More Fun and Love in the Hinterlands

Mother Goose and her goslings recently traveled to nordern Minnesota to visit the family. Let’s just say, the Hinterlands is another world away from Oak Park…

There’s something for everyone at the Frame Farm.

A little barn charm...

A little barn charm…

Chickens roosting in their coop...

Chickens roosting in their coop…

All American patriotism...

All American patriotism…

In the summer there are turkeys...

In the summer there are turkeys…

Turkey in a roasting pan...

Turkey in a roasting pan…

A friendly lap dog...

A friendly lap dog…

A very large lap dog...

A very large lap dog…

The Father of the Goose...

The Father of the Goose…

A glorious sunset...

A glorious sunset…

Mother Goose is blessed to belong to a family that just overflows with love and fun. Our journey “up north” was wonderfully filled with great times, delicious eats and much laughter. Thank you for stopping by to visit with Mother Goose today. God bless you!

Mother Goose Travels to the Hinterlands

There are times when Mother Goose hears the Call of the Wild…

At those times, she loads up the goslings into the Goosemobile, sets the autodrive button to “up north”, and hangs on for dear life as they all fly up the road to visit familiar faces and places. Last week was one of those times…

In eleven short hours, we traveled from Oak Park to Keewatin, Minnesota where the sister of a goose lives. She and her dear hubby were so happy to put us up for a couple of nights. We happily enjoyed some brisk walks along the Mesabi Trail with Bunn, Allen and their hero dog, Dusty. Along the way, they always meet up with people to visit with — either their dear friend Joe and his dog, Remmi or the village mayor or the driver of a large Caterpillar loader who was clearing away some of the snow from the trail. Everybody knows your name and is your friend in Keewatin.

The Mesabi Trail stretches from Grand Rapids all the way to Ely, Minnesota.  Thousands of hikers and bikers traverse its beautiful winding ways twelve months out of the year...

The Mesabi Trail stretches from Grand Rapids all the way to Ely, Minnesota. Thousands of hikers and bikers traverse its beautiful winding ways twelve months out of the year…

We did a lot of laughing over the course of the visit…

A sister and a goose.

A sister and a goose.

Please come back next time when Mother Goose tells you the story of the little farm in the Hinterlands…

Happy Birthday to Bunn

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The precious baby sister of Mother Goose went and turned fifty today!! She’s so beautiful, isn’t she? Her little hero pup, Dusty, loves to take selfies.

Last Minute Goose

Is it just Mother Goose…or did the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas just disappear into thin air? With great tears rolling down my feathery cheeks, I beg your forgiveness and apologize profusely for my lack of posting stories of my adventures. Surely, I will get caught up in the new year…

Our family has been together and for that I am most thankful. Here are a couple of pictures to prove that we haven’t just been siting on our beehives in front of the TV these past few weeks…

We found the perfect Christmas tree AGAIN!

We found the perfect Christmas tree AGAIN!

I had a happy birthday and received many sweet presents!

Believe it or not, there was absolutely no alcohol or substance abuse involved in this situation.

Believe it or not, there was absolutely no alcohol or substance abuse involved in this situation.

We visited the Lincoln Park Zoo and enjoyed the beautiful lights. Everybody was together except dear Jessi who was suffering from an ailment and could not join us…maybe next year.

Why is Mother Goose always clinging to her youngest gosling?

Why is Mother Goose always clinging to her youngest gosling?

With all of the goslings home for the holidays, Mother Goose has been happy as can be — hugging and kissing those kids with all her might. There has been non-stop feasting and fun! There have been shopping expeditions, but the shopping is still not complete. Sadly I must confess, I am a last minute goose.

Our church has had several good messages this month about the real meaning of Christmas…how to focus on Jesus, not to fear what lies ahead, to accept that life has loss but to build on what remains and Mother Goose especially loves the declaration “I will seek Jesus.” And so whilst I have been focusing and seeking and building and resting and feeling peaceful and joyful, Christmas has actually snuck up on me again, and here I sit without any presents under the lovely Christmas tree.

But there’s still two more days of Christmas consumerism available so off I go!

With a heart full of gratitude and joy, Mother Goose wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

An Incredible Place Called Nimrod

Every year around this time, family members gather in an incredibly amazing place called Nimrod, Minnesota. Some travel from Las Vegas, Nevada. Some travel from The Cities (that would be Minneapolis and St. Paul, of course). Some travel from Keewatin. Some don’t even have to travel!

