Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Donald Stephen Amsler 1938-2013

My beloved father passed into the presence of his Lord at 8:30p in Monday, November 18, 2013 after a brief illness.

We are all stunned at the loss.
Dad was the first born of D. Wayne Amsler and Elizabeth Mortensen Amsler and we assume that he was in charge of the scene from the moment that he exited the womb. Dad was always in charge. In fact, Grandma A. remarked one time that it was either send him to school at age 4....or kill him.

College at 16 years of age. Medical school and marriage at the age of 20. Father to moi at age 21. Father to Pilot Man at age 22. He was always busy and on the go.
Proud veteran.
A love of cars of all sorts.
A fantastic physician who was beloved by his patients. And just a bit more on that, I can tell you that when we traveled it was not an uncommon thing to hear a voice say, "Dr. Amsler! I thought that was you!" You just don't expect to meet a patient as you exit an Amish furniture store in Amana, Iowa.....or a beach in Hawaii....or Europe.
A man out standing in his field.

Sorry, I just had to say that. And really that is my brother's field.

Dad was always ready with a joke or witicsm. Even on the weekend before his death, when he was so very ill, he was still cracking jokes. Having an oxygen mask on your face is no excuse for not doubling the ICU nurses over in laughter.

Small furry animals who dared to dig in his landscaping or under his deck had reason to be fearful. He was the master of the baited trap.
A photographer of some skill, many were the trips when we were required to stand in front of some unusual sign in some obscure town and take a picture. Dad would set up the camera, set the timer and then run into position.

As you can see I was SO EXTREMELY happy to have my photo taken. Somewhere there is a photo, similar to the one above, taken in front of a sign for Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

You can just imagine how I LOVED having that photo taken.
Married to the love of his life for 54 years. What a testament of marriage. They traveled the world from China to Romania to Russia to Florida and many points in between.

Dad was always available to help in any way that you needed. Research, advice, a joke, a glass of wine. He was there for you. When Shoe Queen had her car accident on the Tri State tollway Dad and Mimi dropped everything, went to get her, checked to make sure she was OK and the put her on a plane for home.
He was just too many things to list here.

He was my beloved dad, my champion, my fellow book lover and beer aficionado. Sender of articles on obscure and fascinating medical topics. I know that our parting is only temporary. He is no longer in pain, free from illness, surrounded by his parents and other friends who have gone on before.

I was blessed to be able to speak to Dad about 20 minutes before he went home to Jesus. We were able to say good bye and tell each other that we loved each other.

I couldn't ask for a better last conversation.

But oh how I will miss him until I see him again.

I love you Dad

Thursday, November 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes….Or Not

Hi all. If you have wandered over here expecting to be dazzled by my weekly blather then I am sorry for your disappointment. As you can see there are no Quick Takes from me this week. I am currently on the road, traveling out to see Parental Unit Papa who is currently in ICU and is very sick. I am sure that I will be back next week with a plethora of bon mots to keep you occupied and amazed.

Or not.

Obviously this puts paid to my grand NaBloPoMo plans this year as I do not expect that I will be blogging until some time next week.

Say a prayer or two for my sweet Papa who is really very sick at the moment.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Another LAMMA Wedding

Folks it has been that kind of day. I will tell you about it sometime.

I really need to think happy thoughts at the moment. So lets talk WEDDING! Weddings are happy things.

And I love weddings where someone has thought outside the box so to speak. That was yesterday when Lyn and Russ got married at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

I realize that you may not care two hoots and holler about the next bazillion pictures and explanation.

But….yeah, you know I am going to write the blog post anyway.


The wedding was in the middle of the afternoon on a TUESDAY. Needless to say, HHBL could not attend. This is my “date”. She happens to be the momma of TMO’s BFF who is pictured below practicing for her musical part in the wedding.

I think I have told you before that Al and TMO took one look at each other across a crowded 1st grade room and decided to be BFFs. And then they went home and told their moms that they had to be BFFs too.

And we are.

And that was ENTIRELY too many acronyms in one paragraph. I apologize but YOLO.


