Thursday, December 27, 2007

we HAD to shop for yarn and beads

Oh My!
Mary I really like the yarn we bought. It is so nice and thin and soft and perfect for the cowl. YumO. And even though we did NOT spend $20.00 on Swarovski crystal we have perfect beads for the yarn.
Now all we have to do it knit it and we will look sooooooo marvelous.
I am going to start now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

For those of you who weren't here at Christmas (1)

While Nancy is preparing for our feast, and other family members pursue whatever activities interest us, Mom takes the time to give Alice the cat a ride on her walker. View it right here.

Holiday break: knitting plans....

Yesterday was a day of feasting (here's our loaded dinner table.)

Today is a day of recovery and knitting plans. Nancy's idea is for us to knit a joint project - or the same project - or whatever, but t0 use her laceweight merino wool to knit some "fluffy lace." We think we may have found the perfect project here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Together Again

We had to wait and wait because the snow/sleet storm kept planes from coming in to the Minneapolis St Paul airport.
So we played a game or two of Hand and Foot. Then at about 9 pm we started for the airport. Traffic on the freeway was about 40 mph. I found Mary and Ol' Bear around 10 pm while Jim circled twice around the airport.
We finally got home and Mary HAD TO EAT RIGHT NOW so she had a ham sandwich in the kitchen before bed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A tree topper for Dad

Hi Nancy,
Remember all the tetrahedrons and octahedrons and other odd polyhedrons Dad used to make out of construction paper? Look at this: a perfect top to the Christmas tree for Dad, and it can be knit!
Har! I get a newsletter from Berrocco, and this free pattern is in their most recent one.
I'm going to bed right now or I'd look it up to see what the pattern is like. I wonder how hard it is to make? G'night! Love you, Mary

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

back home again

Hi Mary,
We didn't get started till noon. Alice was really sneaky in hiding under a chair in my reading nook. We looked there and didn't see her until we got down on our hands and knees and peered behind the wooden slat covering the front of the chair.

The morning was foggy and when it lifted everything was covered with frost again. It was really beautiful but we didn't stop to take a photo so this is from the other day.

By the time we got half way across MN it was cloudy and it is supposed to stay cloudy for a while. By the way... are you coming in Saturday the 22nd or Sunday the 23rd?

Somehow I got Saturday the 23rd on my mind and that is just plain confusing. So send me those flight numbers etc OK?


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Posted while talking about the burning barrel....

Nancy, I love the head. I think it is great, and more defining of the blog. It's evolved from just knitting, that's for sure.

Yay! I am done with school WAHOOOOOIEEEEE! At least for Holiday Break. Here's the soundtrack of first quarter of distance - Masters of Library and Information Science (dMLIS) right here.

Now it's time to post some pictures. I have been getting a little bit of knitting done. I've found that I can knit headbands while I listened to lectures:

I've also started back on a pair of socks that I bought the yarn for last time I was in Minneapolis. I've been looking for my three - ring binder that I kept all my important patterns in and I haven't been able to find it since we moved. That makes me a little crazy.
I can finally think about packing to come to Minneapolis now. If Brian doesn't get called to work, he will come with me. And Christy will get there four days later.

We actually are lucky enough to have someone stay in our house to take care of PJ, the plants, and the birds and squirrels we've been feeding. Speaking of - a week or so ago I was in bed with a headache, when I heard a racket outside:

The Bohemian Waxwings had come for their mountain ash berries. Within two hours there wasn't a berry left on the tree. There are either 10 or 11 waxwings in this picture. I can't really tell.

Also, I finally got some exercise last Monday, skiing. Brian took a video and I'm planning to post it as soon as I can figure out why I keep getting an error message. I'm excited for the premiere of "Drewtube." Har! It takes so little to amuse me. Sayonara. mdp

frosty morning

Hi Mary,
It is beautiful out there this morning.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Much better

Hi Mary,
Well, that is better. It is not perfect yet because although I have shortened it several times it still goes over the border outline on the right edge. But it is much better. I now have a head!
I am busy trying to pack and clean things. My sticking point right now is the refrigerator. sigh.....
Dad just called and wanted me to finish the hat for Junice so she can have a Christmas present. I better get it out and work on it. I have been ignoring it although I knew just where the bag was. Maybe I can work on it during Monday Night football.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

can't figure out the heading

Hi there Mary,I have been trying to put our photo up on the heading but although it was up nicely this afternoon now it has cut off my head. Drat the thing! You are nice and clear though. Humph!
I have just finished cleaning the mudroom so I don't have the energy to fuss with it some more.

