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Sunday, October 24, 2004
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Updates -

Kristi & Kelly, Epcot Center
Kristi, Jordan, Nathan, Devan & Kelly at Epcot Center

by Kristi (Larson) Indermark
Bradenton, FL

Hello to everyone!

We have been very busy down here. Jim and I are cleaning out our house, getting ready for our big move. We have decided we are sick of the beautiful, sunny weather and we are heading for Wisconsin. Our arrival date is not set in stone, but we are looking at mid April. Just enough time to find a doctor and a hospital for our new arrival that is scheduled for May 30th. The town we have chosen is Portage. Jim's parents and sister live there. It is the small town environment we would like to raise Jordan and her sister/brother in.

So with all this moving away talk, I am trying to spend as much quality time as possible with my Mom (Shari) and my sister, Kelly, before we leave. I will miss them sooo much, but I will not miss the hot, humid, sticky summers (and winters).

We took a "girls' day" last Saturday and drove the kids up to Disney World. The kids all behaved very well for 1, 2, and 3 year olds. We had so much fun we decided to stay overnight and do it all over again on Sunday, so after three calls to our husbands and three eager okays (which we all thought was weird) we started our motel search. First stop was a nice Holiday Inn, no vacancy. The kids were hungry, so we stopped for dinner, then continued on our motel search. After stopping at several hotels, with no luck, it was 9 p.m. We decided to head home.

Sunday morning I woke up disappointed that I wasn't in a hotel getting ready for Disney again. First I called Mom to find out what Ray was doing when she got home... He was surprising her with finishing the marble floors... She told me she had a houseful of work to get done. I asked if she wanted to go to Disney again; to my surprise, she said YES. So I got on the phone with Kelly and, sure enough, she wanted to go back again, too. So we all piled in the mini-van again and headed back to Disney World. The kids did even better on this trip and we had even more fun.

That is all the news from us.

Jim, Kristi, and Jordan Indermark

Left: Jordan playing in the water at Disney's Epcot Center.
Right: Nathan in front of the monorail "train" at Disney World.

by Steven Miller
Coral Springs, FL

I have procrastinated long enough. I have enjoyed The Bulletin since the reunion in July, and every time I read it I feel guilty that I haven't contributed anything. Well, I'm not really going to contribute much this time, but at least I'll introduce myself to those who don't know me, and to those of you who do know me, you may just want to skip on to the next article.

I am Steve Miller -- the oldest son of Jim and Blanche Miller -- brother of Duane and Shari. (I got the looks -- they got the brains. :):):)) My wife, Marian, (she's been putting up with me for 34-1/2 yrs:):)) and I have four children: Susan, Michael, Sandra and Mitchell.

Sue and Mike are twins. Sue and her husband, Clark Smith, live in Plant City, Florida. Sue is an M.D. and is in her second year of residency at USF in Ob/Gyn and Clark is a regional manager over five branches of Suncoast Schools Credit Union. They have one son, Alexander, age 4, our first grandchild, and let me tell you he is the smartest, brightest, cutest....

Mike and his wife, Vicki, live in Orlando. Mike is a computer systems engineer for a company called Tricom, and Vicki is a full time Mom for Ariel, grandchild #2; now let me tell you, she is the brightest...

Sandy and her husband, Jay Smith (no relation to Clark), live in Blacksburg, Virginia. She just got her Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering and her MOM degree this summer. Zachary, grandchild #5, was born July 1 and let me tell you he is... For the present she is enjoying Zack, being a full time mom, and no papers to write. Jay has his Master's degree in Computer Science and Business Administration and works for Virginia Tech.

Mitch and Kim live in Fairland, Oklahoma. Mitch has a Master's degree in Agricultural Engineering and works for General Mills. They have two girls, #3 and #4 grandkids; Brooke will be 2 now at Thanksgiving time and Mckenna was born May 30. Now let me tell you those two girls are the... As you have probably gathered by now I am really into this Grandpa thing:):):):)

We live in Coral Springs, Florida. Coral Springs is in the southeast part of Florida, just north of Ft. Lauderdale. A little population perspective: from West Palm Beach on the north to Miami on the south is an area about 70 miles long and 12 to 15 miles wide. The population in that area is about 5.2 million (depending on how many boatloads of Cubans or Haitians made it ashore this week, but that is another story:):)). If I remember correctly, the population of the whole state of Minnesota is about 5 million.

