Previous month:
November 2020
Next month:
January 2021

So long, 2020

Here's my Top Nine (IG) for 2020:


I have to laugh that 4 of 9 feature Davy's SAFE AT HOME blanket!  😂  There's lots of colorful knitting, the inspiration that is Kaffe Fasset (I've been a fan since the 80s), a new grandson, another trip around the sun (Hello, 62), and the Marriage Window finding its place after 35+ years. The Garden Room expansion was a huge unexpected bonus this year.

I'll leave you with this... it made me laugh!

133761885_1106609759793581_3058921497692483728_oHAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!


Year In Review

Here we go again Year In Review!

I do it in words (the first sentence of the first post of each month) and in pictures (a favorite posted photo from each month) -- the two are not necessarily related.

January 2020:

Everyone seems to be where they want to be, or are on their way, or are making plans.


February 2020:

My new insurance cards came in the mail last week, along with the little booklet of benefits.


March 2020:

It looks like there might be 8 of us (so far) taking the leap!


April 2020:

I can't believe how long it's been since I've done an "Unraveled Wednesday" post!

May 2020:

Well, April flew right on by, didn't it?


June 2020:

I have purchased books and donated money.


July 2020:

For months, I've had this refrain/response popping into my head on the regular: I'm not doing it right.


August 2020:

This is not a very exciting photo, but Ann sent it last night from Lima!


September 2020:

It is all Ducky a lot of the time (lately)!


October 2020:

I'm worn out.


November 2020:

In which we embark on the TWELFTH year of NaBloPoMo-ing!


December 2020:

[I'm going to learn to bake a cake!] Ha. And not just any cake... Christmas Cake!




In August, Kate & I bought a travel trailer and started renovating & updating. Shortly thereafter, Kate adopted an adorable rescue terrier that she called McGregor. Even in this weird year -- or perhaps because of this weird year -- things/situations sometimes quickly change. Kate learned that the UK was once again accepting visa applications and moving to the UK has been a goal for a long time. After some soul searching and consideration of future wants/needs, along with research into cost/logistics of moving abroad with a dog, and keeping the long-term well-being of McGregor foremost, she decided to return him... where he was quickly adopted again because, OMG, what a sweet & smart dog he is (says someone who is not a dog person)... and hopefully he's found a stable forever home. Meanwhile, Kate has been approved by Arts Council England to apply for the Global Talent Visa, and if all goes as planned, she'll be headed to the UK/Scotland in spring... like March!! (Unless things change, because good god...) I know that someday she'll have a dog again -- when it fits. As will Maddy, who is having to settle for chickens right now due neighborhood/rental rules at their current residence. Heh.

I know I  say it every year: I can't quite believe the year is almost over!

This year, like no other before if: I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THIS YEAR IS OVER!!! BURN!


Unraveled Wednesday: 2020

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share a review of my 2020 Knitting & Reading!


It was an OK year! Details of all on Ravelry; I am knitorious.



  • (1) Cardigan
  • (1) Pair of beaded, fingerless mitts
  • (2) Shawls
  • (1) Pillow
  • (1) Epic baby blanket
  • (1) Messy bun hat
  • (4) Christmas Trees
  • (3) Gnomes*

Started/Current WIPs:

  • (1) Shawl for a friend (no deadline)
  • (1) Village Pillow (fuzzy deadline)
  • (1) *Gnome that needs fixing
  • (1) Gnome for my sister Ann



I didn't meet my arbitrary "goal," but I did manage to read a couple more books than last year (though around 300 fewer pages)!




I also listened to Break Shot: My First 21 Years, James Taylor's memoir on Audible and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Dabbled/started (audio): Beowulf, So You Want to Talk About Race, and Hamnet; and purchased five other titles that I haven't even begun yet. I'm going to restart Hamnet very soon!

And in pages, I added:


To pass the time

OMG. I don't think I ever watched so much TV as while recovering from Covid... and knitting gnomes, of course.

There were three days during recovery when I didn't even hit 1000 steps, three more that were well under 2000. I am still well under my meager goal most days, but wow... from the bedroom to the bathroom to my chair & repeat for almost a week. Crazy. I never went outside on those days, either, but I did open the door a few times.


Speaking of gnomes, I finished Junah's last night! (I may cut off the hat, re-stuff & re-knit... he's just not weighted/sitting right). Anyway, there's the whole Wayside Gang! From left: Malina's, Ginny's, Davy's, and Junah's.

BTW, Ali messaged the other day and said that Junah has started calling Davy "Junior," and now that's his name forever and ever. So adorable! We're getting together on Saturday for a belated Christmas, and then we'll go out there in a few weeks for Junah's SEVENTH birthday! I can hardly believe it.

Anyway, back to our viewing over the past almost two weeks:

We watched several episodes of the Great British Baking Show (holidays!), Grand Designs, Cabins In The Wild, and Nick Knowles' Original Home Restoration -- think home improvement, but in the UK! Thatched roofs and crazy old stuff. What I found interesting was that often, at the end of the show, the project wasn't even finished. It was like, "time's up, here's where it's at." It was kind of refreshing, in a way... a bit more REAL.

