109 posts categorized "Ten on Tuesday"

24 April 2012

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."


27 March 2012

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!


13 March 2012

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


06 March 2012

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!


14 February 2012

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!

17 January 2012

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.


10 January 2012

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.

03 January 2012

Ten on Tuesday: To Do

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Want To Do In 2012

Web-2011-12-31 19.23.07
Random photo -- among the 2011's last -- from New Year's Eve!

1. Plan A Trip. At this time last year, I was in the throes of planning our trip to England, Scotland, and Wales. It was the first time a) I ever traveled overseas, b) planned a trip of such magnitude, c) to a place(s) I'd never been before, d) for so many adults (each with an opinion of their own). It -- the planning -- was so much fun!

2. Take A Trip. Not necessarily the above-planned. It doesn't have to be big or out of the country, but maybe to a part of the country I've never been. The Northeast? That's been talked about. Maybe through Canada? That's been talked about, too. Might be the ticket...

3. Move More. I'm beginning a 6-week session of Qigong (Chi Kung) tomorrow! It's held right upstairs from the coffee shop... and I'm taking Ali with me!

3. Bike More. I can't wait to do the Ride For Nature again this year! That was such a great event. I'm not quite up for a Century yet, but I should be able to pull off 50 -- and that's my goal. I didn't ride as much as I'd have liked last summer because of atrocious heat and humidity -- I am *so* a fair-weather rider, it's not even funny -- so let's hope for better this year. I will, no doubt, be doing the triathlon relay again in August with my sisters, too.

4. Lose it. Seriously. Twenty-five pounds would be a nice, reasonable, totally do-able start.

5. 366. I'm participating in Project 366 (2012) -- one of many year-long, photo-a-day groups at Flickr. This one is freestyle, which fits my style.

6. Simplify & Decrapify. This is an on-going, life-long, never-ending practice around here.

7. Sew/Quilt. I've had the pieces for a quilt cut out for months now. I need to configure my space and push the sewing machine pedal to the metal! For added inspiration, I've also signed up for Block Of The Month (it's free!) on Craftsy (where there's something for everyone!).

8. Finish Some UFOs. Must I go into gory details? Highland Tempest (seaming). Oblique (seaming). Habu for Me (seaming). Transverse (finding my place without a lifeline). The list goes on and on and on, all the way to Cromarty. Wait a sec... Cromarty was never even entered on my Ravelry project page! Heh.

9. Strive for Fulfillment, Happiness, Joy, Creativity. Colorfully working on that.

10. Be Bold.

20 December 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Ready, Set, Go!

Ten on Tuesday10 Things I Have To Do Before Christmas

Web-IMG_0557Ali in lights

1. Take stock.

2. Make a list.

3. Buy potatoes. The stacked & roasted variety are my responsibility for Christmas Eve dinner.

4. Defrost some tomato sauce. Getting ahead of myself here, but the 26th is DH's birthday and I plan to have everyone over for a pasta buffet.


5. Do a little shopping. I have a specific list, targeted destinations... there will be no aimless wandering.

6. Wrap? There may be very little of that.

7. Come up with some clever presentation for Katie's gift of fiber processing and SPINNING lessons!

8. Check movie listings and game time. A few of our folks will be going to the Christmas Day game, but I don't think I'll be among them.

Web-IMG_0562One-eyed Santa ornament visits the ornament hospital -- and still has only one eye.

9. Work on a couple of last-minute projects.

10. Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

06 December 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Traditions

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Holiday Traditions

Web-2011-12-06 06.29.48
1. The stockings are hung on the staircase with care, in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there... He comes every December 5th, leaving a stockingful of treats and always a new ornament for each of the girls. When they were little, they'd also receive a book or CD; now, it's more likely a gift card. There were some years when not a single thing more could be stuffed inside. I don't know what he was thinkin'.

2. St. Nick must shop at the same candy store I do! There's always popcorn balls, Necco Wafers, chocolate coins, peppermint sticks, and other old-fashioned candy in our stockings!

image from www.flickr.com
3. After 20+ years, the girls have a nice collection of ornaments to call their own -- not only those brought by St. Nick or made by me (like that jointed Santa), but also quite a few handmade by their Aunt Karen (many of which doubled as gift tags), and including many of those that they made in school. I'm still holding on to some of those school ornaments for myself, not able to relinquish them just yet.

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
4. I hang some ornaments special to me, too; from my grandmothers, from my school years, and just because they make me smile.

image from www.flickr.com
5. It was decided over dinner on Sunday that this year we'll put up the artificial tree. We love the real-ness of a real tree, but the sturdiness of the fake. The girls want to load it up this year, apparently. My minimalist decor of a few years ago (above) was heartily poo-poo'd. (I liked it!)

6. We get Snowed In. The girls can't help it. Neither can I. So darn catchy, fun & happy.

7. We spend Christmas Eve at my mother's. We've had a lot of different things for dinner over the years: Cornish Hens, Ham, Beef Wellington, Crown Roast, Standing Rib Roast, Turkey, Yorkshire Pudding, Waldorf Salad. The one constant lately -- ever since the girls were able to express their desires -- is Corn Pudding.

8. And Rusty's pies. For 25 years, Rusty has made ALL the pies for ALL the holidays (save one Christmas). Usually apple or pumpkin, but sometimes cherry; he loves pie, and it's his thing.

9. We usually go to a movie on Christmas Day; in fact, Santa usually stuffs a movie pass into everyone's stocking! We don't always all go to the SAME movie, but we all go at the same time.

