Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday November 30, 2021

 Good Morning!

The sun is up and it is a little chilly, but I slept 9 hours last night!  How wonderful.  No special plans for today.  Maybe some on-line ordering of gifts.  Perhaps a bit of work.  Hopefully some knitting and stitching time.  I did get back to the glasses place yesterday and my specs were adjusted and seem much better now.  I'll monitor it for a week or so, but hopefully this adjustment will do the trick!

Happily there was some progress made on the second Pomegranate Bird this past week.  He/She is beginning to feather out a bit!

It should not be long now!!  I will finish up Bird #2 and then the bottom of the urn and this baby will be complete.  I've already been stitching dreaming of what to do next, but no decision made at this time.

You all know that we love a good outdoor fire at night.  We have had so many that we destroyed our fire pit bowl.  It ended up being a rim with a giant hole in the center.  We looked on-line at replacement bowls, but the ones we liked were around $400+ and we just didn't want to spend that kind of money.  Fletch came upon the idea of using a giant wok.  So that is what we ordered - a restaurant-sized wok:

Good thing I'm not planning to use it for cooking - no way it would fit in my sink!  Perfect size and we may get to try it out this week as the temps are rising a little bit.  Thursday it is supposed to be in the mid-50's and Colin will be over for dinner, so maybe that night.

The birds are making a lot of noise at the front window in my office...can't wait for Mabel's perch to arrive today.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.  And Happy Birthday to Mailing!  The best daughter-in-law!!

Monday, November 29, 2021


 Hello There!

How was your weekend?  Mine was good.  Better than this morning which so far has involved cleaning up two piles of cat puke!  Not the best thing at any time of day, but especially early in the morning.  The poor little devil has been racing around though as if there were nothing wrong.

She is enjoying the window bird feeder so much and several times has knocked over the dough bowl filled with pin cushions.  We have ordered a window perch for this window - a ledge of sorts with a fleece cover.  Spoiled rotten, but I'm hoping that ledge will encourage her to stay there and leave my things alone!  It should arrive tomorrow.  Thank you Amazon!

Black Friday, I'm happy to say, involved no shopping for me.  I met up with Dee for chatting/knitting/sipping.  As usual, it was exactly what I needed.  I ended up working some on the French Market Bag!  Remember that thing?  The fingerless mitt I had to count and pay attention to, so I decided mindless knitting was the way to go.

The multi-colored yarn has been all used up and now I am back to the green and grey.  I'll keep going for a bit to see how long I can make it, knowing it will shrink a lot when felted.

The fingerless mitt is another story.  I finished it, but I will not be gifting it.  First of all, I did a sloppy job on the thumb and thumb gusset.  Secondly, I am a very tight knitter, and I can just barely get my hand and my thumb into the mitt!  I'm going back to my tried and true pattern of just a plain mitt.  I started one last night in purple for my friend Leslie:

The cuff is done (15 rows of K1P1 ribbing).  Now on to the body of the mitt which should not take long at all.  This particular yarn is cotton and acrylic (Leslie is allergic to wool - can you imagine??), but is very, very soft.  It's from KnitPicks.

Saturday I did brave the stores...or some of them.  I did a little shopping and then went to DSW for myself!  I have a $30 off your purchase of $40 or more.  But...I could not find anything!  I will try a different DSW store - I hate to waste the $30 off!!  LOL  I also went back to the store where I had my glasses made.  I don't know if the prescription is incorrect or if the line isn't placed in the right spot (my glasses are progressive bifocals), but I'm having the dickens of a time reading or knitting or seeing on the computer.  However, the store was crowded...a group of folks in there who didn't speak English very well and kept pulling their masks down under their chins.  I'll go back another day.

One last shot of Regal Marcel from Thanksfiving Day when he was making sure Otto stayed out of trouble!

He really is a beautiful cat!

So now it is back to the reality of work.  I don't think it will be terribly busy though.  Fingers crossed.  Hope you all had a lovely Thanksfiving and a nice, long weekend.

Friday, November 26, 2021


Good Morning!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I sort of waddled downstairs today to put the coffee on.  I still feel rather full from dinner, yet strangely I don't feel like I overate!  Bonnie, Mailing's Mom, had made some delicious spring rolls as appetisers - filled with cabbage and dried mushrooms.  And there was the olive tapenade that I had made.  Anna brought an apple pie and also wine.

The animals were all present (well, thankfully, not Mabel).  Here is Otto with Fletch in the background.

 Usually he stays in the sunroom, but he was being a good boy.  Talbot had disappeared - he doesn't really like crowds, but Marcel was trying to keep watch over his cousin Otto, but he (Marcel) kept falling asleep!

He is perched on the shelf that holds the TV and it was so funny watching him trying to stay awake.  He just could not.

Fletch had suggested we all go for a walk, so we all headed out to White's Park which is just a short walk away from the house.  There is a nice walking trail that is a loop.  There were a few people out, but not too many.  We did see this poor guy though.

Now, you all know I am not fond of snakes, but I don't like to see any creature suffer and this guy was going to.  The sun was starting to go down and it was getting chilly out.  He had apparently been warming himself on the pavement in the sun, but now he was unable to move very quickly.  Zhongren picked him up with a stick and put him in some leaf mulch - hopefully he was able to burrow in.

Dinner was delicious:  turkey, stuffing (challah bread and sweet potatoes and choirzo), roasted Brussels sprouts (with a pomegranate glaze), green beans, sauteed mixed mushrooms, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry chutney and cranberry/orange relish.  Dessert was pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie.  Oh!  And, whipped cream of course.  

All-in-all, it was a lovely gathering and was so nice to see Mailing's family again.  Hard to believe Christmas is just a month away now.

