Sunday, June 21, 2009
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Happy Father's Day
UPDATE -- The Hills' youngest pitches in
Jaxon is becoming good at "helping out" around the place. We can't start our riding lawn mower without him riding as co-pilot. He tries to be just like the big kids, too; if they have their bikes out, he has his Mickey Mouse push car out!
We were out in the shop the other day and I thought this scene was cute. Jaxon is taking Mechanics 101 from his instructor (AKA: Dad)! They are fixing their "bikes." (Nathan's is a Kawasaki and Jaxon's is Little Tikes!) Both are trying to get their licenses.
UPDATE -- Father's Day is fun for grandpas, too!
Here is a recent picture of our grandsons. Thought you might find a spot for it.
Editor's Note: Dan's dad and I were first cousins so that makes Aiden and Austin my first cousins three times removed. --DMA
UPDATE -- New house is rapidly taking shape
I took the day off today, and we sent the girls to daycare, so we could take care of some house tasks! First, we met with the electrical contractor at 9 a.m. at the house, for our pre-electrical walk-through. We confirmed where we wanted all of our lights, outlets, television jacks, phone jacks, etc. I think Jolene was bored to death, but I was pretty excited to be working on that part.
After that, we went to Carpet World, for some fierce negotiations. We had gotten lower quotes from Home Depot and Lowe's, but didn't like the selection they had nearly as much as we liked Carpet World's. In the end, we got carpet, laminate, and vinyl that we love and saved some money in the process!
Next, we had a meeting with Hebron Brick, the supplier for the stone on the front of the house. We already had a pretty good idea of the color and style we wanted, so within 10 minutes, we were done! We got to pick the stone for our house number, too, which was more fun than it seems like it should have been.
After lunch, we had a final meeting with Wood Specialists, our cabinet and shelving designer-builder. We had already picked out our wood (alder), cabinet style (shaker), stain color (cherry), and hardware (kind of a weathered silver), but had added a new television cabinet when we decided not to put in the fireplace that we were going to have. I drew something up freehand last week, and the designer put it in their computer system, giving us some recommendations to keep the price of it down.
When we finished at Wood Specialists, our designer commented that we were by far the easiest couple she's ever worked with! We are truly having a lot of fun with this, and it's nice to know that keeping a good attitude and enjoying things does show. I know it makes their jobs easier and hopefully more fun.
The house has shingles, and the electrical work started today. Windows should go in soon, and siding will be done next week. We're on track to be done in early August!
I hope you don't mind my crude photo editing. I couldn't in good conscience leave it alone!
UPDATE -- Steppen gras: piles of shoestring French fries!
Food is a thing that we have to take every day. Here in Holland and there in the USA we all have a different kind of "food things."
I don't know if you have this also in your country but it is maybe an idea to let you know and see what kind of funny food things we have.
You have the same as we have and I think the rest of the world have French fried potatoes. We have given the name Pa tat friet.
But in Belgium the name is Patat or frietes. But also a brand new sort of fries: Steppen Gras.
You order a steak, fish or meat or whatever. You put that on a plate with Steppe Gras fries. It tastes the same as French fries but it looks different.
Have a nice day,
Frans de Been
Editor's Comment: I think this is like in the US -- causing much overweight!
UPDATE -- the longest day of the year
This is the week we wait for all year long -- and it is a long wait for summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Through the long winter nights, summer is the hope that keeps us going. When summer comes, my neighbor's honeybees rummage through wild roses in search of nectar to make honey to feed their broods -- and us. In Anchorage, this is a week of celebration, that we have lived to see another summer arrive in all its glory, with days 19 hours long.
Sometimes the weather cooperates and sometimes it doesn't. I recall a couple of summer solstice parties drenched in cold rain that left snow on the mountaintops at the end of the day. But on this day, or another close by, the sun shines on bees buzzing around flowers everywhere. So there are mosquitoes along with those bees ... glorious summer days make it all worthwhile. Summer sunsets last for hours, fade into twilight and then return in sunrises that last almost as long.
Summer in Alaska ... it's reason enough to be here!
In summer, the song sings itself. -- William Carlos Williams
Day to Day R
Caity Is A Teenager!
Caity had her 13th birthday on the 18th. She had five boys and six girls to help her celebrate. She chose a Hawaiian theme and worked hard during the day getting things cleaned up and decorated for her party. We'd spent the day before finding goodies to use at Ben Franklin, the Dollar Store and Target.
