Thursday, March 31, 2022

What's for Dinner 3/31/22

 Hello All,

The dampness is beginning to creep in - rain in the forecast by this afternoon. is 48 this morning which is more than 20 degrees warmer than yesterday morning!  And tomorrow is April 1st!  I cut a bunch of daffodils and some grape hyacinths for kitchen bouquets - some on the counter, some on the buffet, some on the windowsill.  I love the pops of color.  I also bought a large bunch of flowers at Trader Joe's yesterday.

Hard to really appreciate them in a small picture, but click to enlarge if so inclined.  The purple ones (two shades) are Wax Flowers.  The white ones are something else, but of course I cannot remember the name.

There were more folks in the office yesterday, but I was only there less than an hour!  Our entire purchasing department was in for an in-person meeting.  The first time those 5 people were together in over 2 years!  My accountant for Kevin's group came in just as I was leaving.  I hadn't seen her in a year or so.  I do not get the impression that anyone is thinking of going back to the office full time.

The other night I got a hankering for something different.  Decades ago I would cook pork chops with a chili sauce over them.  I decided to do that again...boneless, loin pork chops in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Then I mixed a cup of chili sauce with some white vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce and poured that over the chops.  Popped the casserole dish into the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes and they turned out great.  To go with them, I made Smothered Cabbage.

I used just part of a giant sweet onion, about 2/3 of a small head of cabbage, 2 potatoes and about 1 cup of broth.  We still have a large container left over.  This dish cooks up quickly and was very tasty alongside the chops.

You all know I'm not much of a TV or movie person, but last night we watched The Starling and both enjoyed it.  Melissa McCarthy is pretty funny.

I'm looking forward to my appointment this afternoon with the neuro surgeon.  Again, I am not expecting or wanting any kind of surgery...rather I want to find out what I can and cannot do (or should and should not).  Looking for good news all around.

Well, time to pour another cup of coffee, dry my hair, and get started on my usual Thursday morning reports.  Happy Friday Eve!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 3/30/22

 Good Morning!

Still a bit chilly here - in the 20's this morning.  Yesterday was such a pretty day.  Although it was still on the cold side, we had abundant sunshine and I think more of that is forecast for today.  I'm heading to the office a little later.  Just need to check the mail, print out something for moi, and then stop at JoAnn's for DMC thread and Trader Joe's for a couple of things (including more flowers).  But first it is Unraveled Wednesday.  The last one in March.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat and her Merry Unravelers to talk making and reading.

There has been a little progress on both knitting projects.  First up, the first of the Hiking Trail socks has reached the end of the heel flap and is patiently waiting for the magic of turning the heel.

I'm enjoying knitting with this yarn and I love the purple flecks that run throughout it.  These will be for Colin, so there is still a way to go (large feet).  But, no rush.

The Guernsey Wrap is also progressing nicely.

I have roughly 10 or 12 rows to complete the first 78 rows of Chart A.  Once that is done, I go back and knit again rows 1-58.  Then I can move on to Chart B.  I figured out last year when knitting this that there are 465 rows still a bit of a way to go!  It's a relaxing knit, and with just 58 stitches in a row (I'm knitting the worsted version), the rows go quickly.

On the reading side of things, I did finish The Island of Missing Trees which is just such a good, good book.  I wanted it to go on and on.  Now I'm about 75 pages into Still Life - yet another beautiful book.  Fletch and I continue to enjoy reading Taste together after dinner.  We are nearing the end of that book, but I already have our next "read together" book picked out.

Time for me to pour another cup of coffee and get moving.  Head over to Kat's to see what everyone is making and reading - you will find inspiration!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/29/22

 Good Morning!

Still chilly here (22 degrees F this a.m.).  Thankfully the winds have died down a bit (though I occasionally still hear them howling and screaming.  I never went outside yesterday other than to put out some recycling and trash.  In fact, I never got dressed.  LOL  And then in the late afternoon the emergency signal on my phone went off and the warning was for major snow squalls with white out conditions and icy roads!  Sure enough soon after the squalls came in.  They were short lived, and didn't produce much (thankfully).

That is a small, sad pot of wilted pansies on the table.  Fletch had to go out to the garden because one of the windows popped out of the cold frame.  Luckily it didn't take him long to get that put back.

Hard to believe it's the last Tuesday in March.  There was a bit of progress on both samplers during the past week.  First up the never ending A&E sampler (still no sign of Adam and Eve).

I love the BIG number 6 (number 9 is the same upside down).  So, 9 and then 10, then a tiny mark and the same numbers all over again.  Then I can start the interesting stuff underneath the numbers!  I do need to pick up more green (2nd skein) and more red (think it will be the 4th skein).  I can get those at JoAnn's when I venture to the office (maybe tomorrow).

And here is A Visiting Bird:

I had thought there was potential for finishing this one yesterday, but obviously that did not happen.  More stuff that is not symmetrical!  But, I decided to keep it as it is.  The original pattern calls for initials in the middle "box" and the boxes on either side have a design.  I'm planning to put my initials in the middle box and 20 in the left box and 22 in the right box.  I expect (ha!!) this to be finished by next Tuesday.

Have any of you grown an avocado plant from seed?  We used to do that when I was growing up and Colin always gets magnificent plants.  Me?  Not so much.  But I was making guacamole to go with our dinner last night and came upon what I think is the smallest avocado seed I've ever seen!  And, it looked as though a tiny root was already coming out of it.  So, I've popped it into a shot glass and it is sitting on my kitchen windowsill.

Finally, another wine for you.  I've been hankering for whites which is unusual for me.  I must be jonesing for warm summer weather or something.  Anyway, another one bought for the label and it is not bad.

It's from South Africa and I've had some other interesting and quite good wines from South Africa lately.  Love the name and love the art work!

