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 three Labrador Retrievers.

Click the header image to see most current posts.

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.




Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Work in Process this Week

 Good morning,

Here's a glimpse of my current afghan blanket work in process.  I just love these colors together!  I started this one for diversity from another afghan blanket I'm making using very different pattern stitches.  It helps to be able to switch back and forth between projects both for my mind and my hands.  ;) 

The Lady Bug Baby Sweater Set I finished and put in the shop last week sold within 48 hours so I have another started to restock.  This is a knit project so provides for very different hand movements than the crochet afghan blankets.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Dogs on the Road

 Good morning,

Here's another image I received from Catherine.  Our daughter, Catherine, and our Elsa are on a road trip with their friend Erica and her pups.  

It appears the pups have the humans trained very well to provide for a very comfy trip!



Monday, June 7, 2021

Erik zzzzzz'ing

Good morning,

 Erik likes to stay close.  When he's not dancing around for attention, he is snoozing nearby.  Above you see him snoozing against the end of the couch, very close to my living room chair.  Daddy and I were watching TV.

The funny part is that he works very hard to get under a blanket when there is one hanging off the end of the couch.  He managed to get a tiny piece of this blanket.

I took the picture when the living room was quite dark, but it still tells the story. ;)

He is quite the character.  I love this old guy.


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Elsa's Road Trip Continues

 Good morning,

I received these images from Catherine (thank you!) on her road trip to Missouri with Elsa, Erica, and Erica's pups.  It appears they are relaxing in fine style in Erica's new RV.

 And, there is some sun bathing going on, too.

Hopefully, I'll continue to get pictures of this trip!  ;)


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Bread Day

 Good morning,

The bread smells and looks wonderful today.   There is nothing like having fresh bread in the house.  It's funny that we had a slice of store bread the other day after not having it for months and were amazed at the way it felt, smelled, and tasted.  To put it simply, it's just not the same....

It was rainy outside yesterday so terrible lighting to take pictures for the shop.  I've finished another Lady Bug Baby outfit to restock the one recently sold and would love to have some sunshine to get good pictures of it. 

I hope Spring (or Fall if you in the Southern Hemisphere) is beautiful wherever you are!

All the best,


Update:  We had a couple of rays of sunshine so was able to go outside and photo the new Lady Bug Baby Sweater Set and get it into the shop.  Yay!  The images look so much better when I have sunshine.

Friday, June 4, 2021

On the Road Again

 Good morning,

Today's images are courtesy of our daughter, Catherine.  Catherine and Elsa are on a road trip with their friend Erica and her dogs to St. Louis for a dog show.  As you can see above, Elsa thinks she should drive for awhile. 

 Erica's Camper with Catherine and all the pups are now set up near the Purina Farms Event Center.  

 They have fenced in an area where the pups can run and play.  They are having so much fun!

So far, these are the only pictures I've received from the trip.  If I get more images from this adventure, I'll share them with you.  (Catherine:  nudge, nudge, hint, hint!)

All the best,


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Elsa's Weekend Haul

 Good morning,

As promised (see yesterday's post), here are Elsa's ribbons that she earned during the Memorial Day Weekend at the Queen City Dog Training Club's AKC Agility Trials.

Elsa completed enough qualifying runs in a variety of categories to earn THREE new titles!  

Elsa is loving the competition and is on track to accumulate even more titles than her Great Aunt Penny.

We are so very proud of our Elsa and her trainer/our daughter, Catherine.


Lois (VERY proud Mom!)

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

So Tired!

 Good morning,

Elsa had a very successful weekend at a three day agility trial.  She was so tired she fell asleep watching TV when she got home.

Her ribbons are coming soon!  Watch this space!







Tuesday, June 1, 2021


 Good morning,

This is the beautiful sunrise that greeted me when I took the pups out yesterday morning at 6 AM.