Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Snowing and Baking

It is snowing again today so I must be baking. This time it is cookies. The house smells wonderful. I baked a batch of Jam Thumbprint Cookies from an old recipe I've been using for years and also a batch of Peanut Blossom Cookies from a new recipe found here:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowy Baking Day

This was the scene looking up our road yesterday morning. By the end of the storm, which was mid-afternoon, it was a real winter wonderland around here. That was not so for those who needed to be out on the roads, but for me it was a day to look out at the beauty and remain inside baking. Snowy days always make my thoughts turn to filling the house with warmth and the aroma of something baking in my oven. Len ran the snowblower before heading out to work and then late in the afternoon I ran it again to get the newly-fallen snow. The rest of the day, I busied myself in the kitchen baking. I baked 8 crumb-topped coffeecakes to share with our neighbors. Yesterday evening, we delivered them and found all but two of the families at home. Today we will deliver those two coffeecakes. I did save one for my family and Rob tried it yesterday evening. Delicious!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Some Updates Before Tomorrow's Snow Photos

A few years ago, we had all kinds of dire warnings about impending huge amounts of snowfall, only to have said snow pass by south of us. It turned out to be a winter of many warnings, with little actual snow. It is not officially winter yet, but hubby has shoveled snow at least six times already since November. Dad arrived for a November visit to very pleasant weather only to experience a quick turn for the cold and snow. It stayed so cold during his visit that the snow never melted till well after he returned home.

All that said, I don't know whether to believe the warnings of an impending huge snowstorm or not. In looking at the weather map and the line between snow or ice, we will not truly know what to expect till it gets here. We are that close to the line. Hubby this morning was already predicting no school tomorrow for our teacher daughter. They are scheduled for a half day so he may be right. It is a district serving a rather rural area so two-hour delays are not unusual. However, I believe one would cancel a half day rather than run the buses on a two-hour delay only to practically turn them around to take the children home. We shall see in the morning.

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of spending the day in Emily's classroom for her holiday parties. The children were very excited. When I arrived in the morning, the Young Fives class was in the computer lab. How cute to see all those little five year olds at work on the computers. Gee, when I was in kindergarten, being able to use one of those big fat pencils made me feel important. Now, they are computer literate in preschool.

Monday I did a little baking to bring to school on Tuesday for the faculty room. The staff at the elementary school has been so warm, welcoming, and helpful as Emily settled in as a new classroom teacher part way through the school year. I wanted to do something to thank them, so after consulting with Emily, I baked two crumb-topped coffeecakes and put them in the faculty room with plates and forks. They were enjoyed!! (I love those EZ Foil pans with the clear plastic lids. A couple of holiday stickers made them quite festive.)

The cute little snowman dishcloth above was a little gifty I left in Emily's car on Tuesday along with a holiday dishtowel to add a festive touch to her kitchen. The pattern can be found at http://downcloverlaine.blogspot.com. The designer calls it "Snowbaby Washcloth". Hubby had a little trouble actually seeing it as a snowman or snowbaby, but it seems the photo above turned out fine to view this. It looks like a snowman to me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

An Illusion

I have been quite busy with lots of things other than knitting, but do have a small finished project to share. Dishcloths are fun, quick-gratification knitting and perfect for this busy time of year. This Christmas tree illusion cloth was a free pattern on Ravelry. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some Charity Knitting

These are the knitted items I turned in on Thursday evening when our knitting guild made their donations to the Salvation Army. The sweaters are from our KAL using Margaret Hubert's pattern for the Very Easy Child's Sweater and Hat. Our guild is featured on Margaret's blog if you would like to take a look. http://margaretshooksandneedles.blogspot.com

The keyhole scarves were a Mystery KAL for the guild. Apparently, they are addictive as I did not stop at just one. This is an online pattern, that I changed slightly. When I made this, I worked the two-row pattern for 27 inches (rather than the 14 inches in the pattern) before I made the keyhole and continued as written. You can find this pattern at http://fireflowerknits.wordpress.com/2008/02/02/quick-no-purl-keyhole-scarf

I also finished a Prayer Shawl that just needs the ends woven in and a photograph taken. I'll post that soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Visit to Elementary School

Today Dad and I had a pleasure of visiting Ms. Dixon's classroom. We met her Young Fives class in the morning and her Kindergarten class in the afternoon. I saw the classroom shortly after Emily moved into it and was TOTALLY amazed today at all the wonderful things she has done with the room. It is so bright and cheerful. The children are so lucky to have such a creative, energetic, and caring teacher. I am so proud to be this teacher's Mom.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Leaves and Knitting

The leaves are nearing the end of the beautiful Fall show here in SE Michigan. We raked plenty of leaves in the backyard on Tuesday and this is what I saw from the family room window this morning. Yes, our backyard has filled up again with leaves. There are more to come down and soon the trees will be bare and snow will fall. For now we still enjoy the spendor of Fall.
I am nearing the end of another prayer shawl. I knitted on this yesterday evening. I am using Lion Brand Homespun "Tudor" for this shawl.

