Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

by Stefani on 9-June-2008

First Monday Contest - June

Well it's that time again. 

Oh alright, it's actually well past that time, but I'm not exactly known for my promptness, so maybe I should change the contest name to "Blue Yonder's First Monday (or Thereabouts) Contest." 


Anyhow, before I get to the new contest, I need to announce the winners of LAST month's goodies.

Man alive, your mamas were a talkative bunch, weren't they? I had so much fun reading all the wise words that the women in your life passed down the line. And let me just tell you that it was H-A-R-D, HARD to pick the winners. But, here you have them: 

First, for spunkiest mama, the peppers and Haiku Mama book go to Sarah, whose Nana sure fit the bill with her "people in hell want ice water" (a saying that my Dad also dished out with regularity) and my personal favorite, "He can kiss my ass on Grand and Olive." You gotta love a woman who doesn't mind telling you to smooch her posterior, and not only that, but you can do it out in the street for all the world to see too. It doesn't get much spunkier than that, now does it? 

Next, the prize for sweetest mama saying goes to Emily, whose nana insisted that all her loved ones "take a sweater" when they ventured out into the world, no matter the temperature. There sure were a lot of sweet mamas in the bunch, but this one really stuck with me because it just sums up motherhood so perfectly – wanting to wrap your family up in protection before they go, hoping the world is kind to them when they are out from under your wing. 

Finally, for all the funny sayings that came from your mamas mouths, there was one that made me giggle for days. It might not be the funniest to any one else but me, but well, it's my contest, so I get to be the judge, right? 

The prize goes to Erin, for "The turkey is done. You are finished." I loved this one because I have a special woman in my family who has a million of these sayings. "Wash the dishes, shampoo your hair." "Paint the house, polish your fingernails." "Wear scallops (with a short a sound), Eat scallops (skahhhhllops)" It just made me grin and grin to think of all those funny little sayings meant to whip my hopelessly unsophisticated, preteen self into shape. Thanks, Erin for the grins and fond memories. 

Ladies, email me your info, and I'll get your prizes out to you! 

Now on to June's contest!

Since I'm in my post-vacation, sappy, nostalgic mood, I thought I'd ask about your best summer memories.

Remember back when the teachers made you write essays titled, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation"? Well, if you were to write that essay about your very BEST summer memory, what would it say?

 It can be anything – the comfortable sights and smells of your granddad's farm, that summer you fell in love, an unforgettable month volunteering at a soup kitchen, your first job washing dogs, sticky nights spent sneaking into the drive in, anything goes.

You can tell me your story here in the comments, or tell it on your own blog and then post a link here in the comments section. Or, you can email me your story at blueyondergirl (at) mac (dot) com.

My two favorite entries will receive one of these two prize packages: 

First, this lovely pendant from the incredibly talented Eva at Green Leaf and Owl.

Green Leaf and Owl Pendant

People, I LOVE her work. I have not one, not two, but THREE of her necklaces and would love to have several more. They are funky, fun, original, and plus I love the thought behind the new one of a kind pieces that she's doing. 

The winner of this pendant will also receive this groovy vintage trivet that reminds me a whole lot of our Rosemary

Vintage Chicken Trivet

The second winner will receive this gorgeous necklace (also from Eva). 

Bird and the Blue Yonder

and, this vintage-inspired Italian paper from Cavallini.

Cavallini Print

It's really hard to photograph, as it's poster sized (20X28), but you get the jist, right? It's made up of little sections, each containing a bird, eggs, or nest. I think it would look really pretty framed, as is, or you could cut up the sections and frame them individually. It's made of heavy, quality paper, that feels a bit like linen or parchment. 

Alright, let's hear it – how did you spend your best summer? 

