Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 5/25/22

 Hello and Good Morning,

How are you this morning?  I am actually chilly!!  I think we will get to the mid-70's today which (for me) is a nice, comfortable temp.  But right now my computer says it is 51.  Glad to have a cup of hot coffee by my side.

I managed to make it through my necessary office days last week and this.  Thank goodness!  I can't even tell you how I used to work at the office 8-9 hours a day Monday through Friday.  That's a mystery to me.  If I need to be there now longer than an hour or so I run the risk of going crazy.  There are a few people (some of whom I saw this week and last) who would like everyone to be back to work in the office.  Not me!

Well, today will be busy.  I have my annual physical this morning and PT this afternoon.  In between those appointments I will need to work some.  Hoping for some quality knitting and stitching time as well.

So, it is Wednesday, which means time to link up with Kat and others to talk making and reading.  Both of which have been slow for me this past week due to work and then being worried about Mabel.  The Guernsey Wrap is progressing and here is a shot from last night.


It is getting long enough that it is difficult to take a picture of it spread out flat...but this way some of the patterns are a little more visible.

On the reading side of things, I am still into Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.  Wow she can write!  I will finish this book today or tomorrow.  And last night I started "Island of the Blue Dolphins" which several of you were talking about this week and last.  I don't believe I ever read this as a kid, but I am already drawn into it.

The world seems to be a crazy and heartbreaking place right now.  I hope everyone is safe.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 5/24/22

 Good Gloomy Morning!

Yes, it is grey out there and our temps today should be staying in the 60's - quite a difference from 90 and sunny over the weekend.

Don't believe I mentioned that I spent a good chunk of time on Sunday waiting for a tow truck.  Not my idea of fun, believe me.  The car that Fletch uses was having "issues" and the check engine light had come on.  Fletch used the code reader he has and it indicated low voltage.  So, he made an appointment for our mechanic to look at it on Monday.  Sunday afternoon he had me follow him down to the auto place to drop off the car...but it died/gave out half way there.  And it took 1.5 hours for a tow truck to arrive.  Not fun.  Anyway, it was the alternator and several $$$$ later yesterday we have the car back.

Work yesterday was ok.  Lunch was not!  I had ordered Chick-Fil-A for the group (they LOVE it) and only a portion of the order was delivered!  I had requested a BIG garden salad and a BIG kale salad and the two they brought were small.  They skipped the nuggests I had requested.  Just a mess.  One of the guys said they thought I was sending a message that they were too fat and needed to lose weight - lol.  I offered to go fetch more food, but they were ok with minimal portions.  Hopefully today (Mexican fajita bar) will be better!  Thankfully this is my last day in the office this week.

Mabel continues to improve and is slowly getting back to her normal self.  Last night she came up at 2 a.m. walking around on top of me.  I went downstairs and let her out.  An hour later I woke hearing a fox "barking" in the back somewhere.  I just rolled over and went back to sleep.  When I came downstairs to turn on the coffee this morning, she was waiting by the back door, eager to come in and have some food.

All of this brings us to Tuesday morning and Tiny Needle Tuesday.  Folks, the end is in sight!  Don't make the mistake of thinking I'm close to finishing this Adam & Eve sampler, but the space left to stitch in now well defined - the side borders are complete and the bottom border has been started!


Adam and Eve are still MIA, and I doubt they will appear prior to the tree being stitched.  That will keep me motivated to get the tree done so that I can fill in part of the lower space with A&E.

I've avoided looking at my stash to pick my next piece because I don't need/want to be tempted to let this one marinate for awhile.  Hopefully I can plug away on this and get the tree at least started this week.

That, folks, is a wrap for today.  I hope your Tuesday is a pleasant one!

Monday, May 23, 2022

Weekending and a Mabel Update!

Hello and good Morning!

First of all, Mabel is ok!  Woo-Hoo!!  Thank you all for your well wishes, healing juju, care and concern.  So many of you reached out over the weekend to see how Mabel was and I can't tell you how much I appreciated those notes.  Our blogging community is just wonderful!

I ended up taking Mabel to a new vet on Friday afternoon.  We had been going to a cat-only vet (one we have used for years), but I just had not been pleased with the doctor for some time.  Nothing specific, but a general dislike is how I felt.  Anyway, I found a full service (all animals) vet that is actually closer to home with 4 vets on staff, long hours (8-8 M-F plus Saturday hours) and a better equipped place with both X-ray and ultra sound equipment on site as well as a lab for blood work right there.  And, Mabel wasn't stressed there!  Not sure why, but she was stressed at the old vet's and this one was much better.  Turns out she has an upper respiratory infection.   She is now on an antibiotic (liquid - pink - smells like bubblegum - just like a child's! - lol) for 10 days and is already much improved.  She is eating and going out again.


