Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Photo shoot

Today Ghen has his final session of his senior portraits takenin our backyard. The girl in the photo is his friend Ashley. The photographer is from DG Creative Photography in Kewaskum.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Too busy to blog

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you may notice that my posts may be less frequent in the next few weeks. Lots of things are going on here at my crazy house.
Tonight I came home to a houseful of people.
Three needing a haircut, but only Clay allowed me to cut his hair. Kyle and Ghen refused my offer (threat) of cutting off their beautiful locks for the summer. Clay sacrificed beauty for comfort.

Lauren and Emili were here, so was Alyssa and Kathy (Ghen's friend) and of course Peggy. For those of you that don't know, my friend Peggy ( Kyle's Mom) will be staying with us for about 3 weeks ... while her apartment is being renovated. Tonight was the first night she was here and already it was nice to have another adult in the house to help wrangle teenagers.

The next few days and the upcoming week will be busy for me with TNNA and other things, like finding an apartment for Lauren and Megan and my little Em and other things....just day to day things... and more, So my blog posts maybe few and far between.

I will try to post from Ohio this weekend. My adventures with Betty must be chronicled.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday fun

A perfect spring day.... a bit windy, but not hot,,,and lots of sunshine... Emili spent the night and we all went to church together this mooning. We followed that with a graduation party, sidewalk painting, playing in the grass.

Emili made a puppet family from an old gardening glove...........
There is nothing that lifts my spirits as much as a day with Emili does.........nothing else wears me out this much, either.... I will sleep well tonight.


Friday, May 25, 2007

"small pleasantnesses"

Lynda has challenged me and her other readers to list some "small pleasantnesses"...what a great idea! Encourages thankfulness for everyday life.......

my small pleasantnesses
cool summer evenings without mosquitoes
strong coffee with milk
getting the mail
the curl in Emili's hair
casting on the correct number of stitches without counting
hearing the high school marching band practicing while I am hanging laundry outside
rummage sales
Ghen singing in the bathroom
Diet Coke
bare feet
my father's stories
Dave filling my car with gas, without me knowing or asking
seeing a neighbor walk her dachshund past my house daily
Clay's white teeth
Terri and Lynda walking into my shop
I could go on, and on. Make your own list. Actually write them down. It feels good!

Tree skirt

You are thinking---------
"What? She made a tree skirt in MAY? For a deciduous tree? Just how far will she go?"

It's not a tree skirt, it is a scrumbled shawl.....I think it looks kinda organic, so I used as tree as a mannequin.

Flat on the grass, it looks small, but it actually fits me. So it's not small. And it's not too heavy, as some of my previous scrumbled garments have been. I think it is almost finished, it's time to start thinking about a closure of some sort.. I have a nautilus shell, or a what I think is part of one,,,,,,,that might make a nice fastener.


Can you solve this mystery? What is this thing?
I know what it is.....I want to see if any of you readers can figure out what it is from the photo. It's obvious when you see the whole photo.........

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Undiscovered Virtues

The only flowers in my yard blooming that are not purple

Miniature lilacs, they smell very sweet.

Grape soda iris siberian iris

Allium and peony bud

Can you identify this flower for me?

Bachelor buttons Chive blossoms

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
All people are like weeds, we are here on earth to seek out the undiscovered virtues in ourselves and those around us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ethical Question

Warning: this post is almost entirely knitting related, for those of you non-knitters skip to the ethical question near the end........

At the shop, I have been hosting a sock of the month club, based on the book Favorite Socks, by Interweve Press. So far we have done Meida's Sock,
the two color re-soleable sock,
and now the footlet is scheduled. We will begin sock #3, the Eastern European footlet, the first week in June.

I have made these socks.

Each month, I show an example of the next month's sock, finished. So that means I am working on July's sock , the Austrian sock right now........before the June class. Are you following all this? Of course you are, you are not a bunch of dummies, like least I feel like one. The Austrian sock has been ,,,,,,,,,um ...a challenge........ First, I swatched with many different yarns, to get gauge and to show stitch definition. Too soft, too thick, too dark,,,,,,,,the list goes on. I tried lots of yarns, and this sock starts with 72 rows of 9 stitch I-cord........that a lot of I-cord. I did order the recommended yarn from Louet, but is not here yet. You would think I could find something to substitute with since I do have a whole shop to choose from.
Along with the yarns, I had trouble finding needles that worked well for this technique, too blunt, too slippery, too much drag. Finally I settled on Silky Wool and old aluminum needles.
And the chart,,,,,,,,,,oh the chart,,,well, it has no mistakes, but no grid lines every ten stitches like some charts have, Yes, I know, I can put them in myself. A 36 stitch repeat pattern with 24 stitches on each needle confuses it more. and each row is different, no "rest rows". I have not yet begun to memorize the repeat. Here is what I have to show for about 10 hours of work,,,,,,, each round takes me a half an hour. This knitting is best done while locked in a quiet closet with a strong lamp and a strong drink! No TV, radio or ipod. OR family. So here comes the question.
Ethical Question
Can I change horses in midstream? When customers joined the class, the sock patterns had not been announced,,,,just that we would do six different patterns in six months. At the first meeting, I announced the line-up of patterns. Should I change now......put an easier pattern in the line-up? Skip this one? The idea of the club is to learn something with each sock............Am I shirking my duties as instructor? If you non-kniters don't understand the question, I guess you will have to go back and read the entire post. Or not,,,,,,,It's not your problem. I need feedback..........and maybe someone to knit this sock for me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

An exercise in creativity

A long time ago, I bought this tiny little sewing machine, on a whim. I thought it was cute, and as I recall it was inexpensive. At home I have two full size sewing machines with all the bells and whistles,,,,,,,, So I never took the little one out of the box.
I took the machine and some fabric and buttons along to the cabin this past weekend.
It sews very nicely, a normal locked stitch, not a chain stitch. What fun! I made a bag,,,,not my best effort, but not terrible either. The interfacing I used was too stiff for the cotton of the bag, and it wrinkles, but I had a good time making it.

