Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I Am So Ready....

Hello All,

I intended to post this morning...but best laid plans and all that.  Work became a bit busy (frantic?  hectic?).  Of course, this ALWAYS happens the day before I'm scheduled to take off.  C'est la vie.  I wanted to get to the bank today, but that will wait until tomorrow (in between packing stuff).  I'll pick up wine on the way home and we are doing some food shopping for our trip tonight - you know you have to eat well when you are camping!

So, where are we headed?  We are starting off by going to the Woodstock, NY area for a couple of days (I already have printed out a list of yarn shops and there is lots of antiquing to be done).  From there we are heading to Southern Vermont for some hiking and visiting familiar places.  After that we head down to Northampton, MA (home of WEBS!!!) for a couple of days.  Gale Zuker did a great piece on Northampton for MDK several months ago - lots of great places to visit and explore.  After that we will head back down to Woodstock and then home.  Weather looks like it will be ok for us.  If we get some rain, hopefully it will be on the days we are driving rather than hiking/exploring/shopping.

The second Dragonfly Sock is moving along nicely:

The cuff is 15 rows and then, so far, I have knit 30 rows on the leg/Pattern.  The first sock has 70 rows on the leg before starting the heel almost half-way finished with the leg!  This will be coming with me on the trip and I hope to finish it up pronto!

On the reading front I started a book last night that many of you have read:  My Brilliant Friend - it seems to be a quick and fun read.  Fletch and I are continuing to read the collection of short stories by Flannery O'Connor.  Last night's story was "A Good Man Is Hard To Find."  I had forgotten how dark her stories can be and how well she "drew" life in the South. 

Well, e-mails are still zipping in, so I'd best get back to work.  Wishing you all a fabulous end to the week...a wonderful weekend...and an equally wonderful week coming up.  I'll be back after vacation.  Most likely I will read some of your blogs on my phone, but I am not always able to comment.

Stay well my friends!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Fletch!!

Hi All,

Yup - today is Fletcher's birthday!!  I'm going to try to leave work early if I can.  He wanted a pineapple upside down cake, so I made that last night:


The weekend was busy with cat feeding, etc.  I did manage to get a lot of cleaning done which was necessary - lol.  Now I feel like I can go on vacation at the end of the week (I hate coming home to a dirty house).  Colin will be on cat feeding duty for Tyg while we are gone.

Colin & Mailing did make it home safely yesterday and were happy to have dinner in the fridge for them.  The crawfish etouffee turned out well.  I think their cats are very happy to have their humans back home again.

The most surprising thing that happened is that I (finally) finished the first dragonfly sock AND cast on for sock #2:

I'm really enjoying this yarn  - both the color and the mix of fibers.

The temps have cooled here noticeably, but the rain continues.  Everything is soggy - including my brain!

I have a few busy days at work before I take off, so I'd best get back to it.  Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Friday, September 21, 2018


Hello All,

TGIF!  and I just received an e-mail that our office is closing at 3 today.  YAY!!!  The sun is trying to poke out (after a sort of misty morning).

Fletch did double cat duty at Colin & Mailing's yesterday as I had to take Tyg to the vets after work for some more shots.  When I took him last month, he only received the rabies vaccine and the vet would't give him his other shots (distemper and feline leukemia) because we had to put him on steroids for his allergies.  So now he is good for another year.  His vet visits are more expensive than human doctor appointments! was a very pleasantly cool evening last night and Fletch and I sat outside with a fire for quite some time.  The neighborhood was quiet and we had some music playing (Traffic and Renaissance this time) - so relaxing.  I can, however, smell wood smoke in my hair - lol.

The weekend will be busy.  Cat duty tomorrow and some grocery shopping.  I want to make crawfish etouffee for dinner and then take some over to leave for Colin & Mailing so they'll have something to eat when they get home on Sunday.  And, we need to plan meals, etc. for our upcoming camping trip.  We leave a week from today!  I am so ready.  Looking forward to discovering and exploring some new-to-me yarn shops!!

And just because it's Friday, here are the boys we've been taking care of.  First up Talbot:

And Marcel:

They are good boys, but I know they will be happy to have Colin & Mailing home again.

Wishing you all wonderful weekends - Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday 9-19-18

Well Hello There,

It has been some time since I posted.  Sisters' Weekend was marvelous, though very tiring - lol.  My flight up to Providence was delayed due to mechanical problems, but only for an hour.  Not bad.  The flight was smooth, though crowded.  The entire weekend seemed terribly busy - more so than usual - lots of running around and errands, out to eat, out to shop, prepping for a party Friday night (20-30 folks came over).  My massage on Friday was perfect and we managed to get some shopping in - I found some cute tops, a pair of great ankle boots and a fabulous pair of shoes!!

