Changes…..

Whoa. How’s that for a new start?

My sock is at the heel turn mark. I am loving sitting with this light little object, and knitting on the porch. I, honestly, think it has been over a year since I knit a sock. But, I’m back!

My little Giving Garden is growing well. I was able to pick on beetle off a leaf with great satisfaction today. You know the plants are all up on a second story deck porch. So critters are less likely to get to them. Also, I love that the cherry tomatoes are starting to give blooms that will become sweet wonderful cherries.

The berry cobbler was a complete knee jerk decision. I wish all my decisions turned out that good in baking land. Mmmmm. The finishing touch was sugar on top for the last 5 minutes. Fireman got a great surprise when he came inside from his garden work.

The turkeys have not been around our yard in over 6 months. Yet, this morning. There were two. I have better images to share later. You know I want them to make a nest so I can watch the babies. Our current wren nest is deserted and nary a hatchling appeared. My irish grandma called an egg like that a slugger.

What was our neighbors dog barking about at 11:30 pm last night. ? Do you know? Over and over and over she barked. Into the deep woods and the beautiful starry night. I wished she hadn’t…….

I wish YOU a great day. The news is not good. The times are difficult, but we are surviving and we are being kind to each other here in blog land…thank you

Dear Blog Pals,

Dear Blog pals,

This is Karen’s Turtle Dessert cake from Southern Living Recipe. You can find it online. Karen made it for Father’s Day for her hubby. She says the base is ice cream sandwich cookies. Mmmmmmmm. It has all my points for a day and a half…….but, sometimes It is worth it! I think all those layers are gooey magnificence. And you know me, I’m always up for something that is made up of things that are already created, and you layer them up. Because then I have more time to knit. Is this considered an ice box cake? I wouldn’t put it past me to call it breakfast in a pinch…

Dear blog Dog lovers,

This is my sister’s dog Alsay. She’s been a lot of work. No more so than any good puppy that needs socialization and Training. She’s pretty much perfect in her house manners. No jumping on people and the like. However, I am such a perfectionist, the thought of raising a perfect dog, is daunting. I overslept today. You can’t do that with a pup . Huck was about the most perfect pup ever. It was a lot of work and I loved training him, but he also was sad, each and every time I left him.

I heard Cesaer M. on a podcast saying it is not a great time to get a pet because you may just be bored right now. I don’t know. Sounds like a good time to me. Train them right from the get go and in 6 months when COVID restrictions end, you’ve done the work and have a great dog to go out with. So, I’m no expert, but go get that puppy you want. Then remind me how much work they are. I’ll check out your response before I nap with Fezzik later.

Dear Summer,

I blame you for my fascination and obsession with this ice-cream cake. I had to show it twice today because it looks that good. Also, could you please stick around for more than a day at a time. I live in Wisconsin and these hot, humid days are my treasures. I want to be on that porch of mine without any shoes or silly blankets. Camp activities are also more fun when it is hot out.

Fireman got a drone for his Fathers Day gift from Al and Zach. So, Summer behave, because I want him to be able to fly it and from the sounds of it, conditions have to be just so.

and finally, Summer, baseball is starting in 28 days and I’m already in a much better mood. I cannot do Summer without baseball because it makes me so crabby. I can’t wait to see Coach Grandpa Rossy leading my Cubbies! So summer, the Boys of Summer are coming back. Some of us use baseball as a tonic for our souls. Hyperbole? nope the honest truth.

Fondly

kathy b

Tuesday Q and A

My crimson clover is blossoming. Oh my gosh. I’m trying for this amazing photo of the beautiful dots amid the clover leaves. I’m not there yet…but I hope to get it soon.

Do you have a favorite photo that you worked hard to capture? You can include those ever difficult and headache inducing Holiday Family photos if you wish…..

My new Chicken Coop sock yarns arrived yesterday! I took my sock yarn stash out to see how well these skeins would play with others. These yarns all started clucking at once. What would you knit with these 3?

I got to wear my HELENA cover over my Walgreens gray dress the other day. It was a perfect accessory to a very plain dress. It also covered my arms up nicely, which is the major factor in pattern choice. It was made from Berocco Mix.

Here is the top right after I finished it . Wow, Having Ravelry is truly helpful for cataloging my projects. I’m behind, however. Have you seen the new Ravelry debut? I think it came out June 19. I have to search it a bit to see all the work they’ve done to it.

