Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday

Hello All,

Another Unraveled Wednesday is upon us.  Linking up with Kat and everyone else.

Luckily, no unraveling has occurred.  On the other hand, not a lot of knitting has occurred either.  Oh well. 

The gradient shawl continues.  This think is going to be LONG.  The pattern is an easy to memorize 12 row repeat.  So far I have done 16.5 repeats (that's 198 rows!!) and the color hasn't changed much.  Finally, last night, a darker blue is visible (about 14 rows completed after this picture).  Still a very long way to go.  Blocking should be interesting.....

And a little sock progress.  The heel has been turned and I'm decreasing the gusset stitches.  I love the colors in this sock, I'm just slow to knit it.

On the reading front I got a bit distracted last night from The Shell Seekers.  My copies of the new (to me) publication By Hand arrived.  WOW!  So far, 3 issues have been published, each focusing on a different location in the US (Portland, OR, Coast of Maine and Nashville).  The issues are gorgeous and there are knitting patterns in each one (plus other things).  Take a look.  I highly recommend.

I need to get back to my Kindle though...Book Bingo has started and I have 4 (or maybe 5) books from the library downloaded...and all expire within 10 days or so.  Ha!  Don't think I'll be reading that fast, but I need to step it up a bit.

What are you working on and what are you reading these days?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Holiday Weekending

Hi All,


Hope everyone had a wonderful, long weekend.  We were busy, but it was all fun.  My brother Phil was at the house by the time I got home from work on Friday.  He and Lynnette (his wife) had been up all night due to a flight delay, but they managed to sneak in a nap at my nephew’s that morning.  Lynnette stayed at the farm to help with party prep and Phil came up to hang with us.  Fletch grilled burgers and it was nice enough that we ate outside and then had a fire in the pit.  Colin & Mailing joined us.


On Saturday, Phil left mid-morning to go down to the farm to help with prep.  Fletch and I were lazy and just hung around the house.  Col and Mailing showed up around 2 and we drove to the party (a little over an hour away).  It was a little damp/wet, but everyone was outside having fun when we got there.  About 175 people had been invited…not sure how many showed up, but people were coming and going all the time.  Plenty of little kids and fun things for them to do…like running after the goats that Ed and Deanna (my nephew and his wife) have.



Lots of food…all day long – burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, veggie options, salads, cheeses, baguettes, beer, wine, champagne and cocktails.  The purpose of the party was to celebrate Ed and Lars (a colleague of Ed’s) making/getting tenure at the University of Delaware.  Ed’s field is physics; I’m not sure what field Lars is in – either physics or chemistry I think.  Here are the two celebrities – Ed is on the left and Lars on the right.



There were plenty of places to rest/eat/chat – bales of hay, tables outside and also inside the barn.  Here I am (terrible picture of moi) with Linda (in the purple sweatshirt - my brother Ray’s wife) and Lynnette.  (That's Fletch to the left in the brown shirt and no head - lol)



And here are Colin & Mailing (Ray is to the right)



We stayed about 4-5 hours and then headed home.  Phil & Lynnette were staying at the farm for the night.  They showed up at our place Sunday afternoon and we ended up going out to dinner that night.  Everyone was exhausted, so it was an early night for all of us.  Monday we slept in and then Phil & Lynnette headed to the airport by 2 p.m.


I did manage to knit a little and read a little…but not very much.  I’m looking forward to next weekend when we have absolutely nothing planned!!  Meanwhile, I need to get through this week which is still busy with FY 2018 budget stuff.  Luckily it is only a 4 day work week.


Friday, May 26, 2017


Hi All,

Finally Friday is here!  YAY!!  We had heavy rain last night - thunder and lightening...luckily after I got home from another grocery store run. 

Poor Phil & Lynnette (my brother and SIL) - their flight was delayed last night and they didn't land until 4:15 this morning.  Lynnette is going to the farm to help with party preparations for tomorrow, so it will just be my brother tonight (and Colin & Mailing).  So...I've changed the menu a veggie burgers and no shrimp.  I made the black bean salad last night and also deviled eggs.  Fletch will grill burgers and portabella mushrooms (if anyone wants one).  And, most important, the day looks to be gorgeous.  Sunny and 61 right now (8 a.m.), so we should be able to have a fire in the pit tonight and just relax. 

No kitty pics this morning.  Tyg is pissed off at us.  We treated him again with the peppermint oil stuff for fleas and ticks.  Fletch found two ticks crawling on him (himself) last night!  YIKES.  The peppermint stuff seems to work well - ticks sometimes still get on Tyg, but they crawl on the surface of his fur, they don't go down to his skin.  But, of course, that means he is still bringing them inside.  Oh well, we had the same issue when we used Frontline, and at least the peppermint stuff is "natural" and not a chemical.

