Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zack

Zack is my husband, my partner, my confidant, my friend.  He also is proficient at making me CRAZY!!
No one has ever explained it quite like Pink does......

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yesterday

Yesterday ~

on the day last past : on the day preceding today 
at a time not long past : only a short time ago
Today's yesterday~
"Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream"
~~Kahlil Gibran

Tomorrow's yesterday~

Puschkinia~striped squill
"These happy little plants burst into a gently naturalizing sea of blue and white striped come spring, perfect for adorning the ankles of daffodils. Since the early 1800s widely adaptable pushkinia has been found in gardens across the country, asking for little more than full to half day sun or dappled light under deciduous shrubs or trees."


X is for Xanthophobia

xanthophobia (adjective) : the fear of the color yellow.

I am oh so grateful that I do not suffer from xanathophobia.  It would really put a damper on my love of sunflowers.

These are from years past, but I hope to have some beauties again this year!!

W is for Wisconsin

Some sites to tempt our friends for a visit!

Door County
Cherries and apples and goats, oh my!

from http://www.travelwisconsin.com/

Framed by 300 miles of scenic shoreline, Door County offers seaside experiences in the heart of the Midwest. A sliver of land that juts into Lake Michigan, Door County’s quaint waterfront villages and island community combine with an incredible natural landscape to provide visitors with activities and amenities you’d expect to find in this world-class vacation destination. Five state parks, 11 lighthouses, 19 county parks and a total of 53 Lake Michigan beaches offer plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities while acclaimed performing and visual arts, renowned galleries and shops, delectable local cuisine and pampering accommodations take care of the rest.

Cana Island Lighthouse

Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik

Yes, those are goats that graze on the sod roof of the restaurant.

The many Summerfest events (Irish Fest )have a lot to offer, but the sites are beautiful, too.
We loved our visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum at the  Quadracci Pavilion.

Love, love, love the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

Lake Michigan
Lakefront beach fun!

Local Sites and Events
Tons of fun just a short drive from our house/guest cottage....


 Eau Claire Dells


Poniatowski- the center of the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere- fun and quirky!!
Zack's Canoe Tours
Breathtaking!  Look out for Bald Eagles and Cranes.
Chalk Fest

Balloon Rally and Glow

Fresh Cheese Curds from the Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Co

Dear Friends:
Come visit Wisconsin!!



Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Vintage

Vintage :
  • a period of origin or manufacture
  • a collection of contemporaneous* and similar persons or things
    • *existing, occurring, or originating during the same time

I think "vintage" is a fun word.  It has replaced the word antique. That would make antique antiquated (hee hee).
I also like the word vintage because it gives  value to the things I love.

Vintage bowls.  There has been a lot of collections of Pyrex.  Mostly Pyrex with color.  I have a couple of those pieces.  What I love is the white Fire King bowls.  They just seem so clean and fresh.  Vintage cooking accessories. A sifter, a glass measuring jar, melon baller. Things that were found in my Grandmother's kitchen.

Vintage glassware.  Bowls, pitchers, refrigerator containers, candy jars, storage jars.  My Mom has always used these beautiful things.

And my dirty little secret.....
Vintage sewing supplies.  Ribbon, zippers, bindings, thread.....and my buttons.  I have a lot of buttons.  Most of them are still on their original cards.  They are beautiful!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unglued

Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst

This is one of those books you find when you are not looking for it.  Or was I???

"Making wise choices in the midst of raw emotions".  That phrase got me first.  How many times I have wished I did not wear my heart on my sleeve, I was not so reactive, I didn't lose control.

As I started reading this book I was relieved to find a comrade.   Lysa described situations and reactions I was all to familiar with.  She also described that shame that came after becoming "unglued".  This was not like other self improvement books I have read previously.  

Lysa's website has this description:

Filled with personal examples and Biblical teaching,
Unglued will equip you to:

  • Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your
    important relationships.
  • Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be
    honest but kind when offended.
  • Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly
    improve your communication.
  • Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff,
    explode or react somewhere in between.
  • Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control
    without acting out of control.
 The most surprising aspect of this book is that she shows you how to use your faith to manage challenging interactions. It was in no way "preachy".  This is the the most influential book I have read in a long time.  It has helped me find peace in dealing with difficult situation.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Tomato

Tomato:  the usually large rounded typically red or yellow pulpy berry of an herb (genus Lycopersicon) of the nightshade family native to South America

I am anxiously waiting for the snow to thaw and uncover my raised garden beds.  I am ready to add new black dirt and screened compost.  I want to get tomato plants in the ground and flourishing.  

