Monday, October 31, 2016

Camping Weekend

We had a gorgeous weekend for camping!  We only went a little bit west of us – just past Carlisle (which is just west of Harrisburg for those not from the area).  The drive out was uneventful (I always over-worry pulling the camper) and we arrived at the campground around 4 p.m.  This was the sign that greeted us upon arriving:


And it’s for real – there has been a black bear on the property and plenty of evidence (scat) of one around.  I was hoping for a sighting, but no bears this time around.

After a quick dinner we settled in around the campfire as the night temps cooled down.  Saturday morning was a little chilly.  I wore a fleece jacket, my Baable hat and fingerless gloves while cooking our breakfast (raspberry pancakes & sausage):


Late morning we headed up to Colonel Denning State Park.  We decided to hike the Flat Rock Trail which is billed as being steep. 


That is Fletch after the hike…YIKES!  It is 2.5 miles up – pretty much at a 45 degree angle for at least 2 miles.  A rocky trail with plenty of leaf cover made for slow going (along with the steep incline).  The view from the top of the Cumberland Valley is gorgeous.  Unfortunately my pictures didn’t turn out – it had started to haze up a bit by the time we reached the top, but there are some pretty pictures on the link above.  Going down was just as hard (tough on the knees and ankles!!).  That night we grilled steaks over the fire and a mesh basket full of peppers, onions, mushrooms and some potatoes.  No pictures – we were too hungry after our hike and ate pretty fast.  Friends joined us to sit around a campfire and here’s a shot of the sunset that night.  The colors actually became very vibrant and it was just gorgeous.


Sunday was pretty warm.  Cooking breakfast outside was easy and fun.  Yay for bacon & eggs outside.


Then it was time to clean up, pack up and hit the road.  It was 80 degrees on our patio when we got home!  This is late October?  But, by 5 p.m. a strong thunderstorm rolled in and the temps dropped (glad we got home before that!!).

Yarn for my Sigla sweater arrived while we were away, but I don’t think I’ll have time to even cast on till later in the week.  I'll at least get a picture of the yarn soon - it is gorgeous!!

Friday, October 28, 2016


My first car – back when I was in college – was an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.  Gosh I loved that car!  It was big (but not quite the boat-size that some were) and at that time I could fit everything I owned in it.  Perfect.  After I graduated and started working I traded it in for my first NEW car – a Toyota Corolla.  It was cheap and so tiny.  I missed my Cutlass, but it was only getting 7-8 miles to the gallon and this was during the gas crisis days of the 70’s.

Years past and I/we (the collective married we) bought other cars.  It wasn’t until 2000 when I bought a Mazda Millenia that I actually fell in love with a car again.  My Millenia was such a beautiful and fabulous car.  Heated seats, a sun roof, good stereo system, etc.  I wish Mazda still made the Millenia (at least they still make the Miata which I do love too…but have never owned).

After some time we turned the Mazda over to our son who took it to Pittsburgh while he was in college.  Then it lived in our driveway for a year while he taught school in South Korea, returned to Pittsburgh for awhile and then came East again.  Last night we traded it in.  Boo-Hoo.  It had just under $150k miles on it and really had started to nickel-and-dime our son with various repairs.  The original plan had been to donate the car, but when our son decided to buy a new car it just seemed easier to trade Stella (our son’s name for it) in.  Naturally we didn’t get much for it, but a tad bit knocked off the price of his new car.  It’s all good, but I really do miss Stella.

On a positive note, the Millenia (and our son) are now OFF our insurance policy which will cut our premium down a lot!  As I said, it’s all good.

And further good news:  received an e-mail from Tolt – my yarn for Sigla should be delivered tomorrow!  Woo-Hoo!!  Now I’m poised to leave work shortly and Fletch and I will take off for a camping weekend.  Tonight will be chilly, but tomorrow is forecast to be in the lower 70’s – perfect weather for doing some hiking in the mountains.  My Kindle and some sock knitting are packed to go.

