About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Happy Goldfish

Good morning,

The sun was right to get a couple of pictures of the gold fish in our back yard pond.  These characters had no problem getting through the winter with a heater in their water.  They are self sustaining and have more than enough food right there in the pond.
How do I know they are happy, you ask?  They are getting huge on all the food available and have lodged no complaints with the management.

;),

Lois

Monday, June 29, 2020

Peace Lily

Good morning,

Last night as I was closing the curtains in the dining room I noticed the Peace Lily will soon have a bloom.  :) 

My little indoor table garden (jungle) is very happy this year. 

;),
Lois




Sunday, June 28, 2020

Alarm Dog

Good morning,

We don't need an alarm clock.  We have an alarm dog.  ;)

Miss Elsa wakes us each morning with sloppy kisses and a waggy tail. 

It is so good to be home and retired.  During all the years we sailed at sea, this is one of the things we missed the most.

Happy Summer!

Lois




Saturday, June 27, 2020

Fireworks

Good morning,

In one week it will be the Fourth of July, time to celebrate the Independence of the USA.

I like fireworks and since I was a little girl I have enjoyed going to the professional displays that are so exciting and beautiful.  I remember one year about 20 years ago Kjell, Catherine, and I went on board the Belle of Cincinnati on the Ohio River and watched the fireworks over the Cincinnati skyline.  It was fabulous.  We also have fond memories of annually attending Red, White, and Boom, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Fourth of July Concert at Riverbend, the Orchestra's Summer Home on the Ohio River at Coney Island.  The concert of patriotic music always ended with the 1812 Overture and a full fireworks display.  Marvelous! 

But, I have a different feeling about fireworks in residential neighborhoods.  I once had a German Shepherd who would go through plate glass windows when she heard fireworks or thunder.  We had gotten her as a rescue when she was about six months old.  We had no idea what she had endured before that and what had traumatized her about loud noises.  My kids were little at the time and the neighborhood bullies would throw lit firecrackers over our fence and into our yard to see the dog go crazy.  Sadly, when something was thrown into the yard, my children, just toddlers, would run to see what it was, too.  Fortunately, there was no catastrophe, but the danger was real.  I asked the parents of the boys throwing the fireworks to stop, and the father told me I was un-American because I didn't like fireworks.  *sigh*  These parents and some others were the problem in that neighborhood.  The kids went from fireworks to breaking and entering to vandalism and beyond year after year.

When the same kids and their friends started shooting many people's pets (including our cats) in the neighborhood, then a child in her own driveway one block away from us, I started house hunting.   The parents had completely lost control and even encouraged their kids to break the law beginning with the fireworks when they were small.  After we moved, some of those young people were arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to jail for the shootings.  We moved to our present home 41 years ago because of this.  None of this had anything to do with race.We moved from an all white, suburban neighborhood of new four bedroom homes to an ethnically diverse neighborhood of very old homes where we felt much safer.

So, now our kids are grown, well educated with honors, and independent.  No arrests, no jail time, no tattoos, either.   We have four Labrador Retrievers who don't have problems with loud sounds;  in fact, our Erik loved gun dog training.  But, I know there are dogs in the neighborhood who are terrified and have been every night for weeks.  Also, humans, especially combat veterans, often have a terrible time with constant fireworks.

It's sad, isn't it, when people insist on illegally shooting off fireworks in a residential neighborhood with no consideration for those who suffer from the constant loud sounds.  It's bad enough when the parents to it, but those parents who encourage their children to break the law are the biggest part of the problem.

This has been a much more serious post than usual.  If you've read through it this far, thank you.  Enough said, and I'll put away my soap box.

Lois

Friday, June 26, 2020

Penny's Breakfast

Good morning,

Penny, our champion Yellow Lab, is nearly fifteen and a half now.  This is Penny's breakfast in an omlette pan.  She has always eaten raw food, but now I change it a little because she has difficulty eating without a little help.

