The Bulletin
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Browse The Bulletin archive index
Home About Archive Recipes Stories Galleries Who's Who Where

Winter Begins

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Season's Greetings from Anchorage, Alaska!

Updates -

"Stay on the path, Jim" -- Myakka State Park has alligators.

UPDATE -- a trip to Florida for a visit
by Tom Miller
Madera, CA

I have just got to take some time and fill you in on my trip to Florida.

Cheryl (my daughter) lives in Portland, Oregon. She knew I had been planning a trip to see my brother Jim in Bradenton, which is close to Tampa. So she thought of me when an ad came in the Portland paper for flights from Portland (PDX) to Tampa -- $94 each way! They were only available on November 1, 2, 3 and 4th, going to Tampa, and 15, 16, 17, and 18th, returning to Portland. I said, "Book it."

When she tried, she found the first two days were sold out, so she booked 11/4 going and 11/18 return.

Great, but I had to get to Portland! So I drove up on October 30th and had my birthday celebration with the family. Yes, I turned 80 on October 29th, so I have joined some of the others who have reached that milepost.

We had two very busy weeks in Florida -- spent three days with Steve and Marian and one of those days we drove down to Sharks Valley in the Everglades.

On our return from Steve's, we came back through Bonita Springs and visited some of the folks there. Tom and Mavis know those friends, too, so lots of visiting of ol' times. Donna and Beaver will remember Hickory Island, as that was where we had supper together, in our apartment overlooking the Gulf.

Jim, Marian & Steve Miller in Florida Everglades.

Tom & Jim Miller by the Manatee River, near point where DeSoto landed in 1590.

Tabasco looks down from her favorite perch & spies a potential buddy...

Photo © Gert Pettit
Dusty, formerly known as Swiffer, makes a request.

UPDATE -- meet a new member of our family
by Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

Dusty was once named Swiffer (after a well known dust mop). He belonged to the wife of Leonard (Gus) Hensel, who graduated from Howard Lake High School with the same class as the Matriarch of The Bulletin. She decided I needed to have this special kitty. So I now have an animal of many talents. I renamed him Dusty, because I like that name better. He doesn't seem to mind. So here is the story of the pictures.

Photos © Gert Pettit
Dusty convinced Brady Blackstone to put his story on the computer, left; he peeks around the corner looking for Miss Kitty & Mai Tai in Alaska, right.

My Story For The Kitties In Alaska
by Dusty
Howard Lake, MN

I think I will peek around the corner of our door and see if I can see to Alaska. It must not be very far as lots of times I see the pictures of Miss Kitty and Mai Tai, who live there. They look really close and they look like they would be fun to know.

I am really training for the Olympics, you know. I can run full speed, jump high onto the wall and then catapult myself way into space. And am I ever speedy!

I do not know why, but I really must get under everything that I fit under ... that is why I was once named after a dust mop (imagine that!) and it might be why I am named Dusty now. Anyway, I am now going to rest up a bit while I work up more speed.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Megan & Caity mix sugar cookie dough.

Baking Decorated Sugar Cookies

Lori, Shawn and the girls came to the farm last weekend, with plans to help the kids make some sugar cookies. The kind you frost. The kind I have formerly avoided making. Also new area for Lori, as previous to this year, she has not enjoyed baking (although this was the second time this year she'd made the frosted sugar cookies). Too many things that have to be accurately measured. She is more a toss it in type, which works for cooking, but not quite so well with baking.

Caity had her friend Megan Roley visiting. Meg had informed me she loved decorating cookies, so that worked out great. We ended up making several cookies and were glad to have some extra hands to finish off the job; after they'd mixed, Lori rolled and the girls helped cut the shapes out. Became quite the pros at cutting out as many shapes as they could at a time.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Lori rolled the dough; Caity & Megan cut out the fancy shapes.

My job was to watch the cookies so they didn't burn. I did fine until the last batch ... got them rather brown! I am so easily distracted, so probably NOT a good job for me!

Shawn watched Kierra and McKenna while that process was going on. They were doing a little cooking of their own. They both enjoy the "little kitchen" set up at the end of the big kitchen. McKenna "fed" me several courses, as I patiently sat watching cookies bake.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Shawn watches McKenna & Kierra play in the little kitchen.

