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June 2021

218 Hexagons...

...make a SQUARE(-ish sort of blanket)! It's basically 15 rows x 15 rows.


Tonight, I'll start the circles for Rows 16 & 17 (I make two rows at a time) and then, maybe by next week, turn them into hexagons when I join them to the blanket. With the holiday and an extra day off, I'm only working two days next week, so maybe a little extra time for the fun stuff!

I thought you might be interested in where I take these blanket photos (until it doesn't fit, anyway).


This is the walkway right off the back porch. I can get some elevation, if needed, by standing on the steps.

(I'm in the market -- taking recommendations -- for a portable pressure washer to clean the porch floor/siding, and deck. The porch is so dusty!) (I pick up herb & veg plants at my CSA farm tomorrow -- planters will soon be filled!)


Then, this morning, Facebook Memories reminded that The Marriage Window was installed one year ago on this day! That sure was a fun little project, and we sure do use that room a lot.




Whew! Saturday was busy, starting with a trip out to Ali's to watch the kiddos for a few hours.


Guess who's crawling?? He's already trying to pull himself up and get on his feet, so maybe we have an early walker on our hands! He's fittingly wearing the KEEP CALM AND CALL GRANDMA shirt.

Before Rod left, he hooked up Ducky for me to haul home.


I have an appointment on Wednesday for new tires. There was very little sign of mouse activity during storage, which was pretty awesome since I discovered that Kate never opened the pouches that contained the mouse-repelling sachets... she must have thought that the pouches were the thing!


Our across-the-street neighbors offered to let us park it in an empty spot next to their garage, so here's my new view backing out of the driveway. The only camping trip actually on the books is way off in September, but hopefully I can fit a few quick trips in... available campsites are tough to find, though! My best bet is probably to think "mid-week getaway."

On Saturday afternoon we all got together for a video chat!


I'm stealing Kate's image from her IG story, but how great is that?? It was super chaotic (it's clear that Davy needs his own phone!) but so fun! All the folks in the US/Wisconsin are on the left, on the right are Kate in Scotland, Annie in Peru, and Maddy it Australia. Ann's time & ours is the same right now, but Maddy joined us upon waking (on Sunday morning, for her) and Kate was heading straight to bed!

I was up late on Saturday, watching TV and crocheting... late enough to pop out just before midnight to see the ISS (always a thrill). I also noticed a long string of lights crossing the sky and wasn't sure what it was, but learned yesterday that they are Starlink satellites, part of the SpaceX program. You can track them yourself!

So I took it pretty easy yesterday, outside of a little laundry and giving Rusty a haircut, and also took a nap! Quite shy of "pampering," I even soaked my feet and read my book for a while. I wouldn't have guessed that I'd be so into Shuggie Bain, but I'm really enjoying the alternating reading/listening and I'm zipping right along.


Random update

I shared some photos a couple of weeks ago from when Mary was over... here's the real deal!


It was totally worth a bit of my garden getting smushed! I think that top photo was taken at the exact same time as I snapped mine. Poor Davy was not in the mood, having just awakened from a car nap, but such is life, eh? Mary gets it. I'm sure I'll share a few more images from this session in the near future.

I found a "present" this week as I was turning over the Airbnb for a guest arriving tomorrow.


My first-ever container of night crawlers in the fridge! At first, I was wondering who I could give them to... and then I realized that I could return them to their natural habitat in my own back yard for our mutual benefit!

A moment for hosta appreciation...


The color and texture just slay me... these were big fat purple-y/green shoots barely poking out of the ground a month ago.

PSA for IPA-lovers. I was delighted to find Bell's Light Hearted Ale in my grocery store a while back -- if I'm going to trust anyone with an IPA that's lower in calories & carbs, it would be Bell's -- and it tastes pretty great!


Occasionally, I peruse the aisles/coolers to see what's new... and sometimes I actually find something! And another brewery I'd trust with such a thing is Dogfish Head! This is also a pretty great tasting brew.