This morning when I went into the bathroom I heard some water running...Mabel the devil had jumped into the tub, knocked a towel into the but and then, somehow, jumped up to the faucet and managed to turn the hot water on.  These antics need to STOP!!

Well, time to sip a bit and get dressed.  Shortly I will be off to meet up with Dee for some chatting and knitting.  Can't wait.  Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving Day 11/25/21

 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Really I had no intention of posting today, but then decided that y'all should see what's been going on here this morning.

First of all, everything on my list yesterday except laundry was accomplished.  The laundry has now been started this morning.  The only thing I need to do today is whip cream to go with the pies I made.  I will do that closer to departure time.  Colin suggested we come over around 3 p.m., so that gives me the morning to relax.

The other day I pulled out a pair of hand knit socks to put on and discovered a hole in the toe of one (I guess my toenails should be trimmed down more frequently?).  I pulled out yarn and decided to darn that hole this morning while Fletch was in the shower.

Voila!  A darned hole.  The yarn used to darn the hole is a fingering weight yarn that I bought at Good Karma Farm in Belfast, Maine some years ago when we were on vacation.  I had used it for some socks and there was lots left over.  Not any more!  When I finished my darning work I couldn't find the yarn I had left on the table.  No wonder.

Someone had grabbed it, dragged it over to the rug in front of the refrigerator and then went at it.  It was too tangled to try to save, so it is in the trash.

Then I discovered this:

The sheep ornament my SIL had given me a few years ago has been chewed and threads pulled out.  Not once, not twice, but three times!  Little sheepy is now tucked away in a drawer along with a needle felted mushroom pincushion (also a gift from my SIL) and a little knit cat that I made the other year.  All of those things were on the top of an apothecary cabinet (where I have specialty thread stored) which sits on top of a dresser in the office room.  Sister Mabel has been jumping up there (where she does NOT belong) and grabbing whatever suits her fancy.  Oy vey!  I will say that she has somewhat lost interest in her favorite ribbon...there are more and better things to be found apparently.

Mabel's appointment at the vet went well yesterday.  She had gained a little weight (up to 6.13 from 6.5).  She put up with her last shot very well and was pretty well behaved last night.  She actually was on the couch in Fletcher's lap or mine while we watched a show!

Oh well, if all I need to worry about are the antics of a very lively kitten, life is good!  I plan to do some knitting, make the whipped cream, get a shower and then head over to C&M's for a feast.  Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 11/24/21


Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  I'm still hoping no one is running around like crazy.  Don't get me wrong.  I have things to do today, but I will intersperse those things with knitting and stitching and reading.  That's the plan anyway.  On the docket are:

  • Make a pecan pie (this morning)
  • Make a pumpkin pie (most likely this afternoon)
  • Make an olive tapanade (never got to this yesterday)
  • Take Sister Mabel to the vet for her final vaccine (10:30 a.m. appointment)
  • Do some laundry (maybe...maybe not)
  • Make stuffed portobello mushrooms for dinner
  • Get some spinach or kale to put in the stuffing for the mushrooms (might have Fletch pick up)

So, you see, things to do, but nothing unreasonable and still plenty of time in the day for other things!  I guess I just made a list which I normally do not do - lol.

My doctor appointment yesterday went well and my labs were much better than I expected given how sick I felt last week when I went for my blood work.  Turns out she is pretty sure I had a case of vertigo last week - and even in her office yesterday I had to touch the wall when I stepped up onto her horrid scale for a weigh-in.  So, now I have a prescription that has been filled and if I get the symptoms again I can take something.  Yay!  I also got my pneumonia shot and wow is my arm sore this morning.  Finally, I got the prescription for my annual mammogram and was able to schedule that for 12/2 (much sooner than I expected).

Work was not too busy and I was able to schedule an appointment for a pedicure yesterday and now my toes are ready for the big feast tomorrow.  Life is good.  Chilly (27 this a.m.), but good and I am thankful for all of that.

Do you remember back a few months ago I mentioned my company was "doing" a Socktober drive to donate socks to homeless shelters?  Well, the results are in (for my office they were in some time ago, but this is the overall results for Compass One):

I think that is very, very cool.

So, here we are at Unraveled Wednesday.  Per usual, I am linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk about making and reading.  Two things dear to my heart.  As I showed in my Monday post I managed to finish up the scarf for Zhongren.

All washed, blocked and dried.  Ready to be wrapped for Christmas!  I just love this scarf.  Hopefully Zhongren will like it too.

The first mitt for Bonnie is a little further along than last time.

That is 10 rows of ribbing and 30 rows so far on the pattern.  I'm about to start the thumb gusset, but last night I ended up on the phone for too long and did not get anything done knit-wise.  These are knitting quickly.  The colors in the yarn make me think of The Painted Desert.  I have one more pair of these I'd like to knit up for a Christmas gift, so there is still a bit to do.

On the reading side of things, I finished The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris.  Oh my!  The book is so very sad, but the writing is just beautiful.  It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel.  Currently I am in the middle of Mercy Falls - book #5 in the Cork O'Connor series by William Kent Krueger.  It's a bit graphic in places, but still a good read.  After that, waiting on my nightstand, are:  Georgia (I'm really looking forward to this one and hoping it does not disappoint) and The Kill Artist - the first in a series that Kat recommends.  Of course, there are also plenty of un-read books on my book shelves - ones I thought I would get to this year and have not...always distracted by other shiny objects!

Be sure to look at Kat's blog for inspiration from her and others.  Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday 11/23/21

 Good Morning!

It's a chilly morning.  I'm thankful for fleece leggings and a fleece shirt.  The coffee has been made and the first sips taken.  Delicious!