After all were baked, McKenna joined us for decorating a few cookies. I know she did a better job than I did! My artistic abilities are rather pitiful. In fact they were enjoying laughing at my attempts, not that I was giving it overly much effort. Still, I enjoyed the camaraderie and the making memories ... more than making the cookies.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Lori helps McKenna decorate cookies.

Megan loved tons of frosting on her cookies, which almost made me gag, just looking at her glopping it on! So we had a little duel of the minds on amounts of frosting used. She would scrape it off to a super thin layer, barely able to see any frosting and say she'd made a cookie for me. Yup, that IS the way I like them frosted!

It was a fun time, so we thank Lori for putting forth the effort to help us with our first cookie decorating endeavors. Actually, we are looking forward to it becoming a new tradition. I did say that next time we would get a turntable to put the colored frostings on, as I basically used only a couple of colors most of the time, not being able to reach the others. Figured if we could spin it around, I might branch out more next year. Smile.

Photo © Donna Johnson
A few of the frosted & decorated cookies we made.

I have collected several miniature toys on keychains over the years and this year I finally figured out how to display them. I also added some other miniature toys I had in various locations. It's difficult to see them in a picture, but the picture of the little decorated tree gives a general idea.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Tree with miniature toys on keychains.

Dave's Snowflake Page

Here's a great site for this time of year, one dedicated to making snowflakes, all sorts of snowflakes that can be used to decorate your Christmas tree, windows, furniture, and doorways. For those of you who will not have a white Christmas, come make your own with instructions.

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

Editor's Note: Don McKenzie sent this charming picture of himself and his sisters with an earlier Bulletin story. We kept it in reserve until we could learn a bit more about it. Here it is, with the additional information Don graciously provided.

Don McKenzie & his sisters about 1946

This photo was taken in about 1946 or 1947. The "good ol' days," as we often heard said by our elders. In the photo are the grandchildren of Daniel and Mina (Mellon) McKenzie, and the children of Don C. McKenzie and Betty McKenzie.

On the left is Jeanette Ruth McKenzie, born in 1939. She was a wonderful daughter and sister. She died in a tragic airplane crash in 1961 at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, as she was working as a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines.

Don Howard McKenzie, born in 1943, is now retired from 3M Company and resides in both Stillwater, Minnesota, and Fountain Hills, Arizona. He is married and has three children and six grandchildren.

Sharon Ann (McKenzie) Allen, born in 1936, is enjoying her retirement in Edina, Minnesota. She has two adult children, both married.

At the time this photo was taken, all were living in South Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was about this time, in the summer of 1946, that we "kids" made our first visit to the Mellon farm in Howard Lake, Minnesota, where our dad was raised when his dad died. Our folks combined that trip with a visit to the Howard Lake Cemetery, to pay our respects at the burial spots of our grandparents, great grandparents and other deceased relatives (see Bulletin 389).

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. Donna Johnson 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.

Fun to see the guess picture of Rich and Marlene Johnson. Marlene is holding Dan and Gina Henderson's little Abby. Marlene's sister, Patty Henderson, is Abby's grandma.

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hope, ND

Editor's comment: It's true that Patty Henderson is Abby's grandma. She is also the grandma of the baby in the picture, Brienna Henderson, daughter of Ben and Heather Henderson.

I guess Rich and Marlene (Johnson) ... but I don't know who the baby is.

Shari Miller Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

This is a great picture! Rich and Marlene Johnson with my little granddaughter, Brienna Henderson.

Patty Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

I recognize Rich and Marlene (Johnson) but I don't know who that little one may be. Be glad to learn next week.

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

The GUESS picture is Richard and Marlene, but give me some time to remember who the -- is it a granddaughter? is. Brienna Lyn Henderson. Please say I'm right!

We love these mystery pictures, so keep them a feature in our Bulletin.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Editor's comment: You're right -- it's Rich and Marlene and Brienna ... and Brienna IS a granddaughter ... of Marlene's sister, Patty Anderson Henderson.

