Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Jon would say that if we have to start painting rooms over again, we've lived here too long. I claim that since everyone uses our laundry room to enter our house, it should look better than it has.
Jon put up the wainscoting a few weeks ago. The weather finally cooperated (in that it is fall again here in Minnesota) so that it could be stained and varnished over the weekend.

Tig spent the weekend worried about his next meal since his feeding station is on the counter up there by his big butt.

A fresh coat of paint and a new Target window covering and now the BACK HALL, not the ENTRYWAY looks bright and sunny.
Holli's little breakfast nook, with a picture of her mom, looks fresh with the empty bowl it tells me it must be time to eat!

And something for Tig to play with while he waits all day for dinner!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Our weekend - sweet! Two date nights with the Mr. I finally got to see "Star Trek". He indulged me. As a result of Saturday's funky weather, I had plenty of time to . . .

. . . finish up skeining, measuring and petting 125 yards of merino/silk/bamboo. And then I just stared at it, and showed it to Mr. a lot because I really like it . . .

and . . .

. . . I finished this side (Solid Square #149 from 200 Crochet Blocks) . . .

. . . and this side (Fretwork, #197 - same book!) of my potholder I seamed them together for the Tuesday Morning Knitting Group's "Let's Just See If We Can Crochet Potholders and Then Decide What To Do With Them".
Extreme close-up to show the tidiness of my crochet stitches.

And . . I decommissioned something that many of you might have called a "poncho" if you were inclined to get "that look" from me and a stern lecture that it was NOT a poncho but more like a "multi-functional wrap with one hole and no sleeves." This MFWWOHNS, made from Eco-Wool was skeined, washed and left to dry in the room with the world's largest residential dehumidifier. Eventually, this will become Copine.
Everyone needed a break by Sunday and thankfully the weather cooperated enough to spend the afternoon and evening outside, rolling in the catnip plants.
How was your weekend?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hot Day

And everybody will be complaining about it. Everybody except Holli that is.

Because the greatest mom in all of the whole dog world went in to a store she would not ever normally go into for anything and bought a pool.

And all of a sudden, the dog days of summer don't seem like they'll be so bad. Heck, it even looks like there could be room for mom in that thar pool. On second thought . . .

It's hard to get a good dog shake in action.

Two hours later - I'm wondering if I'll have to provide dinner poolside? Cooper, the miniature poodle from next door is coming down in a little while for a play date. I hope he remembers his sunscreen and water wings . . .

Monday, June 22, 2009

Big Sister Graduates

Kathryn's "big sister" Heather graduated from high school this year. While not related to her in any way, Heather served the role of big sister in every way possible, beginning in pre-school when the girls were matched as buddies and they formed an instant bond. What followed is seven year friendship based on that same love shared between sisters. Heather looked after Kathryn during their years at school together, was her babysitter, took her shopping and out to movies. Heather is a skater and and we often went to see her perform; likewise, Heather has been known to sit through a few dance recitals in the past few years. She has stayed in touch with Kathryn even as we moved out of the babysitting years and they have an easy beautiful friendship.

Heather graduated from her high school with the highest honor a young lady can achieve, the Mary Award, which recognizes behaviors and characteristics most in line with the Christian values of the school. She is a bright and vibrant young lady; she moves on this fall to Gustavus Adolphus College where we know she will do great things.

OK - they are under a tent which is why they look so blue!
Congratulations Heather! I can't thank you enough for the positive impact you have had on Kathryn; she thinks the world of you and loves you to pieces. And so do we! We're very proud of you and wish nothing but the best for you - always! Please stay in touch......

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Right Round

Summer is such a nice time for spinning. I can be outside, not so many interruptions - like - life. So I've been really enjoying the time I've been able to spend at the wheel. There isn't a lot to show for the time but what I do have, I love.
First up, some beautiful alpaca that was so very easy to work ("the book" said it would be.) I decided I wanted to separate the three colors for a longer stretch of each color and make a three ply yarn.

One more puff of fluff to go.

This is completed but still soaking wet (because I forgot it was soaking in the sink downstairs since Sunday!). It's 1 ounce of silk / merino / bamboo / Tencel in "Grapevine" from the The Fiber Studio. The fiber was in a batt which I've decided I quite like working from. I think it'll look much better once it's dry and fluffed a bit. And modeled appropriately.
"Mom, will you make me something? Does this color look good on me? Is this my good side? Will this make my butt look big?" - Sammy

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dad and Me

Phmi phmlog! Phmit's phme, phmolli.
Sorry, probably you couldn't understand me with a tire on my mouth. Anyway, this is Holli and I am kind of mad at mom cuz of all the talk about everyone being so happy to be back home together and she forgot to tell you about how happy I am that Dad is home. Mom is fine and everything; we have good "quiet time". But me and Dad have a game that we play every night after dinner.
Just when mom gets up from the dinner table and starts to give special instructions on what to do with the leftovers (which is NEVER "Give them all to Holli cuz of her being such a great dog!") and Dad and Sis start doing the dishes, I go over to my toy box and get ready for the game.When the dishes are done I run right over to Dad with my tug-of-war toy and prance around until he take his end of the toy. Let the fun begin Big Guy!

I can do so many spins it almost takes Dad's arm off. Oh yeah - I'm glad Sis is home too. She take me for walks now that she has a cell phone!
Sunday night, we played so hard, we broke the tire off my tug toy. But Dad said he'd get me a NEW tug toy which he did but I don't like it as much cuz of it not having a very long rope and too big of a tire but Dad needs to play so I will!
When the game is over Dad is SOOO tired that I need to give him a little bit of a rest before we can play "throw the ball". That's the game where Dad throws the tennis ball about 20 times but I only bring it back once or twice. Dad LOVES running and getting the ball, showing it to me, then throwing it again. Huh - funny Dad!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Family Affair

Everybody is home and so happy to be back together. Friday and Saturday were busy with our house guest and graduation parties. Sunday was our first opportunity to spend time together as a team. The day was spent on various errands, hobbies and chores - including the installation of a basketball hoop - so the recently acquired skillz can be kept fresh! She beat her dad in "Horse" "HORSE" to "H". Go Girl!

