Monday, August 31, 2009

Trek Across the Plains, Aug 31, 1849

Sunday, August 12, 1849: The organization of our camps includes G.A. Smith's Welsh company with Captain Dan Jones; the other, E.T. Benson's Norwegian company. Both camps travel and encamp near together, but separated on account of pasture needs.

The statistics of the Benson camp are as follows: 120 wagons, 447 souls, 128 men, 23 horses , 2 mules, 2 ponies, 489 ovens, 220 cows, 70 loose cattle, 100 sheep, 12 pigs, 80 chickens, 17 cats, 27 dogs, 19 ducks, 4 turkeys, 2 dove, 151 guns, 37 pistols and 1 sword. Two marriages and three births have taken place.

Thursday, August 23, 1849: A little over eleven miles travel completed our day's journey. The weather was very hot and the roads heavy over the sandy bluffs. The cattle were much fatigued, some very near giving out. A wagon in the Welsh company was overturned crossing a creek. Another came very near being ran into the river by the cattle attached to it. A boy in the George A. Smith family got hurt by a yoke of cattle, a Welsh woman had her feet nearly mashed and another was bitten by a dog belonging to Brother Simmons. Accidents enough for one day.

Friday, August 31, 1849: Fourteen miles were computed for our travels today. It is quite a curiosity here to view the works of nature along the bluffs on the margin of the river, representing castles, towers, forts, chimney, cupolas, etc.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Swiss Days Countdown

Is it possible that Swiss Days is exactly one week from today? Where has the summer gone? For that matter, where has the last year gone? We are looking forward to September 4-5 and have been working hard getting ready for this amazing event. We can't wait to hear what you think of our new projects. We have just about put all of the finishing touches on the many one-of-a-kind, just-for-Swiss Days products that we're also excited to share.

As an extra enticement, we're giving away one of these brand-spanking new Wire Tree Kits. This beauty retails for over $100, but one lucky visitor will take it home for FREE! The 3-dimensional ornament holder is over two-feet in height. We'll set you up with enough wood blocks and needed supplies to comfortably fill your tree. Our tree currently holds twenty block ornaments... each ornament displays four pictures. That's 80 stories begging to be told! It makes a POWERFUL statement!!

We know that it has been a tough year for many! Everyone has their own opinion of how to get the economy back on track. While we can't offer any Cash for Clunkers or other trade-in deals, we can provide a discount coupon that will let you pick up one item in our booth for a 30% savings. Christmas is right around the corner and we think this is a perfect way to put you in the gift-giving mood!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Find us at Swiss Days, 2009!

Don't want there to be any doubt of where to find us next week at Swiss Days...

Think C7. Sing C7. Dream C7. Just don't forget C7!

We've even marked the map with last year's spot (B50) to give you a visual of this year's location. Don't hold our shameless promotion of our business against us. We've worked very, very hard and we can't wait to share our efforts with you!

Swiss Days, 2009 ALMOST HERE!

It's been quiet on the blog front. No, we're not out relaxing by the pool. We're not out filling our shopping carts at the local store. We're madly putting the finishing touches on our many products for the upcoming Swiss Days.

Wanna sneak a peek at another new project that will be available first to our Swiss Day friends?

We're calling this one Say It with Blocks...
It's probably not a big surprise that we've used tw0-inch blocks for this project. (We happened to have a few laying around!) Put eight together and you've got four different holiday-themed sentiments to enjoy throughout the year. Make it even more meaningful by adding a few extra faces to the display.

This project is super simple. Plan about an hour to finish your set...a little more time if you're personalizing it with family faces.

We'll share some more display ideas in the coming days for these face blocks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Susannah Stone book finally ready!

I'm happy to announce that the Susannah Stone book has finally left the building! Actually, it's on its way to the publisher, so it's still a few weeks out for anyone who ordered a copy. This book is a labor of love. I'm not even related to this amazing example of pioneering determination and grit, but I've become quite fond as I've helped to retell Susannah's story. Our first book was published four (or was it five?) years ago. I had permission from the family to display a copy of the book in a small shop that we were running at This is the Place, Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. Susannah and her husband had 14 children. Twelve lived to adulthood, so you can imagine the posterity that comes from this amazing couple. A grandchild from the Cook branch of the family tree saw the book and contacted us to request a second printing. This connection allowed for the sharing of several photographs that were new to the several in the Lloyd line.

Well, the Lloyd family had another family reunion this past summer. The book was displayed and more copies were requested. We've found a new, wonderful printer to help in the production process and decided that this new edition was worthy of a design makeover. The story hasn't changed, but tell us what you think of the new cover.

We also were introduced to another family member. Lloyd D. Newell is the voice behind the Spoken Word. He gave us permission to include a tribute to his great-grandmother that he wrote and shared in his weekly broadcast in July of 2004.

I think that my favorite line in this book is Susannah's comment about how this hardy company were "almost pioneers for we had to travel thru sunflowers and sage brush for many miles." Little did they realize that in a few short weeks, their experiences would help redefine the word pioneer. Life is like that. We might think we're just along for the ride, but often we find ourselves blazing new trails for those who follow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Amazing Grace!

We have had a lot of amazing experiences this summer. Some have been life-altering and will be remembered for a long time. Others, while short blips on life's radar still had a profound impact on our realization of the tender mercies that surround us daily.

Wish I had been smart enough to take some pictures of the following experience so you could visualize the scenario. Just try to put yourself in my shoes...

