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...


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.


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!


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.


Three Numerous Things on Thursday

Too many to number... plus UNRAVELED! Checkother 3TT posts here, and Unraveled here.

Jün and I got up and hit the floor running yesterday morning and, other than a few minutes at lunchtime, I didn't sit down until after 8:00 last night. We had such a GREAT DAY!!

We were a little late for Tumbling because while walking to my car...


After Tumbling, we went to the P.O., paid the electric bill, and took the long way to lunch (we had to kill a few minutes before they open). We've gone to the same sub shop for lunch for three weeks in a row, we order the same things, and Jün makes sure we sit at the same table. Next Wednesday is the last session of Tumbling (already)! I told Ali that I want to continue this overnight tradition, but probably not every week... I enjoy every minute but I don't get a thing done (or very little).

Anyway, by the time we got back...


We started with a seat on the porch, but soon, it was front row all the way baby!




The workmen were all SO nice and SO patient. We watched from start to finish, and then watched as they pulled the old fire hydrant at the end of the street... for HOURS! At least a couple.  :)

Then he wanted to go out back and pitch some more walnuts. On Tuesday afternoon, I had watched the next door neighbor's lawn service guy rake all the walnuts from her yard over to mine (instead of into the ravine, as he might have done) (thanks buddy), so we got out the big guns: a wheelbarrow in addition to shovels for both Jün and me.


Not the same size anymore!

By the time we'd unloaded two loads, my back was killing me so we took a break -- juice & a book!


I was excited when I had notification earlier in the week that my pre-order of My Journey To The Stars by Astronaut Scott Kelly had shipped, arriving just in time for Tuesday night bedtime reading... reprise on Wednesday! By Wednesday, Junah put his hand to my mouth at just about every turn of the page. He had QUESTIONS & REMARKS! I just love how spongy little minds work. Related: A Year In Space is available to watch on Amazon Prime, and Part 2 debuts on PBS next month. Also, Scott Kelly's Instagram photos (@stationcdrkelly) from space were INCREDIBLE.

Speaking of READING, here's what's on my list right now:

  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs - pages. (Oops - due at the library yesterday, renewed online today... love technology!)
  • Yellow Crocus - audio. This one has been on my list for a while, and I've wanted to listen to another book narrated by Bahni Turpin, too!


I ran out to take a photo before losing light on Tuesday, and bound off shortly thereafter. This is Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows. Weaving in ends was the perfect activity last night, and will continue tonight at Knit Night. I will block after taking care of the ends, and then determine whether to knit the i-cord border all the way around... that will depend on how much I love it. I love it now, but don't know if I love it that much!

I haven't done a #tbt Throwback in a while, but a few copies of this were on my desk today:


That's Kate, as a flower girl, on the cover of a local magazine that I used to do typesetting for; the bride is an old friend who used to style my hair back in the day (and she probably still would, but lives too far away). I don't know what happened to them, but there were some other even cuter photos of them, if you can even believe that (Kate stole the show!).

What are you reading? What's on your needles??

Throwback Thursday #TBT

A friend posted a photo on Instagram last night of her 6th-grade son wearing his new Safety Patrol sash, and suddenly nostalgia! I knew right where to find the photo that came to mind.


Not only was I in Safety Patrol in 6th grade, I was one of two from my school to join two from every other school in our district at the 27th Wisconsin Safety Patrol Congress in May, 1970! That's me in the middle of the front row. I can't even tell you which is the other student from my school, except that I'm pretty sure it was a boy. The only other person I can identify is Steve La Pierre, middle-row left; I didn't really know him at the time, but had a massive crush on him a couple of years later... slow dancing at Friday night YMCA dances in "The Den," Brut cologne, phone calls...

I barely remember a thing about that trip, except that it rained the whole weekend, but the Duck tour & scenery were pretty awesome.


Still quite blonde! Growing out bangs! Chipmunk cheeks (highlighted by the length of aforementioned bangs)! Innocence...


Day 3: With the random already!

That gorgeous "nonphotogenic" tree I posted the other day? Practically bare naked today! So I am reveling in the colorful leafy goodness for as long as I'm able, to wit...


It fairly glows.


Prisma-tized Catalpa leaves.

