Sunday, February 15, 2004
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by Shari Larson
I have a new job ... same industry ... but received a better offer from the "competition" ... so not much of a learning curve ... the nice part is the new job is close to home ... and MUCH less hours ... so hope to spend time getting back in touch with my e-mail writing skills ...
We are in the midst of the wedding planning. Have decided to go with a tropical theme ... Hawaiian shirts for the guys, and Hawaiian dresses for the girls (Thank you Donna for doing the online searches!!) ... can't wait to see Caity and Sami Jo in little sarongs.
I found gel candles with real sea shells in them for the tables; some are aqua and some are clear. My dad found the boxes of sea shells Mom had collected over the years. She would clean them and then spray them with a clear shellac, so they look just like they are still in the water. We are going to use the shells on the tables, with the candles for center pieces. Also, we saw a program where they did little tropical fish in large vases, with a plant that has roots in the water to feed the fish; sounds funny, but it was beautiful; may check that out for the main table.
A friend of Kristi's is going to cater the food for us ... again I requested a tropical theme ... so lots of fruit trays, pineapple, kiwi, star fruit, etc. ... skewers of chicken and pineapple ... and we are still needing a few other items ... so if anyone has any ideas to add to the tropical food theme (hint, hint, Douglas), feel free to send them our way.
Today I am printing the invitations. Sunday Ray and I went to the beach and gathered strainers of very little sea shells ... I am going to try to glue them to the invitations. A friend lent me his hot glue gun ... so if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks ... just assume that my fingers are glued to the seashells and invitations ... this may be the making of another award winning Toastmaster speech ... in the humorous division of course.
Off I go to the hot glue gun ... :-)
I just got back from Albuquerque on Wednesday. I was there for a week to help Ryan paint and fix up the condo he just bought. That was a lot of work, but fun too! The place is starting to look really nice! His place has an outdoor pool and hot tub, very nice:)
Well, there has been a big change in plans the last few weeks. Ryan and I decided (with the input of both sets of parents) that it would be best for me to move down to Albuquerque at the end of March, rather than finish spring semester here and move at the end of summer. So I dropped my classes for this semester and now I am working for Sheri at Light Therapy Products five days a week until the 26th of March (when I move).
I will be living at Chuck and Tami's house (Ryan's parents) for the time being. I haven't found a job yet, but that will come. I'm very excited but I'll miss everyone up here. I'll be back for Jennifer Lundstrom's wedding and then Ben's wedding, too ... so I'll get to see everyone then.
Hope you and grandpa aren't freezing to death up here in Minnesota. :) Hope all is well.
The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson
I met an interesting older guy from British Columbia who has hiked extensively all over the world. he tells me that the mountain hut system in Norway is the best, and that the food is tasty too. :) I suspect you'll want to add it to your life list!
Photos are posted at http://community.webshots.com/user/kjswenson and the next information refers to some of those photos.
The park is indeed in the lake district. It's the area surrounding Bariloche, the most popular Argentine destination, though I've learned of others that are supposed to be worthy as well.
Mt. Tronador is 3,554 meters above sea level, which is around 11,500 feet. Refugio Tronador is at around 2,200 meters, or 7,200 feet Refugio Meiling is at around 2,000 meters, or 6,500 feet.
So we were actually still a ways below the summit, but it looked deceivingly close and the photos accentuate that. Both refuges are above glaciers, though, and the settings really are spectacular. It's pretty far north of the Torres area. On a map, the Argentine city of Bariloche is closest. In Chile, it would be about the same latitude as Osorno or Puerto Montt. So maybe 600-1,000 miles? I don't have a great conception of the distance, since I flew from Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt.
I'm signed up to climb Volcán Villarrica tomorrow! You can read about it at this link.
Soon I board a bus for the 10-hour trip to Santiago. It's been wicked hot here, so I'm glad to be making the trip at night.
Yesterday the group drove up to where the chairlift takes climbers partway up the volcano, but the wind was so strong it literally shook the van while we were sitting in it! Climbing was deemed too dangerous, so we headed back, with the intention of trying again today. I spent the rest of the day hiking in a nearby national park with lovely, but not spectacular, lakes and forests.
