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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Around the studio this holiday weekend

Been working down in my studio.   I got some towels and bread cloths done, hemmed, pre-washed, measured and tagged.    I did three of the mint towels and one each of the 2 red bread cloths.   My mom entered the two red bread cloths in the county fair last August, (they each won ribbons!)    and now I finally got them back and I am able to list them on my Etsy website.  


winter mint towel bread cloth 1winter mint towel bread cloth 3


valentine treat bread cloth 4valentine treat bread cloth 1


wine treat bread cloth 1wine treat bread cloth 4

The loaf of bread is a day-old loaf from our favorite sub shop in Green Bay, Erberts & Gerberts.  They sell loaves for a $1.00, so we try to nab a few to bring home and freeze.  On a whim I used it as a prop in my photos for the Etsy website.  I might have to go to Hobby Lobby and buy a fake paper mache bread loaf like this for future photos!


Well, it's not quite 8 weeks since my surgery, so I am not supposed to be weaving yet.... 

but I have a rug order to work on, so my darling sweet Steveio came to help me!   I wound the shuttles up with the looped material weft chains and placed each row in the open shed, and he beat the row into place   (that is the hard-tummy-working stuff) ....  

 Steveio helping me in the loom room0 (Behind every Weaver, there is a Good Woman?)

Did you know weaving was considered “Man’s Work” and a loom was considered a tool like a plow, shovel, machine or device needed to earn a living.  The women just prepared the raw materials to be woven, but men did the actual weaving.


Steveio helping me in the loom room1
We finished up one large rug in just about an hour!  Wow is he fast!    He's doing quite a good job, dontcha think?  This lady wants them with blue and brown loopers interspersed throughout the rugs. 

These are my Birch Tree rugs, made outta recycled sock loopers from factory waste.... they are the leftover loops from making socks after the hem is sewn across the toe.  It’s cut off and is wasted, and normally end up in the landfill.  My friend, Barb Barnett, buys them by the truck sized bale and resells them by the pound to us weavers to put into rugs. 

looper chain  

It’s about time to put away the fiber toys today, because in a couple of hours, our darling new granddaughter Allegra is coming here for a sleepover!   She is only 29 days old, and will be here with us, helping us bring in the New Year---- 

Tonight, Erin is babysitting our grandson, Jameson, so she and Mark will bring him over too for a while.. to get in some Cousin Bonding Time!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh the Holidays…. (part two)


Ahhh on to Saturday morning.. and more Christmas celebrations!   We planned to trek 80+ miles up to my dad’s little log cabin in the woods.  My siblings from Michigan were going to join us there at my dad’s for the afternoon.  The weather was looking dicey for later in the day, but the morning dawned nice.   The roads were clear and the sun was out.   We decided to go ahead with the plans. 


Other years, we have brought our motorhome up for the weekend visit, which enables us to have extra sleeping spaces.  Dad’s place, as you will see in the following pictures is quite small.  With only 3 beds and a couch, his sleeping spaces are given to the folks who travel the furthest!  LOL     This year we decided to not take the motorhome as we were not spending the night, nor were our 3 grown kids, their significant others or 2 grandchildren coming along.  Besides, with the looming weather report, we didn’t feel like a $500 tow bill to get our 40ft  diesel pusher motorhome outta the snowbank!


Daughter Heather was going to bring up little Jameson to take along with us.  She had plans to visit with a long-time friend who was up visiting from Chicago, so she was going to drop Jameson off at our home and leave.  Lo and behold, on her way here, her car was making horrid grinding noises each time she pressed the brakes.  Turns out it was a broken brake pad, and her rotors were shot too.  Steveio to the rescue, as the local auto parts store was open on a Saturday.   In an hour, she was on her way, with new brakes and rotors.  What a guy!


