UPDATE -- tremors and tree hugging; my trip to Arcata
I just returned from a week in lovely Arcata, California, hiking the redwoods and doing a little job-searching. The second part didn't pan out so well, but the hiking was wonderful, indeed. The whole hike was just over 12 miles and it took me along paths of stunning forest terrain and wound up on the beach, where I collapsed in a wheezing heap!
We saw elk, wild orchids and many strange flowers we couldn't identify. The towering redwoods create the feeling of a cathedral and the strange silence is somewhat unnerving.
I also had the good fortune to experience my first "tremor" -- two of them, in fact. They were both around 3 on the Richter scale, and felt as if a giant had slammed the door of the house I was staying in. It was quite an alarming sensation! Of course, they were nothing new to the locals, but they sure got my attention. I'm just glad they didn't happen while we were hiking!
I also did a little bit of dining out, the highlight of which was the delicious "soul food" I enjoyed at the Bless My Soul Cafe. I had blackened catfish with collards and black-eyed peas, yum yum! We also went to the farmers' market and made a vegetarian feast with some of the most succulent veggies I have ever seen.
I'm keeping my eye on Arcata, as it is quite affordable to live there and the high concentration of "foodies" makes for a lot of restaurants and chef positions.
UPDATE -- busy, busy, busy...
Sorry we haven't checked in for a while ... we've been preoccupied with getting our little shop set up for the spring Cambridge area "Unique Boutique & Antiques Tour." We spend almost every weekend at estate sales, searching for treasures, then hours at home cataloging, cleaning and tagging them for sale.
We are also very excited that Marlene (Anderson Johnson) agreed to make her fabulous natural, handmade soap for us to sell in the shop. I really missed her soap when we used the last of it and had lamented we would not get any more with them now living so far away. She graciously agreed to make us some and sent us three varieties to start: "Citrus" ... "Honey, Goat's Milk & Oats" (Don's favorite) and "Chamomile & Peppermint Tea." I have already had several requests to set some aside for folks, before we are even open!
I spent a lot of time working on a web site for the Tour, where each of the nine shops has a description and several pictures. We are shop #6 this year (Red Chair Antiques).
UPDATE -- a pleasant surprise
What a pleasant surprise to find that someone had left a special cookie card with a package of cookies when I opened my door one day last week!
Then, later that day, I was surprised even further to have the florist deliver two floral arrangements for me. All were from family members who were so proud of me as I celebrated the second anniversary of my dialysis without any problems or infections.
That time has gone fast, considering I do four dialysis exchanges each day (mealtimes and bedtime), each one taking about 45 minutes.
I chose the home method (Peritoneal Dialysis) rather than the Hemodialysis, which I would have to do at Fargo on the machines three times a week.
There are pros and cons of either method. The home method required a week of hands-on classes, plus I have learned to chart, take temperatures and blood pressures twice daily, give my own shots, and order my own supplies.
It is an exacting procedure and has to be done in very clean surroundings. I do tire more easily, but then I have an excuse to take naps! I am thankful for this miracle procedure and that I am doing this well.
UPDATE -- Florida spring training, Part 3 -- 'gator gazing
With Wyatt arriving in Cape Coral on Thursday evening, Friday would be the first full day with our whole group of five together. We planned to drive to Everglades City for an airboat tour, followed by whatever other mischief we could find.
We awoke on Friday morning to cool, rainy weather -- hardly the image conveyed in Florida's tourism ads. While I debated writing a sternly worded letter to the Florida Tourism Council, Jim took the more productive approach of getting online to check the radar. The band of showers in the area appeared to be rather thin, and was moving quickly to the southeast. With a little luck, the rain would pass by the time we made the one-hour drive to Everglades City.
We all piled into our rental vehicle, a Chevy HHR, which is some sort of a cross between a station wagon, an SUV and a 1940's-era Oldsmobile. We weren’t sure of the best route to reach Everglades City, so we punched it into the Hertz NeverLost GPS system, which would give us turn-by-turn directions in a pleasant female voice. Jim named her Claire, after the name Sprint assigned to the voice in his cell phone GPS unit.
