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Sunday, January 27, 2008
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Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Kjirsten Swenson meets camels in Morocco.
(Scroll down to the Travelogue for more. Click here to see pictures added to Bulletin 292.)

Updates -

Photos © Tim & Char Myron
Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, left; Seattle Space Needle, right.

Update -- the Myrons visit West Coast
by Char Morgan Myron
Thompson, ND

I thought I would share a few photos of our drive to the West Coast over the holidays. On the way we stopped in Williston, North Dakota, to see Tim's grandma, Phyllis Jacobsen. She was really doing well and looking good.

We had as-good-as-can-be-expected winter driving conditions -- just needed the 4-wheel drive through the passes, for the most part. We arrived in Astoria, Oregon, in time to celebrate my aunt Eloise Morgan's 90th birthday. It was fun to reunite with the long lost cousins, and meet the younger generations, too.

We enjoyed some time hiking, watching the waves, and taking pictures along the coast. The ocean holds quite a fascination to us Midwesterners! We took a scenic route through the gorge that follows the Columbia River and saw some awesome waterfalls.

Photos © Tim & Char Myron
Tim & Char Myron with Zach & Tytus, left; Bob & Eloise Morgan, right.

We spent some time around Portland visiting Tim's relatives, and then headed up to Seattle. Took in the Science Museum, Space Needle and a monorail ride to Pike Place Market. My cousin Coreen (Morgan) Bergholm and her granddaughter Brittney joined us, too.

We spent time with more of Tim's family in the Seattle area and then got the shocking news that his Grandma Phyllis had passed away from a head injury, as a result of a fall. We were SO glad to have just spent some time with her. We had great weather on the drive back to North Dakota and have great memories of great times with great people.

Photo © Tim & Char Morgan
Tytus, Zach, Char & Tim Myron with cousins Coreen & Brittney Bergholm.

Update -- how I won by losing 41 pounds
by Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

And now ... (drum roll, please) ... what you've all been waiting anxiously the last weeks to discover ... the big secret ... how'd you do it?

Well, here it is folks ... the big secret. The secret is that there is no secret. None ... nada ... zippo ... zilch. When I began last June, I decided I wasn't going to yo-yo again -- you know, lose, gain, lose, gain. I know diets don't work; oh I lose weight all right, but the problem with going on a diet is that sooner or later I go off the diet. Then I promptly gain all the weight back and 5 or 10 pounds extra for good measure. So I had to change something in the formula.

Ahhh haaa ... that's the key ... something has to change. You know the old sayings: if nothing changes, nothing changes and if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten. And that was not satisfactory. So how was I going to tackle this problem?

Losing weight is simple but it is not easy. It's a simple mathematical equation; if we burn more energy (calories) than we consume then we lose weight and, conversely, if we eat more calories than we burn up we gain weight.

Actually, there is a third aspect: that is the mental or attitude issue. That is maybe the most important part of the whole deal. Those of us who were with A. L. Williams, will remember one of Art's favorite sayings: "Attitude is everything."

Now the Twins may lose and Vikings may lose, and the Gophers WILL lose (to NDSU, no less -- how embarrassing and humiliating) but I am going to WIN. So I say to myself, "Self, we're going to WIN this one."

One of the first things I decided was that I wouldn't deny myself anything ... ice cream, pizza, Doritos, potato chips, blueberry muffins, toast with grape jelly ... you get the idea. One of my downfalls being, if I was forbidden from this delicious food or that treat, pretty soon a craving developed ... and it just kept getting worse and worse until, instead of having a handful of Doritos, I would wolf down the whole bag.

I also am very susceptible to the PLOM syndrome -- that's the "poor little ol' me, I feel so sorry for myself," syndrome and when that strikes, look out ice cream 'cause here I come! Now, as we are all aware, these items are very energy rich (lots of calories), so I developed my next attitude: "I will be satisfied with less" or, after I eat, "I am satisfied with less."

Sometimes I have to repeat this over and over to myself but, for the most part, it has worked. I kind of go on a 100 calorie per treat system. If I get a craving and that ice cream carton is shouting my name extremely loud, I indulge myself with 1/2 cup ... that is 100 calories worth of Breyer's no sugar added ice cream. Now I know that 1/2 cup of ice cream or 20 Cheese-Its or 13 Kellogg's frosted mini-wheats doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, but sometimes that's all it takes to get over that craving hurdle.

