3TT: Good news edition & randomly related photos

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

Thing 1:

Kate found a fabulous flat-share in Edinburgh -- lots of room (both private & shared) and a great location! Occupancy as of July 1st, but possibly sooner (her current Airbnb term is up on the 22nd).

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is about a 40-minute walk from the new flat. She was there today and had to share the rhododendrons with me. They're spectacular! One of my favorites, and I've never seen rhodies as big & lush as in Edinburgh.

Thing 2:

She also found a part-time gig at an art space with a fantastic view!

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(This is not the view.) I assembled this collage with stills nabbed from a video that Kate took as she walked through an enormous hedge at the Royal Botanic Garden. It's like an X-ray in the middle. So cool.

Thing 3:

Maddy is also starting a new part-time job next week -- at a brewery! It's very close to the winery where Viv works -- a half-hour drive from where they currently live -- and perhaps they'll relocate if all goes well.

The current scene in Maddy's backyard:

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Maddy said while snow isn't unusual, they're not used to it sticking/sticking around so much!

Meanwhile, we're in a heatwave that doesn't appear to be letting up anytime soon! I am looking at 80F predicted for Tuesday and thinking of it as a relief! We are/have been hovering more around 90F and there's ZERO precipitation... and it looks like it will continue for as far as I can see.

Time for a Dilly bar.

 


3TT: Update in three screenshots

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

Being in different countries/hemispheres/time zones, the girls often communicate & share day-to-day updates via Snapchat or some other social media...

1: Kate

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If you're not following Kate on Instagram, I'd like to recommend... and keep an eye on her Stories, especially on days when she takes a hike. Lordy, Scotland is a gorgeous country.

1: Ali

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Kid shenanigans are the best shenanigans!

1: Maddy

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With daughters in both UK and Australia, I get more than my share of sheep shots!

I am showing great restraint in sharing only one shot from each!! haha.

 


3TT: First Farewell

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

My sis departed for Lima on a 5:30 am flight today, and I was up at 3:30 am to give her one last hug!

Here are three photos from last night when we all went out to Dick's Drive-In for ice cream -- one of the things Ann wanted to do before she left.

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It was so great to have them here for such a good part of the summer! Regular Zoom chats shall resume in the very near future!

I didn't tell you that they ended up buying a house here, after all. Final walk-through was yesterday. Closing is tomorrow. The new (old) house is still in my neighborhood -- even closer than the previous one -- and it needs a lot less work. Like, ZERO work on the inside -- just furnishings and BOOM! All set for Airbnb & future visits. We're looking forward to a fun Christmas this year! The house does need painting on the outside and that will get taken care of in the next few months. I'll soon have another Airbnb to manage! We'll try it out for a while and see how it goes.

(I had a hot fudge sundae and it was real good.)

 


3TT: Tie dye finale!

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

While I photographed all of the kiddos' tie-dyed shirts, I get a case of blogger's block when I think of formatting & posting all of those photos like I did with Mack's & Addie's! I'll make it easy, though, and embed the Instagram posts here... and it just so happens that I have three posts to share!

No. 1 - Malina's (with a little help from her sibs & Nona):

No. 2 - Ginny's:

No. 3 - Junah's:

They did so great and had so much fun!!

Apparently, tie-dyeing 40+ shirts in a two-week timeframe with kids ranging from 3 to 16 kind of knocks me off my game! Lordy, it's been a busy month and a half -- even without all that!

 


3TT: June 17th

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

Thing 1:

The lavender is beginning to bloom.

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It's one of my favorite flowers and is, absolutely, my favorite floral scent. I spent a good while in the garden yesterday morning, and it felt good -- trying to keep up to the standard of Kate's excellent work earlier this spring -- except that all my great work in the garden must have really aggravated an already sore hip. (I reintroduced myself to my chiropractor on Monday and will see her again next week.) It was incredibly painful last night and I had a hard time falling asleep... resulting in a pitiful 4 hr 10 min of sleep recorded by my Fitbit last night.

But there's lavender!!

Thing 2:

Our accidental catalpa tree is putting on a glorious show!

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Even at night, illuminated by only the pergola lights, it's pretty spectacular... so many flowers.

Thing 3:

I am really enjoying my current Airbnb guests. wink:wink

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The feeling is mutual... Ann shared this photo the other day, starting her day with coffee in bed (we have the most eclectic collection of mugs up there!).

My sis & her family might possibly be more frequent guests in the future, since the local house purchase turned into a clusterfuck and the deal is off. There was some miscommunication -- in the form of NO communication -- which came to light a week ago after a conversation with one of the new neighbors. He remarked that there were 40+ families "involved," which led to Annie asking a few questions of her agent, eventually learning that the sellers' lawyer had JUST sent out the certified letters to those 40+ interested parties, to which they each had 30 days to respond, followed by another month before the title company needed to do their thing. Not only was this the first mention of all of this "involvement" (from the neighbor), but the closing -- having already been postponed once "because of the title company" -- was supposed to be TOMORROW! Tradespeople were lined up -- not an easy thing these days (especially since they were all "postponed" once already, too) -- and Ann had planned to be somewhat involved in renovation, at least overseeing in the beginning stages, and had also planned on staying there next month (roughing it, no doubt) prior to returning to Peru. The revelation of this new, previously undisclosed timeline made it clear that they'd be lucky even to close before departure. It's so incredibly disappointing to so many people on so many levels... I just can't even.