10. New Years Eve is almost always celebrated with a gathering of family and friends around a fire in the ravine, complete with champagne and fireworks!


29 November 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Musicals!

Ten on Tuesday10+ Favorite Musicals

Shall We Dance?

I'm not even going to consider animated musicals... that's a whole 'nother topic.

1. The Wizard of Oz. It was always a huge event every year when The Wizard of Oz came on TV! We had a small, portable, BLACK & WHITE TV -- I didn't even know, for years, that Oz was in color! Still, we were riveted to the TV. I think The Wicked Witch of the West/Margaret Hamilton might have been scarier in b&w! Scarecrow/Ray Bolger was my favorite growing up (still is and always will be); I could tolerate Tin Man/Jack Haley, but really couldn't stand Lion/Bert Lahr; I've a much deeper appreciation for them all as a grown up. Perfect casting. Somewhere Over The Rainbow...

2. Show Boat. This is the first "old" musical I ever came across on late-night TV as a teenager -- chopped all to hell on the screen, TERRIBLE quality -- dark and muddy, made even worse by black & white TV! This is the musical that made me fall in love with musicals! Howard Keel! Ava Gardner! Old Man River...

3. Funny Girl. Babs. Omar. Laughter, tears, heartbreak. My Man...

4. Oklahoma! Oh, Jud Fry/Rod Steiger was SUCH A BAD MAN! There's good and bad, light and dark, safety and danger, compare and contrast in every movie, but I think it had never been so clear to me before Oklahoma! Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'...

5. The King and I. This is the movie that taught me what sexy was: Hello, King of Siam/Yul Brynner with your bare chest, bald head, cute accent, and THOSE EYES! And all those kids! Anna/Deborah Kerr was so beautiful... so amazing. And I loved her dresses. So swishy. Getting To Know You...

6. Mary Poppins. Another perfectly cast movie! I remember how much fun the Sister Suffragette number was as a kid, and how much more I understood it when I watched with my own kids. Shoulder to Shoulder was the first Masterpiece Theater series I ever saw -- I don't think I even saw it from the beginning (and what I wouldn't give to see it again) -- and I was positively riveted by the Pankhurst women and that story! My life-long love for Dick Van Dyke began with this movie. Chim-Chim-Cheree...

7. The Sound of Music. Julie Andrews has had some pretty great leading men, and Captain Von Trapp/Christopher Plummer is certainly one of them. I love everything about this movie. My Favorite Things...

8. Jesus Christ Superstar. I received the Broadway soundtrack for Christmas and listened to it every waking moment. Dad took me to see a production at UW-Oshkosh for my birthday, I think, when I turned 14 or 15? I've seen several other productions, since, including an amazing spectacle of one with Sharon that had Ted Neely and Carl Anderson cast in their movie roles as Jesus and Judas. This is the first movie that I went back to the theater to see again, and again, and again... for a total of SIX times! Could We Start Again, Please?

9. Grease. Pure fun, through and through. Danny is the John Travolta that always springs to my mind... or Tony Manero. Can't imagine a more perfect cast than this, either. You're The One That I Want...

10. Moulin Rouge! God I love this movie. So unexpected and familiar at the same time; fun and sad; madcap and dramatic. Baz Luhrmann is a crazy man -- in all the ways that I love crazy. J'adore Ewan McGregor. Come What May...

...and also Roxanne.


11. Top Hat. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. That is all. Cheek to Cheek...

12. Singin' In The Rain. Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor... rain. That is all, again. Good Morning...

13. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Howard Keel again (such an amazing voice)... with brothers. When You're In Love...

14. Million Dollar Mermaid. Esther Williams, Victor Mature, Busby Berkeley. Love this stuff. Let Me Call You Sweetheart...

15. Mamma Mia! Definitely not the greatest musical ever made, for sure, and some of the (Pierce Brosnan) singing is pretty bad, but it's ABBA and SO much fun!! Dancing Queen...

Oh, that was fun!! What about you? Yay or Nay on usical-May? If a Yay, what's on your list? What have I overlooked??


22 November 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Thankful

Ten on Tuesday10 Some Things For Which I Am Thankful

Off the cuff and, as they say, in no particular order...

I'm thankful for glass cleaner, a squeegee, and quick-cleaning the kitchen windows yesterday (on the outside, anyway). Now that the leaves are off the trees, I get direct morning sun through my east-facing windows. I don't usually see that part, leaving the house most days at about dark-thirty 6:30 a.m., but on my day off... holy crap! How do windows on a covered porch get so dirty? (That's a rhetorical question.)

I'm thankful for the weather. You can see a bit of bright afternoon sun shining behind me and, just a few days until Thanksgiving, I'm wearing only a sweater and shawl (Stripe Study #2 - an early favorite this season) over my turtleneck. We'll be seeing 50s on the holiday weekend. Nice.

I'm thankful for wool and knitting and talented designers and the fabulosity when it all comes together into something that I love to knit and, even better, to wear. Shawls, cowls, and mitts have been in heavy rotation, so far this year, on both my needles and my body; I pulled down the heavier capelets and wraps a few days ago; sweaters will appear before long.

I am thankful for blogging and all of the friendship and support it's given me, not to mention inspiration. It is amazing to have friends all over the world. It's even more amazing to be able to meet and spend time with them on occasion.

I'm so incredibly thankful for my husband and three beautiful daughters; happy and thankful that we not only get along, for the most part, but also enjoy each other's company; thankful that we had such a fun, wonderful, and memorable vacation this year.