Yep, I'll have to admit there have been a few times I fell off the wagon, but I didn't wait 'til next Monday to get back on again; I started right then. One other item I wanted to avoid was the feeling of starving to death. I have usually been able to overcome it by using healthy snacks: apples, bananas, pears, oranges, grapefruit and baby carrots -- to name a few.

The last thing about this mental bit is plateaus. Those of us who have lost weight before know they are coming. The plateau is where the body, for reasons I don't understand, decides it isn't going to give up any more weight. Mine hit at 195; I was stuck there for over two weeks. More than once I felt like throwing in the towel -- but I toughed it out.

As to the food aspect, I allow myself 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. I don't write down every last calorie I eat. Marian does write down what she eats, but I keep a running total in my mind. Some days I stay under and some days I stray over those guidelines, knowing that I am not going to fool the scales if I cheat!

Steve & Marian, after, left; Steve with typical meal before, right.

I grill almost all of our meat (3 to 6 ounces per serving). One of the side benefits of this plan is we eat much healthier now, as I make it a point to fix more vegetables and salads rather than just popping a frozen pizza into the oven.

To make it easier (as I don't do much with special cooking), Green Giant has some wonderful vegetables in cook in bags (teriyaki vegetables is one of our favorites) that have from 75 to 100 calories when we split the bag.

It is true, I don't do much with special recipes for lower calorie cooking, simply because I am more of a meat and potatoes type of cook, but there are some wonderful recipes available ... see previous Bulletins when Donnie was on the way down! And remember the motto, "I am satisfied with less."

The last, and for me the most dreaded part of this equation, is burning those calories I so love to consume. I will say plainly, I just don't like to exercise. It's that simple. So I had to devise a way to force ... no, that's the wrong word ... let's use entice instead. I had to find a way to entice myself to exercise with the most enjoyment and least discomfort possible.

We have a treadmill, so that would have to do it for the equipment. The solution I came up with, and it actually works well for me, is listening to books on tape (or CD) while I put in the miles. The key is finding a real page turner of a book. John Grisham is my favorite author. I tried Tom Clancy but quit on him because he gets into too much technical detail to follow while walking (and he uses too much profanity for my taste).

The side benefit to this burning of the calories business is it's good for this old Baby Boomer body of mine. My blood pressure has gone from what the doctor called the high end of normal (I don't remember the actual number) to 120 / 78 a few weeks ago.

Let me conclude this little discourse by making a few comments.

1. My thought, when I started, was if I could take in about 500 calories a day less than my body requires, and if I could burn an extra 500 calories a day from exercising, I should lose a pound or two a week -- and it has worked out about that way.

2. The most helpful results of this way of eating is ... I am satisfied with far less food!

3. I am often asked if I feel better or have more energy. You know, I can't truthfully say I do or I have.

4. My biggest satisfaction is to go to my closet or drawer and know I can put on and wear anything in there!

5. If I can succeed in this venture, ANYBODY can do it.

Steve & Marion with five of their 6-1/2 grandchildren. (Sandy is due in May.) Standing beside me is Alexander, 7 (Sue and Clark); in front of me on the left is Mckenna, 3-1/2, and in the center is Brooke, 5, and Marian is holding Braden, 7 months (Kim and Mitch). In front of Marian is Ariel, 6 (Vicki and Mike).

Update -- Lou Miller recuperating well from hip surgery
by Tom Miller
Madera, CA

Betty Droel said she thought I should do an update with a little more follow-up on Lou's hip replacement, December 31.

Everything went fine! She had some bone spurs around the socket so they could have been causing some of the pains! But she was up to her room at 11 a.m. -- kind of groggy but the Spinal made recovery much easier. At 3 p.m., it was time to go for a walk! Yep, out of bed and over to the door and back! SUPER! No pain in the hip joint area!

Tuesday morning started the physical therapy and she had it twice a day while in the hospital. We went home on Thursday afternoon and all went very well. Physical therapy continued at home for three weeks –- finished it up yesterday but now will start with another therapist for three sessions a week for three or four weeks.

Oh yes! Lou got rid of the walker in two weeks and went to a cane ... she really does need it now, but just for a little more support.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Jessy, Jolene, Camryn & Wyatt, Lori, Ben, Ashley & Chris.

