Thursday, October 30, 2014

Waterloo, Part #3; Saturday Program

Saturday morning, EllynAnne was doing a special presentation. It was a behind-the-scenes look about how the Apron Chronicles exhibit happened.  It was so great to meet her up close and personal.  She is one of those wonderful storytellers....and I could have listened to her all day....
Remember playing with little irons that actually WORKED??  And there was a story behind those little Coke bottles, all wearing aprons, too...
Like all good speakers, EllynAnne had her samples well organized.  I COULD HARDLY WAIT to hear the stories behind all the beautiful aprons and vintage linens...
Notice all the prices on this Penney's piece of advertising...
The other side had the Walt Disney Cinderella Apron!!  Hey -- in her day -- she was bigger than Else from FROZEN...
This muslin flour sack was the beginning of General Mills and Betty Crocker.  I enjoyed reading the history on Wikipedia
Another example of how EllynAnne found the iron on transfers -- THEN, at another time, found a finished embroidered towel with those designs.  KARMA, I tell you!!
Of course, I am always a sucker for a COLORFUL SEWING APRON...who could resist this??

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waterloo, Part #2: The Apron Chronicles

Maybe yesterday's post wasn't the best way to introduce you to Waterloo Iowa.  But I wanted to tell the story of the Sullivan Brothers...and I think it is wonderful that their hometown honored them by building and maintaining a beautiful museum.

As I said, the Grout Museum is part of the Sullivan Museum/complex.  And Linda and I were headed there for the real purpose of our trip to Waterloo, Iowa.  The Apron Chronicles exhibit!!  We were going to actually meet EllynAnne Geisel...and we were so excited!  She came all the way from Colorado to do the events in Waterloo.  Linda and I were so happy to be driving on a stunning beautiful Fall day....and soo delighted to be spending a few days away from our usual activities and lives...

I own hundreds of aprons -- and I have been a fan of EllynAnne for a long time.

Mary once gave me The Apron Book as a birthday gift!!

This is a picture of the Apron Chronicles book cover...
EllynAnne with one of my favorite aprons.  The clothespin apron!!
On Friday night, this large room was set up for our dinner...(yes, that's an airplane hanging from the ceiling)
Several of the ladies in attendance were wearing aprons.  This one was unusual (when you lifted the appliqued woman's skirt, you could see her underwear)
After the dinner, EllynAnne did a program in the Museum Theater...
I was smitten by her colorful stockings...
Linda shared an apron I gave her YEARS AGO...
Saturday morning, there was another program -- we got to visit with EllynAnne before the show started...
EllynAnne included iron-on transfer designs in an envelope at the back of the book.  GENIUS...!!

I am also a big fan of The Kitchen Linens Book by EllynAnne.  It was so much fun to listen to her stories -- and to actually SEE some of the treasures she found at antique malls and estate sales.  The story with this book cover is that she first found the embroidery transfers -- then, in another place, at another time, she found the finished embroidered dish towels.

Our weekend in Waterloo was like meeting another soul sister...because she has almost as much Ritaluck as I do. (I suppose she calls it EllynAnne luck)...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Waterloo #1: Sullivan Museum

MS Linda and I were going to the Grout Museum in Waterloo, Iowa to see EllynAnne Geisel. Her Apron Chronicles exhibit was there -- and she was doing several presentations.

The Grout Museum is part of the Sullivan Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. The Sullivan Museum is named after the Sullivan brothers. Their story is well known here in Iowa -- and it is the saddest thing I ever heard....

From Wikipedia:

The five Sullivan brothers enlisted in the US Navy on January 3, 1942 with the stipulation that they serve together. All five were assigned to the light cruiser USS Juneau.

The Juneau participated in a number of naval engagements during the months-long Guadalcanal Campaign beginning in August 1942. Early in the morning of November 13, 1942, the Juneau was struck by a Japanese torpedo and forced to withdraw. Later that day, the Juneau was struck again, this time by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. The torpedo likely hit the thinly armored cruiser at or near the ammunition magazines and the ship exploded and quickly sank.

