I went to Oregon (Part 4: Old Home, The End)

Completely unplanned, we ended up doing at least a drive-by of every place I'd lived during my 4+/- years in Oregon.

My first residence was a tiny furnished house, rented for me by my dad & his wife, on Latimer Road in Tillamook. It was super cute -- part of a little complex of tiny houses connected by shared carports. I especially loved the spacious kitchen there. The place hadn't changed a bit!


View toward Haystack Rock at Cape Kiwanda.

When I met him, Rusty was living in his house at Cape Kiwanda but working in Tillamook. As we began to spend more time together, we decided to rent a house in Tillamook. Pickings were very slim, but we found a small house on First Street. It had been abandoned by previous tenants and the power had been shut off... with food in the fridge... for months. I don't remember much about the landlord situation, but I'm sure that Rusty negotiated the rent wherein we got rid of the ghastliness in the fridge and did some other cleaning & fixing up. I remember turning one of the two bedrooms into a huge closet (as neither bedroom had any other type of closet), and the small-ish kitchen had wooden countertops. That house hadn't changed a bit, either!

After a little while, having two places got to be a drag and we decided the drive wasn't all that bad (unless stuck behind a motorhome or eight), so gave up the First Street house and moved to Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City. As we worked at doing some adding on and finishing, I discovered that I was pregnant! That house had been built for one person and the addition helped for two, but adding a baby to the mix... just wasn't going to work!


Near the beach, Cape Meares.

We sold that house and bought one at Cape Meares, but first... homeless for a month between closings, we rented a small unit at the Terimore Motel in Netarts. We were able to move most of our belongings into the house, but I decided to stash the basinette and a few baby things in the closet at the motel. Good thing!





Clearly, we don't remember exactly which unit we lived in. I was going to say that this place hasn't changed a bit, either (and I'll bet it hasn't!). Both Rusty and I have made this mistake... I think our unit was actually behind this one! Ha.


Effects of prevailing wind (at Cape Meares State Park).

Finally, when Kate was about a week old we moved to a nice little house on Meares Ave NW, Cape Meares. We did a lot of work there, too, including replacing the deck, painting the exterior, and building a driveway/patio and enclosed porch. The house is completely unrecognizable now with a second-story addition!


Gorgeous ocean view from Cape Meares State Park.


The Octopus Tree.

We had a nice visit with my dad and his wife while we were in Tillamook, and with my cousin Gordy and cousin-in-law John who were out from MN to do some steelhead fishing.


On Sunday, we headed inland...


We stopped near Salem for a lunch date with Rusty's ex-wife, her husband, and a few of their friends. This is a view from the living room -- there are sheep out there -- you can't see them, but I know they're there (beyond the little building, just behind the hedgerow).

Finally, to Portland for dinner* & overnight with our good friend TJ and her husband Les. We had such a good visit with them and our friend Bill -- it was so great to see them/hug them in person!


Fly away home. New PDX carpeting.

*I'm making TJ's yummy & not-too-soupy veggie lasagna recipe for Easter!


Craftsy - 1200x627_gallery_knitting

I went to Oregon (Part 3)


Compared to Shore Acres, the ocean scene at our little cottage just south of Yachats was quite serene! It was just after sunset, but still a lovely glow in the west.

Our northerly trek along the coast continued the next day, though at a more leisurely pace. We stopped in Newport and took a walk along the boardwalk and bayfront.


The unmistakable sound of sea lions reverberated throughout. We could see them along some rocks out in the harbor, and then discovered a large (noisy) gr0up right at a small pier.


 This is just a small sampling of the many murals of all sizes and ages that we saw.


We eventually made it to our Airbnb lodging just south of Pacific City, where we plunked down for two nights. We couldn't have asked for better -- up a hill and with a command view of a wild ocean and dramatic, ever-changing sky -- and we loved the different view of Haystack Rock at Cape Kiwanda.


We'd barely landed before we were off to do a little peekin' (and maybe even a little trespassing) at the house that Rusty built (ca. 1983) and that I helped to enlarge & finish (ca. 1984) and where we were married (in 1985). A lot has changed in 31 years. We weren't able to check out the house from the inside (we tried!).

We used to have a terrific view of Haystack Rock from the kitchen & bedroom windows at that house... but no more! There are so many more houses (and they're so close!).


A photo app on my phone stitched together this awesome pano (with wavy ocean) from some photos that I took at the beach near the cape. That's Rusty at water's edge.

I went to Oregon (Part Yarn... um 2)

Arguably, there are more yarn stores per capita in Portland, OR, than any other U.S. city, but I knew that I wouldn't have time during my trip to visit even one! So I did a little research and made a short list of coastal shops.

My Yarn Shop - Coos Bay, OR


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to shop at this store. The lights were on and OPEN sign was lit, but the door was locked and there was a "Will Return at 4:30" sign in the window... it was 4:45, closing was posted as 5:00, and we didn't have time to wait (time to shop, yeah, but not to wait). I tried the door a few times, and then once or twice more (I really wanted in), before we moved on. I include it because it looked like a great shop!

Yarn For All Seasons - Newport, OR


This one was a little trickier to find, tucked into a larger tourist-y shopping center, and the GPS pin was just a bit off. It was worth finding!


Twisted Sisters "Happy Kids" yarn + onesie: There's a baby on the way!

Noro Silk Garden: for an entrelac scarf (the one I made for Mom in similar colorway has never turned up). My LYS doesn't carry Noro yarns anymore (supply chain frustrations), but I'm hopeful that they will again.

Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails: I wanted them ALL!

In The Wind Yarns - Lincoln City, OR (Gleneden Beach)


This is a lovely shop, located right across from Salishan. The shop owner was working on a shawl by French designer Cailliau Berangere called Bryum -- it was at least the third or fourth she'd done, all in different combos -- and I fell in love!


I bought some Noro Silk Garden Sock and Malabrigo Sock for the task.


PDX shops are on the list for our next visit!

First Day of Spring!!


I found a little spring on the West Coast last week. Sadly, no photos of the flowering trees that I saw now and then, nor of rhodies. The only other place I've seen rhododendrons so marvelous and huge was in Ohio when we visited Sharon there once. We had a giant red rhodie outside our house at Cape Meares back in the day. Gorgeous.

The 1st Day of Spring means it's the anniversary of the blog! Twelve years ago, I typed some words and hit "publish now." Since then, I've written 2850 posts and received nearly 25,000 comments.

Various pages hereon have been viewed over 1,050,000 times, mostly from within the U.S., but also from Canada, U.K., Australia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Japan, and Norway. People land here by searching for "knitorious," "roasted tomato sauce," "red are strawberries song," and "Alabama Chanin." They also land here from other blogs, such as Mason Dixon Knitting, ZeneedleCarole Knits, and January One; from blog readers and other sources such as Feedly, Bloglovin', Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more.

Blogland certainly has changed in 12 years!!

I've changed, too. I quit smoking (11 years as of last Thursday), my kids have grown up; I became and aunt again (x2), a mother-in-law and a grandmother; and I've lost loved ones, including my mother, sister, grandmother, uncles and cousins.

I've knit like crazy, sewn as I never dreamed I would, dyed yarn & fabric, and even made a quilt with my daughter (and started another on my own).

