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Where did it go?


I could ask that about the weekend!  It was crazy-busy here -- moving Maddy to college, continuing with rearranging things at home and ramping up the prep for an upcoming rummage sale, and including a visit by the nephews!  And cold!  Yowza!!  The arctic chill was definitely in the air yesterday.

My sis wanted 2-year photos of her youngest, including some in this adorable little outfit that my mom brought back from Italy.  Those are "cropped pants," "capri pants," "high water pants" -- whatever you want to call them -- not seen on many men 'round here (yet?), but on a 2yo???  Freakin' adorable.  And with the little cap, too?  Scrump-dilly-icious!  This was Round 2 (change of clothes) and I'd already resorted to bribery here and given him a Pez (from the Lion King "Pumba" dispenser in my hot shoe), but he dropped it and couldn't find it.  Where did it go??  (It's pink and barely visible under the laces on the shoe in the foreground)!!

Yes, we also sang Hakuna Matata!

Did I knit?  Yes, I did!!  Finished a square of the correct size for current square knitting and modified one that I'd finished earlier that was too small.  I located some other squares that had never been mailed (darn it!), so a trip to the P.O. is in my future!  I may be doing some legwarmers for a non-knitting photog acquaintance in Washington who has a party with an '80s theme coming up -- just the type of near-mindless knitting I'm looking for right now!

Have a great week.

Fun times


We had a good time at Maddy's dinner last night.  We gave Katie's camera to a lady waiting outside at Red Lobster and she snapped a few as we were leaving.


Yeah, we had a REALLY good time!

Um, I should be loading stuff...

There goes my baby


1. Mad1, 2. Mad2, 3. Mad3-4, 4. Mad5, 5. Mud Pie 1993, 6. Mad6, 7. People2, 8. Mad7, 9. People9, 10. People11, 11. DSC07071, 12. DSC07077, 13. Daughters and Dad, 14. New, 15. Happy Mouse, 16. Bemused Mouse, 17. Mouse, 18. Silly Mouse, 19. Growly Mouse, 20. Maddy and Mary, 21. People8, 22. Maddy-lomo, 23. girls-n-me2, 24. girls-n-me, 25. baby, 26. M is for Maddy, 27. M is for Maddy, 28. Shades, 29. Everybody jump?, 30. These three..., 31. Happy Birthday, Maddy!, 32. Gotcha!, 33. Tattoo 2, 34. Tattoo 1, 35. Maddy -- 6-3-09 36. Not available (I don't know what's up with #36!)

Summer's nearly over and I take Maddy to college tomorrow.  College!!  She was barely in middle school when I started this blog and has appeared here (a reluctant, sometime model of thrummed mittens) less than the other two (I think I exasperate her more than I do the other two).  She was more indulgent as a subject when part of a group... say, one that made a capital "I" or modelled a new skirt.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, my kids grew up way too fast.  There's nothing to do but look forward to the next chapter!

My own Grey Gardens

I took an extra day (today) off this week because of this cleaning jag.  Yesterday, I took down the window coverings in the downstairs bathroom and threw them in the wash.  When I hung them on the line, I discovered they were in shreds.


All I could think of was how my house would resemble Grey Gardens if I hung them back up.  I made these treatments myself -- a big, poufy valance covering the top half of the window (above), and a white-on-white floral panel covering the lower -- and the windows MUST be covered as there's one to your right at seat-level when you're on the pot!  I must have made these 20 years ago or so -- I can't remember, can't even recall what was on those windows before!  The windows are on the west side of the house and don't get a lot of direct sun, but what they do get -- an early afternoon direct hit -- is fierce.  I am very pleased, really, to have had these last for so long.

So yesterday afternoon I took a break for fabric shopping.  Holy crap, that is not easy!  I started at JoAnn (they just moved into bigger, shinier digs) and found a couple designs that I liked, but heavier fabric than I wanted.  I ended up at a quilting shop and paid a lot of $ per yard, but the average is about $4/year if they last another 20 (and they should).

I washed and dried the fabric last night and really didn't even begin to ponder when I'd get to ironing, cutting, sewing.  The good thing is that they're just straight panels with hems and casings -- nothing fancy in the making at all -- but still, lots of TIME!!

