Gingerbread Houses

dscf9646My heart is full, my kids are home.  Al had an accident shortly before coming home. She’s fine.  Christmas miracle: she’s bruised, but the eye itself is fine.  Looks like a zombie Christmas

dscf9660Al wore her Book 3 Malabrigo sweater for Gingerbread house last night.  Diamond Lakes PUllover.  She used a Lion Brand  super bulky yarn that she intended for a blanket, changed her mind and wowza made a sweater. dscf9669Okay don’t judge artsy pals!!!!  WE made our first ever Family Gingerbread house last night. From Scratch.  I free formed the pieces of the house when I made cookies in early December.  We have a new appreciation for how hard a perfect gingerbread house is to make.  We like ours.   New house, New traditions. 

I have a self imposed knit deadline.  I have to finish my Uncle’s socks and get them in the mail by Tomorrow!!!!!!   He doesn’t even know he’s getting them and I’m pushing myself to finish.

Coffee and Ornaments

dscf9591Good Morning!  I’ll share some of my tree decor with you today.  I’m knitting a pair of socks for my Uncle Bill.  I’m sort of on  a mission to finish and get them out to him For Christmas.   Zach is home!  He brought the best coffee.  Mexican coffee. 

dscf9596Dee sent this little ornament one year.  I love it. dscf9597I know I have shown you this one before.  It is really one of my very favorites and my sister-in-law gave it to me years ago. 

dscf9604Do you have a Santa and Baby Jesus ornament?

dscf9602This is the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park.  Cool place, like stepping back in time.  We went on that trip for our 30th anniversary. 


The loon.  I love them.  This one was bought years ago.

I think every ornament made it without breaking, in the move!

So good to have Zach home.  I wish you could all see his amazing Mexico photos and hear his stories.  Al arrives TOMORROW.  As far as I’m concerned, Christmas starts when my family is all together!   


Monday Q and A Dec 19th!

dscf9583This beauty was sighted in a driveway in Williams Bay.   So…today is Monday q and a.  I compiled a list of all the questions this year and today’s list makes 469 questions. 

Without checking back, I managed to only repeat 2 questions a few times.  It has been fun.  SO without further adieu, Please join in the fun.

  • Have you ever been stuck in an airport?  For how long? Where?
  • Have you eaten any holiday goodies yet?
  • If you made pairs of socks with all the stash you have for socks, how many new pair would you create?
  • What is the best yarn store you have ever been to?
  • Have you seen anyone wear a Santa hat this Holiday season ?
  • Have you played a fun game and you want to share it?
  • Peppermint or gingerbread?
  • Have you cancelled a subscription lately?  How did the company respond?
  • What should I bring to a 90 year olds birthday celebration?
    (they said no gifts, but I just have to)
  • Tell us a favorite Holiday gift you recall from your childhood please.

My answers:

  1. I have never been stuck at an airport.  But, I didnt’ fly for half my life, so that skews the results a bit right?  If I had enough knitting( and lets face it I pack more carefully for yarn than underwear on a trip), I could probably survive it pretty well.
  2. I have eaten too many holiday goodies already .  The scale is showing it and I have to behave.   Time to nip it in the bud and go back to my one bite rule.  This weight thing is such a drag.  I love all holiday cookies.  Weight watchers says you can eat anything but my scale disagrees.  blah blah blah .
  3. I have stash for 7 pairs of socks.  That’s fresh yarn.  That’s not near enough. Santa better bring more!
  4. The best yarn shop I’ve ever been to: Oh my Gosh I cannot even answer my own question.  I love my old haunt 3 Bags Full in Northbrook.  I have been to great shops though : KnitWits in Virginia Beach area was great, and the Yarnery in St. Paul Minnesota had a great vibe to it.
  5. Our waitress at Pier 290 Saturday night was wearing a santa hat.  Maybe I’ll wear one tomorrow.
  6. I like the game Codenames.  Al also gave me a game called BRING YOUR OWN BOOK that we are going to play this week. You grab a book and skim to find an answer to satisfy the prompt .  ie: Find dating advice in a cookbook.
  7. GINGERBREAD has me in a trance lately.
  8. I am cancelling my subscription to Massage Envy and they are being very sales like telling me to just suspend it.  The lady is so nice I agree.  Can’t I get a scroogy desk person when I want one?
  9. What should I bring dear Mary for her 90th?  It says no presents.  Chocolates seem so routine…
  10. I always always loved to get a new baby doll for Christmas.  I love that plastic baby doll smell.


Hot Cocoa Snow Ice

It’s a rare Sunday post!  I made Candy cocoa ice cream and it is addictive. 

