Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday October 20, 2021

 Good (Chilly) Morning!

There is a nip in the air and I confess to putting the heat on in various rooms this morning (we have electric heat and each room in our house has its own thermostat).  A few days ago I came downstairs and it felt fine and then I realized that Fletch had left the heat on (as low as possible) in our downstairs bathroom.  That was enough to take the chill off.  But this morning - nothing!  So I cranked it on in the living room, kitchen and downstairs bathroom.  I put it on briefly in the office room (where I am sitting now), but I turned it off soon.  Coffee going down the throat is warming me as I sit here typing.


I woke up this morning to this little sweetie walking across the bed.  I guess she is getting used to us!  LOL  She is a very talkative little thing.  Yesterday she sat in front of the sliding door to the patio talking up a storm to the various birds out there.  There are times when she almost coos like a dove.  She could be a bird whisperer - HA!

Well, today is Wednesday which means Unraveled Wednesday.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat and other Merry Unravelers to talk about making and reading.  Peggy's sock doesn't look all that different from last week, but it's true that a few (very few) rows have been added.


For some reason other things have been occupying my time.  Not a single stitch or row was added to my second French Market Bag.  Furthermore, there has been no start on the cowl I want to make for Mailing's Mom or the scarf I want to make for her Dad.  I'd best get cranking!

On the reading side of things, I finished one book the other night:  The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker (thanks Kat for the reminder of this series).  This is book #2 in the Bruno, Chief of Police series that takes place in the French countryside.  Last night I started another book in the Linda Castillo series that takes place in the Ohio Amish countryside.  I also picked up a couple more books from the library - Malibu Rising finally came in (I had been on the wait list forever!!) as well as Life in a Day by Doris Grumbach which Jane had mentioned on her blog.  I had not heard of Grumbach, but the description of her book reminded me of May Sarton's journals which I devoured decades ago.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I will be heading to the office today.  But, I don't intend to go in till maybe 10 a.m.  I'll stop at the liquor store to pick up some wine...also champagne for Colin & Mailing (we completely forgot their 1st anniversary!!) and also Trader Joe's for a couple of things.  I'm hoping for a peaceful afternoon filled with some knitting!  And perhaps a bit of kitten cuddling!


(Picture taken this morning as I was waiting for the coffee to finish perking - she is laying on the kitchen floor in front of the sink.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 Good Morning!

Another evening has passed with nothing destroyed in the house - at least that I am aware of....Mabel is definitely a kitten and she has been racing around the house and up and down the steps.  I was up at 4:30 this morning (to pee if you must know) and when I opened the door of the bathroom to go back to bed, there she was at the top of the steps.  She has been up on her hind legs pawing at the sliding door to the patio.  It is still pitch dark out there, so I can't see what she sees (if anything).  Last night she was on the sofa with Fletch and attempted to jump to a chair and missed.  Fletch said she looked embarrassed after that!  LOL

Well, it is TNT, or Tiny Needle Tuesday.  Between work and Mabel, I don't have much to show on the Pomegranate Bird Sampler, but here it is.


I'm working on the darker pink on the head of the first bird.  It will be pretty when finished, but I am not there yet.  Oh well, no rush.

I'm planning to go to the office tomorrow.  We are having a virtual lunch meeting and those are easier to do at my office than at home.  Yesterday the UPS guy brought an envelope with a Wawa gift card ($50) (so I could pick up a hoagie or something for lunch...that's a lot of lunch...most likely I will give the card to Colin & Mailing), a raffle ticket (there will be give-aways at the lunch) and a $200 gift certificate I can use to either get Mastercards or restaurant vouchers, or anything from numerous stores.  As Fletch says, my company tends to throw money at employees...which is fine with me.  I say Keep Throwing!!

Well, time to get to work.  Here is the sweet girl this morning:


She is a fast and strong little thing!  Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Weekending Excitement!

 Good Morning!

I really hadn't intended to disappear last week.  However, Thursday and Friday were crammed full of work - basically 15 hour days at the computer looking at/reviewing/verifying spreadsheets.  No wonder my eyes were blurry!  I did get away Friday afternoon for an eye doctor appointment and now have a prescription for glasses (but haven't found the time to go order some).  Our eye doctor is a real cat lover (in fact one of her cats is named Fletcher!!).  This is hanging on the wall in the hallway of the office:


I love this!  Sorry for the glare, but it was the best I could do with office lights and my cell phone.

Anyway, I was pretty worn out both days and did not sleep well - kept waking up thinking about work (I hate when that happens).

But Saturday Fletch and I took off for the SPCA in hopes of finding a cat.  And we did!  We lucked out as another couple were looking at the same cat, but they weren't sure and didn't make up their minds, so we made up ours.


Her name from the SPCA is Mabel which I love.  Fletch is not quite sold on the name, but I told him he had to decide quickly...we can't call her Mabel for a few weeks and then change her name.


She is sweet and very, very shy and wary of us.  She is a tiny thing and, according to the papers we got she is 10 months old.  She was just spayed last week and has had all of her shots.  She had been a stray who was taken in by someone and then they decided they had too many cats, so she was turned in to the SPCA.  She is also micro-chipped.

