Friendship beyond measure…..


How do you say goodbye to a loved one?

Dear friend Susan passed away earlier this week but I can’t really  say goodbye to someone who holds such a special place in my heart.  Tho there is heartache at her passing, every time I think of her, I will see her smile, and hear her voice and laughter in my head, and that look she would give me when she thought I was about to do a bit of rabble rousing – or her usual greeting when we would see each other “There’s Trouble.”

Those are the things I will continue to keep in my heart and which will make me smile when I think of her – the caring, feisty, wonderful woman who I am so glad was my friend.


It’s 12:01 a.m. on July 28 —

Do you know what that means??  Happy birthday to meeeee!!!  I got a very fun card my sister sent me.  The front said “We used to wear birthday crowns with our age printed on them….     and on the inside…..    Yeah we wised up to that shit pretty quick.

ROFLOL She also sent me this adorable gourd birdhouse

I know she had a bumper gourd crop this year so I’m sure she made it herself and drew the spool of thread and needle on it.  There’s a hook in the ceiling by the window in my sewing room so I’ve got it hanging up there.  It’s right next to the ceiling vent so when the air is on it swings slightly like it’s swinging in the breeze.

Back from the North

When you go to the farthest northern corner of Wisconsin you do not expect it to be too hot and humid to spend much time outside.  It had to be a fluke that last year it was so hot up there.  But, alas, this year was even worse.  I’m not sure why we end up there when they are having an unusual heat wave but it was just as hot there as it was here at home.  But that didn’t keep us from having a nice relaxing time (yes thank goodness the cabin had air conditioning — it is not your “roughing” it type of log cabin. 🙂  So we spent lots of time reading, playing cards, a new dice game they taught me, watching movies and just visiting.  So today my parents are headed on to their next visiting desination but we had a wonderful visit.

The weather did cooperate one evening when we went to a play in an outdoor tent venue — it was warm but a bit of a breeze wafting through the tent sides (think big circus tent with the sides rolled up) kept it comfortable.  It was called Keepers of the Light and was based on the journals of the lighthouse keepers in the Apostle Islands (the area where we were).  It was very good.  There were no bear sightings this year but we did see…

Okay – not her most attractive side but she crossed the road in front of us and is headed into the forest on the other side.  She did stop to look at us when Dad opened the window and whistled at her – tho my photo turned out blurry

But we didn’t see nearly as many deer as last year – too hot for them to be moving around much I think.

But the wildflowers were blooming all around  the forest (the cabin is in a National Forest area) and were beautiful – pinks and purples and yellow grassy areas everywhere.

  And yes – Pirates!!!  There was a festival in Duluth, MN, last weekend that the clipper ships were there for and we saw photos of them in the Sunday paper.  We were heading to Duluth on Monday so figured we’d missed them but there were still some of them there.  Not a great photo – it was a very hazy day over the lake but bright enough that I couldn’t see the screen on the back of my camera so I had to sort of point and click and hope I got the ship in the photo.

I’ve got some other great wildflower photos, photos from a place where they do chain saw carving into wonderful detailed animals, and photos from Ashland,WI where they have amazing murals painted onn the sides of many buildings but since wordpress’s photo upload is being difficult today, I’ll save those for another day.

I did manage to get my Camp Loopy 2 project – cabled mittens – started and finished while at the cabin, who I don’t care much for the pattern I used so probably won’t be making them again.  So now to wait for the annoucement of the last Camp Loopy project next month.  I also made progress on my star stitch scarf and started on a shawl.

But today, I think I’ll go plug in some movies and start some new quilt project.  Haven’t decided what yet but I’m in the mood for something new.  Plus I ‘ve also got an idea for a Christmas in July project for the TQP gals I need to play with a little since July is getting away from me, but I cannot open EQ yet or I’ll never get anything started.  So off to look for some templates I bought for a new project and then go dig through the stash to see what fabrics to use.  I had thought about a trip to the quilt shop but it’s too hot outside for me to want to bus it over there (but I feel a Saturday shopping excursion coming on).  🙂

Oh – one last thing – as I was catching up on emails from when I was gone, there were a couple that were several MBs in size.  I’m guessing someone was trying to send photos (maybe of BOM or Year of Wallhanging projects they’d finished for me to post.)  I deleted them without letting them download — I’m not patient enough to sit and wait for 15 minutes to let one photo download (remember not everyone has high speed internet – I have dial up)  so if  someone did send images they want me to post, please resize them – under 300kb would be great – and resend.  I’ve got a bunch of photos I need to add to the project pages and will do that some rainy day when I’m bored (and the photo  uploader is being cooperative).  Thanks.


