Friday, March 31, 2023

Mabel Update and a Finish!!

 Good Morning!

Another chilly (below freezing) morning, but at least it is not windy (currently).  Yesterday over lunch, we decided that Mabel should have a visit to the vet since she was still limping and hopping.  I called and amazingly, got an appointment for 2:30.  She was not pleased to go and was somewhat vocal in the car, but once there she settled in.  First she was weighed (she is now 9.01 lbs - up from 7 lbs in the fall!!).  The vet examined her paw while the tech held her (they are much better at that than Fletch and I are!).  

Turns out Mabel does have a very small wound under one of her pads (beans).  Very small, very minor.  She may have stepped on a thorn or briar or something - who knows?  The vet cleaned it up (I saw dirt on the gauze, but no blood) and then gave her an injection of antibiotic.  We came home with some liquid pain medicine should she need it (so far she has not gotten any).  The worst part is that she must stay inside for 5 days and I'm not sure we will all survive that!  And, she cannot lick or chew on that paw.  If she does, she will have to wear the cone of shame (which we do not have...would need to get one).

I'm happy to say that she lasted through the night quietly.  "She was, of course, very vocal by the door when we got home from the vet, but we kept saying "No" and eventually she walked away to take a nap somewhere.  She was quiet all night (allowing me to sleep for 7 hours straight), but has been fairly vocal this morning.  She is desperate to go out and commune with the birds.

She seems to be walking better and not hopping, so I assume everything is on the mend.  I'm thankful that the vet could see her so quickly, and I'm glad we decided to take her in.  Now we just need to get through the next few days!  LOL

The other part of this post is a Finish!  Yup!  The Pi Socks are finished.  I finished off #2 after dinner last night and wove in all the ends.  Fletch loves them.

Fraternal twins and just so soft!  Sarah reminded me that the "fraternal" part is the fun part with Lisa's Pi Yarn - the stripes are non-repeating just like the digits in Pi (duh!  guess that's why she names it Pi Yarn).

The Pi Yarn is from Fibernymph Dye Works (I ordered the Mountain Tweed BFL which contains Neps) and used #2 needles.  They are just a plain sock - no pattern.  15 rows of ribbing at the cuff, 75 rows for the leg, an eye of the partridge heel flap and then 75 rows down the foot before the toe decreases begin.  The second sock for me always seem to go faster than the first and, true to form, I started sock #2 just a week ago!

After finishing the sock and weaving in all the ends (a mini was used for the cuff, heel flap & turn and the toes), I had the pleasure of looking through some stash to see what my next pair of socks may be.  I've picked out two skeins and I may just need to cast on for two pair!

My 10:00 conference call has been cancelled, but unfortunately I still have one at 1:00 (nap time - don't they know??).  Happy end of March!  I'm hoping for sunny skies and some warmer temps.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

A Walk and Some Food!

 Good Morning All,

Another bright, sun-shiny day here, though on the chilly side (below feezing this a.m.).  My trip to the office yesterday was fruitless.  One of my bosses, Bruce, had asked if I would come in to the office - that he would be there on Wednesday.  I agreed.  He never showed!  When I emailed him indicating I was at the office and he wasn't, he called me and apologized...saying he should have let me know that he was not coming in.  Well yeah brother!  Oh well, I did want to go to Trader Joe's anyway and that is right around the corner from my office.  Being Wednesday, I saw a few folks - accounting people usually are in on Wednesday, so it was nice to catch up with some of them.  But you can bet I did not linger at the office!  LOL

It was a gorgeous day, so I decided to take a walk after lunch.  Oaks was my destination - the trail there which runs alongside the Perkiomen Creek and then the Schuylkill River is paved and with our recent rain I knew my other favorite trails would be a bit mucky.  Just look at this beautiful blue sky:

Another pretty Sycamore tree.  Obviously not like the one I saw on Saturday, but still very pretty.

I know I've shown you all a picture like this in the past, but it has been a long time since I scampered off the trail and down to the creek where I can see these roots.  They fascinate me and I think they are beautiful.  I imagine all the little creatures having homes in there!

Luckily I saw no snakes (even though it was a warm day) and unfortunately I did not see any birds or other wildlife.  But, it felt great to get out.  I am babying my back a bit and walked slower than normal, but still managed to walk 2.5 miles.

On the food side of things, I cooked another new-to-us dish this week and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Naturally I forgot to take pictures of my "Southwest Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Skillet" dish, but THIS is the recipe I used and it is a keeper.  Bonus - leftovers!

Mabel is still limping occasionally, but she is running and walking normally too...we will continue to keep our eye on her.  Thanks to you all for the healing wishes for our girl!

I'm hoping it warms up a bit as I'd like to get out for a walk again today.  Hope your Thursday is a great one!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 3/29/23

 Good Morning My Friends,

How are you this morning?  It's a little chillly here (just 32 degrees), but hopefully it will be a sunny day.

