The Bulletin
Sunday, March 28, 2004

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by Wyatt Johnson
Alexandria, MN – 03/20/2004

Today, friends and family of Don and Dorothy Anderson gathered in the party room of their apartment building for a joint birthday party. Their Granddaughter, Becky, arrived early to oversee the delivery of the new bookcase for the apartment, a gift from their children and grandchildren.

The surprise was almost blown when the delivery crew called ahead to confirm the delivery. Grandpa answered the phone, and after the caller identified himself as the man delivering the bookcase, grandpa repeated the question, wondering what was going on. Becky made a quick save, snatching the phone from Grandpa and acknowledging that they were indeed expecting the new furniture. The present is already full of books and pictures, and looks splendid in the hall of the new apartment.

In the afternoon, the birthday party brought many together to celebrate. An amazing lunch was quickly assembled, and nearly as quickly dismantled. It included ribs, ham, meatloaf, beans, wild rice, lettuce salad, tuna salad, fruit, buns, jello, and various desserts including bars and a delicious birthday cake.

A video given to the birthday couple by Don and Patty Anderson was watched many times. For me, having never seen most of the pictures before, it was fun to see the pictures of Don and Dorothy in their 20s. I didn’t realize just how many traits their children and grandchildren share with them. The video is a beautiful quick history of a beautiful family.

I saw many other great presents being opened, though I didn't see what they all were. In all, it was a great occasion to get together and see everyone. It's sure nice having Grandma and Grandpa back in Minnesota!!!

Dorothy & Don Anderson open birthday gifts

'Many Thanks To Our Whole Familye

from Don and Dorothy

We had a wonderful "Birthday - Family Reunion - House warming" party last Saturday!! We appreciate all the work that went into making it another beautiful commemoration of our return to our Native Land.

Wyatt has done a beautiful job of telling you about the activities of the day -- so I want to let you know about the gifts we received:

Furniture: A lovely oak library cabinet -- from our whole family; Children, Grandchildren, and Great Grandchildren had a part in planning, paying, and arranging our collection of album, scrapbooks, and keepsakes on it! You should see how elegant it makes our living space!! Thank you all so much!

Flowers: Brother-in-Law Jim brought a beautiful blooming violet; it is sitting on my window ledge where I can see it this minute. It reminds me of my Mom and my Sister Blanche! Thanks, Jim.

And if you come for a visit soon you can check out the nice spring bouquet that Dwight and Janie brought -- it was our center piece and now provides some spring feel in the apartment. Thanks, D&J.

Pictures: Gert and Don Pettit (most of you know my sister) deserve recognition for being the ones to provide the nostalgia! Gert tells us that the frames she brought she "harvested" (took from their old, falling down barn) and Don made them into the finished product. They gave one picture to each of us: mine is a family reunion picture of our Dad and Mom and siblings -- during the time when our family was young. Don's picture is the wedding day picture that shows the two of us standing in front of the Alexandria or Bust on our decorated car. They also gave us a pencil drawing of our home farm done by Ardis Quick (Gert's daughter). Thank you so much goes out to Gert and Don.

Eats and Personal Items: A very tasty, cute, smiley face three tiered birthday cake from Patty A., some nummy candy and a coffee cake from Ken Gelling. We also are enjoying some tasty candy treats and some other things of usefulness from Elaine (who gave me something the rest of you can enjoy, too -- Baxter Lane's Scrapbook of Famous Quips and Quotes). Thanks to Ken and to Elaine and to all who brought the wonderful eats for lunch and who helped in any way to make the day so much fun!

We are very glad to be back -- come and see us!!

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson

Be prepared for the update of updates... I wrote part of it when I was in Cochabamba 2 weeks ago, more in the hospital, and finally finished today. So it's disjointed but hopefully coherently conveys what I've been up to during the past 4 weeks!

I didn't do anything particularly useful the first week I was in Morochata because carnaval in the countryside really lasts all week. Dr. Juan managed to completely soak me with his super soaker water gun before we ever left the hospital, and that was just the start. in the plaza a bunch of kids pelted me as we filled water balloons, and when we arrived at the cancha (soccer field / community gathering place) we were met by a crowd of exuberant and slightly drunk community members, who grabbed me by the wrists and ankles, yelled "agua, agua," then held me down as they dumped the buckets of water over me. I spent the rest of the afternoon with the nurse and the doctor drying out in a friend's patio, listening to guitar and charango music and doing my best to avoid dancing.

