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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
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Don wants to invite you to come to Alexandria and go "ice fishing" with him. Just make an appointment, as he expects to be busy!

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Belated Christmas Get together

Don & Patty hosted our yearly sibling/cousin Christmas get together this year. The ambiance and eating were both exceptional. I'm guessing everyone had plenty to eat, I must say we appreciate all the good cooks in our family!

Don & Patty provided scrumptious pork, lamb, sauerkraut stuffing (Eric provided the potato sausage for the stuffing) and cheesy potatoes (mouth watering just remembering how exceptional it was). Lori, Weston & Chris provided two nummy salads (well, Lori made them; they helped buy :-) and pop. Marlene & Wyatt brought large veggie trays & dip -- both were devoured (and we thought it might be too much with two!)

Patty Henderson supplied the delectable rolls, her usual contribution, which we all appreciated throughout the day; several people munched on plain rolls, they are so good. Becky & Ben brought pop. I provided the desserts and one new flavored dip (red pepper), I'd just discovered, which proved tasty. So if anyone went away hungry, that was their choice!

After we'd eaten, we opened our exchange gifts, with very little "stealing" going on. We each bring a gal or guy gift, according to which we are; they are put in a pile. Patty Anderson made numbers for each of us. When our number was called, we were allowed to pick either a package from the pile or take one that was opened. A gift could not be stolen more than three times. So, the higher the number, the better the odds of taking an opened gift, to know what your selection would be. Still, most chose to open the unopened gifts; guess the pull is to check out the unknown!

After we'd finished that, we put the "white elephant" gifts on the table and Don called people up by their number, with two people at a time ... one from the low numbers and one from the high. Then he asked questions, some very goofy, odd questions; and the one with the more clever answer (which meant you could get the tough audience laughing or clapping) got to choose their "gift." We had some very funny, odd, nice, strange, ugly, and yes, even dumb ... white elephant gifts.

Doug's donation was a huge pair of Nike tennis shoes; Leona ended up with this prize. (I have a feeling they might reappear another year?) I thought one of the best answers of the day was from Dan. The question was along the line of "What have you stolen?" His answer was "Gina's heart." I thought that was sweet and quick thinking. The whole "game" proved to be very entertaining!

Then a bunch played games, creating plenty of laughter for the players and those that were watching. We have some very clever, smart players! I even managed to talk Leona into playing a game of Scrabble with me, (although I'm sure she'd have rather played with the others). Thanks, Leona!

We missed having Heidi and Zach with us; they were our only absentees. Otherwise it was tons of fun! Another successful family "do"!

Thanks, once again, to Don & Patty for having us!

Here's Beaver wearing his two gifts:
The stocking cap was his real gift;
The glasses were his "white elephant" gift...

Let's Meet Mavis!
By Doug

Why does the man in this photo look so happy? Because he is in love. Not the fleeting, transitory romantic kind, but the more tangible automobile kind. If that sounds cynical, I apologize, but I cannot help what I feel, as unorthodox as it may seem.

Mavis Fiona Patricia Arquette (Her full moniker) is quite simply the car of my dreams. My search is finally at its end. I hope each and every one of you will someday know the joy I now feel.

I hope none of my lovely Aunties take offense at my habit of naming my cars after them. It all began when I bought a priceless 1965 Bel Air from Aunt Delores. If I had been more mature and responsible, I would probably be still driving the car I lovingly dubbed "Delores" today. Oh well, drive and learn, I suppose. I plan to be the doting owner for Mavis that I was too young and foolish to be for Delores. As far as naming cars after my Aunts goes, I don't want to leave anyone out, and I don't think I've missed any, because I have owned A LOT of cars in my life!

Lifelong gratitude must be expressed to Mavis' previous owner, my Sister-in-law Patty, for having the courage to let Mavis go, thereby enabling me to truly know love again. What a selfless, nurturing thing to do, Patty. Thank You again.

I have to go. It's time for Mavis' "walkies."

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson

I assume Tami made it back to the states without problems as I haven't heard otherwise... We had great fun, but it's kind of a relief to be travelling alone again.

Last night I went to an absolutely spectacular musical to celebrate my last night in the big city. Unfortunately, I was so tired I fell asleep for a while in the middle... It was a bit difficult to follow the Spanish at times.

According to Ushuaia's tourism people, I'm in the most southerly city in the world! Those who live in Puerto Williams across the channel might object, but they are few in number and thus ignored.

The descent into here was literally breathtaking. Despite my convictions, we didn't land in the ocean, so I've spent the rest of today buying, wandering, drinking tea, and buying groceries for the next adventure. Ushuaia is beautifully located on the water and backed by lovely, though not magnificent, mountains. It's cold! the weather is positively schizophrenic and reminiscent of Torres in its changeability.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to explore the Beagle Channel by boat and then head to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego. I'm planning to camp in the park for two nights, which should give me nearly three days of hiking. The park is small, so I'll see most of it in that amount of time. Wish me sun.


The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty's New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year To All!

(And especially to Miss Hetty, who said I was spoiled. Well, I should hope so! Getting themselves spoiled is what highly effective ... and successful ... pussycats do! I'm just doing my job, you know, but I appreciate the compliment. Thank you very much!)