Lens envy

Can I just say total and complete lens envy. She had superior camera bodies which doesn’t bother me as I am completely in love with my 7D. But I might perhaps have thought of mugging her in the parking lot for the lenses. I restrained myself because she was very nice…but it was a near thing.


TMO and Al breaking the tension of the moments before the bride appears.


So typically Lyn. A BEAUTIFUL dress, no veil and her bouquet! Guys, her bouquet was made out of succulents!!

Succulent bouquet

So unusual, which would then be so Lyn.


And the BACK of the dress! The number of wedding attendees was small but you should have heard the OOOOOOs and AAAAAAAAHs from all the women when they got a good look at the lace and buttons in the back.

Eyes only for Lyn

Russ had eyes ONLY for Lyn. He looked like someone had koshed him over the head when she walked in the door. I am going to assume that he never looks that way when he flies a plane, just when he gets married.

IMG_5437_aIMG_5440_aThe Kiss a


Now lets EAT!

And may I say that……

2013-11-12 14.19.35


Yum cupcakes

A wedding reception that serves me Cold Beet Salad, Grilled Asparagus, Profiteroles stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey, Gelato, cupcakes and all other manner of yummy delicacies is a wedding reception that is well done in my humble opinion.

They had me at Cold Beet Salad.


Of course we had to take a picture or ten of LAMMA. You know…..



TMO’s wedding.

IMG_7067 copy

Al’s wedding

Mama Lamma

And then all the LAMMA mommas. Dang I love these girls.


As a final we had to have the leaping up in the air photo that LAMMA ALWAYS seems to need to do. The official photographer got the better picture, but she acknowledged that it was my idea and that she hadn’t ever even thought of it but would employ it from now on.

I can live with that.

And then I went home and had a glass of wine to recover.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Was Inevitable

It has snowed.


Not like we all didn’t know that it would happen. It is hard to avoid snow when you live in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. I will admit that I am hoping for a tad bit less of the white stuff since we have moved to the “south” side of Cleveland. But I had TWO people gleefully tell me last week that Brecksville often has it’s own little snow belt happening in the winter. All I can say to those people is….


Thank goodness the first snowfall here at new Chez Knit was a beautiful fairy wonderland that will melt quickly.


I know I missed blogging yesterday which makes two days in November (or maybe more, I am afraid to count). I am a NaBloPoMo failure this year. My only excuse was that I was on the phone quite a bit yesterday and the txt msgs were flying every which way and it just wasn’t going to happen. Other family concerns sucked up the small amount of brain bandwidth that I produce on any given day.

And can I say that it shouldn’t take an illness in the family to be the impetus for me to actually talk to a cousin on the phone.

HI KRIS!!!!!

Now off to a wedding….on a Tuesday….in the middle of the afternoon.

I love people who think outside the box!

And who get married at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Last

The Last of the Leaves

Yesterday these leaves were all blowing happily in the wind. And today they are all gone.

Winter is coming.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Gotta Be Me

I hate having my picture taken. Loath it actually. Perhaps that is why I am much more comfortable on the other side of the lens.

But today……

I had to practice some lighting. I have a job this week that will require lighting skills, and I needed practice. Yes, I could has HHBL to sit for these. He will be modeling for me later in the day, after his bike ride. But I wanted to set up the lights and at least experiment.

And the only person to experiment on was myself. And in the interest of always being an open book I will just put these out there, fat face, neck wattle, double chin, crazy hair and all.

Self Portrait 1Self Portrait 2Self Portrait 3Self Portrait 4Self Portrait 5Self Portrait trueSelf Portrait wattleSelf Portrait laughSelf Portrait silly 1

Hopefully by Thursday I will have the head shot lighting basics down. And then the good Lord only knows where I will go.

And if you had to ask me which of these lovelies that I actually like……..

It would be #1.

Friday, November 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol 236)


November is upon us. There are only 46 days until Christmas. Yikes!

You know the drill. When you are done blather shopping here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of  my fast approaching holiday panic, over to Conversion Diary.

