Monday, December 28, 2020



Well, That was a lengthy break...and I think I needed it.  I may still need it - lol.  Last night I went to bed...woke up at 1:45 (heard the clock chime, so I know what time it was) and never got back to sleep!  I'm feeling a bit fuzzy.  However, the sunrise today was simply spectacular!

It did not last long at all - maybe a couple of minutes and then it was gone.  Then it turned grey and ugly looking and there was a bit of snow and rain.  But, eventually the sun came out and it is a pretty afternoon.  If I only had more energy I'd go for a walk or do a little archery...but today I am lazy.

So how was your holiday?  Ours was so nice.  We are fortunate to be able to spend time with Colin & Mailing and also Mailing's parents and sister.  We see them regularly, so are comfortable getting together with them.

Christmas Eve found us at Colin & Mailing's for dinner and opening "stocking stuffers."  Dinner was amazing.  Colin made crab cakes (98% crab meat and 2% filler - saltines and spices).  Mailing made some of the best potatoes I've had in a long time.  And there were green beans with almonds to go with...and Mailing made a Black Forest Cake.  Oh my!

Talbot sported a pretty ribbon around his neck:

Marcel sulked because of the attention Talbot was getting!  He (Marcel) stayed under a chair for some time.  LOL

Dusty floor and furniture tag hanging down - hahaha.

And then the rains started.  Holy crap!  what a lot of rain.  And the winds were fierce.  We drove home in it and found a little bit of water in our basement.  C&M ended up with 4" or so in their basement.

Fletch and I hung out a bit at home Christmas morning and then headed over to Mailing's parents house.  We had brunch (amazing) and then opened gifts (too many).  After that everyone except the Dad's headed out to Valley Forge Park for a walk.  Christmas Eve saw temps in the 60's, but by Christmas afternoon it was in the 20's and the wind was still roaring.  We walked about 10 minutes  - that was it!  My face felt like it was frozen stiff.  We drove back home, played several games of Deception which was fun - like Clue, but different.  Then Bonnie (Mailing's Mom) got started with dinner.  We made dumplings (of course) and then there was just a ton of food.  Shrimp, veggies, pickles, calamari, beef, pork ribs, and on and on and on!

Fletch and I waddled out of there and were home a little after 9 p.m.  I say this every time we all get together, but we are so fortunate to enjoy each other's company.  I know not everyone enjoys their children's in-laws, but we do!!

Our weekend was relaxing.  I've done a little knitting and a bit of cooking and I've been reading.  There is a work project that I need to get started on, but so far today I've pretty much ignored work.  I think tomorrow I've got to dig in (hopefully after a bit of sleep!!).

I've enjoyed being off the computer.  I've read a couple of blogs on my phone, but mostly I've been off line which my eyes have enjoyed.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday.  Not sure when I will check in again, so for now I will say Happy New Year!  Cheers to 2021 - I'm hopeful for the new year.

Monday, December 21, 2020


 Well Hello!

Snow is still on the ground,  but the temps are warming up and I think by Wednesday it will be in the 50's.  Fletch did see/hear that we have a good chance of snow on Christmas Day.  Mailing's parents are hoping we can all go for a walk in Valley Forge on Christmas Day...we shall see.  I would love a walk in a snow storm!

Our tree is up and fully lighted now and we have decided to leave it that way - no ornaments this year.  I am missing seeing some of my favorites, but I am also really enjoying the simplicity of it and being lazy - lol.  It will also make the post holiday clean up that much easier!

Fletch was able to find a nice thin one that is perfect for the small space we have in the living room.  The tree is pretty fragrent and I love coming down in the morning and catching the scent of it.  Tyg has been sleeping under it occasionally!

We did put a wreath on the front door.  Years and years ago (like probably 35+) Fletcher's Mom gave us a pinecone wreath that she had made.  I will try to get a picture of it to share.  Right now it is just around 6 a.m. and still very dark.  And I put a few of our favorite things out on the buffet.  The jewel tree that Fletcher's Mom also made for us, the birch log we found on a hike years ago and then Fletch drilled holes for candles in it.