As predicted/hoped for, yesterday was a slow one work-wise.  I'm expecting more of the same today.  I've a doctor's appointment at 8 a.m. and I hope to book a pedicure for late morning or early afternoon.  Also I want to go get a gift card for a massage for Mailing.  Her birthday is the 30th.  Usually I go with a local salon, but this year I will go with a chain so that she can use it in Austin if she likes.  I don't even want to think about how soon they will be leaving (and they did find an apartment right by the river in Austin!).

Meanwhile, before I get into the day's activities (and there will be some work), first of all it is TNT or Tiny Needle Tuesday.  This week I just have a tiny amount to show.

The start of the second Pomegranate Bird - an eye and a beak!  To be honest, I've been focusing on Christmas knitting and have not really been devoting any time to stitching.  That tiny head and beak were stitched last night after dinner, and then I went right back to Christmas knitting.

I hope everyone is taking time to enjoy Thanksgiving Week and I hope no one is frantically running around trying to do EVERYTHING!!  Relaxation is key - enjoy!!

Monday, November 22, 2021


 Good Morning!

How are you at the start of Thanksgiving Week?  And how was your weekend?  Mine was a good one.  And I feel fine this Monday morning.  A few sips from the first cup of coffee have gone down my throat, Mabel is blissfully quiet at the moment, and it is the quiet time in the morning that I love.

Thursday that cat was the devil!  She did not let up ALL day.  I finally had to shut the office door and keep her out of that room whether I was working or not.  But over the weekend she was very good.  Just look at this yoga pose:

What suppleness!  What a great stretch!  My whole body feels better just looking at this picture - LOL

On Saturday, after going over to Colin & Mailing's to feed Talbot & Marcel, I met up with Dee for a bit of therapy time - you know:  coffee, knitting, chatting.  It was delightful.  Once home from seeing Dee, I headed upstairs.  I wanted to put flannel sheets on the bed as I saw the temps are supposed to get pretty chilly at night this week.  Mabel, of course, raced up the steps ahead of me.  Once I got to the top I could see that she had jumped up on the bed.  Once she saw me, she arched her back, pulled her two front legs up in the air and hopped sideways!  It was the funniest thing and I just wish I had gotten a video of her doing that.

Saturday night I managed to finish the scarf for Zhongren!!

And here is a close up so you can see the pattern and the color of the yarn is much better here:

The pictures are all before blocking.  Last night I soaked it in some Soak and it is now on the blocking mats (hopefully) drying. (still very damp this a.m.).  Blocked out it is roughly 48" long.  The yarn is Jackalope from The Light Brown Hare and the colorway is Call Box #3.  I used #6 needles to knit this and the pattern is Mariner's Scarf - free on Ravelry.

Sunday was filled with grocery shopping and I made a big pot of red beans.  We love this dish and I decided to share the recipe today since I do not plan to post on Thursday.

Red Beans

Soak a bag of dried kidney beans overnight.

In the morning, saute about 2 lbs of Italian sausage - sweet and hot.  I crumbled it up and just let it cook until done.  Remove that from the pot and drain the fat off.

Put a little EVOO in the pot and add in

  • 2-3 big onions choped up
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of celery chopped
  • some cloves of garlic minced (I used 2 huge cloves)
  • An handful or two of fresh parsley chopped

Stir that all around and let it cook for a bit.  Then add the crumbled and cooked sausage back and throw in the kidney beans.  Add some water (I don't cover it with water, but maybe 2/3 of the way up).  Sprinkle in:

  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp tarragon (I used about 2 or more tsp)
  • pinch of sage
  • salt and black pepper

Let this cook for 3-4 hours.  I bring it to a boil and then turn it off and let it sit...then boil again and turn off - leaving it on the burner the whole time.  Later in the day I smashed some of the beans to thicken up the sauce.

Oh yum!  We served this over rice and had a garden salad to go along with it.  There is some in the frig that Fletch can have for lunch and the rest is in the freezer.  It makes a lot!

I'm expecting this week to be a light one.  My office closes at 1 on Wednesday and Friday is a holiday as well as Thursday.  Today I'm heading to the office as I need printer paper for home and have a few things I'd like to print in color.  I do have some work to do too - LOL

Here's hoping your week is off to a great start!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

What's For Dinner? 11/18/21

 Good Morning (just barely still morning)!

Another rather late start for moi.  I was up this a.m. but really didn't feel well, then I had to run over to feed the cats (Fletch had other plans and couldn't go) and then come back and run my usual Thursday reports.  Now it's almost lunchtime and all I want to do is take a nap!  And I will!

Thanks for all your commiseration on the dead mouse!  I'm happy to report that I have not seen any more (either last night or this morning).  And little Mabel continues to be into EVERYTHING!  A serious mischief maker if ever there was one.  The plant that she had tipped over twice was dumped again yesterday - potting soil/dirt all over the table and floor.  It is now on the kitchen counter which most likely is not a safe spot either (no place is safe).

Dinner last night was a pork loin that Fletch grilled and it was delicious!  We had new little potatoes steamed and I made a vegetable dish that my Mom used to make every Thanksgiving.  I don't make it for Thanksgiving because Colin won't eat it (he basically doesn't do dairy and this has cheese in it).  It is:

Scalloped Onions and Green Peppers

I sliced up a large Vidalia onion and half a yellow pepper, a red pepper and a green pepper.  I sauteed them in butter and then put them in a casserole dish.

Next you make a roux with 1/4 Cup butter and 1/4 Cup flour.  Stir in about 2 cups of milk and then a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Pour that mixture over the onions and peppers and bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour.

