October 5, 2003
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It's true that I am, in fact, quite busy now-a-days with work, school, and projects around the house that I recently moved into. I've always preferred a busy schedule over a lazy one, so I'm actually quite pleased with the load. I'm working as a waiter/bartender at the Grandmas Saloon and Grill and I work almost every day after school.
I'm taking Physical geography, Human Communication Theory, Public Speaking and Human Nutrition. I have to admit, I'm not being challenged too much with these courses, but I need them for my communications minor and other Liberal Ed. requirements.
The house I moved into recently, (location number four since I moved up here last August) is very close to the lake and in a nice neighborhood. When I wake up in the morning I can look out my window and see that lake and it makes me very pleased. I'm not quite sure what else to add except that my girlfriend of almost a year just recently moved up to Duluth to attend UMD. Needless to say, her presence here brings a welcome change to my lifestyle and it's convenient to not have to drive 150 miles to see her every other weekend. She keeps me in line with a smile on my face.
Overall, things are good and I'm just trollin' along through the days, as content as I could hope for. I hope things are well on your side of things, and I'm sure they are.
Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
A Weekend Trip
A big thank you to Ben for doing chores for us, to allow us a couple days away from the farm. THANKS, BEN!
Beaver and I loaded the van with STUFF and Caity and Jayce, and headed off to Itasca State Park. It was a first for the kids and it had been years since either he or I had been there.
They have a new building, which the kids enjoyed exploring; playing in the children's area, listening on the "phones," feeling the bear's hair, walking across the bridge and checking out all the displays. After spending some time in there, we headed back to the van to bundle up against the chilly 48 degree weather. On the way, we got a laugh out of a chipmunk, chattering away at a dog on a leash. What a tease!
Then we spent some time on various trails, hiking and checking out the sights. One of our favorites was a 120-foot red pine tree; they figure it is over 300 years old! The kids also liked just being able to run freely and discovering what was over the next rise. Caity's big adventure was climbing the tall fire tower, with two other little girls. Too many stairs for the rest of us; it had been a long, uphill climb just to get to the tower! She got a certificate for climbing and will take that for a show & tell at school.
They both enjoyed seeing the headwaters, but we all agreed we would go back next summer so they can wade through them. It was fun watching a couple of dogs almost dump their master into the river while he was trying to walk across the log bridge. One went on the bridge and the other right into the water. We thought more than the dog was going to get wet from that choice!
After the park, we went on to Bemidji, just as a few drops hit our windshield. Stopped and had a nice meal and headed for our lodging. After we were in our motel, the Northern Inn, the rain came down in earnest, so our timing was good!
Caity and Jayce did the pool, with Jayce getting out after a while and wandering to the games. Caity made new friends and they swam for about three hours; they met again in the morning for another hour and half of swimming. I think that girl would spend all day in the pool, other than short breaks!
I did get to do some shop looking and found a few "treasures," then we took a lovely drive over to Maplewood Park. (We stopped for DQ treats on the way.) We got a ride on the little tram/train they had running last weekend (and this coming one). The kids thought that was an exciting ride, laughing at the bumps that lifted us all off our seats!
Caity and Jayce both opted for "Oriental" for our meal, which both Beaver and I enjoy, too. So, that was our last stop before heading back home.
Update on Becky
Thursday morning I take Becky for her surgery, to remove the larger lump from her thyroid. The surgeon said they would only take 1/2 her thyroid, if possible, to save having to be on meds for it the rest of her life.
We drop Caity off at school at 8:15 and Jayce at Angelina's (friend of Becky's) in Melrose and on to St.Cloud. We are to be there at 11 and her surgery is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. It is a three hour surgery and she will possibly be released on Friday, but the surgeon told me she might have to stay until Saturday. I will just stay in a motel for the one or possibly two nights.
Update on Becky's surgery:
Everything went as planned on Thursday and Becky had the left half of her thyroid removed because of nodules that were growing there. The right side was left because the nodule there is just pea-sized. Everything was going well until she strained a bit to open something and her surgical site began to swell and turn dark, like bruising. They took her for emergency surgery and had to sew up a bleeder where the cauterizing had broken open.
Donna has been staying at one of the Hospitality Rooms at the hospital. I checked with her yesterday and again today. She says Becky has been surprised how little real pain she has -- but how rotten and crabby she feels from the itching caused by the antibiotics and just plain feeling "wrung-out." The doctor says she needs to stay another day, at least, because her blood pressure is still too low. (Which is probably the reason she feels so punk.)
She hasn't had much company, being so far from home, but Jo Anne Sigman (Wesley's wife) came by to sit with Donna when they were waiting for the surgery to finish and to check on the results of the surgery. And one of Becky's friends, Ben, came and stayed for a visit.
Best Wishes for a quick and complete recovery, Becky!
New Addition to the Family Dept.
