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Sunday, November 18, 2007
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Happy Thanksgiving!

You go, girl!
Gert Dake Pettit & 75th birthday cake.

Updates -

Gert, with her children who attended the 75th Birthday party: Ardis Quick, Peggy McNeill, Lisa Boltz, Marvin Gordon, Gert, Justin Blackstone, Genelle Mogck, Linda Knutson. Not pictured: Wesley Sigman, Jim and Dennis Blackstone.

Update -- 75 years and life is good!
by Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

I am a lot like my dad, not really a birthday celebrater. But my daughter Mel called and said that Peggy had called and said they should do something for my 75th birthday. So Mel asked if I wanted to go out to eat or have it at my house.

My thought was, "How do you go out to a nice place to eat with six sweet little won't sit still kids along, and enjoy your meal?" So my response was, "Just come to the house so the kids can play."

So having the birthday party wasn't a surprise. And yet, I was VERY surprised when I saw the people who came.

Three girls that I worked with for 23 years at CTS came and a lady that I go to TOPS with.

I must tell you about Tina (CTS); her mother died when Tina was young, so she adopted a lady at work to be her mother. Then, when that lady retired, she had to adopt someone else to have that mother title, so guess who was elected -- me! So there is an extra daughter in my family that the kids and I have a lot of fun with. She, herself, has three sons and two grandchildren.

Five great grandkids and 17 grandkids were with me, plus seven of my own kids. And the sons-in-law and daughters-in-law were here and two granddaughters-in-law. Plus three family friends, so my house was busy.

You know deer hunting started that weekend, so Wes was up in Duluth enjoying that. And Jim lives out in Wisconsin, and Dennis is out in Nevada. But most of the family was here.

Then it was open gifts time -- I think my old computer had decided it was retirement time, so Marv had said he would work on it when he came out. I think maybe he and Wes were kinda tired of me calling them and asking what all was wrong with the old thing -- never in my dreams would I have expected the gifts that my family gave me: a brand new computer and scanner and also a digital camera with a printer dock!

Marv set the computer up for me but couldn't get the printer to work right so he said he would come back and work on it. He did come back, but didn't have to work on it because he brought me a different printer.

My grandsons Travis, Beau and Adam know that I like country western music, and that Johnny Cash was a favorite of mine, so they gave me the last two CD's that he made before he died and also the DVD "Walk The Line."

Forty dollars in money gifts came from friends. And my grandson Josh gave me a home made computer card with a gift certificate in it for a free meal with him, any time and anywhere I wanted. I told him that I knew where there was a great McDonald's to eat at because I had eaten there once before. He asked me where and I told him -- over in Maui. I think he thought the five hour air trip might be kinda long.

I couldn't have asked for a greater day. Each person in my family is very special to me, I love them very much. But you know, I don't feel like I am that old!

Grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) with Gert; front row: Beau Birkholz, Breanna Lehtola, Lexie Sigman, Jenna Gordon, Travis Quick; second row: Adam Boltz, Aaron Blackstone, Casey Blackstone, Gert, Brandon Lehtola; third row: Shea Birkholz, Derrod and Kylie McNeil, Samantha VanDeSteeg (Blackstone), Rachiel Boltz, Justin Blackstone & Brady Blackstone; back row: Joseph Boltz, Danny Carriveau (Sigman), NaDaniel Carriveau, Derrick McNeil, Darryl McNeil, Jaryl Sigman.

Photo © Dan Mellon
Austin & Aiden Montford.

Update -- a day with our grandsons
by Dan Mellon
Alta Loma, CA

Nancy and I were both home yesterday (Veterans Day) and had the grandkids, Aiden and Austin Montford. To keep them busy, we took them to McDonald's and the park. I'll include a couple pictures.

Our son Sam married Miss Julie Deamer on November 3rd in Piru, California, at a historic site: the earliest known existing adobe rancho in California. It was a terrific wedding and, by all appearances, the happy couple couldn't have looked happier. My pictures didn't turn out well, so I'll send some shortly as I receive them from others.

Photos © Dan Mellon
Aiden, left, and Austin, right, at playground.

Update -- chili cook-off winner
by Lori Chap Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

My chili took second place in our work chili cook-off today! :)

I won a very cute plate and bowl with red chili peppers on it and Tabasco sauce. Hopefully you can see the picture I attached below. (I took it on my new cell phone).

Photo © Lori Ostendorf
Chili winnings

Update -- Mai Tai settling in
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

Well, the cat's out of the bag! That is, Mai Tai is no longer confined to the studio downstairs but now has the run of the upstairs living quarters. I don't consider this particularly good news, but Miss Jerrianne's always counseling me to "accept the things I can't change" and to have "the wisdom to know the difference." Oof dah!

