About Me


Snowshoeing toward 2011

We took presents and dessert over to my Mom's yesterday.  She was ready to turn off her tree lights!  My brother called as we walked in and it was good to talk to him and niece Mariana, too.
Ben looking very north-woodsy.
Me in the quicksand snow!
Jim poses like Captain Morgan.
The snow was so deep, just like quicksand!  I had to let Jim and Ben be the trailblazers. I managed to break into a run, but took a face plant in the snow.  It was funny.  I felt like Randy from "A Christmas Story" trying to get up!  There were a few skiers out and we saw a doe and two fawns.  It is a quiet and beautiful place in the winter.  We had the rouladen cooking in the crock pot all afternoon and we were ready for Christmas supper when we got home.


Merry Christmas!

Snow on the ground...
Candy canes...
The tree is trimmed...
Santa Claus is coming...


Climbing toward 2011!

Yesterday my friend, Sebra, and I went to Vertical Endeavors in St. Paul.  As you can see, we had fun climbing.  Sebra's an experienced climber and I'm a novice.  She took my photo on my way up to the top!
A successful climb to the top--happy time!

This is just one of the climbing areas.

Floating down--so fun!

Sebra's a good teacher.  We had so much fun.


Ho-ho-ho look at all the snow!

The wind was very strong during the storm!
Little snowman
Ben is home.  All is right with the world.  His buddies came by last night.  We had a rib dinner and Muddy Paws Cheesecake for dessert.  The tree is up, the cards and presents are sent, snow is on the ground, and we just have to bake.  
This Christmas I am so grateful we are healthy (except for colds).  It is always a good way to begin a new year!  
Tomorrow we are expecting more snow.  Last weekend was the BIG snow.  One of the top five in Minnesota history!  Being snowed in certainly put one in a Christmasy mood.  We decorated the tree and I put up some decorations around the house.  
My new classes are up on the Shepherd's Choice website.  I am excited to teach new classes!

This was taken at night--the snow made it look much lighter!
Smiling suns
Cheery centerpiece
Flying high on the Christmas tree!
Making trenches for Eevee.



I picked up the needles again to make some more ornaments.  I was digging around and found a vintage reindeer chart.  It worked well for a knitted ornament.  
10.12.10  Gosh, time is whizzing by this month!  Now we've had the tree up since Sunday, and it's lovely despite no adornment!  I worked very hard on my schedule for my new classes.  I think we have good ones coming up!
14.12.10  This is becoming a long post!  We have the tree up and some decorations around the house.  Unfortunately, the house is a disaster.  It looks like a wrapping paper/yarn bomb went off.  I'll finish up the boxes to send tomorrow and then I can get things cleaned up before Ben comes home.  We will bake cookies this weekend.  
We had one of the top five snowfalls in Minnesota history last Saturday.  It was something!  The wind turned it into a blizzard.  Jim made paths for Eevee to use in the yard.  I shoveled a path for her on the deck and cleared the steps.
 Today was my day with my mother.  We went out to lunch.  I bundled her up and she loved seeing all the snow.  At 94, she just loves getting out and about.  Christmas music was playing in the restaurant.  When we went to the restroom, we sang "Winter Wonderland."  She forgot the words, but sang la-las with gusto!  We sang all the way back to her place and she was able to join in on the baking activity.  