I am also working on several charity knitting projects for our local Salvation Army. Below is another side-to-side toddler sweater that I will probably embellish with some decorative
buttons. The other photo below is a mystery KAL challenge issued to our Guild to knit some more things for our local Salvation Army. I can't show a picture of the entire finished object because that is part of the mystery. Obviously, I have good intentions since I have two more skeins of yarn for two more mystery items. The mystery items are knitted with Lion Brand Woolease Thick and Quick. The side-to-side sweater is Vanna's Choice "Beige".

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dinner With The New Kindergarten Teacher

We had a little family dinner this evening to celebrate Emily's new teaching position. Halloween will be her last day as the Toddler Teacher at Tutor Time. November 3rd is her first day at Flora List Elementary School as a Young Fives/Kindergarten teacher. She will be teaching a half-day session of Young Fives and a half-day session of Kindergarten. She is very excited and we are proud of her and excited for this new opportunity.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Continuing With The Beauty of Fall in Michigan

These shots were so spectacular that they needed their own separate post. This is the North Breakwater Lighthouse in Ludington. I was playing with some of the manual settings on my digital camera after dinner on Saturday evening. We missed the actual sunset since we were lingering over dinner at a local micro brewery in Ludington. After hiking all day, we enjoyed sitting, talking and people watching while sampling some of the offerings at The Jamesport Brewing Company. We finished the meal with a very decadent Bananas Foster that was described as "enough for two". There was MORE than enough for two. This was my first time to have Bananas Foster and it won't be my last.

Sharing the Beauty of Fall in Michigan

This is a spectacular view from the Ridge Trail at Ludington State Park looking down on Lake Michigan and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. We spent last weekend traveling on the western side of Michigan and enjoying some beautiful fall colors. We spent the first night in Frankfort, Michigan at a local "up North" type motel. After driving around earlier in the day and taking in all the gorgeous colors and views, we enjoyed walking around the little downtown area and along the water. I have a fascination with lighthouses, so we walked out to take a picture near the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse (below). We had dinner at a local restaurant and feasted on their Friday night fishfry. Yummy!

Saturday we spent the day at Ludington State Park, hiking about 8-10 miles of trails. The weather was perfect and we hiked four different trails. We climbed to the top of the Big Sable Point Lighthouse and the view was spectacular. Below is a photo of the lighthouse and also one of us at the top, overlooking Lake Michigan.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another Knitting Update

I don't think I ever posted a good photo of the Prayer Shawl I knitted and turned in a few weeks ago for the Prayer Shawl group I knit with once a month. This was knitted using the basic K3, P3 prayer shawl pattern and for me seemed endless. But, it is finished, turned in, is very soft and comfy, and hopefully will provide comfort to someone who needs a good, warm hug.

Now, in the interest of remaining accountable and hopefully finishing some more projects, I am sharing a photo of my "on the needles" projects. From left to right, I have a Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl (http://www.knitlist.com/2003/minishawl.htm), a dishcloth, THE sock (you've seen it before), and another Prayer Shawl (diagonal dishcloth design type).

It is pouring rain outside today, but I have baking to do for several Church events this weekend. Len is co-chair of the Missions Cte at Church so several of these are related to a visit from a missionary this weekend. There will be a small dinner at our house on Saturday evening and lots of mini muffins to be served at his presentation on Sunday morning. (I believe this makes me an honorary member of the Missions Cte.) The rainy day makes it perfect for baking.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Guild KAL Sweaters

Our knitting guild is doing a KAL of a cute, easy child's sweater for donation to the Salvation Army's holiday distribution program. The pattern is available online for the sweater (in child's sizes 2, 4, and 6) and a hat. It calls for worsted weight yarn. You can find the pattern at http://margarethubertoriginals.com/CHILDBLUE.html.

Here is a photo of the green one I showed at the September guild meeting. This one was knitted using Red Heart TLC Essentials, color "Lt Celery".

Here is a photo of another one I knitted, using Red Heart TLC Essentials, color "Lilac" and a touch of fancy for the garter stripes down the front and back (Lana Grossa Caramella Print).
If you are a fellow guild member looking at this blog post, you may want to consider knitting one of these up before the October meeting. Joanne will be teaching a program on Crocheted Flowers. Wouldn't some crocheted flowers be perfect embellishments on this little sweater?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Delivery Day

The TV table is finished and has been delivered to Emily's apartment. Emily and Len are in the consultation/design phase for the bookcase that will sit on top, with a space for a TV. Emily is saving to replace her old TV so that is being considered in the design of the new piece of furniture. The plan for the finished piece (above) is to have rectangular baskets on the shelves to hold DVD's and magazines, etc.

I have uploaded a photo tour of Emily's apartment to my Webshots album. There is a new folder set up, titled "Emily's Apartment". The link is on the right here on my blog if you care to check out her apartment. I especially LOVE the way she decorated her bathroom. Here is a peak from that album.

