I Am Taking Care Of ‘Otters’

March 3, 2015

Don’t let the title of my post lead you to believe that I have become a zoologist all of a sudden. I have not. I am taking care of things I ought to take care of and I call them ‘otters’ as in I otter do this and I otter do that.


GN and I otter get our teeth cleaned, so those appointments are taken care of.


It is also time for GN to go to the orthodontist, so I otter make that appointment, too. I’m so glad I didn’t have to worry about it through most of the winter! We are nearly done tending that otter because her smile is perfect now. 


I finished Gr8’s gray mohair birthday shawl and I otter get that in the mail. It will arrive in plenty of time. 


I otter get the oil changed, so my Chevro-sleigh will be taken care of this week. 


And a homeowner ‘otter’ take the knobs off the stove and give them a good cleaning from time to time. We must be vigilant about germs, right? 


I can’t call it a ‘honey do list’ because my honey has been gone for nine years already. I could grow up and call it a chore list or a to do list, but since I grew up on Pollyanna and Mary Poppins, I prefer to think I am tending otters. Pollyanna played the Glad Game and Mary Poppins’ advice was to “find the fun and snap! the job’s a game.”

Okay . . . I otter get back to work now. Bye! 



Doll Week Is Over

February 28, 2015

The thing about this stash-busting year for me is that there are no rules and I can do whatever I want as long as I’m working with the yarn I have at home. Frankly, Doll Week never got started.

It’s been cold here and despite the below 0-degree temperatures, it was sunny and I wanted to take a walk on my lunch breaks. I wore my wool mittens on Monday, but my fingertips got cold.

So I pulled some wool from my stash and took care of my cold fingertips! I knit myself a pair of mittens that double nicely with the pair I wore on Monday.  

Once the yarn comes out and the five double-pointed needles start to dance, it feels like art to me! I am a ‘plain Jane’, so my own woolens tend to be rather plain, but that’s okay.

Art in progress.


Finished art.


Paired art.


Art grouping. (my old mittens inside my new ones)


My Saturday morning ritual of hanging art.


I have a Daily Puzzle app that I use to get my brain going in the morning.  The word search puzzle shown below was for today. I found the rest of the words easily, but the highlighted word seemed to taunt me after the cold week we had.


But that’s why I knit!


Isabel is Over 100 Years Old

February 26, 2015

I went to visit Isabel – not just any Isabel – The Isabel.

The Isabel is a brick row house designed by Louis Lockwood and built at the turn of the 20th century. The structure is on St. Paul’s West Side on Isabel Street and her name is in center at the top, visible between the two tree branches.image

As if standing across the street and snapping a photo of the old building wasn’t good enough to appreciate, I Googled the address and came up with interior photos from a recent listing of a three-bedroom dwelling on the far end in the photo above.

The place is off the market, but it’s still fun to see the interior of the old structure. Check out the photos.

Commemorative Exhibit

February 22, 2015

22 February 1943

Today is the 72nd anniversary of the execution of Christoph Probst and siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, for their participation in The White Rose.

White Rose

Photo taken by Goodnight Gram at the North Gallery Exhibit

The Germanic-American Institute has set up a commemorative exhibit in the North Gallery of the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA to honor members of the Nazi resistance movement. There is no charge for the exhibit. It is open to the public and the gallery hours are the same as the building hours.

I attended the exhibit when it opened. I knew the story, but there is always something to learn by visiting such an exhibit. Not all of the members of The White Rose were executed, but the first of the executions was carried out in Munich just hours after Probst and the Scholls were tried. Subsequent trials happened in April and July of 1943 and in April and October of 1944.

Kurt Huber’s widow was sent a bill for ‘wear of the guillotine.” image (7) Alexander Schmorell was canonized an Orthodox Saint 5 February 2012, for his martyrdom. 220px-Alexanderschmorell-martyr The machine used to duplicate the leaflets prepared by The White Rose was called a hectograph.  image (9) Elisabeth Hartnagel-Scholl, younger sister of Sophie and Hans Scholl was still alive in January, 2014, when she spoke of her painful memories after the guillotine used to execute her siblings was found. I have not found evidence of her passing, so she could very well be alive at the age of 94.

guillotine There is much available for further information: Sophie Scholl – The Final Days is an excellent film. The content of the six leaflets prepared by the White Rose are worth checking into.

Biographical information of all those White Rose members tried for their beliefs is also worth study.

