Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Retreat!! Warning, long!

Good Morning!

I finally have all the photos from everyone! I have them resized and purtied up, figured out some caption code all by myself and now I'm ready to post!

Let me begin by saying this was my first retreat. Not even really a retreat, more like a stitching weekend getaway. There were no door prizes, there was no cross stitch shopping, and there were no classes offered. Just stitching with friends and a bit of regular shopping thrown in just because. And I had a great time!! I think everyone else did too.

Our weekend started on Friday afternoon with most of the stitcher's arriving around 3 p.m. Sleeping accommodations were then chosen based on people's individual needs and preferences. Once that was taken care of the serious business of stitching began. (click on pics to enlarge them and hover mouse over pic for captions)

I think everyone was in bed by midnight that night but they were at it again bright and early Saturday morning!

After breakfast Saturday morning, 7 of us headed out for a bit of retail therapy! Merrilyn and Mary, dedicated stitcher's that they are, stayed behind. This would explain why they actually came close or did finish a project! We drove 10 miles down the road from Stuart to a town called Atkinson. If you are ever driving hwy 20 in Nebraska and you go through Atkinson, Stop!! It may not look like much but it has one of the best gift shops I've ever been to. It's a large 2 story building full of every kind of gift item you can imagine and Christmas all year round! Everyone had a great time and some of us even bought some things. I would be included in the buying category. Connie bought some gifts also but she had more fun just ringing the bell on the front counter. Not because she needed help, okay yes, she needs help but she isn't going to get the help she needs by ringing the bell. No Connie was ringing the bell because it was there. And she could. So she did. Look out those of you who are heading to the PALS convention, Hurricane Connie is headed your way!

When everyone was finished at the gift store, we decided to head on down the street to the 5 & dime store. Tucked inside this store is an old fashioned soda fountain. Not too many of those still in existence so I try to go whenever I'm in town.

The five and dime is a wonderful little store. They have a bit of everything crammed in this place. And I mean everything! You remember Connie the bell ringer from above. This was her kind of place, let me tell ya. It's like taking a 2 year old into a candy store. Ya never know what they will find that they have to have.
Like this for example: (make sure you click the pic to enlarge)

or this

and then she made poor Mr. Goeke hold her frog for her.....

I believe she bought 3 yards of the fabric so she could wrap herself up in the all the hunky cowboys and I'm pretty sure the frog came home with her too!

BUT! One of the best reasons for going to Goeke's is......

Candy Cigarettes! You remember them don't you. Come's in a box, looks like cigarettes complete with red tip? Well, they aren't called cigarettes anymore, now they're candy sticks, there isn't any red tip unless you color it with your red lipstick but the taste is the same and it's the only place I know of to buy them so I usually clean them out when we visit. This trip I couldn't buy them out. I had to share with the rest of the group. You wouldn't believe how many candy cigarette addicts there are out there! At first it was just Deb and I hanging around outside.

But soon we were joined by others of our kind.

We were just too cool weren't we? At least I thought so until they all turned to me and said, you never really smoked did you? Dang, and here I thought my candy cigarette technique was so good!!

At last it was time to head back to Stuart, we had caused enough of a stir in Atkinson for one day and I'm pretty sure they were happy to see the last of us! But that Connie had to get in one last laugh. Leave it to her to spot a sign in a local window and turn something innocent into something not so innocent.

We arrived back at the Sister's House to find it empty of our 2 stay behinds, figuring they had gone out to lunch we quickly settled in for an afternoon of stitching and laughter. Except for our youngest stitcher Stacy. Stacy is going to school and she had homework to do. So being a good student she went out to the sunporch and finished up what she hadn't get done on the car ride to Stuart the day before.

Soon we were joined by our missing stitchers and everyone got back to the business at hand.

Here are some of the projects being worked on...

We took a break from stitching later in the afternoon and walked over to the Catholic Church to have a look at the beautiful windows and then we sat outside on the deck for a bit as it was such a nice day. Stacy went one further and got a blanket and laid out on the lawn. We had sandwiches for supper that night and later on my Aunt Edith stopped in to visit with us. Can ya tell we're related?

