If it's Sweater Weather, then it's certainly also Soup Weather.
It's chilly today, a little breezy and rainy... I'm making soup tonight!
I shared this recipe almost 7 years ago... you might have missed it! It's so good, and so quick. I'll sub a whole bunch of fresh spinach for the frozen, and might add some fish or shrimp to the pot.
QUICK MINESTRONE SOUP
16-oz. can cannellini beans 16 oz. can red kidney beans 16 oz. can seasoned-for-pasta tomatoes 4 c. chicken broth 1 box frozen chopped spinach 1/2 c. orzo season to taste
Combine beans and tomatoes in a large pot. Add chicken broth, spinach, and orzo. Bring to a boil, stirring to break up spinach. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until orzo is tender. Makes about 10 cups of soup.
If you're familiar with #konmari, you know that feeling "joy" is a big part of the process.
I ran across this vest/wrap as I was #knitkonmari-ing and, at first glance, not a lot of joy... mainly because it turned out a bit small/short for my liking.
It's the Weekend Wrap by Julie Weisenberger. I bought both the pattern & yarn at Blazing Needles in SLC with Margene -- when I joined her a few years ago for the knitters' retreat at Alta -- and those memories certainly do spark joy!
I have since re-knit the Weekend Wrap a little larger and much more to my liking. (And if I can't find that stray cone of Habu Tsumugi Silk to continue Lola, it might just be my "Rhinebeck Sweater.") But I have also kept the original because it is so very forgiving... if I just scrunch it up and wrap it 'round my neck... voila! It's a perfectly wonderful lightweight neutral scarf. The armholes aren't even visible (can you see them?). JOY IS SPARKED!
I have also frogged a couple of projects that no longer spark joy.
There are a few (so far) more to frog, but this is a good start; these have already been washed and made into neat hanks, ready for the next thing.
I've begun the washing process for the JOY-filled knits with the items that are easiest -- those items made from superwash wool, or that requiring little or no shaping/pinning for blocking/drying.
I really didn't intend to hang those shawls on the line, but there are no points to pin out and they're hanging so nicely!
Lazy? I certainly felt lazy. (I am lazy.) (Yes, that's my flexible blocking mat also hanging on the line with a project affixed.)
Ooof! Repair to be made.
These were all thrown into the machine on the "handwash" cycle, and hung to dry -- either on the line or on my wooden drying rack -- except for Parcheesi, which I threw in the dryer on the lowest of settings. I am so happy to be heading into autumn and winter with clean & fresh knits!
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Hello, 4-day Weekend!! I will be doing final prep for & photographing a wedding tomorrow evening -- my last wedding of the summer! A friend's daughter, a cousin, working an acquaintance's daughter's wedding (2nd-shooting with my niece), a co-worker, and now a former co-worker of my daughter's (working)... it's been the most wedding-est summer of my life! <3
On Saturday, I actually plan to dye some yarn. (Shhh!) The shop is in need, there are a couple of special orders hanging...
Sunday will be COLLAGE DAY! Art day was thwarted a couple of weeks ago, but that only means we've had that much longer to amass materials. OMG. I cannot wait to dive in.
On Monday... I've nothing planned yet for Monday. I might be ready to have a first look at the wedding photos by then. ;)
And somewhere in there, time with the kiddos!!
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Do you like the larger photos? Are they too large?? What are your plans for the weekend... whether 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-day?? (Or more? Vacation?)
I love the button band/shawl collar combo in this pattern.
There isn't a modeled shot yet, but you'll be among the first to know!
I am completely in love with the ladybug buttons! When I posted on IG that I was in search of buttons, Ina Braun responded via email with photos of her extensive button selection! I mailed the sweater to her and after a little discussion, she sent it back with these and another contender... but it was these for me, all along.
Serious cuteness... Gin's gonna blow it out of the water! I have enough leftover yarn to make a simple striped hat, and I think I'm going to do that!
At the beginning of it, I had no idea that I'd be bidding farewell to my sister and her family in addition to my daughter as they moved overseas! Ann & family had about 5-6 weeks to take care of things before moving to Spain for at least 2 years. Maddy planned, worked, and saved hard over the past year or so in order to spend the next year traveling and exploring in New Zealand.
It's been a super shitty summer in many respects, not the least of which was the death of Rusty's dad, and from the beginning I've made it a point to focus on the good stuff this summer -- and on the things that I can control.
Five Best Things I Did This Summer
1 - I spent lots of time with the kiddos.
2 - I spent a few glorious days up north.
3 - I did lots of art stuff -- viewing, participating, and even making.
4 - I read books -- thanks to audiobooks, I've read more than I have in many a summer (winter, spring and fall).
5 - I made time for Auntie Camp II before my nephews left for Spain -- abbreviated, but so much fun!
Five Things I'm Looking Forward to Doing This Fall
1 - Catching my breath. It was a very busy summer and I just need some time to collect my wits.
2 - Cooking. We've been planning our weekly menus and cooking at home for most of the summer, and I'm aiming to keep that going.
