Monday, April 30, 2007


You are thinking,,,,,,What ? Another post about a dictionary? What is with this woman?.......... Yes, I am a little crazy....but in a good way. I got this newest, old dictionary at the Carriage Haus Shops last week, during a sale event.

Published in 1956, this book is older than me!

The graphics are vintage, as you might expect, yet very beautiful. (Like me?)
I love words, and the way language evolves,,,,,,,,,,,,I will actually read this dictionary. Maybe not from back to front................

Do you listen to "A Way With Words" on NPR? I download the podcast, it's very entertaining, and has been educational, as well.
My friend Lynda plays scrabble often,,,,,,here is fun website for you scrabble players, and all others interested in words.
Another really fun site is here.

a sample
Using both sides of your brain with equal ease in talking or writing.
Something that makes you sneeze.
Springtime, with all it's new flowers, is great, but it's also a powerful aphrosneeziac!

You are all so smart!

In a recent post, I posed a question , ,,, so many of you guessed correctly........ It is a bakelite darning egg. I got a wooden one, too, although I have others like it. I don't darn socks, I'd rather knit new ones.
Collecting darning eggs is a tactile thing for me,,,,,,, I like the way they feel in my hands,,,,,,,, the shapes.
Most of the darners in my collection are wood, but I do have a green glass one, and some plastic eggs,,, but this is the first bakelite..
Thanks for guessing!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday with Emili

Nothing lifts my spirits like a day with Emili........She arrived Saturday evening,,,,,,we enjoyed the sunset

After church on Sunday we did some playing in the creek.

From the Koran:

Children are the adornment of life.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

For Kyle

As you may know, Kyle lost his Dad yesterday. Some of the "Loose Ends" gang have expressed a desire to do something to help Kyle through this tragedy. We have come up with a plan.

Kyle is 17, but does not have a drivers license, family finances have been an issue for some time and drivers education was unaffordable for him. Kyle's mother, Peggy has never had a drivers license,,,,,,Ronnie drove wherever the family needed to go. So, we at Loose Ends have set up a fund to help Kyle pay for driver's training. We can show our love and support for Kyle and fill a definite need for him, and his Mom. In a small town like this, SOMEONE in the household needs to be able to drive.

If you wish to contribute, just contact me, at the shop, at home , or on the web.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Garage Sale Goodies

Is it a fishing bobber? A toy? What is it?





1.I got it at a garage sale today

2. I have some of these things already, but none like this one

3. I NEVER actually use them for what they are made for

4. I think this one is bakelite
5. It is NOT "adult oriented", if you know what I mean


Any guesses???? If no one guesses correctly before Monday, I will post the answer and the entire photo then.

Another goodie from a rummage sale today, a dish/basket thing that appears to have been carved from a shell...........It has a beautiful mother -of -pearl glow.......only a dollar!

Here is another look at it with some beads.

I am still trying to grasp the news of our friend's death, I kept busy with some knitting, but concentrating on anything is difficult. Here is my work for the Favorite Socks Club, this is June's Sock in progress.

Sad news

Many of you may know Kyle, the young man (17) who hangs out at the shop and often is mistaken for my son.

Kyle's father, Ronnie, passed away in his sleep last night. Ronnie and my husband Dave have been buddies since 1st grade......... And Ronnie was best man at our wedding. Ronnie leaves behind his wife, and Kyle, and another, older son, and an older daughter and 3 grandsons. Ronnie was 57 years old.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Before and after

I acquired this chair somewhere last summer,,,, at a garage sale perhaps, a thrift shop.......I don't remember. If you recognize it, please let me know.

There is nothing in the photo to show scale,,,,,,,it is a child sized chair, covered in scratchy brown upholstery fabric and cat hair. The cat hair accumulated after I got the chair, the chair is the perfect size for Thunder to curl up in.




I did some scrumbles in my favorite colors and TA-DA! It is now an ART PIECE!

For those of you unfamiliar with scrumbling, it is freeform knit and crochet,,,,,,,no patterns, no rules. I learned from a master, Prudence Mapstone. Check out her website here. Prudence is from Australia, but I was lucky enough to take a class she taught here in Wisconsin a few years back.
I love this technique, it's very "out of the box"! And it is a great way to use up small bits of yarn.

Here is a photo of the chair in progress,,,,,,,,the scrumbled pieces are fit together like a puzzle,,,, and then stitched down,,, If you compare photos, you can see that I moved a lot of the pieces around to different positions in the finished chair.

