Happy First Day of Spring!
Photo © Jerrianne Lowther

UPDATE -- Jolene & Joel's birthday celebrations
by Donna Johnson
Ashby, MN

Saturday was Jolene Johnson's birthday, along with her twin, Joel Finkelson's. Wyatt invited us to go along out to eat with them that evening. After a few other suggestions, it was settled that it would be Kraemer's in Evansville. That proved to be a wonderful choice, as we all had excellent food and they'd set up our group in a large U shape, so it was easy for all to visit.

Of course Wyatt, Brook and Rylie were there for the double birthday celebration along with Jolene and Joel's parents, (Cathe and Elroy), their grandmother, (Marilynn), Wyatt's Mom, (Donna) and her husband, (John), Donna Richards, Caity, Jayce, Beaver and I were all present for the birthday celebration.

Little Rylie had played so hard during the day with Caity and Jayce that she fell sound asleep in the van and continued to sleep during the meal. They finally laid her on a pile of coats in the corner and she looked very comfortable! It was nice we had the whole corner to ourselves; it made it a nice out of the way spot for her.

They brought us two huge platters of fried potato skins and onion rings, which were delicious. Then it was on to a beautiful salad bar, with many selections. (I passed on the headcheese!) After each of our individual main course selections, they even brought us cake!

Little Brooklynn got passed around amongst all the grandparents ... we share well. She managed to put up with all of us! I got to walk her around for a while, showing her all the lights. She's a little darling!

At Donna R's suggestion, we all pitched in to sing them a rousing "Happy Birthday" song to end our evening together.

Note: Much to my dismay, despite a note on my desk to remember the camera and having it packed to go ... I forgot it. (I didn't stop by my desk before we left!) So I have no pictures to share with The Bulletin readers. I was really unhappy with myself about that fact! (I'd also forgotten at Dad's, but Mom had remembered her camera that time!) Rylie sleeping in the corner would have been such a darling picture, too, along with the group shot. Kicking myself!

*Don't kick too hard! We would have loved pictures -- but you do paint a nice word picture! Thanks! -- Mom, the Editor

UPDATE -- Work & School
by Ben Johnson
Ashby, MN

Hi Grandma, how are you enjoying the lovely spring and the news of the weather to come? :-) Well I am heading back to the cities on Sunday to finish my last half semester at school, finally. I guess when I think about it these last two years of school have gone by fairly quickly, but it is still a relief to see the end in sight.

This semester I will be doing diesel engines, noise vibration and harshness, and gas engine performance. It should be the hardest semester as far as technical information goes but it will help greatly that I have been doing some of this work at the dealership.

Work is going good. I am currently doing recalls for about 75% of my daily work, when we have any work to do. It is very slow now, being it is the end of winter and also tax time. People are very tight with money now and only do the bare essentials to their vehicles, so we are quite slow now. But it is nice to be able to catch up with tasks that get ignored during busy times -- like cleaning, which I am very sick of doing now.

Well, I guess that is all I know at this time so until I know more I will leave it as is.

UPDATE -- introducing Russ & Diana Martin
by Diana Mellon Martin
Brook Park, MN

To start, my name is Diana Lee (Mellon) (Kendall) Martin. My brother Roland and I were born to Everett and Daisy Mellon, Roland being my older brother. Both my parents, as well as Roland and his wife, Marcella, are now deceased.

Roland, being older, was already in the Army Air Corps when my folks and I moved to Robbinsdale, where I lived until I married Fred Kendall on October 19, 1956, and where my father lived until he passed away on September 13, 1983. He and mother were divorced in 1953, and both re-married.

Fred and I had three daughters ... Maralee Jo, 1957; Brenda Louise, 1958; and Julianna Joy, 1962. We divorced in 1974, and, in the early spring of 1975, I "re-met" Russell J. Martin, who I had been good friends with and dated some during high school. We married in August 1976, making our family my three daughters and Russ' six children ... most were at the very least young teens, and my oldest, Maralee, married with a small family of her own by that time.

Russ and I, along with a smattering of our kids, then moved to Pelican Rapids, where Russ and I planned, built and ran a Supper Club for a local businessman, until May of 1977, when I fell and suffered a serious leg injury, requiring an extended hospitalization and in-home care. This made it necessary to move back to Minneapolis, where Russ' folks opened their home and hearts to us until I healed, and could live on my own again.

