My Minnesota Trip, 7-22-21

I drove to Blue Earth on Tuesday to meet up with my friend Felicia who then took me to visit Father Stenzel’s Stone City in the country outside of Wells. First I located Welcome Stitchery for Connie who wants to visit some time. As I sat in the parking lot, a customer walked out and I knew her! It was Linda B. who has been a Country Threads customer for years.

Then I found the quilt shop called Michelle’s on Main Street where I bought a single piece of fabric – I could have enjoyed shopping there but no time. Off we went to Wells.

I have to say right here that I was stunned at the beautiful rock work – my mouth hung open as Father Stenzel showed us around his yard. This lovely man is 83 years old and has been working on this project since he was 10. The grass was beautifully cut, there were flowers planted in many spots and pots of ferns were everywhere. This fern is over 100 years old!

Here is a series of photos:

I hope you got some feeling of the beauty! Tuesday night Kay, a Country Threads employee and neighbor, invite us to her garden for a quick get together but it turned out to be just 4 of us.

From left – Connie, Lori, Kay

Breathtaking, isn’t it?

So today is feed delivery day, groceries and finish mowing. It’s going to get very hot for the next week or so – back to my sewing machine! Is anyone familiar with Tilda fabrics? Both Connie and I are using them right now and they are very beautiful florals.

Stay cool, Everybody! We’ll talk again soon!

Millie napping in the porch.

61 thoughts on “My Minnesota Trip, 7-22-21

  1. Shirley

    I love the Rocks. Remominds me of Petersens Rock Garden here in Central Oregon. Love your neighbors flowers too. We have to be careful what we plant here. The deer love tooo much of it. 🤔
    TILDA, tilda, Tilda. Yes. Yes. I love it. My local shop, Sew Many Quilts in Bend, OR carries a hige supply. Enjoy its soft beauty.

  2. Jo in Wyoming

    How very beautiful every photo is!!!
    The rock gardens are breathtaking. Flowers gorgeous. Friends fabulous.
    Yes, I have heard of Tilda fabric. One of my favorite quilt shops has a new collection of the fabrics. I have 2 of her books. They remind me of Liberty of London.

    What a wonderful way to start the day. Thanks

  3. Marj in Western Wisconsin

    I am so glad you enjoyed your trip. We have a similar Grotto near Stevens Point in Wisconsin. I don’t know the history behind ours, but we toured it about 15 years ago. We are supposed to get up in the 90s too for the next week. Hope it cools off after that as I will be with our daughters, granddaughter and great granddaughter at Girl Scout Camp. Have been volunteering at this activity for over 40 years. I haven’t decided yet if I will take my sewing machine along for after hours. Depends on how far I get on making my blocks for a block swap that is due Sept. 1.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marj – oh, you really must take your machine! I’ll bet others would be interested in your work!

  4. Sherry Whalen

    Hi Mary – great photos! Is the Stone City open to the public? It looks amazing. I think it looks like a fun day trip for us!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherry Whalen – yes, I believe it’s open to the public with an appointment. Look for his number – I just loved it!!!

  5. Margaret

    Loved both of the tours so much.. I always loved reading your post and stories about all the animals. Quilts posted are just a bonus, and they are all so good. We are hot here in southern Illinois. Garden thriving and canning tomatoes, cucumbers out the wazoo. Thanks for all your posts🦋

  6. RITA in Iowa

    Beautiful rock formations and how the plants complimented the area. Thanks for sharing this with everyone.
    We just never know who we will run into. What a pleasant surprise.

    Stay cool.

  7. Kathy in western NY

    Gorgeous photos of your day trip. I love Tilda fabrics. And also have four of her books that make me smile each time I browse them.
    My husband had a stroke two weeks ago from an unexplained viral infection that led to atrial fibrillation and then the stoke. Has been in ICU, then acute care floor. We got him now but lots of appts ahead to get him in the road to recovery. Thank God I was here in the morning when he spoke and knew immediately it was a stroke and called the ambulance. Within 3 minutes after arriving at the hospital, they had him in for cat scans to save him. We are very lucky. I am so grateful he has had the covid vaccine as he has those antibodies to fight this strange virus as we have no clue yet how it caused all this to happen to him rapidly. Our kids have helped out tremendously to make him come home as that is all he wanted.

      1. Kathy

        Thank you Lynn for prayers. How fast life changed for us on Fourth of July weekend after being a very healthy no medicine active 70 year old . My whole life has changed as has his.

