Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 9/13/23

 Good Morning My Friends!

I woke in the night to strong thunder and lightening.  The kind that lights up the entire room even with your eyes closed.  We had some rain, but not really enough to move the gauge any.  And, I believe it is supposed to rain pretty much all day.

I've watered all the house plants and today I will harvest the 8 or so eggplants hanging on the plants.  I don't want them to be damaged or eaten (!) while we are gone.  Then I need to figure out what to pack and get that done.  I'm known for ALWAYS over packing, but this time of year is tricky with temps that can be all over the place.

Yesterday afternoon while Fletch and I were sipping our beverages on the patio we watched one adult and 3 young bluebirds flying around.  And then a yellow warbler (not a regular visitor) showed up.  We are hoping to see lots and lots of birds on our trip - hopefully ones that we don't normally see around here.  It is migration season, so fingers crossed.

It is now Wednesday morning and time to link up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  This is where we gather to talk making and reading.  

Not a whole lot of knitting has gone on.  I've been busy with other things (plumbers, pre-vacation-getting-ready, work, etc.).  Perhaps another 10 or so rows have been added to my sock:

As of right now, my decision for another project to take on my trip is the Abstract Leaves Cowl that I started (what seems like) eons ago:

This was put aside when I kept making the same mistake on the same row.  I must have knit that row backwards 3 or 4 times.  I'm hoping it has learned obedience while in time out.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind on projects right up until the minute before we jump in the car and leave.  I can always throw in an extra project bag!  LOL

Similarly, reading has been slow due to just being busy or too tired to concentrate.  I did finish The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd and I enjoyed it.  I don't think it was as good as "The Secret Life of Bees," but it is a worthy read and kept my attention.

Another thing I will do today is go through the bookcase in the bedroom and choose a book or two to take on vacation.  I have not started anything new (yet).  I'm leaning towards a Wallace Stegner book or one by Toni Morrison...or both!  And, of course, I will throw in the book that Fletch and I are still reading after dinner ("The Unbroken Road" by Patrick Leigh Fermor).

I hope this Wednesday finds you well.  I will not be posting while we are gone and my blog reading will be sporadic (hopefully I'll be busy doing other fun things!!).  I'll be back next week!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9/12/23

 Good Morning!

The sky cleared overnight and at dark thirty this morning, the crescent moon was shining brightly and there were so many stars visible from our bedroom window.  It was beautiful.  And, I spotted a deer browsing under the apple tree.

Now I'm up and have had a little coffee, put a fresh/clean tablecloth on the table, gathered up some things for laundry (which I will do once Fletch is up and out of the shower).  I did get over to Colin's yesterday and watered the house plants and gathered up the mail (all junk) for the recycling bin.  I also cleaned out the last of the condiments that were aging in the frig.

Now it is time for Tiny Needle Tuesday.  More progress was made on both pieces this past week.  More on the larger one, but the Cacti Triptych also saw a few additions.

More orange blooms have been added.  There is a bit more green to be stitched (and more blooms) as well as the base of the Ocotillo.

My major focus was the big Sampler Aux Bouquets.  Quite a bit more was added to this piece.

A tiny rabbit and leaf at the top; a pot with branches full of green leaves, a beetle (I love that beetle), more border at the bottom and an outline at the top where there will be something.  Plus a few hearts scattered around.  Here is a shot of the overall picture.

The upper left looks like it is stained blue, but that is just a shadow.

Still quite a bit more to do on this one.  Both of these pieces will be coming with me on vacation (as well as knitting of course).

Today we will be picking up a few things at the grocery store to take with us on vacation.  Since we are doing Air BnBs, we plan to do most dinners wherever we are staying - we will take steaks, hot dogs, salmon, etc. to cook.  Plus veggies.  And yogurt and eggs for breakfast.  I'm taking my mini frother from our camper so that I can have frothed milk for my coffee.  All the comforts of home!  My bosses are all in meetings up in Boston today, so I should be left alone!  LOL

Wherever this Tuesday finds you, I hope all is well and that you are having some fun.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Weekending 9/11/23

 Good Morning All,

Thank you for all the birthday wishes - I truly appreciate them!  My weekend was wonderful.  Saturday morning I headed out to meet Dee at her house (and, of course see Steve and Giroux!!) and then Dee drove us over to NJ and the Sheep & Wool festival.  If you've seen Dee's blog, you already know about the festival (higher price to get in, fewer animals this year, fewer vendors and RUDE people).  Oy!  Still, there was yarn and after thinking I wouldn't get anything, of course I did.  But first the cute sheep (and if you have not been to Dee's blog head over there - her sheep pictures are better than mine).

This guy was kind of sleepy and just really wanted to be left alone and he wished all the other sheep would just shut up!

This handsome guy wanted to be in the limelight and photographed (and he had not finished chewing his hay)

And this last one had recently been to the salon for a dye job!

Now for the stash enhancement!!

This is a BIG skein (510 yards) from Fiber Seed.  The colorway is "Harvest Moon" and I fell in love with it.  I'm thinking a nice large shawl.

"All the Fall" from Fiber Stash Dye Works.  I thought this would make a handsome pair of socks for my guy.  Dee bought the same yarn, but her skein has sparkles in it (which I did not think would be good for Fletch).

We both bought this next skein as well!  "Time Square at Night" from 7th Floor Yarn (never heard of them before).  

