Ten on Tuesday: EAT

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Foods I Am Looking Forward to Eating Now That Fall Is (almost) Here.

1. Chili. All Day! With Fritos and Football.

2. Soup. Nothing says "warm me up" like a bowl of soup!

3. A Roast. Any kind. With carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.

4. Lasagna. It's always been my go-to in any season, but particularly as it gets cooler outside. And made with some Roasted Tomato Sauce? Divine.

5. BBQ Ribs. KC&T just began selling my favorite BBQ sauce, Howling Wolf! (And will soon feature the Cranberry Orange sauce on a panini.)

6. Apples. Worth the wait.

7. Roasted Veggies. Any and all!

8. Cranberries. In bread (sparingly). In sauce. I love their tartness!

9. Zucchini Bread. Also sparingly, but it seems every year I somehow have one (large) zucchini that I just don't know what to do with except make bread!

10. Pumpkin Pie. This is the realm of my husband. He *loves* pie... pumpkin and apple, in particular, so this is definitely pie season around here. I can protest 'til the cows come home... there will be pie.

* * * * *

Wisconsin Weather (Fall)

3 Days ago I posted: "I am having warm thoughts about my furnace." It was mid-60s in my house. In spring that feels amazing, in fall... not so much.

Today I posted: "It was a little warm at work today. We had the door open and a fan going but, really, it was warm enough for A/C. We just couldn't do it! It felt as though we'd have been closing the door right in summer's face... (sad face)."

For the record, it's 7 p.m. and still 83F outside.

Tomorrow (day off) is supposed to be much like today. (Yay!)

Ten on Tuesday: Country mouse

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love About Visiting The Country*

1. Barns and barn cats.

Tractor and barn


Near Grantsburg, Wisconsin


2. Chickens.


West Kilbride, Scotland


3. Country paths.

Country paths

Isle of Anglesey, Wales


4. Cows... or coos.


West Kilbride, Scotland


5. Hay fields... especially when dotted with round bales.


Near Marshfield, Wisconsin


6. Lambs.

Lambs again
Lambs again

Bryn Celli Du - Isle of Anglesey, Wales


7. Mossy stone walls.

Mossy stone walls

United Kingdom


8. Fields of pumpkins.


Near Berkeley, California


9. Sheep.


Near Valders, Wisconsin


10. Fields of sunflowers.


Northeast Wisconsin


*Featuring "the country" from both USA and UK!

Ten on Tuesday: Blueberries

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Things To Do with Blueberries


1. Pick them.

2. Eat them right off the bush.

3. Eat them right out of the bucket.


4. Eat them right out of the box.

5. Eat them by the handful.

6. Eat them from a bowl with a little bit of cream.

7. Add them to a bowl of cereal.


8. Add them to a fruit salad.

9. Make blueberry muffins.

10. Make blueberry pancakes.

I *love* blueberries! You???

Ten on Tuesday: I Scream!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Ice Cream Flavors


I rarely scream for ice cream these days, but when I do...

1. Moose Tracks

2. Coffee

3. Chocolate

4. Vanilla (with appropriate toppings: chocolate syrup, pecans, and/or chocolate chips)

5. Mint Chip

6. Butter Pecan

7. Cookies 'n Cream

8. Fudge Swirl

9. Neapolitan

10. Orange Sherbet (...I know)


I also like Klondike bars, ice cream sandwiches, a plain old ice cream bar, fudgsicles, creamsicles (orange), push-ups (orange), Dilly bars (chocolate), drumsticks... there are probably a million new "licensed" ice cream treats on the market these days, but I like the tried-and-true.

What's your favorite?

Ten on Tuesday: Home

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love About My Home

We've lived in our home for over 28 years! There are things that I've loved from the beginning (that basically sold the home to me); things that we've improved so that some other feeling has now become love; and there are many things that we just outright created, helping to make our house a home that we truly love.


1. The front door. I didn't have to do much more than step through that door 28 years ago, take it in along with the oak staircase and the colonnade between the two main living areas on the main floor, and I was in deep, deep love.


2. The colors. It's sided with wood clapboards and shingles, so there's a lot of upkeep and maintenance, but I sure do love it. The house was light blue with white trim when we bought it, and there were black shutters on all of those windows.

3. New windows! Not all of them... Most of the windows are original with wooden storms/screens that we remove and replace with the seasons (but not all of those, either). There were only a few windows in the house that  had "modern" combination storm windows when we moved in and they were all replaced with new last week. (The three 2nd-story windows in the photo above, among them; they're a different color than the painted ones, but I'm okay with it.)


4. The garage & driveway. We built the garage from scratch and designed it to match the architecture of the house. We didn't have a driveway or a garage for about the first 10 years we were here.

And sitting on that driveway is my car, on which I made the last payment today! I've already spent a little bundle on some repairs, rather than buying new... fingers crossed that it was the right decision! (No car payment... YAY!)

5. The gardens! Once upon a time, the gardening got a lot more attention around here. The beauty of perennials is that they keep on giving. I learned to love hostas, and one of my favorites is the enormous Blue Angel (on the right in the photo above) (there used to be two, until the gas company dug up half the terrace).


6. The playhouse. Rusty built it when Kate & Al were little, and we moved it down the hill when we decided to build the garage. Junah's been in there already this summer, but he'll use it much more over the next few.



7. Our kitchen. One of the things I love most are the reclaimed cupboards. The big one once did duty in the science department of a nearby high school. We had enough height to lift the top off of the base and hang it, leaving room for a counter atop the base. The base has a few drawers, as you can see, as well as four pull-out cutting boards; we use the lower cupboards to hold recycling bins. The smaller one, my "depression glass cupboard" (with one light out) helps to block the view of the sink area from the front door (it's a straight shot!). (I'd like to replace those hot halogen lights with some LED tape.)

8. The hardwood floors. Some are new (-ish), some were uncovered and refinished, and some were always here; there's only one room in the house that is carpeted, and that's our bedroom.


9. My workroom. It's an organized mess... which is what happens when multiple projects are underway! The paper tube set across the sewing machine are a couple more Alabama Chanin patterns that I just picked up from the blueprint shop (the least expensive place I've found to have large-format prints made... cheap, really... I email the files and pick them up when ready... SO EASY). But I digress (about Alabama Chanin  stuff... what a surprise.)


10. The deck and pergola. It's very private and I love it! I agree with Katie, though, I think it's time to grow something on it... wisteria?


Bonus: The top step leading to the playhouse. Maddy was one and "squished" her little fingers into the concrete!

Ten on Tuesday: A Drop In The Bucket

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things On My Summer Bucket List

Oh boy, there are so many things and most of summer still sits before us...


1. Dyeing. I've quite a few things in mind to throw into the indigo vat. I'll be doing a dye day with my sister and nephews one of these days, too.

2. Sewing. An Alabama Chanin A-Line Tunic is going to get underway tomorrow, I hope. I have plans to embellish! I have already begun making the pattern for another tunic, and want to make & refine at least one more square-neck. In addition to some lovely fabric, I've an overflowing bin of t-shirts and scraps to play around with -- making things for Junah is in mind for some (but definitely not all) of that.


TTL Mystery Shawl 2015 at completion of Clue #1.

3. Knitting. I'm currently working on (and enthralled by) Kirsten Kapur's TTL Mystery Shawl 2015; I will most certainly finish it this summer. I'd also like to finish my Prickly Poppy cardigan (it's slow going, but it's going) and Sophie's Rose Shawlette (it got stuck on a zipper pull in my knitting bag... I am afraid to look).


