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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Signs from the Wild Side


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The other day, I was watching as a herd of about 5-6 deer crossed our front yard, on their way to their night shelter. Igor had heard them right before, alerting me to the "intruders".
I hurried and grabbed my cellphone, not wanting to miss a good pic for the day!


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As they started to wander over toward the side of the house, I ran to the Guest bedroom to catch a shot there.
I noticed a deer standing very still by the Mulberry over behind the shed, and got ready to take a pic when, to my horror, I discovered it was bleeding from a nasty wound under its lower jaw. It was obviously in shock, and noticing the snow on its back, neck and head, I figured it got clipped and rolled down a hill. Deeply saddened, I snapped a shot while the others milled about it, pausing to sniff their wounded comrade, before moving on up the hill.

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The wounded deer stood for several minutes, then hobbled up the hill slowly, stiffly; its back legs did not want to cooperate.
I watched as the deer worked its way painfully back further, mentally telling it to keep owing, keep moving to safe ground. Deep down, I feared it would just find a place to rest, and Nature would take its course.
3 days went by, and I kept a vigil while Igor played in the woods, always on a scent trail. I didn't want to go up and find a deer frozen in the snow, and Igor didn't tarry long before retuning each time we were out.
Two days ago, while Igor and I were out walking up the hill, I discovered the location of the fateful mishap. By the looks of things, it appeared a snow plow had recently passed by with its blade down, scrapping the shoulder, just prior to our next snowfall. Maybe the deer was coming out of the woods, in the usual place, and the snow plow spooked it just enough to clip it... Shaking my head, I took Igor home, there was no way a deer could survive a hit like that.

Yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk finishing up some paperwork, I saw a movement in the corner of the front window and my heart nearly lept out of my chest when the deer that I thought was gone, came up to the bird feeder and took a nibble. She looked like she was a bit bruised, a slight grazing under her chin, but her back legs seemed to work just fine. When she looked up and saw me in the window, she stepped closed for a better look, no fear in her eyes. I was so surprised, I did not want to move to find my cellphone, but instead enjoyed the moment. We looked at each other, and I smiled like the sun had just come out! She watched me for another minute, as if saying, "thanks for thinking of me" and without any fear, turned and took another lick at the feeder before slowly heading back into the woods for the night.

I am constantly reminded that we are not ever alone. If just one good shot of positive energy can bring hope to the sick and injured, then how much better for a Circle of Friends who care for one of their own, when Life sideswipes one of us.

I believe in the power of positive energy and healing. Let this light send enough light to someone tonight, to help ease their pain and sadness.



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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jeny's Stretchy Knit Cast On for Stump Covers

Snow is flying, wind is blowing. Sounding pretty ferocious out there...
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Time for a sock, or how about Barbara Coley's amputee sock!
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I'm using Indulgence Distrato Merino Wool, a soft, warm and easy care washable sock yarn in 013 white/grey colourway, size 6 US needles. With a generous 426 yards, there's enough for two pairs of socks/covers.
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What to use for a stretchy thigh band? Jeny's Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On, by Jeny Staiman:



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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Free 'n easy knit pattern, the Patricia cowl

I'm in full marathon knit mode now, aiming to get at least 4 projects completed before I head to Texas to help DD and SIL move back home, Jan 3. So far, I've made 2 pairs of slippers; one child and one adult size.
The adult size was a compilation of two patterns, the crochet top of the Crocodile Stitch Boots, and the knit foot and sole of the St Louis Boots - Slippers in seed st in Eskimo by DROPS design


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The childs' booties are done completely in crochet, according to the pattern. I'm not fond of crochet footwear, too holey and stiff, but will probably wear longer, at least one season, when she'll outgrow them. I used Red Heart Soft Multi worsted acrylic, for the child's booties.
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I'm going to make another pair of the St Louis Boots, once I have snagged some nice bulky worsted, color TBD.
I'm on to the next quick project, the Patricia Cowl.


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I'm using Berroco Voyage, Embers colorway, an interesting braided blend of yummy super fine Alpaca and polyester. The cable pattern is repeated over 20 rows, nothing too complicated, and is an easy pattern to memorize. This is the first two repeats.

