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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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Chilling Out on New Year's Eve

 Good morning,

Happy Last Day of 2020!  Hopefully, 2021 will be much, much better!  Wendy is chilling out and waiting for the new year.  

This is what happens to my recliner when I get up for a few minutes.  Wendy is keeping my chair warm for me.  Sometimes Daddy does it, sometimes Catherine does it.   Anyway, that seems to be the most popular chair in the house.

I've told them all that they are expected to knit or crochet while in that chair.  Wendy told me she would be happy to do so if she had opposable thumbs.  ;)

So helpful!

We are in the market for three new recliners.  When we get the new ones, I'm trying to figure out where I can put the one pictured so Wendy will also still have her own.


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Topher the Toy Gatherer

 Good morning,

Topher and his brother Trever visit us often while their mommy goes to work.  They don't have to stay home while their mommy (our friend Erica) goes to work.  The pups go to work with Catherine (she has her own business and office building) where they meet many new people every day as part of their socialization.

Topher, pictured above, starts collecting our pups' toys.  If you look carefully, you'll see Topher has Elsa's ground hog in his mouth.  Our pups are very willing to share and enjoy playing with their little Brittany friends.

So cute!







Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Our Christmas Chef

 Good morning,

Catherine prepared our excellent Christmas meal again this year.  What's funny is the picture I got of her in the kitchen is of her opening a can.  Those are orange sections she is adding to a salad.

The rest of the meal was NOT out of a can:

 That's ham, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes (yes, we like potatoes), snap peas, and that salad in the center.

Thank you, Chef Catherine, for another spectacular meal!

Love you,


Monday, December 28, 2020

Elsa's Weekend Haul

 Good morning,

Catherine and Elsa spent the weekend showing at our AKC Dog Club this weekend.  Our girls brought home some of the big prizes and we are so very proud!  Elsa also completed another title.

I snapped this picture of the new ribbons when Catherine brought them in the house last night.

We need to add another room on the house to be able to display all of Elsa's ribbons!

Elsa is truly living up to the Penny's memory as an excellent agility dog who just loves what she does.  Penny was Elsa's great great aunt and would be very proud of Elsa!






Sunday, December 27, 2020

Just Barely A White Christmas

 Good morning,

We barely had a White Christmas this year.  It was extremely cold and most of what you see out there is ice, not snow.

But, we'll take it!  It has been a long time since we've had a White Christmas.

All the very best,






Saturday, December 26, 2020

Fish Soup

 Good morning,

This isn't exactly a light meal.  Kjell's fish soup is made with cod, shrimp, carrots (those items are pretty low calorie), served in his special white sauce made of sour cream, milk, flour, and spices that add a couple of calories.

I had intended to eat very little of this on December 23, knowing Catherine would be making our Christmas Ham meal on December 24.  However, what you see in the image is my second helping.

It was fabulous!  More celebrations to come.

Happy Christmas Week!






Thursday, December 24, 2020

Work in Process This Week

 Good morning,

Between Christmas preparations when I just have to sit down for a few minutes, I have this project started beside my chair in the living room.  It's the beginning of a basket weaver sweater that already has a home.

 Also on the needles is the beginning of a Lady Bug Baby Sweater set  It's about time I make another of these for the shop.  They don't last long after I list them.

I hope all your Christmas and Hanukkah preparations have gone well this year.  

All the very best,


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

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Helping Santa

Good morning,

Santa needed a little help yesterday so we made a run out to our son Don's home at the opposite corner of our county.

It's a 20 to 25 minute drive.

And, here we are finally turning into his neighborhood.

I think the Grinch has been here!  All of the inflatable Christmas decorations were laying flat on the ground.

Finally, here we are at Don's home.  Due to Covid-19, we won't be seeing him.  We left the packages by the garage door and he'll open them on Christmas.

We hope Covid-19 soon becomes a memory from the past and we can all see those we love and hug them in person again.

All the best for a wonderful holiday!


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Sliding Out of Bed

 Good morning,

Here's sweet eleven year old Erik sliding out of bed yesterday evening.  He's so funny because he goes to sleep in one position, has a number of dreams running, making little barking sounds, and moving around until he starts to slide out of his bed.