Mom called this morning, wondering if she could come over and help me in some way.  I didn't really have a job for her -- this cleaning thing is 95% sorting, organizing and tossing and, well, I am her daughter but we have very different sensibilities and, yes, standards.  So I was putting her off once again when she asked about whether I'd found fabric for the bathroom.  I told her that yes, I had, and I'd already had it washed and dried.  Then the bell rang and she said, "Well, would you like me to iron it for you?"

That is truly a match made in heaven.  My mother has the cadillac of Rowenta irons (it has a separate reservoir to hold the water for steam) and she absolutely LOVES to iron!  Me?  I don't like to iron so much.  I have stuff that needs to be ironed (and/or buttons sewn on) yet from when the kids were little.  If stuff can't make it through the washer and dryer (or clothesline), then it's just not meant to be -- same thing with dishes and the dishwasher.  You can usually tell when I've ironed because of the lingering smell of scorched fabric.

I did not take a photo of the new fabric yet, but I will... pressed and folded and gently hung on a hanger.

Happy!  (It's the little things.)

The rain may never fall 'til after sundown Camelot.  Camelot!  Camelot!


It rained in Camelot again last night.  Teddy died.

I'm sitting here trying to think of an equivalent, permeating thread -- good, bad, and ugly -- in my children's lives and there is nothing that even comes close.

Rest in peace, Ted; maybe play a little football with your brothers.

Mum's the word

I went to the hardware store with Ali yesterday to have some paint mixed up and, on the way in, spotted a lovely display of mums that refused to be ignored.  I like yellow and gold with the house, but the orange looked nice, too, so I found some that were a blend and brought them home!


And now I finally have a full front porch planter box!  I can't believe I let it sit there empty all summer.  I never even had pansies.  (I know!)  Our spring was so miserable and early summer wasn't the greatest; by the time the weather improved it just seemed too late to bother and my desire for digging in dirt had long gone, anyway.  I do believe this is the first time this year I've had dirt under my fingernails.


Ali's BF has offered to patch together my falling-apart, weathered, old oak porch chair, but the porch is nekkid without a chair of some sort.  I tried the hot pink-painted folding chair, and if it were a little bit bigger it might have worked -- I liked the color; in the end I pulled one of the "new" hand-me-down patio chairs from Mom up there.  It looks rather stately, though it leans decidedly to the left.  (It could be worse.)


I cooked on Saturday rather than Sunday because more people would be around then.  Katie picked up the ingredients I didn't have on hand, and that helped a lot.  I was a little bit scattered as I prepped and put together a delicious lasagna (oops, lightly scorching the tomato-meat mixture).  I eventually found my kitchen groove and even started cleaning!  I think I've (finally) been bit by the bug, as I'm making plans to take an extra day off of work this week... to clean!


I got rained on -- a yucky cold drizzle that made it feel a lot more like October than August -- during Friday night's "Art On The Town" event, prompting a stop between venues for my first hot chocolate of the season.  As a result, my head felt a little clunky all weekend and my throat was awfully sore and scratchy yesterday, but I think I've held a late-summertime cold at bay.

I took some time last night to watch Julia Child's episodes on French Onion Soup and Boulliabaise, and bound off the second of an undetermined number of project squares while watching her chop and whack.  She gives a good lesson on keeping knives in the onion soup segment, and OMG the whacking and the Big Fish in the other!  I'm using yarn left over from a sweater for the squares, and think I'll just keep knitting them 'til the yarn's gone.

Another bridge...

Bridge Over Trouble Water, Bridge On The River Kwai, Bridges of Madison County...

Under the bridge

...bridges in my 'hood.  I guess I'm finding them a little bit fascinating lately.

Ah, the weekend...  What's up for the weekend?  Well, tonight I'm going to Dave Jackson's SIMPLE+DIRTY "The Great Trespass" exhibit opening at Avenue Art.  And that alone might constitute the weekend's excitement as I have nothing else planned.  I must finish processing last weekend's photo shoot and get the proofs posted tomorrow.  On Sunday, I'm thinkin' it might be fun to see if I can remember how to be domestic.  I'd like to cook something.  I really should clean some(many)thing(s).

We'll see how that all goes.  Have a happy weekend!

