We woke up this morning to find a little dusting of snow.
It's all but gone even now. The temp will be inching up the rest of the week toward almost 50F by Saturday! #crazyweather
- Pick up some pre-sale items at Macy's
- Pick up some other stuff at Macy's
- Pick up some other stuff elsewhere (if I said, well, there'd be no surprises...)
- Buy some ingredients for holiday baking
- Do a little knitting
- Maybe a little sewing
- Watch Junie for a while this evening (that will be a more regular feature again around here) (YAY!)
I'd best get to it.
Ten on Tuesday: 10 Best Things I Did in November
1 - Pardon the repetition, but I walked 32 miles in November!
2 - I made an amazing Leek Pie.
3 - I attended my first Packer game with Maddy.
4 - I washed the kitchen windows (exterior only... highlighting the need for interior work).
5 - I made kombucha! I've a couple batches under my belt. Learning.
6 - I had a birthday and had a great time in Milwaukee with my sisters. No cake, no candles, no singing.
7 - I saw some movies (Spectre, The Martian, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2)
8 - I did some geocaching.
9 - I finished a knitting project (Tsuwano).
10 - I posted every day in November for NaBloPoMo!
Psst. I am doing myself no favors by telling you this, but I can't help myself. Have you entered this: Giveaway Deluxe: Alabama Chanin Kits at Mason-Dixon Knitting?
Today's the last day of November! Somehow, I was surprised by that realization today.
It's the end of NaBloPoMo! It was a busy month with a little bit of traveling, a birthday, some knitting & sewing, cooking, football, a holiday, walking -- all with some overlap and intermingling of family -- and I wrote about most; posted something everyday, at least.
And now the holiday season is upon us! I am feeling ever so slightly less Grinch-y/Scrooge-y than in recent years. I did a little bit of shopping over the weekend (admittedly, very little of it was of "gift" variety) and even a little (a very, very little) decorating.
I'm looking forward to a knitting group party tomorrow and a company party on Friday. That'll help with mood.
I'm looking forward to picking up our share from ARTiculture -- the first-ever-around-here art CSA -- in a couple of weeks. No doubt I'll find a few gifts to give within.
And I'm really looking forward to another Saturday with my sister in a few weeks, baking in the commercial kitchen. I'll be using some tried-and-true recipes from last year.
Surprisingly, I've kept right up with the March Through Time KAL -- usually finishing a day or so before release of the each clue. The final clue will be released in a week and, if my M.O. continues, I'll have a finished cowl in about two! I've had Tsuwano 'round my neck almost constantly since finishing, so another long cowl in the rotation will be welcome. Or it might become a gift!
I've enjoyed the walk-along part of that project and the extra motivation to move. I love keeping track of my activity and routes with the Map My Walk app, and have walked 32 miles since starting 4 weeks ago! A little back strain this morning has me hobbled and I won't be out there this evening. I had a back twinge after I tangled with Gus a week ago, and think this was probably inevitable. But 32 miles this month!
Christina, from The Healthy Knitter Blog and designer of the March Through Time KAL/WAL is beginning a Peace-Along tomorrow, which some might find helpful at this time of year.
Here we go! Next thing you know, it'll be a new year.
I gave myself a little break from walking on Thursday & Friday. My knees & leg are doing okay, but it's apparent that those bruises are deep... I just felt like I needed a rest. "Thanksgiving" is a pretty good workout, period.
After doing a little shopping/running around both yesterday & today, I immediately set out for a walk upon returning home. Do not pass GO, do not take of your shoes, just bundle up and get out there!!
Kate came with me today and we did a combo of sidewalks, overgrown footpath, and gravel biking/walking path (an old railroad bed). It was a lovely time of day!
Five years ago today, I bound off the last stitch to finish one of my most epic knitting project: PARCHEESI.
And it is definitely one of my favorites. There's a lot of love, laughter, and tears knit into those stitches, as my sister was moving through her last months while I was knitting.
It makes me happy to see it at the end of my bed, to pull it over me when I'm taking a nap, to fold it and wear it shawl-like around my shoulders (which I do almost every night in the coldest of winter), to wrap my grandbaby in it.
