The Bulletin
Sunday, March 21, 2010
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Spring Begins

spring apple blossoms in bud
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Spring is here -- right here on the calendar!

Updates -

Twin sisters: Kyndra Lea & Taylor Lynn Synstelien.

UPDATE -- Synsteliens welcome twin daughters
by Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Heather and Corey Synstelien and their 4-year-old son, Dylan, are proud to announce the births of their twin daughters (Dylan's sisters): Taylor Lynn, weighing 5 lbs. 1 oz. and 18 inches long, born at 8:19 a.m. and Kyndra Lea, 5 lbs. 7 oz. and 19 inches long, born at 8:20 a.m. on March 4th.

Heather has been a best friend to my daughter Becky Chap for years. Becky and I got to hold the girls today. They are absolutely beautiful! Very calm, content babies too, which is truly a blessing!

Heather has also been my friend having visited me with Becky when Don and I lived in Springfield, Missouri. --The Matriarch

Photo © Rich Weiland
Lemon blossom confirms that spring has sprung in Apache Junction, Arizona. Rich & Verlaine Weiland visited Ken & Ruth Weiland Kitto & found these buds in their back yard.

Photo © Steve Weiland
Winter still reigns high in the Arizona mountains. Steve, Marci, Shalana & Krista Weiland were visiting Marci's dad in his winter home in Arizona.

Photo © Rodger Droel
As Claudia was riding the ski lift, a Gray Jay lit on her glove and snatched the little cracker she had for it as it had seemed so tame when they lifted up into the snow covered trees, past the birds on the ski lift.

UPDATE -- winter in the mountains, above the clouds
by Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

I thought it was so uncanny that almost the same day we should get pictures from our family that were skiing above the clouds in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and also above the clouds pictures in the mountains of northern Arizona. These wonderfully exciting mountains are a long way from here, but we can enjoy them from a distance.

Our son Rodger and his wife, Claudia, took the one picture as they were skiing in the beautiful new powdery snow in Steamboat Springs, where they have a winter home, so they can enjoy their love for skiing all winter long. Rodger travels from Minnesota to Colorado as his orthodontist schedule allows, and he showed us these pictures when he stopped in the other day.

Their son Andy and his wife, Natalie, and granddaugter Alison were visiting so Alison is learning to ski. A 3-year-old needs to be carried a lot of the time, so they have great exercise and fun in the ski hills.

Photo © Rodger Droel
Andy, Natalie & Alison head up a hill so Alison can ski down.

Photo © Rodger Droel
This Sno-Cat is one they have crafted to groom the ski hills. It seemed such a novelty that Rodger wanted to take this picture & share it with us.

Photo © Janie Anderson
DeLoris Anderson got a new car! She got it Tuesday. It's a Chevrolet Malibu. The picture shows her old car & her new car. It's a nice ride! Dwight & Janie Anderson shared the news.

Day to DayR
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Chuck Smith-Dewey
Bailey Smith-Dewey, center, dancing at the Mall Of America.

Irish Dancing At The Mall Of America

Barb Dewey invited me to go along with her to see her niece, Bailey Smith-Dewey, perform with her Irish dancing group, at the Mall Of America on Tuesday. How fun!

Photos © Donna Johnson, left; © Chuck Smith-Dewey, right.
Barb Dewey & Bailey, left; Donna & Barb, right.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Toddler Tuesday at the Mall Of America.

Kylie, who just turned 3, left, & Avery McNeill, right.

Alisha McNeill with Kylie & Avery. The girls are the daughters of Roddy & Alisha McNeill & the granddaughters of Peggy McNeill.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Weston & Beaver in my newly rearranged office area (swapped to opposite end of the room).

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

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. Ginny McCorkell supplied last week's mystery photo.

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

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.

I think I can name the four personal friends in this picture! Dorothy Dake (Anderson), Oscar Nelson Curtis, Gertrude Dake Pettit and Blanche Dake (Miller). This was taken in front of the 1936 Chevy in front of the Dake's house.