Led Astray again

I have evil friends – they lead me astray.  I got up with great intentions of doing some of the cleaning I had started on a couple weeks ago.  Cleaning out all the closets, getting rid of things I haven’t used since I moved in here 4? 5? years ago.  When I pulled the fabric stash shelves out of the closet, it was so I could use the closet for other storage – that’s what started the spring clean.  Then I got sidetracked with other things.  So I did some last night – finally packed the last of the winter clothes away (well except those two pairs of mittens I found that had fallen on the floor of one closet) so those tubs went into the storage closet.

This morning – up and at the cleaning early.  Christmas decoration tubs moved from laundry room to storage closet.  Coat closet, which had become a catchall for everything except coats, cleaned out, vacuumed and awaiting whatever I end up putting back in there.  Quilt and knitting magazines, and computer printed knitting patterns were gathered from piles on end tables, shelves, counters and all dumped into a laundry basket to be sorted, culled and whatever I can’t bear to part with will find a new home.  (the basket is overflowing).  In the meantime, the dishwasher was emptied and reloaded, kitchen counters cleaned.  There was a large bag of acrylic yarn – left overs from some projects, some others had given me when they were cleaning out their stashes, etc.  Some has been in there for years – prior to my living here.  I looked at and decided – yes, I have become a yarn snob.  I don’t like totally acrylic yarns anymore since I started using wools or blends of wools, silk, cotton and bamboo.  I knew I would never use them.  There were two old quilts – one I found at a garage sale another a coworker had given me which someone in her family had made but she didn’t want it and thought I might.  Both were probably from the 30s both had holes and were so fragile and shredding in places that they wouldn’t stand up to any cleaning, there not even any areas of blocks that were good enough to keep a single section of to maybe frame as artwork.  They went in another bag.  Now I can hear the gasps of horror already but I put them on top of the dumpster (on the lid not in it) at the apartment.  I put them in clear bags since I suspected they wouldn’t stay there long.  Half hour later when I went out to get the mail, both were gone.  Someone wanted them and now they have a new home.  “Stuff” that was just taking up space was getting cleaned out which was a good thing, making more room for the things I really love. Progress.

Next it was on to the overflowing knitting basket with things in progress, things I need to rip out, finished scarfs that need to be blocked and a whole lot of entanglement. I spread it all out on the couch and started untangling, put patterns with projects in progress so I would know where they were,  projects that went astray that needed to be ripped out — yarn rewound into balls.    Then the phone rang……

A friend who wanted to go out for lunch and make a stop at Kohl’s Dept. store – did I want to come  Well I hadn’t had breakfast and it was lunch time – I’d been working hard –  sure sounds good.  Five hours later … returned home. 

Several new articles of clothing – which were needed and also found great sales on – a few groceries, and some new dishes came home with me.  I hate shopping for clothes but quickly found several items I really liked – I love it when it works that way – quick trip in, find a few things, try them on when I get home (and they all fit and are perfect).  I even picked up two necklaces and earings sets to go with them so I’ll be stylin. 🙂 

 I love dishes, I don’t know why, but they come in such great styles and colors I can’t resist them.  I bought new ones when I moved in here not taking into account their size —  they are large, heavy and square.  I just liked the look of them.  The dinner plates (which could double as a platter) just barely fit in my cupboard, they don’t fit well in the dishwasher, and they are very heavy stoneware so you get your workout when unloading the dishwasher.  I hate them every time I have to load the dishwasher so they have now been replaced.  I spied these at the Boston Store – my favorite place to buy housewares stuff.

And I fell in love with them. They are not huge and will fit in the dishwasher and cabinets well.  The coffee cups are a decent size – I hate those sets where you get those tiny coffee cups — I like my coffee and don’t want to be hopping up to refill all the time. I loved the size and shape of the bowls.   Bonus!- they were marked down, then they were also 60% off that price, they were begging to be bought but what color?  Finally decided on the aqua.  Then there was an additional 15 or 20 % percent taken off by the lady who checked me out even tho I hadn’t brought with me some coupon that went out in the mail – she gave me that discount too.  It was truly a bargain and after she rang me out I realized I had only bought settings for 4 – even if it’s just me I don’t want to be doing dishes that often.  So at that great price, went to get another set but none the same color left.  Since I had been debating between the two, decided one set of each worked just fine so got the purple ones.  Now I’m just waiting for the dishwasher to finish so I can stack these all in there and wash them.

Now that I’m back home, groceries put away, new clothes de-tagged and hanging in the closet, I’m trying to get myself enthused about doing some more cleaning (it’s not working well).  I really want to go sit and work on the new sweater I started.  I’m not far

since I fell asleep watching a movie (talk about crink in the neck when I woke up) but I’ve got a start. It’s knit from the top down and you may be able to see the first buttonhole on the  left edge in the photo.  I’ve never made single row bound off buttonholes and it was amazingly easy.  I’m anxious to get down past the yoke part, which is all garter stitch – to the lace work bottom.