In the meantime, our other daughter, Erin, and her husband Mark had been planning on going with us up to dad’s place.  But…. their furnace went out (again) and they had to wait for the repairman to come.  The repairman had warned them a few weeks ago after the last fix, that their secondary heat exchanger was going to go soon, but he had to wait till it had totally failed before Carrier furnace company would authorize a warranty replacement.  Of course, it decided to go out on a holiday weekend!   ACK!    In northern Wisconsin, a furnace going out can mean frozen pipes, buckled floors, and quite a bit of damage to a home if the pipes burst.  They had borrowed our three portable space heaters and one propane heater to place throughout the house, and were warm enough for the meantime.   We had even given them their own ceramic space heater for an Xmas present, in case this ever happened.  They have two fireplaces they could stoke up too for long-term heat if needed.  But the repairman said he would get all the available parts and have heat in their home in a few hours.  Sooooo  they were involved with warranty repair work and had to cancel out from going with us.


We bundled up the little guy, stopped at the hardware store on the way for a light switch that dad wanted, and headed up through the woods.  It was a great trip, and the grandson was alternating between *reading* his books with his jibber-jabber language, or napping.   Soon we were there! 

xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels13

We arrived in the afternoon, and surrounded by lovely white snow surrounding his cozy warm cabin.  We helped build this little cabin in 1985, which is now his full-time home.

 cabin in the woods

 cabin in the woods 2

Joining us were my brothers Umpee (Eugene) and Butch (Stephen) and nephews Mike and Matt.   Dad was happy to have  *a crew in the house* as he fondly calls it.   Jameson entertained us all by his antics, once he warmed up to the crowd.  Later, my sister Schmoo (Linda) and her husband Fuzz (Mike)  joined the party too.   Notice, everybody up north uses nicknames?   Even my father, also a Stephen, goes by Yooper, or Wankel (a type of snowmobile engine from the 70’s that became his CB handle).  


Here is my dad, hauling around little Jameson, his first great grandson.   I said: “Dad, he IS able to walk. ya know!”  He was spoiling him rotten all afternoon!

xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels3


The guys, getting in a few rounds of cribbage, with the appropriate beverages….xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels4


xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels1xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels2

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xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels6xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels7

xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels9xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels10

They guys enjoyed some rounds of cribbage, and the grandson was goofing around with his new toys from Auntie Schmoo.  Presents were opened, snacks were eaten, and some beers were drank.  As the day wore on, the snow was coming down fast and furious by the time we were all ready to leave. 

xmas 2009  at grandpa wankels0The snow flinging against the windshield in the headlights is mesmerizing.  It just keeps coming and coming.  We crawled along country trunk W at 15-20 miles an hour.   We knew where we were going, it was about 20-30 miles out to Hwy 141, then turn south to home.

Now, driving in weather conditions like this is normal for us folks up here, but I did happen to have along the video camera.   I made this little Utube video for the enjoyment of my southern readers:


But we made it home…    Dad said they got 13 inches of snow at his place.  That is what we were driving home through. 

We kept the little guy with us overnight.  He was exhausted from his big day, so slept soundly in his portable crib all night till 7am.  We popped him into our big king-sized bed between us for some morning cuddles.  After a special panny-cake breakfast made by Grandfaddah, we put him in the bathtub (mainly to get the syrup outta his hair)  He sure had a blast in the big whirlpool tub with his *Cup-O’s*    --- a set of stacking cups from Discovery Toys that I have saved from my children’s playthings.  

 bathtime at granmuddahs11

bathtime at granmuddahs13bathtime at granmuddahs7


bathtime at granmuddahs4

It is pretty neat to be watching him play with the stuff his own mommy played with.   The Fisher Price farm that we keep on the shelf in the livingroom is even older, it came from MY grandmother’s house, which would be Jameson’s great-great grandmother!   I bet she smiles down from Heaven, each time she sees the wee children play with her toys. 

bathtime at granmuddahs1


All too soon, it was time to take the little guy home to his parents.   Heather works later on Sundays at the University, so she wanted him home about noon to spend some time with him.   We timed ourselves for driving him down to Green Bay well after all the Packer Game goers were off the highway and into the stadium.  Highway 41 can become clogged from all the frantic fans trying to get there before kickoff, so we native Green Bay-er’s know how to time ourselves for traffic patterns around Lambeau Field.  Heather lives within a mile of Lambeau, so timing is also critical for her after the game, to get to work.  She leaves early and goes wayyyy around town to avoid the game day traffic to arrive at work on time.

