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Wednesday wonders

I had a dentist appointment this morning to remove the best-fitting, most comfortable, hardly knew it was there, almost a shame to remove it temporary crown I've ever had (and I've had a few) and install its permanent replacement.  It fit like a glove... um, er... like a TOOTH!  No muckin' around with biting and removing and shaping and fitting and biting and removing and shaping.  Heh.  Have I mentioned that I love my new dentist?  I think I have.  And I do... everyone there... the whole office!

More spent clematis from the other day, and front yard spider web that was twinkling in last night's sunset.

My new bike may or may not be ready today; methinks it more likely tomorrow.  We've had such a beautiful beginning to the week!  Katie took her bike over to the lakeshore yesterday and rode 25-30 miles -- including a Rustic Road!  She updated her FB status last night to say that she'd already rode 100 miles this week and one of her friends noted that it was only Tuesday!

Anyway, today I am going to get these trip photos of my mother's OFF OF MY LIST if it's the last thing I do!  But it won't be the last, it'll be the first... I'm doing it RIGHT NOW!  Woohoo!

(Inching up to 16,000.)

Ten on Tuesday

This week:  Ten Books on Your Summer Reading List

I literally grabbed the to-read pile of books on my nightstand/bookshelf and sat down at the computer to type them up.  Books #1 and #2 were not in the pile for reasons that you will soon learn!

  1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  This one's for book club.  It's on hold because it accidentally went home from The Dells with my sister!
  2. The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler, MD.  I requested this from my library via InfoSoup (I love my library!) after reading about it at Norma'sContest schmontest; this was easier, guaranteed, and I didn't have to wait!  It's the one I'm presently carrying around in my tote bag.
  3. Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen.  Because.
  4. A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer.  Heh.  Won in one of those contest schmontests -- this one at CursingMama's!
  5. Casa Nostra: A Home in Sicily by Caroline Seller Manzo.  Borrowed from Katie; expectations are not high but, as stated in the Publisher's Weekly review, "...there's worse places to flounder than sun-drenched Sicily."
  6. Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg.  Lent by my friend Peg.
  7. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan.  Birthday gift from Katie.
  8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anne Barrows.  On a recommendation from someone.
  9. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.  Also recommended by someone.
  10. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less by Terry Ryan.  I picked up this book at Goodwill a few years ago; it is the perpetual 10th book, anchoring my reading list, in any season.  Someday...

Last night I finished House of Dance by Beth Kephart (also because); knowing it would be a quick read, it was skimmed off the top of the to-read pile when The Help decided to take a hike in Wisconsin Dells.

It's a shame

With the glorious week of weather forecasted here in NE Wisconsin, we should really declare a regional holiday!  Wow.  Lucky the folks who took off the week before the 4th of July Independence Day holiday instead of after (it doesn't look quite as wonderful after).  (I can't believe June's almost over and we're talking 4th of July already.)

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Squee!!  I grabbed a couple squares -- randomly, because these two will never be neighbors in the finished blanket -- and hauled the knitting out on the front porch for a photo.  I've finished one connecting strip and started another.  In an effort to minimize seaming (every little bit helps) and maximize placement options, I'm picking up stitches along one side of a red square and knitting; always subject to change, that's the method being employed right now.  I was sort of liking what was happening with the striped strips that'll connect the striped squares, but seeing them "in context" takes me to a whole new level of "like"!  I'm using a real Duke's mixture of solid, semi-solid, variegated, and patterned yarn -- and a whole new cast of colors to play with after the self-imposed limitations for the squares!

I had an unintended Pajama Day yesterday -- and got so much done!  The stars aligned and I began by cleaning out the fridge -- that wasn't on the list but was long overdue!

Photography-wise, I finished, photographed and wrapped some special request client framing -- six pieces altogether, and that felt great!  I've also been readying (i.e., straightening, lots and lots of straightening) photos for my mom from her recent travels to Japan and Italy -- and am nearly finished with that!

Note:  The next time I ready photos for printing from recent travels to Japan and/or Italy, they're going to be my own!

I made a terrific fruit salad of cherries (I need a pitter), gorgeous fresh farmers' market blueberries, cantaloupe, and home-grown rhubarb -- drizzled with a little bit of honey.  That's my favorite fruit "dressing" right now -- just a little bit to mix with the fruit juices and add a hint of sweet.  The fruit salad accompanied grilled hamburgers and toasted rosemary french bread (local beef and bread also procured at Saturday's market).  Heh.  The bread -- made within yards of my house -- couldn't be more local if it was made in my own kitchen!

