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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Friday, September 30, 2022

Another Title for Elsa

 Good morning,

Still another Agility Trial Title Certificate arrived in the mail for Elsa!

She is now a Master Excellent Jumper.  :)  

Elsa and her trainer/our daughter, Catherine, are racking up the titles!

Yes, we are so proud of Team Elsa.


Lois  (aka very proud mommy)

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Work in Process - A Favorite

 Good morning,

This design should be getting familiar.  The one I made last month sold eight days after I listed it, so it immediately went back in the queue to make another.

This is a Brilliant Rainbow and Off White Large Afghan Blanket.  It's over half finished but will still take several more days and evenings to complete.  Of course, it'll be in the shop when finished.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the very best,


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Penny in Colorado

 Good morning,

Our friend Bill and his pup Penny are hiking in Colorado.  Bill sent this picture today of Penny who is surely having a blast spending so much quality time with her Dad.

I asked about the shoes that Catherine ordered for Penny and Bill said Penny decided not to wear them.  

Stay safe, my friends, and we'll see you in another week or two!



Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Colorful Berries on the Vine

 Good morning,

These pretty berries are on a vine that has taken over my flower ladder against the garage.

What struck me about them is the range of color of the blue, green, purple berries and how lovely those colors would be in an afghan blanket.  Then I realized I had already done this!  Check it out!

Ah, yes, Mother Nature is my best inspiration.


Monday, September 26, 2022

Peace Lily

 Good morning,

Today's blossom is from our indoor garden.  This plant has been here six or more years now and continues to delight us with blossoms from time to time.

The beauty of Mother Nature.

Happy Fall,


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Old Movies

 Good morning,

Yesterday afternoon I was scanning cable channels while on (what I thought would be) a short break from other activities around the house.  

I landed on the King and I and was immediately engrossed in this wonderful old movie.  I ended up watching all of it while knitting.  It's amazing how much knitting and crocheting I get accomplished when there is something really good on TV.

I especially enjoyed the rendition of Uncle Tom's Cabin in the movie.  Author Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in Cincinnati and her home is now a museum.  It is just a few blocks from our home.  

What a small world....


Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Pink Roses

 Good morning,

The Pink Roses are finally in bloom!

 This is the surviving rose bush from about 70 that I had planted just about 35 years ago.  

Each season I hope to see these pretty blossoms again and I was not disappointed this year.

It took all the way until Fall, but, here they are!



Friday, September 23, 2022

Today's Fall Blossom

 Good morning,

The wind was blowing so hard that I had to hold this blossom still to take a picture of it.  We've had the reds and oranges in bloom, now the yellows are opening up to delight us.

It seems the cooler weather arrived just in time for Fall on the calendar.  I just love these cool nights and much cooler days than we had just last week.

Happy Fall!

All the best,


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Doggie Leprechaun Hat Learning Toy

 Good morning,

It's early for St. Patrick's Day, but the pups are enjoying their new learning toy.  Catherine brought this one home two days ago and the pups have been playing with it ever since. 

 This "hat" has a hole in the top and comes with three smaller toys inside so the pups can learn to move the hat around and pull the smaller toys out. The nice part is that the dogs don't chew up the toy, but get the same satisfaction of pulling something out from the inside.  A bonus is the squeaky inside each of the smaller toys.

Of course, we doggie parents spend a lot of time putting the toys back into the hat for them.

This is fun!



Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Live Forevers

 Good morning,

We have one clump of what my Mom called "Live Forevers."  The ancestors of this plant came from my son Don's home probably 30 years ago when he was moving flowers in his garden.  I propagated the small clump I received from him and grew rows of them beside my maim walkway.  Then I decided to put something else in their spot so I moved them.

 But, this little clump survived and now, many years later, I am so glad it did.

It is fun to live on the same property for many years and have a history with the plants here.

Within the next couple of weeks, these blossoms will be covered with bees enjoying these late summer flowers.

All the best,


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Sleepy Elsa

 Good morning,

I sat down on the bed to take a phone call and Elsa climbed up next to me.  She put her head on my leg and immediately fell asleep.

Elsa is surely the most cuddly dog we have ever had.  What a pleasure!

She just makes my day.



Monday, September 19, 2022

Today's Blossom in the Sun

 Good morning,

Since several of the trees we had in our back yard are now gone (storms, rotten wood, etc.) the entire ecosystem has changed.  We have also had more rain this summer than usual so the garden is flourishing.  Of course, the weeds have found a whole new life too.  ;)

But, we are enjoying it!  I remember when we moved in 43 years ago we couldn't get grass to grow in the back yard because of the large shade trees.  That's just not a problem any more!

Summer was lovely, but we are looking forward to Fall and cooler weather.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

This Week's Work in Process - Yellow Flowers Afghan Blanket

 Good morning,

This week I'm working on another Yellow Flowers Large Afghan Blanket for the shop.  

This one has been a favorite so I'm making another.  It's almost finished and when it is I'll be making another Brilliant Rainbow and Off White Afghan Blanket.

When I sell a popular item, I put another one in the queue to make again.  There are many finished afghan blankets in a variety of sizes and colors in the shop now here.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the very best,


Saturday, September 17, 2022

Fun Food

 Good morning,

A little silliness today.  My Honey says is favorite foods are (and not necessarily together) my mashed potatoes (they include sour cream and butter) and hot dogs.  

So, here's a favorite food "happy meal" just for him!

Yes, retirement is good.  We are taking time to have fun and laugh. 



Friday, September 16, 2022

Guess What Wendy is Watching on TV

 Good morning,

Catherine gave Dad a year of Disney Plus as part of his birthday present earlier this month so we've been watching lots of Disney movies.  

