Grand Reflections
Illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Suzanne McCorkell

Grand Reflections

If this isn't your kind of music, stay tuned. Scroll down to see what Beaver and Donna had to say about the George Strait concert they attended at the Fargodome last week.

Updates -

Weston wrote periodic updates during Coni's surgery at the Mayo Clinic on Friday and posted them on their web site. This Friday evening update was edited for brevity.

UPDATE -- Coni doing well after successful surgery
by Weston Johnson
Ashby MN

Dr. Thompson told us the surgery was a complete success. He was able to remove the entire primary tumor, which was the goal.

After the surgery, Coni was brought to the Critical Care unit, where she'll probably be staying through the weekend. All of us who were with her were able to visit her.

Her brother Jeff and I went to see her again around 9 p.m. She was alert and was able to talk with us. She knows the surgery was successful!

Over the next few days, the focus will be on recovery. It won't be easy, but with her strength and everyone's support, we hope to see her back on her feet soon!

Thanks to everyone for all of your messages, concern and prayers -- they all helped give her the strength to get this far, and they'll help her keep her strength as she recovers from the surgery!

One more look at family get together at Don & Patty's house.

There was altogether too much commotion to suit Benny, the cat.
Click here to read Benny's Amazing Cat Story

Bulletin subscriber Anita Weiland is the niece of Tom and Jim Miller. She is the widow of Betty (Weiland) Droel's brother, Harold Weiland.

UPDATE -- Anita Weiland presents EMS "Excellence" award

H.H. Weiland "EMT Excellence" Award, left; Anita Weiland, right.

The H.H. Weiland "Excellence in EMS" award for 2005 was recently presented to Sgt. Corey Briest, of Yankton, South Dakota. The recipient, a member of the Yankton County EMS ambulance crew, was very seriously injured by an improvised explosive device last month in Baghdad, Iraq, where he was serving with the South Dakota National Guard. He received the award while he was recuperating at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He is now undergoing further rehabilitation at the Veteran's Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The "Excellence" award is named for the late Harold H. Weiland, a Yankton County coroner and a member of the ambulance crew until his death in 1998. It is presented annually by his widow, Anita Weiland. Anita also serves on the ambulance crew and as a deputy county coroner.

"My brother was a very versatile person, and loved people and worked hard," Betty Weiland Droel told us. He was a welding instructor at the South Dakota State Prison for inmates who were learning a trade. He loved his work, and he loved those inmates, and they loved him. He could trust them and they did anything for him. If he had a problem, he took them into his office and just visited with them, heart to heart. They knew he cared and they responded."

"He had become an EMT and was on the ambulance crew for a few years. He was very kind, so his patients appreciated him, and his crew really had respect for him. He was excellent in that work. And he worked at Wal-Mart, part time, in the electronics department.

"At his funeral, all the ambulance crew came, in full uniform, and sat in a designated area. The ambulances headed the procession to the cemetery, and it was a touching sight. Wal-Mart had a skeleton crew come from Sioux Falls to run the Yankton store, and most of their employees came to the funeral. There were officers from the prison there. Some deputies talked to us, with tears, telling of incidents when they called Harold in and he restored order just by his kind approach.

"After Harold died, the ambulance crew decided to give a yearly award to the most worthy crew member for outstanding accomplishment and whatever they did over and above the call of duty. They wanted the award to be named the H.H.Weiland award, in honor of Harold and his service to the ambulance work. Anita, Harold's widow, presents the award each year to the new recipient. This just took place, and Anita wrote about it, so that is why all this award detail came to the surface just now."

All this is included on the Yankton ambulance web site at

Harold Weiland with ambulance, circa 1997.

by Brandon Hellevang
Grand Forks, ND

Well, I suppose it's time to update every one on my very first semester here at the University of North Dakota. I have had a great time. I have met so many new people and most importantly of course, learned so much.

College started a month early for me because of football. I was a redshirt freshman on the Sioux Football team this fall. I got on campus August 4th and had a month of acclimatization to college, football, and college football. During that first month we had two practices every other day and a practice and lifting session on the other day

It was a bit of a shock moving out of home and living on my own, doing my own laundry and keeping myself organized.