So, anyway, because of the layout & configuration of our house & the apartment, I've basically opened it all up and it's more of a house-share situation! They have their space and I have mine, but there's a lot of common area and we've been cooking & having most evening meals together. Sometimes we even share a little coffee in the morning before things get going. It's really nice and will be weird when they're gone and things are back to "normal" after next week.

Who am I kidding? WTF is "normal"? There's always something... it just remains to be seen!

 


3TT: Malina

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday... and those things are YEARS!

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY, MALINA!!

And now I'm going to share a lot more than three pictures.

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Because she's just too darn cute!

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And the sweetest.

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That smile just doesn't quit.

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She's funny, thoughtful, fierce, and wise... couldn't ask for more.

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY, MALINA!!

 


Unraveled | 3TT

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share what I'm working on, and, because I'm a day late, I'm also joining Carole & friends for (a very loose interpretation of) Three Things on Thursday...

1 -- KNITTING CROCHETING:

Knitting is on hold. I have things percolating, but nothing is moving forward at the moment. Instead...

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I picked up one of my crochet projects last night. Remember crochet?? Way back in JULY, while I was also working on Davy's Safe At Home Blanket, I also decided to start crocheting not one, but TWO, blanket-type projects. I even designated Saturday as "Crochet Day," which I think happened on the very next Saturday and then never again. Heh.

I plucked two yarn balls from the basket and reacquainted myself with the process, making some of the same mistakes again! It's all about practice! This is Hexie Love Actually, and I think it's going to be random, but with some "rules"... which I've yet to figure out. And, since I'm the one making the rules, I probably won't use ALL the colors I have of this yarn as originally (loosely) planned... the neons do not bring joy for this project. (I think they might make an awesome something for the kiddos... maybe some trippin' gnomes!)

READING:

I still have a few hours of listening to HAMNET, and I'm on the edge of my seat. I am also reading AN AMERICAN QUILT: UNFOLDING A STORY OF FAMILY & SLAVERY. I don't remember where I heard about that book, but it's an interesting historical non-fiction story that truly "unfolds" through the discovery of an unfinished quilt. At the risk of sounding juvenile, I like that there are lots of pictures!

2 - MORE MENDING:

When I patched the left elbow in this favorite sweater, I wove the patch directly into/onto the sweater... you can see that process here.

For the right elbow, I picked up and knit a stockinette patch, which I then sewed down on the other three sides.

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In hindsight, it would have been nice to do some increases along one side of the patch to better "fit" the shape of the sleeve... but it's a patch on a holey old sweater that is in need of some other repairs, likely soon relegated to "house sweater," though I am going to get some public wear out of it yet!

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Though the hole was smaller, the new patch is quite a bit bigger than the first -- there was a lot of "thinning" happening!

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A close-up of the first patch. I'm happy with how it's held up. Both of these were worked in Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails.

3 -- CUTENESS OVERLOAD:

Kate had a dentist appointment a few days ago that involved novocaine and she sent a hilarious Snapchat to all of us, which, as often happens, started a flood of Snaps amongst us.

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I had to grab a screenshot along the way!

And this morning, Ali sent a few photos, including this:

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If that is not a doting big sister... and her little brother who is fully aware that he is Living The Life... I don't know what is.

P.S. Ginny is wearing a pair of Hannah Andersson PJs worn by both her mother and her Aunt Maddy, and still going strong! Quality FTW.

 


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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:

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And still pretty stunning a few minutes later.

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Happy Thursday, peeps! The weekend is almost here!

 


NaBloPoMo 2020.19 | 3TT

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

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a virtual wreath-making class with my friend Ann. The florist presenting the class is located literally across the parking lot from work -- danger! danger! -- I often see them outside photographing arrangements.

I picked up our "wreath kits" on Tuesday night and delivered Ann's on my way home, so we were all set for Wednesday night's gathering. There were three designs to choose from, each included a lovely fresh wreath with all the necessary trimmings & treats!

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Thank goodness I started setting up early because... devices! Sheesh. Luckily, Rusty had our old laptop sitting there and I was able to get everything working. I think this will now be the default at-home Zoom device (in the Garden Room, anyway)!

I'm in the top row, second-from-left (with the phone), and Ann's right below me.

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Incredibly, I was able to not only locate my glue gun, but extra glue sticks, too, on my first try! I can't remember the last time I used that thing. I had a little table to my left with all the goodies.

Of course this would have been more fun in person, but y'know, we do what we can! There were quite a few solo participants in their kitchens or dining room, but a couple of small masked groups -- duos or trios -- hanging in their garages. I really like that idea and will keep it in mind for future...

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It's that time of year again when it's dark when I leave for work and dark when I return, so I don't have a photo of my finished wreath... the photo above is from last night at about the half-way mark. I'm off tomorrow, though, and will be figuring out how to hang it on my front door.

Kate's doing the bulk of the outside holiday decor today (temp in the mid-50s) and I can't wait to see! She picked up a whole car-load of stuff a few weeks ago and I have no idea what she has in mind. Surprise!!

I am noticing more holiday decor every time I go someplace... trees up, lights up, inflatables up... how about you?

 


NaBloPoMo 2020.12 | 3TT

It's a DAY, and I got nothin'...

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...except three cute photos of the newest knitwear model in the family!

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday... Ali sent these photos last week while they were hanging out on the porch at home, enjoying the warm weather. The sweater is Demne, which I finished over 8 years ago! The Striped Hat for Gin was knit 3 years ago!

