Winter is here!
Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Winter Is Here!
The view out my window as I coordinate stories and pictures for The Bulletin.

Updates -

A wintery weather note from Anita Weiland that might be interesting to others...

UPDATE -- Post Thanksgiving Surprise
by Anita Weiland
Yankton, SD

Winter arrived with a bang! It rained all night. The storm didn't start until I got to the mall.

I had a cake and muffins in the oven ... and looked out and did a double take! I called the manager, and she called the owner.

"No one is coming in until 9 a.m.," she said, "so close up" ... and so we did.

I went and got a few groceries and gas and went home. I couldn't see very far ahead, just glad to get home when I did.

There are drifts in some places three to four feet tall, and it is still blowing just as bad as it was this morning. I just hope the lights stay on ... last night they went out for an hour or so.

I heard the wind gusts are up to 55 miles an hour ... snow plows are all pulled in. The storm is expected to still go on for part of the night.

We haven't had a storm like this for years. My dog, Daisy Mae, is spooked; she stays right at my feet.

I wish I felt like sewing ... but don't. I will just stay warm and dry ... and IN ... hope all else will do the same.

I can't even see the highway. Most of the freeways are closed. I have had a day off, even if I didn't want one ... but that's the way it goes ... stay well and warm.

UPDATE -- Thanksgiving break
by Ryan and Heidi Johnson Henderson
Albuquerque, NM

Hi Grandma -- hope you and Grandpa had a good Thanksgiving. We would have liked to be in Minnesota for Turkey-day, but we had a great time in Flagstaff at Ryan's grandparents' place. Ryan's family and his uncle from San Francisco were there, as well.

We were in Flagstaff from Wednesday evening until Friday Morning. We didn't do a whole lot but eat and visit. We really enjoyed ourselves.

On Saturday, Ryan and I and Ryan's boss, Matt, drove to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, to go skiing at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

It was my first time on skis, so I was pretty nervous. I learned pretty quickly and really had a great time. It snowed all day and by the time we left, it was a blizzard. We almost turned around and stayed the night in Pagosa Springs, but we made it home all right, after all.

Our five-day weekend was a really relaxing, enjoyable break. Now it's back to school and work ... I already need a vacation! :)

School is all right. I am only taking one class, Political Science. I don't really feel like I am learning all that much, but it is a very easy class. I just took my first exam and it was pretty easy.

We also just finished a group project where we ran in a mock mayoral election. It was an interesting project. Only one group got an A (as only one person can be mayor). We didn't win, but we got the next highest grade, so we felt pretty good about that. We only have two weeks left of the semester, so I am starting to figure out my schedule for next semester. I am hoping to take a few more classes this time around.

Ryan, Heidi & Matt after our day of skiing.

UPDATE -- Thanksgiving getaway
by Verlaine Weiland (sent to us by Betty Droel)
Brooklyn Park, MN

Mary and John Timmersman live in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and are cousins of ours. (Mary was a Bartlett.) Rich and Verlaine were invited to their retirement home on a lake in Brainerd for Thanksgiving weekend, and this is the glowing report Verlaine sent this morning. --Betty

We had a wonderful time "up North." Mary and John's lake home is a "lodge" in itself. All so comfortable.

The younger generations stayed at the new Waterpark Lodge. The youngest ones had the time of their lives on the various slides, pools, etc.

Bridgette, John's faithful companion for a good number of years, had just been "put down." John has collected a few things of Brigette's to put in a shadow box. She is buried in a special spot so they can see her from their living room there at the lake. He got a yellow triangle sign that says: Bridgette Crossing.

Bridgette normally would run around, sniffing, exploring in her old waddle. But, the day they were preparing the grave site beside a beautiful pine tree, she stood right beside them ... leaning on them. It was about all they could handle! Then John took her into the local vet ... who aided her "soul" to Doggie Heaven, wrapped her in a special shroud ... then they brought her home for the burial. She had dementia, weakened bones, no teeth, incontinence ... so, it was time!

