Ten on Tuesday: Why, oh why?

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Reasons Why I Knit

Hands Now there's a blast from the knit-blogger past! Who knows these hands? When, where, who? Anyone?

1. Knitting keeps my hands busy. I cannot imagine idle hands. I put knitting aside in favor of counted cross-stitch samplers for a while in the late '80s and early '90s, finding that sort of project to be more portable and easier to segment, at the time, but I was always anxious to get back to knitting!

2. Knitting keeps me company. I learned to knit as a child and did a little knitting during my high school years, but it was when I moved to Oregon in the early '80s that I became a knitter. It wouldn't really be much of an exaggeration to say that it saved me! I was pretty lonely out there, and knitting was my BFF for a while! Come to think of it, I was knitting in high school for the same reason, though wasn't challenging myself then nearly as much as in Oregon (and neither was I as lonely).

3. Knitting keeps my brain busy. Well, knitting keeps my brain as busy as it needs to be on any given day/hour/minute! I always have a few projects in process, usually of various types and degrees of difficulty.

Lap blanket

Parcheesi (Parcheesi Afghan by Janine Bajus)

4. Knitting satisfies my need to be creative. I love that I can exercise my creativity in so many ways with knitting -- from choosing and/or arranging colors to making pattern modifications, and even dabbling in rudimentary design!

5. Knitting helps my social life. Oh, how I could have used a Stitch 'n Bitch in Oregon! Thankfully, knitting groups are not hard to find -- or form -- these days, and I'm happy to have many local options, and to have made some good friends. I love a group for the variety of people and personalities, which translates to a variety of interests and projects! And then there's blogging -- which I began doing because of knitting -- and have made friends all over the world because of it! I am very fortunate that I've even been able to meet and spend time with some of them.

6. Knitting is challenging! One of the beautiful things about knitting -- and probably one of the reasons why it doesn't get old -- is that the range of projects is staggering. And they just keep coming...

7. I love the process of knitting. I've made no secret of that! I have numerous projects at various stages in the process because it is precisely that -- The Process -- that interests me most. I just love to DO it.

Diaper Cover

Diaper Cover (Wool Diaper Cover by Studio Tuumat Oy)

8. Knitting is satisfying! It wouldn't be very motivating if I never finished anything, so I have become more careful is selecting projects (some, at least) that I know will be finished. I've found baby & kid things to be quick and satisfying morsels, though they also need to be carefully selected because there can be an enormous amount of (fiddlly) finishing involved!

Nice and simple

Dolores (Dolores Park Cowl by Parikha Mehta)

9. I love the product of knitting. I knit mostly for myself, and I wear my knits! Shawls, scarves, cowls, and mitts are among the "satisfying" knits that I am likely to finish (usually because they require very little "finishing"), and I wear one or more of the above every single day in the winter months! At home, I'm likely to wrap up in a handknit blanket and wear me-made wool socks or slippers, as well! I live in a wool house!

10. Knitting relieves stress. A day without knitting is a very rare thing 'round here.


Ten on Tuesday: May days

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'm Looking Forward To In May

The months fly by, don't they? Maybe by taking a minute to really think about what's happening in May, it won't seem like it went *poof* a month from now when June's barrelling down.

1.  Hair cut (more likely, trim) tomorrow! I will also be auditioning -- or at least discussing -- the hairstyle that I have in mind for the wedding.


Yummy custom-made salad with ham-wrapped pickles.

2.  Dinner with Alison's future in-laws tomorrow night!

3.  On Saturday, Ali and I will be heading to Oshkosh and the Natural Product & Organic Food Expo -- Joel Salatin and Will Allen among the highlights.

4.  Visitors from Oregon, their daughter (a sometime guest at our house) graduating from Lawrence University this year and they'll be here over the Mother's Day weekend for her recital.

Mum and me!

5.  Mother's Day!

6.  Maddy's last day of school on the 17th!

7.  The Master Gardeners' Annual Plant Sale on the 18th.

8.  Hopefully, an overnighter to Milwaukee for an art opening, premiere of an animated music video (by my cousin's husband) featuring music from the Tritonics new single “Smoky Places,” and after-party. Just because... it sounds like fun!

The middle of the month is very busy!!

9.  Memorial Day!

10.  My knitting goal for May will be to finish the two shawls that I'm working on for the wedding... and NOT start another baby sweater. Heh. I'm more than half-way on Mexican Wisconsin Wedding and made a good start on Frambuesa last night. Second try! There's errata, for one thing, and some wonkiness regarding stitch marker placement and repeats... I just move them around as needed and "read" my knitting -- as long as it reads correctly, I'm good. The markers are eventually removed. I already know that I'm going to LOVE this shawl!

BONUS:  11.  I've ramped up the dyeing a tiny bit in the last month or so, the impetus being some fun custom orders and projects! Oh, I miss it!! As things continue to improve and progress in other areas of life, I intend to be doing much more of that beginning in May.

Ten on Tuesday: Sweaters

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Sweater Patterns

I have more than a few sweaters knit up and presently awaiting finishing. I love to knit sweaters, and I even love to wear them, but finishing is something else.

I could be the poster girl for The World-Wide Association of Process Knitters!

Eventually, I'll find a groove or get a bug and then it's full-steam ahead to the end. You just never know when...

Possibly because I am a process knitter, my mental queue is always growing. Interesting (not necessarily complicated) shapes and techniques always draw me in. These 10 are among the most recent sweater (or vest) patterns I've added to my Ravelry Favorites list... a list that is always changing!

1. Sara - by Marita Rolin, amirisu - Spring 2013. Cap sleeves, pockets... in contrasting color. Summer uniform?

2. Abalone - by Beata Jezek, Hedgehog Fibers. Simple & seamless. I like that.

3. Miss Jane - by Georgie Hallam. Three-quarter length sleeves and simple, simple, simple!

4. Double-Take Tee - by Espace Tricot. I'm pretty sure I could wear this out in a summer - perfect for throwing over... just about anything!

5. Funky Grandpa - a cardi riff on her own Summer Jumper Recipe by La Maison Rililie. Hello, v-neck and stripes, two of my favorite things.

6. Buttonbox - by Elizabeth McCarten, in Knitty - Spring+Summer 2013. Love the details, love that little collar!

7. Oconee - by Jamie Thomas. Interesting construction with very little "finishing" required, and it looks like it would knit up super fast.

8. Rhadamanthys - by Jennifer Dassau. Perfect for a process knitter, this is knit in one piece with no seaming or finishing required. It's knit entirely in garter stitch, which I also love. Why am I not knitting this right now?

9. Circlet Cardigan - by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence, Knitpicks. Texture!

10. Wayside Lace Cardigan - by Schoppel-Wolle Design Team, Skacel Fiber Studio.  This just looks like a big comfy hug!

What about you?


Ten on Tuesday: Dream BIG!

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I'd Do If I Won the Big Powerball Jackpot

1. Assemble my team: lawyer, accountant, cabana boy.

2. Pay off my mortgage and all debt.

3. Pay off my kids' student loans; set up trusts for them.

4. Buy a couple of houses on my street, strip 'em out, and knock 'em down.

5. Quit my job.

6. Buy the hardware store.

7. Buy a lovely penthouse in Chicago or New York or San Francisco. Or all of the above.

8. Buy a place on the west coast... of Scotland.

9. TRAVEL! The Maritimes, Italy, Spain, and Greece come to mind, as do New England, Texas, and Hawaii.

10. Buy a lovely vintage Porsche.

I could go on...