Nothing much on my agenda today.  Stopping at the library to return a book, a small grocery shopping and, hopefully, time for stitching, knitting and reading.  

Monday, March 28, 2022

Weekending 3/28/22

 Good Morning Friends,

Geeze it is cold (21 here this morning).  We even saw some flurries yesterday, but thankfully nothing much.  But the wind!  Howling again.  Woke me up at 1:30 and I never got back to sleep till around I am dragging today.

The tulips were tilted over (as tulips will do) and spilling pollen all over the table, so I cut them down and now they are upright in the vase.

How was your weekend?  Mind was good.  Dee and I met up as planned Saturday morning which was nice.  We always have such a good time and often laugh about how different we are.

Fletch grilled burgers for dinner on Saturday and then that night the temp began to drop more and more.  Feels like winter is back.  But, Friday is April 1st (no foolin'), so warm temps can't be too far away.

I managed to do some domestic things/chores and still found a little time for knitting and reading.

How about you?  How was your weekend?

Friday, March 25, 2022

Miscellaneous Things on a Foggy Friday Morning

 Good Morning!

Yup, it is another foggy morning here.  I'm sitting at my desk sipping cardamom black pepper coffee and the world outside is a bit hushed as can only happen on a foggy morning.  I like it!  Today's post just has a bunch of random stuff in it and then a sweet picture of Mabel.

First up, wine.  Another bottle I bought for the label:

Zinfandels are not my favorites, but "all profits donated to equal rights" caught my eye.  Here is the back of the bottle.

The wine is ok...not great...probably won't buy it again, but I just thought it was interesting.

A little bit ago I posted about an unusual flower I found at Trader Joe's.  I think Kat and Bonny are correct that it is a Protea.  It is still looking pretty much the same.

Click to enlarge.  I had hoped it would open a bit, but it is still just as it was when I bought it!  The scent (which wasn't all that strong to begin with) seems to have vanished.

Finally sweet Mabel.  She just loves to sit in Fletch's lap when he is on the couch.

She is such a love bug these days!

This morning I hope to do the domestic chores I avoided ALL week - LOL.  Fletch is running out for a bit this a.m. and I will have the place to myself.  I have a conference call at 11 and another one at 2 p.m. which is an insult to the start of my weekend.  Also, the afternoon call is a full division call and there could be upwards of 100 people on the call.  Not fun.  I may log on and then quickly get off.

Tomorrow morning Dee and I have plans to meet up for coffee, chatter and knitting.  A nice way to start my Saturday.  wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

What's for Dinner? 3/24/22

 Good Morning!

It is a rainy time here.  It rained hard on and off all night and we will have rain throughout the day.  I enjoy a rainy day now and then, and we've had so many nice days recently, that a wet one is ok with me.  Plus, the garden will be so happy.

I'm back to trying a new recipe at least once a week.  On Saturday, I used a recipe from this cookbook:

Whenever my parents would go away they always brought back gifts and sometimes it was a cookbook.  This is one of them.  I flipped to the Polynesian section and found

Curried Shrimp in Pineapple Sauce

First you make a Pineapple Chutney:

  • 1.5 Cups pineapple chunks cut in thirds and drained
  • 1 Cup pineapple juice from the can of chunks
  • 1/2 Cup raisins
  • 1/2 Cup frozen pineapple juice concentrate (I didn't have this, so did not use)
  • 1/2 Cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Simmer all ingredients gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Makes enough for 3 batches of shrimp (will freeze well).

NOTE:  I just used one can of pineapple chunks and lessened the other ingredients accordingly.  I used the entire amount in the shrimp.

Next, the Curried Shrimp:

  • 4 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS minced scallion
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder
  • 2/3 - 3/4 Cup pineapple chutney
  • 2 lbs cleaned and deveined shrimp
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Saute shrimp and scallion in melted butter for one minute.  Add curry powder and chutney and cook, stirring until shrimp are done, about 5 minutes.  Squeeze lemon juice over all for desired tartness.

NOTE:  I used just a pound of shrimp and I forgot the lemon juice at the smelled so good and we were so hungry!  LOL  As mentioned above, I threw all of the chutney in with the shrimp.  We had it over brown rice.  There was plenty left over for lunches.  Delicious!

The back update is that the MRI showed a definite compressed lumbar fracture.  I'm seeing a neuro surgeon next Thursday.  I do not want or expect to have back surgery.  Decades ago I had a herniated disc in my neck and one doctor wanted to operate.  I declined and instead did PT and home traction and it all worked out fine.  So, I will meet with the doctor next week and see what he has to say.  Fingers crossed PT will work.

On to nicer things.  Aren't these tulips gorgeous?

Ignore the messy (as usual) table.  The couple in the picture on the shelf to the left of the tulips are Ray & Linda.  To their left is a picture of my parents at the summit of Hawk Mountain (a favorite place of ours to hike).

And this sweet girl kept me company most of yesterday.

She had been out all night again the previous night and was fairly tired.  She even curled up on the rug by the bathtub while I took a shower!  After so long a period of time where she did not want to be picked up, now she just wants to be close all the time!  

Well, I'm off to a late start thanks to sleeping in a bit.  Time for me to get rolling and do my usual Thursday reports for work.  Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 3/23/22

 Good Morning!

Kind of a grey one here and rain is in our forecast.  But...the lilac bush outside my office window is simply loaded with leaf buds that are beginning to open.  Further down the front lawn, the Forsythia that Fletch put in last year (that we had both forgotten about!!) is blooming.  What a spot of joy to see the bright yellow!

Here we are at the mid-week mark again and time to link up with Kat and the Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Once again I'm happy to report that there has not been any unraveling here at The Threaded Lane.  Progress has been made on both projects.  The Guernsey Wrap is getting close to where it was a year ago.