There is few things better than summer tomatoes.  Bright red, juicy.  Thick slices.  You just cannot find them in the local grocery.  They have to be homegrown.  Vine ripened. 

We will be sure to plant some cherry tomatoes.  A treat to nibble on as we pass by the garden.  The kids inhale them almost as fast as they ripen.

Bring on the sunshine and melt the last of the snow.  Warm my dirt so I can get to growing these red orbs of yumminess!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sughroue

The Sughroue Cousins picnic is a gathering of the ancestors of Barbara and Edward Sughroue.  My Mom's paternal Grandparents.

Edward Sughroue was born February 14,1871 to Timothy Sughroue and Alice Doran in Riddot, Illinois.  Barbara Margaret Tines was born October 28th 1875 to John Tines and Anna Karp in Winfield, Illinois.  
Barbara moved to Red Willow County in 1886 at the age of 11.  Edward moved to Red Willow County in Nebraska in the fall of 1892 at the age of 21.  I love the story that Great-Grandpa Edward was a handsome school teacher and Barbara, who was the bell of the county only had eyes for him.  She said that her silent prayer was that their cattle would stray off to his place so they could become acquainted and that they must have listened because that is where she found them.
Barbara and Edward were married May 1 1895 in Indianola, NE.
They had 11 children.  One child died in infancy. 


This is the Sughroue kids at Tim and Alice's 50th Wedding Anniversary.  My handsome Grandfather is on the far left with my beautiful Grandmother, Esther by his side.

The Sughroue Picnic was started by those 10 children of Barbara and Edward.  It happens in Indianola on the 3rd weekend in August every year.  It is hosted by the surviving families of the children.  It is a wonderful day of family and laughter.  It is where we love and hug each other.  We are known as "kissing cousins" because we aren't afraid to show our affection for one another. 
We start the weekend with pizza at the Rocket on Friday night. 

The Old Settlers parade and festivities on Saturday.  My immediate family sneaks over to Mac's Drive-In in nearby McCook where my Dad grew up. 
Then we will wonder over the sandpits....just past the corner of Blarney and Snicklefritz.  For a paddle boat ride.            
The last picnic that I was able to attend was in 2011. 
It was especially wonderful as it was the last one I was able to attend with my brother who died the next summer.

He gave my kids a wonderful trip through his favorite places and spaces he visited with our Grandpa.  He passed down to them some wonderful memories.

We will be there this year.  Continuing to build memories, remember past picnics and kissing lots of cousins!!




Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Ravelry

Ravelry is a "community site, an organizational tool, and a yarn & pattern database for knitters and crocheters".

I spend more time on Ravelry than any other Internet site.  I have gotten so much information from the site.  I never knew there was so many yarn options available.  You can find a pattern for anything!  I am not sure that I will ever work my way through the 1,286 patterns in my library, but I enjoy looking at them over and over. 


Q is for Queue

The Queue on my Ravelry page taunts me, always reminding me there is another thing I want to knit.....

Color Affection
Flanders Scarf
Trellis Scarf
Guernsey Wrap
The Beekeepers Quilt
Cobblestone Trenchcoat

No pressure.....I just cannot wait to get all of these done!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Peony

: any of a genus (Paeonia of the family Paeoniaceae) of chiefly Eurasian plants with large often double flowers
: the flower of a peony
The peony is my favorite early summer flower. The peony is a classic flower.  Something you would have found in my Grandmother's garden.  I got peony transplants from a friend in 2008.  I waited patiently for 3 years for them to bloom.  I was giddy in June of 2011 when they bloomed for the first time.  They were everything I hoped for.  They have gotten better each summer since.  I am hopeful that once this winter is finally over.....I will be rewarded with these beautiful blooms.

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul. ~The Koran

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for oh

oh -  interjection—used to express an emotion

One word that can mean two different things based on inflection- positive (+) or negative (-).