My Mom used to use the tiny pearl onions, but any onions work.  I've also used Jarlsburg cheese in place of the cheddar or a mixture of cheeses - it's all good.  Plenty of leftovers which is nice because Fletch LOVES this dish!

Colin & Mailing have asked that in addition to the pies I will make for Thanksgiving (apple, pumpkin and pecan) that I make my Mom's Cranberry Orange Relish and Fletcher's Mom's Cranberry Chutney.  Yesterday I made my Mom's relish.

A food processor makes this a very fast dish.  A few pulses and you are done!  I never measure anything for this.  I used a mess of fresh cranberries and 3-4 clementines that I cut into quarters.  Threw it all in the processor and pulsed.  Voila!  Put it in a bowl and then just added and mixed in sugar.  Again, I don't measure, I just taste it and when I think it's sweet enough it's done!  I like it to still have a little bite to it.  We had some with the pork loin last night and then we took a jar of it over to C&M's and left it in their garage frig for Thanksgiving day.

I'm hoping to make Fletcher's Mom's chutney today.  Here is the recipe:

Cranberry Orange Chutney

  • 1 lb cranberries
  • 1 15 oz box of raisins (golden or regular - either are good)
  • 1 large orange ground (I will probably use more of the clementines I have on hand)
  • 3 1/2 C sugar (I usually use a little less)
  • 1/2 C cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger (I may grate some fresh and throw it in)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix everything together in a lart pot and put on medium heat.  Simmer until the berries have popped - at least 1.5 hours.  Allow to cool then store in glass jars in the frig - it will keep just about forever!!

A few weeks ago I told you all about how brave Talbor was at the vet's and that he actually got a certificate of bravery (which I forgot to photograph at the time).  Well, here it is:

Isn't that the sweetest?

And little mischief maker just pulled a thread from a spool in my sewing cabinet...pulled it out of the office room across the hallway and into the kitchen.  Oy vey!  I've cleaned up that mess and now I think it might just be nap time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 11/17/21

 Good Morning!

I'm getting a late start here today.  I did not sleep all that well and was up early, but out of the house around 6:30!  I have a doctor's appointment next week and needed to have some blood work done prior to that...fasting blood work, so I wanted to get to the lab when they opened at 7 a.m.  Then I was off to feed Talbot & Marcel.  Traffic was horrible getting to their house and then, once I was inside, this greeted me:

Yikes!!  I'm not sure who caught this poor, tiny mouse (it was not me).  Hopefully whoever caught it found it in the basement and brought it upstairs.  I was tempted to leave it for Fletch to clean up, but then had second thoughts about that - I didn't want them playing with it, or consuming it, or taking it upstairs and leaving it on Colin & Mailing's bed.  That would not be a nice welcome home gift!!  Anyway, it is disposed of and I am back home, coffee has been brewed and I am sipping my first cup.

As it is Wednesday, I am linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Honestly I have not gotten much knitting done.  The scarf for Zhongren has grown, but it is not finished yet and is much like a blue blob!

The decision was made to forget the cowl for Bonnie and instead go with fingerless gloves.  Specifically the Cloudburst (Rav link) pattern which is free.  Well...I have never minded knitting from charts, but I could not wrap my head around the second chart in this pattern.  It just made no sense.  I emailed Betsy as I knew she had made them.  Turns out she ignored the charts and just went with the written directions.  When I looked at the pattern that way, it made perfect sense.  BUT...since then I have not been able to put another row in them.  They are sitting with half the ribbing done on the cuff.

Could be there is a specific reason why I can't get any knitting accomplished.  Someone keeps trying to help...or learn...or play...or just annoy!  I put the yarn bowl with the yarn and knitting on a bookcase in the office room and guess who I just caught trying to chew on one of the needles?  I just have to laugh.  This kitten stage will end at some point (one can hope).

Other times Mabel is just the sweetest.

This chair is at the kitchen table and that is where she hangs out while Fletch and I have dinner...or lunch...or whatever.  She likes to be close.  She is still long and lean, but I will be curious to see what she weighs when I take her back to the vet next Wednesday.

On the reading end of things I have not done much.  I'm about halfway (maybe...maybe not quite halfway) through The Sweetness of Water and the language and writing continue to be so beautiful.  I've just been too tired to read much.  But, I have a stack of books from the library on my night stand and this one is due back to the library next week, so I'd best get cracking.

Fletch is grilling tonight (a pork loin - yum!!) and we may have a fire after running over to feed Talbot and Marcel.  We had planned to do a fire tomorrow night (a warmer day tomorrow than today), but the forecast is for rain by 7 p.m.  Oh well, we'll figure it out.  Time for another cup of coffee and to check out some blogs...and I guess I should do a little work too.  Be sure to check out Kat's blog and the links - always inspiring!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday 11/16/21

 Good Morning Friends,

How are you on this Tuesday in mid-November?  Hard to believe that it is already mid-November and that Thanksgiving is next week.  What??

Please send good juju the way of Colin & Mailing who are winging to Austin today in search of a place to live come January.  Hoping they have an easy go of it and can find the perfect place.  They would like to be near the river (they are shipping their kayaks down) and Colin would prefer an apartment so that he doesn't have to deal with lawn chores.  And, it's got to be a place that will accept cats and that Marcel and Talbot will love.  A tall order!

Yesterday was a raw day - very blustery and cold.  The temps were more mild (40-45), but it looked and felt like it could snow!  In contrast, I spoke with my brother in Boulder, CO and it had been in the 70's out there!  I did manage to get two loads of laundry done, ran to the post office and picked up milk and white vinegar at the store.  Also a little knitting, a little stitching and a bit of reading.  A balanced kind of day.