The yarn I'm using (Wool of the Andes by KnitPicks) is so soft.  I just know this will be a very warm and cozy wrap once finished.

The Hiking Trail sock is also progressing:

I am roughly halfway through the leg.  I love the flecks of purple that appear in the yarn as I knit.  The colorway (Hiking Trail) is very aptly named.

Reading is as it was last week.  I realized I have slowed down my reading of The Island of Missing Trees to make the book last longer - the writing is just that good.  Fletch and I continue to read Taste after dinner...only reading 10-15 pages at a stretch is allowing this book to last as well.  It's a fun one to read out loud.  I enjoy reading the recipes (heck, I've always loved reading cookbooks), but those are the parts Fletch does not enjoy.

Today's agenda includes some domestic chores - cleaning, washing towels, etc.  Fletch is taking my car in for a tire to be plugged.  Somewhere in my travels I managed to pick up a large screw and now the tire will not hold air very well.  And, of course, some work, though so far things are quiet this morning.

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/22/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

Yesterday turned into a pretty nice day, though it was very, very breezy (I'm not fond of wind).  Fletch worked quite a bit in the garden (and then found a tick on his shirt later in the evening).  I woke up early-ish this morning and couldn't get back to sleep - wondering why Mabel had not come upstairs to wake me.  Turns out she was outside all night!  But, when I came down to put the coffee on, she was waiting (and meowing loudly) by the patio door.  She has been fed and last I saw she was grooming and preparing for a little snooze.

My brother Ray continues to heal (slowly).  He gets tired easily (no surprise) and has roughly another 5 weeks of antibiotic infusions.  In the category of "when it rains it pours" my sister in law Linda was diagnosed with thyroid cancer yesterday.  So, she will be going in for surgery for complete removal of her thyroid within 4-6 weeks (backlog of available surgery spots thanks to Covid).  We, of course, have offered to do anything we can to help out and, fortunately, their two sons live nearby (one in Maryland and the other in Pennsylvania).  A stressful time.  So, once again, please send all the healing juju you can to Ray & Linda.  I appreciate it so much.

Moving along to more pleasant topics, it is Tuesday, or TNT as we like to call it.  There has been progress on both pieces I am stitching.  The Visiting Bird has seen a little bit more filled in at the bottom.

I'm not a matchy-matchy person, but the fact that this bottom section is not symmetrical is making me a little twitchy, but I'm going with the flow.  I need to chart out my initials and the year and I may try to do that today.

The A&E sampler has also seen a bit of progress.

See my darling needleminder?  Thank you Kim!  The lower case alphabet (and the LAST alphabet) is complete and I am on the final dividing band.  After that there will be a row of numbers and then (finally) we get to the meat of the sampler.

My office visit yesterday was quick, and I'm glad to have that out of the way.  Today is supposed to be a little cloudy and then rain is in the forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  I did find out I have another meeting at corporate on April 6th.  Another Bruce meeting, but with more people.  Then, of course, it will be May and budget season and there will be multiple meetings in person at the office.  I've noticed that only a few people (myself included) are still masked at the office.  I'm not looking forward to the meetings.

Well, that wraps things up for me this morning.  I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Goodness Gracious Snakes Alive!

 Good Morning Friends,

You all know where this post is going just from the title!  Yikes!!

Friday was a gorgeous day.  One of my conference calls had been cancelled and I really was finished work by lunch time.  After lunch I ventured out in search of some new bras.  That's a whole other story that I won't go into, but what a PITA!  I came home and found Fletch raking out the dead stuff from the flower bed alongside the driveway.  Mabel was nosing around the patio - supposedly finding another vole or mouse.  I went inside to put some things away and when I next looked out, Mabel was batting at a snake on the patio.  It was a garter snake, but that doesn't matter.  A snake is a snake and one does NOT belong on my patio!  I yelled for Fletch who ignored me and then the snake crawled away between the trash can and a yard waste bag.  My guess is that Fletch disturbed it when he was raking out the driveway bed.

Saturday was a gorgeous day.  Rain had been in the forecast, but that didn't happen till the evening.  Dee and I met up for some much needed (on my part, anyway) girl time - sipping coffee, chatting and doing a little knitting.  After coming home, I sat on the patio a bit listening to birds.  I went back inside to do something and the next thing I know Fletch is walking across the backyard and going down the trail into our woods.  I can see him go partway down the trail until it became too muddy to walk and I see him toss something into the woods.  You guessed it - a snake!  And, it had been right underneath the chair I sit in!  30 minutes or so later, we are ready to sit outside with our beverages before dinner and Fletch finds ANOTHER snake on the patio.  You just know there have to be more.  And I am not amused or happy.

The nature stories don't end there.  Sunday morning I was fixing breakfast for us (bacon, sausage, fried eggs and toast) and I noticed some grease from cooking the sausage had splattered out of the pan.  I wipe it up and discover a deer tick on the cloth I used to wipe.  Yup - a deer tick on my stove!  I've been itching and scratching ever since.  I'm sure it's one that Mabel brought in.  We have treated her with flea & tick medication, but I have found over the years that ticks still get on the animals...they just don't burrow down and dig in and bite.  I have a feeling it's going to be a long season!

So that was my weekend!  How was yours?  

Last night I re-discovered a gift someone had sent me at Christmas.

A nesting globe filled with alpaca fiber!  We will be hanging this soon - probably somewhere in the apple tree where we can see what's happening.  Birds are definitely singing their spring mating songs, so it won't be long till they are building nests and getting ready to raise their chicks.

I wasn't sure last night about going to the office, but I think I will do that today.  I have some things to ship to my brother Ray and my SIL in Delaware.  I also need to stop at CVS and a grocery store to pick up some cat food (Mabel is consuming food like there is no tomorrow!).  I should be able to get in and out quickly at the office and then be on my way for various errands.

