Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday - 06/28/17

Hello All,


Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday.  How did it get to be the last week in June?  I feel like I may have missed most of the month!!


Luckily there has been no unraveling this week.  There also has not been a whole lot of knitting...but I did finish one old stitching WIP (posted that yesterday) and pulled another long-forgotten sampler out of the (huge) WIP pile and am working away on this:




This is Sailor's Huswif by Darlene O'Steen (now out of print).  I love Adam & Eve samplers (despite my aversion to snakes).  I had stopped working on this after the row of letters, so I am making progress.  It is a very long sampler though with several sections after the current one (I need to add Adam & Eve to this section and then will move on to the next).  I am just going to stitch the sampler, not make it into a huswif.


I am still knitting, but my gradient shawl is taking so very long to do!!  And the color changes are too slow for my taste.  When I manage to take a lunch break during the work week, that is what I work on.  I need to step it up as I'm anxious to get on to other things.


On the reading front, I have finished 4 books for Summer Bingo.  I'm in the middle of "The Nix" right now which I am finding ok.  It's not a book that I feel compelled to pick up every chance I get, so it has been going slower than I like.  I have several on my Kindle that I want to get to that I think will go faster.  Even though it is Summer Bingo, I don't view it as a contest.  One of my biggest pleasures with the whole Summer Bingo thing is seeing what others are reading and getting recommendations (because, you know, one can never have too big a TBR list - lol).


Cheers to a happy mid-week to everyone.  What are you working on and reading these days?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Weekend Wrap-Up


Hello All,

 

How is everyone?  I ended up feeling craptastic on Sunday – light-headed and nauseous…not sure what was up as it wasn’t really hot and humid.  In fact it was a lovely day with low humidity and temps in the 70’s.  I told Fletch I thought I had done too much cleaning – LOL.  Anyway, I ended up not sleeping Sunday night, so I stayed home yesterday.  The day was beautiful and finally by late afternoon I felt “normal” – whatever that is.  So I went to yoga!

 

But, backing up…Friday night I went out to the garden to pick lettuce for a salad.  Fletch had told me we had a volunteer pumpkin plant in one of the raised bed boxes.  He failed to say how BIG it had gotten:

 


 

On the way back, I couldn’t resist some shots of our Trumpet Vine which is magnificent this year.  The blooms are so beautiful and we are starting to see the hummingbirds appearing. 

 




 

There is a downside to these plants though.  Our backyard looks like a Trumpet Vine jungle sometimes.  I swear, Fletch will mow the lawn and the next day there are 6” shoots of Trumpet Vines ALL OVER the yard!!

 

Fletch had picked some broccoli from the garden, and here are our salads from Friday night.  (Mine is the one in the back – the brown stuff is actually balsamic vinegar.

 



 

Looking tasty, right?  Well, after I had a couple of bites, I looked down and saw a fairly large green worm in my bowl.  I’m proud of myself for not losing it (and my meal) completely.  And, thank God it was a full worm and not half (LOL).  But, I had to spit out what was in my mouth and couldn’t eat after that (hey – it’s a diet plan).  This has happened before, though I’ve actually cooked a worm or two when steaming broccoli.  Obviously, Fletch needs to do a better job of checking produce prior to bringing it inside.  This is also why I’m not really in favor of worm-attracting plants in the garden.

 

Saturday was spent running some errands and making cold salads (chicken salad and broccoli salad – made with store bought broccoli mind you) for dinner.  Sunday, before feeling crappy, I did make a peach Dutch pancake for breakfast.  These are so easy and so yummy!

 



 

And, I wrapped up Sunday by finishing the Mary Glover Sampler!

 



 

Not the best lighting - or setting (on my ironing board), but it is nice to have a WIP finished (especially one that was started in 2011!!).  Love the birds and stag at the bottom.

 

Meanwhile, this morning has been slightly crazy at work and I’ve got to get back at it.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.

