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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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Rain Rain Go Away

 Good morning,

It's raining here - still - but the weather is not nearly as bad as it was for the Gulf States this week.  We pray the worst is past for them now and that they can quickly recover. 

We have needed rain here and the old saying goes, "When it rains, it pours."  As the season changes from Summer to Fall, it's good to have rain to keep the roots of many plants alive through the Winter, but we have so much rain right now that we have flash flood warnings in the area.  Fortunately for us, we don't live where we are concerned about flooding.

As soon as the sun reappears, I have three items to photo and list for the shop. I may have more than three by the time the sun shines here again.  I like to use natural sunlight whenever possible to capture true colors and textures so it's worth the wait to get natural light.

I hope the weather is calm wherever you are.


Monday, August 30, 2021

My Honey's Work in Process

 Good morning,

Kjell has talked about making a guitar from wood for quite some time now and here is his beautiful creation!

He's still tweaking it, but it's almost finished now.

Here's what he wrote about it on his FaceBook page:

"Since so many people are making their own guitars, the time had come for me to make one. Since I'm not so much fond of a pure electrical guitar a combination of acoustic/electric would be the thing. Fender had made a few good looking acoustic/ electric guitars. I found an image of one of their guitars I liked and then went to the drawing board. I didn't want to make a copycat so I made a few changes. It's mainly the body that is most lookalike. Material used: African Mahogany for the body and the neck, Maple for the top and Curly Maple for the fretboard. There are three pickups installed: Fleor tele pickup, Ultrathin pickup for the saddle and a 50mm Piezo pickup. The control is an IKN switch control. All cheap stuff just in case. 😉 I will thank Scott Hamel for many good tips during my building process. If I build one more I will change few measurments. It's not always that eye measurements work well. 😉 And, yes, it works and the sound is pretty good. 😎"

 Very cool!


Sunday, August 29, 2021

A Tribute to the Fallen - May They Rest in Peace

 Good morning,

This is not a political blog, but politics are driving our lives this week.  We are appalled and devastated by what has happened this week in Afghanistan.  We grieve for those who have fallen and we pray for those trying to escape the violence.  We pray for our dear friends in Israel who are in the same neighborhood with those who would annihilate them.  

I'll quote my eldest brother (RIP), Lt. Colonel USAF and pilot.  As the chaos of pulling out of Vietnam happened, he and so many others were totally frustrated.  He said, "The politicians take us into war, but won't let us win it."  It has happened again.

Please know that not everyone in the USA voted for this administration and what is happening.  In fact many of us saw the writing on the wall and voted to try to prevent it.  We will be voting again soon and this time I believe more people will have awakened to the truth.

We now return to our regularly scheduled non-political blogging....


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Dog Days of Summer

 Good morning,

It's hot here.  Yesterday the temperature got "down to" 93 F.  We have a new air conditioning system in the house this year so we are very comfy inside but the pups still like a few minutes in the sun soaking up some Vitamin D.  

I'm ready for Fall.  How about you?  I put an autumn leaves table cloth on the dining room table today.  Will that help?



Friday, August 27, 2021

Pond Bunny

 Good morning,

We've had our little "pond bunny" for so long I don't remember when we got it. I'm guessing we've had him for about 40 years.   He sits on the edge of the gold fish pond in our back yard.  One time he got pushed in and it wasn't until we cleaned the pond in the Spring that we found him.  

It has been a busy morning with dogs and a photo session to add new items to the shop.  Where does the time go?

All the best,


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Soup's On

 Good morning,

Soup's on and the house smells wonderful.  

That's sausage soup all layered in the crock pot to cook all day for a wonderful dinner tonight...and tomorrow night.  :)

This is Kjell's magic soup that is good year 'round.  

What's cookin' at your house today?


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Elsa's Battle Scar

 Good morning,

Earlier this month I published an image and story of a snapping turtle that Elsa and her friends found at a friend's home.  There was a crazy frenzy of dogs barking at the thing as it snapped like crazy at them.

Sadly, our little Elsa has a battle scar on her nose.  We've been putting medication on it and it has healed nicely, but the scar is there.  We are hoping it fades, but it just may become part of her stories to tell.

There have been no snapping turtle sightings at our friend's home since.  

Sweet Elsa.  We're so sorry she got hurt.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Just Plain Rude

 Good morning,

Catherine snapped this picture through her windshield as she was trying to leave for work one day last week.  That's a parked car across our driveway.  Living near a large university brings all kinds of rude and stupid people to the neighborhood.  Catherine drove over the curb and grass to get out to get to an appointment at her office on time.  She also called the university police who are able to match the plates to the student and pull them out of class to come move their car. 



Monday, August 23, 2021

A Fungus Among Us

 Good morning,

These two showed up in the pot of lilies on our front porch.  

 Probably unrelated:  A day or so earlier I had just moved the soil around and packed it back down after the local squirrels had dug up my flowers. 