As freshmen, we got in on a little "fun" initiation. The freshmen learned that "snacks" wasn't just cracker-barrel with crackers and cheese. It was the team's time to "get to know" us freshman. This somehow included me singing my high school fight song in front of the whole team while standing on a chair. It was all fun and a good experience, bringing us, the freshman class, together and helping the older players to get to know us.

I didn't play at all this year, which was the plan. There was a senior kicker, who was pretty good on the team already. He set five NCAA Division II records and 12 team records. He also came three points shy of setting a collegiate record for most points in a career. So, thankfully, he didn't get hurt and I didn't play, which means I have four years of eligibility left. I am scheduled to be the starting kicker next fall.

Then school started. This was kind of weird because I had gotten to know college as a place where I was playing football and then there was the realization that, "Oh yeah, I'm supposed to learn something here, too."

It was really weird at first, because in high school I knew almost everybody and would say "hi" in the hallway, but here I didn't know anybody! Every once in a while, I would see a teammate and feel so good, because I actually knew somebody. This made the first couple of months kind of hard for me. On top of not knowing anybody, I didn't have time to get to know people.

We would lift weights Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 5:45 and then have class during the day. After class, it was pretty much straight to practice. Then we had an hour to eat and then we had to put in required time at the library. At least I was getting my school work done. :) Which was really nice, because I was really scared for my first "college test." I had heard some scary stuff about "college tests" and so I was studying like mad for my first one. I was expecting the hardest Advanced Placement test I had taken in high school.

When I showed up, I was pleasantly surprised by its similarity to normal, high school tests. (At least in the classes I had this semester, this held true, I hope it, at most, gradually gets more difficult as I go.) I ended up doing well on that first test and most every test after that too. Good enough anyway, that I got all A's my first semester of college. So, I kept quite busy for the first three and a half months.

Then, unfortunately, or maybe kind of fortunately, we lost a playoff game to the eventual national champions. This allowed me to have a lot more time and freedom, which was a welcome change. It also allowed me to study for my first "college finals," which also went well, apparently.

Overall, I have really grown to like it here. I was actually looking forward to coming back after winter break. I like being so close to so many people and having so many freedoms. I am really looking forward to my next nine semesters here in Grand Forks.

Brandon Hellevang, left; at kickoff, right.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Watercolor class: Caity's first watercolor painting.

George Strait Concert
as experienced by Donna

We were surprised by a fabulously fun gift at Christmas -- tickets to see the George Strait concert in the huge Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota. He put on a tremendous show! He's my country guy, so I was especially thrilled to have excellent seats, only 11 rows back. Perfect!

Earlier in the evening we went out with Wyatt, Jolene and some of Jolene's family: her folks (who had also received tickets), her aunt and uncle and her sister-in-law and her two children. We all went to eat at Red Lobster. Then Wyatt and Jolene watched Caity and Jayce while we attended the concert. Thanks for that, too! We stayed overnight, as it was close to midnight, with the show starting at 7:30, and just getting out of the parking lot took a while.

I also was entertained by the lady I sat by, two years younger than I am, a daycare provider from Warroad, mother of two girls and a boy and various other things in common, one of them being enjoying country music. Needless to say, we hit it off nicely and she gave me her e-mail address, so we can keep in touch and compare daycare "notes."

Thank you to all of our wonderful family -- we had a great time! You are all so kind and thoughtful.

George Strait Concert
as experienced by Beaver

The kids gave D tickets for a concert in Fargo, and Saturday night was the big night. The singer was a guy named Straight George, or George Strait, or something like that.

We went out for supper first at a lobster place, but we had to wait a while. I looked at the live lobsters in the tank in the entryway, and decided right then to change crustaceans and have coconut shrimps instead. I don't know how they get those shrimps to taste like coconuts, but they sure were good.

