Friday, April 29, 2022

A Treasure

 Good Morning!

And is just at freezing outside - 32 degrees.  It's sunny, but still....I'm beginning to think that April never got the message that it is a Spring month.  And, as so many have been saying, my fear is that we are going to jump right into HOT weather without having a proper Spring.  But, it's one of those things out of my control, so I will not spend a lot of time worrying about it, but I won't quite put my woolens away either!

Today I want to share with you one of my Treasures.  It is my sewing cabinet.  My Grandpa (paternal side) made some beautiful furniture and I am so fortunate to have some of it.  I have a dresser, a bedside end table, and my sewing cabinet (Colin has a desk that he made).

Grandpa was a very talented man.  He did not have a college education, yet he served in politics, ran a creamery, worked at the Bowl Mill in Weston, Vermont (we all have plenty of bowls, offering plates and salt & pepper shakers that he turned out of wood).  He would also recite poetry ALL the time to his kids.  The creamery he ran for a bit was down the street from heir house in South Londonderry, VT.  My Dad and his brothers and sister and neighborhood kids would often gather there after school and listen to my Grandpa recite poems.

Here is a picture of my Dad's parents on their wedding day.

Grandpa was 6'3" and Grandma was around 4'11" - quite the pair!!

And here he is working in the barn that was attached to their home in South Londonderry.

Anyway, many, many moons ago he made a sewing cabinet for my Grandmother.  and, then, many years later I was fortunate enough to get that sewing cabinet.  It is roughly 28" high and roughly 16" across at the widest point.  It is made out of birds eye maple.  (Click to enlarge all the pictures.)

The dresser behind the cabinet is also one he made. 

The two sides of the cabinet open up.  First we have:

Some open space.  This is typically where I store my patterns.  Sometimes some dribs and drabs of velcro, sewing elastic, etc.  (The left "foot" of the cabinet is a little twisted - it is loose and easily turns to the side...I need to get Fletch to tighten that up.)  The other side is like this:

The tray on the right slides back and forth (except that most of my spools are too large and prevent that from happening.  I do have a lot of old spools of thread from my Mom - perhaps I should change those out so that the tray can slide.  And, do you see the two tiny drawers at the top?

I suppose I could keep small scissors, seam rippers, etc. in one.

So there you have one of my treasures!  This sits in the office room right next to my sewing machine cabinet so that the spools of thread are handy when needed.

And with that, it is time to start the final work day of the week.  Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Brief Reunion

 Hello, Hello,

Oh my!  It was so good to see the kids again.  Dinner was excellent and our time together, although way too brief for this Mom, was delightful.

On the left is Fletch, then Mailing, then Anna (with a scratched cornea in one eye), Maddy (cousin), and then on the right is Colin, then Bonnie and Zhongren.

This really is a whirlwind trip for them.  Colin is actually heading to his home office today to meet up with some people, then this afternoon they drive over to NJ.  There is a welcome dinner tonight, the wedding tomorrow and then a brunch Saturday morning.  They get back Saturday afternoon in time to party with friends.  Colin flies back to TX on Sunday and Mailing is staying up here to work at her home office for the week.

For those of you worried about Talbot & Marcel, a friend of C&M's who happens to live in the same apartment complex is caring for those two sweet cats while C&M are up here.

Lunch yesterday at Paladar was really good too.  Paladar is a new-to-me restaurant that is a Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar.  Very good food.  The drink menu looked good, but I only had water.  It actually was quite nice to get together with some of my work-mates!  

OK, gotta run - I leave in under an hour for PT and I need to dump more coffee into my system before then.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday - April 27, 2022

 Good Morning!

Once again I am a bit groggy, but last night I slept over 9 hours (!!) rather than the under 5 hours of the night before.  And, as I mentioned to some of you, my PT session yesterday was a good one.  I told Renee how my back had bothered me after the last session and she eased up a bit.  During the stretching it was quite obvious how stiff/tight my body was/is.  Anyway, I felt fine when I got home and was comfortable doing a small grocery shopping before lunch.  All is good!

