Coffee Break

August 15, 2015

Time for a coffee break here at Goodnight Gram’s place. Pour yourself  a nice cuppa joe and let Frank Sinatra sing to you while you sip. The coffee art in the accompanying slide show is fun.

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 ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️  ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️

It’s time for me to enjoy some back to school shopping and preparation with my granddaughter. I have fond memories of my mother letting down the hems of my school dresses because I had grown and of shoe shopping to accommodate feet that grew, too. Feet do that. Kids do that.

Goodnight has done that. She has grown herself into her senior year of high school. I think it will fly by in a heartbeat and I am taking this time to enjoy the school prep with her: notebooks, folders, flashcards, planner, hems, shoes, haircut, lunch menu planning, and cozying up her study nook. We have things planned for every day until school starts.

 

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Friday Fun

August 14, 2015

I received an awesome package in the mail! 

My cousin sent me some potatoes from her garden. Good thing my mail carrier doesn’t walk his route!

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Seeing the spuds tumble onto my table reminded me of this song by Metamora. I played it and sang it to Angel when she was a tiny tot.

My plan for the spuds is to make HIMMEL UND ERDE (Heaven and Earth). It is a German dish popular in the Rhineland area where my German ancestors lived. It is made mostly of mashed potatoes and apples, but there are variations that include things like turnips, bacon and onions.

Such a happy package!

Thursday This and That

August 13, 2015

iPAD CASE

I finished knitting my iPad case. I added a handle within the ribbing, though it isn’t my intention to carry it that way. I just thought it would be an added benefit.

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I added a button closure. I used two buttons and nested the smaller one inside the larger one.

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Knitters’s Notes (not a pattern, just general information)

1 skein white worsted wool – 4 oz. (from my stash)

1 skein gray worsted wool – 4 oz. (thrift shop bargain plus senior discount)

Size 8 (US) straight needles

Double strands of each color for thickness

40 stitches across for the fair isle design

66 rows including cast on and bind off

I chose to use straight needles and then seam the bottom and sides for stability and added protection to the edges of the iPad.

Buttonhole flap was done on the middle seven stitches, with the hole sized to accommodate the nested buttons I used.

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THISTLES

I think I have cut my last thistles for the season. Do you know they have a scent like honey? I love the color.

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TOY DROP

I made a toy drop on one of my recent walks. When GN is “grounded by knitting”, I knit with her. It gives us a chance to chat about . . . behavior, responsibility, and kindness. She chose to wait until winter to make her toy drops. She wants to drop the little teddy beads at an outdoor ice rink when the time is right. I dropped mine at a playground near one of the walking paths I use. I tucked the bear in a bag, added a note that the finder could take the bear home and that it was just from a gram who loves to knit.

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BANG!  THUD!

Garage door opener $prings make a very loud noi$e when they break and activitie$ for the day come to a grinding halt when the car i$ IN the garage. It mu$t have been a $low enough day for the garage door company becau$e $omeone came the $ame day it broke, within three hour$ of my call.

I wa$ okay with knitting while I waited ($ee, there i$ a $urvival need to have a yarn $ta$h) and if the cable hadn’t $napped on the opener, I would have been okay with opening and clo$ing the door manually, but without the cable, the door weigh$ more than I can bench pre$$. $o I’m grateful for the efficient $ervice I received.

💲 💲 💲 💲 💲 💲 💲

YUM!

GN cooked dinner last night. She has a favorite meal she’s been making since she won the drawing at the farmer’s market: new potatoes and sausage chunks with a vegetable on the side. All summer, her vegetable side dish has been green beans (because there were so many in her farmer’s market prize), but yesterday she chose carrots.

Because her main dish does not take long to cook, taught her how to use the pressure cooker for the carrots. They were done to perfection!

GN cut some watermelon wedges for dessert. You know, I’m okay with saying thank you for someone else doing the cooking once in a while.

Peace!

Walking Wednesday: Long-lived, Short-lived

August 12, 2015

One day it was standing . . .  

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. . . and the next day it was not.

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Part of this beloved old cottonwood fell during the most recent storm that rolled through Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. I happened to walk the path the morning before the storm and the morning after and certainly did not expect to see it down.

The tree was so huge I could not get the whole thing in the photo. The part on the ground blocked the walking path and there was no way to get around it . . . or over it. I had to turn around and finish my morning walk by going back the way I came. When I got out of the woods, I reported the downed tree.

The path was closed for a few days while the downed section was cut into logs and stacked just off the trail. The main path has been reopened, but the short path leading to the base of the tree is now permanently blocked due to the unsafe and unstable condition of what remains of the old cottonwood. Cottonwoods can live 50-70 years.

