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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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Front Porch Lilies

 Good morning,

These are new this year and they do not disappoint!  I bought the lilies and pots at Lowe's a couple of weeks ago. There were six separate plants that I planted three-each in two planters.  The flowers hadn't bloomed yet, so I was guessing that the color would be at least similar to the picture on the label. 

 I planted two pots of these to go on the front porch next the yellow mums that I've had for years, but that don't bloom until much later in the summer.  I'm thrilled to have the deep pink/red color for the Fourth of July.

 Container gardening has been my salvation for the overwhelming desire to get outside and garden again.  My back is just not willing to do all the work I used to do in the garden, but having a few containers of flowers, veggies, and herbs certainly is fun!

Happy Summer!


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

New Addition to the Planter!

 Good morning,

I hope you don't get tired of seeing what's new with the planter!  This time Kjell has carved and painted wood roses for the top of the planter!  Click the image to enlarge.  Is that gorgeous or what!

Eventually, the flowers will fill out and cascade down the sides of the planter.  This is such fun!

Thanks, again, Sweetie!


Monday, June 28, 2021

Graeter's Ice Cream Cake

 Good morning,

Catherine provided the Graeter's Ice Cream Cake for Father's Day celebrations last weekend. 

 This is just amazing!

Graeter's Ice Cream is a Cincinnati favorite.  I've had great success having it shipped to our son in Alexandria, VA, too.  It arrived in perfect condition right on schedule.  It is a most welcome taste of Cincinnati!



Sunday, June 27, 2021

New Toy for Father's Day

 Good morning,

My Honey is enjoying one of his Father's Day presents.  It is a monocular on a tripod that connects to his cell phone so that he can take pictures of the birds and other wild life.

 I'm delighted when he tells me what he wants so that he gets something he really enjoys.

Kjell received this one (guess who gave it to him!) for an earlier gift.  He's still enjoying this one, too.



Saturday, June 26, 2021

Sitting Room Companion Elsa

 Good morning,

Our sweet Elsa always wants to be nearby.  Kjell took this image of her snoozing in the sitting room while he and I were working on our computers one morning this week.

Elsa is definitely a companion dog.  The moment I get up and move to another room in the house, she is with me.

What a sweetheart!



Friday, June 25, 2021

Upstairs WIP - Baby Blanket

 Good morning,

I have different knit or crochet projects wherever I may sit down around the house and one for car and waiting room, too.

The one you see above is in our sitting room where both Kjell and I were working on our computers recently, then became engrossed in Godfather II.  Of course, I had to have something to crochet through all that drama!

What are you making, baking, growing today?



Thursday, June 24, 2021

African Violets in Bloom Again

 Good  morning,

The African Violets in my indoor garden are in bloom again.  This is a new one that I received for Mother's Day.  It is thriving and starting to bloom.

 This is my other African Violet that I've had for years.  Such a pretty shade of purple!

Happy Summer!


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Work in Process - Alpaca Wool Hat

 Good morning,

Oh, I love this Alpaca Wool yarn!  I'm working on an intarsia knit hat.  This color reminds me of root beer and the cream contrasting color I'll use reminds me of vanilla ice cream.  

This is just lovely yarn!

What are you making, baking, growing today?


Update:  I took this image a couple of days ago.  Since then, the hat is finished and listed in the shop

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Planter Update

 Good morning,

The planter Kjell is building for me is not quite finished, but there has been great progress.  Those are new brackets for the pots on the sides since the last post about this.

I'm working on a red, white, and blue (ok, those are purple) flower scheme.  There will be red flowers on the sides.

Stay tuned.  There is more progress on the planter every day.



Monday, June 21, 2021

White Petunias

 Good morning,

These white petunias are just so perfectly beautiful!  They are in a hanging basket on our back porch.  These are the ones we bought at Lowe's a few days ago.  

Spectacular blooms!

Have I mentioned I love flowers?