I've traveled! Often within WI and the U.S., twice to U.K., to Mexico, and even to Brazil. I've had the craziest good times meeting up with other knitters/friends in various places.

Mostly, I feel that I've been empowered by blogging (reading blogs as much as writing a blog) to explore more, to be more adventurous -- it comes from here, a knitting blog, but spills into all areas of my life.

Though I've been a bit scarce of late, it's sure been fun! We'll see how Lucky 13 turns out!!

Thanks for reading and dropping a line now and then.  ;)

P.S. Though I haven't been doing much knitting lately, either... it's SPRING and that means time for Romi's Mystery Shawl! The first clue was released last Friday and, while I have my pattern, I still haven't decided on yarn... but I will. Also, still planning my Habu boxy top!

I went to Oregon (Part 1)

I flew out to Arcata, CA, a week ago to meet Rusty and accompany him on the last leg of his West Coast trip before he turned the car for home.


I arrived on Wednesday evening, and we hit the road on Thursday morning.


First stop, though, was the World's Largest Totem Pole (not tallest) in McKinleyville, CA.


Second stop was breakfast at the Seascape Restaurant & Pier at Trinidad; Rusty's mother used to like this place and there's an old photo of her standing by a whale-shaped sign that pointed the way. We happened to be among the first customers to enjoy first-ever major renovations! It was pretty spiffy, and the staff was giddy.


We also visited the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse.

Our destination by day's end was Yachats, OR -- 5.5 hours away -- and lots to see along the way!


Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox at Trees of Mystery, Klamath, CA! There are a few Paul Bunyans in WI and I just had to see this one (plus, it was right on the way).

I was expecting nothing but gray skies and rain on this trip, so imagine my delight at this:


I even had to wear sunglasses!


It was wonderful! The sky & clouds were ever changing, even when it was raining. Sometimes we'd experience all the weather in a very short timespan/distance.

One of our favorite stops -- and Must See on Rusty's list, especially since there was surf -- was Shore Acres State Park at Coos Bay.


It was dramatic, moody, broody, amazing, and utterly gorgeous! Those rocks -- the angle of those rock ledges jutting toward the sea, and other formations -- blows my mind.

We stopped in Florence, too. Rusty's dad is considering a fishing/canning operation there. It's a cute and historic town, with lots of fishing and shopping -- and antiques! I didn't recall that there were so many antique shops/malls along the coast.

We finally made it to our cozy cottage near Yachats just as the sun went down, and then went in search of dinner. I highly recommend Luna Sea Fish House if you're ever there -- the food was great, the service spectacular! We were lucky to nab one of the last servings of marionberry cobbler. Mmmm.

To be continued.

Weekending: A Week Behind!

I don't know how that happened... there's a lot of juggling going on around here, though, so let's chalk it up to that.


I just love the body language in this photo. We have three kitties at our house -- and all three are pretty good at avoiding Junah! He gets so excited when he sees one, though, and Roxie is (always has been) the most tolerant of young children. (Also, wearing Grandpa's hat! He put it on and started to say, "Buh-ba? Buh-ba?")


One thing led to another on the weekend-before-last, and pretty soon a few hours on a Saturday afternoon at Nona's house turned into a sleep-over with a bonus trip up to Annie's for a visit with the boys and Sunday brunch!


Good (very early for a Sunday) morning with epic bed-head (the boy needs a haircut soon)!! It was our first sleep-over in about a year, and it went very well.


Patience for photos with the cousins... not so much. The boys were so excited, though! First they built a fort on their bunkbeds and when Junah wasn't terribly interested, they moved the whole production into the living room. He's still just a bit too young for that type of play... I doubt it'll be long, though.


Since I was in possession of our Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt kits, there may have been an ulterior motive behind my invitation to brunch! I had even started stitching on mine. Annie's is ochre-on-ochre and that color is DIVINE! Last we spoke, her plan had changed to reverse applique over most of the skirt, with couching on the bottom 6" or so. Whatever she does, it's going to be fabulous!


It was fun to do some stitching with my sis!!


Even though I'd practiced the negative reverse applique technique on my swatch, I couldn't wait to see how it was going to look with the actual fabric & colors that I'm using for the skirt. I haven't cut any more than that but am stitching everyday and getting closer to finishing that panel. So exciting!


I'm also continuing my consultation with Ina Braun regarding my LOLA sweater... measurements, gauge swatch, design elements... we're getting close! My short trip to CA/OR begins on Wednesday and I hope to bring this along as my knitting project. Of course, I'll bring sewing, too.

My Kind of Town Chicago Is


Way back before Christmas, it was decided that while Rusty was traipsing around the west coast, we'd have a girls' weekend in Chicago. Maddy's never been with us on previous trips, and we all looked forward to a fun few days together. We put our heads together and came up with a pre-baby, pre-spring-craziness date that would work for all of us and booked an Airbnb 44th-floor corner apartment with FABULOUS views of Chicago, including Marina City and Sears Tower, and within walking distance of everyplace we'd want to be. (I know it's not called that anymore, but I can never remember... Sears Tower it will always be to me.)

Two weeks ago tomorrow, we hit the road and pointed south. Arriving just after noon, we parked the car and headed off for lunch at The Purple Pig. There's only one time since we first discovered that restaurant that we haven't eaten there -- we love it, and it's definitely a treat!


The weather was fantastic!

We checked into our apartment after lunch and then hit a couple of shopping spots that the girls like -- Nordstrom Rack, TJMaxx, etc. We stopped at Eataly on the way home and stocked up on meats, cheeses, bread, olives and beverages, and had a relaxing night in on Friday night. We've watched (and anticipated) Eataly in Chicago for a while now and it did not disappoint. Next time, we'll definitely have a meal there! Shopping was a real treat with so many terrific choices.



Selfie City @ Cloudgate!

On Saturday morning, we walked through Millennium Park on our way to the Art Institute of Chicago. One of the big draws at AIC was the Van Gogh's Bedrooms exhibit (and not just us, the exhibit is drawing record-setting crowds!).


There was a lot to see, and I'm sure we didn't see half of it.


It was fascinating (if a bit crowded) to see the paintings together, of course. Ali posted the comparison, above, on Instagram; and there was a great video as part of the exhibit that zoomed in to the same place on each painting at once to closely compare the differences in each. Those paintings are "all the same" and yet so very, very different.


Apparently Vincent kept a small red lacquered box full of wool (replica, above) that he used to play around with color while he worked.


We were also very excited to see The New Contemporary.



It's a wonderful exhibit! I was apparently quite focused on color and texture as presented by Mark Rothko, Joan Snyder, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg (sock!). Ha.

Kate also wrote about our visit to AIC on the Young Space blog, if you're interested. (And more pictures!)


See? Beautiful weather!!


We lunched and shopped our way back to the apartment, then walked to Cantina Laredo for a lovely dinner. There was a selection of menus in the apartment's welcome binder and this one had a 5-star rating, so we decided to give it a try. It was delicious, and we loved the guacamole made table-side.

We had a fun stop at IKEA on Sunday as we made our way home, including lunch for the first time ever -- Swedish meatballs! Kate's Subie was packed to the gills.

Yeah Chicago. 'Til next time...

Oscars highlight

"Anyone out there who's in junior high, high school, suffering, there are days you're going to feel sad, you're going to feel angry, you're going to feel scared -- that's nothing you can choose. But you can make stuff. Make film, draw, write. It'll make a world of difference."