Poor little Mabel has been limping around the house (and, thankfully mostly staying inside other than to do her "business").  She is holding up her left front paw and hopping a bit.  She does not like to be picked up or held really, so it is difficult to see what is going on, but her front paw appears to be a bit swollen.  There is no cut or scrape on her pad.  I'm guessig she may have stepped hard on something and bruised her paw.  We will keep our eye on her and if it does not improve in a day or so, we will call the vet.

So hard to believe it is the last week of March.  A quarter of 2023 is gone!  I keep thinking that just means how much closer to retirement I am!  LOL

Anyway, it is Wednesday - the last in March - and time to link up with Kat to share what we are making and reading.  Of course, I am making socks.  Specifically Pi Socks using the special Pi Yarn that Lisa from FDW dyed.  So pretty/handsome.  And, voila! progress has been made.  The first sock has been completed and the second sock has passed the heel turn and is cruising down the foot now.

Fletch really likes them which is a good thing since they are for him.  

You will see in this picture that they are not matchy-matchy.  Which is fine.  I prefer them to not be that way and Fletch doesn't care.  The stripes are not always the same length, so it would have been next to impossible to match them up anyway.

On the reading side of things I have several finishes!!  First, I read The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan.  Such a good book!  Four generations of women living together with plenty of drama and loud (!!) language.  However, their love and devotion for each other shine through.

So happy to say that I FINALLY finished The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois!  Oh my!  What a lengthy book (like 800 pages).  I did enjoy the book, but I felt as though it could have/should have been a bit shorter.  Some major editing could have taken place.  And, although the story is powerful and sad and hopeful and frustrating, I confess that by the last 200 pages or so I was over it.  I just wanted it to be finished.  And, now it is!

Last night Fletch and I finished listening to Patrick O'Brian's first (of 18) in the Aubrey-Maturin series, Master and Commander.  Another one I am happy to have finished!  LOL  We listened to this after dinner and the narrator (Patrick Tull) is perfect.  Such expression in his voice.  Fletch enjoyed this book very much...I guess I'm just not that into naval battles and the like.  But, I will say it is not all battles and I did find myself laughing at times.  Tonight we will pick another book to listen to after dinner.  I have several on Audible, so we will pick and choose.

Currently I am reading Unraveling by Peggy Orenstein and finding it enjoyable and interesting.  Though it is about the author's journey to learn to shear a sheep, spin the wool, dye it and make a sweater, there is also a lot about the current state of the world - global warming, uncertain times, etc.  It's an easy and quick book to read (and not terribly long).

And that is a wrap for me.  Be sure to check out Kat's blog so you can see what everyone is making and reading.  I guarantee you will be inspired.  I need to head to the office in a couple of hours.  It will (hopefully) be a quick in and out trip.  And, of course, I will make my usual stops at Trader Joe's and the liquor store while in the neighborhood.  Looking forward to red beans and rice tonight!  Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/28/23

 Good Morning!

Well, not every night can be 11 hours of sleep and I certainly proved that last night!  Ha!  But, that's ok.  At the moment I am having my first sips of coffee and I feel fine (except for a cold head - I need to dry my hair).

The forecast for yesterday was rain, but we had a gorgeous morning and early afternoon.  Blue, blue sky.  I ran a couple of errands in jeans and a sweatshirt - no coat!  But by mid afternoon it started to cloud up and then the rain came - quite heavy at times and then thunder.  Just one extremely long rumble and then it was over.  A Spring storm of sorts.  Thankfully not the type of Spring storm that Vicki had!  UGH!!!

So now it is Tuesday and time for a bit of a TNT update.  I'm pleased that there was a little progress on Ellen Harrison this past week.

I started with some of the gold fill on othe bottom right, but naturally grew tired of that and moved on to more interesting things.  A few motifs were done along with the beginning (head and antlers) of the spotted stag.

The bird to the left of the stag, the No 1 (no idea what that is all about) the red snowflake like thing to the right of the stag and the white cup.  This sampler is such a mishmash of motifs.  I'm getting a kick out of it.  Still a ways to go, but steady will win the non-race.

The yellow "vehicle" that I showed in yesterday's post is a bike by the way.  The driver sits and peddles as you would in a recumbent bike.  The difference is that this one is covered.  Nice in cooler or bad weather...I imagine it might be pretty hot come summer time.

Hope everyone's week is going well.  I'll be back tomorrow for "Unraveled Wednesday."

Monday, March 27, 2023

Weekending 3/27/23

 Good Morning Everyong,

Whew!  I feel as though I've been drugged.  I just woke up not even 30 minutes ago (just had one sip of coffee so far) - I slept last night for 11 hours!  And it felt great.  I was knitting after dinner and my eyes kept closing, so I tried reading and the same thing happened, so I went to bed at 8:30 p.m.  Mabel didn't even bother me because she had gone out before Fletch came up to bed.  All I can say is I guess I needed it!