Consider yourself warmed.  My sister sent the candy cane cocoa mix.  

Mother Nature sent the snow. 

It is so delicious.  I’m a shaved ice, slushie lover. 

This is a Brit and Co recipe :

Several cups of snow in metal bowl 

Powdered cocoa mix, (mine had mine choc chips in it too!  this made a good crunch with the final product)

A little bit of vanilla extract

Half and Half 

When you add the half and half it really mixes the snow with the cocoa mix.  Just add a bit at a time to your liking.  Top with crushed  candy canes and marshmallows .

I think it is a wonderful treat.  I’ll make it for Al and Zach this week.  YUM!



Knitting Going On’s


My 11 year old Great Nephew Rj, loved his neon socks.  This is a child who made his knit aunt so happy.   He loves the colors and the cozy, his mom says.  Having a December birthday is a bit hard on the kids.  I believe their day should be just as special as a August birthday.


Al’s knitting on a long road trip today.   This is a cowl pattern we found the last time she was at our new store Needles n Pins in Delevan, Wisconsin.  She has her starbucks in the other hand.  See?   Pretty pretty.

dscf9554And the cardinal in the heavy snowfall yesterday.  It is breathtaking the beauty of this snow.

I’m thinking I’ll give my current knit up socks to my Uncle Bill.  He is such a funny man.  We all enjoy his family stories and his flair for drama.  I think I have bent a new Susan B Anderson metal sock needle.  Oh well it works!

Are you ready? Are you wrapped? Are you way behind? Did you burn the cookies? Did the tree fall down?  It doesn’t matter, we have all done this before.  And you know what, every year is special for one reason or another.  This year, well

there is a CUBS WORLD SERIES ORNAMENT on our tree!!!!  Ha!  had to get that in!



dscf9547#1.  You are all awesome. Thanks for your shared stories of struggles and successes! 

#2. The cardinals come together in good numbers in our woodsy yard.   Add some of that gorgeous snow, and they simple burst with color.  Oh and we are expecting another big blast of snow.  

#3. dscf9539This is one of the few sweaters I have knitted.  I made it years ago.  It is Knitting Pure and Simple’s Neckdown Pullover for Women.  I fit in it again, and it was a true joy to wear it yesterday.  I even kept notes.  Knitted with Jaeger extra fine merino.  Maybe I’ll knit another in 2017. 

#4 dscf9551

Santa brought Fezzik a sweater.  He’s not so happy about it.  We put it on him when he is too rambunctious with little Pie.  He means well, but he’s just so big.  This is the equivalent of a thunder shirt, behave yourself sweater.  I also think he looks adorable in it. 

#5. Saw sweet mom last night.  I had a little boo hoo when I was holding her hand and the TV Hallmark channel started HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS.  She was pretty confused.  See the necklace I was wearing in the picture above.?   She tried to take a tree off the necklace to eat it.  She said, “Ill just have one okay?” 


Finally, I thought this was the Blessed Mother in my window yesterday.  My mom and grandma from Ireland always prayed to her.  I do too now and she’s very good to us.   Isn’t that something?



The truth of the matter…

dscf9538My lastest socks are a Joy to knit.  The yarn is real sock yarn from Online and We are not having any fights.  Man, I knit a lot of socks.  Hope they don’t bore you, but I’m really happy knitting socks, finding sock yarn, buying sock yarn and mostly succeeding with my knitting.  That’s really why I love to knit socks.  I wear them, I give them as gifts, and they are never a waste of time or money. 

I’m going to try a sweater on that I knit years ago.  I gained too much weight to wear it, and Now I think, it may fit again.    Thanks weight watchers.   I’ll let you know if it fits.  

dscf9532Oh yes I did run out on the freezing cold porch last night to try to catch the lovely full moon coming up over the Christmas tree for you.  And boy it is freezing out there.  And yes I’m crazy.  

I don’t talk about it much here, but I want to share it joyfully.  I have depression. I have survived serious bouts of depression and come out better for it.   I wish people could be as supportive of this illness as they are of others.   They call it the NO CASSEROLE illness because no one brings you dinner.   Most people run from you. 

Al actually dated a guy who told her he couldn’t stay with her because her mom had depression.   I try to tell others when they are struggling that the best news about the disease is that it is curable.   I’ve had amazing doctors and friends and family.  I’ve also had family that say I’m crazy and judge me as so even after I’ve been well. 

Why today to share this?  Dunno.  Just want to open the dialogue for one little post.  I’m here to tell you, it can get better.   If you are really struggling this holiday season, have Hope.  Go get some help.  Most people who seek help, find it.  I was told that 1/3 of suicides occur with people who never tell anyone they are depressed.   Your brain is an organ of your body.  Just like your pancreas needs insulin when you are diabetic.  Your brain needs medication, often, to rebalance.  