I do like the climate here. In the summer we rarely have temperatures above 90 or 92 degrees. That is because the Atlantic ocean is only 12 miles east of us and the Everglades are 1 mile to the west. That doesn't sound too hot, but put high humidity with it and have it last from May to September, and it gets a little tiresome. But I am NOT complaining. I don't have to shovel heat:):):). For the same reason it doesn't get real hot, it doesn't get real cold in the winter. I think I can count on one hand the number of times it got below 50 last winter, and one time there was a little light frost on the roof of the car.

Marian is a Registered Nurse and works at the University Hospital, which is only about four miles from where we live. She works on the "in patient" mental health unit. She is scheduled for three 12 hour shifts a week and, fortunately, doesn't have to work weekends. We own a little pack and ship store called Pak Mail where I work. I like working in a retail/customer service setting. Some other time I'll tell you some of the interesting things I have shipped.

Marian's hobbies are African Violets (didn't Grandma Dake raise them?) and shopping for the grandbabies. I enjoy wood working and reading. (Louis L'Amour and John Grishim are my favorites.) In the 1980's I started collecting L'Amour books and last spring I completed the collection (through e-Bay purchases).

Well, I think I have babbled on long enough for this time.

P.S. Aunt Vonnie and Aunt Gert, I hope you will forgive me, but when I was growing up, Aunt Dorothy was my favorite aunt. You see, Aunt Dorothy was a person with whom I could discuss those really important, serious, weighty matters that concerned me -- I'm talking about Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Earl Battey and Minnesota Twins Baseball. (Aunt Dorothy, why can't the Twins ever beat the Yankees in the playoffs?)

by Jim Miller
Bradenton, FL

I have spent lots of time the past week with the doctor. My doctor had told me that she wanted me to do a check up on my heart in January. I finally got around to seeing a cardiologist this last week. You probably remember I had my heart attack about ten years ago, so it was time for a recheck.

The cardiologist found that my heart isn't just so perfect. He did several tests during the week -- you know the kind: EKG, X-rays, and Stress Test, etc. Then he did the angiogram last Monday and he put in one stent. He will do more a week from tomorrow. I just haven't felt very good this past while.

Thanks for sending The Bulletin. I didn't know anything about the Greers coming from Canada and having relatives there in Minnesota. That was an interesting report that Gert did.

by Brianna Anderson-Jordet
St. Cloud, MN

Doug and I have made ourselves comfortable in our new house. I like the way the old wood floor creaks as I cross it. I'm looking forward to the first snowfall when I can sip hot cider and stare out at the frozen landscape Everything's in working order here. We'll be plenty warm for winter. If the ceiling was going to cave in, it would've done it by now.

The only thing we lack is furnishings. We have a few fancy antique lawn chairs in our dining room. I think they look better in there than out in the yard. Furniture isn't easy to come by for the discerning eye on a tight budget.

We are very happy! Doug has a bigger kitchen to work in. This means bigger dinners! We feel like a complete family now that our animals are all under one roof. I enjoy watching my bird following Douglas from room to room and sampling his food before I do.

We have plenty of work to do with the house this winter. The floors come first with some sanding. Of course, there's more painting to do! It will all come in time!


by Beaver Johnson
Ashby, MN

Thanks to our family, D and I will have a warm house again this winter. Last weekend, all of our offspring, as well as their spouses and prospective spouses, gathered for a day of cutting firewood.

Wyatt, Weston, and Ben ran the chainsaws. As usual, Weston's chain saw gave up the ghost by mid afternoon. The muffler fell off his chainsaw, and the rest of us couldn't take the racket.

Chris helped fill the loader bucket in the woods and then drove the ATV home to help unload, only getting sidetracked once or twice to show Jessy the view from the Indian Mound Hill. Dave stayed at the woodshed to unload and stack.

Lori, Becky, Jolene, and Jessy stayed in the house, helping D. We ate like kings all weekend!

The woodshed is full! Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's great to have such wonderful sons and daughters who are willing to help us get things done! We didn't get any pictures this time. The woodcutters and haulers were too busy, and the house crew probably figured that anybody who showed her face outside would end up hauling wood.


Photo Editor's Note: This heartwarming story arrived in my mailbox October 21, on what would have been our father, Donald B. Johnson's, 91st birthday. Dad would be proud! I am proud for him, and for our mother, Twila C. Johnson, too. You are all to be commended -- and appreciated. Kudos!

Jerrianne (Johnson) Lowther

by Dorothy Dake Anderson
Editor & Publisher of The Bulletin
Alexandria, MN

Producing The Bulletin
A Brief History

The way to produce a publication is to make use of whatever skills you have and proceed from there. I started with my typing skills, a used computer, some skills in writing, left over from my teaching days, and most of all a desire to draw our students to me -- and together.

