Friday, July 29, 2022

Happy Friday!

 Hello All,

Finally we received some glorious rain last evening!  It started sprinkling around 4:15, but that didn't last long.  Once again we figured the storms would go to the North or South of us.  But sometime after dinner it started raining, and raining hard!  Within a little over an hour we had received an inch of rain.  The scent was wonderful - Petrichor!!!  Most welcome.  This morning is a little overcast at the moment and the air is noticeably cooler.  Also welcome.

Dinner last night was good too.  We had crab quiche which I usually only make in the winter (specifically it is our New Year's Eve dinner with a salad and champagne).

This time though we had fresh garden tomatoes sliced to go with the quiche.  This quiche also had the addition of garden basil and garden parsley.  So fresh and so good.  A little taste of heaven.  Bonus - lots of leftovers.

For a change of pace, Fletch and I started an audio book after dinner.  We started listening to Northland by Porter Fox - a book about our border with Canada.  However, neither one of us is thrilled with the narrator (weird voice), so I don't know if we can or will continue.  Most likely we will give it another shot tonight and see how that goes.  While listening, I was knitting and voila!  Fletcher's second sock was completed.  And I present Cafe Au Lait socks:

These were knit with DPNs (size 2) using Hermione's Everyday Socks pattern (free on Rav) on the leg; Eye of the Partridge heel flaps and a plain foot.  The yarn is from Youghiogheny Yarns (85% superwash merino and 15% nep) bought at the NJ Sheep and Wool festival and the colorway is "Cafe Au Lait."  They are nice and squishy and I'm betting that Fletch has them on his feet soon (he's been wearing hand knit socks with his sneakers all summer!).

I feel as though my weekend has already begun - my conference calls were cancelled again, so my Friday is pretty free.  The weekend is looking good:  I have plans to meet up with Dee tomorrow morning for coffee, knitting and chatting.  On Sunday Bonnie & Zhongren (Mailing's parents) are coming over for dinner (this is the get together that was cancelled when I had vertigo).  It will be pretty warm, so dinner will be fairly simple (and cool).  Fletch will grill a couple of pork loins and I am making Tabbouleh, a marinated (cold) eggplant dish, and a salad with nectarines, mushrooms and black olives.  That last one sounds so weird, but it is really rather good - a recipe from my ex SIL.  Bonnie is bringing dessert.

Today I am hoping to find the time to cast on for a new pair of socks or, perhaps, a shawl.  Time will tell.  No other plans though and that's just how I like it!  Enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, July 28, 2022


 Hello and Good Morning!

I woke at some point in the night hearing rain!  We did not get a lot...if we got 1/4 of an inch I would be surprised (the rain gauge shows that we received a little bit), but things are dripping this morning.  What a relief.  Of course, the sun is back out and the humidity is already annoying, but at least we had a little moisture.

Yesterday's office visit was quick.  I don't think I was there even a half hour!  I saw one other person in the mail room when I went to fetch my mail (all junk).  I was at Trader Joe's before 10 and home before 11.

I've been busy this morning with my Thursday financial reports, but am taking a break as my computer keeps freezing up when I'm trying to run the last of them.  

Some of you expressed interest in, or indicated that the basil lime shortbread that I made last week sounded good (and it is!!), so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  Who doesn't love shortbread?  Butter and sugar - a lot to love - LOL.  Years and years ago when "Victoria Magazine" was first being published, I subscribed.  I LOVED that magazine (the original one, not so much when it was taken over by others).  They always had interesting and tasty recipes too.  It's where I found the recipes I use for a Blueberry Gateau, home-made Ginger Ale and, of course, the Basil-Lime Shortbread.

Basil-Lime Shortbread

  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 Cup chopped Fresh Basil
  • 2 TBS Fresh Lime Zest

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and salt.

In a separate bowl, toss flour with basil and zest.  With mixer on low, add flour to butter and mix till dough just comes together in a ball.  Remove, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 300.  Put parchment paper on cookie sheets.  Roll out dough (~ 1/8" thick) and cut out in rounds.

Bake 8-10 minutes or till edges begin to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

If you make it, I hope you enjoy!  It is rich (duh), but so good!!

Time to pour another cup of coffee and get back to my reports.  Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday

 Good Morning!

Our weather here in Eastern PA, just a bit NW of Philadelphia, continues to be dry, dry, dry.  It has been overcast and the temps have lowered a bit (yesterday it never got out of the 70's), but it is still fairly humid and a tad on the uncomfortable side of things.  It's tough to get motivated to do anything at all!