Now it is Wednesday and Colin & Mailing are flying up from Texas today!!  Woo-Hoo!  So excited to see my boy again.  All of us (them, us, Mailing's parents and - hopefully - Anna and her boyfriend John) are meeting up for dinner at a Thai restaurant tonight.  this is most likely the only time we will see C&M on this trip up.  Tomorrow they head to New Jersey for two days for a Friday wedding of friends.  They are actually standing in for the parents of one of their friends who do not approve of the wedding.  So sad - who would not want their child to be with the one they love?  Anyway, C&M will be back in the area on Saturday, but I'm guessing they will want to meet up with friends and party away the night.  They will fly back to Texas on Sunday.  It will be good to wrap my arms around them both again.

But first we have Unraveled Wednesday.  Some - minimal - progress has been made on Hiking Trail sock #2.

The leg is complete, the heel flap (Eye of the Partridge) has been knit and last night the heel was turned.  That's as far as I got because my eyes kept closing, stitches kept falling off the needle, etc.  I was tired and that is not a good state for me to be in when knitting.  I didn't dare pick up the gusset stitches.  LOL

The Guernsey Wrap is coming along very nicely.  I have now completed Chart A twice.  

This wrap is going to be so super soft and squishy.  I'm loving it and I love the color (Mink Heather and the yarn is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes).  This will be a beast to block, but there is no point in thinking about that yet as I'm not even halfway finished knitting!

Reading has been good.  I finished Still Life by Sarah Winman and enjoyed it a lot.  It was not what I expected (I keep saying that and, honestly, I have no idea WHAT I was expecting...I just know it wasn't this - lol).  

Next up I read The Wild Silence which I also really enjoyed.  Did anyone else read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn?  Both of these books are memoirs.  The Salt Path tells of the time that Raynor and her husband Moth find themselves suddenly homeless and with a dire medical diagnosis for Moth.  They take off and walk 630 miles along the Southwest Coast Path in England.  The Wild Silence is a sequel of sorts...this time they walk in Iceland (talk about cold and wet!!).

Other books on my nightstand...yet to be started...include French Braid and The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven but I'm most excited by the book I started last night.  I had an email from my library that Young Mungo was waiting for me to come in and pick it up!  I was so tired that I wasn't able to read much, but I managed the first chapter and wow!  The writing is SO GOOD.  I wasn't sure what to expect as I had not read Shuggie Bain (and now I may need to rectify that).

It's difficult to find time for everything I want to do!  And today I will be heading to the office in a little bit.  I'm meeting up with a couple of people there to discuss upcoming budget meetings and work out details for ordering lunches, etc.  Then we are all going to lunch at Paladar - a new to me Latin restaurant.  Should be good!!  Two meals out today and I will most likely be stuffed for weeks to come.

As usual, I am linking up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday to talk making and reading.  Be sure to head over to her blog to see what she and others are up to!  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 4/26/22

 Howdy There!

It's it just turned 6 a.m.  I'm up early (obviously) and not really awake.  But, I have PT at 8 a.m., so need to leave the house by 7:30.  I realized that my back started bothering me after my last PT session.  I think Renee (my PT therapist) was a little rough with the massage and, perhaps, stretched me a bit far.  I will monitor it today and be sure she takes it easy.  Meanwhile, my weekend chores (laundry) and yesterday (more laundry and cleaning bathrooms - including scrubbing floors on my hands and knees) has not helped my back at all.

But meanwhile, onto nicer topics, here we are at TNT, or Tiny Needle Tuesday.  My A&E sampler just continues to grow and grow with still no sign of A&E.

There seem to be a billion little things to stitch (and one big bird, yet to be started) before I get to the stars of the sampler!  Can these things be growing on the chart overnight?  Probably not, but it sure does feel like it some days.  I do wish there were more color in this bottom section.  I am growing a tad bit weary of the limited palette.  Still, I am pleased with the progress I've made.

Time to refill my coffee cup and hopefully wake up a bit more.  Here's to a good Tuesday ahead!!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Weekending 4/25/22

 Good Morning My Friends!

How are you?  How was your weekend?  Mine was lovely - I met up with Dee on Saturday morning for coffee and knitting and chatting.  Always a good time.  The weekend provided opportunity for walking, knitting, stitching, napping, reading, even a little TV watching (me!!) with Fletch.

