Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 8/31/22

 Good Morning All,

How are you?  I am thrilled that the air is cooler this morning, and a bit fresher.  We did have a storm roll through just as Fletch and I were listening to our book after dinner.  It rained for maybe half an hour.  Unfortunately, not enough to nudge the rain gauge, but I'm sure the garden still appreciated the moisture.

Speaking of gardens, Fletch came in all excited late yesterday afternoon to say that (finally!!) the figs were beginning to ripen.  I went out and sure enough there were two ready to pick.

And just look when I cut them open.  Gorgeous!  And they were delicious - we sampled them with dinner last night.

The tree is LOADED with fruit, so they will soon be coming in like crazy.  The tomato harvest (above) was lighter than usual, but still hefty.  There are still so many large tomatoes on the planats.  I'm also looking forward to fried green tomatoes.

Last night I shredded the giant zucchini and now have plenty of it in the freezer to use for bread and/or cookies down the road.  Today I plan to make Eggplant Caponata using the last of our garden eggplants and a bunch of the tomatoes.

But first:  it's Wednesday morning which means time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  There's not much on either of those two fronts for me, but let's dive right in.

There was no more sock knitting at all.  The first Cosmopolitan sock is still at the end of the heel flap waiting for me to wave my magic wand and have the heel turn appear.  Maybe today, maybe not...we'll see.  I did start a new dishcloth using CotLin from KnitPicks (colorway is Chicory - such a gorgeous shade of blue).

The pattern is Corner-to-Corner from Purl Soho.  Nothing complicated.  Just like Grandmother's favorite but with a KFB instead of a YO.  Uncomplicated was exactly what I needed.  I had tried on Saturday when I met up with Dee to make Tin Ceiling but discovered that apparently I cannot count/follow a pattern and talk at the same time.  LOL  I'll save that pattern for a quiet time.

No books were finished during the past week.  WHAT?  Sad, but true.  I am reading, but slowly.  I have about 50 pages left of "Sorrow and Bliss" and am sorry to say that I am still just bored with it.  Maybe it's the author's style of writing?  So much of it has been just repetitous to me (and annoying).  I hope and plan to definitely finish it today.  I have two books waiting for me to pick them up at the library:  Remarkably Bright Creatures and The Enchanted April.  Not sure where I heard about "Enchanted April," but any book about Italy can't be all bad!

Fletch and I are continuing to listen to David Attenborough narrate The Peregrine and are really enjoying it.  There are times that I find myself almost lulled by the sound of Attenborough's voice though, but then some fascinating fact will come out and I jolt up.  For example, talking about a peregrine's eyesight...if a human's eyes were as "good" (for lack of a better word) they would be 4" across and weigh 4 lbs!  Guessing I would have a hard time holding up my head - lol.

OK, time for me to get rolling.  Emails have been pouring in for work and I'd best check them out and see what's going on.  Be sure to head over to Kat's for inspiration! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/30/22

Good Morning!

Another kind of grey, overcast day here.  No rain yesterday and probably not today either.

Well, after having no stitching post last Tuesday, I stepped things up and Simply Live is now complete!!

 Gosh I love this little piece.  It is a pattern from The Primitive Needle (unfortunately Lisa Roswell died a number of years ago...her designs are so nice).  I stitched it on 40 count linen using a combination of DMC and Gentle Arts threads going over 2 threads.  The finished piece is 4.5" wide and 8" high.  It is now tucked away in the drawer with the other finishes.

Yesterday I picked linen out of my stash and hemmed the edges (tired of linen fraying) for two new pieces.  Neither have been started, so more on them next week (I've still got time to change my mind and pick something completely different - LOL).  I will tell you that one of them will really be fun in that it incorporates a number of different stitches into the pattern...not just little x marks.  I can't wait!

Our snapdragons just keep on keepin' on.  They bloom and send up new shoots full of buds and then those shoots bloom, and on and on.  Really gorgeous.  Next year we will plant many more - the deer ignore them unlike other flowers we have planted.

Speaking of deer, I spied this guy this morning.  Picture a little blurry as it was taken through our patio door, but look at that tail!

I don't think I've ever seen one showing so much white on the sides.  And, it looks so fluffy!

Each year in the Spring Fletch goes on the hunt for Praying Mantis egg cases on the property.  When he finds any he will often relocate them to the garden.  Praying Mantis are so good for your garden.  When watering my basil and rosemary yesterday I noticed this guy on the Morning Glory vine:

A handsome fellow.  This reminds me of one of my favorite framed things in our downstairs bathroom.  Fletch and I saw this card in a bookstore a number of years ago...bought it, framed it, and it is now on one of the bathroom walls.  I know I've shown this before, but it just cracks me up every time I look at it.