Sarah Jackson June 9, 2008 at 8:04 am

Okay, here’s mine, as I prepare for a big road trip with my own kids. We did all kinds of great stuff in the summer because my dad was a teacher and had summers off with us – camping, fishing, lots of time at the beach cabin that we’re heading to next week. But, the vacation that stands out the most is the road trip we took the summer after I finished 3rd grade. We loaded up the red VW Bus with the red gingham curtains and we drove slowly from Oregon to Wisconsin and home again in a big loop. First across the northern states, and then home through the middle states and Colorado and Utah and north toward home. My most vivid memory of the trip is staying at my uncle Pervin’s farm in Wanamingo, MN. We had been on the road for a few weeks, and I was ready to come home. I sat up in the hay loft of the barn, swinging on a rope swing that was up there, and singing “Take me Home, Country Roads” as loudly as I could. While the trip was an amazing journey, what I remember most was realizing that my favorite place was home.

Julie Alvarez June 9, 2008 at 8:07 am

Oh, such a good idea! I’ll translate it later. But here it is, the link:

Mama Urchin June 9, 2008 at 8:30 am

I have got to think of a really great memory because I might die if I don’t win that sparrow necklace.

melissa June 9, 2008 at 9:05 am

My best summer ever was a short one (we were preparing to move out of state, after having just moved into a new house) when I was 12. Our new house had a fabulous treehouse in the pine trees that grew up the back hill in our yard. I spent the entire summer up there with a pillow, lemonaid, and classic books like Little Women (and the rest of the L.M.Alcott books), My Side of the Mountain, Anne of Green Gables (all of them!), and the All of A Kind Family series. Nothing but resting and reading. Wish I could do that again!!

erin June 9, 2008 at 9:16 am

i’m glad i made you laugh!
after dinner last night, jane said, “i’m done.” kate jumped in with, “no, jane, you are finished!”
thanks stef – i will email you my info. happy day!

Laura June 9, 2008 at 9:27 am

This is super easy for me! You say “best summer memories” and I automatically remember the summer I spent on Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

I was 17 and my parents bravely sent me (all the way from GA) to my childhood home of Martha’s Vineyard to spend a glorious summer with my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Anna. Anna and I stayed in a leaky, pop-up camper in her parent’s backyard. Anytime it even looked like rain, we got soaked! We supplied our summer home with copious amounts of English muffins, Pringles, and funky skirts.

I got a job at an ice cream parlor and when Anna and I weren’t babysitting for extra cash we spent our time cruising the island in her dad’s enormous work van. Even though it only had two seats, we packed that van to the gills with our friends, always making the youngest (usually Anna’s younger sister) sit in the only other available seat…complete with seatbelt…while I drove and the rest of us bounced around in the back. Oh, and I’ll have you know that I could parallel park that sucker!

To this day anytime I see a pop-up camper, eat English muffins, or catch the salty smell of an ocean all of those blissful memories come flooding back. Thanks for letting me take a trip down memory lane. Sorry for writing a book!

PS…I REALLY need that necklace and fantastic bird paper!

molly June 9, 2008 at 9:45 am

once the inspiration hits, i’m SO entering this contest b/c I MUST have the sparrow necklace. Looks like I’ll have to battle Jennifer for it…

Rita Joiner June 9, 2008 at 10:02 am

We kids (all 8) would load up into the huge van, and every rest stop it would be hotter. Finally we’d reach Florida, and begin a delicious 10 days of doing nothing. (it was always 10 days)

We would wander on the white beach at dawn and dusk, ignoring my mom with the camera, squealing over broken shells we chased in the waves. Playing Hearts on the condo table at night, sunburned and eating ice cream. Begging to stare at the novelty that was cable TV. Swimming out as far as we dared in the ocean, and feeling the salt water dry and burn on our faces in the sun and whipping wind. Buried in sand, hot and heavy and it does go everywhere. Little ones, knocked over at the ocean, always preferred the sparkling blue pool. Thick books always brought by the older ones to read in the deck chairs.

The last time I went on that vacation was 2 months before I (the oldest) got married. That’s what my husband and I want to do for our kids.

sarah June 9, 2008 at 10:10 am

when my grandparents moved from their farm to a smaller home, we ended up with their sturdy wood pic-nic table. now that we had two, my sister and i had the hair-brained notion to build a fort on it. my dad agreed and some how we ended up with a real honest to goodness fort with old window screens as the walls and a solid roof. so a camp out was in order. we must have been around 9 or 10. that pic-nic table home (though cramped) provided many a sleep-out that summer. i remember we pretended it was out raft. i can’t look at a wood pic-nic table today without thinking about it! and as a side note, when my oldest daughter was around 3 we drove by a lake and she asked why the pic-nic tables were in the water. (they were docks). couldn’t help but think of my own floating home 🙂
hope you have super summer memories this year!