Instead, here are some cat photos.
Abbie was posing on the stairs so I took some pictures and then Alton got jealous and had to be there too.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Thanksgiving pictures

Hi again Mary,
I am just trying to give you something else to read on the computer. I am starting to worry that you won't get enough exercise 'cause all you do is sit in front of the computer.
Deb sent me some of Chris's pictures from Thanksgiving. They fill in the holes in mine quite nicely, so here they are too.
Mom putting in her hearing aid so she can talk to us.
Nancy reading a short article about Donald Westlake and how he created Dortmunder to Mom (and Dad).
E getting ready to trounce us at Hand and Foot.

Here are Jon and E with their dueling 'stuffies'. E has two from Caribou coffee and Jon has his pal "Ace". Ace left Jon and played for Nancy for a part of the game. She had great luck with him too.

That's all for now.



Tuesday, December 4, 2007

1958 Cheesecake

Hey Mary,

I have long been jealous of your picture on your comments. Today I found one that might work for me. Tell me what you think of it. And I can crop out that little rug rat in the corner so just ignore her.Love,


Monday, December 3, 2007

Winter and Suet

Howdy Mary,
Yes winter arrived here on Saturday. We had about 6 inches of it. I took a picture of the garden but the house shades most of it so it looks dark even though it was a lovely sunny day.
I am going to make some more suet tonight. This is the recipe I use. I got it out of Wildbird Magazine and it is attributed to Martha Sargent. It gets eaten up about three to one faster than the commercial ones.

1 Cup crunchy peanut butter...the real stuff is preferred not the homogenized stuff2 Cups 'Quick Cook oats
2 C Cornmeal
1 Cup lard - no substitutes
1 C white flour
1/3 C sugar
(Non salted nuts and berries as you wish may be added.)

Melt lard and peanut butter together in microwave. Stir in the rest and pour into three recycled commercial suet pans or into a square plastic freezer container. Put in refrigerator to set. You may remove and store in the freezer once they are set. I usually just keep them in the fridge as they get eaten up too fast to spoil This is a picture of one of my bluejays and an American Goldfinch in flight. They are at my 'winter feeder' which is my own invention...and construction. A garbage can with holes cut in the bottom and hardware cloth inside to hold sunflower seeds. It is very popular and lasts about a month. Inside on the bottom is an upside down enamal pan to keep the seeds close to the edge of the can.

Cool eh?



Sunday, December 2, 2007

You must have been having some fun.....

Yep, Thanksgiving at the ol' Mater's and Pater's house sounds like a blast. Sigh.
Oh well, I'm feeling chipper today because it snowed, finally. And look who came to dinner:

And after he was done, look who came for leftovers:

And then, somebody got impatient for his turn:

It's blurry, but that's a downy woodpecker on top, waiting for the red-shafted flicker to get done with the suet. I made that suet myself (oh how modest!). Well, gotta go, we have a BIG project due tomorrow. Love, Mary

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Home Again

Well after all my promises I only took 9 photos. I meant to take one of the two sweet potato pies that Deb made. Yummy! And I meant to take a few more of the card games but we got way to into the card games and so... here we have our photo's.
I even took the camera to the Chanhassan but had way too much fun with the family and the show. I didn't even take it out of the purse. You guys missed a great show drat. Maybe we can do it again at Christmas. I wouldn't mind seeing this one again.
This is Jim reading in the peace and quiet of the upstairs sitting room. We had to drag him down for some of Jon's pie.

On the way downstairs I took a photo of Joe and Monica's new garage/studio going up next door. Whooie!
Those pies were delicious although he wouldn't tell us his secret for getting the designs onto the crust.

Here are Mom and Deb waiting on some pie.
Chris got up late and wanted breakfast so here he is in his underwear doing some toast.
Then Jeni came in and wouldn't let me take a full frontal. So I took a head and shoulders. Too bad cause she has her hand down there covering up part of his clothing. I will let you guess which part by the nervous look on her face, and maybe by the look on his.
Here is Mom waiting for the rest of us to get ready for the trip to Chanhassan.

I wonder what Christy thinks of this photo?
And here is the first snowfall. It was all gone this morning when we left for home. The only thing it did was to make the grass a little greener.