And with that, I'm off to get another cup of coffee, check out a few blogs and do a little work.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Weekending 8/29/22

 Hello and good Morning!

It's kind of grey and overcast here (dare we hope for rain??) which is causing me to feel rather sluggish this morning.  I'm sipping coffee, but the jolt has not yet set in.

More snapdragons - they just keep coming and coming.

How was your weekend?  Mine was very nice.  It started on Friday when our cleaning girl/woman showed up for the first time.  Oh man!  What a fabulous job she did,  The house looked so clean and smelled so good by the time she finished.  Karyn brings her own supplies for cleaning except we gave her the stuff we use on our hardwood floors and she uses our vacuum.  Except, as luck would have it, our vacuum stopped working on Friday.  LOL  It was old (had been my parents, so it had an extremely long life) and both Fletch and I had noticed it wasn't sucking very well recently.  Oh well.  I had another, cheap little stick vacuum that she could use and I ordered another vacuum before Karyn left on Friday.  The new one was delivered on Saturday and all I can say is that our carpets have not been this clean in years!  It's a powerful thing!

I met up with Dee on Saturday morning for our usual chatter, knitting and sipping.  My knitting was about nil - nothing was working for me that morning.  But, I managed to unload some of the zucchini cookies (which are very good BTW), some zucchini bread with cranberries, some tomatoes and a few jalapenos.  The tomatoes continue to come in like gangbusters.  Yesterday I picked 8 large tomatoes and over 50 sungold cherry tomatoes.  We are overrun!

Saturday my friends the crows showed up.  I enjoy them so much and we often have a few around but on Saturday there were eight - a murder!

This group wasn't all that vocal and they didn't stay there too long.  Soon they were flying over our house on their way to somewhere else.

The other week Kym had one of her "garden dispatch" posts that showed a hummingbird.  Fletch and I usually see hummers in the afternoon while sitting on the patio.  I tried to get a picture on Saturday, but it is HARD.  Using just my cell phone's camera doesn't help.  But, Sunday morning, early, I noticed one flying around our Rose of Sharon.  Then it went to the feeder we have hanging on the clothesline and then, finally, perched on the line and I was able to snap a picture!

A little blurry, but you can see the hummingbird and it's long beak on the clothesline just to the left of the feeder.  Our hummers are not real colorful.  I've only seen a ruby throat here once or twice.  Ours are mostly a dull green/grey on the back with a pale chest.

I don't know about you, but growing up there were things that my Mom fixed that I didn't really care for.  Some I still don't (liver, for example, yuck!).  But some I now love.  Parsnips and turnips fall into that category.  I am particularly fond of Gilfeather Turnips and in years past I would always pick one up at a country store in Wardsboro, Vermont when we were up there.  This past year I found an organic seed company that carries Gilfeather seeds.  I was thrilled and got two for my brother who gardens a ton and one for Fletch.  This weekend we harvested our first!

Not the most attractive item, but boy did they smell sweet right out of the ground.  Typically they are harvested after the first hard frost, but we could not wait.  I peeled them and cut them up and then boiled them.  After an hour they were still hard!  So, we did not have them last night as planned.  Instead I let them continue to cook while we ate and we will have them tonight.  Once they had softened up, I simply mashed them with butter and pepper.  The tiny bit that I tasted was delicious - so sweet.  I think we may let the rest stay in the ground until after a frost.  The other ones are small still, but I'm thrilled that we've been able to grow them!

And now it is time for another cup of coffee and to get started on Monday.  I hope your week is off to a great start.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Thursday Doings

 Hello Again,

Yup, another morning has rolled around.  Like yesterday, it is dark now - the clock is just chiming 6 a.m.  I was up early (again) and slept really well!  The stars did not appear quite as bright this morning, but I could still see them (and the moon).  Lovely.

I managed to do a little stitching the other day, but not enough to merit showing or talking about on the blog.  I'm planning on having more to show by next Tuesday for a true TNT report.

Yesterday a good amount of time was spent in the kitchen as well as outside.  Two loads of wash were hung on the lines to dry.  On the kitchen front I roasted the tomatoes in the morning.

I wish I could provide the scent that was coming from the oven - pure heaven!  I put some EVOO in the bottom of the pan and then scattered a bunch of cut up garlic cloves and lots of fresh oregano and basil over that.  Tomatoes were cut in half and into the oven at 400 that all went for roughly 1/2 hour.  Once they cooled I pulled the skins off and threw everything into the blender.  Voila - sauce!  We are having that tonight with shrimp added to it.  My mouth is watering already.