Not sure what I ate, but last night was hit with major stomach problems.. There was no way I could hike today. :( I was hostel-bound until late this afternoon, but took cipro this morning, and am now feeling better. It seems very unfair to be hit with diarrhea as bad as or worse than what I ever experienced in Bolivia on my last full day in a first-world country. And in place of my much-anticipated sushi meal before my flight, it seems I´ll be dining on jello and water crackers. :(
It Snowed And Blew All Night - It Was A Foot Deep By Morning
(Photos © 1975 Jerrianne Lowther)
North To Alaska!
By Richard Johnson
Part 3 of 5
January 12. It snowed and blew all night and it was a foot deep in the morning. We thought we'd get the day off, but the people in the next room checked and the road was open. We left in blowing snow with poor (sometimes no) visibility and passed some friends from the boat, who were in the ditch. They had a wrecker coming, so we didn't try to pull them out.
The weather was much better up in the pass where we went through Canadian customs. The road was only plowed out one lane wide after the bad storm. There were 10-foot drifts and big trees across the road, which must have stopped the snow plows before. We got to Haines Junction, where the Haines Cutoff joins the Alaska Highway (ALCAN) with no serious problems. We had to pay $2 each to plug in the vehicles.
January 13. We got up late, due to confusion over time changes, and I took the chains off. Some other friends from the boat were in the next room and they couldn't start their pickup. The motel guy had told them they didn't need to plug in, and they wanted to save the $2. They plugged in this morning and we used the jumper cables from the Scout. We finally got them going after 10:30 a.m. and just then the jackass who told them they didn't need to plug in came and started screaming about using the plug in without paying for it. I wanted to punch him in his oversize gut.
We drove through Kluane National Park with Jerrianne ahead going slow to look at the scenery and me going fast behind, because we were late. We should have hooked up right away as we get bad tempers instead of pictures driving separately.
We hooked up and all went well until we stopped to bring a quart of oil into the cab to warm it up before pouring it in. They key to the Scout was on the same key ring as the one to the truck, so I shut it off to get the car key. The truck does not start when it's warm. We were parked on a hill and since we were getting cold, some action was called for. I started the Scout and pushed the truck with the tow bar to a place where it would roll. It worked fine with Jerrianne steering the truck. All I had to do was leave the steering wheel alone and trust Jerrianne to keep us on the road. Just as I put in the clutch, she put on the brake.
All went fine for a few miles, until we hit a patch of ice with a big hole in it. I heard some funny sounds after that, but I couldn't tell where they came from. When we stopped for gas and to put in the oil, I found the gas man staring under the hood with big, round eyes. The battery had jumped out and landed on the alternator. The battery came out second best with a big hole in it.
We had bought a new, dry charged battery in Phoenix, just in case. When I got that out, the man's eyes really got big. He said he'd never seen anybody with a spare battery. I got the electrolyte poured in without getting any on my down pants. The problem with dry charge batteries is they don't activate very fast if stored at less than 60 degrees above zero. Ours was stored at 20 degrees below zero. We got started with a jump from a guy in a pickup.
Just then, the kids we had helped in the morning rolled in with three big tires and one little tire on their pickup. They had had a flat down the road. We told them to put the spare on the front and stay in 2-wheel drive. They would have been in bad shape if they had busted their differential out there where you're lucky to get gas. I got some wire from them to hold the new battery down, as my supply of baling wire from the farm had run out, most of it having been used two or three times.
Things went better for the rest of the day, although it was snowing and we saw a guy lose a little trailer. It pulled out, as though to pass, and then parked itself in several feet of snow in the left ditch. He thought he could get it out all right, so we went on. We got through U.S. Customs all right and made it to Tok Junction in the evening. By then our colds were bad, so we broke out our apricot brandy. [Note: it was 40 degrees below zero in Tok. The motel owner said we should have been there LAST week when it was 70 degrees below zero. We thought 40 below was sufficient.]
Fortunately, Richard Had Packed A Brand New Battery In The Truck
Part 3 of 5 To be continued.
The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty
We Got Chinookered!
Just when we got bored with winter, things got real exciting around here this week. We had a little earthquake, a big snowstorm, howling winds, strangers ringing the doorbell, a terrible noise that scared me half to death ... and a fight with Sam, a big, black, noisy dog!