How was your weekend?  Mine was very nice.  My brother and SIL who live in DE were supposed to come up on Saturday, but we changed that to Sunday due to the weather forecast.  So, I was able to meet up with Dee as usual for our get-together session.  And man, the rain poured down (after we arrived).  It was bouncing in the parking lot.  By the time we were ready to say our goodbyes, the rain had thankfully passed by.  The temps had plummeted somewhat though and it was quite chilly.

We woke to very sunny skies on Sunday.  Still on the chilly side, but beautiful.  I tried out my new waffle maker and I LOVE it - works perfectly.  This is the one I got.  I love that the plates come out to be washed.  Once breakfast was over I prepped some food and got ready for Ray & Linda to arrive.  We had not seen them in 2.5 years (not since Colin & Mailing's wedding)!  Ray, my brother, is really into BIG trees and I've wanted to show him the giant sycamore tree in Valley Forge that Colin & Mailing had shown to us a few years back.

So, we drove to a parking lot in Oaks and then walked down the trail to this beauty of a specimen.

(Please click to enlarge)

He was suitably impressed!  He measured the circumference of the tree (I forget what the measurement was, but huge!!) and said the tree is most likely over 400 years old!  We had heard that the tree was around when Washington was in Valley Forge.  I love the lower branches that come way out onto the grass and just run along.  It's almost like they are too heavy for the tree to support them above the ground.

You can see what a pretty day it was.  At that point (late morning) it was pretty chilly out still with a strong breeze.  This interesting vehicle was in the parking area.

(I kept humming Yellow Submarine, but obviously it's not)

We had a nice meal together around 1:00 and then they took off just before 3 p.m.  It's not the nicest drive between our houses (using Route 95, the Blue Route in PA, etc.) and drivers are CRAZY these days.  

My day today will be filled with trying not to feel groggy!  I've got a library book to drop off and one is waiting for me to pick up.  It is bright and sunny out which is nice (still on the cool side - only 35 degrees right now).  Maybe I'll be able to get a walk in at some point!

Cheers to the week ahead - hope yours is a good one (mine too!!).

Friday, March 24, 2023

Friday Felines

 Good Morning!

Today's post is about chasing birds.  Yup - that's what Mabel loves to do.

Yesterday was mostly a rainy day, but by late afternoon the skies cleared and Fletch hauled out the grill to cook us some dinner (lamb chops - yum!).  At one point he opened the back door and called me out to see Mabel.

We often see her racing up the apple tree, but this time she was going up the tree my clothesline is tied to.  It is covered in a tangle of trumpet vines (so many!), poison ivy (so much) and Seven Sisters Roses (not enough).

Please click to enlarge - she is just too cute.  As she climbed higher and higher (higher than the apple tree allows), we could hear her talking (chittering) away at all the birds.  Too cute.

Higher still she went until she finally turned to the other side and was out of our sight.  By the time we were sitting down to dinner, she was whining at the back door to come in.  Quite the little adventuress!  And, quite the climber!

I'm looking forward to a nice day - my one conference call was cancelled, so I feel as though my day is free.  The weather is not lovely, but I have plenty to keep me occupied inside.  Wishing you all a fabulous weekend - have some fun!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 3/22/23

 Good Morning Friends,

It is already 40 degrees out which is considerably warmer than yesterday.  Today will definitely feel like a Spring day!  Hopefully that will motivate me to do a few things (if work is not too annoying) - vacuuming needs to be done both upstairs and down and I should (key operative word there) do some dusting.  But...if it is as nice as I think it is going to be, getting outside for a bit will definitely be a priority and the hell with the chores!  LOL

Fletch said he plans to go out today to get some pansies.  He checked and our local nursery has them.  He always puts some in the window box that is by one of our kitchen windows.  The small daffodils I cut the other day have faded and dried up, so it is time to replenish the vase.

But first, let's link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Kat and I are knitting the same thing!  Pi socks for our partners.  Fletch's first Pi Sock is winding down the foot.  I have roughly 30 rows left to go to the toe decreases.

The colors are slightly off in the photo (no purple in this yarn).  I used the mini that Lisa packed up with the Pi Skein for the cuff and the heel flap and heel turn.  I will also use it for a bit at the end of the toe decreases.  Despite the unevenness of the yarn (very thin in places), this is knitting up to be a very nice sock.

Reading has been good!  I finished "The Shipping News" by Annie Proulx over the weekend - just in time for our Zoom discussion last night (wasn't that fun?).  I (re)discovered Postcards by Proulx in a bookcase in our bedroom, so plan to read that.  I also (re)discovered so many books in that bookcase that I have yet to read.  Isn't it easy to get distracted by bright and shiny new books and new authors?  Every week I increase my TBR list thanks to recommendations by all of you.  It's a wonderful thing, but I need more hours in each and every day!