In September of 1977, we moved into our little house in Camden ... North Minneapolis ... where we lived for the next 10 years. Then we sold the house and traveled for almost 2 years, working off and on on the road during that time, until returning to Minnesota in l989, and living in Robbinsdale (where it all started! haha) until March 2000, when we moved to a tiny town called Brook Park, 12 miles northeast of Mora, where we reside today.

For all of Russ' adult life, until moving here, he worked in Food Service, his last position being Food Director for nine years at Copperfield Hill Senior Apartments. At age 42, I went back to school, gaining my Chemical Dependency Counselor certificate, and a year later, my Minnesota Certification in the same field. I worked at Fairview Deaconess Hospital C.D. program in the Evaluation Unit for adolescents. My main job was public speaking, family counseling, and interventions, as well as group leader. I remained there until Russ and I began traveling full time, but did go back for one summer, when asked if I could fill in for awhile.

Then in 1993, after a couple of shorter jobs as front desk/receptionist, I was hired to be the kitchen office manager, also at Copperfield, where I worked for six years, until we moved here. I retired after moving here, but Russ continues his self-employment as a scissor and knife sharpener, two to three days a week, mostly at the Jo-Ann Fabric stores in the Minnesota area, as well as several Ben Franklin stores in the state and Wisconsin, also.

We have 12 grandchildren and three (and 1/2) great-grand children.

Our favorite pastimes are renovating our little place, which when we bought it was nothing more than a hunters' shack with holes in the roof and floor, with absolutely no updates or improvements whatsoever. Just an empty shell, barely standing, but on five acres of land, in the woods, with a large bog at the front edge of our property.

I doubt if our work will ever be done, but we keep plugging away at it, hoping to landscape and improve the yard this year ... finally!

But, our true love is camping and traveling ... We now have a Pleasure Way camper van, which is good on gas, and drives like a car, but is way too small for extended trips, especially with three little house dogs that go everywhere we go ... so, it is my dream to one day have a larger class "A" or "C" motorhome, but ... we aren't rich, and those beautiful monsters are expensive, so we take shorter trips in our van, and are grateful for what we have.

Our kids are far afield from us, living all over the united states, but we are fortunate to have some still in Minnesota and as close as the Twin Cities, so we do get to see some of them as often as possible. Thank-goodness for e-mail!

I love quilting, woodburning, old movies, and watching the beautiful birds at our bird feeders. What an assortment we have here! A family of Pileated Woodpeckers have taken up residence, and are so much fun to watch, but boy are they ever territorial! They divebomb us when we're out in the yard, as I am sure they think we're invading their space!

Although we both enjoy fishing, we haven't been out for several years now, but hope to get out this summer, again.

Russ' passion is reading and he loves clock making. He did take a clock repair class at one time, but nothing serious ever came of it. I think he took it out of curiosity, mostly. He loves to garden, but really struggles with our clay and rock to get much to grow, except weeds of course! He loves woodworking, also, and did all the woodworking projects in our house himself.

Well, I think that's it in a nutshell. We feel so blessed to be even a small part of such a delightful family such as the Dakes, Andersons, Mellons et al., and so enjoy reading The Bulletin as a way to keep up with all the family activities.

Thank you so very, very much, Dorothy.


Daisy and Everett Mellon

This is the only picture I have of Diana Martin's parents, Aunt Daisy and Uncle Everett Mellon. It was taken on their 25th wedding anniversary. In the background you see their home in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. The little girl in the doorway is Carol Dake. It was an open house for the couple and I do remember thinking how handsome a couple they made, this only brother of my mother Amy (Mellon) Dake and his wife Daisy (Williams) Mellon. --DMA

UPDATE -- Les Benson
by Dorothy Dake Anderson

Les Benson, a central figure in Dorothy Dake's Winter Fun story in The Matriarch Speaks column this week, is Uncle Isom and Aunt Minnie's grandson. Les's mother, Dorothy (Cheney) Benson, was their daughter. That makes him and his siblings second cousins to us.

After Les's family moved to Minneapolis from western South Dakota, Les came and lived with us one summer. During the school year his help wasn't really needed at our place, but Helen and Ervin Wrobbel, our neighbors, who lived about a half mile to the north of us, were very close friends. The Wrobbels gladly accepted Les as their helper for the winter. Then Les came back to our house for another summer and had several jobs that we all worked on to earn money ... de-tasseling corn, and working for a corn canning factory are two that I remember.