That shot was taken yesterday - staring longingly up at the trailer birdhouse where young chickadees are getting ready to fledge.  The poor parent chickadee kept flying around with food in its beak for the youngsters, but he would not go into the birdhouse while Mabel was on the table.

The balance of the weekend was nice, though very, very HOT (90).  Saturday morning Dee and I got together for our normal session of sipping coffee, knitting and chatting.  I cut our sesssion a little short as I was anxious to get home and check on Mabel (who was, of course, fine).  Other than laundry, I didn't do much around the house, but I was able to do some knitting and stitching and reading - so that for me is a good weekend!

Due to the heat, dinners this weekend were cool.  I made a macaroni and shrimp salad for Saturday along with a pinto bean and corn salad with a lime dressing.  Yesterday we just had deviled eggs and cucumber salad.  As of this morning the temps have moderated (we had some storms yesterday late) and I believe today's high is only supposed to be around 75.

Do you remember when I showed the lemon tree that we have as a house plant?  And a tiny lemon appeared after the plant bloomed.  That was a surprise.  What is even more of a surprise is that the same lemon is still there.  It has grown a bit larger though.


It is still pretty hard, but it is also beginning to turn yellow!!


The plant is blooming again, so I'm curious to see if we get any more lemons.

In other plant news, my African violet is going gangbusters!


For years I grew African violets and always had them on a kitchen windowsill and they always thrived.  Then they stopped doing well.  Fletch bought this one for me as an early Valentine's Day present and it was gorgeous.  Lately it has looked as though it were dying, but then one morning I noticed a few buds and now it is simply lovely.

Today and tomorrow are both office days for me - the last of the budget meetings.  Last week I was successful in going to the office in the morning and leaving by 12:30 or 1:00.  Hopefully that will be the case again this week.  And, I'm back to physical therapy on Wednesday & Thursday...so a busy week!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Mabel

 Good Morning All,

How are you this morning?  It's raining here.  I woke up at 3 a.m. to the rain and it is still coming down.

Please send all your healing juju to Mabel (I know your healing juju works - it always does).  When I got home from the office yesterday, Fletch told me that Mabel had been upstairs all day.  Highly unusual.  She had been out all night and I let her in Wednesday morning and put food out for her before I took off for my blood work.  I went upstairs and she was curled up on the bed...barely acknowledging my presence.  Again, highly unusual.  And silent!  Mabel is ALWAYS talking...usually loudly.

Anyway, I had a busy work afternoon and then it was time to cook dinner.  We ate and then watched an episode of "Our Great National Parks."  Finally when I was ready to go up to bed around 10 p.m., she came downstairs.  She did not want food or water (but I left some out for her).  And then she disappeared!  She has hiding places and must have gone to one of them.

This morning when I came downstairs, she greeted me and made some soft meows.  I put some fresh food down and she ate a little, but not too much.  She came into the office room with me, but did not jump up on her window ledge seat and now she has left...not sure where she is. I snapped this sweet picture after she had a little food this morning.


She has stolen our hearts over the past few months and we sure hope she is ok and that this is nothing serious.  We are keeping her inside for now and she is not arguing with us.

Meanwhile, it looks like it was a rainy night in Pittsburgh for the kids and their backpacking night.  Luckily they had reserved a shelter along the trail, so at least they could be dry sleeping and not have to wrestle with tents in the rain.  And the forecast for Pittsburgh for Saturday looks nice for an outdoor wedding.  Fingers crossed.

I've got another busy day ahead of me...I need to get up from this desk, dry my hair and get ready to go to the office.  Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 5/18/22

 Hello My Friends,

How did we already get past the halfway mark of May?  Yesterday was a pretty nice day weather-wise though very, very windy in the afternoon.  We actually had to close the door to the patio when we sat down for dinner it was so windy!

My office visit yesterday was ok.  Very busy (which is a good thing - makes the time fly by).  Today should be similar and again I will plan to leave no later than 1 p.m.  I have a few stops to make on my way home and this morning on my way to the office I need to stop and have blood work done.  I'll be thankful for a day with no errands or stops on the way to and from the office!

Here we are at Wednesday again which means it is time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  If you read my post on Monday, then you know that I was (finally) able to finish knitting and felting my second French Market Bag.  I can't wait to use it!  My other knitting time was a bit limited, but I managed to finish some more rows on the Guernsey Wrap


I know it does not look much different, but it is longer...now 42" (unblocked...obviously).  Chart C has been fully knit once.  It will be knit once again and then a portion of it knit for a third time...then there will be some garter stitch rows and binding off!  That is still 143 rows...so a little way to go.  The difficult part is finding time to knit this week.

