Monday, January 31, 2022


 Good Morning!

How are you?  How was your weekend?  Ours was snowy and cold, but we were spared unlike a lot of New England and the coast line.  Our snow started Friday morning and continued most of the day.  However, it was so fine and falling so lightly we hardly had any accumulation.  It started again overnight and I heard the snow plow go up and down the street early, early - like 3 or 4 a.m.  Saturday morning we woke up to 3" or so and it was still snowing.

Mabel ventured out several times, but stayed on the patio.

Once she came in, bird tracks accompanied her tracks on the patio.  The birds were feeding steadily all day long.  It snowed till about Noon and Fletch said we ended up with about 5" which is not a whole lot.  Luckily it was dry powdery snow and he had an easy time clearing the cars and making some paths (out to the bird feeder to fill it, out to the compost to dump stuff), clearing the sidewalk and front porch (so Amazon can easily deliver!!).

It was pretty, but quite cold and the wind was howling.  We did not venture out (well, Fletch did to shovel, but I stayed inside).  Usually we do grocery shopping on the weekend, but with plenty of food, there was no need.  It is still pretty chilly (10 this morning), so I think it will be another day at home.

The weekend filled up quickly.  I baked a chocolate olive oil cake (Smitten Kitchen recipe), made some veggie dumplings for lunch, cleaned bathrooms and did a bunch of laundry.  There were naps, reading, stitching and knitting and last night we watched "Around the World in 80 Days" and "All Creatures Great and Small."  A nice balance of chores and fun things.

Let's hope the start to the week is a good one.  It is supposed to warm up to the 40's by Tuesday or Wednesday - time to haul out the grill again!!

Happy Lunar New Year to all - Year of the Tiger!!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Friday Felines

 Good Morning!

The snow has started here.  Not sure how much we will get - predictions vary, but it started about an hour ago and cars, picnic tables and benches are coated.  Someone is out there enjoying it.  That would be Mabel!  I love that she comes racing across the yard when I call her.  She is fast.

The other thing she loves to do is roll on the patio - especially when it is really, really cold outside.  Tyg used to do that too.  Go figure.

She's a goofball at times, but a loveable one.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  I've got to run - I've a conference call in less than 15 minutes.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

What's For Dinner 1/27/22

 Hi and Good Morning!

Work, for a change, has been quite busy this morning (I've been at it since 5:30 a.m.).  Now I'm in the waiting mode...there are things I need to do, but I can't do them until others do their things.  Patience is not a virtue of mine by any stretch of the imagination and I simply hate waiting for others to do things (that are their jobs!!).  Anyway, enough whining.  I'll flip my attitude and look at it as found time for knitting or stitching or reading.

But right now, let's talk food.  Last night's dinner was not a success - LOL.  Most weeks I try to make a new-to-us recipe, and last night was the night.  It was a chicken dish done in the crock pot which I normally love.  It called for chicken thighs (or breasts, but we used thighs because that's what we had), a sliced granny smith apple, a chopped onion, the juice of a lemon, a bit of honey, some cornstarch, fresh rosemary and fresh cranberries.  All things I love.  But, there was too little sweetness in the dish (you know, cranberries are so tart).  I never tasted the apples but the onions were good.  And the chicken, though flavorful, grossed me out because the skin was just there.  And gooey.  Yuck.  But, we consumed it and I saved the leftover chicken meat (removing skin and bones) and threw out everything else.  We had some carrots cooked with cinnamon to go with it, and those were good.  

The best part though was I made beer bread that Bonny mentioned on her blog.

Now, that was good!  I had found a bottle of Coors Light in our basement (none of us drink light beer, so no idea where it came from).  The taste and texture is definitely different than any bread I have ever made, but it is tasty and FAST.  Bottom line - dinner was not a complete loss!

And for a bonus, I will tell you about the potatoes I made the night before.  I took new/baby potatoes (roughly ping pong ball size, but some were a little larger, some smaller).  Threw them in a bowl with minced garlic.  Then sprinkled on some chili powder, a little paprika and a little cayenne pepper.  Drizzled the whole mess with EVOO and then cooked them in the air fryer at 400 for 15 minutes - shaking them every 5 minutes or so.  OMG - we could have eaten 5 lbs of these!  They get nice and crisp on the outside and very creamy on the inside.  Pure comfort food.  

And now I'm hungry.  I've been drinking coffee, but have not had breakfast and now it feels like it is too late (too close to lunch time).  I'll survive - it's not like I will waste away to nothing - LOL.

We are almost at the weekend and for that I'm very thankful.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday January 26, 2022

 Good Morning,

Still dark here and a little chilly (18), but I think tomorrow morning it is only forecast to be 9, so I will take today.  Plus it is supposed to be sunny!  Yesterday did not turn out to be as mild as we thought for grilling.  There was a major wind chill going on in our neighborhood and it was grey and damp all day long.  Fletch still grilled our steaks and they were very good.

Today I'm heading to the office.  We bought some things - surprises - to ship down to Colin & Mailing, so I will send those out via UPS from the office.  I have some work to do and maybe I'll see Bruce (one of my bosses whom I have not spoken to in a couple of weeks!).