The (mildly) alcoholic beverage of choice is always chicha, a homemade corn beer. It can be kind of nasty and just tasting it inevitably makes my digestive system angry.. It is always served out of a communal gourd, which means everyone at the party shares germs. Refusing chicha is a grave offense. Luckily, the ch'alla saves me. It's a tradition that involves spilling some of the chicha onto the ground as an offering to pachamama, the earth goddess. so I ch'alla-ed a lot and thus avoided consuming much at all... :)

The rest of the week mostly involved water fighting and playing lots of foosball. I'm getting better :) By the end of the week I moved out of the hospital to live with an aunt, where I'll have more space. I'm volunteering at the hospital and am mostly occupied in a nutrition project. A recent grad from Cochabamba's med school and I are visiting all of the homes in the morochata area, measuring the kids ages 5 and under and giving vitamins and malnutrition treatments when necessary. We're also revising vaccinations and treating any minor health problems. Each month the kids will be re-assessed and treated as necessary, all at no cost to them. Malnutrition is rampant in Bolivia, and while the hospital tracks the growth of children brought to the hospital, most kids never make it there. So hopefully this will be useful. I've also set up the donated computer and am teaching them to use it.

to be continued

Dad, Mark, Kim, Whitney, Heidi

Cayman Islands J


by Kim Johnson

Well … I think we needed to get up and walk around a bit; we might have needed to get bigger swimming suits if we lounged around any longer. We hopped on “The Speedy Turtle” again, and he dropped us off in the largest city, George Town. (This is where all the banks are.) We started to walk the Souvenir shops ... aaaaand the Rum Cake shops, as well ;). There were about 8 cruise ships full of people in this silly city, so we took our few items and started to walk.

Dad saw a restaurant down this road a couple days ago, that’s why we started to walk in the first place. It seemed like decades before we came upon ANYTHING. But we came to a shack called the "Naked Fish." It seemed pretty down in the dumps, but we decided we had enough walking, so we trounced around back where it was actually a pretty cute little place, right on the water's edge! We had a great time sitting, cracking jokes, and drinking more fruit punch.

That’s about the extent of what we did that day. It was joyful, like the rest.

Happy Birthday!

The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty

A Little Spring Shakeup ... And More Snow

We heard Thursday's little earthquake coming before we felt it, which is not unusual. "Oh, please, let this be a little one," said Miss Jerrianne, who had just turned off the water in the shower and reached for a towel. Sure enough, it was just a little shake this time, but all week she's been reading about the BIG Alaska earthquake that happened on Good Friday ... 40 years ago.

That 1964 earthquake was a doozy ... the strongest earthquake ever recorded in North America. It scared the tar out of folks and did a frightening amount of damage. Some things will never be the same. We have little earthquakes here all the time, no problem ... but another big quake is overdue, scientists say, so you can see why she might be on edge when the rocking and rolling starts.

She's been reading about the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Valdez Oil Spill this week, as well. Though the earthquake was about 10 years before she moved to Alaska, the oil spill was a man made disaster still fresh in her mind. Everything about it was ugly, she says, and still is. There's still oil on some of the beaches around Prince William Sound after all this time, according to this week's news. Never mind the ides of March, she says ... but watch out for that last week!

I've been sitting here in my chair watching the snowplows remove last night's snow from our street. All these historic events are WAY before my time ... except for the snowfall, of course. I watched it come down all morning. Must be at least a few inches of fluff. Then it stopped and the sun came out. Tonight it started snowing again ... so there will be lots more to plow in the morning.

Miss Jerrianne has stayed close to the computer this week, but if I tease a bit, she'll get up and we'll play a fast game of "spin the kitty." She finds a toy on a string, or just one of those long twisties that come wrapped around a head of lettuce, and twirls it around in a circle for me to chase. I run 'round and 'round until I get dizzy. I flop on the floor so she'll swing it over my head. I leap up and pounce on it, catch it with my claws, get my teeth into it and abscond with the toy. She chases after me, we play tug o' war with it, and then we start all over again.

Now that the Iditarod Sled Dog Race is over and done, all those dogs are back in town. I have to keep myself in shape, in case I ever have to outrun one of those dogs or climb a tree or sink my claws into his nose and defend myself. So I'm making sure I get lots of exercise. I wish I could say the same for Miss Jerrianne ... but I'm doing my best and maybe she'll come around, by summer.

For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:

Miss Kitty

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

How far back do you remember?

WE sang: OH, Johnny!, Sentimental Journey, and Blues in The Night.
WE laughed: at Knock Knock jokes.
WE read about: Germany invades, Pearl Harbor, Penicillin perfected, Nylon introduced, and the United Nations founded.
WE traveled: in a Chevy.
That was easy?

How about 1930-1940?
WE sang: Tip Toe Through the Tulips, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Stormy Weather, and Summertime.
We laughed: at Amos and Andy, Fred Allen, and Fibber McGee and Molly.
WE read about: Lindbergh Baby kidnapped, the Great Depression, John Dillinger, and Social Security became a law.
WE Traveled: in a Model A
Is that getting tougher?

How about 1920-1930............?
WE sang: Swanee, Look for the Silver Lining, I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles, Sleepy Time Gal and Stardust.
WE laughed at: Will Rogers and The Marx Brothers.
WE read about: Women getting the right to vote, Radio broadcasting starts, Lindbergh flies to Paris, and ... we traveled in a Model T.

