Friday, January 31, 2020

YAY for Friday

Well Good Morning!

As so often happens, Murphy's Law occurred several times today (already!!).

First, it is Friday and my calendar is filled with conference calls this morning (8:30 and then 10:00).  I have reports to get out in advance of the calls, etc., etc.  And, I wanted to write a blog post (still have a dead laptop at home).  So, I was up earlier than usual (thank you Tyg) and came into work about a half hour early.  Only to have an email from Kevin cancelling our 8:30 call.  Not a bad thing mind you, and now I have time to relax and write a post comfortably (and my reports for the 10:00 call have already gone out).  So much for rushing to get in early though.

Secondly there was a bit of unraveling this morning.  I should know better than to try to work on a lace pattern while at work.  But yesterday at lunch that's exactly what I did and of course some people couldn't resist interrupting me.  Last night when I knit another row my count was off.  I was pretty tired (Fletch and I had gone over to Colin & Mailing's to feed the cats after our dinner) and it was getting late (after 9 p.m.), so I put it aside and decided to look at it this morning.  I looked and did not like what I saw.  Only six rows, so what the heck?  I had a lifeline and I pulled that long circular needle right out.

Here we are, back to where I was when I re-discovered the shawl recently.  The only difference is there is yarn wound around the cake instead of still being inside it - lol.  Also, the colors in the picture above are not accurate.  That looks almost minty green and the outer layer of the cake is really a mustardy-yellow-green.  Oh well.  I was able to pick up the exact stitches thanks to the life line and should be able to proceed with no issues (hoping).  I may be foolish, but I did bring it to work today.  I'm doubting that I will have time to knit, but better to be prepared than not.  Note to self:  Start another pair of socks so you have something easy to knit that you can bring to work!

On a more positive note, I bound off Mailing's Ear/Headband Wednesday night.  I sewed the ends together yesterday at lunch (before the lace work!) and then when I got home last night I soaked it and now it is blocking.

Kind of a funny shot!  The blocking mat is balanced on a rack I have in our downstairs bathroom that is right above the heater.  The rack is where I dry my hand knit socks when they come out of the washer.  So this shot is taken looking up.  On the wall below the rack you can see the top of a very small curio cabinet we have in the bathroom.  Some day I'll have to take a picture of that to show you.  The card balanced on the top of the cabinet on the right hand side is one my friend Carol found and sent to Fletch.  It is an announcement that "Dr. Fletcher" has removed his practice from Susquehanna to Carbondale and that hereafter he will limit his practice to diseases of the Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat!  It is dated November 5th, 1895!  Cracks me up.

The Ear bands knit up so quickly!  I'm thinking of designing another one, but instead of cables this time I would do some color work.  I'll go through some of my books this weekend and see if I can come up with a fun pattern.

What else?  The kids (Mailing & Colin) are in San Diego for a few days.  Colin texted a number of pictures yesterday including:

Seals!  They remind me a bit of sloths (which I love).  Mailing is out there for work and Colin tagged along for fun.  While she is working, he is going to the beach, people watching, etc.  They plan to spend Saturday at the Zoo before flying back on the red eye that night.

Because the Super Bowl is this weekend, we are having a catered lunch at work today.  Sweet!!  I'm not sure what we are having or who the caterer is, but I'm sure it will be tasty.

We are hoping that our friends Carol & Gregg will come up tomorrow to celebrate Christmas (a bit late) and Carol's birthday (also late).  They were supposed to come earlier in January, but the weather turned crappy and they didn't want to drive up (they live in Maryland).  So, hopefully tomorrow.  I'm planning to make my BBQ shrimp dish (New Orleans style) which they both requested and a big salad.  Also a pie.

So, Yay for Friday!  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and if you are into sports (unlike moi - lol) may your team win the game.  Have some fun!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 01/29/20

Good Morning!

How did it get to be the last Wednesday in January already?  It seems unbelievable that Saturday will be February 1st.

As usual, I'm linking up with Kat this Wednesday to see what everyone is knitting and reading.  Yesterday I did manage to cast on at lunch time for Mailing's Ear/Headband.  Between mid-day yesterday and a little bit last night, I have knit just over 30 rows.  Still a ways to go, but with only 26 stitches per row, it should not take long.

