Wednesday, August 13, 2014


We landed in Grand Forks around 11:00 and hadn't eaten a thing all day so we went to the Blue Moose Bar And Grill in East Grand Forks, Minnesota for lunch.  We had a great meal and the inside is decorated so nice.  Lots of wood paneling and a rustic feel.

Our nephew Wayne, nieces Susann and Carla with my sister Ann and brother in law Edmund.
 Our great nieces and nephews. Back row:  Kayla, Adam, Rebeca, Ann and Ed, Sara, and Blaze.  Front row: Gavin and Lindsey.        

The day after the party we headed for lakes, Northwest Angle Lake of the Woods.  We stopped at Karlstad, Minnesota for breakfast.  Turns out the local phone company, Wikstrom help this small town get back on its feet and had a local artist paint a mural on the wall of the cafe.

Most the people in the area of Scandinavian decent.  The mural is lovely.

Also a beautiful Scandinavian costume.  Also included in the small museum attached to the cafe were loads of early telephones used in that area of Minnesota.

Finally arrive at the lakes after some 60 miles to the nearest town, going  through Canada and the last 30 miles gravel roads.  Like they say between the gravel roads, the mosquitoes and the below freezing in the winter it keeps the riff raff out.

Brother in law Ed's new Man Cave. 

Just some of the inside which is very nice and comfortable.

I caught four of these little walleye, one crappy and a clam.  Do you think it was worth the cost of my fishing license ?  Just a very good thing everyone else caught enough for our supper because this one needed to go back to its mom.

The funny part was that Ed also caught a couple of small walleye in the same place.  We kind of thought we were a school of them.

As always we were happy to be home but so thankful for everyone who made our trip so much fun.  Starting with our daughter Dawn who took us to the airport in Baltimore, Annie and Ed for putting up with us taking us fishing and Annie cooking the greatest meals, walleye and one of very favorite meals, cream peas on toast, nieces and nephews who did all the party plan so I didn't have to lift a finger except to enjoy myself.  Thanks everyone.

Friday, August 08, 2014


 Last month my sister, Ann and my bother in law Edmund Jiskra celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  We wouldn't have missed it for the world. They were surrounded my load of family and friends. 

 My niece Susan Barclay, nephew Wayne and his wife Serena did all the work.  Making out stand food and decorated the yard. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.  Nice and warm, light breeze and no humidity.  Didn't Susan do a great job at getting the photos together and framing them in a black and gold frame?

 Marvin Jiskra (Edmund's younger brother) and I stood up for the happy couple.  Here we are 50 years older.  I was thinking it doesn't really matter what we look like just that we all could be together to celebrate.

A photo of me, hubby Bill, Ann and Ed.  I would have more photos to post later when my dear sister sends my camera to me.  I left it at the lakes in Minnesota.  More about that later.

Annie send me home with three of her many pieces of Polish Pottery.  She has quite a collection and I only took what I was sure would make it safely back home.  We all know how the airlines handle your luggage.  I don't want to get into to that now.  We made it home and were so happy that our luggage did to.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


After a couple of months with only one vehicle we decided to purchase another one.  Just easier if I need to go some where without Bill or he goes hunting for a couple of days and I'm at home without any form of transportation.  Its a 2008 Suzuki.  So far I like it even if its the smallest car I've driven in a long time.

On the needle is lace I'm knitting with some fine wool yarn.  Much easier in the warm summer months than something knit of bulky wool yarn.

Flowers are blooming like crazy.  Orange lilies at my sign.  So pretty.  I love orange and not far from them is,

my lavender.  Smells so good.  I'm fight the bees for some to dry.  I think they're winning.

Clematis is all but finished blooming.  This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago.

I love the clear yellow of the caucus.  So pretty against the green.

And good old rose hips.  No only is the bloom pretty but the smell is amazing.

We had fun this week.  We came home last Sunday with everything knocked off the window seal   on the big windows in my studio.  Of course the poor cat got heck for it.  Next morning Bill went to use the phone book, opened the cupboard and a squirrel runs across the kitchen and down stairs.  That evening it was in the bathroom and ran into the bedrooms.  We closed all the doors and   chased it around and opened the front door.  Did it go out?  No. Did the cat chase it?  No.  We set a trap with corn and next morning the corn was all over the downstairs floor but the trap was still in tact.  Off to Tractor Supply we went and bought a smaller trap and some peanuts.  Luckily we caught it that evening but still can't find where it came in.  Fingers crossed it does come in the house again or we'll have to either shot it or call an exterminator.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


I had some corriedale roving that I wanted to dye so decided why not use the left over Kool Aid I had around the house. Fist I soak my roving in some water and vinegar.  I'm not sure on the exact measurements.  I then  mixed up four colors (wish I would have had some blue) orange, lemon-lime, lemon and grape.  I mix 1/4 cup of vinegar to one cup of water for each dye bottle.  No rhyme or reason just put it on the roving.

