Twisted Stitcher

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sister!

September 12, 2010

How time does fly! Happy Birthday to Margie! And thanks to all who sent me birthday wishes. I had a really great birthday yesterday.

I went shopping in Boulder Junction, ate pizza at the Sayner Pub, talked with Mike on the phone, watched movies, and knit. I did get a very quick dip in the creek to celebrate my birthday. It was cold. I’m not even calling it chilly or refreshing anymore, it’s just cold.

Today I took a bike ride over to Crystal Lake. The bike paths up here are fabulous, with the possible exception of two or three hills. It’s around 7 miles each way. It took me about an hour to get there, because I did have to stop to take a picture or two. So my legs were a little tired when I got there.

The lake is as beautiful as I remember. Of course I stuck my feet in. It’s such a pretty lake, all sand and you can see your toes even if you are standing waist deep in the lake. I think you could see your toes even if you were shoulder deep, but I didn’t get that wet today. It was about 65 and a bit breezy. I think the last time I was in Crystal Lake was around 1963 or so. I remember pictures from around then, and I remember it was so much fun to swim and play with my parents and sisters.

After I got back I took a quick bath in the creek, and it was every bit as cold as yesterday. Mira had fun chasing her tennis ball, which has replaced the sticks I used to throw for her. I think she can see them better and she brings the ball back a little bit better than the sticks.

I gathered up some blankets and towels to wash and headed into St. Germain. I ate a double scoop of ice cream at Cathy’s and am now sitting at the Red Canoe Coffee Shop. It took quite a while to round up Mira, since just before I was ready to go she happened across a porcupine! Luckily, even though the porky was slow, she had absolutely no idea what she was supposed to do, other than bark at it. I am very, very glad that she is so clueless because pulling quills from her nose was not on my agenda.

The porcupine was slow, but not stupid. It climbed up a tree just past the wood shed while Mira was running around the garage looking for it.

So, off to do laundry, then back to the house. The sun is shining nicely and I can see some porch knitting in my future.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mostly Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

September 8

That has been the weather for the last little bit and is the forecast through the 13th or 14th. The high’s supposed to be no higher than upper 60’s. The hummingbirds have left for the year. Good thing the trees are turning such pretty colors and that fall is my favorite season. It’s decent compensation. I expect the colors to be getting prettier and prettier until I leave. The trees around the house don’t seem to be changing as quickly as those along the roads to town.

Really, other than the roof being done not much is happening here. The roof looks great and the sound of the rain on it is nice and quiet. I was a little concerned since it is a metal roof. But they put down a layer of rubber stuff on top of the weather/ice layer, and so no worries. I’ve had plenty of rain to make sure the noise level is low. I haven’t had a really huge storm or hail, but I think it will be just fine. It looks quite nice.

I got the stove cleaned out and polished. It was very messy, but it looks great. Unfortunately, Mira decided that she would check out how well I did and managed to get soot all over herself. She went in the creek today and some of it came off. But I think I have to get in the creek with her and try to give her a bath with shampoo. Y’all can wish me luck since the creek is chilly and she really hates shampooing. I hope it’s at least a little sunny tomorrow. I had to make the house really warm so that she wouldn’t be chilled when we came up. I tell you, there’s nothing like a wood stove to throw off some real heat!

So that’s about it. More reading and knitting and spinning. I did go out to do the laundry, which I didn’t get to like I thought I would. I also went to Wolf Pack. Even when I am starving, I can’t eat 3 whole pancakes. Just a thing to remember for next time....

September 10

The weatherman lied. Today was an absolutely beautiful day at the creek. The sun has been shining all day long, it’s about 66F right now at 3:30 on the porch. Mira and I are up from the creek, which is quite cool. Let’s just call it very refreshing.

I did give her a shampooing yesterday after all. It helped, but there’s still a little sootyness left since washing a dog who really doesn’t enjoy baths in a relatively fast moving stream that is cold is perhaps not the easiest job. Today she made sure she stayed farther than an arm’s length away. She learns quickly when she wants to. Right now she’s in a nice sunny spot under the big white pine just outside the porch.

I did get the new wood under the eaves stained and the doorframe painted (2 coats). As I was painting the door frame, I noticed that the trim around the window in the door need painting also. So it has one coat, and I will give it a second coat tomorrow. Then I noticed the bottom of the door could use a little repair and staining, but I haven’t figured out exactly what to do about that. I think the door needs to be taken down, some repair done then sanded and stained. Perhaps a kick plate. I don’t think that I have enough time and the right weather forecast to do a proper job. So either my sisters will do it next summer, or I will the summer after that when I get up here again.

I’m off now to get myself together for a nice drive around the area and perhaps a visit to Trout Lake for a sunset.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The end of summer....

September 3, 2010

There is a definite nip in the air today. It’s noon and only 55 degrees on the porch. There is a little tree I can see from the couch that has turned a goldish color. Pretty, but I was hoping for a little bit more hot, or at least warm, weather. I still am hoping for some more days that will be warm enough to spend a lot more time at the creek.

It’s an afgan day today. The sky is gray and dripping, the wind is more than a little breezy, the afgan is cozy warm, and the pot of tea is steaming hot. I’m splitting time today between knitting and reading. Not too bad. I’m going uptown in a bit to catch up on laundry and internet stuff.

The roofers came yesterday at 7:30 AM, after all of these weeks that they have been putting us off. Fortunately, Russ and Betty were already up. They were packing to leave (more about that in a bit). So, I got up and threw on some jeans and talked to them. It was raining, so all they did was drop off their trailer and some materials. They came back around noon, after it started to clear up. They worked about 4 hours and promised to come back today around 7 AM. They got about half of the creek side torn off, and the weather/ice shield layer down. Good thing that is waterproof, because it rained a lot last night and most of this morning. They showed up at 7:15 this morning to drop off the rest of the materials, and to let me know they will be back when the weather co-operates. Anybody who knows me at all will realize just how happy I am about having to be ready for roofers at that time in the morning. Oh well, at least it is finally getting done.

I’ll try now to catch you up on what’s been happening since the last entry, over a week has gone by which I can hardly beleive. I did get into town and uploaded some photos here. Not all of them went through, but at least there are some. The Red Canoe in St. Germain is a great little coffee shop with good food and internet access. They also have a lot of nice little knick-knacks, wine, and candles to buy. I resisted them all, which was harder than it sounds.

I did some grocery shopping for my company, and some laundry. Went to Wally World and got a new coffee pot for the house, a bookcase to hold the three new bags of books I picked up at the library “Basement Buck a Bag Book Sale”, and a baby gate to keep Mira out of the bedroom that the company will use, since I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want a dog sleeping on their pillows. Other than that, not much happened. I got to spend a lot of time at the creek, did a lot of reading, spinning, and knitting. Also did a bunch of just sitting on the porch enjoying the experience.

Bob’s Dad and Betty came up on Monday, August 30th at about 3 pm. We had a nice little visit and Italian Dinner. We went to Three Lakes, which was apparently named “The Best Single Town in America” for 2010, on Tuesday. We took a short tour of the Three Lakes Winery and I bought (more than) a little wine. They import chocolate and raspberry chocolate wine! Sounds like an unbeatable combonation, and it is very tasty. I couldn’t resist.

We went to a couple of little antique shops and several tourist-y shops in Eagle River. Had lunch at a soda shop/diner, then headed out for the quilt store. Betty and I had a good time there!

On Wednesday, we headed towards Lac du Flambeau because Russ wanted to track down one of his cousins who lived there. I decided to see if I could find any information on my phone for her, and I tracked down somebody who knew where her husband worked, which happened to be Woodruff, so we headed in that direction. We found her husband, Ken Ferg, and he told us that Carolyn was on vacation in the U.P. with some of their grands and great-grands. But at least he got her new address and they can keep in touch.

We went to the little antique shop in Woodruff near McDonald’s after lunch. Betty and I both found a few things that we couldn’t pass up. Then we went thru some more shops in Minocqua. I have picked up a few little things for Christmas presents, so I’m ahead of myself there. They wanted to tour some of the model log homes, and then we went home for supper and to visit some more.

They left early Thursday morning after the roofers left. I did a bit of straightening up, then some knitting. For those who are interested, I am about half done with the Triple S Shawl that I started when I got here. It’s looking really nice. I have the blue wool singles to ply, but I’ve been having a little trouble with the wheel, and have to create a lazy kate. I really hope to have that done before I get home.

So, that’s what’s been happening around here. I still have to tweak a few more pictures before I can post them. I haven’t exactly been able to figure out the most effective way to get photos to the blog, Ravelry, and email from this Mac. The mail program seems to not recognize me, so that makes it a bit harder. I’ll be working on that pretty soon, since one of the books I got at the library sale was Mac for Dummies. Like I said before, I think I’ll head uptown to upload this and to do some laundry. I really wish the laundromat had WiFi, that would be very good. Maybe that should be my new career, laundromat/internet cafe. Hmmm

The sun started peeking out just as I was leaving for town. Still cool and windy at 2:30.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


August 25, 2010

Well, my sisters came up late Monday night and it was wonderful to see them again! They got here around midnight, and we stayed up talking until about 2 am.

We took a nice long walk out to C via the bike path on Tuesday morning. The weather was cloudy and cool. Mira thought the walk was fabulous. We found some blueberries and blackberries, so we had a tiny snack.

I took a quick bath in the creek, then we headed out to Eagle River. They wanted to check out a little quilt store, which turned out to be not really little. The store, Karen’s Quilts, has a really fabulous selection of fabric and patterns. We all found some things we couldn’t live without. Margie is quilting some really cute things using hand dyed wool fabric and applique. I couldn’t resist a snowman pattern and a table runner kit. The people there do really great machine quilting. The samples in this store were among the best I’ve ever seen.

On the way there, we stopped by a pier company to check out the selection. We are going to put in a new pier next year. We all agreed on the size and color of it. Its decking is a composite material that won’t wrap, rot, or get icky in general. We will have it installed, since none of us want to do it.

We all did a little needlework in the afternoon, after a nice time in the creek. Margie was quilting, Karen was cross stitching, and I was spinning. I did get the llama/silk blend singles done before bed Tuesday, and plied, washed and have it hanging up on the porch right now. It’s looking pretty good.

We tried out a new restaurant that has been around for a while, but none of us had been there before. It’s called Marty’s and it is on 51, just a bit south of M. The atmosphere was very nice, the service was not rushed, the drinks were great, and the food absolutely delicious. We had the stuffed crepes for a starter. They were fabulous.

Over dinner, Karen and Margie started telling me about the barn quilts that they have seen and love. People paint big pieces of plywood in quilt patterns and then hang them on the barns. Some people paint the entire sides of their barns in quilt patterns. Karen wants to put one on the Creek House, and Margie and I thought that’d be a good plan. Ours in going to be 4 feet square. Each of us was going to design a square, and then one to represent Mom and Dad. We ended up deciding to each do a square based on the quilt pattern that Mom made us. So I will be drawing out a Grandmother’s Fan, 22” square. We are all going to sign our block, and then I have to mail mine to Karen. She and Margie will be doing the painting. We decided to do a pine tree block for Mom and Dad.

After dinner, we played three games of pinochle. Margie didn’t have such great luck. Karen got double pinochle in two of the games and I got it in the third. Very unusual! On hand I hand 66 meld! A run in diamonds, a roundhouse, and a double pinochle. That was a quick game. It was so fun to talk and laugh and just hang out with my sisters.

Today they took a much longer walk in the morning. I didn’t go. When they got back we went to Wolf Pack for breakfast. Those are some great pancakes! I have no idea why they are, they just are. Their motto is “Peace, Love, and Pancakes”.

Then we went to the hardware store to pick up some parts to fix the drain for the toilet, some things to create a lazy kate, and a coffee pot. For some reason, the old pot has disappeared from here. We had to stop three places before we found what we wanted, the aluminum percolator kind. They had one at Sayner hardware, but only one. And since Margie wanted one for her house, I told her to take that one home, and I will get one tomorrow when I go into the big city.

We took a few pictures of us on the pier at the creek. After much effort, I finally got one that had everyone sitting on the pier with nobody’s head cut off. Mira had her usual good time chasing sticks. We had a bit of a snack. then Karen went to Minocqua to pick up a picture that Margie found at a flea market, and Karen had framed. It’s a really nice picture of a big sister reading to her two little sisters. We hung it up in the living room. It’s really a nice picture, and it’s in a perfect place.

We spent a tiny bit more time on the porch, and they left around 5. I spent a little bit of time straightening things up, hunting for Margies missing earring and my missing tape measurer. I found my tape but not the earring. I think it may have been lost in the creek. I’ve uploaded the pictures and gotten them ready to post tomorrow when I go to town. I am going to put the tractor away, then we are going to have a bite to eat, do some knitting, and maybe go to bed early.

It was a really great two days.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

And for today, an essay from the dog....

How to Handle a Thunderstorm

by Mira

First, if you are not alone in the house, make sure your mistress is awake to protect you from the scary thunder and lightening. This is most effectively accomplished at 4 am by crawling up to the pillows, leaning hard against her, and shaking uncontrollably without stopping until she wakes up to find out what’s wrong.

