The Bulletin
Sunday, November 2, 2003

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A Poem for Aunt Gert on her Birthday {
by Doug
I tried to write a poem
that was flowery and mushy
that would make our readers
all choked-up and gushy

All though it began
with potential and promise,
it soon became clear
that I'm no Dylan Thomas

So I'll keep it plain
and say "Happy Birthday,
Aunt Gertie!"
Life must be swell
now that you're thirty!

Updates -

by Becky Chap

A Trip to Missouri

First of all, thank you, Grandpa and Grandma, from Becky, Jayce and our friend Heather. We enjoyed our stay!

Day 1
We started out around 9 a.m. We stopped a couple of times to stretch and to get gas and food. We made it into Iowa around 2 in the afternoon. We found that state very boring. We wanted out of that state. We finally made it to Cameron around 7 p.m. and decided to stop there for the night. We were all very tired. We all fell asleep around 9 p.m.

Day 2
Up and on the road around 9 a.m. We wanted to get to Springfield, so we stopped as little as we could. Once we got into Springfield, we were looking forward to getting to Grandpa's and Grandma's. We got there around 2 in the afternoon. They were very excited to see us. Just as we were to see them. After being there for a couple hours, Heather and I went to the Mall. Jayce stayed behind with Grandma and Grandpa. He kept them very busy. We were only gone for a couple of hours. When we got back, we sat there visiting with Grandpa and Grandma, then off to bed. We were all tired from the big day.

Day 3
We went to Bass Pro Shop and to the mall again today. We had to find something to bring home for Caity, then at about one we went to a birthday party for a friend of Grandma's and Grandpa's. We saw some people I knew, too. Linda Bly says to say, "Hi" to everyone. Then back to Grandma's and Grandpa's to visit with them some more.

We had a little excitement: a neighbor of theirs was taken to the hospital. It was pretty interesting. We all got packed up and put stuff in the trunk so we wouldn't have a lot to do the next morning. Grandpa gave Jayce a harmonica. More on the harmonica later.

Day 4
Were up and gone at about 4 a.m. We were awake, so we decided to leave. We drove until around 9 a.m. then decided to stop and have a nap. About the harmonica -- Jayce started playing that thing around 4 a.m. As soon as we were in the car, he started. We just told him to put it away; he did. But all though the day, he kept taking it out. We finally took it away around 4 p.m. As soon as we got into Minnesota, we smiled at each other and said, "about time!" After that, we just took our time getting home -- and made it safely and in good time!

by Kristi Indermark

Jim and I just got back from our two week vacation to the North. We were gone 14 nights and stayed in nine different places. Jordan is well traveled. We got a chance to see Donna and Becky for a couple of hours while we were up in Minnesota. We spend a lot of time with my Dad in Minnesota and Jim's parents in Wisconsin. The weather was perfect while we were up there. Makes me think about moving back, but then the memories of the cold winters remind me why we are in Florida.

Jordan is really doing well. We had her to the doctor this week. Sl,,he weighs 10 pounds 13 ounces (50th percentile); she is 21-1/2 inches long (25th percentile). She got her first set of shots. She did really good (I think I cried more than her). Jordan is sleeping 7 hours at a time and she only gets up once in the middle of the night. It will be nice for when I go back to work next week.

Tomorrow we are going to get our Christmas pictures and family pictures taken. I hope she is in a good mood. That is all that is going on here. It is good to be home again.

Jim, Kristi, and Jordan Indermark

by Brenda Hill

It has been WAY too long since I've written so thought I better take the time to do it today! I continue to enjoy reading The Bulletin. Thanks!

I am home from school today and tomorrow recovering from episiotomy revision surgery that I had on Friday. It has been five months since Jazmine was born and I still wasn't completely healed from the difficult delivery. After other attempts, the specialist decided that surgery was necessary. It didn't take too long to cut and restitch and now hopefully I'll be back to normal soon!

Jazmine will actually be five months old tomorrow. She is a little over 16 pounds now and growing like a weed. Just in the last couple of weeks she has figured out how to roll from her stomach to her back and her back to her stomach. Her favorite pastime is perfecting this "trick." Our favorite pastime is watching her!!! She is a big talker, it seems, and she is a very happy, content baby. Her first tooth is still waiting to make its appearance.

