Monday, October 2, 2023

Weekending 10/2/23

 Hello, Hello!

And Happy October!  Whoosh is exactly what September did.  How did we get to October already?  After many days of grey, damp, wet weather, our skies have cleared and it has been gorgeous out (and is supposed to continue this way for a couple of days, at least).  We had a great time with Colin & Mailing on Wednesday for dinner (BBQ Shrimp!! and salad with lettuce and tomatoes from the garden!)and even managed to have a nice fire in the pit.  We saw them again Saturday night for dinner at Mailing's parents.

Friday night I made a new-to-us recipe that was great!  Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Chili.  I used This Recipe and it was so easy and tasty.  Lots of leftovers in both the frig and freezer too.  I did end up adding a third can of Rotel tomatoes and also an extra cup or more of water.

Saturday morning Dee and I met up as usual.  This time we met at a Manhattan Bagel in Lansdale.  It was a great time (as usual) EXCEPT that there was live music and the guy (playing the guitar and singing) had to be the absolutely worst singer I have ever heard.  Seriously!  Off key and just horrible.  That dude played for two hours straight with no break.  I thought I would go crazy.  LOL

We've been enjoying lettuce and chard from the garden in salads.  I've been picking 25-40 cherry tomatoes daily and our large tomatoes are finally ripening!

There are even more on a windowsill in the kitchen.  Sandwiches are so much better with garden tomatoes!

I even managed to find time to get back to my stitching this weekend (updates tomorrow).

C&M had come up to PA for a friend's wedding Friday night.  The couple are huge history buffs and had their wedding at the Museum of the American Revolution and Ben Franklin officiated the wedding!  LOL

C&M with Ben!

It was a great weekend and it's so nice to know that the kids will be back pretty soon for Thanksgiving...and then will be moving back permanently at Christmas!  We cannot wait.

I hope your weekend was a good one - let me know what you did.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 9/27/23

 Good Morning My Friends!

Yes, it is another grey day here and rather damp.  I fear it will be too wet for a nice fire in the pit this evening.  But, it will be so good to see Colin & Mailing anyway.  I texted "safe travels" to Col this morning and he replied they have already boarded - a very early flight from Austin!

Meanwhile, here in damp PA, it is time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.

As I mentioned yesterday, there was no stitching while I was on vacation.  I did do a little knitting, but more knitting backwards and then unraveling than anything else!  First up, though, there is a finish.  Finally the first Berocco Sock was finished the other night.  And, sock #2 was started (lest we end up with 2nd sock syndrome...a no-no for sure).

These feel rather rustic to me.  I think they will wear well - particularly in a pair of hiking boots.  Once sock #2 is finished, these will go into the gift box.

The 2nd project is the purple cowl.  Oy vey!  That had been in time out and I brought it on vacation hoping it had learned obedience.  Apparently not.  LOL  I ran into the exact same problem at the exact same spot (row #6 in the pattern).  I finally ripped it all out and cast on again.  The pattern (Abstract Leaves Cowl - free on Ravelry) is a lace pattern of 12 rows repeated twice on #4 needles and then twice again on #3 needles.  When I cast on again I was able to get through the first two repeats, changed to my #3 needle and started in on the first 12 rows and yup - once again row 6 is where I screwed up.  I know why.  I was trying to knit when I was too tired.  That is not a good idea for mind wanders and I lose sight of where I am in a pattern.  I tried to knit backwards, but that wasn't working.  Once again I ripped out the entire mess.

The other night (when I wasn't too tired) I decided to cast on again using the second skein of purple COBASI - cotton/bamboo/silk that I have.  Maybe that first skein was cursed?  I don't know, but I am more than 1/4 of the way through and it seems to be working.

Fingers crossed that progress will continue!  And with the extra yarn (1st skein) I should be able to make a pair of fingerless mitts to go with this cowl.

Not much reading happened on vacation either.  "The Women on the Wall" traveled with me.  It is a collection of short stories by Wallace Stegner (a favorite author of mine).  I re-discovered it in one of my bookcases before we took off on our trip.  I read several stories, but since coming home one of the books I was in queue for at the library came in:  The Bee Sting by Paul Murray.  So far so good.  I've only read about 50 pages...I really need to start reading some before late evening.  This is a long book and I can't renew it...reading it before bed isn't going to work.  Anyway, I'm enjoying the book so far.

Work has been rather busy and will continue to be so, but so far I am keeping up with no problem.  Of course, that means not much time for anything else, but I'm closing in on the end (I keep reminding myself of that), so all is good.

Be sure to head over to Kat's for some inspiration and have a wonderful Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9-26-23

 Good Morning!

Looks to be another cloudy one here in Eastern PA.  After such a dry Summer, we have had some soaking rains and grey/damp days.  I am craving some sunshine!

Yesterday we had some rain or drizzle pretty much all day.  Fletch managed to get out and buy some mums.  They are gorgeous this year.  No pictures thanks to the weather.  Today we are hoping to pick up some pumpkins at the farm stand on the way to the grocery store, and Fletch wants another mum or two for the front step.

My stitching projects did travel with me on vacation.  However, they never once came out of their tote bag.  I have not put in a single stitch since before we left!  I'm anxious to get back to it if work will cooperate.  Yesterday was pretty busy work-wise.  But, I did put in a few stitches prior to leaving but after my last TNT post, so I do have some pictures to show.  Sadly, nothing on the cactus front, but the BIG sampler had a little bit added.

A few blue petals at the top and a blue bird and squirrel at the bottom.  That's it!

Here is a shot of the entire piece overall:

Sorry for all the wrinkles, but that's what happens when it gets folded up and stored in a bag for weeks.

Hoping to find some time today to get back to this and/or the Cactus Triptych...we shall see.  

It's a busy week though.  Not just work-wise (which is ramping up quickly for the busiest time of the year), but also personally and fun-wise.  Colin and Mailing fly in tomorrow!  They have a wedding to attend in Philadelphia Friday night.  They will be coming to our house Wednesday for dinner (and hopefuly a fire in the pit if the weather cooperates) and then we are all meeting up at Bonnie & Zhongren's for dinner on Saturday night.  It will be so good to see them again.

Well, time for me to get cranking on some work projects.  Hope your Tuesday is a good one!

Monday, September 25, 2023

Back Home Again!

 Hello My Friends!

It's been some time, huh?  But now Fletch and I are back home and now I have to settle back into a work routine...but first a quick catch-up post.  Quick because I kind of over-slept, or slept in this a.m.  I dread opening work email, but I have not done that yet.

Our vacation was lovely.  We had beautiful weather the entire time (rain only one night which prevented us from having an outside fire).  We were North and West of where we live and were surprised not to see too much color, but it was still a wonderful time.

We started out in Cook Forest State Park which was absolutely gorgeous!  Lots and lots of old growth trees.

Fletch out on a ledge!

The fire tower which we did not climb!  A sign stated the limit was 6 people at a time.  When we were there a number of folks were climbing up as well as about 4 dogs!

Fletch by a giant cherry tree.  This was along a Sensory Trail within the park which was very interesting.  The signs were in English as well as brail.

After leaving that area we headed to Erie for a few days.  We visited Presque Isle:

One day we went to the Erie Zoo.  I have a love/hate relationship with zoos.  I do like seeing different animals, but I hate seeing them in cages or not in their natural habitat - just makes me sad.  The Erie Zoo was nice and spread throughout the acres it covers are some botanical gardens.  It was a great day weather-wise to be walking around a zoo.

After that we headed North to Chataqua Lake in NY, and then came home via Dallas, PA where Ricketts Glen is.  We got home last Wednesday and by Thursday afternoon, all the laundry was caught up (yes!  the washer is still working very well, thank you).

The Lehigh Fiber Festival was this past weekend, and you know Dee and I just had to go!  It was sort of a miserable day (though Dee and I had a good time).  The tropical storm had moved up the coast and it had started raining Friday night.  Everything was pretty wet (most vendors were in tents outside) and it was quite windy (and raining hard at times).  A number of vendors had not bothered to show up.  I still managed to find some yarn!

On the right:  Gold Panning, in the middle:  Paisley, and on the left:  Honky Tonk Woman

I couldn't decide between these three skeins, so I bought them all!  Such a good deal - sock yarn by Twisted Owl Fiber Studio out of Longview, TX.  Each skein is 100 grams and 463 yards (75/25 Merino/Nylon) and they were on sale for $11 each - so really, 3 skeins for the price of one!

The Lehigh Fiber Festival is a small event and no sheep or sheep dogs.  We did spot one animal though:

A rather large bunny in a lavender cage!

Well, that does it for today.  I really need to get cracking and see what is happening in the work world.  It is good to be home again and I will enjoy gradually catching up on blogs (the sign of a good vacation - not much blog reading...or being on the internet at all!).  I do hope that you all are doing well and enjoying the beginning days of Fall.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 9/13/23

 Good Morning My Friends!

I woke in the night to strong thunder and lightening.  The kind that lights up the entire room even with your eyes closed.  We had some rain, but not really enough to move the gauge any.  And, I believe it is supposed to rain pretty much all day.

I've watered all the house plants and today I will harvest the 8 or so eggplants hanging on the plants.  I don't want them to be damaged or eaten (!) while we are gone.  Then I need to figure out what to pack and get that done.  I'm known for ALWAYS over packing, but this time of year is tricky with temps that can be all over the place.

Yesterday afternoon while Fletch and I were sipping our beverages on the patio we watched one adult and 3 young bluebirds flying around.  And then a yellow warbler (not a regular visitor) showed up.  We are hoping to see lots and lots of birds on our trip - hopefully ones that we don't normally see around here.  It is migration season, so fingers crossed.

It is now Wednesday morning and time to link up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  This is where we gather to talk making and reading.  

Not a whole lot of knitting has gone on.  I've been busy with other things (plumbers, pre-vacation-getting-ready, work, etc.).  Perhaps another 10 or so rows have been added to my sock:

As of right now, my decision for another project to take on my trip is the Abstract Leaves Cowl that I started (what seems like) eons ago:

This was put aside when I kept making the same mistake on the same row.  I must have knit that row backwards 3 or 4 times.  I'm hoping it has learned obedience while in time out.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind on projects right up until the minute before we jump in the car and leave.  I can always throw in an extra project bag!  LOL

Similarly, reading has been slow due to just being busy or too tired to concentrate.  I did finish The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd and I enjoyed it.  I don't think it was as good as "The Secret Life of Bees," but it is a worthy read and kept my attention.

Another thing I will do today is go through the bookcase in the bedroom and choose a book or two to take on vacation.  I have not started anything new (yet).  I'm leaning towards a Wallace Stegner book or one by Toni Morrison...or both!  And, of course, I will throw in the book that Fletch and I are still reading after dinner ("The Unbroken Road" by Patrick Leigh Fermor).

I hope this Wednesday finds you well.  I will not be posting while we are gone and my blog reading will be sporadic (hopefully I'll be busy doing other fun things!!).  I'll be back next week!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9/12/23

 Good Morning!

The sky cleared overnight and at dark thirty this morning, the crescent moon was shining brightly and there were so many stars visible from our bedroom window.  It was beautiful.  And, I spotted a deer browsing under the apple tree.

Now I'm up and have had a little coffee, put a fresh/clean tablecloth on the table, gathered up some things for laundry (which I will do once Fletch is up and out of the shower).  I did get over to Colin's yesterday and watered the house plants and gathered up the mail (all junk) for the recycling bin.  I also cleaned out the last of the condiments that were aging in the frig.

Now it is time for Tiny Needle Tuesday.  More progress was made on both pieces this past week.  More on the larger one, but the Cacti Triptych also saw a few additions.

