Thursday, December 29, 2022

A Slight Interruption

 Hi All,

I'll be back with more TX pictures and tales...but taking a little break.  Zhongren (Mailing's Dad) did not feel well Christmas Day and tested positive for Covid when he got home Tuesday.  I tested positive this morning.  Waiting on Fletcher's results now and then will call our primary care doctor.  Luckily Zhongren is already feeling much, much better, so hopefully this will not be a long ordeal!

Take care and I'll be back when I can.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

We're Back!

 Hello My Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and survived the brutal temps that happened pretty much all over the country!  Even in TX!!

Our flight last Wed (12/21) was thankfully uneventful and actually really pleasant.  Fletch and I were separated and my seat mate was the nicest woman.  I read a tiny bit and knit even less, but had a wonderful conversation with her.  Colin picked us up at the airport and took us directly to our AirBnB.  A very funky place.  I did not take any inside pictures, but here are a couple of things on the patio (didn't spend time on the patio as it really was not patio weather!).

Unfortunately, the space was pretty dark.  We even moved a lamp downstairs from the sleeping loft, but there was not sufficient lighting for me to see to knit!  After unpacking a few things, we drove over to C&M's apartment to wait for Mailing to get home from work.  It was wonderful to see the grand-kitties again:

(Talbot has always enjoyed being on top of the well as inside it!!)

We had dinner outside at Suerte that evening (with heaters) - an amazing Mexican restaurant.  I forgot to take pictures of food, but here's the drink I had - lol

That is a delicious eggplant dip behind my drink.  

Thursday Colin came over early and he and I took a walk in the neighborhood.  At this point, the weather was still nice.  The neighborhood of East Austin is interesting.  Lots of varied houses and landscaping.  We saw this guy on our walk:

Mailing drove over around 10 and we went to Book People (what an amazing bookstore), Whole Foods (to get some things for the AirBnB) and Waterloo Records (very cool record shop).  By the time we came out of the shops to walk to the car the temperature had dropped noticeably - like at least 25 degrees - and had gotten very, very windy.

When we woke up Friday morning, the temperature was 14 degrees with a real feel of minus 6!  Not at all what we expected in Austin.  Our AirBnB host texted asking us to leave water dripping in the sinks.

Mailing's parents were flying in that day, but would not get in till the afternoon.  We took off to go to the Blanton Museum of Art on the UT campus.  There was a wonderful exhibit going on:  "Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America."  Here are some pics from that exhibit:

This one is for my spinning friends - look closely and you will see that she is spinning!  (And that frame!!)

Amazing fabrics and stitching.  We also walked around the balance of the museum which is filled with so many wonderful works of art.  Then we went to lunch at an Argentinian place Buenos Aires Cafe  and the food was so freakin' good.  I had some soup and a lentil stew that was to die for.

Bonnie and Zhongren arrived safely (just a little late) and after checking in to their hotel, they walked over to the apartment.  That night we ate at a local brewery Central Machine Works for some good beer and pizza.

Tomorrow I'll share some more, but for now, I think this post is long enough and has sufficient pictures in it!!  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 12/20/22

 Hello and Greetings to All,

A Happy Winter Solstice to you...a bit early, but this will be my last post until we are back from our adventure in Texas!  Tomorrow, the Solstice, is also the birthday of one of my brothers.  And, of course, it means that the amount of daylight will begin to increase.  I really love these dark winter mornings and I also really enjoy having dinner by candlelight, so I'm ok with less daylight.  Fletch not so much.  What can I say?  Opposites attract.

Yesterday found my packing finished!  And then I had to re-think it and I removed some things.  In the early morning hours today when I woke up I realized something else I want to take and a few more things to remove.  Today will find me sorting it all out and finalizing it.  After all, our ride to the airport arrives at 7:30 tomorrow morning - there will be no time to do it then!

Meanwhile, it's Tuesday and time for a TNT post.  And voila!  I have a finish!!

That crazy long-legged bird is done.  Woo-Hoo.  The design is "Gathering Basket" by Blackbird Designs (from 2011).  I used 30 count fabric (Weeks Dye Works in the color Cappuccino) and DMC threads.  I don't much care for the fabric - it is very stiff.  Plus, I prefer higher count linens, but it was in my stash and needed to be used.  The designer had stitched one of her initials in the lower left and I tried that, but did not like the way it looked, so ripped that out.  This piece is now put away in the drawer of finishes.  I may (or may not) make a pin cushion out of it.  To be determined at a later date - LOL

If anyone is interested in this chart, let me know.  I'm happy to ship it out to anyone.