When Jim Miller came back from the Army, he and Blanche married and moved to a little farm near Dassel. So for the last two years of his schooling, Les stayed with them. After graduation he joined the Air Force -- and for several years was out of our life, flitting all over the world. Blanche and Jim pretty much kept up with his doings, but I was living in a different circle of people then...

It wasn't until Don and I moved to Missouri for the second time that we discovered Les and Virginia again. They lived down near Branson in a beautiful retirement home. We visited them and they us, and that is how we had some relatives at our Springfield 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration ... and got re-acquainted with Les and Virginia Benson.

Les is retired from the Air Force. He and Virginia are living in Oklahoma City at present and I do have their address and telephone number -- if you want them, just ask me!

Les Benson and his wife, Virginia, taken when they attended our 50th wedding anniversary celebration in the year 2000, in Springfield, Missouri.

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Starting with Bulletin 124, I planned to run biographical sketches of the members of our staff. Now that this has been done, I want to run sketches and pictures of the readers and subscribers who have not already done introductions. Please tell us about yourself. What is your work and what else do you do with your time? How are you related or what friend introduced you into the family? I am hoping that you can share family photos and background sketches. Send all manuscripts and pictures to me at dma49261@juno.com

Winter Fun
by Dorothy Dake
(age 17)

We had so much fun last night! It had been snowing all this week and it looked just right for a Friday evening snow party. We just had to try out our new toboggan. It had taken a while to get enough money together for that purchase and then it didn't snow until this week. LeRoy has a pair of skis, too, but you won't catch me on those "babies." THEY are dangerous. But I love sledding and tobogganing.

We had talked to Les Benson, our second cousin, at school and he said he thought Ervin Wrobbel, our neighbor, would let him go along -- and then we decided we would have Ervin ask Joe Libor if we could come and slide on his hills... He has two beautiful, long slopes that would be perfect "winter fun areas." To shorten this tale up a bit, Ervin did call Joe, who said we were surely welcome. Ervin told us that Les would help him finish the farm chores and then the three of them would come to our house and lead us over to Joe and Stella's. It all worked fine!

On the way over, our folks rode with Ervins and Les rode with us. He was asking us all about how you skied and told us he didn't think he would dare go down such a steep hill (as we told him Joe's was). He said where he had lived before they moved to Minnesota it was flat. He came along, though, to watch us go down with the toboggan. He even gave us a push off...

Then, as we puffed back up the hill, we noticed that our newly met cousin was busy trying on one of LeRoy's skis. He was awfully close to the edge. We yelled at him to get back a ways -- but he didn't seem to hear us. And then he started to teeter ... I was so scared -- what if he broke his leg, or his head? My word, he was whizzing right at us!

On the lone ski, he came charging at us, with both feet planted firmly, one behind the other, on the one ski, leaning forward for balance. He turned at the last minute and went whooping down the hill and came gracefully to a stop. He stood up, picked up the ski, turned around and bowed to his awestruck audience.

We started pummeling him for making up such a wild story -- flat land, indeed! He shouted, "Hey, quit it, you guys, I didn't story to you -- our house is on a flat yard, but really this hill is pretty mild compared to the ones we practice on out in the foothills!"

After that we had so much fun! And then the men came out to watch a bit and we coaxed them to ride, too. After we all chugged back up the hill a couple more times, we were glad to accept the invitation to come join the ladies in the house for hot chocolate and doughnuts. As we shucked out of all the layers of wet, snowy, outer clothes, we made a promise to each other:

This was just one of the perfect winter outings that we were going to have this winter. And I feel quite sure that Leslie Benson, the cousin we didn't know before this year, is going to be a big part of our fun times!!

Buddies, left to right, Les, Lyle and LeRoy.

These three buddies of high school days were 15-year-olds the summer our second cousin Les Benson stayed with us. Lyle was a nephew of Helen Wrobbel, who was our neighbor. And, of course, that is my brother LeRoy Dake -- earlier known as Bubsy -- but he had graduated to his adult name when he started school.

LTD Storybrooke

Just Doing It!
By Larry Dake

The sales pitch was "Buy term and invest the difference." The company I worked for was a pyramid in denial.

