Thursday, April 21, 2011

Minnesota Love

I LOVE Minnesota! But I'm sure there are those of you who wonder WHY ON EARTH anyone would want to live "up north", where it gets cold and snows a lot? and the winters are long? and the lakes actually freeze over and people drive their cars on them??? Well, I'll tell you - it's because Minnesota is beautiful, and Minnesotans are even more beautiful. There is a saying "Minnesota nice", describing the folks up there, and it's true!

I found this shot online, but I do remember deep snowdrifts this deep! I've got a picture somewhere of my grandma shoveling snow that she had to toss over her head! And we've also got a picture of Maggie as a puppy - around 1997 - standing on top of a snow pile that's at least 6 feet tall. Feeling the love yet?



How about now? This lovely picture is of Lake of the Isles, one of the dozen or so lakes that are located within the city limits of Minneapolis. Yes, this is IN the city. I shared a house on Lake of the Isles with 3 girlfriends one summer during my college years, and this was pretty much the view from our front door. You could just walk across the street and get on a nice walking path, and walk all the way around the lake. So relaxing on a hot summer day! (yes, it gets hot up there!) We even had an awesome porch swing on the front porch, how Norman Rockwell is that?




Love it now?



How about this gorgeous shot? This shows the stunning fall color around Lake Minnetonka, a huge network of lakes that is between Minneapolis and my home town of Delano. Doesn't this just take your breath away? My mom and dad used to love to take a drive to "look at the fall color", and they didn't have to go far to see beautiful scenery.



Here's something else to love about Minnesota - the good old U of M! The University of Minnesota, my alma mater, is located right in Minneapolis, just across the Mississippi River from downtown. College kids sprawled across the grass was a common sight in the spring and fall - same as most campuses!



I can't believe I found this picture! This is the house where I grew up, shown in a listing from when it was sold just a few years ago. Lots of good memories there! And look in the background, you can see the school I attended, kindergarten through 6th grade. Looks like a happy house, doesn't it?




Minnesota, Hail to Thee!










Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Family Resemblance?

I have a famous cousin - Christina Hendricks of Mad Men. Her father is my second cousin (we have the same great-grandparents), so I guess that makes us third cousins? Anyway, her dad, Robert, and I have become email pals, as he has been doing lots of work on geneology, and needs help identifying faces on old pictures. This has been lots of fun for me, as I have tons of old photos, and while I know lots about my family, I have learned lots more - and have acquired lots of "new" pictures, too. Here is a lovely picture of Christina from Mad Men. Now look at the photo below...

This is an awesome photo of 4 generations! In the back row is my great grandmother, Charlotte Upgren Johnson, and to the right is great great grandmother Upgren; front row is Josie (Josephine) Johnson Hendricks, and her son, Stanley. Josie would be Christina's great grandmother. Josie is my grandfather's sister. My Grandpa Johnson had 10 brothers and sisters! I think that Christina resembles Josie a little bit - and has the same elegance.

This is a wonderful photo that I had in an album, and had never really looked at it. In the album, the picture is tiny - maybe 2" by 3" - so it was hard to even identify anyone in it. Well, after meeting with my cousin Robert, he scanned in some of my old photos and sent them back to me. It gave me the ability to blow up the photos, and see lots of details. (NOTE - you can click on the picture to enlarge it.) I also recognized many of the people in the picture! Standing right in the center, on the stairs, in the white dress, is my grandmother, Myrtle Grife Johnson (who I resemble, I think). My Grandpa Richard Johnson is right behind her, and the little girl next to her is my mom, Leona Johnson Heggestad. The rest of the group include my grandma's two half-brothers, their wives, and others.




My husband, Scott, loves sharing in my family history - looking at photos, hearing the stories, and also the fact that we now have many family antiques in our home. Scott is the one who noticed another fun detail in this picture: the wooden chairs on the porch? These are now our dining room chairs. We always called them Grandpa Grife's chairs (my mom had them when I was growing up), and there they are, on Grandpa Grife's porch, about 90 years ago. Wonderful!






Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Family Wedding

Ok, first of all, I am sorry for the sad condition of the photos! I have a "new" camera (from my daughter), and I guess I don't know how to use it yet. I took all of these pictures before I realized that I had the flash turned off. What a shame! Also note: blogger has changed the configuration of the pictures (I put them on the left, they are showing up centered), and blogger is also running all of the text together, not separated with each picture. Oh well!


Scott and I traveled to Minnesota last month to attend the wedding reception of my cousin's son, my second cousin, I think! Here is their whole family, with the bride and groom, Megan and Jeremy, in the center. My cousin, Jim, is on the right, his wife, Sheryl, is next the groom. Far left is their other son, Mike, his wife, Char, and their children Jenna and Jaxon. Right front is their daughter, Nicole, and her daughters Ashley and Emma.




Somehow this picture is not totally awful! Michael, Char, Jenna, and Jaxon - beautiful family!








I was fortunate to snap this lovely picture of Megan sharing a moment with her grandmother - what a sweet picture!



How I wish this picture had turned out! This was the first time I met Megan, and she is truly as beautiful inside as outside. It was a lovely wedding, we got to see lots of my family, and we are so glad we went.

Get ready to be inspired!

Jearlyn Steele

No, today's post is not about quilting, it's about music. Awesome, inspiring music! I was listening to A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday evening, and was instantly struck by the following performance: "I Go to the Rock", by Dottie Rambo, performed by Jearlyn Steele, and the Shoe Band. My first thought was, Scott and his quartet need to sing this song! They would really have fun rocking out with it! And our congratation would love it! Or, Scott and Hannah could sing it together during worship next summer, which would be awesome also! Our family are big PHC and Garrison Keillor fans. If you've never listened, give it a try! Check out your local NPR station, or the PHC site, to find station and showtime in your area. In the meantime, enjoy listening to Jearlyn Steele.


Sorry! I tried to include a link to this performance - but I was unsuccessful. This was not on you tube, and maybe that's why I couldn't pick up the link? To listen, type in: Jearlyn Steele I Go to the Rock, and it will take you to NPR's page for the April 2, 2011, performance of Prairie Home Companion. The performance is within "segment 3". Sorry I couldn't include the specific link to this song.


However, I did find this:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-E2hRPP7VI&feature=related


Friday, April 1, 2011

Recipe for a Challenge Block

Recently, I participated in a block challenge over at 15 Minutes Play. We were to first "make fabric" (way fun, try it sometime!). I started with my bin of scraps in an appetizing mix! (leftover from another project actually!) Stir well.
Then I just started putting stuff together, any old way.


Do you love all of my notes stashed under my clear sewing maching table? I am the QUEEN of making lists!

Then, so things weren't too "orderly", I slashed stuff apart, and then sewed back together. I love this color combo!
Here is the end of "Step 1" - we were to create fabric, and trim to 8" square. Ta - da!


Then, we are to somehow use this fabric to design a quilt block that will measure 12" square.


Let idea cook for a bit.

Here's an idea - cut in half each way, 4 times, ta-da x 2!!! I actually like this fractured block. Not done yet, needs more cooking time.
Then I added triangles of this absolutely gorgeous Alexander Henry fabric. It is an OLDIE (from the 80s I think!), but it is yummy. Delicious, even! I should have stopped here - as I really like this block! But...wanted to add some plaid, and some dots...
...I added the purple plaid (also an old "vintage" fabric from the 80s), and a new (last month!) lime green dotty fabric. Oven timer went off, block is done!


Winners were announced today, not I, but that's ok! It was an honor to be nominated! and I did get a few votes from my fellow quilters. Life is good!


Yield: 1 block. Enjoy! No calories!