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June 2022
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Eye Candy Friday

My first-ever sunflower!


There's another one right behind it, and a "mammoth," too. Focus isn't the best, as there was a breeze last night. (It's been so great to have the air conditioner off and windows open!)

Have a great weekend!


Unraveled Wednesday: dishcloth edition

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


I knew that my blanket project would not be suitable "up north" knitting, and didn't think my Musselburgh on DPNs would work all that well, either. 


When the #mdkdishclothkal was first announced, I knew I wanted to participate, and ordered some Rowan Handknit Cotton. Trust me, I have plenty of Peaches & Cream and didn't need more cotton yarn, but I was interested in knitting dishcloths in a lighter weight. It might be sacrilege, but I'm not really a fan of P&C dishcloths... they're a handful!


I'm knitting Nai-Nai's Favorite, which I believe I read about at Vera's. I love the textures!

As you know, it's been busy around here and my concentration hasn't been spot-on, so there are a few little mistakes here and there... but if there's one place I can overlook those, it's on a dishcloth!!


I'm excited to finish and use it! It does indeed feel... less of a handful. So far. Stay tuned.


I am currently reading/listening to The Blackhouse by Peter May. It's the first of a trilogy set on Scotland, specifically the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.


I believe I first heard about these books in a post of Kat's, and Kate just happened to have traveled with a paperback copy... which she happily left with me! I also wanted to listen, and it's worked so well for me when I bounced back and forth between pages & audio with Young Mungo and Firekeeper's Daughter. The chapter numbers are shifted by one, but that's easy to track.

Anyway, I'm enjoying it so far, especially because we'll be spending a few days on Lewis & Harris in September!


Whirlwind winding down

We had a great weekend up north!


There was a lot of time in the water -- jumping off the dock, kayaking, canoeing -- sitting on the porch, a little shopping with kiddos (break time for Ali), and some creative pursuits.


Kate brought activity books & sparkly crayons, and what a hit they were! Rusty sat in the shade and made a little watercolor of the cabin for my Uncle Jim. His place is loaded with art of all sorts from various family members.

There was so much cuteness...


Maddy & Viv gave Kate & Ali these great hats from Australia.

We drove up on Thursday, returned on Sunday. On Monday, Kate & I drove down to Chicago in preparation for her departure on Tuesday. We went on the Chicago Architecture Center's River Cruise for the first time, and we both learned a lot. It was great to see some of the iconic buildings from a slightly different perspective, too. We went all out and stayed at Sofitel, where I'd opted for a slight upgrade previous to arrival, but learned that our upgrade had been upgraded upon arrival. Oh my. We had a lovely suite and it worked out so great because Kate had to get up early on Tuesday to do a little work prior to departure.

I dropped her off at O'Hare and made only two stops on the way home, arriving late afternoon. Maddy had wanted Viv to experience a Wisconsin supper club, so we took the opportunity to go to George's Steak House -- an iconic establishment here for almost 100 years! None of us had ever been, though it had long been on my list. We were not disappointed... CHECK!


On Wednesday night, Rusty & I prepped Annie's house for guests arriving the next day, while Maddy & Viv made dinner for us. After dinner, we all went down to Hydro Park for the Wednesday night concert... this week happened to feature one of Rod's bands! There was dancing and lots of "sword fights" with long blades of decorative grass. What a group.


Maddy & Viv left for Milwaukee yesterday to stay with Katy & Andrés for the night, making the trip to O'Hare a little easier for Viv's departure today. I think she's boarded her flight as we speak. Maddy will be spending the weekend with her friends there before returning here on Sunday -- we get her for another whole month, more or less!

The house is going to be quiet this weekend, about which I have mixed feelings. I miss my peeps! (Only 1 month + 28 days until we go to Scotland, though, so there's that to look forward to.)

I had a book club meeting last night. We discussed my YA-themed pick, Firekeeper's Daughter. You may recall that I'd asked for recs for a YA read last month, and there were a LOT of good ones! I picked this book, recommended by Kym, mainly because of its setting in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and to learn a bit more about Anishinaabe culture, which is also relevant to my geographical location. It did not disappoint, and there was lively discussion. I had forgotten that I already had the Audible version of this book, no doubt on another recommendation, when I ordered the paperback, so I was able to both listen & read the book -- it was helpful with some of the native terms that were used throughout the book. I know quite a few people who are reading or have read this book!