Let's see where the Pomegranate Birds sampler stands at this point.

I had hoped to start the second bird, but just managed to finish filling in the urn yesterday.  That took longer than I expected.  I mean, it was easy - I didn't have to look at a chart or count or anything, but it seemed to take FOREVER!  Next up will be the bird on the right...then the final bottom of the urn which will contain the year.  This has been a fun and enjoyable stitch, but I will be happy to move on to something new/different.

It is just 6:45 a.m. as I type this.  I need more coffee as I still feel in a fog.  I'm going to the office in a bit to hand over some rhubarb to Bill and print some things to overnight to Kevin.  There will be a stop at Trader Joe's, but I'm hoping (as always) to be home by lunch.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope your Tuesday is a good one!

Monday, November 15, 2021


Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Mine was good - filled with fun things but also those pesky chores that needed to be done.

Saturday morning I took off early to feed Talbot and Marcel.  They were happy to see me...happier to have food put in their bowls.

 Once they were fed and talked to, I took off for Dee's where of course I got to see Giroux!  Dee made us some delicious London Fog tea and we knit a little bit and chatted.  Then we took off for the craft fair she had heard about.  It turned out to be a nice one plus it was situated in a very pretty park (Tamanend Park in Upper Southampton).  The craft fair was in an historic farmhouse and there was also an art show in another building.  All well done.  The foliage was very pretty.

And it was damp enough there were mushrooms about.

I want to go back to the park sometime as there looked to be nice walking trails and very pretty gardens.  After shopping a bit we headed to a diner for lunch.  While eating it started raining and then hailing!  And boy did the temp drop.  There was a Tuesday Morning (I thought they were all out of business, but apparently not) in the shopping center, so we stopped in there (and I found a Christmas gift!!).  We saw Coco, the cutest Dachsund ever!

Isn't that the best girlie dog sweater ever?

It was such a nice Saturday - thanks Dee!!

Sunday was filled with chores...groceries, cleaning bathrooms, scrubbing the kitchen floor and then I even scrubbed the outside of all the cabinets (even the ones over the frig!!).  I'll admit it had been some time and the cabinet doors were dirty and dusty.  It's nice to have that chore out of the way.

This girl loves stretching out on the kitchen floor - generally where I will be stepping - LOL

She is very long and pretty tall too.  She is still getting into trouble at every opportunity, but is so sweet we can't stay angry for long.  Her belly hair is finally coming back in where she was shaved when she was spayed - just in time for winter weather!

Now it's the start of another week.  Once Fletch is out of the shower I will get started on doing some laundry.  Tomorrow I'm heading to the office to meet up with Bill and give him some of the rhubarb that Fletch picked the other day.  I need to double check with Colin, but I believe we start feeding the cats again tomorrow night as C&M are heading to Austin to look for an apartment or house to rent come January.

Well, the sun is up and I need to go pour another cup of coffee and get myself woken up!  Hope your Monday is a good one!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday Felines and Other Stuff

 Hey There!  Good Morning!

Oh it is a rainy one out there.  It started sometime overnight and I heard it raining pretty loudly at one point.  I would love to just hibernate, but the kids are off for a long weekend with friends in the Poconos (thank goodness in a cabin and not in tents!!) and someone (that would be me) needs to go over to their house early to feed the Grand Kitties.  When we are on cat duty we go over twice a day...so we (collective we) will go back tonight to feed again.  We are just feeding through Sunday morning as Colin & Mailing will be home Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of cats...look where Mabel was yesterday while I was working.

That's a nice resting place for her...the dough bowl which was Nanno's (Fletcher's Grandmother) is filled with small pincushions that are stuffed and quite squishy.  She is reaching out to the window (a rather dirty window) where there is a bird feeder.  The cardinals and finches were giving her quite a bit of entertainment yesterday.  They perch in the lilac just outside the window and then fly in to get some food.  Right now we have peanuts in the feeder, sometimes we put sunflower seeds in it.  Either way the birds are happy and Mabel is too!  I just noticed this morning she is standing on the little stool in front of the window with her front paws on the windowsill.  It is just barely getting light, but she is on alert!

Fletch was busy doing some garden clean-up yesterday and asked me if I wanted him to cut some rhubarb.  I said sure thinking there would be a few stalks.  I can't believe that he came in with so much!

I may freeze it as there is enough for two pies at least!  And I've already been requested to make an apple pie, a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie for Thanksgiving...I think that's enough and no need for a rhubarb pie.

It really was a pretty day yesterday so we decided to have a fire last night.

We stood around for a bit and then once the breeze died down it was pleasant just to sit by the fire (with the breeze we had to keep moving around to avoid the smoke!).  The wood was really smoky and then I realized that there was a lot of sap oozing out of the wood - it looked like melting marshmallows!

The wood was smoky but also very fragrant.  Of course my hair and clothes smelled like a campfire when we came back inside.  Oh well.

The only thing on my agenda today other than feeding Talbot and Marcel is a conference call at 11.  My call at 10 was cancelled (YAY!!).  Tomorrow after feeding the cats in the morning I'm heading over to Dee's - there is a craft show that we are going to visit.  Hoping to find some good stuff!  

Hoping your weekend is filled with fun and good stuff!  Enjoy.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

What's For Dinner? 11/11/21


It's Thursday and it is also Veteran's Day.  Please remember those who are serving and those who have served.  Despite our many problems, I feel fortunate to live in the US and am eternally grateful to those who have made it possible.

The kids (that would be Colin & Mailing...not their cats) came over for dinner on Sunday.  It had been so long since they had both been over (they are very busy most weekends) and Mailing hadn't even met Mabel yet!  I decided to make Crawfish Etouffee.  The recipe I use is from Jeff Smith - The Frugal Gourmet (I used to love that show).