 


NaBloPoMo 2020.6(2)

I turn 62 today! That's pretty weird (along with the fact that the day I was born was also a Thursday), so I'm going to share a few photos from yesterday.

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1 -- Seconds before sunrise.

2 -- Split Rock Lighthouse.

3 -- About an hour before sunset.

Today we're heading up to Grand Marais for a quick meet up with one of Rusty's cousins, who moved there a few years ago. The weather has been incredible!

 


3TT: Yesterday

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

Three photos from yesterday!

The day started with an invitation to walk along with Kate & McGregor.

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He is not my dog and I'm not the primary dog-walker, but I've definitely been walking more since he joined our household. Not a bad thing!

Later in the morning, Ali popped over with Davy.

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I got to cuddle him for a while so she could go to the grocery store unencumbered.

We're nearly finished watching Wild Bill on Amazon/BritBox and, of course, I'm sewing up a blanket...

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...which is now big enough to actually serve as a blanket! I began the second-to-last seam last night, joining Rows 3+4 to 9-to-5. It's going to be warm!! Parcheesi is pretty comparable in size, but it's knit with a single strand of fingering-weight throughout... this one is fingering held double!

For grins, the 3 projects I need to finish before casting on anything new:

  1. Davy's Safe at Home Blanket
  2. Messy Bun/Braids & Bobbles Hat for My Cousin Gail
  3. Making More Arrows Scarf for Peg (the one in Neutrals)

Well, for sure I have to finish the first two... any deadline for #3 is purely self-imposed.

 


3TT: It's Not All Ducky All The Time

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

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

I have three photos to share.

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Roger the RV Inspector came yesterday and spent most of the day with us... inspecting, testing, teaching, advising. In the past week, we've acquired a valid propane tank and a working battery, along with a few other little things he needed to check operations (and that we just needed). And, lo, THERE IS LIGHT! We have one burnt-out light bulb inside, but otherwise SQUEEEEE! The refrigerator works, the stove & oven work, there are no gas leaks, and the electrical is good. There are a couple of little water issues, and the water heater appears to be cracked, but the tanks had all been replaced at some point and the pump is good. We need to clean off & re-seal the roof and all the outside joints, but our little Ducky is in remarkable shape overall for a 33yo travel trailer! The To-Do List is long, but not one single thing on that list (except perhaps the sealing, if it looks like rain) is holding us back from hitching up and taking off right this very minute. He's encouraged us to do so... drive for an hour to some little park, stay overnight, come home.

More likely, we'll be hitching up and driving to an empty parking lot again to practice backing up and parking and stuff like that.

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So far, Kate's been the only one behind the wheel. I give directions (we're figuring out how to communicate) and run around with the level, levelers, and wheel chocks. I found this absolutely genius leveling/chock system and I just can't get over how easy it is to use!

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I forgot to take a photo, so did a little Photoshop doctoring to show how close I'm getting to the end of this project!! I've knit the last block with horizontal stripes (yay! those were not my favorite)... I have a roof & sky to knit, a block of vertical stripes, two more houses to finish Row 8, and then the final row of nine houses (which I am really looking forward to).

Hopefully, with the holiday weekend ahead, I can finish the two cushions for Ducky that I'm working on, and also find plenty of time for knitting! Correction: I will take plenty of time for knitting. I've also a three-day weekend coming up after this one... though I expect there will be a new baby by then, and some much of my time will be taken up with things related to that!

 


3TT: Loose Interpretation

First Thing: SAFE AT HOME - 7 Rows

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Last night, I took the photo that I'd hoped to take in the morning, and got started on Row 8!

Second Thing: AT HOME - Let There Be Light (and Space)

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We finally strung some lights in The Garden Room. Rusty had put an outlet near the ceiling and it's controlled by a switch, so PERFECT. All three strings have different types of bulbs, but whatever... let there be light!

The ceiling in the new part is going to get painted at some point... thought we could live with it (the exterior trim color) but nope. I'm thinking the palest of sky blues. The floor (and a million other things) are more of a priority, though, so who knows when this might happen.

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There will be some major sewing projects happening soon and I'm going to need some room! I managed to clear off that little bit of my worktable the other day. Heh.

Third Thing: DUCKY - It's All Ducky, All The Time!

One of the biggest changes we're making in Ducky is replacing all the "soft goods." Fabric for new window coverings is in the house (washed, dried, and ready for cutting & sewing).

We've purchased new fabric for the "couch," and samples are on the way for the "dining area," and new Dacron-wrapped foam to replace all of the cushions is arriving today!

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B'bye 1980s brown plaid!

I'm planning to re-use the zippers from all of the cushions, along with the flannel-backed vinyl that's on one side of every cushion except one.

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The zippers are 33 years old, but hardly ever (if ever) actually used, so they're in pretty great shape -- and they're metal. Thankfully, they were super easy to remove & save. The vinyl is also in great shape, with only a few minor dings & tears that will be easy to repair. The upholstery fabric itself has some yucky stuff on the inside that's just deteriorated into a dusty mess, so I'm happy to be getting rid of that. I took a bunch of detailed photos of the taking apart of my practice cushion to hopefully aid in getting it all back together!

Meanwhile, I found a mini bar!

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It's a Trav-L-Bar! The whisky is our addition, and the "Tin Cup" could not fit in better.

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It came with this hilarious "barguide" from 1976 -- the year I graduated high school! Maybe you'd like to try your hand at ranking the Top 15 Best-selling Drinks of 1976!

