Tag Archives: Worthington MN

Token Tuesday

17 Sep

I’m sitting at my favorite café, drinking too-strong tea and regretting my choice not to get coffee.

I have several stories to write for my local newspaper, which is fun, and I’ve been running around like the proverbial chicken getting it all done. So this is my post for today. No photos. No deep and meaningful writing. Just a tiny glimpse of real life.

Is a token post better than no post at all (which would have broken my 2.5 year long Tuesday stretch)? Yes. I think so!

So here you go – the token “Tuesdays with Gretchen” post. On this overcast Minnesota almost-fall day.

See you next week!

Suddenly Everything Seems Possible + Ice Storm Photos

23 Apr
This is what we woke up to the morning after the lights went out.  All the following ice photos are from that first day - all taken through our windows.   The snow photos were the second day, mostly also from our windows.  Finally, on the third day, we went outside as a family and saw the damage first hand.

This is what we woke up to the morning after the lights went out. All the following ice photos are from that first day – all taken through our windows. The snow photos were the second day, mostly also from our windows. Finally, on the third day, we went outside as a family and saw the damage first hand.

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The climbing tree, broken branches frozen to the ground

The climbing tree, broken branches frozen to the ground

Surveying the backyard.

Surveying the backyard.

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The pine trees were like Narnia - only the bad, evil witch part of Narnia.

The pine trees were like Narnia – only the bad, evil witch part of Narnia.

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A few shots around town.

A few shots around town.

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The golf course.

The golf course.

Not exactly a safe place to play right now.

Not exactly a safe place to play right now. I have heard many reports of eye injuries as people clean up the branches all over town.

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Yes, this is a power pole.  Or should I say, was.

Yes, this is a power pole. Or should I say, was.

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Nothing but splintered remains and criss-crossed lines.

Nothing but splintered remains and criss-crossed lines.

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Horray!

Horray!

Our saviors from Wadena.

Our saviors from Wadena.

And so the clean up begins.

And so the clean up begins.

I apologize for not posting these photos sooner…I couldn’t look at them without feeling ill. Seriously. I had to avoid them for a few days to get a little perspective.

The following is what I wrote on Wednesday morning, after the lights came on the night before. Allow me add that the power was back out on Wednesday night for a few hours, but that was because of a tremendous thunderstorm and lightning hitting a transformer…just what we all needed, right? It is Monday night now, almost one week later, and again we’re having snow and wind like crazy. It has been a wild couple of weeks that I really don’t want to re-live. On the good side, people were safe and there were very few injuries – mostly the injuries came later with damage to eyes when people were out cleaning up fallen branches. There are some streets that look like tunnels, the piles of branches are so huge. This will take weeks to clean up…months, perhaps. And years to get back our trees.

HOW MANY TIMES DO WE FLIP ON A LIGHTSWITCH WHILE LOOKING FOR A FLASHLIGHT WHICH WE NEED BECAUSE THE LIGHTS ARE OFF?!!! I think that everyone has done this in their lives.

So many switches were on in our house, and that’s how I knew the power had come back on because there were suddenly lights!

We’ve put away the flashlights. The dishes are gently rocking on the Anti-Bacterial setting in my dishwasher. A load of towels is “cooking” on high heat. I turned on my electric blanket last night, just because I could.

But the TV? You know, I kinda didn’t mind not having the TV on. Not having the internet bummed me out, I admit. But I really don’t have to compulsively check Facebook every half hour in order to be happy.

I tell you what does make me happy, though. Three men from Wadena, Minnesota – a town about 5 hours north of here – who restored our power last night, just two hours shy of one week exactly from when it went out. (The oven clock came back on and read 9:06 – it picked up right where it had left – almost as if time itself had stopped. As if the past week never happened.)

I looked up Wadena on my newly-restored internet and discovered that this town of 4,000ish suffered a terrible E-F 4 tornado three years ago. In other words, these men know what it is to suffer at the hand of nature. They know what it’s like to need help from others. They came down to my town so that they could give back what they received.

I told them, “Thanks for leaving your homes and your families to come down and lend us a hand.” They shrugged and mumbled and waved for my camera.