I did some research on bikes, also, and sure appreciate the input and suggestions I received!  I'll be going tonight to do a bit more test riding.  I want a Batavus, after dw shared the link with me, if only because those guys are so darn cute -- not to mention that, for some reason, the first link I clicked on their website was for Basil accessories: Bags, Baskets, Animal carriers.  Hello, it's the Elvira Gulch department!!  That just tickled me no end.

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These are a few photos from our trip "east" a few weeks ago that I meant to share.  This gorgeous pergola has seen better days, though perhaps later in the year when the wisteria is dripping, it'll look just beautiful!  I loved the patterning of the wood and want to use it for an upcoming trash can enclosure project.

What to do with that old copper boiler?

I've been noticing more all the different things that can be used as planters.  This old copper boiler is just gorgeous, stuck in the tall grass on the way to the river's shore, the coleus just pops!

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These photos were all taken at RiverEdge Galleries in Mishicot.  It's an antique shop, art gallery and garden, all housed in a lovely, historic, downtown building that used to be a butcher shop and meat market.  (Hm.  Note to self:  Mishicot would be a great place to explore by bike.)

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The hydrangeas are from my front yard garden!  Three small plants that are amazing prolific this year -- I think they like it when I traipse out in my jammies on occasion to dump coffee grounds at their feet.


Ha!  Yeah.  Continuing with the busy...

...and also the fun!  Probably one of my NEW favorite photos of Ali -- at the farmers' market yesterday -- with wonderful assists by Morgan and Abbey.  I'm not sure you'd come across three more vibrant, more beautiful, more amazing young women anywhere... but HERE!  It's a tiny little market -- hard to compete with Appleton's, only a few miles away and, in a few short years, second only to Madison's market in size and attendance -- and many businesses here opt to go there instead -- but really great, too.

Last night, inspired by a recipe called "Little Skewers of Meat" in The Olive and The Caper, we grilled kebabs using beef, pork and goat, along with chunks of zucchini and red pepper, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes -- then wrapped with a grilled pita and pulled of the skewer to make a sandwich -- sort of like a Spiedie, but I completely blew off the whole part about marination.  So, nothing very special, really, but totally YUM.

Today, I have to figure out what to do with all the blueberries, cherries, and rhubarb in the fridge (which, by the way, I just cleaned out this morning!!) ('twas long overdue and, boy, does that feel good).

Walked around the yard with the camera.

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This (above) is what's become of this (below).

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Pretty amazing.  I finally planted all the herbs I bought last week into a giant washtub and then we had a fantastic storm blow through in the early morning hours today, so they are well watered.

I found myself at Wheel and Sprocket with Kate yesterday afternoon looking at bicycles... because, you know, I need something more on my plate!  Heh.  Really, though, Katie has been burning up the road this summer and it's so inspiring!  It makes me want to do it, too!

I'm looking at this one -- a Trek 7.5 WSD.  It's not a road bike -- I can't lean forward and bear weight that way without my hands going numb in two seconds -- but I can keep up on the road with Kate; I sit more upright and it's more comfortable, but not so upright and comfortable that I feel like Elvira Gulch!  I can't help it, that's what comes to MY twisted mind -- I'm sure they're wonderful bikes and they're made for a specific purpose (stealing dogs) and type of rider (wicked witch) -- I know people and love people who ride those bikes -- they're perfectly fine, just not for me.

And look at me, talking as thought it's already mine.  Not quite.  But awfully darn close, I think.

I haven't found a way to burn off this quit-smoking/menopausal weight and I'm so tired of being uncomfortable.  I'd been sitting at a plateau (that I was unhappy with, of course) for years before all that and, five years into the quit and a few years into the other, I think I can safely say that I'm on another.  Let it be known:  I DO NOT WANT TO BE STUCK ON THIS PLATEAU!  I'll gladly go back to the other one!!  This might be my ride there.  Zumba is great, but the schedule doesn't always mesh with mine and, hello, it's summer!  Who wants to be stuck inside?  Also, with my camera bag slung on my back, I can think of no better way to explore Wisconsin's Rustic Roads!

Heh, more of a "ride by and sit a spell" post.  More tomorrow!  Thank you for stopping by!

Who knew?!