The evening started out rather bumpy, with a tornado warning in the area and high winds, hail, etc. forecast. Fortunately, Chris called and warned us; so to be on the safe side, the two earlier arrivals, Jeanette and Alexis, ate downstairs in the basement with most of the rest of us. Ben and Ashley joined Beaver upstairs, as they have no storm shelter at their place.
After the all clear was given, the kids started to show up for the party. They did a limbo contest, Beaver had a bonfire for them, they did squirt guns and silly string and made a general mess and commotion -- apparently having a good time in the process! They managed to spread the mud around fairly well, too; we even had some mud prints in the dinette!
I gather it was a success.
The Matriarch Speaks W
The Bulletin Family and Friends Pot Luck Get Together begins at noon on Sunday, June 28th, at the Beaver Johnson farm near Ashby, Minnesota. Click here for details, what to bring, etc. and to let the hosts know that you're planning to come. (No RSVP required for regrets.)
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.
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
How many can you identify? What's going on?
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.
I would like to share my guess for this week as being Mitzi Swenson on the right. On the left side, I am not sure but maybe a Johnson lady?
Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hey! I know the answer to this week's mystery photo! They're my wonderful aunties Kathy [Johnson Anderson] and Mitzi [Johnson Swenson]! I'm not sure what this particular occasion was, but it INSTANTLY made me think of the occasional holiday we'd spend at Kathy and Argyle's place in Minnesota when I was a kid.
I knew we had some of the coolest aunts and uncles ever, because at their house, Argyle had the toy tractor collection to end all toy tractor collections, and the cupboards full of comic books were a young boy's dream.
We didn't get out to Mitzi and Sheldon's place in Dickinson as often, but when we did, and got to play games on their computer; that was about as good as it got for me. Their 16 MHz (I think) computer was BLAZINGLY fast compared to our 4 MHz computer, and playing hockey on their computer was far better than playing Jumpman on ours. But those computers that Sheldon helped us get were what got me interested in computers and helped lead to my job writing software today!
Photo Editor's comment: The mystery photo was posted with others from Tyler Swenson's graduation party last week.
Oh, the GUESS picture is so much fun this time. There is my friend Kathlyn Johnson Anderson, and is that Mitzi Johnson Swenson? I love that round table by those big windows, and the old tyme chairs. I don't know what's going on, but I would like to take a plate around that delicious looking food array.
I never, ever would have guessed that was Arlin and Anita and Glenda last week.
Betty Weiland Droel
A 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, just after World War II. In Bulletin 349, I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.
Dining At The Markham Hotel
Beautiful -- that is how it all feels. I just finished my first month as a receptionist (and more) here at Photo North. My first paycheck went to pay my rent, to pay back my aunt for a loan, and to keep up the expense of daily living. The second paycheck I used to treat Louella to a really high style eating experience.
But before that, we did a shopping trip to a sale at one of the nice dress shops down on 5th Street and Minnesota Avenue. It is such a plush salon but once in while they have a sale and that is fabulous. I found a forest green suit and a beautiful scarf that matched so well -- and at a price I could (just barely) afford. Louella picked a maroon one that was very similar to mine. I must say we looked fine for going dining in style. We even took my first cab ride in Bemidji!
Here in Bemidji, the Markham Hotel is out in the country a ways, but near the railway and the main highway. It is old but stylish and draws anyone searching for a special dinner. On the door is a sign proclaiming "Good Eating -- as recommended by Duncan Hines."
And inside are things like waiters in tuxedos, tables with white table linen, a flower in a silver vase on every table, and a lovely dining experience. The service was different than I had ever experienced. So very special and different from anything I had participated in. I chose chicken, a tossed salad, twice-baked potato, broccoli, with coffee to be served with the dessert.
Everything was delicious and presented on such beautiful settings of tableware. They served everything with a special flare ... for example, my twice-baked potato was topped with an oyster! I am not sure what they had done to the oyster ... but it was scrumptious and tasted great with the potato!
When we were ready for our dessert, the waiter brought to our table several different wonderfully attractive palate pleasers. He brought them each on a beautiful china plate that was placed on a little push table. Louella and I decided to share one ... oh, how to pick.
