Monday, October 16, 2017

Home Again

Well Hi Everyone!


We are back from vacation!  Had a fabulous time and will tell you all about it another day...right now I am a bit swamped at work and just taking a quick break to post this, have a bottle of water and then I need to get back to it.


First up I finished my pair of Nutkin socks the night before we left!




I love the way they turned out.  And was so happy to NOT take them on the road.  I did manage to do some knitting while away (more than expected/more than usual) which I'll show later.  I think this will be  my only I Love Fall finish though. 


We did have mostly cloudy weather and warm - warmer than expected and definitely not Fall weather.  Some rain, but also some nice days.  We pulled into a rest stop on the PA Turnpike on our way home to get some much needed coffee.  Pulling a camper, we need to park with the big trucks (LOL), and right next to us was a trucker with a traveling cat:


Can you see the cute guy up on the dashboard?  He was pacing back and forth and then would rest and gaze at all the bugs flying around outside. 


We pulled into our driveway Saturday afternoon around 3, unpacked the car and the frig of the camper...I got a load of wash started and around 5 I poured a glass of wine and went out on the patio to sit and rest.  This is what I saw:




Our apple tree is blooming!  Folks, this is nuts!!  Our apple tree bloomed in May and then we watched the apples forming...never getting very large - a poor crop year.  In August the tree started losing leaves.  In September we noticed new green leaves appearing (weird).  And now blooms!  Very, very strange.


Yesterday I did some more laundry, picked up a few groceries and then we headed up to Colin & Mailing's.  Mailing's company owns the 3rd largest Asian Pear orchard in the US and yesterday was the one day it was open to the public for tours.  It was pretty interesting - the orchard tour was good, the inside tour was pretty lame.  But, we got to taste about 8 different varieties of pears and some other things (vanilla pear brownies, pear spread, dried pears, etc.).  All delicious.  They also make some liquors, but with the antiquated PA laws, they could not provide samples of those.  Mailing's parents and sister joined us and we ended up back at Colin & Mailing's place for dinner.


Now it is back to reality!  I'll try to post again this week with info on our trip.  We visited some really interesting places!!



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday 10-4-17

Hello All,


Welcome to another edition of Unraveled Wednesday.  Joining Kat and others on this first Wednesday of October.


Fortunately, no unraveling has happened this week.  Minimal progress has been made on the 2nd Nutkin.  Minimal, but progress nonetheless.  I think I've managed 12 - 15 rows since my last picture.




The gusset decreases are complete and now it is just straight knitting for the foot until the toe decreases (I'm not doing the pattern on the front of the foot - I prefer a plain foot).  I doubt I will finish before we leave on Saturday, but I'm ok with that.


The majority of my "chores" before leaving for vacation are done!  Bathrooms scrubbed - check.  Kitchen floor done - check.  Fletch cleaned the living room and dusted up above the kitchen windows where there were bugs and webs, etc.  It's that time of year (Fall and Spring) where all the little creatures come out of hiding to bother me.  Most of the laundry is done, though Fletch informed me last night (after the washer was going) that he has some shirts he wants washed.  Oh well, that's easy.  so that and paying bills (far more painful) and I will be ready to go.


On the reading front, I am now three-quarters of the way through History of Wolves and will finish that before we leave.  I have several others on the Kindle including I Will Send Rain and Dandelion Wine so I think I'm good on the reading front.


Still need to pick up wine for the trip (of course).  We did test the lights on our camper Tuesday and YAY!  They work (this was the problem back in May and why we ended up with a staycation at that time). 


What are you all up to?  Hope there has been no unraveling in your worlds.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Count Down to Vacation!!

Hello All,


Happy October!  Finally we had some gorgeous Fall weather over the weekend.  Saturday was mostly grey and very, very windy and chilly but Sunday was PERFECT!  Fletch did a lot of work out in the garden.  I picked the last of the tomatoes and a couple of peppers.  We still have peppers growing and four eggplants!


Sunday morning I did manage to pack for vacation!  We leave next Saturday and I didn't want to leave it for evening doing...this week will be busy enough.  And, I don't really need sweatshirts and flannel shirts for work, so a no-brainer to get it done.  Only last minute things to put in, and I still need to figure out what to take knitting-wise.


Meanwhile, there has been progress on Nutkin 2:




The heel has been turned, gusset stitches picked up and the decreasing has begun.  Still rows and rows to go since I have large feet - lol.  Hoping to get these done before we leave.  I don't need them for the trip (hand-knit socks already packed!!), but I don't want to drag a project with me that doesn't have much to finish...just a waste of precious space in my opinion.  So, I will plug away.