--Pete Docter, co-creator of "Inside Out," in acceptance speech for 2016 Best Animated Feature

I stayed up and watched the Oscars, though I probably shouldn't have. I'm so happy that Spotlight won Best Picture!

It was a busy weekend, highlights of which were:

  • Packages in the mail, including my new AC Skirt kit
  • 24 hours w/Junah (a sleep-over!)
  • Driving up with Junah for brunch at Annie's

Also, sneezes and sniffles. I'm on the upswing, but... yeah, I should have gone to bed a lot earlier!


Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Things

Ten on Tuesday Wednesday Thursday:  10 Favorite Things... Right Now

1 - Mink River by Brian Doyle. I've been reading this book  because it was recommended by goodreads/blog friends, had very good reviews, is published by Oregon State University Press, Tillamook is mentioned in the credits... and when I learned that it was set on the Oregon coast (which I'll soon be visiting) and that the author's birthday is Nov. 6th (same as mine)... well, okay then!

The other night I read a passage in the book and was dumbfounded to find myself reading a near-perfect description of Rusty & I... or at least how I have always felt and wished I could describe but have never been able to put into words... this is pretty much it.

Maple Head walks over to the doctor's house, cutting along the beach in the moonlight, the tide is low, thinking about her husband, about all the hours and days and weeks and months and years they have spent together, about all the arguments they have had, all the laughter, all the exhausted moments with the baby, and then raising a girl and then a young woman . . . you do the best you know how at the time, and we never really had any money, and I made more money than he did for the longest time, and that was hard for him, that was a small wound between us, and he had all these wild projects, and I love that, because he is his dreams, and without his dreams he'd be empty and tired, but those dreams were crazy sometimes, all the projects, all the stuff in the house, all the machines, and all the thousands of hours he could have been doing something for money, but he is who he is, a dreamer, impractical and practical, I know that, and I love him for who he is, I know that, and I am not perfect either, a dreamer too, I always wanted to open my own school and never did, never never never had the money, but it wasn't the money I sometimes think, it was the leap, I never took the leap, but how could I?

_ _ _ _ _ _

2 - Marina City by Bertrand Goldberg. While we lived in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park when I was in first grade (1964-65) and my dad worked in The Loop, I don't recall any family trips into the city. By the time I was in third grade, we'd moved to NE Wisconsin, but there was a very memorable trip to Chicago with my mom and Aunt LaFae, who drove, and my Uncle Bob stayed and watched my siblings at home, and I don't really know where my dad was or why this trip happened -- all I know is that we drove into Chicago at night and the Morton Salt Girl was lit up and sprinkling salt like nobody's business as we approached downtown, and I may or may not have seen Marina City...


Whenever it was they first came into view -- likely the first time I ever really noticed "architecture" -- those buildings were seared into my brain. I guess you could say that they started my list of favorite architecture at #1 and there they remain. I was always alert for glimpses during the opening of The Bob Newhart Show every week!

 _ _ _ _ _ _

3 - Millie Fleur by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics.


I saw this fabric in an instagram post the other day and located it online within seconds; within minutes, there were orders placed! A bit of woven cotton and jersey are both scheduled for delivery today. Heh. That's my kind of floral/print. And color!

 _ _ _ _ _ _

4 - That "getaway glow" after spending a weekend in Chicago with my girls!


We had a marvelous time! I got a new pair of shoes out of the deal, too. Thinking that I'd "pack light" by packing only one pair of shoes (boots, in this case), by Saturday afternoon I was in DSW desperately searching for something anything!


The weather was mahvelous! More on Chicago to come...

 _ _ _ _ _ _

5 - Sheet Pan Suppers and Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?


Last night, for the first time, I made Roasted Beet & Orange Salad with Pistachios & Feta on a sheet pan and, wow, was that good -- both at room temp for supper last night and out of the fridge today for lunch. My only mod next time will be more beets! I also think a softer, milder goat cheese in place of the feta would be a delicious variation. The main dish, which I've made a few times in recent memory, was Ina Garten's Chicken With Shallots (another fave in that book is Lemon Chicken Breasts). I have become pretty good at boning chicken breasts as it seems you can get either skin-on/bone-in or skinless/boneless in the grocery store and these call for skin-on/boneless. Kate has a new office/work space that's right across the street from a butcher, though, so maybe I'll utilize their services a bit more -- and personal home delivery! Heh.

 _ _ _ _ _ _

6 - Cooked. Michael Pollan's new 4-part series on Netflix. I watched over the last two nights as I prepared dinner and otherwise puttered in the kitchen. I will no doubt watch it again... have already recommended it to Ali, and now to all of you.  ;)

 _ _ _ _ _ _

7 - A TV in the kitchen. We used to have a TV in the kitchen for a lot of years. I don't recall what happened to it, exactly, but we haven't had one in a while and it came up often enough lately that I decided to get one -- prices are fairly low for a little flat screen (and I saved a bit more by using my Target debit card, too).

 _ _ _ _ _ _

8 - With Chromecast. Yes, I'm a little bit of a TV/electronics junkie. I like doodads, I love technology, I appreciate convenience and ease of use. We already have TiVo on our main TV because we don't have cable and a DVR is essential for how we view, but we aren't going to be watching the kitchen TV enough to justify adding a "Mini." It's super easy to stream Netflix (and more) with Chromecast, the doodad was very affordable, and the app is free!

 _ _ _ _ _ _

9 - Habu 2/17 tsumugi silk and L25/3 linen -- together.


I did some swatching on size 6 US, 7 US and 8US needles.


Then washed and dried... and, oh my, is that a marvelous fabric!! I'll be going with the 8s, doing some measuring and comparing with other garments, then putting my head together again with Ina Braun. Meanwhile, stopping at my LYS to see if they happen to have another cone of the tsumugi... as you may recall, I know where I bought this yarn, but don't remember why or when!! Another cone of the tsumugi would give me some more options, but it's not crucial.

 _ _ _ _ _ _

10 - My new Scrappy Boho Bag by Ali! I've had my eye on this bag for a while. It'll be a great little knitting bag (which I definitely do not need, but most certainly did want). Those fabrics make me so happy. 


Since the quilt is finished, Ali has time for other sewing projects! Well, as much time for sewing as she can carve out of a busy day. She has a good thing going with my mom's old Singer 500 Slant-O-Matic - The Rocketeer! 

To infinity and beyond...

By hand

The art historian/curator in the family has been doing some research along the lines of art+craft, among other things, and books have been regularly arriving in the mail. The other day it was this one:

Flipping through the pages, I saw this image:


I said, "That looks like Alabama Chanin."


Purposefully flipping a few pages back, I found that it most certainly was... or, rather, the original Project Alabama that grew to become Alabama Chanin.

I was so excited to learn that the AC skirt kits that Annie & I ordered have been shipped! With any luck, we'll have them in-hand by next weekend.


Meanwhile, my research in regards to these lovely Habu tsumugi and linen yarns led me to make my first Ravelry purchase of 2016: The LOLA (sweater) by Tante Sophie, aka Ina Braun. The pattern has a bunch of options, a bunch of yarns have been tested/used, there's a bunch of notes and, best of all, there's Ina. She was very helpful and generous in giving me some "how to" tips last summer during Auntie Camp when I was teaching the boys to knit, and she continues to be very helpful and generous in giving me guidance in how I might best use these yarns for the type of fabric and, ultimately, the sweater that I want.

