Monday, July 31, 2023

Weekending 7/31/23

 Good Monday Morning!

It is a gorgeous morning here in Eastern PA.  Our heatwave has broken (currently 61 degrees at 6:48 am) and the humidity feels as though it has dropped.  I've been able to sleep with the AC off, ceiling fan on and windows open for the last two nights!  If work will not rear its ugly head, I may get out for a walk a little later.

How was your weekend?  Mine seems to have been the right combination of different things.  It started off Friday with some home made camponata for dinner.

(That's lavender from the garden behind the camponata)

We had the camponata on some crusty bread that I had brushed with EVOO and then warmed/heated/slightly toasted in the oven.  Delicious!!

And while we were having dinner, Steve the Beav came onto the patio!  I've never seen him this close to the house...first he came up to the fire pit by the picnic table and then just kept coming!  It was hysterical.

I was so surprised that I fumbled to get my phone to take a picture.  Not the greatest, but there he is right by our back sliding door to the patio!  A brazen fellow.

Saturday morning found me meeting up with Dee as usual for our check in to solve the world's problems and keep our sanity.  I had started my Allsorts Sock #1 (I was through the 15 rows of ribbing that I do), so started in on a pattern I had decided on which involved some slipped stitches.  After 6 rows I decided it was fugly and was just going to rip everything out, but (as usual) Dee saved the day and ripped it back to my ribbing and picked up my stitches.  I pretty much suck at doing that.  So thank you Dee!  And a bit of progress was made on that first sock!

No pattern, just plain vanilla.  The yarn has spoken!  This is KnitPicks Static yarn and it is striping up very evenly much to my surprise.  Caking it up, I was sure the colors would be all over the place, but I am loving how it is knitting up.

Sunday Fletch and I spent a little time pulling an invasive vine out of the bed where our lilac is.  That darned Virginia Creeper is everywhere!  And hard to pull out too.  In the afternoon we wandered over to Lansdale to Colin & Mailing's house.  I watered the house plants and Fletch repaired a latch on one of their cabinets that was not staying shut.  Next time he needs to do some trimming of plants that are trying to take over the sidewalk from the driveway to the front door.  The lawn looked good though - it is being cut every two weeks.

And today has already been a productive one!  Nuts have been roasted and a cake is out of the oven cooling...I will frost it later.  Cheers to the week ahead - let's make it a good one!

Friday, July 28, 2023

Finally Friday! 7/28/23

 Hello All,

Whew!  I am glad that Friday is here.  It has been a busy week for me (and it's not over beckons).

After stating in numerous places that I am better at monogamous knitting...or at least really not too many projects on the go at once...I am now contemplating casting on so many things!  Oh well, variety is the spice of life.

I'm stilll working on the Shakerag Skirt and I rediscovered the purple (non-wool) cowl I started for Leslie.  They both need attention.

But I spent some delightful time yesterday stash diving!  I needed (ha!) to cast on a pair of socks to have something easy to work on when I meet up with Dee on Saturday.  The yarn has been chosen and caked up, but I haven't had a chance to cast on yet.  

KnitPicks Static in the colorway Allsorts

I went ahead and bought the Hitch on the Move pattern and have my yarn picked out for that...not caked up yet, but hopefully today.

Emma's Yarn.  On the left "Wish You Were Beer" and on the right "Weathervane"

Can you see why I want to cast on EVERYTHING???

Kym also convinced me to go ahead and get the Sinkmates pattern for dishcloths.  I love the little I-cord loop.  I will probably look at my cotton yarn today and pick something out.

Meanwhile it is hot as blazes here.  And HUMID to the Nth degree.  This morning I need to run to CVS to pick up a prescription and some other stuff.  Then I have a conference call at 11.  This afternoon I'll run to the grocery store to pick up some good French or Italian bread to brush with EVOO and toast under the broiler.  We will sample the caponata for dinner tonight!

I'm still so sad that Mabel hasn't shown up.  But due to her absence, the other critters are out and about more often.  We've been seeing Steve the Beav (our resident groundhog) just about daily.  And this guy (and his family members) are also seen daily.

They munch away on all the clover in our yard, hopefuly ignoring and missing all the deer poop!

Cheers to the weekend ahead - Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 7/26/23

 Hello and Good Morning!