But, the week is busy.  Busy at work (always before vacation, plus our new fiscal year started 10/1).  Yoga tonight, dentist appointment Thursday, last minute cleaning (I always clean before leaving for vacation - can't stand to come home to a dirty house).  So, as Fletch says, I'll be a bit manic this week.


On the reading front I finished The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (Lisa See) and liked it.  Mostly I enjoyed all the info about tea.  Am now about a third of the way through History of Wolves.  A little draggy in parts, but overall I'm enjoying it.


Hope you all had a great weekend.  I've got a ton to get done today, so I'd best get going.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Three on Thursday

Hi All,


Joining Carole and Kat as well as others for a Three on Thursday post.


1.  Having Mon & Tues off this week was wonderful.  But, the downside is getting back to work.  So far yesterday and today have been slamming with no time to breathe.  At one point yesterday I realized I had gotten in to my office at 7:30, it was now 1:30 and I hadn't even found time to go to the bathroom!  Yikes!  the busy days go fast, and I would rather that than slow, boring ones.  But, an opportunity to catch my breath would be nice as well.


2.  I booked my flights for Sisters' Weekend later in October.  So excited.  this year we are meeting up in Daytona Beach.  And I booked my flights for going back to FL (Orlando this time) in early November for a meeting (but I will be booking a massage as well...it won't be ALL work).


3.  Looking forward to vacation in just under 2 weeks.  YAY.  We are doing the camping trip that was supposed to happen back in May.


So, those are my 3 things today.  Going to a lecture this evening that my yoga instructor is giving -- "for women only."  I'm thinking it's going to be a little too new-agey for me, but I really like Maria (my instructor) and want to try to support her when I can.  We shall see....


That's it for now - back to work I need to go!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Finish (Well, a HO), Some Luxuries, Practicing and a Surprise!

Hello All,


A Tuesday Afternoon and it is back to HOT Phila. weather.  Whew.  Between Fires in the NW, Hurricanes in the Atlantic, Earthquakes in Mexico and weird weather EVERYWHERE, I'm thinking Mother Nature is one pissed off individual (and I can think of several reasons why).  Hoping everyone is safe and having a good week.


That's a pretty long title up there, so let's get with it.  Here is my finish (or in Dee's famous words, my HO):


That's one Nutkin finished and one started.  Yippee!!!  It's a crappy picture, but now that I've figured out how to knit this sock my way, I just love the pattern.  With 80 rows after the cuff and before the heel flap it's longer than I usually make socks and I really like that...I will continue to do that (provided boredom doesn't set in).  And, yes, I'm proud of myself.  I cast off the first sock yesterday morning and cast on the 2nd one last night.  No SSS here!


The luxuries and the practicing go together.  Sunday was Fletcher's birthday.  Some time ago I decided to take this Monday and Tuesday off.  Originally we were going to go away, but we couldn't come up with any place we really wanted to go (and spend money) - especially with leaving for vacation in just under 2 weeks.  So, a little luxury is having a couple of days off with no plans and I told Fletch that really I was practicing for retirement - LOL.  Happy to say that will be no problem (well, at the moment I still have a paycheck...retirement will make a huge difference, I know).


Since we were not away I cooked for the birthday boy.  I made angel hair pasta with mussels and shrimp and a big tossed salad.  So good.  And a pound cake - which fell apart when I took it out of the pan.  Not pretty, but pretty tasty just the same.  Good thing we were not having company.


Yesterday Fletch decided he wanted to go to Cabela's to see if there was anything (else) I could get him for his birthday.  We took back roads which included some detours due to road construction up to Hamburg, PA.  Fletch found a couple of small things and I found a fleece vest for only $17!  Not bad.  The ride was long, but nicer than highway driving (and we didn't have anything else to do anyway).


Today we had absolutely no plans.  I ended up going to a yarn shop in Kimberton called Purls of Wisdom.  I had been there once in the Spring, but didn't have much time and didn't buy anything.  What a lovely shop it is!  Well stocked and friendly people.  And, plenty of "come in and knit" times on different days of the week.  I did not buy myself ANYTHING!!  Shocking I know.  But I did purchase some things that will comprise my give-away for the I Love Fall KAL hosted by Dee and moi (mostly all by Dee, really).  So that is (for now) the surprise.  My question:  Do you want to see what I got for that?  Or should it remain a mystery/surprise?


One last little luxury - a shower at 3 p.m. today.  Normally I would be working.  What a treat to not have to wash my hair after dinner and then wait for it to dry (forever), or to get up early to shower before work.  Little things, I know...but they make me happy.


