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Sunday, July 19, 2009
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Photo © Whitney Johnson
Traveling Johnsons at home in Meridian, Idaho.

UPDATE -- there's no place like home!
by Marlene Anderson Johnson
Meridian, ID

Just a little update from the traveling Johnsons. There will be less traveling in our future since we've found a little house in Meridian, Idaho, that we now call home. The plan is that it will make it easier for Rich to get home more often and still allow Whitney and Mark to find jobs and feel a little more settled.

You will notice that Mark is absent from this picture. The reason for that is that he's in Colorado doing some custom combining for some friends. He spent two and a half days here in our new house (after getting home from his cousin's house in Washington) and then was on his way again.

One nice little extra about living in this area is that all we have to do when we meet somebody new is to tell them that I'm Carol Printz's cousin and they always light up. This was Harold and Carol's stomping ground for some years and the people here love them very much and still miss them.

We've already had overnight Minnesota visitors. Rich's sister and her husband stayed with us on their way back from the Johnson family reunion in Northern California. So nice to have them here, and if any of you are on your way to or from someplace, we'd love to have you stay!

Brienna Lyn Henderson, left; with cousin Abigail, right.

UPDATE -- a daughter for Ben & Heather Henderson
by Grandma Patty Anderson Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

Big brothers Mason and Logan Henderson would like to introduce a new little package that arrived on July 15th at 5:01 p.m. Her name is Brienna Lyn Henderson. She weighed 8 lbs., 10 oz., and was 19-1/2 inches long. Mom is doing beautifully and Dad is, too. Today (July 17th), we got to bring her home from the hospital! Lots of hugs and kisses and "gentle" rubs on the head!

The first picture is, of course, our little sister. The other one is Brienna with her cousin Abigail Henderson (whose parents are Uncle Dan and Aunt Gina Henderson).

Photo © Wyatt Johnson
We even have garage doors now!

UPDATE -- new home on track for Wyatt & Jolene
by Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

The outside of the house is mostly complete! We even have garage doors now! By early next week, the sidewalks will be in and the dirt will be filled in. Other than that, they need to put the column on the front porch, add the steps, and put the lattice around it. Then we'll be ready to plant some grass! I included a picture of our rock window well. Doing it this way lets a lot more light into the room, which will be nice when we eventually finish it.

The inside is mostly just white right now, as they're in the middle of painting! We're planning to put some color in on Sunday, and Mom's coming up to help with some painting next week. She came up this past week to help the girls pick the colors for their rooms, which was VERY exciting!

As of right now, our closing date is set for August 12th. We are on vacation August 13-17th, and are hoping to move in the weekend after that.

We still haven't had any offers on our current house, which is kind of discouraging. But life will be a lot easier when we get our stuff out of this house and into the new one. At least then we won't have to keep the house in "showing shape," with the kids destroying it as fast as we clean it up...

I'll keep the updates coming over the next few weeks!

Photo © Wyatt Johnson
Rock-rimmed window well to let in more light.

Photos © Lori Ostendorf
Ostendorfs' beach house at Lobster Lake, Alexandria, Minnesota

FOR SALE -- 1991 Casa Villa Sunstar 40' Trailer
by Lori Chap Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

1991 Casa Villa Sunstar 40' trailer (Park Model) -- $4,500

• Full size fridge, stove, washer/dryer combo (for clothing), & microwave
• 1 bedroom with queen size bed, included, along with night tables
• 2 bump outs: living room (couch area) & bedroom (closet)
• Tub/shower
• A/C & propane heat, as well as 2 electric heaters
• Living room & dining room furniture also included.
• Full size pictures available upon request
• Available for move on or after July 27th **** Buyer MUST be willing to move it.

Click here to download PDF file with more interior photos and contact information.

Photo © Lori Ostendorf
Living & dining area.

Photos © Lori Ostendorf
Kitchen area.

UPDATE -- a shift in birthday plans
by Bridget Larson
Ashby, MN

Well, since my birthday was in May and it is now July, I figured I better write a little something about what I did ... to keep my subscription current.

What I had planned and what happened were two different things. I was supposed to go down to Lori's with Donna for a party she was having and then stay the weekend. Well, unfortunately, my stomach had other plans and I ended up with the flu for most of the weekend.

