New Fridge / 7

Junah was, like, "WHAT?? A new FRIDGE?" They loved checking it out last night! Hopefully, the enchantment with the freezer will wear off, or potential energy savings will surely be offset.

20171106_191855

We are loving those French doors and everything in the fridge at eye level! The lighting is pretty great, and I'm also a fan of the glass shelving. There is certainly some rearranging to be done, but we're getting there.

20171104_165350

It's a Samsung. A little narrower than our old one, and a few inches deeper -- these offset and there is no perceived change. I was worried that our already narrow gateway to the laundry room would be affected. I think the very slight curve of the fridge helps, too.

20171104_165340
20171104_165340

Side views: from the sink area (above) and laundry room (below).

We removed a cabinet above the fridge as a precaution -- we knew it was going to be super close, and it was the only variable over which we had any control. Trying to find a fridge to fit our area/specs has not been easy. So, anyway, it will be replaced -- new & improved, for sure -- and Rusty might even get started on that this weekend.

The old fridge was plastered all over with magnets, photos & clippings. I tossed a bunch of it, filed a few things, and rearranged as I redecorated. So far, I've kept the front of the new fridge clutter-free and am aiming to keep it that way!

What made the cut?

20171104_165443

This is the most visible side, other than the front. These things all spark joy!! I have some travel reminders, and some adorable drawings of Mack's that my sis had made into magnets; the hummingbird was Sharon's, and the vintage fruit & veggie magnets were my grandma's; I love my photo calendar and am looking forward to making a new one for 2018! This one is from Parabo Press, and I love that the pages are perforated, so I can tear off and keep the photos! I'm not an affiliate, but I do have a link to share that will save you $10 on your first order and earn me $10 -- just use the code AHMKGG! You can order online, or... there's an app for that!

There's been an addition since I took the photo:

Hamilton-magnet(So freakin' good.)

20171104_165526

On the other side, more joy! More travel, more politics, more flowers, and more photos -- and I want even more photos, but most of what had been displayed was decidedly dated (not in a good way) and in need of editing.

This is a work in progress!  ;)


Happy Birthday / 6

Dear November,

I'm still on a Hamilton high!

20171105_165902
Screenshot_20171105-152026

The show was wonderful! We loved the cast, knew every word, and really enjoyed the nuances of the live performance!!

20171105_173210

Dinner at The Dearborn was fabulous! We had to begin our meal with The Hamilton cocktail, of course!

Then we turned on the soundtrack in the car and sang all the way home!

20171105_105420

Also, I finished Maddy's Hamilton ornament!

It's been a stellar month so far -- newly resurfaced street on Friday, long-awaited refrigerator delivery on Saturday, Hamilton on Sunday, today's my birthday, (Tuesday is a day of rest - haha! not really... I'll be packing!), and departure on Wednesday for the AC Workshop!!

The workshop is technically three days, but we'll be gone/traveling for a week! OMG, I can't wait. I've never been in that part of the country before.

Anyway, as Kym has said, it's a BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!! Well, hell, my 59th is only gonna come around once...

And I like the way that my 60th year on the planet is starting...

Begin as you mean to go on!

Here's to a great year!

Love, Vicki


Progress & Waiting / 4

They're not yet finished in the neighborhood, but they're finished in front of my house and ya-freakin'-hoo.

IMG_20171103_170625_986
IMG_20171103_170625_986

Now I'm awaiting the call "30 minutes prior" to refrigerator delivery. I'm not sure I'll be able to have all hands on deck right then, but it'll be here.

Meanwhile, the kids were over for a while today.

20171104_121733
20171104_121733

Hahaha!

And I rearranged the upstairs bedroom (back the way I like it) (new comfy mattress coming soon).

20171104_134722

{{{drumming fingers}}}


Right Now: November - AC Style / 3

BREAKING NEWS...

20171103_075500

They were firing up equipment as I left for work this morning; Rusty sent this photo a little while later. (That's my house with the bunting still hanging.)

Anticipating... So much good stuff!

  1. New refrigerator delivery on Saturday (finally!) (y'all will be so happy when this is not.a.thing anymore)
  2. Hamilton on Sunday (matinee) with Maddy and her BFF Katy, followed by dinner at The Dearborn
  3. My 59th birthday on Monday (!!)
  4. A long-awaited vacation that begins on Wednesday:
    1. To Florence, AL, for a 3-Day Alabama Chanin Workshop
    2. Along with my first visit to Nashville, TN
    3. All with KYM!!!

Looking forward to... OMG. Alabama! The Factory! Muscle Shoals! Finally!!

I've long dreamed of attending an Alabama Chanin week-long workshop(s), but it just wasn't ever going to fit in financially or time-wise, so when the 3-day version was introduced last year... I pounced. I signed up practically the minute it was announced in September! Bonus: it was happening right around my birthday. Happy Birthday To Me!!

It wasn't long before Kym decided to join me... and the Airbnb booked by the first week of October! EXCITED MUCH?? I'd have booked travel then, too, but it was too early. I did put a reminder on my calendar about it, though.

Sewing... something EPIC as soon as I get to Alabama! I'm thinking Coat, but reserving final decision until we're actually there. We get to try on garments and see examples of finishing techniques. It's all certain to be incredibly inspiring... hopefully, not to overwhelming. I'm counting on experienced hands to guide us...

Listening... Hamilton soundtrack & and my "Alabama" playlists!

Wondering... What's up with you right now!?


3TT / 2

1 - What's old is new again!

20171101_152728

This funny old table used to be in the coffee shop a long time ago. I used it at home for a while, and had a plate glass top made for it. Eventually, it moved back to the coffee shop, but in the upstairs work area. Lately, it's been hanging out in Ali's garage... and she'd been trying to find a new home for it.

