'Tis the season

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#tbt First Christmas Tree!

It was in an apartment in Milwaukee, and I was 7 weeks old on Christmas Day! All of the ornaments were blue, and a few of the survivors were hung on my own tree last night.

I'm thinking that this was the following year...

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#tbt Snowsuit & Mittens!

...because I know that this was the year after that, when I was 2, and I detect bangs... barely, though, because the photo is so badly deteriorated. Maybe I just *know* that I had bangs then. Heh.

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#tbt Red & White!

I tuned in a Christmas playlist on Spotify and put the 2 new strings of lights on the tree last night, and that was all it took to get Katie in on it! She hauled the decorations from the upstairs closet and we got busy trimming. The girls' boxes of ornaments await them!

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Ooops! I just remembered that St. Nick comes tonight. Yes, he still comes to our house!

 


December crazies

December is only 3 days old and already so much has changed since the 1st. It's always full of crazy, isn't it?

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Christmas 1966 - Menasha, WI
Some of our old photos have made it to ScanCafe in the nick of time.

Since my mom died, I haven't said "no" to much that's come my way -- taking advantage of every opportunity and living every moment, you know -- and happily embracing all that activity and busy-ness in the spirit of honoring and remembering. I got through Thanksgiving okay, and I'm trying to keep that positive spin on all the December madness, too. It's cold and dark, though I've heard a rumor about unseasonably warm weather headed this way and the light will begin to return in just a few short weeks.

 


The end

It's the end of November. The prospect of December and January has me really looking for someplace warm to go in February.

It's the end of NaBloPoMo. It's been fun!

I am so, so sad that it's the end of a really great 5-day weekend! I spent most of it with family (a little or a lot), and fairly low-key and unplugged, except for a daily blog post and a few Facebook posts/shares.

I did some knitting, a lot of cleaning, a little cooking (I smoked up the house real good).

The tree is up and mostly lit (decorations will wait). I had to buy a few new strings of lights and LED are all that's available now, so they don't exactly match, but I don't think it'll matter much once it's all done.

I've been doing a little Christmas shopping, too! Nothing too major, but gathering ideas and getting a grip on things... it feels like it's coming together!

I really have no idea what we're actually doing for Christmas, but I'm sure that'll come together, too.

The company party is on Friday, and I'm looking forward to that.

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Meanwhile, Happy St. Andrew's Day!!

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Thanks for reading, folks.

 


Getting there...

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After two days, I've finally cleared the space for our Christmas tree! I've done a lot of other things, too! There have been lots of distractions. Sorting (and alphabetizing) albums, pulling out the Christmas vinyl; stashing the knitting machines/parts; reorganizing *stuff.*

We'll haul the tree up this afternoon and then, I suppose, decorate tomorrow... or maybe start tonight. I'm not sure I want to haul trimmings down right now. I finished knitting a gift hat last night (Craft Friday!) and have some other quick gift knits that I'm anxious to start. We'll see.

Hope you're having a fantastic Saturday!

 


Craft Friday

So far, my Craft Friday has involved a lot more cleaning & rearranging than crafting! I'm trying to make room for the Christmas tree.

I also spent some time visiting with my sister, her husband, and mine this afternoon; and setting the boys up for some drawing.

And pumpkin pie.

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Craftsy

(sponsored)

Craftsy's Black Friday Sale is happening NOW through Monday, December 1st. During their biggest sale of the year, all classes are $19.99 or less! This is my kind of Black Friday (or any day) shopping -- a Craftsy class is one of those gifts that keeps on giving, and this is a fantastic deal; there any time of the day or night, any day of the week! I am truly a fan, with classes of my own in sewing, patternmaking, knitting, weaving, and photography. Check it out!

 


Thanksgiving

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We found some Thanksgiving decor. And we did some cooking. We wished aloud for Mother's expertise at nearly every turn -- where's the right pan for this, the correct dish for that? She'd know in an instant where to look, and -- even after all these years -- we did not. We did the best we could, and we had a very nice (if not perfectly executed) celebration with our stepdad at their home.