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.

by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

Today I think I will write some of what I know about Max. That afternoon after the storm, when he picked me up out of the middle of the Alberta Clipper, it was not quite as much of a miracle as I thought it to be. The following day, I had an explanation when the taxi pulled up outside our shop. It turned out to be Max, who was just checking to be sure I didn't get sick from putting in such a long, cold wait. (I assured him that I was perfectly OK.) Then he explained how he happened around the corner at the right moment.

You see, Max patrols the streets whenever the winter turns dangerous. He keeps an eye open for those in need of some help. In ordinary weather, if you want a taxi, you call M&S for one and either he or his son Skeet comes and picks you up ... and you pay for your ride. BUT, in weather that is dangerous, he stops and helps and does not ever accept any fare or tip. He told me that he is paying a debt to the city, but did not explain any further.

Well, he did explain that the notice of the blizzard's arrival set his patrol in motion. When he went north up Beltrami, he saw me heading the opposite way and he noticed the wind whipping me along. He gave a ride to a couple of college girls going north. About an hour later, he decided to go down our street, heading south. He noticed me come around the corner ... and then he saw the wind whip me back around the corner and knew I was going to need some help. You know the rest of that story.

When he supplies help, he doesn't talk about it again ... and told me to hush when I started to thank him. Then he went on his way and would be taking fares, and tips, too, if they were offered, during that nice day.

A Further Explanation

It was kind of sweet, and I have to smile to myself as I think of it now... When I hung up my coat and then fished my purse out of my tote bag the next morning, I found a folded white paper and wondered what in the world that was ... so I opened it and saw, "Darling, I missed you," and then I remembered... I knew where that came from and who it was to. So I folded it neatly and went out to where Ken was working with the developing ... and casually I handed it to him.

"Sorry, Ken, in all the excitement, I forgot to give this to you!"

He looked at me, grinned, and then said, "I wondered when you would remember. Mary Lou called me this morning to see if I got this... Thanks for the special delivery," and then I noticed he was blushing.

So now it is I who is the heroine here! The deliverer of sweet mash notes... Oh, well, I can't seem to get any -- but anyway, I can deliver them. Now I guess I had best get back to work ... and how much do you bet I won't have to pick up or deliver to the drug stores today? Or maybe not for a long time.

And Still Another Explanation

As I was doing my book work the other day, it flashed into my head, "Dorothy, my dear, where ever did that Coke go?"

Now you just think hard about this ... when Mary Lou put up the lunch for Ken, she sent the Coke he had asked for and a bottle opener so he could open it. I distinctly remember giving the sandwich to Ken as he and Max left me at the door and headed back to the cab. But I do not remember any Coke.

So then I just had to satisfy myself ... I went and took down my two-sided tote bag. I keep quite a few things in it, so it involved taking all of the stuff out and searching thoroughly. There, in the bottom of the bag, I found a bottle opener ... but no Coke. So out I trotted to the back room where Ken was working and asked him.

"Ken, did I give you your Coke with your sandwich during the Alberta Clipper?" That brought a negative reply and so further research was needed ... as I certainly knew there had been one!

I just had to find out -- so I placed a call to the M&S Taxi Service ... and when Skeet answered, he acknowledged that his dad was there, too ... so he put him on. And this is how it went:

"Max, did I give you anything when you opened the door to help me out?"

He decided that I might have, as it seemed like he put something in his pocket ... and he reckoned he could look in his rescue coat ... the heavy sheepskin that he wears in storms. Just hold the line a minute, Kiddo, and I will see! He didn't ask what the something was ... so I just let him go look.

After a bit, he came back and asked me, "Dorothy, just who does that Coke belong to?"

He allowed he had found one but when he understood how it was, and that it didn't belong to me, he informed me that he guessed he was going to accept it as a gift from Ken ... after all, Ken owed! So that is where the Coke went ... and I leave it up to Ken to get his property back. I think that completes the tale of the lunch that Ken paid for but lost to Max. (Oh, well, he did have half the sandwich!)