I wish my photo showed the colors better (kinda cloudy outside) - so many jewel tones in this - gold, purple, blue, green.  Just gorgeous and definitely swoon-worthy.  It is 50/50 yak and silk and the softest stuff you can imagine.  There was a sample of the Loretto Road Cowl made up in this colorway (only one skein needed).  The vendor was kind enough to give a copy of the pattern (free on Ravelry), so I will be knitting this soon.

After the festival we went to Luminary (favorite stomping ground of Dee & Steve) for coffee and a little knitting and then headed over to Chive for a good lunch.  All-in-all, a delightful day.  Thank you my friend for such a nice time!

I had debated going out for breakfast on Sunday, but it was pouring rain and very, very dark outside.  So instead I made a batch of blueberry muffins (and now we will have leftovers to take with us on our vacation).  I pretty much spent the whole day working on some stitching and then we went out for dinner.  We had excellent food at a Thai restaurant.  So good that there were no leftovers to bring home!

Fletcher's Pad See Ew with shrimp

My Evil Jungle Princess with chicken

Today will be all about getting stuff done before we take off on Thursday.  Work should be quiet (all my bossess are headed to Boston to a big meeting).  I want to get back to C&M's house to water plants and finish removing jars of condiments from their frig.  Fletch has errands he needs/wants to run as well.  So, it will be a busy day (and the plumber is coming), but hopefully I will find some time for relaxing with my needles.

Cheers to the week ahead - enjoy!

Friday, September 8, 2023

Finally Friday! 9/8/23

 Hello Friends,

Well, the day finally arrived:  my washer is fixed!!  Fingers crossed it stays that way.  The repair guys were here yesterday afternoon, installed a new motherboard and ran a cycle.  After they left, I ran two loads of wash through and all worked well.  Whew!  It's been a long haul and I'm sure you all are happy to not have me writing about the laundromat anymore!  LOL

It's been a funny week.  I have not really been able to focus well enough to work on anything AND have not really felt like knitting or stitching or reading.  Instead I wander around thinking about stuff.  And that is annoying!

BUT, tomorrow is New Jersey Sheep and Wool and Dee and I will be going together (sorry Bonny is out of town and cannot join us this year).  Showers are in the forecast, but the event is in several large barns, so out of any downpours that may occur.

And then Sunday is my birthday!  I cannot believe I will be 70 years old.  YIKES!!!  We don't really have plans - we may go out for breakfast and/or dinner - yet to be determined.  We need to get ready for vacation - so more laundry, packing, planning food to take, etc.  And, of course, planning what to take for knitting, stitching and reading.  The important things!  I also need to get over to C&M's to water plants before we take off.

Meanwhile, I have one conference call today.  Work continues to be amazingly busy and filled with annoying on-line training that I had to complete before the end of the month (done yesterday) and my own self-evaluation (also due by the end of the month and completed yesterday).  I would have skipped that one, but I have not yet given notice....not until the end of November, so I have to pretend for now that I am still going to be working next year!  HA!

We finally had some rain yesterday and temps are (so far) a little milder today.  Thank God - the last 3 days or so have been above 90!

The deer continue to graze on the fallen apples...but the ones in the trees are attracting others.  Look closely and you will see a bird near the top enjoying some apple.

Have a wonderful weekend!  I'll be lost among the sheep and all the wooly things!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 9/6/23

Greetings My Friends!

 How are you all doing?  I slept in a little bit, feel a trifle groggy (need coffee) and it is already 72 degrees.  Another hot one is on the way.

Look what was in the backyard this morning!

A very nice looking buck!  And when I just stepped back into the kitchen I noticed a second buck had joined the first.  Usually it is just the does who come down to feed on the apples, but these two were browsing and munching away like there was not tomorrow.  Fun to watch and I wonder if we will ever find any antlers on our property...we never have so far.

Also, the garden is still producing!  No BIG tomatoes, but more cukes, a few cherry tomatoes and now, two gorgeous eggplants (there are 7 more that are still growing!!).

Yesterday's trip to the office was a good one.  First of all, Tom from IT (AKA Jake) was there.  He explained that my laptop had been going into hibernation and refusing to come out.  Haha - could be me!  Anyway, it's a known problem with that particular laptop (which begs the question why do you continue to send that particular model out?).  He downloaded some updates for it that "should" take care of the problem.

We were the only two people in the office and then one of the property managers came in with 2 folks who had a meeting in one of our conference rooms.  The property manager asked if I recognized them and I did not.  But when I asked who they were, it turned out that I know the guy - I just had not recognized him.  He went to school (high school) with my little brother!  I knew he worked for my parent company and, over the years, I had seen him occasionally, but this was too funny.  It was good to catch up with him again.

On to the meat of this post.  It's Unraveled Wednesday!  In fact, the first Unraveled Wednesday of September 2023.  Time to link up with Kat and all in the Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  There was not a whole lot of knitting this week thanks to failing plumbing parts, laundromat runs, laptop woes, etc.  Life is busy!

But, I did post a picture at the end of last week of my finished Allsorts socks.  A little too snug for me, so they will go into the gift box.  I've started a new pair (of course) using #2 needles.  I needed something plain to work on when Dee and I meeet up.

Love my Squirrel stitch marker!

