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Sunday, February 1, 2009
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Photo © Mitzi Swenson
African beach at sunset, Stone Town, Zanzibar.
(Scroll down to the Travelogue for the story.)

Updates -

Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Leaf platter
(Scroll down to "Java Cream Drops" recipe to see platter in use.)

UPDATE -- pottery class
by Sarah Dake Steinhauer
Wannaska, MN

This winter I took a pottery class offered by a local potter in her home studio. There were four students. We had two days of making stuff (I stayed for six hours each day!) and two days of preparing and glazing our pieces. I ended up with about 20 pieces. Not all of them turned out, but I wasn't expecting that! A few of the pieces I made are pictured here. I made these four pieces by shaping slabs of clay.

Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Lacy plate

Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Fern platter

Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Dragonfly wall plaques
(I am planning to add beaded wire to these.)

Photo © Kristi Indermark
Kristi, Jim, Jordan & Tyler with Mickey & Minnie Mouse.

UPDATE -- Indermarks visit Disney World
by Kristi Larson Indermark
Litchfield Park, AZ

Our family has been on the go for the last several months, so here is a quick recap.

Jim and I are still working for the same company. It is keeping both of us extremely busy. We are so thankful to have a wonderful nanny who helps with the kids during the day. Jordan is in kindergarten, Tyler and Alex stay at home with Jagoda during the day.

We took a vacation this month and took the two older kids to Orlando, Florida, to spend a week at Disney World. The time went by so fast it seemed like we were only there for a minute. Grandma Shari took care of Alex for us while we were gone.

Jordan and Tyler got to meet their favorite Disney characters. Tyler's favorite is Buzz Lightyear so he was thrilled when, after we went on the Buzz Lightyear ride, Buzz was outside with only a small line.

Jordan had a very special princess experience. She got to eat dinner with Cinderella in Cinderella's castle. Jordan was able to meet all the princesses except Snow White. We were there during off season so lines were not long at all. However, it was FREEZING! We had to make a stop at Wal-Mart and pick up some much needed long pants.

As we pulled into the parking lot, Jordan said, "Mommy, they have a Wal-Mart in Florida?" Too funny! All in all, it was a excellent vacation.

Now we are getting ready for Alex's first birthday party, in two weeks.

Jim & Kristi

Photos © Kristi Indermark
Jordan talking with Cinderella, left; Tyler & Jordan with Buzz Lightyear, right.

Photos © Weston Johnson
Upstairs before, left; hidden water damage revealed, right.

UPDATE -- bathroom renovation adventure ends well
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

With Phase I of the bathroom renovation project completed (see last week's Bulletin), I went to work on the demolition of the upstairs bathroom. I rented a large dumpster, which I proceeded to fill with the debris from the basement demolition (which I had temporary stored in boxes and an old plastic trash can) and the ongoing work upstairs. As with the basement bathroom, I encountered rotten sheetrock, rusted nails and moldy insulation as I tore out the walls surrounding the tub. After seeing the effects the water was having inside the wall, I was glad I had decided to tackle this project now, before things got even worse!

Demolition was all fun and games until it came time to tear up the floor, which was composed of 12-inch linoleum squares, glued to the floor with an industrial strength adhesive. I went to work one evening after work, trying out various tools to try to discover the best method of prying up the tiles. I figured I should be able to knock off this job in an hour or so. However, after almost 30 years, those tiles did not appreciate my attempts to separate them from the particle board below.

As the evening wore on, the process became more and more frustrating. It would have been too easy for each square to pop up all at once. Instead, each one broke into small pieces as I tried to pry it up, requiring me to remove it a couple of square inches at a time. I must have spent a good three hours on my hands and knees, tearing up the tile, little by little. By the end of the night, my knees were sore from kneeling, but I was done tearing up the floor. Or so I thought.

The next day, I got a phone call at work from John. It seemed that the particle board to which the linoleum had been glued was rotting in some areas. Furthermore, he realized that because the new stone tiles were much thicker than the old linoleum flooring, the doors would likely scrape on the floor if the new tiles were installed on top of the particle board. Long story short, I would have to tear up another layer of the floor.

After returning from the office that night, I went back to work. I didn't have a crowbar or any other tool that would be ideal for this work, but I figured I would make do with a hammer and whatever other tools I could round up. Unfortunately, for the second straight night, I underestimated the task at hand.