I had a busy day off yesterday -- good-busy -- beginning with a walk to the credit union, enhanced by TWO visits from Ali & Gin, surprised by a birthday package all the way from NZ, making good progress on some work projects, also making homemade chicken soup, and ending with a World Series win for the Cubs! I was dozing off a bit during that last part...


The rule is, a package/present that arrives in the mail can be immediately opened! There was a cute arty (in that 3rd-grade-way) card full of love from my girl Maddy, a tea towel with some great "Merino Ram" graphics, and a delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramello bar -- SO GOOD! I sure miss her, but it's an awful lot of fun to follow along on her adventures (a new video up yesterday!).


Gratuitous granddaughter pics! She was 6 months old yesterday, can you believe it?? She's sitting up on her own (under watchful eye), and almost always has something in her mouth!


No sign of teeth yet, tho.

_ _ _ _ _

Here's a little #tbt prompted by Carole & Kat's Think-Write-Thursday. The topic for today:



Well, that's just about the easiest thing ever! Hands-down, that would be Mrs. Kelly! She was my first grade teacher at Wayne Thomas School in Highland Park, IL. Having attended three different schools with three different teachers during my kindergarten year -- of which I have the vaguest of memories -- I think I was definitely ready for someone like her.

Mrs. Kelly was young and pretty, and so very kind. I was the youngest in my class, and maybe she was extra nice because of that. My mom had all five of us by then; she begged (successfully) to have me admitted early!

I thought of Mrs. Kelly at least daily for years (well into my 20s), whenever I'd have to figure out my left from my right -- it was the chalkboard in the front of her room that I'd summon to memory (and I'd even sometimes turn to "orient" myself to the room), with the big hands tacked up on either side of the board: LEFT / RIGHT!

I absolutely lived for the big gold stars that she put on spelling papers! I've always been a darn good speller... striving to earn those gold stars certainly didn't hurt.

We only lived in Highland Park for year, but I'll never forget Mrs. Kelly. I consider her my first teacher and have always been thankful for the wonderful start she gave me.

TBT: Before knitting...


Before knitting -- or, rather, I should say "between" -- I did a lot of cross-stitch embroidery! I ran across these projects the other day. The stitching is finished but they've never been framed or "finished" in a way that allows them to be used or enjoyed.


My first "hobby retreat" was in early December 1992: "Christmas In Williamsburg," sponsored by Just CrossStitch Magazine. The main event was "The Dorcas Haynes Christmas Sampler," a reproduction sampler designed and taught by Darlene O'Steen. It was the first time I'd flown by myself in years, rented a car, drove from Norfolk to Williamsburg... I arrived a day early and remember going to see "A River Runs Through It" that night. It was a lovely retreat.


I liked kitchen-y designs such as this fruit piece; I also stitched a fun "herb" design for my sister Ann. (And a quilt design for Sharon, a Santa for Karen, duck stamps for my brother-in-law, commemorative wedding and birth pieces, Christmas stockings, ornaments... so much stitching!)


Sometimes a little whimsy! I love this goofy angel, and I left this piece out the other day with the intention of finishing it... very soon. A small bolster pillow? A hanging? I'm not sure yet...


I don't recall the story behind these pieces. I'm certain that they were for my mom... but there's already a finished/framed trillium exactly like this one hanging in her dinette. They match designs that were etched into the glass transom windows in that room.

Ha. Obviously, I was as much a process stitcher as I am a process knitter!

I haven't stitched in years, or looked at new designs. It was quilting designs that first caught my eye and interested me in stitching -- I have no idea what's "new," if anything. I still love samplers to death. If I ever take it up again, though, I'm going to need a magnifier lamp!

Cleveland maybe? #tbt


We moved so much when I was a kid and few of the photos are identified, but I think I've straightened out the Christmas timelines -- and this is Cleveland! I'm pretty sure...

Cleveland! My first bike, Karen's Charmin' Chatty, Michael's Mr. Machine, for some reason "Thumbelina" comes to mind when I see the doll that Sharon's holding -- Madame Alexander, maybe.

Some of those ornaments are hanging on my tree! The gold glitter balls, and the striped one just to the right of Sharon.

Q is for...

Wow. What a week of get-togethers! A knitting group on Tuesday, book club on Wednesday, the last Thursday knit night before Christmas tonight, an anticipatory solstice gathering on Friday... thank goodness for a fairly normal day off yesterday!