In the Let's Be Practical Department, I am nixing the inspection at the local RV place. We have instead hired a freelance RV inspector who will come and spend a day with Kate & I. He will not only do an inspection, but will also give us an intensive lesson on the care & feeding, as it were, of our vintage travel trailer! That day will be this Wednesday, and the process begins with a phone call this evening to make sure we'll have everything prepped and ready. This is a lot more expensive, of course, but more hands-on and educational and... well, practical. I think it will be a fun day, and I'm really looking forward to it!

 


3TT: Down under

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

1 -- Apparently, there's something intermittently beeping in the basement (down under)... but I haven't heard it, until last night! Apparently, it beeps every :15 or so... until last night! Gah. I was down there for a good long time... long enough to yell profanities upstairs about how of course it's not beeping NOW!

Trying to distract myself from the ick-factor of the basement while I waited, I took some photos.

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I don't even know where that chair came from or if it'll ever get fixed; whether any of that is "up to code" (or even what all that is); I do know that Rusty needs to get after a whole lotta cobwebs. Ew. 

2 -- I had a lovely little sit-down in The Garden Room last night. I was sitting in an old wicker rocking chair that Rusty dug up from another part of the basement. I don't know where that one came from, either. He cleaned it up nicely, but it needs a little repair... and some new cushions.

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It's not a brand new view, as this was an open porch for years, but it wasn't one I normally took in while seated, relaxed, with a beer. It's going to be a lot of fun to see how it changes with the seasons. The floor tile delivery has been delayed again... I can't wait to get that & the baseboards installed (I saw them in the basement, painted and ready to go!).

3 -- A cat picture. I don't post many of those! 

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I love how Duncan stretches out his front legs.

That's all pretty random, but it's all I've got! Happy Thursday.

 


3TT: Dovetail, Garden, Crochet

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

1 -- I stopped at The Office after work the other day to drop something off? pick something up? I don't remember! I did take a seat for a few minutes...

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Kate was inserting goodies into the magazine, readying shipment of the premier issue of dovetailI gotta say, it was nice just to sit for a while and watch someone else work!

2 -- How does my garden grow?

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The tomatoes are all coming along. The basil is AMAZING!! (That photo-bombing succulent is also doing quite well.)

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Something is nibbling at my zucchini!

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And this is the usual raucous jumble of things.

BONUS:

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The platform rocker is out of the garage and in The Garden Room! There's a pretty good view of the lower yard/garden from there.

3 -- I'm getting the hang of crochet again! My rainbow box of yarn is only a hint... this is the bigger picture:

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As Wisconsin began its Safer At Home order in March and I awaited my stimulus check, Madelinetosh threw up a post about a Prism Pack of Unicorn Tails and, well, I've always loved those unicorn tails and... I didn't even think twice before ordering. (Ugh, pandemic times!) If I was going to be "safer at home," I was going to be surrounded by things I loved... and colorful, too. Heh.

Well, I really can't be spontaneous and throw down money like that without some sort of plan, and they were making me feel so guilty just sitting there, so I sort of had to MAKE A PLAN! The Safe At Home baby blanket was & is perfect for the baby and already in the works by then, and I knew it would never be a "portable" project... not that I was going anywhere with my knitting, but y'know... And so many people were crocheting... so, yeah, CROCHET! That could work! And even though those are little skeins of yarn, they're going to go a ways, so maybe TWO projects, somewhat simultaneously, even...

Uh, yeah, why not THREE epic blanket projects at once?! (Ugh, pandemic times!)

So my plan is to make Bear's Rainbow Blanket and also Hexie Love Actually! << FYI: Those are Ravelry links, just so you know in case the new design is problematic for you, as it is for many. (I am not in love and wish it wasn't quite so stark. I like it on my phone, but find it a bit easier to take if I enlarge my desktop display, and I've tweaked settings to remove drop shadows, etc.)

So, anyway, back to crochet. As I said the other day, it is not like riding a bicycle for me! I'm getting my feet wet and re-learning with Hexie Love Actually!

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That red & blue blob was my first effort. I thought I was doing OK, but it was supposed to have six corners/sides, and instead turned out with only four. So, basically, a SQUARE (and not even a good one)! Turns out, I did a few things wrong, and my second effort (red & orange) turned out much better. With the orange & blue hexie, I'm trying the "join as you go" method and I'm not sure that's right but will figure it out. It's really fun, but once I get the hang of it I'm going to limit my crochet time until I get the blanket done. (Did I mention that I've started Row 3? I meant to take an update photo... maybe tomorrow.)

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(It was a stellar morning for photographing yarn on the walkway outside the back door!)

Even for me, this feels a little crazy, but... pandemic times! I'm just going with it.

 


3TT: House & Home Edition

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

1 -- Our re-remodel/reclamation project is one of the things giving me life these days.

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Subfloor! I'm going to have to go shopping for floor tiles soon.

2 -- The old porch railings were salvaged and re-purposed/installed as a safety railing in the kids' playhouse.

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For some reason, that side had nothing. Junah actually jumped from there one day! (So far, Ali's avoided any trips to ER!!) (Knock on wood.)

3 -- Pastoral scenes from a Sunday afternoon at Ali's.

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That's not their horse (there are actually two), but the field butts right up to their rear lot line.

BONUS: They may not have horses, but they've recently acquired...

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Two kittens... the one pictured above is called Slippers, and the other was originally Claire, but Ginny changed it to Bounceball, which Ali says suits the kitty better -- and it may be a boy instead of a girl, anyway.

