Square Dance Time!

The 2019-2020 Square Dance schedules are now out for both of the square dance clubs in western North Dakota.

The Minot Magic Squares

Minot Magic Squares will dance from 7:30 – 9:30 at the Moose Club

  • Minot Moose Lodge
  • 400 9th St SW
  • Minot ND
  • 58701

Many/ most of the Magic Squares dances will be held with the ABC format: alternating between a Square Dance lesson tip, then a mainstream dance tip, then a lesson tip…

If there are enough dancers that request a Plus tip to fill a square, and the caller calls Plus, there will be a Plus tip.

If there are Round dancers present and the caller cues Rounds, there will be a Round dance tip.

If the caller calls Line Dancing, there will be a Line Dance tip in the dance rotation

  • September 6, 2019
    • Larry Pfennig calling
  • September 20, 2019
    • (Annual Meeting)
    • Jim Lizakowski calling
  • October 25, 2019
    • Charlie Huhtala calling
  • November 15, 2019
    • Karry Pfennig calling
  • December 13, 2019
    • Roger McNeil calling
  • April 3, 2020
    • Charlie Huhtala calling
  • May 15, 2020
    • Roger McNeil calling

Bismarck Belles N’ Beaux

The Bismarck Belles N’ Beaux will dance from 7:00 – 9:00 at Edgewood Vista

Dances will generally alternate between Mainstream Square Dance tips and Round dance tips, with one or more Plus tips if there is a full square of Plus dancers who request it

  • Edgewood Vista
  • 3124 Colorado Lane
  • Bismarck, ND

Belles N’ Beaux Mainstream Schedule

  • September 14, 2019
    • Lurita Fugier calling
  • October 12, 2019
    • Jim Lizakowski calling
  • November 9, 2019
    • Lurita Fugier calling
  • December 14, 2019
    • Roger McNeil calling
  • March 14, 2020
    • Jim Lizakowski calling
  • April 11, 2020
    • (Annual meeting)
    • Lurita Fugier calling
  • May 16, 2020
    • Roger McNeil calling

Belles N’ Beaux Plus Schedule

All dances on the Plus Schedule with Larry Pfennig calling

  • Edgewood Vista
    3124 Colorado Lane
    Bismarck, ND

  • September 27, 2019
  • October 25, 2019
  • November 29, 2019
  • March 27, 2020
  • April 24, 2020
  • May 29, 2020
  • June 26, 2020

Come on out and Swing Your Partner!

Creative Inventing?

I felt like I was wasting far too much stabilizer, so I decided to try something different.

There is a really good chance that I am re-inventing the wheel, but I like this creative solution. It would not first time that “everybody knows that” but **I** did not. In case there are others out there that also missed this memo, I decided it was far too good a solution to keep it a secret.

When I was cutting the backing for my quilt blocks, I normally got six backing squares for my 5×7 hoop from a yard of the cut-away stabilizer. The stabilizer has to extend about an inch on all sides of the hoop, so there was more stabilizer wasted than actually used.

This last time I purchased more stabilizer, I cut the entire yardage down the center into two long strips. Instead of cutting the individual rectangles for stitching each of the blocks, I hoop it and leave the excess stabilizer at the top. Then I can cut at the very close edge of my embroidered quilt block, so there is only the bottom three or four inches wasted, instead of having three or four inches of wasted stabilizer at the top and at the bottom. As the quilt blocks are each five-inch squares, there was more stabilizer being wasted than actually used.

This solution made me happy, which is always a very good thing.

And it reduced the amount of stabilizer I was wasting, which makes my budget happy. That is also a very good thing.

Images of America : Minot Air Force Base

Images of America

Minot Air Force Base

by Lt. Col. George A. Larson, USAF (Ret.)

It is fitting that the cover of the book shows the first Boeing B-52H Stratofortress that landed at Minot Air Force Base, as the Minot Air Force Base is still known for and home to the Air Force’s B-52 bombers today.

The plane pictured on the cover is named the Peace Persuader. The Strategic Air Command equipped the 4136th Strategic Wing at Minot Air Force Base with B-52Hs in 1961. The first landing of the first B-52H was part of a celebration on the base referred to as “Peace Persuader Day.” Over 10,000 area citizens — including North Dakota Governor William Guy — came to the base to witness the historic landing. 

The B-52 Today

Today’s B-52 has been modernized and updated, just like the Minot Air Force Base itself. Construction of Minot AFB (named for the nearby city of Minot) began in May 1956 and it officially opened as the Air Defense Command (ADC) 32nd Air Base Group early in 1957.