And, Leslie (my bestest friend for 50+ years) is calling tonight and we're booking our flights for Sisters' Weekend in October.  Life is good (despite the HOT weather).


What are you up to?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Mail

Hi Everyone!


Yesterday brought some happy mail:




The timing could not have been more perfect after a crapola day at work (I love my job, love my bosses, don't so much love some of my co-workers.  Nuff said.).  I was so fortunate to win a drawing that Andi over at My Sister's Knitter held.  Each month Andi features a different and new (to me anyway) indie dyer.  Fabulous stuff.  The variegated yarn is from Dragon Hoard Yarn in the color Peek-A-Boo.  Look at all those colors in it!  And the mini skein of bright green will be perfect for heels and toes.  Of course, I have 4 projects on the needles right now and some Christmas socks to knit for folks, but I'm thinking come January when it is cold outside, this yarn will cheer me right up!


Naturally I could not resist ordering some yarn as well (which came last week):




All these pretties!  The top 3 skeins are from Valerie (FABULOUS Sale!!).  Colors are (left to ight):  Black Dahlia, Leaf Bug and Cosmopolitan.  The bottom 3 skeins I ordered from Simply Sock Yarn (and got a free bag also!).  The skein on the left is Regia - color is camouflage.  The middle skein is from Lang and I can't remember the colorway.  The bottom right is from Blue Moon and the color is Sabertooth Caterpillar.


I was bemoaning the fact that no more packages are due to be delivered...but that is probably a good thing.  I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but Fletch cracked me up the other week by saying he thought he should take up knitting.  My response was WHAT???  His rationale is that if he takes up knitting, he too will be receiving packages in the mail all the time.  LOL.  I should be set for a little while - even if we have a major blizzard and the mail stops for a week or two (never happens).


Anyway, I am back at work and avoiding a certain co-worker.  I will say that one of my bosses complimented me on how I handled that individual yesterday.  There is a slight comfort in knowing that they (bosses) know and understand what I have to put up with on an almost daily basis.  And, you know what?  I'm 64, so it won't be forever (thank God!!).


Hope your week is going well. 



Monday, September 18, 2017

SloMo

Good Morning All,


How was your weekend?  It felt like summer again in our neck of the woods.  Pretty warm and extremely humid.  That put me in slow motion.  I did not get a whole lot accomplished this weekend, but plugged away on several things.


I did walk Saturday afternoon, but it was sticky .  Amazingly the water looked clearer than it has in months - I could actually see to the bottom of the river (it's not all that deep, but usually looks like a muddy mess).


As of yesterday I had turned the heel and started the gusset decreases on my first Nutkin:




I really like the way this pattern looks.


Last night I just blabbed on the phone with a friend (for too long) and baked a coffee cake, so no knitting.  But slow and steady, these socks will get done.


Busy day here.  I've got some paperwork to take care of this morning related to a meeting in October in CA that I am organizing.  Then we have a lunch/employee meeting at Noon which will go on for probably close to two hours.  They are always fun (and delicious!!), but it also means cramming work into a shorter work day.  I'm not complaining though.


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

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Felines

Hello All,


A beautiful morning here in Eastern PA.  I think it might get warm, but so far it's gorgeous.


Happy to report that Talbot did come home last night.  He can have the cone off when supervised...but today while Colin and Mailing are working, the cone will need to be on.  Meanwhile, the brothers (Talbot and Marcel) have been reunited.






So sweet - Marcel grooming Talbot.  Talbot has to go back to the vet on Saturday to have his sutures removed.


No knitting to show (again).  Had a massage last night, came home and showered and then had a glass of wine, ate some pretzels, talked with a friend on the phone, read a little and went to bed by 9:30 - LOL.  The massage was wonderful, but I was wiped out afterwards.


Lest Tyg feel abandoned by all the recent posts about Talbot, here is the wonderful Tygus (as Colin calls him).




Cute little paws hanging over the picnic table.


Have a wonderful weekend!  Here's hoping mine will involve at least a bit of knitting.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Talbot Update

Good Morning,


Thank you all for the good wishes for Talbot.  He is not home yet...had to spend another night in the kitty hospital.  He still had not eaten anything yesterday and the vet gave him an appetite stimulant.  When Colin & Mailing visited him last night they brought food which he DID eat.  Yay!


The cone is off and Mailing is picking him up after work today  Colin promised to text an update once he is home.  Marcel will be so happy to see Talbot and, I'm sure, Talbot will feel much better at home.