Katie under the bridge

I drive under this overpass frequently, as it is on my preferred route home from work -- which is different than my preferred route to work.  I started taking different routes home when I was prepping to quit smoking 4+ years ago -- it was one of the tips I'd read to change up the routine and confound the triggers and it's been documented before about how the after-work/driving-home smoke was the hardest for me to get over.  I started taking a different route to work after being smushed between two vehicles on the highway one morning, thanking my lucky stars to escape with only some wrinkled metal and broken fiberglass -- yeah, no thanks.


A.n.y.w.a.y...  I pass under this bridge on my way home and when I look to the right there are all these wonderful arches and when it's late in the day and the light is sweetening, I want to throw someone under the bridge and shoot them!  Heh.  It's so very true.  I love shooting people -- under bridges, in their own back yards, in museums and parks, in their own homes.  Problem is that while I often have my camera, I don't usually have a ready and willing subject.

'Til Tuesday!  I know you can hardly see her, but that's Katie.  I didn't have much with me by way of equipment, but enough to see if I was on the right track and whether something might happen.  Count this as #1 in a series.  I have some other ideas to try out.  I'm dieing to shoot more people under the bridge!

New blog alert:  little red fish litte red fish.  It's Kate's and she describes it as "...a blog about things i think are cool, and that's it."  It's... cool!

Random Wednesday: Flashback Edition


I think I really loved my Indian costume when I was three.  I fixed the worst of the major scratches in this photo (Mom's face and hair!) -- one of my favorite things as a kid was to go through old photos jumbled in a box, but the scratching is a major drawback to that type of storage system.  Many years later, I put most of our photos into albums, which turned out to be a bad idea because of the type of albums (stupid "magnetic" pages) that I used.

I love this photo.  I love Mom and how expressive the twins are -- should have cropped myself right out of this scan because those three make it!

It was a long day yesterday.  In a nutshell, my sister is undergoing a course of chemotherapy during which scans will be taken at periodic intervals to determine effectiveness of treatment and, depending, carrying on or trying something else.  Basically: Wait & See.  And pray and hope and think good thoughts!

Knitting:  I completely messed up Transverse the other day.  I pulled the needles and unsuccessfully tried to pick up stitches -- no lifeline, of course, that would be too easy -- so it's in time out, sitting in a lump on my work table 'til I have the time and patience to deal.  In the meantime, some quick and much easier knitting of squares took place during wait time yesterday.  While I've been cabling without a needle more often than with lately, I'm currently knitting with cotton -- and perhaps a bit tight -- and a needle is a good idea.  I didn't have an extra needle of any type with me yesterday, so I channeled MacGyver and used the clip part of a removable pen cap (no duct tape required).

Weeds & Words


You can barely make out the words in this photographic concoction.  Words are giving me trouble, too.  Think some good ones for us today.  I'll do it, too.

The next thing on my list

We both finished work at the same time, so I met Katie for a quick bite to eat on Friday night before heading south.  I took the scenic route through wind turbine country to Oconomowoc, WI, and met up with DH who got a head start in order to set up for a weekend art fair there.

I knew the route I wanted to take and printed out a fairly detailed map that included all the highlights -- namely, Farmersville, Mayville, and Iron Ridge.  Turns out, I took a wrong turn and meandered my way through the Byrons, too.  I think.  I really need a Garmin for these scenic drives.  It's officially on my Want List.

Hay bales

We were guests in a wonderful '50s-era home on beautiful Lac La Belle in Oconomowoc.  Many locals host artists during the fair, also throwing a big dinner party on Saturday night, and DH has always stayed with the same couple.  I've had an open invitation since the beginning, but kids, weddings, family reunions -- something -- always conspired to keep me away.  Even this time, I was able to stay only one night.

Hay bales

We had a relaxing evening on Friday, making acquaintance over a bottle (or two) of wine and wonderful conversation.  I started Saturday morning watching a sailboat race and taking a tour of the lake by boat.

Hay bales

By Saturday afternoon I was heading west to Annie's and a babysitting date with Mack and Addison.  Turns out, Karen and her family were there to help my niece move into a new apartment, so I had my two older nephews as able babysitting assistants!