So, even if he's a brat, it looks like he's going to stick around. If only he would learn a little more respect! Yesterday, I was sitting on Miss Jerrianne's lap and she was inviting him to jump into her lap, too. I lashed my tail back and forth to signal my disapproval. Instead of jumping into her lap, he jumped up and grabbed my tail. Boy, did that offend my dignity! I chased him and boxed his ears, but he's still up to his old tricks. He's not what I'd call a fast learner.

Then, half a dozen magpies gathered in the tree outside the bedroom window and mobbed a raven. Oh, the language they used! I was shocked! Mai Tai and I put aside our differences to watch and listen and Miss Jerrianne grabbed a picture of us, differences forgotten (for the moment), just watching the show.

I suppose it will all work out, eventually. After all, you can't just throw a kitten out in the snow ... even if he is a brat sometimes. I guess he's "family" now.

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
The catbird seat: Miss Kitty & Mai Tai watch magpies scold a raven.

Update -- a grandson reconnects with family
by Jerrianne Lowther
Anchorage, AK

I was delighted to find e-mail from a second cousin I've never met in my inbox Tuesday morning. I had no trouble recognizing my great uncle Edward Miller's signature, though he signed it "Grandpa Miller," on the beautiful, inlaid wood, folding chess board in the photos. My sisters and I each have serving trays made and signed by our great uncle that same year (1958), when I was 17 and Dave was 7, the year Mitzi was born. Here is what Dave Ring had to say:

I was web searching last night for Edward W. Miller (my grandfather) and came for the first time on the installments of his life story, written for Ruth Miller Collings, which you posted on The Bulletin [in 2006].

Ruth must be my aunt, sister of my father, Frederic Young Miller. I grew up not knowing my dad, since he and my mom split up early in my life, but I have learned quite a bit about him from a large collection of letters he wrote her during World War II. I've been trying to find his sisters (Ruth and Grace) and brother Hugh (middle name Cozier). I think I found the right Ruth Miller Collings cited in connection with a library in Escondido, California, and a possibility for Hugh Miller in Ventura, California, but no e-mail address for either. If you could forward my e-mail address to Ruth Miller Collings, I would love to hear from her.

Below are two images of a chess board Edward W. Miller made for me in 1958. I also have a coffee table, two end tables, a corner cupboard and a cedar chest made by Edward Miller and inherited from my mom or the Harnish family who "adopted" her.

Thanks for posting the story segments!

Dave Ring (born David Barratt Miller, adopted by my mom's third husband, hence the name Ring)

Photos © David B. Ring
Folding chessboard made by Edward W. "Grandpa" Miller, 1958.

Update -- introducing Dave Ring
by Dave Ring
Palo Alto, CA

To introduce myself, I am Dave Ring, a relative (newly discovered) of Photo Editor Jerrianne Lowther. Jerrianne's great uncle, Edward W. Miller, was my grandfather. His son Frederic met my mother, Eileen Greear, at Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, and married her after serving in World War II.

I was an only child, born in 1951 and raised by my mom after she and Fred divorced when I was a year or two old. My last name changed when I was adopted by my mom's third husband, but originally I was David Barratt Miller. Although I remember seeing my father, Fred, only once (when I was in grade school and he used two small bronze bowls to show me how the moon could show only one face while revolving around the Earth), I have learned quite a bit about him and his family from a large collection of letters he wrote my mom during the war.

I graduated from Upland High School in 1969, and went to Pomona College where I met my wife. She brought me much-needed brothers and sisters, as well as our daughter.

After college, I went to UC Berkeley, got a Ph.D. in biochemistry, postdoc'd with Marc Kirschner at UCSF from '78-'80, then went to work for Cetus (an early biotech firm that was swallowed by Chiron and then in turn by Novartis). I've worked on both monoclonal antibodies and small molecule drugs, but am now retired.

My hobbies include hiking, gold panning, Tai Chi and Aikido, but I can't do as much of these as I'd like, due to Parkinson's.

I love old things, and hearing and telling stories, so I don't think paying my dues will be hard.

Attached are a couple of images of me on a 2004 trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.


Photo Editor's Note: By my reckoning, Dave Ring is a second cousin to Kathlyn, Beaver, Richard, Mitzi and me. Dave found us through the account of "Life on the Farm," written by his grandfather, our great uncle Edward W. Miller, which was published as a serial in The Bulletin in 2006. Welcome to the family! --Jerrianne

Dave Ring, watching bald eagles, left; Dave on porch, Signal Mountain Lodge, right.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

