Monday, September 26, 2022

Weekending

 Good Morning All,

How are you?  I'm a bit drowsy this morning.  I slept in which felt wonderful...not getting up till 7 a.m.  Now I'm just sipping my first cup of coffee.  The warmth of it is delicious.  Hopefully it will kick in soon and I will feel more awake.

I shut down work email Friday evening.  That felt strange and wonderful.  Usually I check work email a number of times over the weekend, but I decided I'm on vacation and there is no need!  Liberating.

Our weekend was busy - mostly vacation prep stuff.  It always seems to take forever.  I ran some errands Saturday morning including buying wine for the trip (a priority for sure and I made sure to get all screw top bottles to make it easy!!).  Saturday was also Fletcher's birthday!  So, I baked a cake (devil's food) and made a maple buttercream frosting.  Yum!

Saturday morning - just for Fletcher's birthday!! - our first morning glory blossom opened.


Look at that shade of blue!  So gorgeous.  Fletch planted the seeds late this year, so I'm not sure how many more blooms there will be, but at least there was one.

Sunday morning was busy cooking.  Bonnie & Zhongren (Mailing's parents) had invited us for dinner on Sunday and I made a corn and black bean salad to take over.  I also roasted eggplant in preparation for making eggplant caponata to take on our trip.  We will be cooking dinner for Lois & Dick one night - grilling hot and sweet sausage, and Fletch wanted me to make the eggplant dish to go along with that meal.

I also managed to pack my clothes Sunday morning, but I need to re-look at that.  I know I've packed way too much.  Fall is such a tricky time to travel.  We can have any kind of weather - warm or cold - so you really need to take a bit of everything.

Anyway, back to dinner on Sunday.  Zhongren grilled beef skewers and shrimp skewers which were delicious.  There was a noodle dish, some winter melon sauteed with soy sauce, ginger and ground pork, some sauteed onions and the corn and black bean salad that I brought.  For dessert - strawberry shortcake.  Everything was delicious.

Over the summer Zhongren built a shed in their backyard to store their mower and gardening tools.  Look at how gorgeous it turned out!


Such details - I LOVE the windows, the rain chime hanging on the left, the window box and the light.  If you look closely you will see that a passion flower is blooming in the planter to the left of the shed!

So, we take off tomorrow!  We will be in NY, VT and NH.  We'll get back on the 5th in time to meet up with Colin & Mailing and Bonnie & Zhongren (and maybe Anna) for dinner at a local restaurant.  C&M fly in that day for a weekend wedding and Wednesday night is the only night they are free to get together.  It will be tight with us just getting in sometime in the afternoon, but I didn't want to pass up a chance to see the kids again.

While we are away I will not be posting, but will be reading blogs occasionally...but on my phone and probably will not comment.  We may not have internet everywhere we are either.  Our neighbors, Rob & Eva, are set to watch Mabel - coming over to feed her and let her in and out.  Fingers crossed she will be fine (I'm sure she will be - all our other cats have fared just fine when we have gone away).

Time to pour a second cup of coffee and try to wake up!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 9/21/22

 Good Morning All,

It's that time again - Wednesday - to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading - two perfect things!!

On the making side of things, I'm happy that the 2nd sock is well on the way to being finished.  Will I finish before we leave on vacation?  I don't know (busy, busy, busy), but I'm going to try!


The heel flap and heel turn have been knit and I am on the gusset decreases.  Then it should be smooth sailing through the foot.

I'm holding off getting anything from the library to read since we leave next Tuesday on vacation.  But, it's not like I don't have books to choose from at home!  I started one of the books I picked up at the thrift shop a couple of weeks ago:  Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.  I'm not sure why I never read this (unless it was the fact that Latin terrorists storming a party didn't sound good to me), but I'm enjoying it now.  It is not a quick read for me...there is plenty to think about.

Fletch and I have started listening to a new book after dinner:  The Way Home by Mark Boyle - billed as a modern day "Walden."  So far it is ok...good...not fabulous, but time will tell.

Once again my day ahead looks busy.  I've errands to run and the office to visit.  I also need to call my doctor to get some prescriptions refilled before we leave on vacation (good thing I looked!!).  It looks to be a beautiful day - the sky was streaked with pink when I woke up at 6:30.  Really beautiful.

Wishing you all a wonderful day - get out there and enjoy it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9/20/21

 Good Morning!

It is one week from today that we leave on vacation.  So...I have vacation anticipation in the extreme!  Hahaha.  Of course, I've done no packing - haven't even thought about that.  I need to dig out some turtlenecks and warmer clothing since we will be heading North.  Our first night we will be in the Rhinebeck area - well ahead of NY Sheep & Wool.  I also need to think about what projects (stitching AND knitting) to take along for the ride.  Maybe I'll figure that out today.  That will give me plenty of time to change my mind and choose something else (which I'm prone to doing).