It is love.
It was one of my most fun and interesting knits, too; making up my personal "rules" for color & design, putting it all together (once I got started), and sharing/comparing it with friends (including the designer!).
Thanks again and always, Janine, for such a wonderful idea and inspiration.
My one and only photo of Thanksgiving this year -- slicing leeks for Leek Pie! Let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious and it's the first of three pies to completely disappear!
Leek Pie was something new for us this year, as were Roasted Turkey Breast and Sweet Potato Fries -- arguably those are traditional foods for the holiday, but we presented or prepared them in a new way. And we had more of a brunch, served at 1:00, instead of mid- to late-afternoon as usual. There was Pumpkin Pie, of course, with freshly whipped cream, and also an Apple Pie at the table (a la mode!).
A ticket to the game was a big highlight of the day! My stepdad had two extra tickets, nabbed by Maddy and me! It was the first game I've attended with Maddy (she was late to embrace fandom), and so much fun. Lucky for us, those tickets were in a box, as the weather was pretty awful last night.
We went up to the roof before kick-off and I am reminded of a photo taken near the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye. Last night was also cold and windy, but with the added loveliness of rain and the "wintry mix."
Pre-game view from the top.
Whether we won or lost (FYI: we lost), the main feature of the evening was always going to be the unveiling of Brett Favre's retired #4 in the Lambeau Field "Ring of Honor." Brett returned to Green Bay for the event, along with many of his former teammates, which was further punctuated by the attendance of Bart Starr. Bart is the only other surviving player in that small and exclusive group of Packers whose numbers have been retired. The ceremony was delayed for a year to give Bart time to recover from a series of strokes and seizures; it's doubtful that he fully grasped the whole thing, but it was the goal he'd been working toward for months with his family and caregivers.
It was a night to remember!
Though this photo is not Thanksgiving (Grandma's birthday is Christmas Eve, Grandpa's might have been Easter), I like the interaction and the smiles on all these familiar faces around the table -- it's the spirit and the thing we like most about any gathering for a holiday.
...and all the things. Happy day-before Thanksgiving.
Here we go!
Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Am Thankful For *Right Now*
1 - Maddy's coming home tomorrow! I'm looking forward to her help in the kitchen, and just hanging out.
2 - Kate's been a willing walking buddy (when schedule permits)! Those steps are so much more enjoyable with company!
3 - Ali's gonna have another baby! She's due in early May and, same as last time, barring some unforeseen circumstance, we won't know whether it's a girl or a boy until then.
4 - Junah's going to be a big brother! That's sort of blowing my mind.
5 - Rusty's work will be featured at a gallery at Todos Santos, which means that...
6 - I could/might go to Mexico again this winter!
7 - Right now, I am thankful for good and patient friends.
8 - Right now, I am thankful for a family that cuts me some slack.
9 - Right now, I am thankful for a good job.
10 - Right now, I am thankful for tickets to Thursday night's game at Lambeau Field! Brett Favre, having already been inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and his number retired, will be honored during half-time. Maddy will be with us, and I've never been to a game with her! I'll also be thinking a lot of Mom... she'd eat this up. #TH4NKFUL
I bottled my second batch of kombucha yesterday -- which I think turned out way better than the first, by the way -- and brewed the third!
The one class session Ali & I attended at Fermentation Fest last month was Kombucha 101 presented by Vanessa & Alla of NessAlla Kombucha! We both came home with a kit that included everything we needed for our first batch of kombucha:
- A one-gallon glass jar w/cotton cover & rubber band
- Organic sugar
- Organic black tea (loose leaf)
- SCOBY and starter tea
- Laminated instruction card
Sugar dissolved; tea stirred in. Let it steep and cool; strain into jar.
Add starter tea and SCOBY.
Bottles procured; bottled and ready for 2nd ferment (bubbles!).
I am terrible at record keeping, and my timeline is a little fuzzy! I really need to start a Kombucha Log...