I'd like to wish everyone a very peaceful and happy week before Christmas.  And, if you celebrate (or even if you do not) wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.  While we are away, I may read some blogs on my phone, but most likely will not comment.  I'll try to catch up when I'm back in a week.  Enjoy!!

Monday, December 19, 2022

Weekending 12/19/22

 Good Morning!

Still dark out there (just 6:30 a.m.) and my phone tells me it is 28 computer says rain off and on.  Neither sounds good!  I'll be running out later for a few last minute things. I'll tell you, between keeping bird seed and peanuts in stock as well as cat food I may never be able to retire!  Those animals eat a lot...

I'm hoping your weekend was lovely.  Mine was.  I met up with Dee Saturday morning as we usually do and had such a good time sipping coffee, knitting and chatting.  Good company!  And, when I got home I managed to finish up the second Christmas sock!

I can't believe how matchy-matchy they are.  I love them.  I made sure to make them short enough in the foot to fit my friend so that I would not be tempted to keep them for myself - lol.  They've already been wrapped and a ribbon tied around the package which has been set aside with other gifts for this friend.

The rest of the weekend was spent organizing some things (drugs and cosmetics) for the upcoming trip.  Today I MUST pack some clothes.  The weather forecast for Austin has kind of plummeted and now we could have some days in the 40's and nights in the 20's.  YIKES  Also, there was a 5.5 earthquake centered in Midland, TX on Friday.  Colin felt it at their apartment!  Mailing was still at work and did not feel it at her office.

As well as running out for a few last minute things, I'm going to do a final load of laundry.  And, of course, I'm working today and tomorrow...well, working in a vague sort of way - HA!

It's the countdown week to Christmas - wishing you all a peaceful and stress-free time.  Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 12/14/22

Hello and Good Morning,

A bit frosty out there, but warmer than yesterday.  Currently (6:42 a.m.) it is 27 degrees.  Yesterday was, unfortunately, spent running around doing various errands.  A trip to CVS ended up being longer than expected:  I was picking up 3 prescriptions for moi, or so I thought.  But one of them was not ready and the reason was that they did not have enough pills to fill the prescription!  Then, dropping off a new prescription for Fletch I learned that our current insurance does not cover it.  The out of pocket cost?  Over $1,000.  YIKES!!  I did not get that filled.  Will try again in the new year and see if our new insurance covers it.  If not...back to the drawing board with his doctor.

Today promises to be more running around.  Karyn comes to clean and will be here by Noon.  At that point, Fletch and I will leave (getting out of her way and avoiding the noise of cleaning - LOL).  We are going out to lunch and then will go to Colin & Mailing's to check on a few things, water the house plants and put the trash out for pick up tomorrow.  A contractor was over doing some work while the kids were in town and now there seems to be a problem with the sink in the basement.  Fletch will check that out...hopefully no major issues.

But on to nicer things.  It's Wednesday, or specifically, Unraveled Wednesday, so let's link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to see what everyone is making and reading these days.  You all know that I didn't do any stitching last week, but I did manage to get a bit of knitting accomplished.  The first Turning Leaves sock is off the needles!!

Isn't that just the prettiest?  I had planned to cast on for Sock #2, but that has yet to happen.  It will most likely to to Texas with me.

The second Christmas sock is almost finished:

(Clean and different Christmas tablecloth is on the table!!).  Heading down the foot - about 40 more rows of that and then it will be toe decrease time.  This one WILL be finished before we leave town.

On the reading side, a mixed bag.  I finished The Colony by Audrey Magee.  Not sure how I feel about this one.  I found the writing awkward (though I liked the knitting references) and the story disturbed me (as I guess it should have).  I'm still thinking about it, so there is that!

I returned several books to the library.  This One I started reading, but could not get into.  And Booth I knew I couldn't finish before we take off...and it was due back by 12/22 anyway.  Then I tried The Netanyahus but again I couldn't get into it.  Finally I started Eastern Shore Shorts a book of short stories all taking place on the Eastern Shore (duh), but I'm not finding it very interesting or very well written.  Looks like I may be in another reading slump of sorts.  Oh well, I will find something to take on the plane and we plan to visit Book People our first full day in Austin.  Colin & Mailing have raved about this store, so I cannot wait!

Now it's time to pour a second cup of coffee and dry my hair (my head is COLD!!).  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 12/13/22

 Good Morning!

