Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Milestone Birthday for my Mom!

vintage photo

This photo is of the Sweetwater Mom when she was just a baby!

We are so happy to be able to 
wish her a Happy 85th Birthday!

Because she spends the winter in Florida and is wise enough to delay her return to Minnesota until it is REALLY Spring, we are not able to be with her to celebrate!!!

I guess this blog shout out will have to do!

I know that it is traditional for the Birthday girl to GET the gifts.....

But this year it was MOM who gave all of us a truly memorable gift....

This is the cover of the wonderful memoir my mom put together to share her memories with us!

For years she had been writing little essays of the things she remembered from her girlhood.  She wanted to do something with them that would be permanent....and being the book lover that she is....she published this to share with us!  

Now there are little snippets of life on the farm.....from wash day to party line telephone "etiquette" to memories of the depression.....all in one place!

I had fun reading this snippet about that April Fool's day 85 years is amazing how different things are now!
"I was born at Grandma Emma Thacher's house in Harmony, Minnesota.  Emma was a busy midwife, who had just returned from assisting the Elton family after the birth of baby Colleen.  My mother, Gladys, had decided to stay in Harmony where Dr. Anderson, the family physician lived.  Good planning, as I was born in a snow storm on Easter Sunday and my father Clayton, wasn't able to travel the 20 miles from the farm for a week."

 What made this project a reality finding someone who could be the "editor"...and was not a family member!  The Sweetwater Daughter found a woman who does this as a business! That is what turned her dream to reality....and created a lasting treasure for us.  The business is theMessenger and the website is   

Here is what mom wrote for Melissa's website after the project was done!
“Working with Mallissa at 1st Fish Designs in publishing my Memoir was truly a rewarding experience! She took my scattered journal entries, some photos, and essays and helped me put it all together in a beautiful little book that tells the story of my first 3o years.
Mallissa was very intuitive in her editing, using words that made sense of it all. Her suggestions brought the book alive. I could not be happier with the finished results! Thanks, Mallissa!
Now I need to get to work on a sequel!”

Hey Mom....we hope you do a sequel too!!!!

Capturing the essence of history through the eyes of people who were there is a true gift!
Thanks Mom!!!

 Oh....and Happy Birthday too!

  Have a Great Day! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Green Garden Jealousy!

fresh food
Last summer we purchased a share in a CSA
(Community Supported Agriculture).
It was great having fresh vegetables arrive every week.
We tried some new things and overall enjoyed the experience.
It was a bit of a hassle making sure we had someone to pick up the delivery....
And since we split it up 4 ways....sometimes it felt like it was hard to give everyone their FAIR share!
We are gonna try something new this year....
Since someone in the family goes to the Minneapolis Farmer's Markety every week....
farmer's market
We are going to take turns buying veggies to share....
that way we can choose the stuff that we like....and buy enough to share equally!
This will still support the local growers....
fresh flowers
 I will get ample opportunity to buy a few flowers too!
Speaking of food grown locally....and the reason the title of this post is Green Garden Jealousy...
Let me tell you a little about one of the Sweetwater Brothers....he is a serious Permaculturist
I can't begin to understand all of the nuances of permaculture or sustainable urban horticulture....
All I know is that he grows the most amazing food with no pesticides and very little irrigation.

Check out this clip of him harvesting in my mom's front yard in Florida!  She has the prettiest, no mow yard in town!  Ahh....but then she does have a full time gardener!!!

Pretty amazing huh?!  I think it is pretty funny that the Co-op Market he takes his crops to each week is "The Sweetwater Co-op"....small coincidental world!
Triolife Planter

Well, now you know why I have Green Garden Jealousy....I will plant my little raised bed planters on the deck with some greens and herbs and be satisfied with trips to the Farmer's Market!

At least I won't be providing healthy snacks for the rabbits and deer!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Perfectly Simple Panoramic Photos

There is something intriguing about panoramic photos.
I did my research and found some fabulous examples of panoramic photos from the turn of the 20th century!  And I found out how these old photos were created.....ahhh the patience that must have taken!