Enjoy your weekend whatever you do!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Warm Toes

Yes Friends, it was 32 degrees at my house this morning...and frost evident on my drive to work.  But my toes are warm (just taken by my desk a few minutes pants are an olive green...not the color showing in the picture):
And my socks really do match my pants (not that you can tell from the pic above).  I can't remember the brand of yarn, but it was some I bought two summers ago at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. 
Meanwhile, work is crazy-busy.  I've been working on spreadsheets ALL morning and felt like my eyes were crossing, so I just took a break and went outside for some fresh air.  Good news:  the sun is out and it is no longer 32 degrees.  Yay.  And, it is supposed to warm up for the weekend.  Hoping we can do our camping get-away as of Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, I am planning to join Kat in knitting Sigla.  I ordered my yarn from the Nordic Store and just found out they won't have some of the yarn for 2-3 weeks...and it is a 2-6 week delivery time from across the wide, wide ocean.  So I cancelled that order and will be ordering from Tolt later today.  Hopefully they will have what I want in stock and won't take so long to deliver.  At this rate, everyone will have their Sigla sweaters done before my yarn arrives!!
On a warm note:  I have to go to Naples the week after Thanksgiving for work and I was just able to book a massage for one of the afternoons there.  Woo-Hoo!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kathy B's Inquiring Mind

So…..Kathy B is all excited because the Cubs are IN the World Series.  It’s been a long time coming.  As you all know, I’m not into sports at all, but I will be rooting for the Cubs for Kathy.


And, being Monday, Kathy has some questions:


What is your favorite fabric to wear?

Depends on the season of course!  I love linen for warm weather, but that wrinkles a ton.  I love the feel of silk, but that also wrinkles.  Think I’ll go with cotton in the summer and flannel and wool in the winter.

Who woke you up this morning?

It wasn’t Tyg!  Even though he was inside, he was snoozing away when the alarm went off at 5:30 a.m.

Last time you had to turn off the announcers and turn on the radio for a sports event?

Don’t listen to or watch sports…

Last food item that you ate?

A salad for lunch…and I’m thinking it was not enough…still hungry….

Last item you had knit regrets about?

Slope which I’ve been working on (well, not so much) for the past year.  I think the yarn I am using is just too heavy.  It is cotton, but it feels like too much.

Last time a family member said to you, “When are you going to finish that thing?”


Are you still working on a New Year’s Resolution?

Nope – I don’t make them.

Last great amateur photo you saw?

Pictures my friend Carol took of eagles – they are wonderful.  In fact I showed them to my boss, he printed them out and had them framed for his office!

Do you feed the birds?

Yup – sunflower seeds, thistle seeds and peanuts.

Do you know someone who is an organ donor recipient or donor?

No, but our driver’s licenses all show that we are donors.


Time for me to get back to work or go in search of more food….


Have a great week!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Camping Postponed and More Halloween Pics

Hi All,
We've decided to postpone our camping trip for a week.  It still feels like summer here, but rain is coming in today and tomorrow along with high winds.  not exactly good weather for hiking and a campfire.  Hopefully next weekend will work.
Meanwhile, I managed to get some better shots sent to me from our Halloween party and thought I would share.  This was such a good time.
Meanwhile, there's a breakfast spread in our main kitchen and I've got a conference call to get on shortly.  So, au revoir for now.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Work Halloween Party

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love where I work.  On the whole, everyone is wonderful.  There are always a few sorry souls no matter where you go, but in this case the good far out weighs the bad.

Today was our Halloween Party.  Our training room, located on another floor from the main office, was decorated by the caterer who ALWAYS does a fabulous job.  Not many of my pictures turned out, but here is one giving a sense of some of the set up.

All the tables had gorgeous centerpieces.  I have one of the centerpieces on my desk.  Each one had a raven in the middle - love!  I got an extra raven as well.

And the menu:  prime rib, crab cakes, chicken, salads, veggies, soups, tons of candy and pumpkin cheesecake with a caramel sauce.

