Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Unraveled at the end of November

Hello All,

Joining in with Kat and others for the last Unraveled Wednesday of November 2017.  Time is flying by!!

No pictures today - I forgot to take a picture of the yarn-barf socks (because, you know, I've put them away for a little while), and the knitting I'm working on is a secret.  However, I will say there was no unraveling this week and I did manage to get quite a bit done yesterday.  YAY!!

On the reading front, I finished Lisette's List which was ok...maybe 3.5 stars.  I've enjoyed her other books more.  I'm currently reading Grief Cottage and so far, so good (only about a quarter of the way into it).  Two others just came through on Overdrive:  "The Girl Who Wrote in Silk" by Kelli Estes and "The Keeper of Lost Things" by Ruth Hogan.

That's it for me today.  I'll try to remember to take a picture of the sock.  I have a couple of other things on the needles, but keep finding new (at least to me) things that I want to knit right now!  I need to stay a little more focused....

Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Winner!!

Good Morning All!

What a beautiful morning.  A bit of a nip in the air, but it is supposed to get up to 60 today!  Guess we have no snow in the forecast for a little while....

Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who participated in the I LOVE Fall KAL hosted by Dee (and not so much by me).  It was a lot of fun, wasn't it?  If you remember, I have a prize to give away and this morning, using the random number generator, I drew a name:  Valerie!!  I had planned to have Tyg chose the winner, but he was outside more than in last night and he left the house early this morning (before 5 a.m.!!).

Val - please email me ( your snail mail address and I'll get your package out pronto.

Thanks, too, for your comments on my yarn barf.  I had checked the yarn and could see no sign of any egg cases or little larval cases or anything.  The weird thing, too, is that each skein broke in roughly the same place (I've looked at 3 and have 3 more to attempt to wind).  Each skein is an ounce and each one breaks around 0.8 oz.  All my other yarn is fine (as far as I know...).  These particular skeins had been (and still are) in a plastic bag. 

Anyway, for now those are put aside and I will pick them up again once I complete some secret Christmas knitting (some of which is in the bag I brought to work today...hoping to take a nice healthy lunch break and crank out some knitting).

Has anyone looked at the latest MDK Field Guide - Sequences?  Corrugated Shawl is calling out to me.  It is beautiful!  All of the projects in this Field Guide are super.  If you haven't seen it - check it out.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving and Yarn Barf!

Hello All,

Not such an appetizing title for a blog post - sorry!!

Let's start with the appealing stuff.  Thanksgiving was great!  I hope you all had wonderful holidays and tasty food as well.  Damon (Fletcher's brother) and his wife Peggy arrived at our house around 2 p.m. Thursday.  By 3:30 we were on our way to Colin & Mailing's.  Mailing's parents, her uncle and her grandmother also were there.  We had some drinks and appetizers and then sat down to a delicious meal.  Mailing's grandmother speaks absolutely no English.  So, whenever she would taste something I had brought (chutney, pies, carrots & parsnips roasted with maple syrup), she would slap my arm and give me a thumbs up sign.  Too funny.  Here's a picture of Colin and me with her before dinner:

We got home late, but stayed up talking for a little while.  Friday was a gorgeous day.  Damon, Peggy, Fletch and I had tickets for an 11 a.m. tour of the Esherick Museum.  What a treat!  I've been there at least 5 or 6 times, but each time I go I find something new or something I hadn't remembered from a previous visit.  I didn't take any pictures, but the web site (Wharton Esherick Museum) has some really pretty pictures of the studio.  The furniture he built is gorgeous and copper sinks in the bathroom and kitchen - love them!

Friday night Colin and Mailing came over.  Damon and Fletch grilled oysters and I made shrimp BBQ.  I'm thinking something a little lighter after Thanksgiving might have been better, but everyone seemed to like it all.  The beer and wine were both flowing.