On the reading front, I am so happy to say that I finally finished Young Mungo Monday night.  I did not like it...at all.  But I'll be happy to discuss it with others in the "Read With Us" group.  Now I am happily into Salvage the Bones and enjoying it very miuch.

Time for me to get going.  Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 Well Good Morning!

Yesterday turned out to be not as bad or as tiring as I feared - being in the office.  There were a lot of folks around and only one mask to be seen.  But, everyone is vaxed and boosted and distances were observed.  My bosses were understanding about my need to leave early afternoon so that was not a problem.  Today will be similar, I'm sure.

I left the office around 1 p.m. and once home I wanted to cut a few small blooms for a bud vase before the major storm arrived.


Some Lily of the Valley and some Azelea blooms.  So delicate!  And the Protea is still hanging on - so weird!!

We did not get the afternoon storm that was forecast.  That mostly went North of us.  But, right around 6 p.m. the wind picked up and sure enough, some rain and hail fell.  Volume on and you can hear the hail hitting our picnic table.


Everything sure is lush!

Let's jump to Adam & Eve (who still have not made an appearance yet) this Tuesday morning for a TNT update.  Only a little stitching was accomplished this past week.


The branch under the BIG bird has been added and the two side borders in red have been lengthened a bit.  Obviously still a way to go on this, but it's still fun and that's what matters.

Colin & Mailing are flying to Pittsburgh today.  They are meeting up with friends Rob and Faye for a one night overnight backpacking trip in the Laurel Highlands and then friends Christina and Michael are getting married Saturday at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden (Oakdale).  Both Mailing and Faye are in the wedding party, so there is the rehearsal dinner and cocktail hour Friday...wedding Saturday...and reception (also at the Botanic Garden).  Hope they have good weather for this.  And then just 2 weeks later the kids will be back here for another wedding!

OK, time for me to get dressed and ready to drive to the office.  Wishing you all a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Weekending

 Good Morning!

This is like a flashback for me to previous times...meaning pre-pandemic.  I'm writing this post as I sit at my desk at my office.  That is when I would post in the olden days.  I was up early, but did not have time to write a post before heading to the office.  Luckily I am not planning to stay all day.  I've already let folks know I'll be here till about 1 p.m. and then I will need to leave to go rest my back!  LOL  But it is true.

How was your weekend?  Mine was so nice.  I met up with Dee Saturday morning for our therapy session of sipping coffee, chatting, and knitting.  It does my soul good to get together with her - there is always plenty of laughter and we pretty much solve most of the world's problems while we are together.  Good thing we met in the morning because the afternoon was pretty much a wash out the entire afternoon.  A steady, but gentle rain fell.

This was a rhubarb weekend.  I mentioned last week that I had cut some rhubarb and on Saturday evening I stewed some of it with a few strawberries.  On Sunday I combined a bit of that with vodka and seltzer water for a very tasty afternoon beverage.


While sitting on the patio sipping, Fletch and I were keeping our eyes on this bird house.

We have Chickadees nesting in this house and the one bird (male, I assume) has been flying in and out of the house about a million times a day.  Must be many hungry mouths to feed!  I've tried several times to get a picture of him either flying into or out of the house, but he is way too quick for me.

I also managed to make a strawberry rhubarb pie on Sunday afternoon.  YUM!!!


I would have been happy with just that for dinner, but we also had some salmon and asparagus.

In other big news I have another finish!!  Remember my second French Market Bag?  I started that late in September last year and managed to knit up to where I would bind off and make the handles and, for some reason, forgot about it.  I resurrected it and knit the handles Friday night.  Here is is pre-felting:


Saturday afternoon I got it in the washer and it took no time at all to felt it.  Surprisingly it dried overnight (surprisingly because it has been to damp around here - I thought it would take a few days to dry).  And voila!



I do love the way it turned out.  It shrunk more vertically than horizontally, but it will be the perfect size for carrying a sock project or cowl project.  It was a slog to make it SO long, but it paid off in the end.  If I were to make one again, I would make it a little less wide and would make the handles a bit longer

There was a time when I thought about making one or two of these for girlfriends, but now I don't think so...takes too long!  But, there are always felted bowls to be made - cute, quick and fun.

Well, the troops have been filing in for the budget meetings, so I'd best wrap this up and get to work.  I have some stuff to keep my busy for this morning.  Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thursday Check-In

 Hello All,

It's Thursday which means Weekend Eve!  That makes me very happy.