I know that the Batch #1 sat a little longer because birthday and lack of bottles.
Batch #2 was brewed with organic black tea (in bags) and its first ferment was a bit shorter, so the booch is sweeter (so much better than Batch #1, which is borderline vinegar!). I'm looking forward to tasting Batch #2 after the second fermentation (maybe by Thanksgiving).
Yesterday's Batch #3 was made with some PG Tips (tea bags) that I found in the cupboard.
I'm getting a bit more comfortable with the process. The "log" will help keep me on track. I'm not even thinking about flavors yet... it was suggested in class that we make five or six plain batches to get comfortable, and that's advice I've taken to heart.
SCOBY is weird, but also very cool.
Not the first flakes of snow that I've seen this year, but they are the first that I've seen gathered upon the ground. Luckily, it's only flurries or showers in today's forecast and no accumulation to speak of.
I started to take a walk with Joe's dog, Gus, today and we didn't even get out of the front yard before Gus & I tangled and I came down HARD on both knees (especially the right) and one elbow. I never let go of the leash, though!! Ouchie. My knees are skinned but not as badly as I suspected (i.e., no blood), there isn't a hole in my new jeans, and Annie & I took our walk, anyway, we just started off a little slower. I got my mile in. #amarchthroughtime
It's probably a good thing that we did that. I hope.
: a number or collection of different things
: the quality or state of having or including many different things
King's Variety Store is closing. It's our local Five-and-Dime, at one time with two locations, and I can't think of another anywhere nearby. It's where we'd go for shelf paper -- the kind that had the lacy paper edging. I bought the majority of my Peaches & Creme yarn collection there. Parochial school & Scouting uniforms & doodads, socks, underwear, hats, mittens, household goods, craft & sewing supplies, yarn, fabric, felt, dowels, party goods & balloons, giftware, corks, dishes, glassware, toys & games, coloring books, artificial flowers, lawn ornaments, greeting cards, school supplies, seasonal decor, candy. Oh, the candy!!
The previously closed larger location devoted the lower level entirely to toys and the kids loved going there. They also had 50-cent grab bags and... well, just like me, I guess, the girls always loved the mystery and surprise!!
I stopped in the other day and this little plaster face grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. Isn't he adorable? I bought some thread and a leather thimble... and some training pants for Junah.
Because! That's how it works!! You wander the aisles, never knowing what you'll find, or what you didn't know you needed!
Oh, I'm going to miss that store.
I'm throwing it all the way back to not quite two weeks ago when it was my birthday.
Kate was abroad at the time, but gave me my birthday present on Tuesday night! The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd by James Rebanks -- and oh my goodness, is it a beautiful book! You will want to check out herdyshepherd1 on Instagram.
The weather was crappy last night and I had a daughter arriving home from her Paris/Berlin/Edinburgh trip, so I went to the airport early and did laps through the terminal. The airport in Green Bay is TINY, so I did lots of laps... not enough to raise any eyebrows, though. I had my ID with me and my walking app running on my phone, just in case someone reported me for suspicious behavior!
Today was all errands and running around! Chiropractor, dentist, pick ups & deliveries... but I took time for a meet up and a nice lunch with Kate. There is much catching up to do! The weather is mild in temperature but quite windy today and there's been some rain (it was quite dreary at one point), but I took advantage of a late-afternoon break to walk down and deliver my electric bill... that's only around 500 yards away as the crow flies, too, but I took the long way, of course!
And now it's time for tea!
Ten on Tuesday: 10 Places I Hang Out
1. - HOME. Truly, there's no place I'd rather be. Whether the house is full or I'm home alone, it's where I'm happiest.
2. - IN THE KITCHEN. We hang out in the kitchen a lot. I like to cook, and eat, and it's Command Central.
3. - IN MY WORKROOM. I love being in here. It's getting to need a good cleaning out, as it's sort of the catch-all, too, whenever something needs to be stashed or is on hold for whatever reason. I'm so happy to have a place for all most of my stuff and for that fabulous work table.
4. - IN MY CHAIR (LIVING ROOM). This is where I spend many an evening, knitting or sewing, watching TV or a movie.
