Monday, August 31, 2020

Monday Brings a Finish!

 Good Morning!

There is a definite Fall nip in the air this morning and it feels wonderful.  How was your weekend?  Fletch and I were on cat feeding duty for Marcel & Talbot.  So I headed over to Colin & Mailing's house Saturday morning to feed the critters and then met up with Dee for some coffee and conversation.  Luckily the forecast storm from Laura was not as bad as predicted and we were able to sit outside for our coffee.  It was so good to get together again.

Sunday was a gorgeous day.  I did laundry and hung it outside to dry and then after lunch I walked 4+ miles on the River Trail in Valley Forge Park.  It was crowded!  Lots of walkers and bikers and a few dogs.  I wasn't even sure when I pulled into the parking lot if there would be a spot for my car, but I found one.  It was such a nice day to be out and about.

I also managed to do a bit more knitting and the Hawk Socks are finished!!

I think Colin will love them.  Now the decision is to give them to him now?  Or wait and give them as a birthday present?  Or Christmas present?  I'm betting that now wins.

Fletch planted some sunflowers this year.  The first ones didn't germinate.  But we finally have one blooming and two more just opening.  Pretty, but facing our neighbor's yard instead of ours!

The Hibiscus Fletch bought a couple of months ago has continued to bloom.  It is never covered with blooms the way it was when he bought it, but one at a time it rewards us with a gorgeous flower:

The blossoms are HUGE!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is a definite chill to the air this morning.  Last night was gorgeous and we decided to sit out with a fire.

As you can see, Fletch lit it before dark - love the blue of the sky.  See our tiny apples hanging on the bare branches above Fletch's head?  Our apples have not grown this year.  At all.  And now the apple tree has just about lost all its leaves!  I hope the tree survives, but I'm not sure it will.  It is damaged with something.

Well, that wraps up things for me.  Time to get to work!  Wishing you a wonderful week.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

All Creatures Great and Small

 Well Hello There,

Whew!  This morning and part of my afternoon have gotten away from me.  Work has been Tres Busy which I find unacceptable...but...not my doing.  Anyway, post-lunch and I can now post and I thought I would show you creatures here...both Great and Small.

First up, two fawns resting in our neighbor's yard.  Fletch spotted them late yesterday afternoon as he glanced out the kitchen window while doing dishes (that man of mine knows if the kitchen is not clean, dinner does not get made!!).

This morning I spotted these two (perhaps) and a young buck (very small antlers) roaming/munching in our wetlands area - I had to chase them away.  I don't mind them coming into the yard for fallen apples, but leave our other stuff alone!

Then we have Steve the Beav!  (our resident groundhog)  I do believe he is fattening up for the winter.  He was munching away in our neighbor's (other side than the fawns) yard.

And finally, a Praying Mantis on my eggplant (again).  This one is beginning to turn brown which (I believe??) is a sign of maturity??

I love the green (bright) still visible on him.

I was going to include a picture of Tyg, but he doesn't consider himself a creature...rather a God or at least human!  LOL

Dinner last night was great!  

The rest of the ribs were still on the grill.  Someone commented that they thought the jalapenos wrapped in bacon would be too hot.  Honestly, I think grilling calms them down.  Very little heat and Fletch can eat them with no problem (I like stuff hotter than he does).

And one final note:  I did complete the heel flap, turn, and am on the gusset decreases on Hawk Sock #2.  Yay me!

Almost to Friday!  Hoping for a calm afternoon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 08/26/20

 Good Morning!

Mid-week in the last full week of August.  Unbelievable!!  And it is Unraveled Wednesday.  As usual, I'm linking up with Kat and friends to read about what everyone is making and reading.  I am still working on Hawk sock #2, but I've only 8 more rows to complete the leg.

My plan is to finish the leg and heel today as well as start down the gusset decreases.  Let's see if I can stick with that!

