Friday, June 17, 2011

Celtic Cross meets Dutch Pipes and Drums

Just a few photos from Milwaukee and our latest rehearsal.  Deb and Rob are hosting Willie and Jose (pronounced Josie or Yosie) from The Netherlands.  Willie is the Pipe Major of Dutch Pipes and  Drums and his wife, Jose, is a piper in the band.

Deb and Rob at Massed Bands, Milwaukee Highland Games

What it looks like from a piper's viewpoint in Massed Bands.

Pipe Major Ted Kerrn tunes Willie's pipes.

Playing in the circle.  Paula and Jose.
Willie, Paula, Jose

Ben,  Bill, Ted, Dave, Jean

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Red Shoes

I love red shoes.  These are my new gardening/rain clogs that are very comfy.  They are cushy inside and bouncy.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day in Our Town

A local funeral director has been the leading force in raising money to purchase over 500 flags for our town.  We've had flags for some time but not this number.  It was quite impressive to see the flags on the town square and lining both sides of Main St.  On Memorial Day there is a parade from the town square to the local cemetery, a distance of 2 miles.  The parade consists a color guard, high school band, various scout troups, mayor and city officials, and me, piping along the way.  We forgot to bring our camera so there are no photos of me for this year but picture one piper following a lot of Boy Scouts and you get the idea.  It was a warm day, bordering on hot and I have to admit I'm a little bit proud of myself for walking at a fast pace and playing my pipes for the two mile parade.  I only stopped playing for about 30 to 60 sec while a ran to catch up with the Boy Scouts.  It's a good feeling to be able to contribute to an event to honor our service men and women.

Friday, May 6, 2011


On Saturday, April 30th, our family gathered at my parents' home to celebrate the life of my dad and commemorate his ashes.  Mom read Psalm 23; I prayed; then we walked around the property he loved so much.  We spread the ashes around the plants and trees that he planted and nurtured; around the playhouse that he built for his 5 grandsons; where the deer come out to graze; and into the wind.  It was a perfectly beautiful day.  Although we are sad and will always miss him, we rejoice in his full and wonderful life.

The following appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Alton Telegraph:

Dr. Joe F. Emons died peacefully on April 27th 2011 at his home in Godfrey surrounded by his family. Born September 14, 1926 in Alton, he was the son of Dr. Walter W. and Helen (Finger) Emons. Dr. Emons moved to Godfrey at age 9 and lived there the rest of his life. His father was a dentist and the profession seemed interesting so after serving in the Army Air Corps he decided to follow in his footsteps. He attended Shurtleff College, University of Illinois in Galesburg, and St. Louis University Dental School, graduating in 1952. Dr. Emons practiced dentistry in Alton for 50 years, always finding his work to be exciting, challenging, and gratifying. In 1950 he married the former Shirley Zito who survives. Their children are Paula Emons-Fuessle and her husband, Robert, of Washington, IL, Gayle Joehl and her husband, Steve, of Chesterfield, MO, and Dr. Matt Emons of West Hollywood, CA. Also surviving are five grandsons, Torben Fuessle and wife Stacy of Midlothian, VA, Nils Fuessle and his fiancée Emily Bond of Kansas City, MO, Peter Fuessle of Los Alamos, NM, Andy Joehl and his fiancée Susan Larson of St. Louis Park, MN, and Eric Joehl of Evanston, IL. He was preceded in death by his sister, E. Joan Martin.

Dr. Emons’ primary hobby was racing sailplanes. He was always grateful that it was a seasonal sport so that he could pursue his other hobbies which included watercolor painting, machine shop work, woodworking, and woodturning. In February 2010 his art and life were featured in an exhibit in the Trimpe Building at Lewis & Clark Community College. One of his most satisfying accomplishments was that he built the home he and his wife shared for 42 years. It took four years of perseverance since he did all the work himself including carpenter work, plumbing, heating and electrical. Dr. Emons was a member of the International Wood Collectors Society. He was an active member of the Woodturners of St. Louis and was recently awarded their first commendation as a lifetime member. He was a member of St. Louis Soaring Club, Silver Creek Soaring Club, and the Soaring Society of America. He won the 15 Meter National Championship in Bryan, OH in 1976 as well as many other soaring competitions. Memorials may be made to the Alton Catholic Children’s Home, 1400 State St., Alton IL 62002 or to a charity of choice. Gent Funeral Home in Alton is in charge of arrangements.

