Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve

Good Evening Everyone,
Hope no one is going crazy with Thanksgiving prep work.  I remember being crazy about it years ago.  Now I just go with the flow...of course it helps that no one is coming here tomorrow.  Instead we'll be going to Colin & Mailing's.  The turkey is brining and I'm not sure what else we are having (well, I do know stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans).
It was wonderful to not be at work today.  I got up and lazed around and then went out to get my hair cut.  Since I am 1) embracing my grey hair and 2) growing my hair out, I now just go to the local Hair Cuttery.  They do a great job and my cut & blow dry costs $28 as opposed to the $110 I was paying at a salon.  That's more money for yarn, right?
This afternoon I did make some things for tomorrow.  First up is the "Surprise Angel Pecan Pie" which has no crust (!!) and is really like a huge meringue with pecans folded in.  I made this years and years ago and had forgotten all about it.  I like it because you get the pecan pie taste, but it's not as heavy as a traditional pecan pie.
Next up I made boozy gummies (from the recent issue of Bon Appetit).  I love gummy candy and figured these had to be good with the addition of alcohol.  I haven't tried them yet...but here's hoping.
Love the way they go with my fall tablecloth!  The ones on the right have grapefruit juice and Campari in them, the ones on the left are made with coconut water and rum.  I used Agave Nectar in both for sweetener.
And then, just before dinner, I mixed up a bunch of maple-cinnamon nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts).  The house smelled wonderful.
EVERYTHING is going with us tomorrow (well, a few nuts left in a zip lock bag).  Tomorrow morning I'll make a pumpkin pie (I made the pastry after dinner).
I even had a bit of time to work on Emory's skirt but forgot to take a another day or two.  I'm antsy to start some more socks and a hat, but I need to focus.
Hoping you all enjoy Thanksgiving - relax, have fun, eat a lot and just enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Last night I skipped my yoga class (3 weeks in a row – not good!!).  It was way too cold and windy to go back out once I got home from work.  Instead, after dinner, I made cranberry-orange chutney for Thanksgiving.  This is so good and the house smelled amazing last night.  The recipe is from my mother-in-law.  Kathy B asked for the recipe, so here it is:


The card is written in my mother-in-law’s hand.  I love how she made the letter G.  Also, this keeps forever in the frig.

Meanwhile, when I walked into our office building yesterday I was surprised to see it all decorated for Christmas.  Already!  Usually it is done the weekend after Thanksgiving, but the folks who “do” all the plants in our building are a bit short-staffed these days and wanted to get it done early.  It is pretty – a huge tree in the center area downstairs and garlands going up the stairways.  There is also a tree up in our reception area and there are poinsettias all over the office – in front of our fountain, in various work areas, etc.

Today is my last day of work this week.  YAY!!  I may get my hair cut tomorrow and I’ll make the pastry for pies which I’ll bake Thursday morning.  Thanksgiving at Colin and Mailing’s will be fun and it will be a relatively early evening since they are both working on Friday.  I haven’t done any Black Friday shopping at stores in years, but my nephew’s wife just opened a shop in Kennett Square (about an hour from me) and my sister-in-law suggested we meet there on Friday to check it out and then go to lunch somewhere.  Should be fun, but I’m sure it will be crowded….  The shop is Marche...they don't have a web page, but you can see the shop entrance on their facebook page - looks pretty nice!

And then next week – Nov 29th through Dec 1st I will be in Naples, FL.  Woo-Hoo.  Should be a little warmer than PA.

Wherever you are and whomever you are with, I wish you the happiest and tastiest Thanksgiving ever!  Enjoy.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Weekend

The weekend started early with Friday afternoon off work.  And then I slept 10 hours Friday night!  This seems to be my new Friday night habit (2 weeks in a row).

Saturday donned sunny and warm.  It was around 70 degrees and I went to a local park to walk.  Plenty of folks out in shorts and tank tops jogging, walking, bike riding, roller blading (I had not seen anyone roller blading in years!!).  It sure felt good to be out in the fresh air.

Fletch was busy in the garden securing the cold frames we have that go over two of our raised bed boxes.  Here’s a shot of both.