Yesterday my trip to the office was quick, just as I had planned.  I did what I needed/wanted to do and then got out of dodge.  Fletch and I had lunch together and then I took off for a walk along the Perkiomen Creek in Oaks.  It was beautiful.  I don't like the fact that I can hear a lot of traffic while walking on that trail (hello Route 422 with lots of trucks), but the Creek is so peaceful looking.  Also, this particular trail is paved which is easier on the soles of my feet.

There were a bunch of flowers blooming - some of them extremely fragrant.  First up some phlox (pretty sure that's what they are).


The next ones looked just like Lily of the Valley except they were very tall...so I don't know what they are!


I walked further this time - past where the Perkiomen Creek spills into the Schuylkill.  Just as I got to where the two bodies of water meet up, a Blue Heron flew over the water!  My phone was in my waist pack and I could not get it out quickly enough take a video, but the Heron landed on the opposite side of the Creek and I took a shot then.


There were plenty of geese around - many with babies.  This pair was on the bank of the Schuylkill.  I'm not sure if they had youngsters around or not.


I even saw an elephant!!


LOL - the first painted rock I've seen in some time.

Even though it had clouded up a bit and there was no blue sky, it was so nice to get out and take a walk.  Not sure then that will happen again.  Today I have a dentist appointment at 7:30 and PT at 1:30 and then tomorrow we are forecast to get some rain.

Meanwhile, I'd best get to work on my reports to do something before I have to run to the dentist.

Hope your Thursday is a good one!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 5/11/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

Gosh yesterday was such a pretty day.  Temps hovering right around 70 and lots of sunshine and blue, blue skies.  The morning was busy with PT and then grocery shopping, but the afternoon was ours.  Fletch ordered a new "box" for the garden.  Box in quotes because this thing is round but I can't think of what to call it.  It was delivered the other day and Fletch put it together...then I helped him move it into one of our raised bed boxes.


You can see it fits nicely into the center of one of our raised bed boxes with room still in the corners of the box for tall growing things - like tomato plants.  This new thing comes about chest high, so no bending over to harvest!  The plan for this is to use it for pepper plants and the like.  Depending on how it works, Fletch may order a second one for another box.  He has put straw in the bottom, then will add some peat moss and top soil.

Yesterday was also the day to harvest some rhubarb (and I forgot to take a picture).  I cut a bunch and have plenty for a pie and also to "stew" some.  When it gets really hot I'm thinking a rhubarb and vodka slushie might be just the ticket!!

Now it is Wednesday morning and time to talk making.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  If you saw my post on Monday, you know that the Hiking Trail socks are finished.  Woo-Hoo!  I have not yet picked out yarn for the next pair of socks.  I did not think that Fletch was really interested in another pair, but one night when I was winding yarn for the Guernsey Wrap, he asked if I was starting his socks.  Ha!  I guess he would like another pair...I will need to dig in the stash and find a suitable yarn.

Meanwhile, the Guernsey Wrap is growing.  I am on the final chart and plugging away on it.  Really it is a pretty quick knit with only 58 stitches to a row and worsted weight yarn.  Normally the yarn might bother me since it is not fingering weight, but it is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes yarn which is so soft and squishy.


There is still a bunch to knit here, but I'm pleased with the progress and I just love the pattern (click to enlarge).

On the reading side of things I have been struggling.  I'm about halfway through "Young Mungo" the book everyone is reading for "Read With Us."  I do not like it.  At all.  And, it disturbs me enough that I cannot read it after dinner or I will not sleep well and will wake up in the night thinking about it!  Wow!  Everyone is poor.  Everyone drinks heavily.  People are just not nice.  I will finish it because I want to participate in the discussion, but this is not a good one for me.

And then I was reading "French Braid" by Ann Tyler.  As I've said previously, Tyler can be hit or miss with me - mostly a miss and this one was a miss for sure.  I got about 100 plus pages into it and finally returned it to the library the other day.  I did not like the characters - I found them annoying (like I wanted to slap all of their faces!!).  I would read 3 pages or so and start to doze and then had no interest in picking up the book again.

One book I did finish is Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright.  This is a coffee table type book with gorgeous pictures of Madeleine Albright's pins and brooches that she was so well known for wearing.  I found this book very interesting and loved her stories of how she would choose a particular pin to wear when meeting with a particular person.  Dee found this book at one of the Little Free Libraries she discovered and passed it on to me.  Thanks Dee!  I am now shipping it to my friend in Maryland who is interested in reading it...once she is finished she will put it in a Little Free Library in her town.

When I returned French Braid to the library, I picked up two other books and I think I will be happy with them.  First is one I read about on Mary's Blog - Olympus, Texas which looks like it will be fun to read.  The second one which I have just started is Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.  Ward is the author of "Sing Unburied, Sing" which I loved.  "Salvage the Bones" is an earlier novel by her and I'm optimistic that this will be equally well written.  I've also requested (and I can see on my library's web site that this has now been shipped and I should be able to pick it up in a day or so) This Book which my gardening friends might find interesting too.

