Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 2/21/24

 Good Morning!

Whew!  It is another brisk morning in Eastern PA.  I let Mabel out at 5:15 and when I got up and let her back in at 6:30, her coat felt like ice.  It is just 20 degrees out there according to my computer.  but, I've a cup of coffee to sip on as I type and soon I'll be warmed up.

It's Wednesday which means Unraveled Wednesday and time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk all about making and reading.  Fun topics and always filled with inspiration.  Fortunately for me, there has not been any unraveling this week.  Rather both of my knitting projects are moving steadily ahead.  Route 66 Sock #2 is now past the heel and the gussett decreases and knitting down the foot should be smooth sailing.

A bit more knitting was accomplished on my Hitch on the Move as well.

This is an easy knit to memorize and even as the rows get longer, it seems to go fast.  The one thing I am not thrilled about is how it looks where the two colors join.  It seems loose to me.  Those of you who have already knit this pattern (Kat, Bonny & Kym), do you have any suggestions or tips?  I've been trying to pull tightly on the Knit 2 together stitches where the colors join, but that doesn't really appear to help.

So far, 2024 is shaping up to be a memoir reading year for me.  Which is fine - I've always enjoyed that genre.  I am so very happy to say that I finished and returned The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.  I could only give this book 2 stars.  I was so thrilled to have removed it from my house that I didn't even bother saving ANY of the recipes  LOL

Now I'm in the midst of House Lessons: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister (author of "School of Essential Ingredients" and "No Two Persons").  This is her memoir of buying and renovating a house in the Pacific Northwest and boy was there a lot to do!  The house had previously been owned by hoarders and entailed first hauling away a ton of junk.  I'm a little over halfway through and finding it a good read.

Fletch and I are continuing our nightly reading of The Ride of Her Life and enjoying it very much.  Last night's passage included a marriage proposal from a Wyoming rancher!  I've moved up to #7 in the queue for The Berry Pickers and I'm hoping that comes to me soon.

Yesterday I did manage to get some chores done (both bathrooms have been scrubbed, towels washed and rugs washed as well and the larders have been restocked with groceries).  Today I will reach out to our tax person.  I also have a retirement lunch today!  The girls (my peers at work) are taking me to Nectar - a great restaurant in Berwyn.  Looking forward to that!

Happy Hump Day and Happy Unraveled Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/20/24

 Hello One and All,

It is only 21 degrees this morning, but I'm here to tell you Spring is on the way.  Fletch spotted our first crocus blooms yesterday along the edge of our driveway bed.

We were remembering years ago we used to drive a road in the Bryn Mawr area and there was a house with crocus bulbs planted in their lawn that once up and blooming spelled out SPRING.  It was always such a joy to see them and I wonder if they are still there.

It's Tuesday and time for a Tiny Needle update.  I have a finish and a new start!  My Queen Bee has been finished - I even finished it into a pincushion!

I love how this turned out.  I also love the fabric I found for backing:

The backing fabric is some upholstery remnant I picked up years ago.  Upholstery remnants are what I often make my tablecloths from.  I think I had a little jacket in mind for this fabric, but that never happened.  I still have a lot of it, so who knows?  It could end up as a tablecloth.

My new start is a surprise to me.  I typically shy away from samplers or pieces stitched in only one color (unless quite small) as I tend to get bored.  But, I was having a difficult time choosing a new piece to work on and this one kept grabbing my attention.  So, I picked it.  It is The Hunt Sampler by Homespun Samplar.

(Please click to enlarge to see the full piece better)

I found some 36 count linen in my stash and I am stitching it in silk threads from Vicki Clayton (one silk thread over 2 linen threads).  I decided to stitch my initials in a different color.  The main color is Aqua Marine and my initials will be stitched in Deep Ocean.  I'm loving this so far.

I like the way the two blues look together and this is stitching up faster than I expected.  Last night I did have to frog some...I had somehow completely skipped a couple of rows in the outline motif around the stag.  It's a mess frogging silk thread!

There are a few things needing my attention today:  grocery shopping, lining up an appointment with our tax person, bathrooms need cleaning, etc., etc.  There is always something.  We'll see how much of those things I get done.  I'm more interested in stitching, knitting and reading.  LOL

Only 8 days left now!  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, February 19, 2024

Weekending 2/19/24

 Hello all,

How are you?  I am doing well.  Just 9 more days of work!  Woo-Hoo.  How was your weekend?  Mine was good, thank you very much.

I woke up at 4:00 Saturday morning, looked out the window and it was snowing like crazy.  It looked like a blizzaard.  When I got back up at 6 to let Mabel out it had stopped.  It started and stopped again several times during the morning.  Turns out we got a few inches of snow, but the roads were clear.  Good thing since we were on cat duty this weekend and I needed to get over to Colin & Mailing's to feed Talbot and Marcel.

Dee texted me around 7:30 to say she was up for meeting since the roads were not bad, so we spent a few hours in Manhattan Bagel enjoying our knitting and conversation (and some pretty bad music...again...).

Yesterday I made some bread (bread machine):

 Maple Oatmeal Bread and boy is that yummy!  I made it to go with some soup - a recipe that Kym shared some months back:  Lemony White Bean Soup With Turkey and Greens.  That was very yummy too and now there are leftovers in both the frig and freezer!

Today's dinner is a recipe from another bloggy friend - Bonny!  She shared a "what's for dinner?" recipe where you throw cooked chicken breasts, frozen corn, various beans, a jar of salsa and taco seasoning in the crock pot and let it cook all day.  The chicken breasts are just about finished cooking and I will put everything in the pot before I leave to go feed the cats.  Meals like this are so satisfying - they go together quickly, they are easy to make, they taste great and there are lots of leftovers.

I have a few things on my agenda today:  laundry, picking up a prescription, and maybe a chore or two around the house...or not...there must be time for knitting, stitching and reading!  The week must be started in the right way!  LOL

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Practicing 2/15/24

 Good morning!

Gosh it is cold this morning (22) and winds are forecast.  I dislike wind SO MUCH (even in the hot summer, I do not like wind).

I had a successful time yesterday practicing at retirement.  LOL  Fletch and I drove out to Oley mid-morning to Repperts where we loaded up with 2 lbs of dark chocolate covered pretzels, some candied fruit slices, some all sorts (I can be a licorice fiend) and even a Bonomo Turkish Taffy - remember those?  I loved the banana flavor and got one.  Not sure it will be as good as my memory, but whatever.  There were tons of chocolate bunnies and crosses for the upcoming Easter season, but we didn't get any of those.

The drive out to Oley was nice - country roads and snow along the roadsides.  Pretty.  But geeze traffic was heavy.  I think we were spoiled by the pandemic with no one being on the EVERYONE seems to be out and about.

Pre-pandemic Fletch and I used to go to the Limerick Diner for breakfast once in awhile.  But they closed during the pandemic.  Now they are open again, so that is where we stopped for lunch.  It was ok - not great, but a warm cup of coffee tasted good.  There is now a tavern attached to the back of the diner.  The Flying Pig Tavern.

Make that a Flying Purple Pig!!

Fletch bought me a book of poetry:

These are too funny.  The author is the same one who came out with a book of poems by cats titled "I Could Pee on This" which Colin had given me some years ago.  LOL

Fletch also found gifts for Mabel, Marcel and Talbot.  They haven't seen them yet...but they will.  

These are spring loaded (I think rubber band?) butterflies that you are supposed to place in a book and then get someone to open it and SURPRISE - a butterfly springs out.  He thought we could just launch them into the air.  I think we will wait and try that with Mabel OUTSIDE.  She gets crazy enough inside at times.

We had a quiet evening - I stitched and Fletch watched TV.  Even though I really, really want a cream puff (did you see Carole's Blog?) I'm thinking of making some Korean veggie pancakes for lunch.  Hoping your Thursday is going well!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 2/14/24

 Hello and Happy Valentine's Day!!  

Here's to a day filled with love (every day should be filled with love) and, perhaps, some chocolate and some vino.  And some flowers!

We stayed put yesterday.  It snowed all morning and we ended up with about 6" overall.

Wet, heavy snow.  Fletch did go out later in the day to clean off the cars and walk down the driveway to get our mail.  It was so pretty and Miss Mabel loved being outside in it.  She was out most of the morning and then napped most of the afternoon.

Well, as mentioned, it's Valentine's Day and also Ash Wednesday and Unraveled Wednesday.  Let's link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers and see what everyone is making and reading this week.  I have both a finish and a start to share!  First up, my Route 66 sock (first one) is finished and...not wanting to have second sock syndrome, the second one has been cast on.

I'm not sure who will end up getting these.  They will be the right size for both Fletch and Colin.