Meanwhile, it is Tuesday and time to check in on my stitching.  I mentioned yesterday that I had to frog some of the border on the large sampler (Ellen Harrison 1889 from Needle Work Press).  This is how crazy I can be:  I woke up in the middle of the night Friday remembering that the very upper border had been off by one (yes, just 1) thread.  I compensated on the bottom border so that they lined up.  But, what I realized in the middle of the night is that it wouldn't work.  There are more horizontal lines across and they would not line up.  Plus, the little motifs in the piece would not be placed correctly.  So, out it came.


Part of the upper border and a smaller section of the bottom border plus the right side stitches that had been done.  Thankfully not a ton of them.  I have yet to re-stitch what was ripped out.

The second sampler is coming along.  I managed to do a little (very little) stitching on that one.


I had forgotten how much Eileen Bennett (the designed of this sampler) likes acorns.  They appear in a lot of her samplers.  There will be more acorns between the green designs in this particular band and then there will be another band of birds and acorns.  What the piece needs is a hungry squirrel, but there isn't one.

In happy news, Colin is flying up today.  He was supposed to have a meeting with his boss on Thursday and then dinner out.  That has been cancelled thanks to the boss testing positive for Covid over the weekend.  Colin is still having a meeting with his team and hopefully meeting with a new person he just hired for his group.  The cancelled meeting and dinner means that Colin can come here for dinner on Thursday!  I'm planning to try my hand at a curried chick pea soup.  YUM!!

Tomorrow I'm planning to head to the office (and Trader Joe's) one last time before vacation.  Today is filled with laundry (sheets and towels) and a light grocery shopping.  And, hopefully digging through stash and figuring out vacation knitting and stitching.  Oh, and maybe a little work-work.  HA!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Weekending

 Hello and Good Morning,

It appears that once again Monday has rolled around.  (Once again) I did not sleep well and then when I finally did fall back asleep, I woke up much later than usual...so I'm a bit behind the 8-ball this morning.  I have a conference call in less than an hour that I need to get ready for and emails that came through over the weekend that are demanding my attention.

BUT, I do have something to share and show you!  On Saturday, Dee and I met up in the morning for a bit of therapy - you know:  sipping coffee, chatting and a bit of knitting.  She brought along "Creepy Cranky Christmas Guy."  Well!  I showed him my completed sock and then I caught him trying to steal it!!


There is no denying it - the sock had been lying flat on the table and by the time I picked up my phone he had grabbed the sock!  You really need to watch him - LOL.

The balance of the weekend was filled with other stuff - laundry, ripping out some stitching (yup - had to frog part of that impossible to see border on the big sampler) and a little cooking.  Also grabbing some stuff from our neighbor's garden (they are in the Outer Banks and Rob texted to help ourselves to the garden).  Fletch grilled some delicious lamb chops on Saturday and I ocoked up some scallops last night.  I also made a little bit of tomato jam which is delicious!

Well, that does it for me - I need to get to work.  Hope everyone is having a good start to the week!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Whew!

 Hey There My Friends,

How are you?  I feel like I am running faster and faster and life keeps getting busier and busier.  It was nice to catch up with Kevin at the office yesterday.  My meeting at 11, however, was a waste of time.  The purpose was to review a year-end process that we do every year.  There are no changes...so why we had to meet is beyond me.  Today I have a work luncheon.  Actually this should be nice too.  It's at Bahama Breeze (a chain restaurant and the food is pretty good), so I won't even go into the office.

Next week is my last week of work before leaving on vacation (I cannot wait!!), but there is still a ton of stuff I need to do work-wise.  Also vacation wise (like decide what to pack and what "stuff" to bring).  We'll be heading North to New England, so I need to dig out a turtleneck or two and a wool sweater or two.  Also wool socks!  I'll figure it out, but it will be crazy busy.

You all know I'm not a huge TV person, but last night Fletch and I watched the first episode of Season 7 of Shetland - very good!  This is the last Season with Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez and I will miss him...I'm curious to see how this season ends.

And, before watching the show I did manage to cast on for Sock #2!!  Woo-Hoo


Just 5 rows of ribbing completed, but it's something!  I wanted to be sure it was cast on and started before I meet up with Dee on Saturday morning.

No other knitting or stitching and no reading...just swamped with work.  This, too, shall pass.

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying a nice Thursday.  I've got to get myself dressed and ready to go to lunch!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 9/14/22

 Good Morning Everyone!

The air is clearer this morning and it is 58 degrees out - it actually feels a little chilly and I may need to grab a shawl soon to wrap around my shoulders.

Yesterday I successfully got my new watch battery.  Yay!  I also managed to cut up and roast almost all the tomatoes we had in the kitchen (on the counter and the windowsill).  There were around 2 dozen and we just were not consuming them quickly enough and I did not want rotten tomatoes on my counter.  I cut them up and roasted them with a number of minced garlic cloves, fresh basil and rosemary and a sprinkling of oregano.  It all cooked down to not much, but now it is in the freezer and at some point I will pull it out to make fresh sauce.  Yum!