Mr. Peeps is currently redecorating his cage; apparently the carpeting is very tasty!

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lesbo plug-in for....?

O this is just too funny to not share.
At Mr's request, I just spent the last 30 minutes attaching a replacement plug to an extension cord he wanted to salvage. I gave it a whirl, for snicks and grins. This is what happens when the blind lead the blind. "Like" and a thumbs up, if you get it ;)



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Finally, the bulb comes on when Mr. finds the female connector and announces, "...looks like candy corn..."


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At least today, we had a laugh.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crochet Turkey Coasters And Ornaments | Free Pattern & Tutorial at CraftPassion.com

Crochet Turkey Coasters And Ornaments | Free Pattern & Tutorial at CraftPassion.com


14 Nov 21
Crochet Turkey Coasters And Ornaments

Crochet Pattern: Turkey Coasters And Ornaments

Pattern adapted from Jennifer Martin’s pattern in Ravelry after being inspired by 178/365 Flower Potholder.

Dimension:
Finished size: Approximate 6 1/2″ (W) x 5 1/2″ (H)
Gauge: not important as long as the yarn label said it is suitable for 2.5mm to 3.5mm hook.

Materials & Tools:
1. Yarn, acrylic baby yarn, 5 – 6 colors.
2. Crochet hook, 3mm
3. Felt – White, Black and Red
4. Sewing thread – White, Black and Red
5. Sewing needle
6. Scissors

Abbreviations:
sl knot = slip knot
st = stitch
slst = slip stitch (to fasten)
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
fo = fasten off
Rnd = round

Crochet Pattern:

Work on right side only, unless stated otherwise.
FRONT
Body
sl knot on hook to begin.
Rnd 1 – ch 4, 14dc into 1st ch, slst to the 4th ch at the beginning rnd. This will give you a total 15 sts in a rnd, counting the 3chs at the beginning rnd as the first 1 dc stitch. (15 sts)
Rnd 2 – ch 3, dc in same st, 2dc in each st around. slst to the 3rd ch at the beginning rnd. fo. (30 sts)
Rnd 3 – New color: ch3, *2dc in next st, dc in next st, repeat * around. slst to the 3rd ch at the beginning round. fo. (45 sts)
Rnd 4 – New color: ch1, sc around. fo. (45 sts)
Tail
Row 1 – New color: ch3, dc in same st, ch1, 2dc in same st, *skip 2 sts, (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in next st, repeat * until you have made 10 sets. fo.
Row 2 – New color: start at the ch1 space of previous row, ch3, dc in same space, ch1, 2dc in same space, *(2dc, ch1, 2dc) in next ch1 space, repeat * until you reach to the end. fo.
Row 3 – New color: start at the ch1 space of previous row, ch3, 2dc in same space, ch1, 3dc in same space, *(3dc, ch1, 3dc) in next ch1 space, repeat * until you reach to the end. fo.
Row 4 – New color: start at the ch1 space of previous row, ch3, 5dc in same space, *6dc in next ch1 space, repeat * until you reach to the end. fo.

BACK
Follow the front pattern with 1 color only.
When making the tail, you can either follow the front pattern by working on right side only, that is fo at every rnd and start at the first ch1 space of previous rnd.
Or,
Turn your piece to the other side to work without have to fo at each rnd. Make 2 to 3 slst at the beginning of each rnd to get to the ch1 space before beginning the first ch3 for the new rnd. Don’t fo and continue with the next step by joining the front and back pieces up.
Hook Loop: Make a loop at the middle of the tail with ch 10 and slst to the last sc.
Weave in all ends to neaten both front and back pieces.

Joining Front & Back
(Sew facial assemblies on the front before joining the front and back piece. Detail on sewing, please read further down.)

The tail outlining and detailing are made while joining both front and back pieces. All stitches must go through both pieces for joining up.

Place the front piece on top of the back piece, with wrong side facing each other. Line up edges.

