14 posts categorized "On The Road"

23 February 2015

Weekending: Knit In

I went to a Knit In and came home with yarn... and a beer glass! My friend had an extra, so also the matching wine glass! Welcome to Wisconsin!!


I had a great time at and around the 2015 Madison Knitters' Guild Knit In over the weekend! Ann & I made a few stops along the way. Susan's Fiber Shop -- incredibly, for the very first time* but not the last. Bradbury's for coffee and crepes -- we split one savory, one sweet. The Sow's Ear, not exactly on the way but worth the stop; we shopped and knit and sipped away the remainder of the afternoon.

On Friday night, we had dinner at Red Sushi. My nephew Dylan is on the wait staff there and it was fun to have both his guidance and Ann's, especially since I'm basically a sushi newbi. I can definitely proclaim myself a sushi lover, though, and I'm already looking forward to next time. Great cocktails at Red Sushi, and also at Merchant, where we went after dinner; I'd like to eat there sometime!

Saturday was full of classes. Ann & I both took Annie Modesitt's "Mad About Plaid" and enjoyed it very much! It was fun and informative; Annie is a great teacher, not to mention entertaining, brilliant and creative.

I also had a class in the afternoon about working with hand-dyes -- identifying techniques and patterns to help them sing to you as much when knitted up as they do when they land in your shopping cart! I thought this would be beneficial, not only as a yarn collector and knitter, but also as a sometime dyer.

Ann had both the Wine & Yarn Pairing and the Beer & Fiber Tasting events on Saturday afternoon... I'd signed on to take part in only the Beer event on Sunday.


Each event had its own custom pattern and a mini-skein kit designed by Jimmy Beans Wool and custom dyed at Koigu. And that glass! We tasted beers from Wisconsin Brewing Company: #008 - Old Reliable, #002 - American I.P.A., and #003 - Brown & Robust Porter. I've had the I.P.A. before (I love a hoppy beer right now and can't wait to find PSYCHOPATH!) and the Amber Lager -- good brews!

We visited the marketplace between classes and during our free times. I was delighted to finally lay eyes on (and even hug) some long-time virtual friends, including Kathleen Pascuzzi who is Annie's partner at ModeKnit Yarn, and Emily Parson from Sophie's Toes!

There were same changes to the event this year -- a new, larger venue that cost a ton of money, I'm sure. That cost was passed on to attendees and vendors alike. Unfortunately, it was not very walk-in friendly and people who wanted only to shop were not too keen on paying $15 admission on top of $7 parking just to get in the door. I think some of the vendors did okay, but I'm afraid that many may have done less than okay; booth fees, travel, lodging -- and some came a ways (Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, New York) -- I'm all too familiar with this scenario from Rusty's art fair days! I hope something can be done to make vendors more accessible to the public; they're not going to come back if they're not making (or, in the end, only breaking even or losing) money, and I think they're a big attraction.

On Saturday evening, we were joined by others, including Ann's long-time friend Lisa, caityrosey, and Java Jennie/Kitchen Counter Crafter (great bags and fun fabrics!). We went to Grampa's Pizzeria and OH MY... that's not my grandpa's pizza, but it is some of the best pizza I've had in a while! One of our pies had brussels sprouts and chunky bacon, another had pesto, and we all tasted/shared a ginger cake for dessert. Delicious. Afterwards, we made our way to Old Sugar Distillery Tasting Room for a taste and some shopping. I had a delicious and refreshing drink based on the Brazilian caipirinha but made with Old Sugar's Honey Liqueur.

I may have had two. *clink*


My main knitting project over the weekend was Deep End II. I managed to work the sewn bind-off by lunch time on Sunday! I need to weave in some ends, give it a soak, and lay it out to dry.

On the way out of town, we stopped at Jamerica for a bite to eat before heading home. That was an unexpected but delightful stop!

I was asked a few times what my favorite part of the weekend was and I really couldn't single anything out -- it was ALL my favorite part:

Friends Old & New, Fiber & Yarn, Food & Drinks!

 It doesn't get much better than that.


*I have visited the large Susan's Fiber Shop booth at all three NY Sheep & Wool Festivals, as well as at WI Sheep & Wool, so not a complete stranger!

