Saturday, December 30, 2017

Snowy Saturday

Hi There and Good Morning!

More computer difficulties, but finally on again.  Sometimes I simply hate technology - lol.  Seems like I'd be lost without it...feels sometimes like I'm lost with it.

Anywho, we did not have a white Christmas, but this is what I woke up to this a.m.

Looking out from the back patio:  picnic table and fire pit, garden to the back (green round thing is the composter and behind that two "greenhouse" covers over some raised beds (collards growing!!), and our woods behind that.

The birds were feeding constantly.

That's Fletch's kayak at the top - hanging from our patio roof.  The pole in the picture keeps the clothesline (which the feeder is on) propped up high enough that Tyg can't jump up (lesson learned when one day he jumped from the ground into/onto the feeder and got a poor unsuspecting bird).  This morning I actually watched Tyg run after a low flying flicker!  One of the big red-headed woodpeckers (which for some reason are called red belly woodpeckers).

So, the roads are a mess.  Fletch heard earlier that there were already multiple (like 9-10) separate multi-car accidents on the Schuylkill Expressway.  The snow is so light that Fletch could use the leaf blower to get the cars clean, but he said it is very slippery out.

We have a party to go to tonight...luckily it is just across the street.  We may be the only ones to show up - LOL. 

Yesterday we got the grocery shopping done...and a run to the liquor store.  I think we are set for some time.  No need to venture out.

On the knitting front I managed to get the first fingerless mitt finished! 

I love it!  Now I just need to cast on the 2nd and get knitting.

I've also wound yarn for Colin's socks.  He picked out yarn while he was here Thursday night.  And I need to look at patterns.  He said just plain was fine unless I wanted to spice it up a bit.  So many of the patterns I have are lacey...not what he would like.  I've made him a pair using the Petty Harbor pattern, so want to do something else.  I can search this afternoon.

When Damon, Fletcher's brother, was up at Thanksgiving he brought a HUGE box of stuff from home which contained tons of things their Mom had saved.  Correspondence (letters and postcards from us), telegrams (!), birth announcements, report cards and the like.  And there were pictures.  Here is a blast from the past.

No date on the picture, but I'm guessing it's from the early 80's - post marriage but pre-Colin.  This was taken in Norfolk, VA at Fletcher's Mom's house.

Well, I've rambled on long enough.  Stay warm and happy!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Three on Thursday

Hello All,

I trust you all had fabulous holiday celebrations.  We certainly did!!  I was going to post a bit earlier, but ran into major computer problems this laptop may be on its last legs (hoping not...don't really need yet ANOTHER expense at this point in time...but we will see).

So first the fun things.  Christmas Eve we ended up at Mailing's parent's home for making dumplings and then dining:

It is a lot of fun to make these, though I pretty much suck at it.  Mine are the not-so-pretty ones in the foreground.  Mailing and her sister are really adept at making beautiful crescents.  And their father is the master at rolling out the dough.  The stuffing is ground pork, scallions, ginger and some other spices.  We had these with some beef, a delicious salad of noodles, tofu, red onions and cilantro.

After dinner, Colin & Mailing came over to our house and the four of us opened stocking stuffer gifts.

Christmas Day Fletch and I got over to Colin & Mailing's by 11 a.m. for brunch.  There were home-made popovers and a delicious black tea punch that had (besides a black tea simple syrup) brandy, champagne and some other liquor.  It was perfect! 

That is Colin & Mailing at the head of the table, Fletch and Anna (Mailing's sister) on the left and Mailing's parents on the right.

We opened gifts and later Fletch and Mailing's Dad took a walk.  It was much too cold and windy for the rest of us.  Some napped and others just lazed around.  At one point Fletch and Talbot got very comfortable together (though not too close...).

Dinner was amazing:  a roast that was cooked to perfection, Brussels Sprouts, home-made butternut squash ravioli and also home-made spinach & mushroom ravioli and then home-made chocolate mousse with whipped cream.  Eventually we waddled out and drove home.  I have been pretty much a slug ever since!

No work for me this week which has been a joy.  I haven't done nearly what I thought I would, but that's ok.  I did start fingerless mitts for myself and got as far as the thumb on the first one and had to unravel the entire thing.  It has been started again and I'm working on it slowly.  I did something - not sure what - to my arm/elbow the other week and I've been having a bit of pain with that.  Fletch thinks it's a pinched nerve which it may be.  It might also be my arthritis acting up.  Whatever, I've been downing Advil and avoiding lifting heavy things.

