The Bulletin
Sunday, February 1, 2004
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Updates -

Heather A. Overby
Benjamin J. Henderson

Announcement is made of the engagement of Heather A. Overby, daughter of Rick and Ann Overby, of Fargo, North Dakota, to Benjamin J. Henderson, son of Curt and Patty Henderson of Glencoe, Minnesota. Plans are for a wedding on November 26, 2004.

by Daniel Henderson

I am getting into the new semester, which has kinda been a drag. The reason; just when you get used to your schedule and classes they go and make you take new ones! Oh well, its not SO bad. We have gotten a lot of snow this past weekend. Probably a foot or so. This morning (Monday) it took Ben and me 40 minutes to get to school because I-94 was closed north of Fargo! I missed class but it was ok.

This semester I'm taking Calc, Statics, Chem, Impact of Technology on Society, International Politics, and English. Kinda a full load but it won't be too bad, hopefully. Just as long as I stay on top of studying. Ben and I are playing spring intramural b-ball soon. That's always kinda fun, to play some ball and get out and run a bit. I have also played some hockey with the friends from around here. It's usually pretty fun because people from the north country grow up on skates.

I enjoyed this quote about college. Thought I would share it.

If you are given an open-book exam, you will forget your book.
If you are given a take-home exam, you will forget where you live.

At least the college tests aren't REALLY THAT hard -- so I'll keep working hard up here and try to write to you more. Hope you're enjoying the new home.


The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty

Winter Blues: Keeping Boredom At Bay

Well, this winter does drag on ... temperatures down below zero again lately, though the Midwest and the East Coast haven't exactly been having a walk in the park, either, we hear. But I do get a touch of cabin fever when Miss Jerrianne goes out and I get left behind because it's too cold outside for pussycats ... or maybe that's just a convenient excuse.

Cold weather doesn't seem to bother those Siberian racing cats that won the sled dog race in Oregon, though their fur is a lot longer than mine and trotting does keep one warm. I really laughed when Miss Jerrianne read me that story. If you missed it, you can read about it here:

We did go out recently to a place where a Mackenzie River Husky dog lives. Yogi (the dog) is as big as a Shetland pony, to hear Miss Jerrianne tell it, though she does exaggerate a bit sometimes. Anyway, we were just leaving and as Miss Jerrianne was trying to put her snow boots on, Yogi joined us in the vestibule. He couldn't see me in my pouch, but he knew I was there somewhere and he was VERY interested. I let out a low growl to warn him off. Boy, did THAT get his attention!

Well, it all worked out and I lived to tell the tale, though Miss Jerrianne had seriously contemplated grabbing my pouch and fleeing out the front door in her stocking feet. I got a good talking to on the way out to the van. Pick on somebody your own size, she advised. That would have been an excellent time to keep my big mouth shut, she said. But I'm about 13 (in "cat years"), and any teenager knows how that goes!

So we've stayed in the house more than suits us lately, and when I get bored, I let Miss Jerrianne know it. One good way to do this is to put my front paws on her knee, extend my needle sharp claws and stretch-h-h-h-h ... which gets her attention every time. Eventually, she decides I'm getting too much good out of those pretty claws I'm so proud of and out come the nail nippers ... snip, snip, snip ... and then I have to grow them out all over again.

I play hard to get when she gets out the nail scissors, but those shrimp and salmon kitty treats are SO hard to resist. Sometimes I like to mess with her head by pretending it hurts when she is being so very careful to make sure she doesn't pinch or pull my toes or cut too close to the "quick," but it's my vanity that's hurt, not my pretty little paws. She gets out the catnip afterwards to mollify me. Catnip makes me dizzy and suddenly I need a cat nap.

Miss Jerrianne has been trying to teach me to come to her and jump on her lap when she calls, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty." So I come close, but still well out of reach, and give her a look that says, "Show me the treat and THEN we'll talk." If she offers a treat, I take it politely and jump back down out of reach and eat it on the floor. But if I don't show up at all and Miss Jerrianne can't find me, she heads downstairs to see if I've trapped myself ... again.

Sure enough ... if I pull out the door stop, that door swings shut and I'm stuck. Every time. Ordinarily, if I'm on the wrong side of a closed door, I'll meow and whine piteously, hoping to use guilt as leverage to gain sympathy, and admittance to forbidden places, but I'm far too embarrassed to whine for help if I find myself "hoist by my own petard."

