Best

Best9

<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.

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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."

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Interlude: The "snow" begins to fall.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.)

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

7 - Learned to make kombucha at Fermentation Fest!

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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.

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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!


Shutterbug's birthday

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My grandmothers. Grandma Koenig (1908-1966), left, and Grandma Blum (1912-2010), right.

Grandma Blum's 103rd birthday is TODAY.

The photo above was taken at my parents' wedding in June 1958. Until today, I always thought that Grandma Blum was holding a small purse, but now I see that it's actually a camera!

She always had a camera in her hand, or, if not in-hand definitely close by. One of her parents -- I don't know which, it could have been either or both -- also loved taking family snapshots. I am forever grateful for the family shutterbugs, having spent countless blissful hours as a teen poring over all their old photo albums!

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Grandma Blum and me on her 70th birthday, Dec. 24th, 1982. Camera in-hand. I remember she told me that she still felt 18 inside -- there was so much she wanted to do and explore!

Edited To Add: I was so excited about this tie-in for Grandma's birthday post... that I forgot to post it!

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Rusty & I both spent a minute or two spitting our saliva into vials to send off to Ancestry DNA! It's our Christmas present to ourselves and also to our kids, I guess; my Uncle Jim mentioned genealogy-related DNA testing when we saw him in October and got my wheels turning. Grandma Blum dedicated her memoir to me, her "genealogist granddaughter," and she'd have loved it! We thought we'd get them in the mail before Christmas and avoid the rush. Stay tuned!


FO: TTL Mystery Shawl 2015

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Once again, a project that's been finished for an embarrassingly long time save for the weaving in of ends and blocking.

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I didn't pin this out, either; I simply washed it and artfully draped it to shape over my wooden drying rack.

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There is no time right now for any more than that!

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Also, I couldn't find my Block 'n Roll mat! (My workroom is approaching Code Red, and I'm looking forward to the reclamation project in there.)

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It's very big, and would be even bigger had I really given that mesh a stretch. I love how these two colorways play together!


Ten on Tuesday: In the after-holiday glow

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Look Forward To Doing After the Holiday Rush

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1 - Reclamation project in my work room... it's an unmitigated disaster, and the tide keeps rolling!

2 - Finish a few sewing projects

3 - Stencil some fabric

4 - Start a few sewing projects

5 - KonMari my yarn stash, and maybe Spark Joy!

6 - Finish some knitting projects (or decide not to, but MAKE A DECISION!)

7 - Put my feet up

8 - Maybe get my knee looked at (it doesn't hurt unless I kneel or apply pressure -- and then, OW -- but there's a lot of fluid)

9 - Plan a vacation and/or get-away

10 - Take a little time off of work (to do all of the above!)


Weekending: Ding Dong Merrily On High

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This is my only photo from our afternoon of baking... mainly because my phone was otherwise occupied playing music!

I had three recipes on my list this year. Two were tried-and-true from last year: Ina Garten's Ultimate Ginger Cookie and Granny Wallace's Shortbread Cookies. The third was new: Dark Chocolate and Guinness Cookies.

I wasn't quite on my game, it seems, because there were little problems with each one! The ginger cookies were slightly overbaked and not as soft as desired (still delicious, though, and still a favorite). The shortbread cookie dough never came together, so no shortbread cookies at all! I saved the crumbles, though, and will try to make something out of it... I'm thinking along the lines of a crust. We'll see. I had printed the same chocolate cookie recipe as linked above but apparently a slightly different version -- that didn't indicate the quantity, so I was a little blind in that respect. The bigger problem, though, was that I made a triple batch in the big Hobart mixer at the kitchen and forgot to scrape the bowl mid-way through mixing. After scooping and filling three or four trays with cookies, I began to see that there was a lot of butter/sugar stuck at the bottom of the bowl. So the last tray or two were pretty ugly -- very buttery and gross (but also very delicious!).

There were enough "good" cookies to fill my gift bags, so I'm okay with it. I wasn't the only one with problems -- hard caramels (the candy thermometer broke), spritz cookies that refused to spritz! It was about more than cookies, though, and was a fun day. And exhausting.

The kitchen is about an hour from my sister's house, and the boys drove up with us. We hardly saw them all afternoon, they were so busy shooting buckets and playing in the adjoining gym! It was fun to chat with them in the car, but best of all was the personal on-demand Christmas concert! "Stille Nacht," "Go Tell It On The Mountain," and "Ding Dong Merrily On High" with that lovely (and sometimes hilariously) drawn-out "gloria" -- in a perfect "boy choir" voice and sweet vibrato.

How did your prep go on the last weekend before Christmas?!