I just read an article, 22 Things Happy People Do Differently, and "Dream Big" was #5 on the list... got that one covered.  ;)


Ten on Tuesday: I am so ready for winter to be over

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Am Ready for Winter To Be OVER

1.  Brazil. It wet my whistle!

2.  Sandals. I'm really looking forward to wearing sandals again -- they're so easy to slip on.

Hello! Yes! I did the dorky tourist thing, holding Cristo Redentor in the palm of my hand!

3.  Shorts & Skorts & Skirts! I've gone entire summers without baring my legs to the world... this isn't going to be one of them.

4.  Bathing suit! Now that I have one that I even sort of like, I may as well wear it!

5.  Canga! Even more, I can't wait to wear the dress I bought at the Hippie Fair that's made from a canga.

5.  Farmers market. I'm starting to prepare!

6.  Open windows & doors. It'll be so nice to put the screens on and air out the house.

7.  Flora! I'm ready for some greening up and blooming garden flowers.

Laundry on the line

8.  Laundry on the line!

9.  The rebirth and renewal that is...

10.  SPRING!


My 10 on Tuesday is more about why I'm looking forward to spring/summer than why I'm ready for winter to be over... but that's exactly why!

* * * * *

Thanks for all the finger-crossing and well-wishing and prayers today! I'll be back soon.


Another "rainy day" in Rio

This morning's photo:

Two sleeps to Rio -- one in my own bed, one on an aeroplane -- and then I'll be sleeping pool-side, behind the two doors on the right!

The airline just called to tell me that it's time to check in online!

Of course I've known that English isn't spoken much in Brazil, but I realized yesterday that I've actually never been to a non-English speaking country before -- not even Mexico. That prompted me to make doubly sure that I have contact info and back-up contact info, and a Plan C!

I have LOTS to do! I continue to update my lists and reminders, striving to streamline everything, but even so I may start bouncing off the walls soon!

* * * * *

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Tips for Sticking With Your Fitness Routine

1. I don't have 10 tips for this.

2. I don't even have one.

3. Fitness routine?

4. It's the missing component.

5. I've been very satisfied with the results that have occurred in my body over the past 4-5 months by just changing how and what I eat.

6. Last Saturday I was back down to pre-Christmas weight and then some, marking my lowest weight so far on this journey.

7. There's been a lot happening in my life and the lives of people around me, so I'm quite happy right now to limit my focus to the food aspect.

8. I have a gym membership and I know how to use it.

9. I just haven't used it in quite some time.

10. I'm looking forward to spring and hopping back on my bike -- the 30+ pounds I've lost will make that even more fun, I think!


Ten on Tuesday: Goal!

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Goals for 2013

1. Taking a cue from my sister Sharon, my #1 goal for 2013 is simply TO KEEP IT TOGETHER. I already know that it is going to be an epic, challenging year, full of ups and downs.

2. I will continue TO EXPLORE DIET & NUTRITION. I am gobsmacked at the results I've seen from the changes I made late last year -- from weight loss to the reduction/elimination of pesky physical ailments and problems. Also, the quick bounce-back following my holiday indulgence has been a pleasant surprise. Continuing on this path is a no-brainer for me.

3. I will expand my knowledge TO HELP OTHERS, particularly in terms of their needs, which may or may not be in complete alignment with my own. Everyone is different.

4. One thing that I need to work on for the improvement of my overall health is exercise/fitness, so I vow to RIDE MY BIKE MORE. Due to wedding bells, I will miss the Ride For Nature in Door County this year, but there are more and more bike events, if that's what I want -- I really just want to ride more -- it was fun riding my bike to Knit Night last summer. I found myself, out of the blue, wishing for spring the other day specifically so I could ride my bike!

5. I will also use my fitness center membership more, particularly in the areas of STRENGTH/POWER & YOGA. I believe they'll be opening/moving the yoga studio in a new-to-them historic, wonderful, and more convenient location, and I'll be all over that.

6. I WILL CLEAN OUT & SIMPLIFY. Again. Some more. Ongoing...

7. I will GO TO RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL! I wasn't expecting to see my sister and her family here during the holidays, and certainly wasn't expecting to leave to visit them in Brazil less than a week after their departure, but there you are and here I go. Come what may (and when).

8. With any luck, I will set foot on three continents in 2013, and CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN SCOTLAND. Truth be told, I'll be more than happy to celebrate New Year's or any other holiday -- or no holiday -- any time at all -- in Scotland. I just want to go again! Since Kate will be there in school next fall, it makes sense to shoot for then.

9. I will KNIT FINGERLESS GLOVES FOR BRIDESMAIDS & THE BRIDE, AND A WEDDING SHAWL FOR THE BRIDE. And I will not wait until the last minute. In fact, I think I'll go home and wind yarn today!!

10. I will SEE THE FIRST OF MY DAUGHTERS GET MARRIED! Ali's friend Kristin gave her the most adorable wedding-planner binder for Christmas, on the cover it said: Keep Calm and Marry Rod! Crazy, fun, exciting!

* * * * *

Ali and I returned to Al Immig's in Sheboygan last Wednesday to see how my mother's wedding dress turned out after cleaning. It turned out white as snow -- I don't think anyone was expecting that result! The little paint splotch came away without a trace, and there are only a few minor rips and tears to be repaired; the dress has stays in the bodice, which took on a life of their own and will definitely be replaced; the dress will be shortened just a bit. The tailor undid some of my mother's earlier sewing, resulting in "finding" extra fabric here and there, so the fit is much better and it's really not going to be altered all that much. We'll be going back at the end of March!

June's going to come up really fast, isn't it?


Ten on Tuesday: Humming along

Ten on Tuesday10 Favorite Holiday Albums

I'm pressed and distracted this week, but I love this topic -- I'm looking to fluff up my holiday music selection and look forward to getting around to all the participating blogs.

I'm being particular this year, loving a well done classic but so very tired of so very many of them -- the same old song or the same old rendition by the same old artist. I think I just need something new! That said, there's old and new mixed in here, and quite a few that are on my wish/contemplation list!

1. Snowed In - Hanson. I love it more and more each year, I think.

2. PTXmas - Pentatonix. I linked to a video the other day and downloaded all the songs shortly thereafter!

3. Home for Christmas - Hall & Oates. I chose this CD as my "free gift" with a recent supply catalog order and I have to say that I was happily surprised!

4. Merry Christmas - Johnny Mathis. This voice has always been a part of my life -- possibly this album, too! I actually have this vinyl.

5. The Bells of Dublin - The Chieftains. I'm not even sure how this CD came to be at my house, but it's been a favorite -- and I think my kids will feel about The Chieftains and this CD the way I do about Johnny Mathis and Merry Christmas.

6. Christmas - Michael Buble. Soon to be mine.

7. Merry Christmas, Baby - Rod Stewart. Also soon to be mine.

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi Trio. Never, ever, ever tire of this.

9. My Christmas - Katherine Jenkins. On my wish list.

10. Under The Mistletoe - Justin Bieber. We shall end as we begin!


Ten on Tuesday: Warm hands

Ten on Tuesday: (Only) 10 (of The Many, and In No Particular Order) Favorite Mitts/Mittens Patterns That I May or May Not Ever Knit, or Possibly Have Knit (even Twice or Thrice), or Dream of Someday Knitting

There are 60+ such patterns in my Ravelry Favorites, and I never really scope them out. I haven't even looked at my Pinterest boards.