And here’s a shot of the smaller one from the back that shows how we can get into it and harvest kale, spinach, etc.  We typically don’t harvest anything in January and February, but it sure is nice to have fresh greens in December!


I also took some pictures of the burning bushes we have on our property.  This is a small one by our shed.  Can you see the dragonfly knocker on the shed door?  And the buoy bell hanging from the upper left – love the sound of that in the wind.


This one is by our mailbox.  The tree behind it was out Christmas tree 28 years ago!


Just about the time Fletch fired up the grill to cook some burgers the wind started picking up.  I think the temperature dropped about 30 degrees in just over an hour.  Next thing we knew we could hear sleet hitting the windows and the wind was howling.  The storm windows rattled ALL night.  And I could hear the buoy bell as well!

Woke up Sunday to a bit of snow on our picnic table and the garden beds.  The ground was really too warm for much of anything to stick.  It’s Monday morning now and the wind is STILL howling.  Hard to believe it was70 degrees 2 days ago.

On the knitting front I did finish the 2nd sock (Yay!) and I cast on a little skirt for Emory in NC.  I promise some pictures once I get more than 10 rows done!  The Christmas knitting has begun!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Work Thanksgiving Lunch

Our Thanksgiving lunch at work yesterday was awesome as always.  I was not able to get pictures of the food – sorry!  But I will tell you, there was a ton of it:  cheese platters, olive platters, fresh breads, turkey, ham, short ribs (amazing), lasagna, lots of roasted root veggies, fresh green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc.  I did stay away from the dessert tables, but I heard there was pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, apple pie.  So. Much. Food.

Everyone got a gift card and a HUGE caramel apple – mine is a milk chocolate toffee walnut caramel apple.  What?  I read the back of the box.  One apple = 1,200 calories!  And, I won (we always raffle them off) one of the centerpieces.  Gorgeous.

We were also told that the office is closing at 1 this Friday (just because) and at 1 next Wednesday.  I don’t think I’ll work Wednesday anyway, but it’s so nice that they do these perks for us.  A number of people stood up and mentioned things they were thankful for which was really nice too.
My company makes a donation to the Make a Wish Foundation every year at the holidays…we do this instead of giving gifts to clients.  The plan this year is to have one of the kids join us for our Christmas celebration (which I think will be 12/13).
I've said it before - I really am lucky to work where I do.  Upper management - everyone - is truly amazing and inspiring.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Recovery, Frustration and Monday Questions

Hello Again,

I'm happy to report that the bank DID have my debit card.  For those of you who don't know, if you don't remove your card from the ATM machine (at least at my bank) within "X" amount of time, the machine takes it back in and keeps it.  A nice safety feature n'est-ce-pas?

The nice part was that I left work early to go to the bank and was home shortly after 2 p.m.  Hoping to settle into an afternoon of knitting.  But first the mail which contained a bank statement.  Trying to balance it and noticed a debit charge from a mail order place that we have not used in years.  This same place charged us 9-12 months ago and I had to file a dispute.  Now they have done it again.  So, I have to go back to the bank tomorrow because with our bank you need to sign a dispute form prior to them beginning the investigation.  That was frustration #`1.  Frustration #2 came when I called the bank and couldn't understand the person speaking to me.  Really, I did try, but I kept having to ask the gentleman to repeat himself.  Maybe I need a hearing aid?  Maybe I need language lessons?  I don't know, I'm just annoyed.  /Sorry

So here it is 3:30 and I'm not knitting, but I am having an early glass of wine - LOL.

Onward to Kathy B's Monday questions (always fun):