Over the course of the day, Claire would become the sixth member of our traveling party, providing welcome comic relief. While text to speech technology has come a long way, Claire seemed to struggle with the pronunciation of most of the roads on our route, particularly "Periwinkle Way" and "Tamiami Highway." Even "boulevard," a relatively basic word for a turn-by-turn GPS unit, one would think, came out more like "blulevard," which never ceased to be funny to us. I guess we are easily amused.
Despite our GPS guide's struggles with the English language, we eventually made it to Everglades City, after driving through intermittently heavy rain for most of the hour. We decided to find a restaurant, hoping the weather would clear while we ate. We settled on the Seafood Depot, cleverly named for its seafood menu and location in a historic railroad depot. We enjoyed a meal of seafood (what, you were expecting me to say steaks?), and as luck would have it, by the time we paid our tab, the rain had stopped and we began to believe the skies were about to clear entirely.
Although Everglades City is a rather small town, it is home to several establishments offering airboat tours. However, Wyatt and I felt a kinship with the one named "Speedy Johnson's Airboat Tours," so we had no trouble choosing who would be the beneficiary of our patronage.
We checked in for our tour and were issued construction grade earmuffs to help block out the sound of the noisy airboat motors. Our boat captain/tour guide also suggested we each take a raincoat, in case the weather soured again during our 45-minute tour. I considered going without, as it really appeared that the worst of the rain was over, but made the last minute decision that it would be better to be safe than sorry.
That decision paid off within 60 seconds of pushing off from the dock, when a persistent downpour began.
Eventually, we reached a clearing where the waterway opened into a small pond. Somehow, our guide spied an alligator at the edge of the pond, despite the fact that only its eyes were visible above the rain-spackled surface of the water. We moved in slowly for a closer look. It was amazing, and maybe a little disconcerting, to see a wild 'gator so close. After a moment, he slipped out of sight, and we continued on our way.
He wouldn't be the last alligator we would see. For a time, we slowly trailed a young 'gator for a good 50 yards as it swam down the waterway ahead of us, paying no mind to the noisy boat or its human passengers.
At one point, we reached another clearing and saw one of the other tour boats stopped as its passengers watched a nearby 'gator. Our boat soon joined theirs, and we all watched as the large 'gator swam between the boats, almost close enough to reach out and touch -- not that any of us were about to try such a stunt! (Well, why not? You wrestled an alligator in 2004 -- It's in Bulletin 119. --Photo Ed.)
By this time, the rain had let up again, and we enjoyed the rest of our scenic tour before returning to the docks and checking out the T-shirts, 'gator claws and other trappings of the Speedy Johnson's gift shop.
Eventually, we packed back into the car like damp sardines and headed back north toward Fort Myers. We took a less direct route home through Naples and Fort Myers Beach. While this return trip would be more scenic than the drive down, it also took significantly longer. Thankfully, we had Claire to keep us entertained.
We drove by Fort Myers Beach, the region's best beach for swimming and sunbathing. However, the cool, damp weather was hardly conducive to an afternoon on the beach, so we decided to drive even farther, to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, enjoying views of the Gulf of Mexico and the many amazing homes along the shore.
Upon reaching Captiva Island, we finally got out of the car to walk along a beach that was completely covered in seashells, to the point where it was difficult to take a step without our feet landing on a shell. We gathered shells to bring home with us (cheap souvenirs!) while other beachgoers fished off a rocky point or simply sat and watched the waves rolling in.
After a time, we reluctantly got back in the car one last time for the drive back to Cape Coral. By the end of this long day, we didn’t feel like preparing another meal ourselves, so we found a restaurant just up the street from Geoff's house, where we enjoyed a meal while watching the NCAA basketball tournament on TV.
Finally, we returned home and enjoyed some relaxation in the hot tub, which felt especially nice after spending a good part of the day out in the rainy, damp weather. All of us Minnesota guys were excited for tomorrow, which would bring the trip's main event: a Twins' spring training game!
UPDATE -- mayflowers, buttercups and pussytoes
Last Saturday I had the most wonderful day at Ashby. D took us (Kathie Behrens and me) up in the hills on the farm in the pickup. We stopped to enjoy the panoramic view of Pelican Lake, Ashby and the surrounding farms. Then we drove back into the hills, as far as we could without messing with the fences.
