Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday August 10, 2022

 Good Morning Friends!

We managed to get a few sprinkles around dinner time last night.  It cooled the temps down to the mid-80's.  Today is forecast to be sunny (again), but I think there is another good possibility of rain over night.  I sure hope so.

Safe travels to Colin who flies up from Austin this morning.  We won't see him till Sunday, but it will be nice to know he is in our time zone again.  And, Happy Birthday to my friend Leslie!!

Now onto business!  It's Wednesday which means it's time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  First of all I confess that I have not cast on with any of the 3 skeins I wound the other week!  What?  Sad but true.  Hardly any knitting has taken place.  I did manage to start another Nai-Nai's Favorite dishcloth,


Pretty colors in this yarn.  It is Dragon Tale Yarn which is 100% cotton.  The colorway is "Autumn Spice."  This is a skein I picked up on sale ($4.50!!) years ago somewhere...not sure where I was.  Anyway, nice to finally be using it.

Maybe today I will find the time to cast on something with one or more of those skeins I recently wound.

On the reading side of things, I finished 3 books in the last week!  Yes, me!!  First up, I finished "Provence, 1970" by Luke Barr.  This is the story of the time in late 1970 when M. F. K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, Richard Olney and others were all in Provence at the same time.  They cooked and ate together and discussed food.  Luke Barr is the great nephew of Fisher and had access to her journals from the time.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I do love memoirs and especially memoirs about food (think Ruth Reichl, Molly Wizenberg, Susan Herrmann Loomis, etc.).

Next I read "The Locked Room" by Elly Griffiths.  This was a good addition to the Ruth Galloway series she writes.

And, finally, I finisihed "The Last Bookshop in London" by Madeline Martin.  This was my first audio book!  The story takes place during the war (WWII) in London and was ok.  I'm guessing that if I had gotten a hard copy of the book I might not have finished it - lots and lots of bombing descriptions.  But it was ok to listen to.

I've started "Sorrow and Bliss" and am enjoying that so far (only 40 pages in or so) and I've also started "Fellowship Point."  I'm only 25 pages into this book and it is easy to put down, so I'm not sure how it will go.  Not started yet, but I have "Small Things Like These" by Claire Keegan queued up for listening.

Now it's time to pour another cup of coffee and do a little work.  Hoping that everyone has a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/9/22

 Good Morning All,

Today promises to be another scorcher...though I did see (finally) a good chance (90%) of some strong storms later today and into the evening.  Here's hoping.  Yesterday was simply stifling.  I made it to the office and ended up being there around 2 hours...but got everything done I needed to and now I have no need or reason to go back to the office tomorrow or later in the week.  Yay!

The plan today is to cook some chicken breasts this morning and then make chicken salad and, perhaps, a potato salad for dinner.  Cool things will taste good.  Hot things can taste good too - hot as in spicy.  Yesterday Nance reminded me of my jalapenos.  I have been so focused on harvesting eggplants and tomatoes...and finding hidden hibiscus blooms that I forgot about my jalapenos.  The peppers this year are small.  I don't know if we bought a different variety or what, but they are tiny compared to what we normally grow.  But still, there were enough that I pickled them yesterday.


I also added some cut up carrots and slices of garlic to the mix.  Fletch won't eat these, so they are ALL FOR ME!  LOL  And those small peppers are not small in the heat index.  Spicy, spicy and tasty.

Well, if it's Tuesday, it must be TNT, or Tiny Needle Tuesday.  The upper portion of the Simply Live sampler has been completed and the bottom section has been started!!


I'm hoping to get a bit more stitched on this today.  This piece sure has been a fun one to stitch.  And now I'm on the home stretch (hoping I have not jinxed myself).  I still need to finalize my decision on what piece to stitch next.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Weekending 8/8/22

 Hello Friends,

How are you this Monday morning?  And, how was your weekend?  My weekend was nice, filled with many good things.  My first conference call last Friday morning was cancelled and the second one went faster than anticipated, so that was a nice start to the weekend.  Then Saturday morning I met up with Dee for some chatter, knitting and sipping of coffee.  That always does my soul good.

What else?  I decided to harvest the eggplants.  Our plants were laden with fruit and the leaves had become spotted with some kind of fungus or mold.


There are 15 eggplants here!  Yes, some are small, but they will be so good sliced, broiled or grilled and then put on pizza!

Then I was telling Katie that I thought it was interesting that she, in New Hampshire, has a blooming hibiscus and that I, in Pennsylvania, do not...that ours was only budded.  Well, I was wrong.  Fletch told me it was blooming.  I had missed it because the bloom was hiding behind our fig!


What a gorgeous color!  So rich and deep.  There are more buds ready to open.

We also discovered that we have a resident frog by our water feature.  Such a little guy!


Here's hoping that Mabel does not discover him/her.  Froggy though is quite adept at hiding in the shadows and he/she is quite a good jumper and very, very fast.

