Archive | August, 2013

gnomepreacher is 4!

31 Aug


Four years ago, on this very day, I wrote my first post.  [Click on the archives tab at the top right if you want that blast from the past.]  It was about moving to Dawson for internship.  Can it really be four years ago already?

Obviously, as I’m nearly 1,000 posts in, gnomepreacher still gives me joy and an outlet, both creative and sometimes [okay, quite often] emotional.  It brings me joy that you read it too.  So many of you are so kind to send emails, post comments, and let me know that you enjoy reading.  Thank you for that.

How will I celebrate, you wonder.  Well, I’m about to eat some cantaloupe.   I’ll probably read … quilt a little.  But mostly I’m celebrating by writing this post.  Happy 4th birthday, gnomepreacher!  You’re my sanity blog and my fun place to tell stories.  I think I’ll keep you around for another four.

Happy Friday!

30 Aug

Here are some favorites:

One of my weekend projects is to organize my home office.  It’s currently a dumping ground for anything and everything.  As I organize, I’m thinking this is pretty cool – clipboards hung on the wall.  It’s a clipboard inspiration wall!

I do love pancakes an awful lot.  These sound delicious – overnight oatmeal cinnamon pancakes.  And apparently they’re famous.

I have a new impulse buy item that amazon helps none with – quilting books.  This is a candidate for my next impulsive buy – Quilting Happiness.

Speaking of quilting, I’m leaping into a major hexagon project.  *deep breath*  Over 500 hand basted and then hand-sewn hexagons.  I’m currently cutting paper templates and fabric squares so it can be my little on-the-go or while-watching-television quilting kit.  I’m excited about it but it will be a lo-o-ng project …  The finished quilt is the British flag – the union jack – but in funky, scrappy colors and patterns [which seems to be my favorite style of late] and ALL hexagons except the border.  Click this link and scroll down for a photo of what I’m attempting!  It’s major.

I made an awesome risotto this past week.  Not wanting to turn on my oven in the heat, I decided to stand over the stove and stir for 30 minutes.  In the end, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  But it was delicious.  Iowa Girl Eats blogged this great farmer’s market risotto and it was delicious.  I then tweeted the link to a friend, and Iowa Girl Eats [a fairly well known Midwest food blogger] tweeted me back!  I was a little starstruck for a moment.  But seriously – need another go-to blog for recipes?  Hers is it.

One last thing –

I don’t blame Disney for my high expectations of men … I blame Tolkien.


Grandma’s quilt.

27 Aug


Way back in May, a couple of my siblings, cousins, and I returned to my Grandpa’s house.  To clean it out.  I blogged about it way back when but I haven’t shared with you one of the greatest treasures I received on that day.

I brought a quilt home with me that day.  It’s a quilt of scrappy squares, tied with yarn.  And I love it.  As I packed it up that day, I asked my Aunt Peggy what the story of the quilt was.  [Every quilt has a story.]  She said my Grandma Vera – her mother – made it.  I never knew my Grandma Vera to sew or quilt!  [What I remember most about my Grandma Vera, who died when I was 16, was her encouragement to me as a young girl not to chew my fingernails.  She bribed me with the possibility of her painting them when they got long enough.  Sadly, Grandma, I’ve started chewing my nails again.  I blame the stress of adulthood and boredom on long drives.]

My grandma made this quilt that I now have in my possession and that makes it even better.  Not to mention it is the HEAVIEST quilt ever.  I feel wrapped up tight when I use it.  I can’t wait to curl up under it when cooler weather comes.  It’s so fun to look at too, because every time I use it or fold it or wash it, I spot a fabric I hadn’t see before.  There are some great [read: odd] scrappy fabrics.  It makes me wonder where they came from … worn out clothes?  Other quilts?  Tablecloths?

It’s a treasure.


Goodnight moon; dashboard cowboy; stuffed animals for sale; a very magical unicorn; and the izzy scoop.

26 Aug

I’m not even going to apologize anymore.  Blogging just hasn’t been happening in the past week.  Here’s what has been happening –


The moon was bright.  This was on one of Mabel’s walks late at night, post-meetings at church.


The trusty old dusty odometer turned to 111111.  I made five million wishes.


I went to an “antique” store.  It’s near where I live and I just had never been in there.  I’m in the market for something specific so I figured it was worth a shot.  That’s what I found.  Needless to say, they had not what I wanted.


I met friends at Chatterbox in St.Paul for dinner and games.  Paige met my college friends, Adam and Kara.  Then we went to Patina, one of the best stores ever.  Kara became a unicorn for a brief moment.


