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Thursday, September 28, 2017

It Feels Good To Be Home!

It felt really good to roll into the yard after being on the road for 15 days. Steve drove the rig straight in nose first with the Tracker still attached. Usually we take the time to stop on a side street and unhook the Tracker. We normally back the motorhome in our driveway while I stop the traffic on the 4-lane street out front. But I think we were just too tired.

The temps were in the 90's, so we plugged the motorhome in to shore power right away and started up the air conditioners. That way we could unload the leftover foods in the fridge, clear the cabinets of anything that is perishable, and take all of our dirty clothes and bedding to be washed. By the time we brought in our computers, crafty items, my sock knitting machine, and such, we were totally pooped. Now to put it all away!

I think the two things I missed most about my house was my big bathtub and our memory foam mattress.Even though we have a nice household quality mattress in the motorhome, it doesn't compare with the thick soft memory foam one that we have been sleeping on in the house for the past six months. I think a memory foam mattress is next on our agenda of motor home improvements!

Our house sitter did a great job and all of our plants inside and out looked healthy. I have been worried about frost while we were gone. My coveted coleus plants that I have been growing for almost 30 years we're in great shape. Before we left I did snip off a lot of little cuttings and had them rooting in water in the house. That was just in case all the plants outside we're going to die from an unexpected frost. Little did I know that we were going to have a heat wave instead of an early Autumn freeze.

I picked a big basket of tomatoes from the plants out in the back and Steve's raspberry bushes are still sprouting fresh red berries.  The lawn needs a cutting, but not till things cool off.

The dogs were so excited to be home in their familiar territory again. They examined all of their toys and made sure everything was right in their little world. Their doggie dishes were in place, their beds were up in place at the foot of our bed on the floor, and they were able to jump up and look out the windows to bark at anyone passing by.

They were totally excited to see the maillady's Jeep pull up across the road and stop at the corner as usual. But sadly, she wasn't coming to our house. Our mail was still being held at the post office. They quivered in anticipation of her coming up to our door and putting our mail in the slot, They were sadly disappointed when she just walked past our house and went on down the street. That is the highlight of their day!

We got a surprise visit from my good friend, Connie. She had been in town for an eventful day in her life and things are changing in a wonderful new direction. She came to share her news with us before she had to head home to Oshkosh.  I am so glad that things are looking up for her, and she was so happy she could just burst!   Life brings things in so many different twists and turns. She is such a kind loving soul, and deserves all the goodness and love that life has to offer.  We wanted her to stay for dinner, but she had to get heading out.  It was so good to see her and hug her and share in her joy.

After everything was unloaded, and Steve went to the post office to get the mail, we settled in for an evening in our home. It was nice to get back into the routine. And of course, I had to fill my big bathtub up with warm bubbly water to relax for an evening soak.

We carried in our two "souvenirs" from our trip.  We had stopped at a thrift shop in Thunder Bay, Ontario on a rainy icky day and wandered around.  I found this gorgeous shawl (not handmade but very pretty nonetheless) I can imagine it with dark slacks and turtle neck, a pretty neckalce, all decked out for a holiday gathering?

Steve found a cut glass cover for our lonely uncovered butter dish at home!   We had the bottom base portion for years, and never had a top for it. We were always on the lookout for the matching one, not wanting to buy a whole new duo.  Silly us, but we just kept using it uncovered until we could find one.  What are the chances that Steve would find a matching cover (and only the cover, not a base too) at a thrift shop in Canada?

We sure buy strange souvenirs, eh?

In the morning, we baked up the Danish Kringle that we bought at Dobbers Pasties in Escanaba on Sunday.  It smelled SOOOOO good!  This one was caramel and nut.  They had different flavors in the freezer case.  So cute, it comes with a tiny squeeze packet of butter cream frosting too.

We settled in our front porch to watch the morning sunrise, enjoy our coffee and danish kringle and talking about plans for the day.  Little did we know, but Pops was driving by after an early morning business meeting in nearby Kiel, WI.  He stopped in, with his dog Millie, just in time for danish kringle and coffee on the front porch!

(somehow he attracted three little beggars for his danish kringle)

It has cooled off nicely in Wisconsin 
and temps are back to normal! 

As our day went on, it was time for Steveio to get outside and cut the lawn.  

Even though Steve is on vacation yet until Oct. 1, I was not, and had to get back to my work.  I had to get into my Loom Room and finish up a couple rugs that needed to get shipped out.  I had "help" if you can see by the window?  They kept an eye on Steve and let me know each time he drove the lawnmower around the house. 