I'm thankful for the rest of my family -- my mom and dad, my sisters and brother, my niece and nephews, all the in-laws -- and for my friends. I am thankful that the love trumps all. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful, talented, creative people who are interested in... life... in learning and doing and making... a life worth living.

Is that 10 things?  ; )

18 October 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Pumpkins!

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Ways to Eat Pumpkin

image from www.flickr.com
1. Pie, of course. I roasted up a pie pumpkin on Saturday and when I returned home from the game on Sunday there was a fresh pumpkin pie!

2. Bread. I haven't made any this year (actually, in years), but maybe tomorrow.

3. Pumpkin lasagna. Let's hope I can find this recipe again -- I know I had it once, and an online search didn't turn up what I was looking for. It's meatless and doesn't use pasta -- the partially cooked pumpkin (and/or squash) is sliced and used as "lasagna noodles." Oh, so yum.

4. Pumpkin soup, though I've never actually made pumpkin soup. On Saturday, "I made the best soup," with roasted veggies -- butternut squash and carrots among them, and pumpkin would definitely work! It was Kale & Roasted Vegetable Soup; my mods being that I used almost double the carrots, and a whole squash, maybe 2 cups of water in addition to a large container of veggie broth, and 2 cans of beans. It was hearty, maybe more stew than soup, but not super-thick. Oh, so yum.

5. Pumpkin seeds. Pie pumpkins have the best, most flavorful seeds for roasting. We are now officially pumpkin seeds snobs. Heh. I drizzle with just a bit of oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and roast at 350F 'til they're done -- stirring and checking every 5 minutes until it's close and then every 2 or so.

image from www.flickr.com
6, 7, 8, 9, 10. I guess I need to expand my horizons because that's about it for my pumpkin repertoire! It's times like these when Ten on Tuesday really comes in handy.

* * * * *

I had my hair cut on Friday after work. At least six inches lopped off in the back, but the front looks pretty much the same so no one is noticing much. Which is fine. I feel like I have a little secret. No photos yet. It feels great! I don't have curly hair, but it has body and waves, and it just feels fun. I can still pull it back into a wee ponytail when I need to (more important than it should be)!

I did some dyeing over the weekend, though not as much as planned. Prep took longer than intended -- measuring, winding, oops, re-winding the yarn -- and by the time it went in to soak late on Saturday, I was out of gas and just left it overnight. I figured out my method and did the deed on Sunday morning; I'm not thrilled and it'll probably get hit with some more dye tomorrow.

I ended up at Lambeau Field for the football game on Sunday -- VERY last minute, but loads of fun, and what a gorgeous day! It was windy, but we were protected for the most part.

I finished some knitting -- another buttoned cowl with the other walnut-dyed yarn. It's washed and blocked, waiting for me to go hunting for buttons!


11 October 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Weekend update

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Did This Weekend

2011-03-28 07.06.38

1. Road trip! Heh. Not across the pond -- that's Isle of Cumbrae, above -- but across the state! The weather was similarly spectacular, though, for our three-day weekend.

image from www.flickr.com

2. The long way. We took "the long way" on way west through our little metropolis -- though not as far west as the Port of Oakland (above)! We drove the newly opened eastern section of Wisconsin Avenue in Appleton -- shut down the last TWO summers for construction -- and significant because that's where my most-local LYS, Iris Fine Yarns, is located. We didn't stop this time, but I've stopped plenty in the last couple of years -- pfft, "Road Closed"? Watch me.

image from www.flickr.com

3. Westward-ho. We chose US Route 10 as the departure point for our meandering trip to far northwest Wisconsin. Along the way we checked out a new shop I'd heard about, The Knitting Nest* in Weyauwega. There were two other customers in the store at the time, one of whom I recognized -- she used to work in the children's department at our library! It was funny to run into "neighbors" at a shop so many miles from home.

Grandpa's birthday

4. The Kitchen Table. We were close to Marshfield when we started to get hungry, so drove into town to see what we could find. I remembered The Kitchen Table -- and where it was, even though they were closed the first time I tried to go. We had THE BEST LUNCH (he, omelette; me, sandwich) we've had in a long time. Great atmosphere, friendly service, fabulous food -- and I mean real, good food. I meant to buy the cookbook, and I've heard good things, so I'll have to order it.

My mom and dad were both born and raised in Marshfield, so before we left I directed Rusty on a quick drive-by of tour of (my personal) highlights: Grandma & Grandpa's house on Cedar St.; Great Grandma & Grandpa Blum's house on Bakerville; I pointed out some of the important landmarks like the location of Jimmy's Cafe where my mom and dad first met; Weber's and Mitten's; the original Penney's (where my mom once worked, and cried in her Easter Bunny costume because she didn't want to be Easter Bunny! Poor, sad little Easter bunny...); Sacred Heart and the original location of the Marshfield Clinic... I tried to remember where Karau's was (I remember going with Grandma), and to conjure the distinctive (and pleasing) aroma of Grandma's house, and remembered picnics at Wildwood Park with Dad, etc.

