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Sunday, April 27, 2008
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Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Mauve birthday tulips in Friday's snow.
(Scroll down to Miss Hetty's column for the story.)

Updates -

Photo © Shari Larson
Cool, misty afternoon at Pacific Ocean beach in Santa Monica.

Update -- Santa Monica
by Shari Miller Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

Kelly [Larson Seaman, Shari's daughter] and I were in Burbank, California, last week to help with some training for the company we work with. We had not had the opportunity to visit that part of California. It was spectacularly beautiful! We were lucky to finish our training classes by Thursday evening, so we decided to play hooky and do some touring on Friday.

We drove on lots of the different streets that we have heard of in Beach Boys songs: the Ventura Freeway, Santa Monica Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard, etc. The Pacific Ocean had a mist on the horizon, which almost made it feel like we had stepped into a movie.

We took a walk on the Santa Monica Pier and got to wade in the ocean. We drove by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Maybe next time we are in Burbank for training we will have time to visit the library. It was a great one day escape from "real" life.

Photos © Kelly Seaman, left, & Shari Larson, right.
Shari, left, & Kelly, right, at Santa Monica Pier.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Bitzi's mailbox gets a temporary prop.

Update -- Mailbox blues
by Ginny Dake McCorkell
Blaine, MN

At what point do we declare this an epidemic?

The very week that Weston wrote about his mailbox fiasco, our own plain little mail servant bit the dust.

Sunday morning Larry said, "It happened again!" I often am baffled as to what he might be talking about ... and this was no exception. But then he said, "Someone knocked the mailbox down. Again!"

Okay, so this isn't really news ... it has happened twice before. Never mind that those incidents took place probably 15 or 20 years ago. Surely someone is out to get the best of us ... what don't they like about our little mailbox?

The other times, it happened over the weekend and in the dead of night, as well. There seems to be a pattern of events taking place here ... certainly makes one suspicious.

Granted ... the pole was pretty rotten ... and it wouldn't take much to make it keel over ... for at least two out of the three knock downs.

Then, about 7:30, a scruffy looking van pulled into the driveway and there came a knock at the door ... by an equally scruffy looking man. In a very apologetic voice, he said, "I'm the one who killed your mailbox." We had a confession.

He went on to tell Larry that he didn't think we would have appreciated a knock on the door at 2:30 in the morning. He sure had that one right! He then pointed out that he probably did more damage to his van than he had to the mailbox, but he was there to see what he could do to compensate for the damage done. Larry assured him that wouldn't be necessary ... we just appreciated knowing what had happened ... so what did happen?

Mr. Scruffy was delivering the Sunday paper and it seems that, as he backed out of our driveway, he turned too soon and plowed into the mailbox rather than swinging out into the street. That said, he explained that he was really worried about telling us because he had run into other customers who hollered at him for being such a lousy driver. Larry reassured him that we would take care of it and not to worry about it.

So our humble box humbly stands waiting for the daily mail with the aid of a prop and stake ... until the ground thaws enough to replace it ... or until Larry gets around to it.

Come to think of it ... I wonder how many mailboxes this guy has killed!

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Sourdough whole wheat no-knead bread, baked in a Dutch oven.

Update -- shaggy dough story
by Jerrianne Lowther
Anchorage, AK

I love to bake homemade bread ... though recipes for "rustic" or "artisan" breads haven't really been my style. Then, our local newspaper ran a story last week on two recipes for "no-knead" bread that appeared in late 2006 in Mark Bittman's column in The New York Times. The method took the blogosphere on the Internet by storm ... and it finally made its way here. I bit.

The original method comes from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery in Boston. It's pretty simple, though simple things don't usually stay that way when they become popular. Here's a recap in The Wednesday Chef blog with links to pictures of what the dough should look like at various stages. And here's a step-by-step in pictures account. Mark Bittman also did a follow up on fine tuning the recipe and some interesting add-ins.

A second method, by Jeff Hertzberg, also appeared in Mark Bittman's column and was reviewed by The Wednesday Chef. It's faster and has many fans but didn't get quite the rave reviews here.