Let's all have a great start to the week (with no signs of more snakes).

Friday, March 18, 2022


 Good Morning!

Whew!  It is foggy outside.  And mild (like 50 degrees).

The view out back from our patio - my archery target just barely visible.  Gosh, I have not done any archery in ages...first it was too cold...then my back.  Hopefully soon.

I kind of like a foggy morning.  It is peaceful, calming and soothing.  Sort of like reading poetry by Mary Oliver before bed (which I did last night).

My MRI was pretty quick, and not quite as noisy as I had remembered (thankfully).  I arrived early not knowing what traffic would be like and they took me in early.  I was home by 9 a.m.!!  Not sure when I will hear the results, but hopefully soon.

The balance of the day was spent with work stuff.  Today I was scheduled for 3 conference calls.  fortunately the last one was cancelled late yesterday.  So, I've got a call at 8:30 and then another one at 10.  I expect both of them to be pretty quick and then my weekend can begin.

I have no Friday Feline picture for this morning.  I let Mabel out around 4 a.m. and this was the sight on my patio when I came downstairs.

The voles are usually dead on their sides, but this poor one has his head and tail up in the air.  No sign of Mabel yet, but she is earning her keep (which is a good thing as she eats more than any cat we have ever had!!).

Rain is in the forecast again for tomorrow.  Dee and I have plans to meet up for coffee, knitting and chatting.  The rain should not stop us.  We will be cozy inside.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 3-16-22

 Hello and Good Morning,

How are you?  I'm ok despite not sleeping all that well.  I think today is supposed to be sunny, but right now it is still pretty dark out there, so hard to tell.  It's mild though - just under 40 and I was way too hot last night.  The flannel sheets are coming off the bed today!  I almost did that last week when I washed them, but ended up putting them back on (and was glad I did with Saturday's wintry weather).

So, here we are mid-week and it's time as usual to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk knitting and making of all kinds as well as reading.  After my prior two weeks of backwards knitting I'm happy to say there has been none of that this week.  Of course there has not been all that much knitting either!

First up we have the cuff of the first sock in the Hiking Trail colorway.  This is the 3rd (and hopefully final) time to knit this cuff.  

I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what pattern to use and looking at patterns (thus, not much knitting).  Then I remembered that the yarn has already spoken (quite loudly) and it just wants to be plain.  I don't want just plain-plain, so I think I will K6P2 around.  That's what I did for Fletch's Barn Owl socks and he loves the way they feel.

Next up is the re-start of the Guernsey Wrap - this is the one I started a year ago and then ripped it out a couple of weeks back.

I do love this color for the wrap.  It is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes and the color is Mink Heather.  Obviously I have a long way to go on this one, but at least I've started it again.

On the reading front, I finished The Final Case by David Guterson.  I loved "Snow Falling on Cedars" when that came out in the mid-90's.  This book?  Not so much.  It was a tough read - child abuse and bigotry are not prime topics for me.  And yes, there was more to the story than that, but still, those things made it tough for me.

I also read Nobody Will Tell You This But Me and loved it.  It is Bess Kalb's memoir of her grandmother.  A very quick and enjoyable read.

Yesterday I started The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak and am already wrapped up in it.  The writing is just so good!

This morning I have a couple of errands to run.  We need stamps (yes, we still use snail mail quite a bit). and then I'm running up to our accountant's office to drop off our signed e-filing papers and pay the bill.  Once that's done, our taxes will be e-filed.  Hopefully work will remain calm.

Tomorrow is my heavy report day for work and I am also having the MRI of my back at 8 a.m.  I'm anxious to have that done and then hear from my doctor.  So, if I post, it probably will not be till later in the day.  Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/15/22

 Good Morning!

Yesterday I completely forgot that it was Pi Day until Colin texted me wishing me a Happy Pi day.  So, unfortunately there was no pie at my house.

The good news was that I was able to leave my office shortly before Noon yesterday.  Bruce and his RVPs continued meeting until 5, but yay for being able to leave.  I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up just a few things and also came home with this flower.

Beautiful and unusual.  The color is so vibrant.  Of course I cannot remember the name of this.  It is a tropical flower.  Here is a closer shot of the bloom.

I put it on the buffet (we already have a vase of flowers on the table), but you couldn't really see the flower because of all the leaves tight against it, so I cut off the leaves and voila!

Kind of like a pineapple in appearance.  Interesting.  Initially a strong fragrance, but now it is not so noticeable.  I'm hoping Mabel does not jump up on the buffet to investigate...

Here we are at Tuesday again and it's time for Tiny Needle Tuesday check-ins.  Some stitching was done during the past week.  Not a lot, but a bit.  First up is The Visiting Bird.

The bottom section has been outlined.  Once that is filled in, this piece will be finished!  In theory this should not take me too long.  In theory...we shall see.

And here is the A&E sampler with still no sign of A or E.

However, the solid dividing band has been completed.  Next up is the balance of the lower case alphabet beneath that band.  Then another dividing band and then numbers.  Then, and only then, will it be time to get to the heart of this sampler.  It's been a long time coming.  Also an enjoyable time!

There has also been some knitting and some reading, but I will save that for tomorrow's Unraveled Wednesday post.

Today's agenda includes grocery shopping (small order, I hope) - and the bonus is we have discovered that on Tuesday's one of our grocery stores has a senior discount (5%)!  With the price of groceries, that is welcome.  At our other main store we get points toward gas - also very welcome these days!

Looking forward to seeing some of you on the Read With Us Zoom call tonight!!

Monday, March 14, 2022


 Good Morning!

