Friday, February 26, 2021

Looking Forward to Weekending!

 Hello and Good Morning,

It's a little later than I normally post...the morning kind of got away from me.  But it is Friday and that's a very nice thing.  And my 8:30 a.m. conference call was cancelled.  I still have one at 10 and another at 11, but the sun is out and temps are on the rise again.

It has ended up being a busy week!  I have very limited cabinet space in the kitchen and no pantry at all.  Which is a shame.  Years ago Fletch built shelves for me in the basement and we store canned goods (soups, beans, tomatoes, etc.) down there.  I will also put bags of flour, sugar, corn meal, etc. down there - all secure in tough zip lock bags.  This winter, for the first time ever, mice have gotten into flour and corn meal.  So gross.  Yesterday we took everything off the shelves and Fletch used a shop vac to clean them up, then did some more cleaning.  I bought some plastic bins to store things in, so hopefully everything is mouse-proof now and will stay fresh.  I also discovered a number of canned goods we will never use (things I will say that Fletch bought at the beginning of the pandemic when he feared we might never get to a store again).  I now have two large Trader Joe's bags ready to donate to a food pantry.  That will hopefully happen later this afternoon.  It feels good to have gotten all that stuff organized.  Recently things had just been put on any shelf with no rhyme or reason to placement (I'm not going to name names, but if I had put things away that would not have happened - LOL).

Tyg ended up on the patio roof again the other morning!  I refused to open the window for him - I don't want him getting used to climbing up there and then jumping in a window.  I ended up getting up and going downstairs, putting the coffee on and then opening the patio door and calling for him.  Very soon he had climbed back down and was coming inside.  He had a quick bite to eat and then wanted to go back out!  In and out and in and out.  Enough to make you crazy!

I'm now working the smocking stitch on my Heart Warmer cowl and it is such a fun stitch!  Pictures next week.  And, last night I did cast on using the Northern Lights yarn from Knitpicks for a new pair of socks.

Not much, but a start.  Five rows of 2x2 ribbing are complete.  I usually do 15 rows on the cuff.  I hope to work more on these this weekend and start the pattern I've chosen.

Tomorrow we are heading to Colin & Mailing's for dinner.  They have gone Vegan for Lent, so no meat or dairy in the meal.  I think Colin said he was going to make French Lentil Soup and bake a loaf of bread.  I'm sure it will be yummy.  He also suggested that we come over a little earlier than usual so we can all take a walk in the afternoon, and he told Fletch he may try to shovel a path out to the fire pit in their back yard.  That would be fun.  I had planned to walk yesterday with our warming temps, but the wind was still too much for me.  Even with an earband or hat on I tend to get ear aches when it is windy.

I've started reading Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley and am finding it so charming.  Thanks for the recommendation Kym!!

Well, that's a wrap for me.  I need to get another cup of coffee and get ready for my conference call at 10.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 02/24/21

 Good Morning Everyone!

How are you on this Hump Day?  We had quite a drippy party going on yesterday.  The temps increased and all the ice on the roof (and elsewhere) began to melt and drip, drip, drip.  There is still plenty around and the ground is still snow covered, but there is hope!  Fletch shoveled some snow away from the edge of our patio so he can haul the grill out to cook some steaks tonight!  I'm excited.  Food does that to me.

Yesterday morning was spent on tax stuff (ugh).  But, I managed to get everything together for our accountant.  Today I'm going to head into the office and make copies of stuff and either later today or another day this week I'll drive over to the accountant's office and drop everything off.  It will be good to have that off my plate.  I also managed to clear out a lot of old papers from the filing cabinet which is always quite a chore.  But again - finished!!

Meanwhile, it's Unraveled Wednesday and, as usual, I'm linking up with Kat to talk about making and reading.  I am SO happy to report that the Yule Wave socks are finished - off the needles!

Are they perfect?  No  Do they fit?  Yes  Will I try colorwork again?  Definitely

The "wearing" pics are quite dark - sorry, but you can tell they fit (see my hand weights in the upper picture?  LOL).

These socks seemed to take forever to make.  Of course, I did make 3...the first one being so tight in the colorwork section that I couldn't get it over my instep!  Lesson learned.  I used size 2 needles to knit the socks, but size 3 for the colorwork and that did the trick.  I'm also really, really fond of the two red stripes just before the toe decreases.

A good portion of the week was spent stitching rather than knitting and, as a result of that, the Guernsey Wrap was not even taken out of the project bag.  The Heart Warmer Cowl did see a few more rows added to the Broken Rib section.  I think I have 8 more rows of that and then the smocking section will start.  I'm excited to do that - it's a new stitch to me.

Still loving the yarn and colors in this one.  The Broken Rib section is a bit boring (K1, P1 for one row then knit a row...repeat those two rows 9 more times) and I could fall asleep doing it, but perhaps I can finish that section today.

In the shiny new object department I wound up yarn for my next pair of socks.

Pretty, huh?  The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll and the colorway is "Northern Lights."  I think I've picked out the pattern I want to make (Twinkleberry) which was a free pattern on Ravelry (I don't think it's available now).  I'll modify it to do a normal ribbed cuff, but I like the lace and cables in it.  Hopefully it will work with this yarn.  These will go into the gift box when finished - the colors in the yarn are perfect for a friend of mine.