Well, guess what?!! I have a home and a need and... this is why KonMari-ing, Death Cleaning, purging, etc., CAN BE SO HARD!

2 - Ali also has the perfect 2-basin stainless steel sink in need of a home... I am so lucky.

3 - I should have taken a before photo, but I didn't...

20171101_171841

This is currently the only thing hanging on our refrigerator and, well, that bare naked almond fridge it's practically blinding us every time we turn around. I am so ready to take delivery of a new fridge on Saturday!

Joining Carole for Three on Thursday -- check it out!


Unraveled Wednesday / 1

KNITTING. I mentioned the Stillness Collection a little over a month ago; I'd ordered it, and have since received it. On Saturday, I wound some yarn and cast on the first-favorited project -- the one that initially stopped me in my tracks -- Abulón by Isabell Kraemer.

20171101_105513

Naturally, I'm knitting it on straight needles instead of circs. I'm using a bouncy, squishy yarn that I call Realize Sport; I recently dyed the yarn for the outer layer to complement the orange that I wanted to use for the inner layer. It's really fun knitting, and the design would be easily customized as to size by varying the yarn and/or the number of repeats. I predict that this will be finished in no time!

20171101_105548

READING. Here's what's on my list right now:

On Deck:

One more photo...

20171101_105607

Another result of all the work around here is that in addition to "discovering" my dye studio, I may also have discovered my new favorite place for taking photos!

Speaking of that work, there has been nothing but "back-up beeps" and the clanging of dump trucks & bobcats today as they prep the road for BLACKTOP!! YaHOOOOO. At latest, the actual application of the blacktop will happen tomorrow.

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!


Ten on Tuesday: Blog, blog, blog (reprise)

Whaddya know? The timing couldn't be more perfect for an update to this 2yo post.

10 Tips/Ideas/Topics for Daily Blogging in November

aka National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo!

I can't not do it, having done it every year since 2009. I am not and have never been much of a planner when it comes to blogging... I almost always blog by the seat of my pants! That said, I usually keep some ideas in mind for NaBloPoMo*!

Cher-turn-back-time-daylight-savings-clock

1.  Daylight Savings Time (also PSA)! Everyone has a thought about that! DST ends on November 5th this year.

2.  Photos! A good photo (or three) is sometimes all that's needed (though I am certainly guilty of posting a not-so-good photo at crunch time). "Saturday Sky" and NaBloPoMo are a match made in heaven.

3.  My Birthday! Lucky for me, my birthday is in November and that's always good for a post or two.

4.  Weekending! A few photos along with some words on a Monday morning to share weekend doings -- there are five only four Mondays this November.

5.  Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving -- planning, prep, cooking, decorating, celebrating -- can be good for a few (or more) posts.

6.  Holidays! Fast on the heels of Thanksgiving, there's planning, prep & decorating to do!

7.  Knitting! Sewing! Most of us are knitters, some sew; there may be a recent FO to share, some holiday projects or a WIP that's seeing some action.

8.  Ten on Tuesday! Even though the official ToT Linkup hosted for so long by Carole is now defunct, I may do this for a Tuesday or four in November.

9.  a) Unraveled Wednesday! b) Throwback or c) Three Things Thursday! d) Flashback Friday! e) Saturday Sky!

10.  Don't Stress. I try not to agonize over NaBloPoMo. Not every post is going to be stellar (guaranteed). I don't have to write a daily dissertation (I don't even have to write). And I try to be flexible (which is easy to do when the planning is loose to begin with) and open to whatever comes along!

So, are you ready? Are you in??

*I've been unable to find an "official" NaBloPoMo host or linkup this year, for whatever that's worth ~


Weekending: Windows

As part of the ongoing/seemingly never-ending water & sewer re-do in the neighborhood, Rusty was asked to open a window to make it easier getting the new lines into our basement. Hopefully, that work is happening today; if not today, then tomorrow.

20171028_153530

That window hasn't budged an inch since we moved in 30+ years ago! It took a little convincing & leverage, but it was done. I was amused when Rusty climbed up on the outside sill. That wall he's standing on is at least 3' thick. Crazy.

20171029_161926

Anyway, as a result of opening that window, say hello to my new dye studio! Well, it will be. Rusty had to get a bunch of other/unused stuff out of the way for those guys, too, leaving a bit of a blank slate. I had eyed up a different room in the basement for this purpose, but there were a few too many strikes/hurdles. I didn't really even consider this area until now (so THANKS to the ongoing/seemingly never-ending water & sewer re-do in the neighborhood???), but it has everything -- natural light, water, power. It just needs some cleaning up & prettifying! Ya-freakin-hoo. I've been dyeing a bit more lately and it's such a PITA having to pull everything out and put it all away every.single.time.

Speaking of which...

20171029_134713

New project with little "windows" on the needles.

20171029_134740

I'm not saying anything more about that now except hand-dyed mostly speckled yarn and, at the moment, I am living for the rare red-orange bits. More on Unraveled Wednesday -- which is also Day 1 of NaBloPoMo!! I'm actually bucking my usual m.o. of nearly 14 years (9th year of NaBloPoMo) and planning some posts in advance!

There it is, a window into my world right now. Hope you had a great weekend!


FO: Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows

It is done.* It's a SUPER fun "recipe" that results in something different every single time. Mine is mostly stockinette, with a little bit of garter, and lots of random stripes; others used lace or colorwork and much more sophisticated patterning. As of now, there are over 100 of these shawls either finished or in progress and they are all utterly unique!!

20171024_165850

20171024_165702
20171024_165702

I loved knitting it and would certainly have been finished sooner if it had been more portable. I had a "bucket" full of yarn possibilities -- not easily toted around -- many of which never saw the light of day.

There are a few mistakes. I lost count a few times, so there unequal stitches on either side of the spine here and there. I forgot to begin decreases when I was supposed to, so one tail is longer than the other. My tension could have been much better on the edges.

But I sure do love it. There are a few more photos on my Ravelry project page.

I can see wearing it a few ways. One would be scrunched up loose & casual, like this:

20171024_165850
20171024_165850

But it's wide enough that it could be folded in half, a bit more crisp & purposeful:

20171024_165930
20171024_165930

It is super cozy... I have reason to know!

20171024_165740
As is the case so many times, the Packers inadvertently make their way into my knitting.

*Due to my already tight/wonky edge, I won't knit on the I-cord border, but I reserve the right to add tassels at any time and/or whenever the mood strikes!


Hamilton rising

There are no fewer than One Million Things that I could be/want to be knitting right now... only a slight exaggeration.

Last night I cast on HAMILTON BALL.

IMG_20171023_224206

I bought the kit at last year's Indie Untangled prelude to Rhinebeck, so it's not like it flew in out of nowhere. Maddy is taking me and her BFF to Hamilton Chicago in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, and I thought this (along with a really nice after-show dinner) would be a nice Thank You for that.


Well, the weekend...

Was full of color! I love the golden glow right now; the leaves are falling fast, though.

20171021_133031

I played around with some yarn & color on Saturday morning while I watched the Rhinebeck parade on social media...

20171021_133031
And gave my Arrows a soak (more on that -- an FO -- very soon)!

20171021_171832

There was also a little sunshine in the form of a finished MDK Log Cabin Warshrag, which I finally finished on Sunday; #1 from the Field Guide, with an extra 6 rows all the way around. It measures about 9.5 x 10".

IMG_20171022_211819_004

There was some interesting mail. Pieces have begun arriving from around the globe (this one from Germany) for a new show that Kate's putting together.

20171021_101221

On his way home from a week-long teaching gig in Door County, Rusty found an old envelope in an abandoned house... I loved the stamp & postmark. They don't make 'em like they used to.
20171021_101221

And family. That kitty is pretty wary of the kids, but Grandpa helps keep everyone calm.

20171022_143905

Gin had her first haircut recently -- sort of a "bob" -- and it's just adorable!!

How was your weekend? I hope it was good!!


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...

DIGGERS ON MY STREET!

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...

DIGGERS AT MY HOUSE!

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

20171018_135159

20171018_133310

20171018_133056

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.

20171018_152703

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!

Astronaut-Scott-Kelly-My-Journey-to-the-Stars

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!

And in KNITTING:

20171017_173332
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:

1508419956209

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??


Autumn Leaves

20171015_152658

Back yard favorite.

Junah & Gin helped me pitch walnuts down the hill on Sunday (where, someday, I imagine there will be an actual "walnut grove"). I thought we had a banner year a couple years ago, but no... I don't remember ever seeing the back yard literally carpeted with walnuts. Jün was using a shovel!


Random Friday

I still don't quite get how it works, but there's a hose at my outside faucet and that's where our water is coming from right now. It's flowing "backwards" into my house from... somewhere/I don't know where. "Free water," they said. Woohoo. It works. It's weird, but it works.

The water/sewer contractor does not work on Fridays, so... bleh, see ya next week, fellas.

I've pushed the new fridge delivery as far as I can: November 4th.

At least I'm able to drive down my street and park in my own garage. I don't really mind that I've had to park my car two blocks away all week, but it's weird.

Screenshot_20170930-234616

Kate snapped this photo of some of my potatoes the other day. I made some more last night... and there's only enough for probably one more meal. So sad! They're so good. I am definitely planting more next year, somewhere/somehow!

1507469200815-59728a2b-7121-4fd0-8cf7-0aa08706e2c4_

Cabin decor (in the bathroom). Maddy's been super into paint-by-number lately, so I thought of her every time I saw it.

20171012_172813

New aubergine boots... MAKE ME SO HAPPY! I was a rebel and wore sandals to work yesterday (thankfully, I had some socks in my tote bag and wore them instead for much of the day). We went to an art opening at UWGB's Lawton Gallery last night and boots were perfect.

20171012_172919

Yes! That's Kate's gallery.  ;)

There were some interesting pieces:

20171012_180333
20171012_180333
20171012_180333
20171012_180333
20171012_180333

Carol Emmons: RetroSpectacle. The installation surveys three decades of work by Carol, UWGB Professor Emerita in Art & Design. There's much to see and it is quite something.

20171012_181326

There's usually something at an art opening that catches my eye in the crowd, too. I loved this wrap!

Have a great weekend, will ya? Whatcha got planned?


Unraveled + 3TT - FO: Another Striped Hat

Ooops, a day late with the Unraveling! Things got away from me yesterday. We're all a bit frazzled 'round here for some reason... all that heavy equipment outside, shutting off water, temporarily hooking up water, new refrigerator delivery delayed... everyone's been so nice, but... frazzled!

THREE THINGS THURSDAY

One -- A Finished Object! I knit a hat for Gin/Jün while we were in the U.P. I cast on Saturday morning in our cottage as we drank coffee. I continued while Rusty walked the blustery beach at Whitefish Point, and as we made our way from here to there and everywhere. I finished on Sunday as we watched the Packer game on TV. This photo is after the 3-needle bind-off but before sewing the side seam -- I had to take my opportunity to dash outside while there was still a bit of natural light!

20171008_182951

  • Ravelry Project Page: Another Striped Hat for Gin
  • Pattern: This is what I did (an unvented pattern as follows)
    • CO 98 sts (includes 1 selvage st at each side)
    • Work 2x2 rib for 2” (begin each row with slip and k1 or p1)
    • Work in stockinette stitch, with or without stripes, for approx. 6.75" (including ribbing)
    • Knit half-way across, then fold & manipulate needles as needed in order to work 3-needle bind-off
    • Sew up side seam
  • Yarn:
    • Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids (Pinks #48 & 21)
    • Malabrigo Yarn Rios (#57 English Rose)
  • Needles:  US 6
  • Start to Finish:  October 7-8, 2017

Two -- Reading. Ali was working on Tuesday morning when I stopped at the coffee shop on the way to work. She said with a wink that Jün was planning to sleep over again! That was fine by me! He was excited to find the books we'd read the week before still upstairs:

IMG_20171011_123633_206
IMG_20171011_123633_206

The Little House has been a favorite since I was a child, and I'm so happy to read it again. Bushbaby was a favorite of Maddy's -- likely purchased at a book fair!

IMG_20171011_123633_209

There was an old Living magazine up there, which we paged through... those cookies on the cover were quite interesting! And he pointed to Julia Roberts in an ad and said, "That's Maddy"!

Then Harry hit the scene!

IMG_20171011_123633_211

He found all of Maddy's well-read Harry Potter paperbacks on the bookshelf and was apparently quite intrigued! He pulled them out -- plus a couple of others -- and added them to the reading pile!

IMG_20171011_123633_279

He seemed happy enough with my reading of one random page from each book in the stack!

In terms of my own, I am still reading Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages) and listening to Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am enjoying both quite a bit, even though it's been slow going. "Big Magic" came out of nowhere... I'm not usually into self-help-ish books very much, but her TED Talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, is still one of my favorites -- and I fell in love with her voice.

Three -- Knitting. Yeah. Woman [continues to] Make Her Own Arrows.

20171009_203129

I'm on the final section, which I'm knitting as a color "shift," these are the colors I've chosen -- now I just have to get going! (once I'm less frazzled)

Joining Kat/Carole for Unraveling/Three on Thursday -- check them out!


Sunday: Seney National Wildlife Refuge & Kitch-iti-kipi

The wind & rain was hard enough to wake me up on Saturday night, even before the front screen door got caught and started banging! Sunday morning dawned lovely & bright, though.

20171008_113315

We began with leisurely coffee & breakfast, then cleaning & packing up for the trip home.

20171008_110123

After all of my whirlwind travel this year -- especially the dashing through Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Saint Louis -- Annie says that perhaps I should consider adding a day to all of my future travel plans.

I didn't take that advice for this little jaunt, but that's exactly why we only went to the U.P.!

We checked out right on time and headed over to the Seney National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy the 7-mile Marshland Wildlife Drive. Yes! I spotted the eagle nest (but not eagles). It was so beautiful and quiet... except for the trumpeting swans and whatnot. We spotted a few swan families -- the young swans almost as big as their parents, but still unmistakably gray.

From there, we drove toward Manistique and Kitch-iti-kipi (The Big Spring), and was that ever worth the price of admission (even Rusty agreed)! I am sure that this would have been incredible even in the rain, but I'm so glad that it was sunny & bright!

20171008_124218
20171008_124218

We're waiting for the self-operated observation raft to return, top, and Rusty's straight across (in pink) peering through the middle of the boat during our voyage, above.

20171008_125451

He's looking at something like this! Those are all fish... and their shadows. If you look closely, you can see some circular patterns in the sandy bottom and those are where the water that feeds this spring bubbles through -- at the rate of 10,000 gallons per minute! It was mesmerizing. All of it.

20171008_125657

The water is super-clear! And chilly!

20171008_130232

Twice, I heard a fish jump, and was then even more mesmerized by the "waves of light" left by the ripples as they moved across the water, the shadows crawling across the sandy bottom; I barely captured it in this photo (dumbstruck, I was)!

We drove down to Garden in the Garden Peninsula, had lunch overlooking the bay, and then hit the road for home in earnest. We arrived at around 4:30 -- in time to sit down and enjoy the second half of the Packer game with Kate (we won, yahoo!).


Saturday: Tahquamenon Falls & Whitefish Point

It was a damp  & drippy on Saturday morning. We'd planned to visit Tahquamenon Falls, and figured that a waterfall would be pretty even in the rain... and, since it was raining, thought we might practically have the place to ourselves.

20171007_131723

Hahaha. Well, we got the first part right, though the rain let up and it was barely a mist by the time we arrived... to find a nearly full parking lot!! 

That's the Upper Falls -- one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It is beautiful beyond words!

We drove up to the Lower Falls and took a quick look... while also incredibly beautiful, there was a bit of a hike to get a really good look... but mostly there were people! Instead, we decided to visit Whitefish Point; Rusty was intrigued after seeing a billboard!

But first, a quick little lunch at the park concession stand.

20171007_140631

My share of a dish of "Michigan Pothole" ice cream for dessert!

20171007_141501

A drippy drive.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Whitefish Point Light Station are located at Whitefish Point.

20171007_160008
a.k.a. Graveyard of the Great Lakes.

20171007_151057

20171007_151007
20171007_151007

20171007_151129

The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her

I was in high school about 30 miles south of Lake Superior in 1975, and the wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald was huge news.

Whitefishpointpano

While Rusty took a blustery hike around the Point...

20171007_153820

I worked on a new hat for Gin that I'd cast on over morning coffee.

We re-traced our steps through Tahquamenon on our return, and decided to check out one of the hiking paths. It was a short, squishy little hike and we didn't go very far, but I found so many mushrooms!

20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819
20171007_163819

I'd recently gone to a presentation about mushrooms at our local nature center, so it was really fun to spot some that we'd talked about! Nature is cool.

On the way back to our place, we drove by a derelict motel and were intrigued enough to make a u-turn in order to investigate more.

20171007_175903
20171007_175903
20171007_175903
20171007_175903

This, one of many roadside motels that we passed by, reminded us of a storybook cottage/village. Unfortunately, most are in a similar state, though I'd argue that this one holds some treasures within. It was as if time stood still... someone turned that sign to "CLOSED" one day, and never looked back (though I think they might still live next door). Recession, astronomical gas prices, changes in the way people spend their vacation time... whatever the reason they closed in the first place (and not terribly long ago, as all of the little cottages had satellite dishes affixed), the weather is definitely taking it's toll now.

20171007_184304

We returned to our little cottage long enough to wipe a little of the mud off of ourselves and watch a bit of sunset before heading out for dinner. We went just a few miles up the road to Chamberlin's Ole Forest Inn -- where we didn't have a reservation because, I don't know... we seriously underestimated the goings-on of October in the U.P.! It was only a half-hour wait, and a gorgeous evening to sit on the porch with a cocktail. Rusty enjoyed stuffed whitefish and I had the most delectable pan-fried bluegill. It was cozy & charming!

Stay tuned for Day 2!


Weekending: Pure Michigan

Rusty & I skipped town just as soon as we were able on Friday, headed north to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a quick weekend getaway.

20171007_120819

We stayed in a little cottage at Lakeshore Resort on South Manistique Lake that I'd found on Airbnb. After stopping for dinner and crossing from Central to Eastern time, we didn't arrive until about 11pm... unpacked and went to bed, set for a full day ahead!

20171007_112905
20171007_112905
20171007_112905

It stormed on both Friday & Saturday nights, and was rainy & wet on Saturday, but we managed to do the things & go the places we'd wanted (and then some), and the colors were beautiful! I brought along this pair of Merrell clogs that Ann had given me when  she moved to Spain. I'd never worn them and almost gave them back to her over the summer, but I'm so glad I didn't! They were perfect for some of the "squish" hiking we did, but comfy & cute, too; that's always where I'm at in regards to shoes, no matter the occasion! ;)

I'll be back with more -- details & photos (so many photos)! I hope you had a great weekend!


TGIF!!

Eight years ago!!

KCT-09

We just had Knit Night here last night. I'd hoped that the remodel/update would be complete, but it hasn't even started yet! Contractor fell off a ladder just before it was scheduled to begin and has a new titanium elbow to show for it... indestructible now! No firm date yet, but it'll hopefully happen in the next month or so. Sheesh.

Anyway, today's the anniversary: Ali's owned this little gem for EIGHT YEARS already!

Jun-1
Jun-1
Jun-1

Jün wanted to do some watering the other day... and I ran inside to grab an actual camera! I need to do this more often. I love my phone for ease & portability, and the picture quality is pretty amazing, but this...

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Three Things Today

One.

This is getting old real fast. Even Junah seemed to have his fill yesterday, though we did spend a fair amount of time peering through the front door, sitting on the front porch, and standing on the sidewalk to observe operations.

IMG_20171003_184942_323

Usually, I'm leaving for work as the workers arrive, but yesterday (my day off) we needed to have our vehicles moved by 7am or we weren't getting out until end of day. Same for today & tomorrow. They're finishing with the water line & new fire hydrant, then beginning the sewer line work at the other end of the street. Next week, from Monday-Thursday, we won't have street access at all, as they will be replacing the sewer line. Ugh, the schlepping...

Two.

On Tuesday, Junah finally had his first sleepover at our house since he was around a year old. He said yesterday that he'd like to stay at my house EVERYDAY, so I'd say it was a resounding success!

20171004_075326

Good morning! He woke up so happy... and so snuggly!

20171004_075811

Trains before breakfast!

20171004_075811
20171004_075811

Trains after breakfast!

Jün was the lucky recipient of a very nice hand-me-down set of tracks and we had fun with different configurations. Fresh batteries for James, the engine, made for happy times!

Tumbling was terrific! Participating and engaging a bit more each week! Yesterday, he even hit the mat.

IMG_20171004_140348_648

We stopped for an early lunch and I'm glad we did! That boy was hungry (and so adorable).

20171004_115317

He has recently discovered the wonders inside my "depression glass cupboard," which, over the years, has evolved into a bit of a treasure box. In addition to my favorite green glass pieces, it holds some of the kids' elementary school ceramics, origami birds that my cousin made in remembrance of Sharon, Christmas ornaments that Sharon made, some ceramic pieces made by Grandma Blum (including an epic failure that she kept to keep her humble and to demonstrate to her students that it happens!), a pewter vase that my mom made in an art metals class in the '70s, so many mouse figurines, a few photos, some shells, old marbles, dried/preserved flowers, souvenir shot glasses & vintage spoons... just all sorts of trinkets.

He especially likes the marbles and all the little porcelain eggs. He's gentle & careful, and so far, so good.

Three.

I had a hair appointment yesterday. Kate, my stylist, gave me a little trim and some '70s tousled waves -- I believe my hair is the longest it's ever been. Ever!

IMG_20171004_155848_836

I think I had dried tears & snot on my shirt (there was one little melt-down prior to going home yesterday) and I'm wearing no makeup (yay, shades), but I felt like a million bucks when I took this selfie in the Home Depot parking lot (waiting to meet Kate). I particularly love how my "highlights" are showing here. I'm nearing the beginning my 60th decade on this planet... um, hello, I think I'm ready. BRING IT!!

_ _ _ _ _

Head over here to read about more Things!


Unraveled Wednesday - FO: Oblique!

After nearly 10 years... it's FINALLY an FO!!

Resized952017092995115858

Resized952017092995115837
Resized952017092995115837
Resized952017092995115837
Resized952017092995115837

Originally intended for myself, I've "outgrown" it; Maddy instantly loved it and, well, isn't she adorable? Photos by Kate! And lots of 'em... because it took so long for me to finally finish, and it's a pretty great sweater!

Resized952017092995115901(0)
Resized952017092995115901(0)
Resized952017092995115901(0)

Why so long? Good gravy, I don't know!

It was a contender for Finishing in the 2010 Olympics and I wrote, "I want this one finished most of all."

Here's how that went:

Oblique

At Opening Ceremonies:  All of the pieces were knit and blocked.  I needed to sew them up, knit the collar, attach buttons.

At Closing Ceremonies:  Sleeves are sewn in and collar is underway.  I've had several false starts on that collar, and some difficulty determining Right from Wrong -- I'm pretty sure I'd have made it if I'd been thinking more clearly.  Three-quarters of the way, I tore it out completely and started over last night.  I'll be casting off tonight and all that will remain are side and sleeve seams and the sewing on of three buttons.  I cannot wait.  I love this thing.

Um, yeah. I loved it and yet...

It looks like the buttons might be a bit wonky, and it might need a snap... but I'm not sure how much it'll actually be buttoned anyway, so we'll just see about that. I'm thrilled that it's finished and even more thrilled that there is someone else who loves it!

_ _ _ _ _

Reading: Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages)

Listening: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert


Dear October,

You're looking to be another fairly quiet month with just enough "fun stuff" to keep it interesting! (Not the least of which is delivery of a new refrigerator!)

Rusty & I are planning a quick weekend get-away (we're getting good at that) to the U.P. The weather looks a bit iffy at this point, but I'm hoping we can get outside to enjoy a little hiking, lots of lakeshore(s), a sunset, a couple of waterfalls. We're pretty good at indoor stuff, too, though! The resort cottage looks cute and I'm looking forward to checking it out. My favorite part of the description of the general area is that there's "an ATM machine and a gas station." Yep, that's just my speed for a U.P. vacay.

Tumbling continues every Wednesday through this month and then it's over already! It's so much fun to watch Junebean progress each week, and I love having a little one-on-one time with him.

I did a better better in September than I did in August with the 1 Second Everyday thing, and here's to a better October!!

From where I'm sitting, I think that my Arrow shawl could be finished by month's end. I have wound a pink & green Crazy Zauberball to make a helical-striped hat for Gin (a.k.a., portable knitting). I've also pulled a few projects from the depths and need to make some more decisions!

20170930_121725

One of those things is this Log Cabin Throw that my mother was working on. She didn't make the top; I'm pretty sure it was acquired at an auction. It was in a bag with another, much larger white piece of fabric (backing), and a package of lightweight cotton batting. Was she hedging her bets?

20170930_121813

I don't know much about it (or quilting in general), except that it appears it was made by sewing the strips onto another piece of fabric. I assume that Mom bought the backing fabric, and that she had begun to sew, but only just -- one of the tiny red center squares has been stitched in the ditch (by hand). And that's where it's at. There's no batting, no obvious (to me) plan for binding/finishing.

20170930_121858

The backing has been basted to the front with blue thread in one direction only. I'm not sure of the course or how to proceed.

20170930_121834

What do you think? It's so cute and I've always loved the Log Cabin design... it would be fun to finish it somehow. Carry on? Start over? Use batting?

Well, anyway, I'm looking forward to a fairly quiet month because once November rolls in, it's going to be GO-GO-GO until the new year. It's all good -- excellent, in fact -- but GO.

Love, Vicki


Weekending: Almost perfect

On Friday night, we bit the bullet and finally ordered a new fridge! I've only been yearning/threatening about this for years. Our current fridge is the last of the original appliances that Rusty & I bought in 1985. The fridge space in our kitchen is quite limited, though, and it hasn't been easy to find a style both that I like and that fits.

Early Saturday morning -- at 2:22am, to be specific -- I woke up and wondered how we were going to get the new fridge into the space! And, for that matter, how we'd get the old one out! I just glossed over all of the info I saw about that, I guess, because if I finally found a fridge that more or less* fit into the space, there was no question that it was going to happen. Period. I spent an hour tossing & turning, barely able to keep from getting up & grabbing a tape measure (the first thing I did when the sun came up), and we definitely have a pickle. It can come in the front door and it's a straight shot to the kitchen from there, but it'll be all hands on deck to lift it over the island (pretty sure the delivery guys will have no part of that)! Ditto the old.

*Um, yes. There's a cabinet above the fridge that's going to be reconfigured. I spent some time on Saturday cleaning out & organizing the pantry cupboard so that I could empty that cabinet for removal.

Hopefully, we'll take delivery on Thursday afternoon/evening. Stay tuned, though, because the heavy equipment is making its way ever closer and we already had a UPS driver unable to navigate to our house one day last week.

20171001_133710

In other news -- SURPRISE!! I spent some time with a couple of super-cute kids!

20171001_135131

The weather was great, so we spent a lot of time outside -- walking/scootering to the park, playing on the playground, eating hot dogs & burgers (there was a baseball tournament going on so lots of kids, and the concession stand was open). When we got back home, we gathered walnuts in the back yard and chucked them into the ravine, had some fun with chalk & water (it's been a favorite activity this summer), changed clothes & threw in a load of laundry, and had some fun indoors.

20171001_135157

I owe Junah a new pair of shoes! Ali just bought these the day before... he used them for scooter brakes.

The ball got rolling over the weekend in my workroom, too. I spent a few really good hours getting things cleaned up & organized, and making plans. I frogged one project, and wound yarn for another (that's been on my mind for months). There's plenty more to do but I'm feeling great about the progress!

I hope you had an almost perfect -- or maybe even perfect -- weekend, too!


Right Now: September... whoosh!

Acknowledging... On Monday, I had reason to count ahead some weeks on the calendar and realized that it's only SIX WEEKS until my birthday, HAMILTON in Chicago, and a trip to ALABAMA & TENNESSEE. But that's November and this is still September! (But, only six weeks!)

Anticipating... An early October quick get-away with Rusty to the U.P. (That's the Upper Peninsula... as in Michigan, for those not from 'round here.) We're staying at a little lake resort cabin in a place completely new to us, and plan to hit the Lake Superior shoreline and also do a little hiking. I've had reports that the fall color should be pretty great!

Avoiding... some bookwork that I really need to buckle down and do.

Drinking... PAMA + gin + lime juice + club soda. Tart & refreshing.

Eating... Pretty well. I wasn't good at meal planning over the summer, and am committed to doing it more. The two classes that Kate teaches at UWGB are in the early evening and, especially with the increasing darkness and because Winter Is Coming, she will likely stay at our house those evenings (saving about 20 commuting miles each day). I/we have recommitted to planning for at least those days! Last night it was WW Italian Spinach & Tortellini Soup (yay SOUP!) -- a double batch for the whole family (plus leftovers for lunch) -- over for the football game.

Happy... to learn yesterday that Natalie Chanin is working on a new Craftsy class! The previous one is not offered anymore because the accompanying Donna Karan pattern has been discontinued. I imagine the new class might include an actual Alabama Chanin pattern, or something over which they have more control.

Knitting... Arrows! Darn it, I forgot to get a progress photo last night.

Listening... Echoes of Vietnam on Spotify. (See Watching...) Also, related playlists

Spotify also sent Your Time Capsule this morning -- the most memorable tracks from your teenage years. So far, they've NAILED IT.

Looking forward to... the weekend! I'm going to take the kids for a while on Sunday so Ali & Rod can get a few things done at home without distraction.

Needing to... Get my yarn under control. (See also Organizing...)

Organizing... My workroom. Still. Always. With a few projects finished and on their way to great destinations, I got right to it the other day, making a GIGANTIC mess! It's one of those tasks where it's going to get worse before it gets better. I made some progress and I'm excited to continue.

Reading/Audio... Nothing yet! I haven't had a chance to really concentrate on finding an audio book... don't know what I'm in the mood for right now, I guess. It's the first time I haven't had book in my ears since I signed up with Audible a year and a half ago!

Reading/Pages... Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen.

Reading/Screen... Hillbilly Elegy (still) (well, sort of... I really haven't looked at it in a while).

IMG_20170928_223940_310

Sewing... I finished stitching the Alabama Chanin "Wisconsin fish," sent it back to its owner, and boy I sure hope she likes it! (As in, I hope I didn't go over the top!) There are still a couple of tops underway. And last night, I sewed the buttons on Maddy's Oblique cardigan!

Surprised by... Maddy's return from the Boundary Waters after one week instead of three. She sent me a text on Wednesday stating that "we quit the wilderness - so many storms and cold winds!" "Awesome trip though." I love that they didn't force it. She has a lot of leftover SPAM. Haha.

Rusty-vietnam

Direct from his "Vietnam and Other Tales" scrapbook, my then 22-year-old husband in Vietnam. First a company clerk, he later directed an arts and crafts program where soldiers could enjoy making models, jewelry and other art, instead of (or in addition to), ahem, other types of R&R popular at the time.

Watching... The Vietnam War. I've been recording it and, so far, we've watched only E1. I've already learned some things.

Wearing... A sweater. It's Sweater Weather!

Wondering... What's up with you right now!?


Things

I spy...

20170927_102621

One. Tumbling. Well, it went a little better than last week! I'd say that I still got a bit more of a workout than Jün, but he definitely participated more... not on the mat with everyone else, but off to the side. More engaged, but on his terms!

We headed to my house after Tumbling and had a snack, before taking a little walk to check out all the sewer/water work being done in the neighborhood. He had a jacket along, but I thought it was high time and very appropriate to pull out the Wonderful Wallaby Hoodie that Mack had commissioned 9 years ago (!!) with the dump truck on it!

20170927_105834

I chuckled to myself a couple of times yesterday, when I was tempted to write a tongue-in-cheek post about being CHILLY! Haha. Seriously, though, yesterday's high temp was 62°F! It was 87° on Monday, 77° on Tuesday, and 62° on Wednesday... that's a pretty quick change to get used to at this time of year!! Today it's 70° and that is My Happy Place.

There were so many things to see! There's been a lot of work on the next street over this summer, partly because it's been extended by about 50 feet. With the main work done, the replacement of individual water lines has begun, so there were diggers of all sizes and configurations, lots of "men at work," and plenty of dirt, concrete, gravel, and dump truck action. A few of the guys greeted Junah, one of them asking if he was ready to get to work! If that wasn't enough, there were two big diggers working on a huge trench in the middle of the next next street over. Junah was noticing lots of little details and, well, he was just in heaven for about a half-hour!

Just wait until they're right in front of my house!! 

20170927_083932

Two. Also from the 9-year mark on the Wayback Machine... I had jumped and began knitting this blanket to donate for a cause that quickly became sort of mirky and weird, so I never sent it. I never used it nor gave it away to any other cause... nothing; it's just been shuffling around my work area for 9 years. It had occurred to me many times to drop it off at a shelter, but it just never happened. Then, I learned about the Welcome Blanket project, and the ultimate path was crystal clear. I washed & dried it in the machine to make sure it would hold up, which it did, so I wrote my card, boxed it up, and dropped it at the P.O. yesterday. The deadline for blanket submissions has been extended to November 4th, so check it out!

20170926_181414

Three. Can you believe it's the end of September??

_ _ _ _ _

Head over here to read about more Things in Threes!


Weekending: Some Like It Hot

But I'm not one of them! I can't wait for tomorrow's transition, when it will be only 82°F, on the way to a more seasonable mid-60s to 70 to close September.

20170922_185401

All kinds of new paint, flags, and stakes have appeared over the past week along my 2-block-long street, and soon things will be happening! This is at the other end, and something of a staging area with all kinds of heavy equipment, job trailer, pipe, new fire hydrants, etc. It's been quite a project and we've been dealing with water pressure issues from time to time. On Saturday, I thought I'd take advantage of a short window of opportunity and get some yarn dyed. I cleaned up my work area, got everything out, and... no water! Zero!! Apparently, there was a break in a water main. Blah. So much for that opportunity.

20170923_153828

I watched the kids for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. We took a couple of hot & sticky walks/rides outside. Junah was excited to show me the "pumpkin patch" in the neighborhood (some gourds spilling onto the sidewalk), and where the switches are on some nearby railroad tracks. There was a little water in the sandbox/table, and Gin didn't even mind when Jün poured a little on her back. I kept suggesting that a bath would sure feel good, but they weren't buying it.

20170923_170635

On Saturday evening, Rusty & I cleaned up a bit and headed out to the Gala Opening of The Forst Inn in Tisch Mills. It's actually a re-opening, after having closed in 2014 after nearly 150 years. Rusty was invited to check it out as a potential future exhibitor in the new art gallery. I knew a couple of people in/related to the band, too, so it was fun.

Photo is courtesy of Kate! She spent a bit of time at home over the weekend... doing laundry, running errands, and watching a football game on Sunday afternoon!

20170924_140542

Prior to game time, I took some time for a bit of stitching/embellishing. This is a small, crazy-fun piece that I'm working on somewhat stealthily at the moment... I've enjoyed taking these weird, sort of abstract close up photos of the project all along, and look forward to sharing them someday!

20170924_183234

During the game, I finished the first tail of Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows. There was just enough daylight left to dash out and take a photo! There are some amazing finished projects, and certainly among my favorites is the designer Larissa's! I hope I like wearing mine even half as much as I've enjoyed knitting it. It's really a fun project. Stitches are picked up for the other tail... I have no idea what will evolve.

I received an invitation to a baby shower that will be held next month... that's plenty of time for some baby knitting. Now to decide on a project!


It's the First Day of Autumn

...and the hottest day of the year! The forecast is for 90°F, and close to that for the next three days, plus awful humidity & dew point.

20170922_065043

It was a pretty sunrise in my side-view mirror this morning (lost in translation, it was much more impressive IRL), but YUCK! It looks like we'll have one transition day near 80° before settling in for a little stretch right around 70° next week.

I'll just be over here taking it easy and staying cool. Happy Weekend!!


Three Things!

One.

Junah had has first Tumbling class yesterday and, well... I got a workout! I didn't do the somersaults (though I totally could have), but I did just about everything else. Jün finally warmed up a bit at the end. Whew! He became uncomfortable right at the start, when the instructor -- a family acquaintance -- recognized him and greeted him by name, but it's been a while and he didn't recognize her. She wasn't over the top or weird or anything, it was... all new, and it just didn't strike the right chord.

I have higher hopes for next week!

Also? Next round of classes? Dance!! Specifically, hip-hop. There was a class just finishing when we arrived and, OMG, you've never seen anything cuter than a toddler hip-hop dance class!!

20170920_105721

I had a couple of things to return to the library, so we stopped down there after Tumbling. I haven't been in a while, other than to pick up or drop off a book, and I am still amazed at what a great place we have.

The Tumbling class was held at the "old library" -- a beautiful, historic, but extremely small structure (even with the ca. 1976 addition) -- and the first thing Junah said when we arrived was, "It's not dirty. It's clean!!" So, hopefully, we've now expanded his definition of "old." I wanted to point out that the "new library" is actually housed in an even older building than the "old library," but thought that might be a little hard to grasp right now!

Ali & Gin popped down to meet us and the kids had a wonderful hour or so playing with other kids -- not too many -- all of similar ages.

Two.

I got out of work early on Tuesday and drove down to the farm/wedding venue to pick up my lost earring. I was only about 6 miles from the Rauch Cemetery, so stopped by to say hello to my great great grandfather, great great great grandparents, and various great great great great relatives, etc.

20170919_142550

I've been visiting this cemetery every few years for quite a while now... and it gets more mind boggling with every passing year.

20170919_142805

And sad.

20170919_142829
20170919_142829

But also beautiful.

Three.

Have you seen the Stillness Collection? I was about to add the fourth or fifth pattern to my Favorites on Ravelry when I just Favorited the whole darn thing and then placed my order for the book. Holy cow. What a fantastic collection of designers & patterns! Individual patterns will be available in December... but I'm not waiting!

_ _ _ _ _

Head over here to read about more Things... and to wish Carole a happy birthday!!


Unraveled Wednesday: a Forest Mystery

Knitting

I finished the knitting quite a while ago, but the FO photos didn't happen until I was under the gun.

IMG_3204

IMG_3208

Maddy shipped out a package to Kiwi Family yesterday, including this shawl that I knit with love, gratitude & appreciation for Kiwi Mom. I will likely never see it again, so I even got the big camera out and dragged my adorned dress form all the way down to the back yard to take photos!

IMG_3198
IMG_3198

And what a fun knit it was, too. Party on one side, garter stitch & increases on the other, and the result is wonderful. Those undulating, fern-/leaf-like cables are just so lovely.

The yarn is beautiful, and the end result is a good sized shawl that can be worn a couple of ways -- soft, warm & cozy!

I mentioned the other day that Maddy would be returning to New Zealand! She was offered a job for next season's "vintage," and will likely go back sometime in February or so; I don't know whether she'll stay with Kiwi Family again, but no doubt she'll visit.

Reading

I finished I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows; I listened to the audio book narrated by Emily Sutton, and rated in 4 stars.

My Goodreads review:

I Will Send RainI loved Emily Sutton-Smith's narration -- and it was best when she was in character. I am surprised to say that!! I don't usually care much for "voices," but she has the perfect timbre for both male and female characters, young or old; natural and quite believable. I almost felt that her regular reading voice was too perfect and precise.

View all my reviews

I'm not sure what to listen to next!

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!