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I ended up going home to get my own pan for roasting veggies, giving my brother-in-law pause prior to it going into the oven, making him wonder if I was ready for psychoanalysis! Haha. I was inspired. It's a big pan, so my quantities were different (more); from the left it's carrots (about a dozen), parsnips (around 9), beets (3 large), celery root (1 large), and sweet potato (2 large), with a red onion, too. That's a lot of chopping and it was totally worth it -- absolutely delicious.

Annie made turkey & stuffing, Brian made mashed potatoes, Katie made Mom's traditional corn pudding, Ali made cranberry sauce and chocolate chip cookies (also provider of chocolate milk and eggnog!), Maddy made cornbread (also for last night's soup supper), I made the roasted veggies, Rusty made an apple and a pumpkin pie... and it was all pretty fabulous.

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Meanwhile, Joe and Brian located the tree and put it up, along with some wreaths for the front window & door. Annie strung the lights and began decorating, and the girls continued when they arrived. My mother has enough decorations for at least three enormous trees. I swear. We used barely a fraction.

Grampa

#tbt

This morning I finalized a ScanCafe order that's been pending. This isn't the exact photo of my grandpa I was looking for amongst them to post today, and it wasn't even Thanksgiving -- it was probably June, and definitely at the cabin -- but it is one of the times in my life when I truly felt thankfulness. My grandfather, recovering from a stroke, was re-learning to read; here he's reading one of our all-time favorites, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, to Ali (on his lap), my cousin's stepdaughter, and Katie (far right) -- my girls are probably 3 and 5. That recovery was difficult for my grandpa, but this was a huge milestone -- he loved his grandkids and great grandkids so much, and he was so happy to be able to read to them.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving/Thursday, as the case may be.


Ten on Tuesday: I am thankful

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things For Which I Am Thankful (a retrospective)

It's harder this year. I miss my mom. The holidays were her thing and... I just really miss my mom. I'm thankful for a million things, of course -- my family, my adorable & amazing grandson, my health, my home -- but it's a big nasty cloud I'm keeping at bay this year, alternatively making menu/decorating/gift plans and trying not to get too emotional over Dancing With The Stars (or any other insignificant little thing in the grand scheme).

It's hard to believe, but this will be the 11th Thanksgiving since I began blogging. This year, I've highlighted a post from each of the past 10 Novembers and simply stated the thing about each for which I am thankful; except for last November, where I highlighted the entire month!

2004: Thanks. Secrets and surprises.

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2005: Hey, baby. Nieces and nephews.

2006: Labor Day Project is Complete! Perseverance (my own and others').

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2007:  Cheese! I am thankful for turkey... and thankful that I don't need turkey to be thankful.

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2008: Everybody jump? My husband and kids!

2009: Thankful. My siblings. (I miss Sharon, too. She hated the holidays.)

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2010: The cheesy post! Travel and knitting and inspiration and friends.

2011: Late edition. Color in my world. And the inspiration to create and explore. And knitting again.

2012: Be a quitter. Quitting is GREAT!

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2013: November 2013. Preparations for another baby! The entire month was full of all sorts of goodness.

Bonus - #11:

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2014: Where trouble melts like lemon drops. Special places, people, history, memories.

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This guy... how have 10+ months already gone by??

 


Weekending  Eye Candy Monday

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I have loved that blue-green, teal-y water and those pink, blue, purple, and yellow-green apples from the moment I "watercolored" this photo of apples awaiting bobbing at Annie's Halloween party.

Thank you, Margene, for the introduction to the SketchGuru app!

On Thursday, I had 1.5 hours between work and knit night, and some yarn that could soak for not one minute longer, so I mixed and stirred, poured and squished, rolled and steamed.

Ahhhh, that yarn makes me feel pretty happy right now. I used three different types of yarn and three similar but slightly different techniques. Chances are quite good that it'll all look like clown barf once knitted up -- that's a lot of strong color -- but (right now) I don't care.

 


Saturday Sky... Scotland-style

My sky is gray today, in the le drear way.

Sometimes, though, a gray sky can be one of the best things ever... adding to the moody beauty of the Scottish Highlands, say.

This is from a viewpoint as the A832 descends into Kinlochewe, overlooking Loch Maree -- one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen.

