About Me

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MS Gulf Coast, United States
I am a Christian wife, mother and grandmother. I love to sew and create new and innovative items to share with my customers. The most popular area of my store is my Walnut Grove section which features clothing reminiscent of "Little House on the Prairie". Please take a moment to visit my store and see my latest creations. www.pattisoriginals.etsy.com

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Phunnies

The Bathing Suit Pilgrimage
I have just been through the annual pilgrimage of torture and humiliation known as buying a bathing suit.

When I was a child in the 1950's, the bathing costume for a woman with a mature figure was designed for a woman with a mature figure - boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift and they did a darn good job.

Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure chipped from marble. The mature woman has a choice - she can either front up at the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney's Fantasia - or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing suits was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks. The reason for this is that a shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap into place I gasped in horror ... my bosom had disappeared. Eventually I found one bosom cowering under my left armpit. It took awhile to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib. The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is meant to wear her bosom spread across her chest like a speed bump. I re-aligned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full-view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of play-dough wearing undersize cling wrap. As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent salesgirl popped her head through the curtains, "Oh, THERE you are!" she said, admiring the suit. I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me.

I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two piece which gave the appearance of an oversize napkin in a serviette ring. I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with a ragged frill and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane on a bad day. I tried a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning. I tried on a bright pink one with such a high-cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear it.

Finally I found a suit that fit ... a two-piece affair with shorts-style bottoms and a halter top. It was cheap, comfortable and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. When I got home, I read the label which said "Material may become transparent in water," but I'm determined to wear it anyway. I just have to learn to breaststroke in the sand.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

If you have been keeping up with our adventure you know that my husband was unemployed for 8 months and then offered a job in North Dakota.  We decided to take the job because there were no jobs in our area (south Mississippi).  We went first to Superior, Wisconsin for training and then came to Minot, ND. 

Minot is a small city in northern North Dakota.  They have a university, a few shopping centers, the usual chain restaurants and they host the ND state fair each year.  September also brings the Norske Host Fest which highlights some famous country music stars and brings many visitors to the area.

This part of North Dakota is experiencing a job boom because of the oil they have been pumping around here.  The major oil companies have brought in hundreds of workers who need housing and help boost the local economy.

Three or four months ago most of America had not heard of Minot but the major flooding has brought this town to the forefront of the news.  A lot of people have been flooded out of their homes and are temporarily living either with family, friends or in the local hotels.

This has caused a major housing shortage in the area.  There are no apartments, anywhere, at any price.  Apartment buildings that are not yet complete are already booked solid.  Hotels have almost no vacancies and even RV parks are full.

We came here planning on renting an apartment, but circumstances have not made that possible.  At first, finding a place to live was a full time job but the Lord led us to a very nice hotel in a great location.  We are within walking distance of almost anything we need.

We have to change rooms occasionally and, so far, do not have a room for the week of the Norske Host Fest, but the Lord has been working things out and we are trusting something will develop.  Praying I won't be posting from the car that week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kenmare, ND

We took a ride back to Kenmare last weekend and visited the pioneer village.  A lot of the towns up here have small scale pioneer villages yet they are all a little different.  This village actually opens and you can walk in the buildings but unfortunately they were not open when we visited.  So we walked around the outside.

This is the First Bank of Kenmare.

The post office has the name of a town west of Kenmare, Niobe, on it.  I suppose it was once located in that town.

All pioneer towns of any size needed a dress shop and...

a millnery shop.

This is the little red schoolhouse in the town.

The local blacksmith's shop.

A rare find, the Cookcar Cafe, a place to eat away from home.

This wood for this building was charred before the building was assembled.  It gives an aged look to the wood.

The sign says this is the home of Fred and Margaret Bentz.

A smaller house on the prairie.

Every town had a fire warning bell.

The town's newspaper was printed here.

Around the back they have lots of old farm implements.  I guess these are in the process of being restored.

I am not sure what all these implements are used for but this is a chariot like they used in Rome, not sure how they used this.

A steam engine of some kind.

And, of course, the town church.

We enjoyed walking around and taking all these photos but it was way past lunch time and we were both starving, so when we passed the only place around that served food, my sweet hubby took me out to lunch!

A hot dog, chips and a drink-isn't he a sweetheart!  Actually it was very good.  Oh, notice the word "Honkers".  The local school is nicknamed the Kenmare Honkers.

Hope you enjoyed visiting Kenmare.  For a small town that covers only about 1.5 square miles in total area and has a little over 1,000 residents, they have a really nice pioneer village.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Phunnies

It's great to be a guy because ...

Our tush is never a factor in a job interview.
Our last name stays put.
The garage is all ours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.

We can be President.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
Car mechanics tell us the truth.
We don't give a darn if someone doesn't notice our new haircut.
We never have to drive to another gas station because this one's just too icky.

Same work ... more pay.
Gray hair and wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $2000; tux rental $100.
People never glance at our chest when we're talking to them.
The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle our feet.
Our pals can be trusted never to trap us with: "So, notice anything different?"
One mood, ALL the time.
Phone Conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
We know stuff about tanks and airplanes.

The remote is all ours.
We don't have to pretend we're "freshening up" to use the bathroom.
Bathroom lines are 80% shorter.
Old friends don't care if we've lost or gained weight.
When surfing channels, we don't have to stop on every shot of someone crying.