Al’s Will loves Dolly. This is not her best photo. But , they have really bonded. Yesterday, Al and Will offered to transcribe an hour of a city council meeting for their town. Apparently the girl who normally does his, was feeling overwhelmed because she had 9 hours to transcribe. She asked for help on Twitter. I am so glad she reached out for help. I am even more amazed that those two took up a lot of their day to help this person. This generation is awesome. Have you seen some kindness lately?

I didn’t even know the transcription was a thing. This lead to competitive typing tests among our family. Zach can type 120 words a minute. I can type fast but I will have to test my self later. How quickly do you type? Remember typing class. ?

I think my kids took it in summer school. I didn’t push summer school much. I wanted summer to be free for us all, as much as possible. I’m pretty sure Al took the class and Zach used a online tool, that really worked. It was a disc you put into the computers when they weighed a million pounds. Did you take summer school?

All Creatures Great and Small

It took a lot of time to get this post going this morning . ……..

I had to sit outside yesterday, somewhat close to the feeder, to catch my Hummingbird shots. If you like to watch them, or have been somewhere you can observe them on a vacation or the like, they are fascinating little birds. I can get a zillion shots of them through the porch screen , but you have to be outside to get a great crisp image. Oh and I love their little feet. Since yesterday was Fathers Day, in honor of my dad , I will tell you a little story:

He was a avid hunter and fisherman. When he dressed the pheasants in the garage, we all stayed away. But, somehow it got to be a joke to be the one who got the pheasant or duck feet. You would sneak up on an unawares sibling and tickle their neck with the feet. We were weird, I know.

So, I am trying to invest in WordPress , so that during Covid, I can do a audio podcast. I have wasted a ton of time trying to figure this out. As you can tell, I haven’t recorded anything yet.

I had this funny thought that I would just record a message on my phone and all y’all could just dial up to hear my podcast. Honestly, If I cannot figure this out I may do it. Sometimes technology is too daunting for me. Remember when Mattel made a Barbie that talked and said, ‘Math is hard.” That doll did not make it long on the shelves. Girls were not to be taught that math and science are difficult for them.

The animals are busy this time of year. This opossum was way too close to my cats with a screen between them last night. I knew the minute it was there as Pie and Fezz jumped off their cozy porch chairs and went to the screen. I love that my shawl was knitted with Opossum and I love that they eat ticks. But, dear opossum scram. You can’t be around the porch and the cats. If I wanted to deal with fleas, I would have outdoor animals.

So that shawl I started, after I tore out my leaf sock start. Yes, It is a sock again. The Have a Seat Please shawl is easy and pretty, but I am so lazy right now , I refuse to carry around a piece of paper and check off rows.

I have enjoyed MDK’s sock tip series. Recently, I watched a woman teach me how to weave in her sock ends. She certainly was easy to follow and I think I shall use her method and stop fearing the multi yarn socks. I usually like them to be one long stretch of a single yarn skein, so they cannot fall apart at a join. Maybe, just maybe I’ll use a multi skien with a solid!

I carried Fathers day a bit too far. I became inspired at 10:45 last night. So I cut apart some frozen bread dough. Threw it in a bread pan. Didn’t measure. Mixed some oatmeal, light brown sugar, butter and cinnamon, and let her rise all night. I left Fireman a note to bake her when he got up. Mmmmm. Some people call this monkey bread. Some people put pecans on the bottom of the pan so when you invert it the nuts are carmelized too. I know this is not rocket science. But mmm, it was good to have a bite this morning!

I do love this shot of Regina’s pompom mums blooming. They are so delicate and pretty. I have some crimson clover that needs to be a bit more widely blooming to take the photo I want . But, there has been a bunny hanging around and I cover the clover with crates at night . Just until I get that photo I plan on.

Oh, and one more thing. It was a long and gory story, but there was an unintentional mass murder of mice here Saturday. I really need to check the lawn mower before we start her up. I don’t like mice in my house one bit. But , outside they are fine. So one little baby ended up on the deck of the mower. I put him in a box in the shed where the mouse is often hiding. I put some bird seed there hoping momma was not dead and I called the rehab place.

Somehow we bonded, Willard the mini mouse and I . Somehow he kept living. I think the 90 degree heat helped a lot. I keep going into the shed hoping momma dragged him away. Nope. And each time I was pretty sure he was dead. But with a little nudge with a stick, Willard would wiggle and flail his lil limbs. Fireman thought I was nuts.

