' Happy 80th Birthday! '
The Matriarch turns 80 on Sunday!
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell

Updates -

UPDATE -- Coni continues chemo
by Weston Johnson
from Bethesda, MD

Today (Friday) we are planning on taking the Metro from Bethesda into DC to see the cherry blossoms, so we may even have pictures for the update next week!

Coni has now completed six weeks of chemotherapy treatment, so this week she had a CT scan to see how successful it has been in shrinking, or at least stopping the growth of, the cancer spots on her lungs. Based on the results of the CT scan, it appears that some of the spots have grown slightly and some have shrunk slightly, so overall there was not much change.

Coni is now proceeding with a third cycle of chemotherapy. This time, the dosage will be increased, with the idea being that a smaller dose stopped the growth, so hopefully a larger dose will actually shrink the remaining cancer. We will be in Maryland through Monday, then return to Minnesota.

In three weeks, Coni will come back to Maryland again. At that time, she will have another CT scan to see how effective the increased dose of chemo has been. Depending on the results of that scan, she may continue with additional chemo cycles out here, or she may switch to a different type of chemo that could be administered back in the Cities.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers again this week. You can send e-mails and e-cards to her here: c_waltzing@hotmail.com.

UPDATE -- Farewell, Snowzilla
Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage, AK

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Click here for update on 16' monster snowman.

The big snowman is fading, but the peregrine falcon webcams are back.

UPDATE -- Mason Taylor Henderson
by Ben & Heather Henderson
Hastings, MN

For those who haven't heard the news, Mason Taylor Henderson entered the world at 1:14 a.m. on Thursday morning, March 30th. He was 8 lbs., 20.5 inches long and two weeks early! He has already won our hearts over and we can't believe how we can love something so much. Ben's cousin Kim Johnson took pictures.

Ben, Heather & Mason :)

Photos © Kimberly Johnson
Mason with Aunt Rachel, left; Mason with Daddy Ben, right.

Husebys' new home-to-be in Breezy Point, Minnesota

UPDATE -- Moving back to Minnesota
by Colette Huseby
Tracy, CA -- to Breezy Point, MN

Tim, Ashley and I flew back to Minnesota last week. Tim's parents picked us up at the airport early in the morning and drove us straight up to Nisswa. By early afternoon, we were looking at homes in Breezy Point. I'd spent quite a bit of time researching the MLS listings online so we had a pretty good idea what we wanted to see. The first house we saw was the one we went back to and eventually bought. It wasn't too surprising, as Tim's parents had been to look at that one and another and we already knew they liked what they saw.

We will be almost doubling our square footage -- 2900 sq. ft. vs. 1584 sq. ft. Tim is getting his much wished for 3-car garage and I am getting my much wished for 4th (guest) bedroom. Although the lot is smaller than we were hoping for, the half-acre is quite a bit larger than our .12 acre here. And it has lots of birch and oak trees. A cross-country ski trail runs behind it and there is an out-lot behind us, so we will have close neighbors on either side of us, eventually, but none too close in the back. Currently it's the last house on the street, but there are about nine more lots beyond and across from us that will be built upon. Close neighbors, but more of a country setting. And we are fairly close to the ice arena and a brand-new elementary school.

Now we have lots to do, because I had been delaying change-of-address, closing accounts and so forth until we knew our buyers here were going to remove contingencies from the sale. That has to happen by the 9th and we are confident now that will happen. Fortunately, the moving company came in with a binding estimate that was within our budget and it includes the packing. I have re-packing of boxes that are in storage, but they will pack everything else.

We plan to fly Tim's dad out here to drive one of our vehicles back and Tim the other. The kids and I will fly back, since we think it would be rather awful for them to endure such a long time in the car. That should be on or about the 21st. We are scheduled to close in Breezy Point on the 26th.

Photo ©Patty & Donald L. Anderson
Don's & Patty's log cabin in the woods.

UPDATE -- Don's & Patty's log cabin lifestyle
by Donald Leroy Anderson
Isanti, MN

In reply to certain questions that have been raised concerning our lifestyle, I would like to offer up these clarifications. [When you click on a link, wait for the page to load and scroll down on its own. Use your "back" button to return to this page.]

Yes, we live in a log cabin north of the Cities ... no, we can not see Canada from here.

Yes, we have a fireplace in our bathroom; we also have a bathtub on our back porch.

No, our house is not in a permanent state of remodeling ... scratch that, I guess it is.

Yes, we have four cats and a possum ... but we used to have a 170 pound dog.

Yes, I play the guitar and Patty plays the fiddle ... no, we're not very good. (yet!)

Yes, we have a recipe painted on the wall above our stove ... we also have a poem painted on our stair risers.

Yes, we have oil lamps ... and yes we use them ... frequently!

Yes we ride motorcycles ... yes, Patty has her own.

Yes we own snowmobiles ... yes, they are for sale. I forgot to put a classified ad in The Bulletin.

No, you shouldn't need an elevator to get into the cabin ... but if you do, I have a skid steer.

Yes, we have a memorial garden in our woods ... yes, it is lovely.

Yes, we did meet through a personal ad ... and no, we couldn't be more happy.

I hope this clears up any questions you may have had. Thank you.

UPDATE -- Guitars, etc.
by Jack (sometimes referred to as Capt. Jack) Adair
Coon Rapids, MN

Things get so crazy around here sometimes, we refer to it as...

Sanity Limited

Greetings to all you wonderful Bulletin readers/writers from Jack, (sometimes referred to as Capt. Jack) and Virginia (sometimes referred to as Ginny), (and sometimes referred to as Ginn), (and sometimes referred to as Ditto), (and often referred to as Honey) Adair.

Also, sometime in the future you may become acquainted with {Rufus}. I'm sure at some time you've all done some something, ah, {stupid! is the word!}, and a little voice says, "Now, THAT was dumb!" That was your Rufus talking. He's (SHE'S?) obnoxious, stubborn, rude, uncivilized, insulting {and usually right!}. Rufus says all the things a kind, shy, quiet kind of guy -- like me -- {In other words, a wimp?} would never say to, or about, someone.

I'm finding there are more and more people I know who are mentioned in and/or write for The Bulletin. I've had the all too brief pleasure of meeting the editor, Dorothy Anderson, in Alexandria, where one of my daughters and most of my grandchildren live.

Over time, if I keep writing to The Bulletin, I'll introduce them to you all. Ginny (Bitzi) McCorkell and Ginn (mine) have very many things in common, and I'm getting to know Ginny's (Bitzi's) husband now, too.

We've known Ginny's (Bitzi's) parents, Leroy and Vonnie Dake, for a good many years.

We've known Betty Weiland Droel also for many years, and known her husband, Roy, quite a while, also.

Betty's sister, Ruth Kitto's first (late) husband was Vernon Swanson. Vern's parents died when he was quite young, and my wife's father's parents raised him as their own, sans adoption. He became like a brother to Ginn's dad, and therefore, an "uncle" to Ginn. {Is anybody thinking of the words to the song "I am my own grandpa?"} And now I see that Ruth is asking to be added to the list of recipients of The Bulletin, also. Good taste.

As Ditto (also known as Virginia) (also known as Ginny) (also known as Bitzi) has previously indicated, Ginn's (also known as ... {Cut that out!} interests, outside of the grandchildren, are sewing and quilting. She also loves gardening, but at this time of life and health, gardening is restricted.

My interests are guitars, woodcarving, guitars, the computer, and guitars. Anything guitars: playing, buying, pictures, listening, knick-knacks -- I even attempted to make one once. That was semi-successful. I constructed a double-necked, solid-body guitar. It was put together and almost working, with pickups not yet installed, but put on with, yeah, duct tape! Before I had a chance to complete the project, along came the tornado of '65, and that was the end of that. (I'll save telling you the story of our part in the tornado for another bedtime.)