Nathan continues to work at Wil-Rich running the CNC. Wil-Rich manufactures farm equipment. He has only been working 40 hours a week so we see more of him! He has gone duck hunting a couple of days this fall with some friends, too, which he really enjoys. (Actually, he enjoys being with friends way more than hunting, I think!) I better let this be all for now.

from the Netherlands
by our friend Ary Ommert

Hello Dorothy and Don,

It's cold and dry here in Holland, feels a bit like winter. Heard about that you are moving back to Minnesota also from Don and Donna. Think it is a good decision but you will miss the mild winters in Missouri. Have you had any people who are interested in your house??? You mentioned you would like a 2 bedroom apartment, also handy for piano lessons or people staying over. Who knows, I might come over next year.

We have wintertime now; the clock changed last night. Dark around 6 p.m. I don't like that, but inside my house I light some candles now to make it cozy. I'm more a summer person when it's light in the evening so you can do something outside. Well, a few more months and the days are getting longer again.

Well this was my update for now, good luck with house hunting and hope you find a house you both like very soon. Would like to write something for your magazine but have no idea what might be interesting, perhaps something about my work or tell something about Holland???

Greetings to you from the Netherlands,

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Jayce got a new Dalmatian type stuffed puppy from Becky's friend Ben this last Friday evening. He's been lugging it around with him, most everywhere he goes, ever since. When he likes something, he REALLY likes it!

Becky has a doctor's appointment, follow-up to her surgery, this afternoon. She's taking Jayce along with her, and in preparation he just finished combing his own hair (well ... trying to, at least) and then he proceeded to comb the puppy's hair. When he finished, he proudly displayed the stuffed pup to his mother,

"My puppy's SO handsome!"

A few minutes later I heard him give a snort of utter dismay, and then,

"Now my puppy's not so handsome!"

When I asked why, I was informed Puppy's hair was messed up again ... so, off he marched to "comb" his puppy again. Right now, Becky is getting his coat on him and he's all worried she's going to "mess him (the puppy) up again!" Obviously, being very careful that his puppy is spiffy looking to see the doctor.

The doctors and nurses get a big kick out of him each visit; he usually says something that cracks them up. They are amazed, since he's been big enough to walk, how he always cleans up his toys after himself, before leaving a room ... evidently, not many of the others do. :-)

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson

Right now I'm in the highest city in the world!!! It's called Potosí, and the elevation is over 13,000 feet. at the moment, I'm wearing my cozy new alpaca hat and sipping tea. The temperature is probably approaching freezing by now.

Potosí was astonishing! We toured the mines yesterday morning, and the conditions are appalling, to say the least. The work is manual, and the laborers are as young as 5 years old. Education is not compulsory in this country. After only a few minutes inside, I was anxious to get out..

Climbing through the tight tunnels around 14,000 feet above sea level was made more miserable by dark, cold, dust, and nagging mistrust of the old timber supports. An average miner lives 15 years or less before dying of silicosis. Miners are desperate for work and money to support themselves and their families, but in doing so, inevitably sacrifice a significant portion of their own lives. Since the mines opened a few hundred years ago, 8 million miners have died. The entire population of Bolivia at the moment is the same number...

For their efforts, the paid helpers earn around $3 per day. The older miners earn whatever they extract, which is usually not much. Each morning they spend an hour or more chewing coca leaves in preparation for the day's work. The effects of coca help them to bear the miserable conditions and work for an entire shift without eating inside the mines. I could have used some... but the leaves taste like grass to me. :( But the tea is tasty, and probably significantly less potent than a can of Mountain Dew. ;)

On a lighter note, we were treated to a night of merry-making and great music by a traditional Bolivian group after dinner. I've fallen in love with the music here! It usually includes various guitars, panpipes, and recorder-like flutes. It's quite rhythmic and the melodies are beautiful. I'll buy some CD's so you can appreciate it too.

We're in Sucre now, after spending over three hours to travel less than 100 km on a road that was lovely compared to some we've experienced. The city was a colonial capital and has impressive architecture and great plazas filled with eucalyptus trees and orange juice vendors. This morning we went to a museum filled with amazing weavings created by two indigenous groups that live near Sucre. I really want to buy a couple, but I've decided to wait, since I'm sure I'll be back some day and would rather not be responsible for valuable things at the moment.