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day and Happy Summer! Summer Dinner - Gravlax and Salad

 Good morning,

Happy Father's Day to My Honey and all the great Dads!  It's also the beginning of Summer and all the wonderful outdoor activities, food, and fun that comes with it.  

This was a yummy warm weather dinner that the whole family helped prepare.

Kjell made the gravlax (recipe here), I made the eggs, salad, and bread (not pictured).  Catherine made the sauce.

Yum!  This meal is a winner every time.

What's your favorite summer meal?


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Bumble Bees Love Lavender Flowers

 Good morning,

The bumble bees love our lavender flowers in the half barrel on our patio.  I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible as I grabbed a couple of snapshots with my camera.  The pups saw my interest and wanted to investigate, too.  They've been eating cicadas and I didn't want them to make the mistake of trying to chomp on a bumble bee.  Had they not been so interested in what I was doing, I would have gotten a few more, hopefully more clear shots.

Happy Spring!


Friday, June 18, 2021

Checking Out of Lowe's Garden Center

 Good morning,

This is just the beginning of the plants and supplies we've gotten for our new flower planter and other planters this week.

I was like a kid in a candy store getting these flowers.  This image was taken at Lowe's.  The next day I did the same thing at Meijer.  ;) 

More to come!


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Dock Divers Extraordinaire

 Good morning,

Our Elsa and Wendy participated in an entire weekend of Dock Diving competition last weekend.  

Our girls each had 12 "splashes" and qualified in each one!  Wow! What a weekend haul!  The qualifying jumps count toward titles and toward an invitation to the National Competition.  See the link below of other posts and the pictures of Wendy at the National Invitational in Orlando, Florida, a few years ago.

 The Dives are called "splashes" for good reason when the pups are doing it.  Wendy relaxed on a chair between splashes.  

I've posted quite a few images of these events here on my blog.  The events last weekend were held at a natural pond.  Some events are held in above ground pools. All of the venues adhere to AKC requirements.   Click here to take a look and be sure to click "more posts" at the bottom of each page

Such fun!  Congratulations to our daughter Catherine who is their trainer and to Wendy and Elsa.  


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Resident Lab Tester

 Good morning,

Last weekend Erik enjoyed being an only child while Elsa and Wendy were with Catherine at Dock Diving competition.  

Erik had the total responsibility of Kitchen Testing while Daddy was cooking one evening.  Erik is very attentive to his job.  ;)

Retirement is good!



Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Our New Planter

 Good morning,

My Honey built a planter for me where I can have flowers and herbs high enough off the ground so I don't have to bend over.  After years of gardening, my activities came to a screeching halt when my back told me it was finished with that silliness of crawling around on the ground.

Soon I'll have some plants to show you in this lovely new addition to our garden.

Thank you, Sweetheart!  

Love you!


Monday, June 14, 2021


 Good morning,

We've finally gone out to eat in a restaurant since before the Covid-19 lockdowns.  We were invited to join daughter Catherine for her after-tax-season dinner with her CPA office staff.  

We were in a private room in our favorite sushi restaurant where we enjoyed a fabulous dinner that started with sushi.

 Next came soup and salad (sorry no salad picture), then

a delicious salmon dinner.

Thank you, Catherine!  We enjoyed our first trip out of the house post Covid for an excellent meal with wonderful company.

Love you,


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Lavender in Bloom

 Good morning,

The Lavender in my Half Barrel Herb Garden is blooming.  I just love my little garden of thyme, sage, mint, parsley, and basil.  Everything in the garden is thriving.  It's so much fun to be able to come out and pick fresh herbs when we are cooking.

 I'm no longer able to do much gardening because my back keeps reminding me I'm no longer 30 years old.  This little garden gives me the satisfaction of growing beautiful, yummy plants that I used to grow on a much larger scale.

What are you growing today?