I grated just one of the zucchini (the smaller one which just about filled my food processor!).  A new (to me) recipe came to my email yesterday for Zucchini Cookies With a Lemon Glaze so decided to give them a try.  More like mini cakes than cookies, but hey!  They've got veggies in them, so I call them healthy!  LOL

I haven't tried one yet.  But I'm hoping they are good.  Today or tonight I will make some zucchini bread with more of the grated veggie.  I plan to add fresh cranberries (well, ones that I froze last winter) and either walnuts or pecans.

Meanwhile, I'm heading to the office this morning.  I don't want to go, but I need to go.  Planning to get in early and get out early, pick up some wine and head to CVS for another try at getting Fletch's prescription and a few things I need.  Hoping/planning to get home in time to work out before lunch.  A busy, but (hopefully) productive day.  Hope yours is a good one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 8/24/22


It's still early...not quite 6 a.m.  I woke at 4:15 this morning but managed to stay in bed for another hour.  When I did finally get up at 5:15, I looked out the window and it was so clear.  I saw a lot of stars and the moon was a beautiful yellow crescent in the sky.  Just another reason why I love the early morning hours.  It is peaceful and quiet.  Even the birds are still and not yet singing their morning songs.  Mabel was singing her song when I came downstairs.  Or rather meowing loudly by the door to the patio.  She was hungry!  She has had her breakfast and is back out patrolling her property.

Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday where we link up with Kat to talk making and reading.  There has been a little knitting since last Wednesday.  The leg of the first Cosmopolitan sock is complete and the heel flap has been constructed.

Gosh this yarn has knit up so lovely!  I knit the heel flap as Eye of the Partridge and really like how that turned out!  The pink and yellow play so well together.  Here's a close up of it (which I was unable to turn around):

Last night I cast on for another dishcloth.  Another skein of CotLin from KnitPicks and the pattern I chose was Tin Ceiling from Purl Soho.  

But...four rows in and for some reason I had messed up a very simple pattern, so it was all ripped out.  Perhaps I will try again today.

Reading has been quite good.  Fletch and I finished listening to Northland by Porter Fox.  This is the one where the narrator's voice was initially really weird, but we got used to it!  And, we both enjoyed the book about the border between the US and Canada.  Last night we started listening to The Peregrine by J. A. Baker.  It is read by David Attenborough, and listening to his voice is like a lullaby to me.

I finished Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark.  Initially I had a little bit of trouble getting into the book, but after 40 or so pages I was hooked.  I loved all the characters of the story and the fact that it takes place in both Philadelphia and the coast of Maine.  Perfect for me!  Now I'm reading Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason for the Read With Us group.  It is an easy read, but I'm finding myself pretty bored with it.  I'm about a third of the way through and hoping it gets a bit more interesting.

Yesterday afternoon while I was fixing dinner, Fletch walked over to see Rob, our neighbor across the way.  He came home with two rather large zucchini and two red bell peppers.

Guess what I'm doing today?  Grating the zucchini to make some bread.  The tomatoes are just some of what I picked yesterday.  We would give some to Rob and Eva, but their garden is loaded with tomatoes too!  I might just have to roast some to make sauce.

The sun is now up and it looks like it will be a nice day.  I plan to do a couple loads of wash and hopefully hang them on the line to dry.  Whatever you are up to, I hope it's a great day for you - Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

A New (to me) Salad

 Good Foggy Morning!

Yup!  It's foggy and moist outside.  Everything is dripping.  But, we had no measurable rain.  The rain gauge maybe moved a fraction (1/8th??) of an inch.

I have no TNT post today.  Once again a week has gone by where I did not lift up a tiny needle once!  So, I've decided to again mix it up and post a recipe today and maybe...maybe...I'll have some stitching to show on Thursday.  Time will tell.  Today I am sharing the salad I made on Sunday which is vegan (so I'll have to make it again when Colin is next here).  It is very, very yummy and very, very easy to make.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

  • 4 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup toasted pecans

Dressing - combine all ingredients

  • 4 TBS EVOO
  • 4TBS freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp gound cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Toss sweet potato chunks with EVOO and place in a single layer on a large baking sheet or pan.  Bake at 385 for 30-40 minutes.  Cool to room temp.
  • Combine beans, bell pepper, onion, celery and cilantro in a large bowl.  Pour dressing over.  When sweet potatoes are cool, toss them gently into the salad.  Add pecans to top.