Ohhhh, is that what you are wearing? +

Oh, is that what you are wearing? -

Ohhhh, where did you find that? +

Oh, where did you find that? -

Ohhhh, that's what your making for dinner? +

Oh, that's what your making for dinner? -

A very powerful that little word!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Nonsense

Nonsense: craziness, ridiculousness.

One of the words that has been swirling around my brain since hearing about the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
Along with Prayer, Sorrow,Why.....
Prayers to Boston.

Synonyms: absurdity, babble, balderdash, baloney, bananas, bombast, bull, bunk, claptrap, drivel, fatuity, flightiness, folly, foolishness, fun, gibberish, giddiness, hogwash, hooey, hot air, imprudence, inanity, irrationality, jazz, jest, jive, joke, ludicrousness, madness, mumbo jumbo, palaver, poppycock, prattle, pretense, ranting, rashness, rot, rubbish, scrawl, scribble, senselessness, silliness, soft soap, stupidity, thoughtlessness, trash, tripe

nonsense. Thesaurus.com. Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition. Philip Lief Group 2009. http://thesaurus.com/browse/nonsense (accessed: April 15, 2013).

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Mama-razzi

My hubby and children have nicknamed me the *Mama-razzi*.  Like paparazzi, but I'm a Mama....

When I am taking photos, I tend to take a lot of photos.  I know that I can delete the bad ones and I would hate to miss that perfect photo.  I stand on things or on tiptoe, I sit or lay on the ground if needed.  Sometimes I get the tripod out and set it to take 10 photos consecutively- again and again.

Capturing moments and people was not something I came up with in my family.  My Grandpa took videos and had hundreds of slides organized by date/event.  My Dad followed right along.  We have boxes of photos and now he has a harddrive full.  I remember being *thrilled* as teenager when Dad had the video camera out on Christmas Eve with the blinding video light.  But I have always loved looking at old photos and recordings.  It is a window to  see things that happened before I was born or could remember.  Events that I experienced that would have otherwise been forgotten.

Great- Great and even Great-Great-Great Grandparents have a face.  I don't have to imagine how my parents looked growing up.  I would never believe that my older siblings were cute and loveable kids if it wasn't for the photographic evidence.  I would never know that my whole family went on vacation without me when I was a baby ( I got to stay with the Grandparents)- without the evidence I would have nothing to fuel my anguish ;).

There comes a time when photos are all you have left of people.  Knowing how much this means to me, I will continue recording everything that I can.  I fully expect one or all of my children to do the same.  Fo now, I will accept the title and responsible of being the Mama-razzi.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Loco

Loco:  crazy

It is April and the weather in Central Wisconsin is MUY LOCO!!!!

We had a higher than average snowfall for this year.  It was beautiful and made for a fun winter.  Now it is spring.  I am anxious to see how my many flower bulbs did over the winter.  I am anxious to fill my garden boxes with black dirt and compost.  I want to plant tomatoes and green chiles.

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of snow on the ground.  There have only been a handful of days over 40 degrees.  We have had more snow than sunshine this week.

My brain has stopped functioning.  I can't remember what I was going to do or say half  most of the time. The fog in my head is consuming me.  I need sunshine.  I need warmth.  I need to dig in the dirt. 

I have spring fever.  Not the kind I usually get every year.  This year I am spring crazy - primavara LOCO!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Knitting


  • the action or method of one that knits 
  • work done or being done by one that knits 
As usual I have too many things going on at one time.
I need to finish my Aidez (A is for Aidez).  But I found this beautiful yarn from Classic Elite - Firefly.  And then there is this pattern I found last fall - StevenBe's Ponchinni.  I wanted to make it as soon as I saw it, but could not find the perfect yarn.  The 2 united....and poor Aidez is on hiatus......


Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for journey

Journey - in the style of Gary Busey








Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I am I

I am wife
  • I am companion
I am mother
  • I am blessed
I am daughter
  • I am beneficiary
I am sister
  • I am kindred
I am aunt
  • I am prosperous
I am niece
  • I am felicitous
I am cousin
  • I am clan
I am friend
  • I am ally
I am nurse
  • I am custodian
I am malleable
  • I am complaisant
I am headstrong
  • I am fervent
I am capricious
  • I am impassioned
I am joy
  • I am solace
I am human
  • I am alive

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Happy

Happy : enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment

When he is happy, I am happy!