Colin called again last night and it was good to talk with him again.  They are doing well and still settling in.  The weather down there has been chilly (for Austin) and grey, but he is still managing to get out daily (sometimes twice) for nice, long walks.  They are once again vegan and picked up this cookbook from their local bookstore and have already made several dishes from it.  Sounds and looks delicious (but I would miss meat).  The cats are also settling in.  Talbot is having an easier time of it...Marcel is howling a bit.  Colin says the feng shui must not be quite right in the apartment!

Meanwhile, here we are at the last (how is that possible??) Unraveled Wednesday of January 2022.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  You know I (finally) finished my holiday socks (posted about them on Monday).  I love them and they are nice and cozy.  I still intend to pick up something already in the works, but you know I just had to cast on for another pair of socks.  It is always smart to have socks on some needles.

Obviously I have not gotten too far.  Just the 15 rows of 2x2 ribbing have been completed.  I'm pretty sure these will be for Fletch.  He had admired the yarn when I caked it up.  The yarn is Static from KnitPicks and the colorway is "Terrarium."  Lovely shades of green and then some lighter ivory or even a hint of yellow (pale) here and there.  It is very pretty.  I have not fully decided on a pattern yet, but most likely will make these Petty Harbour or Hermione's Everyday Socks - both free patterns on Ravelry (leaning towards Petty Harbour).

My reading in 2022 has been a little on the slow side.  Not sure why as I am enjoying what I am reading, but find myself nodding off quickly.  I am still reading "Agatha of Little Neon" which is the next "Read With Us" selection.  This is a little gem of a book - I am thoroughly enjoying it and all the quirkiness within it.

Last night I did finish "No Time to Spare" (Thinking About What Matters) by Ursula K. Le Guin.  I believe I already mentioned this book once or twice.  Le Guin wrote SciFi and Fantasy novels - neither genre a favorite of mine and I doubt I will pick one up to read.  This book, however, is a collection of essays, or rather posts, from her blog that she started when she was in her 80's.  I gave this 4 stars and really liked it.  Only 4 stars as some topics didn't appeal (or matter) to me, but a very good read.  Here are a couple of quotes from it that I love:

"How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn.  Billionaires, all of us."

"A teaching, a blessing, may come in strange ways, ways we do not expect, or control, or welcome, or understand.  We are left to think it over."

These two quotes just resonated with me.

Mabel just came in and boy is her fur cold!  I'd best bundle up for going out.  After the office, I need to stop at JoAnn's for some more DMC floss and I need to pick up wine.  Dinner is a chicken dish in the crockpot, so easy-peasy.

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday - January 25, 2022


How are you this morning?  Again, I am groggy.  Coffee has not yet kicked in, but I am hopeful that it will shortly.

Yesterday was another very quiet day work-wise.  I did some stitching and reading and took a nice long nap after lunch.  When I woke up, I hopped in the shower and then came back downstairs to check email.  That was when I realized I had completely forgotten about my follow up eye doctor appointment.  The appointment was in 10 minutes and I'm a good 20 minutes from the office.  I called and, fortunately, they were good with me coming in a little late.  A good visit - quick the way I like it.  She checked my pressure and told me the results to my field vision test the week before were good.  No need to go back for 6 months when I will have a full exam.

Meanwhile, it is Tiny Needle Tuesday, or TNT as I like to call it.  Progress has been made on both pieces.  First up is the Adam & Eve sampler (still no evidence whatsoever of Adam and/or Eve).  One more alphabet completed...several more to go.

Those of you with finer vision than mine will see that things are a little off.  The U, V, W, X, Y and Z in the last row are lower by two threads than they should be.  I discovered that while stitching the W and decided to let it go.  I'm fine with the way it looks and it being a little off is just a good reflection on me.  LOL

A Visiting Bird has gained a flower!

Slowly but surely this piece is coming together.  There is another flower on the left, some more leaves and the outline on the right for the basket or vase or whatever.

I've no real plans for today.  Hopefully the usual (knitting, stitching, reading).  It is supposed to be a little milder today (before the cold comes back tomorrow), so Fletch is grilling steaks for dinner.  There are a few domestic chores I can do if I want, some bills that need to be paid and time will tell whether work will rear its ugly head or not!

Cheers to Tuesday folks - hope yours is a good one.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2022


 Good Morning!

It is another chilly one, but at 24 it feels almost balmy (we woke up to 8 one morning over the weekend).  There is a fresh skim of snow on the roof of my car and on the picnic benches, but not enough to do anything about it.

How was your weekend?  Mine was nice.  It involved a lot of little things that added up to just being a comfortable, nice weekend.  Saturday morning (brrr) I got up and ventured out to Starbucks in Kulpsville to meet up with Dee.  It was not busy and we sat in our usual cozy corner chatting up a storm and knitting away on things (socks for me, a blanket for Dee).  Then a weird guy started asking us questions.  He left and came then came back and again was bothering us.  Dee (the braver one) finally told him to leave us alone.  We left shortly after that (I had to get going anyway) and decided that next time we'd meet at a different Starbucks (that guy had been there the previous week as well).

That afternoon, before dinner, I was able to finish Holiday Sock #2.