        1. Janice Hebert

          Oh Kathy! I hope he recovers quickly. As you said, he was an active 70 year old. That will work in his favor. Will be praying for you and your husband. Jan in MA

    1. Janice Brown

      Kathy, My thoughts and prays are with you and your family. May it be a speedy recovery for your husband.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy in western NY – oh, Kathy, I am so sorry! Please keep us all posted on his recovery.

    3. Marsha from Kansas

      Kathy, I am so sorry your husband had a stroke. My Mom had one and was able to go back to her home and function by herself in 2 months after physical and occupational therapy. Wishing the same for you and your husband. Keeping you in my prayers.

  8. Debbie G

    You know, Mary, Welcome Stitched was about 45 minutes from me and I had been shopping there for at least 39 years. Monica and her staff were TBE BEST! I’m sad that it is no longer here. And I love the orange cone flowers! I have those and they are my favorite!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – show us your dolls – send picture to my email.

  9. Mary in Davenport

    So many beautiful pictures I love all of them I can’t imagine all the work that goes into building all of the rock formations and the flowers I always love I have a lot of coneflowers and they always add so much beauty to my back yard and so easy to take care of Thank you Mary for always sharing with us I always look forward hearing from you

  10. Mandy Stewart

    Omg! That is absolutely breathtaking, Just blew me away. I can’t imagine what a work of art it is. Going to forward this to a friend in Rochester in hope she’ll visit. And the garden flowers are beautiful. Your weather forecast sounds like Oklahoma. We’re pushing the 100’s the next few days. Not a fan of the 100’s with high humidity.

  11. Charlotte Shira

    WOW! What fabulous stone work! Thanks for sharing the pictures. The flower gardens are beautiful too. I’m not planting any more flowers since we are having a drought.

  12. Launa

    I have seen the rock buildings, etc. on a program before. Delightful to see again. So glad you visited it in person!
    I enjoyed your trip pictures and seeing the gorgeous flowers and your friends. Nice to get into a fabric shop as well.
    Heard more this morning about all the hard work being done by firefighters in the National Forests up in MT and Idaho on the Trail Creek Fire near us. They are doing a magnificent job to keep it from crossing the Continental Divide. Had two good rains that have helped, too! The man hours are endless and so greatly appreciated!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Launa – thanks for the update – please keep us posted. Betty K specifically asked about you and all of us readers know you could be in harms way.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Launa, glad you didn’t have to evacuate and the fire didn’t reach your home. So many people aren’t so lucky. It is hard to imagine going back to nothing but ashes.
        Last Thursday in Walmart I was looking at paperbacks while waiting for photos to print. Three firefighters from Indiana were looking for something to read and didn’t have a lot of time. I suggested the Joe Pickett books by C. J. Box. Stories are set in 12 Sleep County, Wyoming and Joe is a game warden. He is always coming across a dead body, etc. and is VERY Hard on vehicles, to which the guys laughed that ‘they knew all about that.’ They left with 2 of the books. Hope they liked them. We owe all the firefighters that come from all over the country to help with the horrific fires.
        In the meantime, be careful out there. This heat can’t last forever. Betty in Rapid City

        1. Launa

          Thanks for concern. We are praying the fire stays on Montana side of Continental Divide. So many firemen sent from all over are putting their lives on the line for so many in the west. My Bernina is packed if we have to evacuate, but we can’t evacuate with everything. This Fire could last til Oct. One elsewhere til Nov. We are still here this Friday morning!

  13. Susan

    Just recently discovered the beautiful Tilda fabrics-truly amazing! Thanks for the great pictures!

  14. lorraine bujnowski

    Thank you, Mary, for sharing all of your photos of your trip. The rock garden is amazing g and your friends’ garden is lovely as well.

  15. Jean Elliott

    Wow..the stonework is fabulous. I do know about Tilda fabrics and I have almost all of her books!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jean Elliott – how is the chemo going? Are you sick or just very tired? I was just wondering about you a day or so ago. Please keep us all updated. The Tilda fabrics are so lovely, aren’t they?

  16. Jane from St Marys

    Loved the garden tours with all the rocks & flowers! I love to collect rocks but not sure I’d want to deal with that many! I’m curious however… do you keep a fern that big & that old alive??!! I’m struggling with my $12 Walmart fern!! I need the secret to growing ferns!! I hate this hot & humid weather but it’s good haying weather & we need hay!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane from St Mary’s – I have no idea how to keep a fern alive for my length of time and I love ferns! He did say it has been transplanted several times but that’s all I know.