Finally, it's been hot as blazes here (again) and what did I do?  I made soup yesterday for dinner!  Yup, I made soup on a day where the temp was easing up into the upper 90's.  I used the winter melon that Bonny and Zhongren had brought to us the other week.  Noodling around the Internet looking at various recipes for Winter Melon, I learned that the Chinese consider it to be a Yin Food meaning that it is good to combat the effects of heat and humidity.  It is also high in fiber and has been known to help lower blood sugar and cholesterol!  In my book, a super food.  By itself it is bland tasting, but it absorbs the flavor(s) of what is cooked with it.


Our version started with cooking the chunks of Winter Melon in water - simmering them until tender.  Then I added a large carton of veggie broth, a bunch of diced fresh ginger, several carrots cut up and a full container of sliced shitake mushrooms.  I also added about 1/2 Cup of diced ham that was left over from the other week.  We scattered cut up scallions over the tops of our bowls.  We loved the soup.  It was very delicious and quite satisfying.  We had some garlic bread to go with it.  There was enough left over that I put a container of it in the freezer for another meal down the road.

I think today is going to be another hot one.  We are having salmon for dinner and for a change I think I will poach it (and therefore avoid putting the oven on).  In a bit I'm heading to the office - I need to take care of some things early this week...no luxury of taking my time!  I'll stop at the library to drop of a couple of books on my way (more about them on Wednesday!).

Cheers to the week ahead - hoping it's a good one for all of us.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Friday's All Creatures Great and Small

 Good Friday Morning!

The sun is beginning to poke out and the air feels refreshed.  Gosh it was hot (94) and muggy yesterday.  After dinner the wind whipped up and I could hear distant thunder.  Before I knew it we were having a whopper of a thunderstorm.  Fletch was watching something on TV and I was sitting at the table reading when POP and the power went out.  That was around 9:30.  We lit some candles, Fletch grabbed a flashlight, and we headed out to sit on the patio.  It was so still and warm.  The wind had died...very muggy.  Around 10:30 I went up to bed.  I opened the back window wide and crawled under the sheet.  In under 10 minutes the power came back on.  Thank goodness because the upstairs was very, very warm.  So I closed the window, turned on the air and the next thing I knew it was 6:10 this morning!

Yesterday I mentioned that we had been hearing a very noisy sharp shin hawk most days.  Well, while I was hanging clothes on the line yesterday morning, I heard him again.  I looked up and there he was near the top of a dead tree two houses down from us.


Again there were small birds in the tree paying him no attention whatsoever.  He flew off calling very shortly after I took the picture.

This morning while feeding Mabel, I looked out and saw a couple of deer having their breakfast of fallen apples.


If you click to enlarge, you will see the deer on the right is a young buck.  

Yesterday's post also mentioned how our fig tree is loaded with figs this year.  None are ripe yet, but when they come in, there will be a lot!


The anticipation is killing me!  LOL

And, finally, the best creature of all:  Mabel!


She says it is much too hot to be modest - LOL.  I'm surprised the grass looks so green in the picture.

Here's hoping my conference calls (2) go quickly and smoothly and I can ease into weekend mode.  I've plans to meet up with Dee tomorrow so am looking forward to that.  And no other plans to speak of which is how I like it.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend whatever you do - enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Little Stitching on a Thursday

 Hi Everyone,

Hope this Thursday morning finds you doing well.  The heat is building here in Eastern PA.  Yesterday ended up being a rather nice day though.  The humidity stayed relatively low and there was a wonderful breeze in the afternoon.  Not sure that will be the case today, but so far it is comfortable outside.  I just lowered a bamboo shade that we have at the edge of our patio - it keeps the morning sun off the patio and, therefore, keeps the heat down.  By early afternoon we can raise the shade and the patio is all in the shadows at that time.

Yesterday as Fletch and I sat with our beverages around 4 p.m., a young deer came boldly into the yard walking right toward us.  It was coming for some of the apples that have fallen from our tree, but at the last moment it got spooked and ran away.  I was sorry my phone...and therefore my camera...was inside on the table.  The deer would have made a sweet picture.  We have also been having a young (I'm guessing there) sharp shinned hawk that is flying around daily and calling constantly (and loudly).  The smaller birds don't seem too bothered by him/her which is a little unusual, so I'm not sure what's up.

Fletch discovered a volunteer patty-pan squash plant in the garden and our first squash has been harvested!


The tomatoes and garlic in the picture are also from the garden.  So much goodness there!  And figgy, our lovely fig tree, is just loaded with fruit this year.  Nothing ripe yet, but it shouldn't be too long!

I did manage to do a little stitching the other day.  Not a lot and not as much as I had hoped, but only one more motif to stitch at the bottom...and a smaller one up above the lower row.  Then a border and the alphabet under that.  It's coming along!


I really need to buckle down and decide on my next piece so that I can order the appropriate fabric.  Maybe I'll do that this afternoon.

Good new for my friend Carole - she was sent home from the hospital yesterday.  She needs to make MAJOR lifestyle changes and, hopefully, she will do that.  We had a long conversation last evening and I believe she understands the severity of her situation.