I then patted out as much water and dye as I could and wrapped the roving up and put it in a microwave safe bowl.  Set the timer for 2 minutes and let cool and repeated  three more times.  You want to set the dye but not cook the roving.  After it was completely cooled I rinsed the roving and the water ran clear.

I dried it out side so it looks a little washed out but we had a nice breezy sunny day and it didn't take long to dry.

After I rolled it in a braid.  I love doing that.  Not that it mattered much since I started spinning the next day.

Singles on the bobbin.

Plied and ready to knit.

Update on my dryer balls.  They work good but sure are noisy.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


I've been wanting to make some dryer balls.  I should have taken a picture before I put them in a nylon but forgot to.  But I'm sure what you know how to make yarn balls.    First of all it has to be wool or wool mohair blend (Lamb's Pride) and second wound tightly.  As you can see each ball is secured with a tight knot in the nylon.

I think I washed them at least five times in very hot water with detergent.  I could tell when they were done when the space between each ball in the nylon was quite a ways apart and if you look closely you can see just how much they did felt.  They end up being very heavy so out in the sunshine they went today to dry off.  I haven't use them yet but hope to next week and will follow up with the results

My first attempt at actual needle felting.  Not perfect but no snowman is.  I might have to get new twig arms since they don't match very well but that can wait. I think I'll try it again.  I like it.  Has anyone else tried needle felting?

This my hint at starting an infinity scarf.  I attached these little plastic safety  clips to the cast on edge and made sure they were hanging down before jointing my yarn.  So simple and it works for me every time.

Finished scarf.  I probably cast on 200 hundred stitches, knit 3 rounds, purl 3 rounds until I have the desired width.

Flea marketing last week.  Yup two more Polish pottery coffee mugs.  This time I am actually using them unlike the rest of my collection that's just sitting around and collecting dust.

Last week I put new sheets and comforter on the bed.  Chub was watching me the whole time.  I could not believe it when later found her on the bed.  To be truthful I didn't think she could jump that high.

Sunday, May 04, 2014


I have two recommendations today.  First is Tom Knisely book "Weaving Rag Rugs".  Tom has been teaching spinning and weaving at The Mannings.  for over thirty years.  He also helped the television station cover the Pennsylvania Farm Shows Sheep to Shawl every.  The book is wonderful.  Easy to understand and well written even if you're not weaving a rug.

My next recommend are audio books.  I get downloads for our counties library system.  They don't have everything and some times you have to wait your turn which is not problem since you're not paying a thing for the download.  I can't tell anyone how much I enjoyed my last book, "The All Girl Flling Station's Last Reunion" by Fannie Flagg.  I laughed, cried and learned so much.  I listen to my little and very inexpensive (less than $40 at Wal Mart) Zen Stone.  Great to use when spinning and weaving.

Have a nice day, Barb

Friday, May 02, 2014


"Its May, its May the merry month of May".  And it couldn't come soon enough for me.  Does this mean we've seen the last of the snow for awhile?  I sure hope so.  Our arborvitae standing guard to protect us from the south wind and to help with a little privacy.  They sure are getting big.

I took this picture of our azalea this morning in the wind.  So nice to see them again.

And it wouldn't be spring without our good old crocked tree coming out.  The branches are so great for flower arrangements.

Mindless knitting.  Another circular scarf in a wool blend.

I found this turban pattern at Raverly "Twistin the Night Away"  It works up so easy and sure is cute.

Something I haven't made in a long time, Carrot Cake.  I haven't been doing a lot of baking lately since Bill and I are the only ones around we end up eating the whole thing.  The platter the cake is on is the same as the picture and bowl.  Bill bought me a set of  very yellow dishes from Sears well over 35 years ago and I'm still using them from time to time.  Problem is they are very heavy and very large.


4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Beat eggs.  Add sugar and beat until well blended.  Add oil and all other dry ingredients; beat until mixed.  Last add carrots and walnuts.

Grease and flour a "bundt" pan and pour cake batter into it.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out dry.


8 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 lb (1 stick)butter
6 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix cream cheese and butter, add sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cake.