House/kitty sitters have been arranged and I'm off to Chicago today for a long weekend with all three girls! It's going to be delightfully warm (58F!), but it also looks as though The Windy City will be living up to its name.

3rd Thursday

Wow. I've been a bit preoccupied with things like dealing with car insurance and readying for a quick weekend trip to Chicago, so I was a bit surprised this morning to be reminded of 3rd Thursday Knit Night... which I host! I am not always in attendance, but I don't think I've ever forgotten!!


{Take a breath}

It was a beautiful sunrise this morning. The pretty light was just beginning when I got out of bed (about 5:30 am CST) and it only got better; this photo was about an hour later, just as I left the house.

Maddy's Jeep suffered some impossible to ignore damage during a grocery store parking lot hit & run last week. We're not usually very particular about dents and dings, but in this case the directional lights (both front and side) were wrecked. Blech.


{Take a bow}

On the other hand, Maddy's diploma arrived in yesterday's mail! She graduated in December, continues working, and will be spending several months working and exploring in New Zealand beginning next fall.

7-Year Itch


Seven years ago today this fresh-faced young woman opened the door and welcomed customers for the first time as operator of Kaukauna Coffee & Tea! About 8 months later, she bought the business and the building it's housed in. She's made a ton of changes and improvements to the business and property in 7 years and she's working on some more -- HUGE -- changes that'll hopefully be happening in the next few months.

Not to mention the changes in her personal life in that time, and the HUGE change that will be a new baby sis/bro for Junah, also happening in the next few months! Heh. Never a dull moment...

Congrats Ali!! xoxo


  • Knitting/Yarn


What little time I've lately spent on knitting has been on the second inner mitt of my Dimorphous Mittens, and I'm so happy to have only the thumb to go! I want to knit another set of outer mitts, too. I love this set and am so happy to be this close to replacing the one I gave away a few years ago!


I ran across this gorgeous Habu yarn a while back and couldn't recall why I bought it or when. And I still don't remember. Thanks to friends with excellent suggestions, I am developing a plan for a lace-weight boxy-type top!


  • Sewing


I was reminded that my Alabama Chanin-style sewing began in earnest two years ago with my first from-scratch garment. I stenciled an old t-shirt of Rusty's cut in the shape of a favorite top, and layered it over another old t-shirt. Voila. I still love & wear this top!


  • Mail


Incoming. (YIKES!!!) I half-consider this junk mail. Heh. I doubt that I'll go -- because I've never gone to any except the 5th, and because it's the day before a cousin's wedding!


Outgoing. I managed to write two cards for Saturday's mail call. Lovin' that morning light.


  • Valentines


The artist and his work! * LOVE *  Is there anything better than a finger-painted Valentine??


These pics popped up a couple of times on various social media sites... Junah celebrating Valentine's Day two years ago with Great Aunt Karen and Aunt Maddy...


...and Great Nana. This is the lock-screen image on my phone, too. It's one of the very few photos of my mom and Junah, and definitely one of the best. I love the expressions on both of their faces... I can just hear her talking to him... he's so intently listening. Sweetness.



I had to stop at the side of the road on my way to knitting on Tuesday night to take a photo. This is due west at around 5:00. Such soft, beautiful light (still light!), the colors gorgeous.


For a change of pace (and because he was still sleeping), I went over to Junah's house for a while last night instead of him coming to mine. He wasn't particularly thrilled to see me when he woke up. He cried some as he rode his trike out from the bedroom through the living room to the kitchen doorway. I talked to him, asked him a few questions, and pretty soon we were playing peek-a-boo around the furniture. Before long, we were in the playroom reading books and building with blocks.


He helped me take some selfies (about a dozen altogether... almost exactly the same) and then he wanted to look at the pictures on my phone. Swiping! We spent quite a while watching movies, too. He really enjoyed the ones from last summer with the boys ("Mock") and with his momma at the pool.

I'm starting to get serious about taxes. I hate it, but best to get it done.

I've been anxiously awaiting availability of my next audiobook -- Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential -- and it arrived this morning! I have it for only a week, and hopefully I'll be finished before the next one arrives -- A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.

Ten on Tuesday: Kidnapped!

Ten on Tuesday:  Kidnapped! 10 TV Characters That I'd Want to Help Me

Covering the bases... who knows what kind of help I'd need!

1 - Elsbeth Tacioni - The Good Wife (lawyer)

2 - Hawkeye Pierce - M*A*S*H (funny doctor)

3 - Wonder Woman - Wonder Woman (super hero!)

4 - Dr. Doug Ross - ER (handsome doctor)

5 - Sally Hull McMillan (& husband) - McMillan & Wife (crime solvers)

6 - Steve McGarrett - Hawaii Five-0 (...)

7 - Mary Beth Lacey (& partner) - Cagney & Lacey (Tyne Daly, 'nuff said)

8 - Angus MacGyverMacGyver (everyone needs a MacGyver... why not the MacGyver!?)

9 - Sue Ann Nivens - The Mary Tyler Moore Show (tenacious as they come)

10 - Lucy RicardoI Love Lucy (gets out of pickles as easily as she gets in)

Weekending: Again

What a weird week last week. I was supposed to have last Thursday & Friday off -- a nice long weekend.


There was a much-hyped Tuesday & Wednesday snowstorm, though, and with Rusty being gone (he takes care of most snow removal), it was suggested that perhaps I'd rather have those days off to keep up. And, yeah... sort of, I guess, but other scheduling things came into play, too, so that I was ending up with most of Tuesday off and all of Wednesday and, well, that's not much different from a normal week.

I took Friday off, too, but it just wasn't the same, y'know? And, of course, the snowfall wasn't nearly as dramatic as predicted, either. Whatever.

I managed one session with the personal trainer last week, did lots of cooking, and also a fair bit of cutting, ironing, and sewing!



I had the majority of my Color Dive Quilt (in-progress) laid out on the front room floor for a few days... until Junah was due for a visit and I realized what a disaster that could be! I have three rows sewn together so far... it's very colorful!


Some of my seams line up pretty good and some not-so-good! I'm learning. I also found that some of my fabric combos worked better than others, and have done more fat-quarter shopping in the past week than I've done ever! I think I can live with it now... I will live with it, because no more shopping!

Annie came on Friday afternoon and spent the weekend. The plan was to introduce her to hand sewing, Alabama Chanin style, in preparation for some skirt kits that are on order. We used some stenciled fat-eighths that I'd ordered a while ago for our swatches.


Within minutes, she was couching! She really likes the look of it and it's probably the technique she's going to use on her skirt.


She tried some other techniques, too!


The beads & sequins also came out, and I sent her home with a selection of all, along with some jersey rope in a contrasting color for couching.

The possibilities are endless!

I worked "negative reverse applique" on my swatch, with both layers of fabric in the same color.


I will likely use this technique on my skirt, but the layers will be different shades of gray.


It was a super fun and relaxing weekend -- not as long as originally hoped, but fine!

Ann is smitten with the stitching! It's going to be several weeks before our skirt kits arrive, so in the meantime (next time we get together), we'll be cutting out and sewing an interim project. She reminded me before she left that she made it as far Advanced Tailoring in high school home ec class (I remember the "muslin" suit she made from some amazing floral bedsheets)... she's going to LOVE working on a garment!