Sorry my post yesterday was a bit on the whiny side.  I hadn't intended that at all.  But geeze Louise, I am tired (ha!) of broken sleep, being awake for hours in the night, etc.  So many of us have the same issues, I know.  Anyway, last night was a good night of sleep (about 7 hours straight!!) and I did get a nice hour long nap in yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday was a good day for errands, too.  I went to the post office early and who knew?  Shipping priority mail was much, much cheaper than shipping UPS from my office where I get a nice discount!  I shipped off the packages I had (so far) to mail and the cost was less than half of what I spent last year on UPS and all packages will arrive by tomorrow or Thursday.

After the post office run I went down to the local food pantry and donated a bunch of canned goods and pasta, etc. - things we had that were not going to be used within a reasonable period of time.  I'd really like to remember to do this on a regular basis.

And now it's Tuesday and time for a Tiny Needle Tuesday update.  Sadly, no real stitching was accomplished during the past week.  Even the long-legged bird did not feel any love.

My hope is to put some stitches in this one today...I'd really like to finish it up quickly.  There's not much more to go on it.

But...I also have a bit more wrapping (for TX) to do and a little shopping (for TX) and I may try to squeeze in a haircut this afternoon!  Fletch and I will run to the grocery store later this morning, but the list is very short - not much needed.

Colin and Mailing have been busy putting a list of things together that we can do while in TX.  Looks like we will be busy and have fun!  One thing they have already bought tickets for Friday night is Field of Light which looks like it will be beautiful.  And the boys (Colin, Fletech and Zhongren) have tickets to see Avatar Saturday morning.  Not sure what we girls will be doing.

Time for another cup of coffee and to get my day started.  Hope your Tuesday is a wonderful one - enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2022

Sometimes Mondays 12/12/22

 Sometimes Mondays - this one in particular - find me lacking words.  I have not slept well the past two nights and that is taking a toll on moi.  The first night (Saturday) I did hear an owl in the wee hours, so that made the wakefulness a little more bearable.  Last night I just didn't feel well.  Not sure what's up with that but I'm hoping for an easy work day.

The kids made it back to Austin around 6 p.m. yesterday, so they and the cats are safely back in their TX abode.  That's a relief!

Yesterday I did manage to wrap the few gifts I am shipping and will run to the post office today to get those out.  And I have a bag or two of goods (food) to donate at the local food pantry.  I do need to still wrap a few small gifts for Texas and I guess I will ship those as well - probably to Mailing's office since packages shipped to their apartment tend to get "lost."

Meanwhile, I will drink coffee and try to feel more awake.  I hope your Monday is off to a better start!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Cuban Bread

 Hello Friends!

Monday when I posted about the weekend and mentioned making Cuban Bread, Kim in Oregon said she hoped I would share the recipe.  Today seems like a good day.  Here's the picture (again) from Sunday's baking:

The bread has a very good crust and a nice, chewy interior.  It is good plain.  Good slapped with butter.  Good toasted.  Good dipped in EVOO or some kind of soup.  It's good any way you choose.  It's bread!  So yummy!!

Cuban Bread

  • 5-6 Cups of flour
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS yeast
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 2 C Hot Water

Put the HOT water in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, mix together 4 cups of flour with the salt and sugar.

Pour that flour mixture onto the yeasty water and beat for 100 strokes.  Add the remaining flour (a little at a time - I only needed one more cup) and knead for 8 minutes (adding additional flour as you knead to keep it from sticking to you or the surface on which you are kneading).  cover with a towel and let it rise for 15 minutes.

Punch it down; divide and shape into two round loaves.  Set the loaves on a greased upside down cookie sheet and cut an X on the top of each loaf.

Place in a COLD oven - do NOT preheat the oven.  Place a pan of shallow water under the rack.  Turn the oven on to 400 and bake for approximately 50 minutes.

That's it!  Easy peasy and so tasty.  We are, in fact, having it again tonight along with grilled sausage and a green bean casserole.

On another note, I can't remember if I mentioned or not, but the two lemons forming on our lemon tree fell off!  I found them both on the floor.  But, now the tree is blooming again (and is so fragrant!), so I'm hoping for at least one more lemon to form.

Time for me to get to work!  Have a wonderful Thursday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 12/7/22

Hello and Good Morning,

I'm more than a little sleepy this a.m.  I woke up at 2 a.m. too warm (it's in the 50's here this morning) and had a difficult/impossible time getting back to sleep.  Glad yesterday was my going to the office day and not today!  Today (Pearl Harbor Day) is also the 33rd anniversary of my due date with Colin.  He, of course, held off showing up until the 11th.

It was fun to see that boy again for dinner last night and the newest Mexican place in town turned out to have quite tasty food!  Mailing was busy with holiday celebrations at her office where they actually had live reindeer brought in!  She had texted Colin a picture of said reindeer while he was here.  With all the rain yesterday (lots and lots) and the mild temps, I'm sure those poor reindeer were confused and not happy. 