A few years ago, I was able to purchase a REAL double-neck guitar. At one time I had a collection of nine guitars and a banjo. Over the years, through give-aways and trades, only two of the original collection remain, and they aren't in a playable condition; they just hang on the wall. At this time I have five, four of which I play frequently, plus the banjo, which I can only play three or four pieces on, and those not very well.

I recently purchased an acoustic 12-string -- Ginn says that's my last guitar! I have a very nice six-string acoustic, a very nice acoustic-electric nylon string, a solid-body electric and the afore mentioned double-neck, six- and twelve-string. This delightful little instrument weighs almost 20 pounds; when I hold it on my lap, my leg goes to sleep! So I don't do much with that one.

The six-string is for country and bluegrass, the 12-string is for volume and tone in the same genre, the solid-body electric is for lead on country and rock {Rock? An old bird like you?} the nylon-string is for classics and quiet ballads, and for jazz and blues ... for jazz and blues ... HEY, GINN! I NEED ANOTHER GUITAR!

Ginn used to complain, "Why do you need so many guitars?" but now she has three sewing machines and can better understand that one guitar -- or sewing machine -- is not best for all projects.

Well, that's about enough blathering for my first attempt at writing to The Bulletin. I expect {Hope} it will be well edited. I will occasionally send pictures of guitars, grandchildren, guitars, friends, and other interesting things. Like guitars.

I'm working to learn a new photo program to make my photos more interesting, sort of "embellishing" them, a word often used in the news lately. {Used to just call them lies!} Hope you can use this one of me and Ginn (also known as ... {knock it off, will you! How about Virginia-Ginny-Ginn-Ditto-Bitzi be written as Ginny, and Virginia-Ginny-Ginn-Ditto as just Ginn?} Makes sense to me.

Thanks to all who contribute to The Bulletin -- such a fascinating communication. History. Adventure. Travel. Human interest. Guitars! Good work, everybody.

Capt. Jack

Ginn & Capt. Jack Adair

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photos © Donna Johnson
Schahara Schutte, Sami Larson, Caity Chap, left; getting ready, right.

More Birthday Celebrations!

I got to enjoy my birthday a little longer last weekend, with Marlene, Don, Patty, Donna R., Ingrid and Shari joining me for a meal in Maple Grove. It was great eats, even managed to keep it fairly healthy. (Don had sent their menu and the listing of calories in each item.) We had a fun visit, with lots of laughs. I always enjoy that. Thanks for coming out to celebrate with me!

Thanks to Don and Patty for their sneaky "have to check your bill," as though ours were mixed up. I hesitated, not quite trusting them, but they gave me the "innocent" look and when I handed it to them to "compare" I didn't get it back. So, thanks, guys!

I was mad at myself, though; I had my camera in my purse and forgot to get a picture!

Shari and I took the two granddaughters, Sami and Caity, to the Mall of America on Saturday. Had a full, long, tiring -- but fun -- day there. We met Sami and her mom, Schahara, for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, which is a fun experience, if you ever get the chance. The booming of thunder, the sounds of rain, flashes of lightning may scare little ones, though. We both recalled that when we brought them when they were younger, they did get startled. It's hard to believe we've been there so many times with them already!

We ran into Dan and Gina, along with her folks, Kathy and Jim Edwards. They were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to them!

Shari took the girls to have their old fashioned photos taken. That was a fun experience and created another memory for them, along with the nice photo each got to take along home for their memory books.

Thanks, Shari, for such a fun time. The girls and I both enjoyed the time together!

Photos © Donna Johnson
Caity & Sami in Victorian garb, left; flowers in park-like setting, right.

Daily Sudoku

Some puzzlers claim that Sudoku is firmly established as the most popular puzzle; certainly it has taken the puzzle-world by storm. The subscriber who submitted Daily Sudoku states, "I'm a real puzzle fan and I find this sudoku site most professional, easy on the eyes, and suitable for all levels. It's free and friendly. From the small kids to the geniuses in our family, we all enjoy the site." Come see what Sudoku is all about! Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time; you're liable to become hooked! The good news is that the grids can be printed using Adobe Acrobat Reader so the family will not be fighting over who gets to stay on their Sudoku puzzle the longest!

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

Mother's Day 2006
A Tribute to Amy Mellon Dake

As the present Matriarch of the Dake family, I invite you to help us pay tribute to Amy Mellon Dake, the Mother of the Dake Family -- whether she was your mother, your grandmother, your great grandmother, your aunt, your borrowed mother, or your friend.

Please write a short paragraph telling us what she meant to you. We hope everyone who knew her will join in, so please keep your comments to one brief paragraph -- and please do participate in this special memory page.

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. Thanks to Ginny McCorkell for sending last week's mystery pictures.)

How many can you identify?

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

Not one single reader ventured a guess at the identity of either of the people in last week's mystery pictures. Who were they? We don't have a clue. Neither does Ginny. Hope you enjoyed Ginny's April Fools joke! Better luck with this week's ladies. Extra credit if you identify the cats.

LTD Storybrooke

Editor's Note: Larry Dake, still undergoing treatment for an eye problem this week, said no LTD Storybrooke this time but he hopes to get back to writing soon. He will send us another chapter as soon as he can. We thank him and wish him a speedy and complete recovery.

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Ruth (Miller) Collings, one of our father's first cousins, gave me a copy of a 12-page manuscript her father had written in 1960 of his growing up years (1890s) near Ashby, Minnesota. This is another excerpt. [Words in square brackets were added by me.] --Jerrianne

On November 1, 1960, our great uncle Edward W. Miller wrote:

by Edward W. Miller
Ontario, CA

The cattle that the early settlers had were not of a very good grade and were usually referred to as scrub cattle. To improve our herd, as well as those of the neighbors, my father purchased a registered Durham [Shorthorn] heifer and bull. The bull was registered in the name of Duke.

We had a pasture near the home buildings where the cows were kept in the summer, so they would be close by for milking. Another pasture, located farther away and between two lakes, was used for the other stock, including Duke. There was considerable timber in that pasture, and Father occasionally used to go there to inspect the herd to see that they were doing all right.

On one of these trips he found the herd but Duke was missing, so he started to look for him. He found the bull in a clump of timber, all by himself. Duke was usually very gentle and friendly. For some unknown reason, this time, he was in an ugly mood. When Father approached, Duke let out a beller [bellow] and charged. Father just had time to dodge behind a tree and lost no time in climbing another one nearby.

In time, Duke probably decided, "What's the use?" and meandered off, so Father came home. At the dinner table that evening, he told what had happened and warned me to be careful. He told me that if Duke ever charged me to climb a tree or run out into the lake.

Even though Duke was usually gentle, I never trusted him. Whenever I was around where he was loose, I would have a pitchfork or a club of some kind to defend myself.

A pair of colts took a delight in chasing the other animals whenever they felt like it. I recall one winter day when Duke was standing by himself near the corner of the barn where the sun was nice and warm. He was minding his own business and quietly enjoying the sunshine when one of the colts came tearing around the corner, expecting Duke to do as all the others did and scramble to get out of the way.

Not Duke. He stood quietly, never making a move. The colt stopped on all four feet, immediately whirled and showed his heels. Duke waited a second, then took a step forward and, with one horn in that colt's flank, raised him off his feet. That settled then and there who was boss of the barnyard.

In the spring of the year, when Duke began to shed his winter coat of hair, he had a habit of easing his head between the barb [barbed] wires of the fence and rubbing the lower part of his neck where the hair was long and thick. I suppose it itched, and the barb wire felt good. He usually managed to get the wires well loosened up and sometimes even broke them.

On one of these occasions he saw the neighbor's cattle bunched up along the side of their pasture fence, across a grass meadow and plowed field. After he had broken the wire, he decided to go on through and pay them a visit. Over the meadow, where there was grass, the frost was only slightly thawed, but on the plowed ground the frost was out six or eight inches.

Father asked me to go and bring Duke back home. He warned me to be careful, as he might be a little ugly. I picked up a piece of gas tubing about thirty inches long and went after him.