The grocery stores around here all carry crawfish, but they have their heads on and their shells.  I can't deal with that.  I used to be able to get a frozen one pound bag of crawfish tail meat that was already cooked at the grocery stores.  No longer.  But...I found that Hill's Seafood carries it!  Woo-Hoo!  Crawfish meat is so rich and good.  Not cheap - roughly $20 per pound, but I bought 2 bags, so I still have a pound in the freezer.  Here is the recipe I use:


Make a roux with 4 TBS each butter and flour.  Stir it and toast it till a light brown color.  Add to the pot:

  • 1 Cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 Cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 bell peppers seeded and chopped
  • 1 Cup chopped parsley

Cook all that over medium heat till the veggies are soft.  Then add:

  • 1 Can (16 oz) tomatoes, drained and chopped (I do not drain them)
  • 1 Cup white wine
  • 1 Cup Fish Stock (I used veggie broth)
  • 1 TBS thyme leves
  • 1 TBS worcestershire
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Tabasco or hot sauce to taste

Simmer all this for about 30 minutes and then stir in the pound of crawfish meat (roughly 2 Cups).

This is what it looks like:

Voila!  Serve this in a bowl over rice.  Delicious!  We had a small tossed salad with greens from the garden to go along with this.  And, as I mentioned on a previous post I made the Cranberry Pie that Bonny blogged about HERE and made whipped cream to go with it.  Yummy!!  My pie plate must have been a little shallow because mine spilled over onto my new oven floor!!  No worries it cleaned up quickly and the pie was so good.

Today I have no plans to go out at all.  Traffic was horrible when I ventured out for my glasses yesterday - it was making me crazy!  And it's Thursday so I've got a number of reports to run this morning and send out.  Meanwhile things seem to be back at square one with Bruce...on Tuesday when we met he "promised" to send me a number of things via email on Wednesday.  I got exactly nothing from him.  Furthermore, he did not respond to any of the emails I sent him about other things.  Oh well...I tried!  I did manage to complete Open Enrollment though, so there is that.

Let's hope today is a good one for all of us!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 11/10/21

 Good Morning!

Wow!  I've had several very good nights of sleep in a row (almost 9 hours last night!!).  [Hopefuly I have not just jinxed myself.]  

Work was annoying (what a surprise) and busier than I expected yesterday.  The parking lot had a lot of cars.  Fortunately I did not see everyone - LOL.  I spent some (frustrating) time with Bruce.  Long story, but basically I cannot really be supportive of him and his team if they don't help me out.  For over 6 months now, Bruce has been saying things will change and they don't.  I guess I finally got fed up and kind of laid down the law yesterday.  Really I don't want to ruffle too many (but a few) feathers, but I would like to be able to do my job.  We shall see if my little talk had any impact...if not, the next year plus should go fairly quickly and then (hopefully) I will be ready to retire (if not before...).

I did start to do open enrollment, but I need to finish that up today.  Open enrollment closes the 17th and I'd like to be finished with it.  The balance of my agenda today is picking up my new glasses (finally!!) and working on some financial spreadsheets for both Mike and Lisa.  A stop at the post office is in order as well.

But first...it is Unraveled Wednesday and as usual I am linking up with Kat and her merry band of Unravelers to talk about making and reading.  Do take the time to check out the links on her blog - so much inspiration there!

After (finally) finishing the socks for Peggy, I cast on the scarf for Zhongren (Mailing's Dad) that I want to have finished before Christmas.  The pattern is simple (easy to memorize), but effective and I love the yarn I am using.

That's about 18" or just about halfway through.  Here's a close up so you can see how the pattern knits up:

The yarn is some I bought at the NJ Sheep & Wool festival this past September.  It is Jackalope (80% superwash merino and 20% nylon) from the Light Brown Hare and the colorway is Call Box #3 (someone said this is from Dr. Who?  I don't know as I've never watched that show).  The pattern is Mariner's scarf from The Seamen's church Institute and is free on Ravelry (Rav Link).

I've been thinking of making This Cowl for Bonnie (Mailing's Mom), but I'm beginning to question whether I will have sufficient time.  I may end up making her some fingerless mitts and then knit the cowl next year.  Time will tell.

On the reading side of things, not much has happened.  I did finish Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie (book #11 in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series).  None of the books in this series are what I would call compelling - they are just enjoyable mysteries.  I enjoyed this one as it talked a bit about Narrowboats and after reading "The Narrowboat Summer" a few months ago it was fun to get descriptions of some.  Many are really fancy and outfitted with the most modern of conveniences.  Still...7' wide is not very wide...Of course, our camper is like that (and much shorter than a Narrowboat), but we don't live in our camper...we just use it for a week or two here and there.

Last night I started reading The Sweetness of Water and oh my!  I have not gotten far (only 25 pages or so before my eyes were closing), but I have already come across several sentences I want to share with my friend Leslie who is a writer.  The language and the writing are both beautiful.  I can tell that the book will not be a happy one, but coming across phrases and sentences that I want to jot down is sheer joy!

OK!  My second cup of coffee has been poured and it is time for me to do a bit of work before heading out for errands.  Be sure to check out the links on Kat's blog and have a fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday November 9, 2021

 Hello and Good Morning!

How are you?  Has your body adjusted to the time change yet?  I think I have (always easier in the Fall rather than the Spring) and I'm doing well.  I never made it to the office yesterday!  Right after I posted I received an email from Bruce saying he was going to work from home  and go to the office on Tuesday.  And, it turned out Mike was pretty backed up with conference calls ALL day long, so I decided to stay home.  I'll head in later this morning so I can meet with Bruce.