If I remember right, we called it multilevel marketing. At any rate, the emphasis was on recruiting sales people. We then would get a percentage of the sales of all the people that worked under us, and under them, and on down the line.

Our product was term insurance. We were in the business of replacing whole-life and universal-life policies with term insurance policies. Our clients were encouraged to invest the money they saved.

I believed in our product, so in spite of my introverted personality, it was relatively easy for me to sit down with folks and convert their policies. I was able to expose the products of the life insurance industry for the scams that many of them were. I enjoyed helping people out this way, and it came to be a bit of a crusade.

Our branch of the multilevel marketing business had struck on an ingenious way to prospect for new recruits. We used post-office issued postcards.

I picked names and addresses out of the phone book and sent out hundreds of handwritten postcards that read: "I would like to meet with you to discuss a management position with our company. Please call."

Surprisingly, many total strangers responded to the postcards. Of those that called, I would pretty routinely set up a few appointments. I would meet with them around their dining room tables and explain the concept of "Buy term -- invest the difference." I then would typically take their insurance policies home with me to study them, and to do the math. Then I would bring back a presentation, showing them just how bad their policies were.

On that second visit, we would typically replace their policies, if they were bad. And before we left we'd attempt to sell them on the dream of financial independence. By joining our "rag-tag army" of financial representatives, they would have the opportunity to rescue their friends and families from evil corporations, while earning their own financial independence!

We found a number of "red-blooded Americans" who were willing to seize on this opportunity.

In the process of finding recruits, I met a lot of nice people, and saved some couples and families a lot of money.

At distant company meetings, we were sold the dream over and over. Successful individuals paraded before us, telling of their success, financial independence, and in many cases -- wealth.

Our slogan was "Just do it!"

The president of the company came to one event to rally the troops. The large arena was overflowing. The thing I remember most was the president's wife's diamond ring. It sent sparkles -- tiny beams of light -- all over the large, darkened stadium. I've not seen a diamond like that before, or since.

I wasn't interested in diamond rings, or even fancy houses, but it sure would be nice if I could pay the bills! Full of fresh enthusiasm, I came home from these meetings and converted more bad insurance policies, and sold more dreams.

When we could get enough recruits together, in someone's living room, or at our rented office spaces, we'd give them group presentations -- selling the dream, again, and again.

It was a terrific system, in that everyone "up-line" had an active interest in our success, and we each had an active interest in the success of everyone "down-line." I started out with my manager going with me on my sales calls. Before long, I was going with my recruits on their sales calls.

Occasionally, we would be asked to meet with our customer's life insurance agents. I would invite the big gun, my talented and experienced manager, and she and I would go head-to-head with the opposing agent in the potential customer's home. This resulted in angry and frustrated agents, a tickled manager, and most often, another converted policy.

Our company moved to number one in total sales volume amongst all insurance companies. A huge success story for our president and founder, a former high school coach.

In time, I advanced to Sales Leader. I was asked to give a speech at one of our pep-rallies. Quite terrified, I walked up to the microphone. When I managed to take a peek at the crowd, it was like I was looking out at a sea of faces through a darkened tunnel. With rattling bones and trembling voice, I said a few words. Then I held up a picture of Prudential's Rock of Gibralter. My punch line was, "We're going to sink The Rock!"

But, back at home, it was my own rock that was sinking. The commission checks were painfully small -- not surprisingly -- as the already modest commissions of term life insurance were shared with everyone up-line.

Sherry was doing child day-care in an attempt to pay bills. She was pregnant again. Eventually, she started bringing home blocks of free cheese from Women with Infants and Children, a government program. For a time, she even had to resort to food-stamps to keep lentils on the table.

This was hard medicine to swallow.

But, the carrot was dangling right out there in front of me; if I could just hang in there long enough!

I now had a few really good people working under me, and their entourage of recruits was growing rapidly. Business was picking up steam. Things were looking hopeful.

About this time a directive came down from the president, that we were not to use post cards to scout for business. We were supposed to build our business with quality by finding recruits from amongst the family and friends of those down-line from us. This was contrary to the limited success I had enjoyed up until this time.

About the same time, we received word that our company would soon begin to sell "almost everything!" This was to become the marketing system of the near future! The first items we were going to sell were shirts. "Retail business in America would never be the same," we were told.