The base’s location in the geographic center of North America made it perfect for a Minuteman missile wing complex to be built in 1961. In 1961, the Air Force selected the land around Minot to be the location for a new Minuteman I ICBM complex. The 455th Strategic Missile Wing was activated in December 1962 along with the 455th Missile Maintenance Squadron. The 740th and 741st Strategic Missile Squadrons operationally controlled the ICBMs and in January 1963, the 742nd Strategic Missile Squadron was activated with a third squadron of Minuteman ICBMS.

In Images of America, Minot Air Force Base, Larson gives us the opportunity to see the base go from a patch of open prairie grassland to the modern installation it is today.

Lt. Col. George A. Larson, USAF (Ret.), graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science degree in history and a commission as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force in May 1969. He is the author of Arcadia’s Images of America: Whiteman Air Force Base, as well as numerous other military aviation and history books and hundreds of magazine articles.

Available from Arcadia Publishing


Barnes and Noble




Summer Square Dancing

Western North Dakota summer square dance opportunities

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Summer Square Dancing!

Come on Out and Swing Your Partner!

The Bismarck Belles N’ Beaux and the Minot Magic Squares are proud and excited to announce there will be three exciting square dances this summer.

June 8, 2019, Washburn

Arnold Strebe will be calling a free square dance on June 8 at the Memorial Hall in Washburn from 1:30 – 3:30.  Washburn is also celebrating their Riverboat Days during this weekend.

August 5, 2019, Bismarck

Jerry Junck dance on August 5 in Bismarck, ND at the Bismarck Eagles Club.  $7.50/person 

Dining before (and drinking after the dance) is available for all dancers — you do not have to be a member of the Eagles Club to enjoy the evening meal in the dining room before the dance, and everyone is welcome to stay for an adult beverage after the dance.

August 17. 2019, Riverdale

August 17  2:30-5:00 dance with Hunter Keller.  

$7.50 per person

The former Riverdale high school has been turned into a bar and grill and lodge.  We will be dancing in the gym so plenty of room for lots of squares.  We would suggest you eat or (drink after the dance!) there.  They have a wide range of menu from appetizers, burgers, seafood, salads, pasta as well as steaks. 

Quilt Update

Moving at a snail’s pace, but moving just the same…

As I grumble that all my captions just got erased, I will try this again. Starting a new block here…

Pattern I am following for this block
You can see the quilting stipple — each block is quilted individually, then they will all get sewn together. Eventually…
making Harry Potter glasses on a cat’s face…
Done stitching, but the threads are not yet trimmed
rear corner of the forklift
Six and seven were just “blank blocks” with only the number and the quilting stipple. Eight takes us back into the design
Nice machine – it has an enclosed cab
and even a windshield!
Every big forklift needs controls to operate it!
Pinned them together to get an idea of what it will look like
Quilt one
Quilt two

Hopefully, the boys will have their quilts this year — I set a goal of having them done for Christmas. I think that is a realistic goal…

Cross your fingers!

second phase


Second round of Pictures from the Quilting project



New technique on this quilt. I will pretend like it was easier the second time…







The falling gravel — eventually it will make sense

**crosses fingers**


Quick block, this one – there are a few of these blocks that just have the quilting and a number, so those go really fast.



This one did NOT go very fast at all, as there was a steep learning curve on this block — both times

and a minor miracle, too!



Both of the finished cement bag blocks, side-by-side.



stepping into the (quilt) zone

Stitch Delight Construction Quilt

This is my personal journey into the Stitch Delight Construction Quilt.

I cannot call it a tutorial, because I have no idea what I am doing – yet.

This is a journey, and it will be fun.

Come along for the ride, and we will figure this out as we go!


Flannel for the quilt backing.





The first block for each quilt has their initials.



The embroidery machine has a screen for you to select which block you want to stitch out.



This block has a new technique — applique.

Trimming it close was harder than it sounds. Possibly because this is a technique that gets easier with practice. (I sure **hope** it gets easier, anyway!)





Stitching over the edges of the applique.

Second block number one is done!