I am not usually given to dancing. But I danced last night.

Suddenly everything seems possible.

THANK YOU, Mr. Electric Man

16 Apr

Still no electricity. Furnace is acting up because it doesn’t like the generator. The cost of a storm like this is in more than just dollars. It’s in sanity.

Here’s some statistics I heard this morning. I know there are more and perhaps better ones, but this gives you an idea. (I appologize if these numbers are incorrect – this is what I’ve heard as of Tuesday morning.)

One hardware store in this town of 12,000 people has sold $177,000.00 in chainsaws and generators over the past week. That’s just one of the half a dozen or so hardware stores in town.

As of Tuesday morning 991 homes are still without power.

2,000 power poles snapped or otherwise are unusable.

120 linemen have come to help us out, from across Minnesota and even, I believe, from South Dakota. The hotel parking lots (at night only!) are solid with power trucks. The image of all those trucks made me cry. We are so thankful for all that is being done to get us back into the 21st century!

I know, I know – we can live without electricity. We’ve proven that this week. But it sure is nice.

Here’s my daughter’s take on the storm – in her exact words:

Electricity. A necessity we take for granted. The power has been out for 6 days and it still is.

We had a HUGE ICE STORM. Plus we had a SNOWSTORM after that!

There are MANY trees down, all over the place.

Having the power out is scary. Mr. Al Oberloh [the mayor of Worthington] said, “Worthington will never look the same again.” I agree.

I live in the country, so we didn’t have rolling blackouts [as they had in town]. We just had no electricity at all. Our power lines are [broken down] and buried underneath lots of snow.

I believe that the electricity people are pretty AWESOME. They worked for like 24 hours straight to get power back on [for those in town].

The power went out at like 9:00 Tuesday night. It’s still out. Oh well. They have to get other pepole before us.

I think that I will remember this forever.

THANK YOU, ELECTRIC PEOPLE!!!

By Katie O’Donnell. Age 11

Ice, Snow, Devastation, and a Kazoo Band

13 Apr

There are moments in your life that you never forget. When I am old and wrinkled and more gray even than I am now, I will remember this week with tears, with smiles, and, possibly, with laughter.

My son asked me if, like with hurricanes, they name Midwestern Ice Storms. I told him that we didn’t rate that high on the weatherman’s scale.

“But it’s so bad!” he pointed out.

“Yes, it is,” I replied with a wry smile.

It really is so bad.

April usually is a time to anticipate bulbs poking out of the earth, to dig out asparagus recipes, to watch the daily progression of the leaves on the trees, the birds returning to the upper Midwest.

Not this year.

For those who don’t know, Tuesday night, April 9th, 2013, Worthington, Minnesota and the surrounding area experienced a terrible ice storm which left about 1.5 inches of ice on the trees, followed by 8+ inches of snow on Wednesday night. I live out in the country on ten acres of trees and stream and farmland. We lost electricity Tuesday night. Still don’t have it back as of Saturday afternoon. We have a generator – a reliable one – as of Friday night. The one we had, which came with our house 8 years ago, had never been put to the test before. Sure, we’d used it a few times for a few hours – but nothing like this.

It failed the test.

So finally, last night, my husband forked over $700 for a brand-new (and much quieter) one, so that we can have heat and toilets that flush and food that won’t give us food poisoning.

Can’t wash our clothes. Can’t run the dishwasher. No internet. No TV. (My son’s comment on these terrible facts: “Mom, what did you and Dad DO all day when you were kids?”)

But all of that pales in comparison with what’s happened outside of our windows.

Total tree devastation. It’s a war zone, a bombing site, an unrecognizable horizon.

And no, I have no photos for you yet – not until I get power back and can download all of my photos onto my PC. I’m in town right now, at my favorite hang-out, BenLees Café. It’s a refuge here from the sadness out my window.

My kids have named all of their favorite trees. There’s the Hosanna Tree, so named because its leaves resemble the palm fronds on Palm Sunday. (I think it will survive.) There’s the Shady Tree aka the Climbing Tree. It’s our favorite. My girls and I cried yesterday when we stood in front of it. I don’t think there’s any way it will survive. And then there’s Mr. and Mrs. Maple Tree – Mrs. Tree is doomed. Mr. Tree might make it – but it looks like he got a terrible hair cut.