On a more positive note, Donna had bought a cake already and so, before heading to Lori and Shawn's, she dropped it off, along with a very nice birthday gift. A few days later, I had my husband (Doug) snap a picture so I could show you all what a nice gesture Donna made and that the stomach flu didn't damper my birthday! Well, not completely, anyway!

Photos © Doug Larson
Bridget Larson with birthday cake.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Caity, Becky & Jayce Chap figuring out which fair food to check out.

Otter Tail County Fair Time

We spent a couple hours at the Fergus Fair tonight (Friday). It seemed to be much smaller than usual, but we did find a few things to occupy us.

Photos © Donna Johnson
Becky & Jayce with cotton candy, their favorite fair treat, left. Certainly can't call it food! And, the most fun, right, when the midway lights come on!

Photos © Donna Johnson
Jayce enjoyed funhouse mirrors, left, a yearly hit with him; Caity's a winner, right!

All About Birds

The title All About Birds aptly describes today's feature, posted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Here you'll have the opportunity to complete Birding 1, 2, 3, online instruction for identifying birds. (No longer do you have to be amazed by your friends who can tell a warbler from a flycatcher; you can do it too!) You'll find tips on where to find birds, whether in your own backyard or in other locales in North America.

There is a comprehensive Bird Guide, including a Video Gallery where you can enjoy videos of birds in their natural habitats. Of course, you'll find up-to-date data on conservation, gear, attracting birds and even ask a bird expert if you have a really puzzling question. (Check out the FAQ's for tips on what to do should your child bring home an injured bird.) All About Birds definitely lives up to its name!

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 photo.

How many can you identify? What's going on?

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.

Where did you find that photo of three handsome men? Erv. Wrobbel, Tom Miller (I was slim then! What was the date of the picture?) and Don Anderson. I would like to get back to that weight again! Thanks for another full Bulletin!

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

Editor's comment: It's LeRoy's photo. I hope someone comes up with the date ... I know it was in the early 80's ... and it was at Blanche and Jim's cabin for a Miller-Dake 4th of July pot luck.

Must send in my guess for these four fellows, three close friends and a relative. Ervin Wrobbel, the father to Roger, my closest friend, while growing up. Tom Miller, a friend of the whole family. Don Anderson, my brother-in-law. And a neighbor and friend, George Chap.

Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

Editor's comment: First we have a guess that sort of says three of the men were handsome... (I see another handsome one in the chair next to the cabin.) Now this guesser sort of says she is friends with three but the other is her brother-in-law. Hope we don't dish out any hurt feelings to the two left out fellows. -- DMA :-)

My guess is Ervin (he lived at the farm behind Grandpa and Grandma Dake's), Uncle Tom, Uncle Don, and sitting down is George Chap.

Shari Miller Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

Well, you have a GUESS picture that I can't enter into this time. Don is the only one I can recognize, and I'm sure the others are from North Dakota.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Memory Lane

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.

Dorothy Dake, 20, hand tinted portrait, 1946.

He's Too Young!
by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

How can my brother, who is fully two years younger than I am, be planning to get serious about a girl? That is what I asked myself when he first started to talk about Vonnie Thomas. He showed me her picture back before I moved to Bemidji, and I did see why he thought she was pretty. She was also smart, and she was going to nursing school.

Well, whether I thought it was a good plan or not, he just kept right on making his suit -- and then I heard they were making plans ... and it has all led up to a shifting of duties at home.

LeRoy and Dad have been doing the farming at home now for the last four years, with Gert's help. I believe LeRoy took agriculture classes in school, too ... though I must say I didn't pay too much attention. I do know he is pretty experienced in farming.

The last time we talked, he told me that he is thinking that dairy is probably the best paying, as grain farming is not much as a cash crop. I guess they are learning that, to turn grain to money, one needs to feed it to animals and use the products derived from them to sell. He thinks he wants to be a farmer (though I can't say that appeals to me). Vonnie loves animals and thinks she would like to farm, too.

He and Vonnie know that one really needs an income before marrying is very feasible. In their case, there are several hurdles to clear ... so they became engaged back in the early spring. Then it was for Vonnie to finish her nurse's training and take her test to become a registered nurse.