I did start and am 100 pages into The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan.  It is a rather short book (maybe 250 pages?) and is not what I was expecting.  I'm enjoying it though.  Each chapter is only 2 pages long which makes it easy to pick up and read while making dinner or waiting for a work email to come in, etc.  

Once I finish Dirt Island I *need* (and want) to finish up "The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois."  With only 200+ pages left, I need to plug away and get it done!  And yesterday I stopped by my library and picked up Unraveling by Peggy Orenstein which I'm looking forward to diving into.  MDK did a "Knit to This" talk with the author a week or so ago (which I have yet to listen to).

Well, the sun is now up and it's looking cloudy out there rather than sunny.  Hoping that changes and hoping your Wednesday is a good mid-week time.  Be sure to head over to Kat's for inspiration in both the making and reading worlds.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/21/23

 Hello and Good Morning!

How are you?  I'm a bit groggy...having had only a sip or two of coffee so far.  Last night sleep eluded me.  I'm not going to complain because I've had a couple of weeks of excellent sleep - 9+ hours on occasion!  But last night?  I woke at 1:30 and never really got back to sleep.  I dozed for 5 minutes or so here and there, but that was it.  You know I'll be napping today!

There has been a bit of stitching in the past week.  The tree that the bird is perched on is finished and (YAY!!) my outside borders met up perfectly.  Whew!

I am getting a little sick of that gold color.  Unfortunately there is a ton more of it to stitch.  It runs all along the bottom portion of the sampler - under the house and across to the other side and down to the bottom border.  That's an awful lot of a single color.  I'll do some of it and then take a break and fill in with a bit of the quirky stag and some of the other motifs that are left to complete.

Occasionally I think I'm nearing the end of this sampler, but not really - there is still an awful lot of stitching left to complete.  My next piece may need to include more (and different) colors.

Fletch and I are starting to plan a little get-away for the week after Easter.  We will be heading South (VA and NC) to visit family and friends.  I am definitely looking forward to that!

And...I'm looking forward to seeing some of you this evening when we gather for our Read With Us Zoom discussion.  See you then!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Weekending 3/20/23

 Good Morning!

First of all, Happy Birthday to my Mom who would be 104 today!!  And Happy First Day of Spring.  Yay!!  Even though it is in the low 20's here.  Yesterday was horribly windy (again) and the thermometer never got above freezing.  But, Friday was mild and I discovered a bunch of blooms!

These smaller daffodils are always the first to bloom and it is always a surprise to me because they are all along the north side of the house.

Again, Friday was mild enough that we had the first fire of the year in our fire pit!!  

You can see our arbor lights at the edge of our woods are on.  They are solar lights and Friday was pretty sunny.  The shiny thing on the other side of Fletch is a thistle feeder hanging in the apple tree.  Within about 40 minutes we started to feel a few drops of rain, but we lasted out there just about an hour and it was so nice to get back into a backyard fire.

Saturday morning found me meeting up with Dee as usual for some chatting, knitting and sipping.  I had to cut our visit a little short because Fletch and I had plans for the afternoon.  Years ago Fletch became friends with a local (movie) director and used to help out on sets, etc.  One day John asked him to be in one of the movies he was filming.  Fast forward to now and John had the premier of the movie on Saturday.  I joked with Dee that I needed to go home and find a gown to wear...and the only gowns I own are nightgowns.  LOL

Anyway, we went to the premier which was fun.  The movie is about an ex-boxer who is just out of prison and starting his life over and is told a champion wants to fight him.  Of course they fight and of course the ex-boxer wins (and gets a boat load of money and hooks up with his parole officer - which makes no sense whatsoever).  I did not particularly care for the movie but it was fun to see the scene that Fletch was in.  The audio was horrible though and I had a hard time hearing most of the actors (Fletch was audible though!).  A fun and different way to spend an afternoon.

The premier was held at the Norristown Public Library and a display case in front of the library entrance had some beautiful ceramic pieces from the local high school.

Love this trio of kitty boxes.

Sorry for the glare - difficult to get good pics.

Interesting teapots!

Some of these high school kids are very talented.

Despite the wind, Fletch spent some time outside and radish seeds have now been planted.  He counted 47 garlic shoots coming up (47 out of 50 planted)!!  Inside, the sungold cherry tomato seeds have sprouted.

So, even though the temps are chilly, Spring is emerging and that is an encouraging and wonderful thing!

I'm hoping for an easy start to the work week.  And, wishing you all a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 3/15/23

 Good Wednesday Morning!

How can it possibly be the middle of March?  Time is hurrying by faster and faster and I can hardly keep up!  Our winds are still strong and it is a chilly start to the day (32). but our temps should be gradually warming up a bit.

Mid-week and time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to discuss making and reading.  Two favorite things for sure.