Many families keep contact with a family letter. I guess ours started out that way -- but I never had that title in my mind -- rather, it was a bulletin that I composed of news the kids sent to me. I put it together and sent it to all of them. Before many issues, I saw that the parents would probably like to know what was happening out there in the Education World, and so the mailing list began to grow.

Those first copies were very "Plain Jane" and they were composed by me from the information sent to me by my suppliers of news: the students of our family. In its metamorphosis to its present form of production, there were several distinct developments:

1. The arrival of other authors -- I found doing all the writing counterproductive, so I began copying letters that arrived, then talked the parents into writing. But why just parents? After all, there were other good writers out there. And so was born the system: "If you want to subscribe, then the subscription fee is to supply something for the rest to read."

2. The use of attachments -- By this time I had purchased a new computer, and then Don bought a Lexmark X75 printer for me. I was getting my Juno e-mail program to do lots of things -- but I craved to be able to embed pictures in the text. Doug and I did a lot of experimenting -- and discovered we could attach pictures to accompany a story we were collaborating on. That was fun!

3. Then Wyatt, and later Kristi, began sending me updates in which digital camera connections had embedded pictures. Now, if I didn't want them to turn into a box with an x in the corner, I had to attach half of The Bulletin to the top of their letter and then attach the rest to the bottom. It was rather unstable and didn't always reach all of the people on the growing list of subscribers, successfully! But it was even more fun! (Donna had a lot to do with the growth of the list -- she whipped sample copies off to friends and relatives, to introduce them to the fun things happening in The Bulletin.)

4. Then Miss Kitty and her housemate, Miss Jerrianne (from Alaska, no less), were invited (through Donna, of course) to send selections from Miss Kitty's web log to appear on our pages as The Miss Kitty Letters. The rest is history. Jerrianne brought her expertise and the use of her modern Mac equipment to our production. She agreed to teach me how to put pictures into our Bulletin.

It was soon evident that I did not have the right equipment (or the expertise). I am not quite sure how we all got so lucky, but Miss Jerrianne joined our staff as the Alaskan Correspondent. She talked Miss Kitty into writing for us. After we came to know that I was not going to be able to maintain the new improvements on my own, I made a move that I hoped would succeed. I appointed Jerrianne to the position of "Photography Editor." I entered it in the credits in the Wednesday copy of The Bulletin on January 14, 2004. Then I waited to see what would come of my bold move. Jerrianne wrote me a letter of acceptance -- and that is how we came to have two editors!

5. The most recent addition for production completeness and ease of access is our own searchable web site: In it, wonderful surprises await you. It is in its infant stage, but has grown beautifully. You should be able to get in some lovely reading this winter (if you don't read it all up in one sitting). Miss Jerrianne has set up the web site, assembled many of the first issues of The Bulletin (including all of the 2004 issues) and begun several collections of the writings of some of the regular contributors among our family and friends. She will work on it when she can find time in her busy life to do so. If there is anyone out there who is good at this sort of thing, I am sure she would welcome your help.

I often remind myself of this fact: without the continued participation of all of the members of our wonderful extended family and friends, the persistence of the staff members, and the dedication of the editors, there would be no production! So thanks to you all -- and please keep on reading ... and writing to ... The Bulletin!

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

Starting this week, I plan to run biographical sketches of different members of our staff. When that has been done, I want to run sketches and pictures of each of the readers and subscribers who have not already done introductions. Please tell us about yourself. What is your work and what else do you do with your time? How are you related or what friend introduced you into the family? I am hoping that you can share family photos and background sketches. Send all manuscripts and pictures to me at

Now meet our Photography Editor --

Jerrianne Lowther:
Photo Editor & Alaska Correspondent for The Bulletin

My specialty is working behind the scenes, behind the lens, weaving words and pictures together -- especially on the web. As a youngster, growing up in the house where Beaver and Donna live now, I decided that when I left home I was going to live a life of adventure, and I have. My grandparents' National Geographic magazines and The Alaska Sportsman, to which my father subscribed, drew my thoughts and dreams far away from the farm just east of Ashby, Minnesota. I thought photography might be my ticket to places where adventure lived and, in a way, it was.

Mic Lowther, my husband for 35 years, wrote about one of our adventures in Walking North, the story of our backpacking trek from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail in 1973, when our daughter, Kyra, was 10 years old. We finished that seven month adventure 31 years ago, on my late father's birthday, October 21. Kyra now lives in Mill Valley, California, just outside San Francisco, with her husband, Ken Carson, and her 19 year old calico cat, Wichita. A company controller, already in her third career, she's working to become a certified public accountant.