Despite this being a short skein (weighed under 100 grams), I had yarn left over and they did turn out to be pretty matchy-matchy which (for once) pleases me.  I'm glad to have these off the needles (size 1 BTW and the yarn is Cascade Heritage in the colorway:  Holiday [duh]).  I don't have another project in mind per se.  I have a couple of skeins that I have caked up and I may cast on some socks for Fletch (he's been a good boy lately).  I plan to focus mainly on things that are in the works.  Like my French Market Bag or my Guernsey Wrap.  I'll let you know what I pick up!

I have been in the mood for falafel but I do not like deep frying anything.  I found a recipe on line that you bake in the oven rather than frying.  Well, the recipe turned out to be a bit on the moist impossible to roll into balls.  So instead I used my cookie scoop and then sprinkled the sesame seeds on them rather than trying to roll them in the seeds.

Pretty fugly, but they tasted good even before they were cooked.  Rather than baking them in the oven I decided to use my air fryer.  Though they firmed up a bit, not as much as I had hoped.  Still, the taste was very good and we had them with some cherry tomatoes, cucumber, radishes and garlic naan.  Yum!  Next time I will try a different recipe (or get the recipe Colin & Mailing use from them).  (They look greenish in the picture because there was a lot of mint mixed in with the other stuff.)

Sunday was another chilly day, though not too bad.  Still, it called for wool socks and I decided to not wait till next Christmas to wear my Holiday Socks!!

Nice and cozy and I was wearing (of course) my fleece leggings.  We did some grocery shopping (wow have prices sky rocketed and why the shortage on cat food??).  I had a delightful nap and then we fixed nachos for dinner.  I worked a tiny bit on my stitching and we watched "Around the World in 80 Days" and "All Creatures Great and Small."

On the docket for today is to go through some more stuff and add to the donation pile(s).  We did get rid of a ton of stuff on Friday and that felt so good.  I also need to start organizing things for taxes...and call our accountant and book an appointment for that.  I suppose, too, now that the holidays are over I should buckle down and get my shingles shot(s).  

Nothing too exciting, but that's fine with me.  Here's to the week ahead - may it be a good one for all of us.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

What's for Dinner? 1-20-22

 Good Morning Friends!

How are you?  It is still dark here (not even 6 a.m.), but I think it's raining and then it will change to sleet and then snow.  By 11 a.m. it should all be over...hopefully.  Our forecast is for 1-3" of snow.  Colin texted that they could get a wintry mix tonight in Austin!

My day at the office was blissfully short.  I arrived a little before 8 a.m. and before 9 a.m. I had finished what I went in to do!  I hung around a little more, but was home before 10 a.m.  I saw one other person the entire time I was there.  I noticed cars in the parking lot that I recognized, but didn't see anyone else.  My afternoon was filled with chores.  The kitchen floor was finally scrubbed and both bathrooms were also cleaned.  Towels were washed as well as rugs from both bathrooms and the kitchen!  And there was still time for knitting and reading.  A good day.

Last night's dinner was stir fry.  Also known as whatever is in the frig - LOL

I started with fresh ginger and garlic (both minced) in sesame oil.  Saute that a bit and then I added some pork.  Sometimes we use chicken or shrimp or even beef, but last night it was pork.  I had thawed a couple of pork shops and cut the meat into little strips.  Once that had mostly cooked I threw in the veggies.  (If it had been shrimp, I would have pulled the shrimp out of the pan, but because it was pork, I wanted to be sure it was thoroughly cooked.)  The veggies last night were:  baby bok choy, carrots, pepper, onion, sugar snap peas and mushrooms.  Usually I throw in broccoli, but I knew we were going to have that tonight.  I also typically toss in cashews and I completely forgot them!  We had it over farro and accompanied it with the usual sriracha sauce and our favorite soy sauce - Conimex Ketjap Manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce).  Yum!  There is even a bit of leftovers for a lunch for Fletch.

Tonight we are having Spicy Cuban Beef over brown rice with steamed broccoli.  I'll save that delicious recipe for another time.

Well, it's Thursday which means time for me to run reports.  I'll be checking out blogs a bit later.  Hope everyone is staying well and having a good week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday - January 19, 2022

 Hello and Good Morning!

It is early (5:45 a.m. as I write this), but I couldn't sleep and since I'm planning to go to the office, I got up at 5, took a shower and here I am.  My head is cold (still have wet hair), but the coffee is hot and strong.  Mabel is already outside - there is no keeping her in now.  Although, she does not really show interest in going out late at night...fortunately.  Here's my sweet companion as of last night.

Messy table (again), but I like this picture because you can see her little tufts of hair at the tip of her ears.  Also, Mabel is becoming quite the mouser!  Monday morning she caught a big fat brown mouse on our patio and yesterday it was a rather large vole.  Fortunately she just plays with them till they die (not pleasant to see...but better than mice in the house)...she (so far) is not consuming them.

Since it is Wednesday, I am linking up with Kat and her merry band of Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday.  Fortunately there was no unraveling for me this week.  The second Holiday Sock is progressing (I got a bit done while Dee and I met up for coffee on Saturday morning).

Next up is the heel flap and turn.  I always enjoy that part...I've made scads of socks, but I always find turning the heel to be magical.

