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.

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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Winter Blossoms - African Violet

Good morning,

This is one of my African Violets that blooms when the mood strikes it.  A few months ago I removed it from the basket of plants where it entered this home about three years ago and replanted it in a very old pot that I received with a plant when our eldest son was born.  It seems to like that antique pot!

I love seeing blooms in the winter.  So very pretty!

What is blooming in your home?


Friday, February 28, 2020

Guess Where We Ate Last Night

Good morning,

My Honey and I met Catherine at our favorite sushi restaurant last night.  This was a shared plate of sushi.  My Honey also had soup and I had a salad.  It's fun to order several different types of sushi, then sharing so that we can each enjoy the variety.

I remember mentioning recently that I don't eat raw fish.  Well, I was wrong.  I do eat sushi if I am comfortable with the restaurant where it is prepared.

All the best,


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Elsa's Pillow Today

Good morning,

I'm now Elsa's pillow at night.  She is in our bed with us and her head is on my hip.  She tries to sleep that way all night, but I convince her to move her head up by my shoulder when I want to turn over.

What a cuddle dog!

Retirement is good!


Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Good morning,

Elsa still loves to chew sticks.  Sometimes, though, she gets a little carried away. 
This time she chose a "stick" from the fireplace log pile.  ;) 

At least this one was too large to get into the house through the log door.  If I don't keep a close eye on her, she brings sticks in to chew up on the carpet.  I have a special shop vacuum for that, but it's still not fun.

Sweet Elsa.  ;)


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

New Computers

Good morning,

I have a new computer that I received a couple of months ago for my birthday and am finally setting up this week.  I currently have the old and the new computers set up side by side while I load programs onto the new one.  I have all files on an external drive, so that makes them easy to plug into the new system.  That's the new monitor on the left, the old one on the right.

I'm just about finished getting things in order now.  Tomorrow I'll attempt to do everything for the blog, shop, email, photos, etc., on the new system.  If all goes well, I'll dismantle the old system.

My Honey got a new computer this week and our desks are side by side so he's setting his up on his desk next to me.  

What on earth did we do 30 years ago before these things?


Monday, February 24, 2020

This Week's Work in Process

Good morning,

I have four items in process right now.  The lap blanket above is about half finished now.  I enjoy working with the bright colors.  This is my upstairs crochet project that I've had a little  more time to work on because I'm loading programs on a new computer.  I just sit here and crochet while I watch the little arrows and circles on the monitor as programs load.  ;) 
This is my living room crochet project.  This will be a large triangular shawl.  I'm having fun with color again!  All of these gorgeous colors come in the same ball of yarn. 
I showed you this much earlier when I started it.  It was going to be a neck warmer, but is growing into a scarf.  My Honey likes to fold over a long scarf and loop the ends through the middle fold.  I'll make this one long enough for that.  It'll go in the shop to coordinate with other items that are made of the same yarn.  This is a soft wool blend that will be wonderful to wear in cold weather.
And, finally, this little bit of winter white knit ribbing is the beginning of a hat that will feature intarsia designs with multi color yarn. 

I have so many ideas churning around in my brain.  I have been known to sit up in the middle of the night and text ideas to myself so that I won't forget by morning. 

Thanks for your encouragement.  This is so much fun.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,

Come see what else we've made!
Original and Traditional Hand Crafted Designs
Made in the USA

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Simple Winter Meal: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup

Good morning,

Son Don, Grandson Alex, and Aunt Carol were here for dinner and Catherine made dinner.  This time it was tomatoes and cheese,
grilled cheese sandwiches,
and creamed tomato soup.

Sometimes it is the most simple meals that are the most satisfying. 

It was delicious.

Thank you, Catherine.


Saturday, February 22, 2020


Good morning,

Every time I take a walk around the garden I see something new and wonderful. 
These crocus have been here for most of the nearly forty one years we have been here.

All the best,

Friday, February 21, 2020

Our Daughter Went to Hawaii and...

...brought us t-shirts!  The purple is mine and...
..the blue one is for Dad.

Thanks, Catherine!

Love you,

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Another Quiet Day on the Couch

Good morning,

It's cold outside so these girls are happy to be on the couch in front of the fireplace. 

Retirement is good for all of us.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Here Come the Daffs!

Good morning,

There will be a Spring!  I'm always so happy to see the daffs poking through the soil.



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Our Lab's Lab Pillow

Good morning,

Sometimes a Lab needs a Lab pillow.

That's Erik, the pillow, and Elsa being the little princess that she is. 