Colin texted me this morning a picture of his first tomato of the season:

He also has hot cherry peppers and jalapenos already producing!  He has a large raised bed box on the campus where he works, and is growing primarily hot peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and a couple other things that I can't remember.

Here's to a wonderful weekend for everyone.  My Dad's birthday was May 30th and he would have been 97 this year!  And, Fletch and I will be married 37 years as of the 31st!!  Woo-Hoo!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Look What I Spotted This Morning!!

Hello All,

Mid-Week thank goodness.  This week has been super busy for me at work and, so far, the evenings are also full of "things" to do.

At work, our CEO's assistant is out with a torn ham string (OUCH) in 3 (yes, 3!!) places.  So, when she is out, Bobby (CEO) wants me to be "on call" for him.  He is a wonderful guy, but I already support two Presidents, so it makes for busy days.  It's all good...I prefer to be busy, and it's good to be liked by the CEO - lol.

Monday night was yoga and last night I finally ran to the grocery store.  When I got home at 9:30, there was laundry in the dryer and another load in the washer.  There is still more to well as cleaning (particularly bathrooms) and some food prep which I will do Thursday evening.  Also more grocery shopping (I didn't buy any meat for weekend cookouts last night).

All of this is to say, not much (if any) knitting has taken place.  I did read a bit last night before bed and am loving "The Shell Seekers."  It will be my first square on my Summer Book Bingo.  And, a few more books popped up from my hold list at the library, so they have been downloaded onto my Kindle.  Now I just need a bit more time.

We had some gentle rain overnight.  It sounded like a lullaby.  This morning the sun was beginning to peek out and it was around 58 on my patio.  I took my coffee outside and sat and listened to the birds and then, look what I spotted:

Yup - the beginnings of apples.  And, from the looks of it this will be a bumper year!  There are always a bunch that fall off when they are small (golf ball size or so), but there are already many more forming than we had last year.  Fletch and I will be busy this fall making applesauce - YUM!

I need to think of food for Sunday!  Friday we will have some deviled eggs and cold shrimp to munch on late afternoon -- and cocktails, of course!  For dinner I think Fletch will grill burgers, veggie burgers and portabella mushrooms.  We've got all kinds of stuff to load on top of those.  And I'll make a corn and black bean salad.  I'm hoping it will be nice enough for a fire in the pit and we can just toast marshmallows or something.  Saturday we will all be at my nephew's party, but Sunday I need some kind of dinner food.  I'll figure it out - there's still time.

Meanwhile, it's a busy Wednesday morning at work and I am off-site for a couple of hours mid-day, so I'd best get cranking.

Hope everyone's week is going well.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Fly-By Post of a Fly-By Weekend

Hello All,


Back from a whirlwind weekend in Virginia.  It was a fast, but very fun trip.  Realized I had not been down to see everyone in about 7 years!!  Fletch has been down a number of times, but usually for camping with his brother or a friend – a guy vacation.  Was fun to reconnect with everyone.  I (of course) took both knitting and reading and (of course) did not touch either one!


We stayed in Norfolk at the house of one of my brothers-in-law.  Went out to eat, took some walks in the neighborhood and basically just hung out and talked.


The wedding on Saturday was out in the country (Suffolk) about 45 minutes from where we were.  And the temperature dropped dramatically.  The reception was a big ole BBQ at the couple’s home.  WINDY like crazy.  But still a ton of fun.  I never once took a picture!  I think I was just too busy catching up with everyone.  Plus everyone had their phones out snapping pictures the entire time.  The photographer did get a lot of family pictures since all of Fletcher’s brothers and sisters were there…so hopefully some of those turned out.


Sunday we went out to breakfast and hit the road.  Traffic was horrible.  It was cruise day or weekend or something in the Dover (DE) or Salisbury (MD) area and Route 1, and 95 were both jammed with vehicles.  Our trip home was at least 90 minutes longer than usual.  On Route 1 we were almost side-swiped by a van and then again on 95 we were almost side-swiped by a big truck.  Colin and Mailing made it home ahead of us and had enough time to shower, change and head out to a friend’s wedding at 4 p.m. on Sunday!  We were just happy to make it home safely.


Now it’s back to a busy week at work and gearing up for my brother and sister-in-law to arrive from Colorado on Friday.  It’s all fun though!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ahhhh, The Weekend

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had as nice a weekend as we did.  True, the weather could have been better (rain ALL day on Saturday), but we still had a nice time.