Is everyone as busy as I am right now?  Wow.  I'd never have believed I'd be so busy... the summer AFTER my youngest's freshman year in college!  The other two are already gone and out and there -- or well on their way, or with a good few ideas, anyway, about where "there" is...

Fearful of growing bored and uninteresting, I may have made a miscalculation about exactly how much "extra" time I'd have to fill once the kids no longer needed me much.

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Of course, that doesn't mean that I stop thinking about OTHER ways to fill my time.  Time-consuming, expensive, "are you freakin' crazy?" ways...

"Whoa, Nelly!"

What's up for your weekend?  I'll help Ali, if needed, with Farmers' Market Week 2; shop it, at the very least.  I'm going to try to get the rest of the things on my Wednesday list done, too, and do laundry.  I've been too busy to do the laundry!!  And I'd like to cook.  Not only did we enjoy fabulous fresh food last weekend, there was plenty left to throw together make more interesting weekday bag lunches.  I practically poo-poo'd the usual frozen entrees at the grocery store the other day!

I noticed today that my blog posts number 1800 -- in just over 6 years.  (That's kind of crazy!)  Comments on those 1800 posts are nearing 16,000!  Though it's been mostly crickets lately, there was a time...  Anyway, if you're so moved, I invite you take some time out of your busy day(s) and say "Hey!"  I sometimes like to know if there's anyone left in the auditorium -- or am I free now to pretend I'm a broadway star and start belting out show tunes?  I guess we'll find out.  There'll be a little prize package (of course!) for the one who hits the magic number.  Woohoo, I love prizes!

The Beet Goes On

We Got The Beet!  It appears to be Beet Week and I'm doing my part to Beet It and keep the beet beat going.

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Heartbeet (It's A Love Beet)!  I made pink food.  Very, VERY pink food.  It just keeps getting more and more PINK!  There's nothing artificial in there and, while it sort of makes your teeth hurt just to look at it -- because, you can't help but think SWEET -- it's not sweet, either.  It's not sweet at all.  (Really, I couldn't make frosting this pink to save my life... unless I used BEETS!)  Turn The Beet Around.  (Hm?)

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(Hello!  So far, I'm loving the new Flickr format!) (With Every Beet of My Heart!)

It's beet tzatziki sauce.  Or (My Heart Skips A Beet), as my husband put it, "That goat burger sauce."  It was made as an accompaniment to souvlaki, which I made substituting goat for lamb from my local farmers' market.  It's basically your normal tzatziki sauce, using beets instead of cucumber, and adding dill.  It's delicious!

* * * *

I was at my local Goodwill recently and, as per my usual mode of operation there, I headed for the book department straight away!  I don't usually go there (or anywhere) looking for cookbooks because, well, I already own a ton of cookbooks, plus it's easily the most tempting (to me), not to mention overflowing overwhelming, all adding up to very time-consuming book section.  I can't help that I'm a sucker for marketing strategy, though, so I'll definitely stop and peruse the tomes featured strategically placed on the "end caps."  The other day I found an overstock pile of "The Olive and The Caper: Adventures In Greek Cooking," by Susanna Hoffman.

Now, normally I go for a cookbook with lots of good photos of the food I'll be cooking -- I like to have a visual and know what I should be aiming for -- so I was disappointed in the lack of food photos on my first flip-through of "The Olive and The Caper."  It was compelling in other ways, though, with plenty of other photos, boxes, and sidebars -- I'm a huge fan of the sidebar (and also of the Boston box) -- which were full of information, facts, history, recipe and cooking suggestions.  I could not put the book down.  I carried it with me through the store as I made the rest of my regular rounds, giving it an occasional flip-through.

What a great little book!

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The recipes for both the souvlaki and tzatziki sauce came from "The Olive and The Caper," and I'm looking forward to trying many more!  With or without beets.

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Ways to Entertain a Child for today's Ten on Tuesday!

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I just spent a couple of days entertaining two little boys, so I'm pretty fresh!

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1.  Read.  Always read!  Morning, noon and night!!  Despite paring down numerous times, I still have a vast and varied collection of children's books.  I will be ready when grandchildren start to appear.  (This should not be taken as an outright request for grandchildren.)  (Come what may.)  (And when.)

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2.  Get down on the floor and play!  Trucks, cars, Legos, dolls, board games, Twister, big puzzles.

3.  Chase, Catch, Tickle & Release (Over and Over and Over Again) (with omissions and variations as your spirit -- and energy -- allow).  This is best out on the grass, but adaptable for use inside or out!