There has been some crochet progress... it seems a little slower going these days, but it's going.


I just started on Row 14, and Row 15 is ready to join, too.


I knocked over my box of colors a while back and it took a while, going off of some photos I'd taken, to get them back in order. I had done a little switching that was never recorded, so it's all very random, and these couple of rows even moreso!

Finally, I am doing my first-ever successful read/listen, thanks to Kym mentioning that she'd done the same, with Shuggie Bain. She'd told me (and I know it to be true) that the chapters in the book don't always align with the chapters in the audio book, but they do in Shuggie Bain! I may not finish in time for the book club meet-up, but I am really enjoying reading this way, so who knows? I've also pre-ordered the audio book of Sinéad O'Connor's Rememberings. The To-Read list never gets any smaller, does it?


Making do

One good thing about having the Airbnb is...


...that when I order a rug for the Garden Room and it's WAY TOO BIG, I can find a place for it upstairs! (It's all very eclectic, just like the rest of the house.)

I was up there yesterday doing things like putting down new rugs and making beds... oh, that's a funny story. I did all the laundry last week and brought it all upstairs, and the flat sheets for both beds were missing. I spent a few days pondering, looking, trying to remember if they were even in the loads I did. Where could they be??? I randomly found them in a cupboard yesterday, and I'm 99.9% sure that I didn't put them there... so extra load of laundry! Y'know, some people don't bother with a flat sheet when there's a duvet cover and I think that might be what happened. Anyway, I had spares, so it's not like I'd short-sheet anyone, but sheesh, that kind of stuff is crazy-making.


I stopped at the record store the other day and got the replacement needle for the turntable, successfully keeping my bristles down when the salesman's response to my query made it clear that he didn't think I had a clue. I showed him... not only did I have the make & model, but I also had pictures! I also bought a simple cleaning system, so I cleaned & listened to three albums yesterday -- Farewell to the First Golden Era by The Mamas & The Papas, The Age of Aquarius by The 5th Dimension (the first album I ever called my own), and Innervisions by Stevie Wonder. Turns out it's Stevie's 71st birthday today! Oh, I remember his run of Grammy-winning albums in the '70s, and I owned most if not all of them. The sleeve from the record I played yesterday has my ca. 1973 signature on it.

In other news, the stumps have finally been ground out and...


I'm not sure what to do there now... not certain that my vague plan is a good one. Tops on Rusty's To-Do List is making an enclosure to hide the ugly trash & recycling receptacles that were formerly mostly hidden by a big tree trunk. Anyway, it sure looks different.


Art break

Junah's been drawing a lot lately, especially Petey from Dog Man. Petey was even on the Mother's Day card that Junah made for me!


And, he's even had a few drawing sessions with Gin. Junah's on the left, Ginny's on right.

Oh, my. ❤️



I celebrated Mother's Day by cleaning the Airbnb apartment... all weekend! Well, I did have a couple of breaks. I talked to Ann a couple of times, and also to Kate!

Kate's on Day 5 of her 10-day mandatory isolation. She can leave only to drop her Covid tests in a mailbox.


She discovered this on the other side of the building where her Airbnb is... it is not her view, so she had no idea! It'll be so great to discover what's along that trail in just a few more days. She's going a little stir crazy, but brought her beading supplies with her (she's been making earrings for months, selling them at the coffee shop but likely soon finding a UK venue), and she's in a cute apartment -- I can't imagine enduring 10 days in a crappy hotel room (doesn't matter how many stars... that's way too long to be cooped up in one room with shitty seating & lighting).

As mentioned, the bulk of my weekend -- and Rusty's -- was spent cleaning the Airbnb. It was a reminder for me of why I like doing short-term rather than long-term rentals. They were terrific guests in that we barely knew they were there and they left me with a couple of new small appliances and kitchen gadgets, but they didn't do a lot of cleaning and did a lot of cooking with oil... things were grimy. So much, after only four months!