I'm a bit late in posting today.  And with good reason.  I've been at my office (work office...not home office) since 7:30 this morning.  One of my bosses - Bruce - is having a VP meeting here today and I needed to come in.  I presented to the group around 8:30 and once their lunch is delivered I'll be able to go home.

My weekend was not as planned.  If you read Dee's Blog over the weekend, you know that we were supposed to meet up on Saturday for some quality girl time - coffee, knitting, chatting - the usual.  BUT, we woke up to wintry weather.  It was pretty, but not what I wanted to see.

Looking out at the garden from the patio.  The wind howled and blew ALL day.  Poor Mabel was beside herself.  I think she was somewhat bored.  Friday had been gorgeous (almost 70 degrees) and she spent most of the day outside.  Saturday she would go out and two minutes later be pawing at the door to come back in.  Back and forth about a million times!

My poor Rosemary plant on the patio.  I've been using it all winter (it's been mild), but Saturday's storm may have done it in.

Like Dee, I sipped some coffee and worked a little bit on knitting.  Then I picked up some stitching.  Then I decided that I really had to do some cleaning, so I dusted and vacuumed the bedroom.  Not what I had planned at all!

Fletch was really jonesing for a steak sandwich, so cleared the snow off one of the cars and ventured out to a local place at dinner time.  The snow had stopped by then and roads were not bad.  He brought dinner home and it was so good (and I was so happy not to have had to cook!).

The other thing that happened on Saturday was that my brother, Ray, came home from the hospital.  YAY.  It was touch and go for a bit as to whether he would/could come home or not.  Medicare was saying he should go to a rehab facility for 6 weeks for his antibiotic infusions rather than being home, but finally they were able to line up a visiting nurse who could come on Saturday (there is, apparently, a shortage of visiting nurses).  I had a 45 minute conversation with him yesterday and he sounds great!  It was so good to hear his voice.  He will be going back for CT scans of his heart and mechanical valve every 4-6 weeks, but at least he can sleep in his own bed at night!  Whew!  It has been a scare for sure.

Well, work emails keep streaming in, so I'd best get back to work.  Have a wonderful week.  I'll be back tomorrow with a TNT update.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Friday Miscellaneous

 Good Morning!

I hadn't intended to abandon my blog yesterday, but work got ahold of me and would not let go!  It was awful - lol.  I'm hoping today is a little gentler.  There are two conference calls for me - one at 11 and one at 12:30, but I hope that is it...nothing more!  Time will tell.

Again, I want to thank everyone for their continued healing vibes, good juju, etc. for my brother Ray.  He's got a lot going on, but fingers, toes and eyes all crossed Linda will be taking him home today.  There has been a lot of up and down news - one moment all is positive, the next something negative is going on, then positive and then negative.  It's been a roller coaster ride and hasn't been easy for Linda, let alone the rest of us who are worried about him.  His Pic line was "installed" the other day, and he is more than ready to leave the hospital.

Ray is an avid gardener, but has been told NO gardening (hello Pic Line!), so that will be a change.  Fortunately he is also an avid reader, so he will have something to occupy his time as he heals and goes for his monthly check ups.

On to other, not so serious topics.  Last night we made pizza for dinner.

There were two of these and between them an entire (large) head of garlic graced their crusts.  Oh so good.  I can't believe I still have garden garlic from last year to use.  It is just hanging from the patio roof and every time I need some I go grab a head.  I think I might have 6 heads left...and the new shoots are coming up in the garden.  We will have scapes in no time and (hopefully) an abundant crop once again.

When we spoke with Colin the other night, he mentioned that Mailing had picked up another cookbook.  Turns out it is Cooking With Scraps which looks so interesting to me.  I know many people save their scraps, freeze them and then use them in stocks, etc.  We compost ALL of our scraps since Fletch has a garden.  Colin and Mailing were composting up here too, but in Austin they don't have garden space.  Who knew that the liquid from canned beans behaves like egg whites and it can be whipped?  So many things to try!  The Pumpkin Guts Butterscotch Scones look really good!  I haven't ordered it yet...but it is not very much money and I may just go ahead (I've been waiting to hear more from the kids).

Finally I have a new item that makes me smile every time I see it!

A scrubby sponge and also happens to be a Sloth with SPARKLES!!  I do love Sloths and the sparkles just add a certain je ne sais quoi.  A happy sloth now resides by my sink and (s)he makes me happy!

I say Let The Weekend Begin - have a good one!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 3/9/22

 Good Morning!

It's a little warmer here this morning (38), but it is grey and damp.  A wintry mix is expected within an hour or two.  And yet Fletch mentioned that it will be warm again tomorrow and he'd like to grill.  Crazy up and down, spin me around weather.

Also, tick season has already begun (or, more likely, never ended).  Fletch has been doing quite a bit of work around the garden - putting up a fence to keep out the rabbits, deer and other creatures (Steve the Beav - our resident groundhog??).  Anyway, he discovered a deer tick on his pants leg the other night.  We gave Mabel a flea & tick treatment so I hope she is safe too.

The news about my brother Ray continues to evolve.  The Penn doctors really don't see the situation as dire as the Delaware doctors did.  The heart surgeon at Penn is ready to replace Ray's mechanical valve if necessary, but it will not be right now.  Instead Ray will be sent home with a pic line and IV antibiotics.  He will have monthly check ups at Penn and CT scans.  Not only will he see the heart surgeon monthly, but also an infectious disease doctor.  Linda is hoping his discharge can happen as early as tomorrow, but we are not sure yet.  They have other things they need to check - like his blood thinner meds (which he has been on since open heart surgery), how the newest/latest antibiotic is working, etc., etc.  Meanwhile, Linda has been camped out at a hotel next to the hospital so that she would not need to commute daily from Delaware.  It's a lot!  I continue to appreciate all your healing vibes and well wishes for Ray.  Thank you so much!

