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Sunday, February 3, 2008
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Got Cabin Fever? (You Betcha!)

Groundhog Day News
Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Frosty branches

Updates -

Update -- LeRoy Dake recuperating at home
by Ginny McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Dad (LeRoy Dake) got a quick ride to the hospital in an ambulance last Saturday evening. We weren't sure which hospital they were taking him to but Mom made a phone call and found him at Unity Hospital in Fridley. Larry [McCorkell] stayed with Mom so I could go to the hospital to be with Dad.

They ran one test after another to try to determine what was wrong and finally concluded it was two different infections. So they started him on intravenous antibiotics and admitted him to the hospital. They got him to his room by about 1:30 a.m. Then there was the long string of questions to answer to complete the admitting process. I finally went home about 2:15 a.m.

They kept him in the hospital until Thursday afternoon. Judy Larson, Hunter's grandma, so kindly offered to come and stay with Mom during the day so I could be at the hospital long enough to get updated on Dad's progress. It seemed like very slow progress to Dad. He was not able to get out of bed until ... I think it was Tuesday when they finally got him up for therapy.

But he did make progress every day and was finally able to come home on Wednesday. He is still pretty weak and unsteady on his feet so he is using a walker until he gets his strength back. Anybody want to donate a horn, rearview mirror or headlights for his walker? He will continue on the oral antibiotics for a while and they are s'posed to be sending out some home health care people to follow up on his care.

It takes awhile to get the home life back to normal after a hospital stay but they seem to be doing okay.


Photo © Mavis Morgan
Will & Karol Thompson

Update -- Florida visitors
by Mavis Anderson Morgan
Estero, FL

Here are pictures of some of our visitors from the North who came to Estero to stop by Grapefruit Lane. Will and Karol Thompson hail from St. Cloud, Minnesota. This was their first time to visit us and we had a lovely time. Keith and Shanda Warren, from Colgate, North Dakota, came to Florida to celebrate their 29th anniversary on December 29th. They came to spend the weekend with us from their timeshare on the east side of Florida. Lorraine and Brent Slotten are from Wahpeton, North Dakota. We are happy they return to this part often, as we get to see them often then, too.

Photos © Mavis Morgan
Keith & Shanda Warren, left, on anniversary; Lorraine & Brent Slotten, right.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Why don't you kids go outdoors and play?

Click here to watch Shane & Jayna Swenson go skiing.

Update -- quest for cold Fusion
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

I rose early, as the first hint of the sun's rays brightened the eastern sky. Bundled against the frosty morning air, I ventured through my front door and perched on the front step, waiting. Waiting to see if I might catch a glimpse of the mysterious beast. With camera cradled between gloved hands, I hoped my numbing fingers would be ready to act if the opportunity presented itself.

Suddenly, I heard it begin to stir. I knew this was my one chance. I sat still, almost afraid to breathe. The slightest movement, the tiniest sound, could spook my prey and send it back into its den.

My patience was rewarded. Suddenly, it was before me it all its glory. Its sleek coat shimmered despite the gray morning sky. I snapped one picture, then another. And then it was gone.

I rushed inside with camera in hand, eager to see if I had been successful in capturing an image of the reclusive creature. An image that would prove my story once and for all.

I connected the camera to my laptop computer and drummed my fingers impatiently on the edge of the keyboard as I waited for the pictures to load. And then there it was, the long awaited picture. The gray Fusion, fresh from the previous evening's encounter with the Sparkle Wash, free of the crust of salt that had shamed it into hiding, was centered perfectly in the frame.

Of course, all things must come to an end. That very day, the Fusion returned to the slushy Interstate highway, once again subjected to the spray kicked up by its inconsiderate brethren. But for that one morning, that one magical moment, the Fusion gleamed as it had in the showroom. I was lucky enough to capture that moment. And now, finally, I share it with you.

Clean at last: Weston's cold Fusion.

Update -- to market, to market...
by Mitzi Swenson
Dickinson, ND

January is a rather cold, dull month in North Dakota. Tomorrow I'll be in Newark, New Jersey, and it will be in the 30-45 degree range, with some wind and rain or snow during the week. I will be in New York City for market from Saturday to Wednesday.

Tyler had a minor concussion in hockey last Thursday night so he didn't play Friday night and saw limited playing time last night.