Now it's Wednesday, so welcome to Unraveled Wednesday where we hook up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  I finally (after an entire month!!) finished the first sock:


The pattern is Tidal Wave (I can no longer find it on Rav) and the yarn is Barn Cat in the colorway "Cosmopolitan" (no longer available).  For the first time ever I did not cast on for sock #2 immediately.  I hope this does not spell second sock syndrome for me.  I have always immediately cast on for the second sock when the first is finished, but this time I completed the sock Monday around 10:30 p.m. and that was way too late for me to cast on.  And then Tuesday I was busy and I didn't think I could successfully cast on and manage the first few rows (always awkward) during our Zoom call for the Read With Us group (great discussion BTW).  So, if I'm lucky I'll cast on today, but I'm not sure.

I've also been dreaming/thinking of next projects.  Fletch and I leave on vacation on the 27th.  My guess is that the second Tidal Wave will be on the needles, but I'll need something (or a couple of things) additional to have with me.  I'm sure I will figure it out.  Meanwhile, the dreaming is fun.

Reading was a mixed bag this week.  I've given up on The Enchanted April - I just could not get into it.  I'm also giving up on Fresh Water for Flowers which I was listening to.  Not a bad story, but I realized I never was thinking to listen to it!  And when I would remember to listen, I couldn't remember what I had last heard.  

Many of you know that I'm not a huge Elizabeth Strout fan, but someone (Kat, I think it was you?) suggested I try listening to the Lucy books instead of reading.  So, I plan to get the first one and see how that goes.

Last night I did finish Remarkably Bright Creatures and just loved it.  What a wonderful book.  I highly recommend it.  I'll drop that (and The Enchanted April) off at the library this morning and don't plan to take out any more books till after vacation.  I'm planning to start one of the books I picked up at the thrift store the other week - probably Bel Canto (still can't believe I never read this!).  Vacation reading will be a book or two plus my Kindle.  That should keep me occupied just fine.

Soon I need to head to my office.  Kevin is up from Atlanta and wants to meet with me about year-end stuff (our fiscal year ends 9/30); I think Bruce will be in the office; and I have a meeting from 11-12 about year-end bonus calculations.  Oh joy!  NOT.  This may end up being my longest day in the office in ages.  On a positive note, I'll come home to a clean house since Karyn is coming today!!

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday - enjoy.  And, be sure to check out Kat's blog and others' links to their making and reading.  I guarantee you will be inspired.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9/13/22

 Good Morning,

Another kind of grey day here.  I'm not complaining though as we went so long without any rain.  Jim, the mower, came on Monday for the first time in at least a month if not longer.  After last week's heavy rain, the grass grew quickly.  We had a bit more rain (or I should say mist) yesterday on and off.  Mabel went out at 3 this morning and when I let her in at 6 she was a little damp - not sure if it has rained or she was just going through the grass/shrubs/what have you.

We got our 3rd Covid Booster shots yesterday with no ill effects so far.  Fletch commented that his arm was beginning to feel tender last night, but I have not felt that and I slept fine.  He is still asleep at this hour, so I'll find out how he feels once he gets up.

On today's agenda is grocery shopping (minimal I hope) and getting a watch battery.  I went to the jewelers yesterday, but found out they are closed on Mondays.  I will try again today.

All of that brings us to Tuesday Morning and Tiny Needle Tuesday.  A bit of progress has been made on each sampler.  First  up, the BIG one (Ellen Harrison 1889 from NeedleWork Press):


Yikes!  Even enlarged this one is difficult to see.  The border stitches blend into the linen.  But...I made it fully across the top of the sampler (242 stitches) and just starting down the sides and managed to stitch her first name.  Here's a close up that is easier to see:


That's a fancy E at the beginning of Ellen

Next up is the Praise Sampler (Praise Loudly, Blame Softly) - a small band sampler from Eileen Bennett.  The acorns have been completed between the little birds and the next band has been started:


I'm having fun with this one and enjoying the different stitches as a nice change from just cross stitch.  There is a stitch coming up that I have never done before - Hollie Point.  I will need to practice that one for sure (it is a lace stitch that was popular during the 18th century).

That's it from me for today.  Hope you all have a peaceful and nice Tuesday!

Monday, September 12, 2022

Weekending 9/12/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Mine was a good one.  Saturday was BOTH my birthday and the New Jersey Sheep and Wool Festival.  What's not to love about that?  I drove to Dee's and then she drove us over the river and into Festival territory.  It was crowded and it was also bigger than last year.  Lots of yarny things and lots of sheep.

Bonny was unable to meet with us on Saturday and I don't know if Bridget ever made it to the Fairgrounds...we did not run into her.  As I mentioned, there were plenty of sheep, so here's a sampling:

Look Ma!  I've got horns!!



Freshly shorn and getting ready to show!


This spotted guy was little and so cute!


Sheep in jackets!!


This one looked like a rag doll!