Our waiter suggested the chocolate-creme cheesecake with fresh raspberry sauce. So that is what we chose. It was so wonderful that it seemed to melt in the mouth and I thought it was so nice that he divided it and served us each on our own china plate. Oh my, how important we were made to feel! (Like country mice, in a queen's palace.)
Louella had warned me to expect the final step of the meal... The waiter brought us each a kind of flat silver bowl with rather nice smelling liquid. He held mine for me as I dipped my fingers in it and then handed me a little white linen napkin to dry them. Then he took the second bowl and towel and offered the same service to Louella. I really do not expect to ever use one of them again but using a "finger bowl" completed the feel of being the queen of England!
I feel almost guilty to tell you that those two meals cost me a little over ten dollars! So you can see why I won't be spending that much on a meal very soon again. But I must say I do believe I will remember it a lifetime. Louella insisted that if I paid for the meal then she would do the tips. I learned quite a while back that special things do have to be paid for! The answer to all this, it seems to me -- are the memories worth it? In this case, I did feel they were. So I enjoyed every minute of it!
Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
We are able to obtain the necessary trekking permits the afternoon we arrive and are introduced to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Traffic is crazy with cars, bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians using all the available space of every street. The bike and motorcycle ratio is high and everyone drives very aggressively. Crossing a street is a dangerous adventure and traffic lights are few and far between. Everyone seems to feel that if they honk their horn they have the right of way. I find myself wishing I had ear plugs as we walk down some of the narrow streets.
We manage to keep from getting injured and I am relieved to be on a bus early the next morning headed for the Annapurna range. This is mountain travel with a narrow, winding, rough blacktop road going up and down river valleys. We realize we are still in danger and I am glad to not be sitting in the front of the bus. It takes over five hours to travel about 100 miles.
The bus driver seems to have no fear. There are a lot of slow-moving trucks on the road that need to be passed. As soon as an oncoming vehicle passes by, he immediately honks his horn and then moves into the passing lane. If there is another vehicle coming he will dart back into his own lane. With just a small gap of space he goes for it, passing the endless supply of slow-moving trucks. Fortunately, he seems to have this figured out and was always able to dart back in before eminent collision with the ever present oncoming traffic.
Early afternoon finds us at Dumre. The trail starts about 25 miles to the north. We could wait for the next bus to take us to the trailhead but we are immediately recognized as trekkers and offered a ride in a jeep. This "jeep" turns out to be a 30 to 40 year old beat-up pickup truck. For 5,000 rupees (approx. 78 rupees = $1.) they will take us to a village about six miles beyond where a different bus would drop us off. I consider six miles less to walk, not waiting for the next bus and agree to pay even though it was far too much. He probably earned the down payment for a better jeep with what we paid him. We are offered seats (a metal bench) in the box and are soon on our way.
Once again, the road is a bit rough but at least there is much less traffic. The mountains to the north are like a magnet drawing us onward. After passing through Besisahar, which used to be the beginning of the trekking route, the road deteriorates to a very rough, rock-covered trail with plenty of potholes thrown in. Kjirsten indicated she would rather be walking but I know there will be plenty of that over the next two weeks and am grateful for every foot traveled in the back of that old truck. We reach the village of Khudi about 2:30 in the afternoon and it is time to start walking.
Recommended reading: The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes by Barbara J. Scot; Touching My Father's Soul by Jamling T. Norgay; Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson; The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.
Arriving in Kathmandu, Nepal, around noon after traveling for about 36 hours, the airport is noisy with people offering taxis, tours, to carry our bags, etc. Kathmandu Guest House was supposed to pick us up but their van has left so we get a taxi. The streets are narrow, often dead-end, full of people walking, stray dogs, bicycles, rickshaws, motorbikes, and cars. We came within inches of hitting a chicken, a couple of cows, buses, trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians.
Armed with a map and some sketchy verbal directions we venture out on foot to obtain trekking permits. Grateful for the efficiency of the office, we soon have permits and bus tickets to leave early the next morning. Our packs are about 25 pounds and Kjirsten's is about 10 pounds heavier as she carries the snacks and things we share, such as sunscreen. We have packed very carefully, taking only what we really need except for one luxury -- down booties to wear in the evening! All of our clothing is made for hiking so it's lightweight and dries quickly.