Dinner was a largely home-grown affair. Starting with cocktail hour:
Vodkitos - sort of like a Mojito but we used vodka instead of rum because - well - we were out of rum. But the mint in the drink was home grown in my new little herb window box!

Dinner was a pasta with tomato pesto and fresh tomatoes on top. The pesto and tomatoes - we grew them! I grew the basil in my new little herb window box, and the tomatoes are from the patio pot I had so little hope for way back here. These little tomatoes were SO good, tasty, juicy and unlike store tomatoes! And the basil .... hmmm!
Dad and daughter bond over dish time. It's so hard to capture "joy" in a picture - especially when the photographer has tears in her eyes. These two - they have a thing that I'll never be a part of, I understand it, I'm not jealous of it, I'm happy to stand by and watch it. It's just that it's so different from "the thing" between a mother and daughter.Good kitchen help needs a reward. We didn't grow any of these ingredients.
Except the dorky grin. And kissable marshmallow lips.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Half Happy

It is now noon. I woke the hoops girls up with breakfast in bed. The one request: "Pleeease mom - nothing healthy!"

Raised chocolate iced doughnut, WITH the patriotic sprinkles! And a few grapes because I couldn't resist.
Jon is en-route from Tokyo and should arrive home in about 4 hours. A jungle lawn awaits him, as well as a stack of mail. But there will also be many smiling, purring, licking faces to greet him too.

Hope you all have a great weekend too!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Alone The Last

Based on the comments from yesterday, I must have forgotten to tell you guys that Jon is in China. He read the blog yesterday and sent the following email:

"Looks like you are getting questions on the blog about China. Here is Hong Kong harbour.

Jon Secrest"

Kathryn finally checked in from basketball camp - much to her mother's relief. She's exhausted and having a blast. They come home today. I'm planning a parade. The Tuesday Morning Knitting group is doing our own little potholder swap - sort of. We're making a few for ourselves and then some for Peggy's daughter who is getting married in October. So while wasting time watching the web cam from basketball camp (and actually tapping on it and trying to wave to my kid - c'mon - you've done it too!) I tweaked around trying to get my hands to remember the "Willow" block. The muscle memory came back but using such a small hook (C) on DK weight yarn is challenging.

The knitting girls came over last night and after a few bottles of wine we had the problems of the world figured out and my perfectly lovely week was over. And it's ok.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Alone Still

Day Two: I'd like to tell you that I've been sleeping alone during Jon's absence. I think that would be the decent thing to do. Usually, one small, black kitty sleeps in a tiny ball by my knees until she gets bored and needs to take yarn for a walk.
However, some sort of kitty truce has been called and they are gonna keep me in this bed no.matter.what!
Holli, who hasn't been allowed on the bed in years, saw nothing wrong with jumping up onto Dad's side when a bit of thunder roiled in the distance - like Montana. She felt as if I'd need protection. Lucky for me she can provide such protection while she sleeps. Equally lucky for Holli, Tig can protect her while he sleeps.

I'd also like to report that I don't sleep with a camera in my bed. These awesome photos were taken with my cell phone, which I have been sleeping with . . expecting a phone call from my daughter. Not so much. I've been glued to the computer watching her on the live web-cam but I can't tell her from all the other blond-haired, baggy short basketball players. And don't get me started on the person in China.
So I had some non-knitting girlfriends over last night and we went through the liqour stash - Hah! Tonight the knitting group girls are coming - better restock.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Day One: Cleaning out studio; I found long lost sock. Hmmm, why did I only knit one?

It's all coming back to me now . . .

The rest of the yarn took a midnight stroll through the house with a kitty. Silly of me to leave it in a Ziploc bag inside another bag next to my bed.

I love a good challenge but even I was doubtful of getting this back into one, continuous piece. It's hard to stay mad at her when she warms your lap as you go!

So after many twists, turns and tugs and three hours of Brenda Leigh Johnson and Fritz (sigh - Fritz!), just three balls of yarn. I'd REALLY like to not have to change yarn in the middle of a sock . . . .

The rest, into the basket of sock ends and mini-skeins. All-in-all, a good day. Except I guess I have to actually knit that sock.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Camp Redux

School got out Thursday. No rest for the wicked here however. The BFF arrived back in Minnesota (from Texas) early Saturday morning, along with her sister. Kathryn, the Texas girls and two others were promptly deposited at basketball camp on Sunday at St. Ben's . Phew - enough of them! Seriously - it's just a five day camp, and it's inside in gym clothes. They packed for a month in the wilderness. That green bag - at least 200 pounds.

Me: "Welcome to college dorm life!"
Them: "The room smells!"
Me: "Welcome to college dorm life!"

Kid's gone - I'm still making beds!

Although it IS an overnight camp - I think the girls were afraid that meals were not going to be provided. This is just Kathryn and the BFF's stash. I believe they have the carbs covered . . .

. . . and maybe a day or two of beverages.

Oh look, a little piece of home! An 18 year old picture of her parents! Next to her wallet filled with the cash I gave her to get - treats in case she runs out of - food?

When everyone is unpacked and happy, it's time for me to go. And sob all the the way home. Did I mention that I returned to an empty house? Mr. is in China until Friday.