Monday, February 28, 2022

Weekending 2/28/22

 Good Morning!

It was a pretty sunrise this morning - lots of oranges and strong pinks.  And it is warmer this morning too - 28 degrees F.  Mailing is flying home this morning so we will get to see her this week.  Looking forward to that.  She will be working locally for the week and then going back to Austin.

So how was your weekend?  Mine was filled with cooking.  Saturday I made curried shrimp chowder for dinner.  To go with that I baked a loaf of bread - white and buckwheat flour which turned out very well.  Sunday I cooked all day!  I made multigrain pancakes for breakfast.  We had bananas that were going to go bad quickly, so I baked a couple of loaves of banana bread - with the addition of pecans and dried cranberries.

One loaf is now in the freezer, but we had some last night and it is tasty!  Lunch was deviled eggs and stuffed mushrooms.

Some of the eggs have capers on them.  Two (for me) have pickled jalapenos.  Yum!!

Thankfully dinner did not need to be cooked.  I had taken a container of chili out of the freezer and we had that along with a salad.

I managed to do a little stitching, a little knitting (though the knitting was ALL backwards - meaning it ALL was ripped back) and a little reading.  Nothing earth shattering, but a pleasant weekend.  My back continues to heal nicely and I'm still not using any muscle relaxers.

A little later I will head to the office.  I have some things I want to print in color and I'll check the mail.  I will be home before lunch time!  And maybe I can take a short walk today.  I would love that.

Cheers to the week ahead - make it a good one!

Friday, February 25, 2022



Well, quite a change from our Spring-like weather on Wednesday!  Here is what it looks like this morning (click to enlarge):

That is the lilac bush in front of my office window.  Grey, cold and icy outside.  Each branch is coated and even though it is grey and dismal out, everything is glistening.  I don't think it will last as the temp is now above freezing and it is raining.  Cars have been going up and down the street, so I assume driving is ok.  I'm not planning on going anywhere anyway, but I know Fletch is hoping to run a couple of errands this morning.  But, he's not even out of bed yet, so it will be some time before he ventures out.

Meanwhile, this sweet kitty wanted to go out at 2 a.m.!

She is not really sticking out her tongue at me - she was in the middle of grooming when I called her name.  Mabel continues to earn her keep - yesterday she caught and killed two voles!  Who knew we had so many voles on our property?

My back continues to improve and I did not use any muscle relaxers yesterday or today (so far).  I talked with my doctor yesterday and it is ok for me to do some MILD exercises.  I had hoped to book a massage, but she nixed that idea until after the MRI.

I only have one conference call today at 11 a.m. and I am thankful it is just one.  I plan to have a productive day stitching, knitting and reading.  I am more than ready for the weekend.  Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

A Finish!!

 Hello Everyone!

Yesterday - wow!  It was around 60 degrees F out and Fletch and I actually sat on the patio before dinner sipping our beverages.  There was a little wind chill, so we needed light weight jackets, but as Fletch said what a wonderful teaser for Spring.

Then Fletch grilled a pork loin for dinner.  One of those small ones that are already seasoned.  This one was with tri-colored peppercorns and it turned out perfectly!  To go with it we had steamed French green beans and some fingerling potatoes.  I mixed up a gravy with sauteed mushrooms and onions.  Best of all there are plenty of left overs.

In the not such good news department, my Xray results showed possible lumbar compression so I will be getting an MRI.  Weirdly I seem to be improving daily and, in fact, skipped pain meds yesterday completely.  (I did wake up at 3:30 this morning though and took a pill...but everything feels fine right now.)  Years ago when I had a bulging disc in my neck I was told that my spine was "riddled" with arthritis and a decade or more ago when I had a dexa scan it did show a bit of osteoporosis.  I'm sure those two things contributed to whatever is wrong with my back (along with my foolish behavior of attempting to lift a very heavy object).

Let's move on to nicer things, shall we?  I am happy to tell you that the Terrarium socks are finished!