I joke that she is part Lynx - she has little tufts at the top of her ears and she has spots on her back and also on her front legs.  Hopefully she will grow accustomed to us sooner rather than later.  For now we are keeping her inside (at least for a few weeks), but she will end up being an indoor/outdoor cat like all the other ones we have had.  I need to make an appointment with the vet just to have her checked over.


I  love this picture of her - look at the spots on her legs.  So precious!

So that was our exciting weekend!  I hope you all had a good one too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday October 13, 2021

 Good Morning!

How are you on this mid-week day in the middle of October?  (I'm not sure how we got to the [almost] middle of October already!)  Yesterday was a study in frustration in so many ways.  Fletch and I headed out around 10:30.  We stopped at a local farm stand and got some pumpkins for our front step.  Then we headed to the Acme (grocery store) where we had seen signs over the weekend for booster and flu shots.  Turns out we can't get the booster until after October 20th (our last vaccine was April 20th and you have to wait a full 6 months).  OK, no problem, we'll take the flu shot and come back for the booster.  Turns out that Acme is not an accepted provider for our insurance (BC/BS of NC).  OK, we'll head over to CVS where we get our prescriptions filled.  No appointment and it could have been a 30 minute wait, so we decided to skip that.  I called them later in the day to make an appointment and was told you have to book on line.  Went on line, no appointments available.  Grrrrr.  Called them back and was told you can just come in, the wait is never half an hour - at most 15 minutes.  We will give it a try tomorrow.

Work was crazy too.  As I mentioned, it is bonus calculation time.  Bonus payments are funded by excess profit at the unit level.  So if you beat your budget by $10K, you have $10K for bonus payments.  Requested bonus payments cannot exceed available funding.  One of my RDOs sent in his bonus calcs for his region yesterday and...you guessed it...the first one I checked showed payments in excess of funding.

This is the type of thing that makes me crazy and ultimately makes more work for me.  I don't know if he didn't check, or didn't care, or forgot, or what.  But it sure is annoying.

However, it is Unraveled Wednesday and I am linking up with Kat and all the Merry Unravelers to talk about knitting and reading.  A little bit of knitting has been accomplished.  First up we have the first sock for Peggy.


The heel flap has been knitted and the heel has been turned.  Only 2-3 rows after that however as work email exploded and yesterday afternoon and evening were busy.

There was also a bit of knitting on the 2nd French Market bag.


I'm loving these colors together.  Especially the grey and the green.  I think the purple just adds a nice pop of color, but the primary tones will be grey and green.  I'll keep going round and round on this as I definitely want it to be larger than the first one I made.

On the reading side of things, I finished When We Were Young and Brave by Hazel Gaynor.  It was good, but not what I would call compelling.  It was easy enough to put down.  I think I'm just tired of books set in the time of the 2nd World War.  I've started The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker - the second book featuring Bruno, Chief of Police in a little sleepy (maybe not so much) French village.  An enjoyable read.

Well, I've got a very busy day ahead at the office and it is now time to pour another cup of coffee and get dressed and ready to head in.  Wishing you all a marvelous Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday October 12, 2021

 Good Morning!

Last night I could not keep my eyes open after dinner.  I tried knitting and reading - nothing worked, so I finally went to bed around 9:30.  Friends...I slept until after 7:30 this morning!  It was wonderful, but I haven't fully woken up yet.  Waiting for the coffee to kick in.

My morning in the office yesterday was productive, but I had gone in specifically so that Bruce and I could meet and he never showed up.  Frustrating.  So tomorrow when I go in, I need to find time (individually) with Bill, Kevin, Bruce, Lisa and Mike.  But meanwhile, they are in a management committee meeting all day!  Guess I'll be catching them on bathroom breaks - LOL.

I had meant to mention a month ago when Bobby (the CEO) sent out an email and then I forgot.  But October at my office is Socktober!  I don't think anyone will be handknitting socks to donate (certainly not me with the way my knitting is so slow these days).  This is the email that came out yesterday:


You'll have to click to enlarge if you like.  Basically we are collecting socks to donate to a shelter at the end of the month.  When I arrived at the office yesterday, I saw two large boxes (decorated) in the lobby for collecting the donations.  A great and thoughtful idea.

And look what I spotted on my drive to the office yesterday:


A chiroprator's office with a skeleton by their sign.  How appropriate!

Well, it is TNT (Tiny Needle Tuesday) and all I have to show is a very tiny start on one of the Pomegranate Birds.


I started to stitch on the bird (lower left of the urn) on Sunday afternoon and then Fletch and I went over to see our neighbors.  By the time we got back, it was time to start prepping for dinner and I never got back to stitching.  Hopefully I'll do more this week.

Yesterday Dee posted about the forecast for the coming winter.  Apparently the Farmers' Almanac says we are in for a doozy of a winter this year.  Dee also posted pictures of her black walnut tree (bare of leaves) and her winterberry bush - so full.  So, I thought I would show you our winterberry as well:


Certainly more berries than last year.  Could the Almanac be right?  If it is, I'm prepared with plenty of stitching and knitting options!

