Sunday, January 11, 2015


I have a big family. Not so much immediate family - just 1 sister and 2 parents. But my extended family is just that - extended. I think we counted 21 cousins. I don't think there has been a time when the entire clan has been together in one place. It will probably never happen.

I have a few cousins that I haven't seen in over a decade. I have a few cousins that I really don't even know, have only seen a couple of times. We are spread all over the country.

A couple of my cousins tried to plan a reunion, but things fell through. Even though I wasn't going to be able to go, I was still disappointed. We're going to try again - make some different plans. See if we can get it to stick this time. It's going to be a challenge, but I think I'm up to it.

And any cousins reading this - please comment with any ideas you might have!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

For those of you who normally get a Christmas card from us, don't hold your breath. It's not that we don't like you or that we aren't thinking of you. It's just that time has really gotten away from me, and Writing and printing a letter, addressing and signing cards, and going to the post office (again) are just not high on my list of priorities right now.

So let this blog post serve as your official 2014 Christmas Card from the Baumeister family.

It was, to put it mildly, a trying year for us.

January came in with a bang - plenty of snow and cold.
Karl took the traditional New Year's Day bike ride.
Then the 5 month adventure of car repair began. I won't go in to the details, but let's just say that my January 7, 2014 prediction of "buying an engine off the internet? What could go wrong?!" hit pretty close to home.

In February, we said goodbye to our kitty Sally. Since we were down to just one cat, I filled that void with some foster kitties - a mama cat and her 5 kittens - later in the spring.

In May, Katrina marched in her first parade as a band member. Of course I cried the entire time! I'm so proud of her.
She has great form! Look at how level her horn is!
As predicted, Katrina has grown taller than her mother. She makes sure I don't forget it too.

I had carpal tunnel surgery in June.
Some of the foster kittens never left (securing my status as Crazy Cat Lady)
(L) Captain Fuzzypants  (R) Colonel Bogey

I actually followed through with my New Year's Resolution and knitted a sweater to enter in the State Fair. I finished knitting just before my hand surgery in June, sent it off for judging, and won a ribbon!

2nd Place!

In July, I started a new job. After eleven years of part time work, I am back working in a "grown up" job, and back in the field of veterinary medicine - sort of. I am a sales support person for a veterinary supply company. The adjustment to full time work has been a little rough. I really miss not being able to cook dinner every day, and it always feels like there are not enough hours in the day to get things done (hence this virtual Christmas Card!). But I am really enjoying the work I'm doing. I am in the equipment department, so learning about all the advances in technology has been rewarding. My co-workers are fabulous, which makes it so much easier!

The chickens are still clucking around the yard, all three cats get along like they are littermates,
I have time to bake on the weekends, and I did finally get my car back. Despite the trials and tribulations of the year, we're all happy and healthy. 

We may not have any snow, but I am sure we will have a Merry Christmas, and I wish all the same to you!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Finish Line!

One marathon ends, another begins.

The weekend at knit camp was uber-productive - with Kathy M's help, I got the blanket put together and half of the edges done. A mere four days later, the edges are finished, thus ending the knitting marathon.

There's just one week to go before the lucky winner's name is selected, and we're not anywhere near our fundraising goal! Every little bit helps - even a $5.00 donation gets you one chance of winning this beautiful blanket. Imagine a cold January night, snuggling with your Honey by the fire, under a cozy warm blankie, sipping hot cider, maybe a little smooching... Or how about just napping on the couch on a lazy Saturday? Yeah, you want this blanket!

Get out your wallet right now and give the Krempels Center a little love. I'll be forever grateful.

And the marathon that's starting? Christmas knitting! Socks. Mittens. Scarves. My fingers will be flying!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

In which I go west

So today I drove 6 1/2 hours so I could knit.

Well, not exactly, but yes, that's what I did. I'm currently in Nebraska, at Ponca State Park, in the Osprey cabin. Well, not exactly a cabin, more like a woodland palace. I mean the place has cable TV and Wi-Fi, for crying out loud! But I digress.

As a consolation for not being able to take my vacation this fall, I got to come to knit camp. Well, it's not exactly an official camp. There aren't any counselors or anything. But here I am, in the woods, knitting.

The drive here was really pretty boring. Once I hit Iowa, it was literally due west across the entire state. That part when I almost ran out of gas was fun. Well, not exactly fun. More exciting than fun. There is not a lot of civilization in Iowa. I was not sure I had enough gas to get to the next major city, so I took a chance and turned off into a town.