But, welcome to Unraveled Wednesday where we all link up with Kat to talk making and reading.  It's always fun.

Fletcher's second Cafe Au Lait sock is coming along.  I managed to knit about 30 rows on the foot yesterday afternoon.

If I counted correctly, I have about 20 rows left before I start the toe decrease area, so theoretically these should be finished up fairly quickly.  We'll see....

Fletch and I finished our after dinner book last night.  It was Letters From Side Lake which we both enjoyed.  Back in the day when I bought this book, I used to write my name and the month/year that I bought it at the front of the book.  This one states that I bought it in 7/88.  I don't think I ever read it till now!  The author and his wife built their house in Northern Minnesota and this book is a series of essays from their rural life.  It is both interesting and humorous.

I'm still reading Violeta by Isabel Allende.  I think I have less than 100 pages left so (again) theoretically, this book should be finished soon.  The other day I picked up Provence 1970 by Luke Barr (great nephew of M. F. K. Fisher).  This book is based on the journals of M. F. K. Fisher from late 1970 when she, Julia Child, James Beard and other "foodies" all came together in Southern France.  This is the book I am now picking up off my nightstand when I go to bed and it is not disappointing.

I also have on my nightstand Sorrow and Bliss which is the next selection for the Read With Us group.  And, I finally signed up with Hoopla and borrowed a couple of audio books to see if I could enjoy that.  I started one (The Last Bookshop in London) yesterday afternoon while knitting and managed to get 25% through the book.  It's ok and I have not yet fully decided if I like audio books or not, but I'm giving it a try!

My plan for today is to finish waking up (need more coffee) and then I'm heading to the office for a quick visit.  I have some personal printing to do, come copying for Fletch and I should check the mail.  After that I will head to Trader Joe's for a few things and I should be home well before lunch!

Be sure to head over to Kat's to see what everyone else is up to and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 Good Morning,'s kind of cloudy out there again, but I doubt it will rain today and we didn't really get enough rain to mention yesterday.  Disappointing.  At one point, Fletch came into the office to tell me it was starting to sprinkle.  We ran out because I had two loads of wash on the line.  The wash had gotten pretty wet, so we just left it on the line.  The sprinkles stopped and within an hour and a half, the laundry was dry.  Yup - Fletch watered the garden last night.

Also noticed that the leaves of our eggplant plants on the patio are covered in some disease or fungus.  Fletch moved the pot back and away from the herbs so that the leaves would not touch them.  I plan to harvest the eggplants today or tomorrow.  Our neighbor Rob has a very large garden and he has discovered the many of his plants are getting moldy (he thinks he may have over-watered).  As Bonny wrote yesterday, everything around here is just so parched.

Enough of that same-old-same-old story.  It's Tuesday and time for a Tiny Needle update.  Not surprisingly with all my weekend activity and friends visiting, I did not get that much stitched on my sampler, but I did get a few motifs stitched.

The corner has been turned!!  There is more to this sampler though.  After I get the bottom motifs stitched, there is a border under them and then the full alphabet.  So, still a little bit of a way to go.  I've been going over options (in my head) for my next piece and I'm pretty sure it will be a BIG one.  I'll need to get moving and order some fabric though.  The look of this sampler on 40 count appeals to me so much that I will most likely go with a high count linen again.  Still TBD, but that's the way I'm leaning.

Yesterday wasn't too bad work-wise and I'm hoping for more of that today.  I'm working on the two meetings/events (Florida in late August and Arizona in September) and that is keeping me busy.  Fletch and I will do a quick grocery shopping today (if nothing else, we definitely need cat food - lol).  I'm at the point where I've started dreaming of soups and chilis and stews and winter comfort food...but we are not yet there temperature-wise.

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday - enjoy!!

Monday, July 25, 2022


 Hello and Good Morning All,

Whew it has been HOT here.  Really miserable HOT.  And humid.  Draining.  BUT, my weekend was so nice.  It started on Friday when I didn't work and this time I really did NOT work.  I didn't check email (like I always do), I just ignored it (which means, I have a ton of catch up today, but that's ok).  So, what did I do?