But I shall persevere a bit longer and finish cleaning up the knitting stuff on the couch (since I want to rearrange the furniture tomorrow) and then pick up my knitting.

WHEW! a busy day and if you’ve read to the bottom of all this rambling – you have persevered too! 🙂


Memorial Day

Thank you to all who serve in the military and the daily sacrifices made by them and their families.  One of my uncles earned the Bronze Star but the paper work was lost in a fire and many years later, just a few years before his death, it was finally presented to him.  A long time in coming but it was a lovely thing to see.

Today I hope to make up for all my puttering about yesterday and not getting any seewing done.  My errand I had to do has been done, the cleaning will wait until later this week, so I hope by the end of the day to be able to post a photo of all the Pinwheel Posey blocks completed at least, if not sew together.  Time to get busy.

I nearly forgot – it’s Design Wall Monday — here’s what’s still up there.


Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!

It’s been a very very lazy Christmas Day here.  I slept in a bit later since I had stayed up to the wee morning hours.  I was busy sewing, the watched Midnight Mass from the Vatican (a Christmas Eve ritual), then more movies while knitting so think it was after 2 a.m. when I finally looked at the clock and decided to head to bed.  Today I’ve spent most of the day playing in EQ and time certainly got away from me.  One of the designs I was playing with is this Poinsettia Wreath.  I’m not sure I like the colors in the borders but I do really like the wreath – but then I love applique.

Then while eating a late breakfast I decided I’d write up the directions for a project I’d previously posted a picture of.  So several cups of coffee and many holiday movies later, I was still putzing along on it, snug in my comfy chair in my jammies still, with a quilt to keep me warm.  Then I decided it would be easy to give the directions in two sizes, so worked on the second size and when I looked up at the clock it was 4:30 p.m.   I had not taken a shower, I had not combed my hair, I had not gotten dressed!

So headed for the shower and thought about getting dressed ..hmmmm.. it’s nearly 5 p.m., it’s already dark outside, opted for clean nightgown and wooly socks instead. 🙂  Talk about a lazy way to spend the day!  Chatted with Mom – my parents are in Atlanta area visitng my younger brother who’s daughter just graduated earlier in the week so they went for graduation.  They were busy eating Buckeyes – a favorite family treat – and I asked when my box of them was going to be sent but apparently they claim they didn’t make enough (which means they are eating themselves sick on them – but they are so good).

Several of you emailed inquiring about the tooth – or lack thereof.  It feels pretty good today tho the stitches are annoying, and I’m getting tired of eating scrambled eggs, yogurt and other soft foods and dreaming of that beef roast or pork loin in the freezer so think I may make some good “real” food tomorrow.  But for now I’m treating myself to these…

 And inside that festive bag from Clausen’s Bakery are  yummy butter cookies covered in light and dark chocolate with a plain one or two segregating the two kinds of chocolate.  They are my favorite of all the cookies they make and I’m hoping to go back for the after holiday sale later in the week when they are buy one bag, get one. Yummmm.

Okay – I got sidetracked by the cookies – as for the pattern I was working on – it finally has a name.

Boxing Day.  It reminds me of boxes and ribbons.  This version is the larger of the two and is 74″ x 90″ if I remember right.  Super simple piecing.

 This smaller version is Baby’s First Boxing Day.  It’s 39″ x 47″.  Basically all the pieces are half the size of the original quilt.

Once I get mine cut out so I can double check to make sure there’s no typos in the directions, I’ll get them posted in the right sidebar sometime this week.

For now, back to my sewing project from yesterday and some more holiday movies.

A blessed Christmas to all.


Happy Thanksgiving

   A Happy Turkey Day to all.  There’s so much to be thankful for.  Family and friends, health, a roof over my head (albeit a sewing room roof that had a leak) :-), food in the pantry and a job and hobbies I love.  Tho my family – siblings and parents – are spread out across the country, they are only a phone call away, and there will be many of those  today to keep in touch.

Today will be spent puttering around. Some sewing I want to do, maybe some knitting, but the first plan is to do some furniture rearranging (I really don’t need the slate patio table in my living room!) so that  table will end up in the sewing room to hold the tv and printer over the winter until it can return outdoors.  And it’s time to start thinking where the Christmas tree will be placed so some rearranging in the living room too -unless the sewing wins out and I just contgemplate the furniture arrangement a bit longer.   Tomorrow I do have to work, first time in many years that I’ve worked the day after Thanksgiving but it will be a quiet one at the office with many people gone so a good day to make some progress on all those piles of papers.