4. Day-tripping... a visit to Door County will be coming up sometime this summer; it may wait just long enough 'til those blossoms are ready-to-pick cherries! I haven't actually gone cherry picking since I was in about 6th grade.


5. Baseball! I've already been to one Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game for Stitch 'n Pitch, there's a company picnic coming up in August, and we're working on a family outing next month!

6. Cycling. I really want -- and need -- to get on my bike and ride for more than a mile at a time! We'll miss the Door County ride/beer festival out of Baileys Harbor this weekend, but plan to do the fall ride out of Sister Bay again later this summer.

7. Cooking. I've been trying some new recipes lately, with inspiration from the Whole30Recipes Instagram feed... and I'd like to continue that!

8. Tidying. Life has been busy, but I need to get back to the life-changing magic!

9. Reading. I've printed off a Bingo card, but expect it will last me far longer than the summer. I'm really looking forward to some of those squares! Currently on my nightstand is The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, which I am enjoying quite a lot, but may have to take a break to read Still Alice by Lisa Genova for book club!

10. Time off-ing. I've arranged a couple of extra days off next week, to start... I am SO looking forward to it, and to using that time to accomplish some of the above!

Ten on Tuesday: Tunes

Ten on Tuesday:  The First 10 Songs On My Favorite Spotify Playlist

We listened to a fair bit of music on the way to Black Mountain, NC, and back, and all of it was on Spotify. The playlist we listened to most was BOXER SUMMER JAMS by The Boxer Rebellion. (I've been listening to that playlist since it was called WINTER jams!) It was perfect for a road trip.

1. Think Of England - Bear's Den

2. On Your Own - Fryars

3. Don't You Find - Jamie T.

4. First Mind - Nick Mulvey

5. Every Other Freckle - alt-J

6. Sparks - James Bay

7. Bring Back The Wolf - Submotion Orchestra

8. It Takes A Lot To Know A Man - Damien Rice

9. Fur Hildegard von Bingen - Devendra Banhart

10. Diamonds - The Boxer Rebellion


Ten on Tuesday: Memorial Day Weekend 2015

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did Over The Weekend

1. Rusty & I took a 7-hour RT drive on Saturday to attend my nephew's graduation party.


The chocolate fountain was a hit... look for it next at a summer birthday party!

2. We stopped on the way to visit Maddy at work and have lunch!


We managed one not-so-goofy picture.

3. My niece took some pictures of my goofy sisters and me.

4. I slept in until 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. That's crazy! (Obviously, I needed it.)

5. I did some finishing/fixing on my indig0-dyed Endless Summer Tunic dress -- all that's left now is some handwork (felling seams).

6. Junah came over for a delightful few hours. He is unmistakably communicating his wants and desires, both vocally and by pointing. The boy loves to point! He is also officially running now.


7. On Monday, I decided that it was time to make another tunic! This time, I used an existing garment as a template to make a pattern and cut up another men's 4X t-shirt for fabric -- it was the perfect size. It's a very simple design, and I did some of the sewing by machine, but it still took all day! The learning curve in figuring out a mitered-corner finish on the square neckline would account for a great deal of that.

8. Ali rode her bike over with Junah in the trailer. The weather was iffy all day -- clouds, rain, sun, rinse & repeat -- but they found a good weather window and it was good to be outside. Junah loves it outside!!

9. I helped with supper last night, made a run to pick up trip supplies, and watched the last episode of North & South.

10. No knitting! It will definitely be coming on the trip, though... both the current sweater and shawl. We leave this afternoon!

And that's that. I hope you had a great weekend!

Ten on Tuesday: Between two or more slices of bread

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Sandwiches

I don't eat sandwiches as often as I used to... like, hardly ever these days... but I sure do love them and sometimes it's the only thing!


I began riffing on sandwiches last week when writing about cheese, whereby the Top 4 or 5 were already declared:

1. Philly Cream Cheese & Welch's Grape Jelly. On Wonder Bread, of course!

2. Butter & Honey. Mom would make these sandwiches in the morning and pack it in our school lunches. By lunchtime, the honey would have begun to crystallize along the cut edges. Oh, that was the best thing.

3. Peanut Butter & Banana. I also have fond memories of Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Creme, but am very content to leave that there in the memory department. I have, however, continued the pleasure of PB & Banana to the present day (though quite sparingly).

4. Grilled Cheese. White bread with butter, processed American cheese, grilled just so... oh yum! We didn't eat out often when I was a kid, but when we did I always ordered a grilled cheese sandwich (really hard to screw up)... until I discovered fried shrimp!

5. Ham & Swiss. This is my go-to at any sandwich shop... anywhere, anytime, on anything, with a little mayo and yellow mustard. Perhaps with pickles. I love it on all kinds of bread or as a wrap, but probably my favorite medium for consumption is a toasted bagel (plain, egg, everything).

6. Roast Beef & Provolone... warm, with mushrooms. Otherwise known as #15 at the Deli Sub Pub, favorite lunch stop of my early working days. Man, I loved that sandwich.

7. Fish Sandwich. I love fish and I love sandwiches. I haven't eaten at McDonald's in years*, but when I was a more regular customer I always ordered a fish filet.

8. Turkey & Cream Cheese with Cherry Chutney. On toasted granola bread. Served with dill potato salad and chunky applesauce. It's my favorite sandwich at The Cookery in Door County. I sometimes wish I could broaden my horizons.

9. A Classic Club Sandwich. This was a favorite from my even earlier working days -- my first job on my own in Superior, WI. I can't remember the name of the diner I'd go to, but they made a great club sandwich!

10. Reuben. Mmm, a good and very dark rye bread, just the right amount of corned beef, the tang & texture of (well-drained) sauerkraut, and the sweetness of Russian dressing.

Bonus: 11. Gyros. Also a favorite of the working girl... there was a fantastic Greek restaurant called Karras' that we went to often; oh man, the best Greek food around.


 *Actually, in desperation, we had McD's at O'Hare on the way back from Mexico; of course, I had a fish filet... and I wish I'd been more disappointed! It certainly wasn't stellar, and I won't be a regular consumer ever again, but it would probably number amongst my guilty pleasures if I ever had to make a list of such things.

Ten on Tuesday: I'm in a dairy state of mind

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Kinds of Cheese

Not only is Wisconsin America's Dairyland, I live in a city known for cheese! And when I moved for a while to Oregon, I ended up in another city known for cheese!! I can't seem to escape the cheese...

A lot has changed in Wisconsin. The state used to be dotted with tiny independent cheese factories -- and I mean they were everywhere! That's sadly not the case anymore. I miss them!

C is for Cheese Curds

Goat Cheese Curds from Caprine Supreme Creamery, Black Creek, WI

1. Squeaky cheese curds. You can find fresh cheese curds at some farmer markets, every grocery, and even at gas/convenience stores. 

2. Cream cheese. I don't think there's a single thing on earth with cream cheese as an ingredient that I don't like. The one thing that immediately comes to mind, though, is the Philly Cream Cheese & Welch's Grape Jelly sandwich of my youth. Oh, sooo good. I'm sure we only had those in desperation, and if the cupboard was really bare it was a Butter & Honey sandwich in my lunch, but those are still numbers 1 & 2 on my list of favorite sandwiches! (#3 is Peanut Butter & Banana.) (I sense a Ten on Tuesday topic!)

3. Kraft American cheese, but never individually-wrapped singles. I like peeling the layers on a sliced block. I love a good ol' fashioned grilled cheese sandwich -- with tomato soup, of course! This was also the cheese on the bologna sandwiches of yesteryear, as well as many a dinner when paired with saltine crackers! The kids always loved my sister Karen's American Cheese Soup.