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

Thanksgiving Responses


Each and every day, not only on Thanksgiving, I give thanks for just waking up to another day. We often take for granted just what we truly have until it is too late. I have learned to savor each and every moment of every day, be it a good one or a bad one. I try to spend as much time as I can with family and friends making those kinds of memories you pass down from generation to generation. Of course, we all give thanks for family, friends, health, and good fortune, but I give thanks mostly for the little things. The sly little smile from my Granddaughter ShyAnne that just says to me, "I love you, Gram." Or the hug from my best friend, Sara, when she just says, "You looked like you needed one!" Or an e-mail from a friend who understands just what I am going through because she has been there. Right, Donna? Those are the things I am truly thankful for. May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Linda & Joe Zitzmann
Bloomington, MN

I am thankful for the health and strength that enables me to still live in my own home. I am fortunate that I can still tend my house, yard, and flowers without too much assistance from others. I was made even more aware of this as 14 of my 76 classmates gathered recently for a dinner for our 60th reunion. When I consider how many have already left this life, had strokes, heart troubles, three in Alzheimer's homes, many with hip and knee problems, one having a leg amputated, then I count myself very fortunate. However, we know things can change in any of our lives at any time, so we have to count our many blessings every day!

Elaine Anderson Wold
Wahpeton, ND

I feel I have so much to be thankful for. It would take volumes, Dorothy, but I guess to narrow it down to a few sentences, it would have to be I am thankful for my very special friend and husband, Roy Droel.

Photo © Betty Droel
Roy Droel

Roy lost his beloved Edith on their 50th anniversary. We were married February 18, 1993. I am just so thankful for his kindness and generous sharing of his home and himself.

Betty (Weiland) Droel
MoundsView, MN

After flooding, drought, fires, etc. seen around our country this year, I find myself most thankful for the simple things that we take for granted each day: a roof over my head, food in our pantry, and being surrounded by a loving, supportive family. Also, working as a pediatric nurse on a heart and kidney unit, I see and take care of very sick babies and children. So, I am VERY grateful for two healthy, active children.

Adriana Brown
Granbury, TX

Photo © Lori Ostendorf

I am thankful for all those who have fought for and defended our privilege to meet openly without fear of government or any other group's intervention or reprisal. That is one of the many freedoms we enjoy here in the good ol' U S of A and it is easy to take for granted.

Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

It snowed about half a foot in Anchorage this week and we're thankful that we get to be indoor cats. We're also glad that the bears are finally asleep in their dens so Miss Jerrianne could put sunflower seeds in the bird feeder -- that's our winter entertainment. Those nuthatches and chickadees look good enough to eat... We're grateful that The Bulletin keeps Miss Jerrianne sitting down so there's usually a warm lap to sit in. And we're glad that Banger, the tabby cat, made it home all right, after leaving suddenly in a grizzly bear's jaws four months ago. What a story that cat has to tell! We may fuss at each other sometimes, but we're really happy to be here.

Miss Kitty =^..^= & Mai Tai
Anchorage, AK

Reflections of Thanksgiving: On Thanksgiving we need to take time to be reminded to be thankful for our everyday blessings. Someplace to live, plenty to eat and the people that make our lives rich -- friends and family and, most importantly, our God who provides it all. A big thank you to you, friend Dorothy and staff, who make that time to gather the stories of "everyday life" that help us pay attention to the details of our lives and things that bless us every day. I am grateful for the veterans who served our country to preserve our way of life ... and think of and honor those brave people who are leaving their comforts of home to serve now, too! We are so lucky to live here!

Barb Dewey
Ashby, MN

This kind of reminds me of English class in high school, trying to come up with something for an essay. But what a subject!

How can I possibly list the things I'm thankful for? How can I pick one or two things that would top the list? How can I tell you the things I'm really, most heart-felt thankful for, without sounding trite?

I'll scratch the surface:

My wife, my friends, my country, life.

For over 45 years, just like the vows said, through sickness and health, through good times and bad, richer or poorer, this wonderful person has been by my side. She supports me in ways she probably doesn't even know, and, yes, sometimes I'm grumpy, out of sorts, bad tempered, but there she is, through it all, helping, guiding. Many people have found the perfect mate, for them, and this one is the one for me.

Photo © Jack Adair
Virginia "Lady Ginn" Adair

Without friends, what has a man got? I know many people, buddies, pals, acquaintances; but the friends who share your life with you, who are there for a shoulder to cry on, or share an inside joke, these are the friends I'm thankful for. There are not many, but I cherish each of them.

I can, and do, grumble about the "idiots" in Washington, the corrupt politicians, the fools and jackasses that are running -- and ruining -- our country. But, oh, what a country! Overall, there are enough, right now, good people leading us that the faults of the others are mostly irritating, not harmful. (Sorry vets, I just don't know how to put it.) Yes, we are having hard times, the Constitution seems to be getting a battering, nobody likes us ... but it's still the country everybody wants to come to, regardless of the hardships of getting here, and fitting in. How many people are leaving our country for some other? Not many! So maybe we aren't so bad, after all.

