Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 11/30/22

 Good Morning!

First of all, Happy Birthday to Mailing!  I could not ask for a better daughter-in-law.  She is smart, cute, kind, funny, and she loves my son!

It is a gloomy day here.  Rain is on the way and it will most likely rain all day...but it should be mild.  I'm glad I got out for a little walk yesterday afternoon.  I walked just under 2.5 miles along the Perkiomen Creek and the Schuylkill River.  The only thing I noticed was Tinseltown which I had never heard of.  Honestly it was very ugly in the daylight - just a mass of white trees and lights set up in a parking lot with lots and lots of trailers around.  I looked at the web site yesterday when I got home and it costs around $20 just to get in, but then you have to reserve time (and pay more) to skate on the ice rink or slide down the ice slide.  With temps in the 50's it doesn't feel so holiday-ish anyway...

Let's talk making (in my case, knitting) and reading.  Time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers.  My knitting is progressing.  No giant leaps or bounds, but steady progress.  The first Turning Leaves sock (the one that Dee and I are knitting together in a very loose KAL) is now ready for a heel to be turned.  An Eye of the Partridge heel flap has been completed.


The colors in this yarn are just so beautiful.  I'm glad we are knitting a plain vanilla sock and letting the colors just shout out all on their own.

The other sock I'm working on is a Christmas one (Hollyberry yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners).  The first sock in this set has had the heel turned and the gusset decreases have begun.


This just looks so festive to me.  As of now I'm thinking these will be a gift for someone...but who knows?  I could easily change my mind and keep them for me!  LOL

I'm happy to report two book finishes this week!!  Woo-Hoo!  Fletch and I finished listening to Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl.  As I mentioned in a previous post (or 2) the first half of this book was way too political for me.  The second half was better, but it still seemed a little preachy.  If you've never read anything by Renkl, I would suggest Late Migrations - I would also recommend this in book format rather than audio as the book includes lovely drawings by the author's brother.  Last night we started listening to The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd.  Too early to say how this one is.

The other book finished is The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell.  Oh how I just loved this book!  I would start reading and find it difficult to put the book down; yet at the same time I did not want it to end.  Sarah commented to me a little bit ago that she felt the same way and that she also had a feeling of dread as she neared the end of the book.  I know that feeling so well, but like Sarah I liked the ending of the book.  I felt hope as I finished it last night.  True confession:  I have not read Hamnet as the idea of the story has not appealed to me.  However, after reading "The Marriage Portrait" I have added "Hamnet" to my TBR list.

Last night as I crawled into bed, I started Thunder Bay - book #7 in a series by William Kent Krueger that I am enjoying.  His books are a quick read, and I think I managed 40 pages before I turned out my light.  I still have several other library books waiting on my nightstand.

Today I will venture out in the rain.  I want to return "The Marriage Portrait" to the library as I know the wait list is long.  And after avoiding paying bills yesterday, I need to buckle down and get that done.

I hope this Wednesday finds you all well.  Be sure to make time to head over to Kat's blog to check out what others are making and reading.  I'm sure you will find inspiration!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 11/29/22

 Good Morning One and All,

It is a tad bit chillier this a.m.  32 decrees right now instead of the lower 50's.  But the sun is out and it looks really pretty outside.  Yesterday just looked so bleak...all day long.

I did venture to the office late morning and I had forgotten that the property management company always decorates the office for the holidays the Friday after Thanksgiving.  So, when I entered the building, this is what I saw in the lobby of the building:


And then, when I walked into our office on the 2nd floor, this was what greeted me:


So pretty.  In a way it seems a waste with most everyone working from home, but still it was nice to see.  The parking lot was pretty full yesterday and I could hear a group of folks talking in one of the conference rooms, but I just did my thing and got out of there in half an hour!  I know there are meetings scheduled for next week, so it will be nice for people coming in to see the trees.

Well, here we are at TNT and I'm happy to report that there has been progress on each of the three pieces I am currently stitching.  First up, that crazy, long-legged bird.  Nearing completion, but not quite there yet.