4. Cheddar cheese. There was a time when there was always a block of cheddar in our fridge. If the word "cheese" is on the grocery list, it means cheddar! So many varieties...

5. Colby cheese. A very smooth and mild cheese, similar in flavor to cheddar but perhaps a bit softer. A favorite variation is Co-Jack -- a swirled combo of Colby and Monterey Jack.


6. Mozzarella! In all shapes and sizes. I can adapt. It's the reason I grow tomatoes and basil!

7. Brie & Camembert. Thanks to Mom! A favorite lately is a bit of cherry preserves atop a smudge of brie on a thin cracker. Mmmm.

8. Bleu. Yum... I'm sort of craving a good Wedge Salad right now.

9. Swiss & Provolone. Different cheeses, but sandwich favorites for numbers 4 & 5 on my list: Ham & Swiss and Roast Beef & Provolone.

10. Limburger. (On occasion.) Thanks to Grandpa Blum!

Cream of Spinach Soup

Grated Parmesan finishes Cream of Spinach Soup.

I could go on and on. Cheese!

And this just in: As Far As Cheese Goes, We're Still America's Dairyland

Ten on Tuesday: Pot o' Gold

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'd Buy If I Found A Pot of Gold!

I need a baseline. How much gold does one expect to find in a pot?

Using the calculations provided here and yesterday's price of gold ($1,154.16/oz.), it's $313,192.86. Okay, then...

1. A 1958 Corvette, red & white: $77,995.00

2. A Nice Long Weekend in NYC: $5,000.00

3. A Spring Shopping Trip: $5,000.00

4. A Mediterranean Cruise: $20,000.00

5. Rent a motorhome and take a Road Trip to The Maritimes: $7,500.00 

6. A Brand New Car for the whole fam damily: $175,000

7. Almost everything on my Amazon Wish List: $4,610.63

8. A Patterns + Alterations Studio Week at Alabama Chanin: $3,000.00 + $1,000.00

The new book will be out soon!! Rusty pre-ordered for my birthday and I've been delightfully anticipating ever since!

9. And the Classic Studio Week: $3,000.00 + $1,000

10. I'd have Margene join me: $8,000.00.

Lucky me, I'm observing the 10th anniversary of The Quit, so I have a BONUS POT OF GOLD into which I can dip:

11. So I'd bring a few more AC-obsessed friends -- Kay, KymGale, and Beverly!!

Wouldn't that be fun???

A girl can dream.

And obviously spend a whole lotta money in a very short time!

Ten on Tuesday: The hour(s)

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'll Do With Daylight Savings' Shifted Hour

In addition to the "extra hour" of daylight, the days here are getting longer at the current rate of over 3 minutes per day!

With the manipulation of the clock, that extra hour is just shifted from the beginning of the day to the end... I was driving both to & from work in daylight last week, but it's dark again in the morning.


I thought I was adjusting okay but I woke up in the wee hours and spent some time trying to figure out what time it really was. I just couldn't shake it...


1. Last night we took a walk before dinner.

2. We went before dinner because we thought it would be too late afterwards, but we enjoyed the daylight for quite a while... the sun set at nearly 7:00.

3. We're all still adjusting.


4. With all that extra daylight, I was able to see buds on the trees.

5. I'm looking forward to getting things done! I'm just naturally more active during daylight hours.

6. That will include some after-work bike rides beginning soon.

7. Creatively, I'm looking forward to doing a number of things that are on hold because they're best done outside:

7.a. Indigo dyeing -- both fabric and yarn.
7.b. Airbrush stenciling some fabric! There are some Alabama Chanin projects in the wings...

8. The snow is melting fast, and we didn't have that much to begin with... and I know it's too early, but I couldn't help it but glance to the spot where I'll eventually watch my hostas begin to appear.

9. I can't recall doing a single garden-related thing last year, except perhaps a very late pruning of my espalier tree... because espalier. So, as soon as I'm able, I'm actually looking forward to doing some yard work!


The forecast is for 60F today... I feel as though we're over the hump!

Ten on Tuesday: What's up?

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'm Looking Forward To Right Now

1. The Madison Knitters' Guild Knit InI'm going with my friend Ann and we're making a weekend of it, leaving early Friday morning, even, so we can make stops along the way. It's been a few years since I've gone to the Knit In, and I'm truly looking forward to it!

2. Annie Modesitt's Mad About Plaid class on Saturday morning (hopefully, she's feeling better by then!).

3. The Beer and Fiber Pairing on Sunday afternoon. There's a Wine and Yarn Tasting, too. Ann is doing both on Saturday!

4. I've been to the Madison area many times but have rarely eaten at a restaurant, so I'm excited about checking out the food scene! Red Sushi, Umami Ramen & Dumpling Bar, Graze, and The Coopers Tavern have all been mentioned, as well as Grampa's Pizzeria.

Let's see, what else?

5. The Oscars on Sunday night. Unable to take part in the Best Picture Festival this year, I've only seen a few nominated movies. That's better than last year, though, as I'd seen none and was grateful for the BP Fest.

6. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8th! We are currently gaining daylight at the rate of approx. 3 minutes per day and that just increases everyday from now until the Summer Solstice. Yay!

7. My 10-year Quit-iversary on March 18th!

8. My 11-year Blog-iversary on March 20th, which is better known to most as the First Day of Spring!!

9. Dyeing some yarn. It's been a while, and there are a couple of projects waiting... with any luck, that will happen later today or tomorrow.

10. NO PLANS! It's all good -- Mexico, my grandson, the Knit-in -- but the last weekend of the month is the only weekend in February that's not pre-booked.


Ten on Tuesday: Foot f*tish

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Types of Footwear I Own/Love

Shoes aren't really "my thing," though I will admit that they've become more of "a thing" lately. Inflammation and often severe swelling in my ankles and feet didn't make for fun shoe shopping -- it was always a consideration when buying shoes, and adjustable was the (only) name of the game! Even with fairly significant weight gain over the past 6-9 months, I don't suffer the inflammation and swelling that I did in the past, and I can wear a lot of shoes that I wasn't able to before.

Keen Saratoga

1. Keen -- I can't remember the name of this Mary Jane style. I've had them for several years... long enough that I've employed Shoe Goo in an effort to keep them together a little bit longer. After sitting out most of last year, they're back in the rotation a bit more. I've always loved them, especially the color!

2. El Naturalista -- the shoes I was desperate to stretch & break in before our trip to the U.K. I think I ended up wearing them on the plane but mostly they were in my luggage... and they are heavy!

Garage Sale Sandals

3. Garage Sale Sandals. I don't usually buy used shoes, but these had possibly been worn once. I don't remember the brand -- maybe Bjorn -- it's a brand of shoe that usually doesn't work for me. The arch support could be a little better, so I don't wear them when I know I'll be walking a lot or on my feet all day, but I love the style and color and that leather is so soft. Like buttah.

4. Merrell Captiva Launch 2. I love, love, love these boots! They're pretty close fitting, so usually worn with tights or leggings. I haven't snagged or broke a single buckle... knocking on wood.

Keen Sandals

5. More Keen. These were purchased specifically for their flexibility and adjustability, and originally to wear while cycling (and are still my preferred footwear for that activity). They're also pretty comfortable (as I find most Keens to be, for me).

Lucky Boots

6. Lucky! I love these distressed, short boots. I bought them last year, I think. They fit great but don't have a zipper, so they can be a challenge to get on -- especially since I broke the loops in the back! (I've recently found the trick is thin, slippery socks or tights... not my usual cotton socks.)