Weekending: In no particular order

I walked to the library on Saturday morning to pick up the latest addition to my Reading list: Mink River. This book has garnered lots of stars on Goodreads by some of my favorite readers; and since I've lived at (and will again soon be visiting) the Oregon Coast, it seemed like the perfect read right now.

Junah came over to delight and entertain for a while. The "words" are absolutely nonstop. He loves to flop/fall -- on a beanbag, on a chair, on the floor -- while saying, "Ohhh noooooo!" Hilarious. I could watch him for hours. Oh, that's right, I do!!

Kate & I went to see Brooklyn. Loved it! That brings the list of Best Picture noms that I've seen to half, joining Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, and Spotlight. Unseen are The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, The Revenant, and Room -- and it's not likely that'll happen by Oscar night. I could catch two of those on Day 2 of the Best Picture Festival (I'll be in Chicago for Day 1), but I'll be okay if I don't.

I watched a quilting video by Anna Maria Horner on Creativebug.


And I cut out a bunch of 4" and 4.5" squares for a quilt. I'd run across some fat quarters that I'd purchased recently and/or some time ago and used them as the basis for my color selection, then raided/scrounged through my meager fabric stash for the rest!

Another quilt was definitely not on my radar! I must need to prove to myself that the first effort wasn't a fluke. Heh.

(It probably won't surprise anyone to know that I've had a strip quilt cut and ready to go for years.)


I did some more cooking. Last night it was Caprese Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Wedge Fries. That's the third recipe in a week that we've made from Sheet Pan Suppers.

I've had this cookbook for a while. Unimpressed with the first recipe I tried (I don't even recall which one), it was shelved for a while. Last week, Kate suggested we give it a go, and all three dishes (see Friday's post for Jerome's Chicken and Turkey Meatballs & Slow-roasted Tomatoes) have been really good. Prep is pretty straight forward, not requiring an in ordinate number of bowls & utensils, and clean up (foil- or parchment-lined pans) is a breeze!

Sheet pan cooking is not an exact science, though, as ovens can be fickle, so I'm learning some things for next time/my oven: a) if it doesn't seem like enough chicken, then use more; 2) a little oil might keep meatballs from sticking; 3) pay attention to oven rack location; and 4) turn, turn, turn!

The weather was very mild, but a looming storm was on everyone's mind. It's so sunny and warm right now, it's really hard to believe that there's a blizzard and 6-12" of snow on the way!

Right Now

Knitting: There has been precious little knitting of late, and it's been pretty mindless.

I am occasionally picking up my second inner Dimorphous Mitten, and suspect that I'll finish that set by spring. Naturally.

The Scoreboard KAL has also been picked up on occasion, as well. I feel no urgency with that project, but definitely plan to finish before long.

DNA results have proven that there is no lemming in my lineage, so I am not Banging Out A Sweater, but truthfully, I am a lemming, so that has more to do with the pattern (knitting in the round and/or intarsia), and the fact that I already have innumerable sweaters in various stages of "banging out." I've entertained thoughts about working on one or two of them instead!

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Sewing: There are a number of Alabama Chanin -ish projects in various stages, soon to be joined by another! My sister and I are ordering skirt kits that we'll work as part of a group. Annie has never done any AC-style sewing, so I'm welcoming her into the coven and preparing some of my AC stenciled fat eighths for practice when she's here next weekend.

Listening to: Dan Zanes with Junah; we especially love "Bushel and A Peck," a song that my mother sang to every single one of her grandchildren!

Reading: I just finished The Jesus Cow and immediately picked up The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd, which Katie gave me for my birthday, and which I am, so far, enjoying immensely! Incredible location, photos, sheep, humor... all good.

I recently finished my first audio book, Composed by Rosanne Cash (thank you, Margene, for the suggestion), and am currently awaiting Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain on my Overdrive app. Audiobooks have been a struggle for me, but beginning by listening to familiar voices reading their own stories seems to be a great way to start!

Watching: Outlander! On DVD. Finally.

Thinking about: An upcoming 3-day weekend in Chicago with my girls! All three!!

Planning: Oregon Coast get-away. I'll meet up with Rusty in No Cal and we'll drive up the Oregon coast, staying at a couple of Airbnb places -- one near Florence, where his dad is hoping to get something going, and one with a great view of Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City (where we got married 31 years ago) -- and visiting friends! We'll also be visiting my dad, and eventually making our way up to Portland where I'll catch a flight back home. I haven't been there in years (almost 25, to be exact) and am looking forward to it... more as time draws near, and more than I really expected.


Remembering: Mum. Her birthday is today; she'd be 78.  This is one of my favorite photos of her -- 4th grade. Her whole face is electric, like she's going to burst out in giggles any second, or can't wait to get out on the playground with her friends (probably both)! This was just before "Cyril," who sat behind her in class, cut off one of her braids. I remember her telling me how she'd go into Grandma's bedroom every morning to have her braids done, and how upset Grandma was with Cyril. And, oh, that gap in her teeth -- it wasn't fixed 'til she got braces when she was in her 40s -- so incredible at the time for an adult to get braces! XOXOX. I miss you everyday Mom.

Fit Friday

Earlier this month, I had an introductory visit with Rebecca, a personal trainer. My friend and co-worker had already been seeing Rebecca about 3 times a week for 6-8 weeks, which I knew about, but I really became interested when I could "see" my friend's progress -- and the extent of that progress in only 6-8 weeks. It was impressive.

Beginning the second week of January, I've had 2 sessions per week with Rebecca, though due to scheduling it's been more like 3 -- and even 3 days in a row! Sometimes we meet at her office in Appleton, and sometimes I go to her house in Green Bay. She has similar but different equipment at each place, so I kind of enjoy the variety.

She took it easy on me the first week or so, getting to know me and gauging my ability. It's been getting a little harder since... but also easier! There was one day, after concentrating on triceps, when it was a challenge to pick up the telephone! But while "abs" is not my favorite thing and I thought I was going to die midway through the first set (I think I did 3 sets of 8 or 10), yesterday, after only 3 weeks, I was amazed at how "easy" it was to do 3 sets of 12! (Shhh, don't tell Rebecca!!)

JeromeschickenJerome's Chicken

I've been cooking more and eating at home. And also keeping track of what I eat, using the free version of an app called Lose It! Kate had been doing that for a little while, and I know how much tracking helps.

TurkeymeatballsTurkey Meatballs & Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (with Spinach)

This has been a while in coming. I've put on a lot of weight over the past year and a half or so. I can't say that it's crept up on me; I've been aware and mostly choosing to ignore. Eating out, a bit more snacking, little exercise, and a lot more beer (oh, I do love a good IPA!)... it's all added up.

Changes have been made. And I think my jeans felt just a little bit more comfortable this morning.


 Once upon a time, Ali had a brilliant idea about making quilts together!


March 2013

Ali: I think we should have a double wedding ring quilt challenge. But it has to be a secret because mine will be for Abbey and Kevin. {A wedding present for their August 2013 wedding.} But you can report your progress, and at the end surprise the masses with TWO beautiful finished products. Eh? Eh? smile emoticon

We have 5 months! We should make a guide of some kind showing what we have to get done in one week. Pace ourselves. I have no idea how to begin. smile emoticon

Vicki: I've never made more than a quilted square!  Will have to do some research... and, first, you need to get a handle on colors for Abbey & Kevin! I want to go to a good quilt shop!!! Am excited now!