The particle board was attached to the wood below by nails. A lot of nails. It was tough to get the claw of a hammer or any long narrow tool underneath the particle board. It was even tougher to muster enough leverage to take up a whole sheet of particle board at a time. So I spent the night prying, pounding the floor to break it into pieces and straining to pull the floor up, piece by piece.

By the end of this night, my knees were even more sore than they had been the night before, my back was stiff and my knuckles were bleeding. But this time, I really was finished tearing up the floor.

Fortunately, those nights on the bathroom floor were the low point. From then on, John went to work rebuilding the bathroom. As was the case downstairs, I was surprised at how quickly he worked. Every evening when I came home from work, I could see major progress.

John finished his work in May, completing the tiling on the floor and tub stall, and installing the new vanity, sinks, faucets and toilet. However, there was still work to be done before the room would be fully usable. A paint job, light fixtures, mirrors, towel bars and a shower curtain were among the items on my remaining punch list.

Photos © Weston Johnson
Getting close, but still not done...

A busy summer at work meant a lot of travel and some late nights at the office, causing the finishing touches to be delayed. It was frustrating to still be stuck using the basement bathroom when the main facility was so close to finished, but I just couldn't devote the time and energy to bring the project to completion. Until, that is, I created a self-enforced deadline. My 30th birthday was coming up in early August and I planned to have several friends over to help me celebrate. I resolved that I would finish the job before the party.

As it turned out, this resulted in a whirlwind week before the Saturday on which the party was scheduled. Between finishing the bathroom project and keeping up with the general housecleaning and other tasks that needed to get done in advance of the party, I would have to use my time wisely.

On the Monday evening before the party, I would slap on the first coat of paint. I didn't get started until well into the evening, but the Twins game on the radio provided a welcome distraction. The Twins were in Seattle, so the game didn't start until 9 o'clock, Minnesota time. This meant I would have entertainment late into the night. As the Twins built a 6-0 lead over the Mariners, I began to think this painting gig would be a piece of cake.

As the night dragged on, I quickly lost my zeal for the job. The room is relatively small, but painting the edges around the door frames and vanity, and along the floor and ceiling, made for slow progress. To make matters worse, I had to listen to the play-by-play as the Mariners scored 10 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. I finally finished around the time the Mariners finished off an 11-6 win. And the worst part was, I still had another coat to apply the next day!

On Tuesday night, I was in no mood to paint again, but I had no choice if I was going to keep to my schedule for the week. The Twins were no help, as they quickly fell behind the Mariners 6-3. I continued to inch along, painting the same walls I had already covered the night before. After I had passed the halfway point, the Twins rallied, scoring four runs in the top of the eighth to take the lead. I felt a second wind as I listened to the Twins put themselves on the brink of salvaging the series.

Unfortunately, the reprieve was short lived for the Twins and for me. Two Mariners runs in the bottom of the eighth put them back in the lead for good. And I STILL wasn't done painting. By the end of the night, I hoped I would never see another paint brush again. I was ready to give up home improvement (and Twins baseball) for good.

With the end now in sight, I spent parts of the next two evenings putting on the finishing touches. After Wednesday night's volleyball game, I installed towel racks and put up the new shower curtain. On Thursday evening, my friend Wesley installed the new lighting fixture, another task I was not about to attempt myself! Wesley also helped me hang the mirrors, which did not take any electrical expertise but went a lot easier with two people than it would have with one.

Finally the project was done. And with guests due to begin arriving the following evening, the end did not come a moment too soon. It was great to have a brand new room to replace the old version that had been so outdated. I even received some compliments from my guests that weekend, which made me feel that the effort had been worthwhile.

With that said, when I think back on the long nights of labor, the endless trips to home improvement stores, the mad dash to the finish line, and the millions of little decisions on everything from floor tiles to towels, I think it will be awhile before I attempt another major home improvement project. With luck, by then I'll have a wife to make those millions of decisions, not to mention the money to pay someone else to do all of the dirty work!

Photos © Weston Johnson
Done, at last ... though these photos can only hint at the actual colors.

UPDATE -- Alaska winter gets a re-start
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

You've probably heard that joke about four seasons in California: fire, flood, earthquake, drought ... but they've got nothing on us. We had the big snow, the deep freeze, the big wind (and thaw and rain and flood and re-freeze) and last week's earthquake... Fortunately, the earthquake wasn't quite big enough to cause problems, though it was close. Now we have one of our backyard volcanoes breathing down our necks and threatening to blow ash all over us ... and we're getting another big snow.