First Trial: Christoph Probst, Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl

Second Trial: Helmut Bauer, Heinrich Bollinger Wilhelm Graf,  Eugen Grimminger, Heinrich Guter, Falk Harnack, Hanz Hirzel, Susanne Hirzel, Kurt Huber, Traute Lafrenz, Franz Josef, Muller, Gisela Scherting, Katharina Schuddekopf, Alexander Schmorell

Third Trial: Harald Dohm, Manfred Eickemeyer, Wilhelm Geyer, Josef Sohngen

Fourth Trial: Wilhelm Bollinger

Fifth Trial: Lisolette Dreyfeldt, Wolfgang Erlenbach, Valentin Freise, Marie-Luise Jahn, Hans Leipelt, Hedwig Schulz, and Franz Treppesch,

Hat Week is Over

February 22, 2015

Hat week is over and I was able to knit two more hats after the striped one. Starting tomorrow, I will move to something else on my stash-busting schedule.

The second hat is intended to match a pair of mittens I made for myself a long time ago with yarn I bought at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Hat and mittens are pictured below. The mittens look darker for two reasons: I have been wearing them for a long time, and the gauge is tighter to make them very warm.


For a short time, they sold a wool that was a blend of sheep fiber mixed with camel from the zoo’s resident camels. I bought quite a few skeins from their very first dye lot.

I didn’t use a pattern for either the mittens or the hat, but just worked a basic cable into a basic hat shape. I love how the top of the hat looks where the cables meet. I love knitting art, don’t you?


The third hat I made this week is a pretty red worsted wool and I knit a basic hat like my mother taught me over fifty years ago.


The red hat, along with the striped hat and mittens set will be for donation.

Next week, starting tomorrow, actually, will be doll week! I hate to think how long I have had a hand-knit doll waiting patiently for some more clothes. She needs something to go with her skirt. Below is a sneak peek.


We’ll see what happens with that long overdue adventure. The doll is over ten years old, but luckily was never intended as a gift for anyone or a toy for GN. It was just one of my favorite things to knit.

LOST PHONE AND SHOE UPDATE: the phone is still lost and GN said that her missing shoe is in someone’s gym locker. A girl on the team told her she accidentally grabbed it when she was picking up her pile of clothes to shove into her locker. Yea!

It’s Going To Be A Long Day

February 20, 2015

Just moments after I dropped GN off at her bus stop to catch her bus to school, I got a phone call from an unknown caller. The number showed up as local and even though I rarely answer when the call is not someone in my contacts, I took the call.

“Grammy? I can’t find my phone. I thought I had it when I got out of the car but now I don’t have it. Oh, and I only have one basketball shoe. I thought I packed both of them, but don’t bother looking in my room. Really! Do not go in there. I will borrow someone else’s. Oh, and it’s gonna be a long day. The away school messed up on their scheduling and they scheduled BOTH the boys AND the girls basketball games as home games on the same day. The boys Varsity game starts at 8:00. I borrowed “J’s” phone so I could let you know. And thank you, Grammy, for packing the snacks for my long day.”

Gram’s translation: Crap! I hate the missing phone thing. I wonder if she will be borrowing just the one shoe or a pair. I wonder why she was so…firm…about me not going into her room to look for the shoe. Nope! I’m not going in! It is going to be a very long day, indeed. Every basketball adult knows that last Varsity game will never start on time. There are too many factors that will throw the schedule off big time: 9th grade girls and boys, B-squad girls and boys, Junior Varsity girls and boys, Varsity girls and boys, overtimes. GN is going to have to either send a carrier pigeon that doesn’t mind the cold to let me know when they are on the way back to school, so I can be there when the bus gets back . . . or I will have to answer another phone call from an unknown caller sometime between 10:30 and midnight tonight when GN borrows someone else’s phone. I wish I could send a thermos of hot homemade soup, but even tough GN has a good thermos, it would not stay hot for the thirteen hours between the time I would heat it up and the time GN would actually get to eat it. The snacks are healthy and will get her through the after-school wait, the bus ride to the away venue, and the bus ride back to her school, but she will just have to use the cash I gave her to buy something to eat at the concession stand after her game. I thought I showed Lent-worthy restraint from sarcasm by not bothering to ask her if I should be looking for the right shoe or the left one . . . although I lost my Lent-worthiness by boasting about my restraint, right? :-)

p.s. Here’s how the Gram rolls. If she borrows “J’s” phone again tonight  . . . it will come up as the contact I saved after she called me this morning.  ;-)

On top of all that, it’s been snowing and the roads were slick this morning. I feel like I need a nap already, but I have a day job that is nowhere near by bed!

BBall Shoe



Where in the World is Gram?

February 19, 2015

It’s my long day at work. It’s cold outside, so even if I were not at work, I would not be outside for too long. It all gets me to thinking about . . . travel. So my lunch break was a good a time for me to gad about the earth using The Google Earth app.

First, I went to Pisa, Italy to visit the Leaning Tower. I clicked on every single photo to get a good view.


Then I skipped to the graveyard of the Atlantic: Sable Island. My great-great grandfather’s half-brother was shipwrecked for two years on his immigration journey to the United States. From all accounts, it sounded like he was shipwrecked on Sable Island. 





