Winter is here to stay!
Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Winter Is Here To Stay!

Updates -

by Melanie Lehtola
Howard Lake, MN

Brianna (4 years old) was absolutely thrilled to see those first snowflakes hitting the ground. A sled is on the top of her long (and getting longer by the day) Christmas Wish List.

On Wednesday, Shea, Brianna, Brandon, Grandma Sharon and I went to "Disney On Ice," tickets compliments of some wonderful businesses who support military families. Brandon was spellbound; he has never sat so still. A couple times he broke out into dance, but it was cute and confined to our row. Brianna declared after the show that we NEED to buy some skates. (You see what I mean about that Christmas Wish List.)

Cameron is also excited about the snow; he couldn't wait to work on Brian's pickup with attached snowplow. Before leaving on deployment, Brian gave him permission to use the truck when it snowed. I'm sure there will not be a drifted in road or driveway in the entire county this winter season.

Beau and Shea are not as thrilled. Beau's "awesome set of wheels" doesn't look so hot covered in white residue and brown slush. Shea has to put up with a mother who thinks she's actually going to put a hat on her head ("Put something on my hair?! Are you serious?!") and wear gloves. She did compromise somewhat and buy a cute little fuzzy scarf that is of no earthly good other than making her "stylish" and acceptable to her peers. Boots? Let's not even go there.

The snow doesn't bother me much any more, now that I don't have to leave the house every day at 5:30 a.m. with two little ones in tow.

I think Brian wouldn't mind trading in some sand and dust for a little snow. He left from Fort McCoy on November 18th and flew to Kuwait via Germany. They were in Kuwait for not quite two weeks. Due to Operation Security they couldn't tell the families their exact departure date from Kuwait to fly to Iraq. I was surprised when I got the call from him saying he was at Camp Taji, Iraq.

Brian is half German and half Finlander, so he is a man of few words. It's kind of disappointing, because I've received e-mails from the female soldiers in his unit who send paragraph after pharagraph describing the flights, the layover in Germany, landing in Kuwait City, driving through the middle of the desert, the big bugs, riding in Blackhawk helicopters, etc. This is the e-mail I got from Brian: "We made it. It's warm here. Have my cell phone activated. That's about all I know."

Well, that's about all I know, too! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, and safe travel to all those who will be on the road.


by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Icing On The Wires, But Not On The Cake.

Sunday morning, November 27, was a balmy, mild day -- an almost eerie feeling in the air. By noon everything was covered with freezing rain. Nearly an inch fell before it turned to snow, covering every electric post, tree, and street with a very thick coating of ice! Then blizzard conditions developed, with strong winds whipping the wires.

By morning, many were without electric power. Richland County and the surrounding area of South Dakota and Minnesota had suffered what will likely be remembered as the greatest ice storm in its history. Thousands of poles snapped like toothpicks; fallen trees and branches blocked numerous streets. Schools were closed, as well as business places. Many families had to be relocated to community centers where generators were put to use to keep warm.

Others used fireplaces which needed constant filling; some cooked on camp stoves or used cold food. Food was taken out of freezers and placed outside to keep frozen. It was a matter of survival.

As the storm abated, hundreds of lineman were brought in from surrounding areas. It was cold and dangerous work, and in some places delayed by lack of availability of poles.

Between two towns, only one post was left standing, in a farmer's yard, the rest broken off like toothpicks. Nine days later, some are still without electric power. It is difficult to do much as we depend so much on electricity including cooking, bathing, laundry, refrigeration, and lights ... just to name a few.

However, there is beauty in the storm -- the trees look like crystal chandeliers with the street lights and the sun shining on them.

Now it is hoped that all will have electricity before long, as camping in the wintertime has gotten old!

Since those of us who did have power were told to reduce its use, I did not bother to bake a birthday cake, as I knew no one would be stopping by. It was a nice quiet day (December 4). My close family were able to come and they ordered in a supper for us.