You can spend hours browsing old photos at the Library of Congress American Memory Collection!Don't blame me if you get hooked....and don't do anything else for the rest of the day!

This photo shows my favorite city view of Minneapolis in 1912. The Stone Arch Bridge and the River are fun to see.

Here is a panoramic view of the San Francisco fire in 1906.  Amazing!

No.....this isn't a history is a techy lesson!

360 Panorama

By Occipital

I just discovered this fabulous new APP for my iPad.....and it only cost .99 cents!

available for iPad, iPhone and now Android....!

What fun to be able to create panoramic photos by just standing in one place and turning slowly....the APP fills in the photo until you have a complete 360 view.

This is one of the first photos I this flat version of the photo you get a great idea of the "my work home".....and why I am tired at the end of the day!  Keeping this place organized is sometimes a daunting task!
On the iPad, the photo is interactive.....and this can be uploaded to the Occipital Site.

Once the photo is uploaded, you can share the interactive view by link or embedding it....
Here is the LINK

Here is the photo embedded!

I am going to keep practicing...hmmmmm....this APP seems to have some real possibilities for showing different projects.....I will keep you posted....
In the meantime...I am off to take some more 360 photos of "STUFF".

Have a great day!

Link Parties
Blackberry Vine   Coastal Charm 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Little Bit Of Bragging!

 We are getting ready to head to Mexico!

With all the cold and snow here it is a dream to think of warm sun, relaxing surf etc. etc.!

I can't wait to practice using my "limited" Spanish in true immersion style!

Maybe you remember that I am the Library Media Specialist in a Spanish Immersion School.

One of the hard parts of my job is finding good interactive immersion activities that are fun and educational.

Since the resources are limited......we decided to create some ourselves!

I thought you might enjoy a peek at a super fun project that my friend Kim and I have been working on for the last few months.  We got a grant to build an interactive website for Kindergarten kids.....

Maybe you will be able to use this with a young person you know who wants to learn Spanish!
Here is the link KINDER RESOURCES

Each of the photos takes you to a page with lots and lots and lots of fun activities.
The kids spend hours hanging out here,becoming better Spanish Speakers while "playing" on the site!

There are songs, stories and vocabulary activities galore!

Along the way....Kim and I have had a blast creating this resource!

One of the unexpected and truly positive outcomes of the project is how blogging has become a part of the process!

Kim now uses a blog format for her weekly newsletter.....the parents love it!  She posts photos and news as well as links to Immersion information.

I have started using a blog to communicate with my students.....It is almost like speaking with them...they love it and are able to connect to the links I make from home!

Tonight we are off to present our project to the School Board and the will be fun to show it off....

I was so excited to learn that my little Grand Niece will be starting Kindergarten in a Spanish Immersion Program this Fall.....I bet you can guess that I will be sharing the website with her so she will be "the smartest" one in HER class!!

Have a Great Day!
Link Parties
Clever Chicks  Pinch of Joy 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

When is Expensive Thrifty?

You know that Sweetwater Style is all about being thrifty!
So....the question I am pondering is....
When are EXPENSIVE things actually thrifty!

Case in point....
Since Spring is almost here, it was time to put away the Winter Coats and trade them for the Spring of which is my Burberrys Trenchcoat!

This lovely was a gift from Mr. S over 25 years ago!
When he gave it to me....I shuddered at the thought of what it cost....we think it was probably $400 or so....YIKES!!!  WHAT was he thinking? 

Maybe because I knew how much it cost...I took better care of it that one from Target!
It is a classic.....and it is great quality.....and it still looks great after years and years and years of wear!   
Seriously...if I do the math the $400 works out to be $16 a year for a pretty stylish coat! 

Just for a hoot....I went on the Burberrys Website to see what this coat costs today!!!!

Now Mr. S. really looks smart.....$2295 for an almost identical coat!!!!
That $400 was a pretty good investment!