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

I know that the first person is you (Dorothy Dake Anderson) and the last person is my mother (Blanche Dake Miller). I don't know who the man is and I am wondering if the younger girl is Aunt Gert (Dake Pettit)?

Shari Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

I want to participate in the guessing game again this time. This was taken before I had met the Dakes, who can really bake a cherry cake, there at Howard Lake. It looks as if an uncle came to visit and it was decided that the girls, Dorothy, Gert and Blanche, would have their picture taken with him before he leaves. This looks like the south side of Bill and Amy Dake's home and also it is where they often parked their car. Now I hope I didn't get too carried away with my guessing.

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hope, ND

Editor's comment: I like your guess ... and you are quite close. Nels was not our uncle, though he was a dear friend of our Grandpa Dake and then my dad always kind of watched over him like an uncle.

Ah, to be that young again, and knock the icicles down and treat them like a popsicle, which I probably did after the picture was taken. We have the three Dake girls: Dorothy, Blanche, and Gerty and a dear old family friend called Nels or Curtis.

Sometime I will send a little description of Curtis and part of a true story which he wrote many years ago.

Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

Editor's comment: I will take that as a promise. I cannot remember reading a story by Nels Curtis and will look forward to seeing and reading it.

The GUESS picture was half easy and half hard this time. Dorothy, and whoever the middle two are, and Gertie. Taken outside the Dakes' home. Is that Grandpa Mellon?

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

More About The Guess Picture

I do like that picture. It brings back floods of memories. That year, my 11th in high school, Blanche was teaching at Melquist school. I would help Blanche whenever I might have a school day off. At that time, I had three more years of running, skating, doing the toboggan climb, etc. I would be going to teacher's training in Litchfield and then teaching a year at North Howard, just north of Howard Lake. (That school has since been made into a home near the lake.)

At the end of my first year of teaching school, I contacted the polio virus that put me into the never to run again category. But for all that, I taught a total of 30 years and raised five kids (with the help of my mom and dad and, of course, Don, who had his business on the lot near our home).

The man in the photo is Nelson Curtis (often called Nels), who had grown up with my Grandpa Dake. When he was 19, he had what they called brain fever and was then left with intelligence but never was quite emotionally strong enough to be ready for raising a family. He had a little bachelor type home just west of the town called Smith Lake. He spent his summers garden farming with his horse and one horse equipment and traveled to visit with his horse and buggy.

Not too many years after that picture was taken, he bought a car and, though everyone thought he would destroy himself or someone else with it, he did not.

Every winter, Nels would go to stay somewhere and do chores for his board and room. Many years were spent at our home, but not all of them. He was special to all of us but I do think Gert should tell us about him as her playmate.

It was his neighbor's horse that destroyed him. We didn't know quite what happened but, when Nels was cleaning the barn behind the horse, he got kicked in the chest ... a broken rib punctured his lung and caused his death. According to Gert, Nels said, "Don't blame the horse. I did not think to warn him I was going behind him and he didn't know me, so of course he kicked!"

I would say that Nels was very fond of horses, and they seemed fond of him. He and his car had an understanding ... but no fondness.

Dorothy Dake Anderson

Photo © Jim Miller
Blanche Dake Miller & Lois Gandy Dake escaping a ride the boys were trying to convince them to take in Nels Curtis's car. Jim Miller & Bill Dake did the photo ... and a bit of teasing).

Memory Lane

A series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, just after World War II. In Bulletin 349, I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.

Dorothy Dake, 20, hand tinted portrait, 1946.

Winter In Bemidji
by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

What now?

Now that the weather is warmer, and the streets free from ice and snow, I often hurry home at noon for a sandwich, and to see if my packet has come from St. Cloud State Teachers College. And today was one of those times. But today was different!

It was a pleasant walk. I walked in and took a quick look at the mail stacked on the little table. I could easily see there was no packet there. After I checked the mail over, I went on out to the kitchen and took the makings for my sandwich from the shelf in the refrigerator that is reserved for my groceries. I had expected to see Belle in the kitchen but she was not there. I wasn't too surprised, as she is sometimes in one of the other rooms, so I really didn't think much about her absence.