We can be showered and ready in 10 minutes.
If someone forgets to invite us to something, they can still be our friend.
None of our co-workers have the power to make us cry.
Flowers and duct tape - and we can fix everything.
We can whip our shirt off on a hot day.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
We can open all our own jars.
Dry cleaners and hair cutters don't rob us blind.
We can go to a public toilet without a support group.
We can leave the motel bed unmade.

We can kill our own food.
We get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
Our underwear is $10 for a three-pack.
If we're 34 and single, nobody notices.
Everything on our face stays its original color.

We can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger seat.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
We don't have to clean our apartment if the meter reader is coming.
We don't mooch off someone else's dessert.
We don't have to shave below our neck.

We can drop by to see a friend without having to bring a little gift.
If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, we just might become lifelong friends.
We are not expected to know the names of more than five colors.
We don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
We are unable to see wrinkles in our clothes.

Our belly usually hides our big hips.
One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
We can "do" our nails with a pocket knife.
We have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
Christmas shopping can be accomplished for 25 relatives, on December 24th, in 45 minutes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Scandinavian Heritage

The north country is rich in Scandinavian heritage and Minot has a visitor's center dedicated to this part of our country's history.

The welcome center also houses the headquarters of the Norsk Hostfest which is North America's Largest Scandinavian Festival and is held each year in Minot.

This Dala Horse is the most recognized Swedish symbol in the world.  Many fathers crafted small horses like these as toys for their young ones.

This is a gateway into a Swedish garden.

This is the Eternal Flame and Statue.  Five aluminum skis, sybolic of the 5 Scandinavian countries, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, support a world globe.  Many contributions to the sport of skiing were made by a  Norwegian, Sondre Norheim.

This pavilion also serves as a picnic shelter.

The Sigdal House is the oldest house in North Dakota.  It is 230 years old and is representative of a typical house from old time Norway.

The Stabbur is a storehouse used in Scandinavian countries to provide safe, dry storage for food.  Notice the grass covered roof.

This is the Gol Stave Church and it is 60 feet high by 45 feet at the base. Wood carvers from Wisconsin worked on the intricately-carved doors.  This is symbolic of 700 year old Stave Churches which still stand in Norway.

The waterfall is a reminder of the many cascading falls and streams in the old country.

This is a Finnish Sauna.  According to the tour guide a typical sauna would consist of a dressing room, wooden benches and a stove of hot glowing stones.  Sprinkling water on the stones makes the sauna steamy.  Inviting a guest for a sauna was as common as inviting them for a meal.

This is a full sized windmill which was used in the 1920's to pump water and grind wheat.

This is another example of the huge trees up here.  Wouldn't this make a beautiful Christmas Tree?  I wonder if they decorate it for the holidays?

This is Larry and the Welcome Center Greeter.  I think his name is Sig, the Troll.

I hope you enjoyed our visit to Scandinavia, we sure did!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Exploring North of Minot

Larry's jobsite will be west and north of Minot so we spent our first day finding the locations and exploring.

Leaving the city of Minot the terrain is absolutely beautiful, rolling hills with a few trees and homes.

We found the jobsite and continued heading north.
The hills were rolling and lovely.

A little further up the road and we started seeing these interesting legacies of graduating classes.

The years are written in rocks.  I have no idea how they carry the rocks up the hills but it appears this tradition has been going on for quite a few years.  I think '58 was the oldest date we saw.  What a unique way to have your graduating class remembered.

It appears Minot is going to hold a lot of opportunities for us to explore and enjoy the beauties of God's creation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Finally on the Way to Minot ND

We left Superior WI on Friday, July 8th and were finally on our way to Minot.  It was a beautiful day for traveling and we were excited to be on our way and to explore some new areas of the country.

We had to drive across the state of Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes.  We passed quite a few lakes along the way but not quite 10,000. 

A little more than half way across the state we came to a small town called Bemidji.  Bemidji is the first town on the Mississippi River.  It was really neat to cross over a trickle of this river since down in the south it is over a mile wide.

The locals claim Paul Bunyan was born in this quaint little town.

In 1937 these statues were constructed in his honor.

You can see how huge these things are.  Paul is 18 feet tall and weighs 2.5 tons.

And they did not forget his ox, Blue.

A little further on and we entered the Minnesota prairie. 

I have never seen land this flat before and I would not have thought the prairie could be so beautiful.

We were excited to cross the Red River and finally reach North Dakota.

The landscape changed a bit and we started seeing slight elevations but you could still see for miles.  This was good and bad, we could feel the weather change and could see the clouds start rolling in.  As we got closer to the flood areas we saw some places where the water was very close to the road.

This was our warning of what was to come.  The rain started coming down and it got heavier and heavier.  I was so thankful that Larry was driving.  Visibility was limited to the road right in front of us and then we saw the flashing lights!

It was a warning sign that there was water across the road ahead and to slow down to 5MPH.  The other side of the road (heading east) was closed because it was already under water, as was the median, the left lane of our road and the shoulder.  We drove through about 4-5 inches of water, with white caps all around us,  for what seemed like 10 miles but was probably about half a mile.

We finally arrived at our destination exhausted but way to tense to relax and go to sleep.  Needless to say it was a late night for us but we were very thankful for the safety the Lord provided.