A bit of fresh holly and a little Santa in a canoe.  I love the snowflake runner too.

I managed to finish up the little kitty socks for Mailing yesterday afternoon.

The grey at the cuffs and heels is sparkly and wow!  what a PITA that was to work well as the black yarn on size 1 needles.  Intarsia in the round is not (for me) an easy thing - a bit fiddly.  BUT, I do like the way they turned out and I hope Mailing likes them too.  I decided to not put the whiskers on these.  I like them just plain.

You all were so encouraging about going to the yarn shop that is I had to do that!  I drove over Saturday afternoon and my timing was good as there was only one other person shopping then.  The owner is retiring for a couple of reasons:  1) she has family moving back from CA and she wants to spend more time with them and 2) her "right hand assistant" for the past 10 years recently took a job in her chosen field of social work and is no longer helping/working at the shop.  She was thinking of closing by 12/31, but told me she may stay open into the first or second week in January because there is still so much yarn in the shop.  I found it to be pretty much picked over, but managed to find two skeins and everything was 45% off!

I've never knit with Berroco Sox before, but it is 75/25 and 100 grams (440 yards).  The Manos Del Uruguay Alegria I have used previously.  It is also 75/25 and 100 grams (445 yards).  I may use that yarn for a shawl.  Not sure yet.  But the two skeins set me back a whopping $21.00.  Not bad!  All books were $5, but I didn't see anything worth getting.  There was still a bit of Kidsilk Haze by Rowan, but the other Rowan yarns seemed to be gone.  I may or may not go back before New Year's and see if the discount has been increased.  There was some MadTosh sock yarn and a few other brands, but as I mentioned, pretty well picked over.

Today I'm heading back to the office.  Turns out I have two more packages to ship out via UPS for Christmas!  I also have a bunch of stuff I want to print in color, some things to print for Kevin and then overnight to him, and Bruce will be in the office and I need to meet with him.  I only plan to be there a couple of hours, but we shall see.

I'll probably not be on the computer much for the next week or so (or I may be!!).  There is wrapping that needs to be started (and finished) and some other things to do.  So, if I'm not on line much let me take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful holiday.  And...Happy Winter Solstice - we are hoping to be able to see the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter tonight (last night was too overcast).

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 12/16/20

 Well Good Morning!

I'm off to a later than normal start today - I slept until 7:30!!!  I was up around 5 a.m. with Tyg who wanted to go out (after letting me watch him eat a little bit - lol) and I wasn't sure I would get back to sleep, but the next thing I knew it was 7:30.  So, I'm a bit groggy still only having had about 1/4 cup of coffee so far.  It's a chilly morn here (23) and our snow should start in a little bit...and go on all the rest of the day and night.

More baking was accomplished yesterday.  another batch of those yummy pecans and also a batch of the roasted almonds tossed with EVOO, rosemary and garlic.  And I made another batch of cookies.  These are the Italian Sesame Seed cookies flavored with anise (the Chinese version of sesame cookies is very similar but flavored with almond extract).  They really are just like a butter cookie rolled in sesame cookies.  They are good, but the anise flavor is not strong enough for moi - next time I would add more (unless with flavor increases as they sit a day or two).

I have butter out to soften so that today I can make a batch of molasses cookies and a batch of sand tarts (cut out).    The sand tarts take a bit of time - rolling out the dough, cutting it out and decorating them, but they are some of my favorite cookies.  I think once those two batches are baked, that will be enough of a variety to share with everyone.

Yesterday saw me finish the heel flap and turn the heel on the first YinYang Kitty Sock for Mailing.

I'm using left over scraps of yarn.  These will be (obviously) shortie socks which Mailing prefers.  Hopefully that means I can get both finished by Christmas.  It's been a little bit of time since I did any Intarsia knitting, so I'm betting that will slow me down a little bit.

