Friday, December 13, 2019

The Tree

Good Morning!  Happy Friday the 13th!!

We did decorate our tree last night while Colin was over.  It is so pretty (and still fragrant!!) and I just love sitting in the room at night (or early morning) with only the tree lights on (and some white lights we have between the kitchen and living room).

I thought I'd share just a few of my favorite ornaments.  We've used a red cardinal as a tree topper for years, and, our tree is filled with a lot of bird ornaments.  First up, an ornament I made when I was probably 6 or 7.

See?  A bird.  And if you look closely, to the right of that ornament is another bird - a pheasant.

One of our oldest ornaments (and we have a lot from the 50's) is this one:

We always make sure it is hung in a place where a light will shine on it.  So sparkly!

Next up is an ornament that Colin gave me last year.  Not a bird, but...

A mouse nibbling on cheese!  Which reminds me that Wednesday night Tyg brought a mouse - dead - into the house to play with for awhile.  Fletch was able to get it (while I held Tyg) and put it out of the house.

The last one I'll show always takes pride of place on the tree.  This was made when Colin was in first grade.  Some of the gold glitter migrated and it looks like he has a gold tooth - LOL

We always laugh so hard when we re-discover this one.

There are so many more I could show you.  Tiny little baskets made out of walnut shells that are filled with tiny wrapped boxes (made by a friend of Fletcher's Mom).  Beautiful tatted snowflakes (some of which have yellowed with age) made by some of Fletcher's relatives.  More birds, a lamb, a snowy owl.  Decorating the tree is always a trip down memory lane.

How is your weekend looking?  I have a few errands to run tomorrow and hope to do a little baking and some wrapping.  We are heading over to Colin & Mailing's for dinner and to celebrate their birthdays on Saturday.  I'm hoping for some quiet time to read (The Dutch House!!) and knit (socks and the Canary Blanket).  And I need to squeeze in some grocery shopping and a trip to the liquor store...maybe also Costco.

Whatever you are up to, may your weekend be filled with joy and some peaceful moments.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Thirty Years Ago!

Good Snowy Morning!  So, yesterday was in the 50's and today I woke to 3+ inches of heavy wet snow on my car!  It is still snowing out and is so pretty.  The roads are clear, so it's just nice to be out and about. was thirty years ago today that Colin entered the world!  Happy Birthday to our wonderful son who has brought us more joy and laughter and love than we ever imagined possible.  Some funny/interesting (to me anyway) things:

1.  My best friend Leslie had her daughter on the same day 12 years earlier!  (Leslie and I both had due dates of 12/7 and we both had our children on 12/11).

2.  My niece, Vera, was born on the same day 6 years before Colin.  The 11th is also the birthday for Sam, my brother's partner and Fletcher's grandfather!

3.  I never saw a bill from the hospital or my doctor!  At the time I was working for another hospital and I think it was a "courtesy" discount.  I also had a double room, but no roommate

This is a group of pictures that Fletch keeps on his chest of drawers (the *aged* paper at the top reads:  Dad is the Best!):

Such a happy boy!  The two pictures where he is sitting in a wicker chair are from day care.  And here is a group of some day care and school pictures, ending with his senior picture at the far right.

Some of these pictures are so funny!

Probably best that he does not read this blog, I'm sure he would not be thrilled with these pictures being posted.  LOL

Mailing has been out of town on business, but she is cooking him a birthday dinner (rack of lamb and cream brulee pie!!!) on Saturday, so we will celebrate then.  I'll bake a cake tonight to have tomorrow when Colin comes over for dinner.

We did manage to get the Christmas tree into the house last night (during a lull in the weather) and it is "settling."  Fletch will put the lights on it today or tonight and then we will decorate it tomorrow when Colin is over.  This has got to be one of the strongest smelling trees we have ever had.  Our house is tiny, but you can smell the tree everywhere - even upstairs!  It is wonderful.  However, it was such a bitch to get that sucker into the house and then secure in the tree stand, I am just about ready to give in and go with an artificial tree.  I'll see what Fletch thinks.