Darth likes oatmeal for breakfast

I made the red Darth for Jim and he liked it, however, he wanted it to cover his earlobes.  In the stash was a whole skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky in oatmeal.  I added about 1/2-inch or so to the length and it's perfect.
For the first time since living overseas, we went to a restaurant for Thanksgiving.  Buca de Beppo had turkey with all the fixings (and pumpkin cannolis for dessert) as well as their usual Italian fare.  It is such a fun place to go and the atmosphere was festive and busy!  We bundled up Mom and brought her along.  She loved getting out and about.  She really likes the heated front seat in Jim's car.
So hard to believe it is Black Friday.  Jim went out to get Eevee a new dog bed.  He is taking his time or he is stuck in line somewhere!  I am watching all the hubbub on the news.    Now I have to get down to business and get the Christmas cards going and get some shopping done.  We went out this morning after the big rush.  We got Ben a nice top coat at Jos. A. Banks.  Next year a new suit will be in order.
Photo from Anthropologie's website
Since we were out and about, we looked around the shops at Arbor Lakes.  It was clear and very cold.  We stopped at Anthropologie--I love looking in there.  Anyway, Jim asked the sales lady about the "Adopt a Tree(s)" that were part of the holiday decorations.  All you had to do was choose one of the live trees and they put your name on a card hanging from the tree.  After Christmas we will pick up the tree and then when the ground thaws in the spring, we will be able to plant it.  What a great idea--a free tree!  I also got the cute dress in the photo.  It looked really cute and I think I will get a lot of wear out of it.  The fine-wale corduroy skirt is a lovely print and reminds me of Russian nesting dolls.


Happy Thanksgiving!

19.11.10  Next week is Thanksgiving.  I picked out our turkey yesterday.  We will have our dinner on Saturday because we will be taking Mom out on Thanksgiving day.  Actually, I am okay with that!  I love cooking, but it will feel less rushed and no clean-up after the meal.  Jim made reservations at a restaurant in Maple Grove.
I am getting the house ready for Ben's visit.  Jim will be picking him up with two more in tow on Saturday.  Today I found the Thanksgiving trolls.  Grandma C. got them for Ben when he was just a little guy and we put them out every year.  They are silly-cute and it would not be Thanksgiving without them.
The Colours of Ireland vest is back on the list of WIPs to finish.  It is a bit worrisome because I am working the back and am hoping to have enough for the fronts and trim.  Jim wants his Darth hat a bit longer to cover his earlobes, so Ben will probably get the first hat.  I have a skein of oatmeal Lamb's Pride Bulky in the stashand will use that for his hat.
23.11.10 When I got home from class on Sunday the guys were home.  It is always a relief to see them after the long trip home.
The temperature has dropped and the skies are clear.  Sunday the roads were treacherous, as we had a coating of ice on the roads.  The last wheel spinning class went well, and my students had some plied yarn at the end.  Now I have to regain my spinning mojo so we can have a more advanced class.  An art yarn class is in my future plans.
Something finally clicked with my last Wood Badge ticket.  I am just about finished with typing the last couple of months--February and March.  I should have it finished by the end of the week.  At last night's meeting the young scouts worked on a First Class requirement for first aid.  One of the Troop Guides was there and he did an awesome job with the boys.  Mike, the Scoutmaster, had a fun activity for the troop.  He cut foam tubinglengthwise in sections, marbles, and duct tape.  When I walked in the room, it was wild!  It was fun to see scouts of all ages building tracks for the marbles.


What a difference a week makes

Just when you think there is plenty of time before winter comes--watch out!  I woke up yesterday and looked out the kitchen window to a winter wonderland.  The weather report the night before predicted we would get snow, but I thought it might track southeast of us (as usual).  Wow!  Jim took me to work with Ben's car, with 4-wheel drive.  A little while ago I heard the snow plow go down the street; at least we have a clear path through the neighborhood.  One advantage to living in Minnesota is that we know how to handle snow!
I still had my dual-cable hat class and it was so nice to have one of my friends in class.  The other gal couldn't get out because of the snow, so we'll do a make-up class later.  Hopefully the weather will be nicer next weekend.  Now my challenge is to find a good parking spot and not slip and fall with Louie in hand!  That would not be pretty.  Today we will work on plying yarn.  I'm gathering some samples of yarn I have spun from different types of fibers.  I re-marked pages in my book and printed out some free information from Spin-Off Magazine.  It is the same brochure we received in spin class at Woolenworks in Texas. 
Progress on the second mitten is going well.  I was waiting for Jim after class and I wandered around the shop looking at patterns, etc.  I found a beautiful book by Anna Zilboorg, Magnificent Mittens & Socks: The Beauty of Warm Hands and Feet.  The projects look like the mittens I'm knitting, but on steroids.  They are beautiful works of art. 
18.11.10  I was asked by a fellow Raveler (choochooknits on Ravelry) to test-knit her hat pattern called Darth.  I like the story behind it.  The ribbing design looks like Darth Vader's mask and the minute her husband put it on he said, "Luke, I am your fa-ther".  Anyway, I had some lovely red Lamb's Pride Bulky in the stash and went to work.  I really enjoyed making it and it was a quick project.  I even used double-point needles through the whole pattern.  The cables and decreases at the top make a nice design on top.  Jim has a new hat, he's pretty happy...however he asked me if it was washable--I told him I would wash it!