I tried the original recipe this week and loved it ... even though I had to adjust the amount of water to suit my flour ... that's why I recommend looking at the pictures and going by them. Kathlyn liked it and made some, too. The second time around, I substituted a cup of whole wheat flour for white flour and added some sourdough starter from the pot in my refrigerator. I bought a wedge of brie at the store and I tried it with honey and with apricot jam. It makes great toast.

We've had close to two feet of snow here in the last day or so ... spring has been delayed and we're back to baking bread and making soup. Dorothy tells me they are having a snowstorm, too. Why not bake some bread? Or Google no knead bread and read the blogs and look at the pretty pictures. Spring is coming, but in the meantime, it will give you something fun to do!

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Crusty, chewy, homemade bread ... very tasty and easy to make.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Jumper Fun House, at left, & fire safety Smoke House.

Saturday FUN Festival & Expo

Jayce has been looking forward to "The Traveling FUN Festival & Expo," all this week! This morning, Christine Shores, along with her three children, Darren (in Jayce's class), Alena and Evan, came and picked him up for the morning of fun.

The show was located in the Ashby school's side parking lot and in the school. They had the Jumper Fun House, the fire safety "Smoke House," games, prizes, booths, free muffins or granola bars, and other activities. Jayce won a $25 certificate to a grocery store in Elbow Lake.

Caity and I went in later on, to get a few pictures and check it out for ourselves. Everyone seemed to be having a fabulous time.

Photos © Donna Johnson
We got to meet Marshall Dewey, shown here with his parents & brother: Mark, Chelle & Mitch, left photo; Jayce Chap & Alena Shores watching her brother, Darren Shores, climb down the ladder of the Smoke House, teaching children what to do in case of a home fire, right.

Photos © Donna Johnson
Baby chicks, left; Jayce & Katie get free bicycle helmets, right.
(Mike Heikes is a five time, cross-country bicyclist, living with the effects of a brain injury. He hands out helmets in hopes of preventing others having to go through what he has endured.)

Amazing Video

This is an amazing video of one of the homeless in Santa Barbara and his pets. They work State Street every week for donations. The animals are pretty well fed and are mellow. They are a family. The man who owns them rigged a harness up for his cat so she wouldn't have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along, and so no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and often, on the cat. The dog will stand all day and let you talk to him and admire him for a few chin scratches. The mayor of Santa Barbara filmed this clip and sent it out as a Christmas card.

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. LeRoy Dake supplied last week's mystery pictures.

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 ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.

The gentleman on the left is Anty's son, Gilbert McCalla. The two on the right are father and son, Duane and Jay Miller.

Melanie Lehtola
Howard Lake, MN

What fun Guess pictures! My guesses are that would be a very handsome, young, Gilbert McCalla and the next picture would be my cute cousin Duane Miller and his even cuter son, Jay Miller.

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Editor's comment: Nice answers -- Melanie beat you this time! (Another relationship you haven't perhaps noted. Because Duane is Blanche Dake Miller's son and Gilbert is her first cousin, that makes Duane and Gilbert first cousins, once removed ... and Jay is Gilbert's first cousin, twice removed!) I ask you, when you compare, can't you see some likeness between Gilbert and Duane?

Is the black and white photo my dad, Gilbert McCalla? If not, it certainly looks like him: same eyes and ears. By the way, I inherited my dad's ears. It is one of the few features of his that I would just a soon have passed on!

Judy McCalla
Salt Spring Island off British Columbia, Canada

Good pictures! Gib McCalla on the left and Duane Miller with his son on the right.

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

Wow! Three handsome men in the mystery pictures! Mom's cousin Gilbert, my brother Duane and nephew Jay.

Shari Miller Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

The first Mystery/Guess picture stumps me, but the next one is Duane Miller.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo Editor's Note: I almost asked Richard if he had any billy goat pictures that I could use to illustrate Beaver's Goat Story last week. It turned out that he did...

Photos © Richard Johnson
Leonard & Spock.

