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Sunday, December 26, 2010
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Merry Christmas!
(Because we actually publish on Saturday)
For more recent editions of The Bulletin, click here.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Chugach Mountains from my window on Christmas eve, Anchorage, Alaska.

Updates -

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Grandpa Don Pettit died at 4:15 a.m. Christmas Eve Day. Grandma Gert is back home in Howard Lake & doing well. --Melanie Lehtola, Howard Lake, MN

Wake: Monday, December 27th, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m., prayer service at 7:30 p.m., Peterson Funeral Home, Howard Lake, Minnesota.

Funeral: Tuesday, December 28th, 11 a.m., First Baptist Church, Cokato, Minnesota.

Photos sent to us by Brenda Anderson Hill
Jazmine & Jonathan Hill

FAMILY UPDATE -- Nathan & Brenda Hill
by Brenda Anderson Hill
Dwight, ND

Jazmine, 7, is in the second grade in the other elementary school from the one where her mom teaches kindergarten. She loves school. Especially reading! She took swimming lessons last summer and was in summer theater, where she played Molly Pitcher; she thoroughly enjoyed that! She also plays basketball, takes piano lessons, takes archery lessons and does other 4-H events.

Jonathan, 6, spent the summer riding his John Deere bike with a slingshot draped over the handlebars! He also took swimming lessons, does archery, and played T-ball. Jonathan is in kindergarten this year and is just down the hallway from his mom. He is learning how to read and has developed beautiful handwriting! Grandma Janie is going to take him on as a piano student soon.

Jaxon Hill

Jaxon, 4, is in the Speech and Language Preschool, which is in the school where his mother teaches. He goes two afternoons a week and has improved his speech a LOT, as well as making new friends.

In May, he jumped off the couch cushion and broke his upper leg (femur). Because they had to keep his hips stable, too, his cast extended from above the navel to his ankle on one side and just above the knee on his other side. He also had a bar between his knees to provide more stability.

During those five weeks, I was able to be home with him as he couldn't sit upright, stand, or even sit in his car seat! He became King Jaxon, sitting in his recliner saying, "I need a drink, I want a toy."

For his 4th birthday, Nathan repainted a bike to resemble a Bobcat. He was able to ride it immediately, without training wheels.

Photo © Merna Hellevang
Moving van loads household goods for move to Texas.

UPDATE -- Minnesota Freesemanns move to Texas
by Merna Morgan Hellevang
Fargo, ND

Marlee and Troy Freesemann have been Minneapolis area Minnesota residents since the early '90's. Marlee moved there from Grand Forks, North Dakota, to work as a dental hygienist and Troy left Watertown, South Dakota, after high school to attend the University of Minnesota.

Troy has been employed by a company involved with reverse mortgages for the past while and found favor with his boss in Austin, Texas, who offered him a position in the Austin office. I don't have the details on how much Troy is paying his boss to let him work in a warmer climate!

After some careful consideration, the family decided this was an opportunity they all wanted to pursue, so they made a trip in October to check out their options for housing and schools. With the recommendations of some friends, the Churchills, they chose a neighborhood in which to rent a home and visited the respective schools they would be attending. They were impressed with what they saw and chose to rent a two-story home in Round Rock.

Upon returning from Texas, there has been much sorting, cleaning and purging going on within the household. Trips to recycling, Goodwill, and consignment stores helped pare down the extra items. I was on hand when the packers came to box all remaining possessions for the trip. Three men worked efficiently, wrapping and packing and labeling. That evening, all that was left unpacked were their beds.

The moving van came four days later (last Saturday) and filled the semi-trailer. Troy flew out that day to Austin. Marlee and the kids stayed for two more days of school, and with Marlee's mom, Mavis Morgan, left the cold and snowy northland on Wednesday, December 23. They arrived in Round Rock that evening to start their adventure in Texas.

Photo © Merna Hellevang
Doris Myron & Tom Morgan.

Tom Morgan has been dealing with dementia of an unknown cause for about 3-1/2 years and is dependent on his wife, Mavis, as his caregiver. So that Mavis could accompany their daughter Marlee Freesemann and her three children to Texas this week, Tom agreed to stay at a "home away from home" while Mavis is away.