I had to finish this second rug to make a "pair"

(for my fibery readers:  rag rug woven with alternating shuttles of thick blue weft and thin mulitcolored weft.  Threading is twill 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 and woven with 1 and 2 in one shed and 3 and 4 in the other, creating a basket weave effect on the plain weave rug. Alternate shuttle placement on each side of the rug, Narrow shuttle closer to the fell line on left and Wider shuttle closer to the fell line on the right to lock in the wefts on the edges. Sett is 12 epi and warp then appears as side by side pairs on each shed. Woven on a 4 harness loom, but could be threaded up on a 2 harness to get the same result 11,22,11,22)

Once I finished the second rug, I had four of them to get hemmed up and get 2 ready to ship out.  I hauled out my trusty old 1941 Singer sewing machine.  My Grandma Groop on my dad's side gave me this machine 20+ years when she stopped sewing quilts.  I cherish it and take good care of it. It is the ONLY machine I have had that can sew through the triple folded hems on my handwoven rugs. 

20 some odd years ago, I was attending my nephew's graduation. Grandma Groop asked me to come up to her house the next day, she had something to give me. Knowing I am the "crafty one" in the family, she decided to pass on her 1941 Singer sewing machine with the coveted wooden dome top case.  It was like the passing of a baton from one generation to the next... well ... two generations down the line. I was honored. It has put on a lot of miles when stowed in our motorhome as well.

It has sewed a LOT of quilts for her over the years. 
One even hangs in a museum down in Lansing, MI.  
A BiCentennial Signature Quilt of all her co-workers from 1976.




Back to my work day:

I finished hemming up these two rugs as well. They are going to be listed in my Etsy shop. I have to "reactivate" all of my inventory after putting them on pause during vacation.  Right now my Etsy store only has three items, the two DVDs I produce and my sockknitting weights. I took that inventory along on our trip and shipped out purchases along the way to my customers.

I call these my Birch Tree Rugs, because the texture resembles the bark of a birch tree! They are made of recycled sock loops from factory waste. I chain them together and make long strips to weave into really thick solid rugs.

Every rug also gets my own tag, sewn onto the hem. 

My neighbor across the road stopped by.  She needs to order a pair of nice wool socks for her husband for Xmas. How nice is that to have orders walk up to your door? She happened to have this big box of colorful cotton quilting fabric scraps that she wanted to give me as well.   It was a lot of fun to sort them by color groups and types.  I can see a few fun quilts or potholders coming out of this endeavour.

Once the rugs are done, I am going to get some towels woven on my 8 harness Tools of the Trade table loom.  This loom is clamped down to a rolling bench when in use, and both of the front and back beams fold inwards for easy portability. I sometimes take it along in the motorhome too.  It can even fit in the back seat of a car when folded up.  It is a very generous 32 inches wide so I can do a multitude of items on it, from skinny scarves to table runners to towels, yardage and even overshot blankets in panels to be joined after weaving. 

I wheeled it out onto the front porch now that weather is cooler... I will thread it up later today and start some towels perhaps tomorrow. Nothing can be more relaxing than weaving along a nice pattern, looking out at sunshine and trees and birds and enjoying the day.


Now it's 9:30 am.  Remember when I mentioned that I had to work but Steve was still on vacation? (although he is retired, he drives part-time for a county handicapped accessible bus for the elderly/disabled and delivers them from various nursing homes to doctors, hospitals, dialysis etc) I call it his Old Fart Party Bus!

Wellllll Yesterday, he saw one of the county secretaries at the local hardware store. So they know he is "back in town"... hahahaha!  He called in this morning to find out if he was needed, and yes, they are backed up and short of drivers. Even the boss was out driving medical patients to their appointments.  He asked if Steve could come back today, 2 days early, to help out.

 Of course, you know my Steveio.  
He goes in at 10 am.   

What a guy!  


  1. I so enjoyed your post. You sound like a very talented lady. I am also a weaver but have down sized to one Union 36. I met Janet Meaney years ago when her book first came out. She did a book signing at my friend's shop where I was taught to weave in Jamesport, Mo. I still refer to that book occasionally but it is well worn. I have always done all kinds of crafts & sewing but when I learned to weave I was hooked. The one thing I never could master was knitting.

    1. Oooh another weaver! Welcome! Janet and Paula's book has gotten to be so much in demand again, (it was out of print) that now Great Northern Weaving has published a new printing of it! It's a "bible" for rug weaving, for sure!

  2. Enjoyed your whole trip around Lake Superior. Lovely photos and interesting places. Glad you enjoyed Canada.


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