Our CFO came in as Beer Man and suggested that we start serving drinks at our luncheons!
There were a bunch of different categories for prizes - scariest, funniest, group, etc.  The one that won for funniest (and best overall) were two people from our AR department who came as Alcoholic Ken and Train Wreck Barbie.  You can see them just in the back of this (poor) shot (in the pink cardboard boxes that they made):
Cheech and Chong were there, two different groups came as Shark Week, a few clowns, etc. 
A great way to break up the middle of the week.  Now I need a nap - lol.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pictures from Sisters' Weekend

Hi Everyone,


Not sure if I missed part of a year or not, but we are right back in summertime.  It is HOT outside today – supposed to hit 84.  What’s up with that?


Just received some pictures from Sisters’ Weekend e-mailed to me, so thought I would share a few favorites.  First up, all of us.  Left to right:  Merelyn, me, Janet and Leslie.  The little cutie pie is Emory – Leslie’s granddaughter (and mine as well since Leslie and I have been best friends since we were 12 years old!!).


Here is Leslie with Emory.  They are just so cute together.


And, me with Emory.  She calls me “Grandma Nothing” which is what my son has always called Leslie’s mom (my second mother).  Long story, but the first time Colin met Madeline he was not in a very good mood.  When she asked him what he would like to call her, Colin shouted NOTHING!  Madeline responded saying that was Perfect and that from then on she would be Grandma Nothing.  To this day Colin (now age 27) calls her Grandma Nothing.  And, since I am Leslie’s daughter’s second mother, her daughter calls me Grandma Nothing.


Work is crazy – one of my busiest times of the year.  But, that’s good because the days fly by.  And, in these times, I’m just thankful to have a job with people I really like.  Tomorrow is our Halloween Party at work.  I’ll try to get some pictures – the costumes folks come up with are usually pretty good and the food is always fabulous.


Next week is our Benefits Fair to kick off open enrollment in November and I just found out that our (employee) contribution to our health plan is going up 20% this year.  Yikes!  That is a huge jump.  I understand the reason (we are self-funded and claims were very high this past year), but I also know that whatever raise I receive as of January 1st will not come close to compensating for the increase in health care costs, so ,my take home pay will be decreasing…not happy…but trying to remember I am lucky to be employed.


And, finally, I’ll be heading to Naples, FL at the end of November/beginning of December for a meeting (or as our CFO calls it – another boondoggle!).  I’m trying to find things for folks to do down there when we have free time (most of the time)…I’m hoping to book a massage.


No real knitting progress, though I carry it to work and back each day.  I usually end up working through any lunch time.  And last night by the time I got home from yoga I was exhausted.  I need to get cranking because I am thinking of joining Kat and knit Sigla.  So pretty!!  I didn’t make Stopover last year (but still want to) but I love Sigla just as much.


That’s it for now.  Hope you all are well and enjoying October.  Fletch and I are going camping for the weekend – hoping for nice weather and great campfires!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October Fun and a Wonderful Package!!

Well, I made it back safely and in one piece from my “Sisters’ Weekend” getaway.  The group is Leslie, my best friend for over 50 years (!!!) and her two sisters – one of whom is about 2 years older than us and the other one is a year younger and moi.  We live all over the Eastern half of the US and take turns hosting the weekend.  This year we were at Leslie’s in North Carolina (fortunately we were not at Merelyn’s in Daytona!  That will be our location next year.).


We shopped and played with Leslie’s granddaughter who has to be the cutest, smartest 4 year old ever.  She is a pistol.  And we cooked.  A lot.  We all love to cook and eat (and drink wine).  We had home-made pasta sauce, fresh salmon, home-made pizza, a pork loin which we used a dry rub on (fabulous) with roasted potatoes and baked apples.  And we went out to eat.  We also went to a spa on Friday and I had the best (and cheapest!!) massage I have had in years.

I didn't take any pictures (too busy talking/laughing/cuddling a 4 year old/consuming wine), but Janet took a bunch, so hopefully some will be e-mailed my way before too long.


A shout-out to Bob, Leslie’s husband, who put up with an additional 3 women in the house.  The estrogen level was extremely high, as was the noise level from chatter and laughter.


The time away was exactly what I needed.  Re-entry into the work world has been a struggle.  But I’m doing it and next week will be easier.


