Friday, March 24, 2023

Friday Felines

 Good Morning!

Today's post is about chasing birds.  Yup - that's what Mabel loves to do.

Yesterday was mostly a rainy day, but by late afternoon the skies cleared and Fletch hauled out the grill to cook us some dinner (lamb chops - yum!).  At one point he opened the back door and called me out to see Mabel.

We often see her racing up the apple tree, but this time she was going up the tree my clothesline is tied to.  It is covered in a tangle of trumpet vines (so many!), poison ivy (so much) and Seven Sisters Roses (not enough).

Please click to enlarge - she is just too cute.  As she climbed higher and higher (higher than the apple tree allows), we could hear her talking (chittering) away at all the birds.  Too cute.

Higher still she went until she finally turned to the other side and was out of our sight.  By the time we were sitting down to dinner, she was whining at the back door to come in.  Quite the little adventuress!  And, quite the climber!

I'm looking forward to a nice day - my one conference call was cancelled, so I feel as though my day is free.  The weather is not lovely, but I have plenty to keep me occupied inside.  Wishing you all a fabulous weekend - have some fun!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 3/22/23

 Good Morning Friends,

It is already 40 degrees out which is considerably warmer than yesterday.  Today will definitely feel like a Spring day!  Hopefully that will motivate me to do a few things (if work is not too annoying) - vacuuming needs to be done both upstairs and down and I should (key operative word there) do some dusting.  But...if it is as nice as I think it is going to be, getting outside for a bit will definitely be a priority and the hell with the chores!  LOL

Fletch said he plans to go out today to get some pansies.  He checked and our local nursery has them.  He always puts some in the window box that is by one of our kitchen windows.  The small daffodils I cut the other day have faded and dried up, so it is time to replenish the vase.

But first, let's link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Kat and I are knitting the same thing!  Pi socks for our partners.  Fletch's first Pi Sock is winding down the foot.  I have roughly 30 rows left to go to the toe decreases.

The colors are slightly off in the photo (no purple in this yarn).  I used the mini that Lisa packed up with the Pi Skein for the cuff and the heel flap and heel turn.  I will also use it for a bit at the end of the toe decreases.  Despite the unevenness of the yarn (very thin in places), this is knitting up to be a very nice sock.

Reading has been good!  I finished "The Shipping News" by Annie Proulx over the weekend - just in time for our Zoom discussion last night (wasn't that fun?).  I (re)discovered Postcards by Proulx in a bookcase in our bedroom, so plan to read that.  I also (re)discovered so many books in that bookcase that I have yet to read.  Isn't it easy to get distracted by bright and shiny new books and new authors?  Every week I increase my TBR list thanks to recommendations by all of you.  It's a wonderful thing, but I need more hours in each and every day!

I did start and am 100 pages into The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan.  It is a rather short book (maybe 250 pages?) and is not what I was expecting.  I'm enjoying it though.  Each chapter is only 2 pages long which makes it easy to pick up and read while making dinner or waiting for a work email to come in, etc.  

Once I finish Dirt Island I *need* (and want) to finish up "The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois."  With only 200+ pages left, I need to plug away and get it done!  And yesterday I stopped by my library and picked up Unraveling by Peggy Orenstein which I'm looking forward to diving into.  MDK did a "Knit to This" talk with the author a week or so ago (which I have yet to listen to).

Well, the sun is now up and it's looking cloudy out there rather than sunny.  Hoping that changes and hoping your Wednesday is a good mid-week time.  Be sure to head over to Kat's for inspiration in both the making and reading worlds.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/21/23

 Hello and Good Morning!

How are you?  I'm a bit groggy...having had only a sip or two of coffee so far.  Last night sleep eluded me.  I'm not going to complain because I've had a couple of weeks of excellent sleep - 9+ hours on occasion!  But last night?  I woke at 1:30 and never really got back to sleep.  I dozed for 5 minutes or so here and there, but that was it.  You know I'll be napping today!

There has been a bit of stitching in the past week.  The tree that the bird is perched on is finished and (YAY!!) my outside borders met up perfectly.  Whew!

I am getting a little sick of that gold color.  Unfortunately there is a ton more of it to stitch.  It runs all along the bottom portion of the sampler - under the house and across to the other side and down to the bottom border.  That's an awful lot of a single color.  I'll do some of it and then take a break and fill in with a bit of the quirky stag and some of the other motifs that are left to complete.

Occasionally I think I'm nearing the end of this sampler, but not really - there is still an awful lot of stitching left to complete.  My next piece may need to include more (and different) colors.