A few minutes into the third period of the hockey game last week, I looked across the arena and saw Tyler showing his coach his belly and then the coach leaving the bench. When he let his jersey down, it was covered in blood. Sheldon walked over to see if they needed help. The coach couldn't find the first aid kit but found an ace wrap in a drawer, so Sheldon wrapped Tyler's abdomen tightly. They announced he would change numbers and he returned to play the remainder of the game.

Tyler's not sure what happened but thinks he was grazed by a skate; he was lucky it wasn't a deeper laceration.

Photo © Mitzi Swenson
Tyler Swenson bleeds for hockey.

Aunika had a fantastic game in Fargo on Saturday where she shot the tying goal with 18 seconds left in the game (her teammate tipped it in), and then she made the winning goal a couple of minutes into overtime. We weren't there because Kjirsten had a tooth pulled Friday morning and was flying out very early Sunday morning from Dickinson, so a trip to Fargo didn't seem like a good idea.

Last night we bought plane tickets to go trekking in Peru from mid June to early July. :) Sheldon and Kjirsten planned several adventures for the next year while she was home. She's planned her schedule without much time off, so far, to maximize her travel opportunities next year, knowing her vacation time will be very limited during residency.

Photo © Ken Carson
Oreo expresses his amazement at the idea of washing machines.

Update -- laundry drama
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

We had a laundry crisis that caused lots of commotion here. First the repairman looked at the old washer and dryer and shook his head. No way to fix them; parts for those models had been out of stock for many years. So they had to go. And I had to explain to Mai Tai and the grandkittens what laundry was anyway. It's quite a quaint concept from a cat's point of view, you know.

So I explained that people have to wash their clothes in a noisy machine and dry them in another one. It's so much simpler being a cat. We give ourselves a good licking all over before we go to bed; in the morning, or whenever we get up, we give ourselves a good shake and we're all set for the day. No showers, no laundry, no getting clean clothes out of closets and drawers and seeing that everything matches. Our washers go with us wherever we go. We give ourselves a touch-up whenever we need one with our little pink tongues. It's very simple, really ... but I digress...

Miss Jerrianne said she just couldn't do without a washer and dryer, so she arranged for some big men to haul away the old machines and install new ones. It took a week, since they brought the wrong kind of dryer cord the first time and that delayed things a couple of days. So she waited ... until she was running out of clean clothes. Still, not being a cat, what else could she do?

She said doing laundry was quite different from the "old days" when she was a little girl, and she told me all about how her mother did the washing ... but that's another story. Then she checked her dad's book and read what he wrote about how his mother did the laundry on wash day. I was amazed at the effort involved. If you scroll down to A Long Time Ago, you can read it, too.

We cats were kept upstairs to make sure we didn't run outdoors when the deliverymen brought the laundry machines inside. When they were finally hooked up, Miss Jerrianne tossed in a load of clothes and sat down in her computer chair to finish The Bulletin. After a while, she put the wet clothes in the dryer and soon they were all fluffy and dry and ready to wear again. Things have come a long way since she was a girl, she said, but I still say it's a lot easier if you're a cat.

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

Click here to read all about Groundhog Day.
(Six more weeks of winter sounds like such a LONG time, but it's almost Valentine's Day.)

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. Kristi Larson Indermark 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.

That is the trampoline at Blanche and Jim Miller’s at Rice Lake. I don't recognize the "jumpers"! There were many wonderful times had on that lake and all the folks who could relax with the hospitality of the Miller Family. I sure do miss that fellowship!

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

OK, let's take a stab at this photo. I know that the girl on the left is our daughter, Sandy. The girl in the yellow shorts is Kelly and the girl in the blue top is Kristi (Shari's daughters), I believe. Next are Jay, in the red striped shorts, and Penny in the blue jeans (Duane's son and daughter), again, I think! The place, of course, is Mom and Dad's cabin at Rice Lake.

Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

What a fun picture! From L-R, my guess is Penny, Kristi, Candice, myself [Jay] and Kurt.

Jay Miller
Alexandria, MN

Left to right: Sandy Miller, Kristi Larson, Candice Miller, Jay Miller and Penny Miller.

Kristi Larson Indermark
Phoenix, AZ

Looks like Sandy, Kristi, Candice, Jay and Penni to me. Brings back lots of memories ...

Mitch Miller
Fairland, OK

This picture was taken at my parents' cabin on Rice Lake near Paynesville, Minnesota.