Nimrod

Some gather to hunt the White-Tailed Deer.

Scott and his son

Some gather to share a meal. Some gather to share a beverage. Some gather just for a chance to get some hugs and kisses.

Auntie, Bunn, Tamera and Dusty

Even though it’s technically about the hunt, we all know it’s really all about family.

Bunn, Mark, Dusty and some weather guy

This is the place where my father grew up — it’s always been a small town with a great heart and a reputation for rowdy residents. But as a child, I knew that Nimrod was where Grandma lived and as we rounded the corner of the highway that leads into town, we would strain to look ahead and try to be the first one to shout out, “First to see Nimrod!”

I laugh now to think that being the first one to see the city limits sign was a HUGE deal to us kids. Joy!

Nimrod and Grandma’s house (which is now Auntie’s house) is set along the Crow Wing River which is a peaceful, ever-flowing tributary to the Mighty Mississippi. As we played in the water and sat on the shore and canoed and built forts and camps and hollered in the Crow Wing River, memories were stacking up in our hearts and we didn’t even know it.

Several generations of Frames, Hames and Sternbergs have lived out their lives in Nimrod, and a river flows through us as much as it flows under the Nimrod bridge and past Grandma’s house. I guess Mother Goose is just in replay mode this morning…

Wishing I was here today...

Wishing I was here today…

Young Sons in Love

Many moons ago.

Twin sailor sons of Mother Goose.

Home for an extended leave of absence…

Reconnected with a couple of young ladies they knew in high school.

Sisters.

Twin sisters.

Mother Goose always prayed that this might happen…

Sparks flew.

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Up to their necks in love.

Like life in a hot tub.

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Amanda and Adam

Amanda and Adam

Shelby and Erik

Shelby and Erik

Perhaps happily ever after?

Big Goose on Campus

Oh what great joy to visit my son’s college campus on our “private family weekend”. Ben was a wonderful tour guide, cordial and helpful. He filled our parking meter with just the right amount of change to get the sixty minute tour which was just the right amount of walking for this old goose.

For weeks, Ben has been sending me text messages with pictures of his lake on campus. I haven’t heard of too many college campuses with their own lake. This lake is creatively named, Campus Lake. As a waterfowl, I was very excited to head there directly. And believe me, it’s more beautiful in person than my Silly Pix camera can capture. And yet I tried…

Ben would like to live in the dorm across the lake for next year...

Ben would like to live in the dorm across the lake for next year…

Mother Goose loved the large lily pads on Campus Lake.

Mother Goose loved the large lily pads on Campus Lake.

It seemed to Mother Goose that some of the architecture of the department specialty buildings reflected the nature and personality of the distinct disciplines.

The Engineering Building

The Engineering Building

Wham! Educational Building

Wham! Educational Building

And then there are the classic designs which we might expect from a college chartered in 1869.

The iconic clock tower with quarter-hour Westminster chimes

The iconic clock tower with quarter-hour Westminster chimes

A campus castle behind the canna

A campus castle behind the canna

Shryock Auditorium

Shryock Auditorium

The Morris Library is a much more modern structure than the others, and named for former university president, DeLyte Morris. Mother Goose just loves that name! They’ve named one of the cafeterias, DeLyte Lunchroom, in his honor and there’s a nice statue of him in one of the common areas near Shryock Auditorium.

The modern Morris Library

The modern Morris Library

There’s a forest right smack in the middle of campus! It’s called the Thompson Woods, and there are signs at the entrances warning us not to enter the paths and the woods after dark. We did see a six-point white tail deer near Ben’s dorm on Friday night — he was just munching grass under a streetlight. Mother Goose nearly had a conniption — how exciting to see an antlered buck on a college campus!

I  believe there may be a sasquatch somewhere on this woodsy campus.

I believe there may be a sasquatch somewhere on this woodsy campus.

We found an outdoor sculpture app entitled “Here” and it was so very reminiscent of Stonehenge. The college seems to have an Egyptian theme — their mascot is the Saluki (a long-haired Egyptian canine) and there are allusions to pyramids and Sphinxes here and there around the campus. But Stonehenge? Hmmmm…..

Possibly the sun would align with these mini-monoliths at certain days and times...

Possibly the sun would align with these mini-monoliths at certain days and times…

Well, who is that goose peeking out from behind the sculpture?

