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.

Click the header image to see most current posts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

So Much Construction


Good morning,

We have a regular appointment that takes us on the same route every week.  It has been very interesting to see the progress of the activity as a building was torn down and a new one is under construction. 

The blue crane you can see on the other side of the bridge in this image is the site of the new building.  It is replacing a large building that housed the Rubel Baking Company that produced the famous Cincinnati Rubel Rye Bread.  I remember visiting there with Barbie Rubel back in the 60's.  

I haven't seen signs to indicate what is being built on this site, but the footprint of the new building is huge.  

Stay tuned for this one....



Tuesday, September 29, 2020

We Don't Need to Eat Out

 Good mornng,

During these Covid-19 we haven't missed going out to restaurants.  

Our wonderful daughter, Catherine, prepares a yummy dinner at least once each week.  Of course, we need to "eat light" the rest of the week to be able to continue to wear the same clothing.

This dinner was a perfectly grilled filet mignon with all the trimmings.

 Thank you, Catherine!

Love you,


Monday, September 28, 2020

Meet Topher


Good morning,

This handsome fellow is Topher and will soon come home to become a part of our friend Erica's family.  Our dogs and her dogs play together several times a week so he'll be showing up in pictures with the rest of them in the near future.

What a handsome fellow!



Sunday, September 27, 2020

(Not So) Itsy Bitsy Spider

 Good morning,

Cath sent me this picture.  This (not so) itsy bitsy spider was above a window on the back of our home when she went outside to grill our dinner last night.

I have no idea what kind of spider it is, but I don't want to be anywhere near it!



Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Ground Hog Returns


Good morning,

This critter visits our yard from time to time.  We've had them in the neighborhood for as long as I can remember and had to evict a family of them from under our front porch a few years ago.

Groundhogs, aka Wood Chucks, are cute to watch, but I wouldn't want our pups to encounter one of them.  

As I snapped pictures, this fellow casually looked over at me, then moved on into the next yard.

We live in the city, but we certainly have our share of wild life here.


Friday, September 25, 2020

Third Year for These Pretty Mums


 Good morning,

These beautiful Golden Yellow Mums grace our front steps.  They've continued return to bloom in a pot for three years now, with only water added by me when the rain didn't provide enough.  

How pretty!  

Generally, I keep a red, white, and blue theme outside of our white and blue Greek Revival style home, but I chose this color because Kjell said it reminded him of the Mums that his mother planted around their home when he was a child.  I'm very, very happy with my choice of these Golden Yellow Mums.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Beautiful Tribute


Good morning,

I wanted to share this work of art.  Kjell carved this beautiful urn and has placed Penny's ashes inside.  He also included three of Penny's favorite cookies in the urn with her.  As he said, "It's a Viking thing...."

We have been remembering the truly wonderful times with Penny.  She surely was one in a million. 

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have shared kind words of condolence with us.  You are all sincerely appreciated. 

All the best,


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What cha doin', Mom?

 Good morning,

 Elsa has something to tell me.  Is it obvious?

She is standing on the foot rest of my Lazy Boy chair so she can be on my eye level.

It was time for me to put down what I was doing and have some cuddle time.  I never refuse cuddle time!  

Life is good.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Volunteer Gourd

 Good morning,

While cutting the grass in the front yard Catherine found this yellow bloom.  It's a pumpkin or other gourd that got a very late start to growing this season.  It's a "volunteer" plant that got there by itself so it would be fun to have enough warm weather to see what develops, but I doubt that'll happen this year.

It's amazing what pops up in our garden by itself.  It's fun!

Happy Fall,


Monday, September 21, 2020

Our Pets Also Grieve

 Good morning,

Eleven years ago our daughter, Catherine, took this picture of Penny (left) and Erik shortly after Erik came home to live with us.  I love the "smile" on Penny's face in this picture.  Penny, age 4, immediately took Erik into her care to learn all the important things about being wonderful dog.  