Now for the real old timers.....1910-1920
We sang: Let me Call You Sweetheart, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, Down by the Old Mill Stream, When you Wore a Tulip, There's a Long,Long Trail.
We laughed at: Charlie Chaplin.
We read about: the Titanic sinking by iceberg, Haley's Comet, and the Germans sinking the Lusitania.
We traveled: by Street Car and Horse and Buggy.

Makes you wonder where the time has gone?

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:

Donna Johnson--March 28
Duane Miller--April 2

Happy Birthday!

More April birthdays:
Meryl Hansey ---April 4
Lorella Grob ---April 5

Dorothy Anderson---April 9
Richard Johnson---April 9
Brenda Hill--- April 10
Lisa Anderson --- April 10
Mindy Miranowski--- April 15

Alyssa Lynn Freesemann---April 23
Miss Kitty---April 23

Troy Freesemann---April 25
Mia Nelson---April 25
Heidi Johnson --- April 26
Steve Rodriguez---April 27

A  Wedding

Shari (Miller) Larson- Ray Schweiger

The wedding is to be held Saturday, March 27,2004

This wedding event will be covered in The Bulletin in our April 4th issue!


Thanks to those who are still answering our request for birth dates:

The birthdates for those in the Freesemann household are as Follows: Troy LaRon- April 25, 1974--Marlee Joy- July 19, 1969, Alyssa Lynn- April 23, 1997 and Angelie Ann- May 16, 1999.

Richard Johnson and Mia Nelson's family include a couple of birthdays this month: Richard, April 9; and Mia, April 25; Wiley, September 4 and Arbor, December 24. Three of the four birthdates match dates already on the birthday calendar!


Miss Hetty


Just a note to let you know we got home now at 7:30. All went fine. Lots less wind in the hills beyond Fergus, kinda pretty and rolling. It was nice to see so many of Don's family there today. The kids and grands really put on a spread and plenty of food and enough for another day of it, but guess most had to get home instead of staying another night for meals tomorrow!!!

The old folks look the same, (except natural aging) can recognize them, but the young and the teenagers, have changed the most since I saw them last at Don and Dorothy's 50th anniversary, I think it was. Some nice looking and nice young folks in the bunch ... so am glad to be aunt and great aunt to the clan... Very nice place for D and D to spend their golden years ... convenient, pretty, comfortable; so many more happy returns for good health and good years to both of you D and D ... as you celebrate another year.


P.S. It was so interesting to see some new additions to The Bulletin. I wonder if some subscriptions are up for renewal? I think subscribers have to contribute to stay on the listing, right, Editor?

Elaine said it all so well, so I'll just say "Ditto!"

On the way home yesterday we were discussing what people said, etc. at the party, and we discovered that there are a lot of the people there that we don't exactly know what kind of work they do. Some of them we know what they USED to do, but we don't know if they're still doing it presently. Maybe a thought for a "column" in the Bulletin.


Hi there and welcome back to Minnesota!!! Keep up the good work. It is so interesting to read.  Fun to hear about Rich and Marlene's trip -- we also got to know the friends there quite well -- they were very hospitable -- took us out to eat to and  gave us some great touring tips. We had 4 meetings with them, which was special -- (they have Sunday evening as well).

Take care- see you in the Bulletin!!


Hi Grandma, I’ve got a report for you. I meant to do it earlier today, but ended up looking at pictures all day. On our way back from your birthday party, we stopped at the farm and got a box of old pictures to look through for a project we’re doing for my mom. We spent the whole day scanning the pictures into the computer. It is a treasure cove of ideas for future photo correspondent reports. I’d say you can look forward to more reports on the childhood of Weston, Ben, and I. Inspiration strikes!



P.S. I’ll send a CD sometime this week with all the pictures I took during the party!

Editor's Note: No one has answered Donna's question about the humintas that were mentioned in Kjirsten's report from Bolivia, so on a whim, I typed humintas into the search box at and the first thing that popped up was Bolivia's web site with a recipe for humintas right on top. Some of it is a little sketchy on amounts and methods, but I especially liked how you tell if the humintas are sufficiently cooked ... you put a potato in the pot and when the potato is done, the humintas are done, too. (And as Kjirsten pointed out, they eat potatoes at EVERY meal, so they must get two birds with one stone!)

The Bolivia humintas recipe looks authentic for Bolivia, even if the translation is a little vague (anise grain must mean anise seeds), but apparently humintas has a wider application than just the tamales type preparation, because I found several more that prepare it as cornbread that are very easily do-able in an American kitchen without an investment in cornhusks. Here's one: sID=325

This one is pretty similar but it lets you dial in the number of servings and it adjusts the recipe:

I'll content myself with doing the basic research and hope somebody will follow up and then let us know how it all works out.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Indian Prayer: Great Spirit -- Grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.

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.