We went out to breakfast on Saturday and then Damon and Peggy got on the road around 10:30.  They wanted Sunday to relax at home before getting back into the work week. 

Now for the barfy yarn part:  remember the socks I was/am making with the Scottish blue tartan wool?  I picked them up again after finishing the Close to You shawl.  Finally the leg was just about knee high length and I was getting ready to start the heel flap when all of a sudden the yarn broke.  The yarn came in pull from center skeins, so I had not bothered to wind it into balls.  I picked up the remainder of the yarn and started to wind...and it broke again...and again...and again.  I was so freakin' frustrated.  I had two more skeins in my bag so I started to wind them...same thing.  Here is what one skein looked like:

The messy parts were just too knotted to even wind.  This happened Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.  I put everything away (in time out) for the weekend.  Discovered another 3 skeins in the chest where I store my stash, so I figured I have enough to make two socks.  I started knitting on the first one again yesterday.  The heel flap and heel are finished.  I've picked up stitches around the gusset and am starting to do the decreasing now.

But honestly, I'm wondering if these will even wear well.  I have no idea why the yarn keeps breaking.  It is 100% wool - no nylon in it.  I also don't know how old the yarn is (this is the yarn my friend Carol got at a yard sale several years ago).  I'm going to finish this first sock and then give it a rest - I have a couple of things I've decided to knit for Christmas, so I need to get on that pronto.

And now I need to get back to work -- busy, busy after a few days away.  I'll be trying to catch up on blog reading over the next day or so.  Looking forward to reading/hearing about everyone's Thanksgivings.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Short Work Week!

Good Morning!

Happy to report that the car is back to running.  It was the battery.  Fletch was able to get it started and ran it for awhile to charge it up...turned it off...then was able to start it again.  I thought we had replaced the battery last year, but it was 3-4 years ago.  So, now I'm good to go for the Winter.  And, I'm so glad it didn't start at home rather than at the end of the day when I was ready to leave work.

Close to You is now blocking.  I gave it a good soak last night and then spread it out.  I'm hoping it will be dry so that I can wear it on Thanksgiving day.  I put a few more rows into my first Charade sock last night.  I'm a tad bit bored with these as I'm making them long (like knee sock length), but I know I'll really enjoy them once they are finished (I need to remember that this is only the first one...).  I've decided to not even think about Christmas knitting.  I may cast on a hat for Colin (and I do have a pair of socks I made for Mailing), but other than that, nothing.  I want to finish what's on the needles so that I can concentrate on NEW and EXCITING things (like ARROWS!!) when the holidays are over.

Today (aside from work) I need to run to the liquor store, Trader Joe's and book a pedicure appointment for tomorrow.  Tomorrow, in between making pie crust dough and prepping veggies for Thursday, I want to relax a bit and just enjoy being home.  Hopefully that means plenty of knitting time, reading time and, perhaps, an afternoon nap.

Wishing you all a delightful, joyful, restful, tasty and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Unblocked But Finished!!

Hello All,

It is a crispy morning here.  And the wind over the weekend!  Yikes - it was like the Mistrals suddenly appeared from France (remember the movie Chocolat?).

I will count the weekend as a success.  Everything on my long list of chores was crossed off (and completed...not just crossed off).  And, I have a finish.  Close to You is done...still needs to be blocked, but I probably won't get to that until after our Thanksgiving guests leave.  This was such an easy and enjoyable knit.  I do wish it were a little deeper (and I'll be pulling hard when I block), but it is cozy and warm against my neck.

The color is so rich (lighter than what appears above).

Meanwhile, another busy day in work-land.  I've already had one conference call and another in 20 minutes.  It's a short week for me - just working today and tomorrow.  Wednesday will be food prep for Thanksgiving.

On a negative side, my car wouldn't start this morning...not sure what the problem is...waiting to hear from Fletch.  Just hoping it is something easy and inexpensive - ha!