Ellen Harrison saw a few letters added.  The bottom line (the one I'm working on) reads so far "Remember now thy Creator i" - again, Ellen's placement of letters means that words tend to run together.


Last up we have the "Praise Loudly Blame Softly" sampler.  The second row of birds has been completed and now a row of Double Leviathan Stitches has appeared under that.  


I really enjoy stitching designs by Eileen Bennett as she always incorporates different stitches into her pieces - they are never just cross stitch.  It helps to keep my interest high!!

Today will be filled with bill paying and a light grocery shopping.  We had no mail delivery last Friday and Saturday!  Yesterday the mailman left a pile (rather large) in our box - holiday catalogues (of course), but also half a dozen bills.  Yuck!  And, since the sun is shining strongly, I'm hoping to bundle up for a walk after lunch.  Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Weekending

 Hello and Good Morning!

It is cloudy and a bit damp on this Monday morning, but mild.  53 degrees currently (7:45 a.m.).  We had a ton of rain yesterday and it looks like some of it may have lingered around.

Well, how was your Thanksgiving and how was your weekend?  Both of mine were so nice.  Thanksgiving Day, Fletch and I walked with Colin a little bit in the afternoon.  A trail from the John James Audubon Center goes right behind Bonnie & Zhongren's house.  We drove over, dropped off wine and pies and some other stuff and then walked a bit.  It was a lovely day.  We saw plenty of deer and geese and a hawk flew right by us.

Zhongren had picked up Nai Nai (Mailing's grandmother) so she joined us for dinner.  We missed Bonnie though who is still in China until December 6th.  Anna was there and also Otto (her dog).


Mailing and Colin are too funny in this picture.  And I ended up trying all 3 pies!!


I will say that I did not feel well that night!  LOL  Major indigestion.

Zhongren gave us a bag with Persimmons from his friend's tree.  I had never had one before, but they are good!


I took another walk on Saturday along the Perkiomen Creek.  It was a bit breezy but again a gorgeous day to be out and about.  There were lots of geese along the dam!


I always wonder how they can just stand there without getting swept away!

As I mentioned, yesterday it rained and rained, starting late morning.  We went over to Colin & Mailing's in the afternoon.  What fun to see Talbot and Marcel again!  I completely forgot to take any pictures of them.  We watched the first episode of Get Back which we all really liked.  Fletch and I don't have Disney+, so not sure when we will watch the balance - maybe when we are in TX over the Christmas holidays.

The rain kind of stopped a bit, so after dinner we headed outside for a fire.


But by the time we left, I was damp and chilly.  What a nice time though and just a gift to have time with C&M.  We'll be getting together some more and they will be over for dinner at our house next Sunday.

Meanwhile, back to work today.  I may head to the office as I've stuff to print and overnight to Kevin.  Here's hoping that your Monday is off to a good start!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 11/23/22

 Good Morning All,

Looks to be another fine day here in Eastern PA.  The temps have warmed up a bit (32 this a.m. instead of the teens) and the sun is out.  There is a fat male Cardinal sitting on a wire outside one of my office room windows.  So pretty.

Yesterday was full of food.  LOL.  Fletch and I did a quick, small ($138 later) shopping at one store.  We picked up some necessities:  cat food (Mabel consumes food like she has not had any in months!), sunflower seeds and a fresh suet cake for the birds.  No meat and no paper products or cleaning supplies which automatically jack up the bill.  My gosh a trip to the store has gotten even more expensive.  AND, we couldn't get everything there - I had to run to a different store in the afternoon for a certain kind of tea that Fletch likes as well as soda that he drinks, but also peanuts for the birds (which the first store does not sell).

The afternoon was then spent baking and cooking Fletcher's Mom's Cranberry Chutney recipe.  On the baking front I made Cranberry Pumpkin Pecan Bread.  Oh My!


This morning, Fletch will take one loaf over to a couple for whom he still works occasionally.  I think I'll send along a jar of the chutney too.


The second loaf of bread will probably be shared with Rob and Eva across the street.

