Sunday, October 14, 2018

Mid-October

Well Hi There!


It's late Sunday afternoon.  Soon Fletch will light the grill.  He is grilling steaks and also cooking potatoes on the grill tonight.  I'll make a salad - with Garden Lettuce!!!  Hard to believe we are getting lettuce now.  Wonderful.


Meanwhile, with all the tomatoes Fletch picked, I decided I needed to make ketchup - the tomatoes would not hold till next weekend when I am back home again.  So after breakfast (raspberry pancakes and sausage - yum!!), I got to work chopping.  Then things had to simmer for 2+ hours.




Fletch confirmed, by the way, that this particular variety of tomatoes is supposed to be orange.  Meanwhile, the results:




Five jars.  It was the perfect day to do this as it was in the low 40's when we got up and didn't break out of the 50's all day (yes, another grey, dreary one).


I did manage to finish the first electric rainbow sock on Friday. And start the second one!




The shot is more than a bit washed out - the sock is really much brighter and very fun!!  The second one will be traveling with me to Atlanta tomorrow.


Fletch has been busy pruning bushes close to the house (to allow more light in through the windows (it's Fall!!).  Every year he tries to find praying mantis egg cases to put in our vegetable garden - we often have contests to see who can guess when the babies will hatch.  Today he found one:




Well, I'm packed for Atlanta and ready to go.  I have a car picking me up at 8 tomorrow morning to go to the airport.  Truthfully, I am a home-body and I will be happy when this week is over.  As much as I loved vacation and my Sisters' Weekend, those two trips were too close together and then Hilton Head was thrown in the mix and now Atlanta.  Once I am home Thursday I am (I think) finished traveling till the Spring.  And that is good with me.


I'll try to catch up on your blogs while I'm out of town, but probably won't comment.  Wishing you all the best of weeks!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Three on Thursday 10-11-18

Good Morning!


I have the luxury of an extra hour plus at home this morning due to a dermatologist appointment at 8:40.  It's the perfect morning to be lazy...gentle rain just beginning - though much heavier rain forecast for later.  Gosh it is STILL HOT - 80 degrees at 6 a.m.  And HUMID.  However, there is the "promise" of Fall-like weather following this storm.  One can only hope.


Meanwhile, I thought I would share three things from the garden this morning.  We have several Burning Bushes on our property and none of them are terribly colorful (yet??).  Usually they start off by getting red on the top and then that gradually moves down.  This year, however, the one by our shed is trying to imitate a skunk!  It has a red stripe going down the side.




Next up are the tomatoes Fletch planted at the normal time.  When we left for vacation there had only been two or three tomatoes that showed up and they rotted on the vine before ripening.  When we got home this is what we saw:




Tomatoes all over (there were many more, but I have a HUGE bowl of tomatoes on the kitchen counter), but almost no foliage.  Weird!  Also weird - the color of the tomatoes - more orange than red.  I have not tried them yet.  Fletch had one and said it wasn't that great.  But, I figure I can use the bounty in soups and stews.  And, hopefully, make some fried green tomatoes!


Last, I love this picture of our picnic table.  The petunia had been hanging on our patio, but it was ailing/failing, so Fletch just plopped it on the table and put another hanging basket on the patio.  Again, we came back from vacation to find this gem blooming like crazy!  The little pumpkin is one of the volunteers we had and the bird statue is from a friend (thanks Carol!).




That's it for me today.  Hope you are all doing well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday 10-10-18

Good Morning!

How did it get to be October 10th?  Time seems to be going by faster and faster every day.  The sun is finally beginning to poke it's way out a bit.  Driving into work this morning, I heard it was 71 degrees and 98% humidity!  This is the way it has been for days.  So tiresome.  However, supposedly the weekend will bring Fall-like weather (highs in the low-60's, a bit of a breeze, and blue skies).

It is Heart Healthy Month and at work we are having "healthy snacks" on Wednesdays.  I missed last week since I was on vacation, but I'm curious to see what is provided.  Yesterday we had soft pretzels (not so healthy, but very good - lol).  And a group is going to walk at 11:30 today.  I've brought my sneakers, so depending on the weather I may join.  We have a lot of walking trails around our office complex.  We've also been encouraged to walk around our office (inside).  I think 5 laps or so is a half mile.

Also on the work-front, I am happy to report that the LD (Lame Duck) is happily back in Naples, FL (where he winters) and is enjoying retirement (even though he is employed through December 2019...wonder if I will be able to get that kind of package when I decide to retire - Ha!).  The LD replacement is prancing around and he has his first Division meeting next week in Atlanta.  The agenda actually looks good and we will be at Chateau Elan which looks like a nice resort (I've already booked a massage for Tuesday).