Miss Jerrianne and I were sound asleep when a terrible noise began to screech in my sensitive ears ... not the clock radio alarm, mind you ... I'm pretty used to that now ... but this was different. It wasn't the smoke alarm. It wasn't the new carbon monoxide detector, either, Miss Jerrianne decided. She got up and turned on the lights.
Miss Jerrianne decided to let the burglar alarm ring for a minute and think this through. She contemplated whether a picture hanging crooked on the wall right above the keypad might mean we'd slept through an earthquake ... or that I had playfully pushed just the right buttons. Blame it on the cat! That seems to be her first response to anything out of the ordinary around here.
She put on her headset phone and opened the bathroom door to slip on her Birkenstocks. I bolted for the closet and took up a defensive position at the very back, behind some belts. Miss Jerrianne disabled the alarm and the noise stopped. She listened carefully. Nothing. She opened the bedroom door as the phone rang ... an expected phone call from the alarm company dispatcher.
"Is everything all right?" he asked. She said she was trying to figure that out.
"Do you want me to send someone?" he asked.
"Not yet," she said. She kept him on the line while she looked around a bit. She walked to the sunroom and saw the back door standing open.
"That's not a good sign," she said. If an intruder had opened the door, the alarm might have scared him away ... or he could be hiding somewhere in the house. But then she remembered that a telephone installer had been here and had made a couple of trips up and down the back stairs. She had wiped up the snow he tracked in each time. Had she secured the deadbolt after the last time? She wasn't sure. Could the wind have blown it open? Possibly ... though it didn't seem at all windy outside.
"Do you see tracks?" the dispatcher asked. Well, yes, the phone guy had left lots of tracks, but the back deck is icy and not a good indicator, and there were moose tracks all over the yard. In the dark, she couldn't see the tracks on the back stairs well enough to be sure whether any of them were fresher than the phone man's.
With the dispatcher still on the line, Miss Jerrianne checked each room and the garage without finding anything. She seemed fairly convinced that everything was really OK and that there never was an intruder, so she let the dispatcher go back to work. After she rescued me from the closet, she said it still felt really creepy! She said the worst was showering later and closing her eyes to shampoo and rinse. She never saw that old Hitchcock movie, Psycho. She said you couldn't pay her enough!
By the time the sun came up, a Chinook wind had started to kick up in earnest and the thermometer shot up to 45 degrees. A random gust out of the south before a Chinook really starts howling isn't that unusual. Alaska's infamous snow eating south wind brings warm weather in with hurricane force ... gusts of well over 100 miles per hour can easily rip shingles off our neighborhood's roofs (if they aren't covered with snow) and can melt two feet of snow in a day.
Miss Jerrianne readily admitted that this morning's problem was her own fault ... for not making sure the door was locked ... and an ill wind did the rest. Good practice for a real emergency, she said. She tried to blame the cat, but the truth is, she messed up and got Chinookered!
It turned out to be a beautiful day in the neighborhood, so after she fell asleep at the computer with a cup of coffee in her hand, she put me in the pouch and we went for a windy walk. By midnight, the driveway was so slippery she needed her ice grippers to take the trash to the curb.
I guess I'll have to tell you about my encounter with Sam some other time ...
For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:
The Condensed Chef S
By Doug Anderson
My recipe today is something you can find on the Chanticleer menu and probably will be able to long after I have left. I wish I could take credit for its invent, but sadly, I cannot. In fact, no one is quite sure which past chef gets the credit for this one, and I guess that is not really important. This recipe is a great salad course idea or makes a nice, light summer meal on its own.
Wok-Charred Salmon Salad With Chinese Mustard Sauce
Fresh Salmon, about a pound feeds four.
Mixed greens, any variety will work, even iceberg.
Vinaigrette, the more nondescript the better. Avoid "fruity" varieties.
Peanut oil (sub okay)
rice vinegar (sub okay)
Brown sugar, for caramelization.
Chinese mustard sauce, store bought, or concocted by combining:
Spicy red peppers or red pepper-based condiment, even just Tabasco.
Mandarin orange segments, canned okay.
Diced bell peppers.
Preheat your Wok or saute pan to very hot.