Family Gathers For Weekend At Ashby Farm

Chris ran into a friend in town and, in answer to his question as to why Chris was home (on such a frigid weekend, he was more than likely thinking, being this morning it was close to 22 below zero), Chris told him it was our family Christmas celebration. The friend asked, "So, last Christmas or the coming one?"

But we've loved it! We've had a great time, starting on Thursday evening, when Lori, Shawn and McKenna arrived at the farm. Other than Weston, the rest arrived on Friday.

Weston had a business meeting in Boston; he left later that afternoon and arrived after 11 on Saturday night. He was in time to join the rest in more games, so didn't miss out totally.

Jessy, Shawn and Ashley were introduced to Rook, which has proven to be an old favorite of card games over the years (even from my childhood ... so I mean YEARS!).

Saturday, a group of us braved the cold (17 degrees BELOW zero) and made our way for a couple games of bowling.

Caity, Jayce, Brooklynn and Rylie had a lane and Lori, Shawn, Beaver, Jessy, Chris and Wyatt had the other. Jolene and I were the extra cheering section. We had several platters of appetizers, instead of an actual meal, as we were eating pretty well at home.

Then we all trooped over to Grandpa and Grandma Anderson's place for a surprise visit [with Don and Dorothy]. We had a nice visit before heading back into the cold.

Each family brought meals to prepare for the group and helped clean them up, so it was a very well planned weekend. Jessy brought treats -- homemade cookies and candy, all excellent, but my hands down favorite was chocolate mint truffles ... they were amazing!

We also went in to the Ashby City Restaurant (now Ruby's) for blueberry pancakes. (Well, many of us sampled these platter-sized, scrumptious pancakes.)

Later in the day, we opened gifts and then had hot dogs, s'mores and camp pies, made over the fire in fireplace. Loads of fun and pretty good eating, besides.

Chris and Jessy headed back to Fargo on Sunday afternoon, but the rest will be staying into Monday, sometime. In the meantime, they are watching some football game and the smell of fresh buns baking is filling the air with a very delectable aroma. Wyatt and Jolene are making them to go along with the Aussie chicken, is what I've heard. NOT a diet weekend, that's for sure!

Photo © Donna Johnson
Shawn & Weston cook hot dogs, left; Rylie, Camryn & Jolene, right.

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

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. Gert Dake Pettit 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.

Well, I'm not 100% sure, but I think the girl on the far left is Ardis and the girl next to her is my mom, Kathleen. Sorry, but I don't recognize any others.

Adriana Brown
Granbury, Tx

These old pictures are so much fun ... I certainly recognize these young Miss Americas as cousins (left to right) Ardis Sigman Quick, my sister Kathleen Dake Stahlecker, Shari Miller Larson, Virginia Dake McCorkell, and Donna Anderson Johnson.

Carol Dake Printz
Sidney, NE

How cute! That looks like a group of cousins to me, but I'm not sure. From left: Ardis, Kathleen, Sharon, Ginny and Donna.

How old are they -- 10-13? If someone doesn't know how old they were then, just tell us who is oldest to youngest among them, as I don't remember. Thank you.

Judy Riesenberg
Great Falls, MT

The "who is this?" photo was fun again this week. From the left, it's Ardis, Kathleen, Shari, Ginny and then Donna. Great picture!

Marlene Johnson
Moorhead, MN

I have to pass on the Mystery picture again. The first one might be Gert's daughter. I wonder if the one of the right would be Donna Mae?

The picture last week of the man (Stan) on horseback drew a lot of guesses, and it wasn't hard to tell he was a family favorite by all the stories.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Photo © Sheldon Swenson
Mitzi Swenson re-hangs One Of The Family by Frederick Cotman.

The Horse That Came To Dinner
by Jerrianne Lowther
Anchorage, AK

When Mitzi redecorated last fall, a cherished picture had faded and she asked me how she might get a fresh copy. It seemed like a good time to tell the story of the horse that came to dinner and why all of the siblings and a couple more family members have that picture, too.

Sometime in the 1920s, I think, or perhaps even earlier, our grandmother Amelia Miller Johnson saw the picture on a calendar and framed it. It hung in her dining room at the Ashby farm for the rest of her time there. She took it with her when she moved to the little house in town. When she died in 1958, our aunt Marjory Johnson Knowles Chrisman rightfully claimed the now faded picture, which she had loved since her childhood, and took it home to California.