Anyway, the house smelled marvelous all afternoon, but by the time I should have been cooking dinner, I didn't really feel like it.  Trader Joe's to the rescue!  When I shopped there on Monday, one of the items that I picked up that was not on my list was this:


Another shopper was scooping up bags of this into her cart.  I asked her how it was and she highly recommended it.  Well folks, if you like mushrooms, I highly recommend it too!  The truffle sauce is very rich tasting and yummy.  Best of all, it heats up from freezer to table in about 15 minutes!  The bag says it contains 3 servings, but we finished the entire bag...just the two of us.  To go along with this I threw together a salad of garden greens and garden radishes with a few sugar snap peas and a bit of cucumber.  Cleanup was a breeze too.

Let's get to the knitting, shall we?  After all, it is Unraveled Wednesday when Kat hosts the Merry Band of Makers to talk making and reading.  Dee had posted a shot of our twinie socks last Saturday.  Since then a bit more has been knit on the Turning Leaves vanilla sock.


The skein of yarn is LARGE - I will be making these socks longer than normal.  I've gotten to the point where I usually would start the heel flap, but weighing the yarn last night, I still have 92 grams!

The Christmas sock is also made from a very large skein of yarn.  I will start the heel flap on this one next.  There are 15 rows of ribbing and 85 rows of plain vanilla.


My head has calmed down a little (lol) and I'm not throwing around ideas of multiple other projects to start.  This is good - I want to concentrate on finishing these two pairs of socks and then move on to other things.  I say that today...we'll see what tomorrow brings.  

The reading side of things is pretty much where it stood last week.  Fletch and I are still working our way through (listening to) Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl.  I'm very happy that the second half of the book is not political.  There is more about music (Renkl lives in Nashville) and other things.

I am well past the half way mark of The Marriage Portrait which is the selection of the "Read With Us" group (hosted by Kym, Carole and Bonny).  I love it!  The other day I mentioned to Kym that it is a book I don't want to put down once I start reading, but at the same time, I'm trying to drag it out to make it last!  Most likely I will need to re-read or listen to it prior to our discussion in January.  My guess is that I will finish it up in these next few days.  That's ok as I have a bunch of other library books on my nightstand (including The Colony and Booth) - such a wealth of reading material.

Today I will be mixing up dough for pie crusts - most likely I will make the pies tomorrow morning.  Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 11/22/22

Good Morning!

Yesterday I did manage to get to Trader Joe's.  I went into the store with four things on my list.  $58 later I walked out!  Isn't it always that way?  But, I got good stuff.

The day was gorgeous.  Very, very sunny and bright.  Still chilly, but not quite as windy as Sunday had been.  I decided that I needed to get out and walk after lunch, so I headed to one of my favorite trails - the canal trail.  Our nights have been cold enough that the canal was starting to freeze over.  but look at the color of the water and the blue, blue sky.  Magnificent!


 You can see there was no one in front of me.  I passed a couple of dog walkers and a few folks on bikes rode past me.  I saw one couple running and that was it.  Oh, and a guy sitting on a bench with a huge camera.  Otherwise I had the place to myself.  This time I managed to walk the entire trail from where I park to Main Street in Phoenixville - a total (round trip) of 3 miles.  The furthest I've walked since my back episode in the Spring.  It felt wonderful to be out in the fresh air, but I will admit that my back was tired by the time I got back to my car.

About halfway along the trail is Fitzwater Station - a fun pub with good food and drinks.  A nice place to stop after a walk (which Dee and I have done!!).  They also rent canoes and kayaks.  Anyway, yesterday on my way back to the car I noticed they have a giant turkey on one of their decks.  LOL


And that brings me to this morning and Tiny Needle Tuesday.  That crazy long-legged bird that everyone seems to like now has a few letters added nearby.


Obviously a few more to be stitched.  And I will add the year (but not yet...in case it is not finished in 2022).

The Praise Loudly Blame Softly sampler saw no action this week, but Ellen Harrison had some more stitching added.  I'm anxious to finish these two rows of words because then the motifs will start below.