Blather that knows no bounds.

It has actually been a relatively quiet week here at Chez Knit. I did have two dates with my boyfriend. We shared a romantic snack of organic Cheerios and milk.


And while he napped I became obsessed with taking photos of the toys.

Don’t judge. You know that is the way I roll.

I produced English Muffins for the first time last night. When I have the procedure a bit more perfected I will blog the whole thing. I can see that you are enormously excited.

I will say that I didn’t use the best dough for the experiment. I knew it wasn’t going to be totally right because I decided to make the muffins at around 4p and so didn’t have enough time to make the right dough. I used the pizza dough that I happened to have in the frig which meant that the muffins were a bit on the heavy side but still worked for making “Mommy McMuffins”.

The actual baking process for English muffins is stinkin’ easy, you can do it in a cast iron skillet on the stove top.

I will keep working on it and report back when perfection is achieved.

Can I just say that it is SOOOOOOOOOOO nice not to have to blow leaves. HHBL has actually enjoyed his Fall for once. He took a bike ride on Sunday and enjoyed himself immensely. If we were still at OCK we would have been outside for hours on end with the leaf blowers and the rakes, moving all of those pesky leaves into the woods.

I was in the old neighborhood on Wednesday and saw all the leaves that have yet to be moved in all the different yards and just wanted to shout with joy.

Cluster home bliss.

I have new photo “toys” to play with. Not something as over the top exciting as a new lens (maybe next year??) but lighting. Lights and backdrop.

I wasn’t really going to buy any lights for a time as the need isn’t always there for a lighting set up. But I have a photography job next week, shooting 70 head shots for a group of young entrepreneurs, and I have to be able to control lighting and background.

Hence all the lights on stands and the backdrop. Well, the backdrop is actually waiting to be ironed but I will be playing with everything later today one would hope.

And now my little, shriveled, post-menopausal brain is just bursting with ideas about how to play and use.

Who knows what I might come up with.

Dang I love photography.

Because it has been a bit of a slower week (despite the babysitting and a luncheon) I have embarked on more organizing in the basement. Or as we call it here at Chez Knit….

The Woman Cave.

My office has slowly been descending into chaos and I cannot function in chaos. So yesterday, as it rained outside, I put things away and wound stray balls of yarn left over from projects, filed knitting needles that were accumulating in the wrong places and cleaned off BOTH of my desks.

And then, because I don’t have ANYTHING else to do (note the sarcasm there) I decided to rearrange things in my Ravelry Library. I have A LOT of knitting patterns and books scattered here and there, many things that reside on my computer but are not reflected in my Ravelry library.

You might be scratching your head and wondering why that even matters.

You must not be a knitter.

Having everything reflected in one place that is easy to access and review just helps me to be more efficient. I couldn’t remember what patterns I had stored on my hard drive and I was tired of switching back and forth trying to figure out if I already had a pattern or needed to buy it. This also applies to yarn stash but I am not even thinking about that yet.

My little post-menopausal OCD brain couldn’t handle all the uncertainty.

But this is a huge project and won’t get done in a day. I have been a Rav member since Beta testing days and have many patterns.

But it will get done!

My other big cleanout project looming on the horizon is the unfinished portion of the basement.

When we first moved into Chez Knit the “unfinished” side of the basement was an unholy mess. At my instruction, the movers yuck patooie put a vast number of misc boxes down there. There was a Mt. Everest of corrugated paper receptacles that mocked me. I managed to bring a small semblance of order to the chaos…..

But not enough.

And so, when Thanksgiving is completed, I will be down there trying to find all the boxes of Christmas decorations. And when I have pulled all those boxes out then I will rearrange everything else into something less like a hoarders house and more like a place where I can find something without having to stand there and scratch my head and think,


Wish me luck.

Fall Leaf Morning

I wonder if the neighbors have yet adjusted to seeing me laying down in the middle of my driveway, or the middle of the sidewalk, taking pictures of stray leaves.

I am sure I will be the topic of neighborhood gossip at the Christmas party.