In 1991 Joe wrote: When my time comes, please don’t have a funeral for me... I know the family will want to get together and console one another but try not to feel badly about my death; it is inevitable for all of us. Not many people can say they enjoyed life more than I. How fortunate I was to marry Shirley and to bring three beautiful children into this world. How many can say they flew with the birds, traveled extensively, built their own home, enjoyed many hobbies and earned a respectable living helping other people save their teeth. So no coffin, no grave, no services, just fond memories.


Sail away.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


For over a week now I have been thinking about what I learned from Dad.  Our dad was not the kind of father who lectured us. The lessons he taught were by example.  A quote by Benjamin Franklin appeared right below his obituary in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  "Well done is better than well said."  This is how he lived his life and taught us.

Thanksgiving 2010

The value of time.  He was always busy with work and projects, utilizing his time wisely.  When he built our family home he was working more than full time as a dentist and worked on the house in his off hours.

Perseverance.  It took four years to build the house because he did all the work himself including the cabinetry, electrical, wallboard, plumbing. If you walk in this home today you would not know it is over 40 years old.

Don't waste time thinking of "what ifs".  I can not remember my father EVER having second thoughts about a decision he had made and acted upon.  If things didn't work out, he just moved forward.  Mom says he lived each day as if the last had been torn off the calendar and the new day was still hidden from view.

Keep learning.  There are so many examples of how he lived this principal. When he was a young boy he took clocks apart and put them back together. In his work as a dentist he was always going to courses to learn new methods. When my sister needed orthodontic work my father was not satisfied with what the orthodontist was going to do to her teeth.  He researched a new method, one that did not require the removal of perfectly good teeth; went to lectures, courses, and conference, and then did the work himself.  My sister and I were the first of the "guinea pigs" but he later did orthodontic work as a sideline in his regular dental practice.

Laugh.  My dad had a very good sense of humor, a dry wit. 

Be humble.  So many times, especially in the past few days, we have heard how people appreciated Dad's humility.  Although he was quite accomplished, he did not brag about himself.  He became the dentist for many of the nuns at the Catholic Children's Home near his office and became a supporter of this charity.  He donated his art and wood work to their auctions.  Years ago a young man was brought to my father's office for dental work.  This man, a quadraplegic, had no family.  He was the only younger person living in a nursing home near my dad's office.  My father became his friend, visiting him regularly, cutting his hair, and bringing him on occasion to our home. As young children we were often taken along.  My brother remembers these visits quite vividly as he was probably the one who was most often taken along.  These acts of kindness were done without any fanfare until the young man died.

Be positive

Thursday, April 28, 2011


My wonderful dad died last night (April 27, 2011) at 9:19 PM in his home, the one he built with his own hands 42 years ago.  He died peacefully with my sister, brother, mom, and me at his bedside.  I feel honored that I was able to be with him at this time.  I will be sharing in the next few days or weeks as I feel the need to write some things down.  Thank you for all your kind words of comfort, and for your prayers.

Mom and Dad when they took us out for our anniversary last year.  May 28, 2010

Mom and Dad's 60th Wedding Anniversary.  August 12, 2010

Christmas card drawn and photographed by my dad.  That's me on the left, next to him, my brother Matt, and sister, Gayle.

Christmas Card made by my dad in the 1950's.
Dad teaching Bob how to turn wood on the lathe.  About 2 years ago.
Our family.  Christmas 2010

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Since this is my personal blog I am going to share what is going on now in our family.  My wonderful father has been suffering from Parkinson's Disease.  He was diagnosed in August 2010 but it had been going on longer than that.  Since the fall he has been rapidly declining.  Last week he readily accepted the doctor's offer for hospice care.  Hospice has been a huge blessing.  Last Friday he was barely able to eat.  Since Saturday he has been unresponsive although he did squeeze my hand when I talked to him.  Since Sunday there has been no response at all.  He has had no food or drink since Friday but he is comfortable.  My brother came in on Monday and we are coping as well as can be expected.  Our family has always laughed a lot and we manage to do so even now.  We know he would want us to remember good times and still have good times.  He has said many times that he has had a full life and is ready to move on.  Although we know he is not in pain, it is hard to watch him struggle to breathe.  We have learned a lot from Dad as he has dealt so graciously with his failing health.  Even when it came to the point that full-time nursing care was necessary to keep him at home and there was not much he could do independently, he did not complain.  He has even maintained his sense of humor.