There was enough of the beautiful purple alpaca yarn left that I can use that and I'm knitting the pattern I made up for my own ear band.  Mailing tried it on last week and it fits her, so I just have to copy what I did for myself.

On the reading front, I am getting into Disappearing Earth slowly.  I've read about 2 chapters so far.  I have found that reading either poetry or non-fiction/nature-type books before going to sleep helps me sleep better.  I finished two books of poetry this week (one mentioned in yesterday's post and the other was "A Timbered Choir" by Wendell Berry.  Last night I managed to read the first chapter in The Trees in My Forest by Bernd Heinrich.  He is by far one of my most favorite nature writers.  if you have not read anything by him, I highly recommend "A Year in the Maine Woods" or "The Snoring Bird" or any of his books, really!

Both the knitting and my Kindle (for Disappearing Earth) have come to work with me today, but I'm not sure I will actually be taking/getting a lunch time today.  My guess is that today might end up being pretty busy.  But...better prepared than not.

Happy Hump Day!  Working towards the downside of the work week and looking forward to the weekend.  Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Two Finishes!!

Good Morning Everyone!

How are you on this Tuesday morning?  I am ok.  Lunch yesterday was very nice.  It was a farewell luncheon for one of our employees (the CEO's assistant who is leaving after 22 years!!).  We ate at Davio's where we've had some other work functions.  Appetizers had been ordered ahead of time (calamari, little spring rolls, shrimp cocktail and some raw tuna which I did not eat), there was champagne and I had short ribs for the main course.  They tasted good, but I did not feel well the rest of the day!  I did go home after lunch (we didn't leave the restaurant till 2:30 or so) and had major indigestion the balance of the day and all evening.  Yuck!

But...I was able to finish up the second sock despite feeling crappy.

Several folks commented yesterday on how speedy I was knitting.  Honestly, it's not that I'm a speedy knitter, it's that I did nothing else - lol.  My bathrooms need to be cleaned, but knitting was more fun.  I do like these socks a lot - they just make me smile!

Next up, I will cast on for Mailing's ear/headband.  I may do that at lunch today.  I'd like to concentrate on that, the newly discovered shawl, and get back to the Canary Blanket (I think my arms are rested enough to manage some of that).  But, knowing myself, I bet I have another pair of socks cast on by the time the work week wraps up.  Because, knitting socks is apparently what I do!  Fletch has asked for some more (he would like some cotton ones again which may necessitate a yarn purchase...).

The other finish is another book!  This is another poetry book, so short, but pretty good.  The book is Clinch River by Susan Hankla who (I believe) is a friend of Fletcher's cousin Kathy (they both live in Richmond, VA).  I found it to be good - a bit intense in places.  She is definitely a "Southern writer."

It is another grey day sign of the sun at all.  And even though it is above freezing it feels pretty raw outside.  I hope everyone's week is going well!

Monday, January 27, 2020

We Did Not Build an Ark!

Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Mine was WET.  We had such torrential rains beginning Friday night and going through till Saturday early afternoon.  We had some water in the basement, but not enough to build an ark.  Luckily.  And a little bit of moisture didn't stop me from going out to meet up with Dee for some coffee, knitting, chatting (not necessarily in that order) and a bit of lunch.  It was a lovely time, as always.  Thanks for meeting up Dee!

I finished the first sock Friday night and promptly started the second before the needles got cold.  LOL  I've made a bit of progress since then:

The finished one looks like it is for Bigfoot, but really it is normal size.  If you click to enlarge, I believe the pattern on the leg (Diagonal Lace by Wendy Johnson - free on Ravelry) is visible.  It's a very pretty pattern.  Getting so much of that second sock finished, I completely ignored the Canary Blanket and I have yet to cast on for Mailing's headband.  No huge rush on that as Colin & Mailing are headed to California later this week (work for Mailing, fun for Colin).  They won't be gone long, but it should be a nice break for them.  We will, of course, be on cat duty while they are gone.

Fletcher's eye was a bit uncomfortable over the weekend.  It feels better when he gets out and walks at night, which makes me think the dry indoor air is not helping.  Fingers crossed he will be more comfortable today.  He is still not supposed to get any water in the eye, so showering and washing his hair has been a challenge.  That's only a couple more days though and next week he will go back for another check up. 