On the reading side of things, I did finish The Madness of Crowds and like all of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache books, I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I'm still enjoying the essays in No Time to Spare by Ursula LeGuin - I'm more than 2/3 of the way through that.  I did not start the Joni Mitchell book as planned because Agatha of Little Neon was available from the library.  This is the next "Read With Us" book.  You would think between Matrix and Agatha these ladies are on a nun kick...and they may be!  But, whereas I found Matrix to be a bit of a slog, Agatha is just plain fun (I'm only 35 pages in or so).  I think it will be a very nice counterpoint to Matrix.

That wraps it up for me this morning.  Be sure to head over to Kat's space to see what she and others are making and reading.

My office visit should be short and sweet.  I have some things to print and overnight to Kevin.  I also have Christmas gifts for my brother and sister-in-law in Delaware to ship out.  We had thought of getting together, but I don't think that is going to happen with Omicron and what have you.  Speaking of which, I ordered our free Covid tests yesterday - believe the government will begin shipping them in late January.  In case anyone needs it, here is the link for ordering:

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!  Happy mid-week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday - January 18, 2022

 Good Morning!

I'm a bit groggy this morning.  Yesterday I was really, really groggy!  Our weather was ugly which didn't help.  We had snow overnight Sunday night...then it turned to rain sometime during the night and washed all the snow away.  Then mid-morning it started snowing again.  Nothing much - no accumulation at all.  But man!  The winds have been howling all last night and still this morning.

Luckily yesterday was a holiday for work.  I checked email and a few came in, but it was quiet for the most part which is good.  I made split pea soup for dinner which turned out really well (left overs in both the frig and freezer!!).  I took a long nap and then, finally, around 2:45 I ventured out for an eye doctor appointment.

I thought about going to the office today and then I thought better of it and booked a pedicure appointment for 11 a.m. instead.  I need to run to CVS for a couple of things too.  Probably tomorrow will be my office day.

At some point yesterday morning I looked out and some movement caught my eye.  Mabel was outside running around but then I saw this guy:

Fletch is pretty sure it was a Cooper's Hawk.  Weird to see a hawk on the ground.  He/She had flown out of a tree and I assume had seen something tasty down on the earth.  After a bit he flew up onto a low branch in the apple tree (closer to the house), but by the time I grabbed my phone for a picture he had flown across to one of our Rose of Sharon bushes.  Again, he took off before I could get a picture.  What a magnificent bird!

Mabel was fine by the way - she wandered over to the door to come in a bit later.  And, a new milestone has been reached:  she is sleeping on the bed without disturbing me!!  She even came up and napped with me yesterday afternoon!  I'm enjoying the extra warmth on the bed for sure.

Well, on to the TNT business.  Stitching was accomplished this past week.  First up the Adam & Eve sampler (hard to tell at this point that it is an A&E sampler, but it is).

Still working on alphabets (and, yes, there are more before I get to the meat of the sampler at the bottom).  At least some green has been introduced (in the bottom horizontal dividing band).  I'm still really enjoying this piece.  It is relaxing and fun to stitch.

I am happy to say that A Visiting Bird now has the bird!

It is hard to get a picture that shows accurate/true colors.  Here is a close up of the bird.

The beak and eye are black.  The top of the bird's head and the upper wing are a very dark purple/red.  The pattern refers to the color (DMC 154) as Bordeaux.  This piece too continues to be a joy.  There is still quite a bit to stitch on this one...but no's not a race.

Other than my pedicure and trip to CVS, I have no plans for the day.  I'm hopeful that work will remain quiet.  I may try to get a little laundry done.  I thought that I would clean the bathrooms yesterday, but that didn't happen and my kitchen floor is still screaming to be washed, but so far that's not happening either.

Time to pour a second cup of coffee and get myself motivated to wake up!  Hope your Tuesday is a good one.

Friday, January 14, 2022


 Hello, Hello,

Despite a lousy night of sleep (like awake EVERY hour!), I'm in an excellent mood.  When I first came into the office and opened email I saw that my boss had asked me to cancel our 11 a.m. conference call!  This is absolutely my worst call, so I am thrilled.  I still have a call at 8:30, but that is a very quick one.  Happy, happy!

Forgot to mention about the cats traveling to TX yesterday.  I know I said they arrived safely (thank goodness).  When I asked Colin how they did, his reply text was that Marcel was very well behaved but that Talbot howled the entire way!  I can only imagine how thrilled the other passengers were.  By now I'm sure they are settling in to their new digs.  And, they have a balcony - the cats will love that.

Colin texted last night asking if we could go over to the house today for a few last minute things.  Not sure what those "things" are, but we will venture over.  That will give us a chance to get the clothes we left there too.

Yesterday I did walk along the canal in the afternoon.  The canal was frozen over.

Pretty patterns on the ice.  The river (Schuylkill) on the other side of the trail was not frozen.  Water still moving pretty quickly.

The trail was pretty mucky - muddy and icy at the same time.  I realized I must have been stepping gingerly in places because my back and legs were killing me by the time I got home.

Up by Fitzwater Station where they rent canoes and kayaks (and have a good restaurant with great beer choices!), there was a bit of open water on the canal.  Ducks and geese were in the water and also sitting on the ice (cold bums).