A pot of bean soup with ham is on the stove and I have bread rising.  Colin & Mailing are coming for dinner tonight.  We need to find out what else they would like as we had to return one of our gifts to them...we had gotten them the pasta attachment to their Kitchen Aid mixer, but they got a pasta machine a week before Christmas!  A redundant gift!  Luckily Amazon is so easy to do returns.

I also promised Colin I'd make him another pair of socks (Mailing did get some hand-knitted socks), so maybe he will pick out yarn tonight.

I've started reading "The Other Einstein" and am really enjoying it.  I finished "The Little French Bistro" which was just ok in my book...also finished "The Keeper of Lost Things" which again was seemed to bog down for me in parts.

Christmas found me with some books as gifts (Yay!!) - one of which is Slow Knitting which I've glanced through.  It's going to be a very enjoyable read.  Hopefully I will learn to slow down a bit and savor things a little more.

Not sure if I will be back before the 2nd or not...kind of depends on this laptop and whether it starts acting up again or not.  Fingers crossed it will behave itself.

Wishing you all a safe and happy new year!  May there be good health, plenty of laughter and much joy in your lives.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Three on Thursday

Hello All,

The Christmas luncheon yesterday was really lovely.  Well, the hotel where it was held is a bit of a mess, but the food was terrific and there were a ton of laughs, gifts and a few tears.  All in all, a lovely day.  And, I was home by 2 p.m. which leads up to my 3 on Thursday:

1.   My wrapping is finished!!!  I got some done in the afternoon and everything else was done by 11 last night.  I didn't even allow myself to think about adding to what is done and wrapped.

2.  I baked some more cookies.  And, I may be finished with that as well.  I haven't made cut-out cookies yet and I may do that...but I may wait and make them for Valentine's day or something.  It seems as though every year by the end of January I throw out a ton of cookies.  We give a lot to various people, but we still end up with a ton for the two of us and we just don't eat them that quickly.  I know you can freeze them, but my freezer doesn't have enough room for them.

3.  I finished The Keeper of Lost Things this morning while having my coffee.  It's a fun, easy read (though it bogged down a bit for me in parts).  I'd label it as one of those "feel good" novels.

I'm excited with the prospect of casting on for some fingerless mitts for me!!  With thumbs!!  That may not happen till next week, but I think the weekend will be very relaxed and may provide the perfect opportunity.

Someone was exhausted last night.  After all, he had to help with the baking and especially with the wrapping.  I hope Santa brings this boy something fun!!

So completely relaxed!  That's the life.

Hope you all ae enjoying the wind down to Christmas.  Take some time to relax a bit...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday 12/20/17

Good Morning!

We had another beautiful sunrise this morning.  I wanted to take a picture, but I was driving to work and traffic was not favorable for pulling over to snap a picture or two.

But...I do have some knitting to show.  This was one of my secret knits - fingerless mitts for my friend Carol (who was at our house Saturday for dinner).  She does a lot of photography and I figured these would come in handy in the cooler weather.  Happily she was thrilled with them (and there were two even though the picture is only of one - lol).

The yarn is some I bought at Good Karma Farm a couple of years ago.

I also made another pair for a friend at work who was recently diagnosed with leukemia (now in remission, but still out of work - a long road ahead of her).  Whenever I'm not feeling well or even just very tired, my hands get extremely cold.  So, I thought they would be nice for her - she could still easily use her phone or tablet, but hopefully be a little cozier.  I used some KnitPicks fingering weight yarn and then forgot to take a picture of them. 

Next up I want to make some with an actual thumb piece instead of just a buttonhole for sticking your thumb through.  I might just have the time next week!!

I'm still reading "The Keeper of Lost Things" which I am liking ok...I just haven't been reading very much.  However, I did bake two more kinds of cookies last night:  oatmeal raisin (not my favorite, but Fletch loves them) and ginger creams which are just kind of a cakey cookie that taste like (surprise!) gingerbread.

So, today we leave work by 11 for our luncheon and then we can go home!!  I hope to get some gifts wrapped this afternoon and, perhaps, a little nap.

Hope you are finding yourself relaxed mid-week leading up to Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Getting It Done!!

Hello Everyone,

Well, the speed of life at work has still not slowed down.  I intended to post yesterday, but life/work got in the way.

