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.

Click the header image to see most current posts.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

National Camera Day

 Good morning,

Yesterday was National Camera Day and we enjoyed it tremendously.

Kjell and one of his favorite Canon Cameras and I sat on the patio in gorgeous June weather watching birds and taking pictures.  Well, he took pictures and I was there as his enabler/encourager.  ;)  I was busy with my crochet hook.

May be an image of bird and nature

Kjell recently published some gorgeous images on Facebook if you'd like to take a look:

May be an image of bird and nature

 His Facebook page is here:  https://www.facebook.com/kjell.t.evensen




Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Gift Basket

 Good morning,

A friend of ours and client of our family CPA firm for two generations had to take a medical leave recently.  Yesterday was his first day back at work so Catherine put together a very clever Welcome Back Basket.

Included are heart healthy snacks, lottery tickets, and of course a card from all of us.  I can take credit for the card and the bow.  ;)

Welcome back, good friend.  We're glad you are well.

All the best,


Monday, June 27, 2022

Doggie Play Date

 Good morning,

Catherine sent me these images that she took at a friend's home where Elsa and Wendy were having a play date with our friend's pups.  

Our dogs came home soaking wet from having a swim in the pool.  They certainly had a fabulous time!

Happy Summer!


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Delayed Father's Day Dinner ala Catherine

 Good morning,

Catherine made us a fabulous gourmet Father's Day Dinner yesterday.  She had an obligation last week at a dog show on Father's Day so asked if she could prepare dinner this weekend instead.   It was wonderful to have it a week after the fact so that we could continue to celebrate.  

She prepared grilled lamb, very special potatoes prepared in the crock pot, cabbage, and mushrooms.  My goodness, it was all fabulous!

Thank you, Catherine!

Love you,


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Petunia Wannabee

 Good morning,

We finally had some rain - not enough, but some rain.

When I glanced over at one of my patio flower pots yesterday morning, I saw this "blossom."  At first, it looked like a petunia, but it is some sort of fungus.

It's actually quite pretty.



Friday, June 24, 2022

It Could Be Worse

 Good morning,

I filled the car with gas yesterday and this is what my pump told me I would pay for 9.558 gallons of unleaded.  My $4.969/gallon price was already $.03 off because I used my Kroger discount card.

Yes, it could be a whole lot worse.  I could live in New York or California or....

Happy Summer,


Thursday, June 23, 2022


 Good morning,

Staying home during the pandemic changed so many things including our concept of preparing meals.  The important thing is that we still eat together.

We don't eat big meals any more;  we prefer to "graze."  We end up eating smaller amounts several times a day which suits us just fine.  We are both losing weight doing this, although that is not the prime objective.

Catherine brought home some deli salami and swiss cheese.  That combined with crackers made a great grazing-style dinner for us.  Later a little fruit and yogurt rounds out the evening.

I'll venture to say many other people have changed their meal preparation routine during and since the pandemic, too.

All the best,


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Blossom of the Day

 Good morning,

This is one of my several African Violets that live happily in my dining room.  This particular plant hasn't bloomed for awhile so it was a pleasure to see it bloom this week.

If I had space, I would have many more of these pretty plants.

Happy Summer!


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Breakfast for Dinner - Banana Pancakes

 Good morning,

It is good to be retired.  We can eat what we want (within reason) when we want.  Breakfast for dinner is a big hit here, but I do work at providing a little variety.

I think the last time I made banana pancakes, the kids were small.  They taste just as good or even better now.  :)

My method is to add the banana slices atop the batter after I've poured it in the pan to fry.

After turning and frying on the "banana side", the rich flavor of toasted banana is quite yummy.  I served these with maple syrup, eggs, and bacon for a very satisfying meal.

Ah, yes, there are very few rules in retirement!



Monday, June 20, 2022

Left Overs for Lunch

  Good morning,

My Honey likes just about anything on an open faced sandwich. I've discovered that's a very Norwegian thing to do.  ;)

Here you see he has put pieces of baked fish with cheese on sliced croissants.

Looks pretty good!