5. - OUTSIDE (YARD, PERGOLA, FRONT PORCH). In the milder months, obvs.
6. - AT KC&T. I stop every morning on my way to work. Usually, I just get an iced tea; sometimes (when the fridge at home is bare), I need something for lunch. Two or three times a month, I meet up with friends for Knit Night.
7. - AT MOM'S. I don't hang out at Mom's as much as I used to and, of course, things are a lot different now, but it's still one of my favorite places to be.
8. - ON A PLANE...
9. - IN A CAR...
10. - WHEREVER MY PEEPS ARE! Wisconsin, California, North Carolina, New York, Michigan, Vegas, Brazil, Mexico, Scotland, England, Wales... who knows where I'll end up hanging out next! Because second only to HOME, my favorite place to hang out is with my family and friends... wherever they are!
I spent much of Saturday in my work room -- basting armholes & necklines on both garments, sewing & felling seams and finishing edges on the vest; there's more of all the above yet to do! Every once in a while I consider using the sewing machine...
Rusty & I took a walk after the football game yesterday in search of another geocache (his first). The first one we searched for is in the area of the river, above, but we couldn't find it (we think we know where it is but need to wait for less water). We easily located another that was nearby, and also stopped by my first "find" so I could write in the log (I brought a pencil with me).
I'm still working on Week 9 of my Scoreboard KAL Cowl... those predominantly yellow weeks (losses) are hard to take, and that was an especially high-scoring game! Yesterday's was awful, too, though at least only 34 total points/rows vs. 66! I don't know what happened during the Week 7 BYE; every game before it was a win, every game since has been a loss. Boo.
My other KAL, A March Through Time, is right on track! I love it so far and can't wait to start on the new section released today!
On the way home from the coffee shop yesterday, I walked through the newest park in town, "Hydro Park,"which was funded by our local utility and is sort of an extension of a huge (couple of years long) renovation to the power plant & canal.
There are two large areas in the park with information kiosks (I have to figure out how to use those... are they on all the time?). And both areas have boardwalk designs that mimic the river, and show the location of each lock and dam. It's pretty cool. Someday, that lock system might again be operational; containment of invasive/predatory species of fish are currently making raising questions.
My only complaint about the park -- and the whole area, really, because the farmers market is held right across the road and is sort of a lesser extension -- is the lack of nice, permanent public facilities. There's a porta-potty for use during the farmer market... but ick. It could be so much better. And if the city wants people to hold nice events in the park...
I really need to write a letter...
I returned home the back way... through the ravine, up the hill, up the stairs. No matter the direction, it's always uphill! I still love the yellow door on the garage!
I've been to the butcher and the grocer this morning, and dinner is in the crockpot (it's Cheater Slow Cooker Pork Stew from Nom Nom Paleo, and I will definitely let you know!) (It's been mere minutes and already... mmm!)
There's also a fresh batch of kombucha in the works. There'll be a post about that endeavour before the end of the month!
I'm going to get my walk in now, heading up to the coffee shop this morning (Rusty's having his Fall Art Show & Sale today).
When I get back, I'll be working on this:
Originally thinking that it would be one two-layer piece, it is instead going to be two one-layer pieces. The possibilities are truly endless! They are both going to be simple, basic layering pieces. I'll let you know how that works out, too. Heh.
There was still a bit of light and subtle color in the clouds & sky last night as I left work.
But it's the people in the area of this sky that I can't stop thinking about today.
It was two weeks ago today that I took Kate to the airport... bound for Paris. She and her friends had a great time, including birthday celebrations (x2), and the weather was surprisingly beautiful making Paris an extra-gorgeous place to be! After a bit, they all headed to Berlin for another few days, and then to Edinburgh. I am relieved that Kate is there now; still, anxious for her return home on Tuesday.
That's actually from early Wednesday afternoon! There was a slight change in the weather... and I can't say that I didn't see it coming. Oh, the drama! The first shot is from the deck behind the coffee shop as the sun was about to disappear; the second is just a few minutes later as I was getting into my car, which was parked in front across the street.