2011-10-07 14.14.38 
5. 1964 World's Fair Wisconsin Pavilion. Continuing west, we went through Neillsville, and we actually turned around and went back for a better look at this -- it's so fantastical in a 1964 way! Those are NEON letters spelling out WISCONSIN on the spire!

image from www.flickr.com
6. Karen's. Our destination on Friday was my sister's house near Rice Lake (about an hour north of Eau Claire). We had a great visit there, watching baseball, knitting, eating, and Rusty helped with a couple of putzy house projects (he's a good craftsman and a great problem solver).

image from www.flickr.com
7. Reunion. The main purpose for this trip, and final destination, was Rusty's class reunion of unfathomable years in Grantsburg. He'd never been to one before (not even one of mine, because I only went to the first, which was the fifth, and we hadn't yet met). You are correct if you think he mostly went to school -- and graduated -- in California, but the first semester of senior year was spent at a small-town high school in NW Wisconsin -- and they always invite him to the reunion! He was living with his uncle's family at the time, and had a cousin in the same class -- another cousin ended up marrying a classmate. It was a memorable semester for him as the "new kid."

image from www.flickr.com

8. The Farm. We visited the farm last May... as you can see, there have been some changes since then. A spring tornado made a big difference in the landscape. The recent death of the farmer's wife makes it that much more mournful.

It's all a bit melancholy as the farmer is fading, too.

image from www.flickr.com
9. Thorpedo. We'd have gone back through Marshfield on the way home to eat again at The Kitchen Table if our timing had been better; instead, we stopped at the Thorpedo Restaurant in Thorp. I remember eating here for the first time, years ago -- the summer before 7th grade -- when I traveled with my glass-blowing aunt and helped with her booth at county fairs in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Good food, friendly service.

image from www.flickr.com
10. Sports Fan! It was another great weekend to be a Wisconsin sports fan, as the Brewers inched their way closer and the Packers came from behind to win! (We actually listened to the baseball game on the radio in the car... rather unheard-of... football, yes; baseball, not really.)

image from www.flickr.com
*A more photo-heavy post than usual. Some were chosen at random, others with a definite tie-in -- they all have the sky in common. I have been paying even more attention than usual and have been gathering appropriate materials for some interpretation of a sky scarf. Fun, huh? To further the cause, I nabbed a likely hank of Cascade sock yarn in colors of the sky at Knitting Nest. I shall soon devise a plan.

Meanwhile, the Caera Cowl is blocking!


20 September 2011

Ten on Tuesday: All the news that's fit to print

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Headlines from the Year You Were Born (1958)

I don't know how others did it, but I didn't find it easy to find actual headlines from the year I was born. I did, however, find a local newspaper from the very day!

Five headlines from the front page of the local paper on November 6th (though the location is local now, it wasn't local then... whatever):

1. 28 Aboard Safe After Rebels Capture Plane

2. Reds Celebrate Revolution

3. 21 Marooned as Ice Island Breaks In Two

4. Nixon Given Task of Trying to Rejuvenate Republicans for 1960

5. Nelson May Put Some Principal State Administrators To Pasture

And, randomly, in other news...

6. Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from its orbit and burns up

7. Sputnik 2 disintegrates in space after several orbits

8. The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3

9. Pope Pius XII declares Saint Clare the patron saint of television

10. Pope Pius XII dies; Pope John XXIII succeeds Pope Pius XII as the 261st pope

BONUS (and continuing with the random):

11. The USS Wisconsin is decommissioned

12. The SS Edmund Fitzgerald is launched

13. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law

14. The first IHOP opens in Toluca Lake, CA

15. The U.S. Congress formally creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


09 September 2011

Ten on Friday: Ten To Do

Ten on Tuesd... Wednes... Thursd... (wha?) FRIDAY: 10 Things To Knit This Fall/Winter

Busy much?

And where do I begin to tell the story of 38 pages in my Ravelry "Favorites"???

1. Little Monster. A gift for a little guy who's turning one! I stopped for yarn on the way home last night and knit during the football game. (Woohoo! What a great season opener for the Packers!)

2. Weave It. Love this and want to knit one... as soon as I get over the stripe addiction, or at least curb it for a while!

3. Larch and/or Williamette. I thought I blogged about this, but I guess not... I meant to (maybe I shared it on Facebook... yeah). Anyway, Amy at Savory Knitting donated 100% of pattern sales over the holiday weekend to hurricane relief efforts for farmers in Vermont and I love to buy a great pattern (or two) for a great cause.

4. Williamette and/or Larch. She raised over $2400! There's no denying the loveliness of these (all of her) patterns. I guess you might look for lots of Amy's patterns to be queued this winter!

5. Hats. I have "my" boys in mind, but there's also a need for hats in Vermont -- check the "Warm Hats, Warm Hearts" group on Ravelry, if you're interested.

6. Zola. Man, I love vests.

7. Maenad. And also shawls. And Carol Feller.

8. Garter Yoke Baby Cardi. Never enough baby stuff. I am finding it very satisfying to knit for the future... no, there are no babies anywhere in sight (no announcements to be made)...

9. Gee's Bend Pullover. Quilt inspiration. Mary Jane Mucklestone. Love.

10. A million other things!

11. Not to mention the finishing of things to do... I could surely come up with 10 more things!

Happy weekend, y'all.

26 July 2011

Black and blue, beep-beep

Beep-beep first. This week's Ten on Tuesday is 10 Best Bumper Stickers You've Ever Seen. Ahem. Well, bumper stickers stick better to bumpers than then they do to my brain! I'm not good at remembering jokes, either. I like clever and eye-catching art and graphics, helpful and hopeful messages reminding us to be green and love thy neighbor and let there be peace on earth -- the symbolic COEXIST epitomizes that, pretty much and is definitely one of the best I've ever seen. And humor is always good.