The chicks are all named Max. If they're boys, Maxwell or Maximilian; if girls, Maxine... and their cute little coop.

All subject to change.

And bonus-bonus... a couple other photos in my camera roll from that day.

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3TT: I ain't got much

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

It was a gorgeous day yesterday and here are three photos!

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I drove down to my CSA farm again to pick up plants and soil that I'd ordered a few weeks ago. Mostly herbs (mostly basil), but also a few tomatoes and a zucchini. I've never grown zucchini but we sure do eat a lot of it, so we'll see how it goes. I'd also placed an order to pick up at the farm store -- asparagus, spinach, and radishes again, but this time some local eggs, too.

What a gorgeous day for a drive! Today is much the same and the weekend will be warm, too, but with a chance of some rain. I have a day-off switcheroo next week, Tuesday instead of Wednesday, so a nice long weekend to enjoy it!

 


3TT: Grasping

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

Grasping at straws, I am...

Today I am sharing THREE ROWS OF PICTURES IN A GRID ON A WALL.

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As you may know, Kate has worked on & off (currently off) at a used/buy-sell book store for quite a while. Occasionally, a really awesome book would come in but it was bound for the dumpster because it was damaged in some way (and therefore not sale-able)... and, occasionally, such a book would be rescued!

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Such was the case with Wooden Houses, which had a broken spine. She's had it for a while and, upon picking it up recently, had a little thought bubble about hanging some of those photos on the wall. We ordered some record album mounting things, Rusty mounted them all for us on foam-core, and we did the deed yesterday in the still-vacant Airbnb*. She did most of the eyeballing, figuring, marking, and pounding; I juggled pencil, level, hammer, and nails.

The photos are so cool! There's so much to look at and examine in each one. And today I saw The Wooden Architecture of Russia, which made me think of my mother (these few days before Mother's Day), so naturally it's on the way to my mailbox. My mom visited Russia on a "school trip" in 1974, while a nursing student & single mother of 5 teens/pre-teens. She would have loved this book!

*The Packers schedule is released this evening and we had more than a few bookings within minutes of the announcement last year... it will be interesting to see what happens tonight. So many events have already been canceled or postponed...

 


3TT: Three Recipes

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

I think we're all cooking a bit more, whether we want to or not. Here are three recipes that are high on the rotation list and that we really love... maybe you will, too! There's a little bit more involved than just opening cans (oh, that is a really great reward for opening cans!), but not much!

STEAK AND ONION PIE
(inspo: videojug)

Special note: Thaw puff pastry according to package directions, usually about 40 minutes
Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Oven temp: Preheat to 400°

1.25-1.5 lbs. steak, diced (I used sirloin)
1 c. flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
6 T. vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled & chopped
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 T. tomato puree (or paste. I didn't have either, so used a squirt of ketchup)
3/4 c. beef stock (or bouillon)
salt & pepper
1 pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Sprinkle the seasoned flour over the meat and mix in well. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the beef and onions. Stir well until meat is browned, about 5 minutes.

When meat is browned, add tomato puree/paste/ketchup and stock. Season with salt & pepper. Stir well, cover, and turn down heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley. Pour into an ovenproof dish and spread evenly. Unroll the pastry and lay it over the dish, pushing down the edges with your fingers. Cut away excess, if necessary. Brush the beaten egg over the pastry.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot!

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I had a really good seal, apparently, and it came out of the oven looking a little bit like a roast turkey! Ha! It settled down after a few minutes... and it was delicious!

You can watch this in a video lesson here:

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Roasted Portobello Mushroom Tacos
with Creamy Slaw & Crispy Shallots
(inspo: Plated)

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Oven temp: Preheat to 425°

1 lime, halved & juiced
2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
1 clove garlic, minced
4 large portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4" slices (I recommend using more)
1/8 oz. fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 scallions, trimmed & thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1-1/2 T. olive oil
6 corn tortillas (or flour, if you prefer)
3 T. mayonnaise
3 T. sour cream
Slaw mix: 1-1/2 c. each shredded cabbage & shredded carrots (or whatever comes in the bag)
3 T. canola oil

Toss mushroom slices with coriander, cumin, paprika and olive oil, along with 3/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in oven until lightly browned and tender, 15 minutes.

Warm the tortillas. (Wrap in foil and put in oven, or however you prefer).

Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Add the slaw mix and scallions; toss to coat.

Heat the canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots in a single layer and fry without moving until crisp on the bottom, about 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking until crisp all over, about 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to remove shallots to a paper towel-lined plate.

To serve, top the tortillas with the roasted mushrooms, add the slaw, and top with crispy shallots.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Italian Spinach and Tortellini Soup
(inspo: Weight Watchers)

Special note: A one-bowl meal!
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 (or more) zucchini, halved lengthwise & sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (if desired)
45 oz. reduced-sodium vegetable broth (or broth of choice)
1 or 2 14-1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes (I like fire-roasted)
1/2 c. water
1 9-oz. pkg. cheese tortellini (or more, if you like!)
4 c. loosely packed baby spinach, chopped if you like (I usually use a lot more)
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese (or similar)

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften (about 3 minutes). Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is crisp-tender (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and seasonings, stirring constantly until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in broth, tomatoes, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the tortellini and cook according to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted (about 1 minute). Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with the basil and cheese.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

I'd love to hear what you think if you make any of these! Bon appetit!