How was your weekend?  It started snowing hard around 1 p.m. Friday, so I left work at 2.  As it turned out, the office closed at 2:30.  We only ended up getting an inch or two, but it was enough to make traffic crazy!  I was happy to get home for the night.

Saturday I was up early baking a cake for dessert that evening.  Our friends from Maryland came up for dinner.  We had a wonderful time - lots of laughs, too much food, and some beautiful gifts.  All good.

Sunday was grocery shopping and then I (finally) started baking.  I made one double batch of toffee pecan cookies so I could bring some into work on Monday.  I had intended to make another kind, but ran out of time.  Maybe tonight....  On the other hand, I did manage to get a couple of gifts wrapped and under the tree and in stockings.  Progress!

Despite a busy day at work yesterday, I did manage to sneak out for a bit mid-day and finished up stocking stuffer shopping for Colin & Mailing.  Tomorrow is a half day (we get to leave after our Christmas luncheon which is off-site this year, and Friday is also a half day!  I want to book a pedicure appointment for Friday afternoon.  And, at this point, it doesn't look like I will be coming into work at all next week.  Woo-Hoo!!

The weather is still crazy - snow on Friday and this morning it was almost 50 when I got up!  Colin is stopping by this evening after work and we plan to have a fire in the pit!!

Now, I'd best get to it...another busy day at work.  Hoping everyone's week is going well.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Oh my!  It has been a slammed morning.  Much more so than usual.  Speaking with a few co-workers this a.m. and it seems like everyone is in the same spot.  Tom, one of our Presidents, asked me what the hell is going on that it hasn't slowed down yet.  I have no idea - too busy answering the ever expanding number of e-mails I seem to be getting as well as various requests, updating spreadsheets and the like.  My preference is to be busy - makes for flying days, but these past few weeks have just been nuts.

Meanwhile I'm off the hook for a little knitting!  Too funny:  I had been planning to hopefully knit a hat for Colin for Christmas.  I had even decided to use some alpaca yarn I have in a pretty light brown and some white.  Yesterday Colin didn't work, so he was over watching a movie with Fletch when I got home and pointed out that he had worn a hat I had knit for him sometime in the past 2 years or so.  It was exactly what I was thinking of making for him and even in the same yarn.  I have no recollection of making that hat.  (My memory loss seems to be speeding up as well - lol)  Anyway, I thanked him for getting me off the hook with that knitting project.  He then said he would really like me to knit a blanket for him.  Hmmm...that sounds like a big project to me.  But, maybe, with bulky yarn or something.  I'll figure that one out AFTER the holidays.

Colin also brought over two presents to go in Fletcher's and my stockings:

These cracked me up.  Col always uses brown craft paper to wrap gifts and usually just writes the recipient's name on the package...this time he drew figures instead.  So, the first gifts are in the stockings.  Meanwhile, I have not wrapped anything...or finished shopping....

It's supposed to start snowing here any time now (it's about 12:30) and continue until at least 6 p.m. with 1-2" expected.  I need to stop at the store for beer and a little food on my way home.  We have friends coming for dinner tomorrow night and I need a couple more things for the meal we are planning.  I also need to clean the bathrooms, straighten up some things and wrap the gifts we have for our friends.  Oh yeah and I was hoping to get a pedicure and maybe a haircut.  Not all of that stuff is going to happen for sure.

Now 1:00 and the snow has started!!  Woo-Hoo.

Wishing you all the best weekend with no stress, only fun times.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday - 12/13/17

Brrrrr!  It is cold outside today.  And a wicked wind chill.  So glad I am not planning to run out at lunch time today (too busy anyway...).

Fortunately there has not been any unraveling recently.  Unfortunately that is due to the fact that there has not been much knitting.  Like everyone else, I seem to be caught up in the rush of the holidays.  Last night I spent wrapping gifts and writing cards to those who live far enough away that we won't be seeing them over the holidays.  Those packages are now in my mail room at work and will go out tonight via UPS.  One thing checked off the list!  Progress my friends, progress.

On the reading front I'm only about 40% (according to my Kindle) of the way into "The Keeper of Lost Things."  It is not, for me, a fast paced read, but I am enjoying it.  When I crawl into bed at night and pick up my Kindle, I'm only able to read a chapter or two before my eyes start to close.  I've had a couple more come through on Overdrive, so I'd best get moving on reading a bit more.