I did finish another book - this one was a book of poetry.  I have not yet read any more in Disappearing Earth - perhaps tonight.

No other news.  Other than meeting up with Dee and grocery shopping on Sunday I didn't really do anything!  A lazy weekend was very nice.  The week is starting off in a good way:  My 10:00 conference call has been cancelled and I have an off-site luncheon today.  Fingers crossed I can just go home after that (not likely, but hoping!!).

Wishing you all a great week ahead!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Wrapping Up The Week


It's Friday and that is a wonderful bit of news.  This was a short week for me with Monday as a holiday and then being off to take Fletch in for his cataract surgery.  But short weeks always feel busy and those days at work seem to be more full of "stuff."

Thank you all for the well wishes for Fletch.  This was his second cataract surgery (he had his right eye done a year ago).  The surgery went well (though it took his eye longer than normal to dilate, so even though his surgery was scheduled first, the doctor took another patient ahead of him).  Even with that little delay, we were at a diner for breakfast by 9:30 a.m.!  His eye was a bit uncomfortable that day (he said it felt like he had a cardboard splinter in his eye), but Advil seemed to do the trick as well as the two kinds of drops he has to use 4 times a day.

That evening we went over to Mailing's parents house to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  The New Year (Lunar New Year) is actually Saturday, but Mailing's Dad was leaving for Japan yesterday, so we celebrated early.  Her parents had already made ALL the dumplings by the time we arrived, so no dumpling making this year.  The dumplings were much prettier too compared to what we make - lol.  There were more side dishes, but here's a shot of the table with the dumplings on it:

They were so delicious - as were all the other dishes (steamed pork, fermented cabbage, broccoli, kimchi).  The "creatures" at the end of the table are rats!  That's because the New Year will be the Year of the Rat (just for the record, I am a Snake [not pleased with that] [my element is water] and Fletch is a Pig [his element is fire].

Mailing had made a delicious cake for dessert.  Made with sticky rice and both black and white sesame seeds.  DELICIOUS!!!

Before dinner, Zhongren (Mailing's Dad) showed us a house he had recently made:

Isn't that so cool?  He got the idea after visiting Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia.  The roof is made from grasses in their yard.  The doors in front have rice paper in them and they slide back and forth.  It reminds me of the Japanese Garden in Fairmount Park that we visited.  Here's a shot looking inside:

The bundle inside is actually rice and the red figure is a Rice God.  It is very, very cool.  He is such a creative person.

A fun evening for sure.

Yesterday morning I took Fletch to the eye doctor for his post surgery appointment.  All is well and the doctor is pleased.  He does not need to go back until February 4th (and will be able to drive himself at that point).  So, I ended up getting into work late yesterday and was slammed for the balance of the day.  Lots of financial reports, etc.  This morning I just have one financial conference call at 10 and the balance of my day looks good:)

I did manage to finish Fever on Wednesday and enjoyed it.  The end of the book sort of petered out for me, but overall I did enjoy it.  And, I've started Disappearing Earth which is good so far (I've only read maybe 25 pages or so).  There was knitting accomplished too:

I'm enjoying using the variegated yarn for the cuff and foot for a change.  This is sort of a dark picture, but you get the idea.  (The embroidered pillow on the chair is one my Mom made years and years ago.)

I'm looking forward to the weekend.  It is supposed to rain (and rain hard) on Saturday, but I have plans to meet up with Dee and I know we'll have a great time in spite of the weather.  Whatever your are up to, I hope it's a good weekend for you.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Am Unraveled Tuesday!

Well Hello There!

It is quite the frigid morning here - 15 degrees when I left my house for work.  A good day for hand-knit items.  So, I am wearing hand knit socks, my Sigla sweater and I did wear my Ear Band!  Yes, it is finished.  Pictures further down...

Meanwhile, our weather on Saturday was crazy!  Snow was forecast to start around 11 a.m.  My friend Carol who lives in Maryland was supposed to drive up for the day to celebrate Christmas and her birthday, but she backed out due to the forecast.  I decided I wanted to make chili for dinner, but needed peppers, so I went grocery shopping early.  Driving home from the store just before 10 a.m. I saw the first flakes starting to come down.  The snow came down fast and furious!  I pulled into the driveway, opened the back of the car and grabbed two bags.  Took them into the house and came back out for the balance.  In that short time (one minute or two maybe), the snow had covered the inside back of the car, the windshields and even the driveway was coated!  But, we only ended up getting an inch or so and then sleet on top of that.