Decades ago I was the type of person who would "have to" finish a book no matter what.  If I started a book, I had to finish it.  Thank goodness those days are past.  LOL  Life is way too short to continue to read things that don't bring you pleasure.  (Though I will, as I said, continue with Young Mungo.)

I'm heading to my office in a little bit.  I need to print out some things and work on updating org charts for budget season.  On the way to and/or from the office I will also stop to pick up a few things we couldn't find yesterday when we went to Acme to grocery shop.  I know our Giant store carries them, so will go there.  I don't plan to be at the office too long - next week I have to be in the office EVERY SINGLE DAY which will just about kill me.  I have folks in all week for meetings, plus the following Monday & Tuesday.  It's going to be a very long week!

I hope this mid-week finds you doing well.  Remember to head over to Kat's to see what others are making and reading.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 5/10/22

 Good Morning!

Oh my!  What a WONDERFUL massage I had yesterday.  Of course, it also made me useless for the balance of the day.  I was relaxed and did not feel like doing anything.  My back feels great and Chris, the therapist, really worked on the knots in my shoulders and shoulder blade areas.  Yikes there were a lot of knots!

It is still early now, but it looks like it could be another pretty day.  I have PT at 8:30 and Fletch and I need to do some grocery shopping.


A fresh mini bouquet in the bud vase, but also a fruit plate that is empty except for two lemons and two small avocados.  There are some strawberries in the fridge, but that's it for fruit and we are running low on fresh vegetables as well.

But first it is TNT or Tiny Needle Tuesday, and there has been an addition to the A&E sampler.  No, not Adam or Eve...yet...but the giant bird has joined the fun.


One of the things that cracks me up but that I also find charming in samplers is that things always seem to be out of proportion.  Here we have a bird that is MUCH larger than the dog.  Yet, it all seems to work out well together.  I am edging ever closer to adding A&E, but there is still a lot to stitch on this one.  Slowly but surely, progress is being made.

Time for me to get moving.  Despite the nicer weather, my head is chilly, so I need to dry my hair and figure out what to wear to PT this a.m.  Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Weekending 5/9/22

 Good Morning,

Finally!  The sun is out and it looks like the winds may have died down some.  Whew!  It was a very soggy, damp, chilly, windy weekend.  Overall we received around 2.5" of rain - thankfully spread over Friday and Saturday with a few drops on Sunday.  It had stopped raining by yesterday afternoon, but it was in the 40's with gusty winds, so not pleasant for sitting out at 4 p.m. with a beverage.  Oh well, another day.

My Friday sans conference calls was quite nice.  I got a little busy work-wise in the afternoon, but not too much.  Nice enough that I (finally) finished up the Hiking Trail socks!!


Here is another picture closer up so that the flecks of color in the yarn are more visible.  But, the angle is weird and the feet of the socks look enormous (well, they are sort of - 75 rows before the toe decreases to accommodate Colin's foot!).


I'm beyond thrilled to have these finished.  Though I enjoyed knitting them they did take forever - just about a month for each sock!  The pattern on the leg is just a simple K6 P2 across.  The feet are plain.  I used #2 needles and the yarn is some I purchased at one of the NJ Wool festivals (I think last year).  It is by Kim Dyes Yarn and is an 80/20 blend.  The colorway is "Hiking Trail."

Saturday morning as it poured rain, I met up with Dee for our usual Saturday morning therapy session - knitting, sipping coffee, chatting, laughing.  It is always a great time.  Since the socks were just finished, I spent my knitting time on the Guernsey Wrap and managed to get a number of rows knit.  Of course, I wasn't paying attention fully and had to tink back one row not once, but twice.  All is good now.

Mother's Day was a quiet one.  I came downstairs to a gorgeous flower arrangement from Fletch (I need to take a picture) and I made a German pancake (Dutch Baby) for breakfast using strawberries and blueberries - YUM.  Mailing texted me and Colin called, so I felt the love!

Today it is back to the grind.  However, I was able to book a massage for this afternoon, so I'm looking forward to that!  A massage should make a great start to the week!  

I hope everyone's weekend was a good one and here's to the week ahead.

Friday, May 6, 2022

A Walk and the Cold Frame

 Good Morning!

It's Friday and both of my conference calls have been cancelled.  Woo-Hoo!  The day is mine...well, kind of...we'll see how quiet work is.  I plan/hope to clean the bathrooms and do some of my PT exercises.  It will be raining here shortly and is supposed to rain all day today and tomorrow.