How are you?  I am doing well on this Wednesday morning, though I would have enjoyed sleeping a little better and, perhaps, a little longer.  I set my alarm for 6 a.m. because I'm venturing to the office this morning and I was [finally] sound asleep when that buzzing went off.

This is the last (gasp!!) Wednesday in July and it is time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Unraveled Wednesday just makes Hump Day all that much better.  So, let's get to it.  Another finish!!!  The PairFect socks are finally done.

They are matchy-matchy and they fit Fletch perfectly.  Woo-Hoo!  I will say that this yarn (PairFect by Arne & Carlos for Regia) feels much more rustic than my other sock yarns.  It is the same 75/25 blend, but it is not as soft.  No matter, Fletch loves them.

There is not much to show here, but I did (again finally) start on my Shakerag SkirtL

I've only done 5 rows or so, but I'm pretty sure I managed that without twisting it!  I'm using Rowan's Creative Linen for my skirt in the colorway Oasis.  My circular needle is by Chiaogoo and I will say the yarn seems to not flow all that smoothly on the cable.  I also realize I am a very tight knitter and that could be part or all of the problem.  I've had a few issues with the yarn splitting a bit, but I'm sure that is user error.  My yarn is dark and if I'm knitting in low light sometimes the tip of my needle goes into the yarn rather than under it.  Oh well.  I just need to go slowly (obviously) and carefully.

As for reading, I finished Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell.  It was good...certainly not the same level of writing as "The Marriage Portrait" or "Hamnet."  The beginning sort of dragged for me, but I liked the last third of the book better.

I'm now in the midst of a "beachy" read and it is pretty bad.  LOL  I can't remember the title (and am not running upstairs to check), but I have less than 100 pages left, so will stick it out.  Waiting patiently on my nightstand is The Bandit Queens and I am looking forward to diving into that.

Fletch and I are just about finished with "H is for Hawk" by Helen Macdonald (we are over 90% of the way through).  I think Fletch is leaning towards another Master & Commander book.  We've only read the first in that series, so next up will be Post Captain which I just downloaded.

We had quite a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon.  The winds picked up, the rains came down and the temps dropped into the 60's!  We had about 2" of rain very quickly.  Fletch actually put on the PairFect socks when we went out to sit on the patio and we both donned flannel shirts!  Poor figgy which has been so slow to grow this summer appears to have been knocked over!  Fletch will check on it later (It's out at the edge of our veggie garden).

I did pick the eggplants...chopped them up and roasted them last night.  Later today I will finish making the caponata.

And yes, more cukes!  Fletch is picking green beans (again) for dinner tonight.

Time for me to get motivated with another cup of coffee.  I want to go to the office early (and Trader Joe's of course) and get home well before lunch!  Be sure to check out the links at Kat's blog - there are always interesting things to see.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 7/25/23

 Good Morning All,

It is a sunny morning here in Eastern PA and the temp currently is just 69.  Lovely.  Doors are open, the deer have been browsing and finding fallen apples under our tree.  I'm just taking my first sip of morning coffee.  Hard to believe we are at the last week of July.  Time is flying by!

It is the last Tuesday of July and time for a Tiny Needle update.  There is a finish!!  My friends, Autumn Posy is finished.

I love it!  This was stitched on 40 count linen using one strand of Weeks Dye Works floss over 2 linen threads. The finished size is roughly 5" by 5" - really too large to turn into a pin cushion, so I'm not sure what I will do with it.  Maybe frame it?  (But where to hang it?)  Maybe make a bag and add this to it somehow.  I don't know...undecided at the moment.  Is anyone interested in the chart for this?  If so, let me know.  If more than one person, random munumber generator will make the choice.  I'm happy to ship this out.

There was also a bit of progress on Sampler Aux Bouquets.

I thought I might finish the flowers inside the heart, but that didn't happen.  Perhaps today or sometime this week.  Honestly there are not enough hours in the day!

I stayed home yesterday and rested my leg/hip.  Today it is a bit better.  I did manage to make some sweet refrigerator pickles.

Will try these at lunch today.  Good thing grocery shopping is on the agenda as I used the last of my apple cider vinegar to make these.  Time to re-stock.  

Also on the agenda is to make some roasted nuts and eggplant caponata since I have 6 or 7 eggplants on the counter (the small, slender Asian variety is what we are growing this year and the plants [2] are super productive).