Yesterday was a holiday for me.  Fletch took one of our cars in for an oil change and tire rotation and I stayed home.  I thought of taking a walk, but it was so cold (20's) and breezy that I knew it wouldn't be pleasant.  So I did some chores, knit, read, napped and cooked.  Really, for me, a perfect day!

On the knitting front.  First up the Ear Band (my own design).  Just finished and unblocked:

And then blocked and on my head!!  LOL

As mentioned above, I did wear it this morning.  So soft and so warm, but I really could have used a hat in addition.

I've also started a new sock:

I've decided to do these a little differently.  I'm using a multi-colored yarn for the cuff and (I think) the entire foot.  The leg will be in a (sort-of) solid.  I don't know what the multi-colored yarn is - the band was lost.  The sort of solid is from Good Karma Farm in Maine (purchased a couple of years ago when we visited them) and the colorway is "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."  The pattern I'm using is Diagonal Lace by Wendy Johnson (free).  Hard to see in this picture, but it is a pretty pattern.  Mine are cuff down rather than toe up.

Then, while poking around in the back room, I came across a project bag with a just started shawl in it.  This was started last July and then forgotten about!

The pattern is Odyssey Shawl (another free one) by Joji Locatelli.  The yarn is a hand painted gradient by June Pryce Fiber Arts that I bought at the Allentown Fiber festival.  The colorway is "Secluded Forest."  I had completed the first section of the shawl and then stopped at Section 2 (the first Lace section).  I did put my lifeline in (the yellow yarn).  The first four rows in the lace section are now completed.  I love this yarn, so am anxious to get this moving along.  But, with lace work, I really need to concentrate, so I need to choose wisely when I work on it.

I managed to knit another 20 rows or so on the Canary Blanket too (no pictures though - honestly, it just looks the same).  I may be roughly half way finished (I hope - hoping it is not less than half - lol).

Yesterday I went on line to renew the registration for one of our cars and right in the middle of it my laptop shut down.  Now the only message I'm getting is that it is unable to restart.  I think it might have finally died.  I suspected it was on its last legs as it is quite old (probably 8-10 years) and we all know laptops are not made to last a long, long time.  Colin said he would take a look at it, but I'm pretty sure it's dead.  So, I need to be thinking about what I want in a new laptop.  Hopefully I can find something relatively cheap at either Costco or Best Buy.

On the reading front, I have less than 100 pages left in Fever and am still enjoying it.  Two books have come through on Overdrive that I've had on hold for some time:  Disappearing Earth and The Only Woman in the Room and I'm anxious to read both.  My reading mojo has definitely returned!

I'm doing an "unraveled" post a day early as I will be out of pocket tomorrow and part of Thursday.  Fletch is having cataract surgery tomorrow and then his follow up appointment with the doctor is Thursday morning.  Obviously he won't be able to drive himself!  Oh, and we are going over to Mailing's parents tomorrow night to celebrate the Chinese New Year (a few days early) and will be making dumplings😋.  I'll try to get some pictures.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 01/15/20

Good Morning!

Despite the grey weather (rain overnight), I can tell that the sun is rising a tiny bit earlier each day...and setting a little later each day as well.  Slowly but surely our daylight hours are steadily increasing.  It is still pretty mild here (40's this a.m. and 50's predicted for later today), but I think this may be the end of our Spring-like weather.  I saw some teens forecast for next week (overnight...not during the day).

So, here we are mid-month already!  Linking up with Kat for this Unraveled Wednesday edition.  Yes, there has been unraveling this week.  I believe the head/ear band has been unraveled at least 3 times!  Luckily it is a small piece (only 26 stitches across).  A pattern is finally working.  Simpler is better.  The initial attempts I had were way too complicated for the tiny space and for the yarn.  I cast on again yesterday and this is where I am:

Just a simple two cable pattern.  This is the 100% Alpaca yarn I received at Christmas.  So soft.  It will feel wonderful against my ears when the cold weather returns.  I hope to finish this quickly as we will be seeing Mailing's parents next week (they gave me the yarn) to celebrate the Chinese New Year (Yay - dumplings!!).

