Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Felines

Good Morning!

Two felines for you this morning.  First up Tyg (dreaming of being a gazelle):


And next, the jigsaw puzzle we've been working on:


This has got to be the hardest puzzle I've ever done!  It's easy to lose an hour or so just staring at this and trying to find a piece or two that fit in.

So, we had a bit of snow (1" or so) over night and more predicted for today...Saturday...and Sunday.  BUT, it doesn't look like the storm will be as bad for us as originally predicted.  The main problem will be Sunday when it is supposed to rain and then the temps are forecast to drop to 5.  That's when it will all freeze up.  Luckily my office is closed on Monday for MLK Day.

Meanwhile - fingers crossed for Colin & Mailing who have their house inspection this morning.  After that they are heading to NYC for the weekend (where they will most likely have more snow).  I was hoping they would postpone their trip, but they have a non-refundable hotel booked and non-refundable tickets to the Met on Saturday (Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande).  That means Fletch and I are on cat feeding duty beginning tonight through Sunday morning.

Also - if you saw Dee's Blog you know she and I are meeting up tomorrow for some therapy - lol - and will be starting a little KAL for Brookline Socks which look like a fun knit.  Dee's chosen yarn is GORGEOUS.  I *think* I've picked my yarn...I need to re-look at my stash tonight before making a final decision (or find something at one of the stores we will be visiting tomorrow???).

My first conference call has ended, but I have another one in 30 minutes...I'd best get ready for that.  Wishing you all a cozy weekend!





Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 01-16-19

Hello!

Gosh it is cold outside...and colder weather (and snow) is forecast for our weekend.  Colin & Mailing are heading to NYC on Friday for a weekend get-away and we are on cat duty...hopefully we won't have any issues getting up to their place to feed and play with Talbot & Marcel.

How did it get to be the middle of January already?

Last night I wound the yarn for Fletcher's cowl and knit a little swatch.  It is so soft.  The yarn is from Ancient Arts Yarn - Revival Worsted in the colorway "Birch Leaves."  It's a blend of 49% wool; 34% mohair; 11% nylon; 4% acrylic and 2% silk.



This will be knit flat as Fletch wants it to button.  There will be ribbing at the top and bottom and the middle will be a small pattern (you can see it better in the swatch in the first picture....and see my scribble of it in the second picture).  I measured his neck (and did not pull the tape too tight).  Today I will graph out the pattern (I need to work out the maths as they say in Britain) and work out buttonholes in it.  Hopefully I can start knitting at lunch!

On the reading front, I am about halfway through As Bright as Heaven and am finding it a good read.  Last night Fletch and I FINALLY finished Benjamin Franklin: An American Life - it seemed to take forever to read this.  It was good, but parts of it dragged for us and it was difficult at times to read more than 10 pages out loud after dinner.  Glad to have read it (learned some things about Ben that I hadn't known), but glad to have it finished as well.  Up next I think we are doing a palate cleanser - something quick and easy - a spy-type thriller in the lines of Dan Brown or Robert Ludlum.  I can't remember the name of it.

Joining in with Kat and others on this Unraveled Wednesday.  What are you all up to?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Finish!

Hello All,

Another very chilly morning (in the teens), but my head was warm!  I finished the hat last night.  It's not blocked but it fits very well and it's cold out, so I wore it today.


Just 15 rows of ribbing, then a bunch of plain knitting.  When I got a bit bored, I added 3 garter ridges, more stockinette, then 2 garter ridges, more stockinette and one garter ridge, then the crown decrease.  I have just enough yarn left to make a nice pom-pom which I *might* do.  Or, I may get one of those furry pom-poms to put on it.  I haven't decided yet.

Tonight I'll wind the yarn that came in for Fletcher's cowl and knit a swatch and then design that.  I'm looking forward to doing something different.  Of course, I'll need to measure Fletcher's neck and I told him I promised to not draw the tape measure too tightly - lol.

While I was knitting in the kitchen last night, Tyg was playing with several different toys and batting them under the buffet.  He would scoot under and then suddenly the toy would come flying out - he would make a good hockey or soccer player.



I have been having the strangest dreams lately.  Two nights ago I dreamed that I somehow ended up in a place where there was a "big dog contest" or parade.  All these folks were walking dogs that came up to their shoulders!  And some people brought alpacas that were extremely tall.  Not sure WHAT I was thinking when I went to bed that night.  And last night I woke up at 2:30 having a very weird dream with Fletch and a bunch of people from work in it.  Hoping for a better night's sleep tonight.....

Still reading "As Bright As Heaven" and enjoying it.  It's nice to read a "real" book for a change...though it is a bit heavier than my Kindle.

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Again

Good Morning,

Here we are at another Monday already!  And a cold one (like 20 degrees cold).  We did wake up to a dusting of snow on Sunday and a few flurries during the day, but nothing much - I think South of us was hit a bit harder.  The weekend was nice and started early!  First we had breakfast at work (eggs, bagels, meats, etc.) and then we got an e-mail that there would be Eagles snacks in the main kitchen at 1 (which apparently didn't help the Eagles yesterday) and our office closed at 2:30!   I actually managed to be productive when I got home and scrubbed both bathrooms, did a couple loads of wash and then made pizza for dinner!