There was a new-to-me vendor and I did not buy anything from her, but I HAD to take a picture of her sign:


We walked around a lot and I was very restrained in my purchases!  Here's what I got:


A mini skein from The YarnSmith - colorway American Robin.  I thought this would be pretty on cuffs and heels and toes of solid color socks.

The middle skein is from Kints4Comfort and the colorway is Squash Blossom.  So pretty.

Last up, a skein of blue from Three Bunny Designs in the colorway Bunny's Got Her Blue Jeans On.  This skein is for socks for Fletch.

There is one last skein of yarn, but I did not buy it.  Dee gifted me this skein for my birthday!


Thank you Dee!  This is from Machete Shoppe and the colorway is Douglas Fir.  Beautiful!

After a lovely lunch out at Chive we headed back to Dee's and I picked up my car and drove home.  I was beat!  All that walking around (3 hours) on rough ground about did my feet and heels in.  Added to that is the fact that for 3 nights running I had not slept well.  But, it was a wonderful time and thank goodness we went on Saturday because it rained all day Sunday (and more today and tomorrow too).

I came home to a gorgeous bouquet that Fletch had bought for me:


Sunday, the rainy day, I did manage to do some knitting, some stitching and some reading.  I also paid bills and did some other "things."  And today we are booked to get the updated Booster Vaccine at 11.  We were hoping to be able to get this shot prior to our vacation (we leave 9/27).

Well, that's a wrap for me!  How was your weekend?

Friday, September 9, 2022

One Winner and One Loser

 Good Morning All,

How are you?  I'm well, though I'd like to sleep through one night without waking up at 3 a.m.!  And, I'd like to not wake in the middle of the night with a charlie horse in my right calf!  Geese Louise!  Or, rather, ouch.  Anyway, Mabel who had stayed in last night came up around 3:30 insisting that I get up to let her out, so I did that and then, luckily, managed to fall back asleep until 6:30.  Now I'm in the process of enjoying my first cup of coffee.  There's a little bit of a chill in the air, so the warmth of the coffee is especially nice this morning.

Yesterday I mentioned that I was making a new (to me) curry dish for dinner.  Well, that was the loser in the title of this post!


It's too bad as I love everything in it:  chicken, peppers, squash (yellow), peas, cilantro, red onions, peanuts, curry paste, coconut milk.  I really need to find a good curry recipe.

On the flip side I did make a winner!  The weather was perfect for cooking up a recipe I've made in the past for a chili sauce/artisinal ketchup. 


This stuff is so good - it has onions, peppers, a ton of tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and some spices (cinnamon, mace, allspice, nutmeg).  It cooks for 2+ hours on the stove and then has a 10 minute water bath to seal the jars.  It is chunky - not smooth like regular ketchup.  I did use my immersion blender to mash up some of it, but the chunks are nice.

No major plans for today - some laundry and a conference call at 11.  I'm hoping to find some time to knit and/or stitch.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Leading Up To The Weekend!

 Hello All,

How are you today?  We had another rainy day yesterday, but the sun is out today.  I've been up since forever (couldn't sleep after 4 a.m.), but on the positive side, all my Thursday reports have been run and sent out.  I'm betting I take a nap later.

It was another chilly afternoon on the patio for us (sweatshirt for me, flannel shirt for Fletch) and not very much bird activity.  When I went in to prep for dinner, Fletch decided to walk out to the garden.  This is what he came back with:


I hadn't even noticed the peppers growing - they must have been hiding under leaves.  And four figs!!  Fletch is betting that the rain we had will be encouragement for the figs to ripen a little more rapidly.

The dinner I prepped was one of our favorites - BBQ Shrimp.  Oh my!


I almost forgot to take a picture...so intent on filling my plate and mouth.  LOL  Tonight I am trying a new (to me) recipe for a green curry dish with chicken.  Yum!  If it turns out well, I may make it (without meat) when Colin is next here.  He will be up in 2 weeks for a meeting or two at work and will have dinner with us at least one night.  Can't wait to see that boy again.

Meanwhile...I can't wait for Saturday which is NJ Sheep and Wool!!  The only festival I go to now (Maryland Sheep and Wool is just too big and crazy for me).  Dee and I will head over in the morning.  We had hoped to meet up with Bonny, but she has other plans.  Bridget is planning to go as well, so perhaps we will be able to see her.

Before that, though, I need to get through work today and tomorrow.  And next week promises to be even crazier...not looking forward to that!

Hope everyone is doing well and having some fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 9/7/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

We ended up receiving roughly 3.5" of rain!  Woo-Hoo.  Yesterday morning I needed fresh parsley and basil for the red beans I was cooking.  I donned my wellies and rain jacket and walked out to the garden.  Or, rather, sloshed my way across the lawn to the garden.  The yard was like a pond!  It's looking back to normal now.  The rain finally stopped by late morning/early afternoon and sitting on the patio late in the day, Fletch had to put on a flannel shirt and I put on a sweat shirt!  It was wonderful.