Monday, February 17, 2020

Table Top Garden

Good morning,

There is still snow outside, but my tabletop garden doesn't mind at all.  In fact, the white snow reflects even more light into the house and onto my garden inside on winter days.

I wish I had more light and bright windows for my plants, but that is not to be.  Those plants love living here and provide me with a continuing cuttings for even more plants.  I have plenty to share with friends and family who live nearby.

As soon as it is warm enough outside, I'll put some out to enjoy the fresh air.  That will be several weeks from now, though.

All the best,

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Penny in the Snow

Good morning,

The weather makes radical swings here in Cincinnati.  One day it's 60 F, the next we have snow on the ground.
For a fifteen year old dog, our Penny does a good job of getting outside. 
Although we don't let her stay out very long, the cold doesn't seem to bother her.  She has a beautifully thick coat that keeps her comfy for the short period of time she is out there.
In people years Penny is 105 years old now. She still enjoys exploring outside and watching what is happening in the neighborhood.  

All the best,

Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Lovely Valentine Celebration

Good morning,

It was a lovely Valentine's Day.  Red roses on the table...
...and filet mignon dinner prepared by My Honey.

I hope your Valentine's Day was as lovely.

All the best,

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!

Good morning and Happy Valentine's Day!

Today's image is courtesy of our daughter, Catherine, who is in Hawaii this week.

We hope you are having a lovely day with those you love on this Valentine's Day.

All the very best,

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Note to me: Eat more of this!

Good morning,

Just to prove to myself that we don't eat fattening food all the time and remind myself to eat more healthy food, I took a picture of a yummy looking salad we had for dinner recently.

The sad part of this is that we get hungry again later in the evening, then all bets are off on what we'll eat....

I'm sure we are not alone!


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Big Foot!

Good morning,

Big Foot!  Yes, I found this evidence on our patio!  Big Foot was here!

OK, it's not that big at all and the mystery was easily solved.  Catherine stepped outside the patio door to help Penny down the couple of steps from the living room.  I just couldn't pass up a perfect photo....

Happy Winter!


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Catherine's Cabbage Rolls

Good morning,

Catherine makes marvelous cabbage rolls in the crock pot..  Sorry, I don't have the recipe for you, but I believe she got it on line.

The beauty of this method is that she can put them in the crock pot to cook all day, then come home to a marvelous dinner.
She served her cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes, made in another crock pot, and wilted spinach and bacon.

This was a marvelous winter dinner!

Thanks, Catherine!


Monday, February 10, 2020

Very Large Fungus

Good morning,

I climbed up tot he upper level of the back of our property to pick up some toys Elsa had left outside and found this huge fungus on an old tree stump.  Fascinating.

Elsa takes a toy outside each time she goes out.  She generally gets distracted with all of the outside things to do so leaves her toys outside.  Of course, they get wet and dirty out there so I go out regularly to pick up the soft ones, throw them down the laundry chute to be washed, and bring up the toys that have been washed/dried to go back into her toy basket.  Yes, she has me well trained.

Elsa almost always has a toy in her mouth.  She brings us toys throughout the day and night and we often wake up with a variety of toys in our bed.  She is very good at sharing. 


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Grocery Day

Good morning,

We are creatures of habit.  We generally have a routine appointment on Tuesday mornings, then do our other errands at the post office, bank, grocery, wood/craft stores, and/or elsewhere after the appointment.

By the time we get home, we're ready for something to eat.  I generally pick up some deli goodies - this time it was ham and cheese - so we can make a quick nutritious snack when we get home.

I get a kick out of the Facebook memes that spotlight how we change.  As we age, a day out is doing the errands.  A good fast food meal is a fresh deli sandwich at home.

Oh, yes, we remind ourselves often that retirement is so good!


Saturday, February 8, 2020


Good morning,

These BFFs, Wendy age 5 on the left, Elsa age one on the right, now look so much alike that it takes more than a glance to identify them.  Of course, their faces are a bit different, and Elsa is slightly taller, but it takes an ear inspection to see Elsa's "tea stained" markings to know for sure.  This is very much like having fraternal twins that are very much alike, but not quite.


It is good to be retired.


Friday, February 7, 2020

Walking With Penny on a Warm February Day

Good morning,

I took a short video of Penny as we walked on a 60 F day this past week.  It's wonderful to have such lovely weather in Winter so Penny can get out of the house.
Penny is moving along quite well for being 15 years old.  That's 105 in human years!

What a beautiful, sweet girl.  We hope she is able to continue to enjoy life and we will be able to enjoy her company.

All the best,

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Got Toys?