I completely forgot the pecans, but the salad was good anyway.  I cut the recipe in half and there was still a bunch left over.  A corn and black bean salad is pretty much a summer staple here at the Lane abode, but this was kind of a nice change.  Similar but different.

Yesterday was a waste of time and a frustration.  I needed to print labels, put them on envelopes and run them through the postage machine and overnight to Kevin.  The postage machine at work, it turns out, is broken.  So, whenever that gets fixed - hopefully today or tomorrow - I'm going to need to go back in to finish up my job.

Then on my way home I stopped at CVS to pick up a prescription for Fletch.  It was in process and not yet filled...despite the fact that I had called Sunday morning and was told it would be ready by 1 p.m. on Sunday.  If I'm not mistaken, yesterday was Monday...the day AFTER Sunday...but it still had not been filled.  The clerk offered that I could wait and they would fill it within 1/2 hour.  I declined.

I came home, did a few things and then took a long nap (I had not slept well Sunday night).  Here's hoping that today is a little more productive!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Weekending 8/22/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Mine was filled with all kinds of lovely things.  First of all, Dee and I met up on Saturday morning for our knitting/chatting/sipping time together.  That is always a nice time and this week it was too, other than the obnoxious woman talking on her phone - speaker phone - sitting right behind me.  Luckily she and her friends left after a little bit.

The rest of my weekend was spent wandering around looking at stuff in the yard, doing some laundry and cooking some.  In no particular order, here is what I saw.  First up the regal one:

Such a sweetheart.  You can see how our yard is beginning to turn brown.  Everything is SO DRY.  Fletch said that's what he could smell the other day - dryness.  We are getting a little rain today...hopefully a bit more than a little.

We have an Elderberry bush and the berries are beginning to turn a deep purple.

Fortunately, I am not interested in making Elderberry Syrup or Wine...or dying anything because the deer have been munching on the berries quite a bit (and all of our Winter Berries have been digested by those critters).  Elderberries in this state are not a good thing to eat.  They are not really poisonous, but they will make you pretty uncomfortable if you eat them raw.  But what a PITA it would be to get all those berries off the stems.  So, I say let the deer have a feast!

You can tell summer is winding down because the Goldenrod is blooming.  It is very pretty this year.

When I was a kid goldenrod and marigolds were the worst things for me.  I had very bad hay fever as a kid and those two plants were the main culprits.  Now they don't seem to bother me, thank goodness (because we have a lot of it!).

There are a few flowers the deer have left alone (most likely because they are too close to the patio and house).

The deer also have not bothered the snap dragons and I picked some for a vase yesterday morning.

And a shot of the entire buffet:

(Do you see that I'm hanging on to the dried Protea bloom?  I even like it all brown and dry!)

As mentioned, I did a little cooking.  Yesterday morning I made a Blueberry Gateau.  Yum!

Delicious with a dollop of whipped cream!

And I made a new salad - a vegan recipe I came across recently (can't remember where) for a Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad.

We had that last night with fish (baked cod for moi and fried blue fish [yuck] for Fletch).  The salad was fabulous and I definitely will be making it again.

And that rounds out my weekend.  I'm heading to the office this morning to do a few things, but hopefully will be home in time to do my workout before lunch.  Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

Friday, August 19, 2022


 Good Morning and Happy Weekend,

Oh man!  This has felt like one long week.  Originally I was scheduled for 3 conference calls this morning...8:30, 10:00 and 11:00.  Thankfully the 10:00 call has been cancelled.  Not wishing my life away, but I'd love the weekend to start right now.

The tomato bounty continues.  I picked these yesterday afternoon:

I counted and we had 21 large tomatoes on the counter plus 9 more in the upper windowsill of one window.  And, I noticed when I picked up a couple that they were beginning to spoil.  So, it was finally time to make bruschetta.

I will broil slices of a baguette with EVOO and then top with this mixture for lunch.  A little taste of heaven.

Fletch has gotten a bag of tomatoes and a container of the sun gold cherry tomatoes to take to our mechanic today.  It pays to be friends with your mechanic!

Last night also saw me making deviled eggs after discovering we had an extra dozen eggs in the frig.  By the time I cleaned up from making those and the bruschetta, I was ready for bed!  (But I stayed up and read for an hour or more.)

Wishing you all a fun weekend - whatever you have planned or end up doing - enjoy!!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Oh Deer!

 Good Morning!

Pausing in the midst of my Thursday work-busy morning to show you what's going on here.

Mabel came into the office room meowing which means either "let me out now!" or "give me more food."  I got up and walked into the kitchen and she was over by the door, wanting to go out.  There were two deer in the yard.  First up this one who seems to be lacking pigment on part of his/her face.