On the reading front, I've been reading Olive, Again before bed.  I'm enjoying it, but like "Olive Kitteridge," these stories can be SO bleak!  But the writing is very good and so I will plug away at it.  I just had a book come in on Overdrive - "The Book of Lost Friends" by Lisa Wingate (who wrote "Before We Were Yours").  This was recommended to me by several people.

When I got to my office yesterday I found some gifts from my boss Bill and his wife.

I've had both of these before and they are excellent!  Bill left two jars of each for me and Colin.  So sweet.

And our garden is continuing to produce.  Fletch picked beans yesterday:

These are so good.  Nice and long and skinny!  I picked some jalapenos and cherry tomatoes:

Fletch is grilling some ribs tonight and I will core and seed some of the jalapenos and wrap them in bacon to throw on the grill as well.  Yum!!

I have to head back to the office for a quick visit this morning.  Yesterday I was the only person in the office until I left and then I saw two folks at the opposite end of the building.  So, no danger of being too close to anyone!  I should only be there for half an hour or so this morning.  

Hoping to get a walk in today as well.  It is nice and cool this morning!  Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tiny Needle Tuesday 08/25/20

 Good Morning!

Welcome to TNT - Tiny Needle Tuesday.  A lot of new things have cropped up on my sampler:

Look!  There is an angel in the upper right (who looks like a New year's Baby with wings or something).  There is a peacock!  A rabbit!  A butterfly that is surprisingly half the size of the weird and skinny lion.  The lion looks like he is waving...or scratching his mane...or something.  That is what I love about samplers - how quirky they can be.  Surprisingly I added the year I stitched this prior to finishing.  I guess I am feeling pretty confident I will finish this up before January - lol.  Here is a slightly closer-up shot:

All that is left to add is Adam (to the right of the butterfly) and Eve (to the left of the rabbit).  The verse will go in between the two blue lines.  The verse is stitched over one (meaning over one thread, so since this is 38 count fabric that means 38 stitches to the inch) which may do me in!  But, I'm hoping to have this wrapped up by next week.  I love the way the colors look muted in this (like hand dyed yarn, hand dyed cotton thread is so nice to use).

It is supposed to be pretty hot today (90's).  Originally I was planning to go into the office tomorrow, but I think I will run in today.  Tomorrow is supposed to be nice (lower 80's) and better for walking, so I'd rather be home!  I have a few things to do at the office and then will run to Trader Joes for a couple of things we can't get at our normal grocery stores.  I'll also take a quick look around TJ Maxx to see if there is anything suitable for the wedding.

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, August 24, 2020

A Touch of Fall!

 Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Ours was very nice.  Friday night our neighbor Rob came over for dinner.  Fletch grilled burgers and I made a corn and black bean salad.  Rob brought the leftovers of two pies (his Mom recently passed away and he said he is overloaded with happens with funerals...).  He couldn't stick around for too long, but Fletch and I enjoyed a fire after he left.  It was a perfect night for a fire in the pit.

Our picnic table is looking a bit like Fall:

The pumpkin had come off the vine, so rather than just leave it on the ground, Fletch put it on the table.  He doesn't like that there is no stem, so he put the bird on top.  I love it!  You can see that something has been nibbling away at the pumpkin.  There is another one still on the vine, but smaller and very dark green (looks like an acorn squash).  Hopefully it will grow larger and turn a beautiful shade of orange.

Saturday was grocery shopping and a few chores.  Sunday more of the same.  I did make some peach ice cream (and put some uncrystalized ginger in it too!!), but Fletch and I were both too full to have any!  That will need to be rectified today for sure.

And, a bit of knitting was accomplished.  Here is Hawk Sock #2.  Half the leg is finished.

We watched the end of Endeavour last night - can't believe it was only 3 episodes this time around, but it was good.

Well, time to wake up Fletch and get myself motivated.  Emails have been coming in fast and furious all morning.  Wishing you all a great week!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Gardening as Therapy

 Hello and Good Morning,

After so many wonderful nights of excellent sleep...last night was a bust.  And then, when I did fall back asleep I woke up later than usual and had to scurry around.  But, my Thursday reports are finished and have been emailed out and now (for a bit) my email is quiet.

