Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The Internet is a lovely thing.. So much information at our fingertips.

Do you know what a "fichu" is ? I did not, and of course I did not know how to pronounce the word.

I assumed it is said like this---feeeeshu.......

after doing a little googling,,

I found it is pronounced ------fishwho---- rhymes with tissue

And defined as:

A woman's triangular scarf of lightweight fabric, worn over the shoulders and crossed or tied in a loose knot at the breast.

Well, a scarf with a ruffle, called a fichu, is what is on my needles now. The pattern is in the fall 07 issue of Knitters. It is dead simple knitting, and not much purling. Perfect for me right now, because while recovering from my hand surgery, I find performing the purl stitch much more difficult than the knit stitch.
The yarn is the same lace weight alpaca that I used for my Pi Shawl, except this time it is a lovely berry color.

The alpaca yarn is home grown, at Whispering Hills Alpaca Farm, right outside of my town.

My good friend Terri dyed the yarn for me... Whispering Hills a great farm, but does not have berry colored alpacas :) I just love this color!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two "end of summer days"

Suddenly, the end of summer is upon us.... this is Wisconsin, summer is short- lived here. The corn is tall, the fairs are finished, Emili is very tan, all indicators of the end of August.. Also this month, we celebrate my Papa's 82nd birthday! The birthday bash was at my sister's house... she is in this country only a few weeks in the summmer, but still manages to have a party every year.

Liam helps Papa with the cake.

My Mom, sister Gwen, and daughter, Lauren.
Yesterday.... Dave and I and Emili ventured out on an "end of summer" road trip.... We planned very little, just drove west, going whever the wind blew us ........ and it did blow, and blow!
On our way to the Amish cheese factory, we encountered some very high winds.... Grandpa had to clear the road of large branches that had come down
... Our Hero!
We spent most of the day at Wisconsin Dells.....

Emili feeds the deer and kisses a buffalo.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Do you want egg roll with that?

One of my children recently reminded me that I have not made egg rolls in a long time.... I thought about it, and it has been at least six years since I made them.... ( in my former life, I cooked a lot).

I will make egg rolls only in then summer, because I don't like to fry anything inside the house... Too much grease,, and the lingering smell..... yuck...

So yesterday we made egg rolls as a group. One husband, one daughter, one granddaughter and me. We all took a task. chopping , wrapping , frying, etc.

Dave did the frying,, there is something about cooking outside, men seem to think it is their domain. Check out the fryer,,, circa 1975 again.. fry baby, fry daddy, this is a fry granpappy,,,,, just like with the hairdryers, Dave was in his comfort zone, except he owns only one fryer..

I was happy to let him fry. ....Then the strangeness began, as I sat in my chair and watched.

It has rained so much lately, the ground is squishy-soft, as I sat and watched the frying, my chair sank lower and lower into the earth....... kinda weird. At first I thought I was imagining sinking down until I could barely get out of the was so low.

Oh, and at some point Emili said "Grandma, I just saw a bee fly into your pants." I thought she was teasing me until I felt the darn thing sting me ........ right on the knee! I got up quickly that time!

NO, I was not drinking!

The end results of all this activity were yummy... consumed by all of the cooks and my sister and a nephew. An impromptu party,,, the best kind.

Postscript: Look closely at the photo of Dave,,, It appears he can fry egg rolls while standing on one leg!

Friday, August 24, 2007

back in business

The hand therapist has given me the green light to start using my digits again......I can knit again!!!! Just a little bit. Hurrah!

Today I did some sewing... I made four purses from felted sweaters...Actually, only one is finished, three still need to have buttons and/or embellishments..

These bags will soon be for sale at Loose Ends Yarn Shop, along will a whole bunch of other recycled sweater goodies. Shh, it's a secret!

Look very closely at the lower left corner of the second photo, it is a fat toe desperately in need of polish!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A tale of woe

Once upon a time,,,,,,,,,,,,way back n March of 1990, there lived a woman and her three children in a little house, in a little town, on the banks of a little stream. They lived happily. Then it rained, and rained and rained some more. The little town flooded. The little house flooded. The woman was left with mud and sewage everywhere, a torn up yard, and frightful memories of it all.
Did the woman move out of the little house? No.... the town officials assured her it was a "hundred year" flood, made larger culverts and better drainage systems......The memories lingered.