Taos Shoes

7. Taos. These laced shoes have a tiny little heel, which is very high by my standard of the last 30 years! They are super comfortable, though an all-day walk around Edinburgh was a bit much and I ended up with a blister on my little toe!

Taos Sandals

8. More Taos. These are the sandals I bought even though I could barely even squeeze my foot inside because of the inflammation. I loved the style SO MUCH and knew that once in a while I'd be able to wear them. Well, that turned out to be hardly ever never until the inflammation and swelling were under control. They are some of my favorite shoes ever.

Wolky Sandals

9. Wolky. These, too, were purchased for adjustability. You can't see in this photo, but there are two velcro buckles on each sandal... I was at the point last summer that I was wishing I could get them tighter!

10. A brand new -- my first -- pair of Fluevog Shoes. Sandals that I purchased during a recent sale. I'm aiming to gently break these in while on vacation. Also, how did I not know that there was a Fluevog store in Chicago???


My #1 favorite thing to wear on my feet is NOTHING! Barefoot, baby.

#2 is some short cotton athletic socks that I wear more as slippers.

#3 is a pair of slippers, usually worn over the socks because they're big.


  • I have more shoes than I'd have guessed. I'm wearing some nice Merrell's (same as #7 on Kym's list!), there's a pair of snow boots, some tennies/athletic shoes...
  • I've jettisoned some old faves recently that hadn't been worn in years.
  • Red seems to be my favored color for a pedi!! Stay tuned...


Ten (x 3 = 30) on Tuesday: A Wedding Anniversary

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is:

10 Things I'm Happy About Right Now

I'm going to riff on that today because it's our 30th wedding anniversary.
{{{ 30 Years! (?) }}}


30 Things for 30 Years!

  1. We met through work -- the company Rusty worked for was a customer of the company I worked for.
  2. Our first date was about 3 weeks before my birthday.
  3. At the time, I was thinking of moving back to Wisconsin from Oregon.
  4. He was interesting enough to reconsider that thought.
  5. We went out to dinner at the Lake Lytle Restaurant on our first date and then took a walk on a wide, low-tide beach at Rockaway (memorable because it was beautiful, and also because I wasn't wearing appropriate footwear for beach-walking).
  6. He gave me a small jade plant for that birthday. Perfect!
  7. We cooked (both together and for each other) and played a lot of Scrabble back in the (early) day(s) at my apartment.
  8. And we got hooked on watching Reilly: Ace of Spies on Mystery and had a standing date at his house.
  9. When we'd hang out, he'd paint or draw while I knit.
  10. I enjoyed sitting out in the sun room/patio watching Rusty build a porch.
  11. Then I offered to help.
  12. We finished his house at Cape Kiwanda together.
  13. And expanded it with an addition.
  14. We got married at that house... 30 years ago.
  15. The stage was set for many years of home improvement.
  16. I'm good at demo.
  17. He's good at finishing.
  18. We're a pretty good team.
  19. There's an 11-year difference in our ages.
  20. Rusty never thought he'd have kids.
  21. Surprise! We have three amazing daughters!!
  22. And we're grandparents too!
  23. We've always given each other space.
  24. He does his thing.
  25. I do my thing.
  26. We do our thing.
  27. It works -- sometimes better than others. These 30 years have had the highs and the lows.
  28. Lately, we seem to be travelling more -- separately and together.
  29. We used to take impromptu trips -- just get in the car and go! One memorable trip was to Seaview, WA, though we didn't know that's where we were headed when we started out. We stayed at The Shelburne Inn and loved the whole area so much we went back a time or two.
  30. Our upcoming trip to Mexico is the first since we were married that we're not going with someone, or meeting up with anyone -- there's not so much as a "stopping by" to visit anyone we know. From the time we get on the plane in Green Bay until we step back off a week later, it's just us and a new adventure!!





Ten on Tuesday:  10 Intentions for 2015

I'm having a hard time thinking about anything more than what's in front of me this year. Junah's 1st (!) birthday party at my house on Saturday, a Packer game on Sunday, hopefully another a week after that, my sister's 50th (!) birthday soon, my mother's birthday/anniversary at the end of the month, vacation, the adventure of possibly trying to find a place to watch the Super Bowl... in Mexico!

A month out is about as far as I'm willing to go.

This year, I'm all about recovery. I don't have a word. I don't really even want to think too hard... about anything... not words, not intentions, not goals, not dinner.

Live and let live. Knit and let knit. Or sew. Take it as it comes. Roll with the punches.

Enjoy my family.

In lieu of 10 Intentions, here are some messages I've jotted down on sticky notes over the years and have posted around my work area... they're all intentional; designed to help us be better.

* * * * *

Intensity : Say Yes

Inclusion : Be Generous

Integrity : Speak Up

Intimacy : Love More

Intuition : Trust Yourself

Intention : Slow Down


* * * * *

Something to do

Something to love

Something to hope for


* * * * *

Time only seems to matter when it's running out.


* * * * *

It's the time you have, not the time you want.


* * * * *

Ten on Tuesday: Christmas Letter!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 (or so) Things for Our Christmas Letter

* * * * *

Seasons Greetings to Our Family & Friends!!

Since I last wrote, the girls have all graduated from high school!  ;)  Yep. I'm not quite sure how long it's been since I've written, but it's been quite a while...


Bad news first. My mother died on June 23rd. She was diagnosed with cancer in late 2012, and received her first treatment on New Year's Eve that year. She was admitted to the hospital in early June with pneumonia, partly the result of complications from side effects of a new chemo and partly the result of permanent damage from previous radiation treatment. Her condition deteriorated over a few weeks, and she died just days after Ann and family returned to Wisconsin from Brazil. We celebrated the life of our beautiful mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and wife at a memorial in August.

>>>Cosmic shift.


The girls. Katie returned to Wisconsin in August after spending a year in Scotland where she earned her MSc in the History of Art, Theory & Display from the Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She has happily returned to work at the book store while also completing an entrepreneurship program, developing a new business, and writing an art blog at Young-Space.com.

Ali married Rod last year, making us first-time in-laws, and became a mother this year, making us first-time grandparents! Our grandson, Junah, is an absolute delight. It'll be six years in February since Ali took over operations of the coffee shop! The shop continues to succeed and grow, thanks to a wonderful team, and they are looking toward an expansion opportunity.

Maddy worked another summer at Girl Scout camp, this time as trip leader, the highlight being a 2+ week canoe trip in the Boundary Waters (with maybe an accidental overnight on the Canadian side). She got her kayak wet as often as she could, found a new job, moved into a lovely old house with her roommates, and is getting ever closer to earning her elementary teaching degree. It won't be long now!


Us. Rusty successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign and published a book about the imaginary places he's painted for years. He participated in some local art fairs, and spent a few weeks in Grand Rapids, MI, at Artprize, closely followed by another few weeks on the west coast. He traveled from Wisconsin to British Columbia to SoCal and back, visiting friends, family and clients, and getting the coastal recharge that's so necessary to his survival. He continues, of course, to paint, draw, read, write, and teach; he's currently working on the illustrations for a Storey Publishing "tiny houses" book.

Becoming a grandmother for the first time was the biggest highlight of my year! It's true... everything they say about how great it is to be a grandparent.

I began hand sewing, making a couple of bibs for Junah in addition to a onesie, a blanket, a top for Maddy, and a couple of tops for me. I have plans (and patterns, fabric & thread) to do much more! Sewing cut into the knitting time, but I still managed to finish a few shawls, some hats, and a number of Christmas gifts, and have started a long-term blanket project that joins an already impressive list of WIPs (works in progress).