And then there are 100 more trees – give or take – which have suffered the indignities of a very angry giant stomping through our yard and tearing twigs and branches off and throwing them willy-nilly all over the yard.

At least that’s what it feels like.

And sounded like.

Oy, vey, the sounds of the crackling ice when you stood outside in the silence of zero electricity. It was almost like running water, only then you realized that everything was frozen and it was just the constant crack of ice on trees as they blew in the wind.

And the sounds indoors: nothing. Utter, unimaginable, silence.

Until the generator goes on!

But there have also been sounds of laughter. Of a fire in the grate, of games played, of a Kazoo Band, and of 30 year old cassettes wallowing on my 30 year old tape player. (“Turn it off, Mom! It’s creepy!”)

And then there was the sound of tree limbs tearing, of thunder smashing right overhead, of a little girl learning to tie her shoes, running to tell Daddy when he walked in the door and his exclamations of pride.

Yes, I will look back on this with tears and smiles someday.

Someday.

PS – I will have photos for you – probably more than you could ever hope for – as soon as I can. I’m sure I’ll write more about it, too. There is so much to process – to think through and put into words – I know I’m not yet finished.

King Turkey Day Extraordinaire!

18 Sep

When I moved to Worthington 15 years ago, there were several things that I had to adjust to. No, I’m not talking about the prairie or the weather or the figures of speech. Not this time.

This time I’m talking about things like King Turkey Day.

That’s right. King Turkey Day.

LOVE this.

Love, love, love this.

I should probably explain what King Turkey Day is…though, to be sure, it’s all a little hazy to me. As I understand it, Worthington, Minnesota clains to be the turkey capitol of the world. So does Cuero, Texas. And so they decided to duke it out with a turkey race. We race here…then, next month, we race there in Texas. It’s all very exciting. Overall, Worthington has won twenty-some times, I think, and Cuero like 18 times. So, yes, it’s been going on for that many years, though Worthington has celebrated King Turkey Day for seventysome years. They used to run an entire flock of turkeys down main street. Can you even imagine?! That would have been a sight to see.

These days there are just two turkeys…and a ton of floats. I have always enjoyed a good parade. There’s something patriotic about parades – no matter what country you’re from, the nation’s colors show up, national anthems are sung, politicians may even be present. The Turkey Day parade is no exception. Now, I admit, I do not fully participate in the King Turkey Days activities – and yes, I probably should. I have not tossed frozen turkeys, had a beer in the hallowed tent, or shaken the hands of the “other” guys from Cuero, Texas. Those things may be in my future, who can say. But I have, often, attended the parade. All two+ hours of it. And let me say, for someone who isn’t from here – and who, therefore, isn’t seeing hundreds of old acquaintances, returned home for the festivities – not to mention the fact that I don’t exactly love crowds – I feel like just being there is an accomplishment.

How great is this?!

Gotta love a little princess. Especially when riding on a Wood Duck.

This year, for the first time, I had the fun to actually being IN the parade. I had thought that I would be hidden away in the vehicle that pulled the Girl Scout float. I was wrong. I got to walk the parade, even though I never was a girl scout and I wasn’t even wearing the correct colors. I got to pass out boxes of cookies (“No, you can’t have one. You’re a teenaged boy, not a little girl!”) and I got to see the smiles on the faces of the wee girls as I handed them a whole box of cookies!! This was way more fun that I imagined it would be.

Waiting for the parade to begin…the wind, while a blessing for keeping us cool, was a bit crazy at times!

Two of our town’s lovely Girl Scouts!

Ok, so occasionally I gave out cookies to non-little girls. Ryan, the editor of our Daily Globe, was a fellow-thespian two summers ago and he just needed some cookies. And he has a daughter…so that’s my justification.