I will say that young Ellen was not great at spacing words apart - LOL.  But that just adds to the charm of the piece in my opinion.

Colin stopped by last night!  He and Mailing had gone over to Mailing's parents to have dinner with Zhongren (Bonnie is still in China until 12/6 or so).  Mailing picked up Bonnie's car to use while up here so that Colin will have his car.  And, last night, Mailing had to run to Target to pick up stuff (litter boxes, etc.), so Colin stopped by to load up his car with wood and say hello.  It was wonderful to see him.

We all plan to gather late afternoon on Thursday and, hopefully, get a walk in before we eat.  Today I need to do some cooking and also (more) grocery shopping.

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Weekending 11/21/22

 Good Morning One and All!

As I typed the date in the title of this post I realized GOSH!!  It's only a month till we take off for Christmas in Texas!  Our flight to Austin is December 21st (my brother Chris' birthday).  So excited!!

We've pretty much decided that no Christmas decorations will be put out.  Mabel would most likely destroy anything we left out, so we will make do with the Swarovski ornaments hanging in our kitchen windows.  They are up year round and Mabel (so far) has not bothered them.  Since I mentioned those last week after our work holiday luncheon, I decided to try and get pictures of the windows to show you.

First up is our South-West facing window that looks out over our driveway.  We can see some beautiful sunsets from this window.


It was night and dark, so not the best picture, but you can get the idea.  And, yes, that is Gumby peeking out from behind the curtain on the left.  LOL

The other window is the one over our sink.  This faces East/Southeast and is the window that looks out over our back yard (and the munching deer).


The beakers on the top ledge are from my Dad's chemist days and the two bud vases on the lower edge were my Mom's.  Yes, these areas can get a little crowded, but I love having little treasures out that mean something to me.

So here we are at Monday (again).  How was your weekend?  Mine was so nice.  As you may have read on Dee's blog, we got together (as usual) on Saturday morning for a therapy session - a little knitting, some sipping of coffee and much chatting and laughter.  We always have such a good time!

While I was out, Fletch started harvesting our Gilfeather Turnips.  


Unfortunately the greens had all been ravaged by bugs and weather, but not the turnips.  Fletch refers to the one in the upper left as an elephant's leg!  LOL.  There are more in the ground to be harvested.  I cooked up two of the smaller ones last night (cut up and boiled and then mashed with butter and S&P - delicious!).

Yesterday Fletch went across the street to our neighbor Rob's to get some firewood (Rob has a TON of wood stacked up and we are free to take as much as we want!!).  Fletch took him a couple of the turnips, but you cannot give Rob anything without getting something in return (more than wood).  Fletch came home with a plate of oatmeal cookies and pumpkin cake.  YUM!!!

Meanwhile, the kids are home!!  They left Austin Friday after work, driving with Talbot and Marcel in a large cat carrier in the back.  The cats were not amused as you can imagine.  But they survived.  They stopped both Friday and Saturday nights at hotels, but drove long days and arrived at their home around 7:30 last night.

I went shopping on Sunday for a few necessities for them:  coffee beans, seltzer (plain and alcohol), wine, raspberries, mandarine oranges, peanut butter filled pretzels, olives from the deli bar, etc., etc.  I drove over to the house in the afternoon and left stuff in their garage.  I can't wait to see them, but that might not be till Thanksgiving Day.  It's wonderful though to know they are here for 3 weeks.  And wonderful to know they made the drive safely (always the worrying mother here).

It's cold here (in the teens), but is supposed to warm up a little bit by Thanksgiving.  I think I will avoid the office this week (it's only a 2.5 day work-week anyway), but I do want/need to get to Trader Joe's - most likely this morning.  I'm still not sure what I'm making/contributing for Thanksgiving.  Probably a couple of pies and some cranberry chutney, but I need to connect with the kids and find out what else - if anything - they want me to make.

I wish you all a wonderful week.  Don't make yourself crazy with holiday plans - just enjoy the days!