by Don Anderson
I once heard you never know what you've got until you plan a move. I have been getting rid of items that would serve no purpose to anybody. Where does it all come from? If anybody out there needs used nuts and bolts of most sizes, come forward and I will keep them for you.
One day was house cleaning day. We have three of every imaginable items in cookware. I know I am partly to blame as you know I am a garage "saler." I cannot resist a good deal. Now, don't call me a pack rat. I was raised in the Great Depression of the 30's: "use it up, eat it all, wear it out" still applies to me.
I want to tell you of a good find that came my way last week. I was coming home from uptown, and I saw a huge box laying in the ditch. Upon examining it, it was a recently built cabinet, made for storage. It was damaged from the fall out of a truck and was knocked out of square.
As I contemplated the work to get it home, I found it was far too heavy to even lift one corner. I carry a crowbar in my vehicle and after about one hour I had it disassembled and loaded. The next day I pulled the nails and when finished I had 16 nice 2x4's x 8 ft., four sheets of half inch plywood, several 1x4s x 8 ft.., and four - 1 inch boards 8 feet long. I phoned my lumber yard for a price quote and they come up with $124.
I built the rear steps off the back deck, have plywood to replace the floor on the wheel chair ramp and have plywood left for another job, if I so decide.
We are getting everything up to par in preparation to selling our home here. We are hoping for a sale by May of 2004. Have some interest now.
Our plans are to live in Alexandria, Minnesota. That location is centrally located among our families. By getting started now and careful planning, the moving should be a "piece of cake."
It all boils down to this: Family before weather. We had 15 years of living here in Missouri, for which we are thankful. We look forward to being near all of our immediate family, to at least see them from time to time. Contrary to a motto, "I hope I live long enough to be a burden to our children." Ha.
by Ben Johnson
Well, it seems as though I made it through the first two months of school unharmed. Like I mentioned in my last (or first, or possibly my only) student update, I rotate between school in Brooklyn Park and my internship at Juettner motors in Alexandria every two months. So on Wednesday, the 15th, I moved back to Ashby so I could start work on the 20th.
On Monday I started work by doing an oil change and inspection on a car that was recently traded in to the dealership. Everything went good until I started the car to check for leaks. That was when I noticed a gigantic spot of oil on the floor under the car. Turns out the o-ring from the old filter stuck to the car, so when I put the new filter on it didn't seal like it should.
So I started off on a good note with my co-workers, because we all got to stand around for a few minutes giggling, at which point they told me that it has happened to every one of them, so not to let it bug me. But they did mention that it was the first time it has happened to somebody on the first day of work.
Since then, things have been going much smoother. I have only been working for two days and I have already done more mechanical work on cars than I have my whole life before this point. I will now be working in Alexandria until the middle of January before returning to school. I get to work until January because the date that I am suppose to start school again will be during Christmas break.
That is about all for now. When I have more news, I will relay it to you.
NEW JOB UPDATE
by Chris Chap
Once again, it has been far too long since I have last written to you or The Bulletin. It is quite nice that you put these Bulletins together for everyone, and I know that everyone enjoys reading them.
First, an update on my career: I started working for American Family insurance on September 15th and have been basically training since then. I received my Life and Health license as well as my Property and Casualty license. Both exams were quite stressful to prepare, but now that I am done with the tests, I feel much better about the time that I put in.
Now that I have both licensees, I will be paired up with an insurance agent here in the cities. I am not sure where I will be, but hopefully somewhere close to St. Louis Park. For the next two weeks, I am working in Brooklyn Center. I hope that I can stay there, because it is a nice drive for me and I really enjoy (so far) the people that I am working with.
Once again, sorry about not writing for such a long time. Now that I have access to e-mail every day, I'll try to drop a note more often. Also, I am glad to hear that you and Grandpa are moving back to the great state of Minnesota. I know that the winters aren't fun, but it will sure be nice having you closer and being able to visit more often. I look forward to the next Bulletin.
To the Ozarks by Motorcycles
by Patty and Donny Anderson
continued from Bulletin #062, September 28, 2003
Donny and Patty Anderson decided to hop on their latest acquisitions -- a Harley Davidson (to be lead cycle driven by Don) and his hand-me-down Honda Shadow (which had become Patty's since the arrival of the "Harley") and head for the Ozarks. This is their travelogue, as told to the editor.
The last installment of the Donny, Jr. travelogue left us in Springfield, Missouri. Now you will hear "THE REST OF THE STORY...."
Passing through the carport on Monday afternoon, after a satisfying meal of turnip greens, black eyed peas, hog jowls and throwed rolls, Don, Sr. was spied astride the Harley making vroom, vroom noises (see picture). We decided it was time we leave... (We were just thankful he had his helmet on).