I can see that work emails are flying in like crazy, so I'd best pour a second cup of coffee and get cranking.  Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Weekending

 Good Morning!

How are you?  And how was your weekend?  Mine was lovely.  I met up with Dee Saturday morning at the Lansdale Farmers' Market (be sure to check out her blog as she has some fabulous pictures and the first one is from the Farmers' Market).  The Kimberton CSA booth that is pictured in the website for the Farmers' Market is the CSA that Colin and Mailing belong to.  It is run by a high school buddy of theirs.  I bought some wonderful bakery items and some great fruit spreads (a sour cherry and a lavender).  After that we headed over to Backyard Beans for some coffee, knitting and catching up.  And then we had lunch at Stove & Tap.  All in all, a wonderful Saturday morning/lunch.

Sunday dawned wet and grey.  It didn't rain hard at any time, but it never cleared.  Fletch and I went grocery shopping.


Apples and clementines and winter squash were all on sale.  I'm thinking we are pretty set for now.  We also discovered that our grocery store has the booster shot as well as flu shots, so we will be going back for those (separately even though they say you can get them together...I don't really want to do that).

I managed to carve out some time for knitting and stitching and reading.  I also had to do some work...not as much as I had thought I would (and I'll be making up for that today), but all in all it was a nicely balanced weekend.  


My messy kitchen table with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from my bosses!

I'm heading to the office later this morning - hoping to have a little time with Bruce, but hoping to get out of there before lunch.  I'll be back at the office Wednesday when ALL of my bosses will be in for a management meeting.  That will be a longer day, but hopefully not too bad.

My eyes continue to be good.  Today is my last day on the steroid drops and then my follow up with the doctor is this Friday.

Here's to a good week ahead - enjoy!

Friday, October 8, 2021

TGIF

 Hello Again,

Thank you all for the well wishes.  My follow up eye surgery went well.  I was able to drive myself to and from which was a huge plus for Fletch - he was still in bed when I left for the surgery center.  Time was consumed by having drops put in my eyes and waiting for them to kick in (both numbing drops and dilating drops).  The actual laser surgery took literally one minute...if that!  Whoosh and it was over.  I could immediately see (ha!) a difference.  Amazing.  My doctor said I might have a lot of floaters that day and blurriness, but I didn't and the blurriness wore off quickly.  I have steroid drops (again) to put in that eye four times a day through Monday.  My follow up with the doctor is next Friday afternoon.  Modern Medicine!!!

The balance of the day was taken up with work.  Still so busy!  More initiatives came out last night, so the craziness continues.  I did manage to get another load of laundry done and the afternoon was nice enough I could hang jeans on the line to dry outside.

The grilled sausages were delicious.  As usual, Fletch grilled a lot of extra which I have now frozen and will use the next time I make sauce for pasta.  Yum!  It was so nice to see Colin again and it was a beautiful night to have a fire!


So now it is Friday and TGIF.  I have two conference calls this morning and then I plan to take it easy during the afternoon.  I have not picked up my knitting in several days which is unacceptable.  Nor have I put a single stitch on the Pomegranate Birds.  

I'm glad you all enjoyed the skeleton riding in the pick up truck.  I have noticed more skeletons on display this year than ever before.  And, they are not cheap!  I need/want to take a walk along the canal path and see if the skeleton on the bench is still there.  Maybe this weekend.

Cheers to the end of the work week and wishing you all a wonderful weekend - enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Thursday Stuff

 Good Morning!

It's another early and dark morning here.  I've had my first sip of coffee, so not really fully awake yet.  Usually I post about food and a recipe on Thursdays, but today is just random.  Colin will be over tonight and Fletch is going to grill some hot and sweet sausage.  I will cook up some onions, peppers and mushrooms to go with that and we have some good Italian rolls to round out the meal.

This is one of the sights on my way to work yesterday morning:


Hahahaha - I love this!  I was behind this pick up for maybe half a mile or so and I was grinning the entire time.  We passed a couple of school busses and I bet the kids loved seeing Skelly in the back of the truck.

Yesterday was a pretty long day at work (7+ hours!!), but extremely productive.  Helena, one of my new RVPs brought me a present!


An eyeglass tray that is a cat!  I love it.  She said she knew I liked cats (understatement) and she knew I wore glasses.  So sweet of her.  There were other gifts awaiting me from my bosses as well.  All lovely surprises.

I ended up just sitting in the meeting for an hour or so and that wasn't too bad.  Mike had also invited me to a meeting in Florida in November, but I was able to get out of that gracefully and with no issues.  Whew!

There were more folks in the office than I have seen in a very long time.  All of finance was in (fiscal year-end, closing out the books, etc.).  Luckily they are at the opposite end of the building from me.  And, everyone had masks - we are not required to wear them at our desks, but walking around the office everyone had one on.

So, today is my busy financial reporting day and I need to get going on some of those.  My follow up eye surgery is this morning and I will need to leave here by 8 a.m., so I'd best get cranking.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday, October 6, 2021

 Good Morning!

