Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Uncles

Uncle Peter on the left and Uncle Rudi on the right. My handsome German Uncles. Wow! They look fabulous in their suits. It was Uncle Rudi's 60th birthday this past fall.

Christmas is now over. On too cooking. I am making stock today for some recipes I'm testing. Chicken stock in a can is loaded with salt so I always make my own. Takes all day but once it's in the pot, you just wait. So I think it's worth it to make your own. I have beef already in the freezer. I freeze 1/2 cup containers and just defrost when I need some.

Happy Holidays to all.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fresh Baked Breads

A couple of breads I've made. The first one is Italian. Great crust. Second one is a full wheat with walnuts, orange and brown sugar.

The wheat had a wonderful light airy hand. I love this bread. I created the recipe from scratch using this professional baking cook book I bought for a dollar. Practiced - made about 5 loaves before it turned out perfect.

Danish - looks brown but it wasn't burnt. Yeast danish and filled with almond filling.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Luffas are Gone

Someone took the Luffa's. They look like a cucumber so maybe they thought they'd help and pick them for me. I can't imagine anyone stealing them. So... I can't see if they turned into a sponge or not. I had two hidden under the pumpkin leaves but they were too small before the leaves became frost bitten. None left. I'm disappointed. Next year I'll grow them on the balcony.

I finished a pair of shoes this weekend. I'll post before and after next time.

I was very sick on Monday. Working a trade show in Chicago and caught Gastroenteritis. Something I ate or drank invaded my system and on Monday at 4:00pm everything inside of me erupted. My co workers called 911 and I was transported by ambulance to Northwestern Hospital. Man was that a horrible experience that I never want to happen again. The Doctor in the ER said I had a violent episode and that it could happen to anyone. It was gone after they pumped me full of liquids. I don't want to go into details. Just look up the word for symptoms.

I stayed home from work for 3 days and felt almost normal on Friday. Just couldn't shake the memory. It's over. When ever I travel in the future, I will drink only bottled water and take a bunch of cliff bars. If any of the meals look iffy, eat a cliff bar instead.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mary Wales Loomis

I bought Mary Wales Loomis book and it came yesterday. How to make shoes. It's a great book. Very step by step and lots of diagrams. I think it might be a winner. I went to a shoe cobbler looking for shoe cement. The cobbler was out but this really nice lady working behind the counter looked around the shop with me to find the glue. She was cute. I don't think she had a clue on the supplies they sold. Lots of mink oil and waxes. She might of just been a fill in when he went to lunch or something. I'll have to make another trip and actually talk to him. Maybe he has some leather scraps or can help me on sole application. I did find a small tube to test. I was going to buy the stuff on line but I thought I should test it first.

I have a pair of flats that I can tear apart. I'll reuse the parts but put on a new topper.

Shoes are consuming my thoughts lately. I need to make a last first and am going to the hardware store after work for some plaster of paris. Fun weekend planned. HA

Others think a great weekend is going out to a movie and dinner. I love to stay home and try and make things.

It's very windy today here in Chicagoland. The leaves are flying past my window and oh so pretty.

If your reading from Chicago, enjoy our fall while you can. It's been marvelous so far!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Embroidery Image

I think this might be a new embroidery image for a shoe. It looks like something to stitch onto silk or maybe linen. I like it.

Fall has been wonderful this year. The air is so clear. I love the falling leaves. I know the cold winter is coming in close but until then, this is just perfect.

Short post today.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Terry Slippers

These are made of pure linen on the out and cotton terry on the in. I need to punch in some eyelets, string them and then they are done. The eyelets are tuff. Measure twice, punch once. I loved how they turned out so far and keep putting off the finishing.