06 October 2013

Black Point Estate

Black Point Estate is one of the Wisconsin Historical Society's sites. The only public access to the property is by boat! One of many boat tours operated by Lake Geneva Cruise Line, it also includes the scenic tour of other historic and notable properties around the lake -- titans of Chicago such as Wrigley, Maytag, Sears, and Schwinn had summer homes there, as well as many other names that you might not recognize but whose companies you certainly would! Those summer homes came in handy as refuge following The Great Chicago Fire; with easy access by train, many of those leaders moved their families to their homes in Lake Geneva and lived there while rebuilding the city and their businesses.

The house is located on a bluff and is not really visible from the lake. After climbing about 75 of the 120 steps to reach it, this was my first view:


Being the first (with Rusty) to reach the top, I (we) was awarded with a bumper sticker to proclaim that fact! 

Conrad Seipp made his fortune making beer, founder of the Seipp Brewing Co. in Chicago (home beer delivery? OK!). Conrad died not long after Black Point was completed, but his wife and other members of the family managed -- and even grew -- the estate for many years.

Many of the furnishings were "hand-me-downs" from their elegant home in the city. The cherubs on this bedroom set caught my eye. What you can't see in my blurry phone photo is the large mended patch on the bedspread! Waste not, want not.

The historical society rather scoffs at the bright green shag rug in the bedroom across the hall! I love it. While many of the furnishings are "antique" and certainly quite valuable, and much of the home is like a "time capsule," it's things like this rug that let you know it was lived in and used by many generations. The knit & lined blanket also caught my eye, of course.

Upstairs hall: there was a closet exactly like this, mirrored on the other side of the hall.

An enormous doll house sat at the other end of the hall, with a large cabinet full of extra furnishings standing nearby!

Stencilled burlap wall covering in dining room. Burlap covered many of the walls.

Exterior and gardens. The house is beautifully painted. One of the descendants of Conrad was a "collector" of trees and, according to our guide, there are 70 different types of evergreens planted on the property, along with the black oaks and other native trees.

I found gingko!

We'd walked the Geneva Lake Shorepath Walk in one direction on Saturday. While Rusty went in the other direction after the tour on Sunday, I did a little knitting (baby pants for Zim) at the beach. 

And then it was time to go!

We stopped at Gooseberries on the way home for some groceries, but mostly to surprise long-time virtual friend Gretchen!

I feel recharged and maybe slightly less overwhelmed after that little break. Man, there sure is a lot to do around here... maybe it's the time of year! I'm finding myself wishing for winter ***ONLY*** because it takes a few things off of one's plate just because, you know, it's winter.

Forget I said that, and let's revel some more in autumn...

For as long as we can!

04 October 2013

Weekend get-away

When Ali messaged me a few weeks ago that she didn't have anyone available to work the market with me on a particular Saturday, my wheels immediately started in motion.

#7 on my list of 10 Things I Want To Do This Summer was:  An overnighter to the Lake Geneva area and a visit to Black Point Estate. It turns out I was able to make it a two-nighter (so happy that I did) and the particular Saturday was Saturday last! We set out about mid-morning.

First stop:

Bungalow Quilting & Yarn in Ripon. I see their billboard on the highway every time I head south... always on the way to somewhere else, you know? Well, what's a road-trip vacation without a little detour here and there to do things you've been wanting to do!

It's a great shop, full of fabric and yarn, wonderful decor, and the owner was very friendly and helpful. I ended up with a book of baby knits and yarn for a baby sweater.

I just love the "stained glass" "quilt block" window on the outside sign!

Our next stop, on the way, was at Mullen's Dairy & Eatery in Watertown.

Walking through the door there was like entering the Way-back Machine! Holy cow. Among my favorite things: Shakes and Malts available in Light, Medium or Thick; Lily Cups; Johnson's Toasted Nuts display (I had to get some!).

We arrived at McIntyre's Resort at about mid-afternoon -- our home until Monday!

Adorable and cozy pretty much sum up the situation there! We were in one of two cabins on the property; there is plenty of room for camping; plans are underway to add four more cabins (I think) next year. They're tiny... no real sitting room, outside of the screened porch, but we really weren't there for sitting...

We walked in the woods:

Oh, the pines smelled SO GOOD!

Paddled around the lake:

Went to an apple festival at The Apple Barn Orchard and Winery:


Did some walking around Lake Geneva:

And on Sunday morning, we went to the last Antique Flea Market of the season at Elkhorn.

Oh my. It was HUMONGOUS! I haven't been to something like that in quite a while and it didn't take long before I was completely overwhelmed. We both managed to walk away with some treasures... mine were knitting needles & a nice book of patterns for the grand total of $2.