Now I put her food in an omelette pan, then just heat it slightly while chopping into hash.  Included:  1/3 to 1/2 pound hamburger, one egg, a scoop of chopped veggie mixture that Catherine makes for all of the pups for their raw diet, one slice of my home made bread (no preservatives), a little milk, and an egg.  She gets this twice a day. 

She normally wouldn't need the bread, but not only does she love it, we are trying to put a little weight back on her. 

After it is cool enough, I bury her supplements and pills in it, then feed it to her with a spoon.  She gobbles it down so I guess she approves of my cooking. 

Penny is very special.

Lois

Thursday, June 25, 2020

This Week's Work in Process

Good morning,

I've worked on a few small things since I finished the Cables and Lace Sweater this week.  Above is a headband, part of the custom order, and...
...this is a boot cuff, also part of the same order.  The lighting in the two pictures isn't the same, therefore, they appear to be different colors, but they aren't.  The Teal Cables and Lace Sweater Set is finished and sold, but you can see the sold listing and images here.
This has been a busy week of making ear savers for masks with elastic ear loops, too.  These are a few of the buttons I pulled out of my massive collection to use while making the ear savers.  Every time I think I've made enough of them for family, daughter's office, local sales, and the shop, I need a few more.  Click here to see what they look like finished.
 I've also pulled out the yarn for my next custom order sweater, a very pretty medium-light blue.  I'll have that on the needles by tomorrow.  And, of course, that cream flower afghan blanket is still waiting for me to spend more time on deck two to work on it....

What are you making, baking, growing today?

All the best,
Lois

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

My Assistant Elsa

Good morning,

I took this image just a few minutes ago.  I woke up with so many things to do today and this little lady, Miss Elsa, will be at my side as I try to get them all done.

I just updated the most important parts of the shop and am now off to deck one (our home is decks, not floors - old hangup from years at sea) to prepare special breakfast foods for and feed Elsa's Great Great Aunt Penny, throw in a batch of laundry, then get to knitting.  I have one more small item to finish this morning so that I can list a custom order.  My Honey also has a custom order that he said should be ready for me to list today.  It is rainy outside now.  I hope the weather clears so I can get some good pictures and that I can list the new items. 

Have I mentioned that I need a cabin steward?  My cruise friends will know exactly what I mean!

Happy Wednesday!

Lois

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Salmon for the Pups

Good morning,

This is all that was left of the salmon My Honey pan fried for dinner a couple of days ago.

The pups sit waiting patiently while we eat our dinner.  They know they will get something good when we are finished.  I divided the center piece in half and had a yummy treat for each of the four pups.

Those pups eat very well here.

;),
Lois

Monday, June 22, 2020

A Lovely Father's Day Weekend

Good morning,

We had a lovely Father's Day weekend.  Kjell was reminded all weekend of the great Dad that he is.  
Saturday night we had a lovely steak dinner prepared by Catherine with that yummy cake in the first picture for dessert.  That cake is a white cake filled with vanilla cheesecake mousse.  Oh, yes, it was good!

Sunday had gravlax for brunch.  We all had a hand in preparation of this meal:  Kjell made the gravlax, I made the bread, and Catherine made the scrambled eggs and gravlax sauce.  The gravlax and sauce recipes are here

I hope you had a wonderful weekend with the important men in your life, too.

All the best,
Lois

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Fathers Day!

Good Morning,

Happy Fathers Day to all the great men who are so very special to us.

Yesterday we went to the wood (toy) store so Kjell could pick up some new supplies for his wood workshop.
I am always here as his enabler and consultant.
Oooooh,
 ...Wood!
 This is always a fun outing as Kjell picks out new wood and hardware for his next projects.

We hope you are having a great Fathers Day, too!

All the best,
Lois

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Dinner View

Good morning,

This is the view from my place at the dinner table at home.  What a beautiful Spring Day with flags flying.  The flags were both beautifully full in the wind until I got my camera out.  Then the wind died down. It's still a pretty picture. 

All the best,
Lois

Friday, June 19, 2020

African Violet Bouquet

Good morning,

From time to time I've shown you pictures of this plant when it had one or two blooms on it.  I got it as a hand-me-down from Catherine who received it in a basket of plants four or more years ago.  While in that basket, the violet bloomed from time to time, but acted as if it wasn't too pleased sharing space with its kalankoe, fern, and peace lily neighbors. 