Friday I did some baking (dispite the heat).  I made Basil-Lime Shortbread and also some Rhubarb Pecan Muffins.  I did forget to take any pictures of those items, but they turned out very well.  Fortunately I had gotten a lot of cleaning done on Thursday, so I just had to make up the beds for the girls with fresh sheets, wipe down the bathrooms, etc.  In the afternoon I ran out to Otts - a gorgeous greenhouse/nursery near us.  I've been wanting a jade plant which I got, but I also bought a fun Eyelash Fern:

(I found the planter at Target).  The balance of the day I just relaxed and cooked some salmon for dinner.

The girls finally arrived Saturdy afternoon.  They were pretty road-weary (roughly an 8 hour drive plus stops for nourishment and bathroom breaks).  Emmy played on her tablet for a bit and Jaimie ended up taking a nap (she had driven the entire way).  Leslie, Fletch and I just hung out and talked and talked and talked.

Since they were in PA, they wanted steak sandwiches for dinner.  We ordered from one of our usual places and the sandwiches were AWFUL!!  What a disappointment.  But, we survived.  Jaimie and Emmy went to bed early, Leslie and I sat up yakking the night away and drinking wine.

Sunday morning came way too soon and the girls had to head to Rhode Island.  Here they are in my kitchen just before taking off.

(a friend of Jaimie's made the shirts for them).  They will be in Rhode Island for a week with family and then will head back down to NC.  It was just so good to have them with us, even though it was under 24 hours.

Sunday Fletch and I just rested and relaxed.  It really was too hot to do anything.  We had cold shrimp and raw veggies for dinner.  Today I will catch up on laundry and some other things.  But first I need to crack open the work email and see what delights wait for me.  LOL

Hoping the week starts off great for all of us!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Bookmarks and a Late Start

 Hello All,

I'm getting a bit of a late start with blogs and email today.  It has been a busy work morning so far.  But, the good news is that I am taking tomorrow off!  My two conference calls were cancelled and we have friends coming for the weekend, so I can use the day to do some last minute cleaning and baking (basil-lime shortbread!!  YUM).  My friend Leslie (the amazing person I have known since I was 12) will arrive Saturday with her daughter Jaimie and granddaughter Emory.  They do a road trip each summer, driving from North Carolina to Rhode Island and always stop here.  I cannot wait to see them!!  But first, some blogging.

The other day, Kym showed a bunch of her bookmarks in a post and I thought what a neat idea.  I have TONS of bookmarks.  Often I end up using a scrap of paper or an index card...sometimes a paperclip or a piece of yarn...or a pretty note card or postcard that someone sent.  But, I thought I would share some of my bookmarks with you.  So here goes.  First up:

The two on the right came to me when I ordered the Goodhart Sampler books from Needleprint years ago.  They fold in the middle and have magnets on the underside so that when folded over a page they stay put.  The pink one on the bottom right was a gift (handmade!!) from Kim in Oregon and the cute fox reading past his/her bedtime Kym sent to me after one of the first "Read With Us" books.  Next to that is the beginning of a friendship bracelet that Colin made in camp one year.  The copper one was etched by my friend Carol (she even etched Vera at the bottom).  I forget where the other one came from, but I love Oriental art and the fabric is silk.  Lovely!  Next up:

On the left we have a beautifully stitched bookmark from Dee and the Hardanger one to the right is one that I made.  Under that we have a scrap of paper with a short grocery list in my Dad's printing (fruit, O.J., veg., bird seed).  That's in one of the poetry books on the bottom shelf of my nightstand.  To the right is a laminated one with pictures from Israel.  In the late 60's my Dad was giving a paper at a conference in Israel and my Mom tagged along for a little trip (fun facts:  they flew on El Al and were basically strip-searched before was the late 60's!  Also, at the time flying from JFK to Tel Aviv was the longest non-stop flight!).  To the right of that is a bookmark from Colin when he was in Kindergarten.  The little mice are made from his thumbprint.  The last one on the right is a Danish design that I stitched for my Mom (her Dad was from Denmark).

One of my favorites given to me by my Dad (it says "The best man for the job is often a woman").

My Mom used to use flowers or pretty leaves to mark pages in either poetry books or cookbooks.

There are also cookbooks that were my Mom's that have pieces of paper towel marking pages, or coupons, etc.  It's fun to come across them when paging through the books.

Fletch and I usually use book darts for the books that we read together after dinner.  These are nice because it's so easy to mark exactly where you are.