This will be a quick post as I hope to work some on Hawk Sock #2 and the Sampler.  Also walk.  It's a beautiful morning (and it was 57 when I got up at 6:30!).

Many of you who read this blog are gardeners, and even if you are not, I think you'll enjoy this article from "The New Yorker" magazine.  The link is compliments of Colin.

Happy reading.  Hope you all enjoy the day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 08/19/20

 Good Morning!

Gosh the sun seems to be late coming up these days.  Colin mentioned last night how the mornings are so dark - he used to get up and be walking before 6 a.m. and now it is too dark to walk at that time.

Yesterday I did go for another walk in the Oaks park.  Another 3 miles.  Where I feel it is in the front of my ankles.  Weird!  I've been hesitant to go to the canal path because that is not paved and with all the mud and debris at the Oaks park, I'm thinking the canal path may have been washed over.  But, I might just check it out (later) today.  Depends on how busy it gets work-wise.

However, right now let's talk knitting!  It is Unraveled Wednesday and fortunately there has been no unraveling this week.  Instead I actually have a finish!

The first Hawk sock is complete and the second one has been started.  The Petty Harbor pattern (free on Ravelry) is a 4 row repeat.  The new start has the cuff ribbing complete and 2 repeats of the pattern.  A bit of a way to go yet - sock #1 has 20 pattern repeats on the leg.  But, little by little and it will get finished.

I took the Hellebore Hitchhiker over to Colin & Mailing's last night to work on, but never took it out of the bag.  We had a lovely dinner:  a huge garden salad, yellow rice and chicken empanadas with green salsa (home-made).  We were all too full for dessert and then the night was so lovely we had a fire in their fire pit and sat around talking for a few hours.  Suddenly it was 10:00 and time to get home.

We brought home some of the home-made salsa verde and some patty-pan squash, cukes and peppers from their CSA haul last week.  Their long counter in the kitchen was literally covered in produce and they will be picking up another batch on Friday!  Summer Bounty for sure.

As usual, I'm linking up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  Happy mid-week!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

TNT 08/18/20

 Hello and Good Morning!

How are you this Tuesday?  I finally got out and walked yesterday.  It has been a long time.  You know, the weather has been our famous Philly HHH (hazy, hot & humid) weather which is not (for me) conducive to walking.  Then, of course, I was on an antibiotic for three weeks due to Lyme Disease and was not supposed to be in the sun.  So, it has been weeks since I walked and boy was it nice to get out and it felt great to walk.  I drove over to the park in Oaks and did a 3 miles stretch (1.5 miles up and back).  The path is paved, but it was very muddy in places and I noticed a lot of debris along the side - branches, twigs, etc.  Where the Perkiomen Creek meets up and joins the Schuylkill River I saw this:

Not so pretty, but it shows how high the water must have come up in last week's storm.  I did not see any signs of the old heron nests I had found some months back - I believe they were destroyed or washed away in the storm.  I'm planning to walk again today - either back at Oaks (going a little further) or at the canal path.

Meanwhile it is Tuesday which means it is time for Tiny Needle Tuesday or TNT.  Here's where I am on the "Permit Me Not To Stray" sampler by Heartstring Samplery:

More flowers and the Evil Serpent has been introduced!  Still a way to go on this one, but I'm pleased with it so far and like the progress I've made.  It's a fun stitch.  (Note the helper's paw in the upper left corner...Tyg keeps thinking he would like to learn to stitch...or at least play with the thread...)

I didn't get any more done on it last night because I baked two pies instead!  We had some blueberries and apricots in the frig that needed to be used sooner rather than later, so I combined those with some cut up rhubarb I had in the freezer (and a bunch of sugar).  I made two small pies and will take one to Colin & Mailing tonight (we're heading over to their place for dinner tonight).  I didn't follow a recipe - just sort of eyeballed things.  Fletch had a piece of one of the pies last night and pronounced it delicious.  Yay!  A win!

