Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grandmother's Attic

When I was eighteen years of age, my grandma (Nana) and I went into business together. We called it Grandmother's Attic.

Nana owned a little house on her property , a hundred yards or so from her "big" house. The little house was really tiny, a kitchen, small living room and bedroom. That's right, I did not mention a bathroom. Years ago, the privy was out back, but then (in the 70's) we just walked to the big house when nature called. My parents lived in the little house for a year or two early in their marriage. Often Merc (my Mom) tells the story of how she broke the window falling off a ladder while decorating their first Christmas tree....... my dad has another story about that tree. He worked at the grocery store in Neosho that year, and he was there when the truckload of fresh cut trees rolled in. He proudly picked the best tree of the bunch for his new bride and stashed it behind the store. Several weeks later, when they brought the tree in the house, they came to the conclusion that every dog in the town had peed on the tree! It was a cold December that year,,,,,,,you can guess the rest. But this is about the house.........

A nice big east window was the best feature of the house, another was the pot-belly stove in the living room. Nana and I wallpapered the whole place, I made new curtains, we put up a sign, and we were in business! What was the business, you ask? Well, it was little this and that and the other thing. We made stuff. Slippers, mittens, etc. We made wall decorations and dried flower arrangements. Oh and hickory nuts, we sold hickory nuts. I took in mending.

Nana was very creative and had lots of ideas. Mind you, she must have been past 80 years old, and I was eighteen but we got along just fine. She was strong.

On cold days, Nana would get there before me and"fire up" the wood stove........ it was toasty when I arrived. Best part,,,,,,Nana would make dinner every day, and she was an excellent cook. She owned a resturant for many years. Strong coffee with a little evaporated milk finshed every meal. She made coffee by boiling the grounds and then adding a bit of cold water to make them sink to the bottom..I can still taste it......mmmmmmmmmm.

My Nana is gone now, but I learned a lot from her and the little house. Not just about coffee.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some people's children!

This is my son, Clay. He says I have photos of everything but him on my blog. So here he is.

To paraphrase Jimmy Webb........... he is a lineman for the county.........

A similar complaint was made by my daughter Megan, I have no photo of her except this one. The photo is very dark, but that's okay because she is quite scantily clad, and this is a family friendly blog. Sorry Megs.
Megan is so near to finishing her masters degree, she can probably smell it..........bad ananlogy, but it's late and I can't think of another.

She works for the Dept of Corrections, so a song for her job might be Jailhouse Rock.
Sad Sack was a sittin on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin all alone.
The warden said, hey, buddy, don't you be no square.
If you can't find a partner use a wooden chair.

Oh boy,,,,, I should go to bed,,,,this is really corny.

Little Balls of Yarn

I am spending this evening making big balls of yarn into little balls of yarn. Why?? It's a secret surprise for the Winter Escape this weekend...................

Finished Work

Not a shirt for Emili................Not a corset,,,,,,,,, Both Lynda
and Megan guessed that.

It's a bag!!! You know, the work in progress, the one with the grommets.

The bag is made from a piece of silk kimono fabric, Most kimono fabric is about 14 inches wide, selvage to selvage. Using the entire width, I folded and machine stitched to create the top of the bag, the flap where the grommets are placed, and the self-lining. Mango Moon's recycled silk is the yarn I used. I picked up a stitch in each of the eyelet holes, and knit in the round to form the bottom of the bag. The cord for the drawstring is macrame cord from way back when.? 70's?

The matching colors of the drawstring and the silk fabric was just serendipity.

This was fun, and a nice way to use recycled materials.

Monday, February 26, 2007


My knitting bag was calling me today........... HELP! Too many unfinished projects!

Kyle has been waiting since January for the second slipper, soon it will be warm enough that he won't need it.

The purple felted slipper is only knit, not felted yet and has no mate.

The multicolored baby sweater is soooo close to being finished, just needs assembly and a button band,,,,,,,,,,,and oh, lots of ends to sew in.

A newcomer to the bag is the baby surprise jacket, I started that only a few days ago.

I hereby promise to finish these SOON. ......... Maybe............