Not terribly big, dining on fallen apples.  Nearby was this little one.

Still has faint spots.  Also having some apples for breakfast.  I wish I could have gotten a video of this little one stamping his foot when Mabel went outside.  Too cute.

Anyway, Mabel turned around and wanted to come right back in.  But, 5 minutes later she wanted to go back out.  This time there were 5 deer in the back yard!

The 5th one was to the right, but out of my camera range.  All of these were taken through the sliding door to our patio.  I knew if I stepped out they would all bolt.  The little one was back and stamping his foot again when Mabel went out, but this time she paid no mind to him.  She ran out into the yard and jumped on the picnic table.  Soon the deer ran off.

A little nature break and now I need to get back to work.  Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday 8/17/22

 Hello and Good Morning!

The air is cool this morning and it feels so good.  Opened the door to the patio at 2 a.m. (!) to let Mabel out and could feel the chill.  It was still there at 6 a.m. when I opened the door to let her in and give her breakfast.  

Our apple tree looks like Fall.  So many of its leaves have fallen and others have turned yellow.  There are still apples on the tree - more than in the last few years, but they are small.  The deer are coming down to dine on them - so many have fallen you have to be careful walking across the back yard - if you were to step on one of those apples, you could twist or break an ankle!

Tomatoes are still coming in like crazy.  Two days in a row I have picked 7 large tomatoes and a basketful of cherry tomatoes.  So much goodness!  We picked up some good French bread at the store yesterday, so I think home made bruschetta is on the list of things to have.

Meanwhile, once again it is Wednesday and time to link up with Kat and all the Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Such a lovely time we have and there is always so much inspiration.

Of course, I already showed my knitting on Monday with the finished dishcloth and the sock beginning.  There has been a little progress on the sock.

The pattern (Tidal Wave) is a 12 row repeat.  When I showed the sock on Monday only the first 12 rows had been knit.  In the picture above there are a total of 3 repeats, so 36 rows.  I'll knit another 3 repeats (maybe 4 - I will weigh the yarn) and then start the heel flap.

On the reading side of things, only one finish this week...but a good one!  I listened (another audio book!!) to Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan.  This was short (~ 2 hours) - more like a novella - but it packs a punch!  As one reviewer stated, if you don't want to see the Catholic Church in a bad light, don't read this.  The narrator with his lilting Irish voice was perfect.  I gave this 4.5 stars.

I'm in the midst of reading Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark.  It took me a little time to get into this, but I am now enjying it quite a bit.  I'm listening to Fresh Water for Flowers by Valerie Perrin.  I believe Katie brought this to my attention.  I will listen some more this morning on my drive to the office.

Fletch and I are about 75% finished with Northland by Porter Fox.  We listen after dinner for 20 minutes or so.  I've enjoyed this, but I confess to not remembering a lot about it - LOL.  Still, it is nice to be read to and I'm enjoying knitting a little while listening.

Once again I've a busy morning in front of me.  I'm going to the office as I've got to scan some things and send them off (I don't have a scanner at home), check the mail, etc., etc.  There is some busy work I can do as well (if I'm so inclined - hahaha).  Then I will head to Trader Joe's for a few things (including flowers), pick up some wine and head home hopefully before lunch.

Hoping this mid-week post finds everyone having a great week.  Be sure to check out Kat's blog to see what everyone is up to!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/16/22

 Good Morning!

How are you this sunny morning?  I'm happy to write that Colin made it safely home with no plane issues (or missing baggage) this time.  I'm sure Talbot and Marcel were very happy to see him (especially since Mailing had left early Sunday morning and Colin did not get home till almost midnight last night!).

The weather here has been just lovely.  No AC for several days now.  No rain either, which we still really need.  There was a promise of rain yesterday, but that dissolved (it all went South of us - again).  Fletch will be watering the garden today.

Speaking of garden, last night's dinner was pizza!  It was wonderful and I ate too much.

It was fully loaded with (from the garden) garlic, oregano, basil, sliced tomatoes, eggplant (which I had broiled ahead of time).  In addition it also had:  red onion, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni and cheese.  I couldn't stop consuming (and the scale told me that this morning).  I will behave myself tonight.

Once again it is time for a TNT update.  Not much stitching was accomplished this past week...just the start of the next row in the alphabet.

The letters are small enough you would think I could have gotten more done, but I did not.  Poor Karen (no blog, lurker) who has requested the pattern when I am finished...she will be having her patience tried!