Let's talk making and reading, shall we?  There has been some knitting progress this past week!  The Turning Leaves sock (#1) has had the heel turned and there has been some movement down the foot a little.

It doesn't look that great on the tablecloth, but oh well!  The cloth is one that my Mom hemmed and used at Christmas for years and years.  Now I use it!

Christmas sock #1 is finished!!  Woo-Hoo!  And, #2 has been started (the cuff ribbing is finished).

Again, not the prettiest on this tablecloth, but that's life!

Reading is good (reading is ALWAYS good!!  lol).  I read Thunder Bay by William Kent Krueger.  I'm enjoying this series by Krueger - the books are quick reads and often a nice palete cleanser after something heavier (e.g., "The Marriage Portrait").  This one was particularly interesting to me because it takes place primarily in the area of Thunder Bay Canada and mentions Sleeping Giant.  Years ago when Fletch and I drove out to Minnesota to pick up our camper, we headed North after getting the camper and planned to hike in the area.  Weather, however, worked against us.  There was dense fog and some rain and before it cleared we had to be on our way.  Maybe some day we can go back!

Now I am about 125 pages into The Colony by Audrey Magee.  I wasn't sure about this book at the beginnning, but now I am into it and enjoying (the Frenchman has arrived).  Fletch and I are still listening to The Cartographers but that is slow going as we do not listen every day.

If you have not already, head on over to Kat's Blog to see what she and others are making and reading.  You'll find a thing or two that is tempting, I'm sure!

To wrap up this post, a sweet picture:

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 12/6/22

 Good Morning All,

It's a damp morning.  Still dark, so I can't really see if it is doing anything out there just yet...but my computer says sleet off and on for the next 2 hours.  Fun...or not so much.

Let's see what's happening in the TNT world.  A bit of stitching was done on each of the 3 pieces in current rotation for me, but both the Praise Loudly Blame Softly and the Crazy Long Legged Bird pieces only got a little love and not really enough to show.  Ellen Harrison is the one that really grabbed my attention in the last week.

I was so happy to finish the top portion of this sampler.  

It cracks me up how she ran out of room for the last word in the second it went on the top line (youth).  The whole line reads "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth."  Next I stitched the red and white border under that row and then the fun started...finally!  I was at the point where I started the motifs below the wording.

Just a start, but it was fun!  There are birds, a boat, some plants, etc. to stitch.  Then a big white house and an even bigger stag.  Proportions don't really count for much in samplers which I think adds to the charm of a piece.

I've shown this previously, but here is a look at what the sampler will look like when I finish it:

Obviously there is still a lot of stitching to be done on this piece!  This will keep me busy for some time to come.

Well, the weather is supposed to be pretty much crap all day long...rainy and temps hovering in the low to mid-forties, but by evening it will get up to 50.  Colin is stopping by for dinner one last time tonight, and it will be wonderful to see him again.  We plan to just order from a new local Mexican restaurant.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, December 5, 2022

Weekending 12/5/22

 Good Morning!

How are you this fine Monday morning?  The sun is up and it is 23 degrees out.  It looks like it could be a mostly sunny day which would be nice...the rest of the week looks pretty wet in the forecast department.  Rain just about every day.

How was your weekend?  Mine was oh so nice.  Saturday morning I met up with Dee for our knitting and chatting time.  As always, we had a great time.  I tried a new recipe for chicken in the crock pot, but it did not turn out well, so no sharing.

Sunday afternoon Fletch and I drove up to Newtown (roughly an hour away) for a "holiday swing concert" put on by the Pennsylvania Philharmonic.  It was great!  The ensemble was a jazz band and a little smaller than usual (we have been to a number of concerts by the PA Philharmonic).  Colin's company is a big supporter of the group and Colin heads up that support, so we met him there.  (Mailing was busy having a spa day with some friends.)

We were home by 5:30 or so and Colin & Mailing came for dinner.  I had made spicy lentil soup in the morning, so heated that up and mixed up a salad of garden lettuce, radicchio and some of the persimmons that Zhrongren had given us - just a splash of EVOO and champaign vinegar was good.  I had also made Cuban Bread in the morning.  Yum!!

This bread is so easy to make and so delicious - a nice crust and a chewy interior.

Today will most likely be filled with laundry, bathroom cleaning and maybe a light grocery shopping.  Tomorrow I have to head to the office - I've got my annual review at 9:30 and a conference call or two after that.  I can't believe the kids head back to TX on Friday and then in less than 2 weeks we will join them down there.  Time is flying!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 11/30/22

 Good Morning!