Maple View Memory Care Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has a respite care program that is working out very well for him. He is well acquainted with another resident there, Doris Myron, of Thompson, North Dakota. Doris's grandson Tim Myron is Tom's son-in-law. He sees Doris's husband, Bob, every day when Bob comes to visit Doris. He is enjoying the activity around him and the entertainment provided this time of year. He thinks the halls are a great place to walk.

I took this picture of Doris and him when I visited there today.

UPDATE -- A Wahpeton visit
by Dorothy Dake Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Last fall, just before the first snow, Don and I took a short visit to Wahpeton, North Dakota, to see his siblings that live there, before we became marooned by winter. Before ending up at Elaine's for a family visit and afternoon lunch, we went to visit Dwight. He has retired (though he works some, as he is needed). Janie is teaching at Science School.

I had a chance to get a quick look at Dwight's shop that is located in their garage. He has a very impressive collection of interesting items he has restored, and also things he has made. Among the collectibles are some brand new coaster wagons. Oh, no, really they aren't!

Well you could have fooled me -- they surely look new! They are beautifully restored. We did not have a camera along, so did not share what we saw at that time. But here is a photo Dwight sent us this week ... so I thought I would share it now.

Photo © Dwight Anderson
The first coaster wagon Dwight restored; it is about a 1950 model.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Donna Richards, a longtime friend of the Anderson family, is gravely ill, due to complications that arose after breaking her femur in a fall last spring. (This photo is from Bulletin 415, published May 30, after the original accident.) Donna's sister Paula Kurtz has opened a Caring Bridge web site for friends to read updates on Donna's condition & leave messages for Donna in her guest book.

UPDATE -- Donna Richards moves to long term care hospital
from Paula Kurtz to Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Donna moved to Bethesda Hospital on Thursday, December 23rd. It is an acute, long-term care hospital. You can only go there if recommended by a physician and meet certain criteria. She will have a physician assigned to her case for the duration of her stay. They will do therapy twice a day, seven days a week. Along with wound dressing, pain control and IV management. The move was hard, as you would expect.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Donna Richards & her brother, Steven Richards, & sister, Paula Kurtz.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
We've been having a stretch of very cold weather, often below zero, & the little birds like peanut butter spread on a bagel, so we made them a treat today. You may have read about this kind of bird treat before, in Bulletin 184.

UPDATE -- blogging The Bulletin
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

Back in the days when The Bulletin began, in 2002, nobody was thinking about blogs, according to Miss Jerrianne. Well, what do I know? I hadn't even been born then! But now a bunch of Bulletin subscribers keep blogs and even Facebook pages, so every week we make the rounds and find the good stuff and put links in The Bulletin so you can see those words and pictures, too. We regularly visit Bitzidoodles by Virginia McCorkell and LTD's Storybrooke Ripples by Larry Dake and Where The Wild Ferns Grow by Sarah Steinhauer. And we check out some by non-Bulletin subscribers, too.

One of those blogs showed us a link to Handel's Hallelujah Chorus sung by a flash mob in a food court. We read in Betty's review that some people weren't able to understand the words. Well, this week one of Miss Jerrianne's friends put a link in his blog to a wonderful YouTube video of the 5th graders in a little Yup'ik Eskimo village in Alaska having a wonderful time -- and presenting this beloved piece of music in a way that will leave little doubt about the words. Miss Jerrianne's friend said this would be his Christmas card to all his friends and she thought she would share it with her Bulletin friends, too. Notice how many times it's been viewed. Here is Quinhagak's story. What a fifth grade teacher! What community spirit! Merry Christmas to all!

Wait -- there's more! The editors are experimenting with presenting The Bulletin as a blog in the New Year. A new year, after all, is a time to try new things. If you look through the archives of The Bulletin, you will see that there have been many changes over the last eight -- going on nine -- years and that most of them have worked out OK, though some of them took a little getting used to. In the beginning, The Bulletin had no pictures but now sometimes it's mostly pictures. Web technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. So let's make a New Year's resolution to try something new -- keeping the content but changing the format to encourage more participation by the subscribers.

Mai Tai and I are going to help by keeping her lap warm. He's helping now, but I've set the timer. I'm next. Merry Christmas!

