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I'll be weaving in ends as time allows today. Buttons will be sewn on this evening.  Maddy will be able to model for an FO shot on Sunday!  If I can nab her on the way through, that is.  (The color, above, is quite a bit more true, by the way.)

I re-sewed the too-tight raglan seams on Oblique last night and I'm much happier -- much, much happier!!  I also picked up all the stitches for the collar.  I picked up too many stitches for the collar, but equal on both sides, so I just need to figure out the math and how to make it work.  I didn't have the head for it last night and wouldn't have been able to make out my calculations through the tears, anyway.  Lordy.  I've never cried so much during performances and medal ceremonies as I have for women's figure skating -- so happy for Joannie Rochette, so relieved for Kim Yu-Na, so sorry for Mao Asada, so sad for all of them for so many different reasons.  Wow.  They're all amazing young women.

I was prepared to spend some money on buttons for My Habu Sweater last night -- it proved quite difficult, both to find buttons and to spend money.  The weight of the buttons is as important as color and size -- the sweater is very light, if not delicate.  It took a while, but I think I found the perfect thing!  Yes, this is the cliff-hanger...

Happy weekend!

Button day

I bought buttons yesterday.  I didn't go far -- just to the Five-and-Dime in the next little 'burg -- so my selection was limited, but I found suitable buttons for three of the four sweaters I dragged along.  Sweet little off-white shank buttons for Fiddlehead Pullover; some plain black shank buttons for Oblique; and these for Maddy's sweater.

Button choice

She requested wooden buttons, which these are not, but I think they're okay.  What do you think?

Button closest yet

I love the "grain" and the little hint of blue."

Button closer

Yeah.  They had some nice wooden buttons, but not enough of any of the correct sizes in any of the designs (one or two) that I liked.

Tonight, I'll be stopping by Iris Fine Yarns to find something SPECTACULAR for My Habu Sweater.  I'm not even to the first elbow in the reknitting of the back, but I'm continuing to steam ahead.

I ran errands galore for most of the morning yesterday and ran into Mom at the coffee shop.  She came by afterwards to pick up her new vest, and called me later (after shoveling) to tell me that she put it on, she LOVES it, it fits perfectly, and she'd forgotten how beautiful it was.

I started to sew Oblique together and I am LOVING that sweater, but will have to redo a couple of seams -- I struggle with sewing TOO TIGHTLY, limiting ease and movement, and even pulling things out of shape.  Sewing a sweater together is NOT like sewing a skirt (unless it's knit) (which never will be a skirt o' mine).  Ugh.  So then I kind of hit the wall.  I sat there for a bit, but nothing was knitting itself...  So I figured out the spacing for buttonholes on Maddy's sweater and finished that off so I could start the collar.  Soldiering on... You know.

Back in the saddle

Crocheted edge

I'm hookin' again!

Small victories

Yeah.  I kinda didn't want to let a little crocheting bring me down.  I don't do it often, but I know how to do it -- I took a class!  My grandma can do that, for cryin' out loud -- probably yours, too!

All this baby needs now are buttons and a little light steaming around the edges.

I wove in a bunch of ends on Mom's Habu Vest during my lunch break yesterday and will do more of the same today.  I brought my hook and the correct fiber for crocheting the tie, also.

Last night, I cast off the second front of My Habu Sweater, and cast on for the reknitting of the back.  That's rather daunting, but I'm choosing not to think or dwell on it much -- just blindly moving forward, knitting one stitch, one row, one increase at a time.

I will need to resolve Maddy's button band/closure issue tonight.  Button shopping happens tomorrow!

Weekend recap, and forecast for the week ahead

It took me a while to get started on Saturday, but I finally settled down and seamed all the pieces together for Mom's Habu Vest.  Crazy how well that turned out.  I'll be sewing in ends today and crocheting the tie.  It would be nice to take the FO modelled shots with Mom on Wednesday!

