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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Monday, February 28, 2022

City Sounds and Last Call

 Good morning,

Each evening before we go to bed we have last call for the pups.  It's their last potty trip outside before we all settle down.

We live in the city so we have plenty of city sounds, but last night it seemed every emergency vehicle was converging on our address.

 Fortunately, that was not the case, but something was definitely going on nearby.  Our dogs aren't reactive and take in all the information they hear, see, smell to process that information.  Our pups stood at attention for the longest time listening to the commotion and trying to decide if they were supposed to react.  I would imagine if I had reacted with fear, their reaction might have been quite vocal.

Finally, the noise subsided, the pups took care of business, and we were all able to go to bed.

And, so all was well for another night on the South Coast of Ohio....


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Anniversary Dinner

 Good morning,

We celebrated our anniversary with friends a few days early.  We had dinner at the steak house at our local casino with the usual suspects:  Catherine, Bill, and Carol.  With us it was a party of five.

The dinner was fantastic and afterward...

 ...we dropped a very few dollars into a slot machine.  We played a very short time, got up to leave, Catherine came over and asked if Dad was finished with his machine.  She put in some cash and on the very first 80 cent spin she won $300.  At least someone in the family was lucky!

That's it for the casino for us for awhile. 

The dogs were happy we came home early.  



Saturday, February 26, 2022

Christmas Again?

 Good morning,

Our Christmas Cactus bloomed right around Christmas and was quite beautiful.

Now this sweet plant is going to treat us to St. Patrick's Day blossoms.

 There are blossoms ready to open all over this plant once again.  

Happy Holiday, whatever it is!



Friday, February 25, 2022

Welcome Signs of Spring

 Good morning,

What a delight it was to see these crocus pushing their way up among the fallen leaves at the side of our home.  The first little purple blossom will open soon.

 Nearby the daffodils are showing their pretty leaves, too.

Yay Spring!



Thursday, February 24, 2022

Work in Process This Week - Knit and Crochet

 Good morning,

Since I've made afghans and other large projects lately, I'm making some smaller ones this week to give my brain a little variety.  Above is a knit scarf that will match a basket weave knit hat already finished.  I'll list them both in the shop when finished.

 This is a very close up of a crochet mobius scarf I've started.  The muted colors are somewhat the same as those in the first image, but this is a totally different kind of yarn.  

I'm happy with how both projects are coming along.  I like to have both a knit and a crochet project going at the same time I so can switch back and forth to provide variety of movements for my fingers.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Relaxing Near the Fireplace

 Good morning,

I took this picture of Wendy relaxing near the warm fire a few days ago when the temperature outside was in the 30's.  

In typical Cincinnati fashion, the temperatures were in the 60's today.

Tomorrow, we'll be back to the 30's.

Go figure!



Tuesday, February 22, 2022

More Soup

 Good morning,

We have been enjoying at least one pot of soup courtesy of My Honey every week this winter.

The soup of the day is split pea with ham and carrots.  Yes, it was delicious!

Thanks, Sweetie, for another great soup!



Monday, February 21, 2022

Mind the Gap

 Good morning,

Kjell took these first four images of Elsa watching him as he is reclined in his chair. 

 She worked very hard to get her head up on his leg.

 Actually, she is on the ottoman, barely managing to balance to accomplish this.

But, she manages!

I took this last image from my chair.  You can see the gap between the ottoman and daddy's chair.  Yes, he did stop taking pictures of her with his phone and play with her.

Aside:  I got him the coffee cup some time ago.  If it's too small to read, it says, "Sawdust is Man Glitter."  So true!

Happy President's Day!


Sunday, February 20, 2022

Pigs in a Blanket

 Good morning,

Remember these?  I don't think I've made them since the kids were small.

 I started with a package of Lil' Smokies, rinsed and patted dry...

 ...made a batch of my egg bread and let it rise once before kneading again...

 ...broke off little pieces of bread dough, rolled it into strips and wound it around those Lil' Smokies...

 and popped them in the oven for 25 minutes.

Of course, we had to send a few to the lab for testing....  ;)

These were such a fun snack!