They need to have Mom and Dad sign the permit for LeRoy to marry, as in Minnesota, at present, boys are considered men on their 21st birthday. Girls, maturing so much earlier (joking!), become their own bosses when they reach 18. I hope Vonnie realizes that she really won't be her own boss if she marries ... and if that sounds like jealousy on my part, it probably is. Here I am, turning into an "old maid" ... and those two young ones have their future all planned!

Really, I am thrilled for them ... but just a tad jealous, too. I do wish them the very best, and hope it all works out well for them.

It is at times like this that I really miss being close enough to know what is going on. I guess I will call home tonight -- better yet, I will call Lois. My mom is the best mom in the world, but she hates talking on the phone -- and usually makes excuses to hang up before I get half the information I want. Blanche really isn't much better. Lois and I are the big talkers in our family -- and she will share the news with me!

So, back to work for me, and tonight I will get the scoop ... as to what is going on in the Dake family!

LeRoy Dake & Vonnie Thomas at Wisconsin Dells.

Travelogue t

Photo © Sheldon Swenson
Kjirsten with marigolds at tea house garden in Nepal.

Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
by Sheldon Swenson
Dickinson, ND

When the Nepalese government opened up the country to trekkers and mountain climbers about 25 years ago, people in the villages realized they could earn good income providing shelter for the night and serving tea and meals. A large number of "tea houses" were built, often with the monetary support of friends or relatives in Kathmandu. More tea houses were built, and now capacity exceeds demand from trekkers or mountain climbers. There were several places in each village and often a scattered tea house or two between villages.

We are at the very end of the trekking season. The pass is usually blocked with snow by mid-December, so every place we passed was anxious to have us stay with them and sometimes we were the only people spending the night. Our room the first night had very thin plywood walls, a single light bulb for light and an outdoor toilet (hole in the floor). This turned out to be fairly typical, although a couple of the lodge style tea houses we stayed in were much more modern, with wood walls and trim, nice windows and even our own private bathroom (porcelain hole in the floor).

The rooms had no heat. They all advertised "hot shower," but in reality this usually meant "not frozen." The water would be carried or pumped up to a black tank on the roof, which would be partially warmed by afternoon sunshine. Two places we stayed at had supplemental hot water heaters and they were the only hot showers I had for 15 days on the trail. We usually did not bother to shower at the other places. It was just not worth taking a freezing cold shower to put dirty clothing back on again.

When we stopped at the first place and were shown the room, we asked, "How much?" The man replied: 150 rupees.

I had just paid 5,000 rupees for the jeep ride a few hours prior. I was sure I had heard wrong so I asked again, "How much?" Again, he replied 150 rupees (less than $2 US). Our lodging continued to cost $2-$3 per night, on average, for all three of us while on the trek.

Meals were relatively more expensive than lodging, but still a bargain. We could usually eat and drink tea for 800-1,200 rupees per meal, occasionally less, or for about $10-$12 dollars for all three of us. As we hiked further up the trail, away from the highway, food and beverages became more expensive. This is understandable, as everything comes in either by mule or porter.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Woman serving tea, left; Kjirsten & poinsettias at teahouse, right.

by Mitzi Swenson
Dickinson, ND

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.

The mule trains fascinate me. I love to hear the little jingle bells they wear and admire the colorful headpieces on their harnesses. All the animals are well behaved; never does a mule, dog, cat, cow, sheep or yak threaten us. One time, one bumped me with his load, but he wouldn't have known how wide his load was while walking on a narrow trail. After that I tried to be on the side of the trail by the mountain, not on the side by the ravine, when meeting a mule train.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Mule train in Nepal.

If I had known how many colorful varieties of chickens we would see, I would have taken photos of them. There were also interesting variations of cows, water buffalo, goats and sheep.

The trail varies from rocky and muddy to as smooth as a road, but generally it's a "heads down" sort of trail. You needed to watch most every step so you didn't trip or slip or step in something smelly.

Homes were colorfully painted and often had flowers (marigolds and poinsettias were the most common) and vegetable gardens (mostly cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes).

The people wore colorful clothing; most of the women's saris were gorgeous. The people are beautiful with black hair, white teeth and golden brown skin. There were noises of birds, bugs, animals, people or the river most of the time, but no motors. One place, men were building a road with pickaxes and shovels -- it might be a few years before you can drive there.