Annie said, "Oh, that must be like spring cleaning. I love spring cleaning!" And I laughed, because I'm not that excited about cleaning in the spring or any other time, but I channeled her enthusiasm, along with my mother... striving for "Marj Perfect!" I thought of her a lot yesterday because Mother's Day, but also because she would have loved this endeavor -- I actually think of her very often when I'm up there.

Anyway, I'm so thankful for Rusty -- he did some repairs & maintenance in the bathroom, including painting the ceiling, and did almost all of the floors! I have some finishing up to do on Wednesday for weekend guests arriving on Friday, but not bad.


We found a spot above the sink for this cool painting that one of Kate's art friends did of the kitchen.


I will be going on a quest to replace the phonograph needle (I think that's what needs done). I have this one in my Amazon cart, but first I'm stopping at a local record/stereo shop on my way home tonight.


The info I needed was on the bottom, of course, and I couldn't lift the arm high enough to see it -- or even get my phone under it, so I employed a mirror!


There's a neat back room in the apartment that is off limits to guests mainly because it provides access to the attic and to the rooftop (I've watched mile-away fireworks from up there) and it would just be too irresistible! It has a ton of storage -- cool drawers built in under the steep attic steps, along with another cupboard -- and a window! It's three stories up from the back garden and, unfortunately, the only place where the garden is visible from up there. So I guess it's my Secret Garden Window.

In other news, the stump grinders could finally do the job this morning!


I asked him to send me pictures! (That's Not Lazy's truck in the first photo... they moved out a week ago but he's still switching out/parking vehicles on the street. I'm not going to tolerate that for much longer.) (I'm becoming my mother in many ways!! I love you, Mom!)


Happy Mother's Day

I was pleasantly surprised last Friday evening to discover a change/addition to my back yard view.


First, I zoomed in.


And then I walked down to take a closer look.


Isn't it perfect???!!!

Kate had found a similar item in a catalog, but the family put their heads/talents together and made one -- with far less money and a lot more heart!

Once installed and after some discussion, it was decided that something was missing, so it was back to the workshop...


And now it's absolute perfection!!!

We also had a fairly last-minute photo session on Sunday as part of our Birthday/Going-away/Mother's Day Extravaganza! These are a few of my quick shots.



  • Ginny's 5th Birthday / Kate's Going Away / Mothers' Day Extravaganza!

Happy Mother's Day!!


Y'all, it's been a week

I forgot to mention that, on top of everything else going on, our most recent Airbnb guests departed on Sunday. They originally booked for a month beginning the end of December, but extended to the end of January, then February, then March, and finally April + a couple of days! They were amazing, but it was really weird to have people in our "short-term rental" for that long. I have new guests arriving a week from tomorrow, so I have a lot of cleaning & prep to do, but I'm not really worrying about any of that right now!

I'm taking it easy. Cracking a beer or making a drink when I get home from work. Relaxing on the pergola or porch. Crocheting...


I finished another row last night, and the next one is ready to go! I haven't run into any weird ones in a while, so I guess I've figured it all out and learned how to properly count.

I love it so much.


Unraveled Wednesday: It's a wonder I'm not

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share...

CROCHETI'm still devoted to my crocheted blanket, even if it's a little slower going these days.

READING: I finally finished The Midnight Library... having sped up the audio to 1.5! Ugh. It wasn't awful, but it did seem to go on and on and on with this life and that life and another life, not to mention the root life. I have about 50 pages to go in An American Quilt: Unfolding A Story of Family & Slavery... I do occasionally speed read my actual books, too, do you?


OMG, you would not believe what's all been going on around here. In approximate order...