The Thanksgiving dinner was "family style" at "The Lodge" in Baxter. We could order one of three meats: Turkey ... Prime Rib ... Walleye. Then all the rest of the trimmings came to the table. Rich and I were the only non-traditionalists! He had the Prime Rib and I had the Walleye. Both so delicious!

Mary had made a kettle of barbequed hamburger ... so that and fresh brownies was our supper. A wonderful breakfast for the four of us on Friday. A simple chili and corn bread muffins and left-over pumpkin pie was lunch. Then for supper we went out ... so there wasn't any shopping, cooking, etc. We went to the Black Bear ... a log house in Baxter. We sat next to the fireplace and had barbequed ribs ... pork chops ... walleye.

Friday afternoon was when we went on the car tour around the various lakes. So calm ... quiet.

Early Saturday morning John put on his hunting gear and went out in the woods for a few hours. The weather was so beautiful! Because they are right on the Madden's Golf Course on one side and Gull Lake on the other and not a drop of SNOW! Sunshine! It was gorgeous! So you can imagine our surprise as we came home Saturday p.m. to find snow ... a little at first as we traveled and a LOT by the time we came home! Brainerd area missed it all. (Not really MISSED it! ... but, you know!)

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Wyatt carving the turkey, left; Jessy Wolff & Chris Chap, right.

A Terrific Thanksgiving

Wow, we had a terrific Thanksgiving feast, with totally incredible food. The turkey was wonderful, as was everything else. Nice to belong to a family with so many good cooks!

Wyatt mentioned in his letter last Bulletin who was there. ["We're having quite a gathering at our house: Dad, Donna, Caity, Jayce and all the kids (and some of the boyfriends and girlfriends), my mom and step-dad, Jolene's mom and dad, two of her brothers, and her sister-in-law and two kids. In all, at last count I had 17 adults, six kids, and six dogs."]

Their home has great space for all of us to spread out in, some downstairs and some upstairs. We all had a wonderful time, visiting, playing games, and for some of us, staying overnight and shopping.

Cathe & Elroy Finkelson feeding new grandson, Connor, left; Brooklynn feeding Tate his Thanksgiving meal, right. (Connor is Todd & Joy's child; Todd is Jolene's brother.)

Jolene and I got up at 5:30 to go shopping on Friday morning. When I opened the door to let the dogs out, I was not happy to see snow! But, we had great luck the rest of the day, even managed to work it so we didn't have overly big crowds to deal with, which was very nice. We both had many packages to carry in when we got back and felt we'd been pretty successful with our shopping trip.

Rylie Johnson, Caity & Jayce Chap in Rylie's tent.

Vaccinating Calves

Saturday our four guys and Shawn all showed up to help Beaver with the "calves" (now very large!) It went quite well, other than Wyatt getting kicked pretty hard on his leg, which had already started bruising when he came in. I made them a good sized meal to fill up on, when they finally were finished.

Thanks Shawn, Ben, Chris, Weston and Wyatt! We truly appreciate all the help you give us!

Thankfully, the blizzard waited to hit later in the week!

The "calf" vaccinating crew at work in the snow.

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

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.
(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn.)

How many can you identify?

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

The first pair are my adorable little niece and nephew, Tyler and Jordan Indermark. I'm not sure who the other two cute little blondies are.

Jeni Larson
San Diego, CA

The two little sweethearts on the right are my wonderful granddaughters -- Mckenna Blanche Miller, 16 months, on the left, and Brooke Lauren Miller, 2-1/2 years old, on the right. They are the daughters of Kim and Mitch Miller, granddaughters of Marion and Steve Miller. (That's me!)

Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

LTD Storybrooke

A Tumbling Tumbleweed
by Larry Dake

A light wind was blowing as we gathered up tumbleweeds that had tumbled into sheep headquarters, drifting up against fences and buildings.