1. Dimorphous Mittens (pictured above) by Miriam Felton. I gave this pair away as a gift. I must knit another someday!

2. Squirrel Sampler Mittens by Adrian Bizilia at Hello Yarn.

3. The elusive (to me) Latvian Mitten(s).

4. Hollywood! I fell head-over-heels in love with Miriam's Vivien Leigh, Lauren Bacall, and Joan Crawford gloves.

5. Emma's Mittens. Seriously scrumptious texture.

6. Eve. More enchanting texture -- and beads! There are some other gorgeous patterns there, too.

7. The playful Kittens Mittens.

8. There are some incredible cat mittens available, I am also somewhat partial to these Cat Mittens. I love the inclusion of so many appropriate motifs!

9. Fibonacci-Stripe Mittens, of course!

Ragtop 1+2

10. R-A-G-G-T-O-P-P... Ragtop!


Ten on Tuesday: Thankfulness

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things For Which I Am Thankful

1. My three amazing daughters.

2. My great husband.

3. My parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins -- even if it's not always pretty.

4. Their generous and adventurous spirits.

5. Nurturing and inspiring friends.

6. Food -- good and real -- on my plate.

7. The resources and ability to make it into something.

8. Electricity!

9. The ability to travel -- mostly near but also sometimes far.

10. That I may have found a swimming suit that I actually like... or at least don't loathe.

* * * * *

Web-2012-11-18 13.22.20
I was on a quick Sunday-Tuesday jaunt to Chicago with my eldest. We hit up the Art Institute on Sunday afternoon, did a little shopping on Monday, and met up with friends on Tuesday.

Web-2012-11-20 10.47.05
My favorite Chicago landmark since I was a kid, Marina City -- one of many iconic city buildings constructed with LEGOS on display outside the store at Water Tower Place!

We stayed at the beautiful Sofitel Chicago Water Tower (thanks to hotwire.com) and treated ourselves to cocktails at Le Bar last night before dinner. My drink yesterday -- Brazil's national cocktail -- was Caipirinha! We had tried to find cachaça last summer so we could make it ourselves at the going-away party for Annie & her family before they moved to Rio, but were unsuccessful here in NE Wisconsin! I imagine we could substitute another rum and probably be happy. Or search some more. Anyway, it was light and lime-y and delicious! Katie had a Monkey Gland. Yeah.

Web-2012-11-20 10.47.05

We picked up Maro, a family friend, in the Lincoln Park area on our way home, stopping in Schaumburg for lunch on the way. There, I finally connected with my old friend Julie, whom I haven't seen in close to 20 years! I'm certain that we'll connect again much sooner than that!! It was so great to see her. We dropped Maro off at her mother's, just a few blocks from home, so she could spend Thanksgiving with her family!

For me, it's back to work tomorrow, then running over to pick up Maddy; spending the holiday, which will be very low-key, here at home; back to work on Friday; and then the weekend. Husband should be home sometime in there, and I'm planning our big Thanksgiving celebration for early Sunday afternoon... before Maddy heads back to school!

Also catching up and catching my breath!

I'm thankful that I'm pretty good with logistics, don't mind driving, and that everyone is flexible!!


Ten on Tuesday: Feed me!

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Items Your Local Food Pantry Can Use

Well, Carole has both insight and ideas, as does everyone else who participated in this week's Ten on Tuesday topic (scroll down to see links to other participants' posts); they are excellent posts and I don't have much more to add.

But, of course, I do have something to add!

I stopped at my credit union on the way home from work today and was greeted by a cart full of groceries in the lobby. They are having a "Stock The Shelves" food and fundraising drive to help support local food pantries. The really great thing about giving money for this drive is that the credit union not only matches it, but multiplies it by 3! $1 = $3; $100 = $300!

I also stopped at the grocery store. They have pre-made dummy grocery bags at the checkout lanes that can be easily grabbed and added to the total; the checker scans it and asks the donation amount. Every $50 buys a turkey dinner for a family of 4-6, and the store will add another dinner for every four that are donated. The meals are delivered to and distributed by local food pantries at both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I'm sure there are a million similar activities going on right now -- Scouts, churches, civic groups, radio stations, stores -- for food and toys and, of course, MONEY! Thing is, they aren't hard to find (I wasn't even looking) and they do everything they can to make it easy!


Ten on Tuesday: On my mind

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things On My Mind Right Now

1. It's my birthday!

a. It's also Election Day and, thank you universe, that's *almost* the best present ever! There were 17 messages on my answering machine at last glance. (I am voting this afternoon.)

2. California Dreaming! I had such a great weekend away.


3. Big waves! They were amazing, the weather phenomenal.

4. Time! Time! Time!

5. Snow. (It's in the forecast.)

6. The upcoming quiet weekend at home. It's so much rougher when my day off is on a Monday... the weekend seems *so* far away!

7. Thanksgiving.

8. Christmas is even starting to creep.

9. The holidays are going to be weird this year -- making the best of it, planning new things.

10. Practicing... mentally packing and re-packing my suitcase (with an emphasis on packing light) for a first-ever mid-winter vacation to someplace warm.


Ten on Tuesday: Sweet tooth

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Candies in My Trick-or-Treat Bag

The world might shift a bit next Wednesday if I make it through my first candy-free Halloween. I am highly motivated, having lost another 3 pounds last week, and even though a good candy bar is tempting... emphasis is on "good" and, well, Halloween just isn't special enough!

I was very surprised at the loss last week! Not that I did anything different, it's just that I'm waiting for a bump or to land on a plateau -- that's the way it's always been! This steady downward trajectory is kind of blowing my mind. I'm waiting for my body to say, "Whoa, it's been a fun ride, but we're just going to hold here for a bit a regroup!" We'll see.

So, ever since I was a kid, these have been my favorite things to find in my (or my siblings' or kids') Trick-or-Treat bags (though many of them were so much better back in the day... sort of disappointing in comparison).

1. Mounds

2. Almond Joy

3. Three Musketeers

4. Peanut Butter Cup

5. Milky Way

7. Snickers

8. Kit Kat

9. Smartees

10. Kisses

Did you used to spread out all the loot on the living room floor and trade with your sibs? Or beg your kids to share?


Ten on Tuesday: Weekend Update

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Did Last Weekend

1. Saturday is my unofficial weigh-in day. It's something I shouldn't actually be doing -- I can see and feel my progress in so many other ways -- but old habits die hard. At least I do it only once a week rather than daily. And did you hear a WOOHOO? As of last Saturday, -19.2 lbs! I wore my beautiful wedding ring all day on Sunday for the first time in YEARS, and it didn't feel like a tourniquet on my finger.

2. It was the coldest farmer market morning yet! It was windy, too, but thankfully mostly sunny and no rain; we've been extremely lucky in the precipitation department this year. The house felt like an inferno when I got home! I thought, MY.GOD, WHO TURNED UP THE HEAT SO HIGH? WHAT IS IT TURNED UP TO, ANYWAY? Haha, yeah, 66F... feels like an inferno after a windy 48F morning outside. It's possible that was our last market of the season.

3. While looking for an electrical adapter, I found a few boxes of old slides that I'd been resigned to having lost forever. They are slides of me, my sibs, and cousins from late '60s-early '70s, even a few through the late '80s, that my grandmother gave me some years ago. So happy to have found that treasure!!

4. I found the electrical adapter! You know, one of those 3-prong to 2- adapters that are indispensible to people who live in old houses. With it, I was able to plug in my flash in the location I desired...

5. ...and take pictures of yarn!

6. After processing those photos, I *finally* uploaded them to Make.Do so that, maybe, I could finally try and sell some -- sport- and lace-weight are currently listed, more to come!

7. I Skyped with my sister Annie in Brazil for the first time! I talked with Mack & Addy, too. Mack played a song on his recorder, and Addison read me a story (learning to read!!) and also sang a song in Portugese. We did Skype-y air kisses, and I can't wait to hug them again!!