Which reminds me, knitting du weekend was some baby pants and the knitting is done! They need a light blocking and a little mattress-stitch seaming... oh, and a cord of some sort... but they're adorable! Colorful without being loud, they'll keep Zimmy toasty warm through winter!

Monday was reserved for the Black Point Estate tour... stay tuned!

15 August 2013

Packing it all in

The sweater -- Pull Gaspard -- that I was fixing in the last post looked like this on Tuesday:

And this on Wednesday:

I did some knitting in the car yesterday while Kate took a turn at the wheel and we day-tripped up to Door County. It was a beautiful day, but other than this:

and these:

Behind the Minnetonka moccasin shop; on the shore in Ephraim

And despite taking my big-girl camera along (I haven't tripped that shutter in ages), I only took mobile-phone photos of menus and food.  ;)

That's the Turkey, Cream Cheese & Cherry Chutney sandwich at The Cookery, one of my favorite places, and definitely one of my favorite sandwiches of all time! I haven't eaten an actual "sandwich" in about a year, so this was really a treat... and, oh, so worth it. I even said to Katie, while eating it, that one of the things I love about it (and I love all the things about this sandwich) is that they use RAISIN bread. I also love and look forward to the accompanying dill potato salad and chunky applesauce. I enjoyed a glass of Island Orchard Apple Cherry Cider and helped Kate with her bottle of Crispin Artisanal Reserve Honey Crisp Cider, and we shared some eggplant fries as an appetizer -- so light and crispy, better than I'd even hoped. There are many amazing eateries to choose from in Door County, but The Cookery is consistently at the top of our list.

We made our way north to Ephraim and Wilson's -- an institution up there, but to which I'd never actually been -- and enjoyed a couple of root beer floats for dessert. Second dessert, actually, as we'd found ourselves in a chocolate shop and one certainly can't leave an establishment like that empty-handed.

If that wasn't enough for a day, we ever-so-briefly cooled our jets at home before picking up Ali and heading up to the Farmers' Market on Broadway (in Green Bay) for more food and fun! That's been on the list for a while and I would certainly like to return.

It's a combo farmer market/festival -- LOTS of fresh produce and meat, arts and crafts, food vendors, live music, beer. I didn't have any beer, but I'm happy to know that it's there.

A good time (and funnel cake) was had by all!

Tonight is a company picnic at the local baseball stadium, and sometime between now and 8 a.m. tomorrow we'll be setting up for a 2-day rummage sale in Ali's driveway! Jeepers, it's a busy month.

I'm trying to keep it all together and make the most of every minute -- packing it all in while counting down the days: (1) 'til Maddy heads back to school, (6) 'til Ali's next midwife appointment, and (22) 'til Kate flies over the ocean.

Meanwhile, Saltires are popping up.

I've cast on another baby sweater by a French designer! Le P'tit Mousse has been on my radar (Pinterest board) for a long time! I'm so happy to have an actual reason/baby to knit some of these sweaters!

I'm pretty sure there's more, but that's all for now!


28 September 2012

Chickens, cousins, Grand Marais

It's always interesting to navigate in a city via second-person GPS -- where someone (me) is monitoring the electronics and relating directions to the driver (Rusty). In that fashion, we took an extraordinarily scenic drive to my cousin Gail's house in Duluth.

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The garage is to my left -- I'm standing in overflow parking (also basketball court) -- and this is the view from here.

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If you're not familiar with Duluth, it's hilly -- like San Francisco -- but with the added excitement of winter!! So here I am from the same spot, looking down at the entry to the house. The chicken coop (shown below) is right below me.

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It looks like a playhouse, doesn't it? When Gail saw some photos I'd posted of Rusty doing repairs to our playhouse, her first thought was, "That would make a great chicken coop!"

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This is the garage -- I was overcome by it all, I guess, so you'll have to imagine the beautiful view from the upstairs studio. Gail's jewelry studio -- RockOn Jewelry -- is up there. I don't know how she gets any work done. There's also room up there for her boys' instruments and whatnot.

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We met Gail's husband, John, and my cousin Gordy for lunch at Lake Avenue Cafe (I had the Squash Spaghetti Salad -- yum!). (I'll talk a little more about trip food in another post.) After some adjustments by both photographer and subjects, we had our picture taken.

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Too short of a visit, but I'm pretty sure I'll be finding my way back again before too long.

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Aaaaahhhhhhh. We did not mind one single bit driving up the scenic North Shore again on Tuesday afternoon.

