Sunday, April 4, 2004
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by Kristi Indermark
I can't believe March is almost over!!! Well, the only thing I really remember from March is last week, and that would be Mom's wedding!
Kurt and Samantha arrived first on Saturday. We had a great Sunday dinner with all three kids together and the four grandkids getting reaquainted. Then, on Wednesday, Donna, Donna, Becky, and Kenny arrived. We had a sandy dinner on the beach and that is when my vacation started!!
On Thursday we went to Busch Gardens. Becky and Kenny rode with me and everyone else rode with the "moms." Kurt and Kelly did not make it to Busch Gardens because they were doing some planning on their own! We all met up with Anita and Mike inside the park. Thursday evening everyone came back to our house to play darts, swim, chat, etc.
Friday morning was a slow start for some of us. It was very busy getting ready for Mom's (Shari's) big day. The rehearsal went perfect, the sunset was beautiful. Love was really in the air because Kurt proposed to Jenny and she said yes!!!! They announced their engagement at the rehearsal dinner.
Then the big day arrived. The day sure flew by. I think we spent all day getting ready to go. Finally the limo arrived and whisked the bride and groom away, along with a few other passengers. At the beach we had the chairs set up for the guests and the tiki torches were lit.
The wedding was perfect!! The sunset was once again on time and beautiful! We went back to the reception where the caterer (our friend Rich) had a 51 pound pig roasted and on display, apple and all!
Then, as quickly as it arrived, the day ended and back to work we went on Monday. Mom and Ray are still enjoying their few days off by the beach. All in all it was a lot of fun and some really great memories!
Kristi & Rich With Roasted Pig At Wedding Luau
Ray and Shari walking down the aisle with Samantha and Caity in front.
by Melanie (Anderson) Shockey
We enjoyed our final spring break by actually going someplace warm! Eric and I, along with Jennifer Gauderman, Amber Craven and Brian Larson, left Grand Forks on Friday afternoon, March 12 and arrived in Las Vegas a short 29 hours later! We drove straight through, stopping only for gas and food. We were greeted with sunny Nevada skies and temps in the 80's -- a welcome change from the 20-degree weather that we had left in ND!
We stayed at a timeshare (basically a fully-furnished two bedroom apartment) in the southwest area of the city. We spent nearly every evening relaxing in the hot tub and spent a few afternoons soaking up the sun by the pool.
We filled our time with a lot of sight-seeing and hiking. The day after we arrived in Las Vegas, we drove out Red Rock Canyon, about 20 minutes from the city. We hiked up to the top of Turtlehead Mountain, which overlooks Las Vegas, as well as the other mountains in the area. Another day, we checked out Hoover Dam and then drove along Lake Mead up to the Valley of Fire.
Of course we had to spend a day or two on the Strip. We spent most of one day walking around and checking out many of the magnificent casinos. On Friday, Eric and I went back to meet up with Lori and her boyfriend, Keith Mason. We had lunch with them and enjoyed an afternoon of chatting, catching up on "old times," and checking out more sights on the Strip. Hopefully another six years won't go by before we have an opportunity to get together!
All too soon, our week in Vegas came to an end. We left on Saturday morning, March 20, and shaved an hour off of our driving time back home. We must be getting better at this driving straight through thing! We were welcomed back to ND by temps in the teens and a negative wind chill ... made us wish our spring break would have lasted until May!
Cousin Reunion: Melanie Shockey & Lori Anderson
Editor's Note: For those who don't know everyone, Melanie and Lori are first cousins -- Melanie is Dwight and Janie's daughter and Lori is Harry and Doris's daughter. -- DMA
Hi From New Mexico! It is 76 and Sunny down here today -- super beautiful! I sat outside on the patio after Ryan went to work today and it felt so warm and nice!
Anyway about my trip ... Ryan, Chuck (Ryan's dad) and I left Minneapolis last Friday a little after 10 a.m. We were kind of worried about being able to make it to the Iowa border on one tank of gas (moving trucks aren't known for their wonderful gas mileage), but we made it to Iowa.
We stopped in Platte City, MO, for the night after driving 8 hours. When I booked the hotel it said that there was a pool, so we were pretty excited to relax in it. Only problem ... it was closed until Monday to be painted. Slightly disappointing, to say the least! We had dinner at a hole-in-the wall Mexican place. When we walked in, the staff was speaking only Spanish, so we decided there was hope that it would be authentic. It was some very good Mexican food! We were even more impressed because we ordered and ate in less than 20 minutes.