8. Boy, did I sleep! A very early (for me) bedtime on Friday and a bit of a sleep-in on Sunday made for two nearly 10-hour sleeps in a row. I'm pretty sure I was fighting off a little something, and Saturday morning took more out of me than a normal market morning.

9. I knit (another FO soon!) and watched the football game with Mom on Sunday. It hasn't been a very fun year for Cheeseheads so far, and I hope we step it up soon. I've been having fun with my fantasy team, though my record there isn't very good, either.

10. On Sunday evening I was trying to print out some shipping labels and sent them to the networked printer in the other room, um, numerous times. Because, you know, if something doesn't print the first (or second or third) time, you just send it again and again! I finally emailed them to myself and printed them directly from that computer. Then I wanted to find a recipe online but my connection was broken. It turns out that my old router died -- not before a last gasp, when all those mailing labels I'd sent came forth. It was just past closing time for anyplace but a big box department store and I sure didn't want to break my streak and go to W... and couldn't remember if Target's electronics department went that deep. I took a drive over there, anyway. They do have routers but only wireless ones; it turns out that most of them work for wired connections, too, and the helpful clerk told me that I should go check my ports before plunking down my money. It turns out that old router was redundant (left in place mainly for convenience) and with just a little switching around I was back in business. SCORE!

It was a pretty fab weekend.

Ten on Tuesday: Let them eat... pizza!

Nothing like a ToT to get back in the blogging swing after vacation... it's more difficult than I anticipated.

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Pizza Toppings

Not that I'm eating much pizza these days. It's never been the staple at our house that I know it must be at others'. We've eaten most of our pizzas watching football games at my mother's house over the past few years. There have been entire off-seasons without, and that first bite in fall is as good as anything!

So, with that, let me first say that it all begins at the bottom... and I'll have mine on thin crust, crispy on the edges, maybe even with some burned-y parts!

1. Sauce -- just a bit of good tomato sauce or even alfredo.

2. Cheese -- not too much.

3. Mushrooms.

4. Sausage.

5. Olives -- ripe and/or green.

6. Spinach.

7. Artichoke hearts.

8. Chicken.

9. Potatoes.

10. Wild rice.

There was a time when sausage and mushroom was the ONLY pizza for me!

I had potatoes on a gluten-free pizza with Margene in Salt Lake City about a year ago... and, well, you know I've never met a potato that I didn't like.

We went to Sven & Ole's on our last night in Grand Marais (this is skipping way ahead on the vacation travelogue) as per the recommendation of just about anyone who's ever been! We had the Shicken & Vild Rice Zah because I just had to see what having wild rice on a pizza was all about! And it was good.

Web-2012-09-16 10.01.24
So, here we are at the coffee shop on Sunday morning as we headed out. Rusty's got our coffee for the week, I have some tea for the road, and Ali snapped the photo. We didn't realize how well our outfits matched until then, and it made us laugh.

Our destination was the north shore of Lake Superior (which would be the south shore of the northeast part of Minnesota) -- specifically, Grand Marais, MN -- with stops planned (and unplanned) on the way there and back.

If you'd like to know more about our (pretty laid-back) adventures, or see a few of the 100+ photos (just on my phone) I took mostly of the water and sky, stay tuned!


Ten on Tuesday: See you in September

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Love About September

1. Back to school! Only one of mine this year (two next year!), and it wasn't the big production it's been in years past, but still exciting -- mostly because she's excited! There have been no second thoughts and it's all about progress and the future.

One of the things I've always loved most about "the internet" is my friendship with people of all ages. This year, I am so flippin' happy to see so many First Day of School photos from all my friends on Facebook. Whether it's the first day of Pre-K, middle school, or high school, everything and everyone is so happy, bright, fresh, new, and ready!

2. Cooler temperatures. That's how it's supposed to work, anyway. I love cooler temperatures at night, getting snuggly and cozy under the covers!

3. Apples. And so many other things at the farmers market. This is the bountiful season!

4. Wool. I actually had Portico wrapped around my shoulders at the market on Saturday morning. Luckily, I always bring a few knitted things because Ali asked for a shawl, too!

image from www.flickr.com
5. Color. It is certainly not going to be peak time for color, but I am looking forward to seeing some autumnal tones when we head north in a couple of weeks. (Two weeks!) Maybe I'll even be inspired to take some photos.

6. Are You Ready for Some Football? I may only have watched about 5# total in the entire pre-season, but I am definitely ready for the regular season to start! It looks like I'll be listening to the first game on the radio, heading home from Jefferson... and that's OK! Hopefully, it'll be very exciting -- to both keep me awake and make the time fly. The high school games have started, too; as the leaves fall, I'll see the field better and better... I love it when the Friday Night Lights come on!

7. Nesting. Forget "spring cleaning," I'm all about getting my nest in order for the Long Winter. This year, I have grand designs for taking stock, cleaning out, and organizing yarn.

8. Cooking. Sort of hand-in-hand with nesting, cooking is all about settling in and stocking up... even if I don't really stock up all that much. The changes I've made to my diet have made me excited about cooking again -- it's all about simplicity, right now, and experimenting with seasoning and flavors.

9. Not Sweating. It was one of the most brutally hot & humid summers we've had in a long time. I was reminded of early days in one of my first apartments -- upper level, no air conditioning -- hotter than freakin' hell. I'd just sit in front of the fan and let it blow; go to the movies, back-to-back matinees (who cared what was playing), just to cool off! Oh, and then there was that summer when Ali was a baby...

10. Vacation! It's a super-busy month with three days at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool, the annual Harvest Festival at the farmers market the weekend after that (a longer day than usual at the market), but the reward will be nearly a week of meandering on the north shore of Lake Superior. There'll be plenty of activity, but also lots of quiet and rest. And knitting.


Ten on Tuesday: Beachy

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things To Do at The Beach


  1. Watch the waves
  2. Watch the people
  3. Watch the birds
  4. Take a walk
  5. Take some pictures
  6. Take a nap (or a swim)
  7. Read a book
  8. Read the tide tables
  9. Read your palm
  10. Have fun!!

* * * * * *

Just in time for our latest little heat wave, I took delivery yesterday of about a half-bushel of tomatoes, leeks, onions, peppers, garlic, and herbs with Roasted Tomato Sauce in mind. Yes, friends, it's about that time of year! I'd originally intended to get them this weekend, but there were plenty of tomatoes ready right now! Unless I get up super early tomorrow and get this done while the kitchen is still cool, I'll be chopping and freezing for delayed roasting.

I need outbuildings! I'd sure love a summer kitchen/studio.

That photo was taken six years ago (!) for the ABC-Along; the farm is right on Hwy. 53 in northwestern Wisconsin toward my sister's house. I haven't been up there in a while, but hubby and I are planning a little road trip to the North Shore -- Duluth, Grand Marais, likely as far as Nipigon, ON, Canada. We thought of a bunch of possibilities -- all the way around the lake, or around another Great Lake, or to Toronto -- but I think we'll go up and explore some of the south, west, and north shore of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee.

Anyway, I think we'll go up and then double-back, but return home along a slightly different route -- via old stomping grounds, visiting cousins, and my sister's -- and maybe even see my nephew play some football (or wam the bench, depending on injuries and depth).

All suggestions for yarn, art, food and lodging around the western half of Lake Superior are certainly welcome!

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Look who joined us at the farmers' market last weekend! Ozzie had a nice, cushy spot in there with the felted wool dryer balls.


Ten on Tuesday: Get the TV trays*

Ten on Tuesday: 10 93 Favorite TV Shows From Your Childhood**

I tried. I really did. I grew up around The Golden Age of Television... and I HAVE LOVED, DO LOVE, and WILL CONTINUE TO LOVE television. It would be pure torture to have to limit this list to 10.