No other news.  Not much knitting has been done (sadly).  Tuesday night I baked cookies and last night sort of got away from me.  By the time I picked up my knitting my eyes were tired.  Tonight I have a massage, but early - at 5:00, so maybe tonight I will be able to turn the heel on my Nutkin sock.


It is overcast and a little dreary out today, but looks like the sun is trying to poke through the clouds.  Rain is forecast for the afternoon and a high of 80 - all of this means humidity back in the picture.


Hope you all are having a good week.  We are almost at Friday!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Talbot

Good Morning Friends,


Poor Talbot!  He is one of Colin & Mailing's cats -- they rescued two while they were living in Pittsburgh.  Did you read Val's Blog yesterday about Cecil?  Well, sounds like Talbot has been going through the same thing.


The last time he ate any food was Friday and he started vomiting (bile) over the weekend.  Mailing took him to the vet Monday morning.  They did an ultrasound and saw a "foreign object" in his intestine - blocking it all.  They performed surgery, but didn't find the object!  (He might have ended up passing it by that point, I don't have all the details).  They were doing a biopsy on his intestine to make sure there isn't something else going on.  He was resting on a heating pad Monday night.


He is still in the hospital!  They have been giving him an IV drip for fluids (very dehydrated) and want to keep him until he eats (and keeps down) food.  Col and Mailing visited him last night and according to Colin, Talbot's mood is much improved despite having to wear a cone.  Just make things even more shameful, he had to have his belly shaved.


Marcel, Colin & Mailing's other cat, is missing his big brother.  Hoping Talbot can come home today.  Please keep your fingers crossed (and paws) for both Talbot and Cecil that they come through ok.



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Just a Few More Pictures

Good Morning!


I couldn't resist showing just a couple more pictures from Grounds for Sculpture.  If you are anywhere near this beautiful place, don't hesitate - go!!


First up, here we (Mailing, me, Fletch) are peeking out from one of the tunnels we walked through:




And here is another one of my favorites.  Look at these characters!! 




Next to these creatures was:




A bubbling cauldron!  The title of these two together is:  "Has Anyone Seen Harry?"  With Fall upon us (it feels like it here), and Halloween around the corner, I couldn't resist showing these.


Finally heard from my brother in Miami who is safe.  Hot and without power, but safe which is what matters.  I have lots of co-workers all over FL, and everyone is ok, thank God.  What a beast of a storm Irma has been.  hopefully the rest of the Fall/Hurricane Season will be calm and peaceful.


Gotta get to work!  Have a good one.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday, Monday


Hello All,

 

Thinking of all my relatives and friends in FL and hoping/praying all are safe. 

 

Our weekend was wonderful!  Mine actually started at Noon on Friday (my bosses gave me the afternoon off to get a jump start on a birthday weekend!!).  Saturday we met Colin and Mailing for lunch and then headed over to Grounds for Sculpture.  What an amazing place!  42 acres of beautifully maintained grounds with a ton of sculptures all over the place.  Some are absolutely huge, others are rather small.  We wandered around for 2.5 – 3 hours and did not see everything.  Definitely a place to return.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.

 

Colin & Mailing in front


 

This one was called Breadline - Fletch at the rear of the line


 

Love this one!  that's Fletch standing on the ground in the middle


 

Look at the detail!


 

Sheep!!


Colin settling in for a beer and a game of cards


There were peacocks on the grounds...I liked this albino one.


 

There are so many other great sculptures, but these are some of my favorites.

We didn’t leave the grounds until after 4, and the NJ Sheep & Fiber Festival, although close – 15 or so miles, closed at 5.  So, I did not make it there this year…but I hope to next year.

 

I did manage to get almost to the heel of my first Nutkin sock.

 



 

Only about 6 more rows till I start the heel!

 

Sunday late afternoon found me back on the trail alongside the canal.  There was not as much traffic on the water or trail as I had expected for such a beautiful day.  I did see a lot of turtles basking in the sun.  Here is one granddaddy!!

 



 

Now it is back to work.  Hope everyone has a beautiful week.

Friday, September 8, 2017

TGIF

Good Morning!


Why is it that short work weeks ALWAYS seem so incredibly long?  Oh well, almost at the weekend.  One conference call done and one more to go.  And it's breakfast Friday at work:




We tried a new caterer this week and everything was/is so yummy.  there was also yogurt and granola, some cheeses and meats. 


As I had suspected, no knitting has been done in the past couple of days.  Yoga Wednesday night was a workout and I was exhausted when I got home at 9 p.m.  Last night Colin stopped by for dinner and then we had a fire.  Perfect night for a blaze.  Tyg hung around with us for a bit, but he won't get too close to the fire.