The adorable children are (from left to right): Sandy Miller, Kristi Larson [Indermark], Candice Miller, Jay Miller and Penny Miller. Now ... if only we had a magnifying device ... who is in the canoe?

Shari Miller Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

Even my magnifying glass was no help on the GUESS picture this time. I will have to pass on all of them. The features were not too clear on this picture.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo © Mitzi Swenson
Ring-Necked Pheasant Cock

Mounting Ring-Necked Pheasants
by Sheldon Swenson
Dickinson, ND

Big rooster pheasants with long tails and spurs have always caught my attention. They are really quite beautiful, as far as birds go. Also, considering that natural pheasant mortality is about 70 percent per year, even without hunting, a trophy pheasant is certainly something to be admired and appreciated. Many years ago, out of curiosity, I watched a taxidermist mount a pheasant and realized, "I could do that."

After purchasing some books and watching a few videotapes, I was ready to start practicing. I remember ruining a few birds before finally getting all of the steps figured out. The first ones were really ugly, but after several years of practice I have it pretty well figured out now.

It is very relaxing and enjoyable to do some "surgery at home" during some of the cold winter days when I'm not working. I do not have to worry about anesthetic administration, sedation, patient anxiety, parents fainting, patient complaints, and -- so far -- no lawsuits. If I mess up, the dumpster is just a few steps away. The family room is getting a little crowded, but that is another story.

Photos © Mitzi Swenson
Sheldon with mounted pheasants.

Worlds Apart

In the last days of December 2007, Kjirsten Swenson traveled to North Africa and visited a botanical garden with palm trees in Marrakech, Morocco. In North America, Virginia McCorkell visited Luverne, Minnesota, on a frosty morning. Let's look over their shoulders and see what they saw through their lenses...

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Botanical garden with palm trees, Morocco.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Winter frost, Luverne, Minnesota.

Travelogue t

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
Minaret, left; spires from Islamic mosques were the highest structures in the cities. The loudspeaker on top broadcasts the call to prayer several times per day. Stork nest, right; a magnificent colony of storks makes its home at the ruins of the Badi palace in Marrakech.

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
I stumbled upon this group of camels in a random lot near downtown Marrakech. Their owner was amused by my excitement and humored my request to shoot a few photos. I wouldn't accuse them of being cute.

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
Marrakech store front & lovely silk weavings. I coveted them, but didn't buy.

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
With great delight, a trader from the Sahara, left, helped me try on a traditional outfit, right. He might have been the only man in Marrakech who didn't try to sell me a carpet.

To be continued ...

$  A Long Time Ago   !

In this except from his book, An Ample Life, Donald B. Johnson wrote about how his mother did the laundry in Ashby, Minnesota, circa 1920.

Wash Day
by Donald B. Johnson
Ashby, MN

Pa used to plow gardens and haul wash-ice and wood, etc. for everyone in town when I first remember. Hauling wash-ice meant going down to Pelican Lake and sawing out a load of ice chunks about two or three feet square and from one to three feet thick, according to the depth of the ice, with a saw about seven feet long, and delivering them, a team and bob-sleigh load at a time, to people's houses.

He usually dumped the ice off on the north (shady) side of houses so the sun wouldn't melt it. The housewives would chop off chunks and melt them, mostly in copper boilers, for soft wash water.

We had one of the most modern water systems in town -- a big cistern that the house roof water went into and a hand pump in the basement that Pa could pump to force cistern water into a tank in the attic. The water came back through the same pipe, which had a faucet on it where it came through the kitchen.

Ma melted ice in the winter some, too, to conserve the cistern water. She washed in the basement, using a scrub board and a wringer and two tubs, with an extra round tub for "bluing" white things. She had a wood stove and a copper boiler and fired up a couple of hours before washing to get the water up near boiling in the copper boiler.

The soap was Electric Spark bar soap and she would pare it into the boiler with a knife. The boiling water was to loosen up dirt and kill lice or germs, if there should be any. Those who didn't have soft water, like she had, put lye in the water and skimmed off the scum.

Monday morning was wash day and only peculiar people washed any other time, except for dirty diapers, which were soaked out first in a five-gallon wooden candy pail and could be washed separately on other days of the week.

Clothes were hung outside on lines the year around, except on stormy days when they were hung on wooden racks in the basement. If they didn't dry enough outside, the rack was a great place to finish them if it was set right over the furnace register.