Thanksgiving 2010

Flight Simulator Game on the computer with Torben.  Christmas 2010

Nils showing Dad his new book on National Parks, a gift from Pete.

Nils showing Dad his book.
So we continue to wait.  To listen.  To hold his hands and stroke his brow and talk to him.  I read Scripture passages to him on Sunday. We cry and we hold one another.  Sometimes we tell stories and laugh.

Spring has arrived in Southern Illinois.  The dogwoods that Mom and Dad planted are in full bloom.  I am looking outside at the fresh colors and listening to the white throated sparrows as they migrate through this area.  The song of the white-throated sparrow is one of my favorite bird songs and it is a comfort now.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Episode 41 of Knitting Pipeline is Ready, Set, Gauge!

Listen here or use the Flash Player for current and past episodes.

Visit Knitting Pipeline for complete show notes and more photos.  Topics include Clockwork by Stephen West, the finished Norwegian Setesdal Sweater, gauge swatch tips for the Estelle KAL, and a review of One Skein Sock Wonders edited by Judith Durant.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Episode 40 is called Wee Bits and Bites

Listen here or use the Flash Player here.

The show notes are on the show blog.

We have a giveaway for an adorable Hummingbird Project Bag from Three Bags Full.  Enjoy Free Shipping through April 2011 on domestic orders by using the promo code "piper" at checkout.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Episode 39 of Knitting Pipeline...Spring Peepers!

In spring I like to go to bed with the frogs and wake up with the birds.  The chorus of the small tree frogs rises up from the creek and through the woods, into the bedroom window, and lulls me to sleep.

Listen to me talk about Spring Peepers, more sock chatter, steeking, i-cord 3 needle bind off, and a Robert Frost poem.  Complete show notes are on the show blog with my new logo, designed by Emily!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Messy Corner

When I am in the middle of a project my knitting area can get rather messy.  Saturday I worked on the Norwegian Sweater shoulder and sleeves.  The sunroom has such good lighting for needlework.  It was too windy to sit outside.
See what I mean?

When it reaches this point I do get the urge to tidy things up a bit.  But not today...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Episode 38 of Knitting Pipeline is "Sock Chatter"

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Show notes are at Knitting Pipeline Podcast Blog.

Socks to be mended with the Darning Egg that belonged to my great-great-grandmother.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Episode 37 is about a Shawl Syndrome

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site.

Show notes are on the show blog, Knitting Pipeline.

I hope you listen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Episode 35 of Knitting Pipeline is about Comfort Knitting

Show notes are at Knitting Pipeline.

Looking for water fowl at Banner Marsh.  The sweater Bob is wearing was a Stash Buster, Norwegian Style, that I made several years ago.

Snow Geese at Lake Springfield from Dave Heinzel on Vimeo.

In the Sunday edition of The Peoria Journal Star there was an article about snow geese migrating through our area. After church Bob and I ate a quick lunch, gathered our binoculars, and drove down to Emiquon to witness this phenomenom.  We are so glad we did.   Although the video  I have posted is actually from Springfield IL, it does capture the wonder of what we saw.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Episode 34 of Knitting Pipeline is about Socks

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Show notes are at Knitting Pipeline Blog.

Topics include two sock techniques, nature notes, Faroe and Fair Isle, a book and product review.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Episode 33 of Knitting Pipeline is Of Lice and Men

Oops!  forgot to post last week.

Listen here or find all episodes in Flash Player on this page.