This is the state of our back yard currently.  You can see my archery target at the edge of the woods (the plywood backdrop is a godsend so that my wayward arrows don't go into the woods...though I've been known to shoot too high and they go over the backdrop).  The wild cherries are blooming in the woods.  Our thistle feeder is hanging in the apple tree and there have been plenty of purple finches feeding.  Yesterday morning I saw the first goldfinch at the feeder!  The camper birdhouse has residents as does the terracotta house hanging at the back.  Fun to watch all the activity.  Of course, Mabel loves climbing into the tree, so the birds had best pay attention.

Our redbud may be at peak right now.  It is gorgeous!

And our apple tree is quickly becoming loaded with blooms.  It is so nice to sit out on the patio at the end of the day and see the blooms and watch the birds.

Sunday I headed out to the canal path for a walk.  I didn't go too far as my back was bothering me and I did not see any blue herons, but there were plenty of turtles!!

And even some baby geese!

Walking back along the path, I saw two kayaks coming towards me.  There was a dog in one of them!

It felt good to get out, but I was disappointed in how sore my back was.  It feels ok this morning and I may try to get another walk in.  Right now I have one load of wash drying and another load to get in the washer (once Fletch gets out of bed, the sheets will come off and go into the washer).  It looks a little bit overcast, so I think I'll just use the dryer today.  Yesterday I did two loads of laundry (clothes) and everything dried on the lines outside.  I love being able to do that.

Here's hoping everyone's week is off to a great start!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Catching Up on a Friday 4/22/22

 Good Morning and Hello!

After a couple of busy days, I am back and will try to catch up.  I'm moving slowly this morning...sleeping in a bit and just now sipping my first cup of coffee.  

Wednesday with my friend was delightful!  Carol drove up from Elkton and arrived just after 10 a.m.  My goodness we had so many laughs.  For once traffic was her friend and the roads (particularly 95) were not crowded.  She brought way too many gifts for me and Fletch and Mabel too!  I made pineapple and shrimp soft tacos for lunch and some guacamole to go with that.  Yummy!  Too soon it was time to say goodbye.  Carol left around 2:30 and opted to take back roads home.  A longer, but prettier drive.  I was happy to never have once checked work email!

Later, after dinner, Fletch and I had our first fire of the season!

The sky was even a little bit light when we started (just after 8 p.m.) and it was lovely.  We picked songs one at a time from Spotify and just talked and listened to music.  And sipped wine.  Mabel even came around once or twice, but she steered pretty clear of the fire pit!

I didn't sleep all that well Wednesday night and ended up getting up early (5:15 a.m.) Thursday morning.  Really that was ok...Thursdays are my busy report days and I had to leave by 7:30 for PT.  So, I worked for 2 hours and then went to PT.  The session was good, but I could feel it in my back last night - not hurting, just more a tiredness or a tightness or a combination of the two.  Meanwhile, the rest of the day was crazy work-wise.  I had thought I might post and get to reading blogs by the afternoon, but that was not the case.  I will try to catch up today.

My calendar shows one conference call at 11 a.m. and otherwise the day is wide open.  It will be getting warmer.  If I can, I will get out for a walk.  As usual, I am hoping for a quiet day - one where I can fit in reading, knitting and stitching.  Always hopeful, but it doesn't always work out that way.  There are T-bone steaks in the frig and Fletch will be grilling those tonight.  I think I'll roast some Brussels Sprouts and maybe make some smashed potatoes to go with the beef.

And, for your Friday Feline fun, just look at this sweetie:

I call this shot Mabel in the bulrushes - LOL.  Fletch and I spotted her in amongst the plants one afternoon when we were sitting on the patio.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  I'm looking forward to getting together with Dee tomorrow morning for a Saturday therapy session!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday April 19, 2022

 Hello My Friends,

Another week has rolled around and here we are at Tiny Needle Tuesday again.  Not much stitching has taken place at all.  I guess I was busy with cleaning and other chores.  But, a few things have been added:

The basket (underneath the fruit on the left) has been finished, a couple of birds added, a heart and one dog (?).  Needing to switch colors constantly has slowed down the progress on this sampler, but it is still a joy to stitch (thank God!).  I may start the tree in the center...there is also a ginormous bird on the left that I am itching to play with.