OK, time to rock and roll.  Have a great week and...if I don't get back to blogging before Thursday, I'm hoping all of you have a wonderful, tasty, fun, relaxing Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dangerous Beauty

Good Morning!  And, Happy Friday - TGIF

A chilly start to the day here in Eastern PA.  Last night was chilly too.  Fletch and Colin had a fire going in the pit after dinner...I would run out for a minute or two, but it was too cold for me to stay out there long.

Today's title - Dangerous Beauty - comes from the picture I'll show:

Cool, huh?  This is a hornets nest that Fletch cut out of the neighbor's hedge.  I think it's fairly large, but Fletch says not so much.  Anyway,, there is beauty in it...but thank goodness no hornets present when Fletch went at it.  During the summer they were swarming around (especially when Fletch would mow the lawn), but now that it's cold and frosty he was able to extricate it.  I love all the swirls you can see.

What are you all up to this weekend?  I've got major/massive cleaning to be done.  Fletch is doing some touch-up painting in some rooms, but I intend to corral him into helping with the cleaning.  And we have to grocery shop (hopefully Colin & Mailing will let me know what vegetable[s] they want me to fix).  I'll make the cranberry chutney this weekend.  Oh, and of course, there is laundry needing to be done.  Oy!  The chores don't seem to end.  I finally get everything done and it's time to start all over again - lol.

Did you all see that MDK's latest Field Guide is out?  It looks great...I'm off to order it right now.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Three Things

Good Morning Everyone!
Thanks for your comments yesterday...I guess we all have our rants about insurance...misery loves company, etc.  Something definitely needs fixing....
So, today is Thursday and I'm joining Carole for a three post (check hers out for the cutest grandson pictures!!).
  1. Pumpkin
  2. Pecan
  3. Apple
 Those are the 3 pies I will be making for Thanksgiving.  We will be going to Colin & Mailing's for dinner, and they have requested my pies along with some cranberry chutney (Fletcher's Mom's recipe) and a vegetable (yet to be determined...need to find out what they are fixing so that I don't duplicate).  Luckily I am taking next Wednesday off and you'll be able to find me in my kitchen baking up a storm - lol.

Fletcher's brother and his wife are driving up from Virginia next Thursday...they should arrive in time to relax at our house a bit before we all go over to Colin and Mailing's for dinner.  Mailing's parents will be there as well.

Black Friday there will be no shopping!!  Fletch, Damon, Peggy and I have tickets to go to the Wharton Esherick Museum Friday at 11.  We have been to this Museum so many times - a favorite of ours.  Check out the web site if you have time.  And then that evening Colin & Mailing and some others will join us at our home for a BBQ Shrimp dinner. 

I guess I have some grocery shopping to do this weekend!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

MidWeek Unraveling 11-15-17

Hello All,

I had a late start this morning as I had a doctor appointment at 8 a.m.  All is well...I had lost more weight (yay!!) and all my "numbers" are improving.  Good to know I'm going in the right direction.  To celebrate, I stopped at Starbucks (just for coffee - no treats!!) on my way into the office.  The morning was frantic/busy, but now I have a little lull before going home.

Continuing with the medical theme, I will rant just a tiny bit about medical insurance.  I am fortunate that I work and can get benefits through work, but geeze Louise, the costs keep escalating like no tomorrow.  It's open enrollment time at my company and yesterday I enrolled.  Oy!

Like most folks (I think), we have a choice between "gold," "silver," or "bronze" plans.  I had always gone with gold until last year when my payroll deduction would have sky rocketed.  I switched to silver and (of course) our out of pocket charges have gone up a lot (co-pays and the like).  I was hoping that the difference would have narrowed a bit this year, but nope - if I had chosen gold this year, my payroll deductions would have been an additional $80 each pay (every two weeks) over what I pay for the silver plan.  Crazy!  I do have a flex spending account so our out-of-pocket charges are paid with pre-tax dollars and fortunately Fletch and I are basically very healthy.  It just makes me nuts that I am spending around $375 - $400 every two weeks for insurance (this does include dental and vision as well).