Travelogue t

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Leaving Bottle Beach for Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Southeast Asia Extravaganza 2009
by Kjirsten Swenson
Albuquerque, NM

Though we'd only intended a short stay on Koh Phangan, we kept extending our reservation until we absolutely were forced to leave, in order to make onward connecting flights. With a bit of longing, we finally left the sensational beach on Easter Sunday. We observed the holiday by eating two Indonesian chocolate bars that vaguely resembled rabbit ears at the bus stop. There, we left the water behind and headed inland to the rainforest at a national park called Khao Sok.

Admittedly, I mostly decided we should visit Khao Sok based on descriptions I'd read about the tree house accommodations. Our lofty guesthouse was situated perhaps 30 feet off the ground! The steamy surroundings were brilliantly green and alive. This forest met all of my conceptions of what a jungle should be, with thick vegetation, hanging vines, and beautiful flowering plants. We saw incredible bugs, including a beautiful spider whose body was nearly the size of the palm of my hand.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Treehouse, Khao Sok National Park, Thailand.

The next morning, we embarked on hike to a waterfall in the national park. As we climbed up the dirt path, we could hear the distant calls of gibbons in the treetops above us. We were also accompanied by the songs of birds hidden from view and a noisy collection of insects. Our route climbed along a path near a river. Soon we were dripping, drenched in sweat that couldn't dry in the thick humidity.

Finally, after three hours of walking, we reached a rather uninspiring cascade of water. I abandoned my dreams of a cool swim when the leeches came out to greet us. Ick! Disgusted by their company, I snapped a few photos and we made a quick retreat.

Later, we celebrated our survival of the epic hike with one-hour Thai massages (for $6.50 each!) followed by an amazing dinner with fried bananas with chocolate and honey and pumpkin stewed in coconut cream for dessert. Quite decadent!

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Big spider, Khao Sok National Park, Thailand.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
December 21---First Day of Winter
December 25---Christmas Day

This Week's Birthdays
December 20---Jay Pierre Miller
December 21---Melanie Anderson Shockey
December 21---Jonathan Glen Hill (5 years)
December 24---Ken Hellevang
December 24---Arbor Johnson
December 24---Beaver Johnson
December 25---Angela Stahlecker Roberson
December 26---Koen de Been
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
December 20---Eric and Melanie Anderson Shockey (7 years)
December 23---Harold and Carol Dake Printz (42 years)

More December Birthdays
December 3---Twila Aydelotte
December 4---Sonja Dake
December 4---Carol Dake Printz
December 4---Elaine Anderson Wold
December 7---Aunika Swenson
December 10---Ryan Henderson
December 11---Makaila Belle Gordon (2 years)
December 11---Wyatt Wm. Meyer (10 years)
December 12---Sarah Lynn Dake Steinhauer
December 13---Larry Dake
December 13---Derek Swenson
December 14---Kathleen Dake Stahlecker
December 16---Avery Hope McNeill (1 year)
December 17---Char Morgan Myron
December 17---Austin Printz
December 19---Barb Anderson
December 19---Lisa Boltz

December 29---Mitzi Johnson Swenson
December 30---Travis Quick

More December Anniversaries
December 27---Earl and Kathleen Dake Stahlecker (35 years)

December Special Days
December 7---Pearl Harbor Day
December 21---First Day of Winter
December 25---Christmas Day
December 31---New Year's Eve

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Elaine Anderson Wold, 80th birthday.
Elaine enjoyed having a few friends & family stop by to share her birthday cake.

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


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

I wish you could see the vivid, unusual color of the beautiful Poinsettia (Kerststers) on this first picture as my screen shows it. We have an unusually sharp monitor, which makes color just breathtaking, so it is wonderful when we get these first pictures and can see them so brilliant.

I was thinking that we should have an update from our Bulletin family in Netherlands, now as the holiday season approaches, and they work in the huge florist business. I just knew it would be outstanding, and it was. Thank you for the details of the store. Would love to browse in it. Something about a florist shop I truly enjoy, right to the toys and trinkets and cards. Something that is always a puzzle to me is how they dispose of all the flowers that do not sell? Like all these big and small seasonal plants; surely they don't all get sold.

