Nov 18, 2010


Last night Aunt Chrissy and I ventured to Shipshewana, Indiana to meet the ever so fabulous Kathy Reese and her also ever so fabulous mom Jeanette. Kathy is the owner of Needle Delights in Florida, and is also the designer of such gorgeous designs as Cherry Cordial and Rainforest Crunch and Strawberry Shortcake that you've seen on this here blog. She and her mom are vacationing in the area, so they called and invited us over to meet and eat.

(If, by the way, one of your designer heroes ever calls you on the phone or sends you an email and says "Hey, we're going to be in your area and thought we'd get together for a sandwich or a pop or a cup of tea or something", I can't stress enough how important it is that you slap on your Tammy Faye Bakers and...go! Y'all know that I never leave my house and that it takes and Act of Congress for me to put my outside shoes on my portly little feet, so when I tell you that I was excited to do so for Miss Kathy and Mdme. Jeanette, I'm not kidding around.)

I drove over to Elkhart to meet up with Aunt Chrissy at her office and then the two of us headed down to the Blue Gate Restaurant with me at the wheel and Aunt Chrissy wishing she would have had an afternoon cocktail or two before climbing into Dotty VanBuskirk for the trip.

(OK. So. I don't drive all that often anymore and when I do it's with my hands tightly gripped at ten and two and my eyes darting back and forth from the rear-view to the side-view to damn straight ahead and then back again.)

(Plus, it was freakin' dark at 5:30 in the evening and I was afraid that we would hit a deer.)

We drove for about a half-hour and then came to the State Road that would take us into downtown Shipshewana. (I suppose that it would be helpful if I explained that this is the heart of Indiana Amish country and that despite the fact that I've lived in Indiana longer than any other place in my life, I had yet to see what the whole thing was all about.)

Did you know that the Amish people drive around in black buggies pulled by black horses? And did you know that they do this on the side of roads that are in the absolute freakin' middle of nowhere and that there is not one damn street light anywhere to behold? And! Did you also know that they don't just ride these buggies in the daytime, but happily clippity clop along the side of the pitch black road in their pitch black buggies being pulled by thier pitch black horses in the dead of night?

(OK. It was only 6:00, but it might as well have been 3 in the morning.)

To say that I was completely freaked out and had nightmare visions of hitting one of these buggies is an understatement. I can't believe that anybody in their right mind would EVER think that me on the road and them on the road simultaneously is a good idea.

So I hyperventilated my way down the road going about six miles and hour while Aunt Chrissy rolled her eyes so far back into her head I thought they would stay that way. I'm pretty sure that she told me to just calm the hell down already at least a hundred times, but I was too busy preparing my statement to the press that would explain that I didn't mean to hit the just jumped out in front of me and I thought it was a deer.

When I rule the world, there will be a big fence all the way around Amish Country. And there will be a big parking lot with an attendant who says "Hi. Thanks for coming to visit us. Please park you car over there and we'll take you wherever it is that you need to go. We would rather not have you tooling about our fair city in your death mobiles, especially after you've gotten yourself all hepped up on our delicious home made pie." (I had the chocolate cream crunch, by the way.)

So today I am determined to go through all of the Christmas decorations here at Chez Spinster to determine what will be suitable for use this year. I made the mistake of watching Martha last night and it reminded me that there was actually a time when I tarted my house up to within an inch of its life and I enjoyed it immensely. Besides...I don't think I can take another year of listening to Stewey bitch and moan and complain that he is the only little dog on the planet who has an idiot for a mo-ther and that Santa Claus will never be able to find him in such a poorly executed winter wonderland. Damn dog.

I hope that you're off to a fabulous Thursday! Woo Hoo!


  1. Ohio is the same way. I almost hit a buggy that came out of no where in the woods.

    I visiting a friend that lived in that woods. She should have warned me that it would have been safer to just get out push my car there.

  2. Ohhhh, I got to meet Kathy back in September for the first time when I visited her shop in FL...what a sweetie she is!! And fabulously talented too...just like her mama!

    I'm with you on the fear of driving around the Amish/Mennonites...first time I had to do it, I thought I was going to wet myself in fear! LOL!


    P.S. And, no, we don't have Amish/Mennonite in AL (I don't think anyway!!) was on a trip to KS to visit my ex-in-laws! LOL!

  3. Oh this started as a sad day for me and you just made me laugh so hard. I truly enjoyed reading your post... Thanks !!

  4. I live in LancastervCounty in Pennsylvania which is the heart of Amish country.
    You know it's bad when you go to Costco and they have a hitching post for the horses.

  5. Glad your journey through Amish country was uneventful except for the fretting. I would have been right there with you. In fact, six miles an hour sounds a bit fast for the conditions, don't you think?

    It's that time of year when the Hoosierville roads are dark and populated with many swift-moving deer. Be careful on the roads, please!!

  6. I would have been freaked out, too, but you did it! Sounds like it was worth the trip!

    I can't wait to see Chez Spinster all decked out. Stewey will be so pleased! :O)

    I finished my tiny needlepoint ornament and will post it to my blog as soon as I figure out how...thanks for the inspriation!


  7. Oh, Thank God and Kathy Reese for getting you out of the house and away from that damn scarecrow. Even if you had to drive very cautiously to avoid Amish buggies in the black of night. Shoofly pie and driving 6 miles per hour is better than being in a house with a brainless man.

  8. Phew. Just reading that stressed me out. I'm a city girl myself and when we first moved to the suburbs in VA I was severely traumatized one night by having to back down a long driveway in the pitch black. You know, when you check your rearview mirror in the dark, you see .... nothing! The sort of nothingness that has you thinking about a Stephen King novel. Who the heck thought driving in the dark was a good idea?

    Lucky you meeting with xst heroes! Maybe next time Aunt Chrissy could drive?

  9. We live outside a small Amish community down here (Martin County) Oden, Logootee, are a couple of the town names...well no foolin' my husband almost DID hit a buggy one night. It was close. I was very scared.....

    Anyhoo...the meet up with the designer lady sounds like a good, great fun time! Look at you, designers calling you! How exciting :)

    We're decorating up our little slice of America this evening...the kids are psyched! Think National Lampoon's Christmas... :)

  10. I am former Amish, and had a good chuckle reading your post.


  11. Oh my God Woman... you are priceless.Tears rolling down my cheeks reading your blog. Hubby thinks I have cracked up. Love your blog

  12. I have been friends with Jeanette and Kathy for almost 20 years!!! I am a lucky girl. I worked for Jeanette when she owned Needle Delights and again for Kathy when she took over! They are the best and VERY talented. Thanks for your blog. It is the highlight of my day. I would love to babysit Stewey, but unfortunately I live too far away. But give him a big kiss for me, only if he doesn't object. He is totally precious! You are an insipiration with all of your finishes. Wish I had a happy chair! Happy Holidays.

  13. I am so jealous! I love Blue Gate and always, I mean ALWAYS have the Old Fashion Cream pie - and my husband gets the raspberry pie for me to have later. The roast beef is sooo good! Breakfast there is delicious too. Can you tell where we eat EVERY meal when we stay in Shipshewana? I am always nervous about the buggies at night too!

    Nice visit with friends I'm sure and I love the needlework you mentioned as I 'watched' you stitch them on the blogview.

  14. I found myself visiting you and of course blog hopping means I have no idea how I got here. BUT I am so glad that I did! thank you for adding some sun to my morning. I will return the pooch!