There were no "76 Trombones and a Big Parade," nor was there the "Spirit OF 76." But there was a spirit of thankfulness for being in a warm house and I was so content to stay inside. We seem to be a spoiled generation as we are reminded of our hardy pioneer forefathers and how they endured with so little.

Grandma Shari & Jordan Indermark, left; Nathan Seaman & Tyler Indermark, right.

UPDATE -- Indermarks' Visitors
by Kristi Indermark
Portage, WI

Hello from the very cold Wisconsin. Well, at least very cold to us.

Mom (Shari) and Kelly came to visit last weekend, along with Nathan and Devan, Kelly's two sons. The boys had so much fun playing with Jordan and playing in the snow.

Jordan Indermark, left; Nathan Seaman, right.

We went to the "cookie walk" downtown Portage -- $5 for a basket, which benefits the United Way, then each participating store gave one cookie per basket. It is fun with the kids, although I am not sure why we needed the baskets; the kids ate the cookies from each store before we could even put them in the baskets.

All in all, we had a wonderful time together and I am looking forward even more to my visit to Florida in a few weeks.

In other news, Tyler got his first tooth two weeks ago and started crawling this weekend. He is growing up too fast! Jordan has learned to skip and hop on one foot. She is also very good at drawing circles and snakes.

Happy Holidays!

Jim, Kristi, Jordan and Tyler Indermark

Left to right: Jordan Indermark, Kelly Seaman holding Devan Seaman holding Tyler Indermark; far right, Nathan Seaman.

UPDATE -- What's for lunch, Rylie?
by Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

Yesterday after work, I was talking to Rylie, and asked her what she had for lunch. She said, "Grilled cheese" (or so I thought). I said, "I LOVE grilled cheese!" Rylie got a really funny look on her face, and then I continued, "My favorite is grilled cheese with soup." She scrunched up her face like I was telling the biggest whopper ever. Finally, after a couple seconds, she defiantly exclaimed, "Daddy, you have to eat BOY cheese!"

It took me a few seconds before I put it together. She didn't eat "grilled cheese" for lunch; she ate "girl cheese"!

I'm guessing the only reason she'll eat them is because she thinks they're called girl cheese sandwiches.

On the menu for tomorrow night -- girl meatloaf with girl potatoes!

Moorhead, MN

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Caity Chap & Great Grandpa Don Anderson survey the feast.

Alexandria Thanksgiving Feast

Our Alexandria Thanksgiving celebration turned out to be very successful, in spite of travelers having slippery roads, yet again this year. Several vehicles were even seen upside down in ditches on the way, so rather a white knuckle drive! At least by the time we all left for home, the roads were in better shape, making the drive home much nicer than the one coming.

The community/party room in my parents' building certainly does a great job holding all of us, plus it was pretty much a half way point for those from the Fargo area and the Twin Cities area.

Of course, the food was wonderful and plenteous. Turkey, beef, lamb, potatoes, gravy, dressing, four salads (or was it more?), plain green beans and a green bean casserole, Snickers salad (which I count more as dessert with a name to make you feel less guilty -- "Hey, I'm eating salad!").

We'd already had ginger cookies, shrimp/crab dip, crackers and chips to snack on while waiting. Pies and bars topped it off. We really had a lot to be thankful for, with such a huge tableful of yummy selections to choose from. If anyone went away hungry, it was purely a choice thing!

Thanks all, for bringing food to the feast; as usual, it was the best! Too bad more of you couldn't have joined us; we certainly had enough food to feed many more people!

After filling our bellies and sitting back to rest a while, it was fun listening to the inventive answers and the peals of laughter from the table of people playing Balderdash. The creative, witty, funny, ridiculous answers would even catch attention from those of us who were visiting on the other side of the room, making us laugh, too. It was a loud, but very fun afternoon. We are NOT a quiet group, for the most part ... although the few quiet ones amongst us do put up with us pretty well.

The littlest family members, or I should say youngest, as Mark (and wow, has he grown!) was nice enough to join the kids and entertain them, enjoyed the freedom of the hallways to explore and roam about. Little Brooklynn looked adorable in her little pink skirt and top, with leopard tights -- and when her Daddy added her matching hat, she was totally showing it off and enjoying all the looks and oohs she got. She was so friendly, too, going around to everybody and making friends -- you had to love it!