The yarn is Berroco Sox (75% superwash wool and 25% nylon) and the colorway is #1445.  The colorway means absolutely nothing to me, but Dee looked it up and the name is Kirkwall.  That also means nothing to me, but apparently it is a town in Scotland.  (Personally, I think they need a bit more creativity in their color names).  The yarn reminds me of Crazy Zauerball.  It was the first skein I saw when I opened a box of yarn stash, so it's the one I picked.  I'm just knitting a plain vanilla sock.

Reading stalled a bit.  I was unable to keep going with "Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers" so I returned that to the library.  I'm not taking anything out from the library till after vacation (I'm in queue for a few and hopefully they will hold off coming in).  Instead I picked up one of the books that I found at a thrift shop for 25 cents:  Sue Monk Kidd's "The Mermaid Chair."  It feels a little like a summer beach read (maybe because it takes place on an island in South Carolina?). I'm roughly 150 pages in and am enjoying it.  

Fletch and I are continuing to enjoy "The Unbroken Road" by Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Now I need to plan/figure out vacation knitting and reading (and I'll throw my stitching bag in as well).  Today, though, we have plans to get our new licenses.  Both of ours expire this month.  I renewed them both on line and the paperwork has arrived...but we need to go to one of the "centers" to have photos taken, etc.  Fingers crossed it will not be crowded there.

Head on over to Kat's to see what everyone else is making and reading and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 9/5/23

 Good Morning My Lovlies!

How are you?  Today is back to school day around these parts.  And, for me, it is back to the office.  No, no, not permanently...I'm just going in today.  I've a large (60+ people) conference call at 10 and I really need Tom From IT (AKA Jake From State Farm) to look at my laptop.  It started acting up that the power was on but nothing would appear either on the laptop's screen or...when hooked up to the docking station...nothing on my monitor.  And, the laptop was extremely HOT.  Not a good sign.  Finally several hours later it came on.  I did a couple of things and then shut it down completely and unplugged it from the docking station.  It came on fine this morning, so I'm not sure what's up!

I woke up several times last night.  The sky was lit up with the fading full moon (still rather large) and lots of stars in the sky.  Twice I looked out the back bedroom window to see several deer browsing under the apple tree.  You can tell they are very alert - even in the middle of the night!  And then the last time I looked out (around 5:15 or so) there was only one, and she was laying in the grass taking a little rest.

Before my busy day begins, let's jump into TNT - Tiny Needle Tuesday.  Once again there has been progress on both pieces I am stitching.  The Sampler Aux Bouquets continues to grow and grow.

A little tilted, but you get the idea.  The lower right saw a new tree and a bird added.  Here is a close up of that area:

I am moving into the third and final section of this sampler.  There are some new creatures that will be added in the next few weeks.  I'm looking forward to that.  And, of course, another alphabet will be stitched.

Meanwhile, in the desert, the cacti triptych continues to bloom.  The Ocotillo is beginning to show some flowers.  

There are two different greens in the Ocotillo and they are so close in color.  Likewise, the blooms contain three different shades of orange.  It's just about enough to make a person crazy!  LOL

Whatever this Tuesday holds for you, I hope it is a good one.  Have some fun!

Monday, September 4, 2023

Weekending 9/4/23

 Happy Labor Day!

Theoretically it is still the weekend because today is a holiday!  I hope everyone is enjoying themselves.  I bet lots of you are doing cookouts today - picnics with friends and family.  We don't really have any plans.  It is supposed to be pretty warm (ok, stinking hot) here.

My weekend really started on Friday with my conference calls being cancelled.  Work was still kind of busy (there are some folks who just can't chill, you know?).  But I managed to do some baking and some cooking!  I did make a rhubarb/peach crostata in the morning.  And wow was it good!

We each had a taste mid-afternoon and Fletch has slowly been finishing it up.  There is still a lot of the fruit that I had cut up - way too much for another crostata, so I think I will make a rhubarb/peach crisp.

Then I decided to cook for lunch.  Fletch has not been interested in any tofu dish that I mention for dinner, so I decided to make some for lunch.  It was quick and easy:  Honey Sriracha Tofu:

I had it with some leftover jasmine rice and then sprinkled edamame and scallions on top.  Yum!  I had some more of it for lunch yesterday and it was even good leftover.

With the forecast to be pretty hot today, we are just planning a simple dinner tonight - a salad made out of white (Cannellini) beans cooked with a wicked amount of garlic and parsley with marinated artichoke hearts blended in.  It will cool before we eat it and we have some crusty Italian bread to have with it.  And, maybe some of the cherry tomatoes from the garden.  Easy, tasty, and not hot.

Our weather remained nice both Friday and Saturday (chilly mornings and cooler evenings).  Saturday morning Dee and I got together as usual for some quality time knitting and chatting.  After that I stopped by C&M's house to water house plants.  I also started to empty out their frig - eggs had been left (gross) as well as lots of condiments that had not been touched since last Fall.  I filled one trash bag with stuff and brought that home to go out in our trash.  I think one more bag will do it.

We decided to have our first fire of the season on Saturday night.  I queued up Kym's Summer Vibes Playlist and Fletch lit the fire.  

A very relaxing and fun evening!!