I have found that one of the things that blocks creativity for me,,,,, is having too many choices. Yes, too many choices of fabric, color, style, can seem overwhelming to me,,,,,,I get frustrated and stalled. I will waffle back and forth about making something just right, or saving that fabric for just the perfect project. And not get anything made.

Sometimes I plan every step of a project, but more often I enjoy serendipity, and "making do" wtih what I have. Granted, I have a lot of stuff to work with at home,,, remember my basement is jammed with treasures best described by the motto.... Some Day I May Need That!

This bag made at the cabin with limited resources and a tiny sewing machine was a good exercise for me. "Jump in and get your feet wet,,,,,,,,,only a few bits and pieces, not very many choices,,,,,,now see what you can do with that!"

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wet morning

Storming all night in the woods......A thunderstorm is different at the cabin....the lightning seems so much more vivid and dramatic, because the night sky is so much darker there, away from any artificial city lights. We got up to watch it for a while.....then went back to sleep to the sound of rain on the roof.
It was foggy and drizzling as we left.......this stone fence is across the road from the cabin.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday in the North

If this format looks a little odd, it is because I am blogging from the north woods. That’s right, Richards of Dunbar provides a WI FI hotspot to it’s customers. Dave has been coming to dine at Richards for about 40 years. Great food.

It is cold here today, don’t let the blue sky fool you……’s only in the forties. This provides lots of “in the cabin” time for me. Working on projects. …….I always bring projects along.
I have done some embellishment on a ready made jacket.

Late last summer, I bought a spinning wheel at a garage sale and brought it to the cabin, so I have a wheel to use while I’m here, instead of hauling a wheel back and forth. Today was the first time I spun on this wheel………a little oil and a few adjustments and she spins great! I have decided to name this wheel Kate……… Dave and Ronnie always hunted near a piece of land called “Squaw Kate’s”, thus the name for this wheel that will stay here. On the bobbin is yarn spun from fiber that must be wool with some cotton in it, that’s what the bumps are, bits of cotton. I have been catching up, listening to podcasts while spinning. Very relaxing.

Except for an unfortunate incident involving a chipmunk in the outhouse, it has been a quiet and calming visit, so far.

Dave has something to report. This morning while having breakfast at a local restaurant, Dave ran into his boss!! 190 miles from where they both work,,,,,in the middle of nowhere. As it happens, the boss was visiting a friend who has just purchase a cabin that is only a half a mile away from ours, on the same country road. Small world.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

News from Goodman

So I lied, I am posting this weekend

3 ticks so far, 45 degrees

Cool Morning

I love a morning like today! It's sunny and quiet, and COOL, 55 degrees. We have a small sun porch on the west side of our home, a perfect place to have morning coffee, and survey the yard.This morning I see that the first of the poppies has opened. (AHHH , POPPIES, think the wicked witch of the west)
In case you are wondering, the foliage on the left side of the photo is crown vetch,,,,25 years ago it was planted to protect the creek bank from erosion,,,,,,,,and there are still patches of it here and there.
The iris are blooming,and so is the "Snowball bush"... the iris came from Nana's house,,,,,,and are hardy and old. They smell like grape soda!

I am a big believer in sharing plants that instead of buying often I would buy perennials only to find that the are not hardy here in this part of Wisconsin. My best plantings are the ones dug out from others gardens, tried and true and tough.

The snowball bush came from our neighbor at our cabin in the north......just a twig only a few years ago.

I won't be posting again until Monday, so have a great weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Scrumbles in progress

My scrumbled shawl is in progress,,I posted both photos because the actual colors are somewhere in between the two shots. I think I might be done by June 1st.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fantastic News!

Wonderful news today from my daughter, Lauren. She has accepted an offer to transfer within the company she works for.
This transfer means she and her daughter, Emili, will be moving this summer,,,,,,,,,, out of the big, nasty, violent city and much closer to me!!! Hurray!! Lauren is a single Mom, and a darn good Mom.......but remember "it takes a village" to raise a child........ with this transfer she will be close by, so we can support her parenting. I AM SO HAPPY!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I have been tagged by b , her blog is The Caffeinated Knitter,
I met b when she came to my shop with her beautiful baby. I have never been tagged before,,,,,,,,at least I know someone out there is reading my blog.
b tagged me to to list 8 random things about me.
Here goes
8 random things about me

1. I cannot type, I took agriculture classes in high school when the other girls were typing.

2. I met my second husband in a bar,,,,I met my first husband in a barn. My father's barn

3. My favorite old TV shows are Northern Exposure, Star Trek, and St. Elsewhere. My favorite show still being produced is Jeopardy!

4. I have lived in the same house for the last 22 years. with both husbands (not at the same time)

5. Freshly ground black pepper is my favorite topping for vanilla ice cream.

6. My mother gave me a violin for my 49th birthday and I have not learned to play even one note! I really want to learn

7. I hate to clean

8.My favorite movie star is Robert Duvall


This is my nightie........7:15 Am, I needed to add my hooded sweatshirt. It was only 45 degrees this morning!
Steak for Fajitas