I called the wildlife rehab just up the road. BY 5 pm, five hours after he was found, they said I could bring him in. They were all COVID prepared. They told me they got another lil mouse that day so he’d have a buddy. I said,thru the glass door . “hes so so small, but vigorous” She said, “we honestly will give him a chance , we won’t just euthanized him.” So good luck Willard.

Does this even qualify as a knit blog anymore?

So easily distracted

Honestly, I started this post an hour ago. Then Fireman had to show me a teeny tiny weeny baby mouse on the lawn mower deck. I had to move it to a shady area with cool grass clippings. I put it in the shed with a few sunflower seeds to lure mamma back to him. We’ve bonded . His name is Willard. It doesnt look good though.

I’m back to knitting a sock not a shawl. Karen, is finishing an amazing shawl and I cannot wait to show it to you!!!

Yesterday’s camp schedule went like this:

Bugle alarm..just kidding. That would never fly around here. I get up SLOWLY!

One cup coffee.

Off to paddle board for two hours. Delightful rocking on the waves.

After much discussion and a few attempts at other places which we deemed unfit due to their not social distancing, we ended up at our favorite place to eat outside.. You can see very few people were there at 2 pm. We went for early Father’s Day celebration. IT was great to be out on a deck, with our masks on! No one else had theirs on. We could watch the boats go by. And the margarita was wonderful.

Thank you all for your comments. It helped me to read that we are all missing our peeps. I’m not just a teary weirdo.

My son is so happy right now, How I can I possibly mind him being away? He just loves all the tennis he gets to play. He loves his friends . He loves his town. And he calls a lot.

S0 have I introduced you to Cooper? Allison’s boyfriend has raised Cooper since puppy hood. Cooper has an eternally sad face. Oh my gosh, I swear he could do those sad adoption pet commercials. He misses when Will is away, even though he has Al at home. Al’s just not the same.

Finally,

My friend Karen promises me a ice cream sandwich cake recipe today. So I will be sharing that with you. She’s making it for her hubby for Father’s day.

Staying Afloat…

So here is a portion of the dissected piano. We are trying to glue the pieces evenly and securely. Then it can be a paper weight or it can be framed . It already brings me more joy than walking past the huge piano that no one every touched. It was like a sad ghost.

This is what we do for fun. Bugs, are endless fascination for my cats.

I am trying to add festivity to our isolation stretch. March 11 was the last time we met folks for dinner . No end in site for this retired nurse and retired medic.

I have a few places you can google and go to:

*MDK, which is now Modern Daily Knitting, has a great sock effort going on. Little Lessons on Sock Knitting is their post today.

*Wisconsin is home to an 1850s restored barn that opened in 2011 as the Wisconsin Museum of Quilt and Fiber Arts. Located in Cedarburg, about an hour northeast of Lake Geneva or the border. If you google ONLY IN YOUR STATE and pick wisconsin, you will scroll down and see a link to fabulous photos of the Museum. Someday…after Covid, I’ll go.

And If you need to go to Walgreens, with your mask on, you can buy a summer dress there. Yes, I have stooped that low. I bought a cotton sleeveless long dress there yesterday while shopping for essentials.

I had a three step process turn into a dozen more steps trying to return something from Kohls, last week. It took hours. It took a lot of phone calls. Warning: They have THE SADDEST on hold muzak ever. It almost made me want to give up. But, I’m much to frugal to give in.

So, I’m off to order a hummingbird ring. They come so close to us anyhow, I think they would land on our hand. Seriously!!! Oh, and I was really bad and made Fireman look into the wren bird box because they are ridiculously busy there….

We didn’t see much. For all their activity I expected lots of eggs or birdies. Maybe one egg?????? maybe????Fireman said I was being mean and the mama did not appreciate this. I’m not mean. I just need to see something different these days. They are my neighbors and I’m going to start talking to them without a mask on… Because that’s how it is getting around here.

“who would you like to see if you could ?” he asked me. Well. EVERYONE!!! But mostly my kids. And I did tell him that all of your posts make me feel connected . They really do. So in a river of disconnect, you and I and all of our blog pals, are paddling in circles around a quiet lake of technology. And I am grateful for every share, every post, every photo and every comment that keeps us afloat..