I did very little dyeing this year, but I did do some! I was inspired after taking workshop in Grand Rapids about naturally dyeing fabric; harvested some stuffs from my own back yard and had a go with some yarn. I'm excited to do more! (There's an indigo vat in my future.) I still keep a small area within Ali's coffee shop to sell a little yarn and other supplies.

Rusty & I went to Scotland in May, flying into Edinburgh to meet Kate and then heading to the Highlands for the majority of our visit. We traveled by train to Inverness where we rented a car, and Katie chauffeured us around! From Inverness along Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle, up to Dornie and Eilean Donan Castle, through the Torridon to Croft 23, our gorgeous B&B at South Erradale in Wester Ross; over to Dunrobin Castle at Golspie; Gairloch, Poolewe, Aultbea, Kinlochewe, Ullapool; over to the Isle of Skye; revisiting Fort William and Glencoe on our way to Glasgow; over to North Ayrshire and a visit with my friend Yvette at Irvine, to Portencross Castle at West Kilbride. We then took the train back to Edinburgh from Glasgow before heading back home. That was a lot of driving! Most of it on single-track roads, sometimes dodging sheep. Though the weather was less than spectacular, it was an amazing vacation nonetheless.

I also traveled to Los Angeles with my sister Ann in July for a long weekend -- and her friend's wedding. It was a nice, touristy break: Hello Hollywood! I enjoyed my first farm-to-table dinner in August, as well as my first Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park. Kate, Ann and I participated in the 25-mile version of the Peninsula Century bike ride in September. There were trips to Chicago, Grand Rapids, and a wonderful family weekend at our old family cabin on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

We experienced the highs and lows of life to extremes this year, and hope for a little moderation in the next.

Happy Holidays & Best Wishes to All!

* * * * *

copy, paste, print... find some photos...

It might happen this year!!


Follow up

As luck might have it, albeit a day late, Spotify has presented me with My Year In Music! Here's an infographic snapshot:


In addition, I am informed that I listen most on Thursdays -- beating out Wednesday by a hair -- and that I am "on the go," listening via mobile 76% of the time, which makes sense because I listen a lot in the car. I also have a great little Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker that I connect to via my phone, even at home, but I also listen on my computer. I will likely be listening more at work in '15. And I just upgraded my Tivo and can stream Spotify through my new Roamio, too.

My top playlist was actually one of Kate's (as most are) called "Blast April." Lately, I've been listening to one called "Transition." I like my kids' taste in music and I like to think that I've/we've helped to inform their sensibilities, exposing them to everything under the rainbow, really, so that makes sense.

Here are my Top 10 Spotify Tracks of 2014:

  1. Take Me to Church, Hozier
  2. Arsonist's Lullabye, Hozier
  3. Cocoon, Alpines
  4. La La La, Naughty Boy
  5. Hey Brother, Avicii
  6. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show, Neil Diamond
  7. Retrograde, James Blake
  8. Busy Earnin', Jungle
  9. GMF, John Grant
  10. Like a Dream, Francis and the Lights

No.  6 -- That song is on a playlist that I created called "Nana Songs." A friend saw that list and wondered what songs I was playing for Junah! In truth, it's full of songs that are reminiscent of Mom, and it accompanied the slideshow that we put together for her memorial celebration. Neil is joined on that list by the likes of Doris Day, Simon & Garfunkel, Andrea Bocelli, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, Henry Mancini, Janis Joplin, and some Broadway and movie soundtrack selections... it's awesome.

There is continuing controversy, discussion, and even headlines on the topic of streaming music. Rosanne Cash, the No. 1 artist on my list, has testified. I certainly don't know what the answer is... technology moves so much faster than laws/rules/contracts.

Believe me, I get it.

I listened to the radio at work about 20x more than I did Spotify; I also listen to the radio in the car, along with CDs and other digital music. Interestingly, though I didn't purchase a ton of music last year, I did buy Rosanne Cash's The River & The Thread. It resonated. We have purchased, at one time or another (sometimes multiple times) and in various forms, music from every artist on the Nana Songs list. Katie came home with a pile o' records the other day -- actual LPs -- and I know that they were all by artists on her playlists. Most CDs (on Amazon, anyway) and many new LPs also come with a digital download.

I love the accessibility of music across multiple formats; the portability of digital; the exposure to new music and artists offered by streaming, as well as the ability to "share."

I'm currently listening to a playlist that Spotify created called "Play It Forward" -- a new list of 30 songs to take into 2015 that were chosen based on what I listened to in 2014. I like that. There are only a couple of artists whose names I recognize; I've already favorited some of those new songs so I can investigate artists/albums further.

Anyway, there you have it, along with my thoughts and maybe things to ponder.

Music makes the world go 'round.

And here's how old I am: I did a search for "music makes the world go round." I saw this YouTube video, quickly scanned the titled and thought, "Huh. When did David Cassidy make a video with R. Kelly?"

Answer: Hahahahaha.


Ten on Tuesday: Eclectic

Ten on Tuesday:  4 Random Songs From My Spotify Playlists


2. QUIET STORM, John Legend and Smokey Robinson.

3. SONGBIRD, Eva Cassidy.

4. CRUISIN', Jessie J and Smokey Robinson.

That turned out to be not so random, choosing from only a few albums/artists. I mostly listen to other people's (Katie's) playlists, so maybe that's why it was pulling from only these.

* * * * *

Continuing... 10 Songs That I've Searched/Faved on Soundhound.

Almost always, it's an unfamiliar song that I've heard on the radio while driving -- and one that I'd like to find again! I love the Soundhound app.

5. HOWLING FOR YOU, The Black Keys.

6. STARS ON THE CEILING, Jeremy Lister.

7. LOW, Cracker.

8. BLAME (feat. John Newman), Calvin Harris.

9. SAD OLD RED, Simply Red

10. BIG BLACK CAR, Gregory Alan Isakov.

11. I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE, Sam Smith.

12. BLAME, Calvin Harris.


14. IN REPAIR (Acoustic), John Mayer.


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.


2005: Hey, baby. Nieces and nephews.

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


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


2008: Everybody jump? My husband and kids!

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


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!


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

Bonus - #11:


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


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


Ten on Tuesday: Collection

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.


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.


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



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.


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

4. Knitting Needles.


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.


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.


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!


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

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


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?


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.


Ten on Tuesday: FIRE!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'd Save if My House Was On Fire

In no particular order...

1. Photos! They're all scattered at the moment, though, as we speak, there's another batch being digitally preserved at ScanCafe!


2. A String of Pansies.

3. A few handknits. The beautiful autumn sweaters that Sharon knit; Parcheesi; Fib; Algiers; some of the baby things* I've made (heirlooms!).

4. My current project bag(s) -- sewing and/or knitting. This/these would invariably also contain needles and notions, my knitting belt, electronics (tablet/Kindle), and current "stuff" (magazines, recently printed patterns and recipes to try).

Among the year's best Christmas gifts. v.Mother: I am a fighter. v.Father: I am a dreamer. Love my Maddy Mo. #christmas2013 #kidswritemakesayanddothedarnedestthings

5. A select few books. My Grandma Blum's memoir; the books that Maddy made for us last Christmas (above) (and so awesome); the equally awesome annotated Mother that she gave me a few years ago (below).


6. A few little "decor" items. Where Maddy makes books, Katie & Ali make... other things. The tiny bleeding heart blossom that Ali pressed between some plastic wrap and inserted into an old plastic slide "frame." The 3-dimensional heart/frame (also employing great use of plastic wrap) that Katie made when she was in elementary school. The handmade cards that Rusty's made, and the "clothesline" watercolor that he painted for me. A few little things like that...