There is one bumper sticker (of many) that Katie had on her first Saab (way back when she was still in high school!) that a) I will never forget and b) I still often quote:


* * * * *

Let's look at some yarn.

image from www.flickr.com 
Last time it was an ant, this time a flying bug -- I don't know why they're always wanting to be in the yarn photos.

image from www.flickr.com 
Darn it. This is supposed to be blue and orange. Do you see any hint of blue? Neither do I!

Perhaps the lesson might be learned now?

image from www.flickr.com 
I rather love it, and I'm sure I'll use it, it's just not what it was supposed to be. I shall try again.

image from www.flickr.com 
Meanwhile, I had a hank of green Galway worsted that I threw in at the end to soak up the remainders of the "dark blue" and I love the subtle change.


14 July 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Harry Potter

Ten on Tuesday Thursday! I am no authority, but even I know that it is a big day for Harry Potter fans! I can't let this one pass because, while I've been reading all sorts of lists of awesome things, I can't believe no one (that I've seen) has mentioned Weasley Sweaters or booger-flavored jelly beans. I've never actually read an HP book, and have only seen maybe two of the movies, so maybe my interpretation of...

10 Awesome Things About the Harry Potter Books. Or movies.

...is less literal than some, and more influenced by cultural/commercial interpretations. Heh. No less valid, from my seat. In no particular order:

1. Weasley Sweaters! The Original Harry Potter Sweater! I sent away for The Original kit and knit this modification ("M" for Mack) when he was wee. One of his big brothers was a HUGE fan of Harry Potter, and now Mack is, too!

image from www.flickr.com 
2. Jelly Belly Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. These have been in nearly every Christmas stocking and Easter basket I've had to fill since they were invented because they tickle my funny bone.

3. Reading. I can't believe how many times my kids have read some of these books... and how often they had to be at the book store at midnight!

4. Quidditch.

5. The Invisibility Cloak and Many Other Magic Things.

6. Richard Harris as Dumbledore. I adore Richard Harris.

7. Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall. Ditto.

8. Alan Rickman. Ditto.

9. Kenneth Branagh. Ditto.

10. Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters. Perfect casting.

Haha. I'm going to have to read at least one, aren't I? At least two of my kids are going to be at the theater tonight for the midnight show!

26 April 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Groceries!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store

1. Don't go.

2. Seriously. It hasn't always been this way, but lately DH has been doing most of the grocery shopping -- always with a list. Not that he's perfect; he can be impulsive and falls especially hard when pie is marketed at the front-door display, even though the ones he bakes are 100x better.

3. Ali makes regular runs to Sam's for supplies for her business and I'll have her pick up certain things for me, too.

4. I bought an eighth of grass-fed beef from a local farmer last year -- not only was it a million times better tasting, it was all right in my basement freezer.

5. My freezer is now empty, and I'm prepping my order for a quarter!

6. Stock the pantry and freezer with staples and oft-used items.

7. Though I haven't done it in ages, clipping coupons and combining them with sales and specials can save money; I don't take the paper anymore, so don't get the flyers. This was most helpful when I was in the era of diapers.

8. Buy "whole" food -- do the "processing" (trimming, peeling, cutting, slicing, cooking) yourself!

9. This year, finally, I've joined a CSA and I absolutely CANNOT wait (though wait, I must) for deliveries to begin in June!

10. Cook! Here's some help: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less!

The way I think about food -- and everything related to food (and I've been thinking about it a LOT) -- is changing and, honestly, some of those suggestions may not "save [money] at the grocery store" but will "save" in other ways.

19 April 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Live Without 'Em

That's right, we're talking FAMILY!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love About My Family

1. This really shouldn't have been a hard topic for me.

2. As much as they drive me crazy sometimes, I love my family and I believe that they love me, too.

3. The ones that matter, anyway.

4. Unconditionally.

5. The rest can just fook off.

6. (I just returned from Great Britain!)

7. I believe I haven't quite reconciled the new family dynamic yet.

8. So it's harder than it should be. Harder than it would have been six months ago, a year ago, five years ago.

9. As much as they drove me crazy then, too.

10. I'll tell you what I do know, though, and love so much that my heart's near burstin'. I love that I just spent days upon days upon days with my husband and kids -- traveling in a strange (to most of us) land, no less, mostly in a small car and with too much (and too heavy) luggage, and even with some measure of sadness along the way. Overall, we were magnificently smiled upon. We had an epic vacation together and we didn't kill each other (or anyone) or even get into an argument -- barely even a heated discussion (about which route to take and whether to heed the Garmin or the old road atlas) (we couldn't have done it without both). I can't believe that it's been nearly a month since we departed. I am -- we are -- still on a vacation high, like nothing I've ever experienced before. Gobsmacked.


12 April 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Snack time!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Snacks

1. Chocolate; dark; -dipped, -dusted, -covered, -filled, -kissed, and/or -infused; solid, hollow, chips, chunks, shaved, flaked, drizzled.

2. Dry-roasted Peanuts, lightly salted.

3. Kettle chips.

4. Kettle corn.

5. Pretzels - Snyder's of Hanover.

6. Cereal - Cheerios, Wheat Chex, Frosted Mini Wheats.

7. Toast.

8. PB&J.

9. Banana.

10. Crackers - saltines with butter or peanut butter!


15 March 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Pie

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Kinds of Pie

First and foremost: Homemade.

1. Cherry. I like a light filling full of cherries -- preferably Door County cherries (not only are they local, they're also tart -- Wienke's Market makes some of the best!).