Side edge of the tail: *1sc (at the corner to the tail and go through both layers), ch 1, repeat * until you reach the body.
Body & feet: sc in next 7 sts, [make foot: ch 2, *ch 2, sc on 2nd ch from hook, slst to 2nd next ch, repeat * 3 times, sc on next st, sc in the same st of last sc before making foot], sc in next 4 sts, repeat make foot, sc in next 6 sts.
Side edge of the tail: *ch 1, 1sc, repeat * until you reach the corner of the tail
Tail outline and joining:
* sc in next 7 sts. sc in between the 2 shells.
Ch 1, sc around the row below (in between the same 2 shells you just did, only on row 7).
Ch 1, sc around row 6.
Ch 1, sc around row 5 (there are 2 skipped sts available, 1 sc into the closest one, ch 1, then sc into the other).
Ch 1, sc around row 6.
Ch 1, sc around row 7.
Ch 1, sc around row 8.

Facial Assembly: Do this before joining the front and back piece.
1. Cut 2 pcs. of 3/4″ diameter of white felts, 2pcs. of 1/2″ diameter of black felts, 3/4″ red beak and 1 1/4″ long snood.
2. Sew on the front of the turkey with respective color thread.

Get ready some fall color yarns, for example shades of brown, orange, yellow, grey and white.
Cut eyes, beak and snood from felt.

Plan the color combo and arrangement or refer to above photos for suggestion.
Slip knot on crochet hook, crochet 4 chains.
Follow crochet pattern above (rnd 1 to rnd 4) to make the turkey body.
Begin to crochet turkey tail by making 10 sets of “2dc,ch1,2dc” for row 1.
Always begin each row from right hand side with right side facing you.

 Follow crochet pattern above (row 1 to row 4) to make the turkey tail.

 Once the front is done, weave in all ends to neaten.
Sew facial of turkey to the body.

Crochet the back with single color yarn by repeating the front pattern, except that you can choose to either follow exactly, or, turn your piece as you work on the the tail.
Make a 10 chains hook loop at the middle of the last row.

Place the front piece on top of the back piece, with wrong side facing each other. Line up edges.
Crochet along the edge towards the body. Stitches must go through both layers.
Crochet feet.
Crochet towards the turkey tail.

Single crochet 7 stitches on the shell and 1 stitch between the 2 shells.

Crochet 1 chain, then single crochet again between 2 shell on the following row.

Repeat the stitches until you get to the bottom.

Single crochet in the first skip stitches of round 5, chain 1, single crochet on the second skip stitch.
Go up to the top again.

Continue to crochet by repeating the stitches for the rest of the tail details.

 Slip stitch and fasten off the yarn when you reach the first stitch of the joining process.
Weave in the end.
Done!

Crochet Turkey Coasters Ornaments

Friday, October 12, 2012

Frost (and stew) on the Pumpkin

Fall is definitely here and there's nothing better than the aroma of a crock pot of stew to greet you in the morning! Almost better than coffee...almost.
Today our new relatives are coming over for Supper, and I'm making one of Chrystal's popular dishes, Pumpkin Pie Stew.

The recipe is easy:

2 lbs of stew meat, floured and seasoned.
1 McCormack's bag'o stew packet (save the bag for the veggie peelings)
Add whatever you normally put in stew. I used carrots, potatoes, onion, green beans and 1 small can stewed tomatoes. Brown meat in skillet, add crushed garlic and turn off heat. Add seasoning packet, 1 1/2 cups water and stir to deglaze the skillet. Toss in crockpot and cook on low overnight in a large crockpot.
Next day:
I had to add a can of beef broth, or you can add water to make more stew broth.
Preheat oven to 325• and prepare brownie mix. While those are baking, prepare 4 pie pumpkins by taking a large plastic cup, and score around the rim of cup to remove tops. Gut the pumpkins, clearing out all the seeds with your hands. Place the pumpkins on a sturdy cookie sheet for stability.


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For those Divas who don't want to mess up their nails, you can use my special Candy Ass Pumpkin De-Gutting Tool for cleaning out the innards.


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Set the seeds aside for later roasting.


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When the brownies are done, the pumpkins should be cleaned out, amd filled sith juicy stew. replace the tops and pop into the oven. Bake at 325• for approximately 1.5- 2.5 hours or until pumpkins are done.


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I only had room for 3 pumpkins, so the 4th was relegated back to the crock pot.