Weekend plans look good.  Tomorrow we are meeting Colin and Mailing for brunch/lunch at a new (to Fletch and me) place called The Butcher and the Barkeep.  The menu looks promising - lol.  Then we are heading to Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey.  I'm excited about this!  Col and Mailing were there in the summer and loved it and have wanted us to go back with them.  My birthday is Sunday, so Colin suggested we go this weekend.  YAY


It also turns out that the NJ Sheep & Fiber Festival is only about 15 miles from the Grounds for Sculpture.  IF we have time (and that's a big IF), we will stop there on our way home.  I would love to get there to see the sheep (especially), but I honestly don't need more yarn (I want more, but don't need more...yet).  So, we shall see and play it by ear.


The weekend is supposed to be gorgeous, so I'm hoping to get a walk in both mornings.


This guy has been hanging out in a window box at one of our kitchen windows.  He has been here for about 3-4 days now.




Fletch usually hunts for praying mantis egg cases during the fall - it's good to have these critters in your garden.  Last year he didn't find any, so we were happy to see this guy show up here.


And this guy has been hanging around lounging on the cool pavement of our patio.




He feels like he is beginning to bulk up for the winter months (just like me, unfortunately...).


Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and keeping those in the path of Irma in my thoughts.  May everyone be safe.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday 9-6-17

Good Morning From the Grey Suburbs of Philadelphia!


Yes, we are having a bit of a drizzle this a.m.  And we had some rain last night, but not as bad as had been forecast (though Mailing had hail on her way home from work!!).  And the temps did not drop as much as promised.  Still muggy around these parts.


I did manage to re-cast-on Nutkin Monday (after ripping it all out Sunday), but only got 5 rows of ribbing done.  Last night after dinner I settled in for some knit time.




That's 15 rows of ribbing (much, much better than the folded over cuff).  And I managed to knit another 12 rows after that, so one pattern repeat done (10 rows) and the next started.  I'm happy to say that it is working out well doing the first stitch on each needle as a knit stitch rather than a purl.  It doesn't impact the main pattern and looks fine.  So, Nutkin is reborn as my own version.  I most likely won't get to work on this again until the weekend.


Reading continues.  "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" is not what I expected and a bit of a slog for me, but I'm about three-quarters of the way through it, so will push on.


Mid-week already!  I'm heading to yoga tonight since there was no class on Monday and I believe Colin will be over for dinner tomorrow.


Hope everyone is settling back into routine after the long Labor Day weekend!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

Hello All!


Seems I took a few days away from the computer which was very, very nice.  I did read a few blogs on my phone and commented on one or two, but it's kind of a pain commenting using my phone.  What's been going on?


Friday I ended up with an unexpected (and very welcome) day off from work.  I didn't set an alarm, but was up by 7 and after coffee took a nice hour plus walk on the River Trail in Oaks.  It was chilly!!  My phone had registered 48 when I got up and when I walked I could have used a headband covering my ears and mitts on my hands.  Both ears and hands were stinging from the cold!  But it was a gorgeous day and it did warm up a bit (but not too much).  I managed to cast on for Nutkin my choice for the I Love Fall KAL Dee and I are hosting.  Let's face it, Dee is really hosting as I am doing ABSOLUTELY nothing!  (But I will be pulling together a give-away for it.)  More about Nutkin later......


The cool weather also got me in the mood for baking and cooking.  I made a batch of Tomato Jam for Colin and Mailing.  I also baked Tahini Cookies.  So good - a kind of shortbread cookie.  And, Fletch was hankering for a chocolate cake, so I made that too.


I also managed to get a lot of "chores" done - cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.  At least it was good weather for all that - rainy and chilly both Saturday and Sunday.  I actually wore jeans and a flannel shirt, hand knit socks and a jacket on Saturday when I was out and about.  It felt great!


The shawl saw a little time:




It's coming along nicely and is such an easy pattern to memorize.  Really enjoying this one.


This morning I woke up to another gorgeous day.  By 8:15 I was on the River Trail again and walked for about an hour and a quarter (dodging puddles and mud slicks all along the way).  There were a few folks out and about, but not too many and it was just the perfect day for a walk.  I'm glad I got out early as it is warming up and is supposed to hit 80 later on.