We listened to the kickoff  and first quarter of the game on the radio during our ride back home.  Munching on Erbert & Gerberts sub sandwiches, we came home to settling in our easy chairs to watch the game on tv by the second quarter.   After a HUGE win of 48-10, we baked some salmon for supper and retired again to our easy chairs….. to watch the latest movie of Jesse Stone with Tom Selleck.  


Whew.. what a nice way to wind down and relax after a long long Holiday Weekend!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Oh the Holidays……

Wow, it’s been such a whirlwind of activity, visiting, travelling and SNOW STORMS~!


On Christmas Eve, we went to daughter Erin and son-in-law Mark’s home. The roads were slick and icy, we had sleet, rain, ice, and then snow forecasted over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 


Their home was all decorated to the hilt, and they had all the festivities planned in advance.  With extra bedrooms, we were ready to hunker down there for the night if need be.  

Such a wonderful host and hostess for a great meal, good laughs and wonderful family traditions.  We are going to have all our family Christmases here from now on. 



“I’m gonna wait right here till Santa comes!”

xmas at erin and marks 200941

Daughter Heather, fiancé Jesse, and 17 month old grandson Jameson joined us  too.



Grandfaddah figured he better pull out the wallet and pay off the kid to keep quiet till Santa came….   bribery works, the kid likes folding paper money instead of coins! xmas at erin and marks 20095


A luscious meal of Alaskan snow crab legs, baked ham, hash brown hot dish, the traditional green bean casserole etc.  We feasted like KINGS~

xmas at erin and marks 200924


Heather was the first one to the table!!!xmas at erin and marks 200925


Afterwards, preggo Erin was resting and put her feet up….xmas at erin and marks 200912


It was Jameson’s job to do some *THIS LITTLE PIGGY WENT TO MARKET*xmas at erin and marks 20099


Our host, son-in-law Mark was also pooped, he had put in a full day at work besides.

xmas at erin and marks 200913


The little guy, staked out by the doggie’s Christmas tree, was waiting eagerly for SANTA! xmas at erin and marks 200915

(Grandmuddah and Grandfaddah Pfun – us – gave him the Sponge Bob jammies)


We decided to drive home for the night afterall, even though the roads were tough, but we only had four miles to get home.  We crawled our way through the snow, our little Saturn never let us down.

On Christmas Day, we drove back over to their house early in the morning for gifts and breakfast…


Ahhh yes, early Christmas morning, the big tree was surrounded by presents!  xmas at erin and marks 200932


And our Little Elf helped to open each and every one!

xmas at erin and marks 200919



After breakfast we sat and visited and were laying around till noon, we then headed down to Green Bay to our son Dan and daughter-in-law Heather, with their tiny angel, our little granddaughter Allegra!

christmas with Allegra0

After more presents, and lots of snuggles and hugs, I even got to feed Allegra her bottle!  Although Heather is breastfeeding, she does put some in bottles so we can all share in the joy of taking care of the little princess.  I even get to babysit her for New Years Eve!

christmas with Allegra3


Now it was time to load up and head down to Appleton, to Steve’s brother Pete’s home.  He was hosting the Pfundtner clan for an evening meal.   Little Allegra, her mommy and daddy drove along in a separate vehicle, so we had room to haul even more presents and food down to Appleton!  We were greeted by the whole clan, all eager to meet the new member of the family.

Great Grandmother Maryann Pfundtner (Steve’s mom) holds her great granddaughter for the first time

xmas 2009 at petes house20


It’s been quite some time since Great Grandfather Paul (Steve’s Dad)  held a wee babe in his arms, but she craned her little neck up to see who this guy was holding her!