But that's Alaska ... you really can't expect it to be any other way up here and we've been pretty lucky compared to a lot of places down south that were less well prepared for this winter's big storms. Now the sun is climbing a little higher in the sky every day and sticking around a little longer and adding a bit more warmth. If we just be patient, one of these days it will be spring.

In the meantime, we can't complain. Mai Tai and I are getting regular meals, have soft, cozy beds and we know where to find a warm lap to nap in when The Bulletin is being worked on. And while Miss Jerrianne was checking to make sure she recalled the Quotation of the day correctly, she came upon an article online about 10 winter ideas to enhance your creativity. She suggested I put a link in my Update, so click here if you'd like to read Winter: A Time To Bloom Indoors.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Caity Chap, right, with High Potential Teacher Ms. Zieman.

Caitlynn Chap placed second in the Ashby school spelling bee! Congratulations, Caity! There were only 16 finalists that had made it through to this round of the competition; those winning were from 5th through 8th grade. Caity and another girl had to do an additional two rounds, to declare the first place winner.

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

Photo © Donald W. Anderson
A new office arrangement for the Matriarch.

The Editor's Office Gets A Makeover

I am definitely moving up in the editing business. Since we ran the article in my daughter Donna's column about her new desk, I have been feeling that I just had to have a nice new desk, too...

Today the delivery men from Tripp's Furniture (Alexandria) arrived and hooked up my computer, my copier, the telephone, and our intercom. Now I am transferring all the things I need from my old desk to this one (from the bed, where I have them all in disarray, where I had unloaded them all when we moved the old desk out). You can probably guess who did the footwork in rounding up a copy of Donna's desk -- Donna, of course -- well, at least I paid for it!

I had a grandson shopping for another purchase for my office. Wyatt is coming by to install a router for the Compaq laptop that he found for me. So now I am truly an editor with an office space and proper equipment, which I will now have to familiarize myself with.

Thank you, Donna and Wyatt, for shopping and helping with set up ... and you are all invited to come for a look at my new place of action!

Photo © Donald W. Anderson
The Bulletin takes shape in Editor Dorothy's new office.

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. Sarah Dake Steinhauer supplied last week's mystery photos.

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.

That would be my uncle Larry [Dake] and his daughter Amy and her husband Ken Harrison].

Jennie Dake Horne
Madison, AL

Well, for once I can GUESS the pictures right off the bat. There sits Larry Dake, and there is his daughter and her husband, Amy and Ken Harrison.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Memory Lane

A new series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, but we still have a couple stories to go on the winter they lived with our folks, along with Jim Miller and my sister Blanche Dake Miller, just after World War II.

To Texas By Train
by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

The last two months of school have flown by. It has been easier at home now that everyone's plans are falling into place. Two weeks ago the planning of our trip to Texas had moved to the front burner!

Billy had looked up schedules and made reservations for our trip and had received our tickets for our reserved seats. We were scheduled to leave the Minneapolis Burlington Station in Minneapolis the day after my school let out. While he had taken over that responsibility, Lois had been in contact with her family in Texas. It sounded like there will be lots of activities in those three weekends and two whole weeks that we will be there.

Last weekend I was thrilled, when I began packing, to finally get to use my new Samsonite! My luggage was a gift from all my relatives for high school graduation, and finally I got to use it. It was so nice to have a few new things. I knew Lois and I would want to look our best. The last decision to make was what to take to top my outfit off. I finally decided I would take my little black hat and a pair of gloves, tucked in my rain and shine coat pocket, for the dress up occasions. Lois and I decided we would not have gloves when we left, as we both have a rather bad habit of leaving our gloves lay behind us.

Billy got us to the station a good hour ahead of time, as we had heard The Twin Star Rocket leaves right on time: 11:30 a.m. We ate a quick lunch in the waiting room of the station, as we wouldn't be eating until dinner (and that is evening -- not noon -- for you farmers!).

We checked our baggage in and then sat in the waiting room until we heard our train call. Billy walked out through the loading gate to the area by the train, where he kissed Lois good-bye, and then gave me a hug. (We northerners don't go in for all that soppy stuff ... but I kind of liked it!) He then handed us over to the conductor, who helped us up the steps.