We started watching/re-watching Vikings from S3 because the final season will be released in a few days and we're getting primed.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was... good. There was a lot I liked, some aspects that I wasn't crazy about (sort of stage-y, to me), but the costumes and sets were incredible!

It had been a long time since I watched The DaVinci Code, and don't think I'd ever seen Angels & Demons before.

Vanity Fair was good!

Can you believe we've never seen Die Hard? We watched the original, sometimes billed as a "Christmas movie," and it was pure adventure and craziness. Oh, and I'd seen a post on the This Was Hollywood IG account that Die Hard was Alan Rickman's first-ever movie role... and I knew that we'd be watching Love Actually at some point... it just seemed fitting.

The Family Stone is finally growing on me... it's practically blasphemous, I know, but Diane Keaton is usually just a little too loopy-hippy-dippy for me, so I've poo'd it in the past. But she's really not too bad in this movie, and some of the other performances -- Sarah Jessica Parker (also not a favorite) is casting perfection.

The Proposal is just FUN! Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen, and Craig T. Nelson (also the dad in The Family Stone)... goofy rom-com.

I didn't ball my eyes out quite as much as usual watching Love Actually this year... but still went through plenty of tissues!

BRIDGERTON!! People! This series is such a treat in so many ways! We have two episodes left... probably this evening.

So, all that and a few gallons of VitaminWater are what helped get me through! And lots of sleeping.



Heh. That was a long one. I can't believe it's been nearly 3 weeks!!

I'm popping in REAL quick to say HI!

There's nothing new for anyone who follows along on FB or IG. More details may be forthcoming in the future but, in short, I tested positive for COVID on the 17th (Kate did, too, and Rusty also had symptoms). I had been feeling a little "iffy" for a few days prior (but with none of the more common/telltale signs: no fever, no loss of taste or smell, and other symptoms developed after-the-fact rather than being a "tell"). Kate told me that my lips were turning a little bit blue on the evening of the 18th... thankfully that turned around! I was super sick/tired/achy all that weekend and early last week, and then sl0wly started to pull out of it with a bit of improvement each day.

A week ago I printed a pattern and gathered some supplies, but it took two days to muster the energy to cast on, and then the floodgate opened...


A little parade of gnomes has been falling off my needles ever since. I'd knit at least four of these guys a couple of years ago... from Susan B. Anderson's Gnome pattern, recently updated to include mods for a Big Gnome.


I'm not very good with flipping pages back & forth to incorporate new+old directions, even in the best of times, so two of these gnomes are more medium sized. Heh. I finally notated the original pattern w/changes for the larger size and the one in the middle reflects that a bit more accurately! From left to right, these are for: Davy, Ginny, Malina. And I cast on Junah's while I watched the Packer game last night. They're so cute and fun to knit, with just a little bit of fiddly -- details that really make them shine (IMHO).

I hope you all had a good holiday -- made the best of it. I haven't seen my grandkids in a few weeks and I'm excited for a belated Christmas with them (date still TBD).

Anyway, I'm/we're feeling a little more energetic everyday! Definitely better... and I'm looking forward to putting 2020 in my rear-view.


3TT: Randomness!

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

ONE. Have you heard of "cocoa bombs"? Are they big by you? I mean, like, can't find them anywhere and/or keep up with demand? Ali's POS/online ordering system couldn't keep up last week when she announced a batch!

It's both a blessing and a curse. A small business like Ali's needs every little bit these days, so she's doing her best to ride the wave and keep up... no small feat with four kids between 3mo and 6y at home! Also, standards. They're gorgeous and her nana would be proud.


Anyway, she's sells them in boxes of two or four. I packed up two 4-packs yesterday to send to one of Ann's former assistants (and her family) here in WI who is recovering from covid.


It's a large chocolate shell filled with cocoa mix and other things, depending on flavor... a truffle, mini marshmallows, peppermint pieces, etc. You put them in the bottom of a mug -- and these are HUGE, so the biggest one you've got -- and slowly pour in hot milk; the shell melts and the filling "explodes." Junah was quite impressed in the test video that Ali sent us. Haha.


As you might guess, they're pretty fragile, so I wrapped each one in plastic wrap, so that even if there was breakage, it would still be salvageable to make a cuppa cocoa. There's a couple layers of bubble wrap + parchment underneath, along with crinkle paper all around -- and then more packing material in the actual shipping box. I'm anxious to see how they fare...

(I had a bag of yarn delivered the other day that was torn completely open... thankfully nothing was missing or damaged! I think a large gap in the packaging got caught in some equipment.)


Since I was in packing mode, I finally got a couple of boxes put together that I've been meaning to send for over a year. It feels so good to have those things on their way!

TWO. Kate's mixing up some tinctures in order to make bitters, and eventually some kickass cocktails.


She'd given me the book Handcrafted Bitters for Christmas a few years ago and I've made a few things... but, you know, this year we're at next level with all.the.things! Some of these tinctures are ready today!

THREE. Finally, the sky this morning grabbed me from the minute I walked out the door.