Riding the bus just might be the most dangerous part of this adventure. Drivers appear to be fearless, pulling out to pass without much visibility. Sometimes the road is narrow, full of potholes and lacking guardrails. Several hours later, after finishing our journey in the back of a pickup truck, we are dropped off at the end of the road in Khudi to start our trek.
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
More June Birthdays
June Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
Thanks for the anniversary card. Not much new here. We went to another doctor appointment (less than three weeks until the due date!), ate at Red Robin and relaxed at home.
Tami and Jason Hunt
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?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
Enjoyed The Bulletin again today very much.
Mavis Anderson Morgan
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
My first immediate reaction to the first page of The Bulletin was the colorful word: Flag Day. I was trying to think of when our Photo Editor ever had time to design such a striking and seasonal title. Not to just quickly add that title, but to think about printing it in the colors of the flag.
Also, to see the Pioneer Drive median flowers up close with the flag in them was very thought provoking. The preparing, the planting, the watering, the caring for and pruning and attention to all the little details so the flowers would look so fresh and colorful even in the midst of traffic. I am sure you feel rewarded seeing that 200 feet of flowers blooming so profusely as a result of a lot of volunteer time and work. Ten years of doing this is amazing.
What a lovely idea to plant the memorial garden where their loved one's ashes are buried. Thirteen years seems like a long time looking ahead, but not looking back. Donnie and Patty and Eric and Leona working together on the project will always keep it looking nice. Maybe sometime visiting the Red Chair antiques we could walk out and see that memorial spot.
What a garage sale! Now, that would have been fun to browse through, even if we do not need one single thing. With that many people adding things to it, it would be a variety. What a lot of work, but sounds like it paid off. When my mother moved, we cleaned out and had a garage sale at the same time with a banner that said "new items added every hour." We made enough for the moving van charge and a little bit more. Everybody loves a sale.
Every birthday and anniversary finds Tom and Mavis with the same smile and not looking one bit older. Can it be North Dakota air or a great family? I haven't seen an ice cream cake that huge. That Alexa Ann is a pretty "Gerber baby" for sure.
The babysitting trip to Phoenix was like a fun vacation from the looks of the pictures. One reason to select Rustler's Rooste is that kids eat free, ha. That would be quite a view from the top of the building overlooking Phoenix.
Thanks for another reminder of the June pot luck for Bulletin subscribers.
I always have to stop and look at that photo of Dorothy in 1946 on Memory Lane. The serene, pure, unspoiled, honest expression shows through her eyes even on a photo.
What a nice experience to have had that time with Harry Johnson all to yourself. Can you imagine paying that lunch with $1.10 plus tax? Or a tip of two dimes? That sounds like such a nice restaurant for you to have found so far from home. The little questionnaire Harry presented in laughter was so amusing. I guess I have grown up in the age where BLT's were common, also apple pie and cheese. Sounds like you both had grins for the rest of the day. That was nice of you to share that memory with some of us who knew Harry and Kenneth so well.
The Travelogue is still exciting with the next chapters of Kjirsten's travels. The hike around that mountain sounds like a bad dream. Look at the hiking gear on their feet. Are those crocs Kjirsten has on? And what is that ball on Mitzi's boot? Could it be a bell? Ha.
With those very high mountains did you need oxygen? In the first place, I can't even think of the taste of watermelon and lemon mint. And $20, too, yet. Did they take Discover?
I loved the CHUCKLES this time, too. Bitzi knows just how to bring out the best in her captions, and those two little girls are just plain darling. It is so hard to imagine that baby McKenna is such a growing little lady already. Her hair is even in a ponytail. Camryn will learn all that's worth knowing from McKenna, it looks like.
I like to read the list of Celebrations and Observances. This time it tells me that Roy Droel will be having a birthday next Saturday, Bulletin day. He has had a lot of birthdays since 1921. He gets better and more dear every year. His two boys and their families are planning to come to spend the day. That will be a first and two new babies we haven't even seen yet.
What a fitting Quotation for the day. Patriotism isn't in just the outward waving of a flag, but an inner working toward our country being noble, etc.
I get this groan feeling when I turn over the last page of The Bulletin, no matter how many pages it was. I always print it so I can read it slowly and thoughtfully, but I come to the last page way too soon. But, if we are patient, along will come another one in just one week.
Thank you so much again, editors and contributors.
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: Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development. --David Gottesman
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.