Because of the wet forecast I decided to take a walk yesterday afternoon even though I had gone to PT in the morning.  I went to the River Trail which meanders alongside the Schuylkill River in Valley Forge Park.  I ended up walking approximately 3.14 miles (I use the app "Map My Walk" for distance purposes) and for at least the last half mile back to my car I was walking like a cripple!  I think it might have been too much with all the stretching and exercising I had done earlier in the day.

Anyway, it really was a pretty day and pretty warm.  I should have worn shorts and a tee rather than leggings and a lightweight flannel shirt (sleeves rolled up).  I was pretty sweaty at the end.  At the beginning of the trail from the parking lot, there is some movement on the river - a bit of white water (small, very small) and pretty.  Click to enlarge and with sound on, you should be able to hear it as well.


But not too much further along, the river is smooth as glass.


The next picture is not great - was hard to get a good shot with the sun out.  But there were some interesting tree roots on the path and they made me think of various patterns either in knitting or stitching.


I saw or passed quite a few people running or walking (faster than I) or biking and I saw one person in a kayak on the river.  I also saw this guy thanks to a woman passing me who mentioned he/she was at the side of the trail.


He/She kept sticking his/her head back in the shell every time I stepped around to take a picture.  Poor thing was probably traumatized.  I didn't spot the turtle on my way back - hopefully it wandered off into the high grass/weeds at the edge of the trail.

I sure do feel fortunate to have so many options nearby for pretty walks.  Next time (maybe Sunday??) I think I will head over to Oaks to the trail that goes along the Perkiomen Creek.  That should be particularly pretty after rain.

Finally, the other day I mentioned that we have a cold frame in our garden.  It is not huge by any means, but Fletch built one over one of our raised bed boxes.  He used old windows and some plexiglass he had and other odds and ends.


The tall, spiky things on the left are sweet and red onions.  Then there is a variety (I think 4-5 different kinds) of lettuce, some swiss chard and purple bok choy (which is still very, very tiny).  I'm not sure if there is spinach or kale in there yet.  Plenty to harvest for salads for the two of us and we've done that a few times recently.  Last night Fletch cut the few asparagus stalks that had come up and we ate them raw.  Delicious!  (I don't think I'd ever had asparagus raw before.)  Tomato plants are hardening off on the patio, beans have been planted and you saw that the rhubarb is massive.  

But what I am most excited about is that I found Gilfeather Turnip seeds on line and Fletch has planted them...and they are up!  Gilfeather Turnips originated in a town my Dad lived in for a short while - Wardsboro, Vermont.  I used to only be able to get Gilfeather Turnips when we would travel to Vermont in the Fall.  We would always stop in the local stores to get some.  They are sweet and very tasty!  I also gave a packet of seeds to my brother and he mentioned that he plans to harvest the greens too.  I had not thought about that, but it's a good idea, especially since you are not supposed to harvest turnips until after the first hard frost.

Growing up, I never thought I would be excited over a turnip - LOL

Well, Happy Friday everyone!  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and Happy Mothers Day!


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Thursday Stuff 5/5/22

 Hello and Good Morning,

It's early - still dark out, but I'm up.  I need to leave by 7:30 for PT, but am hoping to get some of my Thursday reporting done prior to leaving.  First though, a post.

Yesterday I had mentioned our garden garlic.  Here is a picture of it as of yesterday afternoon.


As I mentioned, no scapes yet, but soon.  And after those are done, Fletch will harvest this.  With our strange weather earlier, we were wondering how the garlic would do.  It popped up early and then the tops got burnt, but now it looks normal.

Our rhubarb is thriving too.


It is already flowering and some of the leaves are the size of platters.  The stalks, however, are still more green than red, so I will wait to harvest it.  Hopefully by the weekend - we picked up some gorgeous strawberries at the store on Tuesday and I've a hankering for strawberry rhubarb pie!

After an extremely grey and dampish day yesterday, the sun finally came out around 4:00.  Fletch and I grabbed our beverages and stepped out onto the patio.  Mabel, of course, had to join us and then, before we knew it, she raced off and up into the apple tree.


Our little wild beast!  She is such a cutie.


Finally, when you have time, I think you all would enjoy this video.  Colin sent me the link stating that he had not watched, but thought it sounded right up my alley.  He was right.  Amazing stitching!  You all know how popular and trendy "Visible Mending" is.  Well this is Kaketsugi, which is Japanese for Invisible Mending.  I had never heard of this, but wow!  What talent.

And that's it for me this Thursday morning.  Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 5/4/22

 Good Groggy Morning!