Porters in Adidas sandals, 99-cent flip-flops, cheap tennis shoes, hiking boots, or even barefoot, carried huge loads on frames or in baskets, using a tumpline above their foreheads. We saw loads containing everything from live chickens, enough groceries for a mini store, and every imaginable thing from sacks of grain, vegetables, fruit, clothing and household items. Everyone is friendly and greets us, saying "Namaste," with a smile.

To be continued...

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
Cow with curly horns, left; porter with flip-flops & tumpline, right, carries chickens.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
July 19---Patricia Dake Meyer
July 19---Marlee Morgan Freesemann
July 19---Devon S. Stewart
July 20---Michael Miller
July 20---Susie Miller Smith
July 24---Donna Jacobson Anderson
July 24---Jeni Larson
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
July 19---Dan and Nancy Mellon (40 years)
July 21---Capt. Jack and Ginny Adair (47 years)

More July Birthdays
July 1---Suzanne McCorkell
July 1---Jim Smith
July 1---Zachary Elliot Smith (5 years old)
July 4---Brian Lehtola
July 5---LeRoy Dake
July 5---Jennifer Dake Horne
July 6---James Miller
July 7---Kimberly Johnson
July 8---Trenton Loredo Roberson (6 years old)
July 13---Zach Bratten
July 13---Ginny Adair
July 15---Tom Morgan
July 15---William Earl Dake
July 15---Sherry Dake
July 18---Callie Printz (8 years old)

July 26---Tytus Joshua Myron
July 27---Wyatt Timothy Mellon (12 years old)
July 29---Heather Henderson
July 29---Colleen Mellon Scott
July 30---Justin Printz
July 31---Tim Myron

More July Anniversaries
July 1---Ken and Amy Dake Harrison (2 years)
July 8---Shawn and Lori Chap Ostendorf (3 years)

July 27---Larry and Sherry Dake (31 years)
July 29---Charles and Ardis Sigman Quick (37 years)

July Special Days
July 4---Independence Day

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


Good morning, Dorothy, always fun to get The Bulletin with the fun pictures, adventures of travels and stories of the families -- but how EXCITED I was to see the complete "October's Bright Blue Weather" poem again! We had to learn that back in grade school, too ... and always think of the first line in the fall, seeing the goldenrods and milkweeds -- remembering all the "art" projects we did with them. So thank you for researching and finding that ... and Jim Smith for sparking that research.

Hope you have a good weekend ... looks like good weather, as was the 4th weekend!

Barb Dewey
Ashby, MN

Photo Editor's Note: Glad you enjoyed the complete "September" poem. "October's Bright Blue Weather" is a completely different poem by the same author. I bet you learned that one in school, too. My father did and he would often quote a line or two while enjoying a crisp October day ... so even though it's rushing the season, we'll quote the entire poem here for you.

October's Bright Blue Weather
by Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

O SUNS and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumble-bee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And Golden-Rod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When Gentians roll their fringes tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather.

O suns and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

I can not believe it's taking me this long to express my thanks for the research of the poem. To my surprise, it turned out to be September, not October. I only recognized the first stanza, so most likely never learned the rest of it. So now I'm trying to learn it completely.

It seems that I have a problem with learning and remembering; maybe that comes with age; hopefully the problem slows down as the years slip by. Thanks.

Jim Smith
Brooklyn Park, MN

Editor's Note: Now you'll have TWO poems to commit to memory!

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

Bitzi, you surely were sharp eyed to find such a beautiful Minnesota lake to photograph, and our photo editor knew just where to place it in The Bulletin.

What a nice beginning, and will be nostalgic to many that are a long way from Minnesota, but well remember the beautiful summer days and calm scenes along the way from here to there. A person usually captures the beauty of Fall, but a July picture is remarkable in itself, too.

What a perfect, precious, brand new baby: Mazie Madora Hunt. I had to look in the archives to find out just who Tami Hunt was, and found her in several issues of The Bulletin. Mazie just looks so perfect. That pretty mouth. The bright eyes. Babies all look the same and yet there are no two alike. Does that make sense?