This is also Unraveled Wednesday.  No knitting updates since my post yesterday.   I did (finally) finish "A Better Man" by Louise Penny.  I thought it got better towards the end, but I don't think this book comes anywhere near being as good as her others.  I still want to go to Three Pines and meet everyone, sit at the cafe and have a croissant and coffee, but I was really quite bored with this book.  I am now reading "The Dutch House" and the best part of this for me is the setting - it takes place (so far anyway) in the suburbs of Philadelphia where I grew up.  Be sure to head over to Kat's Blog to see what she and others are making and reading.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A Little Decorating

Good Morning!

Another grey, wet and very mild (55 degrees!!) morning here.  Hard to believe we are supposed to get some snow (1-3") overnight.  The roller coaster continues.

Finally I managed to do a little decorating in the house.  We don't do a lot - I have tubs of things that I don't put out now (and more ornaments than can ever fit on our tree).  The buffet is done:

I love the simplicity of the birch log with candles (my Mom always had one on our dining room table) and a few favorite little pieces.

I love this little Santa and the tiny elf with a bowl of cranberries in his lap that he is stringing.  But, my most favorite decoration (I know I shared this the other year) is the "jewel tree" Fletcher's Mom made for us.

This is not the best picture, but you can see it.  Made with all costume jewelry pieces mounted on black velvet.  It sparkles so much with the candles lit.

Fletch is planning to move some furniture in the living room today to make room for the tree.  We will get that in tonight...he will string lights on it tomorrow and then we will decorate it Thursday when Colin is over for dinner.

I also managed to write some Christmas cards last night, and shipped out some packages yesterday.  I have a few more to wrap and ship (and wrapping for local gifts), but I feel as though I am making progress.  I do need/want to start baking a bit.

If you read Dee's Blog then you know we got together on Saturday and went to a Christmas market at the Mennonite Heritage Center.  As Dee mentioned, it was a smaller market than last year, not as many craft vendors and the farmers' market portion was smaller as well.  Still, it was a gorgeous day and nice to get out.  We also did a bit of shopping in Skippack (love Floral & Hardy - such a fun shop), had coffee and then went out to lunch.

The weekend saw the finish of the first green sock and the start of the second!

This picture shows the color much better than my previous picture.  Doesn't that yarn look pretty against my Christmas tablecloth?  The cloth is one my Mom made probably 50 years ago!!!

All in all a lovely weekend and I am sticking to my promise to not get frantic this holiday season.  Instead I am enjoying all that I am doing!  I hope you also are enjoying this season.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 12/4/19

Good Morning!

I was surprised this morning when Tyg came in wet.  Looking outside I realized it was snowing and the car was already covered!  Fortunately there was not much, it came right off the windshield with the wipers and it stopped snowing by the time I was ready to drive to work.  Winter is here I guess.  A White Christmas might be nice (as long as we can get over to Colin & Mailing's!!).

So here we are at the first Unraveled Wednesday of December.  After finishing the socks for my little brother I had been working on the Canary Blanket, but my fingers sometimes hurt, so I cast on another sock!  What a surprise..

This photo shows the yarn as grey-ish, but in reality it is green.  Christmas Green!  I'm knitting the Hermoine's Everyday Sock pattern (again) (because easy and I already memorized it).  These will be another gift.

Last night I did manage to get three more rows knit on the blanket.  It is getting heavy in my lap, but I still have such a long way to go!  I had hoped to finish it for Colin's birthday or Christmas, but I doubt that will happen.  I just can't knit much of it at any one time.

Yesterday's mail brought the first Christmas card and inside the sweetest gift from Betsy - a very pretty Christmas stitch marker/progress keeper:

Bells!  I love this.  Thank you Betsy - I am going to use this on the new sock I'm knitting.