Billy Goats Gruff
by Richard Johnson
Lowell, OR

Here are some pictures of Leonard and Spock. They had eyebrows like Leonard Nemoy in Star Trek when they were kids. We bottle fed these two sometimes, so they would bond with us, as well as the other goats, and trained them to carry packs -- as in Goatpacking. They are well over 300 pounds each and very affectionate. They always make a point of sharing their special cologne with anyone who visits them. We call them bucks now, not billies. Snobbishness I guess.

Sorry about the quality of the riding picture. It was taken about last year with a cell phone. That's Arbor and Mia jousting on the bucks. We don't do it much anymore because their own weight is pretty heavy for goat legs and feet. They don't fit in our chute scale so we don't weigh them very often. Last time we balanced them on a platform scale, Spock was 317 lbs. and Leonard about 300 lbs. They've grown since then.

Photo © Richard Johnson
Arbor & Mia, jousting on Spock & Leonard.

LTD Storybrooke

Photo © Larry T. Dake
Ewes & lambs paired up, getting down to the serious business of grazing.

... and Error
by Larry Dake

As we neared the leading edge of the racing flock, it was our good fortune that the sheep came up against a five-strand, barbed-wire fence. They turned to the right and we were able to outpace them by cutting across the field to meet them along the fence line. This effectively stymied the frontrunners long enough for Checker and me to get them turned around and headed back to where we could pick up the other groups.

The only problem was, one of the ewes had already slipped through the fence and now she couldn't find her way back. She grew increasingly anxious as her flock mates retreated.

This was exactly the scenario our sheep farming neighbor, back in Clatskanie, had described to me in answer to my question about herding sheep with a "bad back."

"A sheep across the fence, far from a gate, would need to be lifted back over the fence," he had said. And here she was -- not two hours into my first sheepherding adventure.

I lifted Checker over, and climbed the fence. We chased the ewe back and forth along the fence line, thinking she would find her way back through the same way she had come, but, with head up, in a defensive posture, she was blind to any such opportunity.

With Checker's help, I caught her. Lifting her wasn't an option; she was heavy! Pulling up the bottom wire, I got her head underneath. Even with a lot of pushing, and a few nips from Checker, she didn't get the idea. I slipped between the wires while holding her down; grabbing her legs, I dragged her under. Scratched and disgruntled, she hopped away, then trotted back to the flock.

By now, the frontrunners, having had their edge taken off, settled into more disciplined grazing. We reunited the fragmented flock by circling around in tighter and tighter circles. They eventually all paired up with their lambs and got down to the serious business of filling their bellies.

We grazed them to the east along the fence line until we found a gate. I opened the gate and moved them through. It was the last standing fence we would see for the weeks to come. For our intents and purposes, we were now on open range (a 30,000-acre pasture).

Travelogue t

Photos © Weston Johnson
Blossoming trees, left; reflecting pool, right, at the Memorial.

Where In The World Is Weston? S

Oklahoma City Memorial Revisited
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

My job recently took me to Oklahoma City for three days. Most of my time there consisted of attending meetings or working in my hotel room, but I did have part of an afternoon free, allowing me to visit the memorial at the site of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. I noticed that the locals refer to it simply as "the Memorial." I suppose it really doesn't require any additional elaboration.

I had visited the Memorial once before, during my return trip from Phoenix on a cold night in October 2006. The nighttime visit was a unique, moving experience, as I had the place almost to myself, with the wind and darkness creating an eerie atmosphere. This visit would allow me to experience the Memorial in a very different light on a warm, sunny spring afternoon. I would also be able to visit the museum, which had been closed at the late hour of my previous visit.

When I arrived at the Memorial, it was laid out as I remembered it. However, the peacefulness of the park was disturbed by a crew working with a small jackhammer to replace one of the walkways alongside the reflecting pool. Another employee, wearing knee-high rubber boots, was walking on the black granite base of the pool, removing leaves and debris from the water. While I suppose the job needed to be done, his presence destroyed the pool's illusion of depth and sent ripples across its otherwise serene surface. Fortunately, they quickly finished their duties, returning the area to serenity.