3 - Reading. That will certainly continue, and I'm still aiming for a BINGO by Thanksgiving.
4 - Knitting & Sewing... and getting a grip. I just sewed some adorable ladybug buttons on a sweater for Gin (an FO post to come!), but I've somehow misplaced a cone of Habu Tsumugi Silk for another project; there's a "quick" A-line top that stalled awaiting binding at neck and arms; one thumb-less mitten for Jun that's awaiting a thumb and a mate. So much to organize. (I have been making progress at washing the knits, though!)
5 - A Getaway! I'll be spending a few days in the Hudson Valley with some friends next month -- knitting, laughing, cooking, eating, and going to a little thing called "Rhinebeck." It's been 9 years since I visited in the east and I cannot wait!!
I let out a cheer on Friday afternoon when I got home and saw this:
No more gaping hole covered with sheets of plywood. No more orange safety fence, cones, and flashing lights. There's still a bit of that on the next block and around the 'hood, but they are finishing up. Rusty already finessed the wonky bricks and the dirt/seed!
I had a smiley-faced visitor early on Saturday morning:
She stayed with me 'til mid-morning. Such a delight. I don't often have just her in my care.
It was city-wide rummage sale day and, though I don't *need* anything, I couldn't resist stopping at a few that looked interesting.
I spent a dollar and brought home three things, one of which was this sink... and the sink was FREE! It has some goofiness around the drain and may drip a bit, but I intend to use it outside and that doesn't really matter that much. I put it to work right away, re-over-dyeing an Eileen Fisher wrap in indigo that I'd just dyed the weekend before. It was originally a terrible-for-me pale peach color, but I bought it because a) I liked the shape, b) it was fabric I could "work" with, and c) it was on super-duper sale... that was quite a while ago, and I finally gave it a dunk (or three).
I baptized myself!
On Sunday morning, I ran out with Kate to a fun little vintage market where her friend Claire had a booth. I found a sweet little bracelet made by Claire -- me, who usually wears nothing more than earrings. I'm wearing it today, along with a bracelet of similar style that was given to me a few years ago! What'll happen next?
On Sunday afternoon, Rusty & I attended the wedding of one of my coworkers at a park in Green Bay.
It was a glorious afternoon for such a thing!
The evening wasn't bad, either.
I hope your weekend was good! I am getting used to the idea of my daughter being on the other side of the world. Thankfully, it didn't take long for her to start blogging... and she's already had a tale or two to tell! Here's Post #1 and Post #2, and feel free to subscribe or follow along if you'd like. She will be leaving Auckland today headed for... I don't know exactly where! Hopefully, wherever it is, she'll find some wifi. :)
Last week, Wednesday, I drove over to help Maddy vacate her apartment and haul the remainder of her belongings back home. After a lot of hard work and saving, she was in the final stage of preparation for her year-long trip to New Zealand (and beyond).
There was practice packing! And that is it... with the exception of hiking boots that she isn't wearing in these photos, it's all in there... clothing, shoes, toiletries, a towel, tent, sleeping bag, and cooking gear. Believe it or not!
There was detailing of the aforementioned hiking boots, making sure they were free of any and all dirt! Toothpicks were employed. (You can lose your footwear at entry if they're not spic & span.)
There was a weekend in Milwaukee visiting friends, then a fare-the-well gathering at home with friends and family.
Here's her quirky & hilarious first GoPro video from a few nights earlier at home when Ali & the kiddos were over. Maddy's friends & coworkers chipped in and gave her a GoPro HERO Session as a gift! (I can't wait for more!!)
Finally, it was departure day!! Kate, Maddy, Rusty & I all drove down to Chicago on Tuesday morning.
"Travel without limits." (Serendipitous selfie backdrop!)
We had a marvelous farewell lunch at our favorite spot, The Purple Pig*, and then drove out to the airport.
She will be traveling, exploring, discovering, hiking, paddling, and probably working a little bit, too. Maybe on a sheep farm! She will likely travel to other places, as well, such as Australia and Thailand where she has friends. And likely to Europe (Spain!) as she makes her way home next summer. That's getting way ahead of things tho...
For now, it's enough that she's landed. Yesterday, it was 1 p.m. CST Wednesday/6 a.m. NZST Thursday when she arrived in Auckland. A little time travel! The next few days will be spent settling, acclimating, and preparing for... whatever happens next!
Whew! That was one long day... I won't be making a habit of day-trips to Chicago!
*We had our favorite Chicken Thigh Kebabs with Fried Smashed Potatoes & Tzatziki along with Smashed Potatoes with Sheep Feta & Oregano, and Bobota "Greek Cornbread" with Feta, Mizithra Cheese & Honey. Then we got adventurous and tried a couple of new dishes: Housemade Gyros & Pita Bread with Pickled Beets & Pickled Turnips, and Squid Stuffed with Proscuitto & Bread Crumbs with Santorini Fava Puree & Charmoula. Oh my goodness, it was all simply delicious!