I had also cast on socks and decided on a new-to-me pattern from a book I have.  But alas, that was not working well.  The pattern involves crossing stitches (not cabling, but rather knitting stitches out of order).  I need to practice!  My stitches were so tight that I could barely move them on the needles.  So, that was all ripped out and I have yet to cast on again.  Both project bags have come to work today, but I think I will concentrate on the headband to get that finished up. 

On the reading front, I'm about 100 pages into Fever and am enjoying it.  Lots to think about with this book - treatment of immigrants (and how that hasn't changed a whole lot...), treatment of women (ditto in some regards), medicine, etc.  I'm looking forward to our discussions in February.  Also received notice yesterday that my Overdrive hold for Inland came through so I've downloaded that.  Not started yet, but looking forward to this one.

And here is my Amaryllis as of this morning:

Some spent blooms and some recently opened.  Still beautiful!

Wishing you all a beautiful finish to this week!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Another Monday Brings the First Finish for 2020!

Well Hello!

Still thinking this cannot be January!  It was in the 60's both Saturday and Sunday.  So strange, but I'll take it.  We did have very windy weather though (windy/noisy enough that I did not sleep well at all Saturday night).  The winds seem to have died down as of today.  I think by the end of the week the temps will moderate a bit more toward Winter temps.

Meanwhile, the Monkey Socks are finished!  I knit the last stitch and wove in the ends on Friday night:

And here they are against the bare Christmas tree:

I love these.  They make me smile and grin all the time.  They also turned out matchy-matchy!!

And, yes, the tree is out of the house.  Believe it or not, it was still extremely healthy.  It hardly dropped any needles and was still so fragrant.  Fletch and I both miss seeing it in the living room, but it is also nice to have things back to "normal."  Yesterday I managed to clean the remaining Christmas decorations off the buffet and put them away.  A new runner on the buffet and fresh flowers makes it look so nice.

How was your weekend?  Mine was so nice.  Saturday morning Dee and I met at Backyard Beans for a therapy session of coffee, knitting and chatting.  It was so nice to get together.  I cast on the pattern I designed for my head/ear band and knit about 20 rows...decided I didn't like it and ripped it out.  I'm still fooling around with it - started again yesterday and then this morning decided I'd like to do something different...stay tuned.....

Late Saturday afternoon Fletch and I drove over to Colin & Mailing's.  Fletch was helping Colin with something in the basement (some kind of caulking I think) and then Colin cooked dinner.

He made home-made ravioli with a spinach/basil pesto filling and a spicy vodka sauce.  OMG - so good.  We had a Caesar salad to go with the pasta and some espresso gelato rounded out the meal.  Oh - dirty martinis before and a really nice wine with dinner.  It was so mild (still) that we sat outside and had a fire.

Fletch had brought "something" that he sprinkled on the fire that produced some beautiful colors (you can see the green in the picture above). 

Colin & Mailing had just picked up their "Save The Date" cards that they will be mailing out for their wedding in October.  The formal invitation will go out later.  The cards turned out really well - using one of the pictures of them from the Japanese Garden in Fairmount Park.  I'll show it once we get one! 

Sunday was just filled with some errands (groceries, hardware store) and chores (laundry, cleaning bathrooms, etc.).  Fletch grilled lamb chops for dinner that were so tender and delicious.

I hope to figure out the head/ear band pattern for good today (though I think it will be a little busy at work) and I've also started another pair of socks (of course).  More about them next time.

Wishing you all a great week!

Friday, January 10, 2020

An Amaryllis and a Frog

Good Morning!

The sun is TRYING to peek through the clouds this morning - so far it is having very moderate success.  BUT, it is supposed to get up to 50 degrees today, 65 tomorrow and 68 on Sunday!  What month is it? 

Unfortunately a frog came to visit last night.  I worked a bit on the head/ear band I WAS knitting and found a rather large mistake.  So...out the entire thing came.  The cable pattern I was using from This Book was making me a little crazy - it's complicated.  Add to that the yarn is quite soft (wonderfully soft) and stitches kept slipping off my needles.  Not good.  I decided to create a much simpler pattern that will be easier to knit with a soft slippery yarn (and faster too!).  I'm hoping to write that up today and then cast on tonight.