They are flat and comfortable!!  We spent quite a bit of time seeing Mom (the other girls Mom and my 2nd Mom) who is 88.  She is having some major surgery this Friday, so prayers and fingers crossed that all goes well.  Despite some major health issues, she still gets around and loves to cook.  She made clam chowder and lobster rolls for us one night that were to die for!

My flight home Sunday was early.  Fletch was staying at Colin & Mailings (they are on vacation and we are on cat-feeding duty for the week) and decided to just hang there since he knew I would be tired and just wanting peace and quiet.  We ended up meeting for dinner at Stove & Tap on Sunday and then came home.

Laundry is done, but I don't feel as though I've caught up on sleep and relaxing.  Part of the reason is that evenings I have been going over to feed the cats.  It is about a 1.5 hour round trip in good traffic.  That makes for a long day after working, but Fletch is going over every morning, so I don't want to ask him to do the evening feeding as well.  Here are Talbot and Marcel (looking evil with those eyes!!) on Monday when I went over.

Not too much has been going on knitting-wise.  These dragonfly socks have to be the slowest socks to ever be birthed!  I started this sock in the middle of July and this is as far as I have gotten:

And there is still a second one to be made (or even just started!!).  I'm a little over half-way through the foot, so hope to finish it up this week and cast on for the second.  Most nights I seem to be too tired to knit and I'm too busy at work to bring it along for lunchtime knitting.  I also want to cast on for the sleeves on my Juniper Top.  One of these days....

I did finish reading Ordinary Grace and loved it.  So well written and little nuggets of wisdom to be found.  I'm more than halfway through Being Mortal and it is just wonderful. is busy and I'm only working through next Wednesday (9/26) and then am on vacation till October 7th.  I'll work that week and then the following week I am in Atlanta Monday - Thursday.  Booked my flights yesterday and need to book a massage at the spa today!!

Our weather is finally clear today and I'm hoping that things will begin to dry out some.  Wishing you all a wonderful day.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Slugs and Florence

Hi All,

It is almost 9:30 Monday night.  I just got out of the shower and stepped onto the patio to have a glass of wine.  Ugh!  The slugs are back...6", 4", all over.  I thought there were a bunch at the end of the patio, but thank God they were just leaves curled around to make me think there was an invasion going on!

The weather turned cooler (finally) and, of course, I froze at work today.  I wore jeans, a heavy cotton sweater, a scarf around my neck and hand-knit socks.  My hands were numb most of the day.  The AC was still running (and we will probably need it by the end of the week).  Weird how less than a week ago I was complaining about temps in the 90's and today I don't think it got much above 62.

Florence is looking like a mighty nasty storm.  All you folks who are potentially in her path, take care!  My friend Leslie was supposed to fly up to Philadelphia from Greensboro Thursday morning and then we were going to fly together to Providence, but today she changed her flights to go up Wednesday night.  Thankfully/hopefully ahead of the storm.  I should be fine flying out of Phila. Thursday morning.

I mentioned that I finished the body of my sweater (Juniper Top).  Here it is:

The picture makes it look short (and wide!!) to me.  But the pattern called for about 12" bottom to binding off for the armholes.  This is really about 14" (I wanted it to be a bit longer).  Next up I will knit the sleeves (which have such a pretty lace pattern on them) and then join them to the body.  Although this has taken me longer to knit than I expected, for a variety of reasons, overall I have enjoyed the knitting.  I'm really learning to take it easy, relax and just enjoy the moment.  It's a welcome and nice change.

On the reading front, I am about 1/4 of the way through Ordinary Grace and really enjoying it.  I'm also about 1/4 of the way through "Being Mortal," a very interesting and well written book.

Well, time to dry my hair and then head to bed.  I was awake from around 2:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. last night and I have been dragging all day.  I'm going to try to pack for the weekend tomorrow night so that Wednesday I can just relax.  I have a very early pick up for a ride to the airport Thursday morning (5:45 a.m.  YIKES).

Sunday, September 9, 2018


Hello All,

Sunday afternoon here...hoping you are all relaxing, knitting, reading, whatever makes you happy.  It has been a lovely weekend.

Friday I arrived home and the first thing I saw when I pulled in the driveway was this:

Our hibiscus is FINALLY blooming!  It is gorgeous and there are more buds on it.  This plant is at the edge of our vegetable (raised bed) garden and we can see if when sitting on the patio.

Fletch was already over at Colin & Mailing's, so I changed and drove over there.  Major downpour on the way there...wipers on the highest speed, lots of vehicles pulled over to the side of roads, and plenty of water on the roads.  My 40 minute drive to their place took over an hour!  And we ended up with almost 4" of rain!!