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Work in progress

Sometimes my lack of memory astounds me! I can recall the smallest insignificant details about an event or place, but completely space out on more important things.
Today I started a project that needed metal grommets, or eyelets. The little package of grommets came with a tool for installing them and directions that suggested using a hammer.. I merrily began installing the little buggers. Twenty minutes later I was no longer so merry, having pounded my fingers several times. I thought, "There must be a better way." "Someone should invent a tool to make this happen easier." Almost immediately after this thought , I remembered that someone had invented such a tool, and I own one!

I went down into the dreaded basement and found not one, but TWO of these tools! Many years ago, I used the pliers-like tool to install snaps in my babie's clothing. The eyelets were easy after that!

Anyone want to guess what I am making? A clue,,,,,,,,,, Not all the materials are in these photos.


This review is from the Barnes and Noble website

Bill Bryson, whose previous travelogues The Lost Continent, Neither Here Nor There, and Notes from a Small Island have garnered the author quite a following, now returns to his native United States after more than two decades of living abroad. In order to rediscover America by, as he puts it, "going out into an America that most people scarcely know is there," he set out to walk, in the company of Stephen Katz, his college roommate and sometime nemesis, the length of the Appalachian Trail. His account of that adventure is at once hilarious, inspiring, and even educational

While I generally enjoyed this book, at times I found it a bit too educational. A little more "story" would have been nice. I now know more about the Appalachian Trail than I ever wanted to. Fiction is my preferred genre, so I shouldn't be surprised. An easy read, and genuinely funny at times.

I have been listening to this story in my I-pod
Oddly but aptly titled, Eat, Pray, Love is an experience to be savored: This spiritual memoir brims with humor, grace, and scorching honesty. After a messy divorce and other personal missteps, Elizabeth Gilbert confronts the "twin goons" of depression and loneliness by traveling to three countries that she intuited had something she was seeking. First, in Italy, she seeks to master the art of pleasure by indulging her senses. Then, in an Indian ashram, she learns the rigors and liberation of mind-exalting hours of meditation. Her final destination is Bali, where she achieves a precarious, yet precious equilibrium. Gilbert's original voice and unforced wit lend an unpretentious air to her expansive spiritual journey.
Narrated by the author, I am loving hearing her story. The conclusion is coming up, and I wish the story would go on. Knitting away on my couch, I have visited Italy, India and Bali.
My parents gave me some I Tunes gift certificates for my birthday, and this book is the first I have downloaded. 20 hours of entertainment.
Thanks, Merc and Pops!

Sunday Morning

Well, we got more snow, along with some rain. The photo was taken through a wet window.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ready, set,,,,,,,,,

The cupboards are no longer bare, there is gas in the snow blower, I have enough knitting supplies, and the men have cleaned up last night's snow. Grocery stores are closing early, the Winterfest dance has been postponed for a week, church services cancelled.

Ghen with the yardstick, in a "drift less" area. 11 inches deep.

We are ready. Let it snow. The anticipation is killing me.

Christmas Eve used to feel like this., Okay, I've been as good as possible, now it's up to Santa.

Every few minutes, I look out the window, expecting either reindeer or snow, but nothing happening yet. Not even a flake. I may be sorry tomorrow, but I am telling Mother Nature-----------SNOW OR GET OFF THE POT !


Friday, February 23, 2007

Silly cat photo

My old Car

I love my car! Its a 1994 Olds. She runs great and she is getting old, just like me. We don't go far, she's not in style anymore. But low mileage is a plus, and she's great on gas.

Her sentimental value is immeasurable. Dave bought me this car when we became engaged. For years, I had been driving a car held together with hope and duct tape. I was single for a long time and it was a struggle to keep things going with three kids and a house and all the responsibilities that come along. My parents were a great support, but I hated to keep calling my Dad for repairs and to pick me up when I was stranded on the side of the road. ( that happened more than once)

When Dave gave me this car, it was not just the vehicle. He was saying, "I am here for you. You don't have to do this alone anymore." He has been there for me ever since.

This car has served me well and I will keep driving her until she doesn't run anymore.

She got a new embellishment this week.

The bumper sticker is a gift from my daughter Lauren. Lauren is Emili's Mom. When she sees this photo she will be a little mad, but it is the only recent one I have.

Lauren thinks her eyelashes are too straight!! She curls them every day. Oh, what we do for beauty. And she is a beauty!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A bit of Advice.

Someone reads this blog at 3 AM when she should be sleeping! Fluoride, you go back to bed right now or no more Silk Garden for you! I have spoken!