I'm hoping to get out again today...this time maybe going back to Oaks to see if the trail is open to where the sinkhole was or not.  Our temps today are still forecast to be mild (40's possibly), but by tomorrow those temps will plummet.  Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be 22!  But, I think the forecast for snow/ice/etc. has been modified and I believe it will just be rain now on Monday.  Or, perhaps a bit of snow Sunday night, but not the amount that had originally been predicted.

Looking forward to tomorrow when Dee and I will meet up for coffee, knitting and chatting.  Yay!  We have not gotten together since right before Christmas (since I was exposed to Covid, we were being very cautious).

And now I had another nice thought:  Monday is a holiday for me (work-wise) - MLK day.  I do have an eye appointment in the afternoon, but nothing else planned.  A long weekend is just what the doctor ordered!!  Hope yours is a good one.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

What's for Dinner? 1/13/22

 Good Morning!

Again, apologies, but no recipes for you.  I just baked a  ham and made scalloped potatoes (from scratch) last night for dinner.  And we had lima beans to go with it all.  Now I have a big ham bone in the frig so I can make split pea soup.  Probably Sunday or Monday when we are expecting wintry weather (snow moving into sleet/freezing rain).

First of all, thanks so much for all the well wishes and best juju for Colin & Mailing and Marcel & Talbot traveling to their new home in Austin, TX.  They made it!  Their flight was delayed (5 hours!!), but fortunately they learned that prior to leaving home in the morning.  The cats did have to come out of their carriers going through security, but Colin said it was fast and worked out better than he had anticipated.

Their furniture has not yet arrived (of course), but they flew down with camping equipment, so spread out foam pads and sleeping bags on the floor in the master bedroom.  Colin sent a picture of Talbot and Marcel exploring their new digs.  I'm glad everyone made it safely and it's nice to know that the cats won't need to fly for another 2 years!

Work was quiet again yesterday and I ran an errand or two.  I went to DSW (I'm still carrying around a $30 off coupon!), but after hitting two DSW stores, I came home empty handed.  Nothing appealed to me - or if it did, they did not have it in my size.  I'm living in slippers or if I go out, my sneakers or hiking boots.  Don't really need/want anything else.

I read a little (very little) and worked some on my stitching (but no knitting) and that was pretty much my day.  I've got my usual Thursday financial reports to run this morning, but no other plans.

Thanks again for all the good thoughts.  Hope everyone's week is winding down nicely.  Stay warm & safe!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 1-12-22

 Hello and Good Morning!

A little warmer here today - it is currently 20 outside and I think it is supposed to get up into the mid-30's today!  Well, today is the day for the kids and cats to fly to TX.  Fingers crossed that all goes well, smooth flight, no delays, etc., etc.  Colin sent a picture of his car being loaded up yesterday for shipping down to TX.  We need to get over to the house before their friends move in...we have some clothes there (sweaters and slippers) which I'd like to get.  Nothing major though.

The wind seems to have vanished too, so I'm hoping to get out for a walk today.  Yesterday I ran an errand and driving down a street I came across something I had forgotten about:  an elephant in a yard!

Yup, a statue of an elephant which is pretty big...also somewhat worn from weather.  Still it made me smile.  I don't always notice it (I don't really go down that street very often).  

Here we are at Unraveled Wednesday again - how is it possible to be just about mid-month?  Anyhoo, as usual, I'm linking up with Kat and the Merry Unravelers to talk making and reading.  On the making side I've mostly been stitching (see yesterday's post), but I did manage to finish Holiday Sock #1 and get a start on Holiday sock #2:

Just plain vanilla, but fun socks.  And, from the looks of things, these will be matchy-matchy.  I don't usually care about that but will admit that I want these to match, so I cut off some yarn before starting sock #2.  Hopefully not enough to make a difference.  It was a light skein to start, but I think I used slightly less than half the yarn for #1.  I'll try to give these some more attention today.

On the reading side I finally finished Matrix by Lauren Groff.  Though her writing is so beautiful (what a way with words), I still found the book to be a slog to read.  However, after last night's "Read With Us" Zoom discussion, I do have a better appreciation for the book (thank you ladies).  Now I'm about a third of the way through The Madness of Crowds and am thoroughly enjoying being back in Three Pines among friends.  Waiting in the wings (meaning on my nightstand) is a book that Fletch got me - Reckless Daughter - a Portrait of Joni Mitchell which I am anxious to read.  I just about wore out my Joni Mitchell albums while in college.  Another book I'm waiting for (I'm in queue at the library) is A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker which looks really good (read a review in the WSJ over the weekend).

Work is blissfully quiet so far this morning and I'm hoping it stays that way.  I need to get to CVS for a few things and, as mentioned above, am hoping to get out for a walk.  It's still dark here, so a bit difficult to tell what the day will be like.

Hope your week is going well.  Be sure to head over to Kat's for some inspiration!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday, January 11, 2021

 A Chilly Good Morning to You!

According to my phone it is around 15 outside.  That is cold.  Mabel is already out there running around.  She woke me at 6, had a quick bite to eat and then wanted to go out.  She puffs herself up and gets fluffy and warm.  Yesterday (I don't think it made it out of the 20's) she was in and out about a million times.  Meowing loudly on either side of the door.  At one point I saw her run up the apple tree, so I went out with my phone to get a picture.

