Archive for the ‘Stillwater Stuff’ Category

Log Jam Time

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

stillwater logjam
Well, we’ve been talking about it for a year now.  Actually, not quite a year.  Stillwater Log Jam is upon us.   It’s this weekend, July 18th, 19th & 20th.

 

It was back in October that I posted this blog and asked locals to be vocal.   The decision was made by our City Council to bring back a big summer festival, so now the decision was what group would treat downtown the way it deserved to be treated?  Did we want a big promoter to come into town or would a more locally run event earn our support?  I, like many residents and businesses, felt that a locally run event would be our best shot at getting back to an event that the community could enjoy.  That’s why The Local’s earned my support and the support of the Mainstreet Stillwater IBA.
I know that summer festivals in Stillwater are divisive.  Some are disappointed that the event might be smaller, some are glad it’s smaller and some wish there wasn’t one at all.   Whatever your feelings about the event, it’s here and I hope you bring your family down and support it!

 

 

If you are planning on coming downtown for the event, and I hope you do, watch for us!

 

 

Soap Box Derby
Yes, we are participating in this crazy event!

 

  • Wednesday night we’ll be downtown at the car show showing off our Soap Box Derby Car.
  • Thursday night at 7:30 we’ll be at The Freight House for the soap box awards ceremony.  You know our car will look good!
  • Friday at noon is check in for the soap box derby.  We’ll be hanging out on 2nd street and Mulberry making sure our Derby Car can make it down that hill:)
  • Then Friday between 2 and 4 we race!

 

Parade
Yes!  There is still a parade!  Sunday at 1pm we hope to see lots of you on the route.  Our Mainstreet Stillwater IBA is going to be walking in the parade.  We have a fun “float” and many downtown businesses will be walking together.

 

If you do see us this weekend out and about make sure to say hi!

 

Oh Hay’ll No!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

 

Our old historic bridge is only so tall.

 

Yesterday, a truck hauling hay across from MN to WI misjudged the height of his load and off went a good dozen bales.  Stopping traffic both directions…right around rush hour time.

 

hay on bridge

Hay!

 

Jen thought we should make the most of the traffic so she made a little sign for us…

 

jennifer darn knit anyway bridge

The back side reads…”You might as well stop for yarn!”

 

Here’s to a hay-free, delay-free summer of driving in Stillwater!

Build faster MNDOT and WISCDOT!  Build faster!

 

Sleepyhead Doorbusters 2013

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Maggie’s a sleepy head.  She doesn’t really like to wake up early.
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If you are like Maggie and want a civilized Black Friday sale.  Have we got the plan for you.   Come to Stillwater at 9am on Black Friday.  Well, you might want to get there a little early, we always have a line:)
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Downtown Stillwater is doing their Sleepyhead Doorbusters again this year.  There will be fun things happening that day and all season long downtown.  Check out Discover Stillwater for the details on the other happenings…
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Here are our plans for Black Friday.
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20% off everything in the store from 9am – noon*
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The first 20 people get an additional 20% off coupon to use in the store at another time.
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Hikoo yarns will be 20% off all day long!  That is Simpliworsted, Simplicity and CoBaSi.  We love, love, love these yarns and know that you will to.  We have every color of Simpliworsted on our shelves!
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All Atenti and Reisenthel bags will be 20% off all day long.
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All DKA swag including t shirts will be 20% off all day long!

All neon yarns will be 20% off all day long!
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Come join us.

A few little rules:
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  • We can’t hold yarn for you before the sale.  That just isn’t fair!
  • We’ll do our best to wind your yarn that day, but the winder will be working overtime.  So either you’ll have to be patient, or leave your yarn and we’ll wind it up for you to pick up later!
  • You have to be in a good mood.  We can’t have crabby, overfed knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers wandering about!

*Skacel won’t allow addi needles to be discounted and Darn Yarn Club won’t be discounted.

Time to be vocal locals!