We didn't know it, but a trivia contest started right about the time we finished our meal & discussion, and five of us decided on the spot to stay & make a team! It was so fun!! We were floored to learn at halftime that we were in 3rd place! In the end, we ended up 4th -- and that was more than any of us expected. Out of the money, but chuffed!

I hope you have a great weekend!



I have experienced the same photo-loading hiccups that Kym recently wrote about in relation to using Typepad as a blogging platform. I've reloaded, muttered, and muddled through for a while. I told her "...there's no way I'll ever have the time/energy to transfer 18+ years of blabbering and make it look nice. I'd have to archive and start over... or quit. (!!!!!)."

A WEEK PASSES... during which I've archived my blog (again), while I consider making a move. That part was easy.

In the process, I discovered that I wrote ONE SINGLE SOLITARY BLOG POST in all of May!! I have looked back in disbelief a few times, but there's still only one post.

The moving? I don't know when that will happen because right now, I am burning the candle on both ends, as well as in places not meant to be set on fire!

But here we are, closing in on mid-July, and... I've never had a month with ZERO posts.



Maddy, Viv & Rusty all arrived on June 27th, which you know because I did blog about that, if ever so briefly! Ann's month-long guests vacated her house on June 30th (so I cleaned it), and Ann & family came up on July 2nd. I drove down to Chicago on the 4th of July to pick up Kate. I worked three days last week, with get-togethers every night in some combination or other. I also had a dentist appointment in there somewhere, a couple of lunches out, trips to get paint & plants & groceries.

The photo above is from "Breakfast On The Farm (at Ali's)" on Sunday. Rusty's touting the t-shirt the girls had made for him... after I shared the FB/IG ad with them. It really is perfect. Ali had one made for Rod, too, and it's adorable!


On Sunday evening, everyone came over for a photo shoot! That's a quick screen grab that our photographer shared with Ali while she was making her first pass through of all the images. Bodes well, I think, for what's to come.


Looks like a party is going on at that Airbnb!! haha.

On Monday, we all got together at Ann's to enjoy "Breakfast for Dinner." Mimosas! One of their older sons came up from Madison, and it was great to see him -- it's been quite a few years since some of these cousins have seen each other. I wish I'd thought to grab the littles for this photo op. It was so fun hanging out on their front porch!

Annie was able to spend more than a week at her house -- much of it solo, as Brian & the boys had activities & appointments in Madison. She putzed & puttered & had a great time! It was so cool to walk over for a visit. We said our goodbyes on Monday, as they left yesterday morning for a few days at a friend's place up north, and Ann will be flying back to Peru on the 18th. The boys will be stateside a week or so longer, during which time we may or may not see them! (I'm cleaning their house for guests this Fri-Sun, then readying again for guests 7/21-8/1, so not much "unoccupied" time).

We're heading up north (a different up north) tomorrow, returning on Sunday. We're looking forward to a slower pace, pine trees, the lake, canoeing & kayaking, and (mostly) unplugging! Then on Monday, Kate & I are going to Chicago, as she departs on Tuesday! Yes, I am looking forward to spending the night at a luxury hotel and eating some very fine food while we're there!


Maddy & Viv (and occasional guests) have been staying in our Airbnb, so that's been a nice break with everything going on. They had a GREAT hike last week, Tuesday-Friday, at Pictured Rocks, feeling empowered upon their return... and with only a couple of blisters. It only rained one night (the first). Maddy & Viv are gearing up for a big hike in New Zealand in a few months.

I've spaced out more than once recently, including completely forgetting what I did with M&V's Christmas gifts! It finally dawned on me one morning as I was waking up, and of course they were in the most logical place they could be! It's just that that's not where I remembered last seeing them. Lordy. Among the gifts was the watercolor of one of their chooks, nicknamed "Goopy Boot" because of a bung foot. Maddy had posted a great photo of her on IG in November, which is when I suggested a portrait be made! So Rusty did that and I gathered some other little items, but never got them posted in time for the holidays, or even after the holidays... and then, y'know, their visit was imminent (5 months or so). Anyway, a few days after their arrival here, they learned of Goopy Boot's passing, so I really needed to locate the loot! They were so happy to have such a lovely reminder of this little hen that they loved so much. Yes, there were tears.


We've all taken great interest in watching a spider spin his web every night on the back porch. He's living inside the bell of a windchime hanging out there. It's mesmerizing and relaxing to watch.

Because it's been/is a coupla weeks, y'all! And I really wouldn't have it any other way.