We headed south that afternoon with Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in our sights. We arrived in this geographically stunning area with plenty of daylight to spare. We proceeded to look down our snobby noses at the endless line of theme motels, souvenir shops and chicken/ pizza/ taco eateries and decided to shove on. Certainly there would be a quaint little town with a mom & pop motel with a decent cafe down the road ... or not -- 150 miles and a great big circle through eastern Arkansas later, we were comfortably ensconced in a sweet little Bavarian motel ... in Eureka Springs. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
The next day, Don decided we needed to find a quaint little place called Boger Hollow where, in 1980, he and Kristin had purchased a pottery bowl and eaten "the BEST ham sandwich ever!!"
It wasn't on any of our maps, so we decided to ask a local... "Boger Holla? Boger Holla? T'ain't really a town, naw, coupla' houses on ta road, population's seven -- an four o' them's dawgs! Whatcha want wit Boger Holla?" said the man with two front teeth (lower) and a brown paper bag.
His information, however, was accurate, leading us down the most scenic road in all of Arkansas, past the Arkansas Grand Canyon (jumbo size valley) to Boger Hollow, where we found a couple of houses, a tacky store selling souvenirs made in china -- no pottery and no ham. We settled for a frito pie for lunch -- a Styrofoam bowl of fritos, chili and melted cheese and a cream soda.
Arkansas was really beautiful -- full of endless ribbons of two lane roads curving up, down and around the most spectacular hills and valleys you're likely to ever see. We did, however, notice a peculiar smell most everywhere we went -- not unlike fresh road kill. For those of you who have never traveled by motorcycle, it is amazing to find that not every state smells like car freshener and old McDonald's bags. Don, being the more accomplished at rural smells, informed me that Tyson Chicken is the largest industry in Arkansas. Do chickens really smell that bad!?! Yup.
To back up a bit, during our stay in Steelville, Missouri, for the Aces concert, we met a 65 year old couple, Doug and Bonnie, who rode in on a brilliant blue BMW motorcycle -- something between a dirt bike and a crotch rocket. He, sporting a handlebar moustache and a worn pair of denim overalls stretched over his ample stomach, and she, a fairly normal looking, slender, gray haired grandma. We liked them at once.
Doug was a professor of sculpture, art and design at Macalester and then Drake University, who retired to Lesterville, Missouri, to continue his sculpture in iron and become the local blacksmith. Bonnie, a retired Spanish teacher, makes sculpture and jewelry of silver and copper. They invited us to stop and stay for a night on our way back to the river road from Arkansas - and we did!
We were told to find the store outside of town and phone Doug to come fetch us from there. A ragtag group of locals were lingering outside, drinking beer and trading vegetables, when Don pulled up and tactfully belted out, "Does anyone know a halfwit blacksmith in the area?"
Several of them enthusiastically answered, "Oh, you mean, Dougie?"
We were instantly accepted -- Don can be such a diplomat. Doug came up, traded a few beers for some green peppers for our supper, and led us back to a lovely valley with a whitewater river (which they still kayak 2-3 times a week in summer). A stream runs over the road at one point, which fortunately was not too deep for the motorcycles to ford.
Their house was built by hand over several years, from rocks out of the river and timber that they milled themselves. It is filled with art and amazing views. We had a wonderful supper of a vegetable and fish stew, then talked for hours under the stars and listened as they played bluegrass music together -- he on the banjo, she on the guitar. We got a tour of his forge and the "Peola Valley Store" where they sell their art to the local tourists, before heading back over the river and on our way the next morning.
The trip up the Illinois side of the river was mostly uneventful, especially since we could rarely actually see the river. We spent a night in the town of Nauvoo, where on every corner and every wall, including inside our hotel room, was the story of the Mormon migration from there to the Great Salt Lake. It was a little creepy, in a white bread sort of way.
Just north of Galena, we ran into rain -- the first we'd seen, of any duration. It was cold, wet, and made visibility a challenge. 100 miles later we gave up and spent $169 in Prairie Du Chien to get a hotel room with a very big, very hot, bath tub. It was worth every penny! The ride home the next day was 274 miles of bone chilling temperatures and gusty winds in still damp footwear. All in all, a 2,500 mile incredible journey!
The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson
Let me introduce you to my Bolivian family!
My immediate family consists of a widow not much older than Mom and two daughters in their mid-twenties. In Bolivia, children always live with their parents until marriage. They definitely have different concepts of appropriate independence, as well. Adult children may have degrees, jobs, and parent-imposed curfews! People here find it difficult to comprehend that I've been living on my own 1,000 miles from you for two years already.
My family insisted on taking me to and from school four times before I could convince them that I really did know the way and, furthermore, am capable of reading a map and asking for directions....