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Happy Father's Day and The Newest Work in Process - Bavarian Stitch Blanket

 Good morning,

Happy Fathers Day to all the fantastic Fathers, especially My Honey.  We are having a quiet day at home today.  We will celebrate next weekend with a special meal prepared by our daughter.  

I have another blanket started once again.  I have three in process now:  this one, the brilliant rainbow I showed you a few days ago, and the flowers for a large flower garden afghan.  I have these various projects where I sit down at different times of the day and evening.  As I get ideas for another project, I gather together the yarn and tools and put them in a project bag or box.  I enjoy having the freedom to decide which project will get my attention each time I sit down.

The image above was taken with my phone camera without any flash, only the lamp beside my chair.  The colors in real life are brighter than they appear here.  

There are other blankets finished and in the shop here.

I love seeing and hearing about what you are doing.  What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the very best,


Saturday, June 18, 2022

A Different Twist on Baked Cod

 Good morning,

For medical reasons not related to weight reduction, My Honey has been told by his doc to eat a high protein diet.  Of course, being from Norway, he loves fish so fish is a big part of that diet.  

Above you see this week's version of baked cod.  First I put about 1/4 cup of lemon juice in the corning baking dish, then four pieces of cod.  I sprinkled very lightly with "natural seasonings" (that's what it says on the jar), then added tomato slices, fresh blueberries, and cheese.

I covered and baked for 40 minutes at 350 F and served it with brussel sprouts.

This was fantastic!  I'll surely do this one again!

It is so much fun to experiment with cooking.  The "made up" recipes seem to be the very best!



Friday, June 17, 2022

Silhouette of a Hawk


Good morning,

This is an image Kjell captured with his phone while he was sitting on our patio.  

The Hawk Silhouette would be perfect as a Halloween image, too.  :)

Nice work, Honey!


Thursday, June 16, 2022

Our Chubby Squirrel

 Good morning,

This is our chubby Mr. Squirrel who is sitting on top of the shrubs around our front porch.  Most importantly, he is sitting under the bird feeder.

When we first installed the bird feeder (with camera - see earlier posts!) Mr. Squirrel was able to help himself.  Since then, Kjell has installed a piece of plastic to keep him off of the feeding platform.

Now Mr. Squirrel sits under the feeder and consumes what the birds knock down to him.  He's soon going to need to go on a diet!

Image credit to Kjell.  :)

Happy Summer!


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

More Pattern Stitch Inspiration


Good morning,

We've been clearing out dead branches and I came across this very pretty fungus.  Of course, the first thing that came to mind was the pretty patterns so I snapped a picture.  These almost look like pansies, don't they!

Ah, yes, the beauty in nature....



Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Monday, June 13, 2022

This Week's Work in Process - Brilliant Rainbow Afghan Blanket

 Good morning,

This is one of my current Works in Process this week.  It is a Brilliant Rainbow Blanket.  Eventually, it will be in the shop.

This pattern stitch is time consuming, but I just love the results!

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,




Sunday, June 12, 2022

Time Out


Wendy is between dives at the Dock Diving Event.  

Wendy:  For lunch I'll have a bloody mary and a cheeseburger, please.

I need a time out.  Just wake me for my next dive. 

Image credit goes to our daughter/Wendy's trainer, Catherine. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Dock Diving Weekend

 Good morning,

Our Wendy is participating in Dock Diving events with her friends Trevor and Teddy this weekend.  Here she is in her blue bathrobe drying off after a dive.

Photo credit goes to our daughter/Wendy's trainer Catherine.

Happy Summer!



Friday, June 10, 2022

Kjell 4, Squirrel 0


Good morning,

Kjell made a little update to the bird feeder cam I showed you a few days ago.  

In addition to pretty Cardinals and other birds at our feeder,

we also caught a squirrel who wanted to be a movie star on our bird feeder cam.

 So, Kjell added the flexible plastic to the bottom of the feeder.  We went back into the house and watched to see how the squirrel would handle this.  

I'm happy to report the squirrel tried to get to the bird seed four times before giving up.

The final score is Kjell 4, Squirrel 0.

Mr. Squirrel isn't starving, however.  He has plenty of bird seed to eat that is dropped beneath the feeder.  He is just not able to hog all the bird seed for himself and keep the birds away by sitting on the feeding platform.