  17. Sheila in WI

    Wow! What an extra treat this post was. The rock formations are beautiful. And the flowers all look so lush and colorful. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Nan V

    Welcome Stitchery used to be here in Crystal Lake, Illinois. I’m missing it already! I’m going to have to check out their online store.

  19. Judy

    The pictures from Stone city are amazing thank you for sharing them. It must be fun when you are out and about to run into people that used to come to your shop. I am very familiar with Tilda fabrics s I have a project that I will be using them for. They are designed by Tone Finnanger from Norway and used to be very hard to find here. Now more shops are carrying them so they are much easier to find.

  20. Anna Mundt

    I have loved Tilda for years. Ever since my daughter got me a couple of charm packs when she lived in the Netherlands a while back. Can’t get enough of it now that it’s more available here. Your jade plant looks great! I used to have a pretty good sized one but gave it away on one of the moves. I retired on July 6. Still thinking about coming your way sometime this summer!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Anna Mundt – can’t recall where you live or why you’ll be in my area. This is my biggest Jade plant which the squirrels nearly devoured two years ago so now it has to live in the porch. Sigh.

  21. Carolyn Boutilier

    Mary, Thanks for sharing the pictures of the stone work. that is epic. His stone work is beautiful I enjoyed the flowers.
    Hope to see your Tilda fabric quilt soon. I am canning squash with peppers for soup starter next winter. Tomorrow plan on getting some local peaches and make some jam and get enough to freeze for pies and cobbler this winter. We have enjoyed eating the zucchini fritters with all this zucchini. I have been knitting some pumpkins for gifts and then I will make a small memory quilt by Barbara Adams. She was a wonderful designer and will be missed. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carolyn Boutilier – when I read all that you are doing, I feel like a slug! Wish we had good peaches – I always canned peach sauce but haven’t for years.

  22. Kathy Hanson

    What beautiful pictures! What a wonderful trip you had!! I am so thankful to be back on the blog after all the headaches and help from you and Kayla! This is the first one in such a long time! I am so excited! Thank you to both of you! 😊❤️❤️

  23. Susan K in Texas

    Kathy in NY I hope your husband does well in his recovery!
    Mary what a neat place. So many rocks and such creativity. I just love the pictures of it. And beautiful plant pictures too. What a lovely trip you had.
    Three of my sisters and I are in Texas hill country at a quilt retreat house. We’re only staying a couple of days but it is beautiful here. There are lots of hummingbirds, deer, and flowers. We all wish we could stay for longer. And we’re going to book next years trip. Hopefully all 5 sisters will be able to go.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K – I LOVE Hill Country and the town of Comfort – if I had to move, I’d choose that area.

      1. Susan K in Texas

        The retreat house is Emilie’s Quilt Haus in Stonewall. It is near Fredericksburg. We had a great time. It was enjoyable being close to things but yet away from the crowds. We enjoyed it so much we already booked it for next year at the same time.

  24. Janice Brown

    Mary, The Stone House is fabulous! What a treat to see that property in person. I marvel at how well those large and heavy rocks fit together. I did read on the The Stone House facebook page that Father Stenzel did use cement. Thank you for sharing this. A few years back, you shared with us your visit to a stone grotto that was built using precious stones. What creativity and vision of these makers of such buildings.

    Love the flowers in your friend’s garden. The joys of summer . . . . colorful, blooming flowers.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janice Brown – the grotto I visited a couple years ago is called the Grotto of the Redemption and is in West Bend, Iowa, not too far from here. It is breathtaking!

      1. Janice Brown

        Mary, the Grotto of the Redemption is at the top of my list of “must sees” the next time my husband and I take a trip out west . . . of course, a farm visit with you is also at the top of this list so I am glad to know how close it is to your farm. Unfortunately, we won’t be doing the trip until covid and it’s variants are more under control.

  25. Diane in Maryland

    The stone work is amazing and it and the flowers breathtaking for sure! Loved the pictures! Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. Makes my flowers look like piddly nothing…Haha Right now I am battling Japanese beetles on the roses. I love roses and every year at this time I get very frustrated with them. I use a systemic fertilizer, spray for beetles, etc but I lose the war.
    For all of you going thru health or weather challenges, please know that we do say prayers for you!

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