I passed my 70th birthday a while ago. I still get a thrill out of sunrises and sunsets, bird songs, purring kittens, giggling, grinning kids ... even a gentle snowfall. Good old life itself, it's beautiful. {Wouldn't want to be without it!}

Capt. Jack Adair {& Rufus}
Coon Rapids, 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. LeRoy Dake supplied last week's mystery picture.

How many can you identify?

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

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type.

Great Aunt Elizabeth, Uncle Bill, Uncle LeRoy, Aunt Gert and, I'm guessing, the woman with the fur collar would be Aunt Lois. And what were they looking at?

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Editor's comment: Your guesses are correct. They were gazing on some lovely scenery just across the border of Minnesota (I think -- if I remember correctly) called The Dells of Wisconsin.

Lois and Bill were on a visit home to Minnesota for a wedding trip during Bill's furlough before leaving for overseas (England) during World War II.

The picture would be of Great Aunt Elizabeth (McCalla) and Billy (Dake), LeRoy (Dake), Gert (Dake), and Blanche (Dake). It looks like they're doing some sightseeing. It's a really nice picture of "Anty."

Marlene Anderson Johnson
Moorhead, MN

Editor's comment: I must agree with you that is one of the nicest picture of "Anty" I have ever seen. Happiness radiates from her. She loved all of her nieces and nephews -- we never doubted that -- but I truly believe that Bill had a special place in her heart! Of course, we were all extremely thrilled to have him and his new bride home with us to spend some time before he had to leave.

Well, I think I know some of these folks! Aunt Elizabeth McCalla (Lizzie) then Billy Dake and LeRoy back of him and Gertrude down in front. The gal in very front is either Blanche or Lois. The fur collar kinda hides the face.

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

Well, it's not really a guess ... but although I wasn't on the scene yet, I recognize my dad, "Billie" Dake (army uniform) and mother Lois (coat with big collar). The woman behind my dad is Aunty Elizabeth McCalla; the other man must be Uncle Leroy Dake, and the young girl is Aunt Gert (Dake) Pettit.

I've never seen this picture ... always fun to see a "new" one! Wonder where they were and what they were looking at?

Carol Dake Printz
Sidney, NE

Being the little girl with the pigtails, I [Gerty] can identify the other four. You can even tell which one is not from Minnesota, by the coat she is wearing. Being from Texas, she must have thought it was cold here. Lois (Gandy) was our new sister-in-law, married to that handsome man in the U.S. Army uniform, our brother Billy. Of course, the younger brother, LeRoy, dressed in his Sunday suit, looked pretty good, too. And then there was our only Aunty (Elizabeth McCalla). She use to let me comb her hair, which I loved to do. What joy it is to remember those days!

Gerty Dake
Howard Lake, MN

The photo is of Aunt Elizabeth, Uncle Bill, Uncle LeRoy, Mom (Blanche), and Aunt Gert.

Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

LeRoy says: That is Aunty Liz, Billie, Lois (or maybe Coy Nell), Gert and "Bubsy" [LeRoy].

This is his guess, I guess.

Vonnie Dake (for LeRoy)
Blaine, MN

LTD Storybrooke

Photo © Birgit Swenson
A grafted lamb wearing the skin of a black lamb.

Silver Dollar Ranch
by Larry Dake

I had the dead lamb hanging by its hind legs when Jack and the stranger approached the shed; it was tied to the door handle with a piece of baler twine. The door was rolled open to admit the pleasant afternoon sunlight. I made circular cuts around each of the lamb's hind legs, just above the hocks. I then slit the hide from the circular cut on one leg, down across the abdomen, and back up to the circular cut on the other leg. Then I began pulling the skin down over the lamb's body, slicing with my knife, and turning it inside out as I went. I left the dead lamb's tail attached to the skin.

As I worked, I could feel the stranger's eyes following my every move. I came to understand, from overhearing his conversation with Jack, that he was the new manager of the Silver Dollar Ranch. After he took over as ranch manager, the past summer, the Silver Dollar had purchased a flock of sheep. He had come, he said, to look at our lambing operation; he wanted to learn what he could from us.

After making more circular cuts, this time around the lamb's front legs and neck, I pulled the hide down over its head, like pulling a sock off a foot -- wrong side out. I straightened up with the bloody thing in my hands. The visitor continued to watch as I salted it down, rubbing the salt into the fleshy side of the skin.

From their conversation, I learned that last fall the Silver Dollar Ranch's sheep herder had left the sheep bedded down around his sheep camp and slipped off to town. In town, he'd spent too much time at "The Bottle" and didn't make it back to the sheep until late the following morning. In the meantime, the sheep had wandered off. By the time a posse was assembled to gather the sheep, they had scattered over many miles of rangeland. Weeks of searching had passed and the Silver Dollar was now in the midst of lambing; a number of their ewes were still unaccounted for.