It's another beautiful fall weekend here in Chicagoland and I'm going to try and stay in and perfect some shoe patterns. I'm close.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Three different versions. The pair with the green sole patches is the loafer - still testing that pattern. The red wool is lined in a cotton with padding in between. Found that pattern in a Japanese shoe book. It's a little too short in the toe. I need to tweek the pattern. The white pair is also still in the testing stages. White cotton on the out and cotton terry on the in. I like this pair the best out of the three.
So... shoe making takes a lot of patience. What I'm trying to do is create a unique pair from scratch. My goal is to create the pattern, grade it to the standard different sizes, then start selling on etsy. Soon. I'm almost there.

Monday, September 27, 2010


No pictures to upload today.

The Autumn leaves are starting to fall and the air is so clear and crisp. All week the highs are to be in the 60's. It's beautiful.

I worked on the garden a little bit this weekend. I'm most concerned about the luffa plants. They are a vine plant that climb over everything. Tons of yellow flowers but for weeks I didn't see any luffas. Then, I really dug under the leaves and I have tons of them. I'm so excited. They look like big fat cucumbers and you let them dry out. As I read, once the vine gets the first frost, you pick the fruit, peel the green outer layer and wash out all of the meat. Then dry and whalah, you have a luffa sponge. Cool!

Everyone I know will get one for Christmas. HA HA

I'm on the Christmas gift, quick making gift hunt right now. I searched for some patchwork stuffed fabric fruit or an eyeglass case made out of felt. But, I need to make about 30 of whatever I pick so I'm trying to be quick but yet something that looks nice. Last year I made Fabric baskets and knitted kitchen cloths and scrubbies. That was a lot of work and I wanted to keep them all. We'll see.

Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

There you have it!

Chicago Half Marathon - 13.1 miles on September 12, 2010. Glorious run! I never felt better.
I took a two day break and ran 2 miles this morning. No pains. Just tight thighs.

Back to reality. The little things just make you appreciate them more. "It's never as good as the first time." If I run the same thing again, I probably wouldn't feel the same about it.

Anyway... I've got a bunch of shoes started. Hopefully this weekend I can finish them and post some pictures. I want to get on the Etsy site before Christmas. That's the goal anyway. I have some felted bowls and kitchen dish cloths. I'm thinking of calling it the "I Love Home" site. Or something like that. Things just for the home. Well... things I like for the home. HA

Just wanted to post a couple of mini pictures of my run.

AH - I was glorious for a day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Finished the 1/2 Marathon

I ran the Chicago Half Marathon yesterday. 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 20 minutes and 9 seconds. Unbelievable! I thought and worried all week that I wouldn't be able to do it. But once I started running, everything fell into place. I got a little tired at the 7 mile marker but ran through it and finished in a unbelievable time. I didn't stop or walk at all. Held my own. At the 12 mile marker my legs were burning but I kept a clear head and knew it was only minutes away.

It was a beautiful day. Cool and clear and the course was on Lake Shore Drive. Started in Jackson Park around 63rd street then up to 31st and back. Over 13,000 people finished and I came in 9,000th place. Can't remember the exact number but I'm in there. Running through the finish line is the best feeling in the whole world. It's such a rush. I am envious of all those runners that in their life got to run through the first place ribbon. I bet that is an incredible feeling. The winning women came in at 1 hour 17 minutes. Even in my youth I don't think I could ever have beaten that number.

Bobby came down town with me. It was hard for him to find me at the end so I'll have to wait until the marathon photos become available before I post one.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

80's Rocker

Just an old photo I came across when I loved Stevie Nicks and had the blond curls. Wow - I loved those boots. I wore them with everything. I'm the second one to the left. Walking in the corn fields of Indiana. Brings back memories.
Working right now but wanted to post something on the blog as it's been a while.
Labor Day long weekend coming up. Planning on sewing and cleaning up the garden. Everything is over grown and needs to be cleaned up. I'm already planning next year.
That's all for today.
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dad's Phone

I sold this phone on Ebay. Dad has a lot of phones and parts and he gave this to me months ago to sell. I am disappointed that it only came in at $138.00. I probably should of contacted a collector before and taken it around before just placing it in the auction. I'm mad at myself. I told him I thought it would bring at least $300. Well... that's what ya get. I have to think of it as an Ebay learning tool.