Dinner was wonderful.  Colin made squid ink pasta.  Here is a shot of him rolling it out.

You can see two more pieces of dough on the cutting board.  The sauce he made was puttanesca which, although quite salty (capers, anchovies, kalamata olives) was so tasty.  A Cesar salad to go with the pasta and lemon pound cake for dessert.  I was stuffed!

Saturday I was up bright and early to head up to Dee's house.  I went in to say hi to Steve and Giroux (of course) and then Dee drove us over to the NJ Sheep & Wool Festival where we met up with Bonny!!

Bonny's on the left and then Dee and me (if my sweatshirt were a darker green, Dee and I could have been dressing for Christmas - lol). The "random" person we charmed into taking out picture did a less than stellar job, but it was just so nice to finally meet Bonny in REAL LIFE.  Y'all out there who know her through her blog can all be jealous.  She is so nice, so funny...and I'm already dreaming of Dee and me taking a road trip down to Chesapeake City to meet up with Bonny at Vulcan's Rest and then go to one of the restaurants by the water to have lunch!

Meanwhile, back at the fiber festival.  There were some adorable creatures around:

The alpaca who would not look forward toward me unless I put my phone in my pocket.

A sheep getting some final touches in the grooming department before going into the ring to be shown.

Lots of major horn action going on.

One last cutie.  And then.....what I bought:

Two beautiful skeins of (naturally) sock yarn.  The one on the left is "Haunted Hayride" by the girls from Toad Hollow.  I have not knit with their yarn yet, but I couldn't resist this.  The skein on the right is "Café Au Lait" by Youghiogheny Yarns.  It is a subtle tweed with bits of read and blue throughout it.  Just lovely.  I bought the festival color in Allentown by this vendor (but haven't used it yet...).

There was so much more I could have bought, but I kept reminding myself that I go on vacation in 2 weeks and there are already 2-3 shops that I am planning to visit then.  Just trying to pace myself a bit.

Bonny had to leave before Dee and I were finished wandering around, but when we were ready to leave, we headed to Peddlar's Village and had a wonderful lunch in a small, cute café in town called "Chives."

All-in-all, a wonderful day despite the less than stellar weather.  I'm just thankful it wasn't 90 degrees.  I think all the animals were thankful as well.

Today I'm doing laundry and cooking.  I have red beans with hot and sweet sausage simmering away on the stove.  The week ahead will be a fast one...I work Mon through Wed and then fly out early Thursday morning for Providence, RI and my annual "Sisters' Weekend."  I've got gifts to wrap for that weekend and a bit of packing to do (looks like we might have rain the entire time I'm there...nothing new...).

Oh - the "knitting" part of this post.  No picture, but the sweater body is done on my Juniper Top!!  I'm not sure I will have time to cast on a sleeve tonight, but soon!

Also, I know some of you read "Our Souls at Night" during Summer Bingo - a wonderful book and I discovered the other day that it is now a movie on Netflix.  Fletch and I watched last night and really enjoyed it.  Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star in it.  Definitely recommend it.

Wishing you all the best week ahead!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday...a Change of Routine...09-05-18

Well Hello!

Happy Wednesday Evening.  It is just hot as blazes around here.  90's for the past ??? days with heat indexes over 100.  I *think* the weather is finally supposed to break by Friday and Saturday is promising (at the moment) to be a good day weather-wise for the New Jersey Sheep & Wool.  Dee and Joyce and I are going up together and are planning to meet up with Bridget and Bonny - !!  Can't wait.

The week has been busy at work.  Additionally, I had to run "updates" on my computer at work on Tuesday and now I am unable to post on my blog from my work computer and...even worse...I am unable to read some of your blogs!  I can access them on my phone at work, but commenting is a bit of a PITA.  For years (decades) I have not used my home laptop for anything other than personal financial stuff and ordering off Amazon occasionally (or a lot...depending!).  I'm on a computer constantly at work, so not being on one at home has been very nice.  But now I will need to change up my routine a bit.

So, it is Wednesday evening and dinner (a cold dinner - crab salad, raw veggies) is finished and the kitchen is cleaned up.  There has not been any unraveling this week - and barely any knitting.  But the sweater is finally up to the point where I will decrease around the armholes and then start knitting the sleeves.  The pattern calls for it to be 12" to this point, but I wanted it a bit longer.  I'm just shy of 14" so I think that is good.

The yarn color is actually a bit deeper than this picture shows.  It is so soft.