I re-potted this lovely into a dachshund planter (you can only see his tail!) that I received with a plant when number one son was born more than 50 years ago.  It seems the violet has found it's happy place!

So pretty, I just had to share!

:),
Lois

Thursday, June 18, 2020

First Orchid Blossom of the Season

Good Morning,

This pretty orchid blossom is the first of the season in my indoor garden. 

I love flowers and feel so grateful when they flourish and bloom for me.  ;)

All the best,
Lois

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Egg Bread with Sour Cream

Good morning,

Of all of the different types of bread that I have made, this one is the favorite of the family.

It is a rich egg and sour cream bread with a beautiful texture.

Oh, my, it is good!

;),
Lois

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

zzzzzzz....

Good morning,

I decided to lie down on the bed yesterday afternoon to answer a text on my phone.  Of course, Elsa snuggled up next to me.  It only took a minute for her to be sound asleep and...
...from the smile on her face, it appears she was having happy dreams. 

:),
Lois

Monday, June 15, 2020

Honeysuckle in Bloom

Good morning,

The Honeysuckle is in bloom here now.
Although these pretty little aromatic flowers are lovely to see every Spring, they seem to think they are here to take over the world!  Sometimes it is difficult to keep them in their place, but they are sill lovely to have.

What is blooming where you are today?

All the best,
Lois

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Penny's New Bed

Good morning,

Penny, our 15 year old sweetheart, has a new orthopedic bed that she seems to just love.  I was in the process of making it with her favorite quilts and she got on it before I was finished. 

We can definitely say this bed is "Lab Tested!"

;),
Lois



Friday, June 12, 2020

Today's Rose

Good morning,

Here's another rose in bloom on a different plant than the one I showed you a few days ago.  I think the very few remaining rose bushes I have from the 60 bushes planted 30 or so years ago are growing only from their root stock.

Whatever the source, they are beautiful and are so pleasant to see when I go out to visit the garden each morning.

All the best,
Lois

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Pure Sour Dough Bread

Good morning,

It has been quite awhile since I've made pure sour dough bread.  Generally, I use the sourdough as the base, then add eggs, salt, sugar, cheese or cream, etc., to make a light yummy bread, or make a darker/heavier bread with oats or rye.

This time, though, I made bread the biblical way with just flour and water.  I modernized enough to use my bread machine for the first mixing. 
As I watched it mixing, I added just enough flour to get the correct dough consistency. 

Then I took the whole thing out of the machine, put it on the counter and worked it over (kneaded) it for awhile longer before putting it in a bowl in the oven with only the light turned on for a little warmth while the dough rose.

Sourdough takes longer to rise (at least in my house) than bread made with commercial yeast. 

After the first rise, I took it out of the oven and worked it over awhile longer.  I formed it into a ball and returned it to the oven to rise once again.
After that final rise, I scored the loaf with a knife.  I baked this small loaf about 45 minutes.
The bread was wonderfully crusty on the outside and had that distinct sour dough flavor on the soft and chewy inside.  Yum!

But, the favorite here in this house is egg bread so I made a batch of that, too. 

This made for very good eating!

:),
Lois

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

This Week's Work in Process

Good morning,

I've finished the front of the current Teal Cables and Lace Sweater and have joined it to the back at the shoulders with a three needle bind off.  The sleeves have been started.  This sweater is a custom order, but there are similar sweaters in the shop and ready to ship.  A pink one is here and there is a turquoise sweater available, too.
This is the third set of Ear Protectors I've made for those wearing masks with elastic ear pieces.  These are finished now and there is a button at each end so that the mask elastic can be slipped around the button on the back of the wearer's head instead of being looped over the ears.  The first set I made sold in just a few hours so I've made a few more.  You can see them finished in the shop here

Of course, that poor cream flower afghan blanket is still in the works.  It seems something else keeps popping up to take my time.  I'll get back to it eventually!