Finally I plan to rearrange some of the things in my office room.  Currently my sewing machine cabinet is at a window and I find that it is difficult to sew there (always seems to be a glare).  So, I will move a bookcase under the window and move the sewing machine to a wall near, but not under, a window.  I probably won't get to that today...but I'm thinking about it!  Again, not enough hours in one day!

Hoping your week is going well and that you are enjoying the fading days of July.  Take care!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Weekending 7/24/23

 Hello and Good Morning!

How are you and how was your weekend.  Mine was excellent~~!

Saturday morning I met up with Dee of course and that was delightful.  A very pleasanat older woman (probably she was our age!) stopped to comment on our knitting and when she left said she was going to call her sister and tell her they needed to get back to knitting.  Ha!  Later that day I made a strawberry/rhubarb/blueberry crisp.  Oh my!

Fletch gave me the ultimate compliment saying it was so good that he didn't even need whipped cream!

Sunday I managed a 3+ mile walk alongside the canal.  I ventured out right after breakfast so it hadn't gotten to the stinking hot level, but I was still drenched by the time I got home.  There were a number of people out and about - some walking, some jogging, some in kayaks and some on paddleboards, some on bikes and then 2 guys who were wading in the river.  As I was on my return walk those 2 guys came up onto the trail...their jeans and sneakers were covered in mud!  There were no blue herons that I saw and not as many turtles as usual.  My pace was a little faster than usual and today I am paying the price.  I had hoped to walk this morning, but my right thigh is very tight and stiff, so I will skip an early morning walk.  I have plenty to do around here...the bathrooms need to be cleaned, the kitchen floor needs to be swept and there are 4 garden cukes on the counter - time to make some pickles!

I also received a most wonderful surprise on Friday.  Leslie, Jaimie and Emory were driving back to PA from RI and Leslie texted asking if they could stop by...that they had something of Mom's to give to me.  I've told you all many times how Leslie's Mom was my second Mom (and my Mom was Leslie's 2nd Mom).  The girls showed up just after 5 and brought me this:

This was Mom's knitting/crocheting/sewing basket!  And it is filled with so many goodies.  Here's looking in one side:

I have not gone through it all yet, but there are knitting needles, crochet hooks, seam rippers (at least 3), scissors (both pinking and regular - there are at least 8 pairs of scissors), a darning egg, some snaps, some thread, etc., etc.  Even glue sticks for a hot glue gun!  Oh, and a leather punch.  A treasure trove for sure.  My Mom taught me to knit, but Leslie's Mom taught me to crochet.  We shared a love of sewing too and this is just such a wonderful gift.  I'm thrilled to have it.

So, as I said earlier, an excellent weekend!  Let me hear how yours was.  

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Getting Together

 Hello all,

Hope everyone is doing well this Thursday morning.  We had a delightful evening at Bonnie & Zhongren's last night.  Anna was there (and Otto) and Mailing got there a little later.  It was so nice to all be together again.  Dinner was delicious (ribs, grilled sausage, green beans [from our garden], marinated eggplant, pickled veggies, and a Swedish almond cake for dessert...also wine [of course]).  I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures of food!

However, I do have pictures from their back yard.  I know I have shown these before, but everything is just so nice that I have to show it again!  Here is the shed that Zhongren built:

 Love the windows and door!

And here is his garden:

The little well on the left is new.  He collects rainwater up near the house and then pipes (underground) it down to the well for watering his garden.  The arch in the center is where his cucumbers are growing.  Some of them were at least 18" long!!  He also is growing beans, tomatoes and some other things.

And here is Otto!

And that's it for today.  A quick post as I need to get to work.  Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 7/19/23

 Hello My Friends!

Well, after too little sleep Sunday night due to frolicking with friends and then very poor sleep Monday night...last night I managed to sleep over 9 hours!  So I'm a little dopey or groggy this morning due to extra slumber rather than too little.  

We had a very nice visit and lunch with Linda (my SIL) yesterday and after lunch she and I walked a little over 2 miles on the River Trail in Valley Forge.  It was nice, but very hot and humid (my car said 92 degrees) and my back was not happy and my tee shirt was soaking wet when we got back to the car.