Fiddlehead Pullover

High on success, I dove right in and set in the sleeves on Maddy's sweater -- and seamed it on Sunday.  On a roll, I sewed in the sleeves and seamed up the Fiddlehead Pullover!  The Fiddlehead needs only a crocheted neckline edge that incorporates four buttonholes and buttons; I am going to knit that edge because I've wasted too much precious time already with the hook.

Maddy's sweater will require a bit more thought, as the written finish (fringes and pocket flaps and more crochet) suits neither Maddy nor me; there will certainly be a collar, and I'm looking for my inspiration regarding the buttonband.

Fiddlehead neckline

The glaring mistake in placement of the neck opening was not actually glaring until it was all sewn up... I'm not turning back.

Knitting time (evenings) has been devoted to My Habu Sweater.  I am nearing the sleeve cuff, on the home stretch of the second front.  My ability to read the Japanese pattern didn't suffer much in the year or so since I knit the back, but my gauge sure has.  I think I'll be casting on immediately to reknit the back -- otherwise, I just know this thing is going to sit in an unfinished funk for another year.  Or more.  I just know it.  You do, too.

I am resigned to the fact that I'm probably not going to finish all of these sweaters by Sunday night, especially given that there will be no knitting at all on Saturday.

  • Mom's vest will be finished
  • Fiddlehead will be finished
  • Maddy's sweater (with requested wooden buttons) will be finished
  • My Habu sweater will likely be finished -- or very close
  • The fate of Coup d'Etat has pretty much been decided 
  • Seaming Oblique on Wednesday is the only way it has a prayer

I'm not letting up and still aiming for gold; I'll continue to give it my best and we'll see...

It's magic


I seamed the shoulders on Maddy's sweater late yesterday and set in the sleeves last night.

Today, the magic continues.  Doing the side and sleeves seams using mattress stitch.


It has been established that "finishing" is not my favorite part of the process.  And it's not just knitting.  I was talking with my sister Karen last night and she was quick to bring up all the cross stitch pieces that I've stitched but left unfinished.  (Gee, thanks Karen, for bringing all that up!)  I've been told (by my mother) that I'm a lot like my grandmother (her mother) in that way, so at least I come by it honestly.  Heh.  Anyway, there are some procedures in the process of finishing that slay me with their simple beauty and magic.  Seaming with mattress stitch is one.  It serves as motivation, too, so I'm off to do the other...

Happy Sunday!



In the words of Setsuko Torii, "The yarn is also a living creature.  It will stretch or shrink depending on the season or where you live."  Even as I was sewing these six pieces together today, I never dreamed they would fit like this.  It seems that the garment is a living creature, as well.

Left to do:  Weave in ends -- they are hanging all over the place!  Crochet a 50" long tie.  I am almost finished with this thing!!!

Right now, though, while the window light is still "good," I think I'll start sewing up another...


Knitting's what's for lunch today!  After I ate, of course; I must keep up my strength.

The Olympics continue.  The "Other Front for *My* Habu Sweater" event is underway.

I'm feeling a little scattered, a little behind, and I'm not sure what happened to my calendar.  How quickly the feeling of organization -- heh, "organization" (period) -- flies right out the window!  Must take some breaks from Olympics over the weekend to pull things together and get a grip.

A day off

So far, it's been a day off in terms of Olympic knitting, but I've been doing plenty.

I paid bills and did the banking.

I took some fabric to a woman who sews -- she just opened up shop downtown -- and will be picking up some window treatments by the end of the month.  I know how to sew, and I don't mind sewing, but I'm obviously not getting it done (it's been months) and I'm getting tired of looking at the fabric on top of my washing machine.

I had lunch with Mom at KC&T.  I had "Focaccia Bold," a chicken sandwich, and Mom had half of a "Cream Cheese & Veggies" sandwich with a cup of soup.  Looks delicious, doesn't it?  It was.

We went to the antique mall after lunch.  While Mom talked cataract surgery with Jean, who was manning the store today, I found a cute oblong basket, a funky cool clock for DH to hang in his studio, and I splurged on some new earrings.

They're made from old typewriter keys.  I can wear them with the "V" ring that Cara gave me a couple of years ago and the "Expert Typist" merit pin that I found in Grandma's jewelry box a while back.  As you can see, it all makes me quite happy.