I walked through the same woods yesterday and just beyond the cottonwood, a Monarch butterfly let me take its photograph – a closeup. The Monarch is the State Butterfly of Minnesota. They live only about four weeks, except for the last generation of the season. In the fall, that generation has to make the long migration from Minnesota to the central part of Mexico.

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Have you seen anything interesting on your walks lately? You are taking walks, right? It’s time for mine!

👞 👞 👞 👞 👞 👞  👞 👞 👞 👞

8/11/2015 Daybook

August 11, 2015

I am linking up with The Simple Woman’s Daybook. Check the link to find other bloggers or to add a post of your own. Peggy is only using one link for all of August, so the most recent daybook entries have the higher numbers. You can always check the dates of posts, too.

For today…

Monday, August 11, 2015

Outside my window…

It is a beautiful August morning, cool, low humidity, beautiful sky and . . . LOUD!!!! A crew is hard at work cutting up tree branches and running the wood through a shredder less than half a block from my window.

“In my morning cuppa…

I am drinking black tea with a bit of buckwheat honey stirred in. 

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I am thankful…

I am thankful for my granddaughter’s job. She has nice summer hours, but will be able to continue working once school begins.

In my garden…

The Swiss chard continues producing and has been steadily used in my healthy breakfast smoothie. (chard, parsley, blueberries, pear, and ginger lemon juice, and sometimes cinnamon)

In my kitchen…

I made Margarita Mousse for a summer dessert. I had time to play in the kitchen. 

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MARGARITA MOUSSE (makes four 1/2 cup servings)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup lime juice (don’t use Rosa’s or anybother sweetened lime juice because there is already sugar in the recipe.) 1

1/4 tsp salt 1/4 cup limeade concentrate (or tequilla) 1/4 cup orange juice (or Triple Sec)

1 tsp lime zest

4 oz cream cheese (I used lite)

1 cup whipped topping (I used lite)

1/2 cup crushed pretzels

A second tsp grated lime zest for topping before serving

In a medium saucepan, combine the gelatin, sugar, lemon juice, lime juice and salt, lime zest, limeade concentrate and orange juice (or tequilla and Triple Sec)

Stir while heating over medium heat for a few minutes – until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from stove and cool slightly. Pour mixture into blender. Add cream cheese and whipped topping. Blend until smooth.

Pour blended mixture into small bowls or pretty stemware. Refrigerate so the gelatine can set. When ready to serve, top with crushed pretzels and a bit of grated lime zest.

On my knitting needles…

I am still working on Rosie’s doll wardrobe, but I took an intermission to knit myself an iPad case. I am using two strands each of a pewter-colored wool and a white wool in a fair isle design. Both yarns are worsted weight. I have a leather cover for my iPad and my thrift shop work purse rescue has a padded compartment suitable for transporting technology, but my goal for the double stranded wool (plus the stranding that comes with fair isle was to make a dense fabric to add extra protection. This is a stash-busting project, so no new wool was purchased. 

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From the farmer’s market…

Last week, I bought five sticks of buckwheat honey from a honey vendor. I was curious about it and wanted to taste it without buying a jar. Before I stirred  the contents of the stick into my tea, I tasted the honey. I like the bold earthy flavor! I plan to head back to the market this week and get a few more sticks. I tend to drink my tea plain, but honey works as a cough suppressant, so I will keep some through the winter in case I get a cough. (knock on wood)

From the thrift shop…

I bought some SHOES!!! They look new. I turned one over to show the tread. They are comfortable, black suede slip-ons in pristine condition. I wore them all day at work yesterday and my feet were happy. This was pure luck because it has been a very long time since I even walked through the shoe department. 

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I also spotted the little coin purse shown below. It was pretty hard to resist for a gram who celebrates Christmas in July and collects Christmas movies! It’s brand new and hand crocheted.

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In my DVD player…

My plan is to watch A WALK IN THE SUN while I finish knitting my iPad case. It is a WWII film starring Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, Lloyd Bridges, George Tyne, John Ireland, Sterling Holloway and narrated by Burgess Meredith.

I am reading…

I am still working on DUST by Patricia Cornwell . . . but I have begun (a tad early) a ritual I invoke every few years or so, of reading my favorite book: THE PEASANTS by Wladyslaw Reymont, in four volumes each named for a season of the year. It begins with August.

It’s a rare book. I don’t own it, but it it can be read at the link I added. I read AUTUMN in autumn, WINTER in winter and the same for SPRING and SUMMER. I read only a few pages a day so I can linger with the Polish peasants longer through the seasons (and read other things in the meantime). I get hungry for potatoes and cabbage right at the beginning of AUTUMN, because story begins at harvest time.

I planned to begin the book later this fall, but by virtue of telling another blogger (Paula) about it, and an email I just received from my cousin telling me she sent me a package with some of her garden potatoes in it, I longed to spend time with my fictional “friends” in the real village of Lipce, Poland (now changed to Lipce Reymontkowskie to honor the author).