Anyway, we got to the Fargodome so early we could have driven all the way home and got the tickets if we had forgot them, which was the idea, except we had them with us. We stood around for a while watching all the folks coming to hear the concert, and that was purty interesting. There were an awful lot of blue jeans and cowboy hats and cowboy boots, but I didn't notice a single cowboy that smelled like horses or cows. And some of the boots the cowgirls had on! Long, pointy cowboy boots with high spike heels! Maybe the heels are so they don't need any spurs? And pink cowboy hats! If anybody wore a git-up like that around here, the cows would stampede clear into the next township.

So we sat down in our chairs right up by the stage and waited a long time. The stage was in the middle of the place, and we were worrying that we might be on the wrong side and only see George's backside. The nice feller who helped us find our seats told us George would do a couple of songs facing each direction, so we would get to see all four sides of him. There were monster TV screens above the stage, so the poor folks way in back that didn't have wonderful kids that gave them front row tickets could see what was going on, too.

The lights went out, and when one bright one came back on, there was this really good-lookin' blonde girl on the stage. I thought George was a funny name for a good lookin' blonde girl, but then I found out that she was named Miranda Lambert, and she was there to warm us up while George got ready to sing. Sure worked for me! She could really sing, and had the moves, too. And such purty eyes!

Before long the lights went out again, and when they got them back on, there was another singer on the stage. I figured this one must be George, but no, it was a feller named Tracy Lawrence. He could sing some, too, but he probably would have sounded even better 20 years ago when my ears worked right. I turned off my hearing aids because it was pretty loud. That worked pretty good, except for the bass sound waves that made me feel like my heart was going goofy again, except from the outside in. I suppose they wanted to be sure the folks way back in back could hear, too.

Then it got dark again, and when the lights came on, it was George Strait himself! He sang lots of songs: ballads, lively songs, you name it, that ol' boy could sing 'em. And to think he's almost as old as I am! You'd think he'd get tired. Anyway, he sang for a long time. I couldn't hear most of the words, because the only songs I know the words to are from back in the 60's and 70's when I could still hear pretty good. I had heard a few of the songs, and it was fun to listen anyway, even if I didn't know what he was singing about most of the time.

He had his band with him, the "Ace in the Hole Band." I think there were about 11 of them. There were guitars of all sorts, drums, even a piano, along with a guy and a gal to help him with the singing. And oh, how that fiddler could play!

D seemed to be having a real good time, visiting with a gal on the other side of her between songs, and clapping and jumping up and down with everybody when George got around to our side of the stage. She even got kinda cuddly toward the end, so that was nice.

The gal in front of me liked to stand up on her chair some, so she could take pictures better, but she wasn't real wide, so I could usually see around her OK. Her husband was wearing a big ol' cowboy hat, but if I scrunched down a little, I could see right under the brim most of the time. Next time maybe we'll go see "Metallica," where the punks wear baseball caps turned backwards so they don't get in everybody's way.

So we had a great time, and when George left, everybody kept on clapping and hollering for so long that he came back and did three more songs, just to get them to quit and go home.

Everybody had such a good time, seemed like they didn't want to leave. They made a big traffic jam, and we all sat in our cars in the parking lot for a long time afterwards. A few even honked their horns, but eventually everybody got sick of sitting there and drove away. When almost all of them had left, we got in the line and drove off, too, listening to George Strait on the CD player.

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

Grandma Dorothy with Lori and Shawn.

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 second picture in the guessing game is Steve Miller on the right and his brother, Duane, on the left.

Mavis Morgan
Estero, FL

Editor's Comment: One out of two right isn't bad ... that is indeed Steve -- but it isn't his brother with him...

"Who is This pictures" ... left: Tom Miller and right: Ernie Dake and Steve Miller.

Harold and Carol Printz
Sidney, NE

Editor's Comment: 100% correct!

The guess who pictures were a special bunch. I think the first would be Uncle Tom (Miller). The two cute little guys are my Ernie (Dake) and one of my favorite cousins Steve (Miller). Great pictures.