In addition to formal training in illustrative photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, and some informal on the job training at a daily newspaper, I can truly say that most of my opportunities began as volunteer efforts, in which I honed the skills that later made me a valuable employee and a successful entrepreneur. No effort was a waste of time. In recent years, I have built and maintained a number of web sites, including this one and my own, -- home of Miss Kitty's web log, and several others linked from the front page.

If life continues in the same direction, on January 14, 2005, I'll have completed one year as photo editor for The Bulletin and 30 years as a resident of Anchorage, Alaska. I've worked as a daily newspaper staff writer and photographer, a magazine editor (at Alaska magazine, formerly The Alaska Sportsman), and as a field editor and advertising sales representative for Alaska's premier travel guide, The Milepost. The last time that publication was sold, I opted for a long sabbatical or a short retirement. I'm still not sure which it is, but I'm working on another venture.


LTD Storybrooke

Storybrooke, The Characters
Family Update, Part 2 of 3
By Larry Dake
Brooks-Oklee, MN

Sherry, my wife, doesn't understand how I can spend an hour, or an afternoon, writing a paragraph, or two, about a walk I took yesterday down the gravel road that runs in front of Storybrooke Farm. She doesn't experience, in a personal way, what it's like when I no longer hear the clock ticking; I'm crafting a story, and things are coming out that I didn't know were there.

Nor does she enjoy the experience of rewriting. Moving words around, placing them carefully; like our older daughter, Sarah, choosing wildflowers from the ditch and placing them in her hand, until she has a bouquet that speaks louder than a handful of flowers.

And, I don't understand how Sherry can have whole grain spelt bread rising under dish towels, bars baking in the oven, oatmeal and coconut granola cooling on the counter top, and supper from scratch ready on the dining room table, at five; she has clothes on the line, our daughter Amy on the phone from college, discussing finances, the dog fed, Murphy's and Bibsey's cat box cleaned, fire in the living room stove, scones mixing in the mixer bowl; and she still has the presence of mind to tear off just the corner of a paper towel, to grease the pan! No need to waste paper towels, you know.

If I need help with spelling a word, or writing a proper sentence, Sherry knows the answer to that, too. But do I dare ask?

Lately, No.

In October and November she sews hundreds and hundreds of appliques, buttons, and pockets onto sweatshirts and jumpers. These are sold at craft shows all across America by an entrepreneuring lady named Pat. Pat comes by every week or so with a carful of garments, new patterns, bagfuls of buttons, rolls and rolls of many colors of thread; and cash. Sherry trades stacks and stacks of her finished work for these.

This summer we'd been talking about the possibility of Sherry getting a "job," now that Sarah is through nursing school, working, and married to Michael. And Amy is away at her college dorm, studying animal science, and making "get out to vote" phone calls for the College Republicans.

So, when a job opening came up where I work, Sherry applied and got the "job." Now she "works" during the day, and sews, bakes, and cooks by night, and on weekends.

For the first time in our 26 years of married life, I get to wash the dishes. All of them. And they just keep stacking up by the sink until I give in.


I thought it unusual how Sherry got the vacuum cleaner (the one Uncle Don rescued from the dumpster) a new filter; and then she left the vacuum sit in the middle of the living room floor. For days and days! While the dirt kept piling up on our new carpet!

Then, yesterday, I was on my way out the door to make sure our sheep and barn cats were fed and watered before Amy got home from UMC, after doing her Saturday morning chores, feeding 30 or 40 horses and cleaning their stalls at the college stable.

Before I could get out the door, Sherry dropped me a hint about the vacuum cleaner.

"When are you going to vacuum the floor?"

"Well, I ..."

"Then -- you are going to do it before Amy gets home?"

"But, I ..."

"Good. I'm going upstairs to sew."

I think these problems with dishes and vacuuming started when I got my latest job, at the Day Activity Center. I let on that I had actually washed a few dishes there, and that on Friday nights, after the clients leave, I run the floor machine over all the floors. I'd even helped someone bake a cake, and I'd gone grocery shopping! (Pretty amazing stuff!)

Then, as I said, Sherry came to work there, too. And she saw with her own eyes that, although I'm working with my heart and my mind, I'm really not working! You know, I'm not building a fence, loading sheep on a truck, or trimming a cow's hooves! I'm just walking this fine line, keeping people who are mentally and emotionally disturbed, and prone to angry and violent outbursts, engaged in work in a way that is as near normal for them as possible. Much of the time I appear to be doing nothing at all. But there is a finely tuned balancing act going on -- and occasionally I get hit by flying objects.