Well, not exactly a town. More like a grain elevator, a bar, 3 houses, and an unmanned gas pump. Luckily, it was a real gas pump with a credit card reader, so I filled up.

Then there was that 40 mile stretch when the 4 lane divided highway quickly became a 2 lane country highway. In that 40 mile stretch - one single town. And corn. A lot of corn. But the scenery was pretty - rolling hills, farms, manure...

But now it's lights out. Tomorrow is arts & crafts!

I love camp.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'm Not Complaining, But...

The season of shenanigans continues.

In the past 48 hours, these cats have:
  • Stolen and eaten a whole pancake
  • Eaten through the foil and well in to the carrot bread on the counter
  • Eaten part of a twist-tie
  • Spilled about a gallon of water
  • Attempted to eat out of the cereal bowl while I was still enjoying my Mini Wheats

And picture this:
I'm standing naked in front of the closet, trying to find something to wear. No, wait. DO NOT picture that - I don't want you to have to deal with that mental image.
Anyway, I'm standing at the closet, and The Captain leaps from the bed behind me to my shoulder. Apparently he wanted to help me choose which pants he would be covering with cat hair today.

But they have also been adorably cute and cuddly, so that totally makes up for it.

See how adorable?

In other news, I'm making progress on our blanket for the Krempels Center. Three more squares arrived today from Australia, and I'm expecting the last batch from Seattle tomorrow. Donations are trickling in. Help me spread the word by forwarding the website to anyone you think might be interested in a beautiful hand-knit blanket.

And that reminds me, I've got some knitting to do!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Little Late-Night Excitement

First off - Don't forget to make a donation to the Kremepels Center so you can have a chance to win a beautiful hand-knit blanket. Just click the "Donate Now" button to the right

And now, on to the story:

Last night, about midnight, the cats were having Wrestlemania IV on the bed so I kicked them out of the bedroom, and they continues their festivities in the hall. Just as I was finally drifting back to sleep, one of them starts going nuts at the door - I'm pretty sure he was chewing on the door. Karl got up to deal with the troublemaker, and to visit the loo. It was quite a while before he came back. He poked me and said "Hey, you'll never guess what happened!" Well, that's not something you like to hear at 1 am.

Karl said he heard the boys fighting, but when he got up, he only saw one kitten. Understandable, since Bogey is blacker-than-black and pretty much invisible at night. But then he heard a distant meow. He followed the meow down to the basement. He checked the office - nope, but he was getting warmer. Next stop - the furnace room. Yup. He was in there somewhere. Karl looked behind the furnace and didn't see him, but he was definitely in there - meows were much louder - coming from INSIDE THE FURNACE. He pulled out the air filter, and out came Bogey! Somehow, the kittens wrestling knocked the vent cover off the cold-air return duct in the hall and Bogey fell down the duct. Never fear:
  1. We have a tiny 1 storey house, he was unhurt.
  2. The furnace has not yet been turned on for the year
  3. Bogey wasn't phased in the least.
We credit Captain Fuzzypants for alerting us to the situation, so they both got let back in to the bedroom for the rest of the night. Bogey snuggled right up and went to sleep. The Captain brought a toy and kept me up for another hour.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Moving along...

The seasons are moving along at a nice clip. We had some snow flurries last night (supposedly - I didn't see them). The leaves are falling, the chickens are molting too so it's a mixture of leaves and feathers in the back yard.

A few weeks ago, we took advantage of a beautiful day and went apple picking. The tiny trees were loaded, and it only took a few minutes to pick 20 lbs of apples!
Notice my award-winning sweater!
I volunteered to be Karl's support at his cyclocross races. 
He had a little "incident" at the race in Lake Geneva.
That's NOT where the seat belongs, Karl!
We also went to see the pros race in Waterloo.
Both Jeremys in one shot!

Katrina doesn't enjoy cyclocross as much as her parents do.

Katrina tried out for Jazz Band at school - she worked really hard on her audition music - we'll find out on Monday if she made it. She's also joining the 8th grade "bucket band" for the upcoming talent show. I'm not really looking forward to her practicing that music at home.

I tried out a new look for our LMS dances - Rosie the Riveter. I think it's may favorite because it's the easiest. Jeans, a denim shirt, red socks and loafers!
Yeah, I know - the purple hair clashes with the red bandanna.

My grandmother's name was Rose, so I think it's fitting...