Um... I've also found some time to carry on with the k.d. lang festival that's been raging in these parts ever since the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.  Just thought I'd share.

Now I'm off to Zumba.  I was suffering a sinus headache on Monday -- and even a bit yesterday -- and Zumba was the last thing I wanted to do; I am really trying to get there at least once a week, though, and today's the day.

How goes it?

It's going fine -- we've had some crazy good fun few days -- and it's all going fine.

In the Olympic finishing department:  I haven't begun sewing up Mom's Habu vest -- I think I'll save that for tomorrow morning.  We might have lunch together, and maybe I can have it somewhat together by then -- see how it's working.  This one seems like it should be so easy, but I am really struggling -- it just doesn't seem like it should be working, even though I've checked and measured things numerous times, and Mom herself has given the nod.  Skeptical, I am.

In the Olympic knitting department:  I'm almost finished with one of the fronts for *My* Habu sweater.  I was mistaken the other day in thinking that I was further along.  The picking up where you left off in regards to a Japanese knitting pattern that hasn't been worked in almost a year isn't quite like riding a bicycle, but it came back to me much easier than expected.  I'm getting very excited about finishing this one!  It's much less problematic than the vest.

In the comment department:  Shelley wrote the other day that she "...can't imagine being on the cusp... I would have done an all-nighter and strutted the new piece each time. How can you walk away from the prize?"  When DH walked through the kitchen on Saturday as I was working on slaving over steam-blocking the vest pieces, I said "THIS is why I can walk away.  I hate this part.  THIS is what makes me a PROCESS knitter!"  I absolutely love having and wearing a piece that was made from my own hand, but that is definitely not my main motivation for knitting.  As my good friend Margene likes to say, It's the process!

* * * * *

I'm not sure what's going to happen next in the daughter department...


...except that among some of the newly created departments, there soon will be a new son-in-law department!  Yep.  Ali + Kevin, sitting in a tree... or standing under a bridge, as the case may be!

Funny, I never really thought of myself as a mother-in-law -- and it's weirding me out a little.  I've seen myself as mother, definitely; grandmother, certainly/anticipatingly; mother-in-law, not so much -- maybe because I've never had one, myself -- though my mother is one, and my husband has one, and my sisters talk about theirs.  It's the weirdest thing... but also, hey, so kinda cool, eh?  I'll be a mother-in-law -- a good one, I hope, like Glinda-The Good Witch, I can be Vicki-The Good Mother-In-Law.

Surely, only bad mothers-in-law are ugly.

Happy Day with Hearts!

I've been dieing to tell you about the cookies and the blog and photography.  You may recall that I attended a cookie-decorating workshop in December with some friends and two of my daughters.  We had a wonderful time and decorated some amazing cookies; the girls (Katie & Ali) were inspired to bake and decorate cookies for Christmas gift-giving; and we've embarked on a quest for the Perfect Sugar Cookie recipe.  The old family stand-by recipe by that name is perfect in many ways (soft, chewy, and sweet), but not in the way of decorating.

About a month later, I had an email from Dawn at Dawn Koehler Design -- she'd stumbled upon my corner of the internet and loved the photos I'd taken.  She was there the whole time, of course, and was mostly amazed at the images I'd captured "all from the little corner of the dining room!"  She was looking for someone to take photos of new designs for updating the website and I agreed to give it a go!

All of the cookie photos, save one, on this page are mine (as is one of the salad photos)!  There's a wonderful meeting area upstairs at the coffee shop; I moved all the chairs and set up my backdrop stand to form a makeshift studio, and we spent a day and a half shooting cookies.  After a couple of attempts with studio lighting that neither of us was thrilled with, I snapped a few using available light and voila!  Very happy baker/designer/decorator, very happy photographer!!  And I have now taken to calling it "my natural light studio."  Dawn has often worked as a photo stylist in her career, and it was fascinating to watch her work -- the planning, attention to detail, all the stuff she brought with her!!  Paper and textiles for backdrops, stands and props, tools -- she brought her iron and ironing board!  It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

Yesterday, Dawn brought a friend over to the coffee shop for lunch and asked me to meet her there so she could deliver this:

She had another, adorable little bouquet for Ali, too.