Rusty's dad passed away peacefully on Friday while awaiting heart surgery that was scheduled for Monday.
Though they were never close, there was an accord which developed over the past several years. I only met him twice, myself; once when Kate was an infant and he visited us in Oregon, and when he and his wife made a trip to Wisconsin in the '90s.
A little slice of heaven right there on a Wednesday morning. It does a heart good. The new lines are in, the shop is open... hopefully it won't be too long before the road is open, too.
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Our community is in mourning following the devastating loss on Tuesday of a 12-year-old boy who was struck by a school bus on the way home from school; he died at the hospital a short while later. Details of the accident have not yet been made public. It's heartbreaking. And very frustrating, as traffic flow/management is a real issue in our small city right now, and I feel that it was likely a huge factor in this accident -- however it actually played out. A river runs through it -- and a canal. There used to be three thoroughfares to cross those waterways. A few years ago, an application for state funding was missed for one of those spans, and it was replaced with a "pedestrian" bridge... which sort of made sense once, when the library was right there, but it largely unused these days. A second bridge has been closed much of the summer for maintenance, and will be for yet a few more months, leaving only the third bridge open... one thoroughfare in a small city of nearly 16,000. The middle school sits on an island right between the second & third bridges...
1 -- I picked up Jün at the farmers market on Saturday morning and we ran errands together. They didn't have "car carts" at the grocery store when my kids were little, so that was a first (and I only knocked/bumped a few things!) (he was much happier and more excited than it looks). Then we hung out at my house -- reading (he's not tired of my excellent caterwauling), snacking, playing! I answered my first "WHY?" question from him... here we go!
2 -- On Saturday evening, I watched the Wisconsin Badgers vs. LSU at Lambeau Field while I wove in the ends on my Green Bay Packers Scoreboard Cowl. I ran out of yarn 2 games short of a full season, but it is plenty long... and it is what it is! The ends are all in and I'm ready for grafting!
3 -- On Sunday, Kate & I drove up to Door County for the day. We'd originally planned to do that last Wednesday, but ended up in Madison that day... doing what was supposed to be done the day the car crapped out.
4 -- In addition to having my favorite lunch at my favorite place (which, after all these years, wasn't quite up to par... so we may expand our culinary horizons next time) (change is good), we stopped at a used book shop and also visited a couple of galleries. Rusty had work at Edgewood Orchard Gallery years ago, and it's changed and expanded quite a bit, especially outside where there is a nice courtyard and a large sculpture garden. I loved the detail on the dress of the sculpture above... also pretty epic hair. The "paint" is at The Hardy Gallery, which is housed in a 130+ year old warehouse on the dock at Ephraim. It's amazing. Rusty had and sold a piece at this gallery earlier in the season.
5 -- The Door County trip was spontaneous, Sunday having originally been declared "art day." I didn't actually make anything on Sunday, but I did pull out my collection of old photos... I have a half-baked idea and am looking for some inspiration.
6 -- I started ripping out one of the KonMari'd projects while riding in the passenger seat and finished it off on Sunday night.
7 -- On Monday, I wound it into a hank on the swift, then soaked both hanks of reclaimed yarn and hung them to dry!
8 -- I also still had that small bucket of indigo outside. I refreshed it, tied & folded up a few onesies, and gave 'em a dunk or two or three. I haven't yet tired of the BLUE MAGIC!!
9 -- Did some good cooking... and eating. We've been quite diligent about making a weekly menu and sticking to it! One of the best things about it is that we almost always plan to make more, packing up leftovers right away into lunch-size containers, ready to grab in the morning. That means that I have this delicious salmon with cherry tomatoes and basil (baked in a foil packet... thanks Mark Bittman) to enjoy again today!!
10 -- I labored... purposefully and as little as possible, but one still needs clean clothes and a balanced checkbook!
Meanwhile, I finally made a decision about a new audio book -- one that wasn't even on the radar, of course. The Life We Bury is by Allen Eskens; it's not his first book, but it is his first novel. I'm only a few chapters in... and won't be surprised if that square also turns blue by the end of the weekend!
The book I chose to record for the "read aloud" square is Hairy Maclary's Caterwaul Caper, which Junah LOVED! He was especially tuned in and entertained by my excellent caterwauling and barking. Haha.
Remember last year when we were given a nice fruit box gift at Christmas time from our auto repair place? Well, we may have reached the next level already this year! Gah.
Mama's gotta shake it...
I didn't pick up the box that was delivered from Fringe Supply Co. until last night, so I didn't have to agonize over the wait!
I stocked the shop this morning, right on time, on my way to work! Available now...
WOOLLELUJAH!! A brand new bag from Fringe Supply Co. -- and it's HUGE! $25. Limited in-stock supply. - made and printed in USA - available in blue - sturdy 10 oz. 100% cotton canvas - 1.5"-wide cotton webbing straps - gusseted bottom sits flat - 18" wide x 13" high x 9" deep
(There are also a few of the discontinued SHEEPMOJIbags still in stock! $20.)