Meanwhile, on the knitting front.  I mentioned yesterday that I (finally) finished the Dragonfly (green) socks while on vacation.  Since I was meeting Dee for coffee on Saturday, I HAD to cast on something, so of course I cast on for more socks.  I did 5 rows of ribbing Friday night and was so tired I couldn't see straight.  Picked it up at the coffee shop and knit some and here is where I was before knitting last night:


These are plain vanilla socks (the yarn is so busy I didn't want to do a pattern) and the yarn is by Madeline Tosh in the colorway "Electric Rainbow."  What a fun knit!  I'm making these longer than normal - in the picture above there are 15 rows of ribbing and 75 rows of plain knitting.  Since then I have knit another 25 rows and I started the heel flap this morning over coffee.  I've been weighing the skein and don't believe I'll use half of it to finish this first sock.

Reading is another story.  Nothing seems to be engaging me.  I started My Brilliant Friend but found myself bored by the time I was close to halfway through it.  I started Women in Sunlight the other night, but am not feeling compelled to continue reading it.  I've like Frances Mayes' other books, but this one just isn't grabbing me.  Fletch and I are reading The Wild Muir and are enjoying that - the essays are quick to read (perfect for after dinner reading).

So that's my news.  Joining Kat and friends on this Unraveled Wednesday.  What's new with you?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Back From Vacation!


Well hello there!  It’s been a long time.  I thought I would post yesterday, but first days back at work can be rough, no?  This will be a long post with a bunch of pictures, so grab a cup of coffee or tea, or an adult beverage and sit back.

We had a great vacation.  It was just wonderful to get away.  The weather was pretty good the entire trip (only had rain one night and a few drizzles on a couple of days).  We did not see a lot of color (more in MA than in VT which was a surprise), but managed to have fires every night except the rainy one.  First we headed to the Woodstock/Saugerties area in NY.  It was a relatively short drive for us (3 hours or so) and we had time to set up our camper and then relax before dinner.  For our first night we had steaks and veggies done over the fire:



Don’t know if you can read the coaster on the table, but it’s one Fletch picked up last year and says:  “If drinking on the front porch counts then, yes, call me outdoorsy.”  LOL

Saturday we got up and headed out to Saugerties to the first of the four yarn shops we visited!!  This one was called The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea Shop



It was a very cute shop with a small selection of teas, mugs and yarn.  I did buy some gifts there, but the only thing for myself was a replacement tape measure.



From there we headed to Rhinebeck!!!  What a cute and fun little village.  Lots of boutique-type shops, coffee houses and restaurants.  We stopped in Al Stickle’s Variety Store at the back of which is the “yarn garage.”  A fun place with really nice yarns.  Since I knew I had two more shops to visit, I practiced major restraint and only came away with this skein of yarn.



A little sparkly and fun!

Our next stop was southern Vermont.  There is a very nice shop in Brattleboro, but since I had already visited there a few years back, we skipped it.  I wanted to get to the cemetery where my parents’ ashes are buried.  This was the very damp day.  So Much FOG.  This was driving up the road to the cemetery:



And there was one tree beginning to turn:



This is (to me) a beautiful place – nestled in the Green Mountains, by a river.  A few years ago Fletch was walking around and discovered a grave stone for someone who fought during the Boston Tea Party!  Anyway, I had a little chat with my parents who are doing fine.  It was misty/rainy, so we did not stay long.  That afternoon we managed to get in an hour’s walk along side the CT River.  And despite the dampness, we managed to have a peach pancake breakfast the next morning!



There is just something about food cooked outside that makes it so delicious!

Tuesday found us headed to Northampton, MA.  I had read THIS ARTICLE https://www.masondixonknitting.com/knitters-weekend-northampton-massachusetts/ by Gale Zuker on the MDK site and it was wonderful to find the places she mentioned.  Well, not ALL the places – I did not have that much time.

The first afternoon we went to Webs!  It’s big, but not as overwhelming as I thought it might be.  Everything is organized really well and the people are helpful.  The back really is like a warehouse with metal shelving and tons of yarn.  It’s the type of place where I should have had a list of projects and yarn requirements…but I didn’t…so I just got a few things:



The bottom two skeins are so soft and a lovely spruce color.  They are a blend of alpaca and bamboo and I plan to make socks for Fletch.  Those skeins were deeply discounted.  And here’s a shot from the front of the store:



It was starting to rain a bit and Fletch wanted some coffee so we drove to a coffee shop.  I spotted this tea that they were selling….not appealing to moi:



After that we walked a bit around Northampton and ended up getting subs to take back to the camper for dinner.  Neither one of us felt like cooking in the rain.  No fire that night – we stayed in the camper knitting (me), reading (both of us) and writing (Fletch).

The next day turned out to be beautiful.  We headed up to Montague and the Book Mill which is just fabulous!  ( http://www.montaguebookmill.com/)  Our timing was perfect for lunch at the restaurant (The Alvah Stone) and we were able to sit outside by the waterfall.  Our meals were delicious and I wish I had been in the mood for a drink.  Look at the cocktail list:



Here’s a shot of one of the rooms inside the Book Mill:



We each got a book and we bought some fun cards.  One of my favorites (from The New Yorker):



The day was still young, so we headed back to Northampton and the last yarn shop:  Northampton Wool.  What a lovely shop.  Lots to choose from and very welcoming.  I came out with:



The latest issue of Laine (FABULOUS!!!) and a fun skein of sock yarn (or course). 

