Monday, August 31, 2009

Hello from MICHIGAN!!!

Yes, that's Michigan!!

Thanks to my friend Randy, who wanted to play travel agent and find me a hotel
on hotels.com that was in the Shipshewana,Indiana area but would not
cost me $115 a night...I am 15 miles away in Sturgis,Michigan. What a
riot! After she clicked purchase on the website for me...she said..OMGoodness!...I just put you in Michigan!

Not a biggie...pretty drive here, and nice to be out of the touristy
Amish stuff. I really admire the people as a culture,but the touristy stuff gets a bit overly commercial and a bit much for me.

Surprisingly, though the hotel doesn't look like much on the outside, the
room is spacious and very clean and comfortable with all I need.
SO...I might stay here a couple nights instead of just the one I
planned. I need some time off. I need a retreat from the retreat I just finished!

I arrived in Hicksville Ohio on Thursday afternoon. On Friday morning, I was honored to meet up with Subee of Subee Sews and caravan with her out to Milford, Indiana for our retreat at Camp Mack! What a fabulous location this was. Camp Mack is owned by Church of the Brethren, and it has hotel style lodging, comfy beds, GREAT FOOD (goodness, great food!) and sits on a lake. We had two large rooms all full of quilters sewing pedal to the metal laughing up a storm, taking off to go shopping at near by quilt shops, having a ball.

The weather on Friday got a bit rainy, but that was okay! I have to tell you the most bonding experience was the "opening ceremony" that we did. If you have read Jennifer Chiaverini's (spelling) Elm Creek novels, you will remember that they gather in a circle and pass a lit candle around introducing themselves and stating what they hoped to accomplish by being there. We each held our own tapers, and the first person lit hers....told about herself, and then when she was done, her neighbor lit HER taper off the first one, and the first one went and set her candle in the middle of the center table in a big bowl of sand (we didn't want to burn the place down!) And it was just really a very moving experience! Funny, warm, hilarious...it was really a great way to start this retreat off.

Saturday was my Star Struck workshop..and if you weren't taking the class, you could "free sew" in the other room across the foyer.

In between class and dinner the weather had cleared enough for me to grab a sweater and do some power walking on the trails through the woods. Just beautiful! I took a couple pics of wildflowers I came across. It's starting to feel like fall already up here.

After dinner Friday I was able to do some power sewing myself on some projects I had brought. I have decided to rename my trusty bernina...since she often accompanies me in the front passenger seat, with the seat belt holding her securely in place, I've decided to call her SHOTGUN!! :cD Really, as heavily loaded as my car is, there is no WAY to put her in another rolling type case and make room for it in the back. I have to take her "au naturel" and just buckle her in. Shotgun is a great nickname, don't you think?

Sunday was the Virginia Bound workshop...and the scraps were flying! Some people found out that they like the ease of running pre-cut patches through the machine as in the Star Struck class more than they liked piecing with odd strings onto paper foundations. But SOME people were the opposite...they loved the freedom of just being able to grab this and that and making a mess and digging in and loving the variety you get when string piecing. It was a perfect example on why we should try anything and everything, and even if you learn that you don't LIKE a technique, you've at least learned THAT much! Anything that expands our boundaries gives us a bigger playground to play in, right?

Last evening most of the ladies left..but 5 of us hung around.....3 of us even stayed one more night (It was only $24!! what a bargain!) and so we caravanned out for Chinese Food. 2 of the 5 left to go home....3 of us stayed up and sewed. (This is like 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed....)

In the morning..this morning....2 of us went to Shipshewana! And then one went her own way.....

And now we are down to just me :c) In Michigan!

Shipshewana was wonderful today. Maryann and I first started out by hitting the bulk foods store. Oh the goodies! I bought bulk spices, bulk rolled 7 grain cereal, oh just oodles of stuff I can't get at home. I love stores like this. After that we parked at Yoders....and from there we walked everywhere. We had to hike off all the good food we'd had all weekend. We found Lolly's...and we found Lolly's BASEMENT...where there is this rowboat FULL of FQs!! What a hoot. I felt like a kid in one of those McDonald's Ball Play Grounds! If you buy 12 you get them for $2. So of course I needed to find 12. They are going in a project I have with me, so I'm trying to justify it, right?

More shopping, more browsing, lunch on the patio at a sandwich place...and Maryann took off her way. That left me the afternoon to go tour the Mennohof. Interesting! Was a great place to rest my feet and legs. I learned some things I didn't know.

Of course, if I had to tell you my fave experience of the day, it was long before we reached Shipshewana. As we got closer, I started getting glimpses of Amish Wash on the line...it's Monday, don't you know? And I sent up a prayer of thanks that I didn't have to prove what kind of housekeeper and wife I was by being up the earliest and being the first one to have my laundry hanging in the breeze! I saw one lady hanging hers, and felt bad for her, all of her other neighbors had beat her to it, the slovenly lazy woman!! It was 8am, and she was LATE getting it out! Poor thing...