Fast forward 17 years....... the house is now inhabited by the woman and her husband, and sometimes a nephew. The stream is still here to see how the creek looks most of the time......

This is how it looks today, after many rainy days , half an inch of rain this afternoon, an inch last night, and 5 inches over the weekend.

The creek is still well within it's banks, but the memories of flooding are still there.

The rain makes my pulse increase, as the water rises.

I cannot imagine how horrible the people in western Wisconsin who are flooded out of their homes must be feeling..........Oh, wait......yes, I can.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Too many loose ends

Absence makes the heart grow fonder? I have been missing in blogland for a while. Four days away with out internet access is forgivable,,,,,,,but I have been home with full access for more than a day! Full access, but time.........ah....... that is another issue...

Four fun-filled days in the northwoods. Just my husband and granddaughter and me.... the woods are dry,,, dry,, dry. No campfires allowed. Smokey says so.

Gramps and I did learn a new campfire song, despite the lack of a fire.... Emili learned it at daycare, taught it to us, and we sang it and laughed all four days....

Sing along, everyone together now,......... to the tune of
"Battle Hymn of the Republic"

I wear my pink pajamas, in the summer when it's hot.

I wear my pink pajamas in the winter when it's not.

And sometimes in the springtime and sometimes in the fall,

I slip between the sheets with nothing on at all!

Chorus:Glory, glory, Hallelujah;

Glory, glory, What's it to you?

Glory, glory, Hallelujah, With nothing on at all!

The things I have learned from that girl!

On Saturday, we visited the Camp Five Lumberjack Museum at Laona, Wisconsin, just about a half an hour from our cabin. Emili was especially enthralled with the blacksmith and his work. He made an Iron "E" for Emili while we watched. I highly recommend visiting this place,

a lot to see, lots of fun, and not at all expensive!

Monday, before we came home, we stopped at the Armstrong Creek Bison Farm. This farm is just a few minutes from our place. We bought some bison grill ..........not the kind you find on the ground in the pasture......behind the buffalo! I inquired about fiber to our next trip north they should have some ready for me. these photos were taken on our last trip north, before the grass dried up

Apple pie making was also on the agenda. I had promised to teach Emili to bake pie before school started this fall. The steps involved surprised me,,, I just do it without thinking,,,,,the phrase "easy as pie" is not exactly true..
The temps were in the 40's at night,,, fall is right around the corner, some trees are turning already , probably because of the dryness.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fun(gi) House

Rain again last night has brought an end to the drought in our area. So much rain and humidity has produced a bumper crop of fungi.... under pine trees and in the grass.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Look what I got from Stitches!!

An electronic postcard from Caryl, Betty, Delores and Kaye

Stitches Midwest

I thought I was up early today,,,,,,,,,but Betty and Caryl were waiting for the bus before I got there. Here is Caryl wisely resting her feet by sitting on Betty's truck...... Stitches can be hard on the feet.

Some of the group on the bus, that's Lynda, of String Alongs fame, waving for the camera!

I chose to stay back home and run the shop this year,,,,,,,,,,,better for healing my wrist and my checkbook!

Friday, August 10, 2007

What you wanna do?

This week, our local newspaper, The Mayville News, (affectionately known in our house as "The Mayville Snooze") featured an interesting story on the front page. It seems turkey buzzards, also known as turkey vultures, have invaded the local cemetary. The Mayville News is not online, but you can read the story in another here

As a business owner and resident, I care deeply about our fair city. Entering Mayville from the south on the main drag is indeed beautiful. The scenic Rock River on the right and lovely Graceland cemetary on the left bank...............the city fathers and police department want to dicourage the vultures roosting on the gravestones...........