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Diane Thompson founded Lumberjack Days in 1968...photo from Pioneer Press

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Locals, it just might be time for you to start voicing your opinions.
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Your city council has chosen 3 finalists to organize the replacement event for Lumberjack Days.  On October 15th at 4:30pm, the city council is going to hear from those 3 finalists.  They are going to hear presentations about the proposals.
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I’m going to be there.
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If you are at all interested in what kind of event comes to your town in the summer, perhaps you could make it a point to be there too.
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It might be nice for the council to see that locals actually do care about a summer event.
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The three finalists are from all over, and do all sorts of different events.  Heck one of them produces events for the NBA, Sprint, USTA, PGA.
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If you remember the event the way that it used to be, back in the day…with sidewalk sales, log rolling, canoe races and searching for quarters in the pile of sawdust, and you like that kind of thing, you should voice your opinion.
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If you didn’t like how big the event got, how expensive the event was for a family to go, how it stopped being an event for locals, you should voice your opinion.
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If you feel like Lumberjack Days was at it’s best when it was at it’s biggest, you should voice your opinion.

Heck, just voice an opinion.  Any opinion!
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If you can’t make it to the meeting on October 15th at 4:30.  Pay attention to the Patch after that meeting, I’m sure they’ll have details.  Make a point to learn about the different finalists.  Then call your council people and tell them what you think.  It’s important.   They do listen to their constituents and they want to know what you think!
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It’s time for locals to be vocal.
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I Censored Myself

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

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So this morning, I wrote a blog post.
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I wasn’t sure if I should post the entire thing.  It talked about Stillwater specifically and people who post anonymously on blogs and articles.  I know better than to engage online with people who post anonymously on articles.  I didn’t want to open myself up to any drama.  But it felt good to write it.
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I wrote it and before I posted it, sent it on to a few of my downtown business friends to see what they thought.  Was it too much, should I name names?  Would it be best to just let it be?
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Well, I didn’t hear back from them soon enough so I censored those parts and posted it like this.
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As the day went on today, my friends responded that they loved the original post as it was and that I should tell it like it is.
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When I censored myself earlier in the day, I did exactly what people do when they choose not to engage.  People don’t engage in things for fear of confrontation.  They don’t volunteer for the Parking Commission because they don’t want residents to yell at them when it costs $5 to park.  They don’t volunteer to coach a little league team because they don’t want a parent to yell at them for not playing their kid on 1st base.  They don’t want to say their peace on a blog because they don’t want to open themselves up to be yelled at in comments.
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I guess I’ll post this and let the chips fall where they may.
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So…here is the original post.  Complete.
………………..