There's been a lot of weird activity next door over the past few weeks or so. The current owner has been there for 12 years, having moved in with her three kids when the youngest was just about in kindergarten... and is now in college. The eldest skedaddled ASAP after high school and I haven't personally seen him since. The middle child, who we call "NOT LAZY" for reasons of his own making (and, uh, as you might expect, is truly the laziest SOB you'll ever meet) was recently engaged and it's obvious that he's been (slowly... one might even think lazily) moving out. The recent random occasional appearance of vans from a remodeling/renovating company, also a BIG van from a moving company, increased action over the weekend, Rusty's social media "friendship" with Not Lazy, and his chance run-in with the youngest on Sunday night... all led to learning that she sold the house and THEY'RE ALL MOVING OUT!!

(I think she called one of those "We Buy Houses 123-456-7890" numbers.)

Anyway, that's a whole lot to process... right next door!

_ _ _ _ _

Meanwhile, it's an actual category: Ann's New House!


Just over a week ago, Annie sent me a listing for a house in my neighborhood, and a week ago last Sunday Rusty & I walked over to check it out... walk around, look at the foundation, etc. Rusty happened to try the back door, which was held shut with a bungee cord... "Hello! Anyone home?" Well, of course there wasn't. So we gave ourselves a quick little unencumbered tour. (So quick that he forgot to re-bungee the door and had to go back later.) It's old, has had some systems updates, but hasn't really been touched much in many years... and even with all that, was a million times better than the first property she asked me to check out. After our tour, I did some research. Turns out, the house belonged to a 92yo woman who died a couple of years ago; she was born in that house, lived there for her entire life, and died there per her wishes. I remember that there was an amazing flower garden in the back yard quite a few years ago, the footprint is still visible.

Anyway, official showings didn't begin until Friday and bids were going to be opened on Monday. I went over on Friday afternoon with an electrician, and met her remodeler guy, to look things over. Ann put in her offer... and wrote a nice letter. And on Monday night she texted that they got the house! She didn't have the highest offer, but the letter clinched it for her. There's a ton of work to be done, and I'm thankful that she'll be here in June/July to oversee things (if it's even closed by then).


They sent Ann this photo of the house from many years ago... the fancy stuff, including the porch, is long gone/changed, but...

Pic-of-original-porch---Dixon's the same with mine. The similarities are striking! I believe my house is just a few years older than hers.

My sister is going to be my occasional few-blocks-away neighbor (closer even than my mom was)!

And I think, holy cow, she could have been my literal NEIGHBOR!

_ _ _ _ _

I had an extremely overdue re-re-rescheduled hair appointment early yesterday morning. Canceled 14 months ago, I put it off for quite a while even when they reopened, but eventually made a date. Then had to cancel because of a work schedule conflict. So I rescheduled and had to cancel that because of the opportunity to get the Pfizer jab. The new date turned out to be the morning of Kate's departure, but I just couldn't cancel again (for fear of being banned for life).


This is the before pic, but the after isn't much different -- trimmed an inch, smoother, and it smells so nice -- I just couldn't handle anything drastic yesterday!! Haha.

_ _ _ _ _

Kate's rapid test for Covid was negative on Monday, which set the ball rolling for final departure prep! It's been very relaxed and measured... paring down, moving things around, making plans, and yesterday was no different. She drove Rusty & I down to the airport in Milwaukee yesterday, with one last stop at Culver's for lunch, to drop herself off... NEW ADVENTURES AWAIT IN EDINBURGH (AND THE GREATER UK). She arrived in London early this morning (our time), caught a cab to the train station, and is currently on the train to Edinburgh where she'll self-isolate at an Airbnb for the next 10 days, and then... stay tuned.

_ _ _ _ _




We celebrated Ginny's 5th birthday yesterday! We had a party, and even a photo session... I nabbed a few, myself, and this is one of my favorites!


Our Ginny girl... how can she already be FIVE??


She's a joy.


And she sure loves her little brother!


Happy Birthday, Ginny Girl!! You are one of a kind, and so special!!