Emily decided to have Len bring her elliptical trainer to the apartment and sent home to our house her desk and a large overstuffed chair. Rob was not thrilled with moving the elliptical trainer up the basement stairs yet again since he just moved it down there in the summer when she first moved to the apartment. I think the decision of the two moving guys (Rob and Len) is that the elliptical trainer is now in place till the end of the lease on the apartment. Below is a photo of Len's little truck upon arrival at Emily's apartment.

Friday, September 26, 2008


My day has been spent in a tax class and in the kitchen. The 18 mini loaves above are for a bake sale at church. I had a tax class this morning and also an online exam from a class completed yesterday evening. The rest of the day has been spent baking and cleaning up from baking. There are 6 Chocolate Loaves, 6 loaves of Strawberry Bread, and 6 loaves of Squmpkin Bread. The house smells wonderful. I will be taking these over to church soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Flam--- ---hole Fly

Here is a photo of the fly Len tied at this evening's meeting of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club. The name is too "colorful" to be included in this PG rated, family-oriented blog. It has maribou for a tail, chenille and estaz for the body, and red dumbbell eyes. (I don't make this up, folks.) If you want to know the name of the fly, you'll have to ask Len.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fuschia Prayer Shawl

Yesterday evening I finished knitting this Prayer Shawl. The photos do not give you a true sense of the fabulous color. It is Lion Brand Homespun and the color is Fuschia. I have really loved knitting with this color. Tomorrow the Prayer Shawl will begin it's journey through the postal service on the way to a special friend who has a friend/coworker going through a serious illness who is in need of prayers and a hug that hopefully this shawl will provide. I pray it brings comfort to this woman I've never met.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Update From The Workshop

The parts are coming together nicely. The top is not yet attached and there are some more coats of polyurethane still to apply, but here is the latest photo live from the workshop. Two more photos also from yesterday show the table from a different angle as well as a nice shot of the woodworker himself. (Yes, Emily, that IS the official woodworking shirt.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reunion at West Point

This past weekend was Len's 35th reunion at West Point. What a fun weekend. Friday was spent at West Point, which included a tour of the new library, time in the Cadet Store, a Memorial Service, lunch at Ike Hall, and a briefing by the Superintendent. Friday evening was the dinner dance back at the hotel in New Jersey. Saturday we had a 3-hour luncheon cruise on the Spirit of New York. The above photo was taken as we passed by the Statue of Liberty. The photo below was taken at the dinner dance. Lots more photos are posted in my Webshots album (link on the right).

Crazy Daisy

Quick post to share a photo of the finished "Crazy Daisy" circular cloth. This was knit using Sugar and Cream "Quilt Colors". This colorway is part of the new Culinary Colors. The pattern is online at http://sew-funky.blogspot.com/2008/06/no-1-dishcloth-crazy-daisy.html.

Later I will post some photos from our weekend at Len's 35th West Point Reunion. A fun time! Shawl knitting was the featured knitting of the trip. I started another Prayer Shawl and worked on that alternately with a Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Some FO's

The Prayer Shawl is finished. This is the traditional K3, P3 Prayer Shawl pattern, knitted using Lion Brand Homespun "candy apple" color. It is a very rich red and the shawl feels so soft. I hope that it will bring comfort to someone who needs a warm hug.

I have several other small finished items.

This is the September KAL cloth from the Monthly Dishcloth KAL list on yahoogroups.

I also finished several cloths using patterns from Harvest Moon Designs. http://harvestmoondesigns.blogspot.com . In the photo below, the cloth on the left is "Hear My Hearts". The cloth in the center is "My Favorite Dishcloth" and the one on the right is "Another Favorite", which is a diagonal pattern.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Some Knitting and Some Woodworking

This weekend's post will have some knitting content as well as more progress from the workshop. I am thrilled to report that I have finished the first sock of the pair I've been working on for awhile. It feels absolutely wonderful on my foot and is spurring me on to finish the other sock so I will have this pair of socks to wear when the cold weather hits. Here is the finished sock.

Now, for a few photos from the workshop. Work on Emily's TV stand/bookcase has moved to the finishing stage on the carcass and shelf so it really doesn't look all that different in shape from last weekend. The real woodworking this weekend involves the top of the table. A special jig had to be cut out and assembled in order to cut the tabletop. Next step on the top is to use the router to put a nice edge treatment on this piece.

Here are some photos to show this weekend's work. Don't you just love these action shots with the router?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Photos From The Workshop

Len is making progress on the TV stand/bookcase for Emily's apartment. It is actually beginning to look like something rather just lots of wood and clamps. This is going to be an amazing piece of furniture when he finishes. The top is being glued and that involves LOTS of clamps. The main body of the piece is now in the sanding stage. Here are some photos taken just moments ago.

Of course, a busy woodworker needs some freshly baked peanut butter cookies to sustain him for the long hours of gluing and clamping.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Come Visit the Workshop

Len has been busy in his garage workshop building a TV stand with shelves for Emily's new apartment. This is going to be a fine piece of furniture when it is done and will have that extra dose of love that only a Dad-built piece of furniture can have.

The photo below, shows the project last weekend. Apparently, he is trying to prove his maxim that a woodworker can never have too many clamps.