2. Blueberry. Ditto.

3. Apple. This is Rusty's favorite kind of pie to make and to eat; the recipe (including the crust) is in a state of constant flux. I love it mile-high and with a variety of apples, still warm from the oven, and occasionally with a small scoop of ice cream. Once, I had it with a slice of cheddar cheese on top. I should try that again.

4. Pumpkin. This is Rusty's second-favorite kind of pie to make and to eat! I like it with freshly whipped cream.

5. Mincemeat. In small doses.

6. Lemon Meringue. This is one of my favorite pies to make! (I love almost anything lemon.)

7. Key Lime. Tart and sweet!

9. Banana Cream. This is another pie that I've frequently made.

10. Vinegar. I had this for dessert as part of a historical dinner during a themed cross-stitch retreat several (going on many) years ago. I was unable, then, to come up with a search result for a recipe, but the internet has grown to provide an abundance of them. I've never made it. It may be one of those things that, though surprisingly delicious, is sweeter in memory.

I'm hungry now!

08 March 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Big whiff

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Smells

image from www.flickr.com 
1. Lilacs

2. Spring

3. Good wool

4. Fresh 'n clean babies

5. Good soap

6. Line-dried laundry (especially sheets and nightgowns)

7. Grandma's house

8. Bread

9. Chocolate chip cookies

10. Summer

* * * * *

I've got summer on the brain. And Scotland. The trip-planning madness (in a good way) continues... TWO WEEKS!!


01 March 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Marching orders

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things to Like About the Month of March

1. My brother's birthday is on...

2. St. Patrick's Day!

3. My blogiversary is on...

4. The First Day of Spring!

5. I doubt we've seen the last of it, but the season of snow is definitely waning.

6. The sun is getting stronger and stronger.

7. Return of the light!

8. For me and my family, this year, a most excellent adventure to England...

9. Scotland...

10. Wales!

Oh my goodness, what would I do with the blog??? Thank you all so much for your encouragement and advice regarding packing, travel, and new shoes!

15 February 2011

Ten on Tuesday: What? No knitting?

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Non-knitting Blogs

Welp. I'm actually quite surprised to find (having first to figure out how to find) that I subscribe to *only* 386 blogs. There are over 1000 unread posts and many blogs that should just be deleted. I do periodically go through and clean up my list, deleting feeds that haven't updated -- though I keep a fair number that don't update, "hope's alive" and sentimental whatnot. I have a feeling that today's topic might spur some feedcleaning.

Anyway, I organize my feeds into different folders, subfolders, and combinations thereof -- local, people I know, knitters, art and photography, writers -- they (folders and bloggers) come and go.  "Cooking & Food" didn't last long because it's just too dangerous.

And I actually have a folder called "Not Knitting."

1. The Pioneer Woman. I don't read some of the posts by contributors, and while I love the photography it sometimes drives me nuts... 14 photos about how to measure out a teaspoon of salt, etc.

2. Tasty Kitchen. It's not that I don't subscribe to "Cooking & Food" blogs at all!

3. What Katie Ate. The best of them cross and blur the categorical lines.

4. The Sister Project. This feed is in a folder called "Living."

5. Photojojo.

The rest of these are photography blogs. I subscribe to a lot of photo blogs -- mostly, they are photograph-ER rather than -Y. It's all about inspiration.

6. Daily Dose of Imagery. Just what it says!

7. Beth Jansen Photography. Energetic, colorful, and always interesting!

8. Anda Marie Photography. Anda and I both attended a Dave Jackson workshop last year and I've been following her ever since. I admire her energy -- seemingly boundless -- and style.

9. it's a DiRTY word (El TiDY). Another amazing and inspiring local photographer.

10. David E. Jackson Photography. Also local, Dave's just a guy... a VERY CREATIVE guy who is also very generous with his time, talent, knowledge, and encouragement.


08 February 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Movies

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Oscar-winning Movies

Oh my goodness, I started with a quickly compiled and already pared down list of 40!

1. To Kill a Mockingbird

2. Lawrence of Arabia

3. The Bridge on the River Kwai

4. The King and I

5. Braveheart

6. The Godfather, Part II

7. Oliver!

8. Funny Girl

9. The Sound of Music

10. Doctor Zhivago

That's today's list. On another day, there may be The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, The Miracle Worker, Gold Diggers of 1935, Spartacus, Pillow Talk, To Catch a Thief, Roman Holiday, Oklahoma!, The Quiet Man, Gentleman's Agreement, The Fully Monty, Capote, Fargo, Fiddler On The Roof, Moulin Rouge, Henry V, Out of Africa, Terms of Endearment, M*A*S*H, Love Story, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate... and why is Shawshank Redemption not on this list?

See you at the movies!

01 February 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Bedside

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things On Your Nightstand/Bedside Table

Oh me, oh my, where shall I begin?

1. Firstly, it's a bookshelf and so there are lots of books -- books are on it, books are in it and, until recently, books were leaning up against it. DH ran the vacuum through there the other day, so the leaned joined the ranks of the stacked.

2. There's a fair bit of dust... it especially shows up on the lamp and on my alarm clock.

3. The little dish holds leaves and buds from an old lavender wand and some bits of scented soap. The little framed image of a child was Sharon's.

4. Books -- some I've already read, some I've started, some are waiting.

5. The turned wood bowl holds the silver money part of the change parfait.

6. When Sharon and I went to Vegas last May, I put many of my earrings in a small plastic container to pack in my suitcase... and that's where they remain. I've even added a pair or two.