Seeing as it is Wednesday, it is time to link up with Kat and all in the Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  I love Wednesdays!

Guess what!!??!!  The great green blob Hitchhiker is finished!!  Woo-Hoo.  Late last week I finally just said to myself "get it done for God's sake!"  So I did.  

I have not yet blocked it.  The humidity level is so high (and has been) that it would take FOREVER to dry.  I will get to that later.  If you click to enlarge, you will see the eyelet rows that are so delicate and pretty.  I think I could have done one more pattern (8 rows), but it would have been too close a call for comfort and I'm not one to play yarn chicken.  As it turns out, there are 35 points or teeth.  I used a #4 needle.  The yarn is my Machete Shoppe (Twist Sock, 80/20 Merino/nylon) and the colorway is Douglas Fir.

There has also been progress on the second PairFect Sock!!

The heel has been turned, gussett stitches picked up and then decreased and as of last night I am roughly 1/3 of the way down the foot.  Much faster than Sock #1.  Another couple of nights and these will be finished!

As for reading, the other night when sleep eluded me and I finally got up and turned the light on, I finished Weyward which was ok...not great, but ok.  Last night I started Instructions for a Heat Wave by Maggie O'Farrell.  I am about 60 pages into it.  Definitely not Hamnet or The Marriage Portrait, but I'm enjoying it.  My turn in the queue came up for The Bandit Queens so that is now sitting on my night stand and is next in line when I finish Heat Wave. 

Fletch and I are continuing with H is for Hawk and enjoying listening to that after dinner.

Well, time for me to get moving.  I've got a cake to make and a side dish that we will take to Bonny & Zhongren's tonight.  Mailing is in town for a week and we are having dinner at her parents tonight.  Cannot wait to see her!  Have a great Wednesday and be sure to head over to Kat's for inspiration!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 7/18/23

 Good Morning All,

How are you?  I am doing well despite a hard time sleeping last night.  I could not keep my eyes open at 10:30, so went up to bed.  At 1:30 I was still awake.  I finally got up and read for an hour and then was able to sleep.  So, living on too few hours of rest with my SIL coming for lunch.  Luckily that will be an easy meal and the only prep I need to do is cutting up a bunch of raw veggies to go with the chicken salad I bought yesterday.

In the past week I managed to do a little stitching on both samplers.  The Samplers Aux Bouquets by Jardin Prive had a big heart added as well as leaves on the potted plant below the house.

Of course there was some frogging (ripping back).  When I got close to finishing the outline of the heart, it was not lining up correctly.  Yup, I had skipped one stitch instead of two near the top.  Rip, Rip, Rip  Now it meets up as it should.

Autumn Posy by Plum Street Samplers is nearing the end.  Another berry has been added to the mix and the outline of the last flower has been started.

This is such a pleasing piece to work on that I am going to miss it when it is finished.  But, I do have new things lined up and ready to go!

Despite being on vacation, I did manage to do a bit lot of work yesterday.  It's ok because it was on my time, my schedule.  Not sure what today will bring...time will tell.  And I'm happy to have done what I did so that it wasn't piling up for me for Thursday morning.

If you read my post yesterday you saw the picture of the little fawn resting on our lawn.  After I hit publish and walked into the kitchen I noticed that the fawn's twin had joined him/her.  So friggin' cute!

This morning I'm planning to drop off a book at the library (finished at 2:00 this morning!) and spend time with my knitting and/or stitching.  My SIL will text when she is on her way over - most likely not till late morning.  Whatever this Tuesday brings you, I hope it is filled with fun!

Monday, July 17, 2023

Weekending 7/17/23

 Hey-Hey and Good Morning,

Posting a bit later than usual.  Our weekend was full.  Leslie, Jaimie and Emory arrived yesterday and we drank a lot of wine and talked and laughed an awful lot.  It was wonderful!  And now they have taken off and I miss those girls already.

Took that picture just before they pulled out this morning.  They are now on their way to Rhode Island on their annual Girls' Road Trip.  Leslie is my friend (since we were 12 years old!!) who just went through another round of cancer.  That girl has had more than her share and it needs to STOP.  But what a fabulous attitude she has.