Technically this isn’t magic, but it sure comes close!



from the Way-Back Machine

Blast from the past — January 10, 2006

(not much has changed in thirteen years — and I **still** have a fistfull of raffle tickets to unload!
On the other hand, “job openings” are really not located in the newspaper classified ad section any longer. While the newspaper does still publish classified ads, far more of the job openings are found online than in print now)


There was an ad in the paper on Sunday, so I went over and threw my resume into the hopper for it. It was the strangest experience to hear them say that they are going to accept resumes until the 17th, and then they will go through the resumes and narrow down the job description. Huh???
Silly me–I thought the objective was to figure out what duties you needed to hire a person to do, then go look for a person to fill that slot. Odd thinking indeed. The way I read it, I guess they meant they want to find somebody they choose to add in to their happy little group, and then they will tailor the job to fit that person.
Whatever. There was no definite info on job duties, hours, or pay that has been set as of yet. So I do not know if I would fit into this job or not. If it pays the big bucks, I might want it. Or not.
The unsold raffle tickets in my possession keep multiplying. I have a bunch to unload for the 2nd Story fundraiser, and now the school has a carnival coming up so they have also “gifted” me with some for that. Gahhhhhhhh. I am not a salesperson. That “salesman” role is the one thing that I know will NOT be included in that job I applied for, however. I would need a new wardrobe for it, which is a plus. Or a minus? No, new clothes are definitely a plus. And my wardrobe is sorely lacking at this point in time.

The house is slowly coming down over there. The garage is gone, and much of the north wall of the house is missing. The city put up that yellow keep out tape–after watching cop shows for all these years, I always expect the stuff to read “crime scene–do not cross” but it just says keep out — danger — keep out.
I have no idea what will happen to the lot after the house is removed. I do not think it is a very large lot, so I do not really expect to have somebody come in and build a new house there. And this is a neighborhood of very old houses, anyway. Of course, if you did come in and build in an established neighborhood, the next developer could not come up and build a big apartment building behind your house. Several times over the years, I have seen places where people built these fancy custom homes, then another builder comes in and puts up a bunch of condos in the same general area. That would anger me to no end, but it does not make it on to my list of stuff to worry about this week. My “dream house building project” sits many years down the road, indeed. Not even a road I have stepped upon yet…

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations


I want to live in the house you see pictured on the Christmas cards. The one you see pictured in a two-page centerfold in every glossy magazine. The house with the perfect decorations in every single room.

So every year, while I am thinking about Christmas, I have these visions of putting up a Christmas tree in every room of my house. Family lore told me that I had an aunt that did have a tree in every room, so I think it is possible to do. When I was a child, I heard the stories of my Aunt Beece and her amazing decorations every year. We lived a thousand miles apart, and so I never did get to see her decorations in person. I never even saw very many pictures of them! Kids today, growing up with email and digital cameras and internet connections, will never understand why photographic sharing was limited “back in the day.”

Without having actual pictures to see exactly what my Aunt Beece was putting up, my mind came up with spectacular decorations, stuff with amazing special effects that would make Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg jealous. In my mind’s eye, I can see all of these lovely Christmas trees. I picture each of them with a different decorating theme, something special and incredible for each room.

Now that I have my own house, I imagine replicating these amazing decorations from my imagination. I could put up one tree with all doll decorations – Barbie and Raggedy Ann and Madame Alexander will all play nicely with each other, and maybe I could also hang some of those adorable tiny china teapots for them to have a treat at teatime.

I could put up a tree with fun Star Trek ornaments, so we can Live Long and Prosper. My grandsons would be thrilled to see a tree filled with all different trains and trucks and tractors – but I am not sure how long those would actually stay on the tree. It is fun to imagine all the different “themes” I could have on multiple trees.

Reality, however, always speaks up.

Silly old reality, anyway!

Reality points out how much work would be involved in trying to set up and organize multiple Christmas trees.

I scoff at Reality.

Starting with good intentions, I carve out a spot in my living room for the first tree. I start looking in other rooms for the perfect location to set up tree number two and tree number three.

Then I remember the part where I am lazy, and it takes me far longer to finish decorating the first tree than originally planned. For example, this year’s tree is not-quite-halfway decorated at the moment. When I unwrap an ornament, I often need to stop to tell the story. I have a wardrobe of stocking hats on my tree, each hanging there because my little one made it in school. Nestled against the hubby’s fancy Terry Redlin collector ornament hangs the stocking hat made of yarn and a piece of cardboard tissue roll, up against the beautiful “You Paid HOW much?” ornament snuggles the snowman painted and created from a wooden paint stir stick.

I think about setting up fancy themed Christmas trees. There is nothing fancy about the tree I set up, but it does have a theme – the theme of my tree is love.