Even with these new problems, the ones back at Storybrooke Farm, it's still nice to come home from work, take a little nap, eat supper, go out to do the chores, talk to Lhokha, the happy Chow dog; purr Sambo, the barn cat; check the sheep, and split a little firewood.

But when I come back to the house after dark, the upstairs window is lit, and the sewing machine is buzzing. "Buzzzz." Stop. "Buzzz-zzzz." Stop.
"Buzz. Buzz. Buzz!"

And in the kitchen, the dirty dishes are there -- piled up -- just to the right of the sink.


Michael and Sarah (Dake) Steinhauer; Amy, Sherry & Larry Dake.

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson

Editor's Note: Kjirsten has returned to Bolivia for a second year of independent study in Morochata, prior to enrollment in medical school at Baylor University in Houston, in 2005. She spent several weeks trekking around Bolivia before returning to the hospital in Morochata.

Pack llamas
Pack llamas, First Pass, Cordillera Apolobamba

Kjirsten Goes Backpacking

As you can tell, I am in civilization again after a most wonderful adventure in the Cordillera Apolobamba. I won't be calling, as promised, because in less than two hours I will be on my way to Sorata for more trekking.

The bus ride is from La Paz to Pelechuco, a small Andean community located in an isolated region called the Cordillera Apolobamba. This is a protected area of small villages, high glaciated peaks and lots of wildlife, located near Bolivia's border with Peru. It's most known for its spectacular scenery and as the home of the Kallawayas. The Kallawayas are indigenous healers from this region, who for centuries have traveled all over South America, using their knowledge of nearly 1,000 herbs, combined with ritual, to heal. These days, they don't travel as they once did, but are still highly respected for their rich cultural tradition and impressive knowledge of natural medicine.

After arriving in Pelechuco Friday evening, I found my way to a small guest house owned by a man rumored to have mules and knowledge of the route to Charazani, a village I hoped to trek to over the course of 5 days. He was indeed there and offered to be both my guide and porter for slightly less than I would have paid for a mule and muleteer.

The next day I spent resting and willing my digestive system to heal itself while the entire community was involved in town meetings. It was fun to explore Pelechuco; with its stone houses, thatched roofs, and cobbled streets, it seemed almost medieval to me.

Sunday morning we left early and were on top of a 16,000 ft. pass by noon! We had lovely but not spectacular views, due to low clouds that occasionally enveloped us. That afternoon we spent descending into a river valley dotted with occasional stone fences and llama herds. By late afternoon, we reached Hilo Hilo, where we cooked ourselves dinner and spent the night in a room rented by a friend of my guide.

It was dark before 7, and with only candle lighting, there was nothing to do but sleep! So we did and were up before the sun the next morning, hoping to reach the highest pass along the route early in the day.

After gently climbing a valley road for two hours, we began to ascend steeply towards a 16,700 ft. pass. As we lunched, an hour below the pass, the previously clear skies clouded and it began to snow! I've never before experienced snow such as I saw that day; it consisted of small white balls, as if crumbled styrofoam were falling out of the sky. So we hurried, as the landscape turned white. Luckily, the clouds were high enough to let us appreciate the towering peaks and glaciers that surrounded us as we climbed higher and higher.

Once at the top, we didn't linger. We could only see the peaks in the immediate vicinity, and it was cold! My hands were totally numb, but we still managed to eat celebratory apples :)

That afternoon we descended past a gold mining village, climbed another 16,000 ft. pass, and soaked in the scenery. By around 4 in the afternoon we were exhausted and already on track to finish the 5 day trek in 3 days. We convinced the teacher of a one room school house to let us camp in the classroom and were very glad to have walls and a roof protecting us from the snow, rain, and icy temperatures.

In retrospect, I calculate that we camped at around 15,500 ft. that night. No wonder I didn't sleep well. But we were well fed! Tomato soup plus reconstituted freeze dried soy meat looked like dog food but tasted divine when sprinkled with parmesan!

The next morning we were awake before 5 and walking at 6, just as the horizon was turning orange. We quickly climbed a 16,000 ft. pass and savored the alpine glow on the glaciated mountain across the valley. After descending steeply for nearly an hour, we immediately began to climb the last high pass of the trail. The rest of the day was spent descending and descending through an idyllic valley, full of alpacas and farm houses, before reaching Curva, the official end of the trail. But transport from Curva is irregular, so we walked for another 3 hot hours to Charazani.

There we stopped at hot springs for divine showers before resting in the plaza and celebrating our finish with hot egg sandwiches and apples. And so this is how our five day trek became a three day trek! I seem to be very well acclimatized and only felt the altitude on the very highest sections of the high passes.