All the best,


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Banana Bread Twins

 Good morning,

We had so many geriatric bananas that I made a double batch of banana bread.

Now we need more walnuts.  ;)

What's your favorite quick bread?





Friday, February 18, 2022

Kalanchoe Finally Blooming

 Good morning,

More than five years ago we brought a basket of beautiful plants in to the house.  This kalanchoe is a descendant of one of the plants in that basket.  

After the blooms when the plant arrived faded, I hadn't been able to get it to bloom again - until this year! In fact, I had forgotten exactly what the blossom color actually was.  It's so pretty, isn't it!

 I love these pretty little flowers. I have several Kalanchoe plants now and they are each a slightly different color.

My indoor garden is providing great beauty this winter!

All the best,


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Chickpea Soup with Ham

 Good morning,

My Honey made Chickpea Soup with Ham this week.  What's so great about a big pot like this is that it is good for two meals.  :)   Not only that, the house smells marvelous while it is cooking

Happy Winter!


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Ice Dancing Dogs

 Good morning,

The temperatures have been above freezing for several days, but the ice is still here in our driveway.  The pups don't seem to mind and enjoy dancing, slipping, and sliding on it.

 Here Wendy and Bri are completing a twirl that is worthy of Olympic Gold!

Spring!  Where is Spring!



Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Dreaming Magical Pink Dragon Dreams

 Good morning,

Our Sweet Elsa is dreaming with her Magical Pink Dragon.






Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Happy Valentine's Day
from Elsa
and all the rest of us in the
Evensen Household

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Red Roses

 Good morning,

My Honey went out to pick up a prescription this morning and also made a stop at the flower shop.

I got my Valentine roses early!  

Thank you, Sweetheart!  

Love and hugs,


Friday, February 11, 2022

Work in Process this Week

 Good morning,

This basket full of burgundy flowers will soon come together as a beautiful afghan blanket.

I took the picture at night with light from my dining room chandelier.  The pinks are actually lighter/brighter than they appear here.  When I take images to list the blanket for the shop, I'll use daylight.

Similar blankets are already in the shop ready to ship.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Brianna and the Toys

 Good morning,

Our little friend Brianna has been with us all week.

 Little Bri looks so tiny on Elsa's bed and with our dogs.

 Bri is eye to eye, nose to nose with the toy!  A standoff!

 Bri is tough!  She takes command of the situation.

It's fun having Bri visit us, but she sure is a handful.  Bri's mom (our friend, Erica) is not home during the day so Bri has been staying with Catherine most of the time so that Bri isn't left alone in a kennel at home all day.  Bri is doing very well socializing with other dogs and meeting lots of new people.

So cute!



Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Another Winner Breakfast Bread

 Good morning,

Here in "Mama Evensen's Test Kitchen" I've been making (way too much for our waistlines) yeast breakfast breads.  See the long list of bread recipes I've published on this blog here.

I made the loaf pictured above with my sour cream egg bread, then after the second rise I flattened the dough, added walnuts and white chocolate chips, then rolled it before placing it in a bread pan.

 After baking, I cooled it on a rack, then prepared cognac/powdered sugar (with three drops of vanilla) frosting and spread it on the top.  That cognac frosting is just spectacular.

The plastic top of the container I used happened to smash the top of the frosting so it's not as pretty as it was when just made, but it sure did taste good!

I think I will need to start getting creative with salads instead - soon!  ;)



Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Watching the Ice Storm

 Good morning,

Wendy and Elsa are watching the ice storm.  Small ice pellets are falling making travel nearly impossible.  We didn't attempt to go anywhere.  

 Elsa asked when it will be over.  I told her, "Here on the South Coast of Ohio, we just wait a day and the weather will change...."

Aside:  There is nothing wrong with Elsa's nose.  She had something stuck to her wet nose.  I took it off.  ;)

Happy Winter, wherever you are in the Northern Hemisphere!


Monday, February 7, 2022

Guard Dog in Training

 Good morning,

Catherine sent me this image of Bri (a friend of the family spending a few days with us) at Catherine's office.  

 Bri is in the entryway of the office watching for anyone who doesn't belong so she can scare them away.  

Such a sweet face!