Saturday dawned bright, but bitter cold.  I headed up to The Broad Street Grind to meet Dee for some sipping and knitting and chatting.  As always, we had such a nice time.  I worked on my hat a bit.


I added some garter rows.  I'll do a bit more (and a few more garter rows) before I start the crown decreases.  The yarn is so soft and warm (I did try it on my head and it fits - yay!!).  I just need to Finish it.

Saturday I also drove past the house that Colin & Mailing are buying since I had not seen it in daylight - so cute!!  And their offer was accepted last week.  I believe settlement will be in February.  We are so happy and excited for them.

While I was out with Dee, Fletch un-decorated the tree and put all the ornaments away.  Finally!  The house is back to normal and clean, which makes me a happy person.

Sunday I ran a couple of errands, thoroughly cleaned the kitchen, took a 2 hour nap (which explains why the hat is not yet finished).  All-in-all, a lovely weekend.

Now it's back to the grind....wishing you all the best kind of week!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 1-9-19

Hello!

What a blustery morning!  But I can see patches of blue sky and that is a welcome sight for sure.  Looking ahead, we do have snow in our forecast for both Saturday and Sunday.....Winter could be arriving.

And just in time I am knitting a hat for moi.  I started it the other day, but ripped out everything at lunch yesterday.  I'm not sure what I did (or was doing), but it looked horrible - weird and just not right.  Last night after dinner I cast on again and managed to do 5 rows of 1x1 ribbing:


A couple more rows were completed this morning over coffee and I brought it with me today so hopefully I can knit some at lunch.  I discovered the yarn in my stocking Christmas morning!!  It is terribly soft - 40% Baby Alpaca, 40% Fine Merino and 20% Mulberry Silk.  I'm tossing around a couple of patterns...or I may just wing it.  There are 104 stitches on #8 needles.

On the reading front, I am about a third of the way through Life in the Garden and am enjoying it.  This is not a book to read fast, but instead one to savor.  Fletch is the gardener at our house, but I've always enjoyed reading gardening journals and memoirs.  The beginning of this one was a bit of a slog, but I am more engaged now.  I also started As Bright as Heaven last night and so far (30 pages into it) am enjoying that. 

In other news, Colin & Mailing have started looking for a house!  They have been pre-approved for a mortgage and I'm so excited for them.  They went to an open house on Sunday and are going back to that house tonight with their realtor.  I'm waiting to hear back from Colin, but he had suggested that Fletch plan to meet them at the house at 6 (Fletch used to do home inspections) and then we all go out to dinner.  I'd like to see the house too...but they may not want BOTH parents hovering around - lol.

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.  What are you up to?  Hopefully no unraveling!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A Review of 2018


Good Morning!

When I left work just before 4 p.m. yesterday, my car was covered in slushy sleet…and again this morning, but it is above freezing and actually pretty foggy outside.

I decided that before too much more of January skips by us I should do a reading and knitting review of 2018.  I don’t set goals or anything…I just like seeing what I did.

Reading

I read a total of 43 books during 2018.  16 were non-fiction and 27 were fiction.  Six of the 43 were read with Fletch after dinner (1 fiction; 5 non-fiction).  My ratings (1-5 stars):

  • ·         12 at 5 *
  • ·         4 at 4.5 *
  • ·         11 at 4 *
  • ·         7 at 3.5 *
  • ·         7 at 3 *
  • ·         2 at 2.5 *


Nice that 27 were rated 4 * or above.  My favorite book overall for 2018 was “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne (read with Fletch after dinner).

Knitting

A total of 16 projects:

  • ·         8 pairs of socks
  • ·         4 pairs of fingerless mitts
  • ·         1 sweater
  • ·         1 shawl
  • ·         1 hat
  • ·         1 fiddly cat


And there you have it!  My Knitting/Reading journal for 2019 has already been started with a finish in each category.  Again, no goals, but I will be curious to see how 2019 stacks up compared to 2018.  More on that in another year – lol.

Today should be a little busier for me than yesterday was – starting with a financial conference call at 10:30.  But, knitting and reading have been brought to work (I did start a hat yesterday at lunch time).  Wishing you all the best that this Tuesday may bring you.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The First Finish of the Year!!

Good Chilly Morning!

As is often the case on cold mornings, the sunrise was gorgeous:


That's what I saw this morning as I left my house later than normal (I had a bit of  trouble getting my motor going this morning...I wanted to crawl back into bed).

Our weekend was nice...nothing special which is fine.  It was easy going - a few errands, minimal chores, some knitting and some reading.  We all took naps...including Tyg:


He obviously has no shame at all - lol.  He has also been enjoying dozing under the Christmas tree (let's not discuss that it is still up...).

Last week I finished The Feather Thief which I enjoyed.  My first reading finish for 2019!  It ended up being shorter than I expected (because of so many pictures at the end) and I thought it ended rather abruptly, but still a good read.  Since I read it on my Kindle, I want to go to the library to look at the *real* book so I can see the pictures in color.  I've started reading Life in the Garden but am not thrilled with it so far.  However, I've only read a small amount, so will try a bit more.