I spent some time walking around the Memorial, comparing the sights to the nighttime scenes in my memory. The Survivor Tree that had looked so dramatic with its bare branches blowing in the breeze, their tips disappearing into the darkness, now looked peaceful with its newly budding leaves on this calm afternoon.

Photos © Weston Johnson
Survivor tree at night, left; Survivor tree in springtime bud, right.

The rows of lighted chairs, one for each victim of the bombing, had been surrounded by blackness. Now, in the light of day, they were arranged on a field of green grass. The flags that had whipped in the October wind now fluttered lazily in the spring breeze. The dramatic starkness of the nighttime scene was replaced by a beautiful spring landscape, but was no less poignant, as it still brought to mind the chaos and tragedy that occurred on that site.

Photos © Weston Johnson
Lighted chairs at night, left; the chairs in daylight, right.

Eventually, I made my way to the museum located adjacent to the Memorial. The first room set the scene for the bombing, explaining how the day started like any other for the people of Oklahoma City. A framed copy of The Oklahoman, the local daily newspaper, from April 19, 1995, included headlines summarizing the events of the previous day, none of which would seem terribly newsworthy by morning's end.

The next portion of the museum invited visitors to sit in a re-creation of a meeting room that had been located in a building across the street from the Murrah building. A government hearing had begun at 9 o'clock on the morning of the bombing. An audio recording was taken during the hearing, following standard practice. Once my fellow visitors and I had taken our seats, that recording began to play. The first couple of minutes consisted of a fairly rote hearing related to a ground water permit. Then, suddenly the explosion could be heard, followed by screaming and chaos. The recording provided an amazing firsthand account of history, and allowed one to imagine the terror that must have occurred throughout the area when the bomb detonated.

The remainder of the museum included displays about the initial emergency response, the search and rescue operations that continued for the next few days, the outpouring of support that had come from throughout the country and the world, and the forensic research that led to the case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

One room simply had piles of personal articles recovered from the rubble. Several sets of eyeglasses in one case. A pile of shoes in another, including a tiny pink shoe that had been worn by a victim in the building's daycare. The displays reminded me of the room in the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, that held a large collection of shoes of Holocaust victims. Both displays help put a personal touch on events that are sometimes remembered more for their magnitude than for the individual lives that were impacted.

Another very moving area was a room lined with small portraits of each victim of the bombing. Under each picture was a small shelf holding a personal item that had been owned by the individual. An Oklahoma Sooners baseball cap. A set of rosary beads. A "World's Greatest Grandpa" coffee mug. I looked at every picture and each accompanying artifact, and thought about the many lives that had been taken that day, and the scores of additional lives that had been impacted by their loss.

The most touching part was the pictures of the small children who had died in the daycare. Many of them were the same ages as my little nieces. Below one picture was a set of small action figure toys. Below another was simply a pacifier. A lump formed in my throat as I thought of those poor little kids, and it made me wonder if the people behind this attack ever stopped to think about who they would actually be hurting in their effort to make a statement to the government, or whatever they thought they were going to accomplish.

Photos © Weston Johnson
Jesus Wept statue, night, left; the statue during the day, right.

Eventually, I left the museum and walked several blocks through downtown to my hotel. Oklahoma City is in the midst of a renaissance. Over the past few years, the city has opened a new minor league ballpark and a new, state-of-the art, sports arena. Several historic hotels and office buildings have been renovated in the downtown area. A major redevelopment of the city's riverfront is planned in the coming years.

As I left the site of the Memorial and walked through the beautiful downtown area, I reflected on the resilience of the city; how its people went through such tragedy, but they still move forward, while never forgetting the past.

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Kyra hiking in rain & fog, left; trout lilies bloom in a valley below, right.