Well, who is that goose peeking out from behind the sculpture?

Yes, it was a lovely tour. And it ended all too soon with the “goodbye” session near Ben’s eighteen story tower dormitory. My tall and handsome college man walked away, thinking of many things: the good family fun we enjoyed, the five-page paper that would be due in the morning, the 100 pages of reading he had to do by Tuesday.

We all loved our visit with Ben!  Not ALL of us got a piggyback ride though...

We all loved our visit with Ben! Not ALL of us got a piggyback ride though…

We pointed the goosemobile north and headed for home, hearts full of love for our Ben and our family time together. Blessings and happy faces to you from your friend, Mother Goose!

They Fly Away

010-geese

The ultimate goal of motherhood

Is to raise up baby birds

Who will someday fly away.

We know that we’ve succeeded

When they no longer need us

To drive them to school

To walk them home from school

To brush or comb their hair

To give them sweet milkie at bedtime

To advise them of the dangers of riding the Blue Line at night

To advise them of the dangers of smoking cigarettes

To advise them of the dangers of drinking too much beer

To advise them of the dangers of premarital “relations”

To advise them of the dangers of washing their whites with their darks

God bless all of my fledglings today!

Mother Gooses Connects the Dots

These past few days have seen Mother Goose flying from store to store in search of the best back-to-school deals and values. From the rising of the sun ’til the setting of the same, she has been overly occupied with the process of returning some of her children to their various classrooms and preparing some for the GREAT launch out of the nest and into collegehood. There was much packing and organizing of stuff.

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Our family enjoyed many fond farewell dinners and meals including an unexpected time at Mancini’s, a treasure of a restaurant at 1111 Lake Street in Oak Park.

Ben (wearing red), Eric (wearing maroon) and Jessi (next to Eric) are all college bound this fall.  Please note the accordionist in the background.

Ben (wearing red), Eric (wearing maroon) and Jessi (next to Eric) are all college bound this fall. Please note the accordionist in the background.

The man playing the accordion is Jerry King who has been playing professionally since he was 13 years old. Here’s the link to his website, and be sure to click on the songs he’s put out for us to sample. His virtuoso style of playing will make you smile and dream of faraway places…

And now for the connection:

As we were chatting with Jerry in between songs, he revealed to us that he used to play regularly at La Creperie in the city. My most loyal readers will surely recall the last visit that we made to that wonderfully shabby genteel French bistro in the city, as well as the sad news that the owners’ son had passed away the day before we were there.

Our new friend, Jerry, has been very dear friends with our French friend, Germain, for a long, long time. In fact, when Jerry played at La Creperie on Thursday evenings through the eighties and nineties, Germain would play his trumpet. If only Mother Goose could hear that duet…

But sadly, this is the day that La Creperie will close its doors for the very last time, and Jerry told us that Germain will be moving to California to be close to his son’s widow and children…

The Chicago Tribune even ran a story about the restaurant and the heartwrenching story of Germain Roignant…

Au revoir!  We will miss you, friend.

Au revoir! We will miss you, friend.

So, the goslings have flown off to college, Germain is flying off to California, Jerry will be playing his amazing accordion music at Mancini’s on Tuesdays and Mother Goose is off connecting the dots to another great adventure… Au revoir!

Touring with the Idols

I have written previously about my beautiful sister-in-law, Suzanne. She’s a lovely and amazing woman who adores her brothers.

Bill, Mark, Suzanne and Jim -- Cramers all of them...

Bill, Mark, Suzanne and Jim — Cramers all of them…

For most of the year, Suzanne lives and works in a sweet quiet little California tourist town at a Whole Body Vibe studio where she helps clients realize their full health potential and sensible weight loss. She also keeps herself in excellent health with organic eating and exercise — I’m sure she’ll never have to take any blood pressure medicine OR cholesterol medicine! She’s just a beautiful lady with a great perspective on life. Love is written all over her face.

And did I mention that she’s also a jewelry designer? Suzanne creates some gorgeous gold and silver “roadie shackles” that are for sale at her website — so cool for folks who can’t get enough rock and roll jewelry.

And then summer rolls around and her life does a 180. For the past several years, Suzanne has been the primary rigger on the American Idol Live tours. The rigger is the person who travels with the musical entourage and rigs up the motors which run the lights on the grid rack way up above the audience, way up over the stage.