Carolyn Miller Dake
Duluth, GA

Hi ... my guess of the pictures ... Uncle Tom ... (Aren't the Miller men handsome?) and cousin Ernie ... and brother Steve ... what NICE pictures ...

Shari Miller Schweiger
Bradenton, FL

More mysteries! Anybody recognize this?

Would you add the picture at left ("person unknown, photo taken at Beatty studio, Grass Valley, California), to your "who's this?" in The Bulletin?

He looks so much like my brother Wes, I'd like to find out if anyone knows who it is.

Ardis (Sigman) Quick
Roseville, MN

Here is what I know about this contribution that Ardis has forwarded: the Mary Dake who received the card mailed to Columbia Falls, Montana, is almost certainly my dad's mother, Mary Dake. I have met all of her brothers and sisters but almost none of her cousins. I would suppose that it was a cousin that was writing to her from Grass Valley, California, ... but the picture???

Dorothy Dake Anderson
Alexandria, MN

LTD Storybrooke

No Problem!
by Larry Dake

The sheep began arriving at sheep headquarters, from the mountains, riding on aluminum potbellied trailers pulled by conventional semi-tractors. The drivers liked it that I was willing to crawl around on the decks in the livestock trailers, to unload the groups of sheep from their various compartments.

Except for the lowest deck, the sheep had to exit on a long narrow ramp with closed sides. For those on the top deck it was a steep descent.

It was a cold and windy day, with snow in the air. My dog, Checker, was soon causing trouble by getting in front of the unloading chute and stopping the sheep. He was doing what his instincts were telling him -- keeping the sheep from "getting away."

After a lot of shouting and stick throwing directed at him by the men on the ground, I rescued him, bringing him into the trailer with me.

This was too close quarters for a young dog not accustomed to livestock. But the sheep were dog-broke; they gave him wide berth as they scooted past. Instead of being intimidated by this challenging job, Checker gained confidence as we moved each group out.

While Checker and I were getting acquainted with the sheep, a beat-up, unlicensed, little red car with no muffler drove past. It rumbled across the creek and stopped in front of our house. A man got out and walked into the house without stopping to knock. Sherry was working in the kitchen when he walked in.

"Buenos Días," he said.

She turned from her work at the stove, taken aback by his intrusion. "I didn't hear you come in," she said.

He grinned widely. "No problem!"

A small man with high cheek bones, he sported a clean, white shirt under a blue and grey western style jacket. Though swarthy, he didn't look like the Mexican help. His features were more chiseled and angular. And his smile wider.

He must be one of the Peruvian sheep herders.

He pointed to himself. "Domingo," he said. Then he pointed to Sherry.

"Sherry," she answered. Then pointing to each of the kids, Sherry said, "Sarah" ... and "Amy." Sherry picked up the coffeepot from the stove top and swirled its contents. "Would you like some coffee?" she asked.

"No problem!" he grinned.

"Cookies?" She extended a plateful, fresh from the oven.

"No problem!" he grinned again.

He sipped coffee and ate cookies. He spoke Spanish to them, obviously thrilled to have someone to talk to besides his dogs and his sheep. Sherry and the kids didn't understand much of what he had to say, but this didn't hinder him from sharing it anyway.

"No comprendo," Sherry said.

"No problem!" he replied, with a wave of his hand. He probably hadn't been near a woman or child for months.

While tending the sheep in the mountains, he'd lived in a tent, because the landscape was too steep for a sheep-camp wagon. Supplies had been packed in, on packhorses, by the boss's son.

There had been two shepherds from our ranch in the mountains for the grazing season. In the fall they had moved to lower elevations, ending up in leased hay fields, near a place called Frenchglen. Frenchglen was about 70 miles away from sheep headquarters.

Each shepherd had a "band" of sheep, a band being about 1,200. They had to keep their bands from mixing, so they camped in separate locations. It was a lonely life.

The second shepherd, Esteban, and his sheep, had recently been moved by truck from the hay fields near Frenchglen to a location about six miles from sheep headquarters.

When Domingo stood to leave our table, he exclaimed, "Muchas Gracias!"

