the anti-freeze and be done with it. Finding drain pans, I opened the drains and proceeded to the machine shed to check the other tractors while the 4020 was draining. The antifreeze in the other tractors all checked out fine.
When I got back to the shop, I closed the drains, got the water and anti-freeze jugs, and clambered back up on the front axle to fill the radiator. When I opened the cap, the radiator was still full. How could this be, since there were several gallons of anti-freeze in the drain pans?
That’s when it finally struck me! The 4020 is one of the few tractors that has the fuel tank in front of the radiator, so naturally the fuel cap is in front of the radiator cap. I had opened the fuel cap and had been trying to test diesel fuel with anti-freeze test strips. No wonder the colors were strange! Oh, well, it was probably about time to change the anti-freeze anyway!
Maybe someday I’ll tell you about the time I filled up my Dad’s M Diesel Farmall with gasoline.
The Great Snow Storm of 1975
A Short Story for Mom on Mother's day, 2003
I waited nervously behind the library steps until I saw that my bus, number seven, was nearly full. I bolted from my hiding place like a sprinter from his mark and fell into line just as the doors were closing. Sanctuary. The school ground had become, in those days of my twelfth year, a very hostile and unforgiving place, with only two such sanctuaries: the school building and the school bus. Anywhere in between these two free zones, I became fair game. You see, for the first time in my young life, I had made an enemy.
For my first endeavor at such undertakings, I did quite well in choosing the largest boy in the sixth grade. Duane was at least 150 pounds, although I can't be sure because on recent visits to my old classrooms everything seemed much smaller than I remember it being. Maybe Duane was only 75 pounds, but next to my frail frame, he was a hulking Sasquatch.
Duane had somehow become convinced that I was responsible for the crude caricature of him that appeared one day on the bulletin board. I guess he recognized my stylistic nuances because he had vowed publicly to end my life. Now I was living my life in fear, running serpentine between the school and the bus like John Wayne in The Sands of Iwo Jima.
"Bam! Flat like a pancake, Anderson!" His words resounded in my head as I made myself as small as possible in the bus seat. I thought about the Swedish pancakes my Mother made. They were really flat.
On the long ride home, it began to snow. Snowflakes collected like icy sequins on the sill of the school bus window as I drifted off into a snowfall induced trance. By the time the bus arrived at our house, the wind had picked up and was whipping the falling snowflakes into tiny white cyclones all over our driveway.
"Darwin, Public and Parochial. Dassel-Cokato..." A unison cheer drowned out the announcer's voice. We had heard the magic words, the words that are the envy of our southern cousins everywhere, announcing a Snow Day.
The wonderful white manna was starting to accumulate in two or three foot drifts all over our property. The wind howled like a symphony of angry woodwinds and it was delicious music to my ears, indeed.
Naturally, I suited up and hit the perimeter to explore. In my mind, I was Alan Shepard on the moon, leaping weightlessly across the terrain. Oblivious to my fantasies, the wet petals kept falling out of the icy black sky.
The blizzard raged on for four more days and by the end of its reign, set new precedents for what a winter storm should be. The drifts covered a corn picker completely, with only its mouth sticking out of the snow, as if it were mouthing a despondent "O." There were great terraces of snow in our back yard, which inevitably became the groundwork for an elaborate network of tunnels. It was a whimsical fantasy wonderland where I never once thought about Duane Kohl.
Until the following Monday, when school resumed.
I was dead. I had allowed myself to be trapped between free zones and now I was going to die. I slumped limply up against the library steps. It was Duane, all one hundred and fifty homicidal pounds of him.
"Hey Anderson, my Dad might buy a car from your Dad."
"R... really?" I stammered.
"Yeah, and it might be mine someday."
"Wow, that's ... that's great," I said, laughing rigidly.
With that, Duane slugged me in the shoulder and lumbered off towards bus number four. I stood there for a minute, rubbing my arm. I knew that he had to do something to me for drawing that unkind picture of him, but somehow I had expected more than that.
I see now, looking back, that used automobiles make strange bedfellows. If Mr. Kohl had decided to buy a new car, I might have been carrion hanging from the jungle gym. Or flat like Swedish pancakes, like my mother makes.
The Family Cookbook
Special Mother's Day Edition!
by Doug Anderson
There is no word in the English language as sublime as "Mother." It instantly conjures images of comfort, warmth and stability. And if you're lucky, like me, the word "Mother" also reminds you of good food! That's why today's focus is on my Mom. (You want it to be on your Mom? Get your own column!)
The following recipe was on my request because I remember many fine drizzly spring or fall days eating pancakes for supper, a heresy in some families. I remember especially the thin ones that I thought we called "Swedish Pancakes." Perhaps this is just a faux memory, but that's what I remember them being called; please correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm sure you will.
Heat up your syrup in a pan of water and prepare yourself for:
Mom's Super-thin "Swedish" Pancakes
Beat 2 large eggs until bright yellow*
Gradually add 4 tablespoons sugar and then a half teaspoon of salt.
Add 2 cups of milk.
Add a scant cup of flour gradually.**
Spray heated griddle with pan release spray.
Spread the batter in very thin pools.
Cook at high to medium temperature.
The pancakes must be prepared and eaten immediately, as they do not "keep" well.
The pancakes need only to be flipped once and then transferred to a warmed plate.
Serve with warmed syrup.***
* Mom describes the color as "lemony." She also suggests using a blender to make sure the mixture is as smooth as possible.
** Mom says it is "crucial" that the flour is added gradually, until the mixture "looks like a thick cream." She also adds that it may or may not take the entire cup of flour.
*** Mom says "Some like fruits and creams (instead of syrup); after all, this is just another crepe in Plebeian clothes. I know I loved them with Grandma Cleo's Chokeberry syrup and thick cream! Yummy!"
Thanks Mom, although I have to admit to feeling a bit disillusioned at hearing my childhood favorite described as "Just another crepe in Plebeian clothes!" Oh well, "a rose by any other name" and all that jazz, I guess. Happy Mother's Day everyone! (Where applicable.)
Next week: An experiment in contrast and comparison, really this time!
Don has done a collection of "Memory" items and from them I have chosen a few to run in the Memory Lane column. This is the Second. --DMA
November of 1941
With the help from Uncle Carl Anderson, H. J. Fruetel and our family we loaded the household belongings into the 1929 Dodge truck, which Dad had for several years, and started our move.
We herded the cattle down old 81 and opened the fence near where the mailbox was and let them find the way to the barn. There were no stanchions or gutters nor a floor for the cows to stand on. We tied them with cow chains and used a lot of bedding that first winter.
In early spring of 1942 a bridge sale was on the Galchutt road and we went and bought a good amount of planks. We took two teams and wagons minus the racks and loaded planks on the wagon bolsters and we "rode high" driving home. We made several trips, one each day. With the planks we made a firm place for the cows to stand. Cutting them to length with a two man cross cut saw (I on one end and Dad on the other).
This floor made it possible to keep the cows clean and made it easier to take care of. Cement would be the answer in today's planning , but was almost unheard of on the farm of that day --anyway, on our farm.
Several other building, a small cow barn and a hog house went to the farm via Highway 81, pulled by old faithful 15-30 IHC, with its lug wheels. I remember pulling a hay wagon with other items, pulled by our 1937 WC Allis Chalmers.
Crops were good during the 40's, a war was on, prices were good. Many of the items we needed were on short supply and rationing was on for many things. We were issued gas cards, as well as cards for household items.
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
My, my, never seen such tings! What a good one. I really liked the bit on great Grandpa Anderson. Nice to know where you came from. He kind of sounds like me, especially the "very little money" part.
I hope the little guilting part at the end of my article works, I'm running out of material!
Hello from Southern California
Lots of good stuff in your bulletin. Thought I would copy and try the strawberry shortcake recipe! :-)
Hey Doug, they are copying those recipes!
Lisa and I have been learning how to scan/print family photos--papers, ink for archival and scrapbook projects. Would you like a little summary of what we learned for your bulletin? I answered her, "Yes" on this and will use it soon.