 

PS  I love the saying on the sampler:  “Away from fools I’ll turn mine eyes nor with the scoffers go.  I would be walking with the wise that wiser I may grow.”  Scoffers cracks me up every time.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Ramblings

Hi Everyone,


Ahhhh...the weekend is just about upon us.  It is a grey morning here in Eastern PA...rain is showing on the radar just west of us.  Hoping it will take some of the humidity away when it comes through.


Last night Colin came over for dinner and after eating, we drove over to his office (which is a huge campus).  He belongs to the garden club at work and has a raised bed box which is really nice since he and Mailing live in a townhouse and have no property for a garden.  Last year he had half a box which he shared with a co-worker.  This year he decided to expand a bit and take an entire box.  Unfortunately, the folks who had his box last year didn't do anything to improve the soil, so he has got that chore this year as well.




He has two cucumber plants at the front, eight various hot peppers in the middle and four different tomato plants at the back.  One of his tomato plants has little tomatoes on it and with the exception of one (the ghost pepper), all of his pepper plants have peppers.  It really is nice that his work offers this space.  There are about 13 or so raised beds (they built two or three this year).  Folks are growing strawberries, lettuce, green beans, cukes, etc.


This works out well for him - he gets in early enough in the morning that, after turning on his computer, he comes out to the garden to weed and water.  He sometimes checks on things at lunch too, but usually he goes for a walk along the Perkiomen Creek.


And, that's what we did last night too, after checking out his little garden space.  We walked for about 45 minutes along the Creek.  Lots of geese by one of the dams and right near the path a group of 6 adult geese and 3 goslings (which are getting so big).  It was muggy and hot, but it sure felt good to get out a move a bit.  When we got back to the house, we all sat out on the patio and watched lightening bugs.


No weekend plans here - just the usual chores - laundry, grocery shopping, etc.  Tyg says it's best to have no plans when it's this muggy!




What are you up to this weekend?  Whatever it is - enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Unraveled Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice Everyone!


Actually I heard on the radio that for our area (Philadelphia), yesterday and today were almost exactly the same amount of daylight -- just less than half a second difference.  I'm all for more daylight.  I'm not so much for muggy temps.  But this morning is beautiful and I'm only working till 1 or so (eye doctor appointment at 2).


So, here's what's up with knitting, stitching and reading (joining Kat and friends):


I finished the rice stitch section of the Mary Glover sampler. 




There are some birds and a stag underneath this and then it will be finished!  Happy-happy.


On the knitting front, progress on the shawl continues.  I think this is going to be very, very long!




The colors are progressing, but I'm not even close to the darkest blue.  So far I've done a little over 25 repeats of the 12 row pattern -- that's 300 rows...plus...some set-up rows and I'm into the 26th repeat.  It's very pretty, but getting heavy in my lap.  Makes me wonder how it will feel around my neck, but I'll worry about that when I finish.  If it doesn't work for me, it will make a nice gift for someone.


Everything seems to be taking longer to complete, but I think that's just a function of working on more than one project. At least I'm not getting bored.


Reading is progressing too.  I finished The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths - the latest in the Ruth Galloway series.  These are perfect summer books - fun and easy (i.e., very fast reading).  Ruth Galloway is a professor of archaeology who is frequently called in for forensic work.  This is the 9th book in the series.  If interested, I would definitely read them in order.  I'm now reading The Nix and have South of Broad and The Other Einstein on my Kindle.  I'm on the waiting list for a bunch more.  Hopefully I'll have a book bingo before long!


What are you all up to on this Summer Day?



Monday, June 19, 2017

Garden Stuff and Happy Mail

Good Morning All,


Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Ours was stinking HOT.  Oy!  The humidity was nasty.  Luckily by Sunday afternoon a bit of a breeze popped up for a little while.  Today strong thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon with possible flash floods.  Hopefully yoga will still be a go tonight.


Saturday I took the car in for an oil change.  I was looking forward to "found time" in the waiting room, but as luck would have it, I was out of there in under 30 minutes!!  We had on and off-again showers all day, so in between the drops, I picked up wine, went to the library and did grocery shopping.  Nothing too exciting.


