by Donna Johnson

We would like to send our thank you to all that ordered Girl Scout cookies from Caity. Her cookie drive was a big success, thanks to all of you! She sold: 4 cases and 8 pkgs. of Caramel Delites, 3 cases and 1 pkg. of Peanut Butter Patties, 5 pkgs. of Shortbread, 4 cases and 7 pkgs. of Thin Mints, 1 case of Peanut Butter Sandwiches, 2 pkgs. of Lemon Pastry Cremes, 10 pkgs. of Animal Treasures, 1 case and 4 pkgs. of Friendship Circles, a total of 193 boxes of cookies!! Caramel Delites came in as the winner by one package.

Caity is becoming an accomplished reader, surprising her Aunt Lori by being able to read two paragraphs to Lori, out of Lori's book, even figuring out some of the longer words. She is also working at becoming a better "listener" as that was the only grade she'd gotten on her report card that "needed improvement." She likes to talk! (Well, coming from a long line of talkers ... can we be surprised by that?!!)

Caity has a new E-mail buddy, the little girl she met at the boys' basketball games. Her Daddy is a friend of Barb's son. (So, think for now, Daddy is doing the writing). Her name is Erin and she's a grade younger than Caity. Erin came out with us during the third game and played here with Caity. Very outgoing, smart little gal. Should be fun for them to keep in touch and then possibly see each other again at next year's games.

Jayce has his accomplishments too, most of which are driving us crazy -- being able to open doors, lock doors, turn on lights, cranking up the heating units, coloring (walls of varying shades!) and also talking up a storm. Last night he tipped over the file cabinet, after Grandpa had already warned him to stop what he'd been doing. (Made for some tears when he got in trouble though ... even after being warned!)

We went over to visit my friend Barb the other night, to admire her newly purchased hutch. Jayce noticed how her husband, Russ, turned the interior lights on and he tried doing so on the lower hinge. I wondered what he was doing, as I had not picked up on the fact that Russ had turned the lights on by just touching the top hinge. So, Russ picked him up and let him do some "light adjusting."

During our visit, Jayce also wanted to go upstairs, he wanted to go downstairs, he was pestering Russ with other questions. He let the dog in from outdoors (muddy/wet feet and all) without being asked to; in doing so, he also decided to turn the lock (one of those you do not feel that it is locked), the result being he locked Russ out of the house the next morning!

The good news is, he's been healthier than any other winter in his short life, so we are enjoying his good health and even the naughtiness! He has also grown some, can reach more things (therefore getting into more) He's actually wearing 3T's now, so we can start moving the old 2s out! He weighs 32 lbs. and Caity weighs 43 lbs. (She'll be 7 in June and one of my little day care girls is 2 and she weighs 42 lbs!)

Becky just came in; Jayce had gotten into the 409 and as soon as he saw her he said, "Sorry-Sorry!" (yeah ... right!) So, he's now wearing his PJs at 3:30, as he'd soaked the outfit he had on. He's a busy boy!

from Donna

by Becky Chap

Hi grandma, I thought I would write to tell you about what is going on with me. School is going great. I got two more tests back, one A and One B. I have Spring Break this week and on Monday Heather, Angelina and Corey (Heather's boyfriend) and I went to the Cities.

On Monday we went to the Mall Of America. We mostly went on rides all day and into the night. Then we went back to the Motel and went swimming. Then on Tuesday we went to the Science Museum -- that was great. We had so much fun. Well that is all and I will talk to you later.

Tami's Spring Break

On Saturday, March 22, Tami Anderson is leaving from Portland, Oregon, with a group from the optometry school she attends. The group is called The Amigos and is a non- profit group run by student and doctor volunteers. They each pay their own way, but they have done some fund-raising (mostly to the hometown service organizations). They are headed for El Salvador.

The group includes three-third year optometry students (one of whom is Tami), twelve-second year students, and three-first year students and it also includes three dentists, and three dental assistants, and two doctors.

They are allowed only their carry-on bags for their personal baggage because their two checked in bags will be used to carry instruments, supplies, and used glasses. (They have spent months figuring out what the prescription is, labeling, and filing them so that they can give people glasses that are at least close to the prescription they need.) For their own bags they are advised to take extra shorts and T-shirts and (those that choose to) plan to leave the extras there with the people in need.

The clinic will be set up on Sunday, in Cuidadela and then will be in session there for four days. The group will be staying at a resort in Sochitoto, which is about 30 minutes down the mountain from the clinic. After seeing about 300 patients a day they are going to need the rest and relaxation that is planned for them before they head back to Portland on Sunday, March 30.

Tami says she doesn't know a lot of Spanish, but she knew enough so she could get by on the exam! She is looking forward to getting a lot of good experience working with patients. The clinic has been held in the school at Cuidadela three times before. One of the doctors going with them has been down there about six times, so it's not new to her. The Peace Corps in that area will be giving this group some assistance.

Best wishes, Tami, and please let us know how it turns out.

The Editor
of The Bulletin

Let's Ask Mom or Grandma or Dad

Question: to Dad, How did you get involved in the Funeral Assistance business? Also give us a job description--Donna

We moved to Howard Lake in 1976 after selling our farm equipment business. With the family all in school I decided to find something to pass the time. I spent lots of time with my friend Russ Lee as his funeral home was right across the street. I would drop in and visit.

He had a few handyman's jobs and asked me if I could do them. I redesigned the elevator from the garage to the prep room. Also I repaired a few things on the funeral coach. Soon I was going along on removals to hospitals and funeral homes in the cities. Later I helped cover the visitations in the funeral home.

