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


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.

The Church Welcomed Lawrence Little

free church

Lo! and Behold! The Goose family arrived at Free Church (an inter-denominational church meeting at the Lake Theater in Oak Park at 9:00 on Sunday mornings for fellowship and worship), and our friend, Lawrence Little, was greeted by several people. Indeed he had visited our church on several occasions and knew many of the regular attendees.

“Hey, how are you, Lawrence?” “Good to see you!” “How have you been?” “So glad that you’re here this morning!” They are a friendly and caring group of individuals.

Lawrence stuck close to my side as we walked through the pre-worship crowd in the lobby of the movie theater. He seemed wary and edgy. I was reminded of a puppy in an unfamiliar environment although it was plain that he had been here often. His eyes darted around as though he was looking for someone or something.

“Would you like some hot chocolate, Lawrence?” Mother Goose asked.

“Oh no thank you. I’m fine. Natalie, will you please talk with Chuck about maybe he can help me?”

“Yes, of course, I will,” and I looked around for our pastor. He was busily working his way through the lobby and chatting with people and heading for the auditorium.

“Good morning, Chuck,” I said. “We’ve brought our friend, Lawrence, this morning. Will you be able to talk with him?”

“Of course,” he answered. “Let’s meet right here after the service.” And he smiled and walked off towards the auditorium, announcing to us all that we were ready to go in now and the service would be starting very soon.

Mother Goose turned to Lawrence. “See?” I looked into his eyes. “Chuck can meet us afterwards and we’ll talk about Safe Haven and helping you out.”

We walked into Theater 7, greeting friends as we entered. We sat near the front as we always do, close to the band. The music started as we were removing our coats, scarves and hats. For the first time in my life, I saw Lawrence without his many jackets on. He was so much thinner than I would have imagined. I would even call him scrawny. I wondered if he wore the many large coats to make himself look bigger and more formidable as he lived and moved about on the streets…

We sang some beautiful songs to the Lord and heard a really good message about love and marriage. I looked over at Lawrence and smiled. I tried not to look too intently at him, but Lawrence seemed genuinely moved and praying passionately.

I was truly happy that he was there with us. I felt very protective of him. I felt like I was his sponsor (if there is such a thing). Though other people recognized him and had greeted him, only one woman had actually hugged him and stopped walking just to chat with him and follow up with him. She asked if he had found work, and if he had found housing. She really seemed to care if he had made the phone calls that she had suggested to him. She smiled at him and treated him as a brother.

Other people just walked on by.

One man stopped to listen to our chatting with Lawrence about heading downtown to Safe Haven. Apparently, they could not accept “walk ins” and he would need a referral from another place in order to be put on their waiting list for housing. Apparently, their office was not open on Sunday. Apparently, there was nothing that Mother Goose could do to help.

“Lawrence,” I said. “We are going to have to go home and get lunch for the kids. Pastor Chuck will be here to help you in just a few minutes. Is it OK if we leave you with this man for now?”

“Oh yes,” he said, nodding and with a small smile. “Thank you, Ms Natalie.”

The next day, Lawrence came back to our home for more hot chocolate and a visit with Husband Goose. You’ll want to come back to hear the rest of the story, right?

Lawrence Little Joins Us Around the Table

After our homeless friend, Lawrence Little, finished shoveling, Husband Goose invited him in for some hot chocolate. Lawrence was grateful! We offered him something to eat also, but he had already eaten his dinner. So we sat around the kitchen table visiting about this and that.


Lawrence Little has family in the area, brothers and sisters, but they are not closely in touch with one another. His dear mother lives in Vance, Mississippi, but he couldn’t remember the last time he saw her. His father left the family when Lawrence was just five. He has only two memories of his father — one memory was of his father beating up his mother. He wistfully mentioned that someday it’d be nice to get a bus fare to go and see her…

We talked a lot about God. We talked about Lawrence’s faith — that even though he is homeless and the days are hard and the nights are dangerous and the winter is cold, God is still good and God is always with him.

He told a story about a lady he met who didn’t believe much in God or His love. “Where’s your God?” she asked. Lawrence pointed to the grass, to the sky, to the trees, to people walking around, to cars driving by. “My God is alive and He’s all around me,” he explained to the lady. “If not for my God, I would be under the ground and not be seeing all that is around me.”

Wanting to prove God’s existence even further, Lawrence began to audibly pray that someone on the street would ask him to shovel right there in front of the unbelieving lady. Up walked a man who said that he’d pay Lawrence $60 to shovel his front and back sidewalks and driveway! The lady’s eyes got big and round as she witnessed an answer to Lawrence’s prayer right then and there.

After finishing his hot chocolate, Lawrence asked what time it was and proceeded to hug us all goodbye. We told him that we hoped we would see him in Free Church the very next day…

Did Lawrence meet us at church? Will he find shelter and a hot meal somewhere down the road? Is there real hope for chronically homeless people like Lawrence?

Please come back next time to hear the REST of the story…

The Goose is Back

Mother Goose is back. After a much needed sabbatical, I’m rested and recovered and revived and ready to tell some brand new stories. Who can ever tell why a goose must take a break from her blog? Who can explain the sudden aversion to the compound word, WordPress? How do some writers keep writing and some need to fall off the wagon for awhile?

Obviously, life for these past six weeks have been jam-packed with adventures — to be sure, my life has never lacked for subject matter. We had a lovely Christmas holiday, a fun and surprising New Year (yes, Mother Goose woke from a deep sleep and jumped off the couch at exactly midnight, surprising the family with a dance that included much jumping and flapping and merriment!) and January has proven to be one theatrical performance after another.

Whew! The goose has been on the loose!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? How’s that working for you? It’s been nearly a month since January 1, and my resolution is still holding strong. And here is what I resolve for 2014:

Always dance in the Kitchen.

In the home of Mother Goose, the kitchen is the place where most of the action takes place and most of the goslings hang out. What better place to dance? One of the priceless gifts I received for my birthday last month was a G-Pop wireless and bluetooth audio speaker, and so I simply connect my favorite Pandora stations to the G-Pop and CRANK IT UP.

Pandora radio is such fun! I have created nearly one hundred channels! So much selection, so many favorites, so many thumbs up! Since the beginning of the year, I have been mostly listening to the Family Road Trip station and the Lenny Kravitz station. Yes, I know — eclectic tastes for a goose, indeed.

Anyway, imagine the scene as Mother Goose is preparing the meals:

There is twirling and whirling, stepping and stomping, dipping and tripping, wings extended and tail wagging.

There is giggling and wiggling, peeking and winking, oblivious to the stares and intensity beyond compare.


Mother Goose has found the perfect combination of exercise and entertainment — it’s good for the goose and good for the gander!

They may laugh at my moves, but in the long run, they will remember this has been a very Happy New Year.

I hope you’ll return tomorrow to hear the story of Mother Goose and the Phantom of the Opera, opening night at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago….oh my gooseness!

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!


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…

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


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!

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