This morning over coffee we watched some deer foraging for apples in our yard.  We also watched one vacuum up eat all the spent Rose of Sharon blooms on the ground.  I had no idea they ate those!  And just a few minutes ago I was watching one of the fawns (we have twins) wandering around and then he/she just bent his/her knees and laid down for a little rest.  Too cute!

I decided to take a few days of vacation - today, tomorrow and Wednesday.  With the girls not leaving until today, I didn't want to have to work early.  Tomorrow my sister-in law will be in the area and is coming for lunch and Wednesday I need to cook in the morning.  Mailing is flying in today and we will see her Wednesday night for dinner at her parents - we are bringing a side dish and dessert.  So, I just decided I really didn't want to work early this week.  LOL.  I will check e-mail and if anyone needs something they can let me know, but I won't be tied to the screen!

Hopefully today will provide a lot of opportunity for knitting and stitching.  How was your weekend?

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Busy Thursday! 7/13/23

 Hello there,

Whew!  Already it has been a busy morning.  This will be a quick drive-by post as I've got to leave shortly for a doctor's appointment.  My semi-annual check up/in with our dermatologist.  After losing half my nose a few years ago to skin cancer, I am serious about having my dermatologist check me out twice a year.  It's been good since that last awful episode, but I'm taking no chances!

Anyway, life...I did go to the office yesterday and (of course) Bruce did not show up.  He claimed to be in heavy traffic and I claimed to need to leave for an appointment.  LOL  I did have an appointmenet - I needed to get to Trader Joe's and the liquor store before it was crazy busy.  TJ's was a good visit.  I went in for flowers and smoked trout.  $86 later I walked out.  BUT...I got some fun things for the weekend when Leslie and the girls arrive and stocked up on some things that Fletch and I use.  All good.  And the liquor store was a successful run as well.

The rest of the day was busy - work-wise and life-wise.  I managed to get more cleaning done...just need to vacuum downstairs now.  I might get to that this afternoon...we'll see.

I'll leave you with two pics from our back yard.  The first was a morning visitor - so sweet and then our snap dragons at the base of the apple tree.  The deer ignore them!

Have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 7/12/23

 Hello and Good Morning!

It's Wednesday and you know what that means:  time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.

I am so happy to have something other than a big green blob to share with you!  Look, look, look!

Yes my friends!  Finally the first PairFect sock has been finished and the second started. Woo-Hoo.  Let's hope that PairFect #2 does not take as long to knit as #1 did (over 3 weeks...).  There has also been a small amount of knitting on the green blob Hitchhiker, but I will spare you yet another picture of that.

Moving on to the reading side of things, I did finish Hamnet.  Wow!  What a book.  Sad but beautiful.  Maggie O'Farrell has such a way with language.  Sitting on my nightstand is another book by O'Farrell (Instructions for a Heat Wave) that I am looking forward to digging into.  Meanwhile I tried to read the cozy mystery I had taken out, but just could not get into it.  The writing was horrible (personal opinion).  Instead I picked up Weyward.  Almost halfway through it and I haven't figured out whether I like it or not.  LOL  I'll most likely finish unless it gets to be too much.

Fletch and I are continuing with H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.  Last Friday we got to the part where she tells her hawk's name:  Mabel.  That just about killed us as you can imagine.  You all may know this but we just learned that there is a hawk (Rufus) who chases pigions away from the Wimbledon tennis lawns!

A quick wrap for me.  I need to head to the office to meet up with Bruce early this morning.  Going there of course also means a stop at Trader Joe's and the liquor store!  Have a great Wednesday - we are now on the down slope towards the weekend!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 7/11/23

 Hey Hey and Good Morning!

Another comfortable morning here in Eastern PA.  It's 63 degrees according to my computer.  But, if I remember correctly, the heat will be on the rise.  Two nights in a row of sleeping with windows open and no AC - it has been wonderful.  The AC may need to come back on later today.

Meanwhile I got more cleaning done - the bedrooms upstairs have been swiffered (thank you Fletch), vacuumed and dusted.  There will be more today.  There is a reason for my madness.  My friend Leslie, her daughter Jaimie and her granddaughter Emory arrive on Sunday and will spend the night.  This is their annual girls trip from NC to RI.  It's going to be SO GOOD to see Leslie again.  Her cancer treatments are finished and she sounds great.