I know someone

Years ago, I had a boyfriend who used the phrase "Life Isn't Fair" to explain away anything bad that would happen to people. He said it way, way too often. Made me mad.

Are we supposed to just accept the random atrocity's in life? I DON'T WANT TO.

I know someone who is suffering right now. She is just a girl, not even a teenager yet. She is dealing with a physical condition that is making her life miserable. She won't die from this, but in a way, that makes it even worse, some people might take her condition lightly. And there are some treatments, very painful, no cure. Kids at school are being horrible to her! It makes me so mad! She is a sweet girl, a kind heart and is very brave.

Her life is tough. She is strong, as are her parents, they will be okay. But a prayer for her from each of us would do some good. If you don't pray,,,,,,,,,,,,well, send some "positive energy" her way. I guess life isn't fair, but we don't have to just sit back and accept it. Let's do what we can.

thursday knit night

A few quick shots from tonight's


Happy Birthday Leah! I wish I was 14 again,,,,,,,,,well maybe not.

Leah and her Mom, Laurie

This is Jean wearing her "election day shawl". She worked at the polls in Burnett on Tuesday, the turnout was poor, so she got a lot of knitting time in!

Look who stopped by! Susan McFarland! (Lost in Dodge County??)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What's this about?

My life is an open book. Maybe I have issues, but at least I am honest about it.

So, I keep having the same dream, for months now. Actually, it's not the same dream, but they all have the same theme. I am leaving a situation, making a life change, like leaving a job, or quitting a club, last night it was graduating from high school.. What is always the same in the dream is that I have a lot of "stuff" where ever I am, and I am leaving and I can't carry it all. Stuff that has value to me, but not a lot to others. Over the time that I was at the place, I accumulated all these things in a locker or some other receptacle. Now, I can't move it all. And I am upset about leaving it. I don't want someone to put my good stuff in the trash. In last night's version, graduation was over, I was carrying armloads of things through the high school gym and the I saw these huge yellow roses that had been just left there........ I tried to take them with me, too.

Am I nuts or what? Someone needs to give a translation......... Maybe I just need to clean my basement? For laughs, here is a photo of my real high school graduation.

Note the the droopy yellow rose in my hand. AND THE ENGAGEMENT RING ON MY FINGER !!! I was nuts!
June 1975

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lots of new yarn came in today, all from Brown Sheep. NO, not from sheep with brown fleeces. From the Brown Sheep Yarn Company in Nebraska. We have Lamb's Pride ,Lamb's Pride Superwash ,Handpaint Originals, andWildfoote Luxury Sock
Betty is on one of her re-arranging binges at the shop, so she priced and put all the yarn on the shelves. I spent the day preparing for our upcoming Winter Escape, held at The Mayville Inn.
It was another warm day, and lots of the snow is melting. Anyone who has been in Wisconsin for very long knows that spring might be a long time away, I wish the snow would stay and melt all at once, I hate the brown muddiness of this kind of weather.

Monday, February 19, 2007

many moods

I had Emili at my house from Sunday evening to Monday evening..We spend lots of Mondays together when she is off of school, and I always look forward to those days. But tonight I was glad to see her go home! I am exhausted. She is 6 years old and her energy knows no bounds, at least that's how it seems to me. We laughed together, cooked together, did some sewing. We tried to take a nap, but Emili woke me and said, "Grandma, I can't sleep, you're snoring too loud." So, by tonight, Emili's dark side was showing. Check out the photos

Sunday night, all smiles.

Monday morning, deep concentration on task.

Monday, 6 PM, Crabbier than a bear!

A little bit of sleep and we both will be just fine again.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was a lovely day today, we did take a walk before the grouchiness invaded. Almost 40 degrees. Spring can't be too far away now. Our Christmas Cactus had almost finished blooming, but the recent cold snap set some more bloossoms. The plant is older than I am, we inherited it from Hilda, Dave's mom.It often blooms from Thanksgiving until Easter.
This Amaryliss is my Dad's. The just opening buds are almost as beautiful as when they are mature. He keeps the bulbs from year to year, and they are really lovely.
Maybe I am stretching it a bit............but I think Emili and I, like the plants, need a little rest and we will be blooming again soon. Corny, but true.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Indian Road
The Farm
See, I told you it is the Farm!
Look who I found in the shower!