Our destination was East Bay Suites, Grand Marais, where we planned to settle and make our base for a few days. It was spectacular.

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We had a kitchen, and a local food co-op was practically next door, so we were able to stock the 'fridge, cook for ourselves, and eat in for a few meals. Not to mention coffee. We're sort of snobs about that.

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The view from the kitchen/living area.

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The view from the bedroom. I took a photo from my pillow every morning!

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It's a great little town, and very "arty." The North House Folk School is incredible, and I would love to visit sometime and take part in a workshop. The Grand Marais Art Colony had just held Plein Air Grand Marais and we were delighted with both the venue and the show! We visited a number of terrific galleries during our visit.

Are you bored yet? More to come... food, knitting, yarn, adventures!


27 September 2012

Along the way

Still making waves in northern Wisconsin...

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These clouds just KILLED me.

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While I was mostly unplugged during this vacation, I did update and share camera-phone photos on FB the whole time. (I haven't even looked at my actual camera photos yet!) It would be more accurate to say that I contributed to social/electronic media, but was not much of a consumer. I posted but didn't interact on FB much, nor did I blog or answer many emails; I barely used my phone and, while we watched a couple of movies in the evening, we didn't watch TV at all -- I had very little knowledge of what was going on in the whole wide world.

It was really pretty great, though I think it's made re-entry harder than I've ever experienced.

Anyway, I loved Ali's comment on the photo above: Ohhhh, Dad's expressions are priceless.

Because, of course, they are.

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This is the lake at Superior (above) and if you look closely (or click to embiggen), you can see ships! I lived in Superior for a year shortly after high school graduation and I never paid attention to, much less appreciated, Lake Superior.

True and very sad story.

I didn't recognize a single thing as we drove through Superior. I never had a car when I lived there, and might have been more aware had I ever driven anywhere. It seemed much more spread out than I remembered. We did stop at Fabric Works and I found a little skein of yarn to take home.

Rusty had done some recon via Google Earth prior to departure and one place he wanted to check out up-close-and-personal was the area on the other side of Duluth's iconic Aerial Lift Bridge. There are a couple of major bridges in that area and we experienced them all!

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I didn't connect with my cousin until late Monday night and knowing that we'd likely head back to Duluth on Tuesday, we didn't go far north to find lodging. The Island View Resort at Knife River was cute enough to check out and, boy, am I ever glad we did! That's our view from the cozy porch. The place was clean as a whistle, which is saying something for a 75-year-old resort cabin. The words "Marge Perfect" were even uttered a few times -- a term coined by my sister to describe to her sons the level of clean she was looking for, based on my mother's standard. The boys made a little plaque. Trust me, it is not a term we use lightly around here!

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The Lighthouse at Emily's was just down the road, and we lucked out with live music (on Mondays) as accompaniment to dinner.

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It was a real gem.

I was kind of sorry that we'd only be spending one night there.

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One last view from the porch!


26 September 2012

North... to Minnesota

We pondered many options when planning our little early fall get-away vacation. Now that I think of it, though, it was always North -- we never really considered heading East or West or South.

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We knew we'd drive and that we had a week -- it was Fall Fest at the Farmers' Market on Saturday, so Sunday was departure day. We knew we'd want to return on a Saturday so we'd have a buffer day on the other side.

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We thought of Toronto -- and Canada in general. Toronto is actually ever-so-slightly south-east of us, but Canada... you know? It's just North!

The Maritimes *sigh* always on my list. Can't be done from here in a week, though.

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We thought of going around Lake Superior, retracing the steps of a trip my dad took us on when I was about 12. We thought of going around other lakes -- smaller ones -- Michigan, Huron.

I didn't think a week was enough for any of it. I like driving vacations, but not vacations when there's nothing but driving!

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We settled on going part-way around Lake Superior -- the east end -- with the North Shore as our destination. We'd have the option of going to Canada (Thunder Bay or Nipigon) if we wanted. I remembered that Kathy camps on the North Shore and that Holly's been there and even had a favorite place to stay.

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It actually turned out pretty great for a lot of reasons -- #1 being visiting some folks. My cousins Gail & Gordy live/work in Duluth; their dad, my Uncle Cliff, recently moved into a Memory Care unit at a facility in Superior; my Uncle Bob lives half-way between Superior and my sister Karen's, and we planned to spend our last night away at Karen's on the way home.

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We'd booked our lodging in Grand Marais, MN, for Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, playing everything else by ear as we hit the road on Sunday morning.