My quote for the day… is from Chapter 1, Volume 1 (Autumn), Page 12 of THE PEASANTS by Wadyslaw Reymont. I love how he described the end of the day. Once you read it, you may notice it each evening in real life.

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I love the last line! Even though I enjoy my career, sometimes, like yesterday, it does feel like I am plodding home. I was exhausted!

Dinner is at 6:00 tonight, but if you are only interested in the Margarita Mousse dessert, come at 7:00! 😉

Peace!

Whatcha Readin’?

August 9, 2015
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p My copy of the print “Young Girl Reading” by Jean Honore Fragonard

Thanks to my blog buddy, Paula at Smidgeons, Snippets & Bits, I was reminded that today is National Book Lovers Day. I knew it was coming up, but I got completely distracted with the start of the NFL’s pre-season games. 🏈  

Thanks Paula for the reminder!

I noticed Paula’s post in time to plan an outing with Goodnight for after church this morning. We packed up a breakfast picnic and went to the lake for some reading time. It was hardly a forced outing for GN. She would never consider food and reading to be a punishment. She loves that kind of day.

For our reading time by the lake, we both packed Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books. GN was nearing the end of a book, so packed the next one in the series. I am much further along in the series than GN and not far enough along to bring a second book.

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When I was young, my dad influenced my reading when he told me, “If you learn to read, you can learn everything else.” My mother supported my young reading by letting me spend my glorious Saturdays at the Smalltownville library.

One of my aunts influenced my reading simply by being a librarian. My cousin told me that the policy in their home was that she could read anything she could reach on their full wall, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. She is quick to add that she learned how to climb to get books higher up before she grew tall enough to reach them. The policy in my home, for both my daughter and granddaughter, has always been that they did not have to help with dishes if they read aloud to me while I did them.

I have a book on my bookshelf that I cherish. It is a little book given to my dad when he was seven years old. His name is on the inside cover. I remember when I read it for the first time as a kid . . . probably about the same age.

Just keep reading. Teach someone to read. Encourage reading. Share/donate books so others can read. Read alone or join a book club. Get a library card if you don’t have one. Download the 3M Cloud Library app for mobile reading options. Share your love of books with others.

Happy National Book Lovers Day!!!

Now I have to head back to Paula’s blog and answer the book lovers questions she asked in her post.

📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚

Heads, Hands, Ears, Feet, and an Afternoon with Arnie

August 8, 2015

HEADS AND HANDS

I took a brief intermission from Rosie knitting because I wanted to finally knit a pair of mittens to go with a winter hat I had already made earlier in my stash-busting year. The mittens are done! I made the stripes narrower on the mittens than the hat to accommodate the scale.

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That makes four sets of hats and mittens that are for a special donation project I am working on this year (not the same place Rosie is going to be donated). 

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EARS

With the mittens finished, I turned my attention back to Rosie. I thought about the little hat I had made to go with her snow pants and winter jacket.

Rosie is a Minnesota doll and Minnesota winters are COLD, so I decided to add ear flaps and ties to her hat. This addition will help it stay on her head during playtime.

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FEET

I finally had some time to work on winter boots to complete Rosie’s winter outerwear ensemble. Simple, but cute and easy for a child to maneuver.

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AFTERNOON WITH ARNIE

It was a quiet afternoon around here. GN was busy and I had my chores done, so I invited Arnie to join me while I worked on my knitting. Arnold Palmer . . . a non-alcoholic beverage of lemonade and iced tea. 😉 

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Rosie now has three sets of footwear: slippers to match her summer shorty  pajamas, black mary janes to go with her dresses, and now the winter boots. There is some footwear still missing from her wardrobe and that is my next project. I think it may take some trial and error. . . hopefully not too heavy on the error. 😀

Have a great weekend!

Thrifty Thursday: What are the Odds?

August 6, 2015

Because of my chore for the day, I thought I would share a fun find from a recent trip to my local thrift shop. I have a nice purse for work. I don’t know if it’s a name brand because there is nothing on it to identify it.  I bought it at my local thrift shop a few years ago. If you enlarge the photo, you can see it has an Oxford shoe look to the details. I thought it looked respectable for academia and it met my requirements for a purse. That I found it at  thrift shop . . . on senior discount day . . . well, that’s just fine with me!

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I have used it for some time now and it is starting to show some wear.

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My chore for today is to fix the inside pocket. The fabric has pulled away from the zipper and that is an easy fix.

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It is still a very usable bag. The fabric that connects the straps to the bag has no tearing yet, despite all the stuff I toss in. When I lose a strap from a tear, I’m done with a purse! So, I thought It was time to just keep my eyes open and swing through the purse section in case I’d spot something I liked. Well, guess what? I found a purse I liked and it’s in great condition and the price was cheaper than what I paid for the one showing the wear. Want to know what it looks like?