If you read my blog post on Monday, you know that the Trekking socks are off the needles and have already been worn.  In their place, I immediately started the Pi Socks using the Pi yarn (Wild Atlantic Pi) that I ordered from Fibernymph Dye Works.  The skein came with a mini which I am using for the cuff, heels and toes of the sock.  The first one is coming along:

A bit more than halfway down the leg, heading to the heel.  I threw in the CD that we listened to during dinner last night so that you could see how well my knitting matched the cover - LOL.  Mary often matches her nail color or knitting to the book she is reading, so I'm following suit with a CD case and yarn.  (And, yes, we do still listen to CDs, along with the radio and Spotify - good to have options.)

On the reading front, I set aside Love Songs for a little bit because two new books finally came in for me (and I cannot renew I needed a break from Love Songs...becoming a bit of a slog).  First up is Signal Fires and wow!  What a book; what a punch it packs!  I stayed up past my usual bedtime last night and finished it.  I know there is still a long wait list for this one, so I plan to drive over and return it to the library this morning.

The other new book that came in for me is The Queen of Dirt Island which I hope to start today.  I've heard both positive and negative reviews of this one, so we shall see.  I also still need to finish up "The Shipping News" for our discussion next week and then get back to Love Songs and wrap that sucker up!

Tomorrow I will head to the office.  We are having a luncheon - the first since before Thanksgiving, so that should be nice.  I'm not sure who is catering this time, but the food is always good!  

Dee sent me a link to an article about the rise in pick-pockets in Tredyffrin Township which is where my office is...and also Trader Joe's.  In fact, one of the reported incidents occurred at the TJ Maxx store in the Gateway Shopping Center which is where TJ's is.  I plan to go there tomorrow, so I will be on high alert!

Hoping this Wednesday finds you all well and enjoying life!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/14/23

 Good Morning,

What a noisy night!  The wind woke me up at some point when it was howling around the house and rattling windows.  I did eventually fall back asleep but then there was Mabel's 5:30 a.m. wake up call.  Back asleep and then at 7 I woke but struggled to get out of bed - it was quite chilly once the covers were thrown back.

I'm happy to say that my doctor did call in a prescription for doxycycline which I took yesterday.  A single dose of 2 pills this time!  So, I should be protected if indeed that nasty tick bit me.  I also managed to pick up our taxes and drop off a donation at a local thrift store.  Work got very busy in the afternoon, but at least I was able to run my errands.

It feels as though last week got away from me.  I'm not sure what I was doing, but it wasn't much stitching!  Here's an overall view of Ellen Harrison as of last night.

And a close up of the start of the tree the bird is perched upon.

If all goes well today, I plan to finish up the tree and move on to more of the outside border.  Fingers crossed that the bottom border and right hand side border will meet up perfectly.

We did have another new recipe last night which turned out delicious!  We had Mongolian beef over jasmine rice with a side of spicy-garlicky eggplant.  Yum!

The recipes I used are here and here in case anyone is interested.

Time for me to get rolling and get my day started.  Hope your week is going well!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Weekending: The Pretty, The Ugly and the Gross! 3/13/23

 Hello My Friends!

How are you this cloudy (here in Eastern PA) morning?  It's above freezing, so that is a good thing.  How was your weekend?  Mine was good, though the early Saturday morning hours were a struggle.  LOL  Mabel work me earlyish - like 4:30 or 4:45.  I went downstairs to let her out (she has taken to wanting to play hide and seek before going out which is a bit annoying).  I (finally) let her out and went back upstairs, got into bed and almost immediately heard a very loud (meaning extremely near) fox.  I went back downstairs opened the door and Mabel came running in from the patio - tail all big and fluffy.  I went back to bed.  15 minutes later she wanted to go out.  Back downstairs, I opened the door, she ran out, turned around and wanted to come right back in.  At this point I noticed it was snowing.  There was another letting out (this time she stayed out and I did not hear any foxes) and I managed to sleep till 6:30 or so.

Luckily the snow did not stick to anything and had actually stopped by the time I left to meet up with Dee.  We had our usual lovely time together and I managed to finish the 2nd Trekking sock for Fletch while we chatted and sipped our coffee.  Voila!  One of the Pretty things.

Fletch even wore them on Sunday!  He pronounced them great - wonderful feeling and a perfect fit!

And another pretty thing:

That's the Pi Yarn - another pair of socks for Fletch in the making and my gorgeous African Violet.

Only the ugly and gross are left - LOL.  Moving into Sunday morning, we decided waffles would be a nice breakfast.  I've been having some issues with my waffle maker and yesterday morning this happened.

Now that's just plain ugly!  The first one sort of worked, but this second waffle was just a mess.  I switched to making pancakes and the waffle maker is now in the trash.  A new one has been ordered from Amazon and will be here tomorrow.  (The new one has the bonus of removable plates, so will be MUCH easier to clean.)