Every time I'd think of a show, I'd think of another... or two... or three!! It was a lot of fun, too, and I'm glad that I have this list.

It's not like I've seen every episode of any of these shows -- I may have only seen one -- but they all evoke a feeling, a memory, and, usually, a smile. I remember watching (fighting over) TV with my sisters and brother, and sometimes with my dad, but rarely with my mom... at least not when I was a kid. I am pretty sure she was busy.  ;)

Also, there was that whole summer between 6th and 7th grade when we didn't even have a TV (and still)! Seems like it was the first day of summer vacation when smoke started coming out of the back and Mom & Dad didn't replace it. It was probably one of the best summers of my childhood!

  1. ABC's Wide World of Sports
  2. Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet
  3. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
  4. All In The Family
  5. American Bandstand
  6. Baretta
  7. Barney Miller
  8. Batman
  9. Ben Casey
  10. Bewitched
  11. Bonanza
  12. Charlie's Angels
  13. Dark Shadows
  14. Dragnet
  15. Family Affair
  16. Flipper
  17. Gilligan's Island
  18. Good Times
  19. Green Acres
  20. Gunsmoke
  21. Happy Days
  22. Hawaii Five-O
  23. Here Come The Brides
  24. Hogan's Heroes
  25. Hollywood Squares
  26. I Dream of Jeannie
  27. I Love Lucy
  28. Ironside
  29. Julia
  30. Lassie
  31. Laverne & Shirley
  32. Leave It To Beaver
  33. Let's Make A Deal
  34. Little House On The Praire
  35. M*A*S*H
  36. Mannix
  37. Marcus Welby, M.D.
  38. Mary Tyler Moore
  39. Maude
  40. McHale's Navy
  41. McMillan & Wife
  42. Medical Center
  43. Mister Ed
  44. Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
  45. My Favorite Martian
  46. My Three Sons
  47. One Day At A Time
  48. Password
  49. Perry Mason
  50. Petticoat Junction
  51. Police Woman
  52. Rhoda
  53. Rock Concert
  54. Room 222
  55. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
  56. Saturday Night Live
  57. Soul Train
  58. Star Trek
  59. The $10,000 Pyramid
  60. The Addams Family
  61. The Andy Griffith Show
  62. The Andy Williams Show
  63. The Beatles
  64. The Beverly Hillbillies
  65. The Big Valley
  66. The Bob Newhart Show
  67. The Brady Bunch
  68. The Carol Burnett Show
  69. The Courtship of Eddie's Father
  70. The Dick Cavett Show
  71. The Dick Van Dyke Show
  72. The Ed Sullivan Show
  73. The Flintstones
  74. The Honeymooners
  75. The Jeffersons
  76. The Jetsons
  77. The Midnight Special
  78. The Mike Douglas Show
  79. The Mod Squad
  80. The Monkees
  81. The Munsters
  82. The Phil Donahue Show
  83. The Red Skelton Hour
  84. The Rockford Files
  85. The Six Million Dollar Man
  86. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  87. The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour
  88. The Tonight Show
  89. The Twilight Zone
  90. The Waltons
  91. This Is Your Life
  92. Welcome Back, Kotter
  93. Wonder Woman

*We may have had TV trays, and I may have a VAGUE memory of eating while watching TV; if it actually even happened once, it was definitely an isolated incident! I always thought they were cool, though.

**Childhood = Until graduation from high school.


Ten on Tuesday: Market edition

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Great Things About The Farmer Market

Manning a booth and being a vendor makes my perspective on our local market a little different this year! Most of the Great Things are the same, no matter what my view, as I also shop the market every week.

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1. Local farmers. I love that I can buy from people that I "know." My farmers have faces and names, we have conversations and share smiles. I love that. Our immediate neighbors at the market are an extended family of farmers and they do a few markets in the area each week, taking turns at manning the different stalls; so far, I've discovered two of the young women are also knitters/crocheters!

2. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats -- most of them locally grown and many of them organically grown.

3. Fresh flowers, herbs, and plants. So much beautiful color! And last week, I kept catching big whiffs of basil in the air -- so wonderful!

4. Participation of local businesses and vendors. My community is fairly small and one of the largest Saturday farmer markets in the state is less than 10 miles away, so we do need more than just farmers to fill the spaces each week.

5. Egg rolls and spring rolls. Every week. There's always a line. They're always fresh and delicious. I believe "egg rolls" is the sole reason for some visits to the market.

6. Baked goods, kettle corn, mini donuts. There's an Amish bakery in attendance nearly every week with everything from cookies and pies to breads and pasta. Mmmm. The kettle corn is made fresh, right there; I've been buying the smaller bag and it lasts all week. So far, I've been able to resist the donuts, even when I catch a whiff now and then... thankfully, they haven't been there every week.

7. Coffee! Just as there are regulars at the shop, there are regulars at the market, too!

8. Crafters. They are interspersed throughout and add some variety. The bead and jewelry market are very well covered; there are some interesting decorative painters, woodworkers, some knitters/crocheters/sewists, some that defy description...

9. Music! It's different every week and I've enjoyed every single act. It was a two-piece polka band a couple of weeks ago and I just loved them! Totally laid-back, just doin' what they do... At one point, they were playing along and then I heard, "Well, that's all we know of that song..." and then they launched into another. So entertaining -- funny and fun to listen to. Music makes a huge difference at the market.

10. People! It's the thing I like best about being a vendor at the market. It's fun to see familiar faces, faces I haven't seen in a while, faces I haven't seen in a VERY long while, the same faces every week, different faces... it's always fun! I'm a people-watcher from way back and every week there's reason to smile. I've especially loved teasing out yarn lovers (and potential yarn lovers) in my community -- I've always known they were there!

TOMORROW: Remember the mural project? I'm working on an update!


Ten on Tuesday: Everyday Things

Ten on Tuesday10 Everyday Things That Make You Happy

Well, today (the past few) is about as non-everyday as it gets, but that's probably the best time to focus on the everyday things... the little things.

1. Morning coffee. Dark roast. Rusty makes it every morning. He pre-warms the thermal carafe with hot water, then pours that water into our coffee mugs (and my travel mug on work days) to warm them up, too!

2. My "back yard." The weather's been awful lately, but I love to take my knitting out to the pergola on nice days. The wooded ravine is behind me, freshly painted garage and house in front of me, and things are growing all around me... it's lovely and peaceful.

3. Flowers. The irises by the back porch, the lavender at the back of the garage, the container tomato plants on the patio... chicory and queen anne's lace at the side of the road... the purchase bouquet on the kitchen table.

4. Stopping at the coffee shop every morning. I always say hello to Frankie on my way in. As I'm leaving, I always say, "Have a good day, Frankie!" and he says, "I always do! You know that. I always have fun when I'm down here." Sometimes I deliver his morning oatmeal or a coffee refill; I always leave with a smile.

5. My zippy car. It's not particularly sporty or anything, but it does have some zip. I sure do love some zip!

6. Knitting. Everyday.

7. Tivo. Often accompanies the everyday knitting. And I hardly ever miss cable... I'll admit, I'd love to check out Dallas, but guess what? I'll live. And someday it'll be available somehow... if I'm still interested.

8. Mail. I love getting the mail... I love getting mail, but I also love the ritual of getting and sorting the mail.

9. Air conditioning. Our window units and fans are working OT this summer!

10. Family. Everyday. Near or far. Whether they're driving me nuts or not.

image from www.flickr.com
My sister Ann modeled the finished TTL Mystery Shawl yesterday in nearly 100F weather! That's sisterly love for ya! More details on the shawl tomorrow.