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Note to Self: next time, don't forget the BAY LEAFS!

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Peeps named himself yesterday, with one simple sound, "peep!"

Peeps says Good Morning, Punkinhead Peeps!


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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Remains of the day~a day full of Fall


Today turned out to be better than expected! I was so excited to be able to go to the Tall Grass Farm Fall Fiber Jubilee today. I joined up with Debbie, the owner of Studio S Fiber Arts and we rode together up the road and 'round the bend to the farm. Master shearer David Kier was on hand to demonstrate his talents!

The other sheep in the pens watched and waited their turn.
There were vendors from around the area on hand to demonstrate spinning, basketry, and cooking! The smells were incredible!!! The chill in the air kept us moving; 43 for a high today, it definitely is feeling like Fall! Igor needs his Fall jacket~
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 When we got back to the studio, I hung around and enjoyed a cup of coffee and pumpkin spice donut holes, while watching people come into the shop in droves. Eleanor and I chatted while Debbie rang up sale after sale. Finally, I got a break and scored some bamboo circulars for my tool stash. I was getting ready to leave when Marcy pulled me aside. She said, "I have something for you!", and promptly whipped out of her knitting bag, a skein of Wollmeise yarn in the most beautiful color of Nightshade Blue I've ever seen! I can't wait to knit this up-a pair of gloves, maybe? 20121006-163715.jpg I gathered up my things and headed home to Hubby, a head full of Fall knitting ideas, and heart full of feel-good. Sharing my morning with hubs, I showed videos and pictures of the events. He told me he had just watched an episode on TV, someone shearing sheep! As we sat and talked, he brought up Spaz, saying that he really missed the little bugger. Then he surprised me by suggesting we get another one, and asked what I thougth. Yes! I said, emphatically! We should get it before it gets too cold, and recalled how we got Spaz in October the year he came into our home. We even designated Halloween as Spaz' birthday, easy to remember~ I ran upstairs, got Spaz' cage back out of the closet, and set it out in its old familiar spot in the dining room table, door open, ready for its newest family member. Heart full of hope, I had Hub load Igor in the rear, then he got in the passenger side, letting me drive, and off we rode to the pet store. As luck would have it, they had a special on the 'keets, and quite a number to choose from. Hubs eyed the green ones for a few, then told me to pick one out and wandered off toward the checkout lane. I studied each one, pointing out a little guy that looked extra spunky, and turned to ask Hubby what were his thoughts. To my dismay, I saw him leaned against the cash register lane, looking rather unsteady on his feet. It was clearly evident he was not having a good day, and was very close to falling. So, with heavy heart, I walked him back out to the car, and we went home, without a 'keet.
Back home, upstairs in the Yarn cave, while Hubs is napping, I am blogging and just received yet another surprise in the mail, from my friend Lindy, in Australia. Angora rabbit yarn!!! 20121006-165654.jpg I'm working on Nat's Bats Shawl, scored some gorgeous Lavender Sparklies yarn for the border. It's going to be to-dye for! 20121006-171043.jpg Some-bunny is looking out for me, and I'm very grateful for my friends and family. At the end of the day, it's all just stuff; it's the joy of friends looking out for each other, that is all that matters. Hope you are having a day full of gratitude and joy, as well. I was happy to share mine with you! 0:)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Frilly Fun Scarf

I've got hooked on a new project. I've ventured into making the Frilly Scarf, after a local yarn shop owner showed me a skein I couldn't live without. I didn't treatise how many yarns there were out there, or how long this has been a fashion trend; once again I'm "out of the loop"m but now I'm back in!
She showed me how to cast on and knit the netting, and off I went on my new adventure!
This fun and bright webbed ribbon yarn is a quick and easy Tv project, which can be knit in a couple episodes of Bones!

This PDF file shows steps for knitting with Marina.

This YouTube video demonstrates knitting with Marina.

This same technique can be used for the Schachenmayr yarn I have chosen.

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This is my first Frilly Scarf in an Hour

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I'm working on another for my Riders Edge Instructor, Kellie, to match her bike in Sedona Orange

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I bought two balls because I want one and the dark maroon will match Stella!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot as Texas Toast in Wisconsin

The heat is relentless. Yesterday it reached a new high.