On the other hand, there is someone else who appears to be reading a bit:

I LOVE this picture!  This is Talbot - one of Colin's and Mailing's cats.  Colin was reading the other day when Talbot jumped up and onto his book...apparently Colin was paying too much attention to his book and not enough to Talbot.

And it's pretzel day at work!  Philly soft pretzels were delivered just a little bit ago.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Some Decorations

Good Morning!

It is grey and windy out today, but warmer - about 40.  We could see rain...or some snow flurries...later today.  the temps are supposed to drop and be much colder tomorrow.  Tis the season!

Last night was exciting - grocery shopping!  Yikes.  I will say, however, it was a great time to shop - the store was pretty deserted and we got through fairly quickly. 

The other day I mentioned that one of my favorite things to bring out in the winter is a birch log.  Fletch cut holes in the top for candles and we have it on our buffet every year.

The candles burned down quite a bit Sunday night...I need to put some new ones in (and I've had a heck of a time finding any tapers this year - everything seems to be candles in jars).  Growing up, we had a log like this in the center of our dining table all season long.  I love having dinner (or breakfast) by candlelight.

This year I have another new favorite "ornament."

This is the little sock that Kathy B knit and sent to me during the "anything but yarn swap" she set up.  I was afraid to use it on my key chain -- thinking my keys or something would ruin it, so it has been hanging out in my kitchen for the past several months (where I see it every day), and now it is on the tree (high enough that Tyg can't grab it).  Thank you Kathy!  I love it.  Kind of a lousy picture...taken early this a.m. when only the tree lights were on.

I'm hoping to run out mid-morning today to do some shopping (wine/champagne for my bosses and some stocking-stuffer things).  But now I need to go make a cup of tea - my office is freezing!

Hoping everyone is enjoying the season and not feeling too stressed out.  I haven't started baking yet and normally that would bother me...this year I'm thinking "whatever!"  I will get to it....eventually...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Where Did The Weekend Go?

Good Morning!

So, tell me, where did the weekend go?  Here I am back at work Monday morning and it seems like the weekend was a dream.

We ended up staying home on Saturday.  The snow started at our house around 9:30 or 10:00 and pretty much snowed all day.  We ended up with about 3.5".  Just enough to make the roads messy.  I had planned to bake cookies if we stayed home, but I never managed to get around to that.  I did a lot of laundry and had a delightful  nap instead.  There was some knitting - yay!

Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful but very cold.  I was in the kitchen all day cooking.  Colin and Mailing came for dinner and to decorate our tree.  In the morning I made a Cranberry Pie from Smitten Kitchen which was delicious.  By the time that was done it was time to start dinner.  I was making a 7 hour leg of lamb (really 5 hours).  Lamb is one of those dishes that I enjoy occasionally, but sometimes it's a little too gamey.  When the leg started cooking I thought I was going to be sick!  However, it ended up being one of the best ones I've ever made.  It was delicious with lots of caramelized onions, carrots, garlic, potatoes and tomatoes.  I also made a kale & Brussels sprouts salad.  And we had Compari Spritzers (thanks Mary for the recipe!).

This guy was ready for dinner:

Too funny.  He was anxious to have a taste, but got frustrated and went outside when he realized there was no place set at the table for him!

I missed it on Saturday, but Fletch said Tyg was out in the snow on his belly...sticking his nose into it and having a grand time.  Colin and Mailing took their indoor cats out on leashes and they enjoyed it for about 5 minutes and then were ready to come back inside.

This is promising to be another busy week.  I forgot to get any pictures of our tree - will try to do that soon. 

Happy Birthday to Colin who is 28 today!!

Friday, December 8, 2017

TGIF 12-8-17

Hello all,

Another slammed day at work.  One conference call done...another one to start in a couple of minutes.

It's COLD!  And we are supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow late tonight into tomorrow.  Woo-Hoo...except we are supposed to go down to Delaware tomorrow to visit my brother and sister-in-law.  If the snow does come, we will most likely postpone.

OK, gotta run.

Tyg says Happy Friday and Enjoy the Weekend!

Sprawled on the table - good thing I have more than one Christmas tablecloth!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Three on Thurssday

Hello All,


Thanks for all your comments on my tale of woe yesterday.  My first item for today's Three on Thursday is...Verizon...