And then we ate Izzy’s ice cream because a few of us had never been.  It’s been voted the best ice cream in the Cities many times over. [Izzy’s is known for its Izzy scoop – a second flavor baby scoop on top of your cone or dish.]  It was while eating ice cream outside that a fly attacked my eye and Paige won’t let me forget it.  [Or my reaction.]

That’s what’s been happening.  Well, that and an ever-so-quick trip home yesterday for a family party.  [Birthday shout outs!  Happy birthday, Grandma!  Happy birthday, cousin Marissa!  Happy birthday – soon – to sister Emma!]  I was home for less than 24 hours but it was good.  It was a good reminder that I need to go home more often … I also got to make a hospital visit while I was home.  Krissy, a Banana, has been in the hospital for many days with likely many days still to come.  Ever heard of a spinal headache?  I hadn’t until now but uffda.  Nasty stuff.  I hope the coloring books and crayons I took her make the pain  just a little bit more bearable for even a minute or two .

Beautiful day.

17 Aug

Today, the midwest was nothing short of gorgeous.  This weather is my favorite.  I woke with no plans for this particular Saturday and by mid-afternoon felt guilty [and a little bored] hanging out inside cleaning and doing laundry.  This day called for outdoor activities.

Mabel and I jumped in the car and we drove to Albert Lea to Myre Big Island State Park.  I haven’t gotten nearly enough use out of my car park pass this summer and while this is a park we’ve explored before, it was worth another hike.  We hiked around the island, through the woods and along the water.  Mabel splashed around in the lake and seemingly enjoyed the change of scenery from our normal walking route.  I did too.

Beautiful day indeed.  Let’s hope it’s this great tomorrow for Red Oak Grove’s outdoor cowboy service.  Yeehaw.


[I also snuck in a quick trip to the quilt shop which is a short five minutes from the park.  I couldn’t be so close and not stop.  No.  Of course not.]

Friday Favorites.

16 Aug

It’s a churchy and video Friday Favorites today!  Who’s excited?

First, you should know that right now, in Pittsburgh, is the ELCA Churchwide Assembly.  Nearly 1000 voting members from synods across the country meet every couple years to discuss the ministry and business of the ELCA.  My friends, Paige and jD, are there right now.  [I *almost* was able to go as the ‘young adult voting member’ for our synod but someone else beat me to the punch.  I feel like I’m missing out on trio fun.]  Paige and jD, in their typical strokes of geniuses, are filming a nightly recap of events to share with their churches [and anyone else] back home.  Their youtube channel is here if you want to check out more of their videos [with appearances from surprise guests and the awesome Pastor Charlie of Blooming] but I’ll for now embed last night’s –

The joke was that as they film a vlog each night, I would also film what I’m doing while home on the range.   I had lunch with my synod friend, Karen, on Tuesday and we accepted the challenge with a copycat/mock vlog about a very, very important parking lot –

Super exciting, right? I fear if you’re not super engrossed in the Lutheran world, neither of those may have been fun.  But you know what is fun?

At the Churchwide Assembly, an election for the presiding bishop happened.  The presiding bishop is the bishop of the whole ELCA.  For the last twelve years, Mark Hanson has served in this capacity with amazing grace.  He was up for re-election and a possible third term but as the election continued, the result was unexpected.  There was no campaigning and we trust that the Holy Spirit leads the process.  At the end, the ELCA had elected our first female presiding bishop this week.  It’s quite an exciting event!

In other non-churchy Friday favorites, I get my hair cut today.  Always a favorite.  I made these coconut oil chocolate chip cookies this week.  They got Bob-the-treasurer and Marilyn-the-administrative-assistant approval.  And, hey, anyone want to come over and make watermelon helmets?


15 Aug

First, baby quilts.

Another one went in the mail yesterday to a new baby soon to be born in Virginia to a Banana and her husband.  This little monkey could be a boy or a girl so I went for bright colors.  And monkeys.  I love the simplicity of it – I love straight-line quilting.  I think I need to do more of it.


One of my favorite parts of this quilt is the binding.  I was quilting along and wondering what I was going to use for the binding.  I wanted something that popped but couldn’t think of anything but the fabric already used in the quilt.  Then I remembered I had these awesome stripes which could not have matched any more perfectly.  Love it.


Second, saving babies.

*This is a shameless plug.*  I have to go to jail for babies.  Jail is a restaurant in Austin and the babies are ones helped by the March of Dimes.  The March of Dimes big fundraiser is the Jail and Bail.  Someone nominated me to go to “jail” for babies … and now I have to raise my bail.  Let it be known – I dislike asking people for money.  I’m swallowing it because of my role as a somewhat public figure in the community and the March of Dimes doing awesome things.   It is a super worthy cause and if you at all feel drawn to it, you can help “bail” me out here.  And if not, don’t feel bad.  [Jail is really just an hour of my time next Wednesday and apparently they feed me pizza.  I hope there’s a mugshot too.]