First, though, there is life.  Today is busy.  I have PT at 8 a.m.  That will last till a little after 9, at which point I will drive home.  A few things to do here and then I have to head to the office after lunch.  I'll stop at Trader Joe's on the way and also pick up some wine.  I have a box to ship to my sister-in-law in Delaware and, hopefully, will catch up with most of my bosses - I have not seen any of them in months (other than Bruce who won't be there today anyway).

We had heavy, heavy rains last night.  And it looks like it might still be raining.  My phone indicates that there could be a wintry mix until 8:30 or so.  What???  It's April 19th!  Time to pull out the white pants and light weather tops.

I'm not sure if I will post tomorrow or not.  Depends on how late I sleep!  I'm actually taking the day off and a friend whom I have not seen in over a year is driving up from Maryland to spend the day.  I need to figure out lunch (I'm thinking shrimp with pineapple salsa and some guacamole, but I may change my mind).  We have birthday and Christmas presents to share, so that will be fun.

Now I can hear the wind howling outside my office windows.  Yikes!!  Time to get motivated, get dressed and get ready to go out into this cold world!  Hope you Tuesday is a little warmer and brighter than mine is looking.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Weekending 4/18/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

How was your holiday (if you celebrate) weekend?  I am still a bit groggy and just waking up after roughly 10 hours (!!!) of sleep last night.  It was glorious!  

Friday, Good Friday, or as my company calls it "Spring Observance" was a holiday, but unfortunately one of the pitfalls of working from home is that you are never, ever really away from it.  Friday ended up being quite busy work-wise.

In between the email dings and requests for this or that, I started in on some MAJOR cleaning.  Oh my!  Friday saw the bedroom and kitchen being scrubbed and polished.  I was mindful of my back, but honestly these things needed to be done (had needed to be done for months!!).

At the end of the day, sitting on the patio with a beverage, Fletch and I noticed that our Redbud had really begun to pop.

Saturday was another beautiful day, so I took down the curtains in the bedroom, living room, kitchen and office room.  Washed them all and hung most on the lines to dry.  The kitchen curtains went into the dryer because I ran out of room on the clotheslines.

Then I tackled my office room which was almost more than I could bear.  It looks so much better now.  I took some stuff to a donation box, so that is out of the way.  How quickly areas in certain rooms can just become dumping grounds for things.  Let's not talk about the bed in the guestroom....

It was nice to sit out again at the end of the day.  And nice to see some blue skies!

Sunday dawned a bit chilly.  After breakfast I headed over to the trail in Oaks that goes by the Perkiomen Creek.  This is the trail that had previously been closed due to a sink hole.  It was in the low 40s and very breezy - I could have used gloves and an ear band!  But I managed to walk 2.5 miles which was nice.  The trail is open and I walked all the way down to where the Perkiomen Creek spills into the Schuylkill River and I saw no signs of any sink hole, so it must have been even further along the path.  The only wildlife I saw were a few geese, one squirrel and a bunch of worms - LOL.

Later in the day I did dust and vacuum the living room.  Fletch had gone over to Colin & Mailing's house to finish the mailbox repairs he was doing.  Our Easter dinner was fairly simple.  We had some ham slices (from January!!) in the freezer, so I took those out to thaw.  I made a pineapple stuffing (what a 50's or 60's dish!) and then roasted some green beans and added a molasses-bacon glaze to them.  I had been hankering for a coconut custard pie but didn't feel like making one.  A local store sells some smaller pies, so I picked on up there.  It was ok, but I'm a snob and prefer my own home-made pies...I was just lazy that's all.

My plan for today is to just take it easy.  It is chilly again (I could see frost in places on the grass).  I'm hopeful that work will be quiet and I can just do some knitting and/or stitching.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

What's Cooking?

 Hello and Good Morning,

Whew!  Yesterday felt like summer (80+ degrees) - too much, too soon in my book.  I did not walk, but I did get in more archery - shooting 25 arrows this time and hitting the target at least a dozen times!  No bulls eyes, but definite progress. 

Fletch grilled wings (BBQ and Hot) for dinner and with the warm temps, I decided a cool pasta salad with tons of fresh veggies in it would be perfect to accompany the wings.  Everything turned out great and best of all, there are left overs!

Over the weekend I made a quick bread that I had not made in years.