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4.  Go to an amusement park -- it doesn't have to be big!  A regular park with fun playground equipment and room to run works, too!

5.  Go to the zoo.  That doesn't have to be big, either!

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6.  Go for a walk!

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7.  Play in the playhouse!  Or make a fort!!  The all-time favorite, of course, is to employ the outside clothesline.  Working with what was at-hand, I draped hotel sheets and blankets last week to make fun little play places between the beds.  We also pulled a sheet, tucked in at the foot of the bed, over a chair to create a fun space -- I sat happily knitting in a chair while my feet were up on another, holding down the other end while the boys nested in pillows underneath.  What?  Someone had to do it!  It's a hard, hard life.

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8.  Play dress-up!  ; )

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9.  Have a snack!

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10.  Tell stories and sing songs!!

And whatever you do... HAVE FUN!!!

Meet "Maple Leaf" and "Mammy"

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On the left, "Maple Leaf," 2.8 ounces of absolutely gorgeous red-ish, rust-ish, orange-ish, gold-ish, green-ish Coopworth wool.  On the right, "Mammy," 3.6 ounces of natural, local Shetland wool.  Photographed outside the back door on my "new" chair -- the first one I've brought home in a long while (there was a time it seemed I didn't come home without dragging a chair along with me) and, honestly, the whole family loves it.

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Among the herbs (that I've yet to plant) -- some mint, oregano, sage, thyme, something else, and an onion.

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This would be a good time for smell-o-vision -- or, even better, feel-o-vision.  Sure, the herbs smell great, but it's the yarn!  I can't leave that little ball of Shetland alone, it smells so wonderful and feels so soft and rich!  I'll be making simple knit shawls from these.

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Photographed on the old, oft-repaired front porch chair.  This is the wool I brought home from Saturday's market -- from Wheely Wooly Farm.  I want to go visit the farm and hug some sheep!

I sure do love to cook...

...when I want to!  It's so much different than when I have to.  When I have to, I never know what to make.  When I want to, it's usually because I'm inspired.  As I was today.

It was a very full and very busy day -- oh my gosh, it's the very best kind.

I was up bright and early... E.A.R.L.Y!... to help Ali and Morgan set up for the first farmers' market of the season.  In the future, I may even be pouring!  And what a gorgeous day (I have the sunburned shoulders to prove it), even with a little wind.

I helped to load and deliver and set up; I ran for extension cords, ran for milk, ran for... I don't remember, but something else... and along the way, I remembered to grab my camera, too.  After a while, Ali and Morgan fell into a groove, and then Kate walked down and we shopped; I bought some ground goat meat to try and some herbs to plant.

Then we went to a neighboring market and I found some terrific local ground beef, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, strawberries, garlic scapes, and wool.

Back to Ali's to help with tear down and taking everything back!  That part was amazingly swift and efficient -- oh, yeah!  I also ran for some extra tables/furnishings -- even with the additional furniture!  I think it will only get better.

Dinner tonight consisted of grilled hamburgers on grill-toasted buns, insalata caprese, pasta with garlic scape pesto, and a honey-marinated fruit salad of strawberries, cherries, and rhubarb (which Rusty used as a topping for ice cream).  There's plenty of almost everything left over for tomorrow's lunch.

Yum yum, yummy, yum yum.

With wine.


I'm thrilled that I was able to use basil and rhubarb harvested from my own garden!  The rhubarb was my second harvest from Ruby -- the plant that Ann sent me a couple of years ago from Long Island -- Rusty used the first harvest to make an apple-rhubarb pie (quite delicious)!


I'm already looking forward to next week's market!

Wherein hell nearly freezes over

I won't actually believe it 'til I'm holding a copy in my own two hands, but holy crap, this is promising -- and long-awaited -- and why don't I already know about this?  I have wanted this in my library for years!  I have fielded so many queries about this book, and the pattern for St. Brigid, in particular.  How many times has the reprint been rumored and then my hopes dashed to pieces?  Enough that I just stopped listening, I guess.  Gah.  Well, I've seen it now in a few different, reputable places, so it must be true!  And it is now pre-ordered.  We'll see.


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Who me?  I found cows in a dell on my way to The Dells.

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Have I mentioned my love for the GPS?  There's a busy interstate highway beyond that line of trees.  I was headed there, per the plotted GPS route, when I saw the sign for a Rustic Road and, almost involuntarily, made a quick right-hand turn.