The other day I did receive a voice mail that the washing machine part should be in the hands of the repair folks by this Wednesday and they will be out on Thursday to repair (hopefully really this time) my machine.  But, as we all know, when it rains, it pours.  We have decided that it is (way past) time for our upstairs bathroom to be renovated.  I decided to take a shower downstairs and discovered that I couldn't - the diverter was broken.  So, we had a plumber out for that...of course a part needs to be ordered...should be about a week.  And then yesterday Fletch discovered a very slow leak under our kitchen sink.  It's always something (or everything) OR, if it's not one thing it's another.  Oy vey!

Oh well, nothing I can do about it, so I will do my best not to fret.  Today I plan to just relax, stitch, knit and read.  No chores allowed!!  The upcoming week is going to be busy, so I'd best just chill today.

Friday, September 1, 2023

A Finish! But My Washer is Not Fixed Yet...

 Hello My Friends,

Welcome to September - a fine and wonderful month.  Both Fletch and I have birthdays this month.  My computer is saying it is 53 outside and it does, indeed feel a bit chilly, but wonderful.  I know, I know.  The 90's are coming - Labor Day and surrounding days are most likely going to be pretty uncomfortable.  C&M are getting away for the weekend - a good thing since their AC has been out this past week and it is now scheduled to be fixed next Tuesday!  Their temps have been over 100 daily.  The maintenance folks brought them room units, but their apartment is still pretty warm.  I hope Talbot and Marcel will be ok while they are gone.

The story with the washer is that the part was ready to be shipped but was in Florida and delayed due to the hurricane.  At this point I'm just saying "Whatever."  Nothing I can really do except become a regular at the laundromat.  Yesterday there were some weirdos there...I just wanted to wash all the rugs from the bathrooms - nothing much.  So I did that and got out of there.  I did take my knitting with me and then last night knit some more and voila:

 The Allsorts socks are finished!!  I like them, but they may go into the gift box.  I knit them the same way I knit all my socks - same leg length and foot length, but these are a little smaller and a little tight on my feet.  I used a #1 needle instead of a #2.  No biggie - it's not like I don't have more than enough socks to wear.  LOL

We were also successful in booking all of the various AirBnB's for our upcoming trip.  Hard to believe we leave two weeks from yesterday!  Fletch has already started gathering things together to take with us (so much!  too much!  just my opinion).

I'm in Friday mode!  My conference calls have been cancelled (not a surprise with it being a holiday weekend).  Most likely I will nap since I was awake more than I slept last night.  I do want to do some baking though - I have rhubarb and peaches in the frig that need to be used ASAP.  I'm thinking a rhubarb/peach crostata and I may bake a batch of blueberry muffins as well.

Besides napping and baking, I'm hoping for knitting and stitching time.  I already did a bunch of work this a.m. (dark early), so I'm thinking I'm done with work for today (fingers crossed).

Wishing everyone a fun Labor Day Weekend - enjoy these last Summer days!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 8/30/23

 Good Morning!

It's a mild but extremely muggy Wednesday morning here in Eastern PA.  Yesterday was sort of taken up with errands.  And then last night, after several weeks' hiatus, one of our local PBS stations is back to showing Poirot (with David Suchet) on Tuesday nights.  Last night's show was a particularly good one!  I'm hoping today is a day where Fletch and I can buckle down and find our AirBnBs for vacation.  Only 2 weeks to go - we'd best step it up!

But first we are at the last Unraveled Wednesday this year in August.  Hard to believe.  I think my stitching was more productive than my knitting, but here goes anyway.  Time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.

My 2nd Allsorts sock is STILL not finished!  I don't know when a second sock has taken me so long!

I did manage to knit a few rows last night, so now there are just 15 rows left until the toe decreases.  I feel like I should chant "yes I can, yes I can, yes I can" like the Little Engine that Could or something.  LOL

And the Shakerag Skirt...the skirt...If you think it looks like last week, you would be only slightly mistaken.

A whopping two more rows have been added.  Oy!  Those two rows.  There was unraveling or I guess technically, some knitting backwards.  The pattern calls for some yarn overs and every 11th stitch is a purl.  No problem.  Except when you start knitting and your mind wanders and you think of other things.  Something was not adding purls were not lining up the way they should.  So I knit backwards.  Then I counted stitches and found myself one stitch short.  I looked carefully at the most recently finished row and found the error!  There was one set that only had 10 stitches...I had forgotten (or just failed to make) one yarn over.  Of course it was near the beginning, so almost the entire row had to be un-knit.  After fixing that mess, I put it away and pulled out my stitching for a bit.

Moving on to the reading side of things.  I've been attempting (key word) to read The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida - the latest choice for the "Read With Us" group.  I just cannot get into it at all!  I put the book aside and downloaded the audio version from Hoopla.  That is proving to be a struggle as well.  I'll give it another shot, but I'm thinking this book may just not be for moi.  Ironically, our new vacation days conflict with the upcoming Zoom book discussion with the Read With Us group and I will be missing that.  I would have enjoyed that even if I end up not reading the book - it would be good to get others' take on it.  As Kym is fond of saying, It's a "chewy" one!

On a more positive note, I did finish Horse and I absolutely loved it (I was not expecting the ending though...).  I highly recommend this book by Geraldine Brooks.  

Fletch and I are continuing to read The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor and are enjoying that a lot.  I think I've picked the next book for us to read...but I'll wait to share that when it happens (could be a bit of time).  

I'm now in the midst of Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers which I am finding pretty funny.  I think Bonny mentioned this on her blog and...since the name Vera is there and since my daughter-in-law is Chinese - how could I resist?  It's a fast read and I'm finding it rather campy, but fun.  Nothing serious, but rather a good read inbetween more serious books.