Michael C. June 9, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I just discovered this blog, and have to tell you: it’s one of the very best I’ve ever seen. Thanks.

Lorilee Kopp June 10, 2008 at 7:13 am

I posted a story on my blog at

Wonderful idea!

Julie Alvarez June 10, 2008 at 8:05 am

Yay! I translated the post about my childhood summers. Here it is, now you can read it (I hope you can understand it, for english is not my mother language).

Chantelle Carlson June 11, 2008 at 7:53 am

I was a city kid. Grew up in the suburbs, spending more time at a mall (maul) in my formative years than I care to admit.
My entire childhood I dreamed of farms, imagined the country, and devoured any pioneer/rural themed books. I WAS Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The first summer I was in University I got hired on at a farm as a farm hand. My parents rolled their eyes. My days subsisted of cleaning out stalls, milking goats, cleaning out pig pens and chasing chickens. It was HEAVEN. The more manure I came home with, the more it channeled my inner Anne of Green Gables. Fifteen years later I still dream of that wee farm.

p.s. The necklace and paper would go perfect on my future farm.

p.p.s Blue Yonder blog is like morning coffee to me. Cheers the cockles of my heart the second I spy it.

Kristi June 13, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Each of my summers were very similar, I spent them at my Granny’s, who lived on several acres of land. My great-aunt lived “up the hill” behind her and my Me-Maw lived a few hundred yards back “in the pasture”. I spent most mornings at Granny’s eating scrambled egss made by Paw-Paw and watching Granny’s stories (Young and the Restless – quite happy to see after 25 years Botox has worked so well for Victor,quick glimpse at the gym last week). Afternoons were spent in my aunt’s air conditioned Ceramic Shop sweeping, unloading kilns, pouring molds or painting knick knacks for relatives. Early evenings were spent calling up the deer by shaking a metal bucket of corn while calling them by name, Apple Jaw is the only name that comes to mind. Then, my mom would come pick me up to get a bath, eat dinner and start all over the next day. I am pretty sure a summer day can be accredited for learning to read a Simplicity pattern, use a sewing machine or peel plums for plum jelly. I also learned to do crossword puzzles, bait a hook with PawPaw, and check a trot line in the Guadalupe River. Granny and PawPaw owned a fireworks stand, so 2 weeks of every summer was spent with sparklers in hand and blackcats popping in the not so far distant. Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane.

Stacy (mama-om) June 20, 2008 at 8:07 pm

My best summer memories are of the camping trip my family took one summer. We boarded the ferry in Ketchikan, Alaska (home), with our Ford Bronco and pop-up camper, and disembarked at Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Thus began our weeks and weeks of driving through Canada, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. I was twelve, still tomboy enough to not care about my hair and to race the wilds at each campground (my older sister said she was “bored” and that she missed her boyfriend).

I fed and rode horses for the first time. Went fishing on the side of the road. Rode rapids. Read books in the back of the Bronco as we bounced along. I sat, surprised into relaxation, in my first hot springs.

My dad followed cars that looked like they were going to where we wanted to go and we found adventures on the small, dirt roads. Big bulls close-up, a recluse who built statues out of pop-cans.

We woke up one morning, the door of our camper ajar, and watched moose grazing nearby. It seemed that every thing that happened to us was magical. That trip, for me, meant feeling completely at home while discovering new worlds.

Mama Urchin June 28, 2008 at 9:41 am

I think my best summer memories are from when we would go to the Jersey shore. My dad was inevitably in cutoff jeans – why didn’t he have swim trunks? – and I was the only kid with my parents, grandmother, and three aunts to dote on me. My dad taught me how to jump waves, we spent hours in the ocean going over and under. There were always sandbars and we could go so far out. It seemed like miles. And he would hold me on his hip and I could wave to all those women who cared about me back on the beach while they sunbathed and watched my baby sister in the playpen.

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