Previous month:
March 2022
Next month:
May 2022


Well, as you might imagine, it was a pretty great homecoming for Kate! There were a couple of close calls, but we even managed to keep it a surprise for the kiddos! There's some video in my IG story for a few hours yet, if you'd like to share the experience.


This photo sums it up!

I made lasagna (using some of my own roasted tomato sauce) and then we had cake!


Two cakes, actually! I thought I'd surprise them with a cake -- and Ali thought the same! Hers was homemade lemon poppyseed, using some of her sourdough discard, and mine was not homemade... but it was from the best bakery and they did a great job with the decoration. We re-lit those candles at least four times so everyone could have a turn blowing them out, and somehow it all got turned on Davy once!

As much as I'd like to have these two weeks off while Kate is home, I still gotta work and there are many ways to spend my vacation/off days coming up, mainly the Family Whoop-de-doo in July and our trip to Scotland in September, so I need to budget. The next two weekends are long ones, and that'll be nice. She's also working a bit while she's here, including in Denver, which was the impetus for this trip, plus there's a sister to hang with and friends to see! It's not like we'd be spending every minute together, anyway.

I'm all set to meet up with my mom's old friend on Friday morning in Denver, and either that afternoon or Saturday I hope to be renting a bicycle and making my way to Fancy Tiger Crafts. Maybe the botanical garden and/or zoo, too, and clocking some virtual miles in the process!


Just had to share this girl's style -- top to bottom! I said, "Strike a pose!" She's wearing the Cockleshell Cardigan that I made for Ginny...

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...having outgrown the matching one that I made for her! It occured to me that it won't be long before the kids have all outgrown the knits I've made... so might need to work on something other than a blanket one of these years. heh. It sure is grand to see them over and over. I made the sweater that Davy's wearing, too! Fourth kid to wear it and still going strong.

Woke up this morning and opened the blinds, as usual when in the months when it's light enough to see something. I don't often see anything, but sometimes...


...I do! That's a terrible zoomed-in and taken-thru-two-panes-of-dirty-glass photo, but what a nice surprise! There was another further down the ravine, too.


And, finally, I was relieved to see bloodroot in the garden last night. When the temp shot up over the weekend, the snowdrops all exploded, but I didn't see a single bloodroot -- not even a sign of one. My garden is usually flooded with them, so it was disconcerting not seeing any, and thankfully it was just a fluke of the weird weather.



I can't wait until July when we'll be able to have a photo made that's like this one:


But today I'm using it to mark my girls' birthdays all together, since I didn't do individual posts this year! (from left...)

  • Ali was born on April 16th (middle)
  • Maddy was born on April 25th (youngest)
  • Kate was born on the 22nd (eldest)

It's an even year, so their ages are odd numbers!

Kate's test was negative and she's about three hours from landing at O'Hare as we speak! Squee!!!!


Three More Days!

Can you stand another Random Friday post? It's been a busy week.

This was the view Monday morning out our bedroom window...


Not what anyone wants to see in April, especially in the latter half!

Yesterday I took a stroll at a nature preserve close to work, and the scene had greatly improved.


It's not going to be very warm or sunny today, but the forecast for tomorrow is 73F!!! It'll pretty much be a flash in the pan, but it will be nice... and I know that better weather is not far off.

I had to laugh the other day when I got this notification on DuoLingo:


It cracked me up that I'm getting good at... SHOPPING! I sent a screenshot to Ann and said, "I am my mother's daughter!" (She was a shopper extraordinaire!)

I'm closing in on 10% of the North Coast 500!


That's a screenshot from this morning of where I am and what's ahead. I love the snowy mountains! I've seen a lot of lush greenery, too, so it just depends on when the Google cam was passing through any given area. Anyway, it won't be long before I'm in more familiar territory, as we traveled a part of the NC 500 route during our visit in 2014.

I am counting all of my forward-moving activity (via Fitbit) for this challenge because a) 500 miles, b) I really hadn't paid attention/had no clue about the distance covered in my daily steps, and c) did I mention 500 miles?? I also gave myself the maximum allowed time to complete the challenge. Even with my extremely sedentary job & hobbies, I manage a few miles every day; if the kids are over and/or it's an Airbnb prep day, there can be many many more, and I'm well ahead! The weather has been most uncooperative for walking outside, but I'm doing it when I can, and I feel more motivated to ride my bike this summer, too.

It's only three more days until Kate is home! Three days after that we'll be heading to Denver. I made time between running errands to stop in at the Wednesday Afternoon Knitting Group to get my travel knitting started.