The photo above (from outside my garage) doesn't really do justice, but you can kind of see that something cool is going on beyond those branches. When I left the coffee shop a few minutes later, I saw the girls standing outside the door to have a look-see. And by the time I got to work:


And still pretty stunning a few minutes later.


Happy Thursday, peeps! The weekend is almost here!



I had a couple of kiddos at my house for almost 24 hours and I didn't take a single photo of them. With apologies to Kym, that's unprecedented!

I did take a few photos of some knit Christmas trees. Here's one:


And since that photo was taken, the "forest" has grown by one! Kate laughed about how she hasn't seen me knit a single stitch on one, they're just "magically appearing." Ginny was playing with them as if they were dolls -- family, actually. The green ones were Mommy & Daddy, this pink one was Ginny, and the other one (a bit smaller, variegated pink & blue) was Malina... there was a request to "make" Junah & Davy ("with a 'bubba'," she laughed). I will certainly do so... they're fun & super quick to knit!

The pattern is Holiday Trees, available at WEBS. I'm knitting mine in Malabrigo Chunky, leftovers from some of Kate's recent projects. I'm not stuffing them in any way, they are sturdy enough to stand on their own, plus I really like the "Suess-y-ness," though I might get styrofoam forms for a couple -- as I was demonstrating/stretching, I really liked how it looked with the garter ridges spread apart.

(Kate, by the way, is knitting up a storm... four or five cowls in recent weeks, and now she's making the headbands that Kym posted the other day.)

I took delivery of some yarn over the weekend, so I'm back to knitting houses.


Turns out, I wasn't happy with my previous start, so ripped that all out (hence the tree-knitting while awaiting deliveries). This is the "Village" design from MDK Field Guide N0 16: Painterly again, this time in the Rowan Felted Tweed specified in the pattern. Oh my, it's been ages since I knit with Rowan... it is very nice yarn. Heh.

ICYMI (on FB):

Junah negotiating with his sister on Saturday night about what movie to watch:

“...but Ginny, I’ve been wanting to watch that for years!

He’ll be 7 next month. 🤣🤣🥰😂❤️🤣


Great Aunt Loretta

I attended my first livestream funeral service today.


My Great Aunt Loretta died on Tuesday at the age of 96, the last of my grandparents' siblings. She is seated at my grandmother’s left in the photo above, the flower girl at my grandparents' wedding in 1929. That's a detail of the photo below.


Loretta had just turned five -- as had the little ringbearer who was my grandfather's nephew -- and the wedding must have been so exciting for her! (The two men standing are my grandpa's brothers, the seated gent is my grandma's brother, the seated girl is grandpa's youngest sister, and the woman standing behind Loretta was my great aunt by both birth and marriage -- my grandma's cousin, she married my grandpa's brother -- the one to his right -- a few years later. The other woman is unidentified, "maybe a cousin.")

I have so many fond memories of visiting the farm that Aunt Loretta & Uncle Al owned -- they were our only farmer relatives, so it was always novel to us, even getting zapped by the electric fence and stepping in cow pies. Sometimes there was a bull in the barn, and always kittens! Loretta & Al (who died 10 years ago this month) had seven children: four older than me (a couple by not too much), one who died in infancy the year that I was born, and two younger than me! I was sad that none of them spoke at the service, but I did catch a glimpse of a couple.

Rest well, (Great) Aunt Loretta.


An eclectic mix

It's that time of year when the "wrap-ups" and "best ofs" begin! I received "Your 2020 Wrapped" from Spotify yesterday.


I love these things.


Leon Bridges knocked Gregory Alan Isakov off the top slot. I think GAI held that position for at least two years. I'm thrilled to see Harry Styles on the list.


No big surprises here, I listened to all of these songs A LOT!

Here's the full list if you'd like to have a listen... it's an eclectic mix! I love that Waylon Jennings is in the Top 10!

Maybe you'll find something you like, or an artist that you'd like to explore more. I'm excited to explore the related playlists provided by Spotify: Missed Hits (top songs that I may have missed) and On Record (a mix of talk & music from some of my top artists).

A word

I've had an unsuccessful attempt or two at having a WORD... One Little Word or a Big One... it didn't matter, it just never quite clicked.

But I think I've found one... not just for today or this year, but FOREVER. It comes to mind often, and today a version of this appeared in front of my eyeballs:



That's my Forever Word.

That is all.


I'm going to learn to bake a cake!

Ha. And not just any cake... Christmas Cake!

And not just any Christmas cake... Le Bûche de Noël!

And not with just anyone...

My fabulous friend for such a long, long time Kate Gilbert -- former knitwear designer extraordinaire (Clapotis, anyone? 23,400+ projects and counting) and creative director of Twist Collective, currently applying all that amazing creativity to baking as le gâtelier -- is offering a pre-recorded video course with step-by-step instructions with everything from choosing the ingredients to making meringue mushrooms.

Meringue mushrooms!!

This is a limited pre-sale for only $50, and if you're interested in more info or signing up, here you go: Bûche de Noël pre-sale.


We've begun to jot down some ideas about our Christmas menu, too.

For sure, THERE WILL BE CAKE!! 😜