Children’s Books Over Time

I almost always start my day, looking out our front bedroom window. See the clover taking over between the stone walk? I am so happy about this clover. One or two red blossoms have opened, and I can’t wait for a full bloom picture. There are a few types of clover in the mix, but the crimson clover is the show stopper. I know that the pollinators love the clover, and the area has no weeds this year. The clover choked them all out! I’ve been watering them daily unless we get rain, since May 10th or so. Finally, after it is done blooming you turn it over and it is like soil candy. Clover has long been known to replenish overworked soil.

The beautiful grasses from Regina are all up and getting taller. They were late to show, but Fireman was not one bit worried about them. I do water them too, if it gets too long between rains. I get between them with the weed whacker string trimmer to keep the unwanted weeds down.

Here are my two colors for my on the needles shawl. I wasn’t quite sure they would get along well, but once Karen gave it the thumbs up, I knew she was right. Al gifted that yarn in the woodsy color way to me . I don’t remember the name .

Our retired Nurse pals Chat was fun as always, this morning. These chats and zooms are very good for my social soul. One of our group is a black woman, and she was able to explain to us why Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemima were offensive. She didn’t get defensive, we all love one another enough to ask away. First of all, I’m told Mrs. Butterworth was a white woman. Then I was told to think how Dee feels when she grocery shops with her grandkids and Aunt Jemima is on the pancake package.. It doesn’t matter how great they syrup is, she’s a servant. We need to stop advertising people of color as servants and lesser thans.

Then we talked about some childrens books, and if they were offensive to people of color. I asked about the Five Chinese Brothers. The group agreed that those brothers were teaching all children about another culture. The way the dressed. The way the wore their hair. Their wise trickery that beat an unfair system. It remains a great book for kids.

So it was a great chat. We all laugh a lot and we all talk very loudly . (apparently)

What wise children’s books do you love to give as gifts or read to your grandchildren or nieces and nephews?

Nuts and Cookies and Granola

We had a black walnut tree in Illinois. It was the messiest thing. It didn’t have a nice shape. It always came around last to leaf. In the summer and fall it dropped painfully large fruits onto your body if you passed below it almost anytime of day or night. I paid the kids a nickel to pick them up and put them in a bucket. You could not mow around them. My workers felt their pay was not commensurate with their work and they quietly passed on the bribe.

I came across Black walnut ART the other day and almost fainted. People carefully slice the nuts and actually fill them with stones and jewels. Some people make huge baskets out of the walnuts. Teresa, I think you showed one on your post this week. I was astounded . What I had seen as a big ugly pain in the neck, became a thing of unbelievable beauty. I still don’t want another back walnut tree, but I can smile at them now in parks etc.

I made the awful mistake of buying some cookie dough. Well, it is worse than that. I accidentally bought TWO tubs of Toll House cookie dough. Seems I was hitting all my items twice on my last grocery curbside order. “Wonder why we are being charged so much this time?” I really did say to my husband. Ha! Well, here’s the silver lining, we are stocked up!

I decided to make some cookie bars today and get rid of that awful temptation. I have this square baker that I bought because I can’t cut a square for the life of me. Any how, the squares fell in the middle so I had to add melted semi sweet chocolate to the middles to make them look pretty. But I ran out. Perhaps a scoop of vanilla ice cream would help the others look pretty.

I keep making granola for Fireman. Every batch, he says, is better than the last. He could certainly make his own granola, but I guess I like the praise!

I have been using oats, and some steel cut outs, but just a touch of those . I use syrup or honey. No brown sugar or white sugar added. I make a tiny bit for me with no cinnamon. He gets the bulk of it with cinnamon added.

This time, I Had a odd package of stuff from the part of TJMAX where they shove such things near the register and you think, “Gosh, I need that!” Well, it was months ago, but this particular package had walnuts, ginger bits, pepita seeds and craisens. Seems we have a blue ribbon winner here.

Oh and here’s our little Bo girl. Zach and Bo play fetch daily. She is a retriever kitty!!

And oh my she is so fast . ZOOM! Lincoln got shaved and I love how he looks .

So food and cats….that’s it from a perfect day in Wisconsin:

Sunny, 76 , no humidity and just the slightest breeze on the porch. We live for these days.

My PRIDE month hair. Photo requested by Mildly Granola. It is a semi permanent color. It changes to lighter and lighter with each washing. L’Oreal colorista.