Ali: Me tooooo! We'll have to make a date!


With a 3-month-old baby only 6 months until her best friend's wedding day, it was quickly decided that we'd be making only Ali's (king-size) quilt, and that I would be her helper! She wanted to use the "Easy! Fast! Smart!" Quiltsmart method, which involves no tedious piecing and, instead, utilizes fusible interfacing to make the arcs and assemble square blocks.


So instead of tedious piecing, we tediously cut, sewed, trimmed, turned, finger pressed, ironed, sewed again, pressed again, sewed again, pressed again...

As far as I'm concerned, and having never made a traditional pieced double-wedding ring anything, the jury's still out on the ease, swiftness, and/or intelligence of making a quilt this way (your mileage may vary).

May 2013

Vicki: We need to carve out some production time... a quilting bee!

Ali: Whooo! I'm having a very difficult time finding time!

Vicki: I have turned all that were trimmed and am now trimming more so that I can turn!



August 16, 2013:  WEDDING DAY!



Some parts of this quilt traveled across the pond and I worked on turning and finger pressing in Scotland -- on the train, playing Scrabble in the evening, etc.

June 2014

Vicki: I did some sewing & trimming for quilt yesterday and thought I was caught up... but then saw a whole 'nother pile! Haha. Hope you're having fun up north. XOXO

Ali: This thing is a nightmare!! Haha. Xoxo

Vicki: WE CAN DO IT with this quilt thing!!! smile emoticon


March 2015

Vicki: {Random sewing talk.} Also, we have a quilt to finish.

Ali: And yes. Quilt. I know I still need some more white fabric, but it's coming along. I can maybe give you what I have..it's ready for the clear thread.

June 2015

Vicki: Re: Quilt... we need 90 total + 38 halves, right?

Ali: Yep. So 128x4?

Vicki: Hm. Quilt. Suggested dimensions for a King size quilt, INCLUDING a 15" drop at each side and the bottom, is 106 x 94... which would be 9x8 (assuming our squares are 12"?) So that would be 72 complete squares and 34 halves to go all the way around, give or take. I'm getting confused. We can't need 70 more arcs, can we???

Ali: I suppose I haven't sat down and done the math since the way beginning, and I'm sure it was hasty.


August 2015

Ali: I know this is on the back burner... but I wanted to touch base with an idea! We sew the squares into 1'x9' panels, so maybe we cut 9 1'x9' panels of white fabric and use that as the second layer before the batting. Then it's all connected and sturdier and we don't have an extra actual fabric layer to send along. Yes? I haven't sewn these together lengthwise yet but... smile heart-eyes emoticon

I can't remember exactly, but it was sometime in late summer/early fall that we delivered the finished quilt top to the quilter. We had it done at a shop because that was just WAY beyond either of us. (Ali: I have no idea how to begin. Vicki: I've never made more than a quilted square!) We've learned some things!

January 2016

Vicki: I just watched a GREAT tutorial for binding a quilt. WE CAN DO IT! Do you have fabric for binding? smile emoticon

Ali: I have some packaged white quilt binding but we can use something different if you'd like!

Vicki: I actually think it would be easier to do it with fabric strips instead of packaged binding! I discovered all the old backing yesterday, too, so have plenty. Making the strips won't be difficult at all. I forgot the dimensions of the quilt, though, so that was my next step! Do you remember? If you want to do packaged binding, I can pick it up. I watched 2 tutorials on YouTube -- on one Fat Quarter Shop and the other by Missouri Quilt Co. I actually think the FQS method would be best (simple finish on the front).

Ali: Alright! Let me know how you'd like me to help!

Vicki: I need to measure the perimeter of the quilt; cut, sew & press the 2.5" strips. I can do that part if you want to sew it on... or I can do the first step of sewing and you can finish. I'll measure & cut tonight!

I picked it up less than two weeks ago, and made the binding.


Not only did it take me THREE TIMES to sew the miters making this long strip of fabric, I also made almost twice the length required for the task because... I don't even know why!! But I did a good job and it looks nice and now I have extra.


I made the binding one evening, and Ali came over the next and sewed it all on in just a few hours! After the blocks were assembled, it all went pretty quick! She washed it within a day or two.


It's done and delivered, appreciated and loved!

I still can't quite believe it!

Weekending: Beer Town

I took Friday off last week and drove to Milwaukee to meet Annie (already there for a 3-day school board conference) to begin her birthday celebrations!

We were there for only one night and stayed at The Iron Horse Hotel, which was terrific. The lobby was so warm and welcoming (as was the welcoming beverage), and I've never felt more comfortable taking a seat and settling in for a chat. Our room was roomy, well appointed, quiet, and very comfy.


We began celebrations with a late lunch and 4:00 tour at Lakefront Brewery. It was my first-ever brewery tour and feel fortunate that we had Brewery President Russ Klisch as our guide! That's Russ, above, at the controls of the old "Schotz Brewery" bottling machine; I got to be Laverne and wave good-bye to my glove as it made its way along the conveyor.

The brewery is currently located in a building that once housed City of Milwaukee Forestry*.


There was a stop at "The Chalet" mid-way through the tour -- one of the original Bernie Brewer chalets from Milwaukee County Stadium.

We got together later with friends Bill & Aimee for drinks and shared-plates dinner at Odd Duck, and had a wonderful time! I had my first experiences with Uber and... they're super quick and friendly, but I had issues with the level of "air freshener" in both vehicles (man, that stuff can be nasty).

We had a nice breakfast on Saturday morning at Smyth, the restaurant within the hotel, and explored our options for doing something on our way out of town.


We decided on touring the Pabst Mansion. It is really quite lovely and we had a terrific docent. The house is in various stages of restoration and it was interesting to see where they started. No photography is allowed inside, and Annie and I were apparently quite taken with these columns outside the Pabst Pavilion, originally part of the White City, now attached to the house (and on the slate for restoration).


We stopped at Simma's Bakery for birthday cheesecake on the way back. Ann's husband & boys met up with us at my house where we made a nice dinner, with singing and blowing out of candles and the whole birthday she-bang. They came over again for brunch on Sunday and some play time with Junah before heading home. (I have a feeling Junah will soon have his own light saber).

It was a really great weekend, and I hope yours was too!

*Sharon worked for Forestry in that building at one time... along with Bill & Aimee!



"Sew," he said, as he climbed up on the chair by my sewing machine.


That was after he'd already dragged a chair over to the sink to help Grandpa with the dishes!

We also did the second load of "wash" (at his request) in as many visits. He loves to push the buttons on the washer and helps transfer clothes from washer to dryer. It's so funny how he tosses/throws them in... obviously Ali & I have similar technique! Hilariously, he carried the laundry basket with clothes from the dryer into the living room (it wasn't FULL), but that's where the modeling of behavior ends -- unless they do laundry altogether differently at his house. Contents of the basket started flying, and there may have been underwear worn as a hat. Heheh.

This little boy...

