Sunday, September 30, 2012

Munichburg 2012

Saturday we had our booth at the Old Munichburg Oktoberfest in Jefferson City. We couldn't have ordered better weather. It was a cool crisp morning with a nice comfortable afternoon. The crowd was great. The guys enjoyed their on-tap beer, I loved my apple strudel, the kids  enjoyed their white chocolate covered marshmallows rolled in mini M & M's, Lori enjoyed  her chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick, and Jeremy enjoyed his huge caramel covered apple with pecans. Our lunch of grilled hamburgers and/or Jamaica pork steaks with rice were awesome too. 

Here the guys work on a project together. The blacksmith says his new little grinder is Jim-dandy! 

Shortly after we got set up, the basket maker across the street from us asked if he could have a special tool made. This is how it finished out. 

Here is Mike Yeoman working on his rye grass baskets. Notice his shoes!  His baskets were beautiful! He does museum quality work. 

His wife was working on a hand appliqued quilt. The applique pieces were wool, some of which she dyed with Kool-Aid! She tells me that when you dye the wool in a dish in the microwave for 5 minutes, the water comes out clear and all the color soaks into the wool. This will only work with animal fibers. 

 Alex loves to help his Grandpa. Luckily both boys had brought their child size safety glasses along. 

Here Alex shows off one the S hooks he made. 

 It seems both boys like Grandpa's little grinder too. 

 Jeremy enjoying his mega sized caramel apple. 

 Brady enjoying his white chocolate covered marshmallows. 

Lizzie is wearing her daddy's safety glasses as she checks out the grinder too. 

Life is good!

Friday, September 28, 2012

World War II love letter returned to it's owner

WARNING:  Grab a Kleenex

In February of this year, we bought two dressers at an auction. They were full of things dear to my heart, fabric and sewing supplies.  Little did I know there was something hidden inside, dear to someone else's heart too. 

We got the dressers home and immediately started going through the drawers. Some where I came across a folded up letter. It was dated May 29, 1945. 
Page 1

I couldn't help but think the family had surely missed this. No one would part with a love letter like this. I laid the letter by my computer.

A day or two later I was determined to find a family member. Something in one of the dressers had a full name on it.  I then got our local phone book and found that name was still listed. I  searched the web sites of the local funeral homes. I found a six month old obituary for Mr. L.  I read through the listings of his survivors, which included his wife, a married daughter in XXXX, and a son in XXXX. 

Next I went to Facebook. I typed in the son's name and found someone that I thought might be the right person.  I also found his daughter on Facebook.   By looking at her photos, I knew it was the right person. Her dad's picture was the same as the one used by the funeral home. I sent a message to both of them via Facebook. I told them that we had gone to an auction, bought these two chests and inside one of them was this love letter. Days passed and I never got a response.  I was sure my messages had been over looked. 

That was about February 13th. Days, weeks, and months went by with no reply. I stuck the letter in my desk drawer and forgot all about it. 

Fast forward to last week, September 18. I received this email: You wrote me on Facebook about a chest of fabric you had purchased at an auction in February. Unfortunately, I did not see your message until today (scary to say that I didn't even realize there was an "Other" button). I am sure the letter was from my dad to Mom; that would have been the time that their things were auctioned off and Mom had a ton of fabric. Due to my lack of response, I doubt you still have the letter. I thought I would check with you on the off chance you still have it.

I really appreciate you trying to get in touch with me!


I immediately responded back to her: WOW K. you have made my day! YES I still have the letter and I would love for you to have it. If you will email me your address I will send it to you.

A few minutes later this arrived:
This is incredible--I cannot thank you enough for reaching out about the letter! I have enjoyed looking through your blogs and seeing what you got at the auction and reading the reactions to Dad's letter. You can believe that if we had seen that letter it never would have been in that chest! My parents had lived in that house since 1966, so there was a lot to go through. My husband and I live in XXXX (I teach), so we had to keep making quick trips to MO to help go through things. My brother and his wife live in XXXXX, so they weren't able to be there all the time, either. I remember the chests you must have bought. It was the very last night we were there and they were in the last room. I was running out of time because we had to leave the next morning to get back for work. I totally missed the letter.

My father passed away XXXXX XXXXXX ; my mother is 89 and living  in an independent living apartment. They were married almost 68 years and really were in love all those years. Dad got home safely from the war; they had two children. ----SNIP-----

I called Mom tonight and she is so delighted at the thought of seeing that letter again! That would be incredible if you would mail the letter to her. 