Occasionally one would escape, tumbling away on the breeze. My pup, Checker, would give chase and pounce on the weed with his front feet. I'd be close behind; we made a game of it. I squashed the tumbleweeds into piles and burned them.

This was my first job since moving to the ranch. The manager didn't have time to come the 40 miles over to where we were, so he suggested over the two-way radio that I could get started by cleaning up the tumbleweeds. He'd come by later.

It was a bright, sunny day. The air was fresh, the work was active, and gathering the tumbleweeds certainly wasn't requiring any heavy lifting!

The first tumbleweed in America had tumbled from a bag of imported flax seed in 1877. The seed had come all the way from the arid steppes of the Ural Mountains in Russia. It ended up in the field of a Ukrainian immigrant farmer in South Dakota.

From there it tumbled all across the West, scattering its seed wherever it went. It blows up against fence rows, buildings, and machinery -- staying until the wind shifts, and then it tumbles on.

Although a relative newcomer, by the early 1900's, it had become an icon of the West, much like the men who drifted in from places unknown, and for reasons untold -- to be cowboys and sheep herders.

The song, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, introduced in 1932 by Bob Nolan and his band, the Sons of the Pioneers, immortalized the tumbleweed's place in the West. It went something like this.

I know when night is gone ...

Here on the range I belong ...

Drifting along with the tumblin' tumbleweeds ...

Photo © Larry T. Dake

Leaving Basic Training
By Beaver

On 17 August 1969, we boarded buses at Lackland Air Base. We had graduated from basic training! No longer Airman Basics, we now wore the stripe of the full Airman on the sleeves of our khaki uniforms. We were heading for Keesler Air Base at Biloxi, Mississippi, where we would attend technical school. After six weeks of no girls, no barley pop, and no liberty, the beachfront entertainment of Biloxi looked mighty inviting as the buses rolled into town on Highway 90.

Hundreds of people frolicked on the white sand beaches and in the blue waters of the Gulf Coast. There were girls sunning in bikinis, girls playing volleyball, girls everywhere. Restaurants and nightclubs lined the highway. What a change from San Antonio! We were going to have some great weekends in Mississippi!

After a short orientation lecture at Keesler, we were turned loose to spend a couple of hours at the Airmen's Club. Having been advised that nobody wore uniforms to the club, we dug out the civvies we had packed away at the beginning of basic training. That's when we found out that we shouldn't have washed our civvies in hot water before storing them at Lackland.

If I sort of slumped a little, my shirt just about reached my pants. If I pulled my socks up as far as I could, my pants were long enough to just reach the tops. Those clothes would have been too small for me when I was 12 years old.

We walked the few short blocks to the club, enjoying our new freedom to walk in a group without marching in step, as had been required at all times in basic training.

After a short evening at the club, we walked back to the barracks in time for bed check. One member of our group tried the running jump method of getting into his top bunk. His left leg made it into the bunk above the iron frame rail, but his right leg didn't jump as well and went under the rail. Maybe it was his tight pants that were his undoing? Anyway, he hung there for a second, wearing a look of great surprise, then tumbled to the floor, howling in pain. After deciding that our buddy would recover without medical attention, we sacked out, falling asleep despite the groans of the wounded Airman.

Before midnight, we were ordered out of our bunks by a sergeant. He told us that a hurricane was headed our way, and marched us to hurricane shelters.

The shelters were two-story, windowless concrete buildings. Before long the lights went out, leaving emergency lights glowing. The concrete building began a high-pitched vibration, as if it were quietly humming. Hurricane Camille, packing winds up to 200 miles per hour and 20 foot tides, was coming right over us. Our shelter was above the reach of the water, but getting the full brunt of the wind.

We were going to see a very different world when we came out in the morning.