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Today looks no better, and our crops are at critical drought stage. Cooler temps are in the forecast for the weekend, but WE NEED RAIN!

I started to work on the Wendyknits Dummer Solstice Mystery KAL 3 times, unsuccessfully. My swatch was beautiful, but by the time i got to 20 rows into the actual shawl, it was evident the pattern was so screwed up, it was time to move on.


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I've decided I am better at working a shawl that starts out with fewer COs, for now. This just did not work out.

I've made the Travelling Woman before, and have mastered the Knit and purl YOs to the point I'm ready to make another one, this time more effortlessly.
I'm making this one in Madelinetosh Light, Amber Trinkets colorway. I'm thinking this will be my best yet!


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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my DD Nats and her hubs have hit a speed bump in preparations to move to join her husband in Texas. The Army has decided that because of Jake' s marital status, he needs to be out of the barracks within a week, instead of the original "when you find housing". He had already filed the papers (?) requesting his housing allowance, and was told he could take his time finding a place. Now it appears the paperwork will take 4-6 weeks to be processed, that must be the "take your time" part....
In the meantime, he is to find a place to stay, within a week. The biggest problem is, he doesn't have first and last month rent, having spent it all on Natalie's trip last May.

Yesterday, Nats and her BFF BT went shopping at Kohls. I gave her carte blanche to get things they wanted, as a wedding present. She picked up a set of towels, a bath rug, a bed sheet set, and a rice steamer. And everything was on sale! SCORE!

Back to work on my knitting, and thinking...and thinking....what to do. And hitting the Invisible Breaks.

Stay cool!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A letter to my new Son-in-Law and my Daughter

To my new Son-in-Law and my Daughter,

What roads you have travelled; the high school days, the wanton joy of young rebels, daring to be different, the flights of random reckless abandon, the Goth chick and the Punk.

Jake, what a journey yours has been, you moved away and then a duty to your homeland took you a world away, fighting for our freedom, putting your life on the line, selflessly. We cannot imagine the roads you've travelled, the villages you've passed through, people's faces, the likes of which none of us can fathom, but you came back to us, when we least expected it.

Natalie, there is a big heart in that tiny body, just waiting to be loved, to be appreciated, to be treasured. You deserve this day, along with every joy that comes with this new adventure. You've come a long way from the crazy mixed-up violin case-slinging little girl who didn't know where she fit in, who wouldn't take crap from anybody. You knew all along what your heart was telling you, but I was not listening. I was trying to protect you, to keep you, my last hope for a better tomorrow, afraid that by letting go, I would lose the last thing I had that was so dear to me, my Mini-me!

Now, as you plan your future, I realize that I'm not losing you. You will always be close to my heart and as strong as you have always been, your own person. Stand tall, Little One, and hold your head high, and you will exceed even your own expectations!

We celebrate your new life together with joy, with love and many blessings!

Love you guys,
XMomX




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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, EB and CJ

It was last Friday, but I didn't forget. I'm still working on trying to somehow get a handle on the fact you're gone. I go for long bike rides when I need to clear the cobwebs, and always find you there, waiting for a sign that you are not forgotten.
Bits and pieces of our friendship filter into my daily routine, at the oddest times. Today I went to Goodwill with my friend Linda Godfrey, and while I'm browsing up and down the aisles of Anchor Hocking glassware and Pfaltzgraff dinner plates, candle holders of every shape and height, angels holding a candle cup ready for a wax taper, I'm musing at the sad finality of people's lives discarded and winding up on a thrift store shelf.
I was tempted to purchase a bag of 50's Coats & Clarks cotton crochet thread, size 10. Some of the little balls had some minor stains on them, possibly water marks with age. I put them back, thinking better than to buy some old bedspread cotton, and now I wish I had kept them. I'll go back next week and grab them, if they are still there. But, as I was looking at them trying to decide if I should take them, I mentioned to a lady standing next to me, "this is what will happen to our stashes, when we die! ", and we both laughed.
As we were passing by a cart with some miscellaneous relics yet to be shelved, I happened upon a lovely framed crochet butterfly that someone painstakingly preserved, a gift, maybe? I was so thrilled, I snatched it up for a measly 99¢! I may even attempt to locate the pattern, and I know just where to post a query.
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When we got back, Linda gave me a hug and a parting gift, a huge hand printed poster of Herbs and Ailments Cross Reference Chart.
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And the piece du resistance, a hand painted framed art, it will be a perfect compliment to the herb chart!