 


3TT: Road Trip

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

We kinda needed to bust outta here last week, so we took a drive out to 1) Lake Michigan. That's about an hour east of us, and it was a nice day for a drive.

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It just so happens we were on a small portion of the 2) Ice Age Trail.

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Yes, that's my husband wearing a jacket and knit cap... while walking barefoot on the shore.

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I don't think I'd ever seen Lake Michigan so calm (panoramic view).

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We stopped at 3) Cato Falls on the way home -- just because it was there and we'd never been before. It's not the most exciting waterfall you've ever seen, but we enjoyed watching two guys in short whitewater kayaks shooting in and out of the rapids. It was a nice park and not all that far from Ali's, so I'm looking forward to taking the kids there once the playground is open again.

It's chilly and a little windy, but super sunny. And I filled up my gas tank for less than $15 last week... I think we're going to go explore some other park today -- hike a trail or find a waterfall!

 


3TT: Thar she grows!!

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

Thing #1

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Peonies!

Thing #2

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Snowdrops!

Thing #3

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Bleeding Heart!

THE SUN IS SHINING TODAY! After a prolonged period of clouds and rain, the sun is brightly shining this morning and these things will no doubtedly grow a little. The Bleeding Heart, especially, always seems to quickly blast out of the earth. It never ceases to amaze.

BONUS - Thing #4

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Ruby Rhubarb!

Twelve years ago, my friend Ann shared a cutting of her rhubarb plant with me (because how did I not have any of my own?). Since then, Ann has moved from Long Island to Buffalo! I meant to send her a cutting last year for her new house, but it fell off the radar... but this year, for sure! TODAY!!

 


3TT: Nightshift Knit-Along!

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

1 - Banner Image

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2 - Badge Image

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I started a Ravelry Group for the Knit-along: Nightshift KAL 2020! I wasn't going to do it... so much on my plate, time's short, loose ship, blahblahblah. It's so quick to start a group! And I know that not all participants are bloggers, so it's a place to check in, share, post photos, and ask questions -- if you wish. It's optional!!

 


3TT: Making/Doing & Dreaming

I thought I'd share three things that I'm working on! If you follow me on IG, you've likely seen all of this but there are a few more details/updates here.

Thing #1

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I'm Banging Out my Main Squeeze. Since I took this photo, I've knit the other front and started the first sleeve. I'm just past the increases on that sleeve, so expect to finish that one and get a start on the second at Knit Night tonight! There's a glimmer of hope that I might actually finish by the end of the month.

 

Thing #2

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I'm really pretty chuffed about this Alabama A-line Tunic. I'd intended to make a dress but didn't take into consideration the width of the fabric when I ordered it from Spoonflower. But hey, a tunic with in-seam pockets is JUST FINE!!

I've sewn it on my machine -- including the neck & sleeve edges, which I just turned under a quarter inch and stitched. I'm still getting used to my "new" machine, so there's a little wonkiness on one neck edge, but nothing that most people would even notice. I'm going to fell the seams by hand, because I like the way that looks, and still have to determine how I'll finish the hem (if I finish it at all). This is Spoonflower's Organic Cotton Knit fabric, which is technically a lighter weight than Alabama Chanin's Organic Cotton Jersey, but it feels a bit heftier/more substantial as a single layer, for some reason.

I plan to be wearing this in three weeks when we're on vacation in Mexico!

 

Thing #3

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I stopped in at my local antique mall the other day to measure a dresser, but spotted this quilt top folded up on a chair in the front window and made a bee-line! The shop owner, who is also my neighbor and a high school classmate (though we weren't chummy then), said that her mom gave it to her 40 years ago, and that she thought the pattern was "reverse bow tie." From my TINY little bit of research, I'm gonna say no to that... the bow tie quilts that I've seen are a bit more angular (the circles are octagons). I don't know what this is called and I don't care... I LOVE IT!! And it reminds me a lot of the cheater panel quilt that I made for Malina, but much smaller scale. It'll need a little TLC here and there... someday. Meanwhile, I just keep looking at it and showing it (with a squee!) to all who enter my home!

 


3TT: Question Everything

Joining Carole & friends for a follow-up to last week's post about three artists at Black Mountain College (the obvious idea of which only occurred to me this morning as I was brushing my teeth).

 

1 - Suzi Gablik

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Tropism #3, collage and oil on canvas

I learned that Suzi Gablik was only 16 years old when she attended Black Mountain College in the summer of 1951, and studied both painting and writing.

It was one of those defining choices in life. Although I was only there for two months, in that unorthodox environment, my maverick self, which was not easily accommodated at home, had the time and provocation to emerge.

She gave up practicing art in the 1970s to focus on writing art history and criticism, believing that she could effect more social change that way.

 

2 - M.C. Richards

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Snow, letterpress on paper
(Portrait of) M.C. Richards, Skywinding Farm, Scaly Mountain, NC, ca 1970s,
Type C print by Jonathan Williams


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Raku pot
Alchemical Form, stoneware

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I'd ordered M.C. Richards' book, Centering In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person, before leaving for NC and it was waiting when I returned... never even thought to ask Kate if she had it, because she has A LOT of material about BMC. (And she does have it, of course!)

The person that had the strongest and most far-reaching effect on me was M.C. Richards. Albers opened my eyes. M.C. opened my mind and I will be forever grateful to her. --Carol Singer Kalbfeld, BMC student 1947-1948

 

3 - Hazel Larsen Archer

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Interior of the Quiet House, gelatin silver print
Ruth Asawa, ca. late 1940s, vintage gelatin silver prints

Hazel Larsen Archer taught photography with an emphasis on "seeing" rather than on technique.