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We took US 51, a familiar route north, but we were in unfamiliar territory once we passed the turn-off to County Road FF at Mercer. We pretty much kissed the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at Ironwood, then took a left toward Ashland.

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And then to Bayfield, where all of these photos were taken, and where found a place to spend the night. And not just any old place! It wasn't the first place we called because it's so well known and I doubted there'd be a vacancy, but lo and behold...

While there wasn't any room at The Inn, there was a room at another of their properties, Le Chateau Boutin. Some might think of it as second fiddle, but it was simply gorgeous! That's it up there. Oh, the porch was spectacular! It was nice enough on Sunday evening for sitting (and knitting) and we both thought it was way better than the (first fiddle) Rittenhouse porch. Our bedroom -- oh! With a real fireplace in front of which we cozied up to watch a burning log. The view through the windows is from the bed. Yeah. I could wake up to that every morning!

We walked down to a cute place called Maggie's, on Manypenny Avenue, for dinner. (I love saying, "Manypenny Avenue.") There are a million fabulous places to eat up there. I see now that Wild Rice must be related to Maggie's. I was vaguely aware that it was up there somewhere, having seen it on an episode of Wisconsin Foodie a while back, but couldn't remember... and I guess I didn't really try. It gives me a reason to return.

In the morning, we walked over to the Rittenhouse Inn for breakfast (I sat next to that glorious fireplace). Most of these sky views are from the iron bridge between Le Chateau and The Inn. Then we walked downtown and peeked into a couple of shops.

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I was surprised by the size of the upstairs yarn shop at Brownstone Centre, and with a good selection of commercial yarns. Alas, I didn't make any purchases there. We went next door for a good cup of coffee, up the hill to an orchard where we bought a big bag of Cortlands, and hit the road!

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The weather was great, though definitely fall.

Have I mentioned that I fell in love with a lake?


17 April 2012


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On Saturday morning, my friend Kate picked me up and took me to Wausau to take photos of her, her sister, and their mother -- there's a bunch of brothers in the family, too, but this was a "Girls Only" affair. Actually, one brother was there when we arrived, helping "Mom" set up her new iPad, but he didn't hang around for long.

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I hope I'm embracing and learning the new technology when I'm 89! A heap of inspiration -- both mother and daughters! So much energy and activity.

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Recently having reason to glance back, I'm surprised to see that it's already been 4 years since I picked up a camera with some intent. I recall that, in addition to photographing babies and kids, there was a glimmer of desire to capture women -- mothers & daughters, sisters, friends -- which I never really pursued. I had instant recollection when Kate asked me to do this for them. It was a lot of fun -- I was probably more relaxed than almost any other session (which means only slightly less nervous), and I'm happy I agreed; hope to do it again.

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Kate is an artist and a knitter. We'd both noticed that there was a "yarn bombing" event happening in Stevens Point on Saturday and, while we weren't able to participate, we stopped by on the way home to see it.

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A gorgeous setting.

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This community project at the Riverfront Arts Center was done to create awareness of an exhibit opening this Friday - Common Threads - Stories and Visions in Fiber. I won't make the opening, but would really like to see the show before it closes.

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Quite lovely.

The bleedin' 'arts (I am compelled to say it that way this year) are from my back garden -- I ran down on Saturday evening to take a few photos while there was still some light. They're just everywhere! And one of my favorite flowers.

Four days until the next birthday... which is great, because I've a little more to talk about.


06 April 2012

That toddlin' town


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I drove down on Sunday with Kate and Al. They kindly indulged my swerve through Highland Park to search for the house I lived in when I was in first grade! I finally learned the name of the street... lo and behold, I was likely within a block or two the last time I drove through there! I recognized the house right away, mainly because all that's visible from the street is the garage -- everything else disappears behind a hedge -- just as it was back then.

We traced the steps I took everyday to my friend Missy's house -- which I also recognized on sight -- on my way to school. Sometimes we'd dawdle... doing rain dances on the way... and be very late (I recall once being a half-hour late!) even though the school was only a few blocks further. Of course, I found my school on Sunday, too, and it hasn't changed at all except that it's "smaller" now!!

Missy is one of those long-lost people I'd love to find someday -- and I might have a chance if only I knew how to spell her last name! We only lived in Highland Park for a year, but it was a very memorable year. I had the best first grade teacher in the whole wide world, Mrs. Kelly; and I had my first inkling of romance; and I had a fun and adventurous friend; I watched the Osmond Brothers on the Andy Williams Show, and got my first record player, and somehow Can't Get Used To Losing You is always the soundtrack for that place & time; and my little baby sister was born!