Appalachian Trail Trek: Week Five, April 1973
by Jerrianne Lowther
Anchorage, AK

When it wasn't snowing, it rained ... and rained ... and rained. There were wildflowers down in the valleys but we couldn't linger. Then I caught a cold. I hoped we'd find a warm place indoors for our next re-supply stop in Hot Springs, North Carolina. We'd need to get our mail and pack up food for the next section of trail. And Easter was coming soon, so we'd get materials for an Easter egg hunt for 10-year-old Kyra ... jelly beans and candy eggs and a chocolate bunny. Not only did we find a warm place with indoor plumbing, but we shared a spacious cabin with half a dozen fellow through-hikers we had previously met and befriended along the trail. It was grand!

While we were doing laundry and shopping for groceries, I noticed a cute pair of summer sandals in a shoe store window. I should buy them, I thought, I could mail them home for later. And then it dawned on me that we'd be hiking all spring and summer and fall and I'd have no use for "girl shoes" that year, at all. I'd be wearing clumpy hiking boots right through until winter came again.

"Jerri stopped us briefly for birdfoot violets sprinkled with raindrops, and a newcomer she knew at once as fringed polygala, but her heart wasn't in it somehow. Her thoughts lay in town where she could rest her pounding head. We'd walked nine miles by the time the rain ended at noon. The final four went easily. We emerged from the woods at the edge of town in early afternoon. We'd walked 29 days and 262 miles, to Hot Springs, North Carolina.

"I saw a man clearing brush nearby so stopped to ask about facilities in town. He mentioned stores, restaurants, motels, but no tourist cabins with kitchens. Disappointed, I turned to go.

"'Wait,' he said, 'I think I have just the thing for you.' He led us to a two-story cabin just off the trail.

"He opened the front door and we entered a large, dusty room with fireplace and upstairs loft. Faded couches and chairs sat randomly about and a worn, ornate rug covered all but the perimeter of the wooden floor. A lamp with a yellowed shade stood on a table against one wall. Wooden chairs, tables, and mattresses furnished adjoining rooms. Bare lightbulbs hung on cords from the ceilings. The kitchen offered stove, refrigerator, and a cupboard full of dishes.

"'I'm Father Carmody,' our host informed us, 'from the Catholic Chapel of the Redeemer across the way. We open this cabin to hikers on occasion. Do you think it will meet your needs?'

"The offer would have answered any hiker's prayers. We said a grateful yes and moved in.

"I wrote a note describing our good fortune and thumb-tacked it to the trail signboard outside. Hikers always read signs and we'd been expecting [Al Sax and Al Kesselheim] for days since their detour to Gatlinburg. If they passed by before we moved on, this 'trail mail' would flag them down." --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.

By Don Anderson
Alexandria, MN


I think I know what your shoulder problem is. You say it began in January. Right? Hmmm ... I believe you have what is commonly known as shuffleboardanitis. This is typical of older people who are trying to regain their youth.

There is no medical remedy for this. Maybe common sense would be a better approach to this particular problem.


Dr. Smock, M.D.

Thank you so much for the information, DR. DON. I knew when you were in the second grade the second time that you would someday be a wise DR. Now we have proof.

In appreciation, from your first patient.

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hope, ND

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
May 1---May Day (hanging May baskets day)

This Week's Birthdays
April 27---Steve Rodriguez
April 27---Peggy McNeill
April 28---Justin Blackstone
April 29---Kelly Kay Larson Seaman
April 30---Kurtis James Larson
May 1---Frans de Been
Happy Birthday!

More May Birthdays
May 4---Beau Birkholz
May 7---Ben Johnson
May 7---Kim Mellon (Tim's wife)
May 8---Kira Lynn Steinhauer (1 year old)
May 10---Curt Henderson
May 12--James Dake
May 14---Ernie Dake
May 14---Bridget Larson
May 14---Tyler James Indermark (3 years old)
May 16---Angelique Freesemann (9 years old)
May 17---Dwight Anderson
May 19---Ryan Hellevang
May 22---Dan Henderson
May 23---Don Pettit
May 25---Amy Ellen Dake Harrison
May 26---Rick Anderson
May 27---Tracer Scott Roberson (10 years old)
May 28---Jazmine Jane Hill (5 years old)
May 28---Jason Hunt
May 29---Kristi Kay Larson Indermark
May 30---Mckenna Blanche Miller (4 years old)
May 31---Mavis Anderson Morgan

