Tag Archive | minnesota

Discovering Red Wing – Boots on the Bridge

If you didn’t get a chance to visit Red Wing, Minnesota last summer, you missed seeing these fabulous boots. Here are eight creations. The boots are a part of the “2005 Boots About Town,” which were created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Red Wing Shoe Company. These decorated fiberglass boots were located at the beginning of a one-mile route along the Mississippi River on the West End Riverview Skyway Pedestrian Bridge. A few more boots could be found further along the route and some continue to be on display in the downtown area.

It was fun to see all the different works of art. If you’d like to read more about the boots, click this link.

It is curious how a man* can stamp his personality upon earthly things. ~Christopher Morley


* Or woman!


Get on Board the Riverboat

Last September, my brother, sister-in-law, husband and I went for a ride to Stillwater to take a cruise on one of the Stillwater River Boats. The traffic was moving along nicely, when we noticed a large sheet of clear plastic dancing around the cars. It formed into a ball and bounced off a few cars in front of us. When we got closer, it spread out like a magic carpet. It slightly skimmed our hood and floated over to the car next to us where it entirely covered their windshield! Luckily, everyone had their wits about them. The driver with the covered windshield pulled over to the side of the road. The drivers behind us slowed down to give them room. We were shocked yet thankful everyone was okay.

When we got to Stillwater, we visited an antique store and saw familiar things from our childhoods. 😉 We stopped at Candyland to pick up popcorn and turtle candies and headed towards the other end of town to the riverboats. A line began to form on the hot asphalt parking lot. We couldn’t wait to get on board. We hoped we could catch a bit of breeze on the top deck under a canopy.

Stillwater Lift Bridge

At the top deck, we found a cozy table and settled in with some cold, refreshing beverages. Many boats and jet skis bobbed up and down the river. We admired the new bridge to the south and the old bridge to the north. The Captain began the trip by turning the boat around so it faced in the other direction. The ship headed away from the Stillwater Lift Bridge, which was built in 1931 and is now used as a pedestrian and bike bridge. We floated closer towards the new bridge, St. Croix Crossing, which is located in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota and crosses the St. Croix River to St. Joseph, Wisconsin.

St. Croix Crossing Bridge

People were welcome to visit the banquet table at any time. We had our fill of chicken, pork roast, potatoes, coleslaw, and a roll with butter and topped it off with a chocolate chip cookie.

By the time we reached the new bridge, large clouds began to accumulate. We wondered if we would get soaked as the blue sky became filled with dark clouds. The lightning traveled on top of one cloud to the next. No thunder rumbled our way, so we stayed on the top deck and watched the lighted homes on the hills pass by.

It got a lot darker than this!

A little nervous, I made a quick exit to visit the restroom, in case the lightning decided to head our way. When I met up with everyone, we were ready to disembark. No drops of rain met us until we approached our car. We only got a sprinkling. As we drove away from the river, hail plummeted down. The driver kept going as we hoped the hail would lighten. When it did, large and steady raindrops arrived to take its place.

We made it home safely, without a bump on the hood, but found no puddles to greet us. We were glad to have had an exciting adventure to talk about, but I wished we would have gotten some rain in our neighborhood too.

(This post is in response to WordPress #dailyprompt: Think back on your most memorable road trip.)

A Treasure to See

It’s a strange phenomenon. Friends have experienced it too. When we see the leaves change to their vibrant colors and the temperatures begin to drop, we dig in our treasure chest of leftover yarn and take an inventory of our crochet hooks and knitting needles. Spending more time inside, helps us get creative.

This fall, the weather thermometers didn’t drop like they usually do. We were greeted with many sunshiny days, and my yarn closet was left unattended.

A few days before Christmas, I managed to stay tucked away in our cozy home. The temperatures stayed below zero for days. There were two more gifts that needed to be created during hibernation. Last year, I crocheted snowmen ornaments for my grandkids. I wondered if making ornaments for them would be a yearly tradition. The closet held plenty of red, white, and green yarn. I admired a reindeer ornament pattern, but the yarn closet didn’t contain those colors. A trip to a store would ruin my plans of staying in hibernation. Plenty of white yarn spilled out to greet me. I began crocheting a snowflake ornament from a pattern I found online. The next morning I woke up and thought, “What kid wants a snowflake ornament? Kids want something fun.”

Luckily, after scrolling through many patterns on Pinterest, I found a cute Santa pattern on the Crochet for You Blog. The ornaments were completed on time without having to make a trip outside to get more materials!

The grandkids’ smiles were a treasure to see, when they opened their packages to find the Santa Claus ornaments. 🙂

(This post is in response to #dailyprompt: “How are you creative?”)

Snow Painted Branches

Sun beams break through clouds
To steal the coats of white trees
Snow painted branches

Lila and I had a slippery walk yesterday morning. The thick clouds and overhanging branches muffled the noise of distance snowblowers and snow plows. A few flurries fluttered down to greet us. When the sun popped out, I worried the branches would lose their coating of snow but the clouds continue to linger. Soon the wind or sun will steal away our world of “snow painted branches.”

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold. ~Aristotle

My Homer Hanky is “Safe”

five assorted threads

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

On April 18, our Governor launched a statewide homemade mask drive. The masks were to be dropped off at the neighborhood fire station the following Saturday. There was one week to get the job done. I was able to make 22 masks with the materials I had. When the day arrived to deliver them, I drove to the fire station to see a large bin by the entrance. After lifting the lid, I was surprised to see that the bin was a little over half full. A couple of weeks later, I read an article that said the volunteers from our city made 1,200 fabric masks. The firefighters sanitized and delivered the masks to senior living facilities and other group homes for employees and residents to wear.

I started making masks several weeks ago for family and friends, so I didn’t mind making a few more. After I explored a lot of patterns online, I decided to go with the mask that is shown in the video from the Deaconess. Luckily I saved a lot of sewing scraps over the years. I’m happy I didn’t know that at the time I stitched together pinafores to go over my little girls’ Easter dresses, that down the road the soft baby blue fabric would come in useful one day as masks. The other fabric is from curtains I made for our basement windows. That tannish brown material is a reminder of my challenged math skills and how I ordered twice the amount I needed. Coincidentally, there was enough 1/4-inch elastic and plenty of thread in my stash to make those 22 masks plus the 18 I previously made for loved ones.

Last week, I decided to venture out to the fabric store to re-stock my supply. I also wanted to work with some more decorative fabric. The store has shortened its hours and is only letting a certain amount of people in at a time. There wasn’t a lot of cute fabric to choose from, but I bought a couple of yards of blue and white checkered material and a blue and white calico blend. I saw some sports graphic fabric, which reminded me of the woman I saw at the grocery store a few days before. She was wearing an old, white Minnesota Twins Homer Hanky, a hankerchief-like rally towel, as a mask. She must have dug it way out of her closet, since the Twins were in the World Series in 1987 and 1991. It looked like extra stitching was on the front and that she cut it to fit. Perhaps she got the idea from the news, where I read that the 2019 Homer Hankies are being re-purposed. Faribault Woolen Mill Co. and Love Your Melon are turning something old into something new, too.

The Governor’s face mask drive is still going on – there is still an urgent need for masks. Now that I’ve re-stocked my supplies, I’m happy to say my Homer Hanky is safe and hiding in a closet somewhere.