It seems there are a lot of new family members in these pages lately, and none more welcome than the one so lovingly described in this document sent to us by Beaver's Sister, Jerrianne. Jerrianne lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and has taken the plunge into first time cat ownership; it seems she is doing it in a big way! We know that you will enjoy these delightfully whimsical essays as much as we did! As to you cat-haters, this would be a good time to go make yourself a sandwich, or something. And now please enjoy:
The Miss Kitty Letters *
By Jerrianne Lowther
I MAY have acquired somebody to keep me company ... an apparently homeless kitten! Thanks to my sister, who is always getting me into some kind of trouble ... I have a cute little kitty staying at my house since Wednesday. The sign on the lawn, the ad in the paper, and the kids it tried to adopt dragging it door to door have not turned up any owners and Kathy's cat is very territorial. She wanted this interloper GONE.
So I went over to meet the cat and took it home with me. Kathy reminds me that this is the season when mice try to move indoors with me. I hate having to trap the furry little beasties, so she speculates that this cat might be a good mouser ... and already, I have toy mice underfoot all over the place. I don't like them much, either!
I fed and watered my feline guest, and while I was scrambling some eggs for a quick supper for me, Miss Kitty jumped up onto a window sill in the sunroom, dumping two potted plants into the kitchen sink upside down, and knocked over a folding chair that sliced the nose off a potted cactus plant. I'm sure it will get worse! My computer has two keyboards ... I'll bet she will figure that at least one of those keyboards is hers.
This agile cat is very social and is perched on my shoulder, purring her little heart out ... but she's also a talented jumper and will swing from the chandeliers, given half a chance. She's a "talker," too. Orange and gray, well blended, yellow eyes, long ears and tail. My house isn't kidproof or catproof and I'll have to scramble to stay ahead of Miss Kitty ... She doesn't have a real name yet, but I have to call her something. We'll see.
I'll give this a couple of days, and if we're still speaking and no one has claimed Miss Kitty, we'll make a vet appointment and see about shots and spaying and a name -- and perhaps a companion, before she gets too settled in and claims all the territory. I don't know beans about keeping cats, having last had one of my own about 40 years ago, though I grew up with cats that lived mostly outdoors and mainly came around to be fed.
BTW, if Miss Kitty doesn't find a better place to sleep and groom herself than on my typing arm or a keyboard, heaven knows how I'm going to keep up with my e-mail! I suppose she'll want to help me clean out the garage, to make room for my van.
Miss Kitty's web log is here: http://www.jlowther.com/Pages/kitty/index.html
If you want to check out my other recent adventures, click here:
Click on "Riding the Sky" to see a small collection of kids flying bicycles (click on the thumbnail images for enlargements) and on the Chugach Foothills Park pictures to see the neighborhood park, where I've been helping out with the gardening. I pulled up sacks and sacks of frozen geraniums and marigolds last night because it looked like it might snow today ... and it did. Pulling them today in pouring rain mixed with snow wouldn't have been much fun at all. Kathleen, the power behind the flower planting program, built a house in Cooper Landing this summer and moved away, so we're on our own now ... because those flowers are such a pretty addition to our subdivision.
Photo Correspondent Report #3
The weekend of September 13, the Johnson boys converged at the farm near Ashby for the annual silo filling weekend. It was a perfect, cool weekend. It just wouldn't have felt right without a hint of fall in the air. Dad and Ben got a start Friday evening, doing the opening round to make sure all equipment was in order. If not for the fence post that jumped out of nowhere, that would have gone smoothly. Only a minor hangup, though, and the opening round was finished Friday evening. Saturday morning, after finally rousing everyone out of bed, we got to work. As you can see from the first picture, Ben managed to be dirty before we even started!
There were only minor delays, once when the apron on a wagon broke, and Weston and Ben had to unload a mostly full load by hand, and a couple of sheared pins on the corn chopper, but nothing we'd consider major. We did find out Weston and Ben make a pretty good pit crew, when they changed a tire on a wagon, and didn't miss a load. It is always fun to come back to the farm for silo filling; there's just something about watching that pile grow!
I suppose I should describe silo filling a little bit, for those not familiar. You can see the empty pit in the background of the first picture. We start with that. Dad uses the John Deere 4020, pulling the John Deere chopper out in the field. A wagon attaches to the back of the chopper. The chopper takes two rows of corn at a time, cutting the stalk off about six inches off the ground. The entire stalk is then sucked into the chopper, where it gets chopped into tiny pieces around an inch wide.
Once it has been chopped, a big spout spits the silage out the back of the chopper into the trailing wagon. Once the wagon is full, whoever is next in line pulls up with an empty wagon, and switches. Weston, Ben, and I alternate between pulling wagons using the Ford 5000 and the Farmall M Diesel. These wagons are pulled up to the end of the silo pit, where they are dumped.
The Michigan loader is then used (by Ben and Weston) to push the silage up the pile, and pack it in. After the pile is done, a plastic cover is put over it, to prevent spoilage. I wish I could put about 10 pictures on to show everyone, but maybe I'll have a followup some other time. Hope you enjoyed these at least!
If you think this sounds like fun, there's always openings next year! Oh man, I can't believe I left out the best part ... the reason that keeps us coming back ... the food. Let me tell you a little something about the food. You'd think that coming home to work for the weekend, you'd exercise a lot, and probably lose a little weight, right? Not with a quality chef like we have in Donna. Roasts, chicken breasts, potatoes, squash, cookies, pies ... it almost makes me want to fill silo more often!