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for having us!

Mom's answer: With grown children who do the work, and grandchildren who assist, and a husband who entertains the crowd, it is fun and not work to have the feast here at Bridgewaters Estate in our Community Room (that is so well prepared for entertaining...) Just wish everyone of the family would have been here.

The Matriarch

The crew enjoying the buffet ... Don & Leona & Eric Anderson, Wyatt & Beaver, Curt Henderson, Jolene & Brooklynn Johnson, Lori Chap.

Good Buddies Aunt Lori & Caity Chap, left; The Wyatt Johnson Family -- Jolene, Rylie, Wyatt, & Brooklynn, right.

Good Buddies Uncle Chris & Jayce Chap, left; Gina & Dan Henderson visiting with Whitney Johnson, right.

Brooklynn has a little rest on Great Grandpa Anderson's knee, left; Foreground right: Eric Anderson & Caity Chap. (How many of the rest do you know?).

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):

How about my guesses on the GUESS. The first one is Don Anderson. See how he cocks his head? I'm sure it is. The next one makes me think it could be Larry McCorkell.

Roy looked at the GUESS pictures and rather than saying it was Don, he said it was a '39 Chevrolet ... and instead of saying it was Larry, he said it was a hot Ford with a big motor in it. Thought it was about a '42 or '43. He really likes cars.

Roy & Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Looks like Uncle Don [Anderson] is the young gentleman to the left. I think the picture to the right is Larry McCorkell. They both appear to be proud of their "wheels."

Melanie Lehtola
Howard Lake, MN

Photo ID: I don't know the gentleman in the first picture. However, the second photo is Larry McCorkell and his green Maverick! I wonder what impressed Ginny more -- the guy or his car?

Carolyn Miller Dake
Duluth, GA

LTD Storybrooke

Photo © Larry T. Dake
Lambing Shed

Two Hundred Jugs and a Bhagwan
by Larry Dake

The first month on the ranch we saw the ranch manager only twice. Once, when he gave me the pup, and once several days later, when he stopped by the sheep headquarters.

"You'll need to get things ready for lambing," he said.

Apparently, everything had just been dropped and abandoned when lambing time was over the previous year.

The golden-yellow driveway gates to the lambing shed were hanging open and blowing in the wind. Things were in a general state of "minor" disrepair.

"Get these gates straightened up," he said. "And make sure they're always latched."

The lambing shed was a modern pole barn with yellow tin siding and white trim. It had a number of windows down each side, making for a nicely lit lambing area.

We entered a side door in the center of the building. He swept cobwebs from the doorway with his gloved hand as we stepped inside.

"This is the hospital room," he said.

It was a room about 12'x12'. Crumpled milk-replacer bags were scattered on the floor. An unwashed kitchen blender, syringes, and empty Coca-Cola bottles (fitted with red rubber nipples) were strewn on the counter. A dusty refrigerator hummed in a corner and a brown living room recliner, caked with dried manure, milk, and blood, was shoved up against the wall in front of the electric wall heater. The smell of sour milk and rodents punctuated the stale air.

"We didn't have time to take care of things last year," he explained. "You'll need to get this all cleaned up. Make a list of all the lambing supplies we need and we'll pick them up in town."

Through the next door, the inside of the lambing shed was also in disarray. The 4'x4' wooden lambing pens were wired together in haphazard fashion. Many of their gates hung open. The floors of the pens were covered with dusty straw and dried manure. Cobwebs hung from fly-spotted incandescent light bulbs.

Green plastic feed boxes hung from the fence panels. They contained mouse droppings, left in exchange for any grain the sheep had left behind. White plastic buckets lay scattered about.

"Stack all these fence panels outside," he gestured, "and bring the skid-steer in here, and clean out the manure. I'll have a load of gravel delivered to spread on the floor."