"You're welcome," Sherry said.

"No problem!" he grinned.

Sarah & Amy, left; Sherry, right.

Travelogue t

Greg Dake and Sonja Maness left Raleigh, North Carolina, for Shanghai, China, on Friday, January 6, and will be traveling until January 28th. It's a business trip for Greg and Sonja is going along. I think they are taking extra time for sightseeing while they are there. (Greg is the son of Ernie and Carolyn Dake, grandson of LeRoy and Vonnie Dake, and grand nephew of the Matriarch, Dorothy Dake Anderson.) -- Aunt Ginny (Dake) McCorkell

Sunrise, left; city lights, right, from airplane window.
Packed In

Jan 06, 2006, 1:30 p.m. EST, San Francisco airport

The most grueling leg of our journey is about to begin. It is also at this point that Greg and I no longer have seats together. He is forward in business class and looks to have more than two times the space I have back here in economy class. I did get a good seat though, for economy. It is a window seat, which means I can prop my pillow against the window or side of the plane and lean over to sleep.

There are three seats across on my row. The middle row has four seats, then another row past that with three more seats. This double-decker plane carries at least 300 passengers. The downside to a window seat is my two row-mates have to get up to let me out for bathroom trips. There is no squeezing by in these cramped conditions.

The flight from San Francisco to Pudong Airport (PVG) is approximately 13 hours. We are scheduled to arrive at 7:30 p.m., Shanghai time, tomorrow, Saturday, January 7th. Our host, who goes by "Fred" as his Anglicized name, had e-mailed Greg that he would try to arrange transport for us from PVG to our hotel. Hopefully he can. We are prepared in case he can't, with our hotel name and address printed out in Chinese.

My efforts to learn enough Mandarin to limp along for this trip, are so far a flop. I planned to listen to ChinaPod and China survival lessons on podcasts on the flights here, but it isn't happening. There is too much noise, too many distractions, and I am too exhausted. I can say, "Hello, how are you?" and "I speak a little Chinese, but not very well." and "Do you speak English?" and "Thank you, goodbye." I can ask directions to a limited extent, which might be useful. I should ask Fred if there are lessons I can take (and afford) while Greg is working the next two weeks.

My picture-taking has been limited by having forgotten to charge either of the camera batteries before leaving. I am saving what charge is left in hopes of getting pictures of our landing and arrival in Shanghai (which the Chinese pronounce "Shung-hi" and not "Shang-hi"). The Chinese broker at my former job pronounced it that way also, I noticed. I will try to remember to do so, as well.

Same Plane, Different Longitude...

I'm not sure what time it is now. It's hard enough to figure out what time it is even if you have a watch on your wrist, which I don't, with all the crossing of time zones. My iPod is in my purse, which is stowed under the seat ahead of me. I didn't bring my cellphone along because it won't work in China anyway; I left it with my parents to use while they house-sit for us.

We finally took off for PVG; I think it was later than scheduled because of runway delays. I didn't hear the details even though the captain announced it. It's very hard to hear anything in here. Between engine noise, wind noise, and over 300 people talking and moving around, it's a not-so-dull roar. We've been served pretzels and sodas, then given damp wipes to clean up. Lunch is supposedly going to be served soon. The menu on the in-flight magazine says there are alcoholic beverages at no charge on international flights, even in economy class. That could make the rest of the trip much easier ... or much harder, depending.

I'm not sure how late we took off, if we were late, because I fell asleep waiting to take off. I didn't wake up until we started really accelerating for take-off and were almost off the ground. I'm that exhausted.

I just performed the amazing gymnastic feat of retrieving my purse from under the seat. This is not easy when your knees are jammed into the seat in front of you and you are rubbing elbows with the person beside you -- literally. (I think I have several bruises already, not on purpose by any means, I'm sure.)

Anyway it is now 4 p.m. PST. I reset my iPod to PST on the way to SFO from ORD. So we still have 10+ hours in this double-decker flying sardine tin. Someone behind me at boarding said, "There's no way I could make this trip economy class. It's barely tolerable in business class." I wanted to turn around and tell him, "If it's ride economy or miss a chance at a trip to China, it's a no-brainer for me." But I didn't.