Not a whole lot going on reading-wise.  Fletch and I started a new book  a day or two ago about a couple who go to Africa in the 70s to conduct some research.  So far it is holding our attention.  I have a pile of books on my nightstand from the library.

Fletch was able to get more lights yesterday (Target!!) - some more for outside and the other half for the top of our tree.  Now we just need to get the ornaments up from the basement and decorate it!  I'm a lot more relaxed about this than I was years and years ago.  No need to do it ALL at once!  LOL

If you read Dee's Blog you know that Yarnings, a local yarn shop in Skippack is closing.  As I told Dee, it's definitely not my favorite store by a long shot, but I am sorry to hear that they are closing. of right now everything is 45% off!  I don't know when their last day is and I'm not sure how long there will be decent stock, but I "may need" to get over there on Saturday!  In addition to all the sock yarns I love, they usually have had a very good selection of yarn from Rowan.  I certainly don't NEED anything, but that has not stopped me in the past.  

As usual, linking up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  Be sure to check out her blog to see what she and others are making and reading.  There is ALWAYS inspiration!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Tuesday...TNT...But No TNT to Show

 Hello and Good Morning!

It's Tiny Needle Tuesday, or TNT, but I've got nothing to show you.  That's right, I did absolutely no stitching in the last week.  And hardly any knitting!  I did start a kitty sock for Mailing, but it's not worth showing.  Instead, I've got this to show:

This is what I made yesterday afternoon - Spiced Pecans.  Oh my!  I need/want to get another bag of pecans and make more.  Pecans are not cheap.  The recipe is so simple:

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Drop in 12 oz of pecans.  When the water comes to a boil again, take off heat and drain the pecans.  Shake off as much water as you can.  Blanching them this way eliminates some of the tannins found in pecan's skins that can be a tad bitter.

Throw the pecans in a bowl where you have combined:

  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1.5 TBS cinnamon
  • 1 TBS ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp dry mustard
  • .5 tsp ground cardamom
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • .5 tsp cloves

Mix them all around till coated.  Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 300 for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool on a rack and then package in an air tight container (I used canning jars).  Delicious!

Next time I would cut back on the cinnamon and maybe increase the cayenne and/or cloves.

I have a recipe for almonds that I got from a steakhouse in FL.  Basically you roast some raw almonds and then toss them in EVOO with fresh rosemary and a bunch of garlic.  Oh my!  These are also really good.  I may need to pick up some raw almonds in addition to the pecans.

Meanwhile, there are some more cookies I'd like to make.  And I found a recipe for an apple nut torte that I made about 30 years ago that is wonderful (especially served with whipped cream flavored with cinnamon).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd better start some kind of exercise program or walking again or something.  If I'm not careful I'll be 500 lbs before the new year!

We are hunkering down for the forecast storm.  They are now saying we should get about a foot of snow Wednesday into Thursday.  We had very wet snow yesterday afternoon that was quite heavy.  I'm hoping the snow tomorrow will be lighter.  It should be because it will be quite a bit colder.  The snowblower is ready and we have plenty of food on hand.  There is knitting, stitching and plenty of reading to keep me occupied (plus, I will be working).

Time to pour another cup of coffee.  I'll try to do a better job and have a TNT update for you next week.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Monday Again

 Good Morning!

It's raining here...and is supposed to rain ALL day.  Come Wed-Thurs though we are supposed to receive 5-8" of the white stuff!  That should make it all look festive.  We've stocked up on suet, peanuts and sunflower seeds so our birds will be happy.

I will say the weekend seemed to fly by.  I don't feel as though I did all that much, yet here we are at Monday morning again.  I'm at the office (and I'm the only one here...I think Bill is coming in, not sure about Bruce).  I've a conference call at 10 and before then I have a ton of stuff that needs to be printed in color and/or on ledger paper (neither of which I can do at home).  I brought in the last package I have to ship for the holidays and will take care of that.  I'm hoping to get out of here by Noon, but we shall see.