If you are still reading, thanks for sticking with this rather long post.  Be sure to head over to Kat's to see what others are up to and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/29/23

 Good Morning My Friends,

I am pleased to say that vacation plans are underway!  Woo-Hoo, my alternate vacation request was approved by the powers that be.  In just 2.5 weeks we will be taking off and I cannot wait!    The search for Air BnBs shall commence today.

First, however, I do have some TNT updates for you on this last Tuesday in August.  Quite a bit of stitching was accomplished in the past week.  First up is the BIG sampler (Sampler Aux Bouquets by Jardin Prive).  The large vase with pink flowers is finally complete (leaves have been added) and a few more little motifs were added.

And a view of the piece overall:

There is still a bit to add to the right of the vase with pink flowers and then, before you know it, I will be on to page 3 (the final!!) page of this chart.  Still a bit to stitch in the grand scheme of things, but I am still enjoying it.

And now the cacti triptych.  The Prickly Pear Cactus is finished!  And the outline for the next section and the name - Ocotillo - has been stitched.  I also started in on the design.

I love it!  It is fun to stitch and I need to remember to text a picture to Colin so he can see I am working on it!

No major plans for today.  Hopefully work will remain quiet and I can do what I want to do (meaning knitting/stitching/reading).  I hope your Tuesday brings some kind of joy to you!

Monday, August 28, 2023

Weekending 8/28/23

 Good Morning,

It is mostly clear out there, but to me it looks more cloudy.  I'm hoping the rain will hold off till tonight or tomorrow - I have plans for Fletch to grill wings tonight:)

How was your weekend?  Mine was very nice.  Dee and I met up at the Landsale Farmers' Market for a change from our usual venue.  We walked around a bit, bought some corn (not great...) and I got tomatoes and peppers from Frank.  Frank is a high school classmate of Colin & Mailing's and he runs the Kimberton CSA.  It was nice to see him again and catch up a bit.

After the Market, we headed to a Manhattan Bagel for coffee (and I did have a bagel), knitting and chatting.  Bonus for us - there was live bluegrass music and the band/group was really good.  Fun times.

On my way home I stopped at Colin & Mailing's place to check mail and water houseplants.  And, after that I went to the laundromat to wash a few clothes and some sheets.  A thrilling afternoon.  I will say it is wonderful to get two loads of wash done at the same time.  Lugging back all the wet things is not so much fun!  Hopefully I will hear today about when the repair guys can come back with the motherboard to (finally) fix my washer (hopefully for good!).

Sunday was a very nice day too.  I had more laundry to do, but that went quickly and I had a lot of time for stitching!  Fletch put a final handrail along the garden fence and picked more green beans (so prolific this year) and I spotted some tomatoes to pick!!

The Sungold Cherry Tomatoes (so sweet) are finally producing and I spotted the first of the bigger tomatoes.  These are by no means huge, but I'll take them!

Fletch and I also came up with alternate dates for our vacation - these are before Colin & Mailing will be up.  I've emailed my 4 bosses and so far have heard back from one (she is OK with the alternate dates).  Hopefully this will work (and, Dee, I should be able to make BOTH fiber festivals!!).

Enjoy these last days of August.  I'm excited that September will be here on Friday!!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Well, It's Been a Long Week...8/25/23

 Good Morning Friends,

It is a rainy morning here.  It sounded so nice when I first woke up, but it is keeping things a bit darker than normal.  I guess it kind of suits my mood.  Ha!

The washing machine is still not fixed!  The repair guys were out yesterday and installed a new motor and capacitor as was recommended for the problem I was having.  They were in and out before Noon.  After lunch I put a load of sheets in to wash.  When the cycle was done I took them out.  They felt heavier and wetter than normal - almost like the spin cycle hadn't fully run its course or something.  Anyway, those sheets went into the dryer and another load went into the washer.  But, it would not work...again...all the lights flashing but nothing.

Long story - I called the repair place back and the guys came back out around 3:30.  They could not get it to work either despite several different things they tried.  A new mother board has been ordered for my machine.  They are also going to try (if they can get away with it) ordering another motor and capacitor (since those are not always good...which doesn't give one a lot of hope...).  They are hoping to be out much faster than in a week, but time will tell.  Depends on when the new stuff is shipped to them.

Surprisingly, I was not upset or nasty or ugly.  I actually laughed.  I surprised myself (and Fletch!!  lol).  but really, as I said to someone - first world problems you know?  And, it is something completely out of my control, so why get upset.

On another disappointing front, it does not look like we will be taking vacation as planned.  I asked for some time off in October and I cannot take it.  Not really a surprise to me.  Our fiscal year ends with the close of September so between year-end processes and new year processes, I am going to be swamped with reports and things that HAVE to be done.  We could maybe get away at the end of September, but that is when C&M will be in town for a little bit and we do not want to miss them.  So...we won't be taking the week plus that we had hoped.

Oh well, again, I am not surprised and you know what?  Next year will be different...for sure!

Moving on to more pleasant things.  I had 7 inches cut off my hair on Wednesday!!  Woo-Hoo!  No pictures as of yet, but at some point I will show it.  I feel so much lighter!  Actually, I had been starting to get headaches and I think it was the weight of the messy bun or ponytail.  My hair now just comes to my shoulders and I really like it.