I took this as an indicator that there might really be a problem with market saturation, as I had suspected.

The president also admonished us that people should not attempt to do this full time until they had enough cash flow to live on. This rang an alarm bell for me. When I was recruited, I had been recently laid off from Bullhauling. Job prospects in our community were poor. But, we wanted to stay in the house we had bought, and continue to make it our home.

So, I had jumped in with both feet, full time, right from the start! I was hopeful I could make it go.

But it wasn't going fast enough!

I had been full time for about a year. In light of our poverty, and these recent developments in company policy, I was finding more and more that I was no longer able to rally, in myself, the enthusiasm needed to rally my troops. I had to get a job.

The company president had once said that if you get a recruit who wants to quit, "don't let the door hit them in the butt!" When I quit, I didn't let the door hit me in the butt.

I was behind the wheel of a Freightliner, pulling a 56-foot van, headed west.

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson

Editor's Note: Kjirsten has returned to Bolivia for a second year of independent study, prior to enrollment in medical school at Baylor University in Houston, fall semester 2005. In January, she went trekking in Argentina with her parents, Sheldon and Mitzi Swenson, then continued on her own, into the Argentine Lake District.

Catamaran at Lago Todos Santos
Catamaran at Lago Todos Santos.

About My International Hike

Last week, Sunday, I bused to Pampa Linda again for the start of my International Hike! That day wasn't lovely ... misty, sometimes sunny, other times raining ... a lot like the day we killed there a couple of weeks ago. So I stayed in Pampa Linda, walked to the tea house for hot chocolate, and read a lot. Monday dawned clear and beautiful, and so I began to hike.

Paso de las Nubes isn't very high, just over 1,300 m. (4,225 ft.), so the views from the top weren't so great, but on the other side I had spectacular views of more of Mt. Tronador's glaciers. I camped just below the treeline and listened to them thunder in the night.

The forest beyond the campground was enchanting, really magical. I've never been in a forest like it. 'Twas very wet temperate rain forest, incredibly mossy, with all sorts of fungi and flowers to decorate it.

The trail was sort of maintained, but there were still lots of obstacles ... huge, fallen trees to scramble over, bogs to navigate on slippery logs, and one memorable stream crossing. There was no bridge, so I rolled up my pants and changed into sandals. But somewhere in the middle I slipped as I stepped forward, and my 40 lb. pack contributed rather unfavorably to the momentum. Luckily, I soaked myself in icy glacier water up to only a little higher than my waist, and I was dry by after lunch. Not fun, though, and a little scary.

After descending Paso de las Nubes, I hiked for 29 km. (17-1/2 miles) along a gravel road into Chile. The road has only passenger ferry connections, so there is no traffic along it except for a few buses run by a single company. They exploit the lack of access and great scenery to the fullest, charging around $80 for the short trip. So I walked!

The first night I camped at Chilean border control, where the views of the Chilean side of Mt. Tronador were fantastic. At the end of the road I boarded a ferry that crossed Lago Todos Santos. Remember the volcano we saw from the old refugio on Tronador? That was Volcán Osorno, and I had great views of it from the boat.

Now I'm hanging out in Puerto Varas, a town on a lake with a view of the same volcano. My boat for Puerto Natales leaves Monday. There's a marvelous music festival happening in a nearby town, and so I'm occupying myself listening to the professionals. The noon concert yesterday was Mozart, and in the evening the Chilean Air Force Band gave an excellent concert.

Hasta luego,


Beach, Frutillar, Chile
Wildflowers at the beach in Frutillar, Chile.
(Volcán Osorno is in the center, hiding in the clouds.)

More photos: http://community.webshots.com/user/kjswenson

Photo Editor's Note: In late January, when Mitzi (Johnson) Swenson went to New York City, she volunteered to photograph the site of the Dutch West Indies Company's Fort Amsterdam, where our 9th great-grandparents lived, beginning in 1626. I wrote some of what I've learned about them in Bulletin 134, in It Began With The Poffertjes and a bit more with Mitzi's pictures in Bulletin 143. Since writing the original article, I've read The Island at the Center of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan & The Forgotten Colony That Shaped America, by Russell Shorto, published in 2004 and based on documents still being translated as part of The New Netherlands Project over the last 30+ years. What a grand story! -- Jerrianne

old customs house
The Museum Of The American Indian.