Come see the chair at the shop. I will be teaching a class on scrumbling on May 5th........just phone the shop if you are interested.

Oh, the places we'll go!

Do you ever play the game ........" What if we won the lottery?" ? Sometimes Dave and I like to speculate how we might spend a huge windfall of cash,,,,,,,,,, Our dreams differ,,,,,,,, Dave's focus is on travel,,,,,, And I have no focus, I want to try a little of everything.
Come to think of it, that's the way we order in a restaurant, especially a buffet ,,,,,,, Dave always knows exactly what he wants, he chooses from one or two tried and true dishes,,,,and thoroughly enjoys them. I try something different each time,,,,,,,,,,Except for lunch, then I almost always get a French Dip.

One thing we agree on,,,,,,,,,,if we won the lottery , we would build a HOUSE. Maybe several long as this is fantasy,,,,,why not make it a great one? One of the houses would be built here

These photos are from Sunday at my parent's farm, Dave and I took an ATV ride to get to this site. High, high on a hill, the photos look south, north and east, respectively. No more water worries (flooding) for me!
I love my little house now,,,,, I hope to live out my days here........But this is a nice dream.....

On the same ATV ride I took this photo of my parents barn if you look really close, you can see their horse , BO....from another lovely, secluded place on the farm
This is on the far west side of their property, the lottery home site is on the far east side. Equally beautiful........

Then, on the drive home (in the car, not the ATV) we stopped to say Hello to some old friends and relatives

Such a lovely place,,,,this is our future home, or someplace similar. No lottery win required.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

37 Years later

Way back in 1970, when this writer was in Grade 8, we celebrated the first Earth Day. I remember it well..........Our school made a huge deal of it. (MB, do you remember?)

One of the reasons our school in Neosho, Wisconsin did so much,was the fact that Earth Day was introduced by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. We planned our Earth Day celebration for weeks,,,, Our generation would make a difference.

Have we? Pollution, mostly air pollution, was the big topic in 1970. Before the terms "global warming", and "going green", we tried to do the right thing to reduce pollution. Littering was also a buzz word back then. To this day, I don't litter, anyone who has seen the inside of my car can attest to that fact.!

I am not so sure about the effects of Earth Day 1970 on the rest of my life,though. I try, but going "green" is a whole lot of work sometimes. ( I know, it is worth the effort.)

Small things, done everyday, should make a difference. I buy local whenever possible. I don't drive much. I keep my house cool in winter,,,,,,,,( in the summer it is cool , too...shame on me for that!)

I reuse, recycle, and try not to fill the landfills with my junk. Heck, I even used cloth diapers for my twins!

But still, I feel like I might be a disappointment to my 1970 self,,,,,,,,so full of hope to clean up the earth.
Well, the best thing to do is resolve to do better, starting today.......... and turn UP that thermostat this summer!

Fo the knitter, here are some tips on "Knitting Green"

Oh, something else I just thought of..........we should all stop caving in to the pressure of our neighbors with the "perfect lawn"........all that fertilizer is just terrible for our waterways,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and I love dandelions!

Gray on Gray

Here he is again, my elephant. There is a possibility that a fifty year old woman getting this much fun from a toy might signal senility.........I prefer to think it is just silliness! He makes me laugh, just looking at him,,,,,,,Anyway, yesterday I made a pincushion, but it looks better as a circus prop.
I bought this vintage apron recently at a thrift shop. Crocheted with cotton thread, I thought it would look nice in the window at Loose Ends around Independence Day.

Someone in my household keeps hiding my elephant! I suspect it is one of the cats, but maybe it's Dave. He is often found under a chair or behind the curtains, this morning I found him on the bathroom floor, looking like he had a rough night. (The elephant, not Dave)

Do you think Thunder looks guilty?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Over the top

A lovely day in Wisconsin!

Most of my tulips are still a few warm days from opening, but this variety always seems to open early, and with wild abandon. One morning the buds are still tightly closed, the next morning
they are wide open. Nothing in between for these beauties.





The peony's are just coming up, too. I like the colors and shapes of the just emerging stalks as well as the huge blooms that come later. The shapes of the stalks are almost primordial to me,,,,,,, and after a long winter, I am hungry for color...........







Now for the part where I "go over the top". My daughter has informed that yesterdays blog post was a snooze..........she is not interested in birds,,,,,,,,and why didn't I write something funny?, today I am telling her careful what you wish for............. I have lots of great stories about you and your childhood,,,,,,,,,does the name "BABY LOLLY" ring a bell???? I am sure some of the other readers would love to hear about Lolly's antics.