When helping with funerals I drove the funeral coach and help set up at the churches. Flowers had to be moved to the church and then, after it was over, flowers that the family didn't take were delivered to the nursing home.

At the funeral, I passed out memorial cards and once the funeral began, I drove to the cemetery to be sure all was set up and ready. I made a few long distance trips to pick up a body from funeral homes.

Most of the time, if the death occurred in the cities, we would call a home there to make the removal and do the first preparations before we removed it to our funeral home. It was necessary to have a number issued to our funeral home before they would release a body from the prep room. Sometimes I helped in the prep room. Some cases are time consuming to get a person to appear lifelike.

About that time Swanson-Peterson of Cokato asked me to fill in there when they needed help. (I worked between both places.) I remember they called one evening for me to go up north to get a body. This was one that drowned and the body was not located for a long time. This was a rubber bag removal. Dorothy went along with me that night.

When we had a "slow spell" there was cleaning, dusting, snow removal, window washing and it was my job to keep the coach full of gas and oil checked as we never knew when and where we would be going (Home removals were done as quickly as possible. Hospital calls were not too much of a hurry.)

We carried about 30 caskets on display and they had to be dusted and ready to show. Lawn mowing was another task I did.

I have a story to tell you before hanging up my pen. This was told, but I don't know if it was true or not. Anyway a funeral director got a call, it was late and he had a busy day and was tired. His wife offered to go with him and drive the coach. On the way she noticed the gas was getting low. With the funeral director lying in the back on the rack, she just let him sleep, as she knew he would be busy till morning when getting home again.

She stopped at a service station, the attendant was filling gas and the funeral director got up and stared out the window at the attendant, who dropped the hose and run into the station and told the driver what he just saw. He was shaking like a leaf. They had a good laugh over that, and of course word of this spread to other funeral homes in the area.

Guess this tells a bit of my work in a funeral home. I liked this work and worked at it about three years. That experience taught me much. Perhaps one doesn't realize the careful planning that goes into funeral directing. People are critical at a time like this. One has to accommodate them with your best courtesy to provide a good service.

Editor's Comments on Gardening

An Update on my Christmas Cactus

I need to tell you all how my lovely cactus (OK -- I know it is a succulent) is doing. At present it has 27 new budding segments -- that do fool you into thinking they are flowers with their pink freshness -- coming onto a healthy, hearty looking plant.

When the weather turns hot I will move my "Pretty One" (that is what I call it when I talk to it) into the outside flower bed -- and Dad will take over with its care. He waters much more often than my flower raising neighbor thinks he should -- but last year we had such wonderful success with it that I guess I will trust him with its care for the summer. I will let you know how it fares when I bring it back into the house in October or November!!

Gardening ----------- by Doris Anderson

It's Saturday morning and we have liquid sunshine -- it's expected to last most of the weekend. Probably spoiled lots of plans for the working force. I wanted to get outside and pull some weeds. Instead, I'll have to watch them grow. Ugh! :-) It isn't officially spring yet, but our dwarf orange tree is loaded with blooms, so it can't be far off. We're picking lemons off the dwarf lemon tree, too.

We are starting to add the gingerbread to the new storage shed! Junior came across a little wheel barrel (for $5) at a garage sale. He cleaned it up and painted it -- cute! We put that under one of the shed's windows then placed a potted ivy geranium in the barrel. I cleaned out the strawberry planter; dragged that under the opposite window. We bought an inexpensive trellis, put it in the strawberry planter, then added a couple of small vein plants.

Junior bought some lumber, then made some simple shutters for each window. He painted them dark to match the trim. Next project is to make a shelf and place it under one of the windows. He found a cute aluminum bucket at another garage sale , and I found an aluminum watering can that matches really well. We plan to hang them both under the window shelf.

It's fun to see it all take shape. The shed has good "bones;" it just needs a little dressing up... :-)

A Gardening Tip

Maybe I can offer a gardening tip for your bulletin: For those who have spring fever -- If you like to plant annuals in clay pots, but have a problem with the potting soil packing down in the bottom 1/3 of the pot, the following may be a solution.

A staff person at one of our gardening supply stores suggested that I combine cactus/succulent potting mix with my favorite potting soil next time I plant pansies in a clay pot. This combination creates a lighter soil mix, a healthier root system, eliminates my impaction problem, and my potted pansies bloom longer during the season.

You will have to experiment to see what works best for you, but through trial and error I've discovered that a 1/3 mix of cactus/succulent potting mix combined with my favorite commercial potting soil works best. Throw in some Osmocote and you have a winner. My favorite is a clay pot combined with violet and yellow pansies -- then watch them grow! :-) Doris


About the last issue

Great.....I love it...and so fun to see all who are showing an interest by contributing to it! keep it up! Elaine

Nice work, Dorothy! Fun to read... :-) Doris

Thought these words really summed up what makes a good spouse, parent and friend! Donna

"Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?"

Sent to me by Elaine

In the dim and distant past,
When life's tempo wasn't fast,
Grandma used to rock and knit,
Crochet, tat and baby-sit.

When the kids were in a jam,
They could always call on "Gram."
In that day of gracious living,
Grandma was the gal for giving.

BUT today she's at the gym,
Exercising to keep slim.
She's off touring with the bunch,
Or taking clients out to lunch.

Going north to ski or curl,
All her days are in a whirl.
Nothing seems to stop or block her,
Now that Grandma's off her rocker!!

Our Present Staff:
EDITORS: Mom, Grandma, Dorothy, etc.
Beaver------Ashby Correspondent
Doug -------St. Cloud Correspondent
Rich---------Mr. In-A-Jam(b) &
Kim------and his assistant
Research by Donna------MEMORY LANE

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