I had a photo shoot on Sunday morning (sneak peek is up) while everyone else arrived for brunch -- Uncle Jim, Sharon, Mike & Judy, Mom & Joe, another nephew and his girlfriend.  It didn't start out to be so huge, but sort of took on a life of its own.  Annie sure knows how to do brunch!  It was delicious and a good time was had by all.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be out the door at 5:00 a.m. -- that's 10 minutes before my alarm usually goes off!  I don't mind, though -- Mom & Joe will pick me up for a day-trip to Madison and it's a great time to make that drive.  Not sure yet whether I'll post ahead, take the laptop and post from the road, or wait 'til I'm back home... but I will post!

The hayfield and haybales are from the drive home yesterday.  Will I ever tire of that scene?

(Probably not.)

Bon appetit!

Last night we watched "The Potato Show," starring butter, cream, potatoes, a squeaky oven door, and Julia Child.  It is the first episode found on Disc 1 of The French Chef with Julia Child, which was not only added to my Netflix queue immediately upon my return from watching Julie and Julia, but catapulted right to the top!

Meryl Streep reenacts an excerpt from "The Potato Show" in Julie and Julia.  If you have seen the movie and enjoyed it as much as I did, you MUST find a way to also watch the original.  I think you'll enjoy it, plus you'll learn how to make 4 very nice potato dishes.

Only 196 to go!  (You must watch.)

I am also still reading My Life In France and enjoying it so much.  Who knew?  Really.  Appetite For Life will be added to my reading list, as well; I can't imagine a better title for a book about Julia Child.

Mmmm, potatoes...


...from the archives.  Some good stuff there.

A good and busy weekend ahead that will include lots of family, an art show, a photo shoot.  I hope you have a good one, too.

Edited to fix some linkage problems and also to add...

P.S.  Have I mentioned knitting AT ALL lately?  I haven't done much this week.  I pulled it out last night and FINALLY added the fourth (and final) ball of root sizing silk to the Transverse Scarf -- 3/4 DONE... um, make that 3/4 FINISHED!  (Hi Mom.)

Mural update

Time for a mural update!  I still haven't made it over there on a Monday -- the big weekly work day; hopefully, next week.


I took a couple of other photos -- surprisingly, not a one of my favorite begoggled swimmer boy -- check 'em all out in my Flickr Mural Set.

Thank you for your kind words yesterday.  Blogging has certainly enriched my life and brought me some wonderful, supportive, and generous friends.


I missed the best of the evening light by exactly two minutes last night.  These particular hydrangea bushes -- right smack in front of my house, I might add -- are loaded with flowers but not particularly big; in fact, they are quite small.  So I missed the best of the light, but was determined to try to catch as much as I could as it faded and first squatted, then crouched, touched one knee to the ground, then the other, then my butt, an elbow... I try not to think about the neighbors 'til I pick myself up and dust myself off.  It's pretty, though, isn't it?

I'm thinking of making a card, a set of cards, a series of prints -- it's still formulating -- but a special and distinctive series of images to sell on Etsy designating some or all of the profit to the American Cancer Society or a local women's health organization... something.

It's the time you have, not the time you want.  (Thanks Kate!)

A hard mix


I had the camera outside this morning to shoot some of DH's paintings before he frames them up and takes them on the road to a few upcoming art fairs -- actually, he de-framed a couple so there's some re-framing going on.  Anyway, the hydrangeas and balloon flower were blooming up a storm right behind me and I trained my lens on them, too.

I played around with this image a bit in Photoshop.  I added a layer with another image, applied a mask and used a brush to reveal certain parts, adjusting opacity along the way.  Then I duplicated the layer and played around with opacity some more and also changed the mode of the layer to something called Hard Mix.

It's that kind of day today.  My sister's cancer has spread, the diagnosis has changed some... layers, masks, brushes, opacity, mode... a hard mix.

I'm pretty much at a loss for words except for ones like shit, damn, fuck, crap, cancer sucks, shit, damn, and fuck again.  And I'm a little bit numb.  I'm focusing on the little things, simple tasks and right now that is to find something beautiful, find some joy, find something happy -- find a smile -- everyday.