I have often aired my dirty laundry in public,,,,,,,,,I won't hesitate to do it again! Now, before I get emails from my offspring about telling humiliating family secrets, let me assure the rest of the readers that I would really never do such a thing..................
Really, I just loved Lolly and I miss her. :)

(This is today's clean laundry)
Talk about humiliation,,,,,,,,,,there is underwear in this photo!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Yesterday I saw an unusual bird in my yard, I am sure it was as a Hooded Warbler. Very distinctive markings made it easy to identify. The spring migration allows us to see birds that are just passing through, a good chance to spot species not seen at all other times of the year.

I am by no means a "bird watcher". I love to see unusual birds, but I really don't go out of my way to find them.

My Dad taught me to appreciate nature wherever we found it,,,,,,doing chores on the farm, taking a ride, whatever. I learned so much from just hanging around him,,,,,it never seemed like a "lesson", just fun facts. Thanks, Pops!

A few years back in the spring, a flock of Scarlet Tanagers gathered at the ledge, near my parents farm. These beautiful birds were all perching on the limestone rocks, there was at least a few hundred birds! I will never forget that sight.

Earlier this year, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet flew into our window and died, The tiny bird was so beautiful, much prettier than this photo that I got off the net. I did take a snapshot of the bird, but Dave said it would be tacky to put a picture of a dead bird on my blog. He's probably right.

Have you seen any unusual birds lately? I'd love to hear about them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Report from the northwoods

It's dry in the northwoods! The snow has all melted. We spent the weekend opening our cabin for the season. A little cleaning, chopping wood, etc. It was good to get away. Spring has not sprung yet, Goodman is always about two weeks behind,,,,,,,, the lawns are still brown and the trees have yet to bud.
Despite the snow melting.........our water pipes had not thawed yet. Dave built a nice fire and soon we were just toasty. AND we had water. Dave loves to make a fire.......the cabin is not large,,,,so it gets warm quickly.........too warm sometimes for me, I have to go out and sit on the porch to cool off. Dave likes it warm enough so the butter on the table melts! That didn't happen this weekend, but it happens often enough.
In the morning, on the way to the privy, I saw this tree

Looks like the work of a pileated woodpecker to me.......... I have only seen one of the birds in my life,,,, but we hear them often in the woods near the cabin. They are really big, I wish I had seen this one at work.

After the cleaning I had some free time. I built a little "faerie house' in a hole in a tree near the cabin. The hole was there,,,,,,I just embellished it a little with some pebbles, moss and stuff.

My purpose for doing this? I plan for Emili to "discover" the faerie house on our next trip up north. ...........I don't know if it will work, sometimes she isn't very observant..........or maybe the chipmunks will remodel it to their own tastes.

I also sewed this felt elephant, just for fun,,,,,,,,, he looks like he is climbing a mountain in this photo, but he is really only a few inches tall! This pachyderm is made from a sweater I shrunk.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I am a little concerned about my status concerning the hereafter. What I mean is,,,,,,I am feeling guilty........................Today I did a bad, bad thing.. I really try to do my best and do unto others, and all that,,,,,, but I slipped today.

I blew off a lunch date with two of my dearest friends, (both of whom faithfully read this blog),,,,,,,,,just because Dave was in the mood! Dave is so rarely in the mood,,,and I have been waiting sooooooo long, I needed to strike while the iron was hot!

No, not that mood,,,,,,, get your mind out of the gutter........ ..........he was in the mood to hang curtains.!

Clay moved out last July. Since then the windows in this bedroom were simply bare. Well, not bare,,,,,,,they had the mini blinds. I am not a big fan of blinds,,but this room faces the street, so for privacy sake, we kept them. I found fabric for a swaggy, curtainy, drapey kind of thing at a estate sale some months ago,,,but the hardware needed to be installed,,,,,,, and have been waiting for Dave to do it. I know, I could have done it myself, but my skill with hammers, screwdrivers and such is very limited. If the job can't be done with duct tape, I leave it for Dave.

Anyway, I am enjoying my newly dressed windows, while begging for forgiveness,,,,, Lynda and Terri,,,,,,,,,,, please absolve me of my sin!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Snow day

What to do on a snow day in mid April?

Betty was happy to clean and sort behind the counter at Loose Ends!

No place like home

Well, I finally caved in to the pressure! Here are the results.