Apricot Yogurt Bread

  • 2/3 Cup Dried Apricots
  • 1 1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 2/3 Cup Grape Nut Cereal
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 TBS melted shortening - or oil
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2/3 cup Packed Brown Sugar

Place dried apricots in a small pan with 1/3 Cup water.  Cover and steam over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Drain, cool and chop.

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix yogurt with cereal.  Add egg, shortening and honey.  Stir thoroughly.  Combine all the dry ingredients and add to the cereal mixture.  Stir just enough to moisten the dry.  Add in apricots and turn into a greased loaf pan.  Bake about 50 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes and turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Best if wrapped and stored overnight before slicing.

I remember this bread as being delicious!  However, Fletch and I were both under-whelmed by it this week.  Fletch thought it was a little dry and not sweet enough.    I had no specific complaints, but it just wasn't wonderful.  I did try another slice several days after I had made it and I thought the taste had improved, so maybe it's just one of those things that needs to sit a bit.

Love that white leg in the back!  And spots!!  But this sweet girl had us concerned last night.

Fletch and I had just finished watching the first episode of  "Our Great National Parks" on Netflix (narrated by Obama) and I wandered in to the kitchen.  I spotted Mabel on the patio and she was howling!  I mean really - a deep howl and walking a little weird.  She came in when I opened the door, but her left eye was shut and she was hyperventilating.  She did eat some food and we guessed that she either got whacked in the eye by a branch or stung by a bee or something!  

I slept fitfully...worried about Mabel...thinking I'd need to take her to the vet this morning, etc.  She came up at 4 a.m. crying to go out.  I went downstairs thinking I'd just give her some food, but Fletch had left a note for me saying that 15 minutes after I went to bed last night, Mabel curled up on his lap and then shortly after that her left eye opened fully.  She looks fine this morning and has been in and out several times and is consuming her regular enormous amount of food!  So thankful she is ok.

And we saw her in one of her "hiding" places yesterday while we were sitting on the patio.

In amongst all the brambles around one of our trees.  Easy to see how she could have gotten poked in the eye by a branch or something.

This morning I will focus on getting out my Thursday reports and then I'd like to get a walk in before lunch.  Rain should be here by early afternoon.  Hope your Thursday is a good one!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday April 13, 2022

 Hello and Good Morning!

Yesterday turned into a beautiful day after a brief morning shower.  I did not get out for a walk but I did manage to do a little bit of archery in the afternoon.  What a sight!  I only shot 15 arrows (building my strength back up) and of those 15, only 2 hit the target!  In my defense, the target is a bit further away than it used to be.  The majority of my arrows fell short - I really need to build my arm strength back up!  All in all though it felt wonderful to get out and do that.

And here we are at Unraveled Wednesday again.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat and other Merry Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Fortunately there was no unraveling this week.  In fact, Hiking Trail sock #1 was finished and #2 started!!  No second sock syndrome for me.

The Guernsey Wrap saw some more rows added.  I am now just over halfway through the second knitting of chart A.

Interesting how that one section really pulls in the sides.  Everything will even out once it is blocked.

My reading has been slow this week.  I'm still reading Still Life and have just 100 pages or so left.  Still enjoying, just reading more slowly.  And, Fletch and I continue to read Teaching a Stone to Talk after dinner.  This is not a book to rush through (and we are not).

Today I will be heading to the office in a bit.  I need to check mail and I have a package of goodies to ship out to Colin & Mailing.  It is supposed to get into the 80's here today!  Depending on how I feel, I may walk this afternoon...or I may nap...I did not sleep well at all last night.  It's time to take the winter comforter off the bed and put on a lighter summer spread.  Maybe if I do that I will sleep better and not wake up so hot!

Wishing you all a wonderful mid-week.  Be sure to stop by Kat's to see what everyone is making and reading.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 4/12/22

 Good Morning!

It's kind of gloomy out there.  But on the mild side.  I just opened the patio door to chase away some deer from the garden and Mabel came racing from out of the woods.  That reminded me that Fletch told me a Mabel story yesterday.  Our neighbor, Karen, has a little yappy dog.  I have no idea what kind of dog it is, but when it is outside it barks constantly.  Apparently the other day Mabel was in Karen's back yard and Teddy - the dog - was barking and barking and barking.  Mabel finally turned and charged and jumped on Teddy!!  Karen apologized to Fletch but said she had to swat Mabel with a broom to get her off Teddy.  LOL  I just hope that Mabel doesn't act that way if a fox or foxes start barking at her!

