Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday - January 19, 2022

 Hello and Good Morning!

It is early (5:45 a.m. as I write this), but I couldn't sleep and since I'm planning to go to the office, I got up at 5, took a shower and here I am.  My head is cold (still have wet hair), but the coffee is hot and strong.  Mabel is already outside - there is no keeping her in now.  Although, she does not really show interest in going out late at night...fortunately.  Here's my sweet companion as of last night.


Messy table (again), but I like this picture because you can see her little tufts of hair at the tip of her ears.  Also, Mabel is becoming quite the mouser!  Monday morning she caught a big fat brown mouse on our patio and yesterday it was a rather large vole.  Fortunately she just plays with them till they die (not pleasant to see...but better than mice in the house)...she (so far) is not consuming them.

Since it is Wednesday, I am linking up with Kat and her merry band of Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday.  Fortunately there was no unraveling for me this week.  The second Holiday Sock is progressing (I got a bit done while Dee and I met up for coffee on Saturday morning).


Next up is the heel flap and turn.  I always enjoy that part...I've made scads of socks, but I always find turning the heel to be magical.

On the reading side of things, I did finish The Madness of Crowds and like all of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache books, I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I'm still enjoying the essays in No Time to Spare by Ursula LeGuin - I'm more than 2/3 of the way through that.  I did not start the Joni Mitchell book as planned because Agatha of Little Neon was available from the library.  This is the next "Read With Us" book.  You would think between Matrix and Agatha these ladies are on a nun kick...and they may be!  But, whereas I found Matrix to be a bit of a slog, Agatha is just plain fun (I'm only 35 pages in or so).  I think it will be a very nice counterpoint to Matrix.

That wraps it up for me this morning.  Be sure to head over to Kat's space to see what she and others are making and reading.

My office visit should be short and sweet.  I have some things to print and overnight to Kevin.  I also have Christmas gifts for my brother and sister-in-law in Delaware to ship out.  We had thought of getting together, but I don't think that is going to happen with Omicron and what have you.  Speaking of which, I ordered our free Covid tests yesterday - believe the government will begin shipping them in late January.  In case anyone needs it, here is the link for ordering:  https://special.usps.com/testkits

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!  Happy mid-week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday - January 18, 2022

 Good Morning!

I'm a bit groggy this morning.  Yesterday I was really, really groggy!  Our weather was ugly which didn't help.  We had snow overnight Sunday night...then it turned to rain sometime during the night and washed all the snow away.  Then mid-morning it started snowing again.  Nothing much - no accumulation at all.  But man!  The winds have been howling all last night and still this morning.

Luckily yesterday was a holiday for work.  I checked email and a few came in, but it was quiet for the most part which is good.  I made split pea soup for dinner which turned out really well (left overs in both the frig and freezer!!).  I took a long nap and then, finally, around 2:45 I ventured out for an eye doctor appointment.

I thought about going to the office today and then I thought better of it and booked a pedicure appointment for 11 a.m. instead.  I need to run to CVS for a couple of things too.  Probably tomorrow will be my office day.

At some point yesterday morning I looked out and some movement caught my eye.  Mabel was outside running around but then I saw this guy:


Fletch is pretty sure it was a Cooper's Hawk.  Weird to see a hawk on the ground.  He/She had flown out of a tree and I assume had seen something tasty down on the earth.  After a bit he flew up onto a low branch in the apple tree (closer to the house), but by the time I grabbed my phone for a picture he had flown across to one of our Rose of Sharon bushes.  Again, he took off before I could get a picture.  What a magnificent bird!

Mabel was fine by the way - she wandered over to the door to come in a bit later.  And, a new milestone has been reached:  she is sleeping on the bed without disturbing me!!  She even came up and napped with me yesterday afternoon!  I'm enjoying the extra warmth on the bed for sure.

Well, on to the TNT business.  Stitching was accomplished this past week.  First up the Adam & Eve sampler (hard to tell at this point that it is an A&E sampler, but it is).


Still working on alphabets (and, yes, there are more before I get to the meat of the sampler at the bottom).  At least some green has been introduced (in the bottom horizontal dividing band).  I'm still really enjoying this piece.  It is relaxing and fun to stitch.

I am happy to say that A Visiting Bird now has the bird!


It is hard to get a picture that shows accurate/true colors.  Here is a close up of the bird.


The beak and eye are black.  The top of the bird's head and the upper wing are a very dark purple/red.  The pattern refers to the color (DMC 154) as Bordeaux.  This piece too continues to be a joy.  There is still quite a bit to stitch on this one...but no rush...it's not a race.

Other than my pedicure and trip to CVS, I have no plans for the day.  I'm hopeful that work will remain quiet.  I may try to get a little laundry done.  I thought that I would clean the bathrooms yesterday, but that didn't happen and my kitchen floor is still screaming to be washed, but so far that's not happening either.

Time to pour a second cup of coffee and get myself motivated to wake up!  Hope your Tuesday is a good one.