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
A chickadee stops by for sunflower hearts & peanut butter on a bagel log.

Photo © Mike Steinhauer
Early morning excitement in the Steinhauers' goat pen -- new kids are born!

Photos © Mike & Sarah Steinhauer
Goat at left had trouble standing, gets assist from a sling; Kira holds Ginger, right.

Photo © Mike & Sarah Steinhauer
Two new kids, male & female, born in cold weather just before Thanksgiving.

Photo © Mike & Sarah Steinhauer
New kid sports a fashionable sweater, knitted by Sarah Steinhauer.

Photo © Mike & Sarah Steinhauer
Levi & Kira cradle new kids in warm sweaters.

Click here to see more pictures of kids watching over the new kids on Sarah's blog.

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo © Virtual Farmboy
Oxen in training.

Click here to see what's new on Ginny McCorkell's Bitzidoodles blog.

Harry the dog steals the whip.

Click here for the latest news on LTD's Storybrooke Ripples blog.

Day to DayR
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Beaver, recuperating from knee surgery, & Russell Dewey.

We Entertain Visitors

I invited Barb and Russ Dewey and Judy Bertram over for a meal, as a thank you for feeding Beaver while I spent time with Donna Richards.

It was a very lovely evening! Judy brought along fresh lefse that she and her sister had just finished making. Huge hit!

Lori and McKenna joined us, after having brought Jayce back from an extended Chap Christmas party. It is so wonderful having them so much closer!

Photo © Donna Johnson
McKenna Ostendorf & Jayce & Grady Chap.

Photo © Caity Chap
A Winter Wonderland.

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

Who Is This?

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

Last week's mystery photo was supplied by Lori Anderson and Keith Mason.
Send us some mystery photos; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn.

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.

In the guess picture, I must write to say I know those folks who live in sunny California. I think they go up in some mountain area in the wintertime when they hear it is snowing so they can use their caps and scarves and pretend they are really roughing it like we actually do in North Dakota, no pretend about it. I wish they would pack up their winter attire and come to North Dakota, where they would get better use of the woolens. Even just for a visit, would be great. The happy couple are my niece Lori Anderson and her husband, Keith Mason.

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hope, ND

That's my cousin Lori Anderson, with her husband, Keith Mason, from Orange County, California. I'm just wondering where they found the snow?

Melanie Shockey
Hutchinson, MN

The guess picture is Lori Anderson Mason and Keith Mason who live in California. And the photo shows they DO get snow in California, too!

Elaine Anderson Wold
Wahpeton, ND

The new Guess picture is our newlywed couple in California. Give me a minute and I will try to think of their names. Lori Anderson and her husband, Keith Mason. I had to look at WHERE in the list at the beginning of The Bulletin to find their names. What a great picture of them with frost and snow! Something rare for them, I would think. They still look thrilled and happy to be a couple.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

This week's Guess picture

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

Memory Lane

by Dorothy Dake
(10 Years old)

It seems to me that my mom has too much work to do. Most of the time, I do my chores without being told. Blanche does lots more than I do, but she has really weak wrists and mine are strong so some things I do that Mom doesn't have time for, and that Blanche doesn't have strong enough wrists to do, make me feel important.

This morning I spent planning and doing my regular Saturday chore. I am to scrub every wooden kitchen chair that we have. I usually like to pretend as I work. Or if I am reading a good book, I like to reward myself. Do a chair, read a page, do a chair, read a page (or more). Well, that way it is more fun but it takes longer. I usually do two, then return them to the kitchen and then do two more. So today I just decided I had better do it like Blanche does. Just get it done and then see what else you can get done to surprise Mom.

I still had two more chairs to do, but the water was mostly all gone and it was dirty, so I went and got my tin pail filled with fresh soapy water. I noticed Mom had the churn all set up for making butter. She was putting a two-gallon pail of cream into the churn through the open top. Blanche was setting things out for dinner. I looked and, sure enough, it was almost noon.

"What are we going to have?"

"Brown gravy over bread!"

I certainly wasn't excited over that answer. I carried my pail of water out and set it by the chairs. And I went back in to have my dinner.