For some years, I have gotten my haircuts in a nearby town, about 20 minutes away. I loved the way this hairdresser cut my hair,,,,,,,, and he is a really great guy, too. We had a lovely time together,,,,,the trouble came when I opened my shop. His salon is closed on my days off......finding the time to get trimmed was getting tough. As stated in my profile,,,I am truly a "homebody", I value my time at home and guard it... traveling 20 minutes to the hairdresser in the evenings when I really wanted to be home was getting tiresome.

I shopped around in Mayville a bit,,,,,did not find a stylist I liked much... I went back to the original guy.........

Dave has patronized "Greg's Barber Shop" for as long as I have known him, and has frequently teased me that I should go there for my hair since Greg's is right next door to my shop. Now I usually don't take advice on my hair from Dave,,,,,,,, and his hairstyle is ..........well...........let's just say vintage. Circa 1966 Do I want to look like that? I think not.And, this is truly a BARBER SHOP, not a salon, think Floyds Barbershop in Mayberry. Striped pole, razor straps..........maybe a checkerboard...............I was not going there!!

After many weeks of untrimmed tresses,,,,,,, I finally caved in and paid a visit to Greg's.... The decor and atmosphere may be retro,,,,,,,,,,,, but my hair has never looked better! Definitely not retro. Who knew? Right next door.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Let's call the whole thing off

You sat tomato, and I say to-mah-to,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Words & Music by Ira & George Gershwin

Recorded by Fred Astaire, 1937

From the movie "Shall We Dance?"

At our house we have frequent discussions about language, pronunciation and Proper English. None of us speak or write "Proper English" We just like to argue about it.

There is the never ending debate about MAYVILLEESE, that is, the language specific to Mayville. For instance, some long time Mayville residents, when referring to their hair,,,,,,,,,,speak in the plural form,,,,,,,,,,such as

Michele: "Oh, Agatha, your hair looks lovely today."

Agatha: " Thank you, I just had them cut and warshed."

Drives me crazy!

Ghen uses British English frequently, and we have some interesting discussions about words. He reminded me recently that I am using the term "ghetto" incorrectly, and he is right, but so am I.

My daughters use it this way, as an adjective :

Jane hid her head in embarrassment as her mom shamelessly committed the ghetto act of stuffing the restaurant's bread rolls, sugar packets, and silverware in her purse

I use it this way, as a noun:

John's paranoia about triple-checking whether or not he's locked his car doors comes from his growing up in the ghetto

And Ghen insists on this definition, also a noun:

Area in which the Nazis contained the Jews prior to being taken to concentration camps

Hitler created ghettos in WWII Germany

I think Ghen uses the word ghetto as a non-American English speaker might, I use it as many Americans do.

Now, for the tomato/ tomahto part. Here we have a tabby sniffing some tabi.

Ghen is having senior portraits done tomorrow (weather permitting), and he will wear a traditional kimono for some of them. He needed toe socks (tabi), so I improvised some with the sewing machine.

Monday, April 9, 2007

a Piggy, Ducks, and Geese

Today Emili is here. We took a drive to look at the marsh,
Even though it was snowing there was lots of waterfowl to see. I think this is a pair of shovelers.
Geese in flight.

This afternoon Emili and I made a piggy from recycled wool. Emili has become quite good at stuffing her creations, And is patient while I do the sewing.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter !

Now I am paraphrasing George Harrison:

Dave says he likes a weepy meringue,,,,,,,, Just makes me sad.

Friday, April 6, 2007

At Random

Sometimes life is just a random string of oddities,,,,,,,,,,,

Definition of RANDOM

1. Having no specific pattern, purpose, or objective: random movements.

This morning, Dave spotted eight turkeys, walking single file in the empty lot across the street. What was weird is that they were walking away from town! We live at the edge of this small town,,,,,,,where were they coming from? Had they found food or shelter IN TOWN? Weird.

Of course, by the time I got outside to snap a photo, the turkeys were too far away for the camera to capture. You'll just have to trust me, they are in the shot. I did run outside in my jammies on a 25 degree morning........... This next picture is an exercise in randomness, I just took a shot of my favorite crochet hook, (I am sooooo glad to have it back) a basket, and the book that I am reading for a discussion group. My friend Lynda is leading the to all, want to join us?

Then, while trying to be completely random.......... I did THIS,,,,,,,,,, I put three dark stripes symmetrically placed in my stash afghan! I did it randomly! Now it looks planned........

So, if something happens randomly , but doesn't look random............and you planned a random look ( is it even possible to plan a random look?),,,,,,,,do you rip it out and do it over MORE RANDOMLY?