Woke up to the news of the tornadoes through the Mid-West. TV pictures are graphic -- said National Guard called out to help in Missouri. Your E-mails are pretty graphic, too... Glad all are okay.
LET'S GET BETTER ACQUAINTED
Thought sharing some answers to various questions would help us ALL get to know one another better. This is the one I'm sending out first. Please, please send me an answer :-)
Describe the most wonderful vacation you've ever taken. Why was it so great?
From: "Ardis Quick"
All the vacations I've taken with Charlie, Jason and Travis have been the best because they are usually relaxing and I enjoy seeing the boys have fun and see new sights. Our last cruise to the Eastern Caribbean was a lot of fun. One of the excursions we took was to race the American Cup and Canada 2 sailing boats. We had a fast, thrilling ride for an hour and 1/2 weaving back and forth against awesome waves. Got to watch the boys in action moving and trimming the sails, cranking up the line and just having an overall workout and adrenaline rush. Was a high point in the entire cruise....Ardis
The Mother of Mother's Day
Supplied by our Research Person
She was never a mother herself. She was a schoolteacher. She was the daughter of a Methodist minister. At One point she was an advertising executive with a Philadelphia insurance firm. And for 15 years she devoted her life to caring for her ailing mother.
After her mother's death in 1905, she yearned to find something to honor the memory of that good woman. And then she remembered the picnics that her mother had helped to organize back home in Grafton, West Virginia. They were called Mother's Friendship Day picnics, and mothers gathered at them in an effort to heal the hatred lingering after the Civil War. Then came the idea: Why not a national day to honor all mothers?
She wrote to the U.S. Patent Office and obtained a copyright for "Mother's Day." Then tirelessly she pressed her idea on governors, state legislators, congressmen, senators, clergymen, even the White House, to get "her" day recognized. At last, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother's Day a national observance.
For the rest of her life she campaigned to keep the holiday from becoming too commercialized. "Give your mother something useful," she once told a friend, "a pair of comfortable slippers, or shoes, new eyeglasses, an eiderdown if she isn't warm at night, or fix her stairs if they need fixing."
Upon her death in 1948, a wreath of 43 carnations was placed on her grave, 43 because that many countries celebrated Mother's Day due to her efforts. And why carnations? The carnation is the flower she suggested be worn on the holiday. It was her mother's favorite flower.
And it remains an enduring reminder of Anna M. Jarvis, the woman who gave birth to Mother's Day.
May 11th, Happy Mother's Day to all of you that are MOTHERS!
Just a little thought on motherhood and being your mother's child.....
Your mother carried you inside her for nine months; you carry her inside you forever.
"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." --Jill Churchill, writer
I consider myself very fortunate to have a mother with such talent and so willing to share it with all of us. Keep up the great work Mom! I LOVE your Bulletins!
Hi there everybody--hope you enjoy this new feature--and feel free to contribute your favorite smile
Don't know if you will like the following, but it's kind of cute. Thought it might work in the Mother's Day edition? For those that aren't mothers, yet....
Are you considering having children? To determine whether you are truly prepared for the experience, we suggest you take this set of simple tests...
FEEDING TEST: Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.
NIGHT TEST: Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 PM. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for five years. Look cheerful.
PHYSICAL TEST (WOMEN) Obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10% of the beans.
PHYSICAL TEST (MEN): Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.
FINAL ASSIGNMENT: Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.
To Our Newest Columnist: I have in your folder (titled Donna's Column) a letter from Wyatt and Jolene; a letter from "Our other Donna" ; your copy of the questions and answers survey on phrases; and your next question--- this is a nice stable folder to which I will add in order of their arrival everything that either you-or I think will be useful in having a column ready that will run once a week to be sent out every Saturday evening before the publish date, which is Sunday -- at the present time. That column will be named: Let's Get Better Acquainted
the Editor (better known to you as Mom)
Our Present Staff:
EDITORS: Mom, Grandma, Sister, etc.
Doug -------St. Cloud Correspondent - "Family Cookbook"
Rich---------Mr. In-A-Jam(b) &
Donna------Researcher for "Memory Lane" & "Chuckles"
& Let's Get Better Acquainted