All in all, it was an incredible adventure and I hope to return to the region sometime for more exploring. It won't be this year; within weeks the weather will be too unstable for safe trekking. We saw many beautiful birds, flowers, alpacas, llamas, mountains, and lots of Bolivians who maintain very traditional lifestyles. And during three days we met only one other group of tourists!

I would have spent a day to rest in Charazani, but bus schedules and some special events made it wise to leave last night. So I slept on the bus all the way to La Paz, which we reached at around 2:30 this morning. I continued to sleep until around 5, at which point my guide, and by now good friend, Reynaldo, told me it should be safe to drop into the city. I bought my noon bus ticket to Sorata, left my backpack, and found a 24 hour restaurant, still full of people drinking, that served breakfast. I'm now ready to pick up clean laundry and something to eat before boarding my bus.

In Sorata, I intend to do the Illampu circuit, a trek that should last a week. So I'll probably be back in civilization around a week from this weekend, perhaps sooner.

Chau until then!

Day hiking around Pelechuco, a small, isolated Andean community

More of Kjirsten's trekking photos may be seen in her Webshots Bolivia Trekking album here:

Heading home
Marlene, Whitney, Kim, Heidi, Rich, Mark, leaving for home

Editor's Note: Episodes 1-3 appear in Bulletins 111-114, Episode 4 was in Bulletin 116, Episode 5 was in Bulletin 122 and Episode 6 was in Bulletin 123.

California, Here We Come! P

The Johnson Family Reunion, Day 7
by Kimberly Johnson

Monday: Well even though we had fun ... there still is a time where you have to leave. And that would be today. We said our Minnesota good byes ... the Californians must have learned it from those of us who live in good ol' Minnesota, because it sure took us long enough! :)

We got about half way down to San Francisco and stopped at Taco Bell. Then we headed the rest of the way down to hotel rooms that Ryan got from his Uncle. It was free ... which always is a plus! If we hadn't gotten it for free, we probably would have had to go buy cardboard boxes and crawl into them for the night.

As we were pulling into San Francisco, Mom was going to go find the flight information but realized she might have to call the Taco Bell manager to find out when we fly back and miscellaneous information like that. Dad and Mom dropped us off, greeted the poor bell boys with our red, green, pink, blue and rainbow colored luggage. *Remember, we are the middle class -- trying to fit into the high class rankings.* NoT WOrkInG!!! Oh well, they lived ... we lived ... all's well! Except that Mom and Dad had to go get the purse, which was half way back up to Oak Bar!

They headed off ... and left some money for us to eat. Ryan and Heidi took us to a cute little restaurant where we hung out for a while. Then we went back to the hotel room. A little while later, Mom and Dad came home with the purse, money, and flight information -- which we will use tomorrow as we close up the trip with a flight home!

Goodbye San Francisco
Goodbye, San Francisco -- from the air

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Random Acts of Kindness

I remember a few years back, when I was active in Toastmaster's Club, that a lady brought a book to class called Random Acts of Kindness. Each person was asked to give an impromptu speech on an act of kindness we had recently done, or that someone had done for us. It caused me to think that so many things we quickly forget because we often take for granted and do not really know how much the act did for others.

Many of us can recall the food brought to our homes in times of sickness and sorrow, the little things a neighbor helped fix for us around the yard or house, the little child next door making a treat or card for you for a holiday, a cheer up card or note in the mail or a phone call when you had a down day. Sharing a bowl of homemade soup with a neighbor recovering from surgery, or plates of homemade cookies with others are small things, but so greatly appreciated. It does not have to be a big or costly thing; just a little thought of others will bring smiles.

I thought of two things this week that made me think of kind acts. In our local school is a teacher mom who is struggling with her two little tots while the daddy is in Iraq. Daughter Mindy, (who does not seek praise for this) had made a quilt some years ago, never used it but had it in storage, so decided to give it the little boys. It's a patriotic red, white, and blue soft, fluffy quilt. The thanks expressed by the mom as she told of how they cuddle in it thinking of their daddy made the act very rewarding!

Another act is being done this week. It is a benefit that is being held for another teacher's first grandchild who was born weighing only a pound. The baby has had several surgeries, including the eyes, and now weighs 5 pounds. (The daddy could put his wedding ring on the baby for a bracelet, it was so tiny.) The benefit will not only help with the many expenses, but will show the family encouragement from others doing acts of kindness.