First of all, Happy Birthday to Mailing!  I could not ask for a better daughter-in-law.  She is smart, cute, kind, funny, and she loves my son!

It is a gloomy day here.  Rain is on the way and it will most likely rain all day...but it should be mild.  I'm glad I got out for a little walk yesterday afternoon.  I walked just under 2.5 miles along the Perkiomen Creek and the Schuylkill River.  The only thing I noticed was Tinseltown which I had never heard of.  Honestly it was very ugly in the daylight - just a mass of white trees and lights set up in a parking lot with lots and lots of trailers around.  I looked at the web site yesterday when I got home and it costs around $20 just to get in, but then you have to reserve time (and pay more) to skate on the ice rink or slide down the ice slide.  With temps in the 50's it doesn't feel so holiday-ish anyway...

Let's talk making (in my case, knitting) and reading.  Time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers.  My knitting is progressing.  No giant leaps or bounds, but steady progress.  The first Turning Leaves sock (the one that Dee and I are knitting together in a very loose KAL) is now ready for a heel to be turned.  An Eye of the Partridge heel flap has been completed.

The colors in this yarn are just so beautiful.  I'm glad we are knitting a plain vanilla sock and letting the colors just shout out all on their own.

The other sock I'm working on is a Christmas one (Hollyberry yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners).  The first sock in this set has had the heel turned and the gusset decreases have begun.

This just looks so festive to me.  As of now I'm thinking these will be a gift for someone...but who knows?  I could easily change my mind and keep them for me!  LOL

I'm happy to report two book finishes this week!!  Woo-Hoo!  Fletch and I finished listening to Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl.  As I mentioned in a previous post (or 2) the first half of this book was way too political for me.  The second half was better, but it still seemed a little preachy.  If you've never read anything by Renkl, I would suggest Late Migrations - I would also recommend this in book format rather than audio as the book includes lovely drawings by the author's brother.  Last night we started listening to The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd.  Too early to say how this one is.

The other book finished is The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell.  Oh how I just loved this book!  I would start reading and find it difficult to put the book down; yet at the same time I did not want it to end.  Sarah commented to me a little bit ago that she felt the same way and that she also had a feeling of dread as she neared the end of the book.  I know that feeling so well, but like Sarah I liked the ending of the book.  I felt hope as I finished it last night.  True confession:  I have not read Hamnet as the idea of the story has not appealed to me.  However, after reading "The Marriage Portrait" I have added "Hamnet" to my TBR list.

Last night as I crawled into bed, I started Thunder Bay - book #7 in a series by William Kent Krueger that I am enjoying.  His books are a quick read, and I think I managed 40 pages before I turned out my light.  I still have several other library books waiting on my nightstand.

Today I will venture out in the rain.  I want to return "The Marriage Portrait" to the library as I know the wait list is long.  And after avoiding paying bills yesterday, I need to buckle down and get that done.

I hope this Wednesday finds you all well.  Be sure to make time to head over to Kat's blog to check out what others are making and reading.  I'm sure you will find inspiration!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 11/29/22

 Good Morning One and All,

It is a tad bit chillier this a.m.  32 decrees right now instead of the lower 50's.  But the sun is out and it looks really pretty outside.  Yesterday just looked so bleak...all day long.

I did venture to the office late morning and I had forgotten that the property management company always decorates the office for the holidays the Friday after Thanksgiving.  So, when I entered the building, this is what I saw in the lobby of the building:

And then, when I walked into our office on the 2nd floor, this was what greeted me:

So pretty.  In a way it seems a waste with most everyone working from home, but still it was nice to see.  The parking lot was pretty full yesterday and I could hear a group of folks talking in one of the conference rooms, but I just did my thing and got out of there in half an hour!  I know there are meetings scheduled for next week, so it will be nice for people coming in to see the trees.

Well, here we are at TNT and I'm happy to report that there has been progress on each of the three pieces I am currently stitching.  First up, that crazy, long-legged bird.  Nearing completion, but not quite there yet.

Ellen Harrison saw a few letters added.  The bottom line (the one I'm working on) reads so far "Remember now thy Creator i" - again, Ellen's placement of letters means that words tend to run together.

Last up we have the "Praise Loudly Blame Softly" sampler.  The second row of birds has been completed and now a row of Double Leviathan Stitches has appeared under that.  

I really enjoy stitching designs by Eileen Bennett as she always incorporates different stitches into her pieces - they are never just cross stitch.  It helps to keep my interest high!!