We had all studied and admired the picture during our growing up years, too, and we missed it. When Kathlyn saw another framed copy of the faded calendar picture at an estate sale, she snapped it up and gave it to our mother, Twila Johnson -- and it again graced the dining room at the Ashby farm as long as she lived there.

A few years later, when I visited Aunt Marjory in California, her copy of the painting was leaning against a wall, waiting to be re-hung after having broken glass replaced at a local frame shop. She related how she had brought the picture there and the shop owner exclaimed over it. She had just gotten some note cards with the exact same picture on them ... with far more vibrant colors than we had ever seen ... and that's how I discovered the sweet picture's history.

From the writing on the back of the card, I learned that the painting was titled "One Of The Family" and that Frederick Cotman had painted the original picture in 1880; it hangs in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England, today.

"Cotman painted this romantic scene of rustic domestic life at the Black Boy Inn at Hurley on Thames. It shows a farmer (posed by the inn keeper) returning home for his meal, while his horse leans through the doorway to be fed by the farmer's wife.

"This ever-popular work was the first important painting by Cotman to be acquired by a public institution when the Walker Art Gallery bought it in 1880. Liverpool critics at the time praised the work for its cheerful sentiment and argued that it commended good treatment for animals."

I wrote to the gallery at once and discovered that reproductions were available at very reasonable rates. It was a small matter to order a number of copies in a single mailing tube and make them available to various family members who had loved the picture from our very earliest years.

As it happened, I even had an extra copy to replace Mitzi's faded one. Thanks to a lucky coincidence, and a piece of glass accidentally shattered years ago, we all have copies of a picture we've long treasured -- some of us for many years before Mitzi was born.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Winter Frost

I'm Probably Going To Regret This...
By Beaver

I mentioned in my last story that it was the second time I had been off the road. I didn't really ever intend to tell anybody about the first time, but the editors gave me such nice compliments about the story that I feel compelled confess another transgression. I hope you are as entertained as I was embarrassed...

The day after I got the '58 Chevy, I told Ma there was a Friday night basketball game in Ashby that I wanted to attend. I was also on the schedule to work in the concession stand. It wasn't easy to get permission to go to a ball game. But since I would be working part of the time, I might have a chance.

When I did get to go to a game, I was expected to be home minutes after the final buzzer sounded. I was barely 16 years old, and gallivanting around town instead of doing homework was frowned upon. I was pretty sure I would talk Ma into letting me go to the game, since I was expected to work. So I had offered a very nice girl in my class a ride home after the game. But I had to figure out an excuse to be a little late getting home.

Admitting to being interested in the opposite sex was not a good plan. Ma would likely decide to not let me out of the house after dark until sometime well into the next decade. If I got past Ma, Pa would tease me endlessly. So I mentioned that I might be a little late if I was needed to help clean the concession stand after the game. Ma gave me the OK, no doubt with a lecture that I have since forgotten. In fact, I probably forgot it before I got to the end of the driveway.

The evening was great fun. I watched the first half of the game with Linda, then did my stint in the concession stand. Nobody ever came to the concession stand during last minutes of a game, so we were done cleaning up a couple of minutes after the game ended.

Linda and I hopped into my "new" ride, and we were off. She lived only a couple of miles out of town, so it seemed kind of unnecessary to go the shortest way. We left town going in the opposite direction. The '58 Chevy drove like a dream, the V-8 rumbling powerfully. Linda commented on what a nice car it was compared to the '52 Chevy I had been driving. Life was good.

A few of miles out of town, I turned off the highway onto a county road, then turned onto a narrow township road that would take us back to Linda's house.

The snowplow had pushed up a big snowbank on the inside of the intersection. There was loose snow between the edge of the road and the snowbank. Heavy clouds hung low in a dark sky, making it hard to see the road edge. Not realizing that I was cutting the corner too short, I dropped the front wheel into the soft snow, and into the ditch we went.

Another car came along right behind us, and the driver was kind enough to stop and pick us up. We took Linda home first, and I asked to be dropped off in Ashby. There were still lots of kids around at the café, so I asked for help to push my car out. Two cars full of guys drove out to help. We pushed until we were out of breath, wading in snow up to our knees, but we couldn't move that big tank of a Chevy from where it sat in the snow.