Erik is a fantastic big old hunk of a lovey dog.  

We're fortunate to have him.



Monday, December 21, 2020

Roast Lamb ala Catherine

 Good morning,

Catherine prepares dinner at least once a week and it is always welcome!  This time it was roast lamb, baked potato, broccoli, and salad. 

Thank you, Catherine.  As always, this was another winner!

Love you,


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Girls Gone Wild

 Good morning,

Our friend Bill was here recently and brought his dog, Penny.  With three yellow dogs running around playing, all we saw was a blur of yellow fur.  Penny is wearing the red collar.  Our Elsa and Wendy enjoy seeing Penny, even though it appears they are in a fight to the death.

 There is some serious romping going on here as they greet each other.

 After five to ten minutes of this, they all settle down and go go to sleep.  

Our Erik is a very smart boy.  He went upstairs and went to sleep on my bed while all these girls got so wild!



Saturday, December 19, 2020

Our Nutcracker

Good morning,

I love our wood holiday decorations!  We can enjoy them year after year.

Kjell made this nutcracker two years ago.

The Christmas lights (see bottom left) are the same as my parents used.  We have a few bubble lights left, too, but don't have a large tree set up this year.

I hope you're enjoying the holidays!  Even with all the problems of 2020, there is so much to be thankful for.

All the very best,


Friday, December 18, 2020

Joint Venture Home Made Soup and Home Made Bread - YUM!

 Good morning,

We had a joint venture dinner this week.  The house smelled wonderful all day as we prepared this meal!

 My Honey made the sausage soup in the crock pot while I made the bread. 

 Here it is after the first kneading and first rise...

 ...then the second rise and ready to bake...

...after baking...

...and now cooling just enough to cut and serve with the soup.

What a perfect meal on a cold winter's day!



Thursday, December 17, 2020

130 Pounds of Lap Dogs


 Good morning,

While waiting for our new dishwasher to be delivered and installed yesterday, the pups and I settled in the living room.  With the two girls on my lap, there were 130 pounds holding me down.  

This was all warm and comfy for awhile, but when my feet started to go to sleep, I convinced them to get down.  

They are so sweet!




Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Good morning,

Last year we didn't have a Christmas tree in our living room because the area was set up as Penny's hospital room.  She was unable to climb stairs for nearly a year.  During that time we all gravitated to the living room to be with Penny and watch movies together in the evenings.  Penny left us on September 17 so this is the first year without her.  More about Penny here

Since Thanksgiving Weekend we have helped our Wendy (see recent posts) recover from an accident that resulted in a huge cut in her leg - now healed and good as new.  

This year we needed to make a decision about a Christmas tree.  Every year except last year we have had a floor to ceiling tree, decked out in all its glory mostly by Catherine, and placed inside French doors on the front of our living room so that it spread the holiday spirit to the neighborhood.  As much as we love a large tree, it would definitely be another target for mishap with our young pups.  Also, and very important, is the large tree keeps Dad from seeing the TV from his favorite chair.  

Our decision was to purchase a small live tree that can be planted outside after the holiday season.  Yes, it does look like Charlie Brown's tree which makes it even more special. But, unlike Charlie Brown's tree, ours is healthy, alive, and will grace our property after Kjell and I are gone.  I'm hoping Catherine will look up at it many years from now and remember this Christmas together.

All the very best for a blessed Christmas and Hanukkah season,


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Taking a Break

 Good morning,

As soon as we got those gift boxes under control yesterday we sat down by the fire to watch The Sound of Music one more time.  It had been showing in a loop all day.

We just love that movie. 

 Are you on schedule to get everything finished in time for Christmas?


Monday, December 14, 2020

It Looks a Whole Lot Like Christmas!

Good mornng,

It's "that time" of the year!  Catherine and I are putting together the gifts for clients of her CPA firm.  The entire first floor of our home is taken over by this project each year.  Everything else is put on hold until the project is complete. 