Best of all, I had my first knitting finish of 2019.  The Arctic Fox socks are off the needles and waiting for Colin to come over at some point.


I wish the solid color at the end of the foot wasn't quite so large...but it had to be in order for the socks to fit.  There is just a small amount of the other yarn left.  Overall I'm pleased with them and more than ready to move on to something else.  Yarn for Fletcher's cowl is on its way to us, so there is that.  And today I brought a new skein of blue yarn to work to hopefully cast on for a hat for moi!

Fletch and I watched the first episode of Killing Eve last night.  I'm not sure about it - it might be a bit intense for me and I'm not a huge Sandra Oh fan.  Fletch really liked it.  We watched it on Hulu and I was annoyed by the commercials...so that may be part of my problem with it also.  I'm spoiled with Netflix and Acorn TV.  Have any of you seen it?

Today should be a relatively easy one at work, so I'm looking forward to having a relaxing lunch (with knitting/reading).  On my drive into work this a.m., I heard on the radio that we have a chance of sleet after 2 a.m. tomorrow and then, possibly, some snow.  Hopefully nothing too much!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

TGIF 1-4-19

Good Morning!

So far I've done a good job of writing 2019 rather than 2018...I'm sure I'll slip back at some point.  Anyway, TGIF!  It has been easier than I expected getting back to work (but I'm missing my days at home) probably because it has been busy.  I'm ready for the weekend.

No real plans other than going to Costco tomorrow with Colin (wishing our Costco sold wine...).  I may try to hit the outlets as well.  I love Ann Taylor and Loft clothes and ended up with six (6!!!) $12.50 coupons from them (part of a class action suit), so that adds up to $75 off.  Woo-Hoo!  I don't really *need* anything, but maybe I could refresh a top or two...or a sweater...or find a gift for a friend.

Colin was over last night an we played some Cribbage (which I won!).



The board is a new one that Colin got me for Christmas.  Here's a better shot of it:


Lake Dunmore is near where I spent time every summer.  A friend of my Mom's had a camp on the lake and we would spend at least a month each summer there.  The map of the lake is like a topographic map in that it shows the varying depths of the lake.  The smaller lake to the right is Silver Lake which we used to hike to each summer.  Such a cool, unexpected, fun gift!  I love it.

Well, I need to get moving - I've got a conference call in 15 minutes and another one after that.

Happy weekend everyone - enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 1-2-19

Good Morning!

This will be a rather quick post as I am back to work and it is busy, busy, busy. 

I had hoped to walk yesterday, but the wind never stopped until dusk.  It was mild - like 60 degrees, but my ears bother me whenever I'm out in the wind (even if they are covered).  Funny how a year ago it was 1 degree!  What a difference.  So, anyway, I spent the day knitting and working on a jigsaw puzzle and I had a nice nap in the afternoon.

The 2nd Arctic Fox sock is progressing nicely:


I'm into the gusset decreases on the foot, so it shouldn't take too long now (probably just jinxed myself).  Hoping to finish by the weekend.  I've ordered yarn to knit a cowl for Fletch and that should arrive by the weekend or early next week.  Stay tuned on that one...I will be making up the pattern as I go (fingers crossed it will work).  He wants the cowl knitted flat and then buttons (and button holes) added.  And he is so darn picky over things.  I was going to do cables, but he doesn't want that.  I *think* I've worked out a pattern that he likes...need to try it on a swatch to be sure.

Reading-wise I am still working my way through "The Feather Thief" and thoroughly enjoying it.  I'm only about a third of the way through - I seem to be reading slowly these days.

I hope to go back through my journal soon where I am tracking books and knitting projects and have a summary post for 2018. 

OK - back to the grind.  I've got a ton of reports to do so I'd best get cracking!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!


Our celebrations last night were typical – very quiet.  Usually I make a crab quiche for dinner, but we decided to do BBQ shrimp (New Orleans style) instead.  It’s a favorite dish and you can just about feel your arteries clogging from all the bacon and butter!!

 



 

It was good and we had a salad to go with it and some bread (to mop up all that delicious juice!!). 

 

The evening was spent watching some TV, working on a jigsaw puzzle, reading and knitting.  I went to bed at 10:30 and we completely forgot to open the champagne!!  Age…..

 

Today has started off well.  Coffee and knitting early and then I made cinnamon pecan waffles for breakfast.  I have a bit of laundry going.  I’d like to undecorate the tree, but I know Fletch wants it up a bit longer, so I’m not even suggesting it!

 

The balance of the day will be spent knitting, napping, reading a bit.  I’m hoping to take a walk, but right now it is very windy out, so maybe later.  We’ll see.

 

I have my “One Little Word” for 2019 and it is STRENGTH.  I mulled over a number of words, but this one kept coming back to me.  I’d like to gain more physical strength, but also emotional and mental strength as well.  Strength of the Spirit perhaps.  To find out what word others have chosen (or what word has “found” them), hop over to Juliann's Blog. 

 

Meanwhile, it’s time for me to get back to some knitting!