It was a great few days away -- a nice little Spring break. There were many others on Spring Break, as well, and I've never seen so many American Girl dolls in my life! We were pretty close to Michigan Ave. and American Girl Place. My favorites were the ones that weren't so new -- there were a few -- with mussed up hair and well-worn clothes.

There were plenty of other things to see... a sampling.

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This is the only yarn I saw the whole time... I didn't do any knitting, except for a few rows in the car on the way down, and never made it to any shops. I thought about it, but it just never happened.

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Spring was busting out all over!

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We had a fun little spa break -- a quick hand soak, neck & hand massage -- for AVEDA Earth Month.

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No Chicago visit is complete these days, it seems, without a trip to Cloudgate.

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Otherwise known as "The Bean."

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I'm not sick of it yet.

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We found lots of great food, of course! The Ram Restaurant & Brewery was a well-deserved stop after a few hours at IKEA! My sister was in town at around lunch time on Tuesday, so we spent a wonderful couple of hours at The Purple Pig. It was delicious! Katie met a friend for Happy Hour on Tuesday and, on said friend's recommendation, we sought out The Doughnut Vault on Wednesday morning. They sold out of chocolate just two people ahead of us, so we will just have to go back!

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I want this amazing building!

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Redhead(s) In Trouble! (Not really.) (I used to have that album... don't know if I still do.)

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After being on the schedule for three days, we finally made it to The Field Museum late Wednesday morning. Wonderful time with the mummies, dinosaurs, kids & families on Spring Break, and field-tripping school kids not on Spring Break!!


20 November 2011

Ten - Oh!

I grabbed Kate this morning and we ran over to Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill for their Holiday Open House. It was my first time there and it was great to see what they -- and other local artisans -- had to offer.

Also, I found out that the big bag of fiber I've been lugging around in my trunk is alpaca. Kate has one, too, both given to her by a co-worker who moved a few years ago. We didn't have Kate's with us, so we don't know if it's alpaca, too, or something else. Oh, darn, we'll just have to drive out there again sometime. It would be nice to get that fiber processed!

Kate's always been much more interested in the spinning aspect of things. I threw out the idea of a beginner's spinning class for her as a Christmas gift. I may have offered to accompany her to class... you know, for moral support.

We took the long way home, made a little lunch, and settled in to watch the Packer game. It was a little tense for a bit, but they won! The Packers haven't had a 10-0 record since the early 1960s!


11 October 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Weekend update

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Did This Weekend

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1. Road trip! Heh. Not across the pond -- that's Isle of Cumbrae, above -- but across the state! The weather was similarly spectacular, though, for our three-day weekend.

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2. The long way. We took "the long way" on way west through our little metropolis -- though not as far west as the Port of Oakland (above)! We drove the newly opened eastern section of Wisconsin Avenue in Appleton -- shut down the last TWO summers for construction -- and significant because that's where my most-local LYS, Iris Fine Yarns, is located. We didn't stop this time, but I've stopped plenty in the last couple of years -- pfft, "Road Closed"? Watch me.

image from www.flickr.com

3. Westward-ho. We chose US Route 10 as the departure point for our meandering trip to far northwest Wisconsin. Along the way we checked out a new shop I'd heard about, The Knitting Nest* in Weyauwega. There were two other customers in the store at the time, one of whom I recognized -- she used to work in the children's department at our library! It was funny to run into "neighbors" at a shop so many miles from home.

Grandpa's birthday

4. The Kitchen Table. We were close to Marshfield when we started to get hungry, so drove into town to see what we could find. I remembered The Kitchen Table -- and where it was, even though they were closed the first time I tried to go. We had THE BEST LUNCH (he, omelette; me, sandwich) we've had in a long time. Great atmosphere, friendly service, fabulous food -- and I mean real, good food. I meant to buy the cookbook, and I've heard good things, so I'll have to order it.

My mom and dad were both born and raised in Marshfield, so before we left I directed Rusty on a quick drive-by of tour of (my personal) highlights: Grandma & Grandpa's house on Cedar St.; Great Grandma & Grandpa Blum's house on Bakerville; I pointed out some of the important landmarks like the location of Jimmy's Cafe where my mom and dad first met; Weber's and Mitten's; the original Penney's (where my mom once worked, and cried in her Easter Bunny costume because she didn't want to be Easter Bunny! Poor, sad little Easter bunny...); Sacred Heart and the original location of the Marshfield Clinic... I tried to remember where Karau's was (I remember going with Grandma), and to conjure the distinctive (and pleasing) aroma of Grandma's house, and remembered picnics at Wildwood Park with Dad, etc.