Friday, January 14, 2022

TGIF

 Hello, Hello,

Despite a lousy night of sleep (like awake EVERY hour!), I'm in an excellent mood.  When I first came into the office and opened email I saw that my boss had asked me to cancel our 11 a.m. conference call!  This is absolutely my worst call, so I am thrilled.  I still have a call at 8:30, but that is a very quick one.  Happy, happy!

Forgot to mention about the cats traveling to TX yesterday.  I know I said they arrived safely (thank goodness).  When I asked Colin how they did, his reply text was that Marcel was very well behaved but that Talbot howled the entire way!  I can only imagine how thrilled the other passengers were.  By now I'm sure they are settling in to their new digs.  And, they have a balcony - the cats will love that.

Colin texted last night asking if we could go over to the house today for a few last minute things.  Not sure what those "things" are, but we will venture over.  That will give us a chance to get the clothes we left there too.

Yesterday I did walk along the canal in the afternoon.  The canal was frozen over.


Pretty patterns on the ice.  The river (Schuylkill) on the other side of the trail was not frozen.  Water still moving pretty quickly.


The trail was pretty mucky - muddy and icy at the same time.  I realized I must have been stepping gingerly in places because my back and legs were killing me by the time I got home.

Up by Fitzwater Station where they rent canoes and kayaks (and have a good restaurant with great beer choices!), there was a bit of open water on the canal.  Ducks and geese were in the water and also sitting on the ice (cold bums).


I'm hoping to get out again today...this time maybe going back to Oaks to see if the trail is open to where the sinkhole was or not.  Our temps today are still forecast to be mild (40's possibly), but by tomorrow those temps will plummet.  Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be 22!  But, I think the forecast for snow/ice/etc. has been modified and I believe it will just be rain now on Monday.  Or, perhaps a bit of snow Sunday night, but not the amount that had originally been predicted.

Looking forward to tomorrow when Dee and I will meet up for coffee, knitting and chatting.  Yay!  We have not gotten together since right before Christmas (since I was exposed to Covid, we were being very cautious).

And now I had another nice thought:  Monday is a holiday for me (work-wise) - MLK day.  I do have an eye appointment in the afternoon, but nothing else planned.  A long weekend is just what the doctor ordered!!  Hope yours is a good one.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

What's for Dinner? 1/13/22

 Good Morning!

Again, apologies, but no recipes for you.  I just baked a  ham and made scalloped potatoes (from scratch) last night for dinner.  And we had lima beans to go with it all.  Now I have a big ham bone in the frig so I can make split pea soup.  Probably Sunday or Monday when we are expecting wintry weather (snow moving into sleet/freezing rain).

First of all, thanks so much for all the well wishes and best juju for Colin & Mailing and Marcel & Talbot traveling to their new home in Austin, TX.  They made it!  Their flight was delayed (5 hours!!), but fortunately they learned that prior to leaving home in the morning.  The cats did have to come out of their carriers going through security, but Colin said it was fast and worked out better than he had anticipated.

Their furniture has not yet arrived (of course), but they flew down with camping equipment, so spread out foam pads and sleeping bags on the floor in the master bedroom.  Colin sent a picture of Talbot and Marcel exploring their new digs.  I'm glad everyone made it safely and it's nice to know that the cats won't need to fly for another 2 years!

Work was quiet again yesterday and I ran an errand or two.  I went to DSW (I'm still carrying around a $30 off coupon!), but after hitting two DSW stores, I came home empty handed.  Nothing appealed to me - or if it did, they did not have it in my size.  I'm living in slippers or if I go out, my sneakers or hiking boots.  Don't really need/want anything else.

I read a little (very little) and worked some on my stitching (but no knitting) and that was pretty much my day.  I've got my usual Thursday financial reports to run this morning, but no other plans.

Thanks again for all the good thoughts.  Hope everyone's week is winding down nicely.  Stay warm & safe!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 1-12-22

 Hello and Good Morning!

A little warmer here today - it is currently 20 outside and I think it is supposed to get up into the mid-30's today!  Well, today is the day for the kids and cats to fly to TX.  Fingers crossed that all goes well, smooth flight, no delays, etc., etc.  Colin sent a picture of his car being loaded up yesterday for shipping down to TX.  We need to get over to the house before their friends move in...we have some clothes there (sweaters and slippers) which I'd like to get.  Nothing major though.

The wind seems to have vanished too, so I'm hoping to get out for a walk today.  Yesterday I ran an errand and driving down a street I came across something I had forgotten about:  an elephant in a yard!


Yup, a statue of an elephant which is pretty big...also somewhat worn from weather.  Still it made me smile.  I don't always notice it (I don't really go down that street very often).  