Now, look what arrived in the mail for me yesterday:


A little while ago I was fortunate to win a give-away that Bridget had.  She spoiled me with the most beautiful hand-dyed yarn (the colorway is “Estuary” - is that not a beautiful name for some gorgeous yarn??), some yummy smelling loose tea with an infuser that comes with its own saucer (so clever), a Barnes & Noble gift card (YAY) and peanut butter Kandy Kakes (my most favorite Tasty Cake) which Fletch has already made a move to take – lol.  And Bridget even sent treats for Tyg.  He hasn’t seen them yet because he was running around outside until after I went to bed and then went out early this a.m. before I even got a shower.  I just know he is going to go crazy over the food and tea bag catnip (again, so clever).


Thank you Bridget.  Your kindness has made this week of going back to work just that much easier and nicer.


By the way, after casting on new, plain vanilla socks to take on my trip I did absolutely NO knitting.  None.  Not even one row or even one stitch.  I have not knit since last Wednesday morning before I left town.  I’m hoping that I finally caught up enough on sleep that I can put in a few rows tonight…we shall see.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Fall Q&A

Joining in for Kathy's Fall-ish Q&A and it has been feeling more and more like Fall here.

*Which did you last wear?

Flannel shirt or Sweatshirt?

I wore both yesterday!  And a sweatshirt this a.m. while having coffee.

*Which chart is easier for you to read?

Fair isle or Cables?

Fair Isle is easier for me to read.  I love cables but always get confused…

*Do you prefer a turtleneck or a cowl neck?

I like both but tend to wear cowls more…the turtlenecks always feel just too tight (either hot flashes or fat neck syndrome)

*Have you been on a ghost walk?  Where?

I never have, but there is one in Chesapeake City where my friend lives…maybe this year?

*What is the bulk of your stash...

sock yarn? Worsted? Bulky?

Sock yarn for sure.

*Have you tried acupuncture?

Would you?

Nope, but I would love to for a couple of things. 

*Have you eaten Halloween candy yet this year?

NO!!!  But I keep fondling the bags of candy corn in the stores.

*Have you seen Christmas decorations yet?

Yes, and I wish they would stop rushing the seasons/holidays.

*What's your charity of choice to donate to ?

National Parks, The Green Mountain Club and animal rescues/shelters 

*You are at the apple orchard,

do you buy 





Monday and (finally) Some Sunshine

Wow!  The sun is finally was such a dreary weekend here...which prompted some heavy duty cleaning.

Saturday I put away summer clothes and took out the fall/winter sweaters, heavier pants, etc.  And, I discovered something I had knit many moons ago (probably at least 10 years).  This was one of those periods where I thought:  I want to knit again.  I think this is the only thing I knit (other than a belt that looked ridiculous and stretched out the first time I used it). 

This is the first thing I ever knit in the round.  I remember having to re-do my start at least 5 times because I kept twisting the stitches.  I can’t remember the brand of yarn, but I bought it at a (now closed) store in Malvern, PA where they also sold the suede handles and the suede base for the purse.  I’ve never used it…keys, pencils, etc. would poke right through this.  But, I’ve brought it out of hiding and I think I will make a liner for it so that I can make use of it.

In between my cleaning frenzy I managed to cast on the plain old vanilla socks I will take on my trip come Wednesday.  This yarn is gorgeous – Madeline Tosh 100% merino and the colorway is Mansfield’s Garden Party.  Many thanks to Ellen, as I won this yarn over a year ago in a give-away that she had.  At that time I had just attempted to make socks and the result was rather pitiful.  I’ve been saving this yarn until I could actually knit something I would wear. 

I put in about another 15 rows on the shawl, but not enough for pictures (yet).  And I managed to pack for my trip!  I’m the one who is always packing at midnight the day before I leave.  But I wanted to make sure everything would fit (gift bags for the girls and enough clothes for any type of weather for 5 days).  Now I have the luxury of time to re-do all that packing…probably tonight after yoga class.  My flight on Wednesday is not till 6 p.m., but I’ve decided not to work that day.  Instead I’ll try to get my hair cut and then knit and relax until my ride to the airport arrives.