And that brings us to Unraveled Wednesday where I hook up with Kat and her merry band of unravelers to talk making and reading

You already know (if you read my earlier posts this week) that once again there was unravelling, or knitting backwards as I prefer to call it.  I have not yet re-cast on the Hiking Trail socks for Colin.  Soon I will.  I will most likely just do Hermione's Everyday Socks pattern, or a simple rib like I did for Fletcher's Barn Owl socks.

Here is the scene from last night:

Another messy table scene, but such is life.  In front is the new beginning of the Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood.  This is the one that was completely unraveled the other week.  And, in reading the pattern (what a concept!!) I discovered that what I had knit last year was fine...I was just messing it all up when I started knitting on it again this year.  Distracted much?  Yes, I would say so.  But I believe/hope I am on track now.  That is only the first 8 rows of the wrap, but after taking this picture I ended up on the phone with a friend and literally laughing for 2 hours (very good for the soul).

On the reading side of things, I finished Circling the Sun by Paula McLain and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Much of it was so familiar because many years ago I had read Beryl Markham's memoir West With the Night (highly recommend) and, of course Out of Africa (and the movie - so good).  In the picture above you will see the next two books.  Fletch and I are reading Taste together after dinner and are laughing out loud and enjoying it.  Even reading it AFTER dinner, I still find my mouth watering over the recipes.  I also started The Final Case by David Guterson.  Decades ago I read "Snow Falling on Cedars" (by Guterson) and loved it.  I'm not loving The Final Case.  I'm roughly a third of the way through it and I'll finish it, but I'm anxious to get to some of the other books that recently came through for me at the library.  Fortunately it's not that long a book.

You may have noticed sweet Mabel in the picture above.  Yes she is sprawled on the table - that's how we live.  She was deeply asleep with tail, paws and her mouth periodically twitching.  Deep dreams.  Here is her sweet face.

Daily she is growing more affectionate (and tolerant of me picking her up) and loving.  So happy that we rescued her.

OK, I need to get moving.  Despite the weather forecast, I am headed to the office this morning.  I have some things I need to do and I've arranged to meet up with Christina - a peer - who asked for help navigating the legal data base and learning what she is supposed to do with it (something she should have been taught when she was hired 4-5 years ago!!).  I'm hoping to get in early, do my stuff, meet with Christina at 9 and then blow out of there by 9:30.  I need to stop at Trader Joe's for a few things and the State Store for wine.  And then home again, home again jiggity-jog.

Happy mid-week!  It is good to be on the downward slope to the weekend!

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/8/22

 Good Morning Everyone,

Once again, thank you all for the tremendous outpouring of healing vibes for my brother.  I don't really have any updates other than that the doctors at Penn don't seem to think it is the dire situation that the doctors in Maryland thought.  So, they are running all the tests again that were already done in MD.  I decided to not bother my sister in law last night as I know if there is some major change or turn she will keep me up to date.

I had hoped to get a walk in yesterday (I know the fresh air would be good for me), but work was crazy (again) and the wind was howling.  We had rain last night and that wind continued howling ALL night.  It was difficult to fall asleep as windows were rattling and the howling was just loud.  This morning it is back to being in the 30's and our high forecast is only in the low 40's.  It is still pretty breezy out there.  Mabel will go outside and then promptly get spooked by dead leaves blowing around.  

It has been difficult for me to concentrate on anything much.  No additional stitching was done on The Visiting Bird.  The Adam & Eve sampler saw just a small amount done on the latest dividing band.

Work should ease up today (fingers crossed) so maybe I can find time to put some more stitches in.  I sure hope so!

Last night our dinner was the chicken dish that Bonny posted about last week.  It was delicious!!  We only had one can of black beans, so I also threw in some pinto beans and a cut up shallot.  We had it on wraps that we first covered in guacamole.  YUM!!!  Bonus:  there was enough left over that I froze a container as well as put a container in the frig for lunches.

Time for me to pour another cup of coffee.  May your Tuesday bring you joy!

Monday, March 7, 2022


 Good Morning!

How are you and how was your weekend?  Mine was I guess what you would call a mixed bag.  I did meet up with Dee Saturday morning for some needed friend time.  We sipped our beverages, chatted and did a little knitting.  It was so nice.

My knitting over the weekend though ended up being mostly backwards (again!).  I got the ribbing done on Colin's Lizard socks and then started in on the pattern and 3 rows in realized I had made a mistake.  The twisted stitches are not easy to tink back, so I unraveled to the ribbing.  But, I'm not good or experienced at picking up stitches and ended up ripping it all out.  And starting over.

Sunday I re-knit the ribbing on Colin's sock and then started the pattern again...this time avoiding my first mistake.  But further on (of course further on) I made another mistake.  The good news is that I was far enough along to see how the pattern was playing out and it was not playing out very well.  The yarn (Hiking Trail) is variegated and honestly the pattern was not showing up all that well.  I think the twisted stitches are better suited to a solid yarn.  SO...I ripped it all back again.  I will re-start these today or tomorrow and will choose a simple pattern.  The lizard pattern will have to wait.

I think I had a touch of vertigo too yesterday and my back was a trifle sore, so I just really took it easy.  I have not done any stitching.  I have napped and I've read.  Fletcher grilled both Saturday and Sunday which was wonderful.  We also started watching a new series on BritBox - "Murder in Provence" which is very good.

Thank you all for the well wishes, healing juju, etc. for my brother Ray.  Things were looking so much brighter over the weekend - his fever was gone and he was responding well to the 2 antibiotics he was taking.  However, I had an email and several texts from Linda this morning - the doctor saw more infection on Ray's mechanical heart valve (this is the heart valve he was given during open heart surgery).  Ray was transferred from Christiana Hospital in Delaware to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia over night.  Linda spoke with his nurse this morning and they are still evaluating Ray and have no specific plan of action at this point.  This is all so scary.  Please continue to send all the healing vibes you can.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Friday Musings

 Good Morning!

