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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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Wild Strawberry

 Good morning,

When I was a child we didn't have cell phones and we didn't watch TV all day.  We went outside to play and we did it without constant adult supervision.  Our parents weren't bad parents, we just lived in a different time when it was normal for kids to go out and play for hours without checking in at home.

We played in our own yards most of the time and made up our own games.  I remember collecting wild strawberries like the one pictured.  No, they don't taste very good, but the birds liked them.

My childhood memories are good.  I had parents who loved me and two older brothers who were there if I ever needed backup.  I miss them all.

It's fun to see something as simple as a wild strawberry and have it trigger childhood memories....

I hope you're enjoying your summer - or winter for our friends on the other side of the Equator.


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Fresh Out of the Oven

 Good morning,

Yesterday was bread making day so the house smelled fabulous and we had plenty of bread to taste by mid afternoon.

I make bread every two to three days so there is always plenty.  

What is fresh out of your oven this week?

All the best,


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Work in Progress This Week - Knit Sweater

 Good morning,

Last week I started a crochet sweater using the yarn you see in the image above.  As the work progressed, I felt the resulting fabric was not only heavier than I wanted, but didn't have a nice "drape" for the garment I was creating.

So, I am now knitting the sweater instead, with breaks to let my fingers rest.  For some reason, my fingers are giving me a hard time as I'm knitting so I am switching back and forth between this knit project and a crochet project to give my hands a change of activity.  It works. I'll just be happy when this knit project is finished.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,


Monday, August 28, 2023

Childhood Memories

 Good morning,

I made this for lunch yesterday.  Yep, a PBJ on my toasted home made bread.

When I was a child in elementary school (now called middle school, I believe) I got myself up when my alarm went off, got ready for school, made my own breakfast (similar to the peanut butter and jelly sandwich above), stirred up a pitcher of frozen orange juice and drank a glass of it, then walked to school.  Of course, my parents monitored all of this, but I was quite independent.

My Mom was a Montessori Mom long before we knew much about Maria Montessori.  We grew up to be quite independent from an early age.  That's why I was so surprised to see other parenting methods among my friends when I had children of my own.  Their mothers actually got up and told the kids to get up to go to school.  Wow, what a difference!  I'm glad I didn't know any better when I was in school.

Something else pretty terrific about my family when I was a child was that we had dinner together every evening. 

I hope you also have fond memories of your childhood.  All of these memories came floating back today as I made a PBJ for lunch....


Sunday, August 27, 2023

Wendy and Erik Update

 Good morning,

Thank you to those who have asked about nine year old Wendy, prayed for her recovery, and have sent positive thoughts her way.

Through the past weeks Wendy has had surgery on her left ear after a blood vessel broke and the flap of her ear filled with blood.  At first, the vet taped it hoping the situation would correct itself, but a week later, surgery was needed.  Wendy spent more than two weeks wearing a "party hat" (cone) to keep her from rubbing her ear on the floor or furniture. 

The recovering ear is mostly hidden in the above image.  We are delighted the size and shape of the ear is beautiful and her hair is growing back after surgery.  If you look carefully, you can see where the hair is growing back where she had her IV in her right arm. 

 Elder statesman, Erik, is also doing well.  He and Wendy are good pals and try to stay out of the way of their younger siblings, Elsa and Lily who like to romp and play regardless of who is in the way.

So, thank you, again, for all the kindness you've shown the pups.  All four of them are doing very well.

All the best,


Saturday, August 26, 2023

Pretty Blonds Sun Bathing on National Dog Day

 Good morning,

Kjell sent me today's images.  Elsa (top) and Lily went outside with Daddy and immediately went out in the sun to catch some rays.

 They didn't stay there long, though!  It's hot here!

We go outside with our pups and enjoy patio time while they roam the yard and garden.  It is so hot this week, that as soon as they have done what they need to do, we bring them in.  

Such pretty girls!

All the best,


Friday, August 25, 2023

Elsa Cuddles

 Good morning,

Elsa is the most cuddly dog I have ever had.  She tucked herself on my shoulder, arm, and a good part of my body.  Then she immediately started snoring.

It's fine for awhile, but eventually, if I want to sleep, I have to get out from under her so my arm doesn't go to sleep.

Precious!  She is just so sweet.


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Making Waves

 Good morning,

It's hard to see in the image above, but that darling puppy Lily is definitely a dirty dog!  

It's so hot here in the Midwest that I made one more go at the baby pool for this summer.  The pool won't make it another year, but it is serving its purpose for right now.  

I filled the pool to keep the pups cool, but Lily takes it a step further by digging in the mud around the edges of the pool.

The little video that follows shows her making waves. 

So cute!  This kept her busy for at least a half hour. 

I hope the weather isn't too hot wherever you are!

All the best,


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

August Rose

 Good morning,

The roses are few and far between this summer.  Many years ago I had more than 60 rose bushes and enjoyed caring for them.  Now my back doesn't allow me to shovel compost and groom the garden so I'm enjoying those plants that have survived and come back to bring us joy every season.  We are also enjoying my patio container garden which is fairly easy to maintain, even with a back that doesn't want to cooperate.