It is dark and early here in Eastern PA.  Yesterday ended up being very busy work-wise (even though I was still *technically* on vacation).  But, I was glad to get through all the emails that came in while I was away.  I really don't like this time of year at work - so many initiatives, so much going on, one fiscal year ending and another beginning.  This year it is compounded with Bill's retirement and his replacements.  But, anyway, here I am.  I'll head to the office around 7 a.m. and I'm hoping I don't need to be in Mike's meeting ALL day!

Yesterday saw 4 loads of laundry done...still a load of jeans and one of towels to do.  I'm fully unpacked and we finally sat on the patio around 4:30 with a glass of wine (me) and a cup of coffee (Fletch).  And suddenly Mr. Buzzard showed up - LOL


What a massive bird!  Very impressive.

So this October 6th brings us to the first Unraveled Wednesday of the month.  Usually we all link up with Kat and other Merry Unravelers, but Kat is away this week.  I think I did more stitching while on vacation than knitting, but something was accomplished.  First a little (as in VERY little) bit of knitting on the first sock for Peggy.


This is the sock that was started and unraveled several times before I finally decided that just a plain old vanilla sock was best.

My second French Market Bag is coming along:


I'm several rows past having 200 stitches on the needles, so now it is just round and round and round we go.  I think I will start in with a bit of the green yarn on the left, then switch to the multicolored yarn on the right...back to the green and the handles will be a combination of the green and gray.  The intent is to make this one much, much deeper than the thistle one I made first, so this is not even close to completion.

Not much reading occurred while I was away.  I did start (and got about halfway through) When We Were Young and Brave by Hazel Gaynor.  I've only managed to read another chapter or so since being home.

Time for another cup of coffee before I get ready to head to the office.  I hope this finds you all enjoying the week.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday October 5, 2021

 Hello, Hello!

We are back.  And safely, despite some of the heaviest rain I have ever seen on our way home yesterday.  It sounded like hail hitting the car.  Fortunately when we arrived home it was clear.  We actually came back a day early due to my having to be at the office on Wednesday.  I always need a day at home before jumping back into reality.  Today will be filled with laundry and probably a small grocery run.

Anyway, I did not take a lot of pictures, but have a few to share.  We started and ended our trip with camping in Rhinebeck, NY.  I know!  Not for NY Sheep & Wool.  Our favorite campground in the area has closed (thank you COVID) so we stayed at a new-to-us place that wasn't the greatest.  In between those Sunday nights, we journeyed to Southern Vermont...left our camper there and just took the car over to New Hampshire and the White Mountains.  We stayed in a beautiful log home about a quarter of a mile from where our friends were.  There was no one around and we had beautiful views of the mountains.  The weather was often overcast, but one day I woke from a nap to find Fletch coming to get me - looking out over the deck there was a huge rainbow.


You can see there was not a whole lot of color in the trees...still a bit early.  But one day our friends drove us up to Mt. Washington (where we had lunch at the Mt. Washington Resort - an AMAZING place) and we saw a lot more color there.  One night I cooked dinner for us (BBQ Shrimp) and one night Lois fixed a delicious venison stew.  We never would have known it was venison if she had not told us.  It was like the most tender roast you have ever had.

We drove back to Vermont visiting some familiar and favorite places along the way.  It had been three years since we had been in Vermont - far too long.  Driving back to Rhinebeck on Sunday, we stopped at the Eric Sloane Museum in Kent, CT.  A small, but very impressive museum filled with old tools and artifacts Eric Sloane had collected over the years.  There was also a small gallery with a number of his paintings and drawings.  At the back of the building was his studio/library/whatever room.  We have a few of his books and have always enjoyed his pen and ink drawings.  On display were two swifts!!



Both of them a little larger than the swift I have!

Meanwhile it is Tiny Needle Tuesday and I have two finishes to share!  Amazing...but with internet service and connectivity availability lacking for the entire trip I managed to stitch quite a bit!  First up, I finished Coverlet Birds.


I'm happy to have this one finished.  It's a bit larger than I wanted - really too large for a pin cushion.  In this photograph you can't really distinguish (or at least I cannot) between the blue and green.  But, after the red, there is a bit of green, then all blue until the end where it is green again.  The Ginny Thompson Flower Thread was very annoying to use, so I will pack that away for quite some time.

The other piece I finished is Malabar Farm - a small (pin cusion size) piece designed by Stacy Nash.  I had started this quite some time ago and then promptly lost interest...but it was in the stitching bag I brought on the trip, so I took the time to finish it up.


Yes, that is yet another bird - a peacock!

Due to internet issues I couldn't even read blogs while we were away, so I will enjoy some catch-up time today.  I also need to go through all the work emails so that I am caught up when I go to the office tomorrow.

It is good to be home!  We had a lovely time, but how wonderful to shower at home last night and sleep in my own bed!  I hope you have all been well.

Friday, September 24, 2021

TGIF

Good Morning!