On Saturday we met Colin and Mailing for brunch/lunch at Stove & Tap in Lansdale.  Excellent food (Fletch had a cheesesteak which may be the best ever, I had a fried catfish po boy [Fletch and I shared our orders], Mailing had biscuits & gravy, Colin had waffles & chicken) and the Bloody Mary's were superb!  Good food, good conversation and then home for naps - lol.

Fletch and I went out for breakfast on Sunday which was very nice too. 

Also, some knitting was accomplished!  After numerous false starts (you know the yarn always knows what it wants to be....despite what you think), the gradient yarn is finally starting to turn into a shawl:

I tried a couple of other patterns and then discovered the yarn really wanted to be Elevations - the pattern I was given (free on Ravelry) when I bought this yarn at the Steel City Fiber Festival.  I was hoping for a shawl that would be a little deeper on my back, but not this time.  So far I am loving this.  The pattern is an easy 12 row repeat - a quick one to memorize.  The light color (pulling from the center) is more like a very pale mint green rather than a pale blue. 

A number of you recommended The Shell Seekers and I was finally able to get it on my Kindle from the library.  I started it Sunday morning and am loving it so far.  A nice change from The Year of Living Danishly which is just way over-done (too many facts/figures/statistics/etc.) in my opinion.  I also managed to print out my Summer Book Bingo card! 

If you want to join in the summer book fun, details are on Mary's Blog
This week will be a short one for me at work - only working through Thursday.  But, it is budget season and I have a bunch of folks coming in for budget reviews (pleading, begging, etc.).  I'm also booked for a massage Thursday right after work - yay!!  Friday we are driving down to Virginia for a wedding on Saturday.

Hoping everyone has a fabulous week!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Felines and TGIF

Whew!  This has been the busiest Friday I've had in ages.  Not's good to be busy instead of twiddling my thumbs, but today has been one of those days where I can hardly catch my breath between "things" going on.  It's all good!

So, a fast post on Friday afternoon.  Here is the wonderful Tyg, hiding from the camera as usual.

Such a cutie.  Who would guess that he got me up 3 times to go out in the middle of the night last night?  The first two times he looked intently outside and then stuck his nose out and then backed up away from the door and back into the kitchen.  I don't know if there was a fox or some other creature out there.  I'm thankful he is wary to go out, but I am not thankful to have to trudge down the steps (and then back up) 3 times in one night.  However, I wasn't asleep anyway (another of those wake up at 2 a.m. nights), so it could have been worse for sure!

Now I've got to get back to business here in the office.  Am hoping to choose a shawl pattern this weekend for the gradient yarn -- will let you know!  Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all so much for your kind remarks on my Match and Move.  More importantly, thanks for your words of comfort for Colin.  He saw a doctor yesterday and now has to have blood work done.  So the waiting game will go on a bit.  We'll see him Thursday evening - he is stopping by before having dinner with a friend.  And, he and Mailing are taking us out to lunch on Saturday (for Mother's Day - the place was totally booked on Sunday).

Well, here we are mid-week already and it is Unraveled Wednesday.  Joining Kat and friends to talk about making and reading.  Obviously, Match & Move is finis!!!  And no unraveling necessary.  Now I am back to working on the socks I started the other week.  Not much progress, but a tiny bit. 

Picture is a bit blurry - sorry.  Believe it or not, the top ribbing is 15 rows and so far the leg is 60 rows.  It looks shorter than usual to me, but I think this particular pattern (Spring Socks) is making them pucker a bit.  I will just let them be shorter - lol.  I hope to start on the heel flap at lunch today.

I've been so tired each evening this week (getting back to work is HARD), so I only knit about 12 rows last night.  Then I pulled out the gradient yarn I bought at the Steel City Fiber Festival.  A free pattern came with the yarn, but I think I may troll Ravelry today for another gradient yarn shawl.  Any suggestions?

Can't get this one to turn the right way.  This yarn is 100% wool, fingering weight and I think a shawl in this will look great with jeans.

On the reading front, I finished Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.  I generally like her writing a lot, but I had some trouble with this book.  Time periods kept going back and forth and there were so many characters.  The writing was still good, but the layout of the book was difficult for me.  I'm back to reading "A Year of Living Danishly" which I'm finding to be ok.  Just ok.  It's tedious in places and not all that interesting to me.  I think it could have been condensed into a much shorter book and been more enjoyable in my opinion.  Am waiting for a bunch of books at the library and am gearing up for Book Bingo hosted by Mary.