Yesterday was another very pretty day.  I managed to get out for another walk on the canal path before lunch.  No blue heron sightings, but there were turtles again on logs.  I was able to walk a little faster and actually a little longer (just under 2 miles), so progress is being made.  I'm not sure if I will walk feet are a little sore for some reason and also it is now raining.  If it brightens up in the afternoon, I'd like to do some archery, but time will tell.

So here we are at Tuesday and it is time for a stitching update for TNT or Tiny Needle Tuesday.  Still no Adam & Eve in the sampler, but there are some new motifs that have been put on the sampler:

I didn't stitch as much as I thought I had, but having to switch colors slowed me down a bit.  There are more "animals" to be stitched and a tree in the center (under which will be A&E and around which an evil serpent will be wrapped).  Lots more to stitch still.  

In other news, remember when I got that strange flower from Trader Joe's?  A Protea.  I think it has to be over a month now.  Well, it is finally beginning to spread out a little bit!

The color has changed - it is not quite as red as it had been.  The leaves all turned a lovely bronze color, but they also started to get moldy, so I ditched them, cut the stem down and moved the bloom into a smaller vase.  It amazes me that it is still looking so good!

Other things I just realized:  my lilac is showing color in its buds!!  And Friday is Good Friday and a work holiday for me...though my work calls it "Spring Observance" so that no one is offended.  Both nice things.

May your Tuesday be filled with nice things too.

Monday, April 11, 2022


 Good Morning!

This morning finds me a little groggy.  I slept 9 hours last night and I've only just had my first sips of coffee.  Bliss!  (Cafe Du Monde coffee - LOVE!!)  How was your weekend?  Mine was most wonderful!

My one conference call on Friday was cancelled and thus my weekend really started a bit early.  And, Friday was a simply gorgeous day.  Brilliant sunshine, comfortable temps.  I (finally) ventured out for my first walk in months.  I headed to the canal path and it did not disappoint.  There were little yellow flowers (believe they are Cinquefoils) all over the place.

There were turtles basking on logs in the sun.

The canal water was so brown!  And it was up to the top edge of the canal by the path.  We have had so much rain lately.

But the best was just as I got to the bridge where the canal spills a little bit into the Schuylkill River, a Great Blue Heron flew up.  So majestic!  Of course my phone was in my jacket pocket, but he/she landed by a tree nearby and I was able to get a picture then.

I'm walking a little slower and only did about 1.5 miles which was enough - I could really feel it in my back.

Saturday was a wet day!  Dee and I met up for our Saturday morning therapy session - one where we solve the world's problems while sipping coffee and knitting.  It was lovely.  And, by the time we were ready to leave Starbucks, the rain had stopped.  I ran some errands on my way home and then had a relaxing afternoon.

Sunday came along and I decided to take another walk after breakfast.  This time I went to the River Trail.  It was in the low 40's and breezy, so it was a little bit of a chilly walk.  Again I was able to go just over 1.5 miles.  I do not remember seeing Bluebells along this trail in the past, but right now there are clumps of them everywhere - both sides of the trail.

Also some interesting and pretty (at least to me) fungi growing on fallen logs.

I did a bit of cooking when I got home and then around 4 we went over to Bonnie and Zhongren's for dinner.  Anna (and her dog Otto) came and also Nai Nai (Chinese for Grandmother).  Of course we made dumplings

The not-so-attractive ones on the pink tray are ones that I made.

As always, dinner was delicious.  And, it turns out that yesterday was Nai Nai's 86th birthday!!

It just seemed a little weird to not have Colin & Mailing there to celebrate with us.

All in all, a wonderful weekend.  I'm thankful to be getting back to walking again - even though I can feel it in my back, by the time I get home, my back is fine.  I'm hoping to get out again at some point today - either late morning (a chilly 35 degrees right now) or early afternoon.

If you've lasted all the way through this long, rambling post, here is a picture of sweet Mabel for you!