Finally!  Friday is here and I am on vacation.  Woo-Hoo!  Of course, I found emails to respond to this morning and last minute work related things to do, but that's not too bad, and no conference calls for me today!  We don't leave for our trip until Sunday, so I have two days to wrap up some things.

First of all, here are the granola bars I made.


 I would call these a definite FAIL.  The flavor is wonderful and they are filled with all good things - dried berries and cherries, pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal.  BUT, they are so moist they were difficult to cut and they won't stay together.  This is the recipe I used, but I will not be saving it.  We can eat these...just not as a hand-held granola bar.  I have to find the recipe Colin gave me a couple of years ago that worked out well.

The pumpkin cookies are now considered a fail as well.  I think that pumpkin is better suited for muffins or a quick bread.  The cookies are so moist and stick together so much that when you try to separate them they fall apart!  Again, we can consume, just not easily.  Both items are in the frig as I'm afraid with all the moisture in them they will get moldy quickly.

Live and learn.  Today's baking will be a cake because it's Fletch's birthday today!!  Also on my agenda is to pick up the last minute groceries we need.  We've pretty much planned out our camping meals, but I have some veggies, fruit and yogurt to pick up.  I also need to stop at the ATM to get some cash.  Laundry is all done and I just need to finish packing.  We'll be gone for about 10 days and I'll be trying to read blogs, but it will be on my phone, so most likely I will not be commenting.  Once we are back I have to jump right back into work - with a meeting in the office the day after we return.  I also have my eye surgery 2 days after we return!  Busy times.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

What's For Dinner?

 Hey There!  Good Morning!

How are you?  I've been sleeping better, so I am doing well.  It feels a bit balmy outside and it is quite breezy.  Dampness in the air - I'm thinking it will end up being kind of a rainy day.  Yesterday I actually was able to cross several more things off my "must do before vacation" list, so that is being whittled down.  A nice feeling.  Work was busy, but I managed to find time to make cookies, do some knitting and a little bit of stitching!

Today's recipe is for Firecracker Salmon.  We had this earlier in the week (tonight we are having wings on the grill).  This is an easy and tasty dish.

Firecracker Salmon

Mix up a marinade for the salmon:

  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1TBS Sriracha
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (fresh is nice, but dried works well)
  • Red Pepper Flakes

Spread the marinade over your salmon filets and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.  Cook at 425 for approx. 18-20 minutes.

See?  Very simple and very tasty.  We had this with some farro and carrots cooked with a cinnamon stick.

The cookies I made yesterday were These - Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The dough came together quickly.  I added some dried cranberries and some pepitas to the mix and they are good!  More like a cake texture than a cookie.  Also, the recipe states it makes 36, but I guess mine were a little smaller as I ended up with 60!  


Fletch even liked them, and he prefers a crispy, crunchy cookie.  We will take some with us on vacation and I plan to give the rest to Colin when he comes over tonight.

Today...after my Thursday financial reports for work...I will be making a (new to me) recipe for granola bars.  Again - some to take on vacation and some to share with Colin & Mailing.  I'll let you know how those turn out and will share the recipe if it's a good one!

Meanwhile, onward and upward...lots to do today.  Hope your Thursday is a good one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 9/22/21

 Hello, Hello!

It's Wednesday and for me it's my next to last day of work before vacation.  YAY!!  Yesterday I did actually manage to check a number of things off my "must do before vacation" list.  The kitchen floor has been scrubbed, the bathrooms are clean, the upstairs has been dusted and vacuumed.  I returned the things that didn't fit to TJMaxx and picked up the needed prosciutto for last night's dinner (which was delicious!).  Today's plan includes making the (new to me) recipe for pumpkin cookies.

And...my floss arrived!  After finally hearing back from the company that "the USPS dropped the ball," the skein of floss showed up in our afternoon mail.  I let the company know (they had said they would ship again), I also let them know how disappointed I was in their service (or lack there of).  But that's over now and I can take the small sampler on vacation with me.  Joy!

Happy Fall Equinox!  The mornings are definitely darker and Fletch and I have noticed more of our usual winter birds beginning to show up - a number of chickadees and cardinals and we had a fly catcher hanging out yesterday.  You know I'm fond of crows...


Well yesterday afternoon we actually had a murder of crows!  There had to be a dozen or so soaring over our property and our neighbors.  And they were silent!  Weird.  After that we noticed about half a dozen bluebirds in our yard!  They are so beautiful and we don't normally see them.  There must have been something tasty to eat in our yard because they would sit on a branch of our apple tree and then swoop down to grab a grub or some kind of bug.  When they would fly and the sun hit their wings and back at just the right angle, their blue was just about blinding.

Anyway, here we are at another Unraveled Wednesday.  As usual, I'm linking up with Kat and her band of Merry Unravelers to talk making and reading.  On the making side, here is the state of Peggy's first plain sock:


I managed 5 more rows after dinner while Fletch read, but that was it (busy day noted above).  I hope to add some more today as well as put in some more rows on the 2nd French Market Bag.  Here is the state of that:


Glad to be past that very fiddly beginning!  Now if I can just keep my fingers from cramping up with this thicker yarn and bigger needles, I'll be golden.