Prep for Baking Day

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I'm making my spreadsheet/shopping list, checking it twice, packing up my basket of ingredients, shopping for what I need, and loading it all up in the car to head up north for tomorrow's Baking Day with Annie! I've kept a couple of recipes from last year, added a new one, and jettisoned a couple of others. Can't wait!!


Cheese!

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The person who looks best in this photo -- and shines -- is the person who least liked this sort of thing. She would try to make her escape before the subject of a family photo came up, or, alternatively, storm out in a huff (hollering and likely tears) and the photo session would then be over. Ha! I seem to recall that happening when the photo above was taken, Christmas 1983. She looks so sweet, doesn't she?

I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that you've been gone 5 years. I miss you, bitch... I mean Sharon!

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I've been playing Words With Friends with Annie and the other day I started a board with the word WHORE. Annie immediately sent me a message and said that she felt like she was playing with Sharon! Sharon's phone calls with sisters always began with a little exchange of name calling, along the lines of (and riffing on) SNL's "Jane, you ignorant slut..." It was hilarious (to us), and we're obviously still easily humored (and still immature).


Ten on Tuesday: Grocer gifts

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Gifts You Can Pick Up at the Grocery Store

This is a great topic and at first I wasn't sure I'd come up with 10 desirable items that one could pick up at the grocery store (never really thought about it before), but it's been a great exercise. There's something for everyone, a grocery store in almost every town, and never an excuse to arrive anyplace empty handed!

1 - I don't know about your grocery store, but every single one of mine has a little end-cap with Green Bay Packer, Wisconsin Badger, and local high school sports team paraphernalia. Everything from stickers, magnets and window clings to flags, hats, gloves, bottle openers, glasses (both to wear and to drink from), and more.

2 - Paperback books and/or Collector Edition magazines -- sometimes a selection of hardcover books, especially at this time of year.

3 - Wine or Beer. There's a pretty good selection of basic wines, and the beer selection seems to be always expanding; included are varieties from local wineries and breweries.

4 - Booze. Ditto, with local distilleries. Not every grocery store carries wine, beer and liquor, but the bigger ones certainly do (gas stations, too... gas station gifts... perhaps a topic for another Tuesday!).

5 - Fresh Fruit Basket.

6 - Meat, Cheese & Cracker/Bread Basket or Tray.

7 - Candy -- our store usually has a selection of handmade candy canes and boxed specialty chocolates from a very good local confectionery.

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8 - Flowers or Plant -- or some seasonal gifty thing from that department (such as an ornament).

9 - Gift Certificate/Card -- either for the grocery store, or from another store (you can buy all kinds of them).

10 - Ingredients for all manner of "make your own" gift baskets: Everything one would need to make brownies or cookies, let's say, or a spaghetti dinner -- they could even be presented in a suitable baking pan, bowl or colander also available for purchase at the grocery store.


Weekending

Another weekend goes by and the living room still needs dusting.

A few weeks ago I cut out two Alabama Chanin A-Line Dresses. At first, they were going to be one two-layer dress, then I decided that I wanted a dress and a vest, so proceeded to baste the armhole & neckline edges of each, and even began a little sewing on the vest.

What I really wanted first, though, was the dress. I wanted to layer it under my Catamount A-Line Tunic-Dress... and I wanted to wear it to an event on Saturday night! For the millionth time, I wondered whether I could/should commit sacrilege and sew it up by machine and was once again sliding towards not when I read my daily Alabama Chanin inspirational email, saw some of their machine-made ready-to-wear, and thought WHY THE HELL NOT?!! For the most part, I intend this to have something layered over it... no one is going to care about my running stitch or how I felled my seams... and just never mind that it's my project, my fabric, my party.

So I did it, and quick... I started at about 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and we were walking out the door just before 5. The armholes and neckline are self-faced, the seams unfelled, and the hem unfinished... all apt to be revisited/worked on/finished at any time! But for now, it was a go.

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Ever since I read a comment in a thread on Ravelry about the proportion of my tunic-dress, I've questioned the length and my decision to chop it where I did. I love layering, though, and Langenlook (to a degree), so a dress-length layer to wear underneath as a styling option was one way for me to "fix" it, while also adding another basic piece to my wardrobe. And for winter wear (such as it is), the added layer and length are nice. I wore it with a cropped cardi, tights, and ankle boots. (I really need to do something about my mirror!)

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It's been the party dress of the season! I've one more for-sure holiday gathering this week on Wednesday.

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Saturday night was the ARTiculture End-of-Season Event and CSA share pick up at The Draw, with catering by Seven - Boutique Catering.