Andrew is my middle child.  He was born with middle child characterisitics.  Even as an infant he could keep me at arms length if I snuggled him too much.  He is independent and does not always openly express his feelings. 

But when he smiles - I am filled with happiness!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for good-bye

Good-bye : a taking of leave

When we moved from Arizona to Wisconsin in the Spring of 2007.  We had such a warm send off (despite the "friends don't let friends move to Wisconsin shirts" 2 of my husband's friends made).  We were ready for our new life adventure.  The good-bye then seemed more like a "see you later".  We anticipated visiting often and having many visitors. 

It was not until the spring of 2012 that our family finally got the chance to head back to Arizona together for the first time since our move.  Unfortunately, the economy took a hit right after we moved and we were all effected and visits just weren't possible.

We had a wonderful visit.  Such comfort in the circle of our friends.  People that knew us before we had our family and watched our family grow.  Getting all of our kids together was more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.

We were in Arizona to pack my parents up and move them to Wisconsin.  We had a very small window with an unbelievable amount of work to do.  On top of that, we had just gotten word that my brother Russel was ready to transition over to Hospice and my parents were anxious to get to Colorado.  As much as we wanted to spend more time with our friends, it just wasn't feasible.
One by one, independent of one another, our friends arrived- kids in tow.  They packed boxes, loaded the moving truck, laughed, sweat and supported us in our endeavor- without solicitation.  In fact they called ahead and offered their help, but we declined with- "no worries, we've got it".  They came anyway, just to spend some more time with us.  In retrospect- we would have sunk without their help.

It came time to leave and the good-byes this time were painful.   We knew that there was no guarantee as to when we would see these dear friends again.  Though our hearts were rejuvenated, we left a bigger piece of our hearts behind, still loving our adventure, but no longer naive to the geography that separated us.  


Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for flurry

Flurry : a brief light snowfall

Normally, I find flurries to be beautiful.  They provide a light snowfall that freshens up the piles of white that have become dull and crunchy.

But not on April 6th, when there is still 2 feet of snow in my yard (more or less in some areas).  Not when we have only had a handful of days in the 40's.  And not when we are 20 + inches over our average snowfall total for the year.

F is also for forty or even fifty....the degrees I would like it to reach to melt this stinking snow!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Emily

Emily is my first born, my miracle baby.

She came into my life unexpectedly and has been full of surprises all along the way!
She was 8 weeks early and weighted only 3 lbs 14 oz.   We were both medically unstable after her birth.  She was in the NICU and I was so ill I couldn't go to see her.  I was lucky to get a visit from a friend of mine who works in pastoral care at the hospital.  I asked her to please go give my new daughter a blessing.  She paused and reminded me that she is Jewish (we are Catholic) and I told her that wasn't what was important.  My daughter needed her blessing.

A few hours later my friend returned.  She sat down with me and thanked me for the opportunity to bless my daughter.  She told me it was the most powerful spiritual experience she had to date.  As she blessed Emily, my tiny girl in her little incubator opened her eyes and they bore into her with such pull it shook her.  She got tears in her eyes as she told me. 

When Emily was about 3 or 4 she pointed to a drawing of a girl on the page of a book we were looking through.  The girl was dressed in a prairie dress, apron and hat.  Emily pointed to the girl and said "that is when my family died and the Angels brought me to you".  A friend of mine was there at the time and we just looked at each other - stares that though unspoken, said "did you hear the same thing I did"?  Emily never wavered she just kept looking through the book - calmly, unaffected. 