I forgot to photograph some.  Leslie gave me a set of magnetic ones that fold over your page.  One side has a cat and the other an arrow pointing to your place.  And, in my nightstand drawer I keep a Bible from when I was a kid.  I found a bookmark in it listing all the books of the Bible - must have been something given to me in Sunday School.  And, there are many others in books around the house.  I don't like turning down page corners (or writing in books or underlining), so I'm forever and ever using bookmarks - sometimes multiple ones in the same book!

How about you? What do you use as a bookmark?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 7/20/22

 Good Morning All!

How are you this morning?  I woke up a little early (5:30) with a charley horse in my right calf.  Gah!  A jolt of pain will wake you quickly.  Fortunately I was able to shake it out before my muscle really seized up.  Then a nice leisurely shower and a slow sipping of the first cup of coffee.  Bliss.

Looking out my home office front window, I can see there is a bit of breeze (thankful) and I'm noticing a difference in the light...the shadows on the trunk of our crepe myrtle are in a slightly different place than they were a month ago.  I've also noticed it getting dark in the evening a little earlier.  That's fine with me.

Things are still quite dry here.  Fletch is watering the garden daily and I'm watering the things by the patio in pots (basil, oregano, rosemary, eggplants).  The eggplants are looking particularly nice these days.  And plentiful!

These are the Japanese version (I forget the name), but they are long and thin (obviously) rather than rounder and fuller.  I can't wait to put some on pizza and also I have a baked ratatouille recipe I want to make.  We have more tomatoes ripening on the vine and some I picked the other day are on the kitchen windowsill.  We need to eat some of them today!

I receive emails from Laura Pashby (Small Stories) and today's brought me two new (to me) words!  The first is Petrichor which means the scent of earth after rain.  Love this!  And then Biblichor which is the scent of pages of old books (slightly almond-ish or vanilla-ish).  What great words!!

As usual on Wednesdays, I'm linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk Making and Reading.  On the making end of things, a little progress has been made on Fletcher's second Cafe Au Lait sock.

The heel flap (Eye of the Partridge) has been completed and I am ready for the magical turn of the heel.  Then I will be speedily knitting down the foot (hoping I'll be speedy!!).

As far as reading goes, I finished The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.  It is long (570+ pages), but I did end up liking it.  No, it is not as compelling as "A Gentleman in Moscow" or "Rules of Civility" - I breezed through both of those books.  "The Lincoln Highway" was a slower read for me and it seemed to meander at times and get a little too long winded.  Many times I kept saying to myself "Hurry Up Already!!"

I am now reading Violeta by Isabel Allende and loving it.  This is the story of Violeta born in 1920 at the height of the Spanish Influenza and goes up right to present day and the Covid Pandemic.  From one pandemic to another.  I'm only 50 or so pages into it, but it is holding my attention (as long as I can stay awake to read - lol).

What are you making and reading these days?

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 7/19/22

 Hello and Good Morning,

It's Tuesday and I'm running a bit late this morning.  I was awake a bit in the night (what's new, right?), but then I fell back asleep and did not wake until 7 a.m.!  That's delicious.  What a luxury!

Yesterday was stifling.  So hot.  So humid.  Felt like you could cut the air with a knife.  There was the promise of rain (of course), which happened more around us than on us.  We had a few sprinkles, but nothing measureable.  Fletch will need to water the garden again today.

I did manage to get to the office yesterday...and home again before 11 a.m.  And, I stopped to pick up some things at Trader Joe's.  Naturally I got several bunches of flowers.  I have no idea what these orange ones are, but they are so fun!  Does anyone know what they are?

To me, they look like little marigolds popping out of a tomatillo - LOL.  

This being TNT, or Tiny Needle Tuesday, I do have some progress to show you on the "Simply Live" sampler.  I'm really loving this one.

No plans for today other than grocery shopping this morning and I have a call at 2:30 to finalize contract points for Kevin's meeting in late August.  And, I just got word that I need to plan a resort meeting/event in September (Arizona) for someone who is retiring.

Last, a cute cartoon for you.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Weekending July 18, 2022

 Good Morning!

How are you?  I am so much better!  My vertigo seems to have flown the coop, thank God.  I was still a bit dizzy Saturday morning, but managed to (finally) take a shower (leaning into the wall a lot).  I did very little in the morning and after lunch took a nap (so sleepy).  And then, BINGO!  I woke from my nap and had no dizziness or unsteadiness.  Vertigo was gone!  And it has stayed gone!!  I really do appreciate everyone's well wishes and emails.  I'm looking forward to getting back to reading blogs!