Last night I finished knitting the last Booga Bag and it’s cord.  I still have one cord to make for the prior bag and then I can get the two of them into the washer for felting – hopefully over the weekend – and get them all put together.  Then the tough decision – which one do I want for myself! LOL 

There’s also some mittens to get started on since the cold weather has come and I haven’t yet found where I packed all my mittens and scarfs away last year.  It rained yesterday and by the time I got home there was the first ice of the season on the sidewalks – tricky to manuever since there’s no salt on anything yet to melt it.  But it seems to be gone this morning but cold and dreary gray day remains.  A good day to stay inside and find a project to work on and watch old movies on t.v.

  Here’s the mohair scarf, all done except I think I’ll add some fringe to the edges.  It picks up the purple color in the plaid of the coat nicely but long haired mohair – not something I’ll be working with again since it’s not easy to knit with.  But is is lovely, snuggly warm even tho it’s a somewhat open knit and very light weight.

Hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving, filled with family and friends and good food.


A Lovely Wedding

My niece Sarah’s wedding was lovely and she was a stunning bride (even tho I am a bit prejudiced).  The sad part is all my photos from  the receiption turned out too dark and I wasn’t sitting in a good spot at the church to get photos without peoples’ heads in the way.  On the upside tho, their photographer allows free downloads to all the guests once he gets them all loaded ot the website in a couple weeks so I’ll be able to pick which ones I want.

The wedding quilt was a huge success.  The bride saw the bag and knew it was from me and the bag was sort of translucent so she started squealing before she even opened it saying she had been hoping I’d make them a wedding quilt.  I told her no – I didn’t have time to make one and there was a very sad pout but when I started laughing she knew there really was a quilt inside.  They loved it.

A few other photos from the wedding that did turn out.

Older brother Jeff (father of the bride) and his other two lovely daughters, Amy and Emily.

My Mom (Nana to those boys) and my nephews Owen and Morgan.

My sister, Renee and her husband Dale (parents of Owenand Morgan)

My brothers, Tim and Jeff.

We’re a very talented family. Here my sister-in-law Pat, Tim’s wife, is showing off her spoon hanging on the nose trick – a family favorite. 🙂 and she had had very little wine at this point. LOL

Niece Samantha, Tim and Pat’s daughter, and her boyfriend Paul.

My Dad, who didn’t know I was sneaking a photo of him.

My sister-in-law Robin, mother of the bride and the back of the bride’s head – sharing a moment.

After my parents left bright and early this morning to begin their drive back to Arizona, we discovered they’d left their wedding clothes behind.  So the bride and groom modeled them to let them know they were in safe??? hands. 🙂  I think Zeke looks stunning in the dress.

and lastly, the father of the bride modeling the veil….

Stunning isn’t he. 🙂  We had a great time.  The only immediate family member missing was Mike who was in Ohio at school.  But since we’re all spread out, Wisconsin, Iowa, Georgia, Tennessee and Arizona it’s been about two years since we were all in the same place at the same time so was a great time, even if short, to catch up on everyone’s lives.

More Vacation photos

Here’s a few more photos from vacation at that cabin.  The blog is acting wierd putting text from a past post on the right side – no clue why.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have time to figure out what the hecks going on or it will right itself!

Mom at Copper FallsCopper falls


Auntie T, Mom, Dad and Me at the cabin

Nearly finished

Between the quilting I did a few days ago and some time spent quilting today, my niece’s wedding quilt is nearly done.  Just two sides of one of the skinny borders left to quilt and I’ll be on to the binding and finally have a quilty photo to share!  It’s been ages since I’ve finished anything.  But it’s turning out very nicely despite the bobbin thread being a bit obstinate from time to time.  But new needles and a new bobbin seem to have solved that problem.

My parents headed on to their next destination this morning – my sister’s – until the wedding and I head back to work tomorrow.  This vacationing was exhausting! LOL  But as soon as the wedding quilt is finished, I can get back to my regularly scheduled sewing and quilting.

I don’t think I ever posted photos of the finished shawls after I had them blocked.  Mom had seen the first small one I had done and said how she envied the ladies at church who had them – just the right thing to keep the chill off – so she was very surprised when I gave her her birthday present of a shawl.  She loved it.  Hopefully the photo of hers is still on my camera since I don’t see it in the photos I already downloaded to the computer.  But here are the other two I made.

This was the first (and smallest) one I made.  Haven’t decided what I’ll do with this one yet.

This was the second one – same pattern but a bit larger.  This was a birthday present for my aunt.  It will keep her toasty warm while watching tv on those winter evenings since it’s wool.