Work was a little busy yesterday and then I spent the entire afternoon taking two required on-line courses.  One on IT security had to be completed by the end of September and the other on Wage and Hour laws had to be completed by the end of the calendar year.  I had already received multiple (as in over ten!) notices reminding me to take these, so I just decided to bite the bullet and do it.  What a PITA.  It's impossible to speed up the video training modules, so the courses take more time than they should.  Oh well, I completed them and have my certificates, so there is that.

And now we are at Unraveled Wednesday where we link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Wednesdays are always enjoyable.

First up, I finished my Corner to Corner dishcloth:


Obviously a little stretched out and unblocked...but it's a dishcloth for goodness' sake!  I'll just use it and then wash it and dry it.  The pattern is (duh) Corner to Corner by Purl Soho and the yarn is KnitPick's CotLin in the colorway Chicory.  I believe I used size 7 needles, but I've already put them away and can't really remember.  For the time being, I am finished making dishcloths (unless I decide to make some fancy/pretty ones to gift with a nice bar of soap or something).

I'm happy to say that the Cosmopolitan sock has moved a little bit on the journey to completion.


The heel has been turned and I'm almost finished the gusset decreases.  If I only had a few more hours in each day!  If you click on the picture to enlarge, you will see the cute bat stitch marker that Dee gave me on Saturday - perfect for Fall!  The pattern is Tidal Wave (had been free on Ravelry, but I don't see this particular version now) and the yarn is Barn Cat from Wandering Cat in the colorway Cosmopolitan.  I need to get a move on with this sock and the next.  They look like summer to me and it is feeling like Fall.  I want to knit something else!

On the reading side of things, sound the trumpets!  I finally finished Sorrow and Bliss and did not change my opinion of it!  Just boring to me.  But, I'm looking forward to our Read With Us Zoom discussion of this book next week.  I'm curious what so many found to like about this book - where I missed the mark or whatever.

Two books came in for me that I had requested from the library.  First up is The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.  This is a slow read.  It has been described as charming, etc.  The style of writing is a bit dated (the author lived from 1866 - 1941 and this book was first published in 1922), but I've been reading it before bed and trying to get through it.  Araignee had mentioned that this was made into a movie (1991 I think) and I just found that it is available on Pluto TV (free) on Roku...so, perhaps I will watch it instead!

The other book I picked up is simply wonderful!  I'm only about a third of the way through it (see comment above about needing more hours in each day), but Remarkably Bright Creatures is sheer enjoyment!  I'm hoping to find a bit more reading time today.

So, curious minds want to know:  what are you making and reading these days?  Be sure to head over to Kat's for inspiration!

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9/6/22

 Good Morning From Soggy Eastern PA!

Yes my friends, we are finally getting rain!  It started lightly just around 5 p.m. yesterday and it has not let up yet.  I checked the rain gauge quickly and there is over 2" in it!!  It is supposed to rain steadily ALL day long.

I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day Weekend.  We did not do anything special, but it was nice and laid back...just the way I like it.  Finally I started my two new stitching pieces over the weekend.  First up is The Praise Sampler by Eileen Bennett.  This is the band sampler that incorporates 14 different stitches into it.  I love the saying which is:  "Praise Loudly Blame Softly."  Good words to live by if you ask me.  Here's what I accomplished so far:


This is a small sampler (the stitch count is only 57 by 115).  I'm stitching it on 30 count linen, but still only using one thread over 2.  I'm using the called for DMC threads and the Perle Cotton thread (that was used on the pulled 4 sided stitch at the top).

Here's an overall picture of what it will look like:


The second sampler I started is a large one (stitch count is 460 by 200).  It is the Ellen Harrison 1889 Sampler from Needlework Press.  I'm stitching it on 36 count linen (again one strand of floss over 2 linen threads).  I didn't get that far, but I started on another piece of fabric and decided it was way too large and light colored, so I pulled a darker linen from my stash and started over.  Here is what is stitched so farL


Kind of hard to see...you can click to enlarge if you like.  Here is what the entire sampler will look like:


So, a lot of stitching ahead of me!  I'm enjoying having two different pieces to work on again...keeps me from getting bored.

Along the lines of surprises, I was so excited to find that we have another lemon growing on our little lemon tree!  When I was watering house plants on Saturday I discovered it.  If I remember correctly, the first one took forever to grow and then it came off the plant prior to being ripe.  I put it on the buffet with other fruit and eventually it ripened and I used it in cooking!  Here's the new one (kind of like a little bean - lol):


My plans for today include making red beans (an all day affair - I did soak the beans over night), a conference call at 11:30 and possibly grocery shopping (if we care to dodge the raindrops).  It's not critical that we shop, but I prefer Tuesdays so that we receive the 5% senior discount (that adds up quickly).

I hope your day finds you easing back gently after a holiday weekend.  Have a good one!