Saturday I stayed home and did laundry and a little bit of cleaning.  Fletch went out early to the farm stand and got a perfect Christmas tree for us.  Yesterday we got that inside and it is settling a bit before Fletch gets the lights on it.  We will decorate it later this week.  I did manage to get two batches of cookies made yesterday.

Oatmeal raisin on the left (Fletcher's favorite) and espresso chip (!! - YUM) on the right.  A few more batches to make.  Fletch will drop some off for the couple he still works for occasionally and we'll need to drop some off for Colin & Mailing.  Lord knows that we do not need ALL the cookies staying at our house...or in our bellies!!  LOL

That book in the upper left corner of the picture (A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler) was dropped off at the library on my way into work this morning.  I gave up on it.  Just found it more annoying than interesting.

The kayaks we ordered for Colin & Mailing back in August were FINALLY delivered to them last Thursday!  Fletch dropped by their place on Friday and took a quick peek at them.  Colin had moved them into the basement and Marcel is ready to go kayaking!!  LOL

I'm not sure how Talbot feels about them.

Time for me to get to work.  Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Friday Brings a Finish!

 Good Morning!

It's 25 degrees out there.  31 years ago there was snow on the ground.  I remember because it was 31 years ago that I was in Bryn Mawr Hospital.  Colin was born just after midnight on 12/11/89.  Funny story:  my due date was 12/7 (Pearl Harbor Day), and my friend Leslie said oh will have your baby on 12/11.  Exactly 12 years prior Leslie was pregnant with a due date of 12/7.  Her daughter, Jaimie, was born on 12/11.  Our family has so many birthdays on 12/11:  Colin, my niece Vera in CO, my brother's partner Sammy, Fletcher's Grandfather.  A popular day!

Meanwhile, this Friday brings with it a finish:

I do love the way these turned out and I think Anna will like them too.  The mitts knit up so quickly, I almost wish there were some other people to knit mitts for!  LOL  Instead, I plan to cast on the YinYang Kitty socks for Mailing today.

My usual 10 a.m. conference call is still on for today, but other than that there is nothing (at the moment) on my work agenda.  Fletch says he has some errands to run, so I may try to wrap some of his gifts while he is out of the way.  And maybe some other gifts too.  I'd also like to get the bathrooms cleaned and I have been ignoring the kitchen floor, but it is time to tackle that.  

We plan to have a fire tonight as it is supposed to be fairly mild today and our winds have died down.  Fletch is going to get our tree this weekend, so I guess there will be some decorating going on as well.  And, of course, I'd like to get some baking (cookies) done.

Let's not forget to relax!  I'd like to have a relaxing weekend and I hope you all do as well.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

A Thursday Jumble of Things

 Hi and Good Morning!

Last night was another one where I was awake more than asleep.  Hopefully there will be a nap later on.  But first I have a doctor's appointment at 8:40 and a rash of reports to get out.  So...a busy morning.

Yesterday saw our first snow of the season!  So pretty.  It started a little before Noon and lasted for a couple of hours.  No accumulation, but it did stick to tree branches.  Hopefully the very short video below will let you see what it was like.

When Colin & Mailing were over on Sunday, he mentioned seeing an abandoned bird's nest in one of our burning bushes.  Yesterday when I walked down the driveway to get the mail I saw it.

Do you see it?  At the center near the bottom.  There is also the beginning of another one above it and a little to the left.

Finally, I only rarely go on IG, but the other day when I opened it up this appeared!

Of course I LOVE it!  I need to save the image - perhaps for stitching or something.

And that's it for me this morning.  I've got to try to knock out at least one report before I get ready to head to the doctor appointment.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 12/9/20

 Good Morning!

It's mid-week and so far all is good!  My office day (really just morning) yesterday was productive and the afternoon was pretty easy.  Fletch and I ran out and among other things managed to get a new de-icer for the "bird bath" (really just a giant saucer to go under a plant) that we keep on our picnic table.  The birds love it year round, but the de-icer we had last year gave out at the end of winter.  Now we will be good to go and it's been needed as the temps drop into the 20's each night.