And, more good news:  Colin will be flying up here next week.  He will rent a car and then drive to the Catskills for a Batchelor Party.  He will be back over that weekend and is planning to have dinner with us on Sunday, the 14th.  He and Mailing will be crossing paths in the air when he flies back to TX on the 15th - she will be flying up for a get-together with a bunch of friends.

That's it for me today.  Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the August days.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 8/3/22

 Good Morning Everyone!

Once again I am running behind this morning.  It was another night of being awake for several hours and then finally falling asleep and not waking up until 7 a.m.  Not that it really matters.  I am planning to go to the office today (I have some personal printing I want to do in color and I should check the mail), but I can go in at any time.  Most likely I will stop at Trader Joe's as well.  Yesterday afternoon I had a very good eye doctor appointment which was nice.  I go back in 5-6 months for a field vision test (my favorite - NOT).

Now it's Wednesday and time to link up with Kat and all who are part of the Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  As you know, I was excited to finish up Fletcher's Cafe Au Lait socks (which he wore the other night when he walked and he pronounced them extremely comfortable and a perfect fit!!), so Friday morning I ended up winding 3 skeins of yarn from the stash.


The skein on the left is Static from KnitPicks and the colorway is Taos.  I chose that skein for my SIL in Colorado.  She and my brother go to New Mexico a lot, so I figured Taos was appropriate for her.  Oranges and turquoise - it's very pretty and I'm thinking of making the Abstract Leaves Cowl (minus beads) for her.

The middle skein, also my KnitPicks is Stroll and the colorway is Orbit.  This one is for my brother in CO who is an aerospace engineer.  I may make a hat for him...not sure yet.

The last skein on the right is a special one.  This is from back in the day when Valerie and her Mom were dying yarn and selling it.  This is Barn Cat (80/20 blend) and the colorway is Cosmopolitan.  I was thinking of a Hitchhiker or another shawl for a friend in FL, but I may cave and make something (socks??) for myself with this beautiful yarn.

Of course, I have not cast on anything with these yarns yet...maybe later today or tomorrow?  I ended up working on another dishcloth when Dee and I got together last Saturday and finished it up that evening.


Another light weight cotton that I got on sale somewhere (maybe at The Vulcan's Rest in Maryland a number of years ago??).  Just a simple waffle-weave pattern and it knit up very nicely.  I still have more light weight cotton yarn and some more Cotlin yarn for more dishcloths.  They are good potato chip knitting.

On the reading side of things, I did finish Violeta and really enjoyed it.  Now I'm in the midst of 4 other books (one Fletch and I are listening to after dinner, one I'm listening to [but have not listened to that in over a week!] and 2 "real" books I am reading...maybe I'll have some finishes to talk about next week!

Meanwhile, it's time to figure out what I can wear that is appropriate for the office and get myself moving.  I want to get in and out of the office quickly and be home before lunch.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Let's Mix This Week Up!

 Good Morning Dearies,

There has been absolutely NO stitching since my TNT post of last week; therefore, I have nothing new to share.  On the off chance that I might be able to fit in some stitching in the next couple of days, I've decided to mix things up and share some recipes today and maybe (MAYBE) share some TNT stitching on Thursday.

A few folks expressed interest in the dishes I made on Sunday, so here goes!

For the Tabbouleh I looked at these two recipes and then threw mine together:  Bulgar Wheat Salad and Ina Garten's Version - they are both similar.  I liked the idea in the first of adding lemon zest.  I used cherry tomatoes and parsley from our garden as well as mint that grows like a weed in one of our beds.

Next up is the recipe for Eggplant Marinara.  I can't remember where I found this recipe - it might have been from an old "Victoria" magazine, or another publication of some kind.  Anyway, I've been making this for years and it is one of our favorites.

Eggplant Marinara

  • 1 one-pound eggplant cut into 3/4” chunks
  • 1/4 Cup vinegar (rice wine or red wine)
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Cup raisins
  • 2 TBS chopped pimiento
  • 2 TBS pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 TBS EVOO

 Several hours or the day before:

  •  Simmer eggplant for 5 minutes and drain
  •  Whisk together:  vinegar, basil, oregano, sugar, garlic, salt & pepper.  Stir in eggplant, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Stir occasionally.
  •  1 hour before serving add raisins, pimiento, pine nuts and EVOO.  Cover and set aside.  Stir occasionally.

 Serve at room temperature.

And now for the recipe that sounds SO strange, but is really, really good.  This one is from Ema, my (ex) SIL in Boulder, CO.  It's been several years since I last made it, but it sure tasted good and I'll need to remember this one again!

Nectarine Salad

  •  1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Cups nectarines, cut in 1/2” pieces (I used 3 nectarines)
  • 1 Cup sliced black olives
  • 1 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Cup sliced scallions (white & green parts)
  • 1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, quartered (save juice for dressing)

 Mix all together, toss well and pour dressing over.  Chill one or two hours before serving

Dressing

  • Juice from artichokes
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp tarragon (I used 2-3 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
So that's it for a mixed up Tuesday.  I hope you enjoy!!