7. Another turned wood bowl (both my dad and my dad are suppliers) full of "stuff." Some belt buckles/shawl clasps, tags cut from clothing, a cherub with a broken hand (waiting to be fixed).

8. Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. (One of my high school Home Ec teachers was named Wroblewski... it wasn't David, and I don't think they're related.) I just started reading this last night. It's the latest book club pick. I didn't pick it. Usually, I'm the one who picks the Wisconsin authors (David doesn't live here now, but he did and the book is set in Wisconsin) and I don't always feel that my picks are well received. I hope I like it.

9. With a fair bit of overnight snow, this turned out not to be a good morning for hitting snooze three times.

10. The organic lavender lotion that I put on my hands before bed every night -- and usually rub on my elbows and a little dab on my nose. I've never knit in my bedroom, so the big ol' row counter must have been riding around in my pocket with the hairbands. This is usually where I dump the contents of my pockets every night.

Ha. So there we are. My bedroom's a bit of a mess, as is my studio/office -- a lot of Sharon's stuff was dumped in both places -- and I'm working on it. And I certainly can't blame it all on her... a bunch of it is mine, too! I aim to change it all up and have a big clean-out soon. It's one of those domino things and I have to wait for the first piece to fall (it's not my play). The game will start soon.


25 January 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Darling, you look... mahvelous!

Ten on Tuesday10 Favorite Health & Beauty Products

I wish I had a picture handy to post. It's a 2-year-old me standing on my mom's dresser as she applied her "lickin," which is what I called her lipstick. In lieu of that, we have this:

Health and beauty "products" have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. While I've worn makeup most days of my adult (and many of my teen-age) (and some of my tween-age*) years, I am not, and never have been, a slave to any sort of regimen. I'm not very good at any sort of regimen and I think it's mostly because of time - and, also, I don't like to have to do things a certain way. I like to do things my way, and that way is QUICK! So anything with more than one step or with any sort of waiting period will soon fall by the wayside. I don't get my hair permed or colored for the same reason; heck, I don't even blow-dry my hair. I'm all wash-and-wear, get-up-and-go!

Not that I've never had my hair permed or colored... but I just can't stand it! I've also used lemon juice and egg on my hair, as well as mayonnaise and beer, and I remember washing my face with Tide for a while in high school thanks to some "beauty" magazine. Ouch.

Here's the "stuff" I use on a pretty regular basis these days, from the top:

1.  Shampoo and sometimes conditioner. I'm a firm believer in mixing it up, so I have all sort of shampoo that I use in a very loose rotation - like, whatever I'm in the mood for today.  Suave (usually Daily Clarifying), TRESeme, Aveda (Rosemary Mint or Shampure) (oh, how I love the aroma of Shampure), Sylvie L. Solid Shampoo. I use conditioner more in the winter than the summer, and only the tiniest little bit!

2.  Toothpaste.  Arm & Hammer - various formulations.

3.  Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Gel - crystal clear. I've been using this as my main facial moisturizer for quite a few years now. Once in a while, I'll add a layer of something else.

4.  Oro Gold 24K Gold Anti-Aging Eye Serum. I was totally sucked into purchasing this from a dashing and debonair Italian guy in a kiosk on the Miracle Mile in Las Vegas last May. On our first night. Yeah. I totally LOVE the stuff, though, and it reminds me of that fun trip with Sharon. My jug has nearly run dry, so...

5.  Instead of the Oro Gold, I've been using Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum.

6.  L'Oreal Paris True Match Naturale Mineral Foundation - basically, I use it as powder. I sometimes use Cover Girl and Olay Simply Ageless Foundation as foundation, but I hardly ever do the full foundation thing, so that's mostly used as a spot concealer.

7.  Estee Lauder Blush - never the same shade twice, though. Each compact lasts me so long that by the time I need to replenish, all the formulas and colors have changed!

8.  Maybelline Great Lash Mascara - but not Great BIG Lash! I recently tried that and, whoa, that brush was bigger than my entire eye!

9.  Eucerin Calming Creme - I've been using a sample of this and really like it, so when I saw a recent special at Walgreen's I nabbed a great big one! I also use a Lavishea lotion bar - I love using it when I'm knitting, and keep it handy.  When I crawl into bed each night, always some Larry's Bee Natural Organic Lavender Lotion that I picked up in Door County - it smells so good that I'll sometimes dab a bit on my nose, too.

10.  Secret Clinical Strength antiperspirant.

Interestingly, I have never been a regular user of lipstick - or lip gloss or lip balm or anything else for lips. I'll use it if I have to - and then it's usually just a swipe of regular old Vaseline - but otherwise, my lips are bare nekkid all the livelong day.

*I used to sneak into Mom's bathroom right before leaving for CCD classes to put on makeup! I'm sure the nuns were very impressed.

18 January 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Let's Play!

Ten on Tuesday10 Favorite Games From Your Childhood

1. Pom Pom Pull Away. When I was heading into third grade my parents bought their first house in a brand new subdivision that was packed with kids. Man oh man, did we play the outdoor games -- every night 'til the street lights came on!!

2. Hide & Seek.

3. Tag -- all varieties!

4. Kickball -- a HUGE favorite in the neighborhood.

5. Marbles (at school). I recall being pretty good at marbles!

6. Truth or Dare. Heheh (when I was a little older). We'd hide out in the dirt piles of whatever new house was being built -- there was always a house under construction!