On the reading front, I have started Less which I admit to being less than thrilled about.  I'm just finding it a bit boring.  I'm about a third of the way through, but am thinking I will abandon it.  I have some books on my nightstand that I want to read and a couple more have come through on Overdrive that seem to be a bit more interesting.  I'm also reading Being Mortal and really enjoying it.  My nephew read it and then gave it to his parents - my brother and sister-in-law.  My brother didn't want to read it AT ALL.  My SIL read it and got a lot out of it - including tips on how to deal with her aging parents. 

Our garden is still producing.  Tomatoes, carrots (not that great tasting).  Eggplants are beginning to form on the plants I have on the patio and (the second crop of) sugar snaps are climbing the trellis.  We also had a volunteer pumpkin vine this year.  Fletch cut a couple of pumpkins off the vine that were dragging on the ground and Colin took those.  Last week the vine started dying, so Fletch cut a couple more.  We have them on our buffet in the kitchen (excuse the glare on the picture on the wall - impossible to photograph the buffet without that glare).

They are tiny little pumpkins, but so cute.  I love having them in the house.  Fall must be coming (my favorite season).

Col will be over for dinner tomorrow and then Friday Fletch and I are going up to Colin & Mailing's for my birthday dinner!!  They are making squid ink pasta and puttanesca sauce - I'm excited for that.  Also a lemon pound cake (it has been years since anyone has baked me a birthday cake!!). 

And my laughing moment over the past weekend:  since I am turning 65 on Monday, I finally logged on and applied for Medicare (Part A).  Where have the years gone???  Since I'm still working and have health coverage, I am not taking Part B at this time...or SS payments yet.

I'm thankful this is a short week and will try to post again after the NJ fiber festival!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Back Home

Hello All,

I have missed you!  I read some blogs on my phone, but honestly, it is a PITA to post a comment (and impossible on some).

So, first up Hilton Head.  It was nicer than I anticipated.  Actually cooler than home (80's versus 90's).  The first night was just everyone hanging out in the hotel's sports bar and outside (we had corn hole and darts set up).  It was humid for sure.  Around midnight some of the guys (liquored up) decided to go swimming in the ocean.  I (Mother Hen) was a bit worried, but everyone survived...even though one jerk went in at 1 a.m. by himself for 40 minutes!!.

I woke early the next day to a beautiful sunrise (I had opened the drapes in my room which faced east).  But soon the dark clouds raced in and we had thunder storms.  Des (my accountant) and I had our spa appointments at 11:30:  Sugar Glow:  a body rub with coconut sugar followed by a massage with pineapple oil.  Heavenly.

The sky stayed cloudy, but our boats still took off.  We were soaked!  I had on white jeans that were literally plastered to my body (not attractive).  Most of the guys got pretty tanked with stopping at 3 bars, but the ride was fun (despite the rain and the spray from the boat).  We saw a lot of dolphins and at the end, this guy came up to say hello:

Our limo ride to the airport Wednesday morning was a no-show!  Luckily the hotel called a cab and we were fine (Hilton Head airport has 1 gate...not a big place).  I managed to knit exactly two rows on my sweater Tuesday morning.  That was it!

I worked Thursday and Friday which were very busy.  Thursday Colin came over and grilled lamb chops.  And a head of garlic.  We had fresh grilled garlic on our lamb.  Delicious!!

Saturday Colin was back and grilled skirt steak for steak tacos.  They were wonderful.  He made guacamole and pico to go with and we also had radish greens from our garden on the tacos.  Yum!!

Sunday we met friends for lunch (hi Dee & Steve) which was so nice and ran a few errands.  Today has been lazy (after a morning of frantic cleaning of bathrooms and bedrooms).  I managed to clean up the yarn barf from the other week and it is ready to become something...most likely socks.  I've knit a few rows on the sweater and am hoping I'm just about up to the armholes...ready to start the fun part - the sleeves!

Since I missed Friday Felines, here are some cute pics of Marcel and Talbot who helped Colin with the laundry today:

Marcel in the washer.

And Talbot on the clean laundry.

I counted up and read 18 books between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  I had a total of 5 that fit on my Book Bingo sheet...and no bingo for moi.  But, I played the way that worked for me...reading what I wanted and reading all your blogs and getting book suggestions.

Right now I'm reading "Less" (Pulitzer winner) which I am finding just ok.  Fletch and I have also started reading the collection of Flannery O'Conner short stories after dinner.  They are not disappointing!  I haven't read them in probably 30 years or so, but really enjoying again.

This coming week is going to be busy at work.  But, I am looking forward to hooking up with Dee, Bonny and Bridget next Saturday at the New Jersey Sheep & Wool Festival.  Woo-Hoo!!!