So far, I've resisted.  So far...  HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

Early last week, DH made dinner reservations at Caffe Mario in Green Bay and we had the MOST wonderful meal last night.  We were greeted at the door by Mario, himself, and shown to our table by his wife, Virginia; she is an artist friend of DH's from way back.  Wonderful people, fabulous atmosphere, terrific food -- every time I go there, I wonder why I don't go there more often!  DH began with bruschetta, followed by lasagna (him) and cannelloni (me) (we shared, of course), and we even saved room for dessert -- I had tiramisu, of course.  One little piece of bruschetta and most of a cannelloni came home with me for today's lunch -- or something...

Because I'm actually making Chili All Day Half-the-Day today!  Maddy's home this weekend and I feel compelled to make something to send back with her, and chili's the thing this time.  She has to leave before supper, so it'll be a late lunch.  As soon as I hit "publish," I'll be dashing off to the store (though I'll probably wash my face and change out of my 'jammies, first).

On the Olympic side of things:  I pinned out Maddy's sweater -- the best part is how happy she is that it's finally getting done!!  I also steam-blocked (as instructed) the crap out of the pieces for Mom's Habu vest and hope, hope, hope that it all comes together as it should; I'll be starting the sewing up today.  The thing that makes it so difficult -- for me -- is that the pieces are knit in all different directions and we all know that stitches behave differently than rows and it just sort of gives me fits.  I've just got to plow through and trust that it'll work; it will or it won't, right?  I can only do my best.  I also cast on (104 stitches -- good move not attempting that on Friday night) for one of the front pieces for my Habu sweater and made good progress while watching short-track speed skating and moguls.

Citius, Altius, Fortius!

Progress report

I took a little Happy Hour detour on the way to the Knitting Olympics last night.  I managed to do everything I'd planned to do except for casting on my Habu sweater, due to the counting.  I probably could have done it, but why take chances.  I took the sleeves off of Coup d'Etat.  Maddy's "Fitted Jacket" had a little soak.

Giving the knitting a bath

She's soaking in it

I'm going to pin it out RIGHT NOW!

It might just be do-able!

I gave each sweater a two-letter code and indicated whether buttons were required (because I will need to shop) -- and made a rough plan.  I'm going to have to double check a couple of patterns -- not only the button situation, but also refresh my memory as to required finish knitting for each project:  button bands or collars? button bands and collars? pockets or just pocket flaps?

There's an all day -- 8-9 hours, at least -- photography workshop on the 27th to keep in mind, but even so, I think I can do it.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!  I should have a finished sweater to wear to the workshop.  I should have two or three to choose from!

I've planned it a little heavy toward the beginning of festivities and a bit lighter toward the end, just so I have some space to make adjustments and move things around, if needed.  I'm gonna need some space, man, in every imaginable way.  Finish work can be brutal on my hands, wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, hips, knees, ankles, feet... maybe I'm exaggerating... a little.  I might need to pace myself, though; maybe I should book a mid-way massage.

The desired outcome will be a finished vest for my mother, a finished sweater for Madeleine, THREE finished sweaters for me (or two finished and one frogged), a finished baby sweater, and a gold medal!

Tonight's events:  I'll be filling the sink during Opening Ceremonies to prepare Maddy's sweater for blocking; removing the set-in sleeves from Coup d'Etat to prep that for re-soaking, re-blocking, and re-sewing; and casting on for the front (or back, I don't remember which I've already done) of my Habu sweater.  Do you think that's too much?  Heh.

Olympic contenders

Pile of hopefuls

This is the pile of unfinished sweaters that have all mostly been knit -- many of them are blocked and one of them is even seamed -- they all need finishing/resolving.  A couple of these are almost old enough to finish themselves.  Yeah.  Except it doesn't work like that.  I have very fond memories of the 2006 Knitting Olympics, and an awesome gold-medal sweater to show for it, and would like to medal in 2010.  I'm considering "Finishing" as my event, and here's the line-up.