Today it's all about TNT though.  My two pieces have both seen some stitches added in the past week. First up we have Autumn Posy by Plum Street Samplers:

The upper left white flower is complete now and another flower on the left added.  Also a bird!  Underneath the bird's tail is the beginning outlining of another berry.  Closing in on the end of this one, but still a little way to go.

The next piece is Sampler Aux Bouquets by Jardin Prive:

Both a heart and a bird have been added to the right of the house.  And underneath is the flowers in a pot or basket.  The leaves are still needed here but it will not take long to add them.  Slowly but surely this one is growing.  There is still a lot left to be added to this.  Luckily I am still finding this one a pleasure to stitch.

More garden produce was brought in yesterday.  Our first cucumber and our first eggplant!

Finally, someone commented on a post last week asking what ice cream maker I have.  Unfortunately that person is a "no reply" commentor, so I was unable to reply to them.  So, for anyone interested, my ice cream maker is THIS ONE.  The bowl does need to be in the freezer for a good 12-24 hours before using...I just keep mine in the freezer all the time so it is always ready to use!

Now it's time to pour a second cup of coffee.  Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, July 10, 2023

Weekending 7/10/23

 Hello and Good Morning!

This morning I am so grateful for a break in our weather.  The air is so much fresher and at 6:50 a.m. it is still in the 60's instead of being close to 90.  We had storms roll through the past few days and it has been wonderful to open windows and doors again.  We ended up with about 1.5" of rain which was very much needed.

This morning when looking out my kitchen window I noticed a gift of one lone day lily.

The deer have consumed most of them when they were just buds, so this was a delight to see.

Yesterday morning I sipped my coffee on the patio and turned on the Merlin app.  In the space of just 7 minutes, it picked up the songs of 15 different birds!  Thank you to all who recommended the app - I'm having so much fun with it!

Fletch got the garlic hanging from the patio ceiling over the weekend.

Yellow kayak and wooden guideboat hanging from the ceiling as well.  We ended up with 50 bulbs - so 100% success!!  We are now perusing catalogues for new and different varieties.

As usual, I met up with Dee Saturday morning for our girl time together.  Always many laughts, some good coffee and a little bit of knitting.  And Sunday I spent the morning really cleaning the kitchen - dusting, using orange oil on the cabinet fronts and scrubbing (really scrubbing!!) the floor.  It felt great to get that done (finally) and to not have the floor work bother my back!  Today, if work stays calm, I plan to tackle the bedrooms which need desperately to be vacuumed and dusted.  It is so easy to get distracted by knitting or stitching though....

So, how was your weekend?

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Thursday and It Is Still HOT 7/6/23

 Hello My Friends,

Nice to know I am not the only cranky lady out there!  The grandkids were over next door yesterday,  but I noticed it was a little quieter.  Perhaps even they are being subdued by the heat and humidity?  Or was it that there wasn't as large an audience to watch their antics?  Whatever the reason, I was thankful!

I forgot to mention yesterday that ice cream was indeed made on the 4th.  I brought the ice cream maker up from the basement, pulled the bowl out of the freezer and turned it on.  All sounded well, so I pulled the ingredients together for a basic vanilla ice cream and voila!  In less than 1/2 hour it was ready.  And delicious!  Next up may be our favorite lemon sorbet.  Very refreshing.  

Yesterday I decided to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls with a peanut dipping sauce.  This is what I said I would bring to Kym's Virtual BBQ but I think I've changed my mind.  Here's what I made:

Inside is lettuce, carrots, red and yellow bell pepper strips, cucumber and a bit of mango and/or nectarine.  I had red cabbage out and completely forgot to add that.  Fletcher initially pronounced them quite refreshing, but then said they were sort of meh (he did not use the peanut dipping sauce).  I thought they tasted good, but they were a little difficult and very messy to eat...and after holding one for a bit it began to fall apart.  So...I have more rice papers (I think there were close to 20 in the package) and I might give them another try - perhaps with some shrimp or crispy tofu in them.  But not today and not tomorrow.  And not for Kym's virtual BBQ - I will forward her a different recipe for a very tasty eggplant side dish that we love.

Yesterday also found Fletch harvesting the last of the garlic.  Here is this year's haul:

Can't wait for this to dry a bit so that I can use it.  Garden garlic on home-made pizza is the BEST!!