Up in the apple tree.  She didn't know where to look or where to go.  Birds kept flying in and out of the tree and she was going from branch to branch.  She is definitely getting bigger and holy moly she consumes a lot of food!!

Time to get a second cup of coffee and get rolling into what the day offers.  Hope your start to the week is a good one!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday April 6, 2022

 Good Morning!

I was happy to make it to the office without getting washed away!  LOL  I woke in the night to heavy rain and it was still coming down when I left my house at 6:40 this morning.  And now at 8:30, it is STILL coming down.  I stopped at the grocery store to pick up fruit, muffins, scones, etc. for the meeting going on and, as the cashier said, better rain than a drought.  Also, better rain than snow.  My drive to the office goes through Valley Forge Park and the creek (I think it's Valley Creek) was roaring and overflowing its banks.  Ponding on the roads.  Looking at my phone, I believe the rain should pretty much be over by 11 a.m.

My PT Evaluation yesterday was ok.  Once again, I am finding that people do not really listen to what you say.  The therapist kept referencing "my pain" even though I said multiple times that I have NO pain.  But, I came away with some exercises I can do twice a day to build my core muscles back up which, in turn, will support my back.  I also got the "go ahead" to schedule a massage.  YAY!!!  I have another PT session this afternoon...I think with a different therapist this time.

All of this brings us to right here, right now.  Unraveled Wednesday!  A round of applause for no unraveling this week.  Of course, I have not done a whole lot of knitting, but I've done some.  First up the Hiking Trail sock for Colin (this is sock #1...still...):

This shot shows 40 rows complete on the foot.  For Colin I usually do 75 rows, so a little ways to go before the toe decreases.  I was able to knit another 5 rows this morning while waking up with my coffee.

Next up is the Guernsey Wrap.

Quite a way to go on this one!  There are 3 charts for this wrap.  Chart A and C are both 78 rows.  Chart B is (I think) 24 rows.  You knit Chart A twice (all 78 rows) and then rows 1-58.  Then you move on and knit chart B - once.  Chart C is also knit twice (all 78 rows) and then rows 1-58 again.  Then you (finally) bind off.  The picture above shows where I am as of last night.  The first 78 rows of Chart A are complete and I am about 5 or 8 rows into the second 78.  This is still a relaxed and easy knit.  And, with only 58 stitches to a row, it goes fairly quickly.  My issue is just finding time to knit!

On the reading front, I am still enjoying Still Life by Sarah Winman.  This is not a quick read for me, but I am enjoying it.  Fletch and I finished Stanley Tucci's "Taste" and we are glad to be done with it!  I started out loving it and then enjoying it and by the last third to quarter of the book I was sick and tired of all the name dropping.  I would have liked more recipes and less about how wonderful he is!  LOL  Our new book for reading after dinner is Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard.  I bought this book back in the early 90's, but never read it.  We started the other night, and so far so good - really enjoying.

As usual on Unraveled Wednesday, I'm linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Do head over there to see what everyone is up to - lots of inspiration always.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday April 5, 2022

 Good Morning Friends,

Oh my!  Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity - work related - which was not what I wanted or expected.  I also was reminded that there is a dinner tonight and a meeting all day tomorrow that I am to attend.  How did I forget?  I declined dinner.  And the meeting?  I will go, but I will leave early due to a PT appointment.  And now I have a PT appointment this morning as well (they called yesterday to say they had an my evaluation is today and my first session tomorrow).

My hope was to get a walk in yesterday, but that didn't happen (thanks to work).  Then I thought maybe I'd do some archery, but I never had a chance to do that either.  No knitting or stitching was done.  Not what I would call a good day!  LOL  The one thing I was able to do was schedule both Fletch and me for our second Booster shots - we will get them this Thursday.  After that, I will schedule the first shingles vaccine for me.

Anyway, here we are at the first Tuesday in April and it's TNT,  And...drumroll...I have a finish!

Kind of hard to see this small, but you can click to enlarge.  I'm so happy with the way A Visiting Bird turned out.  The design is from Carriage House Samplings (Kathy Barrick) and I used DMC threads on 32 count fabric.

Next up is the A&E Sampler where A&E have yet to appear (still).  However, the alphabets and numbers are all finished.  Now the real fun will begin:

I had thought/hoped that I would be able to stitch at least one or two things below the numbers, but alas that did not happen.  Hoping to remedy that today - fingers crossed that work will not be as busy as it has been.