We found our seats, looked out the window, and yep, Billy was still there, so we waved and waved until, in a few minutes, at exactly 11:30, we could feel the movement ... and then we pulled out into the light ... and we were on our way to Texas.

We found the coach we rode in was classy and the ride was smooth. Lois commented about how fast the telephone posts zipped by, so out of curiosity we asked the conductor, when he came to collect our tickets, just how fast we were traveling. He told us that out of the cities our train was attaining a speed of a bit over 100 miles an hour. While going through cities, it slowed a bit. It went straight through on a trip that was to be a little over eight and a half hours in length. Since the Twin Star Rocket first went into use, a year ago in January, the trip to Texas has become a whiz. We had been told we would arrive in the FortWorth/Dallas station at 8:10 p.m.

In the meantime, we filled our time with discussions about lots of interesting things, without once getting bored. We had plenty to talk about: pregnancy, graduation, relatives, available cowboys, names for boys, names for girls, house plans, etc., etc. And the few times we couldn't think of anything to talk about, we went exploring.

Fun to go to the tiny bathroom ... really decorated cute, and then on the way back to our seats we found out that we didn't have to wait until dinner time to eat, after all. The porter told us that we could go down to the dinette car for afternoon coffee break with a treat. So, of course, we did. For my treat, I chose a croissant (a new experience -- but I expect I will be searching future menus for another taste of that treat!).

When dinner was served, we found our way back to the dinette to find it all spiffed up with white tablecloths, a rosebud in the middle of each table. The place settings were classy, too -- nice silverware! I loved the food, the service, and didn't even mind putting my share of the cost of the meal and tip on the little tray the waiter brought at the end of the meal.

But the very best part of the day was arriving here in Texas and having Coy and Burah (they said I am to call them that) and Coy Nell meet us as we climbed down from the train in a city. I think they told me we were in Dallas ... but all I know is it is just as huge as Minneapolis -- and twice as busy.

Coy took the baggage check stubs Lois had in her purse and he and Coy Nell went and recovered our baggage. Then we loaded everything into a really neat car. I really like these folks!

After a long, fast drive (my word, they drive fast down here!) we have arrived "home." They tell me I am to think of it that way. We have explored my new surroundings and I am sitting here on a bed that is to be mine ... and I have been told, "Now if there is just anything you need, Y'all just tell us!" Now I truly begin to understand what people mean when they talk about "Southern Hospitality"!

Lois, Coy, Burah & Coy Nell Gandy (in 1943).

Homesteading Days at Effie, Minnesota, as toldby Bruce McCorkell

Larry McCorkell sent us a manuscript he transcribed from his father's tape recorded memories and made it available to The Bulletin for a series of excerpts. These stories were originally tape recorded by Bruce McCorkell of his growing up days on the homestead near Effie in northern Minnesota. They were recorded from a period of the mid 1980's until the early 2000's. These are Bruce's words of happy, sad, funny, good, and hard times.

Raymond, Bruce & David McCorkell on the the footbridge between the house & the road. About 1930.


We used to have a rain barrel at each corner of the house or wherever the eaves would drip any water. I think most of them were 50-gallon wooden barrels. When they got dry they would shrink and the bands would slide off. It was kind of fun to run around there and stick your head in the rain barrel and yell or make noises or howl. We'd each get on a corner and start howling in those rain barrels and it was neat. That's the way we played. We didn't have all these modern conveniences to play with that they have today, but we had a lot of fun. You could look in the rain barrel and there'd be what we called "wrigglers." We were always told they'd hatch into mosquitoes. They'd look like a little tadpole only just tiny.


My dad and us really liked to swim. None of us could swim really, but we'd go out there and play in the water anyway. During the early thirties, when the CCCs came into existence, they made a road out east of our place a ways. We'd go about a mile east of our place and there was a road that went right straight south and come out on Highway One. It crossed Deer Creek about half way over there, right by the Farm Camp, one of the big old logging camps that was there for many years. They called it the Farm Camp because it was a permanent camp. It was on the Deer Creek. They used to dam up that creek and float the logs down.

The Forest Service built a permanent dam maybe a quarter of a mile up the creek. Below that dam was a nice place to swim. There was just enough water and just a big enough hole. We used to go out there and swim. We'd be the only ones there. We'd have an old pair of ragged overalls for a suit. We had a lot of fun. Actually that was the extent of our swimming. I can't recall swimming anyplace else where we went as a family.