Where’d you go, Lindsay?

12 Aug

You haven’t posted since last Wednesday, Lindsay.  No Friday Favorites.  No other posts.  Where have you been?



I’ve been hand sewing hexagons and watching The West Wing.

True story.

I checked out a book on English paper piecing hexagons last week from the library.  Hexagons have been on my sewing to-learn list for a while now and I finally decided to tackle them.  One of the best things?  It’s hand sewing so I can do it while watching television.  About that …

I needed a new series to watch on Netflix.  I chose The West Wing.  I chose right.  I’m hooked.  In the past week, I’ve had a hard time distinguishing what political stories are actually facing the country in real life, and which are fictional.

So that’s where I’ve been.  Sewing hexagons and watching meetings in the White House while really liking Danny the press guy.  That’s probably where I’ll be all week too.

[It’s not the only place I’ve been.  I went to the Cities for college friend time on Friday.  I cleaned my bedroom – a room in my house that’s been a disaster all summer.  It’s lovely now.  I ran errands on Saturday morning, timing it deliberately so I could mail a package when the cute, young guy works the post office counter.  Mabel and I went for many meandering walks in this beautiful weather.  I finished another baby quilt.  But the one place I haven’t been?  On my computer.]


Day Camp: August Edition.

7 Aug

Day camp success once more.

It started off with a trip to the local care center to deliver suncatchers we had made earlier in the summer.  It was a fun little field trip and I know the residents love seeing the kids.  A great experience all around.

It was Olympics theme the rest of day and so we had Olympic rings for snack.  [Donuts with appropriate colored sprinkles.]  Like we had every time before, a scavenger hunt followed to find the three fruit of the spirit we would focus on that day.  Today they were love, self-control, and patience.  We talked about each and all shared people to whom we show love in some way or another.  One camper said, “My brother, my sister, my mom, my dad, my two cats, and ALL OF YOU.”  For sweet.

We played a couple rounds of My Grandma’s Big Fat Toe [always a day camp favorite] and a couple games of pew battleship.  [I just learned about this one.  Played in the sanctuary, it requires everyone to be stealthy and quiet.  For that, it was awesome.]  Soon enough, it was lunch time and following that was time for the opening ceremony.

That’s right.  This ROG Olympic Games had an opening ceremony.  We all spread around the yard area, I played inspirational techno music, and we ran the wrapping-paper-tissue-paper torch to each other other.  Artistic and creative running was encouraged and embraced.  We had slow-motion, jumps, twirls, and ninja dives.  Best opening ceremonies ever.

Olympic games continued, crazy style.  There was the shower-cap-catch – a favorite by far – which involved covering a team member’s head with shaving cream and throwing fruit loops on it.  The team with the most fruit loops stuck on the shaving cream head at the end of two minutes won the round.  There were water games.  Sit on the water balloon, fill the water bottle that’s held on your teammate’s head, cup relays and more.  Gosh, it was fun.

It was a great day with great kids.  It truly is bittersweet.  Day camp days are exhausting and time-consuming but I feel my heart is rewarded ten-fold when the day is over.  It’s so fun to hang out with these campers.  I love them to pieces.

One of the campers, dear Matthew, a soon-to-be-kindergartner, has been staying with his grandparents [who are members of the church] since this past February.  His parents are in a military branch and some intensive training was required; so Matthew and his younger brother came to stay in MN.  The entire congregation has fallen in love with Matthew; he works the crowd during the sharing of the peace and is always super helpful on noisy coin Sundays.  I’ve fallen in love with him … and today was the last time I’ll see him.  His mom picked him up and they’ll be moving to a southern state tomorrow.  I’m so glad he was able to come to day camp and I gave him a big hug as he left.  I’ll miss that kid.

I’ll miss all of these kids and the summer chances to hang out with them.


6 Aug

The tables are set.  Tomorrow is the last day of day camp at Red Oak Grove this summer.  It’s bittersweet.  It will be a super fun day of delivering art projects to the local care center and the ROG summer olympic games.  [I made a torch by stuffing an end of a wrapping paper tube with tissue paper.  I plan on making the kids run it around the church grounds for our opening ceremony.]  We’ll take a group photo, make ice cream in a bag, and maybe even have a picnic lunch.  It will be a great day.

As sad as it will be that camp is over for the summer, this means I can get my office back.  My office has been overrun with day camp supplies for the last three months.  While I look forward to cleaning it up and sorting it out again, the messy, cramped office has been totally worth it.

Back to filling water balloons, finishing medal necklaces, and writing scavenger hunt clues for this excited pastor  …  last day of day camp, here we come!


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