With the weather front came a drop in the temperature and a lot more wind! That made yesterday's walk the most challenging yet, plus it was precipitating a little. I hesitate to even call it "mist," but when you wear glasses you notice!
I crossed everything off my list yesterday! Not that everything is completely finished, but I hit on and made progress in all areas. It was a pretty great day off.
I didn't think we'd make it to the movie. I'd told Rusty about a Marcus Theatres Veterans Day promotion where they could see The Martian and enjoy a complimentary popcorn at no charge... and it's a movie that I know he wanted to see.
He's busy, I'm busy. We checked the schedule... question marks.
I threw in a load of laundry at about 6:15 last night, including everything that I was wearing. I sat down, wearing my PJs, robe and slippers, and glanced at my list... mentioned the movie... checked the show times again... we'd have to go NOW!
And we did! I don't know where I got my information, but I was expecting a "sad but uplifting" end... which was so totally NOT. It was a great movie, and I'm glad we saw it on the big screen!
That's two movies in less than a week!
- Credit Union
- Green Bay - kitchen/beer store
- Kombucha (bottling)
- Alabama Chanin Vest
- Lunch w/Rusty @ Mark's
I arrived at the credit union this morning before they opened! I always forget about "bankers' hours."
I need to make a run to the brew store for swing-top bottles so I can bottle my first batch of kombucha -- it is ready!!
My next Alabama Chanin project is going to be a long vest and I'm aiming to cut that out today. It's going to be two layers, but that's all I know... still working out the design elements...
My veteran and I are going out to lunch today, and possibly to a movie... Happy Veterans Day!
I went solo geocaching for the first time yesterday afternoon (and for only the second time ever) (first time was in CA when I visited Celia)! There was no pencil, so I will have to go back, but I "logged" it on the app. It was a tiny container and located only a little over 400 yards from my house but I took the long way… 1.2 miles! Walking everyday!#amarchthroughtime #geocaching #wisconsin!
- Project: Tsuwano, pattern by Sarah Barbour
- Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in the Aguas colorway; 1 skein
- Needle: US 7
- Start to Finish: February 25 - October 15, 2015
By the time I finished with the actual knitting -- in the spring -- there was no need to wear a scarf or cowl!
It took all summer and the eventual return of cooler weather to find the motivation to sew on six buttons!
I did that at Knit Night about a month ago, and it's been my go-to neck-warmer!
I wear it looped once... or twice; buttoned up... or not all the way.
The stitch pattern is wonderful -- lots of texture and interest but quite simple to execute. And I love the color!
I wore sandals to Milwaukee on Saturday, and I'm wearing them again today. The temp is supposed to be 55F!
My cousin Rae is member of a group called Craft Cult and I received an invitation a few weeks ago to the Craft Cult Annual Art & Craft Sale on Nov. 8th at Art & Soul Gallery. I've been aware of this sale in previous years, but usually with not much notice. This year, realizing that it was also on my birthday weekend, I had plenty of time to make it an event!
It was a quick one -- just overnight on Saturday -- but so fun!
SW corner of the building, 5th floor, lots of light!! Fantastic kitchen!
After my walk on Saturday morning, my sister Ann and I headed south! Our Airbnb loft was located in the Walker's Point area. We found it and then headed down the street to Zak's Cafe for lunch, contacting our hosts on the way and giving them a little notice.
My bedroom... and the view. Photos taken on Sunday morning, after we'd already "moved in"!
Karen wasn't expected until a little bit later, and a little shopping was on all of our lists, so we decided to meet up at the mall. Yeah... on a Saturday afternoon.
The good news is, we all found what we were looking for! I was happy to come across a new Hanna Andersson store and bought a few things for Junebug that I know he'll wear and wear and wear. I had a brief thought about saving them for Christmas, but why?? 'Tis the season (any minute now) for cozy long johns!