If you click to enlarge, you'll be able to see her little tufts at the tips of her ears.  So darn cute.

Yesterday was an easy work day.  Thank goodness!  I felt worn out and took a good 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon, sleeping so deeply it was difficult to get going when I woke up.  There was both stitching and reading that took place, as well as talking to a friend on the phone.  There will most likely be another nap this afternoon as last night I managed to be awake from 1 a.m. till 4 a.m.!  I hate when that happens!

Anyway, it is Tuesday, or Tiny Needle Tuesday, or TNT.  There has been progress made on both samplers.  First up is the red alphabet in the Adam and Eve sampler.

There are several more alphabets before I get to the interesting part at the bottom.  The next horizontal line across though contains some a tiny change from straight red.

The Visiting Bird sampler is coming along nicely.  A lot of solid fill-in stitching, but I am loving the way it looks.

Where the break in the outline on the right occurs is where the legs and feet of the (visiting) bird will be.  I may stitch them today!

These are both on 32 count linen, using DMC threads doubled.  At times the thread seems a bit thick, but I think a single strand on 32 count is too little.  At this point I'm not going to change!

I'm not sure what work will be like today.  So far it is quiet.  I'm making eggs and biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast - yum!  There are a couple of errands I need to run today and whether I walk or not depends on the weather.  The wind has been howling - all day yesterday and all night I could hear it.  If that calms down I may be able to venture out.  Time will tell.

Hoping everyone is having a great week!  Stay warm and safe!!

Monday, January 10, 2022


Good Morning Friends,

How are you?  How was your weekend?  Ours was pretty chilly.  And filled with family.  Last night we went over to Bonnie & Zhongren's for "the last supper" with Colin & Mailing...last supper before they move that is.  I could tell that Colin was pretty stressed.  The movers had come on Friday and boxed things up and then came back on Saturday and loaded their truck.  Col said it would have been easier if they were moving the entire house...but they are not.  So, they had to be sure things that were boxed up were supposed to be boxed up and things that were left were supposed to be left.  The movers will be back on Tuesday to pick up Colin's car.

Dinner last night was nice.  So glad that we could all be together again.  I made a lemon meringue pie for dessert.

We made dumplings and had a lot of delicious side dishes to go with them.

Thanks so much to all of you for your kind words.  I know that so many of you have children scattered around the country...and around the globe.  Texas is not really all that far (compared to the year Colin spent in South Korea teaching English!!).  And we do have plans to visit them.  And, they will be back this way for four different weddings this year - April, May, June and October.  I just hope that all goes well with taking the cats on their flight Wednesday.  It will be an experience, I'm sure.

Other than that, not much happened over the weekend.  I found a little time to knit, stitch and read.  Mabel continues to entertain us and is loving going outside.  So far she is sticking around and we noticed that she tends to watch the birds rather than chase them.  I'm sure at some point that will change.  Saturday we had a beautiful hawk show up two doors down from us.

He/she kept calling and then suddenly flew off and a second one flew in.  Beautiful birds!

And now here we are at Monday and another work week (for me anyway).  Wishing you all a wonderful start to the week.  I'm hoping to get out to walk again this week.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Making Tracks

 Good Morning!  

It's snowing here.  We don't have a lot, but someone has already been out and is enjoying making tracks.

There was no hesitation on Mabel's part - she quickly went out when I opened the door and then gingerly stepped on the snow.  I think she likes it!

She is back in now, but making a bit of noise meowing.  She probably wants to go back out.

I did walk again yesterday on the trail by the canal.  Once again, not many people out and about.  No heron sightings, but there were lots of geese and ducks on the water.

Colin was over last night and it was so good to see him again.  I realized that we will not see Talbot and Marcel again until we head down to TX!  We will see Colin again and Mailing on Sunday for dinner at Mailing's parents home.  The movers are supposed to come today and tomorrow.  Not sure what will happen with the snow.  Colin's car will be picked up next Tuesday to be shipped down and they all fly down on Wednesday.

Today's plans include two conference calls (yuck) - 10 and 11.  Other than that, I plan to finish Holiday Sock #1 (I'm up to the toe decreases) and cast on #2.  Maybe some stitching, and finish "Matrix."  Probably I should do some housework, but that is low, low, low down on the priority list - LOL.  Not sure about a walk.  I enjoy walking in the snow, but it will depend on whether the roads are clear or not.  And, we are making home-made pizza for dinner.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2022

A Walk Along the Canal

 Good Morning!

No food post today.  Last night we just had some boiled shrimp along with roasted veggies (a kind of cleaning out the frig dinner).  It was good, but nothing worthy of sharing a recipe.  Tonight we are having vegetable beef soup that I took out of the freezer to thaw.  Colin had requested this along with corn muffins.  His last Thursday night dinner with us for some time as they leave next week for TX.  Boo-Hoo.

Anyway, I did bundle up yesterday and go for a walk.  Fleece leggings (again), a turtleneck and wool sweater (again), wool socks and sneakers, glove liners and fingerless mitts over those.  A headband and my sockhead cowl which I pulled up over my head.  I took a selfie, but it didn't look very nice, so no sharing.