I ducked into the shed for a moment and returned with a live lamb from the bum lamb pen. I bunched the salted skin up like a turtleneck sweater and slipped the neck of it over the lamb's head. It was a tight fit. I then slipped each front leg into the "sleeves" and pulled the skin out over the lamb's body.

Jack commiserated with the man about the woes of finding good American sheep herders. He said Peruvian and Basque sheep herders were better. By their standards, the pay was good, the living conditions were satisfactory, and -- amongst other qualities -- it wasn't so easy for them to slip off to town.

I made slits in the back legs of the skin and put the bum lamb's legs through the holes. It was now wearing the skin like a full length jacket, including the "tail" that wagged behind.

Jack said he had to leave, but he told the manager of the Silver Dollar to feel free to look over our operation. The man followed me into the shed and began peppering me with questions.

The lamb had died at birth, I explained, leaving a good ewe without a lamb to raise. We walked over to the ewe's jug. She was fretting, anxious to have her baby back. I explained how ewes identify their lambs by smell. (Surely the manager of the Silver Dollar must have known this!)

I reached into the jug and picked up some afterbirth. I smeared this over the bum lamb's face and ears, and around its tail to further transfer the dead newborn's smell to the adoptee. I let the two talk to each other through the fence. If the ewe could be fooled into thinking this was her lamb (suddenly come to life), she would raise it and we'd have a win-win situation.

When I set the lamb in the jug, the ewe eyed it suspiciously and gave it a few head butts. I called Checker over and hissed for him to distract her by lying outside the jug and giving her the "Border Collie stare." She stomped a front foot at the menacing dog and then began licking and fostering the lamb. The hungry lamb was already searching for a nipple; this was starting to look like a successful graft.

Refugio came by, carrying buckets of water, and the Silver Dollar manager spoke to him in fluent Spanish. I turned my attention to other lambs that needed grafting to other ewes. The visitor followed Refugio down between the rows of jugs. The last I saw of them, they were speaking to Domingo.


Alas, a few weeks later, Domingo packed his few things, and three of his dogs, into his little red car and drove away. He was going to work for The Silver Dollar Ranch!

Sherry, the kids, and I made a point of going to see him at his new job. He was quite pleased with the better pay -- $150 more per month -- and a nicer sheep camp: this one even had solar powered electric lights and a two-way radio! But, he said, he did miss Esteban.

It was the last time we saw Domingo.

Being in the United States on a three-year work permit, his contract stipulated that he work only for ranchers who were members of the sponsoring Western Range Association. The Silver Dollar Ranch was not a member.

Jack's wife reported his defection and Domingo's visa was pulled. Clarinet in hand, he was soon boarding a plane back to Peru. He was being deported, without having earned enough money to start the neighborhood grocery store he had hoped for -- and he had to leave his beloved dogs behind.

However, he would soon have an opportunity to dance with his favored señoras peruanas (Peruvian ladies).

Travelogue t

Photo illustration © Lori Ostendorf
USS Arizona World War II memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

50,000 Names...
...on the Viet Nam Memorial wall
by Verlaine Weiland
Coon Rapids, MN

Today, being Veterans Day, brought back a special memory:

It still amazes me that walking along the Viet Nam Memorial wall with a group of "spouses" from one of Rich's working trips to Washington, DC, I glanced and SAW the name: Donald Sperl! It was just a moment after my walking partner asked if I knew anyone on the wall.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I said, "yes" ... and THERE I saw it, among 50,000 names.

(Of course she didn't believe me!) But as we walked back to our loading bus, there was a catalogue of the names. So she said, "And where is your friend from?"

I said, "Alaska."

So she said, "Let's look up the name."

There it was: Donald W. Sperl ... Juneau, Alaska! (Donald Walter Sperl, born January 12, 1948, was a corporal in the U.S. Army in Viet Nam when he died May 8, 1968, due to hostile circumstances.)

It was then she became weak-kneed!

There was another little incident. I had a notebook from convention in my purse and was seeing others get a rubbing. I was fitting the paper over the name when a pencil was placed in my hand ... so I quickly rubbed the name in my notebook and turned around to return the pencil. There was no one there.

So I asked my seat-mate friend, "Where? Who gave me the pencil?"

She said, "I don't know -- he is gone."

That evening, after Rich's work session, I took Rich back to this amazing wall. I could not find the name anywhere again!

New George Jones song: Veterans -- Click here to listen and see.

One Mower Time
By Beaver

October was a month of beautiful weather at Keesler Air Force Base. August and September had been hot and humid at Biloxi, and there had been little to do on weekends until the aftermath of Hurricane Camille was cleaned up. We were looking forward to the weekend when we would be able to do a little exploring, maybe even get a weekend pass if we decided to take a little trip somewhere.