Saturday, June 12, 2021

My Morning View

 Good morning,

Some people wake up to an alarm clock, coffee brewing on a timer, beautiful sunrises....  I wake up to soft Elsa kisses and cuddles.  This is sweet Elsa leaning against my chest.  That's Wendy down there leaning against my legs.  Erik is waiting nearby, too.

And, another day of puppy love begins....



Friday, June 11, 2021

Needlework and Wood Working Update - June, 2021

 Good morning,

It has been a busy month for us.  This monthly Needlework and Wood Working Update collects all of the items we've completed during the past month into one place.  We often surprise ourselves when we see how many items we've completed since the previous month's Update.

Above is a New Afghan Blanket Brilliant Rainbow and Cream.  $95.  Only one available.  More information is here.

 This is a Highly Textured Blanket in Gold, Brown and Green.  It's perfect for a large chair, recliner, bed, car, or crib.  $85.    More images and information here.

 This Door or Window Sill Smiling Snake was a custom order and has been delivered.  He looks pretty comfy on my window sill before he began his journey to his new home.

Extra Large Double Thick Pot Holders are also excellent table pads under hot dishes.  They are made of 100% cotton and can be machine washed and dried.  The red, white, and blue is perfect for summer holidays.  $20.  Available here.  Aside:  I made some of these for myself more than 20 yeas ago and am still using them.  They wash beautifully and are still look like new after many, many washings.

When I got going with the red, white, and blue cotton I had to make a bib that I have been mentally designing for quite some time.  I made similar bibs for my children way back when....  The bib has a pocked to catch what doesn't make it from table to mouth or a place to stash snacks for later.  The button closure makes it easy on/off.  $12.  More pictures and info here. Of course, it is machine wash and dry.

I finished this Lady Bug Baby Sweater Set and listed it in the shop this month where it sold within 48 hours.  I've got another one started now and hope to have it in the shop soon.  This is my original design and one I've loved to make for my own children, grandchildren, and gifts as well.  Stay tuned for the next one in the shop....

Hats were extremely popular in the shop this month.
Some of these are sold and...

...some are still available.

Most of the hats are made with soft acrylic or wool blend yarn, but the hat above is made of bamboo blend yarn.  It has a lovely feel and is very comfortable to wear. 

These last hats were also a custom order and are on their way to their new owner.  

We have quite a few hats in stock now and there are always more being added.  

Our Cloche Hats and Chemo Caps are here.  From $8.

Additional Hats Scarves and Headbands are here.  From $20.

This is a French Rolling Pin that Kjell custom made per the customer's specifications. 

This is another French Rolling pin for the same customer.  Fabulous!

This long dowel rolling pin and

this shorter dowel rolling pin were also part of the same order.  The grain in the wood is just beautiful.

This is a Turned Wood Spalted Tamarind Gatsby Grande Pen. Chrome and Gun Metal Hardware.  $53.  More info here.

Gatsby Grande Black and White Ebony. Chrome and Gun Metal Hardware.  $53.  More information here.

This is a second Gatsby Grande Black and White Ebony Pen with Chrome and Gun Metal Hardware.  $53.  More details here.

This Garsby Grande Pen features Bethlehem Olive Tree Wood.  $57.  Details here.

This last pen is an Executive Twist Ball Point Pen made with Bethlehem Olive Tree Wood.  $60.  More information here.

Our shop section featuring all of these pens for comparison is here. 

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement, comments, likes, shares, favorites, and purchases, too!  We are enjoying our "retirement business" so very much! 

All the very best,



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Thursday, June 10, 2021

First Rise

 Good morning,

This is the beautiful first rise on my last batch of bread.  It's in the oven with just the light on to provide enough warmth for the yeast to do its thing.

As soon as I took the picture, I took it out, beat it up again (kneaded it) and put it into pans for a second rise.  As soon as that occurred, it was ready to bake.

If interested, there are many bread recipes with pictures of all steps here on my blog.  Be sure to scan through them by clicking "older posts" at the bottom of each page.