That's like music to my ears.

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It was so beautiful.

I don't want to go anywhere without the GPS these days.

Last Sunday, driving to Grandma's funeral, I kicked myself for not having grabbed it.  I've driven to or been driven to that small town countless times over the past 50 years.  I could do it with my eyes closed -- but I don't; in fact, I still look for and see things that are no longer there:

  • "Bob Inn"
  • "Kringel's"
  • "Club 45"
  • "Ruth's Reweaving"
  • "Pappy's Place"
  • "Rainbow Supper Club"
  • "Dog 'n Suds"

I re-live unspoken feelings of childhood panic every time I drive around a particular hillside curve; trees have now grown tall enough to obscure the view, but my mind's eye still sees nothing but blue sky beyond the guardrail, and a long way down.  Perhaps foreshadowing my difficulty navigating over high, curvy and/or mountainous roads, I'd always hold my breath and worry that Dad wouldn't make the turn (for no particular reason, he's a very good driver!) and that we'd go sailing into the wild blue yonder.  Nevertheless, I have a feeling of relief every single time.

Anyway, I had time for some extra-curricular driving on Sunday, off the beaten, well-known path -- and with the GPS, I'd have been able to get back on track and to the church on time.

* * * * *

In a funk.  Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Ravelry; integration, communication; knitting, cooking, gardening; happiness, sadness; flowers, rhubarb; my house; so many thoughts of Grandma (and the tears have finally decided to come... TODAY) and Grandpa, my other Grandma and Grandpa, the end; love and luck; health and wealth; moving; my parents, my self, my family, my kids; old, young; beginnings.

Among other things.

*sigh*  Is it 5:00 yet?  I am ready for the weekend now.

Happy Birthday!

Sharon & Karen

My Gemini twin sisters are 50 today!!  Aren't they adorable?


Web-Tie-dye in Clintonville


Happy Birthday, Sharon & Karen!!  Have fun!!  XO

Rest well


Grandma was laid to rest yesterday.  As you might imagine and no one could possibly argue, after 97-and-a-half years, it is a rest well-deserved.

* * * * *

I am off this afternoon to spend a couple of days at a water part resort in the water park capital of the world with two young nephews who will surely want to play in the water.  Gah!  I hope to run into some swimwear somewhere between here and there!

Eye Candy Friday

Ali and Kevin through the columbine -- the only photo I've processed from a wee photo shoot in the garden a couple of weeks ago.  (I promise I'll get back to these, Ali!)  (We need to do more, elsewhere, too!)

Meanwhile, if I had a train of thought earlier in the week it's been completely derailed.  Any plans I had on Monday for the remainder of this week have completely changed -- a couple of times -- once upon a time I was going to be heading to Milwaukee today -- and that was even before there was a funeral to attend.

It's been on the calendar for months, but it just sunk in while talking with a coworker today, that I have off next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday!  On Monday night, I'll be driving to Wisconsin Dells to spend a couple of days with Mack & Addison while their mom attends a conference.  WooHOO!  Except for the water park part and the fact that they're going to want to get wet and I can't remember the last time I had a swimming suit on this bod -- and surely the last one I wore will, um, fit a little differently now.

It's going to be raining much of the weekend (it is right now -- POURING -- with lightning and thunder, too!) -- I plan to spend it quietly, with family, and getting back on track.

Happy weekend!

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I've posted this before.  Recently unearthed, it's a new favorite -- for reasons not the least of which is because I am the same age now as my grandmother was in this photo -- and I can't believe she's not shown completely freaking out over the SIX grandchildren at her feet (the older boy, upon whose knee I'm perched, is her youngest son -- only 10 years my senior) (who warranted his own separate freak-out just on account of timing, no doubt) (and there were three more grandchildren to come).

I'm also quite taken with the stroller.  Cup holder?  What's a cup holder?  It's called "a hand."  Insulated bottle?  You mean a thermos?  Venti huh?  Latte huh?  Capuccino?  Water in a bottle?  Don't you mean milk?  Removable car seat?  What?  Washable cover?  It's called vinyl.

I believe I've already written about my mother and the sewing and the matching outfits (with butterflies!), dressing the twins and me as if we were triplets, and Annie with all the hand-me-downs in two different sizes.

* * * * *

Thank you all for the well wishes and condolences.