Approximately 100 of Juneau's crew survived the torpedo attack and the sinking of their ship and were left in the water. The B-17 bomber crew, under orders not to break radio silence, did not pass the message about searching for survivors to their headquarters until they had landed several hours later. The crew's report of the location of possible survivors was mixed in with other pending paperwork actions and went unnoticed for several days. It was not until days later that headquarters staff realized that a search had never been mounted and belatedly ordered aircraft to begin searching the area. In the meantime, Juneau's survivors, many of whom were seriously wounded, were exposed to the elements, hunger, thirst, and repeated shark attacks.

Eight days after the sinking, ten survivors were found by a search aircraft and retrieved from the water. The survivors reported that Frank, Joe, and Matt died instantly, Al drowned the next day, and George survived for four or five days before, suffering from delirium (though some sources describe him being "driven insane with grief" at the loss of his brothers), he went over the side of the raft he occupied. He was never seen or heard from again.

Security required that the Navy not reveal the loss of the Juneau or the other ships so as not to provide information to the enemy. Letters from the Sullivan sons stopped arriving at the home and the parents grew worried.

The brothers' parents were notified of their deaths on January 12, 1943. That morning, the boys' father, Thomas, was preparing to go to work when three men in uniform approached his front door. "I have some news for you about your boys," the naval officer said. "Which one?" asked Thomas. "I'm sorry," the officer replied. "All five."
George, Frank, Joe, Matt and Al Sullivan.
The focus of the Sullivan Museum is WW II, with many military exhibits and displays.
A beautiful mosiac, honoring all the branches of the Military
The Sullivan Museum is jam packed with information I never knew...
Of course, they tell the heart-breaking story of the Sullivan family
During WW II, the whole country was caught up in a spirit of patriotism...but the sacrifice of the Sullivan family was so devastating....I cannot imagine. The family never recovered...
As a direct result of the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers, the U.S. War Department adopted the Sole Survivor Policy.

The new policy applied to all branches of the military.  Brothers could no longer serve in the same unit, or on the same ship.  And if you were the last surviving son, you would not be sent into combat (remember the movie Saving Private Ryan?)

If you are ever in Waterloo, Iowa -- the Sullivan Museum is well worth your time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Laundry Day: Dryer Tips

I love to hang my laundry outside to dry. ESPECIALLY MY BED LINENS. But many of you simply don't have that option.

Maybe you live in a city apartment, you use a laundromat or share a laundry room. Perhaps your home has a small yard, with no room for clotheslines. Or maybe your work schedule precludes hanging laundry outside. I can sympathize because I've been there!

However -- if you live in a neighborhood which has is a COVENANT against having an outside clothesline -- that's a bad choice you made. It's a Pretty Woman kind of mistake -- HUGE.  It's right up there with investing your life savings in Enron or having your boyfriend's name tattooed on your ass...

What were you thinking?
I always dry my sheets out on the line. But most of my other laundry gets the indoor treatment...
I have a gas dryer (my husband is an electrician and he says an electric dryer would be prohibitively expensive). Like all of you -- I use my clothes dryer every day. But almost NEVER in the way the manufacturer recommends.

When it comes to laundry -- water is your best friend and your worst enemy. Of course, we use water to WASH our clothes. But, you must completely DRY your clothes -- or they will develop mildew. (mildew is a battle you will never win.

My first big tip is simple: Use your clothes dryer AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. If you listen to me (and why wouldn't you?) -- you'll be happier with the results and SAVE MONEY! Remember -- LESS is MORE...

I have six clotheslines strung the width of my basement. Until I started to write this post, I never realized the importance my indoor lines.

If you don't have your own basement, or cannot string lines inside -- you need a drying rack. The first website I checked out was the Vermont Country Store -- and sure enough -- they had beautiful wooden drying racks in two different sizes that can be used indoors or outdoors and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM.