We all finally got in for dinner. As I went by the churn, I gave it a little push but it was solid and heavy feeling. So it was ready to start the churning. When we once start, then we keep right on until the sloshing of the cream turns to the thumping of the butter. Except when it doesn't slosh -- then we stop and open up the bung at the top of the churn. (I guess you have to let the air in -- or else out -- I am not quite sure which.) Then you turn the handle again and get it to slosh nice and loud. It is important to keep on, nice and steady.

I feel quite proud, as I can now help Mom do the actual turning of the churn. Billie USED to help, but he goes too fast and the cream doesn't slosh like it is supposed to. Blanche tried and she makes it go, but her wrists give out. So I help. (Good, I won't say anything to Mom. I will just finish up my peanut butter bread and then I will start and turn until she finishes her dinner.) That is what I thought. But that is not what happened.

Our table is long, wide, and oval; on the south side, facing Mom and Dad are Gert, Bubsy, and Dorothy (me); Blanche sometimes needs to help Gert (who is only 4, you know) so she sits at the east end, and at the other end is my big brother, Billie. (Sometimes I sing, "Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy?" to him to torment him a bit. If I write his name, to tease, I sometimes make it Billy -- I guess he really doesn't care too much). He is 16 and he is a good big brother! Lots of times he teases me, but he doesn't let Robert Miller tease me!

When I finished my peanut butter sandwich, I decided to go start the churning and then I could have my peach sauce during my first break. The churn is set up behind Billie, and over to the far wall, so Mom and Dad couldn't see me go to the churn. The little kids did but they didn't see anything different about that. I went over to the churn. I unlocked the churn, to allow the handle to swing free and the part that goes through the middle freed up so I could start swinging the churn. I needed a pretty good shove to get it all started, so the whole keg started to turn. The cream would soon be swishing around the inside of the keg and the swish, swoosh would turn the cream to butter.

But then I heard, "Dorothy, what are you doing?" That was Blanche.

"Watch out! The cream is squirting out!" That was Bubsy.

"Boo HOOO!" -- that was me.

"Amy, when will you learn to put the plug in the bung when it is stopped?" That was Dad, talking to Mom.

"No, don't blame Mom -- I made the mistake!" That was me and, yes, I was crying!

"Get out of the way, Dot. Give me the handle!" -- Billie, this time -- loud and clear!

Billie stopped the cream squirting, pushed the churn out of the spilled cream area -- and then put in the plug and started me in on the job of churning!

I guess everybody thinks they have a nice family. But do you know, I think mine is the best! Blanche went and got my warm soapy water and she helped Mom clean up the mess. And then she finished up my chairs for me. Gert begged for the dirty cream they could save for her kitties, and was thrilled that I had spilled it! Bubsy is a bit jealous that he can't churn yet, but he tells me that my mistakes will surely help him never to do that.

Mom only lets me do 10 minutes at a time, but it was one of my times when I heard the sound that let me know butter was coming. Instead of a slosh, you hear more of a thump. The butter came, then Mom turned the churn over (no, not the whole thing -- just the keg). She put a pail under it, opened the bung, and this time instead of cream shooting out, the buttermilk ran out. (That is another thing I DO NOT DRINK! But it is good when Mom makes pancakes with it!)

Then she closed up the churn and turned it over so the lid faced up. She poured in cold water -- closed it up and gave it a couple of turns -- then upside down again to drain out the water -- then a final top up.

The final step is to remove the lid of the churn and take out the butter, which then has to be salted or not, depending on how it is going to be used. I helped paddle it good and shape it and then we put it in big, tight glass jars that we carried out to store in the cooler.

So now we will have butter -- there, for a few minutes, I was afraid all of the cream would be on the floor and I would never be allowed to make butter again! I'm glad I have a quick-moving, nice big brother!

I know just exactly what our large churn looked like ... so I called up "Churning" on Google, then went to barrel ... and I found a picture that looks exactly like it: scroll down to the third picture on the linked page to see a Star Barrel Churn. I bet my Grandpa Mellon had bought it for use on the farm and it stayed with the farm. It even tells why Mom would have removed the plug from the bung. This type did not have any paddles inside and it used a regular wooden barrel on a stand. Dad had built a stool that we could sit on for a while now and then for a rest.

$  A Long Time Ago   !