It suddenly dawned on me over the weekend that Colin & Mailing's wedding is less than two months away!  And I have no idea what I'm going to wear!  It is a back yard wedding in October and is "garden attire."  I do have two dresses that could possibly work that I have never worn.  Both are sleeveless, but  could work with a wrap.  Sunday I drove over to Marshall's to look around.  I often have very good luck there finding things.  And, I did find a cute pair of sandals and a cute pair of pants (score Tahari pants marked down to $10!!), but no dress.  The interesting thing to me is that their dressing rooms are closed - no trying on clothes.  However, clothes are returnable - so you can go home and try them on and then bring them back and return them.  It doesn't really make sense to me why their dressing rooms are closed, but whatever.  The pants fit (and the sandals which I did try on in the store).  Maybe the next time I head to the office I wlil check out TJMaxx.

Well, time to pour another cup of coffee and get started on the work day.  Hope your week is going well.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Monday Rolled Around Again

 Good Morning!

Halfway through August already!!  Doesn't seem possible, yet sure enough Monday rolled around again and here we are.  How was your weekend?  What did you do?

My weekend was lovely.  I met up with Dee for some coffee and knitting and then we happened to make our way to Purls of Wisdom - a lovely knitting shop in Kimberton.  If you've read her blog (and if not, you should!!), you will see that she purchased some lovely skeins of yarn.  And sort of hinted that she HAD to, because you can't let friends purchase yarn alone.  Dee and I do a pretty good - nah, make that VERY good - job of enabling each other!  That's what friends are for.  I haven't used or even wound the two skeins I bought the last time we got together, but again two new skeins are now in my possession:

Gorgeous, huh?  The skein on the right is "Aspen" and is just so Fall-like I had to have it.  Cozy socks will be made with this.  The skein on the left is "Prickly Pear" (yes, Dee bought the same colorway the other week).  But, this skein is DK weight and I plan to make some fingerless mitts out of it - I think they will look so pretty with my black coat come winter.

While Dee and I were sipping our drinks and knitting outside the coffee shop I did work on the Hawk sock.  I did not, as planned, finish it though.  This is where it was last night (with my helper supervising):

After taking that picture I knit some more and it is now at the point where I will begin the toe decreases.  I HOPE to finish it today, but I refuse to say I will (lesson learned).

Food was good over the weekend.  I baked some mahi-mahi (which I had never cooked previously).  It was good.  Not wonderful, out of this world, but ok and a nice change of pace.  Saturday we just had BLTs with garden tomatoes and onions on them.  So good!  And last night I baked a Mexican casserole dish - layered tortillas with refried beans, some sauteed onions & peppers & broccoli, green enchilada sauce and cheese.  It was a little heavier on the cheese than I like, but again it was nice to have something different.  And, the weather was perfect for having the oven on to bake the dish!

Several folks have recently posted pictures of Praying Mantis' in their gardens.  Well, here's a guy who was on our eggplant the other day.  Seeing a Praying Mantis always makes me think of the card Fletch and I bought several years ago and framed.  It hangs in our downstairs bathroom.

LOL I crack up every time I look at this.

Well, that's it for me.  Hope you all are doing well and enjoying life.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tiny Needle Tuesday 08/11/20

 Good Morning!

Welcome to Tuesday and Tiny Needle Tuesday where I talk about stitching.  I'm loving working on this sampler and enjoying seeing the (LARGE) flowers come to life.

The bottom left looks like the border is out of line, but it is just the way the fabric is stretched out.  My gosh!  There is an awful lot of green in this sampler (and three different shades so far in the flowers (stems/leaves) and border.  And, a lot of solid filling-in.

I just want to say that yesterday at work about did me in!  I am so not used to being in the office and it about drove me mad.  Pre-Covid I was at my office from 7:15 (or so) until 4:00 (or so).  Yesterday I got in around 8:15 and left by a little after 3.  I was exhausted and told Fletch I don't think I can ever go back to being in the office full time - lol.  Everyone who came for the meeting was masked and seats in the training room were spaced out to be actually more than 6' apart.  I'll find out later this a.m. how the dinner went last night.