Walking toward the gravel pit from the field and pastures behind it, we found mayflowers (Pasqueflowers)! I was so excited to see them thriving in several areas. They are making a healthy comeback now that Beaver is doing a different type of pasturing rotation with the cattle.
We also saw pussytoes and simple, waxy yellow flowers [buttercups], and some low purple clusters of flowers from the pea family. I didn't have my flower book field guides with me, so I'm not much help in identifying all that we saw, but it was very exciting to be out on such a warm mid-April day finding the mayflowers I remember from childhood, making a comeback after all the years we couldn't find them there.
Perhaps D has sent you some of the photos she took. It seems to be a very early spring here this year. Already, our days are so warm it feels like summer to me.
Day to DayR
Hiking with Kathie and Kathy -- and no bugs!
Kathie Behrens and Kathy Anderson came last weekend; both went to Evansville to pick up some beef and then made their way to the farm for a short visit.
We took Jayce and went into the hills above the gravel pit to do a little hiking. It was fun having Kathy point out the wild Mayflowers as I wouldn't have known what they were. We did find quite a few wildflowers in bloom -- very pretty.
Although the leaves were still not on the trees, we did not have to worry about a lot of bugs. Maybe they'll come back for both the leaves and, sad to say, the bugs!
Making it to the views overlooking the gravel pit is worth the effort. We all enjoyed our time together and getting some exercise on a lovely, early spring day.
Anyone else care to come for a hike?
The Matriarch Speaks W
Let's play a guessing game: 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.
Last week's Guess picture
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 am pretty sure that is my Great-Grandma Mary Chaney Dake Greer in the mystery picture ... but I'm not sure if the man is her first husband, Great-Grandpa Dake, or her second husband, Great-Grandpa Greer?
Carol Dake Printz
Editor's comment: That is Grandpa Warren Dake with Grandma -- at our folks' wedding (I think) -- the father and mother of the groom. Compare the photo of them here. She was Mary Elizabeth Cheney, who married Warren Dake ... and they became parents of William Benjamin Dake and Elizabeth Jane Dake McCalla.
Their farm later was owned by Ervin Wrobbel. Our little house was right north of where they were sitting and that was where we lived up through when I was 3 -- at which time we moved to the Mellon farm and Grandpa moved to Waverly and managed (and then bought) a general store.
My mother's father's relatives (I'm guessing my Grandpa William Dake's uncle?) and his wife, waiting for Sunday dinner ... hoping there will be chicken. He looks hungry, to me.
Editor's comment: CLOSE -- it is, indeed, my father's relatives, but a little closer -- it is his dad and mom and, if I have my facts right, they were attending his wedding to my mother back on September 3 of 1919. Note my grandma's satin dress (which she would have made for herself). This picture was taken on their home place, where the wedding was held. And their names were Warren and Mary Dake.
Thank you again for re-running last week's GUESS pictures. That helped as we read the guesses. I thought it was pears they were peeling, but I see it is potatoes.
I tried and tried to figure out who the couple were on the picture this week, but I don't even have a clue.
This week's Guess picture
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.
Winter In Bemidji
I just finished packing my last box. The rest of my things will fit in the suitcase and the garment bag. I have the boxes addressed to me at Howard Lake. Max will take them down and put them in the freight to be mailed out and delivered to the depot in Howard Lake, where Gert or my Dad will pick them up for me.
This is my last week of work. On Easter Sunday, March 28, Louella and I went to the Meeting at Holman's here in town. Everyone else who came that day was invited to stay and have "potluck" for a goodbye to the two of us. It was such a nice day -- even Ken and Harry were there.
Patrick and Angie had picked up all of Bertha's things the week before Easter and she went home with them on Friday of that week.
Louella left that next week. Ralph came to help get her belongings to Dassel, but they did not take a direct route there. They had a two-wheeled trailer and loaded her stuff on that. After we had them all loaded up, they left for the little town where Ralph's folks live; I think that is Onamia.
Louella and Ralph's sister Blanche are going to do the plans for the wedding, which is to be this summer.
We have had an extremely busy month at the shop and that is good. Belle and I were talking the other day and she offered that I should go to school here. Then she would accept my help for my board, which would mean a lot cheaper education.