  • He loves looking at a box of photos I have; he says, "Baby!" and, of course, the baby is him! Then he sees one of our selfies, and says, "Nona."
  • If I don't respond quickly enough when he calls, he's begun to shout, "NONA!!" And sometimes his little hand, with index finger extended, is wagging at the wrist as he points out and communicates his desire.
  • There's a new little gallop-y skip in his walk when he's excited.
  • Photos on the fridge are endlessly fascinating. He says, "Mock," and once in a very rare while he'll say "Addy," but those sounds -- Maddy, Daddy, Addy -- are still getting worked out. He calls his daddy "D."
  • The energy! He runs and spins and jumps.
  • The humor! He was born into the right family.  :)

31 Years!


Happy 31st Anniversary to Rusty & me!

We won't be celebrating together in Mexico, as we did last year, but we will be going out to dinner this evening, and plans have been made for some upcoming travel. More on that and bunch of other stuff to come!

Weekending: Breathing Room

It was a low-key, relaxed weekend and that's OKAY by me! It's been a while and, boy, I needed that.

To set the tone, Rusty & Katie both had art events to attend on Friday, so that meant a quiet evening at home alone for me... I knit and caught up on some Tivo'd programs.

Ali came over for a while on Saturday morning to go over some bookkeeping stuff. Rod & Junah swung by to pick her up and head off on some errands. She called me from the driveway, and told me that all Junah was saying was, "Nona, Nona, Nona..." Could he stay while they did their thing? Well, of course!

We have definitely turned a corner! A month ago, Junah would still have a hard time more often than not when he was dropped off. Now, he can barely get his jacket off quick enough and is nearly oblivious to his exiting parent... and HE DOESN'T WANT TO LEAVE! Makes a granny feel good.

Ali was over for a little while again on Sunday morning, working with Kate on a new website. While they did their thing, I finally started to clean up my work space -- big table, sewing table, stuff on the floor. I realized that actually finishing one of the projects on my worktable would go a long way in helping the cause, so I worked on -- and finished -- my first Stowe Bag!


It had been idle for weeks, needing only bias tape to bind the handle edges and finishing. I was going to be clever and use some vintage bias tape that I'd picked up somewhere, but discovered that it was LAWN, and definitely not sturdy enough to bind the handles of a work bag! I had to pick up some sturdier stuff, and then Christmas, and then New Year's, and then a baby birthday...


This is the small size. I used some sturdy woven fabric that I've had for a while (the original purpose for which is long lost) (I'm sure there was one). The Stowe Bag is probably the most structured thing I've ever sewn, and maybe only the second time I've ever worked with bias tape. The construction is interesting, and I love the interior pockets!! It's the perfect size for a knitting tote. I think the large size would be perfect for toting a sewing project.


The weekend knitting was all Scoreboard KAL. I am now on Week 15... and I am going to run out of green yarn before the end of Regular Season. I don't have another skein of that yarn! Ack. What to do? I don't want to just end in the of the game, this close to the end; that would always bug me. On one hand, I dyed that yarn myself... though I'm nearly certain that I have no record of what I did. On the other hand, it really is the perfect Packer green and I should figure it out! (Also the gold.) It's about time the dye pot was dusted off, anyway, eh?



Can you believe this little guy is TWO today??

Happy Birthday Junebean!!


Family & friends got together at the bowling alley for a little birthday celebration on Sunday. Did you know that lanes these days have programmable "bumpers" that go up and down automatically depending on each particular bowler's preference? Also, there are little ramps to use if a bowler is unable to lift and swing a ball? Just aim and send the ball on its way!


Junah enjoyed watching other bowlers, and was really interested in bowling himself for about 5 or 6 frames (he was playing a game -- WINNING -- with Mack &  Addy), but with no real concept of the game he was, of course, soon distracted by other things... going up & down the stairs, eating cake, opening presents, and watching the ball return!!


Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite David Bowie Songs

Bowie Is

While I would never be described as a big "fan" of David Bowie, I was certainly always interested and aware! I was shocked and saddened yesterday to read of his death. There's absolutely no denying that he was an amazing creative influence in the world and that the world just wouldn't be the same without him. It was a little over a year since Katie & I saw the DAVID BOWIE IS exhibition in Chicago, and I'm so glad we did.

In lieu of my 10 favorite songs, I share David Bowie's 10 Biggest Hits -- some great videos there, as well as "5 Things You Might Not Know About David Bowie"! RIP.

Right Now: January

Knitting: Scoreboard KAL continues! I fell behind -- the second half of the season being not as exciting (fewer wins) as the first -- and just started Week 13 last night, which is a total of 50 rows. There's another 176 regular-season points/rows to knit after that, along with a dozen or so divider rows between games. I'm not sure about knitting post season yet. I will power through and finish this, though, because it will be one of the most awesome additions to my game-day wardrobe ever!

I'm also still working on an alpaca bunny for Junie; I've stalled at the head -- sewing up & embroidering features (the make it or break it part).

Sewing: Grainline Studio's STOWE Bag. Also need to finish sewing the Alabama Chanin Long Vest; beading & finishing an AC Corset that has been languishing; and also finish the binding on an AC-inspired T-shirt refashion.

Reading: The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry, my book from Sandy during last month's 1st Annual Book & Chocolate Exchange.

Watching: River on Netflix.

Hoping/Anticipating/Dreading (rinse & repeat): First workouts next week with a personal trainer.

Thinking about: How much better I'll feel... after I first will likely feel worse.

Planning: Another quick o'night birthday celebration coming up in a couple of weeks in Milwaukee, this time with Annie!


Celebrating: Junah's 2nd birthday on the 12th (I can hardly believe it); party this weekend! When I told Annie about it, she wrote, "Mack says there's no way he's missing that!!!" So the boys will be here, too.

Remembering: Mum -- her birthday is at the end of the month, she'd be 78.

Wishing: I didn't have to remember.

Eating: A lot of Mexican food lately!

Drinking: Margaritas from scratch!

Itching to: Get back to my sewing projects, but first...

Needing to: Get my workroom cleaned up! (Time and energy have been hit and miss lately.)

Organizing: EOY and tax stuff.

Wondering: When if I'll get the tree down this weekend.

Happy Weekend!

Ten on Tuesday: More or Less

Ten on Tuesday:  5 Things I Want to Do More & 5 Things I'd Like to Do Less in 2016

A slightly different take on the ubiquitous New Year's Resolution!


1 - Reading (especially audio books)

2 - Bicycling/Moving

3 - Cooking

4 - Dyeing (both fabric & yarn)

5 - Photography



1 - Procrastinating

2 - Buying patterns/yarn/fabric on a whim/sale and/or without immediate plans

3 - Eating (especially junk)

4 - Eating out

5 - Wasting Food (we need to better coordinate our cooking & consumption)


Well, it was way easier to come up with 5 Things I'd Like To Do More than Less, which I found sort of surprising for some reason.

Are there some adjustments you're making or hoping to make in the new year?

Weekending: Happy New Year

In addition to (or, as a set-up for) BEGIN AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON, I spent some time cleaning things up at the end of the year. One of those things was KonMari-ing my Bloglovin' feed. First, I hit "Mark All As Read," and then went through one-by-one to determine the level of JOY with each. It made me a little sad to "Unfollow" some of my favorite feeds from the old days, but after years of nothing new... it was time to realize that they are not coming back and give it up. There is no joy in a dead blog.