Meanwhile, I managed to get two loads of laundry done and hung everything outside to dry - it was a gorgeous (and warm!) day.  I also found time to do some stitching and I've managed to get quite a bit done on the Pomegranate Birds sampler.

Look at that!  Bird #1 is complete and I even started filling in the urn.  I was able to get the "MADE BY VL" stitched and started to fill in around the letters.  Click to enlarge.  I love the slanty A in MADE.  the bottom part of the urn will have the year - hopefully 2021 - but I hesitate to stitch that now as I may jinx myself.  After I finish the top part of the urn, I will stitch the matching bird on the right...then it will be time to fill in the year.  I'm so pleased with the way this is turning out.

Speaking of birds...yesterday afternoon Fletch and I were sitting on the patio when Fletch noticed several birds at the top of a dead tree a couple of houses down the street from us.

Not a great picture, but the best I could do with my phone and 3 yards away from us.  (Look at that blue, blue sky!!).  Anyway, it doesn't show in this picture, but the birds had the brightest redish/chestnut color on their breasts when the sun was hitting them and the shape (look at the one on the right, lower branch) was the same as a Sparrow Hawk.  Then the birds one-by-one took flight and came to our apple tree and it turns out they were doves.  LOL  We had gotten all excited over doves.

Another interesting bird thing (to us) that has happened this year.  We have a suet feeder hanging from the edge of our patio.  Usually Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers and the like will swoop in to eat.  They have to hang upside down to get to the suet.  No songbirds have fed that way...until now.  Sparrows are flocking in and dining on the suet and they are chasing some of the larger birds away!  I saw one fly up and pull the tail feathers of a bird to get it to move.  So funny.

Mabel enjoys watching from the house and will "chitter" to the birds as they fly in and out.  I've tried to get a video of her doing that, but so far no success.  It's hysterical to watch her little mouth moving so fast!

Well, work emails are already flying in and I've got stuff to do (including I MUST complete open enrollment).  Time to pour some more coffee, dry my hair and get ready for the day.  Hope your Tuesday is a good one!

Monday, November 8, 2021

Weekending...Plus Evidence...

 Good morning!

How was your weekend?  Ours was good.  We completely forgot about the time change!  LOL  Sunday is the one morning of the week I fix breakfast for us.  I got up as usual and cooked some bacon and made blueberry pancakes.  We were in the kitchen consuming when the radio host mentioned the time.  We were both "What???"  It was nice to come across an extra hour that morning, but boy it got dark fast in the afternoon.

Friday I skipped out of my office right after my conference call and zoomed over to DSW.  I needed/wanted some new sneakers and I had a $25 coupon that was set to expire on Sunday.  I found a pair I liked and stopped at Pet Smart to look at cat carriers (we had given our carrier to Colin & Mailing after Tyg was killed).  Anyway, I didn't find any I like (I bought one on Amazon instead and it arrived yesterday.)  Fletch was over at Colin & Mailing's watching Dune and when I got home I heard the radio on.  I had not turned it on before leaving the house.  We have a Bose radio/cd player in the kitchen and if you touch the top it will turn on or off.  Guess who must have jumped up on the table and walked across the radio?

Saturday another plant hit the floor and came out of its pot.  I had watered the indoor plants in the morning and decided to move my African violet into the living room.  That was a mistake.  It didn't even take 5 minutes for that plant to wind up on the floor.  I cleaned up that mess and then left to meet up with Dee for some needed therapy - coffee, knitting and chatting.

Then there is the second scratching "thing" that Mabel has.  Fletch bought this one and it is shaped like a cat with a big fluffy tail.

The green stuff?  Why that's the stuffing for the tail.  More than scratching, Mabel apparently just loves pulling things apart.

Then there is this dried arrangement (with some wooden flowers included).  (And the plant on top of the pile of books is the first one that Mabel knocked over breaking its original pot.  Thankfully it seems to be doing ok in a new pot and a new location.)

There are some dried cattails and fronds from our yard in the arrangement which used to be on a table in the living room.  But, for the second time someone (that would be Mabel) has knocked it over.  Luckily the vase did not break...but those fronds?  Apparently they are the best kitty toys.  She pulls them out of the vase and trots around with them in her mouth.  Then she plays with them and God knows how many have been batted under the stove.  That girl is definitely still in the kitten stage.

The balance of the weekend was pleasant.  Colin and Mailing were over for dinner (I made crawfish etouffee and also the cranberry pie that Bonny blogged about - DELICIOUS!!).  I managed to find plenty of time to knit and stitch and read!  And I successfully avoided all chores like cleaning and laundry.  To me, that is a successful weekend!

Today I'm heading back to the office.  Both Bruce and Mike will be in and I need to meet with both of them.  I'm hoping (fingers crossed) to be out of there by lunch time.  Wishing you all a great start to a new week - enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

What's for Dinner? November 4, 2021

 Good Morning!

28 degrees this a.m.  The heat has been turned on and I just had my first sip of this morning's coffee.  Mabel is somewhere...hopefully staying out of trouble (see below).

I don't have a dinner recipe to share today.  We simply had a ham steak last night with baked acorn squash and sauteed cabbage.  Simple, but good food.  And to mix things up, Colin is coming for lunch today instead of dinner (one of the headlights is out on his car and he would prefer to not drive at night until he gets that fixed).  It will be fun to have him over during the day and I'm hoping he will have a little chat with his sister (Mabel) (see below).  I'm not fixing anything fancy for lunch - just some soft tacos with chicken, peppers, onions, mushrooms.  There is fresh cilantro to chop and, hopefully, a ripe avocado I can slice.  Most likely dinner will be various leftovers.