Then, once she is positively awake, hop down to the floor and try to crawl under the bed, even though you don’t fit under it. Make a bunch of noise with whatever is under there. This is more effective if she has no idea what is under the bed, then she will have to get a flashlight and investigate. This will assure you get more time to shiver and gain more sympathy.

Then hop back up and try to wiggle under the covers. If that doesn’t work, hop down and try to squeeze behind the headboard. If your mistress starts to get cranky, jump back up from the floor and back again a few times to let her know you aren’t upset with her. Then jump back to the floor and find the tiny corner next to the dresser to sleep through the storm. It helps to make a lot of noise by scratching the carpet for a long time to get the nap just right. The floor will be a safer place than the bed because you can’t see the lightening as well, and so you can totally ignore it.

Because you know she will be awake for a while to make sure that nothing bad can happen, you can now safely go to sleep.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Update from Up North

August 19, 2010

A quick update.....written at the Sayner Laundromat, which is a fair use of time if I do say so myself.

Let’s see, how shall I sum up the last 10 days? Fabulous, wonderful, relaxing, quiet, green, with a decent amount of thunderstorms, not too many deer flies, and mostly really nice weather.

We’ve played in the creek, messed around with yarn, fiber and needles, gone for walks on the road, washed the kitchen floor, purchased fudge at Dan’s, groceries at Red Owl, and postcards at Pastimes. I may actually write them sometime. The bat did make it’s way out of the house. We saw a huge wild turkey. It’s body was bigger than Mira, and she weighs 40 pounds. It could have fed a big bunch of hungry Thanksgiving guests. I haven’t seen it since. Maybe it knows I have the shotgun loaded. I also haven’t seen a single deer. Lots of chipmunks and a few little squirrels.

Things I’ve realized so far: a front loading washing machine really gets your clothes clean (and it’s way more fun to watch than mine), 25 cents to dry a load of laundry for 9 minutes seems a little steep (good thing we have a dryer at the Creek), I read really fast, my dog prefers her sticks to be thrown in the deepest part of the creek, spinning on the porch makes your yarn more even than at home, I like the farmers market in Woodruff better than the guy who sells veggies by the road in St. Germain, listening to my Mom’s voice on tape describing the old photos can make me cry, and that not working with the wood stove for so long makes you forget how to keep it from smoking up the house.

I have my sisters coming up on Monday which will be really great, and then Dad and Betty coming up the week after for a few days. It will be wonderful to see them all again. The roofers are also coming, but I didn’t think they would be of general interest.

I may try to post some pictures, but I really haven’t taken that many, and the hummingbirds are not cooperating. There are 6 or 7 of them around the feeder, but they go away when I pick up my camera. Tricky little things. And just so nobody is surprised, you won’t see any early morning pictures. They are too hard to take when asleep.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Up North

August 9, 2010

Got to Creek House yesterday around 6:30 pm. Started on Saturday, just Mira and I. Drove to Prairie Rose State Park in Iowa and camped at a really nice little spot. It was hot and humid.

The cruise control was broken, but the air conditioning was not, which was a blessing! I unpacked the car and went in the creek. It was wonderful! The creek is high, and wasn’t too cold. The mosquitos had not realized I had arrived, so the creek time was absolutely perfect.

After that, I got my stuff sort of organized and put away, read on the porch and went to bed. Mira has had a great time running around in the woods, playing in the creek, and napping on the porch.

I was woken up at 5 am by a BAT flying around my bedroom! It brushed my face and freaked me out a little bit, since we all know how much I really hate those creepy things. I heard it out in the main room, so I shut my door and went back to sleep.

I got up at 9 or so and looked around for the stupid bat. Couldn’t find it, so I started opening the windows to get a breeze in the house. When I opened the kitchen window, there it was. It flew out of the valance above the sink, and tried to get out of the window, but was stopped by the screen. Eeewwww, creeped me out!

So I quickly slammed the window shut, trapping it, and tried to think about what to do next. I went to the garage to look for a fishing net or something to catch it in so I could let it go outside. There was no net, but I found a little bait bucket that I thought I might be able to use.

When I went back into the house, it had disappeared. That was not really great, since there was no place it could go! So I looked closer, and saw it had tucked itself up in the window track way up at the very top. I opened the window, very carefully so it wouldn’t fly back into the house, then opened the screen so it could fly out. I’m waiting to see if it figures it out. Until then, I am keeping the window shut. And no, I am not taking a picture!