On the reading front, I finished 4 books this week!!  The one I mentioned in Monday's post (Time for Outrage - 5 stars), and I finished (finally) "Monogamy" by Sue Miller.  I kept thinking it would get better for me, but it never did.  After that I read two quick mysteries (one in the Ohio Amish series by Linda Castillo and the other in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series by Deborah Crombie).  Both of those were read in a couple of days and were a bit of a palette cleanser after Monogamy.  Next up is "Perestroika in Paris" by Jane Smiley which I'm looking forward to.

Time to pour another cup of coffee and pull things together for going into the office.  Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 Good Morning!

Well, a bit more snow fell than was forecast!  Here is what it looked like all morning (well, from 9:30 on) - a downy at the suet feeder and other birds flying in to sample thistle seeds and meanwhile the snow coming down like crazy!

All told, we ended up with an additional 5" or so.  By 2 p.m. the snow had stopped and temps had risen above freezing.  It still felt cold and damp to me, but Fletch went out and shoveled a path to the birdfeeder as well as out to the compost area.  We did not get the forecast rain, so there is still a lot of snow on the ground.

It was a good day to say inside and have some tea.  I had a fairly busy morning work-wise, but the early afternoon provided an opportunity for some knitting and stitching.  The past week was a pretty good one for my tiny needle.  Here's an overview of where my Quaker Autumn Sampler now stands.

You can see the middle motif is finished - complete with a hunter and a deer!  In addition to finishing that motif, I managed to stitch 3 leaves, the letters X, D and Q, a small bird to the right of the D and the larger bird with a branch (of something) and a red beak.  Here's a close up:

Still quite a bit to stitch on this, but I can tell the end is in sight!

I tried a new recipe last night that turned out delicious!  Encilada stuffed mushrooms:

Portobella Mushroom caps stuffed with a mixture of sauteed onions, pepper and garlic.  Then you add some frozen corn and a can of (rinsed) black beans.  A bunch of spices, some fresh chopped cilantro and a small can of red enchilada sauce.  I baked them at 400 for about 20 minutes then pulled them out to add some shredded cheese on top and sliced jalapenos on mine.  I made fresh quacamole to go with it.  So yummy!!

Hope everyone is having a great week!  

Monday, February 22, 2021


 Good Morning!

It's early still and dark.  Looking at the weather and radar, looks like we will be having snow (again) starting by 11 a.m.  But, our temps are on the rise and I'm betting by 3 or thereabouts it will just be rain.  It's been a number of years since we've had snow on the ground for this long.

How was your weekend?  Mine was filled with more domestic duties than anything else, but I'm glad to have (finally) gotten to them.  The bathrooms are spotless.  The kitchen floor has been scrubbed.  Our bedroom has been thoroughly dusted and vacuumed, as has my office room.  Some laundry was accomplished - there is more to do today, and grocuries were procured yesterday.

A (very) little knitting was done.  For being in constant play, the Yule Wave socks have to be taking the longest time EVER!

So close!  Only 5 or so rows left on the toe decrease section and then I can Kitchener up the toe and weave in the ends.  I got this close last night and just could not finish!  Instead I watched the season finale on PBS of All Creatures Great and Small.

A little stitching and some reading was done as well.  In my deep cleaning on Saturday, I came across a little gem of a book in an upstairs bookcase.  Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous! by St├ęphane Hessel.  My Dad had seen him on public TV and immediately bought the book.  Hessel was a member of the French Resistance, a diplomat, writer, etc.   So many wonderful quotes in this book which was written in 2010 when Hessel was 93.  One quote from the book:

It is the duty of us all to ensure that our society remain one of which we are proud, not a society wary of immigrants and intent on their expulsion or a society in which the media are controlled by the wealthy.  

An interesting and timely (still) book.  It is under 50 pages, so a very quick read.  Highly recommend.  The best part was finding a note from my Dad at the front of the book saying how he found this book so apropros of our times.  

The Tygus (as Colin calls him) is doing well and was a sweet companion most of the weekend.  He pretty much leaves my stitching or knitting things alone, but he likes to be close.

Today's plans include a conference call at 10 (hopefully a quick one) and some other bits and pieces of work.  Perhaps I will even arrange to finish the sock?

Have a great week!!

Friday, February 19, 2021

It's Friday!

 Good morning!

We are on the verge of the weekend which makes me happy.  I have a 10 a.m. conference call and I think that's it for the day (fingers crossed).  We ended up with about 5" of snow and then some sleet on top of that.  It could have been worse, so I'm grateful that's all we got and it ended sooner than predicted.

Still cooking and consuming food these days.  Last night's dinner was rainbow trout, Asian green beans (fresh beans done in a wok with sesame oil and soy sauce and plenty of garlic - YUM) and quinoa with sliced radishes, chopped scallions chopped grape tomatoes, pepitas and dried cranberries - all with a splash of EVOO and fresh lemon juice.  