There are so many ways that one can do a little act of kindness and we never realize how widespread the ripples can go.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:

October 24---Eric Shockey
October 26---Ardis (Sigman) Quick
October 27---Marlene (Anderson) Johnson
October 29---Tom Miller
October 29---Samantha Jo Larson (10 years old)
October 30---Anne (Mellon) Montford

Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries:

October 27---Don and Gert (Dake) Pettit (14 years)


More October Birthdays:
October 1---Brooklynn Ann Johnson (newborn)
October 1---Carolyn Amy Dake (newborn)
October 4---Wesley J. Sigman
October 5---Leona Anderson
October 5---Steve W. Miller
October 7---Steven Anderson
October 10---Cody Printz
October 10---Hannah Aydelotte (3 years old)
October 12---Muriel (Wold) Rodriguez
October 12---Tami (Anderson) Hunt
October 14---Douglas Anderson-Jordet
October 18---Lori Anderson
October 18---Diana (Mellon) Martin
October 18---Dan Mellon
October 20---Wade Printz
October 22---Richard C. Johnson (Rich in MN)

More October Anniversaries:
October 4---Donnie and Patty Anderson (7 years)
October 5---Tom & Lou Miller (31 years)
October 17---Troy and Marlee (Morgan) Freesemann (10 years)

October Holidays & Observances
October 11---Columbus Day (Observed)

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty:

I'm running out of time and I'm running out of room and I'm running out the door ... so could you please tell everyone that they can now SEARCH the archives of The Bulletin? In fact, they can search the whole web site, just by entering any word in the search blank on the HOME page or the Archives Index page at

In addition to the search feature, at least one back issue (Bulletin 66) has been added to the archives this week and some of the collections contain new items. Now that the search feature is in place, I plan to concentrate on adding more back issues so they can be searched, too. The collections can catch up as time becomes available.

I suppose you should tell them, too, that the free search engine only gets updated for free once a month ... so anything added after the "spider" robot's update won't be searchable until the "spider" makes its next monthly crawl through the web site. And a project of this scope is bound to have bugs, especially in the early stages. That's what the bug report button is for, so don't hesitate to use it.

Thanks, Miss Hetty! It's great to have an able assistant on board. I could use a couple more!


Miss Hetty Says

Well, the editors were pretty excited about having a new search engine so they can find things on the web site, but I said, "What's the use of knowing who everybody is, and where they live, if I still don't know what they look like? This web site ought to have pictures of everybody, so we know who we are talking about," I said.

Miss Jerrianne, being a photographer by trade, said that made sense to her and she would try to help me sort out a few of those confusing Johnsons and Andersons, for a start. She agreed that it shook the Anderson family tree when two of My Boss's daughters married two completely unrelated Minnesota Johnsons. David S. "Beaver" Johnson lives with Donna Mae, sometimes referred to as "D," and their family, at their farm near Ashby. Richard C. Johnson lives with Marlene and their family in Long Lake.

There's a picture of the Richard C. Johnson family up above my column in Kim Johnson's report on their Johnson family reunion in California last summer. And there's a more formal family picture of them in her report last week, all dressed in black and white and connected by touching each other. We've had lots of photos of Beaver and "D" Johnson's grown up children, and their grandchildren, including Brooklynn who was born the first of this month. And now here's a photo of Beaver with his brother, Richard D. Johnson, and his sisters.

Richard D. Johnson is married to Mia Nelson and they are the parents of Wiley Nelson and Arbor Johnson. They live in Lowell, Oregon. Mia and the boys sent us a story about their Goatpacking adventures in Bulletin 77 that isn't in the archives yet but the same story may be found on Miss Jerrianne's web site by clicking here. There is another story about their goats and kids (both kinds) and a picture of Mia in Bulletin 99. And there is a five-part adventure story, North to Alaska, by Richard, about moving to Alaska with Jerrianne, in January of 1975, that begins in Bulletin 86.

Mitzi (Johnson) Swenson is married to Dr. Sheldon Swenson, a physician. They are the parents of Kjirsten Swenson, writer and photographer of The Bolivian Beat, a feature that began in Bulletin 66. Mitzi and Sheldon are also the parents of Shane, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, and of Derek, Tyler and Aunika, who live with their parents in Dickinson, North Dakota. Derek recently visited Kjirsten in Bolivia (Bulletin 116) with Mitzi and Shane and Shane's girlfriend, Jayna. They are pictured in that issue of The Bulletin. And Tyler taught us to make Dutch Babies (with a great photo!) in Bulletin 110.