I'm a bit further along now, enough to measure for gauge and figure out the rest of the pattern. I'm knitting Gauge Dye Works' Our Solar System on a One-way Trip to MUSSELBURGH on US3 DPNs! haha. (Am I the last to jump on that bandwagon?) I dithered between size 3 & 4 needle... I think the 3 will work out ok!

There hasn't been a ton of action on the Temperature Blanket this week, but enough to warrant a photo... I'm just starting March 1959.


It gives me great pleasure to state that this photo was taken indoors and in natural light at around 6:30 this morning!

I hope you all have a great weekend! I'll be busy cleaning, planning, ordering birthday cake, and readying for m' girl's visit.


Random Friday

Our taxes are done. Ali's are done. I have a tiny bit of coffee shop bookkeeping to do for her for 2022 taxes -- she didn't sell until the end of January -- and we (the accountant) want(s) to get that out of the way ASAP. I'm so looking forward to boxing all that stuff up!

It's only TEN DAYS until Kate's home!


I received a parcel from her the other day. One of the benefits of having a daughter living in the UK is that I get TWO Mothers Days! (Unfortunately for me, Australia observes the same date as the US!) She sent me a cool tea towel depicting Edinburgh, a cute card with a "SUPER MUM" pin, and a funny memo pad where I can check my mood(s) and also indicate whether it's "For now" or "Forever."

Ai & the kiddos were over on Wednesday after dance class. I made pigs-in-a-blanket with mini hot dogs and they were a hit! Except that Ginny didn't like the "blanket." Who doesn't like the blanket? Haha.


Jün & Gin had a blast going through all the photos & photo books that I've had printed. One of my favorite things to do at my grandma's house was to look through her photo albums, so I was extra happy to see them so interested. Just wait until they discover the boxes of old photos...


The kids will all be over tomorrow, too, while Ali celebrates her birthday (35!!) on a day-date with her hubby, and then the three big kids will stay overnight.

It would be so nice to spend some time outside with them, but the weather is decidedly NOT GREAT right now -- though a bit better than four years ago when we were buried in snow! It's been extremely windy most of the week and high temps only in the 40s. Not great walking weather, either!


I'd had a pretty great DuoLingo streak going a while back -- 300+ days -- and then I didn't. It's taken quite a while but I'm back! Today will be #24.

Wishing you all a great weekend!


Unraveled Wednesday: Chilly Colors!

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday...


I'm a little pinched for time but wanted to share my progress!


I am currently about half-way through January 1959 and by the end of the month, I'll be using the "coldest" color on my chart. There are a lot of color changes! I carry them as much as I can, but don't like to do that for too far, or with very many colors.

This represents Milwaukee, and I'll be literally turning the page on my chart at the end of January and from there to the end it'll represent the weather in Escanaba -- which is actually Green Bay, WI.





Now that taxes are done (more or less... I'm still answering random questions from Ali's accountant), I'm moving on to some things that have been neglected for way too long.

One of those things is the table in my workroom. Things started piling on before Christmas and just never stopped. One big reason for tackling that particular project now (besides the obvious) is that I couldn't find the keys for the storage unit that Kate & I rented last year. She's going to be home two weeks from today (YAAAYYYYY!) and one of the things she wants to do is grab some stuff.


Ta-da! It was one of the things that got dumped from my purse when we went to Puerto Rico in February (as evidenced by all the other things I found in that particular pile) (obviously not missing most of it).

My table isn't entirely cleaned off yet, but I made progress and I'm feeling full-0n "clean up/clean out" mode coming on.


You may have seen this photo on Instagram on Saturday. It's grown by quite a few rows since then, and I'll have a "live" update on Wednesday, but can I just tell you how happy those cool blues, pinks & purples make me?? They represent temperatures that weren't on Rusty's chart at all. One thing I've noticed in my panel vs his is how much more frequently colors jump the "divide" between daytime & nighttime. So interesting... still highly entertaining!

I do need to start something suitable for travel again, as Kate & I will be heading to Denver a few days after her arrival. I have some special yarn on order for a couple of Musselburgh hats and some socks, and hopefully it will arrive by then. Otherwise, well, I'm sure I can find a WIP that wouldn't mind some attention. heh.

Rusty & I went out to Ali's yesterday afternoon. They will be replacing the windows in their house soon, except for a special corner window in their living room, which was too exotic for the window company, so Rusty will be repairing it... and he got a little head start yesterday.

We also had lunch and hung out with the kids. Ginny got the knack of riding a two-wheeler without trainers! I don't have any photos because I was too busy assisting, reminding, and cheering her on. She's going short distances right now, but that won't be for long. ZOOM!!

I had departing guests at both Airbnbs over the weekend, so did my preliminary work... walking over to Ann's a few times, adding to my MILES. Only 479.9 miles to go!

