Car Seat Poncho

The new car seat rules suggest that children in a car seat cannot wear a winter coat, so a few years back, somebody (not me!) looked at an old poncho from the 1970s and said, “Hey! If we add a hood to this, it will keep my kid warm in the car seat!”
It was a brilliant idea, but I cannot claim credit, as it was not my brilliant idea. At that time, it was not a concern in my world. MY kids wore heavy snowsuits in their metal-framed car seat, but modern car seats are different.

Fast-forwarding to today, the need for a carseat poncho is now real.
I looked at a few different sets of instructions available on line, and cobbled them together into a construction method that made sense for my brain. I am not offering these ponchos “for sale” but this is how you can make your own.

Sadly, I have not ever figured out how to make money off any of the “links” but you are welcome to use them if you need to order fabric. (I often see this weird disclaimer on plenty of blogs that states something to the order of “we make money if you shop from our affiliate links”)  Clearly I am doing it wrong — fabric stores just TAKE all my money, they never send any to me!

I got the muscle car fabric and the fleece from JoAnn Fabrics
The fabric selection changes quite often, so I cannot promise the same muscle cars are still there, but you will find something that fits your child!
I got the cupcake fabric from Seweird Fabrics
It was the perfect fabric for the child that adores that well-known mouse!

I had the silly idea that I could whip up two of these in one afternoon. It did not work out that way in the end.
The final fitting will require the actual child to be present – there is a possibility the hood might need made smaller and the neckline might need to be larger. Both adjustments are simple, but it is much easier to make the hood “smaller” than it would be to make it larger, and the reverse is true for the neckline!

Step one is to cut a square yard – a single yard of fabric is not a “square yard” because the fabric width is not always exactly 36 inches. As neither fabric was exactly 36 inches wide, I used my trusty yardstick to measure.
Fancy seamstresses have this super duper cutting table and fancy grids and mats and a rotary cutter. I have a yardstick and a dining room table and good sharp scissors.
No fancy equipment needed for this project!
Fold the fabric square in half crosswise, then fold it in half lengthwise. Fold the square in half to be a triangle. At this point, all of the loose corners will be touching. Round off the base of that triangle to make a big circle.

(cheaters tip: if that idea does not make sense, try folding a piece of scrap paper according to these instructions and cutting it. practicing on scratch paper is much cheaper than practicing on your good fabric!)

Lay the circle of fabric on top of your fleece, wrong sides together. Smooth out all the bubbles. You do not need to pin this step, because the fabrics cling together at this point. It made me think of  the old flannel board stories I remember from my childhood – was that from Shari Lewis and Lambchop?

Cut out the fleece fabric around the fashion fabric to give you two circles the same size.

The next step is cutting the neck hole from the fashion fabric. Fold the circle into quarters to find the exact center. Mark the center point.

Lay a saucer on the fabric, centering it on the exact center. (try to get as close to the exact center as possible, but it is not rocket science)

Trace around your saucer. Yes, it looks very small. No, it is NOT too small.

Cut out the center circle on your traced line.


The next step is hemming the fabric circle and the neckline.

Stitch down the hem and the neckline. I used a wide zigzag stitch to give it a bit of flexibility. 


Place the hemmed circle on the wrong side of the fleece. The pretty sides will be facing out on both sides, with the wrong side sandwiched in between.

Get it as close to centered as possible and pin in place. Stitch over the outside hem stitches.

Check the back side BEFORE stitching to make sure the fabric is flat!


Cut a piece of fleece 18 inches square. I used my handy dandy high-tech yardstick and cut the pattern out of newspaper.

Hem about an inch on each side of the hood.

Close off one end and turn the hood right side out

Pin the hood to the fabric layer.

Stitch the hood to the fabric, being careful to not catch the back fleece into the stitching. This is the point where the free arm machine is worth its weight in gold!

Lay out the poncho and carefully cut the center hole from the fleece. Cut it a little bit larger than the opening because you need enough fabric to turn under for hemming.

Pin the hem.

Stitch into place.

Fringe the fleece hem



Now baby will be warm and toasty this winter!


Daylight Pictures

There are still a few more nights to enjoy the lights and music at the House at Pooh Corner.

The photo op has been getting a lot of traffic this year!

A magical unicorn decided to join in the celebration this year.

The giant teddy bear really IS soft!

Next year, we need a cool hashtag name to tag us on Facebook and Snapchat!

The reason for the season

Patriotic Santa!

Welcoming archway!

One Toy Soldier

Santa and his Elves are delivering Mrs.Claus her Christmas gifts to put under her tree

Santa is flying in by helicopter – he will not try to land at Winrock this time!

Sometimes the reindeer need a break, so Santa flies his airplane

Christmas Lights 2020

The Christmas lights are on at the House on Pooh Corner in the Neighborhood of Make Believe

Santa Teddy takes up the front porch, and gives a friendly wave to welcome all visitors

Santa Teddy loves to greet the visitors!