On a brighter side, I did knit a number of rows on the Monkey Sock last night (none at lunch though) and I only have about 15 rows left until the toe decrease.  I should easily finish that sock this weekend and have my first FO for 2020!

The amaryllis as of this morning:

The first blossom is fading/dying,  The second stem is showing 3 buds that are starting to open (not sure if there will be a 4th or not).  It is fairly crowded against the first stalk and I do hope the blossoms will fully open - it would be nice if they opened while the other taller/earlier blooms are still looking nice!

Along with the warm forecast temperatures, the weekend is shaping up to be a fun one.  I'm hooking up with Dee for coffee/knitting/chatting tomorrow morning.  Colin & Mailing have invited us for dinner on Saturday (home-made ravioli!!!) and then a fire in their fire pit.  It will seem like Spring.  Sunday will most likely be chores (laundry, etc.), but with the warm temps, I should be able to open windows and air out the house.  Fletch did un-decorate the Christmas tree the other day.  Lights are still on it (which I love early mornings), but those will come off this weekend and the tree will be dragged outside to our woods.  I need to get the Christmas stuff off the buffet and really clean the kitchen!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - enjoy!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 01/08/20

Good Chilly Morning All!

My drive home from work yesterday included a bit of rain, then some splatters, then some "fat rain" and suddenly snow!  And it continued for some time.  However, it was very light and didn't really amount to much.  Looking out my backdoor at 5 a.m. this morning, this is what it looked like:

Pretty, but not enough to stay home from work.  The thing that looks like an icicle hanging from the tree is actually a thistle feeder and to the right of that, the "blob" is really a birdhouse hanging from the tree.

My drive home also included a stop at my local library.  I had received an e-mail yesterday that a copy of Fever had come in for me.  YAY!!  So far (30 pages into it), so good.  I'm enjoying this story and thinking of my Grandparents who were born a little bit before the time of the story.  My Dad's parents were both in Vermont, but I don't believe my Mom's parents had immigrated (my Grandfather from Denmark, my Grandmother from England) yet.  Just weird to think of them being alive during that time and to read how people (not wealthy) were treated in those days.  Looking forward to getting further into this book.  I should easily finish prior to the discussion in February led by Carole, Bonny and Kym.

On the knitting front for this Unraveled Wednesday, I'm happy to show you my Monkey Socks (free pattern on Ravelry).

The first one was finished on Saturday and the second one started that night.  As of last evening I was into the heel flap of Monkey #2.  I'm enjoying the colors in the patterned yarn...but it is still "sticky" and not all that pleasant to knit.  I do like the black heels and toes.  All in all, a happy project.  The socks came to work today and I'm hoping to finish up the heel flap and get the heel turned at lunch.  I was able to do another 10 rows on the flap this morning while having my coffee at home.

Unhappily, neither the Canary Blanket nor the Head/Ear Band that I am knitting have seen any action since last week.  Despite having numerous projects on the go, I still tend to focus on one to completion.  Well, the blanket does get some love in between projects - no way could I work solely on that to completion.  I would go batty!  (Or battier than I already am!).

So that's it for me on this Hump day (which also happens to be Soft Pretzel Day at work!!  woo-hoo!!).  Linking up with Kat on this second Wednesday of January.  Head on over to her blog to see what others are up to knitting-wise and reading-wise.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Journal and What I Knit & Read in 2019

Well Hello There,

I'm off to a bit of a later start this morning thanks to a check up (very good) with my doctor this morning.  Hopefully I can squeeze in a quick post now.

Both Jane and Juliann recently had posts about their knitting journals, so I thought I would talk about mine too.  Nothing fancy, and no major details...just really a record for me.  Along with a picture of what I've knit, I include a little snippet of yarn and the pattern name.  Sometimes I record needle size; more often I don't.  If the item is for someone else, I mention that.  I use the same journal to record books that I have read (and ones that Fletch and I have read together).  Again, nothing fancy - the title, author, my rating (out of 5 stars).  Because I don't complete all that many projects or read all that many books in a year, 2020 will be the third year for this particular journal (and I believe the last year) (but I have another one waiting to be used!!).

Sweet little (not so much on the little side) Tyg in the background.  And here is a sampling of pages from both ends of the book (knitting in the front moving towards the middle and reading at the back, also moving toward the middle).

So that's it - simple and it works for me.  So, what did I knit and read last year?