Meanwhile, the left side of my face is swollen!  Yesterday my upper gum was very sore, but whatever "it" is has now moved up into my sinus cavity.  Some Advil and I'll be fine (if a bit mis-shapen!!).  I've had this issue before and am just glad that I am not flying anywhere today.

Well, time to get this published and get ready to go to the office.  Breakfast is being delivered by 7:30 and I need to be there for the caterer.  Luckily I should be able to leave by Noon today!

Hope your week is going well.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Monday Again, 08/10/20

 Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Ours was filled with chores and some mundane things.  Fletch continues to work in the basement cleaning and disinfecting after the major water we had during the storm.  I'm happy that the washer and dryer are still working with no issues.  So laundry was done and some grocery shopping (have prices skyrocketed?  Or is it me?), cleaning bathrooms and the kitchen floor.  Colin & Mailing came over for dinner last night (steaks on the grill, steamed broccoli & cauliflower and a lentil/chickpea "pasta" from Trader Joe's which was much less than stellar...but a blueberry gateau for dessert with whipped cream).

Those two kids are lucky!  Friday night they were heading up to Coopersburg on Route 309 to see some friends in a band.  Someone in another lane of traffic hydroplaned and slammed into the rear passenger side of Mailing's car.  Colin said Mailing did an excellent job of controlling the car and luckily their damage is minimal and their car still driveable.  Scary though!

Some knitting was accomplished and the first Hawk sock now has a heel and I'm a little over halfway through the gusset decreases.  I "should" be able to finish the sock this week and cast on #2.

I am loving all the colors that pop up in this project - so pretty.

Fletch and I watched Perry Mason (HBO) on Friday and then last night watched the first episode of the new season of Endeavour.  Yay for Endeavour being back!

Today I am heading in to the office.  I have a group of roughly 20 coming in for a meeting this afternoon and tomorrow morning.  Yes, all will be masked and yes, social distancing is possible in our training room (which can easily hold 80 or so).  I won't actually be sitting in on the meeting (thank God) - I've got other things to do.  I also booked dinner reservations for them at Sullivan's (a steak house in King of Prussia) which I will not be attending.  I don't like the restaurant and, really don't want to be in a private dining room.  Hopefully all will go smoothly.  This will be the longest I have been in the office since the beginning of March!  I'm betting I'll be exhausted - lol.

Well, I'd best get going, It's 7:50 a.m. and I need to drive into work.  Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 08/05/20

Good Morning,

Blue skies this morning - quite a change from yesterday.  Isaias was a mess.  We had very heavy rain - 5" and it was coming down so fast.  Our outside steps leading to the basement were a waterfall and then something popped in one of our basement windows and the rain poured in like another waterfall.  We had 5.5" of water in the basement!  It drained out very, very quickly thank goodness.  But what a mess.  

This was taken from the patio looking out to the back yard before the heaviest rain came.  Water, water everywhere.

Skippack, a town about 20 minutes from us, recorded an inch of rain in 15 minutes!!  We did lose power from around 1:30 p..m until 10:30 p.m.  We were lucky.  My office is still without power.  And the car dealership just down the road from us in Collegeville was under 2 feet of water at 11 last night.

Anyway, late afternoon after the storm had blown through, the sun came out and I managed to get a little knitting done before it became too dark.  I worked on the petty harbor Hawk sock.

It's coming along.  

I'm not liking this new blogger...this is the first day the new layout has shown up on my screen.  Don't they know that change is difficult for older folks?  LOL

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/4/20

Good Morning!

It's dark out there.  It's not really that early (7 a.m.), but we are getting the rain from Isaias...and will be getting it all day.  It's coming down, but not terribly hard which is a good thing.  We - the garden and lawn - need the rain, but we need the kind that will soak in, not run off.  So far, so good.  Another benefit to the pandemic - no need to get up and drive in to the office on a day like today!