Also, on the seasonal front, our office is decorated (my home is not yet...).  Actually the "service" that does all the plants in our building also puts up the trees and decorates.  They did that the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Here is the tree in our reception area:

So pretty and festive.  And, our office is filled with poinsettias.  They are everywhere!  There must be at least 50+ in our office - on all the tables in the kitchens, in the hallways, etc.  Our office is on the second floor of the building and in the main lobby there is a tree that is just about 3 stories high!  Lots of garlands all over the place too.  So pretty.  I need to do some decorating at home.  I think we will put our tree up next Thursday when Colin is over for dinner.  We always used to put it up and decorate it on the 11th (Colin's birthday).  Fletch will be on a mission to find the Perfect Tree for us!

Still plugging along on A Better Man by Louise Penny.  I'm about 65% of the way through it and it is getting a little better.  I still am not thrilled with it - I think the other books in the series are so much better (personal opinion).

Looking forward to a short day at work today.  I'll be leaving by 2 p.m. for an eye doctor appointment and then tomorrow I'll be in late thanks to a dentist appointment (just cleaning) at 7:30.

Linking up with Kat and friends on this Unraveled Wednesday.  Head over there to see what others are up to in the making and reading worlds.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Back At It

Good Morning!  Is anyone still full from Thanksgiving?  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Ours was lovely.  As usual, Colin & Mailing hosted and everything was so delicious.  The pies I made (maple pumpkin and pecan) turned out well.  It was just Colin & Mailing, Mailing's parents and her grandmother (who speaks NO English!!) and us.  We almost forgot to put plates on the table!

We did watch The Irishman which was so good.  And so long (3.5 hours!!).  I managed to get a little knitting done while watching.  And, it was just so wonderful to have 5 days off in a row.  I wouldn't mind that every week - lol.  But, of course, now I am Back At It (at work).

Friday I surprised myself by going out shopping.  I haven't gone out on Black Friday in years, but I just felt like it this year.  Traffic was not bad at all and the stores I went to were not crowded, plenty of parking, etc.  I stayed away from the malls (which I stay away from anyway) and I managed to get a lot of shopping done.  We mail quite a few packages to friends and family, and I've just about finished shopping for those folks and even started wrapping some gifts!

Sunday morning Fletch and I ran out to do a few errands, and when we pulled back into our driveway it had started to sleet.  Within 20 minutes, it looked like this:

Little ice droplets on the apple tree branches.  The black spot on the shed door is the remainder of a sunflower head that Fletch had hung for the birds to enjoy.  I think it's time to put the little mini wreath on the shed.

This morning we are having a "wintry mix" that is supposed to change to all snow by Noon with anywhere from 2-5" accumulating before it's all said and done.  It's been snowing now for the past half hour or so.

On the knitting front, I did manage to finish my little brother's socks!

I love the way they turned out and love the colors in this yarn (Lorna's Laces and the colorway is "Baltic Sea").  They could have used the hand knit socks this past week - they were driving back from California and camping, but ran into snow in New Mexico.  (They abandoned camping and took a hotel room!)  Meanwhile at their home (Boulder, CO) they had two feet of snow!  They did make it home safely yesterday.

And here is where the Canary Blanket stands at this point.  I crossed another cable and added a 4th ball of yarn.

So bright and cheerful!

On the reading front, I'm still making my way through the latest from Louise Penny - A Better Man and I'm not sure if I'm still in my reading slump or what, but this book just doesn't seem as good to me as the other ones in the series.  Or am I getting bored?  Anyone else have opinions on this book?

I'll be trying to catch up on some blog reading today between conference calls...and keeping an eye on the weather in case I want to leave before it gets really messy!  Nice to have the luxury to do that.

Wishing you all a fabulous week!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tuesday already?

Good Morning!

Is it Tuesday already?  Is it Spring?  If you read Dee's Blog then you know we had some snow on Sunday.  And wind!  But yesterday the sun was out and it felt like, more of the same and it could hit 60!  The wind did do some damage though:

That is known as our "Swing Tree."  It stood (past tense...) next to the start of the trail into our woods.  There was a branch that crossed the entrance to the trail and for years we had a swing hanging from that branch.  Colin spent many happy times swinging high over our boggy area and back into the woods.  Yesterday afternoon Fletch and I noticed that the tree had come down.  Thankfully not all the way because it would have crushed the trellis that Fletch put up recently.  Fletch was able to push the trellis back so that if the tree falls further it will not damage it.  It is going to be a mess to clean up!