They shared toys and bones.
They relaxed together.
They traveled and stayed in hotels together.  That's our Wendy to the right who was also along for this Labrador Retriever Nationals event in St. Louis.
They swam together.
They guarded the back porch together.
Penny was his "nurse" and stayed close as Erik recovered from knee surgery. A few years later, Erik did the same for Penny after her spleen was removed and more recently was her constant companion as she grew old..
They visited with neighbors together.  Our sweet neighbor always had treats for them both.

Aside:  The neighbor was our friend of more than 40 years, Elsa.  Elsa passed two years ago and we all miss her so very much.  She knew we intended to name our next dog "Elsa" and was so very pleased that we planned to do so. 

Erik followed in Penny's agility footsteps.  His knee surgery put a stop to his agility activities.  He has a new job here now as Chief of Security.
Erik and Penny slept on our bed together. Note his tail wrapped around her back.

They played in the snow together.

Since Penny's passing this week, Erik is very, very sad.  He continues to look for her and wonders why she hasn't come home.  I so wish we could explain it to him.

We are giving Erik lots and lots of extra love and attention as he grieves.  He is just heartbroken.

If you missed it a few days ago, our Tribute to Penny is here.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Comfort Food

 Good morning,

I spent yesterday doing lots of little things around the house:  laundry, cleaning the living room, dishes, listing a hat in our Etsy shop....  

This was just what we needed for dinner last night.  My Honey made Norwegian Beef Stew and we enjoyed comfort food.

The weather has turned cooler so I built a fire in the fireplace.  We all spent an evening watching Wall-E, then Phantom of the Opera together.  

Life goes on.

Are you looking forward to the seasons changing?

All the best,


Friday, September 18, 2020

Millstone Penelope T. Labrador


Good morning,

Our Sweet Penny crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday, September 17, 2020.  Penny was born January 31, 2005, so had lived to a ripe old age of fifteen years, seven and a half months.  

Penny was a highly decorated Canine Athlete so was always in excellent physical shape.

Our daughter, Catherine, was her trainer.  Penny retired the day Kjell and I retired from the High Seas so we had four good years with her at home.  Before that, we came and went every ten weeks between home and Kjell's job at sea.  It was always painfully difficult to leave home and family to go back to work at sea and marvelous to get home from the sea to our entire family, humans and canines alike.

Penny, with Catherine as her trainer and always at her side, earned more titles and awards than there is room to spell them all out. 

Below is her official name with titles and awards earned.  She was a Master Agility Champion Three times over.  Most of the titles have to do with agility achievements, but the last one is so very precious, too, and was an exact description of Penny:  AKC Canine Good Citizen.

MACH3 PACH2 Penelope T. Labrador

Penny has more letters and titles than any of us mere humans, even with our assortment of degrees.

We thank our friend and Penny's breeder, Alicia Miller, of Millstone Labradors who bred such a fabulous dog.  

We are grieving your loss, Penny, and miss you terribly, but we know you are now without pain and running free.  You were never grumpy, never complained, and always wanted to please.  We loved you so from the moment we brought you home and tucked you into bed with us that first night to begin your journey as a valued member of our family.

 Love you,

Mommy   đŸŸ

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Afternoon Rest

Good morning,

I snapped this picture of Penny resting on Catherine's lap yesterday afternoon.  

Penny is having a difficult week.  

We continue to love, cuddle, and try to do what is best for her.

We love you, Sweet Penny.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020


 Good morning,

This little Kalachoe plant is a descendant of one that was in a flower arrangement that Catherine received five or six years ago, then brought home.  I've taken so many cuttings from the original that I don't even know how many generations removed this one is from the original.

This pretty plant has been living on the table on my patio all summer and will find a place in the window in the dining room throughout the winter.  I hope I can continue to give it enough light so that it will eventually bloom.

Yes, our plants in the Northern Hemisphere are slowing down now for a few months.  I am so looking forward to Fall weather, but will miss the flowers that greet me daily when Winter comes.

Happy Fall - at least it feels like it here now!