Let me back-up a little. Many of you know – but many of you do not – what being in the parade entails. It means you arrive at 12:45 or so for a parade that begins at 2:00. It means that, even though the parade begins at 2:00, you still have to stand around waiting your turn until almost 4:00 if you’re float number is 107, as ours was. It means that you drink bottles and bottles of water and that you kick yourself for not putting on sunscreen – and praise yourself for forcing it on your kids.

I love listening to these guys!

My husband enjoys these vehicles…I can’t even remember what they’re called, but they are kind of a hoot when they race around in circles…

Hanging out in the waiting line also means that you get to see all of the other floats pass your way. This is very fun and establishes camaraderie the likes of which I hadn’t seen since summer camp. It also makes for a lot of tired girl scouts. It also means that I had to miss my son in the middle school marching band because, like I said, I was stuck way back at #107 and he was #15. Bother. I heard the dulcet tones of Star Wars drifting to me on the wind once, at least, and that was fun.

Okay, so right up front I’ll tell you that this is a photo from last year’s parade, since, like I said, I couldn’t see the band this year. But it’s a fun shot. Even though we probably weren’t supposed to holler at him to look at us…

It also means that I missed seeing the turkeys race. Missed seeing Worthington’s turkey get beaten by Cuero, Texas’s turkey as they raced down mainstreet. Yes, I said raced. The turkeys race. If you’ve never seen turkeys race each other, relax, because I haven’t actually, either. The crowds are always so huge that I have never gotten a glimpse.

Here’s a parade entrant that I can’t help but be thankful for…though, to be sure, I hope to never know them better.

I also missed hearing the speaker. Missed my children gathering huge amounts of candy. (That was okay by me.) I was bummed to miss seeing the Worthington High School marching band, so am especially glad I saw them this summer. I also missed seeing local friends. I thought, erroneously, that I would see them all, that I would have the perfect vantage point. This is the dream of a novice. The view from the road, as I walked in the parade – passing the crowds on every side – is very different from the crowd’s view.

One girl scout watched me taking this picture and she said, “Did you get a picture of that pretty girl in the beautiful dress?” Yes, yes I did.

When you are in the crowd, you see everyone in the parade or on the sidewalks and you say “hi” a million times. Walking the parade means that your vision is tunneled…yet also focused. I saw lots of little potential Girl Scouts…but only about two friends, and that was because one of them had a little girl and one of them had my son and he had to yell at me about five times before I heard him.

They may not have been looking at me…but, even better, they were looking at each other…

I have to admit that I agreed to be on the float because I didn’t have much choice. It was either that or I would be a schmuck. So I said yes, and resigned myself to it. But here’s the beauty of the thing: I really, really enjoyed myself. No, I don’t totally “get” King Turkey Day….but, for the first time, I really, really liked it.

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

7 Aug

To my fellow-bloggers: I hope this post explains my absence from your comments lately.   I’m looking forward to school starting in two weeks and more time for real life.

To all my faithful readers: I hope this inspires you to jump into your local community theater…because it’s worth it.

I have been asked several times over the past two and a half months, whether being in a production like The Music Man is worth my time and energy. Is it worth essentially giving up a summer? Is it worth the lost sleep, energy, and time?

The answer, without a doubt, is “yes”.

Yes, it’s like having an unpaid job. Yes, it drains you. Yes, it requires more brain power than I sometimes have at my disposal.

But it’s worth it.

It’s worth it because I get to see my husband shine on stage. I get to listen to people’s comments in the receiving line after the show and I can’t help but grin. I get to see him, hear him, watch him be Harold Hill. And, in real life, I’m his Marian.

Sadly, “Mrs. Squires” doesn’t get to kiss “Harold Hill” in the musical…so I took advantage of a moment in the wings.

It’s worth it because I get to see our three kids blossom. I get to hear compliments from our director, and see them grow and mature. What more can a mom ask for?

Yes, it’s worth it.

I know that time is a precious commodity. One of the most valuable around. It’s easy to quantify time: you simply add up the minutes and find a total. Even I, a mathematical dunce, can do that math. It is far less easy, of course, to quantify quality time, to determine, without question, whether the time you spent was worthwhile…or wasted, was well-spent…or lost moments of your life you’ll never get back again.