Ma got an old washing machine somewhere; it was propelled by pushing a wooden handle back and forth, but it didn't suit her at all and she went back to the scrub board entirely.

Our neighborhood street of six houses had fairly industrious housewives and most of them got their clothes on the line early on Monday mornings. There got to be a little rivalry sometimes over who got their clothes on the line earliest and some were accused of washing the night before to get out earlier in the morning than the neighbors. (When Marj was a baby, I remember Ma washed at 4 a.m. a few times so Pa could stay in bed with the kids.)

There was also some gossip about who had the whitest wash and women all over town were more or less judged by how white their wash was.

Some people took in laundry to do for others who couldn't do their own for various reasons. Mrs. Huggett, who lived up across the street east of the schoolhouse, did this for many years. Her customers would have their kids or her kids transport the laundry back and forth on coaster wagons or sleds.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's 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)
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
February 4---Jim and Jan Smith (47 years)
February 6---Russ and Judy Miller Riesenberg (27 years)

More February Birthdays
February 1---Kathlyn Johnson Anderson

February 28---Eric Anderson

February Anniversaries
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:

Dear Miss Hetty,

Thank you for the pretty and fun birthday card! I thought it was very nice of the sun to come out today. :)

Wendy picked me up and we had lunch and cake. It was nice to be out.

I don't think I ever actually told you how much I enjoyed the horse picture story and the letter from Sandy. I did, and do, enjoy them.

Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
Anchorage, AK

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Guess who?

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

Thank you again to all The Bulletin contributors and editors for another wonderful Saturday morning reading of happenings.

I am so glad Kjirsten is on the road again to share another country and travel experience -- excellent descriptive writings and great pictures!

Fun to hear about Donna's "late" Christmas celebration and those pictures ... and happy to hear Donna Richardson is back at work!

I am even getting my husband (the guy who proclaimed to one and all "he was never going to get sucked into that computer") into reading Beaver's stories. He wonders how anyone would dare put into writing all their youthful misadventures ... but sure makes for fun stories to read!

Thank you all for taking the time for sharing!

Barb Dewey
Ashby, MN

Thank you for the note regarding "our picture." I do have custody of the print my mother had, and still enjoy seeing it on my wall. I also loved it as a kid, and remember Mom talking about how much she had loved it while growing up on the farm. I don't remember the circumstances that led up to breaking the glass, but I guess I'll take credit for it. ;0) I have a copy of the card on the back of the picture for reference that shows the original colors of the painting, but I think I really prefer its faded version, especially knowing how many family eyes have admired it throughout the years.

My dad is still my "full time job," but one I'm still thankful to have. He will be 97 in April and continues to have his sunny, positive approach to each day. The main challenge is finding things for him to do to "help out" around the house that can be done safely.

Our winter so far is bringing us much needed rain and snow. We've already had a few inches of snow at our house, which is rather unusual, but enjoyable. Hope your winter passes without making any headlines and you have a nice spring.

Sandy Knowles Schaefer
Coarsegold, CA

I always enjoy all the information in The Bulletin, but had to remark about The Horse That Came to Dinner. I have admired the picture of "One of the Family" many times at Donna and Beaver's home. Is it perhaps the copy mentioned in Jerrianne's article that Kathlyn found for her mother? Having seen the picture many times, the article immediately caught my eye, and it was exciting to read the picture's history. Thanks for the article.

Keep up the good work!

Donna Richards
Eden Prairie, MN

Photo Editor's Note: Yes, I believe that's the one Kathlyn bought for Mom. She never would tell us how much it cost her, but it must have been a pretty good price for a page off an old calendar.

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

We usually gasp as we scroll down to see what the first picture of The Bulletin might be this time. This one was quite a surprise to see the clear, close-up picture of the camels and our Kjirsten. Excellent pictures she has sent in, and even more outstanding is the description of it all in her Travelogue. It doesn't take long to read it word for word, and then we keep wishing there was more -- and I see this is to be continued, so we will try to be patient. I sincerely admire her for her wise travels in such foreign places so that she is safe and still can be adventurous.

I fully expected to see the picture of Weston's car all shined up, but it missed this week's issue. Don't forget, Weston, we are holding you to your promise.

I was really thrilled to see the Update on the Myrons. Phyllis Jacobsen grew up in Minneapolis, as we did, so we have known her since childhood. Seeing this next generation of her family was so interesting, and how fortunate that they got to visit her just before her tragic fall and death. Phyllis was a sister-in-law to our special friends Lorraine and Lloyd Jacobsen in Manhatten, Montana. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures Char included of her extended family.