We flew from Cochabamba to La Paz, and from La Paz to Sucre. The mountains near La Paz are incredible!!! I wanted to hop out of the plane and hike. :) Even from the airport, we had great views of snowy peaks.

In Sucre we've discovered what everyone claims are the best chocolates in Bolivia. They're incredibly tasty, and cheap! I bought a box for my Cochabambina family and a box for me. :)

We have most of the next two days to enjoy Sucre and the international cultural festival before returning Friday evening. At the moment, we're killing time before a Bolivian folk music concert starts.


The Amazing Cat Story
by Patty Anderson

The rest of the rest of the story...

When planning for our 11 day motorcycle vacation last month we had to consider what would become of our five cats during our absence. We have two house cats, Benjamin and Mr. Frodo, who spend short periods of time outdoors during the day; a one year old TOM cat in training, George, who spent last winter in the house and now pretty much comes and goes as he sees fit, and two female kittens, Gracie and Lucy, who are spoiled outside babies and the future mothers of our colony of barn cats. (We aren't sure how that will work for us, since George seems to think the girls are just for target practice -- he regularly pounces on and terrifies them. We've nicknamed George "Prince Uday," since his favorite pastime is torturing small animals and being mean to the girls.

The cats would all need food and water while we were gone and the kittens needed locking up at night to protect them from the lions, tigers and bears that live in our woods. But more importantly, Benjamin and Frodo would simply die without human affection for 11 days. (OK, Benjamin has been known to poo on my pillow when left alone for even a few days and we didn't want to know what he would do in 11 days!) Our nephew Weston agreed to cat sit for us and we were thrilled!

George disappeared a few days after we left -- but that was to be expected. He is a bundle of energy with his newly discovered special purpose. He comes home when he's hungry and tired, as do most wayward teenagers. George is a good hunter: alert, wary, and can climb a tree better than a squirrel. We don't worry about him much. This time he was gone almost two weeks. OK, we worried a little.

Benjamin, my 12 year old beloved Siamese left one evening, seven days after we did. Weston let him out after work, as usual, but when it came time to come in for treats he didn't show up. Benny always comes when called and never stays out all night. Weston kept calling for him the next few days; he even left food and water out on the front porch, but he didn't see him again. Benny is an extremely intelligent, devoted cat, as is typical of a Siamese. We think we know what happened to him....

When we got home, Benny had already been gone for three days. We called and called for him. We left flyers at the local grocery store, vet, and in mailboxes within a mile of our house. He left of his own accord, but why? And to where? He had been strictly a house cat for the first 11 years of his life. He was declawed and unable to climb trees or defend himself. We took false comfort in the fact that he was wearing a cat collar and tag with his name and phone number on it when he left, just in case someone should find him, but no one called.

Then it occurred to us that we had only lived here just over a year. Would he try to go back to Maple Grove, looking for us where we had lived most of his life? Could he cross the Mississippi? We called the old neighbors to keep an eye out for him, and then we waited.

Eight days later, Don was in the yard and around the corner of the house limped a pathetically thin Siamese cat, with his stretchy collar around both his neck and his front left armpit. When he saw Don he "talked" excitedly, as if he couldn't believe his luck. Don freed him from the collar that had left a pressure sore across his neck and left shoulder. He was a bag of sagging skin and bones when Don picked him up and brought him into the house for some food and water.

Instead of eating, he walked around the house, calling and looking for me. When it was obvious I wasn't there, he did settle down to eat -- where I found him a few minutes later, when I arrived home. He stopped eating and came to me, "talking" and purring continuously. It was so obvious that he was overjoyed to be with us again. There were a lot of hugs and purrs before he would settle down to eat again, with me sitting on the floor next to him.

The tag on his collar was scratched and damaged, as if it had been caught somewhere, but it also had wear marks along one edge that would have rubbed on the metal buckle with each step he took, once he got free. Don thought he must have walked miles to get it worn that much. He couldn't have been caught the entire time he was away, or he would have died from dehydration.

We speculate that he set out to find us, and far into his journey, he got caught and then tangled in his collar. He must have been in significant discomfort with the collar stretched tight around him. We expect he knew he was in trouble and turned back for the only place he knew for sure there would be help -- Weston. He was as surprised to see us as we were to see him!