See you next time!
This and That
by Elaine Wold
OH WOW! ... You hit a Home Run, Baby! They brought back the memory right away ... don't know how, from a description, you could come up with the same recipe ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU :-)
The note above came from Kerry, my neighbor. He had described his Grandma's cookies to me and I thought I recognized them so I made him some for his fishing trip. These are Cleo's old fashioned Hermit cookies ... a spice cookie with raisins. Those older in family would like them ... no chocolate chips or lots of pricey ingredients in them ... just old fashioned cookies, affordable from those days.
1 cup butter (I use half margarine)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup raisins, plumped in boiling water.
1 tsp. soda -- dissolved in couple spoonsful of hot water.
1 tsp. each -- of cinnamon and salt
1/2 tsp. each----- of cloves, allspice, nutmeg,
2 cups flour (more if you see it's needed; flours vary, and exact amount depends on how much you like them to spread.)
Nuts, if you like. (I do.)
Mix well, drop by spoonfuls Bake until browned at 350 degrees.
From the Files of 5
Hetty Hooper --
the Family Snooper!
First of all, an apology is in order: To Tami -- (my boss made this clear and I admit she is right. I listened to the authority.) I guess I have to admit I am jealous that I don't have a nice education (mostly the school of hard knocks). I did really know all along that Tami is an attractive, smart, nice, hard working student (and a good sport!). I also learn now that she met Jason through a mutual acquaintance. (I seem to think a cousin?) So if I made enemies on this gossip bit -- at least accept my apology, please! (Or I'm out a job.)
I just want it understood that there is going to be no apology to that rascal, Doug -- I am not that dumb as to believe that blonde he was with was Gwyneth Paltrow. Who does he think we are to believe that! You just wait, I have some sources and when I get the real goods on that one it will be HEADLINES!!!!!!
And by the way, don't expect to hear any more details on my romantical interest -- seems I stepped on some toes in that pursuit -- so I have given it up. It was worth a try.
Hi there everybody -- feel free to contribute your favorite smile maker!
Saturday morning, as we started out on our weekend gallivanting, we were all busy looking for beautiful fall foliage and watching the scenery carefully, looking for that most beautiful tree. As we passed by Ottertail Lake, Jayce called from the back seat, "LOOK, Grandma! There are FEATHERS on the lake!"
I turned to look back at the lake, seeing that the whitecaps did indeed look like thousands of feathers! I will probably never see another whitecap without thinking they look like feathers ... but, it had never occurred to me before Jayce's observation! In the eyes of a child ... new wonders. :-) Next windy day, check for "feathers" on your local body of water...
Mom and I were listing some doctors names that were pretty funny, in line with their professions, e.g. Dr Money, Dr. Payne, and the one I went to (Kristin worked for him), Dr. Hert. On our little adventure we drove by a funeral home. Owners and Name of funeral home--- CEASE Funeral Home.
Years ago I'd thought the cutest couple I'd heard of was when a Carpenter married a Toole.
Do any of you have any to share?
provided by Donna
Did you ever drive a really ugly car? This is one man's answer:
"I owned the world's ugliest Pinto --1973 model. White with blaze orange rocker panels, orange vinyl roof, orange vinyl seats and plastic interior topped by '70s orange shag carpet.
"I bought it during Pinto's first scare, so it cost almost nothing ... No complaints, as long as I didn't have to look at it."
I was insulted when I read the answer -- how dare he make light of the beauty of my first new car! I loved it, BUT they started construction up near St. Cloud and you had to be quick to get on -- so I traded my slowpoke for a speedy (but ugly green) Impala -- and was able to take off with bursts of speed when needed! I show my age -- that orange car with orange shag carpeting remains beautiful in my eyes. DMA
I have a virus ... it causes you to send the same e-mail twice ... it causes you to e-mail the wrong person ... it causes you to hit SEND before you're finished, and it causes you to hit DELETE instead of SEND.
It's called the C-NILE virus.
Have a good evening!
+LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
Sunday P.M. home alone again ... was over to Krissie's with Sharon and Ray last night. Sharon baby-sat their Jordan for the night, gave Krissie and Jim a night off. First one since August when the baby arrived. Was nice to be in their new home, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms. I was there last week at a house warming. It's on a lake that has many water birds.
I just finished reading The Bulletin. It was so interesting; those young people are just acting like young people should.* Please continue it, as it so informative.
*I just want you to know that all the kids who have been written up have seen all the articles about themselves before they appeared in The Bulletin and have been good sports about the teasing. We love our young people! They are the BEST!
To Peggy -- a hearty thank you. It is wonderful to be able to depend on good loving care for the kids in times of stress. For you caring for Caity during this extended time and for heading out to Melrose to pick up Jayce and care for him, too, our GRATEFUL THANKS!
Becky and Donna!
NOTICE TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES:
To anyone who might be expecting correspondence from me -- be aware my computer is in need of some work -- sorry, hope to be back on line soon ... Doug
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Time may be a great healer, but it's a terrible beautician.
EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is email@example.com
This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.