Today will be filled with bill paying and a light grocery shopping.  We had no mail delivery last Friday and Saturday!  Yesterday the mailman left a pile (rather large) in our box - holiday catalogues (of course), but also half a dozen bills.  Yuck!  And, since the sun is shining strongly, I'm hoping to bundle up for a walk after lunch.  Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, November 28, 2022


 Hello and Good Morning!

It is cloudy and a bit damp on this Monday morning, but mild.  53 degrees currently (7:45 a.m.).  We had a ton of rain yesterday and it looks like some of it may have lingered around.

Well, how was your Thanksgiving and how was your weekend?  Both of mine were so nice.  Thanksgiving Day, Fletch and I walked with Colin a little bit in the afternoon.  A trail from the John James Audubon Center goes right behind Bonnie & Zhongren's house.  We drove over, dropped off wine and pies and some other stuff and then walked a bit.  It was a lovely day.  We saw plenty of deer and geese and a hawk flew right by us.

Zhongren had picked up Nai Nai (Mailing's grandmother) so she joined us for dinner.  We missed Bonnie though who is still in China until December 6th.  Anna was there and also Otto (her dog).

Mailing and Colin are too funny in this picture.  And I ended up trying all 3 pies!!

I will say that I did not feel well that night!  LOL  Major indigestion.

Zhongren gave us a bag with Persimmons from his friend's tree.  I had never had one before, but they are good!

I took another walk on Saturday along the Perkiomen Creek.  It was a bit breezy but again a gorgeous day to be out and about.  There were lots of geese along the dam!

I always wonder how they can just stand there without getting swept away!

As I mentioned, yesterday it rained and rained, starting late morning.  We went over to Colin & Mailing's in the afternoon.  What fun to see Talbot and Marcel again!  I completely forgot to take any pictures of them.  We watched the first episode of Get Back which we all really liked.  Fletch and I don't have Disney+, so not sure when we will watch the balance - maybe when we are in TX over the Christmas holidays.

The rain kind of stopped a bit, so after dinner we headed outside for a fire.

But by the time we left, I was damp and chilly.  What a nice time though and just a gift to have time with C&M.  We'll be getting together some more and they will be over for dinner at our house next Sunday.

Meanwhile, back to work today.  I may head to the office as I've stuff to print and overnight to Kevin.  Here's hoping that your Monday is off to a good start!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 11/23/22

 Good Morning All,

Looks to be another fine day here in Eastern PA.  The temps have warmed up a bit (32 this a.m. instead of the teens) and the sun is out.  There is a fat male Cardinal sitting on a wire outside one of my office room windows.  So pretty.

Yesterday was full of food.  LOL.  Fletch and I did a quick, small ($138 later) shopping at one store.  We picked up some necessities:  cat food (Mabel consumes food like she has not had any in months!), sunflower seeds and a fresh suet cake for the birds.  No meat and no paper products or cleaning supplies which automatically jack up the bill.  My gosh a trip to the store has gotten even more expensive.  AND, we couldn't get everything there - I had to run to a different store in the afternoon for a certain kind of tea that Fletch likes as well as soda that he drinks, but also peanuts for the birds (which the first store does not sell).

The afternoon was then spent baking and cooking Fletcher's Mom's Cranberry Chutney recipe.  On the baking front I made Cranberry Pumpkin Pecan Bread.  Oh My!

This morning, Fletch will take one loaf over to a couple for whom he still works occasionally.  I think I'll send along a jar of the chutney too.

The second loaf of bread will probably be shared with Rob and Eva across the street.

Anyway, the house smelled marvelous all afternoon, but by the time I should have been cooking dinner, I didn't really feel like it.  Trader Joe's to the rescue!  When I shopped there on Monday, one of the items that I picked up that was not on my list was this:

Another shopper was scooping up bags of this into her cart.  I asked her how it was and she highly recommended it.  Well folks, if you like mushrooms, I highly recommend it too!  The truffle sauce is very rich tasting and yummy.  Best of all, it heats up from freezer to table in about 15 minutes!  The bag says it contains 3 servings, but we finished the entire bag...just the two of us.  To go along with this I threw together a salad of garden greens and garden radishes with a few sugar snap peas and a bit of cucumber.  Cleanup was a breeze too.

Let's get to the knitting, shall we?  After all, it is Unraveled Wednesday when Kat hosts the Merry Band of Makers to talk making and reading.  Dee had posted a shot of our twinie socks last Saturday.  Since then a bit more has been knit on the Turning Leaves vanilla sock.

The skein of yarn is LARGE - I will be making these socks longer than normal.  I've gotten to the point where I usually would start the heel flap, but weighing the yarn last night, I still have 92 grams!