Well, it's Tuesday and I did start my next Adam & Eve sampler last week.  It is "Permit Me Not To Stray" by Heartstring Samplery.

I love the BIG flowers and the fact that there is a lion in it!!  I'm very happy that my border has met up.  I wanted to do that first and make sure my count was correct.

The wrinkles are from me bunching up the fabric as I stitch.  I do not use a hoop or frame, but rather stitch in hand.  This is a little bigger than I was thinking it would be - roughly 10" by 10" on my fabric.  I'm using 38 count white Gander linen and mostly Sampler Threads from The Gentle Art.  There will be some DMC in the piece as a couple of the Sampler Threads are not in stock in any on line shop I checked.  I hope to get started on the inside - specifically some of those flowers - today.

Meanwhile, in life around the house.  As I mentioned, Tyg has been hanging out on the picnic table under the camper birdhouse.  It turns out our birdhouse is now a nursery.  Yes!  We have baby wrens.  And Tyg is excited.

Do you see the little bird head peeking out from the opening?  Yesterday afternoon this little guy was mostly there resting his tiny beak on the opening of the birdhouse waiting (not so patiently) for a parent to come by with food. 

On the gardening front, I went out yesterday afternoon to pick tomatoes and grab some onions,  I checked on our Asian Pear tree and our 2 little pears are steadily growing!

They are beginning to get that squat Asian Pear look.  We are keeping the wire "cage" around the tree to protect it from the deer.  Likewise, I looked at our Fig which has come back so strongly after being nibbled to the ground last year.  It looks so healthy and full, but I did not see any sign of a fig.

Yesterday I did receive a call from my doctor's office.  The blood test I had last week did indeed come back positive for Lyme Disease.  Yuck.  But, at least I know that's what the rash was and at least I got on the antibiotic quickly.  My understanding is that I will always test positive for Lyme now.  That's my news for the day.  Hope your week is going well. 

Monday, August 3, 2020


Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Mine was so nice (in spite of the HHH weather).

Saturday morning I met up with Dee at the Lansdale Farmers Market.  Seeing Dee was, of course, wonderful.  The Market was annoying.  They had to change their location and they now limit how people go in (it's outside, but there are lanes, etc.) and you can't really get close to any of the produce.  I did get some nice wax beans, Swiss chard, fresh apricots and wonderful shitake mushrooms.  Then we went to Backyard Beans for coffee.  There is still no inside seating, but they have tables and chairs set up in an alley beside the shop and it was shady and a good place to sit and knit.  Dee brought me a wonderful "reward" for guessing an answer on her blog about Bethlehem.

A Star from Bethlehem which is now hanging in my front office window.  I love how you can see different colors in it.  Thank you Dee!!

And I did manage to get a new cast on started:

A sock of course!  The yarn is Hedgehog Fiber (90/10) and the colorway is "Hawk."  I'm knitting the Petty Harbor pattern (free on Ravelry) and have about 24 rows of the leg completed.  The yarn is pretty dark, but I'm fortunately not having any problem with it.  I love all the different flecks of color you can see.

Sunday I did a bunch of laundry and some cooking.  French Toast for breakfast - so yummy.  For dinner, I cooked the spaghetti squash Colin had given us from his garden.  I roasted it and then pulled the "squash strings" out.  I guess spaghetti squash was the original veggie noodle.  Anyway, I made a sauce to go on it with fresh garlic, onions, the shitake mushrooms from the farmers market, capers and diced tomatoes.  Oh yum!  So freaking good - I will be making this again for sure.

Most days Tyg is off in some shady spot where we can't see him, but yesterday he plopped down on the patio and was patiently waiting for a frog to appear in the water feature.

This morning he is sitting on the picnic table right underneath the camper birdhouse hanging in our apple tree.  The wrens are nesting (again) and he is waiting for an opportunity.....

On the advice of MDK, we watched "First Cow" last night and I heartily recommend it.  Time to hit publish and get to work.  Here's to a great week ahead!