Habu Lamb's Wool Linen Jacket

My Habu sweater, above, half-kinit.  It is Lamb Wool Linen Jacket (Kit-70) by Setsuko Torii, which I began knitting in April 2009.  The thing is loaded with stitch markers of every color and variety in capacity as row counters -- and that explains where they've all been for the past 10 months!
Habu Tsumugi 4-panel Silk French Vest

My mother's Habu vest, the Habu Tsumugi 4-panel Silk French Vest, was begun February 2008.  (Not a typo.)  The pieces are all knit and in need of the requisite "severe blocking"; still, I fear, they are too small.

Kelbourne Woolens' Fiddlehead Pullover

The newest and smallest of them all is the Kelbourne Woolens Fiddlehead Pullover; knit and blocked in January.


Oblique.  Begun December 2007.  (Also not a typo.)  Knit and blocked.  I want this one finished most of all.

"Fitted Jacket" from Vogue Knitting

This is a "Fitted Jacket" from a Vogue Knitting of a few years back.  This one is knit, but needs blocking; I never even whispered about it on Ravelry!  I don't know how long it's been sitting around, but it's surely been long enough!

Coup d'Etat

Coup d'Etat.  Finished, blocked and seamed, it was deemed a bit too small.  I haven't revisited in a while; if not finished, this would at least be "resolved."  You know what that means.

Olympic contenders

Hm.  It's quite a pile o' projects.  Would finishing/resolving them all be a feat worthy of Olympic gold?

P.S.  Thursday blogging trivia:  I noticed that this is my 1701st post!

All Baktus, all Hundertwasser, all.the.time

Not quite as big a rabbit hole as the one that Cara fell into a while back with socks -- Jaywalkers and/or Monkeys, specifically -- and Socks That Rock, I seem to have found a pattern and yarn combo that sings ever-so-sweetly to me and makes me smile.


That would be the Opal sock yarn, in any of the Hundertwasser colorways, and the Baktus scarf, which I have been taking liberties with all on my own.

Cast on edgeweb-IMG_6142Cast off edge

Pardon the photos not lining up -- and the sort of off color (weird cast from the wall, combined with weird reflection from a small wood chest of drawers) (that's my story) -- but this series shows what I did to make this one different.  The cast-on edge is at the left.  I think I didn't want a point, so I cast on a few more stitches than called for.  I knit along --this one completely in garter stitch -- and made my increases, as written, until I reached a certain point -- and I didn't know what point that would be until I arrived -- then continued knitting straight for a while.  It turned out to be roughly a square in the middle.  Then I began the decreases, but did them on the opposite side from the increases.  I love this scarf.  The big stripes of bold, bright color -- so wonderful to knit in January and wear in February!


I call this one Back-to-Back Baktus I.


This is how I've been wearing it -- so far.  I keep meaning to take some more photos of shadow[]box because I've been wearing that one differently than originally photographed, too.  That garment took a little getting used to, but it has been a huge favorite this winter.


This would be Back-to-Back Baktus II, on the needles.  It could be the last, as well, since I'm using the last of the Hundertwasser in my stash.  Not that I'm averse to replenishment...


I love these colorways -- renewing their inspiration to try some ideas with yarn and dye that I've had kicking around in my head for a while.  For some reason, I feel it's something I need to do outside, though, so it's on the Spring/Summer To-Do List.

Also?  Knitting Olympics.  I have some ideas about what to do -- I definitely want "To Do" -- and we're getting down to the wire!  I'm thinking of making a good number of FOs out of current UFOs -- the ones that are knit and just waiting to be sewn together and finished (complete with button bands, collars, buttons, etc.).  I'm also thinking of getting the Habu projects off the table - finishing both Mom's and mine (Mom's might need a complete re-do).  I'm also thinking of taking on a lace project -- a shawl or something.  I have yet to complete anything in lace.  What to do?!