They are a bit more matchy-matchy than I thought and I just love the way they turned out.  Better yet, Fletch loves them too!  I gave them to him last night.  The picture above looks more grey than green.  That shot was taken last night after dark.  I took a picture of the left over yarn this morning that shows the colors better:

The yarn is Static from KnitPicks and the colorway is Terrarium.  These are pretty large socks:  15 rows of ribbing, 70 rows on the leg and 70 rows on the foot.  The skein weighed 106 grams at the start and I still have 26 grams left!  The pattern is Petty Harbour on the leg and I used #2 needles.  This is the 4th skein of Static I have knit and I may need to order more of this yarn.  There are great colors and all of them are now under $10 a skein!  You cannot beat that price.

After our Spring like weather yesterday, it is now in the 20's and there is a winter weather advisory for ice.  Luckily I have plenty of things to occupy myself with right here at home, so I will be staying in.  Wishing you all a lovely day on this Friday Eve.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 2/23/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

It is 5:30 in the morning and our temp is hovering around 60!  Unbelievable.  It will be pleasant today.  I know these temps won't last, but I'll enjoy them while they are here.  (I also check Austin weather in the morning to make sure the kids are ok - lol - and their temp is only in the 40's this morning - go figure.)

I must have been on the computer too much yesterday morning because my back really bothered me grocery shopping and throughout the day.  But...I slept like a rock from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. - a solid 8 hours with no discomfort whatsoever!  Woohoo!

Today I will be heading to the office to make copies of all our tax stuff that I will drop off with our accountant later this week.  But first it is Unraveled Wednesday and, as usual, I am linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.

There has been progress with the Terrarium Socks!

Sock #1 is finished and Sock #2 has just 15 rows to go until the toe decrease.  I thought I might wrap that last sock up last night, but I found myself closing my eyes at 8:15 as I was knitting.  That is not a good thing - lol.

On the reading side of things, I have not finished a book!  Really, very little reading has been accomplished (primarily due to the back - I couldn't get in a comfortable position to hold a book and read).  Fletch and I are still reading Shady Hollow together after dinner.  This is definitely not great literature, but it is a fun little read and I just love that one of the characters is named Vera Vixen!  I also love the cover of the book.  The Guncle is becoming slow reading for me.  Initially I enjoyed and found the story pretty funny.  Now I am struggling to finish it.  To me it seems very cliched.  I'm only half way through it and it is due back at the library tomorrow.  I may return it and try it again later...or I may just keep it till I finish and pay a little fine.

Well, time to pour another cup of coffee and wake up Fletch.  Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/22/22

 Good Morning!

Do you see?  It is 2/22/22 today.  Kind of fun, but not real important.  Mending of my back continues.  Yesterday I went for my X-rays.  Fast!!  Around here you do not make appointments for X-rays - it is strictly walk-in.  I arrived and was on my way home in under half an hour!  Most interesting to me was that my back felt the best it has when I was sitting in the car and driving.  Go figure!  Anyway, my doctor should get the results today or tomorrow.  I'm not expecting any major news.

Of course I missed posting last week on TNT and there has been progress on both pieces of stitching.  A Visiting Bird just has the bottom to complete!

I really am enjoying this one although I confess to already thinking about what the next piece will be to accompany my Adam & Eve Sampler.  And, no, A&E have not yet shown up.  I think there are two more alphabets to complete before I reach the bottom part of the sampler with A&E, a tree (apple of course) and the evil serpent.  But, like A Visiting Bird, I am thoroughly enjoying this piece.

Again, I want to thank you all for your kind words and comments.  My apologies for not responding to or acknowledging your comments - I am still limiting my computer time.  Yesterday I did manage to read some blogs, but I was lurking - no comments.  Gradually I will get back to my normal way.  In the meantime, just know that I value and appreciate our on-line friendship so much.

Today's exciting plan is to do some grocery shopping.  The day will be a bit dreary as we are expecting rain all day.  Yesterday though was gorgeous!  60 in the afternoon and very sunny.

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, February 21, 2022

On the Mend

 Hello, Hello!