Here's just another photo from the Community Harvest. It looked so nice.

I'm working on the argyle slippers and will post more when they are done.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Argyle Slippers

Finally had a chance to work on another pair of wool argyle slippers. I love this pattern. I made a pair awhile ago that are a bit snug so I've revised the pattern and started on the top yesterday. It took me forever to dig through the pattern pieces to find the right one. I just kept making proto-types and not throwing away the parts. Now they are all mixed up. I have them labeled now so I won't go through the search again. Jeez - what was I thinking?

I have a bunch of vintage wool in a variety of colors. Yards of it. I can probably make 50 pairs. Line them in a cotton. The dark blue is flannel. While it feels nice on the foot, it's a bit thick so hard to thin out the shoe. Plus the color is navy. I only have pink or navy flannel. I'm thinking, line it in a cotton with coordinating color. I'm trying to use up the fabric I have instead of buying more. My closets, cabinet and boxes are over flowing. Hmmm - I need to cut back the collection. So the brilliant idea is to MAKE THINGS WITH IT. Ha

Today at noon, I picked a ton of vegetables for the Community Nursing Center to sell. It was in the 90's today and I think I was over heated when this shot was taken. I started picking cucumbers, tomatoes and melons, then Sheri took them in and set up this beautiful table with baskets. It looked so pretty. I kept running back in with more things and the sale went on.
I don't think they charged too much so staff and families of the residents bought some things. They kept the proceeds to do something fun with the residents.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Petosky Summer Vacation

Wonderful weather in upper Michigan this past week.

The family and Bobby Skiing. He's incredible on one ski.

Just came back from a week long vacation in Michigan. Weather was fabulous. Drive was 6 1/2 hours but not bad. I miss the kids. They were a lot of fun.

I relaxed and read a book. John Grisham " Playing for Pizza". All about Italy. It was a great read and I finished it in a couple of days. I took along some knitting but only knitted a few rows. The cottage had wild raspberries all over and I picked a small bowl full to make jam. I burnt the first batch and took off for more the next day. Well.. the only small pan left was a cast iron and the whole batch of jelly tasted like metal. So... no showing off my wonderful homemade jam. Too bad. It smelled delicious.

Had a great time none the less. I can never sit still but managed to do so last week.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mom and Me

One picture today. It's pretty small cause I scanned it in from a photo on my desk. I wanted to put my Mom on the blog. This was 1997 in Germany. Wow - so long ago. Felt like yesterday.
It's very hot here in Chicagoland. 90+ and the air is really thick. I was going to run this morning but thought better of it. Besides sweating uncontrollably, the air is hard to breath.

I am training for the half marathon in September and still haven't gotten past the 5 mile run. Hopefully this Sunday I can run 8 miles without a problem. I have a Ipod shuffle and the music helps a lot. Just when you think you can't go another step, a great song will kick on and then I'm off again for another mile. It helps. So - Sunday's goal is to run 8 miles. Hopefully the air will be clearer and not so humid. Either way, I AM running.

Mom and my sisters kids are coming to Chicago Saturday and I need to find something to do that they will be entertained with. One year, we went to the Rain Forrest Cafe. Ugh! What horrible food they had. And way over priced too. I've turned them on to Thai food and as fussy as they are, they like it. Good thing too cause I will never go to one of those touristy places again.

I haven't sewn anything in awhile. Well... I did make a pair of laying-around-the-house shorts out of Bobby's old sweatshirt. They fit well but need a wider waist band. They are super comfortable. Totally serged. Only took about an hour and a half from start to finish. I created the pattern from a bikini - boy short pattern - Widened the pattern by one inch on both sides and an inch on the length. I added a 2 inch elastic waist band but it should be a little wider. Next pair will have a better waist band and maybe some pockets.