But it did not even take me 10 minutes to tell her that I will just go home and live there for weekends and free days ... and that I have already chosen a place to rent across from the main hall. It will be $50 a month for half a room and a shared double bed.
I will be getting one meal at the nursery school, where I will help feed the children their noon meal. And allowing $2 for the other two meals and $2 a week for the ride to and from school with the McChesneys of Cokato, who drive their daughter and another girl to and from college, it adds up to about $750.
I should be almost able to meet all of those expenses with the money I have earned in my bonus from Photo North, the gift from Bertha, and my wages for helping Belle. I will also have two weeks of corn canning factory wages, and some from Blanche and Jim for the extra help I do for them. I guess if worse times come to bother me, someone could maybe sign a note for me at the Cokato State Bank.
I talked to Vonnie last night, and what do you know -- Billie, Lois, and Carol were there, looking over the newest purchase. What a thrill to visit a bit with the three ladies ... the most fun, of course, being with Carol. She isn't quite sure she remembers who I am but knows she is supposed to call me Aunt Dorothy (whatever that means). I can hardly wait to tote her around again!
From Vonnie, I found that she is enjoying her nursing experience. It is not like working in the big hospital she trained in, or even like the one she worked in first. But she is getting all kinds of experiences. And she tells me it is very special to be the nurse who will more than likely be in on the delivery for "our" babies. Really, Marcella, Lois, and Blanche, are all supposed to be "delivering" in a two months' span ... and Jean and Gib are supposed to be having their arrival in about a month and a half ... sometime in June. I certainly would never consider missing those exciting events.
Besides, everything here will be so different next year. And to be very honest with everyone, I hope never to have to be out in a winter like that one again. I know I will always have to deal with the experience, but it is good to have someone to lean on! I think that "being independent" is much too highly rated.
Southeast Asia Extravaganza 2009
I also ran into Ari, a cool Canadian Jeff and I had met nearly a month before on Haad Kuad (Bottle Beach) in Thailand. He was now traveling with an equally friendly Canadian English teacher, who is traveling the globe following a teaching stint in Korea. We all decided to book a kayaking and caving adventure.
Yesterday morning we met Yon, our very energetic Lao guide. He sang to us in Lao and impressed us with a few enthusiastic renditions of American tunes, too, as we paddled slowly down the river. No joke -- he knew every single word to "I just called, to say, I love you...." and belted it out with passion as we paddled.
The surrounding countryside was gorgeous on both banks. Lush forest with lovely flowering trees and butterflies alternated with bright green rice paddies. In the distance, limestone karsts loomed over it all; they look like fortresses, with ominous clouds hanging around them. These are the landscapes I could imagine dragons inhabiting.
We stopped on the banks to walk through a cool, dry cave. Back beside the river, Yon cooked up a tasty lunch of grilled beef kebabs served with fried rice he'd purchased from the market.
Once we reached the stretch of river closer to town, the atmosphere changed quite obtrusively. Now the riverbanks were lined with raucous bars blasting bad music. Lots of travelers rent tubes and go bar hopping down the river, a different sort of fun than the day we enjoyed.
Back in town, I met up with an assortment of traveling friends I'd met in Chiang Mai, Nong Khai, and Bottle Beach, Thailand, to celebrate a birthday. It was fun to see how we'd all connected after days or weeks of separate paths, and an appreciated break from the solitude of traveling alone since Jeff left a week ago.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
More May Birthdays
May Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
Thank you so much for the fun birthday card! We loved the Irish music and dancing. We had a great birthday and we want to tell you all about it, but it's Bulletin day and Miss Jerrianne won't leave the keyboard. She's plying us with catnip. It makes us frisky and then so very sleepy...
We hope we can sneak a little keyboard time in while she's busy tomorrow. Thanks, again!
Miss Kitty and Mai Tai
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?
Kurt and I were chatting the other night about how Grandma used to make a hot-dish called "Shipwreck." Neither one of us have had it since she made it last and we both have fond memories of it. I spoke with Donna today; she said it was actually a recipe from your family and that it is saved in The Bulletin archives. I checked and did not see it. Is this a recipe you might have, and if so can we have a copy of it? Thanks!