She easily travels thousands of miles each summer, rigging up the shows, and then tearing them down and packing them away to be loaded on buses and hauled to the next venue down the road.

Suzanne has been doing this for nearly thirty years, traveling with many famous people and bands: Bonnie Raitt, Beyonce, Aerosmith, and Gloria Estefan to name just a few.

What an interesting life for this sister of a goose!

The fun thing is that when Suzanne comes to town with her friends and the American Idols, she arranges for her family to join her at the concert AND backstage! Imagine Mother Goose backstage at an American Idol concert!

Yes, it happened!

We arrived early at the Allstate Arena VIP parking lot on Monday night in our Goosemobile. Regular fans and curious onlookers, of course, wondered who we were as we pulled up to the gated entrance.

I spoke right up, “We have VIP parking for the concert tonight. My name is on your list!”

The parking lot security agent looked at Mother Goose. He seemed to recognize me, but still it’s his job to ask, “And your name is…?” When I told him, he was gracious and truly delighted to see me with my daughters.

“Ok,” he explained. “Just pull up there to that entrance by the tour buses and park in that lot. Your entrance door is behind the buses.” We happily followed his directions, walked behind the buses and entered the arena through an unmarked door. We were immediately confronted with a pack of security personnel who apparently hadn’t been informed that Mother Goose would be at the concert this evening.

“Who are you? How did you get in here? Were you on the bus? Who let you in? Why are you just standing there flapping your wings and stomping your rubbery feet?”

Graciously and with my best southern belle accent, I explained that my sister, Suzanne, would be meeting us and she’s very important too. As they surrounded us, I quickly dialed up Suzanne’s number and waited for her to rescue us. And of course, she did. Because she’s much more important and famous than Mother Goose. The security people just melted away when Suzanne showed up on the scene. After loving greetings, she hustled us away to another building, past more curious gapers with their mouths hanging open in wonderment of who we might be.

As we walked to the building where the crew and idols would be enjoying their delicious catered dinner of a freshly roasted pig, Suzanne supplied us with special backstage passes to stick onto our thighs and wrap around our wrists. We were now officially VIPs. With all the splendid and special benefits of those who know that status…

We ate hurriedly and happily.

Suzanne introduced us to her friends and explained that even though the rigging for the show was complete, she has an additional behind the scenes job for this tour. She assists in the “quick change” area during the show — the young singers change their costumes several times in the course of the evening, and she helps them to get into their outfits, attaches them to their lovely jewelry and makes sure they get the right shoes and cowboy boots on their precious idol feet.

As you can already imagine, we gasped in wonder as she showed us the place where these talented young singers change their clothes!

Wardrobe of the American Idols...

Wardrobe of the American Idols…

Jewelry of the American Idols...

Jewelry of the American Idols…

With eyes full of wonder and awe, we followed dear Suzanne to the place where we would be sitting to watch the concert. Of course, it was in the center of the arena in a fenced-in area reserved for those who are pre-designated as VIPs…

We hugged her mightily as she left to dress the ladies and then we waited with great joy and anticipation for the show to start. We entertained ourselves with taking many silly pictures. Because we are VIPs…

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And then what FUN when the concert started and all those really talented singers entertained us for a couple of hours! With all of their costume changes in place. And there were no wardrobe malfunctions to speak of…

Great light show!  Lasers galore!

Great light show! Lasers galore!

Miss Kree

Miss Kree

Miss Kree up close and personal on the big screen.

Miss Kree up close and personal on the big screen.

Miss Candice, the winner of American Idol 2013.  Oh man, can this woman sing!

Miss Candice, the winner of American Idol 2013. Oh man, can this woman sing!

Afterwards, with stars in our eyes, we were kindly and graciously escorted away from the masses to that private secret exit by Suzanne’s dear friend, Bobby. A fine Southern gentleman from Knoxville, Tennessee, he walked us out past the security personnel again while the eyes of regular fans watched us with great envy. Of course, Mother Goose easily slipped back into her southern belle mode in talking with Bobby much to the great chagrin of her daughters.

“Mom,” Jessi and AnnaRose asked, “Who do you think you are?”

“Well, I’m a VIP, of course, and so are you, my dears!”

A huge THANK YOOOOOOU to my dear Suzanne for making us the VIPs for the evening! You are my idol, dear!

Blessings to y’all from Mother Goose!

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