I spent New Year's Day morning photographing a newborn (part one), which was fun, and I believe my first-ever baby girl!! Part two of her shoot will be coming up on Wednesday. I photographed her big brother as a newborn; he turned four last fall (time flies)!

After that, Rusty & I met at Home Depot to choose and purchase a water filtration system. We live in an area with extremely hard water and a softener is an absolute necessity; unfortunately, the softened water doesn't taste that great. We've always had a "hard water" faucet to use for drinking, coffee, tea, cooking and it tastes better but isn't all that great, either, and the mineral deposits are crazy! We've been lugging gallon jugs of filtered water from the grocery store for a couple of years, now, and the coffeemaker makes it easy to measure the difference it makes. When using hard water from the tap, deposits would build up, slow the drip, and every couple of months we'd have to run a few cycles with a vinegar-water solution to get things flowing again. Since using filtered water from the store... I can't even remember the last time we had to do that!

Weekending_2016-01-02 11.00.58

Of course, the water filtration project required cleaning out under the sink to make room for new equipment. In addition to some cleaning supplies, we've always kept unused vases under there; one category that could easily be thinned out and stored elsewhere. I had just the spot in a nearby under-used cabinet that, naturally, also required cleaning out! That cabinet holds extra/holiday linens, our greeting card collection, a few craft supplies, and some old yearbooks (GAH!). The cards, especially, needed organizing and cleaning out, and I reduced that by at least a half (WHY so many card-less envelopes???). I also found my stash of "Busting-Out" newspaper/mags! Closing in on 40 years, it was just one way that my best friend and cohort helped me ("earth-tone girl") grow & get out of my shell back in the day. She was the spearhead, I did some writing. It was mostly local stuff, but there were also record & book reviews, and we did a few celebrity phone interviews, including one with a young and hot (still, IMHO) Don Johnson. What a blast we had!


Plumbing-related projects are dead-last on Rusty's list of "favorite" things to do, but it went pretty smoothly (only three trips to the hardware store) (one of which could have been avoided). He ended up first having to replace the entire floor of the under-sink cabinet, so it took two days altogether (and I'm glad he didn't rush). Doesn't it look spiffy?

I'm so happy that there will be no more hauling water from the store, that we won't have to store gallons at a time, that we won't have to haul empty jugs back for refilling every week, and that there won't be a big water dispenser taking up space on the counter.


Junah was over for a few hours on Friday afternoon. OMG, that kid! The words are tumbling... you can practically see and hear the synapses snapping! Can you believe he's going to be TWO next week??

Weekending_2016-01-02 19.02.23

I found these gloves for him the other day -- he loves getting each finger in the appropriate place -- and these, in particular, were a big hit:


"Tried these gloves on when we got home at 3:45. Haven't taken them off since (we even took a nap.)"

They finally came off when he was trying to peel a banana!


I'd intended to start another pair of Trip Mitts over the New Year weekend, but did not; in fact, except for game-time knitting on my Scoreboard KAL last night (I'm still on Week 11... of 17), I didn't do any knitting. Or sewing. My arm needed a rest, I think. I also need some "smooth" yarn for working provisional cast on -- what's your favorite? I'm never using the right thing.


Katie gave me a nice slate cheese plate for Christmas, along with a book about cheese and beer pairing, so we've been tasting! I love the little arrow cheese markers!


Opening a carton of eggs the other day to make quiche, I was delighted by all the subtle differences in "brown eggs."

I spent some time with family. I did some photography. There was some home improvement; cleaning, organizing, laundry. I balanced checkbooks. I shopped and cooked. I took it easy, did things as they needed to be done, and didn't stress out.

How about you? How'd you start the new year?



<hashtag> 2015bestnine -- my 9 "best" (most liked) photos from 2015 on Instagram. Knitting, Sewing, Slow Fashion, Family, Travel. I expect similar for 2016... but I guess we'll just have to see!

Happy New Year!!

FO: A March Through Time Mystery Cowl

I'm not exactly sure where I ran across it, but on a bit of a whim at the end of October, I joined The Healthy Knitter's "A March Through Time" Knit-along and Walk-along, with clues released weekly Nov. 2-Dec. 7.



The pattern had a musical theme throughout, with theme and inspiration for the five separate sections derived from the seasons; specifically, Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."


Interlude: The "snow" begins to fall.


Adagio: The stillness, calm, and solitude of winter... "bare branches."


Allegretto: New growth is everywhere with "sweet flowers."


Presto: The bountiful summer... complete with "berries."


Adantino: A final hurrah as the earth begins to show signs of slowing... "falling leaves."


Cheater: Three-needle bind off instead of kitchenering the ends together.


Not a cheater: I walked nearly everyday while knitting the project, totaling over 30 miles in November! I haven't done as well in December, since the tangle with Joe's dog and falling, and with that little thing called Christmas... so many get-togethers and parties, etc. But that will all soon change.

I truly love the finished cowl and have been wearing it A LOT... like, almost everyday-a-lot!!

Ten on Tuesday: Proud Vicki (keep on burnin')

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did in 2015 That Make Me Feel Proud

Did this year go by fast, or what?!

1 - Got out of my English-speaking comfort zone and traveled to Mexico to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary!

2 - Helped my daughters with their various creative, adventure, and business ventures.


3 - I did more sewing this year than I've done in the last 30 years combined, and a good deal of it by hand! Endless Summer Tunic Dress, Upcycled T-shirt to Tunic, Catamount Tunic Dress, Bolero, Stenciled & Upcycled Wrap Skirt, a simple A-Line Dress, a few rompers for Junah, quilting w/Ali.


4 - I also tried indigo dyeing for the first time.


5 - And incorporated indigo dyeing as part of the first and very successful Auntie Camp. It will likely be an annual event! (And, if the boys have anything to say about it, even semi-annual.)


6 - I taught my nephews to knit during Auntie Camp, as well!

7 - Learned to make kombucha at Fermentation Fest!


8 - Participated in -- and finished -- a few knit-alongs: The Healthy Knitter's Mystery Knit-/Walk-Along (FO finished above, detailed post tomorrow), Romi's "Moon Shadows" 2015 Mystery Shawl, and Kirsten's "Liz Christy" 2015 TTL Mystery Shawl.




I was tickled to open my Book & Chocolate Exchange package from Sandy, which included a book for my grandson from her grandchildren! And Sweet Sloops! I've been on a Michael Perry bender, having recently finished Coop and currently reading Visiting Tom; The Jesus Cow will be next!

9 - I also participated in another year of Macro May and NaBloPoMoKim's Traveling Scarf project; Slow Fashion October; and the 1st Annual Book & Chocolate Exchange organized by Susan! I would/will participate in any/all of those things again next year!! So much fun.

10 - I possibly made a new Christmas Eve tradition when I made my first whole tenderloin! It was just Katie, Maddy, Rusty and I for Christmas Eve and I wanted to make something special. I nearly fainted at the butcher case when I priced 4-5 lbs, as called for in my recipe, but then realized that my recipe was to serve 8-10. Whew! Still, no small expense there, but so worth it. The girls and I had fun cooking together -- braised kale, roasted potato stacks, and sauteed mushrooms were accompaniments -- and Rusty insisted that we cut into one of the pies he'd made for our Christmas Day gathering! We even whipped the cream.

Here's to new adventures and accomplishments in 2016!