Next week, there's only one extra-curricular holiday gathering.

We still haven't firmed up the Christmas Eve menu. What are you having?

Obviously, I've things to do, but I'm hanging in there, how about you??


#tbt Santa Claus


This is the earliest photo I've found of me and the "jolly" old guy. It's a wonder I ever went back. #notjolly

(St. Louis? or maybe Denver. Do I look 2 or 3?)


I am wearing a knit hat -- and I know just the one! It's from "The Beginner's Book and the A-B-C's of Knitting by Bernat." I think I still have a copy. Sharon & Karen's jackets were red and purple.


Knee socks! Same Santa. I love how lightly he's holding Sharon's arm, but has a very sure grip on Michael! I'm sure we were at H.C. Prange Co. in Appleton. Loved that store, especially at Christmas, especially then... when I was a kid.


'Tis the season


#tbt First Christmas Tree!

It was in an apartment in Milwaukee, and I was 7 weeks old on Christmas Day! All of the ornaments were blue, and a few of the survivors were hung on my own tree last night.

I'm thinking that this was the following year...


#tbt Snowsuit & Mittens!

...because I know that this was the year after that, when I was 2, and I detect bangs... barely, though, because the photo is so badly deteriorated. Maybe I just *know* that I had bangs then. Heh.


#tbt Red & White!

I tuned in a Christmas playlist on Spotify and put the 2 new strings of lights on the tree last night, and that was all it took to get Katie in on it! She hauled the decorations from the upstairs closet and we got busy trimming. The girls' boxes of ornaments await them!


Ooops! I just remembered that St. Nick comes tonight. Yes, he still comes to our house!




We found some Thanksgiving decor. And we did some cooking. We wished aloud for Mother's expertise at nearly every turn -- where's the right pan for this, the correct dish for that? She'd know in an instant where to look, and -- even after all these years -- we did not. We did the best we could, and we had a very nice (if not perfectly executed) celebration with our stepdad at their home.


I ended up going home to get my own pan for roasting veggies, giving my brother-in-law pause prior to it going into the oven, making him wonder if I was ready for psychoanalysis! Haha. I was inspired. It's a big pan, so my quantities were different (more); from the left it's carrots (about a dozen), parsnips (around 9), beets (3 large), celery root (1 large), and sweet potato (2 large), with a red onion, too. That's a lot of chopping and it was totally worth it -- absolutely delicious.

Annie made turkey & stuffing, Brian made mashed potatoes, Katie made Mom's traditional corn pudding, Ali made cranberry sauce and chocolate chip cookies (also provider of chocolate milk and eggnog!), Maddy made cornbread (also for last night's soup supper), I made the roasted veggies, Rusty made an apple and a pumpkin pie... and it was all pretty fabulous.


Meanwhile, Joe and Brian located the tree and put it up, along with some wreaths for the front window & door. Annie strung the lights and began decorating, and the girls continued when they arrived. My mother has enough decorations for at least three enormous trees. I swear. We used barely a fraction.



This morning I finalized a ScanCafe order that's been pending. This isn't the exact photo of my grandpa I was looking for amongst them to post today, and it wasn't even Thanksgiving -- it was probably June, and definitely at the cabin -- but it is one of the times in my life when I truly felt thankfulness. My grandfather, recovering from a stroke, was re-learning to read; here he's reading one of our all-time favorites, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, to Ali (on his lap), my cousin's stepdaughter, and Katie (far right) -- my girls are probably 3 and 5. That recovery was difficult for my grandpa, but this was a huge milestone -- he loved his grandkids and great grandkids so much, and he was so happy to be able to read to them.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving/Thursday, as the case may be.

Remember that time...


...that I went to Brazil?

We've been slammed with the cold weather here, so naturally I've been thinking about the warm! Our high temp hasn't been above freezing for about a week and a half! That's not normal at this time of year (though it's really hard to say what's "normal" anymore).

Meanwhile, the folks I was visiting in Rio are posting photos and updates from their vacation in the Bahamas this week, and I'm struggling to remember why I declined that invitation!! Haha.


It would sure be nice to take a warm-weather holiday sometime this winter. Do you like to get away in the winter? Where's your favorite place to go -- and when?? Tempt me...