We were on the road by 9:30 the next morning and spent most of the day driving through Kansas in the rain and wind. By the time we got to Oklahoma it was sunny and we had a tail wind! We got into Albuquerque by 11 p.m., a lot earlier than we thought we would get in.
On Sunday morning I realized that I didn't have any Sunday clothes unpacked, so I had to dig through all the boxes still in the truck to find my clothes. This whole week I've been getting settled in and unpacked, so it's feeling a lot more like home already!
Well, I'm completely done with my mandatory work training program and project. Things wrapped up nicely, with my group winning the Broker Of Record letter. Heres a basic summary of our project: we were given information on a fictional insurance company (Mythical Mutual), which came to us very incomplete. We had to piece together what was given us and come up with the most appropriate, valuable and cost efficient Reinsurance Program for them. This task comprised many late nights at work and stressful moments trying to pull everything together.
Our proposal included a structure chart of our program, pricing, how the project met the company's objectives and an appendix of our data and calculations and contracts/slips to correspond to our proposal. We actually put together complete bound books of this material for the boards review.
We first presented our proposal Wednesday morning, to the Board assigned to us. This went very well and we really pulled together as a team. At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, after all 8 teams had presented to one of the two boards, we were told who the top two teams were that would move on to the final presentation. Our team was named as one of the two. We were excited but also very nervous (or at least I was!).
We pulled together once again and made a few quick improvements -- this included reprinting our presentation in the one hour before going before the new board. The new board comprised both parts of the first two boards, along with 3 extra top management personnel (one of them being President of my department) and also a "peanut gallery," composed of people that presented last year and others who just wanted to watch. I think there were about 25 people in there, not including the five of us on the team. In addition to this, we were being videotaped! To say the least, it was very nervewracking.
After our presentation, the complete board deliberated for about 20 minutes and then both of the top two teams were called in and given feedback and the winner was announced. We were excited when our names were announced. I was not very thrilled about doing the project and never competitive about it ... but it was a nice feeling to win after all the hard work we put into it. (Below is the email we received from the head of the training department).
So now, Im done. Back to work as usual, and Im taking some time off from the academics for a while!
From: Agnes Semington
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 4:23 PM
Subject: 2004 Reinsurance II BOR Winners
It is my pleasure to announce the winner of the BOR for the 2004 Reinsurance II Project. Two teams were put forth out of 8 to present in the afternoon.
Those teams were comprised of the following individuals:
Lindsay Zumbrunnen, Mpls, Clt Dev
Lori Chap, Mpls, Paragon
Rom Braga, Boston, Clt Dev
Rosemary Knopff, Mpls, Contracts
Dan Halladay, Mpls, Prop Solutions - Catalyst
Geoff Deaton, Atlanta, Clt Dev
Brandon Hopkins, Mpls, Prop Solutions
Elizabeth Danks, Mpls, Contracts
Kelli Smyth, Mpls, Mpls, Paragon
Katie Kenney, Boston, Clt Dev
It was a difficult decision for the board members, but I am pleased to announce that Lindsay, Lori, Rom, Rosemary and Dan were awarded the BOR.
Thank you all for another great program. You have all come a long way from where we started in July 2003. Please take back to your offices and your departments your newly found technical experiences, but mostly your passion, enthusiasm and desire to make Benfield the broker of choice for our clients and prospects.
The Bolivian Beat
A few days ago we were out of meat at the hospital so picked out a lamb from a local shepherd. We watched as they butchered, and I was not happy to notice we kept all of the innards, the head, and the feet :( Sure enough, we ate intestines and assorted internal organs for lunch the next day, and the skinned head became soup. I was surprised that it didn't bother me much at all...
Morochata's market day is Sunday, and that's about the only time I can find fresh fruits and vegetables apart from tomatoes and bananas. The exchange rate means 1 boliviano equals around 12 cents. While the women were setting up on Saturday evening I bought 4 big avocados for a boliviano, 9 peaches for 2 bolivianos, and perhaps a pint of divine figs for a boliviano! I ate most of my figs and half of my peaches before dinner, and decided I must be fruit deprived ;) for less than a dollar, I bought enough fresh fruit and veggies on Sunday to keep me stuffed for the week.