The Christmas sock is also made from a very large skein of yarn.  I will start the heel flap on this one next.  There are 15 rows of ribbing and 85 rows of plain vanilla.

My head has calmed down a little (lol) and I'm not throwing around ideas of multiple other projects to start.  This is good - I want to concentrate on finishing these two pairs of socks and then move on to other things.  I say that today...we'll see what tomorrow brings.  

The reading side of things is pretty much where it stood last week.  Fletch and I are still working our way through (listening to) Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl.  I'm very happy that the second half of the book is not political.  There is more about music (Renkl lives in Nashville) and other things.

I am well past the half way mark of The Marriage Portrait which is the selection of the "Read With Us" group (hosted by Kym, Carole and Bonny).  I love it!  The other day I mentioned to Kym that it is a book I don't want to put down once I start reading, but at the same time, I'm trying to drag it out to make it last!  Most likely I will need to re-read or listen to it prior to our discussion in January.  My guess is that I will finish it up in these next few days.  That's ok as I have a bunch of other library books on my nightstand (including The Colony and Booth) - such a wealth of reading material.

Today I will be mixing up dough for pie crusts - most likely I will make the pies tomorrow morning.  Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 11/22/22

Good Morning!

Yesterday I did manage to get to Trader Joe's.  I went into the store with four things on my list.  $58 later I walked out!  Isn't it always that way?  But, I got good stuff.

The day was gorgeous.  Very, very sunny and bright.  Still chilly, but not quite as windy as Sunday had been.  I decided that I needed to get out and walk after lunch, so I headed to one of my favorite trails - the canal trail.  Our nights have been cold enough that the canal was starting to freeze over.  but look at the color of the water and the blue, blue sky.  Magnificent!

 You can see there was no one in front of me.  I passed a couple of dog walkers and a few folks on bikes rode past me.  I saw one couple running and that was it.  Oh, and a guy sitting on a bench with a huge camera.  Otherwise I had the place to myself.  This time I managed to walk the entire trail from where I park to Main Street in Phoenixville - a total (round trip) of 3 miles.  The furthest I've walked since my back episode in the Spring.  It felt wonderful to be out in the fresh air, but I will admit that my back was tired by the time I got back to my car.

About halfway along the trail is Fitzwater Station - a fun pub with good food and drinks.  A nice place to stop after a walk (which Dee and I have done!!).  They also rent canoes and kayaks.  Anyway, yesterday on my way back to the car I noticed they have a giant turkey on one of their decks.  LOL

And that brings me to this morning and Tiny Needle Tuesday.  That crazy long-legged bird that everyone seems to like now has a few letters added nearby.

Obviously a few more to be stitched.  And I will add the year (but not case it is not finished in 2022).

The Praise Loudly Blame Softly sampler saw no action this week, but Ellen Harrison had some more stitching added.  I'm anxious to finish these two rows of words because then the motifs will start below.

I will say that young Ellen was not great at spacing words apart - LOL.  But that just adds to the charm of the piece in my opinion.

Colin stopped by last night!  He and Mailing had gone over to Mailing's parents to have dinner with Zhongren (Bonnie is still in China until 12/6 or so).  Mailing picked up Bonnie's car to use while up here so that Colin will have his car.  And, last night, Mailing had to run to Target to pick up stuff (litter boxes, etc.), so Colin stopped by to load up his car with wood and say hello.  It was wonderful to see him.

We all plan to gather late afternoon on Thursday and, hopefully, get a walk in before we eat.  Today I need to do some cooking and also (more) grocery shopping.

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Weekending 11/21/22

 Good Morning One and All!

As I typed the date in the title of this post I realized GOSH!!  It's only a month till we take off for Christmas in Texas!  Our flight to Austin is December 21st (my brother Chris' birthday).  So excited!!

We've pretty much decided that no Christmas decorations will be put out.  Mabel would most likely destroy anything we left out, so we will make do with the Swarovski ornaments hanging in our kitchen windows.  They are up year round and Mabel (so far) has not bothered them.  Since I mentioned those last week after our work holiday luncheon, I decided to try and get pictures of the windows to show you.

First up is our South-West facing window that looks out over our driveway.  We can see some beautiful sunsets from this window.

It was night and dark, so not the best picture, but you can get the idea.  And, yes, that is Gumby peeking out from behind the curtain on the left.  LOL

The other window is the one over our sink.  This faces East/Southeast and is the window that looks out over our back yard (and the munching deer).

The beakers on the top ledge are from my Dad's chemist days and the two bud vases on the lower edge were my Mom's.  Yes, these areas can get a little crowded, but I love having little treasures out that mean something to me.