I'm happy to have (finally) started my Hitch on the Move.  Only the start up rows have been knit, but it's a start...actually the second one...the first time I somehow dropped a stitch and messed everything up.  But now I'm on a roll (I hope).

The yarn is Ema's Yarn.  On the left is "Wish You Were Beer" and on the right is "Weathervane."  I bought these two skeins a few years ago on an outing with Dee thinking that they would be nice together in a shawl.  I had no specific pattern in mind, but then Hitch on the Move came out and I thought it would be perfect.

Reading has been mostly slow.  I'm still reading This Book and still finding the text somewhat tedious and boring...the recipes look good though.  And, I'm listening to "The Poisonwood Bible" which has more humor in it than I recall.  Not that it's a comedy or funny book by any means, but there are times I laugh out loud while listening.  I still have about 8 hours to go.  I'm in queue for a couple of books at my library, so hopefully one or more will come to me soon.

Fletch and I are still enjoying The Ride of Her Life - this would go much faster if we read more than 10 pages or so after dinner.  Still, it is very enjoyable.  The kindness of strangers is such a nice thing to read about.  And, it reminds me of when my Mom and her friend Jennie took off from Vermont in 1940 and road their bikes all the way to California.  They too experienced the kindness of strangers in so many ways.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.  Fletch and I are running out late morning to a candy store about 30-45 minutes away.  They sell the most wonderful dark chocolate pretzels and Fletch has had a hankering for them for months now!  And then we will go out to lunch somewhere.  I'll catch up with work emails when I get back.  I'm practicing for retirement (in just a few weeks!!).

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/13/24

 Good Morning All,

Well, the snow is here.  I had guessed (wrong) that we would just get rain.  It was raining pretty hard when I went to bed at 10:30 last night and was still raining when Mabel asked to go out at 4:30.  But, when I got up at 6:15, the street, cars, lawn - everything - was (and is) covered in snow and it's coming down at a pretty good clip.  Luckily I ran out yesterday afternoon for milk (was just about out) and sunflower seeds for the birds, so we can stay put today - no need to go out.

Luckily I did get out for a walk yesterday morning.  I went early - 9 a.m. - and there were not many on the trail.  Once again I walked alongside the Perkiomen Creek in Oaks.  No sign of a blue heron or red winged blackbirds (I keep hoping to see them) but just about a gazillion geese.  At one point I didn't know if I would be able to continue down the trail as the geese were covering it.  Fortunately they moved out of the way.  These are not nasty geese.  I did spot a sign of spring along the side of the trail - little bulbs coming up:

Now, of course, these gentle little plants are covered in snow.  That's Spring!

Happy Mardi Gras!  It kind of snuck up on me this year.  Colin was soaking beans last night to make red beans and rice.  I didn't even think of that, so we are having pasta with sauce that I made a few weeks ago.

So here we are at Tiny Needle Tuesday and I do have an update to share.  My Queen Bee has gotten her wings!

Don't her wings look lacey and delicate?  I'm planning on finishing the border at the top today.  There is also a bottom border and then sort of a honeycomb design on either side.

Since I will be house-bound today, I may take the opportunity to stash dive and pick out my next project...this one is nearing completion.  Of course, I could easily get distracted by any one of a million other things.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and if you are in the path of this storm (or any other), stay warm and safe.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Wewekending 2/12/24

 Hello My Friends,

How are you?  And, how was your weekend?  Mine was lovely.  Naturally I met up with Dee Saturday morning for our therapy session.  I managed to get a good amount of knitting done on the Route 66 sock.

Colin & Mailing had invited us for dinner Saturday night and it was a delicious meal.  Mailing made beef bourguignon which was amazing over egg noodles.  Colin made an upside down blood orange olive oil cake. 

We came home with a quarter of the cake!!  It was/is delicious.

Talbot and Marcel were around and underfoot at times.

Talbot mostly lay on the floor in front of the oven keeping his eye on the beef!

Marcel lounged on the sofa looking regal.

Even though it was beginning to get a bit overcast, it was a great night for a fire.  

We sat out with beverages enjoying the fire and the night sky until after 9:30.  Now, of course, there is some not-so-nice weather in our forecast for the next day or two.  I'm guessing we will get rain rather than snow, but there is a slight chance of flurries overnight tonight.

My dentist appointment this morning was cancelled, so I've got a free morning.  There is a pile of laundry waiting to be done and I may try to get out for a walk before lunch.  Otherwise, it looks like a good day for knitting, stitching and reading.  Perfection!

Cheers to a new week ahead!