Now, as far as Nutkin goes, it is no more!  And no pictures to prove it ever was!  I wasn't too keen on the cuff part, but figured I would give it a try.  No ribbing, but a folded over cuff.  I managed that ok...wasn't thrilled with it, but could live with it.  Last night I had done the first 7-8 rows of the pattern (it's a 10 row pattern repeat) and noticed that I had ENORMOUS ladders.  HA!  The pattern calls for the first (and last) stitch on each needle to be a purl stitch.  I've had issues with this in the past and I now realize that when the first stitch is a purl for some reason I can't tighten up the stitch to prevent ladders.  It looked pretty awful.  So the entire thing was ripped out.  I will cast on later today and start again.  I'll make a ribbed cuff that I prefer and I will not do the first stitch as a purl.  The rest of the pattern is fine and I like the way it looks.  Hopefully a nice picture of the new start for you by tomorrow or Wednesday.


This weekend also saw some reading.  I finished "The Summer Before the War" which was ok, but dragged a bit in places.  I'm a third of the way through another book - "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" which is very light reading, but ok.  A couple more books came through on Overdrive including "Magpie Murders" which I'm anxious to start, so I will hurry through Broken Wheel.


I'll leave you with a picture of Tyg from last Thursday night.  We had a fire in the pit and he climbed up the apple tree, then came down and stayed in the crotch of the tree for a little while.




Hope everyone is enjoying a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday 8-30-17

Good Morning All,


Wow!  August 30th!  hard to believe.  Linking up with Kat and friends for another Unraveled Wednesday.  Yes, there was unraveling this week...fortunately not knitting, but yarn.  The yarn mess I showed yesterday was successfully re-wound (into a regular ball...not a center pull).  It took a bit of time last night, but not as long as I feared it might.




Look at how nicely it matches my tablecloth - lol.  So, the yarn was re-wound, but no knitting was done after that.  I'm afraid my eyes were shot.


This morning I managed about 5 more rows on my Charade socks before I had to run out the door to work.


Still reading "The Summer Before the War" by Helen Simonson.  It's dragged a bit in parts, but overall is ok.  I'm about 3/4 of the way through and need to get it done as a few more books came through on Overdrive.


Another busy day at work, so I need to get going.  What are you all up to?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Mess, A Start (2), and Falling Behind


Hello All,

 

How are you on this gloomy (in Eastern PA) Tuesday?  Somehow the weekend got away from me and work is continuing to be busier than usual.  Yesterday was a mess!  When I got home last night at 9 after yoga, I finally looked at some blogs on my phone.  Reading Dee's Blog blog, I realized I have done NOTHING for the I Fall KAL – NOTHING!!  Well, I did pick out my yarn, and I know I’m knitting Nutkin, but nothing else.  Like Dee, I will be pulling together a little give-away for those participating, but for now that will have to be a secret (even from me – lol).

 

Despite the weekend zooming by, I did manage to get a couple of items started.  First up the Close to You shawl:

 



 

But then last night (again after yoga when I was really too tired to see), I pulled it out and started knitting and this is what happened:

 



 

I had wound the yarn into a center pull ball and a HUGE knot came out.  So now I have to spend time trying to separate that mess and then I will re-wind the yarn into just a ball (no center pull).  I hope I can do this.  I am loving the yarn (so soft!  Gorgeous color!), and now that I’ve switched to my wooden circular needle, the shawl is much easier to knit.

 

Friday night I made a start on the other socks I will be knitting – Charade.

 



 

This is the Scottish wool my friend got at a yard sale and the color is Blue Tweed.  It is looking like a dark speckled yarn and I am loving it.  I have enough yarn that I will be making these socks much longer than normal, but the pattern is an easy one to memorize and quick to knit.  Hopefully they won’t take me all Fall to complete!

 

Our shish kabob dinner with Colin and Mailing on Saturday was great and the strawberry shortcake was yummy.  It was cool enough that we had another fire in the pit and I actually had a sweatshirt on!  It was chilly.  Sunday I made gazpacho with garden tomatoes, cukes, onions, peppers and garlic.  We added cold shrimp to it:

 



 

Sunday I snuck in another walk along the canal.  There were a ton of people out and about – both on the trail (running, biking, walking) and on both the river and canal (kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, rafting, fishing).  It was a crowded place!  I was having a terrible time on my way back to the car – nose running and eyes watering – there had to be something in the air.  I saw a lot of gold finches feeding on seeds from wild flowers and then came across this bird on the other side of the canal:

 



 

At first I thought it was a cormorant (which would have been weird in our area), but I’m not sure.  I wasn’t able to see his/her feet.  The picture isn’t the greatest – hard to do a distant shot with my phone.  But look at that beak!

 

So, that’s it for moi.  I’ve got a very busy week at work and am looking forward to a nice, long weekend with (hopefully) lots of knitting.  Colin and Mailing are going away, so Fletch and I will be on cat duty – going up to their place twice a day to feed and play with Marcel and Talbot.