It's what's for dinner (with leftovers for lunch)


I had a very busy day on Saturday.  I wanted to make a good dinner, but didn't have the time or temperament for slicing, stirring, simmering, and such.

Country-style pork ribs 

The cute little Nesco was a wedding gift from the Marshfield aunts and uncles.  The size is such that it doubles as a pretty good-sized slow cooker.  It's seen a fair bit more action than usual so far this year.

Howling Wolf BBQ Sauce 

I had purchased two varieties of Howling Wolf BBQ Sauce to try, and "The Original" was howling "ribs" to me.  The other variety I have is Cranberry Orange and I think I'll be doing some of this in a few days with a little of that.

Ready to roast

The ribs.  Country-style.  I rubbed half of them with Chicago Steak Seasoning from Penzey's that I had in the cupboard.  The other half were seasoned simply with salt and cracked pepper.

Cracked Pepper

I roasted them in the regular oven, first, for 15 minutes on each side at 400F.

Roasted and ready

I popped them into the roaster.


Poured on the sauce and cooked 'em slowly for 5-6 hours ('til DH came home).  The meat was falling right off the bone!  In the end, it was impossible to determine which ribs were heavily or lightly seasoned -- they were all delicious!  The sauce was excellent -- rich and flavorful, with exactly the right combo of ingredients for the perfect kick.

Sunday lunch

It was so delicious and I was so hungry that I didn't even take pictures.  Those are leftovers that I had for lunch the next day.  Cold.  Nom.  So good!!

Sweets for the sweet

Black Forest Muffins

On Saturday, I took some photos for one of my favorite "clients" (my daughter) in my "natural light studio" (upstairs at her coffee shop).  Those are BFF Bakery's Black Forest Muffins.  BFF Bakery is very local and very good -- and they only sell wholesale right now, so if you want somethin' you'll just have to come and join me for a cuppa somethin' and a little somethin' else at the coffee shop!

Black Forest Mocha

The muffins go nicely with the Black Forest Mocha (she says, knowingly).  Ali made the mocha with skim milk so I could have it afterwards.  At any other time of year, the Black Forest Mocha is known as the Black Widow Mocha at the coffee shop, but that doesn't quite give the right Valentine vibe.

Valentine Hearts in the Window

School house lights

In other exciting news, new light fixtures!!  We are all more in love with these than we probably should be -- but lighting is so important.  We've made decisions about where to go for dinner, let's say, based on lighting.  There are actually four, replacing some colored/textured glass fixtures that the previous owner wanted.

Can you believe it's been a year since Ali took over?  It was Valentine's weekend last year that we had an army working to clean, paint and rearrange.


Fabulous Friday

Backlit green

First of all.  The yarn.  This is my first experience with Sundara yarn and it is gorgeous -- the green ball is "ochre over lime," I believe, and the other "calla lily."  Merino.  Wonderful, wonderful stuff.  Photo is recycled from yesterday because I like it.

Sheila, the giver of my magic yarn ball, thought I might not want to wait for a surprise, so hinted that I might want to unwrap the ball of green to reveal a treasure to help "make your knitting glide thru your fingers!!"

At the center of the yarn ball was a tin holding a LaviShea Lotion Bar in the Aloe & Green Clover variety.  I want to try them all!  It feels absolutely divine on my hands, not greasy at all, and I love the scent -- I'm a yarn-sniffer, anyway, and I love the idea of imparting some of that on the yarn as I knit.  Katie was over doing laundry and I had her try it -- and she asked to use it again before going home.  I applied it a couple of times, myself, and made sure I slipped the tin into the tote I'd be toting today.

Yay, it's Friday!!

Yarn ball boogie

Magical, mystical, mystery yarn balls!



A participant in Theresa's Magic Yarn Ball Swap, I received my magic yarn ball parcel in the mail on Monday -- from Sheila in PA, two balls of yarn wrapped in pink tissue.  Temptation was killing me -- but, because I hadn't yet mailed mine, I allowed myself to unwrap only one of -- a ball of soft, beautiful, green yarn and had "spring" written all over it!