I am grateful everyday for Emily.  Grateful today because when I said I needed to write my E entry, she said "Emily starts with E".  Then she got on the bus to the Jr High and I started to write.  Emily, you are still a blessing.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for doubt

Doubt: to lack confidence in

Doubt has caused me to miss out on many opportunities.  Usually it is doubt in myself.   It is what kept me from completing the A-Z Challenge in 2011 (I'll never come up with things to write;  I'm not writing anything worth reading;  What was I thinking?).  I remember well because those thoughts are creeping in again.
When my brother died last June, I was renewed with energy to live my life to its fullest.  To search out opportunities to better myself.  My brother had lived life, really lived.  He traveled around the world.   He assisted a climb on Mt. Everest.  He did not trek to the top, his role stopped at an earlier point, but he was there.  He decided to bike in Tibet to enjoy the whole experience (until the constant gunfire from the regime change at the time encouraged him to travel by train).  He rode his bike through New Zealand.  He completed the Triple Bypass in Colorado*.   His adventures were numerous.  The only thing he never did was settle down and have a family.  When I had my first child he told my Mom to tell me to not stop traveling, to continue my adventures with kids in tow.  I doubted I could do that, so I didn't.  I believe now that he doubted he could settle down and have a family, so he didn't.
So, I am working on overcoming my self doubt as I continue forward on this challenge!

*The Triple Bypass is a ride to or from Evergreen (Bergen Park) and Avon over three mountain passes. The ride is 120 miles from Evergreen (Bergen Park) to Avon over Juniper Pass (11,140 ft.), Loveland Pass (11,990 ft.), Swan Mountain and Vail Pass (10,560 ft.), with over 10,000 ft. of lung/leg challenging elevation gain!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Carolie's Kids

Carolie's Kids

As I mentioned yesterday, Carolie gave me the nudge I needed to start knitting.  After she died her coworkers created a unique memorial.  They set up a fund to help teach youngsters how to knit.  They collaborated with Beth at the Black Purl and Carolie's Kids was born.

The first Carolie's Kids event took place in October of 2012.  I got a flyer with the information and signed up my daughter and her bestie.  On arrival to the event, they picked up a bag of goodies that included yarn and knitting needles.  They took a seat and then an adult volunteer came around and worked with about 3-4 kids, getting them started and providing instruction.  The event lasted 2 hours.  There were about 65 kids present.

I am anxious for the 2nd annual Carolie's Kids event.  This year I will get to help at the event.  Beth is hoping to accomodate 100 kids this year.  I am anxious to be a part of something so wonderful and that Carolie's love of knitting will be passed on year after year to children in our community.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Black Purl

As I mentioned yesterday my LYS (local yarn store) is the Black Purl.

My first experience in the Black Purl came after a patient gave the RN's in our clinic a cerificate to go there to learn to knit socks.  Several of us were always oohing and ahhing over her projects and professing "we could never do that"....she told us we could and gave us the opportunity to do so.  I knit my first pair of socks, a self pattening German sock yarn that made me look like a proficient knitter.  I continued to knit little projects - more socks, hats, slippers. Then the patient that gave me the nudge to knit died.  It was such a loss and I really took it hard.  Carolie had really touched my life.
I walked back into the Black Purl compelled to knit something pretty with a sublime yarn in her honor.  I did (Saroyan shawl) and it was (70 % Merino Wool 30 % Silk).  Now I knit a lot of pretty things and use a lot of amazing yarn.  Call it a fixation, obsession, dependence......I call it therapy.  My therapist comes in many colors.  It is made of wool, cotton, silk, alpaca, or even cashmere.  It challenges me, frustrates me and ultimately makes me accomplish things I wasn't sure I could.



Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Aidez

To start, I would like to A-cknowledge ARLEE BIRD! 
Thank you for this challenge!  Thank you for something to be excited and enthusiastic about!!

In April 2012, I placed pattern in my Ravelry library called Aidez.   "Aidez is a feminine fitted cardigan that has all the cozy antique appeal of traditional Aran texture."  These words were a perfect knitters seduction.....feminine, cozy, texture.  I looked the pattern over several times hoping that one day I would have the nerve to take it on. 
On January 16 of this year I got an email from my LYS (local yarn store) the Black Purl.  The spring knit along was the Aidez.  I knew my time was here.  I took my gift card the family gave me for my birthday and picked out my yarn.  A beautiful wool in an oatmeal/grey color.  I would have slept with the yarn under my pillow to keep it close if my hubby had let me!
I started my project on February 13th.  So far it has 2 arms, a left front and half of a right front!  It is cozy with beautiful cables and has really been an enjoyable endeavor.  I hope that as April comes to a close I will be able to celebrate completing by first cardigan and my first A-Z challenge!