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We stopped at that overlook a couple of times while we were in the area. One time, we'd just got out of the car when another zoomed in, came to a fast stop, and four young guys jumped out, practically unzipping their flies as they did! "Pardon us," they said, "we really need to wee!" Or something to that effect. It was so funny, made even funnier when we met eyes with one of the lads and there was instant recognition -- he'd been our waiter at a restaurant in Gairloch the day before! They quickly did what they came to do (not stopping to admire the view!), then jumped back into their car and zoomed off!

You can see this view featured a couple of times in the beginning of this ad for David Beckham's Haig Club Scotch Whisky. (Make it BIG!)

Sláinte!

 


Remember that time...

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...that I went to Brazil?

We've been slammed with the cold weather here, so naturally I've been thinking about the warm! Our high temp hasn't been above freezing for about a week and a half! That's not normal at this time of year (though it's really hard to say what's "normal" anymore).

Meanwhile, the folks I was visiting in Rio are posting photos and updates from their vacation in the Bahamas this week, and I'm struggling to remember why I declined that invitation!! Haha.

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It would sure be nice to take a warm-weather holiday sometime this winter. Do you like to get away in the winter? Where's your favorite place to go -- and when?? Tempt me...

 


A new view

I had a new view of my city yesterday.

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This is from the 3rd floor of the historic Eagle Mill. I've never been inside before, but was offered that opportunity yesterday and a quick tour of the building.

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The Eagle Mill is part of the new Grand KaKalin riverfront development project. Groundbreaking took place on November 5th.

The entire 3rd floor will be headquarters for the current owners of the Thilmany Mill, Expera Specialty Solutions.

Our public library will relocate, occupying the 2nd floor of the enormous old mill, and more than doubling the size of their current space. I've mixed feelings about that; I love our beautiful Carnegie library and worked there when I was in high school, but a newer addition has significant issues. And the library is truly tiny -- even with the addition (which was built after I worked there). It's cute, but oh so small.

The lower level, also enormous, will be home to more office and retail space.

Deep breath. This is a very good thing. I have confidence in the developer's commitment to reviving while preserving historic places, and they have a good track record.

I can't wait for the grand opening!! It'll be fun to watch the project progress over the next year.

 


Ten on Tuesday: Play me

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Musicians I Would Bring Back From The Dead

1. Dan Fogelberg. Twin Sons of Different Mothers was a favorite among favorites in my collection of Dan Fogelberg albums. Dan's music was/is like an old friend.

2. Buddy Holly. What might have been had the music not died that day?

3. (Mama) Cass ElliottWhat a voice. I loved her both solo and as part of The Mamas & the Papas. Also: John Denver!

4. John Lennon.

5. George Harrison.

Beatles- Let It Be from Haley Temin on Vimeo.

And, thereby, The Beatles!

6. Marvin Gaye. Was there anyone more sexy smooth than Marvin?

7. Janis Joplin. 

8. Eva CassidyA voice like no other. 

9. Michael Jackson. What can I say? We grew up together, and I miss him.

10. Johnny Cash

And about a million more... I can't even.

 


Progress report

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I am still plugging away at the Kaffe Fassett Mystery KAL!

I threw all my finished squares into a Eucalan bath yesterday while dealing with the mouse situation. There's a blue-bleeder in there! Yikes.

I pinned them out while watching the Packer game. (There is an unintentional but decidedly Packer-esque square in there!) I've been going back and forth about that yellow... Anyway, I threaded one side of each square onto a blocking wire to speed the process.

They are truly random squares, worked in fingering/sock on a size US 4 needle; they're comfortably pinned out at 7" square.

So, there are 13 finished; the 14th came off the needles while watching an episode of Peaky Blinders. Not sure how long I'll keep going or how big this will be in the end. It's still enjoyable...

Meanwhile, I keep thinking about holiday knitting -- how much I'd like to give handknits to people and how it really takes something special to knit for others (except for Junah... it doesn't take anything special to knit for him!). Anyway, I'm thinking boot-toppers for the girls, and I owe Rusty a hat... soon.

 


Sunday Sky

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The first "sticky" snow of the season. Thank goodness it's not very much.

My Sunday plans have been slightly derailed this morning with the discovery of a mouse in the house! I like them in all forms except live in my house. So, this morning, I've been washing all the things!!

