Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Foody Post

Hi Everyone,


Wow!  Another very strong storm last night while I was at yoga.  (And yoga was fabulous – only two of us in the class last night – just like a private lesson!!)  Strong winds and 2” of rain within 30 minutes or so.  It cooled things off so well.


This morning the air felt so refreshing.  I was just about to go out on the patio with my coffee when I noticed the mama doe and 3 (!!) spotted fawns in the yard.  A number of apples have fallen from our tree and they were busy cleaning up.  I wish they would learn to chew with their mouths shut though – lol.  The fawns stayed far enough away that I wasn’t able to get a clear shot of them with my phone, but here is the mama:



We had such a nice weekend.  Grocery shopping Saturday morning and then a pedicure in the early afternoon.  Around 4 we headed up to Colin & Mailing’s for dinner.  What a feast!  We had drinks and some appetizers first:  deviled eggs, home-made roasted mixed nuts with fresh rosemary and dried pepper flakes (so good!!), home-made salsa with chips.  I tried not to load up on that because I wanted to eat dinner too.


Although not vegetarians, both Colin and Mailing have cut way back on the amount of meat they eat.  Saturday’s dinner was delicious and all home-made.  We had tabouli salad, falafel and baba ganoush.  I was too busy scarfing down the food to take any pictures.  After dinner we took an hour and a half walk.  There are miles of walking trails near where they live in Bucks County (I wish we had those where I live).  When we got back to their place we had fresh fruit salad for dessert.  It was all so refreshing.


We had another strong storm on our way home – raining so hard you could barely see the road (luckily Fletch was driving).


I spent most of Sunday cooking.  Fletch picked some green beans from the garden and I pickled them.  Hopefully they are good because we’re going to try them tonight!



I didn’t do such a great job of keeping the beans upright in the jar, but I’m more interested in flavor than appearances – lol.


Then I poached a roasting chicken, let it cool and made chicken salad for dinner.  I saved all the bones, etc. to make stock later. 


Fletch had also picked rhubarb and I made a rustic tart with the rhubarb, some blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. 


In between the cooking I did manage to do a little bit of knitting on the 2nd sock.

I don’t want to jinx myself, but it seems to be going a little quicker than the first (thank God).
Hoping everyone is having a good week.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Q&A

Hi All,

Welcome to Kathy B's weekly Q&A.  Why don't you join in the fun??

1. Do you remember a bad sunburn?  Too many bad ones as a teenager – I had no sense at all!


2.  What is the last game you played?  Gosh it’s been so long, I can’t remember.  Probably Scrabble.


3.  Do you have a statue in your house of any kind.  Nope, but we do have a head on one of our living room walls!


Now I want a gargoyle or two like Dee has!!

4. Have you seen the new needle that threads your safety line for lace?  No, but that has got to be GREAT!


5.  Why do they call them point protectors when they are really stitch protectors keeping your stitches from falling off?  They are both!  They keep those pesky stitches on, but they also prevent me from poking myself – lol


6.  What kind of knitting has dominated your summer knitting?  I thought it would be socks, but it appears to be shawls!


7.  Have you seen an ice cream truck this summer?  I think I passed one on the way home from work one day, but there seem to be fewer around this year.


8.  Cold summer salad preference:  Pasta? Bean? Fruit?  Oh gosh!  I love them all.  Fruit salad is so refreshing, but I love a good pasta salad with plenty of veggies in it.


9.  Your favorite summer sandals are made by . . .  I live in my Nike flip flops at home.  At work I have a few pairs of sandals I wear – nothing special – and some ballet flats.


10.  Do you have a favorite old photograph taken in the summer?  There’s one of me sitting on a rock by the lake in Vermont we went to each summer.  Not sure where that is.  I also love a photo I have in my kitchen of my parents sitting on a rock at Hawk Mountain (but that was probably taken in Spring or Fall).  I think I love rocks – lol.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Miscellany

Hello All,

Welcome to Friday!  It's supposed to be another scorcher in the Philadelphia area, but for now the sky is a bit cloudy which I welcome...keeping the heat away for a bit longer.

Discovered yesterday that our Milkweed is blooming!  So pretty and so very fragrant.  Hoping the butterflies will come.

Other than green beans (of which there are plenty to an over-abundance), things are a bit slow in the garden.  our cherry tomatoes are beginning to ripen, but we only get 2-4 at a time.

Our regular tomatoes are forming, but are still very, very green.  I love fried green tomatoes, but really would prefer to have some ripe ones first.

I'm growing two eggplant plants in an old cast iron pot that we keep near our patio.  They have been blooming like crazy and we finally noticed the beginning of fruit on them.  Can't wait.  I love grilled eggplant and it's really good on pizza too.