When the downstairs door opens, at last, I'll race Miss Jerrianne up the stairs. I always win! I frequently head for the kitchen and peer under the stove. I say "meow" so she'll think a toy is stuck under there. She gets out the flashlight and her long green stick and flops down for a look, while I try to make off with her tools. Sometimes she finds a toy and fishes it out, but other times I know very well that she won't find a toy there because I just hid it someplace else.

For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:

Miss Kitty

Pull Starting "Dry Weather Truck"
Preparing To Pull Start Our "Dry Weather Truck"
(Photo By Jerrianne Lowther)

North To Alaska!
By Richard Johnson

Part 1 of 5

January 2, 1975. We left Phoenix fairly early in the morning. It was so foggy we could hardly stay on the road, but we made it out of town all right. We made our first gas stop and filled the right side tank. We were surprised that it held over 30 gallons, but later discovered it held 50. We wanted to fill the left side, too, but decided to go to another station as there was no room to turn around. You can't back up at all with a tow bar.

We passed several stations with too low canopies over the pumps, then turned into one where we could get in alongside the canopy. That's when we found out you need about 10 acres to turn the rig around. We barely found room to get off the road so we could unhitch the Scout and maneuver into the pumps. We got filled and hitched up again, only to have the wheels turn the wrong way on the Scout in making a short, uphill turn onto the road. We got everything straightened out and headed for California with the fog lifting.

As soon as we got out of the fog, we ran into strong headwinds, which alternated with nasty crosswinds. Our speed was mostly limited to under 40 mph with a lot of miles under 30 when it was uphill. The wind was strong enough to blow a lot of sand and a few Winnebago type campers across the road. We had to detour through Palm Springs, because of even worse winds closing the road we wanted to take. We got only a little lost in Palm Springs and we were back on the road we wanted, just in time to hit Los Angeles in rush hour traffic. If we had made a wrong turn, we'd probably still be there.

We noticed the tail lights were only working part time coming out of L.A. and to compound that, we hit our first second gear mountains about then. That's under 15 mph. We finally found gas and a motel at Gorman, CA, where we turned in wearily, after more than 400 miles.

January 3. We had a comparatively uneventful day rolling through easy hills, orchards and vineyards. We traveled at over 50 mph most of the day and stopped shortly after dark because the lights were still on the blink. We stayed in Willows, CA, and ate at Jerry's Restaurant because it was closer than Denny's Restaurant. We got the last motel room that didn't have water beds.

January 4. We had some fairly strenuous driving in mountains with some rain and snow. The scenery was impressive and we saw Mt. Shasta. We had to get down in second gear a lot and we seldom got into high. I was glad the truck had good brakes because we had to use them a lot, even in third gear, on 6% downgrades several miles long. We went through Siskiyou Pass where there was some ice and snow and fog. When we stopped for the night just past Eugene, OR, we saw a sign that said chains were now required to be on in Siskiyou Pass. We were glad we made it through before that, because we didn't have any chains yet.

January 5. It rained all night and we discovered that we had a dry weather truck. It wouldn't start in the morning. A gas station guy brought his car over and we tried jumper cables, but that didn't work. There was no place around with a service or tow truck, so we unhooked the Scout and pulled the truck using the safety chain on the tow bar.

I told Jerrianne to stop when I honked the horn, but with the Scout in low gear and low range 4-wheel drive, she couldn't hear it. The result was I had the truck running and the brakes on about 50 yards before we stopped, with all four Scout tires steaming on the wet asphalt. Anyway, it worked and we put on a pretty good show.

We made it to Tacoma, WA, in the afternoon, where we planned to have the truck and car winterized and pick up some tire chains that a friend of Mic's had set aside for us. We bought some things we needed and I did some work on the wiring in the truck. The wiring in the van was apparently done by an arthritic monkey. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, which was expensive, but proved to be a good place, as it was within walking distance of almost everything we needed -- even Kentucky Fried Chicken.

January 6. The truck wouldn't start again, due to wet weather, so we pulled it again in the Holiday Inn parking lot. We had our act together a lot better this time and pulled it off smoothly. We took the truck and car to a big repair shop within walking distance of the motel to have them winterized, etc. On the way, the truck heater, which I had repaired with a can of Missouri Mule Stop Leak in Phoenix, started gushing coolant. It couldn't have picked a better time to do it.