Now for the gross.  Before Fletch came downstairs for breakfast I went into the bathroom...did my business and when I went to pull up my pants discovered a deer tick on my underwear!!  I just about had a fit.  I don't know how it got there or when.  I do know that when I got up I had put on all clean clothes - clean underwear, a clean pair of leggings and a clean shirt.  Had the tick been in my dresser?  Had it been on me from the day before?  I'm staying vigilent looking for a bullseye and so far I have not seen one.  I may just call the doctor and request a prescription anyway to be on the safe side.  Since I did have Lyme Disease the other year, I will test positive for it whether or not I was bitten this time.  The fact that ticks are already out and about is just another sign of our mild winter.

Today I'm running back up to the accountant's office to pick up our taxes and drop off our e-filing signed papers.  This is another ugly thing...we owe a boatload this year which is not nice.  I have a few other errands to run as well, so hopefully work will cooperate and stay quiet.  I think more snow is predicted for us tonight/tomorrow but by Thursday it should be warm enough that Fletch is planning to grill!

I hope your Monday is off to a great start!  

Friday, March 10, 2023

Friday Things

 Good Morning and Hello My Friends,

It has been quite the noisy morning!  I was rudely woken around 6 a.m. by some rather noisy crows...and more than an hour later, they are still at it!  So, I'm using this mug today:

Cracks me up each time I pull it out of the cabinet.

Then, when I woke up my computer I saw this:

Looking at the weather app on my phone, we should see snow around 8 or 9, then rain, then more snow.  Spring weather!

Yesterday I tried a new-to-us recipe and it was another winner!!  I made Lemon Brown Butter Pasta With Roasted Artichokes and Fennel using this recipe.  I subbed bow tie pasta and added fresh parsley as well as the basil.

The garlicky breadcrumbs were the BEST!!

I also roasted some more nuts:

Very addictive.  I used Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and almonds.  Mixed them all up with less than a TBS of EVOO, some sea salt, black pepper, a bit of rosemary and some red pepper flakes.  Put them in a 325 oven for about 10 minutes, then turned it up to 350 and roasted for another 5 minutes.  The difficulty is to not eat the entire bowl at once!  LOL

I'm hoping to ease into the weekend this afternoon - fingers crossed that work will cooperate.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 3/8/23

 Good Morning Friends,

I'm feeling a little groggy this morning.  I slept pretty well, but my gosh what a noisy night!  The wind - howling and screaming around the house.  When Mabel woke me at 4:30 (as is her habit), I wasn't sure I could/would get back to sleep.  Thankfully I managed, but I feel as though the night was a bit fretful or something!

Here we are though, once again, poised to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers.  No unraveling for me this week.  Thank Goodness!

The second Trekking sock is nearing the finish line.

I have roughly 30 or 35 rows to go to the toe decrease, so theoretically (that being the KEY word) I should complete this sock in a day or two.  Hopefully, because this arrived in the mail:

My Pi yarn from Fibernymph Dye Works.  What beautiful colors in this yarn!  I will cake this up for the next pair of socks for Fletch (he is a good man and deserves them).  I also ordered the set of mini's in the Atlantic Pi collection:

Not sure yet what I will do with these, but I could not resist them!  Each mini is 20 grams and there is a total of 435 yards here - could make a nice hat or cowl for someone.

My reading continues as it has...for some weeks.  I confess to be growing a bit weary of The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois.  Don't get me wrong...the writing is so good and the story heartbreaking and compelling.  But, I'm finding it easy to put down and do something else.  I do think the book doesn't need to be as long as it could have been edited down a bit (personal opinion).  I have under 200 pages left, so I'm on the finishing track!  I also continue to read The Shipping News at night after I crawl into bed.  As Kat has said, what a bunch of quirky characters!  And, I continue to be amazed that I don't remember a thing about this book!

One afternoon this past week I listened to The Book Store Sisters by Alice Hoffman.  A quick listen - just over an hour.  It was ok - not fabulous, but it was nice to have something to listen to while I worked on my stitching.  I'm glad I didn't pay for the audio book!

Last up, my African Violet continues to thrive on my kitchen windowsill.  It is covered in an amazing number of buds!

Thanks for all your well wishes, thoughts, prayers, etc. for Leslie.  We texted back and forth yesterday as she was being served her various "cocktails."  She texted later (at home) two down and four to go, so she is a third of the way through this horrible ordeal.  Cheers to that and cheers to being at the mid-way point of the week.  Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/7/23

 Good Morning Everyone!

Last night before I went upstairs to crawl into bed (and read for a little bit), I looked at the weather app on my phone and it showed that by 2 or 3 a.m. we would be in a snow belt that would last into this morning.  Well, that didn't happen.  In a way I'm a little disappointed.  Other than a dusting or two and some flurries here and there, we have not had any snow this winter.  I was hoping for a pretty scene for a day or so.  Maybe next year!