Ah, yes, this is fun!



Thursday, June 9, 2022

Today's Blossom

 Good morning,

This sweet little daisy is my blossom of the day.  This particular plant is growing in a pot where I planted several types of flower seeds last year.  It appears we may be seeing more of last year's plants blooming here, too.


Happy Spring!


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Work in Process - A Study in Black and White

 Good morning

This is the new Deck One project:  a large afghan blanket I can call "A Study in Black and White."  It doesn't look like a whole lot here, but I am extremely happy about how it is coming together as I assemble the center rounds.  This one is especially fun to make.  When I get it together, it will be in the shop.

I'm still working on the "Blue Lovers" large afghan blanket on Deck Two. I don't spend as much time up there so projects take a little longer to finish.  I do love having a variety of projects going at all times.  

Today I started a hat while waiting for My Honey to be finished with a doctor appointment.  I have a feeling the hat will be finished before the afghans.  ;)

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Bird Feeder Cam

 Good morning,

Kjell has been busy in his wood workshop making a bird feeder cam and we are all enjoying it!  The camera is powered by a solar panel so there are no batteries to change.

We can watch the bird feeder cam on our phones.  During the first day of operation we've captured videos of birds and a squirrel who wants to be a movie star.   

I took a snapshot of a recorded video to show you what we see from the camera. 

Of course, Wendy is watching the Bird Feeder Cam from inside.  She makes sure the squirrel doesn't stay too long.

This is fun!



There are more images and information about it on Kjell's Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/kjell.t.evensen.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Hi Daddy!

 Elsa (from her seat on his footrest while staring him in the eye):  Hi Daddy!

Daddy:  Hi Elsa.  What can I do for you?

Elsa:  Cuddles would be nice.  Then I'll let you watch TV.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Pushing Protein

 Good morning,

Kjell's doctor has encouraged him to eat as much protein as possible so fish is a big part of our menu each week.  Of course, we both like fish so that works out well.

We avoid fried foods so I've baked that cod in the image once again, but instead of topping it with tomatoes as I have in the past, I topped it with lemon juice, garlic salt (in moderation), pepper, carrots, and cheese.  I also made cheesy broccoli.  We haven't had many carbs lately so I made one of my favorites, garlic noodles. 

This meal turned out to be a real winner.



Saturday, June 4, 2022

Ta Da! Here are the Lilies!

 Good morning,

Well, here they are!

I am so very pleased that the lilies came back this year.

 I have a pot of these on each side of the steps on the front porch.  I was concerned they wouldn't be back this year after I saw the squirrels had been digging in the pots last Fall.

Well, we are just delighted to see you, pretty lilies!

Happy Gardening,


Friday, June 3, 2022

Needlework Update - June, 2022

 Good morning,

Welcome to the June Needlework Update!  This has been a month of afghan blankets and hats.  

Above is a "Shades of Turquoise" afghan blanket that sold soon after it was listed in the shop

 This Flower Garden Afghan Blanket of brilliant flowers bordered in Forest Green is new this month.  $165.  More images and information here.

 We have many more afghan blankets in a variety of styles and sizes available here, too!

 This is a wool blend yarn in my original Nordic Intarsia Knit Design.  These hats are not only stylish, they are warm and cozy.  $40.  More images and info here.

 One more of these this month in a different color arrangement.  $40.  More images/info here.  These are perfect coordinating designs for the family.

Cloche hats have been very popular during the past month, too, so I'm making many more for a good selection in the shop. 

 These are available in cotton, wool blend, and acrylic yarns.

 These are perfect for sleep, bad hair day, and chemo caps.


 And, they are stylish, too!

This last hat is a super soft wool blend. 

Thank you for your comments, likes, favorites, and purchases, too!  We are enjoying our retirement making items we love to make.

All the very best!

Come see what else we've made!

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Take The Kids To Work Day


Good morning,

Catherine sent me these images more than a week ago.  

When she has clients coming in to her CPA firm who are "dog people," she often takes our dogs along so they can socialize. 

Above you see Wendy supervising in the conference room.

 And, here Elsa is meeting with a client.

 That is so very sweet!