Saturday, October 30, 2010

How low can you go?

This past week we had the lowest barometric pressure on record. The weather changed from pleasant 50s and 60s (and even higher) to a sudden drop with winds and rain and even snow up in the northern areas. We had traces of snow but no “measurable” snow. We ended up with over 2" of rain before the wind hit. High, high winds knocked over trees and electrical poles all over the state, as well.

Norm read that about 31 states had much the same weather as we did, so I might not be telling you much.

I did hear that this low pressure was lower than the one that caused the Edmund Fitzgerald to sink on November 10, 1975 in Lake

Have you heard the song written and sung by Gordon Lightfoot?

We were living in Australia at the time of this tragedy and had not heard of it (we heard very little American news down under). When we came back in 1977, this song was popular and I really enjoyed it but did not realize it wasn’t something that happened in the far past. It wasn’t until 1989 that I found out about when and what happened.

I was working in an office in the Cities where everyone else was a born and bred Minnesotan. On November 10th, the boss walked in and asked “Where were you today?” .. People started telling their stories and I said “WHAT?” (I think that was the beginning of my down-fall at that office - I found another job soon after because of the obvious dis-like of my superior - but that’s another story) So I was told about the Edmund Fitzgerald and realized that it had happened recently enough that it had become a living legend.

Anyway, back to weather, where I started this story - our weather was worse than that famous storm and people were warned to stay off the water! And we had no ships or boats sinking this time!

The weather has switched, again (sigh). It’s now sunny and back up to the upper 50s, whereas the past several days it has struggled to reach 40ยบ. We have sun, again. A nasty wind but not as strong as it has been.

I spent Thursday at a school - they have an arts and crafts day there and have many people come in to teach their skills. There was a clown, a balloon artist, dancers, marital arts people, etc. I taught beginning weaving and the kids really enjoyed themselves. We were able to watch the sun begin to peek out while we wove. I hope I have inspired some little ones to continue with weaving in their futures.

Yesterday I took the wedding present off Harriet Dare and have washed it and am waiting for drying before hemming. I will post pictures when I am finished.

It is a beautiful day today - you have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

On this blustery Windsday, I thought I'd follow some of the other bloggers and put up a photo from the past.

This was taken when Mom and Dad traveled to Australia to visit us (we lived there for five years).  We met them at the airport at Canberra then traveled back to Tumut, NSW.  Jill isn't visible, but she was THERE and made herself very obvious.  This was before Jill was born.

Today is a very blustery day and we had our first snow, even though there wasn't much except in corners.  It promises to be a nicer weather day tomorrow but it is a beautiful day today, nonetheless.  You have a beautiful day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thank you, Mom!

Candy and I went to Mitchell, SD, to meet our mom for a few days of being together for fun and frolic.  It started out that Joy and the girls and I were going to go to Rapid City to spend some time with Mom and Dad but that didn’t work out.  So then I was going to drive there by myself.  

While talking to Mom, we decided to meet half way and have Candy join us.  So Mom paid for the motel and we paid for the meals.  We got the better deal!!

There were plans for all of us to visit several different places.  

Candy wanted to go to Cabela’s for some supplies; she went early the first morning while Mom and I ate breakfast.   

Mom wanted to go to the cheese factory; we called and found out that her desired yellow cheese curds were not available so we went to a specialty shop and we all bought cheese as well as spices and some baking items.

I wanted to go to the doll museum that has been advertized for years.  Every time we passed Mitchell, going to or from Rapid City, I asked Norm to let us stop so that I could see the museum (I collect dolls in a minor way - Norm won’t let me get all the ones I want).  He always had an excuse to not stop.  This spring as we were coming back from Charles’ funeral, I wanted to take the grandgirls there but no one could find the time to allow us to go.  So THIS TIME I WAS GOING TO GO!

However the clouds covered the skies and the gods wept!  When we called to ask for times, no one answered.  We asked a clerk in a store and found that the museum had been closed for a year and a half!!!!

We were going to go swimming - the pool was not warm enough for our cold / old bones, any of us.  We were going to sit in the hot tub - the heater was broken!  We did end up, all three of us (one at a time, of course) soaking in the bathtub with as hot a water as we could stand!
Mom did get something done she wanted to do: one of her good Eastern Star friends lives in the area and she joined us for supper the first night (or is it “dinner”??).  We ended up sitting for over three hours visiting with Chris!

Plus, the fact that we did not do much meant we spent more time just sitting and visiting.  Candy and I had knitting and Mom just talked with empty hands.

It was a great time - better weather than promised - we had temps in the mid seventies every day!  Spending time with Mom was fantastic.