Thank you all so much for your comments, emails, words of encouragement and healing juju, suggestions, etc., etc.  This blogging community is such a god send!  

I am gradually healing.  The key word is gradually.  By nature I am not a very patient person, so this is a bit difficult for me.  I've been frustrated and angry by the constant pain and my inability to do some things or even get in a comfortable position.  But...I will get through this (with the help of your encouragement and well wishes).  Each day is a little better. 

Finally, over the weekend, I was able to sit for a long enough period of time that I could knit a little or stitch a little.  Progress!  And, I'm back to reading.  I'm still resting a lot, but not taking as many naps as the other week - LOL.  

The weekend was quiet.  We did have snow squalls one day - looked like a blizzard for 20 minutes or so and then it was over.  We are supposed to gradually warm up a bit this week and Fletch is planning to grill again on Wednesday.  That's about the excitement here.  Today I will go for an X-ray of my lower back (just to be sure).  I had planned to go last week, but fell asleep instead!

I'm still limiting my computer time, so will close out now.  I hope everyone is doing well and again, so much thanks for reaching out to me. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

A Little Break

 Hi Everyone,

First of all, thanks to you who emailed me wondering if I was ok.  I'm ok, just not moving too well!

Last week (Monday the 7th) I was dumb and attempted to lift something way too heavy for me.  Result:  pulled muscle in my lower back.  Wow!  I've never done anything like this and didn't realize how painful it is.

I rested and took Advil but by this past Monday it was worse, so I call my doctor who prescribed a drug.  It has done nothing, so I called again this morning and just got back from my appointment.  Thankfully she is positive it is a pulled muscle (versus a herniated disc) based on how I could move my legs and hips and the fact that I have no tingling or numbness in my legs.  My real problem is that there is no position I am comfortable in.  Sitting, standing, walking, laying down - they all hurt.  So, Fletch is on his way to the drugstore to pick up stronger meds.  I will also get an xray of my spine (just to be sure).  Hopefully tonight I can sleep more than 1.5 hours in a row!

Sadly I have not been able to get into a position that will allow me to knit or stitch or even read!  It is horrible!!!

All of this to say that I won't be blogging the rest of this week.  I'm still working, but need to limit my time sitting at the computer.  I've tried to catch up on a few blogs, but really have not been able to do much.  I will catch up with you all later.

Hope everyone is well!!

Thursday, February 10, 2022

What's for Lunch? 2/10/22 - And Bonus: a Poem!

 Hello and Good Morning!

Mabel was a little kinder this a.m., not waking me till 4:45 a.m.  And, since I usually get up by 5 or 5:30, I just decided to stifle my yawns and just get up.  It's Thursday and I've my usual reports to run and distribute this morning, plus an additional monthly one.  But first, the more pleasurable blogging experience.  The coffee is hot and I'm slowly waking.

Before I get into my usual Thursday food post, I have some exciting news!  You've heard me speak of my friend Leslie before - an amazing woman and my best friend for 56 years!!  Leslie is a poet and she had one of her poems chosen for the North Carolina Poetry in Plain Sight program.  I've known about this for a little while but was not able to share with you until her poem went up on display.  That happened!  I do love her poem "Big Ears" that was chosen.  Just makes me chuckle:

Click to enlarge.  Currently seen in the window of the indy bookstore Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC.  Congratulations Leslie!  Well deserved.

Let's talk food (as I often do on Thursdays).  Last weekend I wanted something different for lunch.  I hard boiled some eggs (though I used the air fryer, so no water) and made some deviled eggs.  Then I decided on this dish from Amy Traverso's "The Apple Lover's Cookbook" - Quick Bread and Butter Apple Pickles

  • 1 unpeeled English Cucumber
  • 1 TBS kosher salt
  • 2 large firm/sweet apples
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1 Cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Tarragon, cut into 4 pieces

  1. Cut the ends off the cucumber and slice on a mandolin.  Place in a colander and toss with the salt.  Let sit for 20 minutes
  2. Cut the apples in quarters trimming out the core and seeds.  Leave the skin on and slice on a mandolin.  Peel and slice the shallots on a mandolin.  Put all in a medium bowl.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, water, honey and sugar.  Mix until the sugar dissolves.  Add in the cinnamon stick and tarragon. and pour over the apples and shallots.
  4. Rinse the cucumbers and lightly blot dry (still in the colander) with a paper towel or kitchen towel.  Add the cucumber slices to the apples and shallots and stir well.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes.  Will keep in the frig up to 2 weeks.