Allegra was passed around all evening, from relative to relative, each on marveling at her tiny perfect little self.  Awwwwwww

xmas 2009 at petes house7xmas 2009 at petes house18 

xmas 2009 at petes house16xmas 2009 at petes house6


This Four Generation Family Photo didn’t turn out as expected (sigh) but left to right are:

Great Grandfather Paul, Father Dan, Grandfather Steve and down in the center front is darling little Allegra!

 xmas 2009 at petes house4

We had 13 for dinner, which Pete outdid himself on preparing a feast… and lovely treats, good fellowship, and wonderful bonding afterwards.  It was a great evening, but many of us had to travel a good distance to get home.  The weather was turning worse, so it was time to head out.

Well, this blog entry is now pretty long…. so I will end with the part that we drove home on icy slippery roads, 65 miles, and we all made it home safe and sound.  The roads were treacherous to the north, but we took our time and made the journey.   We wish for


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunday was a Busy Baking Day


(this was supposed to be posted on Monday… just a day late here)

I slept in this morning till after 7am!   Whew!  i think all my baking yesterday wore me out!
i did up two of the 5 Minute Fudge Wreaths...   holiday baking1

I did one with milk chocolate and peanut butter chocolate chips and walnuts inside and red/green/white M&Ms on top, and then i did one with dark chocolate and sprinkled in tiny white chocolate chips as I layered into the pan and spirnkled on top... and added some little craisens (cranberry/raisins)

I got the recipe from Linda and Howard at RV Dreams, here is the link:


holiday baking2 


Next I made up a pan of Steveio’s favorite Special K bars (we have been making those instead of Rice Krispie bars, and sprinkled a few tiny white chocolate chips in there too)   I missed taking a pic of those…


I also mixed up a double batch of sugar cookies for cutouts and set the dough to chill while we got a crockpot going with a big turkey breast in it all day... man oh man was the kitchen ever smelling delicious!

holiday baking0

Once the turkey was underway, then i cut out the sugar cookies and baked them during the Packer game... Hey, great kitchen hint!   I bought a roll of baking parchment paper .... at a kitchen supply store.  It comes in a box like tin foil, where you pull out what you need and rip it off the roll.   I lined each cookie pan with that, wow.. no sticking and evenly baked and no burned edges!

We pigged out on the turkey breast for supper, and in the evening I still was not done.   I had defrosted the very last container of frozen cherries from harvesting off Steve’s cherry tree.  I baked up two cherry pies in the evening.   One is in my Momma’s pie dish. holiday baking3


holiday baking4

There were not enough frozen cherries left for a third batch of wine, so he said i could bake them into pies.... he got 52 bottles of wine outta ONE tree this year!

I bought him this tree about 10 years ago, and this was the best harvest ever from it.

cherries0_1spring has sprung 2009


After the pies were done, he decided it was time to get labels on the bottles in time for gift-giving this year.  I helped Steveio by printing up his labels and helping him stick them on the bottles…  bottling and labelling 1


bottling and labelling 0


 bottling and labelling 2


It sure looks like a biggie storm headed this way!  It is supposed to hit  the Great Lakes area for Christmas eve and Christmas day!  

We will be hunkered down at daughter Erin and Mark’s house in town.  We are going there on Thursday and might even stay overnight if the storm is bad... The weathermen said it would be starting with all icy rain, sleet and freezing rain..  then snow..  about 12 hours worth !     

We will be taking the dogs along with us to Erin’s house, so if we do get snowed in, we don’t have to worry about getting back out to our house to let them out. The road coming from town out to our house blows shut easily when it’s windy.  Yesterday, even with no snow falling, we were quite windy.  The blowing creates huge drifts that we had to crawl through with the vehicles to get to town yesterday....  it’s a minor road and does not get plowed too often.

If the main travelling roads are too bad on Friday, we will skip going to Steve’s family celebration in Appleton.   We were going to travel with son Dan and daughterinlaw Heather and the new baby to Appleton.   No way do we want little Allegra out on the roads in that kind of weather!    Daughter Heather and her fiancé Jesse with little Jameson will be with us too at Erin’s on Thursday and Friday, but if it’s too bad on the roads, they will just stay with us too.    A real arctic blast!   Hunker down and make the best of it!