Good morning,

This is about one fourth of the dog toys we have around here.  Not only do we pick up some cute ones when we see them, the pups get one when they participate in various trials and competitions at our dog club.  They proudly come home with a new one each time so the collection grows quickly.

The good part about all of this is that new additions to our family of fur babies have plenty of dog toys and we rarely have a problem with them chewing something they shouldn't have.  Of course, having eyes on a new puppy whenever he or she is free to roam is vitally important, too. 


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

My Cincinnati Chili

Good morning,

Cincinnati is famous for chili, but this is MY Cincinnati Chili.  One of the very important, main differences between my chili and that of Skyline and Gold Star Chili is that I drain my hamburger after it is browned. 

I add kidney beans, chopped onion, chili powder, a dash of cinnamon and ginger, minced garlic and let it all simmer for awhile.
I cook up some spaghetti...
...and stack it all on a plate topped with cheese and chopped onions.


BTW, this is the chili my Mom made long before we ever ate the commercial Cincinnati chili.  Of course, I'm partial to Mom's chili.  ;)


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Needlework and Wood Working Update - February, 2020

Good morning,

My Honey has threatened to say I keep him locked in the Wood Working Workshop and send him raw hamburgers down the laundry chute a couple of times a week.  Not true.  I cook the hamburger first.  I really should be serious here.  Kjell loves working with wood and designing new items.  This month he has produced spectacular wood art!  And, no, there is no lock on the inside of the door to the wood workshop.  ;)

Above is titled "A Red Rose for My Love" and is carved into 2" thick Walnut wood.  He hand painted it and it is just stunning.  What a lovely Valentine that will last long after fresh roses are wilted and gone.  This will be beautiful on a mantle, desk, table, or wherever you want to enjoy it.  $54. It's available in the shop here.  Be sure to click on the images in the listing to see all angles of this gorgeous piece.
Here is something else new in the shop this month.  This first one sold within minutes of it being posted to Facebook so...
...he made another that is available here.  $84.  This is a unique piece for a school or church choir room, a child's room, your favorite musician and everyone else who loves music.
This is an outstanding piece engraved into two inch heavy Walnut wood.  This free-standing Eagle is spectacular.  $155.  What a fabulous gift for Fathers Day, Graduation, Valentine's Day, any day!  Be sure to look at all of the images taken at different angles and in different light to appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of this piece.

"Eagles in the Wild" is the title of this piece.  What a lovely piece for a Den, Office, or anywhere.  $77.  Click here for more images and information.

This three dimensional Eagle Shield Plaque will be a beautiful addition to any patriot's home or office.  $64.  More images and information here.
This truly unique three dimensional hand painted engraving of two horses in engraved frame is even more beautiful in person.  $95.  More images and information here.
This was a custom order for three of the engraved Old Glory with The Pledge of Allegiance.
 Here's another now available in the shop.  It is carved in Cherry wood.  $65.  More images and information here.
 Kjell also engraved the Pledge in Hard Maple that can be purchased individually or part of a set with the following two items.  $73.  More information and images here.
"First Amendment" engraved with Old Glory is also $73.  More here.
"Second Amendment" engraved with Old Glory can be a companion piece to the two above.  $73.  More here
From the Needlework Studio this month, another Lady Bug Baby Sweater Set was added to the shop to restock those already sold.  $55.  More images and information here.
This custom order Peony Pink Cables and Filigree Lace Sweater has been delivered to the buyer. 
 This headband...

...boot cuffs...
...and hat were also custom orders.
I truly enjoyed making this crochet lap blanket.  It is in muted colors and a medium weight that will be perfect for a man or a woman.  What a great Valentine gift for a man's reading chair.  $45.  More information and images here.
Quite a few of our cloche hats/chemo caps were sold last month so here are more that were both custom orders and restocked the shop.  More than four dozen in a variety of styles and colors are available here from $8

And, finally, here is a dish cloth that I made while working with corner to corner crochet.  Look for more items with this stitch in the future.  In fact, I have a shawl in browns and gray coming soon to the shop.

Also in the works now are another Cables and Filigree Lace Sweater custom order (back finished, 1/2 of front finished) that's in a gorgeous purple/red yarn, a neck warmer, and other projects already assigned to project bags and ready to go. 

I'm publishing a Work in Process blog post here weekly now, too.   It's a preview of what's coming to the shop.   If you see something you like, let me know and I'll be happy to make up a custom order for you.

We invite you to come see what else we've made here in the USA and available to ship now:  EvensensProductions.com

We sincerely appreciate your encouragement, comments, likes, shares, favorites, and purchases, too!

All the very best,

Original and Traditional
Hand Crafted Items
Made in the USA