7. Monopoly. My dad took us on a trip around Lake Superior in a motorhome when I was about 12 and we were playing Monopoly constantly... while listening to a Gary Puckett & The Union Gap cassette (must have been the only one we had)! Indelible marks.

8. Scrabble. Particularly at the cottage, and often with Grandma.

9. Cards - Crazy 8s, Fish, and Old Maid were about the extent of it.

10. Yahtzee!


11 January 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Organization

I'm organizing on a whole different plane these days.

The photographic retrospective is where my head's at lately. I had to send 10 of my best images from last year for inclusion in a group and I just had to narrow it down somehow, so limited my choices to "portrait" work -- and was surprised to see that there were 15 or so sessions to choose from!  Included in that number are my first engagement and wedding sessions, and a big project with a bunch of awesome middle school kids. Not shown are amazing cookies and other foodstuffs, flora and fauna, the flowage, family, a trip to Vegas with Sharon, an amazing Berkeley vacation, and some knitting.

There's some unfinished business up there. I have suffered from lack of organization, time and inspiration, as well as some serious flaws in confidence, but this... these photographs not only make me happy, they make me very proud. Get back.

Ten on Tuesday10 Ways to be More Organized

Right now, most of the time, it feels like I ain't got it. Sometimes it seems that I can barely organize a thought. Part of the problem is that there are truckloads of unavoidable distraction slamming in from the left and right. And, yet, while I wade through and make sense of my sister's affairs and start to deal with the family/business end-of-year/tax stuff, I am also helping to plan my first-ever really-far-from-home overseas vacation.

Yeah, I'll bet you want me on your vacation planning team!

Some (probably not 10) Random Thoughts on Organization

Time. I need more time to get/be organized. I realize that I'll have to take that time or make that time.

Space. I need to declutter and TRY to be more minimalistic in my aesthetic, less sentimental about my possessions.

Place. I don't have a place for everything -- I don't know what "everything" is! There's always something that isn't anything. It's so aggravating. (What do I do -- right then, when it comes in the mail so I'm not stacking or piling or handling it a million times -- with that newspaper clipping of a 2yo Katie cross-country skiing that my dad just returned to me?) (It's going to be piled up in the stack on my dining room table and handled a million times before I... don't know... probably give it to Katie.)

Planning. It helps to plan. I don't have any fancy electronics for that -- though I'd sure like some (iWant!) -- it's pencil and paper (notepad, calendar). I am not a hard-and-fast list person, but I have one started for tomorrow.

Flexibility. It's easier to deal with those trucks that way.

Random? Organization is a very left-brained thing and it seems that my right-brained self is showing more and more, so I need to keep an open mind and balance all that taxing logic with... something like vacation planning.

Time. Did I mention that? A month of Sundays would be good for starters.

Completely Random Thoughts NOT on Organization

For what it's worth... With Tramon Williams' end zone interception of a Michael Vick pass to seal the Packers' playoff victory in Philly, I thought, "That one's for Sharon and Gracie!" To borrow a phrase from Wayne Larrivee (the voice of Packers radio), "And there's your wildcard dagger!" (Really, you've just gotta hear him say it.)

Sharon's memorial cards that I designed with Mom arrived yesterday. The lab I used always encloses a card with the name of the person who packed the order and a sweet treat -- this time it was Andy packing it up and he tossed in a Tootsie-Pop. For what it's worth... Andy was my grandpa's name, and Lester was my other grandpa's name -- and Lester always had a box of Tootsie-Pops on the front seat of his delivery truck. Also, for what it's worth... Had the decision on the twins' names been mom's, Sharon and Karen would have been Andrea and Leslie -- named after their grandfathers, Andrew and Lester!

For what it's worth... I know!


29 December 2010

Ten on Tuesday: Intentions

Ten on Tuesday10 Intentions for the New Year

1.  I intend to continue eating better -- use better (fresh and local when I can) ingredients when I cook, buy our beef and other meat from Armando or another local farmer.

2.  I intend to cook more.

3.  Which means planning more.

4.  And I want to make more of my own "frozen entree" work-day lunches.

5.  And instead of just talking about it (again!) and/or wishing I woulda (after-the-fact), I will purchase a CSA share this year.

6.  I intend to ride my bike more.

7.  I seem to like cycling events and organized rides (something to shoot for), so I intend to search them out.  (That doesn't necessarily mean that I will be competing again.)  (I'm also not ruling it out.)

8.  I intend to do the finishing on the couple of sweaters that are awaiting finishing... and that I'd like to wear!


9.  I intend to shoot.  More.  I like to do it, and sometimes I do it well.  (Reminder, above; I can't believe that was only 3 weeks ago).  It's getting sort of late, but I might find a 365 -- I like some structure, though.

10.  The wind's been knocked out of my sails and the joy in anything and everything has been muffled, if not altogether muted.  I intend to fill those sails in the new year and be joyous -- but first I have to get used to the new me -- the one who's lost someone dear, a sister, the sister most like me in many ways -- there's a process and I'm struggling.  I hate this feeling right now -- I hate and resist being defined by my sister's death as much as she hated and resisted being defined by her illness!  It'll happen... I have a whole year, right?

Bonus #11.  My grandmother died on June 8th, my uncle on November 1st, my sister on December 17th, and my great uncle on December 23rd.  This year, I intend to connect more -- visit and do things -- with cousins and aunts and uncles (there are even knitters, artists, craftspeople among them) that I don't want to be seeing only at funerals and memorial services!

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