7. My Globe Wernicke bookcase. Gee, it would make sense to make sure the books I want to save are in the bookcase that I want to save, wouldn't it?!

8. Grandma Koenig's treadle sewing machine & "button bowl." Grandma's sewing machine has been "mine" for nearly my entire life -- since she died, when I was six. Mom "antiqued" it back in the day; I stripped it many years later; it was my "night stand" for many years (and would be still, if it fit). My button collection (with contributions from my mother, both grandmothers, and a great grandmother) is actually a green depression glass bowl that's part of a "console set" with a pedestal for the bowl and a pair of candleholders with painted wood "candlesticks."

9. Camera stuff. There's a whole lotta that, and I really need to get it organized.

10. My purse... inside of which are always my wallet, ID/license, phone & accessories, keys, a credit/debit card or two, usually some cash, insurance cards, a hair band, some coupons, and my library card!

Weasley Sweater

*My brother-in-law told me that he caught a few minutes of a Harry Potter movie while Mack & Addy were recently watching and noticed Ron Weasley's sweater; he thought, "Hey, that looks just like the sweater that Vic made for Mack!" As well it should, made from the original Harry Potter Sweater Kit. He asked, "DID YOU KNOW THAT?" Haha. Made my day!


Ten on Tuesday: Chicago-Grand Rapids Weekend

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did Over The Weekend

I had a 4-day weekend!


1. I consider my weekend officially started on Thursday night when we drove to Chicago after work, arriving quite late but ready to go on Friday!


2. Friday was, for us, David Bowie Day! (The official David Bowie Day in Chicago was 9/23, on opening day of the DAVID BOWIE IS exhibition.)


Waiting on the steps at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art

The exhibit was fantastic, by the way, and made great use of technology: each person was given their own location- or space-sensitive device/headset, and the audio was specific to whatever part of the exhibit you were viewing at any given time. I usually opt out of the audio portion of the program, but this was super-cool.


Waiting to be seated for lunch

3. We had a fabulous lunch at our favorite Chicago eatery, The Purple Pig! We tried a couple of new things this time: Bobota "Greek Cornbread" with Feta, Mizithra Cheese & Honey, and Eggplant Caponata with Goat Cheese:


Eggplant Caponata

And we had a couple of stand-bys: Salt-Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pistachio Vinaigrette (a recipe that Kate spent some time replicating... we love it so much), and Chicken Thigh Kebabs with Fried Smashed Potatoes & Tzatziki. Oh yeah.

4. On Friday afternoon, we drove to Grand Rapids, MI. Forgetting about the time zone, we arrived a little later than planned. Pesky time zones!

5. Saturday morning's lovely breakfast with Maureen (Rusty's host for the previous 19+ days), Maureen's sister & brother-in-law (who also hosted an artist), and Dona (said hosted artist) was a wonderful start to a very busy day.


Kym & I at an installation outside of BOB (Big Old Building)

6. I met Kym!! It was about as fun and enjoyable as you might expect, because Kym!


7. We spent a good part of the day enjoying ArtPrize -- and also lunch! It's a pretty amazing thing which you can read about on their site, as well as Kym's take, and Kate's too. There sure was a lot of "art talk" over the weekend!

8. Wireless connection being somewhat testy, Kate & I escaped to Starbucks on Saturday night for a little while. She caught up on blogging, and I started knitting a hat for Junah: Fourques!


“Intersections” by Anila Quayyum Agha - winner of the public vote; also winner of the jury's grand prize shared with "The Hair Craft Project" by Sonya Clark


9. Sunday began with a lovely latte, waiting in line for the museum to open, more ArtPrize, and then the Seasonal Natural Dyeing Workshop that I signed up for at Have Company. I dyed two cotton hankies, one with walnut (to which I am no stranger) and the other with tansy. I love the tansy yellow!

10. On Monday, we all came home. I drove about half of the 7-hour trip, leaving plenty of passenger time during which I finished knitting the hat! I need to weave a few ends, wash it, and make a tassel (at mama's request).

It was a darn good weekend!!


Ten on Tuesday: Baby, you can drive my car (again)

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Cars I've Had

1. 1972 Toyota Corona -- baby blue. It was my dad's car, actually, but was the first car that I regularly drove. It didn't have a radio, so there was one jerry-rigged that worked like crap. In 1976, the radio was one of the most important things!! I ran that car into a tree (by accident, and not because of the radio) and totaled it... so then it was really mine.

2. 1969 Buick Skylark -- baby poo. Ugly color, but I sure wish I still had this car! It's the first vehicle that I actually owned, I bought it from my mom. (I really wanted her 1962 Rambler with the pushbutton transmission, nicknamed the BBB -- short for Bouncing Brown Bastard -- but it didn't last long enough.)

3. 1979 Toyota Corolla -- brown w/orange & yellow stripes. My 1st brand new car! "Put in a radio with cassette player, and I'll take it!" I sold it to my sister Karen a few years later, and she drove it for many years.

4. 1982 Pontiac Firebird -- RED! This was my 2nd brand new car. It was the worst time in history to finance anything, but I'd just broken up with a boyfriend and, well, we all do dumb things. It was fun to drive, but had some problems... and could have been funner.

5. 1970- or '80-something Chevy Monza -- black. When the Firebird's warranty expired and continued to have problems, I traded it in.

6. 19-- ? Subaru wagon -- yellow-y tan. It was impossible to get a carseat in and out of the Monza, so this was our first "family car." It was the least reliable car we ever owned. It had some sort of problem starting in wet/damp weather... and we were living at Cape Meares, OR, at the time... like 2 blocks from the beach!

7. 1984 ? Buick Century wagon -- brown. Bigger family, more carseats, bigger wagon. Sharon's friend Bill, a passenger in the back seat once when I was visiting in Milwaukee, "You drive this thing like it's a sportscar!"

8. 1980-something Ford Escort wagon -- gray. I bought the Escort from my stepdad's brother and it served me well. I didn't take very good car of it, though, and it burned up in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn while I enjoyed Mother's Day brunch.

9. 2000 Saturn SW -- also RED! My 3rd brand new car, this one has taken a licking but it keeps on ticking! Nice and zippy, the engine was rebuilt once, it has inumerable body dings and dents (there may or may not be duct tape employed) (in several places), and it was "totaled" by insurance several years ago so has a salvage title. It's been Maddy's car for the past few years. 

10. 2007 Nissan Altima -- gray. Except for the Buicks, this is probably the biggest car I've ever driven. It's been good, and it's okay, but I'm not in love with it. I really miss the functionality of a wagon... and also manual transmission. But ZOOM! It is definitely a zippy one!

Oh, I think between 7 and 8 there was a yellow-ish Dodge Omni -- ugly & smelly, it didn't last long. I'm not sure how/why that ever happened.


On the road to Ullapool, Cromartyshire, Scotland -- May 2014

At first, I didn't think I'd come up with 10 cars, but that number is just about spot-on! Not even counting "Rusty's" cars -- the Toyota pickup, GMC van, Hyundai sedan -- that are or were technically mine and that I have occasionally driven.

None of these is my "dream car" -- I'm not even sure what that would be! In my dreams, there are many dream cars!

Ha, but that was a fun little trip down memory lane. Zoom zoom.