Here we are at the first Tuesday in March and it is time for a TNT update.  Ellen Harrison continues to interest me (thank goodness...there is still so much to stitch on this piece) and a bit of progress was made this past week.  A few more motifs and a bit of the outside border on the bottom and the right.

The top row of motifs is finished - it goes all the way to the right hand side.  Here's a close up of the items stitched this past week.

The bird on the right with the red breast (a robin?) sits atop a tree.  I may stitch that next...or I may start in on the giant stag to the right of the house.  I've got options, that's for surre!

Of course, even though my interest continues with this piece, I've been thinking about what to stitch next.  I have a lot of old cross stitch magazines - mostly from the 80's and 90's.  Some Fine Lines, some Antique Samplers and Needlework, a few Just Cross Stitch (before that publication became way too "cutie" - just my opinion, don't shoot me).  I looked at some of them the other week, but haven't settled on anything.  Naturally, I have an over abundance of charts too.  Some small (i.e., pincushion size which I love) and some large samplers (like Ellen Harrison).  From the looks of the empty space on my Ellen Harrison piece, I have plenty of time to make up my mind and then change it - many times!  LOL

I'm wishing you all a lovely Tuesday - whatever you do, be sure to enjoy it!

Monday, March 6, 2023

Monday, Monday 3/6/23

 Hello and Good Morning,

How are you?  It is a sunny day here.  Still chilly (just 32), but sunny and, at least for the moment, it looks as though the winds have died down.  Today I will be playing catch up after having Friday off.  I know a ton of emails came in for work, but I have not yet looked at them.

The trip to Ikea on Friday was nice.  Not as long as I would have liked...and next time I will go solo and leave Fletch at home.  I wanted to wander a bit more through the Marketplace section - so many great kitchen finds, but he was anxious to get in and get out (where's the fun in that??).  But, I did find the wine glasses I wanted as well as some new kitchen tongs and a fun set of dish towels that I will send down to Leslie to brighten her day (all slices of fruits and veggies in bright colors).  Please keep Leslie in your thoughts and best friend...another cancer diagnosis...tomorrow is her 2nd chemo treatment.  She is a trooper, but this is more than anyone should need to go through.

Back to Friday...we also stopped at an Asian market where I found the Japanese eggplants I wanted.  And then we did have a very nice lunch out.  It definitely was fun to have a different day than my usual Friday conference calls!

Dee and I did meet up on Saturday to knit, chat, sip coffee, laugh, solve the world's problems, etc.  If only we ruled the world!  The balance of the weekend was filled with both pleasure and chores (a little laundry, changing out the tablecloth and napkins, sweeping the kitchen, etc.).  I read, knit a little and stitched some.  A good balance of things.

Sunday morning as I was fixing coffee and thinking about making breakfast I glanced out and saw two Red Winged Blackbirds at our sunflower seed feeder.  I'd been hearing them for a couple of weeks and seen one or two on the ground.

Not the best picture taken through our back door, but you can see the band on the wing of the one to the right.  (The yellow object is a kayak hanging from our patio ceiling - LOL).

Thanks to all the cooking I did last week we have a ton of leftovers in the frig.  Some dinners for this week are already made!!  Last night we had some of the leftover stew I had made in the crock pot.  (There is yet more left for another meal!).  The only thing I made to go with it was a new recipe for Mushrooms with White Wine and Brussels Sprouts.  

I used this recipe but skipped the heavy cream.  The mixture looked so good at the point where I should have added that, but I decided to keep it lighter.  Very tasty.  I did use a mixture of cremini, oyster and shitake mushrooms.

While the sprouts were roasting, I looked out and the moon was already up!

Almost full - the app on Fletch's phone said it was 98% full.

Last night we watched Genius - highly recommend!

And, that's a wrap for me.  Time to pour another cup of coffee and dig into the work emails.  Wishing you all a wonderful Monday.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Friday Wrap Up

 Good Morning!

How are you?  I'm doing so very well - no work today and I slept until 7 a.m.!  Woo-Hoo.  Bonus is there is a bit of sun out there.  Not sure how long that will last as rain is in the forecast.  but for now I will enjoy it.

When I came downstairs and opened the living room shades, I discovered that the lemon that had been growing on the lemon tree was no longer in place.  It had fallen off overnight.  There is another group of buds ready to open though, so perhaps another lemon will form (fingers crossed).

Last night I made another new-to-us dish.  Butternut Squash Curry!  Cooking in the pot:

And served over jasmine rice:

Colorful, flavorful and very, very filling.  I used this recipe and it is fast and easy.  I started cooking around 5:15 p.m. and we were sitting down to eat just after 6 p.m.

That is 5 new recipes this week!  Also I planned everything out so that we did not over-buy at the grocery store.  I'm so good at picking up way too many fresh veggies because they all look good and then we don't use them all quickly enough.  We also have enough leftovers in the frig for 3 more dinners (unless Fletch goes into some of them for lunches...).