May Anniversaries
May 12---Chris and Jessy Chap (1 year)
May 14---Roddy and Alisha McNeill (3 years)
May16---Nathan and Brenda Anderson Hill (12 years)
May 27---Dwight and Janie Anderson (37 years)
May 31---Tom and Mavis Anderson Morgan (51 years)

May Special Days
May 1---May Day (hanging May baskets day)
May 8---VE Day (Victory in Europe, World War II)
May 11---Mothers Day
May 17---Armed Forces Day
May 26---Memorial Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

Mai Tai and I had a swell birthday party on Wednesday. Miss Kathlyn (our foster mom) came to tea. We served gingerbread with lemon curd and lots of whipped cream. We really like whipped cream, but we let the ladies eat the gingerbread. We let them have the honor of blowing out the candles, too. Nobody got their whiskers singed this year.

We got lots of presents and a beautiful bouquet of mauve tulips (my favorite). We got cards and e-cards and kitty treats and toys. We now have our own Mr. Squid, just like the grandkitties do. And Mai Tai got a fluffy mouse he carries around with him everywhere.

On Friday, it snowed and snowed and snowed -- more than a foot, maybe two -- and Miss Jerrianne took our tulip bouquet outdoors and set it on the porch railing and took its picture in the snow so we could share it with you. We hope you like it, too.

We just want to say THANK YOU to all those who made our birthday so special!

Miss Kitty >^..^< & Mai Tai
Anchorage, AK

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Our birthday tea party: Mai Tai is 1 year old & Miss Kitty is 5 years old.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Miss Kathlyn was our special guest. We got lots of presents, too.

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

Where to start? There is so much in every Bulletin ... but weren't the introductions to the Printz family just plain delightful? I hope that Melody will find time again to share more of their family antics with us.

I wouldn't have anybody thinking I have favorites ... but isn't it grand to have LTD back in business? I wish the writing process wasn't so time consuming ... there is so much wait between the tasty morsels that make their way into The Bulletin. Hmmm ... one might question the terminology there ... tasty morsels? Just plain good reading, if that suits you better!

I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine traveling to Morocco or hiking the Appalachian trail ... but isn't it great to read about it? I sure am glad that there are people who do these things and then share their adventures with the "less than adventurous" souls in the world.

Don't you just have to love those cats ... even if you don't love cats? They are so photogenic ... and it seems there is a mighty good photographer behind that camera...

Sure is great to have Beaver slapping out stories. too ... "A Hitch in Time" reminds me of my dad and his ability to solve seemingly unsolvable problems.

Is it my imagination, or did anybody else notice a strong family likeness between Duane and Gilbert? Took me by surprise ... Oh, by the way, should I make a guess on the guess photos? ... Nah. I guess I won't. :]

And what is it about Weston? I have absolutely zero interest in sports ... but I read every word of Weston's reports ... and find them very interesting reading!

Spam? Capt. Jack likes Spam ... hmmm ... interesting. So do I ... fried crisp.

I also like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Every time we go to Old Country Buffet with Capt. Jack and Ditto there is a race to see who will get the corner pieces ... which have more frosting. Last time we went, I got to the cake first and when I came back with three of the corners you should have seen Capt. Jack's eyes pop. He even went so far as to accuse me of eating the fourth corner while I stood up there at the counter. I didn't hold it against him, though ... I gave him two of the corner pieces. And NO ... I did not eat the fourth corner.

Ah yes, I could go on, but I will leave it at this... Thanks to ALL who contribute to The Bulletin!

Ginny Dake McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Frans, yes, I really enjoyed reading about your 30th anniversary trip and checking out all the wonderful pictures! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

I also want to extend my thanks to the others who share their travels, places and things I will never do. It is great to be able to do the armchair travel, as Betty calls it. Fits into my budget, too!

It's been fun having Larry and Weston contributing again; I enjoy their writing SO much! Good job, guys.