Friday, September 2, 2022

TGIF

 Hello and Good Morning,

Happy September!  I intended to write that greeting yesterday, but then work got crazy/busy and suddently the day got away from me.  BUT...I also decided to take today as a vacation day to make a four day weekend.  Of course, when I was awake in the middle of the night I suddenly remembered a report that I needed to do...I took care of that first thing, so now no more work today, no conference calls, etc.  A lovely feeling.

The air this morning is so cool and refreshing.  Just about 59 degrees and it actually felt a little chilly when I let Mabel out at 4:30 this morning.  Poor thing, she is sneezing constantly!  The past 2-3 days have been filled with non-stop sneezing on her part.  She is not congested or stuffy, thankfully.

On Wednesday Fletch and I went to a new (to us) thrift store.  It had just opened in June.  On our way we stopped at the library for me to pick up two books that had come in for me.  As luck would have it, the thrift store's special of the day was five books for $1.  Of course I found five!!


I have not read any of these!  The top four have been on my list for about forever and then Cane River just looked interesting to me.  I don't NEED more books to own, but I couldn't pass up the bargain.  Once I read these, I will just donate them.

The best find though is a frame I picked up for $11.99.  For years (ever since I finished stitching it) I have carried the dimensions of a stitched piece in my little notebook.  The piece is A Parrot, A Leopard, A Lion from The Scarlet Letter:


It is the one piece I've stitched that Colin really likes, so I've been on the hunt for a frame and here is what I found:


Sorry for the glare and the dirt (and price tag lower left - lol) - obviously I have not cleaned it yet.  But, if I measured correctly, the stitched piece should fit perfectly in the center area of the frame.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday also saw me making the Eggplant Caponata that I mentioned the other day.  OMG - so freakin' good I could have stood with a spoon and just eaten all of it out of the pan!  Instead I put it in the frig.  Yesterday when I was out I bought a baguette and lunch today will be toasted (with EVOO) baguette with Caponata.  I might have to be a pig!  LOL

Fletch is grilling wings for dinner and I will make potato salad and cole slaw to go with those.  Tomorrow I'll meet up with Dee for our Saturday session of knitting/chatting/sipping.  Other than that, no plans for the weekend.  Whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful weekend - enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 8/31/22

 Good Morning All,

How are you?  I am thrilled that the air is cooler this morning, and a bit fresher.  We did have a storm roll through just as Fletch and I were listening to our book after dinner.  It rained for maybe half an hour.  Unfortunately, not enough to nudge the rain gauge, but I'm sure the garden still appreciated the moisture.

Speaking of gardens, Fletch came in all excited late yesterday afternoon to say that (finally!!) the figs were beginning to ripen.  I went out and sure enough there were two ready to pick.


And just look when I cut them open.  Gorgeous!  And they were delicious - we sampled them with dinner last night.


The tree is LOADED with fruit, so they will soon be coming in like crazy.  The tomato harvest (above) was lighter than usual, but still hefty.  There are still so many large tomatoes on the planats.  I'm also looking forward to fried green tomatoes.

Last night I shredded the giant zucchini and now have plenty of it in the freezer to use for bread and/or cookies down the road.  Today I plan to make Eggplant Caponata using the last of our garden eggplants and a bunch of the tomatoes.

But first:  it's Wednesday morning which means time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  There's not much on either of those two fronts for me, but let's dive right in.

There was no more sock knitting at all.  The first Cosmopolitan sock is still at the end of the heel flap waiting for me to wave my magic wand and have the heel turn appear.  Maybe today, maybe not...we'll see.  I did start a new dishcloth using CotLin from KnitPicks (colorway is Chicory - such a gorgeous shade of blue).


The pattern is Corner-to-Corner from Purl Soho.  Nothing complicated.  Just like Grandmother's favorite but with a KFB instead of a YO.  Uncomplicated was exactly what I needed.  I had tried on Saturday when I met up with Dee to make Tin Ceiling but discovered that apparently I cannot count/follow a pattern and talk at the same time.  LOL  I'll save that pattern for a quiet time.

No books were finished during the past week.  WHAT?  Sad, but true.  I am reading, but slowly.  I have about 50 pages left of "Sorrow and Bliss" and am sorry to say that I am still just bored with it.  Maybe it's the author's style of writing?  So much of it has been just repetitous to me (and annoying).  I hope and plan to definitely finish it today.  I have two books waiting for me to pick them up at the library:  Remarkably Bright Creatures and The Enchanted April.  Not sure where I heard about "Enchanted April," but any book about Italy can't be all bad!

Fletch and I are continuing to listen to David Attenborough narrate The Peregrine and are really enjoying it.  There are times that I find myself almost lulled by the sound of Attenborough's voice though, but then some fascinating fact will come out and I jolt up.  For example, talking about a peregrine's eyesight...if a human's eyes were as "good" (for lack of a better word) they would be 4" across and weigh 4 lbs!  Guessing I would have a hard time holding up my head - lol.