I moved in closer for a look at the feral horses on the island.


After Sable Island, I ‘flew’ over my house and guess what? My red Chevro-sleigh was parked outside!


My last stop was a fun place, but I didn’t realize the name was real. I thought a well-known author made it up. I took a virtual tour.


Where in the world was my last stop??? Leave your guesses in a comment. I’m guessing you’ll guess this one!

It was a good e-cation and I feel refreshed for another six hours of work.

“Und es gescha also.”

February 18, 2015

I keep telling folks that I don’t have a formal Bucket List. I should amend that statement to make it more accurate. I don’t have a formal written Bucket List, but I still have things I want to do, see, hear, taste, and read before my time runs out.

One thing that has been on my list for a very long time has been to read the entire Bible . . . in German. I’ve been looking for a German Bible for ages and the answer to why there are non in second-hand bookstores is always the same. (There is a specific group that gets to them before I do.) I don’t want a new one, I actually want an old one.

Today is Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent in Western Christianity) and I decided the search is over and technology will replace the hunt! I downloaded a German Bible in a free app called “Luther’s Bible” and the photo below shows what it looks like in the app store.


I won’t likely get through the entire volume during Lent 2015 because I am not fluent in German. I decided to translate it as I go. It may seem like more of a tedious nerd’s paradise than a Lenten activity . . . working between the app and Google Translate, and then a Word document to store my final product . . . but when the translation appears, it makes me smile to see the familiar words, lines and thoughts.

As far as Bucket List items, it was either this or going on vacation to spot narwhals. You know the tusk is really a protruding tooth, right?


It is not time for my Spring Break vacation and this spring I agreed to work through my vacation due to special circumstances at the college, so the narwhal trip remains on my Bucket List.

I have already translated seven verses this morning and will just continue quietly moving forward.

“Und es geshah also.”  And thus it was.

Homemade three cheese mac and cheese in the oven for dinner. I used cheddar, asiago with rosemary, and gruyere.



Psst . . . I did a quality control check . . . you know, for safety purposes . . . and it is yummy! 

I Had Less Than a Yard to Spare!

February 17, 2015

It’s hat week for me on my stashbusting schedule.

When I completed my mittens two weeks ago, it didn’t look like I had enough yarn to make a matching hat, but while doing laundry over the weekend, I found a little ball of yarn that probably escaped when I had put the other leftovers away. That little bit gave me enough wool to follow the striping pattern in the mittens.

The hat is done and in the end, I had less than a yard left of the black wool. I didn’t follow a pattern, so I’m sorry there isn’t one to share. I like the head-hugging shape and just wanted my hat to match the mittens.


I am going to begin another hat this afternoon. Goodnight has an away basketball game tonight and I should be able to get a lot of knitting done while I wait for the team bus to get back to her school.

Sometimes Valentines are Round . . . and Black

February 16, 2015

It wasn’t planned, but sometimes an impulsive decision works.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I thought Goodnight would be sleeping most of Valentine’s Day after the all-night birthday party she had attended on Friday night. Interestingly enough, she called me before 9:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day morning, while I was still at the Germanic American Institute (GAI) for breakfast. She told me she had slept well and was ready to be picked up.

I left the GAI, went to pick up my granddaughter, then drove back to the GAI so she could eat breakfast too.

When she had enough to eat, we headed back home . . . with a little detour along the way.

I don’t tend to be very impulsive, but it was a long weekend, with Presidents’ Day off of work for me and off of school for GN and though the temperature was very cold, the roads were good for driving, so I thought it was time for GN to see a hockey game – a Minnesota Wild hockey game at the ‘X’, the Xcel Energy Center.

I drove into the horseshoe at the ‘X’ and parked my car long enough to run in and buy tickets for the Saturday night game against the Carolina Hurricanes. I knew I would have to likely buy single seats on such short notice, but we lucked out and got seats very close together. They were close enough for us to have fun together. The third row up from the ice behind the net that the Wild would shoot at in the first and third periods sounded like a pretty exciting place to watch a hockey game.

Turns out I was right. GN had fun texting her friends, taking photos and watching the game. Several of her friends spotted her on TV and texted her through the game.

The ‘X’ seats over 18,000 spectators, but Saturday night, it was announced that the attendance was the second highest for a home game at 19,200-something. Turns out a LOT of other folks thought it would be a fun thing to do on Valentine’s Day, too.

Kids attending their first Wild game at the ‘X’ can get a free First Game puck at Guest Services. They date it for the kids. GN has a little round black Valentine to remember her Valentine’s Day game night.


The mascot for the Minnesota Wild is Nordy.


He definitely adds to the fun! Of course sitting behind the net was pretty fun, too.


The game ended with a 6-3 win for the Wild. Zach Parise scored an empty-net goal near the end of the game.


It was a fun Valentine’s Day event.



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