I roughly halved the recipe.  The apple I used was a Pink Lady.  I used some ground cinnamon rather than a stick and I did not have fresh tarragon, so I skipped that.

Even though it is winter, this crisp and refreshing salad tasted really good.  Next time I might just slice the cuke, apple and shallot and make the pieces a little bigger.  I can see this becoming a summer staple.

Only making half the recipe still made plenty for the two of us.  I had some with my lunch yesterday and it was still very tasty and crisp.  And, there is still some left!

Here is another wine label for you:

Wines made from organic grapes are typically not my favorite.  Nor are Spanish wines.  But, given the label you know I HAD to buy this one.  And it turned out to be quite good!  A nice red.

OK, time to get to work.  Remember, it is Friday Eve, so in my book that means that really the weekend is starting.  LOL  Make it a good one!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 2/9/22

 Good Morning!

It is Wednesday and time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Always inspirational and fun!

For me, my post this week is not much different than last week.  I'm still on the first Terrarium sock...a little further along.

I am loving the colors in this Static yarn from KnitPicks.  The heel has been turned and I'm roughly half way down the foot.

My reading is also the same.  Still getting through "Reckless Daughter" and enjoying it.  I had gotten a new Elly Griffiths book from the library but could not get into it at all.  I really like her Ruth Galloway series, but others by her just don't appeal to me.  I did also pick up "The Guncle" but have not yet started it.  Last night before turning out the light I read roughly 30 pages in "Devotions" - a collection of Mary Oliver's poems.  Oh my!  So good.

Fletch and I are back to reading after dinner (we had a several week hiatus when we could not decide on anything to read).  We started Shady Hollow and are enjoying it.  I had seen a review of this new book (just published in January I think) and knew I'd have to read it because Vera Vixen is a character!  This is billed as Watership Down meets Mickey Spillane.  The animal characters are quirky!  We are only 30 pages in, but it is fun.

We are back to a chilly morning (21), but it is supposed to be sunny and the temps should warm up to the 40's.  Fletch is grilling wings (hot and BBQ) for dinner and I'm looking forward to that!  Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday February 8, 2022

 Good Morning!

It's a little later than I usually post (7:30 a.m.) and I am terribly groggy/not awake yet.  First of all that blasted darling cat Mabel woke me at 4 a.m.!  Insistently meowing rather loudly.  Fortunately (unlike how Tyg used to behave), she didn't need/want to eat but rather she just wanted to go out.  I opened the patio door, she flew out, and I went back to bed.  3 hours later I woke up!  So, I've had a few sips of coffee, but that is it.

Yesterday just about did me in/wore me out as well.  I was in my office for six hours straight!  Granted that is not a full day technically, but it does represent the longest time I have spent in that place in 3 years!  I came home and promptly took a nap.  LOL  It was good to catch up with 3/4 of my bosses though.  Kevin had flown in from Atlanta Sunday night, Mike drove over from NJ and Bruce came down from Bucks County.  Only Lisa didn't show.  Her flight from CA yesterday morning was cancelled and she got on a later flight that wasn't landing in Philadelphia until some time in the evening.  I decided not to wait for her.

I managed to read a few blogs, but plan to catch up with everyone today.  Meanwhile, here it is Tuesday already and time for a TNT post.  Progress has been made on both pieces.  A Visiting Bird has had another flower added (lower left).

This is such a pretty piece and I always enjoy putting some stitches in this one.