OK, time for me to get rolling.  Emails have been pouring in for work and I'd best check them out and see what's going on.  Be sure to head over to Kat's for inspiration! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/30/22

Good Morning!

Another kind of grey, overcast day here.  No rain yesterday and probably not today either.

Well, after having no stitching post last Tuesday, I stepped things up and Simply Live is now complete!!


 Gosh I love this little piece.  It is a pattern from The Primitive Needle (unfortunately Lisa Roswell died a number of years ago...her designs are so nice).  I stitched it on 40 count linen using a combination of DMC and Gentle Arts threads going over 2 threads.  The finished piece is 4.5" wide and 8" high.  It is now tucked away in the drawer with the other finishes.

Yesterday I picked linen out of my stash and hemmed the edges (tired of linen fraying) for two new pieces.  Neither have been started, so more on them next week (I've still got time to change my mind and pick something completely different - LOL).  I will tell you that one of them will really be fun in that it incorporates a number of different stitches into the pattern...not just little x marks.  I can't wait!


Our snapdragons just keep on keepin' on.  They bloom and send up new shoots full of buds and then those shoots bloom, and on and on.  Really gorgeous.  Next year we will plant many more - the deer ignore them unlike other flowers we have planted.

Speaking of deer, I spied this guy this morning.  Picture a little blurry as it was taken through our patio door, but look at that tail!


I don't think I've ever seen one showing so much white on the sides.  And, it looks so fluffy!

Each year in the Spring Fletch goes on the hunt for Praying Mantis egg cases on the property.  When he finds any he will often relocate them to the garden.  Praying Mantis are so good for your garden.  When watering my basil and rosemary yesterday I noticed this guy on the Morning Glory vine:


A handsome fellow.  This reminds me of one of my favorite framed things in our downstairs bathroom.  Fletch and I saw this card in a bookstore a number of years ago...bought it, framed it, and it is now on one of the bathroom walls.  I know I've shown this before, but it just cracks me up every time I look at it.


And with that, I'm off to get another cup of coffee, check out a few blogs and do a little work.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Weekending 8/29/22

 Hello and good Morning!

It's kind of grey and overcast here (dare we hope for rain??) which is causing me to feel rather sluggish this morning.  I'm sipping coffee, but the jolt has not yet set in.


More snapdragons - they just keep coming and coming.

How was your weekend?  Mine was very nice.  It started on Friday when our cleaning girl/woman showed up for the first time.  Oh man!  What a fabulous job she did,  The house looked so clean and smelled so good by the time she finished.  Karyn brings her own supplies for cleaning except we gave her the stuff we use on our hardwood floors and she uses our vacuum.  Except, as luck would have it, our vacuum stopped working on Friday.  LOL  It was old (had been my parents, so it had an extremely long life) and both Fletch and I had noticed it wasn't sucking very well recently.  Oh well.  I had another, cheap little stick vacuum that she could use and I ordered another vacuum before Karyn left on Friday.  The new one was delivered on Saturday and all I can say is that our carpets have not been this clean in years!  It's a powerful thing!

I met up with Dee on Saturday morning for our usual chatter, knitting and sipping.  My knitting was about nil - nothing was working for me that morning.  But, I managed to unload some of the zucchini cookies (which are very good BTW), some zucchini bread with cranberries, some tomatoes and a few jalapenos.  The tomatoes continue to come in like gangbusters.  Yesterday I picked 8 large tomatoes and over 50 sungold cherry tomatoes.  We are overrun!

Saturday my friends the crows showed up.  I enjoy them so much and we often have a few around but on Saturday there were eight - a murder!


This group wasn't all that vocal and they didn't stay there too long.  Soon they were flying over our house on their way to somewhere else.

The other week Kym had one of her "garden dispatch" posts that showed a hummingbird.  Fletch and I usually see hummers in the afternoon while sitting on the patio.  I tried to get a picture on Saturday, but it is HARD.  Using just my cell phone's camera doesn't help.  But, Sunday morning, early, I noticed one flying around our Rose of Sharon.  Then it went to the feeder we have hanging on the clothesline and then, finally, perched on the line and I was able to snap a picture!


A little blurry, but you can see the hummingbird and it's long beak on the clothesline just to the left of the feeder.  Our hummers are not real colorful.  I've only seen a ruby throat here once or twice.  Ours are mostly a dull green/grey on the back with a pale chest.

I don't know about you, but growing up there were things that my Mom fixed that I didn't really care for.  Some I still don't (liver, for example, yuck!).  But some I now love.  Parsnips and turnips fall into that category.  I am particularly fond of Gilfeather Turnips and in years past I would always pick one up at a country store in Wardsboro, Vermont when we were up there.  This past year I found an organic seed company that carries Gilfeather seeds.  I was thrilled and got two packages...one for my brother who gardens a ton and one for Fletch.  This weekend we harvested our first!