We wore out carpet and ate fingernails most of the day, until the servicing was done. When we picked up the Scout, Jerrianne found the dash lights didn't work, which led us to a pinched wire. That was the source of some of our lighting problems. Never ridicule a woman for complaining about bummed out dash lights -- they were connected to the tail lights. We ate at Denny's Restaurant this time, where there was a sign that said, "Howard Johnson cooking for you today."

January 7. We drove into Seattle separately. We got one look at Mt. Rainier and found the ferry terminal without too much trouble. We left the truck there and drove up some of the steepest hills I've ever seen streets on. We went to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) and Eddie Bauer's to get cold weather gear. We got back in time to get tickets and wait around until they were ready for us to drive onto their boat.

We were informed that the Haines Highway was closed indefinitely -- snowed in, snow plows couldn't get through, people stranded all over -- even being helicoptered out of stranded vehicles. It gave us something to think about, anyway. By the time we got on board the Alaska ferry MV Malaspina, we were too tired to eat. It was a hectic day with nothing but rain, worry, and no parking places. I won't be sad if I never see Seattle's waterfront again.

Part 1 of 5 – To be continued.

The Family Cookbook
Culinary Heirlooms
Frog Eye Soup

        Today's recipe seems to have many authors. It also seems to have evolved over time, like the poor animal who had to sacrifice its eyes for the making of it. Let's hope PETA is not reading today's column.
        Today's recipe might be a bit of a stretch for some of you, but remember to keep an open mind and keep in mind that no REAL frogs were harmed in the making of it.

(Fruit Soup or Sweet Soup, for anyone too grown up to relish "frog eyes")

2 cups mixed dried fruit (12-oz. pkg.) such as currants, raisins, prunes, pears, apricots, peaches, apples [Grandma used about a pound of prunes and a hefty proportion of raisins; nothing else; I just now used a 12-oz. pkg. of prunes plus 1 cup of raisins, which is 1/3 more fruit than Betty Crocker's recipe.]

3 cups water (half grape juice may be used) [I used half Concord grape juice and I didn't increase the liquid, even though I used 1/3 more fruit.]

1/2 lemon, sliced [Lemon is optional. I skipped it.]

1/4 to 1/2 cup Big Pearl Tapioca [These are the frog eyes, so hunt up the great BIG ones, not those little sissy frog egg versions used in most tapioca puddings, and don't be stingy! I used 1/4 cup and added another 1/4 cup later. The instructions on my tapioca box say to soak the tapioca in water for at least three hours first. Kathlyn says no, but I didn't and wished I had, so I cooked 1/4 cup more that had been soaked and added them later. "Eyes" can have too hard centers if not soaked first and they can also cook away to nothing.]

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar [I used the lesser amount with the sweet grape juice.]

1 stick cinnamon [I used 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon instead.]

Mix ingredients and cook [simmer!], covered, until fruits are tender (about 30 to 40 min.) [You might want to give the prunes head start on the raisins, or soak them first.] Serve either hot or cold. (Amount: about 4 servings.) [I ended up with a quart of "frog eye soup" ... more like 10-12 servings, IMO.]

I'm sure my mother and grandmother made it in bigger batches, but this "soup" is so rich and sweet that you can't eat very much of it at a time and I would have considered it more like a dessert sauce or a light snack than a cocktail "appetizer." I wonder whether we used to pour some cream over it sometimes to cut the richness. It also goes good on plain oatmeal porridge, in place of fruit and sugar in winter ... as I discovered this very morning.

Someday, I'm going to try making it with fresh plums and grapes instead of prunes and raisins, though the basic idea was to serve this in winter when there was little or no good fresh, canned or frozen fruit available in Norway.

P.S. I put some Sweet Soup in the freezer and froze it ... and thawed it, as a test. Freezing and thawing a sample seemed to have little or no effect, so I think I'll save some of it for later. Let's face it, this is not a delicate dish!

From Kathlyn Anderson:
Here are some notes from my Sweet Soup making...

Cook the dry fruit in water 2 to 3 inches deeper than the fruit for approximately 1 hour. Then sprinkle pearl tapioca on top -- lots of it -- we love frog eyes -- making sure there is enough liquid for the tapioca to cook in. (Contrary to what the package says, we do NOT soak the tapioca prior to putting it in the sweet soup.) Let it cook until each pearl is mostly clear, a little bit of white makes the "eye," but you don't want it tough or dry inside. (Different brands cook differently. Sometimes you find a good one; seldom do you get a choice.) Sometimes I stir them a bit, but I try to keep them on top of the fruit during this stage so they don't stick to the bottom of the kettle.