Summer is always so busy with the garden and friends and doing things with them. It takes away time from projects. I took off Monday and Tuesday to sew and start on the shoes again but instead, I baked goodies for the residents at the nursing home and that took up both the days. One day was picking and prep and the next baking and then visiting. I set everything up at 2:00 and by 2:15 everything was eaten and they were done. Off to play bingo. So, by the time I got back home to relax a little, the day was gone. I have to start a sewing project first thing in the morning. Have to break that habit. I should be creative anytime of the day. Oh well. I'm a morning person.

I have been trying to knit each evening. Instead of just sitting and watching TV, I bring out something to knit. I make kitchen towels/cloths cause they don't take long and my skills are knit purl and sometimes yarnover. I like it. My little sister is knitting now too. I mailed her some cotton yarn and bamboo needles. It's our therapy.

I'm at work and need to get back to it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Past Gardens

Pictures from our Balcony. The mini Zinnia's are only the size of a fingernail. The mushrooms were spouting out of a Dessert Rose plant. Below are the vinca's from a couple of years ago. We have a large pine tree that has shaded our balcony so I didn't grow them this year as they need full sun.

This is the garden from the Naperville public plot I rented for 5 years. I forgot how pretty it was over there. It's almost all a parking lot now or going to be soon.
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just some pictures for inspiration. Ducklings.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Some snap shots of the garden as of July 1st. Looking big. The pumpkin plant is really big. They are seeds the size of quarters and claim to grow a 1200 lb pumpkin. We'll see. I would just like one half the size. The Residents at the home would love it if we were in the news again with a giant one.
Well... Can't write much - making sausages on the grill and need to get back to it.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Virginia's Bag

One of our clients gave me a wonderful collection of thread. Rainbow of colors so I made a bag for her using all of the colors. Plus it gave me a chance to test out the stitches on my Kenmore. I don't use that machine much but it works for creative stitches. I got it for my birthday from Mom one year and I hardly ever get it out. I keep using my old singer instead. I really should use it more.
I took a bunch of pictures last night at the garden but the camera's downloading was giving me troubles. I hate that.
Well... it's a long weekend and I can't wait. Pool and sunshine. Maybe a little grilling. I'll try and sew something this weekend. Back at the shoes.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Watering the herbs. They are getting so large. I checked on the basil seeds and usually I have thousands of plants but NOT A ONE. I need to start some indoors or on the balcony and transfer them over. Hmmm - can't figure it out unless somethings eating the seedlings. A couple of the residents will be mad if there is no basil.

Here are the beautiful clematis. I had no idea that they bloom so large and long. Some of these flowers have bloomed for more than a week now. Amazing.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reed Family

Look at my sisters family. What a beautiful picture. It looks so pretty on the beach. Good going sister.

Garden is going crazy now. I had to water for a while last night. The weather is cooling down at night so I'm hoping the lettuce and spinach will make it.

The pumpkins, cucs, zucchini and melon seeds made it and one tiny leaf is up.

I'll take the camera over today and document the progress.

Have to go - write more later.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garden - Beautiful Herbs

Look at these Herbs! The chives are beautiful. I love the color of them. Right now - all of these came back on there own from last year. Even the flat leaf parsley and I was surprised by that. So anyways, currently in the wheel is Chives, Flat Leaf Parsley, Tarragon, Golden Marjoram, Tri Color Sage, Green Sage, French Thyme, Chamomile and Oregano.

I'll plant some basil, cardamon and curly parsley once it warms.

It was so peaceful there today. We are having a beautiful day here in Naperville so I spend a couple hours weeding and such. Spinach, Lettuce and some baby radishes. They are the cutest. I sprinkled dried blood (You can buy it called "Blood Meal") to keep the rabbits out. It works! They don't like the smell and leave the little plants alone.

This is just one side of the trellis. The clematis are getting very long and it has quite a few flower buds. I can't wait until they bloom.

That's it for today. I got back from a long work week in Vegas yesterday and need to just veg and watch a movie on TV.