Ten on Tuesday: Fall upon us

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things To Get My Home Ready for Fall

1. We don't have central air conditioning, so every spring/fall we install/remove a couple of window units. So that.

2. And also putting away the strategically placed circulating fans.

3. The overwhelming majority of the windows in our 130-year-old house are the original storms and screens. So that. (Luckily, there are really only a handful of windows that are ever swapped, and only two doors.)


4. Yard clean up. I didn't do much in the yard to begin with this year, so that should be fairly easy. I don't think it was a big year for the walnut tree, either.

5. Since the installation of my rain barrel, we've hardly used the hose... but it's out there and still needs to be put away.

6. And water to outside faucets needs to be shut off.

7. I usually do a little "spring cleaning" for fall, such as laundering afghans, blankets, duvet covers and comforters, slipcovers, and sometimes curtains and rugs. I do some of that, as needed, throughout the year, no matter the season, but make a point of it now.

8. The Big Sweep -- I like to sweep the porch ceilings, walls, and floor clear of leaves and spider stuff.

9. Wash a few windows... also the mailbox, porch light fixtures, and probably some of the siding (spider stuff).

10. Decorate freshly swept porches with pumpkins and gourds!


Ten on Tuesday: Let's Do It Again

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Patterns I Could Knit Again

As I perused my Ravelry Projects, I was surprised at how many patterns I've already repeatedly knit!


Sometimes I knit the same pattern two or three times, each in a different size: Soakers, Cloche Divine, Wallaby, Aviatrix.

Circles in wool & cotton; the desert (with purple mountain's majesty) and the forest

Sometimes I knit the same pattern multiple times because I was working out specific modifications: Afghani  Cap, Log Cabin Slipper Socks.


Sometimes it was gift knitting: Sachets, Duffers, Oddfellow, Calorimetry.

Baktus scarf

Sometimes it was all about the yarn/color (which also comes into play with gift knitting, you know, to keep those multiples interesting): Different Lines, Stripe Study, Baktus, Noro Striped Scarf, Mitered Mittens, Shape It.

Vintage Baby Cardigan

And sometimes, it truly is a pattern that I just love: Ragtops, Vintage Baby Cardi, Cabled Pullover.

I think it's safe to say that I'd knit almost any of those patterns yet again!

For the sake of this exercise, though, I thought I'd concentrate less on patterns that I've already knit more than once, and look ahead a bit more... while also looking back, I guess! Heh.

Ragtop 1+2

1.  Ragtop. Yes, I've already knit at least four pair, but I love them and wear them and I will definitely knit them again!

2.  Foolproof. This was a fun knit and, to me, one of those "blank canvas" types of patterns. The design is great, but the yarn/color choices make it.

3.  Entrelac Scarf. I love the texture of this scarf, and anything Noro keeps it interesting -- amazingly entertaining, actually. (I know I'm not the only one.) Also, the Noro Striped Scarf.

4.  Fib. I love that sweater, but I would knit it a bit narrower and longer the next time. Maybe take some accurate measurements and stuff, you know?

Lap blanket

5.  Parcheesi. I've actually already started one... the colors are more muted and I'm not sure I love it and it's also fingering weight again. I'd love to knit it bed-size and in worsted.


6.  Demne. This was such an interesting little sweater to knit, I've been threatening to knit another since it came off the needles. And I will!

7.  Pull Gaspard. I *love* this design; my gauge was a little off on the first and yarn choice probably not the greatest. I'll definitely be knitting another, larger size.

8.  Little Monster. The cutest kiddo pants ever! Junah needs a pair, don't you think?!

9.  Garter Yoke Baby Cardi. Fantastic pattern.


10.  Dimorphous Mittens. These make so much sense! Genius, really.

* * * * *

There's lots to catch up on... my trip to L.A., not to mention the last of Scotland, and a great Farm-Field Dinner.

Meanwhile, Junah had his first overnighter at Grandma & Grandpa's last weekend!


Fun times in the kitchen sink!

For reference: He's one week old in the "Soakers" photo; 6.5 months in the sink!


Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things About My Bookcase

1.  I moved from NW Wisconsin back to NE Wisconsin in 1978 to start a new job, and I lived at home for a short time while I saved money for a car and whatnot. I didn't have any furniture of my own, to speak of, but I did have books and I decided that I needed to buy some shelves.

2.  I didn't have a lot of money, and I didn't need a very big shelf unit, but I wanted something nice so I thought a resale shop would be my best bet. You know, maybe I could find something suitable for around $20.

3.  I went to literally every resale shop in the area and came up with absolutely nothing.  The last place on my list was more antique shop than resale, but I was desperate.

4.  I recall that the shop owner showed me a few pieces, but there was only one that caught my eye.


5.  It was tall -- much larger than I actually needed -- and fancy. It was good wood (mahogany) and had lift-up glass doors on most of the shelves, and nice hardware.

6.  And it was sectional! The sections stacked one upon the other and, except for the base and top, they could all be rearranged! One section was about twice as big as the others and had sliding doors. The base section had a drawer.

7.  It cost $450! According to one online inflation calculator, that equates to over $1600 today!

8.  The shop owner was an older man and, I don't know, I guess he could tell how much I loved that bookcase, even though it was way -- way, way, way -- out of my price range. Maybe I was young and innocent and fell hook, line & sinker, but I believed him when he told me that he thought it was important for young people to have quality furniture, too. He reduced the price and offered to let me make monthly payments. He even let me take it home right that very day.

9.  I have hauled that thing up stairs and down, across the country and back again, from one room to another. One of the things I like best is that I can easily move it myself! Once, lazily, I tried to move it without emptying it and taking it apart, and can still hear that distinctive "crack" of breaking wood -- stopped me in my tracks. A few small inappropriate nails toward the bottom on one side attests to both my carelessness and my lack of repair skills at the time.

10.  But, oh, how I love and cherish that thing to this day! It was made by the Globe-Wernicke Company (most sections still have a label affixed) and I'll never ever part with it.


Thirty of One Hundred plus Ten


The First 30 of 100 Happy Days*

I decided to begin #100happydays on June 1st because I knew that it would be a tough summer. I knew that my mother was failing and that this summer could be her last. I knew that it would be good for me to find some happy everyday. I could not have known that Mom would end up in the hospital on the 4th day. I couldn't have imagined -- sometimes still can't quite believe -- that she died on the 23rd.


Ten on Tuesday:  10 Ideas for July 4th

The 4th of July was one of my mother's favorite holidays. She loved decorating. (Period.) And patriotic decorating was especially fun! We always had a BBQ, and we will this year, too. We'll do our best in the decorating & hospitality department, but no one does it better than Mom.

1.  Fly the flag(s)!

2.  Use all the patriotic tableware!

3.  On the grill:  burgers, brats, and hot dogs

4.  On the side:  salads (potato, fruit, three-bean, quinoa, etc.), baked beans, potato chips

5.  For dessert:  homemade from-scratch cherry & apple pie

6.  With ice cream!

7.  Also for dessert:  Karen's famous chocolate caramel bars**

8.  Lots of outside fun -- be it soccer, softball, or just lounging in the sun

9.  Fireworks!

10.  Or, for those of us who don't care to do battle with mosquitoes and/or traffic, A Capitol Fourth and The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular!