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Penny at the Vet

Good morning,

I took this video of Catherine and Penny on September 2, when we took Penny to the vet for her usual checkup.  The video was actually a mistake because I thought I had my camera set to photo, not video.

I'm glad I have it now, though, because Penny isn't doing very well and it is good to see her walking just a few days ago.

Here are Penny and Catherine in the waiting room before our appointment.  Penny looks very good here only thirteen days ago.  Catherine is holding her both for social distancing reasons and because Penny has a hard time with slippery floors.

This is a difficult week for Penny.  We sure do love our old girl.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Needlework and Wood Working Update - September, 2020

Good morning,

I've been so busy this month that I'm a few days behind getting the monthly Needlework and Wood Working Update on line.  Of course, that gave me a chance to include a couple more items that have just been finished.

Above is a mobius infinity scarf.  I absolutely love these.  They lay flat when worn instead of bunching in the front.  They can be wrapped twice for a really warm neck and ears, pulled up as a hood, or draped around the shoulders.  So versatile and stylish.  $28.  More images and information here.
This is a similar mobius infinity scarf that is a wider than the first one above.  Again, it's a pretty splash of color that is so comfortable to wear.  $30.  More images and information here.
This Royal Blue Cables and Filigree Lace Sweater is a custom order that has been shipped to the buyer.  There's a turquoise version $180 in the shop hereThere's a pink version $175 in the shop here.  Price is dependent upon time and materials so varies by size.
This hat has also been sold.  We have many, many similar hats available in the shop here from $8.
This headband has been sold.  Similar headband in emerald green is available here.  $8. 
 These boot cuffs are also sold.  Here's a very soft wool version in the shop.  $28.  These will be wonderful to have when the snow comes!
 These navy blue ear savers to be used with face masks with elastic ear loops are a custom order that has been shipped.  These are a little larger than the ear savers currently in the shop.  On my "to do" list is to make some of these larger ones to list in the shop, too.  All of our masks and standard size ear savers are here. 
 Finally from the Needlework Studio this month is this redwood color toilet tissue topper.  I made and listed this and it was sold within six days.  This is another thing on the "to do" list to restock in the shop.  There are many other colors available to ship now here. $8. 
 This Yin Yang Box was still on the work bench when this picture was taken.  It has since been finished to a beautiful shine and was given to me by my Honey.  :)    What makes this so very unique is there are two secret drawers on the back of the two drawers you see here.  I absolutely LOVE this box!   Kjell is making another for the shop.  It should be available in the very near future. 
 It's amazing how beautiful carved wood looks.  The color changes in the wood are highlighted by the waving flag and the snake.  This artwork is available in the shop here.  $80.
 Here's another one that speaks for itself.  How perfect for the times!  $42.  More images and information here.

 That's it for this month!  Both Kjell and I have many other projects in process now.  I'm working hard to restock and be ready for the holidays.  We hope you'll shop with us first when shopping for yourself and holiday gift giving. 

Thanks, again, for your continued encouragement and support.  Retirement is wonderful when you are doing what you enjoy doing with those you love.

All the very best,

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

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Kids and Catherine

 Good morning,

Here's a series of pictures of early morning patio activity with three of the pups.
 Catherine sat down and they all had to gather around.
 Of course, the baby, Elsa, doesn't realize she has outgrown lap dog status.
 Wendy is still our chair dog. 
 This was a rare moment of fun this week since Catherine has been working absolutely crazy hours at her office to meet tax deadlines for business clients.
While all of these fun and games were going on, Penny was walking around in the grass off to the right.

It is good to be retired!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Light Dinner on a Warm Evening

Good morning,

I've shown you some of the huge meals Catherine has prepared for us recently, so, just to let you know we eat light meals sometimes, here's our shrimp on fresh bread dinner last Wednesday night. 

I made fresh bread in the morning, we thawed out a big bag of jumbo shrimp, put some mayo between the two, and YUM!

This is shrimp Norwegian style. It brings back memories of shrimp parties with the other Norwegian crew while at sea.  Oh, such wonderful days those were....