OK, enough of the rant.  At least I have a job and insurance.  But still....

On to nicer things.  Last night I used some of the veggies I got at the Farmers' Market on Saturday.  First I sliced some garlic, chopped up two potatoes and added the leeks (which were the cleanest leeks I have ever seen - no grit or sand or dirt!!).  I tossed them with olive oil and sprinkled a ton of Trader Joe's "Everything But The Bagel" seasoning over it all and roasted at around 400 for 40 minutes or so.  Yum!

The "Everything" seasoning is marvelous.

Next I sautéed the wild mushrooms with some onions, added white wine and a little cream.  Put that aside and sautéed a couple of pork chops in the pan and then added the mushrooms back in.

I can't remember what kind of mushrooms these were, but they were so tasty - very sweet and flavorful.

I also cooked the greens (I think it was chard of some kind) that I got.  Frank (Colin's friend who runs the CSA) added a bit of protein to the greens in the form of worms.  Yuck.  Fortunately I saw them and fortunately I did not take pictures of them.  The greens were delicious.

On the knitting front (since this is Unraveled Wednesday), I managed a couple of rows on my Close To You shawl yesterday at lunch.  Here it is spread out on a conference table.

It's getting there.  I'm hoping to finish it by this weekend, but sometimes my hopes are greater than reality - lol.

Book-wise I finished "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore" which I liked.  I have started "Lisette's List" but am only a few pages in - couldn't keep my eyes open last night.

Looking forward to a gentle (hopefully) wind-down to the work week.  How about you?  What are you up to this mid-November?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Catching Up

Hello Everyone,


I have missed you!!  Last week was busy starting with a 4:30 a.m. pick-up Monday morning for my flight to FL.  The meeting went well – short presentations, good food, plenty of free time and no-one getting too hammered at the open bars we had.  I did manage to have a wonderful 80 minute massage on Tuesday afternoon which I really needed.  Pure bliss.


Got back home Wednesday mid-day (and promptly took a 2 hour nap – lol).  Thursday and Friday were whirlwinds at work.  Busy, busy, busy.


But finally Saturday arrived and I met up with Dee!!  Such fun.  We met at The Lansdale Farmer's Market in the morning and wandered around.  It was freezing!!  Literally freezing.  A friend of Colin's runs the Kimberton CSA and was there with some great veggies (beets, leeks, greens).  I also bought some wild mushrooms, a jar of pumpkin spice peanut butter (SO good – in fact I brought it to work today to have on a bagel), and some kind of apple pastry which Fletch had Saturday night.  Yum.


After that we headed over to Backyard Beans to sit, sip, knit and chat.  What a treat for me!!  I haven’t had any local friends who knit and now I do!  I would’ve liked to stay longer and go out to lunch and knit some more, but I had to get back and do some grocery shopping.  I’m hoping we can meet up again in a couple of weeks.


Close to You is coming along nicely.  I’m more than two thirds finished – I think I only have 4 or 5 pattern repeats and then the bind off.  I’m excited to have this (almost) finished.


The yarn I'm using is from Valerie - Wandering Cat.  It is so soft and beautiful.  I don't have the tag with me right now, and of course can't remember what it is, but I do know there is alpaca in it.

Now I’ve got to get to work – this week will be another busy one for me.  Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Restful Sunday


Hope everyone has been enjoying a restful weekend.  I certainly have!  Friday night I slept 10 hours and last night 8-8.5!  Guess I needed it.  And, good thing since I won't get much tonight.

The weekend has been busy, but good.  We did grocery shopping yesterday (is it me, or have prices really gone up?) and I got out my winter sweaters and put a few summer things away.  It used to take me forever to do this, but several years ago I really purged and I don't have much to do these days.  It's a good thing.  I also filled 3 Trader Joe's bags with donations - 4 pairs of shoes, a purse, a bunch of tops, etc.  Things I hadn't worn or used.  No sense keeping them. 