Grandma had the photo I posted yesterday taken in 1930, upon her graduation from Normal School (Teacher's College).  I'll never forget the first time I saw it -- she'd had it stashed away in a drawer, so it wasn't until I was a teenager (I'd spent a lot of time with photo albums and scrapbooks when we'd visit and thought I hadn't missed much in the way of photos) -- and thinking how beautiful she was (my grandma!), that she looked like a move star!  Those eyes.  That calm, steady gaze.  She was a rock.  And glue.  And paper and scissors, too.

It was time; the past few years have been difficult with Alzheimer's and she has been missed; I am grateful that she is now at peace.

* * * * *

It was a nice distraction last night to attend an "herb dinner" with Katie, Ali, and my mom; hosted by Dawn Koehler.  With Dawn's guidance, we helped with the preparation (chopping, slicing, mixing) and then sat down to enjoy a fabulous meal together.  It's always been one of my favorite things to do -- in conjunction with the after-meal conversation -- inspired in part, no doubt, by many a big family dinner at my grandmother's various tables.

Besides the traditional basil pesto, we also sampled pestos made with arugula and spinach -- served with goat cheese on crackers to start, and later spooned over pasta.  With our pasta, we also had a tomato basil salad, apple mint fruit salad, grilled herb bread, and sweet potato rosemary oven fries, followed by a sauteed pear in rosemary sauce over vanilla ice cream for dessert.  The herbs and greens all came from Dawn's gardens, which we also toured, and that also made me think of grandma -- though grandma's gardens were always strictly utilitarian, beautiful in their own way, but never designed as or even thought of as part of the "landscaping."  (See "cup holder," above.)

I took a few photos, and meant to take more; but I think I was really meant to just relax, have fun, enjoy the company, and savor it all.

And I did.  I captured some inedible peonies, though.



She saw the light at around dawn yesterday, and has finally found peace.

Grandma.  (I love you!)

December 24, 1912 - June 8, 2010.

And then, suddenly, it hits me!

I have all my best thoughts and revelations in front of the mirror.  Some people do their best introspective or world-problem-solving work while lathering up in the shower.  I think the shower serves to clear my head so that I'm in receptive mode while standing in front of the mirror, often with a toothbrush in my mouth or perhaps powder puff in hand.

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Yesterday, it was while brushing my teeth.  Among the thoughts and questions on the loop through my morning brain was, "I wonder why I find an abandoned greenhouse so attractive?"  The answer came looping through a few minutes later -- so stunningly simple, really, I'm almost embarrassed that it's taken so long.

The most common meaning of my German surname is "flower"!

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One of the places we traveled through on our jaunt last Saturday was Two Rivers.  We passed this abandoned (and available) greenhouse on our way to someplace else, but I was compelled to back-track; I drove right in, parked the car, grabbed my camera, and started walking.

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Holy smokes.  It's a GINORMOUS greenhouse, with a bunch of falling down and caving in outbuildings (another favorite) -- some looking suspiciously like one-time chicken coops, but who knows; there were additions made to additions made to additions.

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I did some research...  What?  Just a little!  It was both a wholesale and a retail operation, which explains the GINORMOSITY; it sits on just this side of five-and-a-half acres; it's for sale; I don't know how long it's been non-operational or how long it's been for sale.  Possible clue: the sticker on the floral shop door read "MasterCharge" instead of "MasterCard."

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The funny thing is... None of the thoughts dreams I have about what I'd do with a greenhouse property have anything to do with growing stuff!

Make mine green

I have much to say about the weekend, but not the time to devote at the moment, except to mention the fruit salad that I had at a party on Saturday and recreated for my family dinner on Sunday, and my new phase.

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It's green; both the salad(s) and my phase.

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I didn't take photos of the salad (either one) and it's hard to photograph a phase, but this yarn I bought on Thursday is quite representative of it all and, in fact, may have signalled the beginning.

Focus On The Noro, above; Focus On The Rowan, below.

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Three skeins of green Noro Cash Iroha that have been in the sale bin the last few times I've visited my LYS, Iris Fine Yarns; they are there no more.  I brought them home with one ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze.  All are destined to become a Gaia Shrug to brighten up my autumn/winter wardrobe -- to remind me of spring!