I had no choice but to get a ride home. Ma was looking out the window when we drove in. She met me at the door. "You're late. Where's your car?"

"Well, I kinda went in the ditch."

"Are you OK?"

"Ya, I just got a little stuck in the snow is all."

My gut tightened. The next question was going to be the bad one.


I looked at the floor.

"Out by Maynard's."

I glanced up. Dangerous looking clouds were forming in her eyes. I resumed my inspection of the kitchen floor.

"What were you doing out by Maynard's?"

The kitchen suddenly seemed very warm.

"Giving Linda a ride home."

In spite of my wet feet and frozen hands, I felt like I was sweating bullets.

"That's not on the way to Linda's."

My face was on fire.

"Well, it kinda is."

Sarcasm all but melted the next two syllables.

"Uh huh."

Pa had gotten out of his easy chair to hear the conversation. There was a long silence. Finally Pa said, "Go to bed; we'll see about it in the morning, after you get the calf pens cleaned."

Saturday morning, I was up early, and out cleaning calf pens right after breakfast. About mid-morning, Pa came to get me. "Come on, I saw Maynard in town at the creamery. He'll pull your car out now."

We drove the '50 Dodge pickup to Maynard's farm, about a quarter mile from where my car had floundered into the ditch. Maynard unhooked the manure spreader from his WC Allis Chalmers and followed us up the road. Pa handed me a log chain, and I crawled under the car to hook it up. Wading through the snow to the driver's door, I crawled into the car, and got it started. The WC pulled it out with barely an effort. I unhooked the chain and put it back in the pickup.

Maynard got off the tractor and sauntered back to where Pa and I were standing by the car. Pa told him, "Beaver said he had to help clean up the concession stand after the game. I guess he must have been helping by giving one of the cleaning ladies a ride home."

That was all Maynard needed. "Did the cleaning lady distract you from watching where you were going? Must be some cleaning lady! Anybody I know?" It was the first shot of what would become a months-long salvo. Maynard came over to help Pa with farm chores several days a week, and every time I saw him, he had something to say about the cleaning ladies of Ashby.

It was a long time before I left home at night without Pa giving me some version of "And will there be any cleaning ladies needing a ride home tonight?" And any time mention was made of one of my female classmates, he would want to know, "Is she one of the cleaning ladies?"

If there was a silver lining in the storm cloud of teasing that I endured, it was that Pa and Maynard kept at me so unmercifully that Ma must have felt sorry for me. She never did get around to grounding me for the rest of my life.

Travelogue t

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Notice the sheep? This was a very common sight on the streets of Morocco.

Marrakech's Medina
by Kjirsten Swenson
Houston, TX

Marrakech's medina (old Arab quarter of a North African city) is the ultimate market! It is a place to be experienced, not described, but I'll try...

Located in the oldest part of the city, it is a massive labyrinth of narrow, twisting alleys and arched doorways, connected by even smaller passageways. Storefronts are jam-packed with sparkly, and sometimes smelly, wares. Lamps, carpets, silver, spices, silk, olives, shoes, jewels, daggers, snake oil -- everything is for sale! And refrigerators, engines, faucets, telephones, chickens, kidneys ... if it exists, someone is selling it. The array of colors is dizzying! And the smells!

Tantalizing aromas from mounds of olives, preserved lemons, figs, dried fruit, honey, and freshly baked bread compete with less appetizing stink from a nearby butcher selling live chickens. As shoppers pass, each merchant attempts to lure them inside, to see what treasure he has to offer. Their calls compete with the sounds of bike bells ringing, donkeys braying, and motors -- as animals, people, and small vehicles all compete to run me over. Shopping in the markets is exhilarating, bewildering, exhausting, disorienting, and a bit perilous, too!

At dusk, the huge central square begins to smoke as row upon row of chefs set up grills and prepare kebabs for the masses. Couscous and spicy tajines smell wonderful as they simmer on gas stoves. For the brave, snail soup, sheep's head, and brains from unidentified small mammals are on offer, too.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Kjirsten joins vendors of a kebab stall for a picture.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Sheep's head and brains ... are on offer, too.

Huge brass urns of hunja, a spicy cinnamon tea, make for a sweet finish. The food vendors are entertaining enough, but on the periphery a motley assortment of storytellers, musicians, acrobats, fortune tellers, and comedians compete for attention. Supposedly, snake charmers can be found there, too, but I was relieved not to encounter any! Altogether, it's a mesmerizing place.