Here's how I handle my laundry and my clothesdryer:

TOWELS: John believes he has a god-given right to use a fresh, new towel WITH EVERY SHOWER. (When he had hair -- he required TWO towels daily.) Years ago, I decided if you can't beat em -- join em. So I wash several loads of towels every week. Towels are only thing I really put into the dryer to go the distance. They are too heavy to hang on the line, and I love the soft feel of them when they come out of the dryer. BUT -- even after they seem completely dry, I always hang my towels over my indoor clotheslines to finish them off. If you fold them when they are still HOT OUT OF THE DRYER -- the moisture will condense -- and they will develop that unpleasant faint mildewy/sour odor...(you know what I'm talking about)...

But -- except for towels -- mostly I use the dryer as a pre-treat for drying my clothes. For example:

KNIT CLOTHES:This is a major part of my weekly laundry.  I do four or five loads a week (my tops, John's shirts, my dresses, skirts, etc.) And, as far as I'm concerned, the whole point of KNITS is that you should NEVER HAVE TO IRON THEM.  So -- here's what I do. I wash a load of knits, then put them in the dryer and set the timer for 15 minutes. My dryer has a loud beep -- and I am usually working in the basement when I'm doing this. After 15 minutes, I take them out (still wet damp) and hang them on plastic hangers. The 15 minutes in the dryer is just enough time to take the wrinkles out...but finishing the drying process on hangers prevents shrinking and fading.

JACKETS: I may add some knit shirts to the load -- just to give a single jacket something to agitate against during the washing process. Then, I follow my basic procedure. 15 minutes in the dryer to take the wrinkles out. Hang the jacket on a hanger to finish it off.  If it's a heavy jacket -- or one of those puffy coats -- turn the sleeves inside out after the first overnight.

SWEATERS: These should NEVER be put in the dryer. After washing, you should lay them on a flat surface and block them to make sure they dry in their original shape and size. I lay them on a bath towel on top of my chest freezer.

These small drying racks are great for sweaters.

UNMENTIONABLES:  NOTHING WILL RUIN ELASTIC and/or lycra quicker than the heat of a clothes dryer. And -- hey -- bras cost $30 -- so I want them to last AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.  So I NEVER, ever, ever put them in the dryer.  I ALWAYS hang bras, underwear and socks over the lines to dry.  They dry very quickly and TRUST ME -- socks and bras will last twice as long if you stop putting them in the dryer...

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I can't believe these Monday laundry blogs are still going on. Apparently, I have A LOT TO SAY about this subject.

Next week, I'm going to write about fabric softeners and those dryer sheets...and another Ya Ya laundry/dryer/tip...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

MS Linda

The road trip I'm going to write about was to Waterloo, Iowa. Waterloo is about two hours northwest of me -- and it's an industrial city, with about 60,000 people.  I haven't been to Waterloo in 40 years. EllynAnne Geisel was doing her Apron presentation there -- and I was EXCITED about the trip. I immediately issued an invitation to the entire TMBC. But, sadly, Sandy and Linda K. already had weekend plans for a big quilt show in Des Moines.

So, it was going to be me and Linda P.

Because we have TWO Linda's in the TMBC -- my nickname for Linda Phillips is is MS Linda. (Martha Stewart Linda)
My favorite picture of me and MS Linda
She often brings a project to breakfast for our Sew 'N Tell -- her grandkids were into Harry Potter...
Last year, we took breakfast to HER HOUSE -- when she was recovering from a knee replacement...
Her first (of many) t-shirt quilts. This one is a high school graduation gift for her oldest grandchild, Abby...
GREAT JOB --
My FAVORITE PICTURE of Abby...
Recently, Linda had us over for a Pinterest breakfast. The table was perfect...everything is always 'JUST SO"
From Pinterest: a beautiful roll-up omelet
SO, IT'S SET. Linda and I are off to take a day trip to Waterloo, Iowa. I purchased tickets for TWO EllynAnne Events. I have to clean out my car to make room for a second passenger. (hummm...if I clear out the back seat, we won't need the trunk, will we?). I rented a hotel room, then, pack an overnight bag...all that's left to do is Yelp some restaurants in Waterloo.