I just think it's funny! Call me warped and/or insensitive.........but I say let the birds stay for a while..... at least until I move to Graceland.......... :)

What we gonna do? I've always loved these vultures from The Jungle Book............ Maybe they have the answers to our city's problem.?.?.?

vultures from jungle book

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Two,no, three movies

Lynda has posted about her favorite movie, The Big Lebowski.. Lynda and I have similar tastes and interests.....I watched it on network TV and simply did not get it..... way too much was cut out, I think. Then, Lynda and Terri and I watched the uncut version together. Still,,,, kinda over my head... or maybe I am thinking too much.... I should be like The Dude.

You know how you just have to laugh when your friends are laughing,,,,,,, from the joy of seeing them having fun? Even if you haven't heard the joke? Laughter is contagious.. Emili and I get giggling over something and we just can't stop......... Grandpa just shakes his head and walks away, he doesn't get it, but he is glad to see us having fun.

That's how I feel about The Big Lebowski... A enjoyable film. I will watch it again, and quote the dialog, and try to be like The Dude........ It makes Lynda and Terri laugh, so I laugh right along.., I love those women, I have to laugh when they are laughing. It brings me joy. Thank You, Jeff Bridges and The Coen Bros.

Wait, wait, The Coen Brothers also made my second favorite movie....... Fargo... the first time I saw Fargo, I was horrified at the violence and murders and didn't give the film a chance. In the second viewing I came to appreciate the story and the humor. I love the musical score, the setting and the characters have depth. I have watched Fargo many times.
A quote:
Marge Gunderson: There's more to life than a little money, ya know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are. And it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it.

A brilliant movie. Despite the "leg in the woodchipper scene".

My Favorite Movie??? The Music Man, circa 1962. A tale of a con man and his redemption, far different than Fargo in style! Singing and dancing, elaborate costumes, I love it all.

Here's a quote:
Marian Paroo: No, please, not tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
Harold Hill: Oh, my dear little librarian. You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering.

I agree

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Not New York City

Recently, I was desperately looking for inspiration for a window display that will look nice and stand up to the brutal August sunshine. Products fade quickly....
While doing some random web surfing... I came across this photo of a window in New York, my town is NOT New York City,,,,, But I like my new window, inspired by the Big Apple. And it won't fade!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Retrospective, Day 4

At some time or another, we all have the thought..........."if there was a fire.......and all the living beings were safe,,,,what would you save?" Today's retrospective focus is on one of the objects on my list.........

As a knitter, spinner, fiber artist, I have a fondness for "sheep themed" things... As my collection grew, I noticed a lot of religious items are decorated with lambs and sheep. The whole "The Lord is my Shepherd" deal. The walls of my bedroom seemed a nice place for them. Kinda comforting,,,, Anyway, here is today's bit of creativity, hanging crookedly above our bedroom door.

Dave made this when he was a boy,, I tried to pin him down to a year,,,,,,but he just said it was sometime in grade school. 1955-1963 It is wood, with the natural grain as the hillside, and the letters and figures burned in with a wood burning tool. The border is painted.

I doubt that he suspected his future wife would be fiber, wool, and sheep obsessed.
I love it!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Retrospective, Day 3

A small table runner,,, again machine pieced and hand quilted. Coffee stain on the lower right corner.

The blue floral fabric (to the right of the coin) was leftover from some dresses that I made for my twin daughters in 1991. That was the last time that they had matching dresses.....they were bridesmaids. They stopped wearing 'twin clothes" when they were about five years old.

I did not make the Grandma& Grand baby dolls. I bought them at a craft fair shortly after I became a Grandma.... What I DID make is the crocheted bag the doll is holding.

At one of Susan Mcfarland's retreats, I was took part in a class that taught dying with indigo...... a complicated process... not like dying with commercially prepared dyes.

The tiny cotton skein that I dyed became Grandma's bag.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

upside down

What is this??

Last weekend I bought a crumpled, knitted piece of lace at a thrift shop for a NICKEL! I didn't have time to look for stains or holes,,,,,but, what did I have to lose?

I combined the bit of lace with an umbrella from a tag sale.....Voila! No blocking, no nothing.

But, what am I going to do with it? It's intended to hang from the ceiling at the shop.....

Thanks to an unknown knitter!