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5. 1964 World's Fair Wisconsin Pavilion. Continuing west, we went through Neillsville, and we actually turned around and went back for a better look at this -- it's so fantastical in a 1964 way! Those are NEON letters spelling out WISCONSIN on the spire!

image from www.flickr.com
6. Karen's. Our destination on Friday was my sister's house near Rice Lake (about an hour north of Eau Claire). We had a great visit there, watching baseball, knitting, eating, and Rusty helped with a couple of putzy house projects (he's a good craftsman and a great problem solver).

image from www.flickr.com
7. Reunion. The main purpose for this trip, and final destination, was Rusty's class reunion of unfathomable years in Grantsburg. He'd never been to one before (not even one of mine, because I only went to the first, which was the fifth, and we hadn't yet met). You are correct if you think he mostly went to school -- and graduated -- in California, but the first semester of senior year was spent at a small-town high school in NW Wisconsin -- and they always invite him to the reunion! He was living with his uncle's family at the time, and had a cousin in the same class -- another cousin ended up marrying a classmate. It was a memorable semester for him as the "new kid."

image from www.flickr.com

8. The Farm. We visited the farm last May... as you can see, there have been some changes since then. A spring tornado made a big difference in the landscape. The recent death of the farmer's wife makes it that much more mournful.

It's all a bit melancholy as the farmer is fading, too.

image from www.flickr.com
9. Thorpedo. We'd have gone back through Marshfield on the way home to eat again at The Kitchen Table if our timing had been better; instead, we stopped at the Thorpedo Restaurant in Thorp. I remember eating here for the first time, years ago -- the summer before 7th grade -- when I traveled with my glass-blowing aunt and helped with her booth at county fairs in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Good food, friendly service.

image from www.flickr.com
10. Sports Fan! It was another great weekend to be a Wisconsin sports fan, as the Brewers inched their way closer and the Packers came from behind to win! (We actually listened to the baseball game on the radio in the car... rather unheard-of... football, yes; baseball, not really.)

image from www.flickr.com
*A more photo-heavy post than usual. Some were chosen at random, others with a definite tie-in -- they all have the sky in common. I have been paying even more attention than usual and have been gathering appropriate materials for some interpretation of a sky scarf. Fun, huh? To further the cause, I nabbed a likely hank of Cascade sock yarn in colors of the sky at Knitting Nest. I shall soon devise a plan.

Meanwhile, the Caera Cowl is blocking!


12 October 2010

Ten on Tuesday: Baby, You Can Drive My Car

image from www.flickr.com 
Ten on Tuesday10 Ways to Have Fun on Long Car Rides

1.  Rockin' it out!  It's a sunny 75F, the windows are rolled down, my hair's blowin' in the wind, and it's nothing short of another miracle if I get where I'm going without a speeding ticket (knocking on wood).  Beep Beep!!  Yeah.

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2.  Look at a map (or something) and take a new route, perhaps a road less traveled.

3.  Read.  I like to page through and catch up on periodicals.

image from www.flickr.com 
4.  Watch the sky.

image from www.flickr.com 
5.  Pay attention to seasonal changes in the landscape.

image from www.flickr.com 
6.  Play the "ABC" game.  When we go up north, we often go through Minocqua -- a resort and tourist area with a DQ and plenty of pizza joints -- and I've been known to run through the ABCs twice before we're driving through nothing but forest again!

7.  Snooze.

image from www.flickr.com 
8.  Find someplace fun and new to eat.

image from www.flickr.com 
9.  Stop and see some sites along the way.

10.  Knit.  I have a photo somewhere of my knitting on the dashboard of Ali's car, but I can't find it right now!  Picture it in your mind's eye... I'm pretty sure it was a Mason-Dixon dishcloth.  FOUND IT -- June 2006!


15 April 2007

Of sweaters and quilts

On Friday night, I wore Williamsro to the art opening -- there are fiber artists in that cooperative, they hold the knitting in high esteem -- and yesterday, I wore Fibonacci to the quilt show.  I was a little warm yesterday and am both happy and sad that the days are numbered as far as the woolens are concerned.