OH, YEAH, THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN...

Of course, to keep the TWO Linda's straight

Friday, October 24, 2014

Traveling Circus

One day, I saw a poster in a restaurant -- and realized a little one-ring circus was coming to Clinton, Iowa on THAT THURSDAY. It was the Kelly Miller Circus from Hugo, Oklahoma.

YIKES....I don't have much time to put this thing together.  It's a school night, everybody is so busy...The performance was at 4:30...It would take a super-effort to make it happen...

Also, many people have been very unhappy with the gigantic BIG circuses that do the big venues...the one at the Fairgrounds last year was so bad, my sister left during the intermission.  Carrie's kids hated the circus last year...

But, I have some very fond memories of a small one-ring circus that came to Princeton, Iowa over 30 years ago.  Ross was a little kid and he still remembers and talks about that circus.  It was the first time he ever saw an elephant...we had such a wonderful time...Val and I have laughed about it for years...

I thought it was worth a shot...so, I called Nicole to see if Memphis was available...then, I picked her up at her school....Emily picked up Lilly...we met at the park for a picnic supper..
I made faux-Arby roast beef and cheese sandwiches
Warren came to the picnic....he would be going home with me.
Emily took the girls to the circus...
The big top only seats 1000 people..so everything is up close and personal...
During the intermission...they had their faces painted...
I MEAN -- HAVE YOU EVER SEEN CUTER GIRLS???
There were elephant rides, pony rides...face painting...
Camel rides....
They had such a WONDERFUL TIME!! I am SO DELIGHTED that the earth and the moon and the stars in the sky lined up so these two little girls could go to the circus...

Emily had a great time taking our girls to this sweet little circus...they are the perfect age...it was the perfect size...Emily noticed how many jobs the performers had.  One woman was the star in the aerial act, then she was riding a horse during that performance, and later on, she was in the ring with the lions...

Because Lilly was still talking about it a week later...I tried to find a poster around town so we could frame it for her room.  But all the stores had thrown them away.  So, I emailed the Kelly Miller Circus, and asked if I could buy a poster.  They responded the next day -- delighted my granddaughter enjoyed their circus -- and they'd be happy to send me a poster.

Three days later, I received a tube with THREE DIFFERENT posters!!  One had a picture of the elephants, another one had pictures of their lions, and the third poster had a picture of their aerial act. 

If YOU WOULD LIKE THIS WONDERFUL CIRCUS TO COME TO YOUR TOWN -- please email them.  They have a great reputation, and they cleaned up every last paper cup or napkin before they left town.  Some towns or groups use them as a fundraiser...and maybe you should, too!!

KELLY MILLER CIRCUS... 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sandy's Luncheon

SUMMER 2014 is OVER. Really?? How is that possible??  My friend Sandy is getting ready to go DOWN TO FLORIDA.  Like all the other Iowa snowbirds (pussys)...

Hey -- I miss her already...

I had the Merry Widows to my house for a look-at-my-new-porch-sofa luncheon.  And we had so much fun -- Sandy invited us all to her house for an end-of-the-summer party.
Is this the BEST Bloody Mary you ever saw??
Sandy made a delicious egg casserole...
Tomatoes and fresh melon from her garden....
Sandy's other friend Sue, along with Evelyn...
Sandy and Carol....
This casserole was DELICIOUS -- and Sandy swears it was mostly leftovers out of her frig...
But it was the fancy DESSERT that I'll long remember...
THIS is how I felt about Sandy's fancy layered cake.  Turns out, it's mostly a cake mix, some Cool Whip, and lots of fresh raspberries.  OH MY GOODNESS...it was just as good as it looks!!
We had such a great time!!  WE ate, we talked, we laughed...look at the sun in our eyes...
It was such a beautiful late summer day. That really is what I love most about Iowa. Because now, with the change of the seasons, we need to bring in the porch furniture cushions, get out our long sleeved shirts, put an extra blanket on our beds. No -- wait -- that's only me.

Sandy (pussy)  is packing her car for the long ride to FLORIDA...!!