Okay, I’m done now…

I think I’ve bought enough for now. It’s time to start paying it all off now :). I’ll use them all, make no mistake. I’ll enjoy them all and I’m grateful to have had the means to buy them. But I now have everything I need (and a few things I don’t). It’s time to concentrate on doing things for others now. This is going to be an awful winter – time to knit hats, scarves and mittens for the less fortunate. Time for more preemie caps and chemo comfort caps. Time to give back to the world using my small talents in my little ways.

I’m done now..


Things that have no name

I don’t know the name of this mountain. It’s on the northern edge of Glacier National Park. It might even be in Canada. But this is my symbol for things that I don’t know. Oh, they aren’t all this grand (or this cold!), but everything is to scale. At least I’m trying to make it so…

I plan to retire next year. Right now it’s my driving force. Exciting and scary at the same time. And it will be a constant climb up this mountain – maybe even slogging through snow, I don’t know. And, for a control freak like me the not knowing is the scariest part.

Do you know how much rents are these days? Holy crap! Now I know why old people have to chose between groceries, meds and paying the rent. I worked many years for minimum wage, or sometimes holding down 2-3 part time jobs. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I really had any money to start saving and a 401k through work. I’m 64. All I’m going to have is my SS from all those low wage jobs. It’s kinda scary, man. But I just can’t face another year of work – not at a job I’m growing to hate more and more every day. The sad part is that I know why I’ve come to dislike it so much, but there’s nothing I can do. If I could find a place I loved, like I did the original company (before all the buyouts) I’d keep going. But, unfortunately most of the stuff I love are in low-wage industries (library work, crafts, photography) if you can actually work in them gainfully to begin with.

You can’t even be a librarian without a Master’s degree (man, I should have kept going on that). Good luck trying to sell any photographs in these days of the internet and iPhones. I don’t mean wedding photography or portrait work – nope. No people, please. And crafts? I’ve watched my sister go to craft shows every single weekend for over 35 years. Most of them she comes home with less than $300. That may be okay for a supplement, but not to live on. Although, I think I may have a plan to sell stuff that might work – the key is to churn stuff out fast and, as a knitter I’m just not there. Not when it takes me months to knit a simple shawl. But a couple knitting machines might be the answer to that… and a flock of pompoms…

9Terrible color in that shot… 🙂 I still have some of that yarn left, come to think of it – it’s some of my hand spun.)

So that’s where I am. With an edgy, nameless fear of the unknown and that big mountain. Hopefully there will be a trail.

And maybe snowshoes!

Just Spitballin’

That’s what we say when we don’t really have much to talk about, but we want to say something. Could be because we’re bored. Or lonely. Or, like me right now, there’s just something that’s churning and, even though it hasn’t formed yet you got to get something out.

I guess that tonight I’m lonely. I’m homesick. I miss Upstate NY – the only place that has truly felt like my home. I may have been born in WI, but I just don’t feel like it’s my home. I don’t know that I ever did. I was always happier… away.

That photo was taken in Stillwater at one of the Hudson River locks near the Battlefields.

This is Ballston Spa – here I used to live. Looking down the hill from Cunningham’s Laundry. I lived half a block from here in a converted old Vic in the historic district. East High St. I’d load my laundry into my ‘granny grocery cart’ every Sunday and walk over to Cunningham’s. Sometimes, if I was there alone Mr. Cunningham would spot me a couple washes or spins in a dryer. I think he had a crush on me. 🙂 It’s a lovely little town. I’d never lived in a small town before and I loved it instantly. It was truly a place where everyone knew my name.

I often struggle with the idea of moving back, but that would be like trying to capture lightening in a bottle. It was a place, yes, but it was also a time. And the time is what I’ll never be able to recapture.

<sigh> Now I’m a body without a home.


I’m finally warm!

This was the view from my porch tonight

Yes – I’m sitting on the porch this evening after work spinning….Barefoot. Bliss! Not too hot (76 degrees F). Humid, but with the lower temp, bearable. Clear skies. And I finally felt warm enough to go without socks or a shawl. (The fiber is Dyabolical in color way Jo Rides a Motorbike) It’s supposed to get warmer with a small chance for storms this weekend, but I will continue to try to not complain about the heat.

I did finish spinning that braid – the two bobbins look different but that’s just because of the way the colors came off the braid, nothing special that I did.

So, there will be plying this weekend. I am seriously considering going out to Delafield on Sunday to Knitch for their spinning group meeting. I wish there was somewhere closer, but the local Guild – which meets close by at the Library – only meets during the day on Friday. I still work full time, so that isn’t possible for me. So, if I want to spin with company and hopefully learn then Knitch is it. I will report out if I manage to get there.

And then there’s this


So this happened. A brand new, shiny toy. I’ve been finding myself wanting to work on my computer, but not wanting to sit at the desk. I’m here 8+ hours every day working – I need a break from this area. Not that I want to lounge on my Lazy Boy and slurp beer while I write my blog – although that isn’t a bad idea. I just want to get away from The Desk. So, since my dislike for all things Windows is so well known I thought I’d get a MacBook Air. Isn’t it pretty? It’s like a shiny piece of jewelry. And I pimped it up, too – 16 M memory and a 1TB hard drive. This baby is fast – not just all looks and no brains.