As far as reading goes, I finally finished Conjure Women which I found to be ok.  It was a bit of a slog for me in places and seemed to go on too long.  Just my opinion.  I need to get it back to the library today (and pay a fine - I think it was due back yesterday or Monday).  I charged up my Kindle yesterday to take on vacation and I have one "real" book that I plan to take.  I'll also throw in "Table of Contents" by John McPhee so that Fletch and I can continue reading after dinner.

Last night I read a few more essays from the book Fletch gave me about different book stores around the country.  One of the essays I read was about Book People located in Austin - where Colin & Mailing will be moving come January!  Looks like a wonderful store, so I need to remember to tell them about it, as well as put it on the list of places to visit when Fletch and I head to Austin to see those kids.

Well, time to get rolling.  I need another cup of coffee and, perhaps, a bit of breakfast.  Be sure to head over to Kat's space to see what everyone is up to these days.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 Good Morning!

I woke at 3 a.m. and looked out the back window to see a deer munching apples in the yard.  Then, of course, I had a difficult time getting back to sleep.

I only saw 3 other people (from a distance) at the office yesterday.  I was there a little longer than normal, but was able to accomplish a lot.  Then I did head out for wine and a little shopping at TJMaxx.  Today I need to go back to TJMaxx to return things.  The dressing rooms were not open, so I couldn't try stuff on.  The black jeans I bought are skin tight - like leggings.  If I wanted leggings, I would have bought those.  It seems that all the jeans I see in stores these days are either skin tight or ripped or huge bell bottoms - none of which I want.  I also bought bras with no underwires, but they don't fit right.  No biggie, I can do without, just a pain to have to drive back over there.

Meanwhile on Tiny Needle Tuesday I just have a tiny amount of stitching to show.  I did nothing on the Pomegranate Birds sampler and just managed to start the bottom portion of the Coverlet Birds Sampler.


I'm still waiting on the blue flower thread so that I can complete this.  I ordered it on September 6th and thought it would be here that week.  When I emailed about the order on the 14th, the response I received was "I will pop it in the mail this morning...sorry for the delay."  Well, the delay continues.  I hope it comes before the weekend as I'd like to take this small project with me on vacation...but I need the blue thread to be able to work on it.  I should have just used DMC for this one...hindsight....

It's looking a little murky out this morning.  I will try to tackle at least some of the cleaning things on my "to do before vacation" list.  If work isn't too crazy I should be able to get things done.  Dinner tonight is an easy but good one:  broiled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.  Yum!

Cheers to a productive Tuesday!!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Weekending 9-20-21

 Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Mine was lovely!  Friday wasn't as quiet as I would have liked work-wise, but I managed to enjoy it.  Saturday morning I met up with Dee for some coffee and knitting and chatter.  And, as it turns out, for some knitting help.

I had started working on Peggy's sock - the cuff was finished and I started in on a lace pattern that I had written out on paper.  It looked pretty on paper, but it just wasn't working with the yarn, so I decided to rip out.  When this very same thing happened (different pattern, but same yarn) a week or two ago I ripped out EVERYTHING, including the cuff.  I'm not real good at picking up stitches when I rip out, unless there is a lifeline involved.  It turns out Dee is very good at that.  And speedy.  So, while I sipped coffee, she ripped out the rows I had knit down to the cuff and then picked up all 64 stitches and NONE of them were twisted!  Thank you my friend!  Turns out that yarn was just begging to be a PLAIN sock, so that is what it will be.

Later on Saturday I went out for a pedicure.  My first pedicure in years - really!  I used to get pedicures and manicures every 2 weeks, but my nails became brittle, so I stopped.  Oh boy did I enjoy the pedicure on Saturday though.  This may be common, but where I go you always get a hot stone massage on your legs and feet.  My feet really appreciated the work on my calluses and the focus on them too.  So now my toes are pretty and my feet are soft.

Sunday was filled with a bunch of miscellaneous things including yarn!  I wound the blue skein of yarn that I bought the other week at the fiber fistival.  It is gorgeous caked up:


And I picked out this pattern:  Mariner's Scarf to make a scarf for Zhongren with this yarn.  this is one of the things I plan to take on our vacation.

One thing I managed to do Friday morning was pick out yarn for the next French Market Bag.  I tried to start it Saturday morning after the sock fail, but it is way too fiddly a start to try to do while talking (at least for me).  But Sunday afternoon I had a bit of free time and buckled down and got it started!


The start is much further along now.  The fiddly part is having just 2 stitches on each needle and then making two M1 on each needle.  As someone once told me, they call it a "belly button" and that really is what it is like.  I'm now up to 80 stitches on each needle (not quite ready to switch to a circular, but soon!) and it is going faster.  I stopped, because the weight of the yarn and the size of the needles (7) was beginning to bother my fingers and hands.  Obviously this bag will not be a solid color.  There will be some stripes of grey and green (both of those yarns are Plymouth Earth Homestead 100% wool - found somewhere - maybe the shop in Chesapeake City?? for $3 each!).  The multicolor yarn will be used along the body of the bag.  That yarn is "Gina" from the Plymouth Yarn Company - another bargain for $6.  This will also come on vacation.