The theme of the gifts this year is a survival kit in the age of Covid-19.  Yes, those are rolls of toilet tissue in a fancy hats.  Also included are face masks, wipes, hand sanitizer, a puzzle book and pen, and plenty of snacks.  Very clever of Catherine!

When she can get these delivered we can eat dinner on the dining room table again!  ;)

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Stitches Out!


 Good morning, Wendy here!  

Mom is letting me post on her blog again today.

Mom, Catherine, and I went to see Dr. Gaston so I could have the stitches removed from my leg.  See posts the last couple of weeks to see why I had those stitches.


 After a quick walk around the building, we went inside to wait for our appointment.


 When we got inside I said hello to Doc.  You can barely see him on the far left;  mom was busy taking pictures of me.  I'm so happy I can't stop wagging!

 Catherine and I moved to chairs where there weren't other patients.  Social distancing, you know....

 Cath asked:  "What are you  in for?"

I reminded her:  "I'm having my stitches removed today!  I'm so excited!"

 Everyone was surprised to see me get up in the chair and sit there patiently.

 Catherine and I chatted for awhile before we all went into the exam room for my appointment.

 Very soon we were called into the exam room and my stitches were removed.  Doc is wonderful!  He gives me the BEST treats!

Mom didn't get pictures of the stitches being removed because everyone was so busy, but I can report that everyone told me I was very good.  I was very good and held still.

Thank you to everyone who sent me good wishes after my accident and while I have been getting all better!


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Topher is Here!

 Good morning,

Topher is here to visit again!

 He moves so fast that I have a hard time getting a picture of him that is not a blur.

 Our pups love having visitors.  I don't think of Elsa and Wendy as being big dogs until Topher is here.

So cute!



Friday, December 11, 2020

This Week's Work in Process

 Good morning,

Two of my works in process this week are the Leaded Glass Afghan Blanket that is all arranged and ready to put together above and

 sixteen, yes sixteen, Toilet Tissue Toppers for a local custom order.  They'll be used as toilet tissue gift wrap in gift baskets with the theme "2020 Survival Kit."  Very clever!

We have more Afghan Blankets here and more Toilet Tissue Toppers here.  :)

What are you making, baking, growing this week?


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Oh, so true!

 Good morning,

This certainly hit the nail on the head!  Catherine received this cup from a friend recently.

The only changes I would make in the words on the cup is to change "I" to "We" and "dog" to "dogs!"



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Birthday Flowers

 Good morning,

Kjell took me to the store to pick out what I wanted for birthday flowers this year.  The Christmas bouquets are so pretty that I selected this bouquet to complement the the season.  

Last year we didn't have a full size Christmas tree because Penny's "hospital room" was set up in the living room. We entertained family in a restaurant instead of at home so that we didn't have to move Penny for a crowd to be here.  Sadly, this will be the first Christmas without Penny.

 This year, due to Covid-19, we won't be having the entire family here for Christmas, either.  We will probably have a smaller tree than the customary floor-to-ceiling tree we have had in years gone by.

Perhaps next year life will be back to what we like to think of as "normal."

All the best for a blessed Christmas and Hanukkah.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Wendy Models Her Party Hat


Good morning, Wendy here with a guest post.

Last week I missed my turn in front of the entertainment center and my back leg went through the glass door.  I've had a busy time visiting doctors to have it fixed.  See Mom's posts last week for all the details.  Today I'm modeling my new party hat for you.

I'm able to sleep in my party hat, but it's much more comfy without it.  Sometimes I sleep without my hat on Mom's lap in her recliner.  But, when I get down, I have to put my hat on again.
I can still sit on Daddy's footrest and watch the neighborhood activity.  I bark when I need to, but it seems to echo for some reason.
It's a good thing I can see through my hat.
You can see I'm not thrilled about this...
but Mom says I have to wear it so I don't accidentally lick my leg and stitches.

I'm told I can get rid of this thing soon.  That will be very, very nice.  

More to come!

Love and sloppy kisses,


PS - Daddy replaced the glass in the doors with plexiglass.  I'll still try not to run into it again.