Thursday, January 31, 2013


Knitting is a relaxing pastime for me. I first learned to knit when in high school, but my knitting was so tight I could hardly move it from one needle to the other. I knitted a brown tie for the young man that would later become my hubby - there was no way the poor guy could tie it because it was almost as thick as it was wide. If I dig in the trunk I think it's in there somewhere. I should find it and give it to him again on Valentines Day! I wonder if he would remember.

Anyway, I recently decided to take up the needles again after years of neglect, and thought the best way to start would be to knit dishcloths. So I searched for directions on Pinterest and settled on this one. It's quick, easy and something I can use.

Today, when our wind chill is -34 I'm wishing it was an afghan as I sit here listening to the 22 mph winds. So thankful I can stay inside!

Till next time...


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I'm so sorry Mr. Barnes and Mr. Noble. I have always loved your store, and appreciate it as a refuge from the busyness of everything outside your walls. I was very disapointed when you removed the comfy chairs, but that isn't the reason I've not visited as often the last few years.

Each time I stop by lately there are fewer of these (sorry for the blurry picture)...

And more shelves filled with...
And I feel responsible. From the time I purchased a Nook, and then an iPad with a Nook App, I have quit buying 'real books' for the most part. Yes, I like the feel of a book in my hand and the turning of each page; but for me the convenience of looking up a book the moment I hear about it, and downloading it minutes later is a big draw. And I don't have to find a shelf to store the books, and dust them, etc. So I feel personally responsible for the difficulties your stores are facing. But I do promise to shop with you for toys and games. And I am very thankful that you've maintained your wonderful children's book section. When choosing a book for a child, it is important to be able to look and read through it before deciding.
And your display of notebooks did catch my eye (see last post)...
I'll be back for the striped one on the bottom shelf one of these days!

Until next time...


Sunday, January 27, 2013


No, I'm not talking about shoes. I'm talking spiral notebooks... Last week I was walking through Target and stopped to admire a colorful display of spiral notebooks - all shapes and sizes - and they were calling to me! But I remembered the ones that are sitting around my home, and since I don't give them the attention they deserve, I knew I couldn't bring home any more. Just walk away, Gail, WALK AWAY!

These are my prettiest ones. They have hard covers, and are intended to be used for journaling. Each one of them has a few entries in it; but even though I love the idea of journaling, I don't seem to stick with it. I found them in various drawers.

And these three sweeties are my workhorses. They reside in a couple different areas - by my 'command center chair' and by my computer. The third one fills in whenever one of the others is missing. It's kind of an alternate member of the group. They are used for daily notes and lists - things I need to write down (so I don't forget), but mostly short-term notes that will be crossed out and the page turned or torn out.

When it comes to the long-term planning one of these notebooks will do the job. They might contain menu plans for a special event or ideas for gifts... or perhaps some sketching for a quilt idea & the math to figure yardage. The information here will be saved for later reference.

I love all my spiral notebooks, but I'm thinking perhaps it's a bit excessive...

Especially since I've started using a three-ring binder with a monthly calendar, and pages to plan for each day.

Perhaps I have too much time on my hands, and I need to do less listing and planning and more doing. Well, maybe, but if I don't use up these notebooks, I won't be able to buy any of the really cute ones I saw at Target!

Until next time...


Friday, January 18, 2013


Once all of the Christmas decor is taken down and carefully packed away (not nearly as much fun as taking it out) things always look a little bare. And outside the landscape is dreary and bare as well, so it was important for me to bring a little cheer into my small space. I decided to bring out the red transferware that I love...

As you can see, I gravitate towards pieces with handles and spouts. I added a couple of my ironstone pitchers to lighten it up and a piece of white hardanger that was in with some of my grandmother's things - I like to think that she did the intricate needlework herself.

Then I polished up some silver butter knives and coffee spoons and nestled them in three of the creamers. I know that there are many who prefer the natural tarnished look for their silver; but I was raised by a mother who polished the silver until it was gleaming before the table was set for company, and I still find pleasure in its polished beauty.

I trust that you have brought out some of your favorite things to fill the empty spaces and bring a happy smile to your face!

Till next time...


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Last week I had the pleasure of travelling across the state of South Dakota with my daughter. Our destination was Deadwood where she was presenting at a conference. One of the highlights of this trip, or any trip across our prairie state, is a stop at Al's Oasis just after crossing the Missouri River. And the reason for this is the piece of coconut cream pie that waits for me there.This is the most amazing pie! The crust is marvelous and it has just the right amount of coconut. Thanks, Al's baker for saving me a piece!

We made the mistake of leaving Al's without filling up the vehicle with gas. Those of you who have driven this stretch know that is a big mistake. The Belvedere exit was the first one we came to that said there was gas available - don't stop at Belvedere for gas in the winter. There was a station on both sides of the road, but both were 'closed for the season.' One of the stations had this interesting sign on their door.

We were pondering what this meant when a wonderful lady who obviously was from the area stopped to help. She explained that it was 10 miles to Kadoka where we could get gas, but if we didn't have enough to get there, the nice folks at the bar located two buildings over would give us enough gas to make it the ten miles. Luckily we would be able to go the distance, so we drove on our way shaking our heads and laughing. What a marvelous system if you were really in a pinch!

As we continued on towards Rapid City the sun was setting, and it was so beautiful! This washed out picture doesn't even begin to show all the golden reds, pinks and oranges that changed and shifted as we moved along. Sunsets are unbelievable on the flat prairie where there is nothing else to compete with their beauty.

Destination - The Lodge right outside of Deadwood. It turned out to be a lovely hotel, casino and convention center with a restaurant where we enjoyed a wonderful meal that came with dessert. I chose their Caramel Apple Bread Pudding - heavenly! If you look closely at the picture you will notice that I had to taste before I took a picture. Two amazing desserts in one day - I'm sure there's a price to pay for that!

There was a bit more excitement to end our day. The entire community of Deadwood lost electricity for 45 minutes. It's a bit unnerving being in an unfamiliar place with no light. Kerri and I both had the flashlight app on our iPhones (but not much battery left), so this is a picture of Kerri putting the final touches on her presentation for the next morning - using her iPhone for light.

But forget about the desserts, the sweetest part of this trip was finally getting to see/hear my baby girl speak to a group. She's been at this for about 15 years, and I've never had the opportunity to attend. She did a marvelous job, as I knew she would; and this was a tough room - it was 8:45 in the morning, and most of them had been out on the town the night before. It was such fun to watch her draw them into the conversation and into her presentation. You can check out her business page, KT Consulting, Inc. on Facebook here -!/KTConsultingInc?fref=ts

It was a quick trip - heading home after she was done, but I enjoyed it immensely. Hope you've enjoyed travelling with us! 

All of these pictures were taken with my iPhone, so the quality isn't the best, but it sure is a slick way to take photos on the go.
Till next time...