Mitzi said, "It's really easy to get to Battery Park and the Fort Amsterdam site on the subway and The American Indian Museum is small but wonderful (and warm!). Too bad we went the first day we worked so were in dress clothes instead of winter clothes and tennis shoes. The weather can be nasty the end of January. It was so cold we were shivering like puppies."

Little is left of the original inhabitants' presence on Manhattan Island, except for The Smithsonian Institution's American Indian Museum in the "old customs house," built in the late 1700s and named for Alexander Hamilton. It stands right on the site of old Fort Amsterdam, built by the Dutch West Indies Company in 1626, at the very tip of Manhattan Island.

For that matter, little is left of the Dutch inhabitants' physical presence, except for some place names on the maps, yet their legacy is more pervasive than we know. They greatly influenced our political institutions and American thinking on representative government. And they left their mark on our language and arts. Americans work for a boss (the Dutch word for a master was baas) and eat cookies (the Dutch word is cookjes), instead of calling the little cakes "biscuits," as the British do.

Pearl Street
State Street (foreground) and Pearl Street (with trucks).

Joris Rapalje and his wife, Catalyntie Trico, were among the settler families recalled from Fort Orange, near Albany, to build Fort Amsterdam at the tip of Manhattan Island in 1626. The Rapaljes then built a hotel/restaurant/tavern on what is now Pearl Street, a few steps from the fort. Both the fort and the tavern were on the waterfront ... and so Joris Rapalje became the harbormaster, too. Pearl Street ran right along the East River's bank, but landfills have extended the island by several blocks in each direction. The tavern must have been very close to the site of these buildings; a map exists that would pinpoint the location. The tavern was sold to Heinrich Heinrichs in 1654 and the Rapalje family moved to their plantation in Breuckelen (Brooklyn).

Midnight Black, guest columnist
Midnight Black
(Grandpa Beaver's guest columnist this week)

Midnight's Tutoring
By Beaver

Hi, my name is Midnight Black. Grandma D has written about me and sent pictures. As you know, Caity rescued me from barn cat life to become a house kitty. She has since moved to Ashby with her family, but comes to visit often. I've been hearing about Miss Kitty ever since I was a baby kitten, and think it's time to write a letter to The Bulletin.

I was a bit awed by Miss Kitty's writing skills, and wondered if I could write anything that the editors of The Bulletin would consider worthy of their wonderful newsletter. I thought I might need some help with my writing skills, but more about that later.

Life here is never dull. Weekdays I dodge daycare kids and play with Jordan, Cat-Who-Barks, and Reesy. Reesy is the most fun, and only needs an occasional swat with a mitt full of claws to keep her in line. I like to steal Jordan's jealously guarded Prescription Diet food. Would you think that food made to help the old boy's kidneys could taste so much better than the kitten food Grandma D serves me? Cat-Who-Barks says she's too old to play games with kitties, but it's fun to step on her when she's sleeping to see if she will growl.

Weekends bring lots of dogs, sometimes with their people and sometimes just dropped off to stay while their people go on vacation. It's a lot of work to keep dogs whipped into shape when I only get to see them now and then. Those rascals seem to need a little application of claws or teeth every couple of days to keep them in line. When they're absent for a week or two, they need to be straightened out all over again.

I have trouble understanding some words and I want to become a better writer. Since there is no cat school in our neighborhood, Grandma D and Grandpa Beaver thought I should be tutored. Last Wednesday was the big day! Grandpa Beaver took me for a long ride in his pickup, and dropped me off at a place where there were several cats and dogs. I hadn't had any breakfast, and was a little tired, so I fell asleep while a nice lady was petting me.

When I woke up, Grandpa Beaver was taking me home. At home, I was very wobbly, and wasn't quite myself for a couple of days. If school is anything like being tutored, I'm sure glad I don't have to go to school every day!

I thought maybe I would be going back for more tutoring, but Grandpa Beaver says one trip to the Vet Center for tutoring is all I need. I can't say I learned a lot from tutoring, but I might be missing something.

I've always wanted to get acquainted with Miss Kitty. I thought there might be a chance for romance if she didn't live so far away, although Miss Kitty does seem to have much more culture than I'm used to. I must have learned something from the tutoring, because now I think I just want to be friends with Miss Kitty. I think maybe Arthur would be a better choice for her!