Also, it smells like a candy cane factory in here with all the peppermint oil-infused, mouse-repellant cotton balls I'm tucking into corners. Emptied one bottle, on to the next...

Hope your day is slightly more on track!

 


Mickey Mouse

Once upon a time, in the early 1980s, I needed to buy a telephone. I'd just moved into a new apartment and had never had a phone before. Previously, I think people ordered their phones directly from Ma Bell and had only a few choices, but a new "phone store" had just opened and I was able to choose/buy my own phone.

I didn't really need anything special, really; I just needed a phone.

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Ahem.


It's Friday

...and I ain't got much. How about a Friday Faves kind of thing? Maybe five of 'em, and random.

Five Friday Faves

1.  I'm in charge of vegetables for Thanksgiving this year, and I think I'm going to make Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetable Torte. I've never made it before, but Ina + roasted veggies = guaranteed to be a fave.

2. One of my birthday presents this year was Ina's new cookbook. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but I sure am enjoying the read! I'm sure this cookbook will quickly become a favorite!

3. Thoughts are beginning to turn toward Christmas. I've found (and pre-ordered) this year's addition to the holiday soundtrack. Tom Jones & Rosanne Cash are already favorites!

4. I think we'll be giving our favorite grandson a retro play kitchen for Christmas. He already has a better set of pots and pans than I do; he needs a place to store them all!

5. I'm thinking a lot about Craft Friday, too! I'll likely be working on Black Friday, but it'll be a low-key day, for sure, so may have some time to get my craft on. I'll have much of this weekend to myself, with plenty of time to peruse my Ravelry Favorites (among other sources - check out Beverly's posts, there's a bunch!), and perhaps I'll solidify some crafty plans.

 


Throwback Thursday

Sharing a post from 6 years ago today yesterday (I'm seriously date-challenged today):

12 November 2008

These three...

...make me "smile in my liver."

That's one of my favorite lines from Eat, Pray, Love. I even wrote it down on a piece of paper (rare).

Also on that piece of paper, and from that book, and fitting right here and now:

"...little girls who make their mothers live grow up to be such powerful women."

I am feelin' the power. OMG. How I love these girls. How they give me strength.

I am also LOVING this picture -- taken by my sister Sharon over the weekend as the girls were having their picture taken from another direction!

* * * * *

And I still feel the same today (Thursday, November 13th!) (maybe if I write it, I'll remember it). I can't believe all that has happened in the past 6 years years. The circle of life. These girls continue to move and shake the world, each in their own way, and they inspire me every single day. I'm so proud of them.

 


FO: Aviator Hat

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Gramma, WHUT?

  • Project:  Regan - Aviator Hat by Julie Taylor
  • Size: 1-2 years
  • Yarn:  Cascade Yarns "Pacific" in #62 Gray (less than 1 skein)
  • Needle:  US 7 DPN
  • Buttons from The Collection
  • Start to Finish:  November 7 - 9, 2014

Is that adorable, or WHUT?

Poor baby was in the process of cutting top teeth three-at-a-time in this photo... smiles were not happening!

 


Ten on Tuesday: Collection

col·lec·tion
kəˈlekSH(ə)n/
a group of things or people

* * * * *

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Collections I've Had Over The Years

1. Depression Glass. D is for Depression Glass.

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Make mine green. I came to have a couple of my grandmother's pieces and spent quite a few years growing a collection. My mom collected pink, and it was fun to "hunt" together. We spent a lot of time, over the years, at flea markets and auctions! As usual, I set parameters (specific pieces or shape/pattern) and it was really fun.

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There are even collections within the collection! I've always "had a thing" for measuring cups.

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It's displayed in a few different places, mostly in the kitchen and most of it is in this cabinet (which hides my kitchen sink). Collections are meant to be together and I love how  it looks, especially illuminated!

2. Cookbooks. I have a big collection of those!

3. Sewing Baskets & Stands & Things.

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S is for Sewing! Needle cases, measuring tapes, spool holders, pin cushions... 

4. Knitting Needles.

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I like them long and straight! There are a lot of vintage Bates and Boye aluminum specimens, which I seem to favor, but I also like bamboo and the Quicksilver needles.