Fletch and I are starting to plan a little get-away for the week after Easter.  We will be heading South (VA and NC) to visit family and friends.  I am definitely looking forward to that!

And...I'm looking forward to seeing some of you this evening when we gather for our Read With Us Zoom discussion.  See you then!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Weekending 3/20/23

 Good Morning!

First of all, Happy Birthday to my Mom who would be 104 today!!  And Happy First Day of Spring.  Yay!!  Even though it is in the low 20's here.  Yesterday was horribly windy (again) and the thermometer never got above freezing.  But, Friday was mild and I discovered a bunch of blooms!

These smaller daffodils are always the first to bloom and it is always a surprise to me because they are all along the north side of the house.

Again, Friday was mild enough that we had the first fire of the year in our fire pit!!  

You can see our arbor lights at the edge of our woods are on.  They are solar lights and Friday was pretty sunny.  The shiny thing on the other side of Fletch is a thistle feeder hanging in the apple tree.  Within about 40 minutes we started to feel a few drops of rain, but we lasted out there just about an hour and it was so nice to get back into a backyard fire.

Saturday morning found me meeting up with Dee as usual for some chatting, knitting and sipping.  I had to cut our visit a little short because Fletch and I had plans for the afternoon.  Years ago Fletch became friends with a local (movie) director and used to help out on sets, etc.  One day John asked him to be in one of the movies he was filming.  Fast forward to now and John had the premier of the movie on Saturday.  I joked with Dee that I needed to go home and find a gown to wear...and the only gowns I own are nightgowns.  LOL

Anyway, we went to the premier which was fun.  The movie is about an ex-boxer who is just out of prison and starting his life over and is told a champion wants to fight him.  Of course they fight and of course the ex-boxer wins (and gets a boat load of money and hooks up with his parole officer - which makes no sense whatsoever).  I did not particularly care for the movie but it was fun to see the scene that Fletch was in.  The audio was horrible though and I had a hard time hearing most of the actors (Fletch was audible though!).  A fun and different way to spend an afternoon.

The premier was held at the Norristown Public Library and a display case in front of the library entrance had some beautiful ceramic pieces from the local high school.

Love this trio of kitty boxes.

Sorry for the glare - difficult to get good pics.

Interesting teapots!

Some of these high school kids are very talented.

Despite the wind, Fletch spent some time outside and radish seeds have now been planted.  He counted 47 garlic shoots coming up (47 out of 50 planted)!!  Inside, the sungold cherry tomato seeds have sprouted.

So, even though the temps are chilly, Spring is emerging and that is an encouraging and wonderful thing!

I'm hoping for an easy start to the work week.  And, wishing you all a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 3/15/23

 Good Wednesday Morning!

How can it possibly be the middle of March?  Time is hurrying by faster and faster and I can hardly keep up!  Our winds are still strong and it is a chilly start to the day (32). but our temps should be gradually warming up a bit.

Mid-week and time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to discuss making and reading.  Two favorite things for sure.

If you read my blog post on Monday, you know that the Trekking socks are off the needles and have already been worn.  In their place, I immediately started the Pi Socks using the Pi yarn (Wild Atlantic Pi) that I ordered from Fibernymph Dye Works.  The skein came with a mini which I am using for the cuff, heels and toes of the sock.  The first one is coming along:

A bit more than halfway down the leg, heading to the heel.  I threw in the CD that we listened to during dinner last night so that you could see how well my knitting matched the cover - LOL.  Mary often matches her nail color or knitting to the book she is reading, so I'm following suit with a CD case and yarn.  (And, yes, we do still listen to CDs, along with the radio and Spotify - good to have options.)

On the reading front, I set aside Love Songs for a little bit because two new books finally came in for me (and I cannot renew I needed a break from Love Songs...becoming a bit of a slog).  First up is Signal Fires and wow!  What a book; what a punch it packs!  I stayed up past my usual bedtime last night and finished it.  I know there is still a long wait list for this one, so I plan to drive over and return it to the library this morning.

The other new book that came in for me is The Queen of Dirt Island which I hope to start today.  I've heard both positive and negative reviews of this one, so we shall see.  I also still need to finish up "The Shipping News" for our discussion next week and then get back to Love Songs and wrap that sucker up!

Tomorrow I will head to the office.  We are having a luncheon - the first since before Thanksgiving, so that should be nice.  I'm not sure who is catering this time, but the food is always good!  