Santa and his favorite elf are loading the sleigh, which is parked by the North Pole sign

The penguin trio wait patiently by the fish pond, but the fish are hiding inside the house for the winter.

Excited Santa is landing his plane by the little windmill

Santa has a loaded sleigh, ready to take off to deliver the toys

The photo op is getting used on a regular basis, but I have yet to see any of the photo op pictures on social media

Soldier Santa stands guard over the sign…

The toy soldier stands guard in the back yard

Penguin peeks out from beside the arch

Thanksgiving 2020

The turkeys were nestled, all snug in their beds…

Whoopsie, wrong poem.

The scarecrows are delighted that they are not covered in snow this year!

The scarecrow children are still happy that their parents had found their way home this fall.


Mister Turkey is watching for those sneaky hunters…

Instead of “Turkey in the Straw” we have “Turkey in the ball”

Winnie the Pooh and his friends all want to welcome you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mister Turkey Chef is ready to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner.

Scarecrows after dark…

She started it all — she was the very first scarecrow girl we got.

Rabbit after dark — he does look a little bit sneaky, doesn’t he?


Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!








By Lynn O.

Pearl I was
If not necessarily pure

grain turned into
something precious
not exactly usual


easily misshapen
easily stained
easily shattered

 Pearl I was

for the
bead representing
the month of
my birth

 Pearl I was

 pursued by
and pirate princes

just out of reach
but always

 Pearl I am

of nacre
surround the

perfectly round
perfectly white
perfectly anything

 Pearl I am

Halloween 2020

The lights are on at the House on Pooh Corner!

Daylight pictures of the display

Looking from the Northeast corner

The pumpkin patch

Tigger as a vampire is still my favorite inflatable
Happy little ghost sitting on his pumplin
Mom and Dad Scarecrow showed up this year to join the Scarecrow kids on the swing
Winnie the Pooh keeps things cheerful!

peppermint harmonies

by Lynn O

Allium sativum
Garlic to us proles
Good to cure infections
And for your hypertension

But allium sativum
Will not help your voice
Sweeter song will not result
In fact your breath just might insult

Boswellia Serrata
Arthritis it will ease
For the aching in your ankle
and hurting knees that rankle

Boswellia Serrata
Will not help your voice
You do not sing with knees or wrists
the muscles make the voice exist

Mentha piperita
Peppermint to us
For colic, indigestion
And intestinal infection

Mentha piperita
vital for the throat
clears the mild obstruction
and sweetens every note

harmonies are sweeter
with mentha piperita

wind chimes

by Lynn O

she told me the wind
was passing souls

in winter
those souls
of whom Dickens spoke
abroad on Christmas Eve
wearing the chains they
forged in life

in summer
her soul
and maybe the soul
of her middle child

float In warm air
gently nudging the

a greeting for
her eldest child

Bismarck Belles N’ Beaux

Dance schedule 2020-2021

The Eagles Club agreed to allow the Bismarck Belles N’ Beaux to use the dance floor on select days of the month. We elected to dance on the first Monday and third Thursday of Sept, Oct, Nov,Dec 2020 and Mar, Apr, May 2021,  excluding Labor Day Monday and Easter Monday.

The Eagles invite all of the dancers to dine and drink at the Eagles club. Even if you are not an Eagles Club member, the dancers are welcome to enjoy the meal before the dance and socialize over a drink after the dance.

We still have to be very careful. Until this virus is eliminated, all of the tables and chairs will need to be sanitized before and after the dance and we will have to bring our own drinking water. Bringing a personal water bottle that closes is probably the best idea to avoid spreading germs.

Several dancers have underlying health conditions, so we will be in contact before each dance. If the caller is uncomfortable with calling or if we do not have enough dancers, the dance will be cancelled. If you are not feeling well or have a temperature, do not come to the dance.

It is impossible to be socially distant when Square Dancing, so we will have to use hand sanitizer after each dance tip. Don’t be offended when the caller and other members do not shake hands. 

This is the new Belles N’ Beaux 2020-2021 dance schedule.

September 17   Plus Dance            Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

October 5            Mainstream         Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

October 15          Plus Dance            Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

November 2       Mainstream         Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

November 19    Plus Dance            Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

December 7       Mainstream         Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

December 17     Plus Dance            Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

March 18 2021   Plus Dance            Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

April 5                  Mainstream         Larry Pfennig                                                   Eagles Club 7-9 PM

April 15                                 Annual meeting, time and place to be announced

April 15                 Plus Dance             Larry Pfennig                                            Eagles Club 7-9 PM

May 3                    Mainstream          Larry Pfennig                                      Eagles Club 7-9 PM

May 20                 Plus Dance             Larry Pfennig                                     Eagles Club 7-9 PM