I’d like to say a little bit about Mom.  She has been driving since she was about twenty-five fifteen (sorry, Mom) and she still does a pretty good job.  She is ninety years old and has quite a bit of energy, is very alert and - even though she complains about memory loss - pretty good at that, as well.

It was a beautiful time with two beautiful women; you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thank you, Deanna

In February, I purchased a 24" floor loom from my friend Deanna. I warped up her first project while at Joy’s, with the girls helping me to get it set up. It took me a while to get it done - I didn’t really LIKE the project I was doing, which made me not want to work on it.

But I finally got it done - two towels that I gave a young friend for a wedding present. 


I then started another project for another young friend for her wedding. Sister Candy is right - we need to stock up on our items so that a sudden wedding doesn’t through us into panic modes (at least ME).


Deanna has had this loom for many years. When we lived at Historic Murphy’s Landing, I tested it out, as she offered to sell it to me. I did not have the room or the money at that time.


But I sold a larger loom about a year ago, so had the money and selling the big loom gave me room in the studio.

I have named her “Harriet Dare” ... don’t know where that name came from but it fits her. Old fashioned in a way, modern in others.

Now, I have a little bit to talk about in the case of weaving. My fans who are not weavers might like to avert their eyes at this point. The weavers, this is an idea you might like to use.

I have started using “floating” selvedges a few years ago. These are, if you don’t know, the selvedge edges put through the reed but not through heddles. Hence, “floating” ... you can raise or lower them to catch as needed. Once you get used to them, there’s a great rhythm to it. You lift or lower the selvage as you slide the shuttle through the warp. That way you don’t have to worry about getting the selvedge correct while threading the heddles, which is always been my problem.

A while ago I read that some weavers hang their floating selvedges separately with weights rather than have them rolled onto the back beam with the rest of the warp. I tried this with the towels that I made. I think that’s one of the reasons I didn’t like the towels, as I didn’t like that kind of floating selvedge. I went back to attaching them to the back beam, as normal, for these place mats and I like that much better.

Anyway, back to the basics (non-weavers may look this way again). I have the towels done and given away. The mother of the bride approached me last week and told me that Dawn (the bride) had used the towels as table runners (another way of using them) and told me where they were located in her house. I always love to hear how my gifts are being used.

And if I keep in the rhythm for the weaving amount each day, I will have these next ones done before the next wedding.

However, I will not be able to weave for the next three days as Candy and I are meeting Mom in Mitchell, SD. She wanted me to come out but we decided that we would meet in the middle and have Candy join us. Mitchell is about half-way for each of us, and is a nice “little” town to play around in. I will take pictures of what we do and post that some time next week.

Until then, it’s a beautiful day today - didn’t get down to freezing (just almost) and it will be sunny and warmish today. A brilliant fall day, again. You have a beautiful day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How many people are IN you?

I have talked about Patience and Harley - very dear friends of ours and thought I would show you some of their characters that we have "met" and loved in the past (and still love).

These are some of the twenty to thirty some characters in their heads -especially Patience.  And to be truthful, Patience and Harley are not their real names - but a lot of people don't know the real ones.  Patience and Harley are the characters that are the most often "out" of their brains.

If you think I am making fun of them, I am.  But I can't make as much fun of them as they do, themselves.  For example, before the Big Island Rendezvous, Patience was looking for Icky Ethel's costume and was in the closet calling "Ethel, where ARE you?"  Harley walked in and said, "Honey, I think you've LOST it!"  Yes, I think she has, if she's talking to one of her personalities as a separate being.

So, without further ado, may I interest you in some pretty snazzy people?

Wild Bill Hickok

Calamity Jane


Harley's Mom, Molly and "Britta Gunderson"

Jennie Sheehan and Colonel Sheehan

Mrs. Sheehan was the wife of a Civil War hero but her grave was unmarked. 
Patience did research and found the grave (next to her husband) and put a marker there.
We had a beautiful ceremony with many friends joining in.

I can NEVER remember who Harley is when in uniform ... sorry, Harley!
He is either a general, colonel, captain, major, sergeant or private; each one is a different personality with a different name.

Icky Ethel

Miss Sarah with Bubba when Bubba was about five

Bubba wanted one of the Hissing Cockroaches that Ethel usually has.  
Miss Sarah, Ethel and many other characters sell them to children, with parental approval.

Under our fly.  She is a licensed cannoneer

I simply can NOT remember who these two are!

"Gay" photographer / marshal
  • PhotobucketMargarita before the fight (she and a friend stage a fight and she gets killed)
These are just a few of their characters .... I am sort-of their unofficial photographer but have not gotten all of the characters that *I* have met on film and have not met nearly half of them, even though I known them for about ten years. 