Oh, no! Steve, did you have to make it sound so easy? Well, you are to be congratulated, and Marian, too, for her cooperation and encouragement. [Marian "won," too, by losing 68 pounds!] You've lost your teenage look in spite of it all, though. You need to make a trip back so we can get acquainted with you all over again and check out the gray hair. Time has a way of making changes, as we are finding out, too.

Thank you, Tom, for the Update on Lou after her surgery. It sounds like an excellent way to have that work done, and not the long, painful weeks of recuperation. Am sure there will be therapy for quite a while, but the whole process isn't to be dreaded as in the "old days."

Donna Mae, forgive me for studying the background on that family picture first of all. Then I looked to see who all was there at the table. I looked through the Archive trying to locate a picture of Kathlyn and me at that table, but didn't find it. I keep trying to recognize things in that home, but I am sure they have been redone and remodeled beyond my recognition. Lots of wonderful memories took place at the table by those windows as we listened to the spellbinding yarns of Donald B. Johnson.

I loved the story about the picture Mitzi is hanging. What a treasure to have found it again in a bright, sharp, picture compared to the faded ones that had preceded it. Fun to see a picture of Mitzi, too. I hope my friends Jeff and Evelyn Swenson are getting a copy of this Bulletin. (Jeff is Mitzi's brother-in-law.)

We are not running out of Bitzi's supply of winter pictures yet, evidently? This one was so different than the others. There is an unspoken message in the ice and snow and trees as a grim reminder that it's only January so far.

And another great story by Beaver. To admit to all that, and even describe each one's inner feelings like he does is "talent." We could just hear Twila cautioning this unpredictable son before he had the chance to get away in this '58 Chevy. I'm imagining what was going on at the Ashby farm about the time Beaver didn't show up when they expected him. I'm sure "Pa" was recalling times when he would have done the same thing, had opportunity knocked. Just a lucky thing that it ended like it did. Just unmercifully teased.

I just hope everyone clicked on the links for more of the pictures Kjirsten took in Morocco. They were just a little sample of the hundreds more she wished she could have taken, but these were enough for us to "get the picture." I was so shocked at the one with all the satellite TV dishes, and the food and utensils that were part of the whole experience, never to be forgotten.

I got so interested in the link describing the hammam. It sounded like Kjirsten had written it. Kjirsten must have a very expensive camera to have taken the pictures she posted. The copper urn and the colors of the food, and the streets so sharp. I'm glad she didn't lose it to a pickpocket.

Larry, we are so well aware of your efforts to work on the next chapter for us, but remember -- we will be glad whenever it seems to all fall into place, and if you feel pressured, it will never happen.

It doesn't take many Bulletins to not be able to recognize the newborns anymore. Like McKenna with Uncle Ben -- she must get lots of TLC to be so happy.

I really got a surprise when I turned to the CHUCKLES this time. Bitzi, you did a fantastic artistic creation with such unusual colors for YOU to use (smile) (meaning not purple or pink this time). It took me a long time to study that whole arrangement. The colors blending, and the sunglasses on the apple shape looked like Krista. Every time I look at it I see something different that I missed before, for instance the big bites out of the green apple.

Well, this Bulletin blended from the first picture to the last Quotation for the day, which makes it such easy, smooth reading. Just enough other interest to not be lopsided or cause us to lose interest as we read along, page after page. Editor, Dorothy, did you ever think your Bulletin would grow into such an a safe, long lasting publication? I do feel the Photo Editor, Jerrianne, has a lot of thanks coming for it becoming as professional looking, sounding and feeling as it does. But without the updates and stories and pictures, you would have nothing to work with. So, we are all in this together, and I think we all enjoy it to the fullest.

No Miss Hetty letters this time. We never get tired of a gossip column. Surely someone had a happening to share that didn't get sent in. Not one single cat item this time, either. We are so amazed at the variety our editors have in their store. Now the next Bulletin will have the continuation of Kjirsten, and Weston's car. I wonder what else? But, no peeking! We have to wait for another Saturday.

Betty Droel


Photo © Mitzi Swenson
What did the first pheasant say to the second pheasant?
(Send us your best answer -- we'll run them next week.)

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: Life is like a camel; you can make it do anything except back up. --Marcelene Cox

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

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.