I'm heading out shortly, part of the departure committee that will be delivering Ann, Brian, Mack & Addy to O'Hare as they begin a new chapter of their lives, living and working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! All I can say is thank god for technology and the ability to stay in touch. It also helps to know that they'll be back to visit and that they (hopefully) won't be gone forever. Much as I'd like to and as great an opportunity as it would be, I'm not sure I'll be able to afford a trip down there, so I am truly happy about all the different ways we'll be able to keep in touch.

BONUS: #11. Technology!


Ten on Tuesday: Strawberry Fields Forever

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Ways to Eat Strawberries

1. In the field, right off the vine.

2. In the car, right out of the flat.

3. In the kitchen, right out of the colander.

4. By the slice, right off the knife.

4. In a bowl with a little bit of cream.

5. Sliced, in cereal (Cheerios, Chex).

6. In strawberry shortcake, of course; sometimes with other berries. I like my shortcake less sweet and more biscuit-y than cake-y.

7. In a fruit salad. I made a simple one on Sunday with organic strawberries from my farmers' market neighbor, blueberries from another vendor, and fresh basil from my own yard -- all with the slightest drizzle of honey. So good. I saved a little for yesterday's lunch.

8. Slightly mashed, over ice cream (I guess you'd call that a sundae) or cheesecake.

9. In almost any dessert, actually.

10. The fresher the better, but I do love good homemade strawberry jam!

I meant to take a photo of my fruit salad, but it disappeared before I had a chance. Mom recently brought over this cute gebera daisy -- it goes nicely with the back door of the garage! I've been watering it every evening, but in the heat the other day it was completely wilted and I thought that perhaps a drink in the morning would be better. So far, so good.


Ten on Thursday: Hot Fun in The Summertime

Ten on Tuesday Thursday: 10 Goals for This Summer

1. Continue exploring and sharing my interests and passions, and having fun.

2. Re-formulating, clarifying, and implementing my plan to recoup costs and try to make some of it pay me back a little bit.

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3. To that end, vending my Make.Do wares with KC&T at our local farmers' market -- opening day is a week from Saturday! I just ordered some MOO MiniCards for the occasion and love them more than I can say!!

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Follow this Refer A Friend link for 10% off some of your own!

4. Riding my bike! While I prefer to ride on 75F days when the humidity is low and the sun is joined in the sky by big puffy white clouds and when there's not much wind and no bugs and on roads with few hills and no stop signs... I need to stop making excuses and just get on the damn thing. Ride like the wind!

5. It's not an unreasonable expectation to lose 10 pounds by the end of summer. Minimum. I'm not buying any jeans in the next size up come fall. Period.

6. I've been thinking about it for months, so finally signing up for a 3-session package with a personal trainer at my fitness center -- whether anyone else wants to join me or not! And take it from there.

7. A very early summer goal -- like, THIS WEEKEND -- is to PLANT! I believe my front porch planter was bare naked all last year. There's a solitary weed growing in it now. It needs some pretty flowers. Also, tomatoes and basil. The planters are there. Even if the harvest is small, it's still a harvest and quite enjoyable.

Untitled8. Knit with laceweight. Kirsten's Through The Loops Mystery Shawl 2012 begins tomorrow and I'm ready... as soon as I decide on color (light green, dark green, or deep red). I've never knit with laceweight yarn before and I'm ready!

9. Go to Bay Beach and ride the rollercoaster! It's been there for a year already!!

10. Go with the flow -- that's my mantra this summer. Just keep on keepin' on and goin' with the flow... let it all just wash over me and feel the cleanse.

Something like that.


Ten on Tuesday: To Do II

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Items On My Spring To-Do List

1. In the ongoing quest for simplification and decrapification, we're having a rummage sale this weekend at my mom's. I've actually found it much easier to put things in the donation box (or, as the case may be, to sell them en masse at Half-Price Books), so I'm not selling much, and neither is my mom... the girls are, though, and so is my sister... that happens when you move or prepare to move. I'll be happy when that's over. We'll see, maybe I'll slap some prices on a few things. One happy result of this recent focus is that I've cleaned off the top of my washer and dryer!

image from www.flickr.com
2. Sort of related to #1 (and, also, Clarity), I have antiques that I'm not longer interested in looking at or dusting... mostly green Depression Glass, but also some furniture... maybe. I had a great time collecting the glass over the years, but I could wipe out half of it and still have a nice display of pieces that have meaning -- or usefulness. I'd actually keep all of the above -- I've a thing for the more utilitarian pieces.

3. Windows. I'd like to say, "I don't do windows," but I must do windows. With the painting that happening this year, I'll likely be doing some that haven't been touched in a while!

4. Vacuum. The power head on my vac isn't working, though, so I need to take it in. It's a good thing that we've mostly hardwood floors in our house!

5. Continue to focus on cleaning/cleaning out my bedroom, closet and studio!

6. Clear the deck of lingering obligations! Be diligent and selective when taking on new projects. Know Thyself!

image from www.flickr.com
7. Garden & planter maintenance -- trim the espalier tree, thin out the ferns, dig out dandelions, plant stuff, etc.

8. Buy a rain barrel.

9. Ride my bike... haven't done that much yet this year. I have been going to a "power" fitness class at least once a week, though.

10. Take a few days off... with no particular place to go... or thing to do.

 Haha. I guess that would be #10 Thing To Do: Nothing!

Ten on Tuesday: Pin me!

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Items Pinned to Your Bulletin Board

I could ask which one...

Web-2012-05-01 10.27.36

This one... two... are at work. There are two just like them on the adjacent wall. These two are the most interesting...

1. A print out of my three favorite entries from a "Typesetter Haiku" contest on a long-gone blog. Even after all this time, they never fail to crack me up. Here's one:

i shot the serif

left him there full of leading

yearning for kerning

Hysterical, right? Heh. Maybe only if you were once a geeky typesetter... and an Eric Clapton fan.

2. Confirmation(s) of registration(s) with the National Do Not Call Registry.

3. Photos of the girls, the boys, other family members, some of my friends, friends' babies.

4. Some various postcard-type artwork and photos of artwork... classin' up the joint.

5. A mmmmenu from Noodles & Company; once in a while, someone brings me lunch and it's usually from there.

6. A small sheet of smiley-face stickers.

7. Various lists of phone numbers and log-ins.

8. A print-out of postage rates and an envelope of odd stamps.

9. The memorial card I made for Sharon.

10. Reminders, such as:

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


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

and an Important list of "I" words:

  • Intensity : Say yes
  • Inclusion : Be generous
  • Integrity : Speak up
  • Intimacy : Love more
  • Intuition : Trust yourself
  • Intention : Slow down


Ten on Tuesday: Honey, I'm home!

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

No one hits the home chord for me more than John Denver.

1. Knowing the landscape. It's great to explore -- I love planning trips, reading maps, listening to directions from Garmin -- but it's great to be home and just know how to get from Point A to Point B without thinking.

2. My car. The next time I rent a car in the UK, remind me that driving on the other side of the car is enough -- adding manual transmission to the mix just makes things more difficult and stressful than they need be.

3. My own bed.

4. My own pillow. If I'm not traveling far, and even if I'm checking into a nice hotel, I bring my own pillow. It's not my own bed, but it helps!

5. My closet. Efficient packing continues to elude me... perhaps if I traveled more frequently?

6. My washer & clothesline/dryer! I really don't mind doing laundry, and I really like being able to do it when needed.

7. My kitchen! Even if we're someplace with a kitchen and I can do my own cooking, it's just not the same... and a person can only eat out so many times.