The planning came to a sudden halt when Rich, Rick, and I found our names on the weekend duty roster. We hadn't done a thing to deserve it. Apparently, too few airmen had gotten bagged for misbehavior that week, so our names came up by chance. There was no getting out of it and we were not happy.

Saturday morning, we dragged into the orderly room at 0800 hours. It was a warm, sunny fall day. All our friends had left Friday night or early Saturday to enjoy what might be the last nice weekend for a long time.

Saturday duty usually consisted of scrubbing and waxing classroom floors. We felt a little better when we discovered our names on a short list of three for lawn mowing detail. At least we would be outside.

We found three old push mowers in the equipment room and trudged off to mow lawn. When we got to our assigned area, we discovered the lawn was so short you couldn't tell where you had mowed. We pointed this out to the sergeant who came to check on us, but he said we had to mow it anyway, and he didn't want to see us back at the orderly room to check out until 1500 hours. What a waste of time!

Not long after the sergeant left, the muffler fell off Rich's mower. Every time he slowed the engine, it gave off a backfire that sounded like a series of gunshots. It was even more impressive when he pulled on the governor spring and made the unmuffled engine run as fast as it would go. When he jammed the throttle wide open and sprinted across the lawn pushing the mower, he actually drew a few spectators. It was more fun than watching NASCAR laps and sounded much the same.

After the full throttle mowing became boring, Rich figured out how to vary the throttle setting with a long stick while pushing the mower. He would start out slowly, trudging behind the mower as it idled. Then he would gradually speed up the engine, walking faster as it accelerated. By the time the engine reached its screaming max, he would be at a dead run, taking giant steps as if the mower were pulling him across the lawn. Then he would slow for the turnaround, engine backfiring and shooting flames from the exhaust. Before long, the poor, tortured motor gave a death rattle and stopped. It refused to turn over. It was dead.

Meanwhile, I had been so interested in watching Rich's antics that I had forgotten to watch where I was going and mowed over the end of a curb that protruded from the ground. Scratch that mower, too.

We took turns wandering randomly over the grass with the one mower we had left until it died too, possibly of old age or boredom. Then we sat on the curb for several hours, until the sergeant came by at quitting time. He wanted to know why we weren't mowing. After we explained to him that two mowers had just kind of stopped running but we had hustled with the last one to get finished, he allowed as how we had done a pretty fair job. Well, the lawn did look pretty nice -- it looked just like it did when we started mowing.

I wonder what was said when some poor sod tried to get those mowers started in the spring?

Home Cookin' H

With Thanksgiving approaching, I'm making the traditional cranberry sauce I learned from my aunt. The Harnish family informally adopted my mother, and although my father, Fred Miller, didn't always see eye to eye with Ruby Harnish, one thing he held in high esteem was her quality as a cook! Aunt Ruby had a big role in raising me, and I loved to help her make cranberry sauce and chocolate chip cookies. Here, in her words, is the recipe more appropriate for the season.

Dave Ring
Palo Alto, CA

Photo © David B. Ring
This year’s batch of cranberry sauce, with Aunt Ruby's colander in the background.

Three 12 oz. bags gave 10 cups berries, and cooked with 5 cups water yielded 7-3/4 cups pulp. Adding 4-3/4 cups sugar, I ended up with eight Mason jars 3/4 full. Ruby used to seal them with melted paraffin; I'm too lazy, and wax paper seems to work well enough.

Aunt Ruby's Never Fail Cranberry Sauce

2 lbs. cranberries (8 to 9 cups)
1/2 as much water (4 to 4-1/2 cups)

Cook until tender. Put through strainer (a regular aluminum strainer for fruit, etc.) Make sure to get pulp well strained -- that closest the skin is what helps it jell. [Dave: what I use is Ruby's old conical colander, made mostly of 1/16 inch holes with a large, fitted, wooden pestle. The last part to go through is more paste than pulp, and I get all of it by scraping down the outside of the colander with a butter knife.]

Now, put pulp in cooking pot (large) and add 3/4 cups sugar to each 1 cup of strained pulp. [Dave: this is a bit sweet for my taste, so I reduce the sugar to 5/8 cup or less per cup of pulp.] Bring to boil -- and when it sheets from the spoon, it is cooked enough (about 10 minutes). It jells easily -- do not overcook. Pour into jars. It takes a while to set. Don't get discouraged.

[Dave: For me, it doesn't always gel completely; maybe modern cranberries (like modern politicians) don’t have as much pectin as they once did. When it works well, the sauce is more delicate than the canned Ocean Spray variety, but has a little more texture, because the seeds go through.]

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
November 22---Thanksgiving Day

This Week's Birthdays
November 19---Tyler Swenson
November 20---Jeff Gauderman
November 21---Alex Jo Marie Sigman (3 years)
November 21---Amy Elaine Printz (3 years)
November 21---Judy Riesenberg
November 23---Jessy Wolff Chap

Happy Birthday!