And, of course, Peggy's plain socks will travel to New England as well.  Those three projects should be sufficient - LOL.  (I know I will throw in some cross stitch as well...)

Meanwhile this is our last week at home before we leave next weekend for New England!  I cannot wait.  There is lots to do before we take off.  As I've mentioned before, I'm one of those people who clean the house before we leave.  I want to come home to a clean house for sure.  So, bathrooms and kitchen floor are on the list as well as dusting and vacuuming.  Yuck!  Then, I plan to make some new cookies to take (a pumpkin cookie with chocolate chips, some nuts and maybe some dried cranberries) plus a new granola bar recipe.  And...Friday is Fletcher's birthday, so there is a cake to be made.  Plus packing, planning camping meals, etc., etc.

Today, however, I am heading to the office.  Work has become ridiculously busy and I've got a ton to do before we leave.  Some of it needs to be done at the office, so I would rather get that over with today.  I'll stop at the State Store near my office for wine to take on vacation and I also want to run into TJ Maxx.

Wishing you all (and myself!) a productive and easy Monday!


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Oversleeping!

 Hello!

Hoo-Boy!  I overslept this a.m. by quite a bit.  I have not used an alarm clock since the Pandemic and usually I am awake by 5:30...sometimes 6 and more lately even 6:30.  All of which is fine since I'm working from home.  But this morning?  I never woke up till 7:30.  And Thursdays are my big financial reports day.  So a bit of a scrambling this a.m., but I managed to finish up all the reports before Noon.  It was a busy morning with other stuff as well (work-related) and the afternoon is a little nuts.

But, I wanted to post some pictures of the Finished French Market Bag!  (French Market Bag)  First up, stuffed with plastic bags (to somewhat shape it) and drying in the breeze on the clothesline.


It's a bit more shallow than I anticipated.  I actually knit it 4" longer than the pattern suggests.  Next time (and there will be another time!!) I will knit it even longer and I may shorten up the width a bit.  Here's a picture from last night - sitting on the kitchen table.


I love the color (Thistle is the colorway and the yarn is Patagonia Organic Merino).  It felted up in no time.  I have a skein and a bit left over.  I think the next one I make will be two colors (at least).  I have a bunch more 100% wool in my stash that will felt well.  It was a bit of a slog at times (round and round and round you go), but it is the perfect knit when you don't want to (or can't) think.  This particular bag should work well to cart around a sock project.

Speaking of which, I need to get working on the socks for Peggy!  Maybe a bit later today.  Not sure about tonight - Colin will be over as usual for dinner and it looks like a beautiful day to have a fire after dinner.  Dinner is the brisket and pinto bean dish I blogged about a week ago.  It smells great so far, but the beans are still tough - hopefully they will soften up by dinner time.

Inbetween emails from work I plan to catch up on some blogs.  Hope everyone is having a great day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday September 15, 2021

 Good Morning Everyone!

It's looking a bit on the hazy side this morning - at least in Eastern PA.  Thanks for all the well wishes for my eye.  Turns out I'm not crazy!  I have felt as though there were a film over my right eye making everything a bit blurry.  And, turns out I do have a film of sorts!  It is not an uncommon thing to happen after cataract surgery.  Basically your eye puts the film there to protect it from the foreign object (the lens implant).  The film can be removed via laser surgery and I am now scheduled for that on October 7th.  They had an opening next week, but I have to see the eye doctor 5 days after the surgery, and we will be on vacation then (and out of town).  So, meanwhile I will wait and just have slightly blurry vision with that one eye.  Once that surgery is completed, I will get a prescriptin for new glasses.  I don't really need them for distance (driving) and readers are working ok for close work (reading, knitting, stitching).  But I do still have a bit of  astigmatism in my eyes, so a prescription will be a bit better than standard drugstore readers.

All of that brings us to mid-September and Unraveled Wednesday with Kat and the other Merry Unravelers.  I'm happy to report that there HAS been knitting this week, though not on the socks.  Months ago I started to knit a French Market Bag and then I sort of forgot about it.  Well, the past couple of times I have gotten together with Dee for knitting, that is what I have worked on and last night I finished it up and wove in the ends.


It kind of looks like a blob there, but next up will be the felting and that should bring it into shape.  I hope to get to that this afternoon.

On the reading side of things, Fletch and I are continuing to enjoy Table of Contents by John McPhee.  I am reading my way through Conjure Women and am enjoying it, though it is easy to put down and pick up something else.  I've read maybe 125 pages, so about a third of the way through it.  I got distracted by a book that Fletch gave me:  My Bookstore which is just a fun read.  Each entry is only 3-5 pages at most so it makes a great book to have next to your bed.  I like that the back of the book has a list of all the book shops reviewed by State...so when traveling you can pick out a shop or two to visit (I will be doing that in the coming week).  It is fun to see where some favorite authors shop and hang out.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'll be heading to the office in a bit.  Bill ended up going in yesterday, so I will not be meeting him, but there is still purging I can do.  I'll just plan to go in a little later since I have a meeting at 11...no sense getting in too early and then having to sit around and wait for the meeting.  On my way in I'll make a stop at Trader Joe's and also the State Store for some wine.