A brief list of others that they portray - Libby and George Custer (I KNOW I have pictures of them somewhere), a salon gal who is based on history and is Wild Bill's mistress (in Patience's little world).  A woman (name escapes me, wonder why?) who runs an early western "dude" ranch in Montana.  A gambler who plays cards (that's Patience ... he's the side-kick who protects her and her winnings).

I am sorry, kids, if I missed out on the proper names ... if YOU can't keep track of who you are, how do you expect ME to?

I hope the rest of you enjoyed meeting my friends ... wish you could meet them in person.  

OH!  And a rare (RARE indeed) picture of the two of them in "civilian" clothes.


I'm not sure, but I think that this is the second of three (or four?) larger trailers

I've had a beautiful day going down memory lane with my friends - you have a beautiful day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I lost my husband to a floozy!

The last week of September / first weekend of October (last weekend) was Big Island - the educational rendezvous at Albert Lea, MN.

We left here on Monday the 27th to spend a few days with Joy and family. It was Bubba’s 12th birthday on Thursday so we wanted to celebrate before we left for Albert Lea on Wednesday. 


Bitty with Tasha, Bubba with Peanut

We had to take a secondary route to the Cities because Highway 169 was closed between Mankato and Henderson ... the only MAIN way to get from Mankato to the Cities. This closure was because of the rain on September 22nd and 23rd. Many areas, including ours, got up to and over 8" of rain in 24 hours. This caused the Minnesota River, among others, to go out of it’s banks and flood many roads all over southern Minnesota.

We arrived in Albert Lea around noon on Wednesday, grabbed some lunch at the local Hy-Vee grocery store and headed to the campground. We stopped at the gate, got our location and started to set up. Once the tent was up, we organized and also visited with friends as they showed up to do their set-ups. 

My nice new bed set up before sides go up on the tent

School tours started bright and early on Thursday morning. Norm has a separate set-up for him so that we are not competing with each other when talking / demonstrating to each group.

Norm talking to children

They love his spoons

The tent with kitchen and my demonstration area
School tours were both Thursday and Friday - starting at 8:30 and ending about 2:30. So by 3:00, we were free each day to play, visit, get supper ready, relax, whatever. 

Demonstrators across the "road"
Food is a slight challenge when camping rustically. We don’t use those little propane stoves but either cook over a fire pit or (in my case) a brazier. Bending is a problem for me these past few years, so the brazier is at my height; this year Norm attached a ring to hold the water pot that will swing away so I have both grates free without having to lift the pot up and down, and can always keep hot water for either coffee, tea or washing dishes. I plan ahead and have most of the meal cooked and frozen or home-canned to just put on the fire to heat up. We like to invite friends to meals to add to our camping pleasure.

Brazier ready to be used

My swinging pot holder!

We had blacksmith Wally come for beef stew and dumplings, as well as a cherry cobbler cooked in a dutch oven. Dave came for supper with hamburgers and purchased potato salad. Ole came for biscuits and gravy for breakfast one morning (NOT a school morning - that’s usually just some bacon, eggs and toast). Patience and Harley came for popcorn one night and then chicken and dumplings as well as a blueberry cobbler for desert. Harley complained that he ate too much chicken to enjoy the cobbler!

The weather was perfect! The nights were chilly (alright, downright cold - we had ice on the water buckets one morning) but the stove in the tent kept us comfortably. We bundled up in the mornings until the sun hit the tent to warm the air up; the afternoons were almost hot! 

What a beautiful weekend

Frost in the shade
Sunday afternoons are hectic with everyone packing up to go home, so we decided to spend one last night there and head home on Monday - what a great idea (glad that *I* thought of it). There were people who also did the same so we could do some more visiting before heading out.

Then home again on Monday and all the junk of returning from anywhere - unpacking, laundry, re-organizing our thoughts and lives again.

It was a beautiful weekend! Oh, and that floozy? One of Patience’s many characters is “Icky Ethel” ... and she always comes to sit on the ground next to my tent and show her pet skunk (pelt that looks real if you move your hand in it) and her Hissing Cockroaches to children. She’s the Pied Piper of dirt!



It will be another beautiful fall (summer?) day - it was in the high eighties these past two days. You have a beautiful day.

Monday, October 04, 2010

My baby is coming home!

As all of my devoted fans know, my youngest girl, Jill, lives in Seattle, WA, with her husband Eric and my grand-puppy, Remy.  I got a phone call last week from Jill, telling me that she and Eric (and Remy) are moving back to the Cities in November!

Because they have lived so far away, I normally don't see them more than once a year.  But NOW they will be only three and a half hours away!!!!  

Am I excited?  Is the river still high and flooding still happening around here?  Silly questions!

On another note, we just got home from the Big Island Rendezvous; I will be posting about it in a few days.  I need to unpack perishable items and take a shower and nap.  

It's a beautiful day (more beautiful with my great news); you have a beautiful day.