As you noted, last week Thursday was my birthday indeed, but I didn't realize I was 21 until I wrote the date on a vaccination certificate! That morning I woke up to the sound of one of the physicians knocking on my door, informing me that they'd decided to take the ambulance out to a nearby community to vaccinate. We'd be leaving in 10 minutes ... usually they tell me about such plans with some notice, but the solutioning of Morochata's political problems the evening before all of a sudden presented us with the possibility of leaving. So it turned out to be a happy day indeed!
The countryside of Morochata is beautiful, and I love to explore it despite the painfully terrible condition of the roads. I practiced my Quechua (about 4 sentences now ... ;) and learned several new words with the campesinos we met, who are inevitably highly amused by my attempts. It doesn't help that Quechua has "normal," "aspirated," and "glottal" pronunciation possibilities for five consonants. This means that there can actually be three different words that to me seem equivalent... For example, chaka means bridge, ant, or snore depending on how the "ch" sound is pronounced. I digress...
So we vaccinated and gorged ourselves on delicious peaches straight from the trees and generally enjoyed a beautiful day. That evening I was birthdayed in proper Morochateñan fashion ... an egg cracked on my head, confetti everywhere, and then an evening "out" in the patio of a store owner friend. This weekend I get to celebrate again with my Cochabamba family and friends :)
to be continued
Whitney, Heidi and Mark on Seven Mile Beach
Cayman Islands J
by Kim Johnson
On Wednesday of our Cayman Trip, we all headed off for the 7 mile beach once more. It was a pretty good day to go because the weather wasn't fantastic for all the natives, but for us it was great. It was kind of overcast, which caused us all to fry. We spent many hours there, but then decided it was about time to catch the speedy turtle and headed back to get ready for meeting. We did that, and then got a ride from the elder to meeting.
This time we went to his place, which was very nice. We had a very enjoyable meeting and afterward they invited us to stay for some snacks. Mom and Dad found the guest book which had some friends that we knew in it. That was pretty neat for us to see who all had come before.
Before long we decided that we should probably head back. We all hopped in and back to the resort.
The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty
April Fool's Day Surprise
Well, what do you know! We made it through March, though it snowed almost every day that last week and the thermometer couldn't make it above zero part of the time. At least we didn't get seriously oil spilled, earthquaked or typhooned ... just the usual stuff ... though Miss Jerrianne was grousing about not getting to see the planets lined up in the evening sky. Clouds and snow blocked the view, except for the very last night in March, which was awfully cold for stargazing.
But it all worked out pretty well. On Thursday night we went to our Reiki Circle, and as it was breaking up, Miss Jerrianne mentioned the planet show and noted that the sky was finally clear. They all trooped out to have a look, with me in the pouch, of course ... trying to keep warm and hide where those dogs couldn't see me. I couldn't see much through the mesh in the pouch ... it's sort of like those burqas the ladies wear in Afghanistan ... it keeps me safe but it spoils the view.
Anyway, they didn't see Mercury, which may already have set, but would have been hidden by a distant building even if it was still up. But the usual suspects were all out there ... Venus, the evening "star," the reddish one they call Mars, Saturn with the ringy dingy thingies and Jupiter with its moons, up there by our first quarter moon. Well, it was a sight to see ... best view in 60 years, I think they said, and not another opportunity to match it for another 40. We missed the first one and we'll probably miss the next one, too, but this one's marked off the "To Do" list.
After that, we went to the grocery store in search of good things to eat and we found quite a few. (Did I tell you that roast turkey's my favorite bird?) No one ever notices that I'm riding along in the cart in my pouch and I don't make a sound. It's rather fun traveling around incognito! Miss Jerrianne tried for another look at the planets when we finished, but there was a ring around the moon by then and the sky was fuzzy with moisture. Sure enough, before long it was snowing again.
After the groceries were unpacked and we had a snack, we played with my new bouncy balls, until the pink one hopped right into the big flower pot that holds a Croton and didn't come out. It nestled into the crumpled up aluminum foil that is there to foil my urge to dig up the dirt around the plants. Miss Jerrianne saw it disappear under the Croton leaves. She reached in for the pink ball and came up with the red one that looks like a cherry tomato instead. The red bouncy ball had been lost for weeks. She fished around in there some more and found the pink one, too.
I napped while she worked on the computer and it looked like the day was going to end without her ever discovering my April Fool's Day joke. I was kind of bummed out about that. (I know, people don't think cats understand big ideas like April Fool's Day, but let me tell you, that one's practically a national holiday for cats. We love to play little tricks on people, even if we don't tell jokes.)