More orange blooms have been added.  There is a bit more green to be stitched (and more blooms) as well as the base of the Ocotillo.

My major focus was the big Sampler Aux Bouquets.  Quite a bit more was added to this piece.

A tiny rabbit and leaf at the top; a pot with branches full of green leaves, a beetle (I love that beetle), more border at the bottom and an outline at the top where there will be something.  Plus a few hearts scattered around.  Here is a shot of the overall picture.

The upper left looks like it is stained blue, but that is just a shadow.

Still quite a bit more to do on this one.  Both of these pieces will be coming with me on vacation (as well as knitting of course).

Today we will be picking up a few things at the grocery store to take with us on vacation.  Since we are doing Air BnBs, we plan to do most dinners wherever we are staying - we will take steaks, hot dogs, salmon, etc. to cook.  Plus veggies.  And yogurt and eggs for breakfast.  I'm taking my mini frother from our camper so that I can have frothed milk for my coffee.  All the comforts of home!  My bosses are all in meetings up in Boston today, so I should be left alone!  LOL

Wherever this Tuesday finds you, I hope all is well and that you are having some fun.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Weekending 9/11/23

 Good Morning All,

Thank you for all the birthday wishes - I truly appreciate them!  My weekend was wonderful.  Saturday morning I headed out to meet Dee at her house (and, of course see Steve and Giroux!!) and then Dee drove us over to NJ and the Sheep & Wool festival.  If you've seen Dee's blog, you already know about the festival (higher price to get in, fewer animals this year, fewer vendors and RUDE people).  Oy!  Still, there was yarn and after thinking I wouldn't get anything, of course I did.  But first the cute sheep (and if you have not been to Dee's blog head over there - her sheep pictures are better than mine).

This guy was kind of sleepy and just really wanted to be left alone and he wished all the other sheep would just shut up!

This handsome guy wanted to be in the limelight and photographed (and he had not finished chewing his hay)

And this last one had recently been to the salon for a dye job!

Now for the stash enhancement!!

This is a BIG skein (510 yards) from Fiber Seed.  The colorway is "Harvest Moon" and I fell in love with it.  I'm thinking a nice large shawl.

"All the Fall" from Fiber Stash Dye Works.  I thought this would make a handsome pair of socks for my guy.  Dee bought the same yarn, but her skein has sparkles in it (which I did not think would be good for Fletch).

We both bought this next skein as well!  "Time Square at Night" from 7th Floor Yarn (never heard of them before).  

I wish my photo showed the colors better (kinda cloudy outside) - so many jewel tones in this - gold, purple, blue, green.  Just gorgeous and definitely swoon-worthy.  It is 50/50 yak and silk and the softest stuff you can imagine.  There was a sample of the Loretto Road Cowl made up in this colorway (only one skein needed).  The vendor was kind enough to give a copy of the pattern (free on Ravelry), so I will be knitting this soon.

After the festival we went to Luminary (favorite stomping ground of Dee & Steve) for coffee and a little knitting and then headed over to Chive for a good lunch.  All-in-all, a delightful day.  Thank you my friend for such a nice time!

I had debated going out for breakfast on Sunday, but it was pouring rain and very, very dark outside.  So instead I made a batch of blueberry muffins (and now we will have leftovers to take with us on our vacation).  I pretty much spent the whole day working on some stitching and then we went out for dinner.  We had excellent food at a Thai restaurant.  So good that there were no leftovers to bring home!

Fletcher's Pad See Ew with shrimp

My Evil Jungle Princess with chicken

Today will be all about getting stuff done before we take off on Thursday.  Work should be quiet (all my bossess are headed to Boston to a big meeting).  I want to get back to C&M's house to water plants and finish removing jars of condiments from their frig.  Fletch has errands he needs/wants to run as well.  So, it will be a busy day (and the plumber is coming), but hopefully I will find some time for relaxing with my needles.

Cheers to the week ahead - enjoy!