Yes, another night where I woke at 1:15...turned on the light at 3 when I heard it raining and proceeded to read for 20 minutes or so...fell asleep (finally) after 4 a.m.  This time I actually did have things on my mind (at least that I was aware of), so when I first turned on the light I made a long list of things - all work related - that I need to do.  No wonder I am tired!

My PT session yesterday was good, but holy moly was I tight!  Renee stretched me a lot and then gave me a very good massage.  After that, I did exercises on my own and then drove home.  I felt good and actually did some archery before lunch.  The afternoon saw me in the grocery store and $200 later I was back home.  We did get some delicious broccoli rabe and I sauteed that last night with plenty of garlic, mushrooms and onions.  Yum!  Broccoli rabe is not one of Fletcher's favorites, but he did tell me he liked it and could tolerate it every six months or so.  LOL  Anyway, believe it or not, we are still using garlic that we harvested from our garden last summer!  There are still one or two heads hanging from the patio roof!  We use a ton of garlic in our meals, but we also grow a lot.  I'll have to remember to take a picture of it in the garden.  Soon the scapes will appear and then after that it will be time to harvest (again)!

I also was able to cut a couple of Lilac sprigs and cut some Lily of the Valley and Grape Hyacinths.  You can imagine how heavenly the fragrance in our house is.


Our buffet is getting crowded...but crowded with things we love.  You can see that the Protea flower is still around!  Amazing.  Here's a close up of the blooms picked yesterday.


The bud vase with the dogwood bloom on it is one that my Mom kept in our kitchen.  She often had a single rose from the garden in it.

Now it is Wednesday and time to link up with Kat and talk about making and reading.  I tended to focus more on the Guernsey Wrap last week and I'm happy to say that I am now more than halfway through knitting this!


The color is all wrong thanks to taking the picture last night, but if you click to enlarge you can see the latest section (Chart B) at the top.  Next I will start Chart C, the final one.  but like the first chart, it is 78 rows long and it is to be knit twice and then rows 1-58.  So, still a bunch to knit, but it does go quickly.

Meanwhile the Hiking Trail sock #2 has progressed to the point where I am just about halfway down the foot.


Hopefully this will be finished soon.  I plan (ha!  we shall see) to wrap up a couple of unfinished projects before jumping into another pair of socks.  If I look at my stash, though, I could easily get off track - lured by the next colorful skein!

The reading front has been a bit slower.  Fletch and I did finish "Teaching a Stone to Talk" by Annie Dillard.  We liked it, but not as much as either of us anticipated.  We have yet to start another book (I need to search the various bookcases for something).  I did start "Young Mungo" the next Read With Us selection.  Hoo-Boy!  The writing is very, very good.  But, I'm having a rather difficult time reading it.  The story is a tough one and I find that I can't read more than 20 or 25 pages before I need to take a break from it.  I am roughly a third of the way through this.  On my nightstand I picked up "French Braid" by Anne Tyler.  I have found her books to be hit or miss for me in the past.  50 pages into this one and I'm not sure yet, but I'm leaning towards a miss.  Not sure I will finish.

Well, I suppose I should tackle that list of work related things I made in the middle of the night.  I'm betting this will be a good nap day later!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 5/3/22

 Good Morning Friends!

How are you this morning?  I'm doing well.  Noticed that my few lilac blooms are beginning - ever so slowly - to open.  In another day, I'll pick one or two for the house.  One of my favorite fragrances.  I was just thinking of our Lily of the Valley the other day - what with it being May Day and all that.  And voila!  When I walked down the driveway to fetch the mail yesterday I noticed that they are budded and beginning to open.  We have a huge area by our mailbox that is covered with Lily of the Valley.  What a sweet, sweet smell.  I love those and the grape hyacinth together.  I'll need to pick some of those for a little bud vase I have on the kitchen windowsill.

Yesterday sort of got lost among all the work "to-dos."  But, let's not focus on that.  Instead it is Tuesday and, specifically, Tiny Needle Tuesday or TNT.  A small amount of stitching was accomplished in the past week.


Another vase of flowers (there are so many!) has been added on the right.  And on the left (just to the left of the tiny heart), you can see the beginnings of the large bird.  In addition to the bird, there are more things to be stitched on the left side.  Then I'll be able to start the tree (apple of course) in the middle and before you know it A&E will appear.  There is also the red line to be done on both sides of the sampler (and across the bottom when I get there).  Maybe I'll be able to carve out a bit of time to stitch on this piece today.

My PT appointment is at 9 this morning and Fletch and I will do some grocery shopping - probably in the afternoon.  We are out of yogurt and a few other things.  So far work is quiet...but I know the day is young.  Hope your Tuesday is a good one!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Weekending 5/2/22

 Good morning!