At the last add grape juice, wine or brandy (if desired), and sugar, lemon & orange if desired, cloves, cinnamon. Frozen grape & cranberry juice concentrate add a nice concentration of flavor.

Making sweet soup this way requires much tasting and adjusting to get it just perfect for this year. I love to cook sweet soup! Somewhere I read about the addition of a can of pitted sweet cherries to be added. I haven't tried this, but I think it would be good.

Dad always liked to have the prunes with pits. I'm sure that was his quirk ... best check with Beaver on this.

        Well, now, how about that?  Not your every day recipe, granted, but I personally can't wait to try it. Thanks, Jerrianne, Kathlyn, Betty and anyone else involved in this unique and unusual recipe.
        My recipe file is now officially empty, so if you have any lying around, please DO send them along!  See you next week, hopefully. Bon Appétit!

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson

I did it! I spent two full days and two half days hiking and managed to cover all of the circuit, minus the sections we hiked and the two hours separating camping Italiano and Lake Pehoé. Since you've explored the park and can appreciate my speed, I`ll give you the rundown. :)

I took the morning bus from Punta Arenas to the park on Thursday and left Hostería Torres for Campamiento Serón around 3 that afternoon ... 14 km. and 3.5 hours later, I was there. This section was quite pleasant but the least spectacular in terms of scenery. It was also super windy in typical Patagonian fashion.

The next morning I hiked like an insane woman and covered 24 km. from Camping Serón to Camping Perros at the base of the pass. An hour out of Serón, the trail climbs a low pass and curves around towards the valley that leads up to the major pass. As I came over the top, I was blasted by wind that literally blew the snot out of my nose and me off the trail. It was so strong it made me cry. And strangely, my ears hurt. The views of the valley and the mountains along the pass were great but I couldn't even stand up, let alone take pictures. After I managed to drop a bit, I tried to take a few shots but still couldn't hold the camera sufficiently steady.

The rest of that section was beautiful! The trail itself is fine and the views keep getting more and more impressive as you approach the pass. And other than the wind, the weather was decent so I could actually see all of the peaks! That night I camped at Los Perros, which is located at the base of a spectacular glacier near a berg-filled lake.

The next day I climbed the pass and dropped down to camping Lake Grey. The pass really is magnificent! The sky was grey, but all of the peaks were out. I hiked only 12 km., but it was by far the most difficult backpacking day I've ever completed. Ascending the pass actually wasn't so difficult.. I had already gained half of the elevation by the time I reached Camping Perros the night before. But the descent is nothing short of brutal.

The trail is nasty steep. My pack wasn't terribly heavy, but still gave me enough momentum that going down was sometimes scary. And though my topo map indicates it's level along the glacier, it was endless up and down. You probably remember... It took me all day, but propelled by visions of a shower and soup, I stumbled into Lake Grey with enough time for both. But only one of the two was hot...

The next day I felt like an ancient woman and hiked like one, too. I had promised myself the day off to read and appreciate the scenery, but the weather was frighteningly perfect. I didn't think Patagonia was capable of producing clear skies, seventy degrees, and only the slightest of breezes all at once! It would have been shameful not to hike, so I feebly walked the 10 km. to Lake Pehoé. There I dropped my pack, took off my boots, and soaked up the 75 degree heat for a very long time before setting up camp.

The next day I took the boat across to the main road to meet the Puerto Natales bus. Before catching the bus, I hiked to a waterfall and then to a high point from which I had great views across towards Los Cuernos and whatever mountain is across the valley from them on the way to Valle Frances. The weather was sufficiently rotten to make leaving the park less difficult.

Yesterday, in Puerto Natales, I checked out transport options and determined that flying was a lot cheaper than the boat and a lot faster than the 36 hour bus ride. So I flew from Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt this afternoon and now I'm on Isle Chiloé. Apparently Lanchile doesn't adjust prices for advance purchase!

Chiloé is lovely so far. I haven't done anything except eat a dinner of shellfish empanadas and walk around the town square, but gather that it's a rather provincial place with lots of character. I plan to spend a few days eating seafood and exploring the towns and a coastal national park before heading to the central Andes for more camping and hiking.