The venue was The Draw, recently finished, newly opened and pretty spectacular considering that it's "the little white building" that stood for years unoccupied and in disrepair while ever so intriguing and daydream-inducing (I'm guilty!). It's located right on the river and used to be part of a large paper mill. When the greater mill was razed (housing development now in its place), so too was the power source for this structure -- sort of a big hurdle to occupancy.

The food! Janel at Seven - Boutique Catering presented a lovely assortment of finger foods: tiny stuffed brussels sprouts, a variety of roasted fingerling potatoes (some were even hasselback), a butternut squash torte, and sweets.

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Included in our CSA share was a new -- THE BEST EVER -- knitting needle holder! Artist Melissa Siewert's modern take on vintage head vases is one of my favorites, and I think I want to eventually add one or two more! I'm thrilled with every piece of original local art we received in our ARTiculture CSA package (shares are still available!).

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No stranger to head vases here at knitorious, that little lovely in the background with the gigantic cactus hat was my first and long-time avatar here. It's only natural! I love that the new one can wear earrings, too. It's the perfect place for Bijouterie!


Year In Review: 2015

It's that time again!

As I have done sometime in December for quite a few years: Year In Review. I do it in words (the first sentence of the first post of each month) and in pictures (a favorite posted photo from each month) -- the two are not necessarily related.

January 2015:

A quick run with Ali to pick up a vintage Formica set for the shop.

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February 2015:

I'll be doing it all week.

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March 2015:

I was looking forward to a quiet weekend at home, but my li'l sister called and she missed me!

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April 2015:

Watching... Law & Order UK

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May 2015:

I made a point to take and label (with the date) and post a photo to Instagram everyday last month.

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June 2015:

None of us ever tired of the vacations at the lake.

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July 2015:

Anticipating... the Friday opening of HERE AND AWAY at The ARTGarage in Green Bay, a photography show curated by Kate and presented by Young Space.

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August 2015:

In the 1940s (the World War II years) the demand for butter tubs and cheese boxes kept the Blum factories very busy.

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September 2015:

The boss is on vacation and I'm working everyday this week... long days.

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October 2015:

Humored by... that kid! He started pressing the button and...

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November 2015:

By now, Daylight Savings Time has ended and most clocks in the U.S. have fallen back an hour.

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December 2015:

1 - Pardon the repetition, but I walked 32 miles in November!

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Note to self: Do more photo collages -- choosing only one photo for some of these months is pretty much impossible!


Tree trimming

I bought a new ornament for the tree this year:

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I've had a football-related ornament on my tree for the past few years, but it was a Patriots' ornament from a swap with {Minestrone Soup} Kate! I was a little distracted (see below) during the tree-trimming this year and my Kate said that she left some ornaments off the tree, and I suspect that the Patriots didn't make the cut this year!

So Junie came over for a while last night and this was the state of things for about the first hour (there's a bit of a fat lip... can you tell? Those lips!):

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Kate suggested I do a timeline of photos such as the above... I do have a few!

Then, upon waking, he was a little cling-on for about the next hour. We had some Cheerios (he knows right where they are -- opened the cupboard and grabbed the box himself).

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And played Cheerio games with Aunt Kate.

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And then trimmed the tree!

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Only one small (insignificant) ornament was lost in the process. I suspect that this will be an even more fun activity next year, though with the added challenges of a 7-month-old in the mix... though likely the baby won't be mobile yet. Whew.


Oh, hello Sharon!

Folding laundry this morning, I was missing a sock.

Oh, well, it'll turn up... maybe it fell on the floor or I left it in the basket. Not worried. (It's a sock.)

Driving along in my car this afternoon on the way to the grocery store, I tucked my hand under my leg and... What is that? Did I sit on something? What is so lumpy and soft?

And then I realized that it was the missing sock, stuck in the leg of my jeans.

And I laughed out loud, remembering the story Sharon would tell -- in the way that only she could tell it -- about a pair of underwear slipping out the leg of her pants as she walked into a gas station, and how she discreetly bent down to pick them up, stuffing them in her pocket. You know, as one discreetly does. Heh.

Oh, hello Sharon!! I miss you and am thinking of you a lot today... a Wednesday... that's the day that Mom and I had a standing date to drive down and visit with you. I miss Mom, too. xoxo

I'd already gone to the coffee shop and running a few other errands this morning with a weird sock lump on my leg!

There's no way I could go into the grocery store now, though, knowing that it was there... surely everyone else would know! It would be written all over my face! Heh.

So I parked the car and looked around, discreetly unzipping my jeans (as one does) in the parking lot at the grocery store, and reached in to retrieve the stray. Ha! It was easier than I thought it would be with somewhat skinny jeans on, and I zipped up quick!