Thanks for peeking in my garden.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


There's my little girl. She's looking mean in this shot.

Bobby sent it to me. Always brings a smile to my face.

The garden is being tilled today so I will take some pictures this weekend of the planting process.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back From Orlando

I'm back from my day job's trip to Orlando. Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando. Worked long hours but I'm home now. This is just a pic from the Internet that really doesn't do the place justice. It is beautiful. Not as impressive as it first was 2 years ago when I worked another conference there. Not sure what the difference was. I think the staff is not as caring as they once were. Two years ago it was better. Maybe it's the high foot traffic. I'm not sure. Things are just not the same the second time around. "Never as good as the first time" Song lyrics from Sade.
It was just for work but it's always nice to stay in a nice hotel. A treat.
Now that I'm home, I need to get focused on my shoes again. I cleaned up everything for the trip - even the sewing machines were put a way. I'm off this Friday so maybe I can start finishing some of the pair that just need hand sewing.
I'm having black dirt delivered today at the garden and need to get over there later and even it out. It's almost ready for tilling. Yes! I can't wait to plant peas, lettuce and spinach. It's supposed to rain this weekend and it would be nice to have it tilled tomorrow. Not sure if that can happen. We'll see.
That's it for now. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another baby animal. Too cute.

Well... I've gotten some top soil lined up for the garden and I'm very excited about that. The plot has a lot of rocks and last year it was hard to dig in. So with the compost and top soil, gardening will become much easier.

Off to Florida next week for work.

I'll post more on the garden.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Compost was delivered yesterday. I was so glad. Clay from Oswego delivered and I didn't need to wait all day either. I was so happy. He came with a duli pick up truck and him and his sister (I think) shoveled it onto the plot while I spread it out. They brought a cute little red headed girl and a puppy. They told me they have 17 horses. They were just the cutest family. It all took less than an hour and I was back home before 10:00am. That's the way to deliver! Now I just need some Black dirt and the Tiller dude and it will be ready for planting.

I love the garden. It made me feel like I lived on a farm (Which is my dream). The smell of the compost was the smell of a barn. I know I know. Some might think it stinks but to me, it smells of the fresh out doors. Relaxing and calming.

I did get a little sewing done too. I made a couple of tees - my size with an old 50's leotard pattern. Cutting out the pantie part. The first one was way too small but I resized it and the two I made fit well. One is cream with a little black thread design coming down from the neckline. The other is a light green tee shirt of Bobby's that I tore up. It came out pretty cute. I think I'll wear the green one today.

Now, the last thing on my list today is my 1/2 marathon training. I read the Tribune about a guy that is training for the 150 miler in the Sahara Dessert. Crazy but he walks everywhere and climbs a lot of stairs as part of his training. I am planning on walking the two miles to work this spring and summer on the off days that I run. I think that would get my legs in better shape as well as the daily routine. I'm not sure how to train for something like that except to run farther than I have been. But in the off days, I need to do something. Yoga and walking. That should do it.

Well... Happy Easter. I have to frost the carrot cake I made for Bobby's Mom. Cream cheese frosting. There is nothing better. Throw out the shortening and only use cream cheese.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This is a picture from Christmas - I think 2008. Elkhart Indiana at Rogers house. Father of Darla and Denise and the rest is their family. I love them all. It was a lot of laughs and silliness. Bobby took the picture so he couldn't be in it.

That's all I have for today. It's raining and the farmer should be bringing some manure by today. Sometime. The first farmer that should of delivered finally called and his hydraulics is out in his pick up. Poor guy. That probably costs a lot to fix.

I'll take some befores of the garden soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shamrock Shuffle 2010

That's me in the Yellow sweatshirt. HA

The photos are pretty small but I pilfered them from the marathon photo site. Ha It was fun. One minute faster than last year. Tons of people as you can see. I guess I was running with the pack. Chicago Loop and it was pretty cold at the start. Warming up for the year. It's the first race and what a thrill!