Today we are heading to Ikea mid-morning.  I have not been to the store in a couple of years, but our wine glasses have been steadily breaking and I know Ikea has decent, cheap ones.  I alwys enjoy wandering through Ikea's kitchen area and they also have fun plants sometimes.  Plus, we can walk around a bit and not feel like we've missed out on a walk if it does rain later.  Then we plan to go out to lunch.  

I plan to spend the afternoon knitting/stitching/reading and just taking it easy.  If it does rain, I may need to curl up with my book under a blanket and perhaps doze a little!  I do love a good nap.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Pretty Blooms 3/2/23

 Good Morning All,

It's another grey, foggy, misty morning here with temps in the low 40's.

I don't really have any spectacular news for you, but I wanted to show you some lovely blooms that are happening right now.  First up we have the Christmas Cactus that hasn't bloomed for more than a year.  If you remember, Dee suggested it was getting too much light in our living room so I moved it into the office room.  In a week there were several buds!  Well, one of them has opened beautifully.

Only this one bud has opened (the others are still tight and small), but isn't it spectacular?

Speaking of spectacular, look at my African Violet!

This sits on the windowsill at the kitchen sink (ESE facing).  There are months that go by without a single flower or even a bud, but when it decides to bloom it goes all out!  Look at the number of buds!

Both of these flowering plants cheer me up on these grey days.  They are a joy to see. looks like the lemon might be ready to bloom again as well.  I'm keeping my eye on it (and, yes, the lemon that formed earlier continues to grow some).

Well, it is Thursday which means I've got some reports to run and distribute.  I will get to them shortly.  I also have one (hopefully very quick) conference call at 10.  After that I'm free.  As a bonus, all my calls on Friday have been cancelled so I have decided to take that day off and have a lovely 3 day weekend!  Woo-Hoo!  I am loving this new Flex Time Off Policy.

Wishing you all some brightness on this day - enjoy!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 3/1/23

 Good Morning!

Hello You and Hello March!  It seems hard to believe that we are closing in on the end of the first quarter of 2023.  How is that even possible?  Yesterday was kind of grey and misty and not warm at all.  Fletch and I managed to do some grocery shopping (is it just me?  or do prices jack up EVERY single week?) in the morning and we both managed short naps after lunch.  The sky is just lightening up as I type this, but it looks to be grey again.  The cars in the driveway are coated in a very, very heavy frost.  It looks like snow, but there is nothing on the ground or picnic table, so I am assuming frost.

The other week Kym had posted about cooking and had graciously gifted us with a NY Times Recipe for "Lemony White Bean Soup With Turkey and Beans" by Melissa Clark and I decided to make it yesterday.  Let me tell you - this recipe is a HIT!!!  So, so tasty and perfect for the kind of day we had (grey, misty).  I used kale (which Fletch and I both love) and the herbs I included were basil and parsley.  It was so good I ended up sharing the recipe with Colin and Mailing as I think it would be just as good without the turkey.  Thanks Kym for a great recipe!

And now it is March 1st (the wall calendar page has been flipped) and time for Unraveled Wednesday where we all link up with Kat and all in the Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading - two of my favorite things.  I had thought I might have a new start by today, but that has not happened.  Fortunately, unraveling has not occurred either.  

Since I ordered the Pi yarn (and minis) from Fibernymph Dye Works for more socks for Fletch, I decided I'd best make some progress on the Trekking sock (or I should say socks):

Sock #1 has been finished (on Saturday) and Sock #2 has been started.  You can see that the socks will not be identical twins, but rather looking like a twin born a few minutes after the first.  Fletch is good with these not being identical.  Hopefully this 2nd sock will be finished this week!

Reading is pretty much where it has been.  The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois is so good, but I'm not yet even halfway through it (800+ pages).  I noted on my library page that they automatically renewed it for me.  Thank goodness!!  Most of my reading is done at night and I find by that time I tend to get very sleepy reading.  I am also still plugging away on The Shipping News for the "Read With Us" discussion coming up later this month.  That book is on my nightstand and typically I read 2 chapters before I have to close the book and turn out the light.  I confess I do not remember this book at all!

Fletch and I are halfway through listening to Master and Commander.  We listen to this after dinner and I knit while listening.  Last night we picked a new Audible book to listen to when we finish this one.  It is Words of Mercury by Patrick Leigh Fermor.  A number of years ago Colin had given us two books by Fermor (the first 2 in a series of 3) about his journey (on foot) "from the Hook in Holland to Constantinople" which we thoroughly enjoyed (and I will most likely order the 3rd in that series so we have the complete set).

Originally I thought I would go to the office today, but I successfully talked myself out of doing that!  LOL  I have a few work items that need my attention, but then I plan to do some stitching and knitting (and maybe I should try reading during the day as well!).  Happy Hump Day everyone.  Be sure to head over to Kat's to check on what everyone is making and reading!