So here we are at Monday (again).  How was your weekend?  Mine was so nice.  As you may have read on Dee's blog, we got together (as usual) on Saturday morning for a therapy session - a little knitting, some sipping of coffee and much chatting and laughter.  We always have such a good time!

While I was out, Fletch started harvesting our Gilfeather Turnips.  

Unfortunately the greens had all been ravaged by bugs and weather, but not the turnips.  Fletch refers to the one in the upper left as an elephant's leg!  LOL.  There are more in the ground to be harvested.  I cooked up two of the smaller ones last night (cut up and boiled and then mashed with butter and S&P - delicious!).

Yesterday Fletch went across the street to our neighbor Rob's to get some firewood (Rob has a TON of wood stacked up and we are free to take as much as we want!!).  Fletch took him a couple of the turnips, but you cannot give Rob anything without getting something in return (more than wood).  Fletch came home with a plate of oatmeal cookies and pumpkin cake.  YUM!!!

Meanwhile, the kids are home!!  They left Austin Friday after work, driving with Talbot and Marcel in a large cat carrier in the back.  The cats were not amused as you can imagine.  But they survived.  They stopped both Friday and Saturday nights at hotels, but drove long days and arrived at their home around 7:30 last night.

I went shopping on Sunday for a few necessities for them:  coffee beans, seltzer (plain and alcohol), wine, raspberries, mandarine oranges, peanut butter filled pretzels, olives from the deli bar, etc., etc.  I drove over to the house in the afternoon and left stuff in their garage.  I can't wait to see them, but that might not be till Thanksgiving Day.  It's wonderful though to know they are here for 3 weeks.  And wonderful to know they made the drive safely (always the worrying mother here).

It's cold here (in the teens), but is supposed to warm up a little bit by Thanksgiving.  I think I will avoid the office this week (it's only a 2.5 day work-week anyway), but I do want/need to get to Trader Joe's - most likely this morning.  I'm still not sure what I'm making/contributing for Thanksgiving.  Probably a couple of pies and some cranberry chutney, but I need to connect with the kids and find out what else - if anything - they want me to make.

I wish you all a wonderful week.  Don't make yourself crazy with holiday plans - just enjoy the days!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Change of Plans

 Good Morning!

How are you this morning?  I've put the heat on and just poured my first cup of coffee.  It feels chilly (34 by my computer) and it still feels damp even though the skies cleared yesterday afternoon and it got very, very sunny.  Mabel kept me company most of the night.  She is a nudger if there ever was one.  Right up against my leg and pushing hard!  I almost feel a little stiff this morning, but I cherish her company at night.

Yesterday I mentioned that Dee and I might change our KAL plans and NOT knit Cascading Leaves socks.  The Turning Leaves yarn we are using by Less Traveled Yarn is so pretty...but busy...and better suited to a plain sock.  So...the yarn has spoken - or rather shouted a bit loudly.  Cascading Leaves has been ripped out and a plain vanilla sock shall be knit.  

Rather than "negative knit" down to the ribbing which would have taken me forever, I just ripped out the entire piece and I've now re-knit the 15 rows of ribbing for the cuff.  I'm using a peace symbol stitch marker hoping it will lend a sense of calmness to this project - LOL.

Since I now have two vanilla socks on the go (my Hollyberry socks are also plain vanilla), I may need something else that is not so plain!  I've been thinking about/toying with the idea of a rather large and colorful cowl.  Something like this:

It calls for 24 different yarns!  So far I've picked out a bunch (not 24, but I have a basketful of sock scraps waiting to be used for granny squares or something).  Here's what I've chosen so far:

The minis in the plastic bag at the top of the picture are a set that I bought at the very first Allentown Fiber Festival that I went to.  That was years and years ago.  Unfortunately that festival no longer exists.  The other minis are ones I bought at the NJ Festival this past September and the balance are just a few of my scraps.  Not sure when I will cast on for this, but I think it will be a fun project!

The other day Dee shared a picture of her Publix Pilgrims from back in the day.  That has prompted me to show you my little pilgrims...and a Tom Turkey!

These are candles!  My best guess is from sometime in the 50's.  My Mom always had them out on the buffet for Thanksgiving (and that's where they are now...but in my house).  It cracks me up that the turkey is as tall as the pilgrims and the poor little pilgrim girl seems to have a smudge on her face.  There was also a set of candles that were choir members (boys and girls) that my Mom always displayed at Christmas, but somehow they got lost over the years.

Time to pour another cup of coffee and get moving on my usual Thursday reports for work.  I need to get those finished and then I plan to make some wheat bread to go with homemade vegetable beef soup for dinner.  Have a wonderful Thursday!