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the very best,
Lois

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Sunday Brunch

Good morning,

Catherine made Sunday Brunch yesterday and, as always, it was delicious.

What a treat!

Thanks, Catherine.

Love you,
Mom



Sunday, June 7, 2020

New Doggie Panties!

Good morning,

Catherine bought new panties for Elsa and Wendy and they are so cute! Elsa's panties are a purple design and Wendy's are a turquoise design.

I took quite a few pictures of the girls wearing their new panties, but they were moving around and wagging so much that this is the only picture I got that shows how very cute they are.

When the girls are in season, of course, they wear panties around the house. 

So cute!

Lois

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Elsa's Puppy House

Good morning,

We have several dog kennels placed around the house.  Generally, the doors are open and the pups can nap away from the maddening crowd without being disturbed.  This was especially important when the grandchildren were little.  When they visited they sometimes wanted to play with the pups longer than the pups wanted to play.  The rule was, when the pups went into their kennels, they were to be left alone.  That was their private space. 

The humor in the picture above, though, is that kennel is much too small for Elsa now, but she still likes to squeeze in there for a rest once in awhile. She comes and goes as she pleases and seems quite happy to nap in her baby kennel sometimes.

So sweet.

:),
Lois

Friday, June 5, 2020

Penny's Checkup

Good morning,

Penny had her six week checkup at the vet this week.  She's doing quite well for being 15 years old.  She still moves around on her own, enjoys her food, and gives us a wag when we come into the room.

She is getting a bit picky about what she eats.  At her age and with doc's blessing, we are giving her whatever she wants to eat.  After all, she is our champion and the queen in our household.  She enjoys hot dogs, scrambled eggs with cheese, ground turkey and beef, doggie treats, peanut butter sandwiches, and just about anything else that we are eating.  She has decided she is too mature to have to eat her veggies any more.

Catherine is holding Penny to ensure she remains socially distant from others in the room.

;),
Lois

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Catalpa in Bloom

Good morning,

That Catalpa tree in bloom is at the bottom of our driveway.  It is more than 60 feet tall and the aroma of the blossoms is magnificent.

Just beautiful!

Happy Spring,
Lois




Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Needlework and Wood Working Update - June, 2020

Good morning,

Kjell made the custom order box with a Texas theme that you see above.  That's the only entry from the wood workshop this month, although he has quite a few other projects in process.  The engravings on the top, front, back, sides, and inside the lid are all very time consuming.  An absolutely gorgeous work of art!  We have a variety of wood boxes in the shop here that are available to ship now.
Above is a new sweater design that I have developed.  The sweater has been sold and delivered to the customer.  We have other sweaters available here.
Part of the sweater order are this coordinating hat,
headband,
and boot cuffs.  Of course, we have hats, headbands, and boot cuffs available in the shop, too.  Explore the shop section links listed at the side of the main shop page.
I needed something small to make between the larger projects.  These are kitchen scrub pads with cotton on one side and acrylic yarn on the other.  They're washable in the laundry to keep them fresh.  The pads pictured here are spoken for, but I may be adding some to the shop to coordinate with the large pot holders that are available.  They are perfect items for kitchen wedding showers.
I'm still making masks upon request and have several in the shop.  I photographed this one with flash so the open texture design is visible. The design keeps the wearer from being overheated and the mask holds a disposable coffee filter fits and works perfectly.  Of course, the masks are washable either by hand or in the washer.  A mesh laundry bag is recommended when machine washing to maintain freshness.

These have all be delivered.  A variety of colors of masks is available in the shop here.
I've designed and made an "ear saver" to wear on the back of the head to hold the mask elastic in place without putting pressure on the ears.  I've given this one to our daughter to test market.  If it works for her, I'll surely make more for the shop.  Of course, they'll work with our masks or any other masks with elastic ear loops.

Our shop appears on many social media platforms as well as on Etsy.  We sincerely appreciate your comments, likes, shares, favorites, and purchases, too!  Please come see what else we've made here:  EvensensProductions.com.  Thank you so very much for your support of small business.

All the best,
Lois

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Original and Traditional
Hand Crafted Designs
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