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Yep! It looks just like my old one, but for an ever so  slightly darker look to the color. In the above photo, the one in front is my old one and the one in the back is my recent find. Same bag, same zippers, same inside pockets, too but minus the torn fabric. There’s nothing wrong with it. See?

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I found it on senior discount day, so I got 30% off, too. 😉 You certainly don’t have to like the style of my look-alike bags, but my luck is pretty fun, right? How about you? Any fun thrifty finds?

A Little Rose for a Little Rosie

August 4, 2015

I was determined to knit Rosie’s new dress start to finish yesterday. I did that with the help of a much too late in the day cup of coffee. The color of the wool is “Lemongrass”. I like the color a lot.

Today I managed to do the finishing work: sewing the seams, knitting the placket, adding snaps, etc. then I knit a little collar and added a little rose for little Rosie.

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This dress called for some Mary Janes, I thought, so that’s what I did. I knit some dressy shoes for Rosie. The shoes I learned how to knit years ago look much like this pattern, so for the convenience of any doll knitters who visit, I am posting the link to the Little Jenny Wren Shoe. The buttons are very cute, but because Rosie’s feet are so small, I skipped the buttons.

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With this completed, I am going to take a brief Rosie break. Not for long. I have much to do with this project before the silent auction. I have a goal set for a specific number of knitted outfits and accessories and I am over half way.

I have something else I need to work on the rest of this week for an event that happens earlier than the silent auction.

Rosie’s new dress does not actually go down to her shoes. It’s the camera angle along with the short doll stand that makes it look that way. I’m glad I paged through that old doll book I found at the thrift shop. I like the dress pattern. It didn’t include a collar, but it works with the little rose.

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Simple Woman’s Daybook

August 3, 2015

Hello and welcome to my Simple Woman’s Daybook post. I am linking up with others who are writing Daybook entries, so click the link to read more posts or to share one of yours for us to read. I enjoy stopping at your place for a visit.

For today… Monday, August 3, 2015

Outside my window… It is 76 degrees and sunny. ☀️

I am recovering… It turns out that what I thought was an allergic reaction to mosquito bites per my previous post was really a reaction to deer fly bites. I have quite a few of them. They blistered, swelled, itched like crazy, but also made me very sick. I still hurt, but the fever is down.

I am thankful… I am thankful for the pain medication and the antibiotic I have that should take care of the effects of the bites.

I splurged… Because I have been quite sick from the deer fly bites and am supposed to be resting, I splurged on something from the magazine rack at Barnes and Noble: Daphne’s Diary. It is a diary in the form of a magazine. It includes recipes, gardening articles, craft ideas, lovely papers, travel tidbits. To see more about Daphne’s Diary, click the link. The magazines can be found under the ‘Shop’ tab at the top of the page. The edition I bought has sweet little canning jar labels inside and it included a coloring book, which I gave to Goodnight.

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I am wearing… I am wearing a white tee and black pants and bandages to cover the deer fly bites. 

I am reading… “…AND LADIES OF THE CLUB” by Helen Hoover published in 1982. At 1,175 pages, I knew I would never be able to borrow it from the library and finish it by the time it was due. I found a hard cover copy of it for $2 at a recent Friends of the Library book sale. I will be reading this one a while. I will be reading it at home because I won’t be toting this heavy book to and from work!

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In my kitchen… I have two beats on the kitchen counter waiting for me to decide what to do with them. Not a tough decision. Goodnight really likes Chocolate Beet Tea Loaf and so I.

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From my craft bin… I made some earrings using some dragonfly charms. They are simple, but sterling silver. They will remind me of my summer walks and the different dragonflies I have seen. No, I will not be making deer fly earrings.

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From the thrift shop… I browsed the craft section of my local thrift shop’s book department and found a fun book. The Big Book of Dolls by Mabs Tyler was published in 1976.

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The focus of the book is to show many different ways to make dolls, but . . . there is a wee knitting section that I am putting to good use! The dress shown in the photo below was knit for a doll half the size of Rosie, but I think it’s cute and I am modifying the design to make it work for Rosie, my silent auction donation.

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On my knitting needles… I am still working on Rosie’s wardrobe. I am making the knitted dress shown above. The only design change I made is to have the placket in the back. I think I may have the dress completed by the end of today, but not if this deer fly bite malaise gets the better of me.

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Inspirational quote for the day… “I hate people!” by Ebenezer Scrooge. Just kidding! I don’t hate people, but the song, sung by Albert Finney in the 1970 film “Scrooge”, makes me smile. I think it’s because it’s funny to hear the Scrooge attitude put to music, but I smile also because it reminds me that even a hardened heart can change. Go ahead, click the link and sing along! We only just finished Christmas in July. 😉

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!