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was ok.  Not as planned, but ok.  I cancelled my plans to meet with Dee Saturday morning.  On Sunday, Bonnie and Zhongren (Mailing's parents) were going to come over for dinner and we postponed them till the 31st.

One thing I did do on Saturday morning was to harvest a few things from the garden!  Our first bell pepper and a few jalapenos and our first cherry tomatoes:

This year we grew beets for the first time and they were erupting through the soil, so I plucked them as well:

We had beets and beet greens for dinner on Saturday.  The beets were so sweet and tasty.  Surprisingly, I did not care for the greens at all, but Fletch enjoyed them.  I love kale, Swiss chard, collards, all kinds of greens and was really looking forward to the beet greens, but c'est la vie.  I've pickled the leftover beets, and am curious to see how those turned out.

Yesterday I had a mess to clean up!  I was planning to make falafel for dinner and wanted to make baba ghanoush to go along with it.  The recipe I was using stated to broil the eggplants for 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice.  Well, at 12 minutes I heard a pop and checked out what was going on.  My eggplant had basically exploded and there were eggplant "guts" all over my oven.  LOL  It really was rather comical.  I took out the eggplant, turned the exhaust fan on high, opened the oven door all the way and then left to do some errands!  When I got back I buckled down and cleaned the oven (which was much easier than I had anticipated).  The eggplant was salvageable (though my baba ghanoush is not nearly as good as Colin & Mailing's) and dinner was prepared later on.

Today I'm heading to the office early.  I have a number of things I want/need to print and some things I need to overnight to Kevin.  I'll make a quick stop at Trader Joe's for a few things and be home well before lunch.  I hope to find time to knit and/or stitch today.  I sure missed that while the vertigo was going on.

Look what I  found when I picked up a bottle of wine the other day:

I have not tried them yet, but they sure looked yummy to me for a hot day!

OK, time to get another cup of coffee, wake Fletch and get ready to head to the office.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Still Dizzy

 Hi All,

I'm still here and still dizzy which is a PITA.  I slept most of yesterday (thankfully) and then again last night over 8 hours!  I'm trying to get my reports done today and sent out and then I will go back to bed for a little while.

Meanwhile, we all know how much prices have risen, but I thought you all might find this chart interesting (was in my work in-box this morning).

Obviously, click to enlarge.  There were more pages, but this first one was the most interesting (and depressing) to me.

Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 7/13/22

 Good Morning All!

How are you this morning?  I did manage to get my first Shingrix shot yesterday and I have a sore arm, but nothing else.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that I woke up with vertigo this morning.  Geeze!  It's always something!  I had vertigo for the first time back in the Spring.  Fortunately, I now have a prescription, so I took a pill and went back to bed and was able to sleep for another hour.  My plan had been to go to the office today (and Trader Joe's), but at this point I can't drive, so unless things improve, I'll be home all day.

But, it is Wednesday which means it is time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  I'm happy to show you that one of Fletcher's Cafe Au Lait socks has been finished and the second one has been started (no 2nd sock syndrome here!!).

It's difficult to see the pattern with this yarn, but it feels great!  I'm knitting Hermione's Everyday Socks (free on Rav) on the legs.  Feet are plain.

Honestly, I don't know what my issue is, but the first sock took a month to knit!  Now I'm halfway down the leg on sock #2 in just 4 days.  My second socks always knit up faster than the first...but a month to complete a sock is just ridiculous!

On the reading side of things, no finishes for me this week.  I am now halfway through The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.  I don't know what it is about this book, but I'm able to put it down very easily.  LOL  I'm liking the book ok, but it does seem to drag on and on and on.  I loved Towles' other books ("A Gentleman in Moscow" and "Rules of Civility") and breezed through them.  Not so much with this one.  A few of you have told me you have had the same experience with this.

Be sure to check in at Kat's to see what others are making and reading.  It is always inspiring!  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 7-12-22

 Well Hello There and Good Morning!

The good news is that I slept oh so much better last night.  Much, much better.  The bad news is that I did not get my Shingrix vaccine yesterday.  Long story of insurance woes - on the phone for too long with my insurance company and then on the phone for way too long with my benefits department.  I'll spare you all the gory details, but I am rescheduled for the vaccine this morning at 9:15.  Fingers crossed that it happens.

Yesterday afternoon I was finally able to settle on a location for Kevin's meeting at the end of August.  Now I'm just waiting to hear back from him so that I can finalize plans with the resort.  Sometimes it is like herding cats.

And, speaking of cats I've had to have some serious talks with Mabel.  She has been killing birds left and right...leaving the "gifts" on our patio.  I know it is only natural, but it breaks my heart to see adult doves, baby cat birds and even a young downy woodpecker.  Survival of the fittest and all that, but I don't like it.  Once again I was telling her to focus on mice and voles and moles.  Honestly I don't like seeing them dead either, but I consider them pests.  This morning Mabel was loudly meowing on the patio roof (who needs an alarm clock?) - I guess she was bragging or exclaiming that she had listened to me because when I came downstairs to let her in, lo and behold there was a dead mouse on the patio (and no birds).  Now, if only she could be trained to keep the deer out of the flowers!

All of this brings us to Tuesday Morning and a TNT update.  The Simply Live sampler by The Primitive Needle is coming along very nicely.

All of the Primitive Needle designs are now OOP (out of print) and difficult to find.  So, if anyone is interested in this pattern please let me know.  I don't think I've ever stitched a pattern more than once, and there is no reason to hoard patterns I'm not going to stitch!

Time to pour another cup of coffee and check on the deer in the back yard.  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 11, 2022

Weekending and a Rough Start

 Hello My Friends,

This is a rough Monday for moi.  I barely slept at all last night.  No particular reason, but I did have MAJOR indigestion (which is so rare for me).  Now it is 6:30, I am showered and my hair is air drying and my stomach is growling.  But...I can't think of anything that appeals to me for breakfast.  Oh well.  Coffee it is.

My weekend was lovely.  I met up with Dee at our new favorite spot and that was a lovely time, as always.  Many laughs, a little knitting, excellent friendship.  The coffee and bagel were not bad!  I managed to do a modicum of cleaning...not too much, but the bathrooms are fresh, the bedroom dusted and vacuumed.  Clean towels and clean sheets.  Life is good.  Otherwise I knit, stitched and cooked.  All favorite activities.

Today I am scheduled for my first Shingrix vaccine at 10 a.m.  I know some of you have had nasty reactions to it; I also know a number of people who had nothing more than a sore arm.  I'm hoping for a minimum reaction, but we shall see.  I'm planning to nap a lot today since I had almost no sleep last night.

And that's it for me!  A rough start to this Monday.  Here's hoping the week improves.  I'll be back tomorrow with a TNT update.  Till then, take care.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Yay for Friday!

 Good Morning,

Why is it that 4 day work weeks always seem longer than 5 day work weeks?  Whenever we have a Monday holiday, for me anyway, the balance of the week just goes on and on and on!  But, now, we are nearing the close of work time...just need to get through a conference call or two and call it finished!

A good part of yesterday afternoon was dealt with "hotel idiots."  I really have no patience whatsoever!  I need to set  up a two day meeting for Kevin (I am not planning to attend) and instead of having it at corporate he wants it to be somewhere in the South.  I called two resorts (Chateau Elan outside of Atlanta and Rosen Shingle Creek in the Orlando area).  Gave the people I spoke with details - number of people who will attend, preferred dates, yes overnight rooms for everyone, yes meeting space to accommodate the whole group, etc., etc.  I received a proposal from Chateau Elan for dates I had not mentioned...still waiting to hear from Shingle Creek.  And to think I used to love planning and organizing this type of thing!

So, welcome to Friday and here is our Friday Feline picture:

Curled up at the edge of the patio yesterday while Fletch and I were sitting outside.  Such a sweetheart.

Earlier in the day Fletch had been trimming our wisteria (which did not do very well this year) and out popped the robin's nest.

Several eggs had fallen out and crashed on the edge of our patio or driveway and eventually the robin just abandoned the nest.  We were amazed that there was still an egg inside.  The nest is a work of art - so tightly woven.

Time to wake up Fletch and get my day started (and have another cup of coffee).  Wishing you all lovely weekends - enjoy!

Thursday, July 7, 2022

The First Tomato!

 Good Morning!

Once again, our promised rain passed by just to the South of us yesterday.  However, it is now raining gently.  Not much (rain gauge is still on zero), but the cars are wet and it is gently sprinkling.  Good thing Fletch did water stuff last night.

The other day I was in the garden to pull an onion.  I walked over to where the tomato plants are and when I touched the one tomato that was beginning to ripen, it came off in my hand.

We have yet to sample it - perhaps at lunch today I will slice it up to enjoy.

We do not grow cucumbers, but I love to make pickles in the summer.  The other day I sliced up one cuke, a little bit of onion and added some grated ginger and red pepper flakes.  Melted some sugar in white vinegar and poured that over the cuke slices.  

Yum!  We had some with our lunch yesterday and they were delicious.

Today my plan is to make tabbouleh.  I picked up some Bulgur at Whole Foods yesterday.  Salmon is on the menu for dinner and I think the tabbouleh will go nicely with that.

And that does it for me.  It's Thursday and I need to get to my weekly reports that I send out.  Wishing you all a wonderful day - enjoy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday June 6, 2022

 Good Morning!

How are you this morning?  I feel stiff (dampness in the air perhaps?) and not fully awake yet.  Last night I had some grand plans for walking this morning, but I will wait and see how I feel and how the day feels once I am more awake.  Right now it is in the mid-70's, but it feels still and close.  Our forecast rain yesterday kind of passed by us to the South.  We had a few sprinkles and that was it.  Fletch will need to water the garden again today.

But here we are at Wednesday and it's time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.

A tiny amount has been knit on Fletcher's first Cafe Au Lait sock.  Not much, but I am past the heel turn and the gusset decreases are complete, so I am cruising down the foot.  The only problem is that my cruise speed is like 5 mph instead of 65 mph.

It almost gets lost against the tablecloth!  Click to enlarge, as always.

Last night, rather than working on this sock, I finished knitting the scrubby dishcloth.

And a close up for looking at the texture:

Let me tell you, this is hateful yarn with which to knit!  Everything about it (casting on, knitting, binding off, weaving in the ends) was a PITA.  And the cloth?  Man is it dense and heavy.  I have not tried using it yet, so am not sure how it will feel/work once wet.  The tropical colors are the only thing I enjoyed about this!

On the reading front, I am finally reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.  I had been in queue for this book for months and then boom I suddenly received an email from my library that it was ready to be picked up.  I'm roughly 125 pages in (and it's long - 600 pages or so) and so far it is ok.  Just ok.  I loved Towles' previous two books (A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility), but this one doesn't seem to measure up to those two.

Waiting on my nightstand is Violeta by Isabel Allende which looks very good.  I'm anxious to read this one, but will finish The Lincoln Highway first.

Well, time to pour another cup of coffee and attempt to wake up.  Be sure to head over to Kat's to see what others are up to in the making and reading departments.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday July 5, 2022

 Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Did you have a nice 4th of July?  Our weather was wonderful.  The humidity broke overnight on Sunday so that Monday was just a pleasant day.  I walked after lunch and it did get warm, but not like it had felt at the end of last week.  And last night it almost felt chilly!  Our local fireworks went off as usual (we can see some of them from our backyard) and by 10 p.m. it was pretty quiet.  Luckily Mabel seemed none the worse from the noise of the fireworks.

It's a little overcast here today and I think we will have rain by the afternoon.  I will probably skip walking today as we want to do a little grocery shopping this morning.  I suppose I should also consider doing a bit of work - LOL.

Anyway, here it is Tuesday and the first in July.  Time for a TNT update.  The "Simply Live" sampler is coming along nicely.

I sure am enjoying all the different colors in this one (I got a little tired of red and green while stitching the A&E Sampler).

As for garden news, we have one large tomato that is nearing time to be picked!!  It is completely orange and beginning to turn red.  The jalapenos have formed and some are green and some are red.  Time to pick them.  Beets are poking up through the soil, so they should be picked (I need to remember to look at the greens to see if they are useable).  And yesterday I picked some of our blueberries:

A few that were not quite ripe fell into my hand as I picked, but overall they look lovely.  Last year we only had a few berries all summer; this year the bush is loaded!  And figs are beginning to form!  Rob and Eva came over with summer squash from their garden:

I will be cooking up one of these to go with our dinner tonight!  Despite the lack of rain (once again no lawn mowing this week!!), the garden does seem to be thriving.

Well, that's a wrap for me.  Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday - enjoy!

Monday, July 4, 2022

Weekending - July 4, 2022

 Good Morning!  Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone has been enjoying a nice, long weekend.  Ours has been very hot and humid, but this morning's air feels fresh and almost cool.  It's not sticky and humid at all.

So, what has been going on?  Friday morning, early, I finally soaked and then pinned out to block the Guernsey Wrap.  I spread it out on the bedroom floor, and that just about killed my back.  After that I went for a walk.  Whew!  I walked at Oaks and didn't see any wildlife other than some humans.  By the time I got home, my tee shirt could be wrung out.  I was dripping.  The bright side of that is that it was such a hot day that by mid-afternoon the wrap was already dry.

Not a very attractive picture, but really it was too freakin' hot to wear a wool wrap and also, Fletch really didn't want to step outside to take a picture.  So one and done was it!  The wrap is now folded up and tucked away for a mid-winter's day.

While I met Dee Saturday morning for our therapy session, Fletch was out in the garden pulling our garlic.  He pulled 50 heads!

And that afternoon he hung it all from the patio roof:

I love just being able to step outside and grab fresh garlic.  We just finished using last year's crop about a month ago!

Last night Fletch grilled ribs so we also tried grilling some of our garlic scapes.  Wow!  They were delicious.  Just sprinkled a bit of EVOO and S&P on them, threw them in a grill basket and plopped them down.  Grilling brought out the sweetness of them and (as one review I read stated), grilled scapes are reminiscent of asparagus.  Very tasty!!

Our eggplant plants are really producing this year - just look at this:

There are already over a dozen eggplants forming!  I can't wait to have some of these grilled...or on pizza...YUM!

The bluebarb jam, BTW, is quite good even if it didn't set completely.  I tried some on peach pancakes yesterday morning and then on vanilla ice cream last night.  Our neighbor, Rob, said he put some on oatmeal and it was awesome!  We traded jams with him the other day - he brought us Mulberry Jam made from a tree on his property.  That jam is very tasty as well.

No plans for today.  If the weather stays nice, I may try to get a walk in this morning.  I'm going to cook some chicken in the oven for dinner and Fletch is going to pick the first of our green beans from the garden.  Now, if only the tomatoes would hurry up and ripen!  Fireworks will be set off in our local park tonight - we can sometimes see them from our backyard.  As I've said before, I'm not a huge fan - I like seeing them, I don't like hearing them.

Hope everyone can stay cool and enjoy the 4th!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Snapshots From a Walk

 Good Morning and Happy Friday!  Happy Long Weekend!!

Work has really slowed which is always the case leading up to a holiday weekend.  Yesterday my only conference call scheduled for today was cancelled, so I feel rather free and really don't plan on doing much work at all.  I've already done a few things this a.m., answered emails, etc.  My hope/plan is to get out for a walk early before it gets hot.

Yesterday I finally walked by the canal.  I managed to do the usual 3 miles but was a bit on the warm side when I got back to my car (I walked from 9-10 a.m.).  It's been a number of weeks since I walked anywhere - my feet have been bothering me ever since we walked around China Town when we went into Philadelphia for Dim Sum a few weeks back.  Not sure why - maybe because I was walking in leather flats rather than sneakers...and walking on city pavement rather than a trail.  Anyway, it felt good to get out yesterday.  Flowers have started to bloom alongside the canal.

So pretty!  There were also day lilies, purple loosestrife, some tiny white flowers and other "weeds" which are just so nice to see.

There were also some animals.  No blue herons sighted, but there was a cute baby duck:

And, perhaps my favorite turtle picture:

The back legs on that one turtle crack me up!  They are so wide!!

I saw a few other walkers, a couple of joggers, a couple of folks on bicycles and 3 kayaks on the canal.  I'm hoping to get out before 8 a.m. today and am thinking I'll walk at Oaks along the Perkiomen Creek.

The day will also be filled with some errands.  I need to gas up the car (particularly painful these days), pick up a couple of prescriptions at CVS, get to the bank to get some $$$ and pick up a few things at the grocery store.  I'm making pizza for dinner and our mushrooms in the frig are fairly slimy, so I want to get fresh.  And, the store I'll go to has cherries on sale!

Yesterday before dinner Fletch and I were sitting on the patio with our beverages and there was a goldfinch on the thistle at our side yard.  We had just been commenting that the goldfinches were not around much this year!

I know it looks more like a yellow leaf in this picture, but it was the best shot I could get with my phone camera.

Sweet Mabel, of course, was right near us.  

Sleeping Beauty!!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend and a great 4th of July!!