 

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Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College was a beautiful show! We also wandered through the reference library and more exhibits in the lower level, and both left with some items from the shop... including the last two tote bags they had in stock (which we both need like a hole in the head). Ha. They're so USEFUL.

I'll have one more post about our visit to Black Mountain College Museum!

 


3TT: Three Women of BMC

Joining Carole & friends for Three (Pertinent) Things on Thursday...

Kate & I are leaving later today for a quick trip to Asheville, NC. The main reason being to see a show at Black Mountain College Museum entitled Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College.

A little background:

There are many other influential, renowned, or even famous people to attend and/or teach at BMC in its relatively short lifespan -- Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Merce Cunningham, and Buckminster Fuller to name a few -- and I've seen the work of many in various museums and/or documentaries.

Arguably, the best known of them all to knitters & textile artists might be Josef & Anni Albers, to wit:

Though not the only ones to inspire knitting designs:

Anni Albers and Ruth Asawa are among the artists featured in Question Everything! For purposes today, I've plucked the names of three new-to-me artists, also included in the exhibition, to do some research ahead of the show!

1 - Suzi Gablik

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Suzi Gablik (b. 1934) studied at BMC in the summer of 1951. She is an artist (painter, collage), art critic, author, and teacher. I am especially drawn to images in the "Tropism" series (#9, above).

tropism | 1 a : involuntary orientation by an organism or one of its parts that involves turning or curving by movement or by differential growth and is a positive or negative response of a source of stimulation

I'm excited to see if any of these pieces are included in the exhibition.

2 - M.C. Richards

Mary Caroline (M.C.) Richards (1916-1999) was a poet, essayist, potter, painter, and teacher. She taught writing at BMC in the late 1940s, having moved there with her then-husband Albert William Levi Jr., a social scientist, when he was invited to join the faculty in 1945.


Her book, Centering In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person, was originally published in the 1960s, and became an underground classic (an original paperback can be had for a cool $989 and some change).

The book... pulled together ideas about perception, craft, education, creativity, religion and spirituality, arguing for the richness of daily experience if carefully attended to, and the creativity of the average person. "Poets are not the only poets," Ms. Richards wrote. --New York Times obituary of M.C. Richards

She sounds fascinating! I am not really what you'd call a "poetry person," but I could not resist that book... it's on the way!

3 - Hazel Larsen Archer

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The first things I learned about Hazel Larsen Archer (1921-2001) was that she was born and raised in Milwaukee, that she had polio when she was 10, and that she was a photographer -- so right away there are a few points of connection and interest. She was both a student and a teacher at BMC, and in 1949 joined the faculty as the school's first full-time teacher of photography. She documented life -- performances, events, people -- at BMC. After leaving NC, she and her husband moved to Tucson, AZ, where she operated a freelance studio.

I'm excited about the show/the trip and you can be sure I'll fill you in on it all!

 


3TT: 3x3+1

Life is a little bit crazy around here on any given day, but lately... man, it's OFF THE CHARTS.

1st THREE:

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Blatantly stolen from Kate's IG Stories yesterday. That's the downstairs bathroom/powder room, and we couldn't stop looking at those before & after photos last night!! Motivation!

2nd THREE:

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You may have seen these three images on my IG yesterday, but even going "vertical," I couldn't fit the entire "playhouse" into the frame. You can see Junah starting to climb the first ladder... those ladders could be angled a bit, in my opinion, and also the entry holes enlarged. Ahem. I climbed to the top with him! You can see the house and one of the outbuildings/garage behind him in the second, and the other outbuilding in the third.

3rd THREE:

IMG_1888-COLLAGEDid this little girl have a premonition yesterday, sporting this particular pink hat?? Photos taken at such an angle because she's wearing tights -- very excited about wearing tights -- but wearing nothing else on the bottom half! (Brrrr.)

PLUS 1:

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Three Gingers & a Blonde* walk into a fixer-upper farmhouse on a Wednesday in December... and KILLED IT (along with a couple bottles of wine).

*With a huge assist from Dad!!

 


NaBloPoMo 2019.7 / 3TT

Joining Carole & friends for Three (Throwback) Things on Thursday...

Pardon me for another fly-by... re-entry is a bitch on so many levels, not the least of which is adjusting to a 60-degree temperature difference. And snow.

As you may recall, one of the things that spurred this trip was Rusty's brother's discovery of more family photos...

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1 -- Dave (aka, Wavey Davey) & Rusty (aka, Big Eyes) perusing an old scrapbook and sharing stories & remembrances. That's a large acrylic painting on the wall in front of them that Rusty painted for Dave -- a SoCal surfer back in the day -- several years ago. When Dave wasn't able to surf anymore, he took photos, and it's one of those that inspired this painting.

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2 -- "Mother - Jean - '32." That's Rusty's & Dave's grandmother, Florence, and their Aunt Jean -- one of my favorites among the photo discoveries! Happy times!! Life was rocked by social scandal and things got rough a few years later, and Flo was divorced from their grandfather by 1941. She must have recovered, though, and lived until she was 101!

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3 -- I don't remember ever seeing this photo before! It's summer 1988 and we're visiting our friends, TJ & January and their son Elliott, on Vashon Island, WA. This photo was taken as we were saying/singing our good-byes, captured both in photos & videos -- it was the video of me walking toward the camera to turn it off that sent me signing up for WW immediately upon our return home! Heh.