Travelogue t

Photos © Mitzi Swenson
Stone Town is known for its ornately carved doors.

by Mitzi Swenson
Dickinson, ND

Kjirsten didn't have to ask twice if I'd like to go to Zanzibar (she mentioned beaches in the same breath), for the eight days we have to travel together after Sheldon leaves for home. I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know anything about it, even where it was, but because I liked how Zanzibar rolled around my tongue, I said, "YES."

Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Tanzania and near Madagascar. Spices, beaches, and slaves are some of the things I should have known about it. Kjirsten researched lodging, dining, activities and general information from several guidebooks and web sites so she would be familiar with a few things before we arrive.

From the moment we exit the airport after flying from Arusha, we are accosted by men (also known as "touts") offering to guide us, get us a taxi, take us to the best shopping, restaurants, spice tours, ferries, etc. Kjirsten has perfected her scowl and politely says, "NO, THANK YOU," which usually gets rid of them after a couple of attempts. Only once, when one man tapped her on the shoulder, invading her personal space, was she tempted to slug him. If the Zanzibar or Tanzanian tourist board could get the unwanted solicitations under control, this would be an idyllic place to visit.

Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we find a room there at Hotel Kiponda. Breakfast is included and is served in a roof-top café with a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean. Stray cats abound. The city is relatively clean, with few trashy or smelly areas, except the main market, which smelled so horrible we decided we didn't need to enter it. I think the smell was from the seafood.

The streets are very narrow and twisting and kids and men race down them on bicycles and motorbikes, nearly hitting us several times. We quickly learn to jump to the left because that is what they expect, since they drive on the left here. Zanzibar is known for having a lot of buildings with beautifully carved large wooden doors and door frames, which we admire as we wander around the city.

The weather is just about perfect. It's warm, with a reasonable level of humidity, during the afternoon but still comfortable without air conditioning at night, if you only sleep with a light sheet. Mosquito nets around the beds prevent bites at night but we are getting bitten by assorted bugs during the day. Our shower has no curtain but does come with a great squeegee, which we use to send the water toward the drain.

The coast is beautiful and usually we can eat lunch and dinner outdoors while enjoying the view. The seafood is always outstanding, as is the gelato, especially the pistachio, lemon and coconut. For an hour every afternoon, we escape the heat by going to an Internet café that is air conditioned.

A spice tour is on the top of the list for activities and we are able to secure a ticket with a highly recommended agency. We are loaded on buses with tourists speaking several languages and driven to a farming area of the island.

A local man with excellent English and extensive knowledge was our tour guide. As we gathered around the trees, shrubs and plants, he told us the genus and species, uses of the spice, what country introduced it to Zanzibar, and let us taste or smell the seed, bark or flower for each one. We saw cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and mace (we didn't know that mace comes from the red webbing around the nutmeg seed), cardamom, black pepper, curry leaf, lemongrass, vanilla, turmeric, and more. There was a small stand where we could buy fresh spices.

Photos © Mitzi Swenson
Spice guide with plant, left; red webbing around nutmeg seed, right, yields mace.

Several kids attach themselves to our group. All of them are carrying knives with blades about 6" long in their back pocket. They give each of us things they had braided from grass, including rings, bracelets, ties, flowers and necklaces with frogs. Later they would sidle up to us and whisper, "money for school, or give me a dollar?" Apparently, many tourists give them money, which only encourages more begging.

Photos © Mitzi Swenson
Mitzi buys spices, wearing frog necklace woven from grasses.

We sat on benches and tasted several local fruits including soursop, jackfruit, breadfruit, green oranges, pink apples, and rather sour grapefruit. Finally, we were served lunch. We removed our shoes and sat on woven mats covering the floor and ate spiced rice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, whole black pepper), a mild vegetable curry and steamed spinach with spices. It was delicious.

To be continued...

Photo © Mitzi Swenson
Fruit stand at spice farm ... pink apples, green oranges, soursops, etc.

Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Java Cream drop cookies on a platter I made in pottery class. These are some of my favorite cookies (chocolate and coffee) and they look pretty, too! --Sarah Dake Steinhauer

Java Cream Drops
Recipe originally appeared in Taste of Home magazine
Prep: 35 min. Bake: 10 min./batch


2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon half-and-half cream
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


In a small bowl, combine coffee granules and cream; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and reserved coffee mixture. Combine 2-1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Divide dough in half. To one portion, add cocoa and walnuts. Stir chocolate chips and remaining flour into remaining dough.