Then I decided to run up and get a handkerchief. When I got to the steps, I heard a voice in Bertha's room. Then, as I climbed the steps, Belle called to me. WHAT was Belle doing upstairs? It really made my heart start to race... Things were just not right! Later, as we were waiting for help to arrive, she told me how this had all happened.

That poor lady! She had been going to see if the mail had come ... scooting along on one of her kitchen chairs that has rollers. As she came down the hall, she had heard a thud! Then a moan ... and she knew by the sound that Bertha was in trouble. She called and got no answer. She knew that she just had to get upstairs, as her immediate help might be needed. So she sat down on the second step; then, with her really strong arms, she lifted herself back and up. I guess she made it up in record time.

She scooted over to the chair by the telephone and then, putting some of her very slight weight on the seat, she stood up. Pushing it, to use as a sort of cane, she slid down the hall and found Bertha -- who was lying in the middle of her room and seemed not to know that Belle had arrived.

Belle told me that she saw Bertha was breathing but she knew that Bertha needed help and she needed it NOW! So help needed to be called. She had just finished calling the doctor and he said he would have an ambulance sent to bring Bertha to the hospital -- she was on the phone as I came to the stairs. (That was the talking I heard.) The ambulance was on its way, so she stayed with Bertha and I headed down to meet the medics at the door. Things really were frightening.

The commotion is now over. Bertha is at the hospital and Belle was helped downstairs by the medics. She and I took care of the phone calls that needed to be made to Bertha's niece and nephew -- and then I went back to work.

It was when I was about half way back to work that I remembered my sandwich ingredients were still on the kitchen counter. Oh, well ... it won't hurt me to miss a meal! I will call in a few minutes to see how it goes, and then I can have Belle put them back (if she hasn't already done it on her own).

I am now back at work but I was late. Ken said he wondered, as I had never done that before -- come back late from noon break, that is.

He mentioned something I thought of, too. Life has a way of "rattling things up for one in strange ways"! Just what will this all mean to Bertha? To Belle? To Bertha's relatives ... and even, what will it mean to me?

I expect that things will surely be different because of the events of THIS day!

Photo © Dorothy Dake Anderson
The house where I lived in Bemidji, Minnesota, in 1949.

Requested Recipes

Colette's Wild Rice Pilaf
Colette Anderson Huseby
Breezy Point, MN

1 cup wild rice
1 tsp. salt
4 cups water

Rinse wild rice under running water using a strainer or in a bowl of water, drain.

Place wild rice in a heavy saucepan with salt and water.

Bring to a boil, simmer covered until kernels are open and tender, but not mushy and curled, 15 to 20 minutes for wood processed rice or 30 to 40 minutes for cultivated wild rice.

Into the cooked wild rice, stir:

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 Tbsp. dry sherry

Dried cranberries (as much as you like -- a medium handful, or so)

Chopped pecans (again, as you like, a small handful, or so)

1/2 can water chestnuts, finely chopped

Travelogue t

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Reclining Buddha, 46 meters long, Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand.

Southeast Asia Extravaganza 2009
by Kjirsten Swenson
Albuquerque, NM

On Saturday we breakfasted on fresh fruit, sticky rice with banana steamed in banana leaves, and lychee with taro in coconut cream. Yum! We also discovered that coffee with sweetened coconut cream makes for a decadent morning drink. We took a longtail boat on the river to reach the grand palace and Wat Pho. Wat Pho houses a massive golden reclining Buddha. It was an awesome sight!

The grand palace was amazing beyond description, so ornate and brilliantly decorated. Words can't do it justice, so you'll have to wait for photos instead.

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
Head & feet of reclining Buddha, Wat Pho in Bangkok.