The flight attendants passed out customs and entry forms to people but ran out of the English customs forms. The two I did get ask where you've been in the last 14 days, city and country, if you have any illness, etc. There's a place on one for a quarantine agent to record your temperature. If I weren't already sick before this trip, I would be now. I've seen so many people coughing and sneezing all along the way. I don't know if it's more sick people or I'm just noticing it more because I don't want to catch any more colds, etc.

Guess I might as well keep writing until my food shows up. The first in-flight movie is Brothers Grimme." The sound is through headphones but I'm not listening. It has Chinese subtitles. I've glanced at the screen a bit and so far have only really registered that the horses in the film are Arabians and Andalusians. Haven't seen any Friesians so far, unfortunately.

I miss Greg; even though he's only a short way away, I can't see him from my seat. I wish we could have had seats together. At least we did manage to get on the same plane, though. Food's here, looks like. More later.

The End is Near!

And it's a good thing because much longer in this plane and I might be stark, raving mad. Actually it hasn't been so bad, the last half, because I've mostly dozed and actually managed a bit of real sleep. We're about one hour away from landing in Shanghai. A last "light meal" is about to be served by the flight attendants.

For movies after Brothers Grimme, they've shown: Polar Express (which I listened to 3/4 of before falling asleep with headphones on. I'd never seen it before, guess I really still haven't). Seabiscuit (which I also listened to about 3/4 of before falling asleep again wearing headphones, only to jump awake at the sound of a starting bell in the movie). Cinderella man (Which I didn't listen to at all; slept through it). And now they are almost finished playing Beethoven's 2nd (slept through most of it, also).

So the length of the movies is my estimate of how much I slept. I'd hoped to stay awake this whole flight, to be better on Shanghai time when we arrive, but, best laid plans and all that...

to be continued...

Photo Editor's Note: We are serializing Sonja and Greg's web log and illustrating it with the photos they are posting, but there is far more photo material available than we will be able to fit in The Bulletin, so we will also provide the links to the blog, for those who are interested:

Web Log:

, Requested Recipes

Spinach and Cheese Strata
Recipe supplied by Patty Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

3 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped (I use chives)
3 large cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground pepper, divided
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 cups of French bread cubes, divided
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1-1/2 cups hot water
1 cup original Nestlé Coffee-mate powdered coffee creamer
9 large eggs
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Grease 3-quart casserole dish or 13" x 9" baking dish.

Melt butter over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in spinach and remove from heat.

Place 4 cups bread cubes in prepared dish. Top evenly with 1/2 of spinach mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, ending with cheese.

Whisk together hot water and Coffee-mate. Whisk in eggs, mustard, remaining salt and remaining pepper. Pour evenly over strata. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Let strata stand at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
compliments of The Nestlé Cookbook

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:
January 22---Timothy Thomas Mellon
January 24---Marloes de Been
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
January 24---David "Beaver" and Donna Anderson Johnson (12 Years)

More January Birthdays:
January 3---Brandon Hellevang
January 3---Virginia Dake McCorkell
January 4---Nathan Hill
January 4---Harry "Junior" Anderson
January 5---Jayce Michael Chap (7 years old)
January 5---Krista Rae Wieland (6 years old)
January 11---Brandon Harvey Lehtola (3 years old)
January 15---Shea Ashley Birkholz
January 19---Trevor Jayce Roberson (5 years old)
January 20---Lois Dake

January 30---Whitney Anne Johnson
January 31---Larry McCorkell

January Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day
January 16---Martin Luther King Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Pam Erickson

Pam Erickson is someone a lot of folks in the Bulletin world will know. She was at our home on her birthday, and I am NOT a baker, but I attempted to make Pam a birthday cake, as she is a very dear person to me. I made a chocolate mix in a flan pan, and then filled the indentation with Light Cherry Pie filling, and heaped whipped cream on that, with one candle. Quite a feat for me, but when your heart is in it you can do it. You can see she was happy for even that feeble attempt.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

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

Congratulations to the Happy Couple, Lori and Shawn!