I had a quick errand that would have me quickly in and out of a store. As I returned to the car I grew confused when my car was not where I had left it. Gratefully, I found it two rows away. Duh, I must have forgotten where I had parked it. But wait, why was it parked at such an odd angle. And why was another car parked so dangerously close to it? I must have stood in that parking lot a good five minutes trying to figure out the chain of events leading up to that moment.

This is the only thing I could surmise...

1. The plan was to run into the store and grab the one needed item. Unfortunately, the plan didn't include carefully setting my parking brake before said run.

2. During my five minute absence, Newton's law of motion
Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it
took effect without the benefit of the external force of an applied parking brake.

3. Of course, parking on a hill didn't help my case.

4. The amazing grace part of this story is the fact that the car that provided the external stopping force for my rolling car was not only brand-new and of an extremely expensive variety, but there wasn't a scratch on it. Seriously! Somehow my car rolled across two lanes of parking lot and came to rest against the tire of someone's BMW.

I can only imagine the herculean efforts provided by my guardian angel that day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Trek Across the Plains, Aug 10, 1849

If you are just now tuning in to our Trek story, we have been sharing the experiences of the George A. Smith Company of Immigrants as they crossed the plains in 1849. Even if you don't have a personal connection to this hardy group of pioneers, the annotations are enthralling and the descriptions amazingly visual of an era long past.

Wednesday, August 8, 1849: Captain Patten with three or four others went out hunting for the camp and shot a fine buffalo bull and an antelope; also drove fine pony that he found on the planes into camp, caught him, and returned back for the buffalo, and found the hunters had all left. The buffalo was nicely cut up and covered over with a blanket. In returning he got lost fifteen miles from camp and tarried out all night without arms. The others tarried out also. The following morning a wagon was sent out for the buffalo, but did not find it. The wolves had been there and devoured it, but we had the pleasure of dining on an antelope.

Friday, August 10, 1849: A heavy shower coming on, we encamped early near low sand bluffs. From about five o'clock p.m. until midnight there was one constant and incessant torrent; the lightening flashed in vivid glare, the thunder rolled in rumbling terrific perils, the wind howled through our camp of canvass stretched to the enraged elements. Many were the mothers and infants that received the cold drops through their frail coverings and reposed in their saturated beds without murmuring, as it was Heaven's will. The cattle bent to the storm as they stood upon their feet and some time gently tried a chain or rope by which they were made fast. The guard, wet and dripping, paced the camp in their several rounds crying the hour, exposed to the furious and pitiless storm. In the the morning the camp arose to behold a beautiful clear sky, a shining scene; cattle all safe, and cheerful and smiling countenances in the camp, and plenty of water around the same.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Swiss Days, 2009 - 26 days and counting!

Who remembers these fun aprons from last year? We couldn't believe how many people wanted our aprons, so Suni's been busy at the sewing machine and she's ready to share her talent with a few of you!

These darling aprons will actually have you looking forward to some quality time in the kitchen. We can't promise that your meals will taste better, but you definitely will feel prettier as you dance around the kitchen wearing your colorful apron.

Each apron is one-of-a-kind. Suni coordinates the layers of each apron using her stacks and stacks of vintage fabric. We're glad that Suni has an eye for beautiful fabric. We're especially glad that she has a husband who lets her hoard fabric for the perfect project!

Check out the perfect project...

Apron made with love by Suni. Meal made with love by YOU!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Swiss Days, 2009 - 30 days & counting!

Wow! The temperature might be cranked up a notch or two, but as we turn the page on another month, summer is quickly fading. Not sure where the time goes, but that seems to be a regular theme in our lives. Swiss Days is exactly 30 days away. We're excited for the event and (knock on wood) feel like we're on track to having everything ready.

If you're the kind of person who likes surprises, stop reading this post and be sure to write C7 on your calendar, forearm or even forehead, for that matter. That's where you'll find us thirty days from today!

If you'd like to sneak a peek at some of our exclusive Swiss Days offerings, keep reading and check back as we unveil more fun products in the days to come.

As an extra enticement, we'll be offering a Swiss Days coupon to our Stories by Me customers. If you are already on our mailing list, have no fear. A coupon will be arriving via email in the next couple of weeks. Wanna' be added to our list? Just drop a line to mythoughts@storiesbyme.com with the phrase Swiss Day Coupon in the message.

Here's a sampling of several exclusive magnet boards that will be available at Swiss Days. These beauties feature vintage designed fabric and distressed metal. No two are alike. If you like them be sure to come early because there will only be fifty!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trek Across the Plains, Aug 3, 1849

Tuesday, July 31: A melee occurred in the morning in Captain Richard's camp. A driver or teamster of one Mr. Sayres got into dispute with Mrs. S (Mr. S being absent) in regard to driving the team. He called her by some base epithets, when she retaliated by using a whip on him. He then struck her and blackened one of her eyes. He was left to the care of the officers of the camp to deal with him for the same. Several hunters went out fro the camps to-day; saw several antelopes and killed one.

Wednesday, August 1: Elder Hyde's letter informed us of the increase of the cholera in the United States, wars in Europe, Santa Anna in Mexico again, etc.

Friday, August 3: At the same place was two graves, neatly sodded over and headboards with inscription on them, from which we learned with regret that one was Captain Samuel Gully, Captain of 100 in Brother Orson Spencer's company of Saints, Salt Lake bound, died July 5, 1849, of cholera; age 39 years. The other was Henry Vanderhoof, a gold digger, bound for California; died July 4th, 1849 of cholera also.