Note the yard sign.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

We are all here

Except you of course.
Hi Mary,
Jeni and Chris are talking and laughing in the kitchen. Mom is reading (or sleeping) with her earphones on. Jim is reading the paper at the dining room table. Dad and Deb are still in their respective rooms. I am here getting directions to the Chanhassan so we don't get lost this year.
It is snowing!
It is the first real snow of the year.
We are supposed to be at the Theatre by 12 noon.
More later, I am going to take some of those many promised pictures.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Something new for Montana

Hi Nancy -
I'm sorry about moving. It is stressful. Let me know when you're safely there.
Meanwhile, look at what I caught a picture of in my backyard: a real blue jay.

These birds aren't supposed to be in Montana, but I've caught glimpses of them in the past 3-4 years. This one is disappointed that there aren't any more peanuts left. He'd fly in, stuff a whole peanut (shell and all) into his throat, grab another in his beak, and fly off, I assume to stash them somewhere. While he was gone, somebody else showed up: a fox squirrel we named Tiger Woods.

That's because he has big balls. The way he got his name is a much longer story, but it's not really worthwhile. Suffice it to say that Tiger Woods has big balls and so does this squirrel.
That's all for now. Have a really safe trip, and hug Mom and Dad for me when you get there. Love, Mary

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Safe in the yard

Hi Mare,
Safe in the yard is the title. Or as safe as about 20 NO HUNTING signs can make him. Since many of the hunters I discover with deer guts on their hands are right next to my NO HUNTING signs that is not too safe.
He certainly is the right color for this snowless November hunting season.

We are thinking of leaving tomorrow (Monday) for Minneapolis. Unless I have too much to do to get ready. Then we will leave Tuesday. Unless the weather report is bad and then Monday. I am feeling stressed already.

I will take lots of pictures for the blog while I am there.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saving Seeds

Hi Mary,

It is really too late to be out in the garden but it has been a very warm fall. There is even some green still showing in the grass. We will probably have a really cold night soon and then it will start to look like winter but it hasn't happened yet.

Today Jim and I went out and pulled zinnia, marigold, cosmos and morning glory seeds off the plants from our garden. We have bags full. In the spring we only have to buy seeds if we see a really pretty variety. I really like doing that. I remember doing it in Michigan when I was 8 or 9. We had planted four o'clock seeds and Dad showed me how to get the seeds.
Jim wanted to 'clean up' the garden. I have been trying to train him to a more bird friendly winter other words, leave the plants over the winter so the animals and birds can harvest some seeds and use the brush for shelter. I don't seem to make much headway. Every year we have to have a little discussion about it. We did put the tools away and got out the winter bird feeder. So we are getting ready assuming it ever snows. The deer have been a little more visible lately. Most of the corn is off so they have no where to hide except shelter belts and woods like ours. They, I think, are the creatures who keep tipping over the pump in the yard pond. I go out every other day and see it tipped into the deep part. I don't know how that is going to work out this winter when we are gone. Once we get snow I will be able to really see who is walking about in the yard. It is amazing how few animals we see considering the evidence of their footprints in the snow.
I should be making plans for the trip to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving but that isn't for 5 days yet. No sense in rushing it.
We will miss you,

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Weeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllll, I have to make fun of his cookbooks. He only has two. The red Campbell's soup one and the white Campbell's soup one. I take my cookbooks seriously. Doesn't mean I can't use 'cream of' soup occasionally.



Even Ol' Bear remembers...

...we both remember! We remember how you made fun of Jim's Campbell soup cookbooks.

But you just sent us a recipe that calls for canned soup. So I couldn't resist Andy Warhol. How "North Dakota" of you! And how "North Dakota " of me, because I plan to cook it. I love crock pot meals (that's what we call them in Montana - "slow cooker meal" has too many syllables. We're a terse crowd.)

PJ the fatty kitty is on my lap. I can tell he wants a picture of himself posted too, but he kept bugging me all night and I refuse to humor him. Some night I'll have Brian take a picture of him when he's on my lap and I'm typing. He puts his chin on my arm and just leaves it there to be joggled up and down. He doesn't like it when I listen to lectures though - the cord to the earphones irritates him.

I'm actually getting some very small knitting done - headbands. I'm on my third. When I get a minute I'll take a picture. I don't have a minute now - gotta go read something.