  1. Yesterday when I got home I poured a glass of wine and then picked up the phone and called Verizon.  And…I got GOOD customer service!!  The person who answered the phone actually spoke English (with a Long Island accent, but that’s one I understand – LOL).  My empty box to ship back the cable box had never been ordered, so he took care of ordering that making sure the box would be large enough to accommodate both the cable box and the old router.  The gentleman was very apologetic about everything and gave us a one-time credit since we had such trouble.  Now, of course, the box hasn’t arrived yet and probably won’t for 5 days (for which he again apologized), but I am hopeful that everything has been resolved.  I had more wine to celebrate!
  2. Fletch went out yesterday and got our Christmas tree.  We plan to bring it into the house either Friday or Saturday morning…let it sit a bit and then put the lights on by Saturday night.  Colin and Mailing will be over Sunday for dinner and will help us put the ornaments on.  Monday (the 11th) is Colin’s birthday and when he was little we always decorated our tree on his birthday, so I’m looking forward to this little bit of tradition.
  3. Like Carole. I have started to think of one word for 2018.  I haven’t make a final decision yet, but have some ideas.  Is anyone else doing this?  I don’t join the workshop, but I have liked having one word to focus on during the year.


We are almost at the weekend!! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday 12-6-17

Hello All,


Here it is mid-week.  No knitting pictures (it is still secret knitting), but happy to report no yarn unraveling this week.


My patience, however, did unravel last night.  Fletch will be the first to tell you that I am not strong in the patience department and also that I do not suffer fools.  Let me say that Verizon seems to be lacking in the customer service department for moi.


We have had two TVs and two cable boxes for ever.  I almost never watch TV and when I do, it is with Fletch.  So (finally) we decided to get rid of a TV and get rid of the extra cable box.  Over the weekend I called Verizon and they promised to ship a box for us to return the equipment.  It won’t come off our bill until they receive it (and to the best of my knowledge there is no place locally to drop off equipment).  I also got our cable bill lowered a little bit.  Yesterday a box from Verizon arrived.  It was heavy!  It was a router.  We already have one.


After approximately 6-8 calls last night, here is what I learned:


  • First call – wait time was over an hour
  • 15 minutes later I tried again and the wait time was under 4 minutes
  • Most of the people answering the phones at Verizon don’t speak English very clearly.  I had an extremely difficult time understanding most of them.
  • We need to replace our router for faster speed…ok, but I don’t really think it’s necessary and I’m not good at that.  Fletch couldn’t figure it out last night…hopefully Colin can tonight.
  • When I asked to speak to a supervisor I was first told by one person that they were not available but they could call me back – maybe in an hour or two.  The next time I asked to be transferred to a supervisor I was told they are not allowed to transfer me to anyone…they (the person who answers the phone) HAS to help me…but they were unable to….
  • The box that the new router came in will not accommodate the cable box we need to send back (and remote for said cable box).  In addition, we will have to return the old router.
  • I drank extra wine last night


Frustrated doesn’t begin to explain how I felt.  I’m ready to get rid of everything Verizon…but I’m afraid I’m not a fan of Comcast or Direct TV either.  So, we are kind of stuck (which I guess Verizon realizes).


I need to attempt to call them again tonight to at least get an empty box sent to us (with a return label this time – that would certainly help).


To ease my aching soul I ordered some yarn today.  I’ll show it to you when it arrives.  I think I deserve it.


Wish me luck (and patience, please).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cats and Trees

Hi Everyone,

Well, I had all good intentions of posting yesterday, but my phone stopped working sometime during the night Sunday night.  So instead, I came to work, got on my 10 a.m. conference call, and then left the office for 3 hours to (as it turned out) get a new phone.  Oy!  We are so dependent on our devices, aren't we?  I almost never talk on my cell phone, but I do text and I do use the camera for pictures.  So, it is a necessity.  Luckily I use an Android, so not as expensive as it could have been.

The weekend was lovely.  Saturday I met up with Dee for coffee and knitting and then we moved across the street for lunch.  The food was delicious, but the company was even better.  I am so thrilled to have a knitting friend near-by.

Quite a bit of secret Christmas knitting was done which I am happy about.  I'm guessing that I won't get to everything I want/hope to knit (nothing like waiting till the last minute), but I'm ok with that too.  I'm enjoying it and taking pictures so I can show you the fruits of my labor later!

This is another busy week at work - lots going on.  So, I will leave you with a picture of Marcel.  Colin & Mailing picked out their Christmas tree on Saturday and got it set up.  Marcel had to investigate: