2.08.2016

Sewing Machine Magic

I don't remember a time when someone in my home wasn't sewing either by hand or by machine. Needlework was integral to our daily lives - making new clothing or other useful household items, repairing them, or adorning them with embroidery.  Needlework extended towards crochet and knitting, as well as quilting.

Part of using a sewing machine was knowing your machine.  My mother taught me how to clean it, and (very importantly) how to oil the machine. Part of that meant knowing how to take the bobbin/shuttle assembly apart and back together again when thread became entangled in that mechanism.

The bobbin/shuttle assembly was always such a mysterious part of the machine, with several interlocking parts.  There is a special way you must thread it, so it will then be picked up by the top needle and brought through the feed, ready to begin sewing a new seam once again.  I had never seen a visual demonstration on how the assembly in action, actually worked...until now.

Fascinating.


1.11.2016

She has Grandpa's Blue Eyes...



My beautiful daughter Eva, who is so beautiful inside and out. I know I probably vex you on a daily basis, but what's new? I am a very vexing person, although I don't mean to be. I love you deeply, am so proud of you, and continue to wish the very best for you in life...

Compassion, empathy, and love are written on your face. I saw them in you as a little girl, and your capacity for them has only grown as time has passed.

10.24.2015

2016 Family Reunion

In anticipation of next year's Fitzpatrick Family Reunion (and associated St. Vincent Town Reunion II), I wanted to post information regarding lodging, etc. so if people need to make reservations, they will have that information well in advance.  I've also included area attractions and historical sites for those that want to explore beyond the reunion itself while in the area...

Family Reunion Info:
(July 15-17, 2016)

Lodging

Red Roost Hotel (Pembina) - (701)825-6254
Budget Host Caribou Inn (Hallock) - (218)843-3702
Valley Motel (Hallock) - (218)843-2828
Gateway Motel (Hallock) - (218)843-2032

Restaurants/Bars

Caribou Bar & Grill (Hallock) - (218)843-3740
North Branch Bowl & Grill (Hallock) - (218)843-8868
Gastrak (Pembina) - (701)825-6275 [NOTE:  Deli/Fast Food only]
Corner Lounge (Pembina) - (701)825-6581
LaMoure Memorial Golf Course (Pembina) - (701)825-6619

Places to Gather

Pembina State Museum (meeting room) - (701)825-6840
Pembina Community Center (meeting room/kitchen) - (701)825-6326

Sites to See


805 ND-59
Pembina, ND
701.825.6840


332 E Main St
Lake Bronson, MN
218.754.4100

Fort Dufferin (Emerson, west side of the Red River)
Established in 1873 by the North West Mounted Police (later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), Fort Dufferin was the headquarters and winter home to the British-Canadian contingent of the International Boundary Commission from 1872 to 1874. A few of the buildings that once sat at the site still exist there today (Officer Quarters, stables, etc.)

A monument at the entrance to the site bears two plaques. One plaque, erected in 1997 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, describes the westward march of the North West Mounted Police. The other plaque commemorates two constables in the force, W. C. Brown and A. McIntosh, who died in 1874 at Fort Dufferin and are buried in unmarked graves near the site.

Travel Manitoba (Information Centre, Emerson)


9.24.2015

Garrison Keillor: I Understand Completely

"Rhubarb is the secret to the good life."

I read every word of his essay, and understood it to the core of my being. I feel exactly that way when I am researching and writing about St. Vincent. I love St. Vincent and all the people from it and all the people around it that made up our communities, our lives, our sorrow, our joys.
When my mother was nearing the end of her 97 years, what was most vivid to her was her youth. She said, “There is so much I’d still like to know, and there’s nobody left to ask.” So she ventured into the shadows to commune with her dead, which was a comfort to her. Nobody was alive who knew her in girlhood, so memory became reality. Some call it dementia, I call it imagination. At 71 I sometimes forget last week, but I clearly remember the big house on Dupont Avenue North where Corinne lived one summer when we were 19, and I blew smoke on her African violets to kill aphids. She and I had this idea to form a commune of writers all working away in their rooms, doors open, and when we wrote something good, we could walk into someone’s room and tell them about it. A sort of long-term sleepover. It was a perfect idea, and we didn’t bother with details such as Who and Where and How much, and because it never became a reality, it never came crashing down. It still exists in my mind. If I reach 97, I may finally go live there.
St. Vincent is my Lake Wobegon...

3.29.2015

More than One Way to Skin a Cat

It's a lovely thought, having "a liberal arts education". I personally LOVE the idea of having one - but the cost of college has gotten gigantic and out of many people's possibility even with best-case scenarios of scholarships, grants, working, etc. I personally advocate for the even "older school" of life-long self-education. The same individuals who are motivated to learn in a group environment can do it as individuals, via traditional libraries, museums, as well as online. And universities aren't the only way to get out and meet people of diverse backgrounds, interact, learn about different cultures, etc. I know, because I've done it. There is more than one way to skin a cat! I never got to go four years to college, only one. Another two years a few years later for a technical Associates Degree (for IT - computer programming and network administration) But I have never stopped learning. I am a ideas and learning junkie.

I learned to read before starting school, in part thanks to Dr. Seuss
I had two advantages getting started on my lifelong path of self-education - a mother who valued reading and started me very early, and both parents who valued discussion and questioning the status norm, and weren't afraid to talk about ANYTHING with us or around us. They were fearless examples. My Dad grew up on a farm and only went through 8th grade (but was an avid reader and debater all his life) and Mom was a high school graduate (no college), but also a life-long reader and sometimes writer. Her oral skills at passing down family history and stories had been passed down to her by her Irish-Canadian parents and I benefited from them all.

12.07.2014

1967 Party: Debbie, Trisha and Heather


I am the little girl on the left as it starts, and I put on my glasses...

11.28.2014

Embroidery

I was taught embroidery by my Grandma. I went on to embroider many dresser scarves, pillow cases, and dish towels. In high school, I embroidered hats, purses, shirts, and jean jackets. As a young mother, I embroidered a crib quilt and dresses for my little girl, Eva.


It's been a long time, but I am once again inspired to do needlework. With my limited dexterity nowadays, I'll be tackling this small project, near and dear to my heart...