Three very old (I'm told) bachelor brothers own a little farm across the road from work and I am absolutely smitten with it and, though I wouldn't know them from Adam, the farmers, too.  There's a well-kept yard and barn with fabulous outbuildings, a modest house, cute implements, corn and wheat and cows.

Sometimes I get to see the cows up close.  I only ever see the farmers from afar -- riding their tractors, working the fields.

The lay of the land is such and the corn so tall right now that soon I'll just barely be able to see the rooftops of the houses that back up to the farm on the other side.


They've cut the fields on either side of the corn -- a smaller one on the east side, and this larger one on the west.  Let's have a closer look... if you can see through the smudges on my car window (perfectly timed red light this morning afforded a hasty camera phone shot).

Wheat play

I can't explain how I feel about these little stacks -- about these fields full of them right across the street!  It's wheat, I think, and it looks so quaint.  I just love that little farm.

Stricken with a sudden case of wanderlust

So my new thing is not only to post everyday (every weekday, anyway) but to also include phoitos.  It was so hot and humid this weekend, I laid pretty low and so did my camera.  I had it out on Saturday for some work stuff, but not really blog stuff.

No problem.  That's what Flickr Archives are for!!  I went searching and this is what I found.  A year ago...


I was having fun with Maddy and Katie in NJ and NYC, seeing a show at MOMA; meeting up with Theresa and her family; hangin' with Cara and meeting Meli, meeting up with Georgie, C & M for pizza and going out for rice pudding.

We went out for rice pudding.  A year later, and I still can't get over that.


Cara drove us out to Long Island and we spent a couple of days with Ann and some time discovering Long Island.  That was a fun few days.

I really like to travel.  *sigh*

Other than laying low, my favorite activity on a hot and humid afternoon is (not very active) to go see a movie!  It was Julie & Julia yesterday afternoon and I love, love, loved it!  Stopped by my mother's on the way home to borrow Mastering The Art of French Cooking... watch for Boeuf Bourguignon coming soon to a table near me!!

I hope you had a good weekend!!  What did you do for a little fun/escape?

Hooked On A Feeling


Please excuse the repetition.  I just love this picture -- the little yellow house, the sky, the feeling.

I'm hooked on this feeling.

Happy Birthday, BJ Thomas!!  I feel so warm and fuzzy when I hear his songs on the radio.  "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" was the accompanying 45RPM to The 5th Dimension's "The Age of Aquarius" LP and my own big-girl record player for Christmas 1969... or '70.  Such an amazing time -- a very tumultuous time in my life, and sometimes just plain fuzzy, but somehow not unhappy.  And oh my god, the music...

The Cowsills, The Monkeys, The Beatles, The Doors, The Turtles, The Who, The Temptations, The Kinks, The Youngbloods, The Byrds, The Band, The Archies, The Rolling Stones, The Moody Blues, The Beach Boys, The Jackson 5.

Simon & Garfunkel, Zager & Evans, Jay & The Americans, Sly & The Family Stone, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Tommy James & The Shondells, Diana Ross & The Supremes.

Crosby, Stills & Nash.  Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Cream, Oliver, Elvis, Chicago, Donovan.

Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Tommy Roe, Neil Diamond, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan.

I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it 'til my fingers bled
It was the summer of '69

"Summer of '69," Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance

There you go.  You ought to be able to think of something to happily hum your way through the rest of the day.  Make it happy!

Mural update

In effort not to show my favorite part -- the little swimmer boy -- EVERY time I post about the mural, I tried to photograph OTHER parts on Tuesday night's walk with Katie.  Interesting choices.


DH was the painter of the bakery.  It's not too far from our house and he's always been a big fan of Thursday Cookie Day... hey, it's THURSDAY today and that looks like my car!!


Broiled burgers, big ice cream cones, AND jalousie windows at Dick's Drive-in!


Yep.  We like our cookie days, broiled burgers, and big ice cream cones!

I had an unscheduled and impromptu Pajama Day yesterday!  I kept threatening to get dressed, kept letting myself be distracted, and the morning flew by in an instant!  Thankfully, the clock slowed some in the afternoon; I was pretty busy and managed to knock some niggly things off my list.

I've been working on business stuff -- for Ali and also for me!  One of those things is a presence on Facebook -- because all the cool kids are doin' it!  If you're on FB -- and can tear yourself away from Farm Town or Bejeweled Blitz -- I'd love it if you'd Fan Me!