"Then," he continued, "put all the jugs back -- in rows. Put in plenty of steel fenceposts to keep things from sliding around or tipping over. Leave enough room for the wheelbarrow in the side aisles, and room for the skid-steer in the center aisle. Get in as many jugs as possible. The carpenter will build more panels and we'll put more jugs outside. We'll need at least 200 jugs."

"Jugs?" I queried.

"These small pens are jugs. We put a ewe and her lambs in a jug right after she's given birth ... and ... put a row of grafting pens against that wall!"

Grafting pens?

We exited a side door and he showed me where he wanted three new drop pens built, like the three on the other side of the shed. "We'll need alleyways to move the ewes and lambs from the drop pens into the south end of the shed. Each drop pen and holding pen will need water lines and stock tanks."

Pointing at the roofline of the shed, he said, "Fix those roof vents that aren't turning ... and ... we'll need light poles and floodlights there ... there, and there."

We walked up the hill and he showed me where he planned to clear out the juniper trees and build a feed alley with feed bunks on each side. A brand new John Deere 750 bulldozer and a road grader sat waiting.

On the uphill side of the feed alley he planned to clear 20 acres of land for a larger holding pen. The uphill side would feed the new holding pen, and the downhill side would feed the new drop pens.

"We need feed-bunk space to feed 3,000 head," he said.

"The carpenter will build the new feed bunks. You'll set them in place after I do the earth work. The Mexican cowboys, from the feedlot, will help you with the fencing -- you'll need to show them where to build the fences."

He pointed out where we'd need more mixing pens outside the north door.

North of the proposed mixing pens, outside the back gate, was a pile of Styrofoam sheets, each sheet enclosed in an envelope of brown, waterproof canvas. These had an assortment of miscellaneous straps and fasteners attached. "This is the bhagwan," he said. "You'll need to figure out how to set it up."

Bhagwan? I wondered.

"Make a list of what we need," he said. "We'll see that you get it. We can get what we need, but we don't have much time."

He climbed into his new, white, pickup truck, with its custom "ranch" paint job, and disappeared in a cloud of dust.

I wouldn't see him again for a month.

Photo © Larry T. Dake
Lambing shed and our truck.

Travelogue t

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther; Stanley's parka & mukluks by Sharon Paul Nault
Flat Stanley is heading back to Texas.

Flat Stanley Visits Alaska
By Stanley Lambchop

I've had a great time in Alaska, learning all about the 49th state from Miss Kitty, and now I'm heading back to Texas. I'll spend the holidays with Nick Spalding and his classmates in Mrs. Schraub's 4th grade class at Northern Hills Elementary in San Antonio. There's so much more that I haven't had time to see and do on a single visit, but now it's time to say goodbye.

Although I arrived in a regular size envelope, I'll be traveling home in a box with mementoes of my trip. One that Miss Kitty and I enjoyed is The Alaska Moose Calendar. I think my young friends will enjoy it, too. I'll take a copy of my web site, "Flat Stanley Visits Alaska," on a CD. And I'm taking The Milepost -- so I can plan my next trip to Alaska. That was Miss Kitty's idea.

Illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Introduction to the Beoples
by Ginny McCorkell

I would like to introduce you to the Beoples.

They are a gentle folk who enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

I first met them when they started showing up in my sketchbook more than 10 years ago.

It wasn't long and they started appearing on birthday cards that I scribbled my name on.

Even more recently they have been popping up on my computer screen.

Likely you have spotted them in The Bulletin.

Every Beople that I have met has had the exact same green skin ... and they all wear those funny blue leotards with one shoulder strap.

As far as I know, none of them have names ... they are just Beoples.

Itza Beoples World!


Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:
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
Happy Birthday!

More December Birthdays:
December 3---Twila Jo Anderson Aydelotte
December 4---Carol Dake Printz
December 4---Elaine Anderson Wold
December 7---Aunika Swenson

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 for the cute THANK YOU card! We went a little "overboard" on Shalana's birthday, maybe ... but it was fun for ALL of us!