The mail, however, brought a lovely surprise from Kim who has more contests than anyone I know.  Look what was in my fun package:



Cute knitting girl socks, some darning needles (sorely needed) and a great little journal that will be perfect for knitting ideas, etc.  Thanks Kim!!  (Twiddle Mitt yarn in the background)


Father's Day ended up being so-so.  We met Colin & Mailing at a restaurant for brunch/lunch.  It's a place we've been to previously and enjoyed, but Fletch didn't like his meal and thought the restaurant was way too noisy.  As Colin said, "a failed Father's Day."  I think everyone was a bit addled by the heat and humidity.


I did manage to do a small amount of knitting and a little bit of stitching on the sampler I unearthed from the (large) WIP pile of stitching.  But no pictures of that.  Instead how about some garden produce?  First up the Hungarian Wax peppers are beginning to produce (onions in the background - both red and white).





Our red romaine lettuce is Out of Control!  It is so tall and despite the heat it has not gone to seed yet.  We can't eat it fast enough.



We also have Oak Leaf lettuce, Arugula and Butter Crunch Lettuce for salads.  All are producing really well.


And, for a pretty picture, here is the window box outside our kitchen window.  Fletch just picked up the petunias last week and they are gorgeous cascading over the box.  Love them!!




Hoping everyone has a wonderful week!






Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday


Hello All,

 

Joining Kat et al once again for Unraveled Wednesday.  But, before we get into Wednesday, let me back up and say what a great day Tuesday was!

 

It started off with no work because ooopppsss, no computer.  I ended up having a “me” day.  I spent the early morning hours knitting and having coffee, then headed out for a mammogram (that was not the great part – lol – but I consider it a mandatory appointment each and every year).  I must say they are getting better at scheduling these things – almost no wait time for me!!  When I got home, Fletch and I ran out to do an errand.  On our way home we drove through Norristown which is not the nicest area.  We noticed tons of news vans – CNN, NBC, ABC, etc. and then remembered this is where the Bill Cosby trial is going on.  Lots of folks milling around the courthouse as well.

 

And then the afternoon…I had a pedicure (I can’t even remember the last time I had one) and then had my hair cut (just trimmed…nothing major).  A new thrift shop – more upscale – just opened next door to where I had my hair cut, so I peeked in there.  I didn’t end up buying anything, but saw lots of nice stuff – a lot of clothes from Loft, Michael Kors bags for $45, Coach bags around $35, etc.  They also had a lot of Vera Bradley bags and I thought one of those would make a great large knitting project bag.  And they were only $14 - $18!!  Everything was spotless and in perfect condition.  Many items still had original tags on them (i.e., Loft pants with a tag of $80 or $89 were selling for $12!!).

 

Later I sat on the patio with Fletch sipping wine.  We spotted our first hummingbird of the season – it was drinking from the feeder we have hanging on our clothesline.  And, perfect timing, new flowers have emerged.  First, our trumpet vine has started to bloom:

 



 

The hummingbirds love the trumpet flowers.

 

And our 7 Sisters Rose has started blooming as well.  This is a climbing/vine-like type of rose we have growing around the tree where our clothesline is attached.  Fletcher’s Mom gave us a cutting years and years ago from her yard, and her plant(s) came from the farm in the country where she grew up.  I love that we have a plant that was both Fletcher’s Mom’s and Grandmother’s.

 



 

After relaxing a bit I made wings for dinner – YUM! Carole  had posted about the wings she made over the weekend, so I tried that recipe.  Boy are they good!  And, there is plenty of the dry rub left.  We were thinking it would be particularly good on shrimp or fish.  I had also tried a recipe from the latest Bon Appetit for pickled beets and radishes – they were AWFUL.  Luckily I had asparagus to cook.

 

Let me tell you, I could handle having an extra day off each and every week.  It was wonderful.

 

So, on the unraveled side, there was no unraveling this week!  I did manage to get about 15 rows done on the shawl and I worked some on the cross stitch piece I shared the other day (Mary Glover).  I’m surprising myself having several projects going on.  In the past I have always been a one-project person, but now I find myself working on 3 different knitting projects (shawl, socks, twiddle mitt) and a cross stitch project.  And, I’m enjoying the variety!  Go figure.