We also had some more of that decadent dark chocolate tart for dessert.  The scale was NOT my friend this morning - LOL.  Tonight I'm making home-made pizza.

A bit more knitting on the Yule Wave sock was completed.

The heel has been turned (in red), gusset stitches picked up and now the decreases are occurring.  It should be smooth sailing going into the weekend.

Finally, this guy says Thank You for all the well wishes.  We were able to get the de-worming med on him (administered similarly to Front Line...but liquid on the neck is not a pleasant thing for cats) and I have not been seeing the segments, so health is being restored.  He will get the second doses on 3/16.

Happy Weekend from all of us.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 02-17-21

 Good Morning!

How are you on this Wednesday?  I woke at 3 a.m. and never got back to sleep so...I'm a bit drowsy this morning.  I was up early (obviously) and found my way to the office...some things I needed to do.  It is now approaching 9 a.m. and I am finished what I needed to do at the office.  After I write this post, I will head to Trader Joes, the liquor store (more snow forecast for tomorrow) and Staples.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day!  Spring-like even.  Blue skies, sunny and temps in the 40's.  Today it is back to frigid weather and (as I mentioned above) snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.  Supposedly 3-5", but who knows?  It will be nice to not have to go anywhere.

I did get to the vet's yesterday and picked up the de-worming medication for Tyg.  Thank God!  She recommended two doses - one yesterday and one a month later to be sure those "bad boys" are gone.  I agree.

Meanwhile, it is Wednesday which means Unraveled Wednesday.  As usual I am linking up with Kat and friends to talk about what we are making and reading.  First up is the Heart Warmer Cowl.  Gosh I love this knit!  The Bobble section is finished and I started the next section which is Broken Rib.  After that comes a Smocking stitch which I am interested to try.

Still loving the yarn and the way it is knitting up.  I should have gotten a better picture, but it was late last night when I took this (and the others).  Better shots next time.

My Yule Wave Sock (#2) is now at the heel flap.  I usually just knit on this after dinner while Fletch reads (which means every other night since we take turns reading).

Again, not a great picture (and it flipped sideways).  Once I get the heel done and the gusset stitches picked up, it should fly down the foot.  I really like this and I've enjoyed knitting it and doing the color work, but I'd like to start a new pair of socks.

Last, but certainly not least, is my Guernsey Wrap.  I've now completed 40 rows (the first chart is 78 rows and you knit it twice and then knit rows 1-58 again).  Loving the yarn (KnitPicks Wool of the Andes), loving the color (Mink Heather) and loving the knit.  FUN!!

Again, the picture flipped sideways.  Oh well!  At least you can see the different sections in this picture.

On the reading side of things, I am still working my way through "Monogamy" by Sue Miller.  I'm not thrilled with it, but having read about two thirds of it, I will finish.  I certainly don't feel compelled to pick it up every day, but other books have come through from the library that I would like to read, so...I will continue to plug away.

And I guess that's a wrap for me.  Wishing you all a wonderful mid-week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 Good Morning!

Happy Mardi Gras!!  In our house, the masks are up!

I'm not sure if we will be throwing beads today, but I'm sure there will be a bit of alcohol!!  Have you ever been to NOLA for Mardi Gras?  I went in 1980 with a girlfriend.  At the time one of my brothers was living in New Orleans, so we had a place to stay.  And, oh my!  What a party it was.  I remember needing to go to the bathroom and not being allowed in a bar because I was a female (the bar was gay).  I also remember how everything was so filthy - trash and beer, etc. in the street.  And then, Ash Wednesday we got up early to head to the airport and you would never have known that Mardi Gras had taken place...the streets were spotless - no trash or debris anywhere.  The workers had worked all night to clean up everything.

Meanwhile, it's TNT, or Tiny Needle Tuesday.  A bit of stitching got done in the past week.  Not as much as I had hoped for.  I had planned to finish the center motif, and I got close, but not all the way.

This section - and then some - should be finished by next week.  A little boring to be using the SAME color for the entire image, but once it is complete, it works well.

The cooking - or I should say baking - continued yesterday.  I made Ina Garten's Dark Chocolate Tart which has to be the easiest dessert ever.  Also EXTREMELY rich and delicious!

There are a few slivers of this in the frig and the rest has been wrapped and is in the freezer.  Plenty of chocolate for a long time!  My version does have sea salt on the top, but the flakes are so small they don't show up in the picture...but the sea salt with the chocolate = LOVE!!

I've a bit of running around to do today.  The vet was closed yesterday for President's Day, but I left a message...we are sure Tyg has worms (ugh!) and I'd like to pick up the de-worming med today (the kind we have used before is just put on similar to Front Line.  We need some new shower curtain hooks for the downstairs bathroom, so I will most likely stop at Target for those.  I need a ruler (I've looked high and low in the desk and cannot find one) and I'd like to get some sprouts for salads - if Target doesn't have them, I know a grocery store I pass carries them.  Lasagna and a salad are on the menu for tonight.

If you are in the midst of the storm, stay safe.  Our temps actually rose a bit and we had heavy rain during the night.  And that's a wrap for me.  Work was quiet yesterday and I'm hoping for more of the same today.  Wishing you all a wonderful day.