5. Cabinet Photographs.

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I especially have a thing for photos of babies, children, and women. And men. And wedding photos. And school room photos. And family photos, especially outside of and including the house. And... well, I guess I'm not too particular about the subject, but there's always something that speaks to me, often it's an "attitude."

6. Mice.

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R is for Rodents. I don't think I've bought a single one of these... sometimes a collection happens whether you want it to or not. My nickname as a baby was "Mouse," and my dad used it well into my adult years. So, of course! I must want to collect mice! I don't mind, really, there are some very special ones -- a few of porcelain that Grandma made for me, some that the kids made. There is not a single Mickey Mouse specimen pictured but, trust me, he's well represented!

7. Pansies. You know it, P is for Pansies!

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Pictures, pitchers, jardinieres, calendars, tiles, prints, china...

8. Poultry, apparently: Chicken- and/or duck-shaped covered glass dishes and/or ceramic planters (yellow).

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I have a collection of exactly two yellow ceramic chicken planters. They were both Sharon's and I always thought that it would be fun to add to that collection, but so far I've not found any that fit the criteria! And that's okay!

I've a number of glass "chicken dishes," a few different sizes, some clear and some opaque.

The real treasure (never before photographed, it seems) is an old bubble bath container, a covered glass duck-shaped dish. When she was a girl, my mother bought one for my grandmother as a gift; Grandma always used it to hold her bobby pins. I found one at an auction and, of course, it holds my bobby pins, too. Mom also found one, and it even had the little bubble bath scoop still tied with ribbon to the duck's neck.

9. Bowls. B is for Bowls.

I like having choices?

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10. Rubberbands. I used to have a thing for twisty-ties, but now it's rubberbands.

I have found myself feeling less and less a collector. I haven't added to any of these collections in quite some time and have even been thinning.

I've culled some of the depression glass, for instance, but it's now out of the cabinet and sitting in a box. So I still have it. There's not much demand for it, anymore, and even though I never spent a whole lotta money (or, at least, it averages out to very little per piece), it's hard to just give away something I once spent so much time looking for.

 


Weekending

On Friday night, I put my jammies on early, caught up on some recorded TV, and started knitting a hat for Junah.

My sister Ann & fam came down on Saturday to see Big Hero 6, and I tagged along. I ate DOTS and popcorn, and snooze/dozed through a good portion of the middle, but it wasn't too difficult to catch up with what was going on for the big finale. It was cute, the boys really enjoyed it; there is definitely room for pre- and/or sequels, as the powers that be see fit (and/or see dollar signs).

I finished knitting Junah's hat on Saturday night, attached the buttons on Sunday morning, and delivered it Sunday afternoon. Details tomorrow on Wednesday!

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Something new was waiting on the porch on Sunday morning. I haven't had a Sunday paper delivered in quite a few years... all of a sudden (and a pretty good offer), it seems like a good idea. Winter's coming. I like the idea of cozying up with a cuppa and The Times. It's all available electronically, too, which I love.

Annie and I went out to the mall & area later on Sunday morning to do some returns and for a little shopping. Also a birthday chair-massage. I strained my back a week ago last Friday and it's been very slowly improving; I think the massage was pretty well timed and, wow, did I/do I ever have some hard little knots in various places. My back is better, still not perfect... such a bummer.

Sunday night was all about football... and it was good. It was very, very good!

This morning I awoke to snow falling. It's the first I've seen this year with my own two eyes. Folks around us are going to see much more than I!!

 


Saturday Sky

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This is the farm that's right across the road from where I work, and it's one of my favorite things in the world. I love watching the process.

I'm loving the suggestion of the telephone wires in this "watercolor" rendering and that I'm reminded of birds on a wire -- because those wires often are loaded with them!

Happy Saturday!

 


Flashback Friday

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We were busy cleaning out the upstairs apartment at this time last year and part of that meant dealing with all the kids' projects, artwork, and paperwork that I'd saved since they were in preschool. I saved some, threw some out, took pictures of a lot. Obviously, this is Maddy's work and I'm thinking it was pre-K.

I'm beginning to think about Thanksgiving, aren't you?

 


Celebrate!

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My book club is obviously better than yours!

a) Because our meeting last night was at the Appleton Beer Factory (delicious food, delicious beer!).

b) Because what a great group of women with so much to talk about and share (even when some of us, including me, haven't read the book).

c) Because knit-themed lemon poppyseed birthday cake!!