To form cookies, place 1 teaspoon of each dough on an ungreased baking sheet; lightly press doughs together. Repeat with remaining doughs. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 5 dozen.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

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

This Week's Birthdays
February 1---Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
February 3---Penny Miller Kramer
February 4---Cameron Birkholz
February 6---Melody Printz
February 6---Kelli Nicole Mellon (10 years old)
February 7---Rylie Johnson (7 years old)
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
February 4---Jim and Jan Smith (48 years)
February 6---Russ and Judy Miller Riesenberg (28 years)

More February Birthdays
February 11---Alexander James Indermark (1 year old)
February 27---Bonnie Anderson
February 28---Eric Anderson

More February Anniversaries
February 18---Roy and Betty Weiland Droel (16 years)
February 24---Jess and Louise Cloyd (64 years)
February 26---Tim and Char Morgan Myron (26 years)
February 28---Junior and Doris Anderson (47 years)

February Special Days
February 2---Groundhog Day
February 12---Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
February 14---Valentine's Day
February 16---Presidents' Day
February 22---George Washington's Birthday

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

Thanks for the beautiful card! I listened to it for a long time ... love the rolling surf sound. Made me think of getting married in Florida and walking on the beach with Blanche, Jim, Tom and Lou and how much fun we had. So brought back some very sweet memories. Thank you!

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

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

This week's Bulletin was so full of interesting and entertaining stories and pictures! Put together very well, too. Thanks so much.

Marlene Anderson Johnson
Boise, ID (for now)

I just got done reading this week's Bulletin. I had to laugh at Dad's story about chasing cattle with an old '52 Chevy pickup. I guess that story helps explain why he always used a dirt bike motorcycle when he had to chase cattle during all the years I lived at home -- much quicker and more maneuverable than an old truck!

I also see that he always had the same temper when the cows weren't cooperating. I remember many a time when I was assigned to watch a particular road or gate to make sure the cattle kept going in the right direction when Dad got them rounded up and headed in my direction. The first 20 minutes of the job were generally spent laughing to myself as Dad hollered and beeped the motorcycle's horn at the unruly cows before I would even get a glimpse of them!

I am also really enjoying your Memory Lane articles. I hope you keep them coming! Thanks to you and Jerrianne for all of your hard work every week!

Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

Just finished reading The Bulletin after a long while away, and I have a feeling of "connectedness" again. It is amazing to see the long and varied tendrils of our family tree (and beyond).

I am especially delighted to see The Editor writing again; it seems your verbiage is stronger and more poignant than ever. The first person, present-tense has an eerie and powerful effect. I am looking forward to the next chapter.

Thanks for being a bright spot in my day!

Douglas Anderson
St. Cloud, MN

In reference to Lelan's name, it is pronounced "Leelan." That was Michael's grandmother's name. Her middle name, Elaine, was Grandma Lois Dake's middle name. :)

I have really enjoyed reading Memory Lane. It is fun to read about a time in Grandma's life that I don't know that much about. However, it seems like her laughter and joy resonated even then and that same happiness is one of the things I remember most about her. Thanks for sharing!

Adriana Stahlecker Brown
Granbury, TX

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Bulletin with its many interesting articles and pictures.

I appreciated the Washington, D.C., photos posted by Whitney. It brought back some good memories of when our family was out there a number of years ago. It definitely is a place that makes you grateful for this great country and all it has to offer.

Beaver's story was nothing short of hilarious. It brought back some memories of my "growing up" years on the farm. Beaver, all I can say is you were very fortunate that nothing else splattered on the windshield!

I also want to thank Sheldon, Mitzi and Kjirsten for the tremendous pictures in their photo galleries. The animals are absolutely beautiful.

Curt Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

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

As I sit here with a blank e-mail page before me, and the printed Bulletin #345 in my hand, I wonder just what would be the most condensed and yet meaningful comment I could make on the very special, thought-provoking picture of our respected and revered old "Honest Abe." What a nice picture, and being on the slant like that gives it away that Whitney took it. It is so sharp and clear, even if it is mostly black and white. It almost makes you want to whisper as you look at the different shots of the Washington, D.C., memorials.