When I got there, Duke was too busy introducing himself to his new acquaintances to pay any attention to me. I walked up behind him and took a good, firm hold of the end of his tail. He was pointed in the opposite direction from me when I let fly with my piece of gas pipe. He lit out at once and made a half circle toward home, with me on the end of his tail. I managed to get in a few whams but had to ease up, due to too much speed.

As soon as we hit the plowed field and the going got tough, he slowed up, and I could get in another wham or two. That speeded him up again. This was repeated until we got to the grass meadow, where he was able to make better time.

I had all I could do to hang on until we reached a creek that zigzagged back and forth, ahead of us. With the first jump, he cleared it in good shape, with me still hanging on. When the creek zigzagged back, he managed to jump it again, but not so well. But he just wasn't synchronized right the third time and landed square in the creek, with his head resting on the farther bank, and I on his back.

It had been some time since I had got in a wham. This was my last chance, and I whammed away. It put him out of the creek and on his way through the fence, into his own corral, leaving me in the creek.

Duke did not bother to go back through the break in the fence that he had made on his way out but hit a new spot, not stopping for the barb wire, but making a new break. He went straight to the straw pile and lay down for a rest.

I did not know what to expect from my father but was relieved to see a sort of grin on his face. The only thing he said to me was, "You know that bull cost a lot of money, and you must not hurt him."

I spent the balance of the day repairing the fence.

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Duke clears the creek with young Edward hanging on...

Travelogue t

Greg Dake and Sonja Maness left Raleigh, North Carolina, for Shanghai, China, on January 6th and returned January 28th. It was a business trip for Greg and Sonja went along. They took extra time for sightseeing while they were there.

Circus World on Sunday in Shanghai.

Sunday In Shanghai
(posted by Sonja)

We got to the venue for the circus about 6:45 p.m.; the doors were still closed and the lights off. We walked around a bit, looking for some more substantial food, but didn't find anything we were interested in. We took a few pictures, the best of which I already posted. Then we just found a spot to sit and wait for the doors to open. Once they did, Greg bought the local equivalent of a hot dog from a snack vendor -- a small, spicy sausage on a stick, no bread.

We looked at the souvenirs and bought a program for 15RMB and I decided to get a hooded sweatshirt with the circus logo embroidered on the back for 99RMB. The lady working at the souvenir stand was very anxious to be sure I got the right size and it would fit me. She brought out a large and held it up against my back. She wasn't happy with that so she brought out an XL and held it up (takes some mental adjustment to requiring size XL, I tell you!).

She decided that would be good and very carefully folded it back up just as it came out of the plastic packaging before giving it to me. She was all smiles and small bowing and saying "Xiexie, xiexie ni" as we walked away. I remarked to Greg later that nowhere in the states would you get that kind of service; you give them your money and tell them the size you want and they give you that and, if you're lucky, get a thank you. The sweatshirt is going to have to be washed before I wear it, most likely, as it smells like cigarettes. :/ Not nearly as badly as the jeans I bought at Carrefours last week, but enough that I doubt I'll wear it til we're home and it gets washed.

The circus didn't allow pictures to be taken, which was a shame for us, but I understand they want to protect the income and copyright of the performance. It began with the lights coming up on four people curled up together as if sleeping. One girl "woke up" and stretched, then proceeded to do some amazing gymnastics while balanced on only one hand on a small disk. When she was finished, she was lowered back to the group and "went back to sleep" and the lights went down.

Then out came people riding bicycles around the circumference of the ring, wearing modern clothes like you'd see on the streets of Shanghai. Guys in jeans and leather jackets, etc. Then people filed into the middle of the ring, wearing what looked like monks' robes. They started walking opposite the direction the bike riders were going, then running. The imagery was easy to figure out -- the ancient past of China at the core, the modern ways on the outside. It was beautiful.

The bike riders went away backstage and the "monks" shed their robes to be wearing bright costumes underneath; then they performed gymnastic routines as well. It is impossible to describe in words what they performed; the closest word is "contortionist," but that word sounds forced and painful. This was all very smooth, flowing and graceful, but there was no doubt of the strength and control they had.