Anyway, the oldest daughter has completed law school and is teaching English and Spanish while waiting to take her exams. The other is working on her thesis in the Bolivian equivalent of computer engineering. I'm not really sure exactly what they learn... Technology here is exorbitantly priced and thoroughly outdated. The mother teaches language and literature at a private high school. All of them are very sweet and interesting people.
Last Saturday, the girls and I went to an incredible concert given by a popular Argentinean group, Los Nocheros. I can tell the girls and I are going to have much fun together.
The mother's sister and her family and grandmother live at the same address, but in a separate house connected to ours. Their daughter is 4 years old and seems to love me. :) She chatters constantly and has proclaimed herself la profesora de kjirsten. She's already taught me a lot!
In a few minutes, a few students and I are heading to a nearby national park to hike. Monday morning we leave early for Potosí, a mining town that is supposedly the highest city in the world. We'll spend the rest of the week in the former colonial capital, Sucre.
The Miss Kitty Letters *
By Jerrianne Lowther
Miss Kitty and I have enjoyed this project, which just flows from letters I'm writing anyway, to various friends and relatives who enjoy cats and are always looking for new points of view. Then they add new bits of information I'd have missed.
Beaver read the last one and mentioned a National Geographic article that said lions with whiskers in straight rows tended to be healthier and better adjusted than lions whose whiskers erupted in random patterns. He said his observations indicated that it was true of little cats, too. I'd never thought of that one, so I checked ... and Miss Kitty's whiskers do, indeed, sprout in straight lines, which sounds like another good omen.
We've been going for walks and rides in my VW van in her special kitty
caddy that is both car seat and "frontpack" when I go walking with
her. It's more fun than a backpack but harder on the back muscles. I'm
getting her used to traveling with me during these last days of fall
so we can go places together. Maybe we'll even make it to Minnesota to
see Beaver and Donna. That would be quite a trip with a kitty!
You're welcome to use the letters in The Bulletin, or not. I could even put them on my web site and just provide a link, if that would be better. Donna may have told you that I wrote features for a newspaper long ago and also Alaska magazine, so this is kind of second nature to me. I'm just writing letters about things that interest me, without any pressure to produce endless reams of copy like newspaper writers do.
The puddles and ponds are freezing over in Southcentral Alaska now and
winter will be here too soon, so we're making the most of these autumn
days, while they last. Today was our last trip to the vet until next
year, I hope. All her shots are done now.
Miss Kitty sends her best greetings, a chirr and a purr,
Editor's Comments &
Mine, that is!
Over my time of Motherhood, I have had many moments when I have felt a deep pride in my children's accomplishments -- but there are two times that I am remembering with loving satisfaction. They were times of total family "good behavior."
One summer I applied for a summer class, given as scholarship with stipend for the improvement of rural school teaching. It was a time of transition for us and we were betwixt and between. I did receive the appointment. Our whole family packed up and left for Chadron, Nebraska. I will just "fast speed forward..."
Donna was receiving what wages we could afford to give (surely not much -- but it went further in those days!) and she was serving as Mother's Helper. She did more than baby sit -- she cared for all the needs of daytime care for her three younger siblings -- and had some assistance from her brother Donny.
The weeks went by without complaint. We tried to do lots of fun activities with the kids whenever there was available time. No problems arose -- at least not the kind Donna felt need of complaining about. All of this made me aware we had some nice kids! But the "frosting on the cake" came when our large study group of rural teachers, their families and our four instructors and their wives were to have a picnic and entertainment activities at one of the ranches nearby.
Donna and I got the kids all spiffed up in their cute summer things, combed, polished and ready to go out and get a chance to ride horseback, play games and win prizes. (Both of us knew we wouldn't have to chase kids -- Donny was old enough and sensible enough he would stay pretty close to one of us or his Dad and the other three would more than likely be clinging to my skirts or her pants leg when we were standing -- or right by our sides as we walked or sat.) Only if Dad went along would they do any mixing with the crowd -- and, heavens alive, there would be no "smart talk" from them, as a matter of fact, probably not much talk at all.
After we all assembled, it wasn't long until I began to feel an embarrassment for one of the instructors and his wife. They had their only daughter with them -- she appeared to be about Donny's age; she was precocious, precious, and entirely obnoxious. They tried to ignore her pushing into conversations, seeking attention, and finally her whining. Our kids just watched her with astonishment!
I felt sorry for her Mom -- and wondered that such a good instructor would do so little in making his daughter behave. We went home that night feeling so thankful for "good kids."
That, however, was not the end of the episode. Several weeks later, I received my grades in the mail. The wife of the instructor wrote to me and I paraphrase -- "You can be proud of your family. Your five children did not give you as much trouble as our one gave us!" It is times like this that are the reward for the lifetime it takes to "raise good kids"!!
Next week I will relate another "proud of our family" moment. If you are interested in hearing!