And, meeting Miss Amy Printz, I should have mentioned before what a kick I got out of the stories about her; I'm looking forward to more. Plus, I enjoyed the picture of their whole family and the update. Thanks!

Last, but not least, enjoying Jerrianne's travels, old and newer.

As I looked at Gilbert's picture in the Guess section, it made me think of Judy's recent letter. I'd like to tell her of the fond memories of my many visits to her Grandma's place.

I went, close to once a week, to her little home in Dassel. As I'd head up the sidewalk, I could hear her TV blaring; she had to have it so very loud to hear it. Once she became aware I was there, she'd turn it off and we would spend time together.

She shared many memories with me, including giving me an old, broken china doll that had been my Grandpa Dake's -- and she pointed out to me the "diaper" that had been pinned on it by my own mother, Dorothy. (It was one of the few dolls my mom ever had to play with, as a child!)

I have the doll, still diapered; now it reminds me of my Aunty McCalla, my Grandpa Dake and my mother, so it's a very appreciated, beat-up old doll. (The dress it had on looked almost black; when I washed it, it turned out to be a shade of red!)

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

To Don,

Welcome into the world of Digital Photography. I note you are using an excellent camera -- Kodak DX4530 Zoom Digital.

The photos you sent, when opened in e-mail, were too large for the page. However, they opened properly when I used "Windows Live Photo Gallery." Assume most photo programs will open OK.

I also noted they have started using your photos in The Bulletin. Keep sending photos. I will look for them in The Bulletin.

Wally Slotten
Plattsville, WI

I am attaching photos of my two kitties, Lily and Hastings. I wonder if you would forward it on to Jerrianne so she can show Miss Kitty and the grand kittens what their Minnesota cousins look like.

The two kitties are Lily and Hastings. They are silver shaded Persians from the same litter and will be nine years old in June. Lily is tiny, just over five pounds and Hastings (we call him Beanie) is about eight pounds. They look larger because of all the fur.

We got two kittens from the same litter thinking they would be companions, but it turned out that once they reached adulthood, Hastings started picking on his sister. He is a lovable, cuddly cat but something of a bully. Lily is more athletic and usually spends her time perched on high pieces of furniture that he can't reach.

Every year we drive back and forth between Salt Spring Island, BC, and Minnesota, and the cats travel with us. They are good little travelers and now have about 10,000 miles racked up.

Lily and Hastings send greetings to their Alaska cousins!

Judy McCalla
Salt Spring Island off British Columbia, Canada

Photo © Judy McCalla
Hastings ("Beanie") & Lily, beautiful silver-shaded Persian siblings.

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

Seems like we just had Bulletin #300, and here is the #305 already. You'd think we would be dizzy with the days and weeks flying so fast. Once again, I could hardly wait for Saturday morning and the new Bulletin. Then to cautiously peek at what that first picture was.

This time it was Cheerio. The expression on his face shows some sort of fear, like maybe there is a tub of bath water too close. We do like to see updates on these three cats, Kyra and Ken, so just keep on clicking that camera.

Well, I for one, was pretty excited to finally see the very first picture of Jerrianne herself that I remember in The Bulletin, except for her introduction story with the camera and Miss Kitty long, long ago. So, being it was so impossible to see the person very clearly, we have to believe the caption that it was Jerrianne. Seeing her in the mass of wildflowers was typical of what she would dearly love. I have been reading Walking North, and it's telling about every flower seen on the trail being recognized and named and photographed by this same lady. I hadn't realized what a flower and bird person that our Photo Editor was, but I'm learning.

It took quite some time clicking on all the links in that Update. But in doing so, we learned a lot that we would never know otherwise. Thanks for all you took time to share of your trip with Sharon, and your expertise on flowers and birds. That burrowing owl picture is likely one very rare sighting with all the little details having been captured by the camera. The Bulletin is a "rich" collection.

We met Wade, Callie and Amy, and now the rest of the family of Printzes. Sounds like a varied and exhausting daily life on the cattle ranch there in South Dakota. A good place to raise children, being they learn what life is all about first hand.