The show was mostly those kinds of acts, with different people and different themes, all amazing. There was one set with guys in "opposing" teams who jumped through small hoops doing cartwheels and such at high speed. One set of jumping on trampolines, also with two strong guys holding a thick pole between them and acrobats jumping on the pole like a jump rope and doing flips, etc. The "seesaw" act and the chair-balancing act.

There was one act with guys on a large, spinning wheel, like a ferris wheel, that they walked on inside and out. They jumped rope on it while it was turning, and even walked on it blindfolded. One guy, who was undoubtedly the "class clown," did a balancing act with large urns, throwing them up and catching them on his back between his shoulders and neck, spinning them on edge on his hands and top of his head. And of course the grand finale of the motorcycles inside the sphere. They had at one time seven cycles in there going very fast.

All in all, it was worth the expense, a very enjoyable show. We were glad we got the VIP seats, as the regular seats were much more narrow and looked much less comfortable. We were also on the second row from the floor so we had a completely unimpeded view of the show. Once it was over, we got a taxi back to our hotel, as Greg had to be back at work the next morning.

to be continued...

Waiting for Circus World to open its doors, Shanghai, China. Note magnetic levitation (maglev) train track in the background at right, behind Greg.

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 also provide the links to the blog, for those who are interested:

Web Log: http://sonjas-travels.blogspot.com/

Photo © David S. & Donna M. Johnson
Jayce with Darth Vader at Star Wars exhibition.

By Beaver

Saturday would be our last day in Boston. We had decided to go to the Museum of Science. Their Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition would be right up Jayce's alley.

Saturday would be a busy day at the museum. We wanted to be there fairly early, as some of the exhibits require entry tickets and the early folks get the times they want. We found the right train, got off at the right station, and walked a couple of blocks to the museum.

There were already lines of people waiting to get tickets. We had to decide what time we wanted to do the Star Wars part, what Imax show we should see, whether we wanted to go to the Planetarium Show, and how much longer Beaver could survive without breakfast. I stood in line and looked dumb while D and Jayce figured it out, and they came up with a good plan by the time we got to the ticket window.

With our tickets in hand, we followed our noses to the food court. After a decent meal, except that the apples they were selling for a buck were rotten, we had just a little time to look around, and it was time to head for the Star Wars exhibit. We had been encountering Star Wars characters wherever we went. It seemed that the museum was giving special admission rates to those dressed as Star Wars characters.

The exhibit focused on how technologies being developed today are making many of the imaginary parts of Star Wars into practical devices. Most of the displays were interactive, so Jayce could push a button and watch the reaction.

We watched a demonstration of magnetic levitation, which is being used to carry trains in Japan. [Note photo of a maglev track in Shanghai in Greg and Sonja's Travelogue story, above.] There was a tethered hovercraft that Jayce got to drive. Real robots mingled with museum visitors.

Jayce had a great time, running from one display to another, pushing buttons to see what would happen. I'm sure a lot of what he saw that day was over his head, but then it was beyond my understanding, too.

Soon it was time to head for the Omni Theater to watch a film called Special Effects. We got to see how special effects professionals did scenes in Star Wars, as well as several other films. It was amazing to see how a scene was shot and then to see the clip from the movie. A little trickery can make something appear to be real, whether it is a starship accelerating into the solar system, or a building being blown up.

One scene of a city during an earthquake was particularly fascinating. They wanted to show fire racing through the streets, so they built a miniature city on a board, turned it on its side, and lit the bottom side, so the flames would race to the top. When the clip from the movie was shown, it looked very real.

After the movie, D woke Jayce, who had fallen asleep just before the end, and we went back to seeing as much of the museum as we could in the time we had left. Jayce seemed to never tire of going from one display to the next. We were fascinated by displays from dinosaurs to computers.

Soon the museum closed for the day and we took the subway back to the hotel. We had one more meal of Boston's wonderful seafood, and D packed while Jayce and I went for a swim. We would be up very early in the morning, heading back to Minnesota, with many great memories of Boston.