I drove over to the trail that runs between the canal and the river.  My car was the only one in the parking lot.  Three separate runners passed me as well as a bicyclist, but that was it.  No other people around.  Just the way I love it.

Initially my feet and hands were cold, but they warmed up after a bit.  The decorated Christmas tree trail-side is still there, but the bench that had decorations on it has been cleared.  Yesterday was the 12th day of Christmas, so I guess the holidays are officially over now.  I noticed that ice was beginning to form on the canal.

There were plenty of ducks in the water - they don't mind the frigid temps.  No fowl in the above picture, but if you click to enlarge, you can see the bits of ice here and there.

One thing I love about walking in winter is looking at trees.  With no leaves or undergrowth showing, you can see the wanderings of their trunks.  Also the various vines that wrap themselves around the trees.

Walking along, I was surprised to see an osage orange on the trail.  Those trees are common around here, but I don't recall seeing any along the trail.

At any rate, a bright spot of yellow was a welcome sight among such browns and greys.

On my way back I was rewarded with seeing a blue heron - finally!!

To me, herons are such majestic birds.  I love to watch them walk/wade.  This one continued over to the side and went onto the land.  He was right at the edge of the river.

I'm hoping to get out for another walk today.  Probably not till the afternoon.  This is Thursday and my morning is full of running financial reports and sending them out.  I also have two bathrooms that are screaming to be cleaned.

Mabel is continuing to explore outside and loving it.  Gosh she is a fast runner.  Fletch says she runs like a gazelle - long leaps.  She can be at the back edge of our garden just before our woods in a flash.  The other day I saw her at the edge of the woods, so I opened the door and called her just to see what would happen.  She looked up, saw me and ran for the house.  She came in, talked a bit and then went back out.  She is definitely keeping us entertained!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 1/5/22

 Good Morning!

Yesterday was such a beautiful day here.  Blue, blue skies and very crisp air.  Yes, it was chilly and I don't think it even made it to freezing.  But...I did walk in the early afternoon.  Finally I ventured out on the River Trail which is in part of Valley Forge Park and runs alongside the Schuylkill River.  There were a few other souls out as well.  Not many, but I saw maybe 5 other people.  Fleece leggings, a turtleneck and wool sweater, winter jacket, wool socks and hiking boots, wool hat and gloves.  My body was comfortable, but I will admit that my face was stinging a little bit.  The trail was a bit uneven (frost heaves?) and had some icy patches and some wet patches, so I had to watch where I was walking and that was difficult in the blinding sunlight (even with sunglasses on),  But my it felt good to be outside on a sunny day!

There were spots where the river was running fast and others where it was smooth as glass.  It was beautiful.  I hope the above video works (I had some difficulty uploading it).

My visit to the office was uneventful.  I saw a total of 3 other people, one of whom was my boss (who showed up 40 minutes late for our scheduled meeting).  I was able to do what I needed/wanted to do, run my errands and was still home by Noon.  Not bad.  I don't plan to go to the office again this week.

All of this brings us to Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 and the first Unraveled Wednesday of the New Year!  Like every other Unraveled Wednesday, I am linking up with Kat  and all the Merry Unravelers to talk about making and reading.  As I mentioned yesterday, stitching has been calling to me more than knitting, but I did manage to put some time in on my Holiday Sock (#1).

The heel has been turned and I am halfway down the foot.  Theoretically I should be able to finish up this first sock pretty quickly.  And start sock #2.  Theoretically.  We shall see.  It's not a race (after all, I don't need these Holiday Socks until a little under a year from now!!).  Enjoyment is the goal.

There is not much to report on the reading side of things either.  I have read a few more chapters in No Time to Spare and I continue to enjoy LeGuin's writing.  I also started Matrix and am finding it to be a slog.  I'm more than halfway through it and I will finish it, but I'm pretty bored with it and just want to finish so I can start The Madness of Crowds which finally came through for me at my library.  If Matrix were not the next "Read With Us" book, I would probably just return it unfinished to the library.

Mabel had another delightful day outside yesterday.  She kept coming inside and talking to us a bit and then going back out.  She was mostly outside from 7 a.m. till 5 p.m.  And then she relaxed.

I love this picture of her!  Look at those markings on her face and the spots on her body.  Such a sweetie!

Time for another cup of coffee and to check out a few blogs.  Then I need to get to work.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday January 4, 2022

 Good Morning!

Brrrr - it is 19 here according to my phone.  No snow though,  We missed that completely - I think it was all to the South of us.  I would have enjoyed a little, but I'm ok with nothing on the ground and dry roads as well.

Mabel had quite the day yesterday!  She was out almost all day long.  Or, rather, in and out and in and out and in and out.  It seemed like every 20 minutes or so she would come to the door to come in, talk a bit (telling us of her adventures I suppose) and then be back at the patio door crying to go out.  I think she pretty well exhausted herself.

Curled up on a kitchen chair snoozing when I went up to bed.  Of course, when Fletch came up later she was running around, jumping on and off the bed.  Guess she got a second wind.  Guess we can't keep the bedroom door open just yet.  She has not yet gone out this a.m.  I am waiting for dawn.  We are keeping her in when it is dark out.