My thrifty nature will keep me shopping for quality clothes at Goodwill and Consignment stores.  In fact it is probably the fact that I DO shop at GW and Consignment stores that makes it possible to splurge once in a while.

The moral of the story/post......Expensive can be thrifty!

What do YOU think?
Have A Great Day!

Link Parties
Sew Many Ways   Sunny Simple Life   I Heart Naptime   Nifty Thrifty Things            

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Long Week....Over At Last!

Yeah....I was too busy this week to write a blog post!

So let me take a moment to complain about being busy.....

This week at work was chock full of STUFF!

 What STUFF?  Let me tell you!

  • It was "SPIRIT WEEK" to get ready for our school fundraiser!  That meant that every day was a different  dress up theme! I was "A fashion Disaster", Madeline, A Hippie, and "A Librarian"!  Lots of energy was involved in planning and executing all of that. Warning...if you are ever a volunteer parent thinking of things to do at school.....AVOID dress up days!!!  It results in lots of angst for everyone!
  • Our school got shipments of 15 new iPads and 12 new Chrome Books....sounds great...unless you are the one who needs to get them ready for people to use.
  • I had a dentist appointment....YUCK!
  • Important after school meetings 3 of the 5 days!
  • 8 inches of snow fell on a day when Mr. S. was on a business trip!  Thanks to the Sweetwater Son who blew out the driveway on his lunch hour....MY HERO!
  • Our school was selected to be the state review site for our alternative pay system....and little old me is the Lead Teacher for went well but was stressful in the extreme!
So....THAT is why I didn't get much blogging done!  At the end of the days....a glass of wine (or 2) and some couch sitting were about all I could think about doing!

You don't read Sweetwater Style to hear about my earth shaking problems....
So here are a few things that are NOT complaints!

A trip to Goodwill last Saturday....I scored this great rusty metal Rooster that has been making me smile all week!  Only 6 bucks!!!

 A few moments of "Decor Therapy" resulted in this cheerful homage to St. Patrick's Day!
  • The Chicago City Scene.....
  • A Chunk of green fabric from the Sweetwater Fabric Stash...
  • A GW Fiesta Pitcher,,,
  • Wheat Grass with some fresh flowers...(Thanks Mr. S)
  • A GW Shamrock (Two Bucks)
  • The cute Rumrill crockery from GW... 
Pretty and Simple!!!

I had a few moments to finally frame the poster that was a CHRISTMAS present from the Sweetwater Son and SO!
Can't wait to get it hung on the wall!

So busy or not....I guess I should stop complaining.....and enjoy the weekend!
I hope you do the same!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Are Artificial Flowers Tacky?

Is the question of whether or not to use artificial flowers something you struggle with?

Well.....I try to use fresh flowers most of the time.....but sometimes I end up breaking you will see with the Mantle Makeover below.

When I write a post....the librarian in me ends up doing a little research....which usually results in me finding other posts on my subject.....usually better written and illustrated!

Case in point this post titled  Stop the Ugly! a funny post about silk flowers worth a read!

Now on with the Mantle Redo for "Almost Spring"!

Remember the transitional mantle that I did after taking down the Holiday Decorations?
It was starting to look a little too wintery now that March has arrived!
The greenery was pretty crispy, even though it lasted 2 whole months!
It was time to put away the pinecones!

Just a few changes....and now the mantle looks like this!

Yup....I broke down and used SOME FAKES!

These Forsythia branches don't look so bad.....especially with the little pots of real grass!

I took the grapevine wreath apart and dug through my stash of artificial flowers to add some touches of Spring!

 Do you see the sunshine on the grass.....that is what really makes me means that the sun is FINALLY moving far enough to the north to shine into our north facing family room!

Spring is truly on the way....

since I am really NOT a flower snob....
maybe Mr. S. will remember to buy some REAL flowers when he is grocery shopping!
We shall see!

So what is your take on fake vs. real flowers?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Have a great day!

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