I am compelled to tell you today that the time I spent this summer rehearsing, thinking about, and performing in The Music Man has been, unequivocally, time that I not only will get back again – in memories and smiles and nostalgia – but also time that I am delighted to have spent.

Yes, I have had my doubts. When I’m crabby and grumpy and the production seems to be controlling my life. When the “trouble with a capital ‘T’” seems all too apropos. But then we’ll be driving into town with the family and someone says something and suddenly we’re singing “Wells Fargo Wagon” at the top of our lungs and we can’t stop laughing. And then along comes dress rehearsal week and we see everything come together and suddenly we’re in this living, thriving thing that we helped create…and it’s vibrant and funny and thrilling!

Yes, it is exhausting. I am sleeping too long in the morning, and going to bed too late at night. I have bags under my eyes and my hair is all weird from the vast amounts of hairspray I’m using. My kids are tired, too, and I don’t know how on earth they’re going to be back on the right schedules by the time school begins in two weeks.

BUT IT’S WORTH IT.

The whole family!

It’s worth it because my whole family is together, every night, having fun at the auditorium. It’s worth it because we’re working on a project, perfecting it, experiencing it, making it happen together. We’re making friends, deepening relationships, learning, expanding our horizons, getting out of our “box” together.

Our kids are getting to know other kids, but they’re also getting to know teenagers and adults who are kind to them, helpful to them, encouraging to them. They’re getting to see their dad goof around, work hard, and excel. They’re getting to see cast-mates mess up and learning that it’s okay to not be perfect. They’re learning to look out for each other but not to be bossy.

They’re learning to work together – sometimes with people vastly different from themselves – and to do so with dignity and respect.

They’re learning, I hope, to love a little more, listen a little closer, be patient a little longer.

Yes. It’s worth it. A million times over.

So, if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Southwest Minnesota, please, come to see The Music Man at the Memorial Auditorium this coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Support family-friendly events like this in our community by attending. And THANK YOU so much to those businesses and individuals who have supported the production with your generous donations.

And please, think about participating in such an event in the future with your family.

Because, in spite of everything, it’s worth it.

I Join the Theater

19 May

We spent two hours this morning doing something I wasn’t sure I’d ever do again. We auditioned for a local Community Theater production this August here in Worthington, Minnesota.

I didn’t think I’d do this again for several reasons…many of which I wrote about below last summer and you can read about them as I’m reposting the the first post for you today. Another reason I didn’t think I’d do it again is that it’s a LOT of work…and time…to be in a production like this. HOWEVER…it’s worth it. It’s fun, it’s a great time to make new friends and deepen old friendships, and it’s something we can do all together as a family. Even five year-old Boo might be in on the action this year.
to top of our reasons for doing this again, it’s The Music Man…a favorite of our entire family. And so we’re diving in again. Stay tuned!!!

A fine day for an epiphany

Ok, so there are some things in life which sound better than they, in reality, are. Turkish Delight is one of these things. (I was brutally devastated when I first tasted real Turkish Delight, which I found in The Netherlands and bought with exceeding great joy. “WHAT?” I almost exclaimed outloud, trying hard to conceal my near-tears state of mind. “Edmund turned traitor for THIS?”) Lavender Ice Cream (from a cute little shop on Bainbridge Island, WA) is another. (“Ummm…WAY overrated!”) Asking Gretchen O’Donnell to dance and sing in a local theater version of Beauty and the Beast is another. And it’s a big one.

Now, I must admit, it’s possible that the powers that be who allowed me into this production never thought that seeing me dance was a good idea to begin with. I haven’t had the courage to ask them and I probably never will. But to…

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Oscar the Slouch

21 Feb

Wouldn't you love to get a swag bag with an adorable hat in this adorable packaging?!

When the Academy Awards air this Sunday night, Sheri Hall will be paying special attention. Not because she is up for an award, or because she has any sort of stake in the outcome, but because, for the first time in her life, she has a connection with Oscar.

Oscar the Slouch, that is.

Oscar the Slouch - for girls!