After all my running around yesterday, I put my package together -- along with two others that were due or overdue, and they should all be posted today -- and unwrapped the second magic yarn ball. 


I'd expected the second to be the same as the first, but Oh, my.!

I most definitely have an idea in mind for these two.  I couldn't be happier with the yarn -- finding the little baubles wrapped within while I knit will, truly, be magical.  Thank you, Sheila!

* * * * *

The Baktus scarf shown yesterday is still soaking, as we speak, and I hope to pin it out tonight.  I will photograph it again so that the changes I made to the shape are more easily seen, and also talk about those changes and the yarn in a little more detail.  The scarf should be ready for wearing by Sunday -- Super International Pajama Day!  It looked so great in the snow, it ought to look fabulous with one of my white nightgowns.


I was just about ready to put on my jacket and head out the door for Round #1 of today's errands.  I spotted this "Baktus," which was wound 'round my neck immediately upon casting off on Sunday night -- dangling unwoven end and all -- and thought I should just weave in the end, fill a bowl with Eucalan and water, and throw it in for a soak while I'm gone -- so I can wear it one of these days FOR REAL!  But oh my gosh, fresh snow from all all-dayer yesterday and wonderful sunshine -- I had to go out and throw it down in the snow for some pictures before I did anything!

This is my second "Baktus" -- the first of the "Back-to-Back Baktus," as the third is on the needles now, my last skein of Hundertwasser being lovingly knit.  They're all the same but different, just like the yarn, and I love it that way.  I love, love, love these things.

So, NOW I'm going to fill a bowl and skedaddle out the door!  Errands this a.m., medi-van service for Mom this morning as she has her second cataract surgery (next week, the fixing of a very crooked, very painful, arthritic finger) (anxious to see how that goes) (I wonder if she'll let me take before-and-after photos), an exciting photography-related appointment this evening.  There's some other exciting photography related stuff to share... soon.

OMG, the happiest news of all -- saved for last.  ; )  My sister had her first CAT scan following the "chemo vacation" she's been enjoying for the past 6-8 weeks -- and there have been NO CHANGES!!  This means that the chemo holiday has been extended for another 10 weeks!!  It is the most awesome news.  Truly madly deeply awesomely.

Happy day!

Has it been a million years?

Randomly.  Heh.  It's only been five days, but for a near-daily blogger -- in blog years -- it seems much longer.  There's been so much exciting stuff going on -- the mad scramble to gather information to fill out numerous tax forms, the filing of those tax forms, the paying of taxes due according to said tax forms.  Not income taxes... yet.  Perhaps I should carry on with those, though; continue while I'm sort of on a roll.

Yeah, you wish you'd been here.

You do.  There was also cake!  "Cakes," to be more specific.  We celebrated mom's 50th birthday again (a "5" and an "0" were the only candles we could find in our "candle department," other than a single taper which the kids stuck in at the end, performing as an exclamation point, we were told, not a "1" -- "50!" not "501") with a nice dinner at our house.  I made lasagna, garlic bread and asparagus, and Annie brought homemade carrot cake (her specialty) and cheesecake (a new favorite).

I made two pans of lasagna so there would be leftovers.  Katie took a couple of pieces home, and Maddy took nearly half a pan back to school.  She also took some of the cakes.  Apparently, Maddy's roommate is always bringing leftovers from home and I've been slacking; this haul may have jump-started my standing in the food-from-home ranking.

That gorgeous glimmer of a sunrise was hastily taken from the driveway yesterday morning -- featuring a current favorite color combo, that salmon-y pink-y orange and winter blue dawn/dusk sky.

What else?  I don't know.  I'm just so happy that it's Groundhog Day -- I don't even care about the rodent (it's a rodent, isn't it?) and his shadow -- it's February 2nd!  That sounds so much better than January 2nd.  In four short weeks it'll be March 2nd, then April 2nd -- warm breezes, refreshing rain showers, springtime flowers.  In the ground, growing outside, FLOWERS!

Happy Groundhog Day!