Ginny is quite a storyteller. Related to Larry Dake, that is for sure. What a terrible experience to have a problem with the wheel! That means there is not one more mile to travel with THAT car. I enjoyed reading every word of that account ... and so glad for the update on LeRoy. He is looking very healthy and well cared for, and content, it seems. Actually, it is nice he doesn't realize all the things that could disturb his peace. Thank you for sharing the location of Vonnie's grave. A serene, quiet spot she would like.

Everett and Sully's baby sister, Lelan Elaine, looks like a live doll. Fun to see recent pictures of the three. Sully is looking like a big boy already, not the little boy in the last pictures I remember seeing. Isn't that something to have an actual graduation for Pre-K? Everett needs those big glasses in the Texas sunshine.

Oh, for fun to see the group for Fly Tag and Shots day. Even Kierra got in on it. I keep thinking about how much Donald and Twila would have been enjoying their family as it increases.

Isn't that Tiko just the cutest dog? What big ears you have! He doesn't look like anything will escape his notice. He and McKenna look like buddies.

You had a lot of correct guesses for last week. Sometimes that happens.

The Memory Lane was extremely interesting this time. I was so absorbed in reading it that, when I got to the last sentence, I looked up from the sheet I was reading on, and wondered where I was for a minute. I was so right there with everything, that I could almost taste the soup Bertha served. The three separate stories definitely did blend together, and one needed the other one to make the complete story.

I am hoping that Memory Lane will last for a long time. When I think of this young lady striking out on her own, and fearfully trying to please her employer, I think it took a strong nature and a courageous spirit to stay with it.

Imagine trying to face a customer with the fact they lost her precious roll of film with irreplaceable pictures? So nice she took it like she did, and I wonder if you ever did find it in the tank or where or never?

You surely needed a true friend like Elaine, and Bertha, to help you face what seemed overwhelming to your weary, dedicated mind. They were probably glad to overlook a lot, not to ever lose their honest, hard worker.

Word must have gotten back to Harold for him to become so concerned and caring, and changing your work routine to do-able. Sometimes little things pile up until your workload is insurmountable, and he probably was not even aware of all that you had been responsible for.

I know you lived through it all, though, as you are there being our Matriarch and the Editor of The Bulletin, the most successful family weekly I have ever heard of.

Nothing stopped Sheldon and Mitzi and Kjirsten from traveling on and on in spite of weather and difficult miles. Talk about adventurous and perseverance! Without the pictures, we could hardly believe all you tell of the scenery and the people and the food and the miles and miles. What a cute pose on the bridge. Do you have that framed in your living room? You have been so many places, how could you ever choose which pictures you like best?

It's fun to get Sheldon's, and then Mitzi's, version of the trek. I was so relieved and excited to see those three words on the end of the story again: To be continued.

Was surprised to learn you have 135 subscribers. That means we could have updates from 135 subscribers. I certainly wish we would. I know how valued their input would be, and it would only need to be a sentence or two and a picture, if possible. It would keep the Editor and Photo Editor inspired to keep working at continuing this great Bulletin every single week.

That was fun to see Jim Smith wrote a LTTE, and what a surprise it will be for him to see the complete poem Dorothy searched out for him.

The CHUCKLES was so funny this time. Hunter is very photogenic, and any picture of him could be used along with one of Ginny's captions. Jettison looks like he has everything under control out there on the ball field, if he just knew where first base was. I feel like cutting out the picture of Hunter with that hat and the big eyes ... it is toooooo cute.

I must stop. We always print The Bulletin so Roy can read it, and then I can read it, leisurely. For once, I have opportunity to send my LTTE on Saturday. I had some unexpected time, being we went out to find some strawberries and the berry farm was closed, so we got home earlier than we thought.

Thank you for not being too tired or uninspired to create this great Bulletin.

Betty Droel


Photo © Donna Johnson
"You been getting out much lately?"
"Oh, just a fair amount -- but a poultry cage sure beats a chicken basket!"

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:

July is light blue
The color of the sky
July feels like a long vacation
In the sun
It sounds like waves splashing along the beach
July smells like my birthday cake
It tastes like chocolate ice-cream
July is the best month of the year
--Gurpiar Sidhu

EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is

This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.

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