I think this is so great.
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Lake Elmo, a neighboring town, is taking a stand and taking initiative to try to change how we talk to each other.  They know that they can’t stop disagreements, but they are going to try to “Improve the level of civility in public discourse”.  How great is that?
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They say many things on the website that I loved, but this line stood out.
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“Civility is about advocating for your beliefs without degrading someone else in the process.”
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In addition to changing how we talk to each other, they want to encourage civic engagement.  What city wouldn’t want their citizens to be engaged and plugged in?
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It’s hard to open yourself up to be engaged.  I get it.  That’s why it’s always the same people volunteering…for everything.
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I’m sure you see it in your town too.  The same people offer to help out at church, with t-ball, with school stuff and with city stuff.  Those volunteers aren’t any less busy than other people, they just put themselves out there.
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It’s also hard to put yourself out there these days.  Our every action is scrutinized and commented on through Facebook, in blogs and articles.  People can be vicious and anonymous.  I blogged about it earlier this year.
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There is one certain person on line who has a negative comment on everything that happens in Stillwater.  We’ll call him “Randy Marsh”.  It’s not his real name anyway.  He can be brutal.  He seems to be, on the surface, plugged in to what’s going on around town, but no one knows who this guy is.  I tried to find him online, to maybe have a private conversation. But he doesn’t seem to exist outside of the television show South Park and article comments.  So this guy is choosing to comment anonymously.  Why?  What good is he doing?  He certainly isn’t “improving the level of civility in public discourse”.  If I didn’t know better, I would think he is just a bully.   Wonder if he takes the time to volunteer for anything to improve the city or if he just simply wants to complain?
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If you want to see for yourselves, the level to which our civility has fallen, check out the comment sections on our Stillwater Patch site, or any public news online source really.  There are almost all anonymous.  It’s too bad.  The Patch is doing a good service for our community and the comments posted on news articles just turn nasty.  Often. 
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When I opened the yarn store in 2009 I had NO IDEA that the issue that would give me the most anxiety would be dealing with that kind of stuff.  Dealing with other businesses, owners, politicians and organizations can be hard. 
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Stress brings out the worst in people too.  The last 5-7 years have been difficult for all businesses and certainly small business in Stillwater is no different.  Like other parts of our economy, retail and restaurant businesses were hit hard with the recession. 
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Small business is tricky.  You might think someone who owns their own business must have a lot of money.  But let me tell you, that is almost never the case.   Owners have leveraged their homes and other assets against loans for the business.  Owners don’t often take paychecks.  Heck it took me 3 years to take a regular paycheck:)  I’m not telling you this to make you feel bad for small business owners, most of them I know love what they do.    I certainly don’t regret for one second opening my store.  I am just mentioning it because when you are backed into a corner, and you are fighting for your financial life, things can get mean. 
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Things are looking up though.  We have been working for years to make changes downtown.  Change is slow.  We have a group of engaged, involved businesses, and residents, downtown and up the hill.   We have committees and volunteers that are sacrificing time to try to change things.  The city is doing their part, working to get downtown cleaned up and they are listening.
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Good luck Lake Elmo!  I don’t live or work in Lake Elmo, but I will take the pledge!  I will Speak the Peace.   I hope more people will engage in their communities,  pay attention to how they interact with each other and how they speak to each other.   It can’t possibly hurt right?
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So, go forth and volunteer for something for goodness sake!
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If you are looking for something to volunteer for tomorrow (Thursday, May 23rd) come plant flowers in the pots on Main Street with the Mainstreet Stillwater Independent Business Alliance (IBA).  We’ll be doing our annual Spring planting.  We’ll be meeting in front of Darn Knit Anyway at 8:30am!  Bring your gloves!

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This was my complete post.  I am not anonymous.
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Can’t wait to read your comments:)

 

Civility Project

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

 

I think this is so great.
.
Lake Elmo, a neighboring town, is taking a stand and taking initiative to try to change how we talk to each other.  They know that they can’t stop disagreements, but they are going to try to “Improve the level of civility in public discourse”.  How great is that?
.
They say many things on the website that I loved, but this line stood out.
.
“Civility is about advocating for your beliefs without degrading someone else in the process.”
.
In addition to changing how we talk to each other, they want to encourage civic engagement.  What city wouldn’t want their citizens to be engaged and plugged in?
.
It’s hard to open yourself up to be engaged.  I get it.  That’s why it’s always the same people volunteering…for everything.
.
I’m sure you see it in your town too.  The same people offer to help out at church, with t-ball, with school stuff and with city stuff.  Those volunteers aren’t any less busy than other people, they just put themselves out there.
.
It’s also hard to put yourself out there these days.  Our every action is scrutinized and commented on through Facebook, in blogs and articles.  People can be vicious and anonymous.  I blogged about it earlier this year.
.
Good luck Lake Elmo!  I don’t live or work in Lake Elmo, but I will take the pledge!  I will Speak the Peace.   I hope more people will engage in their communities,  pay attention to how they interact with each other and how they speak to each other.   It can’t possibly hurt right?
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So, go forth and volunteer for something for goodness sake!
.
If you are looking for something to volunteer for tomorrow (Thursday, May 23rd) come plant flowers in the pots on Main Street with the Mainstreet Stillwater Independent Business Alliance (IBA).  We’ll be doing our annual Spring planting.  We’ll be meeting in front of my shop at 8:30am!  Bring your gloves!