Sheri knits hats, her newest design being “Oscar the Slouch”. When I say “knits hats”, I mean that it is what she does from sunup to sundown virtually every day. “One of the best things,” Sheri says, “about my knitting habit, is that I can take it everywhere. That is also one of the worst things.” But it is that dedication of her time and her talent that has brought Sheri where she is today, anticipating that her “Oscar” hat is making an appearance in 100 “Swag Bags” for certain members of the press, as well as the presenters and nominees of this weekend’s 84th Academy Awards.

Sheri Hall! Her daughter, a college photography student, took this shot.

That’s right: she had to make 100 hats – plus one for display – and every single one of those famous people we’ll be watching up on stage will have the opportunity to get one. Sheri admits that she got slightly bored, making the same hat over and over, but she says that changing the colors – and, of course interesting movies from Netflix – kept her focused and entertained.

A pile-o-Oscar-bound Oscar hats!

Oscar the Slouch - for boys!

Sheri began her knitting business on http://etsy.com, which is a well-known and respected web site for vintage and handmade items. Sheri didn’t even know how to knit until, seven years ago, while working at Main Street Kids in Worthington, Minnesota, she was inspired by a co-worker’s knitting skills. She says she loved it from the start, but that it took a little practice before she really knew what she was doing. Soon, “like every beginner knitter, everyone I knew received scarves or a dishcloth. Then I moved onto hats…baby hats. They are just so much cuter and faster than adult hats.” It was this obsession with making baby hats that led her to Etsy.




“I found myself looking on Etsy at all the cool things people were making and I thought, ‘Hey, I need to give this a shot and at least see if I can support my knitting habit.’” So, in June 2009, Sheri opened Oops I Knit it Again (http://OopsiKnitITagain.etsy.com or http://www.facebook.com/#!/OopsIKnitItAgain). She remembers how excited she was when she sold her first hat. Then, by the end of the first week, she had sold five or six more. Her business has steadily grown since then.

This is not the first business that Sheri has begun. While living in Worthington, she and her business partner and friend, Jackie Johnson, ran “Re-Find” together up until Sheri moved out of town. That business background helped her know what she was getting into with Oops I Knit it Again. Knitting, however, is a skein of a slightly different color.

The Pixie hat! I've run out of synonyms for "adorable"...

Now, working at home and being self-employed, she has discovered that there are perks and dangers. One perk: you can knit in sweatpants. One danger: skeins of yarn have threatened to take over Sheri’s house. Sheri’s family, however, has risen to the occasion. Phill, Sheri’s husband of 22 years, is now the main cook of the family. Sheri knows she couldn’t do what she does without him. “My wife is one of the most original, creative persons that I know,” Phill told me. “She never ceases to amaze me.”



Their children, Cody – a junior in high school – and Caitlin – a freshman at Hennepin Technical College, where she studies photography – have also been great about lending a hand. “I think one of the biggest changes [that the business has brought her] besides having a little extra money, is that it has changed how things are done around the house. My husband and our two kids have really had to step up and pitch in and do whatever needs to be done.” Though, she laughs, to the casual observer, “It probably looks like I’m just sitting around watching television and knitting while they do all the work.”

This is one of the cutest things I've ever seen in my entire life.

Though Sheri can make a simple hat in 15 minutes, some take her up to two hours. “Some nights I stay up really late just because that is a time I can actually get knitting done without interruption. I believe my all-time record in one day was 23 hats. I don’t think I can ever beat that record!” She does have a couple dependable knitters she can call on in extremely busy times – like Christmas – but she doesn’t necessarily see her business expanding to other full-time workers, at least not in the near future. She would like to branch into adult hats someday, but for now just does not have time. “I wouldn’t mind having more time to design and write up some patterns. Right now there are some things no one else can make because I haven’t had time to write down the pattern so it would be fun to develop some of those other aspects of the job.”
I asked Sheri about her inspiration as she creates new patterns and designs. “I never really know for sure what will inspire me or when I am going to be inspired for a new design. I tend to be most inspired by color. I can drive by any random object and see different color combinations and my thoughts now go straight to, ‘that would be a cute hat’! I try to stay away from what everyone else is making.”