The first thing I noticed about the fruit salad brought by a guest to Saturday night's get-together was the colorway (hello, I'm a knitter -- there were knitters, fiber people, artists in attendance!) -- it was GREEN with flecks of BLACKBERRY!  Kiwi, grapes, honeydew, granny smith apples -- all dosed with a little lemon juice (to prevent apple discoloration) and providing the most incredible background for big fat juicy blackberries!  It was amazing to behold.  Then I tasted it and OMG, it tasted even better than it looked!  Providing the knock-out punch was a liberal sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs.  I thought "basil" but the person who made it said "mint" and, while I don't doubt her, I had to try it with basil.  I think it would be MARVELOUS with mint AND basil (but I didn't have any mint)!  It was phenomenal.

I just finished off yesterday's leftovers for lunch.  I think I've found my Summer Salad of 2010 -- open to all sorts of culinary fun and foolery!

As a coincidence, I also bought four different varieties of basil plants at Saturday's markets!

Don't stop 'til you get enough

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Hoping not to bore with more macro shots of my single (so far) blooming clematis blossom... but it's my blog and I'll bore if I want to!  Heh.  Incredibly happy with the image I posted yesterday -- particularly because conditions were tough (breezy) ("wind" and "breeze" are not friends of macro photography) -- I just had to go back for more!

It's a lovely morning, but I fear it won't last long into the day.  We'll see.

Best weather wishes to everyone attending an outdoor graduation ceremony or hosting a graduation party this weekend!  'Tis the season.

Happy Saturday!

Yay! It's Friday again!

There's a clematis blooming on the pergola -- same place as last year, but there are a few more buds this year than last still to show, as it becomes more established.

I planted a whole bunch o' pansies this year, too.  For a self-proclaimed and unabashed pansy lover, I've been a big time slacker in that department the past couple of years. 

Road trip to the east coast with the hubs on tap for tomorrow -- over to Two Rivers (or T'Rivers) and then up to Algoma.  The artists of Main Street Art Works have taken their show on the road and, among other things, we'll attend the artist reception for the "Main Street Road Show" at The Flying Pig.

All of a sudden, I've a millionty-billion things to do and catch up on!

It's always hip to be square


Hip knitted squares!  And, honestly, they make me so happy!!


I don't think I ever showed my finished random sock yarn log cabin baby blanket.  Despite still needing a few ends woven in and a bath, I threw it on the front porch during a break in the rain last night and before the light faded completely.  Feet for scale in a few; it will surely grow some with blocking.


And with a Parcheesi square!  This is one of four that are finished; the fifth of six is underway and I cannot wait to finish them!  I'm not bored, just anxious to move on to the next part!

It's all rather random and by the seat of my pants, with Janine's pattern for guidance, of course.  Here's what I know for sure:

  • Besides the center red, I'm using a rotation/combination of six colors for the six squares.
  • The red will only be used for the center of the six squares and for the "intersections" of the connecting bands.
  • The brighter orange/yellow will only be used for the six squares.
  • I have a basket full of other colors ready and waiting to join in and be hip!!


I photographed this beautiful "Tinka Phillips" peony yesterday, prominently placed front and center in the yard of Dawn Koehler.  Absolutely gorgeous.  And big -- standing chest height.  Dawn had Tinka caged, protecting each and every blossom -- which only made the variety splayed out on the lawn in front of the house across the street that much more sad and forlorn.

I've had the nicest vacation and break from routine over the past nearly two weeks.  It's back to work now... to make some money to pay those bills and save up some more so I can do it all again!!!  ; )

Eye of the fish


The fish-eye goes back to today.  I have had a lot of fun with this little thing -- a Canon EF 15mm f/2.8, for those who want to know -- especially in the wide-open Nevada desert and environs of Las Vegas, but also at home.

I took a walk around the house this morning, and stopped at the coffee shop, too.  Ali & Kevin did a little remodeling over the weekend -- removing a huge section of counter top that sometimes felt more like a barrier.  The part where hubby is leaning while reading (about himself) in the paper used to swing all the way around to about where Ali is standing.  Kevin nicely trimmed the rough edges with wood and built some shelving -- the wood gives a nice warmth and really pops off the black laminate!

Anyway.  I switched my normal Wednesday off for Tuesday this week, so am enjoying the last of a 4-day holiday weekend -- which, because I was only at work on Friday last week, feels pretty much like an extension of the Las Vegas vacation.  And the weather has been pretty much gorgeous.  Work?  Wha???

The stars aligned and I ran down to Oshkosh last evening for a photo shoot that's been pending for a while.  The Memorial Day sun was just setting behind Riverside Cemetery.