Then, there's Kathlyn "Kathy" (Johnson) Anderson, who insisted on confusing things even more by marrying Argyle Anderson, who is unrelated to the rest. Kathy became allergic to pretty much everything in Minnesota in the 1980s and flew to Alaska in June 1990 to spend a summer with Jerrianne and try to recover her health. After a summer of traveling all around Alaska, where Jerrianne was working on The Milepost, Kathy felt so much better that she wanted to stay. Argyle sold their Marietta farm and moved to Alaska the next year.

That leaves Miss Jerrianne, whose story may be found in the Matriarch column, above ... if she gets around to writing it before the deadline.

Clockwise from upper left: Richard and Beaver Johnson, Mitzi (Johnson) Swenson, Jerrianne (Johnson) Lowther and Kathlyn (Johnson) Anderson. The ladies' coordinated cut work star sweatshirts were skillfully handcrafted by Mitzi from quilt squares.

Argyle & Kathlyn (Johnson) Anderson with Pretty Kitty. These Andersons have been married almost 41 years. They lived on a Minnesota farm near Marietta for a long time before moving to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1990. They adopted Pretty Kitty a few years ago.

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


What a great Bulletin again! You editors are amazing! I've been telling my friends about your incredible weekly newsletter that helps keep your family and friends connected. I look forward to it every week and enjoy all the stories from everyone. I also enjoyed checking out the web site. It was a treat to read some of the issues from before I was a subscriber. Thanks for all the time you spend making every issue special!

Mitzi (Johnson) Swenson
Dickinson, ND

Great Bulletin everyone! Thanks so much to everyone who writes. We were arriving home today (Saturday) after a busy day and I realized that I was looking forward to getting my jammies on and reading the Bulletin. My favorite part of busy Saturdays! I'm so glad we have so many talented writers in our family.

Marlene (Anderson) Johnson
Long Lake, MN

I just wanted to send a note of appreciation to you and Jerrianne and all the rest of the "staff" at The Bulletin! What a great treat to read ... It's something I look forward to on Monday mornings, since I get it delivered to my work email address -- shhhh … don't tell my boss! :-) And I LOVE the new web site! Great work!!

Lori Chap
Maple Grove, MN
P.S. My email address is or -- either will reach me.

Thanks for all the work you do on The Bulletin.

We live in central Oregon, Lane County, just outside of Lowell, a city of a little over 1,000 people. Lowell is east of Eugene. We are in the eastern side of the southern part of the Willamette Valley, on what was the middle fork of the Willamette River before it was dammed up to make Dexter Lake.

We are Richard Johnson, Mia Nelson, Wiley Nelson, Arbor Johnson, and now Ariel Betzen- Dawson, a 16 year old who once lived here with us as a child.

I will send an update of our activities here after the winter rainy season takes control of them. For now, we are too busy trying to get all we can done before that happens.

Richard Johnson
Lowell, OR

We enjoyed The Bulletin again this week. It sure is nice to receive it regularly.

Kathlyn (Johnson) Anderson
Anchorage, AK

Letter from the Editor:

I thought I would tell you that I have used the search! I thought, "I want to find out how to make Green Tomato Pie." SO I opened the web page archives -- using this URL:

The next step was to enter tomatoes in the search blank. (It is a brand new feature -- labeled plainly.) In 0.07 seconds it found me 13 places in the archives that mention tomatoes.... #12 was the one I had searched for ... Clicking on it sent me to Bulletin #60 - September 10, 2003.

When I arrived, I thought I would search that page of The Bulletin the way I have already learned from Miss Jerrianne: I hold down the key labeled Ctrl and then tap F -- it gives me another search blank and I type in Elaine (I know she was the supplier of the recipe) and it takes me to her name.

Close the search window and the page stays open to an attractive recipe for Green Tomato Pie. Now, of course, I need some green tomatoes to make this information useful! The search was fun! Try it!

Alexandria, MN

To Donna-- If a bus leaves Minnesota for a Cousins Picnic in some other state and it's filled with all you KIDS, there definitely will be a chaperone along!!! I have one in mind -- at 70 she managed to stay on the horse's back during a ride while chaperoning a Girl Scout camp out. (That was the first horseback ride in her lifetime.)

Aunty Gert
(Gert Dake Pettit, Howard Lake, MN)


A young boy, ready for bed, interrupted a family gathering in the living room.

"I'm going up to say my prayers now. Anybody want anything?"

The average American is a guy who was born in the country, worked hard so he could live in the city, then worked even harder to get back to the country.

And a bit of advice: LOOK OUT for the person who tells you that you can't take it with you -- he will try to take it with HIM!

Click here to find out who's Where in The Bulletin l

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.

Click here for past editions of The Bulletin in the web archive

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QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless --Mother Teresa

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

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

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