Sunday, February 6, 2022

Following the Ice is Snow

 Good morning,

Yesterday I posted pictures Kjell took of the ice storm we are enduring here in Cincy.  Today we have snow on top of that ice. 

Nearly everything in Cincinnati is cancelled until this is melted which doesn't happen very often.

If you look carefully down at the street, just to the right of our flag pole, you'll see Catherine's car covered with snow.  She was at her office yesterday during the ice storm.  She made it home, but not up the driveway.  

Just a few days ago, our temperature topped out at 62 F.  

That's Cincinnati weather. 



Saturday, February 5, 2022

Ice Storm

 Good morning,

Kjell took these images in the morning after a night of rain and as the rain was changing over to ice pellets.  The ice continued to fall all day and into the night, then the snow started to fall.

 We are up to a Level 2 Weather Emergency as I type this.  It will be a couple of days before the temp is forecast to be above freezing.

In the meantime, I'm keeping the fireplace cranking....

Ah, yes, February....


Friday, February 4, 2022

Needlework and Wood Working Update - February, 2022

 Good morning,

Welcome to this month's Needlework and Wood Working Update.  This is where we share what we've completed during the past month in our Needlework Studio and Wood Working Workshop.  

Above is something very new in the shop!  This is a hand crafted wood Bread Board and Knife that is lovely to use while serving fresh bread at the table.  I love the fact that the knife has its own storage space on the board.  The knife also comes with a guard for the very sharp cutting edge.  $90.  Only one available here.

 This is a similar bread that was a custom order and has been delivered.  
This is our bread board.  Kjell made this one for us and I just love it!  I make bread several times a week so it is terrific to have this lovely board to cut slices exactly as we want them for toast, sandwiches, french toast (thick slices!), etc....

 This pretty bowl is something else that Kjell made for us. Lovely!  I'm hoping he will make another for the shop.

This Shades of Turquoise Large Afghan Blanket is in the shop and ready to ship.  It's a favorite color combination for me so I especially enjoyed making it.  $165.  More images and information here.

The hat above was a custom order that has been delivered.  The colors just "work" so beautifully together!

I made a similar Wool Blend Nordic Knit Intarsia hat for the shop.  $40.  More images and information here.

This knit sweater in super soft yarn was also a custom order and has been delivered.  This yarn will also make marvelously soft hats and scarves.  Those are on my To Do List.  ;) 

Just in time for Valentine's Day!  This lovely Pink Bobbles Scarf is crocheted of heavy super soft and warm.  $36.  Only one available here.
This matching crochet bobbles hat is so very soft and warm.  $36.  More info and images here.

Here is a knit cables version in the same gorgeous thick pink yarn.  $36. More info here

This is a Knit Eyelets hat in the same soft, warm, heavy pink yarn.  $36.  Available here.
Also in the same pink yarn is another style.  This is a Cloche Hat/Chemo Cap that is especially warm and comfortable.  $14.  More info and image here.
This similar hat is crocheted in executive gray.  $14.  Available here.
Again, a similar hat, but this one is crocheted in wool blend yarn.  $15.  See more about it here.
Pretty colors are also safety colors in this hat.  $8.  More about it here.
This lovely blend of colors coordinates with a scarf and other hats in the shop in the Hats Scarves Headbands section.  This hat $8.  Available here.
And, finally, we have two more tissue toppers to restock those recently sold.  Royal Blue $8. here.

Pink Toilet Tissue Topper $8.

We have even more Toilet Tissue Toppers in a wide variety of colors here.  $8. each.

See our entire shop of more than 300 items here. Order today and we'll get your Valentine gifts in the mail within 24 hours.  Gift wrap option is available at checkout. 

When I get all of these images together each month I often surprise myself at how many items we have created.  We truly do enjoy our retirement shop.  In fact, I refer to it as our "retirement gig."  We have the opportunity to be creative, design and make things we love to use ourselves, and offer them on line.  We are so very honored that so many people in the USA and world wide have chosen to purchase our items for themselves and gifts.  Thank you so very much.

We'll be back next month with pictures and information about items we are working on right now.  

All the very best,




Original and Traditional
Hand Crafted Designs
Made in the USA