Next up we have Adam & Eve (who still have not made an appearance):

The thicker alphabet has been finished and two dividing bands have been stitched.  There are still several alphabets to add on this before I get to the bottom section with animals and Adam & Eve.  This one is keeping me occupied for sure!

Todays plans include:  Wordle, some NYT puzzles, some work (if necessary), grocery shopping (mid-week!!) and catching up on blogs.  It seems a bit warmer this morning and I saw the 50's forecast for Saturday!  Hope everyone's week is going well.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

What's for Dinner? February 3, 2022

 Good Rainy Morning!

Looks like we are in for a soaker.  Mabel got me up way too early this morning (5 a.m. when I had not gone to bed until after midnight).  I was up later doing some work (yes, work at 10 p.m. but that's why I can be flexible and go grocery shopping on a week day morning), talking to the kids (who are bracing for 20 degree weather!!), and assorted other things.

Anyway, we had a new cake last night, but before I get to that I will tell you about my day yesterday.  I did go to the office and was there maybe an hour.  I managed to do what I wanted to do, went through the snail mail that had come in for me or my bosses (most of it went right into the trash can).  There were a few other folks in the office, but other than saying hi as I walked by a conference room where a (small) meeting was going on, I didn't see or speak to anyone.  Just the way I like it!

After the office I journeyed over to Gateway (a strip shopping center).  Went to JoAnn's and secured the DMC floss I need for Adam & Eve and went to the state store.  I had to get this wine for the label:

Colin planned to have bees, but moving to Texas has put a hold on those plans.  This is a nice Spanish red and went very nicely with dinner (grilled hot and sweet Italian sausage, sauteed onions, peppers & mushrooms).

Next up was a visit to Trader Joe's next door to the state store.  Like we didn't buy enough groceries on Tuesday.  But, our fresh produce was light, so I mainly got fresh veggies, some lemons & limes, some dried coconut (Fletch uses that in the trail mix he keeps around).  And oh boy!  I also found pretzels filled with almond butter and then coated in dark chocolate.  Probably not a good thing that I bought those!  I couldn't pass up getting some flowers to brighten things in the house.

I swear, TJ's carries the BEST flowers and they always last much, much longer than any others that I get at other grocery stores or even florists.  They always have a great selection and prices are much lower than anywhere else.

My afternoon ended up busy work-wise, but I did find time to make a "fluffy lemon yogurt cake."  I used this recipe:

and it came together quickly and easily.  My pan was 9" and I did grease it and line it with parchment (neither of which are mentioned in the recipe).  I dusted it with confectioners sugar and voila!

We tried it for dessert and it is good.  I would not call it great and there are other lemon recipes I like more.  But, it was fun to try something new.  When I cut our pieces, mine tipped over and lost some of the sugar topping.

But it was still tasty!  I like the fact that it is not a huge cake.  It hardly rose at all and is more dense than I expected.

Lest you all think that all we do around here is eat cake, the chocolate olive oil cake that I made over the weekend has been sliced and individual slices wrapped and put in the freezer.  This cake has now joined the chocolate in the freezer.

Well, time for me to get working.  I've my usual Thursday financial reports to run and send out.  Fingers and toes crossed that the weather in TX will not be bad.  Last year in the deep freeze in TX folks lost not only power, but also water.  For a week or more!  So, C&M have filled all their water bottles as well as one of their bathtubs just as a preemptive strike.  Hopefully totally unnecessary.

It's Friday Eve, so really just about the weekend!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday - February 2, 2022

 Good Morning!

It's 2/2/22!  It is also Groundhog Day and I'm betting that Punxsutawney Phil would rather stay asleep in his little den or whatever rather than get dragged out by folks in costumes.

Before I forget, I saw this on a blog yesterday and love it!

Isn't that the truth?  Speaking of poor behavior, Fletch and I were pretty amazed at how many folks at the grocery store (mainly seniors!!) were unmasked.  Also, the guy behind the deli counter had a net around his beard, but no mask.  Geeze!  Turns out though that Tuesday morning is a good time to shop - the store was less crowded and better stocked than a Saturday or Sunday.  Given my flexibility with working from home, I think we will stop shopping on the weekends and go with mid-week.