Yep, it's my birthday again. And it's been a great day so far!

I started my 4-day birthday weekend by running some errands with Katie and then she took me out to lunch at Zuppas. When we got home, Maddy was in the kitchen cooking up some stew for supper. She's staying overnight and is planning to come with me to knit night tonight with her current cross-stitch project. Ali will be over in a while with Junah and, well, I couldn't ask for much more.

Margene mentioned SketchGuru the other day and I've had fun playing around with this app!

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I've been so envious of all my Waterloguing iFriends, now I can finally watercolor, too!

And more!

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I loved the Corcoa coasters that Susan B. Anderson recently blogged about, especially the Knitting Coaster Set. I ordered two sets and they arrived a couple of days ago. I've been using one set and thought I'd give the other away for my birthday!

I get presents, you get presents, everybody's happy!

Leave a comment on this or any NaBloPoMo 2014 post from now through Sunday at midnight (Nov. 9, CST) to enter! I've been dabbling with the dye again, filling some special orders... and then some... so they'll likely be well padded with wool for shipping!

***

Thanks for reading, and for all of your lovely comments.

 


Where trouble melts like lemon drops

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In this life, our "over the rainbow" is on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in the far northern reaches of Wisconsin.

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There's a big old log cabin up there, built by my great grandparents in the '30s, where we spent at least one week of every childhood summer, not to mention a few magical Christmases.

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It's the place where Sharon said that wanted to be forever; a place of great and happy (and funny) memories for all of us.

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A happy memory: Sibling Weekend - September 2009

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In the day, the property was quite large; located at the end of a short road, it extended to a point and also included a small island with boat house, connected to the mainland by a foot bridge. There was a lot of room for exploration! The property is still bigger than most -- and still includes the island -- even though the lot at the point was sold some years ago.

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View from the south-side loft. The folks sitting on the far side are in the old porch area -- a wall with some windows (part of it remains) used to separate the two areas. There used to be an old sofa bed (most comfortable ever and my favorite sleeping place outside of the north-side loft), a few easy chairs, a rocker, a gorgeous wood-burning stove in the main area, but it was completely dominated by a red gingham oilcloth-covered dining table in the center of the room -- the center of the universe.

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Bedrooms with walls, no ceiling!

The cabin had two big lofts at either end; a rustic kitchen and a bedroom under the south loft; a porch (and another bedroom) under the lake-side north loft; the lofts overlooked two more bedrooms on the middle-west side and a large dining/living area on the east.

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Electricity was the only modern convenience; water was hauled, two buckets at a time, from a pump located a little ways off the northwest corner of the cabin, and heated in a big kettle on the stove; a two-seater log outhouse was located at the side of the cabin. Later, a cold water tap was added in the kitchen at the... well, let's call it the "personal care" sink, where we'd wash our faces and brush our teeth.

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There used to be several poles off-shore with many martin houses -- full of purple martins. The martin population isn't anywhere what it used to be.

Deeper personal cleanliness could be accomplished in the lake or, as Grandma often preferred, by sponge bath in the "privacy" of her bedroom. Perhaps the original "open concept" design, there was only one room in the whole cabin that had both ceiling and walls, and none of them had a proper door; the center bedrooms had walls but no ceiling, the lofts had ceiling but no walls, the "bedroom" on the porch was actually created by hanging a curtain as partition, and all of the interior doorways were merely curtained.

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The "porch bedroom" is now just part of the porch -- the curtain has been removed (though hardware remains) (you never know).

The cabin was sold about 20 years ago and has seen substantial "improvement" since then, the most significant of which is "indoor plumbing." The bedroom off the kitchen -- the one with both ceiling and walls -- was converted to a spacious full bath + laundry! There's a new roof, sunlights, an updated kitchen, flooring, and a partial basement, now, which houses both furnace and water heater; a windowed wall was removed between the living area and porch to open it up even further.

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Other family members, both near and far along the family tree branches, still have (or had) nearby properties, and we've been well aware of all of these changes -- and have even done some window-peeking over the years -- but it was hard to tell, really, all the changes that had taken place.