This post is getting extra long, so I think I'll close here and add some more when I am able later. These pics were taken on my phone, so if anything is out of focus or uncropped...hey, what can I say??

With Love From Michigan,


  1. Hi Bonnie! So you're in Michigan today! I'm a native of MI and will never leave. We are about 2 hours from there. It has been beautiful and cool todayday which reminds me of fall, but of course the colors haven't changed yet. I look forward to hearing more about your visit in Shipsy (as we call it).


  2. What an interesting part of the country, and the camp retreat sounds absolutely idyllic and right out of a quilty novel! "Shotgun" is a good name. But if you happen to get pulled over by a state trooper, please don't tell him (or her) "Oh, that? It's only my Shotgun." (dumb joke...lol) Keep on reporting on your adventures..it's very interesting and many of us travel with you vicariously. Louise

  3. Bonnie, I just love comming on here to find a post from you!! I always smile as I read and just wish I was there to see what you are seeing first hand. Thank-you for writing in a way that makes me feel like I can see what you see, hear what you hear and and experance things with you.
    I love the circle thing. That is a great way to start a retreat. Alot of time some of these woman do not know anyone, like the first retreat I went on. Just me, and I went alone - to be with strangers.... I loved it. I did not feel alone long, and had a really good time away - I needed it. And I am glad you are staying a bit longer for your own time away.
    You have been very busy lately (always!!) and it's great that you can just say 'staying an extra day', and do it!!!
    I loved the rowboat of FQ's!! And bulk shopping is the best!!! And Shotgun is the perfect name for your travel buddy!!! Front seat and all - spoiled little Shotgun, let me tell you!! Mine has to sit in the backseat. Does Shotgun choose the music for the road too?? Or do you 'read' books instead??
    Have a great ride home and thanks for the update.
    Uh, just a question - is Hicksville a real place??? I am thnking it is, but.... that made me laugh!!

  4. I must say, the image of your naked 'passenger' riding shotgun across America, made "30 Fun Things To Do When Driving" especially funny...especially #6:Have conversations, looking periodically at the passenger seat, when driving alone.

    I want to know what you two were talking about and was it 'Shotgun' who drove you to raucous laughter, frequent honking, bizarre facial expressions, and all those cats, chicken suits, car fresheners, and spam!

    I'm expecting the next story to be about the highway patrol pulling you over for being in the carpool lane with a shotgun in the passenger seat, exceeding the car's weight limit on a federal highway or perhaps #'s 1-30.

    We'll bring you a rotary cutter and bail you out. Well, unless we're all still laughing and get pulled over on the way ;) In that case, we'll ALL be hung out to dry...and probably sooner then later!

  5. Ok, I'm tired after just reading your blog today! It's wonderful you are enjoying your travels and we appreciate you sharing your adventures with us! As far as the lady with the wash out at 8am - let's be optomistic - maybe it's her second load of the day! lol!

  6. Well, B, you sound like you had a wonderful time. Love the pics.
    Have a lovely week. TTFN ~ Marydon

  7. I think I could just roll around in all those fat quarters!

  8. You find fun everywhere. That's what I love about you! Enjoy your road trip and stay safe. You look so skinny in that picture. Have some breakfast! LOL! Seriously, just have fun and enjoy!

  9. Sounds like an awesome time! It's great to be able to meet so many fantastic people! Keep having fun!
    Cheers - Shari

  10. Bonnie -- I love your posts and I noticed that skinny body of yours. That working out is working for you.

    Sharon in CO

  11. Oh, golly, Bon, you know MY powerful weakness for Amish wash. And you have to go and mention it. Makes me want to drive out to Intercourse TOMORROW!

  12. Looks like you had a great time!

  13. Hey Bonnie, I thought I'd say HI! I loved your post....always busy. Your mind is always on full speed! You are lookin' awesome girlfriend!

  14. We've had a cool summer, here in Michigan --- looks like Fall will be arriving early. I've spent a fair share of time digging in Lolly's boat, and in her basement sale fabric, and upstairs and at Yoder's, etc. etc. ...and, the bulk food store can't be beat! Hope you continue to enjoy you stay in Yankee country!

  15. Isn't shipshewana wonderful?

    In case you want to return in 2010...JudyL and I are hosting a retreat October 21-24, 2010 at the Farmstead Inn and would love to have you join us.

  16. you look fabulous Bonnie!
    I love seeing you travel and see your visits through your eyes. Thanks for taking me along!

  17. Shotgun is the perfect new nickname! ;) Love reading about your adventures. I'm not sure what the Golden Triangle Guild here in Texas has planned for when you come next fall - but it gonna be hard to beat the adventures you are reporting about. :) Until then....

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)