Splash in three drops peanut oil very cautiously. (This recipe requires adult supervision!)
Apply salmon, cut in three-inch strips.
Splash in two Tbsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
Turn salmon, cooking about 8 minutes or until firm.
Add a liberal pinch of brown sugar after turning salmon and cook to a glaze.
While the salmon is charring, mix whatever greens you have decided on (I use
green leaf, red leaf, and Romaine with a mesclun mix) and a Tbsp. of vinaigrette
in a stainless steel mixing bowl and toss.
Present on medium salad plate with the vegetables and orange segments arranged attractively
around the outside of the greens, with the salmon strips and mustard sauce
"on the side." The mustard sauce is a dipping sauce for the salmon, so it is
best served in a small glass ramekin or similar container.
Simple, but elegant and very tasty! The Chinese mustard sauce is open to interpretation. I emulsify egg whites, but mayo will suffice. I buy Asian peppers and puree them with white wine and cracked peppers, but most Asian co-ops sell a very tasty hot red pepper sauce, called "rooster sauce," that subs very well and saves a lot of time. Use whatever you have lying around that has a little zing, even if it is only buffalo wing sauce. When it is combined with Mayo and Dijon mustard, it will create a reasonable facsimile.
I hope you enjoy this one and tell me all about it.
I was pleased to receive some feedback on my first recipe from my sister Marlene who writes: "I just finished making (and eating) your Portabella mushroom caps with pesto and cheese. Wonderful! I actually found the mushroom caps at Cub. I grated some Belgioioso Parmesan cheese and used Buitoni pesto. I think that the pesto I used would be too salty for you... but I loved it. Kim went to get Mark from school, but when she gets home I'll have her try this; she's my adventurous eater! I bet she loves it!"
Poor Kim, the family Guinea pig! I hope she will send along any comments she may have, good or bad. As far as the pesto being too salty, I am also a fan of salt, much to the chagrin of my internal organs. Excellent choice on the cheese, Marlene; tell me, did you grill the mushroom caps? Any cooking method would work, but grilling is preferable. Thanks a lot for the input, Marlene! It is exciting to see people actually using your recipes! See you next time!
This and That
by Elaine Wold
Many readers of the Bulletin would remember the song "These are a Few of
my Favorite Things" from the play, The Sound of Music.
Here are some of my favorite things ... Readers will likely think of
many of your own, too.
My Favorite Things
Walking in a light mist.
Homemade chocolate pudding.
Butterflies in the summertime.
Crocuses peeking through the snow.
Napping cats....and catnaps.
Moonlight on an empty road.
A perfect peach.
Window boxes in bloom.
Fog rolling in.
Children on their birthday.
Eating wedding cake.
Hearing someone say "you're welcome."
Sparkling windows in the spring.
Lightning bugs in the yard.
Children on a swing.
A baby's first words.
The last page of a good book.
Lopsided birthday cakes made by kids.
The sound of popping corn.
Shadows at sunset.
The reflection in a pond.
Rainbows without end.
The sound of autumn leaves.
The colors in Indian corn.
Losing the last pound. (or any pounds!)
Singing to yourself.
Someone to do the dishes.
............ AND ALL THE SIMPLER THINGS!!!
From the Files of 5
Hetty Hooper --
the Family Snooper!
Maybe you have missed me and maybe you haven't -- but I have been one busy lady! I have finally completed my move to St. Cloud. I never knew it could get this cold. But do you know something? I kind of like all the snow and fun. It seems there is something to be said for the far north -- they have snowmobiles!!! Did you ever ride on one?? Wow for zippy! I have all the fancy gear that keeps me nice and warm. You wouldn't believe it but I think I am going to buy me an Arctic Cat. (At least they aren't stuck up like the Alaska cat who has the column in this paper!)
I haven't had so very much time to pick up on the gossip -- but I do see the boss's son "the chef" now and then! He presides over the dining at a lovely restaurant called the Chanticleer -- and I snoop around there some evenings. I've been listening to the talk floating around!
It looks like a cozy Valentines celebration is planned for Doug and Jean Marie even though Doug has spent more on Mavis than he has Jean Marie this Valentine's Day. Let's hope Jean Marie is not the jealous type!