Yesterday evening, when Daddy got up from his chair for a moment, Wendy jumped right in it to get a good view of the TV.

 Yes, she is watching Lady and the Tramp.  It's so sweet.  There are so many dog noises in the movie that our pups were quite interested in what was happening on the screen.

My Honey and I are enjoying the Disney movies, too.  Thank you, Catherine!



Thursday, September 15, 2022

This Morning's Blossom

 Good morning,

I absolutely love these beautiful flowers that greet me each morning.

This color of pink is certainly a favorite.  This flower is another from the seeds I received in the mail from a charity to which I donated last year.  What a lovely thank you that I enjoy every day.

All the best,


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Here Comes the Sun

 Good morning,

The Beatles song comes to mind when I take the pups out early in the morning.  

"Here Comes the Sun" and what a beautiful day is dawning!

 All the best for a great day wherever you are,


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Bread Making - Part II of II

 Good morning,

This is a continuation of yesterday's post.  I'm making a double batch of bread so that I can make one braided loaf and four smaller loaves.  

The braided loaf is in the pan rising for the second time.  

Above is the remaining dough from the batch.  It's divided into four parts and will be kneaded again before going into the smaller bread pans.

 And, here is all of today's bread in the oven with no heat, just the light on for the second rise.

 That didn't take long!  Actually, it was about 40 minutes.

 Both types of bread are ready to go, but the braided bread dough needs one more thing....

One egg yolk and a tablespoon of water all whipped up together, then...
..."painted" on top of the braided loaf.
Ta da!
Then back into the oven to bake for 40 minutes while being guarded by our
Chief of Security.  You see, the aromas are so good, there are those who sometimes show up and try to get a sample before the loaves are finished.
Here is the braided loaf (aka challah) just out of the oven and

the four smaller loaves.

Ah, yes, it was a lovely bread day.  



Monday, September 12, 2022

Bread Baking - Part I of II

 Good morning,

I'm back to baking bread several times a week and we are enjoying it way too much.  ;)

Above you see dough after the first rise.  I've made a double batch so I can make both braided bread and small loaves.  My bread recipe is here.

 I separated the dough into three pieces,

 then formed them into strips.

Then I braided them...

...before carefully placing the braid into a greased loaf pan. 

I put it into the oven for another rise before baking.

To be continued tomorrow....


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Today's Blossoms - Even More Hibiscus

 Good morning,

This morning even more hibiscus bloomed in the back garden. 

 We have a stone wall (covered by the flowers and vines you see above) with three steps up to the upper part of our back yard.  All along that wall and at each side of the steps are these beautiful hibiscus in bloom.

Just beautiful!

Soon the leaves will turn, then all of this will become brown before being covered by snow.

And so, the seasons turn....

Happy Fall!


Friday, September 9, 2022

Birthday Dinner

 Good morning,

We celebrated My Honey's birthday with dinner out at a favorite steak house restaurant.  We started with shrimp cocktail...

 ...followed by French Onion Soup.

Prime Rib found its way in front of both Kjell and me...

...while Catherine enjoyed the scallops.
A serving of mushrooms found its way to the table.
And, finally, dessert!  Of course, I was heard to say, "Wait!  I don't have a picture yet."

But, My Honey was too fast with his fork and already had a bite.  

Happy Birthday, again, Sweetie.  This sure was fun.

Love you,


Thursday, September 8, 2022

Chef Kjell in the Kitchen

 Good morning,

It's wonderful when someone else takes a turn in the kitchen.  Not only do I get a reprieve from cooking, we have a delicious variety of meals.

On the plate above starting from the bottom right corner and working clockwise:  2 Norwegian Pork Cakes, cabbage with white sauce, 1/2 boiled potato with butter, and applesauce.  It was when the meal was over that we realized I should have made my homemade cranberry sauce to go with this. Next time for sure!

Thanks, honey, this was delicious.



Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Needlework and Wood Working Update - September, 2022

 Good morning,

Welcome to this month's Needlework and Wood Working Update that features all of the items we have made during the past month.

Above is a really special clock, especially for anyone who enjoys and works with numbers!  As a family of accountants and engineers, We think is so very cool!  Kjell made three of these:  one custom order, one for us, and one for the shop.  $56.  The one in the shop is here.

 Kjell made two of these this month.  One was a custom order and the other is for the shop.  $75.  More images and information here.

 Quite a few pens were turned this month.  The one above is for me!  :)  Thank you, Sweetie.

There is a variety of styles and woods available.

These are well balanced to be comfortable in your hand and are warm to the touch as you use them.

There is a special section for Turned Wood Pens.  Click here to see them all.

 And, finally from the Wood Workshop this month are two guitar hangers.  These are for My Honey's Man Cave and are holding up guitars at each end of his new futon/couch.

 My crochet hooks have been busy this month, too!  Above is a Shades of Lavender Large Afghan Blanket.  There is only one available.  $165.  More info and images here.

 Red, White, and Green are so pretty together for this Large Afghan Blanket.  You're ready for Christmas or any time of the year.  What a lovely gift for a Christmas wedding!   $165.  Only one available.  The information is here.

 The Brilliant Rainbow and Off White Extra Large Afghan Blanket is back in stock.  This medium weight bed size blanket is slightly different and larger than those I've made previously.  84" x 55" $180.  Check it out here.

 As I do almost every month, I made more cloche hats to keep the shop stocked.

 There is a cloche hat shop section here where you can see them all.  From $8.

When shopping for yourself and for gifts, we hope you'll check out our shop here for truly unique hand made items.  Most of our items are one of a kind, so order early!

Thank you for your encouragement, comments, likes, shares, favorites, and your purchases, too!

All the very best,