Travelogue t

Illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Larry McCorkell
"By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water,"
from The Song of Hiawatha by Henry W. Longfellow

Larry McCorkell took this picture from Shovel Point on the North Shore of Lake Superior, looking down the shore past Arch Rock to Palisade Head (with the tower on it), near Silver Bay, Minnesota. Larry grew up along Palisade Creek ... just walking distance from Palisade Head.

Greetings from the Netherlands
by Ary Ommert, Jr.
Maassluis, The Netherlands

Seems that time flies; a week is over in no time. Well here is some news from the Netherlands.

Last Friday we had extreme conditions with the weather here. On the coast where I live we had storm and heavy rain and further inland the rain turned into snow and many problems there. Power lines were broken and some parts had no electricity for more than two days. Also on the roads was trouble; some people had to stay overnight in the traffic jam because all the motels were full. Near the German border buildings with flat roofs collapsed from the load of snow on the roof.

Also at work we had problems; glad we didn't have snow but the heavy rain gave trouble. The parking was floaded and also inside much water. The storm made much noise and we couldn't hear the music. In the evening, all of a sudden it was over. Within an hour the storm was gone and the rain stopped. Very unusual. Saw damage on trees and houses on the way home. Next day we cleaned up the mess at work and now all is fixed again.

Starting to get busy at work; the Christmast trees have arrived and we're starting to sell them now. The quality is good and they must stay green until after Christmas. Our Christmas show is ready for the people to come and buy their decorations.

Next week will be busy, with extra opening times in the evening. Also open on three Sundays.

All is fine here, greetings from the Netherlands,

Ary Ommert Jr.
Maassluis, The Netherlands

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther; Stanley's parka & mukluks by Sharon Paul Nault
Flat Stanley waves to Miss Kitty, who watches out the window.

Flat Stanley Visits Alaska
By Stanley Lambchop

I'm still snowed in, in Anchorage, Alaska! Last week the ski season began at Mt. Alyeska. Soon the ice will be thick enough for safe ice skating and the snow will be deep enough for good snowmobiling. (They call it snowmachining in Alaska.) Miss Kitty has already informed me that she doesn't ski or skate or snowmobile. I don't think she builds snowmen or snow forts or likes snowball fights, either -- and you don't even want to hear what she thinks about sled dog races!

Snow is fun for kids. I like sliding down covered hills on a sled or toboggan or anything else that will slide over the snow. Miss Kitty likes to watch me out the window. She showed me the place in a birch tree where a Mama Robin built a nest last spring and laid eggs in it and raised a family of baby robins. The nest is gone now, blown away in a storm, and the crotch of the tree where the nest was is full of snow. But if you click here, you can see Miss Kitty's story about the robins.

Flat Stanley

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Miss Kitty showed me where a robin built a nest last spring.

Click here to see my story about finding water everywhere in Alaska.

Home Cookin' H

Finally, A Recipe from Glen...

This is from Shane Swenson's new father-in-law, Glen Lee, via Donna Johnson. This is his first recipe contribution to The Bulletin -- and above is his title on the e-mail to Donna.

I finally got the time to send you one recipe that would be great for those cool, fall Saturday evenings in the Midwest while watching football games.

Bon Appétit magazine did a small article about me in their Christmas issue in December 1997. Here is one of the three recipes that they tested and tweaked for their taste:

by Glen Lee
Santa Barbara, CA

4 servings

3 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 large bay leaf
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
1 cup whole milk
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
2 6.5 ounce cans chopped clams

Saute bacon in a heavy medium pot over medium heat until fat begins to render, about 3 minutes. Add onions, celery and carrot and saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaf, stir for 30 seconds. Add potatoes, clam juice and milk. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add corn and clams with juices, simmer 2 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:
December 4---Carol Dake Printz
December 4---Elaine Anderson Wold
December 7---Aunika Swenson
Happy Birthday!