 

What are you all up to?

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's Friday!!

Whew!  It has been a long, long week.  not sure why, except that I've had back-to-back busy weeks at work, and after a long, slow summer that is difficult to get used to.  Don't get me wrong - I prefer to be super busy at work - makes the time go quickly.  There is nothing worse than having to sit around with absolutely nothing to do.


Now I'm in the midst of planning a small (30 people or so) West Coast meeting in October.  I probably will not attend this one (boo-hiss) as October is a super busy time in my office.  The other one I'm planning is in early November in Florida at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.  This is a beautiful resort - I've done a number of meetings here over the years.  This group will be a tad bit larger - about 140 people.  I'm hoping I will be able to go to this one.


So, what is happening?  I re-started the Close to You shawl and I'm liking it.  I wasn't sure about the pattern as I'm not real fond of double yarn-overs, but I changed needles and now everything is working ok.  I had originally been using a ChiaoGoo circular needle, but the yarn is so soft and those needles are very slippery.  Stitches (especially the yarn-overs) kept slipping off.  I switched to wooden circulars and all is good.  I'll get a picture over the weekend when I've gotten a bit more done (right now I've only knit about 24 rows or so).
Fletch and I also started reading a new book after dinner.  It's one I read almost 30 years ago, but is very good.  It is The Solace of Open Spaces and makes me think of Nancy.


Colin stopped by for dinner last night and we had a fire in the pit after dinner.  It was a perfect evening for it.  I actually had a shawl wrapped around my shoulders sitting by the fire!




That's Fletch standing and Colin sitting with a glass of whiskey and a cigar.  Lots of good conversation and plenty of laughs.


Colin and Mailing are coming for dinner tomorrow and it should be nice enough to have another fire.  We are going to do grilled shish kabobs (steak, pork and chicken as well as peppers, onions, tomatoes, green & yellow squash and mushrooms) and strawberry shortcake for dessert.


I ran out to Trader Joe's around 10 this morning.  Disappointed that the liquor store next door is STILL closed for renovations (going on 3 weeks now), but I got a beautiful bunch of flowers at TJs as well as pizza crusts for tonight and other miscellaneous goodies (always, always buy more than I go in for at TJs).


And, for the Friday Feline Crowd, here's a shot of Tyg that I took last weekend - resting on the lawnmower after Fletch had done some mowing.  At one point he tried to stick his head down in the bag with all the grass clippings!  Too silly.




Well, that's it for me today.  I am so ready for the weekend and our weather forecast looks perfect - 70's all weekend with cooler evenings and mornings.  Hope you all enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday, Unraveled, 8-23-17

Hello All,


Here we are mid-week and time for Unraveled Wednesday.  Joining Kat and friends.  I will admit to a bit of unraveling this week....


Monday morning I had a surprise e-mail around 9:00 telling us that we were free to leave around Noon that day if we wanted to for the Eclipse.  I did not need to read that twice - lol.  By the time I got home it was very overcast.  I cast on Close to You and knit some rows.  Fletch had the TV on and we were watching the Eclipse that way.  We did end up going outside around 2:30 and just at the crucial moment (around 2:43 p.m.) the clouds parted and we were able to see the crescent sun (where I am the Eclipse was at ~ 80%).  That was cool.  It did get quiet (no bird chatter), but it did not get as dark as I had anticipated (maybe because it was so overcast to begin with), and we did not notice any drop in temperature.  After that I promptly took a nap!  Got up, dressed for yoga and went out the door.  When I got home I picked up my knitting again and discovered a huge mistake...everything came out.  Luckily I had only knit 15 rows or so, so not a big deal.  Here is the yarn from Wandering Cat - Val that I am using:  Fluffy Cat Lite in the color Grenache.  So soft...




I've brought it to work today and hope to cast on at lunch.  Hoping...I've got another busy day in front of me.


Monday I mentioned that I had pulled yarn for other projects.  First up, I plan to knit a new pair of socks.  Pattern:  Charade - a free pattern on Ravelry.  Years ago a friend of mine went to a yard sale and bought 12 skeins of this yarn for $1.00!!  It is from Scotland and 100% wool.  I thought that it would make some nice Fall/Winter socks.




I have yet to cast on....


Finally, if you have read Dee's Blog you know that we are doing a KAL beginning on September 1st.  I will be knitting Nutkin - another freebie on Ravelry.  I've chosen KnitPicks Stroll tweed in the color Autumn Heather:




I think these socks will be beautiful!  Won't you join us?