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We were all quite happy -- my kids beside themselves (Maddy has no memory of being there) -- when it was offered to us for the weekend in October that we planned to visit. We were warned many times that "it isn't the cabin you remember."

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The center of attention from the minute he woke up!

Junah is the 7th generation to stay at the old family cabin!

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Our favorite card game -- and there was almost always one in progress -- SKIP BO!

Lo, we were all quite pleased to note the "improvements," but also that there was much more that had stayed the same than had changed. It's hard to change the basic footprint and feel of a cabin made of massive native logs too much!!

It was perfect. Always was, always will be.

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This photo is everything -- my great grandmother (on the left), old cars, the kitchen door, and outbuildings! Very little has changed. The building to the far left is known as "The Hoodlum" and was originally a bunkhouse on wheels, hauled around to lumber camps. It still stands, and I've slept a night or two there! Moved to my uncle's property several years ago, the old Wisconsin license plate is still visible!

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Great Grandpa Sutton and me near the boathouse at the cabin, autumn 1965, Turtle Flambeau Flowage. One of my most favorite photos.

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We boarded a borrowed pontoon on Saturday to motor a little ways out into the bay. I wore the fabulous autumn cover sweater from Vogue Knitting that Sharon knit years ago, we listened to Eva Cassidy sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," we disbursed the remainder of Sharon's ashes, along with some of Uncle Bob's, who'd passed in late May, to join those of a few others resting in the bay. Sharon & Bob had a special bond and it was good. Good company.

We returned to shore and feasted on steamed artichokes and smoked fish -- Sharon's favorite -- along with some BBQ ribs and potato-leek soup.

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I love this photo of Annie and Junah reading.

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Junah getting Bogey kisses!

It was a wonderful (if too short) weekend with lots of family time, fabulous weather, good food, fun and games, and more than a little irreverence -- in other words, SHARON PERFECT.

xo

 


Memento

It wasn't long before my mother's death -- a few months, perhaps -- when, one day, I walked into her family room and she, seated in the recliner as usual, started waving a section of the newspaper at me: "Read this." There was an article about cremains. The gist of it being that there are a lot of cremains around -- and by "around," I don't mean scattered as the deceased may have wished; they're in boxes or bags, sitting on a shelf or in a cupboard, or next to the furnace on the basement floor, because people are "too busy" and don't make it a priority to see that their loved one's last wishes are carried out.

Guilty.

For a while, I believe my mother found it comforting to have Sharon's ashes near, but by late winter, and perhaps realizing that her own death was approaching, it became important to Mom that Sharon be put to rest as she'd wished. Well, Mum died before we could all do that together, so that's actually going to be a story for another day (probably tomorrow)...

Today, it's about how my sisters, daughters, niece, and I made it a priority and gathered at Wild Apple Gallery the day before Mom's memorial in August. We'd always intended to go, along with my mother, to make glass memorials with some of Sharon's ashes. I'd called to inquire about a session shortly after Sharon died but, without any sense of urgency, we never made it a priority to actually get it scheduled.

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So many bits & bobs and tools and pieces of glass!

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I don't remember what it's called, but that white piece is fire-proof and prevents the glass from fusing together in that spot. I can insert a small rod or cord through the opening for hanging.

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Not of all the pieces encapsulated ashes, but many of them did.

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These are my finished pieces. The sunflower is in remembrance of Mom (it's approx. 4" square, for scale), and the single flower on a blue background is of Sharon, a small bit of their ashes encased in each; the other piece is for both: flowers & blue polka-dot sky!

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In the tradition of a Sister Weekend, we gathered, we talked, we laughed, we cried, we made a mess, and we created! Together.

 


Halloween Party

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For as long as it lasted* on Halloween, Junah was a little lion!!

On Saturday, I drove up to my sister Ann's -- for the first time since I delivered them to their new front door in June -- with Ali & Junah for a Halloween Party!

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There was a fun Scavenger Hunt!

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Halloween BINGO!

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Bobbing for Apples!

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A fun Mummy Wrap 'n Race!

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Raggedy Ann even mummified one-socked Raggedy Andy!

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There was a ton of fun with cousins!! (They can't get enough of him... plotting to "capture" him -- nicely -- so they could keep him!)

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Seriously.

*not very long