Well, it's Thursday morning and that means it is time to run and distribute (e-mail) my weekly financial reports.  I'd best get going.  Have a wonderful Thursday!  We are on the cusp of the weekend!  

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday 7/5/23

 Hello and Good Morning All,

How was your 4th of July?  Ours was very, very noisy.  Between the neighbors having a pool party with very loud music and even louder screaming kids (what's up with that?  and why don't the parents control them?  and when did I become this cranky old lady?  hahaha) during the day and then the fireworks at night.  Oy!  The booming went on for quite some time.

This morning finds things a bit calmer and even the temperature is a little lower (69 degrees currently).  And it's Wednesday!  That means time for linking up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Let's go!

I'm nothing if not enthusiastic...but I don't really have much of anything to show.  I have yet to turn the heel on the first PairFect sock!  I think that between missing Mabel and the extreme heat and humidity it has been hard to do any knitting.  I always knit after dinner while Fletch and I listen to whatever book we are in the midst of, but I've been focusing on the green blob Hitchhiker.  I think there are now 32 teeth or points and just 24 or so grams of yarn left.

I'm bored and tired of this and it just needs to be finished already!  LOL

Yesterday morning before Fletch came downstairs for breakfast, I did finally manage to cast on for my Shakerag Skirt but there are no pictures yet.  Because that's all I did...cast on...not one single row was knit!  It was so muggy and sticky when I was casting on that I was quickly becoming irritable.  So, maybe today.

Not much to say about reading either.  Fletch and I finished listening to "Vesper Flights" by Helen MacDonald and really enjoyed it.  So much so that we are now listening to H is for Hawk also by MacDonald.  Once again she is the narrator and her voice is very soothing.  So far I'm liking "Vesper Flights" more, but I am enjoying "H is for Hawk."

My eyes are still consuming 'Hamnet" and wow!  I have been making myself read this so slowly and savoring each sentence.  Yes this is sad and yes this is about the plague.  But, it is so much more than that.  I now have under 100 pages left so will be wrapping this one up soon.  Next up is a cozy mystery that I picked up as a palate cleanser.  It is Knit One Die Two which someone had recommended.

Time to wrap this up and get to work.  Sorry I have so little to share today - hopefully more next week.  Meanwhile head over to Kat's to see what others are up to.  You'll be sure to see something creative! 

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday 7/4/23

 Good Morning and Happy 4th of July!

Do you have big plans?  We do not.  I hope it is not too sultry today.  We will most likely do our grocery shopping...after all, the store is open and Tuesday is our Senior Discount day, so why not?

Yesterday, I am happy to tell you, I was able to get a sneaker on my foot comfortably and I did end up walking about 2.5 miles.  I would have gone a little further (to a certain bridge making it a 3 mile round trip walk), but there is a tree down across the path.  Too low to walk under and too high to step over.  I could crouch down to go under, but truthfully, after walking as far as I had I was worried about my back.  What if I crouched down and then couldn't get up?  Plus, I'd have to crouch down on the return trip.  So, instead I turned around and called it enough.  It was stinking hot anyway.  (Car showed 80 degrees when I arrived at the River Trail and was reading 89 when I left.)

Speaking of stinking hot, C&M's house felt like an oven to me.  I watered plants and Fletch fooled around with one of their doors and then we left.  The car while riding home showed a temp of 98.  Too stinking hot for me.  The orchid seems to enjoy the warmth though.  More blooms!!

That is lavender on the other side of the window - C&M planted an herb garden there and everything is thriving.  Excuse the dirt on the windowsill...I still have not gotten around to cleaning at their house yet...

They also have some gorgeous calla lilies by the front door (along with a bunch of weeds...)

Last night as dusk approached, Fletch decided to pull/harvest some of the garlic.  He got roughly half of it and will pull the rest today (maybe - depends on how hot and sunny it is).  The bulbs look smaller to me this year.  But, it will sure be nice to have home grown garlic to use (once it dries a bit).

We will let it dry in the sun a bit and then hang it from the patio roof - keeping all vampires away.

Meanwhile, getting to the meat of this post.  It's Tuesday!  Time for a Tiny Needle update.  Not much was accomplished on the Autumn Posy piece.  The only stitching on this was on the uppermost left flower...the petals now have some pale, pale blue stitches along the outer edges.  The center will be filled with white.  I might get to that today.