So, how was your weekend?  Mine was nice.  I met up with Dee on Saturday at the Farmers' Market (last weekend for it till Spring) and then we went for coffee/knitting/chatting.  We left before we were trapped in Lansdale - lol.  It was the day for their Holiday Parade and they close the streets to traffic.  We escaped in the nick of time.  My Sunday was spent prepping for Monday which was my colonoscopy.  I will say that the prepping has certainly improved...I didn't get sick and was able to keep it all down.  My procedure went well - thank goodness!  It was a weird day after that though.  My history with this procedure is that afterwards I am very lethargic and sleepy, not interested in eating, etc.  Yesterday?  Just the opposite.  Fletch and I went out to eat as soon as I was able to leave the facility.  When we got home I started cooking (the dinner I was making took 4 hours or so to cook) and then proceeded to clean both bathrooms and do 3 loads of laundry.  LOL.  So bizarre after being sedated.  Today I am back at work.

Meanwhile, I was able to get quite a bit of knitting done.

Only a little over half a sock left and my little brother's socks will be finished!  I hope to finish these up this weekend (if not before). 

Thanksgiving I plan to take the Canary Blanket to Colin & Mailing's and spend some time working on that.  Colin wants to watch "The Irishman" (Martin Scorsese's latest) which comes out on Netflix on Thursday - it's 3.5 hours, so plenty of knitting time.

I've made the cranberry/orange relish (my Mom's recipe) and the cranberry chutney (Fletcher's Mom's recipe).  Wednesday I will make two pies.  There will only be six of us for dinner on Thursday - Fletch & me, Colin & Mailing and Mailing's parents.  I'm making a maple pumpkin pie and a pecan pie.  Mailing has the turkey ordered and I'm betting the rest of the meal will be delicious (she makes such a tasty stuffing!!).

Not sure if I will be coming into work tomorrow or not.  The office is closing at 1, so I'd sort of like to not bother...but with being out yesterday, I'll see how it goes.  In case I don't post again this week, wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  May your holiday be filled with an abundance of good health, much laughter and plenty of love.  Enjoy!  And safe travels to all on the roads/in the air.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thursday Stuff

Good Morning!

The sun came up this morning like a ball of fire!  And it is bright outside.  Wow - so nice after some grey days.  Another mild one predicted for today and we are actually planning to have a fire tonight after dinner.  Should be lovely.

Speaking of lovely, our work Thanksgiving luncheon was so nice on Tuesday.  Terrain was beautifully decorated - very rustic and gardeny (is that a word?) and the food was fabulous!  They also had a fire pit set up for us outside with the making of smores for after lunch.  It was a very mild day, but some folks stayed to enjoy that.  I left right after the luncheon was over.  I knew it would be a trek to get home (and it was - traffic was so heavy), but still I was home by 3 which was so nice.  Fletch was at a doctor's appointment, so I took a quick 45 minute nap and got up just as Fletch came home (and he is now scheduled for his 2nd cataract surgery in late January!!).

The George Winston concert we went to Tuesday night was so good.  I didn't know it, but he also plays the guitar and the harmonica.  But mainly the piano.  I kept thinking how much Fletcher's Mom would have enjoyed the concert (she played the piano and gave piano lessons to neighborhood kids for years).  He played for an hour, took about a 15 minute intermission and then played for another hour.  One of the things I enjoyed about the concert was that he spoke about each piece and who/what had influenced him. 

The venue - The Sellersville Theatre - is a small, intimate theatre (only around 325 seats or so) and there were not too many empty seats.  It was a late night for me as we didn't get home till almost 11, but so nice.  Fletch really enjoyed it which made me happy since I had gotten the tickets as a birthday present for him back in September!

I managed to get a little (very little) knitting done on my brother's sock:

It's coming along nicely and I'm enjoying the yarn and the pattern.  It came to work with me today, so I'm hoping to get a bit more accomplished at lunch.

How is your week going?