Have I mentioned, by the way, how much happier I am with Williamsro since I ripped and re-knit the bottom (Noro Blossom) part of the body?  I had picked up too many stitches the first time -- it was okay at first, but then it began to stretch and I could even see it pulling the other part (Noro Cash Iroha) of the sweater out of shape.  What was once a rhetorical question ("Does this sweater make my butt look big?") was not so rhetorical anymore and I didn't like the answer.  I'm happy I didn't let that one sit for too long.

Fibonacci, having been knit entirely using left-overs from another sweater, seemed appropriate attire for Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond at The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh -- even if the colors are more fall-like than spring.  (It's been on my mind to knit another, in different colors, for the warm seasons -- maybe in cotton?)

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Alison met us (Mom and me) and then we all went to lunch afterwards.  Ali was really more interested in just lunch and could have foregone the quilts, but I made her see the show and I think she was amazed.  We all were.  I knew a little more what to expect, but Mom & Ali had no clue.

"Quilts," I'd say. "We're going to a quilt show, but they're different..."

It's so hard to describe these quilts and their design -- how free and fresh and inspiring and inspired and traditional and artistic and cutting-edge and colorful and resourceful and moving -- without sounding a little more than passionate -- without sounding a little nuts.  And I'm not even a quilter!  They make you passionate, indeed.  The show was quite busy and (not surprised) no cameras were allowed.  One word:  GO!  If you have the opportunity to see this show (or a variation), just go.

We toured the mansion, also (amazing), and there is a children's discovery area in the lower level.  It was so wonderful to see Gee's Bend-inspired quilt designs on the wall, very nicely done (fabric patches glued to paper) by some local 5th graders.  It was a big highlight of the show, for me -- fun to see the fabric of their lives -- lots of sports-minded prints, including the Packers, some Pokemon, lots of denim, but also some glitzy glittery fabrics.  There was one so definitely inspired by the Work Clothes quilts and very meticulously done so that all the frayed edges of the denim were exposed.

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The Paine is also known for their gardens.  This corkscrewy bush (for lack of knowing what it's really called) is right next to the museum entrance.  So intriguing.  There's nothing much blooming yet, except for some snowdrops, but the tulips and daffodils are promising -- soon!  Still, even at this stage, the gardens are beautiful.  I went on a stitcher's retreat to Colonial Williamsburg one December and was amazed at how beautiful the gardens were at the dormant time of year -- truly something to aspire to with my own gardens.  Right now, though, "Baby A" and I would just be happy to see sprouting peas.  Sweater details in the "Completed in 2007" sidebar photo album.

05 April 2006

It's Wednesday, isn't it? A perfect day for more randomness!

I can't keep a thought in my head for two minutes this morning, so random it is!

Cynthia has a nice post summarizing the Warming Grace project -- the response has been great.  That just warms MY heart.  Cynthia has been very supportive, encouraging and generous, with just a few emails and comments, in regards to my brother's recovery; her husband works with people who have Acquired Brain Injury, and they've taken a keen interest.

I will be visiting my brother in the hospital for the last time today.  It was six weeks ago yesterday morning, from the instant he was slammed from behind by that semi truck, that the miracles started piling up -- it's a miracle that he -- that no one -- was killed, a miracle that he was conscious at the scene, a miracle that he wasn't paralyzed, a miracle that the gas tank didn't explode, a miracle that a helicopter can transport him so quickly to where he needs to be so that a neurosurgeon can do brain surgery when needed (and later fix a broken neck), a miracle that he could be in a coma for weeks on end and wake up cracking jokes and recognizing everyone who walked through the door -- and many more miracles, large and small, one atop the other.  Incredible.  Today he's going out to lunch with one of the therapists and another rehab patient.  Tomorrow he's going home.  It's just surreal.  He's got a lot to work on -- reading, writing and 'rithmetic -- but he knows it and he's so motivated and he wants to get back to his regular, old life so badly.  The recovery-o-meter is going to make a huge leap tomorrow, the minute he gets to hug his dog and walk through the door of his own house.

I think I must have still been in high school the last time I saw my brother every single day for six weeks in a row!  Now my life will be returning to "normal," too.

I went to WW last night for the first time since I re-upped -- the week before Michael's accident.  It turns out that I must eat when under stress.  ; )  Also, I think the black jeans I bought last fall must have lost some of their stretch.  Yeah, that's my story.

Do you think I'm excited?  That I might have had a good time last year?  This morning, I booked an October flight to NY so I can return here.

Okay, I'm going outside to check for spring in my yard!

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