To be continued ...

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Huge brass urns of hunja, a spicy cinnamon tea, and spice cakes.

Photo Editor's Note: We were so impressed with the many beautiful pictures of Kjirsten's visit to Morocco that we went back and added four to last week's Bulletin and repeated some text here so we could match it to the pictures. Click here or the link at the top of the page to check out the pictures we added. Also, click here for a travel web page on Marrakech that offers additional insights on dining in the restaurants and market stalls there and references tajines, hunja, etc.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
February 2---Groundhog Day

This Week's Birthdays
January 30---Whitney Anne Johnson
January 30---Madilyn Mae Larson (1 year old)
January 31---Larry McCorkell
February 1---Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
Happy Birthday!

More February Birthdays
February 3---Penny Miller
February 4---Cameron Birkholz
February 6---Melody Printz
February 6---Kelli Nicole Mellon (9 years old)
February 7---Rylie Johnson (6 years old)
February 28---Eric Anderson

February Anniversaries
February 4---Jim and Jan Smith (47 years)
February 6---Russ and Judy Miller Riesenberg (27 years)
February 18---Roy and Betty Weiland Droel (15 years)
February 24---Jess and Louise Cloyd (63 years)
February 26---Tim and Char Morgan Myron (25 years)
February 28---Junior and Doris Anderson (46 years)

February Special Days
February 2---Groundhog Day
February 12---Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
February 14---Valentine's Day
February 18---Presidents' Day
February 22---George Washington's Birthday

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Photo © Donna Johnson
Uncle Ben Johnson & McKenna Ostendorf.

Keep Us Posted!

Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

I have been meaning to write a BIG Thank you to everyone who contributed to my "get well" gift. I have been slow in doing so, and for that I apologize.

The well wishes, and wonderful basket of great things were very uplifting to someone healing from surgery. I appreciated each and every item Donna Mae brought to me from the whole clan! As BIG as I make the Thank you, it isn't big enough to really say how much I appreciate everyone being so generous to the "other Donna."

I am recovering well. I went back to work on December 13th and haven't missed a day since. I started radiation therapy on January 7th, and that has been going well, too. I have completed 10 treatments and have 15 to go. They are a precaution; the doctor felt all cancer was removed with the hysterectomy. But, just in case...

Because my work computer is the only e-mail I have available these days, I missed a lot of The Bulletin publications. Thanks to the archives, I have read each and every one I missed and enjoyed them thoroughly. It was fun reading them all in a row (pretty much). Although I didn't know Gracie (Don and Patty's dog) was ill, she was gone a few issues later. That kind of catching up was sad. Thanks so much for keeping us all informed!

Donna Richards
Eden Prairie, MN

We enjoyed The Bulletin today very much. One never knows whose smiling face is going to come up next, or even who will show their face in the world for the first time in The Bulletin.

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Estero, FL

Just one year ago, I read my first Bulletin, #241 on January 28, 2007. I have been reading them ever since. A number of the "Who Is This?" photos have brought back many memories of people that I have known most of my life.

I have read many of the first Bulletins and I'm starting to put together pieces of the puzzle. I enjoy the stories of the past and present, travel and updates. Thank you everyone; just keep up the good work. Thanks to Rich and Verlaine for sharing that copy a year ago. I am on the mailing list now!

Jim Smith
Brooklyn Park, MN

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

Another one-of-a-kind! I always think the last one was just the best yet, but then here comes another one the next week, equally full of such wonderfully interesting items that we only get in The Bulletin. We surely thank each one who takes time from their busy life to share some highlights with us. We read them all, word for word.

Sometimes it's births, or birthdays, sometimes it's a funeral or update of some old old friends, or update of families. Whatever the theme, it is put together in such a professional way that you enter into the feeling immediately on seeing that first picture.

This time it was one like we haven't had before, that's for sure, and likely won't again. Our friends, taken close-up, parasailing. Really worthy of the front and center! They don't even look afraid, but then with lifejackets on they'd be pretty safe.

Another new great granddaughter for Gert. Chana Shira Gordon. She is so alert. I'm wondering how to pronounce that?