How are you?  How was your weekend?  Mine was good.  Last night I woke up around 3:30 a.m. to a thunderstorm.  It rained hard for about 10 minutes, but that was it.  Mabel did come in a bit wet.  She was also up on the patio roof meowing when I got up at 6:30.  Fletch and I were both noticing how much more affectionate Mabel has become over the past week or so.  She is always coming up to us and rubbing against our legs, meowing and wanting to be with us.  If one of us is outside and the other inside she goes back and forth...constantly!  It has been nice to see this progression in her behavior.

Meanwhile, the weekend was good as I mentioned.  Saturday morning I headed out to the canal path and took a leisurely walk.  Finally (!!) I was able to do the length from Oaks to Phoenixville.  That is roughly 3 miles round trip.  I'm definitely walking slower than before the back issue, but I'm happy to be able to go that far.

It was peaceful along the trail, although more people than I've seen recently.  It was a lovely day, so lots of walkers and bicyclists and a few runners.


Also plenty of turtles basking in the sun.


Also plenty of geese (and more turtles on the left).


I do love seeing blooms reflected in water.  Just before this was a wisteria tree/vine in full bloom (ours is just starting to show buds), but the lighting was wrong and I couldn't get the blooms to show up.  I was surprised not to see anyone kayaking or canoeing on the canal.

Sunday I debated about walking, but didn't want to over-do it after walking 3 miles on Saturday.  So instead I opted for doing my PT exercises - stretching and strengthening and then headed out for a little archery in the back yard.  Even though last week was pretty dry, things in our back yard can still be fairly mucky, plus there are so many ticks around.  I had to protect myself!


Floral leggings and black & white houndstooth wellies!  LOL  The wellies are ones I bought years ago after the snake in the basement episode.  If I'm running around in flip flops and need to do laundry, I will slip the wellies on before venturing down into the basement.  Always an attractive sight to see whether I'm in PJ pants or shorts!  LOL  The wellies also come in handy for hanging stuff on the clothesline when the grass is still heavy with dew or after a rain.

So, I think today will be pretty much overcast all day...but up near 70 which seems appropriate for May.  I'd love to get out for a walk, but will need to see how it goes.  I have two conference calls this morning - one at 10 and the other at 11.  I may be done in after weathering those two calls!

Wishing you all a Happy May and a great start to a new week!

Friday, April 29, 2022

A Treasure

 Good Morning!

And Brrrrr...it is just at freezing outside - 32 degrees.  It's sunny, but still....I'm beginning to think that April never got the message that it is a Spring month.  And, as so many have been saying, my fear is that we are going to jump right into HOT weather without having a proper Spring.  But, it's one of those things out of my control, so I will not spend a lot of time worrying about it, but I won't quite put my woolens away either!

Today I want to share with you one of my Treasures.  It is my sewing cabinet.  My Grandpa (paternal side) made some beautiful furniture and I am so fortunate to have some of it.  I have a dresser, a bedside end table, and my sewing cabinet (Colin has a desk that he made).

Grandpa was a very talented man.  He did not have a college education, yet he served in politics, ran a creamery, worked at the Bowl Mill in Weston, Vermont (we all have plenty of bowls, offering plates and salt & pepper shakers that he turned out of wood).  He would also recite poetry ALL the time to his kids.  The creamery he ran for a bit was down the street from heir house in South Londonderry, VT.  My Dad and his brothers and sister and neighborhood kids would often gather there after school and listen to my Grandpa recite poems.

Here is a picture of my Dad's parents on their wedding day.


Grandpa was 6'3" and Grandma was around 4'11" - quite the pair!!

And here he is working in the barn that was attached to their home in South Londonderry.


Anyway, many, many moons ago he made a sewing cabinet for my Grandmother.  and, then, many years later I was fortunate enough to get that sewing cabinet.  It is roughly 28" high and roughly 16" across at the widest point.  It is made out of birds eye maple.  (Click to enlarge all the pictures.)

The dresser behind the cabinet is also one he made. 




The two sides of the cabinet open up.  First we have:


Some open space.  This is typically where I store my patterns.  Sometimes some dribs and drabs of velcro, sewing elastic, etc.  (The left "foot" of the cabinet is a little twisted - it is loose and easily turns to the side...I need to get Fletch to tighten that up.)  The other side is like this:


The tray on the right slides back and forth (except that most of my spools are too large and prevent that from happening.  I do have a lot of old spools of thread from my Mom - perhaps I should change those out so that the tray can slide.  And, do you see the two tiny drawers at the top?


I suppose I could keep small scissors, seam rippers, etc. in one.

So there you have one of my treasures!  This sits in the office room right next to my sewing machine cabinet so that the spools of thread are handy when needed.

And with that, it is time to start the final work day of the week.  Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!