A Baby Sister For The New Year
by Jerrianne Lowther

Change is hard! Even harder if you resist it, which I frequently do. And adding a new member to an established family is guaranteed to bring change, whether we resist it or not. I was barely 2 when my brother Bobby was born and I don't remember anything about how that went. I vaguely recall contesting ownership of the crib, but that was later.

The only sibling whose arrival I remember being jumping up and down, eagerly excited about was Kathlyn, who arrived home from the hospital in February, all bundled up and sound asleep in the "bassinet" that looked like an oversize picnic basket. That "honeymoon" lasted all of 10 seconds before Dad said, "SH-H-H-H! You'll wake up the baby!"

But this story isn't about Kathy, the little sister we had aquired just before Groundhog Day when I was almost 4. Nor is it about David, whose arrival was recounted last week, or Richard, who got stuck on the exit ramp and scared the dickens out of everybody, including the doctor.

This story is about the little sister who made an appearance during Christmas vacation in my senior year of high school, well after we were sure the Johnson family was complete. The doctor said no one should go through that ordeal again and proposed changes this time. Mom's "due date" was very close to January 1, so the doctor asked Dad whether he would prefer to take his "little tax deduction" this year or next year.

A bird in the hand, my father may have thought, though I guessed the timing might have had more to do with my Christmas vacation from school, which left me free to keep house and supervise the younger kids while Mom was away. Grandma had passed away the previous summer and her house had been sold, so we were on our own.

Christmas celebrations at our house were a thing of the past in 1958, but little Beaver's birthday celebration on Christmas eve had helped to fill the gap. This time, Mom made it through the festivities and staged a proper birthday party for him before her appointment with the stork on December 29. And this time, the new arrival was a daughter.

I had been sewing party dresses for little girls -- one for a young second cousin, Martha Surdam, and a smaller one, sized about right for a 6-month-old baby or a large doll. Mom's name was Twila and Dad's name was Don and they actually considered naming the poor little tyke Twila Dawn. I said if they named her Mitzi Lynn she could have the dress -- red and white dotted Swiss with lace ruffles and little red ribbon bows.

There was a bit of consternation about this, since the Fergusons had named their Pomeranian Mitzi and there was also a movie star with that name, but somehow the little sister was named Mitzi Lynn and she did get the dress. A few years later, Dad said they couldn't imagine how she could ever have been named anything else. I don't think I've ever asked Mitzi how she felt about it.

I do know that all their growing up years, Beaver and Mitzi celebrated their birthdays while their friends celebrated Christmas. The basement fireplace, built the year Beaver was born, was a great place to roast hot dogs and marshmallows or cook steaks over the coals. Mom was a creative cake decorator; her reindeer and snowman cakes were sweet delights.

Though I was seldom at home to participate, having gone off to work and then college when Mitzi was just 5 months old, Dad's pictures convinced me that Beaver and Mitzi managed to make their birthdays into one ongoing party that lasted most of a week of their school Christmas vacations.

Photos by Donald B. Johnson
Beaver & Mitzi Johnson celebrated their birthdays together all of their growing up years after Mitzi was born. He often got an angel food cake, since his birthday was Christmas Eve. Mitzi always got a cake made from the Baker's Coconut Cut-up Cakes recipe book. Those cakes were always made with seven-minute frosting & decorated with candies & coconut.

Travelogue t

Photo © Mitzi Swenson
Jayna, Shane & Kjirsten Swenson.

Scandinavian Heritage Tour: Oslo, Norway
by Jayna Swenson
Salt Lake City, UT

After meeting, we took the car/bus/train back to Oslo and tried to make the most of our last day in the city. We grabbed more hot chocolate, sandwiches and treats at a bakery by the National Theatre, and then hurried off to the Norwegian Heritage Museum. Apparently, it's normally a Colonial Williamsburg-like place with people walking around in costumes and spinning wool, etc, but since it's the off season, all the actors must have gone south for the winter. It was still really cool and the one demonstration that was open was the best one, anyway.

Photos © Mitzi Swenson
Kjirsten & log cabin at Heritage Museum, left; lefse rolling demonstration, right.

After a week of searching for lefse, including a very deliberate quest yesterday that ended up with several bakeries and shopkeepers laughing at us and pointing us to the grocery store (where we did find some, next to the Twinkies), we were treated to "authentic" lefse, made thick and over hot coals. It was delicious. And $5 a slice. It was much thicker and sweet, and I'm not even sure it was made with potatoes, but slathered in butter and steaming hot, it's pretty hard to beat.

Photo © Mitzi Swenson
Lefse, thicker & sweeter than usual, rolled out & ready to bake.

At meeting this morning we were talking about lefse (to much snickering by the locals), and the elder just said, "That's pretty much just what our ancestors ate. And you know why? Because they didn't have anything else to eat." It might be like if someone came to the states and asked where they could get some good hard tack and dried biscuits.

To be continued...

Photo © Mitzi Swenson
Lefse, baking on griddle next to open fire.

Photo © Mitzi Swenson
Lefse, baking on griddle next to open fire, almost ready to slather with butter.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day

This Week's Birthdays
December 26---Koen de Been
December 29---Mitzi Johnson Swenson
December 30---Travis Quick

Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
December 27---Earl and Kathleen Dake Stahlecker (36 years)

January Birthdays
January 3---Brandon Hellevang
January 3---Virginia (Dake) McCorkell
January 4---Harry "Junior" Anderson
January 4---Nathan Hill
January 5---Jayce Michael Chap (12 years old)
January 5---Krista Rae Weiland (11 years old)
January 6---Sean Thomas Cannon (12 years old)
January 6---Kierra Elizabeth Ostendorf (2 years old)
January 7---Logan Benjamin Henderson (3 years old)
January 8---Rosanna Miller
January 8---Lelan Elaine Brown (2 year old)
January 11---Brandon Harvey Lehtola (8 years old)
January 13---Russ Riesenberg

January 15---Shea Ashley Birkholz
January 17---Liam John Larson (1 year old)
January 19---Trevor Jayce Roberson (10 years old)
January 22---Timothy Mellon
January 24---Marloes de Been
January 28---Willam Richard Dake (1 year old)

January 30---Whitney Johnson
January 30---Madilyn Mae Larson (4 years old)
January 31---Larry McCorkell

January Anniversaries
January 24---David "Beaver" and Donna Anderson Johnson (17 years)

January Special Days

January 1---New Year's Day
January 17---Martin Luther King Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

Thanks for the fun birthday card. I'm having a great time, with all the kids and grandkids here. Ben, Ashley, and Weston cleared the snow out of the yard this morning so everyone could get here and have a place to park. I could get used to being "retired" and just watching everybody else do all the work!

Many years ago, I thought that if I made it to 2010, I would be pretty old. I was right, but it's better than I thought it would be.

Beaver Johnson
Ashby, MN

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Kyra Carson sent her mom the most amazing box of holiday cookies & a non-traditional greeting -- Have a Jolly Good Bollywood Holiday! Chai Aunties in Sparkling Sugar Saris, Mango Moons with Lime Light & Fennel Coconut Stars. Who would have thought anything good could come from putting fennel in cookies? Well, they are delicious! What a treat!

Keep Us Posted!

Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

I feel like just after a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner ... reading the latest Bulletin on Saturday morning. Full and content. Enjoy when I read a little more of people I know ... like about when Beaver was born. Love the travels of the Swensons -- well written descriptions of the fun pictures we see to places far away. The little pieces of life in Alaska and Day to Day with Donna Mae. Thanks to all for sharing and those who faithfully "pull it together" into such a nice package. Merry Christmas to all.

Barb Dewey
Ashby, MN

Excellent Bulletin ... but kinda weird not having a chapter from Mom. So used to them I'm sure I was taking them for granted.

Douglas Anderson
St. Cloud, MN

Thanks, Doug -- you just inspired a new participatory memoir series. --The Editors.

I really enjoyed the story of Beaver's arrival. Yes, brothers ARE keepers!

Elaine Anderson Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Please forward to: Mason Walker [who was featured in Bulletin #443],

Welcome; I don't know how distant our cousin relationship is, but welcome.

I'm part of the Mellon family, now living on Balboa Island, California; I wish you and your family a very happy future and if you're ever in California, I hope you visit.