I'm plugging along on my Christmas knitting.  The headband for Anna is finished (I LOVE it) and the first fingerless mitt to match has been started.

The mitts knit up quickly (I can't seem to find a link to the pattern) - just a simple 2x2 rib at the cuff, then plain knitting, a little itty bitty thumb and then a smaller amount of ribbing at the top.  The DK weight makes everything go a little bit faster.  The first mitt should easily (ha!!) be finished today and the second one started.  I've also picked out the yarn I want to use for the YinYang Kitty Socks for Mailing (she requested another pair).

I'm waiting on a few books from the library but in the interim am reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.  This is not one of her better novels (my opinion) and I'm not reading it quickly - basically because I tend to get drowsy and nod off every time I pick it up!  The characters are typically quirky, but the book is just not really pulling me in.  I've read a little over 100 pages, so am a good (almost) third of the way through and will probably stick with it.

As always, linking up with Kat and the other Unravelers to talk about what we are making and reading.  Head on over to Kat's for some inspiration!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tiny Needle Tuesday 12/8/20

 Hello, Hello!

It is later than I usually post, but I got up early and drove in to my office this morning.  There are a few more people than usual in today, but everyone is (more than) social distancing and wearing masks.  It actually doesn't feel so creepy being here today.  I managed to print a bazillion things for Bill (who is also here doing some zoom calls), and got all my packages taped and UPS-labeled ready to go out today.  Also a couple of packages that Bill needed shipped out.

My drive in this morning was pleasant.  I had to take a little detour and not go through Valley Forge Park (there were some fire engines blocking the road I would go down to enter the Park...hopefully nothing too major).  So I wound my way past a horse farm and many of the horses were out in the fields already - all of them blanketed (it was right around 32 degrees).  Such a pretty scene.  If it wasn't such a narrow and winding road, I would have pulled over for a picture or two.

Meanwhile, it is Tiny Needle Tuesday and a little progress was made on the Quaker sampler I'm stitching:

The left border is now complete and the beginning of the bottom border is finished.  Still a VERY long way to go, but progress nonetheless.  There are, of course, plenty more animals and trees and leaves to be stitched along with the letters sprinkled throughout the sampler.  Luckily I am still having fun with it and enjoying the stitching.  I'm thinking I should be able to get a lot accomplished over the holidays as work will be quiet (fingers crossed) and we won't be going out anywhere (other than to Colin & Mailing's and to Mailing's parents on Christmas day).

Well, time to get back to work!  Hope your week is going well.

Monday, December 7, 2020


 Hello and Good (Chilly) Morning!

How was your weekend?  Did you have fun?  Make anything new?  Eat some good food?  I managed to do all those things (plus some of those mundane and pesky chores).

I started knitting one of those headbands that Kym posted about early last week.  This will be for Anna, Mailing's sister and I should have sufficient yarn to make matching fingerless mitts!

(Displayed on one of my Christmassy tablecloths - one that my Mom made and we used decades ago!!)

This is a quick knit and a fun one.  I had thought I would finish it yesterday, but I had made a false start on Friday and had to rip out all that I had knit.  (I needed to get the hang of the first stitch being a yarn over).  I re-started and chugged along.  I am almost finished it, but yesterday the kids were over and I was busy cooking and doing other things.

The yarn is DK weight and like my Aspen socks, it is from Less Traveled Yarn in their Creosote Collection.  The colorway is Prickly Pear.  The band is so squishy - I will definitely be making more of these!

Saturday brought unexpected laundry thanks to Tyg and a MASSIVE hairball right on the guestroom bed!  Geeze.  I have to strip off the comforter, blanket, sheets and wash everything.  It is rare for Tyg to do that (at least rare for him to do that inside...I don't know about outside).  What a mess!

As I mentioned, C&M came over for dinner on Sunday.  We celebrated their birthdays (Mailing's was 11/30 and Colin's is 12/11).  Fletch grilled a leg of lamb and we had tri-colored baby potatoes steamed and a green bean casserole (requested as Mailing had never tasted green bean casserole!!).  And I made a pecan pie.