From one of our Springfield friends: Linda Bly
Now you know why you lived in Missouri all of those years! Burrrrr!!!!! That forecast makes me cold to think of it! I just hate that we didn't get to say 'bye! Guess we'll just have to come to Minnesota to see you one of these days. That was so fun when we did that before. Molly was just a little baby then. Greet all your family from us.

Linda, Pat, Kathleen, and Molly Bly

I really enjoyed Beaver's account of the trip from Misery back to Minnesota. The weather in Minnesota is terrific ... like he says ... "if you don't like it one day, just wait and it will change tomorrow." He did a very good job of describing the trip from Misery ... almost felt like we were along ... (We were, in thought, of course!) Glad all went well and all settled in and can now enjoy the benefits of living there!

Say, that sure is an interesting kitty you have writing to you from Alaska! I'll bet Weston's kitty could tell you some hair-raising tales about the last few days, moving to another house and then having all those people tromping in and out carrying furniture and boxes! She had to hide under the bed all day!

I suppose I had better start planning the rest of this week. Tomorrow, I have to repair the water fountain in the bull yard, and I suppose the bulls will want to help. Unfortunately, bulls are not good at fixing water fountains....


Let's see, we're suppose to have 6-12 inches of snow by tomorrow night ... um.m.m.m ... welcome back to Minnesota (I think). I always thought this was the best place to live if you could handle the snow, humidity, mosquitoes, etc. Did you move into an apartment? I'm sure the family are glad to have you here. The long distance makes it tough when you have to deal with emergencies and family issues.



Hi there, everybody -- hope you enjoy this feature -- and feel free to contribute your favorites.

(Be sure to read the fifth one. :-)
sent to us by Donna

Jean's 6-year-old granddaughter told her mother, "I'm going to be a doughnut!" Her mother asked what she was talking about because Hallowe'en was past. The little girl said, "You know, that Girl Scout thing." She is going to be a Brownie! -- Jean of Waxahachie, Texas

A few years ago, at April's cousins' house, the boys were selling popcorn for Boy Scouts. The eldest, Eric, came in the house and announced to the whole family that he had gotten 25 dollars and 30 cents. Then 10-year-old Tristan piped up and said, "I have 13 dollars and no cents (no sense)!" It took several minutes for Tristan to understand why everyone burst out in laughter at his proud moment. -- April of Roanoke, Virginia

When their car passed the local blood bank, Ken said, "Mom, 'Blood Bank?' That's a terrible name for a bank!" -- Claudell Van Hoozer (mother of Ken) of Omaha, Nebraska

Claudell's little brother was learning about nutrition in school. His teacher asked him to keep a list of the meals he ate for one day. Unfortunately, his spelling was not very good and at the end of his list he printed: "midnight snake!"

When Donna was a nanny several years ago for two 3-year-old cousins, she overheard this conversation:
Kaia: My Mom has brown hair.
Marissa: My Mom has blonde hair.
Kaia: My Mom has brown eyes.
Marissa: My Mom has WEASEL eyes! (She meant hazel.)
-- Donna M. Johnson of Ashby, Minnesota

Morgan Alexis, 6, has been phoning her "Mom-Mom" since she was 4. She always ends the conversation with, "I love you, Mom-Mom. Love me back!" -- BT Thomas (Mom-Mom) of Delaware

Misty's grandmother, Carol, told Misty a story about when she was born. In the hospital, a little girl asked what Misty's parents had named her. Misty's grandmother replied, "Misty Lee." The little girl looked shocked and ran out to her parents yelling, "They named the baby Mister Lee!" -- Misty Lee Misraje of Northridge, California.

When Debbie was 4, she talked all the time. One day her father was concentrating on what he was doing. He asked, "Debbie, why don't you be quiet for a while?" She replied, "No, Daddy, I can't. I learned to talk and I'm going to talk!" -- Nancy Stuller (grandmother of Debbie) of Waterloo, Indiana

Here's a story about another of Nancy's granddaughters. Christina was about 4 when her grandfather was asked to be Santa Claus at the small church they attended. "Santa" came in, dressed in a red suit, carrying a pack on his back and wearing a white beard. He "ho-ho'ed" down the aisle. Christina stood up and said, "That's not Santa Claus. That's my grandfather!"

When Darby was a kid, she would read road signs while traveling in the family car. One early morning she said, "Dad, look -- a Presbyterian crossing sign!" Her father replied with a laugh that it was a pedestrian crossing! -- Darby Miller of Tallahassee, Florida

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Goodness is the only investment that never fails. --Henry David Thoreau

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.