Spinning around

I was making a yummy sound while showing off my roving at Shepherd's Choice
This was a great week for me...I had a drop-spindle class on Tuesday and then my first wheel-spinning class on Sunday.  It was a nice break from knitting and it is always exciting to teach others a new skill.  I finished spinning the yellow and brown roving and it's plied and ready to block.  I do not know what it will grow up to be, but the yardage will have a lot to do with the decision.
I finished one of the mittens.  I liked the French knots and daisy stitches on the originals in the book, but I wear my mittens pretty hard, so I opted for Swiss darning and straight stitches for embellishment.  I also picked up three stitches rather than just one for the thumb and it fits much better.  The mittens fit me perfectly.  I started the decreases for the top of the hand right after I finished the chart.  They would have been too long otherwise.  On to the next project--Kathy wanted something out of  Country Classic Yarn for Sox, and I chose a warm cocoa color.  I'm surprised this is considered sock yarn.  Naturally, I had something else in mind and perused the patterns.  I came across a pattern I had in my collection and it would only take three hanks.  At $8.25 a hank that is a good deal!
We are enjoying the last of the unusually warm temperature and by week's end a mix of snow and rain are expected.  I'll have to bring in some wood so I can be ready for a cozy fire this weekend.  I have a good supply of Digestive biscuits thanks to Jim, and it may be time to check the pantry for cocoa.  
The squirrels are scrambling to hide acorns.  They had a bumper crop this year.  When we would pull into the driveway it sounded like bubble wrap popping.  
Today I'm meeting some friends for knitting and I am excited.  We had a good time last month.  I have time today to work on that last Wood Badge ticket--I'm very motivated to finish by year's end.



I have to say I've had a very colorful fall thus far.  All the projects of late have been with the same oddments of yarn.  I'm thinking it's time for some cables.  I was at the shop yesterday and a yarn rep was there.  She's very nice and it was fun to see her wares and samples.  After I stayed longer than I'd intended (no surprise there) I drove up to Elk River to pick up flint and steel for Jim.  Track of the Wolf wasn't open on time, so I went into town and stopped at Diamond City Breads for some goodies.  I had to get a loaf of Rhubarb Fritter Bread and some rustic Olive Bread--and then I saw the oatmeal cookies.  Since I had a cup of coffee, I thought it would be something tasty--it was!  Of course, the oatmeal is very healthy, the chocolate chips provide energy, and the pecans have "good" fat.  Yup, that's how I see it.  On the way home I stopped to get the ingredients for Hudson Bay Bread.  Tonight is Round Table and Jim's doing a presentation on high adventure for Scouts.  The bread is like an energy bar and very high in calories.  The recipe comes from the Northern Tier.
Today it's really chilly, windy, and the clouds look pretty against the bright blue sky.  I went to yoga class this morning, and now I have to take Eevee for walkies.  The cold air and wind put a spring in her step.
My Mmmittens are coming along despite my inattention to stitch count and a dropped stitch.  Good thing it's a small project and easy to frog and re-knit.  I know they will be lovely, warm mittens when they are finished.  The stranding makes a thicker fabric.  I'm keeping the floats fairly small so my fingers don't get caught.  I'll have to  take a photo before I have to frog back to the dropped stitch...
5.11.10  November is whizzing by!  I have to check Louie out to make sure he's ready for class on Sunday.  
The Hudson Bay Bread was a big hit last night.  It's really good, but it's high in calories--I had to use some restraint not to eat more.  
I'm back on track with the mittens.  I didn't like the green against the natural, so I switched to gray for the background of the hand.  I like it better.  I slip the mitten on now and then to check the size.  Fair Isle knitting can be tricky when it comes to gauge.  You have to knit at just the right tension so the floats aren't too tight or too loose.  So far, so good.  

7.11.10  I just now took some photos to post.  Another frog of the mitten :(--I'm catching the floats every other stitch.  I don't want my fingers to get caught on the inside.  The tension is better, too.  Today is my first wheel spinning class.  I read through my book last night and marked some pages.  I have to copy handouts for the students before I go.  Louie is ready to show his stuff and I think I am ready to teach.  I did a one-on-one with Kathy and she was a quick study.  I've never had this many at one time.  It will be a fun-filled session! 
Yesterday was Sharefest at church.  We made over $10,000 yesterday!  The funds made at the bazaar go to help fight world hunger.  I love the International Table and bought some pewter ornaments from Germany.  One has a pin and the ornaments can be changed out.  I think the Nutcracker will be a good one to wear during the holidays!


Road trip and knitting

We had a whirlwind weekend with Ben.  The men and women won their swim meet against Hope College.  As always, it's fun to watch the competition.  We had time to go to the outlet mall and I got a new rain jacket for camping, and we stocked up on some Ghiradelli chocolate squares and bars.  Early Sunday morning, we picked up Ben and went into town to have breakfast at Frank's Diner.  What a fun place, and the food was great.  The staff was dressed for Halloween, which added to the atmosphere.  I got quite a bit of knitting done during the six-hour drive and the waiting between events.  The little slippers were quick to knit and not nearly as fiddly as I imagined.  After I finished the sampler scarf and then the slippers, I started a pair of the mittens.  I'll use gray for the hand to play against the bright colors.  The projects have proved to be excellent examples of stash-busting projects.  I can't believe how little yarn they take!  November is going to be a busy month for me.  My classes shift into gear and I'm excited to be teaching more classes.  Finishing the samples from Kristin Nicholas' new book will help promote classes for after the first of the year.  (Oh my, Christmas is just around the corner!)
Sunrise--Lake Michigan
Staff at Frank's--Dolly Parton, Ninja, and Prisoner
Breakfast--note the sundae (lower right) one of the staff was having for breakfast!
Frank's Diner
Eevee was very happy to be home again.  She looks so pretty (she had a bath) and I'd trimmed her legs and feet before I dropped her off.  She's glued to her bed right now.  She also enjoyed seeing the Trick-or-Treaters last night.  We had mostly really little ones.  So cute!  Lots of Buzz Lightyear made an appearance, Snow Whites, princesses, animals, and Ninjas.  It's always fun.  We have some candy left--I always make sure to get candy I like.


I Made My Way Through the Stash

Just kidding!  I finished the Stash Cardigan with the four skeins of Himalaya.  I really like the yarn so much better than I originally thought.  I'll add some other large buttons until I get the others painted; that way I can wear it.  Our temps are dropping after today.I had fun over the weekend camping with the troop in spite of the abundance of liquid sunshine.  The theme for the camporee was CSI.  The patrols had to solve a murder by collecting evidence using scout skills and learning some new ones.  The staff didn't even know who the murderer was and it was funny to find out that it was the ex-wife, played by a friend of mine.  Our troop was well-represented on staff with former and present adult scouters.  I walked around with my patrol, the What-Sons, and the other leader was with     the Crime Scene Instigators.  Our patrols earned three high scores and the  troop got a site inspection ribbon to add to the troop flag.
26.10.10  I can see the wind picking up.  It's supposed to be very windy and rainy today.  I have to decide whether to take Mom out and about today.
Last night I brought out my button stash and found three buttons for Stash.  Originally I was going to paint the wooden ones, but the tagua buttons match nicely.  It's cold enough today to wear the sweater!  Yesterday the postman delivered a package from dear Margie in Ireland.  I won a drawing on her blog and it was so fun to open and see all the goodies she sent!  Thank you so much, Margie!


Tempus fugit--num me vexo?

Today it's cloudy and breezy.  The winds of change are coming.  The leaves are passing their peak colors.  I took Mom for a walk yesterday.  She enjoyed the fresh air and remaining colors.  We picked up a couple of little pine cones and some lovely scarlet maple leaves.  She used to tuck leaves into her letters and books she'd send to me when we lived in Germany.  Before the leaves are all gone, I want to press some between wax paper, which I haven't done since I was a kid.  Winter will be here soon enough.  The critters are scrambling to stash the remaining acorns.  I made an apple pie, too.  Mmmm...the crust is so flaky and the house smells as good as the pie tastes!
Ahhh, it felt good to be teaching again last night!  I had my first class, we made knitted ornaments, and it was fun.  The pattern worked great (I only have one number to correct) and I'll be able to correct that easily and print some more.  Before class, I went in early to teach a young woman how to use a drop spindle so she could teach an actress at the Lyric Arts Theater how to use the spindle during  an upcoming play.  She made her spindle with a pencil, cup hook and cardboard disc (she found the instructions online).  I cut a tiny notch in the disc to keep the fiber from sliding around.  Her spindle worked fine as a learning tool.  Speaking of spinning, I'm excited that the spinning classes are filling up!  It will be a refreshing change of pace for me to teach both advanced knitting along with spinning.  Good things come to those who wait...
The big camporee is this weekend.  I need to practice setting up Big Agnes.  We had the pole repaired and were lucky not to have to pay--the poles were still under warranty.  The theme for the camproee is CSI.  The scouts will have fun with that!  They have to solve a murder mystery and of course realistic first aid will be involved!  
I'm knitting away on the scarf and should be finished soon.  I don't know what I'll make after that.  Heaven knows I have plenty of yarn in the stash!  I typically make something cabled after using lots of color, and I have the lovely tweed handspun I made during the Tour de Fleece over the summer.
22.10.10  Already Friday and I'm burning daylight.  Time to get ready for the campout this weekend.  We went grocery shopping with the Grubmaster last night and got the items loaded in the coolers and tubs.  I set up Big Agnes and she's looking good.  I'm happy to have the new tent poles.  Naturally the dry weather we've been having will end over the weekend and Stearns always manages to get rain.  Ben and Scott would stand on top of the climbing tower and watch the weather when they worked at camp.
The leaves continue to fall and the back yard is full again.  The maple trees are holding on tight and have barely turned yellow this year.  Eevee brings in lots of the outdoors inside.  It seems I have as many leaves inside as outside.
I finished knitting the short cardigan and now I have to block it.  I'd like to get the large buttons painted today so I can sew them on when I get back from camp.  
Well, it's almost time to leave for camp, so no painting today.  My backpack is ready and I made sure to tuck in some gloves and a hat if it gets really cold tonight.


Color and more color!

It was another glorious autumn weekend and we enjoyed helping out at the first overnight Cub Camporee for the district.  Jim was in compass and then fitness, and I was in Cub Knowledge and flag-folding.  We were pretty tired by the end of the day, not having worked with the young scouts for a long time, but it was great fun to see the boys having fun! 
Now that most of the fall colors are past peak, I'm working on the color sample scarf again.  I have to admit, knitting forty stitches in the round have been tough on the right wrist, though.  I'm slowing down a bit (which is difficult, as I love to see what's next) and will take time to weave in a few ends.
Most of the leaves are raked and mulched.  I enjoyed using Jim's new toy.  The bag got a bit heavy, but it made quick work of the leaf piles and they fit in the recycling bin for yard waste.  Eevee still manages to track in leaves.  I couldn't believe the acorns!  No wonder the squirrels were so happy this year!  Even though we mulched some of them, there are still plenty to go around.  Speaking of acorns, the tiny knitted acorn was made by my friend, Kathy. It's about the size of a real acorn and I want to put a pin back on it so I can wear it.  She's a very talented person, which reminds me...we need to make time for coffee, soon!