1.  Have you ever petted an angora bunny?  No, but I would love to.
2.  Do you have novelty yarn in your stash?  Probably somewhere at the very bottom of the chest I keep "most" of my yarn in - I would need to dig through and that's not going to happen today!
3.  Is there something you can't give up on your food life?  Yes:  butter, bread, pasta, wine, etc.  Easier to give up sweets than that stuff.
4.  Do you swim during the winter months?  No...and not even in the summer.  I miss it a lot.  I wish I could find a pool nearby that isn't crowded...I would join in a heartbeat.
5.  What are you having for dinner tonight?  I think some pork dumplings that I picked up yesterday...filled with veggies too.
6.  Are you putting up Christmas décor yet?  No...I just put out some pilgrim candles (from the 50's) on our buffet.  I need to get through Thanksgiving first.
7.  Are you a Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopper?  Mostly no.  I haven't gone to the King of Prussia mall (closest to us) in years and have no desire to now.  I used to enjoy going out on Black Friday with my son when he was young.  We would go to little boutique stores and un-crowded places.  Now everything is mobbed.  Then a couple of years ago I had surgery just after Thanksgiving and couldn't really go out.  I did everything on line and it was so easy.  And fast.  And easy!!  But Cyber Monday web sites are often jammed or slower due to traffic.  I will wait and order later.  Amazon is my friend.
8.  Did you cast on this weekend.  No...trying to finish up a pair of socks.  I'm not really good at multiple projects.  I need to finish these so that I can get on with Christmas knitting.
9.  Did you see the Super Moon yet?  I missed it last night and was hoping to catch it tonight, but it is already overcast (rain forecast for all day tomorrow).
10.  Would you like to recommend a movie?  Sure:  Jiro Dreams of Sushi (documentary rather than a movie - on Netflix I believe).  Favorite movies:  Out of Africa and Babette's Feast.  Also The Illusionist.

Tomorrow is our Thanksgiving lunch at work.  It will be catered by the same group that did our Halloween luncheon.  If I  can get some pictures, I'll post them.  It is always a beautiful and tasty affair and our CEO does a wonderful job talking about gratitude, etc.  It is also the day that we get our Angel Tags in - this is the Salvation Army program for bringing in toys/clothing/etc. for children who otherwise might not have a Christmas.

Hope everyone's week is going well.  I still am feeling disjointed/out of sorts.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Well Hello,
This past week has seemed so disjointed in so many ways.  Strange.  Fletch left town on Wednesday to go to VA and see family and help his brother move some things out to the "country."  I tend to not sleep as well when he is away and I often don't eat as well either.  Not a good combination.
Saturday I was supposed to meet up with a friend for either lunch or dinner.  We never connected...instead I spent the ENTIRE day inside.  Cleaning, doing laundry, etc.  What fun.  Actually it was the perfect time to get stuff done while Fletch is away.  No need to stop and cook dinner, etc.  Plus it was cold here on Saturday.  I don't think it ever got out of the mid 40's.
Today, though, was gorgeous.  Bright sun, slightly warmer temps.  A great day to go out.  I headed out and stopped at the pet store to get Frontline (Tyg came in the other night with FIVE ticks on him!  Thank God my son was here to help with removal!!) and some expensive treats (after all, he had suffered from ticks and needed some treats).  Went on to the ATM at my bank to make a deposit, stopped at another store and then went grocery shopping.  Everything is bagged and I go to pay and I do not have my debit card.  Yikes!!  I never removed it from the ATM machine.  Thus the Ditsy title.  At least I know where it is and I believe (hope?) I can call my bank and go retrieve it tomorrow.  Just a PITA in the middle of the work day.
The weekend was not a total loss though.  I finished a book Friday evening:  "The Night Circus" which I like much more than I thought I would and recommend it highly.  I also finished a sock (finally!) and started the mate:
I need to quickly wrap up this second sock and start on some Christmas knitting!  Time is flying by.
I also cooked a good meal Saturday (instead of junk):  sautéed broccoli with onion and garlic...added some shrimp...then the last of the summer tomatoes...then fresh spinach and basil.  Cooked up some penne pasta and tossed it all together.  Yum!  And there is still a hefty amount in the container for lunch tomorrow and another that is good for 2 more meals.  Tonight I cooked up a big pot of chili and have one container in the frig for when Fletch comes home Tuesday and another in the freezer.  I had my favorite avocado toast for dinner with sun dried tomatoes and bacon. Oh my!
Meanwhile...time to finish that glass of wine in the picture above and then I think I will crawl into bed early with my book. 
Here's to a good, happy, peaceful week for all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Please get out and vote is so important.  No matter your party, not matter your choice.  Be thankful you have a choice and are able/allowed to voice it.

Also, Kathy B has moved.  Be sure to pay her a visit!