We had a wonderful dinner out at Morel on Saturday night. I had quite a list of possibilities, but we settled on this one and I'm so glad we did. We didn't make reservations, but there was room at the bar and we didn't mind that... fun and casual. We shared a Charcuterie Board; we all had the Beet, Radish, Smoked Carrot, Chevre, Arugula, Pine Nut Salad (ordered at three separate times, but arriving all at once... that's great service & a great kitchen); Karen had Lamb Ragout, Annie had Ham Hock, and I had Rainbow Trout; and we shared a little Chocolate Mousse for dessert... because was also stopped off at the Purple Door on the way home!
On Sunday morning, after breakfast at Zak's, we packed up and head out of town, stopping at Rae's event on the way. Her husband Michael was spinning records*, and other members of the cult -- wow, there was some great sewing, jewelry, paper goods! Rae's a fantastic knitter, and she made both the hat that Junah modeled yesterday and another little item that I picked up for him... that I am saving for Christmas (as hard as that is!). Yes, I'm a knitter; yes, I could make those things myself... but I know that I won't!
I found some great earrings for myself.
And we had fun visit with Rae!! I'll be heading back down to Milwaukee again to a) give the cult an introduction to Alabama Chanin, and b) to possibly host an Alabama Chanin party/start a sewing circle with my sisters, cousins, and friends.
*As I passed by at one point, I overheard Michael talking to a young girl (and by that, I mean at least mid-20s), saying, "...and the larger space between the grooves is a pause between songs."
I had a really great birthday weekend. This is how it ended:
Junah modeling his new hat!
I'll fill you in on the rest tomorrow...
The old lift bridge... which may become operational again someday.
Amazing sky when we left the theater after yesterday's matinee of SPECTRE!
Sandal weather may be over for good now.
Fungi found this morning.
I've taken a walk every day this week starting Monday, logging almost 9 miles. That's 9 miles better than any week in recent (or not-so-recent) memory!
I just don't even know what to think or say about that. All of a sudden, another year has gone by! It was a pretty great year, too.
There was some knitting, some traveling, some knitting while traveling.
There was sewing... and stenciling and airbrushing and dyeing.
There were awesome times with my family, my kids.
Junah. My god, that kid!
Auntie Camp Weekend with Mack & Addy!
And you all! Thanks for joining me on these journeys. It's hard to imagine the trajectory of my life -- particularly my creative life -- without the friendships, support, and encouragement gained through blogging for the past 11.5 years.
So much great stuff. I'm looking forward to more -- much, much more -- same, new, different -- in the next year!
As a supporter of The Alley Project (a nice wrap-up on Young Space), I was invited to last night's exhibit preview of Shifting Gears: A Cyclical History of Badger Bicycling. There's a lot of cycling history here, and Wisconsin is the home of many custom bicycle makers.
This all-wooden bicycle (even the chain!) never made it into production. Heh.
I have been shifting gears, as well. It was nice enough for a bike ride today, but I opted for a walk instead. I am using an app called Map My Walk, and so far:
- 1.37 miles on Nov. 2nd; in the dark/evening, with Rusty
- 0.11 mile on Nov. 3rd; checking out the distance to the mailbox at work
- 1.08 miles on Nov. 3rd; to the library (there was a book due)
- 2.62 miles on Nov. 4th; the credit union and on to Walgreen's
I almost turned around today when I was finished with business at the credit union, but soldiered on. The weather, while not as sunny as I'd hoped, is amazing. I find that I am much more willing to walk when I have a destination or purpose!
This was at lunch time yesterday; as of last night the first clue in the March Through Time mystery KAL is complete!
When we were at the cabin last year, I remember that we noticed and remarked on some coasters that were from the U.K. -- specifically, from Ireland. My uncle said that one of the owners travels a lot for her job.
This year, we came across some from Scotland. It's possible that we saw them last year, but I can't believe I wouldn't have remembered.
Because we were THERE! Badachro is just a skip from where we stayed at South Erradale, and Gairloch just a little bit further. (Also, I think that boat is still there.)
Rusty & Katie at Badachro Inn...
...where we had one of the best (and freshest) meals of the trip.
I sure hope to go back to Scotland again someday.