Weekending

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I drove to Waupaca on Saturday to pick up a store display fixture and, by then, was 2/3 of the way to visit Maddy. She happened to have a break in her day, so I met up with her at work -- enjoyed an on-tap Point Root Beer in a frosty glass while I waited -- and she took me out to lunch!

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They were decorated to the hilt at Sentry World! I loved this tree inside the restaurant, PJ's, adorned almost entirely in knits!

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After a slow start and a very relaxed morning on Sunday (reading the paper, even), I went to the shop in the early afternoon to rearrange some displays.

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I finally sat down with some mending on Sunday afternoon. I've been walking around with a badly torn seam in my coat for who knows how long (and it was worse than I thought), and also fixed and reinforced the bottom zipper area that was coming apart on one side. I moved some buttons around on another jacket after one broke a while back. The buttons look vintage and I doubt they're original... there's no way I'm going to find a match, so I just relocated the rarely used bottom one.

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We hauled our own tree up from the basement! There are some strings (half-strings) not working -- though as I fluffed the branches, some were magically illuminated! I made sure all the plug connections were secure. Still, I balled up one non-working half and stuffed it in the middle of the tree. (Yes, I did.) I remembered that I'd picked up two add'l strings last week and I suppose I'll put them on (at least one of them) to fill out the middle area. And perhaps I'll psyche myself up for a complete re-do next year. It's been a while. It's just... darn, that job takes a whole day and a sacrificial pair of leather gloves.

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All weekend, we munched on Jordan Almonds (a yummy little present from Margene!) (we love that they're from the Salt Lake Film Society!) and local chocolates that were part of a gift from Friday night's Christmas party.

Oh, and another movie! We saw SPOTLIGHT on Saturday night and, while one doesn't exactly "enjoy" a movie with that type of subject matter, it was very well done.


Right Now: December

Watching: Well, last night it was FOOTBALL... they're calling it the Miracle in Motown. And it was. I've also begun watching Madame Secretary (S1 on Netflix).

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Reading: COOP by Michael Perry. I've had this book since it was hot off the press and Michael signed it for me (and posed with Flat Stanley) during an appearance at our local book festival. I guess it needed to cool off. I've read TRUCK in the meantime, and next will likely pluck VISITING TOM from the stack. I am loving it, of course; I enjoy his writing.

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Knitting: As of last night, I'm ready for the last section/finish of the March Through Time KAL. I've enjoyed knitting this project and I'm looking forward to wearing it.

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I also finished a hat last night (except for some weaving in) and cast on another, the second of four that I intend to knit for Christmas gifts. I'll be using the same pattern for all, but each in a different yarn(s). Super bulky yarn! Oh, these colors...

Listening to: 25 by Adele. Hello, of course, but I definitely have some other favorites.

Thinking about: Going somewhere. I think Mexico/Cali is out because of logistics. A few days in Chicago with the girls is likely in. But I want to GOOOO SOMEWHERE!

Dreading: Choosing not to feel dreadful about anything right now.

Planning: The holiday festivities, the last of the shopping, baking.

Celebrating: With my coworkers tonight at a company party!

Drinking: Coffee, tea, London Fog (Earl Grey) latte, gin, beer, kombucha, water.

Itching to: Get back to sewing!

Needing to: Get my tree up!

Organizing: My gift list.

How about YOU?  What's up with you?


Wednesday To-Do

We woke up this morning to find a little dusting of snow.

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It's all but gone even now. The temp will be inching up the rest of the week toward almost 50F by Saturday! #crazyweather

Today:

  • 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: November's Best

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.

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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!

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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?


Clean up

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.


Nature

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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!

 


Parcheesi is Five

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Five years ago today, I bound off the last stitch to finish one of my most epic knitting project: PARCHEESI.

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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.

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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!).

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Thanks again and always, Janine, for such a wonderful idea and inspiration.


#TH4NKSGIVING

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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!).

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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.

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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."

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Pre-game view from the top.

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National Anthem.

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.

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#TH4NKSGIVING

It was a night to remember!


Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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.


Ten on Tuesday: Always Thankful

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Am Thankful For *Right Now*

Girls

November 2008!

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!

Baby room

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...

Surf

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.

Cheesehead

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


Weekending: Kombucha

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!

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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

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Sugar dissolved; tea stirred in. Let it steep and cool; strain into jar.

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Add starter tea and SCOBY.

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1st Ferment!

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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.


Four-letter word

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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.


Variety

noun \və-ˈrī-ə-tē\

: 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!!

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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.