I have hot sauce on my grocery list for this week.  A little hot sauce diluted with water will keep bugs and squirrels away from flowers and veggies without using poison.  

Gardening is such fun.  :)

All the best


Sunday, August 22, 2021

WIP This Weekend

 Good morning,

I have a scarf started with this pretty yarn.  I don't have very much of it, so a scarf if just about all I can make.  

I have similar yarn in other colors that I like very much, too, but I'm making a blanket with it.  Having more than one project in process at the same time is good for my brain to have some relaxation from the same pattern for many hours at a time.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,


Saturday, August 21, 2021

Eggplant Parmesan ala Catherine

 Good morning,

It was Catherine's turn in the kitchen last night.  She had been given some egg plant by a friend so prepared Eggplant Parmesan with spaghetti and meat sauce for us. Of course, we had garlic bread, too.

Thank you, Catherine.  It has been quite awhile since we've had eggplant and it was delicious.

What's cooking at your house this week?


Friday, August 20, 2021

Giant Zucchini

 Good morning,

This is one giant zucchini at 16" long.  A friend gave it to Catherine and I, of course, had to make zucchini bread with it.  ;)  

I cut it into chunks and ran it through the food processor.  Pictured is just the first batch of several.

I ended up with nine cups of zucchini and only needed two cups to make two loaves of bread.

I used a traditional recipe, only substituting half of the oil with applesauce.  It made me feel it was healthier that way - sure, right, with a cup each of brown and granulated sugar....  

Since Catherine prefers her zucchini bread without nuts, I waited to add nuts to only one loaf after I poured the batter in the pan.

Ta da!  Here it is.  It tastes as good as it looks.  There's just something about Summer into Fall with zucchini, pumpkin, and banana bread.  


Are you baking this week?


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Mint Plant Uses

 Good morning,

My mint plants have gone wild and are taking over the half barrel herb garden.  They're flowering and I would  normally pinch off the flowers to get more leaves to grow from each stalk.  But, this time, I cut back quite a bit of it, laid it out on a table to dry, then...

 ...chopped it up, spread it out in a pan, and baked it on 180 F for an hour to kill any bugs in it.  I used it as a carpet freshener by spreading it out on the carpet before sweeping.  The whole house smelled minty and clean.  In the past I have done this with lavender, too.

I've done some research and learned that a small amount of mint in the pup's food will help with digestion and keep their breath fresh.  That's next.  Oh, yes, then there are mint juleps.  ;) 

 Happy Summer!


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

You Say Tomato and I Say...


Good morning,

This is the largest tomato on our only tomato vine this year.  It's not quite ripe yet, but is just beautiful.  It's ripening below the twine I have used to tie the vine to a pole. 


If you garden, I hope your garden is producing beautifully for you, too!

Happy Summer,


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Brilliant Red Petunia

 Good morning,

The flowers in our garden greet me with new blossoms every day.  

So pretty!

We are enjoying the fabulous weather this summer and the beautiful flowers that have come with it.

All the best,


Monday, August 16, 2021

Girls Gone Wild!

 Good morning,

Last weekend Catherine took our Wendy and Elsa (the two yellows in the pictures) to the Labrador Retriever Picnic and Swim Day at a member's home.  

Wendy and Elsa enjoyed swimming with Ember who calls Elsa, Auntie. 

 So much fun!  The girls are loving this Summer fun  Thank you for the images, Catherine.

 The girls certainly were tired when they got home.

Love you all,


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Work in Process This Weekend

 Good morning,

I've started another rainbow and cream afghan blanket.  These are the first few rows and it has grown since this picture was taken.  Shortly after I made the first one of these and listed it in the shop, it sold.  I enjoy this yarn because I like the changing colors.  Click this link to see how it will look finished.

The yellow flowers I showed you last week are now part of an afghan blanket all finished and in the shop.

 I need a smaller project from time to time, too, to give my fingers a change of routine and my brain some design variety.  These are 100% cotton coasters.  I love using them because they are absorbent and washable.  I throw them into the washer and dryer in a mesh laundry bag and they come out looking like new.  They also fit nicely into the cup holders in your car.  The scalloped edge adjusts to the size of your cup holder.  I'll have a few sets of these in the shop soon.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?  I love reading all of your blogs and seeing your creativity.  I also appreciate your emails, comments, and encouragement.

All the very best,





Saturday, August 14, 2021

Great Company, Food, and View


 Good morning,

Yesterday Kjell and I had a wonderful evening at deSha's with our middle child, Don, and his son/our grandson, Alex.  Sadly, I only got pictures of Don and Alex.  Catherine, our daughter, was also there.  Catherine lives with us so we see her daily, but this was the first time we have all gotten together since before Covid so it was a very special event!  Of course, we had stayed in touch with Don via phone and email during these two years, but it's just not the same as being together.