What are you working on and what are you reading/listening to?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

All Dry!


36 degrees on my patio this a.m.  So...I checked and my wrap was all dry (it wasn't last night).  Guess what is wrapped around me today?

A lovely work shot!

And, my hair is now long enough to pull back!  YAY!  I won't have a sweaty neck this summer (that is if it ever warms up).

On another note...please say prayers or keep fingers crossed or think good thoughts for our son, Colin.  A number of years ago, while in college, he was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  At first none of the doctors in Pittsburgh would believe it, but the blood work proved them wrong.  He was having joint pain and tremendous swelling in his left knee.  Once diagnosed, he was on antibiotics and then seemed ok.  Once in awhile he has a hand tremor, but nothing major.  Last week he told us he thinks he is having a relapse or a new bout of Lyme Disease.  Lots of joint pain and also in his neck.  He saw a doctor this morning and has to have a bunch of blood work  done.  This is so scary and worrisome.
OK, still busy catching up at work so I need to get rolling.  Hope everyone is having a great week.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Blocking Match & Move

Hello All,

A quickie post.  Busy, busy, busy at work today.  But, I wanted to send out a quick picture of Match & Move blocking.  It is HUGE!! 

Excuse the mess in the room -- one of our back rooms that has turned into another dumping ground.  I was not ultra precise in pinning this for blocking.  You can see that the lines are not perfectly straight which is fine with me.  It's a wrap and there is no lace, so I'm not concerned about that.  I just want to wrap it around!

Also, I have no idea where I got the idea that it was a trapezoid shape (must have been on drugs that day).  It is just a huge old triangle.

OK, I need to get back to work now.  More later!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Vacation...or Things Don't Always Work Out as Planned

Hi All,

How is Everyone?  I've missed conversations.  I've read blogs, but not commented much this past week.  Sorry.....

As you all know because I wouldn't shut up about it for so long, we were to be on vacation this past week.  And we were.  But not as intended.  We had a staycation.  Which is ok...just not what was planned.

Last Friday night as I was yakking on the phone with a friend, Fletch was putting the final "stuff" in the car.  I got off the phone and went out and Fletch was no where to be found.  He finally showed up about 10 minutes later with Rob, our neighbor across the street who is an electrician.  I thought, this does not bode well.  We could not get any outside lights (i.e., brake, turn signals, etc.) on our camper.  And then the car battery died. 

I won't go into all the gory details of us licking our wounds for several days.  By Wednesday the problem was fixed (blown fuse in the wiring for the camper which we could not get to - naturally), but that was too late in the week for us to take off for our intended destination.  We did console ourselves by checking weather and seeing that we would have had heavy rain for a lot of the days we would have been gone which would have meant not as much hiking as intended, etc.

Things happen for a reason.....

Meanwhile, we did hike locally in Evansburg State Park one day.  We felt like we were in an aviary - there was so much loud and constant bird song and chatter.  It was beautiful.  We saw lots of Spring flowers blooming.  Phlox and Buttercups:

Virginia Bluebells:

May Apples:

The leaves of May Apples are perfect for Wood Sprites to hide beneath!

And shelf fungus (not technically a flower, but beautiful and interesting):

Not much else was done other than reading and knitting on my end.  Match and Move is off the needles as of 3:00 this afternoon.  No pictures yet...I still have ends to weave in and blocking.  But I LOVE it.

I finished "The Swans of Fifth Avenue" which I would give 3.5 starts.  I really like Melanie Benjamin's writing style (loved "Aviator's Wife), but found this book a bit depressing and then annoying.  Am now reading "Commonwealth" by Ann Patchett and am like parts and some parts are just plain annoying.  I think I'm in a funk with reading.  Am definitely looking forward to Book Bingo to spur me on this summer.

We did a few things around the house and I tried not to do domestic chores (cleaning and laundry), but gave in mid-week.  And look where I found Tyg after I cleaned the upstairs bathroom:

He actually felt warm and then we noticed the cut on his ear.  Like Maestro, Tyg is an extremely good patient.  He held still while we put some Neosporin on his cut and then slept most of the day.  He is fine, except for bringing in ticks.  The "natural" tick repellant we are using seems to be working.  The ticks get on him, but only on the surface of his fur - they don't burrow down and bite him.  The unfortunate part is that he brings them in and they drop off in the house.  Uggghhhhh.

So it is back to work for me on Monday and I'll be back to regular commenting on all your blogs.  I have been enjoying them, but mostly on my phone and commenting via my phone is a PITA.

Hope you are all well and enjoying life.  See you soon!!