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August 2014
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October 2014

The way it is

This just may be how it's gonna go for a little while: some photos, some words.

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Junah came over early on Saturday morning and we tried to take some selfies.

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Haha.

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It was chilly, so we bundled up before heading down to the market. He's very serious -- and in focus -- in the first photo; in the second -- out of focus -- he's doing that thing where he shakes his head like "no" when he's excited and happy and playing. Love that smile!

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The sidewalk two doors down, on our the way to the farmer market.

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It warmed up plenty quick and the sweater, booties, and pants were soon ditched!

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The spectacular weather continued right through the weekend. It's been some of the best weather of the year. Following a satisfying win by the Green Bay Packers, I sat under the pergola and my own green and gold trees to rip back and fix a little knitting. I'm back on track with a little hat.

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This morning's sky was beautiful. It's dark now when I leave for work, but I've been enjoying watching the sun rise in my car's mirrors. It was a big ball of fire this morning.

Clouds moved in around noon, it's a lot cooler now, and also raining. All good things must come to an end? As I've understood it, Indian Summer is a little stretch of nice weather that follows a hard frost -- something that we haven't had yet. So, yeah, I'm holding out for more!! There's a lot of autumn yet to come. heh.

Hope you had a great weekend, too.

 


The week in (mostly) pictures

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The weather has been simply spectacular.

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Local beer flight(s) accompany lunch out with a friend on Wednesday.

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I made Lamb Chops, Pearl Couscous & Snap Peas, and Harissa from Plated on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night it was Chicken with Anchovy Oil. So good. (That should be a referral link, if you're interested in checking it out -- 2 free plates for you, plus 2 for me.) 

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I stopped at the store on the way home last night to pick up a few things to make Bacon & Cheese Quiche. I wrote "bacon" on my list twice, and of course I came home without it. So I hopped on my bike and rode to the store to get it. Look how long the shadows are already!

 


Ten on Tuesday: Baby, you can drive my car (again)

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Cars I've Had

1. 1972 Toyota Corona -- baby blue. It was my dad's car, actually, but was the first car that I regularly drove. It didn't have a radio, so there was one jerry-rigged that worked like crap. In 1976, the radio was one of the most important things!! I ran that car into a tree (by accident, and not because of the radio) and totaled it... so then it was really mine.

2. 1969 Buick Skylark -- baby poo. Ugly color, but I sure wish I still had this car! It's the first vehicle that I actually owned, I bought it from my mom. (I really wanted her 1962 Rambler with the pushbutton transmission, nicknamed the BBB -- short for Bouncing Brown Bastard -- but it didn't last long enough.)

3. 1979 Toyota Corolla -- brown w/orange & yellow stripes. My 1st brand new car! "Put in a radio with cassette player, and I'll take it!" I sold it to my sister Karen a few years later, and she drove it for many years.

4. 1982 Pontiac Firebird -- RED! This was my 2nd brand new car. It was the worst time in history to finance anything, but I'd just broken up with a boyfriend and, well, we all do dumb things. It was fun to drive, but had some problems... and could have been funner.

5. 1970- or '80-something Chevy Monza -- black. When the Firebird's warranty expired and continued to have problems, I traded it in.

6. 19-- ? Subaru wagon -- yellow-y tan. It was impossible to get a carseat in and out of the Monza, so this was our first "family car." It was the least reliable car we ever owned. It had some sort of problem starting in wet/damp weather... and we were living at Cape Meares, OR, at the time... like 2 blocks from the beach!

7. 1984 ? Buick Century wagon -- brown. Bigger family, more carseats, bigger wagon. Sharon's friend Bill, a passenger in the back seat once when I was visiting in Milwaukee, "You drive this thing like it's a sportscar!"

8. 1980-something Ford Escort wagon -- gray. I bought the Escort from my stepdad's brother and it served me well. I didn't take very good car of it, though, and it burned up in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn while I enjoyed Mother's Day brunch.

9. 2000 Saturn SW -- also RED! My 3rd brand new car, this one has taken a licking but it keeps on ticking! Nice and zippy, the engine was rebuilt once, it has inumerable body dings and dents (there may or may not be duct tape employed) (in several places), and it was "totaled" by insurance several years ago so has a salvage title. It's been Maddy's car for the past few years. 

10. 2007 Nissan Altima -- gray. Except for the Buicks, this is probably the biggest car I've ever driven. It's been good, and it's okay, but I'm not in love with it. I really miss the functionality of a wagon... and also manual transmission. But ZOOM! It is definitely a zippy one!

Oh, I think between 7 and 8 there was a yellow-ish Dodge Omni -- ugly & smelly, it didn't last long. I'm not sure how/why that ever happened.

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On the road to Ullapool, Cromartyshire, Scotland -- May 2014

At first, I didn't think I'd come up with 10 cars, but that number is just about spot-on! Not even counting "Rusty's" cars -- the Toyota pickup, GMC van, Hyundai sedan -- that are or were technically mine and that I have occasionally driven.

None of these is my "dream car" -- I'm not even sure what that would be! In my dreams, there are many dream cars!

Ha, but that was a fun little trip down memory lane. Zoom zoom.

 


Weekending

I woke up on Saturday morning and my first thought was: Camelot (where it only rains at night). It rained hard most of Friday night (again), making for a cold and wet market morning, but the rain had pretty much stopped by dawn and the day would only improve. Ali let me sleep in a bit, knowing it wouldn't be busy early, and then I was able to swing around and pick up the things she forgot to pack!

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And, indeed, it did get better.

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And BETTER!! Junah came to visit.

My new favorite thing is the pudge wrinkle on his knees -- good padding for the crawling that's going to happen very soon!

His favorite new thing on Saturday was playing with my Stitched by JessaLu box bag, so squishy and grabbable.

His favorite new thing on Sunday was playing with the rug under Greatest Gran's dining table, and trying to pull himself up on a chair -- no doubt soon adding climbing to his repertoire!

On Saturday afternoon, Kate and I decided to see a movie. The Drop stars James Gandolfini (the last movie he made), Tom Hardy (we love him to pieces), and Noomi Rapace (The {original} Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). We talked about it and were kind of ho-hum after watching the trailer on Friday evening, but whoa... it's just that sort of deep, dark movie that slowly builds. It was great.

I'd watched every single clip in 11 Films That Already Have Oscar Buzz on Friday, getting me into movie mode... and all of a sudden very excited about the next Best Picture Festival!

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We stopped on the way home for ingredients: Coquilles St. Jacques, Monteil a la James Beard had been decided upon. Mostly Kate's doing, I helped by making my first bouquet garni in ages, and my first ever beurre mani√© (as magical as making roux, but without the heat).

It was very good, and very, very rich.

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On Sunday, I actually took some photos and updated my Ravelry Stash! Nine new items and I'm looking forward to doing more. That's one of two gorgeous skeins of Lisa Souza's BFL Sock that I bought last year at Stitches Midwest -- obviously not yet knit up and joining many other like it in my stash, which is the main reason that I didn't go to Stitches last month, nor Wisconsin Sheep & Wool earlier this month. Not usually too bothered, the stash is making me feel a little nutso right now.

Haha, yeah, it's gotta be the stash that's making me nutso!

I met Ali over at Mom & Joe's so I could watch Junah while she mowed the lawn and gave Joe's hair a trim, and we all watched football!

And, on the last day of summer, Rusty & I took the air conditioners out. We still haven't switched the screens for storms, and thank goodness because this week is going to be stellar in the weather department.

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While Rusty finished up his preparations prior to departure for ArtPrize, Katie and I played a fun game of Monopoly. I haven't played in a long time, and it was so much fun! And I'm not saying that just because I won (by a mile)!

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Hello! Just because... I love this photo from a couple of weeks ago. That's my modified Hug Me Pullover he's wearing... nice and roomy, and so darn cute.

 


Ten on Tuesday: Fall upon us

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things To Get My Home Ready for Fall

1. We don't have central air conditioning, so every spring/fall we install/remove a couple of window units. So that.

2. And also putting away the strategically placed circulating fans.

3. The overwhelming majority of the windows in our 130-year-old house are the original storms and screens. So that. (Luckily, there are really only a handful of windows that are ever swapped, and only two doors.)

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4. Yard clean up. I didn't do much in the yard to begin with this year, so that should be fairly easy. I don't think it was a big year for the walnut tree, either.

5. Since the installation of my rain barrel, we've hardly used the hose... but it's out there and still needs to be put away.

6. And water to outside faucets needs to be shut off.

7. I usually do a little "spring cleaning" for fall, such as laundering afghans, blankets, duvet covers and comforters, slipcovers, and sometimes curtains and rugs. I do some of that, as needed, throughout the year, no matter the season, but make a point of it now.

8. The Big Sweep -- I like to sweep the porch ceilings, walls, and floor clear of leaves and spider stuff.

9. Wash a few windows... also the mailbox, porch light fixtures, and probably some of the siding (spider stuff).

10. Decorate freshly swept porches with pumpkins and gourds!

 


To ride... better late than never

We were hopeful on Friday night. After securing bikes to the carrier (one in the back seat due to overcrowding) and loading our gear, we drove up to meet Annie at our airbnb lodging in Egg Harbor -- IN THE POURING RAIN -- to be ready for the morning start to our 25-mile route in the Peninsula Century.

We continued to listen during the night as the rain continued to hit the roof of our cute little A-frame.

Day dawned on Saturday and, though there were plenty of puddles, the rain had stopped and it looked pretty good. We dressed, found some coffee and breakfast, and made our way to Sister Bay.

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The sky was getting blue-er by the minute! It was a bit chilly just standing around, but we donned our layers and once on our way... well, it was pretty near perfect. Mostly sunny, mid-60s, very little wind. All day long. Here we are, at Waterfront Park, ready for departure.

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And here at our rest stop, about 18 miles in, at Wickman House in Ellison Bay. What a great spread for us! Beverages, fruit, granola and cookies, and there was a bike mechanic available to make adjustments (tighten my seat, lower Annie's). We had a random run-in with our high school art teacher! I had him for several classes back in the day, Sharon practically lived in the Art Dept. during her senior year, and even Katie had him for a class or two before he retired. It's been a long time, but he lives up there now, very active in the community, and is a huge pickleball advocate!

The last 7 miles of our route started with a few hills, right off the bat. Like mountains, to me, I mostly walked up the first two, but powered through the third before cruising to the finish. I love cyclists -- so many of them sharing words of encouragement as they passed me by -- I muttered once about how much I really wanted to get off and walk up the hill, but I didn't! I lagged far, far behind both Katie & Ann on that last leg, but they were able to show me right where to redeem my drink ticket!

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So much yummy food. Now this is a post-ride meal: bratwurst, Al Johnson's Swedish meatballs & gravy with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce, cole slaw, beer cheese soup with cheese popcorn, chevre torte, Door County sour cherry crisp (with ice cream!), chocolate milk, and Door County Brewing Co.'s Little Sister Ale. 

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Live music!

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We've had so much rain of late that everything is quite green and lush! I was expecting to see some fall color, but there was barely any to be found. It looks more like July (except for the extra layers sported by almost everyone).

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Annie headed home to spend some time with her boys (she's been very busy at her new job), while Kate & I rested up for a bit.

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We drove across to the other side of the peninsula to catch a little of Charlie Parr's performance at Door County Brewing Co. What a cute place and the music was great! Kate had seen Charlie a couple of times at last year's Mile of Music.

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Sunday was quite a bit more breezy. I was happy not to be on a bike, but it was a great day to drive home. We meandered a bit down the lakeshore before heading west to avoid the traffic associated with the Packers' home opener yesterday.

So, though my first ride of any note this year came at the end of the season, I couldn't have asked for better. I'm a little sore, but I made it -- and I'm looking forward to more! Maybe I'll even get a few short rides in yet before putting my bike away for the winter. While some of y'all pore over seed catalogs this winter, I'll be scoping out next summer's cycling events and hoping to participate in a few more!

 


Currently...

...as in Right Now.

Watching ... the approaching autumn, and feeling it, too. Brrrr.

Reading ... Outlander, and I'll be reading it for a long, long time at the pace I'm going. I've been enjoying it; sad that there isn't a way to watch the series without a cable subscription.

#knittingforzim Haven't done that in a while, but baby needs Gran to knit him a hat!

Knitting ... I've been doing a lot more sewing than knitting, but baby needs a hat so I just cast on last night to make Alfalfa! Even with an adjustment or two, it'll likely be too small for Junah; if that's the case we'll save it for the next one, but I'll know what needs to be done to make one that does fit.

Or I'll find another pattern.

>>What's your favorite hat pattern (with ties or a strap) for a baby closing in on toddlerhood?

Highly manipulated photo of the state of the front of my #alabamachanin corset - darn red at near dusk is impossible to photograph! One seam has been sewn, there's still some cutting to do, loving the work (and my thread, always loving my thread) so far!

Sewing ... making progress on an Alabama Chanin corset kit.

Dreading ... the approaching autumn, or, rather, what's to follow.

Listening ... to everything! Truly. From opera to country, rap to rock, soundtracks to oldies, alternative, folk, indie, classical, Americana, jazz...

Thinking ... about a fun Door County weekend coming up with Kate and my sister Ann! We head up tonight, do a 25-mile bike ride tomorrow, enjoy a truly gourmet meal afterwards along with some great music and beer. We'll certainly also find some fall color, cherries and apples!

More Thinking ... about attending the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest in a couple of weeks with my sister Karen.

Celebrating ... every little thing.

Planning ... a long-overdue big family weekend up north next month.

Laundry day! Reminiscing. It's like laundry day at the convent... in #riodejaneiro #laundryontheline #100happydays

Itching ... to straighten and fluff my nest, readying for hibernation I guess.

Drinking ... a wide variety of beer.

Needing ... to continue getting my house/life back in order and on a new track.

Organizing ... my thoughts.

Inspired ... by the sudden resurgence and renewed commitment of some old-time favorite bloggers.

Having happily and regularly blogged through the Big Blog Slump, lo these many years, lately, as so many others are apparently refreshed and renewed (for the moment, anyway), I've been feeling it slip.

I'm inspired to try a little harder.

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Ali posted this photo yesterday, "We're sad that this little handknit is not going to fit for much longer." It's the One-Stitch Baby Sweater by Lion Brand.

Delighted ... by my little Junebug. He's 8 months old today!!!

What's currently going on with you right now?

Here's to a great weekend!!

 


#100happydays - Days 93-100

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1. The parking expansion project is underway this Labor Day weekend., 2. Laundry day!, 3. Packed up another box of photos to send to ScanCafe today & found this favorite from my second birthday. I'm the towhead!, 4. Stormy weather... all day, all around., 5. New day dawns after a stormy night., 6. Working hard at the market! We had to buy a hat for him this morning.. Gran is slacking., 7. Yesterday at Kewaunee., 8. Going back in time... 2 months, the 4th of July. Junah wasn't quite sitting up without assistance so the boys, freshly repatriated from Brazil, set him up like the little prince. But, of course.

That's a wrap on that! I'll soon have more of a "wrap up" and something to say. For now, bring on all the days!!

 


Summer of mystery

I've finished three knitting projects this summer and all of them were Mystery Knit-along Shawls! The latest to cross the finish line is the biggest shawl I've ever knit!

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And possibly the laciest!

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  • Project:  Follow Your Arrow (Mystery KAL) by Ysolda Teague
  • Yarn:  Sock by Malabrigo Yarn, "Archangel" colorway, 2 skeins from 2 dye lots
  • Needle:  US 6
  • Start to Finish:  February 7, 2014 - September 2, 2014

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Katie and I drove out to the Lake Michigan shore on Saturday afternoon and, though pretty breezy, I managed to take a few photos.

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The "little yellow house" near the pier at Kewaunee is a favorite spot.

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It's adorable (we've been here before) (some things have changed since then).

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I managed to stretch my 4-day Labor Day Weekend into FIVE, and crossed a few things off my list, made progress on some others, and bought a new dishwasher. Heh. You just never know what's going to happen around here. We got a great deal and it's being delivered today.

I've been in fall cleaning mode... windows, closets, drawers... throwing everything that's not nailed down into the washer. I've been productive without putting too much pressure on myself... getting things back into some sort of order. It's good.

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I haven't been knitting much this summer, preferring needle and thread (and making progress there, too). This morning I came across this:

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...and I am down like a rug. Seriously. A Kaffe Fassett Mystery Knit-Along Afghan?? Gah. Details here and here. The knit-along starts October 1st!! Start your engines, gather your yarn! I'm so excited.

 


Days 62-92 of #100happydays

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1. Francis Williams hosta., 2. The rose bush that Mum bought this spring., 3. Fresh basil was made for this., 4. I missed my Happy Day post yesterday..., 5. Happily making progress!, 6. Aunt, uncle and 2 cousins in the hood today, 7. Walked down the bridge after knit night, during which I knit not & entertained my grandson instead (or he me), to catch the spectacular sunset at the end of a pretty great day., 8. My first game at Miller Park and this one's, too., 9. Second al fresco nap for this one today!, 10. Music & art & fabulous day. 11. It's impossible to get the color right..., 12. Twist & Shout about Point Vanilla Cream Soda!, 13. Day lilies in the sun..., 14. Another night of baseball!, 15. I had a lot of fun capturing some wedding day memories for this couple on June 21st. Tomorrow his sister, my daughter's BFF, gets married!, 17. Sunday morning., 18. Love my flexible blocking mat., 19. Stormy weather., 20. No explanation required., 21. Another really fab day with all three of my girls + grandson., 22. Knit Night: Sewing., 23. 2014-08-23_1408753121, 24. Spent some time with my daughters, my sisters, and my niece today making some creating some lovely glass pieces in remembrance of our sister/aunt and mother/grandmother., 25. 2014-08-25_1408930872, 26. I wore the amber earrings that my mom brought for me from her 1974 student trip to Russia to her memorial brunch yesterday., 27. Aahhhhh. Home., 28. It is both appalling & true: first bike ride of the summer happened today., 29. The street where I live... have lived for 27 years., 30. These are my pieces from last weekend's glass workshop with my sisters, daughters & niece!, 31. Spending some time with one of my favorite fellas and Dr. Suess this morning.

August 2014 = Home and Family.

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That's right! I'll reach #100happydays on Monday! I missed a day late last month, but had one in the bank from an earlier exceptionally happy day (or a bad memory, either way...).