Midnight reads about dogs Eating it up
Home Schooling

There aren't any cat schools in our neighborhood so Grandma Donna is homeschooling me. (She's very big on proper behavior and nice manners, but I must say I much prefer homeschooling with Grandma Donna to being tutored.) I'm an avid reader, even though I still have trouble with some of the big words, and when I have an opportunity to read a book about dogs, I really eat it up.

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

National Quilting Day

March 20 is National Quilting Day. I am sure many readers have attended quilting shows, or have made quilts for others or themselves, or have a quilt that was received from someone else.

I remember my mother making quilts for all her children, grandchildren, greats, and also for some of the college student friends here in town. Many of the readers are still enjoying theirs today!

Quilting is a hobby many people enjoy. It's a hobby that can be as simple or elaborate as one cares to make it.

Years ago, I remember my Mother cutting up old overcoats and other garments to cut into various pieces for quilts. I especially remember the "Crazy Quilt" pattern, made from pieces of all shapes. Sometimes these were trimmed by feather stitching, using bright yarn to add color.

Another pattern was the "Log Cabin," using strips to make a large block. My first sewing experience with a sewing machine was when I pieced squares together into long strips, which were then joined to make a quilt top. I had the mumps at that time, so it was good pastime while I had to stay home from school.

Many quilts were made of cotton, of pieces left over from another sewing project, or feed sack scraps; no pieces were ever wasted, but could be used in quilt tops.

When I was married, my mother-in-law made us a quilt, "Trip Around the World," with postage stamp sized pieces. It is a very beautiful piece of handwork. It was shown at an open house for our Historical Society here and visitors could guess the number of pieces in it for a prize. There were 2,513 pieces in that quilt.

This poem, by Pollyanna Sedziol is heartwarming!

A quilt is more than just a blanket warm,
It holds within its stitches hours of care--
First, there is a pattern, chosen for form,
Then cotton pieces, memories to share.

As life is made of hour upon new hour,
So quilt blocks grow, one piece sewn to the next;
The blocks are joined, as petals on a flower,
To make of all the parts this beauty stitched.

As with religion, family and life,
The finished quilt is of a trinity,
The lovely top, the back, the inner warmth,
Became a whole through quilting's artistry.

Pricked fingers tell the loving story of
Quilts made and given to show a mother's love.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:
March 21---Rachel Henderson
March 23---Colette Huseby
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
March 20---Stanley and Janice Dake (35 years)

More March Birthdays:
March 3---Donald Anderson
March 6---Jerrianne Lowther
March11---Kjirsten Swenson
March 12---Jolene Johnson
March 15---Russell Martin
March 18---Janie Anderson

March 28---Donna Johnson

More March Anniversaries
March 3---Mike and Kelley Seaman (4 years)
March 14---Brian and Melanie Lehtola (3 years)

March 27---Ray and Shari Schweiger (1 year)

March Special Days
March 27---Easter

Miss Hetty Says

To Our Readers:

The newly indexed "About" and "Archives" pages are again fully searchable. (Click on the "sitemap" link by the search window to see a list of the 250 searchable pages.)

Keep Us Posted!

Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Miss Kitty got letters...

I hope you had a great day, and yes, Miss Kitty did a great job with her arrangement.

What a DARLING photo! She KNOWS she is the star!

She's quite the "ham" ... true talent, as that was purrrfect! Lots of shots are surely done spur of the moment, and she got that moment just right.

I think it's rather Degas-ish in composition. Kitty Degas.

It is a fun photo, Jerrianne! Miss Kitty has mastered the Egyptian look I see.

Miss Kitty sure is polite! Jordan would knock those flowers over just for fun, and Midnight would knock them over by accident. It's a great picture, and we're glad you're both enjoying the flowers.


I am going to have a bit of a problem providing photos, as when we moved up here, I distributed them throughout my family, and have very few left here, but will do the best I can.

May take some when we get time. For reasons I can't explain, our family has never been big on picture taking, so we've never had an abundance of pictures.

Hope this finds you and Don feeling better. Imagine you are as anxious as we are for spring. I'm really getting cabin crazy. Well, today is Russ' birthday, and we're going into Mora for a bite to eat, so need to get ready. Have a great day!

Diana Martin
Brook Park, MN


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