I made a impulsive decision and sorted through all the patterns I have in print, yesterday. It was sunny but only 60 out, hence the jacket. From the looks of it, it was high time I organized .

I have more shawl patterns than anything else. I rarely wear shawls unless they are lined in cotton. Then I have sweaters and vest patterns. There is a folder now for baby patterns. I don’t have too many sock patterns, because I do knit a LOT of socks , but I don’t need a pattern to knit your plain vanilla socks.

So, the felt really good. I chucked some patterns that were horribly written and only frustrated me. Why did it take me so long to figure out the I cannot knit row and row of garter anything?

I’m finally back to knitting socks! This emerald shaded green is so pretty. I found a leaf patterned sock pattern in the pile. But I’m about to finish the first 8 rows of leaf part and I think I fudged it. I’m not seeing those leaves……But I’ve got some serious sock love going on here. 5 Double pointed needles. The old familiar muscle memory of it. It is all good.

This is the best shot I could get of a blue bird on our new willow tree! We hadn’t seen one in our yard this year. We saw a few on bike rides, but hooray, one visited yesterday. I was kind of blue. Here were are on the steps of my first Fathers Day without my dad, on a fathers day when my kids won’t see their dad, and not going to the barn is sad. BUT, this lil bird helped. ( In our yard yesterday we saw:

cardinals, blue jays, blue birds, gold finches, chickadees, wrens, white breasted nuthatch, hummingbirds, orioles and a turkey vulture over head. wow. )

Just outside my desk window is a lovely quince bush. It is a beautiful shrub that can only be seen from our window inside.

Finally, this pandemic is allowing for me to avoid clothes shopping. I cannot stand clothes shopping. My pajamas are tattered and torn. My summer khakis are faded. And Kohls thoroughly confused me last week by sending my order for an ottoman to us from Target with someone elses name on the receipt. IT was all connected . It was all confusing. And it took MY time to figure out the whole mistake. So, carry on, Kathy b. I can always cut my jeans into shorts right?

Half-kidding : Camp Winnipesaukee

I tease with the greatest love in my heart, very infrequently. Teasing was a way of life at our home growing up. But, the same old things got said and sometimes they stopped being funny.

To this end, I despise teasing and try very hard not to do it. Children, it seems are teased mercilessly even in their own families. I also refuse to mimic. One of my relatives cannot tell a story without whining and mimicking others. She does it so much it is odd when she isn’t teasing. She evens mimics crying babies…….and it looks so dumb. There I said it. How about, calm the baby.

Well, I do tease Fireman that Summers in Lake Geneva are all about camp and activities. I married an athletic person who loves working out . I know. Opposites attract.

Yesterday, Fireman fulfilled a dream of his. He has wanted to do an open water swim on Lake Geneva for a long time. The day was perfect. The water was calm but cold. He has a wetsuit and a hood and a float device. The device drags behind him in case he needs to stop. It is for my worry brain. He can lay on it and float forever. If you know how wet suits work, he could just wear that and float forever.

I went along as his spotter. I was on the paddle board with my whistle and his cell phone. I got a few shots of him reaching his goal. He will be doing more open water swimming this summer.

So, Yesterday, I teased that I had one camper sign up for open water swim and I had to get up early. Other camp activities include: Cycling with a riding group, Cycling with me on trails, Paddlebaording, hiking , and gardening including chopping down trees. This year Fireman’s children added a new camp class: They bought him a kit that lets him make his own beer. You do have to be 18 for this one.

Zach has been with us for a few summers and oh my gosh he gives this camp director much needed breaks. NO one can come now due to COVID. sigh.

The camp director got some new sock yarn from her LYS yesterday. NO one has signed up for knit classes. The camp director is kind of glad. This is a emerald hued sock yarn by Huasco, another Peruvian yarn. Remember, someone gave Al that gorgeous yarn I felted , from Peru.

There was one camper interested in shaving a cat today. Tank, is the perfect cat when he is shaved. I let the camper use the electric clippers. After all, he’s had his rabies shots. And Tank, is just so so good when he gets groomed. I then gave him a soothing bathe.

So that’s the camp update. Lake Winn. etc was from What About Bob, the movie. IT took place on that lake. I love that movie.

This camp counselor will be knitting and watering plants after a short bike ride with the camper who signed up for cycling this morning. Kumbaya …..and all that