And look!  New garden produce:

We have turnips!!  After not doing all that well earlier (we were wondering if they would even sprout), yesterday we discovered they had sprouted and indeed grown!  Last night I cut them up and roasted them with a bit of EVOO, salt & pepper and a sprinkling of sage.  Delicious!  These turnips are actually very sweet and mild - almost like a radish taste.  Fletch managed to plant a bunch more turnip seeds for a Fall crop.

Turnips are one of those things I did not like (at all) when I was growing up.  Parsnips too.  Now I can't get enough of either of them.

Tomorrow's plans naturally include meeting up with Dee - this time we are going to meet at the Lansdale Farmers' Market first before coffee and knitting.  That is near C&M's house, so I will stop there afterwards to water plants and check the mail.

That will do it for me.  Enough said!  Here's hoping we all have wonderful weekends!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 8/23/23

 Good Morning My Friends,

There is a chill in the air this morning:

Just 56 degrees.  I opened the back door to the patio several times (scaring Peter Rabbit) to put papers and berry containers in the recycling can and it felt delightful!  Yesterday was glorioius - I don't think it got much above 81.  Fletch spent the afternoon planting 5 rows of lettuce and spinach for the Fall!  We also found more giant cucumbers hiding on the vine - lol.

So hard to believe that this is the next to the last August Wednesday!  And it is time, of course, to link up with Kat and her merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Luckily no unraveling for me this week.  I think I spent more time stitching (see yesterday's post) than knitting, but a little bit of progress is evident.  The Shakerag Skirt may look much like last week, but it is actually double in size now!  Yup - last week I think 10 rows had been knit and right now there are 20 that are finished.

I actually found myself getting into a rhythm with this and was able to knit multiple rows in one sitting.  One thing I sort of knew, but this has confirmed:  I much prefer K2tog rather than SSK.  K2tog just is so much easier (and, thus, faster) for me.

The second Allsorts sock is progressing too...a bit slowly, but increasing bit by bit.

I'm on the gussett decreases and once they are completed this should speed up.  Naturally when working on it last night I discovered a dropped stitch and luckily I was able to bring it up successfully.

Moving on to my reading.  I finished Tom Lake and liked it.  I thought it was good (but still it seemed a little soap opera-ish to me).  Agreeing with Bonny, I wish there had been more about Joe and less about Duke and St. Sebastian.  At the same time, I guess all those words about Duke and St. Sebastian were necessary for the story.

Several weeks ago Kat mentioned THIS BOOK so I put myself in the queue for it.  Last week it came in.  What a tome it is.  Literally!  It is a huge book (and very heavy).  I confess that I skimmed it - did not read every page, but what magnificent pictures.  Fletch really enjoyed looking at it as well.

Currently I am reading Horse by Geraldine Brooks and loving it.  I'm just halfway through and am finding it a very engaging read.  Fletch and I gave up on the 2nd Master & Commander book.  I honestly didn't have much interest in it, but Fletch got tired of it as well, so we moved on.  We are now reading The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor.  The author, in 1933, set off to walk across Europe - starting in the hook of Holland and ending up in Constantinople!  Imagine doing that (and just before the war!).  This is the third book in the trilogy by him of his journey (we had read the first two some time ago).  It is not a book that would appeal to everyone, but we are enjoying it a lot.

I'm excited to let you know that our figs are growing - now larger than marbles!!

Probably best to click and enlarge.

And our hibiscus was really putting on a show yesterday.  It is at the edge of the garden enclosure (right next to the fig) and we can easily see the blooms from the patio.

And that's it for me this Wednesday.  I've a busy day ahead of me with a doctor's appointment at 8:30 and then I (finally) made an appointment to have my hair cut this afternoon.  Not sure how much (or how little), but I'm pretty bored with always pulling it up into a ponytail or a messy bun.  Tme for a change!!

Be sure to hop over to Kat's for a bunch of inspiration and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/22/23

 Hello and Good Morning,

How are you?  I am well.  I slept well (8 hours - woo-hoo!) and believe I am ready to face the day.  We ended up just getting our flu shots yesterday - the new Covid booster will not be available till mid-September.  I'm still not clear why CVS scheduled us (since that's where we have received our other boosters, so they have our records....).  Whatever!

Yesterday Fletch cleaned out the bird house where the wrens had nested.  Not a very pleasing nest - lol

The little wren building it struggled to get twigs, etc. into the house.  It provided for good entertainment watching him/her, but it also provided for sloppy nest building.

And, no frogs at the water feature yet, but some sparrows were sure having fun cavorting in the water yesterday!

(Taken through my kitchen window)  At one point when I looked out there were six birds around the water and more waiting their turn!  While Fletch and I sat on the patio a little later, they would not come in, but they were flying all around hoping we would leave so that they could get back to splashing and having fun.  

Well friends, it is Tuesday, so time for a Tiny Needle update.  A bunch of progress has been made.  First up we have the cacti triptych:

It won't take long to finish the Prickly Pear portion.  This is such an engaging piece to stitch - I'm loving it.

There was also some progress on the Sampler Aux Bouquets.  First an overall view:

And then a close up of what was done this past week - a few more blooms in the vase and another winged friend.