Show notes and photos are on the show blog.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, February 28, 2011

John Muir Documentary

I just stumbled upon this information this morning.  John Muir in the New World, a new documentary about one of my heroes, is going to air on PBS in mid-April to coincide with Earth Day.  The national airing date is April 18, 2011 at 9 PM as part of the American Masters series.  I can hardly wait!   I think I will be too engrossed to knit and that says a lot.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Little Fam Update

I have not updated as I have been battling with Blogger and photos.  I took photos with my new iTouch while I was at my parents'.  When I try to insert these into a post, Blogger rotates them.  I have tried everything I can think of including rotating them incorrectly so that when they are rotated by blogger they end up the correct orientation but that did not work.  See what I mean? 

This is Dee our Angel in Disguise.

Mom with her Broken Arm Fashion Statement.  I took this photo just 3 days after her fall.  She looks pretty good, don't you think?
The good news is that Mom saw the orthopedic doctor yesterday.  The bones are healing on their own.  He said surgery was optional at this point so she wisely decided to keep with the current plan and let the healing continue on its own.  Thank you so much for all your kind well wishes and prayers on her/our behalf.  We are so grateful for our friends, both far and near.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Last night went pretty well.  We had two nurses for the night, one for Mom and one for Dad.  My sister is getting a well-deserved break today.  We have a nurse here all day and Nathan, Dad's companion, coming later on. Mom is doing really well learning to fend with her left hand. Friends are bringing food starting tomorrow evening so that will be a big help.  Matt sent a fruit bouquet that we have been gnoshing on.

It is a beautiful day and I am listening to a cardinal singing it's "Pretty, pretty, pretty" song.  Yesterday it got up to 76 degrees and we sat outside on the deck for a while.

Before leaving home started on a very simple shawl because my other knitting, the Norwegian Luskofte, was too messy to bring along.  I needed something EXTREMELY simple for this time.  What is your knitting equivalent of comfort food?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Little Glitch in the Fam

Earlier this week Mom and my sister were out for a well-deserved walk.  Mom slipped on black ice and broke her arm in two places.  We are hoping she does not need surgery on her arm. My sister has been living here with them for several weeks and arranging the home help.  So now I am down here helping out as best I can.

It is a real challenge keeping our energetic Mom quiet.  Will keep posting here as there is news.  It is about 75 degrees outside and feels like spring!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Episode 32 of Knitting Pipeline is A Technique Betrayed

Listen here or use the Flash Player in the side bar.  All episodes can be played from the Flash Player.  Show notes are on Knitting Pipeline Podcast Blog.

Show topics include:

  • I have to make a choice between two favorite techniques.
  • I talk (again) about  Bald Eagles, Carolina Wrens, and deer.
  • Swatching Tips
  • Norwegian Luskofte (Lice Jacket) Progress
  • A free sock pattern from a listener and friend. 
  • A lovely Norwegian Bridal March

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Road along the Illinois River near Shade Lohman Bridge.

It didn't take binoculars to spot these two.

I played a funeral in Pekin this morning.  On the way home I detoured along the river under the Shade Lohman Bridge.  We've seen Bald Eagles here before.  I had the foresight to bring my binoculars and camera.  I was rewarded by a fine sighting of two mature birds (one a little more mature than the other) perched for a long time in a big tree along the road on my side of the river.  I also saw eagles flying above the river but this was the closest sighting I've ever had in the wild.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard 2011

Ready to shovel snow.

Bob filling the bird feeders.

Every tree had a snow sculpture at the base.

About this time our neighbor came over with a snowblower.

Episode 29 of Knitting Pipeline is called A New Favorite Bind Off

Listen here or use flash player in side bar for all episodes. 

All show notes are on the show blog Knitting Pipeline.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Episode 28 A Baby Surprise from Elizabeth Zimmermann

Listen here or from the Flash Player in side bar.

Show notes at Knitting Pipeline blog.

There is a letter from Elizabeth Zimmermann in this episode.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Episode 27 of Knitting Pipeline is Knitting is my Passion!

Download the show on iTunes or listen from the Flash Player at right.  All episodes are available on the Flash Player. 

Show notes are at the blog Knitting Pipeline.

Leave a comment to enter the drawing for Lorna Miser's book Faith, Love, Hope, Knitting.  It is reviewed on the show.

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