By that time, the heat was unbearable. We abandoned our plans to walk and instead hopped into an air-conditioned cab headed to the city center. It felt so wonderful to be cool we didn't mind the horrendous traffic, happy to be situated in front of a rush of cool air. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around a huge Siam Square Mall in states of awe. It was packed and crazy, with all of the hustle, bustle and chaos of an outdoor market but without the heat. Anyone need a black market iPod? Or a superhero costume? Or a dried fish snack? We settled on papaya salad and gelato instead and spent a long time people watching.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
March 21---Rachel (Henderson) Olson
March 23---Colette Huseby
March 23---Capt. Jack Adair
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
March 22---Ken and Ruth Weiland Swanson Kitto (8 years)
March 26---Stanley and Janice Dake (40 years)


More March Birthdays
March 1---Betty Weiland Droel
March 2---Tom Miller (Doctor)
March 3---Donald Anderson
March 6---Jerrianne Lowther
March 6---Gwen Stucker
March 9---Kylie Grace McNeill (3 years)
March 11---Kjirsten Swenson
March 12---Jolene Johnson
March 16---Samuel Alexander Cannon
March 17---Ruth Weiland Kitto
March 18---Janie Anderson

March 28---Donna (Anderson) Johnson
March 30---Mason Henderson (4 years)
March 30---Michael Steinhauer
March 31---Linda Knutson

More March Anniversaries
March 3---Mike and Kelley Seaman (9 years)
March 3---Greg and Sonja Dake (4 years)
March 14---Brian and Melanie Birkholz Lehtola (8 years)
March 15---Dan and Gina Henderson (5 years)

March 31---Frans and Rian de Been (32 years)

March Special Days
March 14---Daylight Saving Time Begins
March 17---St. Patrick's Day
March 20---First Day of Spring

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Photo © Betty Droel
A special balloon to celebrate 80 wonderful years!

Dear Miss Hetty,

I didn't even know they made a balloon for EIGHTY. I thought that was so old nothing was made to celebrate it, but Marci and Steve and Shalana and Krista came, bringing this pretty reminder and key lime pie. They took us to a lovely little Viet Namese restaurant very near here for supper, and then we had dessert at home, which was the delicious pie.

What a special birthday evening we just had!

I just had to share with you the cheering up I got when the realization hit me that I am as old as my grandmother used to be.

Roy and Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo © Rich Weiland
As you know from last week's Bulletin, my sister, Ruth Swanson Kitto, had a stroke. She is making remarkable progress. Rich Weiland took this picture last week, when he and Verlaine visited Ruth & Kenny in Apache Junction, Arizona. It looks like she is doing quite well.

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

WOW! The Bulletin was full of flowers. I wish I would have known it was going to be so springy.

There is a photo of a budding lemon from Ruth and Ken Kitto's tree in their back yard in the Updates. And here is a purple hibiscus.

Rich and Verlaine Weiland
At the Kittos', in Apache Junction, AZ

Photo © Rich Weiland
Purple hibiscus from Ruth & Ken Kitto's yard.

One of the best parts of The Bulletin today was getting Sarah's blog. I added it to my favorites. Then, when I went to her blog, I found Ginny's blog! I made that one a favorite, too! Wow, there is so much talent in that family!

It snowed here last night. Now why did that happen? Of course, this morning it's almost all melted, except for the small strip of lawn that's shaded by the fence. I guess, even here, spring is not to be completely trusted!

Marlene Johnson
Meridian, ID

Great Bulletin! Loved all the flowers ... what a gorgeous bouquet! Wrote to Betty and told her I really enjoyed her striped Amaryllis too ... very spring like and I do appreciate that right now!

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

I have been getting used to the new web site and high speed connection for my computer! Ha! High speed is a joke! It is MUCH slower than DSL and if they cannot get it up to what I was sold, it will be coming out!

Hope the snow is slowly getting out of your way ... it was 76 here today.

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

Thanks so much for the lively St. Patty's Day card! It has always been celebrated in our home. For one thing, my middle name is Patrick. When Mom was happy with me, she called me "Danny Pat." She was, of course, Irish and traditionally had a big party. A couple years ago my sister Colleen and some cousins on the Grady side got the tradition going again. We will be attending a party at my cousin Doug Spencer's home on Saturday.