Here we are at Unraveled Wednesday again - how is it possible to be just about mid-month?  Anyhoo, as usual, I'm linking up with Kat and the Merry Unravelers to talk making and reading.  On the making side I've mostly been stitching (see yesterday's post), but I did manage to finish Holiday Sock #1 and get a start on Holiday sock #2:


Just plain vanilla, but fun socks.  And, from the looks of things, these will be matchy-matchy.  I don't usually care about that but will admit that I want these to match, so I cut off some yarn before starting sock #2.  Hopefully not enough to make a difference.  It was a light skein to start, but I think I used slightly less than half the yarn for #1.  I'll try to give these some more attention today.

On the reading side I finally finished Matrix by Lauren Groff.  Though her writing is so beautiful (what a way with words), I still found the book to be a slog to read.  However, after last night's "Read With Us" Zoom discussion, I do have a better appreciation for the book (thank you ladies).  Now I'm about a third of the way through The Madness of Crowds and am thoroughly enjoying being back in Three Pines among friends.  Waiting in the wings (meaning on my nightstand) is a book that Fletch got me - Reckless Daughter - a Portrait of Joni Mitchell which I am anxious to read.  I just about wore out my Joni Mitchell albums while in college.  Another book I'm waiting for (I'm in queue at the library) is A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker which looks really good (read a review in the WSJ over the weekend).

Work is blissfully quiet so far this morning and I'm hoping it stays that way.  I need to get to CVS for a few things and, as mentioned above, am hoping to get out for a walk.  It's still dark here, so a bit difficult to tell what the day will be like.

Hope your week is going well.  Be sure to head over to Kat's for some inspiration!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday, January 11, 2021

 A Chilly Good Morning to You!

According to my phone it is around 15 outside.  That is cold.  Mabel is already out there running around.  She woke me at 6, had a quick bite to eat and then wanted to go out.  She puffs herself up and gets fluffy and warm.  Yesterday (I don't think it made it out of the 20's) she was in and out about a million times.  Meowing loudly on either side of the door.  At one point I saw her run up the apple tree, so I went out with my phone to get a picture.


If you click to enlarge, you'll be able to see her little tufts at the tips of her ears.  So darn cute.

Yesterday was an easy work day.  Thank goodness!  I felt worn out and took a good 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon, sleeping so deeply it was difficult to get going when I woke up.  There was both stitching and reading that took place, as well as talking to a friend on the phone.  There will most likely be another nap this afternoon as last night I managed to be awake from 1 a.m. till 4 a.m.!  I hate when that happens!

Anyway, it is Tuesday, or Tiny Needle Tuesday, or TNT.  There has been progress made on both samplers.  First up is the red alphabet in the Adam and Eve sampler.


There are several more alphabets before I get to the interesting part at the bottom.  The next horizontal line across though contains some green...so a tiny change from straight red.

The Visiting Bird sampler is coming along nicely.  A lot of solid fill-in stitching, but I am loving the way it looks.


Where the break in the outline on the right occurs is where the legs and feet of the (visiting) bird will be.  I may stitch them today!

These are both on 32 count linen, using DMC threads doubled.  At times the thread seems a bit thick, but I think a single strand on 32 count is too little.  At this point I'm not going to change!

I'm not sure what work will be like today.  So far it is quiet.  I'm making eggs and biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast - yum!  There are a couple of errands I need to run today and whether I walk or not depends on the weather.  The wind has been howling - all day yesterday and all night I could hear it.  If that calms down I may be able to venture out.  Time will tell.

Hoping everyone is having a great week!  Stay warm and safe!!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Weekending

Good Morning Friends,

How are you?  How was your weekend?  Ours was pretty chilly.  And filled with family.  Last night we went over to Bonnie & Zhongren's for "the last supper" with Colin & Mailing...last supper before they move that is.  I could tell that Colin was pretty stressed.  The movers had come on Friday and boxed things up and then came back on Saturday and loaded their truck.  Col said it would have been easier if they were moving the entire house...but they are not.  So, they had to be sure things that were boxed up were supposed to be boxed up and things that were left were supposed to be left.  The movers will be back on Tuesday to pick up Colin's car.

Dinner last night was nice.  So glad that we could all be together again.  I made a lemon meringue pie for dessert.


We made dumplings and had a lot of delicious side dishes to go with them.


Thanks so much to all of you for your kind words.  I know that so many of you have children scattered around the country...and around the globe.  Texas is not really all that far (compared to the year Colin spent in South Korea teaching English!!).  And we do have plans to visit them.  And, they will be back this way for four different weddings this year - April, May, June and October.  I just hope that all goes well with taking the cats on their flight Wednesday.  It will be an experience, I'm sure.

Other than that, not much happened over the weekend.  I found a little time to knit, stitch and read.  Mabel continues to entertain us and is loving going outside.  So far she is sticking around and we noticed that she tends to watch the birds rather than chase them.  I'm sure at some point that will change.  Saturday we had a beautiful hawk show up two doors down from us.


He/she kept calling and then suddenly flew off and a second one flew in.  Beautiful birds!

And now here we are at Monday and another work week (for me anyway).  Wishing you all a wonderful start to the week.  I'm hoping to get out to walk again this week.