I've got a conference call this morning and then need to run out to the liquor store.  Mary posted about a frozen watermelon drink yesterday that I MUST make.  Just need the St. Germain and discovered last night that we are very low on gin.  Not sure how that happened....then I'm off to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things.

It's Friday and also still summer, so I leave work at 3 today.  YAY!  The only thing we have going on this weekend is dinner at Colin & Mailing's tomorrow night.  Looking forward to that.

Last night I managed to cast on the 2nd sock and knit about 2/3 of the cuff...need/want to make significant progress on that this weekend.

I'll leave you with a bunch of cuteness.  Marcel (one of Colin & Mailing's cats) turned 4 on Monday.  This is such a cute shot of their cats in younger days -- Talbot with his beautiful arm (I love that mark of white) around Marcel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday 7-19-17

Well Howdy!

Hard to believe it is already past the mid-mark of July.  Don't hate me, but I am excited for Fall (my most favorite season).  Other than fresh garden produce, I'm not really all that fond of summer - especially since I no longer sun (I did used to be a sun worshiping fool, but no more).  Anyway, past mid-July and here we are mid-week again and time to join Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.  Here's what's been going on in my world.

My cozy blanket is coming along, albeit slowly -- it can't be anything but slow!  But I do now have four squares!

The sampler is progressing nicely.  I finished up the latest dividing band and started in on the next section (still plenty of stitching left on this one):

And...drumroll...I have a finish!  Or a HO as Dee would say (in that it is the first sock of - hopefully - a pair):

This one lonely sock has taken FOREVER to complete (I started it on April 4th!!).  I'm not sure if I just got tired of socks (heaven forbid), or the yarn was bothering me or what.  The pattern is Spring Socks Orla (free on Ravelry) and the yarn is by Black Bunny Fibers (color is Estuary).  The yarn is beautiful and soft, but I found it to be a little bit splitty - I had to really watch it all the time.  I used size 1 needles, and this sock is VERY tight on moi.  My feet aren't particularly fat (at least I think not!!), but I do have an extremely high instep.  At any rate, I think the pair (once complete) will go into the gift pile.  Now I just need to cast on the second one right away.  I thought the yarn and needles were in my bag that I bring to work, but I just discovered they are not.

On the reading front, I finished South of Broad by Pat Conroy and loved it.  His writing is so beautiful (in my opinion).  I have not loved all his books, but I have loved his writing.  I am now in the midst of Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (author of A Man Called Ove).  I'm enjoying it, but it hasn't grabbed me like Ove did.  I forgot to look at my Bingo card to see where I am...don't believe I'm at a bingo yet, but I'm having fun with Summer Bingo.

That's it from my world on this HOT July Wednesday.  Hope your week is going well!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday's Q&A

Hello All,

Welcome back from the weekend!  Kathy B has another fun Monday Q&A:

*Have you ever changed up a S’more?

Nope.  I’m not really a fan of S’mores.

*What yarn is on your needles?  (That you will work on today?)

Sock yarn!  Brought to work – my cozy memory blanket currently working on a square in a KnitPicks yarn.  On the sock needles at home:  Black Bunny fibers yarn for the pair of socks that is taking the longest time ever!!

*You can have a gift certificate to Knit Picks, Etsy, or Webs.  Which do you choose?

Knit Picks!

*What’s your middle name?  Do you use it at all?

Ellen.  My full name was used a lot when I was young because my Mom was also Vera.  Now-a-days it is not used much.

*Last place you went that took cash only

Can’t remember – either a vendor at a fiber festival or a small food vendor.

*Have you ever had Baked Alaska?

Yes!  My Mom would make it usually once a year or so.

*Give a yarn skein a name that reflects the nighttime

Shooting Star – deepest, darkest blue shot through with trails or white or yellow.

*Bar soap, foam soap or liquid hand soap?  (in your bathrooms)

In the shower – Araignee’s soap (THE BEST).  By the sink for washing my face – Araignee’s soap (THE BEST).  To wash hands:  foaming soap (love that too)

*Last time you got a ticket?

Hmmm, believe it was before I got married, so probably 39 or 40 years ago!

*Last time you had a car-hop bring your carry out to you?

When I was a youngster – at an A&W in Vermont.  I loved going there.


The weekend was lovely.  Had a great time with my friend Leslie on Friday night.  The new (to me) Mexican restaurant was just okay.  I had vegetarian enchiladas and Leslie ordered fish tacos and we shared everything.  The food was average and they were unwilling/unable to modify some items to not include jalapenos for Leslie, and our margaritas were weak.  But, the main issue was the noise volume.  The music was blaring and there was so much noise echoing around that it was difficult to have a conversation without shouting.  Not a place I will go back.  We ended up at a Starbucks for after dinner coffee.  Despite that, it was wonderful to see Leslie again.