Construction on the BIG sampler was completed!  I do love this house.

Next up on this is a pot of flowers under the house...also another bird off to the right.  I may try to get some stitching done on this one today as well.  Time will tell.

I may try to make some ice cream today as well!!  We have an ice cream maker, but the last time I used it (a year or more ago) it did not sound good.  The problem was me - I had stuck a spoon in it while it was running (to get a taste as one does) and the spoon hit the blade.  Oooppppssss.  So, I will pull it out of the basement and see if it runs ok.  If so, I will make some ice cream.  If not, I will order another ice cream maker!

Hope you all enjoy the 4th and can stay as cool as possible.  Take care of your pets - so many of them do not like fireworks at all.  I will see you back here tomorrow for Unraveled Wednesday!

Monday, July 3, 2023

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh My!! 7/3/23

 Good Morning Everyone

I'm sorry to write that we still have not seen Mabel.  I continue to remain optimistic, but as I said to Fletch, I don't want to have false hope either.  I keep thinking of our little Maestro who disappeared for a week and then my sister-in-law told me of one of their cats, years ago, who vanished..,.and showed up 3 months later!  Miracles do happen.  Meanwhile, I am so appreciative of you all and your concern, your kind words.  I'm thankful to be part of this blogging community.

So, there has been quite a bit going on.  Today is a holiday for my office as well as tomorrow and last week I decided I just didn't want to work on Friday, so I didn't!  Instead I took a lovely 2.5 mile walk along the River Trail in Valley Forge in the early morning.  I pretty much had the place to myself which was lovely  It was a great way to clear my head and boost my mood a bit.

Around 4 p.m., Fletch and I were getting ready to head out to the patio to sit and watch the little wren.  Suddenly Fletch stepped back and pushed me back and said "don't go out on the patio."  When I asked why, he just said SNAKE. all can imagine the words that came out of my mouth!

I managed (from a distance) to get a picture as this evil serpent slithered off the patio onto the lawn.  It was at least 2.5 feet long and was not a garter snake.  Fletch is pretty sure it was a corn snake.  I don't really just needs to be NOT HERE.  Fletch managed to scoop it up with a shovel (it kept falling off, too) and was able to fling it into the woods behind the shed.  One more reason for me to never go back there.  Oy vey!

On a more pleasant note, I mentioned that Fletch and I have been enjoying watching a little wren.  He is the loudest little thing - constantly singing and chattering at the top of his lungs as he builds a nest in one of our birdhouses.

It really is a comedy to watch him.  He brings the longest sticks or twigs to the nest and then has difficulty maneuvering them into the house.  At times there are so many sticks partially in and partially out that it is amazing he can even fly in and out!

And then this morning, this guy greeted me when I came downstairs and turned the coffee on!  What a rack!

Picture taken through the patio door, so a bit on the blurry side, but what a handsome fellow!

After the incident of the evil serpent on the patio, I've been a bit leary of wandering out to the garden (particularly in flip flops), but I did go out yesterday when Fletch was harvesting some things.  First he cut all the garlic scapes.  I need to save some (I like mincing them up in eggs or other dishes).

The beans are finally ready to be harvested.  These are delicious!

I love them just raw, but they are also good lightly steamed.  We had them with crab quiche for dinner last night~

In addition to herbs (parsley, basil, tarregon and thyme), red onion and Jarlsburg cheese, I also added a layer of baby kale to the bottom of the quiche.  So good (also, so rich!!).  There is roughly 3/4 of the quiche left, so plenty of leftovers.

Somehow I managed to drop a saucepan on my big toe yesterday.  OUCH!!!  Luckily the saucepan had already been emptied of the beans and hot, hot, hot water!

Plans for today include taking it easy.  If I can get a sneaker on my foot comfortably (debatable at this point) I may get out for a walk this morning before the humidity builds.  We are back to hazy, hot and humid weather.  We really need rain (again).  We were forecast to have strong storms yesterday, but as often happens, they were all around us, but missing us completely.

Fletch and I plan to run over to Colin & Mailing's this afternoon to water plants, get rid of the junk mail and see if there is anything else to do over there.  Happy 4th of July to everyone - stay safe and keep your animals safe.  Our poor pets are not fond of fireworks.