* On Flickr:  1. Ta-da! This is the best of 6, 2. Mom's house, 3. Oh, gorgeous 3rd of June, 4. My garden... , 5. Home, 6. Sunshine makes me happy, 7. Half Way North, 8. Let there be grass, 9. A busy Vicki is... good, 10. So be it, 11. These three, 12. I love making job site deliveries on beautiful summer days, 13. Knitting break, 14. #thiswouldnthappenwithmargarine, 15. Happy 1st Anniversary to Ali & Rod!, 16. Japanese fern, 17. June 17, 2014, 18. Quick lunch & iced tea break, 19. Tough day, 20. Cousins (first, once removed) meet for the first time. WELCOME HOME to my sister & her family!, 21. Helped this gorgeous happy couple & their families by capturing memories of theitlr amazing wedding day, 22. Gonna have to latergram today, 23. June 23, 2014, 24. My sister & her family closed on their new house today, 25. So happy to have these boys back close to home again, 26. 4th of July shopping, 27. I drove straight home from work today, 28. My first week at the Farmers Market, 29. Prepping for the Fourth, 30. Mom.

**She has threatened promised a "healthier" version... and I sure hope it measures up. (IMHO, some things just shouldn't be messed with.)


Ten on Tuesday: Memorial Day Weekend

Ten on Tuesday/Wednesday:  10 Things I Did Last Weekend

Well, it was definitely not a typical weekend -- holiday or otherwise! We returned home on Tuesday (yesterday) from 12 days in Scotland, so the weekend was the end of a pretty great vacation.


1.  On Saturday morning, I woke up at Croft 23 after the last of our 5-night stay. People, there is truth in advertising! If nothing else, just take a minute to watch the slideshow at the top of that page; minus the brilliant sunsets, the northern lights, and the sheep (they were apparently happy elsewhere last week), it was just that beautiful. Mark and Jan were our warm and welcoming hosts, and they were marvelous. Mark is an amazing landscape photographer and it's worth a "Like" on Croft 23's Facebook page just for the almost daily photo.


2.  Later on Saturday morning, on our way to Glasgow, we stopped at a castle to use the facilities, and also to get coffee... and a selfie. Ha. Yeah, we really did! We'd already visited Eilean Donan Castle as admission-paying tourists several days before.


3.  We drove through more of the never-tiring Scottish Highlands. Even after six days of driving through the Scottish Highlands, we still pulled over at almost every opportunity to take photos!


4.  We had lunch at Crannog Seafood Restaurant -- a place I've been to before!! Fort William was as far north as we'd ventured three years ago and it was on our way to Glasgow this time, so we retraced some steps. It was kind of fun to feel a bit familiar with a place.


5.  We arrived in Glasgow for the first of two nights at an adorable 2-bedroom 3rd-floor walk-up in the west end that I found on airbnb. It was my first airbnb experience and it was good; the place was just as advertised, easy to find, very clean, and well appointed. Cute enough to live in!


6.  On Sunday, while Rusty walked about Glasgow*, visiting galleries and museums, Katie and I drove west and met up with Yvette! I've cyber-known Yvette for years -- 10 years, to be exact (through the magic that is searching the archives, I've determined that the first time she commented on my blog was May 31, 2004!) -- and had missed her move back to Scotland from France three years ago by mere weeks. It was so fun to meet!!


7.  We drove a bit north, again on some familiar roads, to another familiar place. We'd visited Portencross Castle at West Kilbride a couple of times three years ago. I'd scattered some of Sharon's ashes there -- because she loved Scotland and had influenced our decision to go there (instead of Ireland) -- and it didn't feel right to be so close and not visit.


8.  On Monday, we returned our rental car in Glasgow. We had one of the most uncomfortable encounters of the trip -- any trip any of us have ever been on -- when a guy from the rental company gave us a lift to the train station. He obviously didn't want anything to do with us -- because Americans? tourists? -- no greeting, no response, completely ignoring questions and attempts at conversation, or grunting a barely audible one-word response. Thankfully, it was a short drive! It was a quick train ride back to Edinburgh for our last night.


9.  It may seem strange that our last meal in Scotland was at Wannaburger -- basically American fast-food burgers, fries & shakes -- but it is what it is, and it was really good! I'm more than a little envious of the food scene in the UK, and these weren't your typical American fast-food burgers! Wannaburger is a favorite of the American students in Edinburgh -- comfort food. Anyway, we ate very well in Scotland. If Wannaburger was the worst, then it was the best worst. Heh. I feel as though I've gained 20 pounds in the past two weeks (is that possible?). Anyway, while Rusty took one last walk-about in Edinburgh after dinner, Katie took me to a fun and gorgeous place called The Voodoo Rooms, right around the corner/behind our hotel for cocktails (mine, left, is Where The Wild Things Are, and Kate's is Mother Earth)


10.  Finally, having learned a little bit about whisky on this trip, we enjoyed a lovely last view from the lounge at Motel One while the sun set on our visit, capping the night with a glass of single-malt... neat (eventually adding a wee bit of water to taste).

* * * * *

Vacation was quite lovely. I fully intended to blog along the way, but our days were packed and connectivity limited. Don't worry, I'll fill you in!

* * * * *

*The Glasgow School of Art was on the list but was devastated by fire just days before our arrival in Glasgow. One of Glasgow's -- indeed, Scotland's -- great treasures, firefighters took extraordinary measures to save as much of the structure as possible, well deserving of a lovely Thank You.


Ten on Tuesday: Let's learn something

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things/Subjects I Wish I Knew More About

I don't know... this may be another less-than-10! Most of the time, if there's something I truly want to know more about, I dive in and learn. It's not usually exhaustive research and I don't become an expert, but I've always learned more and possibly enough.

There are other things that I sometimes idly wish I knew more about -- art, history, mythology, literature, politics. I've found that my desire for this type of knowledge is often greatest after a conversation with someone to whom the word "pretentious" might apply. And, really, I know enough to happily function on a day-to-day basis. I have an open mind... things fall in.

I like to learn, but I am not an academic. I do things. I learn and make and do. Make.Do.

Most recently, over the past couple of years, I've actively pursued (in varying degrees) learning about and doing these things:

1.  Being a childbirth assistant/doula.

2.  Hand sewing.

3.  What is/how to make a moulage & sloper for pattern-making.

4.  Food and nutrition.

5.  Quilting!

I've continued to learn a little more about:

6.  Photography.

7.  Dyeing yarn.

I haven't really finished learning about any of those things but, you know, the need for certain areas of knowledge waxes and wanes like most everything else in life.

I would like to learn:

8.  Web design, HTML, and CSS. I have a leg up on the HTML because of my experience years ago as a typesetter. I can make a pretty good site (just updated Oceans and Dreams last night), but I'm certain I could make both O&D and this blog better.

9.  How to predict and/or control the future and/or weather.

10.  That way, I'd be better informed in order to pack for my vacation!!


Haha. And with that, I believe I've just entered the giddy stage of vacation prep!!


Ten on Tuesday: Coming Home

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Good Things About Coming Home From Vacation


I do love to go places -- near or far, it's just nice to take a little break from routine. Funny, though, that it's usually the routine that I end up missing most!


1.  I love to see all the old familiar faces & places!

Triangulated cats in black & gray.

2.  I love sleeping in my own bed.


3.  I love having ALL of my clothes & shoes available (choices!).


4.  I love being in my own bathroom.

Kitchen is a mess. #thishappens #cooking #thismaybethestartofsomethinggood

5.  I enjoy cooking in my own kitchen.

6.  I like having all of my stuff... as overwhelming as it can be sometimes, it's all mine.


7.  The four-strong feline welcoming committee -- they may seem indifferent about the leaving but there's no question how they feel about the returning.

8.  I've always loved going through the mail... even though it's about 99% junk these days.


9.  I love driving my own car (on familiar streets).

View from planet hollywood

10.  Hands down, the best thing about coming home from the next vacation is going to be this:


15 Weeks Old!

How am I going to bear it!?