Photos © David S. & Donna M. Johnson
Jayce & Beaver, Museum of Science, left; Jayce & Donna head home, right.

Click here for a web gallery of photos of Jayce's trip to Boston.

Barcelo Maya Colonial Tropical Beach Hotel Pool

Vacation in Cancun J

Just Like Fargo, Only Warmer
Part 2 of 2
by Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

For lunch each day we ate at the ocean-side snack bars, which were open air buildings with grills for making burgers and hot dogs. My lunch usually consisted of chips and salsa, with a hot dog or hamburger thrown in for something different.

We ate supper at the buffets three of the nights, and with our five night stay, got tickets for two of the à la carte restaurants. We chose the Japanese and seafood restaurants. On Monday evening, we ate at the Japanese restaurant. Unfortunately, that was also seafood night at the buffet, where they had lobster, so we first snuck in and had a lobster appetizer at the buffet.

At the Japanese restaurant were seated with another family from Minnesota who had already eaten there, so they showed us the ropes. We each chose an appetizer and a main course. I chose salmon, and Jolene chose steak and lobster. The chef came to our table, and after quite a show cooking vegetables and rice, cubed up our meat and cooked that in front of us, too. The entertainment value was great, but the food was absolutely ... I don't know the right word to use, but I'm salivating just thinking about it, so ... salivating. It was by so far the best salmon I've ever eaten that I now wonder whether I can really eat salmon anywhere else again!

Jolene's steak was as tender as I've ever eaten, and the lobster (the first time, no, I guess the second time now, eating lobster for both of us) was delicious. We were offered dessert (of course, for free, since this stay was all inclusive), but had to decline, as we were topped off already.

Wednesday evening, we ate at the seafood restaurant. Jolene's not a huge seafood fan, but loves shrimp and, apparently, lobster. When we saw the limited menu at the seafood restaurant, Jolene started to get worried. There was nothing but fish! Luckily, they had a special lobster entrée just that night, which again turned out to be wonderful. I had a swordfish kabob, which had a very spicy sauce on it, with sun dried tomatoes and a few other vegetables. Even though dessert seemed ridiculous, we decided we had to try it. Jolene had some sort of lemon tart, and I had an Italian almond cake, also both very good.

Believe it or not, we did things other than eating and lying around. Three of the nights, we went to the shows in their outdoor theater. The first was the "Miss Barcelo" contest, where they had five guests they had picked off the beach earlier in the day competing in some funny contests to pick a winner. The other two were shows full of singing and dancing, and were very entertaining. We did some water aerobics one day, and mini-golfed a couple of the mornings.

Wednesday afternoon, I took a single person kayak out on the ocean, which had for all four of our days there been very wavy, pushed by winds that made us feel like we were back in Fargo-Moorhead. I fought out as far as I dared, then started riding waves back in. I found that if I got just the right speed and just the right wave, I could ride the wave just like I was surfing! I took one more trip out by myself before convincing Jolene she HAD to come out there. We went in one of the two person kayaks, which Jolene also thoroughly enjoyed.

I could go on and on, but I think I'll cut it off now. Hopefully I'll get some pictures uploaded online this weekend, and then maybe next week I can send a link and some more details of a couple of things.

It was exactly the vacation we had hoped for, very relaxing, warm weather, and incredibly fun and courteous people waiting on us hand and foot. But as wonderful as it all was, there was no single moment better than this morning at my mom's house, when our girls woke up and realized we were there.


Skinny Recipes  6
from Donnie Anderson
Isanti, MN

This hearty soup has a wonderful flavor because the vegetables are roasted first, which caramelizes and enriches the taste. Give yourself plenty of time for preparation, but, all in all, this is a pretty easy dish. I would rate it a 2. A very hearty 2 point soup. --Don, Jr. dopaerza@netzero.net

Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup

1 cup rutabaga, peeled and cubed
1 cup carrots, cut 1/2 inch thick
1 cup mushrooms, fresh, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup red bell pepper, cut in 1/2 inch squares
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup water
2 Tbsp. rosemary sprig, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1 quart (32 oz.) chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, R-T-C (ready to cook), cut into bite sized pieces

1. Combine first 7 ingredients (through olive oil) in a large bowl; toss to coat vegetables in oil. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a shallow pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally.