Oh the weekend is upon us...well, I do have some work to do, but basically it is the weekend.  So YAY!

I have two conference calls today (10 and 11) and I emailed both Division Presidents suggesting they be cancelled since we have similar calls on Monday.  The 10:00 President responded and cancelled the call!  I have not heard from the 11:00 President, but she is on the West Coast and may still be asleep.  Fingers crossed, but even if she wants the call that's only 50% of what I woke up thinking I would have to do.

I have spent a good part of the morning so far stash diving.  Looking again at my yarn to choose what to use for the SSP Shawl (Rav Link).  So many options.  I had chosen one main color and then Fletch decided he would like another pair of that color...But this morning I found an alternative for him that I am hoping he will like (he should be downstairs soon for breakfast, so I will know before too long).

Meanwhile I did start the Lizard socks for Colin.

Just started...10 rows of ribbing so far.  I almost always knit 15 rows of ribbing before getting into a pattern, so five more.  I think I've figured out a way to make the left twist stitch easier for me to do (I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it!).

It is a chilly morning here (19 F) and it feels especially raw after the taste of Spring we had earlier in the week.  However, our weekend forecast is for warmth and Fletch has already said he would like to grill both Saturday and Sunday.  Steaks one night and hot and sweet Italian sausage another night.  YUM

Here's hoping that each of you enjoy a wonderful weekend.  Have fun!

Fletch just came down and he still prefers the original yarn he more stash diving is in order!

Oh, and please send healing wishes out to my brother Ray.  He had been running a fever for several days and then it went up to 103 one night.  My sister in law took him to the ER and they ruled out Covid, flu, and pneumonia.  Ray had open heart surgery several years ago and has a mechanical valve in his heart, so they looked at that too and everything looked ok.  They took some blood cultures and wanted him to check into the hospital, but he declined.  The blood cultures were supposed to take 2-3 days for results, but the doctor called at 7 a.m. the next day and said basically "get your butt into the hospital...something is going on."  They have now determined that he has "out of control bacteria in his gut" but can't figure out where it came from or how or why, etc., etc.  So, he is in the hospital having a lot of scans and tests done.  I have not gotten an update yet this morning.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

What's For Dinner? 3/3/22

 Hello Again!

I'm back for another thrilling blog post.  Yesterday was simply glorious.  Sunny, mild temps (upper fifties) and I managed to get a pedicure in the early afternoon.  When I came back home I noticed this:

Our first crocus have opened along our driveway bed (which, yes, needs the dead leaves cleaned out of it).  It was so good to see these.  

These two were quite noisy at my office window (which, yes, is still very dirty).

Mabel's window ledge is just below this window and she loves to talk to the birds and sometimes will bang against the window with her paws.  LOL

Today is damp and grey.  It's not raining now, but it did rain overnight.  But it is still mild - it was 48 F when I came downstairs this morning.  When I opened the patio door for Mabel to come in (yes, she went out at 2 a.m.) there was yet another "gift" (vole) on the patio.  Quite the huntress!

Several folks commented on the curried shrimp chowder I made over the weekend, so I thought I would share that recipe.  It's one I got from Alicia Paulsen of the Posie Gets Cozy blog and it is a favorite of ours.

Curried Shrimp Chowder

  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1-2 carrots chopped
  • 1-2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2 potatoes diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 quart chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1 Cup corn - fresh or frozen
  • 1 Cup peas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 pound shrimp peeled & cut into bite sized pieces
  • Fresh Basil
  • 2 tomatoes chopped

Fry bacon in large pot till crispy.  Remove & drain on paper towels.  Pour off grease and add EVOO to pan.*

When oil is hot add potatoes, onion, carrots and celery.  Sautee until beginning to brown.  Add garlic and curry and sautee a few more minutes.  Add broth and simmer until potatoes are tender.  Add corn, peas and shrimp and then the coconut milk.  Simmer until the shrimp are pink and cooked.  Add the basil and tomatoes along with crumbled bacon.

Stir and serve.

*Note:  I cut my bacon up before cooking and just leave it in the pot with the grease.  Extra flavor!!

This is a great recipe to use up stuff in the frig - I've thrown in beans, turnips, sweet potatoes, etc.  It also make a lot!  I froze a big container of chowder and we have another large container in the frig for lunches (we both had some yesterday).

And here is a bonus recipe for the multigrain pancakes I made Sunday morning.  This is a great breakfast it you've run out of eggs - none in this recipe!  This is taken from a vegan cookbook Colin had while he was in college.

Multigrain Pancakes

  • 1 Cup regular flour
  • 1/2 Cup oats
  • 1/2 Cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Cups milk (I used skim milk, but have made with almond milk so they are vegan)
  • 2 TBS molasses

Combine all the dry ingredients.  Whisk the milk and molasses together and combine with the dry ingredients.  Cook like regular pancakes.

I cut the recipe in half on Sunday (and there were still 2 pancakes left over) and added fresh strawberries.  In the past I've added apples or craisins.  All versions are good.  These are hearty and very filling.

Hope you enjoy these recipes.  Time for me to get going - it's Thursday which means I need to pull together financial reports and then distribute.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 3/2/22

 Good Morning!

I am feeling lazy this morning.  I was up at 4 a.m. to let Mabel out and fell promptly back to sleep until I heard crows calling at 6:30.  I do enjoy crows, so that was a welcome sound and when I looked out the window there were half a dozen in a dead tree in the neighbor's yard.