8. Mail! I love going through my mail after being away -- it's very satisfying to sort (and toss) and then catch up on the news via our twice-weekly very local newspaper.

9. Kitties! While not quite as demonstrative as their canine counterparts, our cats definitely let us know that they're happy we're home!

10. Friends and family, the coffee shop, knit night, photography group, the library -- all the places I hang out and feel "at home."


Ten on Tuesday: Movin' on up

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Tips for Moving

We moved a lot when I was a kid -- like, at least once a year, and sometimes three. I was too young to be involved in the packing, but I do remember moving... actually being in the car, mostly at night. I loved to scan the landscape for airport beacons, watching them go around -- bright, dim, bright, dim, bright, dim -- sometimes we'd get close to the airports and sometimes we'd just skirt on by. I still get a special feeling when I see those beacons. Listening to the radio -- AM radio -- the stations fading out and twirling the knob in search of a new, clear signal. In my memory, moving time was pretty much the only time we'd eat out at a restaurant or cafe; my favorite thing was a grilled cheese sandwich and I loved ordering milk at a restaurant -- it was always Whole Milk, which we never had at home!

I'm sure that those frequent moves during my childhood is the biggest reason that Katie's lived in only three houses in almost 27 years (and, during her first week of life, one motel); Ali in two houses in almost 25; and Maddy, 21 next month, has always lived in the house we live in.

I have now lived almost half of my years in the house where we currently live.

It's not that I wouldn't move... I'm always looking at what's for sale in the area... I just haven't found anything that I like better. There are a million houses I love, but it's all about location. It really is: location, location, location!

Anyway, it's been a while since I've moved, though I've helped the girls in and out of college -- that's as close as it gets.

1. Pack books in paper grocery bags. They're a good size for carrying, and almost impossible to overload.

2. Clean out and sort while packing -- stuff to toss, stuff to donate.

3. Keep like things together -- don't mix kitchen stuff with living room stuff.

4. Start early, if you can. Pack seldom used and out-of-season items first.

5. Nest. Pack things inside of other things whenever possible.

6. Label, label, label.

7. It's especially important to identify and label the boxes that contain the last items packed, so they can be quickly located, as they're likely to be the items needed first. Personal toiletries and care items; basic cooking staples, tools, dishes, and utensils; seasonal clothes and footwear; seasonal linens and bedding.

8. Use things like kitchen towels to wrap and cushion fragile kitchen items, etc.

9. Keep tools handy -- hammer, screwdriver, wrenches, baggies or containers for parts (screws and whatnot) (don't forget to mark what they're for), markers, scissors, tape and string or twine.

10. Stay on task, but take frequent breaks -- especially if feeling overwhelmed or easily distracted. Set the timer -- 25 minutes to get in there and work, work, work; then take a 5-minute break.

Good luck!!

* * * * *

Ding-Ding-Ding! We have winners!!

As determined by Random.org, Carol, delurking from Kentucky, is the winner in the Eight! It's cause for celebration! drawing.

The 19,000th comment was left on that post by Julia in Ontario -- with whom I've corresponded via comments before!

Congratulations! Prize packages will be shipped out tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for celebrating with me!

* * * * *

image from www.flickr.com
I stopped at the library on my way home last night to pick up a book they were holding, and thought it was funny that I'd notice this book on the new releases shelf at the very moment that Maddy was actually having somewhat literary tattoo made. And a turtle.

* * * * *

Finally, I drove up to Door County over the weekend with Katie, Mom, and my sister Ann. Annie had a job interview there... and the rest of us are always up for a trip to the Door. It's still pretty early in the season, so many of our favorite places were still closed. That's not always a bad thing, you know? We were forced to find a different place to eat and, boy, was it ever great!

image from www.flickr.com
I loved the artwork, too. These were printed on canvas of various size. We had a delicious salad that had goat cheese, walnuts and, of course, dried cherries, followed by a "Fun Guy" pizza -- five different mushrooms plus cheese, including cream cheese -- so delicious! Also dessert. We highly recommend Wild Tomato, if you're ever in the area.

Red Sock Yarns is just up the road and... Why, YES!! I was thrilled to find a ball of Hundertwasser, though I don't recall the colorway just now, and another ball of possibly coordinating yarn. It's the little things... and it was a very fun day!


Ten on Tuesday: C'mon, Get Happy!

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Songs That Put You In A Great Mood

There are so many more than 10. It's unseasonably warm here right now, it feels like SPRING! These are (some of) the songs that make me want to roll down the windows, turn up the volume, and step on the gas!

1. The Boys of Summer - Don Henley

2. Celebrate - Kool & The Gang

3. We Are Family - Sister Sledge

4. Working for the Weekend - Loverboy

5. Love Shack - B52s

6. Tighter & Tighter - Alive & Kicking

7. Tainted Love - Soft Cell

8. Call Me - Blondie

9. Every Little Kiss - Bruce Hornsby & The Range

10. Barbara Ann - The Beach Boys

11. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show - Neil Diamond

12. Daydream Believer - The Monkees

13. Come On Get Happy - The Partridge Family

14. The Rain, The Park, and Other Things - The Cowsills

15. King of The Road - Roger Miller


Ten on Tuesday: What's in the bag?

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things In Your Purse

image from www.flickr.com

1. My Samsung Smart Phone -- not pictured because it's taking the picture! I also carry the USB cable/charger in my purse.

2. Wallet -- checkbook, coin purse, lots of pockets inside and out. If it fit in my pocket, I'd be a happy girl.

3. Eyeglass case for prescription bifocal sunglasses.

4. A book of matches for no reason -- a recent, mindless addition, methinks.

5. In the drug store aisle: Airborne, Advil, Eucerin Calming Creme, eyeglass wipes & bandages, tiny disposable toothbrushes. The toothbrushes are also new, after realizing one day at work that I'd somehow forgotten to brush my teeth that morning. Isn't happening again (and I can't remember when it happened before, but must Be Prepared!).

6. Pens and Sharpie.

7. Scissors. I don't usually carry scissors around with me, but they're pretty handy. A small folding pair, or blunt-tip, would probably be better.

8. Keys. A bunch for work on a not-always-working (and, really, too-small) mini calculator keychain -- it was a gift from my insurance company on the 1st anniversary of the quit (7th anniversary is quickly approaching!). My car "key" isn't even a key -- I just have to have it on me when I push the "Start" button -- and the front-door house key is on the chain with Sharon's copper heart.

9. Shell, rocks, and shards from England-Scotland-Wales, and "I {heart} London" keychain/bottle opener, all of which I've been needlessly carrying around for almost a year.

10. A small notebook and two USB drives. My favorite is the tiny LEGO-shaped drive. Love.

11. Kleenex. A brand new pack in the cute sock-yarn tissue holder that kmkat gave me a few years ago.

12. One of my two pairs of Ragtop Mitts.

13. A small Omanhene dark chocolate bar. I buy one nearly every morning at the coffee shop to have at lunchtime.

14. Lavishea "The Yarn Bar" lotion bar -- not my favorite scent, but love the small size for my purse.

There are a few other miscellaneous little things, but that's the bulk of it. For a long time I didn't carry a purse because of shoulder, neck and back pain, and I think I'm going to be moving in that direction again.

* * * * *

I was reminded of this photo from a few years ago:

image from www.flickr.com

Knitting tools... exact same scissors!


Ten on Tuesday: Make mine dark

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Chocolate Treats


1. La Bete Noire. "The Black Beast" - as in the best chocolate cake ever invented in the universe. Period. Plus "ganache." I believe I could eat a cake made with actual dirt if it had a layer of good ganache. With never-ending gratitude to Nova for having brought La Bete to my attention in the first place, way back in 2007. This is simply delicious.