Now I know what you were talking about when you told me to pay attention to future installments of your memoirs. Marcella being pregnant in 1949 would have resulted in, well, ME! Thanks again for the generous sharing of your early years.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Your Cousin Dan Mellon
Alta Loma, CA

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

FINALLY, Saturday morning arrived, and with it The Bulletin #404.

Beginning with another lovely flower arrangement reminding us of Miss Jerrianne's birthday having been here and gone, and a breath of spring and beauty in that beautiful photograph. We hope you had a very pleasant birthday, Jerrianne, and now as you begin the year before you, may it be a good year. You work so hard for others, and now we hope you can have a little "Jerrianne time," even if it's just a Bubble Bath.

It was so touching to see the picture of Mother and Baby as the Update to welcome Ella Rose Jahnke. I thought the touching part was seeing the love showing through that new mother's smile and cuddle of her newborn daughter. Could there be a stronger bond than a mother's love?

What a story! The Johnsons adding another member to their family, and how it all came about was very interesting. Maci looks like she just belongs right there, and you would just like to reach out and touch her, she looks so soft and fluffy. Three happy girls will provide lots of loving care.

Thank you, Miss Kitty, for not growing weary of sending us an update from Alaska, telling us about Miss Jerrianne's birthday. She probably would never have told us all that information herself, and it will take a long time to exhaust the web sites in that update. For instance, the neighborhood web site. Also, the daily kitten site, but don't you worry, Miss Kitty, and Mai Tai, too -- you will always be top dog.

I simply sat and stared at the most beautiful African Violet Bitzi had submitted for our pages this time. So sharp and vivid purple against the dark background. Outstanding!

Thanks, too, Elaine, for the Update of not getting caught in a vortex. That can happen pretty easily, and suddenly we find ourselves a long way from the intended purpose. Let's hope those dishes don't break or the owner grows tired of them ... because there is the whole kitchen redone.

We sort of wonder just what Sarah will be creating next, and this time it was the scarf. It is always something very original, colorful, and unique -- no copycat, for sure. It is beyond my imagination to create that scarf from the material she used according to the site to click on.

Donna Mae usually gives us a complete different story each time She has so many irons in the fire. This time was the redoing of her office arrangement that Beaver suggested. The vortex of the paint job, etc., and looks like there was plenty of help.

I must say, Grady is getting to be more Dad's pal rather than Dad's baby. What a healthy boy, and he is certainly growing.

It will thrill Shalana and Krista Weiland to see what Rylie chose for her birthday. The matching pajamas, and the bed for her coveted American Girl doll. The girls each have a most beloved American Girl doll, and all the "trimmings," of course. You didn't tell us Rylie's doll's name. That is very important.

Oh, finally, we come to Memory Lane. It is so exciting to be listening in on Dorothy's life and thoughts and secrets. I saw Louella the other day, and I mentioned to her that she is featured in Dorothy's Memory Lane. She can hardly wait to find out some way to read these chapters herself. She does not have a computer.

The Travelogue always has something to catch our eye. This time the beautiful brilliant red flower and the water lily. Then the Tuk tuks with their colorful paint jobs to lure passengers. The menu sounded so risky, but it must have been delicious, even if the restaurant was at such an out of the way place.

Last, but not least, was the FUNNNIES. I got so carried away with following the links, even to Bulletin #42, which gave me way too many more things to look at. And now to wonder where the trio is. Does make you wonder, doesn't it? And they likely are thinking the same about "Anderson."

The Quotation for the day has only one solution. Just stay out of the vortex in the first place.

Thanks. It works fine to click on the link to get The Bulletin. I am sure it's a lot easier for some programs, not to have that many pages in the e-mail. Whatever works. We definitely must have The Bulletin, and this was another one that kept us entertained and informed.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Jennie Horne
Carrie Horne gets carried away by Uncle Greg Dake.

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Quotation for the day: In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. --Mark Twain

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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