You are so generous to include us in your "family." We love them all as we get to know each of them better.

There are Two Good Lookin' Dudes in the Picture Quiz today! Won't mention any names though! Ha!

Special thanks for enriching us via your Bulletin!

Rich and Verlaine Weiland
Coon Rapids, MN

Just a quick note ... Ryan Henderson's birthday is the 11th of December. :)

Have a good day!

Kimberly Johnson
Long Lake, MN

Miss Hetty,

Adriana is married to Michael and has a son named Sully.

I just read about the candle making on the link in the last Bulletin, and I saw this name SULLY, and wondered why we don't see more pictures of those blue eyes????

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo of Carrie by Jennie Horne
Miss Petunia and Carrie get acquainted...

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

Interesting Bulletin as usual. Interesting people with interesting lives. Thanks to all the contributors for sharing.

Melanie Lehtola
Howard Lake, MN

Seeing the story about vaccinating calves reminded me that I was going to show off my battle wound today, but forgot to! The bruise from the calf kick starts just under my knee, on the inside of my leg, and covers the inside rear quarter of my calf, about 3/4 of the way down to my ankle! Luckily, it doesn't really hurt, but it really is impressive. All part of the fun of helping with calves!

Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

I liked the photo Ginny did of Larry's exercise routine. When cameras are around, anything can show up in The Bulletin. (Smile.)

Thanks for another great Bulletin again this week. You make our Saturdays special.

Carolyn Miller Dake
Duluth, GA

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

I'm beginning to believe this Bulletin is world wide. Most all of USA is represented, including Alaska, and the Netherlands.

This Letter to the Editors will come from our little corner in MoundsView, Minnesota. Saturday morning finally arrived, and that means The Bulletin finally arrived. Roy and I have both read it word for word and plink for link and picture for picture. It was so much fun, and our quiet evening livened up in a hurry -- so now I want to tell you how much we enjoyed it again.

Tomorrow is Monday, and you have five days to try to top that last one ... I doubt you can.

I can't quit looking at the Alaska scenery on the very first page. To think the mountains are really and truly pink is unbelievable; however, I did see that one time in about 1980, so I know that it's true. It would have been that very same mountain in Anchorage.

The Thanksgiving stories and snow experiences were a one time happening, and it was good to read about it. Somebody actually went shopping on that famous Friday after Thanksgiving and lived to tell it. It was wild here, we have heard, but we cowered right here in the house all day.

My sister, Ruth, is married to a real, genuine cowboy from Montana, Kenny Kitto, so I am sending them the vaccinating story as they can enter into that one 100%, plus a whole lot more. They live in Arizona now, so it may make him homesick. That kick in the leg could have led to serious problems which Wyatt doesn't need with winter coming on.

Very interesting Tumbleweed story, Larry. Just a few seeds started it all, and now it's uncontrollable. Good lesson.

Pretty unforgettable to ever have ridden out a hurricane as in Beaver's story.

Another creative illustration and photo by Virginia ... we are getting spoiled and need one in every issue somewhere, Bitzi!

Miss Kitty looks very content to be inside looking out. I suppose Flat Stanley can hardly wait to get back to Texas to tell all his friends about this Alaska adventure. If he doesn't freeze to death before he leaves, that is.

I have the ingredients on my grocery list already to make that delicious sounding Clam Chowder. Thanks, Glen. It looks easy compared to some recipes I've seen.

I laughed right out loud at Larry exercising after his turkey and pumpkin pie. I recommend it.

Thank you for doing such a nicely done story and pictures of Shalana's 9th birthday. To click on the links just makes it complete. I think they have their house back in order now.

The Foto-funnies were pretty funny, but who are the people? [Ryan & Heidi Johnson & friend.]

The Quotation was very timely, about the lowly snowflake and the huge drifts. We are getting an accumulation of them right this minute.

Thanks again, everyone, and please let us hear what impressions you had as you paged through this -- another excellent Bulletin. It is very professionally done, and must have taken most of the week to perfect it. Thank you, editors.



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