  • 12 pairs of socks (8 for others, 4 for myself)
  • 2 shawls (both Hitchhikers - one for moi and one for Mailing)
  • 2 cowls (a Sockhead cowl for me and my own design for Fletch)
  • 1 hat (for me)

Total 17 - which is one more item than 2018.


A total of 26 books (down from 48 in 2018, but we all know I've been experiencing a reading slump for quite some time).  20 were fiction and 6 were non-fiction.

  • 4 were 5 stars
  • 2 were 4.5 stars
  • 15 were 4 stars
  • 4 were 3.5 stars
  • 1 was 3 stars

I had fewer 5 stars this year, but overall my ratings were higher.  My 3 favorite books for 2019 were:

  • Fox 8
  • Late Migrations
  • Tom Sawyer

I don't set reading (or any) goals in the new year, but I'm curious to see how my reading goes this year.  My tastes are definitely changing.  One thing I do plan to do is concentrate on reading books on my shelves that have been neglected for far too long.  There are so many.....

OK - I need to buckle down and get to work now!  Hope your week is going well.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Monday Again

Well Hello There and Good Morning!

It's a little chilly this a.m. and quite dark.  I heard on the radio driving into work that sunrise this morning is at 7:20 a.m. - the latest it will be (Eastern time, Philadelphia location).  In a few days the sunrise will, minute-by-minute, steadily be earlier and earlier.  Before long we will be able to notice a lengthening to the days! 

How was your weekend?  Mine was ok...Saturday I attended a memorial service for a co-worker, so that was sad.  Also, the weather was such that I never got out for a walk (Saturday was so foggy and Sunday was extremely windy and no sun until late in the day).  I did get some knitting done, but I haven't taken a picture, so that will have to wait for another day.

I had intended to talk about last year today.  What I knit and what I read.  BUT...I forgot to bring that information with me to work and even though it's not a ton of information, my brain can't remember it all.  I do know I knit a lot of socks (a lot for moi) and I do know that I read fewer books than ever, but that's about it.  So, that too will have to wait for another day.

However, I do have some things to show.  First up is a picture of one of the Christmas gifts that Fletch's brother sent him:

The frame is wonderful, but the picture is just the best!  This is Nanno (Fletcher's grandmother) holding Fletcher's Mother.  I love, love, love the whole 20's look to this picture - Nanno's hair, her gorgeous dress (look at the lace!), the strand of pearls. I can't remember the exact year that Fletcher's Mom was born - but it was 1921 or 22 I believe, so this picture was probably taken in 1922 or 1923.  I was lucky enough to meet Nanno (Fletcher's grandfather had already passed away by the time I met Fletch).  She was just the sweetest person and a fabulous cook too (the BEST fried chicken ever!!).

I also managed to snap a picture of my Amaryllis on the counter yesterday.

That poor second shoot coming up on the left is going to be forced into being stunted due to the earlier bloom above it.  I'm really enjoying this shortened version of this plant and the fact that it is no-maintenance (no watering)!

So, that's it for me today.  Wishing each of you a fabulous week ahead!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 01/01/20

Good Morning and Happy New Year!

Here I go - tempting fate by posting (or at least trying to post) two days in a row from home!!  It is another grey and chilly morning here.  There is snow around us, but thankfully none right here.  Yesterday the sun managed to sneak out in the afternoon, so after lunch I headed over to one of my favorite trails along the canal (between the Schuylkill River and the Canal in the Phoenixville area - Dee, you and I have walked there).  It was the perfect time to go.  Not many people on the trail - a couple of walkers, a few with dogs (one guy on a bike who was having one of his dogs pull him and the other running behind him!).  It was so peaceful.  There were plenty of geese and ducks and then this magnificent creature appeared in front of my eyes (on the opposite bank of the canal).

He/She was one of the largest Herons I have ever seen.  Truly gorgeous.  I pointed the bird out to several people, but apparently they are not nature lovers, as they had no idea what it was - one guy wasn't even sure it was a bird!  LOL.  I'm happy to report my old friend is still on his/.her bench (but I think a Santa Hat would have helped a bit.)

How was your New Year's Eve?  Fletch and I had our usual quiet evening at home (we stopped going out New Year's Eve decades ago).  I made a crab quiche and steamed some broccoli for dinner.