But, that isn’t the only thing that’s been going on. There’s been a lot of this in my life…


That’s shiny and pretty, too. Its a BFL-Silk fiber that I’ve been spinning. I’ve been kind of on about silk lately. I’m working on this braid and also some Polwarth Silk from Raven Ridge that I’m hoping will be a sweater. This one I don’t seem to have the best control of – I keep getting little bumpy neps (?) in. I think it could stand some additional prep, but I honestly am not sure what to do with it. The outside of the braid has lots of loose, slightly abraded fiber strands that have pulled away – so do I take those ofF?  I’m leaning that way. Or do I try to spin them in, which is what I have been doing rather clumsily. Then the neps – I pull them out when I see them, but I’m not sure that’s right. I so wish I could find someone to spin with that’s close by. Someone I could ask questions when they occur…

And then there’s this – IMG_0844.jpg

Lately, when I spin or knit he sites up there and observes. I can’t say ‘watch’ because he’s too grave for that. No – he gets that look and it’s like – Nothing to see here – I’m just observing… Snot. 🙂

I keep doing this, don’t I?

LOL!! Every year I say I’m going to write more, and every year I log in to see that another year (or more) has lapsed between posts. Well, here’s something new – how about I just write when I feel like it.

So, I was relating a kind of funny origin story the other day and I thought y’all might enjoy it.

I was born on October 11, 1955 – a birthday that I share with an absolutely incredible lady: Eleanor Roosevelt.

I have no such claim to fame. I’m just me, but I was born under rather hilarious circumstances.

I am the youngest of three children of Ruth and Harvey Dettmann. My two older siblings are boys – Terry who was born in 1947 (and who has his own funny birth story which I’ll share at some point), and Greg, born in 1950. Terry clocked in a around 7 pounds, Greg over 8  – I was 5 – barely. I was a tiny baby from all accounts, which probably explains what happened.

Late at night on October 10th Mom started having indigestion and back pain and asked Dad to take her to the hospital. The boys were staying with Gramma and Grampa, so Dad got up, put Mom and her bag in the car and drove her to Deaconess Hospital. They never even took her to a room. ‘You’re fine Mrs,. Dettmann – that baby isn’t due for another week. Go home and get some rest.’

So Dad took her home.

For an hour.



Finally on the fourth trip – right around 3 am on October 11th, just as the nurse was telling her the same story, Mom sits up and yells at her ‘You’d better take me up right now, or I’m going to have this baby right here!’

I was born in the elevator. on the way up to the delivery room. They say I almost squirted right out onto the floor but luckily the doc caught me.The time of my birth on my birth certificate is 3:44 am.

Here I am with Terry – who was 8 – so you can see I’m fairly little…


The Bees need our help!!

I’m devoting my post today to the wonderful and talented Samantha Troia. Sam and her family are the geniuses behind Bumblebee Acres Farm – indie dyers and caretakers of a lovely flock. I’m a huge fan of their work, which is why I’m sharing this with all of you.

Help Sam

Hello All My Fiber Friends!

This is Sam Bee here, writing to you to ask you all for your help this Holiday Season.

As you may know, being self employed comes with many struggles. This year we have worked harder than ever, and as a result we have brought more joy to all of you, and many others, through yarn and fiber. We are grateful and blessed for the opportunity. From the bottom of our hearts, thank your for all of your love and support this year.

It is in the spirit of love that I write this email to you, asking you for just a little more help during the season of giving…

Some of you may know that I am a Type 1, or Insulin Dependant, Diabetic. Your can read some of my story here. I have struggled for nearly 15 years with the constant ups, downs, and side effects of diabetes. Finally, the medical community has released a medical advancement that will allow me to sleep through the night without fear of not ever waking up again, help regulate me to the point where I no longer worry that each high glucose reading brings me closer to losing my eyesight, limbs, or other organs.

The problem is that my insurance does not cover the cost of this new Insulin Pump and Continuos Glucose Monitoring System that will change my life, so I am asking all of you for just a little help. Purchasing my “Joyful & Cozy” Patterns  costs you only $5. I know this is a good handful of money, but it will give me a night of sleep, a target blood sugar reading, or even another day designing patterns or simply being alive. If you could part with $3, $10, or even more… you can donate here .

Thank you for your time, your support, and your continual love. I would not ask this of you if I did not truly, desperately need it.

All the love always,


Please help if you can…

The next exciting thing…

I had a visitor!!

Kari comes to WI

Kari came for a visit in July! You know, when you’re separated by distance you don’t realize how much you miss someone until something whops you upside the head. All the Facebook and email just can’t replace talking to someone, seeing their face and giving them a hug. I’m a firm believer in hugs, but the way. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before.

So, when Kari came for a visit to my little WI world I was determined to show her as much as I could in the few days we had. So, when I picked her up from the train station in Chicago, rather than going to the freeway I decided to travel all the way up Lake Drive. We saw some really interesting things. Like this temple (?)