Not the most attractive item, but boy did they smell sweet right out of the ground.  Typically they are harvested after the first hard frost, but we could not wait.  I peeled them and cut them up and then boiled them.  After an hour they were still hard!  So, we did not have them last night as planned.  Instead I let them continue to cook while we ate and we will have them tonight.  Once they had softened up, I simply mashed them with butter and pepper.  The tiny bit that I tasted was delicious - so sweet.  I think we may let the rest stay in the ground until after a frost.  The other ones are small still, but I'm thrilled that we've been able to grow them!

And now it is time for another cup of coffee and to get started on Monday.  I hope your week is off to a great start.


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Thursday Doings

 Hello Again,

Yup, another morning has rolled around.  Like yesterday, it is dark now - the clock is just chiming 6 a.m.  I was up early (again) and slept really well!  The stars did not appear quite as bright this morning, but I could still see them (and the moon).  Lovely.

I managed to do a little stitching the other day, but not enough to merit showing or talking about on the blog.  I'm planning on having more to show by next Tuesday for a true TNT report.

Yesterday a good amount of time was spent in the kitchen as well as outside.  Two loads of wash were hung on the lines to dry.  On the kitchen front I roasted the tomatoes in the morning.


I wish I could provide the scent that was coming from the oven - pure heaven!  I put some EVOO in the bottom of the pan and then scattered a bunch of cut up garlic cloves and lots of fresh oregano and basil over that.  Tomatoes were cut in half and into the oven at 400 that all went for roughly 1/2 hour.  Once they cooled I pulled the skins off and threw everything into the blender.  Voila - sauce!  We are having that tonight with shrimp added to it.  My mouth is watering already.

I grated just one of the zucchini (the smaller one which just about filled my food processor!).  A new (to me) recipe came to my email yesterday for Zucchini Cookies With a Lemon Glaze so decided to give them a try.  More like mini cakes than cookies, but hey!  They've got veggies in them, so I call them healthy!  LOL


I haven't tried one yet.  But I'm hoping they are good.  Today or tonight I will make some zucchini bread with more of the grated veggie.  I plan to add fresh cranberries (well, ones that I froze last winter) and either walnuts or pecans.

Meanwhile, I'm heading to the office this morning.  I don't want to go, but I need to go.  Planning to get in early and get out early, pick up some wine and head to CVS for another try at getting Fletch's prescription and a few things I need.  Hoping/planning to get home in time to work out before lunch.  A busy, but (hopefully) productive day.  Hope yours is a good one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 8/24/22

 Hello!

It's still early...not quite 6 a.m.  I woke at 4:15 this morning but managed to stay in bed for another hour.  When I did finally get up at 5:15, I looked out the window and it was so clear.  I saw a lot of stars and the moon was a beautiful yellow crescent in the sky.  Just another reason why I love the early morning hours.  It is peaceful and quiet.  Even the birds are still and not yet singing their morning songs.  Mabel was singing her song when I came downstairs.  Or rather meowing loudly by the door to the patio.  She was hungry!  She has had her breakfast and is back out patrolling her property.

Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday where we link up with Kat to talk making and reading.  There has been a little knitting since last Wednesday.  The leg of the first Cosmopolitan sock is complete and the heel flap has been constructed.


Gosh this yarn has knit up so lovely!  I knit the heel flap as Eye of the Partridge and really like how that turned out!  The pink and yellow play so well together.  Here's a close up of it (which I was unable to turn around):


Last night I cast on for another dishcloth.  Another skein of CotLin from KnitPicks and the pattern I chose was Tin Ceiling from Purl Soho.  


But...four rows in and for some reason I had messed up a very simple pattern, so it was all ripped out.  Perhaps I will try again today.

Reading has been quite good.  Fletch and I finished listening to Northland by Porter Fox.  This is the one where the narrator's voice was initially really weird, but we got used to it!  And, we both enjoyed the book about the border between the US and Canada.  Last night we started listening to The Peregrine by J. A. Baker.  It is read by David Attenborough, and listening to his voice is like a lullaby to me.

I finished Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark.  Initially I had a little bit of trouble getting into the book, but after 40 or so pages I was hooked.  I loved all the characters of the story and the fact that it takes place in both Philadelphia and the coast of Maine.  Perfect for me!  Now I'm reading Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason for the Read With Us group.  It is an easy read, but I'm finding myself pretty bored with it.  I'm about a third of the way through and hoping it gets a bit more interesting.

Yesterday afternoon while I was fixing dinner, Fletch walked over to see Rob, our neighbor across the way.  He came home with two rather large zucchini and two red bell peppers.


Guess what I'm doing today?  Grating the zucchini to make some bread.  The tomatoes are just some of what I picked yesterday.  We would give some to Rob and Eva, but their garden is loaded with tomatoes too!  I might just have to roast some to make sauce.

The sun is now up and it looks like it will be a nice day.  I plan to do a couple loads of wash and hopefully hang them on the line to dry.  Whatever you are up to, I hope it's a great day for you - Enjoy!