We were seated at a table overlooking the lake so were entertained by water fowl throughout our dinner.  I got a kick out of the little duck feather on the outside the the window; look just above the shoreline on the right. 


 From our table we could see part of the outside dining area and the ducks that waited below for anything that might "drop" into the water.  They were not disappointed.


 Across the pond was a heron that pretended to be a statue for a long time.


 Then it the began marching back and forth as if on guard duty.


Kjell and I went for the protein with the prime rib...

...and Catherine was somewhat more sensible by ordering the salad with salmon.  That looked so wonderful that it will be my choice the next time we come here.

Thank you, Don!  This was a wonderful way to celebrate family together after two years of separation due to Covid.  We are all vaccinated and still being careful because of the Delta Variant, but are determined to get back to "normal."

Celebrate family!  


Friday, August 13, 2021

Hot Summer Day

 Good morning,

Here's a quick video Catherine sent of Elsa and friends at the pool.  

Summer fun to enjoy!



Thursday, August 12, 2021

Sleeping Beauty

 Good morning,

This is just beyond cute.  Wendy is sleeping at the bottom of my bed with a toy in her mouth.

The fun part is she is also snoring which seems pretty tricky with that toy.

Happy Thursday!



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Work in Process this Week


 Good morning,

I'm working on another flower afghan blanket this week.

 The flowers are "blooming" in shades of yellow this time!  

What are making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Elsa Portrait

 Good morning,

This is the formal portrait of Elsa with her ribbons from last weekend.  She has started to accumulate points toward her Master Agility Champion title.  



Monday, August 9, 2021

Snapping Turtle

 Good morning,

This character appeared on our friend's property while Catherine had eleven dogs outside.  The dogs descended upon it and it was nearly impossible for Catherine to pull the dogs away.  Since they were in a fenced yard, the dogs were out to exercise and not on leashes.  The turtle had moved close to the house and swimming pool where the dogs found him quickly.

After Catherine got the dogs into the house, she came back to see what she could do about the turtle, but it had (very wisely) disappeared. 

It is legal to kill snapping turtles in Ohio at this time of the year.  I have no sympathy for them.  They cause all sorts of damage to ducks (they snap off feet!), people (fingers), injure small animals, and, of course, injure dogs.  

 There are recipes on line for turtle soup.  I'll pass.


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Elsa's Friday Haul

 Good morning,

I was sitting in my recliner late last night when Catherine came in with Elsa from a dog show.  Elsa was running around all excited to be home and playing with the other pups when Catherine placed these in my lap. 

 Elsa is only two and a half years old so is still working on her speed and accuracy, but is surely outdoing our Penny (2005-2020) in the speed with which she is collecting ribbons and titles.  We have come to the conclusion that not only is Elsa a fantastic agility competitor, but Penny did an excellent job training Catherine.  ;)  Seriously, Catherine's training skills are spectacular.  She competes with not only our dogs, but other owner's dogs at the dog shows and has great results.

 Congratulations to Elsa and Catherine!  They have two more days of competition this weekend.


Lois  (Very proud Mommy!)

Friday, August 6, 2021

Needlework and Wood Working Update - August, 2021

 Good morning,

This is the monthly post of all of the Needlework and Wood Working items we have completed since the the previous month's update. 

 Above is a very highly textured afghan blanket in reds and pinks.  $125.  More info and images are here.

 These subtle colors work so very well together for this large afghan blanket.  Be sure to click the link to see the up-close views.  $165.  More here.

 This sweet baby blanket in soft pastels is a beautiful gift that baby will use for at least the first five years, then be passed on to the next baby in the family.  $45.  More here.

 This aqua color School of Fish pocket sweater and hat baby set is my new design for the shop.  $60.  More here

Hats were a hot item in the shop this past month so I have been restocking.  This orange hat and

 this bright multi-color hat are both great safety colors.  

 This hat is 100% cotton.

The camera doesn't do color justice to this soft green hat with brown highlights.  I may have to re-photo this one for the shop.

Medium blue is a popular color for both men and women.

And, finally, this lovely, soft hat is made with yarn the colors of Monet's paintings. 

Here's the link to see these hats and many more available now.  They are very reasonably priced from $8.  

 Kjell made this for me, but will make more for the shop.  He designed and carved this candle holder in walnut wood. He still has to do a little sanding, then apply the finish.  The "candle" is an LED that runs on a battery, but is so realistic that I would think it is real if I didn't pick it up and look at the bottom of it.

 Kjell has other items in process, too.  Wood items can take weeks to complete.  A spectacular Viking wood carving is in process and scheduled to be available in the shop soon.  It will be featured in next month's Update.

Come see other knit, crochet, and wood items that we've made here:  EvensensProductions.com

So, that's it for this month!  We sincerely appreciate your encouragement, likes, shares, favorites, and purchases, too!

All the very best,