Kristi Larson Indermark
Editor's Note: It is to be found in Bulletin 29. Enjoy!
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
Another beautiful blossom picture front and center. This time it was cherry, but they looked much like the plum, except for the color. What a Creator we have, and thanks to Suzanne to have found those to photograph.
The snowbanks at the picnic shelter in Anchorage, Alaska, looks like they have a ways to go yet before Spring shows up as it has here in Minneapolis-St. Paul. We were so amazed at the blazing patches of tulips already blooming here. A few warm days and a nice rain does wonders.
I do recognize two special people on the picture of the moving helpers to the new home in Alabama. The grandpa and grandma were two little children when I knew them best. So, it is always interesting to see their family and stories of their lives.
Fun to see the buckling. First time I heard that name -- I wonder if Sonia thought that one up? So cute and so soft. Pink eyes and pink ears and such soft, white fur, it would be fun to be able to pick him up. We will need updates on this cute little bunny.
Well, now we know what is next for Storybrooke. What an experience, and not one to be duplicated too soon, I'm sure. I took time to read the Blog, and sat here laughing and picturing this scene; (mis)adventure is a good name for this new attempt of LTD's at fame.
Then next came the chapter by Weston that we had hoped would be in this issue of The Bulletin. That is a L O T of people in those bleachers, and standing room only, at that. Roy and I had been to Fort Myers and Cape Coral so it was easy to visualize their activity.
The Update by Char Myron was very much enjoyed, not only by us, but by Harriet Cossentine, who is at our home for this week -- hopefully getting a much needed rest before busy weeks ahead for her. We both knew Bob and Doris from years back, and she told us some about the family now in more recent years. So, seeing the five-generation picture was most interesting.
Thank you, Miss Kitty, for the story as it is from your vantage point, and your opinion of Mai Tai and him sharing in your birthday.
Mai Tai has changed from the cute, innocent look he had when you got him, as in the left picture, and now as you gave us a more recent picture in Bulletin #409. Of course we all change with the years, especially from one to three years old.
We look forward to hearing how the birthday party goes for TWO cats. Seemed I remember it was hard enough to get even one cat to pose just right, and not get burned on the candles or splash into the whipped cream.
Day to Day by Donna Mae was especially sweet with the pictures of the little ones visiting the Ashby farm, and playing dress up. The memory of being at your home in day care will remain throughout their lifetime. That was so cute of her, asking how your back was, Donna Mae.
The plants seem to thrive in that sunroom. Isn't it unusual for a Christmas cactus to still be blooming?
I always think Memory Lane should be about twice as long as it is. But then it probably is quite a lot of work to bring back to mind the events in such detail as they are written. I thought it was so easy to see all that was happening from the hospital visits to the shop events.
Then Kjirsten shared another of her many varied experiences in Laos. What an education to see all the sights and silk worm products, and then to be willing to try out the food and drinks served up at the organic restaurant. Thank you, Kjirsten, for the excellent pictures and detailed account of your time there.
So Dorothy had a surprise "Birthday Cake." It doesn't look like one that would be full of calories, and nice you matched your cake. What was it? Actual flowers?
I looked up Shipwreck Casserole in the Archives, and it could not bring up any recipe. So, I looked on Google, and found it was hamburger, potato, vegetables and soup. It reminds me of one mother used to make, and it was always a winner and a complete meal in itself. [The search function won't find it, but it's in Bulletin 29. Just click on this link. --Ed.]
After all the comments in the LTTE section about the birthday greetings by Doug, I am sure he would realize how much we all enjoyed his song for you, Dorothy, with his very own rendition of it in music. I was so amazed to be able to hear that as we read The Bulletin on the screen.
I loved the CHUCKLES this time. It looked so real that they were trying to be "vewwy, vewwy quiet."
That was quite a meaningful Quotation for the day this time. One can just see the fragile blossom opening in the snow, at least here in Minnesota where we are apt to get a snowfall at a least expected time when spring is supposed to be here.
Thank you, Editors, for another loaded Bulletin. Loaded with new and different stories, and some continuations, which we look forward to. Next week, we get to hear and see more ... IF someone remembers to send something in.
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: Earth laughs in flowers. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
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