More December Birthdays:
December 3---Twila Jo Anderson Aydelotte

December 11---Wyatt Wm. Meyer (6 years)
December 11---Ryan Henderson
December 12---Sarah Lynn Dake Steinhauer
December 13---Larry Dake
December 13---Derek Swenson
December 14---Kathleen Dake Stahlecker
December 17---Char Morgan Myron
December 17---Austin Printz
December 19---Barb Anderson
December 19---Lisa Boltz
December 20---Jay Pierre Miller
December 21---Melanie Anderson Shockey
December 21---Jonathan Glen Hill (1 year)
December 24---Ken Hellevang
December 24---Arbor Johnson (12 years)
December 24---Beaver Johnson
December 25---Angela Stahlecker Roberson
December 26---Koen deBeen
December 29---Mitzi Johnson Swenson
December 30---Travis Quick

December Anniversaries
December 20---Eric and Melanie Anderson Shockey (3 years)
December 23---Harold and Carol Dake Printz (38 years)
December 27---Earl and Kathleen Dake Stahlecker (31 years)

December Special Days
December 25---Christmas

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Miss Hetty,

Thank you sooo much for the very thoughtful 1st Anniversary card! We plan to celebrate with a nice dinner out tomorrow, as we both have things planned already for tonight. We'll do our best to give you some details and photos in a timely matter.

Jeni & Kurt Larson :)
San Diego, CA

We have always included my Mother [Rosalyn Weiland] in our
Thanksgiving plans
as she is a widow, and very near and dear to us.
This year, as she is 100 years old and unable to be taken out anyplace,
we decided we would just have our own
thanksgiving meal here at home, and then take some leftovers picnic style
to her assisted living residence, and eat supper with her.
She was so thrilled.
To have homemade turkey, homemade cranberries, homemade
pumpkin pie -- it was a very special treat to her, and we
enjoyed our picnic supper with her more than any other thanksgiving
taking her out.  We know it likely will be the last one together
when she is able to enjoy eating and being up at the table with us.
It likely doesn't sound too glamorous to young folks, but when you get
close to the the other end of life, those things mean
so much more, and time with loved ones is precious memories.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Working off that turkey & pumpkin pie!

Shalana Weiland's "school birthday party" setting.

Photos of Shalana's 9th birthday party "at school" missed our deadline last week (and would have been a very tight fit if they had arrived in time). You can see them by reviewing last week's Bulletin on the web or by checking out a page of ONLY her birthday party.

You can see ONLY Shalana's story with a link back to Bulletin 180 here:

Miss Hetty Says

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


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

I read with interest Kjirsten's account of Thanksgiving in Mexico City. Harold and I were in Mexico City on business a few years ago and visited some of the places she mentioned. We felt quite proud of the fact we climbed all the way to the top of one of the pyramids she mentioned at Teotihuacán. (As I recall, the Aztecs didn't waste a lot of money putting up safety features like non-skid steps and rails on all sides, etc. ... and it got a little scary toward the top for us "old folks.") :>) But what a view!

Speaking of "old" ... that was a great description of "old age," Uncle Don. I'm several years younger than you ... but I'm developing the same symptoms in parking lots. I tried to get into someone else's car in a parking lot just the other day. (I do have to say in my defense that it was the same model and color and was parked near mine.) I Must remember to always press that button to make the lights flash etc. ... just to make sure it's mine before I try to get in a car.

Larry's account about border collies reminded me of an experience last year when I was at the ranch with Justin and Melody when Amy was born. One of the other men on the ranch had two border collies. They are intelligent and beautiful animals. And, as Larry said, they love to work. Their owner was gone on a vacation a few days and had left the dogs home. I looked out the window one morning and saw the cattle in one of the pastures all gathered in a bunch, instead of spread out grazing, as usual. I said something to Melody about wasn't it strange that they were all bunched up like that ... and sure enough, the two dogs were out there diligently "herding" them. :>)

The dogs had to be tied up after that until their owner got home, which offended one of them so badly that he refused to even look at us when we went over to their house to give them food and water!