Once he ate and drank his fill, he settled down to sleep -- as long as it was within a foot of me. When I got up to go to the bathroom, he got up and followed me there. Benny spent the next several days being "velcro kitty" -- being on or next to one of us at all times. It was several days before he would go farther than the front porch outside.

He is just now starting to fill back out so you don't feel his bones as much when you pet him. He still has a long scab and a split in his fur where the collar was. We immediately took the collar off George, too, since he has great potential for getting himself in trouble.

We're now back to being a five cat family. George has even stayed home since we've been back. I expect we'll have some beautiful, spoiled tiger kittens looking for a good home next year, if nature takes its course as we hope it will. We would also like to thank Weston again for his efforts while we were away. We hope you didn't worry about them too much! Darn cats!! Thanks again!

Editor's Comments &
On Motherhood
Mine, that is!

Mom's Proud Moments
Part II

It was fast approaching Thanksgiving Day and the Andersons were busy! This wasn't the first time they had been busy since getting back from the California trip that Bicentennial year of 1976. They had now completed the move to their new home, and had then done some changing, shopping and in general made it "their own" and now they were busy with the preparation for the gathering of the Anderson clan.

The whole family had spent hours getting everything planned and arranged. Mom was getting rather "testy" with fatigue and had only this one more day to prepare -- and, as is usual for these events, the logistics of the whole thing had been overwhelming. And then came the nicest of nice things that can happen in families -- The knight in shining armor arrived on his white steed.

Donny came out into the kitchen where I was hard at work peeling potatoes. I planned to put them in cold water to set until the morning of Thanksgiving. He grabbed a knife and started peeling. He then informed me, "Mom, the kids and I have decided to do the table and serve and do clean up tomorrow -- so you can visit with everybody -- if that's OK with you."

I really don't know how I answered, but even yet I get such a warm feeling thinking of what happened from that point on, because with that announcement those four took over all the dining room events.

Thanksgiving Day arrived and Dad Anderson had the sidewalks swept, the flag hung, the parking space all cleared, and had made a couple last minute errands for the rest. Mom had a feast in preparation -- her oldest daughter and family were coming in soon with some pies for dessert and a large batch of dinner rolls, so the meal was definitely going to be fine.

In the dining room, the new table was decorated for all the older guests and then beyond it, and into the living room, were two smaller tables for the younger guests. All the nicest dishes were set and hand decorated place cards were placed on the white linen tablecloth by each setting. It was a moment to savor!

I remember how pleased Grandma Anderson was when Donny met and greeted her and invited her in. Everything went so beautifully. I helped with preparing the food and my final dinner duty was getting the gravy made. I then took off my apron and left the rest up to Donny, Marlene, Patty, and Doug while I visited in the living room. I don't know how they completed all of the rest, but I am proud to this day of what a beautiful job they did of assembling and serving that Thanksgiving feast! They were hosts and hostesses of renown (as far as I was concerned).

It was now Thanksgiving evening in 1976; the guests had all gone home, the flag was lowered, the kids were all scattered to their rooms, and another proud moment for parents had arrived and gone, leaving a memory to be cherished!

The Family Cookbook
Culinary Heirlooms
by Doug Anderson

     Greetings, gentle readers. This week's recipe travels all the way to us from the exotic Independent Territory of Texas. E-mail never used to be able to make it that far because the Commancheros kept chopping down the transmitters, but they've got all the bugs worked out now, thankfully.

     If you like Pecan Pie, then you are in for a treat, because I'm about to share with you a recipe that may well change the way you think about Pecan Pie. If not, at least you will still have some very tasty pie. Sit on down and get ready for:

Aunt Lois's "No Nonsense" Perfect Pecan Pie
3 eggs slightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup broken pecans
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
     Combine all ingredients, except pecans; blend well. Stir in pecans. Pour into unbaked pie shell. PRE-HEAT oven to 400 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes, or until center is almost set.

     How beautiful is that? All the best things are simple, which is why Chinese Algebra never really caught on as an Olympic sport. Thanks, Aunt Lois, for the wonderful pie memories to come.

      If you are reading this and haven't seen any one of YOUR recipes, it's because you haven't sent us one, silly reader. How about it? We would LOVE to hear from you, even if it's only your favorite variation on Hamburger Helper. Don't be a lump! Send 'em along! See you next week!