I turned a corner and it was just there. Totally unexpected in a northern Chicago suburb, but beautiful!

Also on the way I had to take her past the SC Johnson Co in Racine. Yes, the Frank Lloyd Wright building. We didn’t go inside (I actually have never been inside. Someday…), but we did check out the theater…

And also the lakefront…


One day spent driving and hanging out in Door County – even took the ferry to Washington Island. I was hoping to stop at the shop at Siever’s School (fiber arts – weaving, spinning, dyeing, knitting… lots of classes!) but they were closed when we got there. It was pretty dark and rainy, too. On the way back to the dock Kari went for a short hike to a small beach and brought me back some pretties! And the views were awesome.

And the clouds broke on the way home gifting us with a rainbow…


Unfortunately I only got one decent shot at Devil’s Lake State Park. Kari went on a climb along the bluffs that surround the lake.


All too soon it was time for her to leave. On the way back to Chicago and the train station we made one final stop at Illinois state Beach. What a desolate place that it! Probably nicer when the weather is better, but when we were there it seemed mighty deserted. I wouldn’t want to go there alone…


I hope she comes back for another visit! I was so wonderful having her!

Okay – no excuses….

I’m just going to share all the stuff that’s happened since my last post in bits and pieces. There’s really no other way to do it 😛

Let’s just start with the first thing that consumed the entire spring for me: SEATTLE! Gosh but I love it there – enough to put up with the rain and move. But I know it would not be either practical or affordable. I’ve been talking to Becky about it for a while now, because I think she’d be a natural in either Portland or Seattle. Lots of activity, the freshest seafood EVER and lots of places to hike and run. For me – lots of yarn shops, natch! So we decided to plan a trip out there together. She’d drive out from Missoula and I flew in from MKE. Since this was a long flight (nearly 5 hours) and I could afford it I decided to go First Class. Big difference! Holy schmoley! They still serve a meal, on plates with cloth napkins and free drinks. I haven’t been treated like that since the old days, when flying was special and you actually got dressed up (like Sunday best dressed up) to do it. Of course, there really wasn’t a ‘First Class’ section back then – not for a few years anyway. You always got a meal and you always got at least 1 drink. 

That was taken out the window…

It was an awesome week! Sushi on a conveyer belt, pizza that was way too spicy, shellfish that you beat into submission with a mallet, more sushi and even a trip to Red Robin (another company that I did not know had it’s origins there).

 All that fantastic food! 
Yeah, we did the touristy stuff – top of the Space Needle, Dale Chihuly Glass Museum and Garden, Ferry ride to Bainbridge Island (there was an actual purpose for that…), Pike Place Market..

Plus, Becky got to do a run and visit Runner’s World and REI. I got to about 6 yarn shops and we went to Mt. Rainier National Park. And the ferry ride to the Island took me here: 

Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Really cool Island burger joint

Now the trip to Mt. Rainier was great! You can see that mountain from most of Seattle – it’s just there, y’know? You’ll be driving on the freeway and round a bend and WHAM – there he is! And he was visible most of the time, rather than wreathed in clouds, so we decided to go out. Of course is was foggy when we started. We were driving along and you couldn’t see much further than 50 feet from the car in any direction. Becky was ready to turn back, but I kind of said ‘hang on – let’s see if it clears’ (because the same thing happened the day we went to Glacier). Sure enough, about half-way up to the visitor center the skies went bright blue and the views were spectacular. Now, this trip was the end of May/begninning of June and there was still a 12 ft snowpack on the slope next to the visitor center. Now I understand those old photos of Sun Valley and people skiing in shorts! 

That was fun and beautiful!

View from the top of the Space Needle

Houseboats on Lake Washington

Dick’s ‘Life Changing’ burgers

Biscuit Bitch – it’s a thing

View from the ferry



The Fremont Troll

Beer – it matters

I only wish I had been feeling better – we could have done so much more! But I was suffering from (I later found out) severe bronchitis – nearly hacked up a lung! 

But, even with that – gosh it was fun!



I like having choices, but sometimes they don’t come out quite how you expect them to…

Like these yarns. I got a request from Becky for more socks, but she was very specific – had to be the same pattern as the first ones I made (VBM Clue Socks), in the same yarn (tosh sock – she has good taste) and in a cream color (she specified filtered light – cream with a dark fleck). I initially offered her a choice of the three skeins above – the only ones I currently have in my stash that have any sort of cream in them and none of them are tosh sock. The only tosh fingering I have right now is green – like her first pair. I especially like the one on the left – Zombie BBQ… LOL! But no, not quite enough cream in them. So I get to go to the yarn shop – big hardship, I know 😀

I’m actually so very pleased that someone out there likes my knits enough to actually ask for some! I mean, I’m never sure if, when I knit a gift it’s something that the person actually likes and will use. The only other request I have on my table right now is a pair of mittens for my sister-in-law. But I need to get to the shop and get some batt for the thrums. I made her a pair of nice thrummed mittens which she loved, but she lost them. No problem making another pair, I just don’t get to the shop that carries the batt that often.

So that’s 2 yarn shops to go to Saturday! Choices… it’s all about the choices!