It seems there won't be quite so much "migrating" now that Heidi is going to go to New Mexico / going to get a job, and go to school -- of course nothing is mentioned about what the poor airways are going to do without her ticket buying!!
I heard a rumor that Lori really had to look up to her latest date -- I am really not exactly sure what was meant by that piece of information!
I saw by the Engagement Notices last week that Ben and Heather have set a date!! Who was it told you about that one ahead? Miss Hetty Hooper -- that is who! Please keep me informed!!
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
I sure enjoyed Beaver's description of his first day (or rather first three days) of school. I understand where he's coming from...
As you know, my real name is Mary Jane, but I've always been called Janie (or occasionally Mary Jane). About 20 years ago or so Elaine and I were taking an NDSCS evening school class in Calligraphy. The very first name they called was "Mary Anderson."
"Hmmm..." I thought. "She must not be here tonight." And the instructor continued calling roll.
When she finished, my name hadn't been called. I wondered why... Didn't they get my registration? That's when I suddenly realized that "Mary Anderson" who wasn't there was really ME!
So I sheepishly went to the instructor to tell her that I didn't recognize my own name... I could just see her thinking, "She doesn't recognize her own name? And I'm expected to TEACH her something?"
Good bulletin again, Dorothy ... there are some exceptional writers in that family ... Beaver took 3 days to learn his name when starting school??? Cute! Better get your eyes tended, Don ... Could be serious ... Have to doubly tend the eyes when we don't have ears ....
Not a lot of news from here ... Hope all are well.
Just want to say thanks for a job well done! I appreciate all the time you and Jerrianne, plus the rest of your contributors, put into making a fun read! Kjirsten never fails to amaze me, I can't IMAGINE doing the things she is experiencing (even when I was younger!). I do so enjoy reading about her adventures. I loved Dad's fireside chat and the bit about learning wisdom ... made me chuckle!
Glad Marlene shared a little about their trip -- but, where was at least one picture? Come on, you can still send one ... I know Kim had several great pictures to choose from! Looking forward to trying the Portabella recipe, sounds absolutely yummy! I enjoyed all the other contributions, too, but guess I've gone on for long enough!
Way to go, Caity. What a cute little story! As always, we love to read Beaver's stories. Keep them coming! I like Doug's idea and I am going to try the mushrooms this week. Thanks, everyone.
You have outdone yourself this time. What a great read! How nice to hear from Uncle Jim, seems like he is settled in nicely.
What a wonderful story from Caity! It is good to see some young blood in our talent pool. I hope we hear more from her.
Marlene's condensed account of their family vacation was entertaining, and she says there are no writers in her family, nonsense! They are just too shy, is all.
In short, I think this is my favorite edition in a long time. What a privilege to belong to such a talented and varied family! Thanks again, Mom!
Moving is a huge job, sometimes I have to pinch myself and find if I'm awake. In a month's time we changed our living from green grass to white snow. This morning the temperature was 10 below. You could not tell it in our cozy apartment. I noticed the new fallen snow was covering the cars in the parking lot. Soon there were folks out there with brooms and ice scrapers. Then a pair of jumper cables emerged.. Hoods up and folks looking for "a jump"I carried a set of cables in my car for 5 years and the other day I gave them to a fellow who could make better use of them.
I think I will get used to a good Northern winter. It was good to get here in time for the blast. This "blast" hit as we come in view of the sign, Alexandria Pop. 7,600. Later I heard this is the coldest and snowiest winter in six years. How could we be so lucky?
If I have to go uptown, I go up about noon, the temp is up to zero then. When it gets to zero, folks here wash their cars. Talking about "car washing," I had to pay $6 for a wash here. You would think with all the lakes and water it would be less expensive. We have done our share of traveling but there comes a time when one is satisfied to just stay and "roll with the punches"! Don
Jokes contributed by DeLoris Anderson
The congregation gave their minister a medal with the inscription, "for the humblest person."
The next Sunday, they took it away from him because he put it on and wore it.
The man said to his wife, "I love you like an old shoe."
She asked, "Why?"
"Because you're comfortable and don't rub in the wrong way."
The doctor said to the woman, "I don't like the looks of your husband."
She said, "I don't either, but he's handy to have around the house."
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.
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.