I chatted with Ann yesterday. Cooked a great dinner both nights -- Avgolemono Soup on Saturday, Pan-Roasted Cod & Potatoes on Sunday (thanks Martha & Marley Spoon -- those recipes will definitely go into regular rotation).

I noticed my Crown of Thorns looking pretty good yesterday and never really paid attention before, but the flowers...



...grow out of other flowers. Each tiny flower produces one or two more, sometimes three or four "tiers," and the color is so pretty.


500 Miles

On a bit of a whim the other day, I signed up with The Conqueror Events to walk 500 miles! I'll be walking (or cycling) (never jogging or running) in real life, but an app will be marking time/distance on a virtual map -- specifically, a map of Scotland's North Coast 500. I've given myself plenty of time to do it, my Fitbit is linked & my steps are added once a day, and I'm excited that I'll be putting down a bunch of steps on the actual North Coast 500 come September.

I'm not making any declarations, but I am trying to make some lifestyle changes/adjustments, and this seemed like fun... my usual "scenery" is definitely not very motivating. I figured I'd learn more about a place that I'll be visiting and maybe discover a must-see thing!

You might imagine that virtual walks were pretty popular during lockdown -- one of my FB friends walked the Camino de Santiago then and it was fun to see her updates. When I finish, I'll get a pretty swanky medal (could have opted for a shirt, too).

I'm barely out of Inverness but marching on! I'll let you know if I find anything interesting...


I recently discovered some amaryllis bulbs that I'd put in the basement to "chill." They were pretty dried out and I wasn't expecting much (especially from the smallest, which is actually "offspring" of the medium one), but they've come back to life!

I'd ordered new bulbs last season. You might remember the one that was deformed (from a bug, I think), but it has an offshoot now, too; the other one was pretty slow to start and is now just a fountain of leaves -- there was never any sign of a flower stalk.

My timing isn't that great, but there's never a bad time for flowers, right? And if I work on timing, there could be a pretty good show next Christmas season.


Unraveled Wednesday: Panel One is DONE!!

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday...


I am one-fifth finished with my Temperature Blanket project!


It starts with December 26, 1947 at the bottom and ends with December 26, 1948 at the top -- with a couple border rows in black at each end. My bound-off edge will need to be re-done (as usual). I must have been rushing last night!


This photo gives you a better idea of scale.


I had a very timely notification the other day that my Audible pre-order was ready, so YOUNG MUNGO it is!

Today I'm buckling down, though, and finishing the task that is taxes. Yuck. My reward will be casting on MY blanket panel this evening and knitting some of those new colors!


The return of Vas Gr

After a long stretch of Fr Mus, L Leaf & Avo, I'm thrilled for the return of Vas Gr & Fjord!


There are fewer than "3 weeks" left to knit on Rusty's panel, and it's basically just those colors plus a stripe of Lime or Sulfur here & there to the end.

I am getting so excited to start my panel and right away, on the third row, I'll be knitting a brand new color -- Turq! And then soon more new ones -- Astor, Iris, Ssalter, Htrope, Umarine, Bberry, Peony. It's quite a range of temps for November, from a crazy 68F to -1F.

My chart is minimal & compact, so I don't have room to spell out all the color names!

  • Fr Mus = French Mustard
  • L Leaf = Lotus Leaf
  • Avo = Avocado
  • Vas Gr = Vaseline Green
  • Turq = Turquoise
  • Ssalter = Seasalter
  • Htrope = Heliotrope
  • Umarine = Ultramarine
  • Bberry = Billberry

Amazing colors!! I think of them by their "for short" names.



Last time the kids were over, Junah, holding a small container of white chalk, asked me where a chalkboard was... "Why do you have chalk if you don't have a chalkboard?"

Huh. Why do I??*

So I fixed that and ordered one forthwith, along with some colorful chalk and an eraser.

Zero regrets...


There was zero input from me about what to draw, and I plotzed when I saw Junah drawing my gnomes! He also drew a magnifying glass that Rusty had near his reading chair, and the giant "pea pod" at the top is actually the little red canoe on bottom left in the photo. I shared some of the photos with the fam yesterday and Kate said that it looks like Junah's gnomes are about to hop on a Viking ship!


Earlier, Ginny showed me a book of drawings that she made out of napkins... lots of hearts and rainbows, and windows! The sun is in the sky, and also the moon -- in a few different phases.


I love absolutely everything about this!


That's Ginny, Davy, and Malina in the first drawing. When I asked where Junah was, she ran off and then came back... "That's Junah... (giggling) with a beard!"

*Because it came with a set of autumn themed chalkboards that I used for decor in the Airbnbs. I do have a small slate, but it has a 4th of July drawing that my mother did... so that's not ever getting erased.