More November Birthdays
November 2---Gert Dake Pettit
November 2---Brianna Susan Lehtola (6 years)
November 7---Thomas Roland Mellon
November 7---Sandra Kay Miller Smith
November 10---Argyle Anderson
November 11---Allison Aydelotte (10 years)
November 12---Patty Anderson Henderson
November 14---Marian Miller
November 14 Cara Lee Swenson
November 17---Zachary Myron
November 17---Mark Andrew Johnson

November 26---DeLoris Anderson
November 27---Shalana Kay Weiland (11 years)
November 30---Aaron Stahlecker

November Anniversaries
November 3---Rich and Verlaine Weiland (45 years)
November 16---Argyle and Kathlyn Johnson Anderson (44 years)

November 26---Ben and Heather Henderson (3 years)
November 29---Kurtis and Jeni Larson (3 years)

November Special Days
November 4---Daylight Savings ends
November 6---Election Day
November 11---Veterans Day
November 22---Thanksgiving Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Shalana went Trick or Treating as an aquarium.

Dear Miss Hetty,

Can you imagine answering your doorbell on Halloween night to find an aquarium standing there? Also, a Miss Smartie Pants.

Every year is something extremely unusual; last year Shalana went as a red and white striped box of popcorn, and Krista went as a shower stall.

Well, my great nieces Shalana and Krista Weiland love to be creative. I am enclosing their pictures if you think some other Bulletin children would enjoy seeing them.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Krista, "Miss Smartie Pants," glued "Smarties" candy rolls to her pants.

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

It's a fun Bulletin. What a surprise to read about both of my brothers! I had to laugh at the size of the logs on that truck and the quantity. How interesting and enjoyable Dad and Mom would have found Richard and Mia's family farming and development operation to be! Beaver and D's continuing family woodcutting parties bring back fond memories for all of us, too.

It is snowing today for Argyle's birthday. He is not as thrilled as he would have been when he was 6. I have pumpkin pie -- his favorite -- to bake for supper.

Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
Anchorage, AK

From morning until night on our 45th anniversary, we worked in our new "garden shed." We wanted to get as much as possible accomplished before it gets too cold out there! More info will be forthcoming!

I cannot believe what you have done for your family and friends. It is all so precious how you have woven together the hearts of so many. Your Bulletins always bring up such pleasant memories.

Verlaine and Rich Weiland
Coon Rapids, MN

I found your site on a search for "Edward W. Miller." I am the son of Frederic Young Miller and Eileen Greear. Frederic was Edward's son and, I think, the brother of Ruth (Miller) Collings. I did not know my father well -- he and my Mom divorced when I was just a toddler, but I have come to know him somewhat from an extensive collection of letters he wrote to my Mom during World War II.

I have been able to trace my ancestry back to Scotland on the Greear side but no further than Edward on the Miller side, so I was fascinated by his life story, contributed by Ruth Collings. I have an inlaid chess board he made for me as a boy, and several beautiful pieces of furniture he made that I inherited from my mom and the Harnish family who adopted her. She mentioned that he was a master cabinetmaker, which certainly shows in the quality of his work.

I would like to get in touch with Ruth, who must be my aunt. I had gathered from the web that she lived, at least until a few years ago, in Escondido, but I did not have an address or e-mail for her. I hope the tragic fires down there did not affect her home! Fred had another sister Grace and a brother Hugh, but that's as much as I've been able to find. [All came through the fires OK. --Ed.]

I was my mom's only child, so my present family is my wife, our daughter, and my wife's three brothers and two sisters and their families. I do have a cousin Ben Greear, also, in Texas.

It's exciting to find the "Life on the Farm" story, which I will stop now and read. Possibly, there will be some who would be interested in reading some of my father's letters, which I could transcribe.

Glad to find The Bulletin; subscribe me, please.

Dave Ring
Palo Alto, CA

Photo © David B. Ring
The bowls my father, Fred Miller, used to demonstrate how the moon shows only one face; he moved the small bowl in orbit while turning it to keep the same face presented.

My only personal memory of Fred Miller was a time he visited me at I Street in Ontario when I was probably in first grade. I was fascinated at the time with the solar system (Sputnik was up, or soon would be), but I couldn't figure out how the moon managed to show only one face while orbiting the earth. Fred showed me, using two little bronze bowls that I think had been one of his gifts to my mom; I still have them. He died (my mom told me) in 1970, and there is a record on the web that he is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California.

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

What an absolutely spectacular picture that made, with the vivid blue sky behind the fall leaves, as the last of the beautiful colors tumble to the ground -- only to be raked up by someone who probably doesn't think they are so beautiful, as they groan with a lame back working with them. We are very glad it isn't snow we're shoveling -- yet.