 


3TT: Random

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

1 -- HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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It's snowing! I don't know what that's going to mean tonight... but I don't have any candy, anyway! That's what happens when Halloween candy is promoted on the heels of "back to school," and I think I have all the time in the world. I don't want to buy too soon because, y'know...

There was a collaborative effort in making the Halloween decorations for the coffee shop this year. I just love that smiley pumpkin. And that's a preschool Kate as Raggedy Ann!

2 -- RE-PURPOSING.

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The plants have all been moved inside, including the ones that were on the porch of the apartment. Airbnb guests really seem to enjoy the plants! (See the snow on the porch roof? You can see just a bit of the kids' playhouse, and the lights on the pergola, too.)

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Among the amenities we provide are tiny jars of Bonne Maman preserves (to go with the English muffins). When I remember, as I'm cleaning up, I pull them from the recycling bin and... lookie there, they're the perfect size for a couple of tablespoons of the Alabama Chanin Silver Fox beads+sequins mix to go a'travelin'! I forgot that I had that mix and I think I want to use some of those elements (probably not the gold) on my Car Jacket.

3 -- READY, SET...

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I can't believe it's only going to be 77F tomorrow when we arrive in Arizona. Hahahahaha!

I may or may not be blogging while we're away... we'll see! If not, I'll be back on track a week from today for another 3 Things on Thursday.

 


3TT: Thursday Things

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

1 -- This is the last photo taken with my old phone, a.k.a. Rusty's new phone!

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The way it works around here is that when someone wants an upgrade, that usually means me! Rusty had a pretty basic phone and, since he's become more active on social media, mainly wanted a better camera to take photos of artwork.

Anyway, I had a hair appointment yesterday and, nope, I wasn't ready to think about going shorter. Thinned and trimmed and curled! I love a good hair day... especially when the sun is shining!

It's been awful/so rainy around here and, I know you're sick of hearing about it, but the stupid street/sidewalk project in front of the coffee shop is still not finished! It's been dismal, disheartening, depressing... weekday sales are down anywhere from 30-70%... they're trying some new things/promos... chin up & fingers crossed! 

2 -- This is one of the first photos taken with my new phone!

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Portrait mode, even. I've got some learning to do!! I've been a Samsung girl for about as long as I've had a cell phone... but that ultra wide angle camera, ease of traveling and connecting with certain family members, more functionality in some apps... led me to go with an iPhone for the first time!

Rusty & I will be on our way to Arizona a week from tomorrow! That trip includes a tour to the Grand Canyon, and it sounds like we'll be driving out to Oatman with Rusty's brother & sister-in-law. I wanted a little time to get used to the new phone/camera before the trip. The Grand Canyon seems like the perfect place to use the ultra wide!

3 -- Autumn.

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We had quite a storm on Monday -- sideways rain and wind from the east, then from the south -- it was crazy. Lots of leaves fell, as has the temperature since then. It's inevitable, of course, but the temps are definitely on the downhill slide toward winter. Right around the time we hit our first "high in the 30s" day, we'll be heading south...

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Just a quick housekeeping note. The current Make.Do website expires tomorrow and I've decided not to renew. I will keep the domain and... we'll see. Many good things happened in the past year because of that site, and I thank everyone who ordered yarn or totes or Field Guides or 'zines (there are still some listed, including the sold-out "Florida" issue of Nomadic Knits). Truthfully, it turns out that it's just a bit more than I am able or willing to juggle. When it comes right down to it, given the choice of dyeing yarn/updating the website or hanging out with my kids/grandkids... um, there's no contest! I'll continue to dye yarn now & then, and sell goods at the Make.Do space within Kaukauna Coffee & Tea... you can find me there! I'll also offer up some yarn here on occasion before taking it to the shop, if you'd like.


3TT: Or more

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

Actually, more than three things... and, as you shall see, with just a few more than three (out of 77) I'm practicing INCREDIBLE restraint!

Thing 1:

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Yep, a picture is worth 1000 words. (More accurately, it's PRICELESS!)

(Also, I've noticed that his teeth are getting spaced out... I'm sure it's a ways off, but there's a milestone a'coming!)

Thing 2:

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She had her moments, too, eventually taking up her brother's baton, but until then... utter sweetness.

Thing 3:

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Pure delight.

A few more:

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A good photographer? Also priceless!! We are all amazed at the magic of Mary from Fox Valley Birth and Baby! Mary also took an award-winning photo of Ali & Rod during the birth of Malina, which I think I shared here but maybe not? It's HERE > scroll down to "1st Place Color - Mary Nieland from Fox Valley Birth and Baby." And yes! The pillowcases are Ralph Lauren "Allison" -- the same design used for the kids' outfits! (Also rare and approaching priceless?!!)


3TT: Sky view

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

1 -- Saturday sky.

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From a pontoon ride on the Upper Saint Croix Lake... this is just before we turned around and headed back to the dock. Threatening!

2 -- Sunday sky.

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Again on the Upper Saint Croix, that's my cousin driving and Mack waving from the boat. Birthday Boy Addie is on the knee-board behind. Can you believe he's 12 today?

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! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

3 -- Wednesday sky.

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More threatening weather late yesterday. I took this photo as I was getting into my car after work. I missed a downpour during a well-timed stop at the grocery store. Another deluge hit after I got home. There was a confirmed tornado in Green Bay, about 20 miles away; Ali's much closer and snapped a dramatic photo of her own.