Yesterday was a mixed bag.  Many frustrations on the work side of life (people not responding...or responding with ridiculous answers that obviously don't make sense).  But, making up for that was the arrival of Mailing and Bonnie (her Mom) for dinner!  Zhongren was traveling and could not join us.  Mailing is here for a week - working in her old office, attending a retirement party for a colleague on Friday afternoon and picking up a few things from their house that they forgot to take to Austin.  It was so good to see her again (and Bonnie!).  My back was pretty tired by the time they left.  Between grocery shopping in the morning and then cooking a lot in the afternoon, I think I was on my feet for too much of the day.  I plan to take it easy today and (hopefully) book a pedicure appointment for later this morning or afternoon.

Well, let's talk knitting on this Unraveled Wednesday.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat and the others who make up the Band of Merry Unravelers.  As I mentioned in my post the other day, quite a bit of backwards knitting (i.e., unraveling...but somehow backwards knitting sounds more productive!) took place here over the weekend.  After I finished Fletcher's Terrarium Socks I decided to pick up a neglected project or two.  Last year I started Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood at the beginning of May.  I got perhaps 40-50 rows into it before putting it aside when I was distracted by other projects.  Saturday I started knitting on it again and had completed another 10 rows or so when I realized the borders were completely different.  I don't know what I did almost a year ago or what I did on Saturday, but after staring at it and the pattern for 45 minutes I gave up and ripped everything out!

Next up, I picked up Wintertide Shawl by Beatrice Perron Dahlen, another project that I started last May and then abandoned (yes, I am a Magpie - easily distracted by the next shiny or yarny object!!).  That piece didn't have as many rows and I read through the pattern again and started knitting and discovered that I had the wrong number of stitches on the needles.  Oy!  I ripped that all back to the beginning.

Then Mary posted and mentioned This Pattern which immediately slipped into my cart and which prompted me to go through my stash.  Whew!  I found things I had forgotten I had, but I'm pretty sure I have the yarn for this new shawl.  The question is do I start that?  Or do I go back to Wintertide?  Or Guernsey Wrap?  My inquiring mind wants to know - LOL.

Of course, one needs socks on the needles at all times.  I have not started a pair yet, but believe the next ones will be in this yarn:

This yarn was purchased at the NJ Sheep & Wool Festival last year.  It is by Kim Dyes Yarn and the colorway is Hiking Trail.  Perfect for Colin!  It is an 80/20 blend and I have been looking at this book

In the hopes of creating something different.  See all the sticky notes in the book?  Lots of gorgeous and fun patterns.  I'm leaning towards the one called "Lizard" simply because before moving to Texas, Colin told Fletch he was looking forward to his "lizard-self" making an appearance (i.e., basking in the sun).  I did practice the stitch a bit - the right twist is easy, the left one is a little more difficult for me, but I will persist.  Hoping to cast these on today.

If you are still with me, let me briefly talk about reading.  Fletch and I finished reading Shady Hollow after dinner.  This is the book with one of the characters named Vera Vixen!  Certainly not great literature, but a fun read and we found ourselves laughing out loud at times (despite it being a murder mystery).  I had to pass on "The Guncle" - I just could not finish it and it was past due at the library.  In the beginning of the book I was enjoying the writing and found it pretty funny, but it seemed to get more repetitive and trite, so I quit.  I am reading Circling the Sun and am enjoying it quite a bit.  At times it feels as though I've already read this book (I'm pretty sure I have not), but I think that is because I have read so much about Beryl Markham, Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton.  I'm in queue for several books that show they "are on the way" to my library for me, so I'd best get reading!

This has certainly turned into a long winded post.  Time for me to pour another cup of coffee and strap myself in to do a bit of work.  May this Wednesday be a good one for you all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/1/22

 Good Morning!

Hello you and hello March.  Wow!  February (and January) seemed to fly by.  I turned the calendar page this morning and there are just 3 weeks till the Spring Equinox.  Bulbs are beginning to show up in our yard - under the apple tree and in other beds.  It is a hopeful sign.

I was only at my office for maybe an hour yesterday.  On the drive there I saw protesters near a middle school that I pass.  One of the signs read "Free the Smiles!  Mask Choice" - what the heck?  I guess PA has lifted its mask mandate but perhaps the school still requires masks?  I don't know, but with all the crap going on in the world that seemed a little silly to me.  And, for the record, I am continuing to wear my mask when I go to the library or the grocery store, etc.  My choice.

Anyway, the afternoon got away from me.  There was a lot going on work-wise so I never got a walk in (or a nap).  Later, before dinner, I spent time looking at/going through yarn stash.  Yikes!  Of course I found skeins I had completely forgotten I had (I'm sure this happens to all of you too) and I'm wondering why I ordered more the other week and why I'm contemplating going to a LYS in a week or so.

Meanwhile it is TNT or Tiny Needle Tuesday, so let's see what has been stitched in the past week.  Not a lot, but some progress has been made.

The dividing band I'm working on now is taking forever!  It is squares of red and green.  Each square is 4 stitches wide by 5 stitches tall.  The solid filling takes time, but also switching colors pretty frequently slows things down.  The lower case alphabet that started at the end of the last line will continue under the red and green dividing band.  There will be another dividing band and then numbers (!!) under that and then (finally) I will get to the meat of this sampler...Adam & Eve and assorted birds and motifs and (finally!!) colors other than red and green.  Soon, but still a bit of a way to go till I get there.

A Visiting Bird just had two small motifs added to it this past week.  There is a bunch of solid stitching left on this piece, so it will be a little while before this one is finished.  Luckily I'm still enjoying stitching on both of these pieces.

I've got a project I'm working on for work and Fletch and I plan to do a little grocery shopping this morning.  I'd also like to schedule a pedicure.  But first it's time for another cup of coffee.  Enjoy your day!