So good (but so much sugar!!).

Sunday I managed to wrap gifts to be shipped AND got them boxed up and ready to ship.  I will send them out via UPS from my office - most likely tomorrow.  It feels good to have that finished.

And now here we are back at Monday.  Work has already been busy this morning, so I won't be able to do much knitting or fun things during the day...but we shall see.

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend and here's to a great week ahead!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday 12/2/20

 Good Morning!

The wind howled around yesterday and last night (and still a bit this morning).  Turns out that our storm on Monday brought a tornado (or two) to the area.  Fletch ran some errands yesterday and came across an area where trees had been snapped off and several were uprooted and leaning on houses!  The news flash across my phone confirmed that yes indeed, a tornado touched down.  So thankful we were spared any damage or direct hits.

Work was thankfully quiet yesterday and I was able to get some wrapping finished and gifts ready to be shipped out.  My goal is to have all gifts to be shipped wrapped and ready by next week when I go back into the office.  That way I can easily ship from UPS (and we get a discount which is nice!!).  Even though my office is closed, the UPS guy (Dave) shows up twice a day and picks up packages too (he does have a key to our office).

Now we are at Unraveled Wednesday - the first in December 2020.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat to talk about knitting.  I'm happy to say that my Aspen socks are finished.

This was Thanksgiving morning - socks laid out on the ironing board (I had just finished ironing the tablecloth for Thanksgiving dinner!).  These were knit in "Less Traveled Yarn" from their Creosote Collection.  The colourway is "Aspen."  The pattern is Brandi by Debbie Bliss.  These may be the first pair I knit using metal needles (size 1) and oh boy!  Give me my wooden DPNs please.  The metal needles were so slippery!  I felt like I was constantly battling having stitches slip off the needles.  I guess it boils down to what you are familiar with and accustomed to using.

Believe it or not, I have NOTHING on the needles at the moment!  I started to cast on something for a friend (I can't say anything more as she MAY read the blog), but realized I need to adjust the pattern.  I also want to knit another pair of Kitty Ankle Socks for Mailing (she has requested some).  Given that it is December 2nd, I'd best get cracking on both these projects.

I found a note from Fletch on the kitchen table this morning (he always is up much later than I am) saying that a town in OH received 22.5" of snow yesterday!!  And another place in western NC received 15"!  Hope everyone is safe and staying warm.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tiny Needle Tuesday 12/1/20

 Hello and Good Morning!

It seems I took a bit of a break - lol.  I decided to stay off the computer for Thanksgiving and the weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I did end up turning it on Sunday afternoon to do work e-mail (I didn't want to be bombarded Monday morning).  And then yesterday I ended up trekking in to the office in the pouring rain (so much rain!).  Of course I ended up being busy.  And the weather!  It was warm yesterday - like 65!  And then thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Strange.

So I missed you all...missed reading your blogs (I'll confess to skimming one or two on my phone, but mostly I stayed away).  I did not miss being on the computer!  But now I'm back.

I hope everyone had a nice (though different) Thanksgiving.  Ours was delicious!  And just the two of us (first time ever!!).  We did see Colin & Mailing on Wednesday - had dinner at their place and then it was mild enough that we went outside for a fire.  Fletch and I also had a fire one night over the weekend - maybe Friday?  I can't remember exactly.

And now it is Tiny Needle Tuesday.  I'm happy to show you that the Owl, the Mouse and the cute little Hedgehog now have a companion - a squirrel!!  With a bushy tail!

I also started another border piece on the left.  Here's a view of the overall as it stands today:

The next border piece on the left (after I finish up the green) will be the corner piece that will turn and start going along the bottom.  There is still an awful lot of open space on this piece!  I will be busy for months!!

Today I hope to do a little knitting and stitching and also find time to catch up reading your blogs (all while working, of course).  Wish you all a wonderful Tuesday and a Happy December!