by Dorthy Anderson
We are safely back from our surprise arrival at the annual Family Feast -- our own celebration of Thanksgiving. We arrived, announced by a cell phone call at 7 on Saturday morning. Kim didn't know what to think when she answered the phone and found Grandpa on the line that early -- but came running out in bare feet to greet us when she realized it truly was us sitting out in the driveway. Soon everyone was up to greet us and the festivities began.
Grandpa totally "caught them by surprise." Kim and Mark showed him their head masks and he decided to carry the surprise still further. He chose a Ronald Reagan mask and as the guests arrived he greeted each. I really don't think he fooled anyone very badly, BUT he surely surprised them. What a beautiful day! All that kept it from being perfect was the fact that Chris, Ben Johnson, and Wyatt were not able to come.
The rest of our stay went perfectly. We had an overnight stay at Rich and Marlene's and then Meeting at their house on Sunday. (Nice to be there and to see many of our friends!) For that noon dinner, we all went to Patty and Curt's and then we stayed there for the night. Monday and Tuesday we spent with Beaver, Donna, Becky, Caity, and Jayce.
That made it possible for us to go apartment shopping Tuesday. After only a short hunt we found the Bridgewater Estates where we found exactly what we wanted. We made an appointment to sign the lease agreement on Wednesday. After that we went to Fergus Falls and met Don's sisters -- Elaine and DeLoris -- for lunch.
Wednesday went just fine. We accomplished all we set out to do and then went as far as the Hendersons' again for an overnight. We took two days getting home (and also going) and got in safely, ahead of the winter storm that was brewing as we left the North for Springfield. We are now busy getting our mobile home on the market. We are hoping to have it sold in the 90 day transition period that Bridgewater allows us.
Our grandsons have promised to come down and move us to the far north when we are ready for the move! Now my job is to determine what goes with us and what to sell or give away in this next downsizing. We are anticipating a more manageable lifestyle!
Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
I, for one, am still rather in shock from our surprise guests. We were all VERY surprised and pleasantly so, to have them join us for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful to see them and also good to know the weather cooperated both directions for them!
It was so nice for them to have found an apartment already! Talk about a profitable trip for them. Caity and Jayce will get to spend MUCH more time with Great Grandpa and Grandma, much to their delight. Jayce was looking pretty sad when it came time for them to leave. So, we were very happy that we could tell him they'd be back soon!
We LOVED having them stay with us. I enjoyed that they could meet my little daycare crew, so when I talk about various little guys and gals, they will know which I'm speaking about. The children all enjoyed meeting them, too; some of them (the ones that can talk :-) were still discussing them today.
One little guy's name is Austin and Dad kept calling him "Oscar," getting a rise out of Austin each time. So, today, Beaver called him "Oscar" too ... which got a vehement denial, but also a HUGE smile!
The kids enjoyed the cookies Great Grandpa had left for Jayce and Caity. They shared with the daycare children and all thought he has very good taste in cookies. :-)
We are looking forward to having them arrive back in Minnesota in the spring ... or earlier, if that was to happen. By the looks of the picture, their apartment complex is a nice one and will be fun to visit.
We are hoping the piano is going to fit. Peggy and I both said we should take piano lessons, along with Caity. We both figure she will far out distance us, but still, we'd love to try. NO recitals for us though. :-)
So, once again, it was SUPER having you stay with us, Mom and Dad ... looking forward to your being Minnesota residents again soon!
The Family Cookbook
by Doug Anderson
If you have ever been in Don and Patty's beautiful kitchen, then you don't need to pay attention to today's recipe because you have already read it on their wall. If that confuses you, you will just have to go to their kitchen and see what I am talking about. I am afraid my limited verbiage will simply NOT do it justice, so you will have to see it for yourself, as is true of many of the beautiful things in life.
Anyway, this is a very versatile recipe, with many practical uses, so enjoy:
Don & Patty's All-purpose Sauteed Mushrooms
2 shallots, minced
4 Tbsp. butter
16 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
10 oz. dry Marsala
4 oz. chicken stock
8 oz. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Saute shallots in butter until soft. Add mushrooms and saute 5 min more. Add thyme and wine and turn heat to med high. Reduce liquid until almost gone (about 10 min). Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to med and reduce this mixture by half. Stir in the cream and seasonings, cook until thick -- approximately 15-20 minutes.
To make mushroom toast, spoon about 1 Tbsp. of this mixture onto toasted 1/2" thick slices of french bread and set under broiler until bubbly. To make a fabulous sauce for steaks or pork, slice mushrooms instead of chopping them and thicken mixture in last step to a more gravy like consistency. For mushroom soup, use chopped mushrooms and add equal parts "half and half" and chicken broth (about 1 pint each) to finished mushroom recipe along with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Heat through until cheese melts -- do not boil!
TIP: If you eat this by the spoonful directly from the cooking pot you don't have to count the calories.
Okay, so this version is a little more detailed than the one that is stenciled so beautifully on their kitchen wall, so maybe you should be taking notes. Thanks, Don and Patty, for another superb entry in our book of family cuisine! Bon appetite!
The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty
Miss Kitty Takes A Powder
Loud voices, right in my ear, shattered the pre-dawn darkness. I jumped out of my cozy bed, eyes wide open, but I couldn't see a thing. I bounded across the bed to make sure Miss Jerrianne was still alive. She was still breathing ... sleeping peacefully, in fact. I jumped on top of her, put my nose in her face, tickled her awake with my whiskers, almost made her sneeze. She didn't seem terribly alarmed about the strange voices.