Carol Printz
Sidney, NE

Thank you for keeping me up to date on The Bulletin. I didn't realize how much Sophie had grown until I saw those two pictures side by side. Thanks again.

Dr. Tom Miller
Coon Rapids, MN

I enjoyed Dad's observations on growing old. Got to agree with many of them, sad to say. :-) I loved hearing about Shalana's themed birthday party; she has very wonderful grandparents! Sounded like so much fun!

Donna Johnson
Ashby, MN

Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Saturday morning has become a very special morning at our home. I call it The Bulletin morning. We turn on the computer and just wait for The Bulletin to pop up on our list of incoming e-mail. We expect it at a certain time, but once in a while we get a wonderful surprise, and it's a little early. Then we disappear into another world until we have read it word for word.

First Roy gets to read it -- that's proper and polite, isn't it? -- and then I get it, but the anticipation is half the excitement. I usually print it, and then look at the photos on the computer screen as they are so much more vivid and sharp and beautiful on the screen.

Looks like Bitzi has done it again. The nymph with the snow shovel. The subscribers in the warm areas won't be able to identify with that, but we certainly can, and it will just make them more thankful for their sunny south. So far, we have only shoveled once, and that can do us for all winter, really.

Thank you, Elaine, for finally having another interesting update from your computer. We knew DeLoris would have a memorable birthday, as she is very deserving and folks love an opportunity to return her many kindnesses.

Was special seeing something from Glen Lee. A new name to me. Even if we sat here full of turkey "and," it was so interesting to read that food story.

The Lobster Lake picture could be captioned "Perfect Peace." Must be wonderful to have access to something that restful in this day of busy life and hectic schedules. The cost wouldn't compare to the pleasure.

When I heard Beaver and Donna made that trip to Rochester, I was hoping there would be an account of their trip, and they didn't disappoint us. It sounded like a great get-away for Ashby farmers, and a much needed one as the farming, in the coming winter, closes in on them with all the cold chores and frozen ponds.

I see pictures of the little ones on the left on the "Guessing" page often. The two on the right are so cute and sweet, but I have no idea who they might be.

Larry's story and dog picture captivated both Roy and me again. He is a great storyteller, and thank goodness he took time to write about it all. We loved following along in this once-in-a-lifetime experience of sheep ranching. To be so far away from everyone would be a challenge in itself -- but maybe nice when it's a loving, close family like Larry and Sherry and their children.

Finally, Kjirsten has something for us to learn about her time in Texas. Of course she would be exploring the deeper south with all its foods and sounds and smells. Hope her medical college work isn't too difficult, as we want to see that she graduates and becomes the successful professional we all expect.

Oh Yes!!! and almost last but not least, Flat Stanley once again takes the stage. This time in his parka and mukluks. I suppose Miss Kitty got a new outfit to wear to equal that warm gear when she takes him on the tours of Alaska. Oh, that beautiful tree with the snow on. We love seeing the Alaska scenery in winter. Nothing we have in Minnesota compares (thank goodness).

I hate to admit it, Don, but every single thing you wrote about advancing age, struck a familiar chord with us. Now we puzzle over the Medicare D. We have excellent coverage for prescriptions, at a greater cost, so hesitate to cancel it for the unknown promised in all the literature filling our mailbox, but it sounds like we would be saving a lot of money, which would be just fine.

A fun story by Jerrianne about the Thanksgiving day with Kathy and Arg.

Thanks again for all the interesting little additions, and the Letters to the Editors others have written. I always look to see what others write as they enjoy The Bulletin, and I wish there were more. I'm sure our editors need the inspiration that appreciation and a sparkly thank you gives them. I can not imagine all the work and dedication that goes into each and every page of what we read so quickly and easily and enjoy so much. Keep inspired and enthused, editors -- we love it.



Scene from a wedding -- Ryan & Heidi (Johnson) Henderson's.

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