My first resolution this year is to get more exercise ... especially for Miss Jerrianne. We went for regular walks, with me in the pouch, while the weather was fine. Once the streets got clogged up with ice and snow, our walks came to a crashing halt. Now it's the exercise bike or the Walk-Fit for her and chasing balls and toy mice up and down the stairs for me.

I thought Miss Jerrianne was headed in the right direction when she took me shopping for athletic shoes ... not for me, silly! ... for her! She needed to spend her REI Co-op dividend before the end of the year, she said. Well, she spent it all right ... and a whole lot more.

After she brought the new shoes home and tried them on a time or two, they went up on the closet shelf. A fine lot of good they will do there! So guess who got blamed for that! Sure, I tried to chase her shoelaces and chew the little hard parts off the ends of them. You'd expect me to do that, now, wouldn't you? That's pure instinct, you know. Not my fault!

I like to encourage stretching exercises ... the kind required to fish my toy mice out from underneath the stove. I do my best to make sure she gets a few every day. When she gets down on the floor to look under the stove, I get in her face so she can't see the mouse. While she's fishing around with her long, green stick, I grab the wrist strap on the flashlight with my teeth and drag the light across the kitchen floor. I play hockey mouse until she gets up ... and then I score a goal by sliding it under the stove again.

Anyway, I get lots of exercise chasing my tail, but the only exercise Miss Jerrianne gets from that is laughing out loud. You should have seen her roll on the floor laughing when I dragged my leash around a wicker chair. I tried to pounce on the loop at the other end of the leash, but that loop stayed ahead of me ... just barely out of my reach.

Laughing keeps Miss Jerrianne's spirits up, but if laughing is exercise, then ketchup is vegetable. That's a joke! Personally, I count running, leaping, pouncing, yoga stretches and gymnastics as exercise. Especially gymnastics on my personal balance beam, which Miss Jerrianne calls the stair railing. I like to chase my tail vertically, between the posts, while she is talking on the phone instead of paying attention to me. When I reach down to grab my tail, my tail goes the other way, to keep my balance. You try it!

Of course, there WAS that time when I chased my tail 'round and 'round on the balance beam and went scooting right off it. Did I see stars! I think I'll take flying lessons before I try that trick again! My hard landing by the front door 10 feet below was hardest on my pride, but other parts of me smarted, too. I have made a firm resolution to face the couch instead of the stairs from now on. That way I'm guaranteed a soft landing if I go flying.

My other New Year's resolution has to do with teaching Miss Jerrianne to understand Cat speak and feline body language, but it's sure to be a long term project, and that's another subject entirely. I'll let you know how it goes.

For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:

Miss Kitty

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

I just took a peek on the Boss's desk to see what was in -- so of course, right there on the top of her "In Box," was that brassy CAT!  I read it and sure enough, she has the gall to thank me for calling her spoiled. Cats are really hard to insult!

Do you know what? She may not get insulted, but she sure knows how to insult a person!! Talking about people needing to exercise -- and lose weight! (She says she means Miss Jerrianne -- but anybody knows she is not the one that cat means -- She is just trying to make my life miserable!!) After all, it is not like I am VERY fat!
But I really am excited about some other pieces of news I have been hearing. It seems preacher Don was not mistaken. I do believe there is news coming soon to prove that!
And then that man who writes the other column (about family recipes) is said to be in love with someone called Mavis -- I hope this time he got some one closer to his own age.
You should see what a mess the Boss is living in -- Whew! Never knew that anyone could accumulate all that truckload of stuff -- even in a lifetime!
Just keep sending me the news items -- I have decided I am going to be like that uppity cat who calls herself Miss Kitty -- and say,
"Tell it to Miss Hetty."


Enjoyed The Bulletin, as usual. Fun reading and good entertainment. Thanks for your work, Mom, and to all the contributors for taking time to write for us. Keep up the good work, people! (However, there are many we haven't heard from in a long time, so pay your subscription "dues" by giving us a quick message of how all goes in your corner of the world.)


We got Sharon moved a week ago, Sunday. She has more stuff than she thought, so a couple things are still at my house. There is lots of room, as the lanai is 12 by 22 feet and doesn't have anything in it. The realtor has shown my double wide several times this past week and is showing again this evening to a party that has been here before. It will be good to get to my house as it is deep in Bradenton, only 1.7 miles from Sharon's. She is only a half block from the Gulf. There is a fishing pier close by that will get some use.

I see Kelly and Kristie a couple times of the week. We all had lunch at the Golden Corral last Thursday.

I better get this going.

Jim Miller

Thanks for The Bulletin every week. Enjoy your broad range of topics ... from family gatherings to living in South America.

Good Luck on your move!

Barb Dewey

Good Deal

Thank YOU!

A big thank you to Don and Patty for a wonderful time! Your home is beautiful, welcoming and a great place to spend a lovely weekend. Beaver and I appreciate your allowing us the extra time, it's a superb "mini-vacation" for us! As usual, you spoiled us with outstanding delicious food and cozy bedding, snuggly wonderful, we enjoyed it all!

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

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.