So, this is my August pink rose.  So lovely!



Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Pan Fried Salmon ala Kjell

 Good morning,

It was Kjell's turn to cook again last night and he didn't disappoint.

Above you see pan fried salmon with a light cream cheese garlic sauce, beans, potatoes, and applesauce. 

We certainly got our protein with this meal!


Thanks, Sweetie,


Monday, August 21, 2023

Grandbird Billie

 Good morning,

Please meet my Grandbird Billie.  

While talking with number one son on the phone yesterday, Billie had plenty to say in the background. 

What a pretty fellow!

Photo credit to my son, Les.



Sunday, August 20, 2023

Lamb and Cabbage ala Kjell

 Good morning,

Kjell made traditional Norwegian Lamb and Cabbage which was marvelous once again.  He added applesauce to the pot while cooking which mellowed out the cabbage. I had a side of applesauce with my dinner, too.

Photo credit goes to Kjell, too.

Thanks, Sweetie!



Saturday, August 19, 2023

Work in Process - Christening Blanket

 Good morning,

My current project is a pure white Christening, Bris, or Naming Ceremony blanket for the shop.  This is one of those special items that can be handed down from one generation to another. 

 I have so many projects lined up now!  I have all the yarn organized to make a turquoise afghan blanket that I look forward to getting started. I also have a sweater started that I need to get finished before the cool weather gets here.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?  I love seeing your blogs and reading about your families and projects.

All the very best,


Friday, August 18, 2023

Butterflies and Puppies

 Good morning,

When Catherine took Lily outside from her class at the dog club, Lily spotted a pretty yellow and black butterfly.  

Puppies love to investigate and chase things they will never catch.

 The butterfly is in the upper right corner of this image.  Lily wasn't able to do more than look and admire the pretty creature because she is on a leash.

So cute!

Photo credit to daughter Catherine.

Happy Summer!


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Needlework and Wood Working update - August, 2023

 Good morning,

Welcome to this month's Needlework and Wood Working Update.  This is where we share and record what we've made in our studios since the previous month's update.

Above is an engraving made by Kjell.  This one is on a tile, not on wood, and is a lovely coaster.  He worked from an image he took of me across the table when we were at lunch in Villefranche, France, while still aboard Splendour of the Seas. He's still working on his technique for turning photos into etchings and I love his work!

 This and the next carvings are on wood, then painted by Kjell.

 I think they are absolutely beautiful!
These have found homes in our recreation room/bar.
We are going to need more walls soon.

I've completed two large afghan blankets this month.  The Blue Lovers Afghan Blanket above was a custom order and has been delivered to the customer.

 This Large Yellow Flowers on Green and White is just finished and in the shop.  This has been a very popular color arrangement and I truly enjoy making it.  The colors are so cheerful.  $185 and ready to ship.  More images and information here.

 I've made a couple of smaller things this month, too.  They are intended to be used as small gifts/party favors.

Above is a dish cloth/wash cloth that makes a lovely gift at a wedding or baby shower luncheon.

 This is a crocheted key holder bracelet that is a good way to keep your keys close.  I'm testing this one myself.  So far, I really like using it!  I'll make a few more soon between larger projects.

So, that's it for this month.  Thanks for your encouragement!  

Come see all items ready to ship here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EvensensProductions
We sincerely appreciate your likes, shares, comments, favorites, pins, tweets, and purchases, too! Thank you for supporting our USA small business since 2011!
All the very best,

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Chef Catherine's Lamb Dinner

 Good  morning,

We certainly do eat well here.

Catherine made roast lamb,

 sauteed mushrooms in wine sauce,


 read mashed potatoes,

and gravy for dinner a couple of nights ago.

Yes, it was fantastic.

Thank you, Catherine!


Mom and Dad   :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

First Rise

 Good morning,

That almost looks like an image of the top of a mushroom, but it is the first rise of bread dough that produced yummy bread yesterday.

This is the same recipe as the bread I made a week or so ago.  Image of finished loaves here.






Monday, August 14, 2023

It's Cicada Time

 Good morning,

That's the shell of a cicada in the image above.  The bugs are are similar to locust, just larger.

About this time of year we hear these critters and see the empty shells they leave attached just about everywhere.

Creepy, yes.  Dangerous, no.

Ah, yes, summer.

I'm looking forward to Fall.  How about you?


Sunday, August 13, 2023

Patroling the South Forty

 Good morning,

Five month old Lily is growing up.  She likes to patrol the "South Forty."  That's what we affectionately call the upper level of our back yard. 

That stone frog at the bottom left of the picture used to spout water into the pond, but he got clogged up more than twenty years ago so now he just stands guard. 

 Here's a better shot of the end of the gold fish pond, but just as I snapped the picture Lily moved her head behind the solar panel that provides light on the pond at night.  The light is fairly efficient.  The round item in the pond is a fountain that is powered by the sun, too.  It's a very small little thing and doesn't do much, but at least it moves some of the water around.