Yes, Bruce McCorkell has been released from his miserable problems, and one serious one was heading into Alzheimer's. His dear widow is so brave, but oh, so lonely. The eulogy that was below the picture of Bruce said it all in a few words. He was just that kind of a fine man, and I see it was my brother, Rich Weiland, who had commented on Bruce's life as a gentle, quiet pillar, etc. That described him well. We value the memories of times we were with him.

I recognized the shoreline and beach in the scenery behind Lindsay and Brandon in Fort Meyers, Florida. Roy's son Rodger had property on Captiva, also Sanibel; I had the great thrill of making a trip there with Roy after we had gotten married. We have a shelf of shells from that beach. What a place to have a birthday celebration, Brandon -- and becoming 21 years old is a milestone!

Isn't that picture of the beach bum Jettison Freesemann a prize? He looks like a professional model, and actually it was our Bulletin star, Jettison. That would have really been fun to leave behind a newly redone guest room for Tom and Mavis. Sometimes just the slightest changes give you a lift.

Logan and Mason look pretty content in the pictures. We would never guess the hours and hours of care and preparation before and after they were taken.

Folks really picked up on the request for advice from parents of multiple children. A person can learn from another's experience, but most things you just have to wade through and learn the hard way. We really had to laugh at Wyatt's story of Brooklynn entertaining herself with the marker. I printed my copy of The Bulletin and it just happened that the sentence, "A picture is worth a thousand words," was on the end of the page. Then, to turn the page, and there was that picture of Brooklyn with her art project, and yes, her face was looking like the mixture of pride and concern. What a cute story, and that was only one thing that would have happened that day.

Where in the world is Weston? Well, he is probably out shining up that new car. Those pictures are just teasers, and hopefully by next week we get to see the car.

Jayce is already nine years old? Not too many Bulletins ago we were seeing the pictures of his 8th birthday. How can time fly that fast? We were at the Arrowhead in Alexandria for Jennie Kooiman's funeral. That would be such a fabulous place for the birthday party, with an indoor water park in the winter.

Then to turn THAT page over and find another very special picture: Grandma and Grandpa Johnson [Beaver and Donna, taken by Caity Chap]. That is such an excellent picture of you both.

We haven't had a Bulletin introduction for a long time, it seems, so Art Mitzel's was very welcome, and now when we read more from him we'll know who he is. That was a nice picture of the cousins at the Berndt reunion. I do know four of them. Thanks for the great story about the 1968 Buick Wildcat!

Another breathtaking scene of the hoarfrost by Bitzi. That must have been a spectacular sight. Looks like the snow reflects the bright blue sky.

What a hilarious excursion by Beaver -- and how clever to just gun it to get across a field and up onto the road ... until ... he saw the dreaded pickup. I'll bet Donald was really proud of his son, deep down underneath all the hard exterior, for his managing to maneuver through that unfortunate turn of events. That was a great story, Beaver. You are an excellent storyteller, and we projected ourselves right there on the snowbank watching you, too.

Miss Kitty. We have to hand it to you. How you can ever get Miss Jerrianne away from the keyboard long enough for you to get that special report written about cats' eyes, I will never know. That was all new to me. That blind cat's big headlights were proof what you wrote is true. Mai Tai is really a beautiful cat. No wonder he got to come and live with you.

Kjirsten, thank you for this second part of the Travelogue in North Africa. Places we will never be and things we will never see or taste or smell. You gave us some excellent descriptions of it all, and best of all, it is to be continued.

I got quite a surprise to see Madilyn Larson looking like such a big girl now. I still think I see her dad in her eyes.

Judy McCalla finding her family in The Bulletin on the Internet would have been such a shock as she read and looked at familiar pictures, etc. She, being Gib's only daughter, would make it very meaningful to have found information, and the pictures she may share will be a treasures to the relations, and the rest of us, too.

There were several letters to the editors this time, and all were just another proof that The Bulletin is read and valued by loyal, faithful subscribers every week! Kathlyn Johnson Anderson, we seldom hear from you. Just often enough to know you read and enjoy it, too. With Jerrianne, the photo editor, as a sister and nearby neighbor, I'm sure there is lots of Bulletin conversation.

Even the CHUCKLES was a cat. I want to look up the links about the cat's eyeshine. There were several links to click on in The Bulletin this time.

How could this ever do justice to Bulletin #292? Thank you again for including us in what has become a highlight of our week.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Marci Weiland
Krista Weiland, riding on dad's shoulders, goes with green.

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