I did do some food prep (I don't really think it can be called cooking) yesterday.  I found This Recipe for Christmas Fudge and decided if I'm going to make it for Christmas I'd best test it first - LOL.  I'm here to tell you it's good, very good.  Very, very sweet, but tasty.  I hope to send some of it home with Colin today.

It was while I was either finishing up the fudge or prepping things for dinner that I heard a crash in the living room.  Fletch was outside, so that left one responsible creature.  And what a mess!

This particular plant had not been doing all that well, but now it was in worse shape.  And Mabel kept going back to the scene of the crime.  I got it cleaned up before Fletch came in and he found another (plastic this time) pot for the plant.  But...Mabel has got to learn!!  She is definitely still in the kitten stage of life.

She has also been sneaking down to the basement quite a bit.  Whenever the door opens - I'm either going down for laundry or going down to get wine or going down to get a canned good...she will race by my legs and then later come upstairs with a face full of cobwebs.  LOL  I do want her to get used to going downstairs to the basement.  That is where we usually keep the litterbox for emergencies.  Since Mabel is not yet going outside, we have the litterbox upstairs in a bathroom.  Not ideal, but it is cleaned daily (sometimes twice a day), so it is not really smelly...but still...I don't like it there.  However, we have no other place to put it.  Soon we will begin acclimating her to going outside, but not quite yet.

Well, it's Thursday and I've got a slew of financial reports to run and send out, so I'd best get started.  Hope your day is off to a good start.   Just knowing it's Friday Eve is hopeful!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday November 3, 2021

Good Morning!

It's light outside...I slept without waking up once until 7:30 this morning which is absolutely amazing (and so refreshing!).  Considering that I went upstairs to read around 10 p.m. and turned the light out at 10:20, that is 9 hours of sleep!!  Woo-Hoo.

My dentist appointment went well yesterday - especially since I had not been for a cleaning since pre-pandemic times (and I used to go every 4 months).  My gums were in good shape and everything looked good.  YAY!  I was able to finish up the laundry yesterday and even cleaned the bathrooms and scrubbed floors.  Good to have that chore out of the way (for a week anyway).  I even found time to relax and knit a bit!

Welcome to the first Wednesday in November and Unraveled Wednesday where like-minded folks meet up (and link up) with Kat and her Merry Unravelers to talk about making and reading.  I am thrilled to show you that Peggy's socks are finished!!!

Definitely Fraternal Twin socks and I think Peggy will love them.  I don't know if a pair of socks has ever taken me so long.  The first sock was started on 9/3 and finished on 10/23.  The second sock was started on 10/23 and finished on 11/2.  I almost never have second sock syndrome...the second sock always goes faster for me.

These were knit on #2 needles using Static yarn from KnitPicks in the colorway "Glow."  I, however, prefer to call the colorway Faded Roses.  There are still a couple of Christmas knits I would like to make and I suppose I should speed it up if that is going to happen.

On the reading front, I finished Pax, Journey Home which I ended up enjoying.  Not as much as the first book ("Pax"), but this one was sweet too.  I have given up on Malibu Rising which was just not for me.  I did not find it entertaining, but rather annoying...so why bother?  Too many other books on my TBR list to spend time on one that is not enjoyable.

I just started reading Water Like a Stone which is book #11 in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James books by Deborah Crombie.  This series are easy mysteries to read and I am enjoying them.  This one features some Narrowboats which (for me) is fun after reading "The Narrowboat Summer" earlier.  I received notice that another book has come in at the library for me:  Georgia which is a novel about Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz.  I'm hoping this is a good one.  

Today I'm heading toward the office.  I have a few things I need/want to print in color and I should check the mail, etc.  Also, I want to stop at Trader Joes (like I did not do enough grocery shopping on Sunday!!) and the state store for some wine.  The state store by my office is larger than any by my home and they carry a much better selection.  Then it will be a stop at CVS to pick up some more Zyrtec (allergies this Fall!!  they are AWFUL) and then the library.

I'll leave you with a sweet shot of Mabel - as Colin says, she has very long legs.  I love how she covers her eyes with her paws.

Be sure to head over to Kat's to see what others are making are reading - inspiration will abound, I promise!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday November 2, 2021

 Good Morning!

It is still early and dark outside, but I'm up.  It is 6 a.m. and I have a dentist appointment at 7:30.  Enough time to sip some hot coffee and post on TNT (Tiny Needle Tuesday).

Yesterday was one of those simply beautiful Fall days.  Fletch worked in the garden doing some clean up.  I worked (work-work) and did some laundry.  It was a perfect day for hanging things on the line to dry.

A tablecloth billowing in the breeze, some leggings and a bunch of socks - many of them hand knit.  Everything smelled so fresh and good when I took things off the line late in the day.  There is still more laundry to do (of course), but I don't think it's going to be quite as nice for drying outside.

My plan was to finish the first Pomegranate Bird on my sampler, but that didn't happen.  Still, more progress than the other week (at least you can tell it's a bird).

The colors are just scrumptious, aren't they?  So pretty.  There will (of course) be another bird on the right hand side.  Then the urn gets filled in (some words and some background color).  So...still quite a bit of stitching left on this one.  No rush.

So, the dentist at 7:30 and then my annual review (via phone) at 10:30.  I've already seen a copy of the written review (all good), but today I will find out what my increase will be.  I don't expect any surprises (in a good or bad way)...our raises are always pretty much at 3% (which sucks, but...).  After that I hope to get some chores done (the laundry, bathrooms, maybe the kitchen floor?) and find some time to knit and relax.

My hope is that this Tuesday will find you doing something fun and enjoyable!