Sunday Road Trip, continued



I am pretty sure I wouldn't feel the same about the Lake Michigan shoreline if it weren't also for the farms.  It's what I love about my favorite side of Lake Winnebago, too.  There are some similarities in what I love about large bodies of water and farmland -- the openness of the sky, the expanse of water/land, the waves, the interesting constructions (hello, outbuildings!) and specialized vehicles -- put them together and I'm feelin' a little bit of heaven.  (I almost wrote "heavin'," but no, not that exactly.)


We drove up to Kewaunee.  I'd never been there before and it was intriguing, so I took a right on one of the main streets and drove toward the water.  We happened upon Hamachek Hall, part of Hamachek Village, all part of Kewaunee Renaissance.  Hamachek Hall is huge.


On the lake side of Hamachek Hall is a most beautiful scene.



The little yellow house can be used for many things.  It seems it's mostly used for weddings.


My first choice would be for one of the girls to get married in Greece, a la "Mamma Mia," complete with singing and dancing on the way in, "So Happy Together" on the way out.  The singing and dancing happens no matter where the wedding takes place.  I am still having daydreams about that old greenhouse in Stevens Point.  The little yellow house at Hamachek Village in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, has been added to the list.  It could definitely work (and be much LESS work than the greenhouse).  Haha.  Oh, the way my mind just takes off sometimes!

This is perfect, though, isn't it?  Fling open those doors and let the light and the lake breeze in?  Fill the place up with friends and family?  Have a little party?


Our last stop on the way home was in Dyckesville at the Frosty Tip!  The highway has been re-routed around town, now, and I'm sure that business has suffered, but there was a good bit of coming and going while we were there.  I love how Katie's checkin' out the cute little Mercedes while bringing me my cone.  It was a super yummy ice cream cone, too; I haven't had one in ages!


Well, here's the deal.  You can only do what you can do.  Sometimes life sucks, crappy news comes on rainy Monday mornings, and the resulting weakened state makes it too easy to get sucked into the toxic world in which others seem to thrive.  Well, it's Tuesday now.  We're exploring options; dealin'.  And remembering what a fun Sunday afternoon we had at the lakeshore.

Beach grass

We took a Sunday drive.  We pointed the car east and stopped when we hit water.  DH used to take the kids to this beach a lot.  I've only been a few times (maybe even only a couple) because that would always be my alone time at home.  I treasured that time; I could love my family better when I had time alone.  I'm told this beach was much more sandy and much less grassy in those days.

Rock collector

Alison was attending "Wimbledon" -- a fun, annual, weekend event held by the family of one of her BF's friends -- and Maddy will be visiting some folks 'round Sturgeon Bay in the next couple of weeks; Katie had the day off, though, and came along for the ride.  She is starting to prepare for a move into her own place and has some ideas about decorating in which these rocks will play a role.  I collected bags full of those flat black rocks -- big ones -- along the Lake Michigan shore in my youth.

Wisconsin's Eastern Lakeshore

It was a pretty stellar afternoon.  And very picturesque.


We drove up to Kewaunee, Algoma and Sturgeon Bay, hugging the shore the entire way.  I could live anywhere along that shoreline, absolutely anywhere; it awakens dreams.  We had dinner at the Sunset Bar & Grill outside of Sturgeon Bay and then a nice drive down the bay side of the peninsula to Green Bay and then home.

The plan is to knit out tonight!  I don't think I've touched it since Friday!!


It's one of those Mondays that can get you down, but I'm going to try hard to focus on the positive and maybe I'll find some strength to deal with the rest.

Want some?

Little boys (and their parents) came for a quick weekend visit.  Mom & Joe are recovering from their trip to Italy -- about which I have little sympathy because, well, it was a trip to ITALY... we should ALL have that problem (or one similar of our own choosing)!  Anyway, I had everyone to my house on Saturday night for grub from the grill.


I don't recall the exact circumstances of this shot, but I was privileged to get a sneak peek of the super-cool and amazing Spidey underwear... right there on the sidewalk in front of my house!

Boys in the house!

The playhouse is getting some use again!!