McKenna's featured picture with green and the black trim really caught our eye. I see we have Kimberly Johnson to thank for that artistic work this time. As fast as time goes, we will soon have McKenna's first birthday story.

What a "real grandpa" Beaver is! To take a walk with Jayce when he was probably already tired out from chores in the cold. Sounds like it became a family affair, and you likely all wished you had a scooter, too.

I can't tell you how excited and interested I was in the photos of Don and Patty and Hanna AND the new hybrid car. I have been so curious as to how those two top winners have managed to keep that slim and trim. I see they are doing much better than I had even dared hope. Keeping off the 100 plus pounds would be a constant struggle and battle. But, maybe their renewed life has been the incentive it has taken to keep trim. Hanna looks like such a calm dog. That was a fortunate find for them, that Hanna was available.

What a great goat story, Beaver! Did you actually remember those details so vividly? Or did you ad lib a bit? Well, I am sure you wouldn't forget one single thing of an experience like that with the goats. Didn't seem like Donald B. Johnson ever held any thoughts to himself, so it is hard to imagine he suffered from ulcers.

Thanks, Larry, for another chapter, "By Trial..." Again, I didn't want to skip even one line of your story; it was all so interesting and graphic. Larry always knows just when to stop his story -- right when you hold your breath for the next thing that will happen. So waiting a week for the next chapter is not easy.

Travelogue is one of the most interesting "departments" of The Bulletin. It is always so different, and this time we are finding out where in the world Weston is. A game, of course. By the picture, he isn't the only one at that game. A mass of heads as far as you can see at Hammond Stadium.

Roy's son Rodger had a home on Captiva and we got to enjoy it for a few days, too. So, it was easy to picture Weston with his kayak there. Yes, we had cold and snow while you played in the sun, Weston, but Minnesota is H-O-M-E and there is no place like home. Back to the cubicles.

I relished the picture of Kyra and Mic on the Appalachian Trail Trek, as I had been reading Walking North, which has no pictures. The shock most hikers that they met or passed had when they saw that 10-year-old Kyra keeping right up with mom and dad.

Can anyone imagine hiking in snow that deep and then pitching a tent and sleeping on the snow? This went on for miles and days. It hardly seems possible, really. I am -- not so gently -- hinting to our Photo Editor, Jerrianne, that she share pictures from that unbelievable AT trek. I found it hard to lay the book down long enough to write this letter to the editors.

Photo Editor's Note: We were fortunate to find three-sided Appalachian Trail shelters every night when there was already snow on the ground. They were plenty cold, even colder than our tent -- cold enough to freeze our hiking boots, and any water in our canteens, to solid ice overnight -- but we never had to pitch our tent on top of the snow. Just lucky, I guess. --Jerrianne)

Well, this week has finally arrived when we can expect the birthday celebration for Miss Kitty, 5, and Mai Tai, who will be 1. I hope for pictures and details of the whipped cream sundaes next Saturday -- that is, if Miss Jerrianne gets time to write about it by then.

Wouldn't that be quite an experience for Frans de Been to be reading about their family in this American Bulletin? The Paris story and pictures you shared were appreciated, Frans.

Our son Rodger and his wife, Claudia, are in Paris again right now on some days off. I asked Rodger what the Eiffel Tower really looked like at night. He said there were blinking lights near the top at certain times that made it look so awesome against the night sky. He was going to take pictures of it for us of the lights.

I thought the Chuckles was the cutest yet of little Hunter, with his best friend. The expressions and captions were just perfect, I thought.

Last but not least, the Quotation for the day being about human nature. Thinking wisely and acting opposite. I guess we can definitely identify with that one.

Well, you certainly deserve our thanks again for what it took to produce this Bulletin #305. I heard through the grapevine that the photo editor was up all night working to meet the deadline. And, that was not a first time thing, either. So, please know we appreciate all the work in the background for our total enjoyment when it finally flashes onto our screen -- a flawless production.

Betty Droel and Roy, too.


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Jennie Horne
Carrie Horne sails away on a big adventure.

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