Your Cousin,
Tom Mellon
Newport Beach, CA

Editor's comment: I put them down like this -- Amy and Everett Mellon were siblings; Blanche Dake Miller and Rolly Mellon were first cousins; Shari Miller Larson and Tom Mellon are second cousins -- so Tom would be second cousin once removed from Kristi Larson Indermark and second cousin twice removed from Mason Indermark. --DMA

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

We are in the midst of getting a heavy snowfall again here in Minneapolis-St. Paul, so while we are stranded it is an excellent time to write our thanks for this Bulletin #444.

The moonrise over the mountains was so beautiful and yet eerie -- and to think you look out at that, Jerrianne. When it's a full moon it would be just breathtaking. Alaska is beyond description at certain times and seasons. Thank you for thinking to take that picture for The Bulletin so we could see it, too.

It was a treat to hear from the Mellons again. Aiden and Austin look like very alert and lively boys that would keep the family and friends entertained with all they can think up. Nice to see the family picture. Don't forget to send followups as the boys grow.

We have kept up on the details of Donna Richards, and now it seems she is improving, although very serious yet. We haven't had a Caring Bridge entry for a few days now.

There is no way to put a value on a picture. We can have lots of words and the best vocabulary, but if we can see a picture, it really makes a difference. We were pleased that you included the picture of Donna and her brother and sister.

OK, Miss Kitty, you are having to share the limelight on the Alaska snowman with Poland, I see. The link to that snowman showed the car dwarfed, as well as a house. I have to admit that I liked the Alaska one better, as it was well shaped and had that fancy hat on, etc. But then it will soon melt away no matter what it was like.

I did click on the green olive recipe. So easy, and it looks like it should be good. Roy handed me a recipe from the paper for Baked Corn. I have that in the oven, and next time we will have to try this Bruschetta.

Oh dear -- that picture stumped me until I read the caption that it was Frost on the Brow of the Ox. Even that can be artistic, I see.

Thank you Donna Mae for not being too busy or too tired to write for The Bulletin this time. We were glad to see the pictures of your snow, and the folks who were so kind to you while you were with Donna Richards.

We needed this picture and update of Beaver after his surgery and recuperation. I see you are getting so much good use out of the new room you added. I am sure you wonder how you ever lived without it.

I remember being at Don and Twila's when the dining room was the center of all activity.

Jerrianne, I prize that precious story of your baby brother happening just at Christmas. So well written, and full of details most would have even forgotten. We tried to picture it all.

I have more of an understanding for how you feel after reading about you being so abruptly transferred to the grandma that did not observe the holiday as you had anticipated it. That would have left a deep hurt that is likely hardly healed.

I can see you are pretty thankful for that baby brother now, and how over the years he has become a best friend, as well. He is due to have a 60th birthday soon. Will that involve a celebration?

To think of clearing the land with an axe is incredible, when chopping one small tree would be major for this city girl. We have no idea what went into the old time settlers' daily activities. I was thinking that the McCorkell family story that had been in The Bulletin told of a lot of that hard, manual labor to open land to eke out a living.

The picture you found of you three children on the sled and skates in priceless. I know Kathy likes to have a kitty, even yet. I never knew Bobby.

The Travelogue included something that I had looked for each week, and that was about the home of the meeting. Between Mitzi, Kjirsten and Jayna, about everything was covered by story or by photos. That was a great time to have gone, just at the fall colors showing.

I wonder if Weston ever thought he would see that plant again? Just give it to Donna Mae, and it will either thrive or pass away under her TLC. About every subject has been covered at some time or other in The Bulletin. But then there has been plenty of opportunity, seeing there have been 444 issues.

When Harlie Mae Harrison grows up a little bit more, I wonder what she will think of her cute CHUCKLES illustration?

I must say that I agree with the Quotation for the day. A photographer misses so much, seeing it from behind a viewfinder. Just enjoy the subject with full attention.

Once more we have found The Bulletin in our Saturday morning e-mail. Thank you for all your time, effort, expertise, and dedication for us glad subscribers.

Betty Droel

Photo © Betty Droel
No shortage of snow in Minneapolis-St. Paul after 21 inches fell in 24 hours.

Photo © Betty Droel
And then it snowed again.


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Susie Holman
Hunter finds himself between a rock and a hard place.

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Quotation for the day: How far that little candle throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a weary world. --Shakespeare

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