The rest of the weekend rolled into place with nothing on the agenda.  I got laundry done and grocery shopping and other than that I read and knit and stitched.  Pretty much a perfect weekend if you ask me!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Felines

Hello all,


Last night we had some very heavy downpours which have brought us some relief from the high, high temps we have been having all week.  It is still very humid, but at least it is not in the 90’s!


Look at these two cuties:



Marcel on the top shelf and Talbot on the bottom.  They love to get in the upper cabinets in Colin & Mailing’s kitchen.  And, Marcel loves to bask in the sunlight:



He is quite the fluffy kitty!!


My best friend Leslie drove up from NC yesterday for a wedding this weekend, so she and I are getting together for dinner tonight.  We are going to check out a new (to me) Mexican place that is supposed to have some very creative and delicious Margaritas as well as “true” Mexican food (as opposed to Tex-Mex).  YUM!!


Other than that, no plans for the weekend other than the usual chores.  I’m hoping for plenty of time to knit, read and stitch.  Hoping you all have a fabulous weekend!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday - July 12th

Hello All,

The heat and humidity has returned with a vengeance to the Philadelphia area.  But, we are mid-week which is nice.  I have plans to meet a friend for dinner Friday and (in my mind) I have a list of things I'd like to get done this weekend.  We'll see....

Meanwhile, some modest progress has been made both on the knitting and stitching fronts.  First up, Square #2 on my cozy blanket.  Certainly a long-term project if there ever was one!

Some stitching was made on the dividing band on the sampler...again, a long ways to go till the finish!

I've started South of Broad by Pat Conroy and am enjoying it.  What a bunch of dysfunctional characters!!

That's all I've got today.  Hope everyone's week is going well.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Weekending - Long Post and Picture Heavy!!

Hello All on this Beautiful Sunday Evening!

Wow, I got up this a.m. and it was in the 60's and no humidity whatsoever.  Where am I living?  This is not your typical July in the Phila. suburbs.  But, rest assured, the cicadas have been heard, and this coming week is forecast to be pretty warm.

Meanwhile, it has been a very nice weekend.  Yesterday afternoon Fletch and I drove up to Doylestown to go to the James Michener Museum.  It is so close that I can't believe we've never been there before.  It is heavy on PA impressionistic artists, but there are also some beautiful pieces of furniture, a sculpture garden and lots to see despite it's small size.

The first sculpture we saw approaching the entrance:

Cool, huh?  The sculpture garden is actually very small...more pavement and cafĂ© type tables and chairs - but a nice place to hang out to read/knit/dream.

A desk I fell in love with:

One of my favorite paintings in the Museum, titled "Peace of Mind"

A painting in the stairway down to the bathrooms (cracked me up):

An amazing carved door - absolutely beautiful:

There was an exhibit about style and I would love this dress:

But, my most favorite place in the entire Museum is the Nakashima Reading Room.  I want this room in my house.  What a peaceful, beautiful space.  I can just imagine knitting, reading, stitching in this room. 

The Museum is only open till 5, so we quickly ducked back outside to the garden and Fletch snapped my picture...in my gradient shawl (and new shades)!

We ended up wandering around the Borough of Doylestown for a little while...stopping at a Starbucks so Fletch could have coffee.  Sitting outside there, we talked with several guys who were just hanging out and one of them told us he often goes to the Nakashima Reading Room and just stays there for an hour or two.  We wandered around - found an excellent book store and went in a few other shops.  Then we ended up at the Doylestown Brewery for dinner.  I had a veggie flatbread (roasted asparagus, red peppers and shitake mushrooms with mozzarella) and Fletch had a BBQ chicken sandwich with fries.  The Mojito was beyond good!

We were home before 8 and before the light rain came in.  It was such a gorgeous day - mild temps for July, a slight breeze.  It was beautiful having dinner outside.

Today was mostly filled with laundry and cleaning (well...it's got to be done you know).  I'm not sure how or why the 2 of us generate so much laundry and so much dirt in the house...

I also canned some candied jalapeno peppers (also known as Cowboy Candy).  Yum.

Typical for me, now that summer is here I have started craving Fall/comfort food.  So tonight I cooked a roast and some baby new potatoes.  Fletch picked the best part of dinner though:

Long, thin green beans.  Picked just a half hour before I steamed them.  They are really good raw (which I prefer).

So now it is the evening and things are winding down.  I want to knit a bit and just relax.  Thanks for sticking with this long winded post!  Your reward is a picture of His Highness...Tyg...sprawled on top of the fire pit watching for birds, mice, voles...whatever comes his way.  The plant in the fire pit is a catnip plant in a pot - easy to remove if we want to have a fire.

Here's to a great week ahead for everyone - enjoy!!