All that brings us to right now.  It is Unraveled Wednesday - the first in February and I'm linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  First up, the Terrarium Sock (#1) is progressing nicely.

The leg part is now complete (15 rows of 2x2 ribbing and 72 rows of the Petty Harbour pattern).  The pattern is easy to memorize and makes the knitting interesting rather than just plain straight knitting.  With this yarn the pattern is not really all that visible, but it makes a nice texture and I think Fletch will like it.  Yup!  These are going to be Valentine's Day socks for Fletch (no guarantee they will both be finished in time for the 14th...but...).

On to my reading (books seen above).  Not pictured is Agatha of Little Neon the next "Read With Us" book.  This one I thoroughly enjoyed!  I admit that I found "Matrix" to be a bit of a slog, but Agatha hummed right along for me.  I loved the quirky characters.  Granted Matrix had its share of quirky characters too...but 12th century versus modern day.  

Next up, Owls and Other Fantasies by Mary Oliver.  How could I not enjoy this?  A rather short collection of poems and two (far too) short essays.  Fletch and I consumed this slim volume over a couple of nights after dinner.  Really, a joy to read.

Finally, Reckless Daughter A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe.  I am roughly halfway through this book and enjoying it a lot.  All the others are in this book too - Graham Nash, David Crosby, James Taylor, Carole King, Mama Cass, Leonard Cohen, etc., etc.  So many memories are being brought back reading this.  I'm going to have to dig out my Joni Mitchell CDs and give them a listen-to (my Joni LPs were all worn out years ago).

I'm in the queue on Overdrive for several newer books and hopefully they will be coming in soon.  Looking at my library account, I see that one has shipped to my library a day or two ago, so I should receive notice (maybe today?) that it is ready for pick up.

A bit later I'll head to the office.  There are a few things I'd like to print in color for myself and I need to check mail, etc.  It will be a very quick (I hope) visit.  Then I need to stop at JoAnns (another skein or two of DMC needed for the A&E Sampler), the wine store and Trader Joe's.  I should be home in plenty of time for lunch.

Do tell - what are you making and reading these days?

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/1/22

 Good Morning!

Welcome to February!!  A short month, but filled with fun things.  Ground Hog's Day!  Valentine's Day!  Bang Out a Sweater Month!  Is anyone going to join Ann and Kay and bang out a Daytripper Cardigan?  For the record, I am not.  A little tempted, but not going there.  Instead I keep thinking about a temperature blanket.  I even went so far as to look at temperatures in Norfolk, VA for the first few months of Fletcher's life (mimicking Vicki here).  But that may be a bit complicated for moi.  Maybe I could do one based on temps here and temps in Austin, TX.  Still mulling things over in my mind.  And that may be as far as these plans get (the mulling over stage).  More thinking/mulling needed.

But here we are, the first Tuesday of the month and time for a TNT - Tiny Needle Tuesday - check in.  Though progress was made on both pieces, not quite as much as I thought.  Here is A Visiting Bird.  

A Visiting Bird

The only addition are the two leaves/petals to the right of the big yellow flower.  I thought I had stitched more on this, but I do remember some shiny object distracting me.

Next up:

Adam & Eve

(though they are still missing in action...somewhere...later)

Again, not as much finished as I thought...but the letters in the latest alphabet are thicker and, therefore, are taking longer to stitch.  This one is definitely going to keep me busy for a little bit!

There is a time consuming project that I am working on for work (updates to our legal data base), so I anticipate spending more time on that today.  Also, Fletch and I plan to venture out and get some groceries.  I'm curious to see how the store is people-wise.  We usually shop on the weekend.  I'm hoping it is not crowded and we can get in and out.  Other than potatoes and onions and broccoli, we are out of fresh produce, so that is on the list (though I do want to get some things at Trader Joe's and will probably head there tomorrow when I go to the office).

That is about the excitement here!  Hope everyone is having a good week.