Welcome to the first TNT of 2022 and I have two new starts!  What?  Who am I?  I don't think I've ever worked on two pieces at once.  But this year I am.  Both pieces appealed to me, so I started one on New Year's Eve and the other on New Year's Day.

First up is the New Year's Eve start:  Adam & Eve by The Scarlet House:

I always love an Adam & Eve sampler and alphabets have always appealed to me as well.  Here is where I am at the moment:

I am using 32 count linen and DMC threads.  This will end up being approximately 11.25" wide by 16.25" long.

You all know that I also love birds.  So my New Year's Day start includes a bird, of course.  It is called A Visiting Bird by Carriage House Samplings:

Love the muted colors in this.  Here is where I am with this one:

Again, using 32 count linen and DMC threads.  This is a smaller piece and will wind up being approximately 5.5" by 7".

I've been enjoying working on both of these (again, who am I?) and stitching has been calling to me more than knitting.  

Well, today is back to work.  Literally.  I'm meeting Bruce at the office at 9 a.m.  We have a few things we need to review together.  After that I have a couple of errands (EVS for prescriptions, Trader Joe's for anything, the State Store for wine).  I'm hoping to be home by lunch time, but we shall see.  All of us (Fletch, me, Bonnie, Zhongren, Colin & Mailing) all continue to feel fine, so I think we successfully avoided getting infected from Anna...or if we did, we were symptom-less.  Thankful for that.  My brother in CO who tested positive is planning to ski today as he is feeling so good.  Still, I will be masked up at the office and wherever I go today.

Wishing you all a great Tuesday - stay healthy!!

Monday, January 3, 2022


 Good Morning!

Whew!  I can't believe it is 8:40 a.m. and I just got up!  I can't remember the last time I slept till after 8 a.m.  Happy New Year!  How are you?  How was your weekend?

Our weekend was filled with rain.  I did manage to stay up till midnight on New Year's Eve.  I went upstairs to bed at 11:30 and then sat up and read till midnight.  Colin tells me that counts!  Ha!  There were not as many fireworks as usual, which is fine with me (not a fan).  And the weekend was a soggy one - misty rain both days and mild temps.  Today is colder...I think the forecast high is only 30 (yesterday it was above 60).  I even saw the snow symbol on the weather map for today, but so far nothing.

Anyway, I didn't do much other than lay around, knit, stitch and read.  Just what I wanted to do.  Oh, and napped and cooked.  That is enough.  Last night I watched 3 hours of TV which is unheard of for moi.  First we watched the start of "Around the World in 80 Days" on Masterpiece Theatre.  This is a book (by Jules Verne) that Fletch and I had read after dinner.  The program was good.  Then we watched the James Taylor/Carole King concert on CNN.  Oh my!  The songs - so many, many memories wrapped up in those songs.  I remember first hearing James Taylor in the summer of 1970.  I was hanging around my brother's apartment in Ithaca (feeling so grown up) and then heading to Vermont to see my new boyfriend.  My friend Leslie and I played "Tapestry" over and over again - it's a wonder we didn't wear out the vinyl.

One thing I did do this weekend was look through the book where I keep a record of what I read and what I made.  Both kind of surprised me this year.  On the reading end of things I read a total of 71 books (and 44 of those I rated 4 stars or above!!).  Way up from my reading slump year(s) (in 2020 I read 30 books and in 2019 I read 26 books).  Fletch and I read 7 of them together after dinner.

  • 5 stars:        9
  • 4.5 stars:    4
  • 4 stars:        31
  • 3.5 stars:    15
  • 3 stars:        10
  • 2.5 stars:        2

We haven't read together after dinner for some time now.  I'd like to get back to that, but the last couple of books we picked have not been good and we kind of fell out of the practice.

Stitching-wise, I finished 6 pieces.

Knitting-wise I knit 17 items!

  • One Hat (a gift)
  • 7 socks (5 were gifts)
  • 2 cowls (1 gift)
  • One scarf (gift)
  • 1 pair of fingerless mitts (gift)
  • 3 dish cloths
  • One French Market Bag (really too small though)
  • One swatch (gift - my friend Carol wanted a swatch she would put things on to photograph for her Etsy shop

I don't make goals for any of these things, but I do enjoy looking back at what I have done in a year.

In other big news, Mabel is now going outside on her own!!  Woo-Hoo!  She is loving it and so are we.  She is calmer and not bouncing off the walls now.  She comes in and takes a long nap - LOL.  Pretty much she is sticking on the patio.  She watches the birds and explores all the crap stuff that someone has on the patio.  We have some boats hanging from the ceiling (a kayak and two guideboats) and she has had fun getting into them and looking around (and coming out covered in cobwebs!).  Now we just need to get her to give up her litter box!

OK, time for another cup of Joe and to wake up.  Thankfully today is a work holiday for me.  Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

PS  Forgot to mention that my brother and his family in Colorado are all safe.  Phil and Lynnette did not have to evacuate.  Vera & Kabir and family did evacuate, but their house was spared and they went home after one night away.  Now they have a foot of snow on the ground!  Thank you all for the good wishes for them.  So many were not as fortunate as they were.