 

I also finished “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles which I loved.  Very different from “A Gentleman in Moscow,” but good - he writes so well.  I haven’t seen/heard of any other books by him…hoping another one comes out eventually.  And, I started another book and am about a quarter of the way through it.

 

Oh, my new computer did arrive (finally) around 10 a.m. this morning (I shouldn’t have come in at my normal time – I had nothing to do until my new machine was hooked up!).

 

 

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday Already??

Good Morning All,


Here we are at Monday morning again.  Where did the weekend go?  One thing for sure - the heat arrived - 90 in the shade on our patio yesterday afternoon.  More of the same today and tomorrow and then a cooling down.  According to my phone, Thursday will only be a high in the low 70's.


No progress pictures of knitting, though I did work some on the shawl and the sock.  I did, however, finally drag out some stitching to work on.  This is Mary Glover which was an SAL I participated in -- believe it was back in 2011!  I stopped working on this so close to the finish and I can't remember why (probably just got tired of it and moved on to something else).




There are just some spot motif things after I finish the rice stitch band.  I hope to get this finished in June (more likely July).  I stitched a small item on Saturday which I am going to make into a pincushion (you can see where I've pulled out a linen thread all around the design to mark where I will stitch backing fabric).




Can't get this one to turn around....


Fletch and Colin made it down to DE and picked up the desk.  We delivered it to Colin's Sunday morning.  Meals were easy over the weekend - we ordered out Chinese Friday, went to a Mexican restaurant on Saturday and yesterday had shrimp and pasta salad with lots of fresh veggies in it.


Tyg is not fond of the hot weather.  He stays in the shade (or in the house).  Yesterday he was lethargically rolling in the grass (practicing his yoga stretches):




And, to keep you cool, here is a picture of part of the water feature Fletch built at the edge of our patio.  Just hearing running water makes me feel cooler!




The spout is from bamboo that we have growing at the back edge of our woods.


I won't be at work tomorrow as I will be without a computer.  My computer gets shipped down to the home office in Charlotte today, they will transfer all my stuff to a new one and ship that to me Tuesday for delivery Wednesday.  Not much for me to do without a computer.  So, I scheduled my mammogram for tomorrow morning and the rest of the day should be found time for knitting/stitching/reading! 


Hoping everyone's week is off to a great start!







Thursday, June 8, 2017

Yikes!!

Yikes Everyone!!  It was 48 degrees (F) at my house this morning.  People!!  It is June 8th.  What's up??


(Of course, the fact that I am talking incessantly about weather makes me feel really, really old - LOL)


Meanwhile, nothing much going on today.  It is encouraging that it is almost the weekend.  Colin will be over for dinner tonight - Fletch is going to grill hot and sweet Italian sausage and we'll have onions, mushrooms and peppers to go with.  Probably some tomatoes as well.  And a nice baguette for Colin and me (Fletch doesn't eat white bread if he can help it...but there is a whole grain croissant or a ww roll for him).  Over the weekend I made some oatmeal butterscotch cookies (very, very yummy) and an apple-rhubarb tart kind of thing with puff pastry.  There are leftovers of each.  So, not much for me to do tonight in the way of prep which is very nice at the winding down part of the week.  I can just pour a glass of wine and enjoy!


Saturday Fletch and Colin are planning to drive down to Delaware.  My brother and his wife just moved there from Pittsburgh and they brought several items for Colin.  First up a hunting bow that my uncle had made (not strung, and I think Col plans to use it as wall art).  The second item is a desk that my grandfather made.  We have a dresser that he made - solid maple that I use to store my fabric.  No one else in the family wanted the desk and my brother and SIL don't have room for it in their new home.  I'm so glad that Colin wants it.


Once they pick it up, they'll need to take it to Colin's to unload.  I won't be able to go since the back seats of our car will need to be down in order to fit the desk in the car.  Ooooppppsssss!  That means a free Saturday for knitting, reading, stitching, whatever.  I'm looking forward to that.