2. Combine the last 6 ingredients (water through chicken) in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Add roasted vegetables to Dutch oven and simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve.

Yield: 8 cups; 112 Calories, 2 W.W. points per cup.

Photo © Donald L. Anderson
Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup
Click here for the Skinny Recipes collection.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
April 9---Dorothy Dake Anderson
April 9---Richard Johnson (from Oregon)
April 10---Brenda Anderson Hill
April 10---Lisa Kae Anderson
April 10---Shawn Ostendorf
April 15---Melinda Miranowski
Happy Birthday!

More April Birthdays
April 2---Duane Miller
April 2---Jess Cloyd
April 4---Meryl Hansey
April 4---Barb Dewey
April 5---Lorella Grob
April 6---Dusty Meyers (12 years old)

April 19---Levi Owen Steinhauer (1 year old)
April 23---Alyssa Lynn Freesemann (8 years old)
April 23---Miss Kitty (3 years old)
April 25---Troy LaRon Freesemann
April 25---Mia Nelson
April 26---Heidi K. Johnson Henderson
April 27---Steve Rodriguez
April 27---Peggy McNeill
April 28---Justin Blackstone
April 29---Kelly Kay Larson Seaman
April 30---Kurtis James Larson

April Special Days
April 16---Easter Sunday

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Photo © Frans De Been
Frans De Been & Rian celebrate 28 years of marriage.

Dear Miss Hetty,

I know it is now April 1. But this is no joke what I am going to tell you. I send you a photo of Rian with a big bouquet of red roses! WHY!!! We have had yesterday (March 31) our 28 years of marriage. No joke.

Frans de Been
Oosterhout, The Netherlands

Click here to see the beautiful bride and handsome groom on their wedding day in 1978.

Miss Hetty Says

The indexing spider was sent on its rounds at the end of the month, so all the March issues -- and April 2 -- should now be fully searchable, along with the rest of the archives.

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

Yes again a fantastic Bulletin this week.

Here it is all OK -- spring is coming slow, but we have the time.

Have all a nice day, from Holland!

Frans de Been
Oosterhout, The Netherlands

What a fun recipe! And what an adorable possum! I'm thinking that there won't be anybody eating him come Christmas day.

I also really enjoyed Auntie Gert's rememberings about her farm experiences. Wish she'd write some more.

Thanks, too, to LTD, for another heart tugger.

Marlene Johnson
Long Lake, MN

Loved The Bulletin. It is so amazing to me, how week after week, it's a beautiful read! Beaver and I were discussing that the other day and I've had the same conversation with others. It's marvelous for us to all stay connected and it's funny how many people have said they wished they had one for their families! A couple of my friends have commented that they know more about our family than their own! So, thank you, once again for ALL your time and effort! It is greatly appreciated by numerous people, even if all of them don't think to say so.

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Photo Editor's Note: Thanks for all the many photos and stories you've contributed to making each issue a beautiful read!

That was nice of you to ask about my birthday, but after 82 of them, this one was not so special.

It was our Union Meeting with potluck and they did sing the Birthday Song to me and gave me lots of attention -- they think I'm old! But family is terribly busy and there was no reason to have a cheering section!

I really enjoy your Bulletin, although so many I don't know. But you're doing a terrific job and it's wonderful that you have that outlet for your energy -- no one would guess you "live" in a Jazzy.

Jess Cloyd
Hot Springs, SD


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Sarah Steinhauer
I wonder if anyone told Ben & Heather...
(Mike & Levi Steinhauer, left; Amy & Murphey Dake, right.)

Click here to find out Who's Who in The Bulletin 1

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To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.

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Quotation for the day: The advantage of being eighty years old is that one has many people to love. --Jean Renoir

EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is dma49261@juno.com

This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.

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