Before heading back to camp we stopped at:



The Pie Bar in Florence!  We both had Salted Chocolate Pie and it was so good.  We also picked up some maple-nutmeg cookies for Colin & Mailing.

The next day we headed back to the Woodstock/Saugerties campground for one final night.  I managed to finish the 2nd green sock!!!



Our last night and I finished the one and only project I had brought on the trip!  I don’t knit in the car, so it all worked out just fine.

We got home on Friday afternoon.  Saturday morning I met Dee for coffee which was great (it had been too long since we had gotten together).  The balance of the weekend was playing catch-up with laundry, grocery shopping, etc. 

And…the weather has been pretty much awful since we got back – Humid, too warm (we ran the AC Sunday!!) – everything is damp and sticky. 

I’ve managed to start a new sock, but I’ll save that for another post.  Thanks for reading this LONG one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I Am So Ready....

Hello All,

I intended to post this morning...but best laid plans and all that.  Work became a bit busy (frantic?  hectic?).  Of course, this ALWAYS happens the day before I'm scheduled to take off.  C'est la vie.  I wanted to get to the bank today, but that will wait until tomorrow (in between packing stuff).  I'll pick up wine on the way home and we are doing some food shopping for our trip tonight - you know you have to eat well when you are camping!

So, where are we headed?  We are starting off by going to the Woodstock, NY area for a couple of days (I already have printed out a list of yarn shops and there is lots of antiquing to be done).  From there we are heading to Southern Vermont for some hiking and visiting familiar places.  After that we head down to Northampton, MA (home of WEBS!!!) for a couple of days.  Gale Zuker did a great piece on Northampton for MDK several months ago - lots of great places to visit and explore.  After that we will head back down to Woodstock and then home.  Weather looks like it will be ok for us.  If we get some rain, hopefully it will be on the days we are driving rather than hiking/exploring/shopping.

The second Dragonfly Sock is moving along nicely:


The cuff is 15 rows and then, so far, I have knit 30 rows on the leg/Pattern.  The first sock has 70 rows on the leg before starting the heel flap...so almost half-way finished with the leg!  This will be coming with me on the trip and I hope to finish it up pronto!

On the reading front I started a book last night that many of you have read:  My Brilliant Friend - it seems to be a quick and fun read.  Fletch and I are continuing to read the collection of short stories by Flannery O'Connor.  Last night's story was "A Good Man Is Hard To Find."  I had forgotten how dark her stories can be and how well she "drew" life in the South. 

Well, e-mails are still zipping in, so I'd best get back to work.  Wishing you all a fabulous end to the week...a wonderful weekend...and an equally wonderful week coming up.  I'll be back after vacation.  Most likely I will read some of your blogs on my phone, but I am not always able to comment.

Stay well my friends!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Fletch!!

Hi All,

Yup - today is Fletcher's birthday!!  I'm going to try to leave work early if I can.  He wanted a pineapple upside down cake, so I made that last night:


Yum!! 

The weekend was busy with cat feeding, etc.  I did manage to get a lot of cleaning done which was necessary - lol.  Now I feel like I can go on vacation at the end of the week (I hate coming home to a dirty house).  Colin will be on cat feeding duty for Tyg while we are gone.

Colin & Mailing did make it home safely yesterday and were happy to have dinner in the fridge for them.  The crawfish etouffee turned out well.  I think their cats are very happy to have their humans back home again.

The most surprising thing that happened is that I (finally) finished the first dragonfly sock AND cast on for sock #2:


I'm really enjoying this yarn  - both the color and the mix of fibers.

The temps have cooled here noticeably, but the rain continues.  Everything is soggy - including my brain!

I have a few busy days at work before I take off, so I'd best get back to it.  Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Friday, September 21, 2018

TGIF

Hello All,

TGIF!  and I just received an e-mail that our office is closing at 3 today.  YAY!!!  The sun is trying to poke out (after a sort of misty morning).

Fletch did double cat duty at Colin & Mailing's yesterday as I had to take Tyg to the vets after work for some more shots.  When I took him last month, he only received the rabies vaccine and the vet would't give him his other shots (distemper and feline leukemia) because we had to put him on steroids for his allergies.  So now he is good for another year.  His vet visits are more expensive than human doctor appointments!

Anyhoo...it was a very pleasantly cool evening last night and Fletch and I sat outside with a fire for quite some time.  The neighborhood was quiet and we had some music playing (Traffic and Renaissance this time) - so relaxing.  I can, however, smell wood smoke in my hair - lol.

The weekend will be busy.  Cat duty tomorrow and some grocery shopping.  I want to make crawfish etouffee for dinner and then take some over to leave for Colin & Mailing so they'll have something to eat when they get home on Sunday.  And, we need to plan meals, etc. for our upcoming camping trip.  We leave a week from today!  I am so ready.  Looking forward to discovering and exploring some new-to-me yarn shops!!

And just because it's Friday, here are the boys we've been taking care of.  First up Talbot:


And Marcel:


They are good boys, but I know they will be happy to have Colin & Mailing home again.

Wishing you all wonderful weekends - Enjoy!