Miss Jerrianne got up and flipped a switch. Lights came on. The darkness disappeared. She pushed a button by the clock and the scary voices went away ... just as I heard them say something about somebody in England protesting a "President Bush." The only bush I know about is the prickly Sitka Rose Bush in the front yard. If a "President Bush" is anything like that "Rose Bush," I can understand why people might protest.
Miss Jerrianne was all business this morning ... no lollygagging with the computer and no waiting to see whether I wanted to play with my toys in the bathtub before her shower. She whipped right through the usual morning routine ... shower, dress, open the blinds, get the newspaper off the front step, feed the cat, prepare breakfast ...
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! I heard boots pounding up the front steps and the doorbell rang. This time it wasn't just strangers' voices. It was bona fide strangers, right at our front door! I ran away as fast as I could and hid in the closet. I'm not a "scaredy cat" or a "'fraidy cat," you know, but I AM a "hidey cat." There's a big difference.
Miss Jerrianne let the strangers in and even gave them breakfast. She wanted me to meet her friend Sharon, and Sharon's mother, Sara, who is 93 and loves cats ... even has one of her own at her home in Idaho to keep mice away. I wasn't cooperating. She finally got out some "kitty treats" ... my favorite kind, made from salmon and shrimp ... and found my hiding place, behind a laundry basket on the closet floor.
I wasn't too happy about this, but I consented to stick around for a couple more kitty treats and some petting by two very nice lady strangers. I even participated in demonstrating the pouch for portable kitties, but by that time my nerves were really on edge. I slipped away as soon as I decently could. When it came time to bid the nice ladies goodbye, I had vanished ... not even a tell tale grin. Self preservation comes before manners, I say.
After the nice lady strangers left, Miss Jerrianne commenced a thorough search, but I was nowhere to be found. She looked every place she thought I could possibly be, and some others, too. She turned on a light in the bathroom and the light bulb popped with a flash that tripped a circuit breaker. Of course, she tried to blame that on me. I think her exact words were, "Yikes! I hope I haven't fried the cat!"
As usual, there was no incriminating evidence whatsoever to link that to me. Miss Jerrianne looked around some more, rechecking all the places she had looked before. She's not exactly Sherlock Holmes, but she decided I just had to be in some place she hadn't thought possible. That's when she spied me, sound asleep in an empty bin on the top tier of the closet shelf ... more than 8 feet off the floor.
Miss Jerrianne fetched a stepladder and brought me down from my hiding place. She says she's not sure she even wants to know how I got up there, in search of sanctuary under the ceiling. That's a good thing, too, because I can assure you, I'll never tell!
For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:
Eight Dog Night
As of 8 p.m. on the night before Thanksgiving, we had eight dogs on the premises, a record, I think. We seem to mostly have custody of Ben's black Lab, Buster, who keeps Sparky and Lexie company outside. Wyatt and Jolene showed up with their black Pomeranian, Atley, and a spoiled little blonde Pomeranian they call Stinker. They were taking care of Stinker for friends who are out of town. Lori's Jake was here too, along with our house mutt, Cat-Who-Barks (sometimes known as Mindy), and her yappy understudy Reesey, the Min-Pin ... Our dog credit rating is getting worse all the time, or does it level off at four dogs?*
Poor Jordan (the house cat), who had spent all day ducking the sticky clutches of the day care kids, was forced back into hiding by the pack, as they yapped and growled through the house like miniature hounds on the trail of a great white cougar. I suppose it's poetic justice, since Jordan stood idly by while his sister ate Donna's goldfish a few years ago, and he spent many hours trying to stalk her parakeets when she first brought them home.
Luckily, little dogs tire quickly. By bedtime, all was calm, with little doggies sleeping wherever they dropped. Jordan was able to make a foray from his perch on the office desk and slip into our bedroom, figuring correctly that I would feel sorry for him and let him sleep on the bed with me. He was gone this morning, replaced by Donna, so I don't know if she chased him out or he decided to brave the dogs rather than put up with two of us competing for his space.
* For those of you who haven't heard the "dog credit rating" story, this comes from my childhood, much of which was spent riding in dump trucks with my Dad. He believed that if a farmer had no dogs or one dog, he was a good credit risk. Two or three dogs was shaky, best to try to collect for the gravel on the spot. Four or more, if you left the yard without the money, you would probably never see it.
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
Thanks for keeping us involved in the family’s activities. If not for The Bulletin, I wouldn’t know anything about what was going on!
(Here is another addition for the list of Bulletin "characters.") Mia is Richard Johnson's wife (Beaver's sister-in-law). Welcome, Mia, glad to have you aboard! Dorothy.
Seems as though since I retired I can't get any work done because of all the work I'm having to do!! Anyway, I truly enjoy The Bulletin and hope it will keep coming my way.
Keep up the excellent work and will be in touch soon.
Stan, Jan and Jacob
Famous Last Words: I've never ridden before. Please give me a horse that has never been ridden, so that we start even.
contributed by Mavis Morgan
A champion bronc rider from Wyoming was a-visitin' on a Texas ranch. His host invitied him to test ride one of the local broncs. It was on-and-off as quick as a flash as the Texas horse sent the visitor sailin' into space.
"Oh, my," commented the visitor when he picked himself up. "These Texas hosses sure can buck!"
"He ain't bucked yet," replied his host. "He was just hiccuppin'."
TO OUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, AND GREAT-GRANDCHILREN-
We wish to thank you all for the wonderful reception, great meals, pampering and petting, and for the lovely gift from you all. We have dressed up our bed in the lovely linen -- they are the smoothest sheets I have ever used, and make it so much easier for me to turn in bed. My arms have to do the whole work of turning and this makes their job so much easier!! THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Grandpa and Grandma Anderson
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
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 email@example.com
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.