Looks as though the balance of the week could be rainy for us, so plenty of time to curl up and stitch, read and knit.  That is, in between, work, PT appointments and the like.  I may be a little late posting tomorrow as I need to be at my office by 7:30.  Oy vey!

We watched (PBS) the first segment of the new Ken Burns program on Benjamin Franklin.  It was interesting, but I didn't enjoy it as much as some of his other pieces.  Did anyone else watch it?

Wishing you all nothing but good things on this first Tuesday in April.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Weekending 4/4/22

 Good Morning!

How are you?  And, how was your weekend?  Mine was lovely.  Friday ended up being a fairly busy work day and I was exhausted by the time that was over.  We made some home-made pizza for dinner which turned out so well.  We will often broil some eggplant slices to go on pizza, but Friday we used a summer (yellow) squash instead.  And some marinated artichoke hearts sealed the deal.  Yum.  I was pretty tired and was in bed by 9:30!!  That felt wonderful.

Saturday dawned and I got ready to head over to Dee's for some fun.  She took me over to Lambertville, NJ which is just such a quaint and cute little town.  We hit a coffee shop (of course) for some delicious coffee and knitting time.  Then we headed to Chive for lunch.  The last time I ate at Chive they were located in PA, but since then they have moved across the River to NJ.  Their food is always fresh and delicious.  After that we headed to Twist so that I could enhance my yarn stash.  Not needed by any means, but definitely fun!  Here's what came home with me.

The Opal yarn just screamed SPRING to me and the Crazy Zauerball.  What can I say?  I'm not normally a "pink person," but this ball of yarn kept reaching out and grabbing me.  I had to have it!  Such a nice day!  Thank you Dee.

I was home by around 3 p.m. and Fletch came in a little after me.  He had gone over to Colin & Mailing's house to repair their mailbox which had started tilting before the kids moved to Austin and he also took over some garden fencing for Mike to use.  Fletch and I sat out a short while on the patio - it was a little chilly with a breeze, but with jackets on, we were ok.  I had picked up some fried chicken for dinner and just made a bunch of stir-fry vegetables to go with that.

Sunday's weather was all over the place.  We had some breakfast and I worked a little bit on my stitching.  I was determined to take a walk, but the sun would come out and then it would rain, then the sun would start to come out again and then it would rain really hard for a bit.  We even ended up with hail in the afternoon!  No walk for me that day.  But I'm hoping to get out this afternoon.  I have one conference call at 11:30, so maybe early afternoon I can get out.  I need to drop off a book at the library and pick up some prescriptions at CVS too.  Nothing too exciting for a start to this first week of April.

So, tell me, what did you do this weekend?

Friday, April 1, 2022

Friday Felines and a Back Update

 Good Morning Friends!

Lots and lots of rain last night.  And more this morning.  Sweet Mabel went out around 5 and when I came back downstairs at 6:30 I discovered yet another vole on the patio.  How many voles can one property have?  Apparently many.  Here's our sweet huntress:

Breakfast time!

Well, I met with the neuro surgeon yesterday.  I have to say I was not overly impressed with him.  He would ask a question as I would start to answer it, he would begin talking again.  Rude.  And didn't really listen to me.  But, bottom line, I now have a back brace I can wear when needed.  For example, standing around the kitchen and cooking (which I love to do) is hard on my back, so I can wear the brace.  If I'm going to be in the car longer than 45 minutes or an hour, I can wear the brace.  I can also get back to doing some exercising and definitely walking.  He suggested PT, so I have an evaluation appointment set up for next week and then 4 PT sessions scheduled.  I honestly do not think I need to go twice a week, but I'll see how it goes and play it by ear.

So, even though I was not impressed with the doctor, I am pleased with how the appointment went and the prognosis for my back.  I don't need to see him again unless my back gets worse.  It's all good and I cannot wait to get back to walking and moving (gently at first)!  I've two conference calls today, but after that maybe the skies will clear and I can get outside.  Fingers crossed!

And tomorrow Dee and I have plans to get together for some coffee...some yarn shopping...some I said, it's all good!  I think that's a very nice way to welcome April!  And I hope you enjoy your weekend.