The Family Cookbook
live to cook
Wow, two weeks in a row, I'm on a roll! This week we have a recipe from a person who wears many hats. When she's not busy changing her hats, she finds time to crank out some awesome homemade bread, and today she's sent us her secret. It's perfect for all you "Editor on the go" types, who have to put together a newsletter a week but still don't want to compromise and eat store-bought bread. Get out your bread machine and take some notes as I roll out:
Dorothy Mae's "Almost Homemade" Golden Crusty Bread
Yield: 1-1/2 loaf of nice crusty golden bread which makes about 20 slices.
Add ingredients to the machine in this order -- carefully measured amounts
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
which is heated to lukewarm
1 egg (whisked lightly -- then added)
2 tablespoons of margarine or butter -- softened, then added
3 cups of bread flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of active dry yeast or machine yeast
First you put in all the liquid ingredients and then you add all the dry, in the orders they are given above. Turn on the machine and observe the process,
using a rubber spatula to push dry ingredients down into the dough. If, after kneading for 3-4 minutes, the dough seems dry and crumbly, add a little water or milk.
If it has too much liquid, it won't form into a ball and needs a sprinkle more of flour. After it forms a nice ball, just put down the lid and let the machine do the work.
The author adds: "I've never had a flop with this recipe!" Wow, this recipe even comes with a guarantee! So much the better. Thanks Mom, for the wonderful recipe.
Let's keep that ball in play, Bulletin Readers! What do I have to do, start a cooking contest with a first prize of me coming to your home and cooking a meal for you? Say... that's really not that bad of an idea... I'll have to run it past Mo..., I mean, The Editor. See you soon!
From the Files of 5
Hetty Hooper --
the Family Snooper!
It looks like the Weston-Ana romance is progressing quite well -- They manage to get together quite often -- the road to Rosholt is well traveled! I guessed right on that one!
What a job this is getting to be, trying to keep a watch on those high school girls -- I hear the next state they intend to "case" is Wisconsin. Hope I can get some pictures, but imagine that is too much to expect of Wyatt -- so maybe some of my other sources could come through on this one. And do you know something else? Those college kids up in Fargo keep me busy, too -- my sources inform me that Ben Henderson is squiring a beautiful blonde around. (Did you catch that from Uncle Don) I hear her initials are H.O. -- no pictures available at this time. Please tell Hetty H first!
I had a letter in the mail that kinda scared me -- it seems someone got a picture of me, and they threaten to show it to the boss. I know for sure I would lose my job then -- I suppose I will have to scout up some money to pay them off. Just a picture wouldn't be too bad, but it was what I was doing. (I sure don't want the boss to find that out! -- Oh, my, why does life have to be so complicated?) If I could just get a good "scoop," maybe then my job would be a little more secure! Hetty Hollers Help!!!!!!
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
What a Bulletin! There was so much news in it, so many interesting and informative articles, also ... so newsworthy. How nice of so many to contribute such a variety of news to share with the other readers. I felt for Doug, losing his pet cat.... And learning of the latest in eye surgery, what a wonderful surgery! And about Kjirsten going to South America and such caring ... and Becky's going to see grandparents ... just to name a few things....
Please, please continue writing the parenting column. It's fabulous. Also ... I have a feeling that Donna could make the Jayce stories a regular column too.
About your discipline article ... sometimes we as mothers can look back and wonder if we did the right thing or not ... anyway, the kids grew up and what their life is, is up to them now ... We did our best at the time with what we had $$ and what we thought right. Am sure we failed them many times, too, but that's all in the past and they more than make up for it as they got over that hump! At least our kids are all so appreciative of us moms and dads. They couldn't be more loving and caring, so we must have done OK!
The Bulletin was very enjoyable. Now a word to Doug. We were so sorry to hear about your beloved cat. These little guys come into our lives and just wrap themselves around our hearts, don't they, and to lose one is like losing a member of the family.
We hope there will be another cat like him in your future, to help fill the void.
With love ...... Russ and Diana
Great work, Editor -- Keep it up. I enjoyed Weston's play by play of his eye surgery. I do think I would go that route if the need arises, as it sounds very simple. On behalf of everyone (I think) we extend our sympathy to Douglas Alan on the loss of his kitty friend. My comment on the editor's "discipline report" given to us on her children, I must say she has five great children today, all quite ambitious, and well mannered.
Elaine, you should be a poet -- you have a gift in writing poems. I did enjoy your North Dakota poem. Hetty Hooper, write to me...
Here is a thought -- in making a good speech, it is all right to have a train of thought, just as long as you make sure you also have a terminal. And the man who thinks he knows it all is a pain in the neck to those of us who really do.
Ha Ha, Mavis
I would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of sympathy concerning the death of my cat. Such genuine caring has touched my heart and made a hard time much easier. Thanks again!
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: As we grow old...the beauty steals inward. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.