Last night after dinner Fletch and I settled in to read a bit.  As I mentioned the other day, we are reading Winter's Tales - a collection of short stories by Isak Dinesen.  Flipping through the front of the book I noticed this last night:




I just found it interesting.  Don't believe I've ever seen this in a book previously.  The copy we have is hard-backed and is from my Aunt's home in Vermont.


Well, it may have been 48 degrees earlier, but the sun is out (amazing) and it is warming up.  Supposed to get to 75 by the afternoon.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday in June

Good Morning All,


OK, It is June 7th and this morning I had to turn the heat on in the kitchen when I came down to make coffee AND I used the heat in my car driving to work.  What is wrong with this picture????  Mind you, it's not freezing (as in 32 degrees or lower), but it was in the mid-50's and damp.  Next week?  We are supposed to be in the 90's.  Our roller coaster continues.....


Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.  There was not a lot of progress on the shawl, and none on the socks since last Wednesday!  But, here is a picture of the shawl where it is easier to see that the gradient yarn is blending nicely.




The reason I didn't get much done on this or the socks is that I spent the weekend making a Twiddle (or Fidget) Mitt to send off to Kathy B .  This is the BULKY yarn I used




Of course I forgot to take a picture of the Mitt itself, but it turned out much larger than I thought it would - LOL.  Bulky yarn plus BIG needles = sore hands.  I want to make another, but I have to take a few days off.  The smaller yarn in the plastic bag to the right is what I used to make pom-poms (my first ever!!).  It was fun to decorate the mitt with fidgety stuff.


On the reading front, I finished a book (The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher) for my first Bingo square.  This will probably go on the square for a book over 500 pages.  If you haven't read it, it's a great story.  I had never read anything by the author, but I may look for some more.  Last night I started reading "Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles (author of "A Gentleman in Moscow").  I really enjoy his style of writing, and Rules already has me engaged just like Gentleman did.  Fletch and I have been reading "Winter's Tales" by Isak Dinesen after dinner - a collection of short stories.  We're almost finished that which will also count for a Bingo square.  There are about 4 more books from the library queued up on my Kindle (all of which are due back within a week or so - ha!).


A mid-week check in.  What are you up to knitting-wise and reading-wise?



Monday, June 5, 2017

Checking In


Hello All,

 

Good Weekend?  I hope so.  Mine was full of relaxing times…some cooking, going out to breakfast, long naps both days, some reading, some knitting.  It was nice to have nothing whatsoever planned.

 

The other week I had been thinking about the “Possibilities and Dreams” I had posted near the beginning of the year and then Nancy did an update to hers just the other week.  So here goes:

 


 

  1.  I think I’ve gotten a bit better at both yoga and knitting, so that’s a plus.
  2. I’ve shared a few pictures of walks, but haven’t shared drinks afterwards (primarily because I go to sleep after a nice walk – lol).  So I’ll count this one half-way as a go.
  3. I did organize ALL of my stash…now there are bags piling up again, so obviously this is something that needs doing more than just once a year.  I’ve been trying/thinking of/dreaming about getting back to stitching, but time hasn’t permitted that yet.  So, another half-go.
  4. RELAX – yes!  I have been doing more of this.  YAY
  5. Reading – Yes!  I have been reading more and I did read The Underground Railroad (which was good, but not as good as I had hoped/expected).
  6. Learn how to hook rugs – a definite NO.  And, I’ve sort of decided to abandon this idea for now.  Geeze, I can’t even get back to stitching.  Now thinking I will hold off on rug hooking education until I retire – lol.

 

So, overall so counting up the definites and the halves, I come up with 4, or 66.6% accomplished in just about a half year.  Not bad!!

 

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions.  That, for me, has always been a set up for failure.  But Dreams and Possibilities I’m all in favor of – it’s fun.

 

I’m shipping off a large (as in the person must have HUGE arms) Twiddle Mitt to Kathy B (that was what I worked on this weekend).  It really was a lot of fun to do, but the giant needles and BIG yarn just about did in my hands.  I want to make another, but need to take a tiny break from that big stuff.

 

Looks like we are back to grey and wet skies around here, but the week is young and perhaps the weather will turn.  Have a wonderful week!