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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Abundant Chaska Show & Share!

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Meet Lois.

Several years ago, in 2011 I wrote during a past visit to Minnesota about where I went to elementary school through 2nd grade, where we lived when I was little, just walking down memory lane.

Fast forward to the next summer and while I was doing a book signing during the quilt show at the park in Sister’s Oregon, I was approached by this lovely lady and asked a few questions!

“When did you attend kindergarten at Groveland school?” She asked me inquisitively.

I was born in 1962, so I would have been 5 in 1967, so I would have started kindergarten about then.

“Do you remember who your kindergarten teacher was?”  Ummmm…..I was 5.  I don’t remember.  Try as hard as I might, I don’t remember.

It turns out that there were only 2 kindergarten teachers during the years that I was attending Groveland elementary school.  And Lois was one of the teachers.  She could have been mine!  She could have been the teacher next door as well, but as the classes combined for group activities, it’s safe to say that she taught me when I was 5.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Remembering Oelwein!

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Just around the corner from Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden in Oelwein, Iowa is a beautiful memorial park honoring those who served in many wars from this area.

Loretta and I gathered up our subway salads, and found a quiet place to sit and chat and eat at a picnic table placed not far away, beneath the shade of a large tree.

Memorials like this are found in small towns scatted all around America, reminding us all of the sons and daughters who gave their all for so many who will never know them.

I love visiting these memorials, reading the names, the dates, and pondering the lives they had.  Of course my mother’s heart aches for those mothers who lost their sons (or daughters) so early.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Home a Runnin!

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I walked in my front door after 11:30pm last night.

I kept telling myself that I was still on Minnesota time, so my body clock was only registering 10:30, but travel is long, hard, exhausting and let’s face it – I’d been running at full tilt even while relaxing with family.

We filled every minute!

I’m still laughing at the scenario at yesterday’s breakfast – eggs all around, who wants toast?  And Uncle Steve accusing mom of sneaking yet another piece of strawberry rhubarb pie. “I was just straightening up the edges!” She confessed.  Too funny.

I love watching my mom interact with her siblings the same way I interact with mine.  I love hearing of the growing up years, the weekend cottage on Lake Minnetonka where the younger of the 4 learned to swim, how Grandpa taught my mom to drive the boat and would just hand her the keys and say “Go!”

Stories before I came along.  And then in 1962 I became part of the story too.  Uncle Steve was reminiscing over how he used to baby sit me when I was little.

Good life long memories.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Boat Floatin’ Card Playing Fun!

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On my first trip up to Spicer, MN to spend a couple of days with my Uncle Steve and Aunt Kathryn!

Unbeknownst to us, they had purchased us tickets for a 2 hour boat ride around Green Lake!

This lake is sometimes also referred to as "Big Green Lake" because it is connected to Little Green Lake by a channel. Green Lake was named from the fact its waters are green from the high algae content.

How green is the water?  I really couldn’t tell until I looked at this photo AFTER the fact:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Road Trips & Sunrises!

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We left my pup-cousin Waffles in the care of Uncle Scott as the Mach 5 commenced with loading vehicles and making all preparations necessary for a double-overnight excursion up to Spicer, MN to stay at the home of my uncle Steve, the other half of my aunt Kathryn.

Oh, Waffles, you are such a kick!

We walked Waffles around the yard to make sure all duties were done before loading up.  Out of all 5 of us – I must be the only one not born with a green thumb.  The gardens in this family really are a joy to behold.

Friday, August 11, 2017

From Yard Sales to Rink Rats to Farmers Market!

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From left to right, in the back seat of my Auntie Joy's car with Auntie Kathryn, and my mom in the middle.  The shortest one ALWAYS gets the hump for their feet.  That's the rule.

"We're going to be late!"  She said.  "We can't be late - everyone will be there by 10am."

It's okay, mama - we'll get there.  We are on our way.  It only STARTS at 10am, and not everyone will be there just waiting for you to walk in the door at 10am!

We were on our way to Caribou Coffee, a chosen destination for the 2017 reunion of the Bloomington Rink Rats - a group of roller skating kids who banded together in the 1950s for Friday and Saturday nights of safe fun, skating competition (all in good sport!) and exercise - but most of all, life-long friendship building.

I'm sure at 15 years old (some younger, some older) they weren't aware of how much their friendships would mean to them over the coming decades, and I as a daughter had no real clue about how deep these devotions to each other ran, but I was soon to find out.

But first - some YARD SALES!  It's a Mach-Girls tradition any time we are together.  Oh, the laugher and fun and thrill of the hunt.

"Look!  There's a sign!  Let's stop!"

"Anyone catch the address?"  (Car full of the Mach 5 pulling a "U-ey" and doubling back to find out)

"Got it!"  And off we went.

Evidently the Rink Rats can wait if there is a yard sale to stop at.  "Just 5 minutes -- we'll make it a quick one!"  (Yeah, right!)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jamestown Landing, Chaska Style!

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We started our day off with a detour yesterday.

Leaving the house with plenty of time to get from Minnetonka to Chaska, Kim wanted to know if I could find the house where I lived during the first few years of my elementary school years. 

I may not remember the name of all of the side streets and cross roads, but my heart knew the way. 

Turn past the swampy little pond on the right – the one covered with the lily pads.  The one where I wanted to collect little snail shells.  The one where I first found a salamander, and wanting to keep it safe as a pet, put it in my little purse, hid it in my closet and forgot about it – only to be discovered later by my mom as she searched to find out just WHERE that smell was coming from.

Go further up the street.  No, not that one, but I can tell we are getting closer.

And there.  That’s it.  That’s the one.  My house.  “The BROWN house” as we have always referred to it as.  For 50 years in my memory, it’s always been the BROWN house.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A Garden Party Day in Chaska!

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Another day, another group!  And so much fun in stitching up the strips to make the two small blocks in Garden Party“


“I’m scared of such small pieces!” I often get when we are getting ready to sew.

As long as you are sewing the SAME seam allowance, small pieces are not a problem!

1 1/2’’ strips are my FAVORITE size, and I love the many things we can do with them.  Finishing at only 1”, the fabrics just SPARKLE!  And if that fabric is fairly ugly, there is not that much of it showing so chances are you are only going to get a spot of color.

Small blocks rock!

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Day One in Chaska!

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The Chaska Community Center in Chaska, Minnesota was alive with quilter activity yesterday and will continue through tomorrow!

What a beautiful facility.

Big wall of windows.

Fabulous lighting!

Plenty of room to spread out and get down to the nitty gritty of making our Scrap Crystals Quilts! (Pattern from my MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders book.)

We were deep into triangles by 9:30 am and the fun continued all the way up until lunch – a fabulous salad/sandwich bar provided by the guild, and they did a beautiful job: