Monday, December 28, 2009


After struggling with the blog for a few days, doing intensive research online, and just about kicking the computer into the snow, I've finally got it back where it belongs.

I have no idea why it went wonky.

I'm just glad to get it back in place!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

We have traveled to the north shore of Lake Superior in hopes of some Christmas skiing.

We have traveled to the only area in all of Minnesota that does not have piles of fresh snow. It's sleeting here, the temp is a bit too warm for snow. It keeps trying, unsuccessfully.

But it's a great storm to watch while we sit in front of our fire and play board games. The big lake is always mesmerizing.

Santa found us. There were socks, jammies and boxers in our ski boots.

Here's the traditional boxer shot of my men.

I have 17 years of Christmas boxer photos of these guys. Someday I'll put them all in a frame, together.

If you look closely, you'll see Paul's new scar. He's healing well after having his ascending aorta replaced and a new aortic valve installed. (Part of the reason there has been very little blogging going on 'round here...)

And yeah, I forgot to pack the Christmas stockings again.

Maybe it'll become a new tradition?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Repurposed Kureyon

This basket of Noro Kureyon has been sitting waiting for years.

Once upon a time it was a clever sweater, Round Trip, from a 2003 Knitter's magazine pattern.

Knit in my pre-digital camera era, I don't believe I ever got a picture of that sweater.

It was a very pretty sweater, and I looked like a moose in it. (Actually, if you go look at the completed sweaters on Ravelry, you'll see that it makes almost everyone look like a moose. There's a reason that the majority of the pictures are taken from the rear view. Great concept, ugly in reality.)

So it became balls of yarn again.

Til now.

I finally found something to make with the poor old yarn. It's becoming a blanket. A Ten-Stitch Twist

It's a strangely addictive knit.

Kureyon is always fun to knit. I just want to knit to the next color change. (or the color change after that)

I'm swatching two shades of Kauni yarn for a sweater for Paul.

While this is not the best combination of the two yarns, it will still give me a good idea of my gauge.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I foundz yarnia!

For all my fellow yarn aficionados, courtesy of I Can Has Cheezburger

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Washed and blocking.

Awaiting drying and buttons.

Behold the Kauni cardigan!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Generation gap?

November 8

66 degrees!

That's just flat out nicer weather than we had the entire month of October.

How do the visiting college students spend the late afternoon?

Snuggled on the sofa.

How do the older, wiser residents spend the late afternoon?

Out on the deck, with a beverage and the Sunday paper.

(We had to drag out the dining room chairs, as we had put the deck chairs away for the winter.)

But we all managed to get out for a walk in the arboretum at dusk.

Apparently it was the right time of day for adults of all species to get their youngsters out and about.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Best Knitting Line

We're watching "The Road to Zanzibar" for our family movie tonight.

Classic Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Great black and white stuff.

Bing's trying to talk Bob "Fearless Frazier" into jumping into the octopus tank to wrestle the octopus for their show.
Bob: "You'd do better teaching him to knit. He could knit four sweaters at once."

Yes, I'm easily entertained...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's time

It's time to finish knitting the Kauni cardigan.

It's been neglected for a very long time (last touched in March) awaiting only the front button bands. When I picked it up, I wondered what made me bury it in the pile.

There is NO reason. I loved knitting with its light-weight yarn and bright colors.

This'll be finished on this cold, dark, damp evening. (Have you adapted to standard time yet?)

Girl of the House has come down with an "influenza-like illness". High fever and a headache. We've been a bit subdued around here the past few days. Makes for nice snuggling time, though!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A finished Pioneer!

Bekky was kind enough to send me pictures of the final version of Pioneer.

Yes, I first began knitting this sweater for her in May!

After several starts on the first version, I completed one in August. Girl of the House ended up with that sweater.

With better planning and persistence, I finally completed Bekky's sweater.

Fits great, too!

Thanks for pics Bekky!

(And thanks for being so patient!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday randomnicity

Girl of the House made delicious apple muffins this morning.

What a great start to the day!

I've finished a few small projects this week.

An odd looking item, eh?

It's a hand-holding mitten for Ben and Bekky out of some handspun.

A pair of mittens for myself.

Pattern from Dale of Norway St. Anton 2001 pattern book.

It feels good to knit some colorwork again.

Last, and least, because it was easiest: fingerless mittens for me from handspun finn fleece.

We live in the country. We don't rake leaves.

Except in the house.

Yes, this is my dining room floor, under the two hibiscus plants I brought in for the winter.

I don't think they're too happy with the transition, do you?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brussel Sprouts geniuses, I tell you!

You are ALL geniuses!

I had never seen brussel sprouts 'on the vine' before. Once they are removed from their stalk, they look amazingly like a human spine! creepy

And, does anyone have a recipe that makes them taste good? You all seem to like them. We roasted them in the oven with olive oil and sea salt. Everything's supposed to taste good roasted with olive oil and sea salt.

Yeah, not so much with brussel sprouts. (Or kale, for that matter.)

I do like my brother's idea - wrapped in bacon and cooked in butter.

Isn't that kind of like the old joke 'how to smoke a carp'? If I recall correctly, it involved exacting instructions for putting the carp on the cedar shingle and precise details on the smoking process. At the end of the smoking, you 'throw away the carp and eat the shingle'.

Can we throw away the brussel sprouts and eat the bacon and butter? YUM!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What is this?

We've had plenty of interesting veg from the CSA lately.

Bonus points to anyone who can identify this skeleton.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blue Fest

I have managed to get a few things knitted lately.

A sampling of recently finished objects, all in blue:

Plain vanilla socks.

I dyed the yarn just before our trip out west this summer. I could have made these socks identical twins, but I went for the definitely fraternal twins.

Ain't it fun havin' weirdo socks sometimes?

Wooly camping sleeping socks for Bekky, who tolerated sleeping in a tent in 30 degree temps in the high Rockies this summer.

The yarn for her socks was spindled on that trip.

Some handspun, knitted fingerless mitts for Girl of the House.

There is one more finished sweater, but I'm hoping the recipient will model it for me when I see her this weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Remember our potatoes?

The potatoes growing on our deck?
With the beautifully colored flowers?

We harvested in mid September.

Our yield was approximately 18 pounds of wildly colored potatoes. White, yellow, red, and blue.

The red ones are actually pinkish throughout the flesh. Kinda freaky.

And the blue ones make tasty mashed potatoes, once you get your mind wrapped around the color.

Definitely an eye-opener.

I think it's an experiment worth repeating next summer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We saw otters this past weekend!

Real, live otters in the wild. Awesome!

It was a family of three otters, catching and gobbling up trout in the Temperance River. It was a treat to watch them frolicking.

Over the MEA school break, we headed north to Temperance River State Park.

We needed to get our fall fix of Lake Superior.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon, in the drizzling rain. The weather was actually 10 degrees warmer than it was at home. Sweet!

This was the view from our campsite high on the bluff over Lake Superior.

We hiked,

played on the beach

(notice a certain similarity in the rock skipping posture?)

and had a nice, though short, fire. The drizzle drove us into the camper earlier than we had hoped, but we spent the remainder of the evening in the camper playing three handed cribbage.

Saturday dawned clear and bright. After a big breakfast, we spent more time on the beach.

We headed home in the late afternoon after enjoying the sunny shores (and the otters!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We spent the past weekend at one of our favorite Minnesota State Parks, Beaver Creek Valley.

Beyond the two weeks we spent in Colorado, we've only had two weekend camping trips this year. Both have been at Beaver Creek Valley.

It's in a very narrow valley in southeastern Minnesota, with lovely little Beaver Creek running through it. The base of the valley is only 200-300 yards wide with steep wooded bluffs rapidly rising alongside. The temperature in the valley is usually 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area.

It's also only about 45 minutes from Ben and Bekky's college. This added even more pleasure to our weekend - they came to visit!

Ben visited on Saturday afternoon, and then stole Girl of the House away to college with him. He surprised her by taking her to a campus concert of Rockapella, one of her favorite groups. She even overnighted with him.

Ben, Bekky and GotH returned for Sunday brunch and hiking.

Beaver Creek is a trout stream, pure and clear, bubbling from several small springs in the rock at the base of the bluffs.

We walk down to the 'Big Spring' every morning for coffee.

On the drive home, we stopped in Rushford for a few geocaches. The search led us to a scenic overlook, high on the hill.

Another amazing place we never would have visited save for geocaching.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A new sign popped up on our road last week.

The one hundred year old bridge across the Cannon River is finally going to be replaced.

The township plan is to leave the bridge in place for walking and bicycling, and build the new one just slightly up river.

It was a bittersweet final ride across the river last evening.

The downriver view, soon to be obscured by a big fancy new bridge.

Meanwhile, til completion of the new bridge in July '10, our commutes have been lengthened. Now we'll have to go all the way into Northfield and then back north to our jobs.

It's a minor whine. Paul's commute will take fifteen minutes rather than ten. My commute will take ten minutes rather than eight.

I guess we'll live.

But it won't be as pretty. Crossing the bridge on my drive home has been my cue to take a deep breath, relax and really let the workplace go.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Off to school

Did you feel like this on Tuesday?

Were you ready?

Girl of the House was actually well prepared with her backpack of school supplies and her soccer bag.

The stressful "what to wear" decision of the day was made for her, simplifying things significantly. She was a Web Leader, one of a group of kids chosen to provide help to the incoming sixth graders. All of the Web kids needed to wear the red "Web" t-shirt.

Wouldn't that be a great idea? If everyone had to wear the provided clothing for the first day or two of school? I think there is too much stress and importance applied to the choice of clothing for the first day of school.

Wait, I think I'm advocating school uniforms? Now I'll have to contemplate that...