The vase seems to be taking FOREVER to complete and I confess to being a bit weary of PINK.  Fortunately I am still enjoying this piece a lot too.  Good thing as there is still much to stitch on it.  I think I am roughly half way through (yup - it is going to be a BIG sampler when completed).

Good news - the parts for my washing machine already came in!  We got a call yesterday while we were out and about saying they could come today.  However, we already have plans (and I'm sort of caught up on laundry anyway), so we are sticking with our Thursday date.  Good to know that everything is ready though.

Cloudy and grey here today.  Hopefully it will not get too sticky out.  Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday - do something FUN!!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Weekending 8/21/23

 Heigh-Ho Heigh-Ho,

The weekend zipped by, didn't it?  And mine was not what I had planned.

Saturday started off nicely with a meet up with Dee.  We chatted and sipped and did a little knitting.  I don't think we solved any of the world's problems that morning (but we always try).  We went our separate ways and I headed home to gather up laundry and then head over to C&M's.  Colin had suggested that I run the washer on a cleaning cycle first since it had been sitting for so long.  I put an Affresh tablet in the machine but then I could not get the damn machine to turn on!  I unplugged it and plugged it back in a couple of times and kept hitting the power button, but nothing.  So, the machine is sitting over there with a cleaning tablet in it.  I ended up going to a laundromat nearby.

The laundromat was not bad - very clean and two sizes of machines.  I just did one load, but it was done in under half an hour.  I brought the wet clothes home to dry.  I ended up going back on Sunday and doing two more loads.  While the machines were washing, I walked down the shopping center to the grocery store to pick up a few things and by the time I got back the laundry was finished!!  Again I brought everything home - some dried on the clothes line and some went into the dryer.

Meanwhile, I had heard back from the repair folks and everything had been ordered and they should be back out again on Thursday with a new motor and whatever else had been ordered for my machine.

I did have a very nice surprise when I got home on Saturday.  A number of years ago Fletch built a water feature at the edge of our patio.  We love sitting out there and listening to water flowing - almost like having a little stream.  For a variety of reasons, it was never set up this year and we were talking about missing the sound of water the other day.  When I got home on Saturday from the laundromat, Fletch had set up a new feature as an early birthday gift for me!!

I love it!!

We are scheduled to get flu shots late morning and...supposedly...the new Covid booster.  The CVS we go to scheduled us, but since then we've heard it won't be available till September.  Guess we will find out later.  We wanted to get all this taken care of before we take off for a little bit in October.  I keep hearing that Covid is back on the rise...I'd rather be as protected as I can be.

And that's a wrap for me!  Tell me, how was your weekend?  I hope it was a good one and let's make this next week an easy one if we can.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Friday and No, My Washer is Not Yet Fixed 8/18/23

 Hey Hey and Good Morning,

I woke early and sat up in bed reading (finished Tom Lake) and listened to the rain and the wind!  It was dark - darker than normal thanks to the cloud cover, but it was lovely if you know what I mean...peaceful.  A good way for me to start a day with 3 conference calls.  Yuck!

So my washer is still not fixed.  Oy!  The repair guys (2) came around 11:30, pulled it out from the wall, fiddled with it a bit and then said that there is a "service bulletin" out on our washer - that other folks have been having the same problem (turning on...skipping all the cycles...and then skipping to done!).  The recommended cure fix is a new motor and something else (I confess I sort of stopped listening).  They promised to get the parts ordered that day and I should receive a call in a day or two to schedule their return visit.

Of course, this begs the question why not come prepared?  If there is a "service bulletin" out on the machine about the problem I described, why come out without the necessary parts?  But, I guess that's just my thought (apparently).

Dee had texted asking if the washer was fixed.  When I explained what was happening, she very generously offered her washer and dryer for my use.  Thank you Dee.  It so happens that Colin & Mailing's house is a little closer, so I will be spending a bit more time over there using their washer and dryer and catching up on the piles of laundry.  Colin did suggest that I could leave a few quarters on his workbench when I use the machine!  LOL  

I will just look at it as more found time for knitting, stitching or reading.  I can't be doing any of my own chores while I'm at their house!

No more huge cukes, but then I have not been out to the garden to check.  Some of the giant platter-sized leaves of my rhubarb are beginning to yellow and wither, so I need to get out there and harvest the rhubarb.  Hopefully this weekend...or maybe even this afternoon.

The hisbiscus is still blooming.  It seems to open only one or two blossoms per day.  I can only imagine the beauty if ALL of the buds opened at once.  It would be amazing.  For now it is gentle and lovely.  And the figs on Figgy are growing - they are now marble-size.  Most of our lettuce bolted and Fletch pulled it out in preparation for planning Fall spinach and lettuce, but there is still some red romaine that is good and we had some of that in a salad last night.  

I spotted a couple of larger tomatoes (still green) on a plant and more cherry tomatoes are beginning to ripen so there is some hope there.  Fingers crossed we will at least get a few home-grown tomatoes this year.

Two things to share with you.  You all know how fond I am of crows (really any birds) and Bonny sent me a great cartoon the other day:

And this - I love it.  Saw this on a blog the other day.  Wise words.  Have a good Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

So Big!


A bit of a later start for me today.  I slept 9 hours last night!!  Woo-Hoo.  And then, of course, I had to jump right into work, but things are quiet now so I have a chance to write a brief note to you all.

The other day Fletch mentioned that he had seen a giant cucumber that had been hiding on the vine, so yesterday I walked out to the garden.  There was not one, but four!!