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While sifting among the trash to treasures, someone's life nearly forgotten, I am reminded of my own mortality, and that someday, my stuff may wind up in a similar place, as did a few of my mother's things, stuff I couldn't find room for, in my heart or the moving truck.

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Looks like we might get some rain? Everything is drying up, the grass is burnt, and hand watering is essential to my potted garden upstairs.

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Miss Pepper says, "that's enough about you, pay attention to me now."
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My Firstborn Baby Girl turns 36 today- Happy Birthday, CJ! Ha! The Curly Girly Princess gets a head shot in 0:)


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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wisteria, Chives, and the Orange Star Flower Child

What a nice weekend this has been! My older daughter CJ came up from Indy, along with 3 year old grand daughter, baby daddy, and Grandma Pat.
They decided to wait until 6 am Friday morning to head out, fresh and rested, and arrived 6.5 hours later. That turned out to be a better trip for them, and left us half a day to rest and visit. I made subs for lunch, then we sat outside and enjoyed the deck and bird songs. Rhonda had a riot playing with Igor, teasing him with Teddy Bear Keep-away, driving the poodle to distraction! She also loved her dump truck. Looks like Igor wants one too!

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It was a good time to give CJ her Wisteria Wrap, aka The Purple Thing; she loves it!


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Rhonda sure is a cutie! We took a ride to the Natureland Park to see one of the effigy mounds, a short hike from the parking lot.
She was a perfect study in Nature, nestled among some wildflowers that proliferate on the mound. I identified one nice specimen of Orange Star Flower, gorgeous!
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On our return hike back, Baby Girl has fun chasing butterflies!

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Pat enjoyed the park as much as I did, the first time I found it. I think we could have found the other mound, if we had our hiking shoes on~
On the way back to the car, we stopped and got out feet wet in the natural spring- brrrr! It was cold! Rhonda took first her shoes off, then her shirt, and before anyone could say BOO!, she lay down in the cool water, much to her daddy's chagrin... oh, but I bet it felt good!

As we drove back toward home, I showed them a local cemetery in Heart Prairie.

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As we wandered around looking at the old markers and headstones, I noticed a monument stone I hadn't noticed before.

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Upon reading the inscription, we noticed a section of dried grass that appeared to have been lines along the former church's foundation.

We drove toward the back of the grounds and noticed some large old concrete planters in the shapes of urns, and curiosity got the better of us, so we continued on back, only to discover a magnificent old victorian mansion hiding on a beautiful bluff behind the trees. In my wonder, I completely forgot to take a picture, but plan to go back soon. I hope the residents don't mind this curious visitor :)

We enjoyed a nice evening on the deck, sharing pictures and laughter. CJ sure seemed relaxed and happy to be back.


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Ryan and I compared smart phones; he and Pat want an iPad now heheee!
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Pat just seemed confused as to what all the fuss was. ;p
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I took CJ for a bike ride in the late afternoon, and we stopped to pick up some food for dinner. She had a good time, and the new passenger was not a problem.
Pat was content to relax on the deck and play with the iPad.
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Our last evening together, CJ, Rhonda and I enjoyed some rest and relaxation and tried to forget about having to say our goodbyes then next day. We danced like there was no tomorrow.

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Today was our last day, so everyone was up and rested, ready to go. Daddy started loading everything back into the SUV, and CJ wanted a picture of me and her on the bike. Rhonda and Igor got in on the action.


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My weekend has the best news yet: my youngest daughter has announced her engagement to Jake Greenwood :)
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And her younger brother Sam, has popped the question to his longtime friend Bridget, to which she said "YES!"



And now the house is as quiet as a mouse nestled under a pottery shard. All is back to normal, but the memories will linger until next time we're all together :)
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