I cooked an eye roast, garlic mashed potatoes and a green bean casserole for dinner last night - such Fall comfort food.  Later we watched an episode of Shetland on Netflix.  Love seeing all the sweaters and the sheep, but I will confess to having a difficult time understanding some of the dialogue.  The accents!  But it is also so refreshing to see a show with actors/actresses unknown to me.  Have any of you watched it?

Today I made banana pancakes for breakfast, cleaned the bathrooms, ran out and dropped of the donation bags, came home and packed for my trip to FL tomorrow.  I have a driver lined up to pick me up at 5 (which means he will be here at least by 4:40).  My flight's at 7 and it can take an hour sometimes to get to the Phila. airport.  And Monday mornings can be a mess.  Hopefully it won't be bad.  I do have to check my bag (I never carry on - too difficult for me to lift it into an overhead bin with the arthritis I have in my shoulders), but my boarding pass is printed and I am ready to go.

Today I also managed to knit about 10 rows on my shawl (which will be going to FL).  And I finished The Housekeeper and the Professor.  I loved it.  Almost as much as Ove!  Now I'm reading Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore.  So far, so good.  It's on my Kindle which is also going to FL.

I'll be trying to catch up on bog posts come Wednesday afternoon when I am back home (I do read some on my phone, but it is harder (for me) to comment that way).

A parting picture of Marcel as a Yoga Master:

Colin just texted me that picture.  So cute.  It is grey and damp here - a good afternoon for curling up! 

Have a wonderful week, I'll be back later.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Three on Thursday

Yikes!  Thursday already.  Here are my three things:


  • There has been no knitting for at least a week.  It is making me crazy!!  Hopefully this weekend (though I have so much I need/want to get done in that 2-day period).  I AM taking knitting to FL on Monday…my plane ride will be longer (though I may opt to put the knitting in my bag and just have my Kindle with me) and I have free time during the meeting days.  Win-win…I hope.  Planning (as of now) to take Close to You which I don’t think I have even looked at since sometime in August! 
  • I have been reading!  Last week I started by Paul Auster.  I love the premise of the book, but honestly it is just way too long winded (and repetitious at times) for me.  I found myself falling asleep each time I picked it up.  So I have sent that back through the airwaves of Overdrive.  I may, in the future, try the audible version, but for now I don’t have time for books that I can’t get through.  Two nights ago I started The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa and it is wonderful.  I’m such a numbers freak anyway, but I love the writing, I love the story.  It is FAST reading. 
  • Work continues to be very busy, though yesterday I had a break for my annual appraisal with my boss.  Of course, they are done on-line and I have to do a self appraisal as well.  Bill (my boss) and I rated me identically on every single point – LOL.  The best part is he is putting in a raise for me above the norm and has already had approvals from the powers-that-be to do so.  YAY!  It is wonderful to have a boss who understands and appreciates you.


So there you have my 3 things.  In other news, Colin will be over for dinner tonight.  It’s quite warm (again), so not sure we will have a fire tonight, but Fletch is grilling hot and sweet sausage on the grill and we have some good crusty bread and I’ll cook up some mushrooms, onions, peppers and sundried tomatoes to go with.


As mentioned above, the weekend will be full.  Laundry to do, cleaning, grocery shopping and packing.  I’m getting picked up at 5 a.m. Monday for a 7 a.m. flight.  That is way too early…I probably should have booked myself to fly down Sunday (but I didn’t want to give up my weekend).  I’ll be back sometime Wednesday afternoon.


I’m trying to catch up on blog reading, but it’s been difficult.  And I’ve been pretty lousy about responding to comments on my blog.  Do know that I appreciate them all.  When things calm down a bit I will have more time to devote to my personal endeavors – LOL.