They look more like zucchinis that cucumbers.  LOL  And, they are just as productive as zucchinis.  Our neighbor Rob said he did not need any more (his plants are finally producing), but that a work colleague of his would appreciate some (the work colleague's plants had all died).  So we took 2 over to Rob for his friend.  

Meanwhile, Zhongren had brought over several on Saturday.  So, we are a bit swamped with cukes.  I've started adding them to my infusion water bottle (a nice change from strawberries - very refreshing).  And, I guess I should make some more pickles.  I only make quick/refrigerator pickles - I don't process any, and we still have one jar in the frig from my last pickle making day.  Whew!

When Fletch and I went over to Colin & Mailing's on Tuesday to water plants and trim back weeds, we apparently forgot to shut the garage door when we left!  Geeze.  One of Colin's neighbor's texted him to say the garage door was open...he (the neighbor) went over and shut it.  I might be losing my mind...not sure.

Finally, I received a confirmation call yesterday that the washer repair guy will be here today between 10 and 2.  YAY - laundry has been piling up.  Hopefully it is an easy/quick fix and I can get to washing this afternoon.

That's it for me - short and sweet.  Hope your Thursday is a good one.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 8/16/23

 Good Morning!

How are you mid-week?  I'm doing well.  Just took my first sip of morning coffee.  Yum.  Today I brewed my coffee with some cinnamon sprinkled on top of the grounds - quite tasty.

Mid-August and mid-week...time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Come on and join in - you know you will find inspiratioin all over the place!  My making these days seems to be a little more focusesd on stitching, but since I showed that yesterday, today it will be all about the knitting.

My second Allsorts sock is coming along nicely:

Hard to tell from this picture, but my stitchmarker is a tiny flip flop - too cute.  I've 10 more rows to knit before the heel flap.  With any luck, I will get there today.

My Shakerag skirt looks just like last week, but trust me - a few rows have been added.

This is not a difficult pattern by any means.  BUT...the rows are so long I find myself getting bored.  I rarely do more than one row at a time.  Then I need to stand up and take a break.  At this rate, the skirt might be finished in 2025, but I'm not positive about that.  LOL  I just need to sit down and DO IT, or rather KNIT it.

On to the reading portion of this post.  I finished A Place in the World by Frances Mayes and thoroughly enjoyed it.  An easy, pleasant read with recipes!!

I had plans to next read "The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida" for our "Read With Us" book discussion coming up in a month, but Tom Lake by Ann Patchett came available for me.  One day I was #35 in the queue and the next day I received an email telling me it was ready to pick up!  I'm about halfway through it and it is good.  I would not call it great, but it's kind of a good summer read.  Ann Patchett is an author whose writing I enjoy, but I would not say I am swooning over this - I am finding it very easy to put down and go do something else...or read something else.

Anyway, I need to step up my reading as when I looked at my requests, I'm in the 1st spot for several of them.  Isn't that the way it always goes?  All your holds come in at once!  As I've said before, a wealth of books is not a bad thing to have.

Time to pour another cup of coffee and get moving.  Be sure to head over to Kat's to see what everyone is up to this week.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 8/15/23

 Good Morning,

It's a little sticky here this a.m.  I woke at 4-ish to very heavy rain.  But it did not last long - not enough to show any measurable amount in the rain gauge.  The street, however, looks polka-dotted in front of our house: between the rain and the wind so many crepe myrtle blossoms are now on the ground.  There are still plenty in the tree, but the street is covered too, as well as part of our front lawn.

And, as long as I'm talking trees, I will show you how our apples are growing this year - at times they look like huge grape clusters.  LOL  I took these pictures because Colin was curious.

It's obvious in the smaller picture that a lot of the apples are already damaged - mis-shapen, bad spots, etc.  But the sheer amount of them is amazing.

And, finally, still on the gardening side of things, Fletch is using some of our bamboo to create hand rails along the top of the garden fence.  He spread wood chips on the walk-ways, but the other day he tripped and almost fell, so decided that handrails were needed.  He just started to install them late yesterday.

I do love the look of bamboo.  Years and years ago, Fletch built a bamboo bridge over our boggy area.  I wish that still existed, but 3 decades took its toll on that!  You can also see the HUGE rhubarb leaves (like platters) in the above picture.  I need to get out and harvest that (again).

OK, time for a Tiny Needle update.  Progress has been made on both the large (very) Sampler Aux Bouquets and the Cacti Triptych.  First up the large piece.

The vase is beginning to fill with flowers and there is even a little bird perched atop!  I would have been much further along, but I had a lot of frogging to do this week...The center stem on the top pink flower was missing some stitches and once I got the flower stitched and then the bird I could see that it was way off, so it all had to be ripped out (tedious work at best) and then re-stitched with a little more length.  Here is where it stands overall:

This does not show all of the empty cloth to the right...there is still a ton of stitching to do on this one!

Yesterday afternoon I was able to spend some time on the cacti triptych that Colin sent me.  It is a bit more detailed than I initially thought, but I am thoroughly enjoying stitching it.  This is the start of the Prickly Pear section.

There are a few more "paddles" to be added as well as more flowers.  The little thorns! - kind of hard to see, but they are there.

Obviously I have lots to fill any free time I may come across in my life!  LOL  Wishing you all a pleasant Tuesday.  May it be a gentle one.