I still have not picked out the next piece I will stitch.  I keep going back and forth between some mighty big projects.  And, I still need to order more fabric.  I do have some 32 count and am toying with using that, but stitching over one rather than over two.  All to be determined....

Today I'd like to do some laundry and we will do a light grocery shopping.  Of course, there is also work to be done.  I am finalizing plans for Kevin's meeting at the end of the month and need to get signed contracts back to the hotel, finalize head counts and food, etc.  So, I guess I'd best get to it.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, August 15, 2022

And Monday Rolls Around Again

Good Morning My Friends,

Here we are again...Monday morning...and not only that, but also mid-August (not sure how that happened so quickly).  Time (once again) seems to be slipping by so quickly.  I hope you had a good weekend.  Mine was so nice.

Saturday morning I met up with Dee for some knitterly time together.  I worked on a new sock!!  Yes, I finally cast on with one of the skeins of yarn I recently caked up.  Of course, I chose to start something for moi rather than any of the gifts I have planned.

I just couldn't resist this yarn from Wandering Cat - Val in the colorway "Cosmopolitan" (the yarn is the Barn Cat line).  It is a joy to knit with and I love the way the colors are lining up.  Obviously I have not gotten far, but the pattern is Tidal Wave (I don't see it on Rav now, so not sure where I got it?).

Later in the day I managed to finish up the dishcloth (Nai-Nai's Favorite) that I had been working on.

A very soft, light weight cotton in the color Autumn Spice.  There is easily enough left for another cloth, so I'll cast on for that soon.

The exciting thing (for me) that happened on Saturday is that I hired a house cleaner!  Woo-Hoo.  Ever since "the back issue" earlier this year, I've had trouble cleaning my floors in a thorough way.  I've also gotten lazier over the years.  It was time and it turns out that the niece of a friend of mine cleans houses and doesn't live that far from us.  She came over on Saturday to see the house and give an estimate.  Very reasonable and she will start in 2 weeks.  She will come every other week and I should be able to keep up with things inbetween her visits.  After all, it is only two of us here.  Fingers crossed that this works out well.

And then Colin was over for dinner yesterday.  Of course I did not take a single picture.  It was such a joy to see him and have his company for several hours.  He was obviously pretty tired, but looked good.  I made a vegan meal (lentil sloppy joe's and speckled slaw - the slaw is a recipe from MDK).  It was a perfect evening for a fire, but Col left fairly early to get back to his house.  (His lost bag did show up at the house on Friday.)  He flies back to TX tonight...hopefully with no issues.

I've got a busy work morning and need to get started on things.  But I'm wishing each of you a great start to the week - enjoy!!

Friday, August 12, 2022

Friday Felines August 12, 2022



Part Leopard and Part Raccoon!

It is cooler this morning and I only have one conference call at 11.  I consider that a good thing!

Another good thing:  Colin made it safely up from TX...even though he landed 9 hours later than he should have (and his checked bag went to Dallas...he spent yesterday buying clothes and stuff for the weekend).

Yesterday Fletch and I watched Mabel chase Steve the Beav (our resident groundhog).  Amazing how fast Steve can move...usually he just lumbers along.

Last night Mabel went out (of course) and successfully avoided the skunk that Fletch and I could smell.  That would be another good thing.

Cheers to the weekend!  May it be filled with good things for you.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday August 10, 2022

 Good Morning Friends!

We managed to get a few sprinkles around dinner time last night.  It cooled the temps down to the mid-80's.  Today is forecast to be sunny (again), but I think there is another good possibility of rain over night.  I sure hope so.

Safe travels to Colin who flies up from Austin this morning.  We won't see him till Sunday, but it will be nice to know he is in our time zone again.  And, Happy Birthday to my friend Leslie!!

Now onto business!  It's Wednesday which means it's time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  First of all I confess that I have not cast on with any of the 3 skeins I wound the other week!  What?  Sad but true.  Hardly any knitting has taken place.  I did manage to start another Nai-Nai's Favorite dishcloth,

Pretty colors in this yarn.  It is Dragon Tale Yarn which is 100% cotton.  The colorway is "Autumn Spice."  This is a skein I picked up on sale ($4.50!!) years ago somewhere...not sure where I was.  Anyway, nice to finally be using it.

Maybe today I will find the time to cast on something with one or more of those skeins I recently wound.

On the reading side of things, I finished 3 books in the last week!  Yes, me!!  First up, I finished "Provence, 1970" by Luke Barr.  This is the story of the time in late 1970 when M. F. K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, Richard Olney and others were all in Provence at the same time.  They cooked and ate together and discussed food.  Luke Barr is the great nephew of Fisher and had access to her journals from the time.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I do love memoirs and especially memoirs about food (think Ruth Reichl, Molly Wizenberg, Susan Herrmann Loomis, etc.).

Next I read "The Locked Room" by Elly Griffiths.  This was a good addition to the Ruth Galloway series she writes.

And, finally, I finisihed "The Last Bookshop in London" by Madeline Martin.  This was my first audio book!  The story takes place during the war (WWII) in London and was ok.  I'm guessing that if I had gotten a hard copy of the book I might not have finished it - lots and lots of bombing descriptions.  But it was ok to listen to.

I've started "Sorrow and Bliss" and am enjoying that so far (only 40 pages in or so) and I've also started "Fellowship Point."  I'm only 25 pages into this book and it is easy to put down, so I'm not sure how it will go.  Not started yet, but I have "Small Things Like These" by Claire Keegan queued up for listening.

Now it's time to pour another cup of coffee and do a little work.  Hoping that everyone has a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/9/22

 Good Morning All,

Today promises to be another scorcher...though I did see (finally) a good chance (90%) of some strong storms later today and into the evening.  Here's hoping.  Yesterday was simply stifling.  I made it to the office and ended up being there around 2 hours...but got everything done I needed to and now I have no need or reason to go back to the office tomorrow or later in the week.  Yay!

The plan today is to cook some chicken breasts this morning and then make chicken salad and, perhaps, a potato salad for dinner.  Cool things will taste good.  Hot things can taste good too - hot as in spicy.  Yesterday Nance reminded me of my jalapenos.  I have been so focused on harvesting eggplants and tomatoes...and finding hidden hibiscus blooms that I forgot about my jalapenos.  The peppers this year are small.  I don't know if we bought a different variety or what, but they are tiny compared to what we normally grow.  But still, there were enough that I pickled them yesterday.

I also added some cut up carrots and slices of garlic to the mix.  Fletch won't eat these, so they are ALL FOR ME!  LOL  And those small peppers are not small in the heat index.  Spicy, spicy and tasty.

Well, if it's Tuesday, it must be TNT, or Tiny Needle Tuesday.  The upper portion of the Simply Live sampler has been completed and the bottom section has been started!!

I'm hoping to get a bit more stitched on this today.  This piece sure has been a fun one to stitch.  And now I'm on the home stretch (hoping I have not jinxed myself).  I still need to finalize my decision on what piece to stitch next.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Weekending 8/8/22

 Hello Friends,

How are you this Monday morning?  And, how was your weekend?  My weekend was nice, filled with many good things.  My first conference call last Friday morning was cancelled and the second one went faster than anticipated, so that was a nice start to the weekend.  Then Saturday morning I met up with Dee for some chatter, knitting and sipping of coffee.  That always does my soul good.

What else?  I decided to harvest the eggplants.  Our plants were laden with fruit and the leaves had become spotted with some kind of fungus or mold.

There are 15 eggplants here!  Yes, some are small, but they will be so good sliced, broiled or grilled and then put on pizza!

Then I was telling Katie that I thought it was interesting that she, in New Hampshire, has a blooming hibiscus and that I, in Pennsylvania, do not...that ours was only budded.  Well, I was wrong.  Fletch told me it was blooming.  I had missed it because the bloom was hiding behind our fig!

What a gorgeous color!  So rich and deep.  There are more buds ready to open.

We also discovered that we have a resident frog by our water feature.  Such a little guy!

Here's hoping that Mabel does not discover him/her.  Froggy though is quite adept at hiding in the shadows and he/she is quite a good jumper and very, very fast.

Finally, it's been hot as blazes here (again) and what did I do?  I made soup yesterday for dinner!  Yup, I made soup on a day where the temp was easing up into the upper 90's.  I used the winter melon that Bonny and Zhongren had brought to us the other week.  Noodling around the Internet looking at various recipes for Winter Melon, I learned that the Chinese consider it to be a Yin Food meaning that it is good to combat the effects of heat and humidity.  It is also high in fiber and has been known to help lower blood sugar and cholesterol!  In my book, a super food.  By itself it is bland tasting, but it absorbs the flavor(s) of what is cooked with it.

Our version started with cooking the chunks of Winter Melon in water - simmering them until tender.  Then I added a large carton of veggie broth, a bunch of diced fresh ginger, several carrots cut up and a full container of sliced shitake mushrooms.  I also added about 1/2 Cup of diced ham that was left over from the other week.  We scattered cut up scallions over the tops of our bowls.  We loved the soup.  It was very delicious and quite satisfying.  We had some garlic bread to go with it.  There was enough left over that I put a container of it in the freezer for another meal down the road.

I think today is going to be another hot one.  We are having salmon for dinner and for a change I think I will poach it (and therefore avoid putting the oven on).  In a bit I'm heading to the office - I need to take care of some things early this luxury of taking my time!  I'll stop at the library to drop of a couple of books on my way (more about them on Wednesday!).

Cheers to the week ahead - hoping it's a good one for all of us.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Friday's All Creatures Great and Small

 Good Friday Morning!

The sun is beginning to poke out and the air feels refreshed.  Gosh it was hot (94) and muggy yesterday.  After dinner the wind whipped up and I could hear distant thunder.  Before I knew it we were having a whopper of a thunderstorm.  Fletch was watching something on TV and I was sitting at the table reading when POP and the power went out.  That was around 9:30.  We lit some candles, Fletch grabbed a flashlight, and we headed out to sit on the patio.  It was so still and warm.  The wind had died...very muggy.  Around 10:30 I went up to bed.  I opened the back window wide and crawled under the sheet.  In under 10 minutes the power came back on.  Thank goodness because the upstairs was very, very warm.  So I closed the window, turned on the air and the next thing I knew it was 6:10 this morning!

Yesterday I mentioned that we had been hearing a very noisy sharp shin hawk most days.  Well, while I was hanging clothes on the line yesterday morning, I heard him again.  I looked up and there he was near the top of a dead tree two houses down from us.

Again there were small birds in the tree paying him no attention whatsoever.  He flew off calling very shortly after I took the picture.

This morning while feeding Mabel, I looked out and saw a couple of deer having their breakfast of fallen apples.

If you click to enlarge, you will see the deer on the right is a young buck.  

Yesterday's post also mentioned how our fig tree is loaded with figs this year.  None are ripe yet, but when they come in, there will be a lot!

The anticipation is killing me!  LOL

And, finally, the best creature of all:  Mabel!

She says it is much too hot to be modest - LOL.  I'm surprised the grass looks so green in the picture.

Here's hoping my conference calls (2) go quickly and smoothly and I can ease into weekend mode.  I've plans to meet up with Dee tomorrow so am looking forward to that.  And no other plans to speak of which is how I like it.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend whatever you do - enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Little Stitching on a Thursday

 Hi Everyone,

Hope this Thursday morning finds you doing well.  The heat is building here in Eastern PA.  Yesterday ended up being a rather nice day though.  The humidity stayed relatively low and there was a wonderful breeze in the afternoon.  Not sure that will be the case today, but so far it is comfortable outside.  I just lowered a bamboo shade that we have at the edge of our patio - it keeps the morning sun off the patio and, therefore, keeps the heat down.  By early afternoon we can raise the shade and the patio is all in the shadows at that time.

Yesterday as Fletch and I sat with our beverages around 4 p.m., a young deer came boldly into the yard walking right toward us.  It was coming for some of the apples that have fallen from our tree, but at the last moment it got spooked and ran away.  I was sorry my phone...and therefore my camera...was inside on the table.  The deer would have made a sweet picture.  We have also been having a young (I'm guessing there) sharp shinned hawk that is flying around daily and calling constantly (and loudly).  The smaller birds don't seem too bothered by him/her which is a little unusual, so I'm not sure what's up.

Fletch discovered a volunteer patty-pan squash plant in the garden and our first squash has been harvested!

The tomatoes and garlic in the picture are also from the garden.  So much goodness there!  And figgy, our lovely fig tree, is just loaded with fruit this year.  Nothing ripe yet, but it shouldn't be too long!

I did manage to do a little stitching the other day.  Not a lot and not as much as I had hoped, but only one more motif to stitch at the bottom...and a smaller one up above the lower row.  Then a border and the alphabet under that.  It's coming along!

I really need to buckle down and decide on my next piece so that I can order the appropriate fabric.  Maybe I'll do that this afternoon.

Good new for my friend Carole - she was sent home from the hospital yesterday.  She needs to make MAJOR lifestyle changes and, hopefully, she will do that.  We had a long conversation last evening and I believe she understands the severity of her situation.

And, more good news:  Colin will be flying up here next week.  He will rent a car and then drive to the Catskills for a Batchelor Party.  He will be back over that weekend and is planning to have dinner with us on Sunday, the 14th.  He and Mailing will be crossing paths in the air when he flies back to TX on the 15th - she will be flying up for a get-together with a bunch of friends.

That's it for me today.  Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the August days.