My mother and her dog. Merc and Whiskers.
My Dad taking a nap. Jim

Pigs and those who love them

This morning I woke up with my mind on pigs, don't even bother to wonder why........... I was thinking specifically of my collection of pigs, not pork roast or something. I was remembering two pigs in my house that I haven't seen in a while, and where they might have wandered off to. So I went looking, and I found one. This one with wings. Forgive the poor quality of the photo, he is currently wintering in the west of home. (sun porch). I took this shot quickly since I was wearing light jammies at the time, and the porch is not heated. My winged hog is new, I don't remember where ,but he is a recent purchase, in the last five years.

Here is the oldest pig I have. Correction--we have. This is Dave's pig!He is about 52, 53 years old. (Looks good , doesn't he?) He was a birthday gift for Dave from his Godmother. This porker sits on the back or our toilet! Here is Dave's 57 year old hand making a deposit.....No pun intended...I love this pig. He looks so content.

So I still don't know where the second missing pig is. While searching, I made another trip to the frigid porch and spotted these two specimens.
Shininess is not a quality I value in a pig. But this pair has a home here because of attitude. The one on the left has such a sassy look on his face, and the one on the right would be really lonely without him. So they stay.

Back to the warmth of the house. Mind you, I have not read the paper or even sipped my coffee yet. Pigs are on my mind. I go to the computer and guess what?? It is Chinese New Year! The year of the pig! Wohooo!----------------------

On the Chinese calendar, 2007 is Lunar Year 4704-4705. On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on February 18, 2007 — The Year of the Pig.
If you were born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 or 1995 - you were born under the sign of the pig. Like the
pig, you are highly regarded for your chilvary and pureness of heart, and you often make friends for life. For pigs in 2007, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome so look forward to a year in which to really shine.

MB,.... did you see... this is YOUR YEAR!--------------------------------------------------------------

So I am still looking for that other pig, but now I have a year to find him! I am heading for the coffee.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Loose Ends Saturday

Whew, it was a busy day at Loose Ends today. Lots of customers came through the door today, Saturdays this winter have been quite slow, so today was a pleasant change.
We had a small class. Lynda was teaching a mitered heart sachet. It looks as if the ladies are in the broom closet, but actually that is the classroom/storage room. It is actually more comfortable than it looks. JoAnn, Lynn and Lynda seemed to have a good time.

Here, Lynda is placing buttons on a finished sweater that she knit for Joe. ( her husband)

One of today's visitors was five week old Kiara, from Eau Claire. She was all decked out in hand knitted clothing! She did not seem terribly impressed with the shop! She slept the whole time.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A glimpse into another's life

At the same estate sale today, I bought a dictionary. I love words, and books, so a book about words is one of my favorite things! This dictionary was printed in 1954, and is well worn. I love the semicircular finger indents on the side! They remind me of grade school. I am sure thousands of words being used today are not in this volume, and lots of definitions have changed. Who used this book? The children, for schoolwork, maybe they woman was like me and enjoyed reading a dictionary? A thesis?

The big suitcase had a few "treasures" inside one of the pockets. Two smooth stones and a coin.

The stones look like they may have been found on a beach,,, or at least water made them smooth. The coin is dated 1975, and it looks like it is from Belgium. 1 franc. A business trip, honeymoon? I wonder.................
I have traveled very little in my life, and in 1975, I was still in high school.
Travel is not important in my plans for the future.
But I have this coin and these stones as a memento of someone else's travel, perhaps adventure. I will keep them, add them to my collection of stones and coins, and think about their origin occasionally. Maybe someday I will know, probably not.


Berroco Ultra Alpaca hat, EZ pattern

Am I going somewhere ?

I have no trips planned, but I got this cool vintage luggage at an estate sale today.

Lots of old luggage is smelly inside, this is not. And the inside is in good shape, too. I am not sure what I am going to do with these pieces, but at $1 each, it was too good to pass up.

IT IS MADE IN MAYVILLE !!! (Look really close at the label, it says "Peerless, of Mayville,Wis.) Very cool.
Look at my profile, it does say PACKRAT. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Felting WIP

The post-it note is to show scale. In the"after' photo, the bag is still wet.
This is what it looked like in progress...