Veterans Day. I was glad to see our Bulletin honored our Veterans like they did, and the last picture with the THANK YOU and flag was especially impressive. It "hurts your heart" to observe disrespect for our flag that has cost so many lives to keep it waving proudly through all the years.

Janie, it was refreshing to see the beautiful blossoms that are still blooming. The white dahlias and butterfly looks like a picture you would buy for the wall.

We felt very sorry to hear about Chuck Anderson being so ill in Phoenix. We met many young folks in our teens, and Chuck and Donna were among them. Also were Don Spangler and Doris Syverson. Don and Doris married. They had a lovely home in Minnetonka, but Doris died just last week.

I felt bewildered to see Richard Johnson working with the logs in Oregon. That must be Richard Johnson, as in Beaver's brother, rather than the Richard Johnson as in Don and Dorothy's son-in-law. Anyway, I was impressed with the descriptive story of logging. What a lot of manual labor involved! To be working with the family would make it tolerable, to say the least. I am thinking the story will be continued with a chapter on Clearing and fencing. I hope so. It's interesting, knowing a little of the "behind the scenes" labor.

Then the beautiful sunrise over Beaver's new shop required someone to be out there with the camera pretty early in the morning. Woodcutting on the farm would be different than in the Oregon woods. It would mean even more backbreaking hard work. Probably will take all winter to get the new shop really organized the way you want it, Beaver, but it would be a great time to work at it, being it's heated, while the snow piles up all around you.

Honestly, that "Whisker lickin' good" picture is gross. Good picture, however; but it doesn't happen to appeal to me. I am sure others will have loved it.

I was a little concerned to see Eric had been let go from Boston Scientific. We have a good friend working there (in Shoreview). He repairs and rebuilds pacemakers all day long. So far, he has been able to keep his job, but he is expecting anything at any time. Very good that Leona was able to find quite steady work, being she's substituting. With all the uncertainty, you would love coming home to Ozzie and his friendly, devoted welcome, helping you forget your troubles.

Jayna and Shane must spend many hours updating their web site. I clicked on the link and decided I needed a lot more time than I had right then to read it. It looks so interesting. We have some great photography and stories here.

It seems like such a short time ago that Mavis and Tom returned from Florida. The more the temperature drops, the more anxious they would be to head south. This is Sunday -- you were leaving Saturday, so you must be on the road right now.

The Photo Editor's daughter is nearly as efficient as her mom. Do you see that well poised/posed picture of three cats? How could they ever get THREE cats to accommodate the camera like that? They are really growing! They are so clean and well groomed and look contented on the picture. Quite a feat for three cats to get along.

But, Miss Kitty is giving us another side of having more than one cat. Thanks, Miss Kitty, for pushing and shoving your way onto Miss Jerrianne's lap so you could get a chance at the keyboard for a change. Am sure she helped you with spelling, but that's OK, and I want you to know that anything you can report about that new cat at your house will be fine. I decided I wouldn't even try to pronounce "Mai Tai." By the look in those eyes, I would not want to interfere with him at all. He sounds like kind of a problem, if you ask me.

Donna Mae, thank you for having your camera ever ready. Some nice pictures of the last of the flowers. Wonder what will be made of the big burl, eventually?

The Guess picture gets harder and harder. They look somewhat familiar, but I wouldn't even want to try guessing, beyond the little girl being MAYBE Shari.

We had to laugh at LTD Storybrooke's account of the "Flight of the Americanos." I doubt many would have any idea how much actual hard labor was involved in caring for sheep. Would seem pretty easy to just fit into the routine, but it wasn't long before they found out that was not for them. Domingo and Esteban would be pretty happy to see that cloud of dust rolling down the road.

The Travelogue was so totally different this time. Just 60 miles short of Newfoundland would be disappointing. I know people get very attached to their animals, as is the case with their beloved Gracie. Don and Patty will be so thankful they learned of her problem so they can show her a special love and care. Don and Gracie discovered the gnome. Don seems to have a way of attracting them, -- either that, or they're on the lookout for him. Tim Hortons coming to Plymouth sounds too good to be true. We will try out the cranberry-blueberry-bran muffins as soon as they're open. Don, please give us updates on Gracie. Our thoughts go out to you and Patty.

What a story by Beaver about the motorcycles! Sand and a fender! That man will have you on his blacklist for sure, but sounds like you had great fun.

Matriarch, you were asking for a Thanksgiving story (short paragraph and photo) about what we are thankful for. We hope to send you something, as we know you appreciate a response when you ask. I guess I already know what I'll send in.

Thanks again. Wish you could have been at our dinner table today. We were invited to Rich and Verlaine's, along with Barb Veldkamp and Larry Meyer.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Jennie Horne
Ethan Horne brings kittens home to Mom.

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.

Quotation for the day: When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. --Willie Nelson

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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.