Some families sure know how to spread a feast! No shortage of fun pictures in this issue!

Loved the picture of your Bobcat ride, Dorothy ... what a unique means of travel!
Now we need a picture of the Jazzy pulling the Jazzy!

How ironic that this appeared in Larry Mc's introduction ... "'Go.' is the shortest complete sentence in the English language." Why waste words ... a motto that he is faithful to!

I guess we may never know who the Lady in the Green Coat is ... or what in the world she is up to ... *SIGH*

Although we now have some very believable possibilities of what she might be doing!

We also now have solid evidence that there is an abundance of imagination floating around out there ... just waiting to burst into print.

And we have a New Mystery to solve ... Who is the anonymous writer? "Genetically altered snow..."?!

(I was going to pick the best response but I just couldn't decide ... they were all such great possibilities!)

Also ... this photo is so funny but I still haven't figured out who these young beauties are...

Ginny McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Editor's Note: Could they be granddaughters of the Matriarch ... maybe Rachel and Kim?

Wow!!!! Do you and your team ever need a great big BOW from all of your readers!

Among the privileged,

Rich and Verlaine Weiland
Coon Rapids, MN

Last week's Bulletin was about the best yet. Of course I say that often! (Smile) I loved Larry McCorkell's 10 points about himself. I learned things about him that have not been revealed in the past 35 years we have known one another. LOL. Ginny really captured the personality of our little Ethan in the picture collage. He is a character for sure.

Thanks to all who contribute so much to The Bulletin. LTD and Betty and Donna's weekly news. All of you who make this work deserve a thank you.

Carolyn Miller Dake
Duluth, GA

I just read the Bulletins you sent, from cover to cover. What a great way to spend a winter afternoon!

How is Don doing, now? What did the doctor say?

Editor's Note: The X-ray showed the cartilage that cushions the knee is gone in a good share of the left knee -- the right knee is fine. He was given a cortisone shot and is pain free now ... this is what is called a "Band-Aid" fix. He will need surgery in the future to replace the cushion.

I was wondering if you would pass on my deepest condolences to Betty Droel, on the loss of her beloved mother. 100 years old! What an accomplishment! She looked like a lovely lady. And also, condolences to the family of Beverly Gulbrandson. I am truly sorry for your loss.

I was interested in reading about Curt Henderson being a Chiropractor. My step-father, Neal Benon, was also a Chiropractor, graduating from the Cleveland School in Los Angeles. He never practiced here, but did for quite some time in and around the Los Angeles area.

And finally, does anyone have a good suggestion for saving dumplings, once cooked? I dearly love dumplings, but invariably cook too many, and rather than throwing them away, would prefer saving them for a future meal. I would like to freeze them, and am wondering the best way to re-cook them without making them tough and heavy. Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

Hello to all...
Diana Mellon Martin
Brook Park, MN

P.S. I believe that the lady taking the picture of what looks like snow on the cover of the January 7th Bulletin is either, you, Dorothy, or Blanche. And, I bet the picture was not of the snow, but of, maybe, a daffodil, poking its head through the spring snow?

Photo Editor's Note: I looked up your frozen dumpling question on and found an exchange that suggests an approach you might try:
I made a large batch of chicken-dumpling soup today and put some in freezer containers. I've never frozen this soup before. Will the dumplings be OK? They're the egg-flour kind, NOT the potato kind.
Your dumplings should freeze beautifully. In fact, I get lazy and buy frozen dumplings. I would separate them from the soup, however, and then reheat probably in the microwave for moist fluffiness. Wait a minute. That sounds like an oxymoron! You know. Not so soggy. They won't absorb liquid from the soup.


Illustration © Virginia McCorkell
It looks like we have company ... Hey, Mom, where are you?

Levi doesn't fuss when his mom leaves the room, but he watches and listens to her ... he always knows where she is ... cute, the way he is so in tune to her...

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