Everyone drifted off to bed at different times Saturday night but Sunday morning, we were up early and stitching away. Breakfast was eaten, more stitching was done and finally it was time to pack up and head home.

Stacy and I were the last to leave so I checked all the rooms for left behind items. Didn't see anything so we closed up the house and headed on down the road. Everything was just fine until I dropped Stacy off at her house. For some reason, and I don't know what that reason is, I suddenly remembered I had left my pillow draped over a chair in the living room of the Sister's house. My pillow that I can't sleep without. You do not want to know the words I used at that point. But the story ends happily, my Aunt was able to get my pillow and she overnighted it to me so I only had to sleep without it for 2 nights! :)

That finishes our Stuart Adventure Story. I hope you enjoyed as much as we did! I think we should do it again next year. Only maybe we could all arrive Thursday evening so we had all day Friday for stitching instead of traveling on Friday. It's not a short drive so more stitching time would be nice. I might actually get something accomplished then! NOT! World's slowest stitcher here!

Thanks for stopping by and hanging in there. It's a long post! Comments are always welcome and appreciated! Have a great day everyone!!


MommyDearest said...

It was a great weekend wasn't it? The weather was wonderful, lots of food, fun, laughter and stitching. Some of us actually finished project(s)there!
I'm ready to go again. I think we should plan an early spring get away. I'm sure my hunky cowboy fabric will be wore out by then!! I promise to stay on my meds and everything! LOL!!
Thanks for sharing Julie...I get so much enjoyment from reading your blog(Gosh..I NEED to get a life don't I?)

santadeb said...

Yes it was so much fun and the time went so fast, not thrilled with my pics but my days of thin are gone I fear!LOL! We laughed so much and I agree that a Spring trip would be great and that doing the drive Thursday would be really better but I don't work so can take off!LOL!


Sarah said...

Holy cow! I didn't realize you're in Nebraska! I live just south of Lincoln. Small world isn't it?


wausie said...

Sounds like a super sorry I missed it (and I don't need any grief about how I COULD have come.)

Julie M said...

You might not need it wausie, but you're gonna get it anyway!!

Sarah, we are in Papillion. Where are you?

Jill said...

How funny about the candy cigarettes! I just brought some to a coworker today! I found a bagful in little bitty boxes for Halloween at Dollar General!

Sounds like a great retreat!

Sarah said...

Julie, I live in Hallam which is not quite 30 miles south of Lincoln.


Julie M said...

Well Sarah, any time you are up for a trip to omaha, we stitch the last Saturday of every month if you are interested.

Didn't Hallam get hit by a tornado not too long ago?

Cindy said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog :)

Looks like you had a fabulous stitchy retreat!

I remember the candy cigarettes!! I used to get those in my Easter basket every year :) I can't belive that you can actually still buy them!!!

Shelleen said...

Looks like you had a great time. I always wanted to rent a bed and breakfast all weekend with stitching friends.
We have a 5 and dime store that I buy the candy cigarettes at and my dog loves them lol

Julie M said...

Too funny about the dog Shelleen! According to Mr. Goeke, they are having a terrible time getting the "cigarettes" anymore.

idontknow said...

Thanks again, Julie, for a few laughs, some pictures, and of course great commentary!

I'm so happy you all had a good time, heck I think you ought to make it a week!

Cari said...

Oh my gosh Julie what a riot!! Looks like you all had a wonderful time... Your stories just got better and better!! Love the candy cigarettes. I remember them fondly....

HUGS girl and have a great week!!

Sarah said...

I don't think my DH thinks he could survive an afternoon with 2 active little boys without me!

Yep, Hallam was hit by a tornado in May 2004. You can see the after pics at webshots


Cindy F. said...

Oh girl!! what an awesome time you guys had!! Great turnout. I do love those retreats! Great pics!!!