For being city dwellers we are able enjoy the outdoors in our garden.  The pups certainly do enjoy it.

Happy Summer!


Saturday, August 12, 2023

Deer Antler Chews

 Good morning,

Above you see Lily (left) and Elsa.  Lily found Dad's stash of deer antlers in the basement so he cut several of them up to give the pups for chewies. The deer antlers are given to Catherine by a client of her CPA firm.  The client has wooded property where he finds discarded deer antlers so he collects them for Catherine to give to the pups.  Sections of natural deer antlers to use as chewies are available in pet stores and are quite expensive.

Of course, all the pups wanted the same piece of antler and you see who won that battle.

 What is nice is to see Lily calm and enjoying that antler.

Nap time.  Chewing on deer antlers can be very tiring.  



Friday, August 11, 2023

Orange Begonia

 Good morning,

The beautiful begonia we received from number one son several months ago continues to grow and bloom on our patio.  

Just gorgeous!

Happy Summer!


Thursday, August 10, 2023

Sweet Wendy

 Good morning,

Please continue to keep sweet Wendy in your thoughts and prayers.  Her injured ear was taped by the Vet last week, but needed surgery this week.

Next Tuesday the bandages will be removed and we hope Wendy will be healed and feeling much better.  In the meantime, life isn't much fun for her.

She is the sweetest girl.

Thank you.


Wednesday, August 9, 2023

WIP - Kjell The Artist

 Good morning,

Kjell has been busy in his wood workshop creating fabulous wall art.  

After carving the piece above, he painted it.

 He mixed colors to get the exact shades he wanted.

I just love this!  So far, he's keeping this to hang in our bar/recreation room.  I'm working on him to make some for the shop.  

What are you making, baking, growing this week?


Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Kjell's Soup

 Good morning,

Kjell made beef vegetable soup this week and it was fantastic.  We ate it with my home made bread which was the perfect combination.

Sometimes the most simple foods are the best!



Monday, August 7, 2023

Work in Process This Week

 Good morning,

I'm working on another afghan blanket this week;  this time it will feature shades of yellow flowers.  The blue blanket I showed you last week is finished and has been shipped to the customer. 

 I'm also working on some new items for the shop.  As soon as I get through the planning stage and make up samples, I'll share them with you.

 What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,


Sunday, August 6, 2023

Wendy's Party Hat

 Good morning,

Our sweet Wendy is wearing a "party hat" this week.  She had a broken blood vessel in her ear causing blood to accumulate there.  The Vet drained the blood, taped/wrapped it, and now we have to get through the week for it to heal.  This is definitely not fun for dear Wendy, but she is being such a good girl about the whole thing.

When healed, Wendy's ear flap will be back where it belongs and she should be just fine.

Please think positive thoughts for Wendy this week.


Saturday, August 5, 2023

Mug Shots - Miss Destructo

 Good morning,

These are mug shots of Miss Lily Destructo.  It doesn't take her long to go through a basket of doggie toys and that's really OK with us.

 It's normal for puppies to chew things and she is having a fabulous time.  She is chewing up designated dog toys, not her bed, her blankets, our furniture, or our pillows.  

She will soon be over this phase.  She is learning what is hers and what is not hers.  When she picks up something she is not permitted to chew, we exchange it for one of the older dog toys.  That's all part of the plan.  :)

Ah, yes, puppies....



Friday, August 4, 2023


 Good morning,

Yes, more food, but Kjell and I didn't get any of this.  :(

Catherine sent me this picture last night from her dinner at Tokoyo Restaurant with her friend.  

I think we'll have to book another dinner at Tokoyo!

All the best,


Thursday, August 3, 2023

Joint Venture Dinner

 Good morning,

We had breakfast for dinner last night and it was delicious.  I made the bread and gravlax sauce, Kjell made the gravlax (raw salmon cured with cognac, salt, sugar, dill), and Catherine prepared the scrambled eggs and tomatoes.

It was a Norwegian Breakfast for dinner.




Wednesday, August 2, 2023

The Old Half Barrel Garden

 Good morning,

We have an old half barrel on our patio that we have had for more than ten years.  Yes, it's on its way to fall apart, but, until it does, we'll continue to use it.  It sits on a cut out area of the patio that, forty four years ago, was left without concrete because there was a tree there.  The tree is long gone, but the spot is perfect for the barrel where excess water can drain into soil.

The half barrel is between the smoker and other patio plants so it was tricky to get a picture of it.

I use the barrel for a variety of plants.  Many of the plants come back year to year, especially the mint.  At one time I had beautiful lavender in this barrel, but one winter it got so cold that it didn't survive.  

This year I planted tomato seeds that I had saved from last year.  The tomato plants are strong and growing quickly so yesterday we stopped at Ace Hardware and bought a tomato cage that is just perfect to hold up the plants with (hopefully) clusters of beautiful tomatoes.

 So, perhaps sometime in this month of August I can show you some tomatoes on these vines.  :)

What are you growing this year?

Happy Summer!