2. Chocolate pudding. Jell-O. The kind my mom used to make... well, I used to "make" it, and I hated "making" it, but sure did love the result. "Making," in this case meaning "stirring." Mom would put it into individual bowls and put it in the fridge. It would get a lovely, rich chocolate skin that was so yummy. To fancy it up, sometimes the top would be sprinkled with coconut flakes. Ahhh.

3. Chocolate chips. Straight out of the bag. This has been a favorite ever since I was a kid. There was a period of time, when we lived on Crestview Drive, when Karen and I would go down and raid the kitchen in the middle of the night. We were about 8 and 10, respectively. There was never anything "good," but occasionally we'd find chocolate chips -- they were as good as it gets, as it were. Heh.

4. Chocolate chip cookies. My favorite recipe is called Practically Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies and it's from Consumer Reports. I know. A recipe from Consumer Reports! They did a big test of all the different types of chocolate chips cookies that you could buy -- back when "soft" first became available at the store -- and they tested a few stand-by recipes, too!

5. Straight-up chocolate. I stop at the coffee shop almost every morning and, almost every morning, I purchase a small bar of Omanhene dark chocolate to have at lunch.


6. Hot fudge sundae - with a cherry on top!

7. Chocolate-covered chocoloate-filled chocolate donut. Tastee Bakery is gone now, but theirs are still the standard by which others are measured.


8. Chocolate-covered cherries. Or anything. Cherries remind me of grandpa.

9. Chocolate truffles. I used to make them at Christmas, and may resurrect that tradition. They're so easy and it's fun to experiment.


image from www.flickr.com


10. Just about anything in the world with chocolate in it or on it. Period.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ten on Tuesday: Baby, Is It Cold Outside?

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things To Do Inside When It's Too Cold To Go Outside

It hasn't really, technically, been "too cold" to go outside this winter, but it's all relative -- sun, clouds, wind, precipitation (in any and all forms), and accumulation all play their part with temperature to determine the weather and whether it's "too cold."

I recall that during a week-long stretch of around -25F several years ago, it was too cold for the kids to go to school.

I remember stoking the woodstove to keep the house warm at -50F several years before that, and my dad phoning home while on a trip to +50F Oregon. Um, that's a big huge difference!!

Whatever the weather, it can change in a heartbeat. The secret is to Be Prepared. Luckily, we all have wool and we know how to use it!

1. Um... KNIT!

2. I like to knit, cuddled up in woolens, cuppa something hot nearby, catching up with the Netflix queue or DVR'd TV shows.

3. Visit the LYS. This may seem strange, but are you even "outside" if you're just going from the house to the warmed-up car, the car to the shop, and back again? It'll be so cozy and wonderful and, trust me, you will not be alone. Call first, though, just in case it was too cold for someone else!

4. Make some soup (see all of last week's entries) and maybe even bake some bread.

5. Clean the house. Or maybe just vacuum. Or dust. Or sit down and knit for a bit while you think about it and whether it's the right day. (I am only motivated to clean on the very brightest of sunny days.)

6. Tidy up your immediate workspace.

7. Organize/re-organize patterns and stash.

8. Plan your next big project, or finish your last big project.

9. SEW!

10. Frog a project...

image from www.flickr.com

I spent a couple of hours on Friday night ripping apart the scrappy Log Cabin square (shown here below a Parcheesi square) and winding up little balls of yarn. I love it for what it led to (namely, Parcheesi), but I was just never quite THERE with it... I'd knit in some of the ends as I went along, but there were many more than I'd just never woven in... It's been years; there's a lot of good yarn in there; time to move on!

image from www.flickr.com

There's some Hundertwasser at the center (so many great memories)! And cashmere -- the little ball-in-waiting is leftovers from the sweater and hat knit for Cara's baby shower! As I've been hexi-not-puffing along, much of it will undoubtedly become knitted hexigons. But who knows what might turn my head tomorrow.

Web-2012-01-16 12.00.49

I love knitting with scraps and memories. That purple and green hexi at upper right is the original (failed) combo for my first Stripe Study shawl; the green and pink number below it is my Cerasifera; and the purple and pink one is made with the same yarn as Different Lines.


Ten on Tuesday: Soup's on!

Ten on Tuesday: 10+ Favorite Soups

1. Potato -- including all variations, such as Potato-Leek. I don't make it often, but I sure do love it.

2. Split Pea Chowder. My mom makes this using a recipe in the Picture Cookbook from LIFE Magazine, circa the year I was born. This is an orange, oversized cookbook that is integral to my childhood and development, as is The Torch Is Passed and a gigantic Michelangelo art book that was so heavy we always looked at it two-at-a-time. This soup calls for a tablespoon or two of whole peppercorns and, though not always successful, I've been dodging peppercorns in my soup ever since I can remember and can't imagine it any other way!

3. Chicken -- also including all variations, such as what we throw together using leftovers after roasting one (some better than others), and Chicken Dumpling Soup from a local restaurant called Mary's.

4. Chili All Day. I have praised this soup year after year, sometimes numerous times a year. Delish!

5. Beef Stew. This is another recipe from the LIFE cookbook. Also, Carole's Roast Beef Soup -- I love the flavor! And, because of Carole's Roast Beef Soup, I have roasted beef in the oven (rather than browning on the stove) for other recipes -- such as Beef Stew and Chili All Day.

6. Vegetable with or without ham, always with lots of cabbage, carrots, and celery; often with potatoes; sometimes with rutabaga.

7. Bean With Bacon -- Campbell's.

8. Tomato -- also Campbell's, though I've made homemade Cream of Tomato Soup and it is divine. I like to make mine with milk and it is best served with a grilled cheese sandwich (made with white bread, butter, and sliced, but not ever individually wrapped, processed American cheese).

9. Cream of... almost anything. When we were kids Mom used Cream of Mushroom soup... as soup. Most people have an "Ew" reaction to that, as they've always only ever used it as an ingredient. When I met my husband, he used Cream of Celery soup as... soup... and I had an "Ew" reaction, having never used it in any way, shape or form EVER. Well, I ate it. And it was good! And now my kids have grown up eating Cream of Celery soup, too! (No one around here was ever a fan of the 'shroom as much as me.) I've also made Cream of Spinach (shown above) and Cream of Asparagus soup from scratch -- and I should like to do that again this spring when it's in season again.

10. Quick Minestrone.* I have a recipe at home that's almost nothing but opening cans of beans and tomatoes and chicken broth, adding some spinach (frozen or otherwise), and some orzo (or other small pasta) -- it was always a great stand-by recipe for busy weeknights!

11. Cioppino -- or any fish soup, stew, chowder, or boil. A whole bunch of my favorite worlds collide right there -- I love to make it, and to eat it.

12. Turkey. You might think, Isn't this the same as chicken? But no, it is not the same. There's a recipe in an old Holiday Cooking magazine that started us on a (somewhat lapsed but not forgotten) tradition of making it with homemade noodles -- good ones can be found at the grocery, but homemade... Mmm.

*I just found this recipe in a post from December of '09, so thought I'd share again. 


16-oz. can cannellini beans
16 oz. can red kidney beans
16 oz. can seasoned-for-pasta tomatoes
4 c. chicken broth
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1/2 c. orzo
season to taste

Combine beans and tomatoes in a large pot. Add chicken broth, spinach, and orzo. Bring to a boil, stirring to break up spinach. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until orzo is tender. Makes about 10 cups of soup.

See? Couldn't be easier. You've never tasted a more delicious "homemade" soup that came from so many cans.