The “Oscar the Slouch” hat is one of those patterns that is not written down. In fact, she developed the design specifically for the Oscar Awards. Sheri has more unique pieces, too, many of which are bought by photographers worldwide (as well as locally) to be used as props and “costumes” for their clients. Selling on Etsy means, of course, that her clientele is not limited to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the place that Sheri now calls home. “One afternoon in 2010 I got an email from a set designer who was working on the Smurf movie, asking if I could overnite a pom pom blanket and a hat to the set location in New York because they needed it for filming the next day. Of course I said ‘sure’ and then we frantically made the blanket and got it sent out and then waited until this last summer to see if it even made it in the movie! It did!”

The kind of blanket used in the Smurf movie...

Not long after the movie, Sheri got an email from a magazine. They wanted to use one of her hats on their cover. Then, this last summer, she got an email from the founder of “The Artisan Group” (http://theartisangroup.org) which is, “a juried group of artisans that provides handmade gifts for celebrity award show gift lounges and celebrity gift bags.” Sheri says, “I didn’t think too long about that opportunity before I accepted!”

“I will be gifting some members of the press at the MTV awards later on this spring. We do not get paid to do the bags, in fact, it costs us money! But it’s really all about advertising, so I decided to go for it. I also have 30 items going in Mothers Days gift bags for celebrity moms including Hilary Duff, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce! I was also recently chosen to put an item in a special gift bag that will be going to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and their daughter Suri!” Sheri says that most of the celebrities who have gotten her hats have gotten them through gift bags, though she added, “I sold one to Jennifer Garner, but didn’t have the guts to ask if she was THEE Jennifer Garner. I thought that would be rude.”



One of Sheri’s customers, excited about Sheri’s rising fame, called up KSTP TV (an ABC News affiliate) in Minneapolis, and suggested that Sheri would make an interesting story. Jason Davis and a film crew showed up at Sheri’s house a couple weeks ago and they are expecting to air her story Sunday after the Academy Awards and then again on the noon news the next day. I asked Sheri – who was my neighbor when we both lived in Worthington – if all of this fame is going to go to her head. “Well I really don’t feel that famous or anything! The day Jason Davis called me and asked to come do an interview, I was sitting in my living room in sweats and I’m not sure if I had finished my hair or my makeup and I was thinking, ‘I’m pretty sure if you could see me now you wouldn’t be thinking I was famous.’”

Sheri never expected her work to be on the cover of a magazine, or in a movie, or in the swag bags at the Academy Awards or to be making hats for Beyonce’s baby. I think that’s part of the fun now – to see how far this knitting hobby has taken her. Shows like the Academy Awards are all about stories – big-screen stories – and Sheri’s story, while not on the silver screen, is making a lot of people very excited for their friend.

She’s making her customers happy, too. And that’s nothing to slouch at.

Again, adorable.

Newsflash!

17 Jan

Okay, so you never know what a day will bring, do you?

In the midst of all of the Minnesota Moments excitement last week, I received an e-mail from the local newspaper – the Daily Globe – asking me to be a part of their Area Voices blogging world!

Wasn’t that nice?

I didn’t have to think about it too much before I said, “Sure! What do I have to do?”

Well, I have to start a second blog! This new venture – The View From my Window – which you can find as of today at http://www.theviewfrommywindow.areavoices.com – does not mean that this blog will look any different or be posted any less frequently! The two blogs will be much the same in style, though the new one will probably consist of more local topics. There may be times that I “re-work” posts from here at “Epiphany” that you might have already seen in the past but that I’ve worked on and made better than ever! Ha.

So why, if it’s not going to be that much different, am I starting a second blog? Mostly because they asked me to, which was an honor! But also because this gives me a new way to be heard/seen/read/enjoyed by a very large number of Upper Midwest Newspaper readers – the Area Voices blogs come from all over the region, not just my little town. In addition, if I’m particularly applicable and/or fabulous, they might print me in the paper…which would be fun and gratifying to be sure.

SO…please check out The View From my Window! I’d love your you to follow me there as well, if you’re willing! (Get to the link from the blogroll at the right!)

I’ll see you there!

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