I’m meeting with a very well meaning friend today for coffee back home.  She did not thiink moving would be good for me.  She warned me it would cause me another depressive episode.  That scared the Beejezuz out of me.   I told my doctor what she said.  We talked about it.  Now, my psychiatrist, there I said it…calls this move “your tincture of country”.   I won’t say it to her, but I want to tell her never to say that to someone.  It was like hearing I was going to die again.  

Thank you for moving with me.  Thank you for sharing your brave stories of your struggles no matter what they are.   Thank you for making this a jovial place of whimsy and fun for me.   Be well. 

Cheater Cookies


Judy asked for snow pictures.  See Judy?  Lots of snow.  It is brutally cold outside.  I may stay in all day.  Except to gather the mail.  Our mailbox is at the end of a long driveway here.

I’m delighted to tell you that I’m onto a new pair of socks in Online Supersocke.  I’m knitting with ease instead of fighting the string to loop and loop.

So we’d have a few different kinds of cookies when Al and Zach arrive, I made some cheater cookies yesterday.  What are cheater cookies?  Well the are a lot less mess and work than scratch.   I buy the tollhouse dough tub.  Let it soften.  Add nuts.  Add raisins.  Add steel cut oats.  Mix and bake and call them cowboy cookies.

This involves, one bowl and a spoon.  No measuring.  No flour all over the kitchen.  Easy peasy.  By the looks of the plate that had the broken ones on it, Fireman thinks they are good.    Had, the operative word there.

10 Days till Christmas eve.  Ho ho ho


Elf Socks

DSCF9513.jpgSo, I finished the Elf socks last night.  I do like the result, but I have to tell you the yarn was a fight.  I ordered the yarn from an ETSY sight, RedbirdYarn.  It came promptly but it was splitty.  Especially on the heel flap, I felt like I was wrestling with the yarn.   I turned them inside out and did a three needle bind off for the toes.  I may gift these, I haven’t decided yet. 

I cast on 64 stitches on zero needles.  They are a perfect gauge.  Oh and One of the wooden needles splintered in the process.  

DSCF9516.jpgI”ll be sending these pairs to my great niece and nephew who have December birthdays.  The NEON yarn was purchased with Allison in Minnesota this past winter.    I think they are good for a 10 year old boy.   The purple pinks were a local wool from a Tennessee yarn shop , also with Allison.  I recall it had good bounce. 

I did a nice round toe for the purple pinks.  I did a Russian toe on the neon where you use a crochet hook.   Boy, it sure helps me to keep notes on my Ravelry project page.  

Today, casting on for more socks.  I’m a sockaholic……like Dee.  Wheeeee!


Mid-December Monday q and a

DSCF9498.jpgWelcome to Monday q and a!  As they say in the Christmas Carol: Come in and know me better man.  Because that’s what q and a is all about.  Getting to know you better and sharing some  laughs.  Here we go:

  1. Have you ever knit a Christmas Ornament?
  2. Have you ever knit with sparkle yarn?
  3. Did you buy yarn while traveling this year?
  4. When’s the last time you wore something you knit?
  5. Do you remember your dreams?
  6. What’s the one thing you don’t want to run out of?
  7. Deep dish or thin pizza?
  8. Name a favorite holiday music cd, or album for us oldies
  9. How do you remind yourself a candle has been lit?
  10. What’s the ringtone on your phone?

My answers:

  1. yes I’ve knit a little Christmas bear ornament.  She’s far from perfect, but when I took her out of the paper this year, she charmed me anyhow.
  2. I’m knitting with sparkle yarn now.  Juries out on this one.
  3. Yes!  of course I bought yarn while traveling this year: in Delafield Wisconsin, in Knoxville Tennesee to name two.
  4. The last time I work something I knit: Saturday in the hot tub while the snow came pouring down, I wore my Peruvian alpaca hat and not one hair on my little head got wet!
  5. I wish I didnt’ remember my dreams but oh I do.
  6. I get squirrelly if I run out of Diet Coke in the house.  Seriously, does this mean I’m addicted?
  7. Thin pizza every time
  8. Favorite holiday cd: james Taylor’s Christmas cd
  9. Maybe this is a fireman’s wife thing. I fear leaving a candle lit and having a fire. So I put the lighter with a big piece of red tape on the back door so I can’t leave the house without the reminder.
  10. “Just hear those sleighbells ring a ling” is my ringtone! ho ho ho