The deer are so busy here munching on all the fallen apples.  I woke around 3 a.m. this morning and looked out the back window and could see 2-3 deer around our picnic table and the apple tree...quietly munching away.  And this morning they are browsing in our boggy area (no wonder our day lilies were so sparse this year!).

Wishing you all the best that Wednesday can offer.  Be sure to check out the links on Kat's blog!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9/14/21

 Good Morning!

The heat has definitely returned around here.  But there are signs that the seasons are changing.  We have noticed that there are not as many birds around when we sit on the patio between 4 and 5 in the afternoon.  Some have already started on their migration paths, and not all of our winter friends have arrived yet.  We are seeing more chickadees which is nice.  The deer are coming down for apples - even when we sit on the patio they will walk right down the yard...keeping their eyes on us of course.  

Our neighbors across the street are away again, so I went over the other day and cut some of the last of the zinnias from their garden.  Rob really cleaned up things over there - all the squash vines have been pulled up.  There is one pumpkin hanging on a back fence and some hot peppers still turning red, but everything else is pretty much finished.  Our garden is still messy looking.  Fletch has been focused on other things - like getting stuff together for our camping vacation in 2 weeks.  Plus, now that it's hot again, he won't want to be out in the garden at all!  The figs have slowed down ripening.  I think there will be more to pick as there are a lot on the tree, but they are still small and green.

This past week provided a lot of opportunity for stitching!  The upper parts of both samplers have been completed.  First up the Coverlet Birds piece:


There is a bottom section to this, but I am waiting for my blue thread to arrive.  The majority of it is in blue and I'm not sure I have sufficient left to stitch it all.

The Pomegranate Birds sampler really saw a lot of stitching:


Next up will be the two colorful birds on either side of the urn.  And, the urn will be filled in and will include my initials and 2021.  I love the way this has turned out so far.

I'm hoping for an easy day today, but the work emails have already been flying back and forth.  I have an eye doctor appointment at 11 which I am looking forward to.  My right eye is still quite blurry after the cataract surgery, so I'm anxious for the doctor to take a look at it.  I'm hoping to get a glasses prescription today, but with my right eye issues, I'm not sure.

Tomorrow will be another day in the office.  Hopefully not all day!  I'm meeting Bill in the morning and we will purge more files and papers from his office.  And I have an in-person meeting from 11 - 12 (so it will be a longer day than I like!).

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday - enjoy!!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Weekending

 Hello, Hello!

How are you this morning?  I am doing well.  First of all, thank you so much for the Birthday wishes.  I had a fine day (despite having two conference calls in the morning) and I bugged out of work early and spent the afternoon doing fun things (knitting and stitching).  All I wanted for dinner was pizza, so I got a spinach/mushroom/roasted red pepper pizza.  Fletch ordered Chinese.  And Fletch fetched while I sat and had a glass of wine.  Lovely.

My friend Leslie sent a package filled with birthday gifts and a card.  Also a set of cordial glasses.  These are glasses that her Mom (my second Mom) used and they are gorgeous:


I love the Dogwood blossoms on them (and the blossoms are 3 dimensional!).  I haven't used them yet, but you can bet I'll be enjoying an after dinner sip in one of these!  It just means so much to me to have something from Mom.

Saturday dawned another gorgeous day (our weather over the last few days has been what I would call perfect!) and I drove up to Dee's and from there we went to the NJ Sheep & Wool Festival.  YAY!!  An in-person event full of sheep and yarn.  There were not as many vendors as in the past and not as many sheep either.  I would guess that a scant half of people we saw had masks on.  Let's look at some of the cute animals:


My what big horns you have!  The front guy must have been Baa-ing for a long time because he sounded very hoarse!


Fluffiness!!


Sweet Boy!


Yours truly petting the most friendly sheep in the world!  I think he cried when Dee and I walked away.


A sheep in a coat!


Is purple a better color for me?

And what you really want to see:  what I bought!!  I did not go crazy by any means.  first up a skein of gorgeous blue yarn for a scarf for Zhongren:


A skein I couldn't resist - the colors just called out to me.  The colourway is "Hiking Trail" and I thought that it would knit up into gorgeous man socks.


And lastly some mini skeins that I will use in a cowl I'm planning to make for Bonnie.  I have another set that will blend with these very nicely (and Bonnie loves purples and pinks).


The cowl I plan to make is Land of Sweets by Helen Stewart.

So, I was very restrained!!  And Dee?  She bought NOTHING!!!  I could not believe it.

We ended up at Inn of the Hawke for a delicious lunch (outside on the patio) and then went for coffee and knitting at Amsterdam Coffee - a lovely, new coffee shop outside of New Hope.  The owner is really into Bonsai and had dozens of bonsai plants inside and outside.

The temps have been gradually rising around here and I think this week will be back to hot weather.  But it is September, so that will not last too long.  Thanks for sticking through this long post.  Have a wonderful week!