Then the Update on the Kristi Larson Indermark family in Arizona. Should I mention that it is below zero here today? Sun is shining, though, so we can pretend it's Arizona, except for the reality of the deep snow.

I had to laugh at the photo shoot experience with a family of five. To get them all to look in the same direction, and even the parents looking so relaxed, was quite an accomplishment, as you said. Those pictures will be more valuable as time passes, so it was surely worth it all.

Needless to say, we sorely missed having each one's pictures on the Brown Update, except for the muddy one. I think we need an updated one of the three growing children.

It is always so fulfilling to finally finish a huge project like Ary Ommert's redecorating in Holland. Our Bulletin covers quite a territory. The pictures make it look like home, sweet home, and hope you can be comfortable in new decor and furniture. Thanks for sharing it all with us. We are glad for you.

Richard Johnson has sent some fabulous pictures from his work in Oregon in the woods, and this time is exceptional, with the details of that huge, huge tree, well over 200 years old. You probably wouldn't have chosen to fell it, if it hadn't happened by itself.

For some reason, I felt a sad, homesickness feeling to see that tree, that had been so majestic and awesome in its prime, just lying there waiting to be disposed of or else slowly go back to nature where it fell. Like a grand life, spent, no matter how many years, it has an end like the pine, lying in splinters.

Photo © Richard Johnson
Splintered pine tree.

I hope everyone will take time to look at all the pictures, which give a description from start to finish; it was extremely interesting. Plus, there is a link to a video that shows it in motion.

How interesting to see how they handled that mammoth tonnage, even to cutting it up into useful slabs. Thank you, Richard, for sharing this; we would never have seen it otherwise, as we sit here in our older age, warm and cozy in the Minnesota winter.

MEMORY LANE ... first thing I did was quick, see who was calling when the last chapter of the Thanksgiving story ended last week. No comment on it. So, I had to read through the whole chapter this time to get the complete story of that mysterious call. An X-ray technician with Louella's training made her a very necessary, important part of an emergency treatment. So, no wonder the rush around.

That was so interesting how the detailed description of gathering up a Thanksgiving dinner included every little item, and little Carol would have so loved to help. With all those children, Marge would have been able to handle a crisis calmly, but thoroughly, ordering everything done pronto.

So like the Sorensons to do for others, and take no credit or hardly a thank you.

What a contrast to the lovely family dinner that almost happened. Yes, we can be so thankful for the caring people in the medical world that truly do care.

How could we be treated to TWO such wondrous adventures as followed, with Weston telling his story as only Weston can! Every minute detail was an addition to the sights and excitement that he described so effectively. What a responsible job he has, to try to convince authorities that their money is well spent on the projects he represents. I have no doubt but what he is a winner at it, having the love of sports he has. Thank you for not leaving out any of the things we could enjoy reading, like the descriptions of the hotel and food and clients.

All the pictures taken in the nursery were very interesting, and we love being able to share in Ary's life, caring for those beautiful flowers and orchids.

What a gorgeous plate of breakfast in Thailand! And the scenery included.

I am sure when Don and Dorothy were married, that they could never have foreseen this event where they would be the longest married couple, and receive the bridal bouquet from a granddaughter. What an honor -- which they richly deserved -- with all the ups and downs of life for 59 years!

I loved reading the Miss Hetty letters. I am sure Doug knows by now that his efforts of telling the wedding story were accepted and appreciated by all.

Damon and Rachel, with their wedding bands on, begin the routine of life, starting with the opening of their gifts, and all too soon it will be "years." We surely wish the happy couple true happiness that love inspires.

Instead of the CHUCKLES department, it was the WITH LOVE department this time. Very appropriate, having that wedded couple beginning their thousand miles.

I loved the thought of the Quotation for the day about memory bringing back roses in December. Very timely!

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
A rose to remember in December...

Thank you for the diligent, last minute rush, getting another Bulletin ready on time. Another especially interesting and keepsake type for those who took time to submit their contributions.

Betty Droel


Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
When you live in Texas, every single time you see snow it's magical. --Pamela Ribon

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: The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination. --Ward Elliot Hour

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.

Home About Archive Recipes Stories Galleries Who's Who Where