During the past week I only managed to add two more squares to my cozy blanket:




Both squares (upper left green & black and upper right aqua, cream and a bit of purple) come from more Wandering Cat yarn.  Some months ago I bought a sampling of Val's yarns - all mini skeins wound up.  The colors are such fun and I'm having a good time figuring out where to put them in the blanket.


So, that's it for the knitting.  I have been reading, but nothing fits in any square on my Bingo card.  That's ok though, I'm enjoying the books and that's what counts.  Last night I finished Peony by Pearl S. Buck.  I can't believe I had never read anything by her.  I want to read The Good Earth next.  I am in the midst of The Year Before the War by Helen Simonson and am enjoying that too.  And, I have a number of books I'm waiting for on Overdrive - hopefully they won't all come in at once.


The garden is continuing to produce.  Our lettuce finally gave up the ghost (it lasted really long this year) and the spinach seeds Fletch planted for a Fall crop have not come up.  But, we are harvesting potatoes, a few last (small) onions and tomatoes...lots of tomatoes.  I'm having them every day for lunch and often dinner too.  I've made Tomato Jam which is delicious - more like a chutney or very thick catsup, and am thinking of making some gazpacho this weekend.




That is an Anaheim Chili Pepper in the foreground from our garden and two small spaghetti squash from our neighbor Rob.    The basket is full of potatoes and the last few onions.


Well, that's it for this Unraveled Wednesday.  What are you up to?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse Monday!!


Happy Eclipse Day!  I’m at work and I don’t have Eclipse Glasses anyway…but I imagine it will be pretty dark outside even though we are only having a partial eclipse here.  Pretty cool.  I heard on the radio that the last total solar eclipse was 99 years ago!

 

I managed to survive my busy week last week.  The summer has been so slow, it was strange to have a week where I was going non-stop for 10-12 hours per day.  The meetings went well and everyone had a good time.

 

The weekend was more than welcome.  We noticed that our Hibiscus is finally blooming!  It is really short this year – only 2 feet high or so, but the blooms are gorgeous.

 



 

Friday I was pretty lazy, but miracle of miracles, on Saturday I managed to FINALLY finish those pesky socks that have been on the needles since April (what??).

 



 

I love them.  The colors are so gorgeous.  Usually I don’t block socks, but these were very tight and the blocking worked perfectly.  The yarn is Black Bunny Fibers 100% wool in the color Estuary.  I used size 1 needles and the pattern is Spring Socks Orla.

 

Once these were finished, I pulled out all my sock yarn and picked out skeins for two new pairs of socks.  Yes, two.  But, in my defense, one pair will not be started until September 1st.  Have you all popped over to Dee's Blog blog to see her announcement of the KAL we are having for Nutkin?  Won’t you join us?  You know you want to be one of the Cool Folks!!

 

I’ll show the yarns I picked out later – forgot to take a picture.  I also picked out yarn for a new shawl cast-on.  I will be making Close to You in Fluffy Cat Lite yarn from Wandering Cat Yarns.  The color is Grenache.  Again a picture later.  I haven’t started it yet, but it came along to the office today and I’m hoping to cast on at lunch.

 

Saturday night we finally watched “A Man Called Ove.”  That was one of my favorite books from last year.  The movie did not disappoint.  It stayed true to the book and was a good watch.

 

This weekend was the Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival.  There is a Rails-to-Trails path that goes right past the back side of the Old Pool Farm where the Festival is held.  In prior years we have ridden our bikes, but this year we decided to walk.  We parked at Spring Mountain and from there it is only a 20 minute walk to the Festival.  Lots of joggers, walkers, dogs, bikers, etc. on the path.  It was a gorgeous day Sunday – low humidity and lower temps – only 82 or so.  The Perkiomen Creek flows by the trail and we saw Mud Turtles basking in the sun

 



 

One was huge!  But I couldn't zoom in that close with my phone.  We sat on a bench for 10 minutes or so and listened to some of the music and then continued our walk.  At one point we stopped to rest and have lunch.

 



 

The path wanders through some cute villages/small towns and at times there are some interesting old buildings.

 



 

We spotted this – not sure what this hopper was used for, but there are old train repair places along the way, so it may be related to that.

 

We turned around and walked back to the Festival area stopping again to listen to music.  Lots of hammocks in the woods, lots of tie-dyed clothing and plenty of weed being passed around.  A mini Woodstock!  We ended up walking about 4 miles total which felt great.

 

We ended the weekend by watching the 1st episode in the new season of Endeavour – good to have that back again.

 

Hoping you all had a great weekend as well.  I’m looking forward to an easier week this week and yoga tonight.