Dee sent me a link to an article about the rise in pick-pockets in Tredyffrin Township which is where my office is...and also Trader Joe's.  In fact, one of the reported incidents occurred at the TJ Maxx store in the Gateway Shopping Center which is where TJ's is.  I plan to go there tomorrow, so I will be on high alert!

Hoping this Wednesday finds you all well and enjoying life!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/14/23

 Good Morning,

What a noisy night!  The wind woke me up at some point when it was howling around the house and rattling windows.  I did eventually fall back asleep but then there was Mabel's 5:30 a.m. wake up call.  Back asleep and then at 7 I woke but struggled to get out of bed - it was quite chilly once the covers were thrown back.

I'm happy to say that my doctor did call in a prescription for doxycycline which I took yesterday.  A single dose of 2 pills this time!  So, I should be protected if indeed that nasty tick bit me.  I also managed to pick up our taxes and drop off a donation at a local thrift store.  Work got very busy in the afternoon, but at least I was able to run my errands.

It feels as though last week got away from me.  I'm not sure what I was doing, but it wasn't much stitching!  Here's an overall view of Ellen Harrison as of last night.

And a close up of the start of the tree the bird is perched upon.

If all goes well today, I plan to finish up the tree and move on to more of the outside border.  Fingers crossed that the bottom border and right hand side border will meet up perfectly.

We did have another new recipe last night which turned out delicious!  We had Mongolian beef over jasmine rice with a side of spicy-garlicky eggplant.  Yum!

The recipes I used are here and here in case anyone is interested.

Time for me to get rolling and get my day started.  Hope your week is going well!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Weekending: The Pretty, The Ugly and the Gross! 3/13/23

 Hello My Friends!

How are you this cloudy (here in Eastern PA) morning?  It's above freezing, so that is a good thing.  How was your weekend?  Mine was good, though the early Saturday morning hours were a struggle.  LOL  Mabel work me earlyish - like 4:30 or 4:45.  I went downstairs to let her out (she has taken to wanting to play hide and seek before going out which is a bit annoying).  I (finally) let her out and went back upstairs, got into bed and almost immediately heard a very loud (meaning extremely near) fox.  I went back downstairs opened the door and Mabel came running in from the patio - tail all big and fluffy.  I went back to bed.  15 minutes later she wanted to go out.  Back downstairs, I opened the door, she ran out, turned around and wanted to come right back in.  At this point I noticed it was snowing.  There was another letting out (this time she stayed out and I did not hear any foxes) and I managed to sleep till 6:30 or so.

Luckily the snow did not stick to anything and had actually stopped by the time I left to meet up with Dee.  We had our usual lovely time together and I managed to finish the 2nd Trekking sock for Fletch while we chatted and sipped our coffee.  Voila!  One of the Pretty things.

Fletch even wore them on Sunday!  He pronounced them great - wonderful feeling and a perfect fit!

And another pretty thing:

That's the Pi Yarn - another pair of socks for Fletch in the making and my gorgeous African Violet.

Only the ugly and gross are left - LOL.  Moving into Sunday morning, we decided waffles would be a nice breakfast.  I've been having some issues with my waffle maker and yesterday morning this happened.

Now that's just plain ugly!  The first one sort of worked, but this second waffle was just a mess.  I switched to making pancakes and the waffle maker is now in the trash.  A new one has been ordered from Amazon and will be here tomorrow.  (The new one has the bonus of removable plates, so will be MUCH easier to clean.)

Now for the gross.  Before Fletch came downstairs for breakfast I went into the bathroom...did my business and when I went to pull up my pants discovered a deer tick on my underwear!!  I just about had a fit.  I don't know how it got there or when.  I do know that when I got up I had put on all clean clothes - clean underwear, a clean pair of leggings and a clean shirt.  Had the tick been in my dresser?  Had it been on me from the day before?  I'm staying vigilent looking for a bullseye and so far I have not seen one.  I may just call the doctor and request a prescription anyway to be on the safe side.  Since I did have Lyme Disease the other year, I will test positive for it whether or not I was bitten this time.  The fact that ticks are already out and about is just another sign of our mild winter.

Today I'm running back up to the accountant's office to pick up our taxes and drop off our e-filing signed papers.  This is another ugly thing...we owe a boatload this year which is not nice.  I have a few other errands to run as well, so hopefully work will cooperate and stay quiet.  I think more snow is predicted for us tonight/tomorrow but by Thursday it should be warm enough that Fletch is planning to grill!

I hope your Monday is off to a great start!