From the Files of 5
Hetty Hooper --
the Family Snooper!

Chris & Jenny
Chris & Jenny

To start it off -- Will you take a look at the cute picture that I had the editor (I am not supposed to call her the boss -- but she is!) attach to this week's Bulletin? Isn't that a cute couple of "love birds," I ask you?!

You really have to have sources when you're holding down this kind of a job. This came from, of all places, Las Vegas -- it was taken in September. That is the bo...oops, the editor's grandson Chris Chap and that is Jessy with him. She's going to college to get to be an elementary teacher -- beats me how they dare face all those little squirmy kids. I hear she is great at it, though. (By the way, my source told me this was taken at Jessy's sister's wedding -- she is an elementary teacher, already. They must raise them brave in North Dakota (or is that South Dakota?)

Then there is a good source I just found in North Dakota. That one was wondering what the Boss's great nephew Ryan H. was doing, coming home so often. (He never did until just lately -- always too busy at school, you know.) Wonder what's up?? Who's the lucky girl?

And then there is a little tid-bit I got from a Minnesota source who tells me the other Ryan (heart throb to Heidi) from New Mexico is headed north for Thanksgiving! Somehow that one doesn't surprise me.

I have not had a threatening letter from the black mailer lately -- maybe they have given up. (I sure hope so ... don't want anyone to see that picture!!)

Hasta la vista! (Is that one right?) If you know any good gossip -- contact Hetty!


About 20 minutes ago I noticed it was snowing. Which I am glad to see, instead of freezing rain, as they'd predicted. About 10 minutes later, Caity asked if she and Kerstyn could go outside and play. Just a bit ago, I looked out to check on them. They are SLEDDING ... but it's on the deck where a small amount of white shows. Sitting on their knees and scooting themselves along the length of the deck. I'd say that was a couple of determined, anxious to sled, little girls! Got to give them credit for their determination. :-)



Thanks for another great read!

Would you mind adding Kathlyn Anderson to your subscriber list? (She's Beaver's and Mitzi's sister, and mine; she also lives in Anchorage.) She enjoys The Bulletin but has been on duty 24/7 (sort of) lately. She has been meaning to ask you but hasn't got a "round tuitt."

I've forwarded several copies, but that doesn't work very well, except when Donna forwards them to me. Some html e-mail is compatible and some isn't ... yours and mine don't mesh very well, so it's better for her to be on your list in the first place.

Miss Kitty and I got a bit behind on our writing this week while fooling with a non-functioning computer (not this one, thank goodness!) and traveling around town with Miss Kitty in her pouch. We'll probably catch up on chronicling our recent outdoor adventures in a day or two.

We've also been posting pictures and some of the text on my web site, but without an obvious link. The "Miss Kitty Chronicles" are here and each of the photos and titles should lead to another page with a larger photo and text.

BTW, the reference to "throwed rolls" in this week's Bulletin threw me for a loop, but not for long. I knew all about "drop biscuits," but "throwed rolls"? Fortunately, Google helped me out. Perhaps you've published them earlier, but I thought there might be other Bulletin readers who would also enjoy exploring a couple of explanatory links:

If these Lamberts ever got together with "Pea Soup Anderson," I'd love to be there!

Jerrianne Lowther

I had a really great time while I was there for those couple of days. Thanks again for letting me stay at your house. I thought that the mall was the best part of the trip.

Heather Jacobs

Thanks very much for sending me The Bulletin number 65. This time it opened when I opened your mail. Making The Bulletin takes a lot of time but the result is to be proud of.
Greetings from the Netherlands,


Good Work, Absolutely AWESOME Bulletin! I enjoyed each person's input. How fun. JoAnne commented on how much she enjoys it. Then the "kids" all said how much they liked it, too, each commenting on various things they'd enjoyed. Patty's piece put us in stitches! She ought to write more often. Loved the picture. :-) Hope Jerrianne and Kjirsten keep contributing too ... very interesting from both of them. Love your stories, even brought back some memories for me (and that is a BIGGEE!!)

As usual, WELL DONE!


I am really wondering who Hetty Hooper is? I think I have several guesses, but then I am not a bit sure either. Hetty ... you are giving us a good source of what's going on with your gossip column .. .makes for interesting reading.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone. --Anthony Burgess

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

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.