So ... we were all ready for bed when Miss Jerrianne snatched me up, before I could pull off my nightly disappearing act. The very last thing she did before turning out the light was pick up her pillow to fluff it ... and what do you think she found hidden under it? My black and white and hot pink mouse! I'll bet you can guess how it got there!
For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:
Today's recipe is both at once inexpensive and exciting. However, if you don't have access to an Asian market or upscale supermarket, you may not be able to find the principle ingredient: spring roll wrappers. Here again, is when you call on a relative you may happen to know to hook you up with those "hard to find" ingredients. Not that spring roll wrappers are hard to find, but it is best if you use the translucent ones, and they are slightly less common than the "ordinary" kind.
Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Spicy Dipping Sauce
Ingredients for spring rolls:
Spring roll wrappers (I use Banh Trang brand)
Fresh sprouts (Daikon are best, but any kind will work)
Pickled ginger (Available at most supermarkets with delis)
Bok Choy (Any cabbage will work)
Leeks (green onions will sub nicely)
Somen noodles, or any small pasta will work, including angel hair.
Ingredients for dipping sauce:
Tomato juice (2 small cans)
3 Dried red peppers (Even the kind you put on your pizza will work, if that's all you can find)
1 Shallot (one quarter medium sized onion will work)
2 Teaspoons Sesame oil
1 clove fresh garlic (fresh is best, but any will work)
1 dash turmeric or curry powder (optional)
Assembly of spring rolls:
Cook and rinse your noodles.
Fine dice all vegetables, except sprouts, of course.
Mince the pickled ginger, if it is not already minced in the jar.
Dampen both sides of the spring roll wrapper with warm water and let sit for 30 seconds on a dry, clean surface.
Place ingredients on the outside edge nearest your self, leaving 2 inches of space on both ends.
Roll half way, then tuck ends in.
Complete the roll, much like a burrito.
Allow one minute setting up time before serving.
Assembly of dipping sauce:
Prepare in food processor like a vinaigrette.
Start with your tomato juice, garlic, shallots and turmeric in the processor.
Slowly drizzle in the sesame oil until it thickens, about 2 minutes. (Never leave anything on in a processor too long, as the heat of the motor will give your ingredients a metallic flavor.)
You are probably asking yourself, "Why are there no measurements on the spring roll ingredients? Is he mad? What I am to do?" Don't panic. What you need to do is a "dry run" and decide what ratio of ingredients is most pleasing to your palate and go with that. I suggest easy on the sprouts (They tend to dominate) and don't spare the pickled ginger, as it is the key flavor ingredient. Obviously, you can use any other vegetables you may fancy, and may even add seafood or whatever meat you may have lying around. Be creative, it doesn't hurt.
With the dipping sauce, you may want to save some time and just buy a pre-made one; there are several good store-bought variations out there, but here again, you have to live in a city with good supermarkets or an Asian market.
I can't tell you how gratifying it is to hear about readers trying my recipes. Not that I invented this stuff, but it is still flattering to think that I may have affected your lives, even in a minor way. Keep up the good work and keep the feedback coming in. See you next time!
This and That
by Elaine Wold
Dog -- Man's Best Friend.
The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. --Anonymous.
Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. --Ann Landers
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. --Ben Williams
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. --Andy Rooney
If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise. --Unknown
My goal in life is to be as good a person my dog already thinks I am. --Unknown.
Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of 5
This Week's Birthdays:
Meryl Hansey ---April 4
Lorella Grob ---April 5
More April birthdays:
Duane Miller--April 2
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
Troy Freesemann---April 25
Mia Nelson---April 25
Heidi Johnson --- April 26
Steve Rodriguez---April 27
Shari (Miller) Larson and Ray Schweiger -- March 27, 2004
Shari feeds wedding cake to Ray
Kurt Larson and Jenny announced their engagement during the wedding festivities.
To Lori Chap on a successful step in furthering her career!
Kristi Indermark sent photos and a report of Shari & Ray Schweiger's wedding and Kurt & Jenny's engagement.
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
I enjoyed Wyatts picture and piece on the birthday party gathering -- he did a great job!
I certainly enjoyed reading the articles by Kim on the Cayman Islands. She makes it sound fun until the reader wishes he/she were there also. Keep writing, Kim
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it. --David Starr Jordan
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 email@example.com
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.