Thanks for the fun journey through the back roads of NDak. I'm glad you didn't run out of gas. Just think how confused the terrorists will be when they try to find you resisters out there on the plains! Love you, Mary

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Slow Cooker beef roast recipe

HI Mary,

I was sending this to our nephew Joe Koski and I thought a sleep deprived, hard studying sister might want a slow-cooker recipe. So here is a great one if your husband likes meat. Jim loves this. I like it too as it is very easy!

Here is an original slow cooker recipe from me. I invented it one night when I didn't have the onion soup/dip mix my usual recipe called for. I went to my Spice Islands cookbook and got a recipe for home made onion dip and adapted it for the recipe and it was great. And way better than the mix.
3-4 pound chuck roast
1 can cream of soup... used celery last time, often use mushroom
1 large sweet onion in chunks
1T. beef base...the one that starts with an ingredient called beef, (not salt). I use 'Better than Bouillion' organic.
1T. Worcestershire sauce
1t. Tabasco (or more of course. This amount only adds flavor.)
That's it. Slow cooker overnight on low if you stay up late. I always like it better after 12 hours. Turn it over after 5-6 hours (or in the morning) so it all gets under the juice. Otherwise the top gets hard. Twelve hours makes it fork tender. The onions are yummy. Use the leftover meat and liquid as a base for homemade Vegetable Beef soup.
Alice says 'Hi'. Actually Alice says 'Obey me all you peons' but we pretend she says 'Hi'.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lost in North Dakota

Hi Mary,
I had a fun time at the All-Cooped-Up Retreat at Cooperstown Bible Camp near Cooperstown North Dakota. There were only 19 of us there so we each had our own 8 foot table and our choice of rooms. Sometimes Faye has had as many as 50 there. Then we are crowded. I finished the quilt top I started at Faye's class two weeks ago. The book that is the pattern is called Strips and Curves and you can see why.

I hung it on the curtains at camp to look at it while I worked on other projects. I was going to put flannel on the back and make it a 'cuddle quilt' but I found some black fabric printed with butterflies and think that would work fine and I already own it.
I might go look at the flannels though. ;-)

A fellow camper told me a shortcut home that would save me many minutes so I drove around central and southern Griggs County, North Dakota for 2 and 1/2 hours yesterday. (It only took me 45 minutes to get there) I had a map but the state of North Dakota saves money by only putting county roads and state roads on the map and then only putting numbers on the state roads. So I came to many numbered roads but they weren't numbered on the map and I got really annoyed.
Finally I came to an elevator that had a pickup in front of it. It was labeled Karnak elevator. I went in and the lights were on and the radio was on and the machinery was all working BUT NO ONE WAS THERE!!!!
I wandered around for a few minutes and called out so they wouldn't think I was a robber and then went to look at the plat map. Probably Brian knows about plat maps. Every elevator has one for their county and this one was on the elevator managers door so I searched through it and found the elevator...luckily it is on one of the two railroads that goes through the county...and found out where to go, and left and went there. It was 2 miles north (right out of the driveway) and then east until I hit Highway 32. Once on pavement I was OK because they label pavement in the state maps. My problem was I never found any pavement and because it was cloudy I had no idea which was was north or south or east or west. Or any other direction except up. I kept running into water: sloughs, not navigable rivers that might be shown ON A MAP!!!!, which kept me from going straight.

We had an instant of white round pellets this morning but it was only for 10 minutes so we don't have any real snow but we are getting closer.

Well that is my fine adventure in North Dakota.
Love to you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

If I can post in 20 minutes....

...then maybe I can get to bed before midnight for once! This is what it looks
like most every evening - and early in the morning too.

Read, read, read, post to the
bulletin board, and post again.

ON another note, I wish I was eating that pie that Jon made. Was it apple?
That's what it smelled like. And speaking of Jon, look at what I'm going
to get for Christmas.

And speaking of Christmas, maybe you've heard already that I won't
be there for Thanksgiving : ( (I've really been getting into emoticons
since I started posting for school.) But really, Christmas will be so
much better, because I won't be trying to finish up projects. Schoolwork has filled up every nook and cranny of my life, and I would be bad company.

All right, it's 11:53, and I'm hittin' the hay. PJ is wrestling with the sack
of your yarn, Nancy. Ha ha! (better send that, huh?) Love you, Mary