Thank you, Marlene, for your Update about your time there. We were sorry it was such icy, cold weather and so much snow when we were there so we had missed a lot of the things you included in the Update.

One thing about the printed Bulletin, you turn the page and there is something totally different -- maybe funny, maybe sad, maybe a once in a lifetime shot like Kira playing and singing. Actually, I can hardly believe that little girl getting so big is Kira.

The snow angels picture was unique in that it is the family. Makes you think of Papa Bear down to Baby Bear ... ha. The Update said "enjoying" North Dakota winter! Is "enjoying" really the word for all the snow they've had? But then, when you have a positive attitude about it, it becomes beautiful and something you can enjoy. Even to the cats going along on a walk.

What a very nice picture of DeLoris and Elaine! Lorraine Slotten Jacobson said those two were the only ones they recognized in the whole Bulletin (except for the editor, Dorothy). Lot of years have passed since the Slottens and the Andersons were young folks.

What a great picture of Levi, and is that a dog and a cat with him?

Every time we have an Update from Florida, it's more company at the Morgans'. What a lovely home there away from home. So light and sunny and roomy. Nice little yard, just the right size so it isn't a lot of maintenance, and that lovely porch. What could be nicer?

We apologize for laughing, Weston, but your Update on the bathroom renovation was so funny. Sad, yes, but so funny. You have the most interesting variety in your life, and you have such a creative way of writing about it. We could almost think we were standing right there in your basement. We were glad you included the before and after pictures. Did you leave the walls the same color? Beautiful!

Dorothy, the Memory Lane left us in suspense, and we wondered what was going to happen to your pockets full of money. It was very unusual for the thugs to be scared away, but thanks to the truck! In younger years, trips like you had planned are really thrilling, and the closer it gets to the time to leave, the more excitement abounds. I am glad all worked out for you all. Your family will love that picture of Grandpa Mellon looking so young and strong and happy.

Homesteading Days usually has a subject that catches your eye and attention, and this one about the "Arrowheads and Fossils" right there on their property was described and detailed to hold our interest. It is so amazing how nature can preserve even to the little main stem.

Once again, Beaver comes through with a hilarious word picture of life on the farm. No wonder his sons are so -- is the word articulate? Anyway, they all have a gift of story telling inherited from Donald B. Johnson. If that '52 Chevy pickup could talk!

We appreciated Curt Henderson keeping such close track of all their days on the trip to see Rachel, and then to share it with us, along with pictures of places we will never see. I am so curious as to just what they chose on the menu in the Greek restaurant. Quite an event to eat outside with that view being the real thing, not just a mural. The volcano actually spewing lava would have been a sight that would be long remembered. Am sure Rachel hated saying goodbye again.

I am so glad to have the subscription to The Bulletin, as how would we ever get in on the travels of our friends in those far away places. Good family picture in that Land Cruiser! Everyone looks very happy. We were mesmerized to see the web galleries with all those pictures. We are glad our photo editor knows just how to make it possible to view the pictures without taking up too much story space, making it necessary to eliminate some. The photo of the elephant is excellent.

I must say that there were at least a million memories that came flooding through when I saw that Wally Slotten signed one of the LTTE's. Sharing pictures of their own taken in the same safari area was special. I was so glad when Lorraine Slotten Jacobson just now sent a picture of herself and Lloyd when she turned 80 on their 55th anniversary. We were young folks together, so that makes me getting old, too, I'm thinking.

Lloyd & Lorraine Slotten Jacobson, her 80th birthday on 55th anniversary.

Fun to see an LTTE from Donna Richards, having met her recently.

The CHUCKLES made you think that was an advertisement for Dairy Queen or something. How cute! That little pony tail and how she held her hands from grabbing the spoon were just a couple of the things I admired about another little girl who is growing up.

I used the Quotation for the day recently as I was impressed with the reality of it. Happiness is when what you think, say and do are agreed.

Well, I think I have come to the last page of this Bulletin #345, and once again we send you so many thanks for a perfect, professional presentation for your many loyal subscribers.

Betty Droel


Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Daddy Michael reads a story to Kira & Levi Steinhauer.

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Quotation for the day: It is winter proper; the cold weather, such as it is, has come to stay. I bloom indoors like a forced forsythia; I come in to come out. --Annie Dillard

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