I fired an email back, asking K. if I could hand deliver it to her. She was delighted that I would want to do that. We talked about both our mothers living in assisted living facilities just a few miles apart. 

Then K. asked me, if I grew up in Jefferson City, did I go to the public or the Catholic high school.

I replied that I went to the public school until my sophomore year, when my parents moved away. I told her I graduated in 1970. Oh My Gosh, so did she. I went upstairs and found my old freshmen year book. There we both were. We went to school together for 2 years, but never knew each other. Her sister in law was also in our grade and I do remember her. 

So today was the day I took the letter to Mrs L. I had told K. I would be at her mom's apartment between 10 and 10:30. I was knocking on the door at 10 promptly with fresh flowers in my hand for her. 

Mrs L. greeted me at the door with open arms. I don't know who was smiling bigger, me or her.  We had a wonderful visit. She showed me her beautiful home. Her view over looking the Missouri River is gorgeous. I saw her sewing room, (yes she kept her sewing machine and still sews). She offered me coffee, but I just wanted to talk. She told me wonderful stories of her husband and that they were high school sweethearts.  She talked about his time in the Navy and that for one 10 month period he was not able to contact the family.  She said he then came home on a 4 day leave and they got married. She talked about the homes they built together, their moves, their jobs, and I even found out she worked with the blacksmith's cousin for years. She told me how the dresser that contained the letter used to set between her children's twin beds. 

I told her I had gone to Jr. High with her daughter and daughter in law. I brought my year book along to show her. I then asked her permission to take her picture. I told her I had been contacted by both KOMU TV and KRCG TV to do a feature story but I felt it was a little too personal.  She totally agreed. 

She is so excited to have her letter back. She said at lunch yesterday she told her lady friends, "Do you want to hear my love story?" They couldn't believe I would go to the trouble to find the owner.

It was the best 45 minutes of my day, and probably hers too! 

Thank you Mrs L. for the wonderful visit and great hugs. 

As for that dresser that held the love letter . . . 

. . .  it was repainted and new knobs were installed. It is now in my son's family room. It no longer holds fabric, patterns, or love letters. But just maybe someday it will have another story to tell.

Life is GOOD!

Other post on the letters can be found here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our flea market buys

As promised here are my buys from my trip to Ohio last week. 

 I found this Noah's Ark crock for $8. Lord knows I have enough Noah's Ark things

 This noodle rolling pin is in awesome shape. It too was $8.00.

Now for the bargain of the day!

I had walked to the flea market and found two cast iron #12 skillets. One was a Wagner for $70, and the other was this Piqua for $50.  I couldn't get the blacksmith to answer his phone, and I didn't want to buy without his approval. 

So I walked back to the conference and got him to walk back with me. We had never heard of Piqua brand, but it was in perfect shape, light weight and cheaper. The blacksmith asked the dealer if $50 was firm and he halfway nodded his head yes. Hubby then said to me, that it was up to me, do what ever I wanted. I kept looking the skillet over and finally I asked the dealer, "Would you take $45?" He thought a minute and slowly said, "it's yours". 

We walked away with a smile on our face. 

It's one big skillet! 

Later in the day I called Sarah and asked her to look on EBay for the same style. She found one almost immediately (plus others). She said it was up to $120, had 17 bidders, and another day before the auction ended. 

When we arrived home Sunday night, I immediately went to the computer. The skillet had just a few minutes before it ended. With 20 bidders, it sold for $173.45!!!!!  Did I say it's identical to ours!  H-A-P-P-Y   D-A-N-C-E.

This morning we woke up to a chilly room. Tonight I have to decide which of my quilts I should put on our bed. Oh such a hard decision!

Life is good! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ohio and back in 5 days

We left last Thursday for Troy, Ohio, to attend the SOFA Quad State blacksmith conference. Here's some of the things I enjoyed.

The first day on the road we stopped for dinner and what did I have?  Taco Al Pastor, my favorite. It's not available at every Mexican restaurant. 

After a 9 hour drive, it was time to kick back and relax. At a Wal-Mart across the street from the Hampton, we bought a bottle of wine. Ya gotta love those fancy paper cups!

The next morning at the conference this was the place to be. Yoder's Blacksmith Supply bought in 63 anvils. They told us they still had 14 more at home.

 In the tail gating section, this was the biggest attraction.

The blacksmith didn't agree on my lunch choice, but it sure brought back childhood memories, fried bologna, R. I. P. Dad.

The first afternoon, the blacksmith and I went antiquing to Tipp city, about 7 miles away from the conference. 

 Tipp City Mill . . . isn't it beautiful?

 On Saturday I went to the flea market, next door to the conference. 

There were vendors both inside and outside.

Tammy, I thought about you when I saw these.

 There were birds of all variety's.

 I saw these.  Some where I think I still have my son's.

 Beautiful mums, but no way could I haul them all the way back to Missouri.

This pheasant was beautiful, and not the least bit camera shy. (Tomorrow I will tell you about the bargain we bought at the flea market!)

Back at the conference I took a free beading class. We all made brackets. 

Saturday night this quilted wall hanging was auctioned off. It was beautifully done. It sold for $400.

Sunday morning as we were pulling out I spied this Mini-Cooper and teardrop. S-W-E-E-T!

It was a great conference. Life is good.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Heritage Festival 2012

What a great time we had at the festival this year. This picture was taken just after we set up before the event began.  Saturday's crowd was great, but Sunday's was even better. 

We got to visit with so many old friends. Several members of our blacksmith group came by to visit. Thanks Tom and Dana, Ned and Esther, Mike and Nancy, Don and Martha, and Mara and Jill.

One thing that I never got tired of were the little ones with their faces beautifully painted  by two artists. 

Here is Ella, the granddaughter of my friends, Margie and Phil.  It was so great to finally meet her parents, Martin and Donnell in person.  (Phil is also a blacksmith)

Ms. Linley's face matched her purple shirt. Her grandmother is Mara, who gave me the wonderful vintage Elna sewing machine two weeks ago. Linley's grand dad was a blacksmith too. 

The blacksmith kept busy  hammering  all day long, both days.  We had a continuous crowd of spectators.

Sunday, our grandsons came by to help out. Thanks boys!

The boys and their mother (in the bright pink shirt) went to listen to Jim Two Crows. 

Our friend Scott (who gave me the sweet small Wagner griddle and who also happens to be a blacksmith), demonstrated his primitive bread baking skills. We were lucky enough to be the recipient of several loaves!  In fact we made toast with it this morning and had some with our dinner tonight. Thanks Scott.

We couldn't have asked for better weather. The company and the sales were great.

Life is good.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Not one, but two new toys!!!

You might remember that I have been shopping for a vintage sewing machine. After that day I started looking hard. I decided the featherweights were awesome but just too pricey for what I wanted it for. 

One day I typed Elna into my search engine (because my everyday machine is an Elna) and I found vintage Elnas.  They really got me intrigued. Sure they weigh a lot more than the featherweight but they are more unique to me. 

One night while talking to my friend Mara, who happens to be an addicted auction goer, I told her about my new search. She told me to hold one, she was pretty sure she had one that her late husband Ed had purchased. I could hear her walking, as she stepped into her garage she said, "Yes I thought he had one". "It's yours!" she told me. She said Ed would be proud if I would put it to use.

The blacksmith went Wednesday and picked it up for me.

It comes neatly packaged in this heavy metal green case. 

My jack-of-all-trades blacksmith immediately got to work on it. For a night and a day, he sewed lots of scraps. He has it about 95% ready to use. It sews nice, but we still feel a professional clean up on it would be great. 

I love my Elna Supermatic, dated 1953. It has one unique feature, the case turns into a sewing table. Oh yes, it also sews using a knee bar.

It also has cams. You insert these to make decorative stitches, including zig-zag. The machine has everything that originally came with it, the book, the tools, and attachment feet. 

Thank you Mara!  I will think of Ed every time I sew with it.

The same evening my Bernina Deco 600 embroidery machine arrived. I had purchased it off of EBay a week earlier. I feel I got a darn good deal on it. There were 3 software patterns included still in the original shrink wrap.  They had a price tag of $139 each. That is more than I paid for the machine. 

It sat for two days just like this. I feared it. I've never used one, knew nothing about it. 

Tonight I decided now was the time. In less than 30 minutes I had made a few attempts. Sure they aren't perfect, I'm hoping time will take care of that. Along with some coaxing from some good friends!  Right Deanna?

I am so lucky, life is good!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Honor Flight

68 Honor flight Veterans left Columbia Missouri late Monday night. They were bused to St Louis where they boarded an airplane and were flown to Washington DC. There they had a whirl-wind tour of all the war monuments.

Julie, one of my co-worker's Dad, George was one of those 68 men and women on the trip. George served in the Navy during the Korean war.

I wanted to surprise him and say "Thank you" for serving our country.

This is the lap quilt I made for him.

I even put a label on it for him

THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served out country!